6 years ago

It seems the older we get, the more we acquire; not only in material things, but also the experiences that come from living life. No one goes through life without the ups and downs, the struggles, the hardships, the joys and celebrations that accumulate as the years add up.The more candles we have on our cake, the more stories we have to tell. 

As we find more gray hairs on our head, acknowledge that the wrinkled one looking back at us in the mirror is ourself, or view the collection of books on our shelves (or generations of shoes in our closets), we also continue to accumulate the character building aspects that make up the fabric of who we are as individuals; more courage, strength, attitude, wisdom and spirit. As least that’s what I hope we acquire...

From tackling our first real job, to finding our mate (hopefully for life), from career moves and homemaking to child rearing and aging parent care giving, there is a path that we journey sharing  many similarities to that of a friend, co-worker or another family member. Often we confide the most secret and uncomfortable places within us with those whose confidence we’ve come to trust. We also share our happiness, our milestones and new adventures that we are undertaking so that others will share in our joy and success. It is a true mix of emotions and women are all about emotions. One day we are rejoicing in all the goodness life has to offer, and the next day we are positive that nothing will go right ever again.

I have friends in my life who are at this very moment facing serious illness. Some who are hurting financially, are unemployed, are care givers to elderly parents, or are supporting gown children. Many stressors are heaped upon a women’s shoulders. Many days and nights to get through without a clear picture of what they will face next. Finding myself sympathetic and compassionate to those who face adversity, I want to comfort, console and be a shoulder to lean on. I also want to provide a positive spirit of hope where there seems to be no apparent hope in sight. But I might be kidding myself to think that they are feeling any self-pity, any discouragement or self-doubt, because these are some of the bravest women I know.

It’s I who comes away with their spirit of hope; it’s I who finds courage in their bravery. It’s I who benefits from their candid reveal of life!

I also have friends and acquaintances who seem not to have a blemish on them. Their lives appear perfect and perfectly ordered; skipping through life, sheltered, pampered and showered with goodies.  So I wonder, do I really know them or am I only assuming that they have it better than I? Do I inwardly covet their external appearance and affluence while smiling and loathing all at the same time? Do I despise the green monster within me?

You bet I do.  It’s not flattering, it serves no purpose and it definitely makes me feel ugly inside...

Yet it's there...Ugh!

For me, judging is a difficult thing to correct. In my April 21st blog titled, “Who Me?”  I revealed three things to give up: controlling, judging and being right. Lately it’s judging that is rearing its ugly head. I find myself making assumptions, criticizing and projecting my opinions without a lick of real information to stand on. If I’ve not walked in another’s moccasins or heels, where do I get off pronouncing judgement? I apologize. I sincerely do.

“Dreama, how would you like your crow cooked?”  ”How ’bout a nice slice of humble pie to go with that guilt?”

A few days ago, I set out to find the perfect stone. Not a nice smooth pretty one, but a sharp, jagged, ugly one to match my inclination to judge first and get the accurate information later. I’ll use it to remind myself  that unless I’m without sin, then I should not cast the first stone. (Thank you Jesus, and my friend Mary, for this valuable lesson).

Yesterday the rock felt more like a boulder. It definitely had some weight to it, but thankfully as I was about to let my mouth runneth over, I was able to head the negativity off at the pass and just let it go. Free at last! How liberating to know that I didn’t have to have an opinion or at least I didn’t have to share it with the world! I didn’t have to spread the seed of negativity and I could just merely shrug off the inclination to expose another’s faults, or at least my perception of their faults.

I’m not casting a stone…not today! Just for today, I can keep the stone in my pocket, or the mental image of it safely tucked away until the day I’m without sin, and that won’t be until I take the big dirt nap!

I dedicate this entry in memory of my mom. I cannot ever recall a moment when I ever heard her say a negative comment about anyone. She did not gossip, she did not complain, she did not need a jagged stone to remind her how casting a stone really hurts and diminishes another human being. I miss you mom, but thank you for your life lessons, your humility and your grace.

So that’s where I find myself today; trying to correct a flaw in my character so that I might gain wisdom by acknowledging and eliminating some of  my personal deficits. I’m hoping to continue to acquire more courage, strength, attitude, and wisdom with a sprinkling of humility and a spirit of grace thrown in for good measure!

If you would like to share how your life experiences have given you insight to the person you have become, I look forward to your comments.

Best to all….Dreama (AKA Barb Roberts)


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