Tolstoy: “Everything that I understand I understand only because I love.”

As a survivor of abuse, I can say, Love Is Knowing what hate is doing and how to survive it MHO.

“Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!!

One is called to be as wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. I think Love shows one how to practically do this and walk in the world circumspectly with this mind. (The mind of Christ?)
Before I knew what I now call love there was an existential bare factual existence of Brute Force aliveness.
Before I understood what love is it was a compulsion to exist. MHO it was a amoral.

Pascal writes that “Faith tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them.” 


charlesburchfield / Kim Fabricius

Thank you Kim I had not heard of these:
Tolstoy: “Everything that I understand I understand only because I love.”
Pascal writes that “Faith tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them.”
Above, yes, mysterious and inaccessible, to some degree, with the equipment I have up here in my head and heart, but I think, not unknowable or completely unknowable!! There are many ways to know love, I think, such as feeling, thinking, hearing, touching, smelling, understanding Etc.

MHO science is OF love:

expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
expressing the relationship between a scale or measure and a value.


Christianity in the Desert Richard Rohr edit

Christianity in the Desert
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The desert may initially seem barren, dull, and colorless, but eventually our perceptions start to change. . . . Here we empty ourselves of our own obstacles to God. In the space of this emptiness, we encounter the enormity of God’s presence. . . . The aromas teach us that the desert becomes the place of a mature repentance and conversion toward transformation into true radical freedom. [2]
~Laura Swan, The Forgotten Desert Mothers: S ayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women (Paulist Press: 2001), 168.

…one wonders if a desert experience is necessary to reclaim this legacy.

Today’s wilderness can be found in bustling suburban and urban centers,
on death row,
in homeless shelters in the middle of the night, in the eyes of a hospice patient, and in the desperation of AIDS orphans in Africa and around the world.

Perhaps these are the postmodern desert mothers and fathers.
Perhaps contemplative spaces can be found wherever people skirt the margins of inclusion.
Perhaps those whom we value least have the most to teach.

communal relationships,
humility, and

apatheia, defined as

“a mature mindfulness,
a grounded sensitivity, and
a keen attention to one’s inner world as well as to
the world in which one has journeyed.”

listening to the silence coming from within.

During these times, we realize that

CONTEMPLATION is a destination as well as a practice.
The monastics knew this and Valued both.

Daily Reflections Quotes


To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness.

To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the beginning of good spiritual health.

It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it.

My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

My thoughts and actions can propel me toward growth or turn me down the road to old habits and to booze

Sometimes turning points are beginnings, as when I decide to start praising, instead of condemning someone.Or when I begin to ask for help instead of going it alone.

At other times turning points are endings, such as when I see clearly the need to stop festering resentments or crippling self-seeking.

Many shortcomings tempt me daily; therefore, I also have daily opportunities to become aware of them.

In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily:

  • self-condemnation,

  • anger,

  • running away,

  • being prideful,

  • wanting to get even, or

  • acting out of grandiosity.

Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change.

It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, that I become willing—and able—to change.”

― Alcoholics Anonymous, Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

I just have to ask whether acceptance—or change—is required.”
― AA World Services Inc., Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Impatience with other people is one of my principal failings.

if I could look down on these events from God’s point of view,

I might better control my feelings and behavior.

I tried it and when I encountered the next slow driver, I levitated and looked down on the other car and upon myself.

I saw an elderly couple driving along, happily chatting about their grandchildren. They were followed by me—bug-eyed and red of face—who had no time schedule to meet anyway.
I looked so silly that I dropped back into reality and slowed down.

Seeing things from God’s angle of vision can be very relaxing.”

― Alcoholics Anonymous, Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Hannah Arendt quotes

Hannah Arendt Jewish-American political theorist


In politics, love is a stranger, and when it intrudes upon it nothing is being achieved except hypocrisy. All the characteristics you stress in the Negro people: their beauty, their capacity for joy, their warmth, and their humanity, are well-known characteristics of all oppressed people. They grow out of suffering and they are the proudest possession of all pariahs. Unfortunately, they have never survived the hour of liberation by even five minutes. Hatred and love belong together, and they are both destructive; you can afford them only in private and, as a people, only so long as you are not free.
-Letter to James Baldwin (21 November 1962).

Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.

In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. […] under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
The totalitarian attempt at global conquest and total domination has been the destructive way out of all impasses. Its victory may coincide with the destruction of humanity; wherever it has ruled, it has begun to destroy the essence of man.

if it is true that in the final stages of totalitarianism an absolute evil appears (absolute because it can no longer be deduced from humanly comprehensible motives), it is also true that without it we might never have known the truly radical nature of Evil.

aloofness without policy does not imply even the minimum concern of the oppressor for the oppressed.

Teresa of Ávila > Quotes

Teresa of Ávila > Quotes

The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.

The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.

To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.

For prayer is nothing

else than being on terms

of friendship with God.

Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.”

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us."

“The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes.”

“Reflect upon the providence and wisdom of God in all created things and praise Him in them all.”

“Truth suffers, but never dies.” In light of everyday trials, and even in light of deep distress, we can find peace in the resiliance of truth and goodness.

"In this distress, — for then I had never had a single vision, — these Thy words alone were enough to remove it, and give me perfect peace: 'Be not afraid, my daughter: it is I; and I will not abandon thee. Fear not.'"

“Pain is never permanent.”

“Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world.Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.”

“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.”

You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”
Sometimes we may feel like we will never see peace in the world. We must persevere in prayer for peace. Nothing is impossible with God.

it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Some good advice? Some thing one can DO! something to keep one’s soul surviving instead of being murdered. Good options…alternatives to giving in to dispare:

  • I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’

  • I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest, (Where the people are many and their hands are all empty, Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters, Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison, Where the executioner’s face is always well-hidden, Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten, Where black is the color, where none is the number)

    • And I’ll tell it and

    • think it and

speak it and breathe it

  • And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it

  • Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’

  • But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’

I’m 67 now. I’ve lived hard and i sense that i don’t have much time left. Truth, justice and love seem to be real things to me. I think the most important thing for me right now is to be kind and fair. However that shapes the life i have left i’ll see how that goes. So be it!

Leonard Cohen/ James A. Baldwin Quotes

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in

What is most original in a man’s nature is often that which is most desperate

In dreams the truth is learned that all good works are done in the absence of a caress

Children show scars like medals

Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation’s sweetest dreams of itself.

What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?

Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered

He thought of desert stretches so huge no Chosen People could cross them. He counted grains of sand like sheep and knew his job would last forever. He thought of aeroplane views of wheatlands so high he couldn’t see which way the wind was bending the stalks. Arctic territories and sled-track distances.Miles he would never cover because he could never abandon this bed.

The ages of seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting. It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.

I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That’s what sitting on your ass does to your face.

woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.

Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity. In what we call art, it’s one of the most desirable characteristics of a piece of work. .

Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort … turns even labor into pleasant tasks.” – James A. Baldwin quotes from …

I don’t want to: Motivation & Bipolar Disorder By LaRae LaBouff

I don’t want to; Motivation & Bipolar Disorder
By LaRae LaBouff

I won’t lie, I lack motivation a lot. I can be the queen of procrastination. It’s not a desirable trait, to me or those around me. When there’s a task that needs doing and I’m feeling particularly apathetic, I get cranky. I whine. I sigh. It’s irritating.

Smaller tasks are not so bad, but if it requires a certain amount of effort, I really have to convince myself to get going.

I’m certain that part of it is just laziness. Everyone, normals included, has days where we just don’t want to do anything. Brushing your teeth even sounds like a waste of time, even though you’ve got time in spades because you’re not doing anything else. So what’s the deal and how do we cope?

What’s the deal?
Our brains are different.

People with bipolar disorder have distinct differences in brain structure and function. These differences are mostly found in the left, front side of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. Unfortunately for us, that’s where a lot of important things happen, like

  • decision making,
  • emotional regulation,
  • memory and creativity.

The good news is that we’re actually more creative. The bad news is that we’re worse at all the other things.

For now, let’s focus on decision making and emotional regulation.

When it comes to motivation, you have to actively decide to do something and when you’re deciding to do something unappealing, logic often has to come into play. “I don’t want to do this, but I need to.” Now, I know very few Vulcans so most people I come into contact with make decisions based on a combination of both logic and emotion. With bipolar disorder, this becomes more difficult. See,

the emotional part of our brain tends to shout louder than the logical sometimes and it’s hard to shut it down to make the right decision. With depression, that emotion is usually despondency, and it makes you want to curl up in a ball and escape from the world. With mania, it’s logic-be-damned. Spontaneity is key and I’ll do what I want. It takes a great deal of concentration to get past that.

How do we cope?
Good news! There are a few general ways to deal with a lack of motivation.

-Take your meds.
It sounds way too simple, but it’s true. We take medications because they work. Billions of dollars are poured into research to figure out what to do with our unconventional zombie food. We spend years figuring out a regimen to make us feel better and more like how we see ourselves being “normal.” Don’t just throw that away. Believe me, I know that mania can feel great, but try to remember the crash that comes after. Yes, I’m telling you this after I just said that’s hard to do.

You may also ignore your medication because you don’t realize how much you need it.

It’s time to accept reality.

Talk to your doctors.

Talk to your psychiatrists.

You may need more treatment or you may even need less.

Figure it out and stick to it.

If you have trouble remembering to take your meds, set an alarm. Make it part of your routine. Carry a couple with you in case you happen to be out when the time comes to take them. Trust me (and research), coping is many times easier when you stick to your meds.

Reward yourself.

When it comes to motivation, most people are more likely to respond to rewards rather than punishment. This is especially relevant to bipolar patients. We don’t deal well with shame and punishment, which we tend to inflict upon ourselves when we don’t complete tasks or we make poor decisions. So, set up a system.

Make a to-do list.

When you add a task to the list, put a comparable reward with it.

Did you exercise? If yes, you can treat yourself to a mini-binge on your video-streaming service of choice. There are numerous examples of what you can do to reward yourself.

Make it personal, and something you’d actually want. You’re more likely to complete the task that way. Oh, and don’t cheat!

-Give yourself a break
If you didn’t know that shame doesn’t work before, consider yourself informed. The more you shame yourself or pile on the guilt, the less likely you are to do something to fix it. Guilt becomes a cycle, and escaping is incredibly difficult. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Know your real limits (not the ones depression and occasional laziness give you). For the vast majority of things, the world will not fall apart if you put it off a day when you’re having a really hard time. Learn to trust yourself that you know the difference.

What are your coping mechanisms? Let me know on Twitter @LaRaeRLaBouff


10 Ways to Clear the Clutter and Remove Bipolar Stress

Studies have found a link between a cluttered, unorganized environment and depression, stress and anxiety. Add bipolar disorder to the mix and the act of altering our living space can be emotionally paralyzing.

#1 Be intentional in your choices

Be thoughtful in your choices on whether to

keep an item or throw it away or give to charity.

That way, when you’re finished organizing your living space, you can look around and know that you made the choice consciously to keep or toss something. Be proud that you are intentionally creating a beautiful space to surround yourself in.

A more open environment elevates mood and leads to feelings of freedom.

A more open environment elevates mood and leads to feelings of freedom.

High ceilings and more natural light make a difference,

but so does well-arranged furniture that allows you to move around easily.

Julie Morgenstern promotes a three-part action plan:




She advises to think of your living space as a kindergarten classroom, a “model of organization” where everything has its own place.

friends’ and ‘strangers’

Use emotion to purge

Own too many jeans? “Instead of deciding which ones fit you … you might view them as ‘friends’ and ‘strangers,’” says Laurene, a professional organizer from Ontario. “Which ones make you feel fabulous when you’re wearing them? Which ones don’t you need in your life?”

Completion energy

“completion energy.” She suggests placing a Hula-Hoop over the space you want to clear, such as a bedside table. This feeling of completion will help you move on to the next spot at another time. The trick is to maintain the organization of each space, so the clutter is gone for good.

Stay in the room you have decided to purge and organize

purge and organize

and put the items that are either to go to another place (another room)

and put the items that are either to go to another place (another room)

or being thrown out into a box and

leave that task until later or another time

8 Daily maintenance

Before you leave a room or at the end of the day, put everything back in its place—just like you are in that kindergarten class again. This act will make you feel like you’re accomplishing something every day. Then, once every six months, take a look at things and their “places” and determine if they still fit into their designated spot or whether they could be purged.

10 Reward yourself

Every time you choose to not buy that item you really wanted, do something special for yourself—you deserve it. Perhaps you take the money you would have spent and put it in a special savings jar and after saving for awhile, invest it in something that will provide you with lasting happiness and something you’ve put a lot of thought into.

6 steps to defuse a drama queen and get your life back By Unstuck

Drama queens crave admiration and attention, but can’t or won’t give it back.

When we work with a drama queen, our days often consist of putting out their fires. If we live with one,


  • recrimination, and
  • threat negotiation are our daily bread.

The result?
We’re sucked dry, with
  • less time,
  • energy, and
  • enthusiasm to fuel our own lives. And that’s a shame, because
  • we’re putting ourselves second to other people’s demands.

Emotional vampires

  • Spin small anxieties (a delayed text) into outsize disasters
  • might be a hypochondriac), and demanding support and/or rescue.
  • Obsess over unattainable ideals
  • Regularly top good/bad fortune in your life with a tale of their own.

What it does to you:

You lose your sense of perspective, eitheradopting a skeptical outlook orassuming that disaster is around every corner.

drama queens are quick to point fingers rather than take responsibility.

What drama queens do:
  • Take minor provocations as personal affronts, whether they’re meant that way or not.
  • Find a scapegoat every time they screw up.
  • Throw others under the bus, including you, to get what they “deserve.”

What it does to you:

        • You walk on eggshells around them, and

        • feel guilty when good things happen to you


When the spotlight slips from their self-serving interpretation of the world, they find ways to steal it back.

What drama queens do:

Display volatile mood shifts.
make theatrical shows of vulnerability.
Eschew two-way conversation, but expect you to chime in on their monologue (i.e., “oh no!” or “then what?”)

Never remember what’s going on with you
Dominate social gatherings with personal stories and demands.

Over-share, regardless of what’s socially appropriate
Betray secrets

Make threats, including self-harm.

What it does to you:
You’re left in the wings with a diminished sense of self-worth.

  • drama queen behavior is wired into the brain, due to a varying combo of genetics, trauma, or other environmental factors.
  • This person may even have a clinical personality disorder; so, short of training in cognitive psychology, there’s not much we can do to change them.

change your behavior so you can maintain your positive outlook and energy.
Follow these six steps to keep yourself from being drained by a person who asks a lot without contributing back. The sixth step is optional, to be used as a last resort.

Ask yourself:

  • Does a drama queen’s neediness make you feel important?
  • Does being the sanest one in your crew ease your own sense of insecurity?
  • Do you feel an unnecessary sense of responsibility for these people?

Taking stock of your own contribution can help you shift away from them.

You rush to the aid of your drama queen friend again and again
Decode their language

  • spinning into a vortex of negative thought because they didn’t get the positive reinforcement they crave.
  • Accusation: They’re aggressively deflecting blame for a screw-up.
  • Limelighting: Nothing is sacred. They’ll risk a relationship for the attention they seek.

Set boundaries.

…the person treats you as their personal 911 hotline

Don’t reward their behavior.

  • When they act out, don’t give them more attention.
  • When they break something, don’t replace it.
  • If they hurtle insults and threats and kick up commotion, don’t respond in kind. Take a deep breath, count your many blessings, and stay calm.

Replenish yourself

  • recharge after an encounter with a drama queen,
  • go for a walk or meditate
  • Don’t dwell on the drama because it will only keep you in the negative zone.

distance yourself.

  • you might have to cut ties. Tell them that you need time alone to focus on you right now.
  • Likely, their antics won’t end, so steel yourself to stop answering their demands.
  • you’ll have to fight off guilt — especially if it’s a close relationship
  • ultimately, if things are going to change, we can only change ourselves.