A Change of Heart

heart-305856_960_720We can believe anything into existence,

even if it only exists within our minds.

This goes for all things, “good” and/or “evil.”

But know this, if I am not acting in an evil manner,

treating someone evil or with evil intent,

or doing something evil or with evil intent,

I will not tolerate any person’s judgment

that I or what I do, am/is evil. Period.

Please do not waste your time.

Especially if you believe there is a God,

whose job that is supposed to be.

Trust me, the ones you think you need to help,

by “reaching out” or “spreading the word,”

are the ones who would never listen

to someone self-righteous enough

to condone or excuse away the behavior of judging.

You may get a like-minded Amen or Hallelujah,

but I don’t believe you will get a change of Heart.

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To Whom We Matter

My life Matters.
My life matters, when I spend time with those it matter to; it’a as simple and as complicated as that. Which is why, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter” is such a powerful and amazing quote. We all matter, that should not be up for debate, even if it sadly is. Please my friends, stop asking why or if you matter! You do. And if you feel as though you don’t, I believe one of two things has happened: you have either, isolated yourself away from those to whom you matter (even if you did not intend to,) or you have chosen to spend time with people who do not value you enough. “Where there is a will there is a way” etc. etc.

I find when I spend time with people that value me deeply (not superficially e.g. “poof, what-do-ya-need”,) those that see me as a recognized, respected, and important part of life, I suddenly feel as though life has meaning and purpose, and I understand or at least begin to understand, why I am here. However, when I waste my time around people who suck my energy, who want things from me but don’t actually value me, I feel depleted, vulnerable, and often useless. When I spend time around people who think so little of me that they hurt me to boast themselves, or use me (or any part of me, including my flaws) as a means to boost their own self-worth and/or jump start their own success; I suddenly or slowly begin to feel as though I am not important or valuable. That may seem silly spelled out and worded that way, but it is not silly, it is real. So often we give OF ourselves so much, and that is beautiful, we care, and that is important. However, we also Need. And that is also beautiful and important, it is human. I personally have been afraid to need, because I think it makes me appear weak, or less-than, or not good enough, etc.  Or because I’m afraid if I have a need I can’t meet within myself, then I will be left feeling empty. I fail to see how essential it is to life, because of my fear.

Need is what facilitates and necessitates relationship. By needing other people and people needing us, it creates a drive to seek out companionship and communion. As important as that is, it is equally important to ensure that the communion is one that is healthy and life giving to all those affected by it. So please ask yourself and assess yourself; look at your relationships (or lack there of.) Are you choosing to spend time around people that you love, admire, care about, and/or respect? If not, do them and yourself a favor, disengage from those that you do not, and re-engage with those who you do, otherwise you could be hurting them as much as they are hurting you… On the flip side, how much of your time do you spend with people that value you (your body, your personality, and your mind/thoughts?) Who care for you, respect you, love you?  This does not mean perfect behavior, behavior is a fickle thing… What it does mean is that the people who make up the majority of your time and life, view you with admiration, love, and/or respect, and have a desire to see you happy and healthy, and are willing to help you achieve it. Love and all those beautiful words that we associate with it, is not perfect, but it should at least be intentional.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up when you are down, encourage you when you need it, push you when you need a boost or a kick in the rear; but more than anything spend time with those that unconditionally see your value, truly, and who never question (or allow you to question) it’s worth. This is usually easier said than done, I know this, but that is why I say it… So that any person out there who is struggling with self-esteem or issues with self worth, might stumble upon it and start on a path toward discovering and cherishing who they are, maybe begin to practice these means of holding on to their value by seeking out people who empower them, and then maybe/hopefully they can grow in their potential for love and hope.
We are ALL Valuable, find and cherish those that know your worth!

Be Kind

So. Many. People. are being mean to each other right now, because of the Vegas tragedy..? I get it, we are frustrated, scared, and feel helpless, those things make us edgy and desperate for solutions. So people are lashing out when they see the problem and solution differently. However, I wish we could pleeeease as a nation stop the hateful banter and just for one moment only post and comment loving peaceful words, or, say nothin at all…

My soul aches over this tragedy, such sadness and loss 😦 One thing we should all be able to agree on, is that kindness is never a bad choice.

Be Kind.

Emotional Labor

There are many small examples of where the work I normally do must be lauded when transferred to my husband. It seems like a small annoyance, but its significance looms larger”  ~Gemma Hartley

Harper Bazaar: Emotional Labor by Gemma Hartley.              The unpaid job men still don’t understand.

This article really touches on an important and overlooked issue. An issue that if properly addressed instead of attacked, could really help relationships (those applicable) achieve more peace. The Author’s explanations and insight are on point, and I love that she does so with respect and understanding toward men (not to say she does so perfectly.) This is not about the character of men, It’s about women desperately needing and requesting a partnership with the men in their lives. Lets not make it a battle, and instead try to understand the needs of one another in their reality and not in ways that are self-serving and/or “easy.” Emotional labor is a very real and misunderdtood thing. Nag, Crazy, PMSing, bitchy, controlling, the famous hysterical, and more, are all words that women have been and are labeled with when they are simply no longer able to cope with doing too much on their own. Be her ally, try to understand, and work toward a true partnership, and I believe any good woman will do the same for you.

Our Bias Condition

No one is without bias however small the percentage may or may not be. And no one is perfect in the practice of their beliefs and views. What is important is that we continue to have the right to hold different and opposing beliefs and views, and continue to have the right to practice them. This is what motivated my recent thoughts.

With all beliefs whether spirtual, political, or religious etc. There are extremists who tend to make others who practice those same ideas look bad. Those actions are also almost always used either out of context or in a negative way against opposing sides (it’s just easy ammo.) Fear can make people think and do silly, stupid, and unreasonable things, this is not an excuse, but few if any are without fault.

As a country there are devisive actions and words happening on all sides. It’s  unfortunate, but fighting over who is the most bias or who is wrong, or who is prejudice, etc. just feeds into that cycle. Maybe it’s a cycle that can never be broken, maybe it’s just too engrained in our human nature, but I personally hope not.

I hope one day we will find a way to, as a whole, respectfully disagree, and then work toward a common ground. Realizing that we can never all think the same way, and that acceptance rather than conversion is the best way to stop division. Hey here’s to lofty dreams and stardust 🙂

Right and Respect

I don’t really have strong opinions on the take a knee deal, so please do not mistake my intentions here. However, it is everyone’s responses to it that frustrate and unnerve me.

Respect is apparently a relative word. Which clearly only means something to individuals when something someone else does fails to meet with their personal or political agenda. Respect seems like a good strong word to use, but it just sounds silly when people did not take the time or energy (with much more severe/important matters) to care about it until someone decided to quietly protest, now all the sudden respect matters…? This, people demonize, of all things we as a society disrespect constantly… this is what we find value in drawing attention to and standing against..?

I pesonally dont care about the NFL so maybe my opinion doesn’t matter, but to all the people who “are no longer gonna watch or support a team” oh well…  Some will stop watching because of it, and some will probably start watching because of it. We all should have rights (the same right) and ALL those human rights should be Respected. Let the person without sin cast the first stone.

The world is full of double standards, but two wrongs don’t make a right etc. So let me make it clear, I am not justifying or commending how the NFL itself is handling things, they definetly show double standards, no questions. I am however saying that a persons right to peaceful protest AND to freedom of speech AND all of their rights are much more important and signifigant than whether or not someone else likes it. Not liking someone acting on their rights does not make it disrespectful OR illegal.

Again, my frustration is with people saying that a quiet protest is disrespectful, just because they dont like it or view things the same. This post is not about supporting the cause of the person kneeling, I simply believe he has the right to do so. So many people choose extremely disruprive and disrespectful ways of protesting, and whether or not I believe in their cause, I don’t believe not standing for our anthem is one.

My Mother’s Shoes

My lesson on patience in the pursuit of purpose

imagesGod created me; my mind, particularities, and my capabilities. However it was my Mother’s influence and inspiration that formed me into the person I am today. Growing up I was taught I had gifts and that there was a purpose for my life. Yet despite that great message, I have still struggled for many years with knowing what I am meant to do with my life.

Recently I started a job that quite surprised me, not only because it is work that I didn’t think I could ever be good at, but also because I really enjoy it. It has caused an epiphany that I feel changing the course of my life into one of clarity and certainty. I am working with disabled seniors; sometimes doing simple things that help bring joy to their lives, and sometimes doing complex things that help them navigate some personal struggle. It was my Mother who showed me a perspective that honors and respects the elderly; she exposed me to environments that taught me the needs, fears, and feelings they posses but for which they all too often lack acknowledgment of and/or care for. My mother has worked with the aging and disabled since I can remember, and she is passionate about it. She can brilliantly connect with them in ways that astonish me. To watch her effortlessly navigated and cultivate these relationships is truly heart-warming.

Growing up I would so often have a desire to connect and help them in a similar way, but all too often I felt awkward and unsure. For the longest time I felt so unworthy as a daughter, I wanted so badly to be able to do what my mom did, but I just didn’t seem to have her gift. Sometimes I felt this admiration so strongly that I would brainstorm ways in which I could get through nursing school, despite my many inhibitions (I do not have the stomach for it.) I knew I had the compassion she had, that is so necessary it working with elderly and disabled people, I felt the pain of it constantly. Unfortunately even though I possessed this, along with a desire to make a difference in the same way as my mother, I still always felt that something vital was missing that kept it out of reach. I resolved myself to believe that I was simply inadequate to ever fill my mothers shoes.

What I have since learned and now know, is that the only thing I really lacked was confidence. In my young and not yet mature mind, I confused the correlation of my inexperience and individuality with adequacy. I thought if I lacked the gifts that my mother so profusely possessed, I could never be like her or make an impact the way she has. However, you do not need to be an exact replica of someone, in order to follow in their footsteps. The lessons my mother showed me, and the inner pull I felt to help and connect with people in the way she did was significant; I was just in too much of a hurry to see that my time and opportunity had not yet matured.  I did not see that I could honor the things my mother taught me to see, understand, and appreciate, and apply that influence in ways that fit my own personal strengths and skill set.align-cute-nurse-shoes-wh0517dis_health04By this epiphany I have learned a lot. Although it is important to examine who we are closely and believe that we all have a specific purpose, even when nothing seems clear; we also have to trust the instincts we inherit from people who impact us, because there is a reason you feel a connection to the mark they leave. Most of all, give yourself time to grow up, mature, and get a little life experience under your belt before expecting your purpose to fall in to place. Some people are born knowing what they want to do, some people’s vision is clear, but some of us need to be patient. We don’t have to fit a mold exactly to follow in someones footsteps. Instead of wishing to be someone you look up to, instead take the lessons and inspirations they raise in you and like ingredient in a recipe, apply them in ways you are good at, making them your own creation. This realization is an eye opening reflection on patience, vision, and in knowing self-worth, specifically as an individual within a heritage. I am so grateful to finally start to see how my own gifts and skills can potentially help others in the way I’ve always hoped for.

So yeah, maybe I am not cut out to be a nurse, but I am cut out to work with people; to understand, comfort, and help them. As it turns out I am also cut out to work with the aging and disabled; since I found myself working with them, I have felt the pieces start to fall into place. I find that I am not only enjoying it and comfortable with it, but I am also very good at it. This is exciting for me as I now start to explore how I can grow within this work. I believe I am blessed to have inherited extremely valuable characteristics from my mom, and because of her influence over my life and the time it took to grow into myself, I have finally discovered a clear vision for my future. It is a purpose specific to me and who I am, but that honors the person who built me up to see and know the elderly and disabled in a beautiful way. It is so comforting to know that although I’m unique, I can fill my mother’s shoes.

Life

In Oregon, you can no longer smoke in bars and restaurants etc. and/or near entrances and exits because in doing so you could harm other humans by your choice to smoke…
The abortion issue is not just about a persons “religious” beliefs, this is a misconception, it is about what people consider life…

I personally consider a baby in a womb a life, therefor I do not believe it should ever be my right to chose to end that life. If someone else does not believe that a baby in a womb is a life, then that is the only real argument against my belief. I am open to hearing those arguments and facts but that doesn’t mean it will change my views. Calling the religious beliefs card is smoke and mirrors, just like calling the liberal card is; I know people who are religious who believe in abortion as a choice, and I know liberals who are against abortion (it may not be many but enough to bust the myth.) People play these cards to strengthen arguments, that is all.

I am not against abortion because of any religion, I am against it because I believe taking a life without direct risk of harm to self or others, is wrong, and I believe that in extreme situations of health risk and rape we can find a way to handle those cases separately. Those solution and options would likely come sooner if we could compartmentalize that cause and start trying to pass laws specifically for those situations, instead of creating the bulk issue of simply abortion, yay or nay?) Wanting to have legal choice just for the sake of it is senseless. That’s like saying I should be able shoot someone if I want to, if they want to punish me they can just shoot me back, but It’s not up to the government to decide; or I should be able to neglect my children if I want to, that’s my choice, it might be a bad one, there might be alternatives, but I should be able to chose right and wrong for myself. I mean, we choose to live in a society/country governed by laws and protected by law enforcement officers, and so did/do many others. These are my beliefs, and I respect that many other people do not believe the same things as me, that is why we vote and fight for what we believe in, and then hope that enough other people feel the same way. I wish people could/would do this with more kindness for one another. Seat belt laws make less sense to me then abortion laws, and yet this is what we are arguing about

That being said, let me make it clear, I do not condone or pass judgment on another person for any mistakes they’ve made, whether they acknowledge them or not. I am merely stating my beliefs for what I think should or should not be allowed to happen in the future. I believe mistakes are forgivable and that someone who has made them IS NOT their mistake itself.

I feel for any woman who finds themselves in a situation were they have debated an abortion and/or had one, they’re life is valuable as well, and they are worthy of forgiveness.

I hope any woman/person who suffers can find peace and happiness.
~AbbieLu