Saturday, November 19, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

My mind has been wandering again. It hasn't gotten so far away (yet) that I couldn't find it. Whew! It usually indicates that I've neglected to take spiritual, emotional and mental time out recently. Some of the paths it's been wandering are sad, some humorous and some just don't make much sense, such as worry. And then there are those ugly critical thoughts of others that don't serve any purpose at all. That's a good time to do a blog, not to spew out negative emotions, but just to deal with them and turn them back to positive ones. Blogging is a chance to take out my thoughts, review, edit (really EDIT), discipline and organize them. Then I end up with something like a clean slate and a positive outlook - sort of.

Sad thoughts and feelings are circumscribed by really giving them the attention they need instead of stuffing them away in denial. A few tears never hurt anyone, and we can afford a few moments to mourn. It's that prolonged crying on the inside that errodes our souls. Whimsy and humor may seem callous in the midst of grieving, but they are really healing and who doesn't need that? Worries and judgemental attitudes are a terrible drain, a useless waste of mental energy and an affront to faith. My soul is calmed by remembering my rock, the anchor for my spirit and the One who is there to keep me where I need to be on all levels.

To sum it up, blogging (along with prayer and meditation) leads me to deal with the egocentric aspects of my thoughts and emotions, so I can put them in a drawer in a healthy way, at least for today. Then all is well with my soul and I'm free to focus outwardly on others and life as it is - until the next time I need to clean my inner house.

Rest in peace Uncle Ed. I know you will be rewarded for your loving kindness. You will be missed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sentiments and Gratitude

Here comes another winter, which is definitely not my favorite season as I get older. But before that it has been a beautiful fall. November, as someone pointed out today, is a month of gratitude. Contemplating on things I am grateful for has led to memories of past Novembers. It's always been a big birthday month. Growing up with 17 first cousins on one side of the family and 14 on the other, there were always birthday parties. There were 4 in November, mine being one. Now my son and a neice have November birthdays too. Along with those happy memories come some sad ones. Two very special people died in November, my grandmother and my brother.

I'm so grateful to have had my brother in my life both in his early years and then again in the 1990's when I lived near him in North Carolina. I had just finished serving 4 years in the USAF Medical Corp in November 1969 when he entered the Air Force, later to serve in Viet Nam. Mom always associates the song, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" with his departure, and it brings back so many memories.

He returned safely and later married his beautiful wife Rita, settled in North Carolina and raised a son and daughter. His first baby granddaughter, Taylor, was just learning to walk when he passed away November 10, 2003 at the age of 53 due to diabetes and cancer from agent orange exposure in Viet Nam. Though the memories are both painful and bring tears, I'm grateful to have had those later years to get to know him better as an adult. And I'm so glad that he got to experience the joy of his first grandchild.

This is for you Steve ~