Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Emotion’

My Soul

emotion icon

emotion icon (Photo credit: Łukasz Strachanowski)

My soul

is there room there

room for anyone but me

my soul

the heart of emotions

filled with desires

wanting things

out of reach

strong in its pull

a merry-go-round

gently lulling

and circling

relentless to claim

and rule

never satisfied

gaining ground

everyday

in its selfish employ

but

God’s spirit

waits like a gentleman

to take a step forward

to be invited in

attempting to fill

and push back

the darkness

and selfish attempts

shining in the corners

of thought and reason

sweeping clean

washing

the old

the worn out

the useless

the dead

the unnecessary

things that excite

and bind

entertain

and mame

entice

and tighten

I long to

clear out the clutter

of mind

and confusion

causing

me to stagnate

I do not know how

but somehow

My soul

chooses to

come under authority

submit 

and see

conviction as true health

for my mind and body

I clean up the room

without hiding things

in overflowing closets

stuffing things under the bed

as I invite Him in

He works with my desires

and emotions

He helps me

make peace with them

He gently teaches me

to manage

and control

works with my thoughts

gives me new ones

and miraculously

just as He is invited

to my confusion

of mind

thoughts

and emotions

 

 

He finds a home there

 

 

 

 

For You

Heard this wonderful song today on Pandora Radio and had to share it with all of you today.  There is something special that only music can express. And sometimes the emotion of love can ONLY be fully expressed through a song – a melody – and very special lyrics.  I have many songs that are special and always a part of me for that reason.  Music evokes a memory and an emotion that nothing else does.  For this reason it is and will continue to be a central focus for me – not only as a musician – but as a human being.  God the creator of music – knows what moves us emotionally – He created us unique and special – knowing the things that touch us and restore joy and happiness – His kiss of love to us.  And this is just one example.

Enjoy and God Bless

No words to say
No words to convey
This feeling inside I have for you

Deep in my heart
Safe from the guards
Of intellect and reason
Leaving me at a loss
For words to express my feelings

Deep in my heart
Deep in my heart
Look at me losing control
Thinking I had a hold
But with feelings this strong
I’m no longer the master
Of my emotions

What Else You Got?

Cover of "Love Is A Decision"

Cover of Love Is A Decision

We have good manners (or at least we should) we have possessions and things and we have potential to be the best we can be.

But we are living in a society with failed marriages all around us.  They fail – even when people have all the above things in spade.

We get married because we’re in love.

We are well-mannered, and well-meaning – even bringing material things and all kinds of potential with us.

And still – many marriages fail.

So I ask the question:  WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

Love – check

Good manners – check

Well meaning – check

Some material possessions – check

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

You see – every marriage that fails – started out with these things too.  Yours is no different.  Or is it?

I have learned a few things being married almost 30 years.  It takes much more than just love, good manners, material possessions and well-meaning to make a good strong lasting relationship – that can go the distance.

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

When the bottom drops out – life goes sideways and things aren’t fun anymore?

When crisis touches your family – financial security goes out the window and illness comes to stay?

When you have nothing else to give and the emotion of love is gone?

Here are some practical things to think about when contemplating marriage or in trying to better yours.

1. Love – ah the very word just makes us all warm and tingly, right?  It is something that great songs and Hallmark movies are made of.  “Love is all you need” and “Love means never  having to say you’re sorry” blah blah blah.  Nice sentiments – they sound so good and sing well – but they are NOT true!    I wish it was.  And there was a time not so long ago that I really thought love would be enough – but it was not.  Love is great but it can only take you so far.  Love is the great leveler – but it can also mess with your emotions and blind you. It is not enough when emotions can be fickle – and that feeling of romance and newness wears off eventually with anyone – especially in a long-term marriage.  This can be a  problem for people – if they don’t feel it anymore. Love – is a decision, therefore – not just an emotion.  It is an act of our will.

2. Friendship is wonderful and much more solid.  And friendship in marriage is a must. How many times have I heard that a couple was “in love” but as time wore on – they discovered that they did not even really know each other well – and they were startled to find out that they were not even friends.  When the emotion of love and romance wears thin – you must have something left to fall into – something safe and comfortable.  A friendship of heart and soul can save you when your marriage goes through a rocky patch – as all marriages do.

3. Respect in a marriage is also a must.  Many partners lose respect for each other when times are not exciting anymore – they withhold love – aren’t friends and don’t like each other anymore.  This leads to so many problems – the first and foremost is a sabotage of their own relationship.  Respect is given – as well as taken.  You must respect your spouse – but they  must also respect you.  And it is hard to hold that line – if you yourself are not respecting them.  How many times over the years have I seen couples talking badly to each other – even in public.  That is not good.  But you must be the first to respect. If you show kindness and proper respect for them – they will not be able to help but return it.  But you cannot have it only one way.  And respecting  means supporting your partner through good and bad times.  Finding a way to encourage the hopes and dreams of him or her and being that safe person that they can trust when life goes sideways.

4. Lead with your head and your heart will follow.  If you always allow your heart to lead you – you will be in trouble – as the heart is fickle and changeable – like the emotion of love.  We can feel love for many different people we have chemistry with. That doesn’t mean it is real. This is a hard one for many to deal with.  A long-term relationship isn’t always going to give you “tingles” – and if you get bored easily or need excitement 24/7 –  then long-term marriage isn’t for you.   But normally something needs to happen in you first.  You can’t always change things for the better – but that is the place to start.

5.  Be the person of integrity and character that you expect your partner to be. Living a life of character is hard.  We are not perfect and slip and fall in so many ways.  It is a daily choice – and sadly I have not always lived up to this – and maybe you have not either.  Don’t give up.  If you blow it – Jesus forgives – get up and try again.  He has promised to be with us on our daily journey and He will be there to help and guide us – giving us words of encouragement through His word and speaking softly to us through prayer.  He understands that it is hard to go through life without temptations – in fact we need to know that THEY ARE COMING.  No one is immune. Brush yourself off – and begin again – each new day is another chance to get it right.

5.  Don’t play the “blame game”.  That’s way too easy – and such a cop-out!  “They don’t respect me” or “They’re withholding” or “They don’t understand me” or “They don’t meet my needs” – are very common things that are said when going through a serious problem.  Instead of blaming – try finding out what is happening inside of you.  Have you stopped respecting them?  Have you withheld to punish or teach a lesson?  Have you failed to understand because they don’t understand you?  Do you meet their needs?

6.  Be the best person, lover, friend and confidant that you can be.  It starts with you.  Marriages still fail – but not usually when couples are sensitive to each others needs – putting their feelings and needs ahead of your own agenda and even your own happiness.  What you sow into them – in love, compassion, understanding, respect and friendship it WILL COME BACK TO YOU. And you CAN turn even a bad marriage around.  You can rekindle a dying relationship – bring a spark of life because of attention and determination – disciplining your heart and your mind to honor and love first – and let the feeling comes later.  Wait for it – it will come.

When couples wants to get married because “they’re in love” – this needs to be our question for them:

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

God Bless

Tears? Who Needs Them?

Tear system: a. tear gland / lacrimal gland, b...

Image via Wikipedia

The other night I had a complete and total emotional melt-down.  I’m not proud of it – I’m just admitting it.  I’m real.  I have those kinds of days too.  I don’t always handle everything the right way with grace and dignity.  Unfortunately this was not a melt down due to a bad day – it was…just because.

I don’t know why it feels uncomfortable to admit that I cry and have melt-downs once in a while.  Or that I ever have a bad day.  I’m not sure why I have it in my memory bank that it’s right to always paint on a smile – hold it in – ALWAYS think positively and for GOODNESS SAKES don’t admit I’m having a struggle.  In a perfect world where people respond correctly and friends don’t act weird or people make me feel stupid and there is never a problem, then I guess I could suck it up.  But it’s not very accurate – at least in my life and in the end – by pretending that everything is just ‘peachy’ – it only makes other people feel like complete losers when they themselves are walking through a hard season – or even just a bad day.  What if they push me away because I am ‘so perfect’ at least from all appearances – and I don’t have ANY problems?

But the truth is – that I DO have problems and struggles.  And I am a crier. A really emotional crier.  I can’t seem to watch anything sad or sentimental without crying – or at least tearing up a little.

Tears are funny.  They happen when I least expect them.  Sometimes it’s a memory  triggered by normal things like music – or something I read – or something someone says.  And sometimes there is no reason for them at all and I am helpless to stop them.  Oh I’m not talking about the ‘tearing up’ because of happiness or hurt – I’m talking about REALLY CRYING.

Crying DOES release something inside.  Frustration, sadness, helplessness, resignation, fear, rejection, bitterness, anger and many other emotions.  It’s nature’s way of getting it out.  I’ve been told that they are even therapeutic. But for me – there is a high price for tears.  I don’t mean just tears.  But the tears that have a little extra.  You know what I mean – the throat constricts and the sobs come up from a deep place and pretty soon my makeup is all over my face in all the wrong places – my nose is dripping and I can’t breathe.  It’s a joyous experience. Welcome to my puffy world.

However – I’m thinking there just HAS to be another way to release frustration and emotion.  One that doesn’t leave a headache and puffy eyes.  One that doesn’t rob me of sleep and make me feel all icky.  This last ‘break-down’ cost me a whole day – and who has time for that with a busy schedule?  NOT ME.

Greg tells me that I just need to hit something.  Really hard.  In fact he rarely cries – most men are like this – they would rather hit things or do something physical to ‘get it out’.  And they don’t get headaches.  I’m starting to think that maybe they have the right idea.  No kidding.  Greg told me just today that he’s going to give me a big bat and then I’m supposed to count to ten and then start swinging.  The counting to ten is so that he can get out-of-the-way.  I can see this – Greg with eyes WIDE open while running for his life!  He is quite safe – no worries.  But he knows that I would feel better if I could just hit something – or someone really hard on the head 🙂

Tears.  Stupid tears.  Who needs them?

I guess I do.

🙂

Are You Happy?

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by Jame...

Image via Wikipedia

Heard another great message from our pastor, Stephen Collins yesterday morning.  He has begun a series on “The Beatitudes”.  This question was asked:

Are you happy?  Is this really what you want?  Will that alone satisfy you long-term?  When feelings change and emotions are fickle?

The most profound statement came in the middle of the message.  ‘When we settle for just being happy – we aim too low’ – missing out on God’s blessing in our lives’. Sometimes, God doesn’t want us to be happy.  Sometimes there are lessons in the ‘gift’ of pain and hardship in our lives.  The most significant changes in our heart and character come when life is not ‘happy’ – but dark and sad.

For me – I know this is a true statement – and sums up just what I have learned and lived through over the past 2 years – as I grew and discovered God’s ‘gift’ of hard times, both personally, in my relationships  and spiritually.

If we accept the ‘gift’ in the way it is intended – then God can do His greatest work in us – bringing us more than just ‘happiness’ – but a blessed and meaningful life And sometimes what may feel like the end of the world – may only be the beginning of a great and rewarding life.

Are you happy?  Is that what you really want?  Or do you want more?  Do you want God’s rich blessing poured out in your life.  I know I do.  I want to reap the reward of choosing to do the right thing – when doing that goes against everything I may be feeling.  It means doing right by people and relationships – and being the right person. Living by character and integrity – rather than emotions.  And when I do stray away and don’t choose what is right – at least initially – then knowing how to get back on the right path – hard as it is – to reconcile and fix it – and keep my heart open.

I am more than happy.  I am blessed. I understand this now – but it took a couple of hard lessons to really believe it.  I’m blessed with a wonderful family, a man who loves me with everything that he is –  and friendships that mean everything to me.  What I lost – God has richly replaced – and has taught me a great many lessons in the process.  Things I could not have learned – just by following my heart and emotions because I ‘wanted to be happy’.  When we see life as a journey – and know that there is a much bigger picture than just personal happiness – we will not want to aim so low.

Are you happy?  Are you wishing for more than that?  I invite you to share in some hard times – and think of them as a ‘gift’ – an added blessing to enhance your character and integrity.  I wish you more than happiness, my friend.  I wish you a life of blessing and purpose – a holy calling in which you give up ‘personal happiness’ for something richer and deeper.  To see people the way that God sees them.  To understand there is a lost world out there – and your unique gifts have placed you right where you are – to influence those that He has entrusted to you.  Use them today.

Be more than just ‘happy’ – be blessed and be a blessing to those in your life.

 

God Bless

Working The Anger Out

"Always write angry letters to your enemi...

Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

‎”Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.” – James Fallows

How many times have we done this? I know I have.  More than once.  My own dear husband admits to writing one of these to me a couple of years ago – and never let me read it – and he’s glad – so am I.

Letters written with anger are never restorative. Instead they can do real damage – as the written word is forever.  It is always imprinted on the memory and heart and is a tough thing to move past.

I don’t believe it is a sin to be angry.  Jesus was angry – many times.  He never sinned in anger and asks that we do the same.  There are going to be things that make us angry – it’s just a fact of life.  There are things we can’t understand – things we can’t resolve and the list goes on and on.

I wrote one of these ‘angry’ letters to a friend I had a falling out with – but I’m so glad I never mailed it – or passed it through an email.  The letter was for me alone – part of my healing to just ‘get it out’ on paper and reevaluate what went wrong – and validate me as a person.  Sometimes this is a necessary thing to do.  Once the anger and emotion is passed – often times there is something left in its place.  Perspective and sadness. Sadness for the circumstances – and perspective that time passing brings – taking the punch out of the anger.  Sadness that so much time is lost in the mean time.

I must admit that I don’t get angry very often.  I’m pretty even-tempered – yet I’m passionate about certain things – but usually not angry.  I love people in my life – deeply.  Love my family and friends with a solid love.  I think what really sets me off are ‘half truths’ told about me – or people totally misunderstanding me and passing me off as something that is not even true.  And being helpless to change this opinion.  Another thing that really sets me off is being helpless to change past circumstances that got blown WAY out of proportion.  I am naive enough to believe that adults should be able to get past themselves – truly and totally forgive – to save the relationship – learn from mistakes of the past and be restored in every sense of the word.  My dear husband smiles at me and pats me on the head – like I’m a small child full of innocence and wonder.  And says, ‘Oh Cindy – that is just not the real world’

And so writing letters are for me alone. God is the only one who sees them.  And He is doing a deep work of art – in my heart.  Helping me work out the disappointment, hurt and anger – and stop it before I spew it on others close to me.  I’ve kept a journal for years – and recently I told ‘my story’ as I remember it.  We all have our ‘story’ don’t we?  Mistakes we have made?  Someone that has hurt you?  Something you can’t fix on your own?  Yes – we all do.

Can I be angry and not sin?  That is the challenge for me. Can I still be passionate about wanting change – and not push before people are ready for change?  Can I keep who I am intact – and not lose myself to emotion?  Can I do and feel what is right – and not compromise what I feel God would want me to do?  Follow His leading and direction – rather than what others tell me?  Know myself so well – that it is not a dilemma for me to restore others in love?  These are the questions I struggle with – daily.  And sometimes what I feel God is leading me to do – is not the popular consensus.

My encouragement for you is this:  Write that angry emotional letter – get it all out!  All of it. The feelings and emotions – the being misunderstood – the slander against you – the feelings of betrayal and being wronged.   Imagine taking a walk with that person who has wronged you.  Find a nice place to stop along the road – a nice grassy patch that’s very quiet and peaceful.  Take out the letter and read it out-loud to that person.  Ask them not to interrupt you until you’re done reading it.  This letter will say it all – and you won’t have to depend on your memory – and get lost in emotion – you can just read it.  Imagine that they hear you.  Really hear you. Imagine that they understand – and that they feel sorry for causing you pain – and they accept your apology too.  Imagine the conversation of healing and restoration – even if you have to MAKE IT UP.  Remember – it is for you. It is part of your heart healing – and letting go of the anger.

I have done this – not once – but many times. It is always a restorative conversation.  The anger is no longer there.  I am still writing – and there are days when I have to take that walk with someone again and read a letter – forgive and be forgiven – and have a healing conversation.  There are days when I have to forgive myself all over again.  I wish I could say that all of my relationships have been finally worked out and are restored – back in good daily communication – having put the past behind – but sadly this is not true.  But I still wait in anticipation for God to truly restore and heal – and bring back to me – what was once lost. There must still be lessons for me to learn. Until then – I am still working on me. I am in process – on a long journey.

God Bless

Letting Go Of My Negative Self-Talk

Pecha Kucha: Positive Negative Patterns

Image by bluekdesign via Flickr

I was awake in the wee hours with some thoughts and had to immediately reach and turn on my iPhone so I could jot the ideas down on my ‘notes’ – so I wouldn’t forget them by morning!  It was annoying – but sometimes it is better to get rid of them by writing them down so they won’t be all bottled up inside my head preventing me going back to sleep – or worse yet – be all tangled up in my dreams.

These thoughts were on negative and positive self talk.

It is said that for every negative thing said to you – it takes at least FIVE positive things said to counteract the effect of that ONE negative.  What’s up with that?  But I know it’s true.  Ever had someone say someone negative to you?  You can’t get that stupid, thoughtless comment out of your head – no matter how many other people tell you how it’s not true and try to give you a positive instead.  Been there.  Done that.  Still doing it.

Because I teach piano and voice lessons – I have an interesting ‘take’ – if you will – on negative and positive reinforcement in students.  Here are some of the things I have learned in all my years of teaching.

1) It takes much more energy to re-learn something – so we work extra hard to learn something correctly the first time.

2) When the negative or incorrect passage of music has been learned – the brain has a ‘default’ to go back and play it wrong – instead of grabbing the correct way – even though you have played it a thousand times.  Negative is always what is grabbed and it has much stronger of a pull.

3) Positive comments and affirmation make a student bloom and grow – but the negative is always there and difficult to get out of their heads.

4) You don’t have to teach children to do things the wrong way.  It comes naturally.  It takes effort to do things the right way.

5) With much practice you can overcome the negative and incorrect way of doing things.  But only then.

In much the same way – you and I do not have to be taught to be negative – it is called the sin nature. We have to work hard to overcome bad thought patterns and teach ourselves through much practice to remain positive.

Because most of us (especially women) have memories like an elephant – it can become hard to break out of the past – especially if it had negative consequences for us.  Here’s what can sometimes happen to me.

1) I make a new friend in person or online.  Because of a past experience with another friend – I hold you at arm’s length and have trouble trusting you.  The friendship continues and lives are shared.  There is laughter and continued conversation as is normal between friends.  The only difference is this:  I have been hurt.  By someone who knew me.  I will say things to myself like this, ‘Oh no – you are messaging me – you are being very friendly – it seems innocent enough – but this is how another friendship started and tragically ended.  Should I trust you?  What if you betray me?  What if things I say things in confidence to you – and you reveal them to someone else – never meant for anyone else to hear?  Can I really trust you?  I trusted before – revealed parts of myself reserved for very few.  This was someone I loved and who I thought loved me – will I be burned again? – should I trust? – or shouldn’t I? – how much of me should I reveal? – Can I be truly authentic?  How much of me should I share?  How much of me is really safe – OH NO – It’s happening again – will I be crushed and hurt AGAIN?  I don’t think I could ever go through that again.  EVER!!!”  And the negative experience wins again. And I close myself off to what could be a wonderful new relationship – all because that stupid person in my past was a jerk and didn’t know how to treat me – didn’t know how to hold on to a confidence – didn’t respect me enough and ruined trust in my life for other much more deserving people.  Is it right to think that everyone is like this?  Of course not!  And they aren’t.

Or

2) Someone close to me says or writes something negative about me.  (Writing it is much worse by the way – either by email or comment)  I am crushed.  And because it is someone close in – it hurts me more.  Those not close to me cannot hurt me like this.  My self talk becomes like this, “Well I’m just not going to talk to them anymore – I will assign an ‘outer-orbit’ for them to be in – and not let them in too close – yes – that will have to work – there’s NO WAY I’m ever going to allow them to hurt me again”  And I feel justified in doing this.  After all – I have rights, right?  Again – I have given in to my emotions and the negative wins again. Is everyone critical and negative?  Of course not.  But in my mind and heart I pull away – fearful that they are.

I have trust issues – I will admit it.  I also have a willing heart that wants to trust.  That’s the negative and positive pull in my life.  The letting go of the bad and reaching for the good.  And most of all – learning the difference.  Being wise about who I let in to my world.  Learning to share things with people I can trust – those that I am sure love me and have my back and won’t get all WEIRD when things don’t go as planned.  And life goes sideways.  In the crisis periods of my life when I really need that good friend to be protective.  We all need people we can be our true selves with – and confide the deepest part of our heart.

The bottom line is that we should be able to trust.  And we should be able to let go of the negative people and comments – but it is a daily struggle to know the difference and chose wisely.  And with God’s help and guidance – it will get easier.

Here is my motto:

I will NOT let others rule me with the negative.  I will NOT allow myself to be swallowed by others who are negative.  I WILL live a positive, healthy life.  I WILL strive to see the best in others and not cower behind the memory of hurt from the past.  I WILL NOT  allow one person to destroy my joy. I WILL welcome new relationships with open arms.  Yes – I will.

Have you let go of your negative today – and embraced your positive?

God Bless

Fixing Me

Emotion Bliss

Image via Wikipedia

After reading my comments yesterday from my blog article – I began to have some additional thoughts to add.  My good friends pointed out something that I had missed.

My blog was on judgment – but primarily focusing on me and not them.  Judgment will take you outside – reflection will keep you in.

I will admit that it is easier (and less hard work) to keep my focus – out there. I don’t have to do much thinking with my head – I only have to use my emotions to feel.  I can point fingers, make comments, feel superior and look good to myself and everyone around me.  But the truth is – it is empty when I blame, point fingers and  judge.  I can pull a warm blanket of self-protection around me and feel justified in doing so.

Self Reflection is much harder.  It is what will keep me grounded and focused on the real issueMe. Oh sure – I want to scream out things like: ‘You don’t even understand me – you don’t know me’, or ‘How could you say that about me – I thought you did know me‘.  But holding my tongue and working on me where no one can see the hard work inside – is what makes me mature and forces me to grow up and face my own worst enemy.  It is me.

I am capable of being so selfish and so self protective – that I allow thoughts and words to take over my life.  Things that may or not even be true about others.  Slanderous thoughts can take over my life – and because I’ve been hurt – I play the victim once again – licking my wounds and wallowing in the misery embracing the pain of abuse and judgment that was unfairly heaped upon me.  I have no defense from the accusations – and so I allow myself to become hard, cold and bitter.  I am capable of this and more.

But if I allow myself to do the hard work of yanking that ‘plank’ out of my eye, piece by piece, splinter by splinter – until there is nothing there anymore – I may discover a sweet surprise.  Because I am now free of my bitterness and years of self-protection – I may see that there is nothing to remove from your eyes. And this is a sobering thought indeed.  Was it all about me – all along?  My lack – my selfishness, my hardness, my coldness, my insensitivity to others, my intolerance, my impatience and the list goes on and on.  Yes.  I am hopelessly flawed and in need of a Savior.

And thankfully – there is a Savior.  One who has walked this earth and understands how it feels to be hurt, rejected, betrayed by a good friend, misunderstood and all the other emotions that go along with that.  He was the Son of God and if anyone would have had the right to throw His weight around – be judgmental and be justified for His behavior – it was Jesus.  But He let all that go and chose instead to prefer others.  He made himself to be a servant – and he humbled himself – even went as far as death on a cross – to redeem those who were lost.  Me. He taught me how to live – to give myself away – to let go and love even if it means personal risk.  I am ashamed of myself and all my feeble attempts at protecting my pride and looking good.  And I am convicted and challenged by His love, grace and mercy – His selfless act.  And I am compelled to try to live this way too.

When doing so – you may also find that it is you that you need to fix. And not them.

 

God Bless

My Life Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6

This is my life verse. It has been for as long as I can remember. Although I do not fully grasp its complexities – at the very base of my own simplicity – I accept it.

Even years before I knew God‘s plan for my life – I know He had His hand upon me. I didn’t always make the right choices – and yet He always showed mercy to me. And the only thing that was ever required of me – was to just simply – trust.

Long before things made any sense to me – I still held on to this verse and tried to do as it said – and yet I sometimes failed miserably. It is easier to try to figure things out in a human way – and try to ‘fix’ our circumstances in our own way – without God’s help.

And if I’m really honest – I would have to admit that I didn’t trust that God would ‘do it right’ concerning things in my life – and more importantly – people in my life that I desperately wanted to be there. I did try to do things my own way – several times in my life – and messed it up pretty badly too.

I’ve loved and lost. I’ve been misunderstood and rejected. I’ve ‘leaned on my own understanding’ of situations and been confused and disappointed. I’ve felt helpless in the midst of a friendship gone terribly wrong. I’m human. I’ve cried out to God – and asked the ‘questions’ that all of us ask. “Don’t you care? Don’t you notice that I’m suffering? Can’t you fix this? How long oh Lord? How long?”

My path in front of me is crooked and has many barriers and hindrances in my way.  Walking forward is miserable – especially when I step out on my own.  God promises that when we lean on Him – He will make our crooked paths straight – and He will direct us on that path.  How easy it sounds – how hard it is to do.  I do not see it – until I step out in simple trust.

I’ve been reluctant to step out in complete reckless abandon and ‘trust with my whole heart’ – because in doing so – it means that I no longer have any say in what happens. I have to give up all of my choice – and all of my control – and just – trust.

I am still waiting for a few things. I am a reluctant ‘truster’. I want to. But even though I ‘trust’ in my head – it is hard to let go entirely – when things don’t make any sense to me – and ‘trust’ with all my heart. There are still some ‘crooked’ areas in my path ahead – so I know I haven’t totally surrendered trust yet.  But I’m working on it.  I’m waiting for the crooked path in front of me to straighten out once and for all.

I know and have some limited understanding of the very nature of God – even though it is hard to grasp – He loves me – and wants the very best for me. Why can’t I believe it? Why don’t I always trust it? I don’t know. And I’m ashamed to admit it.

Even now – I wait. I wait for resolution. I wait for truth to win out. I wait for peace in the midst of pain. I still wait. And because I know I will mess up and take back my ‘trusting’ – try again to do it my way – and I will yet again ‘lean on my own understanding’ instead of His – the process will take longer.

I guess I have many more life lessons to learn on this journey of learning to trust. I guess He is not finished teaching me. I am thankful that even though I don’t deserve it – He loves me and He’s not finished with me yet. He cares enough about me and my situations in life – my feelings and emotions – that He is willing to take me on a journey through pain and hard times to bring some understanding of the great things that are brought out of that pain – compassion for others – empathy and softening of my hard, uncaring and selfish heart. He is not unmoved or uncaring – as sometimes it seems to me. There is a right time for everything – and I must simply trust that the right time has not come yet. But it will. And one day I am convinced that I will understand. And there will be some sweet surprises when He is through working behind the scenes in me and in others.

That’s trust. That’s faith. And I am trying to hang on to both. Until that day – when I can see all the reasons – for everything in my life – that’s what I must do.

So each day – I begin again – I take a baby step – a step toward – trust. A baby step toward – leaning. A baby step toward stepping out in faith.  And someday – I will understand – someday – I will really get it.

God Bless

The Love Relationship

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I was in the gym today with Greg when he said something that sparked a long humorous conversation.  He was trying to tell me something – I didn’t hear correctly – started to interject something totally different – and he stopped me and said, ‘You’re just not hearing me – you’re not hearing my heart‘  Oh brother.  I say ‘Oh brother’ because he is saying it with TONS of sarcasm in his voice – and a chuckle at my expense!!

This has been a part of our love relationship for years now.  The differences in us that make us laugh.  Greg making fun of women – (mainly me) and imitating  all the silly ‘girly’ phrases and things we women do.  It works for him – because he always manages to get some kind of reaction from me – and he likes that.  And I tease and poke fun at him – when he becomes too serious – or too stuffy – and it always makes him laugh.

Men love to make fun of women.  Case and Point:  The movie ‘Titanic” – where the old Rose is saying about her memory of Jack (the man she loved) – ‘he saved me in every way a woman can be saved’.  Greg loves to make fun at that movie – and especially cheesy lines like that.  His first response is – ‘You’ve GOT to be kidding, right’?  But I know what she meant by that line in the movie – women get it. Women understand these deep mysteries of feelings and emotions – and Men pretend they don’t. When probed – I have discovered that men really do get it – it’s just not ‘manly’ to admit it.

Now why is this?  Men have feelings and emotions – this is for certain – and no one can hurt a man like a woman can.  Remember the recent series “Men of a certain age”?   Actor Ray Romano tells his son about women, ‘they have many ways they can hurt us”.

So if this is true – and men feel the same feelings about love and other things that we do – why is it considered weak – or ‘girly’ to admit it?  Very few men will admit to crying at a sad movie – although I’ve seen both my husband and son do it – but not many others.  Most men are guarded when it comes to expressing those ‘touchy feely’ feelings.  And I believe it is drilled into them as little boys to be tough and not show emotion.  That somehow it weakens them to admit they struggle – or have fear – or are afraid – or feel helpless in the midst of love – or can be hurt enough to cry.  Remember the song in the 70’s by the group ’10cc’ where one of the lines is ‘Big boys don’t cry’?  How sad that men believe this – how sad that they are made to feel they must be like this.

It is interesting that when you know a man – really know him – he is not afraid to reveal some of that emotion.  But he must feel safe. And just because they don’t feel like they always can express emotions like a woman can – does not mean that they don’t have them.

I’ve been married to this man of mine for 29 years this Sunday – and one of the great things I’ve discovered is this:  we are different – but we are basically the same underneath all the layers.  Our emotions are basically the same – with different reactions to pain and hurt.  We both know what it feels like to be vulnerable and misunderstood – or to be used and tossed aside.  We both understand love and relationships – and have felt all sorts of emotions in relation to each other and in raising children.  We both can still make each other laugh – and we’re great friends – even through some of the rough patches that life has thrown at us.  And that’s so nice to know. ♥

He will continue to tease and make fun – I will continue to make him scratch his head in confusion – and make him laugh – it is our dance.  And so our journey continues – with its mysteries and lessons – and its laughter. It is our story – it is our love relationship.

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