Tag Archives: thankfulness

Does The Suffering Kids Endure Distress Us? Kids Bear Physical And Emotional Pain Daily.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

“Distress is the the moment you realize that life will hurt more than your death. While existing, we’re forced to become acquainted with sadness. There’s no antibiotic for the ridding of distress, and no alleviation of these intervals of pain we must encounter. Behind our eyes, are all these things: our stories, our dreams, our deficiencies, and our scars. Today would leave a scar.” Crystal Woods

“One’s suffering, one’s melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.”  Criss Jami

I am in distress about hearing another child is injured by a parent or someone they love. The frustration runs rampant through my  head because I have no answers. If we are upset it triggers less appreciation for what we have. How can we give answers when our security is threatened. It is painful to worry about our sense of well-being when threats are part of our world. Such is the case for many children.

Are adults  boxed in without any choices? Are we facing a dead end to our lives on the road we are traveling?. Is this what results in distress which leads to rage? It is easy to feel this way in life. I am no exception but predicaments and stress is not our leader. Our levels for overload differs and burdens strain us into crazy unthinkable actions. There is no excuse for anyone. I do not condemn anyone because I am not God. But deep within us we bury the truth afraid to admit our own fears. When we arrive at a  challenging place of chaos help seems out of reach. That is when we lose control.

Our next step is the panic button. The  answers are elusive. We   believe we lose and say and do anything. Human thoughts and emotions are overruled and animal instincts  overtake reason. A person is motivated by anger hate and revenge while he searches for ways to take revenge on anyone near him. Like an unthinking  machine actions are mindless. Reason is obliterated with all the distress and feelings overshadowed.

Focus is to relieve the emotional anguish at any cost. The price is not important because one believes their life is too demanding and they are trapped. The torment and distress makes a person cause pain to others who are in close proximity.

the first ones hurt are children because they are the easiest and most vulnerable targets. Kids are swallowed in an ocean of pain. This scene replays  often and leaves desolation in it’s wake.People use children to hurt their spouses, aunts, uncles or grandparents in divorce situations. Few people consider the state of mind and emotional toll distress confers on children. We acknowledge children as creatures who don’t have  feelings, opinions or desires. We consider the child’s worth inferior to  the adults value when we fail to protect them from the bullies of the world. We may become their first bully.

I know we don’t live in other people’s homes but we can be watchful towards all children. Some live in fear and others have given up. If parents don’t protect kids but instead  become the culprit then society should step in. How do we do that is a key question. Maybe it is time to restructure our child protective system. More workers may be placed in home environment areas. With council and support within in the homes  more parents learn how to care for their kids with love and attention.

Some skills must be taught. If we have no knowledge about how to go about  feeding or nurturing a child then it is important to have available counselors taking on that role. Giving someone food and clothes is kind but teaching someone how to find and earn food and clothes is better. When anyone is in distress it is okay to sympathize but to support them with other options is better. When a person  is willing to work  but can’t find a job perhaps more effort should be made to help him or her find the job rather than locking them up for stealing and then paying  for jail time.

Maybe as a society we can think of improved ways of teaching one how to survive in our society. As one professor once said to me, “If you lived in a rich society you would not know how to go about calling on those people who would take care of you and drive and buy items for you. Likewise if you lived in a extremely poor society you would not know  which places or rubbish cans had the best left over food and which places were safer to bunk down for the night. The more I thought about it  the more it made sense. We can’t throw anyone into any place and expect them to get the rules and norms of the society. We must teach them more than just giving without thought. One learns to value themselves and fend for themselves taking pride in their work and  their own self. Starting from the bottom may promote better outcomes instead of pretending we have systems in place which obviously don’t  work.

When  people are desperate they do desperate and despicable things. Same as people who are frustrated or without options. This can lend itself into other areas in people’s lives that become unstable  at any point in time. If one divorces there is turmoil and loss of family friends and security. Kids again suffer the most. Parents move on but kids  are caught in the middle. Parents are likely dealing with so much they sense the need to find themselves first but in that process the kids can become lost.

If a friend or family member is in need pay attention and help out. Give a hand at least short term. attempt to stop the negativity and find peace. kids didn’t fight with grandma or aunt Amy so keep it civil and allow as many family members into your life and your kids life as you can. Support comes in many sizes and ages. Working on any job with others brings greater security and serenity. Going alone is lonely and leads to distress a lot faster. Take a look around and find those people willing to be your friend and forgive family and friends who have disappointed you over a stupid silly thing. even if it was a  serious thing forgiveness brings peace and love. Just try it for your kids sake and see if your life and your kids situation improves.

Distress leads to heartache and problems while love brings comfort and joy. Why find yourself with greater  problems because the law has no mercy. Before you reach your limit take the needed break and let the ego go which insists on being in charge even when in the wrong. Work while compromising and collaborating with others.

Sharing workloads and babysitters and material items can improve each others situation. Learn how to love more and always treat your children with respect. They are your gold and worthy of love. Too many have died needlessly or been injured. It is time we stop the pain kids endure and show them a different world that is not full of  pain and isolation but with love and respect.

“Anger is distress. Life is an individual race of endurance.” Lailah gifty Akita

“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” St. Mark

“The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.”    Jon Kabat Zinn

 

My Issue With Breast Is Best

6th pic presentationThis is an article my daughter wrote about breast cancer which touched my heart. It is worth reading and better than anything I could ever write. It was written from the heart. It is important to remember that the hurts we bear and suffer are not always obvious. We will perhaps never know or understand fully what another person endures because we don’t walk in their shoes and never will.

“”Dignity is The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. It 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.”  Shannon L. Alder

I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive news-feed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related.   As a physician I feel that breast feeding is ideal.  When I was a third year resident and I had my first baby I was adamant about exclusively breast feeding.  I cried when my milk didn’t come in right away after a long induction.   I also relished the fact that my newborn grew into a chubby, giggly infant and it was due to my own body.  I pumped and breastfed, it was a blur of insomnia knowing that I would have to go back to work.  I took time off and managed to keep a freezer full of breast milk in case my supply dropped off when I did go back.  As a resident with overnight calls I knew I couldn’t be sure how often I could pump, pagers go off, codes happen, patients, admissions, rapid responses, they don’t wait for pumping.  I was determined, I continued to pump, overnight, sometimes in bathrooms, call rooms, it depended on how far of a walk, and which were occupied.   I was determined to make the one year mark. Continue reading

BEST BIRTH ORDER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trapped In A Half Empty Glass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace the Moment

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