Category Archives: beliefs

God Unplugged & In Real Time

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other. Galatians 5:14-15 Life Application Bible.

Recently, and after a long separation from God I have returned to my faith. More will be written on that journey in future posts, however reading back through this blog will provide a snap shot of the last few years journey.

This morning I am reflecting on the above Bible passage and its real life possibilities and implications.

To love others as we love ourselves always confused me, because as someone who really doesn’t feel a whole lot of love for myself (but I am getting better) I wondered why on earth I would want to treat others the way I treat myself.

Since reading and studying more on this passage I have come to understand it this way. We all have, an inherit instinct to preserve ourselves. The need to eat when hungry, sleep in a warm bed when tired, and live in a decent clean environment. These are our basic needs we love to take care of for survival. And this is the very minimal way we can show our love and support for others. We all know a person lacking in any of these carnal needs will find it very difficult to feel or learn about love and compassion.

The second verse of the above passage warns about being critical and catty. This truth I have come to know on a personal level through interactions with many people and God willing I can summarize effectively below.

Having met with different types of people and knowing we take away grains of their beliefs I noticed something very interesting. There is a multitude of people who tend to be flippant, catty, critical and manipulative (the language of shame) in their approach to correcting what they perceive as a “wrong”. When met with one of these people I notice it triggers feelings of defensiveness and shame in those who do not understand their true identity in Christ.

This type of council leads to thoughts of rebellion and can cause the receiver to act out in ways opposite to the message the sender was trying to convey. Rebellion is part of our natural instinct so it is probably unhelpful to trigger that instinct when attempting to
help someone who’s actions are harmful to themselves or others. This is evident in cases of bullying that lead to feelings of depression and in extreme instances, suicide.

There is a second type of person who takes an entirely different approach to supportive correction. They are kind, loving, humble and and supportive (the language of guilt). While they offer critical direction and support toward growth, they are not critically judgmental. This type of teaching tends to stick and produce a real and positive change for many (myself included). Guilt when used as guide post to help us correct our wrong actions is a great way to improve the lives of ourselves and others.

Of course this is all dependent on the receiver. If a student desires to be kind, loving humble and supportive their natural sense of rebellion will not be triggered by someone who is using the language of guilt vs. the language of shame.

I know myself I tend to ask more questions of the second type of person, and take a curious interest in what sorts of things helped shape a person of this caliber. A person who is humble enough to realize they have no worthy judgement against anyone.

Sheila Walsh – Guilt tells you, you’ve done something wrong. Shame tells you, you are something wrong.

Anyway the two extremes are just examples and for discussion purposes. I think many of us are somewhere in between and can be catty and sarcastic one day and more loving and supportive the next. It is all part of the human experience.

For me returning to faith in God allows me to read, study and meditate on these simple nuggets of truth. And when I find myself putting them into practice more and more frequently in my life I thank God. I thank God that it allow me to reach out in loving, kind, humble and supportive ways more effectively.

So there it is in a simple grape seed. “To be catty, smart mouthed and critical is human while actions of humility, love and kind supportive correction is divine.

Blessings

Advertisements

The Christmas Tree

We’ve had the same Christmas tree for 20 years. It is a highly valued family possession. Standing a humble 6 1/2 feet tall with branches of bright green the color reminds me of a child’s finger paints. Yet the shade sets off the delicate ornaments hanging from its bows beautifully. The tree is lush and full which makes up for its lack of height. It reminds me of trees we used to see when driving north to Santa’s Village with the kids. As long as you avoid touching the limbs, which are paper thin, it passes as real.

The tree is always covered in tiny white lights, save one lower bow reserved for a string of multicolored bulbs. The colorful strand pulsates to the sound of tradition Christmas songs coming from a box near the plug in a gentle music box style. The smell of pine wafts from the tree, an artificial aroma created by air fresheners hung from branches. Legend has it cats are repelled by the spicy scent. Both of our furry family members seem to enjoy the aroma as they climb the tree, lounge on their favorite branches and bat at the air fresheners. Thankfully the tree is heavy which makes it impossible for the little felines to knock over.

So what makes this tree so precious to us? It is the ornaments. Each one carefully chosen over the years to reflect the stages of life or the story we lived in any given year. Everything from our first Christmas together as a married couple, to baby milestones,  items the kids made in elementary school, to handmade ornaments created during leaner years. More recently a hand crafted beaded felt heart all the way from SA. This item was created by a group of women in South Africa who sell the items to help support their families. A friend who visited the town gave it to me as a gift last year.

At Christmas time these ornaments displayed amidst a backdrop of bright green and under tiny twinkling lights is a beautiful reminder of all we have lived and shared together and it is our story.

As the grandchildren have started to arrive, and just as I envisioned 20 some years ago; we make a warm cup of hot chocolate sit back and share stories associated with each ornament.

In our home this is so much more than a Christmas tree. This is a story tree.

The Zany Blogger

I am amazed how fast November has flown by. After this entry there are 3 posts to go and I am starting to wonder what to do with myself next month to stay out of trouble.

Anyway as the month fizzles away the posts seem to be getting more and more punchy. Trying to find something to write about every day has been an enjoyable and eye opening challenge.

Therefore without further introduction let me present my latest silly post.

He called you what?!

So yesterday while I was talking to someone in real time. I got around to asking him if he was enjoying the blog.

He told me he didn’t have a lot of spare time, but had read some of my “zany” posts.

Later when I got home the worry wart in my brain starting singing.
“He called you zany that means crazy. He must not think much of you,” and on and on it went.

I quieted the wart with a dose of compound positivity and got to thinking about the word zany.

I thought about what it means, light, easy going, silly, free spirited,
funny. “Well that’s not so bad,” I reminded myself, considering that is what I look for in life as often as possible. Actually, if I am honest with myself it is probably exactly what I was going for in the posts. For someone like me who is allergic to labels I guess you might say I’m turning into a hypocrite. I really, kinda love this label.

Here’s an idea, maybe I can call myself ‘The Zany Blogger’. It works doesn’t it?

How do you handle the worry wart choir that plays in your head?
Love it or hate it, I don’t think we can ever silence it. Just maybe though, we can have a little fun with it?

Cycling Through The Winter Blues

The weather turned icy and cold here today as it normally does around this time of year in Canada. Gone are the warm summer breezes and brisk, bright autumn days, replaced by winters’ icy touch.

With the colder temps setting in it is time to store the bike. I will miss that little piece of metal on wheels. We started a new adventure together this year and I learned about possibilities. It also reminded me how to feel like a kid again.

It was a good fall season, no worries or regrets because as soon as the weather warms up and the ice melts I will be out there pedaling along the streets and down through the parks once more, offering a smile and sincere “Good day” to those I pass by.

The winter time in Canada brings with it darker and colder days and for those of us who live in this climate, exercise is crucially important. A couple of months without sun can lead to depression, aka cabin fever.

With the bike tucked away in the garage, I turn back to the treadmill. It is perfectly situated beside a window overlooking the park. As I have done for many years over the winter months I will spend hours walking miles while watching snow storms and winter winds blow.

I have used that machine to walk through many a winter blahs. Worrying, at times, that there was nothing more for me. Thinking I would spend the rest of my life on a treadmill leading to no where.

But there is more, and the cycling adventures are proving it to me. Life is a journey. There are steps to be taken in order to grasp more of it.

Walking the treadmill built strength in my legs. This strength allowed me to hop back on the bike and continue the journey. A journey 4 years ago didn’t cross my mind.

Life has ups and downs, and sometimes we want to give up. Maybe it is true what they say, “we just have to keep going.” And when an opportunity to do something new presents itself, go ahead and give it a try.

“Step out, risk, live, love and laugh.” These are more than words, or pretty cliches. They are real time events to be experienced each day.

What new thing can you try today?

Debtless & Cheap – Free Advice & Happiness

Cheap Advice and Happiness

I am a little, or should I say I “WAS” a little pissed off this morning.

Since I needed a post for today to keep up with the NaBloPoMo challenge I thought this is as good a subject as any.

The experience:

I was talking to someone, we’ll call her Anne, about riding the bike today. Anne was all bundled up as if the temps had already hit sub-zero. She suggested, “it was rather ambitious of me to continue with the cycling considering the drop in temperature.”

It was +5C today.

I replied, “no big deal as long as you’re dressed for the weather.”

Well this response failed to deter her from the desired result I guess. She went on to share with me how a cyclist had fallen to their death over a bridge. The bridge I use to go to and return from my destination on these outings actually.

It seems Anne really wanted to put me off riding today with all this lovely and well intentioned (giving her the benefit of the doubt) negative chatter.

I said “goodbye” to her and toddled off to pack up my stuff and pull out the bike.

Here’s my problem. Anne did get me worried. Actually her horror story had me fearing for my safety. When I ride I am alert, watch the traffic and obey traffic lights etc. Although I had taken this route many times over the last few months, anxiety began to fester in the pit of my stomach.

Now I believe well placed fear can be a powerful motivator that can keep us safe, however when misused it can become a very dangerous emotion to feel while doing a task that is usually simple.

I knew I needed to change the thought. On the ride over that bridge I reminded myself, “you can just as easily get killed in a car on the highway. Actually far more have been seriously injured and killed in cars than on bicycles.” Yes I know the law of averages.
More cars than bikes… I had to stop comparing these dark facts and statistics if I wanted to be safe and fear free.

“I am cycling today because it is great exercise, increases energy and the sense of well being and I’m saving money,” I thought.

Immediately I started to feel better and enjoy the ride again. I noticed the more I practice law of attraction, changing negatives to positives, is happening quickly and easily.

I am reminded to accept good advice and leave the fear behind. This way we keep moving forward toward whatever life has to offer. Moving beyond the fear of “I can’t” and toward that¬† possibility “I can” increases our chances to succeed at whatever we can envision, and act upon.

This resistance I experienced from Anne is another rule of law of attraction. The greater your desire to succeed the greater is the resistance you experience.

A final thought:

I have a blogger friend who experienced a wicked cycling crash and is just now getting back on the bike after some time. To me this shows courage and strength of character. Both traits I highly admire and respect.

How do you feel the fear and do it anyways?

10 Things I Believe…

Here we are day 3 of the NaBloPoMo challenge. Yesterdays I wrote about my favourite character of all time. It can be read here: https://ariescottrell.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/my-favorite-character-of-all-time-a-vampire/ or from the side bar link. For today’s post I am using a writing prompt I found through a Google search on this site: http://www.kludgymom.com/idea-bank/

10 things I believe.

1. We live in an engineered world. Yes that’s right. I am a doubter of the evolution theory. The reason I doubt evolution? When I think of something as simple as vision I am unable to believe random chaotic evolution is responsible. Imagine the millions of optic nerves bundled together behind our eyeballs and leading to the brain. Each responsible for a tiny pixel of data we see. Now imagine the brain putting each fragment together inside the mind and translating it into an image. It is impossible for me to accept as a rational person that this complex system or any of the others inside the human body are a result of random evolution.

2. We can achieve our goals if we are willing to do the work and pay the price. This one’s a no brainer. We often believe due to circumstances we are somehow handicapped from realizing our goals built from dreams. That somehow we are fated, or destined not to succeed. My goal is to write enjoyable stories for others to read and make a living wage at it. In order for that to happen I spend every spare moment reading, writing and studying the craft. It is the only proven method writer’s use to realize their dreams. Doing the work and putting in the time is the only way for a writer to succeed. It’s more than a belief that’s a fact.

3. If we eat well and exercise regularly our bodies and minds are healthier. This needs little explanation. When I eat nutritious food daily and have scheduled exercise times it improves my brain and bodily functions. I have more energy and a deeper sense of well being. Enough said.

4. We generate love to ourselves when we share it with others. When we practise a state of loving and supporting ourselves and others, we generate that type of energy. Basically I believe if we share love there is an energetic response that comes from our mind and emotions. This energy translates into a magnet that will attract more of the same toward us.

5. Anything we tap into and pass around will come back to us, negative or positive. When I was younger I loved to ghost hunt. What I discovered from those experiences is tuning into that spooky paranormal stuff generates the weird and seemingly inexplicable feeling of being haunted. Now some would say it was just in my mind. The imagination working over time based on the information it received and in some cases that was true. However I have also had experiences where someone unaware of my spooky little hobby has seen things in my home after one of those trips. I don’t find those things as easy to write off.

6. People can change. I’ve known people who were nice and changed into someone not so nice. As well as people who were mean and learned to be kind. Don’t think I need to explain this one further. It is possible for us to change and it happens all the time, period.

7. Seeing the good in others at all times helps them see it in themselves, and us. This one goes back to surrounding ourselves with the type of energy we generate from thoughts and emotions. If someone is acting in a way that will create energy that is unlovable, we can choose to hold steadily the image of that person at their best. In this way we counter the negative effects of the unlovable state with the more pleasing energies of self worth, love and support. It has been done for me many times. When I was at my worst someone reminded me of the best.

8. We are stronger than we realize. This is an easy one to explain. If we keep going, that is strength. It is only in the choice to give up that we are weak. Real strength is a thought that carries us forward. We are all strong when we keep going.

9. We live in a world with a precise set of laws. This one also ties in with my belief that our thoughts and emotions generate energy. Loving supportive thoughts and emotions tap into that universal principle (law). Same thing with negative energy. The law is made up of many types of energies all at play in this world and available for our use.

10. Love and support is a two way street. Actually I no longer have this belief. Love and support is an ever flowing source. While it is nice when the person we offer those qualities to repays us in kind. It is just as nice to encounter a helpful and supportive stranger. It is an ever flowing river, not a rebound effect.

Those are some of my basic beliefs. I hope you enjoyed them and will share some of yours in the comments sections. Also feel free to debate, debunk and have fun with mine. My shoulders are broad, I rarely take offence and would love to hear from you.

Blog on!