Ego and Spirit

Suppose you were offered a choice between a beautiful, delicate, finely braided gold chain bracelet or a twisted, knotted, tangled bracelet.

If you don’t like bracelets, imagine you can give it to someone else who loves them, so the decision about your choice is still worth making.

Which would you choose?

I suspect that unless you love the challenge of untangling things, for the joy of success you feel afterwards, you’d probably choose the first option.

Changing directions a little…

Suppose you were offered a choice between living a life of freedom and ease, or a life full of unmanageable tangles and knots that complicate everything for you.

Which would you choose?

Again, I suspect that unless you thrive on facing challenges and difficulties, you’d pick a life of freedom, one lived fully in the present rather than one with heavy baggage that would weigh you down.

As I sat back and thought about these two options it seemed clear that the first one was far superior to the second. And yet I realized that I often choose the more difficult route through life. Perhaps at times you do as well.

I could not avoid the obvious question…why? Why would I choose to complicate my life in this way?

It didn’t make any sense to me.

That is, until I allowed myself to move deeper into the question. It was then that a beautiful clarity appeared in the form of individual voices representing my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego selves. Each one speaks to me and offers insight about the whole of me.

I know this may sound a little over the edge, but give me a chance to explain, then decide what you think.

I believe that each part of me contributes something to the whole. Sometimes those contributions are helpful and sometimes they are harmful, in the sense that they affect the amount of joy I experience in this life.

When one part is overwhelmed, it tends to adversely affect the other parts and the whole of me suffers. This happens most frequently when my cultural training kicks in. Throughout my life I’ve been influenced by those around me to believe certain things. In effect, I’ve allowed myself to be programmed, that what I’ve been taught is correct. During some of my rebellious phases I’ve railed against some of this programming, but much of it still persists.

I realize my ego plays a key role in my life. Its primary function is to protect me, and it does this by performing threat assessments and taking what it believes are necessary actions. Over time, ego has created numerous default settings, which lead to automatic responses to the same or similar events. Unfortunately, my ego may treat all threats in the same way, and not see any distinctions. The truth is that some threats are real (encountering a bear in the wilderness), and some threats are false (I will catch a cold simply by being cold).

If I want to experience an untangled life, some interpretation is necessary. I have to be able to see beyond my ego’s misperceptions.  

I need to hear from my spiritual voice. So, I invite it to come and share its profound insights with me. I want to know how I can tell the difference between what is real and what is false.

Spirits appearance comforts me deeply. My breathing changes, slowing down, calming. A soothing feeling pours over me, and my ego relaxes and patiently awaits guidance.

Spirits voice is clear as it speaks to ego saying, “I love you and treasure that you try to protect me. I want you to know that you are precious and necessary. You can relax now. Together, we can share the load you carry. The truth is that our protection needs are few because we are safe. I see that there are other things you need to know, and I will tell you. For now, be patient and rest easy.”

Ego kicks back a bit, letting go of the gas pedal. It knows answers are coming and it believes all will be well.

More will follow in the next post.

Expectations

What do expectations do?

It’s been an intriguing question for me, and I’ve spent a great deal of time considering it. Considering, but not coming to any real conclusions…until today.

Expectations appear to jeopardize my success. They block my progress forward, making it harder to experience what I am hopeful about. They are harmful things because they are projections of an uncertain future and are not easily controllable.

When I create expectations there is a tendency to generalize them, which makes any evaluation of their success difficult. Worse still, I tend to attach my sense of happiness to them.

Expectations also create fear for me. Fear of not experiencing them exactly as I would like.

Often, I have a sense of what my expectations are, but I don’t write them down and recognize them. I don’t take specific actions steps to make them happen. I just expect them to occur on their own because that’s what I want. Truly, a recipe for failure.

I will be the facilitator of a retreat soon and I’m sensing an inner concern about meeting both the groups and my own expectations.

While considering this I feel guided to write down what I expect will happen. I come up with nine items and upon review, I notice that I have absolutely no control over the outcomes for five of the items and only limited control over the other four. I might be able to enhance the chances of meeting some expectations, but this seems entirely uncertain.

I also notice that if I allow my happiness to be conditional on successfully meeting my own and others’ expectations, I will be doomed to failure.

It becomes apparent that there are two key elements involved here. First, my setting any expectations, even if they are specific enough to be recognizable, creates a certain degree of fear. And second, it is evident that I have no real control over what will happen for any participant or for myself, which produces even more fear in me.

That’s when a beautiful thing happened.

I realize that in all cases, fear serves as a divine messenger for me. In this case it creates legitimate clarity because it brings home the message that neither setting expectations nor controlling outcomes is where I want to focus my attention.

Recognizing my fear allows me to widen my view, to take notice and to shift my awareness from what I can’t do to what I can do.

I can’t meet all of my own expectations nor those of others because I don’t have control over any outcomes. Life is too complex and fluid for that. And I can’t guarantee my happiness when it is tied to achieving all of my expectations. My vested interest if just too strong.

I can however release my perceived need for setting or accomplishing any expectations. I can embrace being present in each moment, realizing there is inherent value in simply loving myself and others and going with the flow of life.

When I am ‘in the moment’ and fully engaged I can be vested in the creation of depth of connection with and for others and myself. That’s when I experience joy and for me that’s what this world is all about.

Three Words That Matter

Imagine this for a moment. Suppose that we were going to play a game that would last one whole day and you could only use three words. What words would you pick?

I know it seems like a crazy idea and when I thought about my answer it took me a while to decide. I considered whether they would useful or descriptive or questioning words. I wondered what might I need and who would I be ‘talking’ with?

Maybe you want to stop right here and pick your three words before I continue, so mine don’t influence yours.

If you’re back or don’t want to choose at the moment, but still want to see my choices, here they are…

I chose; 1) hi, 2) yes and 3) no.

I am fascinated by words. Three specific words are having a profound impact on my life, so much so that I felt a strong desire to share them with you.

They are want, choose and claim.

I recently had a conversation with Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god that I often talk with) where I asked if she could provide some insight and clarity about the differences between these three words.

She said, “wanting expresses a desire, but what is missing are the actions necessary to make the experience real to me.” She went on to say, “wanting does not create anything but the sense of itself- wanting. Without action, there will never be a sense of having.”

I told her I understood now how little power there was in the word and concept of ‘wanting’ and that I needed to shift away from using this word unless I was prepared to take action.

I then asked about ‘choosing’ and Lia responded immediately by saying, “choosing is an action word, ordinarily making a decision between different choices, but sometimes between either doing or not doing something.” Lia went on to add, “choosing means you are consciously setting your direction and will experience results based on your choices. If you are unsatisfied with the outcomes, you have the power to choose differently.”

So far, so good. I sensed the next word was going to take me in a new direction. I asked what ‘claiming’ meant.

Lia didn’t hesitate, telling me, “Claiming is a very powerful word. It implies a deeper understanding about life, including the realization that every pathway of choice already exists. No pathway must be created, they simply can be claimed. Claiming also implies an awareness of your masterplan and is the most direct avenue to experiencing the object of your claiming.”

I sat in stunned silence. I’d never understood the relationship between these three words nor the magnificence of their progression.

After regaining my attention, Lia went on by saying, “Claiming contains conviction, while choosing is often tentative.”

I wanted a little more confirmation and posed this to her, “so, my wanting something is okay, but is only the beginning of the process. It provides some clarity and direction, but if I truly expect to experience the object of my wanting, I have to take action.”

She agreed and I continued, “so, I can change wanting into choosing by taking action and I can change choosing into claiming by recognizing that all pathways already exist and that they are available to me to claim as my own.”

Lia agreed, then shared this insight, “the idea of claiming your best life demands that you identify, know, or clarify what that looks and feels like to you. Once you have this awareness deeply inside you, you will be able to claim and experience anything.”

I am extremely grateful for this conversation because I now understand the difference between these three words that matter to me and how to shift my perspective so that I can claim my best life.

Changing an Attitude

Are you task focused, or can you go with the flow?

I recognize that many times I become very task oriented as I’m sure folks who know me best would confirm. They’d probably tell you about my To Do lists, several of which are color coded. That should give you a pretty clear picture.

Fortunately for my peace of mind and sanity, I’ve altered my views about my lists. I now use them more as guides, rather than as mandatory self-assignments. They currently stand as reminders of things I need to attend to (doctor and dentist appointments) or people I’m getting together with or meetings I have. Things I don’t want to forget.

To be completely open, I do have other lists too, the kind that can become overwhelming and oppressive, if I let them. Maybe you have a few of these too.

Over the course of time an antidote arrived in the form of a complete sentence.

“Aim for progress, rather than completion.”

What an incredible freedom this offers. It allows me to keep an item on my list and make strides with it, but without the burden of feeling like I have to finish it (or else). It helps let me off the hook.

I also discovered a companion to accompany this antidote.

“There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.”

For me, this one takes a lot of getting used to, especially considering the amount of cultural training I’ve received. My entire educational and work experience demanded and rewarded the completion of tasks be done in the ‘correct’ way. Thinking outside the box was often punished and there were only rewards for compliance with the ‘right’ way. It took an abundance of years for me to understand there are other possibilities and more than ONE right answer.

Then I was struck with a novel question. What if there was no such thing as a ‘right or wrong’ way, only the way I chose? This idea encouraged me to reexamine my entire thinking process and question the underlying assumption of there being ‘one right way’. I came to discover that in many cases, perhaps in all cases, I’d never know until I experienced the final outcome. There are just too many connections along the way to know the truth about any of my choices.

Then came another idea to join the group, a helpful suggestion designed to shift my attitude and attention.

“Focus on feelings, rather than on accomplishments.”

I love this one because it reorders my world and focuses my awareness on what’s most important to me…my feelings.

It’s entirely likely I will not accomplish every one of my aims. For whatever reason, I might get only so far and have to stop or redirect my attention elsewhere. However, the progress I did make and how I felt along the way, I get to keep and savor.

As it turns out, my feelings are the truest barometer of my satisfaction with life. They connect me with my source (divine nature) and with others, all those I love and whom I want to share my life with.

One final idea came along, and it enhances all the others before it.

“Come to a place of peace and joy with everything.”

And, I think to myself, isn’t this what I am really after? And my answer is YES.

New Year Love

I’ve chosen to repeat my post from the end of 2020 because I still believe it represents the truth and I wanted to remind you about it. So, here it is.

I wonder what you want from this life. If you were given a notebook or a journal or a clean slate, what would you write on it?

Here’s a choice…you can stop reading this post for a few minutes and write down the first things that come to you or you can keep reading and perhaps, if you’re interested, do this later (although I may spoil it a little with the rest of this post).

This isn’t the typical New Year’s resolutions, nor a list of challenging items to attempt to accomplish. Rather, it’s a wish list of the experiences you most want to have this time around.

Now, what would happen if I asked you to narrow your list down to only one thing. Would that be difficult for you?

I think it is often the case that we have so many options it becomes challenging to sort through them and choose only the ones that we think will make us happy.

Years ago, Maureen and I were in San Diego and went to brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was incredible. I think they boasted that they had over 130 selections to choose from. It was overwhelming and almost everything looked delicious. I seriously doubt whether anyone left there without a massive stomach ache. They should have handed out Tums as folks walked out the door.

That’s how it can be when we’re given too many choices. Often, we want more things than we can manage. That’s my reason for asking you to narrow your list to only one item. To gain some clarity and focus.

I want to share with you what I chose.

I want to feel loved and that it makes a difference that I’m here on this earth.

I am profoundly grateful that there are those in my life who tell me that they love me and that I make a difference in their lives.

But sometimes, I only hear long after the fact that what I did or said, reached someone. I long to be a part of others’ lives, connecting deeply them. I want them to know that I love them.

From time to time, there is an aloneness that comes to join me. When this happens, it is hard to feel others love for me.

In one of those moments, I asked Lia (a feminine part of god I know as Love In Action) about this and was surprised by her answer.

She said, “YOU are always free to do this…to offer love to yourself and to others. And you can always talk with me and I will tell you the truth…you are made from pure love.  You needn’t be troubled by your own misperception that you are anything else but love. The truth remains the truth, that you and I are ONE. One pure love.”

I don’t know about you, but for some reason it’s hard for me to tell myself that I love me. It’s only on my wisest days, that I can hold still, take a calming breathe and tell myself that I love me and that I know it matters that I’m here. That I have a purpose and a mission.

Lia offers this reminder, “It is the same for every one of you. You all want to know and feel love. I ask that you believe me, that you are love.”

My hope for you, heading into this new year, is that you know love and feel loved. It’s truly the reason why I write these posts.

Thank you for allowing me to repeat this. My next post will be new, I promise.

The Upside of Physical Pain

Do you believe it is possible that physical pain could provide you with any benefits?

This may seem like a trick question at first. It’s not. I really want to know what you think and what you believe.

Sure, some physical pains might make you want to see your doctor, so they can diagnose your condition and offer you some appropriate remedies. Remedies that help you recover from the physical pain before it becomes a more significant problem. But what about all the lesser pains, the ones you’re tempted to ignore or try to cover over? Is there possibly a message in any of them for you? And if so, how do you discover what the messages are?

I feel as though one of my approaches to this dilemma is somewhat unique. I haven’t talked about it a lot, so I don’t know if others do something similar.

Let me explain and you can see for yourself and then decide if it might make sense for you to try.

Many years ago, I had an insight that there are several different aspects within me, and they each have a voice. The aspects are physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. I found it possible to isolate their individual points of view and was able to listen to their individual voices. I was also able to moderate their conversations so that I could gain firsthand insights.

As with so many things, it’s much better to share an example, rather than continue to try to explain how it works.

Recently the moderator (‘me’) began by saying that it was very difficult to trust my body because when aches and pains started to arrive, I felt betrayed by my body, especially if I’d done all of the things that my cultural trainers had told me to do (exercise, eat healthy, stay hydrated…you get the picture).

My physical ‘self’ responded immediately by saying, “It’s a curious thing that you should feel betrayed, because it is you who stopped caring about me and just assumed I would provide you with constant good health.”

It continued, “The choices you make have a profound impact on my ability to maintain good health. You’ve done some of the things your cultural trainers have recommended but you have ignored the most potent and important ally you have…ME. I ought to be the first one contacted to discuss any physical issues.”

I felt reprimanded by my physical voice.

I also heard the truth.

This IS what I have done throughout most of my life. For as long as I can remember, I have expected my body to maintain my health no matter what the circumstance. And when I get sick, am injured, or need medical attention, I feel my body has let me down.

So here is my physical ‘self’ speaking to me about ‘my’ being a large part of the problem. And I realize that I have allowed the pain I encounter to be blamed on my physical ‘self’, which clearly creates additional problems.

The conversation takes a dramatic turn when my physical body poses a question to me, “When was the last time you asked me what I need?”

I have no good answer. I haven’t been paying attention. I’m feeling apologetic and I want to know how to fix this.

My physical ‘self’ responds. “Trust is a two-way street. We both have to trust the other. We have to listen and then take action.”

I think I’m ready for this. I wonder if the presence of physical pain in my life is an attempt to grab my attention, like waving a big red flag, one I can’t possibly miss. I wonder if continuing this conversation will yield clarity and direction. That would certainly create an upside for me.

As with all things, it matters most what you ‘do’. I could continue to ignore my physical ‘self’ and assume it will provide constant good health or I can listen for the truth and take whatever actions it suggests.

I want clarity and I want a relationship with my physical ‘self’, so I am going to shift and pay better attention. I am going to check in with my body, both when I feel well and when I sense a need for healing.

Spots

If you thought about it for a moment, how many references come to your mind for the word, ‘spot’?

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while now, you’ll remember that my mind doesn’t always travel in a straight line. Often, I see new routes and explore different directions.

So, when I landed on the word ‘spot’, many things came to mind, and I thought I’d share some of them with you, ending with one that may alter your life.

Looking down at the carpet on our floor, I noticed several spots. I wondered how they all got there, and something occurred to me. Two different ways of thinking, objective and subjective.

Objectively, it’s most likely that someone (and it could have been me), spilled something on the carpet and obviously, something that couldn’t be cleaned, otherwise, I wouldn’t still see it.

Subjectively, the cause could have been carelessness on someone’s part (animals included), or it could have been a simple accident, and no one’s fault. This led me to wonder what the difference between the two is.

Perhaps in the first case, the one responsible doesn’t care and in the second case, the one responsible may care a great deal. I wondered how I determine which one it is? Do I judge solely by their reaction to the spot? And how does my judgement impact how I feel about the spot and the one responsible for putting it there (me included)?

Another reference to ‘spot’ is the saying, “x marks the spot”. In some cases, this means that there is an ‘x’, perhaps on a map, which exists to indicate something significant is located there. Maybe the ‘spot’ is the source of buried treasure or marks the place to dig, so that a project can be accomplished. The spot is important, not in and of itself, but because it serves as a guide.

I wonder, are there ‘spots’ in our lives which would help guide us, if we knew they were there? Is it a case where they are already there, but we don’t recognize them? If so, what would we need to do, so that we would take note of them?

After a bit of consideration, it seems to me that everything in our lives is actually a ‘spot’. If we pay attention, everything is here to guide us, especially our intuitions.

A scary ‘spot’ is the one found on an x-ray. Once located, it usually creates immediate anxiety. It’s almost impossible to calmly sit back and wait for the results. Our minds are inclined to fill in the absent results with worst-case scenarios. Although it might be nothing but a shadow, we’re strongly tempted to believe the ‘spot’ will be life threatening.

This kind of ‘spot’ generates panic and fear and for good reason, especially under certain conditions.

So, what else can do we do about this kind of ‘spot’? Are there objective and subjective ways to approach it or do they blur together, making our path forward difficult?

Can we see this ‘spot’ as some sort of guide? And if so, how can it give us direction?

This feels to me like one of those decisions where, to use another expression, “the rubber meets the road”, meaning the point at which things become the most important.

This is everyone’s own personal decision point. And we each arrive at this ‘spot’, sooner or later.

If you have a guide who aids you, this would be the time to connect with your guide.

But, if you have arrived here, and have done so many times in your life and haven’t found a source, a guide who offers you wisdom and comfort, perhaps you’d like to consider this invitation. It is an invitation to form your own connection directly with the divine.

The process is simple. Sit back, close your eyes, breathe in and out gently and allow your body to settle. Relax into yourself. If you hear or see any objections or obstacles, acknowledge that they exist and promise to talk with them later, then release them, let them go. Allow yourself to feel a sense of freedom. Give yourself a chance to create some space inside you, as an opening to the divine, by whatever name feels comfortable to you. Imagine whatever ‘spot’ is creating a challenge for you and ask for help, then sit in stillness and listen. It may be a quiet voice at first, but over time, it will become a great source of strength, comfort, and wisdom. It will become a sure guide.

The Origin of Disease

I am curious about where diseases come from. It seems to me there could be many sources and I wonder how much control any of us have over them.

Are you curious as well? Have you ever wondered it’s just the luck of the draw whether you get sick or do you think there is more to it?

I am not a doctor or scientist, and I don’t profess to have any of the answers, but what I do have is a lot of questions, some of which might be valuable.

After doing some preliminary research there seems to be a sense that perhaps most disease results from interactions with an individual’s environment. Some harmful external force impacts our internal workings and creates an interference with our normal healthy selves.

It’s not too hard to believe this is the truth, especially when you consider air, water and soil pollution, toxic chemicals, contaminated food sources, insect and other infestations. And when you add in other disease sources likes viruses and bacteria, the list of possible diseases expands rapidly.

I discovered that it is felt by some that there is a simple underlying factor, which is that when disease is present, there is an imbalance within our physical system. That seemed to make sense to me. When something that does not belong in one place is introduced, it certainly could interfere with normal functioning.

And as much as disease effects our physical being, it also impacts our emotional, mental, and spiritual selves. It feels true to me that when one system is compromised, others may be as well. This of course compounds the problem, and no doubt creates more challenges in the healing process.

I am extremely grateful for the whole medical community and their contributions in identifying and treating all of the diseases that afflict us.

What I am wondering about is the impact of our thoughts and beliefs regarding disease. How much influence do they have on whether and to what extent we experience diseases in our lives?

Is it possible that what we think will happen (good or bad thoughts) effects our experience of any disease? Is it possible that our beliefs create our diseases? If so, is it possible for us to return to health, with new or different beliefs?

These are the intriguing questions that run through my mind. Of course, each person would need to answer these for themselves. I wondered how a person goes about making their decisions, and began considering my beliefs about health, wellness, and disease.

Would there be any value in thinking about the sequence of events that led up to the disease’s arrival or is there too much randomness?

Personally, after giving all of this a great deal of thought I have come to a few conclusions I’d like to share. Of course, none of these are intended to sway you from seeking qualified professional help or medical treatment. They are just some things you might want to consider for yourself.

It seems to me that my beliefs play a key role in my overall health and depending on my decisions, contribute to experiencing wellness or disease.

What I believe creates my life experience.

A simple case in point was a belief that if I got cold (walked outside without the proper clothing) I would catch a cold. It worked EVERY time, until I changed my belief. One day, I decided to shift my belief and told myself that what I used to believe was no longer true. Interestingly, I’ve never had another cold merely from being cold.

What would be fascinating to know is how many diseases in my life were created by my beliefs, rather than from an outside environmental source. It’s unlikely that I could ever know this, but what it suggests to me is how beneficial it would be to investigate my beliefs whenever I experience any dis-ease.

Dropping Weight

I wonder what the title of this post suggests to you. Perhaps, it might imply the idea of losing physical weight, by following some diet and exercise plan. But, if you thought for a moment, could it also mean something else to you?

Could it mean letting go of the things that weigh you down emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually?

For me, it does.

When I journaled recently about how life was going for me, I discovered several items that came up all had one common theme. They all represented things I felt were missing in my life, or at least it seemed so.

As I thought more about it more, it became clearer that, not only was it about things I felt I didn’t have and wanted, but it was also about things I had, but wanted to get rid of. It was both ends of the spectrum.

That seemed like a pretty significant challenge to try to work through.

That’s when an image appeared. Without thinking about it, I began drawing in the margins of my notebook. I started on the left side with a stick figure that represented me. I was under water and sinking quickly because I was holding a huge heavy weight in my arms. There were little air bubbles escaping my mouth and rising to the surface. I colored in the weight with my pen, making it darker, which gave me an even stronger sensation of descending. It felt oppressive and a sense of desperation began to form.

After a moment I started drawing a new figure in the right margin. It showed the same stick figure, but I had released the weight, which was descending rapidly downward. Once I’d dropped the weight from my arms, I began ascending, up, up, up, until my head broke the surface, and I could breathe again.

Ahhhh, what a relief.

I glanced back and forth between the two drawings, stunned at what they conveyed to me.

In one, I held onto the weight. In the other, I let it go. Could it get any simpler than that?

The outcome depended on a singular decision, which was entirely up to me. I wondered, is that really the case? Could it truly be that easy to change things in my life? Could it be that easy to change things in your life?

As I centered my gaze on the position of the weight in both pictures, the starkness of the difference seized me. On the left, I would not let go, so began sinking. On the right, I let go and began rising. I realized I was repeating my observation, but sometimes that’s necessary for me to actually understand things, even simple things.

So, what in my life weighs me down? And even more importantly, why do I allow this to happen? Why don’t I let go, especially when I know it will harm me in the end?

Of course, the ‘weight’ could be anything; the extra physical weight I carry, past emotional traumas, worries about getting day-to-day tasks completed, whether we’ll always have enough of what we feel we need, or anything else that runs through my mind, sometimes at warp speed.

It feels important to ask myself a question at this point. Will carrying this weight help me or hurt me? In many cases, the answer is obvious, it will hurt me.

So, what do I do about this? How do I just let go?

An answer forms inside me.

In every case where I feel weighed down, I sense there is a message for me. Something meant to illuminate me and guide me toward the surface, where there is air to breathe. Discovering the message then becomes very important to me. So, I began to spend time with each one, allowing them to unfold and offer their wisdom, so I can release them and rise to the surface.

Knowing I have the option to drop the weight makes all the difference to me.

Rules

Do you always follow the rules? Do you know anyone who does? Do they have to make sense to you before they feel worth following?

It’s a fascinating thing to me that when I pulled up my Word application to begin typing this post, a screen popped up that indicated that Word would automatically be checking my spelling and grammar.

Should I take that as a sign that Word doesn’t believe I can spell or use proper grammar? Maybe it’s noticed that upon occasion I make mistakes and wants to help me out. Or maybe, Word believes everyone needs support.

One other way to view this is that Word feels I need help following the rules.

I wonder, what if I don’t care about Word’s rules? Will Word allow me to write what I want without changing it? Is there a place within the application where I can check a box that says, “no thank you”?

I’m probably overthinking this, but there is something within this simple action that sparks something in me. Some reminder no doubt, from an early English class.

I distinctly remember learning some rules about grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, and pronunciation in seventh grade. Occasionally my mom would help me with my homework. She was very interested in this whole subject and if I used an incorrect word or pronounced it wrong, she would tell me about it.

Given the nature of the English language there are so many rules and exceptions to the rules I wonder if anyone even knows them all? Or cares to know them.

I find it a curious thing that there are rules about what words are allowed to be included in a dictionary. What path do hopeful words have to take?

According to one internet source the folks who get to decide (called lexicographers) usually expect three criteria to be met. They want to see that the word has become widespread, has an agreed-upon meaning and has been used for a long period of time. Once they feel confident about this, they include it in an updated version of the dictionary. (Ain’t that great)

Many people don’t care to wait for this lengthy process, and would rather the new word appear immediately, so they add it to an Urban Dictionary. They kind of jump the gun on the whole formal process. Maybe they don’t like all of the rules either.

Now, I do realize there need to be rules for there to be an orderly society. I understand that most are critical to a smooth-running world, but I wonder about the exceptions.

Are each of us allowed to use our own commonsense to decide which rules to follow or would that constitute a breakdown in the process?

Have you ever wondered if we follow the rules to stay out of trouble or because they make sense to us? And what are we supposed to do when the rules create injustice? What if they are only in place to favor certain people?

I suppose the first answer is, we can attempt to change them so that they are fair and equitable for everyone. I am in awe of those who stand on the front lines in this endeavor. Those who care about others and take actions to help and support them, especially when the rules need to change.

They are true heroes in my mind, and I want to aid them in their quest. I am not as interested in being a rule breaker as I am in being a rule changer. It seems to me there is room for growth here and I hope I am a part of the answer, not another part of the problem.