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Sunday Morning Reflections and Revelations

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Long before he became a country music legend, Kenny Rogers played in a rock band called The First Edition. One of their songs, Tell It All Brother, has a line within it thats always haunted me. Simply put it says And in the dungeons of your mind, who do you have chained to the wall? We could tour my mind if youd like but we might be here all day. If you want to learn how to hold grudges, Im your guy. Hurt me, wound me, or offend me and I have a spot for you on that wall. It doesnt have to be anything major either. It can be a slight or a mistaken offense and it will be a long time before I forgive you if ever. Thank goodness there arent too many people like me out here, huh? So as Im sitting in church early this morning I had no trouble understanding the message that was written on my heart. You wont begin to heal until you learn to forgive. Again, simply put, when there is so much judgment, animosity, prejudice and grudge holding going on inside of me is there really any room for goodness or healing?

I sat back in the pew and sighed. Im not really sure where to begin. I get POd on a regular basis and its become a matter of practice to stay that way. A friend on Facebook posted a long rant yesterday on road rage and how she felt justified in its practice. Thats not what scared me. I found myself nodding right along with the ten people who added comments supporting the practice. We get mad and stay mad and with each successive slight or offense a small part of our hearts are partitioned off and we become more alienated.

Seriously friends, how many of you have tried every diet known in the cosmos, bought enough exercise DVDs to have a healthy and profitable yard sale, and still never seen the scale move significantly and more importantly stay in a healthy range. With sincere apologies to the experts, carrot sticks, and celery served with Greek yogurts a bit more of a punishment than an opportunity. Its like trying to cure cancer with ibuprofen. I often see myself standing in front of a door thats padlocked and Im holding this massive ring of keys. I keep trying to find the one that fits.

You wont begin to heal until you learn to forgive.

As I tour my mind, looking at all those people Ive nailed firmly to the wall I turn a corner and I see a large room and on that rooms wall is me, chained and unforgiving of myself. All my accumulated sins, transgressions and faults are there for all to see and I wont forgive myself. Until I do I wont ever even approach that elusive thing called health and happiness. Forgiveness creates a space inside of us that allows healing and once we embark on the road to health we can plant healthy behavior.

We have to believe in something. I call that something God and you may call that something other names but Ill tell you unequivocally that unless that something is there to heal you your efforts are futile. Theres a passage in one of the Gospels where Jesus says he stands outside the door knocking, patiently waiting for us to let in the healing love. My poor eating habits, my reluctance to exercise are only symptoms of my unwillingness to forgive not only those around me, but to forgive myself.

You wont begin to heal until you learn to forgive.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 2/6/2013 1:50PM

    Loved this post. Reminded me of much of what Renee Stephen says in her quest to "eliminate the weight struggle from the planet!" How great is that intention!

You might check out IOWL (Inside Out Weight Loss) by Renee Stephens. There is a team on Spark (disclaimer! I am a team leader :) that has links to all her podcasts.

She speaks of all the the internal issues that keep us from reaching our goals; be they weight loss or anything else. And her method has nothing to do with eating carbs vs. proteins!! I think you would appreciate some of her insights.

She also advocates a sort of "forgiveness" technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

There is a Spark Team for that too and some links for it on the IOWL Team.

Good luck John and keep Sparking! You are awesome and I know if we keep at it, we will find the answers that work for us!

4;`*★. Spread the Spark!!

Comment edited on: 2/6/2013 1:52:11 PM

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CRYSTALJEM 2/4/2013 11:31AM

    I used to hold a lot of grudges, still do from time to time, but over time I came to realize a few things, and sometimes I need a reminder - thanks for providing that today.

I realized that most of the grudges I held only got my blood pressure boiling - the person against whom I held the grudge was either oblivious or unfazed. While my blood boiled, and my attention was focussed, they went on living and enjoying their life. (I used to describe this as equivalent to continually hitting my head against a brick wall and wondering why my head hurt).

I also realized that I screw up a lot - sometimes in my opinion, sometimes in someone else's opinion. Either way, I found I could be the one the grudge was against - and I was pretty good at holding grudges against myself - you know, beating myself up over what I'd done, or not done.

It became clear to me that again, I had a choice - hold it or let it go. In 3 weeks, 6 months, 5 years, would it really matter; or really help? The answer that kept resonating in my brain was a clear and emphatic "No". No justification or explanation, just a resounding "No."

Since then, I've really tried to recognize when I'm holding a grudge, and I work to let it go. That doesn't mean I'm ok with being hurt, or injustices. It means that I will choose consciously how I will respond and I would try my best to choose responses that will help me take the first step up, instead of choices that will only help me stumble or fall.

I take heart in the philosophy "In greater terms positive and negative have little meaning, for the physical experience is meant as a learning one. "

Namaste. CJ
Great blog. Thanks.

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PATTILYNN224 2/4/2013 7:55AM

    Well said.

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NASFKAB 2/4/2013 4:38AM

  cant believe you hold grudges thought it was for people like me thanks for sharing wish I could forgive some more

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REGILIEH 2/3/2013 10:15PM

    John, I am shocked that you hold grudges! Someone with your insight is much smarter than that! Grudges are such a waste of time and energy! Give yourself a break, thankfully GOD does.!

You are terrific, don't forget that! emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 2/3/2013 5:40PM

    John, the more I read your blogs, the more I think you are an amazing person.
How do you find the courage to be so honest? This forgiveness thing is a difficult business but it's true that we can't be really healed until we learn to let go of our bitterness and grudges.
May you be blessed with grace as you go about 'unchaining' all those people on your dungeon wall - including yourself.

And I pray that I will do so too.

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SHERIO5 2/3/2013 5:22PM


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MOBYCARP 2/3/2013 3:47PM

    Almost a decade ago I did some serious work on forgiveness. It was well worth the effort, and it really helped me feel better and appreciate life more. I highly recommend it.

But guess what? Forgiveness is a bit like losing weight. You work at, you succeed, you feel great . . . and you need to keep working on it the rest of your life in maintenance.

Thank you for the blog. While I'm not nearly as bad off in the forgiveness area as I have been in the past, you sparked me to slow down and consider a couple of maintenance areas I need to address.

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ANATASHIKI 2/3/2013 1:32PM

    beautiful said ! I'm oscillating between thinking I'm pretty forgiving and totally not forgiving :D. the truth is somewhere in the middle I think. and if I really am forgiving sometimes it's because grudges and resentfulness make me feel bad. really bad , not bad about myself. maybe all what we need is just learning to love ourselves as He the first person we need to forgive is really us . emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/3/2013 1:20PM

    God forgives all of us...we are freed when we do the same (although it's often hard). Anger and resentment hold us back and keep us from the peace we long for. Being kind to ourselves and others...forgiving...all takes acceptance. We don't have to like or agree with ____(fill in the blank) but accepting is the first step in change. I often think of the Serenity puts things in perspective for me. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/3/2013 1:10PM

    Yeah, wow is the right word. Sometimes you sit there in church and something just puts itself right out there for you. May you let yourself (and the rest) off the dungeon walls.

Because ALL of you (even you, John) are covered by the grace of God. Let the healing begin! emoticon

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KATHRYN1955 2/3/2013 12:50PM

    I too, thought I was getting better at this forgiving others and myself business, but a recent trigger around addictions issues has me realizing that I have a ways to go yet. There are a few people, including myself, who are still chained to that wall in the dungeon. I need to set all us free in order to truly know that I deserve all that comes with healthier behaviour.
Self-sabotage comes in many forms.
Thank-you, once again, John, for being strong enough to share your (perceived) weaknesses.
Take care,
emoticon emoticon emoticon
(healing angels for all of us!!)

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SILLYHP1953 2/3/2013 12:29PM

    Wow...again, Wow. I thought I was getting better at forgiving other people, not myself, but others. Then I started spending many nights at my mother's home after she broke her hip, and realized I have not fully forgiven her for not being there for me growing up. I guess there's a reason I'm the one staying with her cause I'm the one that needs to deal/heal. And I won't even begin to go into my inability to forgive myself, except that I am working on it. Thank you, John, as always, your carpentry skills are right on.

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GRAYCATBIRD 2/3/2013 12:28PM

    This is a beautiful post, one I needed to read today, too. I identified with so much of what you said! I'm trying to let my Higher Power lead me to emotional and physical health, and one of the loudest voices that's not letting me hear my Higher Power's guidance is that of self-condemnation. At a retreat I went to once, a Buddhist teacher said, "Compassion starts at home, and spreads." I asked that same teacher what I could do about my eating problem, and he said, "Self-kindness." He didn't elaborate -- that was it.

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VICKI-BISHOP56 2/3/2013 11:55AM

  Another good blog John, and one I needed today. Thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 2/3/2013 11:41AM

    Oh boy. How do you always know what I'm thinking?! I have 2 people in my life (other than myself) that I know I should forgive. I don't even know how to start. I think I've tucked the feelings into a corner where I don't deal with them. I know, not a good plan.

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WISLNDR 2/3/2013 11:28AM

    I have a post-it note taped to my desk that says "Forgiveness leads to Healing." I wrote it down a few months ago as I was analyzing the path I am on right now and where I think I'd like to go from here. It's a powerful lesson I need to be reminded of every day; I'm happy to have discovered that you're on the same path!!


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It's Not Your Fault

Saturday, February 02, 2013

A dear Spark friend lost their job this past week. It wasn't anticipated. It came out of the clear blue and well, we've all had those moments in our lives where we sit their numbly and seem to move as if by rote. Like losing a partner or a child the experience is so private and so personal that you are left standing there as if sand were running through your hands - anything you might say seems so damned inadequate. So you mumble the obligatory "I'm sorry," "I'm here for you," or "Ill pray for you." Silently you utter a prayer that thanks your deity of choice for not putting you through this experience.

For those of us who have been through this gut wrenching experience the gauntlet we run is agonizing. We scrutinize our selves, our performance at work. Did we upset someone? Was out work sub par?

"I'm a good person!!! Why would they get rid of me."

"I've got obligations and bills and..........."

Somedays there is not enough anti anxiety medication in the world to calm the storm but there is one solid and true fact I know for experience: No matter what anyone implies, it's not your fault.

Anxiety turns to anger and we lash out and blame and we look for some sort of answer that helps us balance the scales in our lives because we are so sure the rest of the world is judging us like crazy. After all, we just got fired. We feel embarrassed especially when we sort of shrug our shoulders and say "I'm really not sure why." We imagine the world doing one of those "Yeah right!" in response.

So if you've had this experience recently I can assure of you of three things:

It's not your fault
Pain is necessary, suffering is optional
"Be still and know that I am God."

One of my morning meditations this week said the following: "Quite often the pain and anxiety we feel over a life situation is simply God clearing a path for our success.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 2/4/2013 7:47PM

    Oh, but man, is it ever hard to see that path when you're in the thick of it! I do believe god/the universe/etc. only gives us what we can handle, and that's why all my tribulations have taken other forms, because I would crumble in an instant at this one! Soooo hard, and my heart goes out to your friend!

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NASFKAB 2/3/2013 4:31AM

  thanks for the post

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CARTOONB 2/2/2013 11:51PM

    Well said.

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MOBYCARP 2/2/2013 7:24PM

    Thank you for this blog. Involuntary job loss has been on my mind lately. My job is as secure as it has been for the past decade or so, but the way of the world now is such that I expect my career to end in layoff rather than in planned retirement.

I won't be my fault.
Suffering will be optional.
I need to be still, and look for what God intends.

Good thoughts to keep in mind for when/if the layoff happens.

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HDHAWK 2/2/2013 6:30PM

    Good meditation and one we need to be reminded of. It's so hard to see when you're in the middle of a situation.

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AJDOVER1 2/2/2013 6:27PM

    I appreciate this so much, John. Change is so hard to bear sometimes, especially when it comes as a shock. Job losses affect whole families and it's difficult to step back and see God's plan amid the chaos.

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GEEMAWEST 2/2/2013 5:35PM

    You are such a wise man and I thank God that you are in my life!

Thanks for being you.

Love and Hugs emoticon

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NEEDBU66 2/2/2013 4:38PM

    Bad bad bad economy.

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ANATASHIKI 2/2/2013 12:48PM

    it never happened to me, but after winning the contest for my actual job, in a country where many of these contests are sold or at least tampered with, I realized that all the 11 years of med school and residency I was preparing for not having a job and having to quit and do something else. I try to remember that and how lucky I am to have a job in a small town in these times. even if it's not stellar. I confess my gratitude needs working on it emoticon

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VICKI-BISHOP56 2/2/2013 10:29AM

  My son just lost his job too and only because the owners wife decided she wanted that position so since she couldn't do it as long as Chris had it, he had to go. But he's got interviews lined up for a new job and he tells me he'll be fine. So I have to accept that and leave it in God's hands. emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/2/2013 9:55AM

    ...or when He closes one door, He opens another. If we can be patient we discover the plan He has for us. Good blog, John. emoticon

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REGILIEH 2/2/2013 9:45AM

    So beautifully said! What is that saying, when a door closes a window opens, something like that. I hope that person who lost their job will claim that it will be a good thing and he/she will get a better job! I'm believing it for them.

John, you ALWAYS know exactly what to say and how to say it! What a gift you have been given and what a gift we have been given in getting to read your words.

emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 2/2/2013 9:17AM

    "Quite often the pain and anxiety we feel over a life situation is simply God clearing a path for our success."

- that's a great quote, John. Thank you!

I'll let you know when I get to the 'success' part.

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PATTILYNN224 2/2/2013 9:11AM

    Been there as well. Just know it does get better.

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BLUEROSE73 2/2/2013 9:06AM

    Been there. It really sucks. My prayers are with your friend to find the new path that is out there somewhere for them

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But Will They Have Facebook Accounts?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This one has me scratching my head.

The Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC announced that it has purchased IPads for the orangutans it houses in its primate exhibit. It has to do with mental focus and boredom. Apparently this form of primate lives a really long time and in lay persons a term using an Ipad helps them maintain mental agility.

Question: What did they do before Steve Jobs was born?

Each orangutan has its favorite applications and they enjoy the tapping noise the key board brings to them. The attendants have to hold the Ipad because orangutans also have a penchant for destroying things. It seems they enjoy the act of destruction.

Im not making this up. I sat with my mouth hanging open as the NBC Nightly News showed cute pictures of orangutans tapping out their favorite apps. But wait, there is more!!! The next video showed dolphins tapping the Ipad with their long noses.

Every time I turn on a TV I hear about this fiscal cliff and a world depression. We have hungry and homeless people subsisting through their entire life and we consider monkeys who play with computers a much more satisfying investment

Im beginning to think we deserve everything we get.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2013LOSE20 2/1/2013 5:55PM

  You can't compare world hunger with this. I don't see the analogy at all. That's like saying humans should not buy their dogs and cats toys or make their life satisfying because there is world hunger. Or we as humans should not take a vacation because there is world hunger. Actually the trainers can learn a lot from this that may help humans with very low I.Q's learn.

I always liked your gifted writing skills and still do but I don't agree with you on this one. I wish you a healthy weekend.

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CC3833 2/1/2013 3:44PM

    As cute as that seems to be I don't believe they need an ipad.

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DOLLY1259 2/1/2013 10:52AM

    Wow. Thanks for sharing. As a country we do have our priorities messed up. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck, are homeless or go to bed hungry. Definitely those in control are out of touch.

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NASFKAB 2/1/2013 5:05AM

  unbelievable this emphasis on being occupied is going too far

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    Sometimes it's difficult to ascertain the superior beings. LOL.

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MOBYCARP 1/31/2013 8:59PM

    I recall a pet store owner telling me about parrots and boredom. Parrots are also long-lived, and they got them toys to alleviate boredom. But those toys tended to be made of wood and not terribly expensive, so it wasn't a big deal that the parrots liked to tear them to pieces.

Could we get something a big cheaper than iPads for the orangutans to enjoy destroying?

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WORKINGSTIFF 1/31/2013 5:47PM

    The world is indeed a crazy place at times...monkeys with I pads and children without books, homes, or food.

But seriously, haven't we been doing the same thing to our own young for the past generation? I have friends who gushed about how prolific their toddlers were on computers, but I warned them: don't let them spend too much time on them. We have a generation growing up who is in constant need of external stimulation, and without it declare themselves "bored."

Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 5:50:09 PM

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REGILIEH 1/31/2013 4:02PM

    It is SICK!!!!! DISGUSTING!!!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/31/2013 1:56PM

    My two furballs aka cats love my Ipad. They sleep on it every chance that get.

On a more serious note, I'm thinking there are other ways, that are natural, to keep them mentally stimulated for the balance of their lives. The best The Smithsonian Zoo could come up with is an IPad? Sad, very Sad!!

As a side note: Recently four homeless people turned down unopened, fresh food when I offered it to them. I'm still not sure how to process that.

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SLIMLEAF 1/31/2013 12:35PM

    That's incredible!

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CMBELISLE 1/31/2013 12:34PM

    Ahhhhh...nice to see our tax dollars at work. NOT! This is the kind of wasteful spending that really infuriates me. If the government weren't so deep in dept, fine - it's research, but this is ridiculous.

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GIRANIMAL 1/31/2013 11:12AM

    Finally, someone understands my bitter jadedness! emoticon

I saw a photo package about this online about a week ago, I think. I'm all for research, but I hear you loud and clear about having our priorities all screwed up. I have been obsessing over this TINY house for sale in my neighborhood, and it seems insane for the price, except when you consider that it's a double lot in Chicago (do you know how much food I could grow in such a HUGE yard?!) and, you know, smaller just seems smarter and smarter to me. emoticon

It might also have something to do with SUVs that run us cyclists off the road. Sigh. Sometimes I just want to scream "give me LESS!"

Of course, don't get me wrong. I'm not perfect and I see my own hypocrisy sometimes. Like "needing" a new computer, when I barely use the one I have at home now. All of our "stuff" is powerful stuff!

Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 11:13:53 AM

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NEEDBU66 1/31/2013 10:30AM

    Gave up on facebook
have a burn phone
don't have an I Pad.

It means I have to find my own way of trying to keep my mental agility intact. Wish me luck!

Hey, and speaking of luck, congrats on the grandkid!

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CRYSTALJEM 1/31/2013 10:08AM

    My cat's love our IPad, although they don't appear to have any favourite apps. They don't seem to like my dog barking app that much though. LOL.

If I was locked up in a cage I suppose I would appreciate someone holding an IPad for me to play with too - because after being locked up I'd probably be fairly destructive too.

We do get what we "deserve" - it's the way of the universe - it's where we go from there each time that matters. Sometimes the path is pretty muddy and it's impossible to figure out ourselves why or how it all fits into the picture, but somehow I do believe it does; even the horrible atrocities and even the stupidity.

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SHERIO5 1/31/2013 9:49AM

    I'm with you...

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HDHAWK 1/31/2013 9:20AM

    There are some pretty dumb decisions being made, no doubt about that!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/31/2013 9:02AM

  What will they come up with next???????????? emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 1/31/2013 9:02AM

    Now I'm dying to know what their favorite apps are...

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NEWMOM20121 1/31/2013 8:54AM


I have thought that for a while.

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ANATASHIKI 1/31/2013 8:49AM

    of course we deserve it emoticon and we're not far from the orangutans either, and I'm not excluding myself emoticon

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Isaiah 50:10-11

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Part of my overall wellness initiative for 2013 is to take time at the beginning of each day to meditate and reflect. Ive found that when I dont my days seem more scattered and less focused. Im inclined to succumb to impulsive eating and some of those negative voices that only hold me back.

This morning, when I completed my meditation, I opened my Bible to Isaiah Chapter 50. Dont ask me why. I believe what I read each morning is what I am meant to read for that day, ponder the thought and integrate it into my life. Questioning why Im reading what Im reading just wastes valuable time. When I reached Verse 10 and 11 I kept reading it over and over:

None of you respect the Lord
or obey his servant.
You walk in the dark
instead of the light;
you dont trust the name
of the Lord your God.[a]
11 Go ahead and walk in the light
of the fires you have set.[b]

I sat back in my chair and looked around my office for a few minutes. I looked at all the fires Id light. I started to feel that instead of simply trusting, I was creating a reality and an existence based on what everyone else was doing and not me. Those words Go ahead and walk in the light of the fires you have set stung me. The fire I light will eventually extinguish and Ill be left in the dark. My own devices havent worked in the past, why should they work now. A wise man once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Maybe thats what Isaiah was trying to tell me this morning. Maybe my well-built pyre and carefully distributed flames weren't as the modern parlance suggests getting it.

Im no scripture scholar nor have I studied theology and the like. Im not a preacher or even wise for that matter. God is personal to me and the more I trust Him the more comfortable I am having Him around. He guides me and then takes a step back so I can make my own choices.

For some reason I felt compelled to share this insight with you. I hope you enjoy it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/31/2013 9:20AM

    First of ARE wise, very wise. Not sure what your definition is to think that you are not.
Secondly, I do forget what wisdom there is in the scriptures because I rarely read the Bible. I buy all sorts of other inspirational books, and don't read them much either, truth be told. I am reading your blogs again and am finally caught up. Read and reflected on the last five pages of your blogs until I got up to date.

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AJDOVER1 1/31/2013 12:10AM

    thanks, John. You've given me something to ponder this evening....

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SLIMLEAF 1/30/2013 5:43PM

    Thanks for sharing that John. God seems to be trying to tell me something at the moment too, but I haven't figured out quite what it is yet. I broke my leg on Sunday which means no running, swimming, gym or driving for 6-8 weeks. Running, in particular, is such a big part of my life that not running is like having the rug taken from beneath my feet. So God's got my attention. I pray that both you and I hear what he's saying to us, have the courage to face up to the truth and the determination to act upon it. Fortunately, we'll have heaps of God's grace to make that possible.

God bless.

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    I have found that sometimes a scripture will find me or I will feel compelled to send a scripture to a friend. In both instances these messages will be very relevant to both of us. Things happen for a reason. We have to pray that we understand the message.

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DANCING4UJESUS 1/30/2013 2:29PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing with us. We all have things to learn about ourselves if we take the time to listen to what God is saying. It was a good word. Bless you

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ANATASHIKI 1/30/2013 1:37PM

    I'd say you already walk in that light , just you're too close to see it as well as us :D. and controlling our life or anything in our life is an illusion anyway.

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SPARKLING_SUSAN 1/30/2013 1:37PM

    Namaste, John. Thank you.

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NASFKAB 1/30/2013 1:04PM


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CC3833 1/30/2013 12:46PM

    This is nice. I was just thinking about getting a Bible the other day. I don't go to church really but that doesn't mean I don't believe in God. I remember as a young teen I would sit and read a few pages from the Bible each night. (my mom loved that) I didn't read it because I was told to... I just wanted to read it. And a coworker of mine is very involved in her church she said to me that everyone needs to read the Bible for themselves because it means something different to whoever is reading it. Just like you wouldn't just go into someone else's closet and wear their clothes because they think they are cute. I do find you wise... you definitely get my mind going with your comments/status/blogs pretty much everyday. And you are now another push for me to go get one, which I will have by the end of the weekend.. Thank you :-)

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 12:48:15 PM

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REGILIEH 1/30/2013 12:11PM

    You always have great perspectives. I appreciate you!

Part of my devotional this moring said "Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind.". I think this is or can be so true.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2013 12:12:04 PM

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SHERIO5 1/30/2013 10:50AM

    emoticon I needed to read these words today.

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SHSCHLEIN 1/30/2013 9:59AM

  Timely words, aptly spoken. Thank you!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/30/2013 9:51AM

  emoticon emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 1/30/2013 9:46AM

    I'm glad He gave you those verses to share with us. Good food for thought. I have many fires that I have set.

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LOUISE6296 1/30/2013 9:39AM

  Today I choose happiness.

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DEBRITA01 1/30/2013 9:19AM

    I'm glad you shared. We often feel we need to do everything on our own...trusting can be hard. I especially liked this; " He guides me and then takes a step back so I can make my own choices". So true, everything comes down to choice...and it's ours to make. Namaste, John. emoticon

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I learned a lesson at Wal-Mart this morning and it humbled me.

I go grocery shopping with Joan and we have an understanding: I stay out of her way and she lets me go grocery shopping with her. Usually I wander the electronics aisle or sporting goods or DVDs or something to just occupy my time. Joan phones me when its time to check out. I think its a win-win. Im not really concerned with what paper towels we use and she has no desire to compare hack and slash movies.

After she called this morning I got stuck in the slow lane, lol In front of me was a lady with a cart and you could tell from her posture and pace she was on a mission. Blue tooth firmly planted in her ear she was talking to someone as she quickly advanced on two people side by side, with carts that were moving at a leisurely pace. Shed edge close to them and back off, edge close and back off. I decided to make an illegal pass and use the adjacent aisle usually reserved for cart traffic going the other direction. It was then Id heard the crash. Shopper on a mission ran into shopper out to brose. Ever been hit from behind by a shopping cart? It usually runs up the back of your ankles and to use a scientific term sends you skittering- catty -wampus in an unknown direction. The offending party turned bright red and began offering all sorts of apologies. Her daughter was here, her son was there, she had to pick up her hubby and they had a movie to go to and dinner with friends and she needed fabric softener and dont you know I DONT HAVE ENOUGH TIME. By the way, Im sorry I hit you.

Who does, have enough time that is? Isnt this our eternal excuse? Id love to exercise, but I dont have the time, family and work comes first. Who the he** argues with that logic? Quiet time is nice John but are you kidding? With everything I have going on Oh, I forgot, stress is a natural part of our lives, no?

The impact of what happened didnt hit me until I arrived home later this morning. Im that shopper with a purpose. Im in such a hurry to get.? Where am I in a hurry to get to? I put 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound sack. I claim to be mindful but I let circumstances dictate how I use my time. What kind of stuff can I live without but choose not to because it rubs against social norms and dictates, so I convince myself I need it? Smart phones, IPads, social media all make it easier to cram more stuff in and then I wonder how come I over eat emotionally at times.

For those of you over 50 you might recall a really great Broadway play called Stop the World I Want to Get Off. When I reach the point in my life, where I physically or emotionally run over other shoppers its time to take inventory.

So I was humbled my dearest reader. Humbled that I too hop on the treadmill and often judge my worth by how busy I truly am. I didnt see it coming Life isnt worth that, is it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 1/30/2013 1:09PM

    My every morning feels like this, and then, at least half of the time, so do my days at work. (Lunch break? Seriously?) I find myself getting annoyed and feeling "abandoned" by the one coworker who takes her lunch breaks religiously. Logically, I know that is ridiculous! Evenings are more of the same: rush home from work, clean up, pack lunch for the next day and then it's pretty much time for bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's kind of awful when I stop to think about it too long!

I've been longing for a way to at least make my mornings feel less chaotic, to better set up my mood for the day, but I have yet to find an answer. Ten minutes to just sit quietly (meditate) in the morning seems like a great idea, but I'm usually fighting so hard to stay awake that it seems implausible! It's really, honestly true, and yet, it still sounds a bit like an excuse. Priorities! I always have far too many of them at equal levels on the list.

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CC3833 1/28/2013 4:07PM

    Oh I think everyone uses that excuse. But like you said it is a vaild one. You just need to write everything down and take a look at what really comes first? Thanks for reminding me!

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NASFKAB 1/27/2013 4:37AM

  thought provoking thanks for sharing

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/27/2013 12:53AM

    Very interesting Blog John! Thanks for sharing!

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REGILIEH 1/26/2013 11:30PM

    Very thought provoking!!! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/26/2013 10:30PM

    After years of being overly busy at a demanding job I like to be as unbusy as possible. Not total sloth but not on a treadmill 24/7 either.

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MOBYCARP 1/26/2013 8:39PM

    Time is the ultimate scarce resource. Use more of it on one thing, and you must perforce use less on something else. Sometimes I can do this purposefully; but most of the time I'm an observer noting what got squeezed out.

One of the big surprises in my life after finding SP is that most of my pleasure reading of fiction got squeezed out. Where did the time go? Some into participation on SP, but more into being active and spending more time messing with eating healthy than it took to just eat without paying attention.

Is this worth it? You bet it is. I miss reading fantasy; but not badly enough to go back to reading a lot of it, if that means not being active or not eating right.

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LYNMEINDERS 1/26/2013 8:34PM

    Brilliant blog John...
This is something I changed last year....go on missions but not to that extent anymore

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MARITIMER3 1/26/2013 5:19PM

    A good friend and I used to spend our "girls' nights out" one-upping each other about how busy our jobs were. I finally realized what we were doing, and have seen less of her recently. How busy we are doesn't matter. We're all busy, each in our own way; what matters is how we use the time that we have.

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MKPRINCESS007 1/26/2013 4:29PM

    I know those moments soooooooooooo well! It isn't always easy to take a breath and slow down, but man, it is so much better for a our mental and physical health!

Thanks for the great blog!


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CRYSTALJEM 1/26/2013 4:26PM

    So true. I find it incredibly hard to let go if the things I know truly don't serve me as much as they cost me time. It isn't any easier than stopping over eating. Slowly I'm learning not to start in the first place. I hope any way.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/26/2013 4:07PM

    One of my favorite Spark calendar pages recommends, "Do less". Love it. Good insights, John. May you slow down and smell the roses!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/26/2013 1:14PM

  Bob will get very impatient with the "senior citizens" when we go shopping. He doesn't stop and think, "HE'S A SENIOR CITIZEN HIMSELF"!! LOL!
I much prefer shopping alone. Goes much quicker and we save money since if he stays home, a lot of stuff neither of us need, will not go into the cart. When he shops with me I can expect at least an extra $25.00 worth of spending. emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 1/26/2013 12:50PM

    lol , I went shopping today too . I can't say I was in a hurry but the shop was full of very old ladies letting their carts in very odd angles. but waiting a little and " please may I pass" worked wonders. I hate when I have that " busy" feeling. the " busy " time is stolen time from my real life, the one where I read , relax , feel good , talk to friends, take a walk, exercise , cook real food, track everything, meditate, did I mention read ? :D

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ANGJENN822 1/26/2013 12:40PM

    I'll be honest, John...if I tallied up all the time I spent doing 'other things' (i.e. facebook, gaming), I would find the free time to work out, to plan my meals, etc. But that stuff is work and I'm all about fun. I need to reset my priorities. Thanks for the reminder!

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HDHAWK 1/26/2013 11:57AM

    I am guilty of being impatient when people are piddling up and down aisles walking at a snail's pace. I want to get in and get out and move on to the next thing. I'm hoping that's because I don't enjoy grocery shopping. I'm much more patient while driving believe it or not (usually)!

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