Optimism and politics

This is a hard topic for me. I try to stay focused on the positive, but others do it so much better. My struggle as an optimist seeing beauty everywhere and staying focused on that in a highly corrupt world.

Poem: I know God loves the Fishermen

I know God loves the Fishermen

I know God loves the fishermen
It’s clear and I will say
The reason God loves fishermen
To you to hear today 

Last year I was a-paddling
Upon my lake’s calm waves
I stand and do the coast line
When my body craves

Some movement, and it makes
My muscles feel much stronger
My balance has improved some
It takes an hour or longer

Away a hundred feet
A fisher cast a line
The hook plopped inches starboard
Right near the boat of mine

Angry I yelled, “Hey fisher
Did you not see me here?!”
He lectured me on boating
And he did it with a sneer

“You need to learn boat etiquette”
He said like and like a boor
Yelled that he was in the right
Because he fished the shore

I looked it up and he was right
I was so mad at that
And for year I’ve been seething
About this little spat

This morning I was gonna boat
And a voice says “Scoop the litter”
So dutifully I got the scoop
And headed to their shitter

And through the basement window
I saw upon my shore
That same fisher who last year
Yelled at me before

Had I gone out that moment
And pushed off to the lake
I would have made another
Boat etiquette mistake

I know God loves the fishermen
And He also loves my cat
The fishers are not drowning
And it’s clean where kitties shat

A grateful offer

Thanks so much for your attention (it is priceless) and support. Please take a moment to visit 1minutehealing.com and download the book “One Minute Healing for free (it’s an ePub file). Use the coupon code “review” – if you like it, please give it a review on Amazon.com or related book sites. Thank you again!

Healing verbal violence first

What if we could reduce physical violence by first reversing the trend of verbal violence that is increasingly prevalent in the national media and social media? I am as guilty of this as anyone else, and I think it is time for me to change.

Please check out Sally Kohn’s TED talk on Emotional Correctness here

Poem in reflection

A client of mine shared this poem with me yesterday. I never heard it before. I think it is particularly important in light of what happened in Dallas yesterday.

Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm and I’m in command
and that I need no one,
but don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
if it’s followed by love.
It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me
of what I can’t assure myself,
that I’m really worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare to, I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me,
that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
and nothing of what’s everything,
of what’s crying within me.
So when I’m going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,
what I’d like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can’t say.

I don’t like hiding.
I don’t like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you’ve got to help me.
You’ve got to hold out your hand
even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings–
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator–
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back.
It’s irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn

September 1966