Crash

Crash: (n) noisily breaking into pieces

 Each and every one of us is the survivor of a crash.

Ironically, most of us don’t exactly remember the point of impact. It is not the horror of the event that strikes terror in us. It is the aftermath that haunts our souls.

The treatment.

The recovery.

The lingering, chronic pain.

The unanswered questions.

The insecurity that such a disappointment could happen again.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We become protective. We look on ourselves as foolish because we were gliding along, believing everything was just fine, when we were speeding our way to a disaster.

So we slow down. Caution becomes our nature.

But worst of all, suspicion makes a home in our hearts. We are no longer free to love without having a questionnaire in our minds, needing to be filled out by those who would apply to be our friends.

We are damaged.

We’ve been given insurance—maybe even a measure of assurance. But the crash has left us leery, frightened to freely embrace, interact, experiment or give of ourselves quite as easily again.

So we not only miss opportunities, we turn our blessings—which have been with us for many years—yes, we turn them away at the door in anxiety that they might bring in dangers.

Once the crash has occurred, once the human being has been startled—whether emotional, spiritual, mental or physical—the rest of the journey is about regaining the childlike heart that allowed us to run breathlessly, without intimidation, before we were so rudely interrupted. 

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Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Clot

Clot: (n) a thick mass of coagulated liquid, especially blood

We bleed.

If punctured–if the skin is pierced–blood comes forth.

It’s red. Some people would say maroon. I’ve heard crimson and burgundy also. It’s in the red family–as we are all in the human family–which bleeds.

Here’s the amazing part–we certainly want to stop the bleeding, and we can do so with confidence. Because if we just buy some time, the bleeding stops by
forming its own clot.

It is a study of nature–the Natural Order has its problems, but also offers solutions.

Such is the case with bleeding and clotting. It’s a reassuring thought.

Yesterday I looked down at my arm and saw that I had scratched myself. The only reason I knew was some blood had erupted to the surface. It was dried and clotted.

I took some alcohol, washed it off and finally got down to the original, tiny scratch, which then threatened to bleed again. But with a few swipes of alcohol, it was encouraged to stay home.

It is greatly comforting that even though I am a creature who bleeds–spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically–built within me is the benefit of the clot.

I probably won’t bleed to death unless the blood comes out much too quickly. Then, if I can stop the gusher, I can set healing in motion.

In many of my relationships, I have the evidence of wounds which are scabbed over.

It’s not pretty–but it’s not bleeding.

And the memory of the scab, which is later followed by the scar, reminds me of how foolish it is to jeopardize well-being in an attempt to usurp my authority.

We bleed. We clot. It is a magnificent example of self-correction.

It’s what makes me believe in a Universal Physician, who realized how we might get wounded, so placed within us the first fruits of healing.

 

 

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Basket Case

Basket case: (n) a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope.Dictionary B

The most delicate journey in our Earth life is finding the balance between mercy and muscle.

When is it good to be sympathetic, and when is it necessary to exhort and challenge ourselves and those around us?

The truth of the matter is, weakness has no advantage unless it’s exposed–so that can grow into greater strength.

Being diagnosed as lacking–be it emotional, spiritual, mental or physical–does not really grant us an identity, but rather, assigns us a number and shoves us in a prison cell.

What do we do when we run across people who are basket cases, finding themselves completely overwhelmed by their circumstances, and often not comprehending why their burden is so cumbersome?

Mercy is a beautiful thing. atter of fact, without being merciful, none of us are worthy to obtain it.

Yet the predilection in our society to doctor tiny cuts and scrapes as if they are mortal wounds is not merciful at all, but ends up being a way of manipulating the frustrated brethren around us into becoming incapacitated.

I’m sure there is a true diagnosis for clinical depression, but I will tell you–not everyone who claims it has it.

I’m certain there are all sorts of diseases and conditions which infest the human body and brain, but by no means are these maladies meant to leave us dormant.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there are too many unnecessary basket cases for us to really minister to the real ones.

Sometimes we need to stand up and accept that what is set before us is our present lot, and we would do better to buck up a bit and find a way to not only endure it … but win. 

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Baritone

Baritone: (n) an adult male singing voice between tenor and bass.Dictionary B

In my teen years, I found myself caught up in the world of Southern Gospel music. This was brought about because the church I attended was feverishly interested in the medium.

Southern Gospel music is a collision of real gospel music, barbershop quartets, revivalism and a bit of show business (without admitting that you’re performing).

The quartet is usually male and is divided into four singing parts:

  • Bass: a voice that covers the deep root note of each chord
  • Lead: that’s the melody boy
  • High tenor: which generally speaking is an alto part, taken up an octave
  • And baritone. Nobody ever wanted to be baritone.

The baritone part was always considered a symbol of weakness. It was the part for those men who were not manly enough to perform very low notes, nor strong enough to carry the song’s melody, or high enough to dazzle the audience with tones in the clouds.

It was a standard joke. Whenever the baritone member of the group was introduced, the emcee would say, “Barely a tone passes from his lips.”

But here’s the interesting thing: most male speakers or singers are baritones. So as always, we take the common and we make it mediocre, causing the majority of the folks around us to feel inadequate, as we worship the handful who do the extremes and make the news.

Until we learn to take the people in our lives who are emotional, spiritual, mental and physical baritones and teach them to shine out the very best they can with what they’ve got, we will have a world of over-promoted tenors and basses … and jealous “barely-a-tones.”

 

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We need a good Christmas this year.

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Assets

Asset: (n) a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.dictionary with letter A

Piling things up.

If we don’t discover the meaning of our existence, we just end up accumulating indiscriminately.

To find out the meaning of life without becoming terribly ethereal, we must understand that we are heart, soul, mind and strength.

Each one needs assets.

  • For my heart, I need enriching emotional experience to counteract my fear of being loved and my reticence on loving others.
  • I need spiritual assets–things to believe in which can exist on earth as they do in heaven.
  • Mentally, give me the treasure of knowing that I’m always in the process of renewing my need to know.
  • And my body requires the assets of healthy food, healthy sleep, healthy exercise and healthy usage.

Anything that assists these four units is an asset. Anything that doesn’t is a distraction.

Can it really be that simple?

I hope so–because complications make me either frustrated or self-righteous.

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Anti-septic

dictionary with letter A

Anti-septic: (adj) of or relating to substances that prevent disease-causing micro-organisms.

They put a sign on my door.

Apparently, my condition was common enough that these signs were readily available for ordering from some medical supply house.

The sign read, “This patient is septic.”

Nurses and doctors started walking into my room wearing gloves and masks. I felt like I was in a horror flick and had unfortunately been cast in the role of “the horror.”

What they discovered was that I had an infection which had spread throughout my bloodstream, and therefore every excretion from my body, including my sweat and spit, was toxic.

It was weird.

It made me appreciate the term “anti-septic.” Because when I was anti-septic–completely against the concept–people liked me a lot more and didn’t have to bundle up like mummies to be in my presence.

They put me on a treatment and within a couple of days they were able to remove the sign and my practitioners stripped themselves of all necessary protection.

Now…without becoming too philosophical, we can be septic in many ways, including emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All “septic” really means is that we are poisonous to those around us. It would be good to engage an anti-septic at that point, don’t you think?

So when I am emotionally septic–in such a bad mood that I’m not fit to be a caretaker of snakes–I quarantine myself so as not to spew unrighteous feelings into the air to infect the general populace.

When I’m spiritually septic i spend some time thinking about how blessed I am, and then, with tears in my eyes, apologize to a generous Father in heaven, who is waiting for me to come to my senses.

And when I’m mentally septic–promoting my own prejudices instead of truth–I allow myself the grace of shutting my mouth until some healing can happen in my thoughts.

Anti-septic is a good thing. Because septic kills.

And we certainly have too much of that going around, don’t we? 

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Antibody

dictionary with letter AAntibody (n): a blood protein produced in response to and counteracting a specific antigen.

I know I encounter futility when I come across someone who tells me that life is complicated.

Actually, life is amazingly simple–as long as you’re willing to accept how it has progressed instead of creating your own “revolution against the evolution.”

This becomes evident to me when I realize that in order to build up resistance to disease, you actually have to encounter the vermin and have your body react with the positive energy to reject the infection, and make sure the varmint doesn’t return again.

Why wouldn’t the parallel be just as true in our emotional, spiritual and mental lives?

Emotionally, if I don’t encounter all sorts of personalities and even struggles, do I not become a hermit–or worse, a bigot?

Spiritually, if I don’t understand how my faith stacks up against other ideas, realizing where there are similarities and also aware of the differences, how will I ever have the endurance to achieve the end and be saved?

And mentally, if the ideas shared by my upbringing are not challenged and questioned, so that I can derive the best of the precepts for future use, will I not become a mere provincial buffoon?

I love antibodies.

It’s physical evidence that we have been through the battle and we have won.

Stop complicating life and realize that it comes down to simply being willing to place yourself in the mix and trust that your ideas, your spirituality, your feelings and even your immune system … are strong enough to survive the competition.  

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Anoxia

dictionary with letter A

Anoxia: (n.) an absence of oxygen.

I felt like crap, if by saying that, you mean a discarded pile of useless waste lying in the corner, needing disposal.

I didn’t know why.

I knew I was sick. That doesn’t help very much. Being aware of illness only makes you clamor for a quick solution to get back to normalcy.

Sometimes that’s possible. A good night’s sleep is often the perfect elixir. But I had several opportunities to sleep and felt no better.

So I went to the doctor, who sent me to the hospital, and the first thing they did was put oxygen into my nostrils.

I felt very stupid having tubes coming out of my nose.

They explained that my oxygen level was not sufficient for me to get the air I needed to recover from my physical ailment. I tried to argue, but after a while felt silly objecting to something as simple as a breathing mechanism.

It was astounding.

Within an hour, just having oxygen put into my body and having the levels rise, made me feel so much better. It gave me the will to want to get well again instead of commiserating over a gloom of pending doom.

It was just oxygen–yet I needed it. I wasn’t getting it from the air. My lungs apparently had decided they were part-time labor.

But the introduction of the good stuff set in motion “good stuff” for my healing.

It got me thinking.

We’re so critical of people who are depressed, angry, poor or unmotivated.

  • We never consider that there’s a certain emotional oxygen required, the ability to tell the truth without fear.
  • How about spiritual oxygen? God is our God so we can find out how to be better people.
  • Certainly there’s a mental oxygen, which clears out the cobwebs in our brain, allowing fresh ideas to seep through.
  • And the simple physical oxygen of breathing, exercising and eating well can make us feel invincible.

I’m no longer afraid to be in need–because discovering the better things I can breathe in empowers me … to be made whole.

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Almost

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Almost: (adv.) not quite or very nearly: e.g. he almost knocked Georgina over

I don’t want to be cynical but I must point out that we have become the Almost States of America.

“Almost” is our new favorite word. It used to be a compound word — “fries-with-that.” But now, we have embraced the message of emotional anemia, spiritual weakness, mental denseness and physical laziness.

May I give my definition of “almost?”

  • It is the universal certificate given for trying.
  • It is the party thrown for a victory that never arrived.
  • It is the hug provided for losers.
  • It is the hand grenade that never exploded.
  • It is the swimming pool without water.
  • It is the kiss on the cheek.
  • It is the “let’s be friends” in the vernacular.
  • It is the pat on the back instead of the vigorous thump.
  • It is the reassurance we give one another, that most of the time it is the lot of human beings to see the finish line and pull over well short, for a McDouble.

I am guilty of failing, but I have forbidden my addicted, crack-whore soul from going down the path to the pusher of inadequacy and getting my fix of blandness.

Yes, I am prepared to fail without being told that I tried.

I want to look at the pile of stink I’ve left behind in my endeavors without insisting that it’ll be good fertilizer for the future.

I want to admit that my “almost” was not only not good enough, but should be forgotten as quickly as possible, in a flurry of sweat-drenched training.

  • We almost have a President.
  • We almost have a Congress.
  • We almost have progress.
  • We almost have racial equality.
  • We almost have an educational system.
  • We almost have a solution for poverty.
  • We almost have drug addiction on the run.
  • We almost have figured out gun control.
  • We almost have a church.
  • We almost have entertainment.
  • We almost have excellence.
  • We almost have almost of what we need, without having almost of what it will take to do almost everything.

Don’t tell me I tried. Don’t tell me I almost got it. Let me fail. Let me suffer.

Let me rise from my ashes  … and do better.

The Almost States of America could never have won the Civil War. We could never have defeated Hitler. And we certainly would never have landed a man on the moon.

If we’re not careful, hundreds and hundreds of years from now we will be remembered like ancient Athens–a society that tried democracy … and almost pulled it off.