Mar 31, 2006

What is an Awakening?

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... when in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!.. Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on... And like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your Awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he or she is not Prince or Princess Charming and you are not Cinderella or Cinderfella, and in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you, and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process, a sense of new-found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop criticizing and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself, and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers, and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties, and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the beliefs you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who and what you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with, and in the process you learn to trust your own knowing.

You learn it is truly in giving that we receive, that there is power and glory in creating and contributing, and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

You learn about love, romantic love and familial love. You learn how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are, and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn just as people grow and change, so it is with love, and you learn you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy.

You learn that alone does not mean lonely... and you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 3 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. You allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his or her touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

You learn your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part in life, you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn anything worth achieving is worth working for and wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time, FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn no one is punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It is just life happening.

You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself, and to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself, and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind and you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with faith by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

~ Author Unknown ~

Mar 22, 2006

Did God create evil?

DID GOD CREATE EVIL?

Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?" The professor asked.

"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything; then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not respond to the professor's hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"

"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"

The other students snickered at the young man's question. The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat.

Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.

Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat; and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"
The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness.

In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it.

How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young man's name -- Albert Einstein.

(and..just an FYI...some people have heard that Albert Einstein flunked out of school. This is not the case. He attended the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He DID have problems with subjects unrelated to science and math...and he wasn't accepted immediately to the school until he took the entrance exam again (he failed French). But yes, he DID go to school.

Mar 21, 2006

Another death...

This morning as I hurriedly fed the cats and got ready for work, I stopped by Nemo's tank to give him his daily food. I had just gotten him a new tank a few weeks ago because 1 clown fish in a 20 gallon algae-covered tank was inane. So I bought this nice, small tank for him to enjoy.

Nemo was down in the air pump when I looked in there. This didn't alarm me particularily. I bought Nemo 4 years ago when I was trying to cultivate a thriving 10 gallon tank full of various fish. He was very nervous around the others; his whiskers shook and he did what he could to hide. Somehow though the rest of my fish died (as they usually do) yet Nemo remained alive. He started to thrive in his new mansion...and despite being a bottom feeder he enjoyed swimming up and down and all the width of the entire tank. He'd literally lay down to sleep...use a rock as his pillow (NO JOKE) and fall asleep. Nemo also was an amazing magician; he'd disappear for days on end and no one could find him. I'd empty the entire tank and he wouldn't be there...but then he'd re-appear the next day as if nothing had happened!

Often times he'd scared the crap out of me for fear that he was dead. You see, Nemo liked to play dead. He'd float up to the filter or the top of the tank and just lie there, belly up...not moving at all. Then I'd reach in to take him to his new home (down the toilet and OUT), he'd suddenly wake up and run away as if to say "neener neener neener! I fooled ya!". For this very reason I figured he was doing the same thing today.

I started knocking on the tank and calling him to eat (yes, he'd come when I called him). I then saw him floating in the air tube and started to laugh. I then bent down and looked closely and then I saw it -- his eyes glazed over in that frightful stare of the dead. I called out for my roomie to come help me make absolutely SURE he was dead....and she came out of her room laughing and telling me he was just up to his usual tricks.

She bent down to look at him and then said, "well, that right there is DEFINITELY a dead Nemo."

So we said adieu to our dear friend and flushed him down the toilet.

Nemo had personality. I've never had a fish like him. I don't normally miss my pet fish because there is no real attachment there; but with Nemo it was different. He had such character and vitality, and he lived at least 4 years (unheard of for most freshwater fish). He loved his home; he loved playing tricks...and he loved greeting me in the morning.

I will seriously miss him.

Mar 20, 2006

Saddam/Al-Qaida link found in released prewar Iraqi documents

For those of you who want to know...and for those of you who may speak Arabic or know someone who does, ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) have released the confiscated documents from prewar Iraq. More and more will be posted in the months ahead. Some translations are available.

Here's the story:

US releases confiscated prewar Iraqi document

Here's the link to the Operation Iraqi Freedom Documents:

Operation Iraqi Freedom Documents.

Here's just one letter (written by a member of Saddam's Al Mukabarat, reporting on a pre-9/11 convo between an Iraqi intelligence source and a Taliban Afghani consul).

Here's the translation:

In the Name of God the Merciful
Presidency of the Republic

Intelligence Apparatus

To the respectful Mr. M.A.M

Subject: Information

Our source in Afghanistan No 11002 (for information about him see attachment 1) provided us with information that that Afghani Consul Ahmad Dahestani (for information about him see attachment 2) told him the following:

1. That Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan are in contact with Iraq and it that previously a group from Taliban and Osama Bin Laden group visited Iraq.

2. That America has proof that the government of Iraq and Osama bin Laden group have shown cooperation to hit target within America.

3. That in case it is proven the involvement of Osama bin Laden group and the Taliban in these destructive operations it is possible that American will conduct strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. That the Afghani Consul heard about the subject of Iraq relation with Osama Bin Laden group during his stay in Iran.

5. In light of this we suggest to write to the Commission of the above information.

Please view Yours With regards

Signature:, Initials : A.M.M, 15/9/2001

Foot note: Immediately send to the Chairman of Commission

Signature:.



I just find this very interesting and thought I'd share it with anyone else who does. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan lobbied for the data's release and said it was important that the public be able to view it. "We're hoping to unleash the power of the Internet, unleash the power of the blogosphere, to get through these documents and give us a better understanding of what was going on in Iraq before the war," he said.

One thing I love about America -- we have the freedom to be able to view such intelligence documents and "help" out. Sometimes one person CAN make a difference.

Michelle