The Law of The Garbage Truck

Be an atmosphere changer. I think I have just added another tool to my life skills toolbox. I really enjoyed this post and I think you will too! Have a great day!

Morning Story and Dilbert

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what’s important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who…

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what’s all the fighting about?

love/insight from a woman's heart

do you need to shift just a little?

the road to the happiness you are looking for is easily found

the road to life/insight from a woman's heart

your weary heart may wish it would…

but happiness will not fall out of the sky upon your head.

happiness is within your grasp

it’s the ability to take action.

the key is in your hands.

D

the seduction of foolishness

alone

alone (Photo credit: dragonflaiii)

sometimes i get lost in the terminology when i read proverbs. today, as i meditated on the last part of proverbs 6 and chapter 7, i smiled.

sex gets our attention. don’t worry, i’m not going to be crude. however, marketers use sex to sell products all the time and people take notice. i heard a lovely lady once say that the Bible is quite racy.

well, Solomon wasn’t silly was he? he is attributed with being the wisest man who lived. i guess, he understood that if he really wanted to get the point across…we might just take notice if he compared foolishness to seduction. interesting.

i used to pretty much skip over the references cautioning the naive, young man about the flirtatious, seductive woman. don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly accurate wisdom. even in a very literal sense, this advice is highly valuable.

then i noticed an interesting pattern. an emphasis was presented on wisdom and the benefits of gathering it, searching for it and holding it close within the heart. following this emphasis came the cautions about the seductive woman and how destructive being enticed was to life. my conclusion is that wisdom is taught and calls out to us to make wise choices. in contrast, foolishness is seductive, sly and cunning – enticing us to make unwise choices.

when i think about it, this makes perfect sense. let me show you what i mean. as you read, remember these decriptions are literally wisdom concerning the path one will find if they decided to cheat on their spouse, or with a friend’s spouse. it’s not a pretty picture. however, the metaphor is there and fits for making unwise or foolish choices.

Seductive woman with luscious red lips on bed

(Photo credit:Seductive woman with luscious red lips on bed. Flickr.com)
the scene is set as an empty-headed and empty-hearted young man saunters down the street in the darkness of night (proverbs 7). he comes upon a woman who cunningly speaks with flattery; offering adventure.

  • the darkest hours of your life is when you consider and entertain the idea of cunning, sly, and deceptive choices.
  • the amplified version describes this young man as empty-headed and empty-hearted. wisdom keeps advising you to fill your heart and mind with wise principles so that they are close at hand when they are needed. obviously, when the heart and mind are empty, you don’t make your best decisions.
  • the woman entices the young man with flattering words and adventurous ideas. sorry, guys, but a woman knows how to empty a man’s heart and she knows how to fill it, as well. when the heart is empty-(you can fill in the blanks because deep in your heart you know the extent you have been willing to go attempting to fill it).
  • learning, gathering and applying wisdom takes purposeful action. non-action leads you to a state of mind that is void of good sense.

the woman reasons, comforts, and appeals to the young man’s senses. she justifies the offer with reassurance that everything is in place for no consequences to be suffered. she persuades him to overcome his conscience and fears. she allures him visually and sensually to give in to his inflamed passion for relief.

  • your natural instincts for comfort and escape are powerful.

reluctant at first, the young man yields as if he were being forced because his loins and passions have been set aflame.

  • there is always a point of no return. you may know that a choice is not wise but if you entertain it long enough-weighing the risk against escape, you yield to a moment as if you have no choice in the matter. this occurs when we are not equipped.

what he did not realize was that he was not her first victim. she had led a host of men down a deadly path. a path that would cost him his life.

the cost is described earlier in the metaphor:

  • he becomes tortured by the consequences.
  • he is not innocent and there is punishment that is eventually paid.
  • he gets wounded and disgraced.
  • the reproach sticks.
  • no amount of begging, bribing or attempting to buy his way out of the situation will reverse the consequences.
  • the situation cost him his life. before he knows what hit him – he is overtaken with anguish. he will be sitting with his head in his hands wondering what in the world brought him to such a dark place in his life.

i have never walked this pain as a result of being unfaithful to my husband. however, i have walked this path as a result of being unfaithful to wisdom. i can’t even describe to you the panic, torment and pain that my heart experienced. i might not need to because you might be able to relate. when facing the consequences of a foolish choice, i have done my share of bargaining with God and others – if i could just be rescued from my foolishness i would learn my lesson and do things differently…”please, just give me a second chance!”

the moral to this story? yes, there is one. you and i have choices to make. there are wise choices. they require effort, preparation and determination. there are unwise choices, as well. they come to you cunningly, in the dark and appear to be a more pleasurable, alluring, easier choice…but they bite hard.

…Bind them continually upon your heart …

When you go, they shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you.

For the commandment is a lamp, and the whole teaching [of the law] is light, and reproofs of discipline are the way of life, -Proverbs

sometimes life is difficult and can become dark. it doesn’t have to be. the choice is mine to make…and it is yours to make as well.

this is the follow-up post from Monday’s post on proverbs 6 concerning preparation. i do hope you have enjoyed them both.

thanks for reading,

D

it’s alive…the washcloth that lived on

Rag dog/insight from a woman's heart

“it’s alive…it’s alive”

actually, the washcloth isn’t alive but a simple gesture of kindness that involved that washcloth is…after 22 years.

you have heard it said that a smile can change someone’s day. it can.

i woke this morning and waiting for me was an email from a friend i have not seen in years. she has just gone through what she described as a stressful move. in the midst of the move she came across a little washcloth.

this friend and my sister came to my house to bring my daughter back home after a visit. i don’t even remember if she was visiting my sister or my parents. funny ,at 52, my memory is not what i would like for it to be. the girls had stayed overnight and as they prepared to leave, they did the usual girlie stuff…showered, put on their make-up and did their hair. as they were packing their belongings, we realized that my friend had a hot curling iron. my usual remedy is to wrap my curling iron in a washcloth to prevent damage to the other articles in the bag. so, i offered her a washcloth. no big deal. it was just a washcloth. this is a 22 year old act of simple kindness. one long gone from my memory.

as my friend stood at her sink to do dishes, the only thing she could find to use for the task, was this little washcloth that once served as a heat shield given to her by her friend’s sister.

the entire event flooded her memory, the trip, the little girl they were taking home, meeting me and the gesture. she stated, “as…. stressful as that move has been…seeing your cloth gave me a moment to breath and remember a nice memory.”

i smiled, wrote her back and thanked her for sharing this experience with me.

i took out my calculator (no, i do not do math in my head) and calculated how many years had gone by since the morning i handed her that little washcloth…22 years.

a simple gesture of kindness, long forgotten in my mind, had life and continued to speak long after it’s “use by date” was up.

you will have them, too. simple gestures that have just flowed from the abundance of your heart that have lived years beyond what you coud imagine. they might even live on in the heart of the person long after your journey on earth is complete.

just imagine the living acts of kindness wondering around in the world…just because of you and your kind heart.

it’s not always the major accomplishments in life (although they are fabulous as well) but don’t underestimate or overlook the simplest of gestures…they take on a life of their own.

now, get out there and inspire someone…you have exactly what you need in your bag of resources today to make a difference!

i’m having a great day…hope you do as well!

D

BTW, the photo is used with permission…my sweet sister, Evie, loves photography and she graciously shared the photo with me today! Thanks, Sis! I love you!

Anything could happen…and it might be suddenly

anything could happen/insight from a woman's heart

i like suddenly…

i agree, there are times when it’s not a great thing.

oh, but when it is…

i am running along and suddenly, i get my second wind.

i am attempting to correct a mistake in my accounts and suddenly, it dawns on me where the mistake has been.

i am pleading my case on an issue and suddenly, the other person gets the point.

i have tried to forgive and suddenly, i realize the event doesn’t have the hold on me like it did.

i am believing and standing in faith and suddenly, i have an answer.

the funny thing about suddenly is the unexpected realization that what you have hoped for is here…now.

you never know how close you are to your answer.

so be prepared…

anything could happen

and it might just come suddenly!

D

The winner…the heart of faith

After/insight from a woman's heart

“Words of wisdom” is what i am titling this photo…because when we see this expression from across the room…we know the wisdom is flowing.

the heart of faith won the battle (from yesterday’s post). thankfully, i was able to get the mind’s fear quiet enough for faith to do its work. 

my dad proved once again that he is a fighter…and the surgeons did a great job…the surgery went well and he is recovering quite nicely.

i guess, he has a bit more wisdom that we need to hear.

i am happy about that.

good’ay!

D

 

forgiveness test…this one will nail it!

forgiveness myths/insight from a woman's heart

i’ve been talking alot about forgiveness over the past couple of days. i had a reader write to me and say that forgiveness is important but is very difficult to do.

so, true!

even when you think it’s all done and dusted…whamo…you can feel like you’ve been hit in the gut by the whole thing over again. i totally understand! keep working on it. believe me…you will get there. you will surprise yourself with how much strength you have to do this!

i love quotes…and the proverbs…as i’m sure you have noticed. i found a great one today.

guess what?

it nailed my heart! i am calling it my forgiveness test.

want to see it? (i will warn you that if your wound is still fresh…you may not want to yet.)

but…here goes….

forgivness test/insight from a woman's heart

i have to admit…as soon as i read it…one of my offenses flashed into my mind and i thought,

“i will NEVER say “thank you” for that experience!”

so, i reminded myself – “dee, you have forgiven that offense and you wouldn’t be the woman you are today without it. what you have to share flows directly out of your heart’s experience.”

i can’t say that i am totally there…but it was great that i came face to face with this heart test…because my goal is complete wholeness. i don’t feel any pain from the offense any more. i am way past it in many ways. however, i like a challenge…and this challenged me today.

like i said above, newly wounded hearts will not be able to accept the challenge…today and that is perfectly ok!

i had someone tell me recently, that a dirty pair of underwear on the floor can be as damaging to a relationship as betrayal – if forgiveness is not applied.

that is far too much power. i don’t want to give the power over my happiness away…so again today…

i choose forgiveness.

and i hope you will as well.

D

10 practical steps that will move you toward emotional healing

forgiveness1/insight from a woman's heart

  1. stock your life skill tool box. have a conversation with your heart long before it becomes wounded. the two of you decide to make forgiveness a tool you will use when it is needed. this way when forgiveness is required, the decision is already made and the issue is settled. your best life decisions are made when you are not in the midst of trouble. decide beforehand, what your approach to life will be.
  2. give yourself time. a raw wound is not ready for healing. it may be necessary to allow time and distance. however, deciding to make forgiveness part of the life skill tool box will guide the heart toward forgiveness when the time is right.
  3. forgive yourself. a great place to start when forgiving is to forgive yourself. often, we can feel upset with ourselves. “why did i not see?”, if i had only…”, “i swore i would never let…”. we put our hearts through torture trying to figure out “why”, “what if”, or “if only”. we add insult to injury by blaming ourselves. we can be wounded without any effort on our part. release yourself from responsibility that does not belong to you. forgive yourself for any real part that you played and refuse to punish yourself.
  4. learn the valuable lessons. if you need to apply more wisdom going forward. learn what that wisdom should be…apply it where possible…move forward. evaluating if healthy boundaries are necessary and setting them in place can assist the heart in returning to a feeling of safety.
  5. remember when you needed forgiveness and mercy. try as we might, we are going to blow it…maybe by the end of the day. remembering you have needed mercy in the past helps to soften the heart. realizing that when you desperately needed and wanted forgiveness because your intentions were not to wound, will help your heart walk toward forgiveness.forgivness2/insight from a woman's heart
  6. refuse to inflict pain because you were hurt. maya angelo says that just because you have pain does not mean you have to be one. revenge feels like a natural weapon to raise in defence of your heart yet it is very destructive. your heart needs to understand that you do not have to extract punishment. however, forgiveness does not remove consequences especially if legal action is required.
  7. practice being kind and tender-hearted. keeping your heart tender will prepare it for forgiveness. practice kindness in some way toward someone outside of your situation. practice speaking kind words. be gentle with an infant. find ways to open your heart in non-threatening situations so that is not tempted to become hard, harsh and cold.
  8. have your say. i’m sure the heart would love the opportunity to provide an “earful” to the offender. most often, we don’t get the opportunity for confrontation. if the opportunity is provided and is safe, think carefully about what you need the offender to know about what happened, how it impacted you and that you plan to move forward with life. if you are not provided the opportunity or it is not safe to do so in person, writing a letter (whether sent or not) can provide the ability to “get off your chest” what your heart feels is important to be said. once you have given voice to your heart…let it end there. don’t keep rehearing the situation. rehearsing the offense just keeps the wound bleeding.forgiveness3/insight from a woman's heart
  9. put forgiveness to work. when you are ready…apply forgiveness. if you will replace the temptation- to tell yourself or a friend how badly you were hurt- with the statement, “i am forgiving this offense”- the wound will begin to heal from the inside out.
  10. practice forgiveness. practice bringing your emotions, behaviour and thoughts back to a functional place. when i was working with my heart to forgive my ex-husband, i began to practice speaking to him in a respectful way…even before i wanted to offer a respectful response. with each conversation, it became easier to speak kindly. even when it was necessary to be firm, i found that i could say what needed to be said in a kind way- for my heart’s sake. understanding that forgiveness is a life-style is important. it is not an immediate fix or a one time occurrence. it’s an act of faith. a decision. a hard decision. a valuable, life changing decision.

i have had many opportunities in my life that required forgiveness for me to live my best life. these are not just words. i have lived in an attempt to extract revenge…my heart growing harder…my life unsettled…and feeling trapped.

  • there have been simple offenses- hurtful words spoken to or at me.
  • a drunken driver caused an automobile accident that put me in the hospital, injured my baby sister and claimed the life of my fiancé.
  • i have been through a very volatile divorce.
  • i have had business partners betray my trust and steal assets that they had no rights to steal.
  • i have been tricked.
  • i have lied to.
  • i have been cheated on. forgiveness4/insight from a woman's heart

yet, in each and every circumstance, i have found the most healing, freeing approach for my life was to walk through the steps of forgiveness.

in fact, the last situation i found myself involved in was a complete shock to my heart and system. i was amazed at my heart because after years of practicing forgiveness – i heard myself say, “i forgive you”…immediately. i had to pinch myself to make sure i was really aware of what i had just said…it was me…i had quickly chosen forgiveness…and it was so much easier than it used to be.

hopefully your heart will be able to find this life skill useful on your journey.

forgiveness is a sweet fragrance…your heart offers when it is crushed.

D

10 benefits you gain when you offer forgiveness

unforgiveness/insight from a woman's heartyesterday’s post was 10 things you are NOT doing when you forgive. today, i want to explore what i feel is the important next step- what forgiveness is and how it benefits your life.

forgiveness is a powerful life skill within your grasp. using this tool can help the heart in its search for wholeness.

When you forgive, you are:

  1. choosing a healthy coping strategy. there are two coping strategies: keep cycling in the pain or move forward. one is a healthy strategy, the other is dysfunctional. one leads to healing and growth, the other can lead to “post traumatic stress”.
  2. practicing true love. understanding the importance of love to all human beings helps prepare the ground of the heart for sowing the seed of forgiveness. in the initial stages of forgiveness, this might make you as mad as a hatter. it’s still true. living a life motivated by compassion is very powerful. i may hate the offense but compassion will open my eyes to the pain within the offender’s heart that directed his/her behaviour.
  3. offering a debt-free status. have you ever had a bill paid for you or on your behalf? have you ever handed a person in need the money to pay off a bill they were struggling with? do you remember what that felt like? i have and i do. no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to undo the offense. it’s been done. when you forgive, you are not excusing the offense. you are acknowledging the inability to ever undo, compensate, or change what was done. clinging to unforgiveness will never bring my fiance who (was killed by a drunken driver) back to me. that man will never be able to pay what is owed. he paid legal consequences but he has no ability to settle the score in my heart. i can release the debt so that i can go on living.
  4. giving your heart a gift. the Aramaic meaning for the word forgive is “untie”. when you forgive -you untie yourself from the effects of the offense. you grab a “get out jail free card” and you set your heart free. you step out of the prison of stress, frustrations, anger, bitterness, torment, and unhappiness.
  5. taking control of your own life. while you may not have had a choice when the offense occurred, you do have a choice in what happens next! your heart can become wounded with no action on your part. you can take action -take control of your life by using a powerful tool called choice.
  6. laying down your judge’s gavel. our heart naturally cries for justice. however, lay your gavel down and leave ultimate justice to the One who wears the judge’s cloak. it’s been said -what goes around comes around~karma bites~you reap what you sow~…you may have a differing philosophy than i do. we all recognize that in the end, we never really get by with anything…there is a principle at work in life. i, personally, believe it is an unchangeable, spiritual principle of reaping and sowing. i don’t believe it can be ignored and more than the law of gravity can be. it relieves me from the role of judge that i was not built to take on.
  7. exchanging your weapons for useful tools. revenge is a weapon. when we lift our weapon of revenge, we become willing to make great sacrifices to our lives. we are willing to exchange useful solutions for a consuming drive for recompense that is surrounded by hatred, anger, and scheming. i choose to pursue a better way of living…not a destructive way of living.
  8. guarding your life values. i want to be free to live my life plan. one of my core values is to live practicing being useful, helpful and kind to one another, tender-hearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely]…(-Paul to the Ephesians). i can not be true to this life value if i am allowing my heart to be weighted down with anger, resentment, revenge, etc. i guard my values and standards and refuse to take on any attributes that do not line up…i have to be me…and forgiving allows me to be the best me i can be!
  9. offering mercy. i am convinced that hurting people-hurt people. wounded, broken hearts drive people to behaviors that they would never have imagined. i have been shocked at some of my behavior patterns following devastating circumstances. my daughter had an abusive boyfriend one time~following many attempts to help the young man and behaviors worsening, i lashed out in a way that i must admit embarrasses me to recall today. when i took time to objectively think about what he had been through in his life, i changed my approach dramatically. i was able to show mercy while outlining healthy boundaries for our family’s safety. interestingly enough, his behavior toward me changed. when he spoke to me, he used respectful words. my offer of mercy did not change his behavior overall but when he was in my presence and with my child, he showed restraint. i impacted my environment.
  10. activating a powerful spiritual law. you don’t have to study nature for very long before it becomes quite evident how the laws of nature work. i can not defy gravity with out some strict boundaries in place for my own well-being. airplanes crash all the time because simple rules have not been followed. i am familiar with governmental laws. whether i agree or not with tax laws, i am required to pay taxes unless i want to pay the penalty. there is a powerful spiritual law called the law of forgiveness. i can ignore it. swear up and down i don’t believe it exists…yet, when i refuse to apply it to my heart…the consequences are devastating. on the other side of that, if i live within its boundaries, there is safety, wholeness, happiness and well-being available to me.