Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, how times change...

I recently came to realize the great deprivation going on in our culture, mostly affecting our children. I don't know what came to bring about the changes, most likely it was someone in Washington with some grand idea... but I came to the understanding that the youth of our nation are no longer living the many life-enhancing experiences of what most of us older generations knew in our childhood.

My childhood, to me, was rather ordinary. And seeing how my friends were raised, we all shared the same experiences. Life was full of fun, random excursions. But there were also circumstances necessitating that I should have to earn some wages, even early on in life. And that led to complete and utter emotional devastation brought upon by rejection. I can think of days and weeks on end of nearly trying to sell my soul to the next stranger, trying to make a single dollar, only to be sent away... the shame. It still resonates heavily in my soul. And yet I know, that without these experiences, I wouldn't have the spirit to persist despite adversity. I wouldn't know how to overcome that dreaded shame of refusal and become stronger as a person of worth.

So, as I deal with all that I have learned and apply it daily to my life I have so many questions... though I do understand some concerns, I wonder why people no longer force their children to do door-to-door sales of candies and other hardly-useful items? Why must it be encouraged that they sell only to friends and family? Why must we spare them the shame?... or rather, why wasn't I spared?

Friday, October 17, 2008

It looks like my mama was right...

Mom said I should turn this into a blog, or that it sounded like it was becoming one... I guess it is.

The way I was raised, I grew up in a very specific religion. I've been grounded in my ways, not only taking on these beliefs because I was taught to, but because they were my own. Truly ingrainded in me, as I have lived my 26 years in this lifestyle. There are days when I don't know if I could exist outside of the realm of my beliefs, or could seperate myself from my own tenets.

When I met Todd, I knew we may eventually have difficulties blending our ideas. He was raised on the complete opposite side of the belief spectrum as myself. I can look at things honestly and know that, while he is a man of peace, his morals are based around peaceful thoughts as well. And I can look at how I was raised, and know that, I was taught intolerence. Where Todd was raised to embrace, I was taught to repel. When he was taught to show compassion, I was to show wrath. If he was told to feed the hungry, I was told to scare them away, using force if necessary. I guess it's a testament to how we can all appear as any part we want to be in this play called life. After all, no one would ever guess my father had instilled in me such things, but it his to him I attribute all of this.

And so now I face a cross-roads in life. Todd and I been married for eight years without ever having a problem sharing our lives. We've both changed, and changed eachother. I've seen him be less tolerant at times, and feel shame knowing I've helped him become this way. I also know that, I have softened. I also am able to be thankful that our sons have wandered away from what I stand for and are following their father's ideals.

Seeing them look at me, asking me how I could deny others help, I have to ask myself why I would. And I wait for someone else to help, knowing that no one else will.

I am conflicted. I want to set the right example, but I have no idea how to cross that line. And I'm afraid in doing so, I may alienate myself from some of my family.

I'm afraid of, in embracing this new lifestyle, I'm condemning my own life. How do I make up for a lifetime of living on the wrong side of the line?

It truly seems I have come to a point in my life where I will have to decide which life to follow.

As I look out the window toward the neighbors, I have to ask myself, "As a dog lover, could you truly ever care for this creature? Could you really actually care for...a cat??"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Actions speak louder than words....

In an effort to live life the way I'm supposed to, I'm going to attempt to become more transparent. I live my life as a front. I know I try to appear peaceable with others, accepting even, but I know the truth. I truly have far too many enemies. Life has become taxing trying to hold a grudge against the many that I find offensive. And I know there have to be many in the world that feel the same about me, but I find it sad that I have to live repulsed by so many.

So I began to think of what appropriate actions should be taken. I can't fix others, and it's not fair to keep everyone that's disagreeable away. Especially when we all have equal rights to this world. I can only work at fixing me. Sounds like I've been watching Dr. Phil or something, but I haven't. It's just the truth as I see it.

And as much as thinking can pain me, I continued to think. To think about the way I'm supposed to treat my enemies. I was reading in my Bible and in Romans 12 it says "If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." And I decided it was time to take this verse literally. Not just trying to fake a smile, or keep my reaction low-key (like a grimace), but truly show care. To actually take a physical substance and my feed them.

And so, looking to my fridge (or at least the top of it), I grabbed a bottle and went outdoors. In the cool October morning, I shared my patio and its comforts and gave nourishment... with the knowledge that it would become like coals not only on my enemies heads, but in their stomachs as well.

Yes, I overcame my myrmecaphobia enough to share some Terro with those nasty, little... er...well, you can see what I'm talking about in this picture.