I have found myself more easily challenged by life these days. I have also encountered Common Sense and finding it lovely.

I have decided that since reaching 65 years of age that maybe I will make it to 70 years, if I continue to challenge myself: in thinking, doing and dreaming. I definitely need more action time, getting up from the reclining chair, even if it is to just wiggle around a bit, has been helping my chronic back problems.  I challenge myself to only sit in this chair for 30 minutes or less at a time. I am succeeding to a point all change is hard. I am challenging myself in thinking: I will no longer skirt around an issue, but talk about it head-on and honestly. I tend to avoid confrontation and then dream about the situation in a violent manner, this is foolish. I must begin confronting wrongs when I encounter them, in a calm and peaceful manner. My dreaming has begun to be challenging! I have been dreaming of creating beautiful things, mostly clothes, out of my hand-spun, hand-woven fabrics, but have yet to accomplish any of it. Instead, I am aiming to create beautiful items by hand-knitting them. Since I “don’t do math” this is a real challenge for me. I am slowly learning how to use my calculator and the words, “please help me.” This is difficult for me.

I have always been a victim. I have been well trained by my mother in this area. She was always moaning, literally, about her position as a wife and mother and how “the system is at fault, your father is at fault, if only you kids hadn’t been born” ad nausea. Now, I understand that there are choices about your life and YOU are the one that must make these choices. True as children we had little say in our experiences in life (especially in the 1950s) but now as an adult I can CHOOSE to be strong and courageous and not a victim. Exciting, but difficult.

I have been practicing this non-victim mentality for quite a few years now and it works quite well. Don’t take it personally when people say stupid things to you. Look at them and their reality and then evaluate their statements; you may find that they are more of a victim than you have ever been. Once you begin standing up for yourself, your opinions, your dreams, your reality, you will learn how to continue doing it and you will be empowered.

Common Sense is being able to understand what you need and what you reject. Being too vulnerable to the wrong people is something you don’t want to do. Finding other like-minded people to be vulnerable with is what you need.

So, also is doing what you are called to do not what you “think is required” of you. Common sense for me means that in trying very hard to be what others want me to be is stupid and I need to determine what it is that I want me to be. I want to be caring, calm, willing to listen and not find fault with myself or others. I want to create, from an inward desire or drive, not because I am competing with others to “just as good as they are” (insert knitting here) and then failing. I want to shine the Light of the World: Jesus onto to others so that they see there is more to life than just enduring whatever is happening right now. I want to LIVE not just EXIST. I want to love others and show them grace. This is common sense.

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