Archive for May, 2022

May 28, 2022

Alcohol Abuse

by Rod Smith

Alcohol abuse stings, stings deeply.

And, it does so for generations.

It poisons. 

It sets children on edge often for a life-time of living on edge.

I know too well.

The memories may be distant but my emotions still react and I often still feel the pain even though it’s been well over 55 years since I was exposed to the incessant drinking of close relatives.

Remembering the energy I spent as a boy trying to maintain order in the family and reliving my futile efforts to steer adults away from drinking and the twisting and turning in bed when people raged with drunkenness refreshes the emotional exhaustion that is ever ready to awaken in my body, despite the years.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you are a parent who indulges in alcohol and it shifts your moods and messes with your driving and threatens your employment and demands spending money you cannot afford and makes you want to pick on those whom you say you love and it is destroying all semblance of trust people may have in you, please seek help.

Humble yourself.

Get the help you need.

You, and all whom you love, will be better off for it.

Generations to come will thank you.

May 11, 2022

Love or “love”?

by Rod Smith

The “old” way of “love” 

  • Love as a bargain or trade- favors returned or unreturned determine the level of “love” and commitment.  
  • Love as a weapon or to establish and maintain power – inclusion if well-behaved, exclusion if not. 
  • Love as a face or image – a show of love offered in public contrasting greatly with what is privately experienced. 
  • Love as a teaching tool – it’s all about learning, shaping, seldom for enjoyment.
  • Love as punishment through withholding – a “I’ll show you who is in charge” distortion of love.  

The “new” way of love 

  • Love as service – the giver enhances the lives of others through chosen humility and service.
  • Love as a means to learning – the giver seeks to grow, therefore watches, listens with patience and care.
  • Love as an expression of spirit and soul expressed to all – the giver has made a decision to grow in love and has therefore recognized that none are on the “outside,” all are insiders.
  • Love as belonging – the giver desires to belong, not lead or organize or capitalize.
  • Love as an expression of mercy, forgiveness, deserved or not – the giver has acknowledged his or her failings (gross or benign) and has turned his or her back on harmful, selfish ways, while offering to all the grace he or she so badly also needed.
May 3, 2022

An invitation

by Rod Smith

Bring your brokenness and your regrets and your heartbreak and fall apart with rage and anger stocking the fire and I will listen.

I will try not to even attempt to quell your storm, extinguish the fire, quieten your rage and you will not fall apart or burn up or drown in the process. 

You will be on your way to falling together. You will be on your way to finding and making greater sense of who you are and “why” you are. You will be heading towards the center of your soul where you will discover, perhaps afresh, just how beautiful you are.

Then, not immediately but at some time, will you do the same for others? 

Perhaps even for me.

Will you form a wall of acceptance and empathy and challenge with your presence and your listening skills and your experience for others and perhaps even for me?

As “together” as I may appear, truth is I am perched upon my own volcano, climbing my own mountain of regrets, uncovering my own rage and anger and remorse and it is all, all of it, is toward myself and my selfish actions and my lack of foresight or insight and care for the impact of my actions upon others let alone myself.

May 1, 2022

It doesn’t have to be this way…..

by Rod Smith

There are overwhelming emotions – feelings, mind traps – most will face, to one degree or another, especially as we advance in age, hopefully grow in awareness, and have moved beyond the innocent, but necessary belief in our individual invincibility.

A sense of being disqualified – the lurking thought that the past denies a person access to possibilities. Being too bad, too reckless, he or she feels undeserving. The shame of being disqualified can become integral to a person’s personality and often confused with humility.  

A sense of living in exile  – the lurking belief that a person’s history, reputation, class, a lack of status puts him or her on the outside of groups to which he or she longs to belong. Habitual trepidation, fear of rejection, can become a skittishness so embedded it is assumed he or she is simply “the nervous type.”  

A sense of being forever unforgiven – the lurking belief that nothing a person can do will erase the mark deserved as a result of his or her own doing. This powerful shame can drive a person into silence and into literal isolation.

Listen, watch. Be a source of love and acceptance others so desperately need. You have it in you. No one needs to exist in these states of silence and desperation.