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Acknowledgement 2Acknowledgement 3“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”    John Steinbeck

...What makes us who we are should be glorified personified and sung unto the stars!”    Muse

Perhaps we begin with the phrase, "I never wanted nor asked for anything in return." It is familiar to me. As much as any of us want to pride ourselves with our giving from the heart, without concern of any repay, we still like and enjoy some acknowledgement. Perhaps at times it is not necessary but at a Acknowledgement 4Acknowledgement 6 low point in our lives, or moods, we may search for some kind of acknowledgement of who we are and what we have done.

Most of us would be appalled to admit it bothers us when another doesn't consider our contributions. I have come to realize it has to do with a couple of things, which I know I am as guilty of doing as anyone else. My confidence level on any given day fluctuates. It drives me crazy and I am sure it makes others wonder just who I am. Another item to consider is our time, patience and effort given to another. That can't be given back so easily. Exhaustion plays a role in our attitude, when no appreciation is given.

Decidedly I believe as much as I might offer to help someone, I assume they understand just how much I am giving. Of course when they don't, and practically appear to ignore my good efforts, it leaves me wallowing in self-pity and sometimes anger. When we have put others first, supported, and comforted, then we might feel we deserve at least a thanks. We were needed and we came through. So now what?

Most of us look for the appreciation that may never come. For me to say it is a compliment, might sound absurd. But in a way, I have deduced that it is a compliment. Likely we need to rethink what our own feelings are regarding this dilemma. If it is important that we get the proverbial thank you, then perhaps we might consider picking and choosing what we want to do for others. It isn't an insult as much as it is knowing our own ability to give and not receive. ...continue reading "Acknowledgement"

It is one f the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Giving without receiving is weighing on a person. Many continue giving for a very long  time, until they break and crash. This occurs when one reaches the limit, and wants and deserves acknowledgement. At this point the  commendations are usually fruitless, because the receiver believes they had to ask for a thank you.

I see it as a break time. If we have reached our limit of doing thankless jobs, then perhaps we should relax a bit. The true idea of giving is when it can be done without any acknowledgement. I like to receive a thank you as much as anyone. What I reflect on now, when the pains of being unappreciated rise, is the reasons why I am doing whatever it is I am doing. When the reality of the situation roots in my heart, I realize that I don't require the thanks, and if I do need it, then I must immediately stop whatever it is I am doing. If one doesn't refrain from doing unacknowledged work, that they feel is worthy of acknowledgement, then it leads to major frustration, anger and a dislike of the person we are attempting to please. There is no winner in such a situation.

It isn't hard to believe that we might simply need a break. Perhaps we have placed ourselves so high on the pedestal of perfection, that we hate to admit we like a simple thank you once in a while. It isn't difficult to consider this. Being human we get caught up in our thoughts and our mind's take on issues. The further we go down that road, the sooner we reach the end of our endurance. If we want to continue, we must turn around our thoughts and go back to the original plan of aiding another without return.

It is a simple solution, yet it almost requires super human strength. There is no insults or degradation in our desire to not be taken advantage of. So many people in this world, are taken advantage of. Likely praise is not freely given and thanks is infrequently exhibited. Sometimes it is reasoned that this one has so much so they can afford to help me out. I find this perhaps the saddest answer. For anyone to think another should spend or give to them is absurd. The rich person, who spreads his wealth for the benefit of others, is extremely kind. They don't have to do such jobs.

Being thankful is as vital, as being aware and willing to support those in need. Both dispense of grace. The one acknowledges the empathy of the other through grace, while the doer is encouraged through thankfulness, to continue their good deeds. In the end the world is a better place with less frustration and anger. Tolerance is renewed and understood on a deeper level. Probably our ability to endure without thanks will increase to the point of not being necessary.

There are countless ways we help others daily. Few receive thanks. Children are too young to comprehend the tremendous amounts of help they receive from parents. The parents are giving many times without receiving. We all share those times when we were underestimated in our value. Accepting this without anger makes us stronger.  Continuing this attitude makes our world more compassionate.

We just have to get over our need of thanks. We must accept that the thanks is in the finished product which never really goes unnoticed. Take a break when you need to and settle your thoughts about receiving praise. You yourself know what a great job you have done. In the end it is how we view ourselves anyways. What others think of us is trivial compared to what we think and know about ourselves. We are the ones who must live with ourselves.

Stand strong, know your heart, mind and body have pure ideas, honest motives, and not looking for rewards or glory. When your mind heart and body work together, you become more god-like than at any other time. Accept those times you fail by remembering the numerous times you made a difference in the life of another person. After all, our thoughts have always been about giving, and have never been about getting anything in return. Trust that it has been acknowledged in more ways than we could ever imagine.

Remembering how far a simple thank you spreads compassionate healing,  is well worth mentioning. It triggers one to continue the path they are on, and persist in their work of providing for others. If that is all that is needed to inspire another, perhaps we should all frequently use the words "thank you" more often.

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."    Voltaire

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts."    Alan Cohen

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship."    Amelia Earhart

"The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness."    Dalai Lama

Pretentious Life“If we’re wrapping ourselves up to conceal any vulnerability, whatever happens to us has to go through all those extra layers. Sometimes love doesn’t even reach where we truly live.”    Alexandra Katehakis

“The truth has not so much set us free as it has ripped away a carefully constructed facade, leaving us naked to begin again.”    Lisa Unger

"It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are."    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

So we have a precious meeting today and we simply must dress accordingly. Lunch with our younger friends requires the right look. Of course the weekends can be more laid back and relaxing. The jobs keep piling up and we wanted to finish cleaning the basement. If we can just get the rubbish out in time for the garbage trucks we would be all set. Our in-laws might be over and we have to clean the house. We need to pick up a few things at the food store.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? When is it time to think and calm ourselves from the stresses of life? So many times I remember feeling so stressed out that I spent a few minutes thinking about what the people in my life would say if I simply sailed away to a remote island. It is surely unrealistic but so isn't our fabricated lives.

We become so caught up in the dreams about our lives, that we lose the meaning and purpose of living. Our lives are lost in the murky water we continually wade through. Our children have Santa  Claus and we have faith in attaining endless beauty, health, power and money. No matter how much our more advanced in age friends beg to differ with us, we continue the façade. I suppose there are many people who continue the belief in the sham no matter  how old they become. ...continue reading "The Pretentiousness Of Life"

I wonder if it is fear of the unknown or determination to stop time. I am not bursting anyone's' bubble but  chasing after fluff only leaves us confused, scared and in search of another cover. Building on the falseness of life's  dreams sends us running scared. Whether we attain our desires or not, we are left empty and unfulfilled. It is easy to understand this if we recall receiving something we yearned for. Afterwards we discovered it wasn't everything we thought it would be, or we tired of it in a very short time. Later we replaced it with another desired object or person.

We never ask ourselves why we get bored with the object or person. We simply move on believing the next thing will make us happy and secure. Our lives seem to continue along this track and we fritter like butterflies, from flower to flower. At some point perhaps it would be wise to reflect a bit at what we are looking for. Is our life only about objects and things to acquire? Does life hold more meaning than that?

Perhaps we are wasting time on fabricating a life that consists of changes and disappointments. If we honestly thought about what brought us the most pleasure and the deepest moments of understanding life, we might find it to be quite different from the visions and fantasies we conjured in our daydreams. I know how deeply my love for my daughter penetrated me when she was diagnosed with cancer. My entire being and thought of self was lost. I didn't care if the house fell down and floated away. If all my possessions were lost I would not have blinked. Love for my daughter surpassed anything else I could dream about in my life.

Likely the only thing that brought me back to living was the call to stand alongside her and battle the unknown. God, Faith and the power of prayer, became more real to me than any search to stay young, beautiful, admired, rich or famous. I woke up to the fact that we spend so much time on trvial items and forget about our souls. My daughter battled like a trooper and became a cancer survivor. Life obviously never went back to life as usual.

The impact was deep and lasting, as a reminder of never forgetting who we really are. All of us are so much more than bickering, jealousy, fighting, ignoring, and false pretenses and dreams we covet. So much of our lives is spent living in a trance of make-believe and nonsense, that it becomes difficult to tell the dream state from the reality. Forgiveness lends quality to our lives. It transforms our living into reality.

Living with passion by extending respect, love, empathy, tolerance, forgiveness and kindness towards others is more worthwhile than constantly competing for an illusory trophy made of smoke and mist. Chasing after things leaves us empty. Living provides fulfillment. Slowing down allows us to get a better view of the road we are traveling. We speed through life while grabbing this and that along the way, while each illusory object bounces away from us through the air as quickly as a tossed boomerang. we race forward to the finish line and discover the subterfuge of our lives.

If we could only discover the truth before it is too late. If we could only become aware of life in its real beauty. Our senses tell us so much about life as do our discoveries beyond our five senses, which we all have but never use. Life is caring and loving others. We don't stop loving them when they hurt our feelings or let us down. Turning against others like a vicious dog because of a perceived injury is nonsense. There are many times we perhaps hurt others in the same manner, with our words and actions.

Some of our transgressions are jealousies, competition, guilt, intolerance, violence, hatred, unkindness, insults, criticisms, bullying, dishonesty, and more. By taking all of the negatives away, we are left with the positive and attain serenity. The negatives bring more violence and anger into the world. Do any of us prefer the fighting and faut-finding?  I know when I have differences with others my world is disruptive, emotional and in complete turmoil. I am  not always successful at wading off negatives, but every day that I am, brings me another beautiful and peaceful day. I prefer the world of peace and love.

"It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."    Albert Einstein

"When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations."   David Icke

"Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world."    Sai Baba

"He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free; he shall cease to be a slave of passions. The righteous man casts off evil, and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and illusion do we reach Nirvana."    Buddha

When You Can't Give

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." Albert Schweitzer

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."    Albert Schweitzer

"I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end."    Albert Schweitzer

Have you ever been at the mercy of your emotional self? You want to help, give, be attentive to and support others but the stamina is low or non-existent. Of course so many of us hide behind walls and refuse to share our deepest hurts and frustrations. This keeps others at bay and also any support. If someone doesn't know how much we are hurting, then they can't begin to understand or help us.

There may be all kinds of happenings and crises in other people's lives. Without a doubt, we might be left incapacitated for the moment. As much as we feel regret at our inability to help someone, we must remember that at that moment, it is best to nurture ourselves. Why this becomes so difficult for us to do is strange. Our need to be caring and compassionate makes us overlook our own needs. The problem is, if we stop caring for ourselves, we can become useless, in coming to the aid of other people. ...continue reading "When You Can’t Give"

It is paramount that we watch for stress and worry, within our lives. This can overpower us and cause fear of all kinds. Many times  fear and worry lead to frustration and anger, which serves no one. As much as we like to feel needed, and as much as we want to aid another person, we owe attention to our own minds, bodies and spirits. The guilt we feel is unwarranted. Ignore the emotional guilt, and know that it is vital for us to take a much needed break.

It might be unfortunate if our need for relaxation comes at a time when others need us. If we venture forth to help, even though we are at a low point ourselves, the results could be disastrous. We can't always plan when the desire for solitude permeates our being. Issues that arise in other people's lives, are also not planned or expected.

Many times we have those people who judge us for the extent of our vacation time away from issues, or they assess our actual problems as not so bad. I equate this to nonsense. After all, what one person perceives as a little problem, another may consider it a crises. We are different and can't all fit into the same mold. The extent of the feelings of pain, or burdens beyond our ability to face, are intrinsic to each of us.

A screaming child to one adult may be just extra patience to rock and comfort the child. To another adult it may be reaching the above and beyond boiling point. If that mom or dad requires some aid and comfort, it is certainly recommended. Our breaking points change on any given day. If we are dealing with the same issue day after day, our tolerance is likely going to deteriorate. We don't have to justify our feelings to those who really don't understand. When anyone has not walked in our shoes, how do we believe they have the right to judge us. Of course they don't.

Perhaps it may become necessary for us to turn a deaf ear, and close our eyes to adults who offer no mercy, only criticism. Has anyone ever listened to or observed a person in agony over their inability to deal with an occurrence in their lives? Maybe we have experienced the same happening, and perhaps we sailed through it. On the other hand, maybe they are sailing through it but we did not. So many issues we have that are similar, result in various  performances and endings.

I sympathize with the people who look for attention, mercy and empathy, only to receive rebuffs. I appreciate that there are likely those who have experienced worse. That never makes a poor situation feel any better for the people involved. Pain is pain and hurts are hurts. We should never measure the quality  of hurtfulness,  for accuracy. A little trust and understanding goes a long way.

For those who suffer in silence, there is a greater need for attention and acceptance. They almost believe in their super hero powers, until they crash and fall down hard. They are likely the ones we most totally ignore. They appear calm and together on the outside, yet may be suffering on the inside. Viewing someone who is able to take it on the chin, makes us overlook their need for attention. It necessitates our being mindful of the strong, who won't ask for aid.

I suppose if we simply were mindful of others, and their moods, there would likely be far less fighting, and more comfort for everyone. Our need for kindness would be satisfied, without sensing a loss of control or pride. Allowing egos to defeat us is sad. We are humans and therefore thinking and feeling, and loving beings. We all need love and care. Even the cranky, lonely, and miserable people enjoy love and empathy.

Perhaps if we could muster some sympathy for those who need it, we might build up their confidence, pride and energy a lot faster, than if they receive no help. I like to treat myself and accept what comes my way in a controlled manner. What I have found is crushing defeat. By the time I accept some help, I am low, without ego or confidence, and incapacitated to the point of leaving some jobs unfinished. I now accept another person's advice and support. I reconcile the fact that I can be wrong and another may be correct. I accept my pain and the pain I discover in others, without judgement. I comprehend that we all have dilemma's to deal with, but we have each other to help us to achieve, the hopeful, confident attitude and environment, we  all like to enjoy.

“I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind”     Seneca

“Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.”     Seneca

“that you would not anticipate misery since the evils you dread as coming upon you may perhaps never reach you at least they are not yet come Thus some things torture us more than they ought, some before they ought and some which ought never to torture us at all. We heighten our pain either by presupposing a cause or anticipation”     Seneca

“Everyone prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.”    Seneca

Choosing To LiveChoosing To Live 2"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees  it."    Confucius

Choosing To Live 3Choosing To Live 4"Consideration for others is the basis of a good life."    Confucius

"Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge"    Confucius

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”    Seneca

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”    Seneca

How many of us are living with fear and doubt, and rushing through our lives with total unawareness? I can't be the only one. It appears to me that with all of the paraphernalia surrounding our lives, we are constantly absorbed in cleaning it up. We rush through our projects good and bad, and consider it a good day when we complete more than we expected. Allowing time for our emotional selves as well as our spiritual selves takes a backseat.

Our lives are based on earning a living, raising kids and having some time left for fun. Trouble is we spend most of our free time worrying about what we didn't get accomplished. Has anyone ever lay awake at night remembering conversations that went all wrong, and interactions that were taken the wrong way by others? Do  you keep recalling the things you didn't get done that day? You then spend so much time before falling asleep, rethinking how you might have changed things, or avoided some pitfalls. At times it costs us a loss of sleep, and worry beyond compare.

As I reflected more, I came to the realization that I spent little time on soul-searching and soul growth. Of course at church services we hear it often said that we must think about our souls growth and work n it. Most of us perhaps are not even sure what the minister means. We show up at services so we believe we are covered. I am sure that most of us look at this as going to church and spending that time each week, reviewing our souls and their growth.  Perhaps our church guides have dropped the ball in how they guide us. So many are afraid of losing their parishioners to the point of adhering to pointless rules and obligations. Likely they are forgetting to pay attention to what counts in life. ...continue reading "Choosing Mindfulness"

Running the committee may not be as important as administering to a neighbor in need. I think of the term mindfulness when I reflect on any religion. Are we mindful of what we are doing and where we are going? Most people live for the day never recalling any purpose or reason. I suppose when one spends so much time on the rules of a game, they forget to leave time to play the game. I see our lives in this direction.

All the extraneous distractions allot us little time to think about anything beyond this existence. Yet we bury or cremate our dead and send them off to, we are not sure where. If any of us honestly believes in an afterlife, isn't it time we put some thought into our soul's well-being? Maybe what we chase in this  world is limited and confining. It ends quickly and many times  causes distress of all kinds before it does. Money, fame fortune education never seems to cut it forever.

We chase after the next dream. We breathe a sigh of relief, when we manage to get our kids through each grade. We work with them on homework, and worry about tests, report cards and college. When the kids are teens and older we endure tremendous anxiety over their choices in friends, spouses, hurts, work loads and their levels of stress. It never ends.

In all of this we never consider the fact that perhaps we are not preparing our lives nor our children's lives for the real purpose in living in a mindfulness state. Instead we choose to worry about truly non-essential items. Likely we can teach our kids the importance of learning how to manage disappointment,  engage in tolerance and empathy, and extend acceptance and forgiveness to those who have hurt us. It ensures an easier life for our kids, to live lives in cooperation, serenity and peace.

Maybe by encouraging kids to downplay certain happenings, it will allow them time to pay better attention to life in general. They might have a genuine involvement with others without using restrictions and guilt to make people stay in line. Forgiveness is perhaps something we all require on a daily basis from a variety of people. If we get so caught up in our own self-righteousness, we only see the faults in others but not within ourselves. We are more mindful when we can see our own blame as well as the faults of others.

It isn't about blame, fault, money, prestige, accomplishments, education or anything else, in this material world, that we can think of. It is about enriching our souls and becoming a better individual. Perhaps individual is not the term to use. Life has more to do with encircling others and connecting with all people. We share similar dreams, and ideas. We have many of the same issues and problems in life. Our focus has just changed.

We perhaps lost our compass and flounder in this world trying to make sense of it, at the cost of ignoring our soul's needs. As silly as it sounds, deep down we are all aware that we are so much more than our bodies. Our five senses bring us into alignment with the world. Our intuition and spirit brings us into alignment with our souls. If we allow ourselves the time to consider who and what we are, likely we will find a treasure beyond belief. The measurement of a man's worth may have more to do with his qualities of empathy, caring, loving, tolerance, forgiveness and most definitely one's mindfulness of self as well as others.

We judge each other by man-made standards and worldly accomplishment. We encourage our children to follow the rules of the world and society. Nobody questions these guides and the tremendous burdens they place on each and every one of us. Bigger always seems to be better and more appears to outweigh less. Power force and control are envied as are the winners. We never doubt the winner and barely acknowledge the loser.

How much harder it is to sacrifice from lack of money, lack of family, and loss of health and a number of other situations. Many people never have any power or control. Winning is something that does not cross one's mind in this situation. In these situations, perhaps we tend to reflect more on our dilemma, and then on our will to fight and survive the odds. We might even be quicker to support others because we can empathize and relate to their predicaments. None of us want problems including myself. However when we are dealt any difficulty that needs attention to  overcome, we grow much bigger and stronger spiritually. Life's problems crush us for sure but the stamina to deal with them head-on takes a lot of courage and love.

I am believing that it might be time to teach our kids the value in learning how to tolerate, collaborate, co-operate, support, empathize and be mindful of others. We have left these out of the curriculum. It is time to reinstate them. This learning results in soul growth, as much as math science and reading result in material growth for the individual. We obviously have not changed our ability to fight wars but only the methods we use. Peace is attained with boasts of power. Thumbing this down to the individual, we can observe the bully and his methods of power and control. This is not pointing a finger at any one person or country as we are all guilty. It justifiably should make us question what we actually are striving towards.

Parents have the power to change the world through what they teach their children. It might seem ludicrous but all of us can make a difference. The least among us with a voice, has the potential to change the world. By seeing our lives as relevant at all ages, perhaps we will value our own and the lives of others. Everything in this world is fleeting. We would all agree. Now it is time to view what our existence in it means. Just as we concern ourselves with the worldly necessities for our kids, it is time to also put as much or more effort into the spiritual lives of our children. It is there that we find peace and harmony.

“Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied, in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining?”    Seneca

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”    James Baraz

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”     Henry Miller

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”  Carl Jung

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