Tag Archives: Divorce

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

Giving And Receiving

Giving And Receiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Thoughts

Holiday Thoughts“I don’t need a holiday or a feast to feel grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music, and laughter, but I like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled.”    Anonymous

“The Holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings, and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”    Terri Marshal

The holidays are coming and you can already feel the anxiety. We all have it yet think we are the only ones sensing the stress. Some of us hide our fear better than others but without a doubt none of us like being criticized or gossipped about  when the occassion is over. In truth our reality differs from what another experiences. None of us comprehend the  total meaning  behind words actions or gifts  and we fret about our own situation unaware of the bombs we drop on others.

Attempt to experience a good time without negative thinking before it begins. Don’t poison your holiday with negative expectations. Setting yourself up for a  lousy time will already define your experience. Remember that as much as you want a good time so does the rest of the family. Hurting your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law creates a disastrous happening for the son or husband. It takes only one person to make or break the happiness. It is your choice so choose wisely. It reflects on all of us. Every Holiday is different and can’t really be repeated. Love can always be present and repeated time and again. Following are a few hints derived from  my books and my  thoughts on the subject and others feelings about it.

AFTER THE DIVORCE, DON’T THROW THE FAMILY OUT WITH THE EX-HUSBAND
1. Take control of the situation at the beginning. Trashing your MIL in front of the kids will fuel distrust in your kids. If you stopped loving dad and grandma you just might stop loving them one day.
2. When your marriage has ended, the kids are dislodged and dealing with many changes. The grandparent relationship becomes more significant to them, offering some stability.
3. Put aside fear, doubts, anger and especially revenge. It only leads to dumping more hurt upon yourself and your kids.
4. Talk to your MIL and explain to her how much your kids value her. Allow her to continue her relationship with them. In this way you avoid revenge which is a contagious disease that infects everyone
5. Your child’s happiness is more important than convincing your MIL she is wrong. There are no winners or losers in any confrontation. Kids suffer defeat every time a family member is absent from their lives.
6. Generating bonds of respect with your MIL will keep your ex-husband more involved with the kids. Bonds of love are always more difficult to break.
7. Your MIL loves her grandchildren and she will treat you with respect if it means her connection to her grandchildren will continue.
8. Be patient and give your MIL time to heal. Being non-judgmental allows you to heal and have some support from your MIL. The MIL, DIL relationship is like any other. It requires time and effort.
9. With tolerance and acceptance, the barriers both women have constructed will break down. We can’t fight with someone who is just not taking the bait and fighting back.
10. In the end it is wise to remember you, your ex-husband, MIL, and children are part of a large quilt which includes all of you. Your kids have roots that are tangled with each family member. Damaging any parts of their roots destroys pieces of their foundation. Keep kids healthy and strong in mind and body. Do what it takes and strive for peace.

Kids can be jealous of step kids and especially half siblings. Kids resent step parents disciplining them and one must question fairness when their own kids are involved. Kids exhibit more anger due to numerous stresses of mixed homes, many parents and disciplinarians and more kids to compete with. Be consistent, don’t compare, attempt to be on the same page, and always give respect time and love. Don’t fight in front of kids and never talk about the other parent or allow the step parent to do this as it will only hurt the child. Instill rules with meaningful consequences and provide choices. Willingly accept support from extended family members; You don’t want to cut your kids roots and thus destroy the plant. Kids are sensing a loss of family otherwise.

Reflections for Mothers-in-Law
Remember your daughter-in-law has a family, too. She cherishes spending time with them holiday central, and be thankful to share it with people you love.

Your daughter-in-law may anticipate visiting her family on the holidays. She might be more anxious to see them if they live at a distance. Try to give of yourself. When all is said and done, we remember who did what for us quicker than who gave what to us. It is fun to visit with someone throughout the year. The holidays are only a short period of time. It is the people who make the holiday special.You cannot compete with your daughter-in-law‟s mother. You can become a significant ally to your daughter-in-law. Promote your own relationship of family love with her.

Each holiday is unique in itself. It is not possible or necessary to repeat a holiday experience. Embrace each holiday. They have their own distinct moments. Give unconditionally, and you will not be disappointed. Equating the gifts from your daughter-in-law or mother-in-law to the value she places on your worth is a mistake. Most of us choose a gift we would prefer for ourselves and one we can afford. Holiday traditions change, and are a part of life. When a child starts school it is change and when a child marries it is  change. Bear with each other regarding the changes. Join in the festivities.

Reflections for Daughters-in-Law
Lend a helping hand when possible, and remember to value the person who donates his or her time and effort for you. Make an effort to visit with your mother-in-law at other times during the year. This is especially important if you do not get to spend the holi-days with her.

Remember to cherish your mother-in-law‟s traditions. They were developed over numerous years and possess profuse memories. Be fair in dividing your time and your husband‟s with your respective families. Your mother-in-law deserves equal attention. Invite your mother-in-law for a holiday as you would your own mother. She is your husband‟s mother.

Do not equate your mother-in-law‟s or daughter-in-law’s gifts to how she cherishes you.
Do not anticipate quantity from your holidays or from your gifts. Search for quality.
Accept your mother-in-law‟s invitations to holiday meals whenever you are able.
Your family‟s traditions and your husband‟s family traditions will differ. Accept and enjoy these differences. Have faith that love is shared and celebrated every day, not just on a holiday.

“Having somewhere to go is HOPE, Having someone to love is FAMILY, having both is a BLESSING.”    Anonymous

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” Bob Hope

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it”s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

“Don’t spoil Christmas Day by anticipating how it will be. Let is unfold as it does, and be grateful for whatever comes.”     Toni Sorenson

“The spirit of Christmas is found when we lift the load of others.”     Toni Sorenson

FINDING TRUTH

What We Do Know“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

“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”    Albert Schweitzer

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase, ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you.’ Of course there are many ways to look at that. If we don’t know we are ill then it might hurt us. We could debate this for hours, but I believe that what we haven’t stopped to consider, will affect us in profound ways.

We are not far removed from the squirrels, birds  and other animals we study as they search for  food, mates, homes and security. I laugh at  the birds visiting my feeder, as they fight to gain access to the food. One morning I remember saying out loud, “There is enough food why are they fighting instead of waiting?” Of course at that moment, I realized they were behaving  just the same as people.

From the time we are born, our parents strive to get us into the best schools they can afford. The search begins to enhance our chances, and our lives. We don’t question what does enhancement mean. We are told the  bigger house, fancier car and multiple material  gains are equivalent to success. Not having any other options or opinions available, we carry the myth forward, and work hard to gain more of everything. Few  of us stop  to consider why. Perhaps the questioning might lead us to question, what we don’t know and are not told.

When I was first married, I had the tiniest place, but I was thrilled with it and with my life. I planted about two flowers, in the smallest area anyone  could own. The place was rented, but the simple gadgets we bought, were our own. It was home. As the years passed, we needed more room for the expanding family. We searched for a new place to live. That is when reality set in. It became paramount, according to the rules of society, to buy in the best town we could afford. Upon seeing the houses, it was clear that the more we were able to spend,  the greater the quality of the house, and the more features it had. This seems like a simple economic lesson, yet to me, it felt like I was joining the human race and I mean race.

We bought  a  home, still live in it and happily raised our kids. I can recall numerous people bemoaning their stepping stone homes. Their dissatisfaction  with their current place was obvious. It appeared so sad to me. How did they get up in the  morning with a smile of contentment. Of course they didn’t. They were living in a fictional future world. They wanted certain items that they didn’t yet have and their whole energy was focused on the acquisition of such items. They were unhappy people. The end to the story is the marriage ended in a divorce, before the future house was bought.

I began to understand the race, when my child did not get accepted in the preschool of choice. I apparently did not apply soon enough. The place I sent him to was wonderful and I was blessed that  he went to it. The struggles of maintaining the correct teachers, and staying abreast to make sure my kids were not overlooked, took a toll. People infringed on others sons and daughters. At long last I gave  up the control, and went with the flow. I decided that everything was in God’s  hands, and whatever happened was for the best. That was a liberating day. I continued to monitor my kids, and their work, but left the micromanagement to others.

I was not accepted into the  top social circles in my area. I didn’t care, because with four kids I was too busy to care. I had to make an extra effort to find things out on my own, but somehow it always was okay. One of the teachers, considered to be horrible, unbeknownst to me, became one of my  son’s best teachers. He still remembers her name.

Perhaps what I  didn’t know hurt me, in the area of associating with people, who were considered the ruling group in town. My kids were also, not on the guest lists of the favored ruling school group. That is a truth, and people don’t like to hear it, but there has always been a division of players. We all know it, and know our place. Nobody tells you, it just happens.

My life raising kids was awesome. I spent time with my kids, and enjoyed being with them. I didn’t need others to confirm, what I thought was right or wrong. It was a long road, but I eventually trusted myself. We  instilled virtues and values uncommonly mentioned. Taking myself out of the race, meant a certain amount of exclusion and missed celebrations. It also meant no pressure to be and act in ways I didn’t want.

If we had never seen another way of living, or viewed the  material gains of others, we might never have even thought of their existence. When we are all bombarded with so many things we might purchase, it can leave us envious of others and without contentment. If we are constantly looking for more, to satisfy  some uncontrolled desire, then we never notice what is in front of us, that is very cherished. In that case what we do know  hurts us. We tend to be influenced by others. This leads us into devaluing, what we have within reach.

Some of us get caught up in the tidal wave of living unconsciously. Others encourage us,  prod us, or flaunt in front of us. The resistance is hard. It requires some soul searching, to discover what is real, about us and our lives. When we cut the puppet strings from our lives, we learn to treasure the intangible possessions, that we cherish the most. Living is not aimlessly receiving more and more. Living is nurturing, loving, caring, respecting, displaying kindness, virtue, morality and spiritual  growth. We have the choice to get off of the wheel, or keep running towards what we don’t know, that will hurt us in the end.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”    Albert Schweitzer

“The highest proof of the spirit is love. Love the eternal thing which can already on earth possess as it really is.”    Albert Schweitzer

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” Albert Schweitzer

“Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.”    Anonymous

“Don’t  ask if you are happy, ask yourself if your life has meaning.”    Anonymous

Coping

Coping“I can’t stop the waves but I can learn to surf.” Unknown

“When life’s problems seem overwhelming, look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself fortunate.” Unknown

“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.”     Eckhart Tolle

How pompous it is to assume we know what another is feeling or dealing with in their lives. I for one have done that  so many times that I am drowning in my thoughts of regret. I never said anything hurtful to the people who were suffering with situations but I never totally understood the depth of their problems. Suffice it to say that I now realize there are perhaps many issues others must face that are much more difficult than they appear on the surface.

Maybe it has to do with competition. We have faith that we love the most, work the hardest and suffer the worst. The truth is there are many paths of suffering we endure. It is paramount that we don’t attempt to underestimate another burden sorrow or worry. We can be so off the mark yet assuming we are on target and know exactly what is going on. Nothing could be further from the truth. I suppose  that is why there are support groups for a variety  of problems. Who else would understand what one is going through except those who have walked the road.

How many times one hears someone without kids mention that mom and dad must be so tired from coping with the baby or children. As much as they mean well, they can’t grasp the all consuming job parenting is. They will only comprehend it when they become parents. Of course the perks of the peanut butter kisses and muddy hugs far outweigh the burdens of parenting. Parents of teens likely will confess that their lives with kids are even more difficult than the constant wake up calls at night from babies and toddlers. Parents of babies and toddlers might disagree but time will prove the answer.

Dealing with empty nest  syndrome is a profound enlightenment. Parents  are more aware of their own mortality and are forced to confront tremendous transformations in their lives. The further away their kids move, the harder the emotional distancing becomes. Many of us try to comfort friends and some acquaintances with our casual remarks about the changes. Unless one has been through it personally in one way or another, it can’t be explained. It is like being tremendously happy yet profoundly devastated. We are glad our kids have wings but we miss them.

Those who deal with sick or injured children are in a class by themselves, Their burden is so powerful, they can only cope with divine intervention. Most people offer their sympathy and shy away from any kind of advice. Divorce and death of spouses’ brings a total transformation. Most of us refrain from giving comfort to the divorced because we believe it is a mutual dissolution which it might not be. Their loss can be as close to a death as one gets without the actual experience. Even if it was desired, one is still experiencing a transition and many alterations.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are the secret problems we talk about in whispers. So many are affected that  we choose to pretend it suddenly just happened, this unusual circumstance, yet is is very prevalent especially due to the longevity of peoples’ lives. Many people don’t like to hear it and would rather deny it because it may bring their own fear out in the open. What we do fear we isolate ourselves from it and express our sorrow to others without really comprehending what another is facing.  I can’t say it is anyone’s fault. I do think that when we don’t understand an issue we should at the least refrain from the judgements of those  caregivers who are dealing with it.

Those who don’t have kids shouldn’t pretend they know how to raise them or assume they could do a better job. Kids are different and require a variety of parental attitudes for nurturing them. I remember a good friend who admitted how critical she was of other peoples’ kids. Her daughter was quiet and easy to handle. Then her son was born and she said one day, “If I hadn’t had him I would never have known how hard it was to raise a child. I assumed all those people with unruly kids just didn’t know how to manage them correctly.  Now I know kids are not the same and it isn’t easy.” I admired her truthfulness along with her awareness.

Parents love unconditionally.  That means they accept the tantrums and heartaches kids dump on them. I see parents as taking the place of God  on earth. They must suffer without retaliation at times. They suffer the pains of their kids even more than their kids are hurting. They feel what their kids feel. Nobody can explain that kind of love to another person.

Loss of a spouse brings about changes in our lives. Nothing is the same and new habits must be formed. Nobody can discuss the simple small things that are now missing. One perhaps misses the rolled up towel on the floor or the dirty socks by the bedside. They miss the smell of the Saturday morning coffee. The list is endless. Dementia can be similar because the things someone used to do they can’t do anymore. They are really not the same person and that can’t be explained in fifteen or twenty minutes on a phone call. The closer one is to the truth, the quicker the recognition, and the feeling of loss.

Sickness forces the healthy to take on more responsibility with new jobs added to the overburdened. I now understand how a simple, ‘you must be so tired.’ is so off the mark. I would now venture to say “I can’t really understand or appreciate what you are experiencing but I am sorry for your difficulties and admire your strength.”

The last thing I would want to do now is judge or gossip. If I am not walking in your shoes how can I state what I would or wouldn’t do. I can accept you,  wish you comfort and support in any possible way you deem appropriate. How prideful we are when we assume we can handle a situation so much better than the person attempting to do it. Instead I would be thankful I am not tested in that manner.

We all face our problems. Isn’t it time we simply smiled and in that smile admitted our limited knowledge about the situation. Probably understanding that the person is coping the best they can is all we must acknowledge in order to provide peace and serenity for that person. Many times in our lives we can appear strong and capable. Many other times we might feel desperate, vulnerable and helpless in a given situation. A kind hand, smile or gesture of goodwill will do more service than all the criticism of the proper handling of a dilemma. As they say, people won’t remember what you did but they will remember how you made them feel.

Perhaps the most damaging thing we can do is underestimate another person’s burdens. What we perceive as simple may  be far more hurtful and damaging to them than we will ever know. We all live in our own prisons. What we endure cannot be measured or quantified. We should be thankful we are not experiencing  what we see another suffer.  Offering our empathy, and giving our support diminishes pain.  We don’t want to inflict more sorrow with nasty gossip. Lighten someone’s load today and perhaps tomorrow they will be there  for you.

“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.” Unknown

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” George Muellar

“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”     Eckhart Tolle

Details Of Life

Details Of Life“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”    Saint Basil

How many of us have tunnel vision? It is simple to do and often happens. Maybe it occurs due to our earnest desire to get things done. We don’t want to waste time so we search for the quick meaning in any given situation.  If one runs towards an injured person, and misses the  dangerous gas permeating a room, you are both in trouble. The same is true in life.

Sometimes we think we know what the purpose is, and then we run crazily towards goals that are so unimportant. We forget about those details, which are the fabric of our lives. The details tell the story. How our story pans out, depends on what we consider most important. I know how many times I think about what I have to get done. I consider these items important enough to attend to first. I figure that when I fulfill them, then I will get to those other items, I enjoy and value most. The controversy always starts,  when I run out of time, before attending to the jobs I love to do.

At times I admonish myself for not stopping, before I am totally exhausted, and unable to give anything more to the family. Of course they mean the most to me, yet they come in last on my list. I look at it this way. They will understand and still love me, even if I disappoint them time after time. On the other hand, my boss or friend, may not be so forgiving. I don’t think about the hurt I have caused my family, nor the disappointment.

I keep telling myself, when things calm down, slow up, finish up, I will have time for all of those items I looked forward to doing. I am only kidding myself. If I reflect long enough,  I admit it, especially when I have disappointed people again and again. For some reason, I have this unfathomable goal to have the approval of the outside world. I need to look good, measure up and be respected. Of course the reality of it is, that the world most likely doesn’t really care about me or what I accomplish.

It is kind of like being on someone’s good list, or bad list. How ridiculous it sounds when I think about it. People forget so quickly, about what happened yesterday. Once things are accomplished, they project to tomorrow. Perhaps I worry about the inconsequential. Now if I could figure out why, I place so much emphasis on such nonsense, I would gain answers to some mysteries of life. Of course jobs make it necessary to  have concern, because that is the bread. Yet, I know I can always get another job if needed. I don’t want the aggravation. Yet I put up with all kinds of upsetting things at work.

I ask myself how the world came to be in such a dilemma. As much as we think we have acquired so much, we can’t enjoy it due to time constraints. Perhaps we have lost life’s meaning. If I worry more about work, and making dinner, then I haven’t come to the realization of  the true meaning in my life. I can ignore my child’s questions, promising to answer them when I ‘have time’. Deep down I know that probably won’t happen.

I strive at work, and when offered more money, of course to give more time, I immediately accept, and admonish myself for the guilty feelings.  I attempt to convince myself it is for the benefit of  all of us, in the long run. The trouble is, do we see the long run, or are we caught up in the short runs everyday. My patience is at the end of the rope, but I blame it on my burdens, which my family doesn’t understand. If I can’t make the child’s performance at school, I alleviate the guilty thoughts with thoughts of doing what is best for the family. Have I  gotten lost on my way? Am I on the right path?

I love it when I hear spouses mention, that their partner is not understanding, so they found love someplace else. Perhaps it is them, who have ignored the aspects of life, that made it worthwhile. They  traded the important features, with tunnel vision. We forget about the magnitude of the specifics, that make our life have meaning. There are  no short cuts to a worthy life. Knowing what is of value in our lives, is perhaps the most substantial understanding, we can attain.

When a child looks to us for advice, or small talk, it usually ends up having far more significance, than we originally expected. We end up feeling thankful, for taking the time we gave to our child. Likely though we forget to recall those treasured moments, the next time our child tugs at our pants. When we have no time to give, we have no comprehension of the importance,  of those aspects that give our life relevance. I believe it is essential, to ‘not ever underestimate the small stuff’.

We set our marriage up for failure, if we give it small attention. We are not parenting when we have no time for answering simple questions, for it is in those moments that the big questions come through. Tunnel vision leads us to finishing a day’s work, for pay, and then crashing, when we get home. Open, far-reaching vision gives us greater understanding, regarding the outcomes, for the amount of value we place on our humanity. There are two options. We might gain material wealth but lose our humanity, and that which holds purpose in our lives. We might also pick compassion, lose much of our material wealth, but gain back our values and humanity.

Attend to what you hold dear. focus on those things and people you treasure. Take responsibility for the path you choose. I might add that if we choose the path least chosen, we will find more dimension to our lives. People, not material gains, stretch our minds and hearts. Allowing them to fill up with love and kindness, leaves us altered and satisfied in a good way.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”        Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”  Stephen R. Covey

“The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”    Elisabeth Elliot

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”     Brandon Sanderson

Potency Of Actions

Potency Of Actions“If your relationship to the present moment is not right- nothing can ever be right in the future-because when the future comes it’s the present moment.”     Eckhart Tolle

You find peace, not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”    Eckhart Tolle

“Anything that you  resent or strongly react to in another, is also in you.”    Eckhart Tolle

I am not being critical as some of my knowledge comes from my own experience. It is vitally relevant that we comprehend, myself included, how we go about teaching our kids the many things we desire to see in them. If we sense our kids are not very empathetic, perhaps we should check on our own empathy towards others. If we never demonstrate any care of others then it will not be found in our kids.

Offering a food cart to another before retrieving one for ourselves allows kids to observe empathy or mindfulness in action. It demonstrates in a simple way, our concern for another person rather than ourselves first. There are numerous times we display agitation at waiting for prescriptions or a doctor’s visit. WE get angy at people in the office. Some of us even take it out on these people. They are simply trying to do a job. Our attitude is only adding to their stress. We can be a stress reliever by acknowledging we are aware of the long wait but understand it is likely necessary and unavoidable.

Teaching kids to be grateful is another concern. It is absurd to say, “My kids are so ungrateful. I do all kinds of running around for them yet they don’t even care. To top it off they fight with me.” I agree that is not very nice but how many of us have spent years disagreeing with parents and fighting in anger. We probably go for days months and years not speaking to them. We don’t stop to say, “Oh my parenst spent years working hard to pay the bills as they took care  of me.” It is as if we believe we have the right to treat them shoddily because we are an adult now. We have responsiblilities and worries that they don’t know about. It is so much harder for us, so we think. Our parents wrongdoing to us seems to outweigh any wrongdoing we are guilty of regarding our own kids. Even if it is true, forgiving and peace is often a better choice.

Maybe it is true that we can do more spend more and even understand more than our parents did. However,  one day when our kids look back on what we did and didn’t do, hopefully they won’t judge us as harshly as we judged our own parents. We get back what we put out. We get back what we teach. It isn’t like one day we wake up and say to ourselves I think I’ll teach my child about honesty, love, kindness, humility, perseverance or tolerance. They are learning each of these virtues on any given day. We must demonstrate such virtues or perhaps our kids will ignore them the way do.

So much is stressed about manners and even talk about mindfulness being taught at schools. It all sounds wonderful but you can’t always teach it. Talk means nothing. Demonstration means everything. When parents demonstrate with actions, their concern for others, it registers in the mind and processes in the heart. Schools can reinforce these attributes but they can’t reach the hearts of the children as easily as parents are able to do.

I remember a teacher saying to a class I was in, ‘If I could just unscrew the top of your head and then pour all of the knowledge into your head my job would be so easy.” I suppose the same is true about righteousness and morality. If we are not wary of what we are actually teaching kids or baking, then when the bread is raised and done, the end result might surprise us. This is likewise true for kids. This is one thing not easily taught because it requires our attention and mindfulness of our own thoughts, actions and words.

It is no surprise that kids from divorced homes have trouble with love and trust. Their lives were disrupted, tossed into turmoil, and cut apart at the heart. Grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins and even parents are many times separated from them. Unconditional love ends up becoming conditional. Feelings of loss as well as jealousy creep in towards step brothers and sisters. It is likely,  inevitable in most instances. We don’t understand why they become angry and rebellious. As we have less time money and love to give, it is more difficult to express our love for them.

Kids love their parents unconditionally. They forgive but they will mature into a similar version of what we are. Teaching trust makes it necessary for us to exhibit forms of trust in our own relationships. Stability and endurance require us to accept commitment and forgiveness in our own lives. If we exemplify these virtues in our own lives, likely we have a good chance at witnessing it in our kids lives.

Gratitude is an awesome feeling. We have so much yet choose to deliberately focus on the negative of what we don’t have. When we have love we have all  we need. We can get through obstacles. Instruct your kids to be thankful for what they have in their lives including the people such as mom and dad and grandparents and aunts uncles and cousins. They are priceless. Stay connected even if those people are irritating at times. We are all annoying at times. If I can accept your annoying behavior then perhaps you can accept mine. That is how it works.

Mindfulness is a virtue and it can be learned through demonstration, as can anything worth knowing. I know now how much better it is to try to be tolerant of the failings of family and friends. They bring another dimension to my life that can’t be replaced by another. When I start recalling my parents and siblings shortcomings, I work hard to put on the brakes. I know I am being overly critical and I am aware of how much good is in all of them. I would rather express and point out the goodness I find in the family rather than their faults. I hope that one day they will return the favor.

It is so easy to release the fighting and fault finding. We never feel good after such an experience. How renewed we feel after a family episode. If we feel love in our hearts our kids are sure to learn it easily without any effort on our part. We don’t want our kids picking up on distrust anger resentment or fear. Better they learn trust, serenity joy and assurance of the presence of love.

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.”    Nhat Hanh

“If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you; I came to live out loud.”      Emile  Zola