Dream about death leaves me thinking about life – HaliPawz

I don’t always understand my dreams. This morning, I woke up after having a dream about four people who we are thinking about dying. Well, actually three of them were thinking about it, one was already on life-support. One of them, a younger person, was terminally ill. To break it down; Two adult males, that were of older parental age (40-50), one person, female, on life-support, and then a young girl about mid to late 20s who was terminally ill. 

They were all somehow related, but I could not quite remember, or figure out, how the relationships all worked out. I do know, however, that they had decided to all pass away at the same time. It was in such a bizarre way though, the one who was on life-support was going to remain on life-support and they had a note asking whom ever walked in on them to stop her life-support after they were all gone. The other three had decided to lay in shallow pools of ice slowly bringing their core body temperature down until they grew weary and eventually pass away. 

The three all had a normal conversations, talking about other family members, and did not seem to be freezing as they all laid in the ice. As the talking slowly drifted away, and they began to think about their own lives, my dream began focusing on just one of the men. My dream showed him starting to think about some things he didn’t get finished, about someone else in his life he hadn’t seen in a while, and even about one of his pets. As his thoughts continued about all the good things, the happy things, in his life, he realized, he wasn’t ready to die. As he felt his eyelids getting heavy, he said out loud,  “I’m not ready to do this”, and he stood up.  

The other adult male glanced over at him, and asked “why”?  “I don’t know” said the man, it’s just not time. The other man stood as well and decided perhaps he to rethink the decision and reasons.  I know more happened before he rethought it, I just don’t remember the details.  

They glanced over at the terminally ill young lady, realizing she had not said anything throughout their exchange. She had, indeed, already passed away.  The woman on life-support had also quietly passed away. While the men were sad at their passing, they also knew it was the right time for them. 

I woke up completely confused; confused about why I had a dream about death, why I had dreamt about suicide, because that is indeed what it was, and why there were four people in my dream I did not know at all. It started making me think, that because they had chosen something that was so slow and within their control somewhat, is this the message I was supposed to share. If more people who were contemplating suicide had the time to reflect on the good things in their lives, on the things not yet completed, and on the thing that made them happy, would they second-guess their decision? 

Too many times in our society, especially with social media today, we are used to knee-jerk decisions and reactions. I think it is time for us to understand how important it is to not do a knee-jerk reaction, or make a knee-jerk decision. Take time to think about the consequences of your actions and your words before you do or say them.  

Sadly, when someone chooses to take their own lives with suicide, they don’t have the time to reflect, to reconsider their actions. I am not a trained professional, I do not claim to have all of the answers… So if anyone is reading this, and they are considering suicide, please think about reaching out to those who love you, or reaching out for professional help. Think about all of the things that make you happy, the moments in your life where you smiled or laughed, focus on those times until you can have a conversation with someone who can truly help you. 

As I said at the beginning, I don’t always understand my dreams, but this one seemed important enough to share. I can only hope, that if it even helps one person, then there was a reason for the dream and the push to share it. 

I wish everyone reading this many wonderful years of happiness and laughter.  Reach out to those in your lives you love.  Let them know you are there for them. 

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Know what the band is playing before jumping on the bandwagon – HaliPawz

I recently watched a video being shared on Facebook regarding Donald Trump being a racist.  I know the intent was to show a protester not fully informed about the subject of his protests, but I saw so much more. 

The video – Black Lives Matter protester regarding Donald Trump

Video courtesy of Dennis Michael Lynch

  

Screenshot of Dennis Michael Lynch’s video regarding Black Lives Matter protester

As you can see, it has been shared over 8000 times. People are reacting in many ways to it.  

 This is an example of too many issues in our country today. Not just with racism or Donald Trump…we have a society where people jump on bandwagons without truly knowing facts. They follow crowds, spouting off “facts” that may or may not be true. Stop following others. Stop sharing things you do not know are true. Do your own research from sources OUTSIDE your comfort level. I’m not a Trump fan because he encourages the racial division and the violence that follows, because he knows it helps hype him up. He’s made a living over sensationalizing media moments and he continues to do it with his political campaign. Encouraging racial division for media sensation IS NOT the same as him being racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know because I haven’t done enough research on that topic. I know he LOVES Omarosa for all the money she helped make him when she was on his show, so he can’t be 100% racist LOL. The point is….verify before you spout off. Don’t just be a follower. Before you jump on a bandwagon, know what the band is playing! 

#knowthefacts 

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The Confederate Battle Flag and the “N” word are not all that different but many may disagree – HaliPawz

racism, empathy

I understand I may make some angry with this post.  It is NOT my intent.  Please read the WHOLE blog before you form an opinion about me, about the flag, or even what your real argument is about.

I recently had a conversation with a non white male about the confederate flag and all of the drama around it.  So many people are focused on the Confederate Flag and how it represents so much hate and horrible ideas but as the discussion continued between the two of us, I stated to him the “N” word is just like the Confederate Flag and the conversation got even more intense.

His argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of hate and was designed around white supremacy, and therefore should be gone.

My Argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of Southern Pride and / or of country life, and has nothing to do with hate except for those who allow hate and racism to enter their lives.

His Argument:  But the history of it shows it represents something else.

My argument:  But history shows the true meaning of the word Negro and the “N” word and why it should not be used by ANYONE but there are those who choose to ignore it and give it  it’s own meaning.  How is the “N” word any different than the Confederate Flag, it’s just  different groups supporting the two sides.

Now mind you, I was driving across state heading from Michigan to Missouri so I couldn’t take the time to break it down with facts about the Confederate Flag and I wanted to refresh my memory of the N word before I stated facts.

Please understand, I am not trying to divide the races even further, but rather to get everyone to understand similarities exist, even when we don’t want to see it.

Let’s look at some true facts first…..the term “Confederate Flag” is used when people are talking about this flag:

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

But the Confederate Flag actually looked like this:

White Man's Flag

Actual Confederate Flag

William Thompson, who designed the Confederate Flag DID say it was the “White Man’s Flag” but the Rebel Flag, causing all the uproar right now, was designed by Willliam Porcher Miles.  Was Miles racist?  Probably.  He was a Southern man living during a time when the country was divided.  Yes, he was known as a slave owner, but so were some of our earlier presidents and key men in our history.  I’m not here to discuss slavery.

The history of the Confederate Battle Flag or Rebel Flag

The Confederate Battle Flag was just that, a battle flag.  It was NOT a representation of slavery, it was just the battle flag of the south.  There have been people saying it flew on slave ships.  Not true.  The south NEVER owned any slave ships.  Technically, the slave ships were from the New England State, the dutch, and the Portuguese, NOT the south! It wasn’t even a southern NATIONAL flag, it was JUST a battle flag.   When racist groups, such as neo-nazis and skinheads choose to use this flag as “their” flag, they are, in fact desecrating the Confederate Flag and technically have no right to use it.  There are southern men and women who lost their loved ones, their ancestors, who died under that flag flying.  While we may not agree with WHAT they were fighting for, they have every right to want to respect the flag that represents THEIR history.  You don’t have to agree with something to respect it.  Black men, of their own free will, chose to fight under this very same flag that everyone is saying represents white men only.  So not true.  There are a lot of myths surrounding the Civil War.  It wasn’t as simple as the north was free and the south was slavery.  It goes so much further.

One group you may want to study further is the “Sons of Confederate Soldiers”  and read their statement so many, including the media, ignored.

Before I get into my deep comparison, think of a tradition such as “jumping the broom” that was passed on from ancestors to today.  A white person living in a predominately white town may have no idea what “Jumping the broom” means, but that doesn’t make them hate it or fight to have it removed from the weddings of those who choose to keep that tradition.  Yes, I understand there is a difference between someone choosing to have a tradition at their wedding vs a flag flying high on a government building.  All I’m trying to say is to understand the meaning TODAY behind something before you get upset, not the meaning the media or hate groups want you to believe.

47% of those polled only think of the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of pride in the south.  They don’t even know the history of it other than that.

This leads me to the N word…..

Negro comes from the Greek word Necro meaning dead, empty of life, corpse.  Now, I can say I choose to never use the N word or the word Negro but there are those who choose to use it as a sign of empowerment, indicating that, by using the word, they are taking it back and taking the negativity away from it.  But it comes with rules.  It is not OK for EVERYONE to use it.  Who decides?  At the end of the day, some use it almost like a word of pride.  I personally don’t understand how a word representing death and empty of life is a word to be proud of, but it’s not for me to understand because it isn’t MY history.

At the same time, I would hope those who CAN understand the pride that goes with the N word for themselves or those they know would look deep in their hearts to understand how the Confederate Battle Flag can be a source of PRIDE for those with Southern Roots.

The south wasn’t the only one who owned slaves.  There was slavery in the north as well.  In fact, there were some slave owners in the north that tried to ignore the laws even after Emancipation Proclamation.

At the end of the day, we don’t have to agree with something in order to be accepting of it.  Try to gain a little better understanding of WHY one group supports something, even when you may not and ask them to understand the things you support.  By taking the time to understand and appreciate another point of view, there will be less knee jerk reactions to all situations.

All I ask if for you to think about it, consider what I’m saying, and try to understand a point of view different than your own; it might just help make the world, and relationships with others, a little better!

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Acceptance of self is just as difficult as acceptance of others sometimes – HaliPawz

 

don’t ask others to accept you until you accept you

 
In today’s society, where acceptance doesn’t always come easy.  Bully’s hiding behind keyboards, will attack anyone or anything not comfortable to them, make it difficult to always see the GREAT in ourselves. Stop! Be happy with who YOU are. Understand you are unique. It’s OK if you are different from the average.  Once you accept who you are, others will as well. Laugh at your differences.  Love your uniqueness. 

If you meet others who are different than you, embrace them.  My general rule of thumb is; as long as they don’t bring harm to children, animals, or other people, I can accept them. 

Acceptance isn’t the same as liking the person. You don’t have to like someone to accept them. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend. You should, however, accept yourself and like yourself! Try it. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is for others to accept and like you as well! 

What is the real anger behind the Josh Duggar Story? Parent Cover Up? Mistakes as a teen? Just wanting to be hateful? – HaliPawz

The Duggar Family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting have been on television for over ten years now.  People love them or hate them.  Now the latest news is Josh Duggar was guilty of child molestation when he was a child himself.  I read quite a few of the articles and some of the “hate” articles that are quick to follow whenever anyone in the limelight gets caught doing something guilty.

Now, the latest news is that TLC has removed the show from their schedule.  While it is no surprise because we live in a society filled with knee jerk reactions, it still disappoints me.  Why does it come down to everyone trying to please everyone.  It isn’t possible!

I want to break down some of the stuff I found out about regarding this story and give my take on it.

Josh Duggar was 14 when all of this happened.  14 twelve years ago is not the same as 14 year olds today.  According to the stories, some of his sisters and others were affected.  Other stories say it was just his sisters.  Then another story says it happened more than during just one time and affected Jim Holt’s run for the senate.  So many different stories…..you have to wonder WHAT is the truth and what is fabricated to make for a better story.  The story is that he fondled (not raped) the girls while they were sleeping.  Does this make him a child molester or a curious, horny teenager who took advantage of the situation around him and explored with the girls around him.  Yes, it is horrible that it was his sisters along with others, I won’t deny that, but again, he was 14.  He recognized it was wrong and he admitted it to his parents when asked.  He didn’t lie, he didn’t deny it.  At 14, to recognize he had done something horrible and to want to take ownership of it says a lot.

His parents, being parents, did what they thought was best to help their son.  Did they handle it correctly?  Honestly, who are we to say yes or no?  What parent doesn’t go above and beyond to help a child in trouble?  Did they choose protecting their son over protecting their daughters?  No one knows.  There has been speculations that they stuck to the teaching where women are submissive so they had to just accept his apology, no matter what.  Perhaps that type of teaching doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for some.  Who are we to question whether they forgave him because of their teachings or they forgave him because he openly asked for their forgiveness.  When someone apologizes SINCERELY, each person has the right to accept it or not.  It isn’t our place to speculate WHY they accepted it.  I’m sure many readers would admit a family member has done something wrong to another family member on one occasion or another and had to apologize.

I personally know women who are HAPPY to be in a submissive relationship and it isn’t based on religion, it is based on choice.  They are happy, healthy, and do not feel abused.  Take the word “Religion” out of it and no one seems to have a problem with it or seem to even realize it is happening, but the minute you put the “religion” label on it, then people add hate to it.  I have my own thoughts on organized religion but it doesn’t mean I automatically think everyone is wrong because their beliefs are not necessarily the same as mine.

They took Josh to a state trooper who gave him a “stern talking to” and sent him on his way.  While I agree this may seem strange, for anyone who is familiar with Arkansas, and how much it has changed over the last 15 years, you really wouldn’t be surprised. Add to the fact the state trooper Josh was taken to is now in jail himself for child pornography isn’t the Duggar’s fault!  I can not believe they would be ok with someone who was into child pornography.  It is just another example of how everything handled in this case may not have been the best way, but not due to the Duggar’s actions.

The parents discussed it with their church elders who gave them advice.  Did they give them poor advice?  Again, I’m not saying it is right or wrong, but the parents WENT and sought advice and then followed the advice.  Who isn’t guilty of going to someone we trust for advice and was given bad advice, yet we started to follow it or DID follow it.  They sought advice from those they thought would be helpful to them.  Clearly they didn’t hide this, it seems, by all counts, to be pretty common knowledge to those in their circle.  That doesn’t sound like parents who are trying to sweep it under the rug and make it disappear.  Did they want it out and discussed all the time?  Of course not!  Who would want a family’s dark moments discussed over and over again?  NO ONE!

I see posts who complain about Josh Duggar being around his three children and everyone should be worried.  Are you kidding me?  He isn’t a pedophile!!!  He didn’t go after pre-pubescent girls when he was 14.  It was girls his age.  It is that kind of thinking that truly brings harm to others.  That type of thinking who gets the emotionally minded fired up to take dangerous actions because they can not think for themselves and just act on emotions.

One last thing I read that made me laugh is that Mama June of Honey Boo Boo threatened to sue TLC if they didn’t cancel 19 Kids and Counting because their show was canceled……ummmmm how about the difference is one was a CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER….that means the adult sought out children.  Not QUITE the same thing!  Come on, we are such a litigious country.

Do I think the Duggar family is perfect?  No, of course not.  What family is?  Do I believe they are above being held responsible for their actions?  No, of course not.  I don’t agree with their beliefs towards gay marriages and I personally believe every Christian would be accepting of gay marriages if they looked at it like I wrote here……but at the end of the day, whether I agree with them or not, I don’t believe they deserve the HATEFUL comments towards them, in this latest situation or in any of the others.

TLC shouldn’t pull the show in a knee jerk reaction.  If their followers CHOOSE to not watch because of this, then TLC can not bring them on for another season, but it should be left to the ratings, not to the haters.

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Labeling Religion brings lack of acceptance – HaliPawz

dogs, dachshund, mastiff, tolerance, differences

We seem to love labels.  I don’t know if it’s an American thing, a world thing, but the idea of saying, “I’m just not sure, I’m still figuring it out” doesn’t seem to be used enough or accepted enough.

I had a conversation last night with a friend and we started discussing religion and family.  He has stated many times in the past he is agnostic but I have also heard him use the word “atheist” in the past.

The conversation took place because he wasn’t planning on going to church with his mom on Mother’s Day.  Now I don’t care if someone goes or doesn’t go to church, but it was his reasoning behind why he wasn’t going.  He said it was because he’s “atheist, agnostic, or whatever” (his words not mine).  You can’t really be Atheist, Agnostic, or whatever.  I called him out on his choice of words!

If he was, indeed, agnostic, going to church really would be no problem at all. Going to church with family would be no different than going to a family member’s house you don’t really care for, but you go out of respect or expectation.  As an agnostic person, you aren’t against the concept of a God, you’re just skeptical or non-committal towards the idea of God.  If this is the case, then suck it up, make your mom happy, and go to church.  It shouldn’t be an issue and you’re mom is happy.

His issue isn’t with God or even the existence of God, it is with the labels and expectations, mostly associated with organized religion.

I decided it was time for us to discuss this further and help him understand why others have difficulty respecting his stand when his stand is always changing.

I try to understand other’s points of views, even if I don’t always agree with them.  Because of this, I try to use words or terminology which will fit the person I am talking to.  If I’m talking to a Christian, I state I am a Christian, I just have difficulty with organized religion. If I’m talking to an Agnostic person, I state I most identify as a Christian but all it means is I believe in a higher spirit, just not necessarily organized religion. It is the same thing, I’m wording it for the best comprehension.

I accept and respect ANY religion which does not bring harm to others.  Yes, even the understood “Christian” religions who choose to kill “in the name of God” aren’t doing it because of God, they are doing it because of some organized religion directing them to do so.

How many of us know someone like this?

Why does anyone think their religion is better than another’s, when, in reality, it is all the same?

Imagine, if you will, going back hundreds of years and talking to a Native American about his religion. Now imagine you are a Christian determined to convert him to Christianity because you believe in it so much.  First you tell him his religion is wrong because he prays to a “spirit” to bring rain.  He is wrong because he believes in Gods and Godesses and there can be only ONE God.  You tell him all this and then proceed to tell him about YOUR God, your religion. You tell him about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Jaweh, King of Kings, etc….Ummm can you see how that information could make a head spin??? Tell me again what the difference is? Never mind the fact BOTH believe in an ultimate higher being. BOTH believe in human immortality and an afterlife. Just because someone puts different words to the same concept doesn’t make it wrong or give it a different meaning! When a Christian is experiencing a drought, he prays to God for rain but I sure the term “Mother Nature” has been said at one point in time, either by them or by someone they know.  Why is it so easy to accept Mother Nature but not another person’s terminology for God?


Religion isn’t easy.  It is the desire to accept something that is not felt, not touched, not seen. Then we (humans) come along and make it more difficult by wanting to wrap our beliefs, the way WE understand it, up in a pretty box and put a bow on it because we cannot accept the fact it is all the same, just summarized differently.

The next time you want to have an issue with someone else’s beliefs, take a minute, ask them to explain it, or use the Internet to get a better understanding, if it is completely different than your own, respectfully explain your belief, your understanding….but in the end, if your belief or theirs brings NO HARM or DISRESPECT to others, accept it as theirs and move on.  One is not better than the other.

When respect and acceptance of differences begin to be a norm, society will be a much better place!

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Dogs, Medicine, pairing the overpopulated shelters with the needs of the people – HaliPawz

As I was reading an article today about a a German Shepherd trained to sniff out thyroid cancer, it make me realize we are not using our natural resources as well as we should.  We have animal shelters overpopulated with dogs waiting for forever homes, many of them are smart dogs, dogs who should not be in a shelter, all they want is love and companionship.

We have an unbelievable number of homeless and underprivileged in the US right now.  There are currently over 600,000 homeless Americans as of 2013.  Many of them do not take the time to seek medical help or, in some cases, do not have the time to go to a free clinic.  Having done volunteer work with organizations that help the homeless and underprivileged, I know the care in the free medical clinics still need a lot of help.  In many situations, there is an expectation of arriving early so you can get your spot on line, only to sit and wait all day.

My proposal is to have teams of dogs trained to go to these clinics, to walk the streets of the homeless, to be the first level of diagnosis for cancer.  Dogs can also be trained to detect low blood sugar, low blood pressure, notification of a seizure coming on, and, in some cases, the onset of a heart attack.  While some of these abilities wouldn’t help in a clinic setting, the whole point is to get involved with partnering the right dogs with the right handlers to work in areas to cut down the costs of the medical testing.

Using a dog’s ability to detect via scent would help with less evasive screening tests.  It would also allow the handlers to walk the streets with the homeless, those not able to afford a bus or a a way to get to the clinics.

Would it solve every medical problem?  No, of course not, but it is a start.  It is a way to give more dogs in shelters work and a purpose, it is a way to help those less fortunate just a little more.

In addition, more dogs can be trained to detect seizures and oncoming heart attacks, and be given to those in need along with free food and pet care.  In the long run, this care would be cheaper than the medical costs a person will incur IF they have a seizure or if they have a heart attack and it isn’t caught quickly.  There are so many wins to this!

For further information, here are some good articles to read:

Dogs Detect Cancer

Medical Detection Dogs

WebMD pet detecting illness