Skip to content

Bury bad"Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?" Saint Basil

"Yet we act as if simple cause and effect is at work. We push to find the one simple reason things have gone wrong. We look for the one action, or the one person, that created this mess. As soon as we find someone to blame, we act as if we've solved the problem."  Margaret Wheatley

"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses." Aphonse Karr

It is so hard to separate our minds from the hurts we experienced. We rehash the episodes in our minds over and over again until we can recite them to anyone spur of the moment. They become ingrained in our brains and sadly our hearts. Of course as the years pass we record a few more to the list which grows longer with the passing years. Somehow the list comforts us because it justifies our position cause and talking points. By now most friends acquaintances and friendly family members have heard it all multiple times.

Consider just who the tally sheet or sheets pertain to. It is most likely a family member or spouse. The feud continues for years, the walls get thicker, the incidences become more embellished and our hearts become cooler or cold. When the person's name is mentioned our heart beats faster, our breath is quicker and we might even become light headed. Our minds go into overdrive with thoughts and speeches we would like to say to them. Of course the rhetoric is saved for a weary listener.

We never think of other family members who may just love us both. They are caught in the middle and forced to revisit our conjured prison cell. After so many years we most likely refrain from offering advice because so many times it has fallen on deaf ears. Of course the latest noise flash of words or actions leaves us questioning and delving for the truth in the situation. We can almost observe the sweat beading on the upset person.

How any person, at odds with another, gets to this point in time is actually easy. So many of us do it in various forms and depths. Of course any kind of long term bickering is unhealthy for the people involved as well as for those who are caught in the current crossfire. We can't avoid it. I am boiling it down to jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity. We don't feel like we measure up to this other person who we see as deceitful in getting their way. They have something over us we assume and they receive more time, attention, money and support. We want what they have or we fear losing what we have to them. They appear indomitable to us wielding power and might. They make us feel insecure about our position.

We doubt our parents' friends spouses' ability to love us as much as they love this person. We need to be number one and if we are not we rebel with our fear and anxiety.  Actually what we can't fathom is how much we create our own reality through our fears and doubts. We make it happen. By destroying our relationships in one way or another we leave ashes and pain in the aftermath. Of course it becomes harder to see or face the reality of our dilemma. We totally blame the other person and again we review all of the hurts they inflicted on us. It builds up our resentment and anger and this allows us to keep up the barriers. We never look at the hurts we returned to them. Those are burnt away and hardly thought of or remembered.

In marriage the same is true. We remember the aches and pains and injustices. No matter how long one is married, there are plenty of times each person was perfectly justified if they walked away from the marriage. Maybe what keeps the marriage alive is the ability to let the painful issues dissolve. If we refuse to allow the bad things to filter into the future, we have a chance at maintaining an intact marriage. There are no magic potions just maybe a poor memory in regards to hurtful past events and a long memory of the kind and thoughtful episodes.

If you keep a tally going in marriage or in any relationship it becomes a competitive situation. If you mention three painful experiences I must come up with at least three worse ones or four to win. By the time we continue this progress, after many years it is no wonder we finally tire and walk away. The saddest thing is maybe the love was always there but buried under the walls of pain. Neither partner can exhibit the aches. That would be weakness and we need to win because we hurt the most and have suffered the most. We can actually put a name to our emotional burdens. We just can't say I feel jealous, demeaned, intimidated, fearful or anxious when you are around. That perhaps is because we know it is all in our own minds and we own the problem.

Now the most important item we have forgotten in this mess is to count, recount and celebrate the tally marks of gratitude. We just don't keep this kind of a sheet at all on anybody. It would embarrass us too much if we realized our partner or friend was kinder to us than we were to them. Have you ever noticed that as soon as a kindness is completed for us it retreats to the very back of our minds and digs deeply into our hearts leaving it hidden? If that same person wounded us we would remember that forever.

With all of the counseling available and books I am beginning to wonder if we just require a memory sheet of good so that on a bad day we can consult it and recall a special deed someone did for us. By checking our list every day, it would fill us up with good thoughts about the people we have a list for. There would be no room for doubt. Our jealousy, fear, insecurity and anxiety would dissipate upon viewing the positive thoughts and actions others showered on us. If we are feeling low and abandoned we might attempt a tally sheet on the person who is the focus of our frustration. It might surprise us into understanding just how wonderful the person we are doubting has really been in actuality. It will make it easier to bury the fault and it will make life happier for us and others.

...continue reading "Tally the Good and Dump the Bad"

"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it."     Ralph Marston

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

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." Gilbert K. Chesterton

"If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty." Rainer Maria Rilke

I'm just thankful for everything, all the blessings in my life, trying to stay that way. I think that's the best way to start your day and finish your day. It keeps everything in perspective."  Tim Tebow

hurt“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama
“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”  Dalai Lama

What prevents us from moving forward is all the hidden hurts we tuck away into every corner of our minds and hearts. When these hurts occupy so much of our hearts it is extremely difficult to get over them and be in the present. We tend to review them over and over whenever they are brought to mind by a similar incident or when the person who caused the hurt is present.

As time passes we rework the issues whichever way we desire to rectify the hurts we experienced. Most likely we are not aware of how we change the actual reality of our pain. That is the problem with maintaining a place for our sufferings. When we refuse to let them go and we replay them again, each time they evolve into something a tiny bit different than the time before.

Let's face it we tend to view things according to our own standards and way of thinking. Whenever two people are asked to review an incident chances are they see it through their own scope and their opinions are different. The incident may be recognizable but what one sees as helpful another might view as controlling.

Events never take into consideration our moods character and stresses at the time of the occurrence. That is okay except for the fact that sometimes we hold onto these happenings for a lifetime. In a way they become obstacles to our lives that prevent us from moving forward. If we keep these matters constantly in focus, we are technically not always dealing with current concerns wholeheartedly.

In another sense we are holding a grudge which maintains a wedge between us and the other party. I believe so many of us do this all the time and that we are not even aware of our plight. We keep building up walls against others shutting them out because of some presumed harm. It can be an extended period of time that we are ostracized from each other. Having a strong sense of pride we maintain our dignity at the cost of our bonds of love. In the end we often fail to forgive.

It is sad that we will never try to make peace with each other.  We choose to believe we are solely in the right and therefore we impatiently wait for the apology that of course rarely comes. Perhaps the lack of remorse on both sides is due to the fact that each believes the other guiltier than themselves. Time cements our beliefs and makes them stronger. It never registers with us that we have begun to embellish the actuality of the offenses.

The loss is the bonds of affection. We lose touch and without realizing it the years pass by. Each suffers in their own way. By not having understanding for the incidences that happened we lack the knowledge of our culpability in the matter. We have the power to alleviate pain. Probably we have unnecessarily caused suffering to this person who carries the wounds on their sleeves. By being attentive and forgiving, we make it possible for another person to get on with their lives. By choosing to stand strong in our own argument we inadvertently cause another to dwell inside their pain perhaps for a lifetime.

It may appear to be larger than it is but the truth is that we do cause others a living hell whether or not we want to believe it. I don't feel any of us signed up for this but regardless it happens. It occurs because we never see things with the same eyes. That may be why kids in the same family have a different take on transpiring situations. A move to one can be an exciting adventure but to another a painful lonely loss. If we don't take the time to think about it we can't ever come to terms with each other, or our beliefs. We will continually think we are correct and they are to blame.

I am not accusing anyone. None of us truly wants to cause pain for another especially those who are people we care about. We must recognize the agony we perhaps activate, when we distance ourselves from someone we care about and who cares about us.  We need to reflect on the various reasons it might have happened. The most difficult part of this is finding within ourselves to be strong enough to admit our own share in the dilemma. Perhaps that is all that is needed for the other person to be able to advance from the problem.

Some of us can go on regardless of situations that come and go in our lives. Most of us can become entrenched in past happenings that make us unable to live in the present. It appears to be a waste of a life. I don't think any of us want to contribute to a person's mission of wasting their lives. It is necessary for us to acknowledge another person's pain. If we hold the key to alleviate the hurt then it is essential and ethical for us to cooperate.

The strange part is, and I state this from experience, most of us may not comprehend the ways we have caused wounds to others. What we may perceive as a joke is a total wounding. We suppose another who is quiet is a snob.  I have heard others say just that. These erroneous statements gain a life of their own. I remember another person telling me one time, how stupid they always felt. It was shocking to me when I actually considered them very intelligent. I could hardly believe they actually felt that way. It made me realize that our opinions of ourselves are not always as positive in the eyes of others. We all need and deserve a boost in our confidence. Pride is so easy to destroy.

The matter is so many of us hide our thoughts and scars so carefully. The first clue may simply be the escape. We run away from each other when we are in pain. In truth we should be running towards each other. Attempt to understand that the way you are looking at a dispute may be completely different from the way another sees it. If there is estrangement in your relationships, attempt a discussion and reconciliation. I guarantee it will be difficult but definitely worth it. Resolve to admit your own poor judgments and actions. Accept some blame, at least some of the unintentional suffering you may have caused.

Moving forward and releasing the impairments still lingering in the shadows of your mind and heart will give you room for present involvement. If another chooses to avoid the damage they caused you, then find it in your own soul to alleviate the suffering which is not serving you anymore. See the past in a different perspective and let go of the distressful memory. Release yourself from your own prison and live your life to the fullest. You have the power within yourself to pick yourself up. Sometimes the person who injured us is not even aware of the damage they have done. If you can forgive them you will help yourself by unlocking your own prison.

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”    Dalai Lama

"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” Dalai Lama

my turn for a time-out"Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self-worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has." Elizabeth O'Connor

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood but of respect and joy in each other's life." Richard Bach

A person relishes compliments about their child or themselves. This helps to create bonds of friendship and goodwill with strangers your friends and family. The end result likely is an ally and a pal you can confide in.

Compliments stimulate greater achievement. They also place negativity into the background where it belongs. Seeing a gas tank half full instead of half empty encourages one to continue forward rather than stopping or worse backing up. We feel better when we hang out with certain people. They make us happy because they are happy. we look forward to a sharing time with them. They are non-threatening people. When we investigate their magic we find it is their lack of competitiveness. Competition leads  to jealousy and envy. We can be ourselves with these people. Question is why can't we be ourselves with all people.

It is nerve -wracking to play the various roles throughout our day. We must show an in charge type of attitude at work. Most coworkers defer to us  and go along with our decisions. they are not aware of the stomach turmoil when we are not sure about a decision. If we make mistakes we will be talked about behind our backs. It worries us but the set facial expression and body demeanor tells others we are to be respected if not feared.

At home with the kids, we must be nurturing caring and a good listener even though we might be looking for these things ourselves. We half listen to the banter because our  thoughts are on the e-mails that must be sent out before morning. When our child questions us about what they just said we angrily state we were listening even though we know in our hearts that we weren't. Of course it is followed by guilt.

Our spouses receive little attention because we have too much on our minds. The phone rings, it is a friend and we put on the pleasant carefree attitude. After all we are known for our good  humor and personality. We help with their issues and hang up the phone feeling drained and angry. Everyone else can have a time out but not us. We feel like screaming loudly, when is it my turn for the time-out. When do I get a break? do I have to schedule my time for the break-down or temper tantrum?

If we thought long and hard about the negative energy it took us to calm down we would skip it I'm sure. The alternative is to let it eat away at our stamina and nerves and contribute to health problems. At times we create our own dilemma. When we get up in the morning, do we see the same person as the day before? We haven't changed just because we had a bad day at work yesterday. We are a capable person.  We are a good parent even if we weren't tuned  into our child's words the night before. We  had a headache and a deadline to meet. We can make it up to them and it goes first on our priority list of things to do. We plan to pick up our spouse's favorite dinner. It will be a nice break for the both of us.

We are special unique and one of a kind. We have qualities no one else has. We do things to help others in ways we are not aware. We really need to attempt to be ourselves  with more of the people who touch our lives. We can't always be the strong one, the one others lean on. we can't always be right or have all the answers. Patience, understanding and empathy are difficult to muster when one is tired and feeling defeated at the moment. We set ourselves up as empowered perfect people who display no feeling towards ourselves. Time to uncover the human side of us which needs to eat, sleep take a break and maybe enjoy a time-out that is not always scheduled.

It is okay  to make mistakes and exhibit imperfections. it allows others to relax and even take over some of our burdens when we are overwhelmed. It is not an insult to need others or depend on them. It makes others feel less burdened because we show human qualities of imperfections. Life is a long journey. It is impossible to complete on our own. Mistakes teach us. Cooperation aids our learning. Maybe there is a better way or easier way for us to accomplish certain things. By trusting others We can receive the flame of light warmth and love when our fire goes out.

Why make life more difficult by causing more strife. One compliment can carry a person further like a feather dropped from a high building on a windy day. Enjoy the compliments others give to you and don't be stingy with your own compliments. Showing us the areas we are being successful with permits us to appreciate our own worth and to work on the areas that need tending. Likewise when we give compliments and encouragement to our kids we promote in them, healthy bonds of love and respect as well as  confidence to never give up.

 "In marriage, with children at work, in any association-an ounce of praise of sinceere appreciation of some act or attribute can very often do more than a ton of fault-finding. If we look for it we can usually find in even the most unlikely unlikable and incapable person something to commend and encourage. Doubtless it is a human frailty but most of us in the glow of feeling we have pleased want to do more to please and knowing we have done well want to do better." Anonymous

passive aggression"Life is simply time given to man to learn how to live. Mistakes are always part of learning. The real dignity of life consists in cultivating a fine attitude towards our own mistakes and those of others." Anonymous

"We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks but by his actions."  Isaac Bashevis

I heard from a couple of Mothers-in-law (MIL). One stated how her son had asked her over to look at his latest work done on the house. Apparently her Daughter-in-law (DIL) was not aware she was coming. The MIL took the brunt of the anger through passive aggression. Her DIL never looked at her when she was talking or when her MIL was talking. She smiled a forced smile but was quick with her moves and stiff with her body language. We call it passive aggression.

We all know what it is but nobody knows how to stop it or why it is so irritating. MIL or DIL as well as people in general are guilty of passive aggression. If we really don't attempt to hide it then I would assume it is out there in our faces and meant to hurt. When we snub or make faces at another's remark or sigh, we are practicing passive aggression. We get the message across to others bluntly. The victim is at our mercy because on the surface everything appears complacent. Only the person experiencing the aggression is aware of what is really happening. If the victim complained the aggressor would deny what they were doing and state nothing could be further from the truth. The victim in a sense would become the complainer and one who imagines things that are not there.. We all know when we are getting the proverbial "Cold Shoulder." We don't know how to respond to it.

What do we achieve by doing this to another? We hurt the person at the receiving end. It is demeaning and usually, the receiver is confused and trying to figure out why they are a target. They try to recall what their mistake was. How sad to spend quality time with loved ones or friends in total reflection about the past. Maybe we assume too much. We think another has done something that they most likely didn't do but we make them guilty until proven innocent. Sometimes we can't prove our innocence.

If we simply look for the best in others and assume they are never deliberately trying to hurt us, we all might thrive a lot better. Sometimes it seems that the people who think others are guilty of saying or doing something negative to them are the people who are doing these things themselves. If we live our lives complaining about others and talking about others and perpetuating a "Cold Attitudes" towards them, it's time to ask ourselves if we are the guilty party.

We all will play many roles in our lives. We are the teen who becomes the parent, the brother or sister in need to the brother or sister who can lend a hand, the shunned worker who rises to become the boss. If we are out for revenge then it will come in many forms to those who have hurt us. This includes those who remind us of those who hurt us. Are we any better? If so then it is time for an attitude adjustment. No payback involved only forgiveness. This allows us to  live a more honorable life.

Even a small hurt may wound another and affect them for the rest of the day or week. In the same way a small gesture of kindness without attitude, may cheer a person for a day or a week. We always have the choice not only to increase our happiness but the happiness of others. That holds more power than the quick infliction of pain. I would rather be remembered for the small kindnesses I do for others rather than for the tremendous hurts I was able to inflict.

Most of us forget to carry the nice gifts of kindness with us, that we received throughout the day but it is obviously displayed in our good mood. The unhappy experiences are taken to heart and shadowed from the light where they fester within us for a long time. Our mental, physical and emotional attitudes are hampered.

If company appears unexpectedly be honest by stating your surprise. Cordially laugh and mention your tremendous workload and you may receive help with it. That is far better than making company feel totally unwanted and  intrusive. When your made to be the intruder, and someone hurts you try to remember some reasons involved. They are having a  difficult day, They are shifting their anger with someone else onto you. They are not feeling well or anticipated a project and are disappointed at your arrival but don't want to send you packing back home. Alleviate your anxiety about the situation with positive thoughts.

It is important to step outside of ourselves and go with the flow. If you are  receptive to the company, you might just have a better time than they do. If you are the intrusive person, you might win the person over with your charm, kindness and love. It shrinks down to "I want what I want even though I am an adult." We can modify that to "I can always work on my project another day and maybe I'm going to have a more interesting day or a challenging one that I will remember I overcame.

Either way it will make you a stronger person and one who is governed by thought and appreciation rather than anger and frustration. I believe there are moments that interfere with our plans that were ordained times. Maybe we were saved from an accident we'll never have. Those stupid incidences that annoy us may be the life altering events which would make more sense if we could  see the results, which we can't,  if they did happen. Loosening our agenda and expectations makes us a better friend and companion. In the end when we disturb our friends' plans maybe they will extend us the same kind courtesy.

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." George Washington Carver

extinguish the fire"Speak when you're angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret." Lawrence J. Peter

"Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." William James

 When one feels the smoldering inside of them because another person has ignited some kind of fear, the first thing we might do is question ourselves. That may sound ludicrous but an immediate question may find the reasons why we begin to flare up in anger. I am by no means saying our annoyance is due to another person's agitation. Just because another person infuriates us does not give us the right to speed our temper. Controlling our anger is our problem.

To make sense of it we need to understand what triggers our irritation and then work on that. If another's tone of voice angers us ask why. Do we recall a parent's or spouse's or sibling's tone in that voice? Did they make us feel inferior or even stupid at another point in time? That would explain why we tend to overreact when we hear that tone from another. Understanding helps us  comprehend and let go of our quick negative overreaction.

Anger usually originates from fear. We fear losing control. We fear losing respect, an object, a person, power, friends, position etc.. The list goes on but the fear is basically the same for most of us just varying degrees of reaction. If we get cut off when driving a car do we begin to think, the other driver deliberately tried to do it and wanted to prove they were crafty. In our minds we visualize them laughing at us, making fun of us. The flame inside of us burns stronger until we feel the need to attack in some way. This might be verbally, causing a barrage of profanities in front of our family or worse we recklessly race to try and cut them off at another area of the road.

reasoning why it bothered us so much may explain the real truth. They were simply taking their shot to move ahead and get to where they were going. We as a person were not intricately involved in their thinking. Most of the time, road rage has nothing to do with an individual person. It's more to do with winning or getting ahead or trying to make time or a zillion other reasons that have nothing at all to do with us. Our reaction has everything to do with our insecurity at being bested. We are equally competitive with friends and family.

Why does it bother us when another person gloats about their vacation or job promotion, or new whatever? Does it make us think that they assume they are better? Can we remember a time when we gloated about something, anything? Did we want to bother or upset another person? If we can say no to that question, then we should acknowledge that most likely people are overjoyed about their current situation which brings them joy and happiness. They do want to brag because they feel good about themselves and their life at that moment.

Parents who pitted child against child during their growing years successfully created a competitive environment. The boasting may not harm us physically but it sticks in our mind that we just lost some kind of mind game.

Reflect on your anger when you have some time. Especially reflect when you get angry with your kids. Did they interrupted a movie or time with our spouse? Our kids may be acting in ways that reflect our own childhood when parents were admonishing us for a similar situation. We don't want to hurt our child but we lash out at the imitation of ourselves doing what we did when we were their age. The past events are now ingrained in us and considered immature.

If we are trying to fix something and it still doesn't work, will yelling at my wife, husband kids make the situation better? Maybe it is time to walk away from the thing and ask for help or work on it when our mind is refreshed. Don't fear putting plans off for another time when our mind is more relaxed and prepared. Nothing ever goes according to schedule. There really are no deadlines. When one realizes that our fear of not accomplishing goals and objectives in our chosen time frame is unavoidable the frustrations won't lead to anger. Ask yourself a few of these questions today before you fan your fire.

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end." Denis Waitley

"Discipline is the habit of taking consistent action until one can perform with unconscious competence. Discipline weighs ounces but regret weighs tons." Jhoon Rhee

gratitude"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." BJ Gallagher/Mac Anderson

It has been a while since I last wrote a post. I have been extremely busy with fear and worry. My daughter whose sons were one and two at the  time, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is doing fantastic now and will finish her infusions in May. She will have her reconstruction soon. She  and I and the rest of the family are embracing a full recovery and we attribute it to God and the power of prayer. As much as we all like to think of prayer as  hocus pocus, I have come to a full circle with God.

I now know he is here walking beside me every step of the way. I am enlightened to be aware of his presence and glory and power. I believe in miracles and I thank God for my miracle. It has been a long grind which is hard to explain to anyone. All of us have someone we know in a similar situation. some are better and some are worse. It is really hard to put a measurement on love so I won't try. I don't blame those who run away from it or try to hide and ignore  it because after all if it were something contagious we would all be hiding.

Nobody wants it to enter their lives in any  way or form. It entered mine a few times along  the way with two aunts, one sister, my mother-in-law brother and friends. When it came to my daughter I was devastated to say the least. Somehow our kids are an extension of us and the better part of us. We spend a lifetime protecting them nurturing them even when they don't need it anymore. It is natural that their hurt is ours. To be so helpless regarding the ability to take suffering away is one of the most challenging things a parent can endure. I survived with God's help but the fear remains and I try to keep it at bay but sometimes it creeps in and on those days I pray.

For those who don't understand that's  okay it is impossible to understand because your mind doesn't want to go  on that route for fear of jinxing yourself. It is okay, just about all of us would do the same in similar situations. It is good to attempt to be a comfort to those who need it. I know the number of angels who came to my daughter's support and thus to mine were angels in my book. Their efforts of time meals flowers and visits will never be underestimated.

 I know we can't always pay back to those who helped us but we can all pay it forward which my daughter has already started to do. Being a light for each other is what god wants. I know this in my heart. He doesn't want us to live in  fear and I am working on that one as is my daughter. Fear immobilizes and cripples the  present. We worry about things that may never come to pass. I know that I will have a strong faith when I can let go of my fears, give them to God and trust that all is well. If we let go and let God as I heard one person put it, we will be calm enough to do his work.

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." John Milton

May God Bless all of you. My Best

sustaining appreciation“Acts of love are what will bring peace to your life and to the world.” Dr. Lee Scampolsky

Whenever another person does something for me, it fills my spirit with thanks and total appreciation for them in my life. The problem for me and I am sure for most people is to maintain that appreciation past the thankful moment. When we are sick we call on a friend or family member and they come running to help us. When we are feeling better we don’t think as much about them. I know we will help them in return if they need us but the focus of their kind acts shifts to the background of our lives.

When our car breaks down, our pets need to be looked after while we are on vacation, we need a babysitter, cheering up, help in a desperate time of need, someone comes to our aid. Fast forward to a future time and place. The person who has helped us out numerous times suddenly says or does something we don’t like. Now we forget immediately, all the times they were there for us. We get angry and hurt and we lash out and dismiss them with nothing more than a blink of the eye.

If this is something you have done or experienced, you are in the majority group. You go home and try to understand what just happened to you. Maybe they don’t recall your generous time effort and money but you certainly do and you can’t believe how fast they turned on you. I have been at the receiving end of such situations and pondered the numerous things I had done for this person and I found it hard to believe they didn’t count my many offerings of love and generosity of time and money.

Recently I was on the other side of the situation. A good friend infuriated me and I lashed out without thinking. It didn’t escalate but I went home upset and then refused to answer her phone calls or e-mails. For days I reviewed what she had done to me and my fire was fueled. I eventually answered her calls and we talked about things unrelated to our problem. Our relationship was somewhat back on track but I had the feeling it could never be the same.

Then I needed help and the first person I thought of was my friend. I felt uneasy about it but I asked and she answered immediately. After the incident I sat reflecting on what had just transpired. My friend was my friend regardless of our recent strained issues. She came through just as she had always come through for me. I then recalled how many times I came through for those who had tossed me aside. I asked myself why we get up and go back for more.

It occurred to me that the reason was love. When you love someone you put aside petty disagreements and take care of their needs. The arguments wait for another day. Enlightenment happened at that precise moment. I began contemplating all the wonderful times my friend and I had shared. I recalled the multiple times she was at my side when I needed her to be. I began to feel guilty about the problems between us and felt like I had created a mountain out of a mole hill.

You see, all the caring acts of kindness create the huge mountain of love. The few acts of meanness create the small mole hill which we can either jump over or climb easily to the other side. I was so focused on the few hurtful incidences and I reviewed them constantly in my mind. I understood how little I had thought about the kind acts of service which she had performed on a regular basis. As soon as the favor was completed, it was out of my mind.

I resolved that day to remember the wonderful things people do for me. I refuse to allow them to go unnoticed. I don’t want to forget the glowing feeling I experienced when these favors were done for me. So when the day comes, as it always does in any relationship, that my friend or relative annoys me or worse, I will be armed to fight the negative thoughts with the remembrance of the good she or he has shown for me.

Now, I am actually applying it to all areas of my life and have a more positive approach to people in general. Sometimes we don’t want others to forget all the things they did wrong at our expense. In retrospect, we forget to remember and sustain the memories of all the things they did and said that were inspiring and helpful for us. This is similar to the way we teach our child that we dislike what they did but we still love them. If we can sustain and appreciate love, beyond the moment, we will keep our friends and family close. For Everyone’s information, my friend and I are completely on track without any scratches or scars.

 “You can give without loving but you can never love without giving.” Robert Louis Stevenson

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

%d bloggers like this: