Self Discovery

Self Discovery“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.”  Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

It is impossible to get away from thoughts about self. Our entire day is focused on how we appear to others. No matter how much time we spend instructing ourselves to build that hard  exterior, we cave in or dissolve it immediately when confronted with the slightest rejection. I am guilty of it myself. I feel so motivated to be strong and I fortify myself with inner speeches. I walk out my front door, meet someone and all my  good plans are wasted.

It is as if the world has decided to play practical jokes on me. I can hear it saying, “Ha Ha I thought you weren’t going to give in but instead you were going to give them a piece of your mind when you had the chance. You just are not strong enough. When we part ways I experience such anger at myself  for letting myself down. I am about ready to give up until another sad day of reflection and work at  bolstering my ego to the point of reentering the living world and its’ many confrontations and dilemmas.

I have yet to discover why I can’t keep my own promises to self. I am so capable of keeping the promises made to others so why not those made to me. I know at any given moment, I am evaluating the person, place and happening. I might be angry at enduring an insult but when I run into that person, they begin telling me a sad story or act like I am their lost friend.  I  relent and start offering comfort and advice or camaraderie. Of course when we meet at work or social  occasions, I am the recipient again of the slight.  I constantly ask myself how easy it is for me to be taken advantage of.

Are we fooled by others or by us?  That might be the real question. I know I spend a lot of time analyzing situations and people. So much time doing that that I forget about my own agenda and focus on others, their problems and the way they and the world sees me. It resonates with truth. Again I define myself by what others see. I simply find it so hard to see what they see when it is positive, yet any critical knowledge given to me about myself is processed quickly and sticks like glue to the brain. I can remember hurts from childhood that have stayed with me.

Talking to others has made me aware of the fact that so many people are suffering the same feelings. They fault themselves as much as I do and when I listen to a rendition of their beliefs about themselves, I hear me in their words. As much as I defend them against their own opinions of themselves, I always lose the battle. They smile at me and thank me for the kind and encouraging words but then they walk away with the same opinions of self. I sense that I have hardly made a dent on their soulful situation.

I ask myself what does it take for any of us to be comfortable with self? How does one learn to like never mind love self? Why is it  difficult if not impossible to like oneself? The questions are troublesome and very intense. I think that is why they don’t get answered. It takes a lot of time and effort. We don’t cure our country’s problems or world problems for the same reasons. We want truth but not really. Uncovering the veil and viewing reality is brutal. We are not ready and likely never will be without confronting many more areas than we want.

Does a society want to learn the ways they must change in order to have peace? I would venture to say no. Does the government want to change the infrastructure of its’ economy to improve lives? No it is way too complicated, involved and disruptive to everyone. We all long for changes but not transformation which is probably what we would be looking at. So we bereave our lots, attempt change, continue to dislike ourselves at times and wonder at our total confusion.

I am the same way. I end up feeling overwhelmed and just too busy to make the attempt and too tired for the endurance level it calls for. So it leaves us in defeat and at times despair. They say we have more young adults and teens as well as older people  committing suicide. It is almost easy to see why. If one is always concentrating on what is wrong about themselves it is no wonder they can’t find what is good in them. Our game of working on self leaves us losing and disgusted. I’d like to make it work for me and I know others must feel the same way. There are no sure instructions on self improvement and self-love. We use the books attempt the therapies but most times believe we have made progress but haven’t fixed the problem totally.

It is hard to view ourselves through another. They are in the same position we are. if they are having a bad day then what do they have left to give to us. We need to find it within because nobody can do the searching as good as we can when it comes to self evaluation. We sometimes enjoy wallowing in our own defeat. We sense we somehow deserve it. This analysis practically encourages our own defeat. By thinking we are not ever good enough,  gives blessing to our fears. We live up to our own low expectations and the low expectations of others.

If someone believes in us, how much harder we  work at living up to that image. I would almost venture to say maybe we are afraid to see the good positive qualities within ourselves  because that would make us understand how much good is in us. We couldn’t sit back waiting for others to fix things if we recognized the power we had within ourselves to fix it. We might be forced to appreciate us. That is powerful and troublesome. Now we might have to act.

Maybe it really is the moment to have faith in ourselves. No we are not perfect. yes we make many mistakes. There are times we get hurt due to not valuing ourselves. If we are rejected so what. We are still worthy people. Believing in self allows us to comprehend the big world and the whole picture. Young adults have options to meet many other people. To believe that we can’t be loved truly by someone is not so. Many others find us loving and worthy. Giving up on us is not an option. Trusting in us is the choice. We can fix and nurture ourselves and do the best job. We know we are capable. We are hiding if we say we can’t do things. We can. Own up to your own worth. By doing so you will improve yourself.

No matter how difficult it is to find things we admire in us  find them because they are there. We have all performed kind acts and offered helpful advice to others along our journey. Don’t ever underestimate your worth to yourself or your ability to make a difference to the human world at large. I may not be present at a crucial moment in time that you are there. You are the chosen one to make a difference even if it is in a strangers life.  I might be present at  a time when you are not.

I would suggest we all stop looking outward at the courageous things we see going on around us. Suppose the few peoples’ lives we touch make a difference in their ability to influence a herd of others. This is that rippling effect that carries onward. As I mentioned before we never delve too deeply because it is fearful and requires intense and fierce probing and examination. In the end we find how much better a person we really are, because it leads us to focusing on the positive. This gives us the stamina to resolve the negative.

“Never REJECT yourself due to the sins you have committed. REGRET will do nothing; REPENT and do something!”  Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”    Confucius

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”    Confucius

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”    Confucius

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”    Confucius

Value Has A Place

Value“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”    Martin Luther King.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”    Plato

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”    George Bernard Shaw

From Book “Mother-In-Law Daughter-In Law Dilemma

Consideration should always be granted to another person. A mother-in-law‟s fairness to her daughter-in-law is out of respect for her son, and a daughter-in-law‟s fairness to her mother-in-law is out of respect for her husband. We need to saturate our hearts with appreciation, deliberation, and honor. Treating another person decently or compassionately is demonstrating regard. It is acceptable to give others respect, but it is necessary to first be aware of anothers existence.

There are times when we simply do not see others or their needs and desires. Becoming mindful of other people and their wishes can plant the seeds for nurturing and respect. Many times we are not cognizant of the countless behaviors we exhibit that offend others. We hurt others by our actions or what we say. It requires practice to focus attention on others. Tuning into another‟s circumstance of the mind permits us to empathize with what they might be pondering or feeling.

A mother-in-law might be unaware that her daughter-in-law has been up all night with a crying baby. If a daughter-in-law shares this information with her mother-in-law, the mother-in-law can show consideration for and assist her daughter-in-law. A mother-in-law can simply be a sounding board for her daughter-in-law’s com-plaints. A mother-in-law can allow her daughter-in-law to defuse her frustration by simply listening to her concerns.

A daughter-in-law should key into her mother-in-law’s complaints. Her mother-in-law may not always feel well. A daughter-in-law might consider all of this before judging her mother-in-law’s frame of mind. Sometimes through common sense we demonstrate respect. Helping a daughter-in-law cope with her children is considerate. Helping a moth-er-in-law clear off a table is appreciative. The little things mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law do for each other creates the bonds of respect they have for each other. Showing respect is also necessary when discussing our dissimilar opinions. We can reject our mother-in-law‟s concepts for decorating, spending money, or child rearing without rejecting her. We can never be too sure that our way is the better way for doing things just because it is the current thinking.

Mothers-in-law can reject their daughters-in-law’s concepts for working, spending money, dressing, or taking care of the children without rejecting their daughters-in-law. Give your daughter-in-law credit for venturing into the unknown and attempting to apply a new concept. You may feel it necessary to wear lace to a wedding; your daughter-in-law may wear pants or a skirt. You cannot tell her how to dress.

Research shows there are complaints from daughters-in-law when mothers-in-law visit unexpectedly. Daughters-in-law prefer formal invitations. Some mothers-in-law complain that they never get invited to their daughter-in-law‟s house for dinner. If they do get invited, the meal is thrown together from a box. Other mothers-in-law stated that if they just dropped by unexpectedly, they got a cold shoulder. They did not feel welcome. Some mothers-in-law felt like intruders.

The daughters-in-law complained that they worked a full-time job and had children to contend with. If they invited their mothers-in-law, they did not cook too much because they are not “gourmet cooks.” Some daughters-in-law stated that their mothers-in-law stopped by unexpectedly to spy on them and to catch them and their house in complete disarray. One daughter-in-law stated, “She just wants to check up on my house-cleaning habits and cooking ability.”

The truth for both mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law lies someplace in the middle. If a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law is trying to find imperfections, then they will easily find them without much effort. There are imperfections in the best of us, but also worthiness in the worst of us. Respect requires the ability to ignore anothers shortcomings. If we display appreciation for another, we might be more considerate in our judgments and opinions. By being aware of someone’s struggles, we may connect on a higher level with that person and recognize his or her worth. If we appreciate another‟s challenges, it may conceivably allow us to appreciate them.

The daughter-in-law should not be expected to produce a gourmet meal. Many mothers-in-law agreed that boxed pizza was just fine as long as they got an invitation to come over.  They felt the company was the best. Likewise, the daughters-in-law agreed that an unexpected visit now and again was okay, provided there was a refrain of criticism. Both factions wished for pleasant conversation.

“Nobody as long as he moves about among the currents of life, is without trouble.”
Carl Jung

“While on a walk one day, I was surprised to see a man hoeing his garden while sitting in his chair. What laziness! I thought. But suddenly I saw leaning against his chair, a pair of crutches. The man was at work despite his handicap. The lessons I learned about snap judgments that day have stayed with me for years now.


Cassie was an easy woman to talk to. She began her rendition of her mother-in-law, Nancy. Cassie had been married to Sean for over ten years. Cassie had a twinkle in her eyes every time Nancy‟s name was mentioned. Cassie recalled and retold a couple of funny and interesting stories. Her lush plants were obvious, and Cassie recalled one particular account about her plants and her mother-in-law. Cassie began her account with an amusing smile.When Cassie and Sean were first married, they lived a short distance from Nancy. Cassie remembered how busy she was at that time with young children. Cassie loved plants, but she admitted, at times, she forgot to water them. Her mother-in-law was had a green thumb.

When Nancy would stop by for a visit, she would pull out all of the brown, dead leaves and water Cassie‟s plants. Nancy would then instruct Cassie on how to take better care of them. If Nancy came unexpectedly and Cassie had piles of laundry all over the kitchen floor, Nancy just stepped over them and made her way to a chair without blinking an eye or losing a step. Nancy never mentioned the dirty laundry. Cassie laughed. Nancy would invite Cassie to lunch. Nancy always chose the restaurant, but she allowed Cassie to have veto power. Cassie recalled using her veto power only once. Nancy had chosen a fish restaurant, and Cassie hated fish. That particular time they chose a restaurant they both agreed on.

Cassie always had three plants hanging in the den by the window, full of brown leaves and drooping green ones. Cassie mentioned her busy schedule. She drew attention to the three plants and recollected how they were looking about as attractive as they had the day her mother-in-law decided to come for an unexpected visit.  She called Cassie the day before she planned on visiting. Cassie hung up the phone and studied her three sick plants. Cassie was not in the mood for an instruction, so she marched to the garden shop and bought three plants just like her dying ones,  and replaced them.”

The next day, Cassie hung up the plants, picked up the house, and waited for her mother-in-law to arrive. When Nancy walked into the front room and spotted the fully green plants, she remarked how beautiful they were. Nancy then turned to her daugh-ter-in-law and said, “You must have just bought them.” Cassie was shocked. She stared at her mother-in-law, and then they both burst out laughing. For the rest of the visit, if either woman mentioned the plants, they had another laugh.

Cassie spoke with love about Nancy. Cassie said how Nancy always went on vacation with them. Nancy would babysit while Cassie and Sean went out by themselves. The only drawback to having Nancy on vacation was that she had to sit in the front seat of the car with Sean. Nancy would get car sick if she didn’t sit up front, although Cassie had never seen Nancy get carsick. Cassie chuckled. Her amusing stories were inspiring. They proved that the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law could manage a compatible relationship with honesty, understanding, respect, and a dose of humor.

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.”
The Reverend Jesse Jackson

“It is not good for all your wishes to be fulfilled; through sickness; you recognize the value of health, through evil; the value of good; through a hunger; satisfaction; through exertion, the value of rest.”    Greek book of wisdom

The crosses people bear are seldom in plain sight.”
Annette Ashe

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others life.”    Richard Bach

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein

The Prism Of Life

The Prism Of Life“An easy life is rarely meaningful and a meaningful life rarely easy.”    Oliver North

“The art of living, lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”    Havelock Ellis

“The real world reveals itself like surprise gifts on our doorstep, special moments that seem above and beyond the reality of others. These times are full, beautiful and meaningful beyond words, even when wrapped in pain.”    Christopher Hawke

Sometimes we lose our way. I suppose it has to do with striving towards goals, that probably  aren’t right for us. I also wonder if we just need the stamina, to stick to the fight a bit longer. Whatever the problem, I know there are times in the lives  of most or all people, that are so muddled, that we can hardly find our way out. I find air, only when I think about the good things in my life.

I have wondered why our lives appear to be so complicated at moments. Is it due to our own interactions, that make a situation more mixed up than it needs to be? The truth is, it doesn’t matter what the issues are, it seems to have more to do with our own attitudes, which build up the barriers. I also wonder, if it has to do with our own expectations. Maybe we are trying to control our lives a bit too much. Perhaps we expect more from ourselves, than we can deliver. Maybe others depend on us too much.

I’d like to book a personal tantrum day for myself. Honestly, have you ever gotten tired of being the dependable person? I remember as a child, being the one people expected to do the correct thing. Of course it  gives you many friends, but also a share of enemies. One can never please everyone, or anyone. all of the time. You’re number one today, but dirt tonight. Dirt is good for plants. I recall some family members adoring me, others disliking me and still others wishing to put me “In my place.” I was called “Goody Two Shoes”, a name I learned to hate. As a kid, really all I wanted to do was what I was told. I learned at an early age, that it doesn’t work. Thinking for myself became my solution as an adult. Wearing a suit of armor was incorporated, and deafening my ears when needed.  All of this allowed me an escape route from fear and worry.

It is difficult to focus, when life gets confusing. Your attention is  beckoned to so many different situations, that none of them get the attention they deserve. In the end result, you accomplish nothing. Life is anything but calm. The restlessness takes over along with uncertainty. Life is never clear, and attempting to focus on life in general, is disorienting. One wonders how it happened. Yesterday the picture was crystal clear, and today it is perhaps mystifying.

I know for me, it is as if I am alone, afloat in the middle of the ocean, attempting to spot land. How I got there, and why I am pursuing such a course,  is beyond my understanding. For sure it settles the mind down for reflection. The body is forced to become a subdued prisoner of the mind. If the thoughts are not dealt with, the body can’t continue functioning. The mind can overwork the body, and confuse the brain, with a myriad of ideas. Reflection about the core points in our lives, becomes essential.

Maybe reflection is a good thing. Contemplating sometimes generates clear thought. The responses are not always the ones we assumed, but perhaps they make sense. It probably is necessary to  target how the road blocks happen, so that we might avoid them in the future. We may also consider why they appear, and how we might stop them or at least lessen them.

Many times these obstacles have necessitated a reviewing of my actions, and intentions. Embracing the whole picture, probably ensures that I reflect on the truth of a problem, and find a better solution than the current one. I hate to restart. I look at my sewing mistakes as humble stitches, as did the pioneers of the past. I refuse to take out mounds of stitches. Admittedly  we do need to redo certain things. If we get it correct, all is well at least for the time being.

I make an analogy to wars. Each war we fight is concluded with the commitment to end wars. Unfortunately, we go along for many years and find ourselves in a similar situation, and begin another war. That is how I believe my body is working. I  travel forward without consideration most of the time, until I crash and am forced to face reality. Perhaps it isn’t what I want to look at, but likely it is what I should observe. Without reasoning, there is no heartfelt living.

It is clear to me,  that some of the calamities might have been avoided, if I had taken the time to consider, what I was doing, saying, and how I was behaving. It doesn’t make one proud of themselves, but having been down the road of persecuting self, I refrain from going that route. I will settle myself down, and look at the facts, as well as my own misguided notions, and then I will undoubtedly change my course. It is not to my liking but inescapable. Each time I am forced to alter my course, I am confronted with paying more attention to my selections. The transformations are undoubtedly a benefit, and never the hassle, I assumed they would be.

Each of us is faced with those challenges, big and small, every day. What may appear simplistic to others, can be traumatic to us personally. It doesn’t concern me, what others think, only what I think and feel. Our feelings for people and things is different. Our treasures are varied. Supporting each other is imperative, to navigate   through obstacles and snags. So many people have inner and outer restrictions, that never appear to go away. Those are the people that are required to be strong, in the face of adversity and pain. It can be with situations or health. Those people are to be admired as heroes.

The chaos and turmoil in our lives has to be faced and settled, if we want to make any kind of progress. It is easy to say but placing it in God’s hands, relieves us of some tension. Some obstacles are too big to fathom. We can’t wade through mud without help. Faith and hope are paramount, to attaining relief. The answers are not always the ones we request, or expect, and I must admit I like my own choices as much as anyone else. Learning to cope with life, takes time, effort, forgiveness when we falter and steadfast tenacity in searching for truth.

I know at times, our hoped for answers, are far into the future. Extreme patience is necessary. I think profound happiness is also attained in due time. We don’t always appreciate why we missed the plane, lost the car keys, misplaced the job application, broke up with the boyfriend or girlfriend, and overslept on the day of the interview. We believe it is the worst thing in the world that ever happened to us. Of course we never find out about the hijacked plane, car crash, company shut down in the near future, horrible boss and job situation which likely cause us health issues. Perhaps there is a safer day, a more suitable job, and a better soul mate.

When the future arrives, and everything falls into place, we forget about how awful we felt, during our previous tribulations. All our attention is on what we gained, not what we were spared from enduring. Faith and trust is so difficult a pill to swallow. I guess the best thing is to reflect now and again on our  lives, be thankful for the good, and tolerant of the troubles as much as we can. Understanding our life, and purpose, is actually as important as living our life. People sometimes go through life mindlessly living. Better to comprehend life and live it  with purpose and meaning.

“What mattered was still there. That was what they all felt, and what surprised them all. What mattered couldn’t be shaken.”    Jodi Lynn Anderson

“The will to dream, the courage to act and the hope to win are the stuffs that make life meaningful! Create the life you wish to live and live it fully!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“When we work creatively and productively with others, our experience of meaning can be profound. When we work directly for the good of others, meaning deepens in ways that reward us beyond measure. Whenever we go beyond satisfying our own personal needs, we enter the realm of what Frankl called “ultimate meaning.” some call it connection to a higher self, to God, to our own spirit, to universal consciousness, to love, to the collective good. No matter what it’s called, it is deep meaning and it transforms our lives.”      Alex Pattakos, Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work

Potency Of Actions

Potency Of Actions“If your relationship to the present moment is not right- nothing can ever be right in the future-because when the future comes it’s the present moment.”     Eckhart Tolle

You find peace, not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”    Eckhart Tolle

“Anything that you  resent or strongly react to in another, is also in you.”    Eckhart Tolle

I am not being critical as some of my knowledge comes from my own experience. It is vitally relevant that we comprehend, myself included, how we go about teaching our kids the many things we desire to see in them. If we sense our kids are not very empathetic, perhaps we should check on our own empathy towards others. If we never demonstrate any care of others then it will not be found in our kids.

Offering a food cart to another before retrieving one for ourselves allows kids to observe empathy or mindfulness in action. It demonstrates in a simple way, our concern for another person rather than ourselves first. There are numerous times we display agitation at waiting for prescriptions or a doctor’s visit. WE get angy at people in the office. Some of us even take it out on these people. They are simply trying to do a job. Our attitude is only adding to their stress. We can be a stress reliever by acknowledging we are aware of the long wait but understand it is likely necessary and unavoidable.

Teaching kids to be grateful is another concern. It is absurd to say, “My kids are so ungrateful. I do all kinds of running around for them yet they don’t even care. To top it off they fight with me.” I agree that is not very nice but how many of us have spent years disagreeing with parents and fighting in anger. We probably go for days months and years not speaking to them. We don’t stop to say, “Oh my parenst spent years working hard to pay the bills as they took care  of me.” It is as if we believe we have the right to treat them shoddily because we are an adult now. We have responsiblilities and worries that they don’t know about. It is so much harder for us, so we think. Our parents wrongdoing to us seems to outweigh any wrongdoing we are guilty of regarding our own kids. Even if it is true, forgiving and peace is often a better choice.

Maybe it is true that we can do more spend more and even understand more than our parents did. However,  one day when our kids look back on what we did and didn’t do, hopefully they won’t judge us as harshly as we judged our own parents. We get back what we put out. We get back what we teach. It isn’t like one day we wake up and say to ourselves I think I’ll teach my child about honesty, love, kindness, humility, perseverance or tolerance. They are learning each of these virtues on any given day. We must demonstrate such virtues or perhaps our kids will ignore them the way do.

So much is stressed about manners and even talk about mindfulness being taught at schools. It all sounds wonderful but you can’t always teach it. Talk means nothing. Demonstration means everything. When parents demonstrate with actions, their concern for others, it registers in the mind and processes in the heart. Schools can reinforce these attributes but they can’t reach the hearts of the children as easily as parents are able to do.

I remember a teacher saying to a class I was in, ‘If I could just unscrew the top of your head and then pour all of the knowledge into your head my job would be so easy.” I suppose the same is true about righteousness and morality. If we are not wary of what we are actually teaching kids or baking, then when the bread is raised and done, the end result might surprise us. This is likewise true for kids. This is one thing not easily taught because it requires our attention and mindfulness of our own thoughts, actions and words.

It is no surprise that kids from divorced homes have trouble with love and trust. Their lives were disrupted, tossed into turmoil, and cut apart at the heart. Grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins and even parents are many times separated from them. Unconditional love ends up becoming conditional. Feelings of loss as well as jealousy creep in towards step brothers and sisters. It is likely,  inevitable in most instances. We don’t understand why they become angry and rebellious. As we have less time money and love to give, it is more difficult to express our love for them.

Kids love their parents unconditionally. They forgive but they will mature into a similar version of what we are. Teaching trust makes it necessary for us to exhibit forms of trust in our own relationships. Stability and endurance require us to accept commitment and forgiveness in our own lives. If we exemplify these virtues in our own lives, likely we have a good chance at witnessing it in our kids lives.

Gratitude is an awesome feeling. We have so much yet choose to deliberately focus on the negative of what we don’t have. When we have love we have all  we need. We can get through obstacles. Instruct your kids to be thankful for what they have in their lives including the people such as mom and dad and grandparents and aunts uncles and cousins. They are priceless. Stay connected even if those people are irritating at times. We are all annoying at times. If I can accept your annoying behavior then perhaps you can accept mine. That is how it works.

Mindfulness is a virtue and it can be learned through demonstration, as can anything worth knowing. I know now how much better it is to try to be tolerant of the failings of family and friends. They bring another dimension to my life that can’t be replaced by another. When I start recalling my parents and siblings shortcomings, I work hard to put on the brakes. I know I am being overly critical and I am aware of how much good is in all of them. I would rather express and point out the goodness I find in the family rather than their faults. I hope that one day they will return the favor.

It is so easy to release the fighting and fault finding. We never feel good after such an experience. How renewed we feel after a family episode. If we feel love in our hearts our kids are sure to learn it easily without any effort on our part. We don’t want our kids picking up on distrust anger resentment or fear. Better they learn trust, serenity joy and assurance of the presence of love.

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.”    Nhat Hanh

“If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you; I came to live out loud.”      Emile  Zola

Turning Disappointment Into Acceptance

resentment“Family dinners are more often than not an ordeal of nervous indigestion, preceded by hidden resentment and ennui and accompanied by psychosomatic jitters.”    M. K. Fisher

“The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment.”    Elbert Hubbard

I find the thing that brings the most heartache and pain is disappointment. Every day there is so much need to face discouraging situations. At home it is frustrating if we feel the workload is not fairly divided. At this time loading the dishwasher which wasn’t suppose to be  our job, gets irritating with every dish. Perhaps the job isn’t as hard as our anger at having to do it.

Our husband or wife are expected to be home early for a nice meal. Suddenly comes the phone call stating they will be late. All the plans are dashed and we are crushed. Our minds work overtime and we know, and believe they could have gotten out if they tried harder. I guess the danger is when we deduce they didn’t care enough about us to make the endeavor. After a long day we don’t want to be greeted by another persons’ bad mood. Maybe they have been cranky all week so it is our turn. So we reckon.

At work there are those people who never make the coffee but they make sure they get their share of everybody else’s pot. We think they pride themselves  on this accomplishment. We get unnerved when it is our spouse’s turn to bathe the kids and all we can hear is angry yelling and demands. We resolve not to go and relieve them because we know that must be their plan. Now we are mad that they are plotting such a scheme. perhaps they are not but we don’t question to find out the truth or reason why they feel the way they do.

The in-laws are coming again and the husband is not going to cook the meal. How inconsiderate. The last thing we want to do is listen to them deliver and dwell on a boring story idea or thought that really could have taken two minutes to deliver rather than fifteen. The night is ruined and it is their fault. They should be responsible for their own families we surmise. The negativity and resentment builds with each new incident until there is so much resentment that we imagine all kinds of motives our spouse or family member use to manipulate us. We determine not to be taken in.

When imaginations run wild they are similar to a fictional story with us as the author. We are the unfortunate person that everyone is taking advantage of. Other people become the enemy. We have our strongly held beliefs and we don’t have time nor do we want to put in the sweat to figure out our enemies point of view. In our eyes they don’t have any reasons for acting the way they do. They are at fault and we are just responding in kind.

The marriage and the friendships limp along in this fashion until they dissolve. It might not be what anybody planned but if the relationships are not given any air, they will burn to ashes. What we don’t always see is that once we are on the wrong track in any relationship, it cause double the problems. We notice more wrongs, have less patience and put no exertion into understanding them. We have finished with trying. Things become larger and more detrimental.

Perhaps some issues might have been solved if we had pursued some solutions prior to giving up.  Once we make a choice to abandon the relationship, we have pronouncrd it dead already, it is sad when this happens. Probably it didn’t have to happen. Being afraid to face the burdens with each other fosters a continuation of resentment that terminates the love. I am a believer in love. I know things can always or most of the time be worked out but prolonging the negativity cuts off the oxygen for a healthy relationship.

Perhaps if we might recognize our own limitations instead of clinging to our independence and capability so as to prove our self-sufficiency, we might salvage our bonds. Weakness is such a fearful thing. We would rather not give in to weakness and dissolve the union instead of admitting our tiredness and vulnerability. Along with these attributes comes the necessity of knowing how to get help using positive rather than negative means.

I have yelled and complained to no avail. If anything each person digs in their heels and shuts down their  listening skills. You just wait for your  chance to blurt out present past and future hurts. One wants to cover all of the bases. I eventually caught on to the fact that the arguments proceeded down the same path with the same ending. After years it occurred to me to switch up the response.

The hard part is coming to terms with my participation of wrong doing. Honestly nobody likes being wrong or admitting sorrow for mistakes. I tend to use the word but a lot. I am sorry but you weren’t listening, you started it, you didn’t take a turn, you never try. It sometimes led into another fight. I just didn’t want to take  all of the blame and my spouse was not interested in taking any of the fault. There I go again placing more on him than on me. In time we were both able to admit it when we were at fault. The strange thing was as soon as I admitted my blame in a situation, the quicker my spouse jumped in admitting something I would not have thought about. It became easier to find the truth and keep our feelings intact.

Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law disagreements are mostly misunderstandings. No one gives in and admits defeat. Sibling rivalry can continue forever without finding motives or forgiveness in each other. Family feuds destroy years of friendship and guidance. Reviewing a bad situation when we are relaxed and in a happy state of mind, allows us to get a sense of the craziness in maintaining a feud. Truly nobody comes out a winner but  everyone comes out a loser when a truce can’t be formed.

How important it is to mention the other people  unintentionally trapped in the disagreements we foster. They are the casualties of war and hardly get counted. We underestimate their pain, grief and  frustration. After arriving at this destination many times we sit back and reflect or at least some of us do. That is the point of enlightenment. It arrives the moment we come to accept our blame. It leads to a rougher path for ourselves as we face our own “demons” and become open to acceptance and forgiveness to self. The result is dramatic. Stress and worry are lifted and we become stronger and braver. After all we faced up to powerful accusations which originated in our own minds and hearts.  The reality was lit up in our awareness. The fuzziness  we encountered cleared giving us a clear picture.

It was so extremely hard to do the first few times but it is strange how much easier it got. There is no shame in wrongdoing when you admit to doing it. Honor is not just covered up but lost when we lie to  ourselves. We gain our sense of pride and honor upon admittance of guilt. After being locked up behind the bars of conspiracy, it is a relief to achieve release from the cage that surrounding us. Doing what we don’t want to do is painful, yet in the end it is actually a release from the pain. I encourage forgiveness to self and others. The mind must figure out the truth while the heart must work some feeling and sense of forgiveness to help the soul grow spiritually.

How much more time do we desire to give to fruitless anger and fights. How great is it actually to have the last word. If we can visualize the grave possibility of attaining inner and outer peace in the process it appears to be worth the time and effort. Of course unless we want to end up in a similar situation, we must begin to face the truth earlier in the game and not get caught up in another futile place. Changing our ingrained habits of the mind and heart requires commitment.

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”    Buddha

“Emphasis on educational and vocational rehabilitation must not be allowed to overshadow the profound need that will exist for spiritual reorientation. Inevitably there will exist, to a considerable degree, psychological maladjustments manifested in disillusionment, resentment toward civilians, depression, and a sense of guilt. Spiritual therapy available in the resources of the Christian faith can accomplish most in overcoming these problems.”    John Bonnell



Find What Matters

blessings“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”     Antoine Saint-Exupery

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”     Arthur Conan Doyle

“Joy isn’t the natural response to blessings – joy is what comes from acknowledging them.” Richard Paul Evans

Whenever parents compare kids the consequences are harsh. Yet many parents who do not compare their kids  still find competition rampant. Their  kids compete if not with each other then with people in their social circles. I question where all of the competition begins and I find  it never ends but appears to get worse.

I am aware that the world is set up for a stage of competitiveness. We can’t take a walk without feeling we are being observed and assessed. Are we wearing the cool running shoes, walking shoes or sneakers? Do  our colors match and is our make-up right for day or night? Do we look older than our age from our lack of sleep? Will we run in to people we know so maybe we should wear the other coat? How about the hair and walk? Appearing confident is important.

Somehow the world was changed from a natural environment to one of clashes at every turn. It makes no difference if you enter the game or not. You are still measured and approved or disapproved. Of course if you are approved, people will dislike, distrust and envy you. They will also include you but attempt to discredit you. If you are found to be lacking you will be loved because we all approve of the downtrodden and we love to rescue and support others. It gives us a superiority feeling. That is good to support others but shutting down on those we technically admire is  not good.

I know some people who actually criticize themselves constant;y so that others will deflect their remarks and encourage them with praise. Other people  who just  want to share their positive news are met with smugness. Maybe that is our way of keeping the playing field even. When we notice another moving ahead we have the need to push  them back. So it goes. If we could only alter the evolving nature of the world in a more profound way.

Schools foster the competition with the prevalence of grades and honors for progress. There is no honor for work well done. It is based  on gaining rewards. I am all for encouragement and positive rewards but as a child matures the rewards should taper off allowing one to achieve for their own sake. The thanks is in the knowledge or skill and accomplishment. It might even be a voluntary support to another.

Games foster the same mentality with besting of another. It is hard to imagine any of us can keep a friend. After all, if our friend moves up in the world economically, it is a game changer. They make new friends as they travel in a different circle. Even if they choose to keep with the known group, they make them uncomfortable and end up having to make new friends. The group can’t maintain its’ own stability with the changing of circumstances.  It is a known fact that those that win the lottery usually switch everything about their lives including people they hang out with.

Liking people for who they are ought to make  us immune from such issues. It is also a known fact that two is company and three really is a crowd. Nobody enjoys fighting to be part of a conversation. One is always left in the dust feeling the pain of rejection. Is it important to be the center of attention? Must we speak a certain amount of time to  be correct in the threesome? Are we still the same person? We are the same person but sense we are losing the race. I am not sure what the race is. Most of us don’t but we perceive when we are losing.

Parents instruct the kids to include everyone yet they choose who they will sit beside at functions. I’ve seen many who bypass those they know without a thought. Many imperceptible actions are perceptible to kids who immediately pick up on what we model. Anything that can be contrasted with babies and children is made a contest that we all participate in. Unintentional situations that materialize are also suddenly an opportunity to judge. The more I think about it the more I find it hard to believe we can hold onto our friends at all. It most likely works when we are okay with the pecking order. If it transforms in any way it may topple the relationship.

If I am the one who is always searching for acceptance and my friend is the one in the leadership role offering advice, it is perturbing if we switch roles. One takes a step backward and one a step forward. In actuality the friendship might dissolve. Some friends are available for all of the problems. They relish their role as lead support. Once a person is back on their feet the connections are altered and the relationship may not go back to its original form if at all.

My point is we are never relaxed and enjoying a relationship without the added innuendos. Look at the magazines offering beautiful people. Observe the TV and the power and control of marketing. See our friends in a dither about keeping up with everyone else. Look  at the concern we have with homes kids and ourselves. Too much emphasis is placed on how others think of us and what we hold dear. I’d like to find the magic to change the world. If we could reset the button and delete rivalry we most likely would defeat many clashes.

If the world can’t be altered, the next best thing is ourselves. Resetting us might make a difference. The more we refrain from striving for nonsense things and praise, perhaps we will send others the message of relaxing when with us. We might share without judgement. I don’t care if my child pooped on the toilet at one and your child was four. If it is irrelevant to me I shall not be repeating the news to so many others. It really doesn’t make a difference to another person anyways. If I were to repeat it I still see it as inconsequential  to anyone else.

It isn’t necessary for me to make myself appear improved by degrading someone else. As our kids finish school and move into careers, we tend to dwell on their accomplishments. Although  we might be happy for them and proud,  we don’t understand that to others it may not be as important. I am not saying don’t share the news but I don’t think we must share the updates constantly. I only mention this because there are many who are suffering with their own particular adult child issues. This is no way makes their child less or more important. It also doesn’t mean they want attention. It simply means our roads are complicated and maybe we should stick to what is important.

I love hearing what is going on in other people’s lives. I do know that couples who are attempting to have a baby and are truly discouraged are not so enthused when they hear about others having kids. I don’t fault them. Sharing is one thing but flaunting is another. I remember one couple discussing their recent vacation with a couple whose husband just lost a job. I think we are just so programmed and maybe so insecure ourselves that we have the need to constantly hold up to others things we believe are to be treasured.

As I mature myself, I find worth in the simple things. Again no criticism to another s beliefs. I just place so much value on giving and receiving love. The happiness and contentment is powerful. It is so simple to find out your own gems. All we need to do is think about those things we would hold onto for the last moment as other things slipped away. That is our treasure. If you get worried about the competition surrounding your life, and the jealousy creeping in, recall  what counts in your life. you may  already have won the top prize yet you continue your search and struggle at the world’s calling. I know it is said that stuff bothers us only if we let it. By reminding ourselves of what we have to be grateful for, we dismiss the beckoning of false prizes. We do away with the competition and we get to know who our family and friends really are and we are able to keep them in our lives forever. Most importantly we find ourselves and serenity.

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of Peace.” William E. Gladstone
“Don’t count your blessings, let your blessings count! Enjoy Life!” Bernard Kevin Clive
“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” Thomas G





Pride Is Virtuous

Pride Is Worthy“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”    Steve Jobs

“Values are principles and ideas that bring meaning to the seemingly mundane experience of life. A meaningful life that ultimately brings happiness and pride requires you to respond to temptations as well as challenges with honor, dignity, and courage.”     Laura Schlessinger

Pride is having arrogance, egotism, self-importance, vanity and superiority. Those are n ot exactly the qualities most of us strive for. As a matter of fact we try to alleviate these from our own self. There are other definitions for pride such as self-esteem, respect, dignity, honor and self-respect. Now that list is one I would love to place my name on. Both lists refer to pride but certainly one list honors it while another appears to be disgraceful.

I believe at times we may appear  to be proud because we are looking for respect. Perhaps the way we go about it makes others disdain us. What we see as self-esteem, they view as vanity. It is difficult to actually pull off dignity without sounding superior. Most of us  do not have a sense of arrogance. I think it seems so because we are angry hurt in pain and demanding of respect.  We offer it to others but at times can’t receive it for ourselves.

Maybe we try too hard and others see through the facade. The more unbelievable we appear, the more people ignore us which leaves us crushed. Being ignored is worse than being disliked. We might guess at the reasons people don’t like us but if they disregard us we feel unworthy and lower than low on the scale. There we go again with the measurement.

If we tossed out the measurements we probably would feel better. As I peruse the idea I admit that we could be looking at it in the wrong light. Maybe others dispense with us because we pose a threat. If we reflect on this we can appreciate the possibility of the truth of the matter. None of us is threatened by those we believe we are superior to. We get nervous around those who seem arrogant. They don’t have to act egotistical with us it is our own assumptions and wisdom that incenses us with the knowledge. When we view another human being as self-important,  we dislike how they make us feel and so dislike them. They don’t have to be guilty of anything.

Our judgments on us are harsh. Some of us see ourselves as worthy of being dispensed with. By appreciating our talents and inner qualities we insure a more accepting attitude of the goodness and virtues in others. It is only when we can’t find much in ourselves to like that we throw that anger and anxiety into the world as jealousy of others.

It appears to be extremely relevant to see ourselves in a better light. If we can do that we might find we have less issues with people and more confidence in our own abilities. Instead we study people and think I could never be or do that. Perhaps not but what other things can we do that are impressive and important. I view raising kids as the most important job in the world. Pride is not a bad thing. We can turn it into a defect or an  asset depending on our own behavior.

There are times when we have a sense of being correct. It floods our mind and body and we shout out what we know as we wait for the acknowledgement of honor. There in none. When we search for the respect it is not forthcoming. It might be due to another person’s inferiority in the situation. Pride can be fleeting and hard to maintain if we use it to overshadow others. If we provide our talents for the sake of helping then the pride that comes to us is more in the form of respect.

I know that when one receives respect, it the highest form of praise and pride of the person. Perhaps this is a result of our attempts at  just being supportive. The aftermath leaves us with approval and pride. Seeking approval and attention leaves us in the shadows under-appreciated. You can’t grab force or demand pride. You can feel it but be pushed down quickly. It hasn’t anything to do with one’s ability as much as it has to do with another’s fears and our own appraisal of self-worth.

I know I am a bit confused at this point because it appears challenging to win approval without hurting someone’s sense of self-respect. But then again there self-respect has nothing to do with mine. I can appreciate their virtues without losing faith in my own. I can even acknowledge and admire them and not take anything away from my own worth. The value others place on them is from measurement. My ruler might be different. I am not bound by any man-made laws or rules. I must see myself as whole and completely intact. My  pride comes from within and is not arrogance but dignity. I am not filled with vanity but with self-love and respect. I am not self-important but  I have self-esteem. I am capable of doing certain things and am willing to learn others. I am not superior but I strive with honor. I as well as all people deserve respect.

I know I can’t speak for others but I believe we all sense days of intimidation and inequality. Likely some of it is from our own deductions. Now it is time to face the truth that we deserve respect. I have met so many people and children and I have never felt anyone was lacking in a variety of virtues and qualities.

I think if we gave respect to all especially those who appear vain we will be surprised when it comes back at us. Those of us who appear more fearful demonstrate more pride. We cover-up our lack of faith in ourselves. It is as if we are attempting to prove our superiority. When we gain confidence even in small doses, we acquire the courage needed to face a fantastic person within. We fear seeing it as if it would run away upon being found. Having some pride in us doesn’t mean we are perfect we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to keep striving to be and do our best. Our best is always something to be proud of.

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”             Saint Augustine

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.”    Jane Austen

Forgive Self First

Forgiving Self First“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”    Mahatma Gandhi

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”    C.S. Lewis

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.”     Steve Maraboli

“Letting ourselves be forgiven is one of the most difficult healings we will undertake. And one of the most fruitful. ”     Stephan Levine

There is so much talk about forgiving others and that is as it should be. However, I believe we have forgotten to include ourselves  in the mix. I hate to admit I have made a mistake. It is demeaning to me to be found in the wrong, I feel so terrible. I can assume we all get that sense when we honestly confront ourselves about an issue and find that we are wrong. It is so difficult to apologize and even harder to forgive ourselves.

I think it is easier to forgive others than me. Sometimes it feels as if my pride has been wounded when another finds me to be at fault. Maybe it has to do with pride. We  have an image of who we are and we like others to see that perfect image. We don’t have faith in this image of ourselves. However when involved in the world it is easy to get caught up into big and minor  situations that compromise our views. Many times we go along to get along. We admit to ourselves that you can’t fight city hall or the throngs of people.

Depending on the gravity of the situation, we might feel compromised and it can leave us devastated at how we so easily tossed our integrity aside. This can happen within the home, workplace, dealings with others or anywhere else.  The main idea is we are forced all the time to choose, choose, choose. It can defeat all of us. After all we get tired, angry and anxious to deal with those issues we deem to be more important in our lives.

Those of us who work in factories building planes, are not necessarily for war or bombs being placed on these planes. Maybe we work on benefits for families and are relegated to  denying certain applications of those who don’t qualify. In our hearts we want to help and maybe after a while it gets to us.Unfortunately every move we make, has an effect on other things and other people. It also has an effect on us. The effect of what we say and do is so far-reaching.  I don’t say this to cause us any more anxiety than we already endure but to open our eyes to the need for thought in all areas.

The simple actions towards our children every  day tells them something about how we think and feel about them. We can’t profess one thing yet portray another thing. Maybe in a sense we are teaching our kids how to get along in the world with compromising. Words have little effect when actions are clearly obvious and brutal.

For instance, to encourage kids to refrain from drinking  will not work if they see us over-drinking a lot of the times. In order to promote an environment that is healthy we must act accordingly. Not easy. Kids for sure make us evaluate what we do and say. So many of us refrain from foul language when the kids are very  young. As they mature our language also matures and manifests with anger. We are perpetuating foul language. Coming to terms with this isn’t easy. Our spirits are fragile. The sudden onslaught of vulgarity for any reason flies in the face of love.

I believe that is why we begin losing faith in us and our ability to be good or worthy. At this point if we give it up we have taken the easy road. We suspend all effort of improving. I for one feel like a coward when I do this. Giving up is also what we are doing when we compromise our values and integrity. That is why it hurts so much and at times we hate to forgive ourselves. Of course in time we don’t know who we are anymore.

Just as we can’t take the easy route and surrender so to we can’t withhold forgiveness from ourselves because our actions are so abominable. Life is not a game of winners and losers. It is a journey towards a coming together of body mind and spirit. It is the courage to open up the large boxes one at a time, until at last we reach the gift in the last and smallest box. We can’t begin with the last box. It is impossible. But as each one is opened it feels good because we are closer to the treasure which is to be found at the end of our journey.

If we fear to approach the gifts and want to remain comfortable doing and repeating our mistakes, we will never get closer to the goal. Learning soccer and hockey and any sport is a step by step process. Learning a musical instrument or any field of knowledge is step by step. Include in the learning, acquiring the information we need to improve our souls. If we are willing we can do it but it is tedious and again step by step.

Mentioning souls is like talking about a taboo subject. Deep down the majority of us have faith in the notion of having a soul yet none of us or few of us would ever discuss our souls with another individual. We barely recognize it in our own minds. It makes us and others uncomfortable. How ridiculous is that when our purpose for life is to learn and improve our spiritual being. the rest is fluff. If we don’t understand that, we can get on with the unimportant things in life. If we do comprehend the magnitude then we have taken the first step and opened the first box. Life will never be the  same.

Forgiving others and ourselves is paramount. Just ask yourself if you would expect your six-year-old or ten-year old to do calculus or organic chemistry. We would all laugh.  The same is true with our souls learning. We can’t expect to have all of the answers. Refusing to give up our efforts is crucial. That is the key to acquiring anything. The power of perseverance is liberating in so many ways. By steadfastly working towards our improvement and possibly helping others along the way we are fulfilling our journey towards a better understanding about the meaning to our life.

Always pardon your own mistakes  with only one prerequisite, honest remorse. We can’t compare our own sorrow with another persons. We feel it in our own unique way which doesn’t make us worthier or less of a person than another. By pardoning not only others but ourselves included, we allow us to begin again. We have that option of hope and the ability to attempt to do things in an improved way. I always believe in baby steps. They appear simpler and more manageable. They lead to the same end as a giant step. We can’t forget the turtle won the race not the rabbit. Maybe being more like the turtle we are allowed to have time for thought and reflection.

If the turtle gave up as he observed the rabbit bounce further and further out of sight, he would not have won. If we give up we have already lost. there may be obstacles and even backwards movement. So what. It isn’t a big problem. We just need to pick ourselves up and continue reaching for the treasure. We can all make progress and exceed or excel. Have faith hope and forgiveness towards one’s self.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”    Alexander Pope

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.”    Allison Croggon

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”    Will Smith

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”    C.S. Lewis

Facing Perceptions Of Truth

Facing Torments“Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.”     Carl Jung

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”    Virginia Satir

“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”    B. F. Skinner

I honestly believe our biggest fear is ourselves. That perhaps is why we spend so much time running around and keeping busy so we won’t have to face us. It is an absurd statement to make but I think it holds a lot of truth. Probably that is why we overreact when our child does something wrong. We can’t admit we see them behaving like us. That is why we overreact to our kids and other people who demonstrate actions we are guilty of. It is difficult to watch.

We perhaps dislike the most, those people who remind us of ourselves. In reality we are offered a chance o view ourselves and change our own ways. Instead we strike out at these people and overshadow what we refuse to admit until we are ready to alter our frame of mind. There is no one who enjoys finding fault within. Yet we never see ourselves as perfect. If anything we punish ourselves the most and subject ourselves to scrutiny. Of course the intense look leaves us filled with negativity and insecurity.

None of this helps us if we only reflect on the surface problems. It is like saying “I know I am no good and I always say and do the wrong things.” That is too general and solves no issues. It leaves us encountering the same problems which never got resolved. Most fears come from our inability to face the truth. As much as we search for meaning in our lives we stop at the front door of enlightenment about self, afraid to open the door. We dread finding the inadequacies we possess. It is easier to pretend we know we have them but maybe we have just a few. Not knowing the amount is better than comprehending reality, so we think.

I firmly have faith that at this point in the crossroads of life,  we are close to opening the door and are not as horrible as we believe. By looking inside we can actually make things better instead of pretending we don’t know what we are doing so we keep repeating mistakes. As much as we deny faults we overstate our guilt’s which leads to anxiety and fear. So many of us live with worry that we don’t understand and refuse to fix.

If we fixed some of the burdens we would ease our lives and toss some fear away. As one quote stated in so many words, “Be brave and face your fears in order to overcome them.” Instead of convincing ourselves we are a lost cause, we can tune up our spiritual side and release some stress, the choice is ours. I know myself that if I refuse to let the negativity of others reach my heart, I have improved my days and life. It isn’t my  issue it is all their problem.

people who interact with us in an inconsiderate manner are inferring their own thoughts and hurts. We all have those moments to either vent or be the uncomfortable receiver. I sometimes wonder if we have become a people  so involved with life that we put inner peace on hold. It simmers and festers and eventually spills over because it can’t be contained any more than a boiling covered pot. We all try our best to let it boil as long as it can until we are forced to deal with it.

The same is true with the mind heart and spirit. We ease our sorrows, soothe our hurts, and release our anger in small doses if possible. That is a good day. The bad days cause everything to errupt. More honesty is manifested in the volcanic eruption. If we figured this out we could understand that all of the words and thoughts at the time of explosion,  are more relevant to our own inner feelings than another person’s mean intentions. Our hardest test is to recognize it.

Once we can see how damaging we are to self, it might encourage us to face our inner turmoil. Having the courage to transform us, makes it easier to interact with others. At times we are angry at self but would rather blame this person over there. If we understand the freedom that comes with knowledge about self, we might be quicker to deal with honesty. Our image of self is so fragile. We at times feel like a piece of glass that might get broken. We are so much stronger than that.

I remember dreading to go to the dentist or doctors, knowing some of the tests I would face. The loss of sleep and stress was awful. After it was over I couldn’t believe how much I had built it up in my own mind. It was no where near as horrible as I thought it would be. This is how self knowledge appears to the senses. The floodgates get opened and everything is smoothed out and peaceful. We have to get over fearing ourselves. We are good and our bad habits can be overcome. they are not as huge as we believe.

Letting go of our own torments works better than attempting to force change on others. Fixing us rather than finding mistakes in others aids friendships and communication. Problems are manifested by the input of both parties involved. taking our own responsibility promotes a positive outcome. Most of us usually feel guilty when another blames themselves. We are aware of how much blame we built into the trouble. It leaves us accepting some fault. It just takes one person at times, to admit their impact in a situation.

Dropping pride off at the nearest bust stop is a start. I venture to say that for most of us it is a facade. We pretend to have more confidence than we actually feel deep down. That is a whole other  post. Being yourself works the best. if people don’t like what they see perhaps they see it in themselves.  Whatever, it is their problem. Accepting ourselves and trying to be and do better is all that matters.  Eventually being, saying and doing better will become a habit worth nurturing in self.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”    Albert Einstein

“In my case Pilgrim’s Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am.”    Carl Jung

“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”    Carl Jung

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; The most massive characters are seared with scars.”    Khalil Gibran

Finding Faith Within

Finding Faith Within“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
“Your vision will only become clear when you look inside your heart…Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.”    Carl Jung

I have been doing my own soul searching and discovered so much of life is filled with not only inconsequential things, but also trivial talk. I attempt to meditate, or my version of it, and frequently attend church services for the benefit of the sermons. Of course they are not always enlightening, but often offer wisdom to carry me through the week. It is most often a message worth hearing, and carrying it with you.

Sometimes it is frustrating when the ministers go off about issues, not relevant to a person’s life. They are so off base. I wonder about why these preachers can’t see how important it is for them to concern themselves with the sermons. That is what people listen to, and attempt to base their current circumstances in life, on. If ministers profess a haphazard speech, then they shouldn’t wonder why they lose the people. We all want to be inspired. It is worth a priest or ministers effort, to produce a worthy sermon.

I’m not down on church people, but they have lost the ability to recognize their own power. Maybe they are so caught up in making money to run the church, that they are giving less attention  to what has the most meaning in peoples’ lives. I know they attempt to minister to the home bound, teach the young members in their parish, attend to the sick and aid the mourning and the troubled. There are still a great many souls searching for enlightenment.

I equate this to constantly giving all of the resources to those who are failing at school. The children who are just passing get few of the benefits, and thus barely pass. We almost drag everyone down, by not helping the average and the top students. I am not politically correct to say that, but the truth is we should serve all of the kids. By focusing on the failing few, we alleviate the responsibility from the home and the parents. In the end result, we have just fair grades from everyone, if even that much.

Likewise religion appears to be doing the same thing. they are attending to the  pursuit of nice things, such as the grounds and gatherings, but they have forgotten to face the actuality of life’s mixed bag of confusion. It becomes another area where some people are left feeling unfulfilled and ignored. There are those middle ground followers who don’t have a marriage crises, or money problem, yet things are not always perfect either.

There are many who face problems within a marriage, and they work it through. They bank their money, as best they can, while saving some for college and unforeseen issues. They don’t ask for help, but they worry constantly about their finances. They do their share, but perhaps they are not the front runners of leadership roles. They come through many times in minor roles, so their contributions are  not as vociferously honored, within a religious system.

Whenever I hear of an institution giving praise to certain individuals, I question their reasoning. The people  who do it out of the goodness of their hearts, do not need praise for it. I would just like to see more effort placed on spiritual matters. How are any of us doing soul wise. We face our problems sometimes alone.  After all, there are only so many ways we can spend our time. If Churches sponsor bazaars and a suppertime get-together that is very nice, but these things should never be at the loss of time to the crucial  benefits of support groups. Sermons that benefit those middle of the road attendees, who need to be inspired, are vastly underestimated.

I have to admit, I hate to see the rules bent in order to keep attendees coming. It is as if we make the rules as we go along. If we are not politically correct perhaps we might lose the parishioners. How ludicrous is that. Churches should be challenging us to think about our souls. They can’t be afraid to say it. When we meditate, we are reviewing our spiritual side, and working on becoming a better person. Leading an improved life is our goal. The same is true with attending church. We are aspiring to build up our souls, to face the challenging issues, they will confront, on a daily basis.

I don’t envy the ministers task, but I do have faith that they should reflect a lot, perceive the issues of the world around them, and rather than attempt to change their own platforms, try to evolve the inner spirit of the people towards good. It is a tougher job, but the product of it is honest virtue and integrity. We all search for truth and meaning. We can find it within ourselves if we look hard enough.

I know that churches fight their own battle to keep their flocks, but in such a demanding and temptation filled world, I think the focus should be on the spiritual neediness of the people . We understand and recognize our imperfections, but we are looking for the encouragement to do better. We are acknowledging the dignity of leading a virtuous life. All of us want to do our best and become the best we can. With solid unbending support we are uplifted. I don’t want to bend the minister to a lower level, I  want to be lifted up above where I started.

As much as I like the idea of ministers offering blessings to sports teams and governments, I must admit it feels like a waste of my time to listen to a drawn out production. I would prefer it done in a private, swifter fashion, and devote the leftover piece of time to those of us who attended church services for inspiration, to lead a worthier life. With everyone and everything else getting uprooted, it becomes more necessary to stabilize our beliefs in love, empathy, virtue and forgiveness. I want to be fortified to face the week, without compromising my integrity. In this world that is not an easy thing to accomplish.

In the end I must admit, it is up to us to take the responsibility, to nurture our own souls. Deep down we know what is right. We like to ignore it because it is not an easy way to follow. If we allow reason, instinct and spirit to blend, we will find our truest answers. Who is there better to trust and have faith in than our own instruction. We have always had the choice, and we can choose wisely. We simply lost our enlightenment amongst the brightness of the false attractions calling out to us. It is time for us to take control of our own destinies.

The world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves or have listened only to their neighbors to learn what they ought to do, how they ought to behave, and what the values are they should be living for.” ~Joseph Campbell

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”    Carl Jung

“Spirit, like God, denotes an object of psychic experience which cannot be proved to exist in the external world, and cannot be understood  rationally.”    Carl G. Jung