Upcycling Raggedy Ann and Other Such Stories

Raggedy Ann

When I was a little girl, I had a Raggedy Ann doll. She went everywhere with me. No doubt the fact that she went everywhere with me is why my Grandmother convinced me to let her take Raggedy Ann to the doll hospital so she could be made “good as new,” with the promise that Raggedy would return on my birthday.

I still remember opening the box with the big red bow, excited to be reunited with my friend, only to find a stranger looking back at me. This was not MY Raggedy! The adults in the room showed me her special Raggedy heart and assured me she was. (Hey, I was four but I wasn’t stupid.) I cried and cried and begged to have MY Raggedy back. My head was spinning. I was heartbroken.

I shared this story with a dear friend, recently, as the first memorable contribution to my sideswiped stories. The telling had just the right touch of drama, or so I thought, when I heard my friend take a deep breath on the other end of the Read more

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Choices: What we see in loving and leaving.

Messy Room Moving Box Puzzle

“I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that is has for me.” – A Course In Miracles: Lesson 2


Journal, April 17, 2012 A fitting lesson to dowse in the Course, as I look around me. From room to room, I see boxes stacked wherever there is a spare space. Some holding 36 years of marriage. Some holding the last 18 years of reconciliation.

I give them the meaning that they have. The objects inside are clueless to the purpose assigned to them. On a good day, they speak to relief and gratitude for the honesty expressed that made it necessary to pack them up. On a bad day, they speak to surprises and sideswipes. If I am the meaning-maker, which meaning shall I embrace today?

Yesterday, I made my first serious “pass” through the divorce papers while my husband packed up his “pieces” of the kitchen that was our kitchen – soon to be my kitchen. I am somewhat in awe as this process of acceptance and forgiveness unfolds. And I am grateful that I am journaling through this – writing under fire as it were – and know that I am benefiting exponentially.

Exponentially? Really? How do I know?

We are always choosing stories, are we not? Well then …
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Surrendering: the stories we tell

Surrender the Stories: charcoal by bernadette rose smith

Surrender • charcoal on Bernadette’s Pages substrate; page 63
by Bernadette Rose Smith


Ever listen to your thoughts and marvel at how persistently they weave into stories you tell yourself? Stories that do not serve you well? Especially in times of transition?

How happy would your dreams become if you were not the one who gave the “proper role” to every figure which the dream contained. – A Course In Miracles

I woke up this morning with a thought.

“Surrender that.“ whispered the angel.

“What?” I asked.

That ‘My God, sideswiped again, I’m not enough’ story.” chuckled the angel.

“Oh? You mean the ‘How could I have missed this, how dense am I that it took another eighteen years of marriage to figure this out, I’m alone again thought?” I snapped.

“My dear, you had so many more thoughts attached to that one. You didn’t notice the storyteller revving up? You were on Chapter 14 before I could get a word in edgewise.” announced another angelic chuckle.

“How can you laugh?” I asked, somewhat irked. “You were around in ’94. Don’t you think this is a little ridiculous for two people to be this far off base with each other?”

“What? Ridiculous to forgive? To accept the things you cannot change? To move on amicably? To still love and support each other as you embrace your new lives?” A wing fluttered by.

“Well, yeah, that’s a view. But I was more concerned with looking at the part where I am a middle-aged woman who lost herself again – even after she swore she Read more

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Forgive That #!@&!#!? Why?

Who is Homeless?

Photo – Courtesy of Casa Dresden

When I posted this article back in 2008, little did I know where THAT little forgiveness project would lead. The concept of Forgive it Forward could not have been further from my mind! I am re-posting this to share how important it is to pay attention to those little nudges we get along the path … including those to forgive. You never know where they will lead or, in this case, WHEN they will take seed and lead.

This Year, International Forgiveness Day is August 8, 2010

This original article was posted: August 1, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008 is International Forgiveness Day. An article by Michael E. McCullough, entitled Vengeance 101 in the July/August issue of Spirituality & Health lists projects that can be implemented in the spirit of encouraging the world to be a more forgiving place. Those of you who know Ray and me know this is a big topic for us. Neither of us would be here today were it not for our willingness to forgive and our willingness to accept forgiveness.

So, we cannot let this day go by without support. We are picking Project #4 on the list – with our own twist, of course. It states, “Promote a climate of apology and compensation in your family, neighborhood, congregation, or place of work.” We wish to promote a climate for consideration, contemplation, and conversation – if you care to join in – as to where our lives would be without the willingness to forgive and accept forgiveness.

When we say forgiveness, we are not talking about the “pardoning” kind. (The kind that says, “You’ve done me wrong. You’ve hurt me bad. You’ve altered me. I will suffer with this pain forever but I will forgive you.”) Yes, pardoning is a starting point. But pardoning, at best, offers a compromised peace. A peace that teeters atop past offenses, stashed yet never forgotten. Throw a few more offenses on top of the pile and this version of forgiveness crumbles rapidly. Pardoning would never have gotten Ray and I around the block after our reconciliation.

When we say forgiveness, we are talking about the kind that erases the “offense” forever; the kind that shifts our perception, converts the offense to a classroom, the offender to a teacher, the experience to an opportunity for growth. A growth that allows us to say, ” I forgive you.” with the subtext being, “I see this differently. I was mistaken when I thought you harmed me. Look at what I have learned. Look who I have grown to be. Look who I have uncovered. I’m okay. There is nothing to forgive here.” This kind of forgiveness does not crumble. Read more

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Metaphysical Malpractice (a.k.a. what did you do to deserve this?)

Footprints in Sand

Forgive it Forward: Follow Those Footprints

Sometimes it helps to follow in someone’s footsteps – even if only for a short while. For that reason, Ray and I have started this series; a virtual footprint forum for muses with stories, ideas and tips that we think worth sharing. We hope your ‘walk’ with them makes your day a little lighter and brighter – and that you leave with something that inspires you to forgive it forward, backward, upward and downward!

In this post, we invite you to follow Michele’s footprints. (And we encourage you to pay close attention because, though she has a big heart, she has little feet that like to break out in dance.)


GUEST MUSINGS BY: Michele Sevacko, New Thought Minister

Note: If you always get what you desire – if you only attract “good” – then you might want to skip this post. (Or better still, contribute to this post!) 

If, like me, you’ve been involved in New Thought or Metaphysics for a while (even just a little while) or if you’ve explored the Law of Attraction, you may have heard the expression “what did you (or I) do to attract this?”

I call this “Metaphysical Malpractice.” Often, all this question results in is feelings of guilt – ’cause if you’re attracting it, then you must’ve done something “wrong” or “bad.”  Right?

Well, not really. There may be something that you could possibly do differently; but it’s not about making a judgment of bad, good, better, etc. That just takes you one step further into the land of guilt. (OR possibly resentment of the person(s) that suggested that you must have done something to draw this to you.) In either case, you’re now presented with an opportunity to practice forgiveness. And, in those times that forgiveness doesn’t seem to come easily, you’ll be happy to know that your willingness puts you halfway there. As well as dealing with the opportunities for forgiveness this brings up, you may also be interested in some ideas for how to eliminate this scenario.

Enter the concept of being “divinely aligned.” Read more

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