Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When the Universe Holds Your Hand (Startled by Grace)

While the cats are away, the mice are gonna play! Heeeeeeere’s Rigel:

Rigel: On this blog, Deb and Barbara have often guided us into conversations about a) taking care of ourselves, and b) how to take deliberate care of others in times of need. But, today, I want to talk about the times when, in small but well-timed and therefore significant ways, a force outside of ourselves seemingly steps in to provide precious incidents of unexplainable, unexpected grace and tender loving care. I am not talking about huge moments. Quite the opposite!  I am talking about tiny little treasures––scattered moments of surprising personal significance. These are itsy bitsy events precisely timed to make a big difference. When I think about these tiny moments of grace, in my mind's eye, I see hands that are bruised and bloodied from hanging on so tight to a ragged cliff face, dangling over a deadly abyss. And, for a moment, these tired hands are being taken into the soothing, healing hands of an angel and being refreshed, having the scrapes washed and bandaged. The big problems aren't solved. But, the moment's agony is soothed. Those hands may then go right back to holding onto that cliff face dangling over that wretched abyss, but they will do so less tired and with a stronger grip. I want to talk today about when the universe holds my hand.

Just to be safe, here are two bits of full disclosure to smooth potential ruffled feathers. First, I do not believe in coincidence.  Y'all might, and that's cool. I think most coincidences can be explained away by running lines of math and physics that are beyond what I have an intellectual grasp on. Some things are just bound to happen eventually if the iterations of probability and a congruence of variables get run for long enough. But I also believe some portion of coincidences are actually quite deliberately fostered by an outside force.  And that brings me to my second disclosure. This bloggie family is made of people along the full range of the faith spectrum. Because I am a Christian (albeit NOT Fundamentalist––I am a social justice oriented, feminist, increasingly radicalized Christian), heavily influenced by Reform Judaism (tikkun olam being my chosen sacred, guiding principle), as I write this blog post, my vocabulary will be influenced by my theist perspective. I think of God or angels holding my hand. But, the concept holds when applied using terms such as Allah, the Universe, karma, good energy, Mother Earth, or even the plants thanking you for the nourishing compost you just spread—any outside, larger, cosmic energy you endow with a degree of sentience. Also, as a Christian, I believe in the “small, still voice” of the Holy Spirit and that people who are open to this voice can be moved to be used as God's hands and feet on Earth. I can't count how many times I've heard stories and witnessed beautiful adventures that began with something along the lines of, “I didn't know what was going on with him. I just kept feeling a strong nudge to go by and check on him. Turns out it was perfect timing!” I can only see the words I'm typing through my own eyes. I do not mean to alienate or offend anyone. If you who are reading this are, for example, an atheist who believes in coincidence, I'm eager to read your take on this subject! I hope that the discussion on this post pretzels up my brain in a really fun, interesting way that I get to ponder over for days to come! But to write with any voice but my own would be a lie.

So, what do I mean by having my hand held? What do I mean by being startled by tiny moments of grace? I am not talking about huge things like a sudden windfall of money, the healing of a disease, or rescue from a car accident. I am talking about very minor, incidental, seemingly insignificant little drops of elixir that startle me with the positive in the midst of the negative. For example, during a teeth clinching, jaw aching, tension headache inducing, aggravating, really pissy day, I get into the car, crank it up, and the radio springs to life singing to me a happy, old favorite song with lovely memories attached. I pause for a few heartbeats and smile a little. My fevered mind suddenly stops, dives into a pool of clear, cold spring water, and then breaks the surface and draws in a deep breath. I am refreshed by perfectly timed grace, which I do not believe is a coincidence. And, afterward, I am better able to cope with the garbage. I have been startled by grace. My hand has been held, and my perspective has been shifted a few millimeters in a healthier direction. Or, after a day of dealing with a seemingly endless stream of mean, rude, spiteful, selfish people, I'm suddenly presented with a tall, handsome stranger of a man with smile crinkled eyes, a deep voice, and strong hands with long fingers—a gentleman who holds a door for me and gives me a nod and grin while calling me ma'am. How can I not feel a warm flush of happiness wash through me upon this reminder that not everyone is hateful and unpleasant? On a day when I'm feeling unbearably trapped and suffocated in this town, the library will call and say that an interlibrary loan I requested many, many weeks ago has come in. Perfect timing! Suddenly, I have a happy bit of the outside world for my eyes and brain to gobble up exactly when I most needed it! Or, as happened last week, in the two days before time for child support and my paycheck to deposit when there was less than dust in my bank account after having paid a high electric bill, a big packet of grocery coupons came in the mail, including coupons for customer appreciation freebies that happened to be for a couple of luxurious, indulgent favorites of both my son and myself.  We had what we needed to get by with careful planning, but that packet of freebie coupons gave us a surprise abundance, a small joy, treats in the middle of no margin of error. Does a packet of coupons from that grocery chain come a few times a year?  Yes. But, what was so special to me was that the packet arrived on THAT day. To me, it felt like a cosmic treat saying, “Someone is paying attention to how hard you've been trying, how careful you've been being. Someone knows how hard you've been fighting to make sure your son feels safe, secure, and provided for. Someone knows you're tired. Here's a little present for you to open to let you know you aren't really alone. Now, walk up to the grocery store and get your free goodies to enjoy until the money comes at the end of the week.” It's tiny, perfectly timed gestures like these that are often just enough to reboot my virus-ridden mental hard drive. They grab me by the scruff of the neck, yank me up, and remind me, “It's not all bad. IT'S NOT ALL BAD. Someone is paying attention. An angel just held your hand.” It's grace as a perspective check.

Then there are the really bad times. During an ultra-difficult day or in the depths of the rancid, sticky bowels of a long, dark night of the soul, I may be struggling in suffocating muck and mire, frantically screaming red alert klaxons in my mind begging for huge miracles and sweeping changes. During these hours when hope has begun to fail and frustration is hitting critical mass, it is most often one of these out of the blue tiny moments of grace from a source outside of myself that starts to wake me up, that puts a crack in the wall of dark fog.  When I get like that, I get to where I can't imagine things getting better. I can't see out of my pit. The fog has blanketed out any light, any sense of goodness in the future. And I really, really suck at getting myself out of that mindset. And, then, for example, my computer will chime, and there'll be an email from Deb replying to an email I had sent her days before. And that email will contain something that makes me smile and laugh and makes me feel loved EXACTLY at the second I needed that. (Deb, I bet you didn't know that sometimes your insomnia is well timed!)  Or, in a day when I'm so deep in my pit that I've begun to slide down into my bunker mentality, hiding from phone and email, not leaving home, sheltering in place, out of the blue a friend who had no way of knowing that I was in the midst of a dark spell will call up and say, “I'm bored. It's almost Sonic half price happy hour. Can I come pick you up, and we'll go get a soda?” When the universe holds my hand like this—the startling, tiny moment of grace—it gives me enough pause to enable me to once again feel the faint flicker of belief and hope that refuses to die in that place deep, deep in my chest where the most essential corner of my soul seems to be almost physically tangible. A gentle whisper takes my hand and reminds me, “Stop. There is love. There is hope. You are not alone. Be still for a few seconds. Feel gratitude for this moment of grace.  Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.” These tiny gestures of care give me a reorienting jolt – the proverbial slap to the face in the midst of hysterical negativity. I can begin to see through a lens of gratitude instead of being blinded by fear, rage, or panic. It doesn't fix everything. But, it helps me imagine that in a few hours or a few days, I WILL feel better. It reminds me that this feeling of unfixability, of hopelessness, is an illusion that will pass. When the universe throws me one of these exquisitely timed tiny moments of grace, I grab at the warm, fuzzy metaphysical security blanket with a grip so tight that the knuckles of my spirit's fingers are whitened. I pay attention. I collect these graces and line them up on a bookshelf in my brain and take them down, flicking through their pages at later times when I need a reminder, a gratitude tinged perspective check. A tiny moment of grace not only changes the challenge it has interrupted. The gratitude wrapped memory continues to heal long after the occurrence.

Why did I chose this topic for the blog today, even running a risk since it is religion tinged? So often this blog and the precious people within its embrace are the source of these tiny moments of grace. So often, I have witnessed this bloggie family being the handholds. And, not just for me. How often in the comments have we read someone's words that the topic for the day was exactly what she needed to read that day? How often have we answered that small, still voice to close ranks around one of our number who is wobbly? I know y'all have done it with me, and I count it a profound privilege to have been able to be a part of doing it for some of y'all. How often have we read the words of someone who has never spoken up before but who is chiming in for the first time to describe experiencing a perfect, cosmic hand-holding via this blog? How many of us now have at least one new, offline friend that we met online through this blog—someone whom we never would've met otherwise but who has since fully integrated herself into our lives? I do not believe this bloggie family has coalesced by luck. Nor by the commonality of Colin fangirldom. I believe this bloggie family has been formed as a sacred act of grace. The angels, God, the universe, whatever you want to call it is holding our hands.

Colin fangirldom. Yeah, I went there. * deep breath * Most of us have outed ourselves as Colin fangirls. But, you know what? The whole Colin and Whose Line? thing is an absolutely essential part of this topic. And, I would be a shameful coward if I didn't address it. Colin, Ruth called it perfectly in a conversation she and I once had. She said that your work is your ministry. That is 100% true. You are an instrument of God's grace. You and your work are angelic hand-holding. How many of us have admitted to finding, through Colin, a spark of light, laughter, hope in the midst of unbearable darkness? How many of us medicate our insomnia not with drugs but with Whose Line? clips on YouTube? How many of us have written in discussions on this blog how Colin's work has helped us, encouraged us, taught us, warmed us, freed us when we were locked up in a bad place in our heads? How many of us have sought refuge in Colin's gifts? The big, bad thing that was plaguing us at that moment wasn't fixed, but enjoying Colin's work was that tiny spark of grace that helped refresh our spirits, helped open up our minds to healing. A silly little something like finding the right comedy video at the right time opened the door to a much larger torrent of grace. A perspective shift, an unclinching, a deep breath. I do not believe in coincidence. And how many of us? The majority of us? How many were led into this bloggie family via Colin? A larger gift that has flowed from an already precious one. Many of us have previously expressed our gratitude here on the blog. But I'm saying it here in this post in a really face heating up, heart racing, tummy churning way, hands shaking hard to type way: Thank you, Colin. Thank you for your work. Thank you for introducing us to Deb and Barbara. Thank you for your kind, gentle, patient strength. Thank you for all the times you have answered that still, small voice.

I also want to make sure that I reveal here, publicly, with complete honesty and clarity my profound gratitude to Deb and Barbara for so frequently being open to being the instruments of these moments of cosmic care. From the beautifully unique approach of each woman flows beautifully unique grace. For example, Barbara often presents a perspective I never could've imagined but that is exactly what I need to examine at that exact, precise moment. She's freakishly accurate. And Deb is the only person I know who can fuss at me hard without hurting my feelings.  And her fusses always fall at exactly the right time. That cold splash, that jolt, that reorientation. And they both are the perfect kind of silly when I am wound way too tight. As instruments of grace, their notes are played with the purest, richest tone and pitch. They are earthly angels being used to hold my bloody, bruised hands. The praise and gratitude I feel about this cannot be covered even by the strongest adjectives and superlatives. Exultant? Profound? Rapturous? Enormous? No. There are not words sufficient to cover my gratitude for Deb and Barbara. They both demonstrate love in a way I've never known before.

Anyway, to close, I want to ask: Do you experience cosmic hand holding? How do you perceive it?  How do you explain coincidences of grace? Do you ever get your mind rebooted by a tiny event? What's your perspective on gratitude? Basically, what's your take on all this?

And, also in closing, I want to say that I love you all and feel limitless gratitude for the grace filled gift of this bloggie family.

Love and hugs,
Rigel

63 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I too, do not believe in coincidences anymore. I see them now as God moments working in my favor. I have really nothing else to say. This is really awesome. :]

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    1. Kelly! *HUGS* I was hope, hope, hoping to hear from you and Holly today on this topic! I thought it might be up your alley. :)

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  2. I wholly believe in coincidences and the randomness of life. I also believe in kismet and energy that moves in mysterious ways. I also had NO idea of any relation to Colin when I started reading this blog and EVERY SINGLE READER who reads this blog THROUGH ME had no idea of the Colin connection, but rather read and stayed here solely because of the constant brilliance, beauty and humor of Deb and Barb's posts. :)

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    1. "constant brilliance, beauty and humor of Deb and Barb's posts" YES!!! :D

      I hope they have safe travels today. Deb had a nasty migraine yesterday, and I hope it resolved overnight so she's not miserable today.

      Gae - What's YOUR definition of kismet? Your take on it? *curious forehead crinkling*

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  3. Mulled this one over for a bit before replying...I too believe that coincidence and random encounters inform our lives daily. I can see why you wouldn't and I don't suggest one perspective is more valid than the other and intend absolutely no disrespect for anyone else's views, but I have a tough time believing that 'forces' orchestrate every encounter or happening that the day sends. I do however know well the joy of the perfectly timed manifestation...be it coupons in a mailbox or an unexpected encounter with the person you need to see most...and celebrate these small victories where I find them. Really, life is naught but a series of ups and downs so the little things, however they come to pass, should be acknowledged and savored.
    And to Gae's observation, I don't think Colin, for all his formidable talent, has been all that instrumental in drawing us to this forum. Perhaps a few originally visited informed by that curiosity but I rather think the goodness and kindness and consistent caring that is Barb and Deb was, and remains, the original appeal.Thanks for sharing Rigel.

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    1. "I have a tough time believing that 'forces' orchestrate every encounter or happening that the day sends" Oh, I don't believe that either! That wasn't my thesis. For me, the belief is that certain moments are interventions, gifts of grace scattered through my days. I'd go completely insane if I thought every single happening was being hypermonitored and intervened upon! To me, that would be a negation of the principle of free will.

      I do know many people who do believe that way and take great comfort in it. But, for me, that line of theological thinking ends up backing me into some really scary, suffocating, potentially sinister corners. I can't perceive their interpretation the same way they do. I come up with a very different reaction. *shrugs*

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  4. agree with Annette, either way, coincidence or orchestrated, those small wonderful moments are a cause to celebrate!

    Thanks for being way more eloquent than I, Annette. :)

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  5. (and thanks for sharing, Rigel!)

    * can you tell I'm distracted? I'm supposed to be cleaning my house......................

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  6. I had no idea who Colin even was when I found this blog. Also, I believe in fate after having a friend's dad miss a plane that crashed only to get on another one that crashed too. I was in high school and at that time my firm conviction (still today) is there is something out there that is fated.

    As to little signs of glory. I was walking to my car when I noticed the most amazing spider web. I ran in the house to get my camera but it would not be photographed. No angle worked so it just remained in my memory and by the afternoon it was gone, vanished as if it had never been there at all, but I have it in my memory bank. Thanks Rigel for your interesting blog today.

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    1. Gae, Annette, and Madge -

      Yeah, I didn't say everyone had been drawn here by Colin, just that many of us had. Over the couple of years of the blog, several people have mentioned being first brought here due to a facebook post or a tweet of his or a Colin based google search. Then, of course, we stay because of Deb and Barbara's awesomeness, the beauty of the posts and conversations, and the fabulous bloggie family! But, that's why I thanked him for introducing me to Deb and Barbara, for being the door through which many of us walked in order to enter this blog. Because, that's how it happened in the first place for MANY of us, especially in the earliest months of the blog's existence. :)

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    2. I've had those spider web experiences too, Madge. One that comes to mind is when two thirsty hummingbirds drank from the hose that I was using to water plants. One of them was just an inch or two from my hand! Of course when I repeatedly tried to recreate the experience for my family, it never happened again. I relish the idea that it was a gift just for me.

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  7. OH MY RIGEL!!!! You have no idea how broad my smile was when I read your name... I just knew the post was gonna be AWESOME! <3

    Ok, Heres what I believe... I think you'll like this. I do not believe in coincidence. But what I do believe in is that these things that we call "coincidences" are actually universally cocreated events. Something we create from within. I truly believe that what we think and what we feel and what manifests is always a match. Every single time. NO EXCEPTION. Our life is like a mirror Image of us. So, we always get our reflection back. And I want to say something about every single thing you mentioned here; You are right. Its the little things. And sometimes people fail to understand that. They try to recreate the peak happy moments.The peak moments dont come often but the little ones are always there to delight us....and thats why the little things are so important....you dont have to recreate them.... You just have to look for them!! So yes I do believe that the universe is always working to show me things that surprise and delight me. It takes care of everything I just have to TRUST IT! And Sure enough great things happen... All the time.

    And I always felt grateful for the "Colin connection". Colin is the reason I found Deb and Barb in the first place. He is one of the most talented and Cutely Adorable(:D) guys Ive ever known. His work is just...Amazing..I mean Duh!?!?!
    And Deb and Barb are the reason the biggest shift of my life took place. They were a part of it. They "cocreated" it with me, unknowingly but they did. (I still keep telling them this and I keep thanking them for it!) And when I started having convos with them I realized that I found two angels. We connected here and on Facebook and that was the best thing that ever happened. I am so so thankful to both of them to enter my life and make it more beautiful. They are just so sweet, supportive , extremely talented and welcoming (....and breathtakingly beautiful!). I loved the fact that We connected immediately. I didnt hesitate, I had no 'ifs' or 'buts'...hell I said the "L" word they very first time we talked :D And things worked themselves out.Unexpected things. Deb said she and Colin were gonna come to India this year. I decided to move to Toronto next year. Barb and I had convos for months about Law of Attraction...and we connected that way too. And now, tomorrow actually, I'll be celebrating my birthday and they'll be celebrating their birthdays on my birthday, therefore by extension celebrating mine too!!!

    Things ALWAYS work out for me. Even if they are really bad for a long time...(and BELIEVE me they are....)I always believe things happen for a reason. And a WONDERFUL REASON. And there are some "angels" sometimes who help you create the most beautiful things in life. LIFE IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. Thats why we are here. To make the most of every moment we have!! And sometimes you dont have to make the most of it...Wonderful things appear outta the blue to make you smile...LIKE THIS BLOG OFCOURSE!

    P.S. Girl I loved this post...!!! I COULD SQUEEEZE YOU RIGHT NOW!!! xoxoxoxo

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    1. Go ahead and squeeze! You know I'm a hug-o-matic! :) Better yet, at some point when you are actually on this continent, we have GOT to get together for a real hug! :)

      By the way, how long do you plan to be living in Toronto? Have those plans begun to settle and finalize?

      Could you elaborate on something in a different direction, please? "I truly believe that what we think and what we feel and what manifests is always a match. Every single time. NO EXCEPTION. Our life is like a mirror Image of us." See, I flinched a little when I read that because my instant, unthought-through, gut reaction was, "So we bring horrible stuff upon ourselves? We manifest the big, bad things that hurt us so deeply?" Obviously, sometimes we make bad choices that lead to bad results. But, sometimes, the big, bad stuff really does seem to come out of nowhere, like a sniper shot. Or, taken to a really dark extreme, someone could argue this logic out to a rape victim manifesting her rape. Or, a victim of verbal, psychological abuse deserving it. My pissy, cynical mind immediately flipped your positive argument and applied it the negative. Which, knowing your outlook, cannot be what you meant! LOL So, I caught myself and backed up. LOL But, I do want to ask you to elaborate, though. Because, to me, there's both beauty AND danger in your described beliefs, especially when you said, "NO EXCEPTION." Please help me understand your point better!

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    2. Awwwh...definitely..... We HAVE TO MEET UP!!!!! I can tell you everything about the stuff I mentioned... But it will be long and elaborate...like you said.. Can you gimme your email ID so we can talk there? IF you dont wanna we can talk here ofcourse let me know..I'm making notes to explain ya! :D

      Oh and I'm planning long term in Toronto. I am going to study right now..but I do get a work visa for 3 years coz I'll study for two. I am planning about settling down for a while. Until my painting career and freelance gets stable. Then....IDK I havent thought about THEN yet :P

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    4. Girl, spill! I'm waiting to hear your explanation! :) And, I'd kind of be an idiotic hypocrite to discourage someone from long comments on here. LOL Maybe someone else here is also wanting to read your elaboration on the subject. Besides, I'd hazard to guess that Deb and Barbara might be intrigued when they read to catch up over the weekend. Let's build a treasure trove of meaty conversations for them to gobble up!

      Actually, when I was writing the post for today, Deb said, "I don't care if it's long." And, I had to laugh to myself, "Dangerous statement to make to me, Deb!" LOL I told Deb and Barbara they'd NEED to edit. LOL

      I'll check back in later to read your stuff! *HUGS*

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    5. LOL GREAT!!! I forgot they forgot to get a babysitter for us....We can do what we want now...lol!!!
      lol BTW its a dangerous statement to make to me too XD anyway TOO LATE!

      Ok...I'll just copy paste what I told Deb. And well add stuff to clarify more.

      he first thing you need to know is that, we are made up of energy. Every cell in our being is energy. And normally people dont know that their thoughts are important or not. Well they are. Every thought that has ever been thought still exists. Look around you, everything you see around yourself, you created it! Whether its a chair or a house or a situation. Every thing or person in your life right now is there because you attracted them through your thoughts and feelings.

      Its a little hard to believe it at first, but when you think about it. It all actually starts making sense.Now how so you might ask. Think of yourself as a magnet. Every thought has a frequency. Positive or negative. DOESNT MATTER. Every thought you think attracts things that match the frequency its emitting. for example, has this ever happened to you that you started off your day with a bad mood and the whole day was wrecked? Nothing worked for you that day. Well thats because you set the tone of the day as frustration and your thoughts kept attracting those things that frustrated you.

      (I know...you are getting a stroke...just breathe..) A lotta of people look at this...and immediately start thinking about the bad things that happened. But until now every BAD thing that happened seemed outta control. But what they dont understand is, the power is within you..and you can change things by your thoughts and feelings and that no matter how bad things get...there is always hope because you get to change whatever you are living.You were attracting by default until now..but now you can attract things DELIBERATELY...Now, How to deliberately attract good stuff? Ask and it is given they say. Every time you know what you dont want. What you do want is clarified and that desires goes as an asking to the universe and then the universe finds cooperative components, people, places and rendezvous to help you attract it. And when you are thinking a thought that matches the frequency of your desire. You allow it to come into your experience. Most of the times we focus on what we DONT want, like," I HATE THIS", "I DONT WANT THIS" etc. That is why we dont attract what we do want and even when we say "why would that happen", "why the HELL would I attract that" etc. So when we make peace with where we are and its not a big deal anymore. (Like you said you do in tough times) when we learn to coexist with that situation. we are in perfect alignment and that thing that we want starts flowing towards us in the most unexpected time and ways! even the bad situations we are facing dissipate!

      Now you might think that you have so many thoughts then how can you control every one of them. and how to avoid negative experiences. It seems big at first but its not really. You dont have to monitor every thought just focus on what you are feeling. HOW it feels to you. When you pinpoint how you feel you can start making peace with it. Slowly let it go. Just dont push against it. Distract yourself or just do something that makes you feel good.

      Every thing thats in your life. You attracted all of it by default. And What I told you is just what Law of Attraction does. So its up to you whether you want to keep attracting by default or take it in your hands and call all the shots the way YOU WANT!

      This is what I believe...and what is true for me everyday. For me atleast, any negative experience is bearing when you know you have the power to change it! IDK if you liked this or not....Maybe you are hating me for scaring you.. But This is how I live my life and also I wanted to share it...coz this topic was PERFECT!

      If you have any questions or if you want to know more about this, just lemme know k.

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    6. P.S. I don't facebook.

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    7. Nope...not that long...You should read the stuff I wrote to Barb XD

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    8. I just read through your explanation. Twice. I'm gonna let this one rattle around in my head for a little while before I write back. Your stuff is a really weird, new thing for me. I don't quite know what to think! How to react! Let me ponder on it for a little while.

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    9. LoL I know its weird...But its actually law of attraction. If you want more clarification check out the movie "THE SECRET".

      I'm sorry If I scared ya! I just believe this ^^

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    10. See its your choice. I feel better in knowing something that gives me this power. But you dont have to believe it. There are a lotta theories like this. See... if you have ANY ANY QUESTIONS...I'm happy to answer those. I'll do my best... :)

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    11. OK, Shalaka, I can't quite get what you're saying situated in my head.

      I can totally see how thoughts, attitude, etc. could block stuff. I can see how negativity can keep positivity from happening. I can be my own worst enemy. :P

      But, this summoning good stuff? I dunno. Is this related to the saying about, "Be ready when opportunity knocks?" But, are you saying that a person's thoughts, energy, etc. can summon opportunity's knock?

      Ow. *rubs forehead* You owe me some Tylenol, Shalaka! LOL

      I mean, I read what you said. And, I understood your words. But, and please don't take offense at this, the concept behind it is a little too weird for me! And, please don't take offense at this, but I find myself pulling back from how New Age-y, humanistic it seems. That's a bias long programmed into me, and I recognize it for the bias that it is. I'm just struggling to get past the uncomfortable squirming. *hugs* Still, I'm really glad to read what you've said because it's a topic I've never addressed before. It's a new thing for me to learn, and that's a cool piece of any day. :)

      By the way, how did you arrive at this as your path? How did this belief system come to shape your life?

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    12. Aww not at all! I can totally understand. It can be a little overwhelming at first *BIG-HUG*. LOL I'll get you a looottta Tylenol!
      (Well you might need more Tylenol after reading the following)
      I believe that when Opportunity knocks...its because you want it to. Yes, I do believe that you summon opportunities. I know, I can be my worst enemy too. But I LOVE to know that Its an opportunity to actually be my best friend. And dont worry, a negative thought is 100 times weaker than one positive thought. What I'm saying is...everything happening in your life is under your control..What we call Destiny is based on our decisions and beliefs. Its morphs every minute we morph. And we get to decide what we want.
      YES! I know you would love to know a new thing.

      I was just like you. When I first heard all this two years ago. I thought it was interesting, but never took it seriously. But then, my life was a total mess. I was very heartbroken. Nothing was working. I Had a few big desires and they all fell and broke in a million pieces in front of my eyes and I couldnt do anything. I literally stayed there and watched powerlessly. And I was just 18...(I know these arent big problems...not AS BIG AS other things...but for me they were) When my last dream fell apart like that.. I was on the verge of being suicidal. On the verge....And I had this small voice inside me that kept saying "BULLSHIT.....YOU DESERVE BETTER...THIS IS INSANE". And I got a few signs that showed me hope. I decided I wanted and DESERVED A BETTER LIFE. I was not gonna live bullshit people "think" I'm destined to live. And without any hesitation I turned to Law of Attraction. I knew this teacher...whose stuff was overwhelming to me when I first heard about it. But at that moment, it was my last resort and my best option. And I swear IDK why it seemed right. And that was my first consciously created opportunity. I embraced it and I stayed focused and listened to their teachings carefully. And it made sense...IDK Why...It just did. I felt like "this is how its supposed to be". For the first time I wasnt scared to create bad stuff. I felt Loved and inspired and UNIQUE. The moment the message sunk in my soul. I just immersed myself in this. It gave me peace and joy and a sense of empowerment. I created unbelievably awesome things...consciously, by just wanting them to happen and focusing on how wonderful it would feel to have them. I started living every moment with those principles and improving myself. And right now...My life is better than the last 20years put together. And I'll never look back!

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  8. Wow! Rigel, you are amazing! Love this topic.
    I do sometimes feel like things happen because I need them to happen. It's funny because I was thinking about the times that I was feeling down and then some lovely gentleman would walk by and smile and say something nice to me, and then you mentioned it too. It is amazing how these little things can help us reclaim a bit of our happiness when we need it.
    And I agree that this blog family has been that little something that has helped me get through the day, that put the smile back on my face. I love it and I love everyone here. Deb and Barbara seem to always know what to post about, things that will make us all think. I am very thankful that I found this blog and the wonderful people on it.
    As for the Colin girlfandom....yes, well....I am a fangirl and proud of it! I did find this blog via Colin, but I feel in love with everyone here, which is why I kept commenting. Colin and all the guys of Whose Line (and all the other shows) do help many people, me included, to escape from life for a little while. When I watch YouTube clips or go to see them live, it gives me time to just be happy, to enjoy the moment. I am so very thankful to Colin and the rest of the guys for this.
    Great post, Rigel!

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    1. Thanks, Steph! It was nerve wracking to write this an put it out there.

      Yes, there really is something about a well-timed, cute gentleman, isn't there? :) I like that fluttery feeling! That's probably the only situation where I don't mind that my face gets hot. lol

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  9. Rigel, you are a master of words. Your post was beautifully written and I loved reading it. There isn't much I can say that would intelligently add to everything you said. I'm a firm believer of that "still, small voice." He has works his miracles on me and I hope that once in a while I have been His hands in the miracles for someone else.

    I too will admit that the Colin fangirldom is what brought me here and I want to express my gratitude to Colin for all he does and has done. There is nothing better than a hearty laugh and I believe that we should have one every day of the week. My most favorite way to get that life-healing laughter is through a Colin-led game on Whose Line.

    And then of course, there is Deb and Barb, two amazing ladies with busy lives who take time to speak to us everyday. And it is not just a daily blog post, but they answer our comments, speak to us, encourage us, virtually hug us, praise us and love us despite our (my) everyday-commonness. (is that a word?) They have given us all so much. They have been the hand of many miracles here among our community. I don't comment here everyday, but it isn't because I don't come here and read the blog. I am here everyday and read the post and the comments.

    Hugs to each of you here. You are all amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Molly. {{{hugs}}} I needed that. Thank you.

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  10. Nice post, Rigel!

    I tend to think those moments of grace are there even more than we notice because it's such a challenge to live in the present moment. I know when I do, I see more clearly, breathe easier, peace comes, and then I'm flooded with gratefulness. I think those that catch our attention are the life force of the universe and that which connects us all.

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    1. Thanks, Eileen!

      Yup, you mention something I thought of while writing the post - "those moments of grace are there even more than we notice." I do wonder if there are many more that I don't appreciate and acknowledge adequately because they are just part of the patter of a normal day. It occurred to me that the ones I do notice and do pause for a special moment gratitude over are the ones that stand out because they most vividly contrast against a backdrop of ugliness.

      The conclusion I came to is that the tiny moments of grace I wrote about for today are a special breed because of their precise timing, their special position as critically timed hand-holding. Kind of the difference between, "Oh, I always enjoy a cold glass of good, strong lemonade. Thanks!" and, coming inside after mowing a yard in 102F temperatures, dehydrated, hot, gritty and dirty, and enjoying THAT ultra-awesomely timed, exactly what I needed at that very second, refreshing glass of cold, good, strong lemonade. The hand-holding moments of grace that I wrote about today are the 2nd kind of lemonade. :)

      But, yes, all in all, I've been experimenting over the past couple of months with deliberate gratitude. For example, several times when I've felt myself starting to slip towards my pit, I've gone on Twitter and said out loud a list of things to be grateful for from that day. I MAKE myself discern the good things. I call it "thinking good thoughts." Sometimes, I've got to stretch pretty thin, and my list is only 5 or 6 items long and consists of, for example, "I'm grateful for the stack of library books by the couch," and, "I'm grateful my noisy neighbors are out for the night."
      Nothing big and profound! LOL But, I have found that if I can force myself to focus on the gratitude, sometimes I can start to tone down the ickiness that's starting to churn in me and stave off it conquering me a bit longer. It's like a fighting to pull up before I crash. :)

      And, "the life force of the universe and that which connects us all." I do think we are all connected, and with more than just empathy. I agree with you but maybe just have a different vocabulary for it. :)

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  11. Hi Rigel!!! *Waving really big*

    I guess I wil give my resident Atheist point of view. As I have said here before, I am not really allowed to talk about religion anywhere but here....so forgive me if I say anything too harsh. I am new at sharing my point of view.

    So, I do believe in coincidences. Also I think some of the stuff you mentioned Rigel is based on your point of view of the situation and perception of things around you. For example, If you are feeling down and need a pick me up you just pay more attention to the things that make you happy. Our brains filter things out and pick and choose what details we remember and pay the most attention to every second of the day. So I tend to just go with the fact that because we were having a crappy day we were more subseptable (<---spelling???) to remembering the little things that bring us joy through out the day.
    I don't believe in any force out there interfering with life but at the same time realize that most people do believe in some sort of god. I have no problem hearing what you guys have to say and love that you guys hear me out too.

    Rigel I have to say that from what you posted, your sentence " But to write with any voice but my own would be a lie." made me smile. I love that line and you are such a great writer. : )

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  12. *blushes* Thank you, Kelly! It means SO MUCH to me that someone with a perspective so different from my own could still enjoy my words. *heart melts*

    Yeah, I think it's definitely a testimony to Barbara, Deb, and this bloggie family that this community is such a safe, nurturing place that even a hand grenade topic like religion can be safely brought out! :)

    Did you read my reply to Eileen's comment above? I did mention that I realize that the type of tiny moment of grace I discussed DOES stick out because of its contrast to the darkness in which it sparks.

    I'll be honest. I just can't imagine being an atheist. I do totally get being a part of another religion. I do totally get how folks can be pantheistic or polytheistic instead of monotheistic. For example, the beauty of some of the more Earth/nature/LifeForce based religions really does speak to me on a certain level. And, I gotta tell you, sometimes the whole reincarnation thing makes me sit and think and wonder. I get it. And, believe me!, I understand being agnostic. *I* have agnostic days. There are days when I think I might oughta go with being a Unitarian. But, Kelly, atheism just explodes my brain. I can't imagine not believing in a larger force. I can't wrap my head around not thinking there's a larger force than ourselves and worlds/dimensions/existences other than our current one. I hope I'm not offending you! But, I have had too many dances with the supernatural to not believe. It's far too real to me. Yes, there are times when the color and flavor of my belief shifts. There is definitely a maturation process, an evolution of belief (which is why I cannot be a Fundamentalist - I know others relish that belief style, but it is anathema to my the truth in my soul). But, I am incapable of a total absence of belief. I try, try, try to see through your eyes, but, I'm sorry. You are one set of shoes I find impossible to walk in. *hugs!*

    Can I ask you some questions? Do you think you are anything but your meat? I guess what I'm asking is, what's your take on soul? Do you think you have any sort of energy or life existence other than what your flesh and blood and neurotransmitters concoct? I'm curious! I hope I'm not being nosy, but how often do I get to have a calm, inquisitive, nonconfrontational conversation like this? I get so offended when people prejudge me based on their opinion of what Christians are. (Heck, as a Christian, I so very often want an, "I'm not with Stupid!" t-shirt when folks like Pat Robertson and Harold Camping are in the news. And, don't even get me started on the rage I flung when First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, pulled that racism shit a few weeks ago! ARGH!) It's hard to find a nonbeliever who will have a conversation like this with me without thinking I'm gonna go all evangelizing on them or something. LOL Can we talk about this, please? You really ARE an enigma to me!

    But, FWIW, as a Christian, I'm definitely a heretic on some points. ;)

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    1. Rigel I am totally ok with any questions. I really like and it feels good to talk to someone about religion. Especially since you are a firm believer in god and still want to hear my opinion. : ) I almost wish my family was as curious as you are about my opinions : )
      I feel similar to you in the respect that I just have a hard time stepping into your shoes. Although I guess I have been there slightly growing up since I was brought up in a religious family and taught about god.
      Ummm Yeah, I don't believe in a soul. I wouldn't explain my body as just meat either. I see our bodies as beautifuly complicated structures that have so many systems working together in harmony at every second. It amazes me what our bodies can do. In terms of death, then I guess I do just see the body as it is....flesh and bones. I don't believe in a heaven or hell or final judgment. I believe you cease to live, get burried. and thats it.
      I have also heard some people have a similar thinking to yours. ( I am assuming here so correct me if I am wrong) it is perfectly ok and understandable to you if I believe in any other or even multiple gods but, when I say I dont believe in any god at all that crosses some invisible line in the sand. That comfuses me. Another thing that confuses me about religious people is how you explain discoveries in science. Like fossils proving evolution, or proof that the Earth is older than the bible says. I dont know the bible well, but I know that there are conflicting stories just within the first chapter/book. I never got how you can pick and choose what to believe out of the bible and explain the completely impossible stories......probably divine intervention I guess.

      You too are a mystery to me : )

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    2. Kelly, we have totally got to start visiting via email! :D

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    3. Visiting is a great way to put it : ) Let me know if you want my e mail I don't mind putting it here at least for a little while so you can see it : )

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    4. Kelly, you are not alone. I'm more on the "what happens when science proves this?" end of things. I believe our lives, and we ourselves, end when we die. I wrote somewhere around here that I believe our batteries go dead, and there's no Dr. Frankenstein anywhere who's going to recharge them at all.
      Just, I'll reiterate, my thinking matches yours and again, you are not alone. :)

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  13. I believe in coincidence not fate. What it boils down to for me is that believing anything other than coincidence brings about the events of our lives makes the hardships I’ve seen more than I can stand. I’m simply unable to separate the idea that if the small things are fate than so must be the big things. Contemplating such an idea just makes me feel bitter, riled up and angry. I do have so many more thoughts on this subject and have so enjoyed all these unique perspectives but I’m finding that I’m completely unable to express myself coherently on the subject. I would still like to thank you for a beautiful and thought invoking post though. Love and hugs right back at you Rigel!

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    1. Oh, Erin. I so see where you're coming from. Yeah, I can totally imagine taking that train of thought down that path. It makes sad, frustrating sense. :( And, you know what? Some days I'm there. Only darker and yuckier. I have days that I describe as feeling like I woke up with a bulls-eye on my forehead, and the universe is taking shots at me. So, oh Erin, I hear ya! I hear ya!

      Actually, you just reminded me of something. There's an entire branch of theological study called theodicy which is, roughly, the study of evil and its existence and relationship in light of God (God in the Abrahamic religions sense). You know what? When I was in grad school, I could only read little bits of that at a time and had a really, really hard time with it. Wicked nasty brain pretzelling. Felt like my brain needed to take a shower!

      *MORE hugs*

      Actually, in a second, I'm gonna reply to Roz. And, your comments kind of link together in my mind because hers definitely brings out more of my dark side.

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  14. Rigel I'm with you on the no coincidences thing =)
    I think what I love about this post is that you are noticing, taking in and appreciating these little gems that have been given to you. The ability to do that is in itself a gift.

    P.S. I was hoping you'd get to post and yay! wish fulfilled.

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    1. Oh, Aimee, THANK YOU for your sweet words! *HUGS!!!*

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  15. I'm not really sure I should post this, but I can be honest here, can't I?

    This is my third attempt...and I actually have something to say to that "holding hands" topic, but I don't know HOW to write that down (my English sucks today -.-), but I wanted to add my opinion to that "Colin" topic.

    I have to admit that I found this blog, because I am a Whose Line - fan. It was sheer luck (or some angel pointed me to it) that I stumbled across the improv-show.
    At first, I only read that blog because of Colin.

    But then...I was so touched and overwhelmed by Deb and Barbara. I could relate to some topics, I could finally open my mouth and talk about things I hardly ever tell anyone. I could be honest, and could share my pain and misery, and experienced so much caring and loving...I was welcomed with open arms (though I was a little bit afraid and nervous), and returning to the blog feels as if I'm returning home.

    And this is amazing. Deb and Barbara are amazing. Every reader and writer is amazing.

    I still love Colin (and the other Comedians, I'm actually more a Ryan-fangirl :P), I really do...but I think that this is not a blog about Colin, or Whose Line, or Comedians, or Fangirling.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's always appropiate to drool so much over Colin.
    I think that Deb is ok with that, and maybe I should just accept it...but sometimes it annoys me.

    Colin is great. And I would love to meet him (or the others) one day...and yes, watching Whose Line does cheer me up...

    but this is too much for me.
    "You are an instrument of God's grace."

    Nooo...he's not. He is gifted and talented, and maybe he would thank God for the things he can do, and the life he can live...but that's up to him.

    I'm sorry if I couldn't explain my thoughts and feeling the way I wanted...or if I hurt any feelings of you, Deb, or Colin...

    Oh, and I am a Christian (Roman Catholic), and I do believe in God or Jesus.

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    1. Ah! Becki, I gotcha! Wait, wait. But, can't we all be instruments of God's grace? When we fill a need or are the means of the provision of a gift, when we fill a gap, when we are open to being "in the right place at the right time" to step up and make a difference large or small, aren't we being instruments? :) Maybe there's an interpretation of meaning disconnect here because of language and connotation. *hugs* I count MANY people here as having been instruments of God's grace in my life. Anyone, within the faith or not, who steps up and answers a call on their heart, conscience, morals, ethics, spirit, whatever they want to call it is, in my vocabulary/my perspective, serving as an instrument for grace and good.

      Not drooling. Just thanking very much for being the means by which many blessings were opened up. :) And, yes, Becki, for a few of here, he really has been that important. There are longer, deeper, more complicated stories for some of us, including me and Dawn. It is bigger for some of us than it is for you. My phrase may have been "too much" for you, and that's OK. But, it is not "too much" for some of us. It's fine if you don't feel that way, but please understand that it is reality for at least a few people (although, different folks use a different terminology -- my vocabulary for this sort of event is, as I said in my disclosure, influenced by my religion and its language - Dawn, for example, uses very different words from a different view but conveys a similar, if not greater, intensity). I do have that much to thank him for. Please do not deny me that. Still, I would rather be judged for erring toward gratitude than the opposite. lol *hugs!*

      When you shake off your English sucking today (oy! Somedays our brains just don't want to cooperate! lol), I am very curious to read your thoughts about hand holding! I wonder what your take on it is!

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    2. As Rigel mentioned, yup, I've thanked Colin for doing what he does when I need it the most. However, I believe, as Becki does (and I'm reposting her word-for-word, because it's so RIGHT,)
      ---
      ..."but this is too much for me.
      "You are an instrument of God's grace."

      Nooo...he's not. He is gifted and talented, and maybe he would thank God for the things he can do, and the life he can live...but that's up to him."
      ---

      I don't believe in a "god-given" talent. I believe we each have some talent within us, something we're each good at, I mean REALLY good at, and sometimes we find it and use it, and sometimes we don't, for so many different reasons (for example, upbringing, "right" vs. "wrong", "Important" vs. "unimportant" as viewed by others, etc.) Yes, I've benefited from the talents of my Whose Line guys, to put it mildly. But, just as important, I've benefited ("Benefited" isn't doing this justice, but it'll have to suffice) from the fact that Colin, Brad, Greg... all of them... are DECENT HUMAN BEINGS. They're REALLY REALLY NICE guys, in the truest, non-platitude way the word "nice" can be. They CARE. Their egos aren't 14,000 feet above everyone else. They're guys who LOVE what they do. They make me laugh, and that's what drew me in. That will never change. But they've allowed me to stay in, they care that I'm in, and that's not an instrument of anyone's grace. That's then being them, damn nice sweethearts, and not a bad one in the bunch I've met. (Disclaimer: I've never met Wayne off-stage. He did think my giggle was cute during "Sound Effects," though. :D)

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    3. Like I said, different viewpoint, different words. But, intense appreciation and meaningful story. :)

      *hugs*

      I'm glad you showed up this evening, Dawn! I was missing having you chime in! *more hugs*

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    4. p.s. wasn't talking about "God given talent" -- not at all the subject I was discussing

      I guess what I was talking about got lost in translation across perspectives. *shrugs*

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    5. I don't usually chime in 'til later at night. This is actually kinda early. :) *hugs*

      Sometimes things do get lost in translation. I also am so far out of the realm of the "higher power" idea that anything that leans in that direction sends off bells in my head. (Ain't no angel gettin' its wings in those cases.) I think I get what you're saying. I still give people credit themselves, and real concrete reason rules. A butterfly in Japan fluttering its wings and causing a breeze to blow? Yes. Believing something ELSE, something higher, is responsible for moments of grace? No.

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    6. Hey...first of all, I'm glad you're not mad at me. I don't want to sound rude...sometimes I just don't know the stupid right words.

      I guess the thing that disturbed me most was the "instrument" part...an instrument (at least that's what I think) is something without a free will. Just a thing that has to do whatever the owner (in this case God) wants it to do.
      And Colin or other people are no things.

      But maybe you interpret that differently.

      For me it's like that:

      There are people, who make my life brighter, who give me hope, who give me a smile, who are "in the right place at the right time".

      And all I can do is thank God for these people. I don't know, if they "exist" because God wants them to be there, or if they act like that, because God "told" them to...
      For me it's more like a: something good happens - I'm happy - I thank God for that experience.
      Maybe it's the same...I don't know.

      I know...the word drooling was so wrong...(sorry)
      I would never doubt that Colin has/had a big influence on some of you/us.
      You're right, I don't know what he did to you.
      But you don't know how I feel about him, or what he means to me, either.
      It's so sad that I have never met him (and I'm really happy for you that you did!). I really would love to see him (or the others) perform on stage (or off stage...).

      I care a lot about him (otherwise I would have never found that blog). And I thank him for many things...I'm just not so sure about the "God's instrument thing".

      *hugs back*

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  16. I like to believe in fate. Maybe it's just my comfort blanket, thinking that, whatever I do, fate will guide me to the right path. It's certainly true that some very good things have come my way by a lucky coincidence.

    As for this blog, well, I've loved the work of both Colin AND Deb for a long time so I was very happy to come across this, where I've also had the privilege to 'meet' Barb too. There's so much love and inspiration here and, like you said, some days you just need someone to hold your hand and get you through. A few minutes of laughter in a difficult day can make all the difference, and I'm so very grateful for that. :)

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    1. Roz, I'm sitting here chuckling because your first paragraph comes from the 180degree opposite direction than I instinctively do. When I read your words about fate, I immediately went in my head to DOOM! :)

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  17. Wow, Rigel. Just....wow.

    Would you mind if Kelly and I shared this on OUR blog? :)

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  18. I don't mind if you link back to here for my post. And, Deb and Barbara have allowed linking before if I remember correctly. But, I can only speak as the post author, not as a blog admin.

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  19. *sad frown*

    I wish Gae, Madge, and Annette would come back and continue the conversation. I really want to hear more from them. :(

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    1. *whiny* You're making us thiii-iink! ;)

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  20. Okay, ready?
    My main belief is "Timing is everything." I don't believe in fate. I believe I am more in control of what happens to me, rather than being "predestined" to do "something." Otherwise, why bother, really? Que sera sera. :P (Ugh, I hate that song.)

    I don't believe in a benevolent higher power. I respect that others do. I respect that my godmother, in her faith, KNEW she would be going to heaven someday. So I respect and hope she's where she was hoping to be. I myself think that, when I die, I just stop. End. The battery's died, and Dr. Frankenstein isn't showing up to recharge it.

    I refuse to give credit to some anonymous being, and take away the credit of GOOD DECENT people who have it within themselves to send that email, to talk to a fan of the show, to present that little brightness at the time it's needed. It's the person who's doing it, not some "higher power" gracing them with the ability to do something nice. The timing of Deb's email in the middle of the night is fantastic. You know there are people you, and all of us, have associated with who wouldn't type an "a" if we needed it. We associate with caring people, who we care about, and who care about us.

    I found this blog when I clicked on the link Colin attached to his tweets a few times. I stay because I enjoy the conversation. I enjoy the similarities we share, and I learn from the differences in each of us. I laugh my ass off, I cry my eyes out. I would not be part of this community if I were not affected by it.

    I exchanged a few quick notes with Barb and Deb earlier this week, and mentioned something I wasn't ready to deal with even on my own blog, never mind share it with a larger "audience," if you will.
    "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley." (Reference: "Rebecca," by Daphne du Maurier. Well worth reading, folks.) Both ladies have read it. Deb said it's her favourite book ever. They knew what I was talking about IMMEDIATELY when I typed that one line. I don't consider that coincidence. I consider that to be something we three (as well as others here) share in common, a love for reading, and, no big surprise, we enjoy some of the same authors and/or specific titles. AND, it struck some sort of chord in all of us, and we share a similar understanding of it.

    Like minds can lead to perfect timing. And, as I've said, timing is everything.





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  21. Again, I am SO glad you chimed in. I had missed you today.

    Wow, more paragraphs to read and reread and think on.

    I said earlier that I hoped today did the good kind of pretzelling my brain up and gave me lots to think about for days to come, and that has DEFINITELY happened.

    Tylenol... need Tylenol... LOL

    Dawn, I loved this line: "I laugh my ass off, I cry my eyes out." Yup, yup, yup!

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    1. Don't hold your breath on me. I'm a night owl, most of the time, anyway. This time is usually early for me. However, tonight my eyes are shutting of their own accord. Must obey the eyelids now.

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    2. I believe tomorrow's blog will relax our minds a bit, and allow us to talk about something that I'm sure does the trick for many of us. (I had fun writing it, anyway.) :D

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  22. Hello everyone! We are back from our amazing sojourn with the ladies and I am so enjoying peaking at your conversations while we were gone. Just an fyi, we didn't have time to respond to Rigel and Annette's posts between receiving them and having to leave, and a migraine for Deb (which luckily didn't last all break) sidelined her ability to answer Dawn's list. Hopefully you don't mind if I do a quick weigh-in here at the end!

    Rigel really went deep with this one --she asked a deeply personal question and then gave her own deeply personal answer to it; and all of you went along for the ride and answered with your own heartfelt honesty and insight. I want to thank Rigel for going big! And I want to thank all of you for going along for the ride.

    As far as what I believe in, maybe because I was never raised religiously, my "beliefs", such as they are, actually waver from time to time. Right now, especially thanks to a series of perfect "coincidences", I do believe there is an orderliness to them that feels "divine". What that divinity is to me is too ambiguous for words. But it does fill me with a sense of grace and love that shines very brightly for me on good days (or moments).

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  23. Ok...let's try to write something about the "Holding Hands" thing, but I guess I did mention some of my thoughts already.

    First of all: I loved your image with the bruised hands that are soothed.
    I guess it describes perfectly the way you feel, when you're in the need of some comfort, and finally find some relief...

    As I said I am a Christian, too...and I'm really active in my church (although I would like to slap the Pope every now and then).

    I do believe that God holds us, or at least that you can rely on him, when nobody else is there...

    But I don't believe in God "creating" these "coincidences" to make us feel better. I just can't believe that (It's great that you can! I guess it would be so much easier and better...).

    It's not that little things don't make me happy. Oh, they do!
    And, yes..I am grateful. And maybe I thank God for them, but I don't believe that he planned this.

    Maybe it's, because I often feel very lonely. I don't want to talk too much about myself...but sometimes, nobody gives a damn. Sometimes, no one hears my cries, nobody sees my pain.
    Sometimes, nothing can cheer me up.
    Sometimes, I it's hard to even believe in God...

    But I guess that's just me...or maybe I should practice to save these tiny, little, moments, so that I can use them, when there's no light.

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    1. hey Becki, thinking of you! You're not alone in your loneliness (sadly), but I DO believe that when those dark feelings come, the best way to navigate them is by saving (or rather "savouring") those tiny little moments. It doesn't seem to matter how dark or bleak something is, a tiny beautiful moment will appear. I think we just need to see it. And then savour it. And so go on until there's more light again. It's the nature of our journey, I think. love and hugs!!

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  24. Okay, here are my thoughts. I have not believed in god since I was about 15. I control me and I don't look to anhelpingyone to help or guide me. I have seen too many things that people do to each other to believe in a higher power which is supposedly guiding them. I also believe in fate as explained in my first post for very specific reasons. However, I also believe we can change our fate (other than our eventual death) by making changes as we go along but in the end death is inevitable and going back to the earth is our fate. I do believe there is some force like the wind, sun, earth and paths of other elements that have energy but what we do with them is our own to choose. I was raised Jewish and since you don't come back I have always tried to do my best as if it were my last day on earth. I would like to think I treat others as I would want to be treated but when proselytizing people stand out in my way to try and convince that their way is the only way, I fight right through them. I don't wish to be controlled and my thinking is my thinking. I tend to as I age just hang with people who agree with me as the fight is waning and I refuse to go backwards. I worry a lot about the world as how it is turning out and becoming more and more hostile to our fellow personhoods. I live in the happy and it took me a long time to lose the anxiety and fear and to change from global hopelessness to engendering pure joy. I am not going to let a person dissuade me from my belief in goodness. I hope this give you some insight into why I feel god is a hindrance to me. I don't have to pray because I know what I must do daily with my internal self to make my life work. I don't need an external force. But, I know some do and I don't begrudge them but I also don't want to hear about up close and personal. :)

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    1. I don't look to anyone to help or guide me anymore. I am better doing it myself. (I meant to say).

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