Am I the last person to jump on the blogging bandwagon? I've always enjoyed writing, sharing my thoughts and feeling the rhythmic tapping and play of typewriter/keyboard keys underneath my fingers. In fact, typing was one of my favorite classes in school, next to band and chorus and music classes. Oh - then there was Mme Dolges' French classes - she was one of those teachers who makes you feel cute your freshman year, accepted (not like the freak you think you are) your sophomore year, intelligent your junior year, and like you could possibly run the world your senior year. Mme Dolges unfortunately passed away of cancer before we graduated from high school, but her memory definitely lives on in the minds of all of her students, I am sure! So, today, for my first blog, let me say that I am grateful for friends & family who have stood by me - and even - no - ESPECIALLY - for those who haven't been able to stand by me all the time. It is to them that I perhaps owe the most gratitude, for they have been my greatest teachers. It may sound like a trite, over-used expression in the "new thought" community in which I live, but there is so much truth to it. Not always having support has encouraged me to question, to dig deep, to be courageous, and to have conviction and compassion. The "questioning" part may sometimes go on longer than it should, but, in the end, I've realized that it has made my beliefs stronger - and in this strength & confidence, I have the capacity to be compassionate toward those who may live from a place of fear. It feels wonderful to have positive feedback and support for everything that I do, but I know now that trusting myself is my greatest strength and ally. Others will agree or not. They will want me to succeed or not. So, that says to me, "where do they not want THEMSELVES to succeed?" "How can I support them even more in accomplishing THEIR goals?" I also noticed the other day that I was feeling angry for semmingly no reason. (Of course, there is always a reason when we scratch beneath the surface, even if it seems not to be so!) I found myself impatient with people in the grocery store, with my step-son, with my husband. After using a breathing technique that my good friend Onyay shared with me, I realized that I really felt sad and fearful underneath it all. The "armor" that I put up was anger, which makes me feel more powerful. I then understood (probably yet again - funnny how I understand something, then forget, then re-remember, then forget again!) that when someone seems to be angry & unreasonable, there is a big hurt going on inside. I saw it in me - I felt small & like I was failing & that I couldn't seem to do things right - and rather than show these feelings to the world (which would of course be a weakness, right?), my ego turned it to anger. The ego doesn't want to expose itself, for fear that it will die. So, it searches for ways, although illusory, to appear and feel "powerful." I am grateful for this small awakening and re-discovery of the armor that we all wear from time-to-time, when we are feeling the most vulnerable and need the most love & compassion.