Tag Archives: appreciation

BEST BIRTH ORDER

cropped-Family.jpg“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don’t like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone’s complaints I realized we were just talking about life.

Like people tell you when you are young, “You have to put up with it because things happen in life that you must deal with it.” Nobody likes to listen to that speech. It does resonate back to us  when life throws difficult pitches our way. It is not easy to say if you are the oldest or youngest this is the way it is. One must think about the sexes, background of the mothers and fathers and number of kids in a family as well as the economics of it all. I believe nobody gets away scott free and once you accept that you can stop comparing. Have you ever heard people comparing who had the more aches, pains or health issues to deal with? I know some peoples’ complaints are worse than others but  there are emotional problems, mental health problems and spiritual issues tied into it all.

Some people are distraught their whole life worrying about what they “”Must” do for somebody. Does that make them less caring because they are not doing something out of love but duty? How about those who feel obligated or who want something in return? The list is long and complicated and so is the birth order. I don’t really care so much about the order of birth because it seems like everyone takes the “crap” in life. It is unavoidable. It is more important to figure out how they will deal with the crap. In a way it is our attitude regardless of how much pain and hurt we must endure. Having taught school I know the child in the classroom who cries a lot gets a lot of attention. Does this mean they have suffered more? Is  there another child who has been suffering but we overlooked them?

That is one reason why  the situation gets complicated when we are trying to figure out or compare anxieties fear or problems. We come from different places and homes and had a variety of personalities to cope with along the way. I am thinking we might believe others have no care because they appear to not notice our suffering or they don’t appear to have any. Does anyone recall saying, “I don’t know what they are complaining about because when I…? We measure our pain against others all the time. It doesn’t alleviate it but it increases the friction we have with friends and family.

Perhaps we should begin understanding where the pain  originates and why it won’t let us go. There is absolutely deep suffering that will stay inside of us forever but it does not help anyone  to believe they are the martyrs of the world even if they have the suffering of such a person. Viewing ourselves as a victim implies we are helpless and have given up. Nobody has the power to make us feel that way and we should not see ourselves as the sacrifice. When we do deem our pain is beyond the measurement of anyone else’s we lock ourselves in a cage and throw away the key.

On any given day there is much to cope with. Everyone has those moments in time that stay within the brain forever. The fearful moments scare us and make us want to run away no matter what the age. The crises we got through makes us proud of ourselves but sometimes less sympathetic because we may be of the opinion that no one else has suffered like us especially if they haven’t complained. I am not down on the complainers. Sometimes I think it is therapeutic to get things off of your mind. When people hold things in they tend to resent others who can’t imagine their suffering.

I don’t know about how other people believe  but in the end  I think we alienate a lot of people when we expect but don’t allow someone in. It appears to work against us and we end up jealous of their “Better Life” or we carry the pain inside and let it hurt us over again and resent people  who can’t see it even when we don’t let them observe it. I have turned my suffering inside and felt worse when no one appeared to understand. My belief was how can they not get it. Now I try to share more or at least not find fault with those who simply don’t know when I don’t share.

Life is not easy and that is an understatement. Life is more difficult if we compare our section of the world with other peoples’. We are putting up fences and keeping people out. It is better to take the fences down and let people in. I have found out that so many others have their own stories. It is kind to share in a positive way without the competition of having a winner. If we think we are worse off we send out no understanding or empathy to others. Instead we expect or feel entitled to be down in the dumps. Personally there are likely many days we might feel sad or even hopeless. We are asked to be stronger at that point than we were when we endured a heartache situation. It is at those moments we need to find the courage to get over the deep emotional feelings creeping in and overpowering us. We are almost forcing ourselves to relive the horrible time all over again.

If we can come to terms with the fact that we all suffer then maybe we can stop comparing and judging and learn to support each other any day we are in need. It takes away all of the conditional aspects of love and allows unconditional love to reign. Unconditional love says I love you no matter how you behave towards me and I forgive you for everything. It says I may not like what you do nor understand how you feel but I trust the reality of your situation and want only love and peace in your heart and mine. I know unconditional love is about as close as any of us can get to being more Godlike. Life is burdensome enough without worrying about the amount of good or bad in anyone’s life. Trust that we all suffer at times but we all have so much to be grateful for if we would check it out. What I like and you like may differ. What I consider pain or frustration may also differ. May we all live in peace and as a song says, “Love the one’s you are with.”

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!”    Charles  R. Swindoll

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”   Charles Dickens

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”     Orson F. Whitney

Trapped In A Half Empty Glass

success“In the end it is not the years in your life that count but the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck

I find it so easy being trapped in my own thoughts and seeing life as half empty. I admit that  happy days make it unnecessary to  think so hard about life in general. Difficult days make me review every single word spoken to me. Everything people say and do is a competition. Most of us would definitely say they are not  competing with anyone but the opposite is true. Every second  every day it happens unless we consciously stop the runaway thoughts.

I would have said not true a short time ago but once I reflected I realized we spend a huge amount of time worrying about what others say do and think and we worry  about fading into the background of our lives. In a sense we almost have our lives finished and done with because we sometimes see no alternatives and only endings and loss. It is helpful to look at the glass  half full rather than half empty but how we think and feel goes beyond that.

Have you ever asked why we let our emotions get us down? We perhaps blame it on our difficulties. I do the same thing and have done it for a long time. With a lot of introspection I have discovered a much calmer world within which has led to a calmer world without. That doesn’t mean I don’t gt angry, feel insecure at times, feel useless and lost and confused and a whole lot of other things. It becomes a run away train that must be stopped the sooner the better. Likely when we need sympathy or someone to say things like “It will be okay just hang in there.” it doesn’t happen.

What can we do? We must remember we are never alone and we can find the peace from within and the answers. It is how one view life and the happenings. For kids it is all  about getting control of toys and friends. They like to have friends that pick them first or play the games they like to play. Kids get very upset when their friends chooses to play with another child or allows another person to hold the toy before they let us hold the toy. That may sound silly to an adukt but in many situations we do the same thing.

Have you ever been at a party and your in a conversation with a couple of people only the person doing the talking keeps you out of the conversation by ignoring you? They most likely would deny this yet they focus only on one person until you  feel like the third thumb and you humbly walk away crushed and wonder why they did that to you. I would guess that whatever it is happens to be their issue and that is easy to say because it becomes your issue when they crush you especially in front of others which is embaressing.

They might even come back and say they are sorry “You took it the wrong way” shich is even more upsetting to you because you know how it went down. So now it is like your own fault. Now we again have two choices. We can get angry lash out at them or simply accept their apology understand it is still  their problem and take none of this into our own hearts. Being so insecure including myself we tend to think maybe we did overreact but maybe we didn’t. The point is to let go of any attempt to accept a burden you don’t need or want. It is extra baggage and it is not yours to carry unless you unwittingly grab the bag.

Most of us do end up with more unhappy  thoughts and assumptions that are not real. It is overwhelming to realize that most if not all of us do this all day long with every interaction we have with others. One must think about the fact that we can’t control another’s mood or ideas about who or what they are or what they did and perceive as right or wrong. We also cannot control what others have for burdens whether we think they are problems or not. If one believes it is an issue then it is so.

It is relevant to refrain from adding to our own baggage. This is done by recognizing some problems before they happen. The mind can convince us something is one way when it isn’t. I think that is why we are insecure at times. Everyone and everything appears to be against us. Although that is absurd if you are in a bad mood or place one has faith it is true. Life is not easy everyone agrees with that. We all deal with stuff. Perhaps we might look at how we deal with problems.

It is not good for any of us to enjoy being unhappy and look at our half empty glass. It only keeps us at the bottom of the glass and in a drowning state. It may get too comfortable being there because people leave us alone, steer clear of us and sometimes begin giving us excuses for our poor behavior. It is almost like an adult temper tantrum. I have been there many times and it can feel cozy and it allows me to step on whoever I want.

In a way it is refreshing but at some point we need air and should surface. Open your eyes and look around. I know it gets repetitive to say to people be grateful for what you have when all we can think about is what is missing. Honestly there is wonder all around us. We want to enclose everything and every moment but we can’t. Kids are a joy but they grow up and must move on and that is hard for parents to accept. Change is hard on all of us. We plan our lives and believe the plan will unfold exactly as we set it up. Of course it never does. But in the “something else” that happens there is a lot of good in it if we open our eyes. Keeping them shut and complaining about the dark won’t work.

I hate change and always have. It doesn’t stop the changes. When we have kids or grandkids we believe they are the best of course. Then we get into who is like whom or which child resembles which side of the family. That is full of potholes. what it comes down to is our desire to keep love all to ourselves. Somehow by claiming the child in this way we feel like it is ours. It creates arguments over what. All of this is competition for acceptance and love to last eternally. The truth is love is eternal and it does not need to be sheltered or covered up in order to keep it.

Our insecurity can keep us in chains. Just let it go. Nobody has the power to lock up love hate or anything.  We do have the power to increase love and give it to others just by letting people in. When that happens the pain goes out because there isn’t room for it. The love and memories we have remain and our mind is left focusing on the happy rather than the sad. Anxiety and sadness render us helpless whereas love and happiness give us strength. There are people who care and we have all been in positions of helplessness and sadness and worry.

Honestly the worry can be for nothing because things do happen in curious ways that we would never have imagined. Thinking we have it all worked out will surprise us one day when we discover that it isn’t true. So worry can be over nothing that is real. We all have people and stuff to be thankful for. If we won’t open our eyes we are going to miss so much. We have choices to make every day about our anger attention and job list. We also have choices about how we will give love and accept love. Sometimes it is harder to accept love than it is to give love. Through accepting love we create an acceptance which benefits everyone and leaves us open to more love which is overwhelming in pushing out the anxiety and fear we have  enjoyed leaning on. It takes courage to accept love and understand your cup is half full instead of half empty.

“Don’t squander yout time on the what- if’s of life. They are unlimited and endless.” Gary Zukav

Eventually you will come to understand that love heals all and love is all there is.” Gary Zukav

Happy ?

Happy“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.” Anonymous

“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

What does it mean to be happy? If you asked a million people their answers would likely be different. Happy means to be pleased joyful cheerful blissful exultant ecstatic delighted and content. I know the number of people I talk with within a week and they have numerous adjectives to describe their moods and few would mention ecstatic lives. The adjectives used perhaps are more like tired, upset, discouraged, stressed-out, fearful, over-worked, sad, anxious and over-burdened take your pick.

It makes one wonder what happened to living and meaning within our lives. How did we reach the road where we are in a dilemma bout which way to  choose. All the roads appear to lead to unhappiness. We almost take it for granted that it is normal to be unhappy but is it? Sometimes it is difficult to find one decent occurrence throughout our day that made our life worthwhile. I want to ask where did the world go wrong?

We all have problems and events to deal with and that we can all accept for the most part. But why is it most of us if not all of us feel so burdened to the point of being exhausted and ready to give up? If we rated our days as good bad or indifferent perhaps we might see a lot of bad or indifferent kinds of days. I believe this is very sad and anything but happy.

I wonder if we focus too much on what needs to be done, what is missing and what is wrong? I never saw anybody at work come in smiling and saying wow my life is so happy and things are great and my spouse and kids are so awesome! Most people unfortunately come to work complaining about every little thing that went wrong at the breakfast table. Those listening politely slip away thinking their own problems are more difficult than their co-workers complaints.

I must admit that these folks send our brains down the road of finding similar problems in our own lives. We contemplate a worse day and unhappy moments in time. Sometimes those who stay and listen to the employee’s grumbles wait their turn to best the protester with their own tale of woe. It definitely starts off a competition and a marathon about who has the most grievances. Who wants to be the winner of that competition?

Bosses complain about workers who are slackers not bothering to ever be interested in their home lives. Spouses criticize their significant others not having any mercy about other circumstances and divorced people grieve the deadbeat parents who never send alimony. Workers  resent being overlooked during promotion time and parents hate teachers who assume too much about the home environment and the lack of whatever. Teachers lament the uninvolved parents, daughters-in-law detest the whining controlling and complaining mothers-in-law, while the mothers-in-law can’t understand the gossip behind her back about the things she said except the words were twisted and changed as well as the perceived actions. Most of the issues appear to be untrue from the view of most people yet all of the words and actions of others are constantly being reviewed and analyzed for the worst.

Parents stop seeing their kids as cute and fuzzy when they are out of the baby stage and basically getting into mischief. Most parents are already looking forward to the time the kids will be grown up. They don’t realize how much time they have wished away. Nobody seems to be happy yet there is a lot to discover and enjoy about life and the people in it. I wonder if it has to do with our attitudes and the way we see ourselves and others. Obviously we pay attention to faults over virtues, complaining times over joyful ones, and we focus on what is wrong but never what is right.

Perhaps so much attention given to the negative has trained all of us to focus on that instead of the positive. Honestly  we can be thankful we are  not hungry, cold or without someone or something to love. That may sound corny but it is taken for granted. At a young age we are taught to be and do the best. Maybe we leave no room to have breathing space to grow. It is expected that we succeed the first time and accomplish so much in a certain time frame. It genuinely leads many to give up because the goal  appears to be so far away.

No wonder we are always so discouraged. If we were suppose to clean the yard, fix a fence and change a tire on the car then anything less almost allows a spouse to feel no need to say thank you for doing that. A woman who tends to the kids while her husband does the jobs and manages to get in some laundry but not able to cook a big meal may believe she has failed somehow and didn’t get everything done that she should have. I know we are getting into goals here but technically we are also understanding the tremendous burdens we have set up for ourselves. Where is the time to appreciate anything including our own worth?

I don’t believe anyone is as bad nor as good as others speak about. Kids are not horrible and unlovable. How is it we give nobody any leeway and we receive no latitude for ourselves? Let’s face it most people change the way something was said or done. Words denote one thing but the tone can so totally change the words for the better or the worse. Taken out of context anything can be made to sound better or horrible. The fact is we never know how anyone chooses to interpret what we say or do so that leaves us all vulnerable.

Until we stop thinking that we are only as good or strong or capable as the products we produce or tasks we complete we will be disappointed with ourselves and others for their completions. We will also keep missing the goodness surrounding us and the positive facing us every day. I bet most of us go to bed contented if we completed some huge task we had set our minds to do days weeks or months ago. We take pride in that and feel so relieved and happy. I am not so sure it is happiness as much as a sense of “I did it.” So what are we left with? We only have peace when we complete something for the house or workplace?

Being able to understand the many ways we can find peace and contentment brings us an escape route from our problems and draws attention away from how many times we failed or how long it took us to complete. We don’t always mention a task done or get praised for it with our own blessing, because we feel it took us too long to do. For sure if we stopped seeing the work the complaints the obstacles and the time it takes to get to the job perhaps we would enjoy the daily things we do see and enjoy.

If the basement must wait so what. If we spent the day walking and investigating with our kids we likely produced more than if we painted the room. At a future date in time the memory of a beautiful spring day looking at birds and insects and rocks will remind us of an awesome experience and put a smile on our faces. The day spent painting will not be remembered any more than the day we cleaned the house. Of course the house needs cleaning but to focus on that rather than the more important things places us at the mercy of pressure stress and an unhappy mood.

We can get up and choose to be happy the first thing in the morning. We can put the complaints to the back of the mind and focus on the gorgeous day. Even rain is wonderful because it fills a bird bath and feeds the flowers and bounces off our noses and makes us smile. Kids splash through puddles because they know how to bring on those smiles. As adults we have forgotten. We fill our minds with thoughts about our work list and inconsequential things that sometimes don’t matter. How we treat our kids and spend time with them is more important than how well we cleaned up or fixed their room.

Every day can be joyful and pleasant even if it comes with a few glitches. It still brings a tremendous amount of good things if we uncover the blanket of have to do’s. Look for the good in every day and focus on the happy funny words and actions. Remember to compliment others for the tiniest things they do for you and that includes your spouse and kids. It would serve all of us to stop seeing what we lack and what we didn’t do and notice those important unnoticed things we do manage to accomplish.

“Life has a positive and negative side. Happy people ignore the negative side. A smile a day keeps trouble at bay. The mind’s health depends on what it feeds on. Avoid thoughts and conversations that kill your soul.” Bangambiki Habyarimana

“This we can all bear witness to, living as we do plagued by unrelenting anxiety. It becomes more and more imperative that the life of the spirit be avowed as the only firm basis upon which to establish happiness and peace.” Dalai Lama

 

 

Children Add The Touch Of Love

Children Add The Touch Of Love“It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”  “The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Paulo Coelho

“Lots Of Valuable Effort is the true full form of LOVE.” Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

“To reform the world – means to reform upbringing…” Janusz Korczak

I and everybody else is aware of checking the labels for any pills we are taking so we can check out the hazards. Many of us try to decide if  the hazards are worth the risk of taking the pills. As I watch the news daily and witness another assault on a child I wonder if kids should also come with all kinds of cautions and beware symbols. Seriously thou there is so much left out of the venture of raising children. Perhaps there ought to be warning signs or at least a book of instructions. Most of us jump in without a lot of hesitation.

Now I contemplated if that had to do with our pride in our ability to succeed at such a task or if we were so uniformed about raising kids that we never thought to ask the right questions. Either way we are left with a life long commitment with its ups and downs, good times and bad and happy and sad moments.

How many of us would begin such an undertaking if we were aware of the risks. After all kids are a risk factor for all parents in regard to disease, high blood pressure, extreme stress an inability to always think  clearly and a huge game changer everyday. It is also important to note that just because you already have one child does not mean you will automatically be able to use the same tactics  and skills on the next child. The symptoms change and the side effects are uniquely different. The length of time of stress varies. There must be protection  for your sensitivities pride and any expectations you might have that don’t happen.

The needs of the child are different. Some come with a lot of pride and ego. Battling that is never easy. You don’t want to crush their ego but you must strive to get in some humility. Some kids have such little confidence you wonder where they have been. If you have ever tried building up your own confidence then you are aware of how difficult this is to do. You also have those kids with the temper. Now that is a challenge. Those are the ones that push your buttons right up until they leave home or even beyond leaving. Most parents won’t admit to secretly wishing the same kind of a child on them. Of course these will be our future investigators who just won’t give up.

The tantrum kids are always a handful because you appear as a totally deficient parent when it occurs out in public. The child deafens anyone in their vicinity and you can’t escape unless you cowardly give in to the child’s demands. I don’t believe in hiting so that is never an option. I am sure that most parents who have never witnessed such a scene are judging you right to the core. They better hope they don’t encounter a similar situation themselves down the road. Even though you haven’t hit your child, the piercing scream spreads throughout a store and most people will assume that you did. These children will  one day likely save lives because they seem to be so not bothered with drawing attention. Their reaction time will be awesome.

Of course the wanderer is never easy. You never know what it is that fancies their attention and draws them away. They are focused and certainly ought to be registered for being a future scientist. As the parent  of such  a child we are exhausted at night. Don’t you hate the parents who look at you like you don’t know what you are doing no matter what type of child you have? Their kid is behaving and they think it is all about their wonderful parenting skills.

I must say that I am a believer in good loving parenting for all types of kids but I know that it is not easy for parents at all. And we can’t know how difficult it is for others who don’t have the same kind of a child that we have. I don’t mean to rate the kids because then we would have to rate the adults. After all can you imagine the wanderer being in the hands of the temper tantrum person? I suppose this happens often enough. The point is a parent child relationship is not as simple as we might think.

You have the focused kid who  wanders because of his deep interest.  His parent can be someone who has little patience in waiting for someone to do as he says. This is a calamity waiting to happen. The adult with a lot of ego will have a lot of interesting issues when he is left with a child who likes to keep moving and just won’t stay focused. It is hard to say why most of us embark on the adventure of parenthood. It is never what we thought it would be but actually it is something far  grandeur.

I have honestly learned how to love, have patience, be tolerant forgiving compassionate have faith hope and love beyond explaining and a spiritual awakening that has touched my soul. Kids make you smile laugh frown but they help you to go beyond what you had ever imagined or conceived. They  bring out the best and forgive the worst in you. We attempt to teach them while every day they teach us strengths we never thought we had. They add so much dimension spirit and soul to our lives. Perhaps we must learn to be tolerant and compassionate when dealing with or child.

They require only love and of course understanding of who they are and what they need to be happy. It takes time to do it right but the ride you have with them will stay in your memory until the day you die I would guess. Of course they do come all packaged and cute and helpless. Immediately and hopefully we are full of wonder and ready to give them love. They  count on that and parents can count on unconditional love in return. Parents must return this unconditional love always. If you have kids you should be happy because your life has so much meaning. Remember the kid you ignored at the playground because he couldn’t climb the ladder? Now maybe you are learning how to teach such a child how to do just that without fear. All kids come with a guarantee to enrich our lives in so many ways that we will miss them wehen we tuck them into bed and it is just too quiet. MMMM

“How many of your contemporaries – when asked the question ‘Are you glad you had kids’? – invariably respond ‘Yes, but..’?” Anonymous

“As a parent we have to remember it was not the children’s decision to be born it was ours, so let’s love, cherish, and teach them to be good fruitful and productive people in the society ! Beta Metari Marashi

Parents, “God gave us children for joy and cherish-meant,and not for punishment”
Beta Metari Marashi

“It is easy to be a good parent, to a good child, but what makes a good parent is when you stand by and don’t give up to a challenging and trouble child.” Beta Metani Marashi

Kids Find Love In Family Life

elizabeth-fishel-quote-about-siblings“Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression.”     Haim Ginott

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”     Charles R. Swindoll

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”   Frederick Douglass

“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”   President Emeritus of Compassion International

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Children make your life important.”     Erma Bombeck,

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year. Being the season of love and family I really wanted to focus on the family because we all have families in one form or another. From what I can surmise we all have varying degrees of love as well as  condemnation for these individuals. These are likely the people who teach us life lessons. Of course these teachings may be taught in a gentle or cruel manner but regardless we can learn from these encounters and move on, or allow  them to slip away unobserved.

Somehow I know this all ties in with love and family. Most people will admit that the one thing they want most in the world is love yet they don’t comprehend how much time and energy they place on other things that are far from love. Somehow there is a great need to get back to a happier and more peaceful place that surrounds us with love and demonstrates  in the contrast, how far off course we have actually traveled.

The world desires are luring all of us as they profess to cure our unhappy mood and our overburdened life. They are like the charlatan’s that promised cures for our ailments with something within a bottle. Most of us are desperate enough to  believe. The rest of us want to believe and fight the urge to go off the track. Somehow it appears we must find what it is we truly  want out of life. It is surface thinking to imply we want a vacation or money or friends or fame. Like watching a movie on a screen we can view our lives in fast forward to discover that the vacation was short-lived and not as exciting or interesting as we had perceived it would be. The money could not buy the person we desired to marry, health that we yearned for nor the life we envisioned. The  friends that manifested  were quick to desert us when we were in need of a real friend  and were only happy to enjoy spirited days of jokes and parties. Fame is truthfully as fleeting as the passing day or night. There are always new heroes and idols to follow. I wonder at those left behind because after you have been considered immortal how does one return to mortality.

We are all born and die alone yet the support of others we love and who have loved us is invaluable. Many times our endless search of chasing  worldly attractions usually results in defeat and remorse while draining our spirits. In our search for the false We sometimes leave behind treasures worth keeping found in family life.

Some of us are never even aware of the mistakes we have made in losing or ditching these people. Perhaps  family members anger us to the point of our desire to run away. The will to  receive understanding from every encounter with others, whether it is good or bad will not happen. In the process we lost possibly a genuine love and a huge lesson that was tossed in the garbage.

In my own life I have learned that losing your temper and hurting others emotionally and physically causes deep scars and memories you would prefer to white wash. I questioned the lesson until one day I discovered it helped me to gain a greater understanding of tolerance and patience with others. It taught me the fragility of children caught in these nightmares with no alternatives but to endure.

I suppose the hurts teach us the power of maintaining our goals for a very long time. Most importantly it taught me the importance of love and how powerful it can be. Without the love of family one is left with facing a harsh world with only courage and strength as their friends. No one can survive if love is not instilled within this mix A   person is an empty vessel waiting to be filled when love has not entered it.

This is the crossroad between picking what will  elevate you or what will bring your downfall. If we don’t pay attention we likely will make a poor  decision. Experiencing sickness as a child makes us appreciate good health as well as the gentle care of our bodies. Understanding people living in poverty sends us a  message of support and compassion for others. When a person lacks the simple items of life they yearn for what so many others take for granted.

Those who lose loved ones experience such a rupture within their lives that it can become difficult to move forward with their lives. Others who never had the family life due to one circumstance or another are left unfulfilled and dissatisfied in their functioning. Coming to terms with any difficult happening requires mounds of reflection and discernment regarding what we can and cannot change.

A mother-in-law who fights with her ex daughters-in-law unwittingly brings down her own demise in a lost relationship with her grandchildren. Women who blame a whole family when there is a divorce basically shut out all of the love and support of family members. No one is a winner and everyone is a loser but the young kids caught in the middle are the crushed and ruined survivors. It is truly devastating to kids.

Kids are similar to dogs in their unconditional love. They love most everyone and they forgive most anything. A child beaten daily will forgive the beater. I don’t know if we could find one adult who would do the same for another adult.

A couple on Christmas day refused to allow their very young children to open their gifts because the kids had been arguing with each other. They were told Santa said they had to wait for not being “Good”. They were “bad” and had to wait. The kids were accepting this with love and anticipation for a better tomorrow. How young the kids were for such a harsh lesson. One child might lament the horror when they achieve adulthood and tend towards leniency while the other child might seek a sense of revenge by repeating the harsh punishments they themselves endured.

People who go to extremes to provide a happy occasion are left with ungrateful attendees and a heartache of questions about what went wrong and why. Likely they only wanted everyone to enjoy the day but sometimes others enjoy bringing negativity to the occasion. I believe most people have no idea the sadness and ruin they cause and don’t do it on purpose.

If we can see a pattern then perhaps it is time to stop even our own self-pity and begin thinking about the damage we do to each other and to our children who are the most innocent victims. At times we are so intolerant of each other that we must jeopardize the good times because of our hidden negative agendas. We all have our secret aches and pains, defeats and victories. If we want family and love to be brought to the forefront of our lives again then perhaps it is time to let go of the me attitude and embrace the idea of a mindfulness of others.

The man who is upset that his wife gained weight or does not have the figure like a girl on a magazine is living in a  false world. The woman who wants her husband to provide her with more material gains is trapped in a make-believe world.  These are the world’s mind games and we are trapped  in that world when we harbor such ideas.

We profess to be independent in our thinking yet we are told what is good or bad, beautiful  or ugly, strong or weak, intelligent or ignorant and what we should even desire or want in our lives. Anyone who diverts from this path is considered different and sometimes ignored or ostracized. This difference is actually freedom at its core. What is not independence is following the crowd away from what is truly important in our lives.  At those times our integrity may be at risk. I see individuality as being stronger than the enticing crowd  and following your heart.

Accountability is hard to accept but we are responsible for instant decisions made without thought. Words and actions cannot be taken back  and are so far-reaching. The psyches are injured and hard to repair. We should think before speaking or acting and be sorry when we have injured another. Then we would gain a loving world.

Our encounters are engraved on our souls. None of us know where another has been or what pains we bring with us. Each incident has taught us a  lesson and has the capacity to stretch us beyond what we currently are. That is why some of us can easily state we understand something and forgive it while others of us can’t muster the courage or  perhaps have not stopped to consider such an occurrence.

If we look hard enough at life the truth guides our way. Reflecting on our lives along with the lessons, brings us to a greater understanding of things we were not able to comprehend before our own hurts and pain. Somehow the more pain endured along with the injuries, the greater the capacity to forgive and support others in need. This is where our most precious devotion must be concentrated.

Kids require guidance and love. Acquiring the necessary skills to regain our accountability and responsibility towards our children enhances our lives in ways that can’t be explained. Suffice it to say that strong families have the power to create strong bonds of love and acceptance. If we can’t devote love to the most important creations of the world, our kids, then the world will simply fold into nothing. Love family and children make the world the beautiful place that it is. Unless we see and consider this actuality, the kids will continue to be second-rate citizens and people  will continue to selfishly look to their own needs while they compromise their children’s wishes and requirements.

The search for senseless gratifications of all conceivable kinds is a quick downfall. Most of us already have the things in our lives worth having and which can’t be replaced. Appreciating that as a truth causes love to ceaselessly follow us and bloom wherever we go. Husbands and wives should be each other’s cheer leaders. Siblings should support appreciate and love each other, parents should discover the value and priceless gift of their children, and grandparents should offer love at all times and without assessments. In all of these relationships perhaps we should dismiss all of the judgments.

I would never rejoice in having problems but I find myself taking the lesson from each difficult situation I have had to endure. Each of us has a life to live that is sometimes worrisome. If we reach out to others with love it might make our lives a little bit easier to endure. If I can stop with the accusations and assumptions of others perhaps I can make my life easier and the life of  another. I now want to ask myself if my life has meaning rather than if I am happy. The meaning of having people in my life makes my life full of purpose. If it is only to make another smile with lightheartedness, then I would rather remember a day a child  smiled rather than a day they feared.

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”  Oscar Wilde

“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments  tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.”   Louis Pasteur

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”  Nelson Mandela

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

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.”    Sai Baba

 

 

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Families8“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we forget to be grateful. we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..”    Joel Osteen

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God gave us minds to think with and hearts to thank with. Instead we use our hearts to think about the world as we would like it to have been, and we use our minds to come up with rationalizations for our ingratitude. We are a murmuring, discontented, unhappy, ungrateful people. And because we think we want salvation from our discontents…”  Douglas Wilson

Holidays are a time to be grateful. When we think of our Holiday celebrations we are brimming over  with excitement and at the same time stressed and fearful about how the they will progress. When we get through the days we are relieved with gratefulnes for what we said or did. We might also be grateful for what we didn’t say or do.

Our anticipations may be so much greater than actually what occurrs. Perhaps if we perceive this from the first moment we may  save ourselves unnecessary grief. I am not looking forward to having a terrible time but I do have a more realistic approach towards the Holidays. It likely comes  from agonies of past times and disappointments. It left me wondering time and again, what went drastically wrong.

That might be the key question. How and why do  things backfire. I see myself going through motions of being the superhero in a sense. I have faith that I will give the perfect gift, display an out of the world atmosphere, and cook a meal that will replay on the taste buds. I anticipate being surrounded by love. I anticipate others being anxious to talk with me perhaps because they find me so amusing or entertaining. My expectations are unrealistic. When the reality of the day occurs, I am  discouraged and must decide how to accept the disappointment. Even when the day has passed the tenseness continues along with the debate of how things might have gone better. I conclude with the question of why I put so much effort into something that was designed to explode.

When the same situation replays year after year in various scenarios, one is left questioning some truths. I discovered my expectations were fairy-tales. My generosity was full of assumptions of gaining affection in  return. My belief in love, compassion and caring was a little mixed up. I didn’t want to be so harsh on myself so I studied others and found some similar mistakes and regrets as well as disappointments. We are so needy to be accepted and loved yet we sabotage it daily.

Now when I am buying a gift for someone I think hard about pleasing them. I have discovered that at times even a small inexpensive gift causes me to be more grateful. I don’t attempt to be the hero or the winner of the most popular present award. I have given gift certificates in order for others to purchase what they want instead of what I think they should want. I enjoy doing things with others. My enthusiasm is for spending time with others. Although it is still nice to be invited for dinner, it is nice to be a listening ear or have someone be the sounding board.

So now I can share hot chocolate or cup of tea or coffee, with  another at any time of year and make it special. It was  never about turns or justifications. Love is never having to say your sorry and never having to receive something only when it is your turn. It is more spontaneous now and full of surprises. When the Holiday is over I find more contentment.  The lack  of frustration brings solid relief. I have learned to expect nothing so I truly am pleased with whatever wonderful things happen. On an occasional moment at any time during the year I am blessed with an unexpected heartfelt conversation with a friend or family member. It fills me with pleasure and love. No gift could compare with what. I have found that  the most anyone can give is their unconditional love.

I think we overdo the new products on the market to the point of excluding love respect and mindfulness. It is not that we are terrible  people. We have just been lulled into what we have been brainwashed to believe is a worthy gift. Pleasing others is easier than spending money or buying presents. It is about those heartfelt habits of the heart that send love to others in thoughtful ways. You can’t easily repay time or effort. Another issue that always comes up is the feeling of never being equal to others. We just don’t know ourselves. We have so much to offer. Competing with others is sometimes of our own doing. It isn’t feasible to always be the best cook smartest person or competitive worker in the room. It is okay to be us and tell and enjoy a joke.

Those who are busy bragging so much that they annoy us are to be pitied. If they have the need for attention so badly, I would suggest we listen and give it to them. Obviously they must require our approval. That kind of places us in a superior position if we were really taking notes which we are not. Seeing through the many facades others place before us allows us to better understand their motives for behaving the way they do. At any moment we can become that needy person who desires love and attention. There is no shame in this.

We all want to fit in with others. We like attention and respect, can be easily  embarrassed, and have many of the same wants and needs and problems. Our fears are similar. The need for love is genuine and sincere no matter what our personality is. If we enter the playing field understanding all of this then we already know our opponent because they are just like us. They should not render us fearful or jealous.

Navigating through the waters of fear and anxiety leads to calm sailing. What media tells us to value leaves us disappointed and distressed. Realizing what has meaning in our lives is the beginning of waking up to reality. The dream is upsetting because it isn’t based on facts. Perhaps by changing our habits of fake living may support us in finding the honest and genuine habits of heart. That kind of love is available all year through. We won’t have to wait for holiday time and we won’t have to fear and stress over pleasing everyone. Many of our actions render us tired and depressed. What we should be searching for is serenity and love in the current moment in time. Try choosing heart habits over rituals, be grateful, then rejoice in having all that you ever needed within reach.

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try the world is beyond the winning. Lao Tzu

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Listen With Your Heart

Listen“I will be waiting here….For your silence to break, for your soul to shake, for your love to wake!” Rumi

“Soul, if you want to learn secrets, your heart must forget about shame
 and dignity.
You are God’s lover, yet you worry what people are saying.”
“Brother, stand the pain. Escape the poison of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do. Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping. That way a thorn expands to a rose.” Rumi

News stories everywhere are absolutely so wild that one would question their honesty. The strangest part is that so many people read or listen to these events while on the train to work or munching their cereal or eating popcorn in their favorite chair. That is perhaps as surreal as the stories. Without a doubt we have lost our sensitivity to the happenings surrounding us. It is just another normal day, so we think.

I have wondered how long we can continue along n our path of destruction, without seeing the cliff before we fall off. That perhaps sounds  a bit over the top but all you have to do is put things in perspective, and listen to the news for the day. I heard of one story detailing a baby of a year old, having 28 broken bones when he was rushed to the hospital and later died. The stories are so similar except for the way the kids and babies have been beaten, tortured, neglected, disrespected, dehumanized and at long last killed.

Listening to the number of people killed in battles, drug addictions, suicide, alcohol, and bad habits derived from too much stress should probably register a wake up call. Sometimes it appears that we are the sleep-walker, oblivious to the reality around us. the environment and home lives are upside down. It is time to stop kidding ourselves that it is the fault of the other person over there. What we are seeing, if we open our eyes, is total chaos and uncontrolled people.

No wonder we have addictions of all kinds and anger in every situation. Stress and anxiety from within and without, are controlling our words and actions. If we continue to value peripheral objects and fail to notice the treasures standing in front of us then we are traveling down a paved road to disaster. I don’t say this lightly. I don’t believe people are bad, incorrigible, mean or unkind  by nature. Many forces permeate our psyches and hearts. Perhaps we begin to value the wrong items, trust in the perverted ideas and follow the egos of others. The sad thing is that we end up in the same pitiful place.

All is not over or lost but we certainly seem to be living on the brink of disaster. Finding time to reflect on what we are valuing, saying and doing is vital. Most of us myself included, believe we are off of the hook in our beliefs as long as we have a sense of allowing everyone to follow their own road and thoughts. What we must question is at what point do we think it necessary to contemplate what is happening around us. One can say I wouldn’t do it but it is up to each individual to decide for himself or herself. The next person can alleviate their conscience by stating it is their right to do what they want, even to the extent of harming others. How far is this going to be carried, before we question how ridiculous.

Aborted babies are being used for tissue transplant and other medical procedures, some of which I don’t understand. The hard bit to digest is how unlucky is the baby who is ill-fated to be unmercifully yanked from its mother’s womb, in order to serve another life. It’s own life has no value so it appears. No one has a problem distancing such topics while having coffee. How desensitized have we become?

Using animals for experiments has always caused a commotion and the users have always said well it helps us to develop medicines for people. How do we explain using people to help people? Are we limitless in what we do and in what we will accept? Will privilege give some people a step up?

Again I don’t see  bad people but instead misguided unthinking observers who are too stressed out to conceive of the damage they are doing. Most of us would rush to help another individual. Yet  we only shake our heads at the craziness surrounding us. Unless more people come forward and disagree with what is happening, no relief or solution will be found. Medicine breakthroughs can be discovered in other ways.

Kids are beaten and neglected every day. All of us feel helpless. If we believe we are helpless then nothing will be changed. Like the law recently passed in Massachusetts that allows spanking to be legal. The other definitions in the dictionary are far more disturbing. I guess if we said thrashing, whopping or beating, people might cringe a bit more about that law, but spanking sounds acceptable. The word beating is defined as spanking. We simply turn our heads away washing our hands of the outcome to numerous children.

Perhaps it is time we understood that it is us that needs to pick up the ball. Honestly, we are good people  but we have ignored the cries of the unfortunate for too long. The babies and children deserve  consideration. Our world can be a better place. If we learn how to respect each other as well as all life that we see, we will experience a renewal of love and beauty. Perhaps the shadows will lift from our eyes and allow us to  view a compassionate loving world. There would be no need for rules if everyone cared about each other.

The time we spend on nonsense items should be called to our attention. We have so much to be thankful for. There is so much beauty inside of us and surrounding us but  we shut it out. I have reached my limit of listening to the  negativity permeating our world. I want to hear feel good stories of heart-warmth love and empathy. It is not old-fashioned to want a happy caring place to live. Leave the meanness to the dream state, and wake up to a genuinely empathetic  world. Value your relationships. Make integrity, honesty, empathy, tolerance and kindness universal. Value what counts and find peace.

“There’s no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child’s play.”    Rumi