Spatial Disorientation

Photo by M.A.D.

We hope for fairness and constancy in life, but many times during our journey, we find ourselves on the opposite side of it, and most likely, not knowing up from down, and feeling that life has handed us the worst card, feeling sort of a spatial disorientation that numbs our senses and leaves us without a sense of direction, and many other feelings and emotions we rather not experience.

“It is not fair,” accompanies the anger and disillusion. During that time, how can we look up when we don’t even know where up is? Our compass, our radar, is not working properly. Everything might seem out of place in life, foggy, distant … It is hard to make sense of it all or make intelligent decisions. However, there is always a constant, one thing that remains the same when we don’t know our up from down, and that is the knowledge that help comes from above, wherever that might be. In an upside-down situation, help is a prayer away, and we don’t need to know our orientation because it is a matter of faith, and faith has no limits, no boundaries; spatial rules don’t apply here. When you feel that you have been handed your worst card in life, start by looking up, no matter if you don’t know your up from your down. All you need is a little bit of faith as your compass, and let God, the pilot, take you out of the storm and bring you to a safe place.

I will turn the darkness into light before them.

Isaiah 42:16

The Crossroad

Photo by M.A.D.

One of the joys of living is not being able to tell the future. In that sense, today is the most important day of one’s life. People live and die, and whatever they live in between, that “life road” is different for everyone, even for the most dedicated and perfectionist planner. Life doesn’t give you guarantees but it may give you surprises, good and bad. How we interpret and respond to those surprises will determine the road we will take when in a crossroad. Some people go through more challenging times than other people, but no matter who you are, at least one time in your life you will be standing at a crossroad. Sometimes, the options are more generous and better than other times; however, there are times when none of the perceived options feel right.

When going left or right doesn’t seem to make sense, there is always a third road. It is the one you make when you don’t like the options. It is like leaving the paved highway and cutting through the tall grass to get to the other side. It might be rough, full of weeds and stones, and you might even encounter a few snakes here and there; however, it will be the right road taken, that is, for you, because you will pave that road with every step you take and with every lesson along the way. In the end, the solution was part of the journey. “You have arrived.”

On Home and Country, One Day at a Time

Photo by M.A.D.

When I feel that my life is lacking balance in a certain area, I feel out of control; I think most people do. When a bad or out of the ordinary situation happens, people find themselves off-balance, in fear, and experiencing many other emotions. Most of us deal with the situation as best as we can, everyone in their own way. The repercussions throughout the many areas of life, sometimes leave you numb or in shock for a while, paralyzed, fearful … But there is a time after, when it feels as if a bit of sunshine is coming through the cracks. It is then when we can take control and keep living. The current state of affairs worldwide might leave people feeling afraid and hopeless. Unfortunately, no one is going to take care of our “house,” and no one is going to fix it for us. One has to find and create balance, whether one finds it through faith or not. It is up to me to keep on living and tend to my “house.”

Every person is dealt different cards, some people have to deal with very bad situations, many from infancy. For those people, balance might sound different, and they must fight for it, many times, throughout their whole lives. It can only be done one day at a time, but it can be done. Many times, we are sent an angel here on Earth, a person that makes a significant difference in our moment of need.

I hear about inflation every day, and how bad the economy is, and I see so many local businesses shutting down. I see the almost empty shopping carts at the supermarket, the stress in people’s faces. At the same time, I see the kind, and the giving, and the good existing alongside the bad. There is nothing I can do about many of these things except the things that are in my immediate control – adjust my budget, grow food, shop less or tweak a grocery list, clean up my pantry and freezer by using what I have instead of letting it go bad, donate to my local food pantry, pray, help someone I might be able to help … and so much more. We all can do something tangible (and spiritual) one day at a time, and that is how we take back control, how we tend to our house and country, how we find our balance points, and how we keep our spirits up. Do your own Declaration of Days. One day at a time.

Love and Light.

When Your World Crumbles and Your Truth Vanishes

I didn’t plan to write this blogpost, but deeply felt that I needed to write it. Life is just life; it is not perfect, and it is not guaranteed; it just is. Life can be all that when we decide that we want to receive all the gifts that God has readied for us. Life can be a real mess, or it can be sweet. This world is far from perfect and expecting others to be perfect is expecting something I cannot deliver myself; I am far from perfect. I can only love because God loves me first, otherwise, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I am an imperfect decent person that once thought she had it all together but did not. I am happy that I found that out. When your perfect world crumbles, when your beliefs, habits, everything you knew as truth, or everything you knew as “you” comes toppling down, the only thing left is the real you, sometimes, the real scared you. That is a good thing; believe me, I have been there. Now, you can sweep away the pieces (don’t even bother to pick them up) and continue your journey (don’t even have to start a new journey, there is no such thing, just your journey).

This world is loud and fast; don’t pace yourself to it. This world is unfair; don’t expect fairness or righteousness from it. Instead, be for others what you were expecting for yourself. Don’t let the noise be louder than your faith. Faith in what anymore? In the only one that lived through it all, the unfairness, the rejection, the let-downs, the hate, the noise of the times … Jesus lived through it all. When in doubt, ask Him directly in a real imperfect but sincere prayer; He will answer you. I know. If you want to know Him a bit better, find him in the chronicles of His life (in the pages of the bible.) Don’t take anybody’s word for it; you find Him yourself! If you really want to know Him, you ask Him for help, and it will be given to you. He will reveal who He truly is to you. You’ll get your answer.

So don’t let this imperfect but beautiful and lovely world rob you of your peace, light, and love, instead, live like you have never lived before – connect through Him. It makes all the difference.

Love and light.

Home Sweet Home?

When we started to fix this old farmhouse, we decided to frame part of an original wall as a picture, a reminder of where we had been. I placed a flower box under it, and I was very happy with it until a few weeks ago. Every time I passed by it, I felt a bit annoyed and definitely not at ease but had no idea why. Suddenly, I disliked the flower box. It puzzled me. It wasn’t until I looked at it and asked myself what about it bothered me that I made the connection. The flowers that I added to the box reminded me of an image I had seen over and over everywhere I looked during the past two years – the coronavirus spiked ball shape. I knew I had to replace them right away, so I discarded the ill-looking flowers and placed a different greenery with a happier vibe.

Before
Now.

This was a good example of how media can influence one’s perception and emotional response to people, concepts, things; even the same things one liked before. As writers, we are in the quest of using words and imagery to create a story that translate into emotions and perception for the reader. The words we select, not only tell the story, but live beyond it.

How Do You Begin Anew?

Photo by M.A.D.

For many, the start of a new year signifies a blank canvas, a new opportunity, a fresh start, a chance to do better than in previous years, a hopeful outcome. It is a chance to start anew, new beginnings, a chance to erase, to forget, to try once more, to take inventory of one’s life, and to view the new year with fresh eyes. It is why so many people receive a new year with joy, new hope, and a refreshed outlook. Somehow, it signifies leaving the past behind and moving forward. Rarely one views the start of a new year with a gloom and doom outlook; most likely, it is viewed in a positive way, hopeful.

For me, this year represents much of that but also, the opportunity to look at different areas of my life and be humble, honest, at answering crucial questions: What works? What doesn’t? What would I like to change? What doesn’t fit my lifestyle anymore? What should I simplify more? What are new areas of interest? What would I like to learn? What needs improvement? What needs to be left behind?

These questions can be applied to any areas of one’s life, even projects, or household management. The answers will vary and change throughout a lifetime because we are always evolving. These simple questions help me focus on the year ahead, but also free me from remaining stuck in something that doesn’t “fit” anymore, and also, in not viewing issues as failures thus bringing discouragement into the new year. I do what I can, my part, but also rely on my faith to seek direction/guidance from God when things might not be as clear. For me, starting anew is asking the question, answering honestly, and following through in faith.

New Beginnings – Left Behind

Photo by M.A.D.

A new year is just around the corner. The past two years have been difficult for almost everyone around the world. Each country with its own challenges. I usually like to focus on a theme (a word or phrase) during the new year. This year, it will be New Beginnings. My attention to whatever I do will be centered around it. For me, new beginnings mean leaving behind many things that don’t serve growth. I have decided to leave fear behind – fear that is being promoted all over this planet, and behind I will leave the shadow of Covid as well. I refuse starting a third year in this way. I refuse to be controlled by media, and giving in to doom and gloom. I think it is time to reevaluate many things in my life and household, and take a hold of the reins.

God has not called us to live our lives in fear, but instead, He gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2Timothy 1:7). Two years of doom and gloom everywhere you look takes a toll on people; it breaks people’s spirits. I am not on board with it. One has only to look at free countries that have turned into dictatorships of fear and its citizens under it. God did not intend for us to live that way. He gave us free will for a reason. If the Creator of everything gave you freedom, who is man to take it away? Think about that. In a fallen world, Jesus came to give you back what had been taken away from you (and this is my perspective as a Christian). If He was willing to die for us, who is man to take it away? I realize that I don’t have to let anyone influence my days, and that I can decide how I wake up in the morning and how I live that God-given day. I can focus on the blessings, beauty, or not. Free will is about that as well. I am excited about this new year because I want to be, and I am looking forward to new beginnings, with God’s blessing. I wish for you a beautiful and loving year and a fresh start as well, with all the blessings that God meant for you.

Act As You Mean It

This post is mostly directed at people who live and work in the USA. It has to do with a topic that concerns me a bit, and affects me as well. If you are a published writer or a small shop owner, even if you sell your patio set (or anything) for over $600, it will affect you too. It is about the new laws under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Why am I concerned? Well, for various reasons, and the first one is why are people not talking about it more, and why some people I have talked to do not even know about it (maybe because Mother Main Media is not reporting it)? Second, as I writer, and a small online shop owner, it will affect my pocket. Under the old requirements, (including 2021), a 1099K form was issued for your taxes if you made $20,000 and/or more than 200 transactions during the year (transactions varied by state so check your state guidelines). Under the new requirements, if you made $600 and above starting on January 1st 2022, you will be issued a 1099K and it will be reported to the IRS so you can pay your 2023 taxes on your small fortune of $600 plus. That is a big difference in amounts. For example, let’s say that from January 2022 until the end of the tax year, you sell a few books and you make $600 or more in gross income, you will be issued the 1099K, and will be responsible to pay taxes on that income. This will also affect how banks report your income, so it really affects everyone who has a bank account in the USA, and most people do. Banks will report to the IRS any transaction $600 and above, and don’t think that it doesn’t affect your savings account because it does not qualify as a transactional account like a checking account is. Under the new laws, a savings account will be treated as a transactional account. But it gets better, transactional accounts are not required to be insured by FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – what protects your money in case a bank goes kaputz). Other types of accounts will also be considered transactional accounts, see what I mean? Where is this really going?

Going back to my concern, what upsets me most is that every time I ask someone that I know (most likely) will be affected by this, they do not know or do not seem to care. How do you not care that your money/sanctity of your bank account will be monitored in such a way, and that it will be uninsured if it is labeled as transactional? Ah, but wait, most people think that taxes will go up for the rich and prosperous, sorry, but the definition of rich and prosperous has changed – you are one of them if you make $600 or more in sales, whether you sold your washing machine or your latest page turner. Somebody has to pay for all this – look in the mirror. Already 86 billion have been set aside to hire over 86,000 IRS employees who will monitor your riches. Need a job? Don’t you just love all that “rescue” power? By the way, if you have been selling on Ebay or Craigslist or Etsy or whatever, watch out you “non-tax payer criminal who abound in riches” because if you have been naughty, now you will need a tax id/number to keep selling or your selling account will be frozen. Remember, these venues must now report any gross sales over $600 or in the case of banks, any transaction over that amount, (deposits and withdrawals, yes, withdrawals too, because we need to know) – the treasure chest has been opened and you don’t have the key anymore.

How will this affect me, and most likely anyone who breathes and bleeds when poked? Although I am at peace with Uncle Sam (I have been a good girl, oh, lucky me), this $600 windfall might put me over the line a bit, resulting on a smaller refund, which is already tiny, or maybe pay something back. It all depends. Will keeping an online shop and ventures worth it if it is hurting more than it is being profitable? I will have to wait until 2023 tax season and see. Well, good luck you hardworking American, and may the force be with you. Now, don’t you be naughty, I saw that huge garage sale you had going on, you filthy rich citizen. Deposit that!

Life’s Staircase

By the end of the year, I find myself looking back, reminiscing of the year, and years back. It is an exercise I welcome; it opens one’s mind and perspective. Whether good moments or less than good moments, it all makes up the big picture, an entire year that turns into memories. It makes me think of life as a staircase. You either go up or down, or sometimes you get tired and rest in the middle. Sometimes, you take one step and back up many, and sometimes, it feels as if you never took one single step, even when you have taken many.

Some people have more steps to take or climb than other people, or it seems. Once you take the first step, you want to go up, even when you don’t know what awaits. During the climb, one defines the staircase, its shape and style, its design, or maybe it has been already defined in part, and our job is to climb it, putting our own print and style on it with the decisions and indecisions we make. It may be winding or straight up, see through or solid, wide steps or narrow. It reminds me of a line from the old TV show The Honeymooners. Norton said, “Be nice to the people you meet on your way up, because they are the same people you will meet on your way down.” Falls hurt, ones more than others. Stumbles are scary, especially the further up you are.

One thing brings comfort. If you don’t like where it is going, it is ok to turn back down. Eventually, you will reach the last step, and inevitably, you will think of the first, and all in between.

“I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.”

Psalm 119:45

“Not a Hypothesis or Conspiracy Theory …”

Came across this very interesting video of Archbishop Vigano. In it he tells it like it is, and presents his opinion (and warning) according to his knowledge of recent events. The video is in Italian, however the subtitles are in English. The subtitle part that was missing because it points at the Vatican is translated in the description. I find it very interesting, thought provoking, and eye opening as well, so I am sharing it. It also reminded me of chapters in my book Sunrise Souls, when a Catholic leader of the church sounds the alarm, and works with the Divine and Dinorah to fight evil, which is trying to take over the entire planet and establish its reign. Another very bold move from this Archbishop who seems to put God and faith ahead of Vatican ideology. Make of it what you wish, but interesting non the least.

11/3/2021 Note: It looks like this video has been taken down. I am not sure of why because it was just the Archbishop speaking about what he believes and what he has seen. But this doesn’t surprise me at all. It seems that these days, anything and everything that has to do with an opinion, especially if it has religious connotations is canceled and removed from media. It is what our society has come to be. No more thinking for yourself, you have to agree with the global mentality or you are canceled and erased. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said in one of his movies, “You have been erased.”