“You can develop good judgement as you do the muscles of your body – by judicious, daily exercise.”
My favorite reference book is Roget’s Thesaurus for the various meanings behind the proper usage of words. Under the word judgement are five separate meanings!
Through our lives lessons we learn to access intellectually the power of sound judgement in arriving to conclusions in decision-making in our lives.
The use of discernment in terms of discriminating what serves the highest and best for all concerned is utilizing another aspect of sound judgement in our lives. This can also be used towards spiritual discernment.
Our freedom and power of choice comes into play when we are calling upon utilizing out tool set in making decisions based on judgement.
Criticizing and lower vibrational fear based thinking is involved in condemning others acts, beliefs and behaviors without compassion when judgement is used in this context.
And then there is the legal system associated with controlling and manipulating others in sentencing them due to the judgement ascertained upon their actions.
“I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgement.”
It became apparent to me this morning that the summons I recently received to serve on jury duty placed me in an awkward state of mind. Who am I to pass judgement on someone else? Have I lived their life, was I raised in their environment, have I experienced the social, moral, mental, spiritual and emotional influences that they have had and walked a mile in their shoes? And even then, who am I to judge? The log in my eye requires much more attention than the speck in my brother or sister’s eye.
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It also became apparent to me when someone commented on something inadvertently directed towards me, it made me dig deeper in questioning myself to find the meaning to the feelings which were conjured up within me.
We all know that we are not to take things personally, yet there was a hidden message in what was said that made me “chew” on the concepts as I kept asking for a deeper understanding as to be clear about the message this messenger brought to me.
“Judge not lest you be judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Worthiness and self-love are core issues of the heart which are oftentimes disregarded in our early growth and learning process which eventually catches up to us.
“What is not fully exposed earlier in life is revealed and made up for in development.”
So the truth of the emotionally charged comment revealed an insightful level of understanding for me that was two-fold. First and foremost, when someone is unfairly judged, they unconsciously direct that towards others. Secondly, by it “affecting” me, it shows that I still have more inner self-healing to work on in that area of my life. It’s always about the refining and improving of yourself on this personal path of enlightenment, as all messages are a present to open and reveal the gift of inner growth.
So I am forever grateful for this message, for it has revealed a much deeper appreciation of conscious awareness towards others as well as teaching me what is most important in taking care of myself. It all comes down to compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness.
“Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.”
John Homer Miller
The conclusion to my summons? It is clear that I will most probably not be selected for jury duty as it is not for me to judge – it is, however, essential to be compassionate towards all as our life is a journey of the heart.
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
On my morning hike the stellar sky and enlivening day brought about a feeling of oneness with Mother Earth around me. As I walked the local school track in meditation, I overheard a coach motivating the students he was training. The message he shared in encouraging, emphatic words: “You’re going to make mistakes on the field, that’s ok. Learn to fix them and move on.” Was he just coaching the athletes he was working with? As that message rang true to the very core of my being, I came upon the realization that was exactly how I have been approaching life. In the optimistic way he presented his message to those he was coaching, it brought about a yearning from those he was instructing to strive for improvement. The delivery of the message in a positive context planted the seed of working towards perfection within these adolescent youngsters.
“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud.”
As I left the track to venture up the back hill, I stopped as I came upon a congregation of immature eagles gathered alongside the ground as well as flying in the area! Thankfully I had my cell phone to photograph them, even though they are not professional looking nor close up shots. But the message was a very profound one for me in my journey of the heart. Symbolic as well, for the coach from the track training session had been instructing adolescent children on the importance of perseverance towards their goals, dreams and desires.
“Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior, trying new ways of ‘being myself’, so that I can see who it is I want to be.”
As I stood there observing the eagles, they began to gather in a convocation as if to communicate with one another on their next soaring expedition, deciding on where the thermals and winds would allow for them to glide effortlessly to a new destination. I remember thinking how lucky they were to have each other to assist in their learning and growing stages of development, and how important that support system is within our own lives as well. When they began to unite as a circle of life joining their energies, I stood there with my arms reaching upwards towards their wings as they rose above me, their feathers just within reach of my outstretched arms. As they soared higher, I was able to count twelve of these youngsters who had graced me with their ‘anything is possible’ outlook on life. Their powerful, pure energy filled my soul with grandeur as a monumental experience for me in my personal life’s journey.
“Jesus said: With God, All things are possible.”
“Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices; do the hardest thing for you. Act for yourself and face your truth.”
From this profoundly enlightening experience, I slowly began the walk up the trail. As I looked to the right where some of the eagles had been grounded, I found a secondary eagle feather symbolically left for me from one of the messengers who flew into my life that morning. The eagle has been an animal totem for me my entire life and I have been attuned to their energy for some time. It has been a blessed experience for me to witness such a marvelous moment and to be able to share it with others as a way of showing that there is much around us to assist in our journey, we just need to be still, open and aware in trusting that still, small voice within, honoring Mother Earth and striving for the highest and best in all areas of our lives, knowing that mistakes are a part of our learning curve, in order for us to super duper quantumly soar!
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
Infinite gratitude to the beauty of our surroundings, of friends and family with heartfelt thankfulness for their generosity from the heart! May our focus on all the wonder and expansive glory surrounding us and the miraculous gift of the breath of life within us be ever kept in present moment appreciative awareness!
“It is a woman’s nature to be constant – to love one and one only, blindly, tenderly, and for ever – bless them, dear creatures!”
“All our talents increase in the using, and every faculty, both good and bad, strengthens by exercise.”
“I would not send a poor girl into the world, ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself.”
“A hardness such as this is taught by tough experience and despair alone.”
“His heart was like a sensitive plant, that opens for a moment in the sunshine, but curls up and shrinks into itself at the slightest touch of the finger, or the lightest breath of wind.”
“But he who dares not grasp the throne should never crave the rose.”
“I allow she has small claims to perfection; but then, I maintain that, if she were more perfect, she would be less interesting.”
“Keep a guard over your eyes and ears as the inlets of your heart, and over your lips as the outlet.”
“It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.”
“Our wishes are like tinder: the flint and steel of circumstances are continually striking out sparks, which vanish immediately, unless they chance to fall upon the tinder of our wishes; then, they instantly ignite, and the flame of hope is kindled in a moment.”
“It seems as if life and hope must cease together.”
“My heart is too thoroughly dried to be broken in a hurry, and I mean to live as long as I can.”
“I love the silent hour of night, For blissful dreams may then arise, Revealing to my charmed sight What may not bless my waking eyes.”
“The end of religion is not to teach us how to die, but how to live.”
“You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
OK, so the joke about this cover photograph has to do with the beginning of sharing the original manuscript with friends and family, with the first draft completed September 2010. My good friend, Debbie Standard, arrived at Arrowhead Parable Christian Center with her first copy of the story in manuscript format and traded it in for the published book! You gotta love it!
My cousin, Michelle Michalek, arrived early for her copy of Chert’s story. The book signing had a tremendous outpouring of my extended family which warmed my heart and soul! So very thankful for their encouragement and support in this labor of love!
So here is the real “synchronicity” about the dress I am wearing. The top beaded neckline of the dress that I made is taken from a party dress of my Grandmother Marge’s. She was my first editor of the manuscript. As a word lady and Scrabble, Upwords and Crossword Wiz, she also had the married name from her first husband of Margaret Mitchell, the author at the time of “Gone With The Wind.” Her use of words has been a strong influence in the building of becoming an author in my life. Thank you, Grandma! Ya Ti Muc Muc Muc Lubiem!!!
As Aunt Kathy Stolarcyk walked in and saw me, she smiled ear to ear and asked me if that was Grandma Marge’s dress, as I told her it was the collar from her dress. The beaded dress is what Grandma Marge wore to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike’s wedding! I could feel wedding energy in the dress, and now know where exactly she had worn it!
As some of you have seen from a previous posting, I painted a hummingbird on the yellow dress of my Grandmother Marge’s and utilized all the beadwork from the hemline of that dress to frame the picture. Interestingly enough, my hummingbirds have been coming back around to the feeder this week and I am reminded of my beloved Grandmother Marge whose first anniversary is on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption. Ironically, my Grandmother Susie Marchell also passed on that sacred day as well, with Mom’s anniversary being Easter Sunday, so I have been very blessed with such spiritually strong, powerful and loving women figures in my life!
“The color PINK represents caring, compassion, unconditional love and understanding.”
“The color YELLOW symbolizes friendliness, warmth and honesty; displaying light, hope and encouragement.”
My cousin Michelle Stolarcyk arrived as we shared our stories about Grandpa Stolarcyk and his crazy wild pants that he would wear as well as Chert’s love of Battaglini Bread from my Uncle Joe and Aunt Carol’s bakery, where no dogs are allowed!
Now here is another “synchronicity” story about Becky Tinker, a previous co-worker with my Mom who happened to move across the street from me a few years ago! We have great fun together and always feel my Mom’ Joyous Spirit hovering around us when we go for our walks around the neighborhood! I offered Becky the manuscript, but she wanted to book instead!
Thank you to Craig Hall at Arrowhead Parable Christian Store, to all the people who came to visit and hear about Chert’s story and purchase a book for themselves or family and friends! I hope that Chert’s story warms their hearts and gives them some insight into the short and purposeful lives of angels in furry clothing!
“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever” is available online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc., as well as my website:
This story will resonate with many of my readers as it concerns a young woman living a somewhat ‘normal’ life, married, working, concerned about finding herself and a better path to her future. Her name is Lori D. Marchell Carlson and she lives in Sanborn, New York. Lori was born Feb. 17, 1962. From our […]