For Women Only

 

swimsuit.jpgIt’s March and spring is just around the corner.  Here in Texas we’ve already had a few days of 70 degree weather so you guys up north may not have Spring on your radar like I do.  Trust me though, it’s on it’s way. And with spring comes the panic over those New Year’s health goals that most of us forgot around 4 or 5 weeks ago. It just seems wrong to me that one of the most beautiful times of the year is marred by one of the most stressful times of the year.

Swimsuit shopping season.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what size you are, most of us hate trying on swimsuits.  At least most women.  No matter how hard I try, it never fails that my body decides it needs some extra insulation during the colder months.  I don’t mean to complain.  I’m grateful that an active life has left me healthy and in pretty good shape after all these years, but, I’m also 50.  Which means those extra pounds haven’t been going anywhere for the last few years like they did when I was younger.  I didn’t worry in my 30s and early 40s when March rolled around because I’d drop 5 or 10 pounds without too much hassle.  Not anymore!  Those 10 pounds seem to have no intention of going anywhere. And I have to say…I hate it. Regardless of whether others think it’s logical or not, the emotional toll many of us feel around this time of year isn’t as welcome as the beautiful spring days we anticipate.

Why is it such a toll?  Why do we feel like we should  look a certain way?  Worse yet, why do we put an expectation on ourselves to look the same way we did 20 years ago?  Some of us are actually stronger or thinner than we were in our younger years but many of us carry around a photo of our “teenage self”  plastered on the walls of our brain and it’s  impossible to live up to.

I’m not saying we should justify being unhealthy.  Contentment and pride about being overweight is as self-destructive as obsession and pride about being anorexic. What I am saying is…love yourself right where you’re at,  eat a clean and healthy diet, don’t over eat but don’t starve yourself, keep your heart healthy through exercise, find joy in your relationships and in the things you invest your time in and appreciate the diverse beauty that God has made in His daughters.

I follow Erin Motz at “Bad Yogi”. The main reason I follow Erin is because she’s real and she encourages her followers to be real as well.  She expresses this idea of being content and healthy in her new fitness/yoga program, “Perfect Body”,  by saying, “The perfect body is the healthiest version of the body you’ve been given.”  Simple, yet true,  don’t you think?  Find people who know about health,  do what they suggest and then be at peace with the body that emerges from those healthy habits.  At whatever age you’re at.

Here’s the reality: human bodies are living organisms and they are always changing.  During those years that I look back on with longing, I never had a single curve.  In fact, one of my “stellar” boyfriends  told me I had the body of a teenage boy.  (He was a keeper) So, now that I actually have a few curves, why do I scrutinize them because they may not be where I want them?  My capacity to be discontent and negative is staggering but I don’t think I’m alone in that.  We’re bombarded by varying images and opinions of how a woman should look: skinny, strong, tall, athletic, endowed with a big butt, or big boobs or no boobs, freakishly flawless skin, spider-like eyelashes, thick flowing hair, and on and on it goes.  There are definitely more diverse images of “beauty” out there today than when I was young but I question why we are judging ourselves at all.

Comparison (whether to my past self or to someone else) is the enemy to contentment and joy. It’s a difficult paradigm shift to decide that uniqueness is more beautiful than conformity but I think it’s worth the effort.  With all this in mind, here are a few tips for living this kind of lifestyle.

  1. Eating is essential but focus on fruits, vegetables and protein.  Avoid processed foods, fast foods and sugar as much as possible.  (Side note.  Some fruits are higher in sugar than others such as strawberries, bananas and apples.  Eat these in moderation and chow down on the berries. A side benefit to this clean eating is that it minimizes the effects or risk of depression, menopause,   heart disease, cancer and many other common ailments.)
  2. Your body was created to move.  Find varied and enjoyable activities to do daily.  3 or 4 times a week, break a sweat. (Body weight Hitt workouts can be found online and are perfect, and quick, to do at home.)
  3. Water is a necessity.  Drink all day. 🙂
  4. Sleep, or lack of it, will mess us up.  Seriously.  Even if we don’t feel like it, we need at least 6 hours a night regularly. (Many need 8.)
  5. We have the freedom to make choices but those choices have consequences.  (IE – If I want my wine every night, I need to be okay with the consequences.  If I’m not willing to completely give up chocolate at 50, that means something as well. Probably that I’m happier and 5 pounds heavier.)
  6. Your size and shape is unique, so stop comparing.  Your age makes a difference, so stop remembering.  Confidence is beautiful, so change the negativity.

There ya have it.  My goal for this swimsuit season is not to look hot in a new polka dot bikini but to feel beautiful in my own skin no matter what I’m wearing.

My hope is that you can set some goals yourself.  Goals that are encouraging instead of discouraging.  Goals that send you down the path of positive and healthy changes instead of negative and damaging ones.   Goals that reflect a joyful, content and beautiful woman to the world.  Lord knows we need more examples of that.

So, shake off the worry and jump back on if you’ve fallen off the health wagon.  With spring on its’ way and hope for sunny days ahead, don’t you think it’s time that our self-confidence follows suit?  After all, as the bastion of beauty says (insert sarcasm) “You’re worth it.”

By the way, post a picture of your confident and beautiful self in the comments. I’d love to see hundreds of strong, healthy and gorgeous women taking up the challenge to find peace in their own skin.

Love and Spring to y’all.

Karen

 

 

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Holy Lives Matter

floor

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I’m one of those people that ponders, questions and analyzes. If I’m being totally honest, I don’t always know what I’m pondering and I seldom come to any solid conclusions; but, this heart of mine often wanders to places where I simply sit and wait for the sky to open up.  It feels like I’m on the verge of a monumental “aha” moment that hardly ever comes into focus.

And then God will choose the most mundane of things to give me a bit more clarity.

I doubt I’ll ever figure things out.  In fact, I tend to think that truth is either found somewhere in between what two extremes think or, maybe more likely, somewhere outside the lines we’ve drawn all together.  I’ve actually become comfortable with that ambiguous view of life.  I find some comfort in knowing that none of us have it all figured out, not even the most learned among the human race.  But what I do believe is that there is a loving God who does have it all figured out.  And every once in a while, He gives us a glimpse of that truth.

As you’ve probably guessed, I had one of those moments on a recent morning.  A smelly, dirty, mundane and tiring morning. The story isn’t pretty, and it’s embarrassing for someone whose parents taught her the importance of showing gratitude for what she’s been given by taking care of those things.  But the truth is that my house wreaks! We love dogs but our dogs were once puppies that have since become older dogs.  Both stages of life tend to be characterized by accidents that dogs prefer to have on carpet.

Did I say my house wreaks?

Well it does.  Or did.

I’m slowly ripping up the carpet in each room and laying down a laminate floor.  I say, “slowly” because it’s a tedious and exhausting task. Today I tackled the dogs’ room of choice. Let’s just say I couldn’t get the bucket of bleach and water in that room fast enough.  But as I finished mopping the floor and looked over the room, I had this thought. “It’s done.  It may not be pretty but the filth is gone, it doesn’t stink anymore and the floor is clean and ready to go.”

And right on cue…which is how I’ve come to describe God’s weird, unexpected and random timing…I got emotional.

I know.  That’s like breathing for me. I hate that fact.  But I’ve also come to realize that very often, when tears tease my eyes, God is wanting to say something to or through me. So, I dumped out the bucket of filthy water, grabbed some worship music, and took my small-bladdered dogs for a walk while I tried to make sense of the parting clouds.

So much came flooding in at once.  But when my heart was still enough to listen, the truth that God and I came to was this profound revelation.

Holy lives matter.

Our lives can easily “look” pretty.  They may even seem to be fulfilling a grand purpose. But, it’s all to easy (and common) for us to allow things in that don’t belong. Things that spoil the whole atmosphere.  It’s still a life (or room) worth having and using but until the stench and filth is dealt with….it won’t be very inviting or effective for the purpose for which it was created.

I’ve written this blog post about ten times. Each time elaborating on what this revelation meant to me.  But, it never seemed right.  Maybe because God can only speak to us personally about the compromises that we allow into our lives. Conviction is very personal so I don’t feel right assuming this phrase will hit the same mark in you as it did in me.

What I do know is this.  The Word of God says a lot about the importance of holy living.

It says a lot about the fact that God’s people are meant to be different than the world. (That was the whole point of that awkward idea of circumcision). It says it in so many ways and so often that I find myself regularly on my knees, pleading for more power.  Power to live a life that resembles Christ’s life more than the life of this selfish, insecure person that I can so easily be. I fool myself into thinking I have it all together when, in reality, there’s a huge chasm between my life and the life that Christ died for me to live.  He is the measure of my choices, not the world around me.  God’s word is transformative…but only if and when I listen and obey.

This revelation isn’t a new and life-altering theological concept- yet- it’s a new and life-altering theological concept.   At least I think that’s the point.

Without any more explanation than the fact that I looked at a ripped up, cleaned up and bare floor and was reminded that a raw, unadorned but purified life is precious and useful to a holy God, I leave you to analyze the thought yourself and I leave you with a few passages to ponder.  But please understand that the truth of it will more than likely cause the Holy Spirit to point out some areas in your life that wreak. Or maybe they’re just starting to smell a little less like God and a little more like the world.  Question yourself.  Be willing to get dirty if you need to rip some things out. Even if they break your heart or cause you pain.  Only then can He come in and create what he’s had in mind all along.

A beautiful and holy life.

 

(You’re invited to share any other passages in the comment section below)                Jeremiah 9:23-24                                                                                                                               Proverbs 13:3, 10                                                                                                                                  Romans 12:1-2, 12:9-21, 14:11-19
Colossians 3:1-17
Galatians 5:22-26
Ephesians 4:1-3, 4:11-5:16, 5:22-27, 6:1-3
Philippians 2:3-8, 4:4-9
Colossians 3:1-14
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, 5:12-24
1 Timothy 3:3, 6:11 (Equal opportunity counts in holiness)
2 Timothy 2: 22-24
James 1:19-20, 3:9-10
1 Peter 1:15-16, 3:4, 3:15-16
2 Peter 1: 5-9

 

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I’m a writer?

typewriterI’m a writer.

To be honest, that feels awkward to say and difficult to believe about myself.  Don’t writers need to be published or at least have their words read by a certain, yet arbitrary number of people in order to deserve that title?

No. I know better than that.

The best proof, to me, that this does NOT define a writer is found in the words that I’ve read by countless people that simply write for the sheer joy of it.  Or the sheer necessity…whichever the case may be.

I love how each person has a voice.  A way that they see and relate to the world and then express it.  A way that they make sense of the good and the bad around them and within them.  The beauty heard in each unique voice as I learn from their different experiences, beliefs, feelings, joys, thoughts and struggles inevitably touches something deep inside me and I connect to them in some transcendental way that reminds me that I’m not alone.

Some of us find it easier to express ourselves, to connect or to offer a deeper level of transparency and truth when we have the protection of a computer screen or paper and ink between us and those who care to listen. It’s as if we find the courage to let people see who we really are because we carry a shield in front of us while simultaneously revealing our most vulnerable thoughts.  And, ironically, it feels wonderful.

Until we lose our voice.

 

Until we have nothing to say.

 

Until what we have to say is something that we want no one to hear.

 

Until the words don’t come, leaving us with the inability to process our thoughts or find freedom from whatever apathy or passion has stolen our voice.

Or…. until we are afraid that the words WILL come only to be empty of truth or meaning or power to touch anyone.

Least of all ourselves.

What does a writer do then?

What does a writer do when their words only express the fact that there are no words?

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He is in Control

weather-the-storm

I feel like Peter today.

There’s a storm raging around me – both literally and figuratively.

I’ve been in storms before so my heart really should know where to find its’ rest.

I know where my eyes should focus in order to ride it out… or better yet, on whom.

And for a few seconds, here and there, I keep my balance.  Joy rests in my mind and I have the confidence of knowing that my peace doesn’t rest in the hands of man.

In a moment of supernatural grace, I remember that though my freedom, my reputation, my possessions or my life be taken….it is well with my soul.

…. but then the wind kicks up, the darkness grows deeper, the air gets colder, people seem full of hate and I begin to sink.

So quickly I can sink.

Into hopelessness over how easily man hates one another. Into anger over what we feel is important and how short-sighted we all can be. Into fear over the pleasure we find in the suffering of our enemies. Into anxiety over how little we care about holiness when compared to our own desires. Into sadness over how your heart must be grieving….

…. not only because of the world but grieving over how quickly I lose sight of your eyes and fall into the murky, cold darkness of night.

All the while you are saying “Remember, you’re a child of light” and reaching out to grab me.

And I surrender to your strong and faithful arms to lift me out of myself. To turn my face to yours again even as the rain falls around us.  To breath your life into my soul and to tell me again that I need not doubt.

You are in control.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.   For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Matthew 14:28-33

Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said.   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.   But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”   

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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A One Man Woman

me and steveAs I talked to someone about marriage the other day, I remembered a guy from high school that scoffingly reacted to my beliefs about “casual” sex with “So, you’re literally only going to be with one person your whole life?”  That attitude is the norm these days and it worries me for so many people who are struggling in their marriages because it gives them the idea that there isn’t anything worth fighting for anyway.

Statistics say that sex in a healthy marriage is better than casual sex…. although I’m not sure how they prove that. I can attest to the fact that if you learn to deal with stress, make your relationship a priority, work through issues and get your hormones fixed when they’re out of wack (Thank you, Lord, for Dr. Fein!!) – sex can be exciting and new and wonderful and better than ever even after 27 years.  (I’ll leave it at that or my kids may spontaneously combust.)

This whole idea started me thinking about all the wonderful things that go along with being married and sticking with someone over the long haul. I mean, how great is it that Steve doesn’t mind waking up next to me with morning breath?  He isn’t turned off when I’m sick and he’s never made fun of me for drooling in my sleep or snorting myself awake.  (Well, maybe he’s made fun of the snorting a little…. but it only happened once or twice.)  Sharing a history and a life with only one other human who completely understands it all is weirdly wonderful.  Watching our kids grow up, worrying about them, praying for them, celebrating with them…. together….is the best thing ever.  He has seen me when I’ve been horrible and hateful and chooses to love and forgive me anyway.  I’ve seen him at his most hurtful and stubborn and choose to do the same. Realizing that we are both not holding onto our youth anymore and our faces will soon resemble our parents more than what we know of ourselves is scary but knowing that Steve will still tell me I’m the most beautiful girl in the world is so sweet.  I even think he’s convinced himself to believe it’s true and that’s completely humbling.   On the days that we don’t feel that love, we’ve prayed and committed to figuring it out and, for a girl that always expected people to get tired of her, that’s the most secure feeling in the world.  He knows how I like my bath, when I need to go run, what songs I love, every story of every dog I’ve ever owned, where most of them are buried, my routines, my habits, my fears….

He knows me.  Probably better than I know myself.  I’m sure better than I know him.

Both of us have had moments when this life wasn’t meeting our needs and we could have left.  Both of us have been selfish and done hurtful things that pushed the other person to, what seemed like, the other side of the universe.  But, somehow, God continues to remind us of what we have and what can be and how much He can heal… and we stay.  Because what would life be like if we didn’t.  I can’t even go there.

There are so many people that don’t make it to this point and my heart hurts for them.  Especially those that desire to work things out but whose partners aren’t able or willing to do the painful and selfless work it takes to get to the other side.  I don’t know why that is and I feel a bit of guilt about the fact that I’m not one of them.  Marriage never “stops” though.  I guess Steve or I could decide tomorrow that we’re bored and need some new excitement in our life.  I guess one of us could still disengage to the point of destroying what we have.  I know it’s possible because I’ve seen it happen.  And I also know how much work it takes to stay happy, so I can only assume that if we stopped working at it, it could all fall apart.  But why would I want to trade being known and loved for a series of one night stands with strangers?  Why would I want to start all over again with someone if I didn’t absolutely have to?  That was the question that made me think about the guy from high school.

I don’t know where he is today and he probably wouldn’t like me any more now than he did then, but I hope he found someone to love.  I hope his life is as full and happy and safe as mine.  I’ve done plenty of stupid things in my life.  Plenty of things I never thought I’d do and would change if I could but I’ve also done one thing pretty well.  I tried to build a marriage that would last.  It’s not been easy.  Just the opposite.  It’s been excruciating at times.  Even now, after 27 years, we have problems and issues and we butt heads and I get frustrated or disappointed and Steve gets angry or hurt but we’ve tasted how good it can be and won’t ever settle for less. So, I’d have to tell my 18-year-old self to stick to her guns.  Life with one person, if it’s a Godly, humble and kind person, is worth it after all.

 

marriage-worth-fighting-for-cover[On a side note, Steve and I have a book coming out next year about marriage but he has a short e-book available on his webpage that’s really great. It’s totally free and, I think, would be helpful for any married couple.  You can find it at http://www.stevelawson.us.]

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Too Cool to be Kind or Too Kind to be Cool?

being-kind-isnt-always-easy-cap-watkinsHere’s my question of the day.   When did kindness stop being cool?

I mean, I think it was back in the late 80’s but all the hairspray altered my memory a bit, so I could be wrong.  Regardless of when, it seems to be the case that hateful, selfish, arrogant people not only get ahead in our culture, they become role models for some unimaginable reason.

I could list names but I’m sure you can come up with your own.  Politicians, athletes, actors, singers, social media “stars” and the like.  It wasn’t that long ago when a person who was openly unkind, cocky, out of control, bragged about taking advantage of someone or simply was full of themselves had to fear criticism, the loss of income or even less popularity.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case these days.  In fact, it seems like the cruder a person can act the more famous they become.

Granted, our culture no longer respects and desires the level of character and integrity that the Bible calls people to; but, most of the people that read my blog claim to be followers of Christ, therefore, I’m mainly speaking to us as Christians.  Do you look up to people that exemplify the very things that should bring conviction in your life?  Are you shocked or bothered by the fact that many who call themselves Christians often idolize the same people that proudly exemplify the opposite of what God defines as good and holy?  Things such as servant hood, selflessness, generosity, sacrificial living, suffering for others, kindness, truthfulness, humility, gentleness, modesty, hard work, lack of self awareness or the need to be seen…. the list could go on and on.   Isn’t that who we see when we look at Jesus?  It’s even in the Old Testament.   Israel was given clear instructions to respect the elders, search long and hard for the owner of something that was lost instead of keeping it, never cheat, never  steal, help a neighbor in trouble, give  10% of what you have and leave even more for those who are in need…you get the picture.

This may make more sense to many of us that grew up watching TV.  I’m talking about “Little House on the Prairie” values. Common sense standards that most people use to live by because we knew they made for a better society.

As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter how talented you are, how pretty you are or how much money you have – how you speak, act and treat people should be more important than anything.  A culture that idolizes and reveres meanness ends up with a country full of bullies.

And that’s literally the case in our time as we can see from the top to the bottom of our culture.

And yet, people don’t seem to be bothered. I can only wonder why. Maybe because getting what you want is the highest priority.  The problem is, that will actually get us exactly what we don’t want and we’re watching that play out in race relations, politics, finances and more.

Thank goodness there are still some in the public eye who live there lives with kindness, generosity, gentleness and love.  I’m hoping for the day when the negative actions of people will disgust the general public and be ignored by the media.  When the news consists of story after story of people that turned bad situations into opportunities to do something good.  When this standard is what our children want to rise to simply because it’s how they would want to be treated.

After all, contrary to popular belief, “God helps those that help themselves” is no where in the Bible. BUT “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” certainly is.  As Ellen DeGeneres says, “Be kind to one another.” I agree.

 

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Options other than Offended? Please!

PopEye
If you’re on the more “mature side” you may remember Popeye and his famous fighting words, “I’ve stood all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.”

I’m with you Popeye!

I’m done with this three ring circus of a Presidential election. It’s been so hard not to post a blog or two.  I’ve even tried to stop remarking on Facebook but people make that so dang difficult.

Remember Psalm 149:3? “O Lord, place a guard on my mouth! Protect the opening of my lips!”  Yeah…I have that memorized.

It’s not that I don’t think I have valid thoughts.  I do.    I even think they’re balanced and encouraging no matter who you are or what side you fall on.  The problem is – people don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t agree with their thoughts.  Does the dumbing down of America sound appropriate right about now? Yep,  no one wants to think, reason or debate.  They just want to throw stones, hate on people, have a hissy fit like a two-year-old and just, generally, find any flippin’ thing they can find to be offended about.

When did we become a nation of weak, whiney, butt-hurt babies?  It’s embarrassing and terrifying really.  Personally, I think all the grown adults in this country should get a life and stop being so offended by everything that comes out of someone else’s mouth.

My husband is keeping up with all the controversies swirling around the election and the Olympics.  Every time he starts to read another article I find myself rolling my eyes and tuning him out because “I can’t stands no more!”  Just to remind you of what I’m talking about, I’ll list a few.

  1. Adoptive parents threw a fit when an announcer twitted that Simone Bile’s grandparents weren’t her parents.
  2. Republicans threw a fit because Hillary Clinton congratulated fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad but not air rifle gold medal winner Ginny Thrasher.
  3. Gun control activists blast Ginny Thrasher and America for winning at air rifle.
  4. African American announcers belittle the medals won by Michael Phelps because his sport is an “elite sport” that most African Americans don’t participate in.
  5. Trump and his supporters attack Ghazala Khan for not speaking at the Democratic convention.
  6. Students were offended by a restaurant called “Illegal Pete’s”, the American flag, Trump supporters, the quality of ethnic food such as General Tso’s chicken because it was culturally insensitive (yes, seriously, look it up), classmates who disagreed with them, and the mention of God. (Among a long list of other things because, apparently, our college students are the most offended of all.  Thank you mommies and daddies that never taught the lesson that the world doesn’t revolve around their little opinions. And yes, I realize that offends you.)

The list could go on and on.  But here’s a thought that might cause some people to scratch their heads.  You don’t have to be offended by everything that someone else thinks, does or says.

Hmmmm.  Imagine that.

Let’s see how that might play out.

  1. Choose a more positive tone such as “I’m so blessed to know the love of being an adoptive parent and that my child only sees me as mom.” Or simply realize that the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about and ignore him.
  2. Realize that Hillary hasn’t congratulated every athlete and, like it or not, both candidates are strategically saying things for their campaign. BOTH OF THEM.  Allow Ibtihaj the joy of her medal and just chill.
  3. Again, CHILL. She won a freakin’ gold medal and deserves to enjoy it. Air rifle is not a reflection of gun violence or lack of gun control. It’s just a target sport just like archery.
  4. Once again…. it’s a gold medal.  Some respect please? But are we saying that a sport only counts if everyone can do it?  Gymnastics is difficult to compete in at a high level because of the availability and cost of coaching but is anyone going to complain about that now that Simon Bile’s has schooled the world? Let’s not forget about Sailing, BMX, Archery, Horse Back Riding and any of the winter sports that people in Texas can’t train for.
  5. Who has the right to judge the way any grieving parent acts? I can tell you that my Southern Baptist mother, if put in that situation, wouldn’t have said a word.  She just wouldn’t be able to.  Right or wrong, based on their faith or not, can’t we stop putting our assumptions and judgments on people and let them be who they are even if it’s different?
  6. This one dumbfounds me.  Basically,  the better option is to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled brat. You will never find a time or place in life when everything is easy and comfortable, nor should you want to.  Contrary to what our culture may have told you,  being  comfortable doesn’t help you to grow and mature. So when people disagree with you or you find something not to your liking,  deal with why but don’t fault those that don’t agree with you.  They have as much a right to their opinion as you do.  The truth is,  they are doing you a favor by bringing to your attention the fact that you are going to be slammed in the face by life if you don’t learn to deal with adversity and disagreements in a more productive way.

Those are just a few examples and the fact that I’ve remarked on them my sound like I’m offended but that’s not how I feel.   I feel worried, not offended.  A society that can’t communicate, dialogue and allow for differences is doomed in my view.  How quickly we have divided ourselves and allowed those divisions to make us angry at one another.  The thought of disagreeing about something, debating the issue and then allowing people to have their opinions without placing moral judgments about that person on those opinions is a foreign concept.  I’m praying that the extreme nature of where we are will shock the majority of us into reacting differently.  Can we stop allowing the media to push our buttons and start telling them where to go with their trash?   Can we start actively trying to have dialogue with those we’ve come to hate and build some bridges of understanding?  Can we find the humanity in our hearts and start to base our words and reactions on that?

That would be such a refreshing change and a beautiful world to live in.  Don’t you think?

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