Grudges: How We Hurt Ourselves

Talk to the Hand (c) 2019 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Did you know that holding grudges can make you sick? In a New York Times article, Tim Herrera talks about how people keep grudges and how this can cause them serious illness. 

The opposite of a grudge is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. There are very good reasons why I say this. 

Dr. Frederic Luskin, founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project said, 

"Holding onto a grudge really is an ineffective strategy for dealing with a life situation that you haven’t been able to master. That’s the reality of it. Whenever you can’t grieve and assimilate what has happened, you hold it in a certain way. 

“If it’s bitterness, you hold it with anger. If it’s hopeless, you hold it with despair. But both of those are psycho-physiological responses to an inability to cope, and they both do mental and physical damage. 

“The hopelessness shuts down and dampens immune response, leads to some aspects of depression. Anger can have immun…

That Ugly Monster, Pain

(c) 2019 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
According to studies gathered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2016, 20.4% of Americans suffered from Chronic Pain.  That means one in every five people has chronic pain from one source or another.
Chronic pain is caused from various conditions - disease, trauma, environment. Living with it is hell.
Most people with Chronic Pain look healthy. Many of them appear to go through their day happy and content. Usually, if you ask, they will tell you they are fine. They tell the medical community that they "have a high pain tolerance." This means that they have learned to live with Chronic Pain; therefore, until the pain reaches unbearable, they just keep moving forward. 
People who live with this condition begin and end every day in pain. Their days look something like this:
Upon waking, they can't loll around in bed. The weight of the sheets and blankets hurts. Their joints are on fire. The attempt to stand up takes strength as their knee…

Freedom Is Not Free

As I sit typing this, I can hear the marching cadence rolling off the brick walls of the high school as the bands leave for the annual Memorial Day parade and services. For the first time in a long while, I am unable to attend, not because the weather is bad, it is a gorgeous day out, but because the pain in my body is at the scream level. So, rather than deplete my limited resources more, I opted to stay home and write.
With over 65 years of accumulated life experiences and wisdom, there is one thing I know, absolutely - Freedom isn't free.  In my family alone, there are hundreds of men and women who gave their time, their energy and their lives to allow us the freedom to have a day off. What saddens me is that too often the purpose of this day is forgotten in the opening of cottages, the barbecues, the beach parties.  In the last twenty-five years, I have seen fewer and fewer young people come to honor our fallen military members. But what is worse, fewer and fewer even know why …

Full Moon

(c) 2017 Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Since childhood, I have had a fascination with the Moon. I remember taking walks along the beach and my mother pointing out the Moon to me. She told me that, like the Sun, the Moon was always with us. As I grew older and studied, I learned many facts about the Moon. I also learned many legends and myths. The Moon is most often, in indigenous cultures, seen as a female entity, which counters the common belief of "the man in the moon."  I find great comfort in the idea that Grandmother Moon is watching over me and those I love. I also love the idea that as I am looking at the Moon, a loved one far away can also be looking at it, creating an invisible connection from one soul/heart to another.  As a writer, I have written many poems about the Moon.  One of my first was:


Stepping into the Confessional of Night 
The Heart opens. 
Dreams too real to believe in 
Come pouring out. 
The silent Confessor 
Neither absolves nor condemns…  

We Are All Just Stars

Photo:  (c) 2018 Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins,  carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains.  93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames,  we are all just stars that have people names.  ~ Nikita Gill, (from 93 Percent Stardust) ~
When I read Nikita Gill's quote, it struck a chord. Ever since Carl Sagan first mentioned that we humans were "made of star stuff," I have loved the image - the idea that something so foreign, so spectacular, so utterly mysterious as a star could be part of who we are.
Since Sagan's commentary, scientists have proven that we are, indeed, made of star dust. The same bits of elements that have hurtled through space since the Big Bang, have contributed to creating all that exists, including us.
"With souls made of flames..."  This line recalled images of mystics, the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Heart.  After all, flame has long been used to portray all of these. In fact, poets and writers…

Celebrating Resurrection, Rebirth and Renewal

(c) 2015 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

The message isn't new. Each year around this time, we are reminded that life continues, that nature renews itself. We see it in the first sprouts of spring, we hear it in the joyous birdsong of mating season, we smell it in the vernal rains that fall on fields near and far.

But why do we need to be reminded? I believe that after the harshness of winter - the cold, the dark, the incessant chill - we need to be, in a sense, resurrected. We need to leave the tombs of our homes where we have hunkered down for the long winter months and step out into the light of spring's rebirth. We begin to see friends and neighbors once more, renewing old friendships or birthing new ones. 

Around the world, this is the time of year that Christians celebrate Easter or Paschal Sunday. The promise of this Holy Day is new life. The Resurrection, followers believe, is the symbol of the rebirth of the soul.
Just as buds return to the apparently dead branches of trees and p…


Panoramic Prospective 
Heart sight is the wide-angle lens  that encompasses Life's landscapes.  Opened wide, one sees clearly  the vastness of possibility and hope.