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Welcome to Rocky Oak Homestead™

A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Free to be Free

Well good morning blog land...not sure if anyone is reading here but I will continue to blog as I find it therapeutic....

Another lesson I have found I learned through my dads dying process was to be yourself...Don't be someone or something your not...That is something I have struggled with for many years...Somewhere along the path of life I allowed others to dictate to me who I was and needed to be...the sad thing about that is I allowed it and in this process became very unhappy with my life and myself...Ironically I am finding now that I am finding me again, the people that loved the 'fake me' are struggling with the real me....

Let me see if I can explain...

When I say fake I don't mean my entire self was fake...I was a true christian, saved, and believed in the bible...I prayed, followed the 10 commandments(best I could... we all fall short)attended church when the doors were open and generally tried to be a good person,the person Jesus would want me to me...

But there was this nagging inside of me that kept saying something was amiss... there were some things I did not believe...I never believed all other religions were evil and came from Satan....I never believed deep in my heart all homosexuals were "hell" bound....I never believed in a literal hell, a place of fire where we burn for all eternity never to cease...I have never believed all of mankind is born depraved without one ounce of good in them....I have never believed one can recite a few words with another person of faith like a preacher and be saved...salvation is personal and needs to be worked out not repeat after me and all is good...but that's a whole 'nuther topic...

So when I say I was a fake, I think what I mean to say is that in order to fit in with the church I was in I went along to be accepted...Sad, I know...

During the time my dad was dying and my reformation was taking shape I realized that life is really, really short....Many of us spend what few years we have trying to find who we are, what we believe and what we wanna be...many of us also allow others to dictate that to us...We just go along with it, because for whatever reason we feel others, especially those in leadership somehow know more than us....I have found that to be false....Now, Im not saying leaders should be disrespected or looked at as less than...but that we need to really be careful who we put our trust in and we really need to know for ourselves what we believe and why...Many of the doctrines in churches today are fallacies and man made....they keep people in bondage rather than allowing freedom...I honestly believe, at least in my own personal case that the teaching of all other religions are wrong, and if you are part of them you will go to hell and burn forever is nothing more than a control mechanism used in cults to keep you in submission and to keep you from learning the truth...I cannot tell you the countless nights I spent in utter despair worried about going to hell....wondering if I had sinned in someway that day that was hell worthy...I was terrified...this is not Christianity....Please understand I am not saying satanism or any religion that promotes gross acts of violence such as rape, murder, torture or sacrifice of animals is ok...I am speaking of religions that promote love, kindness, acceptance, and that make us better people.

I have spent several months now in deep, deep research...research of Christianity and Buddhism in particular...I have found such similarities that it is astonishing...I have also found striking similarities in the story of Mithra and Jesus...the story of Osiris is also another mythological stories with shocking similarities....why and I telling you this?...It is certainly not to dissuade your faith....however I am a huge believer in truth...and the truth is, whether we want to see it or not is that there are other stories in history that are undeniably similar to the story of Jesus...Now does this make me unchristian to believe these stories...I don't think so...but many will disagree and that's ok....I am a huge advocate of do the research and decide for yourselves....below I will leave a link to a well done documentary of these things...

Switching gears back to more personal issues....

Over the weekend while doing some research and reading about abuse in churches I came across the quote that is posted above (very similar to the taking the mote from your own eye scripture in the bible...I paraphrased)...it was life changing in some ways....I have often said over the years that what you don't like in someone else is likely a quality you don't like in yourself...I said that over 20 years ago to my cousin and have said it countless times sense then...but for some reason seeing it in writing and realizing others see that as well just resonated with me...See, in the church I was in for 13 years there were 5 key players in my situation...A lay church member, my own aunt(moms sisters) the pastor, his son(associate pastor) and the pastors wife....each of these people I trusted fully...what I didn't realize is that they were not trustworthy...My aunt, well, I trusted her with my life...Her and I had many conversations in the last year I was there about personal things and even struggles I was having with a couple of members in the church....what I didn't know was that she was friends, good friends with the lay church member in question and both of them were apparently very good friends on the outside of the church with the pastors and their wives....unbeknownst to me every.single.thing I talked to my aunt about was going to the lay member and them straight to the pastors....however, we all know what happens in those situations....much is lost and added to in translation...its the way humans are....all of this 'talk' that I was not even aware of was infiltrating within the general body of the church and I became the topic of great 'concern'...it was all so wrong...none if it was the way it was portrayed...what does this have to do with my dads death of the quote above?...LOL

Well, when my dad was dying and I realized how short life was I began to see how we all mistreat one another in the name of Christianity...seems it doesn't matter in some denominations what the bible says if the pastor decides you are wrong, you are wrong and you get no chance to defend yourself...this is very common in cults...The very people accusing me of  things were they themselves doing the exact same things and worse in some cases...So, when I read the above quote, that I had all those years ago realized myself...I had an epiphany...an a-ha moment...a moment of clarity and enlightenment...the angels singing alleluia in the background kind of moment....LOL...you get the point...I realized that they themselves possessed the very qualities they said I did....My struggle with all of this was because I don't see it...not out of not wanting to, but because the qualities are not there....those closest to me in my life will tell you they don't see those qualities either...I have spent all these years wanting to clear my name...wanting them to hear my explanation...wanting them to say they were sorry for lying about me...wanting something, anything from them...but when reading the above quote I realized none of what they think matters...they, are the ones messed up...they are the ones in the cult being controlled and lied to...they are hurting and for that I am sorry...these people did me a favor by 'shunning' me....they have allowed me freedom...and for that I am grateful...I now feel free to become who I really am...I have the freedom to figure all of this out for myself...I will never again allow the opinions of others to destroy me or my soul...I will never again buy into all the garbage that has been dumped on me and others in the name of Christianity...Please understand I am not saying Christians are bad,....most are not...they all mean well...but when we really, really study and dig and forge our own path...when we become serious about bible history and history of religion in general then and only then can we really begin to understand our christian beliefs and how they formed...in my opinion it is not evil or hell worthy to study the origins of religion....we cannot possibly know what we ourselves believe if we have never really studied...there has been much abuse in the name of Christianity over the years...it is a sad fact...I am a product of that abuse...so are my siblings...the hurt and destruction are great, but it has also allowed each of us to find our own way...it took me many years longer to begin this journey than them...I regret I didn't do this years ago...Many good, honest, "saved" people are leaving organized religion in droves....why? Because of the dogmatic way the bible is being used against people...I truly believe that is the reason in many, many cases....until pastors and and church leaders understand you cannot beat someone with the bible and scripture to get them "Saved" and to "Submit" this trend of church membership declining will continue and the shift towards a more loving, accepting approach will continue to emerge and I personally believe that is a good thing.

I hate that so many out there destroy others happiness in the name of religion...I hate that Christianity has been so misused and misunderstood...a good article on this you will find here... The bible: So misunderstood its a sin 

So many churches and christians have used the bible as a way to control and manipulate people...its horribly sad...I have vowed to no longer be party to that kind of neanderthal  thinking....I want to love and be loved...I want to show people a better way to live...a more peaceful and restful way...I want people to see God in nature and all living beings....I want people to see God as love not as some person or being in the sky waiting to judge our actions as good or bad...we must all walk out our own path according to what we believe...if God led us all the same way we would all believe the same things and be the same denomination....each of us have a path...and that's ok...we will all find God in our own time, in our own way...See, religion, all religions were designed as a way to help us control ourselves and our actions...religion was never meant to be used as a way to control others and their actions...christians are especially guilty of this...they use religion as a way to dictate right and wrong behavior for the masses...and many while dictating are doing the very things they are dictating against...sad but true...I have done it because it all I knew....

So today, because of a mere quote on the internet I am ok....I will no longer allow them(my old church) to continue to enslave me by allowing myself to believe their lies...I will no longer allow them to manipulate me with their accusations...I sit here today...free....free to be me...free to believe what I choose...free to be free....

Please share your thoughts! If the below video doesn't work please let me know.



 

Monday, January 2, 2017

A New Year has arrived!

Well, we all made it another year! I am very grateful to have another year here on earth...none are promised tomorrow...

Thought I would take a few minutes and just reflect and write down a few 'goals' if you will I have for this next year. Some are still in the pondering stage...this is just a lose guideline...

Weightloss-Last year I lost 35 lbs doing the low carb keto diet. It works well and the way of eating is amazing. The weight falls off very fast. Many told me it would not stay off and I have to disagree. Over the holidays I did gain 4 lbs, but I am not overly concerned, just have to get back on track and lose it...should only take a couple weeks. I am hopeful to maintain and possibly lose another 10 lbs...but if not i'm ok where I am...I am not overweight and my BMI is right on target....so i'm good!

Eating-I am considering becoming a vegetarian....my reasons are many but the main one being my systemic lupus diagnosis. I have long said I could be a vegetarian and love it... and I could, I am simply not much of a meat eater. I have found I feel much better when I stay away from meat especially red meat...I have considered only eating fish for meat...time will tell what path I take this year....I know I seriously need an anti inflamatory diet....suggestions?

Homesteading...Homesteading with critters for us is over...I am actually kinda relieved by it all...it was a lot of work...I miss the eggs sometimes, but not enough I want to go back to having chickens. We lived the farm/homestead life for 16 years...and while it was amazing and wonderful we are getting older and ready for a change...We want less work,
and more time to just enjoy the great outdoors...we have always loved to sit outside and just be....just sit and soak up the sounds and feel of creation....To feel God in the breeze, and in the warmth of the sun...to see the creator in the clouds floating by..to hear "God" sing to us in the form of birds...or to whisper hello on the wings of the butterfily...To teach us about life in all of creation...Nature is by far the greatest teacher about life...death...and the cycle of it all....

Gardening-Veggie and Herb-We have had a garden of some sort all of our married life(26 years). That will not stop. Gardening for me will be different from previous years just because of my diagnosis. I cannot spend time in the sun like I always have, however it does not mean I can't be in the shade with sunscreen...So I will do my gardening early morning of late evening when our gardening spot is shaded...We will turn our attention to being as organic as we can without losing a crop...We have plans to add a few more fruit trees and berry vines...

I added a small herb bed last year to the gardening mix, but it was way to small for all I had planted...this year will be a much larger area with a larger variety of herbs to choose from....I will dry them and use them in my cooking and many are good for medical things...I look forward to having a beautiful herb garden in which to gaze upon and harvest from...

Yard and Home-For years I have had kinda of a farmish type decor going on in my home...that is changing...I have eliminated much clutter from my home and am continuing to declutter even further...its been freeing...I have boxed up many 'farmy'type decor to be sold in a yard sale this spring...I am working on repainting and redoing our home setting...it will reflect softer, more relaxing type colors with candles and some greenery...A more "zen" type atomosphere is what I am going for...I also have a couple table top waterfalls that add to the element of relaxion....

For the yard I will focus on all things flowers and wildbirds....I am a bird lover, a nature lover really...so was my dad..my dad had an affinity for birds.....all of nature is something I have loved for years but do to certain religous people in my life telling me loving nature was a sin I have never allowed myself to fully enjoy all of God's creation...this year, I will enjoy it as much as my health allows...I will be ordering some heirloom flower seeds next week...Husband and I have began deciding what we are wanting to do with the yard...we both agree we want flowers, cactus, stones, waterfalls and birdhouses with a mystical type spin on things along with things that remind us to be kind...kind to one another, kind to all humans regardless of their station in life, kind to nature... plant and beast...and most of all kind to ourself...we all need to give ourselves some love and kindness...grace if you will...I am excited to see things take shape this year..In previous years all 'extra' money was spent on critters/fencing/outbuildings...and the yard got saddly neglected....this year the yard will be our focus...We have been "shopping" around already to find what we are looking for....We are both super excited about this new journey!

Blogging-I don't have a particular direction at this time for this blog to go...For now, it will simply be a collection of thoughts, tid bits from my life, this spring I am hoping to share many photos of our endeavors in gardening and landscaping...From time to time I may share lessons I am still learning through my dads passing...I am sure I will share thoughts about things I am reading or simply share observings in nature....I have always found "God" while in the great outdoors amongst creation...Nature is where I find my center, my balance and my peace...I hope to bring a bit of that to this blog....

Spirituality-This is last but certainly not least, these project/goals are in not particular order other than how they came to mind...After many months of discussion we have decided to forego organized religion again this year at least at this moment....it is simply not something we have any desire to be part of...Our experiences have not served us well and has brought us much pain...so we will continue to find our way, and serve the creator as we see fit...We will continue to delve into the teachings of Jesus Christ and work on letting go of all the other dogma that has been attached to christianity...I will continue to read and learn about the teaching of Buddha as well, as I find Buddha and Jesus to have very similar teachings...Notice I did not say Buddhism and Christianity are similar as they really are not, however the 2 persons are remarkably similar in what they teach and how they go about life lessons....while some may balk at my findings I am perfectly at peace with my journey and I am learning so much about myself and what it really means to be a Christian...Husband and I will continue to heal from our past hurts within the organized system of religion...

So there ya have it...Nothing spectacular at all...pretty simple really...I like simple...We have spent far to many years in the realm of complicated...Life really is pretty simple when you get down to the "brass tacks" of it all...humans tend to complicate all things...I am finding life is really not as complicated as it seemingly has been fed to me...

Just live, love and let go...when we all figure out how to do these 3 little things....life will be much simpler! Don't you think?

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Year End Reflections

I have never been one to make resolutions for the new year...I have always been of the mindset that many times you set yourself up for failure when for reasons, sometimes out of our control we fail to keep those resolutions....so for me resoultions serve no good purpose.... I have realized that mindful reflection from the past year allows me to learn and grow from the experiences I had during the year...with that said...the journey begins...

The very beginning of the year found my dad still hospitalized from a collapsed left lung, and a blood clot in his right lung...this was his carry over stay from December last year...He recovered and began his own mindful journey of finding his way to peace. As I have had said it was here my own journey began...

My journey this year has really been about self acceptance and figuring out its ok to be me...its ok to be who I am...its ok to love the person I am...it has been about finding my own peace in this life...

I realized early on while watching my dad, that when we don't or cant accept who we really are as people we are miserable...Me, like my dad have had a hard time just being who we are...I think for my dad and I both our desire to accepted and loved over rode our ability to just be who we are...Speaking for myself only here, my inability to accept myself as I am was due to the years of indoctrination in my church denomination....we were always told we were bad, sinners, no good, didn't deserve to live, and ultimately if we didn't live like we were told we would burn forever in a firey pit of hellfire because it what we deserved....I shudder as I write that...As an adult I look at that and see the horrendous damage done to a child or even young adults self worth...my entire life, all of it...this is the message I have been told...Watching my dad suffer with what I now believe to be this same issue I learned that the gospel message is perverted by many for their own gain...in order for pastors to keep the door open they must feed us something that keep us coming back...what better message than if we don't go to church and believe what we are being told...we burn forever, for all eternity in a lake of fire...We are told we must accept their interpretation of the bible and live as we are instructed or perish in fire...I spent much of my adult life in fear, anguish and anxiety wondering if I was ok...I have discovered that yes, I am ok just as I am...I have risen from the mud and am becoming a beautiful lotus...in the christian world you have been raised from the mirey pit and have become a new creature...same thing, different wording.

So let me stop there a minute and tell you what I now know....Not all churches/denomination teach that message as harshly as it was fed to me...not all Christians believe this way and I have learned that it is nothing more than a form of judgement and a way to control the masses....

God is not a human....he "just is"....he is in everything we see, feel, taste, smell, and all that we are...God lives in each one of us...he is not some entity up in sky that is waiting to strike us dead....No!, he is here living with us and in us daily...

The other thing I have found this year is that people have a very difficult time with others that are different in their belief system....this has been a very painful lesson for me...A friend, a phone friend really, a women I loved dearly who taught me so much about Love, Mercy and Grace apparently has decided I am no longer worthy of her friendship since I have left organized religion and decided to study other ways. IE: Buddhism...more on that later....Another very dear long time friend of mine is I believe struggling with my decision as well...It kills me...what neither of these women understand is that I am the very same person I was before....I am just being honest with them and myself now....I have taken off the mask....I have learned people only wanna see what 'meshes' with their belief system....anything outside of their box is labeled evil, degenerate, or worthy of going to hell. Our christian society has lost the ability to think for themselves...we/they only see what they have been taught to see...Maybe out of tradition from their family as in my case, or maybe because they feel like they must have the dogma to be ok and feel worthy of being loved by God....whatever the reason, it breaks my heart to lose or feel like I have lost 2 wonderful ladies in my life...

Loss and letting go has been the central theme in my life this past year....We have had a small farm(homestead) for 16 years...this summer being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus has been a real life changer as well....Being someone that craves the sun like most people crave food this was a real blow to me...After the reality sank it and I accepted this is my new normal, with great difficulty and many tears my husband and I came to the same conclusion that it was for the best to sell off the critters....I can no longer care for them and my husband can't work full time and farm fulltime too....so with a heavy heart we sold all the chickens, the turkeys and the incubator is for sale...My husband still has his pigs and at this time the decision has not been make as to what to do with them...they are an old heritage breed and being the person I am I love the old breeds that are endangered...So we may choose to keep them....the lesson I learned is that attachement to "things" or a way of life is not good....it brings great suffering when they must be let go...I learned some things, some people, and some ways of life are only for a season and when that season ends a new season begins....I am now embracing the new found freedom I have from the homestead life....and looking forward with great anticipation what this next season has in store for me, for us....

The greatest lesson I have learned this year is that life is short...there is not alot of time to live and enjoy all the wonderful things creation has given us in this world...In order to enjoy this life, and the abundance of goodness in it, we must let go of all dogma, hate, judgement, indoctrination and preconceived ideas that we carry...we must find a way to lay it all down and look at this world and the people in it with love and acceptance....I'm not talking about accepting crime like rape, murder etc...I am talking about coexisting with one another...joining hands and loving each other....put aside all religiosity, all the baggage, all the hate and love each other...we all have a story....we all have a past...we all have baggage...but God also gave us the ability to love...if you want people to see God, know God and experience God...then love them...right where they are...Don't use your words....words are so empty in our world...words most of the time get in the way of living our beliefs....We get so busy trying to tell others what we believe, and them telling us what they believe and both sides trying to convince others why their way is best that we forget love is a VERB not VERBIAGE! Words are just words....but love in action can move mountains, it can heal the broken hearted, it can light the dark, it can give life...it can change you and through you and each of us the world can be changed one person at a time...

My lessons this year have been many....they have been profound for me...as I go forward this next year my hope is that these new found revelations stay with me and I can do my part to love and to show love....I want to be just one of millions that choose to love and not hate, that choose to be the change I wanna see...I want to touch lives in a way that says " I love you just as you are, even if it doesnt mesh with my way"....I want to make the world a better place and to leave people better than I found them...

I want them to remember me for the love I showed them regardlesss of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, etc....When they walk away from me I want them to feel good about who they are....I want to leave them better than I found them...If I can do that with even one person...and that one person pays it forward...wow! what a different world we could live in!

I wish you all great blessings and may all your dreams come true in the new year!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Peace, wrong ideas & finding our own way

I ended my last blog post with unconditional love...Today I want to address peace...peace of heart, peace of mind and peace within yourself....

When my dad was dying I saw much unrest in him...it was in his words, in his demeanor and in his body language...this was at the beginning of his illness....the last 9 months of his life seemed to bring about a change...bit by bit, little by little, day by day, moment by moment...as I watched him transform, I was reformed...

To transform means: to change in condition, nature or character according to dictionary.com

To reform means:to make changes in something in order to improve it according to dictionary.com

His transformation was like watching a metamorphosis...he changed from what I always perceived a monstor into a human being...he had only told me he loved 1 time in my life when I was 12 after he had beat me with a stick, but over his 9 month process of dying those words become more and more familar to me...and I knew he meant them more each time he spoke them...and it was because of that my reformation began...

So backing up a little I wanna start with I always felt my life was a bit of a trainwreck....lots of destruction...from failed realtionships to just being an unhappy person...

I envisioned this trainwreck of my life as just that....a train that had been derailed...I stand on the outside looking at it....looking at all the pieces before me, that ARE me...some are big, some are small, some are miniscule, but piece of me nonetheless....some peices are shards of glass...I think they represent toxic people in my life...they have wounded me deeply, cut to the bone at times....yet I am still standing...scarred....but I stand..I am not yet broken, but bruised and battered, yes....but yet I stand today....reformed...

I stand here looking at a lifetime of wreckage, wondering where to start to begin cleaning up this mess and rebuilding myself...I look at my scars and they are a painful reminder of where I have been, but yet they also serve as my strength to move forward....

So move forward  I do....I don't think there is a good starting place with something like life changes...I think we just start...sometimes we start before we know we started....which has been the case for me....my 'rebuilding' process if you will began 3 years ago with the church ordeal and has continued on since then....my dads battle with illness was yet another major step in cleaning up this mess....

I began to realise the lies, deception and toxcicity of the people in the church I was in...they were good people, don't get me wrong, but they were toxic because they played into the lies...just as I did for many many years...Years of being controlled with scripture, and snide remarks, years of trying to be accepted...losing yourself trying to be loved and wanted and cared for and accepted by a body of people that in the end rejected you in the most unimaginable way....this, saddly is the way they view God...we have to be good enough, do all the right things, say all the right words, be at all the right places at just the right time and look the right way so people know who we represent...I used to think they meant we represent God but now I think what they really meant was that we represented them...it was all about how it looked, not how it was...just like growing up in domestic violence we just all looked the part, didnt matter that we were all falling apart inside...it was what we presented to the outside that matter....legit or not!

You couple this kind of abusive church with a person that comes from an abusive home and it is a recipe for disaster...I lost myself in it all...I lost myself in the anger, the trying to be good, the trying to say all the right things, the trying to look the part...I lost me...in all this wreckage "I" was missing...I couldnt find my way out of this mess...When I would want to leave the church I would become scared of going to hell...I would become scared of losing the people, the familiarity...what if Jesus came back and I had left my church which they equated with leaving God...Surely these things are not how it really is I would tell myself....but the sermons would soldify that yes, indeed if I left the church I was doomed....They would twist your words and when you were sad, depressed, sick or otherwise not perfect you would be told/quoted scripture to 'fix' you...you needed to pray harder, have more faith, read your bible more, get into the word, don't watch certain television shows, stay away from contemporary christian music(its evil you know :) sarcasm intended) All other religions are a door to the demonic and is evil(such a lie)..if we did all the bible reading, praying etc and we were still struggling it was our fault because we didn't have enough faith....underlying message is "your defective because this should work"....so I would walk away from being beaten with scripture with the idea I was defective in some way that I needed to figure out.....what we weren't told is that we ALL struggle regardless of being a christian or not.....We believe all the lies because if we don't we feel like we will die...die from being rejected by those people and by God....people like me long to be accepted and not rejected...the rejection to people like me is like death...its that underlying message we are not good enough, there is something wrong with us, we are defective in some way, we just can't be loveable the way we are because we never have been...I think my dad felt this way which is why he was the way he was...the fear of rejection the years of abuse by his mother took a toll and he became hard and bitter...in order to feel in control he controlled by abuse...He too felt unlovable by God because of a past experience I won't get into here....suffice to say I get why he felt th way he did...I understand it now....

Growing up was kinda the same way as it was in the church I was in...in order to keep my dad happy we had to "behave" and we never quite knew the rules...what was ok today might not be ok tomorrow and it was a constant sense of chaos with us...we just never knew what we were to do to be accepted and not hit...this has led to a life of confusion for me and my 2 siblings...we tried to do all the right things, but it was never enough...nothing was ever enough....we were never enough...this is has been my whole life message....I was not enough or good enough....

The last few months as my dad transformed, things inside me began to change...the love I had for him was no longer out of duty just because he was my dad...I was no longer trying to get him to love me...it didn't matter...because I loved him with a love I have never felt for anyone other than my children...it was deep, it was.... well, just pure love...there was no wanting him to change, or to love me back, there was none of this I have got to be good around him or try to impress him with my intelligence...there was no conditions put upon the relationship...because of this our relationship began to change...he was happy to see me when I would go and see him and told me many times that I would never know how much it meant to him to have me there so much....he told my aunt(his sister) he was so proud of the person I was...He loved me back...finally, 50 years of trying to be loved by him he loved me back....he would hug me when I would leave and tell me he loved me...The peace it brought me was something I cannot describe in words...I finally felt whole and worthwhile and like I mattered...I began to understand this is how God is...God is not some mean 'person' sitting up in the great beyond waiting to strike us dead at our mistakes...no GOD IS LOVE...LOVE IS GOD....

I have a couple of people in my life that have rejected where I am right now in my life and it hurts me deeply......I have decided to look into different way of believing...I have not left God....but I left my perception of him...I have not left Jesus....I have left my perception of him....I am finding my way...I am finding what I believe....I am cleaning up all the wreckage of the past 50 years and finding myself...instead of allowing others to tell me what to believe, how to believe and why I should believe like they do...I am finding what I believe about everything...life, God, religion, everything....It brings me a sense of peace knowing I am standing....not standing with battle scars from fighting for my life so much now....but I am now standing strong, and saying in my own way...I am going to be me...if you love me fine...if you don't thats ok too...I am standing here embracing who I am becoming and the peace I am searching for and finding....it may not be your path....and thats ok...but it is mine and its ok....I am ok...I am having to let go of all the wrong ideas and in order for me to do that I have to let go and much of what I have been taught and told...I am sure with time I will embrace parts of it, but I might not and that's ok too...I am learning to let go of all the judgment of others...church was the place I learned the the most judgement...sad, but true...seemed if you didn't toe the line and do things 'right' you were a hell bound sinner and going to burn for all eternity...I am saddened that I have rejected certain people and certain things and not allowed them just be who they are and I hate the fact I have hurt people because the church I was in taught us their way was the right way...there are many ways and we must all find what works for us...we all have a journey we are on...we all need peace, to let go of wrong ideas and to find our own way....

Until Next Time~


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Unconditional love...really?

I ended my last entry writing of love so today I will continue there....

In our society today we hear all the time of love, loving someone unconditionally...it has become a familiar phrase from pulpits across the county....We hear it from our family members, from our friends, there is even much about it on the internet...But what does it mean?

The last couple of months of my dads life were the hardest, but also the most awaking to me, for me....When I decided to just "love" him with no expectations a change in me took place...What I began to realize is I can't love him with stipulations or love him in the past or in the future....I had to love him right then, right there....where he was...I had to be mindful....For me being mindful means being in the moment...present...present to feel, see, hear, smell and love...I had to love him moment by moment....If I tried to the love the man of the past I failed...why? Because in all my human-ness I had resentment, anger and bitterness over what had been to us all those years ago...but when I found a place, a way in which I could look at him in that moment and see him for who he was I could love him unconditionally....When in that moment the daddy I loved as a very small child and told my mom I wanted to marry when I grew up, the man that could do no wrong in that 4 year olds eyes, that man that played with me, took me on horse back rides and taught me how plant corn...yes that man.....that was the man I loved without conditions....I had lost that over the years as hurt, anger and bitterness took hold in the wake of horrendous abuse...But in the moment, that 1 moment frozen in time I found the means to love him again...When he would lash out, which was becoming fewer and more far between, I simply over looked it and looked beyond the words into the heart of dying and hurting man...I began to understand he too was full of hurt, anger and regret...he too had been a very abused child at the hands of his mother...he never figured out how to overcome and to love and be loved...Somehow I had figured out love is what he needed...and I was willing to just love and let it all go...let it be...there was nothing that could change the past, nothing that could right all the wrongs...nothing that could change any of it...but what could change is that in the mans last days I could make a difference...

What I didn't realize is that I began this journey to love him for him, but it is me it truly changed....it changed me to the very core of my being...I began to understand so many things....What it meant to really live in the moment....what it mean to love without boundaries....what it meant to love someone in spite of their shortcomings....what it meant to be present for someone in spite of whats going on in your own life...What it means to feel empathy when someone suffers...what it means to truly want the best for someone even though they didn't give a crap about you for most of your life....I realized the TRUE meaning behind the words "unconditional love"....it truly is love without conditions attached...

Now, this is not saying that you should allow yourself to be abused,exploited or mistreated...if you are in a relationship, church or even at a job where you are being abused, exploited or mistreated in a serious way...you need to leave that situation immediately and get help!.....I am talking about loving someone, maybe even from afar that has done you wrong...You don't have to live with someone or even have them in your life to love them...I DO NOT and will not advocate abuse of any kind even in the name of love...that kind of love is not a healthy love and no one should subject themselves and their children to such atrocities.

So, with that said....

Across our nation these words are shouted everywhere we go...preachers pound the pulpit weekly pleading with us to love our neighbor as ourself, we are to be selfless and love like Jesus did...While this is all very true, how often do we really see this? I was shunned from a church that preached love weekly, love the sinner hate the sin and how they were known by outsiders as the church that loved...however when I did not conform to their rules, and I viewed the world a little differently and when my discernment stepped on their proverbial toes I was thrown to the wolves and shunned and treated like a leper...So, where was the love? Their love, like most was based on conditions...they loved me as long as I conformed, they loved me as long as I didn't expose them for what they were, the loved me as long as I gave enough money and they loved me when it benefited them...

Our friends many time love us as long as were not to messy, or we aren't to 'heavy', they love us when we can be there for them, they love us when we believe what they believe is right, when we began to change, and grow and take a different path, or they misunderstand where we are or what were saying...the love changes and they set out on a mission to "fix us", mold us....they make sure we understand we need to 'get it over it"(whatever your it is) and move on...is this unconditional love? I don't believe so...

Our church family, pastors and preachers tell us Jesus/God loves us unconditionally....I have to ask...Do they really believe that? I'm not sure they do...here's why...

When I was walking this journey with my dad, nothing but just being there with him mattered...not the hateful things he said, not the past, not the future...not even the next 5 minutes...there was no wanting to fix him, save him, correct him, explain my feelings to him, we just were....in that moment, hanging on to every breath, every word, every glance...just that moment...I wanted his image and all that comes with that etched forever in my mind but most importantly my heart...I wanted that love I felt for him to stay with me forever....I want to share it, give it away....pay it forward...live it for others...When you love unconditionally I believe that's how it is...its loving without looking backwards or ahead....its right then and right there..it is listening to the words someone is saying without searching your mind for the right words back....as a christian it is listening without using scripture to hurt, harass, or whip into shape the person hurting...it is not explaining how sin separates from God and you are in grave danger of burning in hell...its not telling the hurting person you are responsible for the hurt inflicted upon you...Don't get me wrong, most christians are well meaning, but ill equipped...what do I mean? Let me see how to explain this....

Christians are taught the way to help a dead and dying world is to be a light...a light that lights the dark path sinners are on...So they do that by reading scripture and memorizing it so that when they meet someone who is not "saved" they can recall and speak scripture...We see christians in front of abortion clinic picketing, we see them holding signs on the road side about how if you have an abortion your going hell....seen that just the other day in a town near me...we are told if we don't turn from our wicked(whatever that may be)ways we are dammed to hell...Many, many well meaning christians use these tactics...I have said for years you can't scare the hell out of someone and you can't scare heaven in them....So my point is this....this is conditional love....God/Jesus loves you as along as you don't sin...don't lie, steal, drink, smoke, dance, wear clothing that is not acceptable, don't be a homosexual, or transgender, don't look at the world different than we define you should, don't go to a casino,don't meditate, do yoga or go to a holistic doctor.......If you were really saved you wouldn't/would do that, or this or read this or that or study this or that.....Don't swear, don't murder(unless its war and then its ok especially if our side is winning or the death penalty) don't be a democrat that believes in global warming, and I know some that says you can't be a democrat at all... don't worship idols, dont spend to much time on your cell phone...conserve water, but don't care so much about that earth that it becomes an idol...Don't educate yourself about any other religion or denomination other than your own and if you do read about it, you must your use denominations books to research ad the author must be of your denomination cause they have it all right....and the big one....DO NOT JUDGE...ok so some of these are silly and a bit off....but I think or I hope I  made my point...This is all conditional love...strings attached if you will...God/Jesus loves us as long as we don't (you fill in the blank). Is this not all judging...is it not judging to tell or even just think that someone is wicked and will burn in hell because they are different? Just because someone doesn't think like you, act like you, dress like you, talk like you, love like you does not in anyway mean they are going to hell...whatever hell really is....(more on that later)

Ok, so heres the simple truth...Jesus was not a Christian, he was not a democrat nor republican, he loved the earth God gave us, while he doesn't like many of things mentioned above, he loves us in-spite of ourselves...he doesn't judge us like our fellow man.....Just like I loved my dad and put all judgment and malice aside...I loved him for him, not because of what he had done or had not done....Its humans that put all these stipulations on love...I did it/do it and so do you, we all do...we like to fool ourselves into believing we don't...We will be there for someone until they no longer suit our needs, or believe something we don't or they find their self in a deep depression and we feel they just need to get over it...We are ill equipped to deal with people outside our box...outside our way of thinking...outside of how we were taught or led to believe is right or wrong...We are ill equipped to think for ourselves. Yes, I myself am included in that last statement....I was part of the organized church for most of my life and I thought like they did, because it was what I was taught to do and told was right and that Jesus loved me as long as I did not sin and if I sinned and did not repent I would burn for eternity in hell...So I had to ask myself...did I do things out of love for Jesus and all he done for me(dying on a cross a horrible, violent death) or did I do what I did for fear of going to an unimaginable place of burning and damnation...I'm still working in this one...more on this at a later date :)

This is not unconditional love....Unconditional love does not say....I will love you unless....I will love you if...I will love you when....No! it says I will love you in spite of...I was able to put 'me' aside and love my daddy in spite of himself and all of his shortcomings...I just couldn't hate the man laying in that bed reduced to only a shell of the man I had known all my life...

Because of all I have learned and am learning about myself through all the pain with my dad....I have become a better person in many ways...I am learning to embrace who I am, who I want to be and who I am becoming...others in my life aren't so happy with me...again...its about unconditional love.....really it is....

Until Next time...


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

No Regrets?

My dad died at home, which was what he wanted...he had not been in the hospital for a couple of months before his passing, so visits were always much more comfortable as far the setting was concerned. He had been pretty much bed ridden the last couple of months only getting up to shower(with assistance) or sit on the bed side potty. Certainly not the way my dad wanted to live, nor the way I wanted to see him.

On one particular visit on Christmas day 2015 he seemed 'reflective'...he would mention things from his past, things from when he was married to my mom some 33 years earlier....they divorced when he finally found another woman...on this particular day he brought up dying and how he thought he was a good dad...he thought being a good dad was providing a nice home, good food and nice clothes, but most didn't think that was adequate because everyone wanted the emotional bulls#&%...What do I say to this was the thought that instantly popped into head?....I calmly looked at him and said "Well, daddy I think at the end of all our lives we need peace with who we are and what we've accomplished, we want no regrets." He sternly looked at me and said "I have no regrets! I have a had a good life." Tears were stinging my eyes, but I was not about to cry and allow him to see that one more time he emotionally just beat me me..our visist was only around 20 minutes that day and we left...I just couldnt do it...I could not sit there and listen to such nonsense.....I thought about what he said when we left that day and it crushed me...how could he have no regrets? Does he not regret beating our mom to a pulp monthly for 17 years? Does he not regret beating his children and telling us we were worthless and would never amount to anything? Does he not regret not really knowing who the 3 of us are? Does he not regret cheating on my mom for their entire married life? Does he not regret how he screwed up us kids by putting us through all of that and causing us to suffer from PTSD? No regrets, NO REGRETS! Damn him, how does he have no regrets!?

I left that day with many questions in my mind, a heart full of saddnes and questions that could not be answered..I had given up most of my Christmas day to drive 1.5 hours one way to spend with him only for him to pierce my heart with his hatefullness......I pondered a lot from this point on about regrets. I certainly have/had a few. Don't we all? Well, at least if were honest...I'm not talking about the small regrets like I should've bought the blue dress instead of the red one...I'm talking the big stuff....you know, the relationship that ended and you never got over, the job not taken, the journey not started, not saying what you wanted to say, or wishing you hadn't have said what you said, all the misunderstandings that were never corrected...the really big stuff...the stuff that defines our life for many years...

I become very reflective over the next weeks...wondering who I was, what I wanted for the rest of my life, how to right the wrongs, what did I believe about life, God..... myself...I thought I knew and now, suddenly I am finding I don't know any of these things...my life had always been defined by others and their action or reactions....Here I am almost 50 years old and pondering what I even believe about life in general...I think this was a turning point for me on a personal level...I had vowed to not go back and see my dad the day he told me he had no regrets...I just couldnt deal with it....with him...but in the wee hours of the morning.... one morning in Mid January I began to realize he did have regrets or he would not have brought it up...but my dad, being the strong, stubborn, always right everyone else wrong kinda man was not about to humble himself and admit he had nearly destroyed 4 lives, he was not going to take responsibilty nor was he going admit he was wrong...but he knew deep inside was wrong, and he was hurting...I think this is the point where I began to see things differently...I began to soften and look at things/him from a different vantage point....I think this where the journey of loving him uncondionally began...but it wasnt for him....no, it was for me....

I guess in early spring of this year 2016, I began to see my dad as a human being and not a monster...I began to see a softening in his eyes and in his demeanor and in his interactions with others...dont get me wrong he still had his moments of being a a$$hole but there were those moments of kindness and even some love...

To Be cont'd....