Confine

Confine: (v) to keep or restrict someone or something

There are no bars.

There are no cells.

There are no guards.

There is no visible punishment.

Matter of fact, it would appear that the prisoner can come and go at will.

But nonetheless, it is a jailhouse.

It is a slammer.

It is a penitentiary.

It’s name is worry.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a COnce a human being is sentenced to a lifetime of worry, the gentleness, creativity, happiness and open-mindedness that might be available is stolen away, and in its place, the convicted soul is confined to limited thoughts laced with anxiety.

It is not necessary to kill someone to destroy him or her.

It is not required to lock in a concrete building, surrounded by steel.

All you have to do is convince any person that there’s something to worry about, and that worry itself is virtuous.

He or she will take the keys to life and lock away potential … until death mercifully pardons.

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Bustle

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Bustle: (v) to move in an energetic or noisy manner

Speed kills.

It’s a simple statement but true.

Generally speaking, we convince ourselves that by acting energetic and moving along at a breakneck clip, we convey passion and purpose. Actually, we’re just burning unnecessary flame to stoke a fire.

This has taken me years and years to understand. I have often placed myself in an atmosphere with those who bustle and hustle and insist on using more muscle. It ends up being a nervous, frustrating event, permeated with anxiety. The byproduct is always exhaustion.

I know we believe that at the end of our work we should be tired–but nowhere in any book of quality or holiness is it suggested that fatigue is the reward for fruitful effort.

The prize spoken of in these volumes is joy. We should be joyful when we finish what we set out to do.

If we’re frustrated, grouchy, sporting a headache, or testy, we probably have tried to run when walking was available, and bounce when rolling would have been just as efficient.

Here is an axiom: slow down, do better things, feel great.

Actually, when I started believing that everything I did in life was supposed to produce joy, I not only simplified the pace, but I found that I embraced the endeavor so much more–and I learned how to do it more quickly. I got just as much done in much less time without becoming frantic.

Do not try to impress me by talking about your bustle. Such “raciness” only lends itself to crashes.

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Bale

Bale (n): a bundle of hayDictionary B

I think she liked me.

I know I liked her.

I don’t know how much I liked her. When you’re a teenager you’re so anxious to have romantic encounters that you’re willing to consider many obtuse options. It is amazing who looks good to you by Thursday afternoon at school when you really want to go out on a date for the weekend.

All summer long, I had been driving around town with this girl as we tried to conjure various adventures, while experimenting with conversation, learning how to communicate with someone of the opposite sex.

One day I told her I wanted to go out to a nearby farm and see my friend, Jack, who was working there baling hay. He chose this occupation in order to get in shape for the upcoming football season.

I knew she had a small crush on Jack, but I was not aware of the full extent of her hidden affections. When we arrived at the barn and Jack appeared in the doorway of the upper loft, shirtless, holding a pitchfork, with perspiration streaming down his pectorals, she lost it.

He looked like an image from a John Steinbeck novel, perfectly framed, with a sweaty, well-chiseled body. I peered down at my own well-nourished middle as she practically drooled, staring at the sight before her.

I thought to myself, this was not a good move, to come and see Jack.

We spent the rest of the day driving around, talking about how handsome Jack was and discussing how I should help her make connection with him.

I felt completely left out.

Rather than being the pursuer of budding romance, I was cast into the role of matchmaker.

I explained that I had planned to work on the farm this year, but discovered that I had hay fever.

She squinted, concern in her eyes, and said, “Hay fever?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Whenever I think about working in the hay fields, I break out into a sweat of great anxiety and fear.”

I thought it was particularly funny.

She didn’t even fathom my joke, but instead stared out the window … obviously conjuring images of a topless Jack. 

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Anxiety

dictionary with letter A

Anxiety: (n) a feeling of worry or unease, typically about an upcoming event of uncertain outcome.

I lightened the load in my life when I realized that my journey on Earth is meant to be uncertain, because God has not planned everything, and if it didn’t have some question marks, it would be like living under a prison sentence.

Do yourself a favor: come to the conclusion that life is uncertain because that is the kindest way that God can grant us freedom to make choices for ourselves.

If you want your life to be controlled by some divine force or outside influence, then a bit of anxiety and worry will be prevalent, because you will be at the mercy of the puppeteer.

But if you belive that you have the power to make good choices, then you can slow down time, granting yourself the opportunity to receive good wisdom, lowering your blood pressure points and certainly decreasing your my nervous energy.

So because we have been infected with the virus of destiny, which plagues us with a sense of hopelessness. we counteract that desperation by using our free will to fret.

I would much rather use my decision-making to make decisions rather than to lament why decisions were taken away from me.

What I’m saying in a nutshell is that the way we admit we’re helpless is by insisting that our “helper” is not including us in planning for our future. Of course this would make us anxious. It’s rather depressing, isn’t it?

Instead, I choose to pursue three linear thoughts:

  1. God loves me.
  2. I agree and love myself.
  3. So since this is true, let’s go out and do some lovable things.

 

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Antagonism

dictionary with letter A

Antagonism: (n.) active hostility or opposition.

We just can’t make up our minds.

Are human beings supposed to be angry or are we supposed to quell our feelings, disguising them as mellow cooperation?

We are confused.

Sometimes we criticize ourselves for having any temper whatsoever, while simultaneously applauding heroes in movies who take vengeance on their enemies.

Which one is it?

Honestly, the only way to deal with antagonism is to never allow it to get that far.

How does it digress? When we refuse to admit that we’re pissed off.

By the time we finish struggling over the validity of our feelings we are so exasperated, exhausted and infuriated that we pop off with something we shouldn’t say or do something beyond the pale.

If true spirituality were correctly imparted to believers, we would comprehend that the key to controlling our anger is releasing it in tiny doses as it rises to the surface.

As the Good Book tells us, we should not let the sun set on our anger. We should be angry and sin not. For after all, what generates sin is violence.

And the Good Book also tells us that we should never allow ourselves to ignore our apprehensions to the point that we start calling people names and destroying their reputation.

Antagonism is a social disease created by a civilized society caught between the reality of human frustration and the aspiration to keep peace and quiet.

As long as people shall dwell together, there will be conflict.

Having a healthy debate or even a livid argument is preferable to shooting a missile up someone’s backside.

 

 

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Angst

dictionary with letter A

Angst: (n) a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically unfocused, about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

I don’t want to be one of those people who pursue so much optimistic hopefulness that I fail to recognize what is necessary in order to maintain our present integrity.

Yet I have to wonder if it’s possible for the human race, in this season, to acquire both of the necessary portions that make us worthy of continuation.

For I feel it takes progress and process.

Yes, I think technology is wonderful, and I do not want to go back to a time when we had no computers, racism was extolled as normal, and antibiotics were not available for sickness.

I am not nostalgic for backward times.

However, by the same token, making progress without honoring the process of human character which honors the feelings of others, makes the world a dangerous place and certainly volatile.

It produces angst.

We become afraid that we will lose our progress if we honor the process. Or we preach the process and become “anti-progress,” making ourselves appear Neanderthal.

Is it possible to be a human being who realizes that progress needs to be made emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, without ignoring the values which make the process of living so much sweeter, and ripe with goodness?

We always attach the word “angst” to teenagers, but I am not convinced that a fourteen-year-old riding in a Conestoga Wagon with his parents, crossing the Great Plains in 1850, had much time to reflect on his or her misgivings.

If progress gives us too much free time to bitch and complain, robbing from the process of busying ourselves about becoming better people, then are we really moving forward?

Yet if the process of maintaining civility causes us to be suspicious of every facet of progress, then the foolishness we maintain makes our belief system appear to be shortsighted.

What would it take to mingle progress with process?

  1. I will put to use anything at all that makes life easier, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  2. I will acknowledge that there is no replacement for personal contact, love and gentleness with my fellow-travelers.
  3. I am ready to go forward if it doesn’t push someone else backward.

I think in considering this trio of principles, we can merge progress and process, to generate a climate of mutual benefit, drenched in compassion.

 

 

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Alight

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alight: (v) descend from the air and settle: e.g. a lovely blue swallow alighted on the branch

It’s really outdated. Matter of fact, if you used the term today it would have to be a comical retro reference to a former time.

“Heavy.”

I don’t know why we considered that word cool. I guess we thought it communicated that some concept was deep, containing a weight of wisdom.

It certainly would not go over in this day and age, where we think profundities are achieved by explaining on Facebook or in a Tweet how we plan to go to the grocery store to pick up a can of pimentos. (LOL)

And honestly, even in the era when “heavy” was considered to be contemporary, many of the ideas being passed along were purposely obtuse, in order to appear to be intellectual.

Here’s what I know: really great ideas and powerful words of encouragement and joyful exhortation … alight.

  • They land on the soul effortlessly, with a bit of jubilation and simplicity.
  • They encourage us to exhale as we appear to be holding our breath in anxiety.
  • They suggest the possibility of a solution in what seems to be a terminally dismal cave.
  • They cause us to giggle instead of sitting around envisioning scenarios of doom

Wisdom is brief, it is easy, it is non-burdensome and it is evidence that we are not alone.

Some people feel extraordinarily astute by complicating living situations, offering a climate of ferocious debate which establishes them as brilliant and insightful, but I have found that true spirituality, divine emotion, ordained intelligence and great movement is best when it alights in our being, weightless but worthy.

Heavy just makes us sag at the shoulders under the oppression.

We need a generation of intelligent people who can have the wisdom of the serpent … but alight as harmless as doves.