Tuesday, May 11, 2010
What do you stand for? What are your standards?
I'd venture to suggest most people have not spent much time considering what their values are and would not be able to adequately expound on them.
But let me ask: Do you want to be a beacon in the dark? Do you want to shine the light of compassion, empathy, sympathy, joy, appreciation or other positive value on the lives of others through our words and deeds?
No, I'm not specifically referring to being a religious missionary. Not specifically. But, don't we want our lives to be remembered for something worthwhile? Spreading happiness perhaps, or offering caring support to another in their time of need?
Isn't it important to know we have made a difference for the better in someone's life before we pass on?
Let not a stranger pass by without a smile and a pleasant greeting. Let not a person in need see us pass by without extending a hand to help. Let that indescribable feeling of peace fill our hearts when we go to the aid of another. Even if we only try to lift another person's spirits when they are in despair, showing we care and offering encouragement, we will have done something that will be remembered far after our encounter is over.
We can't be a beacon if our light doesn't shine, the old song reminds us. With all of the troubles surrounding us today, what can we do to become a beacon of light and hope in the lives of those with whom we come into contact?
Monday, May 10, 2010
Holding onto resentment is emotionally and physically harmful. We are reminded of this from such various sources as the Bible and mental health and medical professionals.
I admit I have been holding onto an unwarranted share of bitterness after a close friend inherited more than $70,000. His townhome and truck are paid for, he has three sources of retirement income and now he inherited from a friend more money than many families earn in two years.
But that is not the source of my feelings. I'm happy for him that his friend thought so highly of him to offer a bequeath for all of the years he cared for her and I admire his diligence in so freely offering her his help and companionship.
No, what has festered, against my better judgment and desire and basic personality, is that he asked me to go with him to advise him on buying his first new computer system.
No, I don't expect him to buy me a new computer even though he is aware of the problems I have had with mine lately. It just seemed as if he was flaunting his good fortune, rubbing it in my face so to speak. How I reacted to his insensitivity was my weakness and I did not like the feeling. So tonight I offered to go computer shopping with him tomorrow.
As I made the offer, my spirits soared and I felt as if a heavy burden had been lifted off of me. It was then that I realized the feelings I had held inside. I felt reborn and cleansed.
I realize now how easy it is for us to develop envy and jealousy, resentment and bitterness. I acknowledge that is was an insidious feeling that grabbed me unawares.
So, thank you Lord for releasing me from this piece of negativity and restoring a feeling of helpfulness and excitement as we head out tomorrow on our shopping spree. I'm eager now to be able to teach him the ins and outs of a computer and to see how his interest in the world of the Internet grows.
The lessons I have learned from this?
Be happy for our friends and their good fortune. Remain positive and faithful that our individual problems will be resolved favorably when the time is right. Also, be thankful when a friend thinks so highly of you that he asks for your advice. What a compliment!
I am thankful for these lessons learned and appreciate the lighthearted feeling that has again found a place in my heart.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Most of us have likely seen pictures or maybe even visited the mighty California Redwoods, reputedly the world's largest trees. And, we also likely know what a Japanese Bonsai, supposedly the world's smallest tree, is.
What we may not realize is that both of these magnificent creations were, at one time, exactly the same size!
And we have probably traveled through the mountains or have an appreciation for their majesty compared to the flatland of much of the world. It is pretty amazing to imagine the vastness of such earthly wonders as the Redwoods and the mountains.
I thought of these things as I ran across an old comic strip of Hagar the Horrible in which Hagar and his small son were sitting in the middle of the desert, a stone at their feet and mountains in the background. "Do you know the difference between that mountain and that pebble," Hagar asked his son. "No, Daddy." "Lack of ambition," Hagar replied.
While it is true that not all trees and all hills will grow to supreme heights, the moral from Hagar is that people can achieve lofty goals if they are ambitious and are willing to work for their success.
It is easy to simply be one of the pack, never standing out, never achieving anything other than what happens to come our way in life.
But it takes an intrepid soul to step forward and say, "I want to be a Redwood and grow toward the sky." Or, "I want to be like the tallest mountains that reach for the heavens. I don't want to be ordinary. I want to rise above the herd and achieve mighty things."
Is that you, striving to be the best you can be every day? Have you set towering goals that you will work toward diligently with your head held high, searching for the rainbow of success?
If this is not you, why isn't it? Don't you deserve more than to be average?
Then declare today, now, that you will reach for the heavens, that you WILL become a mighty achiever.
Average people are plentiful. It is the person who says, "I deserve more," and works to get it that is uncommon.
Never settle for being average. Put all of your mind and your body and your soul into reaching your goals and you CAN be a success. You CAN become like a might Redwood or a majestic mountain. You CAN do it.
Make it happen!
Saturday, May 08, 2010
My day has been one of joy and despair, of happiness and sorrow.
I learned how to replace a front turn signal light bulb today. I love the staff at Advanced Auto Parts for being so helpful. Such a minor job but when you are as un-mechanically inclined as I am, every little thing turns into a huge, frustrating project. But now I feel empowered and almost want the right side bulbs to go out so I can show how fast I can change those little devils.
Then I was tempted to take a nap but looked at the mini-jungle in the back yard and decided to make a dent in mowing. Finished the entire yard but now my back is cramped and sore. A good sore of accomplishment. Took about two hours to stop sweating what with the 90s temperature and heavy humidity we're having here in Central FL. But, the yard looks nice and the dogs are enjoying being able to run easier. Plus, it counts on SP as cardio!
Went out for dinner and tried to start the computer to do some work before the meal arrived and it wouldn't turn on, Reset button didn't work, nothing. This computer's problems have been ongoing for a month now but it worked fine before I left the house. Tried to find the positive and could only think of the decluttering I could do if it didn't work at home and the editing that needs to be done. Got back home voila, okay again. Go figure but praise the Lord. And, I was able to give a musical angel snow globe to one of the waitresses, something of Mom's I appreciate but I have nowhere to display it.
I've been thinking of Mom today since tomorrow is Mother's Day. Sadly, she passed away in 2004. Hard to believe it has been so long. With both grandmothers also gone, there is only my aunt Alice in Indiana to wish a Happy Mother's Day to. Plus, of course, all of my s who have been so encouraging and supportive and inspirational during my time here.
Please cherish your Mother as the treasure she is. Thank her for all of the things she has taught you. Mostly, though, tell her how much you love her. And may you all have a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow.
Friday, May 07, 2010
We all encounter days filled with stressors. Many times these are major health, financial and physical problems. Other times our stress comes from a series of troubles, trials and tribulations that may appear minor in comparison but which are no less mentally and emotionally exhausting and frustrating
When we are faced with stress, how do we overcome it? A bedrock of positive thinking is a beginning, trying to find the positives in all situations, allowing us to put our problems in proper perspective.
But we frequently need more. Many experts suggest exercise to help overcome our stress. Something as easy as walking for those physically able to do so. Weightlifting, bike riding, yard work, anything to get us out and moving and focusing on something other than our immediate problems.
Others recommend meditation, tai-chi, yoga, prayer or some reflective sessions to calm our minds.
I have even heard a suggestion to list on paper both the problems and what could be done short- and long-term to resolve the problems. This lets us see the problems in their entirety and to see a bigger picture of possible resolutions.
I have also read that when we are under stress we could benefit from taking a nap, if possible, that being asleep releases us from conscious thoughts about our difficulties.
Of course, talking to a trusted friend or family member is always a good way to solicit advice and a fresh outlook on things.
Or, primal scream therapy, best done at home rather than in a store or parking lot. :)
Whatever of these or other methods or a combination work for us, what is of vital importance is that we do not allow ourselves to wallow in the pit of despair, that we try SOMETHING.
It helps, too if we remember that rainbows do not appear until AFTER a storm, when life always appears brighter.
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