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Let Go

Let Go

The quote in the picture is one of my favorite wisdom proverbs. Letting go of things is as important, and as difficult, as learning and gaining knowledge and wisdom. What I have learned over the years, however, is things have a way of coming back that you are gone and forgotten.

Earlier this week I was revisited by thoughts of someone who hurt me long ago. I have dealt with these thoughts before and have let go of them. These persistent thoughts though, like toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe, have a way of following me wherever I go.

I recognize them for what they are; ruminating. “Ruminating is simply repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion. When people are depressed, the themes of rumination are typically about being inadequate or worthless. The repetition and the feelings of inadequacy raise anxiety and anxiety interferes with solving the problem.Psychology Today (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwilur2Iy6rWAhXFWSYKHYxNA4QQFgg5MAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.psychologytoday.com%2Fblog%2Fdepression-management-techniques%2F201604%2Frumination-problem-in-anxiety-and-depression&usg=AFQjCNFQ4v7E8XRgsUr7_j6GKQIIws-W_A) Rumination is a sign of or leading to a rise in my anxiety and a rise in anxiety leads to a depressive episode. I know this and yet the thoughts, at times, keep coming.

Usually, after a bit, with the thoughts tumbling over in my head, and the re-realization there is no satisfactory conclusion I let go again. I used to hope they would be gone for good but it is not meant to be. So I try to let them be an exercise in wisdom discipline and pray I get stronger each time I release the weight.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Smell of Freedom

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Smell of Freedom

The aroma of six pizza filled my truck cab today as I drove to the county jail. This is Celebration Week as we give certificates, serve pizza to the dads who have put up with me for the last 3 months and, hopefully, have learned to be better men and fathers. I arrived at the jail a few minutes early and began setting things up when I noticed a young man standing on the other side of a heavy steel door with a section of plexiglass in the upper middle. I raised my voice and asked him; “How are you today?” “Fine.” he responded, then added with a big grin; “I’m going home today!” “Congratulations!” I answered back. “I know you’re excited.” “Sure am!” I continued setting up the room and finally, the door buzzed opened and the man began to make his way across the room. As he reached for the door that would take him to freedom he said to me; “Hope you have a good day.” I smiled and replied back to him what the dads in my class have heard many times; “Make good choices! None that will bring you back here!” “I won’t,” he said and disappeared.

A few moments later the incarcerated fathers began to fill the room. They eyed the pizza sitting on a bench in the corner and smiled. “Good choices, make good men and good men make good fathers! Choice is destiny.” is how I begin every class. At the end, before we ate pizza and took pics of the men with their certificates I made them say it loudly! “Good choices make good men and good men make good fathers!” They nailed it and we enjoyed our final few moments together. When I got back to my office I bowed my head and prayed it would be more than words for them and me.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Relief and Release

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On Saturday I pulled into the county dump with one trash can filled with household garbage and one filled with outdoor refuse. I emptied one into the household dumpster bin and noticed, as I was pulling over to the bin for outdoor trash, a couple of folks shoving several pieces of furniture into it. It was full and overflowing and a county employee was beginning to close the dumpster door. For a moment I wondered where to put my trash but the man trying to close the door to the full one had already opened another bin.

As I emptied my trash into an barren dumpster I thought about how some folks dump their refuse onto us until we are full and overflowing.  Sooner or later we must close the door and say; “No more!” I also reflected on others who open their lives, allowing us to empty our burdens, rubbish and troubles onto them giving us a place of relief and release.

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

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Hope Springs Eternal

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Earlier today I made my wife five flower boxes that she will use to plant and grow beautiful flowers and vegetables in the spring and summer. In a coat, with a runny nose, battling a chilled fall wind I built these boxes.

Why? Because I believe spring will come. When these cold days and frozen nights are gone, the flowers will blossom, the limbs will bud and the glorious sun will warm the earth and my soul.

Until then I hope. I hope not based on wishing and fantasy but on the season of spring, long days, short nights, which has always come before and I believe will come again.

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

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Down and Out

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Late post this evening. I couldn’t drag myself inside on an absolutely perfect, 60 degrees, sunny, fall day.

The last two days I’ve been working on building a lean-to/workshop/man place. Yesterday it was hot, humid and thunderstorms hindered progress. No such worries today.

It’s nice sometimes to lose yourself in a project, hobby, distraction. It helps reduce anxiety, increase mindfulness, and allows us to let go of things even if it’s only for a little while.

Wisdom teaches that unless we have seasons of finding joy in small things, release the big things that burden our path, focus on the immediate, our journey will wear us out and down until there’s nothing left.

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

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Is it Necessary?

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A friend asked me this morning; “How do I tell someone they’ve hurt me?” The question was loaded with obvious pain. I responded; “Why do you feel the need to tell them?” “Because it affects the way I interact with them. I feel a great distance between us ever since the incident happened.” was the response.

I took a breath and then followed up; “What good will it do? Will it make things better? Will the relationship benefit or be further harmed?” After a moment of reflection my friend said; “It wouldn’t help and might even cause more injury to myself and the other person. I’m not even sure they’re aware of what they did.” I then told them; “If it isn’t necessary to speak it, don’t. Come to grips with your grief of the fractured relationship and then, when you’re able, let it go.”

It’s hard to move on when someone we love, trust, depend on, betrays us. Our need for an explanation, to express our disappointment, deep woundedness, compels us to confess and confront the offending party. We tell ourselves we want closure, an apology a genuine word and act of repentance but often, if we dig down, our motivation is payback, to hurt as we’ve been hurt, to cause the other pain.

Wisdom tells the us way to peace of mind and spirit is to know and let go of our suffering not inflict it upon others.

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

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Shuffling Our Way to Peace

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I am one of those people who shuffle their feet. Not sure when it started but it’s one of those things I don’t usually notice until someone points it out to me. When I worked on a staff in Iowa the dress code was very casual. T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops were the norm when it was warm enough (which wasn’t nearly as often as I’d liked!) and flip flops, along with bedroom shoes and sandals are prime shuffling footwear.

One warm summer afternoon I was busy going from one office to another, making copies, chatting with co-workers and apparently my feet dragging had finally driven one of the staff secretaries mad. Exasperated, she said in a frustrated, loud tone; “PLEASE STOP SHUFFLING YOUR FEET!” I stopped immediately and meekly responded; “Sorry.” and retreated to my office. For the rest of the day and my time in that office in Iowa I was keenly aware of picking up my feet and not making any more noise than necessary when walking.

This morning, getting ready for work, I heard myself shuffling around in my house slippers. I smiled while thinking about the story above. The woman I had driven nuts with sliding my shoes wasn’t mean or rude, just irritated by a habit she found extra annoying. So, I tried not to do it around her. There was no offence taken, no strained relationships, it wasn’t a real burden not to shuffle when I was in her presence.

We live in an easily insulted, aggrieved and angry world. People are quick to let others know when someone has wounded their personal preferences, religious beliefs, political leanings or a host of other highly sensitive areas.

Wisdom teaches us to let go of our grudges, negative emotions and feelings quickly. The more fragile our egos, the more we demand our rights and declare our dislike for others the less we are able to forgive, forget and love those who are different.

A contented life is not based on the world meeting our preferences and expectations but on our willingness to release our sense of entitlement, self-importance and egoism.

“Let your love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in passion, be steadfast in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul

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

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