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Silent

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Silent

I read an interview this week of an actress who was verbally attacked by a well-known director this summer. He insulted her current movie and her by proxy. Her response? She didn’t say anything. She kept silent in spite of the fact that her movie was one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. In the last few weeks, she was asked why she never responded to the criticism of the director. She answered simply; “I didn’t want to give him the attention he was looking for.”

Two or three days ago a journalist began publicizing his book about the president. The book and the author weren’t at all flattering of the man or the job he’s doing as our nation’s leader. In response, the president responded with insults, negative tweets, threatening lawsuits and gave the author what he wanted most; more attention. I’ve heard even the most ardent supporters of the president question why he couldn’t leave it alone?

Wisdom teaches us to know when to speak and when to stay silent. If you’re wondering which to do a favorite quote of mine is; “No one regrets a rushed word unspoken.” The truth is we talk too much. We are too quick to defend ourselves. Most can’t handle a perceived slight. Our tongues and lips seem to be “at the ready” to do battle with whoever and whatever insults, belittles, or challenges our view of the world or ourselves.

Wisdom reveals that silence and patience are signs of maturity in those who have a strong sense of who and what they are as a person.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Long

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Long

A question was asked today; “If you had one word to describe this year what would it be?” I knew the answer before the question was finished. The answer was/is looooooooooooooong.

My father passed away on December 1st. His battle with pancreatic cancer began near the first of the year. I went through it with him and my mom long distance, over the phone, and travelled down to South Carolina several times to see them. What they went through, the endless doctor’s appointments, the good news and bad news proclamations from well-meaning physicians, the ultimate acceptance of; “there’s nothing more we can do,” and then his sudden demise. As I said, “long year.”

Yet, paradoxically, there is a part of me that is holding on to 2017. It may have been fraught with battles and ultimately surrender but at least there was still a fight to be had. Since December 1st and the flurry of activity of the next few days prepping for his memorial service, the days have been living in slow motion. In spite of it’s pace, this was the last month I can say that I saw him, talked with him, sat in his presence, read and prayed with him. Now, in just a few hours I won’t have that attachment any longer.

It is quite difficult to let go, to walk into an unknown future, live a new normal with only 30 days of adjustments and finding our place, gaining our balance. It will be a challenge to press on into this new, strange year, but it must be done.

A soft, sorrowful; “Goodbye 2017” and a hesitant, and perhaps hopeful; “Hello” to 2018.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Continues

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I spent most of the day raking leaves and mowing the grass in the front yard. Raking isn’t my most favorite thing but it did get me out of the house on this beautiful, cool, day. As I raked I thought about a couple of things. I thought about my friend, who’s in the hospital right now fighting a losing battle for his life. I reflect on the leaves, now brown and shriveled were green and beautiful not too long ago. Time passes so very quickly and it catches us by surprise no matter when it runs out.

The wind was also blowing as I raked today and it was frustrating at times when it would catch a group of leaves I was trying to make go one way and send them scattered the opposite way. I noticed if I could collect a large group of them together it made a difference in getting them to the spot I needed them to go. The larger the group the better it worked. As I used this strategy I was thankful for the help and support of others as my friend battles an ominous disease. He doesn’t fight alone.

A quiet day, a somber day, a beautiful day with a reminder that even as life ends, it also continues.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Broke and Broken 

Broke or Broken

Someone asked me today what’s the difference between being broke and broken? It was a great question that I am still pondering.

I think being, believing, you are broke is resignation. To be broke spiritually or emotionally is to lose hope of being fixed, reset, used again. I have felt this way in the throes of an episode of major depression. When all is dark and being of any use our used again is lost to the shroud that settles, stifles and suffocates your soul.

To be broken, for me, is to still believe there is life and light to be found in the dark night of the soul. It’s not easy to find hope, purpose, any emotional or spiritual depth but somehow, someway, there’s a place in your inner most being that believes it’ll get better. These are my good days and, though they may seem disheartening to one who has not suffered from depression and anxiety, are worth celebrating.

Broke and broken. Two sides of the same coin where one is a sense of worthlessness and the other a chance for a life which is valued.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Never Alone

Never Alone

Yesterday I wrote an anxious post about going to the dentist  (https://thewannabesaint.com/2016/07/20/an-anxious-word/). Everything turned out okay. The procedure went fine. I explained to the doctor when I met him a few months ago about my claustrophobia and anxiety disorder. He was more than understanding and went out of his way to make sure I was comfortable. He even allowed Beth to come in to the room stand by my side when I was struggling to stay in the chair during the most painful and invasive part of the surgery. When Beth and I arrived home I crawled in the bed and have slept most of the last two days.

In between my drug induced naps I’ve thought about Beth and the dentist giving me all of the support I needed while going through this traumatic event. They both asked me often; “If I was doing okay? Did I need to take break? Was I okay to continue?” They knew it was my hardship to endure but they made sure I knew I was never alone.

Often times people we love and care for experience dangerous and debilitating seasons and moments. Our first desire is to take their pain away, battle their demons for them. However, most times we don’t have the ability to suffer in their place. What we can do is be there, for as long as they need, find out what we can to help and do it. Above all, by our presence and prayers let them know they are never alone.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Restoring Balance

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Argh! She gets on my nerves so much! Why can’t she just stop being so mean? I don’t deserve the way she treats me.“… This was part of an emotionally loaded conversation I had with a friend this week. Her relationship with a co-worker could be best described as strained and she’s at her wits end.

After the waterfall of words slowed to a trickle and my friend caught her breath we talked more about what was happening and why. She began to explain that she knew there was a lot of pressure on her co-worker outside of work, family responsibilities which might be taking their toll. “That still doesn’t mean she has to take it all out on me!” We agreed on this point but I replied; “Perhaps, the more aware you are of her pain the better able you’ll be to listen with empathy and grace.”

Working, living with, being around cantankerous people can be emotionally and spiritually draining. A willingness to open our hearts to them and their struggles may be the way to helping and restoring balance for both of us.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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The Journey Within

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One of the most difficult parts of our journey is coming to grips with the damage inflicted upon our lives and the lives of others by our own ego. The persistent pursuit of what we want, what we desire, what we demand lays waste to even the noblest of intentions.

Self awareness can be a terrible discipline. It forces us to admit, confess, come to grips and try to tame our worst habits, fantasies and demons. Seeing who we are, what we’re capable of and the lengths we’ll go to try and re-make others and the world in our own image is frightening, humiliating and humbling. However, only when we acknowledge the monster within can it be conquered, tamed and transformed.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Darkness of the Mind

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Today has been a gloomy day. The gray clouds have hung low, the sun hidden from view and I’ve been tired since I got out of bed this morning. Days like this are long and it’s difficult to be in a positive frame of mind.

For some folks even when there’s not a cloud in the sky and the sun, like a Phoenix, rises high above the earth casting light on all it surveys their view is still obscured by the darkness of their mind. Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues keep them in a perpetual state of unease and uncertainty. It’s hard for them to become motivated to do anything for the darkness drains them, keeps them from seeing the use, the purpose, the reason for simply living.

Oftentimes these folks are the ones you’d least suspect are battling demons of darkness. They seem okay, well adjusted, walk amongst us without a sign that reads; “help“, or a dark cloud hanging over their heads but make no mistake they are present, trying to hang on one more day, searching for the courage to hope, looking for a light in the darkness.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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All that’s Left

Cold, dry temps are not a friend to my fingers. The last several weeks I’ve been doing as much outside work as possible before winter decides to set up camp permanently. Sawing, nailing, raking, planting, digging and more have left my fingers bereft of moisture and they’ve begun to split along fingerprint ridges. Add to that scrapes, cuts and splinters and I have one rough-looking set of hands. Last night I poured hydrogen peroxide into a large platter and submersed my fingers up to my wrist. OUCH! It felt as if my hands were on fire! They were burning as the solution made its way into every crack and crevice, cleaning out the gunk, germs and goo. Following this I washed them with soap and water and then placed Neosporin and Band-aids on my poor digits.It’s been interesting trying to type and write today with fingers wrapped in a protective bandage, ointment getting on the keyboard and paper but the recovery will be worth the struggle.

Similarly life has a way of beating us up, scratching, scraping, wearing us raw. Our spirits and emotions are drained away and all that’s left is dryness and the wounds of battle. We long for recovery and restoration of spirit and mind but the way to wholeness and peace can be painful. The hurts must be recognized, cleaned and bandaged and living well while recuperating can be a struggle.

Learning new ways of being and doing is never easy. However, when the repair work is done and healing and health return we’ll be thankful for recovery and maybe even the scars.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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