being real

You hear about reality all the time.  Most of the time it is not REALLY talking about reality in any way.  There are reality TV shows that have absolutely nothing to do with reality.  The people that are portrayed by the media in politics are seldom if ever truly real but then you know that.  People are not who they say they are, they put on a show, they fake others out, they cheat, they lie as much as possible, or maybe the show itself is all a fake with “real” “actors” involved (isn’t that an oxymoron?).  At any rate, what people are looking for is NOT truly reality.  They are looking for entertainment.  And that is what they are given.  The plots, the tricks, the alliances, the drama is mostly if not totally NOT real.  Of course… this is MY opinion.  I’m certain that someone would take issue with this.

On the other hand, in the soul of each person there is the need for seeing reality in others.  We look for people that are honest, forthright, caring, happy but not fake-ish, and just basically real.  The best musicians are those that are real with their public.  Those that have experienced life are those that can place the feeling down deep into the music.  That is what makes it speak to you down deep in your soul.  The best preachers, the best teachers, the best people as a whole are those that can relate to you.  Those that you can relate to.  Those that can communicate that they too have had to deal with life in a way that shows they understand what I or you are dealing with.  Empathy if you will.

When you hear that love song.  The one that makes you wonder how that person singing knows how you really feel even when you thought you were the only one that had ever felt quite like this.  It certainly is astonishing.  Amazing to the extent that we live is such a self created, small, minuscule, minute realm to believe that what we feel has so seldom been felt by anyone else and then we hear this song or read a poem or see a sign that says just exactly what we feel.  How did they know.

Yes… its true that you can be fooled.  We all can.  But the search exists and goes on.  The desire to have a relationship with someone that is being truthful with you, being honest, being real is at the heart of the desire for connection.  While it may seem satisfying when someone lies to you even if for a while, the truth is that the reality will eventually show its ugly face and you are forced to deal with the unpleasantness of coming face to face with REALITY.  The REAL person.  Even if that liar is yourself.

Finding real people is much more difficult than it may seem.  It is my opinion that this is not always due to that person in question trying to fool anyone.  I think that, more often than not, it is caused by that person’s lack of knowing themselves.  They have attempted to be someone they are not for so long that they don’t even realize that they are faking themselves into believing that they are something they really are not.  It could be because they want to be something they are not but it is more likely that they are trying to meet some perceived expectation of someone else.

Trying to please someone else by the way you live your life does not work for anyone.  It can appear to do so but in true reality, since that is what we are talking about here, it never will satisfy.  Not the individual living to satisfy someone else nor the person they are trying to satisfy.  Why…  because it isn’t real.  Fake is always fake.  Even if it takes a really close look to tell.  It is still fake.  You can tell a fake smile.  At least most of the time.  You can feel when that person asking you how you are really means it.  And you can tell when they don’t too.

As for myself, I want to deal with people that I can know are being real with me.  It doesn’t matter if they don’t like me so long as they are honest about it.  I can deal with that.  I like it much better if they do like me but knowing the truth does indeed set you free.  It allows you to be cognizant of the reality of the situation whether bad or good.   Hopefully good.

What this really boils down to is trust.  You can’t trust fake.  You can’t trust a lie or liars and they come in so many forms, colors, shapes, sizes, etc…  Whether the lie/fake is a purse, a watch, a pair of jeans, or a person… fake is fake.  When the object or person in question is real it is so much better.  Even if the reality is that it is old or broken or hurtful.  Even if it does not measure up to what you wanted it is so much easier to accept when it is real.  Adjustments can be made in expectations.  Acceptance can be fairly measured.  Truth survives.

Fake, fakes, lies, liars, will all be revealed eventually.  Truth reigns supreme.  Truth lives on.  Truth is real.  Real is truth.  Simple I know.  But simple is not always easy is it.

Be who you are.  Really.  Be real.

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Conscious and unconscious “do”ing

Sometimes we “try” to do, think or be a certain way.

Its been said that you can do anything you think you can do.  I will take issue with that in a minute but let it be said that I do believe that you can do anything you set your mind to do if it doesn’t violate physics.  Now I’m not implying that you can not fly or that you can’t slow down light or move a mountain if you choose and have the materials and money and etc…. to do it.  On top of that, what we “know” as being physics may not be all there is to it.  No-one has all the answers.  Not you.  Not me.  Not even Steven Hawking (Quantum Physics Expert) though he may come close.  Actually, when he has found all the answers a new question will arise to throw it all out of sorts, right?

So what exactly do I mean?

This really has to do with how we think.  Not just from an intellectual frame of mind but rather at the very base level of our being.  What we think about when we are conscious is not really all that is going on is it?  If it were, why would we “react” the way we do?  Things that have happened long ago in our own experiences effect how we think and what we do.  It is a subconscious issue.  Childhood experiences, relationships, and outside influences have all placed their mark on our lives to the extent that we react rather than respond.  Even attempting to combat this by intentionally thinking consciously about our actions and reactions to each individual event in our lives often fails miserably.  Not because we are not capable of making the proper choices but rather because we have been programed as it were over the course of our life.

This is the difference between conscious and unconscious doing.  Conscious doing requires conscious thought.  The resultant action may or may not be completely conscious.  You may be able to control what you do but it is a far different thing concerning how you feel about what you are doing.  You can choose to smile through a situation that inside is causing you great anguish.  The unconscious doing is that your stomach is churning, your blood pressure is rising, hateful thoughts come into play, you may start to perspire or get sick to your stomach, your head may ache, there is that common fight or flight feeling that has to be dealt with at that moment, and a variety of other uncomfortable and very uncontrollable issues could come into play.  You have chosen to act against what you truly feel and believe deep within yourself.

Changing how you think takes a great deal of work.  It can be done but it is NEVER easy and it is a “one step at a time” tedious task to say the least.  Life changing experiences can help make changes.  Maturity often causes changes where a response becomes dictatorial over a reaction.

Experience is a good teacher so long as the student is willing to learn.  Ah yes…  That willing to learn portion.  Difficult isn’t it?

Def:  Insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. (I know this is only one definition)

So many times I have seen this in others.  It is much more difficult to see your own faults.  Yes… I’ve done this too.  At least till I got tired of it.  You too I’m sure.  Still, as we grow older we start to figure out at least some of the things we have been doing wrong all along.  Learning from mistakes is what it takes to gain wisdom.  Show me a wise man and I will show you a man that has made many mistakes.  (and learned from them)

Life exists to a large extent through unconscious doing.  Conscious doing is what generates advancement via learning.

Be a human-being.  Not a human-doing.

Be, be, be the ball.  🙂

But I digress.

Have a great day.

boxes in the way

So much, so fast, so many people, so little time, so much information, so much to do, so many places to go and things to do and people to see and places to see and…. SOOO MUCH….

Our world moves fast.  It seems that it moves faster each day.  Each day brings new technology and new ways to communicate.  Better and faster ways to keep others informed about our lives.  We email, Facebook, Tweet, Link in, phone, text, and find other ways to keep in touch.  We watch news, have our RSS feeds, listen to the radio (old school I know) watch TV, Movies, online, on our iPad or iPhone, take pictures of ourselves, edit them on line, store them in the cloud, send them in messages or in our email or just post them to Flicker or some other location and send out a link.  We anxiously await the next text.  If we haven’t gotten an update on a friend’s page we call or tweet or txt to see if they are still alive.  Our phone is our watch, our calendar, our video device, our mode of communication.  Our entire lives are stored there.

We go out to eat, go to the Mall, go to the grocery store, Block Buster, Red Box, Wall Mart, Macy’s, etc…  We shop, we eat, we run, we swim, we hike, bike, walk the track, get a latte’, read our ebook, surf, download, upload, and on and on and on.

So many things.

A good friend of mine said it best the other day.  We are human-doings.  Not human-beings.

When was the last time you sat and just thought.  Scary I know.  But we have become a people of human-doings  doing and doing till there is no time left to “do” anything else so we go to sleep so that we can get up and do some more tomorrow.

Is this what you were meant to be?  How can you BE anything if you fill your life so full of doing that there is no room to BE?  How can you truly focus on anything until you have focused on yourself to see what is really there?

It is time to move some of the boxes out of the way.  It is time for you to choose to say “NO… I’m NOT going to check that text.  No, I’m not going to answer that call.  I’m not going to read that email, watch that program, listen to this or that.”  You have let too many “things” get in the way of you being.  Its time to prioritize, organize, and even eliminate some things that are taking you away from “being” and making you a “doing”

Yes…  Wake UP and smell the coffee.  Stop and smell the roses.  Get rid of the clutter in your life and become a being again and just BE once in a while.

Perceptions

Where to begin.

You may not think this to be a deep or massive subject.  Or maybe you do understand this to be the case.  I’m not sure.  Either way, I’m going to try to begin to scratch the surface on what I believe to be the end all to total chaos… Perceptions.

This goes to every level of the being.  Everything from what we have “learned” as a child to what we “learn” as adults.  I put those “learn” words in quotes for a reason.  What we supposedly “learn” may not really have any significance at all.  It all has to do with what we perceive that is what we believe to be true.  At least for our own lives.

Even such things as “culture” or what culture we have grown up or lived in is still a perception or has its own perceptions that have been created.  Not necessarily correctly.  Just that they are a part of our understanding of how things are.  In actuality they are really NOT!

Why is it that we perceive everyone to understand things the way we do?  Why is it that we perceive that others should or do believe or feel or live the same as you or I.  Do they have the same history?  Did they grow up with the same values?  Did they get up this morning with a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet, food in their belly, love in their hearts, family gathered round or nearby?  Do they have money in the bank, a dog to call their own (insert pet of your choice if you don’t like the dog comment)?  Do they have the same religion or any religion at all?  Did they grow up in or are they living in a free society?  Do they have running water or dependable electricity?  Do they have health care or do they have insurance or have they even ever seen a doctor in their life?

We tend to perceive everyone from our own perspective believing somehow that they should understand everything that we do the way we do just as we do.  While this may be a normal thing, it is not right.  I hesitate on that word because “right” or “wrong” is also a perception in many things (if not most).  Still, it is a misconception to think that others see things the way we do at any given point.

I have written about this in other posts to some extent.  It still breathes in my very being.  To understand perceptions is a feat of untold difficulty.  It is a challenge greater than most in that it requires one to be sensitive to a level of understanding that few have ever even taken a glance.  Maybe because it requires a level of thought much deeper than the individual can fathom.  I’m not sure.  I know I try in as many ways as I can but I fall short of my own expectations so often on this that I dare not expect this of others.  A plethora of books have been written.  A multitude of people have studied the intricacies of the human Ego.  Much has been said.  Much has been done.  Very little knowledge has truly been attained.  Maybe its not that so little has been attained as it is that the subject is so vast.

How do you teach one to be perceptive of others perceptions?  How do you encourage someone to be mindful of others needs, feelings, history, thoughts, and/or other factors.  We can only imagine.  We have not yet begun to be able to read a mind or thoughts.   Is it possible to gather enough information in a brief moment to evaluate the perceptions of the other person enough to credibly understand what they are perceiving of us?

We perceive that the person that cut us off in traffic is a bad driver or rude.  Is this true?  Is it possible that they got up on the wrong side of the bed (so to speak)?  Is it possible that they are late and are in danger of loosing the only source of income they may have to pay their bills?  Is it because they just learned that someone they love is dying and their mind is not focused on driving?  Is it possible that they have their child in the back seat that they are headed to the doctor?  Yes, it’s possible.  It is also possible that they are a bad driver and ARE rude.  Actually, in this society, it is much more likely to be the first but it is still possible for the other.

So

Why do you think the person behind the counter gave you the wrong change?  Why do you think your food order got mixed up?  Why DID that person cut you off?  Why were you hung up on?  Why are people lazy at work?  Why do other nations hate the US?  Do they really hate the US?  If so, why are they trying so hard to come here?  Why does this person or that person believe the way they do?  Why is it that others believe differently than you? (or I)  What makes you think that everyone else has the same education as you, the same mental capacity as you, the same financial situation, love relationships, family relationships, or even a similar belief system in any capacity as you or me?

Perceptions.

the deep cut of angry words

Political correctness has changed the face of America and even the world at large.  Words have always been important but today simple wording can cause much difficulty and great struggle if you happen to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit (which I am not).  You don’t call people old.  They are chronologically gifted (or challenged).  A man is not bald, he is comb free.  (for the expanded list go to: http://www.bored.com/pcphrases/ and have some fun (or rather – waste some time).  Even at an “elder” age people find themselves making a blunder or two.  We are not perfect creatures (at least not most of us) and we can get mad just as easily or even faster than younger more agile individuals and sometimes its simply nothing more than something is hurting more today than it did yesterday that causes the initial irritation.

As a side-bar to all of this…  I feel the older a person is the more leeway they should be given to say whatever is on their mind.  They have earned the right.  (IMHO)     They have endured more, experienced more, lived longer, have given more to society, have more aches and pains, lived through trials and tribulations that most of us will never see, didn’t have all that young people have today, and have had to put up with the younger generation to this point.  That should earn them some respect as well as a bit more understanding.

What I’m alluding to is that I have gotten mad, fed up, frustrated, indignant, or otherwise upset at things from time to time (even not too long ago) that has caused me to get to a point or level of emotional lack of self control that I spouted off in some way that unfortunately the offending individual was able to hear.  This doesn’t happen to me very often.  I have a better than average ability to control myself where verbal or physical restraint is concerned.  I have friends that can confirm this fact.  I’ve been burned enough times in my younger days to have learned the art of keeping my mouth shut in precarious situations.  My father used to say “his/her mouth was in motion before his/her mind was in gear.”

I’ve told the story before (also learned from dear ole dad) about the fly that landed on a buffet table, bellied up to the plate of bologna and ate to his hearts content till he was so fat that he couldn’t fly off the table.  With what he thought was a brilliant idea, he climbed up onto a spoon that had its handle hanging off the edge of the table.  He thought to himself: “if I can just get up enough speed I will be able to fly.”  So he slid down the handle of the spoon gaining more and more speed as he went.  Off the end of the spoon he went and flapped as hard as he could.  The next thing that happened was an awful thud as he hit the floor and thus was the end of that fly.  The moral of the story:  When you are full of bologna, don’t fly off the handle!

Words can hurt.  When they hurt, they usually hurt badly.  Almost like a jagged knife that is rusty and hasn’t been washed in years.  The knife of hasty and harshly spoken words can be sharp enough to make a deep gash in the spirit of the person on the receiving end.  Poisonous festering occurs as the words now spoken can not be retrieved and the poison is now deep in the gash infiltrating the spirit of the offended.

It is not always intended.  In fact, hasty hurtful words are seldom intended.  They are spoken out of frustration.  They are spoken out of pain.  Sometimes because of physical pain.  Sometimes because of emotional or spiritual or mental pain.  It can be a combination of or even include every aspect of what was just mentioned.  In any event, it is an attempt to let off the built up, stored up steam caused by the boiling of feelings and emotions.  That steam can hurt too.  So… maybe that is another way of looking at this.  Instead of a jagged knife maybe it should be looked at as a burning as if by steam (which I understand to be very hot and hurtful).  Done in the “heat of the moment.”

No matter which way you look at it scars are formed.  Some burns or cuts are superficial and can easily be ignored and eventually have no effect.   Some can be deep and can last a lifetime even to the point that they never truly heal in the deepest recesses.  The surface may have healed over and a scar may show but the depth of the hurt may still be open or in pain.

Those that experience this (and I think we all do) find that those things never leave us.  They cause us to shield and protect the hurt areas of our lives.  We build fences or even walls around ourselves to protect that vulnerability.  The deeper the hurt, the higher the wall.  Sometimes we even fortify that wall so that any potential hurt is shunned, warded off, and even eliminated if it (an offender) gets too close.

The people that are usually able to hurt you the most are the ones are the ones that you are closest to.  This does NOT erase the fact that others can hurt people very easily.  Some of it may be because of past hurts or possibly that person’s own insecurities.  Still, it is up to us to be aware of what we say and how we say it at ALL times.  The fact that someone else may have a “thin skin” so to speak does not give us the right to fling hurtful comments at will.

I am familiar with people that have a taught tendency to “slam” others regularly.  They often say that this is  “just my way” talking of their own way of having been brought up.  They may have a similitude of a thick skin but that does not mean that it really is.  Some words along with innuendos can still have a lasting hurtful effect.  Sometimes that effect doesn’t always show itself the same way or even early.  Often it is much later in life before the preponderance of the weight of all of the critical words take their toll.

The concept of “you are what you think you are” comes into play at an early age.  If a child is told he or she is stupid by someone who’s position or status they respect can cause an unending life of trouble for that child.  Building and supporting and encouraging words to children are much more effective in creating that life of happiness, contentment, productive, fulfilled and an enriched life.  It is never too late to start if this has been a problem of your past.

What you say and how you say it means a lot.  You could say “when I look at you time stands still” or you could say “your face can stop a clock.”   Both say exactly the same thing but have entirely different meanings.  Timing is also important.  Many a teen has been distressed and embarrassed by their parent by some seemingly innocent words spoken at the inappropriate time.

Kindness will trump harshness every time.  That is not to say that being stern is not necessary.  Only that you much choose your words carefully.  Even a harsh word spoken with the intent of love will reap rewards.

All of this has been written to say this…  I have found it best to say what you mean and mean what you say.  Be careful of what you say, how you say what you say, when you say it and who you say it to.

the box we leave

Each of us lives our life building a small box that will ultimately be left behind.

This box is one we build even if we don’t want to.  It is our legacy.  It is our history.  It is what others have experienced and have seen in us.  It is the memory of who we were, what we did, what we accomplished, how we treated others, how we fell short of others expectations, how we fell short of our own expectations, what dreams we accomplished and what dreams never really made it.

At my employment we have started something we call a “Legacy Document.”  This is supposed to be a folder of information related to our position that gives specific data to whomever might have need to follow one of us into the “line of fire” (so to speak).  It is a road map of information that we leave at the location.

Many of you make some plans for others concerning your finances.  You call it a “Will.”  It is also a road map of information that you choose to send on to those that matter in your life.  Great pains are taken to either provide for your final wishes, provide finances for a spouse or children or grand children or the like.  Some have even gone so far as to provide for a pet.  Some leave it all to charity.  At any rate, this is a document that is supposed to outline what should be done with what was left of your estate.

These types of legacies are good.  But they are not our true legacy.

The legacy “box” is the one that matters.

You will be remembered.  That is, by someone.  Maybe not many.  Maybe just a very few.  But someone, somewhere will remember you.

Your legacy box is your effect, your true estate as it were, that you leave to ALL that come after.  It tells the tail of who you were seen to be by others.  Not always who you really were.  Just what was seen by others.

What does your legacy box look like?

Did you help others or think only of yourself?  Did you care or were you “care-less?”  Did you have a positive impact on someone’s life or were you the one that caused others to fall?  What would someone say about your character?  Did you have any?  Were you honest or a liar?  Did you obey the law or skirt it at every chance?  Were you a “good” person?  Did you play by the rules or cheat the system at every opportunity?  What was your example to your children?  Did you speed in and out of traffic?  Were you a courteous person or show others that they didn’t really matter?  Did you respect others and their rights?  Did you give to the needy or hoard for yourself?  Did you give of your time or spend it all on yourself?

My father’s legacy is great.  He had an effect on many lives throughout his own.  He was involved in the creation of two private schools.  As the pastor of a church he made a impact on many a life on a regular basis.  He taught good to all.  He lived as he believed.  He stood for what he believed.  He walked the walk as much as he talked the talk.   This is and was a rare thing.  Many people respected him and his name is respected to this day and the effect he had on people’s lives will continue for generations.  Though I will never be able to say that I have accomplished as much or even come close to the impact of his life, I think the greatest thing he did for me was in the values and respect and teachings that he gave to me.  In effect, he is in me and lives on.  Not just in me but in my brothers, my sister, his and my mother’s grand children, and the many other lives his life touched.  I can only hope that the life I live will touch even a few to that level.

I am on “LinkedIn” which is a social site for business.  The question was recently asked if integrity was a thing of the past?  Maybe not those words but something very close.  I also recently posted on my twitter account that my father had once called me skeptical.  I also wrote that I felt he was correct.   I responded to the LinkedIn question with my thoughts that I was somewhat “up in the air” on this matter.  That I felt that balance was a force that is always in check in every society and every age.

I now have changed my mind.

This may be very disheartening for some but I have become more skeptical than ever.  I still believe that balance may still be true, but I lean more toward the pendulum theory now.  And it is also unfortunate, but I feel we have swung way too far to the side of selfishness as a whole.  At least here in the US.

I see a fat society.  Fat in many ways.  Not just actual weight (2 out of 3 Americans are overweight).  Fat in the belief that the individual should have everything they want.  They should strive to achieve anything they want and should feel no remorse for those they step on in the process or who they have to leave behind in order for themselves to be “happy.”  (the “happy” box is another box all together)  The word is “entitlement.”    It seems to be taking over.  No-longer do people think they should have to earn what they get.  They feel they deserve it.  No matter that it cost someone something.  They should have it.  On credit if necessary.  And who really cares if the bad ole credit card company (the bank) goes bust because they gave out credit that should not have been given in the first place.  Someone somewhere made the money and “I” should have it.  “I’m entitled” so they think.

Yes.  I’m a skeptic.

The scam artists are everywhere.  They have been around for a long long time.  It is a fact of our everyday lives.  “Buy this because it will make you beautiful or sexy or make you feel good.”  “Do this or that to make yourself look or feel more important.”  “Watch out for this, we can protect you.”  They show pretty pictures of what you want to think you would look like because it sells their product so they can make more money.  They tell you this lie or that lie to make you want to vote for them so they can have the “power” to make the laws that benefit the ones that put them into office so that they can steal even more of our money.  Not so that YOU will benefit in anything.  It is so that THEY will benefit.

Politicians, doctors, lawyers, policemen, firemen, teachers, clerks, technicians, car salesmen, businessmen, anyone and everyone, even the clergy seem to have some hidden agenda.   Usually to take your money, your power, or your dignity.  Cynical isn’t it?  Do you ever really listen to the hype, the sales talk, the propaganda and innuendos behind what is being heard with your ears?  Do the words being spoken ever send a deep chill as if saying “THIS IS NOT RIGHT”?

Yes… I’m a skeptic.

Today I was able to speak with a good friend about this topic.  Some question about whether people know what they are doing was brought up.  His statement had to do with the fact that “Jesus” knew that people didn’t even know what they were doing based on the quote “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”  I have some thoughts on that as well.

Do we know what we are doing?  I think yes.  While we may not know all of the ramifications surrounding what is being done, there is still that “still small voice” crying out from deep inside telling us that what we are choosing is either right or wrong.  We “KNOW” if it is right and we know if it is wrong.  What our decision is may be based totally on unrealistic principles but that decision still weighs on us either way.  OK  I’ll give a little leeway.  There are times when we really do NOT know what we are doing and do the wrong thing simply out of ignorance.  But where it effects truth?  You and I both know that you know when you are telling a lie.  You know when you are stealing.  You know when you are telling something about someone that you know is not true.  You know when you are intentionally cheating a person or a company or a business or the government.  You know when you are breaking a law intentionally.

Doing the wrong thing…  there is a cost to that.  One quotation that I am familiar with says:  The wrong thing…. “it will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”  Doing the wrong thing, even with good intentions, often costs much more in the long run.  Almost always does.  Doing what is right may cost.  But it seldom costs as much.  And how far reaching does it wind up?  There was once a commercial that was directed at the cigarette industry.  It was a man, seemingly healthy, tall and strong, sitting next to a tree enjoying his smoke.  The camera turns as he lays his pack of cigarettes down.  Sitting next to him is a young boy of about 3 or 4.  The boy picks up the pack of cigarettes and starts looking inside.  The message (if you didn’t already guess) is that what we do ALWAYS has an effect.  Not just on us but on those around us.  Often without our thought it is happening.  What your children see and hear you do is what they learn to do.  Not what you tell them to do.  What you do.

I am amazed at how often I can go to a restaurant or place of business and see children seemingly totally on their own doing what ever they choose to do.  They make noise, steal, break, and run rampant with out any regard by the “attending” adult.  I am astounded at the total disregard for life while on the road.  Not just by young drivers either.  The “ADULTS” drive like maniacs.  That one or two extra minutes that they save by cutting someone off to get in front of that one more car….  Do they really think they are saving that much time?  Does getting there one more minute or even 10 minutes earlier make any real difference?  Wouldn’t they have been much better served to have just left that length of time earlier themselves instead of teaching their own children this method of highway madness?  You know the ones.  Those that run down the side of a long line of people to jump in front because “they are too important to wait like everyone else” kind of people.  But I digress.

It equates to disrespect.  It equates to selfishness.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So… back to the original question…   What does your “legacy” box look like?  What are you leaving for others to see?  How will they think of you when you are gone?

The one thing I would like to impress on your life is this…  Truth never fails.  Never!

is your box a prison?

So you’ve had time to think.  You’ve forgotten the box for a while.  Now it is time to think just a bit ABOUT that box.

This is the beginning of what I hope will lead to a long list of posts. If this is of interest to you I hope you will do me the honor of making some comment later on. I say this because it is my goal to share some of what I call sight that I have with those that have that desire to see a bit deeper into themselves. It is also my goal to assist others to heal in ways that I have been allowed to heal over the past couple of years.

It has actually taken quite a bit of time. Not just the couple of years I have most recently spent healing. It has also taken some tearing down to begin the rebuilding process and that will be shared as well. Maybe not in this post but if there is interest I will share as I see the need.

Most of my blogs are in response to some sort of trigger. That can be someone close to me or a statement I’ve read. It can be a column in a trade magazine or a blog I’ve read. It may be a news report, something someone said while I’m on the job or off, or any number of things that can cause some trigger to be pulled, button to be pushed, or influence to be gained that causes me to have the creative (writing) juices flow.

The term “Box” as it relates to our lives has been around for quite some time. The idea regarding how to write about the box has been whirling around in my head for years. I’ve discussed it with a number of people and would now like to begin putting into writing what my thoughts have been as well as much of what I have learned from others about this box we call life.

Lets begin with just this small idea today.  That our life is a box.  One WE build even if with some help from others.

As an adult I still remember many of my visits to my grandmother’s house.  One of the more pleasurable experiences at my grandma’s house was that just down the small dirt road in back of her house there was the back of a building that was the rear of a storefront.  That storefront sold appliances.  OK… I can see I’ve got your interests (NOT).  Never fear, more coming.

This appliance store often threw out some very large boxes which a refrigerator or dryer might come in.  I absolutely loved it.  I would drag one of those discarded boxes back to my grandma’s house and go in her kitchen and pull out one of her old kitchen knives and start whacking away at my “fort.”  I would cut a door and windows and crawl inside and find refuge from the outside world.  I was in my own world.  That simple box would become my world for the afternoon or at least till I became hungry.  The only one that really hated this was my uncle who would wind up having to drag what used to be a box out to the trash when we left.

I was fortunate to be able to share some of this experience with my daughters later in my life.  They were staying with me overnight after my divorce.  We had a rather large box that I can’t remember where it came from, but I began telling them about this aspect of my life and we started cutting away at this box.  I started by cutting out the door.  That was all it took.  The girls all started making this box into a small palace for the youngest of the three girls.  They cut windows and then even made embellishments that I would never have thought of as a child myself.  They took crayons and drew flowers in a window box.   They drew window panes and door knobs.  They drew siding and part of a roof and grass and even what was supposed to be a kitten on the side.  Much more elaborate than my forts that I was sooo proud of way back when.  My youngest daughter slept in it that night on pillows and a blanket.  She thought it was great.

Most of us are OCD where it concerns our box.  We hide in it.  We feel some form of comfort in it.  Some of us have larger boxes that others.  None of us seems to feel our box is big enough.  We play in it, dream in it, eat, drink, sleep, and basically live out our entire lives IN our box.  Our box is our life.  It states who we are and what we think of ourselves.  Or so we think.

So… we paint it and keep it shinny for all to see (from the outside).  Keep it clean and pristine (on the outside).  We go to great lengths to exhibit what we think we want others to think about us.  What we think others see.  What we see others see of us (that one is a bit more difficult to understand but try).  It is a facade of the brick and mortar of what we would like to think others know of us.

What we build is our own little prison for ourselves.  As we get older one of two things will happen.  Most will enlarge that box.  Re-decorate and renew old walls.  Change the walls to something we like better.  Something we think is prettier or grander than what we had.  This is a method of making our cell larger and yet stronger.  We become well fortified, secure, and helpless at the same time.

Others seem to try to force their way in.  We allow only a few inside our walls and keep certain rooms locked or even boarded up so that others can not penetrate that room where we have hidden some of our most precious secrets or possibly regrets.  Some of us even seal up the room of secrets so tight that we ourselves can not enter for fear that what is inside my eat us up.  And THAT room seems to grow of it’s own accord.  So we make our prison larger.  More rooms to hide in.  More rooms to find solace.  We might even try to trust someone with some of our house to have shared rooms where the comfort level can increase.

There is a certain amount of camaraderie  with other prisoners.  There is a prison yard where we all gather to talk about our cells and about other inmates.  About what we’re in for and how we are innocent.  No-body really believes it though.  Even in our own selves we know that everyone is guilty as charged.

That was one way.  A way in which MOST people live.  Even if they don’t even recognize that they are in their prison box.

The other box is so much more.  So much better.

It is a box where the prison walls have been found to have cracks.  Those cracks have been expanded and the walls torn down.  Where openness and freedom abound.  The wide open space of freedom from the box.  We know the box exists and remnants may still exist.  A room or two may still be in our prison that we have yet to tear down but we are trying.  This is a place of openness to the things around us that we don’t even understand.  Things that we may have rejected in the past are at least visible.  Things that we held on to with all our might we have let go.  Sometimes these things were hurts.  Sometimes they STILL hurt.  But we do our best to let them go as we really understand that we have no control over them.  They exist but do not control us.

There is freedom to be had.  There is openness to share.  There is light that shines here constantly and abundantly.  It is a beautiful place indeed.  Peace is here.  Contentment is here.  Love is here.  Shadows of love exist in the prison but the true light of real love abounds here in the open.  Outside the box.  But in order to get here you have to let go and stop building the walls that confine you.  You have to break free of these same walls you have built around yourself.

Maybe more next time.  Let me know if you want to see more of this.