Tag Archives: beliefs

Centering Our Trust

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I have to admit that I got a bit frightened today (truth be told, I still am, just a little).  “Why” do you ask?  I spend a decent portion of my morning looking at various news clips on the Net.  Tonight, I watched TV (Fox News) with my Dad for over an hour.  I did not sleep well last night, so I am just, shall we say, a bit frazzled and worse for wear.  Still, here is some of the news over the past few days:

1)  Two trains collided in another country.

2)  Miss (one of the States) had her crown removed because, even though she was honest, they say “now” that she will be too old at the end of the year.

3)  Parts of the government want impeachment proceedings to begin against Obama.

4)  Two students had made plans for a massive school shooting.

5)  Thousands of immigrants from Mexico are flooding into the US – we aren’t sure what to do with them.

6)  A man is going to be tried for killing his own child (baby) by leaving him in a sweltering hot car for seven hours.

7)  Miley Cyrus is, apparently, losing her appeal to today’s crowd.

8)  The fight is still going on hard even after the Hobby Lobby decision on birth control coverage.

9)  Severe Storms are all over.

10)  A man was attacked by a shark.

11)  Truckers are “rolling coal” in protest.

12)  The war-like problems in both Russia and Iraq.

These are just the ones I could recall in about 10 minutes without going back and looking.  I know there are many more.  I also know bad news sells more than good news.  However, the deal is it began to seem to me we are losing control all over the globe.  The world of man seems to be falling apart and we seem to be helping it along.

Then I began to think.  I began to ask the question of where to center my trust.  This is not a plea to anyone to alter their beliefs; I simply want to tell how I deal with it all.  For the most part, I am very calm and fairly rational.  I don’t tend to worry a lot, especially since my stroke.  But I did tonight; I lost my focus on trust.

I do believe in God.  I don’t really see God in the same way that organized religions do.  For one thing, I don’t see God as judgmental.  I also don’t see man as particularly sinful – I really don’t believe in sin.  What I do believe in, though, is a God in whom I can place all my trust.  Truly, I believe God has the world “in His hands.”  He watches over us and protects us; He listens to our prayers.  I see Him as a Friend, as a Guide, and as a Center of Trust.

I forgot that tonight.  Call it tired or whatever.  I simply let my guard down and slipped a bit.  It’s back up now.  I remember all the times I have prayed and the best happened.  I remember all the times that it all “worked out” in the end.  I remembered the little beautiful things that truly make life on this old planet worth it.  Let’s try:

1)  A rainbow

2)  A cat purring

3)  The taste of a fresh piece of fruit

4)  The feeling of a first kiss

5)  Finishing a task that was worthwhile

6)  Holding hands

7)  Clean sheets

8)  The smell of toast

9)  The lifting of depression

10)  A smile

11)  A beautiful scene in a movie

12)  The smell of the forest after a rain

Try to think of those things and be depressed or sad or distrusting.  It is really hard – I am not sure it can even be truthfully done.

What are the things you can think of that lift your spirits?

Namaste,

Scott

The Search for True Love

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I was talking to myself tonight.  I do this all the time, but don’t worry, it’s only bad if you don’t know it’s you on both sides of the conversation.  It’s okay to answer yourself, but just know it’s not an actual social conversation.  Sometimes, it’s the only way you can be certain you are talking to someone on an equal level of intelligence, emotion, and spirituality.  Just sayin’…

The subject on tonight’s agenda was “true love”.  I mentioned this before:  I, apparently, don’t know how to pick someone I truly love or who truly loves me, so I have stopped picking.   I can date; I can get into some relationships, but marriage is not in the equation.  At least, it’s not until I figure this one out.  No more people who manipulate, take advantage of, humiliate, bully, order around, think they are the center of everything, and anything else that makes people miserable to be around.

So, I am having this conversation with myself and I have thought about some things.  I pretended that someone close to me was getting divorced and was pouring out her soul to me, wanting some answers.  I do better talking to women, so there.  I have said often that most men are jerks.  They spend so much time thinking about sports, war, and sex (well, sports and war are not so good, anyway) that they don’t seem to have emotions wrapped up much at all.  I could be wrong there, but not through experience.  Advice like “hang in there,” “just tough it out,” or “just drink or dope out, you’ll see” don’t cut it for me.  I would like a long conversation that involves more upper thinking.  Sorry, guys.  Some of you are great, but, be honest, you know what I mean.

Anyway, this pretend lady asks me what true love is.  I start to talk:

Maybe it’s easier to say what true love isn’t.  It isn’t constant manipulation.  It isn’t being worried every time the other person is out of your sight.  It isn’t wondering if anything is going on.  Those things destroy a relationship; true love should allow one to build.

True love is something that may not be apparent right away; it can develop; however, it should encompass mutual respect and concern, mutual understanding and a willingness to compromise if disagreements happen.  I am not saying never fight; that allows emotions to flow.  But, it should be short-lived and a willingness to come to an understanding and see each other’s point of view should be of paramount importance to both people.

There should be a solid enjoyment of being in each other’s company and sharing life.  However, I also think that both people should be allowed a decent portion of alone time or time with friends.  Jealousy is a product of low self-esteem;  it should be important to each person that the other person feel good about themselves so that worry and such does not have a chance to flourish.

Large goals should be agreed upon or, at least, compatible.  There should be no animosity over the goals of the other.

I don’t believe you have to be able to read each other’s minds.  I simply think you should be willing to understand that you can misunderstand or be misunderstood and keep the lines of communication and sharing open.

Finally, if all the above is going well, I don’t think the following should have much to do with it at all:

1)  Gender (Yes, I meant to put this one first.  Too much explosive problems over others telling people who to love)

2)  Age

3)  Religion (that’s a tough one)

4)  Family

5) Friends

6) Appearance (beyond simply trying to look your best)

7)  Education

While I agree that similarities in the above is important, they should not be the decide all in the situation.  If you are truly in love and have decided you are then, if family and/or friends cannot accept this, you may have to walk away from the family and/or friends.  Tough choices, but if it was easy, I would have no problem, would I?

One last thing:  it shouldn’t be the partner’s place to make the other feel wonderful and great all the time.  Each needs to take some personal responsibility as well as be supportive and helpful.

That’s my thoughts tonight on the matter.

How do you feel?

Have I left out anything?

_____________________________________

Namaste,

Scott

3 Poems – A Bit More of My Past

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.                                  The Leaf

.                         By Scott L Vannatter

.                                   5/2/85

.       I had a favorite leaf, a precious jewel.

.    In a moment of rage I flung it into the wind.

Then, sorrowfully, I watched it float from my life forever.

___________________________

Dead Possum

By Scott L Vannatter

5/3/85

I saw a dead possum lying beside the road,

and I wondered at the circumstances of his life.

I wondered if he had a mate and small ones now left to fend for themselves.

If he was a loner, searching and feisty, not yet set in his ways.

I wondered at his past, certainly not his future.

For I knew what that was to be

and as I thought, I envied that possum.

For it might be nice to know.

______________________________

A Word

By Scott L Vannatter

5/3/85

A word once said forever lives,

Feeding and spreading under proper conditions

with furious growth.

With the tender care of thought and love

It will sprout blossoms of beauty

richly rewarding the sower with fragrant fruitfulness.

But like a weed if out of place or crowded in

It will spread plague-like, tearing and destroying

even the deepest-rooted feelings and dreams.

So take care, gardener, when choosing your seeds.

Tender thoughts and sharing dreams grow into loving memories.

Hatred and selfishness sprout only themselves.

______________________________

Namaste,

Scott

“You Should Go to Church”

It doesn’t matter where you are.

The title was something my Mom said to me today.   Setting:  in the hospital, after their minister (mine, too, I guess) had visited Dad.  I was leaving for home; Mom was walking me out.  She said this, not in anger, just in passing.  I don’t remember the entire conversation, but here are my thoughts:

I don’t see anything wrong with going to church.  For many people it is a time to rejoice, be with friends, and celebrate God.  Nothing wrong with any of that.  For others, it is a time to be introspective, learn about their religion’s beliefs, and give them time to pray in public.  Nothing wrong with any of that.

For me, it would, mostly, be a waste of my time.  It’s not that I don’t have strong beliefs; I do.  It’s not that I don’t pray; I do – a lot.  It’s not that I don’t want to be introspective; I do and I am.

However, church does not hold much for me, anymore.  It’s isn’t that I have outgrown it or anything; I am just in a different place.   I enjoy all my time now, and all of it is with God to one degree or another.  I see church as a place to concentrate on God and to be with Him.  I do that at home or out anywhere else.  I pray when I feel like it; it is a communication for me; a talking, not a specific ritual.  God and I talk; we converse; I make my needs and thoughts known; He responds.  He “speaks” in my head, through my conscience, my inner discussions.  I learn through these and through experiences as well as through watching the world and listening.

You all are a part of my learning process.  I learn through each and every post you do; I see your worlds, your lives, your people, everything about you that you put out for me to see.  I learn from the short poem about the bridge to the 5-6 page thought-provoking tour of your psyche you might present each day.  It has to be that way or else I could never get through following 80+ blogs a week.

Your lives are important to me and though I can’t quote you or your stories well all the time, I still know who you are and what you are like when I am in the midst of your stories and truths and trials.  I immerse myself in life and in your lives.  Vicarious living is fun and exciting and a learning experience as well as anything else.

I play video games and I learn about life there, too.  The people who write those (at least, the ones I play) are people who create rules and environments and then allow you, through your character, to interact and live a life with consequences.  Dying means getting another chance to try – that is a learning experience, too.

So, without excuses, I don’t go to church.  Life is my church; I am kinda always there.  I like it this way.  I try to share back with you and with others whose lives I come into contact with.  I intend to increase all of this and extend both my reach and my learning.

If you aren’t getting all of this out of life, it’s not because it isn’t there – please just wake up and start.  Church or no church, life is there and is good and has all kinds of experiences for you.

Namaste,

Scott

God and Religion: Do They Go Together?

I just read Mollie Players post (this is on Monday Night).  You should read it, too.  It will help you figure out where I am coming from here.  Here it is –>post <–

Mollie’s post about “get a religion” to be happy did not sit well with me; that is, before I read it.  I know Mollie enough that, even when I read the title, I read the post.  She thinks a lot like I do and I just couldn’t see her telling me to get religion.

People who know me well and have read my posts or asked me probably understand that I don’t care much for organized religion.  I am not against spirituality; I am not against God; I am not against people having faith and believing how they may believe.

What gets to me is that almost all (I think all but I will allow a bit of leeway) organized religions contort the view of God by attaching all types of rules, regulations, and “must do” things (rituals) and stating that you MUST follow all of these to the letter in order to be assured a place in heaven (if you rename heaven as simply being with God, you and I will be on the same wavelength).

I am not going to denounce everything religions have to say; nor will I tell you that you are wrong for believing whatever religion suits you.  People have a right to believe and to put their faith in whatever and/or whoever they choose.

I don’t agree with the “one true” part, but believe what you will.

Now, here is the hard part:  I don’t really care to sit down with you or here in this post and argue discuss my beliefs and yours.  If you out-maneuver me and get your “points” I still won’t change much.  You and I agree on a lot of things, I imagine.

I believe in a higher power than myself and the world (I choose to call this power God).

I believe that when you die, your life continues in some fashion.

I believe that you can call upon this power to aid you (I choose to call this prayer).

Much beyond this and we will begin to diversify.  The one thing that may really be different about us and our beliefs (be honest now) is that I can honestly look at you and say that your beliefs are fine.  I am not going to try to talk you out of your beliefs; I am not going to show up on your doorstep with pamphlets and/or flyers telling you how to keep out of hell and the “rules” you need to start following.

I will tell you that God loves you.  I believe that, no matter what you believe or don’t believe, God loves you.  I believe that God works in our lives so that “everything works together for good in the end; if it hasn’t worked out, it isn’t the end.”  That’s my mantra and I love it; it has always been true in my life.  God has never let me down and I can’t say that for anyone else, including me.

I had two Jehovah Witnesses stop by my home this morning to see how my life was.  We had a nice conversation, she left me with a pamphlet, some kinds words came from both of us, and we both went on to a good day.  There was no arguing; I didn’t tell her she was wrong or that I wasn’t going to listen to her; we just innately agreed to be humans and love God.  I wish that would be more true to more of us.

If two people talk or meet and there is tension, then love is diminished.  Where there is true, real love (not the romantic kind) then tension is gone and life flows there.

I feel both, sometimes, when I am writing or commenting on a post or even answering comments to mine.  I feel both a tension and a flowing of life.  What I know is that in the tension I have disagreed with someone; I have enabled a rift to form (sometimes, that happens).  When there is a flowing, then love is existing there.

Life is full of love and beauty.

I love to learn; I love to experience the beauty of life.  I do a lot of that through your blogs.  And, those blogs that are not so happy, still allow me to experience beauty.  I see it when you come through the problems like Zoe in Buckwheatsrisk; I see it when Mollie points out another way she has found to be happy; I even find it in the funny posts and humorous stories told by many of the bloggers I follow.  I find it in many places, just not all places.

I have begun to ramble which means I need to make my point and end.

Point:  Religion and God can go together.  It is “how” you incorporate the religion into your life that determines how much God there is in religion.

God is in every part of my beliefs (read that “religion” if you are going to use it as Molly did).  Love flows through my life.  Is it always perfect and loving? No, I don’t manage that all the time; however, God’s love is always there, so, when I am tired of the tension and decide to return back to my beliefs, there is God and there is love.

If you can say that about your beliefs…wow for you.

Namaste,

Scott

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