Stop Envy and Heal Pain – Caring For Yourself And Others

stop envy“Shallow men believe in luck Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all experience envy throughout our lifetimes. But even though it may always be present, we can keep envious feelings restrained. All of us struggle to balance our lives. We presume on the surface others have life easier. But all of us struggle. Some hide the labor of their lives better than others and some complain less. The grind is enduring for all. Supporting each other as well as managing the envious tendencies can make life so much easier. Praise and gratitude promote healing for our pain, frustration and envy. Complimenting another actually releases our envy. It can evaporate our insecurities and allow us to see the good qualities in another without making ourselves feel diminished. Our talents are real. We need to recognize them. We don’t need to be someone else to gain satisfaction in our lives.

Giving praise to another is simply acknowledging an accomplishment they have been successful with achieving. Many goals others strive to attain may not be anything we are motivated to accomplish. We must think about the price people pay for certain achievements. To be in the Olympics one must forfeit money and time spent with family and friends. Having a job that takes you from loved ones day and night is costly to children. It may provide you with lots of money but little time to guide your children. Gaining more possessions means more duties and gadgets to maintain. On the surface, what we see is not always the complete picture. What we envy may not be what we would ever desire if we realized the cost.

At times another person appears to be superior or have more material wealth or prestige. This person may have more glory honor and money. The question is, why that should matter if we are doing well, making progress and content with our spouse, children, friends and family. If we are not content then we need to elevate our relationships. Put more effort into our interactions and possibly look for a better job or search for the means to promote our education in the desired field. Maybe we need a simple overhaul in the relationship we have with our spouse who may also be feeling unwanted or under appreciated.

By focusing our attention to the positive details in our existence we may find possessions beyond worth. All of us take so much for granted including the many people navigating through our lives frequently. The vacation lasts a week or two. The new outfit gets old quickly. The new car breaks down as well as the new toys. Even technology falls short of the power of love, empathy and compassion. Fame is fleeting. Money does not buy love or friendship. Fortune does not fend off physical or emotional problems.

Support and meaning in our lives comes through our hearts and the love we send out to others. Sending love to others actually increases the love that comes back to us. All of us have the ability and means to increase our love supply on a daily basis. In the end we find that love is all that matters and all that endures. This love includes the many forms of love beyond the physical. When we realize the importance of love we gain a fundamental understanding of the meaning of life. We would wipe out fear, doubt, envy, anxiety and hatred. We would replace the negatives with concern for other’s well-being. That’s the kind of world I would like to experience.

“Happiness is not a when or a where; it can be a here and now. But until you are happy with who you are you will never be happy because of what you have.” Zig Ziglar

“Caring about others, running the risk of feeling and leaving an impact on people brings happiness.” Rabbi Harold Kushner

Repressing Rage Builds Bridges

change is rapid recovery gradual“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein

I noticed how many of us get fired up about things that are aggravating or upsetting. We tend to dwell on those issues that anger us. The more we think about it and ponder it and discuss it, the stronger the fire gets. It makes us want to correct the problem or so we think. The way we choose to correct an incident can make a difference in the outcome. If we lash out at the person of our perceived frustration, throwing all of our frustration at them, we escalate the blaze and difficulty. We are left with the options of watching our antagonist burn to ashes or we can walk away.

After the altercation we come back to our sanity and convince ourselves the competitor deserved it and made us do it. Now we attempt to convince ourselves we were justified to retaliate. Have you ever noticed that after our storm, we have an uneasiness that won’t go away? We review all the things the person did to us in order to justify the correctness of our angry actions. Guilt is what appears to be creeping into our minds and we fight to eliminate it with a deeper examination of past upsets and injustices. Validating our actions is paramount.

We begin to talk about the person and the incident with others so that we can acquire support and approval for our behaviors. In the end it doesn’t work and the restlessness won’t cease so we confront the object of our irritation again because now we blame them for the uncomfortable feelings we are having. It’s their fault we got so annoyed. Our actions now color our mood which isn’t the happiest. We snap a quick retort at others, feel tired and drained, and begin to have a cold or illness coming on. Sleep is restless and the irritation and resentment towards the person of hatred increases.

Does this sound familiar? We have all been in that place at one time or another. Viewing it from a faraway place, and a distant time makes us realize it gained us nothing, and cost us an assortment of damage. We feel emotionally and physically drained by our actions. Our opponent is likely experiencing the same feelings. The effect is a smoldering fire that simply won’t be distinguished. It almost consumes our thoughts. We might ask if there was a better way we could have handled this whole anger situation.

By talking through various scenarios, we can reflect on a healthier answer to the circumstances. If we accept 10% of the blame, sit down, and honestly share our feelings, a more favorable outcome may be attained. When we acquire back and forth feedback that is clear and concise it keeps everyone’s ego intact. It is comforting to know that our opponent is accepting a piece of the guilt regardless of the percentage. It may be unimportant to give ratios if we are attempting compromise and peace.

We may consider the fact our opponent may have some deep rooted questions, or may be going through a difficult time in their lives. Even if their fear is unfounded, it can be just as immobilizing. Their carelessness or thoughtlessness might have been their own worries. One moment of stepping back, reflecting before reacting, compassion before retribution might have saved both of us a multitude of heartache. None of us in honesty is without blame. We should never let a small smoldering fire inside of us, increase to the point of no return. In the end it consumes both of us.

By the simple art of discussion, we can put out the fire. With verbal communication we may understand, accept and tolerate transgressions against us. We may eliminate sleepless nights of doubt and worry. We can learn to have a positive open attitude towards everyone we encounter. Even when another does not respond to our overtures of reconciliation, we can keep peace within ourselves. Rather than allowing fury to burn us into a blaze of ashes we can be a light of comfort for another in their moment of darkness.

“He who angers you conquers you.” Elizabeth Kenny Australian Nurse

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” Booker T. Washington

“The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” Thomas Carlyle

How To Save a Combatting Relationship

save a combatting relationship“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” C. W. Ceram

 “The life of a winner is the result of an unswerving commitment to a never-ending process of self-completion.” Terry Bradshaw

 Avoiding conflict of course is easier said than done. One needs to think about strategies before the conflict. Planning your approaches beforehand is essential to their implementation and success. It is strange how most of us want the discussion with the person we are fighting with, during the heat of the moment. Nothing could be worse. We are all in such a keyed up state of mind that we are not close to wanting any compromise. We are out for proving our argument or seeking revenge. Our mind and body need time to clear, calm down and take a second look when the fire is out.

If one designs how to arrange and review problems, they are halfway to a solution. Most of the time we are so happy the argument is over we overlook the causes and sweep them under the rug so to speak. The same issues arise again at a future time because we never really handled them in the first place. Now we each throw in a few more irritating things and dig up the old problems. This is not going to make our disagreements any easier. We are multiplying our struggles to the point of breaking our relationships.

How to disagree can be manageable. When we truly reflect, we admit our own guilt in any situation. This helps us to give position to the other person’s point of view. In doing so, we have broken down a barrier. This takes more courage than to equip ourselves with words for a fight. The other person can grasp our honesty and vulnerability. It is important to arrange a time to discuss issues. It should be when we are ready to compromise and not when we want to prove our viewpoints. When we have a desire to be at peace, the percentage of our being right or wrong is not important. The focus is on a common base.

In the heat of a battle, we are not prepared to compromise. It is essential to recognize this. We can’t be afraid to broach the problems when our relationship is on track. If we fear facing the problems then our relationship can’t be on solid ground. If it is that fragile then it is even more important to tackle our problems. In the end if we don’t challenge our relationship issues, our connectedness will deteriorate and end. By coping with our differences calmly, we can accommodate each others schemata. We may be surprised to find that what we thought was power, control, disrespect and intolerance in our partner, was actually fear, doubt, anxiety and low self-esteem. At this point we can begin to work out the real issues instead of fighting over imagined ones.

Solving problems is never easy but working on the real problems is simpler than attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. Honesty may be the best policy when we want truth and understanding in our relationship. If we trust the other person then we have confidence they will handle and accept our true characteristics. If we hide our actual identities then the other person has a more difficult time figuring out how to create a compromise or bond with us. Commitments will be broken because our merger is false in a sense.

Have faith in yourself as a worthy individual. You are likable and lovable. All of us have our own faults which we like to keep hidden. If your flaws are causing a relationship to falter, you don’t want to keep these deficiencies so close. You may attempt to release your inner shortcomings by disclosing them to your partner. Acknowledge each others weaknesses and attempt greater closeness through sincerity.

Peace comes with authenticity, openness, non-judgments, trust, reflection and a letting go of fear. Begin your discussion agreeing to disagree. Assume you will not approve of everything said but agree to listen assimilate and accommodate another’s ideas. You will be closer to a real union as well as a greater expansion of the mind.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Help Handling Resentment

help handling resement“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” Brian Tracy

At times we believe jealousy is the furthest thing from our minds. The truth is it is always close by and waiting to pounce unexpectedly. We are content to hear of the problems of others. It can make us feel improved. It allows us to think of being contented. We are superior to the person whose problems we are listening to. We gain more support in difficult or unhappy times than when we are celebrating cheerful periods. It is curious but we feel better when another is hurting. We feel jealous when another is rejoicing. At first glance we deny this but on a second glance we face the reality of our thoughts.

“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self-worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.” Elizabeth O’Connor

In times of trouble people act diminished and less competitive. They give up the fight. That is when we are offering support and feel superior to their dilemma. When times are good for another, we feel beaten and act defeated. In truth we are not a winner or loser in either event. That is the secret. We are choosing our feelings about a given situation. We may feel more like a hero when we are giving help. Likewise we feel more defeated when we require aid. Most of us keep our issues to ourselves and manifest jealousy in response to another’s pleasure. They have what we would like. In our minds they don’t deserve it or they don’t warrant it any more than we do. We ask ourselves why they possess something we don’t have.

Within this questioning process we feel sorry for ourselves, frustrated about our lot and angry with others we perceive as in a loftier position. We begin to perseverate on how they achieved what they exhibit, and how boastful they appear to be. In reality these people may not be arrogant at all. They may possess certain comforts but are not owned by their possessions. The judgments we project about any given situation is not necessarily the reality of it. Building something bigger than it actually is creates our feelings of jealousy. We attribute all kinds of bad concepts to the situation and people we are jealous about.

To stop resentment we need to focus only on what is good and what is working in our lives. How much do we have is more important than how much is deficit. Striving for superficial happiness is at the root of some jealous moments. In reality this apparent pleasure may bring an insurmountable problem or work that may leave us defeated. Acquiring an object of desire comes with a price. The price can be higher than we thought and costlier than we wanted to pay. Appreciating what we have is important. If we stop our jealous tendencies, we may stop our low moods. Our lives will be more joyful and we will live in the moment.

When one settles for something for the time being, wishing to always have something more, one is living in a future time based on a dream. This person is missing the present time completely to the point of destroying it through covetousness. The person cannot cope with what is so they only envy what they are lacking. It destroys self-esteem, energy, cooperation, love and happiness. Jealousy destroys the good time in the present by not allowing you to enjoy another’s friendship, property or talents. People and material items are not to be envied. Our lives are worth so much more. Happiness comes from within and needs to be celebrated from without. Enjoy every moment you have and cherish it because it is the treasure we strive for but never find as long as we fill our hearts and minds with jealous theories that leave no room for true satisfaction and meaning.

“A good criterion for measuring your success in life is the number of people you have made happy.” Robert J. Lumsden

How Competition Creates Distrust

when competion sponsors distrust“Divide the fire and you will soon put it out.” Greek Proverb

 The competition starts before we are even aware. We begin the competition from the day we are born. Parents actually set up the first rivalry. Babies are judged by who is longer or bigger at birth. It continues with when a baby walks talk’s train’s counts and manipulates objects. Parents may refuse to believe they are remotely in any race but the reality of the matter is from babyhood through adulthood we are programmed to compete.

When we compete we set the stage for a winner and so there must be at least one or more losers. Has anyone proven that there are rewards for keeping down whole food at the youngest possible age? Does walking at ten months make one more special than walking at eighteen months? Is bigger better really? If we answer no to theses questions but still discuss our child’s size then we are a hypocrite. Think for a minute. No one goes around saying my child is in the ten percent in height and weight. My child walked later than most children. Seriously, if we set parameters all the time, there will be those that surpass them and those that will simply fail. The question is if it is worth out time and effort.

Jumping further into the future we struggle with school work and the best speakers, writers and math stars. If a child does poorly we begin stressing his or her sports ability. Suddenly we are giving up on school work and in the process brainwashing our child into believing they don’t have the ability to be successful in school. How detrimental it is to discover our realities manifesting due to our own making.

The same is true of the scholar who is believed to be only good at school work. They come to believe they have no athletic capabilities. When this happens we are not allowing our children to be all that they can be and more. It boils down to competition. We forget the possibility that with training, the poor athlete may get better or the poor scholar may find his or her niche and discover the cure for a disease. This is not as crazy as it might sound. The superficial part believes we can peg any person into a certain hole and leave them there.

Grandparents may add to this competition. They begin comparing grandchildren by saying this one will be great in school and this one will be getting an athletic scholarship. This sounds so silly. The children are perhaps toddlers. What happened to the goals of kindness and caring as well as empathy and selflessness? Maybe it is time to reflect on the altruistic attributes. Children will display what we expect of them. If we expect our child to mess up in high school because that is what teens do then that is what our kids will do. They return to us what we believe. Don’t expect your son or daughter to party through college and just possibly they won’t.

Parents pit their children against each other every time they compare them. One year in time may find one child with more strength or endurance while another is lacking. It is not necessary to point this out. It is also not necessary to push the child in need to be the same. It is okay to be different. We are not all the same but we all are important and unique. Forcing everyone to love music, dance, sports, book learning or anything else is foolish. Yes we all need to learn and become educated but we can’t force a love of math or science. We can’t force the stamina to work out for an athletic endeavor.

Siblings can be close friends if parents allow them to simply be themselves. Love your children. That is the only requirement of parenthood that will make all the difference in the world. Other people can and will influence your children along the way. At that point the parents should have created a firm foundation. It ought to maintain them and allow them to weather any questionable time in life. If siblings compete, their brother or sister becomes the enemy.

Sometimes we might have the ability but not the interest to pursue certain athletic or educational goals. Other times the timing is not yet right for us. Being a good person first is what we should be striving for. In the end we will find our way. The uttermost person at the top with the best idea cannot always make it happen without those working with him or her to attain the goal. Without all of us the finest thoughts can be laid to rest.

After all of our growing years are over, the end result is an adult ready to face the struggles of the real world competition. It is sad to find people pitted against each other rather than working together. The fastest worker gets the raise. The best personality befriends the boss. The schmoozer secures his job. The book learned person keeps ahead of the masses. One wonders about the true identity of anyone. We may want to ask the real person to stand up.

Our importance does not depend on our pushing someone beneath us. It depends on how many people we manage to lift up to stand beside us. The baby test needs to be rewritten or dumped altogether. It is time to help each other rather than hurt each other. Children shouldn’t have to begin life believing they are less than others. We need to love them as they are and have faith and belief in them. When anyone receives love they have the ability to bounce it back to others. The more love received, the more love bounced and spread around to others. It will leave us all with only one goal. The goal will be to manifest as much love as we can so that wherever we look we will find it.

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” F. H. Bradley

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” Tuli Kupferberg

If You Downplay Expectations, You Decrease Stress

modest expectations“With the  fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did  not laugh, I should die.” Abraham Lincoln

It is a mystery why we expect so much of ourselves. It is awesome to have lofty goals but when we expect to accomplish more than what even two people are capable of accomplishing, it is time to release some of the burden. Our own goals are so much higher than any expectations others have for us. The trouble is we fault ourselves when we fail to meet all of our challenges. We also run the risk of becoming so defeated that we give up and stop any attempts to achieve any goals.

We are our own worst enemy. It is time to settle down and accomplish what we can accomplish and let go of what is impossible to do. It is always commendable to work for the highest goal but if we fall short of it we need to promise that we won’t punish ourselves with Self-reproach. Guilt is a great reducer of energy, and self-esteem. Other people in our lives suppose we can solve dilemmas. Our children expect us to endlessly help them and to do it with a smile. It might even be at the loss of our own free time. Parents wait for us to take care of some of their difficulties. Sometimes the timing is all wrong but of course aging parents do not always take that as a good excuse. Elderly parents have more time on their hands to think about their difficulties and tasks that require attendance. The problem is we are the ones that must pay attention to such complications.

If we are aware of how much attention we place on the troubles of other people we realize that just maybe we are not so bad. We care about helping others who are struggling. We place the needs of our family and extended family before our own. We are good people. It is not the end of the world to put off a task that appears to be too much for us to handle at the moment. If we approach that same task when we are spilling over with more enthusiasm, we will manage to get it accomplished in record speed. Performing our duties when we are too tired to take them on is asking for trouble. In the end we will use up the little energy we have and most likely perform a shoddy job because we are tired and our heart and mind are not attuned to the task.

Many times work places pressures on us to accomplish work that may be impossible to complete in the given time-frame. People in charge have no idea the amount of time a particular task might take to complete. Their goal is to badger us into working beyond our time to finish the job as fast as we can. They are happy the task got done while we feel defeated because we didn’t finish in the time allotted. We probably completed the job in record time. We are unaware of this fact so it overshadows our pride in our performance. Again we are stressed and depressed as well as of the opinion we did not meet expectations.

The more we focus on how little we think we are accomplishing, the less we get done. It is truly up to us to b become aware of our work ethic and be more reasonable with ourselves. We can have a bad, sick or mental health day. If we must put something or someone off until a time in the future so be it. The more we take our duties in stride the more confidence we will have in our abilities and the less scattered we will be.

The burden of never being good enough can drive a person into a health risk. We can believe we are too stupid to accomplish what is required. Our thoughts focus on if only I were smarter or more educated or had more money or a different job. If we don’t change our attitude then it really doesn’t matter if we are brighter, more educated, and richer or had a better job. The outcome is the same. Changing our attitude along with our expectations allows us more freedom and fewer burdens. If we lose our health, we can’t do anything for anyone. Our goal needs to be to help others yes but within parameters. Expect to do and give our best but have guidelines. Let negative comments from others roll off of our shoulders. Keep our goal in site but rest when we must. Become the boss of ourselves. Give but measure the amount we are capable of giving at any given moment. Throw guilt out the window and never ever doubt yourself. Trust yourself and your inner feelings. In the end you will achieve fulfillment for yourself and others.

“Life is not a few years to spend on self-indulgence and career advancement. It is a privilege, a responsibility a stewardship to be lived according to a much higher calling, God’s calling. This alone gives true meaning to life.” Elizabeth Dole

Never Allow Anger to Overpower Reason

don't allow anger to overpowers reason

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; You are the one who gets burned.”     Buddha

How many times have we began a discussion with someone and ended up in an angry confrontation, or worse, an escalated battle. It happens. Especially when we are tired or simply overburdened, we tend to allow heightened sensitivities to overcome our thought processes. We may want to straighten out a disagreement or confront another about a sticky situation. Even if we have set the time and place, we still must reflect on what we want to accomplish in this planned argument. We are fooling ourselves by thinking we are trying to resolve the conflict, when we are totally attempting to make our own arguments and win the battle.

 We might have pondered the conflict privately but determined we were not to be blamed. Having our facts ready to toss out and our opinions set, we basically are planning our attack. It is an attack because we are not thinking of compromising or seeing another’s point of view. We are thinking about our own purposes and are preparing for battle. This onslaught sends our opponent reeling. They are on the defensive and dig in their heels and fire off their own facts. The conflict immediately escalates and both sides are out of control. Both parties walk away feeling the other person was unreasonable. We blame them for the continued discord. It is difficult to accept any wrongdoing on our own part. We see another’s faults but rarely view our own. We defend our line of reasoning and shoot down the opponents arguments. How stubborn they appear to be.

It is so difficult to accept any blame. It is so difficult to admit we are not completely or even remotely correct in our thinking. We are angry and anger takes over. Questioning our anger is the first thing we need to do. By reflecting on why we are so angry at this person and why we must prove them at fault is important in the healing process. To get over this dispute requires thinking, empathy and giving in to a break-down of predisposed ideas we have created. By contemplating we come to realize the other person has some good arguments and main points. By empathizing we enter into an understanding of their feelings and emotional state of mind. By breaking down the barriers we have created we make room for accommodating their new approaches.

Exhibiting anger never solves any problem. Anger never encourages an opponent to accept our viewpoint. Sometimes we must allow another to do something in their own way even if we believe they are heading for failure. If one learns from mistakes, it is not failure. In the end we might be pleasantly surprised to find out we were wrong. In order to keep peace, both parties must co-operate and learn how to agree to disagree. It can be simple. We don’t have to choose to make things more difficult. If we want a relationship with this person, we need to allow them to have their own opinions.

Our experiences are different. We bring different schematic to our lives from our childhoods through adulthood. Our tolerance levels are different as well as our personalities. What is unbearable for one person is more than tolerable for another. Our likes, opinions, ideals and goals reflect our own being. Our life lessons are varied and attuned to our being. We can only live our own life, and choose for ourselves. To make peace with anyone else we must respect them and their opinions. Stepping down from our thrones permits us to allow others not only to be wrong but also to be right. In the end what we want is connection and communication. We want a relationship that is intact. To have this requires respect and acceptance. Keep anger from clouding judgment.

Anger at times is the result of loss of control. Another is challenging our viewpoints or our status. We feel threatened and retaliate. Fury can be jealousy because the object we desire is sharing themselves with others. Rage can be due to changes we are not ready to accept. Anger is a loss of power and influence. Anger can be our own lack of confidence in our ability to be ourselves. When we fear change we get angry. Those we love the most are the ones who anger us the most. We need this other person in order for us to somehow define ourselves. Many times we are dealing with our own inner issues and our uncertainty evolves into a frustration and anger that turns from inward damage to outward destruction. Resolve to solve your inner conflict before it consumes you and spreads outside of yourself. We always have power over ourselves and can always control our own anger if we choose.

It is okay to let go, whether we are wrong or right. It is admirable to lose an argument, even when we know we are correct. It is alright to display our inadequacies. It is fine to follow once in a while because we don’t always have to lead. It is okay to love someone even from afar because love is free and without barriers. We must remember that by sharing love we have expanded it. We enjoy more support and increased freedom. Love will never be contained and shouldn’t be restricted. It is a better world to spread love than to disperse anger. That will always be a choice.

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” Thomas Jefferson

Change is Rapid but Recovery Gradual

change is rapid recovery difficult“The life of a winner is the result of an unswerving commitment to a never ending process of self-completion.” Terry Bradshaw

Nobody likes unexpected changes. Even good changes leave us floundering for a while. We might think happy events would charge us with happy attitudes. Sometimes the opposite happens. An upcoming marriage is an awesome happening. Everyone is excited. If one checks on the viewpoints of the major players in this event, we discover not all parties are exuberant. There are many sad stories that result from these so called happy changes.

It isn’t that weddings are not in themselves joyful. The problem is these major occurrences in life bring about change and change brings alterations to our daily lives. We get comfortable with the way things are and any transformations, good or bad, leave us floundering. We can’t see into the future and we fear the unknown. We think, it might be worse instead of, it might be better. We are kicked out of our comfort zone so we panic and become full of anxiety.

Weddings bring forth cheerful gatherings, friendly people good food and new beginnings. They have the added hope of new life and grandchildren. There doesn’t seem to be room for any misgivings. There is adjustment. Our child is officially an adult, on their own, influenced by another person not of our picking. We fear losing influence, time, and connectedness with them.

We also fear our need to move on in a different direction because we no longer need to spend time nurturing our children, we have more time.

The newlyweds fear their decision to have chosen this individual to spend the rest of their lives with. They have doubts and questions. They fear being thrown into the adult role and taking responsibility for themselves, and their mistakes. It was easier allowing their parents to guide them, make the decisions and take the blame for anything going off track. They are anxious about paying bills, living with another individual and being accountable for their own lives. Reality is setting in and it is not a totally comfortable event.

Having a baby is another wonderful happening. It would appear to bring out only happy times. This is not so. Now we need to put another person before ourselves. We need to worry more about saving and paying bills. We must be more responsible in our behaviors because we are now influencing another human being. Our driving might improve and our driving speed may be slower. Our binge drinking has to end and thoughts about smoking and foul language take on their own importance. We begin to doubt our capability to accomplish this task.

Both of these wonderful happenings are evolving into nightmares because we are scared of the future and its changes. We liked doing what we wanted when we wanted and where we wanted. Doubts keep surfacing and we try to keep them to ourselves as if we are the only ones on the planet who are or ever did think this way. We are alone in our thoughts and afraid to share them because this is a favorable change.

New jobs, homes, friends and neighbors bring their own array of anxieties. They involve our breaking out of our mold and melting into something new. We are challenged to be unveiled and vulnerable. These things may be delightful but they leave us frightened about measuring up to the challenges we are facing. We fear that others can observe our faults, and failings.

If we look at the negative changes that happen to us they basically fill us with the same challenges and fears of transformation. A death in the family diminishes us. Our world is forever changed and we are forced to move in another direction. It is difficult to see beyond our own room. The person we loved is not walking among the living. We can’t imagine not talking to them or seeing them. Our world is disintegrating. Coping is difficult. We almost resent hearing the laughter of others we meet. How, we wonder, can the sun rise and the cars busily take people to work? People walk swiftly to and from their respective destinations and we want to shout, “Can’t you understand I’ve lost the love of someone close to me?” No one hears us in the silence and we go through the motions of another day wondering if the agony will ever go away.

In a similar way divorce is also devastating. Although it might be something we wanted, it is still an adjustment and an alteration in our lives. It is the death of a relationship and a love we had and believed in. It is in a sense similar to a death because it is the death of a love. It carries all of the pain yet garners little support from others who view this as a choice.

Job loss is a total displacement. Self-esteem is lost and how we define ourselves is over. Even a retirement can feel similar to a job loss. We are reinventing ourselves and fighting to claim a new position.

In all of these situations good and bad there are adjustments and modifications required. We have to amend our lives and or lifestyles. It is necessary to let go of what was and embrace the unknown. Things are different and variation is required. Conversion to new loves, friends, family, jobs and interests becomes paramount. Replacing our old ways or habits may be difficult but necessary. We are constantly developing. Each evolvement brings us closer to becoming a whole person. Unwrapping the layers of our lives, brings us to greater enlightenment. Perceiving the whole picture leads us to a grander understanding of our life’s purpose.

 “Progress involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” Frederick B. Wilcox