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Gnashing of Teeth


We spend so much time making ourselves the best we can be at work that we forget to work on other parts of ourselves. We neglect our soul until it is almost too late. It is soul crushing to realize how much of our self is lost. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Some say there should be balance between the spiritual and material world, but if we understand our purpose and we understand our existence, there is no balancing game that will satisfy our spirit.

We are always compromising ourselves. Like the gnashing of food between our teeth we are destroyed and unrecognizable. As I write this I transposed the word “good” for “food” and that is so apt because when we neglect our soul the good in us is torn apart.

It’s so difficult to turn back, to return to who we were or who we thought we were. Maybe that is okay because who would want to return to a state of so-called balance that never really worked anyway. We must strive for better. We must strive to live as we were meant to live, with the betterment of all at the forefront instead of just the betterment ourselves in this material world for there is no substitution for nourishing our soul. Sooner or later it cries out and something must break.

How we respond afterward is what matters, and not always how we got there. It is in this realization that we must answer for our actions or inaction to our Beloved.

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The Sick


Mother TeresaThe sick are not a burden upon us, but a reminder of our humanity. They remind us of compassion, a compassion that is often lost in a world of billions of individuals but seemingly disconnected individuals. Trapped in our own sense of self, it is often easier for us to disconnect, to wash our hands of others and the world around us.

We seek an escape. We do it through our work, television and through the many mindless distractions that fill our lives. And yet none of those things brings us back to a grounded reality in who we really are as people. In a world of many distractions, it is easy to isolate our emotions and even our spirit from the things that truly matter to us. If not for ourselves, we must take notice at those around us. Let us take notice of our family, our friends and even the strangers who come through our lives.

Suffering is all about us, and many do it alone. There are many brave faces, and many more aching hearts. Through compassion. Through loving comfort, through prayer, and even through a smile, the burdens that seem unbearable become feathers on our backs.

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Scales


How much is enough to give? We are constantly making this calculation in our heads. If I give this amount, can I still cover my bills? Will I be able to pay for my lunch today? Will I still have cash left over? How much will be enough before this person moves on to ask the next person? How much is enough for me to not feel guilty and not feel resentful that the person asked for help in the first place? Will this person waste the money or will they use it for something worthwhile?

We ask these questions and many more, of ourselves when someone asks of our help, whether a beggar or even someone we know, More often than not, we fail to ask if the other person might need more help. We seem to care more about how we feel after leaving the situation than caring for the other person. Is that the right thing to do? Should our guilt or lack thereof take precedent over another person’s suffering? If we, individually, or as a whole, can ease the suffering of just one individual, should we not do all that is possible?

Rather than judge the cleanliness or disposition of an individual as a gauge of our willingness to give assistance, perhaps we should turn the microscope on ourselves. We have what we have only by the grace of the Divine. What has been given can surely be taken away? And so perhaps instead of being concerned with maintaining or counting on our next blessing, we should be sharing our blessings with others, that we may all feel the presence and be a witness to the Divine.

In doing so, perhaps we may see the Divine nature of man, for he is not lost, lest he wants to be.

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Lashing Out at the Innocents


man yellingWhen we lash out at those who try to help, we do nothing but bring pain to ourselves. When we lash out at the innocents we bring pain to everyone. Though pain might be a seemingly comforting place to some, in truth it is just a place of familiarity. Rather than seeing beyond the hate and anger, we seek to wallow in it. We see ourselves as undeserving of love and justify this thought with behaviors to match.

We ask ourselves why things are the way they are, why the good suffer and why those we deem as lesser beings seem immune to the chaos. We can’t quite comprehend why the balance of the universe seems tilted one way versus another, why it seems tilted away from us. But if we just stopped long enough to see why some behave the way they do, and how we react to others and the situations that we find ourselves in, we would realize that it is not the world that is skewed towards or away from us, but rather our perception of the world and our view of those in it that are skewed. We apply our desires, fears and prejudices towards others, and we ask why “they” are the way they are without ever looking at ourselves.

No matter our transgressions or the transgressions of others, it is not about blame. It is about righting a ship that has gone off course. It is about finding inner peace and bringing it to the outer world. It is about understanding our pain and releasing it so that we may suffer no longer. Choose to release the pain. Choose to accept love. Choose happiness.

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Long Suffering


The words I could not say…

We love you.

We will miss you.

Forever in our hearts there will be a place for you.

We miss your company and yet you have not gone.

We miss your smile and yet you have not stopped smiling.

We miss your guidance and yet you have never stopped guiding.

We miss your warmth and yet your light shines ever brighter.

Go in peace, but never too far away.

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Without Indignation


It is easy to blame ourselves for not being better human beings, for not loving each other enough, for not being there enough when it counts. It is so easy to beat ourselves up that we even look for any reason to be hard on ourselves. We want so much to be perfect, to say the right things and do the right things. Perhaps what is more important than trying to be everything to everyone, or trying to make each moment as perfect as we want it to be, is that we just stop long enough to be ourselves.

Perhaps there is no need to impress, to lead with our best foot forward, because in being ourselves, each step is our best foot forward. By being ourselves, and removing those inhibitions that prevent us from saying what we want to say, and doing what we want to do, we bring honor to all that is. No longer ashamed, or afraid of being who we are, perhaps we can accept all that we each have to give.

There is no imperfection or miscalculation. There are no slights, or offenses. There is no spite, or jealousy. There is just simply understanding. There is understanding that what we each bring to the table is a different face of God, a different face of humanity. And if we are so ashamed of humanity, perhaps it is not humanity that we are ashamed of, but rather our lack of understanding of our place in it.

So let us not blame each other, or even ourselves. Let us simply be. Let us be without fear of reprisal, or judgment. Let us be without indignation and indifference. Let us be without regrets. Let us be.

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Let Us Cry Together


crying childDo not take away my pain for it is mine to bear. Do not take away my tears for they are mine to shed. Do not take away my heartache for it is mine to understand. Do not parse my words for they are mine to express. Do not tell me how to grieve. Do not tell me how to cry. Love me the same as you would love those in pain.

It is difficult to watch those we love suffer in such a way we can only fathom to understand. No one wants to see their children, siblings or parents in pain. No one wants to watch those they love go through an anguish that can alone be lifted with time and healing.

While we all grieve in our own way we must allow each to express themselves in their way and in their time. Some fold into their shell and hide from prying eyes. Some cry uncontrollably. Some appear as though all emotions have been wiped from their face. Some become angry and lash out. Still others seek comfort and solace in all who would give it. Though we may all grieve in our own way, we need not grieve alone. We need not suffer alone. We need not heal alone.

Though we may each shed a tear, let us shed it together. Let us cry on each other’s shoulders and worry not about the time. Let us accept each other’s loving embrace and remember we are never alone. Let us remember that in happy times, and sad, we are always loved. We are never alone. Let us celebrate together.

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Cost of Happiness


happy faceThe perfect life, the dream; It doesn’t exist unless we make it exist. By our doing we force our dreams to become a reality. But what are those dreams? Are they the things that we tell ourselves will make us happy? Is it the dream of wealth, the dream of being heard and recognized, the dream of fame, the dream of comfort through worldly or emotional needs? What is it that drives us?

My dream or so it was a long time ago as a child was to be happy, for my family, my parents to be happy. It was for a world with peace. I wasn’t sure about everything else. I saw that not having to worry about money made some happy, or rather made some think they were happy. I saw that those who had prestigious jobs or a higher education made some think they were happy. I also saw that receiving presents or buying cars and being seen made others think they were happy. All the while, in the back of my mind, but at the front of my heart, I still clung onto that dream of peace, internally and externally for others.

I was never sure how to achieve that dream, my dream as a child. Sometimes I thought the best way to achieve it was to force it on others. Other times I thought I could take away people’s choices, or make a person feel there was no other choice but mine. Demonization and using guilt were other ways. None of these ways seemed to work, at least not for long. People were making choices that seemed to agree with what I thought I wanted, but not always because they truly wanted to make that choice. Some felt pressured. Some felt guilt ridden. Some did it to show face.

What’s peace, without open acceptance? It’s meaningless. What’s happiness if it’s temporary, or comes at the cost of someone else’s happiness? It’s meaningless. Your dream, and my dream; Perhaps they are the same, or perhaps we envision their realization differently? But is what is seemingly good for one, also good for all? At what cost will your happiness or my happiness come?

The cost of happiness…is free.

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Haggard Soul


Shadows of night.
Figures in the dark.
Behind veils thick and thin.

Familiar faces.
Teary eyes.
Tired jowls.

Jolted heart.
Silent cries.
Haggard soul.

See the frustration in others and you will know you are not alone. Some show their sadness with tears. Some sulk in silence. Some stew in anger. Some point out the things in others they cannot understand.

Do not judge your sadness against another. Do not judge your understanding against another. Be not a hindrance to yourself or another. Lift the haggard soul.

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Reconciling the Evils of Men and Women


sad angelHow do you reconcile the evil in other men and women? Do you judge their acts and their thoughts? Do you succumb to their ways, whether as a need of acceptance or an act of desperation and survival? How do you reconcile your thoughts, your actions and feelings? From every breath we draw the divine and with each exhale we make a choice. Do we share that grace with others, or do we choose to fall from our own graces just to please another?

Perhaps God does not exist to judge us, and perhaps he does not exist to cause us suffering? We do such a good job of it on our own. We punish ourselves each day. We turn our backs and we turn our faces in shame of the things we’ve done, and contemplate doing. At the end of each day, we must look at ourselves and ask, was I the best version of myself today? Did I help others to be the best version of themselves, or did I act selfishly without regard for others? Did I help to bring calm, or did I add to the confusion? Did I bring peace and understanding, or did I stoke the flames of anger and hate?

Do not become the hate you try to extinguish. Do not stir the pot of confusion. Regardless of the God above, bring joy to all those who come into your life.

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