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We have the gift of our senses but we don't always use our senses nor attempt to apply our sixth sense.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred  gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We  have created a society that  honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend twenty-five minutes thinking about a solution and five minutes thinking about solving it."    Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Albert Einstein

There was such an uproar about  birth order that I found it interesting to reason why we can't use our senses. I think as human beings we must categorize everything, find solutions, weigh burdens and assets, compare gains support and advantages and compete against each other constantly. We  just can't admit that everyone has their own issues to deal with. That is the truth. It somehow makes it more important if we can convince others that our lot in life is worse or more difficult. This is full of comparisons and competition of all kinds.

I do think it begins at childhood when parents support the ideas of who is bigger stronger faster more intelligent or beautiful than others. It leads to sibling competition which continues throughout our lives. The one with the most money and toys is considered the winner in some cases. Somehow we threw out the attributes and heart of what is important in life. We are left with more stressful things to contend with. None of us are jealous of those people who live together in family structures and live to support each other and remain equal to each other. In some ways this is more relaxing because the competition is taken out of the equation.

Perhaps those are the people we should want to imitate. I understand that no lifestyle is perfect but ways to promote better living is available. I think we might question our own ways of living. How many of us rush to buy the latest technological device? How many of us engage in useless activities on the computer? It is easier to hide secret activities on the computer and live a separate life. It appears to gain us more guilt and worry. We cover that over with more activity and just keep ourselves busy. I know  it is  important to reflect and I don't always take that time to think but when I do I am never disappointed except to say I question if I wasted my time. How sad is that to feel you have wasted your time when you are thinking about your life.

If we did more thinking rather than business we might understand ourselves better and other people. As it is we are mechanical in our relationships and feel empowered as well as content with the number of people we can reach at the push of a button. I find it overwhelming. Instead of gaining us more time for human interaction  it seems we have more time to interact with machines. Does anyone see a problem with this? I am not against technology but without reflection we are being gobbled up and programmed to be robotic. We are almost at the mercy of computers and what they promote and instill in us. To be part of the group you must be involved or you are on the outside looking in and can feel like an outcast if you are younger or old if older. Age has nothing to do with this happening.

Even churches have gotten involved with online services ministries and gospels. If people have no time for church then it will be brought to them in a technological fashion. Are we too busy for the simple exchanges with each other? Are we all considered boring  if it is a one on one exchange? Have we lost the art of conversing with others? I know if we can discuss things on line with many people and have the support of others on line then perhaps happiness might be promoted in that fashion. I just don't see it happening when I talk to individual people. They have information but no sense of feeling or mindfulness of the people involved.

I also wonder about our generosity and selfishness. Do we take from each other without thought? Are we really supporting others or just printing from our own script what is expected of us to say? It is like we have all the correct words and fast reactions but is the depth of feeling still there? Is it reaching our hearts before our minds or is it in the mind and spoken via text without any real input from the heart?

I sometimes think we are less concerned with others today even though we have quick access to each other and quick response time. The thinking and reflection states have been rendered inactive. We are using honesty but in a way that hurts others and we don't see it. Things are fast today so what someone says or does for us doesn't register anymore due to our busy life and swiftly moving days. There is more to do say and people to talk to albeit on the technical device of choice. Human free thought and intuition is crushed in some ways. If we can't find some time for free thinking away from the hustle of the crowds we don't even know ourselves.

I suppose it is easy to hide amongst a group of people and easier to refrain from thinking. I don't mean to insult anyone but just observing people and their busy schedules leaves so little time for using our six senses. Have you looked at a  flower up close lately or smelled one? Have you sat quietly with a friend and listened with your heart and ears and eyes instead of the messages you read? If we wonder why families are in turmoil and kids hate life and people  keep  fighting and anger is not under control perhaps we should question what is going on in our own lives.

It appears that we are slowly but gradually being overpowered with technology to the point of disregarding people right next to us. Consumerism is fostered and looking good is exonerated and we can view pictures of becoming more beautiful than we are so they say. Do we need to wake up and put the devices away? We seem to be in a crises over gaining some power over self. The devices own us rather than we own the technology. They control us to the point of ignoring the people in front of us who wait patiently for us to finish until another new interruption occurs. I don't mind waiting but how  involved in our conversation can they be if they are constantly returning to their device?

I hope our humanity is not being lost. Instead of cultivating our sixth sense we seem to be losing the five senses we  have. Our inner thoughts and spirit is more important than anything. If one tried to ignore their device for a couple of days they might feel renewed like they just woke up to a new world around them. More and more people appear to  be sleepwalking and caught in chains with technology. I just throw this out as food for thought. I use technology but I have backed off quite a bit due to the viewing of the world so caught up in a façade of constant involvement in a make believe world taking up their times and thoughts. It gives us little time to interact with those close by who may need our support but we don't have the time or sense awareness to notice.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."     Albert Einstein
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."               Albert Einstein

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Albert Einstein

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." Albert Einstein

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

Families30“Disbelief held me down inside my footsteps, making my body heavy but my heart wild.”  Markus Zusak

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”    Steven Pressfield

“Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.”    C. JoyBell C.

I find it too easy to trust others and I end up hurt and then in disbelief regarding their honesty. I suppose that is what makes most of us become a doubting person. We might go to a party with every intention f having a good time and immediately  get hit with another's angry mood or wrath thrown towards us. Maybe we go home wondering why and as much focus given we come up with no answers. The disappointment is huge and sometimes anger and disbelief creep in about their kindness towards us. Of course the sadness takes over and we are left with only unhappiness.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my turn to take the punishment so to speak. I go to a party with every intention of having a great time. The let down is tough. Instead of questioning the person who caused my disbelief I go home and relive the day and torture myself a little more. The only bit of pride left  is almost invisible and I look for answers in my own behavior. Perhaps I was mean to them in the past, or said something offensive to them unintentionally at a previous time. Their bad mood   caused them to lash out. The end of the reflection generates no new answers which is almost more painful because the truth might be they simply don't like me.

It appears easier to accept but not really. When you truly care about these people even if they don't reciprocate it is deeply humiliating and humbling. You believe in your heart without a doubt there is no recourse. Now  your  choices are difficult. If you choose the higher road you suck it up and try to stay out of the firing range just to keep your sense of self from being hurt. Some people no doubt choose revenge and they go after their target full force. There are two people feeling degraded. I don't see that as a good thing and I can't find any relief from one's own humiliation by degrading another.

It feels necessary to withstand the onslaught to discover some truth. The reality is at times we believe we are owned by misery, problems, obstacles and painful histories. I prefer to own them instead. Yes I have had a painful past, I keep it close to my heart as a reminder of my endurance and strength. Moving forward doesn't mean we forget the past as much as we overcome it and carry the sweet and sour pieces of it with us along our journey.

The hurts don't have to engulf us and burn us up. Instead they can grant us the power to forgive and respect every person's sufferings. Painful episodes remind me of my vulnerability and the defenselessness of others who do not see an ambush coming. The pain no longer owns us and we become  the owner of the wound. It is a wound of courage and defeat rather than an energy that forces us to crash and crawl.

Nobody is ever strong all of the time and it takes practice to refuse striking back at those who hurt us. I know there are times when I might strike out at another person because they said or did something I didn't like. My nerves are frazzled and my pain is strong while my pity is weak. At those moments I have to avoid releasing cruel remarks or actions. The power comes from my ownership of my pain.

Hold back your disbelief of others. They have their own battles to fight and survive. Have faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and defeat careless insensitivity. I would bet we have all been there. Our power and control always comes from our ability to own  our moods, attitudes, words and actions rather than allowing disbelief mixed up feelings of pain, anger and ego to shamefully own us and cause us to damage another human being.

“There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.”    Frederick Barthelme

“Impossibilitarians are defeated before the battle even begins. The best attitude that accommodates failure is disbelief. You can't do it because you believe you can't! You can do it because you believe you can!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Whenever you can’t balance what you see with what you believe you have conflict.”
Shannon Alder

“Hope greets your desires warmly while doubts insult your efforts bitterly!”
Israelmore Ayivor

resentment"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother." Kahlil Gibran

"Faith is to see what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love the truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them." Saint Augustine

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." Voltaire

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it, it will defend itself." Anonymous

I used to actually have the belief that I did not doubt anyone. I pride myself at leaving my bag in a church bench when I go up to the alter at the front of the church. Wow I am a trusting person. Simple acts like that made me have faith in myself for being a trusting person. Now I have my doubts. I looked up doubt in the dictionary and found such definitions as hesitation. I am crushed already because I am a very cautious person unless there is an emergency. Reservations and misgivings appear to be almost natural for most of us. After all we all sense that there are a lot of people "OUT THERE" who will hurt us if they have the chance.

Many times we meet new people at work or through friends and we are uncertain about whether or not they are worth our knowing  or trusting. Unless they prove otherwise we keep a bit of a distance. The more I thought about it the more I realized that we do keep space between those we know well and those we have just met. We might pretend we trust others but deep down there are lines we draw if we are honest with ourselves. How about disbelief and suspicion? So many times the new person may be the one who is accused of taking something or doing something. Many times the one who was in err is the least one suspected. We all act surprised but persist in our reservations and misgivings of the stranger.

I know when our son or daughter comes home with the new boyfriend or girlfriend we question them in such a way as to draw out truth or anything hidden. That may not always work but it makes us feel better. We disapprove of anything that seems suspicious and we are skeptics if the truth was told. I remember parents who felt the television to see if it was warm which meant the kids were watching it. Other parents counted the cookies or checked on the amount of chips still in the bag before they went out for an evening. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Our skepticism is real yet we believe we are trusting individuals.

When it dawned on me that I was really a skeptic it bothered me. There are those that might differ and say it keeps people safe but does it really? If people want to deceive us for real, I believe they would be quite proficient at it and generally hurt or harm us. I suppose it is what we don't see coming that gets us. We perhaps spend so much time making sure of the honesty in others that we miss the ones who are distrustful and deceitful. It likely is the one who first gains our trust and then uses that trust to abuse us.  We don't see it coming.

Where I am going with this is that spending so much time preparing to keep our doubts under wraps is sometimes a waste of time. I know we should not venture out at night alone in a crime ridden area but fearing all people places and things leads us down a suspicious road. I know of some people who are afraid to hug a child because of the multitude of abuse that is on the news. All they want is to send their love yet others have made it impossible to be relaxed in such a situation.

Kids must distrust strangers no doubt but how sad that is. Are we not demonstrating trust within our own lives? Are we all so questionable that we have a belief that others are also questionable? I still melt it down to competition and winning. We keep some secrets hidden so that we can win and that is a distrustful person. I am not always sure what it is we win but so many people don't share their thoughts or ideas because of the competition they feel towards others. I don't see this as honest.

In a way we are secretive and not up front about things as  much as we think. If we hear of a good sale or a college that is giving out scholarships we may not let too many others know about it so that our own chances increase. If we had trust in God and the ways of how it should go perhaps we would be more honest, and take our chances about the way something will turn out. I have always found that things work out the way they were meant to and we can't really control it no matter how hard we try.

I remember one time when my husband lost a job and it appeared so bleak. He had worked so hard not to be the one cut. In the end he got a better job and was so much happier. We look back and are grateful he got cut. Being late for appointments, losing jobs, being chosen last or not being picked for a committee we had hope for are all common happenings in our daily lives. If we had more trust in the value of the occurrences whether wanted or not wanted, we might find our life is smoother and calmer than we ever believed. If we don't doubt we can be content with the results.

All our upsets cause us turmoil questions and doubts. Having faith and belief is a profound way of trusting that all is well and will turn out better than we sense at the moment. We can't control anything like we believe. Hiding or doubting won't make us winners or losers. Maybe our kid wasn't meant to go to a certain school or college. When we connect the dots we can see how this caused that and that made something happen. It only happens if we follow and trust in the outcomes.

Our son may refuse to go to college, and upset us and make us quarrel about it. One day he becomes the fireman he wanted to be and saves many lives. If he hadn't done that he would not have brought life and hope to so many people. I think adults must begin having faith and trust if we want to inspire it within our kids. I include myself because I was surprised to find how little I trusted when I thought I was endowed with so much faith.  Instead of competing, or knocking each other down, or attempting to best others with our knowledge money or power, perhaps it is time to pick each other up, offer the prize to someone who works hard without any praise or honors. Notice people who support the minds or bodies of others who are in dire need of help. Use  your power to aid others in any way you can.

Within our own environments there are so many occasions for us to help another. Sometimes it can be something as little as shutting our mouths and allowing another to voice an opinion. I am guilty of stepping in with unsolicited advice and usually am put in my place for overstepping my authority or knowledge. Of course if we have faith in one's honesty we would not judge byt simply accept the opinion quietly and of course do what we know to be correct.

The best support is that big smile that says I see you and notice you and you are worth acknowledging. So many of us are unseen, unnoticed and barely ever acknowledged. It makes a person afraid to speak. Now that is  not wise. I think that is why we hide, compete and distrust so much. We never have faith in us or our ability or worth. If we did we would not distrust so much. The honesty could develop and we would find more certainty rather than suspicion and doubt.  I I still want to keep my faith in humanity and in a deity who is driving the car while I sit in front of the wheel.

"Starting something new or making a big change requires effort persistence and motivation. Doubt fear and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now and celebrate every step of the way." Doe Zantamata

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

"I am thankful to all those who said no. It is because of them I did it myself." Albert Einstein

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." Anonymous

high and lows"All the elements for your happiness are already here. There’s no need to run, strive. At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it."    Thich Nhat Hahn

"By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person. Obstacles can be a form of liberation. Difficulties are required for success." Thich Nhat Hahn

All of us have so many fears but perhaps the biggest one is the fear of failure. It kind of groups all the other fears together. Whether it is our spouse, parent, child boss friend or enemy we hate to drop the ball and be considered a loser. The trouble is we can't really define just what a loser is or what it means. We have bad vibes about failing and never consider that there might be a bright side to failing.

What do our parents expect of us? Maybe they think we will forever be indebted to them and strive to please them. Most of us do appreciate our parents but there is a limit to what we can do for them and still be able to live our own lives. Failing to some of us is letting others down. If our parents expected us to be the engineer but we became the business guru, our parents are disappointed and they don't have to say anything. We can sense it in their look or frown or words.

Parents bring on the first of the fears of failing. They push kids to accomplish goals that may  not even be something their child wants. What parents consider important is sometimes not on the priority list of their kids. Seeing eye to eye on this is next to impossible. Even agreeing to disagree does not bring peace to the one who believes in their heart that they let their parents, people they love and cherish, down.

Likely the trick is to figure out why we sense a feeling of desperation when we have not done what another wants us to do. Somehow  a perso we love gets into our heads and makes us believe we should be what they desire us to be. In the end we and they are disappointed. It comes down to the fact that we must love each other for what we are and not for what they want us to be or become.

I know most parents want kids to be kind good and successful. Perhaps we should place compassionate, mindful and loving as some of the ways we delineate success. We  can all choose to be compassionate and thoughtful towards others. We can love others with a kind heart. Working on those attributes is worthier than forcing our own goals and attitudes onto others.

Parents wield a lot of power. If they choose to pick for thie child and demand success in the way they see it, likely everyone is going to live in stress and pain. Grown children expect parents to continue indulging them in ways that are invalid. When we have grown and matured we must take responsibility for ourselves even if it means failure at some points in our lives.  We can and must grow from failure rather than succumb to it and feel defeated.

Failure never brings permanent defeat unless we give up and stop trying. Failure should teach us where we went wrong and therefore how we can do it better than before. Somehow our ideas are that once one has failed give up, leave, walk away, try something or someone new. The stress caused by failure is full of anxiety, rage and fear. We see the disappointment in the eyes and we can't bear to witness it again so we stop and give up our objectives.

Husbands rarely live up to their wives anticipations. The wives hardly live up to the husbands expectations. The marriage road is rocky, demanding and full of potholes. None of us can win and most of us lose and switch up the game because it is painful to keep playing it. We sense how hard we try and we are actually more disappointed in ourselves for the failure. Likely we blame ourselves but we still walk away.

It is easy for friends to disillusion us. There are so many possible friends out in the world that we move on. The same is true with relationships. We find someone new and begin again. We assume we will get it right the next time so life goes on. How many of us question what we are doing and why we are doing it. We believe perhaps that it is for the best because we can't satisfy someone. I suppose that is true pleasing others is an impossibility.  What is also true is that our opportunities appear to be boundless until we discover the let downs are similar. We might even yearn to go back to the original problems or situations and try again,  although we usually can't do that.

We all need space to grow at our own pace. We need love the most and fear and stress the least. I find that the truth is we place the fear, stress and anxiety on ourselves when we believe we must please our parents, spouses children friends or boss. If we think it over we understand that if we disappoint anyone once in a while, they will get over it. If someone disappoints us we get over it. We have a hard time getting over ourselves and our own disappointments of failure.

Failure is not like the end of a road. It is more like a stop sign that slows us down. Perhaps that is a good thing because we get to review what we are doing and why. This may send us down a different path and also help us to engage the people we love in an alternative manner. We need space and encouragement. We need a sense of value and pride in us. If we please us then perhaps we won't be as wounded when we don't always please others. What we think about us when we look in the mirror is what really counts.

A sense of self leads to valuing others. If we are mindful of others we will likewise support their endeavors to be who and what they are. The freedom it endows us with is enlightening. Somehow we all win and we have not failed anyone especially not us. We have our own lives to live, goals to reach and problems to accept and overcome. People can best help us with support of all kinds and refraining from interfering in our choices.

Establish your own self esteem and move forward with courage and strength. Don't be swayed by what others say because they are seeing life through their eyes and we must open our eyes and see what it is we want. Stop judging so much and start living. We learn from mistakes and the learning sticks because of the pain of the error. If we can accept each others mistakes we can increase the relationships love and enthusiasm to do better the next time. Perhaps transformation from within is more of an answer than always attempting to alter outside of ourselves and our surroundings. Put the fears to rest and start living in serenity.

“I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.”     Socrates

“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it's supposed to be.” Socrates

“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”     Socrates

Embrace"Dignity is the moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad. Dignity is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter. Dignity is the moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself. Dignity is the moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it."

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life-long quest of the wise."    Shannon Alder

I know that many times I do not embrace the moment. I over think what everybody is saying and doing and neglect the reality of the people  in my vicinity. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and most of us would say  that we are but demonstrating it and actually feeling it in the heart is another story. I know of some people who say I enjoyed it but, I had a good time but, It was wonderful but. I would like to throw out the buts. It appears to be crucial for them to downplay the whole experience.

All of us are guilty of sensing contrariness all around us. The challenge is to override the negative and embrace the joyful present encounters. Of course all is easier said than done. I find most moments in time are significant and more meaningful than we could ever imagine. They have the power to generate a calming atmosphere or sometimes a  volatile atmosphere. They also end in repercussions of all sorts. That is the part we don't anticipate and likely what causes us all kinds of remorse.

At a family gathering one day, there was a controlling member of the family who was helping with dinner. When another person challenged the way she was doing something the battle ensued. Of course the controlling individual wanted her own way while the other person was upset with the mistake. The frustration of both individuals rose and abated  when a third-party intervened and defused the problem.

Neither individual noticed how uncomfortable everybody around them was becoming. Nobody wanted to make a move at first. Picking sides is hazardous to one's health. At long last someone did have the courage to stop the bad interaction and resolve the issue. I noticed as the general public renewed their inspiring  conversations the two involved insurgents of the mishap were noticeably upset. Their faces were drawn, their lips were tightly pursed, eyebrows were lowered and bodies were tensed as they took turns eyeing each other. No one dared to tread on the dilemma.

As time passed the mood lightened and everyone had a good time but the two warring people went home with a lot on their minds. I wondered how something so simple had the power to cause such a huge negative effect. The controlling person felt diminished and under appreciated while the other person felt upset that they had  unnecessarily voiced an opinion. Of course hindsight is invariably better but if the controller let up a bit and listened they might have gained some worthwhile knowledge. The interfering person should have let things go because they were not the one offering to help. The fact that both factions will likely bring their antagonism to the next gathering is sad. All guests are at the mercy of those who choose  to toss emotions around like fall leaves. The contrary person is also to blame because they did not have the confidence to accept another opinion.

We are all so good at finding the faults of others and I include myself. Perhaps we sense in them the faults we would like to fix in us. There are times when out of desperation we release our perceived truths onto another. Having been there I know we are always sorry. I now see this as a moment of discovery for myself. I believe those are the times I am forced to see  something I perhaps did not want to discover about myself. After the uproar and embarrassment I am forced to acknowledge if only to myself, how much pain I am carrying inside. All of the hurt gets released when we sense another person around us who somehow brings out the drainage of the infection.

In a way I am understanding the importance of the small  simple moments in time that provide a teaching moment. Another guest was thanked for helping  to clean up the table. With embarrassment they declared that they had not helped. At first I felt sorry for the person who had complimented one who had not actually aided in the jobs. Then I realized that likely they helped that person. The receiver of the undeserved compliment had some food for thought. Hopefully they will offer assistance at a future period in time.

When it all comes down to the final analysis we repeatedly learn from our positive and antagonistic interactions with others. All is really not lost. If we can appreciate the value of the unfavorable communication we can acquire information that is invaluable. By understanding this we will matriculate the knowledge with enthusiasm. Of course we can disdain the whole episode and receive nothing from our encounter but anger. The choice is ours.

The best situation is perhaps to discover our own inadequacies without reaching the pinnacle of lashing out at another. Facing imperfections allows us to improve. Without acceptance there can be no progress. Most of our issues seem to resonate with jealousy, competition and the  striving for love. We don't believe in our own worth. The honesty is that we can and do love more than one person. Somehow being number one is relevant to us all. I  would  suppose that on any given day the number one varies in the minds of most people.

Another idea  we don't think about is the fact that we hold others as hostages while we engage in petty misconduct. The  happy moments in our lives can be dissolved quickly  when others ensue with a battle of wits or insults. Attempt to reflect on the repercussions of such behavior. I know I am so aware of such transactions because I have been the inflammatory person as well as the  receiver of such destructive incidents. I would venture to say  most of us are guilty. It isn't about blame but about discerning the truth in what  we say and do and why we say and do it.

By perceiving the truth we might choose a calmer path that leads to enlightenment without the regret. It does take some will power to refrain from immediate judgement and response. It takes courage and strength to acknowledge ourselves in those actions and words. It takes forgiveness towards  them so that we can forgive ourselves.

We all have much to be thankful for. We all  work hard to accomplish much and improve. We don't see our accomplishments and we miss our gains. We might endeavor to be grateful for so much in our lives that we just don't think about. There is probably so much we would not trade for anything in the world. Realizing what we have that can't be bought ought to prove the priceless  treasures that we enjoy within our lives. Changing our attitudes may alter our lives in the most profound  ways.

On another note, for all the times we fail and fall down, we can still retrieve the knowledge acquired. There is never a loss as long as we take something positive from the occurrence. None of us is perfect. None of us would enjoy being judged. But as much as we all fall down, we all have the ability to rise to great heights. If we give up we will never soar. If  we are still attempting and failing we can rejoice because as long as we never give up we can make it happen. The possibility is there for us by having the faith in our ability  to be successful. It only takes the confidence to believe in self. The goal is just pushed a little bit further into the future but still within reach provided we get up after we are knocked down.

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”    Shannon Alder

“An important decision I made was to resist playing the Blame Game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.”  Steve Goodier

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”     Shannon Alder

Rituals“To me it seems that too many young women of this time share the same creed. 'Live, laugh, love, be nothing but happy, experience everything, et cetera et cetera.' How monotonous, how useless this becomes. What about the honors of Joan of Arc, Beauvoir, Stowe, Xena, Princess Leia, or women that would truly fight for something other than just their own emotions?” Criss Jami

“Everything ritualistic must be strictly avoided, because it immediately turns rotten. Of course a kiss is a ritual too and it isn't rotten, but ritual is permissible only to the extent that it is as genuine as a kiss.”     Ludwig Wittgenstein

It was interesting when someone mentioned the rituals we all go through daily without any thought. It really was inspiring because it brought many questions and revelations regarding our life as usual approach. Our repetitive words and actions appear to be mindless and without any depth. It made me wonder  how much of my day was actually lived.

Then I received a phone call from a person very close to me, who was concerned about certain areas of her life manifesting in the fashion she wanted them to manifest. She was distraught about the possibility of her strategies taking longer than she wanted. Her frustration appeared out of control yet ringing true for all of us. We have become used to attaining our wants immediately. We can receive an e-mail in seconds, as well as an invitation, announcement notification or doctor results. We can work from home and even run a business on-line without ever meeting the people we sell to. ...continue reading "Rituals"

I always kiss my husband before leaving yet there are times when both of us question the occurrence. Do we appreciate the significance of the gesture or are we performing a ritual without any meaning. So many actions throughout the day are done mindlessly and now I am reflecting on every word and action. It likely is true that when we say how are you doing that it is only a hello. We are not interested I suppose and no one ever responds with anything but good or okay. I love my husband and certainly I need to remember the reasons for our actions so that we can appreciate why we perform the action and how much it means. The effect of special actions should never wear off or lose their meaning.

I find it all a bit frenzied. Although we have more time to ponder, we lose it with our engagement with technology. People are being replaced with glorified machines of all kinds. Our best friends are cell phones, I-pads, computers and other devices.  Outings with spouses or friends or even co-workers can't  compare to our tech devices. Humans are now in competition with technology which appears at the moment, to be far more interesting.

I agree that the amount of information acquired through the computer is tremendous but how much of the information is irrelevant and not necessarily  even worthwhile. Some information is not worth knowing and actually hurts us emotionally and spiritually. Secrecy is easy when using such devices. The age of openness is over. People have their own lives when on the computer.

What is most annoying is the dismissal of real people who are right near us for a small unfeeling device. The majority of people give their attention to the small device enticing them with their pings to respond to some far away person. Technology began as a useful item to support us and offer us closeness to others who were at a distance. Now it is used randomly, without thought or respect for anyone, for the entertainment of the individual.

I am reviewing the fact that we revere technology because it gives us control like nothing else in our lives. We decide if we will respond to this person or that one. We can put someone off in a second, make distant plans quickly, find answers to questions from a machine rather than deal with the wordy response of a human, and not have to listen longer than we want to when we consider it a boring conversation. How much easier it is to put an out of sight person off than a teary eyed or anxious person facing and staring at us.

People have complained to me that their friends are always on the device when in their company. They find it annoying because they made the time to spend with their friend yet felt denied the company of their pal. As close and small as we have made our world, I believe we are further from attachments and intimacy than ever before.

I worry for the children who are perhaps unobserved as carefully by those too busy computing. When one is on the computer, lost in its attraction and entertainment, the world passes by unnoticed. Hours are lost in this scenario which occurs everyday. Our extension of rituals continues with our constant need for devices. We basically don't have to think anymore because there are better minds and people with greater intelligence, or so we surmise, telling us what we should do.

Of course it contradicts our notion of being in control. Maybe the joke is on us. We have button control and information control but decisions of all kinds are made for us everyday. We are constantly influenced by whatever information is sent over our machines. People today have more than  soap operas and television. We have a device capable of providing information  at any moment of any day and it is small, easy to carry and can be used at any time.

If we believe we have no control then we play and work in a ritualistic manner. Time is irrelevant and decisions are lost. We question how the time slipped away from us. Our ability to change or differ our  life's path is unrecognized. Power and independence seem to be lost in the shuffling. Feeling helpless to make a difference we refuse to try. Those who are attempting to escape the clutches of rituals and the attraction and temptation of electronics are waking up to an  awareness of the world. It really is crucial to ask ourselves how much of our lives we are actually living and how much is autopilot.

Living is embracing  life with attention and allowing your whole being to sense and process all that is around us including the people. Some things  are only deduced intuitively. Understanding some natural wonders can't be compared to wordy information. Explaining the sunrise or sunset will never compare to experiencing it. Discussing one's feelings in words can't always measure up to personal involvement with a living person. So much is lost in translation.

Refuse to have your life  become  a ritual of jobs and demands. Achieving confirmation of our purpose and meaning in life lies within us.  Others do not need to confirm our abilities or our worth. No one is like us nor can they do the jobs requested of us to accomplish. We are not at all easy to replace and deep down we know it. The dynamics within us are pure and unique. By taking care of what we can, we allow others to deal with their own share of obligations.

Limiting technology use is crucial to saving our own humanity and self-esteem. Spending so much time on the outskirts of our lives allots us little time for our own close up look at how we make a positive impact. Some rituals are expected, but  living with purpose takes courage. It forces us to choose every day. Positive decisions happen when we have all of the facts which comes from being tuned into our lives. Every sense has a vital role in our development.

Hiding behind technology can place our life on hold. I do not want to turn my life over to a machine which shares no human altruistic attributes. I want to live my life rather than view it from a distance. Looking back I want to see and sense  emotions  intertwined with my experiences even if it means letting go of control a bit. I know the last thing I want to do is to miss living my life, by  being too busy organizing and controlling it. I will gain time not lose it as one would anticipate.

Answering a child's simple questions might bring my own childhood to mind. There might be times I envy the young adults who have so much at their hands and support by their sides. I also at times feel sorry for the young adults who miss the emotional aspect of the numerous interactions with people standing beside them. You can't explain the agreeing voice of one with a tear in the corner of their eye. It makes your heart race a bit. Emotions alter people in a profound loving and positive way. Emotions teach and allow a person to pass on the knowledge that quite possible can't be passed on any other way. You learn so much from an encounter you didn't plan but which was planned for you by God. How can a person put that into words? I think that when we give up control, life flows easier and we see beyond the horizon. Of course  we must make sure we are not on the device.

"He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly.
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly.
He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.”
― Pablo Neruda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giving And Receiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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