Category Archives: Truth

What if We All Got Along?

I’m serious.

What if we were nice to each other? What if we put cynicism and snideness aside and saw beauty and possibility in everything?

What if we all treated each other as we wanted to be treated? What if we loved our neighbors and acted toward them with affection and understanding? What if we respected the earth and contributed to it? What if we paused to consider the consequences of our actions as they will affect everything years into the future?

What if we acted as if we had the spirit of God within our hearts? What if we listened daily for the still small voice and took its counsel? What if we behaved as if we were continually in the presence of myriad loving celestial beings, here for the express purpose of helping us navigate the hazardous waters of our confusing mortal lives?  

What if we aspired to promoting the values of Truth, Beauty and Goodness? What if we saw Truth as Love, Beauty as Mercy, and Goodness as Ministry? What if we made those acts of Love, Mercy, and Ministry, the cornerstones of our lives?

We could, you know. Each one of us could act as if all those things were possible.

Each one of us could be the one who decides first that we are all going to get along.

Will you?

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Filed under Beauty, Goodness, Possibilities, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, Truth

What makes a good life?

With death always comes reflection, whether it is the death of a loved one or a favorite celebrity. Today I’m wondering: What makes a good life?

It isn’t money, that’s for certain, and it isn’t cool stuff. It isn’t good reviews or a successful career, either, or any of that stuff. I’m coming to believe that life is made up of days well lived, and days are made up of moments.

Every moment, I have a decision–at least one.  Do I want to be happy or unhappy? Do I want to lead with my heart or with my cynicism? Do I want to be critical or see the best in people and their efforts?

And along with those decisions, I have a lot of little actions, too. Will my tongue be sharp or gentle? Will I act in a way that sustains the earth or in a way that is expedient? Will I take care of myself or succumb to instant gratification?

The Urantia Book says: “The keys of the kingdom of heaven are sincerity, more sincerity, and more sincerity.” Sincerity is a decision, made moment by moment.

Today I will speak gently to people, work to beautify my garden and provide nutritious food for my table, and make it a point, with sincerity, to let my husband know how much I appreciate him. Today I will proceed with love in my heart, extend the mercy to others that I would have them extend to me, and give raspberries to my neighbor.

If I can do all that, then this will be a day well lived. Strung together, these days make for a good life.

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Filed under Beauty, Gardening, Goodness, regrets, relationships, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, The Urantia Book, Truth

Getting Hung Up on an Attitude

I’m stuck.

I have a small, smoldering resentment and it has sucked all the fun out of my life.  The thing that is so infuriating is that this situation is insignificant. Tiny. Teenie, even. And I’ve given it the power to interfere with my  joy. Last night, it even interfered with my sleep.

So it’s time to take action. I know precisely what I need to do to put paid to this situation, but I have to say, it’s taken me a couple of weeks to realize what I need to do. This situation needed to simmer. I needed to get past all the angry words that were backed up in my throat and my head. I needed to realize why my little girl inside was saying, “But what about me?” which is what all angry words really say.

So I’ve taken responsibility for my part in this teensie little thing that has disrupted my serenity, and today I take steps to rectify the situation. It will take a couple of days, actually, but I can see my way through it, and I won’t be acting in haste, or in anger, or from an indefensible position of mock outrage.

Wow. How adult of me. It’s those twelve steps, you know, that work in my life when I’m too out of control to work them.

I may not have control over much in this life, but I do have control over my attitude. And right now, my attitude sucks.

So I’m going to fix it.

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Filed under Personalities, Possibilities, Prayer, relationships, Resentment, Spirituality, Truth, Twelve Steps

Customer (No) Service

I like to keep things light and positive, but yesterday’s customer (no) service really ticked me off.

I take two prescriptions. They’re not much, a little estrogen, a little thyroid. But they’re expensive. Finally, both prescriptions are for generics, down from $75 per month to $34 per month. I’ve been paying $34 per month for my prescriptions, with my insurance, now at RiteAid for about two years.

Yesterday, I said to the pharmacist: “You know, Wal-Mart sells generics for $4.” He said. “We’ll match their price.” I told him to make it happen, and it took him a couple of minutes to back out the claim against my health insurance and to repackage the pills. While I waited, I seethed. All this time, I could have been paying $8. “So,” I said, when he was ready to ring up my purchase, “how long have you been doing this?” “The whole time,” he said. “And what about your advertised personal service? Seems to me the customer-friendly thing would be for you to offer me this.”

“Oh, we don’t volunteer this information,” he said.

“Nice,” I replied.

“When you call to refill, now, you’ll have to press 3 and tell us…”

“No need for that,” I replied. “I won’t be coming back.”

What a bunch of crap.

On the other hand, I had a little problem with both my phone and cable tv service because of the rainstorm, and Comcast was on the spot with the fix and a smile.

Rite Aid no more; Comcast forever.

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Filed under Social Consciousness, Truth

Three beautiful things

My friend Mike Sack looks around every morning and finds three beautiful things.

Yesterday in our morning ritual at school, there was a presentation about ordinary things, and the extraordinary thing about them, then we each shared one ordinary thing that happens in our lives that is, in reality, a miracle. Like the purr of a cat. Or the warmth of a favorite quilt. Or simply hot water out of the showerhead at the mere turn of a handle.

Yesterday we talked a lot about religious ritual. The instructor said that the purpose of ritual is to lose yourself, speaking, I assume, about mantra or meditation, or just taking the focus off our selves and our petty stuff and dedicating a few moments to something else. I like this idea.

I woke up this morning thinking about three ordinary things in my life that I am grateful for. Things that bring me joy. Like setting the alarm clock a half hour before I get up so there’s good cuddle time. The delicate sound my dog makes when she laps water from her small stainless-steel bowl. Knowing that my commute to work on Monday morning will be a non-polluting thirty feet from my bed.

My world is filled with ordinary miracles, and I so rarely take the time to appreciate them. But now, every day, I hope to begin my day with this attitude of gratitude. Of appreciation. Of joy. Every day I hope to wake up and think of three new, ordinary, miracles in my life and be grateful for them.

I hope to lose myself in this tiny daily ritual, if only for a few moments.

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Filed under Beauty, Goodness, Truth

Life and Beauty

There’s a corner I drive by periodically that has a derelict gas station on it. The building has been vandalized, the concrete is all cracked and weedy. It is an eyesore. Al said, “That’s a nasty site.” I said, “That’s a piece of property I’d like to own.” I don’t know if it will become a commercially viable piece of land in the next twenty years. Eventually it will, but that’s a moot point; I don’ t have the money to buy it and improve it. 

The first thing I would do if I did own it, though, would be to raze the building and landscape the property while waiting for it to become commercially viable. 

Beautifying things and adding life is suddenly very appealing to me, and this morning, I learned about guerilla gardening.

Guerilla gardening is beautifying a piece of property without the owner’s permission. It is usually done anonymously, under cover of night, by a bunch of radical gardeners out to beautify the world. It encompasses everything from flinging a handful of flower seeds at an ugly vacant lot to burying a few bulbs along the freeway, to completely landscaping an eyesore.

The piece of property I have my eye on is way too much for me to handle, but a dozen workers could spiff it up in a weekend, starting with chopping down the blackberry brambles that are overtaking the building. That’s still too ambitious a project for me at the moment, but holy smoke, I could certainly do my share here and there around town.

It would be a naughty little pleasure, this secretely planting a border of flowers where only weeds currently grow. It wouldn’t take much; in fact I just bought several packs of expired seeds for $.25 each. I’m going to put them in the glove compartment of my car and wait for an opportune time and place.

Organizations of guerilla gardeners are springing up all over the place. The group in Tacoma, Washington is what came to my attention today.

Getting a group together like that sounds like a worthwhile endeavor to me, but whether a member of a group or flying solo, we can all find a few moments to add life and beauty.

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Filed under Beauty, Goodness, guerilla gardening, Truth