Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Have you ever experienced the fire inside?  What a feeling it is!  This is a freedom of sorts.  A freedom our soldiers are fighting for each and every minute of each and every day. It was fueled yesterday morning by a soldier sending me a text that simply said, "I miss you."  Does it get any better?

For me the fire is an excitement for living.  A yearning for what the day will bring.  The early morning joy in the face of your dog, as paws on the bed are followed by a sincere wagging tail.  Clean crisp sheets after a busy day.  A friend calling just to say they were thinking of you.  The nose of a horse, muzzling your neck.  Listening to the exuberance of sixties music.  Sipping coffee on a porch at dawn, observing the world as it awakens.  Watching light ash-colored clouds on the horizon with the azure blue sky and sun peaking through. Someone whispering I love you at the time you need to hear it the most. German Chocolate Cake ice cream. A baby's contagious smile.

None of us know what is on the horizon or how to look to the other side.  But what we do know is that this is it.  This life is what we have right now.  As they say this isn't a dress rehearsal. This is exactly the time to have the fire inside. What turns me upside down are those who do not! How sad and bitter they must be. 

This past week I had someone try and pull the rug out from under me, slandering me to people she barely knows. It started me thinking, that there are most likely none of us that hasn't had mud slung at us at one time or another.  Some people find great superficial reward in hurting others. When in reality all they are doing is showing us who they really are. Shame on them.  They must have woefully low self esteem.  Slander isn't pretty. Nor is the person devoting his/her life to it.  As Robert Frost said, "A person will sometimes devote all of his life to the development of one part of his body - the wishbone."  If some people's wishes don't come true, they tend to blame everyone but themselves for the dilemma in which they find themselves.

Becoming completely consumed with hurting another person is a sordid vocation.  When ideals and solitary dreams die, perhaps they should best look to themselves for the reasons.  These people are not thriving.  They are not living.  No one is taking them seriously.  And they certainly are not leading by example to their children or their family or friends.  How ultimately pathetic they must be. They are desparately seeking grace, but none is forthcoming because it is an infinitely worthless activity.  These people don't get it.  They are merely existing.  I invite them to experience compassion, experience life, wake up, it isn't all about them.  To exisit with compassion, with integrity, with empathy, with joy of living instead of simply getting even is what it is all about. 

I watch my soldier friends and their families.  They all stick together, they belong to each other, help each other and they 'have each others backs.' They don't get bent out of shape at the little things.  They have seen and experienced 'hell,' and as one soldier told me, "The little stuff is nothing."  You see they 'get it.'  They know what is important and what isn't and what has meaning and what doesn't and they know how important life is and how fleeting it can be.

Recently, I have become unraveled when the sharp arrows of life have rained down on a friend.  These arrows have interrupted my life on more than one occasion.  Times when I have wanted to crawl into a hole -and have.  And times when I have wanted to find some deserted island and start over - and  haven't.  I know what it feels like.  I want to help and am not sure how.  It is utimately frustrating.

So for today, I celebrate our country and our military who allow me to celebrate my individuality, my strength, my courage, my integrity and my righteousness and let the 'ugly' people of the world deal with their own lives. 

They will not be allowed to put out my internal fire.  They will not be allowed to waste my time!

"While it is important to win, it's even more important to remain undefeated no matter what happens."
~Marie Wheeler-Nicholson

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