One thing you will hear me talk about monkey chatter. That endless, not always helpful monologue in my brain. We all have monkey chatter and the monkeys have friends. I have struggled for the past year with ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts. (I wish I had thought of that acronym. Not sure where it started.) These ANTS are mean little buggers that corrupt happiness with great efficiency. They cause worry and strife where none exist. I had to realize that the ANTs caused problems to appear that were not really there. The more time I spent obsessing over the ANTs the worse I felt.
There had to be a deliberate and purposeful shift in my brain. I took time to examine the ANTs. I dissected them to see what they were made of and it was not pretty. They were made of self-doubt, fear and anxiety. They said things like, “I am not good enough”, “What if…” and “I just know this isn’t going to work out.”
Once I knew what they were and how they operated, I shifted my brain to actively combat the negative thoughts. I would like to say that I did this all on my own; however, I did not. Being loved and being shown that I am beautiful, I am enough, pushed my mind to shift away from the negative thoughts. It is not easy. It is a constant battle between me and the army of ANTs. I must stop them as soon as I see the first wiggle of a feeler antenna on its head. I splat them dead right then and do not give it a chance to advance. It takes a conscience effort to squash the ANTs and keep them away.
I know that I am loved, wanted and cherished. I also know I am no fool. The ANTs can return any second. I am at peace and I am ready for them. I will not allow the ANTS to infest me again.
Believe in the power of positive thought.
(Coming soon, more on positive thoughts next post.)
As of 10 p.m. tonight, I have written three complete novels. One is published and two have release dates. It is a miracle that I accomplished in less than two years what I was unable to accomplish for many years before. There is one difference. I have the mental support that everyone tells you that you should have but you think you can do it on your own. Well let me tell you I am proof that with the right person in your corner you can do amazing things.
All it really takes is that one person to have your back. That one person to make sure you eat and get enough rest. That one person to let you cry when the words won’t come. That one person to slap you (figuratively) back into your right mind when you feel sorry for yourself. That one person who will tolerate your tantrums. That one person to celebrate with you when you reach your goals. That one person to be the strength when you are weak. That one person to be your voice when you have none. That one person to keep the faith. That one person to be proud of you and who lets the world know it. That one person to love you through it all.
When I was in my teens and twenties my generation got our inspiration from bumper stickers, t shirts, and posters. The same Hang In There kitten hanging from a tree type quotes are now all over social media. Personally I think they are wonderful. Now, if people reading them would try to implement the positive ones into their lives and ignore the negative ones that would be better. Inspiration can come from any where. There always seems to be the right words right there at the right time when you need it. If you scroll and you can’t find what you speaks to your inner peace, keep looking it will pop up in a second.
The problem with inspiration is it can be very persuasive and not always in a positive way. For instance, if you find out that your significant other is cheating, you may be inspired by one if the many artistic quotes to give him a Bobbit make over or the groovy Stella silent treatment. Have a little fire scarecrow. (For you whipper snappers, google….it is your friend.) None of those inspirations are very positive and may get you 5-20 in the state’s best accommodations. My advice, leave the vengeance to God and keep scrolling.
Seek inspiration that is positive. Save the quotes that inspire you to be a better person. If you read one and think, wow that is so very true and I can (choose one be/do/aspire to) that then it is a keeper. If you read one and think, Damn sister I wouldn’t have shared that….then move along Sally. Either way, use what the good Lord gave you for common sense and be selective. Share the positive…..oh c’mon…..just do it.
The invention of Facebook and other networking sites are a marvelous thing. I think about why people are drawn to such places to begin with. Is it the ambiguous nature about them? We can, if we choose, hide behind fake names and locations. At first I thought that must be it, the ability to hide from the real world who we are and change to what we want the world to believe we are. Fantasy and smoke screens. The more I observed what was going on with social media and looked at who was using it, it seems that staying anonymous is not why we flock to them.
More and more people are being true to their identities on these sites. Posting real pictures and real parts of their life for all to see. There is a shift from hiding to openness, but controlling who sees the inside of our lives. If someone hurts our feelings we simply delete them from our friend list. If someone is nice to us we add them. We share what we want them to know and keep our secrets to ourselves. I have 300 plus friends on Facebook and know about that many more. I feel emotionally connected to about 1/4 of them and the other 3/4 of them I feel happy to know. I use a real picture of me, but screen what I share very carefully. If we can still make up things and control what we share, but the big question is why? Why do we find it easy to post who we are, what we really think and feel on a screen?
For me as a Christian and a writer, I love the concept of captive audience. I can share my words and maybe reach someone who I couldn’t actually speak to in real life. That is one reasons I keep a Facebook account. The other reason is the connection to family out-of-town. It’s good for that too.
Let’s not forget that Facebook is public. What we post on there is just as if we said it in a crowded room. If you won’t say it out loud in a room full of 300 people don’t post it…..really, think about it. It is easy to think that somehow the screen shields us when in reality your friends are more apt to read what you post than to listen to what you say. So remember, if you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face don’t write it on a wall in cyber space where the world can read it.
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler
Like many writers I have pieces and parts of stories, novels, and poetry. I have scraps of characters, plots and settings all over the place. They are written on scraps of paper and in notes on my computer and in my phone. Most of which are complete ideas but not completely written. As I work through actually completing a novel I have learned just as much if not more about myself as I am about writing. For instance, did you know that you can procrastinate for several minutes just by staring inside the refrigerator even when you aren’t hungry? Or that If you snuggle your loved one taking a nap is easier than forming sentences?
I have discovered that I am an expert at not writing . I can find other things to do very easily. Not that writing is hard, it isn’t. Writing is the easy part. Writing and still living a normal life is not so easy. You still have to eat, sleep, spend time with family, and work (unless you’re independently wealthy). I like to eat and play. I am not wealthy so I have a job that I love. When I sit down to write writing happens. I manage to consume wine and get words down. The hardest part is getting the time to sit down in the first place.
I found that just making myself sit and write when I have time will get words out and stories will come to fruition. Even if I don’t want to write, the sitting and writing something, even nonsense, is the best way to start. Once I start writing the stopping is not as difficult.
Believe to do something productive, even if you don’t fee like it.
What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey?
Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.
Love is a promise to cherish the other person. You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships.
Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together. It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person is what is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).
A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love, no respect, there is no point.
I was asked recently what inspires me to write? The first thing that popped in to my head is that people inspire me. People in all their crazy mixed up emotions. Then after I thought about it, love and compassion inspire me. Not just the existence or demonstration of love but the lack of it. I write about love that is pure without an agenda and I write about pseudo love that has an agenda, mission of greed or need for control in the name of love.
Love is actually quite easy, that is if we remove the conditions. You cant make people really love you‚ all you can do is love them with no expectations and no conditions. The strange thing is, what you give comes back. It often isn’t how you thought it would be however it does come back. If you can live with what it really is you will not feel so alone or incomplete.
If I can shine a light on the fact that the giving of pure unconditional love is the answer to most of our problems, deepest hurts and relationship issues in life, then I will continue to write.
Believe in the radical power of love and here’s a thought, love everyone unconditionaly. Period.
Create what sets your heart on fire, and it will illuminate the path ahead.~Unknown
Light is what allows us to understand the world we live in. The detection of light is powerful tool for probing the universe. It is through the study of light that we can understand the composition stars light years away or the living cells in us. It is no accident that humans can ‘see’ light. Our language reflects our fascination with light. Isn’t it said in scripture somewhere that after groping in the dark, we see the light and understanding dawns.
To me light is almost a living thing. It embraces us on the outside with visible light and on the inside with knowledge. God is the source of all light. He put the sun and stars in the universe. He gave man the knowledge to create light. He gave us fire and later man harnessed electricity. I know scientists can explain to me that light is a form of radiation. God made the radiation. We can trace all light to Him.
Create what sets your heart on fire. Create your light. Make a difference in this world of shadows. Even when we see shadows in our lives we should be encouraged. Shadows can not exist without light.
We all have monkey chatter in our brains. It is the constant mental monologue that happens when we are trying to live our lives. Monkey chatter can be and often is negative. We have heard all the self help guru terms, negative self talk, automatic negative thoughts, inner critic and others. It’s enough to make you depressed. Pour me another cup of that happy juice why don’t ya?
William Porter, from the Perdido Key Novels, is an exception. He has no monkey chatter. The cowboy from Tennessee has a control over his thoughts. It isn’t something that comes easy to him. He has to work on it. He shifted his focus to God. As long as he keeps God in his brain and prayer in his fore thought, the monkeys stay in the shadows. Brianna Dario on the other hand is over run with monkeys. She can’t hear God’s still small voice for all the noise. She listens to the monkeys and as a result runs from love.
Controlling the monkey chatter is not easy. I have found that prayer works. Also, having a love in your life that reminds you what is important and what is simply not a priority helps kill the monkeys. Don’t waste your time on things that are not real.
Believe in what is important, keep your focus on what is real and trust love.
To believe is to act. It is not a passive thing to just believe in something. You have to act on that belief. Before you can act on your beliefs you must have something substantial to believe in and make a commitment to it.
The Latin term notitia means “believing in the data” or the information. It’s an intellectual awareness. You can’t believe in nothing; there has to be content to the belief. Once you have decided what exactly you are going to believe in, you then have to put your trust in that belief. Once you trust something as truth you can act on the truth.
Fiducia refers to the fiduciary commitment. You can’t believe without commitment to your beliefs. Our cowboy, William Porter, who we meet in We Will Get There, is the embodiment of commitment to a belief in God. He made a promise to God and he honors it because of his loyalty to his chosen belief. The very act of dedicating one’s self to a belief is the first action in believing.
Don’t be one of those people who say, “I believe in…” this or that and then show no devotion to that belief. This type of person’s beliefs are faltering and ever changing. No one trusts a person like that. They are the people who follow the latest trend but never stand for anything real. They are gullible and believe anything that their friends are believing. They are wishy washy and flighty. They bring stress to those around them. They them self’s find it difficult to be at peace.
Decided what it is you will believe in, make a commitment to it and then act in the best interest of that commitment. Wrap your soul and your life around your beliefs. If it is right your institution will tell you so. If it is wrong you will know that too. Believe in goodness and in what is right. Be a trust worthy believer. Believe in what makes your heart happy. Listen to your soul. Then take that belief and act on it in truth and compassion. Bring peace to your life and to those you love through your commitment of belief.