An Explanation

Eileen:

This is from a blog called Dark Matter written by a poet with a prophetic voice that calls us to respond in at least some small way to the evil we prefer to ignore in our world.

Originally posted on Dark Matter:

This one-note-struck
of all my recent talk
about my rage and sorrow
at how humans suborn
all the machinations of Evil
and take each other for pawns
to be moved at will
in games huge and tiny
can be grating, I know.
It grates on me as well.
I wake up raw most days
and on the other days it’s not long
before I am drawn to picking at
the new scabs and nearly-healed scars
of my previous wounds.  
I have them always on my mind.
I feel them festering and itching on my skin.
I taste them, dark and sour, in my mouth.

You don’t know how much I would prefer
to speak only of my garden 
filled with midsummer close-to-ripeness,
or of hours of simplicity watching my cat,
or of the peace in lying with my love
long hours in a just-enough-room bed.
I speak of these things often…

View original 184 more words

Thursday Re-View — Thoughts for My Son

Eileen:

For all our children……..

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:

Call Mom.
Pick your battles.
Be kind.
Thoughts matter.
Breathe.
Count to five before you speak.
Look beyond what you see.
Don’t judge.
Rescue an animal.
Keep your word.
Give back.
Be present.
Apologize.
Give thanks.
Choose your words with care.
Dance to your own music.
Character matters.
Listen with your heart.
Honor your family.
Respect your elders.
Share.
Play fair.
Be honest.
Remember where you came from.
Root for the underdog.
Volunteer.
Be charitable.
Keep the faith.
Look people in the eye.
Mean what you say.
Follow through.
Be a good example.
Listen.
Color outside the lines.
Smile.
Purple glitter makes everything better.
Feed the birds.
Remember that squirrels like birdseed, too.
Be compassionate.
Enjoy thunderstorms.
Talk to animals.
Pray.
Be true to yourself.
Visit other countries.
Try your best.
Put in an honest day’s work.
Forgive.
Hold fast to your beliefs.
Patience really is a virtue.
Nothing is…

View original 189 more words

What is it like to be in love with someone who has autism? by Amy A

Eileen:

@Joy….(the good joy :) ) This is so encouraging and uplifting.

Originally posted on David Snape and Friends:

Wonderful. Challenging. Beautiful. Frustrating. But so worth it. My boyfriend, Kyle, and I have been dating for around a year and a half now, and he has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. I’m often asked if that makes a relationship difficult, and my honest answer is always yes. Of course it does. So why am I still with him? Well, he makes me happy for one. He is also an incredible person whose personality I love. My dad always said to me, if you’d be happy with your own child dating someone like your partner then you’re with the right one. Honestly, I would love my future children to date someone like Kyle.

However, our relationship faces struggles that some other couples might not face so in this post I’m going to list all the good points, and the bad, about dating someone with autism. Everyone with autism…

View original 1,119 more words

Inch Worms on the Plateau of Realism

I feel very sure just about everyone has blind spots or crazy spots in their personality. They come with the territory of being a human. I think they come with everyone’s DNA, but often, if not always, are intensified by experiences or lack of experiences in our impressionable youth.

One of my particular personality type’s blind spots is idealism, which is not bad if balanced with enough common sense. But unfortunately that seems to come to some of us very late in life. So, we develop survival mechanisms to minimize the pain of constant disappointment and frustration with the world, including with ourselves.

Some of us pick an idealistic goal in a particular area and simply focus on it with total tunnel vision while pouring all our energies into it. Unfortunately, eventually most of us either burn out or catch on that we can only inch toward ideals in this flawed and very unfinished world.

Others of us latch on pretty early to the pleasure principle….pleasures block pain…..so we eat, drink and make out with Mary or Harry. Eventually this either kills us, destroys our relationships or gets us run out of town, so we too are challenged to face the pitiful little realities of human existence.

So down deep many of us fear that what is actually driving us is congenital insanity. Naturally, we’d rather cling to an addiction, which we assure ourselves is either a virtue or else something that we could always get over, than face our fear that we are crazy. Because being crazy might not be something we are able to do anything about. Maybe all the world’s pills and all the world’s doctors couldn’t put our tiny cracked selves together again.

If we are lucky enough (or blessed) to find a source of love –  just as we are, we  can become able to bear the pain of disillusionment about ourselves and thus the rest of the world. Then most of us, after settling only temporarily in the valley of cynicism, will find our way to a reasonably satisfying existence as inch worms on the plateau of realism.

Persevering as an Imperfect Unfinished Person in a Pitifully Flawed Unfinished World

I once was a nauseatingly bubbly, outgoing, optimistic, like and help everyone type of person. I thought I was beautiful, generous, kind, humorous, honest and intelligent. It turned out that I was delusional about myself and criminally naive about other people and the world.
Somewhere in my fifties, I flipped.
I began to realize: that I was often a difficult person for those closest to me, that I was intelligent about theories, but had zero common sense, and that no one is so intelligent that they are right all the time. I found that rescuing people often reinforced their lifelong behavior of making poor choices. I began to notice that my humor usually had a victim. I sadly faced that I was a bottomless pit of needs and wants in my relationship with my husband and that my neediness stunted my ability to love. And I finally admitted that our American ideal of beauty has an expiration date and I was past it.
But other than these, I was an Okay person, because I wasn’t finished yet. :)
In the ensuing twenty plus years I have moved toward the middle by accepting being a reasonably tidy looking person, having a sense of humor about getting old and being human, being not only a person who has some valuable flashes of insight, but one who can be practical (at least when it’s absolutely necessary), someone capable of understanding, loving and actually making sacrifices for the people that I find myself unable to like because of totally disagreeing with them. I’m still into helping others – but I have admitted that I can’t save them and that helping others has the perk of making me feel better about myself. I am finally accepting the reality that though most people need a helping hand sometimes, it’s often important to allow others the chance to learn from suffering the consequences of their chronic bad choices. I have quit emotional garbage dumping on my husband and love him enough to now test the dubious leftovers in the fridge on myself, instead of him. And an almost fair amount of the time I do the necessary boring stuff I hate, though sometimes I just say “to hell with it” and stay up all night reading a spy novel and sleep all morning. While, I don’t idealize myself anymore, I both accept and value myself as the imperfect, sometimes downright weird, unfinished human being that I am, while still working to stay open to the challenge of changing when the need becomes obvious.
When my husband and I are watching the news together and it triggers one of those downward spirals of starting to focus on all the terrible people and things in the world, now one or the other of us will bring it to a halt by saying loudly and very irately, “It’s a terrible world, filled with terrible people!” and then we will laugh at ourselves and even at our pitifully flawed unfinished world.
Life is not about perfection. It’s about the life long challenge to develop paradoxical, but reasonable and practical balances between polarities.
But most of all, life is about persevering.

Equally Offensive to All Religions, by a Born Again, Baptized in the Spirit, Catholic Mystic, Liberal Presbyterian, Humanitarian Heretic

Eileen:

Re-blogged with some rearrangement of ideas.

Originally posted on Laughter: Carbonated Grace:

Wake up religions! This is not about you. This is about God being in imperfect human lives, all human lives.

No religion has a monopoly on God and no religious institution controls grace.

It’s not about spiritual country clubs, spiritual insurance policies or power.

It’s about human grace filled spiritual encounters with a living God incarnate in every moment, every place, every relationship, every stranger, every struggle, every person.

No religion controls grace or has a monopoly on God.
Religions are actually obscuring God under their religious baskets by claiming to limit and control the human experience of grace.

NO INSTITUTION or group owns, controls, limits, or even empowers these moments of grace in the spiritual journey. The church is called to awaken us to them, to pray for us and others to experience them, to encourage and support us in our life journey and to celebrate our encounters…

View original 470 more words

The Incredible Blessings of Loving a Handicapped Child

Learning to love unconditionally.
Realizing that life is about becoming the person we alone were created to be, no more and no less.
Freedom to want everyone to succeed.
Experiencing sheer joy over another’s small, but difficult, accomplishments.
Recognizing the gift of living in the present moment.
Freedom from living for image or other’s approval.
The gift of our own best self being called forth.
The gift of patience.
Developing tenderness toward the vulnerability of others.
The gift of seeing beauty in everyone.
Developing humane values.
Growing in courage.
The greatest blessing is learning that life is not about winning, but about loving.

Blog Challenge: What is an Object that Has Meaning for You? Letter from Albert Einstein

At the age of seventy-eight very few objects have any meaning at all for me. My husband and I have downsized twice, ending up in an apartment so that we don’t have to worry even about inside repairs. Most things we have managed to find room for here are simply practical. So, I tried to think of what I would try to save in case of fire.
Many years ago when our house was threatened by fire, I loaded up our station wagon with my husband’s suits so he could continue to work, our large collection of family photo albums and several paintings I had done. By now, I’ve given most of my paintings to my children and the albums are being left in storage for them to sort out and divide. The truth is, I’ve always been focused on the future and my main interest has been in ideas that can help humanity survive and evolve.

The only object in our house that couldn’t be replaced and that has implications for the future of humanity is a letter signed by Albert Einstein in 1947 to my father, Ralph S. O’Leary, who was an award winning newspaper reporter at that time.

Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists

Trustees:                                                                                                                                                                                      Albert Einstein, Chairman;  Harold C. Urey, Vice-Chairman;                                                         Hans A. Bethe;  T.R. Hogness;  Philip Morse;  Linus Pauling;                                                                                    Leo Szilard;  V. F. Weisskopf        

Dear Friend:

Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.
We scientists recognize our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of the simple facts of atomic energy and their implications for society. In this lies our only security and our only hope – we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.
We need $1,000,000 for this great educational task. Sustained by faith in man’s ability to control his destiny by exercise of reason, we have pledged all our strength and our knowledge to this work. I do not hesitate to call upon you to help.
Faithfully yours,
A. Einstein.

Perhaps this can be a reminder to a world of proliferating nuclear arms from the very men whose brilliance brought them into the world, but who recognized their own responsibility for their danger to humanity.

What Does Love Mean?

Some 4 to 8 year olds were asked:
‘What does love mean?’
Here are their answers. (Don’t know if this factual, but good anyway.)

‘When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’
Rebecca- age 8

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. 
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’
Billy – age 4

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.’
Karl – age 5

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs.’
Chrissy – age 6

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’
Terri – age 4

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip
before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’
Danny – âge 8

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.’
Bobby – age 7
(Wow!)

‘If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate. ‘
Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on
this planet)

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’
Noelle – age 7

‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’
Tommy – age 6

‘During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’
Cindy – age 8

‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’
Clare – age 6

‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’
Elaine-age 5

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’
Chris – age 7

‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’
Mary Ann – age 4

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and  has to go out and buy new ones.’
Lauren – age 4

‘When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’
Karen – age 7

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross..’
Mark – age 6

‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget.’
Jessica – age 8

And the final one was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an
elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard , climbed onto his lap , and just sat there. His Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy said ,

‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’

************************

Mirrors

I look into your eyes
to find myself.
I see my cheerful smile
spread to your lips.
I see me giving you
the support and affection
of my friendship.
I see my vibrant image
reflected there
in your admiration
and attraction.
I see myself glow
as you respond
with appreciation
of my wisdom.
Your shining mirror eyes
lavishly affirm me.
Yet, I still hungrily
seek other eyes
to frame these pictures
carefully chosen
to convince me of
my worldly value.
So, I search the many
eyes around me,
but I always only
see myself.

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