Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

Beginning Today


Poems of Praise

Beloved is the One Who spoke and all things came to be!

Beloved are You!
Beloved is the One who created

all in the beginning!
Beloved is the One Who speaks and acts!

Beloved, Who determines and fulfills!

 

Beloved, Who deals kindly with the world!

Beloved, Who acts kindly towards all creatures!

 

Beloved, Who responds with good to those in awe!

Beloved, Who removes the dark and brings the light!

 

Beloved is the One Who lives eternally.

Beloved, Who delivers and redeems!  Beloved are You and Your name!

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Iris and Rhody

Blue Iris – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Starting today….

I will open my mind and heart to others in need.

I will try my hardest to do my best.

I will make new friends.

I will take the advice I get from those who care.

I must learn to be myself, and love myself.

I will listen to more music and write more music.

I will try to make somebody’s day a little bit better.

I will have fun!

I can express myself.

I will write about my feelings.

I will reflect on the past.

I will look towards the future because it is coming soon.

 

Today is the day I will begin

I will continue to smile.

I will dream about tomorrow.

I will challenge myself.

I shall travel to new places and see new things.

 

I will do more good deeds.

You see, these are the things

I hope for so much.

I will live; I will love; I will learn;

and I will pray.

 

–Andrea Levick

 

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Rainbow – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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Wishing everyone a Peaceful and Harmonious Weekend

Namaste

Barbara

 

Our Individual Paths to Peace


When we begin our journeys in this life, I don’t think we really have a concept of peace. As children and teens, we are looking for other things in our lives. Without peace, life can seem dull, cruel and worthless. As we find our peace within, we see more and more of what is really happening in our lives. With inner peace, we can survive more easily the hits the world sends our way.

 

So we are on our path and we decide we need inner peace. Well, then what? There is an inner landscape within us that is a source of peace if we but spend time there. Our peace takes choices: Do we hate or forgive? Do we judge others or accept them as they are? Do we look at others and think they are less than we are? Why would we do that? Because their skin color is different, they are less educated, because their clothes seem strange? We can’t look at others in a peaceful manner unless we are filled with peace ourselves.

 

What happens when others believe differently than we do? Do we fight? Do we make a judgement? No, we reach into our inner peace and spread some around us. We spread peace and everything becomes lighter. We spread peace and hope rises up like a beacon in the darkness. We spread peace and we become calmer and easier to deal with.

 

When we can live in peace, we look around us and see some very rare gifts we might have missed otherwise. I do not believe there is just one way to find inner peace. For myself, as I looked around at the world I saw dichotomies of peace and hate. Every time I did not choose hate, I found a little more peace within me. Every time I did not judge others harshly, my life grew more comfortable and peaceful.

 

Every time I helped someone else with a problem, a problem in my own life grew smaller and I felt better. Every time I committed a random act of kindness, one would unexpectedly return to me. Time after time, year after year, I got more comfortable with this huge cushion of peace in my life. When someone was mean, cruel or nasty, I found that I just sunk deeper into the cushion of peace that had formed around me.

 

Does this mean nothing ever hurts me or upsets me? No, it doesn’t, but it gets easier feel the inner peace than the hurt feelings. It is easier to reach out to others in kindness than anger. The peace we carry within is like a pebble we throw into a pond: as it ripples out in ever widening circles, it touches more and more people. Their inner peace flows outward to us and we become stronger in our own peace. It is a cycle in the wheel of life. The inner peace flows outward and touches those who need it. The cycle never stops.

 

 

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Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, 2009

Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, copyright 2009

If Death Were a Woman


This poem grabbed me.  I wasn’t thinking about Death, but the beauty of the words — the possibility of it — captured my imagination today.

We all will face Death, one day — some of us sooner than others — but how we face it, how we accept it or fight it, can be as important as how we live on the way there.

Death is scary.  It isn’t something I want to do, any time soon — I have grandchildren to watch grow up, great-grandchildren to welcome many years from now — but when it comes, it would be nice to think it would be like this poem.  Nice to think that those I’ve loved and lost were welcomed to the Other Side in so gentle and beautiful a fashion.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

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If Death Were a Woman

–Ellen Kort

I’d want her to come for me smelling of cinnamon

wearing bright cotton      purple maybe       hot pink

 

a red bandana in her hair          She’d bring

good coffee         papaya juice       bouquet of sea grass

 

saltine crackers and a lottery ticket      We’d dip

our fingers into moist pouches of lady’s slippers

 

crouch down to see how cabbage feel when wind

bumps against them in the garden     We’d walk

 

through Martin’s woods      find the old house

its crumbling foundation strung with honeysuckle vines

 

and in the front yard     a surprise     jonquils

turning the air yellow     glistening and ripe

 

still blooming for a gardener long gone

We’d head for the beach wearing strings of shells

 

around our left ankles     laugh at their ticking

sounds     the measured beat that comes with dancing

 

on hard-packed sand     the applause of ocean and gulls

She’d play ocarina songs to a moon almost full

 

and I’d sing off-key     We’d glide and swoop

become confetti of leaf fall     all wings

 

floating on small whirlwinds     never once dreading

the heart-silenced drop     And when it was time

 

she would not bathe me     Instead we’d scrub the porch

pour leftover water on flowers     stand a long time

 

in sun and silence     then      holding hands

we’d post for pictures     in the last light

 

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The Power of Words Award


I have designed this award because so many feel they can’t change the world. They can. You can. Your words, your blog can educate, raise awareness, change opinions and raise spirits. Through your blog you are reaching people you may never have effected any other way.

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So this is for all who click away on the computer with a heart full of love, kindness, compassion and caring. For all of you who write to correct wrongs and injustices. For all of you who work to bring light into our world and hope to people’s lives. You are all heroes in my book. Please accept this heart-felt award and pass it on to those in your WordPress family who deserve it. Let’s keep it going for the entire year. May it inspire all with light, words, and love for the human family.

You all know how much I hate rules, so please just:

  • post the award on your blog
  • thank the person who gave it to you
  • pass it on to those whom you deem worthy
  • let your nominees know

The first ever nominees of the Power of Words Award are:

  1. Xena
  2. IvonPrefontaine
  3. Professions for Peace
  4. Petchary
  5. Inavukic
  6. ValentineLogar
  7. The English Professor at Large
  8. Dr. Rex

Love is in the Air


I dedicate this poem to everyone. Everyone of us who has experienced love. I send hugs to all who have loved and then lost that love. This year, my husband will have been gone twenty years. Hearts to all.

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HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and heightZentangle-Valentine2

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

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I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with  the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints, —I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!  —And, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 

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Love is the sweetest and most painful of emotions. Some say that love is a state of mind. I like what Gibran has to say about love. We experience love every day from somewhere, but let it not bound you and let your being be whole within the love.

 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

From The Prophet

Khalil Gibran

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.FullSizeRender

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give you hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the land of Life can contain your hearts.

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And stand together yet not too near together

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 

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Thank you for being part of my WordPress family. I love you all. Hearts, Barbara

A Little Something Uplifting


Right now, the world is full of a lot of hate.  Not only has the attack on Charlie Hebdo changed France forever, but anti-semitism is growing and racism is on the rise.

But I want to remind all of us that the world also is full of love, generosity, kindness, passion — the good things in life.  This story, from CNN, is the story of a miracle: a miracle of love.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope you smile.

 

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boy and girl flower girlrotated

(CNN) Briggs Fussy doesn’t remember much about walking down the aisle 20 years ago with the woman who would eventually become his wife.

“I don’t really remember the wedding part at all,” Briggs said. “I didn’t even talk to her.”

A groom not remembering the wedding could undoubtedly crush a bride, especially a bride like Brittney Fussy, who admits she’s been planning her wedding since she was a little girl.

But Brittney Fussy said the only thing she remembers about their trip down the aisle was her partner’s unique name.

“I don’t remember too much about being a flower girl,” she said.

Briggs and Britney Fussy took their first walk down the aisle when they were just 3, as a ring bearer and flower girl in the wedding of Briggs’ godmother. The couple took their second walk down the aisle Saturday to become husband and wife.

The couple, who failed to leave an impression on each other at their first wedding, reunited years later in their ninth grade in a government class at Blaine High School, north of Minneapolis.

Briggs had just transferred to Brittney’s school; she said she knew the moment she heard the teacher say his name that it had to be the same Briggs who walked her down the aisle all those years ago.

“I confirmed it with my mom,” Brittney said before she said anything to Briggs and then the couple laughed about how both of their moms had pictures of the pair hanging up at their respective houses.

They didn’t become a couple until junior year and eventually separated to attend college in separate cities — Briggs to the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, and Brittney to Minnesota State University, Mankato.

A few years into the long-distance relationship, Briggs returned to Minnesota State to be with his beloved.

“I knew I was going to marry her,” he said.

Before they tied the knot over the weekend, the couple viewed the video of themselves in the wedding.

Briggs called it “hilarious.”

Brittney said she was the “obnoxious flower girl,” who can be seen on wedding video weaving in and out bridesmaids. At one point, she pauses in front of the bride to look up at her. Briggs, on the other hand, stood calmly in the same place for the entirety of the ceremony.

“I’m such a rule follower — I’m sure someone said ‘stay still,’ and I never moved,” Briggs said.

Brittney promises she’s a rule follower now, too, but contends she and her groom can both be “pretty weird and outspoken” sometimes.

The picture of the two of them at age 3 is now framed in their own home, and they even reenacted the photograph at their own wedding.

boy and girl married

Here’s the same couple — this time, they’re the ones getting hitched.

“I’m pretty cheesy when it comes to love stuff, I’m not going to lie,” Brittney said.

Briggs and Britney, who are both finishing up their degrees in economics and elementary education at Minnesota State, Mantoka, said they didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about regarding their story at first. But they said they have known all along that they were meant to be.

“It’s all a part of God’s plan,” she said, “All fate for sure.”

As for their second time down the aisle, the couple said it’s far more memorable than their first.

“It was wonderful,” Brittney said. “As close to perfect as you can get.”