It feels so great to be back here. I've missed sharing my thoughts and parts of my life, missed hearing about everything that you've been doing, planning, and dreaming about. I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to post but the arthritis in my hands pretty much determines when I can post these days.
My friend Tracie, asked if I'd share some of my thoughts with you. That made me smile, because as you know, sometimes my thoughts are all over the place: are on family, my health, the Lord, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and who knows what else. She asked if I'd share once again how to quiet the world, to silence the voices in her head so she can better connect with life and herself.
I think I'll share that part first. As Tracie explained it she said "I so desperately miss the way it was when we were kids, Barb. Life is so hectic and confusing. I'm about to lose it."
What I said in the post she was talking about, was that though we cannot turn the clock back and become kids again, we can quiet our life a great deal; can have inner peace and quietness of mind. We do it by listening. Sounds simplistic, I know, but it works. It is not easy, but hard, and it requires some work on our part. Just think about it for a moment. Life is full of noise. The only time we're unaware of how noisy it is, is when we are sleeping.
When our day begins, if we want to be able to cope with the stress that we'll be confronting, we have to be still, both in mind as well as in heart. Listening is an art. Truly! It isn't something we're born knowing how to do. It's something we have to learn, something that takes practice.
All around us, even midst the loud, annoying sounds are sounds pleasant to our ears. These are the sounds we usually pay no attention too, yet these sounds are the ones that help us get back on track. I am referring to the sound of silence..the loudness of it. In order to learn how to listen, we start by listening to silence and that is very hard to do.
As soon as we decide to remain quiet and just listen, we want to fill up that empty space with conversation, with noise, something we're familiar with. Being silent, really silent, for an hour a day gets us in touch with the truth about ourselves, helps calm us, and enables us to better hear that which God would have us hear.
Taking that hour a day to listen, to shut our life's noises and demands, has been one of the things that has helped me the most, especially when overwhelmed. When I take that hour and focus upon what the chair I'm sitting on feels like beneath me, listening to the crickets and frogs visiting each other, paying attention to how smooth the spoon that holds my favorite ice cream feels on my tongue - how warm the sun on a cold, winter day, or the song the leaves sing when a breeze passes through, I can feel the stress roll off of me.
We don't notice much of anything when both hands and mind are occupied and focused on our I pads, Smart phones, computer games, and television. If we're honest, even when we're visiting with those we love, we sometimes have a hard time staying focused.
Tracie, I hope I covered what you want to know, explained it in a helpful way hon. I must add, before I forget, that it pays to delete certain sentences we constantly say to ourselves like: "I have too." "I must." and "I should." Discovering how often I used those sentences helped me recognize that they caused me to have unrealistic expectations. Deleting them empowered me, enabled me to move through life at a much slower, more comfortable place; allowed me to continue to aim high, but also to accept my limitations.
Well, on to a few other subjects now. lol
WEATHER Right now it's quite odd. Every once in awhile the sun lights up the area, then disappears behind the clouds that seemingly came out of nowhere. The air is quite pleasant at the moment. It's a little breezy, but I can handle breezes. Heavy winds is what I detest.
I find it hard to believe that the holidays are here already; that even though Halloween is being celebrated, the stores are already filling up with things for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wow! We don't have much breathing room in-between do we? Still, I do love what the seasons accomplish, which is to bring families and friends closer for awhile. It just saddens me that it takes a holiday to do that.
Even though I sometimes feel so doggone crappy, I never forget to thank the LORD for what I do have: many dear friends, family members too, whose health is far worse than mine, who constantly pray for me. I am so thankful that though I do have health issues, my body still works, gets done what needs to be done. As well, my daily needs are always met, I have beautiful things to look at when I'm outside, have my music, and a lot of good books to read.
One of my most treasured things, which doesn't come often, but does come more frequently now, are those unexpected moments when both heart and mind are at peace, a rare and beautiful thing to me.
My children are all grown now, with children and grandchildren of their own. But I still find myself remembering them when they were just starting out in life. I loved the way their minds worked, the way they expressed themselves. For instance:
My daughter Diana- age 4
My daughter loved flowers when she was little, especially roses. Any time she'd pass a rose bush she'd pick a petal off the rose, place it on her finger and stroke it. One day, I was sitting on the steps watching my kids play. My Mom came out and we began talking, walking around as we did. Diana followed us, chatting as we walked. Seeing the rose bushes she stopped, picked a petal off of one, placed it carefully on her finger, and began stoking it.
"What are you doing, honey? " my mom asked.
"Just loving it." was her answer."|
Her answer touched something deep in my heart that day. Such simple words, but they got me to thinking how much brighter a place our world would be if we could, or would, just love him or her. Whenever I see a rose, especially red ones I always think of my Johnny, who always gave me red roses with a card saying "Love you Barb. Always will, " and my daughter, Diana, whose three small words taught me such a marvelous thing.
Life is like a roller coaster, the only difference being that we don't need to purchase a ticket in order to take the ride. Nope! Life just takes us for it's ride, never even bothering to ask if we want to go. Sometimes, depending upon how our life is going, we go willingly. Other times, during rough spells, we kick and scream, moan and groan, cry and complain, wanting nothing except to curl up in our comfort zone and be left alone.
Life is also a school. I have come to realize, especially as time passes, how wise our GOD is. He, knowing us so well, having created us, put us in the place we needed to be in order to learn how to get along, to be kind, to understand pain, to discover how exciting and wonderful a place our world is when we, like my daughter with the rose petals learn to (just love him, or her).
I am often teased, though not in a bad way, about my imagination; been told, "It's so hard to believe you're eighty." When I ask why, people usually say, "Because of the way you think, and the way you talk."
I'm not sure that I quite understand what they mean, though I try too. What I know though, is that I would not wish to be any different than i am. I may be eighty but still look at the world with wonder and amazement, am still curious about things, just like when I was a kid.
The one word that comes up in my mind every day is WHY? In that sense I do think like a child, I guess. My thought process is always " I wonder why a table is called a table, why not a bed, or glass? I wonder how many boxes of butter could be stacked under that bridge, etc. I recall a time when i was quite young, and was going to the store with my dad. I bombarded him with so many questions he finally asked, though not unkindly,'" Honey, don't you ever run out of questions? I don't. lol
Even as I am writing this I am wondering who will read it, what each of you are doing today. I wonder, as I drive somewhere with my son, if the people in the car next to us are as happy as they appear to be, or, if they are, like all the rest of us, struggling with something really hard. I am always wondering things, always eager to learn new things.
However the rest of your day goes, I pray you'll remember how special and unique you are; that you'll take time to smell the roses, and when you do, you will remember what my little girl said and try to "just love him or her" just as they are, no matter how hard it is.
Food for thought:
Don't let people's smiles fool you. Sometimes there is a lot of pain behind a smile. When in doubt- look in the eyes. It helps.
I have got to take a break, take my meds and get some chores down. Have an awesome day.
For the love, friendship and support. You're the best!!