Somewhere Over The Rainbow…Dreams Come True

Remember learning the letters of the alphabet and theirs sounds; then, by fusing these phonetic values together, syllables magically made words, and a wondrous world of communication unfolded.

Like learning to read, the practice of listening to God, teaches us to discern the intent and meaning of His communications with us. So to my way of thinking, He gave us Jesus, Whose birth we celebrate his season, as an intimate Love note: His heart’s desire and longing to spend every moment, and eternity, with us. As a promissory note, He painted the rainbow in its spectacular colors.

Newton divided its spectrum into seven main colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. He chose seven “by analogy to the number of notes in a musical scale.” (Wikipedia.org) Additionally, I see it as understanding another spiritual dimension of ourselves, as in a mirror, because a rainbow’s colors reflect ours. (I’ll expound on this in my upcoming series “Journey to Wholeness” beginning January 3, 2014!)

In reference to one of my favorite songs, my Christmas wish is that all your dreams do come true! To stimulate thoughts of what your dreams may be, here’s a composite of His wondrous Self-expression, tracked to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ on Ukulele. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_hvCCmnzIY

(If there’s a green, or black, screen on your browser when you click this link, use Google Chrome to view.)

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

 

Let this be your daily exercise:

“That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.”~Rumi

What joys have you gained by opening your heart, by being hopeful, truthful, and in the moment–forsaking cynicism, hypocrisy, and fear?

Beware: Karma-BANG! BANG! DUCK!

We’re all familiar with the Eastern philosophy of karma: the inevitable action of bringing upon oneself results, good or bad, of our own actions, or “What goes around, comes around.” Here in the Bible Belt, it’s referred to as “The Golden Rule”: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What personal messages (PM) are you sending out…that inevitably come back to you?

Optimistically, we are always kind (in word and deed), patient, sympathetic, and loving, to the Nth degree. SURE!

In all honesty, you KNOW there are times when you deliver impatient, arrogant, and hateful PMs in a variety of ways: in exasperating return lines, home interruptions by telemarketers, misunderstood orders by outsourced telephone assistants, garbled orders (and prices) in drive-thru food services, road rage reactions, frustratingly persnickety family members, and sadly, on-and-on.

My question is not only to those of you adjusting to disability, but to anyone wondering why life seems to always give you lemons: What boomerangs back at regular intervals in your life? Misunderstandings; relational discord; exclusion from social gatherings; perpetually being over-looked for that promotion; constipated cash flow; recurrent health issues; bad luck? If any of these strikes a cord, you may be the one plucking it.

I’ll illustrate my point with the analogy of ammunition. Much like shooting a shotgun, unresolved issues detonate emotions. There may be lots of issues/pellets loaded into the shell (repressed emotions) or one big issue/slug (volatile emotions). Wrapped in the subconscious, they lay loaded, cocked, and waiting to explode their charge.

When the specific volatile and toxic emotion is triggered, a single projectile of words or actions like the metal slug, or lesser bullet, is aimed to murder its downrange target. Always looking out for a particular perpetrator’s profile, this person is ever-conscious of their injury. This is a stalker/predator hunting style. Vengeance is theirs.

Then, like the number of smaller pellets wrapped inside a shotgun shell, are the more common repressed emotions from childhood, adolescence, and/or adjustment issues. They have become so enmeshed in our temperaments and relational styles that the emotion triggered is associated with a personal affront or putdown.

In a compulsive need for self-defense, and in ignorance to the cause and effect, the disabled and the able-bodied alike shoot off verbal ballistics. BANG! BANG! Stinging words scatter; more whelped offenses. Remember: What you sow, you will reap.

In PART TWO of my book, HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html,
I offer a strategy of brain exercises to train your out of shape, disabled brain. You will learn to strengthen those flabby mental muscles that have offered no resistance to out-of-control thoughts. You will realize their continued circuitry—mulling them over and over and over in your mind, fires up the same emotions as the original words/action/offense did.

DUCK!

Heart Worms

The first of January before kindergarten resumed, I invited a playmate over for my 6 year old grand niece. Upon Mac’s arrival, North Hope gave a narrated tour of my home. For the next hour-and-a-half, they shared a couple of their favorite toys, wrote their names and drew pictures with chalk on my driveway, played indoor croquet then, took turns hobbling around using the mallets as cruthes. They stopped for a snack and, afterwards, went their separate ways—one on his Leapfrog, the other on her Kindle.

While the grandmother and I were talking, I overheard an unkind tone in my grand niece’s voice. Her guest had asked if he could play the ‘Angry Birds’ game on her Kindle. She angrily said, “No! I’m watching Rapunzel.”

I intervened.

After her 3 interruptions of “but” while I tried to explain sharing, I said, “North, your ‘buts’ are excuses. Listen with your ears and your heart. Mac is about to leave. Put your movie on pause and let him play the game for a minute. You can finish watching it after he leaves.”

She countered, “But, my heart doesn’t want to.”

That’s not what I wanted to hear, but it’s all I needed to hear: A heart speaking its truth.

To North, I said: “Sometimes, the result of getting what we want right now is harder on us than the temporary sacrifice.”

And to Mac: “I’m sorry, Mac. It’s her Kindle, and she has chosen not to share.”

As he left, he spied a baby lizard in my rock garden and ran in to ask North if she wanted to see it. Offense forgotten, they excitedly ran out together to share nature.

I am a firm believer in allowing everyone, especially children, the choice to do what their heart dictates. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not propounding to follow your own will as did Freud and Watson, and I’m not trying to be Dr. Spock or even PC, unless it’s polite consideration—simple decency—compounded with cooperation.

As children, if we’re not taught to be considerate of another’s person, feelings, and property, and how to cooperate in action and deed, as adults we’ll be irritable, hateful rascals to live with; much worse to care for with a SCI or some other life interruption.

How often do we do things our heart doesn’t want to do and are riddled with resentments thereafter? The service rendered is half-hearted (usually with tangible attitude), and the recipient senses the inconvenience. No one is blessed. Everyone suffers!

Whether you’re disabled or able-bodied, do what you do—profession, family responsibilities, errands, exercise, church, charity, or care-giving—because it’s in your heart to do it; not because someone expects, requests, requires, or needs it.

If you find yourself murmuring about any of the above or accusing someone else for your unhappiness or their lack of appreciating you, you may want to re-evaluate your expectations, intentions, and motivations for doing whatever you’ve enlisted for or agreed to do.

In this case, martyrdom is self-inflicted. It will never meet an expectation of appreciation, an intention to gain attention, favor, and praise or a motivation for approbation.

Contentment and peace come from a heart given to what it gives and does, freely; not from a heart riddled with holes from the worm of resentment.

Where art Thou, Romeo?

Movies and romance novels propagate the fantastical delusion of the perfect other in our lives. Though it’s subliminal: “…below the threshold of consciousness.” (Merriam-Webster), these scripts imply that The One is out there waiting to meet all our emotional and physical needs, just like that. The infamous line in Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.” doesn’t help in refuting this romantic notion of effortlessly living happily ever after.

STOP! There is no such thing. Forget it! He/she doesn’t exist. Was there a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Two, Sleeping BeautyAfter Her Awakening, or Cinderella-My Family Will Come? No, deluded romantics, because after commitment comes reality.

Because God knows the cost of true love, I believe that the physiological and psychological effects of being in love are His whimsical whammy for procreation. (You know, the surges of serotonin in the gut, aka butterflies, and the mood enhancer, dopamine, messing with the brain’s reasoning abilities.) If it weren’t for these out-of-control emotions, how many of you would knowingly walk into the most difficult role of your life? He knew the strength of emotion, as well as the emotional strength, necessary to star in this role. He is the Epitome, Price, and Prize of commitment, of unconditional love.

Although I have yet to experience it, I believe in forever love.The many couples who remain married after decades of living this forever love say that they work at staying in love, day-in and day-out. The secret is that neither one falls out-of-love with the other at the same time.

PHOTO Heart REFLECTION SWANS LOVEA successful love story takes work and understanding. Getting to know anyone takes patience and time. It requires acceptance (of their preferences or prickly quirks), availability, kindness, selflessness, and persistence when things get painful.This is when most people throw up their hands and throw-in-the-towel on love. They choose to not deal with the conflict. What good story is without conflict? Besides, marriage isn’t a mindless emotional high. Who could sustain it?!

A committed marriage, or any committed relationship, is to selflessly support, help, and heal each other on the road to their (and your) personal wholeness. Let’s face it: the inevitable daily friction of rubbing shoulders, re-opens childhood wounds from early relationships; raw, unresolved emotions sting and irritate.

If you feel you are with The One, are you going to run away when things get tough and let another scab form over your unhealed wounds? Or, will you stay to apply (and receive) the healing salve of true, unconditional love—the ointment of your soul?

Olympic Collaboration

Recently, my 5 ½ year-old Grand Niece and I were playing “I Spy a Color.” Of course, Diego—of the Dora and Diego duo—was participating. It came his turn to pick a color. He normally picks green, because green is his favorite color, but his spokesperson said he chose brown. Herein, lay the challenge.

We were in my great room. In the “Bless This Home” chapter of my book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html , I reference this room as my mixed child because of the various countries represented in its antique décor.

There is an English bow-front chest, a huge American chest, an African coffee table, Irish, French, and Italian chairs, and to magnify my conundrum, wood floors. If I didn’t use colorful upholstery fabrics and Persian rugs, we would drown in brown.

So, I said, “Baby, tell Diego that this will take forever for Toppy (her pet name for me) to guess. Look at ALL the brown.”

She looked around the room, realizing the truth of the matter, and said, “Oh, it’s easy. It’s round, made of wood (yes) and has horn legs.”

From her fitting description, it was obviously the African coffee table. What struck me was her cooperative compassion.

Now, she likes to win. Don’t take me wrong. We had just played a visual memory card game, “What’s That?” where I pick eight pair of numbers, she lays them face down—four rows, four cards across—then, we take turns turning two cards up trying to find a match. If they don’t match, the cards are turned back over in their same space for the next player’s turn.

I always make sure that I win one game to give her the “joy exercise” for my win. Life, disappointments, even disability gives us opportunities to look on the bright side. Thereafter, she deserves her win. (Give and take is an important heart lesson/character quality in my book.) Her Olympic victory dance, and its accompanying celebratory song, had lasted ten minutes. She likes winning!

Nonetheless, in her realization of Diego’s difficult color choice, she still played by the rules, but chose to benevolently offer clues to make my guess easier…instead of prolonging the agony of my defeat.

During this Olympic season, winning is the name of the game, as it should be. Each participant has dedicated their life for the goal of the Gold. But, how often in our daily lives do we stroke our own ego above another’s, just to be right, or to win?

I choose cooperative compassionate collaboration to make the world a better place.

How about you?

Apple of God’s Eye

Unwittingly, I believe there is a way by which we have all denied God, and turned our faces away from Him. It is by closing our minds (and our hearts) to learn from others. I’m not condoning having such an open mind that your brains fall out. I’m just saying to allow, even welcome, other’s teachings, then use prayer and Jesus’ words to test their soundness.

John said in John 21: 25, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (Spirit Filled Life Bible: New King James Version) That’s why I believe that prayer and meditation are keys to unlock doors of wisdom.

There are a lot of deluded people out there with even more misguided teachings. But, if we also delude ourselves by closing our minds to true knowledge, how can we find wisdom?

Often, wisdom and knowledge are coupled in the Bible. Since God is the source and the embodiment of all wisdom, did He not relegate to man to search Him out?

Optimistically, when we have knowledge of something or Someone, then we shouldn’t fall for untruth. And, we are encouraged to test all things so, if it doesn’t meet up with His standard, discard it. In time, and through practice, our trained senses should filter out the blarney.

Like channel surfing on the radio, the static occurs only when moving away from the receiving station. That’s why in order to find truth, we ask and seek. But because we are human, there are times that our receiving antennas will be out-of-range due to being lead astray. Or, our receivers experience interference due to mental distractions.

For instance, three years ago when I only had notes and an outline for my book Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity, my original intention was to go with a print-on-demand service, or POD, instead of a traditional publishing company. As the book progressed, so did my ambition. After seeking a literary agent for a year-and-a-half and receiving only polite refusals, I was reminded of my original vision. I believe my ego’s ambition scrambled the air ways for clear reception.

So, when I’m seeking God’s mind on something, and I feel confused or unsettled, I lay it down until later; at another time, I ask and seek again. If there’s a deadline, I must either let it go or move forward in faith. I don’t want to be left wanting because I refused His hand of provision. I want to realize all that He has for me from whatever source He sends. Knowing on which door to knock in order to find comes by asking and seeking (Matt. 7:7-8). Remember the acronym: ASK.

Don’t swallow everything I say just because I believe it. These are my thoughts, and ways that God and I communicate. Just like siblings in the same family have different yet distinct relationships with the same parent, God is jealous for the way He wants to collaborate just with you.

I rest in the knowledge that I am the apple of God’s eye. But, I want you to also know that you are the apple of His eye. Only as you gaze into His, will you see your reflection.

R.S.V.P.