Dealing With Pain

Pain can change many things in a person’s life. It can have a big impact as to the outcome of your life.

“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain ” – Alan Watts

Pain can be a gut wrenching experience. It can cause someone to give up and hope that death comes knocking on their door. It can turn one to drugs, alcohol, self mutilation. It can totally destroy your life if you let it. It’s in your hands as to whether you overcome it or fail. It’s not an easy road. The road is filled with jubilation, disappointment, setbacks, trials, tribulation, and heartbreak. Once you become determined and overcome the pain you will be rewarded by cruising down the road of jubilation.

“We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain, grief, despair, depression, dementiais less accessible to treatment. It is connected to who we are – our personality, our character, our soul if you like.

People have many different ways that they cope with pain. It doesn’t matter how you handle it as long as your method is successful. If you find that you can’t do it by yourself then please don’t be afraid to seek help and get counseling. It doesn’t mean that your weak it means you are smart enough to understand that you can’t go it alone.

It can be pain caused from losing someone close to you to death. It can be a divorce or break up. Being bullied can cause unimaginable pain. They all have one thing in common. That is that you can overcome any one of them.

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life is short. You have to be able to laugh at our pain or we never move on.” – Jeff Ross

We become a prisoner of pain until we learn to let go and move on with our lives. We have to refuse to hold on to pain while releasing fear and hurt. You can use this new energy to start a new chapter in your life instead of letting it hold you back.

Life Mysteries

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” – Oscar Wilde

For those who don’t know me I retired from horseshoeing and took a job as a grounds keeper for 3 cemeteries located in Farmington, MO. As I go about cutting the grass I often wonder about the people buried there and what they were like when they were alive.

There was the body of a man that came into the mortuary. Very little information came with him. The funeral director tried their best to find family members but to no avail. All they basically knew was his birth date and death date and that he was married. The only option left for the funeral director was to bury him instead of cremation.

The owner of the mortuary wanted to find someone to say some words over him before he was lowered into his final resting place. So I volunteered for the job.

In putting together some words for a service my mind began to wonder about who he was. What did he do in life? Did he die alone? What kind of person was he? Did he have any family left? So many questions that I will never know the answer to.

The funeral was held the Thursday before Good Friday. I was pall bearer and minister and went back to cutting grass after the funeral. A worker for the vault company and two grave diggers were the other pall bearers. RIP! So much mystery and no answers.

The gentleman was lowered into the ground around 10:40 a.m.. l went back to cutting grass. Around noon I looked back and noticed an older lady standing at the grave. I started to go talk to her but then I realized she had her reasons and I respected that and kept cutting grass. After a few minutes she left. I still wonder who she was but was happy somebody who obviously knew him came to send him off. Life mysteries.

Kindness

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Kindness was alive and prevalent in the 50s and 60s, I think any way. Folks now days seem to have a bur under their saddle. There is so much hostility in the world. I don’t know if it is because their undies are too tight or maybe there is a lot more stress in the world today.

The good thing about kindness is it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s free and it can make such a difference in someone’s life including yours.

There are so many simple acts of kindness that we can perform also. Smile at someone, open the door for someone, compliment someone, or just say “hi” and ask them how they are doing.

You have 30 items in your cart and the person behind you has 1. Let them go ahead of you in line.

I know people can be rude. Always remember there may be a reason for their rudeness. A family member might have died, their spouse might have left them, or they might have been hit with a medical bill they can’t afford. There are all kinds of reasons, just remember that before you judge them.

I can remember when kindness abound in the farming communities. They always helped each other. Even they have changed. With a hay shortage some years back in Texas, farmers in other states took advantage of Texas farmers and was selling them hay at over inflated prices. There were some though who out of kindness just gave them the hay to feed their animals.

We as a society need to bring kindness back into the world in epidemic proportions. Set a goal of doing 3,10 or even more acts of kindness a day. Hate can be eradicated with love and kindness. Let’s make the rest of 2019 the “Year of Kindness”.

Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

One Tin Soldier

“Now the valley cried with anger, mount your horses draw your sword and they killed the mountain people so they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure, on the mountain dark and red.  Turned the stone and looked beneath it, Peace on Earth was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.  Do it in the name of Heaven, you can justify it in the end.  There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day.  On the bloody morning after…one tin soldier rides away.”

In 1969 the Canadian pop group, The Original Caste, recorded the song One Tin Soldier written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.  It was during the Viet Nam war era and was considered by many an anti-war song.

Who was this “Tin Soldier”?  The message simply put is that human greed and violence is futile.

The Mountain people seem to be isolated from the rest of the world and dedicated to protecting the treasure that they coveted so dearly.  Did they believe they had a solution to the greed and hatred that was consuming the governments of the world buried underneath the rock?  Would it end the oppression of the weak?  Could the Valley people be representative of an affiliation with a Christian religion?  It’s possible that the “Tin Soldier” was a messenger from God whose job one day would be to bring judgement on those who had committed violent acts against others with the hope of bringing “Peace on Earth” to fruition?  The answers to these questions are entirely left up to the interpretation of the listener.

It’s clear the Valley people believed that “tons of gold” along with other riches were buried beneath the stone.  The Valley people wanted these treasures for their own (greed) and are unwilling to share the treasures with the Mountain people.  Upon the answer from the Mountain people, with our brothers we will share all the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there, the Valley people shouted mount your horses and draw your sword and they killed all the people on the mountain.  They turned the stone to find the treasure “Peace on earth”.  No gold.  No riches.

They declare war on the Mountain people and as they stand upon the mountain dark and red with the blood of the Mountain people they find the answer to all the inequities of the world, Peace on Earth.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I have no evidence that this is the message of Lambert and Potter.  It is merely nothing more than the interpretation of this listener.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love and to be kind to each other.

Is Mother Nature Trying to Tell Us Something?

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution.  What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” –Evo Morales

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The calm before the storm hit Monsanto Lake.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

It seems lately that Mother Nature has lost her mind.  Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other destruction has been in the news lately.

Ice and Snow in Florida- Early January brought snowflakes to the Florida panhandle for the first time since 1989 ( since 1885 if you are talking about January)

Snow in the Sahara- Algeria received 15 inches of snow.

Coldest April followed by hottest May

Four nor’easters in a row- Northeast US was hit with four winter storms in one month

Fires are destroying thousands of acres in California while parts of Hawaii battles with the destructive forces of a volcano.  What does it mean?  Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?  Is Mother Earth crying out for help?

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“It also called upon traditional people in the Four Directions to strengthen the healing ceremonies and asked people to heed the warnings of Mother Earth.” – Dennis Banks

Most folks are going to say I am crazy but I am a firm believer that Mother Nature is trying to warn us that unless we quit destroying Mother Earth things are only going to get worse.

We can’t keep pumping chemicals into our rivers and streams and air.  Mother Nature’s filtration system is getting plugged up.  Think of it as the air filter in your furnace.  It traps all the bad stuff that would hurt the furnace and when it gets full you take it out, throw it away and put in a new one.  Mother Nature can’t do that.

The only way we can help is to get our heads out of our asses and get serious about a plan to heal this planet.  Hell folks, according to Steven Solomon, author of “Water: The Epic Struggle For Wealth, Power and Civilization” , “Water is overtaking oil as our scarcest natural resource in the world.”  We need to desperately change our way of thinking.  We need to realize that we can’t keep depleting our resources without a plan to replenish them.  Trees have a big job in the ecosystem. Some countries are completely destroying the jungles and not replanting.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases and emit oxygen.  Don’t know if it is true or not but I once heard that one large tree can supply a day’s worth of oxygen for four people.  What happens if we keep cutting the trees without replanting and suddenly there aren’t enough plants to produce the amount of oxygen needed to sustain life on Mother Earth?

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I want everyone to think about something for a minute.  Yeah maybe I am crazy however, what if Mars once looked like Mother Earth.  Oceans, rivers, mountain streams, vast forest land, occupied by some greedy, uncaring inhabitants.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Remember to spread the love.

 

It’s Your Life; Who’s In Charge

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“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to.  We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be.  We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” – David B Wirthlin

In the picture above the river represents your life and the dam represents control. Who/what controls your life.

Old cowboy saying, “A woman finds her a man she wants and says I can change him.  A cowboy finds a woman he wants and says I hope she never changes.”

So many things  can control your life and you may not even know.  Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex can all become a control issue. Most of the time they are pretty obvious to your friends and family and garner a lot of attention sometimes resulting in one getting help.

There is one form of control that literally breaks my heart.  Low self esteem.  It can make you a prisoner in your own world.  Some people don’t even realize they have it.  If you were bullied in school, had abusive parents, always ridiculed and never complimented or parents that never interacted or did things with you, then you probably battle with low self esteem.  Good news  is that if you are, you don’t have to.  With the help of some family members, friends and YOU, YOU can heal yourself.

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These wildflowers are representative of a new beginning.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are one that suffers from low self esteem, to beat it you have to restore your self confidence.  You have to quit listening to others and believe in yourself.  You are somebody.  You are beautiful.  You are a good person.

It’s not gong to be an easy row to hoe.  You are going to have to be strong and unwavering.  Create yourself a negative free environment and begin a healing process.  Surround yourself with positive friends and family and seek out a good counselor.  All these people will be good for you.  Again I stress you have to believe in yourself and take control of your life.

For those of you that have an addiction, you will have to use a little different approach but you can get control of your life back.  Surround yourself with positive people and again, find yourself a good counselor.  Set realistic goals and don’t lose sight of them and don’t ever give up.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Memorial Day

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This grave is located in the Masonic Cemetery in Farmington, MO.

Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

Memorial Day is upon us.  I know some of you out there aren’t going to believe this but there is a real purpose and reason for Memorial Day other than going out and seeing how hard you can party for three days.  It is a holiday with true meaning and really shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Memorial day was first observed on May 30, 1868 and in 1971 by an act of Congress it was declared a national holiday.  The day of observance was also changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May.  It is also referred to as “Decoration Day”.  The practice of decorating soldiers graves has been a custom for some time even before the Civil War.

In 1868 Memorial Day ceremonies began at Gettysburg National Park but wasn’t known nationally until 1913.  That year veterans of the United States Army and Confederate Army converged on Gettysburg to commemorate the most famous and bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

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Picture taken by me in the Masonic Cemetery located in Farmington, MO.

There will be a special ceremony at this Revolutionary Soldier’s grave tomorrow but I am sorry I don’t know the time.

“For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” James A. Garfield

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My office at K of P Cemetery located in Farmington, Mo.

As I sit here writing my mind is taken back many years ago when I was a child and we would go camping upon the banks of the St. Francois River at a place we dubbed “sandy banks” located just below the Lake Wappapello dam.  There are a lot of great memories on those banks.  It has been at least 45 years since I have been there but it just seems just like yesterday.

War brings so many casualties and adds to the populations of the cemeteries.  This is the day that was designated by Congress to remember those that lost their lives while serving in the military.  To all you party revelers out there, you have had two days to play and party hard.  I ask that you take one minute of your time today and have a moment of silence for those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price with their lives.

I mow three cemeteries and know for a fact that a lot of graves never receive flowers or visitors.  I would like to see a movement in this country where folks adopt one of those soldiers graves and decorate it with flowers.  You don’t have to know them to place flowers on their graves.

 

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My great grandparents headstone located in Arkansas.

Many areas of the country also decorate the graves of their family members regardless of them not being a vet.

In closing I want to wish everyone a safe holiday and if you are traveling be careful.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.

 

Change; Good or Bad?

“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience,  independent will, and creative imagination.  These give us the ultimate human freedom… the power to choose, to respond, to change.” Stephen Covey

Once we squeeze through the birth canal and leave the warmth of the womb and take that first breath there is no turning back.  Our “life clock” has began ticking and we have so much to learn and everything we learn is subject to change.  Sometimes change is good and sometimes it isn’t.

Life experiences are responsible for defining our character and preparing us for adulthood.  The leaders of life experiences are parenting and schooling.  One prime example of change is parenting.  Parenting of the 50s and 60s was a whole lot different than the parenting of today.  My life clock began in 1954 and I have seen parenting change for the worse in my opinion.  Schooling has changed immensely also and all I have to say is I am glad I was a child of the 50s and 60s.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Unfortunately as we are rolling along down life’s highway with adulthood in our sights, we can pick up something like “bigotry” or other negative energies and they pollute our hearts and minds and if we let it, it will pollute everything around us.  Therefore we need some kind of filtration system and be smart enough to identify these negative energies.

My filtration system is Mother Nature.  It might be camping out along the river, kayaking the river or sitting on a high spot on a ridge watching the sun set or rise.  Mother Nature does a good job of absorbing those negative energies that have hitched a ride with me.  It doesn’t have to be Mother Nature but should be something you love doing.  Shedding those negative energies is a positive change.

“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think we understand that “egos” cause a lot of problems and changes.  I call it the “hungry beast” because it seems like it needs to be fed a lot.  I know some people who are constantly feeding their egos without realizing how much damage that massive ego can do.  It can be a person’s worse nightmare.  It can completely change a person from well liked to a person who can clear a room by just walking into it.

Sometimes society goes head first in the world trying to change things.  A lot of times they do this without thinking it through and not taking the time to envision what these changes are going to do in the long run.  What impact is this change going to have on the highway of life?  Is it going to be full of speed bumps or is it going to be like gliding down a toll road?  We really need to start looking at the full impact of changing something before we do it.  Just this humble bloggers opinion for what it is worth.

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” – Hugh Prather

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  A big shout out to all of you who follow me and read my posts.  I finally broke 200 and I thank everyone of you who made it possible.  Remember, spread the love.  It will make the world a better place.

Experience/University of Life

“No one is the same, and we all have different life experiences.  It’s not my place to judge them or  for them to judge me.  We should all be accountable for own lives.” – Joanna Krupa

Experience can be a direct observation of or participation events as a basis of knowledge. It can be practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation or participation, or the length of time of such participation, something personally encountered or lived through. It can also be defined as the conscious events that you have lived through.

Our lives are a collection of experiences that starts as soon as we are pushed from the warmth and darkness of our mother’s womb into the bright light.  We live a life full of different experiences and there are those who have had near death experiences that say they were drawn toward a bright light.

There are good and bad experiences.  Experience builds character and can give you an edge in making some decisions.  I have always said that experience is life’s education system.  Book learning is good but when you learn something from experience you tend not to forget it.  Experience has a way of etching a lesson in your mind permanently.

“We are all born with a unique genetic blue print, which lays out the basic characteristics of our personality as well as our physical health and appearance…And yet, we all know that life experiences do change us.” – Joan D. Vinge

Unfortunately we can’t choose our experiences.  We have to take them as they come.  Parenthood is quite an experience.  We experienced childhood and went through many changes.  The day comes we find out we are going to be parents and we say we are going to use a different approach of rearing our children than our parents because we think we can give our children a better experience.  Then that fateful day arrives, you turn into your mom and say “If you don’t stop crying I am going to give you something to cry about!”

“Character cannot be developed  in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  –   Helen Keller

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Goodbye Winter; Hello Spring

 

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Soon winter will lose its grip and spring flowers and plants will brighten this area.

“March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activities in our yards seems light years away.” – Thalassa Cruso

The seasons will soon come full circle once again.  In a few days winter the winter season will be over and spring will be the new sheriff in town.  Mother Nature will begin a rebirth and the countryside will be filled with flowers, tender young plants and newborn forest critters.

Baseball spring training camps will become a hive of activity.  Farmers will begin preparing their fields for planting.  The hillsides will come alive as Mother Nature paints them with the colors of the wild plum, redbud and dogwood trees.

Mother Earth will once again renew herself and the circle will begin anew and once again end with winter.  Here in the Midwest I can remember when spring lasted for awhile.  However in the last 5 or 6 years it seems like we go straight from winter to summer with just a smidgen of spring in between.

“Behold, my friends ,the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

With the spring comes the spring rains and the flooding.  Man has done a real good job of causing historical floods by building their levees.  The floods use to clean out and remodel the riparian area of the river which was good for the river.  With the levees the water backs up and stays put for a longer period of time and I think this makes the flooding less effective at clearing out some of the debris.  Oh well that is my story and I am sticking to it.

We have had some big snows in March.  I remember when I was a youngster, one Easter we woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground.  We have a couple of sayings here in Missouri though about the weather.

“Don’t like the weather you say.  Stick around for it is sure to change in a couple of hours.’

“Here in Missouri you can experience all 4 seasons in one day.”

 

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A Sign of Spring

Here they are calling for high of 50, low of 36 and Sunday high of 39 and low of 37 with a chance of rain or snow.  Winter is still holding on.

“The coming and going of the seasons give us more than the springtimes, summers, autumns, and winters of our lives.  It reflects the coming and going of the circumstances of our lives like the glassy surface of a pond that shows our faces radiant with joy or contorted with pain.” – Gary Zukav

I don’t know if we will have a lengthy spring or the scaled down version but I hope it takes a while to give in to summer.  Time will tell and we will have to take whatever Mother Nature deals us.  That is part of what makes life interesting.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to share the love.

 

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A March sunset in the Midwest.