I Demand Justice!

Revenge v. Justice

Haven’t you ever wanted to see someone who’d hurt you “get what they deserve?” Most of us have. Grandma Esther used to say, “Every dog has its day.” Rest assured she wanted to be there to watch it happen, if not personally take part in the act.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. - Confucius

Grandma wanted revenge, not justice. There is a big difference between the two. Revenge satisfies our ego. We get to be right. We are there to observe the punishment. We get to feel vindicated, justified, and may feel like we’ve turned the tables on the person who we allowed to victimize us. But it will never give us what justice does:

In his new documentary series on The National Geographic Channel, actor Morgan Freeman examines how peoples all over the world deal with the results of war, and how peace is possible. In one episode, he sits across from a Tutsi woman whose family was killed by the Hutu people during the genocide in Rwanda.

Next to her sits the man who was part of the Hutu militia. The man was personally responsible for killing those family members. Over two years of communication has resulted in these two people from different tribes becoming friends through the help of a local bishop in the area. They are part of an “ambitious reconciliation program.” The man who murdered her husband, brother-in-law, and two children now helps her with her farm to provide income for her family, making amends for his actions.

We are more aware today more than ever before of the injustice in the world. This is so because of 24-hour-a-day news coverage, the Internet, and our smart phones. Because of the information we receive it can become extremely easy to react to events and reports, often without a full understanding of the complete picture. We want to stop the violence, but we frequently lack any knowledge of why such horrible events are happening in the first place. We can become so fixated on the solution that we ignore why the problem exists.

Revenge is easy. Justice takes time. We must gain knowledge; we seek to understand; we can then act in wise ways to correct the problem; and, we begin the healing process.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” is a phrase attributed to Pashto origins, shows up in the Italian culture, and even said to be of Klingon origin in Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan. Regardless of the actual source it dooms us to a cold, heartless, and unsatisfying life, instead of warming us to a brighter future.

In the television series, Revenge, a “double infinity” symbol was used emphasis unending love – in a sense, “double forever.” That same symbol reminds me every day that revenge, not justice, continues the cycle of hate, anger, and lack of forgiveness.

Is there someone in your life upon whom you are seeking revenge? Are you investing your time, treasures, and talents in the pursuit of getting back at another? Seek this week to heal those thoughts. Determine to forgive, so that the psychic bindings holding you to that person or situation are severed for all time.

We have within us the power to change. It’s a quality which we are born with, but often fail to use. We are only victims of the past if we chose to be so.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

I’m Surprised At You!

Are You True to Yourself?

Do you ever find who you are, who you really are, conflicts with what others think you should be?

It was Terry Cole Whittaker who wrote, “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Many of us know this to be true. Few of us are willing to admit just how many times we’ve failed at applying those simple words. Perhaps one of the reasons this happens is we are more concerned with what others think about us than we are about seeking to be ourselves.

One blogger recently wrote that our health, relationships, careers and financial status is reflected in the lives of our five closest friends. While this may or may not be true for each of us, I found it enlightening to consider. The tipping point for me is that if I have to change who I am to be around the people with whom I want to associate there is something wrong.

It comes back to that adage to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. Years ago I worked at a prayer ministry. At the end of the shift we’d tally up the issues we’d been asked to pray for by the callers. Inevitably, the largest numbers turned out to be for an issue we ourselves were having difficulty with at the time. It’s an eye opener to be giving counsel to others on a topic we are fussing about – one of those “SNAP OUTTA IT!” moments.

Is it time to re-think how you live? Are you willing to step back from your life and reflect on whether or not what you see supports you in the ways you need to be supported? It can be scary – what if we start being who we are and our friends run away?

Truth be told, our “friends” won’t. And, if there is a vacuum of any kind, the universe will fill it with what we need, not what we settled for. The universe abhors a vacuum and you are a magnificent child of the Divine. You don’t have to settle for anything less than what you know you deserve.

The question is, What is it that you know you deserve? Got it? Now go accept it!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Listen up, Buttercup!

Do You REALLY Listen?

“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!” How many times in your life has someone screamed that at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of that frustrating communication. And, speaking solely for myself, I have to say that almost without fail when those words were thrust in my general direction I most certainly WAS listening.

The problem was that I didn’t want to hear what was being said. I can listen to a garbage truck outside picking up our weekly refuse. However, it’s not exactly the sound I want to have whilst doing my daily meditations.

The response to the accusation above is usually something along the line of, “And, YOU are not listening to ME!”

Of course, we aren’t talking about listening, are we? We’re often trying to get one of two points across to the other person. The first possibility is that our idea of the other person listening is that they agree with us, tell us we’re right, and then beg our forgiveness. The second is that while we are listening, we aren’t “listening aright.” Instead of listening to understand, we’re listening to be understood.

Here’s what I mean by that. Have you been in a conversation with someone and you can tell beyond any doubt that s/he doesn’t believe a word of what you’re saying? This fact is verified as soon as you take even a small breath or dare to pause. Immediately the other person will begin telling you all the reasons you’re wrong, why they are right, thus proving they are more interested in preaching than discussing.

As soon as we seek to understand, rather than trying to be understood, we open a completely unexplored avenue toward peace with one another.

Okay, enough about “them.” What about “us?” In the midst of a much divided world, with the polarities of human thinking at such opposite ends of the spectrum, what we do with regard to communication is probably more vital than ever before. We can find peace and mutual aid by seeking to understand the viewpoints of people whose philosophies or ideologies are diametrically opposed to our own.

In spite of how wrong we might think someone is, they have a right to their opinion and belief. If that person is a stranger on a street corner we pass once in our life it doesn’t much matter. It’s a completely different scenario if the individual with whom we clash is the one in our bed. And, of course, there are all the people in between.

Just for today, would you be willing to engage others in new and open ways to understand them? This suggestion should never be undertaken in cases of someone attempting physical or psychological harm to us, but hopefully that’s not your experience of life. The payoff by seeking to understand is that the other person senses the shift in our consciousness, an openness to communicate, and will thereby be far more willing to entertain our point of view as well.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Gay is Wrong; Bestiality and Magic? No Problem.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/03/us/theater-shuns-disney-beauty-over-gay-moment/index.html

I find it odd that people calling themselves Christians are boycotting the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie just because the character, LeFou (Gaston's sidekick) is shown questioning his feelings for another guy. THIS bothers the Bible belters even though Jesus said nothing about men loving one another. But ...

... the fact that some young girl is falling in love with a magically-transformed beast that looks more like a buffalo isn't a problem for them at all! Little Jesus boys and girls have been watching the animated version of the story for years with little if anything being said about the hint of bestiality or the presence of magic and witchcraft - all three frowned upon from what I remember of my days in the religion of my youth.

True Christians know Jesus said he “came to fulfill the law.” He then gave his followers two laws: Love God. Love one another. Christians aren’t bound by the over 630 laws in what modern-day Christians call the “Old Testament,” more correctly called the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, since Bible belters of all colors and religions seem to love to cherry pick passages out of Mosaic law to shore up their prejudice, racism and homophobia, let’s just take a quick look at those pre-Christian writings.

In the Bible, when King Saul's son, Jonathan, was killed, David (the man who would become king of Israel) wrote that "more precious was my love for you than the love of women."

Later, King David’s own son, Solomon, wrote in Proverbs that a "true friend sticks closer than a brother." Passages like these are scattered throughout both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek-Aramaic (New Testament) Scriptures, including the passage about the “disciple who Jesus loved” laid his heard on the Lord’s breast during the meal.

The “I-can-live-on-a-pedestal-and-judge-others-because-I-love-Jesus” Bible thumpers don’t speak out against Biblical passages like these because their small minds find it inconvenient to consider. I’m not suggesting that David and Jonathan were “an item.” We get into major trouble when we try to wrap our 21st century concepts around the way ancient civilizations lived. But they were obvious very, very close. VERY close.

Men “get” one another. Women “get” women. Belly dancing wasn’t created to stimulate the males of the species to want to copulate. The art was developed to help easy the pain of women in childbirth. Western civilization and homophobic Bible thumpers just don’t get the difference between sensuality, sexuality and sex.

And that is exactly why they have their knickers in a twist because LeFou is infatuated with Gaston.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Eavesdropping is So Enlightening

We live in a small town. The main post office is quite neighborly, with many of the patrons chatting back and forth while waiting in line. The line one day this week was quite long. I was able to pass the time listening to what other people were saying. Oh stop gasping, for heaven’s sake – it’s not like they were trying to be private!

Here are some of the comments I overheard:

  • “I’m doing good. It beats the alternative!”
  • “It just keeps getting worse and worse. Floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. What’s next?”
  • “You oughta know by now I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”
  • “She needs to put a smile on her face, that one does.”
  • “It don’t matter. Nothing does.”

Each of these folks believed what they were saying. They came in all colors, ages, socioeconomic status and educational levels. The majority of the other comments showed a range of despair, resignation or fear.

The expressions accompanying the words resulted in frowns, slumped shoulders and sighs. Rather than judge what these folks should be doing to change their thinking, I chose to think about what negative self-talk I had engaged in that morning.

I am my own worst critic. I am particular about many things, often fighting my anal-retentive or dogmatic tendencies about certain tasks, and must remind myself daily that no matter how hard I try I will simply never please everyone. Putting myself down, however, doesn’t help the situation.

Would you be willing today to take just one hour and listen to what is going on inside your head? Ask yourself if that is what you want to believe. Think about what the reaction would be from a good friend if you talked that way to them.

Hopefully your thoughts are filled with encouragement, praise and support. If not, consider what it would take to lovingly guide yourself back onto the path you wish to travel!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

“Only In New York”

I'm home for a week and using part of my time working on a new project I plan to have available to the public before the end of the year. In my research I ran across a piece I wrote in 2001. In light of the contentiousness of current times I thought you might enjoy it.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

"Only In New York"

“Only in New York” is a phrase hard to explain unless a person has had the joy of living in Manhattan for any length of time. Yesterday I was taking the 1 train down to Midtown to run some errands. An older, black woman burst into our car right after I’d boarded the train, ran into my shoe with her over-filled shopping cart of worldly possessions and screamed at me, “MOVE YOUR GODDAMN FUCKING FOOT, ASSHOLE!”

Charming, I thought.

I reacted as any other New Yorker would:  I avoided her glance, moved my foot, turned up the volume on my CD player (Dixie Chicks, in case you wondered) and continued reading my book. I began mouthing the words I was reading so as to focus on my material rather than the political tirade upon which our homeless picture of ebony femininity had now embarked.

Okay, so when she got to that part about the evil white Devil in the White House I had to nod slightly (forgive the political commentary), but the truth was that this woman was becoming somewhat compelling. She was preaching and I suddenly realized I was the choir. I just had to be amazed at how focused she was on her message about politics, poverty, the rearing of children and healthcare for the elderly. No one else dared to look at her or respond to her, though snickers were abundant.

At 110th Street I turned off my CD player, replaced my book in my backpack (black, of course, as was my outfit — this IS Gotham after all!), and headed for the door — the one next to Miss Congeniality. “What’s this stop? 86th Street?” she hollered.

I looked down at her, the filthy clothes and the pieces of this and that which made up all her worldly possessions. Apparently, I saw something no one else did at the time. Her face opened and revealed something no one else saw.

I smiled at her, not a condescending smile, but a sincere and painless effort to show her affection. “No, my love”, I said, looking straight into her angry brown eyes, “It’s 103rd Street — you’ve got a few more stops to go.”

The anger peeled away, her face brightened and I saw the Christ in that dirty, brown face. “I love you” she said, looking up at me. I smiled back and said, “I love you, too! Now you have a blessed and wonderful day.”

As I walked off the train, she sat quietly, still beaming, with the majority of the eyes in the car on her, mouths slightly a gap, eyebrows raised. I love New York.

Copyright © 2001, 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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Now What?

It’s been quite a year, non? That question is an understatement. Well, at least for me and the majority of my readers.

It could seem like the year is ending with uproar and confusion. Added to that is a year ahead which holds more questions than answers. How do we handle the situation? The question, “Now what?” makes complete sense in a state of affairs that is full of uncertainty.

There really is only one constant:  Change. Much of what we’ve heard around the world is returning our communities to “the way things were,” as if this fantasy past had no problems. Change happens and we can’t move forward into the future while we’re clinging to the past. The truth is that the past had as many problems as we have now, but it’s now that we’re finally talking about them.

The consciousness of the planet is changing. Inequality, lack of equanimity, discrimination and bullying on the local or global level are things that intelligent, educated people are no longer willing to tolerate simply because the answers are inconvenient. To re-write the movie line, “Fast your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy [year]!”

So fasten your seat belt. Get a firm idea of where you want to be next time this year. Put your affairs in order, get your ducks in a row, or do whatever it is you must do to realize the security you need to attain contentment and happiness. NO ONE gets to put us down or make us feel less than we are without our consent. REFUSE to consent in any way shape or form to being anything else but your magnificent self!

This will be my last message to you for the year. I leave tomorrow for three days of flying before returning home to celebrate a belated Christmas with my family. Enjoy this beautiful season in spite of the unrest we see around us. As Jesus admonished his followers, be in the world but not of it. In other words, be present in the moment and know the Truth:  You are whole, complete and perfect just the way you are. You are precious and loved. YOU are the Light of the World. Shine brightly now and forever! We’ll chat again in January!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
#IAN1

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Having Trouble Being Thankful?

Have you been seeing more problems around you lately? It’s hard to think of a time in the past when it seems the entire world was so upset. If we continue to feed our minds on all the slanted and bias stories in the media this agitation can greatly affect our personal lives.thanksgiving-blog

There is an old metaphysical principle that states what we focus on increases. The question is, How we can stay informed, but not allow that knowledge to paralyze us in life? There are two main ways we can do this.

FIRST:  Be mindful of how we are spending our time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the media hype and often fake news reports. We can ask ourselves if what we are hearing applies to us; or, is it just what amounts to a juicy piece of gossip that will lead us away from our own vision and mission in life?

SECOND:  Find things in our lives for which to be thankful. This doesn’t mean we run around with a perennial smile on our face, oblivious to the issues in our lives or the problems in our community. It does mean that we begin to give thanks for what’s working in our lives instead of everything else that other people and mass marketers want us to focus on.

By cultivating what we desire in our lives, instead of constantly looking for the next worst thing online, we set a firm foundation of peace that allows us to more fully serve others around us. For more information on how this is possible, have a look at my article in the November issue of “Guide for Spiritual Living:  Science of Mind® magazine,” entitled “The Path to Gratitude.” Email me for a free copy!

The coming weeks before year’s end will place us in celebrations of love, family and friendship. Whether or not we will allow recent and current events to affect our experience is up to us!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Similar and Different

Have you ever met someone, thought how similar you were, but then discovered some glaringly different beliefs? It can be most unsettling. We think we’re on the same wavelength and suddenly realize this isn’t true at all.

I remember accepting a temporary secretarial position many years ago that required proficiency with the Word and Excel programs. While my abilities were more than sufficient, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I sat down at the Apple computer in front of me. I’m a PC guy and couldn’t even figure out how to turn the darn thing on.

When situations like this occur it can be quite jarring to our sense of peace. But it’s also a great reminder that one of the great constants in the universe is change, as paradoxical as that may be. The question is not so much whether change will occur in our lives, but how we will deal with change when it’s staring us in the face. I was at that temp job for three months and got along smashingly with my new Apple friend!

If everything in our lives were similar or identical it would be pretty boring. Consistency doesn’t have to be sameness. We have evidence in nature of how just different landscapes can be yet all beautiful in their own way.

Perhaps the next time you think one thing is happening only to discover that some very different is occurring you’ll think of this discussion. Take a deep breath and relax into the change that’s happening. Even in the differences, what can you find that is similar?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone
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2016 © Terry Drew Karanen

The Small Stuff

It’s the little things that make a difference in our lives. We have the choice whether seemingly insignificant events are going to produce happiness, sorrow, regret or gratitude, among many other emotions. In fact, it’s the small stuff that can actually be a life saver for us.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson is credited with writing this small piece of wisdom:

No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.

If you are willing to get by the masculine noun writing style of the day this quote bears a tremendous message. Throughout the day we are bombarded with information. It’s not just what we read on social media or hear on the news. It’s far more subtle, yet infinitely more important.

The small stuff about which the good doctor speaks is our power of observation. It’s being open to noticing the energy of a person we meet; a split second before she stood tall and smiled she was slightly slumped, her eyes gray with disappointment, or perhaps despondency. Might we be a tad more loving and considerate if we had taken the time to be more observant?Blog

We may be lamenting the problems in the world, of which we are many, yet if we open to being more aware of our surroundings we notice one driver signally for another to go ahead in an act of courtesy; an elderly woman holding the door for a young father with three young children in tow, giving the guy just what he needs not to feel so alone; or, the cat who insists on us taking the time to pet her, just when we need to stop the craziness of the day.

It can also be hearing something intriguing or helpful and saying, “That’s really interesting! I’m going to remember that when I need it,” instead of, “I wish I could remember stuff like this, but I’m so forgetful.”

Are we are willing to believe there is only One Divine Consciousness with which we are all connected? If so, we understand that by training ourselves to believe in Divine Timing we’ll know that all knowledge is ours to have when it’s needed.

What will you observe today that you’ll recall in the future? Are you willing to enjoy the day, enjoying all you observe, and without rushing through it just to get to the end? I’d love to know what you experience today!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
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Terry Drew Karanen © 2016