“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”~ Stephen Hawking
I read this quote and it instantly spoke to me. Not only is it valuable for those disabled, it is also a valuable lesson for those chronically ill for that is a disability too. It is an equally important message for all people for if we allow our discontent to make us spiritually disabled then we have crippled ourselves.
I am blessed in that I am one of those people who has a very upbeat personality in spite of my disabilities and illnesses and even before I became so ill, in life in general. I have talked a lot about how important our attitude is in life period but also how important when dealing with disability or chronic illness because no matter what trial we are dealing with, if we allow ourselves to become spiritually disabled we have lost the battle.
Spiritually disabled has nothing to do with religion and more to do with your inner spirit that keeps you fighting to survive. It is that spirit that holds our hope and dreams. And hope is essential in dealing with struggles. If we let our trials in life destroy our spiritual/emotional side of us, then we have become totally disabled and life loses the joys and happiness.
I truly believe that acceptance is a key in guarding our spiritual/emotional well-being. Do I want to live like I am now? Of course not, but I have accepted that this is the way it is. I look for ways to entertain myself and I look for the joys in life. And yet some people totally lose the joys in their lives because they have let what they can no longer do take over their lives. Acceptance does not mean giving up. It means that I quit fighting the fact that I am disabled and chronically ill and I focus on what I can do and what I enjoy doing. This also applies to problems we have with our jobs, our finances, our family, etc. All of these things can cause us to lose hope.
People who let what they can no longer do take control of their lives become very bitter. This takes away the joy of the things that they still can do in their lives. I believe that if we use things, people, places to decide our value, then we are making ourselves spiritually disabled for those things can come and go and even disappear. And when they are not in our lives, then what do we get self-worth from? Happiness is this place inside us that says we are content and we choose to see the good things in our lives. No one can take that from us except us. For example, if I can not have the job I want, I have choices I can make. I can either accept it and try to find another job or I can become bitter and let it consume me.
I have had people say attitude does nothing and I realize now that the quote above says it all. Yes, we can be going through all sorts of trials from physical disability, to financial problems to marital problems and still be happy OR we can become spiritually disabled and see no joy in life. The choice is up to us and when we place our happiness on jobs, money, possessions, good health, etc, we are going to become disappointed for all of those things can disappear in a flash. We have to guard the spiritual side of us the closest for we can lose the hope and drive that keeps us going before we realize it. Where are you in life? Have you found the happiness you wanted?
It is that time of year where people start talking about New Year’s resolutions of which most are not kept. They are usually the type of goals that set you up for failure from the beginning because they are unrealistic like “losing 100 pounds in three months”.
So, I want to talk about a new way of looking at the coming year and that is making lifestyle goals or changes instead of resolutions. Make a goal of changing eating habits instead of a goal of dieting and losing a set amount of weight. Make a goal of learning better spending habits instead of a goal of paying off all your bills in four months. These are examples of lifestyle changes.
Son and I have worked on these types of goals for a few years now.We set a goal of changing how we spent money to help us become more debt free. We made a goal of putting distance between things that stress us unnecessarily and to make our lives more simple. We made a goal to focus on our health. All of these are lifestyle changes.
Set goals that are attainable. Yes, I know people say reach for the stars and we should dream big, but in an economy where finances are so unstable, job security seems to be no longer guaranteed and health problems seem to be on the rise, we need to set goals that do not over extend ourselves and create greater problems in the long run.
We learned the difference in “want spending” and “necessary spending”. That is not to say that we do not ever splurge on ourselves if we have the money. It means we do not run through our money like we are in the candy shop buying everything in sight. Our goal became more security oriented instead of “possession” oriented. We set a goal of downsizing into a smaller home that we could own and not fear losing a few years ago. What peace of mind that brought.
This year our Lifestyle goals include working on our home, the greenhouse, a small shop that son needs in the backyard, eating healthier, exercising more, taking the best care possible of our health, being kind to people, doing acts of kindness (and that does not always take money), living with less stress, enjoying quality time together, laughing more, and making changes in our lifestyle that liberate us and help us instead of pressuring us and throwing us into more debt.
So, this year instead of making a list of resolutions that probably will not last to the end of January why not try making a list of lifestyle goals and changes you want to make in your life and use words that set you up to win instead of lose. Life is what we make it and we can choose to change our destiny by the mere words we use to lead us down the path.
Change your perception of New Year’s resolutions and turn them into something that can truly change your life. It was amazing to learn that simply taking goals and removing the rigidness from them and looking at the goal in terms of how it can totally change your life from now on can leave you open to success. Look at your life in terms of what will truly make your life better and bring you peace not in terms of quick fixes to problems that need life changes.
And now, I wish you all a very Happy New Years and pray that life brings you all you need next year.
I have said often over the past months that it is important to own our words and own our actions. Some people may take that to mean saying “yeah, yeah I know I said that …but”. And it does not. Owning something means that you accept responsibility for what you said and did and the hurt you may have caused. Every action and every word we say or do comes with a consequence that is either good or bad and we have to decide if it is worth it.
There is another type of owning that is important to make our lives better and it is owning the story of our lives. This type of owning does not mean that we are to blame for all that happened in our lives but it is owning the fact that everything in our lives did actually happen to us. Human nature is to try to avoid anything unpleasant and anything negative and we can not heal if we can not face what has happened in our lives. If we are walking around always saying how great our life is, how wonderful our family is, how perfect everything is…chances are we are not owning our story because life is not perfect and there will always be things that hurt, upset, devastate and anger us. I think now “who are you trying to convince?…yourself or others?
image from http://pinterest.com/rebekahjm/q-u-o-t-e-s/
My guess is that every person that we come in contact with could tell us stories of sorrow and grief and hurt and devastation from their past. We all have those stories and those stories can either be faced totally until we get to the point that we may feel a sadness but not burst into tears or even anger, which is often substituted for hurt, every time the topic comes up. I have those stories and I sought the help of a therapist as it was more than I could deal with on top of all the physical pain and chronic illness I deal with. And while facing those dark places in my life was not easy, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. It was the best gift I could have given myself. I am not telling everyone to run to therapy for that is a personal choice. I am saying that until we face those dark spaces in our lives and are able to deal with them instead of shoving them to the back of our heads again where they will erupt over and over, then we will never have that peace we want in life. That is owning our story.
When we can look at all that we have been through and it does not devastate us every time the thought comes up, then we are healing. If we still start crying at things that happened twenty plus years ago or even a year ago, then we are not owning our story. Some times the story is “Boy, I was dumb to do that.” and sometimes the story is “I did not deserve that and they were wrong to do it to me”. And sometimes the story is “What a horrific thing happened to me that I did not deserve”. And when things happen to us that are truly not our fault, that is what we should see but we still have to “own” that it happened. We can not pretend them away. Believe me, I have tried. The things I have been through in my life, once I started owning my life story, have made me stronger and no longer still continue to take my life-like they did for years. When something still has a traumatizing effect on you one, five, ten, twenty years later, it is still taking part of your life from you every day.
I was the peacemaker child. I was the one that would never tell anyone if I was hurt. I was the clown who always joked and tried to make others laugh when I was devastated on the inside. I remember probably the first 8 plus therapy sessions I went to and I cried in every one of them because someone in authority and people I loved turned on me with a vengeance and were cruel and hurtful and I was devastated. It almost destroyed me. And I sought out the therapist and every time I went in, we talked about what happened and I would cry in anguish. And she would tell me “you are angry” and I would say “No, I am hurt. Can you not tell I am hurt?” And she would reply “Yes, I feel your hurt but you are also very angry”. I could not understand that because I was not owning my story at the time.
And then one day, I walked into a session, sat down and said “I am mad as hell.” and the therapist smiled and said “I have been waiting on this”. And I realized I was angry. I was angry at the injustice of what was done to me but I was also angry at myself that I did not leave, walk away from it and get away from it for I had that choice. And so, we talked many sessions on this. I had to own what was my responsibility and I had to accept that I may never have answers for why this cruel thing happened. I could not take on their ugly actions as my own. I could only own the story as it happened. Today, the story is one I can talk about without tears, without anger, without anguish because it has lost it’s power over me. But, if we never face what hurts, terrifies, anger, devastates us then we can never heal from it.
As far as accepting the consequences, this happened because I was honest and made an honest statement out of concern for someone and they got furiously angry and took revenge against me involving many people. The result of my being honest and concerned was the revenge the person took against me. Does it mean I am not honest or concerned about others anymore? No, it means that I know that sometimes ugly consequences can come from my being that way and I have to decide if I want to accept that result or not. And the answer is yes, I am still honest and caring because that is who I am. Learning that the ugliness had nothing to do with me personally but was more about the persons involved and their own problems made it possible for me to decide whether or not a person means enough to me to risk being that open and honest and maybe being treated that cruelly again. And if the person means enough to me, then I will take that risk. Are you owning your story?
The Day After Christmas
It’s the day after Christmas and all through the house
Everyone is creaking and groaning, even the mouse
Tummies are still full, the stockings pulled down
But everyone is still smiling, no trace of a frown
Everyone is still buried deep in their beds
with piles of pillows covering their heads
The children are eating and making a mess
and adults are hiding from after Christmas stress
When suddenly the phone rings with such a clatter
as the phone hits the wall with a great a splatter
The in-laws are coming, quick hide all the trash
Mom and Dad run to the window in a flash
When what to their wondering eyes did appear?
A mini van with the in-laws and all of their gear
More rapid than eagles they flew to the door
dragging grandma and grandpa, they came all four
We saw the in-laws and the occupants from inside
And everyone in the house all began to run and hide
Voices rang through the door so lively and clear
We all stopped in our tracks trembling in fear
We are here for a week they exclaim through the door
And Aunt and uncle are coming and even some more
We knew in a moment this must be a mistake
We had told them all we were going to the lake
We peeked again to make sure who is outside
And we realized we have no reason to hide
Tis the neighbor’s in-laws and family and more
We told them they had come to the wrong door
And what to our horror should suddenly appear
A letter from their DIL saying to come over here
We sprang to our van, to the kids gave a whistle
threw open the garage door and flew like a thistle
We lowered the window and gunned the gas
And away we all flew like a lightning flash
But we yelled out the window as we drove away
Try the neighbors next door, we are not here today
Merry Christmas to all and dreams of peace on earth, goodwill to all.
Special prayers for our military especially those who can not be with their family at this time and for the families who have lost their loved ones. Merry Christmas from our house to where ever you are from us.
Let there be peace on earth.
video by Romi M. Panlilio
Believing is an important part of life. I believe in miracles and love and kindness and compassion and I think those beliefs shaped my life forever. Tonight many children are believing in the magic of Christmas while still knowing the true meaning of Christmas. It is a joyous time of year and one that is about love, family, forgiveness, salvation, birth and my Savior Christ. It is a time of celebration for our house.
The following came from one of those emails that circulate but it was so good that I wanted to share some of it with you. See, I believe that what we believe in our hearts affects who we are and these quotes tell some of the very things that I believe.
That just because two people argue, It does not mean they do not love each other. And just because they do not argue, It does not mean they do love each other.
That we do not have to change friends if
We understand that friends change.The only thing that should not change is their honesty.
That no matter how good a friend is, they are going to hurt you,
every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.
That it has taken me a long time
To become the person I want to be.
That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
That you can keep going long after you think you can not.
That we are responsible for what We do, no matter how we feel.
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you are down will be the ones that help you get back up.
That sometimes when I am angry I have the right to be angry, but that
does not give me the right to be cruel.
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you have had and what you have learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you have celebrated.
That it is not always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
That no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world does not stop for your grief.
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
That you should not be so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.
Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.
That your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who do not even know you.
That even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
And these are mine added to the list.
that words are powerful tools and we can either help someone up or push them down. The choice is up to us.
we are born into this world good, kind and honest and the choices we make as we grow older will determine if we keep those characteristics or not.
that work is an important part of making us who we are.
God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason…to listen twice as much as we talk.
we can change the world by changing how we talk.
If we say our words with kindness, even when we say we disagree, it is a universal language that others can understand.
we are accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths, whether said in anger or love and that yes, we have freedom of speech but that freedom comes with responsibility and with the realization that there are consequences we must accept for this freedom.
that honesty, integrity and good morals should be the basis for all our actions. I read a quote a while ago and it said:
that we should never look down on a person unless it is in offering them a hand to lift them up.
We all have the right to celebrate our holidays and to share that joy with others.
And so on that note, I wish you all that celebrate Christmas a very Merry Christmas Day and joy in the coming year. For those who celebrate other holidays, I wish you a joyous day and to those who do not celebrate at all, I wish you a joyous day.
Before I start writing this post, I want to say something. First off, I am only sharing what Christmas means to me. I wish people could understand that for it really bothers me all the PC and “offended” comments that go on. If someone is demeaning or hateful, yes be offended. But when someone cares enough that they want to share the joy of their holiday with you, that should not be offensive. So, I love to hear what others believe but I ask please no hate, no ugly comments, no PC talk and no “I am so offended.” I want people to think about this. If we were all alike this world would be such a boring place. We all believe differently, all have different customs and traditions and all think differently. There does not need to be hate because of that. And now I will begin talking about Christmas and what it means to me.
Being a follower of Christ, obviously Christmas means the birth of Christ to me. But what does that mean to me? The birth of Christ to me is the birth of my Savior and that makes it very spiritual for me and very special. I believe He is God’s son who came to earth so that we might have everlasting life.
Son and I stopped commercial Christmas years ago. Yes we give small presents but it is not the present but the love and sharing we are giving just as Christ was sent to earth as a gift to us if we accept it. Christmas is more about time together than it is about presents for us. Our tree is bare underneath and we are not sad about it. Son and I go to the Dollar tree, separate and go and find small gifts for each other to share our joy of the season. Most of our Christmas time is spent enjoying being together, cooking, going to church, riding around looking at the lights one night the week of Christmas, and just sharing our love and joy we have for others.
Son and I bake together with him doing most of the work but I do help. That is a very special time for us. We learned years ago that Thanksgiving and Christmas Day both were made more special with the cooking we did together, the time we spend enjoying each other’s company and talking and enjoying the smells of the season. It is a time of home and home is not a building but it is what is in your heart. Christ was not born in a home but a stable but at that moment in time, that was home.
Christmas is a time of kindness and love and caring and giving of oneself to others. So many have so little and even though we have little, we know that we are supposed to share. And son and I love to do that. We also believe that when you do things to help those in need you do them in secret and God will bless you. I wish I could put into words the feeling you get in your heart when you do something for someone else in need that no one knows you did. I just lifts your heart and makes you feel so good.
Matthew 6:1-6 (KJV)
6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
We also believe that part of Christmas is giving but it is not just giving material things. It is giving of your heart and giving kindness and compassion. Is it not ironic that people are the kindest at Christmas time. I wish everyone were that way all the time. Sometimes people just need our time or for us to listen or just for us to care about them. Things that cost no money.
Christmas for us is putting up a tree for to us the tree represents the Trinity-The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We put up lights for they represent Jesus to us who is the living light and the hope of things to come. We put up our Nativity and that is so special to us for it is a reminder of that night Jesus was born and of the Angels who told the shepherds and of the wise men who knew of the prophecy of Jesus coming and were searching for him.
And Christmas is a time of forgiveness to us. A time to ask forgiveness, to give forgiveness and a time to make our selves be accountable for our lives. We like to start the new year with no unfinished business between those we know: no hurts, no angers, no regrets. For after all, to us, Christ came so that we might have forgiveness and ever lasting life and we are supposed to follow him.
I hear so many talk ugly about Christians and I can only say not all who call themselves Christians are really following Christ and showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are:
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Those are the things my sons and I try to show all the time, not just at Christmas but we are reminded of these fruits even more at Christmas time. For us, Christmas is a way of life that we live all year. We just celebrate the event of Christ’s birth this time of year every year.
My friend Audrey who was Jewish who died several years ago, would always share her faith with me and I would share mine with her. I would wish her a Merry Christmas and she would wish me a Happy Hanukkah and we talked about our different traditions. There was no offense. It was sharing the joys of our beliefs with each other. And so I share our joy of Christmas with all who read this and say Merry Christmas to all.
This is an oldie I repeat almost every year for the message never changes.
Have you got the holiday humbugs? I hear people say “Christmas is just not like it was when I was growing up.” And no, it is not. I also hear people say that the sparkle is gone and it does not feel like Christmas. Just a lot of Grinch attitude going on.
You want to make your holidays better? I do not care if you are old or young, live with a large family or a small family or even live alone. You can make your holiday better by doing one simple thing. I know this because I have had the humbugs before and finally realized that I had to make my own Christmas special.
The way to make Christmas or any other holiday of this time of year become something that fills your heart is to look around and do something for people who have nothing or have little. Many people are without jobs, some are homeless, some are lonely and alone and some are in the nursing homes with no family ever coming to visit. Reach out and do something to make their Christmas brighter and yours will become brighter automatically.
I know…I know….you are saying “Do what???” Well, you could create a food box for a family, buy toys for children whose parents have lost their jobs and money is barely paying to live, go visit at the nursing home and ask them there for people who never get visitors, go work in a soup line or deliver meals, go work in a shelter or take gifts there. There are many things we can do. And believe me all of those things will fill your heart to overflowing.
I remember one of the times I visited the nursing home, my boys just went from person to person hugging them and talking to them. One lady took hold of my arm and for the next few hours, she thought I was her daughter. I was told this daughter brought her one day and left her and never returned. All afternoon, this woman called me her daughter’s name..Lissy and she held my hand and asked me did I remember this or that and questions like “Why did you not wear the dress I sent you?” I told her the dress was dirty and I would wear it the next time and we talked and I assured her that I remembered growing up and how much I loved her. For one day, she had her dream which was to have her daughter come visit. I will never forget that Christmas. She passed away a few months after that.
Turn on some music, decorate, bake, and enjoy the holiday even if you are alone. I have done it for years. My son always worked holidays and we celebrated days later. I would deliver meals on Christmas day and then come home and my dog and I would eat our dinner. When we help someone else we forget our troubles, our pains and all the things making us unhappy and we take on the joy of helping someone else. Who knows…you might make a new friend. And no, it is not too late to do something. Make it even more special and tell no one for that is something that will make you smile for a long time.
Life is not all love, harmony and roses. There are many sad things happening in the world today. We can not personally change each and every one of those things but what I realized last night was the day we stop looking at the bad things going on in the world is the day we have sealed ourselves off from the cosmos around us. I do not mean you have to look 24/7 at all the bad news on television or on social media. No one can handle that. But what I do mean is that we have to be aware of the bad before we can choose how we make a difference in the world. We can not fix what we do not acknowledge..
image from www.quotehd.com
There are times and situations where we do need to black out the bad in the world for our own sanity. It is only bad when we black it out all the time and those around us are suffering. I have a friend who works with those who are grieving, suffering with loss and death all the time and so she has to make time for her to have a blackout of the problems of others to help her refuel. Sometimes when things are too tough on us, we need to shelter ourselves from the storm and pull in our boundaries a little until we are able to pick up and go on. And that is necessary.
And once we are able to pick up and go on, we need to remember that so many are in need and are hurting or being abused and neglected. I hear many say it is not their problem and yet it is our job to help humanity in my book. For, I realize that I could be where those people are. And to share what I have with another is what it is all about. We try to share with others but sadly, many this holiday season will go without because people will not share or help or even just give of their time. Our choices make us who we are and while it may seem so good to have so much and not give to anyone, it also defines us a human being.
Image from heywalla2013.blogspot.com
We can close our eyes to the poverty around us. We can ignore the suffering of others, the suffering of abuse of children, elderly, adults and of animals but it does not make it go away. It is still happening and when we choose to ignore, we have chosen to stand with those things and those people who are causing the harm. No choice is a choice.
When we say we have tolerance to this or that, it means that we are consenting to what is happening. When we tolerate abuse and bullying, we are consenting to it. When we tolerate people dying of starvation, we are consenting to it happening. Mother Teresa said once that we are not all destined to be this huge star and save the world, but that we should start in our corner of the world and save one person at a time. We should no longer tolerate all the ugliness in the world. If we are complacent then we are complicit. It is time we stopped tolerating and started acting.
image from craigtowens.com
So this holiday, if everyone just reached out to ONE person, just think how much joy and good would occur. If every person reached out and helped one person, one animal, one home…..just one…the world would be a much better place. We do not know what everyone is going through so why not level up instead of pushing them down even farther or even worse ignoring them. Reach out and pull someone up, help someone reach their dream, help them have something to lift them from the darkness and see how much light you find glowing around yourself.
image from posters.dumblittleman.com
P.S. I have been really struggling physically, so I apologize for not getting up all the blogs daily. Some days my brain just refuses to work. 🙂 But know that I love writing and love that you all read what I write. You all reading inspires me to keep writing. Thank you so much.
Today I was reading online and read this question…”Who are you when no one is looking?” and thought wow what a mouthful. Who are we really? Are there things that we do that we will not do in public because we know it is not really the way to be acting? Do we hide things about us because we know others would not approve? Are we like two different people from public to private? Or are we proud of ourselves both in public and in private and are not embarrassed or ashamed to tell others what we have done?
“Integrity is being honest even when no one else is looking. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is around to see you do it. Integrity is doing things the way they should be done, when no one is looking, instead of doing shortcuts. Integrity is being upright, and true to ones beliefs. Its admitting you made a mistake and facing the consequence, even if no one could prove it was you. It about doing whats right and all the time, in everything you do, so that at any moment anyone can look at everything you did that day and be proud of what kind of person you are.” Integrity Center
It made me very conscious of what I do all day. While we all make mistakes….I wanted to self analyze what I said and did when no one was around to see if I was deliberately withholding because I knew I should not be doing this or that. Was I as honest in private as I was in public? Was I as nice and caring in private as I was in public? Did I stretch the truth in public? Did I live up to my faith in private and in public? Did I let others take the blame in public instead of admitting if I did something? Did I act all sweet and nice in public and different in private? Was I proud of the way I acted in private and in public? Was I ashamed to tell anyone what I did in private? Did I hide the real me or things I did because I did not want anyone to know so I would not get in trouble? Did I feel anything in my conscience if I did something I knew I should not? Or had I successfully deadened my conscience so that I did not feel guilty at anything I did? If I were a TV show like the Truman Show movie and someone could tune in at any time and see me, would I be ashamed of how I acted at any time? Lots of serious thinking was going on.
Have you thought about that? What if someone could see you in private…would you be worried? Or would you say that you did alright and maybe made a mistake or two but you tried hard? Who are you in private? Some people seem to do fine acting one way in private and another way to the public or friends, but eventually it will catch up. Some people act one way to the world but get behind a computer monitor and say ugly things to people because no one would knows it is them.
“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.”
image from blog.adw.org
I always wondered what make people think they needed to put on a front to the world and hide who they were. As I was reading on this, it finally hit me that the reason is they know how they really act would not be accepted by most people. So, then why not just change how they act? I guess I am naive but to me, it would be a lot simpler to change how they are if it is something they have to hide than to keep playing a game of being one way in public and another in private. I guess that is too simple but I like simple. And I like knowing that if someone walked in on me, they would see the same person as they would see out in public.
“Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”
Emily Bronte-Wuthering Heights
So, who we are in private really goes back to honesty again. Does everything lead back to honesty? I am beginning to think so. I was always told it took a lifetime to build a good reputation and only a minute to destroy it. So, I guess who we are in private is part of building our character and as long as we keep both the private and the public the same, then we are showing a true picture of ourselves.
“Being truthful, even when your friends are not, takes real courage.” Donna B. Forrest
I remember taking a quiz once with questions like this: “If you walked in to the snack room at work and saw a dollar left on the table where someone had just been sitting when you walked in and they had left, would you pocket it?” “If you saw someone stealing, would you report them?” “If you saw people picking on someone, would you go over and stop it?” “If you caught a good friend in a lie, would you tell them?” Who are you when no one is really watching?
You can build a thousand bridges and with only one loss of integrity, you won’t be remembered as a bridge builder.
I think the reason that keeping who we are in private the same as who we are in public becomes crucial.is because someone is always watching and one day we may think we are in private and someone will overhear or see the real us and the charade is discovered. Being a person of integrity means in all thing even the little things and it means not deadening our consciences so that we no longer have the few days of feeling like things are just not right because we did something that we knew was not exactly the honest thing to do.
Is is important to be honest in little things as well as big things.
Living a dishonest life and that is really what it is when one acts one way in public and another in private can become so complicated. For one lie leads to another lie and another and then a person can not remember what stories they told and what they did not and will get their stories mixed up and it will catch them in the end. Being honest is a lot easier because there are no stories to remember just the truth. Some people think exaggerating is not lying but it is. It is telling a half truth and
“A half Truth is a whole lie. ~ Yiddish Proverb”
Sadly, many that live half truth lives and are different people in public than they are in private do not want the truth to be told. No matter if a person catches them in the middle of their lies, they will deny the truth and will actually try to continue to prove to you that the lie they have perpetuated in public is true. They would rather live the lie than stand up and say “You know what. I was wrong and this is not true. but here is the truth.
Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication. They would rather defend their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others. Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into nobility, they settle for superficial relationships. ~ unknown author
I tell people I am me yesterday, today and tomorrow and all are .the same me. I believe in honesty in all things. Does this mean I never do anything wrong. Of course not. It just means that when I do make mistakes that it is not a deliberate untruth or whatever. It means that I do not deliberately try to present a facade in public that is one way and hide the way I really am and only show it in private. I am the same me today, tomorrow and always. So, who am I in private? I am a wacky, funny, loving, happy,, passionate, honest, hardworking woman and a survivor.
That one sentence in the title sure did make me think a lot and make me do some self-examination. I can remember a time many years ago that I hid who I was because I did not like the person I was. That is when my quest to make integrity and honesty the core of who I am began and I worked hard on it to make sure that I kept me the same day after day and followed my faith and my beliefs whether I was in private or public. And that title “Who are you when no one is looking?”.instills in me even more the desire to keep integrity a top goal for myself always no matter how hard it is.
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
—John D. MacDonald-