An Open Letter

When you squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube, you cannot put it back in. The same can be said about the words that come out of our mouths. Once they come out, they cannot be put back in.

 

Words are powerful in both positive and negative ways. To build a culture of kindness, we must realize the power of our words. We must realize our words can have a great positive effect or a devastatingly negative effect on those who hear them. A culture of kindness can only be built when the words that come out of our mouths or from our hearts are saturated with the power to lift people up, encourage them, and give them the strength to get through whatever it is that is happening in their day.

 

It does not matter that you did not mean it or were joking; sometimes, words just hurt. When we use them, we have a responsibility to do so with an awareness of their impact.

 

We can activate the power of evil or the power of life with our tongue; words matter.

 

Proverbs 12:18 – The words of the reckless pierce like swords but the tongue of the wise bring healing.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

This month you might think, based on the above picture, I am going to tell you how to live in a constant state of love and positivity. That is not the case, nor is it realistic. The truth does not cease to exist when it is forgotten. As we live our lives, we inevitably encounter distressing situations and tough periods, which can bring out unloving responses for those around us. In particular, in what has been one of the most distressing periods in history.

 

What I am relearning over time is how to choose empathy and kindness for myself and others, even during times of conflict and instability. Life is messy. I am a human being, and it is not always easy.

 

Being on this long break, I have been trying to break an unhealthy relationship with soda. I find myself having emotional outbursts, at times with my head throbbing from caffeine withdrawal. I find myself angry at me for not listening to my doctors when I was told it is imperative I stop drinking soda. One morning, not long ago, I grumbled to myself in the kitchen, I yelled at those around me to clean off my countertops. Those that know me understand I can be a bit of a neat freak; this can be a good quality, but not when breakfast is being served.

 

When there was minimal improvement on the countertops, I found myself spewing out a tirade of complaints. As the harsh words tumbled out of my mouth, I cringed. I sounded so unreasonable, erratic and irrational. I was unhinged. In my state of duress, I could not pull it together. What I had to remind myself, as I calmed, irrationality loses power in the face of reason. Fear wanes in the presence of calm.

 

I stepped outside with my cup of coffee, found a seat, and asked myself three questions. Is what I was saying reasonable? Did I sound like the voice of reason? Did my body language match my voice and words? The answers to these questions that morning, no. So, I found myself contributing to conflict. Most days, my answer would be yes; but on this morning, I needed to walk it back.

 

Think of the progress all of us could make if we offered compassion and sought out understanding in a time of great uncertainty. Our ability to choose one good thought over another is our sharpest tool against anxiety, negativity, and stress.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter

We are all looking forward to living life after the pandemic. Exactly when that is going to be, none of us really know.

 

Shoes are mentioned often in the bible, usually symbolizing our direction and life path. We wear them to protect our feet from the elements when the ground beneath them is too cold or too hot for our soles to withstand.

 

Do not get to the end of your life and find you only lived the length of it. You have to live the width of it as well. When it comes to living as a passionate, inspired human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is learning to live a lifetime comfortably in your own.

 

I pray you find peace and acceptance, the kind that rings through your bones. I pray you forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made for the past you keep alive inside of you. I pray you learn to let go of the things you had to do to heal or survive. You are doing your best. You are human. I pray you connect with the small things. I pray you look at someone mid-conversation, and you feel your stomach surge with feelings you have for them. I pray you surround yourself with the kind of friends that encourage your spontaneity that are always there for you. Most of all, I pray you find yourself out there and travel to places that cleanse your soul. I pray you figure out your heart. I pray you figure out your mind. I pray you learn how to be kind to yourself and to embrace the journey you are on.

 

Do not let your old problems punish your dreams. Learn to let go of the things you cannot control. The next time you are tempted to rant about a situation you think ended unfairly, remind yourself of this, you will never kill off your anger by beating the story to death. So, close your mouth, unclench your fists, and redirect your thoughts.

 

Follow your heart and take your brain with you. When you are truly comfortable in your skin, not everyone will like you, but you will not care about it one bit.

 

For me, my shoes are red patent leather Mary Jane’s. There is a story that goes with these shoes. You can read that story in one of my books, I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation, My Story, ISBN-13:  978-0-9854367-1-1.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

An Open Letter

We will all face death and judgment one day. The stress of our souls comes from our awareness. There is life after this one, and we need to prepare for it.

 

Inner peace is something incredibly hard to achieve, even to explain. You have to train your mind not to be phased by something that would normally bother you. You have to tell yourself nothing is worth losing your sanity over.

 

What do you do when our world is like a storm crashing in on a sunny day and making us question everything?

 

True peace comes at a significant cost. The way some people talk about peace seems very degrading to me. They talk about it as if it is a trick of the mind. As if all we need to do is clear the papers off the desk, close our eyes, then poof, stress is gone, and peace arrives. It is such a low view of peace coming at such a low cost. It also depicts too high a view of humanity.

 

As sinners, we are not naturally at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God, our creator. We need someone to pay the cost of our sins and then change us from the inside. Only then can we have true peace. Someone did pay the price for us.

 

There are two verses in the book of Ephesians 2:13-14, But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace. We can find “Peace of Mind” when we organize our work life and manage our stress. Yet, these things cannot achieve our highest need, peace of our soul.

 

With the world flipped upside down and red flags everywhere, I believe God himself is reminding us that Jesus Christ came to the earth to give those who believe in him as Lord and Savior, an eternal peace of the soul. Jesus Christ died so that we could have salvation.

 

My question, are we paying attention?

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

An Open Letter

 

The Storm Rages On

 

The noise of the storm

Has become much too loud

Consider the stirring

The rage of the crowd

We can’t underestimate

All that goes on

 

It isn’t the first time

Sadly

It won’t be the last

History repeats itself

If we haven’t learned

 

Our time is limited

Don’t waste it

On living someone

Else’s life

Someone else’s

Ideal

Of how they think

It should be

 

Don’t get trapped

In your behavior

It is your choice

Don’t let the noise

Of others’ opinions

Drown

Out your own

Inner voice

 

Have the courage

To follow your heart

And do what is right

No one will win

If we continue this fight

 

It begins with one person

Not the rage of the crowd

We all have to work on it

We all must try

 

Hatred is like

Poison

It will saturate

Bubble up

And then

Explode

Have some foresight

 

You are drinking

The Koolaid

Don’t you care

In the moments

Of silence

You

Know this is true

The thunder rages on

In the distance

Up comes the storm

 

The anger and hatred

Of the crowd

Their noise is deafening

Much too loud

Stop the madness

It is within our power

Now

 

Vengeance doesn’t

Belong to us

Not yours not mine

If you look back in history

It has crept up again

We can’t continue

Or the next storm

Could very well be

Our end

 

Copyright © 2020

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

Hang in there!

 

The Novel Corona Pandemic is a thief. Among the things it snatches away are the connections that feed passion, contentment, belonging, and all of the other variations of love. Families are separated, cities and towns are silenced, and places of worship are locked.

 

In a time of distancing due to Coronavirus, the health threat of loneliness looms.

 

It is normal to feel stressed when faced with staying indoors and interacting less with people, especially when that is added to underlying stress or worry whether you will catch Covid-19.

 

If you are lonely, reach out to someone, anyone. Sometimes our lives seem to go sideways and maybe for a minute or longer. How do we find a way to deal with, I cannot take it any more moments?

 

For some people, chatting with others by Facetime, Skype, Zoom or any other technology can do the trick. It depends on who you are and what environments suit you best.

 

Functioning is hard to do when you cannot make sense of anything going on around you. Feeling invisible and all alone is hard to handle. Realistically, deep connections are not easy to find, and even more, when traumatic things have happened.

 

What I know for sure, we have to carry the spirit of children as we grow old, which means we cannot lose our enthusiasm or get overwhelmed by it all. This, too, shall pass, not quickly but eventually.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

I am an Overcomer, but I have help.

 

The goal of Sunday Soul-Lutions has always been and is a weekly reminder for all of us to remember:  You are not your behavior. You are not your struggle. You are not your worst mistake. You are not your past. You are not what has been done to you. There is a difference between where you have been and who you are now. These are some of the many subjects I have written about over the years.

 

The reality is when there is any good, any sense of peace, joy or happiness that dots through our lives is because God is good. If God held back the restraint against evil in this world, then we would see what trouble there really would be with no God.

 

It is easy for us to blame God when things are horrible or make no sense. For believers and non-believers, it is easy to ask, “Where are you God?” He is everything for everybody every time. He is everywhere. He is God. God is in the midst of every struggle, and that is who you belong to, you are who your Father says you are.

 

Your faith matters. I am not talking about casually going to church. God is always present; he is there; he will never leave us nor forsake us. This is when being a believer is important when you actually have a thing with the Lord. If you do not, hopelessness will be pervasive in your life. It will overwhelm you, and the burden is all yours.

 

The idea that we were each born with some higher purpose, and now it is our cosmic mission to find it does not seem logical. Here is the truth. We exist on this earth for some undetermined period. During that time, we do things. Some of these things are important. Some of them are unimportant. The essential stuff gives our life meaning and happiness. The unimportant ones kill time.

 

I am on my way somewhere. I am passing through, and I am going to do what God is calling me to do. I am going to stay afloat with the hope, peace and joy that is internal, so when everything else is going haywire externally, I do not have to go haywire. In my house, we can have peace even when the world does not. Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

 

You will not know your exact path, but connecting with your why will help you unearth it. If you are feeling stuck because you do not understand your life purpose, please hear me when I say, “Nobody knows his or her exact path.”

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

An Open Letter

Every single day of the year, we are being sold happiness. It does not matter whether it is in the form of a pill, book or holiday. The underlying idea is the same.

 

The problem with happiness is no one knows what it is. It is intangible, even a little mysterious. Trying to be happy is like trying to get sleep. The harder you try, the less likely it is to happen.

 

When one light fades, the one you want becomes visible. There is a peace that passes all understanding. * It sounds like a fantasy, a kind of mental Shangri-La where all the worldly travails are set aside, and we finally let go and breathe out.

 

Why does this peace allude all understanding? Because it is not a product of the mind, nor can it be understood by the mind. We are talking about something that exists at an entirely different level of consciousness that will never be found by looking in the world.

 

Sometimes, albeit rarely, you meet someone who has found their peace and not thrown out of joint by the vagaries of life. They have a look in their eyes, a calm and poise and something indefinable that draws you in inexplicably.

 

If someone were to ask why you feel so moved to get near this person, you find it hard to pin down. There is just something. The paradox is happiness and peace are not the same.

 

For the most part, we cannot control external actions from others or our environment, but we can control ourselves. We can control our perception and how we view what is occurring around us. The reason peace seems complicated to achieve is that our natural instinct is to react in a way that throws us off balance. We get upset, angry, anxious, and all of these are negative emotions we elicit out of habit.

 

If you could start focusing on separating your thoughts with your experiences and let them pass, only you decide how much meaning or the weight they hold. When you begin to let these anxious thoughts affect you less, you will gain peace in your life.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

*Philippians 4:7

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

Here we are in a new year and a new decade, and I was thinking of the people that defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact they have around others. They just create chaos.

 

Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones. All of us likely have had or have at least one person in our life who has us bending around ourselves like barbed wire. If you are the one continually hurt or the one constantly adjusting your behavior from being hurt, then chances are it is not you but them.

 

The goal of an abuser is to control you by making you feel bad about who you are, whether it is done publicly or in private. Criticism can be painful, particularly if the person doing the criticizing is only being mean and has no intention of being constructive.

 

Those that cuss and swear at you has nothing to do with you. These people have word poverty. Intuitively people understand profanity to be a way to intensify a statement. Now and then, this may be effective. It may also be funny. But if someone you know can only raise their voice, over talk and toss in profanity, it means they have a severe lack of vocabulary words at their disposal.

 

They are like a chef who only knows how to pour chili pepper over every dish. If you would not tolerate a restaurant that employed a chef like that, why would you tolerate a person in your life that has the verbal equivalence of said chef?

 

If you do not allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what you felt, you will look at your present and future through the same dirty lens. You must make a firm decision. It will not always happen naturally or automatically. Sometimes you will have to rise against the wind and say, “I do not care how hard this is. I do not care how disappointed I am. I am not going to let this get the best of me. I am leaving this behind and moving on with my life.”

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

As I am coming up on the third lap around the sun of the death of my mother, I find myself reflective and grateful to have witnessed the humble, elegant, peaceful passing of my 89-year-old mother. Who knew I would be given so many gifts from one very painful death.

 

On the final day of her life, I had sat there in silence, in tears, and in awe of a woman who was never given a voice. She could speak but was never allowed to talk or share experiences without someone around her shutting her down or demeaning her. Yet, she remained humble and sweet her entire life. I never understood any of this until today. Her faith remained strong. I realize now, she was more interested in eternal life and everyone’s salvation. She understood this and talked about it often, and made it her mission.

 

The night of her death, as I drove home, two questions kept circling through my mind:  Am I living well? Did my mom name me Joy because she could give me nothing else? These questions are tough. I am happy to say I am paving my path. Your needs matter; do not ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what is best for you, not everyone else.

 

If we could learn to think better, we can ultimately learn to live better. It is crazy to see all of the beauty that comes from incredible pain. Life is unpredictable. It does not mean we are powerless, or we do not have many options to create meaning and find joy.

 

The happiest people live with not a set of circumstances but a specific set of attitudes.

 

When we are in the lowest of lows, we ultimately lose sight of the goodness in our lives. Gratitude becomes the first step in recovery after grief. Grief stains everything. To be grateful for what you focus on grows. Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.

 

Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountain top, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in between.

 

Look for book two in the series I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation. Book one is I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation – My Story and book two is I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation – The Story Continues, due out this week.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.