The Winter Holiday Season brings joy, peace, love, and laughter to many of us worldwide. Compassion for our fellow beings would urge us to share this good will with those less fortunate.
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day is observed annually on the first day of winter. In the northern hemisphere, this is on or around December 21st (June 21st in the southern hemisphere). Known as Winter Solstice or midwinter, it is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.
Living on the streets is difficult enough in warm weather; but the harshness of winter claims many lives. If you would like to do something to help ease the suffering of our homeless sisters and brothers ~ or if you’d simply like to learn more ~ click on the links below. No manner of participation is too small, for kindness is not bound by the limitations of conscience.
Gallybloggers is a blog dedicated to the homeless and posts the writings of many living on the streets. I do hope you’ll visit, comment, and share. It is administered by Dewin Nefol, a compassionate and talented writer and artist.
We must also remember the nonhuman beings who share our Mother Earth. Learn how to help stray animals survive the winter. Hopefully, all will find loving homes ❤
The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.
For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you to help me raise up to £365 for The Dogs Trust.
The Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. Click here to go to their website.
Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do.
In the comments section of this post, leave the name of your blog and a link to it. This can be a link to your ‘about me’ page, a favourite blog post you’ve published, or the home page of your blog.
If you’re an author, you’re also welcome to leave me a link to any books you have published. So, for…
When will we humans understand that to turn a blind eye to those in need is to turn a blind eye to ourselves? When will we come to know ~ Know with a capital K ~ that we are all one?
Gallybloggersis an online forum for authors who are Homeless.Dewin Nefol, creator of the site, states: Those who write and submit to Gallybloggers do so wholeheartedly believing in what we do and in what we would like to achieve by giving voice and opportunity for expression to those who are walked-over by society and passed-by everyday on our streets and empty shop doorways.”
I’m reblogging this today in the hope that many of you will follow Gallybloggers, comment on their outstanding posts, and share their brilliant works ❤
Annette Rochelle Abenis a shining light in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of several conversations with her, and the most striking thing I’ve learned is that she walks her talk. Her Angel Messages, Inspirations, and Attitude of Gratitude posts are spoken from her heart. She is the real deal.
If you’re not familiar with Annette and her work, you will find herHEREandHERE. Listen to herBlog TalkRadioshows for an infusion of support and enthusiasm as The Magic Happens.
This week on her blog, Annette posted two public messages: an apology to herself and a letter to her ex-husband. Both embody understanding, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness. It is with a grateful heart that I share them with you now.
Our thoughts and prayers are with
our sisters and brothers in London ❤
The hatred evidenced by terrorist attacks around the world could easily be met with equal hatred, should we allow it. But how would that identify and inform us as a species? What would that do to the hearts and minds of individuals as well as society? What do we want to teach our children, and what kind of world do we want to leave them?
It is a challenge to keep our hearts open amid such unconscionable acts of violence. Yet it is our only hope of survival. Meeting these despicable acts with an equal amount of aggression could lead to our annihilation in this nuclear age. At the very least, it could alter our consciences and consciousness to a degree beyond repair. And that is as unacceptable as the terrorist act itself.
Fire cannot be fought with fire. We know this. Yet our species persists in its futile attempt to meet hatred with hatred, aggression with aggression, terror with terror. However, hope is skirting the horizon ~ fragile in its element but tenacious in its intent. Whether or not it will rise with tomorrow’s sun will be determined by our actions today.
I’m reminded of Dorothy Bryant’s book, The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You. The village folk circle a woman being raped. They neither interfere nor intervene but simply stand in witness of this heinous act. The perpetrator not only cannot continue, but also comes face to face with his salacious fear. When he realizes he has been forgiven, his heart opens and he is transformed.
Some might call this a miracle. Yet if we consider the collective unconscious, we might see this in a different light. Instead of intervention from an outside source ~ no matter how beneficent the being ~ we realize it is a manifestation of our unified thought. We are what we think, and energy follows in kind.
Although I was raised Roman Catholic, I follow an eclectic spiritual path. I hold the avatars and bodhisattvas in my heart, and one in particular now comes to mind: Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether history is to be believed, the story of Jesus’ passion sets an example that sorely needs to be remembered, if not emulated. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
If we understand that all negative emotions and behavior originate from fear, we might be more inclined to err on the side of compassion. This does not negate the validity and necessity of raging with anger, for emotions are raw and must be given a voice, lest we implode. This does, however, caution us to act instead of react ~ act out of love instead of react out of fear.
Fear is a survival mechanism but, if unchecked, can easily run amok, as we have witnessed once again in today’s attack on the people of London. Where does violence end? Where does peace begin?
Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me . . . ❤
Living with a chronic illness is a challenge at best. If the illness is devastating but not recognized by the medical establishment, convincing ourselves life is worth living becomes an uphill battle.
In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that presented as a drop-dead flu. I’d been symptomatic since in the 1980s, but early on, flareups were few and far between. Innumerable doctor visits always produced tests with negative results. Over time, symptoms increased in severity and duration until they became immobilizing and constant in 1999.
I knew my doctors thought I was malingering. I felt invalidated yet knew damn well something was wrong. I lived in fear of a dreaded disease not being detected in time to be treated. Simultaneously, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. By 1999 I was nearly bedridden; in debilitating pain; overwhelmed by fatigue; suffering varying degrees of GI problems; plagued by sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, free-floating anxiety, panic attacks, and depression; and had a constant low-grade fever with sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. It wasn’t until I consulted a rheumatologist that I finally got a clinical diagnosis – one based on physical examination, as no definitive tests existed.
Since I was too sick to work and had been denied disability for two years, I exhausted my savings and retirement. Add to this that I had to advocate for myself while nearly bedridden, exhausted, and in constant pain, it’s no wonder I reached the point of planning to end my life.
So what stopped me? I had lists made of people to whom all of my possessions should be given. I knew where and how I would take the final leap. The only question left unanswered was when. What prompted me to delay making a decision?
Antidepressants helped somewhat but left me feeling flat and worthless. I also hated putting pharmaceuticals into my body. Two things saved me: my spiritual practice and the constant reminder of love from treasured friends. I had to learn to grant myself the same acceptance, compassion, and love I so freely bestowed upon others. It has been said by many – myself included, at times – that we are incapable of loving another if we do not first love ourselves. But I found the exact opposite to be true. I felt deep love and compassion for others, but every time I looked in the mirror, I faced self-loathing for the specter I’d become. I knew that in order to survive, I needed to turn the same love and compassion inward.
My belief that Mother Earth is a schoolhouse deterred me from ending my life. If we incarnate to learn specific lessons, and if we leave short of learning those lessons, we’ll need to return and undergo the very same experiences in order to grow. I didn’t want to backtrack. I didn’t want to suffer the same ordeals when all I had to do was commit to seeing them through this time around.
It hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding. I’m no longer taking pharmaceuticals and don’t rely on allopathic medicine for anything more than relative diagnosis and emergency/trauma care. There’s no known cure for this illness and the etiology is unknown. I still have flareups, but other than low-level pain and fatigue, the symptoms are no longer constant. I’m still learning to love myself, and I wonder if that isn’t an ongoing struggle for all unenlightened humans.
My biggest challenge is keeping up with social media. Writing can be accomplished when I’m feeling well enough, but maintaining an online presence can be demanding. I often find myself merely treading water. And when in a flareup, I feel as if I’m trudging through neck-high water, pushing myself to complete the simplest of tasks.
I’ve lived with this condition for over 25 years and generally take it in stride. But since flareups are random and of unpredictable severity and duration, I’m finding it difficult to plan and write blog posts, visit other’s blogs and share their posts on a regular basis, and read the books on my overflowing TBR in a timely fashion. When I visit blogs, my ability to comment depends on my cognitive state at that moment.
When in a flareup, I have to accept a stop-and-start work scenario: work a little, rest a little; work a little, rest a little. And I’m usually unable to do little more than click on a few share buttons, unless the fatigue and mental fog clear long enough for me to write a few lucid sentences. If lucky and my head isn’t dropping to the keyboard, I’m able to do a reblog or create a post. The challenge in all of this is self-acceptance and not giving in to frustration.
I remind myself each day not to become my own worst enemy. Self-acceptance on all levels is crucial to survival. Compassion for oneself is as vital as breathing. What concerns me most is not being understood by the people in my life. It’s difficult to imagine – much less believe – what someone else is experiencing when their condition or situation borders on unfathomable.
I hope my fellow bloggers will understand when I’m unable to visit their blogs as frequently as they visit mine. I hope my fellow authors will understand when I’m unable to read and review their books as quickly as they do mine. My desire and intention are to pay it forward; at the very least, to be reciprocal. Yet when a flareup strikes, I fall short in meeting my goals. I’m still learning to accept this as a life lesson for which I contracted before I incarnated. We all choose the lessons we want to learn before we come in to this earthwalk. The trick is not to give up on ourselves.
Self-acceptance. Self-love. Self-compassion. I’m still a work in progress . . .