Absolution For The Suffering

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We will not just say, “I love him very much,” but instead, “I will do something so that he will suffer less.”

” The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person’s suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

At the Holiday  time of year we are filled with anticipation for ourselves and for others. The last thing we think about is absolution. Perhaps we are all in need of forgiveness.  Sometimes we hold on to grudges for many years. I honestly don’t know why we can’t let things go. I act the same way. As much as I might know what the correct thing to do is, finding the strength to behave in such a manner is next to impossible. What is the attraction of clinging to past hurts and pain? Maybe we enjoy the pain because we feel self-righteous and above the person who hurt us. Being the victim has its’ perks of gaining attention when we discuss our pain with others. We might even feel like the hero who was capable of enduring such misery. Continue reading “Absolution For The Suffering”

Patience

“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”    Paulo Coelho

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”    Aristotle

“Why is patience so important?”
“Because it makes us pay attention.”    Paulo Coelho

“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”    Rainer Maria Rilke

Most of us ascertain the degree of patience we believe we were born with. I surmise that  most of us believe we lose our patience regularly, and most of us react with patience when we least expect it. Likely we still enjoy commenting on a crying baby, or frustrating situation that is not easy to deal with. I looked up the description for the word patience, in the dictionary. I am out to prove that all of us have patience in one or more forms, and we exhibit this attribute daily. We simply don’t recognize patience for what it actually is and what it really means. Continue reading “Patience”

Learning How To Fight Nicely

yes“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” Whitney Otto

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

I think we might be low on encouragement. We all need it and want it, yet most of us most of the time never get it. Are we all so deprived, or tired that we can’t muster any kind words for each other. I know there are so many times I’d rather lash out at someone, in order to diffuse my anger. It might be that a bit of encouragement would surprise us, and disarm us in the process.

How often  do workers get any kind of compliments. They hardly see the boss, , unless of course something went wrong. How  is it we can attend the meeting to criticize, but not be there to compliment. Sometimes it feels good when someone acknowledges that we are doing a great job. It makes us feel noticed. In this great big world, with more friends than we can count, it is nice to be noticed.

The boss is busy with numerous e-mails, calls appointments and meetings with others. Finding the time for one more thing just doesn’t fit into his schedule. When  others do mess up perhaps they were sick, had a duty call for the baby or kids, or health issues kept them away. We can’t be available and suitable every minute of every day. Those are the times we hassle ourselves about doing a better job. The truth is we are not machines, and we have emotional, and physical issues to confront. How about friends who we rely on for boosts to the ego. Of course they might be burdened themselves and have nothing left for us. I have been there when you run out of close friends to call, when you are experiencing disappointment and defeat.

Those times when we have only ourselves for comfort, appear to be scary. We have come to depend on others for support and answers. Perhaps  that is why there are so many drugs out on the market. Without the personal presence of others, we rely on medicine to alter the pain. The importance of our relationships can’t be overestimated. For good or bad here just are, and always will be those moments, when we want to let someone else steer the boat, and make the decisions. One can call it tiredness, insecurity, dependent or even vulnerable, but the fact remains that we need each other. Facing that reality, and comprehending that it is not a detriment to our character, brings acceptance  to our relationships as well as to ourselves.

Wives and husbands take their  turns at being disappointing. When we least expect it, we find ourselves disappointed by them, and the crushing feeling is painful. Sometimes it happens because they misunderstood what we were trying to say. Other times we misinterpret what they are attempting to explain. Whether we are half listening, tired or in a bad mood, the result is confusion which escalates. It turns into anger, and causes an explosive atmosphere.

Many times I have misconstrued, what others were attempting to explain. Just as many times I have miscalculated, another person’s response. Our humanity is so open to failures in emotional and practical issues. Often it is stated that we only hear what we want to hear. Maybe there is some truth in that statement. If I am in a sad mood, I  take the words, “your work is okay,” to mean my work is lousy. On a good day I would take the same words to imply, Hey you are good, and the work is great.

On a very low day I would only half listen to what another was talking about. likely I would give a quick  irrelevant answer, and in return get a curt remark back. I probably would take offense and walk away angry. My buddy would  likely do the same, in the opposite direction. Upon arriving home, I might consider what just happened,  and why. It would be hard to blame myself, but I am sure I would have no difficulty faulting another.

That is why when one listens to an argument, it is like hearing two different versions. We see it from our own perspective. I bring my past experiences to the table, which obviously differ from your past experiences. I suppose what I viewed between my parents, might also play into how I see our argument proceeding. The same is true for your opinions, which could be shadowed by  your view is of the entanglement. I honestly think many of us have to unlearn the ways we were taught, to deal with problems. Many of us fall into the same patterns as our parents. Unless they were model citizens, we have some adjusting to do.

That is why disagreements can take so many turns in the road. We might find ourselves the victim in places we never meant to venture into. A simple remark can have a huge repertoire of emotions built into it. Unhappily we all learn the signposts in time, and how to  avoid them. It is almost amusing to watch a young couple disagree. They attempt to hold onto their dignity, and rising anger, until the bingo point of certain gestures, words or actions, that stifle calmness, and release fury.

Many times couples are lamenting their sadness over the disagreement, and professing to do better the next time. Most of them will do better, because they learn how to drive the marriage mobile, and avoid the warning signs. All fights  don’t end in disaster. Most of the arguments can lead to a discovery of truth about each other. They realize also that they can’t behave like their parents, because they are two different people. They also learn that the words spoken, were not holding the rebuff they envisioned in their own minds. Love is learned behavior, and so to is fighting. It is so vital that we discover how to fight with a purpose of having a positive and loving outcome.

“Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate. Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful. Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion. Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery. Read it with hope and you will feel positive. Read it with humor and you will feel joy. Read it with God and you will feel the truth. Read it without bias and you will feel peace. Don’t read it at all and you will not feel a thing.”    Shannon Adler

“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

Interpretation

Interpretation“Have you thought about what it means to be a god?” asked the man. He had a beard and a baseball cap. “It means you give up your mortal existence to become a meme: something that lives forever in people’s minds, like the tune of a nursery rhyme. It means that everyone gets to re-create you in their own minds. You barely have your own identity any more. Instead, you’re a thousand aspects of what people need you to be. And everyone wants something different from you. Nothing is fixed, nothing is stable.”     Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“A very single fact could emerge into many versions of truth,
depends on the number of eyewitnesses and interpretations.”    Toba Beta

“The word of God came down to man as rain to soil, and the result was mud, not clear water.”    Kim Stanley Robinson

The smallest atom, might be interpreted in a far different way in your review, versus my review. Clearly, most of us have not come to terms with the huge amount of differences of opinion on every available subject. Some of us are super critical, and judge with eagle eyes. It is our job to find mistakes. Others like to slip things by, on the notion of stretching the norms a bit. I suppose, that is where most of our questions find themselves in jeopardy.

Perhaps the clearest folly, is when there is nothing apparent, yet we find an error which is fabricated within our minds. I don’t  believe we deliberately accuse an innocent person. I think we can’t at times, witness and admit honesty in any kind or form.  We search for the failure, believing it is there, just not yet discovered. There is a lot of time wasted on useless observing, of innocent facts and people. Many times our distrust, may cause a relationship of one kind or another to falter. We may also ruin the innocent start  of a new connection, due to our constant digging and assessment of the facts.

I wonder if we have been trained to disbelieve, until proven correct. Even the most liberal among us, has problems believing in something that appears to be too good to be true. We have become cynical. You have to wonder, if it is due to our societies lack of honesty? Or have most of us been duped so many times by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers, that we won’t immediately warm up to the most sincere person we meet.

We quickly challenge the store clerk, co-worker, family and friend, yet we can be fooled by the spouse, which renders us defeated and mystified. I  would guess, that if our family, friends and co-workers are cheating or lying to us, it is not a far cry to fathom our spouse might be doing the same. Now the saddest happening is the transformation of the person, who gets back up on their feet, after having been hurt.  They are  tainted from trusting anyone. That is the possible result of the deception.

With so much deception going around, I wonder if that is why we are so negative in our interpretation of others. We are obviously quicker to believe  the person meant us harm, rather than believing they had our best interest at heart. It makes  sense that the more you suffer deceit, at the hands of those you love, the more guarded you become, especially at the hands of strangers. I still believe it is a tragic situation, to always weigh in on the negative side.

I recall one daughter-in-law buying her mother-in-law a bread maker. The mother-in-law loved homemade bread but hated to cook. The daughter-in-law thought it would be nice if her mother-in-law got to have bread as often as she wanted, rather than just when she got invited to dinner at her son’s house. Of course you would think the mother-in-law would have been overjoyed at the present. She was anything but. She thought her daughter-in-law was attempting to give her the brush-off, from the invites to dinner. That was clearly not at all part of the thinking, on the daughter-in-law’s repertoire.

It took some time before the issue got resolved, and the relationship was back on track. When the mother-in-law explained how she felt about the gift, her daughter-in-law explained her reasoning about the gift. Both women laughed but learned a life-long lesson. We never really understand why others construe things the way they do. As much as we believe we are helping, we might be surprised to discover we have actually hurt someone, without any intentions of doing so.

Another women was insulted at the house gifts her daughter-in-law gave to her. The woman treasured and craved a less expensive gift, that she could wear, instead of the kitchen utensil that would have alleviated her time. It took years until she finally let out the real truth one day, mostly because of her hurt and anger. The daughter-in-law loved the latest gadgets, and she believed she was helping her mother-in-law to be up to date with technology. The mother-in-law realized her daughter-in-law was not the uncaring person she thought. Her daughter-in-law had actually put a lot of thinking into her gifts. Both women were dismayed, at the total misunderstanding of the situation.

One daughter-in-law was disgusted at her mother-in-law’s nature gifts. Although she admitted she admired all of the plants given to  her, when  she happily  placed them in her garden. The daughter-in-law still clung to the belief that a gift was to be an indulgence for her. She did not relish another plant. She was not an outside person, as she put it. Regardless of the cost, she refused to manage any more flowers . After a few years, and numerous hints, a request from the son to his mother was made. After that the mother-in-law began buying more personal items for her daughter-in-law, on any given occasion.

On the surface, all of these stories may appear harmless enough, but in reality they were painful, and long enduring for the women involved. The women compiled years of resentment and frustration. They even believed the disliked  gifts were given on purpose, to cause them misery. In the first place, these women were not totally trusting, because if they had been, they might have been able to accept the gifts in good faith and move on.

The same can happen with words. One person asks for the truth regarding an item of clothing. When they get the actual answer, and they don’t like it, resentment enters into the relationship. We must realize if we want honesty, we must be willing to receive any and all answers. Even if we don’t like an answer, we must understand that what we believe can be very different from what another thinks. Trusting ourselves first is perhaps the best solution.

I remember a time at a party at my daughters house. I forgot something and happen to be facing another woman at the party. I frowned as she was finishing up with a story and she reasoned I was not agreeing with her, when she witnessed my frown. As much as I attempted to explain, she wouldn’t listen. My mind had been on other things and not her conversation. To this day she likely believes that I didn’t like what she said. I can’t take the incident back, and I can’t get her to have faith in me. All any of us can do, is trust that others have confidence in our honesty.

The way we analyze  other people is frightening. More so because if we are not always tuned into what they are saying or doing, we have set the stage for a confrontation. Maybe the social media makes it easier for all of us to get along. I don’t regard the media as an honest elucidation, due to the fact that the senses are not more involved.  We see words on a page. In a way it takes no courage to print a quick message. It requires no thinking,  no facial expression, and a complete disregard of the tone of our voices.

I do participate within the media but I love the human interactions the best. Someone that speaks the correct words, that you want to hear, but expresses a bit of a doubt on their faces, has rendered you some help at times. You have the kindness of their hearts backing you up, and the honesty of their look, which tells you to do something else. There is comfort with a bit of assurance tucked inside.  Nobody likes to intentionally hurt another individual. There are times that call for veracity, if one is to make a correct decision. It may require us to leap out of  our comfort zone, but when we love and want the best for another, we make the effort.

Interpretations  are  not reality. They are not truthful nor anything that can hold water. They are misguided understanding, resulting from many uncontrolled conditions. There are times when our own reliance may be off kilter. We might be best to take what we can, from the hints derived from our interactions with others. Wait for a sunnier day to take another look, before making any decisions. Life almost needs to be viewed, in the way a spider sees the world through his many eyes. There is so much to reflect on, and so many views to interpret. We might find we are both correct in our analysis, yet find our conclusions dissimilar. Life is similar to looking through a crystal glass. We all see different versions of the world. We also focus our attention on a variety of items. Nothing is  exact, so relying on a clarification might be helpful to us all.

“The context in which a photograph is seen affects the meaning the viewer draws from it.”    Stephan Shore

“There is no such thing as objectivity. We are all just interpreting signals from the universe and trying to make sense of them. Dim, shaky, weak, static-y little signals that only hint at the complexity of a universe we cannot begin to understand.”     Bones

“Change your thinking, your interpretation of he world, change the way you see! To change the way you see is to change the world.”    Lean-Yves Leloup

“Every man, it seems, interprets the world in the light of his habits and desires”
Richard Wright

“The meaning of life is not a search—it is a choice. Meaning is not found in things; meaning is what you make of things. The world means nothing by itself. You give it all the meaning it has. Thus, the meaning of life is a choice you make, not just once, but every waking hour of your day. 

Life is like art—it is all about interpretation. The moment anything happens to you, you interpret a meaning for it. The meaning you vote for then governs your perception, your thinking, your faith, your choices, your feelings, your behaviors, everything! Whenever you elect a new meaning, this changes everything.”    Robert Holden

“Words never change. What changes is how one interprets them.”    Marty Rubin

 

Strive To Be An Approachable Person

Approachable Person“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” Anonymous

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

“See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.”    Wayne Dyer

“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

“If you are ever in doubt about which way you should travel, make a choice that contains the essence of goodness and love and then go in that direction. This way, you can have absolute faith that you made the right decision.”    Molly Friedenfeld

I search all the time for goals and objectives. As soon as I reach one goal or tire from the effort and accept defeat, I begin the search for a new goal. Many people have confessed to me that they feel lost and close to worthlessness in their lack of contributions to society. They research highly motivational undertakings. Many attempt wild and difficult activities. I respect and admire such effort.

The actions at times turn out negative results. Many people can’t keep up the pace or are overwhelmed with their being no end to the work and possibly no thanks for the effort and work. Some call it burn-out. No matter how lofty our ambitions might be, they can leave us in disarray. All our good ideas are dashed and we can feel ineffective. This perhaps can lead to our being immobilized, defeated and unmotivated to do anything at all.

Probably we bite off more than we can chew or we attempt to perform miracles and become disappointed when they don’t occur. I have found at times that I have barely made a dent in helping to alleviate anything. I sense my hands are tied. My ability is  hampered by rules regulations and insurmountable problems I observe everywhere and on every level of society. It can overwhelm the mind with thoughts of helplessness to transform and change things for the better. Nothing appears to change.

This kind of thinking led me to travel down a different road and an alternate plan of action.  I suppose it is not so glamorous when we  offer to shovel for our injured friend. Nobody appears to want to pat us on the back. We may not be looking for praise but it is even hard for us to commend ourselves.  I totally believe that simply being an approachable person is likely the best course of action we could ever take. If we reflect on this long enough we just might conclude what an awesome transformation in the world we would create. The world would have to be a better place from the amount of goodwill promoted.

Perhaps we all think too big when we are looking for goals. We also likely think unnecessarily beyond the parameters of our own worlds. Why we have lost the ability to acknowledge those within our vicinity who require support is confusing. Many times our objectives can be found in our own backyards. Maybe it appears too easy  and unassuming to come to the rescue of a neighbor. We consider world aid, and needs of those far reaching places. I suppose it is not so glamorous to work with people we know.

It is at these moments we must question our motives for aiding anyone. If it is to assist someone in dire straits, then we don’t have to look far. Although it is admirable to help anyone who needs it. Wherever we attempt to do good, is generating love and peace all around us. It is not as if only certain people and places are in the category of requiring help. Our corner soup kitchen, school, fire department, thrift shop, church or community center accepts offers of help.

I also consider it commendable for just being there for those who want support. The neighborhood person whose door is always opened, and who quickly jumps in to assist others is such an asset to the neighborhood. The person who keeps peace with family members and overlooks transgressions and hurts is praiseworthy. I admire family members who aid and support each other even when they may not be on the best of terms. I also cherish those who forgive us when we are upset and recall better behavior and moments of helpfulness. They manage to see beyond the present us. We are not viewed in our current position but loved for the whole of us.

What does it take to see these people as saviors and helpers in pushing dark clouds away. Why don’t we acknowledge what a tremendous boost to the family, friends, community and society at large when such people throw in their energy. I feel sad at the amount of effort given to others, that is not valued as priceless. Many people do not recognize themselves as world changers yet they truly are. People offer ways to do things that make life easier or give a better way of living. It appears to be such a simple thing, yet the time and effort that was made for such a small action, may produce a large result of positive energy.

The next time we begin to believe we have nothing to contribute to others think again. We should review our lives and check on our many kind and worthy actions towards others. Even a phone call or visit to a friend can cheer someone up. When one builds a house they start with one brick or piece of wood at a time. When finished the product is a gorgeous house. The same is true with our many kind unnoticed actions. Every one of them that is added up on a daily and weekly basis, eventually creates a huge beneficial and positive miracle sent out to the world.

If we frown every day at others we send negative energy.  If we smile at someone, even a stranger, I guarantee they can’t help but smile back. Somehow I know they understand we have acknowledged them as a meritorious member of our society. Through our simple smile we have spoken a speech. They know they are in sense connected to us through that smile. We have gently brought them into our circle if only for a moment and they sense the feelings of love and joy. We have dashed loneliness from their minds and bodies long after we walk away.

Never underestimate your ability to find fulfillment everyday in daily living. We all hold so much power within to create a finer world. If we are looking to promote change and positive alterations to our world we have no further to look than within ourselves. We ought to be able to sleep calmly every night knowing we have made a difference in the world through our daily actions. it won’t ever be necessary to question our goals and objectives. If we all work towards being a good and approachable person, the repercussions will present themselves.

As they say, we can all find problems with each individual we meet. There are imperfections in all. It is easy to find fault and blame. It is a bit more challenging to search for goodness in others. Perhaps it relates to jealousy. It doesn’t matter. If we start a new path for ourselves which involves an objective of finding goodness in everyone, it will make it easier to love and cherish all. Carry that further and you have world peace. It is accomplished by striving to be an approachable person.

“When you choose to see the good in others, you end  up finding the good in yourself.” Anonymous

“What you do everyday matters more than what you do every once in awhile.” Anonymous

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

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

“Perhaps, if you weren’t so busy regarding my shortcomings, you’d find that I do possess redeeming qualities, discreet as they may be.  I notice when the sky is blue.  I smile down at children.  I laugh at any innocent attempt at humor.  I quietly carry the burdens of others as though they were my own.  And I say ‘I’m sorry’ when you don’t.  I am not without fault, but I am not without goodness either.”    Richelle E. Goodrich

Always see the good in everyone…learn to see through God’s eyes no matter what…remember, the tables may turn tomorrow. You just never know!”    Kemi Sogunle

The Need To Be Understood

The Need To Be Understood“In the past there were people who were not rich but contented with their living style, laughing and happy all day. But when the new rich people appear, people look at them and ask, ‘why don’t I have a life like that too, a beautiful house, car and garden,’ and they abandon their values.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

~ “Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”     Thich Nhat Hanh

Here we go again attempting to explain what we meant by our recent discourse. The person misinterpreted our meaning. I would not doubt for  a second, how many times we are caught in such a situation. We just don’t grasp the implications from our interactions with others. The result is bewildering and hurt feelings. Misunderstandings and long time  rifts of one sort or another are inevitable.

How do we complicate the meaning of what others are trying to say and how do others misinterpret our words and bring doubt and mistrust into the relationship. We grasp what we want in any of our conversations. Our misunderstanding of the  encounter, causes us to  choose a negative review of the incident. We dwell on the tiniest insult while ignoring any praise. We have set ourselves up for failure.

For sure we don’t plan to be downbeat, but we sometimes have an attitude of what a person believes,  before they begin explaining something. In a way we have already selectively decided their points of view, which we usually deduce is contrary to our own.  We argue on cue. It leaves the accused, clarifying their thoughts. Accusations tend to trouble most of us, so to attempt elucidating our reasoning only confuses our accuser and ourselves. When anyone is on the proverbial hot seat, it is difficult to think clearly.

Pondering why so many of us deliberately recall exchanges with others, in such a manner disarray, is confounding. Perhaps some of us enjoy the uncomfortable position we placed another individual. Whatever the causes we likely have experienced both sides of such a situation. There is no winner only wasted time, effort and exacerbated feelings.

Delving more deeply into such occurrences, you find how needy we are for love, attention and to be understood. Perhaps we are angrier at someone’s lack of appreciating, our time and effort for doing something. Probably they don’t quite acknowledge enough empathy, for the situation we find ourselves in. Most likely we have a sense of being misunderstood, or under-appreciated for who we are, or what we do.

Exchanges in disagreements, allow us to continue in a more controversial manner. We are able to add our own agendas, and issues to the mix. Past hurts and unfinished business, sheds even more shadows onto the current dilemma. At best, when the argument has finished, we find how far we have ventured, from the original renditions of opinions. We find it further from the subject, that originated the controversy.

Most definitely we are all influenced by our obstacles in life. We see the world with different glasses, and our deductions are blurred and muddied by our past and present hindrances. We can’t always scream out, “Well it is easy for you to say that because you have more money, more support, a husband that listens, adult kids living close by or whatever else bothers us. Instead we ream the person who antagonized us,  for things they perhaps are not even guilty of. Our pain is hidden, but unresolved, and left to fester. We have the added burden of a broken relationship.

How does one compare lives or problems. Suffice it to say we all have our own challenges to overcome, and our battles to fight. We admit this up front, but then we proceed to lay it all out, and unravel and decipher our grasp of the situation. If we could see this from a child’s perspective, it would be like comparing who has the better toy truck. Does it matter?  It really doesn’t help either of the combatants.

Forgiveness is without a doubt, the most obvious solution to finding peace. The problem is at times, we still withhold it in our hearts. The words are spoken, but not deeply felt. It takes some compassion, and mindfulness to appreciate the depth of the hurt, and the unclear enlightenment attempting to filter into our thoughts and hearts.

Let’s face it, at times we are not always impressed with another person’s issues, because we deem our own to be so much worse. We try so hard to decode and decipher our problems, and it leaves us little time for sympathizing with others. Honestly, when we make time for another, we gain time for ourselves. Somehow the answers to our problems are possibly hidden in the obstacles another faces. It sheds light on our unclear thoughts and questions.

It is so unnerving to be in the position of clarifying, and elucidating our gist and intentions. Especially noteworthy is the perplexing insinuations, we sometimes unconsciously imply with our words. We want acknowledgement, attention, and love. We  want respect, and understanding. Our need to be noticed, is relevant in our desire for worth, for being of value, for receiving love in this whole wide universe.

What we perhaps hear at any given moment, is our own heart’s calling for love. We really are not so different nor separated in our wants and desires. Understanding how similar we are, ensures our ability for mindfulness. If we can get out of our heads, for a little bit, and get into our hearts, we will easily understand the unspoken words. Peace is attained, when we find more answers to the questions  we haven’t yet asked. Reflect in the silence, and discover serenity.

“Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.    Thich Nhat Hanh

“To be loved means to be recognized as existing.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“We are all the leaves of one tree; we are all the waves of one sea; the time has come for all to live as one.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

Answers Promote Questions

Answers Promote Questions“He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruin. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices and make his bad actions seem handsome.”    Ali ibn Abi Talib

“I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why, Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”    Steve Jobs

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”    Winston Churchill

How easy it is to be judgmental of others. We all do it on a daily basis. Perhaps we don’t see it, or even realize we are doing it. Many of us would be surprised to find out, how often we make assessments of others. We judge people right down to their walk, talk and attributes of all kinds. It is almost a pastime, and we don’t mean any harm. Maybe it is time to question the habits and the reasons. We can’t always change our personal attributes. For this reason, any disapproval from others is heartbreaking. Sometimes our critique is based on our mood, attitude or feelings about the individual. Our examination might be fruitless and subjective.

The dilemma arises, when we don’t probe into some legitimate matters. Speaking against one’s personal qualities is abhorring. When we call attention to matters that are critical to one’s safety, and involves the growth of all of society, it demands our attention. No one likes analysis  of any kind. I envy and admire those, who can make a helpful point, without displaying any form of rebuke. In most cases, any disapproval sends us into a frenzy of mistrust.

I never plan on being reproachful, but at times the truth blurts out of my mouth, and of course feelings are hurt. I am so sensitive myself, and loathe direct remarks, yet to correct it in myself is not easy. Sometimes I get the laughs, like I can’t believe you just said that. We all handle censure in various ways. I am working on thinking before sharing.

Whenever we find answers to our questions, it results in more examination. The reason probably is because we are searching within the psyche,  where the past, present and plans for the future blend. I suppose former hurts leave us more vulnerable, and truth is painful and sometimes devastating.

Confronting veracity probably solves some problems, but seems to be something we choose to do quietly and alone. Another person’s interference is unwanted. When people burst in with obvious conclusions and reviews, they are ignored. It is easier to softly push truth, and be less offensive. Weighing every spoken word before attempting to speak, tends to downplay the facts. Actually, the truth is restrained in the process.

Most of us listen more to the kinder version of evaluations, but I have no doubt the impact is stronger when given the blatant compelling honest version upfront. The condemnation is devastating but inquiries arise quickly, and solutions are attempted.  If something is vital, do we get a free pass to speak immediately? Can we state our aim is pure and honorable, so overlook the bluntness? Maybe veracity is becoming hidden, because so many of us claim to fear truth. This unconsciously promotes the continuance of lies.

Of course it never appears to be appropriate to insult a person’s attributes, opinions, or social, political or religious beliefs. Should we get involved with issues that  hurt others emotionally, physically, morally, verbally, or sexually? Perhaps most of us would agree that in those situations stepping forward is necessary. Interrogations arise regarding the truth, the reasons, the measurement of the right or wrong, and the rights of an individual to have privacy. We are all so  totally chained to being politically correct, that we end up saying or doing nothing.

Probably those times we did confront an issue head on, we were perceived as the bad guy and nothing got accomplished. Most likely that is why we waver about helping or staying in the background. Staying detached from actual answers spares us the questions. By being removed from uncomfortable situations we delay the effort to search for results and we maintain a façade of peace. I personally think that those  moments we spoke without support, are still vitally important. Nobody can erase the speech, and perhaps there will be some people who review what was said. Likely it can be the forerunner of change in the future.

The negative daily responses we give to others, perhaps are surface, and due to our own stress relieving need. They no doubt pain the receiver, but we think of them as harmless. They likely are more than harmless. We don’t want to open the door to actual answers, that might result in more inquiries. Fearing the unknown  is difficult. We all must examine our own motives and fears about acknowledging truth of any kind when given a problem. Perhaps the hesitation that follows is the result of our own guilt, or that of some friends.

It is difficult  to face our own shame, and very harsh to admit fault in our friends or families. If we view the critical remarks as harsh, it actually keeps the truth covered up. Fact is then coated in a falsehood. Saving face or respecting only designated rights, allows one to pick and choose randomly.  The end result is loss of our humane code of ethics. Our hearts alone can tell us what is worthy of reflection.

The victims age, color, sex,  political or religious beliefs and economic status is irrelevant. All that is required is attention to the obvious suffering endured. Whatever  leaves people without options hope or love, demands our attention. Situations of the homeless, needy, and emotionally abused kids and adults, shouldn’t be left on the shelf for softer replies. If we have pride in our toughness, then we shouldn’t shirk at facing some honesty. It is never about shame or blame. It is about transforming problem situations.  Courage helps us confront the  difficult facts we encounter, when presented with some truths.

“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” John Locke

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.”        Albert Einstein

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”    Thomas Jefferson

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”    Galileo Galilei

Don’t Die Before You’re Dead

Don't Die Before You're Dead“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”    Dalai Lama

“Through our willingness to help others we can learn to be happy rather than depressed.” Gerald Jampolsky”

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”    Audrey Hepburn

So many of us merely exist, and wonder constantly where we are going. Likely we would not recognize where we wanted to go. We make more plans than ever before, yet accomplish less. We set goals we never reach, and worry about insignificant issues. We fear what might happen, worry about what we have already done, dread what others think about us, yet never contemplate what we think about ourselves. Outwardly we brag about our accomplishments, inwardly we are insecure. Our good times are spoiled with thoughts of what is wrong or missing  about the setting. But we refuse to appreciate what is right and happy about our environment.

I see a pattern. We  focus on the negative and wallow,  almost enjoying our unhappy situation. If we can’t stop to view the special beautiful moments of our existence, life will always exhibit the misery  and pain. I recently watched on the news, a  story of a homeless man who was given a hundred dollars. It was a test to see what he would do with it. Unbeknownst  to him, the camera people followed him around and saw him enter a liquor store. They were ‘aha’ just as they  expected. He came out with two huge bags and headed for a park, where there were other homeless people. To the news casters surprise, instead of liquor, he began taking all kinds of food from his bags. He spread it on about three different tables, in three different areas of the park, for  others to share. It ended up becoming a totally different ending to the story, than was anticipated.

I call this doing, rather than just being. He didn’t lament the  situation he or any others were in. He simply did something quite powerful,  in the name of humanity. He had so little himself, yet he was willing to share the tiny amount that he had. Nobody could plan such a revelation. There was an addition to the story a couple of days later. Upon hearing of his efforts, people donated over ninety thousand dollars, for him to use at his own discretion. What a powerful story.

How hard it is for us to find ourselves. We for the most part, all want to help others and be of service. We just don’t always know where to begin. I guess it is best to begin in our own back yards. Within our homes and communities we can easily find ways to make a difference. It seems that confusion time and energy kick in, and defeat our good intentions. We planned on volunteering,  yet the kids got sick and that ended that. Whatever the problems, at times we get way-sided.

Perhaps the strange thing is, that even a simple gesture of support within our  own homes, can produce the magic of serenity in another person’s heart. It may also afford peace to our own heart. We don’t have to be angry with ourselves about what we are doing or not doing. Loving those within reach, just like the homeless man did, is sending well wishes, joy and comfort to others. Of course  it boomerangs back to us. Doing a spouse’s job around the house, or offering supportive conversation can be as much of an uplift to someone,  as any outside effort we can muster. Perhaps we forget that those closest to us need encouragement at times. Making a difference in the world may begin within our own environments.

The more we get used to accomplishing small efforts of care to others, the easier it gets to take on larger tasks. The important thing  is to begin. If anyone can recall how tired they felt after cooking a big meal for a lot of people, they will  understand the thankfulness they felt upon receiving some help with the cleaning. What a good feeling. Simple  acts renew one’s spirit. That person in kind, can pay it forward. If we are never helped, we might become defeated and useless to others. Therefore we can never underestimate  the power we have to change situations, simply by supporting those around us. Those people we help, may go forward and aid others, having regained their own peace through our efforts.

Trying to take on more than we can handle, causes us to do nothing. It isn’t about showing others how great or important we are, nor how much we can handle, or assist. In any large or small event, it is the love put into it that counts, and that gives rise to the happiness. Just as we can’t always explain why we feel mixed up, and anxious, we also can’t always explain why some small act of care, fills us with a renewed spirit of joy. The small unimportant things, have great meaning.

There was no mention of thanks from the people who received the free food from the homeless man. Maybe they said thanks. If they didn’t, that did not mean they were not thankful. As hungry as they were, they attempted to wait until the homeless man had finished placing everything on the table, before grasping for food. Not one person grabbed at anything. The giver of the food, didn’t require a thank you. He swiftly moved from table to table. He obviously understood their thanks was the warmth in their hearts and smiles. We underestimate how often every day, we can spread kindness by our actions.

Instead of constantly being aware of the pain in our hearts, and the frustration and confusion about how to be a good person, we might transfer our microscope outward and focus on the plight of others. There is likely a needy person in all of us, on any given day. We actually improve our findings, as we learn to clearly look and observe. I have found that the jealousy, anger, and frustration dissipates. We see a whole person with their praiseworthy qualities, as well as those less than admirable  qualities. Perhaps they are working on improving their virtues.

When we search for the humanity in others, we find our own humaneness. Helping others, can keep us from becoming involved in negative activities. It can also focus our attention on the positive, rather than the negative, which perhaps controls our fear and anxiety. One doesn’t have time to wallow in self problems, when we are too busy concerning ourselves with living, and supporting those in need. On a clear day we can relish our efforts, to make positive changes for others. Mother Teresa once said, “We can’t always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” We will come to realize suddenly, that we are not simply existing, but executing, through our living, a better life for others, and a more fulfilling life for ourselves.

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”    Saint Augustine

“A Christian reveals true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ, by being always ready to help others, by speaking kind words and performing unselfish acts, which elevate and ennoble the most sacred message that has come to our world.”    Ellen White

“You feel alive to the degree that you feel you can help others.”    John Travolta

Rejection Is Complicated

Rejection is Complicated“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.”    Harvey Mackay

“The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.” Dalai Lama

“All religions try to benefit people, with the same basic message of the need for love and compassion, for justice and honesty, for contentment.”    Dalai Lama

“Logically, harmony must come from the heart… Harmony very much based on trust. As soon as use force, creates fear. Fear and trust cannot go together.”    Dalai Lama

When we think about rejection, we recall friendships and boyfriends and girlfriends. Upon our loss of any kind, we review what we did and said and how others interacted with us. Many times we are left with feelings of guilt, remorse and we become determined to refrain from repeating what we perceive as the mistakes. How guilty we make ourselves believe. Even when others hurt us we somehow manage to turn it around and blame ourselves for the agonizing results.

Understanding the reasons for being rejected by anybody for any reasons is paramount to comprehending the complications of such situations. As early as childhood we face rejection from parents. Of course most parents love their kids but forms of discipline, and pain endured by parents who are attempting to avoid their own hurts get in the way of clear thinking. The result is rejection for minutes hours or days.

Children tend to be quick at rebounds and impulsive in their retorts and actions. It likely gets just about all of them in trouble with one parent or another. I suppose it takes tremendous thought on the parents part to understand the behind the scene reasons for such outbursts. A child who actually may want a parents’ love may forcefully reject the parent. Perhaps it gives the child control and probably the child wants to feel the parents love swiftly capturing him or her and sweeping them into their loving arms.

Of course a tired, weary stress ridden parent is unaware of the child’s hidden agenda and may carelessly misunderstand the behavior and resort to punishments and crying. Likely we have all been there. Viewing the situation from outside the circle allows one to notice that as upset as the parent is, the  child is more deeply affected. In this case one would say, the parent never meant to reject the child. The messages were not clear. The child might think, mom or  dad doesn’t love me, or I must do and behave in certain ways in order to keep their love. Love becomes conditional. Kids will accept the terms because love is so important to them and rejection is so horrible.

Parents likely assume the punishment worked but at times it has simply kept peace and control but perhaps not remedied the situation. Discussion brings understanding and enlightenment to a situation. The problem with discourse is sometimes we don’t have the time or the energy left after such an upsetting ordeal. Recognizing the signs of distress in kids helps to alleviate pain before it mounts. Realizing our own need for downtime and relief is also vital if we want to help ourselves in order to support our kids.

Dismissal from friends perhaps is the result of jealousy and envy. If one worries about weight, yet their friend is thin, it certainly can result in a crisis situation. Whenever we feel less of a person, in order to soothe ourselves we attempt to drag another down. We just can’t fathom our own worth. Making a friend believe they are not so great kind of keeps them under control. We don’t think about their hidden insecurities. At the moment we are concerned with our own.

Boyfriends who are jealous attempt to keep all other suitors away. In this way they confine their prize in order to keep it secure. None of us stop to think that such a manner of acting doesn’t work. At some future time perhaps our spouse will wander or attempt to leave. When the ensuing rage starts,  the results are seen in fights and sometimes death of one spouse at the hands of another. If we could sense or grasp the pain we all feel from rejection, we might figure out the power and deep pain we share deep inside. When we have love we fear losing love. Without love we search for any kind. Love does make the world go around.

Friendships thrive on sameness, compatibility and sharing of similar tasks and likes. New arrivals are not always welcome because it changes the mixtures’ texture. New friends who are added can rearrange things, cause stress and havoc and bring about jealousy and vulnerability. We might deny this or choose to ignore it but perhaps we do ignore our sensitivities too much. By accepting them and grasping them, we might lighten the anxiety.

Some people have a need to flirt with others when out with their significant other. Likely it is their insecurity that brings about the flirting. They need to feel wanted and desired by many so that they are built up enough to believe they would never lose the one they are with. After all they think, I am desired by others. I wonder sometimes at how much love we are lacking in our lives. If we love ourselves we can find love in our world. Real love is not mean, or unkind. It doesn’t hurt, cause  pain or brag. It isn’t boastful nor demanding. Love is gentle enduring and unconditional. It is free and returns of its’ own free will. It is never contained or hidden.

Siblings resent each other at times and perhaps by noticing the competition that started from childhood,  we can understand why sibling jealousy is prevalent. Siblings might have discovered at an early age that they are vying for their parents approval and acceptance as well as their love. Parental love might come at the price of a rejected sibling. The love lost between siblings is sad. So many devote their lives to avoiding each other or resenting the company of each other. The reality is they miss what they yearn for. they would cherish the love from each other but don’t know how to go about rekindling it and rediscovering the love they felt and had.

Perhaps the rejections are not always real. Kids push parents away when they want them the most. Parents walk away from kids when they are so hurt yet they love their kids so much. Parent and child are wounded. Spouses hurt each other with mistrust and doubt. As much as they want each other to make the first move and reach across the table with a loving hand, they become immobilized in their fear of rejection. In a sense we label the weaker person as the one who needs and wants the love. We will pretend we don’t care or need the love rather than admit our desire for it.

The significance of love and what love means is genuinely beyond words. Even animals choose love over food and warmth.  Humans have a necessity for love and we all hate to admit that need. All of us are connected by the universal truth of love making the world go around. We are so good at rejecting each other. We desire to be needed more than to need. Our requirements are basically  the same so there is no shame when the object of our affection hurts us with their rejection.

Guilt never works. It is negative and brings us down further than we already are. Guilt will separate us rather than bring us together. Let go of the guilt.  Choose to absolve yourself of guilt feelings. Punishing yourself doesn’t solve the problem. We might think in terms of deserving the pain that guilt  brings. We don’t. So let it go and trust yourself to move to higher ground with a better attitude. It is about improving not about guilt. We want our kids to do better and not be dragged down. We want to do better  so we shouldn’t spiral downward. Mistakes are not made to be reviewed continually. They are lessons learned. Forward movement is part of growth.

Perhaps when we can admit how wonderful and beautiful love is we will come to deal with each other in a more loving manner. It isn’t about power, control or chaining our loves. It is about understanding, acceptance, freedom, compassion kindness empathy tolerance and especially living, laughing and loving. We, after all, are more spiritual than human. Trust your loving intuition. While your mind is calmly reasoning, allow your heart to open the door to more loving responses. We all hate rejection of any kind. Discover and learn from mistakes. treat them as stepping stones to a better you.

“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received
wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion….
This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need
for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated
philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple.
The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and
dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need.
So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are
learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some
other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and
conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is
no doubt we will be happy.”― Dalai Lama XIV

Commitment Anxiety

Anxiety Commitments“Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.”    Charles Stanley

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”    Zig Ziglar

“Love, above all things, is a commitment to your choice.” ―Rob Liano

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”
― Steve Hal

Commitment always brings on the fear. Just the word will make most of us cringe. I think women as well as men, are nervous when they hear the word spoken. As much as I am a spontaneous person, and always willing to go along with someone’s agenda, I hate to be tied down to commitments of any kind. I even  end my doctors visits, upon receiving the card for my next appointment, with the words, “I’ll call and change it if I can’t make it.” I can’t remember many times I had to change it, but the  relief I feel, knowing I can switch it, is a stress reliever.

Because I spend a lot of time contemplating my feelings, and the emotions of others, I do think about why we all worry about commitments. Maybe it begins during childhood, when we have to clean up our room, or we don’t get to have a friend over, or we don’t go outside. Even adults recall the set times they had for homework, as well as the struggle to keep grades within the free of criticism zone, .

I get the feeling that obligations conjure  fear and worry that we might fail. As we  mature we are anxious about maintaining friendships, preserving bonds of love for our spouses and  marriages. Those vows  become even harder to maintain and the stress increases. Maybe that is the point of time we begin to mention the transgressions  of others, so that our own mistakes diminish. We convince ourselves, and attempt to convince others, that we are not really as bad as the folks over there.

Children are a natural add on and break the bank with stress. Now we really have to grow up and become an adult. I find that many times one is catching up on duties and responsibilities. We listen to others,  and get involved  with many activities, to ensure our kids will be pleased. There  is a lot of importance placed on their fitting in  with their peer groups. We turn to the media to discuss our problems, and receive more advice, than we could  ever have time  to read. It appears that as soon as one person hits upon an achievable and worthy solution, everyone  jumps on the wagon. We breathe a sigh of  relief feeling that the answer has been given. Of course there are times when nothing works for every situation.

When kids get into a predicament of any kind, we step back, reflect, and hope one of the solutions works. When it doesn’t, we must rethink. Now the stress which actually never left us in the  first place, renews itself and drags us down. I would venture to say that at this point we are discouraged and wondering what went wrong. We followed the  rules, and advice, to the best of our ability, and we took care of the kids and bills  etc.

Perhaps our spouse appears to have changed in numerous ways. When did this happen. Our kids seem ungrateful and disrespectful. Our parents are aging and  demanding. Our kids  are maturing and moving on, working or attending college. They hardly speak  to us. Now we are loaded down with responsibilities, which are the results of all of our obligations. We understand what promises  are,  what they mean, how they impact our lives, and why we hate them.

I can’t leave myself at this place, so I contemplate the  whole ball of wax, up to this time in my life. It was a surprise to discover, that all of it was the  result of my own expectations, and ideas regarding commitments. Promises are not chains to bind us, restrain us, force us to pay bills, or suffer consequences. Parents don’t have kids, so that they will be cared for in their old age. Marriages were never begun with a rule book, and consequences for failing to live up to expectations. Most of our vows or commitments were made out of love.

Now I am thinking what is the reality behind our lives, and how do we live, laugh, have fun, and find time for love. That almost  appears to be fantasy, but perhaps life is the way we see it. If we had absolutely nothing, the entire world would be a wonderful place, as long as  we  received love from others. Our hearts would be bursting  with pleasure and joy. We would feel care and empathy,  because the gift of love is without attachments. There is no necessity to repay. We perhaps keep our commitments to love, out of love and not force. It somehow makes pledges a pleasure to keep.

Basically,  by being more mindful of what we have, and what we receive, we increase our happiness. I suggest the importance of reflecting on what is right in our lives, and what is  precious and worth holding on to. Perhaps  we have forgotten the  real reasons our parents pressured us to study and do homework. They wanted us capable and ready to enjoy the world through our knowledge. Most likely a better job, or developing a talent, that would help us to survive in a difficult world, was high on their agendas.

I think when we fall in love, it provides us with the  profound feeling of worthiness. Another person convinces us that we are special, unique and worthy of love. Of course being spiritual beings should help us to be aware of all of that, but  somehow perhaps we lose the knowledge.  It can be rekindled, by someone who cares about us, and showers love upon us. We get so busy with our lives, we forget to nurture that fire of love. It is still there, but perhaps needs to be  rekindled, and stoked with compliments. Even children thrive on encouragement.

Kids are  awesome but they take our time, energy and love. Many times they take these precious gifts for granted. We accept the insults, because we love unconditionally and are loved unconditionally. As difficult as life can get, when we have kids, our life has great meaning. Raising kids is the most worthy, and powerful job, we will ever accomplish. We are sending our beloved children into the world, to spread more love. We have an awesome job. Love grows as it is given away.

Worry and fear make us dread sharing our friends. We believe they would prefer another over us. Deep down we must accept the truth, that we are worthy of another person’s love. If we believe this, then it allows our friendships to be free and opened. Releasing our bonds encompasses more individuals. Parents might unwittingly pit one sibling against another. Upon maturity we can consider the fact, especially if we are parents, that all kids are loveable. The pain and stress occurs, when parents compare their  children. Competition hinders the emotional security of children, and causes jealousies and rivalries to begin.

Marriages require attention. I don’t mean one must get  away for the weekend, although that might be nice. The small thoughtful gestures, and remarks, enhance the love. Money is not going to ever buy real love. Honest love must be cultivated, with emotional attachments of kindness through words and actions. Just being aware of someone’s hurt and pain, brings comfort to them. Being  mindful is important in marriage. If we are tuned into the one we love, we become concerned with emotional states and mannerisms.  It generates understanding from every movement. If we are too busy to notice the innuendos, love diminishes.

It is not always enough to simply say I love you, to parents, kids or spouses. Others must sense the faith in those words. This comes from paying attention to each other. When we have accomplished that, we will have improved all of our relationships in a deeper way. The stress, worry and fear, will dissipate somewhat, and the sense of contentment and security will strengthen. We might find we enjoy so much more, and our senses will become alive with the wonder of the surrounding world. Our lives may continue to be busy, but we will leave room  always, for the important things in  life, which are free.  Focus on love, serenity, and mindfulness, rather than commitments and obligations.

 “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thích Nhat Hạnh

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will  grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”  Thích Nhất Hạnh