Journal Monday Prompt #11 – What Shapes Me



(Image is me standing in front of a mural wall I helped my artist son paint in 2014)

This week’s prompt: write about something that helped to shape your outlook on life.

I found this prompt challenging in that it forced me to look inward at what constitutes me.

I think I am a combination of many factors.

My upbringing was in a Catholic household and one virtue my parents taught me was to be humble. We played a lot of sport and defeat was a common occurrence but my mother would say so long as did you best then accept the other guy was better for no matter where you go in life there is always someone better than you.

I was taught to see people as people. It was explained to me in simple ways: everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time. Everyone feels pain and hurt and at the end of everyday we all need to lie down and rest.

Fundamental to all that was the knowledge that love in its many forms would always win over adversity.

I didn’t come from a very demonstrative family so such things came to me in difficult ways.

I don’t possess the best social skills in fact I often feel out of place in social gatherings.

But when I had children of my own I tried to be there for them in every way I could. With six that wasn’t easy as the youngest would always demand the most attention but somehow despite everything we all turned out ok and we still like each other.

I found, as I grew older that my spiritual beliefs changed as I educated myself about different religions and looked closely at the one I was brought up in.

I agree that religion has a lot to answer for in this world. It espouses so much doctrine but has moved away from what the gospels actually said due mainly to those who thought they knew and therefore didn’t want anyone to think otherwise to their narrow views. I was brought up in a world of hell fire, fear was a factor that overshadowed every action, missing Mass would send you straight to hell and deprived the local priest of his weekly takings from the plate.

From my understanding of the gospels I discovered a God of love as opposed to the God of vengeance in the Old Testament. I wonder what happened to that God, as He seems to have been replaced by various Gods who apparently want nothing more than your blood for causes that to me are very spurious in nature.

As a teacher I tried to encourage every student in the work they did. Some times I was more successful than other times. We learn through applying what knowledge we have to any task and keeping our eyes open learn a little more as we go along.

Life is a continual learning curve, some lessons are welcomed and some are scary as.

Being open to others is a challenging way to be as so often you find yourself doubting what you do believe and at other times you feel grateful you have your beliefs not those of the crackpot you just wasted time on reading.

In the end you come to the conclusion you are you, and that sits ok with me.

I don’t know everything, I know something’s.

Written for:

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21 Responses to Journal Monday Prompt #11 – What Shapes Me

  1. JackieP says:

    Wise words, Michael.

  2. loricarlson66 says:

    Wonderful inward journey you took there, Michael. I am glad it was a bit of a challenge, sometimes we need to go inward and explore… you take the best of what Christ taught and have integrated it into your life… that is a blessed way to be. Very wise and very humble 🙂 Much love!

  3. mandy says:

    I learned so much about who Michael is in one very short piece of writing. Interesting fellow! 😀 I did love this line: “…at other times you feel grateful you have your beliefs not those of the crackpot you just wasted time on reading.” How many times I have read something and thought “I’ll never get THAT ten minutes back!”

  4. DELL CLOVER says:

    WOW WOW WOW–I really enjoyed this read, getting to know you better, Michael. And I LOVE your picture. Now, don’t get sassy, but I may just have to add you to my very short list of “men I admire”….

  5. phylor says:

    “In the end you come to the conclusion you are you, and that sits ok with me. I don’t know everything, I know something’s.” A wonderous achievement.
    Thanks for sharing you! But I do hope I’m not included in the category of “the crackpot you just wasted time on reading”

  6. mj6969 says:

    Well written and intimate and quite frank glimpse into the man we know as Michael – who is tender, and humorous, compassionate and generous, giving of his time and efforts – and a creative fountain of imagination, amusement and wonderful play. It’s good to see a balance from time to time.

    Lovely image – and wow – what a mural your son painted. Fascinating! Was it for something specific?

  7. Great piece, as my old boss used to say, good points well presented 🙂

  8. Pingback: Compelling Posts — Week of June 22 – June 28 2015 | The Rattling Bones

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