Sunday Thoughts: Rest in God

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Sometimes you just find yourself exhausted. Not the sleepy tired that goes away with a good night’s sleep but the bone weary tired. You know the one, you go to bed with it and wake up with it the next morning.

Yeah, that one. We knew it is coming because we begin to feel it in the middle of the day. It taps us on the shoulder and says hey, how about a nap? Usually we are standing at work putting our best customer service smiles on, waiting in the grocery store line or some other place that frowns upon sleeping, like sitting in church on Sunday morning.

Excuse me mam, you are storing.

God tells us this sort of soul tired is to be expected. ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The burden he is talking about isn’t the kind you physically carry but the emotional one that changes from day to day. Emotional burden come from many causes. Life causes stress good and bad. Many people are living with emotional burden and do not show it because they have found a way to cope. They might be repressing their emotions and this can often be more damaging. Coping and repressing brings the exhaustion that sleep won’t fix. Sharing the burden with someone you trust and making a plan to deal with it is one way to handle the burden.

This burden is not always because life is difficult or from something bad. Even when life is good we have this burden. It may be the overwhelming happiness that you are terrified you may loose, It may be the responsibility of supporting a family, because well, children like to eat. Life may be all picket fences and daisy chains that is making you tired.

Sometimes you just need to rest. Stop what you are doing, give the burden to God, lay down and rest.

Believe in the power of restoring rest and letting God handle your stuff.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium.com)

What is a Marriage?

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

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.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know, I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

Love is a choice. 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. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

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 that 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 there is no point.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium.com)

Overthinking Is Way Too Easy

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Why do we do it? We know it is ridiculous, yet we go there every time. Let someone say something positive or negative, we over analyze and pick it apart. Let that someone be our spouse or significant other and we go in to overthinking over drive. We examine methodically and in detail every word and action, typically for purposes of our assumed interpretation.

Stop it.  It is deadly to happiness, peace and love.

It makes no difference if what we know is the truth. If it doesn’t fit in our preconceived reality we will think it to death to make it fit. It never ends up resembling the truth. Oh, it may have tiny similarities of the truth, but it will not save you from the anxiety that will result.

There is only one cure, one solution to correct or stop your over thinking. Communicate openly with your person.  Let them tell you the truth. Now here’s where it gets difficult, trust them. Don’t give the trust lip service. Really and truly trust them. What if they are lying to you? So what? If they are not telling you the truth, the truth will come out. It always does. Trusting them frees you from the demon of over thinking.

Love and peace will follow.

~Lori O’Gara

Valentines Day, so What?

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A person asked me today what gift I got for Valentines Day. When I told them my significant other fixed my lunch for me before I went to work, he smiled at me and asked me how my day went when I got home and he told me that he loved me. The person said to me, sounds like a normal day, not a Valentines Day gift? Yeah, so?

As I look at all the Valentines Day posts on social media I am struck by the conformity of the holiday. I am not talking about the commercialism of the thing promoted by card companies, florists, and jewelers. Rather the mind set that because it is Valentines Day one must get a gift for their chosen special person. Really? I say, why wait for a made up holiday to let the most important person in your life know that you love them? Tell them today.

I would much rather have a my love tell me how important I am to him or have him express it by his day to day actions than for him to make a show of our relationship by sending an obnoxious bouquet of flowers that will be dead in a few days anyway.

How about doing all the little things that you did while you where pursuing the one you now have. If you are still new and are still wooing them, do not stop once you catch them.

For example, he texted me with this, “13140 days and counting…” When I asked him what he meant he said, “That’s how many days we have had love in our hearts for each other.”

That, my friend, is a gift, holiday or not.

~Lori O’Gara

The Moment of Happiness

What is happiness? Is it a temporary feeling of happy? We experience life in moments. We tend to look at life as days, months and years when in reality it is actually moments. It isn’t even past moments. It is the current moment. The right now. We have to learn to be happy in the movement. As the moments go one after the other happiness becomes contentment. Happiness, true soul deep happiness is contentment. Even in a sad moment or a rough day, if you have a content life you can say “I am happy”.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Sunday Thoughts: Peace or Perfection?

As I look back on my life I see myself as a person I am not proud of. However, when I really think about it I am not proud of who I am now either. I am humbled at where I am in life and how I got here. Looking back I see a person who was often frantic over reaching perfection.

My home, job, and everything else had to appear to the outside world as perfect. I would scramble to make sure everything was just so before anyone saw it. That perfection mentality was absorbed in all parts of my life. I was so obsessed as to what other people thought of me that it controlled me in ways I was not even aware of and in ways that I was fully conscience of.

Not too long ago I was at one of the lowest places a person could be in life. I had no place to live (well I was staying at my mom’s home). My income was cut more than half. I was sad and alone. I gained back all the weight I fought for years to get off of my body. I was figuratively face down in the muck of life with no light. Where was perfection then? Where were all the people that I damn near killed myself to impress?

It is my belief, regardless of what you call God, or higher power or whatever, that we are intentionally put down to our lowest point in life so that we can see that we are insignificant. All the things we claim to be important are nothing.  God allows us to use that free will of ours and when we get to that point of destitution we have to look for that power of the universe, God, to show us what is important, what the big picture of life really is.

As a result of me being flat in the muck of imperfection, I am not the same person. I am no longer a slave to being that perfect person with the perfect life. My life revolves around peace and love. My house is a mess, my bank account is scrawny and I am happier than I have ever been.  I am surrounded by love and I can see with unclouded eyes what is important in life.

Believe in striving for peace not perfection.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Choose Your Battles

Choose your battles. Sometimes peace is more important than being right.

I have tried to be as transparent as I can. What you see here on this site and on my Facbook page is my digital fingerprint. I am who I am. I am not much of a mystery. What you see is what you get. I am not a drama queen. You won’t see me degrading someone in a comment section of any social media outlet. Even if I totally disagree with the opinion. I will try to express the truth in the situation without confrontation. There is so much negativity in the world these days and I am doing my best to keep it away from me.

I have decided to focus more on my inner being than looking at what is happening on the outside. I am writing everyday, which is challenging. There is this thing called life that gets in the way all the time. Oh and I have this other thing called a job that is necessary for other things like food and a roof.

I think that the battles we choose speak to who we are in our soul. What we fight for and about is what we value. If we value people we fight for them. If we value money we will fight for that. If we value love we will fight for love.

The question is how to balance what we value in our souls with what we need in our life to survive. Sometimes those two things do not match and are not compatible. I think peace is found when we make the important stuff in our being and the needed stuff for our survival the same things.

Something to think about during this time of year when the focus is on material things not always the important things.

~Lori O’Gara