Thursday, June 30, 2016

Let Us Be More

Every day we wake up, there are possibilities before us and choices to make.  No matter what, it is up to each one of us what we do with the seconds, minutes, and hours we have in a day.  My hope is that we will be more than we were yesterday.

No matter what situation you may be facing or what your life has looked like up to this point, you still have the choice what you do with this day.  Sure, your choices may be influenced by events of yesterday, but you still have the option to be more and do more than you could yesterday.

Sometimes those small little choices we make get us from one moment to the next, no matter how small and insignificant they are.  Our thoughts and awareness and consciousness should be that we are more today than yesterday and not as much as we can be tomorrow.

Always possibilities in life...

There are always possibilities in life.  It is what we do with our current moment that either brings them into view, or takes us into hibernation.  I am not just writing pretty words here.  I've lived both sides of what I am saying.  Sometimes I wither down into my cave, but if I'm lucky I will choose something that lifts me higher.

Let our actions and words show that we are making the right choices.  Let our words to others be out of kindness and love.  Let our life show that we are conscious and aware, not that we need to prove to others that we are.  Through all of this, we will help elevate ourselves to be more and hopefully those around us.

Conscious of the choices we make...

There are far too many activities that we partake in each day where we don't make good choices for our lives, our body, and our minds.  In fact, we are generally not aware and conscious of what we do, but we continue to do it anyway.  It is up to us to make the choice to see our life in a way that we have not seen it up until this point.

We need to challenge ourselves to be more and by doing so, we automatically challenge other people to be more.  We need to not accept where we are, but not stop searching for what we need until we find it.  We need to embrace more in our life and raise our own standards of what we expect from the possibilities around us.

Grab all of life with gusto.  Go for every moment where you can rise above and find all that you need for your day.  Become something more than you are at this very moment.  It is a process, not an endpoint.  It is a journey, not just one moment of consciousness and awareness.  Find it and embrace it so you can become more today than what you were yesterday.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It's Easy To Point Your Finger

We all do it.  Yes, we do.  We all do it.  No matter how much you don't think you do, there's that one ounce of a probability that you do.  It's easy to point your finger at others.

Whether it is politics and how we respond or how someone looks or acts or behaves.  Whether it is those that don't measure up to our standards or irritate the daylights out of us at every turn, we point our fingers at them.  Whether it is those that don't believe like we do and we feel are lost or those that share differing opinions, we point our fingers at them.

Sharing things online...

It is easy to point your finger at others while declaring you know all and have all the answers.  It may be labels that you use towards one another, or how you think they are so lost and will never see the light of day.  It may be the way you share things online that become nothing more than pointing your finger at another person.

While skepticism and disagreement can be healthy, we have gotten to the point these days that we hold on to a mentality of "you are either with us or against us".  There is no happy medium.  There is no middle ground.  It is either one way or no way.   If you need evidence of that, just spend 5 minutes on Facebook or Twitter and it should become quite clear.

We don't listen to others...

We don't welcome the opinions of others although we often claim we do.  We don't listen to others like we think we actually do.  We are too busy telling others how to think, what to do, how to believe, and which thing they should follow.  We are too busy telling people the solution to their problem that we don't even bother to listen to their problem first and understand it.

I grew up in a church and a home where we criticized everyone that didn't think the way we thought.  If they believed differently in our church, they were going to hell.  If they didn't do things and act the way we thought, they were just wrong.  There was no adherence to understanding or tolerance.  We sought out people and churches and organizations that made it okay to point the fingers at others. That was how our family operated.

Disgust, rather than listening...

Our society is the same way.  Every day, too many look at others with disgust, rather than sitting down and listening.  We rant and rave and scream how stupid or idiotic others are.  If we don't do it online by our shares and likes, it is often in our private thoughts.

How strong will our civilization and world be if we continue down this path?  How much do we really care for others, if all we can do it focus on the things that we cannot stand about each other?  What does it truly say about how we see ourselves, if all we can see are the perceived faults and deficiencies in one another?

The government cannot change it.  Our leaders and ministers can't change this.  This is something that each one of us needs to search our hearts and really open our eyes to what we do.  It is something that not everyone else needs to change, but each one of us individually.  If you think it is everyone else that has the problem, it is within your own heart that you need to change first.

I'm no different.  I try to accept everyone, but there are those that are screaming at the top of their lungs that can make me cringe.  I want to point my finger at them and say, "how dare you?"  How can you say these things.  Yet, if I expect them to listen to me, then I need to be able to listen to them without judgment and condemnation.

It isn't easy.  If you think it is, find the person that irritates you the most and see if you can sit with them for a day and not condemn or judge them.  I don't mean, play like you can, but really go deep within your own soul and don't point your finger at them.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Learning From Brexit Ignorance

I've been thinking so much about this vote ever since it happened.  No, I'm not from Europe or the UK.  I actually live in the United States.  To be very honest, I was not following Brexit until the last moment.

It seemed or at least gave the appearance that it was racially motivated in many ways.  Maybe that's a harsh assessment, but I'm sure in the days, months, and years to follow, we will come to understand why this happened and what exactly made it unfold in the way that it did. Most likely if it is racially motivated, most will not even see the log in their own eye, but they will see the stick in the eye of another person.

Looking back on Brexit at this moment, I can see how many regretted what they voted for and would like to reverse course.  There were several that celebrated their victory, while seeming to ignore the consequences of their actions.  There were political leaders that thought it was a win while other people realized just how much of a financial cost it was to them.  Ignorance of what everyone voted for was at an all time high.

Impacted the entire world...

It was not just a Europe and UK vote.  It impacted the entire world in many ways and I'm sure it will significantly strain the global and individual economy of the world population. We no longer live in an isolated world because the internet has connected people from one part of the planet to the other.  We are all connected, even without the internet.

I don't understand the ignorance of how people could vote for something and not be fully informed.  We live in a day and age where we swallow what is fed to us on TV and in the news.  We tweet, like, and share the banter of the day through social media.  It is as if it becomes the gospel truth.  Yet, we don't stop to really think through our actions and decisions.  We just keep the rhetoric going day in and day out.  We are not learning from our actions, but perpetuating fear and ignorance.

Right now, I can only think of the slogan, "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" and yet, that seems to be what happened in the UK.  It is also happening in the US with our political system where everyone gets up and screams, rants, and raves all day long, but no one really engages the brain while listening.  Listening has long been forgotten in our normal communication between humans.

We really need to learn to respect one another.  We've gotten so good at hating one another, that it seems as if love is almost irrelevant.  We abhor those that don't think the way we do.  We despise those that look different than us.  We make sure the world knows how right we think we are, while condemning everyone that thinks differently.

A family of intolerance...

I grew up in a family where you had to walk the narrow line of what the family believed.  If it was in regards to church, you didn't deviate from what you were expected to believe.  If it was other people, they were always wrong in spite of you being right or wrong.  If it was some group or organization or company, they were the ones that just didn't understand.  We cowered in our corners with people who thought like we did so we could feel confident in our narrowly focused views.  It was a family of intolerance.

I've just dealt with the experience of the Orlando Massacre and I'm really getting tired of seeing hate and ignorance on display.  I've seen some glorious moments of beauty as people came together in Orlando and all over the world, but I've also seen and heard the bigotry and hateful rhetoric being spewed as if somehow they have the moral superiority.

When will we begin using our hearts and our minds, rather than fear to determine our course of action?  When will we begin seeing each other as human, rather than someone we automatically hate and despise and want to destroy.  I feel for the ones that are despised because I know how that feels.  The fear you live in robs our planet and civilizations of so much.

Maybe we can learn...

Maybe we can learn from Brexit and discover greater truths within ourselves or obstacles that hold us back in life.  Maybe learning from Brexit will help ease some of the fear and stress that everyone is experiencing.  I hope things reverse course and stability comes back into the world, but right now, its anyone's guess what will happen next.  Ignorance is having a hay-day. 

It seems like we don't always learn from our past.  It seems like we continue carrying the same ignorance from one generation to the next.  May we learn something different.  May we shed all that we think is right and test it to truly see if it is.  We can no longer continue to cower in the corner with only those that agree with us.  This is a recipe of disaster in the making.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Neuroscience In The News On June 27

These are articles that I found of interest relating to news about Neuroscience.  In this issue, I have highlighted articles about the neuroscience of pain, why do our minds wander, and brain signatures of spontaneous thoughts.

Please check out the article links below and feel free to comment with other information related to these subjects.  I enjoy learning as much as I can about the brain and passing this information on to everyone else that shares these passions.

This is for the week beginning June 27, 2016.

Please come back each week and hopefully I will have some more highlights.  Feel free to share with me ones that you have found and I may highlight those as well.

Feel free to check out the highlighted articles from June 20, 2016

Neuroscience Of Pain

A primer on the neurobiology of pain pathways.

The sensation of pain is a necessary function that warns the body of potential or actual injury. It occurs when a nociceptor fiber detects a painful stimulus on the skin or in an internal organ (peripheral nervous system).1 The detection of that signal is “picked up” by receptors at the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and brainstem and transmitted to various areas of the brain as sensory information.

The facilitators of this pathway are known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemical messengers that transmit signals across a chemical synapse, from one neuron to another “target” neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell.2 Some neurotransmitters are excitatory, facilitating transmission of messages, while others are inhibitory neurotransmitters, impeding transmission.2 These chemical messages are critical in the modulation of pain.

Article Link:

  • The Neuroscience of Pain
  • Source:
  • Robert J. Gatchel, PhD, ABPP, Christopher T. Ray, PhD, Kiayra Spights, Tyler Garner, MS, Emily Beggs, Ryan Hulla, BA, BS, Eric Salas, MA, Meghan Humphrey and Alyssa Castro

Why Do Our Minds Wander?

Sometimes the mind wanders. Thoughts pop into consciousness. Ideas or images are present when just a moment before they were not. Scientists recently have been turning their attention to making sense of this.

One natural picture of the phenomenon goes something like this. Typically, our thoughts and feelings are shaped by what we are doing, by what there is around us. The world captures our attention and compels our minds this way or that. What explains the fact that you think of a red car when there is a red car in front of you is, well, the red car. And similarly, it is that loud noise that causes you to orient yourself to the commotion that is producing it. In such cases, we might say, the mind is coupled to the world around it and the world, in a way, plays us the way a person might play a piano.

But sometimes, even without going to sleep, we turn away from the world. We turn inward. We are contemplative or detached. We decouple ourselves from the environment and we are set free, as it were, to let our minds play themselves.

Article Link:

Brain Signatures of Spontaneous Thoughts

Without prompting, they fill our stream of consciousness–Sudden amusement at a joke you heard yesterday, or a flash of panic over an important meeting that slipped your mind. Spontaneous thoughts constitute the majority of our mental landscape, yet little is known about how they arise. Because these events are harder to predict, manipulate or monitor than other experiences like seeing, speaking or paying attention, they pose unique challenges to studying in the lab. Recently, a team of Canadian researchers led by Kalina Christoff devised a clever approach to unveiling the neural underpinnings of a wandering mind. By tapping into the heightened internal awareness of experienced meditators, they unraveled the temporal progression of brain activity underlying the generation and evaluation of spontaneous thoughts.

Mindfulness meditators are exquisitely adept in their introspective abilities. Because of their exceptional accuracy at monitoring their internal experience, they are an ideal population in which to study conscious thoughts. Therefore, Christoff and her colleagues used fMRI to image the brain activity of 18 experienced (>3000 training hours) mindfulness meditators during a simple awareness task. In one condition, the meditators responded when they detected a word on the screen, while in another they indicated when a spontaneous thought arose. In both conditions, they classified the word or thought as an image, narrative, emotion or sensation.

Article Link:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Helpless and Weary From Despair - Part 4

This is part 4 of a four part series.  Please read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before this one.

I started to try and get myself out of the house, even if it was for a little bit.  I was so afraid of monsters hiding everywhere that my anxiety would be at an all time high trying to do this.  I trusted my partner enough to feel safe to take these steps.  Sometimes my anxiety would get so high that my anger would spill over onto everything around me as a way to protect myself.

I started to ask the angels for help.  Think whatever you want to of angels, but I know they are there.  I have felt them and seen them and I know they are with me.  Some people see them as religious figures, but that's not how I see them at all.  I know that sometimes I stop believing in them and that's when I truly feel all alone.  I started to tell them more and more that I had no idea what I needed, but I needed help.  I could not articulate it.

Difficult to know what I needed...

I could not articulate what I needed.  I didn't know.  I didn't have the slightest clue.  That was my starting point.  I was at rock bottom.  I had no way to go but forward.  The only way I could have went further down would have been if I would have been successful in ending my life.

I began to pose the question to myself, what do I need?  How do I get out of this?  What do I need to do?  It was the only thing I knew.  It was the only way out I could see.  Yet, I didn't believe it.  I didn't think there was hope.  The only thing I had was questions.

As I began to ask the questions repeatedly and hoping that an answer would show up, I soon started to find there were things I was attracted to in my day.  There were things that interested me.  They were not the things that I thought my life was about.  They were not in the form that I had been trying to push my life into.  They were different.

I would be letting myself down...

It scared me to think of this.  I kept wanting to prove to myself that I had to be in the role I was in.  I had a healing office and how could I think anything different.  I would be letting others down.  I would be letting myself down.  I despised every part of this life I had built, but it was what I knew.  It was what I thought I had to be in that moment.

So to keep the fears at bay, I hunkered down into the things that I enjoyed doing and that were bringing me some peace, joy, and contentment in my day.  It seemed strange and odd.  These were not normal things for me, but even being mundane, they kept me focused.  They helped energize me and propel me.

As I continued on, I knew that I had to make some tough decisions.  I knew I had to stop disconnecting from life and begin feeling my body and all the sensations in life that were there, even if they were horrible.  I had to allow myself the possibility of connecting with others, but also the possibility that I could get hurt again.  The pain was still very raw and is at the time of writing this, but I'm consciously making a choice to do more and go further than where I am currently.

I cannot see far ahead...

There are times that I sit here and struggle with how all of this is coming together.  I cannot see that far ahead.  I get glimpses of fragmented thoughts and feelings, but to say I can see the road ahead would be inaccurate.  I am just going where my heart feels joy and I enjoy doing the things in a day that I am.  If it doesn't feel good, I am learning to turn and see the thing that does.

The decisions kept showing up that I needed to make.  I struggled and fought with them.  I avoided them.  I knew they were there, but I didn't want anything to do with them.  It has been agony thinking about it and every time I thought I would get closer to a decision, doubts flooded my existence and my thoughts.

Finally I made the decision to close down the healing office.  I was not bringing in revenue and my savings was quickly disappearing.  At this point, I'm not sure what fully lies ahead.  It has been a tough week of saying goodbye to the office that I had hoped would be the next wave of life for me.

I'm saddened by all of this.  It is a deep sadness. I struggle with feeling like a failure, but am trying to see that it is not a failure.  Yet, it is hard to convince my mind of that.  I'm not sure where all of this is leading.  I still feel a strong connection to it, but right now I feel like I was trying to push myself into a role that I just did not see for myself at this moment.

I had to get my life back...

I had to get my life back.  I had to find myself.  I have to let myself go into these moments of uncertainty.  Creating in the unknown is where I find myself at this point.  In many ways, it is out with the old and in with the new.  The only thing is I don't know what the new is.  It is a mystery in some ways.  In other ways, I think I have a part of it figured out.

I'm scared of running out of money which is not far away.  I'm scared of how I will monetize the things that I love to do because I've struggled with this.  I try to have hope, but the doubts flood my mind like a tropical storm downpour.

For now, I keep my focus on what makes my heart happy and what I love to do.  I'm trying to stay focused on only that for the moment in hopes the rest will unfold in my mind.

I'm not sure how to reach out to those that have probably been hurt by my withdraw in life, but that's for another day and moment.  I can only bring my life back online so quickly.  I know I went to a very horrible place in life these past few months, but in many ways, I think I had to.  I think I had to travel here to find my way back.

Maybe instead of torment, maybe it is just out with the old as the new waits to arrive.

This story will most likely continue.  This is just the point where I've gotten to and why it ends at this point.  I had to write and get this out.  I'm writing it more for myself than I am for anyone reading it.  

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Helpless and Weary From Despair - Part 3

This is part 3 of a four part series.  Please read part 1 and part 2 before this one.

I've made great strides in life, but when you're ambushed with one tsunami trigger after another, its hard to keep your head above water, let alone care if you do.

Time and time again, I tried to make sense of my day, my life and the moment I was living in.  It felt like a cruel hell had been shoved at me with no way to escape.  It was like a moment of all moments for a lifetime of hell and torment.  Church people say that when we die, we either go to heaven or hell.  For me, I've already lived through hell in my life.  I've lived through hell many times over.

Memories still locked in my cells...

I can't imagine things much worse than  being hit, beat, emotionally abused, physically abused, sexually raped and molested almost every day of my life.  I've been through more than I can consciously recall, but the remnants of those memories never fully leave.  They are still locked in parts of my many trillion cells.  I'm still working to rid them all.

As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I had to find a way out.  I was locked in this prison I had built around myself and somehow I had to find a way through it.  I had to find a way beyond it.  It was overwhelming to know where to start.  It seemed like I would never have the courage to get past it.  It felt like there was no way out.  It felt to me like there was no hope.

I wasn't about to go on medication because I hate medication and I personally don't think it would have helped me.  I didn't tell anyone that I wanted to kill myself almost every day as I knew that would scare people and frighten them.  I just held it all inside.  It was safer that way.

I knew I had to find a way forward...

I knew that I had to start finding a way forward.  I could not continue to stay in the place I was in.  I knew I had to find this on my own.  It was not something I could expect others to do or rely on them to do for me.  For when I reached out, there seemed to be no one reaching back to me.  I had to do it, as hard as it was and as much as I didn't believe was possible.

Each day, I started to try and focus on one small little thing I could do.  It didn't matter how small or insignificant it was, I knew I had to start focusing on something.  Even if it was mundane, I didn't care.  Sometimes I knew from the past that the mundane tasks were a way to grab on to the rails in life so I could focus on going forward.  I remember doing that after the paralysis.  It wasn't about the big steps.  It was about the small little tidbits of the big steps that got me healing.

I tried to focus on the little things and if it was only one small thing for the day, I considered that to be a good day.  I wasn't interested in how much I could do, but that I could just do something.  With any doubts and fears that tried to stop me, I just tried to navigate past them without them noticing.  I had no strength to overcome them.  It was almost too much to navigate around them.

I kept trying to build upon the previous day if I could and if I could not, then attempting to do one small thing was the accomplishment for the day.  Doing something was far more empowering to me, then the quantity or quality or relevance of what it was.

I allowed myself time to rest...

I started to take time to just allow myself to rest and not push myself to do anything I didn't want to do.  I stopped going to online places where I felt ignored and unwanted.  I stopped worrying as much as I could that if no one called me back, it just didn't matter.  It was too much for me to think anyone wanted me at that point.  It was more than I could take.

I spent time with my cats, playing and holding them.  I spent time just absorbing their love that they had for me.  I welcomed their touch and how they licked my hair.  I welcomed their meows and other conversations they would have with me.  I welcomed their unconditional love.  Animals are my connection to life, a life that is not one of use and abuse.  Animals are a higher life form in my view.

I began having some email conversations with a couple of people who encouraged me to keep going.  One individual that didn't care if we talked about the torment of the day, but just talked about things that were anything but this.  It helped to just have a little connection that I could control and regulate and hold back from if I needed to in my day.

A little more each day...

I began to do a little more each day and week that went by.  I spent time in my hammock listening to the birds sing in the trees during the early morning hours.  I watched the squirrels run and play and scamper back and forth on the fence.  I watched the butterflies flutter around from one place to another.

I watched the trees sway from one position to the next as if they were basking in the new sunlight of the morning.  They seemed to just take in everything from the light to the wind and breeze.  Their leaves began turning from a deadened grey and brown tree to a vibrant green veil of color and beauty.

I began to use the resperate breathing machine not for lowering blood pressure, but helping to get me to breathe.  The more I used it, the more I realized just how much it was taking tension from my body.  I realized that as I used it, my body was relaxing more and more.  Some of the fear and anger were being replaced by a peacefulness.  It might have not always lasted long in the day, but just to feel that was empowering and helped me get from one moment to the next.

This continues to Part 4 - posted on 6/26/16 of a four part series.

(click here for Part 4)

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Helpless and Weary From Despair - Part 2

This is part 2 of a four part series.  Please read part 1 first.

I contacted a lady who I had been to for healing sessions in the past and obviously the years had started to get to her.  She barely remembered me and her coherence came and went.  It was sad because she was someone I considered to be a friend and important part of my life.

I tried to contact someone else that I knew, hoping that they would help me find my footing.  The call went unanswered.  The voice mail messages went into oblivion.

I felt lost and alone...

At this point, I felt lost and alone.  I had my partner and two cats, but for the most part, I felt like no one else gave a shit in the world about me.  It isn't uncommon for me to experience this because that's the experiences I endured one too many times throughout my life.

Sleep became difficult.  Body pain in my shoulders and arms grew with intensity.  It was difficult functioning and doing most anything, but I trudged on.  I was tired and worn out.  I barely had enough energy to get up each day and wait for the hours to pass before I went to bed at night again.

I really didn't care if I went on.  I knew that ending my life would hurt at least one person I knew far too much and so I just kept trying to hang on from second to second.  The depression came in full force.  Anxiety was quickly becoming my go-to-device.  Depression and anxiety became me and I became them.

I felt nothing but sadness...

I felt almost nothing but sadness.  I just wanted to hide.  I wanted no one to be close to me.  I shut off everyone that I could.  It was safer and much easier for me to deal with than allowing anyone else to hurt me further.

My business stopped.  There were no clients except the ones that wanted to use me and I just ignored their calls.  Why go back to them I questioned?  I felt like a failure.  I felt hopeless.

I waited to see if anyone would contact me, email me, text me or call me.  There was silence.  I waited and hoped, but once again, there was nothing but silence.  I sunk deeper into depression and despair.

Then the snakes showed up...

Then the snakes started showing up in the yard.  I remember the day when I almost stepped on one as I walked out the door.  I could barely catch my breath.  I could barely speak.  I froze in fear.  Then, one after another, I kept seeing snakes almost every day.

The nights turned into one horrible nightmare of seeing snakes the minute I tried to shut my eyes.  My anxiety was so high that I could barely go anywhere without feeling a full rush of fear come over me.  I was scared of every noise.  I was scared of the thought of a snake getting into the house.  I was scared of the word snake.  I was scared of walking out the door.

I was scared of going to the store or letting anyone see me.  I was scared of going to the office because what if one of those people were waiting to just hurt me and abuse me and use me some more.  I was scared of being scared.

My pulse rate soared...

My pulse rate soared to a constant 99 and my body felt like I was sitting in a furnace all day long.  All my energy was wiped out from me.  It was as if I no longer had control of who I was or what I was or what I even cared to be.

I wanted to reach out, but to who?  I wanted to reach out, but I was afraid that I would get silence in return.  I wanted to reach out, but I could not deal with any rejection, not even one tenth of an ounce.

The house was cold and so every day, I was triggered back to the days of my past when I was beaten and spanked and whipped for having cold hands in the cold Iowa winters.  Yes, my father was an evil man.  Yes, the body of this little boy has a hard time forgetting what he did.

I didn't care if I ate...

I didn't care if I ate.  Food was not appealing.  Sugar and chocolate were the only nutrients that seemed friendly too me.  I struggled to force myself to eat.  I struggled to make sure that I remembered to eat.  If it wasn't for the daily routine of our whole food smoothies, I would probably have been very sick.

Then I saw how sick my father had become from what my brother posted online.  He's banned me but I still have ways of seeing it.  I could really care less if my father leaves this world for all that he did to me growing up.  Yes, I'm a survivor of child sexual abuse.  I really don't care if my older brother would leave the world at the same time, for he picked up where my dad left off.  Those two are the most evil people I know and my anger grows at them when I think of them.

Yes, I know forgiveness is crucial, but my memories continue to haunt me.  My memories continue to keep me from completely letting go and I despise how the memories get triggered and show up at times when I can barely keep going.

I'm angry at what I've been through.  There is never a day that my body doesn't remind me.  I long to forget, but I can't fully remember what it is that I need to forget.  I long to distance myself from them, but somehow in this day and age, we're still connected.  I have tried to create my own family, but you can never let go of the biological connection.  It is there whether you think about it or not.

This continues to Part 3 - posted on 6/25/16 of a four part series.

(click here for Part 3)



Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Helpless and Weary From Despair - Part 1

This is my first attempt to write this since it happened.  It all started around Thanksgiving and went downhill from there.  A family member was supposed to be in the area and relatives asked me if I wanted to come over for dinner.

Please note that this blog post is part 1 in a 4 part series. Please check back tomorrow for the next post.

If you know anything about my story, you will know the above scenario isn't a good thing.  Its a big trigger.  It makes me want to run, hide, flee, or grab something to defend myself.  There is nothing good about it.  It isn't something I can just look past.

So, of course when Thanksgiving was past, we were heading into Christmas.  Again, if you've read any of my story, you will know how difficult of a time this can be for me.  Sometimes, it is easier than others, but generally speaking, its one stressful and exhausting season.  I think it helps if I find little ways to celebrate and plan things, but this year I did not do that.

Keep in mind, I had just quit a very stressful and exhaustive job a few months earlier.  In addition to dealing with a bully, I had far too many people that used and abused me.  They thought that nonstop travel was a good thing and my coworkers were treating me as if they were jealous two year olds.

From painful memories to more stress...

As we moved through Christmas, I came upon an anniversary of losing my mom which is not an easy thing.  Sometimes it doesn't impact me as hard and other times it does.  It is never easy to tell which way the wind will blow on this.  This year though, I had lost a very close and dear friend the previous year.  I still struggle with losing him and it was not easy and still is not easy.

Adding insult to injury, I was exhausted.  In fact, when I tried to start up my healing services business and seminars, I did not realize to the extent just how exhausted I was.  The night before the first seminar, my legs were barley moving.  I was so tired, I could hardly stand up.  However, I figured that the show must go on and so I pushed on like the good little boy is supposed to do.

After several attempts at seminars and getting almost no response or people attending, I ended up with a "freebie" client.  At first, I thought that this would be nice because I could grow from this point.  However, I soon found out that the freebie client was taking advantage of me and using me.  Even though they claimed poverty, the client and her family let it slip that there was money they could have been paying me.  I felt used and abused like a cheap old wash cloth thrown away in the trash.  There's more I could say here, but I think you get the idea.

In this same time period, I contacted a local organization that I believed in and offered to do a seminar for them.  While I knew it would be free, I thought it would lead to future contacts.  However, they withheld a lot of information from me and hoodwinked me.  Come to find out, I was just a free way for them to do some required monthly training.  They had no intentions of working with me or scratching my back in any way.  Again, I felt used and abused.

Everything seemed to just fail...

Every thing I tried to do seemed to just fail.  Doors not only closed, but they slammed shut!  The person I was working with on advertisement stopped taking my calls and emails.  The client kept trying to get me to promote their "products" and push their stuff on others.

Last but not least, I had a good friend that decided they didn't like the way I was doing things and boy, that went downhill fast.  I still don't understand exactly what happened, but I found myself on the bad end of a nightmare.  A good friend that I trusted was trying to steal people away from me as I was trying to build up my business.  I thought the friend was there for me to help, but I learned that this was anything but the case.  I still remember that final text I read from this friend and how it nearly broke my heart in two.  I remember handing the phone over to my partner and walking out the door crying as hard as I could cry.  The pain hurt so badly from that.

Bewildered, lost and confused...

I was bewildered, lost, confused.  I felt tormented, tried and barely alive.  It was all I could do to hold on for one second, not even imagining I could hold on for a minute or a day.  My life was in turmoil and spiraling downward as fast as it could go.

I took off for the mountains because at that moment, I wanted to get away from anything and everything and anyone.  I could not take one more minute being hurt or questioning anything at that point.  I could not take being close to any other human.  I took off for the mountains and while it was only a few days, it did help.  I just wished it could have been much longer.  Being around the trees, mountains, and a frozen lake is like being in a safe place for me.

Coming back home, I went through more turmoil.  I sat in a fog for days sometimes not even remembering where I was or what was going on.  I was completely disconnected and not sure of where to turn or what to do next.

This continues to Part 2 - posted on 6/24/16 of a four part series.

 (click here for Part 2)

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We Can Do Better With Social Media

It blows my mind just how mind-numbed we are in a day.  I see it online in such a big way that my brain cannot even begin to comprehend it.  I wish it was different.  I'm trying to be different with my news feed, but some days I wonder if I am losing the battle.

People love to click on tweets and Facebook posts, but the majority of the time, they have never read what they are clicking on.  People like and favorite all day long, but if you're not reading the content, how can you even know that it is something good?

Don't get me wrong, I love people sharing and liking and clicking on my content.  I really do!

The ones that go on and favorite or like or share something who have not even read it are more a part of the problem than they realize.  I'm sorry if that sounds harsh and brash, but I hope we can do better with social media then we do.  I'd love to see us use it to help enhance our civilization, not just pass on stuff that has absolutely no value to it.

Those that leave a comment based upon the a few words telling you what you should know as if you didn't know already, have not even read the article.  Its easy to spot.  Yet, they are telling someone that you should do this or live your life this way or some other meaningless statement.  This is an insult to someone that writes and tries to help elevate the discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I love people interacting with me on social media. 

We can't go through life just clicking and liking things without knowing what it is that we share.  We've got to do better.  We've got to be more if we want the world to survive.  Just being a mind-numbed robot does nothing positive for this world.

We've got to be better than...

We've got to be better than those who just write horrible messages especially in a time of tragedy.  We've got to be better than those that seek to make everything into a political statement and narrow everything down to an issue with only two sides.  

We can do better...

We can do better with social media if we want.  We can be part of the problem and check our brains at the door.  I want people to challenge one another to be more than they were the day before and we don't do this by mindlessly trolling along twitter or Facebook with our inauthentic comments.

There is much in a day that is useless and I would be ashamed if I had written it or shared it.  Maybe my standards are too high, but why do I want to waste my precious hours on things that take me nowhere?  It doesn't make sense.

Let's find ways to do better with social media.  Let's elevate the discussion to be more than we are today and help others do the same.  I know we can do this.  I know we can be more than we are.  It just takes each one of us making the choice.

Question Of The Day

  • How are you helping make social media better?

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Are you afraid of LGBT Cooties?

I realize this may be an unusual question to ask.  In fact, it may just be way too strange.  After all, we aren't in grade school, afraid of the cooties of each other - or are we?  You can only answer the question for yourself, but I know I've seen this firsthand this week.

In the aftermath of the Orlando Massacre, we saw an outpouring of support from many corporations and cities across the US and the World.  Places that would not have wanted to be known as gay or LGBT friendly, were really stepping up to the plate.  I applaud them as loudly as I can.  I'm thankful they stepped up!

However, it is others that I think are afraid of the gay and LGBT cooties.  I'll list a few examples and maybe you have a few of your own that you could leave as a comment.  I think this discussion needs to take place.  Hopefully this will spark a discussion.

Examples of LGBT Cooties...

Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi rushed to the scene of the massacre in Orlando.  Rightfully, they are in charge of these matters for the state of Florida and so they should be onsite.  However, and I make this a big however; these two individuals were so anti-gay (anti-LBGT) that they have very few friends in the community.  While they came down and did some grandstanding and photo ops, they could barely utter the word "gay" or "LGBT".  It was like the Governor and the Attorney General were afraid to get LGBT cooties on them.

Another example is a recent survey (most likely not a scientific measurement) of what happened to LGBT the next day at work.  Many of the respondents stated it was business as usual and while people felt bad that this shooting took place, most of the office folks tried to avoid the subject.  It was like, they were afraid to get LGBT cooties on them.

A more personal example was with people I know, especially the people I consider close to me.  The first thing I did when I heard about this was contact friends in Orlando and make sure they were okay.  I had a few friends and I mean very few that even reached out to check on me and my partner.  Many have still not even uttered a word about this situation and it's almost like they are afraid of the LGBT cooties.

The Orlando Massacre was personal...

Maybe I am over analyzing this, but it feels like too many just don't know what to say or they are too afraid to say anything.  Maybe while everyone feels horrible for what happened, there is still this stigma that it is a "gay" and "LGBT" related issue.  Attitudes have progressed and changed, but there is still this negative undertone that exists in our society.  We're nowhere near full acceptance of LGBT people.

This massacre in Orlando is personal for all people who identify as LGBT (gay).  For me personally, it happened in my backyard.  It is no longer something that happens in another city.  It is personal.  It has been an emotional week seeing this unfold and being at the vigil in Orlando on Monday night.

If you're gay (LGBT), you know that you've had to live your life, always worried that someone would attack you for who you are.  With the event of this week, it has been made abundantly clear that this is not some made up scenario.  It's real.  If you ever wondered why the LGBT community has pride events, the events of this week should be a very good reason.

My main goal for writing this is to help push the discussion to reach out to those affected by this tragedy, directly and indirectly.  Don't just think that everything is okay and go on about your busy day.  Reach out.  Send a text, email or give them a call.  Let them know you support them and they aren't alone.  It is an emotional week and support is greatly appreciated, I think, by the LGBT community.  Supporting with dollars is helpful, but words of support are also critical.

Don't be afraid of LGBT cooties... I swear, we aren't contagious people.  We are just normal people trying to deal with events that are very personal.

What have been your experiences this week?  Please feel free to share and let's start the discussion that needs to be started!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Neuroscience In The News On June 20

These are articles that I found of interest relating to news about Neuroscience.  In this issue, I have highlighted articles about having good vibes for a learning culture, empathy is a cognitive process, and how neuroscience helps understand emotional control in teens.

Please check out the article links below and feel free to comment with other information related to these subjects.  I enjoy learning as much as I can about the brain and passing this information on to everyone else that shares these passions.

This is for the week beginning June 20, 2016.

Please come back each week and hopefully I will have some more highlights.  Feel free to share with me ones that you have found and I may highlight those as well.

Feel free to check out the highlighted articles from June 13, 2016

Good Vibes Learning Culture

Essentially, our energy influences other people and ultimately the environments we work in. That energy can either create an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning and productivity, or it can create one that is negative and stress-inducing – causing our brains to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Vermeulen said these chemicals block electrical transmission, sap our energy and make it hard to think and to learn.

Our brains produce electricity – what’s more, we generate and conduct electricity.
People can feel the energy you’re emanating just as your subconscious mind registers the energy of people around you.

Article Link:

Empathy Is A Cognitive Process

The ability to understand and empathize with others’ pain is grounded in cognitive neural processes rather than sensory ones, according to the results of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers.

The findings show that the act of perceiving others’ pain (i.e., empathy for others’ pain) does not appear to involve the same neural circuitry as experiencing pain in one’s own body, suggesting that they are different interactions within the brain.

“The research suggests that empathy is a deliberative process that requires taking another person’s perspective rather than being an instinctive, automatic process,” said Tor Wager, the senior author of the study, director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU-Boulder.

Article Link:

Emotional Control In Teens

In the midst of all the apparent tumult, intense emotion, and occasional reckless behavior characterizing the teenage years, the brain is, in fact, evolving and developing the neural circuits needed to keep emotions in check. Research in the June 8, 2016 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience describes how the ability to control emotions moves from one brain area to another as teens mature into adults, offering an opportunity to understand how disorders related to emotional control emerge.

"Our study opens the way for a better understanding of the neurobiology behind adolescent behavior in emotionally arousing situations," said study author Anna Tyborowska of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Previous research links the spike in sensation-seeking and impulsive behavior during adolescence to the delayed maturation of the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in reasoning, planning, and decision-making. Study authors Inge Volman, Ivan Toni, and Karin Roelofs previously demonstrated the importance of the anterior prefrontal cortex in emotional control in adults. However, it has not been clear whether and how the delayed development of the prefrontal cortex affects emotional control during adolescence.

Article Link:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What Happened Before You Noticed The Pain

We don't ask ourselves this question enough and so we go through life not connecting outside forces with internal body pain.  The question that is the most helpful when you notice body pain or a an emotional state that is taking you down is, "what happened before you noticed the pain?"

It sounds too simple, right?  It sounds too much like new age thinking, right?

Unfortunately, it is more grounded and connected in reality and in your body than anything remotely connected with simplicity or new age thoughts.

I through I knew how to relax...

I know, I know - I was one that talked the talk, but I didn't truly understand the concept I'm writing about here.  I thought I knew how to relax and let go of stress.  I thought I was connected to my body and knew myself well.  I thought I had life all together.

Unfortunately I was anything but that.  My own ego led me to believe that when I thought this way, I was strong.  I was anything but strong.  Yes, I played the role well and I convinced and fooled many people.  Most importantly, I was just fooling myself.

So now that we have the basic foundation down, please know that most of us do exactly what it is that we don't think we do.  Hey, its part of the human experience.  It is part of being human and living in a human body.  Its part of the process of becoming more than we are today in this moment.

What happened before you noticed the pain?

If you really want to understand pain that you're feeling, ask the question, "what happened before you noticed the pain?"  What was going on right before it.  What emotional things were you dealing with and what stresses were there.

If you can't think of anything, start to list events that were taking place right before you began to notice the pain.  Make a time line of what transpired and when.  It will help you see it because all too often, we just don't want to see it.  We struggle to see it.  We have difficulty in making that connection.  Even if the event seems too insignificant, jot it down in your timeline.  It may be the combinations of little events that show the greater picture.

Becoming aware of what was happening right before the pain or emotional state kicked up will shed light on the mind-body connection.  It will show you what up close and person what events and experiences have connected with something you feel in your body or mind.

It's important to make that connection...

While we may discount events and experiences and question why or how they could impact us, the important part is to make that connection.  Sometimes these things connect with other neural pathways and bring out the pain or body issue that we've been hiding and disconnecting from in our life.

You might not magically change the pain or emotional state of mind at that instant, but it gives you the opportunity to start rewiring the brain and taking back the control.  It is a process that the more you do this, the more in touch you become with your internal body.  The more in touch you become, the more power you possess to change things from what they are to what they can be.

Asking and questioning what happened before you noticed the pain is the way to connect the body and mind together.  It is the way to see things more clearly and help lead you on a path of self-discovery bringing you to the answers and possibilities before you.

Yes, it does sound too simple to be true.  Yes, you may question if this idea is true or not and the only thing I can say, is begin to test it out within yourself.  See how it works for you.  Leave the doubt behind and focus on what you allow your mind to see and your body to feel.  If at first you don't succeed with it, keep trying because I promise you that there is a connection there.

We are taught to fear the pain coming up...

Recently I had another situation prove this to me once again.  I had to make a decision and take some actions that were very difficult.  In the process I ended up with severe back pain.  When I began to finally make the connection between the difficulty of what was going on in my life at that moment and when the pain started, it was then that things started the process of improving.  It didn't happen in two seconds, but the process of moving out of the pain started.

We all are taught to fear the pains that come up.  Again, this is a biological mechanism of being human in a human body.  We are not taught from birth onward that we have much more control over our physical body and mind then we realize.

Our body and our mind can take us down.  I know that from experience.  I also know now that our body and mind can bring us back and lift us to greater heights.  It doesn't mean it is easy, but it does mean it is possible.

This blog post on "Observing Stress In My Body" may also shed some additional information on this subject.

Allow yourself to connect with what is going on with the outside world while seeing where it connects to your internal world.  The connection is there.  It may not be easy to find in the beginning, but keep practicing it and I guarantee you that your outlook will change and so will your life.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Saturday, June 18, 2016

How To Conquer Pain With Ginger

I'm writing this because it is something that has worked for me.  I'm not trying to be a medical expert, so this is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice for you.  Please use it in the best possible way for yourself, but do so with medical advice if that applies to you.

I am a person that tries hard to never take prescription medications or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and drugs.  It is the way I am.  I've basically been this way since I was a young kid where my dad would try to force everything down me that I didn't want to take.

Now, I'm not going to say that I never take anything, but if you come in my house, you will see very little medications anywhere.  I would have to go to the store to buy most things.  I do have a small bottle of Aleve that seems to last me forever.

Unfortunately, I still get physical pain even though I do a lot of mind-body work on myself.  Over-exertion, emotional stress or just plain old stress can create pain.  Lack of exercise can also bring about stress in me.  When the pain gets too intense, then I start looking for relief.

Keep in mind that I don't just grab a pain relief pill at the first chance I get.  I try to identify what is going on in my life that caused the pain and see if I can make corrections to alleviate it.  I work through breathing and mind-body guided movements applying the felt-sense concept so that I can move myself out of pain.  In other words, I try natural things available to all of us before I reach for something that will mask the pain.

When these things don't work or maybe I need an extra boost to the connection of the pain to the part of the mind body experience that is impacted, I reach for some ginger fire water that I make.  From my experience, it helps and it also helps reduce inflammation in my body which seems to be the culprit energizing the physical pain.

I know there are different ways you can do this, but I'm going to give you what I do.  Please let me know if you do something different.

My recipe is as follows:  (please note that these are approximations for quantities of ingredients).


  1. About .25 pounds of ginger (more or less) - cut into thin slices
  2. Approximately 1 gallon of water
  3. Large handful of Goji Berries (click link for high quality ones)

If you click the picture to the left, you will see the exact Goji Berries that I use.  They are high quality and we actually use some of these in our daily whole food smoothies.  If you purchase several packages at one time, you save money on shipping.  The Goji Berries give the ginger fire water a good taste.  Golgi berries are a superfood and they very healthy.  

I actually slice the ginger up into thinner pieces just so it can cook more thoroughly.  Place all of these in a large boiling pot and cover it with a lid.  Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a steady boil for about an hour.  Once it is done, I let it cool and put it in quart glass canning jars which I store in the refrigerator.

When you need it,  just take about a cup and warm it up slightly in a pan on the stove and drink it.  It doesn't take much from what I can tell, but it sure helps me.

This is how I conquer pain with ginger.  I have seen it referred to as Fire Water and I will tell you that it does have a spicy kick to it.  I enjoy the smell of it as it is boiling and cooking.

This is what works for me on pain and if one cup isn't enough after a few hours, I'll have another cup.  I try not to overdo it but I think that I read a research study the other day where they were using ginger to help people with chronic pain.  I just cannot find the study now.

Do what is best for you and if you're taking medications, it is probably smart to check with your doctor to make sure they don't have any issues with you doing this.  I'm not a medical doctor, so I can't give you advice on your condition.  I'm just letting you know what I do in my own life.

Sometimes I think it affects my stomach and digestive system a little.  I have a sensitive system anyway, so that is the only precaution that I am aware of at this time.

You may also be interested to read a recent blog post on Chronic Pain Prolonged With Painkillers.

Please comment below if you try this recipe and let me know how it worked.  I'm sure others would be interested in your experiences.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Chronic Pain Prolonged With Painkillers?

There is nothing worse sometimes than when you hurt.  When you're in pain, you just want it to be gone as quickly and simply as you can.  If you're a highly sensitive person, pain is not your friend.

Let's face it though, no one wants to suffer through chronic pain or any type of pain.  In this country we will do just about anything to avoid it.  Painkillers often become the way we deal with life, medical conditions, chronic pain and other situations we find ourselves in every day.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2010, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult every 4 hours for 1 month.  (source:  We all have most likely read just how much painkillers are being abused and overused these days but that statistic is frightening.  I have seen the recent news of Prince overdosing on Fentanyl (Fentanyl Deaths Soar) . 

Pain medications among fastest rising additions...

Heroin and pain medications are the fastest rising addictions in the US according to As they discuss, there is great potential for addiction no matter what drug is used.

While painkillers seem to be America's best friend, they are dangerous and according to a new study by University of Colorado, could be more harmful than good.  In the study, they reveal that opioids such as morphine actually increase chronic pain.

Not just long term painkillers...

We are not talking about a long term painkiller that is being used, but just a few days of treatment that ended up causing chronic pain for several months.  In their study, the painkillers were triggering an immune response which caused the release of pain molecules.  Once this happens, it increases the perception of pain in the brain.

I am saddened to see just how many painkillers are being used today and how many addictions result from this practice.  It has been many years since I have taken any prescription medication whatsoever.  I try hard to keep myself healthy or find effective alternatives if something is needed.

Self-Medicating is not helping our bodies...

We cannot keep self-medicating our bodies and expect us to be fully human.  It is not helping us individually or our society, because rather than getting rid of the pain, we are just numbing ourselves to it.  Numbing does nothing but take you further into the darkness of life while helping you believe that you're doing the right thing.

The more we go into the pain, the more aware we are of what is happening in our body.  Yes, when the pain gets to great, then it is very difficult to manage and I do understand that.  However, taking more painkillers is not the answer like this study suggests.  Finding ways to connect with our body and come out of numbness will yield much better results over the long term.

If you want to learn more about how the placebo effect works, take a look at the following blog post on Placebo Effect And Medical Care .

Question Of The Day

What ways have you found to alleviate pain without using painkillers?

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Preaching hate

I'm sorry if this makes some uncomfortable, but its the only way I can deal with the tragedy in Orlando.  I've had people stop following me on Twitter today because I talked about hate. I guess they don't like the fact that I'm gay.  I'm not going to apologize for this.  I am who I am and if anyone cannot accept me, it was nice meeting you.

I'm not sure how you can say the following statement and immediately watch scores of people unfollow.  I could think of all kinds of words to say about that action, but I won't step down into the depths of hatred and return the favor.  Take a look at what I said and see if that is a bad thing.  In my mind, it isn't.  Who knows, maybe people who hate are somehow more intelligent.  Maybe that's it.  I don't know.

Its sad.  We have hate that is fueled by the preaching of hatred across this land.  Whether it is in the church pulpit or the political arena, it seems we just like to hate.  We teach hatred as if it was a key in life.  All the time, we don't even know that we are so hateful to others.  Too many puff their chests up and act like somehow they are better and more superior.

In fact, most people that show their hatred are the ones that cry about how much of a victim they are.  They claim that if they can't spew and forth their hatred on to others at every turn in life, that somehow they are being victimized and silenced.  They don't stop to see just how their words, thoughts, and actions are some of the most hateful things that they produce.

Some out there think that if you don't believe in the way their religious teachings command, that you are stopping them from exercising their freedoms.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but to those that hate, truth is the last thing that fills the voids in their mind.

Not everyone believes the way you do.  It is called freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  However, when you push your beliefs upon everyone else, you've made the entire world less human.  You haven't helped the least among you and you sure don't exemplify the words of the Bible that you so vehemently claim you practice.  I'm often surprised at how these individual do not know what is in the Bible that they spout at every turn.

The more we spew the hatred and divisiveness to one another, the more we set people in our world to see that it is okay to hate others.  Even if we are not smart enough to know we are spewing hatred, it does not excuse our words, thoughts, and actions.  The more hate is preached, the more you cannot expect a different outcome.

See, we're more worried about what others do in this country and world than we are about what we do.  We are more worried about how others don't measure up in our judging eyes, than we are learning to accept others and celebrate our differences.

Preaching hate is the norm of our day.  It is sad that it happens with such frequency.  I'm saddened by what I see on social media, by the politicians and the churches, and those that spew the hatred.  The more this happens, the more violence we will continue to see.

Its horrible.  I sat here today, crying tears of sadness and pain for those that lost loved ones in this senseless and horrible shooting in Orlando.  Of course, everyone reaches for the political one-liners to spew even more hate.

When will we learn?  When will we understand that it isn't everyone out in the world that is the problem, but ourselves and our heart?  When will we learn that it is our thoughts, actions, and words that we portray to the world which can either build us up or tear us down.  If you're doing these things, you are just as much a part of the problem as those that are blinded by the hatred in their hearts.

I'm sorry if this blog post sound harsh, but it is how I see things.  I'm tired of being silent as to not offend anyone.

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