What Makes Someone ‘Evil’?

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I have never been able to understand how a person could get so angry that they would harm another human being.  I use to think a person had to just be evil to commit murder or violence.  Then I got a little taste of that anger.  I figure this is a good time to share that with all the violence that has been happening in our country and world.

 

Something happened recently to someone I love dearly.  I hope to write about it one day but today it is too fresh, to new.  Yet, this event opened my eyes to what hate is and how it is fueled.

 

When I love, I love with every fiber of my being and when someone I love hurts the pain I feel for them can be unbearable.   This time though that pain turned to anger.  Could it have turned to rage?  I wished those who had hurt my loved one pain and suffering.  I knew these people had NO clue what pain they had caused and so I wanted them to feel even a tiny piece of what I felt.

 

I could see how easily it was for a person’s brain to switch.  How in the heat of those feelings all you want to do is avenge your loved one or to make those who have hurt you hurt just as bad or worse.

 

I am blessed to have two amazing parents who raised me to know God and to know right from wrong.  I was taught that actions have consequences.  I never wanted to get in trouble with any authority or disappoint anyone, whether it was my parents, teachers or police.  So when this event came up I was able to control myself.  I was able to rationalize what I was feeling.  I  accepted it as a feeling and not something to act out on.

 

I never felt those feelings before and they were SCARY.  I NEVER want to feel them again.  Those feelings led me to start counseling so I could try and work through what I was feeling.  I was able to reach out for help.

 

What if I didn’t have that upbringing would I still have felt this way?  I am not sure.  Would I have been able to stop myself from acting on those feelings?  What if I didn’t have all those people in my life who loved me?  What if I didn’t have those people to let down?

 

What if I didn’t have parents or had absentee parents?  What if I had parents but they were physically, emotionally or mentally abusive?  What if I lived feeling like an outcast or a failure?  What if I felt this way all the time?  What if I had no one?  What if I went to a school I hated and every day I was picked on or beat up?  So many what if’s.

 

There are people out there who do horrible things, unimaginable things.  Were they born evil?  Were they born full of hate?  I try to believe that the majority of these people, if not all were not born evil and learned to hate.  I believe that I was blessed to be raised the way I was but does that make it ok for me to judge someone who was nowhere near as lucky as I was?  NO. 

 

So I have learned a lot and I am teaching my children all that I have learned.  What have I learned?

 

I learned that good people can do bad things. Everyone needs our prayers even those who harm us or others.  Those people may possibly need our prayers even more than others.  We should try our hardest to not judge others especially people who may be different than us.  We can’t say how we would react in a given situation unless we have actually been in that situation. 

If we see someone alone or that looks sad we can try and reach out to them or tell someone.  If we see something that seems out of place or strange we should tell someone we trust.  A little eye contact and a simple smile to someone can make a difference.  We need to show people who God (they may not know of God) is through our actions.  We need to love one another (even those we don’t know) as He loved us.

May God watch over us all and guide us to help those around us.  May he touch those who are alone or who are struggling.   

 

copyright 2018 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

Sleep With Me Podcast

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Growing up, my older brother and I were not very close.  We did not start becoming close until we were both in college.  When we did start becoming closer I realized my brother and I faced some of the same struggles in life.  What to do with the rest of our lives?  We had both been in more than one career field and we still were not sure.

Then we had children.  Parenting can be a real challenge but I think we were both doing a pretty good job at it.  Our kids got to see each other about once a year in the summer. During that time my big brother would do his best and see to it that I got some kind of break.  (I had two boys close in age and then added a little girl.  My hands were full.)

He often read them stories or told them stories at nap time or bedtime and he actually got them to sleep.  I was amazed.  In the summer they never wanted to nap or go to bed for me.  He had a gift but at the time I do not know if I or any of us realized what a blessing his gift really was.

Now jump ahead a few years.  I turned to him because I wanted to create a webpage where I could share what I was learning as a new mom and as a Catholic mom.  I wanted my big brother’s thoughts.  It turned out that during that time he had already created his Sleep With Me Podcast but it was still a hidden gem to most.  He was doing it because he wanted to and not to win anyone’s approval.  Good for you big brother!

I started listening to it here and there.  As a mom sometimes shutting my brain off and getting to sleep could be a real challenge.  I often would listen to the Rosary and sometimes I still do.  Yet, now I have my big brother.

I am a person all about bonding with loved ones.  It has always been my thing.  I feel like I don’t get the opportunity to bond with my siblings as much as I would like and often wished that could be different.  However, it is what it is.  Yet, now I feel like I am bonding more with my oldest brother.  At night when I am stressed and cannot get to sleep I turn to him.  He may not know it but I do.  I listen to him as if he is sitting next to me trying to help me and it WORKS.  I am a sleep before I even know it.

After having my first child I learned that I am a person who needs sleep.  A lack of sleep causes me to stop functioning like a normal person and I slowly start losing it.  When I think I will not get enough sleep I begin to worry because I do not want to lose it.  When this starts to happen I just say a prayer and listen to the podcast.

My brother has a gift.  A gift that he loves so very much.  A gift that he excels in.  If you are like me and you toss and turn at night, I highly recommend you give this a shot.  You can join me and the thousands of people out there who are put to bed by my big brother. Heck you might even hear a story with me in it 🙂

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copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

What is Mercy and Do I Need It?

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The world seems to be falling apart.  It seems like there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes I fear for the world my children will grow up in.  We can’t control anything happening in the world.
We CAN control what we teach our children.  Starting from when they are born.  We can show them compassion, empathy and mercy.  We can teach them about what is going on in the world but also teach them love not hate.

Mercy is having compassion for others; especially those you may think do not deserve it. It is not always easy to have mercy so we must practice it.  Our children need to see us showing compassion to one another.

My mom is great at mercy.  She shows love to everyone even when you know it can’t be easy.  She always says about those she shows mercy to that they were the ones who needed it the most.  It isn’t easy following in those footsteps, but I try.  She tells me when my children are driving me crazy and I want to beat them, I need to just hug them.  So I hug and hug a little more.  I show them mercy.

If each one of us just tries to show a tiny ounce of mercy to those who we actually think does not deserve it, we may just see the change we hope for the world.  Those who push people around and are mean could really use our mercy but you know what?  Every one of us sins so each of us at one time or another could use a little mercy and compassion.

Pope Francis announces this the year of Mercy.

Learn more here;
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholic News Service

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

 

Admiration for Single Parents

042012_Disney_Channel_Premieres_Animated_Series_GoofTroop_TDIDTo all those single or almost single parents out there; I admire you. I wish I could give you the break you so rightfully deserve.

There have been days, like today, where from the time the kids get up to the time they go to bed it is all on me. They have to be in different places and I have to get them there. I also think they know Daddy isn’t going to be around because man are they acting up.
I keep my cool through most of it but by the time dinner is over (I let them pick the dinner to try to make it special) I am at my wit’s end and barely hanging on. I tell myself just a little longer. I can do this.

It is only one day. By the time they wake up daddy will be back and can help me out again. I am lucky it is only one day. I can’t imagine surviving more than one. Yet, there are moms and dads out there that have to. They have to go day in and day out without the support of their spouse or the other parent. My prayers go out to you all.

So the next time you are on the verge of losing it, wanting to give up or feeling alone, know that prayers are being sent your way. You are not alone. Step back, take 5 deep breaths, say a prayer or go stick your face in a pillow and scream. Whatever will help you get through this moment. You can get through it. Heck, post on here and if I see it or others see it we can cheer you on.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

Simple Living Without The Stuff

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I once heard a story about a lady who only had one box of all her belongings.  I definitely need a lot more than just one box for all my belongings.  What if something ever happened to me?  How hard would it be on my loved ones to clear out all my stuff?  How painful would that be?  Do I truly need or even use all the stuff I own?

I have always known that less stuff leads to less clutter which can lead to less stress. However, in this day in age it is so hard not to get wrapped up with the idea of ‘keeping up with the Jones’.  I sometimes feel like I am being a bad mom if I don’t let my kids have birthday parties with lots of guests and presents or having the coolest, most popular toys.

Is that what life is truly about?  Is it about having the best of the best or the most?  I want my kids to value relationships and time spent with those people.  I want them to have happy memories of their childhood.  That won’t happen with a mom screaming at them all the time to pick up their stuff.  How can I set an example if I have stuff all over the place?  How many casserole dishes does one person need?  I don’t even make casseroles.

So I am slowly making changes.

I am also trying to teach my children how much I do love them and that no object on earth can show them that.  What I can show them is me working on yelling less and spending more time with them.  Having less materialistic stuff and more family time together shows them the love I want them to know.  They will remember the movies we watch together or the games we play instead of stuff all over the place.

How much of what you have do you truly need or love?  Why are you holding on to it? How freeing would it be to let go of one thing at a time?  Let’s share thoughts and ideas with each other.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

 

An Update on Going to Mass

It has been a few weeks since I posted about my struggle with my children at mass so I thought I would write an update.

We have been a few times since.  One of those times my older son was an altar server which made it a little easier with the other two in the pew.

God heard my cries.  My middle child has improved a ton.  He sang out loud in church at one mass.  Another mass I heard him saying to himself, ‘”please be good, please be good.”

He has said how he loves mass.  My little one has been good for the most part too.
I have made sure to have my bag of tricks with me which I wanted to share with all of you.  I have a few books I bring that are religious based that they are allowed to read or look at during mass.  The books are; My Own Mass Booklet, Let’s Go to Mass by Aileen Urguhart and Living the 10 Commandments for Children by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli.

The only thing to keep in mind about ‘Let’s Go to Mass’ is that it was made before the changes to the mass.  That is why I like to bring along ‘My Own Mass Booklet’ which is up to date.  ‘Let’s Go to Mass’ is a color and wipe off book which can keep them busy esp my little one.  Never give up.  Always keep trying 🙂

 

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent.

My Struggle Going to Church

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Sunday at church I struggled.  I had to fight back my tears and when I finally got home I sat in my room crying.  Church should lift you up.  If you are brought to tears I would hope they would be the tears of joy, not sadness.  Yet, mine were the later.

My husband currently does not go to church with us.  If I want my children to go to church I bring them.  Unfortunately, we are not usually able to get to the children’s mass.  Therefore, the mass we attend usually has only a handful of children at it.

I usually bring things like a children’s mass book or a coloring book to keep the youngest occupied, but on this day I was rushed and had nothing on me.  The older two I simply explain to them that God gave us everything we have so we can at least give him an hour out of our week.  I ask them to be on their best behavior.  It’s hard though.  I understand that.  That is why I enjoyed attending a Protestant church in the past because they seemed to make going to church fun.  You wanted to be there.

As I have learned more about my religion I have come to love the beauty of the mass and love being there.  Plus at our current church they have some great music that the kids and I love.  Yet, my children are just that, children and I don’t expect them to always be perfect but close would be nice.  I never know going into church if it will be a good day or bad day.  Will the children behave and sit still or not?

This time it is was a bad day.  My children were bothering each other all through mass and my middle child (R) was acting out for attention so bad.  How do parents do it?  How do those of you who have children with ADD or ADHD make it through mass?

I have been told my son does not have either ADD or ADHD by his teachers and counselors but on this day I wondered if they were wrong.  If they weren’t wrong why was he not listening?  The worst part of it all is my anxiety got the best of me.  I felt like everyone was staring at us and snickering and I told him he was humiliating me.  Who does that?  How dare I say that to him, but I did.  I did and felt horrible.

Here we were in God’s house and I just felt negative all around me and in me.  God gave me three beautiful children and here I was in his house unable to get them to behave.  I was saying not nice things and making empty threats.  No wonder my husband doesn’t come to church with us.  He doesn’t have time to deal with all this and on this day I don’t blame him.

How do I make it better?  How do I move forward and look forward to next Sunday?  I may not know the answer but I do know that I won’t stop trying.  I will do what I know best; pray.  I will pray for all of us and everyone at church.  I will pray and pray and pray.  I will also keep trying.  I know I can find patience within me somehow some way.

If anyone has ever felt close to what I was feeling I would love to hear from you.  If you have any tips that have worked for you that would be wonderful to hear too.
Thank you for listening.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent.