Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Human’

My Soul

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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

 

 

 

 

Is Your Guard Up? Should It Be?

Signature of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Image via Wikipedia

If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

We are really big into “self-protection” these days.  When someone hurts us – the first thing that we want to do is either lash back at them – or run, duck and cover.  And while neither of these options are good choices and ultimately can leave a residual effect that follows you for years – it is good to know just how to handle your emotions when this does happen – if it has not happened – wait for it.  It will.

We all have people and situations in our lives that bring us distress.  Life is made up of imperfect human beings – from different backgrounds and families.  To expect that everyone is like “me” – is unrealistic – and yet somehow we expect that people will act and react like us.

Betrayal can come in many different forms.  The most important thing that I can do is to keep my own heart from bitterness and wrong motive.  How do I do this?

1.  Be more concerned about relationship than about being right How often have I felt justified to tell someone off – knowing they were DEAD WRONG and I was RIGHT?  Holding my tongue was hard in those situations – but it also  quickly diffused a very sticky situation.  Words cannot be retracted – even with theatrical apologies.  We have a funny and uncanny way of remembering.  Words remain imprinted on the mind.  Therefore – be slow to speak – careful to weigh each word and keep the relationship at the top of the priority list.  If you HAVE to speak – do it carefully and with a lot of love.

2. Be the first to forgive Not easy to do.  It writes and sings well – but putting that into everyday practice takes an act of my will. And living it day after day especially after I’ve said that I forgive – is even more difficult when things pop up from time to time that remind me of a nasty situation.

3. Maintain a standard of right behavior and don’t lower your behavior to compensate for others who don’t get it. We must model right behavior to others.  Retaliation and the “blame game” is a junior high tactic that never worked very well when we WERE in junior high.  Don’t resort to this as an adult – it never works – and makes you appear “smaller” to others.

4. Be loving – but not gullible. I’m guilty of this one.  Where is the line?  It’s hard to detect it sometimes.  I have learned a lot – but have still not arrived.  I love to get involved with people and hear about their lives, dreams, goals etc.  I find it fascinating.  I empathize with hurting and broken people.  I’ve been told that I am naive and can be “played” – or at least that is what has happened on occasion.  I’m wiser now and have learned a lesson or two about just whom I can have close to me or whom I can confide in, etc.  It is like walking a “tightrope” for me – because I love to engage with people and believe that God made me like this for a reason.  But gullible I am not – at least I have had to work very hard at it.

5. Accept that others will sometimes get it wrong – misjudge, jump to conclusions or turn away based on faulty information. Even Jesus was misjudged, treated badly and betrayed.  He is our ultimate example.  He still loved – He still gave – He did not compromise Himself – He did not blame or try to deflect – He was who He was – and even though others treated Him badly and ultimately had Him killed – He never tried to defend Himself, was never nasty to anyone – He told it like it was – that is all.  He lived a life of love and acceptance of others – giving freely of Himself.

6. Always believe the best in people – even when they betray Again Jesus is our great example here.  Jesus trained 12 men while He walked this earth.  He knew they were only human and that some of them would turn away – He even knew about Judas betraying Him – and Peter denying Him before they did it.  Still He believed the best for them and prayed for them. He lovingly restored Peter.  How much more should we be able to forgive, believe the best and want to restore others to a healthy relationship with God and with us?

7. Find your worth and value in God alone I am in trouble the minute I have an expectation in someone and they let me down.  Or they do not validate me like I think I deserve to be – or worse yet – they betray me.  My worth is not based on what someone else thinks of me, says about me – or does to me. My worth and value come from God alone. When I remember this – it puts everything into perspective for me.  Since I am highly valued by God – I can risk loving you too. There is no fear in stepping out and doing the right thing – because God LOVES ME.  I am valuable to Him – He made me exactly like I am – and no one is just like me!  There’s freedom in that!

8. Live a peaceful life – do not spin in other people’s drama How many times to we spin with things we should not?  We get involved in other people’s lives in such a way that it is unhealthy for us and our family?  We press in – where we have no business.  Some things we need to walk away from – in order to have peace in our homes – and that includes good friends and family.  Jesus bring peace to us and wants us to find that rest – He doesn’t call us to “spin” – but to be peacemakers in a lost and dying world.  When we have peace and are restful spirits – we can minister to others in a more effective way.

9. Love your family and friends God has entrusted us with our spouse and our children.  They are precious “gifts”.  We are called to support and love them.  God also gives us the “gift” of friendship too – those who do not HAVE to love us and be in our world – they choose to be.  Be a good friend and it will be returned.

10. Be trustworthy When someone confides in you – BE TRUSTWORTHY.  “Loose lips sink ships” was a phrase during WWII – and the enemy was able to break down our defenses because people “talked”.  I take a confidence very seriously and I hope you do too.  I have risked telling someone close to me too much about my personal stuff – only to have it told to someone who I did NOT want to know anything about it.  It was horrible and painful and now it has made me wiser and much more determined to be a trustworthy friend.  I hope your friends and family can trust you.  I love it when people just know they can come to me about anything and that I will pray for them – but most of all – I will keep it to myself.

 

Remember – like Eleanor Roosevelt said above – be careful – guard yourself and take precautions – once is “shame on them” – but after that – it’s “shame on me”.  Can you keep your guard up – and still love?  Yes.

 

God Bless

Living In Truth

Family Ties title scene from the third season

Image via Wikipedia

Watched an episode of ‘Family Ties‘ tonight.  We loved that  80’s series when we were a young married couple – and so now we own it on DVD.  It’s still just as fresh and funny to us as it was 25 years ago – great writing.

Tonight the episode was more serious – dealing with a delicate subject about ‘feelings’ and mostly about ‘telling the truth’ about those feelings.  It  was strangely familiar and brought up much dialogue for Greg and me. It was a little like looking into a mirror.  A mirror that I’m not sure I wanted to look in.

I love how in a sitcom – things can be worked out in about 23 minutes – every episode has a problem and a conclusion and all is worked out and everyone feels good about it – problem solved for another day.  This episode was no exception.  It took a very complicated problem and simplified it – and had the people responding correctly to the problem – at the end of the show.   Wouldn’t it be great if real life was as simple – and people responded to things as nicely?

Real life has people coming and going in and out of your life – responding correctly or sometimes incorrectly to stress, hurt, disappointment and setbacks.  We don’t have any control over these things – I know I sometimes wish – Okay – ALL THE TIME I wish I had control over this fact.  But the truth is – that I don’t.  And even years later after some of these events that have taken place in my life – I still have to remind myself of this.  I have no control.  Just over myself.

It’s okay to react – it’s even okay to TOTALLY LOSE it when situations and things come at us.  But the tragedy is when we allow ourselves to stay there – bound up in that reaction – inflicting more pain on ourselves and those around us.  Fear is the motivator behind this – and fear can drive a HUGE wedge of misunderstanding and complications.

There is freedom in truth. It means I don’t have to create so much energy reinventing my version of the truth.  There is no fear in truth.  It is simple and straight forward.  It means freedom.  Freedom from myself – freedom from the lie I am trying so desperately hard to hang onto and make others believe.  It means I can once again join the human race – instead of hiding behind that lie.  I am not afraid – looking over my shoulder all the time – wondering who is going to catch on to my deceit.  And even though it hurts me – and even can damage my reputation – it is still better to live in truth.

I had someone tell me the truth one time when I was going through a really bad time.  She told me what I had always suspected but no one else would tell me – because they were afraid.  She didn’t know me – was a neutral party sent to me to help me sort some things out.  She really heard me and allowed me to express what I needed.  She told me that people don’t tell you the truth because they are afraid.  Afraid of reaction to the truth – and afraid that in speaking the truth  – it will somehow change perspective on things and even give a wrong message of permission. And even change feelings.  But it didn’t – and she knew that it wouldn’t.  Truth will set you free. Truth will validate.  Truth will allow you your dignity and tell you that you aren’t crazy.  It will open up a whole new world in your mind and bring life and closure in the heart for whatever has gone wrong.

We need to speak more ‘truth’ – to each other in love – and to ourselves.  I pray that someone will speak only the truth to you today – and that you will be honest with someone else that needs to hear it.  That you will live peaceably with all men and be settled in your own heart and mind – that you did everything you could to live in truth.

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 Passage Of Time

Alternative version of image:Wooden hourglass ...

Image via Wikipedia

Time passes.  It is neutral.  It is unchanging.

But our perception of time greatly changes as we age.

Remember how long summer was when you were a kid?  I remember.  It seemed like there were many more hours in the day to play, eat, ride bikes and otherwise – just fooling around and eating popsicles.  Long, lazy, hot summer days.

Now it seems that everything moves faster – except me. Things spin around me.  I look at my grown children and wonder, ‘what happened’?  Just yesterday they were small and running around the house – getting into all sorts of mischief – the next thing I remember – I have one that’s married and the other that’s out of high school.

Last year our daughter got married – on our 28th anniversary.  As I recall the events of last year at this time – I honestly don’t know what happened!  Did the last year even happen at all?  And the obvious question:  Where was I – when it did?    Scary.

I’m glad that some things don’t change.  Things that matter – like love, family, friendship, conviction and faith in God.  In an ever-changing and fast paced world – it’s nice to know.

And with the passage of time – I want to be able to say  – when my days are done – even though I may not feel any differently than I do now – that I have no regrets. I want to know that I did everything in my power to reconcile differences with people – and to try to repair the lost and damaged relationships in my life.  I want to be able to be proud of who I am – and what I have been able to accomplish in my ‘circle of influence’.  And the people who value me as a person and a friend – I want them to say that their life was fuller and richer because of knowing me.

I hope my students (both former and present) will be able to take what I’ve taught them over the years – and blossom because of what I gave them out of my time and experience. I want to be able to look at each one of them and be proud of them for touching and influencing their world with music.

I want my husband and my children (and someday grandchildren) to have been greatly affected by my gentle presence of love and a non-judgmental attitude.  To show them by example – of love and laughter and let God’s love shine through me.  To know that I have truly made a difference – is my biggest goal.  And my biggest challenge.

What is yours?  We all have a certain amount of days.  A certain amount of heart beats.  What will your legacy be?  What will you accomplish with that limited time?

Live with no regrets.   Love with everything in you.  And most of all – learn to embrace the passage of time.

God Bless

Here is a song from the great Billy Joel – who originally wanted to be a history teacher – in this song there is about 40 years of history – or the passage of time.  Enjoy!

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

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