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Archive for June, 2012

Travis Breeding wrote this very insightful, touching, inspirational post that I would like to share with his permission. You can find the original at http://www.facebook.com/travis.breeding/posts/693554041596?notif_t=feed_comment_reply.

I hope that not only ASD folks read it along with their families but also neurotypical (“normal”) people will as well for the insight and understanding.

Thank you Travis for sharing this piece of your life with us.

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What does having a best friend mean to me?

I’m now 27 years old. All my life I have just wanted a friend to be close with and do fun activities with. I always wondered why I didn’t or couldn’t have that. Then the “Autism Bomb” struck me when I was 22. Okay, so it hit way before that but I found out about it when I was 22. That’s when my life became

“Autism stops me from having this.”
“Autism prevents me from doing this”
“Autism ruins everything.”
“Autism is why I can’t have a friend.”

Many of you are all too familiar with the traits of autism and asperger’s syndrome that make building friendships harder. I went down a lot of really bad roads and crossed some bad intersections along the way because I so desperately wanted to feel like someone in my peer group cared and understood.

For the past couple of years of my life I would try to put on a brave face when talking to parents who had children with autism but on the inside I was hurting. I never wanted to kill myself intentionally but thought about suicide a lot.

Many days I prayed that God could end my life as soon as possible because I couldn’t handle being so alone and misunderstood anymore. It was really hard.

People would keep saying you’ll be okay. You’ll make a friend. People will like you for who you are. But yet each time I wanted a friend or tried to make a friend it was those asperger characteristics (being clingy, obsessive, and not understanding the social stuff” that would hurt me and make people not like me.

As each day went on any hope I had of ever having a real friend slipped away. Oh how I wished I could just have a friend to hangout with, or a friend to talk to, and a friend to do things for and show them how special they are too.

I was lost and wanting to be found. Then Heather came. My best friend now! Having a best friend is the best gift that anyone could ask for in life. A lot of older adults kept telling me that it was possible, it could and would happen. I could make a friend. I wanted to believe them so badly but because it’d never happened I couldn’t believe them and I thought that it was autism’s fault.

Today, I have a best friend and I still have autism. It didn’t go away. I just made a friend:)

Each time someone told me. “Just be who you are.” People will like you.” I would get so frustrated cause I felt like I was being who I was and yet no one wanted to be my good friend or best friend. That’s when I started trying to change who I was. I somehow found out that people liked people who could give them things or money. So not only did I give away a lot of money I also told people I had a lot of money when I didn’t because I really wanted them to like me:( Then if they liked me I was somehow going to convince Medicaid or the Autism Society or Autism Speaks that they needed to give me hundreds of thousands of dollars so that I could make a friend.

I really believed that and I honestly spent a lot of time in dismay as to why they wouldn’t give me the money so I could make a friend. But now I’m finally understanding why they didn’t and am glad they didn’t.

Because money doesn’t mean anything. Real and true friendship is what means everything.

I don’t know how it happened but somehow Heather became my best friend. Like I can’t sit here and give anyone a step by step diagram on how to make a best friend. (That’s what I was looking for for a long time.) And I used to get so frustrated when people would tell me “It just happens naturally.”

But the truth is it does just happen naturally. And these older adults who are much much wiser than me were right. And now it feels so good to have a best friend who understands the way I think. It also feels good to not feel like autism is ruining my life or destroying me anymore.

The best part for me is that I don’t have to pay my friend to text me, talk to me, spend time with me. It’s free:)

To me a best friend is something that I am grateful for. I show gratitude and appreciation in different ways than a lot of people.

For example, I find myself writing to awards programs and hero of the year contest because I really feel like my best friend is a hero for taking the time to be my friend. I want her to be Time Magazine’s next person of the year.

I know this isn’t necessary at all but when you’ve had past experiences like I have it makes you really cherish and value someone and their time for wanting to be your friend.

Here are some things I really like about having a best friend and how she treats me.

Being understood: It’s nice to be able to be me. Like people have told me was possible. My best friend doesn’t get mad at me when my asperger’s or childlike social behaviors come out. I do try very hard to control them but it is hard. She also appreciates when I try hard to control it:) My best friend doesn’t get mad if I need to text her 2 to 3 or 4 times in a row without her responding because I really need to tell her something.

Being Excited: For me having a best friend that is real is a lot of excitement. I tend to show the excitement towards my best friend. I want to tell her that she’s awesome every day. I want her to know that I appreciate her. This bothers some people but my best friend allows me to get excited and not get mad at me.

Great communication: She completely understands how I think and knows that she needs to be blunt and help explain things to me. She’s very good at this and this helps me feel at ease. Less nervous.

I think best friends add a lot to our lives.

I know that having a real best friend has helped change my life in a lot of ways.

I don’t wake up sad and alone anymore.

I feel like someone understands me and why I am the way I am.

I feel like I can be myself and stop trying to read books or buy dvd’s to tell me how to be like everyone else.

Most importantly I know that I have a best friend who I can talk to and share my feelings about life with. Something I’ve never had before.

In closing, I just want other people on the autism spectrum and parents of children on the spectrum to realize that it’s not about curing the autism. It’s not about changing you or your child. (Like I for so many years thought it was.) It is about helping them find a friend or friends who understand them and more importantly a friend who wants to understand them.

Something that is different with my best friend Heather than anyone in my peer group I’ve known before is that I can tell that she genuinely puts time and effort into understanding me and puts time and effort into our friendship.

Having a best friend is a gift. A real and true gift. Your best friend is not someone you can or should take for granted. You should go out of your way everyday to remind your best friend of how special they are and how much they mean to you as well as how much you appreciate them.

I have to say that until I understood and experienced having a best friend I thought autism was this horrible thing that was going to kill me. But tonight I am thinking of autism as a minor head cold and it isn’t going to do anything to me at all.

Best friends are awesome! Thank you Heather for being my friend. You are appreciated.

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Feel free to look Travis up at – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Travis-Breeding-Author/153055111412929

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I was a loyal member of United Fellowship House of Praise from 1989 to 2008.

During that time I had dreams that occasionally that really stood out to me. I remember dreams of being in very dark foreboding rough waters and dreams of flying across country only to have the flying dream turn into a nightmare night paralysis. I don’t remember all my dreams, but those two were reoccurring and unforgettable.

When I told the church leader, Elder Howard Turner, about my dreams he would look hesitant and either dismiss it as one of my silly dreams or say he’d think about it. I believed him since I heard him tell others he would think about it and then get back to them, but he never got back to me on any of them. Eventually he dismissed all my “stand out” dreams as silly and I obviously was one who was not “gifted” with dreams that held any meaning.

I didn’t buy into that…completely. Sadly I did buy into it somewhat. Part of me still felt there was something to some of my dreams but since I didn’t know what, I would let it go or I would file it. Another part of me surrendered to the idea that my dreams meant absolutely nothing.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn to appreciate the horrifying ones like the sleep paralysis. I learned a great deal from those and learned to control some of my time in a dream. Though I rarely ever have them now I still find myself aware I am dreaming from time to time and am able to often take control of the dream.

I have a book that lists dream topics and their interpretation like a dictionary. I won’t say everything in the book is correct, or incorrect. I like to look things up and make that judgment by what adds up or at least file it till I learn more.

I looked up dark waters and flying. I was not surprised to read that dark waters are a warning but I was surprised to see that a young lady flying across country is followed by a warning. I shouldn’t have been cause those dreams always ended up in terror. I love flying and have always wished I could fly like super man so it frustrated me that I couldn’t enjoy my flight in a dream. Now I understand. The last time I can recall flying in a dream I was aware of the pending doom and took control of the dream and did not allow the paralysis or nightmare to happen. This happened after getting out of UFHOP.

I can see why Elder Turner and the others so readily dismissed my dreams now. Elder Turner and other church members took over my life and took all decisions away from me and worked daily to shackle my personality making sure I was constantly aware I wasn’t spiritual enough and so on. Elder Turner is a man who can read people and circumstances and even dreams. This made him a great leader of the dictatorship cult type. He had to dismiss and make my dreams seem silly cause they were warnings about him and the church. Very obvious warnings.

I was a gentle soul that was raised to be manipulated and week. Though my family didn’t shackle my personality, they did program me how to think. I think of that expression going around that says, “Teach your children how to think, not what to think”. I was taught how and what to think. So when the Turners and church came along I was an easy target.

I wasn’t loaded with money but I did have time that was used by Elder Turner. When I expressed my desire to take collage seriously he told me not to but rather to go with him on the road and he would teach me. I did just that cause I believed it would be in the service of the Lord and I loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart.

I found it annoying and prideful when the other ladies would complain they weren’t getting a chance to teach and such. The ones who were on the wealthier side would then be given a time to teach and told they were filled with the Holy Ghost. When they weren’t in the room Elder Turner would talk about them and say they weren’t actually filled but that he would say that to them so they didn’t quit and was doing it for their soul.

I see it as ironic now that this “great teacher” never felt I was good enough or spiritual enough to teach or lead anything. At first he allowed me to lead a children’s bible study. When we all moved to Arkansas I would try to start a kids group up but he would end up walking in and preaching to the adults in the middle of it. Several members told me they wished I would lead the worship service because I not only knew all the word and could carry a tone but I sang in a key that everyone was comfortable with. I also sang to the Lord from my heart. But I was only allowed to lead the singing on occasion and never when Elder Turner walked in the room. He would always abruptly interrupt and have a lecture to give out in a very irritable way. Usually Sister Turner led the “worship” or another lady or minister who either wanted to be seen or who Elder Turner wanted to impress. Though I enjoyed leading the worship service the few time I was allowed to and I had plenty to say and teach, I didn’t believe promoting myself was the right thing to do. I believed such things came from God and left it in his hands. As far as Elder Turner’s promise to train me rather than me going to collage… well, I think I covered that enough.

I don’t know of anyone in that church that he didn’t take about behind their back and verbally tear them to pieces using them as an example. Even my sister who is still with him to this day and likely has no idea the things he has said about her.

I got out of the church before my then husband. He stayed for a little while longer. Fiances got tight so he couldn’t continue to send them the $700 in tithes and to give them more offering for what ever Elder Turner would call and tell him was needed. At that time the Turners were living in our home while we were away. We did not charge them any rent but they did agree to pay for utilities. Often my then husband would send them more to help with the utilities. When he started cutting back the Turners suddenly stopped taking to him.

Elder Turner had a conference phone call he would make sometimes daily or weekly where he said he would have guests speakers come on and teach but he would end up either taking over, not having the guest at all or preach at the end of their sermon or teaching. When I was still calling in to listen he ended up spending the whole hour verbally tearing up other preachers or church members. He always told us to get people on their phones to listen and be ministered to. I was so glad that all the people I tried to get to listen never did. One lady actually tried a few times but couldn’t get the connection. Phew!

After my then husband cut the fiances he still considered UFHOP his church and the Turners family along with the other members. I have to add that at that time we got separated and he needed his virtual family more than ever. But instead when he would get off work and call in to hear the teaching he would hear Elder Turner talking about him instead. He would hear Elder Turner telling folks that he had lied and wasn’t paying his utilities for the house and that they were having all kinds of trouble because of the predicament he was putting them in. And for a while there my then husband got blamed for them having to move to an apartment. He had his own awaking and it wasn’t any prettier than mine.

I know Elder Turner has said plenty about me. It’s how he rolls. He will use the same person and the same experience for years as an example for others. I know he has told my sister, nieces, and the others how I think and what I will do and what will happen to me. I just wish my sister and my nieces wouldn’t buy into his lies and believe what he says about me. I guess if it wasn’t for her and my nieces I really wouldn’t care.

As it is, I don’t hate him anymore. I would be fine if I saw him. I used to have nightmares about him and my mom trying to control me again. The other night I actually had a dream and in it I was talking with him and his wife. It was a peaceful dream. I wasn’t following them or afraid of them or even bothered by them. It was a short chat and then the dream went on to something else.

I forgive the others too. I actually don’t give them much thought really. But truth be told many of them were as involved as the leader. Many of them lorded over me and put me in my place, which was way under them. They would even get to me before Elder Turner to tell me I was just touched but not filled with the Holy Ghost, that my tongues wasn’t real, my ideas were carnal and so on. I would always back off and let them have the floor but it really didn’t add up to me even then. Besides, I knew what Elder Turner was saying about them behind their backs. After leaving what I call the cult, one of the former members balled me out trying to get me to follow him, to replace Elder Turner with him. How absurd! It was horrible then and I completely cut communications with him at that time but now it makes me chuckle cause it’s so ridicules.

I would be fine seeing him now too. I’m fine with seeing him or the Turners or whoever cause I am not afraid of them at all. They can know the truth about me, if it’s even possible for them to recognize truth, and I am fine with that too. I have nothing to hide. I am confident and happy with who I have made myself to be. And I am aware I can love someone and still recognize that they have serious mental issues.

So, I woke up, I grew some feet, even some wings that don’t lead to disaster. My soul may not be as gentle as it was but at least it is no longer week. Gentleness requires balance like everything else so that is a good thing.

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This is a picture of me and the late Diane Emihl. Elder Turner told the church that it was God’s will we all move from San Diego, California to Camden, Arkansas. Diane’s husband was in the military and instead of trying to find a way to move his family to the South he wanted to get stationed in Hawaii and move his family there. They ended up losing their hopes of Hawaii because Diane got a tumor on her brain and the doctors botched the operation letting air in and damaging her brain. Elder Turner used this tragedy as an example of what happens when one disobeys the Lord.  Thankfully the Emihls stayed in San Diego for a while longer and did not reconnect with UFHOP. I have always wished I had stayed in better touch with them. However, I now understand I was still in the frame of mind controlled by the church and may have been an avenue of more pain for their precious family. I am thankful to now be in touch with some of them on FaceBook and I believe Diane knows I love her, I have no doubt she loves me.

This is a picture of one of the ladies Elder Turner favored to her face leading the children in song at the Turners wedding. Normally I was the only one working with the children and doing Bible study and choir for them. However, at events, such as this one, I was pushed aside and those who wanted a name for themselves or who the Turners wanted to empress would be given the task. I never have like seeing children used which is what was actually happening.

This is a picture of my daughter Hannah. At about this age things changed for her. When she was a baby that couldn’t crawl yet she was very quiet and easy going. That changed sometime near the crawling age and she became a frustrated defiant screamer. Elder Turner wondered what I had done and declared Hannah demon possessed. Sister Turner would often take control and whip Hannah. Though I never believed she was actually demon possessed I have terribly regretted letting Sister Marcia punish my child. If I could go back in time I would not only not allow her to touch my child but I would turn her in for beating other church children. I remember some preteens she would whoop. She would get a switch or object and start wailing on their back side and not stop for one to three minutes or even more. Hannah didn’t get beat like that but it still wasn’t right. I can’t go back but I have been open and honest with my daughter and apologized and she is well aware I will do what ever I can to protect her. I desire that my children not be governed by fear and not be afraid to go to church and such. Hannah still has issues with being terrified of church. She has had some good church experiences but the fear they instilled in her runs deep. I do believe one day she will get through it, in her own time. By the way, Elder Turner lets people know he is a prophet. Funny that he labeled her demon possessed rather than what she actually has which is Aspergers. humm

This is a picture taken where I worked, The Hotel del Coronado, with church members and the leaders brother and his wife. I am the one in blue jeans to the right. That was early on, not much later I would no longer be allowed to wear pants but only long skirts or dresses. Jewelry was ok but not makeup or short haircuts for women. TV and videos were fine when Elder Turner was into them but when he wasn’t were would get lectured about being carnal and not spiritual enough if we continues to watch shows until he was back in the habit again. The other ladies in the church could wear dresses and shirts with no selves but I wasn’t allowed to.

The Turners, a fellow preacher, Monica Ammen and me (on the left) on the Hotel del Coronado Promenade deck.I was often referred to as the churches photographer and cook.

The church along with Janette Tansons parents and the Moecks grandsons.You can see some of my face on the right hand side part way up.

Some of the church members at a youth basket ball fund raiser Valentine dinner. I am all the way to the left.

At the San Diego Wild Animal park with the kids. I have the red hat on.

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Ghosts Among Us By James Van Praage and mention of When Ghosts Speak by Mary Ann Winkowski.
A book review by Lori

 

I read the book When Ghosts Speak by Mary Ann Winkowski a while ago and really enjoyed it. She sees earth bound spirits which are spirits of people who passed away but didn’t go into their light and are hanging around often in a state of confusion causing trouble for those who are “living” though often unintentionally. Mary Ann explains in her book that she doesn’t not see spirits who have passed through the light and come back or angels and other such spirits. Not that she isn’t often made aware of their presence as well as negative energies.

James Van Praagh is gifted in seeing those who have passed through the light and have some back to help as well as angelic presences.

Through his book he recounts experiences with people and the loved ones trying to help them from another dimension. He also tells of others with “psychic” type people such as Mary Ann and tells some stories of working along side them.

His stories are filled with love and hope and encouragement. He emphasizes how we are not alone and there are plenty of ententes willing and ready to help us. Of course our “rational” minds are often not open to receiving help and we tend to block their efforts.

James also tells a little of his life and learning about his gifts even as a child and fine toning them. I and other pagan/wiccans I know often warn people to stay away from divination type tools such as Ouija boards and seances. Without a solid protection around, one can end up being fooled by a rogue spirit or even oppressed by one. James take on those subjects is different that what I’ve heard from myself or others. Though I would still use the same warning I understand there is more to it. If you want to hear his take on them, well…then read the book!

Over all both Mary Ann and James help people get over their fears of the afterlife, “unknown” and ghosts. Getting over fears is a giant step in self improvement and moving on. They also give people hope for their loved ones who have passed away making it easier to let go of grief and embrace hope and learn from the legacy they left behind as well as letting go of fear and misconceptions of ones own pending “afterlife”.

I like the order in which I read the two book and would recommend reading May Ann’s book first then James’.

Both writers were consultants for the show Ghost Whisper. Mary Ann tells a bit more about her experience working with the show. She also dedicates a chapter about protecting ones self from negative and annoying spirits and energies.

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Love, Ellen A Mother/Daughter Journey
by Betty DeGeneres
A Book Review By Lori

What a lovely delightful book.

Betty starts off taking the reader on a journey through her New Orleans style childhood. Though my parents childhood was different it’s close to the same era and brought back memories of the stories they told.

Betty, like myself, is a self examiner. She goes through her relationship history not only to tell her story but to help us understand why she reacted the way she did to various situations and to show how far she has come. Again like myself, she doesn’t just retell the stories to get attention and entertain, but to help others who can relate.

Later in the book she delves into her activism. She never set out to be an activist. It pretty much “fell in her lap” and she took up the gauntlet and went with it blessing all those in her wake.

Betty is often know as “Every Mom” and when getting to know her through her book one tends to want to adopt her. I appreciate her open gentle honesty and humble wisdom. This book is good for everyone to read and or hear.

Quotes from Love, Ellen A Mother/Daughter Journey by Betty DeGeneres

Prologue – Page 12

Coming out has been described as an earthquake that shakes the world not only of the person coming out but of everyone around him or her. It has also been described as less a declaration of sexuality to the rest of the world than a personal act of self-love. It is, without a doubt, a discovery of self and a rite of passage that should be celebrated – not only because your daughter or son has taken this courageous step toward being her or his own person, but because you are being given an opportunity to do the same.

Chapter 1 – Page 48 & 49

It was that remarkable woman, Helen Keller, who said that in the ancestry of every king can be found a slave, and in that of every slave, a king. A leveling thought, but true. Between those great differences in status is the vast army of men and woman who are our ancestors – each a contribution to what we are today and each life a story in itself.

In other words, we’re all related. We’re all family. Thank God for our differences.

Chapter 2 – Page 76

I countered, “Lots and lots of gay men and women are Christians and believers.” That brought the discussion to an end. After the caller signed off, I added another observation saying, “The Bible – or rather, the interpretation of the Bible – has been used through the years for whatever purposes certain groups have had. Scripture was used to condone slavery. It was used to keep woman from having the vote. And now it is being used vociferously for this purpose.”

Chapter 8 – Page 223

When an interviewer in Maine asked her about the rigors of touring and why she had decided to take breaks from stand-up, El answered very seriously:

I’ve learned that in life, it’s very important to be happy. If you do something that you’re not happy doing – no matter how much you try to fake it – that will eat you up from the inside, that’ll kill you.

Chapter 9 – Page 265

Many families, I was finding out, have a conspiracy of silence – not because of lack of love but because of lack of skill at talking. Ant not talking about being gay means staying in the closet. What’s wrong with staying in the closet? I knew that from Ellen DeGeneres – Ellen Morgan: It’s suffocating. Gay men and women have the same right to be out in the open, breath the same air, as any of us.

Chapter 10 – Page 313 & 314

To me, the true porfamily stance would be to recognize that what children need is a parent or two parents, who love them unconditionally, who give them a safe, loving home filled with joy and laughter and mental stimulation. Furthermore, unlike heterosexual couples, who often have unplanned pregnancies, gay couples must go to a greater deal of trouble to become parents. Their children are truly wanted, and they are part of a true family.

Since many dysfunctional, abusive households have a mother and a father present, it’s clear that being heterosexual is not necessarily a qualification for being a good parent.

Chapter 10 – Page 318

And they call themselves Christians? How could they be so heartless? How could so many have gone so far afield from the teachings of the One they profess to follow?

The activist Paul Monette wrote of “a world that wallows in holy wars and ethnic bloodbaths.” Regarding the movement toward greater visibility for gays and lesbians, he told of a friend who was “worried about the backlash, having an instinct for the savageries of which religion is capable” Monette used the term “Stepford Christians” and Christian Supremacists.”

Chapter 11 – Page 332 & 333

Why should I have to know other people’s sexual practices? You shouldn’t. And this is where people get confused. When you learn that someone you know is homosexual, you don’t know anything about his or her sexual practices. That is strictly none of our business – just as your own sexual practices are no ones else’s business. I’ve heard it said that with the word heterosexual” the accent is on “hetero” and with the word “homosexual” the accent “sexual.” What a shame that we, as a society, are so hung up on this. After so many generations, we are still, deep down, puritanical. Puritanical and hung up on sex – what a combination! I’m positive that for a committed, loving homosexual couple, sex is no more or less important than it is for a committed, loving heterosexual couple.

Not long ago, I heard the great writer Toni Morrison being interviewed on 60 Minutes. As an African-American, she said, “When you know somebody’s race, what do you really know about them? Nothing.” How true and this can be applied to sexuality. When you know somebody’s sexuality, what do you really know about them? Nothing. It should be just a fact and should not enter into the equation of the sum of that person.

Chapter 11 – Page 341

Is it possible to have a healthy dialog between people who disagree? As an incurable optimist, I’d say yes. And the old saying “You can disagree without being disagreeable” might be a good starting place. Also, respect helps tremendously – self respect and respect for others and their beliefs.

The qualities needed to accept diversity are the same qualities needed for a healthy dialogue about differences of any kind – race, religion, orientation, ideology, or whatever we can imagine that divides us. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. “

Epilogue – Page 364

Not long ago, I was inspired by a short piece by Robert J. Hastings called “The Station.” He uses a train as a metaphor for our journey through life. He says that like many passengers on trains, instead of enjoying the sights and the scenery along the way, we think only of getting to the station – the station being, “when I get a promotion,” “when I pay off the mortgage,” “when I meet Prince Charming,” and so on. Hastings speaks of the importance of realizing that there is no station, that “the true joy of life is the trip.” What an important message.

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You complete me…yourself!

Many people enter a relationship with the hidden idea that their partner will complete them or make them whole. It’s an unfair and impossible burden to place on others. It may actually seem to be working for a while but eventually it will fall through. Everyone grows, changes, gets stuck and even regress at times, some more so in one way than another.

Whatever it be, whatever you’re partner has that makes you feel complete isn’t always going to be there for you. They may be with you, but as humans they cannot constantly be giving out and neither can you. Affairs are just one of the many downfalls of this misconception. When one no longer feels whole they start looking for a replacement even when they don’t realize it. If they find a replacement it is not because they no longer love their old partner or the new replacement is better looking or smarter or any thing of that nature. It’s because they are not whole. If they leave and take the new person on as a partner, if they are still not whole in themselves, the cycle will start all over again. It isn’t always a person, it can be a job, hobby and other such things as well.

Only you can make yourself whole. It’s like a puzzle. The first piece is knowing you need to be a whole person without anyone else. After that it takes time to find the correct pieces and fit them in just right. Sometimes we may try to force a wrong piece and need to stop, step back and be humble enough to admit it is either in wrong or it just doesn’t belong. Having an incorrect or ill fitted puzzle piece can mess many other things up later and cause great frustration. We may even have a piece we just don’t know what to do with. Set the information aside and wait till you have a better understanding, it will come. Take your time becoming you, you are an important master piece.

There are people who believe what has worked for them must work for everyone and insist you put all their puzzle pieces into your life puzzle. What happens then is you lose your self and become a downgraded replica of them. This is something I have personal experience with. When I realized it I threw everything out and started over. I’m not saying that is what is best for everyone, obviously, but it is what worked for me. Slowly and carefully I started re-accepting things that fit. For a while the things that I had gotten rid of that didn’t fit caused me a sense of bitterness but in time even that faded until I was able to accept that I learned from it and though I won’t make the same mistakes again, I will use my memories to better myself and help others.

Just because it’s not right to turn others into our own replica doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share our knowledge and experiences. Holding back information is just as harmful as pushing information. Putting it out there and then letting the other person or people decide what they want to do with it or what they need from it is their responsibility. You’re responsibility is to keep on working on yourself. I didn’t get this concept for a long period of my life. I was certain that if something worked for me it must work for others just the same. I wanted others to get to know my family, my friends, my pastor, my church, the books I read and the inspirational speakers and shows I saw that inspired me. It’s not wrong to want to share positive things in your life, others may be just as inspired, but to think it is the only way and it is the missing puzzle pieces for them is controlling and trying to live life for them. It’s taking take their job away from them and trying to complete them.

If you are a God fearing person then you should remember that trying to “fix” people is God’s responsibility, not yours. If you do not consider yourself a God fearing person, then trying to “fix” someone else is arrogant because you are trying to become their God. Once you have offered your advice or knowledge it’s up to them what they do with it. Nagging will only cause trouble and pain. Don’t feel rejected if they don’t take your advice. It may just be it wasn’t something that would work for them or it may be they need to consider it for a while before deciding how it will fit in their puzzle.

Bright blessings and good luck on your journey to become wholly you!

I always loved the song and lyrics to this song from the movie Brother Son Sister Moon;

The Little Church

Music and lyrics by Donovan P. Leitch
If you want your dream to be
Take your time, go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely
If you want to live life free
Take your time, go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely

Day by day, stone by stone
Build your secret slowly
Day by day, you’ll grow too
You’ll know heaven’s glory

If you want your dream to be
Take your time, go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely
If you want to live life free
Take your, time go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Heartfelt work grows purely

Day by day, stone by stone
Build your secret slowly
Day by day, you’ll grow too
You’ll know heaven’s glory

If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly
If you want your dream to be
Take your time, go slowly
If you want your dream to be
Take your time, go slowly
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly

(lyrics found at – http://donovan-unofficial.com/music/songs/the_little_church.html)

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