What and who God really is. (Not a religious post.) LOL

I grew up in a Baptist church. A true to tale hellfire and brimstone Baptist church. I remember sitting under the pews chewing gum and playing with my gum wrapper; folding it, crumpling it up, straightening it out, making shapes with it. It took my mind off the preacher yelling about, well, everything. He loved to yell about how much God loved us and even more he loved to yell about how many sins there were and how much punishment there was for committing any of those sins. It was terrifying. The other day I heard somebody say something that I have heard a thousand times but this time it caught me off guard and it got me thinking and led to this blog post. It was one of those catch phrases you hear often but don’t really think about. Someone said that something had, “Scared the hell out of them.” As many times as I have heard that said, it’s never occurred to me how wrong it is. Having the hell scared out of me would be a welcome thing because that baptist minister screaming about what would happen if I sinned and my parents reconfirming every time I asked if it was true, literally ‘scared the hell into me’. I spent years trying to recover from the damage that had been done to me. I was a sensitive, trusting, good little girl. Being told that hell was like touching a hot stove and I would feel the burn over my entire body for all eternity and then being told that if I sinned that’s where I would spend eternity, was mortifying. I grew up thinking every little thing I did that wasn’t perfect would send me to the flaming hell that haunted me in my waking and sleeping hours. Years of research, learning, and growing emotionally, and here I am 45 years old, and no longer in fear of hell. Not in the same sense. I still believe in hell. It’s around us every day. Children with illnesses, loved ones leaving us, people committing horrific acts of violence… It’s hell. Right here on earth. It doesn’t get worse. And, I no longer fear God. The God I know is loving, good, kind, and the source of everything that is right in this world.

My spiritual beliefs are my own and I would never push them on anyone. I do struggle with people being so confined to the religious box. Many people need rules and guidelines to do what is right but I wish it didn’t take fear to bring the good about. We all know what is good and right and have everything we need inside of us to do those things. As I said, God is the source of everything good and we are full of God’s light and love. Or Buddha’s light and love. Or the light and love we get from each other. Or from ancient spirits. It really doesn’t matter what we call it. Love is love and at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the day, it’s the love that brings about everything that is right and good. It’s love that makes us beautiful, kind people. It’s love that makes everything that is wrong with this world right. It’s love that fills us and love is what we will take with us when we go. Love is not cruel or punishing or angry. Love will not send me to a fiery eternal hell. And that’s what God is. By whatever name you want to call him, her, or it. God is love. And there’s nothing scary about that. I guess you could say I have had the hell scared out of me. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Just Breathe – It won’t stay this way.

I remember hearing a story about a father that was overwhelmed with the things that go along with having a 2 year old child. The child was guilty of nothing more than being a 2 year old which came with temper tantrums, saying no when told to do something, and at times throwing things. The father was caught up in the difficult moments so intensely that he couldn’t see the future. During one of these difficult moments, his father walked up to him and said, “It won’t stay this way. This is just a moment in time.” I was so touched when I heard this and it affected me on a deep level. It applies in all situations no matter how difficult. They’re moments. And they might feel overwhelming and they might seem unbearable, but they will pass. And when they do, we are left with the memory of how we handled those moments. Did we fight back or did we listen? Did we see the situation our own way or did we see things from a perspective more than our own? Did we hold onto the fact that it was just a moment and there was probably someone in need of us in some way? And did we respond with kindness or selfishness?

I have learned that it’s not about the moment but about the bigger picture. It’s about what I want to remember when I’m leaving this world. I want to look back and know that I was about more than me. I want to know that I gave completely to those that love me. It can be so difficult in those moments to “see” clearly. Emotions take over: insecurities, defensiveness, anger, selfishness, impatience. And that’s when we need to “zoom out” and see the bigger picture. We need to hear the other person. We need to leave ourselves behind for a moment and do what is good and right. And as difficult as that is in the moment, the feeling after is joyful. Putting yourself aside and taking care of the people you love when they are in need, whether they are right or wrong, angry at you or sad, doesn’t matter. They need you. They have their reasons. When we understand that and become nurturing to each other, we find that we are also taking care of ourselves. Because loving each other and being good to each other, is the only way to truly be happy in this crazy life. The world is full of hurt and anger and sadness. We have to have a safe place where we take care of each other; our husbands and wives, our children, our loved ones. In the end, it’s all that matters. So I challenge each of us to dedicate as much energy to this way of being and loving as we do our jobs, our hobbies, ourselves. Because in the end, it’s all that matters.

My First Blog Post


The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not upon our circumstances. -Martha Washington

This is the first post on my blog but it has been years in the making. I started a blog several times over the last few years but I never followed through. Writing and life are my passions and I wanted to combine my experiences and thoughts and love of life into something that could be shared, mostly for myself, but also with the hope that something I might write would help someone, bring a smile to their face, or at least give them something to think about that might bring about positive change. I never followed through because I always told myself that there were a million other people writing the same type of blog and decided it wasn’t worth my time. Those decisions are a life lesson in themselves because anything we do that is with good intention is more than worthwhile and I truly believe good brings about good. But that is not what brought me back to creating my blog. Yesterday I was confronted with memories that I try to avoid. I have dealt with the trauma of the events that happened in my past and I have made my peace with them but I was not prepared for the events of the day that would bring so many memories flooding back and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the emotional response I would have. And that response and the journey of emotions I went on, led me back to a place of great perspective and consciousness and I woke up today wanting to share my thoughts and emotions and feelings… And that has lead me here. To the blog post I wanted to create years ago but walked away from. I am grateful for the journey. Grateful for the past that has led me here. And grateful beyond words for my present. I hope my journey brings something to your life. Thank you for taking the time to share in it with me.

Perspective from Yesterday

I have finally decided after 45 years that life is full of struggles and difficult moments that we wish we could erase and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. But sometimes we look back with regret knowing we could have done something. And that, I believe, is the most difficult to deal with. The pain of knowing that you didn’t do right, didn’t do what you should have, were unkind, or maybe decided to put yourself first over someone else that needed you. That is what I was faced with yesterday. I didn’t do right by my older daughter who will be 29 next month. She doesn’t speak to me and hasn’t for years. She was my life while I was raising her and on top of being her mom, she was my best friend. We did everything together and I truly believed our relationship would stay that way for the rest of our lives. I never imagined my life without her and could not have handled it if I had. Flash forward to present day and I have been without her in my life for the past 10 years. The first couple years I thought I was going to die. I didn’t think I could go on. But I had a baby, another daughter that needed me, and I refocused. I spent time dealing with the pain, struggling, going to counseling, and eventually making as much peace as I could with my part of the past. I learned to stand strong in the fact that I was then present and open and truly sorry for anything I had done to cause her pain. It wasn’t enough for her and that was her choice. I have learned that we have to forgive ourselves for our wrongs if we have done what we can to make them right. The pain of regret and self punishment is damaging not only to ourselves but to the people that we still have that love us and need us.

I lost sight of that yesterday after I ran into my daughter’s best friend growing up. The shock of seeing her standing in front of me and the whirlwind of emotions that sent me back to a time that we were all together in this life, was traumatizing. I went through all the initial feelings of loss and sadness and hurt and regret I felt back then. It felt like my girl had just walked out of my life all over again. The pain caused me to turn inward. I focused on the hurt and the loss and it overwhelmed me. My husband, who is my best friend, is normally very connected to me and we share everything. His work is in its crazy period and he tends to get overwhelmed and loses focus on what’s important. And I have made my peace with it. He is still the love of my life and my best friend and I am grateful for everything we have. Unfortunately, it wasn’t okay with me yesterday. I lost my perspective and got very upset that he wasn’t more connected, more caring, more attentive. And what followed was a day of negativity between us. Hurt feelings, anger, a lack of friendship, and a loss of connection. I was lost and withdrawing, a bad habit I am working on, and he was angry and pulling away. We went to bed upset. I woke up in the middle of the night and we weren’t curled up with each other the way we normally are. The feelings of the day had mostly passed and I was left lying there next to my best friend and the love of my life, with an emotional wall between us. I curled up with him. He stayed asleep but he grabbed onto my arm and held me close. He let out a happy sigh of contentment and fell back into a deep sleep. I lied there thinking about the events of the day. How I had let something from the past affect my present. How I turned inward and pushed back at the man I share my life with, my best friend. I lost a day that I will never get back and affected the people I love the most. I fell back asleep saddened by my choices of the day, grateful for my life, and full of perspective that I would carry with me the next morning. Perspective that led me here to the blog I wanted to create so many times. So I am grateful. Grateful for the events that led to my new blog. Grateful for the perspective I have been given. And determined to remain that way.

I wish everyone peace and contentment from their wrong doings. Make things as right as you can, turn it over to God, hold onto the lesson you learned so that you never have to live with the same regrets and you always do right by those you love, and forgive yourself. Any less and it will only bring more pain. God didn’t make us perfect but he made us loving and good and that’s more than enough. God bless you today and always. ~Shayne