July 30, 2014

Four things I learned from a virtual hand in the face

The other day someone gave me the virtual hand in the face, they blocked me on Facebook. To say I was completely surprised would not be the truth, however. Let me back up.

I saw someone I used to know, person A, share another person's, person B, personal information on Facebook. As it happened, it was information I needed, but I knew it was not information which should be out there for anyone to peruse. Even if you block people, make something private, or share with only a few there are others out there who have the expertise of getting the information you thought you put in a vault. And, let's face it, Facebook is not a vault by any means. {This is my little safety note. Please catch it. *ahem*} While I had not communicated with person A in a long time, and I fully believe person B's information was given with the best of intentions, I knew there were safer ways to share the information. Sometimes we don't think about the safety factor because we don't think anything can ever happen, so I wanted to just mention it and then let her decide what to do.

A little more back story, person A has been known to react towards me in certain ways. I will not deny I was nervous sending her the message. When I wrote the note I kept it short, I tried to make it kind, and I acknowledged not everyone would agree with me and it was okay if she ignored the message. Instead she summarily blocked me.

At first I laughed out loud. Then I felt the hurt.
And this is what I learned from receiving a virtual hand to the face.


(1) Not everyone is going to agree with your message, and some people won't even hear your message simply because you are the one bringing it. That's going to have to be okay, and not stop you from sharing your message. Some things simply need to be said, kindly but said nonetheless. Don't stop yourself because you are nervous about how someone is going to respond.

(2) Try not to hold secret expectations of others. Sometimes we know full well and admit our expectations, but sometimes they are quietly inside our heart hoping for the best. If someone shows you who they are, trust them. If I had trusted that person A would continue to be who she has been to me then I would not have been hurt at all when she blocked me. Disappointment generally comes when your expectations don't meet reality.

(3) Just because we do what we know we are supposed to do does not mean everything is going to turn out sunshine and roses. That doesn't mean we made a mistake, or what we did was wrong. It simply means we did what we were supposed to do, and that is all we can be responsible for. I needed to say something to her about the shared information, just because she didn't respond well does not mean I shouldn't have said anything.

(4) Even if someone summarily dismisses you, openly argues with you, or speaks against you, you are not defined by what they think. You are a person who has a voice and you are equal to all others. You are not less than. Differing opinions does not mean your voice is not worthy of being heard. I still believe you need to be careful about the information you share on Facebook. Not everyone else does and that's okay. I don't make the rules so they don't have to break them. And vice versa.

To be honest, while I was hurt at first, currently I feel freer than I did before it happened. I think it's because I chose not to let her actions define me. In the past when I was hurt in such a way I would define myself as worthless because of what was done. This would cause me to come down hard on myself and isolate as much as possible. I didn't want anyone else to have the chance to do again what had already been done once. I was trying to control them if I couldn't change them.

I'm no longer trying to change anyone else, but I am thrilled that I am changing. I was elated the morning after this event happened when I realized I was free of the guilt, shame, and condemnation I usually heap on myself. I went around the house nearly singing, but music blaring, and cleaning the floors. I had energy to spare apparently.

It's not that it was a fun situation, or that I'm happy she blocked me, but I'm thankful it happened. I learned that I am growing, and I am glad of that.

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
Facebook, Twitter, my email, or in the comment section.

July 29, 2014

Passover Remembered (a poem by Alla Bozarth-Campbell)

{I read this and it pulled at me. I wanted to share it with you as well, with little commentary from me. So, without further ado...}

Pack nothing.
Bring only
your determination to serve
and your willingness to be free.

Don't wait for the bread to rise.
Take nourishment for the journey,
but eat standing, be ready
to move at a moment's notice.

Do not hesitate to leave
your old ways behind —
fear, silence, submission.

Only surrender to the need
of the time — to love
justice and walk humbly
with your God.

Do not take time
to explain to the neighbors.
Tell only a few trusted
friends and family members.

Then begin quickly,
before you have time
to sink back into
the old slavery.

Set out in the dark.
I will send fire
to warm and encourage you.
I will be with you in the fire
and I will be with you in the cloud.

You will learn to eat new food
and find refuge in new places.
I will give you dreams in the desert
to guide you safely to that place
you have not yet seen.
The stories you tell
one another around the fires
in the dark will make you
strong and wise.

Outsiders will attack you,
and some follow you,
and at times you will get weary
and turn on each other
from fear and fatigue and
blind forgetfulness.

You have been preparing
for this for hundreds of years.
I am sending you into the wilderness
to make a new way and to learn my ways
more deeply.

Some of you will be so changed
by weathers and wanderings
that even your closest friends
will have to learn your features
as though for the first time.

Some of you will not change at all.
Some will be abandoned
by your dearest loves
and misunderstood by those
who have known you since birth
and feel abandoned by you.
Some will find new friendships
in unlikely faces, and old friends
as faithful and true
as the pillar of God's flame.

Sing songs as you go,
and hold close together.
You may at times grow confused
and lose your way.
Continue to call each other
by the names I've given you,
to help remember who you are.
You will get where you are going
by remembering who you are.
Touch each other and keep telling the stories.

Make maps as you go
remembering the way back
from before you were born.

So you will be only the first
of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas.
It is the first of many beginnings —
your Paschaltide.

Remain true to this mystery.
Pass on the whole story.
Do not go back.
I am with you now
and I am waiting for you.

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
Facebook, Twitter, my email, or in the comment section.

July 28, 2014

Getting to your goal in a bazillion steps

Originally posted Jan 8, 2014 at live-brave.com.

To steal a line from The Sound of Music,

"Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi"

Do, re, mi. Such singular small notes, and yet when combined with other small notes we get arias, million dollar songs, and so much more. When you combine those small notes the possibilities are endless. The same is true with A,B, and C. They give us a word, then a sentence, a paragraph, and a new novel.

Life is the same way.

taking steps

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by where we want to go that we forget there are a bazillion little steps which will get us there. When I first began homeschooling my children I learned this lesson. As we began our schooling I panicked about teaching high school. I became scared of even beginning, but then I realized it would be best if we started where we were...with Kindergarten.

When I first began taekwondo twelve years later, I had to relearn the lesson. I wanted to be able to teach self-defense and protection, and I wanted to do it right then. When I realized that would not happen immediately because I had to be at a certain level to speak with authority, I nearly gave up. I was scared if I couldn't do it then, I would never be able to do it. When I realized that each step would prepare me I relaxed and began stepping. It was similar to my homeschooling lesson, yet slightly different.

Now, we can get overwhelmed with the bazillion number, and we can get frustrated that we have to relearn lessons but both of those truths are actually on our side.

As we take all the little steps between now and the realization of our dream so many things will happen. We will learn, and grow and become someone different. Each step will help us become the person who can handle doing what it is we dream of doing. We might even change course in the middle, and since we took small steps we have the ability to change course easily.

When we are given an opportunity to relearn a lesson it almost always goes deeper or changes a little in fashion. We learn it from a different perspective, or are shown something we completely missed the first time. It is never a wasted opportunity or a negative when we realize it is taking us in new directions.
What amazing opportunities we are given in our small steps and relearning.

Whatever it is you are setting out to do know that between here and there are a bazillion little steps. Enjoy each and every one because they are all amazing. And you will find yourself relearning a few things along the way. That is so much more than okay! It allows you to deepen and strengthen your understanding.

After fourteen years of homeschooling we have finished the last semester of our schooling. I am amazed at how far we have come. From A, B, C to American Government, Biology, and Chemistry. After two years of classes I have reached the beginning teaching level in taekwondo. From basic steps, blocks, and kicks to katas, self-defenses, and one steps. If it weren't for each step along the way I never would have gotten to this point.

The entire process can seem long and hard, but it is also wonderful and amazing filled with opportunities and blessings. Recognizing this will change how you see the journey towards your goal.

I would love for you to join the conversation through 
Facebook, Twitter, my email, or in the comment section.