Happy ?

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.” Anonymous

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray

What does it mean to be happy? If you asked a million people their answers would likely be different. Happy means to be pleased joyful cheerful blissful exultant ecstatic delighted and content. I know the number of people I talk with within a week and they have numerous adjectives to describe their moods and few would mention ecstatic lives. The adjectives used perhaps are more like tired, upset, discouraged, stressed-out, fearful, over-worked, sad, anxious and over-burdened take your pick. Continue reading “Happy ?”

Living With Despair Or Hope

Living With Despair Or Hope“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”     J.R.R. Tolkien

“She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”     Patricia Briggs

“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”     Jo Nesbo

“The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.”     Alain de Botton

How many of us are fearful at every turn. I would guess that most of us worry constantly. We fear so many things that we don’t even count or connect them anymore. Our anxiety level increases along with the stress. What we don’t see is the numerous diseases we encounter because of the pressure of our burdens. We may be able to walk through fire to help someone, especially our families, but facing the issues of daily life may bring us to our knees. I heard someone say that there would always be prayer in schools, because there would always be tests.

The wonder of why we succumb to life’s strain is not especially hard to understand.  Facing problems head on is not the preference for most of us.  We perhaps prefer to think about it when we are forced. Perhaps  that is for the best in certain respects. Life does appear to wear us all down to the point of making us feel defeated.

Maybe we ought to reflect on what life means, and what goals we have set. Perhaps we doom ourselves by trying to gain the same items as everyone else, or have a  certain amount of money. Most of us take pride in the achievements of our kids. The honor falls on us so we think. Taking a deeper look in what we believe, and search for, may produce surprising answers.

What we want for our kids may not be what they ever wanted. What our kids do or don’t achieve has nothing to do with our own  happiness or disappointment. Our dreams may not be their dreams. Having reached the pinnacle of life may not look the same to each individual. I realize there are certain things that define all humans and their needs and wants, but perhaps taking a more profound look into ourselves, may solve some of our issues.

The pressure is on kids to achieve at school, be a hero at sports, and work for a scholarship for college. At the very least we hope they will gain entrance into colleges. Those of us without a lot of money hope to see our kids in a better position than we ever found ourselves. We may feel cheated or denied access to the good things in life. It can easily leave one bitter. That is not difficult to understand. But disappointment occurs in every level of society. There is no magic cure for heartache. Being human almost implies there will be plenty of demanding things to endure and master along with the good.

As a human, it is important for us to be in control. I believe now that once we give up that notion, life appears easier to accept. The ugly truth is that we are never really in control of anything. The happenings of life are slow and quick, happy and sad. Some things we can prepare for while others are shocks to the system. There are slow daily grinds,  and fast horrendous unexpected obstacles to deal with. Most likely none of us would change places with others.

It may not be exactly the same, but fear creeps into our lives and can become the unwanted guest. Teens build up so much stress that many teens at such a young age, figure life is too hard to continue. Again the pressure to win it all is tremendous. Where is the reflection of life itself. Perhaps we don’t appreciate things as much as we should, myself included. We should not have to value something after it is gone.

I recently lost my dog and the lack of her presence is so challenging  to endure.  I am not attempting to compare an animals loss to the loss of people, but it dawned on me how many more times I might have petted her or played in the yard with her. It has led me to comprehend life as fluid motion. It moves swiftly onward so whatever we value ought to be appreciated at the moment, especially while we can still enjoy it.

Fear is insidious. Teens worry about tests, dating and being accepted. Adults worry about money, their kids, homes, spouses and careers. Then life happens and throws in all kinds of roadblocks. We all have so many issues, it is impossible to mention all of them. We come to a false belief in the notion that our best is never good enough. That adds to our anxiety and sends us running in circles while searching for meaning in life. So many of us just keep moving and thinking the motion somehow will fix our worry. Facing problematic concerns is too difficult.

Now I see it as running away. I am escaping my problems by waiting for the answer to fall from the sky. I don’t face some of my worries or burdens. I simply ignore them and keep moving. One day I thought about the fact that I spend way too much time on those negative fears and concerns. Many or most of them can’t be altered, but I know I can face them if I muster my courage. Perhaps my fears can’t be crushed, but likely they can be approached, modified and understood. Accepting isn’t easy but honestly managing the fear renders it neutral. I can handle it in a variety of ways and see it for what it is.

As life moves forward we have children and then encounter problems that were unforeseen. We can lay on the battlefield defeated and discouraged, surrendering to life in defeat. Or we can face it and fight it by tackling it head on, allowing our mind heart and spirit to work together to find better answers than giving up. Perhaps we may not find the solutions we were seeking, but we might find a remedy we can work with. Enlightenment  grants us the courage to travel in a new direction.

We all hurt inside when our objectives and desires are left by the wayside. We cry for our kids and others we love when there are mistakes, pains or heartaches. What is not clear to see or understand, is that many times our cries are for ourselves and the things or ideas we longed to see happen. It is our loss that hurts. We wanted or expected certain things to happen and when they don’t go according to our plan, we are devastated. I am totally included in this group’s interpretation.

I honestly wonder if it is spiritual growth that we all need despite our efforts to avoid it or encounter it. Maybe our trials and tribulations bring about a deliverance from jealousies, envy, pride, anger, control and more. We may get knocked down but perhaps we are a better person when we get back up. It forces us to view life in a different way despite our best efforts to avoid that.

We may be forced with challenging changes that brings anxiety into our lives. But any time we have faced tremendous difficulties, we are confronted with finding our own strength to deal with the changes. Perhaps we come to acknowledge our need to appreciate those people and things we cherish. I like everyone else, take so much for granted. We lose our patience, get angry, feel envious, jealousy  and intolerant more times than we would like to admit.

I just wonder if the obstacles remind us to slow down, smell the flowers or coffee, and reflect on finding peace and serenity. If nothing else, life teaches us to have more patience, love, empathy, and compassion. It leads us towards understanding, and learning to appreciate the small  stuff. It awakens us to the little things in life that we should cherish and remember. Perhaps we are being nudged towards the good and spiritual side of ourselves. This in no way means God brings us sorrow in order to teach us something. On the contrary. I believe we are brought to the attention of what life is all about.

We all die at some point. We have bodies and souls. Most likely we should be focusing more on our inner growth than our outer enrichment. Faith and hope drives away fear and stress. In many ways faith and hope are our miracle cures. If we just slow down and look for the real meaning in our lives, we may not be so quick to toss those simple actions of a gift of dandelions from a child. The child at such a young age knows about beauty and love. As we get older we drive those messages further from our minds and hearts and embrace the frivolity of worldly desires.

By renewing our faith in a higher being, perhaps we can relieve the panicky feelings of fear, dread, jealousy, losing control, loneliness, anger, and heartache of all kinds. Mankind is really facing similar issues. We just run away from them until they catch us. Focusing on hope and love, drives away the clouds of fear and doubt. The challenge is to keep hope strong and alive. Succumbing to our fears,  leaves us defeated already from things that may never befall us.  It also creates a losing feeling before we have begun to do battle.  Faith gives us courage to accept the hope and love available.

Life has never been about finishing. Life is more of a  circle. Life is all about the ride we take. There are problems that confront all of us. Fearing the future is destroying our present with  thoughts that never come to pass.  Enduring our daily issues with faith and hope, brings courage to ride into the future with love, because life is the ride. Enjoy your life by seeing it with new eyes of peace and serenity. Whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually threatened, always choose to battle with hope as your partner.

“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”     J.D. Stroube

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.”    Herman Hesse

“Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that has been denied.”     Elif Shafak

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”    Desmond Tutu

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”    Leo tolstoy

“Everybody’s got the seam of goodness in them, Kit,” said Grandpa. “Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.”    David Almond

I spend a lot of time talking about comparisons, jealousy and competition. The truth is just when I think I have discovered where it mostly originates,  I find new areas of initiations. It is true that parents, grandparents and most people, compare constantly without thought. We hear about he tallest child, best athlete, intelligent or pretty girl, and more common discussions.

I wonder why we can’t seem to control our measurements. It would be horrible if we went to work everyday and listened to others talk about the best worker, smartest computer programmer, or other items we might consider. If neighbors commented on the lawns, houses, apartments or anything else that perhaps is measurable, we would avoid encounters with such individuals.

Today I had another encounter with such an incident of judgement, and it really  hurt me to the core, because I am sure it resonated negatively with a lot of people. Someone was mentioning a young  person in the news, who had done great things, but then died at a very early age. Dying at an early age is terrible for anyone to have to deal with. Without a  doubt we would all agree with that statement.

All of the praise was deserving  for this individual, and I agreed wholeheartedly with the discussion. Then came the crucial point of contention for me. The person doing all of the praise, began stating that although the woman was young, she had likely done more in her life, than a person of eighty or ninety. Her accomplishments were tremendous and her recognition was renown. On that I would agree, but it wasn’t necessary to compare her life, with any other life. Compliments without comparisons is vitally significant.

At that moment I wanted to yell stop, but the person was on a platform, delivering a speech and the option of offering opinions to the discussion was nil. I sat there quietly and began reminiscing about my grandmother as well as other people who had already passed from my life at a very old age. Of course they were not known by many, and had not captured the eye of the general public. Somehow the pain of that speech bothered me enough to write this post on the incident.

My grandmother would be considered illiterate by today’s standards. She was loved by the entire family, and was without a doubt missed by all of us. Her grandchildren numbered twenty one and her great grandchildren numbered significantly more. When anyone loses someone they love, age may not be considered. They are all missed. Most of us are left with the loss felt within our hearts.

My grandmother had the knack of making every one of her grandchildren feel important. When in her presence, you felt loved and cared for. Her great accomplishments regarding love, were many. Whenever anyone in the family came over to visit, she would take charge of the kids, allow the mother some free time to engage in conversations with others, and rock the baby or children until they fell asleep.

She was one of those amazing people who could ignore the screaming child, and smile at you when you went to check if everything was okay. I remember her specifically telling me the baby was fine, and to  just go back and enjoy myself. Her calm manner led one to understand, she would have the patience and love to deal with the situation. She loved every grandchild and every one of them was aware of it. Another thing she did was the dishes and pots in the sink. You could not tear her aware from doing dishes. None of us realized that she had done this for each and ever one of us, numerous times, perhaps too many to count.

We all felt so special that we believed she loved us so much that she would do anything for us. We were all correct in our thinking. Her influence over all of us was immeasurable. Her love transcended years and time and space, yet she never perhaps received the eulogy she deserved. We were all present at her wake, and I am not saying she wasn’t appreciated, but we didn’t feel we should send out news flashes about her wonderful, meaningful life. She raised kids, cooked cleaned and made the lives of anyone she met, as comfortable and easy as she could.

Where I am going with this, is to the point that so many ordinary lives are actually extraordinary. Their lives perhaps go unnoticed, but God and the ones who love them are conscious of the gift. Their contributions probably also appear diminished, when compared to those individuals who make the news.

I do not want to appear comparative as the person who I am writing about. There are many people who deserve praise and eulogies perhaps even before they die. Those who are in the limelight certainly deserve the honor for their great works. We just can’t forget those who are in the shadows, but also do great work,  which is seen only by a few.

A life spent in compassion and care of others, be it for family, friends or strangers, is a worthwhile life. Maybe their life  will never be expounded on the front page of newspapers, but they have front row seats in many hearts. Many ordinary people are perhaps just as deserving of recognition, that likely they won’t receive, and really don’t look to receive. They are content to do what they can, when we can, and without any mention or credit to their names. I know God sees more than us and it is not going unnoticed.

Definitely it is time to reflect on that ripple effect. What any inconsequential act, any of us do, has astounding repercussions of all kinds. Compassion and empathy travel endlessly beyond, reaching into the future of our kids, and grand-kids. Perhaps we might never see the ripples of our good deeds which possibly impacts strangers. Recognizing this fact, should make us more cognizant of the significance of our lives. No  life is inconsequential.

I know the speaker was not trying to say other people’s lives were not important. Although it did appear, that he assumed, the simple quiet long lives, might have less  meaning. A life is a life. Live with compassion for others, and with care regarding our  words and actions. Be  quick to forgive and let  patience and tolerance flourish. Your life is without a doubt meaningful and extraordinary.

Never underestimate your worth or the work that you do. We influence people every day, including strangers. We all think act and observe others. Easing anyone’s pain, is God-like. Bringing comfort and love to others, allows them to become the people they were meant to become. Think about a match that has the ability to light the campfire. That campfire creates warmth and  light, as well as nourishment through the food we are able to cook over it. If we misuse the match, we likely create a forest fire of some size, be it large or small. People are influenced by good and evil actions and words. By providing kindness and love, we light the campfire, which triggers inspirations.

What we do in our lives is woven throughout the fabric of many lives. Family members and strangers are affected. Taking our lives more seriously is crucial. We can’t ever doubt our own life, or ability to change the world for the better is an impossible undertaking.  We are not  powerless to make a difference. Simply living a life filled with love and empathy for all, will make a difference. The transformation will be beyond measure, and beyond years. Live your ordinary life with passion because it really is extraordinary in so many ways.

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that they’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”     Mahatma Gandhi

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”      William Shakespeare

Voice Transformation

Voice Transformation“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”    Aristotle

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”    Ambrose Bierce

“The best fighter is never angry.”    Lao Tzu

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”    William Arthur Ward

I was listening to a youg friend talking the other day and couldn’t help but smile. His voice which normally had an air of youthful authority, was suddenly direct even and just a tiney bit faster than normal. Of course he had an important message to give so I could see why his words were swift.

What surprised me was how different he sounded. You could hear his maturity in his speech. There was no need for his usual pushy and aggressive attitude. His voice had changed to a deliberate straightforward mode. I smiled just recalling how just a few years had past and he had definitely matured.

It made me understand how our tone, loudness, tempo, infractions, emphasized letters, drawled words and pitch made any sentence more than a sentence. It was as if it told our thoughts, age dilemma fear and mood. I believe that is why computers and technology in general will never replace the human voice. Somehow feelings, emotions attitudes and thoughts go into our every monologue and spoken interaction. We can’t hide our emotions.

Children know immediately when parents are angry about anything. The stern clipped sentences that range a bit louder than normal,  at least at the beginning of the episode, tell the kids to scatter. Dad or mom is searching for something or upset about anything and they don’t want to be the unwilling victims of a parents’ foul mood.

When parents review a bad report card they hesitate and one can envision the anger rising up their necks and into their angry red faces. Of course the child is waiting for the explosion. The parent may begin with an even slow voice but the pace picks up quickly as fast as the loudness increases. Within seconds like a rocket the words tumble out so fast the child is unable to comprehend the meaning that is being delivered. What the child does know is to simply listen and refrain from interruptions. This is accomplished and the child is at times punished grounded and sent to their room.

I remember listening to the arguments between my older brother and our father. Of course my brother had the mouth that would not remain still. As much as I admired his courage, to this day I never understood his inability to learn the importance of silence. I would watch my dad’s face sternly focus on my brother while words of wrath tumbled from his mouth. Whenever there was a pause my brother chimed in with some sort of a retort then blast off, my dad was furious.

I could observe my brother almost chuckling at the power he had to send his dad to the moon so easily. I on the other hand held my breath and hoped the incident would be short lived. Otherwise life would be difficult for all of us until the next day. I remember my father’s almost breathless words stumbling out.  The voice was almost inaudible. My dad’s body was always rigid at this point and his neck muscles stood out pulsing. How my brother thought this was funny is beyond my comprehension.

I recall being at the beach one day and watching a family in front of us interact. The young teen was asked to get a drink for his father from the cooler. The boy went to retrieve the item. When he came back his father was enraged. The boy had brought a soda rather than a beer. The man swatted the boy on th back of the head almost sending him crashing to the ground. The man snarled like a dog at his son. I remember not understanding the words but the snarls came through loud and clear. The tone was strong and gruff. I remember glancing up at the man from my head down position. I was afraid to make eye contact with this man. I was young but he instilled fear with his voice.  In one quick motion the teen scrambled back to the cooler and grabbed a beer. He handed it to his father having to stretch his arm to be within reach. I couldn’t blame the young man because he didn’t want another hit on the head.

One day  as I walked to school in Boston, I was behind a young mother and her two young girls hardly more than four or five. The mother was in a hurry. Her sturdy fast paced steps, swinging arms, along with her grip on her handbag gave one the impression of someone on a mission. The kids were obviously having trouble keeping up. The woman kept urging them to walk faster and she increased her rate of speed. Her voice was loud and her words were curt.

Inevitably the youngest child slipped and fell on the concrete drawing blood to both knees. The mother was angry and started to scream at her youngest daughter. The crying child immediately clammed up while the older child stop attempting to help her sister to her feet. The three continued their walk with one change. The youngest child was limping and trailing behind. I had to make a turn and lost site of the three individuals. I won’t forget the intense look of the mother and her terse words spilling through her clenched teeth. No wonder the child just got to her feet and continued to move on.

I wonder at adults who are parents or work with kids. I hope they realize how much of an impact both good and bad, they have on  kids. The impressions  they leave are carved into the spirit in a good or detrimental way. Children are the helpless recipients of anger frustration, regret, and much more. They have no where to run and no escape. Living in fear for some kids is a normal state of affairs.

We put people in jail for simple infractions yet we allow serious harm to happen to kids before we  step in as a society. I will never understand this. At the sake of embarrassing parents, we should come  to the aid of families in need. Unless we find the root of problems there will be no remedy. If one requires an antibiotic but is only given cough medicine, the infection continues. Answers at most times are simple.

I know the voice has the power to crush, disintegrate, relieve, or bring comfort and love. The words are not as important as the tone, loudness tempo distinctness emphasis on words and expressions on the face of the person delivering the message. Perhaps we should think about the messages we are sending to our kids and to other people. Probably we never thought about the changes in our voices nor the facial changes and bodily changes expressed by our built up emotions.

After growing up with a multifaceted person I have learned how to  read most people. I get a sense of their mood. We all get angry but  allowing it to take over our minds is inexcusable. The next time we feel our fury rising,  we might think about the changes taking place in our own bodies. Take some deep breaths and count to one hundred if need be. It might help us to better control our own rage. It is  always within our power to change things. We simply need to be aware of how we affect others and the impact of our anger. Making happier and brighter days for our own families and those of others is crucial to everyone’s well-being.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”    Mark Twain

“Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”
Leo Buscaglia

“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”    Shannon Alder

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.”    Shannon Alder

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.”    Cherie Carter Scott

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”    Shannon L. Alder


What We Do Know“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” ~Erma Bombeck

“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”    Albert Schweitzer

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase, ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you.’ Of course there are many ways to look at that. If we don’t know we are ill then it might hurt us. We could debate this for hours, but I believe that what we haven’t stopped to consider, will affect us in profound ways.

We are not far removed from the squirrels, birds  and other animals we study as they search for  food, mates, homes and security. I laugh at  the birds visiting my feeder, as they fight to gain access to the food. One morning I remember saying out loud, “There is enough food why are they fighting instead of waiting?” Of course at that moment, I realized they were behaving  just the same as people.

From the time we are born, our parents strive to get us into the best schools they can afford. The search begins to enhance our chances, and our lives. We don’t question what does enhancement mean. We are told the  bigger house, fancier car and multiple material  gains are equivalent to success. Not having any other options or opinions available, we carry the myth forward, and work hard to gain more of everything. Few  of us stop  to consider why. Perhaps the questioning might lead us to question, what we don’t know and are not told.

When I was first married, I had the tiniest place, but I was thrilled with it and with my life. I planted about two flowers, in the smallest area anyone  could own. The place was rented, but the simple gadgets we bought, were our own. It was home. As the years passed, we needed more room for the expanding family. We searched for a new place to live. That is when reality set in. It became paramount, according to the rules of society, to buy in the best town we could afford. Upon seeing the houses, it was clear that the more we were able to spend,  the greater the quality of the house, and the more features it had. This seems like a simple economic lesson, yet to me, it felt like I was joining the human race and I mean race.

We bought  a  home, still live in it and happily raised our kids. I can recall numerous people bemoaning their stepping stone homes. Their dissatisfaction  with their current place was obvious. It appeared so sad to me. How did they get up in the  morning with a smile of contentment. Of course they didn’t. They were living in a fictional future world. They wanted certain items that they didn’t yet have and their whole energy was focused on the acquisition of such items. They were unhappy people. The end to the story is the marriage ended in a divorce, before the future house was bought.

I began to understand the race, when my child did not get accepted in the preschool of choice. I apparently did not apply soon enough. The place I sent him to was wonderful and I was blessed that  he went to it. The struggles of maintaining the correct teachers, and staying abreast to make sure my kids were not overlooked, took a toll. People infringed on others sons and daughters. At long last I gave  up the control, and went with the flow. I decided that everything was in God’s  hands, and whatever happened was for the best. That was a liberating day. I continued to monitor my kids, and their work, but left the micromanagement to others.

I was not accepted into the  top social circles in my area. I didn’t care, because with four kids I was too busy to care. I had to make an extra effort to find things out on my own, but somehow it always was okay. One of the teachers, considered to be horrible, unbeknownst to me, became one of my  son’s best teachers. He still remembers her name.

Perhaps what I  didn’t know hurt me, in the area of associating with people, who were considered the ruling group in town. My kids were also, not on the guest lists of the favored ruling school group. That is a truth, and people don’t like to hear it, but there has always been a division of players. We all know it, and know our place. Nobody tells you, it just happens.

My life raising kids was awesome. I spent time with my kids, and enjoyed being with them. I didn’t need others to confirm, what I thought was right or wrong. It was a long road, but I eventually trusted myself. We  instilled virtues and values uncommonly mentioned. Taking myself out of the race, meant a certain amount of exclusion and missed celebrations. It also meant no pressure to be and act in ways I didn’t want.

If we had never seen another way of living, or viewed the  material gains of others, we might never have even thought of their existence. When we are all bombarded with so many things we might purchase, it can leave us envious of others and without contentment. If we are constantly looking for more, to satisfy  some uncontrolled desire, then we never notice what is in front of us, that is very cherished. In that case what we do know  hurts us. We tend to be influenced by others. This leads us into devaluing, what we have within reach.

Some of us get caught up in the tidal wave of living unconsciously. Others encourage us,  prod us, or flaunt in front of us. The resistance is hard. It requires some soul searching, to discover what is real, about us and our lives. When we cut the puppet strings from our lives, we learn to treasure the intangible possessions, that we cherish the most. Living is not aimlessly receiving more and more. Living is nurturing, loving, caring, respecting, displaying kindness, virtue, morality and spiritual  growth. We have the choice to get off of the wheel, or keep running towards what we don’t know, that will hurt us in the end.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”    Albert Schweitzer

“The highest proof of the spirit is love. Love the eternal thing which can already on earth possess as it really is.”    Albert Schweitzer

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” Albert Schweitzer

“Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.”    Anonymous

“Don’t  ask if you are happy, ask yourself if your life has meaning.”    Anonymous


Discouragement“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.”     Mike Norton

“Never let someone who draws a line and say you can’t cross it intimidate you. Don’t be discouraged when someone says you can’t do it. You might have been the only one sent to do it.”     Israelmore Ayivor

“Belief is truth held in the mind; Faith is a fire in the heart.”    Unknown

“The christian life is not a constant high. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes and say oh God forgive me or help me.”    Billy Graham

It is getting closer to that time of year when everyone begins thinking about what is wrong in their lives. It is the holiday season, the time of year we quantify our happiness by how our gains measure up against another s. The spouse is in jeopardy and the kids though we love them, can be disappointing. We wonder if we created the mess or if the chaos simply arrives around the holidays. We spruce ourselves up and have faith we’ll get through it without too many obstacles. How sad to have to ‘get through’ some enjoyable times.

All I can say is if you begin the holiday season convinced it is  going to be hurtful and depressing, then most likely it will be. The thing is we search for what we believe is there. So if you have faith it will be a disaster then you will eventually find it in people’s attitudes with you or with the many issues that evolve from being together with family.

In order to have a good time one must go into it with the approach that I will have a great time regardless of any pessimistic people. You have to embrace the good that you see and attempt to understand the bad. If you come to terms with the injuries others have cause you, you become aware of why it happens. This provides the option of laying it to rest. You see it isn’t always about us although we most definitely believe it is. The alternative is to find blame in us.

People’s thoughts and feelings influence their every mood. The trouble is sometimes we already have our reasons and mindset before we even come up against any oppositions. If we are attending aunt Deirdra’s dinner and start thinking about what a horrible cook she is and how loudly she talks and how many comments she makes to everyone, then we already have a negative outlook for the occasion. We plan to have a bad day.

As much as we deny it we might be sabotaging our own good time. Recall something about the dinner you like even if it is the bread, rolls or desert. contemplate the guest list and plan on sitting beside some people you like. Switch the game plan and instead of remaining quiet and frowning and pouting, offer a compliment about the meal, table setting or decorations. Maybe aunt Deirdre puts effort into creating an atmosphere of welcome and nobody takes notice. Perhaps she will be pleased with the compliment and settle down to a more pleasant tone of voice.

So many times we blame others for our own foul mood yet  never comprehend our degree of fault. After any gathering we go home and review the entire evening and make constant judgements. We can recall spoken words, gestures slights insults and other negative issues that occurred. Including myself, I don’t  understand why we don’t remember the kindness and gentle retorts and laughter from that day. It just has to do with our focus and where we are placing our concentration. Picking apart the day for the rotten pieces is pessimistic. Why not cherish the good laugh.

Anybody who is already assuming a certain outcome will likely receive that end. We have created our own reality. If we want to get along with others we have to search for those things in them that we like and or admire. That will create a happier environment. How simple it is yet not very often acted upon. I suppose when we asses the issue others can’t measure up to us, our friends or family. We must find fault. Reflecting on it long enough would make one laugh at the silliness of it. Jealousy, competition and calculations rear their ugly heads again. Trouble is we are the losers before we play the game.

If we poison our thoughts, expect the worst, and shut our senses down then no light of pleasure and good will is able to enter. Later, upon contemplation, we really must blame ourselves. Baiting our opponent and causing disagreements is our offense. We can’t lose our way as we travel through a myriad of roads and challenges. We can’t spend so much time observing others and their gains. The happy person is the one who depends the least on what he has. Even when we love we must not hold tightly and hang on. We should be thankful for the love received and be aware that it is a treasure bestowed but not acquired to be kept restricted.

If love is kept a prisoner in a box  then it will become infected and die. If it is allowed to freely travel it will encompass many others and will grow to unlimited heights. Fear is the crippling culprit. We all fear releasing what we love, worrying it won’t come back and we will lose it. Hence we can understand why mothers-in-law fear daughters-in-law and why daughters-in-law have so much anxiety over mothers-in-law, why siblings fight with siblings, and why friends separate their friends because they  worry about the loss to another worthier person so they believe.

If we are anxious about attending a family even or hosting one, we must consider the fact that others might be fearing the event as much as we are. If we let go of the preconceived notions we have which most likely have a bit of truth and a bit of embellishment we just might release a lot of unnecessary troubles. I would hate to face some judgement calls on myself. So unless you are without any blame transform your irrational attitudes and remember what is really important and meaningful about your life.

If you  enjoy drama then you will create it with negative emotions entering the happy environment. Perhaps you will win and manifest the worst holiday gathering ever. Is that your mission, to make others unhappy and destroy everyone’s good time? If you want instead to just have a happy moment of peace and serenity transformation is in order. Set your thoughts on the amount of people in your life that you are happy about. There is no need to rate them into classes. They all serve a purpose and we find as we travel through life many times our appraisal of them  changes. It makes no difference,  because it is all about love and love has no measurement and no conditions it simply loves. We can love more than one person and we wont’ deplete the love but increase it.

Perhaps we need to believe in our own worth. We are lovable. We have meaning as does our lives. We probably are the maker of our own troubles or triumphs. So I suppose it is time we made a solid effort to promise ourselves we will have happy holiday times. Let go of grudges and you release mounds of stress. Hang on to it and you are bound so tightly nothing will penetrate. Love without chaining it and you will find so much more of love out there than you ever thought was possible.

“Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.”    Joyce Meyer

“I think a big test we all face in life on a regular basis is that discouragement test. Life’s not always fair, but I believe if you keep doing the right thing, God will get you to where you are.”   Joel Osteen

“Not only is our love for our children sometimes tinged with annoyance, discouragement, and disappointment, the same is true for the love our children feel for us.”    Bruno Bettelheim

“Nobody else can make us discouraged; it is a choice that we alone make when facing disappointments.”  Dr. Charles Stanley

“(Discouragement) Can be temporary–or it can destroy our life. The choice is ours. If we refuse to deal with discouragement head-on, we are opening the door for it to completely dominate our life.”      Dr. Charles Stanley

Details Of Life

Details Of Life“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”    Saint Basil

How many of us have tunnel vision? It is simple to do and often happens. Maybe it occurs due to our earnest desire to get things done. We don’t want to waste time so we search for the quick meaning in any given situation.  If one runs towards an injured person, and misses the  dangerous gas permeating a room, you are both in trouble. The same is true in life.

Sometimes we think we know what the purpose is, and then we run crazily towards goals that are so unimportant. We forget about those details, which are the fabric of our lives. The details tell the story. How our story pans out, depends on what we consider most important. I know how many times I think about what I have to get done. I consider these items important enough to attend to first. I figure that when I fulfill them, then I will get to those other items, I enjoy and value most. The controversy always starts,  when I run out of time, before attending to the jobs I love to do.

At times I admonish myself for not stopping, before I am totally exhausted, and unable to give anything more to the family. Of course they mean the most to me, yet they come in last on my list. I look at it this way. They will understand and still love me, even if I disappoint them time after time. On the other hand, my boss or friend, may not be so forgiving. I don’t think about the hurt I have caused my family, nor the disappointment.

I keep telling myself, when things calm down, slow up, finish up, I will have time for all of those items I looked forward to doing. I am only kidding myself. If I reflect long enough,  I admit it, especially when I have disappointed people again and again. For some reason, I have this unfathomable goal to have the approval of the outside world. I need to look good, measure up and be respected. Of course the reality of it is, that the world most likely doesn’t really care about me or what I accomplish.

It is kind of like being on someone’s good list, or bad list. How ridiculous it sounds when I think about it. People forget so quickly, about what happened yesterday. Once things are accomplished, they project to tomorrow. Perhaps I worry about the inconsequential. Now if I could figure out why, I place so much emphasis on such nonsense, I would gain answers to some mysteries of life. Of course jobs make it necessary to  have concern, because that is the bread. Yet, I know I can always get another job if needed. I don’t want the aggravation. Yet I put up with all kinds of upsetting things at work.

I ask myself how the world came to be in such a dilemma. As much as we think we have acquired so much, we can’t enjoy it due to time constraints. Perhaps we have lost life’s meaning. If I worry more about work, and making dinner, then I haven’t come to the realization of  the true meaning in my life. I can ignore my child’s questions, promising to answer them when I ‘have time’. Deep down I know that probably won’t happen.

I strive at work, and when offered more money, of course to give more time, I immediately accept, and admonish myself for the guilty feelings.  I attempt to convince myself it is for the benefit of  all of us, in the long run. The trouble is, do we see the long run, or are we caught up in the short runs everyday. My patience is at the end of the rope, but I blame it on my burdens, which my family doesn’t understand. If I can’t make the child’s performance at school, I alleviate the guilty thoughts with thoughts of doing what is best for the family. Have I  gotten lost on my way? Am I on the right path?

I love it when I hear spouses mention, that their partner is not understanding, so they found love someplace else. Perhaps it is them, who have ignored the aspects of life, that made it worthwhile. They  traded the important features, with tunnel vision. We forget about the magnitude of the specifics, that make our life have meaning. There are  no short cuts to a worthy life. Knowing what is of value in our lives, is perhaps the most substantial understanding, we can attain.

When a child looks to us for advice, or small talk, it usually ends up having far more significance, than we originally expected. We end up feeling thankful, for taking the time we gave to our child. Likely though we forget to recall those treasured moments, the next time our child tugs at our pants. When we have no time to give, we have no comprehension of the importance,  of those aspects that give our life relevance. I believe it is essential, to ‘not ever underestimate the small stuff’.

We set our marriage up for failure, if we give it small attention. We are not parenting when we have no time for answering simple questions, for it is in those moments that the big questions come through. Tunnel vision leads us to finishing a day’s work, for pay, and then crashing, when we get home. Open, far-reaching vision gives us greater understanding, regarding the outcomes, for the amount of value we place on our humanity. There are two options. We might gain material wealth but lose our humanity, and that which holds purpose in our lives. We might also pick compassion, lose much of our material wealth, but gain back our values and humanity.

Attend to what you hold dear. focus on those things and people you treasure. Take responsibility for the path you choose. I might add that if we choose the path least chosen, we will find more dimension to our lives. People, not material gains, stretch our minds and hearts. Allowing them to fill up with love and kindness, leaves us altered and satisfied in a good way.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”        Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”  Stephen R. Covey

“The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”    Elisabeth Elliot

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”     Brandon Sanderson

Pursuing Hope

Hope“In the end there doesn’t have to be anyone who understands you, there just has to be someone who wants to.”     Robert Brault

“Family is not an important thing it is everything.”     Michael Fox

“When something is missing in your life, it usually turns out to be someone.”    Robert Brault

It probably appears to be silly to say we search for hope but actually it is so much closer to us than we know. We don’t see it nor do we really desire to have it. Sometimes I think some people enjoy complaining. If they don’t have any aches or pains they discuss minor issues. Of course they can always complain about the weather. Those who thrive on the negative aspects of life are training themselves to lose hope and dwell in defeat.

The longer people choose a defeatist attitude the more ingrained it becomes. To make matters worse they drag others down with them. None of us want to feel down trodden but by constantly being with people who permeate the air with negative thoughts and ideas, it becomes contagious. It happens silently and before you know it we become the person waking up complaining about the weather.

I honestly think if it were sunny every day we would totally ignore the sunshine, gentle breeze and sparkling lights bouncing off of everything and everybody. After a few days of rain, even if we are not complaining, we admire the sun and are thankful to God for the beautiful day. I wonder if that is part of our problem with hope. It is so close that we don’t see it.

We all have so much to be happy about. We really do. None of us or few of us make a list of things we are grateful for. If someone asks us to we turn it into a joke. After all we need to appear to be without any needs or wants. Ensuring others see us as self sufficient and self contained is important. Show no weakness or others will step on or over you.

Any weakness is seen as a form of being a loser. We pride ourselves on our toughness of spirit yet we most likely consume the most medications in the world. We drink more caffeine to keep up the stamina. We consume pills to keep our anxiety low. We focus on worldly pursuits and gains so it leaves us little time to actually observe anything of value. Work is a priority for everyone. Of course jobs, bosses and the grind of life force us to work in order to keep our jobs and take care of our families.

It is still a sad truth that if offered more pay to work on Holidays, most people say yes. Of course we may feel it brings us more money and may allow us a better vacation. In the end the cost is dear. We take from the spiritual and give to the material. Before long we are caught up in the whole system and forget about what is relevant. I am as guilty. I worked a job so detrimental to my health yet believed it was the right thing to do.

If we wake up to the fact  of our lot in life we have not lost our beliefs. Even coming to an understanding later in life is better than never comprehending what is valuable. I know we never take the time to consider it. We are too busy accumulating things. If we own a car and gain more money, we buy a bigger car. How did we gain anything more.  I read that some Hollywood stars spend over a thousand dollars for a pair of shoes. I  don’t see them as better off than anybody else because they end up squandering more of their money for the same items.

If we just slowed down and considered what we enjoy and love, we might be surprised at how easy it would be to make time for those things. We make it more difficult than it is when we aimlessly pursue things without value. It is a money myth. We believe we need more and more. It ends up not making us any happier and definitely stresses us a lot. The build up of fear and anxiety so consumes us that it blocks out any legitimate thinking.

Unless we honestly wake up and realize that maybe our hopes have come true, we will likely keep seeking  those things that bring more heartache than pleasure. If we did a survey asking people what they really wanted out of life they perhaps might reply in this manner.  They want love, contentment,  peace, and security. What they can’t see is that perhaps they already possess that. They possibly lose it through their investigation of other unnecessary items.

Marriage, children, friendships, family ties might all bring love peace and contentment. It becomes disruptive when we are so involved with the material aspect, we begin severing our ties and grasping for nonsense which brings our downfall. If we observe it from the outside we can see it clearly. A man or woman is absorbed with work. They ignore their family and are rewarded with a disdainful wife or husband who is left dealing with kids and the house. Each gets lonely and cheats. Kids are being cast aside and get into trouble at school. Wife or husband divorces each other for cheating. Kids are devastated as their life changes for the worse.

The money is lost due to having two households to establish, and more chaos is found in making arrangements for dealing with the kids. Each of them may add more kids with new remarriages. On the surface all appears to be together at first because we basically have the same dreams in mind. Of course we don’t alter our course and continue focusing on work and and all those other inconsequential things of life and eventually find ourselves going down the same path.

To find love peace contentment and the hope we desire forces us to make an investigation regarding the way  we may keep our love and peace. We all know how to get it but then we forget about devoting time to that area of our lives. If we look around us we will find that so many of us are on the same road. If we observe the flat tires from the obstacles faced then maybe we should think about a different road.

Running away from our lives and or supplementing objects or other people as stand ins is not an answer. It is a band aid applied to a gushing wound. It is going to let go. We don’t see it and we have no hope because everyone else is doing the same things we are doing. We get in the groove of life and assume it is the right way to go. Think of it as playing a game of chess. Take and observe the consequences of every move you make as it pertains to your closest loves which is your family and home. How will your selections affect that area of your life.

Maybe wives and husbands get nasty and crabby. Their stress would be a contributing factor. Why would a husband or wife turn to another woman or man we might ask. Maybe because they are just as burdened  and anxious as we are. The love for each other may still be present but the worries overshadow reality. When the trust gets broken it is hard to overcome. I think it is possible but not easy to put things back together. I say this because love is likely there only drowning in commitments and broken trust.

If we can see it we can save a life and marriage and family. Of course it is wonderful to recognize this before we reach the point of meltdown. I have been close to the meltdown. I appreciate the give and take in marriage and the extreme difficulty of forgiving each other their given destructive patterns in dissolving or destroying parts of the bond. In the end if we attempt to recognize that the faith is and always was close at hand, we can live an easier life full of love and peace. Some things can’t be bought. All the money in the world can’t buy the love of family. Attempt today to see that you have all you need in front of you. Be thankful, stop complaining and steer clear of the naysayers and braggers who have yet to find the love and peace.

“Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness,  it becomes faith.”    Robert Brault

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”    Robert Brault

“The little money I have that is my wealth, but the things I have for which I would not take money, that is my treasure.”    Robert Brault

Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.”    Og Mandino


The Search For Satisfaction

The Search For Satisfaction“Only  the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”    Dalai Lama

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”    Charles Spurgeon

“But I do know we’re deficient in some way. We are too involved in materialistic things, and they don’t satisfy us. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted.”     Mitch Alborn  Tuesdays with Morrie

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”     Ann Voskamp
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I realized the other day, how much influence media has on our lives. If any of us know how manipulating it is we perhaps would be horrified. It leads us through a path of  never ending wants not needs. Actually all the wants take up more and more of our time. If we get the boat we have to clean, store and maintain it. Nobody helps us with that kind of work. Pools likewise require a lot of hard work with maintenance issues. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if any of it is worth our time effort and trouble.

When I was younger the place I lived in was gorgeous to me at the time. Of course now, I might infer it was simply adequate. What changed my mind? Why do I not have the same image I had when I was younger? I believe it has to do with time media and the influence of others. We as a people are always trying to improve our lives. upgrading our lives means more material comfort. We honestly believe that if we had enough money to buy enough things it would make life easier and comfortable.

When I think about the years I spent in other places, I had just as many wonderful times. I recall being happy. I do not remember ever having a day where I said if only I lived over there. So it almost appears to be a self-inflicted desire for more and a self-inflicted feeling of deprivation. I mean this in the wanting sense rather than the needing sense. If I had no access to the view of a different lifestyle I might not ever realize there was anything “better” out in the world.

Going deeper with this requires that we question what “better” means. Is it brainwashed into our minds to strive for more? Is it a trick to get people to buy more things out of want rather than need? Certainly it warrants our attention. I love to consider what it would be like to have a vacation home, condo at a resort, huge house with gardens and indoor pools and people to maintain it.  Then I consider how bored I really would be sitting down doing nothing. I suppose some people do this but I would get antsy.

To me the small garden and patch of flowers is something I tend to myself. The pleasure I derive is from the nurturing itself.  The blooms of the flowers fill me with thoughts of gratitude and awe as I observe the shaded colors of the flower petals.  When I weed or dig I observe the insects running for their lives as my shovel pierces the dirt. I see worms burrowing in deeper and I hear birds singing along with the buzzing insects. I guess it is the whole atmosphere of enjoyment. My garden is more natural because I don’t give it total attention. Then again I don’t have to because nature likes the freedom and I like nature.

I must admit a lot of pleasure comes from the times we give our time and effort to others. The  sense of worth seeps through our whole body as we contemplate another’s happiness derived from our goodwill. You cannot buy those moments. They are experienced through our senses and speak a stronger truth to us than any media device.

You won’t hear any commercial espousing the happiness derived from one’s own home and backyard. They want us to want more so things will sell. They don’t tell you that if you are rich you have others maintain your things and your life basically. You are left with little time to give anything any serious attention. You trust no one and protect yourself from everyone. I am not really sure when these people even take a look at what they have. When do they obtain happiness from their objects.

On the other side of it, if you are well off you are stuck with the maintenance of your toys. You can’t pay others for the upkeep. That leaves you little time to enjoy them. You find yourself always talking about your latest toy acquired because you have a need for others to condone your buying it. If they are pleased and impressed then we think we did the correct thing. If we could read the minds of other people we might be surprised at what we might find out.

I don’t mean to insult anybody but there are few rich people and many people who sense loss at not having many toys. Instead of reflecting on desires for items that likely won’t bring you the comfort you are planning on, contemplate the beauty around you that is free. I really mean it because the more I see of nature even in a minor snowstorm, the more I realize we have been fooled as to what it means to be happy. Remember the snowball fights and the forts built out of snow? Recall the laughing you experienced until you fell into the wet snow.

The pleasure of the company of friends outweighs a lonely trip anywhere. I enjoy visiting places as much as anybody but the trips are short and not always as significant as I had in mind. If we change the road map in our minds regarding where we are heading, we might find pleasure happiness and contentment right around the corner. It was always there just hidden behind the sparkling entrapment’s of man made desires.

It is important to know when you have had enough and you step off of the wheel of fortune. It has too many falsehoods and promises that are not real. I have concluded that people are real. They have their flaws and they bring their disappointments but they are forever full of surprises and they hold empathy, compassion, tolerance and steadfastness. We will never find those qualities in the best most expensive item we can find. If we were offered to select between an island full of food and toys but no  people or a comfortable life with people we love what would we choose?

We all work so hard for more pleasures which we don’t have time to enjoy. We are overlooking those treasures in front of us. Those chasing false dreams may view us with disdain if we stop searching for their types of pleasure. Don’t take their bait and strive after false dreams. You won’t ever find them. Open your eyes and follow your own path to the richness of happiness amongst those you love. That is where you will find contentment and peace. It is always with us because it is within us not out there in the world. The search is over and a sense of satisfaction takes hold.

“Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself.”         Dalai Lama

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”    Seneca

“Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; It is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have.”    feelmylove.org




The Meaning Of Success

success“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” –Alice Walker

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”    George Edward Woodberry

Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.    Mike Ditka

Maybe we envision success as being able to sit at the beach, watch the waves, and take time from work whenever we want. It may mean to others, being able to travel, and buy what they want, without waiting for the sales. Another may consider it being able to pay outright for their children’s college, and cars and maybe homes. Whatever the thoughts, most of us think in terms of money and material gain. We just can’t get away from it, and I must admit that money makes things easier and relieves stress.

What we cannot see, unless we suddenly have a change in financial terms, is the problems that might possibly develop, if we did gain wealth. I am not saying that everyone rich is guaranteed tribulations, or that the wealthy make poor choices. I am saying that being rich doesn’t alleviate stress or setbacks. As a matter of fact, we may perhaps develop more predicaments.

We all like to think we are resistant to temptations, but it is one thing to say it and another to do it. Temptations abound, and more so when there is money involved. There is more free time, and money buys a lot of desires. What may begin as an interest,  can develop into a habit. Not that all will succumb, but perhaps by dispersing the money among relatives and friends we leave them vulnerable. We may send some of them down a lethal path with our money.

My rambling is basically to comment on the fact that money is not the end all or be all. As a matter of fact, people state that money contributes to a better home life and success at school. The actual  truth is Love is the first contributing factor for success, at anything in life, including relationships.

If we dwell on pushing our kids to compete and wipe out the competition,  they may miss the opportunities of friendships, with a variety of people in the process. Again it is not to say don’t compete. It is to say reflect on your message. Compete with honor and grace. Be thankful for the win, and respectful  of the competitor that lost. In losing we always gain strength to get up and move on. That is not true with winning. Losing usually teaches a depth of understanding. We are more than a game or job or whatever we competed for. We are never defined by one experience in time.

Success is actually, in my opinion, maintaining positive and loving relationships, with whomever we come into contact with, throughout our lives. Wow that is an awesome thought. All it requires is our understanding more than we are understood. It enables us to  come to the support of others, regardless of whether or not we  received aid from them. Most people may forget the kindnesses but higher powers never do.

Success is having faith in us, even when the road is dark and dreary. Money doesn’t block out these kinds of days. We all experience despair. Hope in a brighter day is paramount to survival. When we are going through difficult times, we are not thinking about money, but instead comfort and love from each other. On those days a warm body, surpasses a million pieces of paper.

I just believe that our ability to see the reality allows us to stop the envy, and jealousy, along with the insecurities they bring. The person who is a frequent winner, will eventually lose. When they do, they will search for people to comfort them. If they have  stopped believing in the power and love of others, they will be destitute for love. A person of little means who has been cultivating love his entire life, will be met with wealth beyond measure, due to the unlimited love he receives. The best part is we can be rich or poor and gain and receive love.

Being successful is due to friendships and love. Yes people disappoint us, but we often do the same thing. Forgive, move on, and accept what you receive, but give as much as you can. Offer without any thoughts of judgment or gain in your actions. You will be building a storehouse of wealth beyond measure. Your priorities are solid.  Love always outweighs money, and material gain. In this respect the person with the most friends, and love surrounding them, is the one who is successful. Define success as you will, but my idea always fills me with contentment, and love. I am thankful for all those who touch my heart regularly, as well as those who have touched my heart in the past, and those who will bring love in the future. They are my treasures.

“Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your Love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord And where there’s doubt, true faith in You. Oh, Master grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul. Make me a channel of your peace Where there’s despair in life, let me bring Hope Where there is darkness, only light And where there’s sadness, ever joy. Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal Life.”    Susan Boyle

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” –Unknown