Monthly Archives: October 2015

Forgiveness

Forgiveness“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.”

“I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.” Anonymous

“Forgiveness brings inner peace. Do we have a deal?”  Melissa

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s letting go of the hurt.” Kathy

We always hear how difficult it is to say the words, “I am sorry.” I would agree that admitting blame of any kind takes courage and strength. No one should question how tough it is to do. Most of us perhaps never forgive every one of every  perceived wrong-doing towards us. It likely is human nature to hold onto a grudge. With time one sometimes manages to come forth and ask for repentance.

The person who has been injured at one time or another may wonder why the one at fault doesn’t appear to be contrite right after the incident. They may also question how little the transgressor thought about what they had done. Most of the reviewing at least in the beginning of a conflict, appears to come from the person that got hurt. Perhaps the pain reaches the heart and soul a lot quicker and leads one to reflect on the reasons a bit more.

At some future time, perhaps when one has experienced a similar transgression one is reminded of the similar occurrence in the past in which they were at the receiving end of the  heartache rather  than the doer. I suppose we can split hairs regarding who received more or less pain in any confrontation. The important thing to acknowledge is that enlightenment is beginning to occur. Becoming more informed allows one to look at a happening with a different lens. We are receiving a brand new angle to the issue. Moments like these cause one to reverse their thinking and possibly attempt a reconciliation with the one they had originally maltreated. This can result in needed transformation.

This is the perfect thing to happen. Both parties reconciling reduces tension and brings in lots of love. I am all for resolving issues between people. I believe it is almost perfect in the making except  for the fact that injured people also must be recognized for their strength and courage in offering forgiveness. No one ever seems to think the one saying “Oh that’s okay,” has had to be mighty brave and compassionate to be willing to exonerate and reconcile with the erring individual.

Of course no one is ever totally right or wrong in any argument or fight and there are perhaps numerous variables to the dilemma. Still the one who ultimately and obviously does the most damage is the person left needing to apologize.

Nevertheless the injured party is still left with the task of absolving the person who maltreated them. I don’t know about others but most people appear to discuss the courage of the party who apologized. No attention is  given to the pained individual, who had the ability to absolve the one who hurt them. I assume now that it must take tremendous strength of character to bring oneself to the state of mind to accomplish such a huge task.

When we are deeply hurt it resonates without and although time heals the wound we are left with a hard veneer. The longer the time between the occurrence and the apology, the thicker and stronger the covering. Lots of times many of us revisit the hurt and sometimes relive the pain. I remember enduring situations regarding health problems within the family which left me wounded. Even when the healing process was over, I continued to endure the suffering for years later whenever I recalled the event. Many people endure emotional pain brought on by the carelessness of others or differences leading to disagreements.

One  can appreciate that there may not have been a  need for an apology from anyone in the health dilemma, but the recovery process was similar. The pain of any wound is tough to repair. The emotional wounds and scars we endure throughout our lifetimes can be debilitating. When these wounds are caused by another person’s words choices or actions one lives with the thoughtlessness for a long time. How joyful it is to receive an expression of contrition. It is likely more commendable to appreciate how awesome the person is, who is willing to forgive. Just because someone says sorry does not necessarily make another suffering person willing to forgive.

Just because  we forgive someone, does not ever mean we can forget. The pain is ingrained and impossible to scrap or wash off. Of course the forgiveness allows us to go forward, renew an impaired  relationship and lift a tremendous burden from another’s shoulders. We also lift a lot of stress and anxiety from our own shoulders. All around forgiveness is so mindful yet many times downgraded in what it can accomplish. Even those times when another took our words or actions in a way we never intended, we can still repent and alleviate the pain to them.

One should never assume  a person finds it so easy to forgive. If one has ever had to do it, they know how hard it is. Sometimes you can feel as if they are getting off easy with a simple few words of regret. Both parties have a lot to endure in a giving and receiving situation. Both parties also have a lot to gain. Releasing the worry we have carried around for possibly a long time, gives us more energy  and courage to move onward with our lives. It is  an uplifting kind of energy. Releasing pain and blame leaves room for light, happiness and growth. After all we have come to realize the extent of pain one person can deliver to another. Perhaps it makes us  a worthier individual  who becomes more mindful of others. It definitely changes the sparring people  for the better.

“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”    Anonymous

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”    Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……”    Wm. Paul Young

 

Is Stress Within Or Without?

Stress Within Or Without“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”     Andrew Bernstein, author

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”     Bertrand Russell

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”     Peter Marshall, Scottish clergyman,

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”     Steve Maraboli,

We all discuss stress everyday and at any given moment we are wiling to either offer sympathy for another person’s problems or we want to divulge our own issues and garner support. Perhaps that is why social media is so intriguing because it offers all kinds of aid. We can dump problems on the pages of social media and await a generous supply of replies from  others. Likewise we hope to offer them the same kind of help when they are feeling the pressures of life.

What are our pressures? How can we alleviate them or lessen them? How do we live a simple existence? Where do all of the anxieties of life come from? Why do we believe our burdens are so much worse than someone else’s? How can we be happy and release the worries?

There are so many more thoughts and questions running through our minds on any given day. We want answers and search for solutions and become overwhelmed when we can’t find the answers to our questions. Even social media doesn’t usually offer answers. They likely offer kind remarks and a quick pep talk. That is a kind thing to do especially when we might not have all of the hidden facts of a problem to actually give a profound answer.

At times I feel like the support we receive alleviates some anxieties almost like a steam kettle gets relief from getting the valve opened up and allowing the steam to escape. It works but only for a while because if we keep it on the burner it only whistles again for relief. I see our lives running in similar fashion where we keep our hearts minds and bodies on the hot plate and just receive respite now and again when the tension is too much to bear and keep within.

We have a tremendous amount of work to accomplish on any given day. There are appointments, games for children to attend homework jobs studying household tasks and family business that must be attended to. There are phone calls to make people to please and jobs to attend to which have been put off long enough. There are family affairs to attend and people to talk to. Does that give anyone else a headache because I have barely touched the surface of our overloaded schedules and already feel tired and overwhelmed.

Honestly there is much we place on our plates that we worry about needlessly. Lots of things time alone can handle. Deep down are we truly concerned with every missed phone call or are we stressed about appearances. Thoughts pertaining to how we will be perceived if we don’t do this or that worry us. Family members did this for me and now I must return the favor or I will appear to be the jerk. If I can’t finish this thing my wife or husband will think either I didn’t  care or I have become a slacker. My co-workers manage to leave from work mostly on time while I’m always left finishing my items for the day. What is wrong with me? If I complain it will appear I am incompetent. If I continue I will be at work for longer and longer hours.

We begin to ponder such thoughts as, I don’t have the money or support that another has to get plans for my house accomplished.  Some items will have to wait. They don’t know how lucky they are. My life is unfolding in ways I never exactly planned and now I am not sure where it is I am going. I thought I would be this far advanced in my career and in my life but I have barely left the gate. My neighbors make it seems so easy to get things done. They are lucky because they probably don’t have to check in as much I as do or they don’t have the same commitments that I have. I’ve had more than my share of loss and health issues and some people seem to escape the hardships. This rendition probably sounds familiar. We all have faith that we are behind in our tasks and in life.

I have been there and done that with getting caught up in my own life and emotional problems perceived with my own looking-glass. The more I reflect the more I can see my false attitude towards my own crises and the crises of others. Studying anyone’s life allows us to understand it is filled with side steps and obstacles as well as times to rejoice. I am sure most of us love the joyful times and would love to have them more often.

As hard as it is I found it necessary to review my concern over the negative problems in my life rather than the accomplishments and joys. The more I focused on what was wrong the more I understood why my life appeared to be depressing. My jobs seemed more difficult to manage and overtook the thinking. At times I was left with a job schedule rather than a life. It lead me to challenge what my life was all about and what were burdens and what were drains and liabilities. I began to understand that some of my troubles were my perceived millstones regarding people and inconveniences.

I was working towards attaining what other people’s anticipations were for me. what I might accomplish from their perspectives were out of sync with reality. I decided my life should be lived with wisdom. We possibly use our loves and friendships as security blankets. Somehow it makes us feel untouchable from pain. We lament a loss of life yet it really is our loss that pains us. It reflects and diminishes our own life. I know none of us can totally diminish all of the stress from our lives. I also am aware now that the majority of our stress fear and anxiety is from within and from our own mindsets and points of view. We refuse to let others off of the hook and we most definitely won’t allow ourselves to be free. Such containment and misconceptions about life renders all of us drained anxious and unable to cope.

burdens are from the expectations of what others want or what we believe they want. There are deviations in reality here. Whatever notions I may have thought about others were perhaps off base. Outlooks they perceived about me were also likely wrong. There was a relief from many weights which occurred when I came to the realization that much of my worries were of my own creation.

As I began peeling back the layers I understood that most of the millstones were generated from  my own thoughts. Most of us choose to compete in the difficult world. We want to gain attention, make money influence others be held in high esteem and make a statement of importance. We enjoy the competition, like to impress and strive for what the world perceives as having made it. I questioned my notions of what that meant and discovered everyone had some similar ideas and some varying notions.

Such grandiose expectations are coming from within not from without. Most people honestly are not worrying about how big your car is or even if you own one. We are all too busy discussing and agonizing over our own lives and where we are heading. Young people worry about making it work for the spouse and kids while older people worry about retirement. We just can’t stop agonizing long enough to enjoy the life we have. Simply put we live in a future period of time. we must resolve to be over and done with any  expectations for others or for ourselves.

We likely haven’t let others down. We may have disappointed ourselves and our anticipation of dreams coming true. Perhaps many of our dreams do come true but are overlooked by our huge hopes and prospects. In the end we derive no pleasure from anything. That is what is sad. Finding hope faith and love from within is crucial to living a happy life. The outside world will never deliver. Enough needs to be enough if one wants to be happy. We can’t dwell on what we want but on what we have.

First find the peace from within by seeing life as it is rather than how you would like it to be. Don’t keep searching for the things you won’t find. Cherish the riches and pearls within your reach that are priceless. All or most of us know that pearls are made from irritation and strife over a long time. I see similarities to our family and friends. They may irritate and annoy us and  expect our support over the long haul of living. But in the end we discover the treasure we never knew was there. Suddenly the precious life we are living becomes a vital significant jewel we should respect. Our lives are filled with so much more happiness than we ever believed possible.

Our happiness and feelings come from within as we discover the full meaning of living. It may never be what we anticipated or expected but it is a life well lived and full to capacity with what counts in life. The sooner one discovers the faith hope and love within the quicker we stop searching to find it without. Stress is relieved and worries are more inconsequential. Life lightens, moods improve, jealousy  and anger diminishes and  opens up the door for love to grow. My favorite phrase is “Keep it simple.”

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”     Chinese proverb

“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”     Jill Botte Taylor,

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” —Amit Ray

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”     Sydney J. Harris

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”     Benjamin Franklin

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened happened.”      Winston Churchill

Everyone Disappoints

Everyone Disappoints

“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half closed after.”  Benjamin Franklin

“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

“As a matter of fact, we are none of us above criticism; so let us bear with each other’s faults.” L. Frank Baum

“Because he has never forgiven himself any fault, he can forgive no one else’s.” Linda Berdoll

The hardest thing to come to terms with is the fact that nobody is always agreeing with us one hundred percent of the time. As a matter of fact there are many times throughout the day when our closest family members  sell us out or disappoint us. Of course the ideas quickly depart from our minds because we just can’t handle the disappointment we feel. Spouses children parents siblings friends co-workers and bosses are all included.

Checking this out takes courage. When we walk or run away from the hurt we return when things have calmed down and we perceive the person is now within their right minds. We never consider that perhaps it is the other way around and the true colors were revealed if only for a brief moment. War between family members is not what I am searching for nor do I believe we don’t love and care for each other. I think that we all worry about our own state of mind and body and if called upon to work hard for another we manage it but not without a few scars in the process.

As important as it is to care for ourselves, we make some time for those we love and come to their support. Of course at times they are still frustrated because we have maybe not jumped as quickly as they had wanted. The more we feel justified in our reactions the more they might feel wronged. At times finding the truth and meaning behind all of it is confusing to say the least.

What went wrong is everyone’s thought. In all of our relationships we have the ups and downs and if we believe we can only keep it to the ups, we will be greatly frustrated. Perhaps that is why our marriages and relationships of all kinds fall apart. It honestly has nothing to do with truth but everything to do with perceptions. Likely our discernments regarding our favorite people is slanted because of our high regard for them. In our eyes they are perfect and any kind of a let down is disheartening to us. We give them no rope.

They require space to grow, make mistakes and learn from them, as well as bad days when their self-esteem is perhaps not what it normally is. I know I don’t go around the world professing my ego is in the bucket at the moment so please refrain from all criticisms. I do the opposite and hide my sensitivity on that particular day.

My thinking and statements may not be as clear or as kind because my mood and feelings are at an all time low for the moment. It doesn’t make any difference who approaches me on that day. I will freely dish out my anger in frustrating ways. I might even be meaner to those I love because I believe I don’t have to hide my feelings. They perhaps are taking the brunt of my unsettling mood. I don’t always sense any feelings of regret when it is all over because likely I deserved a day off especially when I have always been there for these people. I deduce that I deserved a day of compensation and they should understand that.

If I see this from the receivers end I totally get the saddened mood these people experience as well as the disillusionment of who I really am. All of the high expectations they had of me are currently dashed and after perhaps years of caring consoling and being there for them I have transformed into some hideous monster that they are steering clear. They might even profess to never trust me again. If I do resolve any and all issues I had with them likely the wheels on the track are still a bit shaky and they are nervous to have faith in me again.

This has happened to just about all of us. So  now the consideration is why we see the tiny negative situation against the huge number of positive times they were right by our side. Maybe we are looking for perfection in others yet willingly admit we are not perfect. We so readily cancel out family members and friends who have hurt us to move on towards others who dissatisfy and upset us even more. Perhaps we have faith that we will find the right person eventually, who will make everything faultless.

Siblings cut their  connections, friends find new friends, parents and children live in distrust of each other and couples split up in search of the flawless person. Of course we all find picture-perfect people at the beginning of any new relationship. The problem is we can’t maintain perfection forever for very long.

What does that leave us with and where do we venture from here we might ask ourselves. I think the stronger the relationships are, the quicker they weather through situations by confronting the truth in the connections to others. The more we are willing to confront our own issues the more willing we are to release another’s imperfections to the wind.

Never would I want serious pain and injury to my mind body or soul especially from someone I loved. I can however forgive others as I do want them to forgive me. If I only view their imperfections then they perhaps improve while I remain the same because I refuse to look at any imperfections in myself. Likewise if we transform ourselves as we find and view our shortcomings but our partner refuses to face their defects then our bonds may be doomed anyways.

I might also add that compromising does not mean we compare each others oversights and blemishes. Transforming our relationships is working on our own defects and not needing to assess who has more or less. It is never about blame but about improvement. We can’t ask for more than that. Steps in the right direction are better than no steps or false steps. Of course one must forgive and refuse to bring it up again. The other must work on ways to improve negative traits. Any forward movement is praiseworthy.

“The earlier you admit to your mistakes, the more time you would have to learn and grow from them.” Edmond Mbiaka

“When you say the word ‘sorry’ make sure you understand that an apology has 3 parts. “I’m sorry”, “It’s my fault and I won’t do it again” and “How can I make things better”. The last part is the most important.”  Manasa Rao Saarloos

“The desire to criticise becomes less and less as the character is developed. It is the mark of a fine character never to be critical and to mention but rarely the faults of others. A strong character does not resist evil, but uses their strength in building the good. They know that when the light is made strong, the darkness will disappear of itself.” Christian Larson

“We only care about our faults when we realize them.” Daniel Melgaco

Discover What’s Real

Discover What's Real“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe

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

“When you don’t know what you’re living for, you don’t care how you live from one day to the next. You’re happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you’re going to live for tomorrow.” Ivan Goncharov

All the discussions we have that are centered around being satisfied are just words. It appears that we understand what it is we need to alter in order to be content, but we are simply too entrenched in our old way of thinking. So instead we talk about lessening our burdens, eating  healthier and spending more time with the family. Our intentions are awesome but they are more like those New Years’ resolutions that fall  by the wayside by the end of January.

I am not trying to block our ideas about bettering our lives. Making resolutions is wonderful and necessary to begin anything new. I just believe at least for myself, that I must attempt to act on them immediately before I give up on them or give in to the temptations of letting them go. Nobody plans on stopping their good intentions. It happens when our old way of thinking creeps in and nudges us to take care of this and that  before we attend to our home and family ideas. Of course the more we attend to what we perceive as the necessary agenda, the little time we have left over to get the good  intentions working.

How many times we pick up fast food because we are running late and the kids need to get to a sports, drawing or music appointment. We excuse ourselves this one time  because the meeting ran late. We resolve  to do better next week. As days and months pass we just dash our intentions.  They just  can’t jive with our lifestyle at the moment. I can’t express how many times I have said when things calm down I will do this or that. When I do repeat this phrase out loud  things only get more complicated. I can then blame all my responsibilities for failing my resolutions. It becomes my life styles’  fault  for my inability to stick with my promises.

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When It Isn’t Enough

When It Isn't Enough“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” Steve Maraboli

“In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.” Haruki Murakami

So we are feeling really low and our spouse or close companion doesn’t appear to understand the depth of our sadness. There is no place to begin to explain how awful we feel. With every attempt we become mixed up in our thoughts and the words tumble out in a confusing fashion. The spouse gets annoyed with our attempts and we get off course in relation to what we are trying to explain. In the end we attribute it to their inability to understand how deeply we are hurting inside. As a matter of  fact, nobody quite gets the angry depth of our despair.

This perhaps resonates with many or most of us at any given time in our lives.  Sadly, we may give up trying and hide ourselves  away into the gravity of our sorrow. It is as if the world is against us and has never before seen the horrendous situation we find ourselves immersed within. Perhaps we haven’t noticed that those we love are functioning  in their own spheres at the moment and unless we relinquish more of our sentiments they will continue to remain on the outskirts of our pain. As much as we desire to have our loved one involved with our dilemma, we tend to push all people away. Likely it has more to do with trying to outrun our problems. If we venture down another path, try a new activity, go out with friends our issue might disappear. Of course that never happens  but we had to try.

Observing it from the other spouses’ view we see confusion about why their special someone can’t shake what is bothering them. Even when we have all of the facts we assume they can overcome the obstacles in time and we sit back and wait. When the waiting produces no results we attempt the discussion which leaves us with more items to think about and a lecture on our insensitivity. Even if we believe this is far from the truth, our ability to  change the way things are unfolding is fading.

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