Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal either from birth or aging. It can most often be seen in 60 year olds and most older adults will all have some form of spinal stenosis by the time they reach relatively old age. Disc herniation, fractures, tumors, infection and degeneration with the aging process can all be causes of stenosis in adults. Age changes everything when Acquired stenosis is as a result of serious accidents injuring the spine and then there are no age specifics attached.

When an abnormality causes a narrowing of a canal then the neurologic (nerve) structures become irritated or compressed. This leads to a variety of symptoms ranging from tingling, numbness, severe pain that is persistent, and weakness and pain with physical activity. It can and does lead to disability in cases where damage becomes to congested to attempt the risk of surgery or when normal treatment of injections fail.

As I said in my previous post, ‘Matt Roloff And Owning Disability’ there are two different kinds of Spinal Stenosis. Although fairly rare, Congenital Lumbar Stenosis appears at an early age in adults between 30 and 40. The Congenital form of spinal stenosis is seen in individuals who are born with a narrow spinal canal. In these individuals, even minimal changes in the structure of the spine brought on by age can cause severe spinal stenosis. With severe spinal stenosis problems with the bowels and bladder also exists.

Congenital spinal stenosis is largely a mysterious condition than can neither be predicted or prevented. The onset does not distinguish by sex, race, or ethnicity, and is not associated with any particular occupation or body type.

Acquired lumbar stenosis is more common and generally develops in persons in their 60’s or older. This form of stenosis is caused by progressive changes in different spinal elements, as I mentioned above. As people age, all these different elements sag or bulge and form arthritis that narrows the spinal canal.

In my own case, although I have been told that my condition is my own fault as well as a rare familial disorder (depending on which Doctor I talked to and at which age I was treated, by different Doctors, as my records did not always follow me). I was told much later, after the fact, in my later thirties of the destruction and changes taking place in my spine and that my spine was in serious condition.

I was born of a mother who experienced scoliosis as a child. She spent 4 years in a body cast. Some studies do show that off-spring of mothers with Scoliosis can and do sometimes present with spinal defects, as well.

I also over-worked my spine and was hospitalized both at the age of 28 when x-rays showed shadows that indicated arthritis, following an hour and 45 minutes of CPR in the field as an EMT. My back pain began at the age of 19, and I did not seek medical help as it improved with exercise and I grew up in a family where back aches were as common as headaches.

We didn’t go to the Doctor as children when we were in pain and I was even made to work following torn ligaments in my knee. When my Mother finally did accept I was in pain, scar tissuing had set in and they could do nothing about it at that point. However my mother was yelled at such loud of a volume that I heard everything he said through the wall and for a great length of time by the Doctor who saw me. He warned her, that I would have arthritis at an early age because I was made to walk on it.

At age 32, I presented with sciatica down both legs and with nerves pinched in 5 locations on both sides of the spine in the low spine, and at this time the Neurologist treating me said I had a herniated disc while the Orthopedist threw the diagnosis out.

Eventually I would burst or break off a partial piece of the disc in question and black out from the pain. Since I was hospitalized for a month and anxious to return to normalcy, I went home and resumed my normal activities and the disc which wasn’t suppose to be there, burst or broke,( I’m sure that is the lay person term). I was not given any explanation for the pain beyond psycho-somatic until 5 years later when I was told, “it is nothing but wear and tear arthritis normal for my age,” which was 37 years of age at the time. Hind sight tells me the Orthopedist who I was sent back to was covering for his own mistake as his partner had previously, a year before this, told me I had Spinal Stenosis as had my regular Doctor.

I grew up on a farm where physical labor is always a requirement beginning in early childhood and had spent 18 months both tearing down a house as well as helping rebuild it at the age of 32. I had been use to hard physical work right along side my brothers and did not know that the upper strength in a woman is never comparable to the muscle strength in men. Yes I should have known that but didn’t at the time. There was no special treatment when it came to work on the farm just because my twin and I were girls.

Because I had completed the work and was doing simple work for four months after the completion of our home, I never was certain my back problem did have anything to do with our remodel. My own case, as to if I had congenital stenosis or acquired stenosis probably will remain a mystery to myself, as both in my situation have distinct possibilities due to both behavior and genetics’

I just generally accept that my spinal stenosis and disability depends on which Doctor has said which diagnoses is correct, and have learned that very seldom will a doctor reverse his/her own diagnosis. I do understand that once a disc does burst or break off,(again the correct term fails me but means the same thing. There are three classifications of a disc and I believe when it breaks it is called sequestration), not much can be done and there are a number of difficulties not necessarily related to each other, with my back.

To me it doesn’t really matter so much now as it once did, as either way I am left with the results and thankful my children have not inherited the same nor would I tolerate their over-using their backs or bodies as children.

Although there are a number of treatments that do give a great deal of relief to many people who do suffer as I did,in my own case I found that they met with mixed results. I cannot express enough that what works for one person and is a great success does not always work for the next person.

I did eventually go the rhoute of spinal injections to find that they failed as their effectiveness never lasted longer than 10 days. I did have micro-neural surgery for stenosis on one side of my spine but the other side was too compacted by the time I switched Doctors, to even attempt surgery. I was told by the Dr. that did surgery, many years later, the injections more than likely failed because the damage done to my spine was too extensive. I went through my alcohol days of drinking, like the majority of pain sufferers do, but quit cold turkey before going on narcotics.

I refused to take narcotics until after my children married, knowing the mood changes they can cause and I had already experienced that with alcohol. Ultimately a Doctor did prescribe narcotics and I found some improvement while taking both hydrocone and morphine, but when their effectiveness wore off, and I was only treating the addiction, I quit on my own, again cold turkey, rather than suffer the results often occurred by higher doses.

Most people do not realize that addiction from narcotic pain pills even when prescribed can begin within 5 days of treatment and I was on the hydrocodone at double normal dose for a period of 7 years and combined with morphine for 3 years. Because getting off the narcotics without any help was such a horrific experience, I refuse to take any narcotics now.

I may not have been able to stop the deterioration of my spine but I still have hopes of preventing my brain from deteriorating due to narcotics. For 45 years I did my best to assume responsibility and be there for my loved ones but the beauty of finally reaching the age that spinal stenosis is normal for most of us is; at the age of 67 I can finally take it easy and enjoy my retirement with my husband. When winter comes we will head south and play, again.

Acquired spinal stenosis is very prevalent on my father’s side of the family with Osteo-arthritis in both my parents families. I had both a great uncle on my mother’s side as well as several on my father’s side who were disabled by arthritis. There are also those who did abuse morphine and narcotics to the point they became mentally imbalanced and impaired. Spinal stenosis is very common in little people at earlier ages but not so common in normal height people under normal circumstances.

I write this, so those current today and future generations do not have to spend the amount of time that I did when I was left without any explanations and questioning my own sanity, as well as for all young adults who do not feel they are getting a qualified explanation as to why they are experiencing ambulatory pain or any pain for that matter. Before it gets really bad and persist, I highly reccomend that you see all the Doctors you need to see before you do feel you do get the explanation you need. Once pain becomes chronic it is very difficult if not impossible to treat.

I was under medical care when both ambulatory pain and pain that caused me to blackout did happen and still carry resentment that I did not understand the seriousness of back pain, or persist harder in any Doctor explaining what was happening to me that made an ounce of sense or recognize when I was being put off, or have an accurate diagnosis at a time when I might have been helped.

What would become perhaps the hardest problem of anything else that I had to deal with, minus the persistent severe pain, was either the inability or unwillingness of the Doctors that I dealt with to answer my questions. Today with the internet we can find many of our own answers that did not exist during the time I was left entirely in the dark to fend for myself, unless it is yet unknown by the medical profession. Well intentioned family and friends who force their own, “so called wisdom,” on us are only secondary to the confusion that we are left in when the medical profession either refuses to share information they have or can’t say “I don’t Know.”

It some cases questions were simply brushed off even while they treated me for a known serious back problem. When I complained about needing help and being in pain a couple of the Doctors either told me to stay on treatment that was causing symptoms of there own, or simply wrote in my records and refused to look at me while they said nothing or turned on their heels and walked out, another Doctor literally threw a bag of anti-depressants at me before he turned on his heels and walked out, and they weren’t even the worse that I had to deal with.

The truth is that medicine cannot help everyone but unless we try all options available to us, we run the risk of suffering needlessly. My experiences may be totally different from those who have the same conditions that I had because our bodies do not respond in the same manner to identical treatments. I think the majority of us would feel better if we were told by a Doctor that not all conditions are treatable. Sometimes the patient does need to accept the cure of what is wrong with them lies in our own behavior and as such when we change the behavior we will get better.

In my own case,when I accepted for myself that I had tried what was available with limited to negative success, it was time that I took control over my own condition and accepted it was simply up to me to make the best of what I could do for myself. I was smart enough to stay away from those who make adjustments to the spine,or chiropractors knowing that any kind of adjustment could cause a spur to injure my spinal cord and lead to paralysis and other complications. Ice packs and heating pads can often relieve more pain than can narcotics. Slowing down what was my normal activities and accepting disability became my best treatment. After that I learned, “If it hurts, stop or find another way to do the same.

There are great Doctors, good Doctors, and there are pathetic Doctors, but only three out of about 13 that I saw in total, who I could recommend and do often. I’m sure they are all good in their fields when they can make a difference in a person’s life, and they all do make a difference in the lives of others.The one that I resent the most was considered the best in the State before he got caught prescribing himself too many drugs and got disciplined for it, soon after treating me. I’m sure as an Orthopedist surgeon he did save a great deal of pain in others, I just don’t like being lied to by anyone.

The Best Doctor is always the Doctor each of us have the most confidence in as a Doctor, and who does his homework and remembers our condition and is not afraid to discuss the differences we are experiencing. I have never had a Doctor ask me how my back problems started after the initial diagnosis, other than the Doctor who did surgery on me. He was leaving to go on vacation the next day and delayed it until after he did surgery on me. A doctor can be 98% of any cure, because many times all a patient really needs in order to get better is time, and a Doctor they believe in. Doctors are no different from any other human being as either we connect with them or we don’t.

The better they are sometimes the worse their bedside manner is as when they are great they often are over-worked. They don’t bother me nearly as bad as those who put their own egos before the diagnoses or refuse to say they don’t know when truly they don’t or withhold information that I pay for in order to know the results.

I have always believed if I was a man seeing male Doctors, which they all were themselves, I would have been treated much differently, even though I understand they get frustrated too when they can’t help a patient. If I asked for information or complained too much about my back or shoulder that is greatly affected by the stenosis in my neck, the standard practice was to change the subject and order a mammogram or a pap smear to be scheduled.

That would ultimately take on a whole life of its own with diagnoses and treatment becoming totally disgraceful by the treatment of me by two doctors. I will spare the details as that part of my anatomy is not affected by problems of the spine and that is what this post is about along with my going through a history of unanswered questions.

I do know, intellectually, it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway if the original Orthopedist had of accepted the Neurologist’s finding of a herniated disc instead of throwing it out and it could have been much worse if the spinal stenosis was primary to the herniated disc in the first place. At this point I doubt I ever find out which came first the herniated disc that blew or the spinal stenosis.

Many more problems with many other discs bulging and herniating, followed by bone on bone and wearing down of the vertebrae, as well as spinal stenosis in my neck did follow my initial problems with the original herniated disc and the Lumbar stenosis. While spinal stenosis in the lumbar or low back region is most common with older adults it can also appear in the neck or right below the neck.  Many Doctors who practice a lifetime will never see a patient like myself who has spinal stenosis in both the low back and neck.

If Spinal stenosis was a primary cause and they had done a spinal infusion surgery and my back continued to drop as it has I could have possibly have been worse off. On the other hand if the herniated disc that burst, because I was told I did not have a disc problem so therefor didn’t know it burst, and it was the cause of everything else that followed perhaps I did have a chance through surgery. Through my own experiences and self- education I eventually understood, years later, when I blacked out that I blew the disc.

I was experiencing seizures, dizzy spells and sciatica in both legs but it was all being explained away by Doctors and the Physical therapist, so it was just more of the same to me at the time, when I did blackout. I was told I was getting up too fast when I could hardly move or sit up or they questioned if I had a back problem at all. Ultimately it led to treating me with prednisone and anti-depressants and telling me it was psycho-somatic but they knew it hurt. Back surgery itself comes with its own complications and many different types of back surgeries have been attempted with mixed results. Men reverse the table over women in these endeavors, and often pay the higher price for back surgeries that fail, since they are viewed as being less emotional than women, so I don’t know,myself, if I would have been better or worse off either way.

I have always been glad that they did nothing to worsen my back after the initial assault on it, by trying a surgery that would most certainly have failed later, and recognize their Hippocratic Oath as Doctors demands they do no harm. It is questionable if with holding information the patient is entitled to does not do more harm than good. Some people want to hear the truth where others wish to remain in denial. I was so clear that I needed answers in the beginning but did eventually quit asking as I knew it fruitless to even try, and by then the damage was done. I pretty much forget about the resentment until I hear some kind of foolish statement made.

My resentment certainly does not control my life since I do not hold grudges or carry a desire to get even and understand Doctors are human and we all do have our own share of win and loss records, but I’m not willing to deny that I will carry a tinge of resentment until I die, either.

To this day the only explanation I have ever gotten by the medical profession excludes all Doctors as to what spinal stenosis is, or what I was dealing with, or if spinal stenosis is primary or secondary to the herniated disc. I don’t even get call backs from Doctors on my MRI results after I have them ran, other than from the Dr. who did surgery.

Sometimes an office staff would call but mainly I had to call several times just to talk to a nurse. At this time in my life it became clear to me that any tests done on my back were simply ran to update my records as little to nothing changed in my treatment. When I asked questions I got a lot of, “I haven’t got a report back yet’, “the report was very sketchy”, or “the results are on the Doctor’s desk and he hasn’t read it yet.” They shared any other tests I had ran but never on my back.

When I called the Dr., who ran the cat scan initially and left the truth out about his own error, to ask him what my spinal stenosis was, a nurse told me he was busy but she could tell me it was calcium in the vertebra which really was the same as telling me nothing, since all arthritis of the spine involves calcium. The biggest difference is if it is outside or inside the spine. I actually appeared at the home of another Dr. and demanded knowing the truth to only be told to talk to the Dr. who refused to tell me the truth or to return my call.

Needless to say even I knew it was time to switch my entire team of Doctors, at this point, and it led me to a Doctor who is on my list of three and to the surgeon who will always remain number 1. Any questions I have, he answers, if I am smart enough to ask the right one and he has called me, personally himself, as late as 10:30 at night to discuss the results of testing I’ve had done. He doesn’t volunteer any information but he doesn’t leave me hanging with unanswered questions either.

I don’t ask him if my spinal stenosis is secondary or primary to the herniated disc because I know since he was not my Doctor of record he couldn’t nor would he be able to answer it. The damage is done and that won’t ever change nor will it give me back my young adult years. I feel Blessed that I refused to give up and have a long-lasting marriage, raised successful children, and have bright grandchildren, all of whom I love dearly.

It isn’t that I am a Pollyanna but more of a realist. I accept the fact that Doctors, like the general population do make mistakes. Some of them may think they are infallible but they are no different from the rest of us. If it didn’t happen to me it could have happened to some one else less equipped to deal with it and we always had great insurance coverage.

When ever it gets really difficult, I often ask, “If  not me then who?” and feel greatly relieved that my loved ones have not had to go through it as I have. My thinking wasn’t always so generous initially, but now that I made it through it, I’m pretty much grateful. I doubt I could have ever learned gratitude to the depth that I have, if I hadn’t of gone through it. It is true, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Since I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy, however, I am writing this post in hopes of sparing someone else and to tell you how important it is to take it easy with your backs, when they are hurting. Walking not lifting is the best exercise of all.

It was the responsibility of those who I dealt with in the beginning to be honest with me and when I was aggressively seeking answers to have had the decency to just sit down and explain to me what the effects of spinal stenosis would consist of, what it actually involves, and what happened that my back deteriorated so quickly that it was too late to do anything about it before I even celebrated my 40th birthday.

Through educating myself over the years I no longer need an explanation as I pretty well know by now what happened and why I am disabled. I had at my own disposal the symptoms that followed and I could track each with the knowledge that existed in Medicine at the time.

The after facts of being ignored and lied to however still remain and Instead of my questions being answered they either went ignored or I was left to research on my own in order to determine why I felt the pain I did and what led to the results I was dealing with, over the years. Even I know, I did receive pathetic treatment because the Doctors got their egos in the way and refused to say at least, “we don’t know”, or refer me to references to check out for myself.

As I mentioned previously, at that time there was very little information on the internet about spinal stenosis. I had symptoms effecting my entire body due to the drugs that often flared up other body systems as well as my spine and I had to discover which was spinal stenosis and which was drug related since no one ever did tell me my entire body could be systematic of the injury to the spine.

There certainly was never any listing of Congenital stenosis at the time I was researching or much of any explanation of someone my age having so many problems. I almost hoped it was mental because I always had the attitude, “Id rather be dead than in a wheelchair,” and if it was mental I had more hope than I had if it was physical, was my thinking at the time although I have reversed the same by now.

When I looked up stenosis it spoke about blockage of the heart. Spinal Stenosis was very scarce to non- existent and when I did find something it was pretty much the same as I got from the nurse and one sentence. Our local library had nothing so I bought books along with a medical dictionary and started looking. Today it is quite easy to gain information on spinal stenosis on the internet.

I end this then by again stressing that what I suffered at a young age is more of a rarity in backs than a regular thing but I also want to stress that care of a back is extremely important as are the answers to what we can do to help prevent further damage is, when we are fortunate enough to get the answers we need. If nothing else, remember to always lift with the knees and not the back and if it is heavy let a lift do the work.

Most back pain, especially in someone as young as I was, is only because mankind began life on all fours before they evolved to the upright position and as a result most backaches are because the human back was not designed for the upright position. (I Know this Science drives those who throw Evolution out– mad:) The majority of back pain can be easily treated and does not require surgery. It is important to listen to our own bodies because pain is a warning sign, and I write this as a reminder for those of you who ignore it, as I did.

For all others who are dealing with a future that may or may not lead to physical disability, I hope you read my long post entitled “Matt Roloff And Owning Disability,” and in doing so you can gain a nugget or two of inspiration or perhaps learn from my mistakes, when my own common sense failed me.

I had no intentions of making this or my other post on owning disability as personal as I have, but if someone else recognizes themselves in my behavior or treatment, and I can help you avoid the pitfalls I fell into with self-doubts, I gladly share my own personal story. Have a good day or do something that works for you if the rest of the day sucks.

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When disability becomes a part of our life as children we often see much in the make-up of the child who fights for a normal ability to function, we admire.  Parents who refuse to let their children feel sorry for themselves or to give up and quit are often Blessed with the results of an adult who lives a normal life and succeeds beyond the ability of many able-bodied adults.

Without knowing Matt Roloff, personally, I have no doubts that this Blessing was bestowed on Matt  as a child and his family.  When Matt struggled through a hundred surgeries as a child and a “little Person”, to fit into a “Big World” he not only showed himself and his family he could excel but we also became accustomed to watching him on reality television, do the same.

What Matt is now dealing with as an older adult is entirely different from what he dealt with as a child and as a disabled adult myself, I can almost feel his frustrations and doubts interfering with his enjoyment and expectations for himself in his life. Although Matt needs to re-invent his own abilities again, not too unlike he did as a child, it no longer is instinctual in an older adult the same way it is a child. After having spent years fighting against the idea he was disabled it must be just that more difficult for Matt to acknowledge that he now is disabled and nothing will change that fact, not even denial.

it is not always the disabled person who remains in denial but our loved ones who refuse to show us the respect we deserve in knowing our own abilities and limitations, who also go into denial. Too often we are treated as though we cannot make a decision for ourselves without it becoming a matter of family debate. There are emotional limitations involved in disability as to what we want to share with others along with the physical limitations. Many of us have become accustomed to hiding our feelings when they have been hurt by outside influences or attitudes, because we do not want family to worry. On some days of the year we can do more than on other days, and a great many families cannot appreciate the difference as those of us who are disabled can.

It is always a real rush for me to go into a casino over feeling like I am on display in other arenas so of course the release of endorphins or the thrill of being as normal as anyone else when I am sitting at a slot machine does improve my ability to get around over doing something that otherwise I know I can never fit in with or compete with, without feeling like a sore thumb.

On the opposite end of the spectrum of disability,too often we are viewed as the strong one, mom or dad will always be there for us, or family has become accustomed to our making the decisions and it becomes extremely frustrating when they go into denial about our disability and refuse to listen when we do try to level with them. Others will shut us out of their lives entirely as they view us as being incapable of handling the truth if it is bad news.

So in short, it is not uncommon when the disabled are both disregarded for their abilities when they are capable of doing more or understanding what others are going through, just as we are often ignored when we do require help. Both can be exhausting to those of us who are often disabled to have to constantly explain or deal with, so many times it is simply easier to avoid those venues that seemingly require repeating the same information over and over again, up to and including Doctors’ offices.

Too often families, not unlike the general population,  will believe that disabled people are faking to get out of work or family involvement because if disabled children can turn disability into ability then so should adults be able to do the same.  As a young person afflicted in early adulthood with a disease, more commonly seen in older adults, I too believed that disability was only a part of the vocabulary of people who refused to try.

There are two kinds of spinal stenosis. Congenital stenosis, although rare most commonly shows up in ages between 30 and 40 and still is a mystery and relatively unknown, but is seen in individuals who are born with it and even minimal changes from aging can lead to severe spinal stenosis. I was 32 when I first experienced pain from stenosis. It can never be predicted or prevented and is seen in all body types and often goes misdiagnosed. Acquired stenosis is more commonly seen in 60 year olds and due to disc herniation’s and wear and tear of the aging process. Although disc herniation can lead to spinal stenosis at varying ages. My mother had Scoliosis as a child and there have been studies that do show birth defects of the spine can present themselves in off spring.

Although I agree with you, that there needs to be a special place for those who judge our pain as nothing more than ,”punishment from Satan”, This opinion should never deter us from seeking out options available to us. When I heard, ” What was a sincere expression told me and I could spare my pain by praying for my soul to be taken from the devil,” I must  have had a look on my face that no one ever wanted to see again, as the same person never expressed it to me again even though she sincerely thought she was helping me. We often hear, “Such and such was in real pain. She/he got paid back for everything they ever did wrong.”

I do believe in the power of prayer but not because people who suffer chronic pain suffer, because we lived such bad lives that the Devil has set up residence in our souls.  It’s hard for me to even understand that Christians could even think such a thing since Christ suffered much more than we do, through Crucifixion. Pain does not come from bad deeds but rather from disorders in all of our own bodies brought on by injury or disease.

We must always discount the theory that pain is as a result of Satan’s  punishment for obvious reasons to most of us but also since we already know that finding is based on ignorance. ” Bad things do happen to good people,” and when we accept that as our own reality we can move on.

Many in the medical profession believe that there is no physical pain but only pain due to emotional pain.  In short all physical pain exists only because of unresolved emotions and these doctors understand we do feel physical pain, because of this. None of us can deny that pain and emotional upset are greatly intertwined but those who accept the above need to be aware of the problems that arise when they try to simplify pain and those who suffer when they do.

Many times patients will be accused of being hypersensitive to pain, malingering, or worse yet, blamed for being responsible for their own pain even when medical tests show numerous causes present as to why a person is suffering, before a Medically trained Doctor will acknowledge their own limitations to understanding pain. When hindsight shows that the testing results showed the problem but was miss-read or went undiscovered by the abilities present at the time, we will rarely be told the same or will it always become a matter of our medical record, if it does happen.

Why some people do not feel pain or can tolerate pain better than the next has sometimes simply been dismissed for the above reasons of hypersensitivity, malingering, or self-induced by those who do feel a great deal more pain and discomfort.As medicine learns more many times it also learns the frailty in previously long held beliefs in medicine. When Doctors refuse to leave their own egos out of a diagnoses the results often makes these diagnosis, incomplete or in some cases dangerous.

It is often too simple to place the blame for pain on an inadequacy within the behavior or weight of the patient. If every person who was over-weight or smoked were responsible for every disorder that exists in medicine, then we would all eventually have the same diseases and disorders because we would all be afflicted as smokers or in association to second hand smoke. Why some are afflicted and others aren’t still remains a mystery in medicine.

None of us deny that to quit smoking and to lose weight are both sound advice in the principles of the treatment of pain but to discount the ability to burn calories or that weight lost often requires complete fasting in those whose movement is limited and the soothing effects of smoking to calm the nerves in people who do suffer pain, is also often overlooked by those who are too quick to dismiss their own role in the treatment of the patient.

Too often the stability of the patient living in pain is dismissed by the urgency of those to add more discomfort through cessation of smoking and weight lost, by those who refuse to understand that underlying causes for the continuation of pain are present to the point when the patient can do both, the suffering does not cease.

In many cases pain can actually increase due to muscle spasms after the cessation of smoking and flu-like symptoms. When a patient does lose as much as a 100 pounds and feels little to no relief in pain, lost of hope or feelings of abject failure in the patient who does struggle to accept society’s’ judgments and lack of understanding along with that of the medical profession, itself, can often occur.

When drugs are introduced to replace the effects smoking had to relax muscles and pain, or when marijuana is denied for religious reasons, many times the drugs introduced as replacements, can be equally destructive through the damage they cause with increased problems that add to further discomforts. Doctors have known for years that both cortisone and narcotics can lead to kidney and liver failure, onset diabetes, as well as other pain treatments can cause cancer, but not all Doctors do advise their patients of the side effects prior to giving injections or the starting of treatment.

Many times when this does happen our complaints go dismissed as being normal for the drug we are taking, and in other cases denied, while other times another drug is simply added to compensate for the discomfort being caused by other prescribed drugs, when a patient is successful in stopping smoking. Perhaps in knowing this then, we ourselves can learn to be more tolerate, in knowing those who suffer from chronic pain often need to consider just how much of their health or life is being spared by treatment for pain, especially when the effectiveness of narcotics do wear off and often requires heavier doses in order to gain relief.

Other times because of the lack of understanding by many in the medical profession when it does come to drug re-actions or inter-actions patients health can become life threatening very rapidly. Too often, we the general public will accept a cocktail of drugs to relieve pain without questioning the harmful effects of the drugs when we do quit smoking, believing in doing so we are prolonging our own life but in truth we can be limiting it even further.

It often becomes true when in an attempt to treat one system of the body we often worsen or increase symptoms in another system of the body, that does require treatment as well, so there are really never any easy solutions for those of us who do suffer chronic pain when surgery fails or becomes too complicated to attempt. It is an equally frustrating choice for many Doctors to have to make, but almost all will tell us they prefer the drugs they prescribe over that of smoking either cigarettes or marijuana.

When the pain is so great that many of us are totally over-whelmed with living another hour of the same discomfort the great majority of us will need to take almost anything to get relief and suffer the consequences later, no differently from anyone else who is not seeking martyrdom. When this happens we are all very grateful that any drugs are available to treat pain that breaks the threshold that many of us cannot stand to live with for another moment.

Those who have not been exposed to smoking or do not have weight problem histories during pregnancy or childhood or later in life have no better guarantee of avoiding disability or death than those who do. Many of us, who have never learned to question test results or Doctors, and suffer chronic pain know ourselves, we will almost always accept the Doctors’ diagnoses and question ourselves instead.

When we are told, “it is our own fault”, it is not uncommon for those amongst us, who do receive poor medical opinion, to add to our own physical pain which also can be due to other yet undiagnosed problems such as: circulation problems, infections, joint deterioration, muscle or ligament tears, irritations, undiscovered poisonings and viruses, swelling due to inflammations or compromised nerves, or other injuries, when we haven’t yet been fully evaluated or there are causes yet hidden in normal testing or unknown by the medical profession, itself.

By believing it is our own fault we too many times will add to our own suffering by pushing ourselves beyond our own tolerance levels, go into denial when we do feel changes more severe taking place, and ultimately increase the pain already present and cause further damage to our own bodies or in other cases fall into a depression so great that emotional or mental problems do become greater than the physical pain that existed prior to the diagnoses of it being, “our own fault.”

When any of this does happen we do end up proving the wrong diagnoses made previously to be a correct diagnosis, because sometimes it is an easier explanation to accept. It is easier for some of us to believe that we can prevent our own disability since it is our own fault than it is to accept that we will live with the unknown and with an unknown cause that we have no control over.

When we and our Doctor refuse to understand there are many causes of pain yet undiscovered by medicine, just as there are many disorders yet diagnosed, we all run the risk of further suffering. Just as an example of that; the medical profession blamed ulcers on people who worried too much for centuries, before they discovered that ulcers are as a result of viruses and not of emotions.

Although there are many diseases that disable going back to the cavemen, when life expectancy was only 40 and before couch potatoes, obesity, and junk food, mankind was wearing out their own bodies and it often led to arthritis. Arthritis today is still the number one cause of disability amongst the population and can effect those as young as in their teen years. The remains of the caveman shows arthritis as the only disease present as the cavemen or the hunters would often need to travel miles in pursuit of game and berries that constituted their main diet and carry heavy loads often on their backs.

To relieve pain they chewed on tree bark and it would not be until the 1800’s that aspirin would be discovered followed by steroids in the 1930’s, which was then thought of as the real panacea to treat inflammation caused by joint deterioration. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Tylenol and n-saids were introduced to treat fevers and pain followed by the cox-2 inhibitors. Pharmaceutical companies continue to try to come up with drugs to re-place those that can be life threatening and each time new hope abounds with limited results.

Poke a perfectly happy baby, who has no emotional baggage, with a needle and they will cry. We can use the same analogy when a dog is kicked or we accidently step on their tail or foot and they yelp, even though dogs rarely show they are in pain. Pain can more often be as a result of real physical pain prior to emotional upset or mood changes and until the medical profession understands pain better people will continue to suffer despite all the advances already made in the Science of medicine.

Too little is known about the human body and especially the central nervous system for the medical profession to be 100% correct in many of their diagnoses and especially in all cases of physical pain, even though they know all pain is transmitted through neurons that run to and from the brain. Pain can neither be seen or measured by the medical profession to date.

Once we accept to be labeled by a diagnosis is a serious flaw in the convictions of those who do judge, for too many amongst us, the sooner we will all understand those who do think as they do and must make a diagnosis on limited knowledge, can sometimes help hinder our own ability to move outside of what is normal for the majority rule as well. The more Doctors do understand about the differences in the make up of each individual person they treat, the more they will no longer need to use generalities or statistics to reach diagnosis.

For now Doctors can only reach a diagnosis based on their best educated belief or guess and hold that belief to be true for all of us, in the exact same way.  Medicine is leap years away yet from individual diagnosis becoming our reality, since no two people’s bodies behave identical to each other’s, much in the same way no one shares the exact same DNA.  Not even identical twins will respond to treatment in the exact same way. For now they can only apply what they know to be true about majority views to all of us. 

The study of medicine is making greater in-roads into discoveries of the human body almost monthly and in the study of genes science offers greater hope to all of us that very well may lead to individual diagnosis and new hope for treatment of disease. I do not want to mislead my readers into believing that medicine does not already have far greater knowledge than it has ever had at any other time in history, but rather to make it clear that as far as medicine has advanced there is still much yet to discover. At the same time The diagnosis now held by some Doctors does carry weight in some people and medical cases but to attempt to simplify all pain by brushing all of us with the same brush, is to discount the causes of pain that are yet unknown.

As is typical  for the great majority of us, we usually fail to understand the differences amongst us, until and unless we experience those differences through the experience of living them.  We often hear people complain about handicapped parking and ramps being built, at tax payer’s expense, even though able-bodied people use them for baby strollers, walk ways, or their own conveniences of loading and unloading heavy items, without the majority of people even noticing the same.

Unless we are truly disabled by paralysis too few people understand or want to understand that pain can often be a greater deterrent to understanding the lost of normal functions, than is paralysis. The paralyzed are accepted by others to be limited in what they can do, and they too often suffer pain but they many times will get much greater help, attention, and understanding that is required for their needs while the same goes lacking in chronic pain sufferers. This is not to say their limitations aren’t far greater than most of us who do suffer from chronic pain, as we all will acknowledge.

Chronic pain sufferers, on the other hand, are expected to force themselves against or through the physical pain that even their own bodies resist, often without any understanding or help from those who fail to notice our plight or refuse to believe it. The pain levels vary amongst the disabled according to the ability to tolerate pain varies, and their responses to drugs vary, so no one should know better than the person who suffers pain what those abilities or limitations are, including the medical profession as well as our loved ones. We do need to force ourselves through acute pain that often follows joint replacements or  will be relieved following surgery, according to the advice of the medical profession but chronic pain that cannot be treated is different from acute pain that will remit with treatment and time.

When across the counter medicine like Tylenol, Alieve, Anacin, Motrin, or Aspirin treats the pain in many, then too many feel these pills can also treat the pain that is part of a normal day in those disabled by chronic pain. As we age the body also ages and when assaulted with surgeries, torn ligaments, many different kinds of injury, or simply over worked in our youth, the body quits functioning as we age and what we once could do or what is normal in the rest of the population, who neither experienced these assaults to the body or inherited genetics for the diseases, becomes more prevalent in those of us who did.

Aging of the joints and tissue scarring or injury catches up to us, as we get older, and  prevents people from functioning normally through pain that is no longer eradicated with across the counter drugs or our body becomes numb and stiff until it becomes impossible to move past the stiffness unless we do use aids such as canes or crutches to assist us until the muscles finally get the message from the brain to move again.  It is no longer as it was in childhood when the joints could learn to adjust to what was normal for untrained joints or muscles. The majority of people do understand this happens in the older generations but few understand that it also occurs in the younger generations, Doctors included in too many cases.

When the body is still young enough to with-stand the assault of  diseases or injuries there are still adjustments that can be made to forgiving muscles and joints that become impossible for the older body to do.  Too few Doctors will treat pain effectively in the younger people who suffer from chronic pain so many people do function beyond what would be pain too great for the majority to bear, themselves. It is too easy for those who have no idea of the pain levels that are present in the young to judge those who have not lived a life in pain, to adjust on the same levels as those who have. When we are young we can stand just about anything in our efforts to form normal day to day’s functions.

Sadly after all these years, there still is not very much of anything that is effective towards pain treatment other than narcotics whose addiction to the same can destroy our life sometimes greater than the pain itself, can. What I see Matt Roloff struggling with in his ability to keep up with the family or upset because the family doesn’t want to do the things he can do, is a very normal part of the frustrations that those of us who deal in disability eventually, some sooner than later, will have to deal with when we do accept disability.  Even Doctors who have seen the damage with the MRI of each of us will suggest that we get down on the floor and play with our children or grandchildren when they should know both are humanly impossible in the disabled.

Disability due to pain, when we view it as a new adventure instead of an end to a way of life, can bring all of us a greater appreciation to explore new avenues that were not even part of our thinking before.  It certainly, when viewed through the eyes of positive thinking, should bring with it a new hope of self-discovery and appreciation.  If we need help we will need to humble ourselves and ask for it.  This definitely isn’t the habit of many of us before we became disabled as too many of us have actually helped wear out our own bodies by insisting we do it ourselves.

Many times through asking another for help  we truly do learn to appreciate someone else more than we would have otherwise.  I see that appreciation in the hearts and minds of so many disabled people, myself included, when we view the world through the eyes of the disabled. On the other hand we cannot become so helpless that we leave the people who love us most feeling like they are real Pollyanna’s either, by insisting they give up their abilities and wants for our own needs and wants.

This is not to say, it can also take years of trial and error to get through the bitterness that we often feel when we are forced into letting go of what has been our dreams, plans, and hopes for decades, either. This often effects our loved ones as much as it does us and as a disabled person we need to listen to them when they express their needs and wants as well, without feeling hurt when they share their honesty with us. The more negative we are or the more negative or toxic people are who we surround ourselves with, the more difficult it can become following acceptance of disability.

The judgments of others and not being heard by those who need to listen are many times much harder to deal with than is the physical pain that does exist. Some of us can be the greatest pains our self, along with being extremely difficult people who others will have to deal with and when and if we are, professional help needs to be sought out by both the disabled and caregivers as too many care givers will take the bad moods often caused by pain, frustrations, and/or drugs more personally than they are intended to be, from the chronic pain sufferers amongst us.

What I discovered totally on my own is I could do much of what I had done before but by doing it differently.  When I could no longer stand for any length of time I used a portable light weight stool that I could carry myself; when I could no longer run distances I got a power chair, that could go at pretty good speeds and a custom van with a lift and one I could drive, myself; when I could no longer walk very far I got a scooter that could be broken down and was fortunate enough to know I had a husband with me that would put it together so I could at least do some things I enjoyed doing from the past, yet.

I got a 4 inch piece of foam rubber cut when no bed was any longer comfortable to lay down in and when I could no longer lay down to sleep at night, I began taking my comfortable chair from home with me along with the 4 inch foam rubber pad, when we were planning on extended stays in the same area. If we do not have back problems before we try to sleep in a hospital like bed, the majority of us will have after we do, so I forgot about getting a hospital-like bed. I had,”been there and done that,” with early hospitalizations and since with minor surgeries and know from experience just how uncomfortable these beds are to people who do have back problems. I also avoid lazy boys knowing full well the damage they do to a spine at rest. Maintaining the curve in our spines for as long as possible is always important and it is often lost when we spend time in a lazy boy. An upright chair, such as a wing chair and foot stool is always preferable.

When I could no longer stand up to shower I got a shower stool and a hand held shower head and when that became obsolete, I had a walk-in tub and spa put in. I thought ahead to my possible inability to step up into the walk-in tub and if I ever needed to rely entirely on the wheel chair, I would need a wheel-in-shower installed, so I had that put in with the walk-in-tub.

If I may, I will get off track for a moment and offer my own response to those who have pre-conceived ideas against the disabled and in regard to your money paid out in taxes going to benefit the disabled. Not all of us do file workmen’s compensation claims or hire lawyers in an effort to get something for nothing. Many of us are as repulsed, as you are, when it comes to “ambulance chasers”.

Disability payments are not filed on our behalf or by many of us whose spouse’s income is above what entitles people to file for the same, but I do appreciate the need of the people who require help to be able to do so. In cases where the main bread winner is disabled or the income barely stretches to maintain a family, which is almost always, the need for worker’s compensation or disability claims do become the difference between a roof over our heads or living on the Streets no differently from those who qualify.

Unlike popular belief, none of what I was able to do to maintain my own independence is provided for by the government or the tax-payers for the needs of the disabled. Without private insurance that pays for some small amounts of this, or our own funds, many people who can take care of their own needs but do not have the funds,have been left dependent on the mercy of others, when it would be so much cheaper to allow people with disabilities independence through government subsidies and to live in their own homes. Obama care can help but even it does not go far enough. Many older people do have good mental responses well into their 90’s, yet.

Private Insurance will pay for a small amount of these needs where as Medicare won’t pay for a disabled person to remain independent,which makes no sense at all as these are often greater needs of the elderly than the young, in the majority of the cases.

The money that we have paid into Social Security would stretch much further, if people in general, did not view people with physical disabilities as being incapable of living alone and instead analyzed our ability or lack of ability to reason and make rational decisions for ourselves, on individual bases.

Many disabled people are very capable of living in our own homes and making decisions for ourselves. Hiring a little help from home help services, which Medicare does pay for, will often take care of the needs of independent disabled people. I gained new appreciation for the needs of the poor, who do not have the same advantage of funds as I had. I know the poor who neither splurged with funds they never had or were given the same advantages I had, needs all of us.

Returning back, before I digressed off of the subject I was on, when I was still a young adult and in total confusion from primarily misdiagnosis, I began a journey to find other family members who suffered as I was suffering.  In doing so I discovered that the personality that drove me to over-use my own body was prevalent in the family history I was born into.  I also discovered many misdiagnosis in my father’s family that were made prior to the MRI when it came to stenosis of the spine being present, whether they ever smoked or not.

Since it isn’t an interest of many young people, even I became amazed that it would be part of my make-up to want to discover the roots of previous generations.  I spent a number of years doing the ancestry of both mind and my husbands families. In doing so, it led to a love of research, history, politics, and antiques that had always been present in my interests but not developed further by me.  I found I enjoyed oil painting, even though I could not draw.  I did my own research on stocks until I realized that the stock market is primarily the territory of large investors, who even though it goes denied, do get insider trading tips.  I finally had the time to become an avid reader, which was something I never had time for before my life became more limited.  Writing has always been more the natural calling of my children over my own, so I was surprised when I too enjoyed writing.

The capabilities that exist in all of us, that often go unfounded in us, are available for the doing once we do understand what does makes us the person we are. The list of what we can do with disability is only limited by our own lack of imagination, when we finally do accept just how healthy change is to all of us and our own personal growth. Too many able-bodied people never do take the time to learn or to gain the same knowledge for themselves, that we are fortunate enough to learn because of disability.

I finally accepted that no one on a white horse or wearing a white coat would ride by and discover a cure or effective treatment and in knowing this through both false hope and false starts, I knew if I was going to find personal satisfaction as my body failed me, I needed to take control over my own cure.  The pain did not go away but instead of fighting against the pain by refusing to give up the normalcy of what had been my life I was able to lessen the pain by doing less to aggravate the same through living a different lifestyle. When I got together with able-bodied people who I was never going to be able to keep up with or fit into their conversation or activities, it would be my own responsibility to deal with the same. I did, just as an alcoholic must. I found it necessary to draw on my own courage to remain my own best friend rather than to be reminded by others the lack of my own capabilities. It was not fair of me to limit their activities anymore than it was fair of them to insist I join theirs’

It didn’t mean I couldn’t still travel and see my kids and grandkids and have family gatherings but it did mean I could ill afford to expect them to understand feelings that I would never have had if I had not experienced disability myself.

I still have moments I feel sorry for myself and feel others can be extremely insensitive and feel it the most the more time I spend around able-bodied people, but hopefully through the joy of being able to live another brand new life of challenges and adventures, I do not drag my loved ones down with me.

I still feel moments of resentment that very little is available to treat pain in a disease that has existed through out the ages and in my own failure to understand that the human body is not indestructible. Having grown up with a father who had back problems and watching him to continue to work hard, little did I know that inherited family disorders often show up in the next generation earlier than it does in the previous generation. At the same time the years of not knowing were the most difficult so I am grateful that I do have an easily diagnosable disability.

Resentment perhaps is the emotion I struggle with the most and I’m sure will battle until I die. I have been Blessed by a wonderfully independent family who help out as needed and ask nothing beyond what I want to give or can do. I unlike so many others am very fortunate in having a family who does deal with the stark honesty I often require, as well as the support I gain from their own independence.

For Amy and Matt Roloff, whom I’m sure have already learned the same, but simply need reminders, and others who are still struggling yet to understand the positive of life following disability, I can assure all of you that we need never to lose hope as we progress ahead with that which changes our lives, or our significant others, or marriage, be it disease or injury. The value of the Roloff marriage just as our commitments’ to loved ones and what commitment really means is just starting, at the point that a loved one along with all of us are forced to accept disability into our lives.

When we can understand after disability the major needs and wants of each person in our marriage or our lives must change, because we want our relationships or marriage to last, and we can respect the rights of all people involved, through genuine compassion we do find the Blessings of having fought for our lives on equal grounds with empathy for our loved ones, is the greatest accomplishment we can ever do, for another. Their are no losers in unconditional love when we all feel we are respected.

The day we get married is not the best day of our lives but rather the day our marriage can last through thick and thin and whatever we get hit with, and we know, “It’s the two of us together who made it, is what matters.” does become the greatest day of our lives. Divorce does not only mean giving up our futures but it also means giving up our past, and nothing is greater than the day we realize how truly Blessed we were to have found each other.

Since divorce rates sky rocket when one in a marriage gets sick or disabled while the other is well and able bodied, we must go into it knowing that disability is not for sissies or quitters. Its a hard road to follow for all people who do care as it changes all of us. It is the day, we know we made it, that the real fireworks goes off. Disability means letting go of old hurts, denial, and grudges with maturity and compromise, compromise and then compromise again, on not just our part but on the part of our loved ones as well. When we fail to forgive we never receive forgiveness in return. Like any relationship, it will never last if one remains nasty while the other remains committed.

As long as we who are disabled look for what is good in our own lives many of us will feel an abundance of possibilities surround us and we never need compare our lives to others nor do we ever have to let go of the fact;  we have tomorrows of all kinds of opportunity and new adventures that we had never before imagined we would enjoy doing, greater from what we had been doing. Let those possibilities begin in all of us today and give them a fair balance with what we believed we wanted, prior to disability.

When we finish our journey and put fear of the unknown behind us, we all can realize what others say or think is only to be pitied as no one will ever know the value of our own strengths more so than we do. While the able-bodied question their own weaknesses we have already,” been there and done that,” and no one need to know the value we place on our own strengths, other than through our smiles, compassion, and understanding we show them. We better than most, as disabled people, must know that getting even can never be part of our behavior or design if we are to find the happiness, all people seek.

No one but ourselves can ever be held responsible for our own unhappiness or happiness unless we wish to remain in a life of misery. There are people who can only be happy if they are miserable and we need to recognize them, if they are a part of our lives. Some people do want a life of sympathy and actually live longer when they get it,but that more than most attitudes, can lead to defeat, in all of us. We do need to know, more than most, the difference between those who want our help because they want to change or are confused, and those who we must let go of because they only want to control us. Just like the alcoholic needs to sometimes distant themselves from the drinkers in their lives in order to give up alcohol, so must we learn to distant ourselves from the opinions of those who wish to “rain on our parade” with constant complaints, restraints, and negativity. We can only make our own lives count by being present in our own life with recognition of our own capabilities and those of our loved ones who have stayed with us. Many times when we do, it will count far beyond all of our own individual expectations!

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As someone who will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary on our next celebration, I can tell you that marriage is not too unlike the steps we take in childhood development.  Marriages that lasts have  periods of passion, angst, arguments, admiration, go through trial and error, sometimes one gives while the other takes but keeping both in perspective by both people will many times reverse itself and ultimately balance itself out.

Marriage is not all bliss and both negative and positive  emotions are very much a part of marriage.  No one should ever go into a marriage feeling arrogance or a need to control their partner.  If either exists then failure is sure to follow. The often quoted, “If Momma isn’t happy then no one is happy” is or should be a misnomer.  Just because momma sometimes feels put upon is not a reason to throw in the towel. Marriage and the commitment to marriage must run as deep as the mutual needs and wants of both partners.

Both people in the marriage that lasts will feel times when they do feel left out of the planning or treated less than their value.  Marriages must allow both time and space for separate interests in both partners to grow and take root just as the commitment to share equally in a marriage needs to remain strong.  None of us will ever get the balance perfectly correct, each time.  The need for mutual respect and sound reasoning for the financial needs and future wants and needs of the couple needs to be weighed by both partners in a marriage.  Financial turmoil  is often reported as the greatest driving edge that leads to divorce.

Commitment to marriage requires becoming each others’ best friend and confidant.  Mama’s boys and Daddy’s girls are often misleading relationships that can sour a marriage before it even has a chance to bond.  If adults are still referring to their parents as Mommy and Daddy after they marry, then an emotional immaturity often also exists.  Turning to parents and clinging to their wants and needs while confiding our marital problems in them instead of discussing our differences with our spouses often is done at the jeopardy of our spouses and is many times a ship wreck of a marriage in the making. When parents die many times these couples who have never discussed their problems or differences together, are left looking at each other wondering why they ever married each other, in the first place. Marriages need early bonding and growth that remains constant throughout the marriage.

Humans make mistakes all the time and that is why marriages go through both the highs and lows that all marriages do go through.  A patient and understanding spouse will often mean the difference between a successful marriage over one of failure. Those of us who think once the passion leaves marriage then the marriage ends are not , in my estimation, giving full consideration to marriage.  If lust is what drives the marriage or is the reason we marry then perhaps we were not ready to marry.  If we marry because we want arm candy or we thought we could change what we didn’t like in the person we dated then the marriage already has failure written all over it.

Before we marry we must set our own standards as to what is or isn’t acceptable behavior and discuss these standards in complete and full detail and understanding of the needs of each of us, together.  If our attraction to each other is intellectual and of mutual respect and consideration, even though we may both stray from time to time, eventually we will find our way back.  Genuine character and intellectual enjoyment mixed with a sense of humor and respect goes a long way in the success of a marriage.  When marriages develop over time we will finish each others’ sentence and settle into a comfortable routine knowing both the good and bad in each other and if we are fortunate enough to enjoy good health or have a committed spouse when our health fails that is what most marriages that last progress to.

People have different ideas of what their marriage will look like as some couples like to travel while others take comfort remaining in their communities and often die never having left it for any reason other than to attend funerals or weddings.  Some wish to climb mountains and seek out adventure together while others prefer separate interests. The important thing to always remember is that at the end of the day that consideration for the needs of both remain equally strong in both participates of a marriage. When couples are allowed to develop space from each other trust also needs to develop in both.

Too much is made of the expectations of love and marriage in storybook detail just as the old “Stand by your man “song has left a sour taste in the minds of too many others, who neither understand the marriage of another or have a right to judge it. If we can each look at our child or children and see the best of both of us in those children or child and know they carry the genes of both of us, our marriages will last.  If we can only see the worse of our mates in our child or children then for their sakes, our marriages should fail.  In homes where there are not off spring and we still remember the reasons we married and still enjoy those moments no matter the cause for debate, our marriages will last.  If we are abused or our lives threatened then we are doing the entire family a disfavor by staying.

If we determine a mate who strays has destroyed the marriage vows and he or she do not wish to return, they not us, have made any decision by us irrevocable.  None of us can determine 100% the character of another and when their character fails to meet the standards that the couple has agreed upon, or they or we enter into marriage under a set of half-truths or lies and the trust issues soon follow, then none of us should ever blame ourselves for the fact that our spouse failed to be less than honest with us.

We can sometime live a lifetime with another person and not know the full value or fault of the person we married. Lies and half-truths make it impossible for any of us to build a foundation of trust on. When only one person or in some cases neither, are willing to take the bad with the good or to commit for life then it is never the fault of the marriage but the lack of honor in the person or persons who refuses to commit to their spouse, that ends the marriage.

Marriage is always and without exception the commitment of two people working together to make their own marriage work in partnership. There should never be such a gap in a marriage between two people so that the opinion of  a third person’s advice over-rules or carries more weight than the opinions held by our spouse in our own marriage, unless their opinion is destructive to us as a person. In some cases both members of the couple can be so stubborn as to not hear what the other is saying and in these cases a good friend or parent can sometimes guide us to a more objective point of view as long as they show our marriage the respect it deserves. Just as we cannot build a house with only one wall we cannot build a marriage with another person when only one person is willing to commit to the marriage.

On the other hand if we think that our mates will never lie to us to cover up for a weakness in them or to spare themselves nagging or harassment then we are not being realistic either.   A wife will often hide a pair of shoes just as a husband will fudge on what he lost playing poker.  Both people’s ideas and opinions most certainly do either change for the worse or grow and become stronger once we learn what commitment truly is over the years.  Many times people with good intentions will find that marriage is much better, just as parenthood is in theory, before we actually put both to practice. We never want to lose sight of the fact that marriages, just like shoes, comes in all sizes, fits the needs and wants of both the people involved and lasts as long as the desire to forgive and to forget lasts.

When marriages are as phony as the false images some couples like to project onto their admiring friends then couples can remain together out of a need to maintain an image.  There are couples who have a greater commitment to making sure they get even with each other even if it means a daily life of unhappiness together.  Not all marriages that last do so for the right reasons. People stay in unhappy marriages while living separate lives due to Religious convictions or out of convenience.  Many times those marriages that appear to be a life of storybook romance are actually a marriage of abject failure behind closed doors. Other times marriages will last because neither have the gumption to get up and leave while others stay for the fortune they have amassed.  Longevity in marriage does not always spell a successful marriage.

In short then, marriages are as happy or unhappy as the behavior, expectations, and personality of the people in them.  When we reach the age of maturity and real commitment, we have no room to doubt or question our choices, and the harder both people involved work towards our commitments the greater our rewards in marriage usually become.  True love grows over the years and has very little to do with the act of sex that often predates the final years of our marriage, but more to do with our compassion and understanding of the needs and the make-up of ourselves and our spouse.

When we can honestly say and believe the happiness of our marriage partner is equal or as great as our own, then we have reached the epitome of a successful marriage.  Sadly, we do find couples who do not know the full value of their mates, until after they die.  As people we often fall into the rut of taking our lives and each other for granted, and some do fail to realize what is important about their spouse’s happiness, until after they  are gone.  Along life’s way many of us will stumble but it is always the getting up and brushing ourselves off, and starting all over again, that matters as much in the final analysis of both marriage and life. Much is said against marriage but if the majority of us did not believe marriage was the best thing that ever happened in our lives, then so many people would not continue to get married.

Just because, some things may be too great for some of us to forgive and we are very much justified in believing and accepting that knowledge about ourselves, it  may not be for the next person, and to continually to degrade or judge another person’s marriage, as if we are a mean-spirited mother-in-law, is both a waste of our own time and character.  As parents, siblings, and close friends we all do well in remembering just one thing when it comes to the marriage of another, so long as their or their children’s safety is not at stake; MYOB or more rudely put, mind your own business will help the couple more than any other suggestion that we will ever make, even when they cry on our shoulders about their marriages and often over trivial matters. If the complaints prolong to true exhaustion on their or our part then suggesting they  get counseling will usually heal or cure the problem. Have a great day all!

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Somewhere over the last 30 years some women have seemingly forgotten we were granted the power of Free will, no differently from the male gender, by our Maker or Creator.

The very same people who relied on birth control, themselves, seem to be very remote in their own memories when it comes to granting the equality of choice to future generations.

It is reminiscent of the older Prostitute, who gains respectability through marriage, and then sits in judgment of the young woman who gets pregnant out of marriage the first time she has sex or when the often told joke in the South touched more on truth than humor.

It was often repeated in the South, accordingly:” I know I got her pregnant Paw but I hain’t going to marry her.” Why not Son? “Because she was a virgin when I met her.” “Well then son if she hain’t good enough for her own family, then she hain’t good enough for our own.”

As the numbers of rape done through strangers, acquaintances, and incest are being denied amongst those who now understand the life-long horrors done to women by rape, while the numbers remain constant or grow, the same people who are most aware, seemingly, want to deny women in even greater numbers, their right to choose.

Too often women, who understand and fight for both our equality and inalienable legal rights granted through “The Equal Rights Amendment”, and our moral right of free will, that separates us from the animal species, are branded as if the fight for equality is a dirty word and done by evil women who are branded as feminists.

Sadly, because of the negative twist that is too often applied to the word feminist it is a word that too many times gets used as a word of disrespect amongst those who deny the equality of genders. Feminists ranks right up there with the word “bitch” that is too often applied to competent women.

When I read the series of books entitled the “Good Wife” or see women gather to learn to better please their husbands in bible groups or in scrap booking groups in individual homes, I am left with a sense of deja vu all over again. Throughout history women have been there and done that while being made to feel the guilt of a marriage that fails.

The Conservative movement in America is really doing a major disservice to the equality of women who come out of cultures who have not advanced to the equality entitled to all Americans or who are made to carry the guilt of blame of what are determined to be deteriorating families in the eyes of the “Good Old Boy” system.

It is true that there are both men and women who marry and neither remains faithful and it is equally true women file for far more divorces than what men do. What women fail to hear are the reasons that women are left to file for divorce.

Men rarely take the vows of matrimony as serious as women do. If it wasn’t for a woman’s insistence of marriage many men would be content to reproduce themselves without the benefit of marriage vows and without legal restrictions to support the child. It is a fact that women to a larger percentage over men, marry for life.

When vows are broken through infidelity, domestic abuse is present, refusal to maintain a family financially exists, and trust is lost, Divorce is most often the burden left for women to carry through on. Although women are guilty of all the same above faults these are faults largely attributable to failures in men.

Men are much more likely to use the lack of a divorce as an excuse to not re-marry again but to move in together without strings attached over women’s desire to re-stabilize their own future prospects. When these above faults are present in the men who women marry too many times women are made to feel guilt that they some how caused the weakness in these men who never had the character of backbone in the first place.

Women are better educated and as such they are becoming the larger bread earners in America today. Men are more content to stay home to help out and raise families, than they have been in the past but a man’s idea of child rearing too often means hiring a nanny or cleaning Lady so he can be free to discover himself.

When parents fail to teach empathy and responsibility to children so children grow up understanding the world isn’t just about them and their wants and needs but also about the wants and needs of those we hold most dear, friends, neighbors, and family who depend on us, families fail. Laziness, Selfishness, or a lack of empathy is not now nor has it ever been gender specific.

I urge all women of all races and backgrounds to remember the word Feminists is a word we all need to be proud of, as it is or should be, the battle cry of all women who seek the justice of moral free will and inalienable legal rights for all people.

It should never matter if Americans are men or women or if they are people who work, breathe, eat, pray, love, vote, drive, gather, marry, remain single, dedicate their lives to others, raise families, stay at home, or discover their own substantial worth or value in America, they are all equal because of the efforts and sacrifices of feminists.

We can never forget that without Civil Rights workers, suffragists, and feminists we would never be able to vote in 2014; Nor would we rank any higher in the eyes of mankind as any one other than a man’s property or chattel.

We need to stop the deterioration taking place by the Conservative movement in America, in an effort to gain back our moral right to free will granted to us by our Creator and our legal rights of equality granted to us by the Equal Rights Amendment by voting as the most powerful block of voters in 2014.

The disgrace in America is not deterioration of families because of the feminists but rather deterioration of respect due to those Americans who hide behind Religious Freedom as an excuse to deny Americans the equality due all of us regardless, of sexual orientation, race, Creed, or gender through the Conservative movements and paid for groups who speak for individual Conservatives in America.

When we become like too many members of the Tea Party who openly say: “it is not my problem if their house falls in the bay, if they do not have Social Security, or if a poor man in a coma dies due to lack of insurance.”; then we can no longer deny the lack of empathy for all Americans is at the crux of the problem.

When we tell those who promote these ideas and attitudes that they are dead wrong at the voting polls through our votes next year perhaps they too will see the faults in their reasoning.

In order for women to right the wrongs, and trust me, it will take women as history has always dictated that it does. We need to begin to turn around the narcissistic movements under way in America through consensus of sisterhood.

It is equally important that we use the elections on the horizon, by joining in fellowship with those politicians whose records prove they also seek justice for all, regardless of gender.

We begin now, by both parents empowering our own children and grandchildren with the power of empathy for all by teaching them charity and sacrifice for the greater good of humanity. We need not be fooled by those who conclude the false assumption,” that a hand up”, is just another name for Socialism.

If both parents fail in teaching the future generations understanding and compassion for others’ rights beyond their own, then Democracy will fail for all of us. Lets get started living by teaching through our own example today. Our actions must match our spoken words if we are to be successful in our own endeavors as parents of the next generations.

The Free will of all future generations depend on it, if we are ever going to have equality for all. None of us ever know if we will be the next one to need a hand-up tomorrow and that we can all take to the bank, even politicians.

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I’ll put my two cents into the fray as this case over many others, seems to me, to have captured the Nation’s attention and taken on a life of it’s own to a maniacal level. It also is the longest running trial in the history of Arizona.

I am always amazed by the hate that comes from people when a liar and a murderer is put on trial. Despite what the pundits may think about Jodi Arias’ defense team they gave her an iron clad case that will stand up against any appeals some other defense team may try to file, on appeal. We forget that this is the job of any Defense attorneys under the law. When the evidence was so clearly stacked against Jodi and her lies, it became even more important that a defense team put on an aggressive defense. To do anything less would only come back and hurt the Alexander family even greater.

When a criminal is given less than a stellar defense team, there are too many times when the family will be subjected to more heart-ache and suffering with a brand new trial, if the defense attorneys are found to be incompetent in defending their clients against crime and especially in death cases. Those of us who do care for the welfare of the victims’ families should hope to see a good defense put on just as we would hope for if we wanted to spare our own families against more heart-ache of a new trial on appeal.

One murder trial for any family is always one too many to have to endure. This was not a time to have a defense team who refused to only question the prosecutor’s findings or to have a lawyer who fell asleep at the trial. The better the evidence as was available at this trial, and put on by the prosecutor’s side,the more of a defense we should want to see offered even though it sometimes may make our skin crawl.

Since I do not hang out with people found guilty of murder you must excuse me if I sound cynical but don’t all murderers lie? I have never heard a murderer confess to the fact they have any memory of the crime, while they are stabbing someone, or a defense attorney who would advise their client to acknowledge the fact that they did, if they did have.

Aren’t all who murder and on trial, defending themselves, arrogant, narcissistic, and sociopaths? Don’t defense attorneys in their efforts to defend these offenders often put the victims on trial in an effort to lessen the punishment of the people they are defending? We all hate that they do but their job in a criminal case is to save the life of their client or to win acquittal. The only people who usually do understand the job of Defense attorneys are the people who are unfairly accused. Didn’t Jodie lie on the stand because of the arrogance that she could convince a jury of her innocence?

Unless a defendant has told so many public lies already, Defense lawyers will not put them on a stand. The more arrogant they are the more they do choose to go against the advice of their lawyers, who are hired to give them Justice under the law. Defense attorneys either buy into the lies and promote the same that was told to them, while adding their own personality and propensity to ignore the facts, or they truly believe their client to be innocent. In many cases they are.

The Defense attorney will also advise those clients who are innocent to take the stand or not to as well, and a jury should never buy into innocence or guilt if the defendant does or does not take the stand. Doesn’t all defense attorneys attempt to degrade the scientific evidence or accuse the police of sloppy handling of the evidence or produce their own opposing evidence, when the client can afford the same ? Don’t all who murder, leave behind loved ones to grieve, their own families included?

So what makes this case so much different from all the other cases of murder to the point that the Jury, who sacrificed greatly of their time away from loved ones who they could not speak to about what was going on in their lives for five months, that they are now receiving death threats from the angry or insane that should be in therapy themselves?

It is not uncommon that jurors do think they can convict someone of the death penalty until they actually are appointed judge and jury and have the life of another person in their hands. Until and when we all acknowledge that it is the insane Arizona Law itself that is responsible for the problem the jury was confronted with, then calmer heads will not prevail.

The facts of life in America are or should be the following:

1. Either we as a Nation accept the fact that our State is a Death Penalty State or we do not. When the majority vote accepts it as the same, then the Judges should Pronounce sentences according the Statutes of the Laws in that State, once the jury finds the offender guilty of first degree murder, even when it does include death penalties.

2. Why Arizona or any other States do decide to keep the Death Penalty and hold the jury responsible for the decision of death when they have already found Jodi Arias guilty of first degree murder with extenuating circumstance of extreme cruelty, is beyond me.

3.The Judges themselves are bound by the Statutes of law in their own States as to how much time the criminal needs to spend in jail with every other crime committed in the United States. Why shouldn’t it also be the judges decisions, once hearing oral arguments from the lawyers, to determine punishment? They are given that freedom when they disagree with the juries decisions on first degree murder anyway, in other States that have the death penalty.

4.Either the States accept the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment or they establish life imprisonment. Once the voters of the States accept that they want to retain the death penalty and the Prosecutors prove first degree murder with extreme cruelty doesn’t common sense tell all of us that the Jury has served and performed their duties? The defendant becomes the criminal since they have been found guilty in a Court of law by their peers, at this point, and that should be all that is asked of any jury anywhere.

5. Who amongst us could actually send another person to death when our knowledge of the person’s intent and our own interpretation of the law is so overwhelmingly lacking? I don’t think we could find 12 jurors, who do not hate and based on the level of evidence, who could all handle in good faith, the responsibility of killing another human being.

6. We as a Nation who asks our jurors to do just that aren’t understanding the full realm of consciousness that plays a role in asking jurors to do the job that should be worked out between people of law, in my estimation.

Even though Democracy is made up of majority rule we should always understand that States that vote for the Death Penalty are not made up of the same view in 100% of its population. Many of those who never question their ability to find a person guilty and believe they can ask for the death penalty are the first to crumble when placed under the pressure of deciding the fate of another.

The only time we ask our citizens to be 100% in agreement is when they serve on a Jury. It is not very realistic for anyone to believe they are in 100% agreement, when many decisions are made by juries, despite the fact they agree to the same when they are polled. Even twins, married couples, best friends, and siblings are rarely in 100% agreement. It is not unusual for people who serve on juries to suffer nightmares, afterwards, when they were convinced by their own conscious or by others, at the time of the verdict, their decisions were the correct ones.

Jurors are told not to give in to pressure but to vote their own common sense and conscious. Seldom is that allowed to be applied by the time juries end their discussions.

The only way I can perceive that 12 people who are not related to the victims or friends of the same, do not have biases or bigotries with preconceived notions, are not tired of the case after 5 months and want to go home, do not have an axe to grind, or any other negative influences of anger and such, as all objective jurors must be, could all in good faith,100% of the time find the death penalty against another human being would be:

1. If they were bullied into the same as they often are
2. If they were tired of listening to another person on the jury
3. If they discounted guilt or innocence because the person on trial or the defense attorney did not present themselves well.
4. If they were made to feel their point of view was stupid or foolish
5. If they are a crowd pleaser
6. If they are too shy or intimidated to speak up for what they believe
7. If they vote out of empathy for the victim’s family over interpretation of the law
8. If they went into the discussions liking the prosecution team better and believing that Prosecutors are always more ethical and honest than are Defense Attorneys
9. If they felt that the defendant would not be on trial unless they are guilty
10.If the evidence against the extenuating circumstances and pleas of the families over-rides the interpretation of the law, which is always subjective, when left to self-interpretation by juries who are not trained in law
11,If they just plain do not like the defendants and want to find them guilty
12.If they made up their minds of guilt before the trial and ending arguments were heard
13.If they believe, “an eye for an eye”, when that has never applied to the law in any State and is not part of any jury instructions,EVER
14.If their own feelings for sparing life is not over-weighed by their feelings of death being justified under any and all circumstances in murder cases
15.They are sick of the case and blame the defense attorney or the prosecutors the most for prolonging it, regardless
16.If in very remote cases the Defendant ask their attorney not to present evidence but instead to ask for the death penalty during the penalty phase of the case.
17.On equally rare occasions, the jurors all are unanimous in the belief that there is absolutely no reason that the Court should show mercy due to a difficult childhood, mental illness, or up-bringing even when the judges inform them that this needs to be taken into consideration during their discussions in the penalty phase prior to reaching a unanimous verdict

People do murder in approximately one third of all murder cases after having a child hood of loving parents and pampered lives,and in these murder cases 100% verdicts of asking for death are made simpler for jurors who can do so in clear conscious, just as they can for those very rare times that the murderer asks for the death penalty. Approximately one third of all murders are committed by people who were never disciplined as children or told “No”, they could not have something when they were children.

These murderers were never made to take responsibility for their own actions or behavior. In the case of neglect we can find a child who grows up feeling unloved and unworthy of the important values of life. A good defense attorney will evoke sympathy of the jurors for these clients even though it is a more difficult of a job to do so with many juries, when physical or sexual abuse or mental illness are absent.

It is the job of Defense Attorneys to attempt to evoke sympathy for their client during the penalty phase of a trial, usually through witnesses or family members. If the defense attorneys do not present an earnest effort during this phase of the trial,the clients can prove ineffective representation in some cases when on appeal.

Some clients are such loners or reprehensible the attorney alone will fight for the client since no one else will speak for them, the client wants to spare their own families and doesn’t want anyone else to speak for them, or the client does ask for the death penalty themselves. When a lack of defense is offered during the penalty phase, unless requested by the clients, and the case is repealed because of it, a new trial can be ordered making it necessary for the victims’ families to have to go through the same kind of agony that only a case of murder can bring with it.

Could those of us who have suffered abuse or have family members afflicted with mental illness totally disregard mercy for those who suffered from either or both 100%, realistically, even knowing their crime showed extreme cruelty? Jurors who agree to totally disregard mercy towards abusive upbringing or mental illness as a reason to find in favor of the death penalty a 100%, without understanding case study in law, are not by nature equipped to do so.

Sadly, the other previously acknowledged 15 factors on the list of 17 above scenarios, happen too often in juries. For that reason alone, it should be the biggest argument for why Judges should determine the penalty phase once the defendant has been found guilty by their peers in a court of law.

Lawyers always work out the penalty phase and agree on sentencing, and a Judge accepts the penalty, in first degree murder cases when a murderer pleads guilty. Why should it be any different once a defendant is found guilty by their peers in a Court of law? Judges have been given that discretion, even when Jurors are asked to decide death in the penalty phase in Capital Death States, elsewhere. There has already been plenty of precedence set for Judges to over-rule the decisions of jurors made during the penalty phase, for many years now. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves in a Capital murder case, when judges are all bound by preceding law,”Why” jurors are asked to decide death in Capital Murder? .

This jury acted exactly as it should have and should be congratulated for their efforts to seek justice. If more of us made an effort to understand what is expected of a Death Penalty Jury we would either change our own States to life in imprisonment without parole or acknowledge that this jury, unlike many others showed all of us that they do know more than most when it comes to finding Justice under the law according to their own conscious.

I am always amazed by those who call themselves Christian, and then turn around and support the worse that is seen in juries over the best that is seen, as this one has demonstrated the best of juries. It is nice to see that Arizona can still put together a jury of justice despite some of its’ other more inane or insane laws. I think the whole fascination with this entire case should leave us all shaking our heads, to be honest. My prayers are with the Alexander and Arias Families. God Bless you!

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When Wayne LaPierre, Vice President of the NRA held his press conference today, and got up to speak I got so sick to my stomach of his propaganda that I hate to write this post drawing attention to his speech.  If I don’t talk about it and point out just how severely insensitive the man was then, I like to many others will let that type of mentality pass off to those who do not know the heart of the American citizen, think his brand of callousness lies in the hearts of the majority of Americans.  As expected he blamed everyone but the NRA. Politicians politicizing it, demonic behavior, gun free school zones as an advertisement for the disturbed,video games, the lack of guards in our schools, the entertainment industry and the media.

If anyone read my post yesterday entitled,”Why Do We Lead The World In Suicide’ then you know I pointed out the cultural differences that we all must share in and the responsibility we all must take to keep our children safe.  We do not need guns in schools because they offer a false sense of security to those who carry a gun.  They also offer a challenge to those like Timothy McVeigh who went to a bomb where armed guards were, instead.

The facts are that the majority of us who own a gun will not and cannot shoot to kill another human being and we will either freeze up when called on to do so or we will shoot wildly into a crowd and kill more innocent people. Even policemen, who are trained to use a gun, know to shoot their guns is the last possible choice they have to make,since we have an established record of collateral damage and more lives lost as a result of having to use a gun in a crowd, throughout our History. Armed guards in banks and air ports know not to shoot where people are gathering.  The guards only end up being another victim when a person enters the space or establishment and far more guards are killed in businesses,Court Houses, or banks than are armed robbers, because they do not want to harm the innocent around them.

I don’t know what kind of sick home Wayne LaPierre grew up in or raised his children in but his statement that,” today’s children will see 16,000 murder scenes by the time they reach the ripe old age of 18,” is so totally inaccurate that if it wasn’t such a serious subject it would be laughable.  Movies of sexual or violent content are rated in America and children who do not have an ID of proof of age cannot get into a PG13 or R rated movie.  I know that to be a fact, even when they are accompanied by an adult.

I don’t doubt there are irresponsible parents who could care less about the movies their children watch at home but to declare them as the norm is totally adding salt to the wound of parents who do not allow their children to watch these movies or play these games.  Many homes have controls on their computers and televisions that will not allow the viewing of these shows and television warns adults when something is not appropriate or wrong for children to watch as well.  Even our news programs will place a warning prior to showing it.

Facts number two are that the very same movies named and the very same video games that Wayne LaPierre named play in Countries like Britain and Japan and are the very same video games played in both Countries. A ten-year study shows that they do not influence children to kill but violence in a home acted out by parents can and does. The Industrial or Civilized Nations have as much porn and as many people who prostitute.  They work to buy and over spend as well.  All the same things we have in our culture they have as well.

Britain and Japan are as civilized and advanced as we are and have the same kind of Democracies as we do. Britain’s Military is as strong as our own. The prices and costs in Japan are extravagant along side of what we pay for the same. The raining London skies and the Cramped Tokyo Apts. lead to as much depression and thoughts of suicide in these Countries as much as they do in our own but they do not stigmatize mental illness the way we do. They have free treatment facilities where anyone who is suffering from mental illness or delusional thinking can get help free, at any hour.

What separates all other advanced or civilized Countries from the United States is they do not have a powerful lobbyist that has brain washed gun enthusiasts into believing that the right to own a gun is a higher right than the right for people to be able to live.  When murder happens they do not have a Wayne Lapierre blaming everyone and everything else but themselves for the murders in their Country because they have gun laws that lessen those deaths.  Britain averages 600 murders per year in total and Japan has practically none while the United States has 18,000 suicides or 32,000 murders per year.

The facts are that no other civilized Nation tolerates the mentality that the NRA has and the irrational thinking that they hold nor do they use the lies or the scare tactics and the despicable words the NRA uses to blame everyone but themselves. The National Rifle Association leadership, needs to convince gun enthusiasts that everyone else is wrong and they are right otherwise they may lose their own power through lost of membership dues.

They are amongst the most powerful lobbyists in the Nation and no conservative politician from either the Democrat or the Republican Party can get elected without the support of the NRA.  Other Countries refuse to fight murder and suicide by using guns to protect against guns because they are rational enough to understand that people cannot kill unless they have months of training or are disturbed enough to commit suicide/murder. These certified programs that Texas and Utah like to talk about are three-days of watching videos and training at a gun range while shooting at a target in order to get a certificate to carry a gun in school.

To give teachers and school workers,  in places like Utah and Texas a certificate of completion of  a gun training course does not qualify them for training that allows another human being to fire under threat of gun fire or to kill another human being while looking into the eyes of someone who is just a kid themselves. How much more desensitizing of our behavior towards the power of the gun over the value of life are we going to tolerate in teaching our children, as a Nation, before we yell enough! Do we really want our youngest and most innocent strapped with the knowledge or fear that their teacher or the nice man with a gun or themselves can be killed at any given moment?

Teachers are trained to keep our children safe and we want their thoughts to go first towards protecting our children, over running in fear or stopping to kill. Teachers who care are not trained to kill the next young man who walks into the building armed to shoot. Many times they are students or past students of theirs and they are not going to be able to shoot to kill.  It is irrational thinking on our part to think they can and equally as unfair as to think they should. We may think if it is our lives or the lives of a child we all can shoot to kill but it is pure and literal nonsense. Firing a gun is not like going out to the paint ball course and shooting paint balls at each other. The fear or the need to survive under pressure of assault in the untrained, takes over control of all rational thoughts that we have when our lives are not under threat of danger. We freeze,run, or if we shoot we shoot wildly injuring far more others than lives we save.  Firing at a target is not the same as looking a human being in the eyes and firing.

It takes a well trained or a disturbed mind to do so and even then that trauma follows those who are trained perfectly, the rest of their lives.  Ask any military personnel or policemen how devastating the effects are of taking another life in defense of the Country, is on their lives, even when it is done for a higher honor.  I have lived with the results of those who fought in wars and too many times they are haunted by it forever. Many come home and turn to alcohol just to live past the nightmares that enter their sleeping hours or become workaholics in an effort to forget.  Their marriages and their lives quite often fall apart.

The mistake the media made was to allow that kind of propaganda that is spread across America by the NRA and some of its followers to even be broadcasted. As soon as they knew they had been had by the National Rifle Association they should have shut them off just as they do when a politician says something that is not of their political persuasion.  When this propaganda is spread it only leads to desensitize the minds of those who are already desensitized to the point that it starts making perfectly good sense to them.

No person who hunts wild game, even after hours of target practice, will escape what is known as buck fever. It takes practice to be able to shoot game animals before becoming an accurate enough shot to make the bullet connect with the game animal being shot. Even seasoned bird hunters will experience buck fever when switching to larger game animals.  Buck fever is the name commonly given to the hunter who will both sub-consciously and automatically pull up on their gun when shooting rather than to kill the animal.

It is not an automatic reaction in clear thinking humans to kill with a gun on instinct and it requires months to train people to kill out of a necessity or a higher pursuit of justice. Both the Police Academies and Military training requires men and women shooting blanks or live rounds above the heads of those in the fields to acclimate them to the reality of being able to fire at a human being every bit as much as it takes hours to train humans to remain calm, in order to kill out of necessity in war or when under attack. These are not normal traits that we adapt to on a first reaction under attack.

The guns Mr. NRA said the media is lying about and the politicians are trying to find fame in and that are being politicized hold magazines that leads to massive deaths.  Does it really matter if they are military or assault weapons when they fire in rapid succession?  Don’t they kill just as quickly and destroy the lives of our innocent just as well. They certainly cannot be used for hunting anymore than the ammunition they protect can be used to hunt when its only purpose is to pierce the vests of policemen and police women who are killed in the act of duty by the same.

I have acknowledged that it is our culture and the love of the gun  that needs to share responsiblity with the NRA for gun deaths in America but it does not hold a candle to the deaths that are caused by people arming themselves with a false bravado of thinking they will be able to shoot to kill.   Nothing inspires the fantasy  or gives forth the power to kill more than those who are too meek to murder or encourages those who are disturbed enough to murder faster, than the thrust of a gun. The gun feeds those fantasies in the minds of the disturbed faster than anything else that they can do.

Those who will cause murder have no conscious and we cannot try to rationalize  our minds with theirs. I repeat, people who are armed are killed  far more often by the perpetrators than what the perpetrators are killed. They always have the element of surprise over us and a great many of them do not have the same fear of death because many of them are seeking out suicide by cop.

Guns in the hands of those who are not thinking realistically only offers us a false sense of security that is quickly over taken by the perpetrators. Those who are disturbed do not hear the noises and sounds we hear as many are disturbed or can only hear the voices in their own heads.  They do not even hear the screams around them that make us run out of fear but as soon as we think we can pull a gun and shoot we will be dead with or without our three-day certificate that gives us a license to carry a gun. It is a fact!

I am sick of the hate and the fear tactics of the NRA and if you viewed the same that I did and could not see that expressed yourselves, I can only respond that Americans are much more sicker than I thought.  The NRA fear and propaganda tactics are not only false but they are irrational and have no place in the power that runs America. It sickens me that such trash talk was allowed to be spoken on our media services at a time we are already sicken by the deaths of our innocent, by guns.

Instead of talking about banning ammunition and magazines that only serves to kill humans along with high powerful and assault weapons, Wayne Lapiere and the NRA paid for monkeys successfully changed the subject to arming personnel in our schools where our children would be subjected to even more violence.  Anyone who thinks the bullies or gangs who hang out in some of our schools across America would not find a gun a worthy challenge to be taken, are not being realistic about what really does go on when the disturbed are made to feel powerful behind a gun.

What can I say other than may the Season offer some design of light into the hearts and minds of all of us and may we be infused by the Holy Spirit and Guardian that guides us towards common sense and intelligence to know the difference.  May God help us all in letting the goodness in all of us shine through the insanity of it all. God Bless us and God Bless America.

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Webster dictionary describes genuine as actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character.  To many times we have people using words to describe others when they do not own or practice the qualities needed to possess or own character, themselves.  It was a repeated error made by candidates for election throughout the Nation this past election year.

When Governor Chris Christy of New Jersey showed his own Party what real character was or expressed genuine feelings in his praise of President Barack Obama’s quick response to the disaster in his State, due to the hurricane, men who like to refer to  themselves, as men who protect the standards of family values in America,criticized Christy for being genuine in his complement to our President.

When we as a Nation have leaders who criticize others who are genuine or fail to compliment others and treat it as a heresy when they compliment  or speak to a member of the opposite side of the aisle, can we really expect them to do what is genuinely in the best interests of those of us who are in need of their leadership?  Will men like Paul Ryan,Scott Walker, or Rubio, meeting and discussing the need of the Republican Party to become inclusive of the Hispanics, lead us to believe that they are genuine if they continue to vote against the equal rights of women to make decisions on their own procreation or to their own health, or when their Republican members in Washington filibusters immigration reform?

Are these, the often spoken about, the young new hopefuls of the Republican Party, any better than what has destroyed the “Grand Old Party?”When they speak about the Americans who fall on hard times as being the “takers”, while they vote against the needs of the people or refer to those of us who paid into government as, “people with their hands out who feel entitled”,or try to pass laws against victims of rape in defining legitimate rape, will we see any genuine change in the Republican Party when these young men are chosen to lead our Nation?

Doesn’t the Republican Party need men in it instead like Bob Dole who was genuine in his actions towards the disabled, the poor, and the need of the Republican Party to know and understand the needs of the people?  Aren’t these new young Tea Party members only an extension of what is wrong in the Republican Party?  Aren’t we the American People totally tired of words that are opposite of the actions they practice when it comes to voting against our rights and needs?

Too many times in our own personal lives we make allowances for those who practice disingenuous behavior because they are the beautiful people,the most charming of our children or friends, or because we want to be more like them or a part of their group. The new generation just wants to be respected by their parents instead. When we ourselves are less than genuine it shows all over our bodies and faces to those of us who recognize phony or shallow values.

When these politicians do the same, too many people, who are less than honest themselves, will be taken in by those who are not genuine. I once had a person tell me that my biggest problem was that I was too moral for the group as they did not place a high value on morality.  Isn’t that also at the root of why we keep electing people who are less than genuine in their leadership? I applaud the American people who did not accept or support the practice of lies , that won these men the elections in our States and Washington in 2010.

Have we forgotten already the way they won or their legislation that brought in the right to work laws that eliminated our protection from the Unions against unfair labor laws?  Will we forget the bills that they tried to pass against a woman’s right to choose or the involvement of the Tea Party militia in hate groups?  Will the Corporate Press be able to convince us of all the wonders done by these men of the future who stormed our States in 2010 and began laying off teachers,firemen and police while decreasing the wages of the workers?

When Republicans are promoted to run in the highest office of the land in 2014 and 2016 by the GOP, will we forget that they have been less than genuine in their practice towards the needs of the middle class when it came to an economic recovery and of giving us real jobs with fair hours and wages? Will we forget the passage of the right to work laws that denied the American workers and their Unions the right to vote because 27 States had Republican governors who were financed by the Koch Brothers? Didn’t many of the Republican governors lie to the people while they denied the workers their right to Democracy? Isn’t this currently  happening with Republican Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan?   Don’t these Governors represent the future of the Republican Party and the mentality of the Tea Party while the wages of the middle class continue to decline but the wealth of the rich increases two-fold?

Despite their argument that without the right to work laws corporations fail to move to their States and that these laws release people from having to join the Unions; they fail to say that Federal law already states people who do not want to join a Union need not do so.  These Republicans offer absolutely no proof of the truth in their Statements.  There is a simple explanation for the same and that is because there is no proof in what they state.  The proof that does exist is that the average worker’s income drops by $5500.00 per year along with benefits while their working conditions worsen.

The Corporations continue to win while the workers continue to lose is the fact with the right to work laws and there is no proof when 22 States have adopted these laws that corporations do move in. Why should they change from the States they already do set up residence in, when the majority if not all of the Red States where these laws have passed previously, have always offered corporate welfare to Corporations previously to these laws being passed in swing States? Are we the middle class foolish enough to believe that these Corporations will give up all their bread and honey, along with their facilities, equipment and trained staffs in the Red States in order to take less in the swing States?
If they should happen to move to the swing States, which is unrealistic, how much more concessions and job lost do we think it will cost the middle class workers? Would the workers in the Red States continue to believe that they lost their jobs,health care,and pensions because they were taken over by vulture Capitalists in the claim their Company was losing money? Don’t we already know the truth is that the greed of the Republican Party along with the greed of Wall Street is responsible for job lost over job gain?  What will it take for all Americans to understand this concept?
Michigan Republican Governor,Rick Snyder, like so many other Republican Governors in 21 other States,totally ignored the right of the workers to vote when the polls showed that only 6% of the people in the State of Michigan favored this move. Many in the Red States do not even know if they are a right to work State because they have such a heavily backed Republican legislature along with a conservative media, who does not keep them informed.

Do we feel that the current Republican Party is genuine in their representation of the truth when it comes to balancing the budget and avoiding the fiscal cliff in Washington?The truth is that the Tea Party members have dug in their heals again, just as they did the last time, and refuse to accept President Obama’s proposal of at least lowering the taxes on those who make less than $250,000. and John Boehner, is blaming President Obama instead of himself when it is his job to lead his own Party as Speaker of the House in Congress. They all appear on camera instead for their photo opts and profess in unison that the problem is that President Obama has sent them nothing while they reject his offer of cutting 4 trillion dollars and raising the taxes on the wealthy.  The only thing they seem to be able to agree on is to lie in unison to the American people. They began as “the Do Nothing Congress and they will finish out the four years” as the same.

Are they any different from the Republican Governors in our States? Have we already forgotten their 100 plus filibuster attempts against the middle class that would have protected the needs of the people and gave jobs to the same over their protection of Corporate? Don’t we realize their main goal was to make certain that President Barack Obama was a one term President?  Do we really believe that these same men will now compromise in order to keep the economy improving when they have fought against President Barack Obama’s attempts to do the same in the past?

With all their excuses as to why they lost just how genuine are they in understanding their need to be all-inclusive of the American people?  Is it just another example of empty words on their part? Does our own belief system fail us when we are asked  to remember the behavior directed against us by them? Do we learn to hate others who do us no harm, because we have a genuine belief system that tells us that hate is acceptable? Does our own belief system excuse us from making excuses for ourselves instead of taking action?

Is our problem that we long- ago lost touch with practicing any kind of value system based on genuine values, ourselves? Do we have a clue what we believe when we are called on to fight for the same?  Do we believe instead what we have been told to believe so we go into denial when we see or hear a real lack of sincerity in the same?Are those who promote family values, actually those who talk about values but find morality too difficult to maintain themselves?  We need to be interested in politics and the history of our politicians if we are to hold them and ourselves to a higher standard.

When we fail to hold those who would lead us to higher standards, it is we who lose.  This is true when it comes to raising our children and in teaching them right from wrong because we practice what we preach.  When we fail to make morality a priority in our own life the first to understand that our words do not match our actions, are our children.

Many a straying spouse does not just prove to their spouse that they are not trustworthy but they also teach their children that adults cannot be trusted or the person they most admire lacks morality when it comes to being an adult. Many children will turn a deaf ear to what they feel is nothing more than gibberish when they recognize that the behavior of the adult in their lives does not match the words they speak. Sadly, others will emulate the same behavior when they become adults but they will many times prove to their parents that they can do a better job of failing  than what their parent or parents did when it comes to being less than genuine.

When we talk about how busy we are but our children never see us get off the couch they believe the “busy talk” in us is less than genuine.   When  our children’s  needs to be disciplined go unprovided for, but are replaced by wants instead, we raise children who grow up feeling entitled without them making any efforts towards justifying the same in themselves; too often some will adopt a grandiose image of themselves while being totally void of human empathy for others while they often lack the understanding of what it takes to be ambitious.  If we never teach our children to take genuine responsibility for their own behavior or to care for their own needs in the home, but instead we make excuses for them or wait on them, we deny them the right to find genuine satisfaction in their own accomplishments.

When children are left untrained and untaught they often grow up fearful of being independent from us or to immature to leave home and to form their own belief system.  If we always treat work as something to be dreaded, we teach our children to be lazy instead. Too often we adults will go into denial before we accept the truth of the fact that our child’s behavior is out of control. The lives our children live while they watch us, when it fails to match the genuineness of the words we speak, often leads to denial in us and confusion in our children.

This is true about any behavior or words that leave our lips.  When we are less than genuine the first to accept it as being normal behavior in adults, are our children.  The fact that the youth vote went over whelmingly for President Barack Obama should show all of us who fear the “Me first and now” traits in the youth vote, that we are dead wrong in our judgements. Just as sometimes  the callous of heart appear to belong to the Tea Party or National Rifle Ass., we totally over look the value in the young who would put many of our generations to shame. President Ronald Regan means nothing to them and invoking his name did nothing towards winning their votes.

We forget that this generation of young people learned from us not to trust.When one out of every three homes on the block experience some form of  abuse in it, they have learned that they cannot trust adults to protect them.  We cannot turn around and place the blame on them without taking our share of the blame and pretend to begin to solve the problems that we face as a Nation, while talking about family values,if we do not understand that as adults our generations were far from perfect,as well.

The 1950’s were anything but what they have been romanticized to be but instead were hidden under the lies of injustice and under the veil of secrecy. The same environment allowed for the inhumane and violence of the Jim Crow laws to continue unchecked along with the violence and inequality of not just the tragedies of those laws but also the lack of laws that protect women and children against extreme abuse.

Those who would advocate the return to the 1950’s are not being fully cognizant or honest of the hardships and lack of humanity of the era.  When we fail to act out of genuine concern for all of our people, ourselves, we are certain to elect officials who would ignore the tragedies of the era,and instead repeat a history of genuine injustice. We as a Nation cannot return to a time of ignorance and injustice but we need to move forward by electing legislatures who  protect all Americans by making certain that the laws protect our children regardless of race,creed,gender or gender orientation, who are the most vulnerable amongst us. The spread of half truths and ignorance only makes hate breed.

Just as those who are aware of past injustices, and fight against the return to the same, we need to acknowledge in more recent times our children were victims of their babysitters, Ministers,coaches, and Priests,others their uncles,neighbors or Boy Scouts leaders,still others their step fathers, dads or mothers, others grew up with drugged,beaten,or alcoholic parents, and still others were prostituted by their own parents. They were warned about pedophiles and terrible behavior in adults that many of our generations were not aware of even existing.

Much of this same behavior happened throughout previous generations as well, but when it is kept as a secret in the closet to take to the grave we grew up being told it was our sin to bear and an isolated happening or worse yet, normal behavior, to practice as adults ourselves.  In keeping the secrets of those we were led to believe we should emulate, we lived our lives in turmoil being convinced we were the demon seed, where as todays generation understands that it is not their fault but the fault of the adult, once they are of voting age. This behavior is not limited to poor neighborhoods but happens on every block regardless the socio-economic conditions.

Many of our young people grew up to find their Sports heroes, steroid addicts or shot or killed in drunken accidents. Others were given drugs by their coaches and told to take it or else.  We adults left them devoid of the heroes we took for granted.  They did not have Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, or Martin Luther King to offer them hope in their lives.  They have no reason to trust the adults in their lives because if they were not victimized they have a friend who was.  They certainly are not going to take a politician’s word for something when their actions are less than genuine and they watched their mom’s work two or sometimes three jobs because they were not paid the wage that their Dad’s were.

They were not bought off as Mitt Romney said with “free birth control” but they have seen too much disingenuous behavior in adults in their lives to be bamboozled by less than genuine politicians. Many of them have no reason to any longer fall for the charismatic who will lie to them.  When abuse was not a part of their life they grew up with the ability to express themselves.

The fortunate ones had parents who encouraged them because they had parents who did or are doing a better job of instilling morality in the next generations than our parents or we did, so the young amongst us who are our future, do recognize the lack of words matching the actions in those who would lead us. It is way past time that we, just as the youth vote does, demand proof of the genuine actions of our politicians to hear us the American Public, and to act as our leaders over lying to us. If the Republican Party continues to fail to understand that their behavior and performance has been exposed and has come out failing,  they will continue to lose elections.

When the Republican Party learns to run legitimate candidates who are genuine in their words matching their actions, then the Grand Old Party will return fully vindicated of its past history and will again be representative of the needs of the people. Talking about it will prove nothing when the conversations are about play acting warm and fuzzy feelings or concerns for the middle class,women, and minorities but their actions taken, prove otherwise.   They cannot deny the voters the truth when their own votes, platform,voter suppression, and actions betray them as less than genuine, nor will it win them votes of the American people.

When the Republicans refuse to accept genuine actions speak to the heart of the youth vote and those votes that they are accustomed of getting, are the votes of the dying generations, then they must change their own actions or become distinct along with the dinosaurs. Unlike those of our generation and before, young people do not buy into the belief that a candidate is a “Nice Young Man”, nor do they vote the way they are told to vote.

Todays’ young people grew up on the internet and are much more likely to check  out the voting records of the candidates  against  their campaign speeches. Bullshippers in politics are on their way out with tomorrow’s voters. The Republicans need much more than empty words or the Hispanic vote in their corner and in most cases, they are assuming that the Hispanics have a short memory and are not computer savvy as well.  No one takes the privilege of voting more seriously than an immigrant, denied.

I wish all of us the appreciation of having genuine people in our lives who surround us this Holiday Season.  May we all be so Blessed as to attract the same with our own honesty while understanding the need of it in all of our own lives. The Holiday Season is not about making comparisons with our neighbors, but about taking pride in the generosity of the American spirit that we helped inspire, while embracing those of us who express the truth of that same spirit.  Celebrate the genuine goodness in all of us by giving of ourselves to what ever Religious or Spiritual belief we hold dear, or as a sign of our genuine love expressed, and give what we can spare to the less fortunate, as a reminder of the real purpose of this Holiday Season.  God bless us all!

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When was the last time or have we ever taken a hard look at ourselves?  Many felt that candidate Mitt Romney defeated himself in the election because we really did not know the person, Mitt Romney, when his conversations in private were opposite of his public conversation. The young Tea Party members are expressing the fact that they need to be more inclusive of all Americans and talk about it.  Does conversation on a level of rhetoric convince any of us when the actions through their votes deny the same? When Congress holds the middle class hostage as they have for thirty years, in order to make certain the wealthy gain instead, will we believe that they care about all Americans?

Isn’t this true about many of us, in that our conversations are many times opposite of our actions? How inclusive are we in our actions?  When I first moved into the Rural areas or took a new job, and I still find it to be true, many of the people I met were so busy asking me questions about myself, while they failed to tell me much of anything about who they were or are.

When couples meet for the first time many times women will tell men much more about themselves than what men will tell about themselves. Many time a majority of men will talk about what jobs they are studying for or hope to get or they hold,hiking,sports,hunting,fishing,women,working out,or any other subject that does not reveal themselves long before they will reveal personal information about themselves.

In the heading about myself on this blog I reveal nothing about myself but state I prefer to let others define me because in writing anything, we will reveal ourselves.  Too often people will go into denial about the person they feel  they are before they will take an honest look at themselves. Many times if we ask what their belief or philosophies are on important issues of the day, we will many times get back a blank stare before we will get an answer.   Other times we hear, “I really am not interested in that,” “that kind of stuff just makes my mind go numb,” or “I haven’t got a clue about what you are talking about.”  Too many people fail to realize that we should at very least take time out to reflect or know our own philosophy on life in order to understand the person that we truly are and embrace.

If we fail to understand our own belief system and the triggers in our own life, that makes us understand why we react to the outside stimulus of life the way we do, then we too many times will spend a lifetime judging others according to standards we do not practice in our own lives.  Many times we will live beyond our means and makes excuses as to why we do or look down our noses at those who do with less and find much more happiness in life than we do.  Having the courage to look at ourselves on an honest level of really knowing and embracing the person who lives inside of us is what makes us find the joy that we seek.

When our own behavior defies the reality of the person that we are, we leave others feeling as though we are a misguided individual, or brain washed by Society or other people’s philosophy, while we have no clue as to what it is that we truly do embrace.  The 2010 election was a perfect example as to how quickly what we knew about our President Barack Obama, could be turned on lies both against him and against Obama care.  It took too many to finally realize that is was not our President who changed his commitments to us but the lies that we accepted as truth, that turn our views on him.  In the end he won because we recognized that his words matched his actions and as a leader he would fight for our rights.

When we fail to know ourselves then we too many times can be led in life by people who prey on our vulnerability. If we have to ask,”Why am I always attracted to people who are not good for me?” then it is time we discover for ourselves why we have to ask,”Why are we always attracted to the same and what are the triggers in me that makes me continually repeat the same mistakes?” Our friends will make excuses for us and so will our family say things such as,”You are just to kind or trustworthy”, or other answers that actually make us feel better about being attracted to those who prey on us.” When we do not get an honest answer but buy into what others tell us, we keep repeating the same mistakes.

When we learn more about ourselves we often find that we have an irrational need to be needed,or to be made whole by someone else,or there is an insecurity in ourselves that can only be made to feel better by attracting or gathering those who we feel are inferior to us.  When we believe we are better than those who we attract too many times we feed our own false ego in the process. The difference between confident people and insecure people is: that those who do know themselves understand their own weaknesses and strengths and their lives indicate that they live according to their own philosophy of self, over that which has been defined by others.  When I tell my readers that I would rather be defined by others, it is because I am confident in the person that I am and yet aware enough that even with that, people will define me anyway.

It is when we can change and alter our actions according to the words that we speak that we do become the person we want to be.  We do not have one set of standards for ourselves, while holding another set of standards for the clique’s,or the job that we work or the group that we hang with during our free time. When we are true to ourselves then we are true to others as well.

Many times in life we are given tests, or run into road blocks in life, or even marry people that we had no business of marrying.  If we do not reflect on ourselves and what our own tolerances or rejections in life are all about, then too often we will go into denial about the person we are.  We need a clarity of why we react and why we need to fill an emptiness in ourselves with that which is bad for us.  If we do not understand ourselves It will exhibit itself in all kinds of judgement calls against others,acceptance of what we intellectually know and understand to be destructive but we will choose it anyway, and leave us in a state of confusion to the point that we can be led by undesirables.

We heard the word hypocrisy expressed many times during the election year because we did not feel that the candidates spoke on the truth of their own lives and how they have voted or spoken in the past. Too many times the candidates had one set of rules for others while having another set for us, when their own actions betrayed their own words.

When people criticize those who have affairs and gossip about it around the coolers or our coffee table, it is not all that unusual that they themselves have had affairs or will have in the future.  Many times the idea of the same has been entertained, at least in their minds, and by downgrading others that have had affairs, they often feel safe in the words that they speak. This is true about many other things that we tear apart in others as we too often fear,”But for the Grace of God there go I.”

Many of us can and do find hypocrisy in people who will malign others regardless of the conversation because we do know and understand our own strengths and weaknesses, and find gossip such a waste of the precious time each of us are allotted in life.  I personally am bored by such talk because I want to know you and what is your banner that you promote and stand for, or will fight for, and what it is about you that is special.

Each of us,regardless of what others think about us,will find that we are uniquely an individual that is special in an area of expertise that makes us the way we are.  We will also often discover that much of what made us think we knew better than others, is our weak point.  When we know ourselves we leave behind so much of the waste and the distractions that separates us from the joy,that we feel in knowing we are our own person and much stronger and competent that we believed ourselves to be in some cases and in other cases we find a total humbling experience.

Either way it is in knowing ourselves we will not only do what is best for us but we will also do what is best for everyone else as well.  When our actions match our words we do not tolerate bigots nor do we reject the equal rights of others but instead we become more inclusive of the understanding that we are all working towards the same goals in our lives.  Happiness often comes at a price and if we do not seek it through hard work and honesty of self, we often find that we fail it instead of it failing us.

I wish all of us a clarity of self this Holiday Season because we do know and understand that our limits range from the amount we can afford to spend on gifts to the amount of triggers in us that causes us to be upset by other’s rude behavior and words.  It is not wrong to discover sometimes, that it is time to throw the bums out of our lives, and to embrace the Independence in ourselves that makes all of us strong enough to carry the crosses we are asked to bear.  We must understand at the same time, there are triggers in us that causes bad reactions in others and work towards changing those triggers in ourselves, as well.May we all have a Blessed Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

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Too often I have heard throughout my lifetime, “It is not fair,” or “someone should do something about it,”or similar statements. We all know people who face the most tragic life’s lessons and still keep moving on without ever giving up, but too many of us refuse to accept or acknowledge the fact that there are others who suffer much worse hardships from our own.

There are those who believe,” that they need to do nothing to help others because they already get enough help” or “such and such is lucky” or “never had a problem in their lives.”  It has also been my experience that people who believe this are the first to react the most poorly when they chip a nail or break a heel off of their shoe or their car gets scratched or their tie begins to unravel.

The people who really learn the importance that we place on things is pretty shallow,are those who will be humbled in some way by life and learn from the experience when they do. It isn’t always fair and the suffering is often very real, but it is how we accept or deal with the tragedies of life, that is the real test of mankind.  We can always rebuild things and many times re-heal bodies but if we give up or curse others,the price we pay can and will lead to defeat. Even when we exhaust all possibilities there does come the day that we must accept our own limitations and embrace the factors that make us the person we are, the person we accept. Often times in life we are presented with  re-inventing a new way to live life to its best abilities without making comparisons in life.

I certainly am not suggesting that we do not grieve an important lost of a  home,job,or even health.  What I am saying is that the longer we dwell on the injustice of the same, the longer we ultimately pay a price much larger than what we ever should have had to pay.  When we look at others and say, “they are lucky,” too many times we are being unrealistic about the sacrifices they made in order to achieve their success or giving ourselves an excuse for the fact that we would rather quit, drink beer, or shop than make the sacrifices needed. When we recognize that no one escapes life without a few bruises and some heart ache we realize that the difference is in how they handle or recover from the lost, is what sometimes separates them from us.

The reality is, people who are willing to get back up and dust themselves off following failure or mistakes,which we all will face at some point or time in our lives, will succeed with each time they vow to come back better than ever.  It has to be there in action and without resentment or fear overcoming our determination to move on or to begin again. As long as we have people in our lives we all will either experience the just or unjust.

Anyone of us can be grateful when things are going our way, the difficult part is learning gratitude when we feel that our life is not, by seeking out what is good in our lives.  No one will ever experience a life where they do not have something or someone good in it, unless they flee from it or reject the idea or the person who does support them. Other times it is our own gift of determination and awareness that refuses to give up, that makes us get up and move on. It is when we waste time blaming others that we weaken our own chances to start over again. When we understand the lesson taught us we will reach gratitude in the process, even though our loss may seem insurmountable in the beginning.  Starting over can be the best thing we ever do, if we learn from our past. If we refuse to accept our own role in it, then too often we will fail. It is the price we pay that often becomes our best teacher in life and teaches us gratitude for the lessons learned.

Life often gets down to how we deal with the insignificant that too often gets blown out of proportion. Sometimes we do find people are in the right place at the right time but too often we refuse to accept that it is not a place that we would ever have traveled to or a job we would have wanted or were qualified for taking. People who base everything on the almighty dollar often fail to understand or appreciate the joy found around the table of a family who has food on the table or a person who is content with just having the people in their lives that they do.

Life for most of us is as rewarding as the lessons it teaches us and the price we pay for it. It is when we learn not to repeat the mistakes but to be grateful for the lessons learned that we become comfortable with what we accept as our own success. When we hear people complain that they just never got the breaks another person did, too many times it was under their own feet but they refused to take the next step or  make the right move that would have given them more.

People do determine their own goals early in life.  It does appear that some people make one mistake and pay for it all of their lives while others mess up all the time and end up a success.  We fail to see that each time the person messes up they often learn what will or wont work towards their own goals.  What made the difference is that they were not afraid to start all over again. We all have different ideas of what exactly success is;for some it is wealth but for many others it is being comfortable in their own body by giving more of themselves than what they took  in life.  A proud Father or Mother can find joy in the Children that become adults and in the way they repeat the lessons taught them.  Many will find a warm roof over their head a welcoming step that predicts the success of their lives.  As people we are not all looking for the same ideas or have the same beliefs, but whatever steps we take we have to be willing to learn from them.

What is happening with all the excuses and the blame being passed around in the Conservative movement as well as the Republican Party,following the election, is the same thing that makes them fail to understand their own mistakes.  Unless and until they accept the responsibility for their own failure to hear the majority of voters, they are bound to repeat their mistakes again and again. We can all take a lesson from their failure to take responsibility for accepting their own mistakes and their own out of touch sensibilities to the needs of the people.

My husband and I together began our lives in poverty with him being a student and my working towards paying his tuition right along with his working a part-time job.  What we had together, was an education and it is what opened the door that began our future towards retiring well.  We have been poor and we know how it feels to go without eating because there was no money nor anyone who we would accept help from, if it had been offered.  We had a great deal of pride and determination to achieve over what we had money in our pockets.

We have been lower middle class and upper middle class and will retire comfortably. It didn’t just happen without our going without along the way.  Even today I just buy enough clothes and shoes to cover me.  The biggest waste of money a couple will ever make is on clothing, despite this idea,” that we must dress for success.”  A few good pieces of clothing intermixed with other pieces is all that is really necessary, to “dress for success.” If we do make it to CEO or are CFO of  a large firm, where this makes a difference, the wardrobe will be compensatory in the wages, as well.

As my husband retires and we plan the next journey of our life I know personally that the places that we have lived and the things we have done will take their right of passage just as they indicate the sacrifices we were willing to make. The employers we had that rewarded hard work, parents who taught us how to live morally,and the schools we came from,all figure into the success that we worked for as well as the children we raised into adulthood, who will contribute to the success of their own lives.

We could never have accomplished what we did on our own, as it took finding an appreciative and grateful employer who was willing to reward our hard work.  It took me a lifetime of living with chronic physical pain, while accepting my own limitations but helping others with the problems in life they faced, and the two of us never giving up on our dream. It is about accepting the price we pay in life and not letting it get us down nor spending a moments notice on what someone else had.  As we drive away to explore the next journey in our lives and to once more view the great beauty of America and her people,I pray that we accept what lies around the corner just as we always have. Too many times we let bitterness replace the gratitude for the lessons we should have learned, for the price we paid in living. Be grateful everyone and have a great day!

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Hate comes from an inner turmoil within the thoughts of an individual and can commonly rise to the level of anger that explodes out of control in individuals or groups. What may begin as a neighborhood dispute between two people can end up becoming a neighborhood dispute involving the entire block if people begin taking sides. The same thing often happens in families with everyone being forced into taking sides, when any issues should remain between the two individuals to work out together.

We often find the similar thing happening in divorce cases where each of the members try to convince their friends, and sometimes their children who were the victims in a marriage, while an over-whelming amount of the time the divorce couples themselves divide the loyalty of their friends or their children’s affections. Too often because the real abusers in the relationship are often charismatic by nature, people will side with the abuser over the victims; Even when marriages remain intact children will often side with the abuser since they are so starved for affection from the parent who abuses they can be manipulated by the abuser who often with holds affection or pays them off with praises or money. Hate can arise from extreme dislike of ourselves and others.  Hate arises from:oppression,fear, envy,greed,ignorance,jealously or any number of negative feelings that arises from an individual person and can spread from that individual through a group.

In organizations,gangs,or groups that demand membership surrenders its own ability to think for themselves to the leaders of these groups, hate can spread through intimidation,brain washing techniques or come from a person who longs to be accepted.  Because these groups often seek out  individuals who feel that they have been disrespected by others all their lives, to join their group or gangs hate spreads through ignorance. When the majority of membership when left on their own really would have nothing against the groups they are trained to hate, they are taken advantage by the leadership that works them into a frenzy of hate.  What often comes out of these groups is the by-product of hate against people that they have absolutely no rational reason to dislike,much less hate.

Rarely if ever is hate based on rational feeling. Greed is involved in gang wars that kill over drug territory for instance.  People get killed without even having so much as discussed their differences with the ones they kill. Many times people who have no knowledge of the beliefs of the Hindu or Muslim Religions will hate entire groups who practice their religious belief.  We find irrational hate against both Religions because a radical, Osama Bin Laden,outside of the beliefs of Muslim Faith, attacked us on 9/11.  The Hindu Religious group in Milwaukee was attacked out of the same ignorance of what appears to be a deranged individual.  Many times people are harassed or attacked for nothing more than skin color while it is supported by law in States like Arizona.

We can hate the spread of hate and we can insist our leaders stop hate but unless mankind educates themselves to understand their own irrational fears or learns to  control  negative feelings, hate can spread like a wildfire and has been a part of history since the beginning  of human existence.

The Middle East has been at war between Religious sects that vary in their beliefs and who view the other as their enemy since 76 AD. Children are taught at a very young age there, just as they are here, who they should hate. Hate is not just a product of America but it spreads around the World with apartheid in Africa and Dictatorship in Cuba.  A mistrust always lays as the basis of hate.

When we have groups like the NRA,The White Supremacy,The Skin heads, 330 Militia Groups Of the Tea Party, gaining support in the Republican Party due to the growth of the Tea Party within its membership, then we see acceptance of hate when it should not be tolerated by government. Some believe there is a  total of 1000  hate groups currently in America.  They range from the radical of animal rights to the anarchists that often are sent to protests in our Streets from across the Canadian border. In these groups we  find the leaders working the members into a feeding frenzy of hate while telling those who already feel disenfranchised from America’s Social fabric, that they are being victimized.  When  hate is spoken about and bandied about combined with drinking cases of beer,hate often begins in one individual and spreads through an entire group of people.

Other times hate is spread against the gay community in Churches with preaching of the Bible verses against the gay population. A huge sector of the internet and social media will spread lies against the innocent or tell half-truths to try to turn people to their cause through hate. Members of hate groups will send out their hate propaganda to friends through email.  Many times gossips will do the same in offices or small communities or neighborhoods. The Conservative Republican legislature refuses to even recognize the gay community as existing, as they claim they have not been recognized by law. In many cases the Bible that was intended to be a guide to lead mankind out of hate and a guide to lead us instead into acceptance of each other, gets misused by Churches and is used instead to stir up hate against groups that they profess to be marked for, “Hell and Damnation.”

The only way any of us can stop the spread of hate is through education and acceptance of all of us.  When we have the very groups who should be helping to educate people against hate responsible for helping spread hate, then it often takes the citizenry to educate those who hate one at a time.  Even when we do we still will find that students who feel like outcasts,those who feel they are superior even though they are often times filled with fear of inadequacy themselves, and workers who get laid off will still be a threat to Society because of the irrational thinking that explodes in the individual who seeks out revenge through hate.

As a Nation we need to recognize the compassion that we have and to do a better job of dealing with the treatment of the mentally ill. Too many even in the medical profession, refuse to promote real and comprehensive reform in healthcare for those who suffer from mental illness because too many times their hands are tied due to Insurance Companies refusal to carry mental patients long-term.  Churches need to take another look at the way they handle the gay issue and abortion and be ever cognizant of those in their own midst that will use either as an excuse to be a hero in the eyes of the Church, by gong on a killing rampage.

As a Nation we need to enforce hate crimes while not enforcing them to the point that they infringe on our rights to freedom of Speech, and that is such a delicate line to cross, that often times law enforcement is damn if they do and damn if they don’t. We need to better educate people in the different religious beliefs and the history of the races without parents yelling Fowl.  We need to teach respect for all people and religions in America but too often when civil rights leaders attempt to do this they are ridiculed and derided for infringing on the rights of white  Americans.  We need to start educating and not stop even while the far right continues to fight against education.

With the younger generations coming up and making friends with people of different beliefs and skin colors we always look for hope in them teaching acceptance and educating the adults to become more tolerate but too many times schools produce the worse kind of hate because the parents accuse the teachers for promoting unity amongst their students, when the parents do not want their children co-mingling due to their own hate issues. Other times parents themselves are so desperate to have their children accepted and popular that they deliberately encourage feelings of superiority in their children when the children themselves feel an inferiority. Some children, who form cliques and are held together by hate, will spread it through phone calls or the internet when they are intimidated by the group to do so if they wish to remain a part of the group.

Due to the mixed emotions  we parents too many times instill in our own children,  groups often form in schools that learn to either co-exists or it leads to disenfranchising a whole group of children because they are not a part of the “cool group” or “one of us.” To often parents create the hate that surfaces in their own children.  This mentality exists in the parents just as bullies are a product of home environment and are a by-product of hate.

The long and short of hate is that it is very complicated and comes from all directions. Even if we could make laws to counter act hate we would have protests from another group that their rights were being infringed on.  The best solution of all is when”We The People” hear words of hate from our children or their friends we take the time to educate our children and support both our Schools and Church leaders in doing the same.  We need to be the leaders against intolerance in our own homes,neighborhoods, schools, and Churches without passing the buck onto another day or another time.  If it is going on in our schools and Churches ,then we the membership, must stand up against it by demanding that the spread of hate stops and is replaced instead by understanding our differences and acceptance of all Americans as equals.

It often only takes one of us speaking out to turn hate into acceptance in our own neighborhoods, one block at a time. We need to get started making a difference now.  Our Republican Congressmen and  Senators need to quit making excuses and start making comprehensive laws of acceptance of Native Americans, the gay population, and Hispanics that grant them rights. The Republican Senate who has filibustered it, can now rethink their previous objections, by passing the Violence Against Women Act that includes Native Americans, the gay populations and Hispanics.

Anyone who has hate issues themselves needs to get help before you help raise the next generation of people made miserable by their own intolerance and feelings of hate. One thing people who hate never find is joy or contentment.  To think that our child or grandchild will never be happy but instead only hate should spring all of us into action by stopping the spread of hate each time we hear it. The media are easy to deal with as all we need to do is switch stations or turn them off, when they spread their hate. “We The People”, are not so easy to deal with, so we need to get started and lead by example for the next generations coming up, so they never hear the hate that we have heard escalating and spreading these last four years. The voters have spoken.  God Bless all of us!

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