Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Forgiveness and Perseverance

Sunflower w address

Just two stories today, but the first one is pretty powerful. It starts with bad news and offers hope for something better.

Brandt Jean Asks to Hug His Brother’s Killer, and the Judge Lets Him

After a long shift, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger walked into the wrong apartment and killed Botham Jean who was in his own apartment eating ice cream.  It was a horrible mistake that could have been easily prevented. I’ve been thinking a lot about this case. What would I have done as a juror? As the police officer? But I think what Botham Jean’s brother did was more important. After Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Botham’s 18 year old brother,  Brandt Jean, made a statement of forgiveness. Then he asked if he could hug his brother’s killer. Judge Tammy Kemp broke with protocol by allowing the hug and later by giving Amber her Bible. 20 years ago, I would have been objecting strongly to that act, now I admire Judge Kemp’s compassion.

This first video moved me to tears and the hope that maybe greater good can come from this tragedy.

In the second video, Brandt talks about what made him ask for the hug. There is an important distinction made between forgiveness and justice.

Jimmy Carter is Amazing

At the age of 95, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former US president. He lives in a modest house and shops at Dollar General. After a recent fall, he was back to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. What a role model!

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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Mini Vacations, Assertiveness, Forgiveness, and Catching Bugs

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Our instructions for Stream of Consciousness Saturday are as follows:

…”instructions.” Write instructions for anything you know how to do. As detailed or as rambling as you’d like. Enjoy!

There are a lot of things I could write about. None of them are mechanical. I shy away from mechanical things. I will not write about technical things which I have forced myself to learn.

First vacations. Linda said she needs a vacation. While I’ve never taken a glamorous vacation or been on a cruise, I know how to take mini vacations, which in some ways are better because then you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.  If you can’t get a week off, take a weekend. Until you can get the long vacation, take a day, or even 4 hours. Three might work, but, nah. 4 is a minimum. That might not seem like a vacation, but when I was a single, working mom, four hours off to do something I loved was very important. I wish I’d taken more “mental health days” when I worked in the mental health field.

Anyway, the first step is to schedule it. Well maybe you need to make arrangements for child care or pet care first, then schedule it. Write it on the calendar and put it in your phone. Put stars around it. Don’t let anything get in the way of it. This time is sacred. Plan to do something you really love or enjoy. You could take a nap, but then you might miss your mini vacation. Read a book. Put on some of your favorite music. You deserve this! Pretend you are a tourist in your own town. I read this thing once that if you have three days, pick a direction. Drive the first day, spend the second day exploring and drive home the third day. I’d rather pick a place. Something with a body or water. Be mindful of all the things around you in a beautiful place. A garden maybe would work. Not a garden you have to tend, unless you really love that.

Okay, enough of that. You get the idea.

I know how to be assertive, though sometimes I forget. The steps to assertive communication I used to teach in my groups were:

1. State the facts.

2. State your feelings.

3. Say what you want or need.

Of course you can be assertive with yourself about why you / we deserve a vacation for example:

I’ve been working x number of hours per day for x number of days per week. I feel exhausted/tired/worn out/ (whatever the feeling) and I want/need you to watch (child’s name) for a couple two days.  Be specific. If you’re talking to someone who is not a friend or who may be difficult, you can skip the feelings part, maybe even just state #3.

I know it’s not always easy, but I’m open to questions.

I was going to write about forgiveness, because I know how to be in that process which, for me, might not ever be finished. I’ll cut it short and say first I had to pray for the willingness to forgive.  I focused on compassion, kindness, and gratitude for my ex husband and his spouse for about a month before I saw them at my son’s wedding. Then I went right up to my ex husband who I hadn’t seen for many years and shook his hand and introduced him to my husband. I wasn’t trying to be anything. I asked how he was and wished him and his spouse a safe trip home two days later in the parking lot….. I am convince that God was with me during these encounters, prompting me, nudging me, because I asked God to do that.

Lastly, here is how you catch a spider or other bug you don’t want to kill and take it outside.

  1. In advance get a clear or semi clear jar or cup with a mouth about the width of your hand.
  2. In advance get a stiff piece of thin, slick cardboard or thick piece of paper (I usually use junk mail) bigger than the jar or cup mouth.
  3. Put the jar/cup and paper/cardboard in a place you are likely to need it.
  4. When you see the bug you want to catch, try to make sure your back door is unlocked. Quickly place the cup/jar over the bug. (Flies are really hard.) Be careful if it’s on a window. Don’t hurt yourself. Try not to hurt the bug, but you have to be quick with some of them.
  5. Slowly and carefully slide the paper/thin cardboard under the cup and under the bug. Sometimes I move the jar/cup at the same time.
  6. Carefully carry everything to the door. I usually put the bottom of the jar on my stomach if I have to open the door.
  7. Once outside and at least a couple steps away from the door, let the bug go in an appropriate habitat.
  8. An alternative that sometimes works for small lizards is to throw and old towel or sheet on them and carefully gather it up and hope they’re in there when you carry it outside.

Good luck!

Here are some bugs I’ve caught and released:

better yellow moth

 

glass wing moth with tail (2)

Glass wing moth on a dusty lamp. The posterior end was moving back and forth like some kind of alien.

 

spotted moth in bathroom

Sweet visitor in my bathroom.

 

spider on the ceiling

Spider on bedroom the ceiling. That was a tough one.

 

big mosquito in bathroom

This was on my brand new bathroom wall. No way I was gonna squash it.

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill who will soon or now be on vacation. For more streams of consciousness and related rules, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-13-19/


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Bridges to Forgiveness

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Last month, I watched a video, over at Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, about homelessness. The topic and the video still nudge me to explore further. It’s about a homeless man whose family comes to find him after many years.  I’ve  wondered how the man became homeless, what separated him from his family, and what brought his family back to him. Maybe enough time had gone by. Maybe the daughter, having grown up, wanted to see her father, to take a chance. Maybe the burden of her mother’s resentments had become too heavy, and it was time to open the door to forgiveness.

My experience working with and getting to know homeless people  has made me realize that if I’d encountered more misfortune or taken a couple steps further down certain roads, I could have ended up in their shoes. I’ve also learned that everyone has hopes and dreams even if they’ve been buried under the rubble of  addiction, poverty, or debilitating mental illness. Demons can distance people. Bridges get burned. Yet there is always hope for recovery, always an opportunity to love. Even if a bridge has been burned, it can be re-built.

On a side note, the hard part in writing this is that there must be someone I need to forgive or forgive more deeply. My X perhaps, or someone who’s gotten on my nerves. Resentments with deep roots, come back like weeds.

We’ve all been hurt and forgiveness can be a scary thing. We may need to set boundaries to take care of ourselves. But perhaps there is a door that can be opened just a little or a window that needs cleaning. Maybe we can look through that window and give a smile or a nod of encouragement. Bridges can be built with a handshake or a hug. Peace can begin with a whispered prayer.

God, help me remember that I need forgiveness, too.

Here’s the video, Momentos, by Nuno Rocha : Thanks to Sue Dreamwalker for sharing it.

(You might not cry, but you will be moved.)


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New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk

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It’s becoming a tradition for me to walk the labyrinth on New Year’s Eve. On December 31st, 2010, in the center of the labyrinth, forgiveness was the key to making room for love to re-enter my life in 2011. Ever since then, my New Year’s Eve labyrinth walk is something I don’t want to miss.

On Saturday night, I expected something powerful might happen in the center, but the message was a little different. Here’s what I wrote to remember what happened:

Am I doing this right?

Don’t worry about it. Just walk.

Am I going too fast?

Maybe. Just walk.

[Restless in the center, I can’t get comfortable. Tried child’s pose and squirmed like a child. Tried sitting in the chair, tried laying down but there wasn’t room, went back to child’s pose. Refreshed the Forgiveness business]

Then I heard:

It’s time to go walk some more.

On the way back, God clarifies:

Keep moving.       

        Don’t stop.      

                  I’m with you.

Confident, encouraged, I slow the spring in my step because
I don’t want it to end.

I carry the message out with me.

prayer-candles

Kneeling at the prayer candles,
I light her candle,
but don’t want to blow out the torch.

God says,

Let it Go
Her flame will grow.
I got this.


Keep moving.
Don’t stop.
I’m with you
All the way.

finger_labyrinth

(After I published this post, I saw that the spacing about what God said was different from what I had typed in the draft. I worked on it for a while, but couldn’t get it where I wanted it. I’m guessing God wants it to be however you see it now.)


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Teacher of Miracles, Unity, and Forgiveness

Miracles in Blue sparkles

Dr. Wayne Dyer died this past weekend at the relatively young age of 75.  I don’t know why I imagined he’d live longer. Maybe I wanted to see his age catch up with his wisdom. Maybe he has other work to do.

He had a profound impact on my life and the lives of many. I remember taking notes as I watched  a PBS special he did on the Power of Intention and taking notes. It was several years ago, during a time of transformation in my life.  Wayne Dyer’s teachings, added to the abundant love of the Good Shepherd, helped me become ready and willing for miracles God planned for me to receive when the time was right. I appreciated the way Wayne Dyer spoke of God with reverence, yet with an openness that included each and every one of us. Some consider Dr. Dyer to be a “new age” teacher. I guess if you need to put labels on people, that is one possible label. It is possible for me, as a Christian, to benefit from the teachings of positive people like Wayne Dyer, even people who do not identify as exclusively Christian. He was a unifying force for those willing to see the potential goodness of humanity.

After I read about his death, I went to his website. I wanted to read about the power of intention, about realizing my dreams, becoming who I was meant to be, not letting anything stand in my way! Stuff like that. But what jumped out at me on the website was the featured article  on forgiveness.

I’ve done a fair amount of work on forgiveness, but the opportunity to work on it some more has been coming back up in my life lately like gangbusters.  So, finding forgiveness as the topic of the featured article staring me in the face made me smile.

Here’s the article, which I probably need to read a couple of times.

http://www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/how-to-forgive-someone-in-15-steps/

Thank you, Wayne Dyer, for your message of hope. Good journey on your new adventures!