On A Whim. Stay Alive. By David Reid Otey

Every action makes a reaction, common knowledge for most people. And it applies not just to bouncing balls but to thoughts behind the actions we commit to. You know that every act happens for a reason , even an accident happens because someone was day dreaming or involved in some action of not attending to the moment. So, people’s actions create reactions, responses, results.

This is also one of the ways we know when someone is in trouble somehow. If you have a teenager looking depressed yet who says nothing’s wrong after you ask, you know that’s not the total truth, and we have to, we must try to interfere with that depressing or troublesome thought that occupies their minds because that thought might lead them into hurting themselves or someone else. What do you think has happened in the minds of every kid who committed suicide? Definitely not boredom. But fear of shame and embarrassment.

And REMEMBER from your own experiences that you survived, and yet which may have also affected your own personality to some negative degree in order for you to survive the more serious consequences, REMEMBER you committed to some negative action because of that disturbing thought or belief. And one way you became a prisoner of that thought that led you to make a bad choice was the fact of fear of embarrassment and shame.

THOSE TWO feelings alone are the mental TRAP that we all need a support group to free us from. Trying to go it alone, to prove we are mavericks or super men and super women, kings and queens of the mountain and all that other anti-social, anti-community crap, isolates us even more; makes us want to hide as if we’re some freak of human nature that no one has ever seen. Somehow those thoughts of tragic disillusion make us see what is NOT really real. Yeah, so we may have screwed up somehow. Maybe we stole something. Maybe we killed a neighbor’s dog on purpose instead of by accident. Maybe we broke windows, key scratched a car, flipped off a cop, or had horrible thoughts about relating to close people in obscene or extremely hurtful ways. Suddenly we have crossed a line; a moral line; a line we never believed we could ever step across, mentally or physically.

Now we wonder” what is wrong with me”. Now we think we are turning into the nightmare people from horror shows, from really nasty murder mysteries and whatever other depressing, scary, perverted negative junk we’ve been filling our minds, eyes and thoughts with for hours at a time in front of any screens. WHEN YOU FEEL THE ATTACK OF SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT–DO NOT GIVE IN TO IT. We all know there is a limit to what is ok and what is not ok, as far as when the law becomes involved. We all NEED TO KNOW that consequences are varied,

BUT CONSEQUENCES ALSO have a very POSITIVE purpose; TO REBALANCE the spirit, soul, humanity, personality and communal connection that was TEMPORARILY separated, broken or cut. Remember that word: TEMPORARY. THAT is the word you must focus on. THAT is the word that will beat down the shame and embarrassment you will feel when others know what you have done or said. ADD THIS TO YOUR THOUGHTS: Are you the only one who ever did that thing or said those words ? NO WAY. NO ONE IS A CLUB BY THEMSELVES. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO BECOME SO FAMOUS. You would have to be well over 2,500 years old to claim being the founder of any specific perversion or horrible crime. MOST PEOPLE who take themselves down and out of regular social life and regular social connections are not even close to belonging to the worst clubs in the world. Not—–even—–close. Yet THEY are the ones who are lining up to commit suicide or become alcoholics or drug addicts.

The last two self-destroying avenues have a great deal of club members NOT because of horrible behaviors but because of having no direction, no purpose, no inner vision of their “could be” values in life around them or no confidence in their real values they probably do not even recognize that make others want to be around them and love them. SO–THE SOLUTION is THIS. Accept the feelings of shame and/or embarrassment because they are ALWAYS TEMPORARY feelings. They DO go away because the people who support you will apply forgiveness, grace, hugs and love, as well as their own stories. And these actions of support for you have the power to diminish, erase and dissolve the feelings of shame and embarrassment.

GIVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THE CHANCE TO SAVE YOU from the horrible, life-threatening powers of shame and embarrassment. Ask for help from the right people. YOU KNOW WHO THE CONDEMNERS ARE, WHO THE FEAKS OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE, WHO THE “LET ME MAKE DAMNED SURE YOU FEEL LIKE COW PATTIES” PEOPLE ARE; STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Just call the one or ones you know who will not pass judgement. Just show up to their door and say, “Hey. I’ve made a real mess and I need someone to listen to me confess, hold me, forgive me and help me go through the gauntlet that I will probably have to suffer as a consequence. I really need you. Please help me with this.” Just ask. Show up. Be there. Speak the words of need. Stay there. Stand there. Fall down in tears. Whatever it takes to hold on to the value that you give from within you for other’s happiness, joy and successes. Never let go of your real self.

You’re never as bad, nasty, stupid, ignorant, hopeless nor demented as you might think. No matter what degree of human imperfections you have–and we all have them—thus the reasons for therapies, laws, all kinds of depressions medications, prime time “fix me” shows, etc–you are, more than anything, a wonderful person with talents, humor, passion for love and creation and healing. There are projects you can create or become a strong part of the team that helps the rest of the world maintain and improve the qualities of kindness, compassion, decency and human equality regardless of gender, color and any other barriers built up by the wall makers. There is always a way to turn your negative feelings, negative circumstances and negative situation around to a forgiving and community supported positive pathway. Go for the Light, not for the Dark. Go for the Smile and not the Frown. Surround yourself with the positive, healing friends. The end of one beginning is start of another beginning. Grab all the beginnings you can.

Lessons my Alzheimer mom taught me. Dave Otey 9-2014

In June of this year I published the piece ‘My Disappearing Mom’, describing her’s and our  ordeal with Alzheimer. I still have thoughts about all that took place emotional in our family and this article contains more depth of how to deal with Alzheimer should you become involved with this disease in your family.

9-2014. More to consider on the emotional side of Alzheimer.
To see a parent ‘’lose it’’ mentally is really tough. Regardless how experienced and older in life we get, we are still connected in mind and sprint to our parents. It’s normal to get the thought, “uh,oh. I’m next. This is going to happen to me.” Then we start calculating the difference in our age and the parent’s age and we figure the number that we see as how many years left before the mental files flip. Natural but not accurate. Genetics is a cue to what we might have copied and shared within our related systems, but not necessarily definite. Lifestyle can and does affect different outcomes for most people related. So, to be the best care giver and loving relative of every connection, it’s best to focus on giving your energy, time and creativity to the happiness and well being of your affected family member.

When I realized what had happened to mom, part of me wanted to stay away from her from embarrassment at her behavior, and partly because of how I was being required by the situation to give her support in her times of helplessness. Then I would feel shame for having those negative judgmental thoughts.
The disease changed our relationship in terms of not only what we couldn’t share but of what we also had to share. There really was no choice here. Not if I wanted to maintain my own self-respect as a son, as a man of honor and as an example to my own children.
My life was also being invaded in a different way. My own thoughts about the meaning of daily accomplishments and the connections of the love and sharing in life we have would be changed by this experience. I’d be forced to think about things I would never choose for focus on my own.
Every person attached to the family member who becomes a victim is partially owned for a time by this disease. Alzheimer demands an audience by the surprises in script and direction it creates in the victim’s mind.
It is shocking to realize how much of our world—most of it, in fact—is real as determined by our mental perceptions, by our own definitions/interpretations and whoever else’s definitions/interpretations we accept.
The world of facts that affects our decisions the most are not the basic science facts of heat, cold, hard, soft, animal kingdom, plant kingdom, etc.
Who we are and what we become, what we attach ourselves to, what we commit ourselves to is affected by the ‘’reasons’’ we accept, make up, believe in from various resources and shape ourselves into becoming. It is ‘’that person’’, that package of identity that is shaken up when the files get shifted.
When the time zones and geographical areas of the mind mix into different blends of reality inside the mind, those new “scenes” create different ‘’people’’ whose voices and personalities we may or may not recognize. We will hear stories that didn’t happen at all, or we will hear stories mixed together in such outrageous ways we want to scream out, “NO!. That’s not the way it happened!.” But we have to stay silent and not refute anything because the family member speaking really does see and hear and believe the new and mixed stories from their minds. THEY HAVE NO CHOICE. But you do. You decide how to respond, how to make conversation, how to ‘’let it go’’, how to ‘’be a part of the show’’, especially how to ‘’spend time in the twilight zone’’ and think of it as simply a playhouse production for therapy. Use your imagination in your own controlling way the way the disease is using your relative’s imagination for it’s own purposes.     End

Balance for Peace By David Reid Otey– September 2014

I recently wrote a piece titled The Oil Man; A down to earth perspective. I have taken it off after I read that traders/ buyers and sellers are the people who REALLY determine the prices of gas and other needs. Although the oil companies are definitely in that batch of people. BUT the question still remains: HOW does a trader/seller determine the price rise and fall?  I guess that enough subjective reasons set in place can become an objective standard ?  I know they give all the reasons of war, weather tragedy, etc. But WHY ?  It seems to show a belief that when times are troubled people need to be gouged and taken deeper down into despair. Really ?  Or is it that profit gain must never go below 500% ?

No matter what the reason, a fact–in my objective experiences list– remains that history shows business rules all nations and empires. Government is business. Government creates boundaries for various reasons. Government taxes citizens. Government makes laws to protect both objectively and subjectively. Leaders create changes for those they rule over. The changes come from the way the leaders handle their responsibilities to the public versus their personal desires.  Sometimes a huge change is made at one swoop, and sometimes a major change is the ”seemingly sudden” result of tiny connected changes not foreseen by enough people to redirect it.The public, the citizens, all have an affecting power base, too, but not enough to stop a major shift whether that shift be an act of God or a direction of mass mindset on both sides of the power arena.

One thing for certain. The shifts happen. But if the balance of safety and happiness become extremely uneven for those who have less and less, revolts rise up. The common people who work their bodies and minds to the max, to make life better for them and their families against all sorts of odds. These people can handle only so much frustration from being shoved back down through the many tricks and excuses the leaders present. Exceed that frustration point and you have those people asking the next smart question, “Now what can I do to change the leaders minds, since they have taken down all the ladders for me to climb?” It’s happened many times before. It will happen again. Somewhere.

Circumstances create situations which become events. Events change the lay of the land. Some fall and some stay standing. Leaders are not the only ones who can create circumstances. Leaders need their foundation of the common people supporters. That foundation is the greater yet often silent power that holds up the walls and ceiling of the leaders’ security and comfort. The foundation of common people cannot be forced to maintain the loyalty and devotion leaders need to accomplish their wishes. Notice the  recent story of Arthur T. Demoulas, who was reinstated as the Market Basket leader  due to the power of the common people,: the employees and the customers. Those common people were pushed and they shoved back. Emotions were affected deeply. The common people did win. It’s an incredible story to show the truth of how power must be balanced between leaders and the people they serve. Neither side can control nor operate and manage the entire system of needs and services by themselves.

Politicians are business men and business women. Serving the needs of goods and services in their areas is their jobs. Philosophies and ideologies are great, if they are tied to the needs. But bandwagon mindset at the expense of  common people’s livelihood and well being is an act of imbalance. It doesn’t work to try building a utopian dreamland of everyone being forced to think alike. But those groups are always out there pushing against each other. Most of the time they’ve been on the streets of their communities, spending their free time expressing their views both peacefully and violently. Sometimes national protests have taken place, still with the common public planning and enabling and attending to be involved. But now there seems to me to be this type of mass group thinking among the leaders. They are spending their time protesting each other, blocking each other, and doing this all in the capitol regions and buildings.

Whatever happens in any house depends upon the condition of the leaders of that home. In my occupation as teacher, I see kids from all kinds of homes. They show the results of the leadership in their homes. It doesn’t take much to know who has the caring and loving parents  and who comes from careless, self-centered parents. On a grand scale our national leaders have become much more careless and self-centered.  DCFS is called for the homes in communities to help retrain and straighten out messed up families. Who do you call to straighten out a messed up government ? Only the public. Only the foundational power core. Lots of changes have taken place since I’ve been born. Now, at age sixty, I see the already sown seeds of the coming changes. Historically inevitable. It’s just sort of weird though, to me, because these changes are not so obvious until they break out in power. Negative power is how they usually break out, too.  It doesn’t have to be that way, or, maybe it does. The rules of relationships apply no matter how small or large or how many people are involved, even if they are total strangers.

How I adapt myself to this is: I pay attention to my home and my family and my job and my community. They are the people who will support me for what I need and when I need it, and I for them. One for a bunch and a bunch for one. 🙂 That balance begins to set up the healing process for what will eventually take place in many places.      The End

We Dance By David Reid Otey 8-2014

We dance through the good times and we dance through the bad times. We step on each others feet now and then and we kiss them to heal them, then dance again.                                                                                     It’s a winter, a summer, a spring and a fall. The names tell you all of the times we recall.                        There are slow dances, fast dances, close dances, step away dances, everything timed to the music of our minds. We listen together shifting in union, but if one’s distracted it causes confusion.                             The dance is a long one we hope, as we started at the alter of marriage ’till death leaves one waiting. We dance in the outside and inside of fortune, from bodies touch close to separation by oceans. We dance with our motions entwined in emotion, smooth on our feet or shuffled on knees. We dance looking into the eyes of our soul mates and hold them close feeling every heart beat. We dance with the dream and the promise of never departing without being forced by the nature of life. We dance on the mountains, in valleys and plains. We dance in the sunshine, in storms drenching rains. We dance when the wind blows sweet scents from the blooms. We dance when there’s pain from a loss and in gloom. We dance as we argue, we dance as we laugh. We dance in the memories of early romance. We dance limitations in time that’s forever. We dance in the finite that’s part of infinite, hoping that truth means our spirits and souls go beyond blood and bones, that we will still exist beyond names in a book, beyond pictures we took of the way that we looked when we knew we had power to change. We dance through ideas, through hopes and through dreams. We dance all the steps toward that final rest when we lay down and sleep to leave a life we can’t keep.   So, dance well, my friend. Take care of your partners. Be sure to watch out for their feelings and feet. Be sure to stay inside the rhythm of caring, of giving and sharing of catching a fall. Because these are the memories that stay with us all.

The end.

KEYS By David R. Otey

Keys can be physical keys to push into locks, or groups of notes on a piano top. They are main points in a lecture or book, or a main speaker in a convention. “The keep point is…”, the speaker says, meaning the “one thing” that will get you blessed. Keys open the box of understanding. Key stones hold the arch together, pressure coming from both side,  meeting in the center, leaning from each side on a key stone which becomes the strongest stone-maybe. Keys are the dots of a dot to dot, the border pieces of a puzzle, the spices in a meal, the hooks of songs, the sight, sound, taste, smell or touch that inspires an idea or an action toward a major decision that sparks a major shift in one’s life. Trust is a key. Loyalty is a key. devotion is a key. Faith is a key. Hope, love, patience, honesty, one more chance–these are all keys. Keys open opportunities, connect to the next step of a forward journey, give light in dark moments, become landmarks of confidence and security. People are keys to each other. The key people in your life are dependable, forgiving to a reasonable degree and the greatest support group for your personal growth and survival in life.  For every dream there is a key to connect you. So keep dreaming and keep growing.


It isn’t what you think it is. By David Reid Otey

The news report said–whatever they say. But it’s mostly not what you think it is, if all you think is what they say it is. Truth is what you get when you’ve seen the situation from all angles and get the one picture that fits all the angles. Sherlock Holmes was noted for getting all the possible information and then seeing how it all connects before creating  the real situation and thereby gain the real answer for the dilemma. It takes time and connections and wisdom with more objectivity than subjectivity, to accomplish an environment of truthfulness. Detecting lies,  false fronts and slight of hands are part of truthful and comprehensive research for the most accurate report possible. Some elements of truth are blatantly obvious and can seem to present enough evidence for the framework in which to place everything else gathered up. BUT–sometimes THAT’s not truthful IF the blatantly obvious elements are not really part of the frame but–instead–belong to the inside arena. You know, this extensive blah, blah, blah scenario of finding the truth boils down to this: what caused the event I am looking at, and what caused the reason that caused the event, and so on–in other words—you are looking for the correct order of words and actions in the chain of cause and effect.

Decades ago the television program, Laugh-In, presented a hilarious sketch about a reporter taking oral information from a ”witness” and ”spinning” it into a completely different story that was false. That sort sketch had a very strong message: you hear an order of words and actions that might not be what really happened.  Truth is the correct information placed in the correct order of cause and effect. So, unless you know for certain every element of every circumstance  for any situation that deals with your life or someone else’s life, hold back judgement and hold back any commitment of support or condemnation you intend to jump in with. Remember the words of the song, Smiling Faces: sometimes they don’t tell the truth. Beware of the pat on the back. It just might hold you back. Bandwagon philosophy has ruined many lives, many families, many friendships and many neighborhoods that were impossible to reconnect once the TRUTH really came out. Be very, very careful about what you see and what you hear, especially from the lips of others who report what you never heard nor saw in the first place. Sometimes it isn’t what you think it is.   The End–or is it ?

Marriage life thrives from Touch. By David Reid Otey

Touching, hugging, making love: for most people these are the elixir of life second only to breathing. These three acts reflect the most important part of existence: to feel, to belong physically to another person, to have daily sensuous contact, body to body on any level. It can be as slight as holding hands and light massages. But among adults it should include all three actions at least within every three days.  Loving Touch soothes, heals, bonds, excites and balances emotions.

Some of us miss being touched with passion, with desire, with the plan to make it go from light to heavy and then to the dance of love.  Touch is life. The right touch makes the best feelings: hugs, fondling, caressing, joy, deep breathing. Touch is the way God made to let us know the meaning of that phrase, “and let there be light”.  A passionate hug pulls away stress, softens the harshest times, gives relief, offers hope, fills with strength needed to go the next step, the next mile.

It is  dangerous and unwise  for a spouse or partner to change the relationship with their spouse from often sensually physically intimate to mildly or hardly physically intimate. It cracks the emotional and spiritual bond, wrinkles the confidence and could open the door for infidelity.  To withhold the intimately passionate physical expression of love  could be called a type of infidelity, because the main partner has closed off and shut down one of the main promises to each other in being together in marriage; to give to each other’s needs desireably, willingly and affectionately from the heart. This promise of physical expression was never and  should never be based upon obligation nor by force, nor by ownership, for those are not a foundation of love toward each other.

Withholding  the sensuous bonding act is to tear apart the bond of loyalty and devotion, creating a possible domino effect upon the other levels of sharing. Withholding creates a change in perspective, from loving another for what YOU can give them to make their life happier, to loving them for what THEY can give you to make your life happier regardless of what they need. That is a formula for producing emotional pain that borders on subtle cruelty. One sided giving gets lopsided quickly and forces devotion and loyalty in an unbalanced and unnatural form.

In one case, a man visualizes having an affair with someone else–a friend–for the purpose of playing it through in his mind. He knows the joy would be great because he knows the feelings would be mutual and honest. But he also foresees that this situation would be desired again, and that it would be against his nature to use another woman for intimacy. He would be truly loving with his giving and he would receive honest joy and equal affection as well.  Then he thinks about his kids and grandkids, what they’d think, how disappointed they would be, how it would affect their confidence in their own abilities to be faithful for decades without ‘falling’, how they’d look at him as weak and as not being the same man anymore and, to some degree, maybe create an emotional distance between them . He can foresee  the awkwardness of holidays and family nights. No, it is safer to take care of his needs in a solitary manner. One depending more upon imagination than reality, upon fantasy.

I, for one, need touch to feel like life is great.  Empathy, compassion, sensuality and sexuality are the strongest passions we have.  They are the most common traits of human desire that businesses use for  themes in advertising their products.  Touch is the prime reward for performing the other common traits of human desire. We live for give and take. If that circular balance is disrupted between two people, other parts of a relationship soon deteriorate. Anger, arguments, insults, derogatory remarks of contempt: these can be temporary and logical reasons for withholding, since they interrupt the necessary feelings of desiring each other.  These can and should be remedied as soon as possible.

Otherwise, another possibility is ”falling out of love” with someone. No longer feeling desire to touch them, to want them physically, to feel their touch in return. What reason is there for that ?  Has each stopped seeking to do the ”little” things that make emotional and physical foreplay ?  Has one of them changed into a person now repulsive, now unattractive in any or every sense ?

Has one partner’s body and mind simply aged to the point of shutting down any relationship to the more intense passion of love’s expressions ?  Do they only want for themselves the simpler expressions of holding hands, sitting close, being present together and nothing more ?  How do two life partners balance this troubling situation ?  Perhaps one partner’s body has become weakened or deadened to the strong desire of intimate physical passion because of poor health, whatever the cause. Does that mean they do not realize the loss ? Does it mean they avoid talking about it, hoping the other partner will leave them alone and figure out their own remedies ?

These variations create an unwanted maze to stumble through. The success or failure of coming out of this maze with the same life partner and with the same desired loyalty and devotion that began  the relationship depends upon the thoughts of self-worth, of reasonable expectations with respect to changing physical conditions and of quality of life for oneself. And all of these reflect a system of belief that must be evaluated again for deciding what changes to make and how. Who should matter more ? God, culture, family, self ?

Life is not an easy road,  simply because of changes that alter physical and mental abilities, hopes and dreams, and conditions that affect self-respect and confidence.  We all walk the same road yet in our own paths that sometimes join together either for a lifetime or for a number of seasons. Some of the potholes we can handle easily together, one pulling the other out to safety. Sometimes one gets left in a pothole too deep to be helped. But those times, when such separation is so distant as to be out of reach, happen because someone let go of the other’s hand to see something else apart from each other or to not be slowed down. There is no easy answer. Each one of us will study as long as we are willing, as long as we are able to understand, and finally choose an answer, an action that is either acceptable or justifiable.                    The End.