“I have to surrender, become passive in the presence of a power greater than I.” Fr. Robert Barron
I’m a fan of the 12 Step Program ideology. It is my belief that everyone in life is covering or needs to recover from something. Everyone needs to getmended. I won’t beat this rug til the fabric frays but a while ago I wrote about Step One, so scroll through and reacquaint yourself with that post.
I think passivity gets a bad rap. One of MW’s definitions states c-1 lacking energy or will. I think it takes a great deal of will and energy to surrender and/or not act. With all that is going on in the world, everyone feels that they HAVE to stand up for themselves or others and while that may be true, sometimes surrender is the greatest weapon. I cannot speak on what I would do in situations, my temperament tends to betray logic, reason and common sense but I recognize the Power of Passivity in that none were more passive than Jesus yet none is more powerful.
I surrender all
All to thee my blessed Savior
I, surrender all.
Someone I know has a case of the Mean Reds. Though I’m no doctor, I play one a few times a month, I correctly and rather definitively diagnosed her with a severe case of the Mean Reds and as such promptly sent my bill. She offered me dinner – what is that!
Anyways, my dear friend in all her infinite wisdom failed to RAAM her truth and the result is her lovely shade of blushing baby girl developed into a hostile and stubborn case of the Mean Reds. Recognize, Acknowledge, Accept, Move-on- RAAM. Truths, for all their good, can be quite ugly and discomforting. Yeah, yeah, it sets you free but as history has taught us, another person’s freedom often leads to another’s loss of something. My dear Lovely had been ensuring the freedom of others while imprisoning herself, talk about a shafted underground railroad. She had plans and expectations and when the plans fell through and expectations weren’t met, her faith was shaken, she lost hope and the first sign of the Mean Reds appeared.
She didn’t recognize the Mean Reds because nobody had ever told her about them. Here I am, some years later, having to throw on my cape/white coat and make her say ahhhh. Ahhhhh, now I see, now let me help you see. The Mean Reds can flare up at any time and are worse depending on the season. In her flare-up, she thought she lost hope but failed to recognize that she used hope everyday. Within all planning, desires, wishes, etc. there is hope. There is a level of belief that what you want to happen, will happen, right around the time you need/want it to happen. Every morning, she set off to work, hoping to make it on time, without incident. She just needed reminding and I was just what the doctor (me) ordered. It only took 1 visit and while she is by no means cured. Her case of the Mean Reds don’t seem nearly as terrifying as when I first saw her. What are the Mean Reds? The Mean Reds are concrete weights that can form around your neck, wrists and ankles. They are emotions, feelings, events, circumstances, and people who, like weeds, if left unchecked, can choke the life right out of you. In treating the Mean Reds, you have to RAAM them head on. Unlike most dis-eases, there is no convalescing period with the Mean Reds. If you rest, the Mean Reds will never retreat, so she started her RAAM program last week and is Getting Mended.
Your blues ain’t like my blues. My Mean Reds ain’t like your Mean Reds.
The blues are when you feel low, sad. The Mean Reds are when the blues get mad. Do you have or have you ever had a case of the Mean Reds? If you’ve ever had your faith shaken and lost hope then I suspect you may have had a case of the Mean Reds. If you got over the Mean Reds, good for you. You are a champion RAAMer. If you’ve never had a case of the Mean Reds, good for you as well.
Even in the worst of circumstances, emotions, events, and people there lies, no matter how small, a bit of hope. Hope may not give you what you want, tell you what you want to hear or place you where you want to be but it will give you the strength and courage to RAAM your way through. There is a picture of a bird swallowing a frog. The frog is choking the bird. The caption reads: Never ever give up! THAT frog has Hope!
Guess Jesse Jackson had it right all along.
Love Holly Golightly!
In preparation for Lent; a free mind is a wonderful thing!
“I’m all right, I’m all right
It only hurts, when I breathe” (Melissa Etheridge)
When I first heard this song, I could sing along with it after just that initial hearing. The imagery really made my brain pulse. Aside from grunting out those last few reps at the gym or that silent (you’re mother popped you so hard that the audible reaction is trapped deep between your vocal chords and the part of the brain that allows you to react) cry; we don’t have to think about breathing. I imagine, just based on my own analysis of the lyrics and earthly application and interpretation, that those who commit suicide must feel this way. One theory I have is, since breathing is controlled by the brain, it must be something in the brain causing undue ache on the respiratory system. Burdens, ideas, thoughts, memories, responsibilities, fears, failures, achievements, slurs, anything negative or positive, etc.,, that the brain can hold on to can put pressure on us, making it difficult to breathe.
Free your mind and the rest will follow (En Vogue). Freedom, the way to it is often difficult and lengthy. But if one could somehow ease the difficulty along the journey, why not take it? The bible talks a great deal about confession and how doing so will set you free. We all, believers and non-believers need to confess and we do, just not enough. Confess means “to bemoan something by the wringing of the hands” and also “to throw away.” Most of us, when worried, concerned or preoccupied with a matter, often complain (bemoan) about it and demonstrate our frustrations by positioning our arms/hands in various positions (wringing of the hands) until we realize that whatever is troubling us is either beyond our control or nothing can be done about it at that particular time so we move on (throw away). If you’re a decent person, and I know those who read this are :), your conscience prods you to confess, regardless of how big or small the offense/issue. Confession isn’t always about the big things either – stealing, lying, cheating, killing. No, confession is, as I apply it, saying/acknowledging anything that would weigh you down. Example – losing a job can cause one to feel a great deal of shame and guilt. That shame and guilt can lead to depression, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness because it’s so hard to get back up when life has knocked you down. Instead of asking for help (confessing that you need help, that you feel how you feel, have a right to feel the way you feel and throwing our hands up and saying enough!) we, in proper military fashion, put our feelings/actions to bed with all the corners and edges tightly tucked in, ensuring nothing escapes.
Did you know that it is said that after age 30 your brain shrinks? So, if you’re over 30, you’re responsibilities, actions, feelings, etc., have increased and now the place you store them is getting smaller. Are you a candidate for Hoarders? I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “getting something off your chest” because the rising and falling of the chest (outside of machine assisted) is the indication that one still has natural breath. So while you still have breath, get those things off your chest and mind. Yelled at someone at the light, in anger, called someone a name or wished something bad upon them and felt bad afterwards? Apologize. You may or may not be able to apologize in person (but if you can, you should try) but you put it out there. You acknowledged that maybe you didn’t handle it the way you would have liked or said something in anger that you shouldn’t have said. Having trouble meeting your responsibilities, having marital, financial or family difficulties?, tell someone. Don’t trust anyone enough?, then say them out loud (God and the universe won’t judge you, tell your business, look at you funny or think less of you). Sit in the car, go in the closet, bathroom or anywhere you can be alone and just spill your guts and get it off your chest and mind. Free your mind so it will no longer hurt when you breathe.
“So tell me what you want to hear
Something that will light those ears
I’m sick of all the insincere
So I’m gonna give all my secrets away” (One Republic – Secrets)
“It’s been a long time I shouldn’t have left you Without a strong rhyme to step to
Think of how many weak shows you slept through
Time’s up I’m sorry I kept you
Thinkin’ of this you keep repeatin’ you miss
The rhymes from the microphone soloist
And you sit by the radio hand on the dial soon
As you hear it pump up the volume
Dance wit the speaker ’till you hear it blow
Then plug in the headphone ’cause here it go
It’s a 4 letter word when it’s heard, it control
Your body to dance, you got it SOUL!” Eric B & Rakim
Yes, I know it’s been a while but sometimes you have to go from being the Mendee to the Mender and so I was off being the Mender to the Masses. I am a writer. In every sense of the word, I am a scribe. I have as many notebooks, journals, pens, and cute bags to carry them in as I do heartbeats. Yes, that is a slight exaggeration but you get my drift. I literally and physically write. Don’t get me wrong, I love my computer, Snooks and I get along great but I have a true, old fashioned love affair with pen and paper. While I was off Tending to the Mending, I was writing but life is so busy and hectic that you don’t always get the chance to sit down and share. Some days I write more than I speak and I would love to share all my notebooks with you but unfortunately there isn’t enough time in the day. I’m up tonight because I had to work late and so my internal clock is busted beyond repair and I know I’ll pay for this late night snack but I don’t have any missed meal cramps, so I’m pressing forward. It has been a long time and I do feel guilty for not having shared with you all the great lemonade I’ve been making so allow me to quench your thirst. I want to tell you about my relationship with God. Hold on, this is not one of those Bishop, Good Rev. Doctor type things. I’m not religious, whatever that means to you. I’m spiritual, Religion to me is Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish (take note people, Judaism is a religion, people who practice it are Jews, I have yet to see Jewish listed on any form or application where demographics is collected. People who practice Baptist-ism are… well let’s move on shall we.) My relationship status with God is… It’s complicated. Not on His part but on mine. See, I talk to God just like I’d talk to my earthly dad. I tell him jokes… when people say they FOUND You, where were you? At home, at Paul’s house or at the gym and did you have permission to be there? When I call and the line is busy I get upset and when I finally get Him, I ask Him what took You so long to answer, didn’t you see it was ME calling? I apologize when I’ve sinned. I yelled at someone today and I mean I gave them the business. I did apologize to the person, for yelling at them, what I said, needed to be said just not in the say I said it. I apologized to God because one should never let anger use them like that. I made no excuses, although I did do the plausible rational thing but in the end, I owned up to my behavior and asked for forgiveness. I was watching TV, something I don’t do very much of and the conversation was about finding a job. One character said finding a job is hard. He said finding a job is hard. He had to ask Jesus to lead him to the job of his dreams and when He (Jesus) did, he knew He (Jesus) was the guy that he wanted to keep going to to ask for things. Pause for audience laughter. Sooo, Jesus is the guy who can get things. Nice to know. Next character says he once asked Jesus for tickets to the Espys but he didn’t come through so he just watched it on his Plasma tv. Pause for audience laughter. Now let’s think about that for a minute. Jesus IS the guy you go to to ask for things, am I right? And when He “doesn’t come through” – read give us what we want – we feel some type of way about it but heaven forbid if you say out loud that you are mad, angry or upset with God. All I’m saying is that my behavior today wasn’t as it should be, people got on my nerves and there was no thought of loving thy neighbor, more like come mere and let me superglue and cement spackle your mouth shut to keep the ridiculousness from flying out. Hey, I’m honest and I think He appreciates my honesty. Almost every minute of the day, and I am NOT exaggerating, I pray and ask Him to help me when I’m in the presence of certain people. You know the kind who will make you forget yourself and before you know it someone in your family is getting a collect call from the city jail. My tolerance for ignorance that refuses to be enlightened, backstabbing, throwing under the bus, crab-barreling and any other in-humane action towards another is low to non-existent, and so I must confess my sins, ask for forgiveness and the strength to move beyond that shortcoming. I remember when I found God. I was madder than Ms. Sophia on the Color Purple. I asked him – where’ve you been? He said nothing, looked me up and down, did a Clint Eastwood character spit (He gave up the chew) and said How YOU doing? I laughed and said Touché Daddy. People need to lighten up about God. Some people talk about Him so much I think even He gets tired. Notice I said talk about Him not to Him, big difference. I talk to Him all day. People ask, who are you talking to, I say Jesus, you want me to tell Him you said hi? Even writing this, I asked Him if He had insomnia and He said, I guess so because you’re up talking to me. I felt bad to I told Him to go to bed and then He told me to go to bed, no you, no You, no You, no You. I think we all know who blinked first on that one. Goodnight Moon.
“I start to think and then I sink Into the paper like I was ink When I’m writing, I’m trapped in between the lines I escape when I finish the rhyme, I got SOUL” Eric B & Rakim