Saturday, November 28, 2015

WHEN TRUTHFULNESS IS LACKING IN MARRIAGE


As a person who has deeply searched and sought after the Truth (with a big "T") in my life, I have to say that I found a whole lot of little "t" truths along the way, the big Truth notwithstanding. I also know that people also use "little white lies" to protect others from harm, or what they perceive could hurt someone, or to protect themselves, but there there comes a time, especially in love relationships and marriage, that being honest and truthful should be paramount to anything else.

Why should truthfulness come first in a marriage or love partnership?

Simple, it is the foundation upon which everything else is based. If you do not have truth between you, you also lose trust, and with that the relationship breaks down. This is not only accurate for fidelity in monogamous relationships, but also poly relationships that are based on mutual agreement.

Yes, there are times when the truth hurts. Finding out that a spouse has cheated on you certainly hurts, regardless of which gender was not monogamous. Some people believe in polyamorous relationships to avoid having to lie to their spouse or partner, but include them in the process of knowing and dating or being with other people in an open relationship. This poly arrangement works for some people, but not all. Some people are monogamous by nature, and others by upbringing. Still others based in on their religious belief system.

Are you religious or spiritual? What is your belief on truthfulness, whether religious or not? Does it affect how you behave in public? Does it affect how you behave in private?

For me, when I became a Baha'i, I was highly attracted to the quote:

"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also be acquired. --‘Abdu’l-Bahá, cited in The Advent of Divine Justice"

And I like this one...

"Truthfulness, uprightness and integrity are the attributes of the righteous and the hallmarks of the pure. ... A truthful person will be protected from all moral afflictions, will shrink from every evil deed, and be preserved from every wicked act, inasmuch as all vices and misdeeds are the very antithesis of truthfulness, and a truthful man will hold them all in utter abhorrence. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet, translated from the Persian"

(source for both quotes: http://www.bahai.org/beliefs/life-spirit/character-conduct/truthfulness-trustworthiness-justice)

There is something to be said for truthfulness being the foundation of a marriage. Either there will be truthfulness and trust in a relationship, or there will not. Have you experienced both? How did it affect you? What did you learn from it? Did truthfulness become more important after a loss due to untruths that were told, or behaviors that were based on lies?

If you are in a relationship, and your spouse is prone to lying or sneaking or hiding things from you, then you have to ask yourself whether you have the inner strength to push through it and learn what you can, and or move on. Changing the other person rarely, if ever, works. Sometimes it takes a complete breakdown before people change. Sometimes it takes an act of God. Sometimes nothing helps and they will simply have to walk their own path until it leads to their destruction, or yours with them. Are you prepared for that? If you are committed to the relationship, how much are you willing to take? What boundaries do you need to set? How can you do this in a loving way that promotes truthfulness rather than just blame or hurt?

It seems like a scary future, not really knowing or trusting someone in their issues about being truthful, but on the flip slide, it can make you feel very secure and loved if you know you can count on your partner to be truthful no matter what, or if you have their undying love no matter what. However, if a painful truth hurts you, perhaps that your partner wants more lovers than just you, or you caught them in a lie about going to work when they were secretly meeting someone else, can you handle that truth?

The old saying in the Bible (John 8:32), "The truth will set you free" may free you from a miserable marriage, or put you on a new path to healing, even if it brought hurt at the beginning.

Above all, be honest with yourself.
Be truthful about what you can handle, and where you stand.
No matter what happens, stand in your own truthfulness... especially in your marriage or love relationship. That is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself... and even this is an act of love, perhaps for yourself, or your sanity in the face of untruths that might surround you or permeate your marriage.

Friday, November 6, 2015

DEFENSIVE ANGER BLINDS US TO TRUTH


Anger unleashed is like throwing beach sand in a full-face wind hoping it will take away the cause of sand in your eyes...

sometimes you have to let the storm calm down before you see the big picture...

that the beach of our lives is not just made of words of sand and thoughts of wind, but also the waves of action that extend to shape its length, and an entire ocean of watery depths filled with dark mysteries and great serpentine sea dragons.

That is where the real dangers lie... in the hidden realms of the sea of our untamed emotions with its deep chasms and craggy places... this ocean of our hearts.

Look carefully over yonder... whenever no sand has been stolen by the eyes... this is also where the answers surface occasionally on the water's cover, and glimpses of their sunlit insights can be seen breaking out by the well-trained eye...

If you listen closely, you might even understand their calls to truth.

CONFESSIONS OF REAL LIFE CHEATING HUSBANDS


I recently did an online poll on Facebook asking men (only) for their input as to why some men cheat on their partners/spouses.

The answers came flooding in, ranging from genetics, to hormones and hunter-gatherer days, to DNA-built-in-urges to satisfy the need to make lots of descendants, to simply being choice, or a product of one's culture, or social constructs, or even some men saying that the woman is the gift inside the box and that men who just want sex or gratification simply get no farther than pulling off the wrapping from off the gift and never look deeper into the treasure that's inside the person, where other men said that the entire cheating thing is completely done by males who are immature and are not real men at all and do not deserve to be called men, but animals satisfying an urge they refuse to control.

The results of this question of why men cheat were fascinating; I had a number of men send me private messages of some of their stories, and how they experienced some of their personal situations. Many of them were not happy in their marriages, and needed an outlet, or were looking for someone to fill a void. Some merely had wanderlust, or were self-proclaimed horndogs.

I was able to gather a few of the men's stories about small chat sessions they had with some women while they were married or in a steady relationship, without their wive's/partner's knowledge or consent. I have deleted all real names, and also have removed all of the comments from the women since I did not have permission to publish them. The men's responses are below, so here is what a typical (one-sided) conversation about sexual topics might look like (sorry folks, this is NOT the X-rated version... this is clean blogging only! LOL)

KEITH TALKING TO DAVIDA WHO LIVES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Erect! Haha I wish.
Especially when I am walking around nude... Just in case you wanted a bonus.
Bend you over while eating pizza...?
I'm nude now...
You could stay here if you wish since I am the only one here.
I certainly hope you are getting plenty [of sex] right now?
Still having vegetable sex?
It was really fun being single. Monogamy takes work for me.
Because I don't think I could be with just one person, especially when I wish to sleep with multiple women at once...
I have been considering some older women.
[I got married for] Consistent sex. Trying to do the right thing.
[Marriage is] Nothing special in my opinion.

PATRICK TALKING TO MARY AFTER JUST MEETING ONLINE:

You certainly are an attractive woman.
In the end, it [chemistry] matters.
Are you saying, you feel I am your "soul mate"?
With money, anything can be done.
You are a little older than me which in my mind is good.
I love being in the sack. I have an above average libido.
This has been a most "stimulating" conversation.

PETER WITH ALICIA AND THE SAME THREE LIES HE ALWAYS TELLS WOMEN:

[I am] 49 and separated. [in reality married]
Yes [I live alone]. [in reality living with spouse]
Yes [I want to get remarried].

JESSUP AND NAOMI DISCUSSING HIS MARRIAGE:

You are looking sexier all the time!
You are attractive. It should be easy to find men.
It is based on chemistry. I have an attraction for you, but your feelings are what matter too.
Yes [I'm married], and not entirely happy.
No kids. I just got married three years ago.
A person can be happy married and be happy single. Each has its advantages.
I am not super attracted to her [my wife] but she is a good person.
Sometimes I ask the same thing ["What do you want now?"]
So the point is be happy where you are. It isn't necessarily better to get married.
The relationship is the tougher bit.
Sexual attraction certainly helps... Speaking from experience there.
Loyalty - Probably my partner's best quality.
I am [lucky]. It doesn't necessarily make me entirely content when I could be with a person like you though.
You are young and attractive, and it sounds like you have a good heart.
I really don't know how perfect I am for wanting you.
Not where my sexual attraction is though [my wife].
Why have kids if you are unsure where you want to go? That is how I feel.

It is apparent that these men all have something in common... they are adult men, married, and use the Internet to hide their sexual prowling from their wives (or girlfriend in one case). They also admitted that none of these particular conversations with the "other woman" ever turned into anything physical/real outside of their chat session. I thank them for their candid and revealing chat sessions, because it is something that women who are looking for men online can watch for in their answers--be aware! If a man is cheating on his wife, his chances are much higher to cheat on the next female in line too. Women who are married to these men may find themselves in divorce because the men do not want to change their behaviors, ultimately, or find it too hard (pun intended) to stop. Sex is one of the most commonly addictive behaviors known to man. People search for "sex" on the intarwebs more often than anything other keyword.

Many people have known for years that men who cheat rarely do it just once, and the more they do it the more they get comfortable doing it and are more likely to keep up the behavior. When caught they admitted to me that their reactions can vary, depending--some go into straight out denial, while others turn the conversation around and blame the women for cheating (whether they have cheated or not). Yet others apologize and make ammends and then turn around and do it again next time. Rarely do men stop cheating, but it does happen.

Typically, if it is not in the heart of a man to cheat on his spouse, then he simply will not do it under any circumstance, often times on principle. Others fall prey or go through a stressful time and get close to someone and find themselves in a relationship before they realize what happened.

I will add one comment that came from one of the many women who tried to give answers on my "men only" poll... and that is of monogamy. She said that monogamy is a constructed mode of behavior that promulgates behaviors of hiding (because monogamy does not allow for sex outside the one relationship, ever) and "cheating," whereas open relationships, which are defined by all parties, go in with eyes open and communication equally open, decisions are made together and all persons involved can be happy and accepted without fear or hiding. It is food for thought, but may be not be the answer for all people. It takes a certain level of trust, and also may depend on one's upbringing as to how comfortable one might be to do (or not do) such a thing.

Anyway, I had read something recently that made me ponder the question of why men cheat... so now you know at least some of the reasons why. It appears, at least with the men who chatted above, that their marriages were suffering... but whether because it was truly bad situations, or if it was because their hearts were not in the marriages to begin with, may never be known (I didn't want to pry too far in the end).

If one of these guys above was your husband, what would you do? How do you know if your husband or partner is cheating on you? Perhaps I'll keep these questions for another blog at another time. For now, I will just leave you with bit of better news about monogamy and faithful husbands. One man I spoke to said this about his wife and family, "My wife drives me crazy, but she's good to the kids and me, and I feel she's truly in love with me, which is what I wanted in a relationship. My monogamous relationship comes from he respect I have because the love I feel she gives to me and my children."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

STONY


I can't remember his real name, but everyone called him "Stony". Probably because of his history of being stoned on drugs, although everyone knew his favorite drink was alcohol. I remember seeing Stony at the cement block building where my dad had his office in El Paso. Stony usually hung out at the bar at the end of the complex. Sometimes you would see him, and sometimes he would disappear to stay with friends somewhere, but in time he would come home... wherever "home" was around there. We never quite knew where Stony slept most of the time, but occasionally it was in the jail across the street because he had gotten into a bar fight.

But today I write about Stony not because of what he was, or because of what he wasn't. I write about Stony because of my own guilt... a shadow that will lie dark on my life and in my heart for a long time to come, which may grow into hopefully a help to others because I will ensure that this kind of thing won't happen again. My guilt is not present because of what I did, but because of what I didn't do. I avoided Stony. He was nothing but kind to me. All the years we knew him he was always there at the office door, and he would come in asking for $5 in trade for taking out the garbage, sweeping up the sidewalk outside, or any little thing that my dad needed on any particular day. This went on a couple times a week for months, and the months turned into years. Stony was always there (except when in jail), and always ready and willing to help.

I remember one time when someone molested my daughter and Stony spoke up, "You just say the word and I'll take care of that guy! I'll get someone to take me out there and you won't ever have to worry about that guy again. I'll take care of him for good." Stony meant it, which is why we did not act on that offer. He always asked about me, even when I was gone. He would do anything for me. I have no idea why he liked me, but he did. I recall his kind eyes behind his messy hair and ragged clothes. One side of his face was larger than the other, almost as if permanently swollen due to too many bar fights and broken cheekbones or the like. Once in a while he would want a hug, and I would hug him.

I remember the last time I saw him, when I visited the office I worked at years ago, where my dad still was, and Stony still hung around. Just this summer he was there when I swung by. Two times I saw him, but both times I was on my way out the door. He didn't ask for a hug, and I sighed in relief. Nice enough guy, but I just didn't want to hug him. Sometimes he stunk, and sometimes I was afraid he might get fresh with me, even though he never did. He liked me, you see, and kept no secrets that if I were "available" he would want me. But it was not mutual. So I avoided his hugs. This last time I was there I saw him as I headed to the car and I almost went back to talk for a moment, but didn't. I left. I saw him outside the office with his shopping basket full of stuff, waving to me as I left. I waved back.

I got a phone call from my parents with bad news the other day. Stony had died. He was at the store next door to the office, and he said to the owner (who also would hire him to do odds and ends), "I don't feel so good." So the owner told him maybe he should sit down and rest for a bit. "No," he said, "I need to get going." Stony walked outside and someone found him a little while later lying dead out front. Perhaps his heart gave out. No one knew. No one cared enough to pay for an autopsy. He had no family and only a handful of people who knew him here and there. Everyone took care of Stony in some manner, and Stony took care of everyone in his own ways, cleaning or fixing things, but never again would he walk through that office door for five measly dollars.

My parents and I talked about times we remembered about Stony. I recalled the time he was drunk and came into the office and wanted money, but he was not in shape to work, plus he had already gotten paid that week's worth. He pulled out his switchblade and showed us how fast he was at drawing it open. I could see the fear in my dad's eyes that day because a drunk man asking for money while pulling a knife out was probably not a good combination. My dad gave him $5 to get rid of him. That was the worst I had ever seen him, and he never actually threatened anyone. It was just an odd situation, of which I never flinched. I pretended it did not scare me either, although it did. I guess I don't trust drunk people with knives flashing about.

Another time my dad remembered was when someone gave Stony a huge bag of canned food, all corn. He came by the office and told my dad, "I've been eating corn three times a day. I'm glad to have the food, but boy will I be glad when this corn is gone. I don't want to see corn for a long time." We chuckled, but inside I was cringing that none of us made more effort to ensure Stony had better food. Was it our responsibility? We did what we could. I remember sharing our tamales with him. My mom always gave him boxed food or pieces of food she had made and brought into the office. My dad even sent money to the funeral home to help pay for his cremation (we think it was a cremation anyway, based on the dollar amount of the bill that his friend came by and told my dad about--they were trying to raise money to help pay it). Everyone took care of Stony, and Stony took care of everyone.

So today I am sad that Stony is gone, but even more so because I had the chance to give Stony a huge hug, this last time I saw him, but did not. I even thought about it, and that I should treat him better, and not avoid him. It had been a couple of years since I had seen him, and I figured it could be another year or two before I saw him again. I should have hugged him goodbye. I should have hugged him long and hard, and told him how good it was to see him again, alive and well. Stony was never really well, but he was alive, and he loved people and loved life, even though he had problems.

I will never have that chance back to hug Stony. I can only move forward. Perhaps I will go visit my son's friend who is presently in a homeless shelter, who I have not seen for several months now. Perhaps it is time to go sit and talk with him again... and give him a big hug.

Monday, September 28, 2015

THREE ARE ONE: BEST THERAPY FOR OVERCOMING


It is because we are three parts in one that I must make this change.
We are three parts in one person--body, mind, and spirit.
Body is the physical reality of our being.
Mind is the soul, or thinking and feeling and emotional and personality part of our being.
Spirit is the higher energy that was before, and will continue, beyond our birth and death.
Spirit is energy. No more, no less. It is the energy that follows the rules of being... the laws of nature.

"Energy can neither be created nor destroyed"
It merely changes forms, when we are conceived, and grow, and are birthed and live, and grow old and die.

Everything in between is filled with spirit (energy) of life, from quantum physics and dimensional realms, to inner nature and higher nature, collective consciousness and super-consciousness, sometimes an inner knowing that comes from somewhere else.

Everything in between is filled with soulical aspects of learning and feeling, sorrow and rejoicing, speaking and knowing, choosing and acting in deliberate ways, and grasping intuition.

Everything in between is filled with physical reality of pain and feeling healthy, feeding our bodies with nutrition for growth or starving ourselves, sex and touch, tasting and hearing, seeing and smelling, all senses taking in the physical world by our physical bodies.

But all of these three parts... the body, mind/soul, and spirit/energy... are one being.
When one is changed, the others are affected.
When having problems in one area, change another, and the rest will follow.
Everything is connected.
Nothing exists by itself.
The three are one... whether we think so or not, it works.
This is why I had the epiphany of dark and negative thoughts having two sources... the body, and the mind, for the spirit is light and is without error.
The body may be weakened by viruses or bacteria, causing illness, even mental illness, so science now establishes this. I read about this within two hours after having the epiphany, based on my own experiences and the pattern I saw.
Negative thoughts and old habits that feel out of your control may be a result of something that happened long ago, even in the womb, or childhood. Rehashing memories or habits dig the groove deeper. Meds may help, but will it solve it?
The other part is nature, soulical nature, that allows us to put mind over matter. Choice. Everything is a choice. Many times people have a breakdown before their choice is made, but once they choose, whether by their own will or not, things improve. Focus on spiritual first. Every morning. Every night. Keep yourself accountable. Pray or read or worship.
The mind will follow, and in time the body will repair itself.
This is why I must make the change in my own life.
This is why healing must be what was before "natural" for me to continue thoughts that are not right.
I noticed that when my thoughts went one direction, it would manifest in some way very soon afterwards... perhaps not in the way I wanted, but definitely the negative energy.
A virtual "spanking" made into a punishment of reality, of some sort or another.
Until I knew better and did it anyway, and the result was more severe than I could take.
So it brakes the will, and refocuses the desire.
The consequence is that my spirit will lead, my mind will embrace and manifest, and my body and life will follow.
It has to, for everything is connected.
We are not separate from our three parts.
We are made up of all of them, together.
Fix one, and you fix the rest.
It may take time, but be vigilant and improvements are inevitable.
Seek healing. Real healing. Believe it.
To overcome what was before, unattainable.

Friday, September 11, 2015

LOVE NEVER KNOWN

There is no greater feeling than love, and being in love, and being loved equally in return.
There is no greater curse than feeling love, and being in love when the love is not equally returned.

A whispered desire, like a flame that burns bright, is squelched in the night as words aloof rain down.
No one shall know this love, so deep and pure, the depths greater than the Marianas Trench, and its pressure and power like a crush, a sickness, an obsession...
No mind meld can suffice, no heart listened to intently, no adoration returned to fill the night.

Alone she goeth, alone she follows, alone she sleeps it off.
No one shall ever know her true touch, the places hidden as a wellspring...
Wasted in the days gone by, on men one at a time who never cared enough to know it.
And never will. No one will. It is impossible.

No greater feeling than love in a loop, cycling around between souls.
No greater curse than its potential never known.

It is hard to feel and yearn for things so intimate when it is lost in a shallow wading pool.
Incapable of depth, he roams simplistic, in fear of deep water.
Alone she dives, and finds no one at the bottom, but herself.

Monday, July 27, 2015

STOP ARGUING

I speak, you disagree. I feel attacked and get defensive. We argue. The problem may not always be that I am wrong, but that you fear you are not right. It takes two to argue. Your disatisfaction with my arguing is merely a projection of your own inability to stop arguing. It takes two. I am only one person. I cannot remove your responsibility for the part you play.

Likewise, a plan for financial success is a huge process. While "owning an apartment building" is a lofty goal, it is only a goal... not a plan. A plan includes all the steps between A and Z to achieve that goal. If I don't have such a plan in place towards the same goal should I require you to pack your bags? Again, my lack of a solid plan is not my issue (I'm more flexible than that) or yours... your projection onto me of having no plan of your own is your problem. Your future is your responsibility, not mine.

Sorry that I add so little value to your life. Methinks projection is again afoot. And one wonders why I argue...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

HOW TO MAKE A SOLAR WATER DISTILLER



I have built and sold and installed solar water distillers for years. It is a wonderful feeling to build something that can take nasty or polluted water and turn it into something absolutely pure and drinkable! So how do you build a solar water distiller?

Here are some tips on how it works...

First of all you want to understand how a solar water distiller, also called a solar still, actually runs. It is basically a wide and low-profile 'box' that has glass on top at a slightly sloped (about 10 degrees) angle. The bottom of this box inside will be black so as to absorb as much of the sun's rays as possible. The water is inserted through a side tube (you can use a water hose or gravity-fill using a bucket and tube) into a thin layer, maybe 1"-2" in depth.

As the sun heats up the water it will start to evaporate, and will begain condensing onto the cooler glass above, and then trickle down underneath the glass, draining into a 1" CPVC tube cut in half lengthwise, which acts as a water trough. The condensed/distilled water then drains out an exit tube into your water collection vessel (usually glass since plastic dioxins can be carcinogenic).

That's all there is to making solar distilled water!

However, making the box with food-safe materials is a MUST! There are different ways to do this. Plus the box needs to be insulated well so as to not lose heat. Basically, this is similar to a solar oven design, but holds water, and gets hot enough to burn you if you were to touch it. It does not boil--nor do you want it to boil since that is a forced method and tastes metalic and is acidic. Natural solar water distilled water is softer and alkaline, if not neutral in pH.

There are a lot of tricks to choosing materials, but items ranging from glass to solar kits that have special food-grade silicone manufactured liner are included. You can also use a food-grade silicone in the tubes (special order) and smear it onto the inside of the box yourself. Some people use high-grade stainless steel but this tends to be expensive and can pit/erode over time since distilled water has NOTHING in it, and absorbs whatever it touches.

I cover more details in my book below:



You can learn all about the layers and items needed (plus other solar projects!) in the full intro in my book:
Passive Solar Energy House Projects: A How-To Guide
Hard copy $15.00 / Electronic $9.99 (Kindle)

I no longer sell solar water distillers, however you can click on the links below to purchase them directly from the websites/companies:

Solaqua Solar still produces 1 1/2 gal/day for 1-2 people per still (no electricity, on-site, no running water necessary)

Suns-River stills produce 4x the amount of water than a passive still using the sun and an electric pump - these are excellent for communities

Flo-Onics Stills used to produce 100 gal/day to 250,000 gal/day for communities/groups/towns but last time I checked I think the company was defunked.

For solar water distiller construction plans you can obtain them through the El Paso Solar Energy Association or www.solaqua.com

Enjoy learning more and making your own solar water distiller!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

SEEING SPIDERS AND FORMS



I've been seeing spiders lately, and human forms, but just in my peripheral vision. As soon as I look they disappear. It's a bit ominous, and sometimes I think the spiders are just random bugs.

Of course, my knowledge of shamanistic interpretation bellows in to say these are negative things, whereas my spiritual side insists these are positive things. You see, I have a love-hate relationship with bugs, spiders in particular.

This morning I had a dream of a black widow spider. It crawled down onto my hand and bit me (I'm still trying to remember which hand, but I think it may have been the right hand... no, maybe the left! LOL). But it was so shocking that it woke me up out of a sound sleep. Typically this type of scenario only happens when I have stopped breathing during sleep, due to sleep apnea.

The spider, then, is my messenger to wake up and start breathing again! So it is a warning, but a good omen in the end, because it keeps me alive and aware, and it serves the purpose it was intended for. I could become friends with the spider, but if I lost my disgust of their creepy little bodies with all 8 legs, then I would not have any fear of them and then the dreams would no longer be effective. It is in my best interest to keep the spiders as a sort of enemy, even if it's just for pretend.

So something else has been happening...

The human forms are new. I am not prone to seeing things, but I admit it has been a little unnerving. I wonder what the messenger is trying to tell me when it is shaped like a person? No real gender on this human, but maybe a man? So maybe it has to do with someone else.

Someone I know and love is in the hospital right now, with severe congestive heart failure and a bad valve and blocked artery. Surgery will be needed, if the doctors can get her strength back up to survive the surgery. Any arrhythmia and she could have a heart attack at any time. It's a bit scary. The figure I keep seeing may nor may not have anything to do with her, but the spider connection is there... I will explain...

So I was praying the other night for this person, and went into theta brainwave state, and saw a huge black spider on a web, but its legs were part of the web, it seemed, and it was all-encompassing. It was the mental image manifesting as a representation of the problem that is causing her health issue with her heart. It's a big one. It's black and scary. I am now thinking more and more that I need to pray again and see if something can be done, so that the birds of the spirit can pick away this spider and restore her health. That is my next focus.

It is such a strange thing to not only be bitten by a spider on my hand (deeds) but also to dream of others in similar fashion, overlapping... it is hard to know (especially with me having a similar heart murmur to hers) where her symbols start and where mine end, or where they overlap.

Let's pray that I find out sooner than later. Seeing spiders and forms is no easy matter when it is life and death.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

UNDERSTANDING YOU...



My love, it has taken me some time to understand you...
to grasp your moods without being touched by them so deeply...
to see your pain while witnessing the little boy you still are inside...
to understand your depth that you hide so well...
to kiss the lack of experience, yet still remain the most kissable of all lips, of all time...
to hear harsh words that stab the soul, and become stronger for it...
to be annoyed by grandiose dreams, which will never happen...
to listen to threats, which I know now will never fruit...
to think your love has ended, when you refuse to ever say it...
to know you are true, even though I doubted you...

My dear, it has taken me a great amount of time to understand you just this much...
and I will still need more time to understand the rest of you...
I hope time, we have.
I pray love, we will.

Friday, April 3, 2015

BAHA'I VERSES I LIKE: OTHER WORLDS

I like this! I took a scientific stance over the YEC (young earth creationist) view a long time ago! That's when I started believing that science and religion MUST match up or else I might otherwise believe in folly. Would rather stand for truth than get hung up on dogma that is illogical. We exist. The earth revolves around the sun. There are many suns, galaxies, and likely many universes as well as worlds with intelligent life. And I'm sure those worlds were all made much longer than 6kya too. LOL

“When we contemplate this vast machinery of omnipresent power, perceive this illimitable space and its INNUMERABLE WORLDS it will become evident to us that the lifetime of this infinite creation is more than six thousand years; nay, it is very, very ancient”. (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 108).

RELATIONSHIPS THAT CUT LIKE KNIVES

This story is an exercise in dynamics of control in relationships. This actually happened to someone I know, so I reproduce her story here, names changed. It's a simple story, and is probably rather harmless, but the implications--once magnified and taken to an extreme circumstance--can be dangerous to a relationship.

The questions to ask are, what is the real desire behind why a man would do this? For control? To not feel controlled by the woman's requests in "her domain"? To teach a lesson about life? Or to not care that she could be harmed.

Read the story... then you decide...

RELATIONSHIPS THAT CUT LIKE KNIVES

Tamara always put the silverware with the handles down in the dish drainer, but not the sharp knives... she always put them with the sharp point down and the handles sticking up so no one would get hurt if they were reaching in to get the silverware.

But Brett always put all the silverware with the handles down, including the sharp knives.

Tamara warned Brett that this was a dangerous practice, so showed him to put the sharp blade of the knives facing downward. She said, "I have to reach over the silverware every day to get my water glass and I almost cut my forearm the other day because the knife was sticking up. Can you please point them down?"

Brett said, "You simply need to pay attention to what you are doing. Life has things we need to watch out for, so pay attention so you know what you're doing at all times. Just be more careful."

Tamara thought it was unwise to ignore something dangerous and possibly put others in danger, and why should she have to take extra care every single time she reaches over the dish drainer to grab her water glass, which she does numerous times a day? Instead, turn the knife downward the first time and it saves time and effort and possible issues later.

Time passed, and Tamara mentioned the knife situation again, but Brett kept putting the sharp knives facing straight up when he would help with dishes.

One day, Tamara was busy cooking and realized she had not drank water for several hours, so she reached over to grab her water glass, but a knife was sticking up at just the right angle and it cut a scratch into her forearm near her elbow between two and three inches long, which bled, not to mention hurt.

Tamara was disgusted. She had not learned Brett's lesson about being careful every single time about the knives.

But another lesson she learned was not that she was just not being extra careful, but that she shouldn't have to in her own home. Home should be a place of comfort and safety, away from the dangers of the outside world. Her environment was hers to control, not be controlled by. The kitchen was her domain, yet somehow she had not had any control over this knife issue.

Was she wrong in not taking care every time she wanted water to drink? Was she being selfish?

She didn't think so; the real lesson in her mind now was that Brett had not cared about her. He would rather be right about his own position on the knife being up so he did not have to go to the extra effort to be mindful and point it down, she thought. He was more interested in being right than taking care of her and ensuring her safety.

Brett hurt Tamara, in her view, because he refused to do what she had asked, since it was a safety issue. Yet she did not mention this to him because she knew he would just cause him to yell at her and say something like, "See, I told you to be careful! But you don't listen. You don't pay attention," like times he had said before to her about other things.

Perhaps he was right, too, and it was her own laziness in not wanting or feeling the need to double-check for knives every time. Perhaps she wouldn't have gotten hurt (by the knives or by his attitude) if she would have simply paid more attention each time.

Does this HAVE to be my life with Brett? she thought... will she constantly have to be on the defense with him and watch out for his sharp points that can and will hurt her? Simply because he refuses to care for her by putting away his sharpness so she can feel safe?

Ultimately Tamara found a different way to solve the problem... she simply put her water glass on the opposite side of the counter after that, away from the dish drainer, and away from Brett's upward facing knives.

Tamara pondered if avoiding Brett would follow, in order to save herself from being hurt.

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

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Which is the more important life lesson... realizing that life can hurt you and to be careful at every turn, to be aware of everything around you? Or realizing that people can harm you and that perhaps we sometimes need to be careful of their own "sharpness" that can "cut" instead?

In this case, Tamara found another way out... but is it indicative of her ultimately just finding a solution somewhere else so she didn't have to deal with a man who would rather see her risk harming herself than to actually care about her welfare MORE than being right?

I guess one has to ask if putting her in harms way was really worth the lesson he was trying to "teach" her... in Tamara's eyes, she merely learned that Brett represented the knive that could cut her.

Friday, March 20, 2015

BECOMING BAHA'I

It's funny how memories can surface, after the fact... this happened to me recently as I was in the process of becoming Baha'i (more about that in a minute).

I remember taking a cultural anthropology course in college and learning about different religions and religious views. At the time I was a fairly new Unitarian Universalist and had Christian roots, yet was interested in many spiritual paths. I had, many years before, heard about Baha'is but I did not know anything about the faith. But in class as a mature adult I remembered distinctly that I was familiar with the name "Baha'i" and that it had a favorable feeling in my soul, yet I had no idea why.

There I sat, reading about the Baha'i faith in my college textbook... about the universalist principles of love for all mankind and overcoming prejudice, and equality of the sexes, no proselytizing allowed (totally agree!), there is no clergy (spiritual education is the responsibility of the individual, although there are many functions and classes and books!), education is highly promoted (there is a saying that if you have two children, a boy and a girl, and only enough money to educate one of them, you should educate the girl because she will teach her own children), there is a strong interfaith stance, the concept of Satan is that of man's lower nature rather than an actual imaginary being, the promotion of world peace instead of war, a united planet and positive one-world government (not the fear-based New World Order that some fundamentalists teach), the avoidance of politics, concepts like Progressive Revelation, spiritual leaders coming in and going out and being replaced by people more appropriate for each age (whether Adam, Zoroaster, Abraham, Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus, etc.), and even being open to other worlds existing in the universe. I agreed with all of these concepts.

Yes, I was a Baha'i at heart. I thought to myself, "I'm already a Baha'i and didn't even know it!"

I decided right then that if I ever stepped off the agnostic fence and chose the path of no god, then I would become Buddhist, but if I chose the path of a God (and although I know there are many gods, I am inclined towards monotheism as a greater power of spirit/energy that pervaded the universe(s) and beyond) then I would become Baha'i. However, I sat on that fence yet another 10 years.

Then I met my present husband, who happens to be Baha'i. Fate? A manifestation of my own subconscious, since even while agnostic I sometimes caught myself praying to or complaining to the God I said I didn't believe in? The Buddhist route just never took hold anyway, for whatever reason (I did manage to go to a Buddhist temple once with a friend and enjoyed it immensely). But the powers that be, whether from within or without, took hold of my path and set me on it.

So back to how memories can surface when you least expect it. I was recently watching the film "To Light a Candle" about the Iranian Baha'is who were being kept from a college education, yet they studied and learned anyway. Many eventually fled Iran to other countries because of the religious persecution. My heart went out to these people who have experienced this, and then, while hearing--during this film--about the Ayatolla Khomeini, who in 1979 led a revolution and took over Iran from the Shah, a blast of memories of my dad watching the news (he loved politics and world events) popped up and suddenly I remembered the Baha'is and who they were! I did not like politics as a kid (or an adult) but I watched and kept up with what was happening at the time. I understood and my heart had reached out as a 10-to-12-year-old child to these people.

Today, although far from being oppressed, I am one of them. I am proud that today I will be declaring myself as a Baha'i on Naw Ruz (Baha'i new year at spring equinox) so it is very fitting. I have been learning, watching videos, reading books and scripture, talking and meeting with friends, going to gatherings and participating in devotionals, learning Book 1 (Ruhi), and attended my first feast and practiced the fast.

So now I feel I have finally come home, full circle, to where I had learned about Baha'is as a kid, then about what the faith was really about as an adult, and now am learning what it means to be Baha'i and practice those ways. Next I get to do what I was meant to do, and be a part of a much bigger plan.

No religion is perfect, but the concepts and matters of faith that are part of the Baha'i path are more in unison with what I already believed, and has a beautiful image and focus and actual plan to bring in God's desires for humanity and an ever-advancing civilization towards world unity--and although I am not perfect either, all of this is intrinsically and together a big part of who I already am.

This time, "I am Baha'i and I know it."

The best is yet to come!

Friday, February 27, 2015

WAITING FOR THE NEWS...

I know something.
Something that happened today.
By June I will be able to tell people if I was right.
Waiting sucks, doesn't it.

Monday, February 16, 2015

NO BABY



No baby...
As good as barren, when again no baby?
When pregnancy arrives, but blighted ovum erupts in red waterfalls.
Tissues of life, containing nobody.
Hope and happiness, birthing emptiness two minutes apart.
Reaching down below, deep into the heart of the womb,
below the exit where all comes to light,
Rivers of blood shed out from the depths.
No baby.
Then anger, and grief, and fighting between,
like a symbol of the death of something that never was,
the reality hit...
it kicked in the windshield that held it captive
behind the hands that held it in place,
packed behind shadowed allusions,
and painted words dark and gruesome,
unforgiving, and hard.
No baby, no sanity, no chances.
So the slap of life was never to ring true,
and the abuse of the words 'no baby' would be to worsen
over time
possibly forever... because of everything.
Even a list of 15 sorries could never fix this.
No guilt or shame, just no baby.
"I only did it for you"
lies hiding the pain.
Just no baby came,
and no baby will ever arrive.
What was a hope and a wish for over a year,
has died,
with the baby,
the baby that never was...
the little one who would never be held,
and never will breathe or say I love you,
without a change of heart,
a new heart, and mind, and body.
No baby then, no baby now.
As for the future... the only baby
that could be real, will be what business,
a substitute,
or nothing at all.
No baby will ever know that it never existed...
and may never become real again.
No baby will ever feel it's parents' arms,
or to learn and grow and play.
No baby was.
No baby is.
It is deemed so, therefore...
No baby ever.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

GIVING IN TO THE GREATER WILL

I am watching as a dear friend of mine goes through relationship problems. Her husband is mentally ill and continually goes through cycles of being a wonderful husband, but then everything turns sour. Up and down, up and down. She is sure it is his brain and body chemistry all out of whack. But she asked, "What do I do when he doesn't want me around, calls me names, demeans me, tries to control me, treats me like I am a child, is unforgiving, unrealistic, illogical, unbending, argumentative, relentless, goes off the deep end with exaggerated threats (like kicking her out or even divorce), and is generally not nice?"

She says it doesn't happen often, but lately it has been happening more. He admitted to her that he does not know how to be a husband and that it's all new for him, yet his desire to be alone--like the bachelor he was for almost all of his life--is too strong. "It is the easier way than to actually take responsibility," she insists, "and he's setting up our whole relationship for failure. Every time he mentions divorce it is because of his own issues, not mine."

She came to me, emotionally distraught, but I told her... GIVE IT OVER TO THE GREATER WILL.

This can mean different things to different people. For some it might mean that he has a greater will than she does. In some things, her will might be greater. For instance, regarding his will... his desire is for his happiness and to not be accountable to anyone, and if that means being alone then she may need to make arrangements to move out, if he tell her to leave. Or it could mean her will in some things are greater, such as not accepting his low opinions of her. She could just simply learn to ignore them, figuring he is just having outbursts when his mental issues are on the rise; and although she would choose to love him anyway, she might prefer to walk away until those tough moments pass.

Still yet there is an even better way to give it over to the greater will. It doesn't just mean allowing yourself, in your unbending decisions, to stand up to someone (not fight, necessarily), or to let them have their way (but conceding might keep the peace, or allow him to realize he is making a mistake)... but it can mean giving up our own desires and disappointments to a greater power. Whether this is God, or the gods, or the universe, or nature, or whatever it is that works for you, you can choose to find peace by letting go.

Since I told her this she made a list of all the things he didn't like and she started crossing them off one by one, doing what he wanted, or being ready to go at a moment's notice (if he kicks her out, for instance), while still standing strong on her convictions of not accepting his belittling comments, or refusing to divorce him (although if he chooses he can try). This list she made has given her a sense of having control of her own life back... whether that choice is to let go, give in, or stand strong, depending. She is prepared no matter how it turns out.

In this giving in to the greater will, including her greater power, through prayer and an earnest heart, she has found a sense of inner peace. Even if she is not happy with something, she can fall back on her inner peace.