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Remembrance of Faith

“Dwayne … don’t ever loose your Faith.”  Uncle Carl Dobranski

Like most people, I have been Blessed with some very influential people in my life.  Some of those people are bigger than life itself.  Uncle Carl Dobranski was one of those guys.

He was a big strong man with a deep voice and huge hands.  Hands that you never wanted to be on the wrong end of.  Strong, confident and a good honest caring person.  He grew up on a farm, and raised his family on a farm.  Our farm was just down the road from his farm.  He was one of those guys you always wanted on your side, and you never wanted to let him down.  Just like he never let all of us down.

Uncle Carl served overseas during World War II.  From what I understand, he served for most of the war, signing up early and staying until the end.  When he came back he was like most that came back, he lived not to tell about it.

I used to enjoy sitting down and having a sip or two with him.  He would share stories and we’d laugh.  I loved the fullness of his laughter.  He would tell me how much he loved my Dad, and how much he missed him.  It was good to know someone else felt like I did.  He would always make sure that I left a little bit smarter than before we sat down.

On one of those visits, after a couple of sips of course, he opened up for the first time to me about the war.  He never went into any of the horrible memories that he must have had.  All he did was tell me in his deep voice that through all the hell, chaos, turmoil, confusion, despair and the feeling of vulnerability, he never lost his Faith.  He told me the only thing that got him through all that hell was his Faith.

He then looked at me and said … “Dwayne, don’t ever loose your Faith”.

I remember the feeling I had of never wanting to let him down.  I felt the pressure at that very moment when I wasn’t sure if I could make that big of a promise to him.  The confusion that I also felt, as the wheels of my mind were turning, wondering how on earth he could have maintained his Faith in what I could only imagine was total hell.

Uncle Carl passed away in 2000 at the age of 83.  It was an honour for me to be one of the six individuals to carry Uncle to his final resting place, next to his loving wife Auntie Mary.

I often think back to those words that Uncle taught me … “don’t ever loose your Faith”.

For a long time I believed that the meaning of having Faith meant going to Church to prove that I have Faith.  And when you are there give generously, that always proves you have Faith.  Be sure that everyone knows just how much Faith you have!

But what I am beginning to realize is that the Faith that Uncle was talking about wasn’t these secular types of beliefs.  Sure he believed in going to church, and in Christianity, and his Faith in Jesus Christ was an extremely important part of his spiritual beliefs.

What I am realizing is that Faith is not a tangible item that you just show up for.  Tangible Faith beliefs, are beliefs that are created by us humans who are challenged by our own personal valuation of Faith. Just like all of us are from time to time.  There must have been times that even Uncle Carl must have had his Faith challenged.

I believe that the lesson Uncle Carl was teaching me that day was to have Faith that God loves me.  That my Family loves me.  And that I have to love me.  Without Faith that you are loved, Faith is very easily lost.  At the same time that we find it difficult to love ourselves, we loose Faith in ourselves.  When we don’t love ourselves, we make it difficult for others to love us and have Faith in us.  Yes, even God must be challenged to have Faith and to love some of us some of the time!

On the battlefields of Europe, where it was so difficult to find love, those that survived had Faith that their Higher Power, their God, loved them.  That was what got many of them through those dark horrible days.

At this time leading up to Remembrance Day let us give thanks to those who have served.  Take time to honor those who have never let us down.  Express our heartfelt gratitude for their giving.

Let us have Faith that love will always prevail over evil.  Let us have Faith in each other.  Let us have Faith in our Higher Power, your God whoever that is to you.  Let us always have strength to love the you that you are.  Lest We Forget.


Complete the following to contact Dwayne.


In Flanders Field the poppies blow…..


 

0 comments on “Roots”

Roots

Knowing where you came from … where your roots were planted … where they were originally allowed to grow … allows you to go farther than those without an understanding of their roots.

Your language, traditions and core beliefs originated from those roots.  While those roots may not be perfect, from there you grow your own roots.  Be proud of those roots … they are yours.

Keep your own roots firmly and deeply planted, even while others try to dig them up and pull them out.  Those that attempt to do so, only do so out of their own weakness, their own evil, their own rotten roots.

Be proud of the knowledge that you possess as a result of those roots, whether that knowledge is good or bad.  Learn from that knowledge and apply that knowledge to the growing of your own roots.  The roots that your family will grow from.

Be kind to those roots, protect them and defend them.  It is from those roots that a successful life’s journey is dependent upon.

Enjoy the Journey!



0 comments on “Emotions – Where the Circus Thrives”

Emotions – Where the Circus Thrives


‘We can complain because the rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.’


I’m not sure where that saying originated, but what I do know is that it makes me think about how we as humans train ourselves to perceive things in interesting ways. 

Have you ever been told to view the glass as half full, instead of half empty.  Or smiling takes less muscles than frowning.  Or don’t be so sensitive and you won’t get hurt.  

As we go through life, we experience different events.  Some events are positive, like the birth of a child.  Others are negative, like the death of a loved one.  Some create joy, like the feeling of love.  Others create sadness of not being loved.  At times we get angry, and other times we are content.  Each one of these emotional reactions originate within our spirit.  How we process them is a result of our current and past experiences.  That’s how we are designed as a species.  Homo sapiens, thankfully, came with emotions built in.  Those built-in varying, and sometimes volatile emotions, are one of the key traits that have kept us from going extinct.  

Often though, we are told we shouldn’t feel a certain way.  Don’t cry because men are supposed to be tough.  Don’t get angry because it isn’t nice.  Don’t show love because you will just get hurt.  Or, don’t get too excited, something is bound to go wrong.  Don’t smell the roses because you will end up pricking the end of your nose if you get too close.

The other thing that happens often, especially through social media, is the endless posts of positive comments and sayings.  Each one telling you that you should feel a certain way.  With no reasoning, justification or process of feeling the way they say you should.  Just feel that way because they say so.  

The merry go round of emotions begin when you are told to feel a certain way, and you just don’t feel that emotion.  Why are you feeling a certain emotion when everything and everyone is telling you that you shouldn’t feel that way?  That merry go round is very unfair.  If you stay on that merry go round long enough, your life turns into a circus.  You begin to disbelieve yourself because you are continually confronted by all these other people, and sayings, telling you that you shouldn’t feel the way you feel.  You loose faith in yourself.  You begin to think you are lying to yourself and all these other people and sayings are the truth.  The circus grows. 

Your feelings are your feelings.  They don’t belong to someone else.  They belong to you.  You own them.  You are responsible for believing them.  You are responsible for controlling them.  It’s your duty to deal with them in an honest way. 

If your feelings are your feelings, and not someone else’s, then they become the truth.  They are what they are because they are what they are.  We are supposed to feel certain ways at certain times.  We are going to feel hurt when something hurtful comes our way.  We will be happy when something good comes our way.  And we may feel anger when something doesn’t align with our beliefs or our values.  Feelings are a part of life.  They are one of the things that separate us from all other creatures on this planet.  They are what makes us human, and if managed properly they keep us humane.

The problem isn’t that we have feelings.  No one should tell you how to feel and how long to feel that way.  We each need to shamelessly accept the way we feel. 

A problem can arise when we remain in that state of feeling for too long.  Especially if those emotions limit our growth.  When we carry the baggage of growth-limiting emotions, and we aren’t able to let go of the heavy burden, we will eventually die spiritually, and maybe even physically, within that baggage.    

The most challenging step for us is recognizing when we are holding onto that baggage for too long.  Awareness is the key, but it is a key that is often lost, just like our car keys.  Awareness gets set aside, and all we can do is frantically dwell on the emotion that is keeping us locked out of moving along with our life.  Restricting and limiting our growth.  

The awareness key unlocks your ability to be aware of your emotional state.  It allows you to honor your emotions.  By honoring your emotions, you allow yourself to feel the way you feel.  You give yourself permission to feel the way you feel.  You are able to justify your emotions, even though others aren’t honoring them by discouraging you from feeling the way you feel. 

Honoring your emotions is the key to moving on.  It’s being honest to yourself.  To progress through a deep emotional state requires honesty in how you feel.  It also requires honesty to the reason why you feel the way you do.  This honesty allows you to move on to the next step.  It allows you to progress through the emotion and not live within it.  Honesty to yourself allows you to have truthful, unsuppressed emotions that are healthy.  Honesty will also keep those emotions from spiraling out of control, keeping you in control and keeping your life from becoming a circus.

As that awareness is unlocked, and is set free to be what it is, you will be able to find gratitude in what you experienced.  Acknowledgement and recognition of things that you are grateful for is another key on the key chain that will help you move on, to find balance.

Sometimes, setting yourself free from this emotional circus requires help.  Especially if the emotions are extreme.  Getting unstuck on your own is difficult.  Spinning your tires just digs you deeper.  Connecting with a Life Coach is like calling a tow truck driver when you’re stuck in the snow bank.  All you have to do is say ‘I’m stuck and I can’t get out’!   

After my Dad was killed in an accident, a close friend and mentor told me that allot of people will tell me they know how I feel.  He said that only you will know how you feel, only you know the true meaning of your feelings, don’t let others tell you how to feel.  That was twenty three years ago, and it’s advice that I reflect on often.     


Make time to check in with myself, calm my mind and spirit. When I am calm I can hear myself, God, the Saints, LOL and even my dog Teeko! So check in with myself, calm my spirit and listen for the wise guidance of my soul, my Lord Jesus Christ.

— Lorena Silzer




0 comments on “Impermanence”

Impermanence

 Go Marauders!
Go Marauders!

Practice makes perfect – now there’s a saying that has been drilled over and over into everyone’s head over the years!  

The problem is that ‘perfect’ isn’t possible.  To achieve perfection in anything would in fact stop progress.  

So, why do we practice to be perfect?  Why do you want to stop growth?  Why is there this goal to stop progress?  If perfect isn’t possible then aren’t you practicing to achieve something that is not achievable?

We do not make something perfect by practicing the same thing over and over and over.  Practicing should be an attempt to make something better, and better,  and better, not make it perfect.  If your goal is to be perfect, then go ahead and keep practicing, maybe you will get there.  Wherever there is! 

But if you want to live and to grow then you gotta make new.  You need to view things with the mindset of impermanence.

What the heck is impermanence – was what I silently asked myself the fist time I heard the word.  I didn’t want to seem naive and ask for the definition.  That would be like asking for directions to get somewhere.  A real man never does that!  Especially when it’s your daughter using this fancy word!  So I did what every brave man and father now does – I Googled it!

Turns out impermanence is in fact a word.  Who knew!  And it’s a good word.  No wonder I didn’t know what it meant! 

Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism.  I have never purposely studied or practiced Buddhism. I have no idea yet what the three marks are.  But thank you Google and Wikipedia for helping me define impermanence! 

Impermanence, according to Wikipedia, is the belief that all things, whether material or mental, are compounded in a constant or continuous change of condition.  All things are subject to growth, decline and destruction.  All physical and mental events, state’s Buddhism, come into being and dissolving.  Human life itself is in a constant state of change.  As are our relationships with others, and with ourselves.  Everything we possess or own.  Our belongings and our space.  All things in the universe are in a constant state of change.  Makes sense, kind of like the Big Bang Theory!

Enlightenment comes when we realize that what appears to be permanent really is in a continual state of change.

Enlightenment comes when we realize that no matter how hard we practice to be perfect, we never are.  That’s because each of our definitions of perfection is in a constant state of change.  Even our relationship with perfection is in a constant state of impermanence.  Everything is impermanent, even permanence.  

Some of us spend our lives practicing to be perfect at something.  And because we are never able to reach that level of perfection, we are continuously letting ourselves down.  What failures we are for not being perfect! 

Get over it!  Humans were never created to be perfect.  We were created to be unique.  And through that uniqueness we are allowed to be impermanent.

The other truth, or enlightenment, is that by practicing to be perfect does not make new.  It just attempts to perfect something that already exists and is likely deteriorating.  

To continually attempt to make something that is impermanent perfect, is like wearing your old high school football jersey to your grandson’s prom.  The jersey likely no longer fits.  The numbers are falling off.  And the emblem on the front that you idolized in high school likely isn’t in the same condition as it was thirty or forty years ago!  No matter how many times you wear that jersey, and relive that big play in your senior year of high school, it likely still isn’t exactly how it was drawn in Coach Rink’s playbook.  The play you practiced over and over to make perfect, after all these years, still isn’t perfect. 

If your goal is to be perfect, then keep practicing, maybe you will get that touchdown yet!  Even though the game is long over.  

If you want to live though, well then you gotta make new!  You gotta move ahead with your own unique imperfect self.  Take pride and ownership in the creation of that special imperfection you call you.    

Because if you’re not moving ahead, Buddha says you are declining and self destructing.  And that picture ain’t so pretty!

 

In the end, only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

— Buddha

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