Stuff I Like Sunday

Ghandi Infographic

Random stuff I like:
  • I saw this amazing Infographic (up top) from [hi, im francesca's] tumblr.
  • Y’all know I love OWN’s Master Class series.  Maya Angelou’s episode does not disappoint.  Watch and Learn.  [Here]
Links I Like:
  • David Richo on [Myth and Meaning]
  • For every girl that’s said, “I’m just going to be a lesbian,” after a break up…[this article] by Candace Walsh is for you.  It’s pretty light hearted.
  • Why Failure Can Change Your Life [Here]
  • Study finds that: Couples may not agree on monogamy [no, duh]
  • From CNN:  How P*rn is changing our s*ex lives [Here]
  • Did you know, “Willie Ray Smith was the first to refer to Martin Luther King, Jr. as “Martin Luther the Kang.” Ok, he really didn’t, but for lots of laughs go to: Little Known Black History Facts [Tumblr]
Quotes I Like:

What we perceive as a failure may simply be our inner being’s way of telling us that we are ready to move to a new level of growth. — Anne Wilson Schaef

“Every blessing ignored is a curse” – Paulo Coehlo

“Your uniqueness becomes a liability only if you want to be common.”  - PM

“Words are things, I’m convinced.  You must be careful about the words you use.  Or the words you use in your house …. I think they are things. I think they get on your walls, in your wallpaper.  They get in your rugs.  Into your clothes.  In your upholstery.  And finally in to you. “ – Maya Angelou

“You can only become great at that thing you sacrifice for.” – Maya Angelou

Giving credit, when credit is due?

Photo credit: http://the160acrewoods.com

A friend sent me this question last night, that’s had me thinking for a few hours now:

[xyz] cautions us not to ‘spiritualize’ everything, i.e. the death of a young child [suffering] or the fact that you get a promotion [good fortune].  So, what do we credit God for?  How do we know his work?  Is it ALL miraculous or all low key or a happy mixture of both?


I thought, ‘Good question, but, yikes,’ (h*ell..I don’t know, :-/ ).


My peoples know they can torture me with questions.  I mean they know, that I know that I don’t know much and that I will usually say, “idk” but they also know my curiosity causes me to  quietly rack my self and my soul  searching for a reasonable response.

Sigh.

Our dialogue was interesting, so, I’m deciding to post.  Here it goes.

My response: “the book we’re studying now does say that choosing God or being chosen by God provides no immunity from disaster. Maybe that’s a partial answer.”  If being in the God relationship doesn’t exempt us from suffering, it also doesn’t guarantee that all successes will be ‘divinely’ ordered? No?

I continued, “maybe God should receive Thanksgiving for the inner compass that assists us in taking the right steps and the rerouting of the steps when we get off the path?”  But….deeper still, I wonder, does God need us to ‘credit’ him with anything?  I would hope that God doesn’t ‘do things’ for the purpose of credit–wouldn’t that be ego based?


As a side note: I remember watching one of those HORRIBLE Greek mythology movies last year.  The gods in the movie needed the praise of people in order to retain their power and god status.  I thought that lil scenario was cute. But surely, the creator of OUR universe has functioned, and can function, without the praise of people.  Surely the creator can keep doing the creator’s work even without lil ole human thanksgiving?  [Further, I've found the centering effect of praise and thanksgiving is more for me and my mental state more than anything and it deepens my relationship with God]. 

When praises go up, blessings come down. Or do they?


Friend’s response: All points are valid, but now I’m thinking what’s His purpose?  Is it just to show us how great we are and how great we can be?  I’ve made a comment before, is God all seeing and all knowing but not all doing?

“Is God all seeing and all knowing but not all doing?” A lot of people would say, ‘yes.’ In fact, a minister/writer, one whom I admire, wrote that he believes that God does not intervene in the human daily. The writer believes the onus of action is on humanity to make life better.  No God intervention, necessary.  He came to this conclusion after witnessing a lot of people–people who he prayed for diligently–die from various sicknesses and also from watching the overall suffering of humanity [even by natural disasters]. [I have to tag on that C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that most of human suffering comes not from [God] or some external source but at the hands of human-kind].

My response: I’ve struggled with the idea of God not being a ‘doer.’ In the end, I hope that he does intervene in our daily, and not just for us to be better–but as a symbol of how he takes care of us. Looking back, the moments that I believe that were God interventions, were moments that aided in my faith increases.

I interpret a lack of action, non-doing, and silence as not caring.

Friend’s response: I understand what you’re saying.  But, I could see God being silent sometimes. It would give us the opportunity to be in our thoughts or to reflect on our situations.  Sometimes, silence isn’t so bad.

My friend is right–silence isn’t so bad.  So, I’m gonna finish with all of this with a big ‘I STILL DON’T KNOW’…. But, I tell y’all I surely hope that one day I’ll have a definitive answer on this one.  I really hope that in my silence, I’ll get an answer [but I'm not counting on it.]


iQuit

iQuit:  Learning when to STOP and when to move on

 

“[I had the] realization that though I was ready to quit, I didn’t know how. I’d never practiced quitting. I didn’t know the right path out of the room, the right facial expression, the right way to give up.” – Martha Beck

 


Yesterday, I strolled through the subway tunnel I’ve passed through 100s of times.  The tunnel is connected to the building that housed my first real place of employment.  While walking, I felt someone on my heels, so I turned to look back.  A woman around my age was trying to get around me–so I slowed down and let her pass.  I wasn’t in any rush.

 

I noticed that she looked just like how I used to look when I trailed that tunnel on a daily.  Surely, she looked like a Carmen-Clone, circa 2004—dressed in a small, lilac pea coat, flat dress shoes, gray trousers and a too-big laptop bag.

 

I watched Miss Purple Pea Coat retreat hastily up the tunnel.  But, I slowed down to chuckle to myself.  I thought, “darn, that used to be me.”  Scurrying off to no-where [really] in particular to do work that was of no real importance to me.

 

As I continued to watch her speed off, a thought distracted me.  I wondered,“if I could talk to that 2004 self, who looked like Miss Purple Pea Coat, what would I have told her.”

 

“Hmm,” I thought.  ”That’s easy.  I would’ve told myself ‘learn to quit.’ And learn to quit with finality.”

 

I do wis that I had mastered the art of quitting seven years ago.  If so, I would’ve quit quite a few things, sooner, in the ensuing years:

Relationships–when the effort wasn’t reciprocal

Jobs and bad bosses–when the place was toxic and the environment miserable

Friends–when unrealistic expectations out weighed the friendship’s intrinsic value

Other commitments–when they diminished, rather than replenished [even THE good commitments]

 

Quitting versus Re-Evaluation

 

Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of not ‘upping and leaving things.’  I stay and marinate waayyyy past expiration dates.  I’ll try to make rocky situations work, if I care enough.  All to my detriment.

 

That’s the part of my self that I’m un-learning how to be.

 

That’s the part of my self that’s learning the difference between quitting [moving on if something doesn’t work, feels bad, isn’t reciprocal or only diminishes] versus re-tooling & re-evaluation [which entails working out and through temporary conflicts and rough patches.  Because, let’s face it there will be tons of conflicts and rocky roads].

 

In the end, I would tell my 2004 self, just like I’m telling my 2011 self–quit things sooner, quit things faster, quit things righter, and quit even when the quitting appears to be illogical–if it’s not going to work in the long run.

 

 


Other reading:

Of course, my mentor in my head, Martha Beck had something to say on Quitting: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Know-When-to-Quit-Martha-Beck-on-Giving-Up

 

On the flip, Life Hacker had an article on the Pros/Cons of Finishing http://lifehacker.com/5740079/the-pros-and-cons-of-finishing

 

God: Do you really know?

All of these children play at my granny's


There are, I swear, about a thousand small kids in my family.

When I visit ‘home’ [down south], they are always mulling and buzzing around.

Slamming doors.

Opening Doors.

Running through the house.

Screaming.

Being Kids.

One night, I was getting ready for bed.  I got on my knees [Which I rarely do. But decided to do since that’s how my granny taught me and because I was at home] for a nightly prayer.

In the midst of prayer, two of the kids barged into the room.

One said:  “What are you doing.”

Me:  “Talking to God.  Praying.”

Another said:  “What’s God.”

I sat for a second.

I couldn’t explain to them ‘what God is’ in a classic ‘Christian’ sense: i.e. fire, brimstone and punishment.  Such an explanation would have been lacking and insufficient. And what a waste to introduce children to a God relationship cloaked in the stench of fear. Such an explanation would’ve bothered me and haunted me for a lonnngg time.

I couldn’t explain to them, ‘what God is’ in a relationship sense.  At that time, I didn’t like God very much and I wasn’t too convinced that He loved me.  So such an explanation would have been hallow.  Clearly, I didn’t even understand our relationship at that time.

I couldn’t explain to them ‘what God is’ in an esoteric, staunch theological sense.  They wouldn’t have understood.  Such an explanation would have warranted a yawn and a look of child-like displeasure from the duo.

So, I hemmed and hawed some response on ‘what’ I thought God is.

I don’t really even remember what I said.  I was just stuck. Mumbling, fumbling and stuck.

My answer was WEAK.

But their insistent child curiosity kept on going.

In the end, I had no real answers for ‘what’ God is.  So, I told them to come over and pray with me. [an easy out, I guess?]

You don't know jack

As I look back on that little episode, I chuckle a bit at myself.

Here I was—a 20 something adult with a life long relationship with God—and I couldn’t even explain to two kids ‘what God is’.   I realized, if you can’t explain God to a child, you really don’t know ‘what God is’.

Amazing.

and

Humbling.

Amazing because:  my heart knew who God is to me.   She has known since she was a child.  But my heart couldn’t articulate all of the nuances of that love relationship and its subsequent battle and struggle into intimacy.

Humbling because:  really, WHO can really say WHO God is.   Who has such an authority?  WHO?

It’s been a year or two since that exchange.  And now, when I visit home, I sometimes catch snippets of the kids speaking about God.  One part of that duo, the little girl, speaks of God in very certain terms.   [Well, as certain as any 7 year old can be, I guess]

A lot of what she says is steeped in bad theology, and I wonder, “Who taught them that crap?”  Because, the God of punishment and woe is the God she speaks of.  That’s what I wanted to avoid.  So, when she speaks of God that way, I always pause.

A piece of me pauses because she’s so convinced.  And I listen to her, and I think a piece of me wishes that I still thought the way she does.   Such a way of thinking is somewhat ‘safe.’

Another piece of me pauses because I want to correct her and introduce her to the God of love.  That piece wants me to cloak God in pretty love language.  That piece of me wants to finally catch that opportunity to ‘tell her what God is:” to reshape her language to a language of love.  But, I don’t.

I don’t because I’m still wrestling into intimacy and into the love relationship and bits of me still have no words to capture what this really is:  a love battle.

So, I remain silent. Partially, because no one really had to tell me ‘what a God was’ and primarily because only God can show each individual who He is.

Unemployed People S*x

Unemployed Sex

“All we really want is to get paid and get laid.” – Article On Brazen Careerist

(from my random Life Files)

I got this e-card from a guy friend today.

I laughed.

As a female unemployed, I’m finding my jobless status hasn’t made me any less desirable to the opposite sex.   In fact, I think it’s made me even more appealing–probably because I’m a little less anxiety ridden and I have a lot of time of my hands to give them attention? Idk?

You’ll be happy to know my ‘steady desirability’, falls in line with a survey Zoosk conducted a few months back.  They found that:

  • 90% of men said they’d date someone unemployed in 2010 (down from 92% of men in 2009).
  • Unemployment grew more acceptable with women
  • 60% of women said they’d date someone unemployed in 2010 (up from 52% in 2009)

In other random facts, I’m happy that I don’t live in Germany.  Or I’m sure they would force my pretty a** into doing strange things for small amounts of change.  See story below from a few years back:

News agencies around the world are carrying the story of a young German woman, a qualified information technologist, who has been told that she faces suspension of her government relief benefits if she refuses to take a ‘job’ as a prostitute in a Berlin brothel. Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit.

The good Ole USA aint the best, but thank goodness this isn’t how we roll.

Gimme my Tens

I don’t have much to write about today….

My Lil Bit told me to look up this video.


I did.

And I love it.
Gimme My Tens by B. Scott


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