Inspirational

Inspirational writing from various authors, philosophers, etc.

MEMORIES – THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION Part 2

What was wrong with me? I was discouraged, to say the least. I gave up on doctors and concentrated on exercises, swimming, and a cane or walker if I needed it. I was in my 60s, which was too young for this slowdown in mobility. I began to think back to my childhood. Off and on over the years I had been privately dealing with a trauma that started soon after I met my new stepfather. From the age of 4 to 12 he had molested me. I don’t recall that it was frequent, or remember many details, but I managed to hide it completely from everyone, including my mother, for 20 years. I was perky, friendly, and an optimist—I buried the facts deep in my brain, probably like many abused children. Ignoring something that serious affects your self-esteem and pretending it’s forgotten doesn’t make it go away. It will arise and face you at some point.

Shortly after I admitted to myself at age 39 what had happened, I was divorced, which definitely complicated my emotional life. The next 20 years were a roller coaster ride, but a fascinating one, and I remained a mostly happy optimist.  Besides, I could walk and dance without a problem.

After my stepfather died, I felt I had to deal with what had happened to me. I had become familiar with many self-help books and gone to many a psychic fair. One reader, who was also a therapist, came up with an interesting evaluation several years after my stepfather died. She could see and feel my sadness and told me I had spent my stepfather’s inheritance quickly because I didn’t feel I deserved it. Amazing what abuse does to your self-esteem! During the following years I dealt with my emotional pain by writing about it, typical of a writer! I wrote and published a short book (using fake names) on Amazon that tells some of this story—Colonels Don’t Apologize).

Posing on a roof in Germany with doll and dog Pedro, 5 years old

Age 5, Posing on a roof in Germany with doll and dog Pedro

 

As my legs began to betray me, I was beginning to realize that these physical symptoms had something to do with my childhood emotional pain. My various stages of enlightenment didn’t come all at once—it was a long process. It wasn’t long ago that I figured out why my legs were holding me back: when I was abused I couldn’t escape—I couldn’t walk or run away. What a reminder!

After I began dealing with this emotional trauma and the anger and frustration, I began to feel more in control of it. I also remembered that my stepfather was not a monster. I believed that despite his “perversions” he was genuinely interested in my welfare. He was not evil. But there was one very important step I hadn’t taken in this journey of painful memories and physical pain: I needed to forgive my stepfather and forgive myself at the same time. Those are the steps I have dealt with most recently. I am feeling more and more at peace with all of it as time goes by, especially after discovering that what I suffered physically later in life has happened to many others. Ironically, soldiers who return from war don’t always get PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) right afterward. Like me, sometimes it doesn’t strike until years later.

Victoria Giraud

Victoria Giraud

I know in my heart that I will let go of the resistance in my legs, and I will keep persisting in my desire to walk easily and in balance again. I have recently started a 6-week program with a delightful young physical therapist, who is familiar with the mind-body connection.  I’m already beginning to see improvement.

The article in “Prevention” was an affirmation for me and inspired me, for the first time, to share this particular part of my journey toward wellness.

 

MESSAGES FROM BEYOND

Last year I posted some fascinating advice/wisdom about life that had been received by some good friends back in the 1990s. Because this wonderful information still pertains, I’m going to share some more of it.

Rob invited and received these “transmissions”  through the mysteries of the universe (in the same vein: where do inspiring dreams or artistic creations come from?). Rob got them, probably a hundred or more, at various times, when he was at his computer working on his normal business. Similar to channeling a spirit or group of spirits who aren’t present in this physical life, which many psychic types perform, Rob would type these 7-10 page messages out on his keyboard. His normal typing speed couldn’t match his flying fingers, but Rob wasn’t in a normal state of mind. There were no mistakes and he had no idea what he was typing. The messages were formatted into proper paragraphs with correct margins. The first time he would see or read what he’d written was when the spirits had departed, he had come back to himself, and his wife Ann had printed out the philosophical messages.

 My daughter, Heidi Giraud's original painting

My daughter, Heidi Giraud’s original painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spirits transmitting the information called themselves St. Germain. The quotes below are just a small part of it all. At one point years ago, the idea was for me to organize and edit them into a book. My blog is the next best thing since the messages remain intriguing. Many of the words are deliberately and frequently misspelled in various areas to convey an unusual layer of meanings. These “double-entendres” are not sexual but spiritual and require a broad mind and imagination.

When you accept your situation, you move forward into endless opportunities and endless levels of real eye ties (realities) and dream escapes. If you choose to worry, to fear, to live as a shame-filled and guilt-ridden judgmental life force, then you go in circles. Your motion in this repetitive energy pattern is not accelerated, but kept in check. You do not grow as quickly, you do not allow other energies to enter your field as easily, you are not as aware of potential opportunities as you could be…you fall into dies ease and ill news (disease and illness) more readily…you are fight ion (fighting) your pure energy.

You must learn to understand that each moment that you have on this planet should be directed toward moving forward without reservations. You do not have to dwell on what was, or what is, but rather, on what you would like to be, to have, to dream, to create and imagine.

Why waste these precious moments on worry? Why mire your energy in the endless circle of deep recession. It is your actions that dictate change. It is change, which dictates your course, and your course that WILL bring you home. What holds you down is fear. What stops a dream is control. What prevents you from having what you want is impatience. You suffer while you are here because you believe that that is what you deserve. You have illness and face death with fear because you believe that this is all there is and that nothing lies beyond what you cannot see. How WRONG you are, how limited your perception, how mired your soul’s energy is.

 

THE MYSTICAL WORLD

Vision of Space from the Hubble Telescope. God’s Eye, perhaps?

The photos from the Hubble Telescope are better than anything Hollywood can create, but I must admit I was impressed by the recent film with Sandra Bullock, “Gravity.” What kind of reality is outer space and is there no end? The Bible says, “World without End, Amen.”

I’ve had some spiritual experiences and they’re both “enlightening” and spooky. Mine have so far involved lights turning on mostly in the middle of the night. Once it was the new computer, which had been sleeping.  For the first and only time so far, it “woke up” and stayed on for a couple of hours! Another time, in a hotel room, I had a light turn on and then off three different times during the wee hours. I can only guess who my visitors have been, but I hope to experience it again.

Since it was just Veteran’s Day, I’ve been thinking about my cousin’s husband, Ray. One of the most heartening spiritual stories I’ve heard concerns  him, a Vietnam vet with PTSD, whom I’ve mentioned in a previous blog. Besides post-traumatic stress disorder, in the 1980s Ray was struggling with kidney stones. The pain was so bad he had been drinking Seagram’s VO and popping Demerol. When he went into a medical facility to have the stones removed, he had to stop the drugs, and it didn’t take long for his body to suffer withdrawal symptoms. His condition was so serious, he was rushed to the best hospital in the area at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“Practically every organ had failed, and I had to have whole blood transfusions,” Ray recalled. “Jackie (his wife and my cousin) was told that I wouldn’t live through the night.”

During the night, he sensed a presence in his room and looked over to the right of the hospital bed where there was a hardback chair. Sitting in it was his friend Bobby, who had served in the same Army company and platoon in Vietnam. Bobby and Ray had lived within 40 miles of each other and after the service remained friends. “We hunted, fished and partied hard together,” Ray remembered. “I would ask him now and then if he was OK because he would get quiet and his eyes looked blank. When he came out of this state, he always said, ‘All right, now’ with great feeling, but he never answered my question.”

Right before Christmas a few years before Ray’s hospital crisis, Bobby had put an end to his troubled life and to the deep depression resulting from PTSD. He had locked himself in a dog pen at his home, put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. “If he’d made it a few more years, he could have gotten help for PTSD,” Ray said.

In the chair next to Ray that night, Bobby was dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt and looked peaceful. He was there in spirit to give his old friend encouragement. “You messed up bad, buddy,” he told Ray, “but you’re going to be all right.”

“And I did get all right,” Ray declared.

Ray Scott, Sr. in a photo taken in Vietnam, 1963.

 

WHAT IS REALITY?

Should we even ask? And is there a definitive answer? Scientists, philosophers, and religious pundits all have an answer. Now that scientific research has found the Higgs boson so-called “God” particle in Switzerland, have we solved the conundrum or made it more complicated?

Perhaps we’re not meant to have a definitive answer: it’s the mystery to end or begin all mysteries. I’ve read, listened to, and imagined all sorts of theories and probably know little more than when I started. But I remain fascinated.

 

A Hubble Image from Outer Space

A Hubble Image from Outer Space

Some friends of mine, Anne and Rob, received some incredible information in the 1990s—they were called “transmissions” and were received (my best explanation) through the mysteries of the universe. Rob received them, probably a hundred or more at various times, when he was on his computer working on his normal business. Similar to channeling a spirit or group of spirits who aren’t present in this physical life, which many psychic types perform, Rob would zip these 7-10 page messages out on his keyboard. His normal typing speed couldn’t match his flying fingers. There were no mistakes and were formatted into proper paragraphs with correct margins. The first time he would see or read what he’d written was when the spirits had departed and his wife Ann printed out the philosophical messages.

I’ve shared some of these before, and since I keep running across them in my files, I decided to share more. The quotes below are just a small part of it all. At one point years ago, the idea was for me to organize and edit them into a book. My blog is the next best thing since the messages remain intriguing, especially since the words are deliberately and frequently misspelled in various areas to convey an unusual layer of meanings. These “double-entendres” are not sexual but spiritual and require a broad mind and imagination.

On June 21, 1991, a spiritual group calling themselves Saint Germaine told Rob, in a general sense: “You are now learning that you have unlimited control when it comes to reshaping your level of real eye tie  (reality) in this physical moment. You can begin to see with this unlimited vision, what this illusion is truly about. You can do anything you want. This reshaping of your vision is critic all (critical) to your growth and development as a plane it (planet). All the blood, the violent deaths, the props, the stage eye (staging) of the drama, your dreams and your nightmares are all controlled by you. Your met A four (metaphor) is the move ease (movies). The ultimate truth of the illusion lies in understanding the special E facts (effects). It is all image ion (imagination). It is all done with create ions (creations) from your unlimited super conscious memory that is able to tap into the universal truth. Dream quests, opt tickle (optical) effects and images, digit all (digital) illusions on all fronts. It is simply over well my eye on (overwhelming) to you, yet you are only at the beginning of this level of ultimate awareness. It is a new toy in the child’s hand.”

I found the wisdom that was imparted in each of those messages was truly inspiring. Whole books have been written on similar wisdom giving ideas of what life is about, like Course in Miracles, for instance.  I will close with a few other sentences.  The “you” is a message for everyone.

“You are nothing more than a part of the total picture. You are players, cast, crew, imagination and creativity. All moments are one and can be changed in an instant. You are continuous free flowing energy that is not meant to stop. Your greatest gift to this soul bank, this planet, this universe, is YOU. You are everything. You are the beginning and end of each dream, each life, of each script and movie!”

CHANNELING WISDOM – PART II

In a previous blog, I discussed the otherworldly transmissions that were channeled through a friend named Rob some years ago. They were plentiful at the time and I saved quite a few. Since the wisdom still applies, I am going to share more of the message.

Rob would let his body be used to transmit wisdom through his fingers onto a computer keyboard and then onto the computer screen.  He never knew what the message, which could be as long as ten pages, was until his wife printed the message out on his printer. The words in some sentences don’t make sense at first because they are segmented to show how words have many levels of meaning. If read quickly, your brain will translate automatically. Don’t over-think it, reading it out loud to yourself helps.

Heidi Giraud's art--isn't creativity channeled from the Universe?

Heidi Giraud’s art–isn’t creativity channeled from the Universe?

Here is an example:

The reshaping of your vision is critic all to your growth and development as a plane it.  All the blood, the violent deaths, the props, the stage eye on of the drama, your dreams and your night mares, are all controlled by you. Your met A four is the move ease. The ultimate truth of the illusion lies in under stand in the special E facts.

It is all image ion. It is all done with create ions from your unlimited super conscious memory that is able to tap into the universal truth. Dream quests, opt tickle effects and image E S, digit all illusions on all fronts. It is simply over well my eye on to you, yet you are only at the beginning of this level of ultimate awareness. It is a new toy in the child’s hand.

Animate tie in. You can see how you have taken to the graphic display of this medium of illusion in your Move ease.  Your star wars provide a message linked ultimately at total recall of your gifts and bonding to all things. You are nothing than a part of the total picture. You are players, cast, imagination and creativity. You are on your way toward a new level of aware news.

Do not worry about tomorrow for it has already passed you by in that amount of concern for today. Do not worry about what WILL happen for it has already happened when you stay in the past. All moments are one and can be changed in an instant. The moment you forget the past you WILL create a new future. The moment you worry about the present, you lose the future. You are continuous free flowing energy that is not meant to stop. It is you who chooses to try and stop that which cannot.

If you deny the future by holding on to something, you move into the past. You do not stop, but you do not go forward.  That is why you continually shift perspectives. That is why you move in and out of grids, dimensions, levels of reality, or dream states. It is because your soul, as pure energy, never stops. It always goes somewhere. If you fight, fear, try to control, hold on to judgment and anger, the energy flows backward.

PONDERING LIFE’S ENERGY By Victoria Giraud

A Hubble Image from Outer Space

With the horror in Connecticut so much in the news, compelling us to read, look and listen, I find myself in search of comfort and words of wisdom. I don’t have traditional spiritual beliefs but do believe there is a Higher Power Energy and that life persists in some manner.

I’ve always been fascinated by physics, even though I am far from understanding much of it. I think I intuit/accept its principles, like the law of the conservation of energy: In an isolated system—our universe, for instance—the total amount of energy remains constant over time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transformed.

Einstein said Imagination is more important than Knowledge. Imagination helps, especially if you’re trying to figure out his famous theorem.

Since energy alters/transforms, it’s easier to imagine how human beings change from the non-physical to the physical (birth and death and vice versa) and can interact in so many ways, even between species. I’ve written about the ocean scattering of Jack Nakamura’s ashes (my brother’s father-in-law).  Jack’s family, friends and fishing buddies all enjoyed the Orca whales that seemed to deliberately join in the celebration of Jack’s life.  Jack’s spiritual energy and the whales physical energy are all part of the same energy system. One particular whale kept diving and waving his tail; to those observing, it seemed as if Jack were waving.

In October 2010, Jack’s energy was still a presence in the beach house where he had died the day before Thanksgiving in 2007. A married couple, who were friends of Jack and Una Nakamura, were guests for a few weeks in the beach house and noticed a floating, non-threatening but restless, spirit at night just above the floor, and even heard muffled voices. One night the bathroom shower curtain and rod came crashing down into the tub, making a loud, startling noise that jarred the couple out of a sound sleep. The wife felt all the “hauntings” were Jack and promised his spirit she would tell his wife Una about his visitations.  After she made that promise, the sightings ceased and all was peaceful at night.

I’ve had my own spirit visitors. After my dad died in the late ‘90s, I inherited a few pieces of his furniture. I cherish a vanity table that had originally belonged to my mother, who’d died in 1974. I bought a touch lamp and placed it on the vanity, which was in the bedroom of my new apartment. About 3 a.m. one night, when I’d just gotten back in bed after a visit to the bathroom, the lamp lit up. I hadn’t gone anywhere near the lamp during my little journey. The light continued to come on every few months during my three-year residence in that apartment. Once it brightened to the second level, which would’ve taken two touches. Even though the vanity had been my mother’s, I knew it had to be my dad who was visiting. He and I had shared some turbulent years in my childhood and the issues had never been addressed or settled. I intuitively felt he had come to tell me to be “enlightened” on the matter, “lighten” up and let go for my own peace.

I wonder what new marvels of energy connections I may observe in the future. I feel this energy is a comforting reminder that life persists in the physical and in the non-physical. May those who’ve passed on in Newtown send comforting visions or other indications to those they’ve left behind.

SPECIAL NOTE: Because of trouble with Time Warner cable, my Internet connection was interrupted and I missed my first scheduled blog since I started Words on My Mind in May 2010.

ASELA DAHANA, PRINCE OF CINNAMON By Victoria Giraud

A few months ago I went to a party in the hills of Encino. The marvelous views of the San Fernando Valley couldn’t compare to the fascinating mix of guests, many of them in the therapy business. I spent a good deal of my time getting to know a charming young man from Sri Lanka, Asela Dahana. An enterprising, spirited and thoughtful guy, I never would have imagined that he owned a couple of local preschools but had more recently turned his interest from diapers to Cinnamon!

Asela Dahana

 

Turns out the origin of Cinnamon, which comes from the bark of a special tree, is native to his home country of Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon (off the southeast coast of India), and produces 90% of it for the world. Even Asela didn’t know that until his mother brought back precious Cinnamon oil after a visit to Sri Lanka.

My familiarity with Cinnamon comes from mixing it with sugar and putting it on toast when I was a kid and chewing Cinnamon gum years ago (it creates fresh breath but its powerful scent made my purse smell too pungent, according to my kids). I’ve since learned a great deal about this piquant spice.

Who would have thought that Cinnamon has so many uses, from disinfectant and an ant/insect deterrent to a natural preservative and a tasty tea. Asela says that most Cinnamon we buy isn’t the true quality spice he offers; some isn’t even real. No surprise judging from the list of substances on most packaged products. In Sri Lanka the spice is used in all sorts of recipes and as a preservative. Coincidentally, Sri Lanka has the lowest rates of Cancer in the World, Asela said.

Cinnamon Sticks

 

Asela had an international life after leaving Sri Lanka when he was ten. He received a British secondary and university education in exotic Zimbabwe, Africa, and in Hong Kong. Before preschools and the Cinnamon business, he sold luxury cars in Hong Kong and even spent a couple of years selling cars in Canada. It’s easy to find lots to talk about with another of the world’s “gypsies,” as I discovered when I met Asela.

America has always been a melting pot as they used to call it when I was taking high school history. It’s become even more so in this new century, especially here in Los Angeles where our residents come from every culture in the world. Asela’s been here eight years and proclaims, “All my life I wanted to live here. Never been happier. This country is far from perfect, but anything is possible here if you work hard. While places like Singapore and Hong Kong are far more efficient, Americans are very receptive to new ideas and willing to try everything. They may be arrogant and cocky to the rest of the world, but the spirit of generosity is amazing. Like Obama said, in no other country is this even possible. That really resonated for me.”

To find out more about Asela’s wonderful Cinnamon products at Cinnamon Vogue, go to:  http://cinnamonvogue.com/

 

 

REMEMBERING BEING CONTENT WITH BOB By Victoria Giraud

“Inch by inch, it’s a cinch; by the yard, it’s hard.” Robert Content, known as Bob to me, had lots of words of wisdom and he didn’t hesitate to share them over the 25-year friendship we shared. “In the darkest of nights, you can see the stars,” was another one and he shared that one the afternoon we met at the Sheraton Hotel in Santa Monica, CA.

A native of Los Angeles, Bob was proudest of his many years as a teacher; he played that role, in one form or another, nearly all his life. He was always in pursuit of learning and then passing on the wisdom he had gained. His adventurous life –Navy pilot, FBI agent, running a traveling summer camp for kids, teaching gifted elementary school children—was an examined one as he grew older. When I met him, he was a divorced father of three grown children and 20 years older than me. Although part of the WWII generation, like my parents, he ventured into the unknown territory of learning about himself, evaluating why he had acted the way he had in his marriage and fatherhood. He explored and pondered various educators and philosophers and even got his doctorate in education along the way. He examined better ways for people to communicate among themselves and was always curious about why people thought and acted the way they did.

I was blessed that he was my friend. We had begun by meeting because of a singles’ ad in a newspaper. I was impressed with his intelligence and forthrightness; he was not shy or retiring but full of vigor and inquisitiveness. It was a meeting of the minds and definitely chemistry, which turned into a long friendship. He had a youthful enthusiasm, which he never lost and which made him a good friend for all ages. My grown children got to know him over the years.

He loved people but grew to cherish his independence, living in a tiny apartment in Hermosa Beach when he could afford much more luxury. As he grew older and had to give up his motorcycle, he pedaled a bike to work out at Gold’s Gym, over a mile away. He loved to carry hundred dollar bills in his old but serviceable wallet. When he felt someone needed or deserved a cash contribution, he would give the bills away.

Bob at the Great Wall of China

Although he could be changeable and a bit irascible as he aged, I could always count on compliments. He told me I was a genius and that I was fabulously rich from the love of family and friends. I could say the same for Bob, who left this mortal plane at the ripe old age of 89.

Describing this multi-faceted and generous man requires a book, and I was lucky enough to help him write his memoirs in the 1990s. He self-published it and gave it to his large entourage of family and friends. Bob was still in touch with former pupils from all the years he’d taught. He had a neatly written list of friends and family and he made sure he called them on a regular basis.

My son, Hans, remembered: “I’ll miss Bob. Even though I hadn’t seen him more than a few times in the past 15 years, I’ll miss getting the updates and hearing his stories as told by you. I’ll miss just the thought of him being around. For so many years, Bob just seemed so invincible and I could never have imagined him fading-out or away. He was one of the only people I have ever known that could actually have you believing that: You can do anything on this Earth that you wish.”

WHAT IS REALITY, ANYWAY? By Victoria Giraud

Sounds like a fairly simple question, doesn’t it? Is there anything that’s less transparent? Scientists and humans have been pondering it for millions of years, ask Werner Herzog who explored and filmed the ancient Chauvet Caves of France.

I had a comment from a blog reader about my version of reality. He claimed, “You write about your life as if it were beyond special. You take small things and blow them out of proportion to make some things seem more than they were. I would suggest a little reality.”

How wonderful to receive this comment as a reminder of how great my life really is and how happy it is for we humans who recognize the joys and happiness. There are countless sayings that illustrate the point, one of them: “We’re about as happy as we want to be.” And I think it was Hemingway who said, “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Then there are the smaller ones, “Let a smile be your umbrella,” and part of an old song, “Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.”

I could write thousands of words on this topic, but I already have been writing about the amazing events that have occurred in my life so far. I am an optimist, and optimists, if true to themselves, create happy, optimistic lives. In a great deal of philosophical reading over the past 30 years or more, I have read over and over again that: WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY.

Since I am not writing a religious blog and my ideas tend to be more universally spiritual in nature, I will not bring “God” into this discussion. I do believe in a higher power, but I think there is far more mystery and magnificence in that concept that we can ever fathom on our small blue planet. Will Steven Hawking find the answers? In the meantime, what an amazing pursuit it is.

Also, to my contributor, I must admit I certainly do exaggerate the small things in my life. Isn’t life made up of millions of small things—from particles and light and atoms to gestures of love and millions of incredible thoughts? And all of it changes and mutates within a blink of an eye. The grandiose events are not the “real” stuff of life. All the hoopla of the Academy Awards is over quickly and who remembers the winners a week later?

The touching experiences that stay with us during our lives include: crying with joy at the birth of a baby, or with bittersweet tears at the death of a beloved parent who is leaving pain behind, the sun rising or setting, a pod of happy dolphins following a boat, a first romantic kiss, a dog’s wagging tail or loving lick, a friend who cracks a silly, completely hilarious joke…just a very small idea of what makes up my reality.

Postscript: I have taken some of the more challenging parts of my life and turned them into books and they are available on Amazon. If you own a Kindle device with Amazon Prime, you can borrow my books at no cost. Learn about it on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. If you decide to buy them, THE PRICE IS definitely RIGHT.

Books below (plus more) available on Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/victoriagiraud

Melaynie’s Masquerade, Part 1 and Part 2

An Army Brat in Libya

Angels in Uniform

Colonels Don’t Apologize

Pink Glasses

Weird Dates and Strange Fates

 

 

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

I like to watch morning TV as I eat breakfast and get prepared for my day of writing and editing. Yesterday, Nov. 29, was a study in contrasts, an example of American institutions and our way of life, especially in Los Angeles, home to about 4 million of us.

Regular shows had been pre-empted by the Michael Jackson involuntary manslaughter trial sentencing. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor had quite a lot to say as he told the somber, stone-faced Dr. Conrad Murray that he’d be spending the next four years in LA County jail. Most of the local TV and radio shows were focused on the emotional event; it was a hometown happening, after all (the Jackson family compound is just a few miles from me). It was an example of the American justice system in action played out on the world stage because of Jackson’s fame and notoriety. I couldn’t help but think it was a kind of odd destiny: an extremely talented entertainer who was losing his grip on life meets a doctor who yearns for the buckets of bucks while forgetting his ethics.

If you believe in the continued cycle of life, whether physical or spiritual, then Michael Jackson is the winner. Dr. Murray has lost his career and he will have a devil of a time paying back the ordered restitution of over $100 million.

In another part of town, there was a different kind of celebration: 7,000 people were being “anointed” (my words) with U.S. citizenship. The local show on Fox, “Good Day, LA” was covering both events and switched between them. Jill Reynolds, a show regular originally from Canada, had been in the U.S. since she was 22. She was enthusiastically giving up her green card after 20 years here. She was definitely in the minority in the crowded facility; it was announced that most of this batch of new citizens were originally Filipino or Mexican.

 I’d never seen this ceremony before, and it was quite touching to see such an immense crowd holding and occasionally waving small American flags. Several uniformed U.S. servicemen were getting their citizenship. After being introduced, each one proudly marched to the front of the assembly hall and “spun” around in that unique military fashion before saluting the crowd. One of them was from India originally.

For me,  the most poignant part of the ceremony was when  these new citizens stood up, hands over their hearts to say the Pledge of Allegiance and  to take the Oath of Allegiance to their new country.  Although the camera didn’t reveal the talented woman, a professional voice then sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The camera did pan onto Jill as she recited those historic words of allegiance, and I could see she was crying. I didn’t need her inspiration, I was already in tears myself.

No matter what we go through as a country and despite the difficult times in the past few years, I am very proud to be an American!

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