Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What To Do After Your Death

One thing most people don’t know about me is that I had a major emotional breakdown in the year 2000. It came after some tragic events occurred in my family.

I’ve written about it some but it’s hard to find words to express what happened. The best way I can describe it is to say that the old person who lived in this body died and a new person was not born for several years.

Up to the year 2000, I knew nothing about mental breakdowns. What essentially happened in my life was that the old person died, but my body did not die. So basically, you’ve got this living, breathing human body with no mind or personality in it. How do you function?

That first year, I did not function. I just walked through every day like a Zombie. I did things automatically without thinking. The second year, all my emotions came alive and I would laugh and cry at everything. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster. One moment you’re laughing hysterically about something that’s not really funny, and the next you’re wailing like somebody just ran over your dog.

Year 3 was better. Things settled down some. I made the easy decision to kill myself. No muss, no fuss. It’s over. Sayonara. It was fun but I gotta go.

During that time frame, I started watching a BBC program called, “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin”. Reggie hates his life and decides to end it all. So he goes down on the seashore, takes off all his clothes and walks out into the ocean.

Only, instead of drowning, he returns to shore. He walks naked to a house and steals some clothes. He changes his appearance and makes up a new name and whole different past for himself. He goes to work at a blacksmith’s shop. He’s got a new life and all the old people think he’s dead so they bury him and go on with their lives.

I got this wild idea that I could do that too. So I divorced my husband and took a job traveling a lot for the government doing disaster relief. I went all over the US and Puerto Rico working hard but having a blast. I made friends, drank too much, did lots of drugs and left a guy in every town I visited.

Sadly, I eventually had to go home. There was still this house where we had lived together … there were all these furnishings and things from this old person’s life. It was soooo hard to go home. I cried many tears over it but eventually had no choice. The hurricanes, floods and tornadoes finally stopped coming and I had to go home.

I had to deal with the ghosts, the demons, the hideous memories. It made my Top 5 List of hardest things I ever had to do.

Unfortunately, you just can’t run away from yourself. As they say, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

So I did go home. I did what had to be done. Eventually, I left the suburbs and moved to Dallas to live in the Big City with people everywhere and so much noise and traffic. God began healing me even though I fought to stay broken. Somehow after 5 years or so, things did get easier. I guess Time really does heal all wounds. My mother used to say that.

Gradually, a new person was born who managed my life better. The old person was dead and gone, the Interim person was self-destructive, but the new human that God helped me build, was strong enough. She had learned the hard way, NOT to trust the humans. Only trust the Lord … he’s the one who won’t leave you when times get tough.

She took over and ran things well. She was much stronger than the original owner of the body. She was more level-headed and not so emotional. She worked hard earning a living for us and she got her butt to church every week and to counseling sessions … she really worked hard to help us get healed.

God did eventually heal me but I resisted at first. I had built a huge Altar to my Pain and that is where I worshipped every day. I was not at all interested in burning that Altar to the ground and getting well. That Altar was the last remnant of my old life and family. Though it was completely dysfunctional, I knew it well and wasn’t willing to burn it down and get on a more healthy path.

It’s funny how things work out though. The ending to my story could have been very tragic if God hadn’t been so persistent. I have a feeling that if He ever gives up on me, I’m in real trouble. But when I was a young woman and first got saved, He gave me this scripture from Isaiah 43:1-
"Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name and you are mine. WHEN (not if) you pass thru the waters, I’ll be with you. WHEN you pass thru the Fire, you will not get burned.”

So I walked all the way through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I didn’t drown and I did not get burned. The person I am today is stronger and smarter than the old one. She knows better than to trust humans. They’re weak, they sin, they leave you. I also learned that God will never let you down. Even if you don’t deserve help or want it, He will still help you.  

You can read more about my journey, here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Humans, An Interesting But Limited Edition Lifelike Organism

I was watching Law and Order yesterday and they aired one of those programs about human smuggling. This guy had a tractor trailer and he would haul about 60 Mexicans across the border twice each month. He was earning $240,000 per month doing this.

But the air conditioner failed in the trailer and 12 of the people died so the inspectors from Law and Order had to solve the case. Stories like this are especially sad because they occasionally do happen. Every couple of years, we’ll see a story like this on TV where people were left to die in a hot truck or trailer. It doesn’t matter if they were illegal aliens or not! We’re all human beings…that’s what matters.

These are humans that deserve a certain level of dignity and respect whether they have a different culture and even if they’re uneducated and illiterate. I think Americans have a diseased mindset when it comes to the value of human life and it may stem from our TV and advertising.

We’ve come to place more value on the life of a wealthy socialite than a Mexican child. But they’re both human beings. Why aren’t they equal? They’re equal in the sight of God!

The other thing about the show was that the guy was earning so much money and yet not providing anything at all … not even bottles of cold water, to these poor people who were paying $2,000 each to cross the border. Good Grief!!!!

If I were going to take up Human Smugging as a career, I would completely carpet the whole trailer in soft carpeting. I would put comfy chairs around. There would be a big frig with cold drinks. I would install a music system and have plenty of snacks. Plus each person would get a clean change of clothes, a bag of food and $100.

The reason so many aliens steal or do other illegal activities is probably because they couldn’t get jobs and they had to eat…that’s what I like to think, at least.

I just don’t understand why any group would be cruel to another group. I think we humans have more in common than we realize. But we seem to gravitate more toward evil than good. This has been our struggle from the beginning of time: Good and Evil.

Image result for garden of eden

We’re given this beautiful Garden to live in rent free and can go anywhere and do anything we want and there’s no charge for any of it. Along comes a Snake in the Grass tempting us with forbidden fruit and suddenly we live in a desert where we must scratch and scrape at the ground for a morsel of bread. We were clearly better off in the Garden!

Yet, there’s no going back. If there were such a thing as a Time Machine, someone would have come back by now and given us decent presidential candidates to vote for in the 2016 election. If mankind would ever in the future invent a real Time Machine, I’m pretty sure they would have gone back in time and made sure monsters like Hitler were never born.

We would have gone back and prevented the invention of nuclear power. Every single one of those 450 nuclear reactors on this planet are nothing more than ticking time bombs. All it will take is one big hurricane or earthquake in exactly the right location and our planet will cease to be habitable for the next hundred years.

ü  Humans can be ingenious; but they can also be idiots.
ü  Humans can be artistic & creative; but they can also create chaos.
ü  Humans could build the most incredible cities and society imaginable; but instead they build whorehouses and bars.
ü  Humans could transform earth into a Paradise that parallels Heaven itself; but instead we build thousands of factories that emit so much industrial pollution that 200,000 people die each year from it.

It doesn’t make any sense at all to destroy the planet we live on and yet, Italy and Switzerland recently redrew their borders because global warming has melted the Alpine Glaciers. Doesn’t anyone care about the Alpine Glaciers? Glaciers are a huge part of our eco-system. Without them, life as we know it will cease to exist.

Again, extinction for the humans coming as a result of nothing more than simple Greed.

So, let’s think this over before we continue on in the direction we’ve been headed for so long. Let’s figure out whether we really want to survive for the long haul. Or whether we just want to live it up and have as much fun, food, booze and partying as possible and when it’s over … oh well … at least we enjoyed our brief time here.

Image result for alpine glacier

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year New Mind

One of the huge chasms that separate the successful person from someone who is not living their dreams, is our mindset. We’ve all seen people who came into the world with major health issues like cerebral palsy, and yet they overcame that obstacle and went on to live a normal life. We’ve also seen people that came out of stark poverty where the family all lived in one big room and there was never enough food to eat, and yet they go on to become a successful athlete who earns millions of dollars each year.

A great deal of time and money has been spent on research to understand why one person can be born into a world where they have everything they need to be happy and yet they commit suicide at age 24 and another is born in a shack in Jamaica and becomes a wealthy business owner.

It’s very sad to hear those stories of wealthy young people who were so miserable that they just couldn’t go on in spite of having every single material possession one could want. Or people like Robin Williams, who was a brilliant performer, had a family, money and worldwide fame, and yet ends his own life in such a cruel way.

In my opinion, there are two forces at work here: the mindset of the individual and their perspective on life events.

I came out of a very dysfunctional home. As I write in my autobiography, when I was only 12 years old, I went to a local store and put luggage on layaway. When mother asked me why, I told her that I was planning to run away from home and needed the luggage so I could pack my things. She just shrugged and went on with her day.

I left home at 17 and never looked back. No matter how bad things got … and they did get pretty bad at times … I still never thought of moving back home. I got sick, lost my job, got into a bad marriage, got pregnant and had no place to go. But I still never considered going back home.

Yet, I’ve met some truly sweet people who came out of great homes with loving parents. They are still living with those loving parents at age 29. They don’t have to cook their own meals, do their own laundry or pay any bills. I don’t envy them at all. In fact, I feel sorry for them. They’re missing a really crucial component of life: Making your own way in the world. In my opinion, you do not do your kids any favors by allowing them to hang around and live with you after the age of 20 or so.

Humans are meant to grow up and leave the nest. When you meet people who never really did that for whatever reason, you generally meet people who haven’t developed any tangible life skills. If life gets tough, they just go home to mama.

It was years before I actually came to count my dysfunctional upbringing as a blessing. And throughout my life, this has pretty much been the norm. I would fall down and there would be no one there to help me get up. I’d cry, then curse, then pray and somehow God would come along and show me a way out of my dire situation.

For this coming year of 2017, I challenge you to look at even the most negative things in your life as blessings in disguise. Try to envision how those bad breaks have actually made you a stronger human. So what if your manuscript gets rejected? Just keep writing. If your spouse leaves, good riddance. If your family turns their back on you, it’s their loss.

You can cry about all these life events that happen to us humans or you can learn some important lesson and then move on … a better, stronger person. The only way you can really lose in the Game of Life is if you quit playing. Let’s see what 2017 looks like. Let’s go forward, not backward. Let’s repent of every mistake and then let it go and move on.