Dee's Blog
Tue 09/09/2008
Changes Cause Disruptions in Relationships
Topic: Making Changes

When we make changes, not everyone is happy with all of our changes.  Some people want us to consult them more often than we may think necessary as we make change.  As if their approval is essential for us to change. 

In an enmeshed family, people aren't allowed to grow without there being an uproar.  Sometimes change is allowed, though, as long as it's not for the better--that's what is so interesting about enmeshed families that are filled with addictions.  The addicts can just get sicker and more self-absorbed, and that seems to be fine with people who are "tolerant."

Same goes for enmeshed institutions. 

 Individuation and separation allow me to decide how much time I want to spend with people who have not taken inventory for a long, long time.  The older I get, the less inclined I am to make choices that put me in close proximity, for very long, with either the individuals or institutions that do not appreciate change.

Only problem is that life can be a little lonely sometimes, but never for long.  All I have to do is change the way I'm reaching out or relating to a variety of people that I already know, as well as to those I want to know better.  Or maybe to meet in the future.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wed 09/10/2008 7:40 AM CDT
Mon 09/08/2008
The Problem with Change
Topic: Making Changes

Just this morning, I was saying to a friend that change is important for healthy people.  We need to change our habits, our thinking, our beliefs, and even consider changing our feelings about a lot of things.  As we grow.  And as we age.

Taking a good inventory is important.  The more frequently we do it, the better.  Depending on how honest we are able to be with ourselves, change is going to happen somehow with almost every thorough inventory.  If our inventories are frequent, we are likely to make small changes without even noticing.  If we wait for years, thinking that change isn't necessary--like I've done at certain periods of my life--then making change is very hard.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 10:53 AM CDT
Sun 09/07/2008
A New Song
Topic: music

At our piano recital this year, one of my high school students is playing a rather complicated piece that he just composed.  It's awesome. 

While he composes new pieces, his younger brother listens and comes up with the titles.  This one is called "Distant Discoveries." 

Both the title and the music remind me of something I recently heard:  "In order to better predict the future, we need to invent it."  It helps to, anyway.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Fri 09/05/2008
Before You Start
Topic: Making Changes

It's quite possible that the only thing you need to do, in order to get what you want, is to stop doing the things that aren't working.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Thu 09/04/2008
Gandhi's Seven Social Sins
  • Politics without Principle

  • Wealth Without Work

  • Pleasure Without Conscience

  • Knowledge without Character

  • Commerce without Morality

  • Science without Humanity

  • Worship without Sacrifice

Those are the SEVEN SOCIAL SINS, according to Gandhi.   Each could be the title of a good book! 


The one that caught my eye this morning is "Knowledge without character."  It's closely aligned to the first:  "Politics without principle."  Both of these explain the hypocrisy that plagues all of us at times, as well as the hypocrisy of the institutions that promote much good, as well as cause much suffering. 


As individuals, we must be constantly examine our own lives.  Otherwise, we will become like those we may see as "the problem people."  For no matter how much knowledge we have, only by daily examining our own motives and actions, recognizing how quickly we can slip over the line and fail ourselves and others, can we build character and even hope to speak to the character issues of others.  Or to be effectively pro-active.


A few months ago, one of my readers contacted me for the first time.  She said that while she very much appreciated what I write in this blog and on the site, she sometimes has difficulty knowing who my audience is intended to be. 

"Wonderful!" is what I told her.   For I'd like to think that everything I say can be comprehended and incorporated into the lives of a very wide audience.   I want the choir to be huge in scope.   Certainly in an entry like today's!

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wed 09/03/2008 6:32 AM CDT
Wed 09/03/2008
Begging to Differ with Gandhi
Topic: spirituality

In my own spiritual journey, I've found wisdom and comfort in the words of Gandhi.  I like much of what he says about many spiritual concepts.  Yet I'm not convinced he provides all of the answers (nor did he claim to), anymore than anyone else.  

For example, unlike Gandhi, I do not see God as ever being tyrannical, though I do see God as the most powerful spirit that moves among us to encourage persistent peace and love.  To see God as tyrannical, to me, would mean that God was the one who was supporting the physical wars of the Old Testament, even when the Israellites were on the offense and committing atrocities against their enemies--atrocities that they were convinced God had told them to commit!  While many fundamentalists see it that way, I ceased being a part of that thought back in college days.  The fundamentalists can blame my influential Christian professors back then in Oklahoma Baptist University, all men that many people eventually decided were heretics!

God, as I understand God to be now, stands firm on principles.  Allowing consequences, but not acting as a tyrant against those who do not choose to believe the Truth--Truth being the best definition of God, according to Gandhi.  On that point, as on many, many others that he has, I fully agree.   

Yet, when we step outside the bounds and try to become God or assume a characteristic that God would not--even for what we see as good causes--then WE become the tyrants.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 6:06 AM CDT
Updated: Wed 09/03/2008 6:42 AM CDT
Tue 09/02/2008
Private Matters
Topic: Power

Lots of discussion going on these days about what's supposed to private for people in power.  For me, it comes down to this:

When multiple personal matters show that an individual is likely to be over the top with stress from issues not related to the job, he or she is in no position to take on the responsibility of a powerful position that allows one to seriously effect the lives of many people, while having major stresses on the back burner.  One's health, one's family, one's personal lifestyle and habits--all of these together aren't entirely personal matters when they can ultimately effect the health and well-being of my family and many others. 

They are also not personal when one is "preaching" one set of values, such as Christianity, and showing symptoms of extreme hypocrisy.  Or showing that what one is so strictly teaching is not working.

You can take this as a political message if you wish.  It also applies to the church.  Character and morals and ethics and values do matter in both arenas.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:20 AM CDT
Mon 09/01/2008
Knowing When to Run
Topic: coping

Just heard it on NPR:  A young man from New Jersey, a bartender who is a newcomer to New Orleans, is choosing to stay and be courageous (as he sees courage) against the hurricane that's approaching Louisiana shores.  He thinks he's being brave.  Says he doesn't want to be like most Americans who run from anything that comes along.

There are some "victims" who can be blamed.  And if this guy turns out to be sorry, it IS his fault!

Well, there's a time to run.  And a time to stay.  When it comes to advocacy work, if you are doing something that you feel will take a big negative chunk out of your life, run as fast as you can.  If you feel it will add meaning to your life, even if you do not succeed in the goals you envision right now, then go for it.

Just don't stay in the midst of a hurricane--ever!!  I've been in one of the worst, running right into the path, while following all the recommendations of meteorologists back then.  It's not a pretty picture.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:25 AM CDT
Updated: Mon 09/01/2008 8:27 AM CDT
Sun 08/31/2008
No Need to Wait for Justice
Topic: coping

This week I was encouraged to look again at the 18th chapter of Luke.  It's the story of the persistent widow who continued to ask until the judge got tired of her being a pain and decided to grant her request.

How I wish that some people I know were as easily worn down as this judge!

Now, the difference in this judge and a lot of people I know is that he admitted that he didn't care about God or people either one--at least, he admitted that to himself.

It's the folks who are like the Pharisees, always running everyone else down, while claiming to love God and be so self-sacrificing and long-suffering that make me want to puke!

The passage is trying to teach us that earthly-minded judges cannot be expected to easily promote justice.  Yet God does.

Many people miss the point of this story, stopping at the idea that justice gives a person what he or she is seeking.  The deeper meaning is one that I've seldom heard taught, but here's what I believe.

We do not have to wait for justice.  We do not have to get it from ANYONE.  The most important kind of justice comes from having a pure heart.  For that's what brings peace.  And when you have peace, whatever others do or do not do really doesn't count for much.  Unless we allow it to.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Fri 08/29/2008
Daring to Dream
Topic: spirituality

Forty years, like 7 years,  is a span of time with Biblical significance.  It's the length of time that the Israellites were free from slavery, yet wandering in the wilderness and suffering from the everyday comforts that are often missing in the desert.  All while dreaming of this unseen place where they believed those comforts could be once again afforded.

Just last night, history was made.   As many African-Americans stood crying and cheering--all in the same instant.  Crying tears of mixed sadness and joy.  Cheering for the significance of the moment.   Forty-four years after Martin Luther King, made his famous speech while daring to "see" an unseen place.

As we Americans hope to be at a much better place in our world in the years to come, so the world is hoping with us.  We know that it will take a new kind of leadership.

Yet, just because history was made last night, there is no guarantee that the nomination of a man with African roots is going to actually rise to the political level to which he aspires.  There is only hope.

Sometimes hope is all that oppressed people have.  No matter what the outcome in the election, however, nobody can take away the glory of witnessing history in the making--something that we all had opportunity to do last night.  As the pyramid of power will never look quite the same to any of us! 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 9:59 AM CDT

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