Learning To Live

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”    Tecumseh

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.    William James

Photo by Matthew Reynolds

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.    Denis Waitley

We rejoice at the happy occasions in life. At weddings we laugh dance and sometimes cry because we are both happy and sad. We are jubilant that the couple has found each other to share the road ahead. We are sad because those of us who have been on the road know it can be rough and painful and not as perfect as we were led to believe. It is a too difficult to explain to the newly married couple and if you could they wouldn’t believe you anyways.

Life is meant to be lived and learned. How can we best understand kindness except through being treated with harshness? When others hurt us again and again we rejoice when a kinder heart helps us. Maybe the hurts are many but when we acquire knowledge from them they take on a different meaning and we can release the pain we have held onto for so long.

Some people react with retaliation when given troubles. The attitude is I was hurt and scarred so I intend to dish some back to my kids and the world. Of course that is a choice we can freely make. The lesson obviously wasn’t understood by us and it will most likely be presented to us again, in a more dramatic manner. Life instructs us how to live.

Plants that have fallen on poor ground tend to send off their seeds to an area that is more conducive to their survival. Cats are one animal that leaves a home that mistreats them in preference of a kinder home.  Even insects know how to survive under duress. I know of a white moth who relies on a white tree for surviving the many birds and animals anxious to eat it. One year there was a fire that scorched all of the trees black and everyone thought it would be the end of this particular species of moth. That did not happen because all of the new born moths were born black. It puzzles scientists to this day. Of course curiously the next generations went back to white when the trees began to heal and return to their white state.

When we are down we figure out a variety of ways to live. We can leave our mark as an innovative person or one who attacked the world because of his problems. I know the playing field is different for all of us but many people of all ages, races, economics and gender have had their issues to face and overcome. It is possible to do it if one never gives up.

Life practically challenges us to prove our worth and what we are made of. It is a different ride for everyone but without a doubt there are highs and lows for all. Sometimes I wish we were warned from the start that there are no promises. Things will go pleasantly some of the time, but there is evidence to suggest that there will be moments of tribulations. The triumph of defeating any obstacles is totally emancipating.

I am not a pessimist. There is importance to our struggles. How can we reach the pinnacle of humanity without total understanding of what that means? Living with injustice we acquire a sense of fairness. Meanness and contempt instructs us in kindness and tolerance. Injustice and fear lectures us in overcoming fear and allowing courage to bring about the necessary changes. Hatred communicates the importance of love. Our lives are similar to taking school courses. As we master certain lessons we are given more to discover. Most of our learning overlaps and all lessons call for love.

By accepting our glitches along with our pleasurable times we acknowledge our lives as a mixed bag. If we really can identify with the knowledge we can recognize it when it happens to another, and possibly be of support. Helping each other is what furthers our own life and makes it more worthwhile. If we choose to make it a competition rather than a collaboration we will be less fulfilled and access less understanding. We learn to navigate around the obstacles on the road with advice from others who have been there.

What the poor person cannot see is that the rich cannot buy love or happiness even with all of their money. What the rich person finds is that they don’t ever have everything they want because some things can’t be bought. Both parties are left with having to find their own integrity which might be aloof to them both.

Happiness in any given life situation is elusive. Those moments are present but at times we are so full of duties and ideas that we might miss the best pleasures due to our own busy agendas. We forget to be thankful for the simple minutes in time that are indescribable. Those are the moments we will reflect on and smile, at some future date in time,

Life shows us how to love as well as it clarifies to us how to endure difficulties. Both travel side by side. If we stopped being jealous and envious of each other we would learn how problematic everyone’s life can become. It would also instill in us the significantly wonderful pleasures of our own life.

It is simple to find faults in others and in their lives. Perhaps it is just as easy to discover qualities worth imitating and assets worth acquiring. No one is given the perfect life nor the perfect solutions. We all must strive. We can make it easier on each other. We can stop with the excuses of what we did or didn’t receive. Because that is the route to defeatism and leads to a lack of action. Time to gather our faith and put our hands on the steering wheel. Much is out of our control but much is within our reach.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”   Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.    Steve Jobs

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.    Dale Carnegie

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