Sunday, October 24, 2010

War Is A Racket - Peace Lily Flower

As the war continues abroad, I often wonder the validity of all the lives that have been lost. I am attaching a picture of the flower of the Peace Lily plant. To me this plant says, by its flower, we are all one. Do we realize what we are doing to others and ourselves by being a part of the war machine. Below is one man's thoughts, who was at the time, (now one of only 19) twice awarded the Medal of Honor. The rest of this article is from Wikipedia for your information....and thought.

"Smedley Butler was the most honored man in Marine Corps history. He wrote and spoke that the purpose of US wars is millions and billions in profits for America’s leading “bankers, industrialists, and speculators.” War is a “racket:” a deception whereby its purpose of blood money from American taxpayers to “insiders” is always disguised as noble and necessary ventures to keep Americans propagandized into paying again and again.

General Butler in his summative book, War is a Racket, on the costs of war to ordinary Americans:

“This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations….

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face"! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need them any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "Liberty Loan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.”

…Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.”

His recommendation to remove wars' profit motive. “Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers – yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.

Why shouldn't they?"

They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren't hungry. The soldiers are!

Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose....

Today another piece of my puzzle was put together. Do you ever have those moments when all of a sudden you understand why things happen. Today was one of those for me. I love those words above from the song, Me and Bobby McGee.

I was a twin...however, my twin was stillborn and I didn't know until last year that I had never grieved that loss. You see, I was in the process of a divorce and the judge wanted us to get some therapy before she would grant the divorce. During the session, the therapist had us do a guided meditation. I can not to this day tell you what the meditation was about, but I know somehow he took us to the womb. He didn't know my history before that. We were new clients to him. But anyway in that meditation, he went on past the womb...but I never left that space, I heard him going forward, but I did not. I could not seem to go forward. I was stuck. When he brought us out of the meditation, he asked, my then husband and I, our experience. I said I could not get past the womb. And then he asked what happened there and all of a sudden the grief of 60 plus years came flooding out.....grief that I never had processed. I was amazed. Who would have known that would have come to the surface. If we are really willing to look deeply at our "case", we find out all sorts of interesting things we have experienced....and stuffed! It is kind of like being locked back in that space in time...locked in that grief of having someone I wanted to come forward in life with me, but was not going to...much the same as I felt about my husband, who had decided not to come forward in life with me. It is amazing to me how all things work together for good and how they all interlock. If he had never chosen to leave, and the judge told us to go to counseling, I would have never got in touch with all that painful grief that I was holding inside. What a gift came out of such a painful time.

Today, there was another trigger of that piece...someone triggered my "story" that it was all my fault. Now I have come far enough down this road to be able to recognize when I get triggered. Do I like it, no, but you know I signed up to have that person trigger that for me so I could heal....if I chose not to blame them for triggering me. So today the part that it was "my fault" that my brother did not come forward with me was just one card in the stack, that like a bunch of dominoes, fell down. How freeing it was to know it was not my fault about a lot of just was "what was" at that moment in time. That thought was hitched to a bunch of other circumstances about my thinking it was my fault....and those cards fell as well. What a gift to have been triggered today....and what a gift that same therapist we had gone to, had a cancellation. So...I am back on the freedom road again.

Whenever I don't feel myself, I like to live in the solution to the problem and take steps toward my freedom. There is no sense in mucking around in the muck and having a big pity party....because no one wants to show up, and partying is no fun by yourself!! No one wants to hear me whaaaa, whaaaa, whaaa. So I like living in the solution, as it makes me feel as though I have power...something that I was not feeling when I walked in the door to his office today. I do have power over some things in life about what I choose and today I chose life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things Hard to Swallow

Do you ever have things in life that you find "hard to swallow", as they say? When I saw this Blue Heron and the way his neck is crooked, I wonder if he ever has problems swallowing things at times.

You know the hard to swallow concepts, ideas or opinions that just seem so far out there that you can't wrap your mind around them and figure out where someone is coming from. I find that at times they make no sense at all. For example, all the hoopla about Michelle Obama's upper arms. Now if I had good looking upper arms like that, you can bet I'd wear sleeveless dresses too! And I have read how she works out to get those upper arms. Now if that is her thing, God bless her. But the hoopla of all the people out there saying that she, as the First Lady, should not be dressed like that. I guess there must be Presidential/First Lady Fashion Police out there whose job it is to discuss, place judgement and ridicule things like that. Evidently that is their main job.

I recently had to ask a friend, a self-proclaimed Christian, to stop sending the hate emails to me regarding the current administration, immigrants and Muslims. Again, why? Do you have nothing else to do in life, but to criticize those who are different from you. I asked what he was afraid of and he said he was afraid of nothing. I then said if your money, possessions and guns were taken away, would you feel the same? I just don't see where Jesus of the Christian religion packed a gun or told us to do so. There just are some things that I just don't understand and find hard to swallow and wrap my mind around. Some things just don't seem logical. I don't understand how blanket emails can be sent saying the reason we are in such horrible financial straights in our country is due to all the money we pay out to illegal immigrants. Really? Do you really think that? Are you keeping a running tally of every dime that is spent, have you got inside information that the rest of us don't have....or.....

Do these mindless emails just get sent as a way to express anger about something else within (because on some level you have an axe to grind about something) and shoot it to all those on our list that will join your herd mentality of anger. A friend and I are going to paint black spots on dry white beans, put them in a plastic bag, and market them as "instant herd", for those who want to be part of one. I don't think all the anger that is being expressed "out there" right now is about the current administration, the Muslims, or illegal immigrants. I think if they began writing about their anger and wrote, and wrote, and wrote....they might get to the bottom of a lot of what they feel....powerless and scared perhaps and probably what everyone would feel powerless and scared about is something different. I always felt wars were nothing but young men going to war because of old men's fears. There is nothing wrong with feeling powerless and scared, as long as you take it to the next level, and that is surrender....just surrender to those feelings and then perhaps, WHAT YOU FEAR WILL NOT COME UPON YOU. You aren't going to die because you feel powerless or scared....but you will a result of the anger you are camped out in and the effects that can have on the body. I just don't think anyone thinks when they send those emails out. That is poopin' in our American nest...please is getting very smelly!

Perhaps it is our grandparents saying that, "idle hands are the devil's workshop," is the case here. Are we a country of so many conveniences that we have too much time on our hands to think up these "awfulisms"....and then we pass them on ???? Just think about what you pass on...."Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things"....from Philippians. I think the key is if it is ADMIRABLE.....EXCELLENT AND PRAISEWORTHY. We live in a beautiful country, filled with many beautiful people....let's keep it beautiful.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Sometimes love is for a moment, sometimes love is for a lifetime,
sometimes a moment is a lifetime." Martin Luther King do you adapt to change? I know how I adapt. I write....and I write and I write and I write and I write some more until I get it all out of me. I write about how I feel about the change, I write about what I don't feel about the change and in between those thoughts, I might write about the things I have to do that day...take a book back to the library, work out at the gym after work, go to the grocery store....just write and write and write and write and write until I get empty...until there is nothing more to say...kind of like I am writing right now...not paying attention to punctuation or grammar....who's just for me.....just writing and writing and writing. I find then I become an empty vessel where other thoughts and feelings have a way of entering my soul. It is my soul that is talking as I write and write and write and write and write. This isn't school....we are not being graded on what we write or how we write....we just write. It is better if you do it long hand...get one of those juicy gel pens that just flow on the page... and don't write on the computer. There is something about doing it long hand that has another level of if your words are art on a page....and it is your art...your expression on life's page. Don't worry about your penmanship. It is not even important if you can go back and read it.....the thing that is important is to let it flow.....and keep flowing...don't stop....just keep writing and writing and writing...even if you say, "I can't think of anything to write,"....write that down too. It is a cleansing of your soul. Picture yourself cleaning a room of your soul. You you do a thorough cleaning of a room, for example. You move everything out....clean the floors, the walls, the window, and the woodwork.....and sometimes you may even find treasures in the corners that you thought you had lost....or a special article or magazine that you wanted to keep.....

Then you move back in the things that you want....the things that are important....the things that have value. And sometimes, when I move things back in, I put them in a different place...kind of like looking at the change in the relationship or situation from a different prospective.....a fresh new thought...that comes like a breath of fresh feng shui of the soul. Put your thoughts in a new position...a new location....perhaps you decide you didn't like that piece of thought furniture anyway. Now how can you do that unless you clean out all your "thought furniture, belief carpets and memory drapes" from your soul. Move everything out.....clean house. Write until you get down to the little kid space with no expectations, and everything just "is"....that innocence....that wonder about life.

You can do this about everything that bothers you. You can do it at any time of day, no matter where you are. You can carry a little notebook around that is just for you and Spirit....just where you write about your inner most thoughts, even if it is about emptying the cat box when you get home...or cleaning the bathroom....or anything....just write it down...or I am stuck in a traffic jam and nothing is moving.....just write and write and write.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Beginnings

Morning, such beautiful time of reflection and quiet. I love the mornings where I look to the day with hope and new beginnings. Another day to be in the "now" of life, as this little one was one morning when I went out the door to work. Evidently he had had his daily bath in my bird bath, and was beginning to start his day, a new beginning. He almost looks as though he has a smile on his face, doesn't he, anticipating what life has to bring? I just had to set my things down and capture that moment.

A friend at work and I were talking just yesterday about relationships. He has had some rather painful times in his relationship when things have been said that were hurtful and painful. He recently went away for a couple of weeks to attend a wedding back home. He talked about how he missed his mate while he was gone and how everything he was doing, he kept thinking...I wish he was here to share it with me. We talked about how if you want to have good relationships, you really need to leave the yesterdays and tomorrows out of the picture. The yesterdays can be riddled with things that were not peaceful and loving days we want to remember. Looking to the future, with all the expectations that we want to create in it, can bring premeditated resentments when the future does not turn out the way we expect.

The now of life is where Spirit is and dwells. Getting to the "now" is a process...a process of bringing yourself back to the now. Sometimes we split off from being in the now, because something happens in the "now" that is too painful to feel or experience. Or we may find ourselves so far down the road of the future in expectations of how it will or should be. I know for myself, on my process to get to the now, I had to go back and get the "me" I left at those times. I had to embrace those circumstances and feelings that happened, as a part of my reality, and love them, as it was part of my "nows" that I did not want to accept as real. I also had to go to the one who was so far down the road in expectations, that she was way ahead of Spirit and rushing life.

Sometimes I find it helpful if I close my eyes and picture myself as that person, in that time and space that I am running from or to, like a stranger that I am observing. I look at her, look at what she had experienced or wants to experience, hear the things she is saying, without her talking. After observing her till I had get the full picture in my mind, I then go to her, as someone who had been hurt or is not being heard about what she wants or needs. I put my arms around her and just hold her to my heart. Sometimes, I break down and cry. Sometimes, all she was needs is just to be heard, as on some level I had not heard what she was experiencing or wants in life. I find those times most healing. Sometimes I find I need to write in my journal either before to get to a place of willingness to even go there. I often write in my journal after, as a way of cementing in my mind the touching of each other's lives in that special way that day. I don't know why it is much easier to envision it as a separate person, but it is, and it works...and brings freedom from the past, or from our expectations for the future. I guess it really is a place of separateness within me that I am experiencing. It seems to then integrate those parts of me and bring a sense of one-ness to my soul.

Love those parts of yourself today that either hurt from the past....or from a "future" that is not happening the way, or as fast, as you had planned. That way you can come into the now..the now where Spirit is. And you can make it today, no matter what you need to matter what you need to embrace. You are a courageous soul to even have come to this plane of life. You will reach a place of saying, "So what!" That will not be said in a sarcastic way, but in a freeing way like picking yourself out of the disappointment heap you have found yourself in....dusting yourself off, and walking into the next moment of life and all the miracles that it can bring. It is a new day and you can make it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Letting Go

Relationships are not always easy....especially when a person is taken from you in death, or decides they need to take another path, instead of the one you have walked together. Letting go is such a process, an often painful process, showing how our attachments to things of this plane of life have us hooked. To love and reach the place of acceptance, we truly have to let go....and allow the other to be who and what they need to be in this moment in time.

For one who grew up with "the happily ever after stories", letting go seems to be such a drawn out process even though I say, "I am willing to let go" and even sometimes say, "I am willing to be willing to let go". Honesty about where we are at in that process takes time, peeling back the layers of denial to that place of alone-ness...that same alone-ness as experienced when we enter this life. There is an innocence in that alone-ness...of trusting what is ahead, even when you cannot see what is ahead....and that, My Friends, is "where the rubber meets the road". It seems like the trenches, as I sometimes call them. I don't know about you, but I hate those pat things people say when you are mucking through the trenches, like "people come into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime". When I am mucking, I emotionally want to lash I don't want to hurt or grieve the pain is too much....cause that is what letting go is...grieving and it hurts. For those of you who believe in reincarnation or heaven, a belief that you will see them again does not even seem to bring salve to your wounds at the time. You want them in your life now! You miss miss everything about them...their smells, their mannerisms, and even the things you had a hard time tolerating.

For me, I have to go back to the basics at that time. The basics for me are a level of willful trust, and for one who started out with my twin dying in the womb, being a forceps delivery, and other yucky circumstances in my family going on, I don't always feel like I do that gracefully. Trust does not come easy. The basic memory of alone-ness was frightening and often still feels dark. But life has a way of bringing a new tomorrow, a new thought, a new book to read, a new friend, and the list goes on and on that takes us away from our sorrow. We are courageous, powerful and overcoming beings of Spirit, when we are able to take a deep breath and just let go into the river of life.

You can make it I tell myself!