See Beyond The ObviousThe highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe without evaluating."    Jiddu Krishnamurti

“It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.”    Steve Maraboli

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”    Marilyn Vos Savant

Has anyone ever  wondered about whether the dream state is real or the waking state in the morning is the true life? It is weird when we have a vivid dream and feel like it actually could have happened. What arouses my curiosity is the fact that we go about our business everyday thinking we are accomplishing so much and living so much. Now I question if we are living at all or simply traveling in an enclosed dream-like state.

So many times it is safer and easier to "get things done." At the end of a day we can show all of our accomplishments. Nobody really cares except us. We feel complete and go to bed and begin again the next day. I question if that is life and what might really be expected of us. From the beginning we are taught to do our jobs, listen, learn and don't waste time. Are we giving any time to reflecting on what we are doing? Many times I feel so caught up in tasks that perhaps what matters most is lost in the multitude of jobs. ...continue reading "Seeing Beyond The Obvious"

As much as we invent more technology, we are further lost in a maze of false reality. We appear to have less time for the meaningful items as we venture forth to complete what we planned to do on any given day. Is completing jobs what it has come down to? Are we any more aware of what we are doing than the hamster in the cage? If we are told to think something over at work, so many of us are uneasy and squirming in our seats. We are likely thinking, we don't have time to just reflect. The scary thing is that maybe that is what we all should be doing.

Is it any wonder that so much pain and hurt has been at the hands of those who don't think about what they are doing. With more gadgets there is less time given to our own brain's ability to work things out with reflection. Our minds also have the added ability to figure in a dose of emotional input which we have not yet been able to insert into a man-made device. Without the human touch, reflection is lost. I know I don't want to have a world run by computers.

Perhaps our reasoning is becoming weaker and our emotions too relaxed. As they say, all of the stimulation on television about  hurting others and treating others with disdain appears to be producing a thoughtless breed of people who are more and more robotic. The fascination with technology  is taking over every free moment of our time. Less attention is being given to those around us who count for so much more. It is sad to be unable to put a device down in the presence of real people. Now if we ask ourselves about the dream state or the wide awake state we might be unable to distinguish between the two.

It is amusing that humans have the capacity to do so much and care so much yet we take things for granted and destroy the good in so many items and relationships. Our lack of attention may bring down a lot of worthwhile relationships. Sometimes I sense that we must wake ourselves up from a mindless wandering. I don't want to give so much of my attention to trivial tasks, at the expense of soul-searching. It is a unbalancing agitation that makes one sense they have forgotten to do something. In a way we do forget what counts.

Human interactions of empathy kindness and love wipe away anger fear loneliness and distrust. We underestimate the power of a smile or kind word. So much emphasis is placed on  what we can do, that we forget how human qualities can accomplish so much more as they move the mind-body and spirit. Focusing more on our souls health perhaps will spill over into our homes', communities' and world's health. If this sounds strange to anyone, probably it is due to the fact that our spiritual needs have long been overlooked.

If we pretend that our waking life is all there is then we are blocking out truth. We may want to see what is in front of us but there is so much more that we have covered our eyes from seeing. Perhaps the fascination with false extraneous objects has clouded our minds. Truth can be found if we look beneath the surface of our lives. Those aha moments lead us to undertaking on a deeper level. What is important  becomes more obvious to us. All of the frills and extraneous trappings of our lives fall by the wayside as we view our surroundings with new eyes.

For me it is like waking up. When we go through our day accomplishing tasks without reflection, we are not aware of our lives. No wonder we are shocked at the pace of our lives and the swift passing of our lives. We perhaps are role-playing more than living. Attuning ourselves to our surroundings and becoming aware of everyone and everything is a necessary objective if we are to reach our goals.

Improving our spiritual selves takes time and effort. If we have no time and give it no  effort we are locked in a stalemate. Observing life in all of its forms brings enlightenment in every way. We are so much more than the worker at the store or the teacher or hairdresser. None of us is stuck in any form of a name. The power we have is beyond belief. Learning to value what is important is a paramount goal. Once we do this our lives lighten up and we see and understand beyond what our eyes behold. We suddenly become aware of living a more purposeful life.

“What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.”     Michael Connelly

“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Remember yourself. Deep inside, you have an observer, a constant neutral witness to your posture, gesture, facial expression, breathing, taste, impressions of light and sound. Don't leap to interpret. Just be there and observe.”    Jonathan Price

"Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of the Middle Way."    Lucius Annaeus Senrca

Nitpicking“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”    Abraham Lincoln

 “The motive behind criticism often determines its validity. Those who care criticize where necessary. Those who envy criticize the moment they think that they have found a weak spot.”    Criss Jami

I am not sure how many people use the term nitpicking, but the meaning  seems to be
understood by all. I was recently accused of this and I felt horrible to say the least. When it
comes from someone you love, it is even worse. Of course my mind was immediately filled with
anger and thoughts of  retaliation. Trying to think clearly about just what to say and how far to
carry my anger, was perhaps a good thing, as I think back on the incident. The revengeful
feelings dissipated quickly and left me full of hurt instead of fury.
Most people might believe incorrectly, that the love connection was over. Not so. I went home
and thought about why this person might have said what they said. I began to see myself in a
different light. I actually began to realize that many times I deal with trivial issues and
sometimes make them bigger than they really are. It confused me and surprised me at the
same time. I had never considered myself so obvious. It certainly didn't alleviate the heartache
 of the incident, but it did make me consider the situation in another manner.

I honestly and deeply searched for answers and found some. Of course it required me to climb down from my lofty seat. Now I don't believe I am a nitpicker but I  do over analyze situations and people. Perhaps I am insecure and wonder at every slight, if I have done something wrong. My lack of confidence has proven to  be causing some painful happenings. Every time someone is in a bad mood, I blame it on myself. I think that maybe I said something at a prior time or place. Of course in the end there are no solid solutions. The nitpicking begins at the point of not understanding where feelings begin and end.

Probably every time we intentionally attempt to be everything to anyone, or to please someone at all times, we are doomed to fail. It really is okay to disappoint others at times. As a good friend once said to me, "It is not up to you to make everyone happy. They need to make themselves happy." I grin and accept it intellectually, but continue on as if it is my duty to control the feelings and moods of all in my vicinity. How absurd it is when I look over the truth of the matter. ...continue reading "Nitpicking"

I have also considered the fact that many married couples nit pick each other in a joking fashion. This likely promotes more of the same. To others it may appear unkind. I am not making any excuses, but I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my words and actions. I don't consider this psycho-analyzing this, although it was a profound studying of myself and my motives. I set some goals for myself. I will attempt to  simply hold my tongue and refrain from "nitpicking." I do hope I am successful.

I must add that many times we find ourselves the recipient of criticism of all kinds. I must share the fact that a short time later, my criticizer was the nitpicker towards another. It almost made me laugh, because I now understood how universal it was. I  am not condoning nitpicking. As a matter of fact, it really is annoying and goes nowhere. I had not given it much thought before. As a result, I am thankful to the person who brought this behavior to my attention. I can't say I actually said thank you to him or her because their assessment hurt deeply.

Spiritually they did me a favor. I am devoid of anger and remorseful of my words. I have become aware of a detriment in my own character. I also wonder at the tremendous amount of people who bring things to our attention every day. Our first impulse is to be furious and on the defense. After all, we never consider it a favor to be diminished in such a manner. However, I am honestly thankful, because so many more of the people I love, likely have the same thoughts on my behavior, but are too timid to voice them. (Perhaps I am thinking on this too much causing my insecurity to rise.)

What I actually surmised from all of this is that at times, it might be better to acknowledge our faults, and work on changing them. Getting mad and furious at another makes the situation worse and it solves nothing. Even if we believe someone's analogy of a situation is wrong, we might still reflect on why they came to the conclusions that they arrived at. Perhaps we are disregarding some important information about ourselves. In all likelihood, it works out for the better, to accept, at least some of the blame, and move forward. The alternative is to lose a loved one.

People who constantly praise us or idolize us are likely shadowing our faults. This is fine as long as we realize that maybe we are not as perfect as we believe. Many marriages fail probably due to each partner's search for the acknowledgement of being the perfect partner. In the end, we ruin what is possibly a wonderful and satisfying marriage. Perfection has more to do with our own understanding and definition of perfection. In my eyes my kids and husband are perfect. I am not sure what others might say, but it really doesn't matter at all to me.

I think perhaps we grow straighter and stronger when we accept imperfections, and consent  to improve. For me it was a challenge to improve my character. It called me down. I think we must appreciate those who bring some rain to us, because they allow us to plant strong seeds that will grow when the sun comes out again. It makes one reconsider the options when one is confronted with such a confusing situation, that likely could turn volatile in defense. Now I understand how much better it turned out. I didn't think quick enough to form a retaliation and that was a good thing.

I suppose it is not so much about nitpicking as it is about confronting the truth about ourselves. We are never always right or wrong. We are human and we make some mistakes whether purposeful or not purposeful. The learning is powerful. I hear so many of us, learn from positive words and actions. At times perhaps some of us can only get a message if it is loud, clear, forceful and meaningful. It only hurts for a little while but the learning lasts forever.

“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.”    E.A. Bucchianeri

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop."  New Statesman interview,    Winston S. Churchill

“The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”     Norman Vincent Peale

Love Hurts"It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge."    Friedrich Nietzsche

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."    Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." Francis Bacon

How many people are aware of the honest fact that love hurts. Instead of saying life is not for the faint of heart, I think we should add that love is also, not for the faint of heart. No matter who the person is or what the relationship is, we will have those moments when they will likely hurt us emotionally. I would like to say we don't dole out pain on purpose but at times we might just do that. Especially when another person hurts us, our first thought is to get back at this person. It is human nature to defend one's self and so we retaliate, when we are emotionally in pain..

Believing in our bonds of affection does not always prevent us from refraining from anger, due to the hurtful incidents we were forced to endure at the hands of a loved one. How sad for the first receiver and at times more painful to the other person who receives the revenge portion. What I find to be difficult is accepting the truth, that each of the battlers still has so much love for each other in their hearts. ...continue reading "Love Hurts"

So many times we recall saying, "If they loved me they would never have done that to me or said that to me." The truth is we are so capable of dishing out heartache to those we care about the most.  We want them to appreciate and understand that what they caused in the situation, was painful for us. The only way we attempt to manifest our pain, is by a revengeful retaliation back at them. Our hurtful experience overrides our sanity and ability to show empathy towards the one we love.

It is rather  sad that we lose control of our thoughts and presence of mind to make better choices. The result is more fights and vengeful acts of revenge against each other, until one of us has had enough and quits the cycle of pain. When this happens we are both remorseful and practically blame the person who instigated it in the first place, for having to toss back worse pain. Now this sounds silly and illogical when one is attempting to explain the dilemma. In reality it occurs on a daily basis within the lives of people.

Stopping the useless and bitter cycle is paramount to having a fruitful and happy relationship. Understanding the dynamics of a situation people are caught within, is vitally important to ending it. Once we recognize the hold it has over us, the quicker we might be able to stop it. I don't believe these altercations happen only within a marriage. I think parents and children of all ages might get caught up in such a demonstrative situation. Friends may hurt each other back and forth at times. Have you ever heard a friend say after you complain about something they said or did, "Well that is how I felt when you said and did that." It rings a bell to all of us. We hate getting hurt by those we love and many times we choose to hurt back when we get the right moment or chance.

We teach kids to forgive and forget but don't follow our own advice. The emotional pain is overwhelming and we have the need to make it known as much as we had the need to tell this person we loved them. The pattern is right in front of us. Love is exciting happy and profound but it is also hurtful. We can't escape the twinges of pain that love promotes. One would think that if someone means more to us than anyone else in the world that it would be impossible to hurt them. We do it anyways. Then we must fault them for our own revenge, because we can't stand to fathom our guilt in the wrongdoing.

For myself I have been guilty of retaliation many times and regret later. Over the years I have learned that keeping a clear view and grasp of unconditional love has helped me to often manage to refrain from retaliation. It is never easy and not usually totally accomplished, but likely revenge has diminished a lot. There isn't a secret to it really. Our emotions get the better of us when we are pained. Like nothing else we feel deserted, and exposed. After all, if someone who loves us and cares for us so much can hurt us, then perhaps our enemy will demolish us completely.

Abandonment destroys confidence and fills the void with insecurity and fearfulness. Marriage partners are so notorious for such behavior that many boast and laugh later, about the episodes they have endured. As funny as it it to tell, while living the experience, it is quite the opposite. Parents and spouses along with friends, have a sense of pride in how much they have given to a relationship. Being so easily tossed aside can crush their spirit. I would venture to say that it is probable that the closer we are to someone, the stronger the retaliation. The hurt is deeper and the revenge is stronger.

No one has the ability to pain us like someone we love. I surmise that it might be for that reason we discovered unconditional love. When one loves unconditionally, it is without revenge and is total acceptance of anything given in return, regardless of suffering. I am not saying we must be doormats.  Obviously when such behavior continues daily it is a sign of serious failure of one kind or another. However, most of us have infrequent bouts of differences with other people. How we manage to deal with them can make all the difference in the world, as far as a healthy relationship is concerned.

Believing we will never argue or disagree is unreasonable. Having faith in the ability to fight without evolving into revenge is a possibility. If we work hard at it, we can forestall the necessity of retaliation, thus skipping that detrimental piece, from the game of life. Sometimes our special  loves in life may get worn down from matters unrelated to our true feelings. Many relationships that perish, may have survived if revenge had not been a regular pattern of defense, against painful experiences.

If we consider our own reasons for arguments and fights, we understand how stressed and burdened we felt at the time. The lashing out at others had more to do with our burdens than how angry we actually were with those we love. It still ended in erosion in the relationship, if we chose the regular routine of evening the score. My belief is that once we have overcome that need of striking back, it allows the other person to offer such a decree for us when we are on the other side of a situation.

Love hurts but the candle does not ever have to diminish nor be blown out. We expect some beautiful moments. Perhaps it is necessary to expect some pain and suffering along the way.  By not allowing the infection of revenge to take root, we will stop the battle before it destroys our  trust and need for retaliation. Love unconditionally and you will experience total love in many forms.

"There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness."    Josh Billings

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

"Evil is always devising more corrosive misery through man's restless need to exact revenge out of his hate."    Ralph Steadman

"It is up to God to take revenge. Only God can judge. I don't have to worry about getting even with anybody or taking out any kind of aggression on anybody. Doing that is a weakness, anyway."    Jim Brown

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Giving And Receiving

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”    Mother Teresa

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”    Steve Maraboli

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”     Brian Tracy

“I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.”     Mother Teresa

I don't know about others but I can tell you how many times I have weighed in my mind, what pain or hurt others caused me. It seems silly and absurd and definitely not a worthy thing to do. So I question why I am guilty of doing it frequently. If I loved unconditionally, I would not have this problem at all. I recall how much I love my kids and profess to love them unconditionally. I do love them unconditionally but when it comes to others, I fail miserably. When I get myself composed, I fill my heart with love again until the next trying situation

The reasons are likely numerous and perhaps surprising in nature. I suppose it gets tangled up in love. Everyone is searching for love. It is the easiest thing to find, but the hardest thing to keep and maintain. It probably has to do more with attitudes about what love is and isn't. ...continue reading "Giving And Receiving"

When we first get married, we glow in the presence of our spouse. Our love is pure, deep and feels good. The world is at our feet, and we honestly believe that our love for each other is unlike any other love, that ever was. Like a fresh bouquet of roses, it shimmers in the light of the sun. As any divorced couple might say, they don't know when things were going south, and by the time they noticed, it was too late.

I think if we are not sure how, why or when our feelings turned sour, perhaps we were not paying enough attention to our love life and our marriage. If we observe the important elements of our lives with caution, and keep attuned to the small inconsequential acts, we will be aware of problems coming our way a lot faster. What this has to do with unconditional love,  is the fact that almost every couple believes in it at the time of their marriage, yet can lose the feeling a short time down the road. The goal becomes how to keep love alive and healthy.

Friendships run the same course. We cherish our friends but there are moments when they let us down, insult us, make us jealous and envious, or simply make us feel bored. In reality we were just as guilty of the failed relationship, but it is harder to see our own fault. How much easier it is to judge another over ourselves. It is human nature. I don't think it is boastful but perhaps the opposite. We are so lacking in our own worth that we fear facing our own faults. We place  a small amount of blame on ourselves, and the large bundle of guilt on our spouse.

Getting back to the love issue is vital. So many of our relationships with spouses, kids, family, friends coworkers, and parents may end in estrangement. There is likely no one walking around the earth, who has not experienced an estrangement of one kind or another. Now if we are courageous enough, we will admit that not so long ago we would have professed the impossibility of such an occurrence happening. So how did it happen?

How is it we alter our thinking, change our minds and attitudes, and search for and find blame rather than love. If we can remember at one time we saw love within a relationship of whatever kind, maybe we can ignite it again.  Now we look at these people we once cherished, with disdain. They are not worthy of our bonds of love. Is it that they just don't measure up anymore? Did they let us down or hurt us in some way? Do they appear to have changed? Have we changed? Does it have more to do with our egos, jealousies, or competition, rather than our loss of love?

There are perhaps more questions than answers. Of course the end result is confusion, few answers, and lots of pain and suffering in one form or another. We probably don't stop to think of the effect on so many others. We always assume it is just about us.  Changes affect everyone around us. What we do has a domino effect and it continues on and on. Spouses who divorce are likely going to have an effect on a child's future mate who will be forced to deal with the complicating issues of visits, talks about estranged family members and more. Who would think a total stranger would feel the impact of such a course we have taken. None of us ever think about the impact we cause on others daily, as well as far into the future.

Most parents never lose love for their kids and vice versus, but they may become disillusioned. Maybe all of us give so much time to making a living, that we forget about making a  life. All relationships may start out as unconditional love, but end up shattered when people begin experiencing feelings of neglect. Distrust leads to doubt, fear and eventual loss of love. As much as we try, we can become discouraged. We lose faith in ourselves but also in our relationships.

Of course an answer is to work harder on all relationships. Next to that I would say it might be time to reevaluate the pros and cons of any relationship, and our expectations. Are our expectations so unrealistic that a partner or loved one can't help but step over the impossible line? we then consider them failing. If we set our own parameters, but forget to inform our loved one what they are, then we have set the grounds for them to be unsuccessful. Perhaps we must question how much we have planned to make this relationship flourish or flop. Is the relationship about tolerance growth and love or is it about Us?

Our expectations may be unreasonable. We are all aware that the little things count the most. Are we also aware that counting will always create disappointment? Paying more attention to the kindnesses rather than the deficiencies may ultimately support a positive effect. There are those times when we all make mistakes,  overlook sensitivities, and generally lack concern. If we choose to bring attention to these errors constantly,  we will eventually erode any relationship. By monitoring only the absence we are focusing on finding the mistakes in another. An alternative approach is to focus on the good, acknowledge it and most definitely remember it.

We are likely boxed in at times, going round and round. Because we are caught within this box, we are not seeing elsewhere for another view. Choose to look for a positive version of this person or relationship. The alternative is exhaustion, running around in circles, and in the end, breaking and running away from the relationship. Our minds of course support our thoughts. They are also traveling around but going nowhere. The constant reminder of blame, makes it always present, and continually draining. Unless we have the courage to step out and take a different approach, we will destroy what was once a good relationship.

Many times our thoughts sabotage our love. If we can't control our thoughts, we become the slaves to them as well as the victims. We have technically lost control of our choices and decisions. In order to take back control, we have to seek a new way of viewing issues, and dealing with each other. By using a different lens, perhaps a favorable picture will emerge. We in essence allow new ideas and concepts to enter.

Love has nothing to do with money. Expensive gifts do not denote greater love as many may think. The larger ring does  not mean a larger love for the person. By taking so much judgment out of any situation, perhaps it will alleviate the stress. Love does not have to die. We can always choose to keep it alive. Any relationship can survive. Of course there are always others who are insecure and who make it their job to sabotage our relationships with others. These people have their own insecurities and agendas which affect our bonds to others.

 I surmise that those who are less judgmental, more secure in their own worth, and keep their unconditional love alive, will have a greater chance of happiness and love. Love does not need to be tested every day. Love does not need to be hidden from others. Love does not need to have a closed circle. My idea of love is a trusting heart, an open loving attitude, and a line that continues and captures all into its embrace.

Taking love and placing it into a cage, creates anger and darkness. Freely spreading love around transforms the world in all kinds of ways. Just because we have a bad day with our friend or spouse doesn't mean the bonds are broken. They are just stressed at the moment. The worst thing we can do is dwell on these thoughts over and over. Instead we should attempt to push them from our minds and consider the good. Never take the smallest act of kindness for granted. As a matter of fact, perhaps we should never take any and all love for granted. Love when someone deserves it. Love when someone least deserves it, and you will keep love strong and safe.

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”    Brent Brown

“When you know that everything matters—that every move counts as much as any other—you will begin living a life of permanent purpose.”    Andy Andrews

“When you suffer, you are being conformed to the image of Jesus. When you pray, you are being made holy in the image of Jesus. When you quietly serve a person in need, you are being shaped into the image of Jesus. When you generously give, your heart is being remade into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”     Allen R. Hunt

“Theologians talk about a provenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a provenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.”    Marilyn Robinson

“If the people of God were to transform the world through fascination, these amazing teachings had to work at the center of these peculiar people. Then we can look into the eyes of a centurion and see not a beast but a child of God, and then walk with that child a couple of miles. Look into the eyes of tax collectors as they sue you in court; see their poverty and give them your coat. Look in to the eyes of the ones who are hardest for you to like, and see the One you love. For God loves good and bad people.”    Shane Claiborne

If you give, expecting something in return, it's not really giving at all.
If you love, expecting something in return, it's not really loving at all.”    Donald  L. Hicks

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.

Patience is tolerance of others who are different, disabled, and are less endowed with any ability. When we accept others, support and encourage them, and offer compassion and empathy,  we are practicing patience on a major scale. Perhaps we exhibit this when we are teaching our young children how to play any type of game, or riding any kind of device at any age. We may be needed to tolerate the elderly as well as the young. Our understanding of hurt may differ from another person's. This makes it necessary to tolerate those in pain for whatever they deem a hurtful reason, without judging them.

Persistence is another form of patience that requires us to stay the course and gain the degree, job, forgiveness, mate or hoped for pregnancy. Many times it is easier to give up and move on. Dropping out of school is easier than studying. If we commit to studying, it necessitates work, stress and pressure until we meet our goal. The job market is strenuous and calls for courage and action. Keeping a marriage alive and well requires constant concern care love and support. It certainly would  be easier to give up on the marriage. In the end our reward is awesome if we choose to stay in the marriage union, but patience is needed. ...continue reading "Patience"

How many athletes deem their perseverance, as the key to their success. Attaining any degree job or worthwhile endeavor, many times,  takes years of hard work, planning, faith and perseverance at the helm. I have observed first hand, cancer patients who have endured, suffered, prayed and courageously faced a tremendous difficulty and pain to achieve a cancer free body. They looked fear in the face and stared it down. The perseverance necessary is huge? Perseverance is another form of patience. Without it, one can lose themselves and their control of the situation. Those suffering from spinal injuries, suffer and endure the pain while they persevere to the point of gaining back their sense of control and power. It is no small feat and the battle continues daily. Finding a new path and enduring suffering as their daily companion is almost a give.

Endurance goes hand in hand with perseverance. Enduring the suffering of the body is necessary at times, for the recovery of the body. No progress is made without the courage and effort to endure the greatest of difficulties. Those who suffer alongside of these powerful souls, are the supporters and cheering squads for them, and they are also the angels sent by God. They don't cower away, nor turn away,  but endure the hurt  alongside the sufferers. It takes stamina and courage to face harrowing and stressful adversities. Strength and endurance is demanded.

Unflappability is the staying power needed to have hope in a positive outcome, regardless of the bleak circumstances of an emotional situation. Being estranged from those we love is harsh. The emotional suffering cannot be viewed on the outside but the bleeding is continual on the inside. There are probably, many times when we are depleted emotionally, and sense the desire to give up. It is the easiest thing to do. What is most difficult, is to continue living and believing in a positive result. The mind is tortured and tired, yet it continues to battle for the breath of spring air at the end of the rainbow. That kind of patience calls for unflappability.

Staying power is another overlooked attribute of patience. It takes lots of staying power for parents to keep their marriage alive and well. Raising children adds to the burdens and frustrations. As much as the marriage ropes stretch, they don't break. This has to do with the staying power of the adults. Whatever blows the marriage suffers, the adults must recall the good reasons why they found each other in the first place. Fights and unkind words must be forgiven while the partners agree to move forward without weighing down the relationship with stresses of doubt, negativity, accusations and counts of fault-finding. Tally sheets never work in any marriage. Forgiveness is a necessity in my opinion. A daily dose of forgiveness, along with staying power, reinforces the marriage.

When parents are upset with their kids, and are frustrated and tired, they need to find the forbearance to react in a merciful way by exhibiting self-control. Bosses authority figures of all kinds, and anyone with power may find themselves frequently calling on their forbearance. Patience is having forbearance, which is having the ability to show mercy for others, and self-control over  our own actions. Forbearance instills us with lots of power and choices.

Fortitude is managing to bring forth guts and grit, to accomplish the impossible. Fortitude is patience in action. Most times it is within our power to achieve what we believe we can achieve. Once someone said to me, the only difference between two equally capable athletes, was how much faith they had in their own ability to win. That was the person who would be successful. So many times perhaps we don't trust in our own worth.

Gentle people are unfortunately considered weak. These compassionate individuals are quite often calm. In reality,  placidity is another form of patience. It is the ability to deviate from the tension of a critical situation, and allow calmness to permeate. This brings a clear solution to any problem. Perhaps on any given ambulance, on any given day, you will observe placidity all around. Emergency situations require this ability to bring calmness and clarity to the forefront. At times a life and death situation is hanging on by the amount of calmness and clearness in the thinking of the individuals dealing with the situation.

How difficult it is to say no to our kids, at any age. As parents we want to be loved by our kids, and we desire to please them as much as we can. Teaching can become a necessary detriment to bonding, but only in a temporary way. We must say no at times. We are perhaps at odds with our kids but we must discipline with love. Imperturbability is another form of patience. It is the power to do what is right, regardless of the psychological pain we endure within our self. Even when we deal with adults, it is hard to do what is right, regardless of the pressure to give in or go along. Standing strong takes guts and courage and strength. It takes imperturbability. Group pressure at any age is tough to overcome.

I have grouped stamina and lack of complaint together. Lack of complaining is accepting situations and enduring them with courage. Many people accept the end of the bag so to speak, on many occasions. They go last, pick last, and put up  with trying situations and people, without voicing opposition. This takes more stamina to endure than it takes courage to speak up and complain. Perhaps we should notice that the squeaky wheel does get the attention but the wheel that keeps plodding along is by far the stronger. Parents are the people I think of when recalling stamina and lack of complaint. They plow forward for the sake of their kids, disregarding their own needs. They continue struggling beyond their strength without failing or giving up. They endure all kinds of hardships, problems burdens and stresses for the sake of their children. Stamina and lack of complaint fall under patience.

My last definition for patience is serenity. I love this one because it is finding the peace at the end of the rainbow. We all search for peace every day. It is what we strive for in every encounter. It is patience in its enlightened form. We find serenity when we understand the meaning and purpose of life itself.

Patience takes on many forms as we all do while living our lives. The next time we think we are endowed with no patience, recall the list of definitions of this awesome word. We share more patients with others than we ever thought. There is patience observed in us in our daily actions. I think we should honor it in us and send it forth every day. Serenity to all.

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”     Hal Borland

“Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can - working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well! which only they have the starring role.”     Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”     Margaret Atwood

“The best teachers have showed me that things have to be done bit by bit. Nothing that means anything happens quickly--we only think it does. The motion of drawing back a bow and sending an arrow straight into a target takes only a split second, but it is a skill many years in the making. So it is with a life, anyone's life. I may list things that might be described as my accomplishments in these few pages, but they are only shadows of the larger truth, fragments separated from the whole cycle of becoming. from animals and trees and stones.” Joseph Bruchac

Faith In A Positive Outcome“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”  ― Albert Camus

“Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth”  ― Albert Camus

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”  ― Albert Camus

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I have always considered myself a positive person. I attempt to see the good in people, the good result of a difficult situation, and the positive meaning behind other people's words and actions. That is all true but what is also true is my lack of faith, to a point, in positive outcomes. I am not negative but I like most, if not all people, cringe while waiting for an outcome. The time for positive change has come.

As a people we have lost our faith. Religion and church are commendable but as much as we attend services, we have not incorporated it into our lives. Everything we do has a time, place and certain amount of energy we give to it. If Church and religion fit into our lives or schedules, we go with it. After all it is important to cover our bases just in case. None of us is likely sure of the after-life. We have no proof unless we accept and have faith in other people's versions of episodes within their lives.

It is almost sad that we are so skeptical. Our skepticism has caused us more negativity and anything but peace. It has likely aided in our doubting the words and actions of others. How many times I have heard others say, "I don't believe anyone does anything for nothing. They only do things to make themselves look good, or promote their own agenda." That is probably the most negative remark. It is sad that so many have simply lost faith in others, as well as themselves. ...continue reading "Faith"

Pondering why and how it happened is the issue. Many attend church but as we also have heard, attending services does not mean you live a life of faith love and charity. Insulting those who go to church as bad people,  or insulting those who never attend is not my intention. I just think it is more important to deeply question our attention to a spiritual life. Being afraid to admit we believe in an after-life is rampant. Most people will not discuss anything that cannot be understood with their five senses. The fear of facing something new is challenging. After all, we all have so many concrete problems to deal with on a daily basis. The  mysterious should be left at church, is perhaps what most of us think.

Perhaps we miss the meaning of what faith is.  There certainly have been many erring spiritual people in all religions. It is no wonder so many question their faith and have compartmentalized it. As for myself, I worry that there is a higher being,  and sometimes fear that there is not. I have heard it said that religion is for the masses, because it keeps them in line. That is another angle to the situation.

Religion is personal, but can be prayerful and spiritual.  It is stepping out of one's comfort zone and embracing some long forgotten faith in the goodness of mankind. Prayer can be achieved at any moment in any day. By incorporating prayer, or spiritual awakening, we are allowed to view people, places and things in a transformed  way. We see beyond what our eyes observe. We hear beyond what all of our senses are tuning into. In the process, we gain a far greater grasp of reality as we embrace the spiritual side of our being.

I find it discouraging when I hear some say that it is our imagination, when we find answers from sources beyond explanation. Most of us have gotten comfortable with the computer and other technologies that satisfy our questions. Delving into the unknown and unfamiliar is terrifying to some and frightening to others. We comprehend our world, and that is enough for many of us.

What is a truthful fact, is the understanding that death comes at the end of our lives. We prefer not to ponder that too much. I feel there is a curiosity to the idea of life after death. Believing in the soul gives credibility to the theory of the soul's ability to forever sustain life. If we accept this then it becomes easier to live our lives fearlessly and charitably with love towards everyone. Doubting life brings anxiety into this world, due to our chained belief in our soul's single destiny.

I watched a movie called, "Faith Like Potatoes." The main idea had to do with the fact that potatoes grow underground, and a farmer is never sure if they are actually growing. The notion of having faith that the potatoes are growing and will produce a crop and lead to money is the end result. Perhaps faith is something like that. We tear apart every single aspect of our lives and make quick judgements. We don't allow for bending, stretching or belief in the end results.

Most likely there are many twists and turns in all of our lives which render us useless. we  give up too easily, while doubt, frustration, worry and anger take over control. Spirituality is obliterated from our lives.  We become overshadowed with fear about so many outcomes. It is so difficult to view a light at the end of a tunnel. Maybe we should consider an outcome that is not what we planned, but may be so much better than what we thought. All the answers are not transparent. Faith is required when we can't see the future. Short term goals are good but long-term goals are needed along with belief.

Our souls are trying to lead us by faith and understanding that we are so much more than we can actually imagine. We lose sight of our power and our destiny. None of us is simply another human being. We have the potential for greater enlightenment. Our weakest links are our minds perception  of truth and reality. Fear and worry about inconsequential issues brings jealousy, anger, competition, intolerance, unkindness, and negativity into our lives.

Our faith and belief in the positive and good things in our lives delivers a deeper look at the myriad of happenings within us, and around us. We are all connected on so many levels. Having the courage to step through the confusion, brings us to the light of understanding. Leaving the doubting baggage behind us, opens a new world of serenity and peace and love. We need to develop faith in ourselves and others, that we are priceless beings, capable of tremendous acts of kindness. Like the growing, unforeseen  potatoes, we are growing from the inside out. Believe in yourself, your life's meaning, your  soul's ability to grow. Most importantly, embrace your life's purpose with integrity, confidence and courage, to make a positive impact on the world.

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious... Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
― Dalai Lama XIV