Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘reflection’ Category

I Just Want You To Be Happy.

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the ...

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the Bijou Opera House production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience Português: A cantora Lillian Russell, na ópera Patience, em 1882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This sentence has always troubled me.  I have heard it off and on when I was growing up.  And today in movies and television programs – there it is again.  Usually from parents talking to their children.  Usually after a “talk” about what they should or shouldn’t be doing.  The sentence “I just want you to be happy” is a disclaimer to any and all unpleasant topics and issues.

But what does it really mean?

I heard it yet again in a movie I was watching – and turned to Greg who was standing in the kitchen and said, “HA!  There it is again!  Those words.”  It is not the first time I’ve turned to Greg after hearing something like this – nor will it be the last.  This phrase seems to be one that is heard over and over again.

What does ‘being happy’ have to do with real life?  What exactly is the state of ‘happiness’ anyway?  Is there a quick pass and free ticket to that place just because someone wishes it for me?  “Well, since you put it that way – I guess I will be happy”  It doesn’t work that way.

Happy is a neutral place found by those who have felt the opposite once or twice in their lives.  Somewhere where pain is absent but easily remembered.  Where struggle and frustration gave birth to break through and hurt and determination yielded fruit.

I can no more wish that place on my children or anyone else without knowing what true happiness means – and what it takes to get there.  I believe you can’t get to happy without the ‘unhappy’ and all the rest first.  I know the journey to get there is worth it.  But I have also lived longer, tried more things and know what works with people and circumstances and what does not.  I am striving to live in that place of  ‘peace with all men’ and will do anything to remain there – in that place that is eternally ‘drama free’.  But that takes experience and just plain hard work.

A better thing to say to others is this:

I want you to be healthy.  Health requires good choices for your body and mind.  To be aware of what influences affect and pull you in ways not good for you.  To know your limits.  To fulfill your purpose.  To develop those God-given gifts and talents.  To move by God’s leading and always hear His voice.

And if you just must reference that word ‘happy’ – then I would say this instead:

I want you to always choose to be happy.  That in itself is a loaded statement.  You mean we can actually choose to be happy?  Even in negative circumstances?  Even when life is crashing down all around?  Even when I have no money for that next bill?  Even when someone has said negative things – ruined my reputation and tried to steal my joy?  Even when illness comes to stay?  Even when no one understands?

Yes.

It is in just those such things that eventually bring a kind of ‘happy’ – but it is deeper.  It is more like joy.  For in those trials and adversity – something happens to us.  We depend and lean more on God.  We get to know and understand His mercies and kindness.  Patience and perseverance are developed in us in an intangible way.  

Psalm 3:3 says:

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

When He is the one protecting and providing a shield around me and my circumstances, I can look at things differently.  I can lift my head.  I can choose to put on joy.

Won’t you choose to be happy?  Allow Him to walk beside you through those stormy times of life.  And He will lift your head.  The next time someone says to you, “I just want you to be happy” come back with this statement:  “I will choose health and choose to be happy no matter what my circumstances”.  You will be empowered by this statement of faith.  And in your faith – you will find happy.

God Bless

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The Quiet Center

Dream of the Abandoned Chair

Dream of the Abandoned Chair (Photo credit: garlandcannon)

We sang this beautiful song during our morning church service.  The words are reflective and personal.  With any good lyrics, I find myself searching deep within and relating so well with each line.  The title is simply, “Come and find the quiet center” and invites all to pause and reflect.  In stepping away from the noise and chaos so often associated with our busy lives – I love the times I can quietly retreat and find my ‘center’ – that place reserved for God alone.  A place where He is my focus and steadiness in a world gone mad.  In the second and third verse (which are not on the video) there is a richness of word pictures.  I especially love how ‘silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace’.  And ‘there’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care, in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!’

 

Do you have a quiet center?  A place of reflection?  A refuge in time of  the great storms in your life?  Take a minute today and reflect on these beautiful words – you will be blessed!

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

by Shirley Erena Murray

 

1 Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.
2 Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we’re shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun.
3 In the Spirit let us travel,
open to each other’s pain,
let our loves and fears unravel,
celebrate the space we gain:
there’s a place for deepest dreaming,
there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming
there is always room to spare!

 

On A Clear Day

Driving to Seattle on a clear day is very revealing.  It shows me what I’ve been missing all the other days of the year.  The things that are there, yet hidden.  The Cascade Mountains, for one.  Suddenly I’m aware that my world isn’t so small after all – and just beyond my ability to perceive them lies untold beauty.

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing ...

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing towards the North East from Queen Anne, Seattle WA. The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge is in the background with a backdrop of the University of Washington and the Cascade Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times are we like a cloudy, rainy day in our thoughts – going along through the day with all the correct motions and intentions, and yet perceiving our world as much smaller than it really is.

I was challenged to take a lesson from nature – open up my eyes and LOOK around me – for things I cannot see with my natural limited senses.  I want to reach far beyond the box of “normal” and see with God eyes all the beauty I’m missing.

I thought of the song “On a clear day you can see forever” and was reminded that it is clearness in both our eyes and thoughts that can give us that unique perspective on things around us.  And I want to always remember what is invisible when the storms of life close in on me and I cannot see.

Dear Lord – help me to hang on to that clear vision from those clear days – and to use it when those tough times close in around me.

When was the last time you saw things with “clear vision”?

I heard the following song on Spotify today from a local Seattle band – and have been writing this article with this tune in my head.

Enjoy and God Bless

Tell me somethin’, give me hope for the night
We don’t know how we feel
We’re just prayin’ that we’re doin’ this right
Though that’s not the way it seems

Summer gone, now winter’s on its way
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
Oh, I’ll miss the days we had

Loving, leaving, it’s too late for this now
Such esteem for each has gone
Has time driven our season away?
Cause that’s the way it seems
In the world of the speech that is new
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay

A Dream Within A Dream

I have a recurring dream.  I’ve had it off and on since my high school days, some 35 years or so.  It is always the same theme, although many elements of the dream are different each time.  Two things are always the same:

1) I can never remember my locker combination (or sometimes can’t even find the locker)

Locker

Locker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and

2) I don’t know my class schedule, remember what the assigned material is or even find any of my classes (in each dream the school is different).

I can only assume each time I have a dream with this same theme, that there is something unresolved from my past and for whatever reason, because I cannot solve it – it keeps happening.

Last night I was dreaming the same dream and like so many times before felt those same feeling of helplessness and frustration, when suddenly I decided to DO SOMETHING about it!

I became present inside my dream – kind of like a dream within a dream –  and took control of where it was going.  I grabbed some poor person that happened to be standing by me in the hallway and said, “take me to the office RIGHT NOW!”  I don’t know who it was, neither male or female, but it didn’t matter in the dream – I just needed someone to point me to the office.  Many times before in these same dreams I couldn’t even find the office – but this time it was going to be different!

I arrived with this person at the office and said to the person behind the desk, “Could I please have a copy of my locker combination and a copy of my class schedule?   Look – you have to understand – I will NEVER be able to remember them and need help – AND it is very possible that I will come here again and need the same kind of help – can you do this for me?”

It was there that my dream ended.  I’m curious to know if I am able to stop these stupid recurring dreams and maybe the key was to take control of the situation, I guess I’ll have to see.

Dreams are funny.  Some say they hold symbolism that is key to unlocking your subconscious, others like my husband say that they don’t hold any meaning, it’s just your over action imagination going wild while you sleep.  I guess I fall in the middle somewhere.  I do know that I’ve had closure with people in my dreams where I’ve never had closure while I’m awake.  Five minutes within a dream can “fix” so many things.  One old friend in particular visited me in a dream a couple of times in the last few years and we had a lovely conversation, the relationship was mended and things were said that needed to be said.  There was a sweet hug and everything was fine.  In that moment all the doubt and raw emotions were finally brought to right.  For me, it brought closure and reassurance.  I’ve heard people say that they have had similar conversations of closure with loved ones who have passed away.

Is it our wishful thinking that makes these things happen?  Closure and explanation – when in reality, there is none?  I would like to think that there is.

What dreams do you dream?  Do you find closure and comfort in things that have none?  Do you have conversations with those that have passed away – or walked away from a relationship with you?  Have you ever stepped in to your dream and “fixed” something?

 

God Bless

Faithful

English: Image for BBVA EAGLEs article

Image via Wikipedia

 

My puppy puts me to shame

She is loyal

Faithful

She will not leave my side

even in the early morning when she’s hungry

She waits for me

to have my devotions

and coffee

and to fully

get up

and put my slippers on

even though it takes me

several minutes

to finally go downstairs

She does not get upset

or anxious

she trusts

and waits

 

How faithful am I?

How patient?

Can I wait?

Do I run ahead?

Anticipate?

Set my own course?

Am I willing to wait

on God

for the things

He says I must?

Can I sit

and  quietly contemplate

drink in

calm my scattered mind

and just

be faithful?

I’m tired

and need strength

I complain

fuss and fume

I need

to relax

stop the spinning

sit back

and wait.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. 
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired, 
   they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:31  Message Bible

What about you?  Feeling weary?  Need some fresh strength today?  I know a source of strength that will not only renew – but help you to soar like an eagle.  Imagine running and not getting tired, walking and not lagging behind?

Yes – I think I can – I know I can – Lord help me to...wait.

God Bless

Faith (George Michaels Style)

Music guitar

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

This is for my daughter – the #1 song on the charts for the year she was born – 1987.

Where were you when you first heard this song?  Are you old enough to remember?

Enjoy and God Bless!

Is It Okay To Be Really Angry?

Angry Birds Plush Toy

I’ve been following along with the documentary show on OWN called “Finding Sarah” – about Fergie – the Duchess of York.  She is on a quest to find out why she has turned out the way she has – and why she seems to be helpless to spin out of control and make wrong decisions in her life – resulting in years of destructive behavior including a failed marriage and loss of several careers to reinvent herself.  In this last episode after meeting with trusted friends and experts such as Dr. Phil – she traveled to Arizona to meet with a guru and nature healer.  He was native American – with long braids – a very serene and gracious person who asked her to talk about the things that troubled her.  As she poured out her story to him – he said things very similar to what Dr. Phil had already told her – with a unique spin.  “What you do not acknowledge – you cannot change”.  He used 2 pound rocks to represent all the different aspects of the dark side of her personality – Anger, Rage, Bitterness, Frustration, Jealousy, etc.  He asked her if she had ever felt RAGE?  She told him it wouldn’t have been acceptable to do that – or to even be ANGRY.   Having been in a very controlled environment – that would never have been allowed – even as a child.  And there were some things in her that were buried so deep – and to touch them was very scary.

Then he told her to pick them up – and pack them around on her back while they took a little journey.  He said, “you carry them around now anyway – you might as well take them to know how heavy they are”.  So she did as she was told – and they were heavy.  Once they drove to their destination and walked in the desert for a bit – they came a place where she was instructed to take off the rocks and then he demonstrated for her what he wanted her to do to release these from her life.

He stood facing a canyon that echoed back and yelled, “WHYYYYYYYYY?”  Using his whole body to really take his time – from standing upright to going down on his knees.  Then he did it again – took his time – again yelling, “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY”? And letting it echo back.  He told her – you are doing this for youYou need to release it.  There is no answer.

She was reluctant of course – to look foolish.  But she wanted to comply.  When she tried to do it – it was difficult – especially when the subject of abandonment from her mother came up – and touching that emotion was so painful she couldn’t allow herself to even cry or become angry.  So again – he demonstrated and feel to his knees and sobbed like a baby.  She watched him – fascinated that someone could be so in touch with their feelings – and could release them and not hold on to the darker things.  And though she could not do what he wanted – by watching him – it touched something inside of her – and he knew it would be a long journey of healing for her.

As I watched this “teacher” and “nature healer” speak to her – helping her discover who she is and why she is still so lost – I was reminded of how God works with us.  We all carry around those heavy rocks too – but since no once can see them – we learn to hide and stuff – adjust to the weight of them.  And I realized that I am not so much different from Sarah – I suppress things – stuff them – control my environment so everyone including me is comfortable.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment of RAGE in my life.  I’ve been angry – but mostly my anger goes right to sadness – and I am afraid to touch it too much.

I remember pouring out my heart to God in a situation I had about 2 1/2 years ago – and it was scary going to that rage and anger – and sobbing seemed a more comfortable place for me – so that’s where I went.  Even though I know that God can handle my questions, my rage, my anger and my ugliness – it was still difficult to admit it – even to Him.

The dark emotions that each of us have – can be destructive – if inflicted on another – but I also learned that they are important to deal with and release – with just myself and God.  He can handle them.  He made these emotions.  And He can help release something in me – so that I don’t harm and inflict someone I love.

When was the last time you were really angry about something – and allowed yourself to touch that emotion – so that you could deal with it?  When was the last time you let God see that in you?  Is that okay for you?  Do you see it as a sign of weakness – or lack of control?  When is it wrong to be angry?

God Bless

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