I Didn’t Know

I liked you, even loved you, from afar

I felt I had known you before

In my mind, that cabin in the woods

A cruel, ridiculing father

Brown eyes filled with tears

A boy too sensitive and kind to kill a deer

Was I the disapproving one

Or the other too weak to speak?

Equally a sin against a gentle child of God

Haunted by the memory of your pain-filled cries

Unaware I’d have a chance one day

To heal, and be healed, from the sorrow I caused

Now to hug you dearly as a lost child

And hear you whisper, “I’m hugging you back”

To have you ask for an embrace I couldn’t give then

And feel your love radiate back to me

To say, “I love you” and hear you answer softly, “I understand”

I didn’t know

Photo Credit:  Copyright: mizinatanya / 123RF Stock Photo


Forty years ago, when I moved into my first apartment, I came across a beautiful plaque and purchased it for my new home. The wise words written upon it resonated with me from the moment I read them. Back in the 70s, the author was unknown, but it was later discovered to be Max Ehrmann, an American, who had originally published this piece in 1927.

I hope you enjoy reading, or re-reading them if you’ve come across this before. 

Happy New Year!  May 2016 be one of your best!

Desiderata ( in Latin, “desired things”)

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.’

Max Ehrmann

Thoughts for 2012

Change is upon us whether we like it or not.  We can be proactive and make it easier on ourselves or we can continue to react with negativity and fear.

We are seeing evidence of the change worldwide. Humanity is coming to terms with itself, looking into the mirror of human consciousness. It forces us to face our fears, our failures; look at who we are individually, as a family, as a citizen of a country, as a member of the world family, dysfunctional though it may be.

We are all in this together.  Many of the same societal trends we see in the United States are also in Europe and elsewhere.  Values have become skewed.  Kids are bullied worldwide because those who bully see so little of value in themselves. Homes and cars are often treasured more than family relationships and integrity. Greed is a monster lurking everywhere in the shadows. Political parties are on power trips.  They value their own party’s interest more than their own country.

The globe continues to be riveted with earthquakes, ecological disasters, volcanoes, economic collapses of institutions and countries, and wars.  2012 is here now. Some say it’s the end of the world, at least as we know it.  At the very least, it does seem to be a time of endings and new beginnings.

Whatever needs to change is smacking us in the face now. Such things as poverty, hate, greed, dishonesty, discrimination, hunger, abuse and war will no doubt continue until we seriously take a look at them, both as a society and as an individual.

Are we losing sight of the forest while climbing our own trees of righteousness and separatism?  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but thoughts and words are things. There are a lot of harmful ones floating around.  Just look at what the haters are posting on the internet, even about things they know nothing about and people they don’t even know.  Where does this come from?  What is going on in peoples’ own lives that fosters this kind of thinking?

We cannot survive alone, whether as an individual or a country.  We are all one.  What we do to another, we do to our own selves. Seeking the spiritual in our lives can put us in touch with the whole of human consciousness.  The path to spirituality is a personal choice.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s through a church community, listening to beautiful music, enjoying nature, or meditative experiences.  What’s important is that we reach a state where we feel at one with the universe; a place where we can feel love for the whole and most importantly for ourselves.  It is impossible to hate anyone else when we truly love ourselves.  Raising individual consciousness will raise the consciousness of humanity.  Life will become easier with an increase of positive, higher energy thoughts floating around the world.

Appreciation is a golden key when it comes to bringing more good things into our lives.  This includes appreciation of such things as love, friends, family, health, objects, opportunities, those annoying people in our lives, and most importantly, everything about ourselves.  Yes, I said, “those annoying people in our lives.” Why? They are here to teach use something about ourselves.  When we learn what it is, they are likely to go away or fade into the background.  There is something good in everything and everyone; we just need to look more closely to discover it.

It’s time to houseclean our own personal lives.  What’s really important?  What issues keep repeating themselves and need to be finally dealt with? A “wants” versus “needs” assessment is a valuable tool.  Many of the things we think we want will really not make us any happier.  It’s also time for an elimination of excess baggage, whether it’s things or relationships. Keeping around what we’ve outgrown, or no longer interested in, weighs us down.  Our inner world mirrors our outer world. If we can make our personal worlds more satisfying, loving and peaceful, then we will be better prepared to face the challenges that 2012 brings.