The Daily Quote: You are Responsible for…

” If you want to move forward in life, you have to make it happen for yourself. You are responsible for your own life, and if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you or to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward and the sooner you get that, the sooner your life gets into gear. This is what I know from doing 25 years and thousands and thousands of interviews on The Oprah Winfrey Show:  It does not matter where you come from, whether from dire circumstances… It does not matter what your momma did, whether she had a PHd or NO-‘D.’ What matters is this moment – NOW, your willingness to see this moment, accept it, forgive the past and take responsibility and move forward.

 

-Oprah Winfrey

The Daily Quote: Hurt People Hurt People

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome…”  – Joel Osteen

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I had an acquaintance comment recently on how patient & kind I am. Another friend said she told someone that I am the most compassionate person she knows, & that I would help anyone. This week, one of my coworkers called me ‘spiritual’ and ‘understanding.’ Most people who spend any time around me nowadays would probably tell you that I wouldn’t hurt a fly; that I would never dare harm a soul. Some would shudder in disbelief at the thought of me angry & shouting, much less throwing things or in a physical altercation.

I am told that I am ‘Loving’ and ‘Sweet.’ I am told that I am ‘Patient’ and ‘Peaceful.’

While flattered, & pleased that people think positively of me, I can’t escape how incredibly uncomfortable it makes me feel; like a fraud.

I am no stranger to anger. I am no stranger to darkness. I come from a very painful past, full of fighting & hurt & anger & hopelessness. I used to be a person who hurt people.

Hurt people hurt people.

I have managed to hurt most, if not all of the people that I love.

Some people left for good. A few loved me even more fiercely because they could see through my anger, carelessness or coldness to the pain & the fear that I carried.

It is an endless cycle. If you knew the truth & the weight of the guilt I still sometimes carry, you would understand why I will probably never feel that I am a ‘good’ person. I live in spiritual & emotional debt, & there is no way that I, alone, can ever repay those I have grieved. The only thing that makes me ‘good’ is the mercy of Allah. The Almighty, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, The Forgiving. He hides my sins & allows people to think good of me. He continues to heal the wounds of my heart & allow me to be a light, no matter how dim, to help others & be all of these things that I never, ever thought I could be: Loving. Patient. Kind. Compassionate. At Peace. His Mercy allows me to get up every day & try to be the beautiful person that He allows me to portray. I am still a work in progress. It takes effort & diligence. I want to please my Creator.

Healed people heal people.

I still carry the pain, but it is no longer in the form of heavy chains. It is much lighter now, just a tool; a lens through which I can see past the mask of people like me; people who are hurting. The Almighty has blessed me with a heart that is open to people’s stories, their hurts, their despair. My eyes can see through the smiles to the reality behind people’s eyes. Sometimes it’s challenging. People often don’t wish to be seen & vulnerable, but my lens can see through anger & tough exteriors, especially those of children – where there hides pain & fear & loss. I can spot it, because I have it, too. And I can meet it with the Love that He has filled the holes in my heart with.

To those I have hurt because of my own pain, I am truly & sincerely sorry. My apology doesn’t remove the hurt or the anger, the embarrassment or betrayal you felt. I have not forgotten the things I did. Seeing you keeps me humble & is a constant reminder of who I truly am – that I am not perfect. I am not the picture of humility & patience & love & grace that the Almighty allows some people to see. I am still a work in progress. I am still trying & I have not left behind the wrongs that I have committed.

Some people may never see me for the person that I now strive every day of my life to be. I have already painted a picture in living color for those I have hurt. Only the Almighty can change that if He wills.

This is my truth.

Peace & Blessings ❤

The Daily Quote: Allahu Akbar

“Attackers in Paris and Mali shouted the phrase “Allahu akbar” before firing shots and killing people. “Allahu akbar” translates simply to “God is greater.” Muslims explain how misuse of the phrase has affected their lives in the U.S.

They discuss the media sensationalism, religious extremism, Donald Trump and fascism, and their cultural adjustments because of the backlash.”

Lisa Biagiotti, Contact Reporter, LA Times

Source: The Misuse of ‘Allahu akbar’ and how the phrase has been co-opted by terrorists

The Daily Quote: Opportunity, Being Sexy, & Living Life

I don’t recall what my family & I were doing on the evening of August 11, 2013. We may have been having a movie night on the sofa, or an evening bike ride through the neighborhood. We might have been swimming & enjoying a summer cook out. Little did I know that a celebrity was on stage at an award show dropping some serious knowledge on kids all over the nation. Advice that I had yet to put into words for my 4 & 7 year olds. It was profound advice, even for me, at the age of 33.

 After revealing that his real name is ‘Chris,’ he told the audience that he had learned a lot of important things back when he was ‘Chris.’ Here is what he said:
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.  When I was 13 I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof.  And then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant.  And then I got a job in a grocery store deli.  And then I got a job in a factory sweeping cheerio dust off the ground.  And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than.  I was always just lucky to have a job.  And every job I had was a steppingstone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job.  And so opportunities look a lot like work.”

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap! I promise you! It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it.”

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family. But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you.”

“And you can build your own things.  You can build your own life that other people can live in.  So build a life.  Don’t live one, build one.  Find your opportunities, and always be sexy.”
Video

The Daily Quote: Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving is a time when my family gets together & tells stories about our creation myths & who we were & who we are & really, what we lost.”
I do not teach my children that ‘Thanksgiving’ is based on a time when the ‘Pilgrims & the Indians’ shared food, culture & hospitality.
I will never, ever tell my children such lies.
We all know the disgusting truth. Most of us simply choose to keep passing on the lies that were painted to cover up the murder, rape, theft & destruction of the beautiful life & culture that existed here before this was “America.”
Oppression still exists here in the “land of the free.”
It’s called the Reservation.
We enjoy our turkey, & when the kids bring home construction paper & feather headbands & talk of the pilgrims & the first Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t know what to say right now, as they are so small. It’s not that I don’t know how to tell them about the way our ancestors violently took this land & it’s people.
My problem is this: How you do tell your kids that their teachers, their school, the text books, the department store holiday decor, the Charlie Brown thanksgiving special, & virtually every one & everything else is LYING to them?
And when they ask why??????
For now, I don’t say anything. They haven’t asked, & I haven’t told. But sooner or later, they will know, & then what will they think of this world? What will they think of America? What will they think of this ‘land of the free’ & ‘land of prosperity’ when they find out that despite all of our advancements, political, social, economic, & technological, the civil rights movements, fighting for equal rights, etc, etc…this reality still exists for the Natives to whom this land first belonged.
They continue to exist in an invisible oppression, denied & ignored by the masses; the offspring of the “pilgrims” who destroyed their beautiful way of life, & the futures of their people for generations & generations to come.

The Daily Quote: Killing

“Man should not glory in this, that he can Kill. Man should glory in this, that he can Love.” – Abdu’l – Baha

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For as long as humans have been alive, they have killed. We kill to eat. We kill to defend ourselves; to survive. We have further evolved into a species that regularly kills each other for little or no reason at all. We not only kill; we murder. It’s on the news every moment of every day. So why does man still find glory in the act of killing his enemy? Any species on this earth can kill. All animals & organisms were created with instincts & defense mechanisms to protect them from harm. This is true all the way down to single-celled organisms & bacteria.

Think about it. Humans are so proud of the fact that they can do something that even the lowliest single-celled organism has been doing since the dawn of time; killing. It’s nothing new. Millions of organisms are doing it at any given second, & without the celebration, chest-thumping, or declarations of victory.

Think about this: What we should be proud of is what sets us apart from these organisms & what makes us so unique; our capacity to Love. Can bacteria show compassion? Can they build & maintain lasting relationships? Can they choose love over hate? They don’t even have the capacity to hate, love, or feel anything for that matter. Humans do. Every day we should delve further into our ability to feel & exude positive energy & affect the other beings around us. We can care for people, plants, & animals. We can choose how to feel. Isn’t this, and not man’s ability to kill, that which should be glorified & marveled in?

 

The Daily Quote: Bloggers Unite for Peace

 

“We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions, and religious and cultural backgrounds.

We do have one thing in common…

We believe that terrorist attacks, wherever they may be perpetrated; whether in France, Tunisia, Canada, Iraq, or in Denmark, Turkey, UK, Algeria, Yemen, USA, Lebanon, or in the skies over Egypt, or in India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Bangladesh, Syria, or Mali are nothing less than attacks on humanity itself. The list is long, and probably many more besides. In every place, in every country, we, as a community of human beings, are always the innocent victims.

However, we, as members of this humanity, have found we have much more, not less, in common than those who seek to polarise our global community through indiscriminate murder of our fellow brothers and sisters.

These attacks are carried out in the name of, or in support of, a cause few of us, irrespective of religious conviction, can even start to comprehend. Murder is murder, irrespective of whatever motive or cause. As a community of bloggers, standing together for peace, we say simply this…

We will not be separated or forced to cease our friendships.

We will not change our ways – we are happy as we are.

We are all different, and proudly so, and stand together as one.

We respect each other’s right to life.

We want to live in peace.”

Go to the original post to sign your name. Bloggers Unite for Peace

Peace & Blessings ❤

Ang

The Daily Quote

Uncle Spike's Adventures

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Here are some ways to add your support to this message of peace:

1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be 
added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing uncle.spikes.adventures1@gmail.com 

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We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions…

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The Daily Quote: The Monster that is Depression

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“I can sense it coming on, slowly. I can stand on my front porch & see what’s out ahead of the storm. I can watch the enormous, mile-high black clouds rolling in. There are days of near-darkness before the storm even reaches me”. – Anonymous

“It’s like watching yourself be swallowed by something, seeing its teeth & throat open up & watching yourself be eaten, from the bottom up, inch by inch by inch. I’m screaming inside for days, as I feel myself being swallowed by the monster that is Depression.” – Anonymous

“Slowly, over the course of a few days,  I become like a cardboard cutout of myself. My colors start to fade to beige-brown, & the shape becomes less & less human. This blank, flat, beige-brown piece of cardboard drags itself through my day, raking its edges ragged, soggy & dirty from dragging the ground. It is all that is left in my place. It doesn’t experience feelings. My emotions become jumbled & numb. My thoughts as well. I barely function for weeks, until finally, my normal form begins to return.” – Anonymous

There is a great article called, What Does Depression Feel Like? that accurately describes some of the real, non-clinical symptoms of people experiencing depression. Here is a list from the article:

  • Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
  • You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
  • You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
  • You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
  • Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
  • Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
  • You’re having trouble making simple decisions.
  • Your friends and family really irritate you.
  • You’re not sure if you still love your spouse/significant other.
  • Smiling feels stiff and awkward. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen.
  • It seems like there’s a glass wall between you and the rest of the world.
  • You’re forgetful, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything.
  • You’re anxious and worried a lot.
  • Everything seems hopeless.
  • You feel like you can’t do anything right.
  • You have recurring thoughts of death and/or suicidal impulses. Suicide seems like a welcome relief.
  • You have a feeling of impending doom – you think something bad is going to happen, although you may not be sure what, and/or…
  • You have a very specific fear that torments you constantly.
  • In your perception of the world around you, it’s always cloudy. Even on sunny days, it seems cloudy and gray.
  • You feel as though you’re drowning or suffocating.
  • You’re agitated, jumpy and and anxious much of the time.
  • Your senses seem dulled; food tastes bland and uninteresting, music doesn’t seem to affect you, you don’t bother smelling flowers anymore.
  • Incessantly and uncontrollably into your mind comes the memory of every failure, every bad or uncomfortable experience, interview or date, like a torrent of negativity.

If you are living with Depression, you know that not all people have the same symptoms, but you can relate to one thing for sure; you don’t want to suffer at the mercy of a disease or be labeled & judged because of a diagnosis. You are who you are. Depression is not who you are; it affects your ability to be who you are. It affects your ability to cope with normal daily situations & responsibilities. It affects your ability to love & be loved.

Depression is both mental and physical. It can be caused by physical & emotional trauma. It can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Therapy and/or medication can help. Not all people suffering with Depression become suicidal. Some people experience chronic physical symptoms like fatigue, weakness, widespread pain, & headaches, as well as changes in mood & anxiety.

What is Depression?

What Causes Depression?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK