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Pink Poetry

roses1

I am the pink rose, scorned, tired.

I bloomed in youth

Perfumed the air with my fire

burst in proud glory

s  p  a  r  k  l  i  n  g

shining my soul unabashedly.

But the sun scorched my soul

clouds refused me rain.

w i t h e r i n g

I remain pink, soft, fragrant

in my soul where I reside.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

Love Lasts

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 Understand that you own nothing, everything that surrounds you is temporary, only the love in your heart will last forever.

~ Leon Brown

Having been through a recent death in the family and the subsequent cleaning out of a house, I’ve learned first hand how the above quote resonates in life.  For once you pass, none of the physical items you’ve accumulated mean anything to you anymore for you are beyond and not needing them.  What is left in this physical world is the reminder of a life well-lived, items to be shared and returned and treasured along with the memories of a loved one who has passed.

What remains though, most importantly, are the memories of your loved one, the love that you shared, the connection that was forged over time and strengthened through moments of kindness, love and friendship.  The love that will last forever is the legacy of a life.

It is the impact of your life on others’ lives that remains ~ whatever it may be, however you chose to live, to connect and to be in your own loving heart.  I think that may be the question that is given to you at the Pearly Gates.  How did you spend your life?  Was it helping others?  Was it sharing your love?  Was it in finding the good, being optimistic and being kind?  Did you try to do your best?

It is hard, even knowing a life was well-lived.  To say goodbye is not easy.  To dismantle a home once filled with love and happy memories makes me feel bereft at times.  Perhaps I am too sensitive.  Perhaps too much on my plate.  Perhaps I feel empathy and sympathy deeper than most.  Perhaps…just perhaps.

Happy Monday!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

Dear Anonymous

Today’s post is a reblog from one of my favorite authors…please read and enjoy!

Shine On!

xo

Tourettes-blog-770x418

Dear Friends, please help me get this letter to the person who needs it by sharing it on your Facebook page, email and Twitter. Thank you.

Dear Anonymous,

I was very much disheartened by your anonymous letter. I was saddened that you hadn’t the courage to include your name so I could help you understand the truth. Since I must believe that you wouldn’t possibly “friend” a “man like me” on your Facebook page, I can only hope that someone you know shares this post on their site and that God guides you to this letter.

I came to your church to tell you about God’s love for His children and to talk about the beauty of His forgiveness. I don’t think you heard me. Or, at least, believed me. You wrote in your letter that I “had no place in a house of God, as I was clearly a sinful man” and that my sins were “manifested across my face, revealed by my many facial tics”.

Yes, no doubt I am, like most of God’s children, a sinner. But the tics you saw on my face were not from sin. They come from a neurological disorder called Tourette’s Syndrome. I was born this way. I cannot stop them.

Sadly, as a boy, I would have believed you that I was bad. My mother got mad at me that day my first tic manifested–a painful, constant shrugging. And, though I was only 8-years-old, I felt guilty for disobeying her when she told me to stop. As a 9-year-old I thought that maybe, if I was a good enough boy and I had enough faith, I could be cured of my tics. But they wouldn’t go away, so I thought that my abnormality must be my fault.

One time a church leader came to speak at my church. I was told that he was someone important. I remembered the Bible story of the woman touching Jesus’s garment and being healed. I thought that maybe if I shook this man’s hand I might be healed. So I waited in line. And I shook his hand. But my tics remained.

Earlier that summer, my family had moved to Utah and I had ridden a school bus to an overnight camp called Mill Hollow. Some of the children on the bus noticed my tics and one of them called me a “freak”. As I got off the bus, a scared child in a strange place, a group of children surrounded me to get a better look. And I was ticking like crazy, not because I was a sinner, but because I was afraid and humiliated.

Your letter reminded me a little of that day. Only I am no longer that naïve, helpless little boy. I now know that there are hundreds of thousands of us with behavioral disorders. And what you, or even a million deluded people like you, might say, doesn’t affect me anymore. I have moved on. I have a beautiful life, a beautiful family and home. I have seen the world. I have danced in the White House and spoken to audiences of thousands. Millions of people have read my books. I have built shelters that have housed thousands of abused children. And I still tic.

Sometimes when I tic, my wife will lovingly set her hand on my cheek and ask if I’m okay. It’s very sweet. And it means a lot to me. My children don’t even notice my tics. They only see the father who loves them. The truth of who I am has set me free. It can set you free too. Because with whatever measurement you use to judge, you must judge yourself. And you are using a very crooked and barbed ruler.

In all honesty, I must admit that I was angered by your letter. But not for me. I am far beyond your reach. I am angry for those children who are still trying to figure out who they are: children who are teased and ridiculed and bullied by cruel, self-righteous people like you. I am angered for those sweet, innocent children, who would rather die than show their tics, because you are so eager to let them know how unlovable and imperfect they are. And some of them do take their precious lives. Yes, this makes me very angry. The other day, at a book signing, a young woman I had never met before, put her arms around me and told me that she loved me. I asked her why. She told me that she had Tourettes and the kids at school made fun of her. But now many of her schoolmates are reading my books and, knowing that I have Tourettes, are now treating her better. I told her that she is not her Tourettes. I told her that I loved her too.

Dear anonymous, I hope you read this letter. I hope it opens your eyes. Or, better yet, your heart. But whether you change or not, remember this: we, the “abnormal” are not the ones to be pitied. The greatest disability is the inability to love those who are different than you. May God Bless you with His unfathomable and unconditional love.

Your flawed servant,

Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times bestselling author and a man with Tourettes Syndrome.

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Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Box and the Michael Vey series. He is the author of more than 25 bestselling books. For speaking requests email heather@richardpaulevans.com 

Raindrops

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“Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.”
― Mary Oliver

 Shine On!

xo

*photo by Stefan Gessert

And Yet, the Heart Remains…

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Two years ago, our Christmas tree abruptly feel down, not once but twice, scattering and smashing ornaments which were treasured by our family.  Sadly, we had to throw away remnants of what we once held as tokens of memories from our past.  It wasn’t easy as when things like this happen, it is hard to go on.  I’m not just referring to broken ornaments on a Christmas tree which may or may not be possible to replace.  I’m also talking a metaphor for life and the holidays.  Because even traditional best laid plans can go awry.

We are given choices to mourn and stay in a sad place or to rise up, light up our heart lights and take baby steps toward the future.  It is not easy to step our of our comfort zones or to remove the victim mentality of this happened to us.  But it is empowering when we do take the baby steps needed to nourish our hearts and be with what is now.  It’s finding The Presents of Presence in every moment, right now and not waiting until tomorrow or later.  It’s filling our hearts with gratitude for the little gifts that life offers at each and every turn.  It’s in grieving and then allowing peace to return to our hearts in whatever new form our lives are taking.  It’s in looking beyond ourselves spherically in order to receive the blessings that are ours by Divine Right.  It is what we need to do to heal.

For as with my Christmas tree fiasco, the heart remains.  No matter what happens, your heart remains and it is your job to treasure it, to nourish it and to embrace your heart and the hearts of others.  Soul to soul we connect as we go through life.  Sometimes it is hard to connect, but it is always possible.  It takes effort.  It takes time.  It takes a willingness to see what others may not see and to come from your highest power to not judge but to simply accept and find the good in life.  To reach beyond ego and to embrace love in all forms.

May you find loving peace this holiday season.  Your heart may feel broken but it is still here.  Fill your heart with love and reach out with a loving soul.  Put aside the broken memories and make new ones.  Find gratitude for The Presents of Presence and being one with your life force.  Take baby steps forward on your journey.  Reach out, my hand is here for you.  I understand.  Remember as Ram Dass once said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

Shine On!

xo

 

Never Stop Believing in Santa

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I remember when I was in 8th grade (14 years old).  My mom came into my bedroom just a few days before Christmas.  She was in a serious mood that day and I remember thinking, “Uh oh, I’m in trouble.”

She asked to sit on the bed with me so that we could have a special talk.  I nodded, not sure what this was all about at all.  Did I get a bad grade?  Did I forget to unload the dishwasher?  Taking my hands in hers and turning to face me, she looked gently into my eyes.

“Yvonne, I have something to tell you.  I know you may feel disappointed, but you need to know that your sister (who is 3 years younger) came to me this morning after breakfast and told me that she didn’t believe in Santa.  She told me that she knew that Santa was actually Dad and me,” the words flew out of her mouth in a visible flurry.

She took a breath and then just stared at me, waiting for my reaction.

“I know Mom,” I quietly said to her as she squeezed my hand.

“You did?”  The breath she was holding suddenly whooshed from her.  I realized she had been nervous to tell me.  She thought she was breaking the news to me.  “But you never told me.  Honey you’ve been acting like you believed in Santa and I was worried.  I didn’t want to be the one to tell you, but now that your sister has told me that she knows, well…I just couldn’t allow you to go on believing.  Why children would make fun of you!”  She giggled nervously, much relieved to hear that she would not be known as the ‘Mom who told her child that there is no Santa Claus.’

“But why didn’t you tell me that you knew?”

“Because Sissy still believed and I love all the Christmas Spirit that believing in Santa brings to our house.  Why would I tell anyone that I knew when it was fun to get caught up in the magic of Christmas?  I didn’t want to ruin it for Sissy or for me quite frankly.  It was more fun to pretend to believe.”

“Oh you are such a little Mommy to your sister.  Of course you knew.  You were just pretending.  I get it.  Ok then,” she squeezed my hands again, kissed my cheek and started to get up smiling.

“But Mom, can we pretend to believe anyway?”

“Sure, I guess so.  No harm in that.  Just don’t tell anyone,” she replied.

True story…but I never stopped believing and below are the reasons why…please indulge me…

Because I would love for Christmas to last all year long.  I love singing Christmas carols and the old hymns in church on Sunday.  They are my favorite songs by far.  I love the frosty cold, so that I have to snuggle up in my footie pajamas at night under the covers.  I love to watch the way the snow falls gently to the ground at night under the outside light.  I love how snow falls in all different ways.  I love the magic that Christmas brings us all, that spirit of giving, the spirit of friendship, and most of all, the spirit of love.  I love that most people act happy around Christmas.  We get together with friends and family whom we haven’t seen in awhile.  Everyone seems joyful, even Santa who says ho ho ho!  I love to give special presents, knowing that the gift is in the giving even when the gift is small.  Not to mention, I love to receive gifts and to unwrap them with enthusiastic anticipation!  I love to sit down with our family to eat a delicious meal slowly and with great gusto.  I love that we all take time to just be with each other instead of rushing about for work and school.  I love the white lights on the Christmas tree and the tradition of decorating it with the old ornaments from our ancestors.  I love setting up the creche with the little manger animals and being able to move them around and seeing the angels who watched over them all.  I loved the train set that my Dad used to set up around the tree every year.  I loved imagining I was the conductor, stopping and starting the Lionel engine and 3 cars.  I love hanging the stockings from the mantle hooks.  I love the smell of fresh baked cookies and how they seem to melt in my mouth, bending with warmth.  I love imagining that I can have whatever I ask Santa for ~ world peace, a loving relationship, being debt-free, helping others, good health, the ability to shine my essence for all to see and to honor and love every person I meet.  I love the greenery of Christmas, sparkling red and green, silver and gold (remember the song?), and watching the Christmas specials on television at night.  I love to listen to the superb silence on a cold winter’s night, imagining that I hear sleigh bells in the distance.  I love how so many people say, “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” with a smile.  I love the generosity of gratitude that is shown at this time of year.  I adore writing and receiving Christmas cards!  I put them up on my refrigerator for all to see how the kids have grown over the year.  I love to hear from old friends and new friends, catching up on life.  I love the magic of flying reindeer and how the red nose of one became a shining gift of light!  Thanks Rudolf!  I love the candlelight of Christmas decorations.  I love the sparkles and the enticing scent of a real balsam tree.  I love to pick out special gifts for others at Christmastime.  I love to have the store wrap the gifts for me.  I love to choose a special moment each morning to just be peacefully grateful in my home.  Best of all, I love all of the blessings bestowed on us everyday, but especially at Christmas.

What about you?

Shine On!

xo

 

Believe in Yourself

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“We do not believe in ourselves

until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable,

worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.

Once we believe in ourselves we can risk

curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight

or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

~ e.e. cummings

Sometimes we just need someone to reveal to us the words, “I believe in you.”  There is something quite magical in hearing that someone sees you, sees the real you and in knowing that, they believe in you.  I know this because I have experienced that kindness with much gratitude when I have been feeling low, dark and empty.  The words, “I believe in you,” lifted me up and lit my little heart afire in such a spunky way.

It’s like believing in Santa.  When Christmas rolls around, many people, young and old BELIEVE!  They believe in the spirit of Christmas, the giving, the gratitude, the kindness, and the twinkling love that embraces the Earth with a semblance of peaceful joy.  Do you feel that rush of excitement and anticipation?  For us, with the cold weather, it’s a time to bundle up and embrace the warmth of love, finding warmth in ‘yuletide carols being sung by a fire’ and loving camaraderie.

Today, I want you to hear my words, “I believe in you.”  I see you shining my dear friends.  I see your twinkling human spirit filled with the loving light of kindness.  May you see yourself in a loving way as others do you and may you see others in the same beautiful way.

Shine On!

xo