1217. There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve. ~Malcolm X

At last, you will not be remembered for
roaming the earth as a non-entity,
but by every word, and every miracle,
and every love, and every seed that ever came
from the innermost part of your heart.
~Michael Bassey Johnson

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Every day I read blog post after blog post filled with litanies of “somebody done me wrong” songs, and I know that pain and loss are real and deep, unwarranted and regrettable, heartbreaking and devastating. And although I can’t walk that proverbial mile in the shoes of these bloggers, they need to know that we’ve all been there and done that. But ya know, there comes a time when one must let the past go and move on. My guess is if I handed any of them a burning hot potato that I’d just taken out of the oven, they would put the darn thing down before it did any serious damage to their hand. And so why is it that any of them or us hold on to toxic, past suffering, letting it “burn” us over and over again, day in and day out! Why do we give hateful, hurtful people that kind of power over our lives? Isn’t it like dragging dead bodies around with us wherever we go-weighty, stinking, rotting corpses with no life left in them? Why do we do that? Is it because we think nothing good or anyone loving will ever come along again? Oh my gosh, if nature were like that, life on planet earth would have ended eons ago. Like everything else God created we are full of seeds and possibilities, but the seeds must first be sown and then nurtured before the possibilities become evident, not unlike those minuscule green shoots that push up from the darkness of the soil to the light. And that sowing process can’t be done by whining and wallowing around in the stench of those carcasses we’re hanging on to. It can only be done when disappointments and heartbreaks are finally thrown onto a compost heap to become fodder for new growth and the seeds are thrown out to germinate! And no, it’s not that I’ve lived a sheltered, privileged life devoid of heartache that I can say these things for I’ve known bitter loss; I live with chronic pain; I’ve dealt with defeat; and I’ve experienced utter despair; but I’ve also known enough of joy and happiness and miracles not to let that which has tried to break me define who and what I am and/or steal another millisecond of what life is left in these old bones. Walking away is a choice; letting go is a choice; setting ourselves free from harmful people and things is a choice, and only we can make those choices. So grieve a while, sing your sad songs, write your sad stories and poems, and then pick yourself up, dust your fanny off from the fall, stand bravely tall, and declare to life and the world that you cannot, will not be subdued or diminished by others or the past. Then walk away with songs of hope in your words, and never, ever look back.

He(the Lord) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; text box added to altered and edited images I created; collage by Natalie too

1093. When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about the speaker’s own need to be critical. ~Unknown

To live a creative life we must
lose our fear of being wrong.
~Joseph Chilton Pearce

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Part 1: I’m always heart-sickened to hear that someone has been attacked and/or criticized for what they’ve posted on their blog. And now I’ve heard about it happening often enough that I’m going to have my say about critics and why what they do is uncalled for and unfair. First off life is all about failure and has been since any of us came into existence. For example an infant tries many times to raise its head off his/her mother’s shoulder before he or she succeeds. Then as the baby attempts to crawl, he/she gets up on his/her hands and knees only to collapse back onto the floor over and over again. Next comes the child’s attempts to walk which is another period of success and failure before he/se actually takes off making substantial forward progress. And on and on the learning process goes. Now, before I go on, is there anyone so heartless that he/she would belittle or mock a child for these trials? I hope not! So why is that as we grow and try bigger and more complex things that others feel compelled to criticize? I believe, like Shannon L. Alder, that “often those who criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Or like James Russell Lowell that “a sneer is the weapon of the weak.” Or like Emmet Fox that “criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” Or like Chuck Palahniuk that “it’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation, but it’s a lot more difficult to perform one.” Or like an unknown author who said that “criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but for having faults different from his/her own.” But my favorite comment about criticism is this passage below by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred
by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed;
who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion,
who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and
who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat.
~Theodore Roosevelt

As a teacher, I used to hate that a student had been hurt and criticized so much at home and/or at school that he or she was unwillingly or very timid about trying new things and risking failure for fear of ridicule from his/her peers or adults. NO ONE has the right to criticize anyone’s creativity or thoughts. If a reader does not like what he/she reads on someone’s blog, all he/she has to do is move on and not read on and/or better yet choose not to follow that blog. No one forces anyone to come to our sites or to read and/or look at what we put on them. What we post comes from a need deep within ourselves, and therefore is sacred. I will address that need in Part 2 of this tomorrow. The gist of it is that: “Sometimes people try to expose what’s wrong with someone else because they can’t handle everything that’s right about them” or that “Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. ~Zeuxis”

Here’s an interesting website that lists some well-known people who were criticized and rose to fame and/or success because they followed their dreams despite critical, bloviating naysayers:

They Did Not Give Up
http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/OnFailingG.htm

But I have a mind as well as you: I am not inferior to you. ~Excerpt from Job 12:3   ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text added by Natalie