an unseen inheritance

An inheritance is usually thought of as something of value passed on to someone – either a financial or material possession, a genetic trait, or behavior, attitude, physical characteristic, etc.
that is identifiable to that person, group, or family 
An inheritance is often much desired, even fought over and the cause of broken relationships—but sometimes it is a burden,
as in the case of an asset that carries a tax liability or has a debt
attached to it or has a risk attached to it as in the case of the
genetic predisposition to a particular disease.

The area of inherited emotional baggage is one that seems
mainly to be ignored, perhaps because it is an area that is hard
to explore and challenging to view objectively, but sometimes is
mentioned after some explosive event or tragedy occurs and the
search for causes and a desire to assign some responsibility
comes up empty.

The importance of what is passed on to others cannot be
overemphasized because awareness of what has been passed
on to me by others can help me gain insight into who I am and
guide me to understand more about why I make certain choices
which might be confusing to me without a review of what has
been passed on to me – very often without my realizing it.

Inherited emotional baggage—a view, without assigning guilt
to myself or anyone else, can help me in many ways. If I explore
where my feelings and my beliefs come from, I can make choices
to keep or discard certain pieces of the puzzle that is me.

I remember a story I heard often when I was growing up about
a woman who always cut a corner off the roast she was cooking
before she put it in the pan. When her daughter asked her why
she did that, she said her mother had always done that, but she
did not know why. So the daughter asked her grandmother why
she cut the corner off her roast before cooking it and her
grandmother said it was because she always cooked her roast in
the same pan and the shape of the pan meant she had to trim off
one corner to make the roast fit in that pan. After the daughter
told her mother the reason that her grandmother cut the corner
off the roast, her mother stopped cutting off the corner of her
roasts because the roast fit in her pan without cutting off the
corner . . . finding out “why” changed a way of doing something
that was being passed down as the way to do the task but was
not needed once the reason was understood –
a multi-generational way of doing something that was totally
not needed was passed on until someone stopped and asked

What could I discover about me and my life
just by asking “why” and then
making a conscious choice to accept or reject,
grow or discard one concept and
how would that affect what I pass on to others?
Choosing my inheritance and
my legacy . . .

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Isolation to Integrity

The greatest need in our world that seems to be everywhere is the “need to belong,” to be with others who are like me in some way, preferably in all ways.

Everybody seems to want to belong –
whether it is gangs, or churches, or political groups, or
clubs, or families (biological or created), or
groups bonded by causes or ethnicity or
groups motivated by injustice or trauma—
the list could go on of how each of us tries to find
somewhere to “belong” – a group “like us” or
we go out and create a group demanding others
become “like us” in order to be “right.”

And yet . . . there are NO two people in exact alignment in
every area and, after some time, many often reach the
point of being disillusioned by someone or by the group
in general and, although they might not admit it,
they feel “i-solated” in the group and just make noises
of agreement in order to maintain their “belonging”
to that group.

So, while out waving banners, hanging flags, or posting on
social media the “message” of their group, many feel an
inner aloneness and may even push harder to appear to
belong to the group because they cling to that “belonging”
like a life raft and cannot let go or they will fall into the
abyss of being alone “outside” and there is NO WAY they
will do that—it appears that most of us will not do that,
we fear that more than almost anything!

So, the questions are hard to ask and even harder to answer . . .
• how do I be ME and
still be a part of the world I live in, comfortably
• how do I react when someone tells me
I am not acceptable
• how do I stay true to what I think is right, what I believe,
and not be offensive to others who do not agree with me
• how do I grow ME as my life gives me more experiences
and my perspective offers more insights and
still stay true to ME
• who am I – do I really know me or am I just a
combination of all the others I have met and
interacted with and should I be this combination,
is that the real ME

“I-solation” does not have to mean alone –
it just means “I” need to always be true to
who “I” am (in the present),
stay true to who “I” want to be
(in the future, reviewed and adjusted by experiences),
and hold in my heart the
Truth that “integrity” starts with “I”
(inner assessment lined up with outer actions:
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished)

My choice: a feeling of I-solation from others or
knowing I am being ME living with I-ntegrity–
It would seem living with ME and working through
the answers to those hard questions would be
a good way to go . . . I think I will try it!
Simple — not easy!!!

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Is there an answer . . .

Just one question . . .
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Looking Outside . . . Standing Inside

IF I had to go out into that scene to perform
some task or do some work or to travel to
some place, would I still feel peaceful?

OR would I be concerned about the slippery
ground and the coating of ice on all those
surfaces? I had not thought about that!

Looking outside while standing inside makes
me feel peaceful because I only have to look
at the scene, not deal with the consequences
of a winter storm “dump” of ice and sleet.

SO is life the same way?
Can I look at some “scene” and
be peaceful
while those having to deal with it
are not peaceful?

DO I stand inside my safe place and criticize
others for not being peaceful as they face
the consequences of some “dump” of
circumstances that do not concern me
because I am still standing inside my safe
place just “looking” and judging?

DO I need to think about the world outside
my safe place, about those who live outside
my safe place and what they face outside
my safe place?

I am not sure I like where this might lead me
. . . outside my safe place
. . . still a peaceful scene – outside?
perspective –
• how I see
• what I see
• why I see
Perhaps I need to take a deeper look
at my perspective . . .
inside AND outside

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Politics of Sweet Tea – hypothetically speaking

Think about this . . .
hypothetically speaking—

IF I own a sports arena and I love SWEET TEA,
so I sell it to people who come there to watch
the competitions AND,
because I sell so much, the vendor gives me
a break on the price for the product meaning
I can sell it for less than others around me.

Then, a friend of mine is diagnosed with
diabetes and starts having to watch his sugar
intake. He can’t buy my SWEET TEA and that
leaves him with no other options, but he has
adjusted to drinking UNsweet tea and asks
me if I would consider stocking it so he could
drink some tea when he came to the arena.
Well, I want to help my friend, so I start selling
both SWEET TEA and UNsweet tea.

Then, I get acquainted with a man who
comes to the arena a lot and I notice he is not
drinking anything while he is there and some
of those days were very hot, so I asked him
about that and he said he belongs to a group
who believe it is sinful to drink tea of any kind
because they think it harms the body.
Well, I had never heard of that, so I gave it
some thought and decided to ask him what
he could drink and I would add that to
my menu.

Things were really going along fine and
everybody was able to enjoy drinking
something during their visits to the arena . . .
but, then someone came to me and said,
“What are you doing wasting your money
carrying all these drinks besides SWEET
TEA? You know it is the most popular with
the most folks and you don’t have to carry
those other drinks—
it’s a waste of your money.”

So, I thought about it and he was right, but
there were other things to consider, like my
friend who had to restrict his sugar and my
friend who had a religious conviction against
tea, so I answered my objecting friend by
explaining about being considerate of others
and his response was quick:
“So, are you going to let others
tell you what to do?
Are you going to waste your money for just
a few people who probably don’t even spend
that much with you?
Do what YOU like—SWEET TEA and
forget all that other stuff!”

The thought popped into my head . . .
what if there was NO SWEET TEA?
What if there were ONLY the other drinks and
I couldn’t enjoy my SWEET TEA???
No, there was really nothing to consider.
If I wanted to enjoy my SWEET TEA,
I should be willing to let others enjoy
what they could drink.
I didn’t have to drink what they were drinking,
I could drink my SWEET TEA . . .
and that seemed fair to me!
Ah, the politics of SWEET TEA!

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Politics of Sweet Tea – 2022

I live in the United States of America
in a Southern state and I drink SWEET TEA
and I really enjoy it—it’s the only way to drink tea!

Now I know that there are people out there
who drink their tea unsweetened and
there are even some who don’t
drink tea at all—how sad!

So consider this . . . SWEET TEA supports
the job market in many areas like sugar
cane fields and the companies that process
the sugar and the vendors who sell it and the
ones who put it on the shelves in the stores—
I feel really good about drinking SWEET TEA—
it’s the right thing to do!

Of course, then there are those who drink
their tea unsweetened, just plain tea, and I
guess they could say they support the
tea plantations, the companies that process
the tea, the vendors who sell it, and
the ones who put it on the shelves in
the stores—yeah, that’s okay, I guess.

Then there are people who do not drink tea
at all! Maybe they don’t care for the taste,
maybe they have some sort of health issue
that prevents them from drinking tea, or
a religious belief that prohibits drinking tea,
or some other reason, but they just
don’t drink tea in any form—that’s a bummer!

That’s why living in the United States of
America has always been different than
other countries . . .
the idea that each person should have
the right to choose to drink SWEET TEA
or unsweetened tea
or no tea at all is a part of the
basic “freedom” package.

SO . . . come on, folks . . .
allowing each of us to choose
how we drink our tea—SWEET TEA
or unsweetened tea,
or not at all—
is what shows that we are willing to
allow others to have the same freedom
we want for ourselves.

I cannot demand a right for myself
that I am not willing to give to another.

Of course, trying to apply this concept
to other subjects has proven to be
almost impossible because of the
intensity of emotions involved.

Why can we not seem to be able
to discuss issues with each other
with a willingness to listen to
the other person’s views
without flying into
angry defense mode” AND
how did we reach the point of
having to make all others
conform to our view of anything
while we do not even consider their
view or ridicule it?

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Pandemic – Hard Questions

SO much chaos in the world all around me . . .
SO many hate-filled, insulting words spoken and written . . .
SO many others I thought I knew who have shocked me
not reflecting any care for anyone else . . .
WHAT is the answer . . . how I can respond in a way that takes me to the “higher road”
so I do not become
just like those I find myself resenting and fearing?

The pandemic has turned out to be not just a health issue
physically — but also a “heart condition” issue revealing
much about us as we see how we as people could be so
easily divided into “us against them” and display such deep
anger and rebellion against often unnamed foes while
believing all sorts of “stories” that seem to be created to
earn money and gain power over the “groups” and tribes
we have joined driven by their manipulation of fear . . .
all it seems to take is a YouTube video to be considered
“valid” especially if it presents some threat or identifies someone
or some group as “evil” . . .

SO, I thought about my friends and family members
who have been deceived
and asked myself some questions . . .

What if these people, just like me,
are struggling to be where they are
at the moment?
What if, just like God showed me
in my own life,
unconditional Love
is the only thing that can bring them
to a point of healing and growing
in their relationship with God?

What if, just like me, their attitudes
are a defense against pains and wounds
either being perceived by them
now or past hurts?
What if their hearts are filled with fear
I cannot understand because I am
not where they are?

What if I stop looking at them
as the “enemy” and start
looking at them as
“just like me” but with
different experiences on
their path of life and, therefore,
different areas of strength and

What if God looks at them with
His eyes of Love,
drawing them to Him through
the experiences He allows,
just like me?
What if, just like me,
they don’t see beyond the moment or
control their fleshly responses to
what happens in life?
What if, just like me,
they resent those who
seem to stand between them
and what they think
they should be doing?
What if . . .
they are just like me???

Heart thoughts today—
and God said:
“let there be light”
and there was light . . .
What if God is still saying
“let there be light”
God is saying
“MY Grace is sufficient”
to all of us . . .

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Thanksgiving thought – 2021

Such a blessing during this time of the year
to read all the thoughts people write
about what they are thankful for and

how it really is rooted in forgiveness,
the gift GOD has given us—

I can’t be thankful if I feel the weight of my imperfections
and focus on my inability to get it all “right”
(impossible for me, of course)
which is why God through the ages has found
many ways to show us
He Loves us, picks us up, dusts us off and
wants relationship with His Creation—with us . . . with me!

When my heart is opened to the value of what I really have,
I am filled with thanks—thank-FULL—and
accepting God’s forgiveness is the ultimate way
to open my heart and put things in perspective!!!
Forgiveness means to GIVE freedom to the captive
(that includes me),
to release all that blocks my heart from
accepting the gifts of others including God Himself.

Thanksgiving is my focus in the Fall of the year,
when the leaves are changing colors and
it seems most plants/animals are going into hibernation
to await Spring when life renews and
the colors of life flow into all things living.

SO—maybe thanks flows more when Fall makes me think
about the transition from life to death and
the promise of life’s cycle of renewal seems obvious
in all of nature . . . and in my heart—
and “thankFULLness” and “forGIVEness”
flow out into THANKSgiving
when I remember the Truth of whose I am
that draws me to be who I am and
my heart overflows with THANKSGIVING IN EVERY DAY!
(not always FOR everything, but IN every day and
that gives me HOPE for tomorrow . . .
a heart filled with thanks for an awesome GOD!)

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Connected by Humanity . . .

but, sometimes
we don’t understand our differences

instead of trying to figure it out,
we need to just LISTEN
to each other RESPECTFULLY
why we feel the way we do

if I can tell you what I
really fear
and you can listen
without judgement
and respectfully
acknowledge my fear
as being real for me . . .

we can work together
to face the challenges—
those unseen demons
that drive our fears
and seem to put us
on different sides

if I can accept that
you are person
with needs just like me
and everybody else
and not some evil being
out to destroy me,
then we can talk . . .

we can open our HEARTS again
to life for all human beings
and close our MINDS to the
hate-filled, fear-creating
words and thoughts
that divide to gain power

if I can hold onto
HOPE in our destiny of life
and see the basic needs
of food and shelter for all
as a part of “we the people”
our country was built on
and a union created . . .

we can open up a way
to the best path
that explores all our fears
and works on building
a world
connected by our humanity

perhaps . . .

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Storms, Rainbows, and Light

In the midst of storms in my life,
I often choose to sit down and give up!
Storms can be overwhelming and,
when I cannot see anything but
the dark clouds all around me,
I climb into that dark pit of despair and
mix my tears with the heavy rain falling everywhere . . .

God has made promises and
I can look back in my life and
see times when I have come
through other storms and I REMEMBER—

God put a rainbow in the sky
to confirm the Covenant,
the promise made to mankind t
hat no storm would destroy all life on earth again . . .
and one day, after a really strong storm,
I saw the rainbow in the sky and then,
as I watched the rainbow fade away,
an amazing display of glorious light
came into that same sky and I THOUGHT—

The rainbow confirmed God’s promise and
the “glorious light” confirmed God’s presence
through the storm and after the storm . . .
my heart was filled with an assurance that God
was showing me a “cycle” that I could trust
in my own life: the storm, the rainbow, the light . . .
when storms are what I see and
fear fills my heart and mind, I KNOW—

• the storm
(I can see that!)
• the rainbow
(I can trust the promises of God) and
• the light and
(I can know God will never leave me)
SO, the cycle confirming
God’s Word and
God’s Presence
continues in my life . . . SO I—

look to God and believe . . .
Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage, and
he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14)
it’s all about GOD . . .
our amazing GOD!

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