Do you know the difference?

Allow me to introduce you to the Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Profanity Warning!

These little bastards are fucking mean! They are considered to be beneficial because they eat other insects like mosquitoes, apids and the like. I have become acquainted with them, quite painfully 6 times in the past week.

Yellowjacket.Mostly.Dorsal
Yellow Jacket

They will defend the colony very aggressively. A giant, pushing/chasing a lawnmower over the nest is to be attacked mercilessly. The sting is painful initially leaving a sharp ache the rest of the day.

MDAgroundnests
Ground-nesting insects

When the ache subsides, what you are left with is not unlike a large mosquito bite that itches for a week or more. I am amazed at the tenacity and courage of these little fuckers. Imagine giving your life trying to kill a creature several thousand times your size to defend the queen and her brood.

What I have learned.

  1. They only nest annually
  2. Only the inseminated queen survives the cold winters (not sure how I don’t care)
  3. She starts a new colony in spring
  4. Late summer the nest is at its highest density (ah now I am beginning to understand)
  5. Upon discovery stay away, let them settle down and take another pass if necessary.

The Takeaway. I have a profound curiosity for all of God’s creatures. There is something to be learned from nature that I can apply to the miracle of life and existence.

Courage, what are you willing to give your life for? Survival of a representative republic?(that’s a worthy blog post by itself) Tenacity, How adamant are you about your faith? I feel I could be better. Defense of your family. I know I can be hard on them, but I only want what’s best and will expect the same in return.

God bless all of you and thank you for reading to the end.

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There’s always room for improvement!

And boy, do I have some. Astronomical in size comes to mind. What brought this on? One might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. If you have been following along, you know of my desire to help. Well, it has become painfully apparent the I can do more.

Through reading blogs, scripture, news and so on. The question arises, what have you done for “the least of mine”. Not a lot I must admit. Lately, though I have given some dollars to those requesting “anything helps” at intersections.

I had, in the past that these people were actually just doing this for their job and that they probably made more money than I do. Upon reflection, I found within that this was devoid of compassion.

it's here
Like it or not-Fall is upon us

Another area in my sorted life, where I find room for improvement is in refraining from the judgment of others. This has been brought about reading from Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island “If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity…We must somehow strip ourselves of our greatest illusions about ourselves, frankly recognize in how many ways we are unlovable, descend into the depths of our being until we come to the basic reality that is in us, and learn to see that we are lovable after all in spite of everything”, and that we are loved precisely because of our flaws.

As I emerge from the other side, I am better able to love, any and all. And, most important understand.

Willingness

“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it.” Then you are ready to take certain steps. From How it works. Here we/I are/am at step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

So I have identified and shared my less than savory aspects of my behavior. I have also discovered where I have been deceitful to myself and others to achieve my objectives and the self-centered fear behind all of that.

How does one become entirely ready for anything, much less having all of my survival mechanisms removed? I must first recognize that they might not be and that it’s not up to me that they are removed. As with all the occasions where I find that I am reluctant, I am instructed to pray.

As I become willing for my character to be repaired, I am faced with being an active participant. Namely, where I have been dishonest, I need to stop lying. Where I have been lazy, I need to get up off my ass and do something positive/productive. Where I have been disingenuous, I need to learn how to say no.

The most important thing, in my opinion here, is to have and cultivate greater faith that all is well and I will be allowed to make mistakes to learn valuable lessons. And that is not only ok, it is Good.

 

 

Just Stop!

What have we here? Is it the most beautiful, appealing, attractive thing I have seen and must do what I can to possess it. Or, perhaps it is repulsive, ugly, frightening and I must give this a wide berth, look away maybe pretend I never encountered it.

I have to stop and consider, that I am most likely wrong. I must be willing to invest in an open-minded attempt to see it clearly and acknowledge my propensity for distorted perception.

Saying to myself Yes and Thank you, for everything. What may seem to me at this moment to be counter to my benefit, just might be the best thing to ever happen.

Has Sammy Hagar been around “like” forever?

Honesty

Continuing my endeavor into principles that I somehow failed to integrate as I grew up. If any have any questions about that, just start from my first post and that should explain a lot. My guess though is that most get it.
So I’ve subjected myself to enough emotional anguish and despair that I have become willing to surrender. At which point, in my opinion, freedom is then possible. The next stop on our journey is honesty.
hon·es·ty
ˈänəstē/
noun
 the quality of being honest.
  1. “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
    synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness; More

    2.
    a European plant with purple or white flowers and round, flat, translucent seedpods that are used for indoor flower arrangements.
    09fd691d-52fe-496c-a6a1-66918b05ab88
    Clearly, I’m not talking about the flower. Honesty for me is something I thought I had always been good at. I have a problem though about being honest with myself. More about that here. Honestly?
    The kind of freedom I am alluding to is phenomenally described here.
    I believe this whole-heartedly and have experienced that kind of freedom from my days aboard ship in the Navy, while restricted to the ship and involved some extra duty. Freedom is a state of mind. Honesty with oneself is imperative.
    We admitted we…
    I had to admit that my best thinking got me here and that I must be willing to do things differently. So now what?
    more on that later. So long for now

    St. Augustine

    Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to him who made you. Stand with him and you shall stand fast. Rest in him and you shall be at rest. Where do you go along these rugged paths? Where are you going?…Why then will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but remember that it is not where you seek it. You seek for a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how can there be a blessed life where life itself is not?

Surrender

Hello, freaks! With my tongue planted firmly, where it belongs.

When I hold on, I’m left with nothing. If I let go everything is possible

On this glorious Palm Sunday morning, I am embarking on a trek through some principles I have embraced, due mostly, to the idea I was in control and knew exactly what had to happen, and how you were joining me whether you liked it or not.

Fortunately for me and everybody close to me, I didn’t die before I surrendered. I am finding as well, that I am in a continual state of surrender unless I am not, in which case I am in for some emotional pain.

According to Meriam Webster Surrender is defined thusly

Definition

1.  a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort

b:  to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2.  a:  to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b:  to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

For the purposes of this discussion, I like #2 as it relates to my surrender to a feeling of separateness and my behavior trying to feel connected through portraying myself, as something, I am not and engaging in activities aimed at establishing a connection with others doing the same thing. Use of imagination and experience can allude to a vast range of erroneous endeavors here.

As soon as I surrender to that idea, I am able to be liberated to embrace my already established connection to the whole and that I was never really never separate from it.

 

Gratitude

Gratitude

With me,
it happens in a split second
— and for no discernible reason.
Out of nowhere, I find myself overcome
with a wash of gratitude for everything,
everyone.

 

And each time I know that whatever
divine human potential generates
the sudden waterfall of thanks,
it certainly does not come from me —
the little I who trundles along keeping
a watchful eye out for sand traps
and bee stings.

Gratitude and Spiritual Growth

No, it comes from a place much deeper —
from my Higher Consciousness
— and accordingly, it seems
both odd and familiar at the same time.
Although I walk around as ordinary as ever,
this unseen Visitor rushes forward with quiet feet
and tumbles over everything I meet.

Spiritual Growth

As a result, I find myself
staring with gratitude at the chair,
the radio, at a cup of tea in my hand.
Feeling grateful for the sun, reaching inside
to paint itself across the living room floor.
And grateful for the windows that permit me
to watch elm leaves dancing in the sky.

Spiritual Gratitude

Grateful for an ant, alive and purposeful,
hurrying along a baseboard to complete its chores.
Grateful for the familiar face of a neighbor,
jogging casually along my street.
Grateful for an unexpected idea which burst
into my morning out of the blue.
Grateful for an old jacket, which has served me
kindly and gently for so many years.
Grateful for breath, grateful for flowers,
grateful for life.

Gratitude to God

But that isn’t all. I tell you this
unearthly gratitude is so expansive,
so oceanwide and unblinking,
that it even embraces things that would
normally be triggerpoints: like bills,
like burnt toast, like a sore back.

Giving Thanks

So that, for a while, all irritants
are bathed away in a wash of inordinate kindness.
Without these blocks, I am left
with the largest and simplest element of all:
true peace.

Spiritual Growth

And after some time it passes,
this immense blessing, as quietly as it comes.
For a while, I just sit there,
looking around the apartment with a sense
of emptiness, wanting it back again..
this formless, timeless, healing,
heart-filling taste of Divine Love.

Gratitude

And of course, It has never left.
It is I, with my subtle attachments
to this world, who keeps Love
at a distance.

Personal Growth

But here is my wish for all of us:
may the Sacred Visitor come to our door,
and find us ready.

by Elsa Joy Bailey