Posted in Daily Posts

How We Bond… Excerpt

With an interest and deep appreciation in both Psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s theory of attachment and the curiosity to understand if a connection exists between the attachment styles during infancy and childhood and a greater risk for depression in adulthood, I have discovered the concept of attachments styles is vitally important to healthy child development and social behaviors. Especially, since these affects appear to stretch across generations (U.S Department of Health and Human Services & Colin, 1991).

Bowlby defines attachment as “an enduring emotional bond characterized by a tendency to seek and maintain closeness to a specific figure, particularly during stressful situations (U.S Department of Health and Human Services & Colin, 1991, p. 2).” A sense of protection and psychological security stems from closeness between individuals, typically a child and their immediate caregiver. Although, I would correlate some of this theory with the temperament of the child, is it highly unlikely that a lack of closeness between a child and an immediate caregiver, such as the child’s mother, somehow poses a link between attachment developments during childhood to an increase risk for depression for adolescence and adults? Besides, security in relationships enhances self-esteem so without a sense of security in regards to others one’s sense of self-esteem might also be lacking.

If attachment theory is primarily a theory regarding the nature of all human beings because it stems across many of the critical elements of a person’s emotional life e.g. bonding, connectivity, anger, aggression, separation, etc., then a child’s first reaction to attachments will most likely influence future behaviors and relationships.

Posted in Daily Posts

Clay of the Spittle

And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.” Then again, He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25

I am usually not one to blog on personal matters. Besides, blogging for many is a form of creativity. It the freedom to articulate the beauty of nature, art, thoughts, ideas, etc. At times, we may share moments that are sentimental and/or uplifting. For others, it is a platform for expression. However, some things we should hold near and dear and be careful not to air our dirty laundry all over the world-wide web.

But what if doing so may help someone? Someone who just may be in a similar situation. This notion is the primary reason I blog. To give voice to the voiceless. I welcome those who are hesitant to divulge their own fears to share in my experiences. I was however tempted not to share because of shame, vulnerability, fear, judgments, and an entire list of  things the devil lies to us about.

Happily Ever After?? wedding-rings-150300_960_720

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that no matter how hard you tried to rationalize it, it just did not feel right? I’ve had moments like that in the past but it was more of those brief moments of blocked clarity. Those that you awaken from as soon as you know it doesn’t feel right.

But what about those times when it appears to feel right? When such a lapse in judgment becomes not only time consuming but almost life threatening. However blinding as it may have been behind those rose-colored glasses, we always have the best of intentions and want to believe in both the vision and the best possible outcomes.

It’s like being in a relationship with a person one minute and the two of you paint this picture in your minds. The result of this painting looks pretty good, almost the most beautiful picture you could imagine. But, no matter what, I always resolved to keep God at the center of the union. For I knew there was no us without Him.

What About Us?pair-707506_960_720

We hit a period where all I could think is what will He have us do to get over these hard times. It seemed doable for the most part. Until somewhere down the line, it felt as though something interfered with the routine and life began to happen, as it should. Life consisted of not just our union and our future endeavors but also family. Children, parents, friends, all who needed us as much as we needed each other. At first, I just shrugged them off as minor hiccups that were all a part of the cleaving stage. If something came up and briefly shook the foundation,  we were hopeful that it would all soon fall right back into place. Everything just felt right and was progressing according to plan.

One particular day, another something came up. This thing was supposed to soon be resolved as well. Be just another one of those things that came up. No worries, we got through it all before and everything would soon fall back into place again. But soon never came. I held on for as long as I could. Doing what I could on my end to appease the situation. You know, work through things. Put my big girl panties on, pray, get my hands dirty. My due diligence. Until my best wasn’t good enough. This is where it gets thorny. Everything that worked before, the glue that was always able to pull us back and hold us together no longer worked. At this point, like the man in Bethsaida everything appeared as trees. But it wasn’t God that no longer worked, He just had something else in mind.

He Still Moves Stones. cave-306504_960_720

I continued to pray. So, what did Jesus ultimately do? He did what Jesus does. He loved me enough to put the clay on my eyes a second time so that my vision could become clearer. Then, I simply became horrified by what I began to see. I no longer even recognized who this person I fought tooth and nail with for the sake of our union was. It was like something fell off the shelf. Why? Because life could not be ignored? Because there were still aspects of us that continued to exist despite our union?

How do you tell the people who truly love you that you can no longer be who they need you to be in their lives? How do you tell your sick mom that you can no longer be a loving and compassionate daughter because your significant other is jealous? How do you tell your children that they can’t move back home and you simply must turn your back on them when they need you the most? You don’t! That’s how. The question for me was not so much as how to do such a thing but why would I and what kind of person would even expect me to consider it.

Then came the ultimatum. It’s either them OR him. Then I had to ask myself if he was really asking me to choose. Was living as a normal, balanced, healthy, and happy couple simply out of the question? Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I would get my answer, because he did indeed force me to choose. But that also wasn’t so much the part that shocked me the most. The part that shocked me was watching who this person became when I did not (per his standards) choose right.

This is where the suffering began. I began feeling extremely afraid. Afraid of staying as well as afraid to go. So, I stayed. I stayed longer than I should have stayed. This was during the time when Jesus did not give up on trying to get my eyes to open. Sad part is, that it was the more I did not like what I saw  was more of a challenge. Not only was the person I almost vowed to share the rest of my life with someone I no longer recognized; he began exhibiting behaviors that overstepped my boundaries. Behaviors that if not for any other reason I usually would not be hesitant to get away from.

Vision Restored !woman-1197094_960_720

Then the reprehensible happened. He tried to make a move on my daughter. He dared to go to the ends of what I could never even conceive he would do. The very thing that I presumed to have always remained the most cautious of in my life. I’m talking the kinds of things you only see on The Jerry Springer Show. At first, I attempted to reason that there was no way this was happening to me. But by staying close to Jesus, my eyes eventually became fully opened. And to think this whole time I thought I was on top of it all. That I had everything already under control. My eyes were wide shut was a more appropriate analogy.

But I could NOT have done it without Jesus. His word, His grace, His love for me, His wisdom, His mercy, all the wonderful gifts He bestows upon me every day kept me. He kept me close to Him, so that when I almost was led astray by a wolf in sheep’s clothing He wiped the clay over my eyes. I got out. I left. I let go. Then I let God!

I was slowly but surely able to recover from the shock of it all because if I don’t ever do anything else, I will first and foremost consult Him and remain close to His word. I could not have survived without Him. So, when I tell you that I was hesitant to share this story, I mean it. Only being hopeful that it will help one person in a similar situation. I want to bear witness to that person that there is always a way out. Just stay strong, continue to have faith… even when think  you have none left. Press on. Persevere. God has enough clay for everyone’s eyes.

So, now, after thirteen hundred words, I am no longer ashamed that I was hesitant to share this story, I’m ashamed that I was almost tempted not to.

The Paradox of our time in history is…

…. we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less;
We buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense,
More knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
Drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one
night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer,
to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the
stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose
either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going
to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that
little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it.

A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

The Paradox of Our Time… Amplified

Posted in Daily Posts

Curing The IN-Curable From With-IN

Interior Explained

Dictionary.com defines the meaning of the term “Interior” as being derived directly from the Latin to mean “inner, interior, middle” and being comparable to the adjective of inter “within.”  When we think of interior we tend to think of inside of a thing, e.g. house, country, box, etc. We think of something to be found, explored, or discovered, possibly? Something intriguing to all that is inside. The suspense of what could be gained. The hope that may be fulfilled. Or that thing that has yet to be revealed.

An Alternate Angle

Have you seen the movie The Purge pt. 1, 2, or 3 ?

For me, this film noir was designed to offer up an example of an option of release. A way to express something on the interior. But not the interior of a what, but rather a who… I’ll come back to this in a sec.

The plot of The Purge. Dir. James DeMonaco. Universal, 2013. Film. is…

“an annual national civic tradition called “The Purge”, the first of which takes place in 2017. The Purge occurs for 12 hours, from 7 p.m. March 21 to 7 a.m. March 22, during which all crime is legal and all police, fire, and medical emergency services remain unavailable. Restrictions prohibit government officials “ranking 10” from being disturbed, as well as the use of all weapons above Class 4 (explosive devices such as grenades, rocket launchers, and bazookas). Violation of Purge rules results in a summary execution by hanging. The Purge has resulted in unemployment rates plummeting to 1%, low crime, and a strong economy. “

Emphasis given on the phrase “…has resulted in unemployment rates plummeting to 1%, low crime, and a strong economy… “ Really?! Can we sincerely attribute the result of such behaviors as having a positive outcome?

Q. Who is the who I mentioned previously?

A. Mankind.

Which brings me to the question of how?

As in, how can “purging” possibly be so freeing by inflicting harm onto others?

Yea, sure, I get the whole releasing the pent-up stress concept. But how about practicing yoga, meditation, or tai chi, instead?

Why must we hurt, betray, berate, maim, or kill anyone as a means to an end of pleasure?

Yes, a lot of questions, I know. Thing is, these are all questions we should be asking ourselves. Why must we hurt as opposed to love in our quests for release?

Pain is inevitable, but why we choose to create it is beyond me nor do I wish to understand.

Matters of the Heart

The same way we find pleasure in hurting, we can obtain the same if not a greater amount of pleasure from the alternative, which is love. We live in an age where it is absurd to do what feels good for the sake of appeasing our brother, sister, or neighbor. This is to many of us the norm, or the “way things are” sadly enough. What feels right to many of us is how much actual suffering we can accomplish in order to purge what feels uncomfortable within us. Granted, what is uncomfortable creates a state of dis-ease. We desire for the disease to have an instant cure or for to go away now!

We tend to believe that the more we hurt, the better it feels – but does it really feel better?

Or are we just masking the real pain. The pain of not knowing how to forgive those that trespass against us. This is why prayer works! We don’t have to DO anything. We have the power and privilege of asking God or the Source of all creation to do it for us.

Scripture says,

“seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33

What things you ask?

His answer is stated in Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

You will obtain these things. Did you also hear that against such things there is no law? NO LAW? As in NOTHING has power or control over these things. They are yours for the taking and they reap a much better reward than shedding the blood of another.

But of course, this is all subjective, or is it?

It Starts from Within

Below, I have shared links to two similar blogs I have posted on this subject. With all due respect, I am in no way trying to tell anyone how or what to think. I blog because, well I’ve already explained all that. But back to the matter at hand… I just plead that we come together in together in 2017 and better than ever before, add a little change to our perspectives (at least a little), and try to take back what God intended for humanity. We were never created to hurt one another just to then proceed to take solace in that. Like what Eve did to Adam but lying and deceiving him. Or what their son Cain did to his brother Able; killing him and covering it up. Both their blatant and hidden deceits will forever reside in their souls. Besides, some of us are living from those same souls and still trying to learn the lessons their mistakes and afflictions created.

We tend to believe doing bad in retaliation of an act against us that felt bad feels good because it is an equal and opposite reaction (Thanks Newton)! But this call is not our call to make. If we continue to think there is no end to our suffering, then the disease that is destined to come of this thinking begins to grow inside of us because it has festered too long.

Ultimately, each one of us has what it takes to reverse what is killing us on the inside. An INcurable disease is cured from withIN. Thankfully, for me, I have found the anecdote. It’s called GRATITUDE!

Continue reading “Curing The IN-Curable From With-IN”

Posted in Daily Posts

Inexpressible Joy

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

It’s here! Another year – 2017! I must say the past ten years or so have been rather… let’s say “interesting.” But I won’t go as far as to dwell on the past TEN years. That is a bit radical. The past is the past is the past. What is behind is behind and should never be brought forth. The devil is a lie! He wants you to live in yesterday; to draw your attention backward. So, moving forward! Although, I will take a short moment to reflect on what 2016 has taught me. 2016 was a year of completion for myself and I’m certain many others. Not all, because we are all on different paths of our journeys. But for me personally, 2016 was a time to purge and begin to learn how to consciously and conscientiously discard old, outdated, poisonous, destructive… feel free to stop me because I could go on and on. But the point is “NEGATIVITY’S” license had to be revoked. It had its highs and lows. A lot of bumps and bruises along the way. 2016 was just and fair, because she wanted me to fulfill many of the lessons of my soul’s journey, in that way I can reap the rewards in this coming year. I remained strong and persevered, through love, loss, heartache, heartbreak, disappointment after disappointment. Beautiful thing is… I never lost sight of my joy. Now joy, that’s a word to contemplate for 2017.

ONE WORD RESOLUTION

I did encounter a bit of a struggle with the whole “new year’s resolution” thing and decided I was not going to make any. Granted, I could think of a whole host of ways I can purge more harmful effects of my splintered personality into awareness. But at times, that can be overwhelming to our five sensory levels of existence. The goal, however, is to rise above that and go beyond our senses. To connect to Source and become renewed and refilled by His Holy Spirit. To learn to love, live, and forgive in ways that fills us up and makes us whole. As Jesus said, “Whoever loses their life for Me will find it” – Matthew 16:25. But, question… how much of ourselves are we “willing” to lose? We make all these “resolutions” to do better because we have a fresh start, right? Only thing is – and this may very well come as a shock to some- but we have a fresh start every day. The challenge is to claim it! Be it January 1st or July 15th. We have the option to turn around, whenever we repent and choose give up our free will and seek His. That is why I find the one word path a great place to start. Why put all the unnecessary expectations on yourself to lose weight; be more kind; patient; productive; wealthy; friendly; or whatever adjectives best describe your list(s). Pick one word that sums up all and go with it.

JOY

As abovementioned, my one word for the year 2017 and every year henceforth is joy. That is because I have experienced the varying degrees of living life without it versus living with it. So as for me and my soul, it craves it! Yearns it! Desires it! Aspires to achieve it! Reason being is because with having JOY, nothing else ever really matters! I know when things get hard, they get really hard. I understand that when it rains, it pours. I have seen those moments where the glass was less than half empty. Trust me, I know hardship and struggle. They go hand and hand minus the empathy to lend a hand or any assistance. They are the peas no one wants in their pod. But what they desire to accomplish, after all their tenacity and dedication is to steal the joy that is safely tucked away in my alabaster box. With of course to no avail! How can they? When the only end – no matter the means they attempt – is that sense of knowing, deep inside, that I AM OKAY.

Posted in Daily Posts

BE YE TRANSFORMED…

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

The transformation by the Renewal of my mind occurred several years ago – prior to that- I looked at life as something that was happening TO me instead of FOR me. Growing up I was taught that conforming was a form of obedience; to always do as I was told. My mom used to utter “do as I say not as I do.”  Took a lot of practice, though. The Golden Rule is one that teaches us that we ought to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. A little easier said than done, isn’t it? In my minds eyes, I was being mindful of that. But perplexed as to why God still was not working for me in my life.

I then realized that it was not God who wasn’t working in my life, it was me who was not allowing Him to work in mine. With that came the understanding that being IN the world but not OF the world may be a better bet. I tripped, I stumbled, I fell, repeat – a plethora of times. Until one day it finally occurred to me that if I wanted a different result in life, I must do something I’ve never done. One thing I’ve never done prior was allowing a change of MY perspective. The status quo was all I’ve ever known to be true or so I thought. As if I was a resident of Plato’s Allegory of the Caves. Like one of those members living in a cave, I only knew what was familiar to ME and considered IT to be what was TRUE for me. It was in this manner that everything I knew to be true for me must be truth for everyone else. This form of cognition remained until I decided that I must learn to be open and to allow the perspectives others to enter in. This became an outlet to what became new and infinite possibilities.

The more perspectives there are of a thing, the more I have access to the infinite possibilities of that thing. This transformation was an epiphany for me. I suddenly acquired this blessing by simply changing my perspectives. Not to say that I wasn’t staying true to myself (whatever that means) but also was no longer conforming. In this way, changing my thinking (opinions, beliefs, philosophies, etc.) or anything that confined me to believing solely in terms of external power. Our powers are within. One cannot, and I understand now how I could not evolve beyond my own finite level of understanding until I gained a new perspective. That is when I truly saw my life begin to change.

The Battle is the LORD’S

He tried to ruin me.

He tried to take what was mine.

He tried to break me.

Break my stride and all that is inside.

He tried to rob me of my dignity.

But that is still mine.

He cannot take away my self-respect.

The devil is a lie!

He tried to Pillage me of the very things that were of value to me.

Took me and the little babies and threw us on the street.

I do not wish to take revenge, Karma is so sweet.

This crime is God’s to avenge.

I shall lay in waiting. With my head upon my pillow I anticipate…

“Time conquers all or all is conquered in time.”

He tried to rob me of my dreams, hopes, goals.

Of everything belonging to me.

Tried to pillage my very soul of everything it desires to be.

The battle is mine sayeth the LORD.

The battle is MINE.