An Easy and Effortless Life of No Struggle

JoAnne Silvia:

An easy and effortless life sounds wonderful. It’s not easy for me to wrap my brain around, but I know anything is possible. I have had more easy and effortless moments in my life as I grow wiser. I’m re-blogging this so I can read it again and again. Thank you Celia Hales!

Originally posted on MIRACLES EACH DAY:

“Not one day is meant to be lived in a struggle with what it brings. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.21)”

1 – Fighting Life

What a reassuring statement this passage is! We do not have to “fight” life, and indeed we are leading ourselves wrongly when we try. We learn that acceptance is the way to the real life, the true life. An awakened individual, about whom I once read, said that his secret was that it did not matter to him what happened. This reminds us of Paul in the New Testament, when he asserts that, whatsoever state he is in, therewith he has learned to be content.

2 – The Past

Many of us have struggled through long years of turmoil, drama, and anxieties—filled with pain and sometimes suffering. How we view our past lives is largely a matter of…

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Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholic’s Unknown Story

JoAnne Silvia:

This story is long, but well worth reading. It does and excellent job of explaining addiction and reminds me that sometimes success is not in the length of sobriety but in the moments of hope and knowing love is not dead. Because those moments can be carried on to someone else.

Originally posted on takingthemaskoff:

image

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love it’s will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose – this is the concrete – and these are my damaged petals.”

 -Tupac Shakur 

 

 Here we are one day in a meeting talking about patients. What I hear is “she just pops them out and then we end up paying for them.” What they are referring to is this patients 7 children that she has. The staff are upset…

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God Has a Plan!

bird alone at sunset

Lone Bird, by JoAnne Silvia

Psalm 13:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long shall I have perplexity in my mind and grief in my heart, day after day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me?

Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death.

Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him.” and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.

But I put my trust in your mercy; my heart is joyful because of your saving help.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly. I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.”

 

This psalm takes me back to the grief…the pain of separation after being married for 20 years, followed by an unexpected divorce. I believed that my husband and I would grow old together, that when the kids were grown, we would travel across country in an RV like my parents did.

The grief was most intense on August 18th, the anniversary of my first marriage – the one I believed would last until death parted us. I could not understand how God could have let this happen. I felt deserted and confused.

Even I didn’t know what a wreck I was after the divorce, until I woke up from the nightmare of a sick rebound relationship.

In the years that followed, I wondered what was wrong with me, that I couldn’t find anyone right for me to date, let alone, marry. It seemed like I was alone for a long time, but in retrospect, it wasn’t that long, and I was never alone.

 

Good Shepherf Window

 

God was with me the whole time. My guardian angel walked beside me, shaking her head in exasperation. And Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was always there, lighting the path of love, that led back to the fold.

 

 

 

Jeremiah 29:11 was my life preserver.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give your hope and a future.”

Maybe God wanted me to be single so I could accomplish more, because relationships do take time and effort, even the good ones.  And the unhealthy relationships, well, they can be insanely distracting, taking us way off course…

(Or maybe not off course, but learning what we need to change to be ready for the gift.)

What I know now is that I had to work on me, and be a better parent, and draw closer to God.  I had to love myself and do what was right for me as a single person.  I kept going to the church where I felt accepted and cherished. I kept working and learning, singing and enjoying creation.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other, loving the family and friends who walked beside me.

And God did have a plan!

Now, August 18th is just another summer day with the love of my life. God has dealt with me richly, with many blessings, including bringing my soul mate to me when the time was perfect.

In times of uncertainty, I must remember God’s mercy and let my heart be joyful!

cloud heart

Heart Cloud, by JoAnne Silvia

 

 

Peace for Missouri, Peace for the World

LennonWallImagine, by Adam Zivner

Lennon Wall Imagine by Adam Zivner

Peace is Possible. We need to look for it.

I don’t watch or listen to the news much because most of what’s covered and served up to us is  negative and so toxic.  But I couldn’t help hear and see and feel the news about what’s happening in Missouri. Yesterday, a report on public radio got my attention about the Highway Patrol being placed in charge of the investigation of the death of Michael Brown, the teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson.

After nights of tear gas, rubber bullets and police in riot gear, it gives me hope to see images of Captain Ron Johnson (and the police chief) marching with citizens in peaceful protest in the video from the USA Today article below.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/ferguson-missouri-police-clashes-shooting-anonymous/14046707/

I don’t know how often law enforcement people march with protestors, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. As we mourn the loss of Michael Brown, I hope that we can all learn from our mistakes and that, going forward, those in authority realize that showing a position of fear fed dominance and control generally makes things worse.

What can we each do as individuals to move in a direction of peace?

I pray for the family of Michael Brown.

I pray for healing and peace in my homeland.

I pray for healing and peace for our planet.

It’s Going To Be Okay!

Angels on wood

Angels were trying to tell me.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  – John Lennon

I’d like to go back in time, to 1972, just for a moment, when my first love had to move back to Connecticut, and tell my 16 year old self: It will be okay.

Next stop – 2001 after my husband left, to tell myself: I know this is a mountain you didn’t expect, but you’ll climb it. In time, it will be okay.  Better than okay. Just wait! God has a plan.

For the first few years of this century, I longed for a partner who would be a good fit. Then, I wondered if there was such a thing, me being in my 50’s and all, so I started thinking I’d rather have my own kayak and settle for loyal companionship of dogs.

But in July of 2014, I found myself on an adventure with my first love, who, as you may know by now, became my second husband, the partner who is a good fit, who brought three more dogs into my home. Our home.  (Lots of companionship here!)  Anyway, Saturday we took our “new” tandem kayak out for a paddle around the small islands 20 miles south of our home.

After getting a good deal on the second hand tandem, someone said, “Oh, you got a divorce kayak.” Yikes! I guess tandems have a reputation for causing arguments.

So we watched this video:

David and I  did great, considering it was his first time in a kayak, and it had been a couple years since I’d paddled. I had to trust him to steer from the back. It was my job up front to set the pace, and to communicate (as he patiently reminded me) if I was going to suddenly start paddling on one side to help him steer. I eventually left the most of the steering to him and gratefully let him paddle by himself a bit when I needed a break because my arms felt like rubber.

The temperature was about 90 degrees, so the droplets and splashes of water refreshed us.  The sky was the bluest blue with giant cottony clouds. White ibis hunted in the marsh grass, and we got to see brown pelicans – up close and personal – pause in mid flight, watch the water,  then dive for a fish.  (Next time I’ll bring a waterproof camera.)

As we were driving home, tired but feeling ALIVE, with our kayak in the back of David’s truck – our truck, I realized how blessed I am.

Kyak in truck

That’s when I wanted to go to my 46 year old self, and  just hold that confused and lonely woman with love.  I want to  somehow convey the message:

It’s going to be okay. Things are going to work out. You’ll see.

Jo looking at sunset

I wonder if my future self will want to come back in time to the present me when I’m worried about my grown kids dealing with their own challenges, or my own challenges, which are  relatively minor these days, so she can say to me:

Don’t worry so much.  Everything will be okay in the end. God has a plan.

What do you want to go back and tell yourself? Send a hug back through time.

On the Brink of Understanding

“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

   W. B. Yeats (Bertrand Russell & Eden Phillpotts had similar messages)

Orange moon rise on ocean

Moon Rise on the Ocean, by JoAnne Silvia

We are on the brink of understanding many amazing things that have nothing to do with man-made technology. That was my thought after watching the video below about the possibility of trees supporting each other and communicating. It’s the same wonder I feel when I read about Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work with water. Dr. Emoto did use technologies of peace to observe and show how the structure of  water crystals is affected by words and thoughts.

I hope and pray

that we do not destroy these magical things.

I hope and pray that we open our eyes,

that we open our minds,

that we open our souls

to see, to discover, to feel the wonders of the Creation,

for Creation is the portal through which we can know God.

Please watch and listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSGPNm3bFmQ