Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Greatest Gift is Love



Receive the gifts of He who is and let Him always give
Empower the spiritual self– rejoice and do not grieve.
For when your breath has seized to breathe
And your grave is lower than the grass or weed
You won’t be remembered for what you owned
Or for the power you may have perceived.
You’ll be remembered for the love you shared,
The smiles and the laughter you dared.


The Power of Women

Last night my husband and I were discussing what it is about women that frightens men or organizations or associations of men. My husband suggested maybe it's that these men fear loss of control because they are not confident; therefore, women would be a threat.
I thought about that, and then I came up with my own theory which kind of extends his theory. I think we women frighten men because WE have such control over them (not intentional by the way). Think about it: the most powerful men in the world have fallen victim to a woman's beauty, sexuality, sensuality, etc. I think of men from the Middle East or men of the cloth like priests, and I think about how the women under the jurisdiction of these men must dress like penguins so nothing shows - god forbid skin shows - because they fear they will be enticed, seduced, and lose control of their physical actions. Here is the clintcher, they (these men) never take ownership that they cannot control their own bodies, no, they blame the women!! My God, how pathetic!
I don't know about other women out there, but a woman would not jump out of her skin (maybe to call the cops) if a man were to walk around  unclothed. Women do not lose control of their actions because a man is strutting around like a stallion.
So, when will things change?
Probably when men begin acting like human beings instead of uncontrollable beasts, literally.
I know of very few men (luckily I'm married to one) who are not threatened by women, who have confidence in themselves and never lose control of their actions. These men are loyal, faithful, and respectful. My brother, my son, and my son in law are just a few of the men I know who respect women as peers and equal members of society.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Massimo

We have not met
Yet I know you well
I’ve seen your smile
And dimples
A calm disposition - peace
Your beautiful eyes
tell me all there is to know
Of who you are and who you will be
Someday

We will meet.

Remorse

If you hurt someone’s feelings by something you do or say, think about it and try to be more sensitive next time.
My mother, who taught me most of these words of wisdom, was very analytical. She had a third grade education, yet could write better than some college professors I know (myself included) and used to keep the books for her father's business. She analyzed the stories of the saints and then tried to emulate their lives by being as close to perfect as she could be. It was not always easy being her daughter. She wanted and did forgive everyone, everything. Yet, she rarely forgave herself if she wronged someone, and that's the way she raised all six of us.
If someone did something to hurt our feelings, she would tell us to forgive with an open heart; however, if we did something that hurt someone's feelings, then we were to think on it and then ask forgiveness. There were plenty of times when I had to go to a friend's house or visit one of my sister's homes to ask forgiveness for being abrupt or downright rude. 
Sometimes, I think my mother over did it. All of us, my sisters and my only brother, are sensitive as hell - too sensitive. We be linger a wrong (done to us or we did) for a long time until we resolve it one way or another. Yet, she was right to be sensitive; few people are. And, I truly believe we would be in a better place if we did think upon what we do and say either before we say it or afterwards. 



Saturday, February 22, 2014

Partners for Life


Elusive and mysterious its majestic flight -
from bachelorhood to parenthood.
His partner nestles prettily over two lives
not yet hatched but at the ready.
He soars to distant shores for dinner -
Then glides toward their home of twig and fur-
bringing food for nourishment and strength.
He cares for her just as she cares for him
and the lives they created.
Slowly, as if afraid to enter the land of the living,
the eaglets push through the tender ivory for
their first view of blue skies and limitless future.
How fortunate these two hungry babies –
For they will be loved, fed, and nurtured till
It’s time for them to
Spread their wings and soar.


Friday, February 21, 2014

An Untraveled Road




There are paths unknown to us
Ones planned by He who knows
Our desires and our dreams
And the way our life flows.

We may stumble along the way
For our past has been so clear
Yet our future in His hands
Will be fortunate and dear.

Grasp the golden ring
And travel the unpaved road
Follow in His guidance
He knows the secret code.

Though tears may cloud your vision
And your course you cannot see
Relinquish your control
And leave the Plan to He.




Humility

Arrogance is right up there with murder because it takes away someone else’s self esteem. I might be exaggerating, but seriously I can't think of anything else that is as detrimental to another human being. I think many of us are guilty of being arrogant once or twice (I know I have been guilty of arrogance much more than that), and it has been hurtful to those around me. 
My mother taught each of us to be humble (so much so that for many years I could not take a compliment nor could I extol my skills or achievements in a resume for fear of being arrogant). However, like everything else one needs to define certain terms. Arrogance is not in moderation. It's not just acknowledging one's good characteristics or skills, it's going overboard to the point where one thinks he/she is better than everyone else and that he/she has all the answers. Humility places boundaries - it brings one back to moderation and always allows the other person to feel equal.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Who Are You?


Be introspective – learn who you are. When I was a Freshman in college, my English professor gave an assignment that I thought was silly. He said, "I want you to go home and look in the mirror. Write down what you learn."
"What?" I thought, "that's ridiculous," but I waited till the kids were in bed and then I went to my bedroom and sat down in front of the mirror. At first I saw only the superficial me and then within a half hour, I was bawling. I got the lesson. I began to look inside just like Kafka before he wrote The Metamorphosis. I wasn't a bug, but I saw the good as well as the bad. I saw the real me and it wasn't pretty, but I learned to acknowledge my strengths as well as my weaknesses and work toward improving myself.
It was a wonderful self-help lesson that I still remember thirty years later.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lesson on Love


Don’t expect your partner to change – you should change first and then the necessary change will have to take place.
So often I hear a spouse say they want the other to change. I've learned through trial and tribulation that people should not be asked to change. The individual who wants change to occur should change. Then the entire dynamics of the relationship will change.
Let me give an example: the wife in a relationship wants her husband to pick up his clothes after he showers. Easy enough request one would think; however, he never does and she always picks up after him. So, I ask you, why should the husband pick up after himself if he knows eventually his wife will pick up after him? He becomes used to the nagging and even calls her a nag, but he doesn't change his habit. What if, just what if, she doesn't pick up after him? Let's say she tells him, "honey, I love you but honestly I resent the fact that I'm always picking up after you. From now on, I will not pick up your clothes."
He will not believe you at first, but two weeks later, when his clothes are still on the bathroom floor, and his laundry hasn't been done, he will begin to pick up his clothes.
Who changed? She did first!! Then, he had to follow suit.
The trick is persistence and stick- to- it -ness.
I know it's Valentine's Day and my message should be mushy and gushy, but I know of so many couples who want change, yet no one takes the initiative.
Get started.

Valentine

Florida winters warm my heart
the cool sand
at Boca Grande
so divine
the heat.
My love flows like
the waves
that break on shore
only,
to return newly
revived
upon silky sand.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Learning

There's so much more I need to learn
to be a learned philosopher
a sage from my mother's womb.


Stand Up to the Bully in Your Life


Bullies come in all ages, race, and creed. Beware of them and hold your ground. Sometimes one good verbal punch will put them in their place, since few bullies are intelligent. Most are insecure Neanderthals.
I've begun reading Proverbs and am finding more and more that wisdom has to do with good old common sense. There are many verses in the Bible regarding those who are loud and abusive. They are thought to be fools. In Proverbs 14:29 "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.  14:16   "A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless."   15:18 "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel."            
I have found this book to be especially resourceful because so many of the verses hold truths that are not religious based, which is not what I want to do here, but life based. Proverbs also reminds us that fools and bullies were around even three thousand years ago. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Write Poetry






I write poetry with words that rhyme
like play and day and say and gray.
My poems sing like songs to nature ~
I sing to the sun, grass, moon, and stars.
Sometimes my poems are sad
about loss or pain
Sometimes my poems are about rain
and sometimes they’re about living
and breathing without the
elephant on my chest.



Mental Well Being

If you need to see a therapist – see one and remember you would seek medical help if you had the flu. How sad that some people would rather believe they have a fatal illness, even though there is no physical malady, than seek a therapist. There remains a stigma connected to mental illness. I've never understood why. 

My mother suffered from severe depression, yet for many years Italian doctors looked at her illness as a physical one. It wasn't until we arrived in the U.S. that we began seeking a therapist; however, I do remember relatives like my aunt and uncle looking at my mother in a peculiar way. I don't remember them looking at my father in an awkward way when he had to see a Cardiologist. My father suffered with heart disease, so he required medical attention on a regular basis.

Our world is a stressful world. We struggle with job related issues, familial issues, traumatic events, stressful news, etc. God bless those who work their way through difficult times without the need for counseling, and God bless those who know they need help and guidance and seek it before the damage requires "surgery."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When it comes to marriage, Aim High

Marry someone who deserves you. I know I'm on a roll about relationships and how they can sometimes be painful, but honestly they don't have to be. No one says relationships are easy. We all go through tough times when we don't agree on how much money we should spend, or how to discipline our children, or where we should live, etc. But there should never be a time when one partner makes the other partner feel less than. I have listened to husbands call their wives stupid or wives call their husbands idiots, regardless who is doing the name calling, it is wrong, wrong, wrong. When my daughter wondered if she would ever find the right person for her, I recommended she write a list of her attributes. I realize she's my daughter, but I made sure she wrote down: sincere, loyal, honest, generous, etc. I wanted her to include her priorities like family, God, and more. Then I said, "Ok, now find someone who has the same qualities you have and the same priorities you have." She thought it would be impossible to find someone with similar qualities and priorities, but she was wrong. She did find someone who had the similar ideals. No one should settle. Expect more for yourself. Expect someone as wonderful as you are, you deserve it.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Expect Respect

Over the years, I have heard  many stories from abused women. Very little has changed from the first time I heard about abuse. I was in college and a young nineteen year old who was a wonderful, beautiful, and smart young lady was severely beaten by her boyfriend. It was several days after the beating that she joined us for breakfast and told us what happened. She told us her story even though her jaw hurt as she spoke. Her eyes were discolored and she had a choke hold on her neck that blazed red. It was winter, so it was days later that we saw the bruises to her arms and torso. She told us Brian (not his real name) was upset because she was not in her dorm room when he called. She blamed herself for worrying him. She blamed herself for being insensitive to his needs. "He was so worried," she said through tears, "that he sped his way here. He could have gotten killed!" Try as we might, we could not convince her that the problem was his and not hers. It was a year later, after many other incidences, that he went to her house because he "worried" after she did not answer her phone. When he arrived, he not only beat her but also her mother who had joined her at the supermarket. By the time she graduated, she was free of Brian and had begun to date someone who respected her and treated her with kindness and compassion. She is typical of the abused woman. Sometimes I think we should have classes that teach students, boys and girls, what love truly means.