WHAT DO YOU KNOW?

Yesterday, I checked email, looked at facebook, got caught up on internet stuff, and I looked at a political comment made on a site, I won’t mention which one.  It started out ok.  Then, of course, it turned into personal attacks.  I was just about to start tapping in a comment, and caught myself.   Hmm.  What’s this about?  We don’t know these candidates.  If you met them, you don’t know them – you just met them PERIOD.  So, why the personal remarks? You may have an impression of someone, but that’s not knowing them.

It made me think, again.  What in this speaks to me?  Well, it’s about that ‘person I want to be’ thing.  What do I want out of a president, a leader?  Honor, courage, wisdom, patience, compassion.  And, on my part, the recognition that a person can possess those qualities, and they are still human – still have frailties, faults and are subject to making mistakes.  Also my responsibility:  pay attention to the best of my ability, research and understand issues important to self and others, and choose the one I feel best qualifies to address those concerns.  I don’t need to argue, or force my opinion, I have the right to read, listen and vote – those will do.  Things that I am passionate about, I can give money or time; I can volunteer; I can be creative in my ways of expressing support.  And, still I don’t have to call anyone names, degrade or abuse anyone’s reputation – I will make a difference and pass on something better.  What affects one area of your life, encroaches on others.
As always, thanks for stopping by.  May your needs be met, may you be the one who meets another’s need.  Lilie

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WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO

Today, my husband retired.  He’s a few years short of retirement, but he has MS.  I haven’t been able to tell anyone outside of family and some very close friends because he would have lost his job.  He is in good health, has been on MS meds now for about five years, (has been diagnosed for 20) but he worked in construction and doesn’t need to be doing that any longer.  So, it’s a time of transition at our house.  Fortunately, we have each other and some good tools we’ve both learned.

It’s a time of excitement; it’s scary and there is some sadness.  We think of all others in similar situations and we send our intentions for all to have their needs met.  And, it is our intention that we may always be ready to meet the needs of others in whatever way we can.

We are very grateful for all we have:  friendship, love and support – particularly.

May you be well.   Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

WHAT’S YOUR HOPE?

The past few weeks have been busy in a learning sort of way.  I like that, even when that learning comes by sadness.  We need to know we can feel that, and make it known.

First, I noticed on my facebook page that someone had put up a message saying he/she was upset about people who abandon longtime pets at shelters; how cruel it is to leave a pet who has  been with you so long.  That touched my heart, and I felt sad about that, too.  Then, something happened –

When my friend, Jack, was dying, we went to visit him.  In the bed nearest the door was a man who had just been admitted to the care facility.  He was nearly blind, and this would be his last place.  We had brought our dog with us to visit Jack.  He liked her and she seemed to brighten him.   The man in the other bed wanted her to visit him, as well.  So we let her go over to him.  He said, “I had to leave my dog.  I had to leave him.”  He was trying not to cry.  I don’t think I’m going to forget hearing that.   The employee we spoke to said he had no one.  And, as obvious, the dog could not come with him.  We left shortly after that, I was having trouble not crying.   We had a 53 mile drive ahead of us, I cried most of the way home.  I’ve seen a lot in my life, and I don’t cry easily, even when I feel something deeply.  This, well. . .

Do you see the thread here?   So, it’s a good thing there are shelters.  I know, in another situation, an elderly woman had to go to an assisted living facility, her neighbor took her dog and he takes him to visit her.  He had a dog already, but he took this one and they both go with him everywhere.  You see, he saw that need and was in that moment to respond.  Let us hope we will have clear vision, and be in those moments so, when we are able, we will respond to need.  The many ways we can respond to suffering, when our minds are open.

Two things I learned from this:  How easy to judge when we aren’t exposed to a wider story.  How easy to miss a need to which we might have been able to respond.  Oh, that judging thing.  It sneaks up on us.  We have to keep learning and reinforcing, don’t we?  We have to teach others, too. We have to notice our thought life, continually.

Then, just recently, I had my moment of  being judgmental, in nearly the same way without even realizing it.   We are having fires in our area.  I had been listening to the radio about all the machinations that go with fires, including the fact that now animal rescue folks were having to get prepared to receive abandoned animals.  I came into a friend’s home loaded with outrage at people who abandon their animals in evacuation from a fire.  I was angry about that.  I wouldn’t do that.  My friend (she’s very wise) said to me that nobody wants to abandon their animals.  But, animals often run and hide when frightened.  They can’t always be found.  You have to make escape possible, and hope you will find them again.  It took my breath away – thinking about having to go through that – it took my breath away.  I thought about my situation.  I live in town, not out on a ranch, or remotely.  My dog isn’t out in our backyard without someone watching her.  She’s in the house quite often, right where I can easily reach her, but it could happen.

Do you see?  Suffering is already present, and we then add to it with judgment?  We must change.  I am thankful my friend was willing to answer my judgment with information.  It has heightened my awareness; not only to judgments and attitudes I hold, but to wanting to clear those so I can be more present to be of help, to know when I might offer, or respond to a need.

Last one, a person posted on facebook a derisive remark about  those on foodstamps, comparing them to the signs you see in national forests about not feeding the animals because they will become dependent.   That was sad.  I have known people who,  for many, many reasons,  wound up in need and had to rely on gov’t aid.  People whose family members became ill and they had to care for them; people who went back to school to get out of minimum wage jobs; people who had illnesses that became more prolonged than jobs or personal resources could tolerate.  Suffering upon suffering.  Let it not be.

These are my most fervent hopes:   that I will try to continually examine my thoughts;  be surrounded by folks who can “school” me;  that I’ll see and hear my judgmental self when she shows up, and get the point; that I’ll be willing to change; and, I’ll be open to seeing a need I might meet, when judgment has fallen away.

I know you must have hopes, too.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Lilie

I’LL BE THAT

I thank everyone for their kindness, thoughtful words, and their insight at the passing of my friend, Jack.

I am hoping that I will tell his stories, and remember.   The most important remembering I want is to live the things about him that I so admired.  I think that just may be the reincarnation thing.  When we see certain qualities in a person, admire those qualities and live them out in our lives; well, that person lives on, and on.

When we admire courage, compassion, acts of kindness and interest in others, passion for social justice, and we have the courage to stand up and say, “I think I’ll do that.  I’ll be that, I’ll be kind.  I’ll wait and see before I speak.  I’ll forgive first.  I won’t allow the injury or oppression of another by word or deed.  I am here for all that.  I’m here.”  Well, who knows what good could come; how far that could ripple  We don’t have to wait for the people we love and admire to pass, we can accept those qualities right now.    It’s their gift to us – right now.  I have this feeling that if we do that, when we do that, there might be another person watching who decides to become that, as well.   Pretty soon, you have a world full of people becoming compassion, kindness,  and love.    We are assured the people we have loved carry on.

I’ll do that.  I’ll be that.  The best I can, I will.

May you be the fullness of all you have admired in those you love.  Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie

SHENPA, GO HOME!

In Buddhist writings, ‘Shenpa’ is the distracter, that chattering inside your head, always something to say.  This is one idea for coping with ‘Shenpa’.

a nice day, in the mid50s

walking into the early morning

Shenpa begins talking

wonder and worry

and all the other things

mind has to say

gray rain cloud forms a low ceiling

over this valley

to the mountains and beyond

a deer jumps, then sprints into the thicket

chipmunk runs the rails of a fence,

and skitters off

the dam seems quiet this morning,

beaver must have slept in

birds fly out from the bushes

surprised by the sound of footsteps

the sun tries to part the cloud,

for a moment,

with his big, round, bright face

moment by moment

this is what we have

what deserves our attention

let Shenpa get his own ride home!

from the book, A Perfect Blossom, by Lilie Allen

copyright 2010

MISSING YOUR MISSION

My dad was dying.   He knew it.  He didn’t have much time.  Dad was a planner, and he usually got his way.  Now, he had a plan.  The most important thing, he said to me, was that my older brother be baptized, that he believe in God the way my dad did.  Because, he wanted to be assured he would see my brother again.  Dad wanted to involve me in this.  I watched as he started his plan.  Preaching and talking.  He was becoming discouraged, and was lying in his bed in quiet frustration.

I just sat, too, silent.  I felt  pretty sad over all he was doing.  Then, a thought hit me and the words came out, unexpectedly.  “Have you seen that guy who sits in the chair opposite you, every day?  He notices everything, everybody in the room, while crossing it, before he sits down.  He’s tall and steady; his features are chiseled sharp and strong for who he would be in this life.  This one, he’s the person everybody runs to.   The Rock.  That was before he became a Navy corpsman, and then a Navy SEAL.  One of the elite.  He put himself through college; married a woman of character and good sense; they built a family, and a life, from which you now benefit.”

“This guy, he’s listened to your words and honored you, all his life.   He sits quietly, patiently, with you every day.  He notices everything; watches over and protects you.”

“There sits a remarkable man.  I remember him as a boy.  He followed what you said; what you taught.  He gave his word and he kept it.  Tough and kind.  Don’t you remember?”

“That guy, he’s a remarkable man.  He’s your son.  Isn’t it hard to breathe, when you realize that?  Don’t you want to just lie here and think on that?  This incredible human being  is yours, part of you.  He gives you a sense of belonging, because he is here, and will never leave you.   Don’t you want to know that?  He is here, and he won’t leave.  Don’t you want to know that, and hold him tight?  If there is God, let Him be God.  Love your son, that’s what you do now, love your son.”

That was the mission needing to be done.

Consider what your mission is, and whether it connects with present reality.  Does it truly serve, or are you missing the lesson prepared for you, right in front of you.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Lilie

ATTACHMENT

I had mentioned we have owls.  Great Horned Owls, a pair of them.  They were living in the neighbor’s tree.  It was interesting to hear them call to each other at night; the funny ‘talk’ they seemed to have, almost like they were laughing with each other.   We did have to watch the small domestic animals in the neighborhood, and we did, all were kept safe.  But, the owls were a beautiful sight.  A reminder how grateful we are to live where we live.  We got attached to them quickly.  Pay attention to that word ‘attached’, will you?

It wasn’t enough for us to see them, to marvel at how close they were.  No, we had to become attached.  We had to want them to stay.  We wanted them to nest in the tree, to have young and to be there, in that tree – ours.  We said ‘our owls’ .  Without even realizing this thought process, we attached.  We expected, projected, made decisions for them, what would make us most happy.  Interesting.  I believe we do that in a lot of situations.  Maybe we should think about that.

The owls  took over a crows nest (owls do that, they take over the nest of other birds, and don’t necessarily make that a permanent home).   The crows got  angry and harrassed the owls.  The owls objected.  We liked the owls because the crows kill and discourage the song birds and the crows make a mess.  The crows cackling and circling and carrying on, finally made the owls look for more hospitable surroundings.   We thought it would go in the owls’ favor.

Now, we know, the owls were here and that’s enough.   We enjoyed them.  What a sight.  And, to see them up close; to see how big they were and how intricate their feathering; marvel at their silent flight.  The owls were here.  That was wonderful.  My husband and I are thankful for that; spending nights on the deck, listening and watching.  We heard not only the owls, but got to know the sounds of our neighborhood; appreciate the night sky, the scent of our lilacs in an evening breeze.  We are trying to realize the moment we are in and what is truly happening in that moment; to do our best in it, play our part well.  And, to let go of anything else.   We are all creatures who worry about what happens next.  Do your best, stand up in the moment you’re given.  You’ll be all set for the next moment.  Love what’s right in front of you – no waiting.  The beauty of life, there really is no waiting.  It’s all happening now.  Don’t miss it.

Peace be with you, and special moments, too.  Thank you so much for stopping by.