…Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do

When they settle ‘neath your skin

Kept on the inside and no sunlight

Sometimes a shadow wins

But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say…

Sarah Barielles

I’ve noticed recently that some of my most satisfying conversations occur in the car during my commute, driving an hour to work and another back home.  Alone.  In my car.  By myselfWith myself.  Whole, hour long, in-my-head conversations.

It happens that this commute time is often the only quiet, uninterrupted time in my day.  I control the radio, so can turn it off….no blaring advertisements, no breaking news reports.  I drive responsibly, so no texts or tweets or calls or email bings must immediately be attended to.  After I have prepared myself mentally for a morning office agenda, or reset my mindset mode to ‘home’ following hectic workday, my thoughts can wander, my wonderings can percolate, my what-ifs can be considered.

It is a time when I contemplate the unsaid things.

I imagine you may have some unsaid things too.

My traveling private conversations happen after those times when more could have, would have, should have been said:  When someone politely greeted me in passing saying, “How are you?”, and I replied as expected, “Fine, thank you”, but I wasn’t fine.  And there were those times when I was too busy to listen to you when you weren’t fine.  There have been occasions when my bright ideas were self-squelched in order to stay in good standing with peers or the boss.  There are words that haunt me after I stifled them within, out of weakness or an effort to simply keep the peace: my witty retorts during a speech made by someone pompous or ill-informed; the withheld expression over something too beautiful for words, too deeply personal for the moment, too grief-sticken for daylight.  Ah, and even those gut-felt responses kept to myself when I chose to walk away instead of stand up for the weak, stare down the bully, speak truth against ignorance.

Not every idea, thought, retort, opinion must be spoken.  I know that there are times and places to refrain from spilling words, times when silence is the best and most appropriate response.  Words are indeed powerful, can be used to hurt or to heal.  Measuring them wisely and using them thoughtfully, with kindness is a standard that would improve public and personal discourse.   Sometimes, out of a lack of courage, or maybe plain laziness, I have failed to use them at all, and that has been destructive as well.

I have become weary by the insignificance of superficial conversations and mindless chatter that fills time but neglects hearts and minds; I want genuine interactions, ideas shared with integrity and spoken with honesty.  I am convinced that our lives are enhanced when pondering big ideas or noticing unexpected beauty or considering new perspectives.

I want more than speaking and hearing only the ‘two cents worth’.  For me, an enlightened life involves the remaining ninety-eight cents too, those words which express the thoughts that come after, that complete the meaningful reflection beyond the polite and trite.  So, this blog is my personal antidote, openly offered for your contemplation.

Writing TheNinetyEightCentsWorth, I anticipate a more pleasant commute time, when I can enjoy the endeavor of listening to grand music or books on CD!

The NinetyEightCentsWorth  will include:

Small Change:  A collection of posts from ordinary days, when mindfulness enhanced the moments

Wise Investment:  A collection of quotes, readings, phrases…words that counteract the shallow messages in our days; they provoke me to think in new ways; these posts are part of my own process for gaining insight, learning new perspective.

Treasures: I am a storyteller by nature and find it inspiring to understand ourselves and one another through our unique stories.  I will reminisce, weave tall tales, and wipe the sentimental tears from my keyboard when posting these.  I intend that they spark your soul to remember the story of you.

Costly Words: Consider this fair warning.  I’ll be sharing personal insights about politics and reflections on spiritual experiences here; those profound beliefs
and attitudes that compel me to speak, and speak frankly from my ‘bones’.  I know you have your own beliefs.  My posts are not an attempt to convince you to change, but are a venue to express that which is important to me.  Therefore…

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.  What you and I consider ‘Christian’ is most likely different, so I no longer identify myself as Christian to prevent misconceptions.  I practice faith instead of religion.  Faith is a pilgrimage for me, an ongoing learning, discovering, interacting-with-mystery experience that ignites my spirit and opens my soul.  I am fascinated by this soul-revealing faith journey, so although deeply personal, I boldly bare my inner self in these posts, trusting in providence.

I am a blue leaning woman in a very red place.  This means I am overwhelmingly surrounded by those who oppose my civic and political opinions.  Experience has taught me it is most sensible to keep my views private because stating them openly has reaped responses painful to me.  You may expect me to broach some typically touchy subjects and convey my thoughts about them in this section.

If you disagree with me, that’s nothing new, plenty folks do!  This is my blog and I’ll speak my truth.

Welcome to my NinetyEightCentsWorth.