Family Love

Sometimes a commercial holiday can be beneficial in triggering us (me) to think about its particular theme, such as Valentine’s Day being about Love. While I’ve been truly blessed to spend parts of the day with a devoted husband and loving children and grandchildren, many thoughts about love today centered on those I’ve not seen in years…members of my family of origin.

I may have mentioned this in an earlier writing, about being the oldest of five siblings and leaving home (and the state) when I was 19. I traded the Midwest for the West Coast and an early marriage. My three brothers and one sister were all still in school; the two youngest were still in grade school as they are 11 and 12 years younger than me. Not only were we years apart in age and maturity, but as a result of my moving away, I never really knew them as individuals. I still don’t.

Life being what it was, I rarely went back to visit, but I did make the effort a few times over the years and am glad I did. There were no big family reunions. My parents didn’t travel or take big vacations. My mom has never visited my home.  It took nearly 40 years before my dad finally came to see where I lived. He stayed for five weeks. That was one of the most special, sharing events of my life. We now have conversations several times a week.

That’s not true for my siblings, however. Our interests and lifestyles are vastly different. We live in three or four different states with one or two having outdated addresses or no interest in making contact. I talk with one brother once or twice a year; another every couple of years; and the third maybe once a decade. I’m not sure where my sister is living or how to reach her. Even if I did, I’m not sure it’d be a good idea; she doesn’t seem to like me much.

The few conversations shared amongst the five of us over the years have been about feelings of abandon­ment, jealousy over the distribution of family possessions, reliving early childhood memories or family celebrations, catching up on where our adult children are living or how many grandchildren we have, what to do about aging parents, and hoping everyone is able to stay working and caring for themselves sufficiently for as long as possible. Not the healthiest types of relationships, to say the least.

While we share family bloodlines, it seems rather strange to declare real “love” for people I hardly know. Frankly, we’ve all had such separate lives for so long, it feels quite artificial to initiate any kind of meaningful relationship now…and yet I feel such a deep sense of loss. It may be time to try again.

I don’t regret leaving home at a young age. (My father actually encouraged me to go.) I like the person I’ve become through the experiences Life provided. My world is full of love from a blended and extended step-family, children, grandchildren, and friends. I promote regular family gatherings with our children and insist we communicate and share in each other’s lives. I want them to know the importance of such family connections…to learn about one another as adult individuals…to experience family love with their brothers and sisters. Maybe, someday, I will, too.


This year, more than any other time, I await the results of the presidential election with great anticipation. I’m certainly no expert on all the issues or the candidates. I’m sure there’s much I missed along the way. Yet I paid attention to what was important to me, balanced the presenta­tions from varied sources, did my own research, and then made my decision based on education, intuition and faith. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Anticipation is an interesting sensation. It holds within it increased awareness, enthusiasm and hope… even some attachment to a specific result. This heightened feeling of expectation provides energy to stay alert, fully participating, being involved, and awaiting the finish or at least the completion of the next stage of unfoldment, whether it be election results, health diagnosis, project conclusion, and business or relationship decisions.

As any stage comes to completion, with it can come a sigh of relief and perhaps sadness that it’s finally over. Anticipation’s euphoric breath is released and a thought of celebration usually follows, however brief it may be. Shortly or eventually thereafter, a renewed energy begins to grow to address the next stage, the next idea, or another challenge…and the anticipation cycle begins again.

This cycle of anticipation and closure is very much like what we find throughout Nature. The ebb and flow of the ocean…the growth and rest of the plants from seed to maturity to decay…the changing of the different seasons…day and night… being awake or going to sleep…etc. Thus, this concept is nothing new. Anticipation is a normal way of being and provides us the motivation and energy to pursue our goals and intentions, as well as to carry us through any disappointments toward renewed optimism.

As the election winds down, I release a sigh of gratitude that this event is nearly concluded…until next time. The focus for many people will return to their previous interests, employment efforts, families, friends, homes, and social media postings…other normal ways of being and living. Our country takes a collective sigh of relief as we move forward into the next chapter of our world’s unfoldment and evolution. It’s an exciting time…and one filled with great anticipation!


Faith and Belief

“If there’s one person who can do anything, it’s you!” said my son’s fiancé as we shared morning coffee during an unexpected day off for both of us. I needed to hear it. For a moment I borrowed her Faith and Belief in me to support my own wavering confidence. Where had Belief in myself gone? Does it ever really leave a person – or – just get pushed down and covered up by doubt and fear?

In the Science of Mind philosophy, “Belief” is defined as “conviction or feeling of the truth of a proposition or condition…Belief may go no farther than intellectual assent while Faith embodies a trust and confidence.” (SOM Textbook/Glossary, p.577) Given this definition, I looked up Faith a few pages away. It states “Faith is a mental attitude, so inwardly embodied that the mind can no longer deny it…” (SOM, p.591)

They work hand-in-hand. So I interpret it this way:  Belief in yourself, in your goals, or an expanded life vision, is a conscious act of affirmative thinking that, held in Mind long enough, grows into a Faith to sustain the activities until achievement is finally realized.

Based on my own experience, I know Belief can waiver in its intensity. It’s like a seed that needs the proper soil, sun, water and tending to fully develop into a healthy plant. The care continues. The plant (Belief) grows stronger until it can stand on its own with little conscious tending. The energy behind its growth is no longer totally dependent on daily nurturing. It takes on a life of its own, a strength and confidence (Faith) that it will mature, blossom and produce its fruit. That is what it was created for; that is all it can or will do.

How much simpler would our lives be if we could hold in mind what our purpose is long enough for it to manifest into form? If we could hold the Belief until it grew into Faith so that the fruit of our efforts could be born? Some do. Some do not. Often our brilliant ideas are abandoned and left to die for lack of nurturing. Our Belief is choked out by the weeds of doubt and fear and judgment and criticism. We can remove those weeds with prayer, persistence, courage and trust. A little attention each day to our vision, our idea, can keep it growing until it’s either evident that a better idea is taking its place – or – until Faith steps up with the energy to carry it through to its success.

There are a number of ways to bring your mind from doubt to Belief to Faith. Today, it was simply believing in the Belief someone else had for me, long enough to pull up some negative thoughts and get on with nurturing my life. What you focus on does grow!