A Letter of Regret From Your Anxious and Depressed Friend

 

That was a well written letter, and shed some insight on social anxiety. My son has terrible social anxiety. Ever since he was young, he did not want to leave the house. Now that he is 19, he is terrified to go to an interview, although he was able to attend school for a while. As long as everything was predictable, he was fine, it was when changes happened that he lost his nerve.

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via A Letter of Regret From Your Anxious and Depressed Friend.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Zip It!

Oh so true!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Another oldie but a goodie:

About 2 years ago I realized the toll that working retail was taking on me.  Without noticing I had become much more bitter, suspicious, negative, negative and negative.  Oh, did I mention negative? I didn’t like going anywhere except home after work and made it my mission in life to avoid other retail stores at all costs.  If you have worked retail you understand me, if not, go to Amazon and buy “Retail Hell” by Freeman Hall and it will provide perspective.

Funny side note is I discovered the book Retail Hell while on vacation on Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands over Christmas in 2010. Unfortunately, I came down with a stomach virus and was confined to the villa for two full days. My only entertainment was a television that received two stations and that book.  So as I laid alone in…

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Spiritual Searching

delft-nieuwe-church-interior source insideabreadsheadcom

Image source: insideabreadshead.com

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

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Image source: IstanbulCityTours

It seems lately, I have been thinking more about my religious beliefs, wondering if they make sense to me any longer. I was raised a Catholic (we went to mass every Sunday and I went to religious training as well). However, it never made any sense to me. The rituals were just that, rituals. They never had any inner meaning for me. I also never felt comfortable telling the priest about my sins (although as a child, they were no worse than stealing my sister’s dolls), and although the church’s stained glass windows were beautiful, I never really “got it’. I never felt any presence that I could associate with a   higher power. When I was 17, my boyfriend at the time introduced me to the Church of Christ. They actually read the real Bible every Sunday. After that was 15 or so years of pretty intensive church involvement. I taught classes, went to Bible studies and educated and raised my first four children heavily entrenched in church doctrine.While the morals taught in the church are solid (be kind to others, don’t steal, listen to your parents), I feel I did my children a disservice by having narrow views myself and not exposing them to how other people live and practice their religious beliefs. My children, mostly now adults, are fairly critical of formalized religion, and I believe it is due to my narrow beliefs when I was a young mom.  Fast forward to today, I am almost 50 and my youngest is 12, I no longer go to church on a regular basis, I have been divorced for 10 years and now work full time. My change of circumstance, including divorce and going back to school, along with my profession as a trauma nurse, has really changed my view on the world. It has been a slow evolution, but now I strive to teach my two children who are still at home compassion and understanding, not necessarily any particular religious doctrine. Sometimes I feel guilty for not being actively involved in a church (it is great for support), but I don’t like the condescending attitudes and looks I get when, for example, I am not dressed “church-like”, since I just can’t afford it, or if my son’s hair is halfway down his back (!). I also really, really have a hard time believing that a loving God differentiates between different churches and beliefs. I love the teachings of the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Ghandi and the poetry of Rumi.  I have also picked up the Quran, which I thought I would never read, and have found it very straightforward. It makes sense. Forget all the doctrine, treat people with kindness, honor and worship God, give to the poor. It is still hard to me say exactly what I believe right now, and I try to expose my children to how other people live and worship, so they can have a wider view of the world. I am still learning and growing. What I do know, is that we are all human and fallible, and all could use a lot of grace! Thanks for letting me share, and I would love to hear your stories. TTFN!

#100HappyDaysChallenge#12: Speed Hiking, Fresh Air and Bugs (?)

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I know research tells me that being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is great for my health, but when I went hiking with my family at Redbud Nature Preserve in Catoosa, I was not prepared for the onslaught of bugs, specifically cicadas. They were everywhere! There were cicadas on almost every tree, on the ground (including a lot of dead ones) and buzzing around our heads. The mud was also so deep that our shoes kept getting stuck in the mud. Further along on the trail, the bugs decreased and we really did enjoy ourselves. The birds were singing their springtime songs and a large variety of wildflowers were in bloom. We “speed hiked” through the trails since the cicadas and the mosquitoes were thick in some areas, and my daughter was not happy with things landing in her hair! It really was great exercise, and it I hope we can do it again soon (minus the bugs).

cicada

A bit about the cicadas, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife: “Oklahoma is home to at least 12 species of cicadas. Each year they emerge from their underground hideouts, shed their skins, fly to the treetops, mate and then die. Differ­ent species have different life cycles. Most cicadas live under­ground for two to eight years, but Oklahoma is also home to a cicada that biologists call Brood IV, a species that has an impressive 17-year life cycle. Many researchers believe this gap between emergences keeps predators from growing accus­tomed to the plentiful food source that cicadas offer. North America is home to approxi­mately 100 species of the 1,500 known in the world.”

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