The Woeful Familiarity of Loneliness

It has been said that one can be lonely even surrounded by a room full of people. One can experience the painful separation between themselves and others when stuck in a world unfamiliar and terrifying. I live it. I understand this woeful familiarity of loneliness. I’ve experienced it often, especially while attending public schooling many years ago. I remember being in the gym, sitting on the floor, looking around at my new classmates and not recognizing any familiar faces, or seeing those who had previously tormented me. I wanted to escape. As I watched, mesmerized, a single fly buzzing around me, I longed for being that fly just so I could escape my situation. Didn’t fathom that, well, flies don’t live very long. It didn’t phase me. All I wanted was out. That was until I noticed another girl sitting in the corner. Yes. I have a way of gravitating to others I perceive are experiencing the same out-of-place feeling I was.

Loneliness. Many had lived it during the pandemic. Some even took their own lives due to being isolated from loved ones, classmates, co-workers, and even from activities they enjoyed previously. I understand many people are considered extroverts, love being the center of attention, and parties. With Autism, I say a big ‘No thank you.’ Some might say, Well isn’t your loneliness self-imposed then? Yes and No.

The sad fact is, I want friends. I may not know how to get them, much less how to keep them. But the fact is, everyone wants a friend. No. Not looking for a large group of people because over time that would get exhausting. But I believe everyone would like a friend or two, a close confidante, someone who’s shoulders are broad enough to bear the weight of our sorrow, ears to hear and try and understand what we are struggling with currently. I have scared off friends before, I know.

But the loneliness in a crowd. That’s the scary part. I can go to a concert, a grocery store, even to the beach, and I live it. Panic attacks invade and I’m ready to flee. Difficult when you are married to an extrovert, someone who craves the spotlight. Opposites attract and all that…They probably don’t understand me. All I want is for them, anyone, to understand the pressure to conform, to understand how my brain processes life, troubles, situations. I’m lost in my own world at times. I’m a ghost, floating through the crowds. It’s difficult to even breathe. I avoid eye contact. Avoid bumping into anyone because that would signify contact. I don’t want that.

Therein lies the struggle. No contact, but I don’t want to continue being lonely. Now to be clear loneliness is not the same as solitude. Solitude I appreciate. I gravitate to. Nothing like sitting at my computer, windows open and hearing the birds singing. Bliss. Or going for a hike on a trail, no one else around, just me one with nature. Or near a body of water, just listening intently to the water just lapping against the shore. I don’t know what it is, but water calms me. I can embrace solitude at that point, at that location, and I am content.

It is when I am ignored, like I am somehow not alive, that hurts, especially by people who should care, who should take a chance to know me, who shouldn’t be as judgmental. Church people. I’m a Christian so I attend church, but I don’t really go out of my way to get to know people. I have in the past, and sometimes it went well and other times drastically wrong. I’ve been told that people think I’m stuck up. Nope, not me. I’m guilty of not reaching out more, but I just don’t have the energy to do so.

I’m drowning in loneliness at times. I go for walks and see other women walking with friends and I’m jealous at times. How do they do that? Make and keep friends? I just can’t figure it out. Even being around family exhausts me. I don’t w ant it to, but it does.

Life with Autism is many parts loneliness and other parts solitude. Many parts bliss and many parts frustration. Even with my writing here I wonder if readers understand what I’m going for, or am I just confusing people? But I embrace my uniqueness. I have said that often enough, I’m sure, but I find that to be the truth. It’s okay to love solitude, but loneliness, well to me it sometimes just feels like a curse.

To Those We Have Loved & Lost

It’s been a while, yes. I have struggled with loss and illness. Covid, surgery, ongoing ill health. And in crept a withering uncertainty, wondering if this will ever end. Will I recover? Will this take my life? Living on the Autism Spectrum, I must admit I worry over things that perhaps shall never materialize. Worries about this illness never leaving my body. Wondering if this is my new normal. I hope not. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Gets me to wondering if death would be better than living with this. But then I think, am I being over-dramatic? My brain doesn’t compute certain things, it doesn’t understand sometimes the way others without Autism do.

I’ve lost several loved ones these past few years. Mother, Aunt, good friend. Death makes you think, yes, but I’ve discovered it is best not to dwell on it. I’ve learned that it is much wiser to focus on life, and to remember the good times, the happy memories of loved ones now deceased. I shed tears still. I probably always will. The pain it causes when all you want to do is call them on the phone, hear their voice, listen to their words of comfort. Sharing about the past. And of course it’s not possible. You can’t hold their hand, give them a hug, see their smile. It causes a deep pain of anguish in my chest that cannot, will not, go away. But do I really want it to? If the pain goes away, will the memory of those gone on ahead go away as well? This, this is what I fear.

That’s why I feel it is important to love those still here, to forgive them of any past hurts, to be thankful for them. We don’t know how much time any of us have remaining. I, as a Christian, believe I will see them again, hold them again, and see them smile again. That is my hope and my faith.

Yet I still struggle in my Autism. I am thankful to actually understand what it means to be on the Spectrum. It doesn’t confuse me or fill me with any sort of anger. I am highly functional; a wife, a mother, an employee, a good and loyal friend. Others are not as fortunate. Wrapped up in a silent world, unable to reach out and embrace all that this life can provide. Life will be a struggle. But then again don’t we all have struggles of our own, whether on the Spectrum or not? War, job loss, poor health, divorce, wayward children, etc. No life is all rainbows and unicorns(wouldn’t it be great though to have a pet unicorn? Oh, am I the only one?)

Okay, sometimes I go off in a totally different direction than I originally intended. That’s my brain. I wish, though, that certain people in my life understood how my brain works. I cry a lot when they don’t understand, when those I put my trust in the most spurn me, mock me, because words pop out of my mouth that a lot of the time don’t make sense. Even my writing at times don’t make sense. But I just need to release them, like a bundle of helium balloons on a windy March day, colorful but without direction. All I want is to be heard, and understood no matter how odd I can be at times. I’ve embraced my weirdness. If I could just look people in the eye, then I wouldn’t hear later that they think I’m ‘stuck up’, ‘conceited’, ‘unfriendly’. Those words are just plain hurtful, and totally wrong. But they don’t know that because they never gave me a second chance, never got to know me.

So here I am, pouring my heart out the best I can with the abilities I was born with. I am not ashamed of my Autism. I am comfortable with it. Maybe I shouldn’t be? Maybe I need to try harder to be like everyone else. No. I don’t. I am created by God to be this way, this I believe. So hears to all my Autistic friends, God bless you and keep on loving yourselves and embracing the life you were given. And remember, just like a unicorn, you are unique, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

Breaking Free

Imagine being smothered within the confines of a cocoon. You don’t feel like there is any chance of escape. On the one hand, you like the solitude, but on the other hand you can’t bear the walls squeezing in on you. All you want is the best of both worlds and that is out of your reach. Be left alone, but also to be able to have freedom of movement.

Asperger’s. My brain embraces it’s title. The word soaks deep within me. I’m floating on a cloud of recognition. This is who I am. The way I was made to be. Not flawed. I, along with others on the Autism Spectrum, are unique. Beauty lies within our diversity. No longer to feel ashamed of my differences, what makes me who I am. I don’t need to feign understanding, sometimes I just don’t get it and that’s okay.

I am alive with discovery. I don’t need to hide any longer. The pain and the humiliation of the past is just that, it is behind me. I don’t need to wring my hands, wondering what is wrong with me. I don’t need to consider taking my own life because I feel so unlike the others. No. I have much to offer. Perhaps not so much face to face in a crowd full of strangers, but one on one with friends, those I feel safe enough to be around. I’ve grown to be thankful, of self-awareness of who I am. Not distraught.

And you? Fellow Aspies, how do you feel? What do you want to shout to the world about yourself? Me? I want to shout that not everyone is the same and that it is okay to be different, and not part of the crowd. Some of us like spending times alone. We can enjoy our own company, be our own best friend.

We can enjoy our lives. Those who love us will understand, will accept us for who we were created to be. Will there be those who laugh at us because of how we dress, or talk non-stop about our favorite subjects? Yes. Some of mine are: religion, dogs, books, and the paranormal. What about you?

So come on, fellow Aspies, live life the best you can, even if it is not being the center of attention(who wants that anyway!). You are perfect and beautiful JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

BROKEN HEARTS

I’ve recently read a few things on social media regarding young people committing suicide over the social isolation during this Covid crisis. It breaks the heart. We put so much emphasis as a society on being part of a group, a social butterfly, extroverted, a clique. And I understand how important it is to not be isolated, shut off, and labeled an outcast as a young person. My Junior High days are still clearly etched in my brain, unfortunately. Sports teams, parties, sleep overs, and school clubs are an integral part of growing up. When that is ripped away from a person, especially one already dealing with some form of depression, it can have devastating consequences, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

As a mother, I can’t even begin to imagine the immense grief and suffering these parents are going through, losing a child to suicide. They will be left wondering what they could have done differently, questioning themselves why they didn’t see the warning signs. The sad part, the tragic part, is that it is happening more and more because of Covid. Yes, I understand we need to isolate, to protect ourselves and others, but when will it end? How many more lives will be lost not only to the pandemic by catching the disease, but by those who are feeling trapped, imprisoned, and drowning in hopelessness?

On the other hand, though, I’m an introvert, an aspie, one who does not require a lot of social interaction, and if I’m honest I can spend days in my house and not miss being around other people. But most people are not me. Most people need other people around them. And that is a good thing. As human beings, that is how we were made, to have social interaction. I’m imagining that’s how we survived all these thousands of years, relying on each other for protection, for hunting and gathering, for helping raise children.

But I understand depression and the lows that it brings. I used to suffer with it as well, and attempted suicide a few times. So I understand. I understand how our minds can play tricks on us, making us begin to think we aren’t necessary, that the world would be better off without us, or at least that’s how how I used to think when depression would sink it’s jagged teeth into me, and did it’s best to hold on. Life can be frightening. We need that lifeline that others provide for us, something to hang on to when the sky seems to be falling down around us. The Bible has a verse on this that I like: If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. That’s from Ecclesiastes 4:10 NLT. When we have no one to reach out and help us out of our pit of despair, where do we turn to? As a Christian, I pray for strength and guidance. I realize that the devil is real and is a master manipulator. You may not believe in God or Satan, but as for me, I believe that they are real. There’s real terror in finding yourself at the end of yourself. You believe that no one cares, or that this will never get better, and you lose all hope. Tragic and heartbreaking.

But there is hope, and there is help. And again my hope came from God and my friends. You can find an online group, or even find a church where you are comfortable and talk to someone. You can find help. Don’t lose heart, my friends. Don’t be a statistic. You are more than that. Keep a journal and write down your feelings. It’s okay to be angry. I am going to pray for those parents and families who lost someone to suicide. Isolation is hard, especially when you are young and being around friends and playing sports is all you’ve known.

I hope this pandemic, this monster, will be gone soon and people can go out and live their lives again, without fear, without masks, and with an eye to the future. If you are depressed, please get the help you need. I did. And remember there is a light at the end of this tunnel; daylight will soon break through.

Through the Eyes of an Aspie

Life can be rather interesting if you’re someone living with Aspergers. We see things differently. I am convinced of that. We look at things through a different perspective. I have discovered that I can oftentimes take what someone says quite literally. They can make a joke or say something meant to be ironic and I think they are serious. Sadly, I can’t think of an example at this moment. It evades me.

Maybe it’s because I’m still, after all these decades, in a world of my own. I have a vivid imagination, almost like movies playing in my head. One thing I have loved about reading is that, yes, I can picture what the characters look like. There are times I feel that I am more in tune with my inner world than I am with the world I actually come in contact with on a daily basis. I try to shy away from the news. Has a news story ever broken your heart, causing you to dissolve into tears for someone you have never met, and probably will never meet? I believe an Aspie feels deeply and sometimes that can cause us to dull our senses to keep us guarded from further heartache.

I am also overwhelmed with scents and sounds. I love scented candles. I have a shelf in my writing room full of them. Some, after first lighting them, make me ill. I then have to give it away to someone else. They give me headaches and stomach discomfort. Sounds too. High pitched, humming, and those annoying taps on glass I’ve seen going around social media. It doesn’t calm me down in the least. I do have an acute sense of smell though, which can be a plus or a big minus, depending on who I am around.

Fear is another big hurdle for someone like me. I hate fear. Loathe it! I look back on my life and realize there has been so much I’ve missed out on due to fear. Fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, fear of injuring myself. This fear sucks up way too much energy. You can’t retrieve time, it only goes forward. If I could change one thing abut myself though, it would be to stop worrying about what others think of me. What a time suck! What a massive pile of bullshit. Stop fearing! This is what I need to tell myself on the daily. Why does it matter what others think of me? Unless I’ve done something to them personally, I have no need to worry about it. I’d admonish myself to get on with my life and move forward.

I am also a Christian. I believe there is a God and Jesus is Savior. I also believe in the paranormal, only because I’ve had experiences since I was a child. I won’t go into any of those though. My faith is strong. I’ve read somewhere once that as an Aspie, either you believe strongly in God or you are at the other end of the spectrum. My faith keeps me sane, focused for the most part on my day to day living.

Perhaps I didn’t go deep enough into how I see life as an Aspie, but I will most likely elaborate these points at different points on my journey with these posts. Let me know what you think, especially if you are an Aspie as well. Thanks for reading, and stay sane, my friends.

LOVE IS THE ANSWER

Love is an emotional roller coaster. We get on and it and wait for it to start. We hear the gears clanking and our hearts begin to beat a bit faster. As it begins to climb; the anticipation of a first date, a flirtatious look from across the room, we hold our breath and prepare for what comes next. As we reach the pinnacle, we look down; what if we truly are meant for each other? Will this last for the long haul? Is this the real thing? Then, as though the bottom has dropped out beneath us, we go breathlessly down that first hill; a first fight, we catch our beloved texting an old flame. We can’t see straight, the wind whipping up our hair, we scream, toss up our hands over our heads.

Then we come to the flat part of the tracks, we forgive each other, we make up, we say, ‘Let’s never fight again!’. We sit down and talk about our feelings, well us women do at least. We prod our man to open up and let us know how he is feeling; what does he think? If you loved me, why don’t you delete that contact? Life can become mundane on those flat tracks. The fire has gone out in that relationship, or so it seems. We thought they were the one. What happened?

The next climb is coming. We are introduced to friends and family. What a thrill. We’re in. It’s a good sign, right? Keep climbing, keep the rush of adrenaline pouring through our veins. Yes, this is it!

And then it goes down the next hill, and then a loop-de-loop. Two of them in a row. What have I gotten myself into? Is my life over? Am I stuck with this one person forever now? Do I even want to be? And then common sense sets in, as the track flattens. Yes, they are the one I want to have kids with, to spend the rest of my life with. When I wake up in the morning, they’re the first person I think of and when I go to sleep at night they’re on mind and it brings a smile to my face before I close my eyes.

Isn’t that what love feels like? When you first discover THE ONE. When we are struggling to figure our teenage and young adult years, strange as they may be, we often fantasize about that one person who we would like to spend the rest of our lives with. Height, hair and eye color. Athletic or bookish. Ethnicity. Shared religious and political views. Someone who can make you laugh when you feel like crying. Someone who understands you without you needing to say one word. Love. And as the saying goes, it makes the world go round. Love makes us feel alive, needed, wanted, appreciated, and valued. No judgements, no wondering if we can trust them. Yes, with our lives. Someone to hold hands with when we go for a walk or when the lights go out and we are still afraid of the dark. Someone to go on adventures with and then to reminisce over when we are old and empty-nesters.

I pray that you have found someone like that or if not yet, that you will, if that is what you so choose. Love. Not just a four-letter word. It fuels and emboldens. It comforts and caresses. It lasts for eternity. Let us so love others as we desire to be loved. It will make a world of difference. Just wait and see.

Surviving 2020

Welcome to the brand new year. Finally…2021. We shut the door on the horrid 2020, drenched in death, financial loss, loneliness, fear, social unrest, and a tumultuous election. Damn. That was a lot of crap we went through, wasn’t it? Unfortunately we must still endure a lot of it, because like the saying goes, Shit runs downhill.

As for me, I did endure the loss of a beloved, elderly aunt to Covid. Something about receiving a text without even being aware that she had been hospitalized, and finding out she was gone. Just like that. Devastating. I’m certain there are plenty of you out there who also have lost a loved one, or perhaps you were infected and suffered the misery of having the virus, or lost your job or even your business. I am sure many of us lost our sense of security. On welcoming in 2020, I don’t think any of us saw this coming on the horizon. I know I didn’t.

Now we have a brand-new year spread out before us. What will you do with it? I know one thing that I want to do is to be more understanding of those with opposing views from mine; being it political or faith-based. In regards to the social unrest and looting, I believe violence does nothing to make things better in the long run. Can we be angry or frustrated at what is happening? Of course, but it’s how we react that is the real crime. I say, use positive words and actions to change laws and people’s hearts. Enough of that.

I intend to write more because if 2020 taught me anything it is that we never know when our last day will be. I want to look at things in a more positive light. I want to take up a few new hobbies, like crafting for instance. I want to connect with people more over coffee when it is safe to do so, or send a card or note by mail, or even a phone call. Yes, people still do that. I want to focus less on certain social media platforms and instead focus on improving my mind; reading more and perhaps learning a new language. How about you?

My faith is important to me as well. I want to study the Bible more, memorize more verses, and get back to church. I want to truly listen to people and hear what they have to say. I want to focus less on negativity and self-pity and focus more on raising others up. I am going into a special eating program where I am eliminating added sugars, and getting back into running, incorporating my treadmill to prepare me for Spring and running outdoors. I’m not motivated to run outdoors during these crazy cold, partly icy, and snowy Midwestern winters.

The question comes around to this: How are you doing? How are you really, deep down, doing? Are you suffering from depression? Loneliness? Anger? Fear? Worry? Stress? Yes, these are common when shut in, cut off from others, and fearing job loss or financial difficulties. But look toward the future. There is hope. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Do hang on.

I will keep you posted on any updates and please do the same. God bless you in this new year. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay as positive as best you can.

Memories of Jamaica, or Part II

My husband and I traveled to Jamaica for our honeymoon back in May of 1990. Planning this trip had both of us eager to experience new adventures, see new lands, bask in the hot sun, and hopefully meet some of the locals. We had agreed on an all-inclusive resort in Port Antonio, with a spicy addition. A private, nude island they would ferry you out to from the nearby resort.

After our big night, we were semi-rested before heading out to O’Hare Airport to catch our flight to Jamaica. This had been my second flight in my entire life, the first being the trip to Germany I wrote about previously. I’m not a good flier but I held my breath and braced myself as we took off, ears popping along with the gum in my mouth. As we leveled out, I was thankful it wasn’t a very long flight.

Upon landing and disembarking, the thing I remembered best was someone coming up to us, and others, trying to sell us pot. Not the best place to try selling drugs, but we assumed it was a trap, wondering, with a watchful eye, which foolish traveler would be ensnared right there on the tarmac.

After showing our passports and collecting our luggage, we were ushered to a tour bus which would take us to the resort. Let me tell you, it was a long trip to the resort. Not sure how long but it seemed like hours. The resort’s guides on the bus handed out free soda and Red Stripe beer to us to help with the sweltering, and unfamiliar heat. We drank, but alas there was no facility on the bus and before long, we all got a bit of the ‘shaky leg’. Many an empty beer bottle became a mini urinal for a lot of the guys. Us ladies were not so fortunate to have any mayo jars laying around the bus! Eventually the bus pulled over to a rest area with a bathroom, and there was great rejoicing! Hurrah!

At the resort, our room was lovely, there was plenty of food, an indoor bar along with an outdoor one and of course, unlimited alcohol. Just being on the ocean was mesmerizing. My husband, the brave one, went snorkeling while I wound up with a two/three case of food poisoning from eating from an outdoor salad bar. This caused me to miss my husband and our new-found friends at the resort, do their rendition of ‘Piano Man’ in the piano bar one night. My husband laughingly told me the only part any one of them could recall, in their inebriated state was the ‘Lalalala’ part.

We spent an evening with one of the couples in their rented villa not far from our resort. Between drinking and just laughing and having a good time as young people often do, our female host entertained us with one of those ‘face on chin’ and with her laying over the back of the couch with a towel covering the rest of her face, she had us in stitches. I wish I could remember their names, the couples we met that week. We did get together once with one of the couples but that was many years…no wait…decades ago. I wonder if they are all still together as my husband and I are thirty years later.

The people, beautiful and friendly, were always ready to help with whatever we needed. We enjoyed ourselves. The nights were warm and the entertainment hot. We spent some time walking around the countryside, and purchasing Jamaican souvenirs. We went down to the open air markets where Jamaicans hawked their wares, and offered to braid our hair. Heart racing, and so many sights and sounds for this Aspie girl to take in. Sometimes it was terrifying, and other times exhilarating. With Aspergers, I’ve found that some new experiences can be tricky. We need to know what to expect. There is no thrill in the unknown for me, only fear and uncertainty. Yet I love to explore new places, as long as I have my husband by my side.

We returned home only to return to another spot on the lovely island of Jamaica three years later when we went on our first and only cruise so far. That is another story.

A Bit of an Autobiography

Life enjoyed is a life well worth living. I’ve traveled to some interesting places,; Germany, Austria, Jamaica. As a child, my parents and I traveled to Canada and Florida several times. I was the child that thought getting up at 3:30 in the morning, when it was still dark out, and get ready to hit the road was quite the adventure. I still enjoy waking up early before the light of day.

When we traveled to Europe, it happened to be my first plane ride. Thirteen and knowing I was on the brink of an adventure; 6 weeks in Germany and Austria. Fortunately for us, we always had family to stay with so sleeping accommodations were taken care of. The flight was delayed a few hours due to a strike in Canada, so we had to wait. To a young teen, let me tell you it felt like days. I remember heading into an airport store and purchased a magazine to help with the boredom.

Finally on the plane and up into the air, I think the takeoff scared me the most. Holding my breath, hoping we would make it and level off, it was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I remember crossing over the time zone and going from night to daylight in only a few hours. What was fun for someone like me who enjoyed writing even back then is that I kept a journal of our trip. I believe I still have that journal from 43 years ago.

What do I remember from that time? I remember how many interesting, historical buildings we paid to enter. I think the castles were the most interesting. We took many trains, which again was the first time with that as well. I loved meeting new relatives, and seeing the ones I already knew. We took boat rides, and went on long walks for ice cream.

Something about traveling that delights the heart, probably its the memories shared with loved ones. New sights and sounds. Foods you’ve never tasted before and some you had but just a little different. Having to pay for catsup instead of sitting on the table ready for use at a restaurant. Some bathrooms you had to put in coins to open the doors so you can go in and use the toilet. Not fun when you really need to go!

It’s the fun I had with my cousin, Peter in Germany, a year my junior. We stayed with his parents the longest, and we would go for evening walks and see their rabbits they raised for meat. Also the first time trying rabbit meat. It did not taste like chicken. I raced my cousin who was so surprised I beat him that he challenged me a second time, and again I won. Running was my best sport in gym class, all others I sucked at.

It was interesting discovering others who spoke English there, even though many people in foreign countries speak it. Austria, Germany, and even Bavaria. I’m sure I’ll never get back there, especially now that I’m close to 60, and my family members there are long gone. Memories, though, last a lifetime, and I feel blessed to have gone there. And I am going to make it a point to find that journal!

Thanks for reading.

What I am Learning

Peace, be still.

In these times, I am learning many things. My faith has increased dramatically. I have learned to trust in God more. I am more convinced, now more than ever before, that Jesus is the Truth. I am His. I belong to Him. He had shed His blood for me, and for all of humanity. This one thing is true. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. And I am more grateful for that one simple fact. Darkness surrounds us, but He is there…waiting in the light at the end of this long, dismal tunnel.

We will never achieve anything of lasting value through hatred. It is like a cancer. It may win a few battles here and there, but in the end it will never win the war. God has already conquered all hatred. He has put the devil under His feet.

In Christ, we have already won the war. If we turn to Him, keep our eyes focused on Him, never forgetting His selfless sacrifice on the cross, we too can put the devil under our feet as well. God is good. He never fails. Love must prevail. We cannot put on blinders and pretend everything is all right when it is storming around us.

As Christians, we shall conquer, we shall persevere, we shall be the light to a darkened world smitten by evil. We need to remember…God’s got this. Fear has no power over us unless we allow it to. Do not invite it into your heart. Do not dwell in hate, or sorrow, or anger. It will get you nowhere fast. I know, because I have been dealing with it often, especially as of late.

Jesus said, In your anger, do not sin. How is this possible when there is so much anger swarming around us like annoying gnats. Swatting at it won’t remove it. I had to humble myself before the Lord and ask for forgiveness for my increasing anger at what is happening. I prayed for peace and a calm mind. Hating others poisons your spirit. Nothing good can come out of it. And He has answered that prayer. I have also sworn off Facebook for the time being while it is awash with so much trash talking, hate, and division. Give me peace. I need it and so do you.

Only divine love can see us through this darkness. The world is sinking in the chaos that surrounds us daily. We need to wash off the muck of deceitfulness, and lift up our faces to the One who casts down light, true light, upon His beloved. Do not fear. We can become paralyzed by it. It can cause our hearts to race, our blood pressure to rise, cause headaches, chest pain, and other ailments. Do not allow it to destroy you from the inside out. Pray. Get on your knees and cry out to the only one who can grant us what we desire. Peace…stability…courage.

This is not the time to walk away from Him. This will only lead you into the devil’s camp. When hearts are disconnected from the blood source, we are done for. Don’t allow the devil to get a hold of you. He can easily deceive, feeding us half-truths. We are not his. We are God’s.

So be strong in your faith. Look up, not down. He is there…always…just as He had promised from the beginning. Pray for yourself and for others. Pray for those who have wounded you as well. There is nothing more freely, more liberating, then praying for our enemies. It will cause us to see them in a whole new light. Peace, be still.