Adversity

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Posted in Attitude, Courage, Embracing life | Tagged , ,

Life Is…

Life Is Filled - Beautiful Road

Posted in Attitude, Life as it really is, Seeing 'what is' | Tagged , ,

Letter to a Heartbroken Friend

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Dear ________,

Don’t worry about the future. It will unfold as it does, unaffected by your thought and worry. What is to be will not be swayed one millimeter by your anguish. I know you are heartbroken, but it is not love that is the source of most of your pain. Love is always pure and never the source of grief.  Given time, if you allow it, misery and sorrow will overpower the purity of your love and bury it in animosity and bitterness. Please don’t let that happen.

Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing… Elizabeth Gilbert

Comfort and happiness, as enjoyable as they feel, are not catalysts for personal development. It’s the difficult times where fertile ground exists for our growth. Please do not hate your pain. Growth is always uncomfortable; sometimes even agonizing. Accept the hurting with a thankfulness for what was instead of a dread for what might or might not be again one day.

I wish I could tell you getting past your heartbreak will be easy. It won’t be. But if you intentionally let go a little each day, slowly your aching will ease. With effort you’ll be able to not think about your loss for a little while at a time and with practice your heartache will be out of heart and mind more and more. Progress will be slow, but certain if you make is so.

Giving her the space she has asked you for is a certain way to show your love to her. To cling and grab to hold on, will only shred into jagged pieces what was once shared. If there is more for you two to share, it will arrive in its due time and not one second before.

Peace and Love,

James

I am grateful for friends who are comfortable enough with me to share their deep private feelings. It is in a common trust and sharing of emotion and thought with others who “get me and I them” that healing and recovery is possible.

We crucify ourselves between two thieves:
regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.
Fulton Oursler

First posted here on April 16, 2013

Posted in Friends, Grief, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

“I Love You”

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Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
William Shakespeare

It was Carol’s fiftieth birthday, and Jim had two plane tickets to Hawaii in his pocket. He was going to surprise her. Instead, he was killed by a drunk driver.

“How have you survived this?” I finally asked Carol, a year later.

Her eyes welled up with tears. I thought I had said the wrong thing, but she gently took my hand and said, “It’s all right; I want to tell you. The day I married Jim, I promised I would never let him leave the house in the morning without telling him I loved him. He made the same promise. It got to be a joke between us, and as babies came along, it got to be a hard promise to keep. I remember running down the driveway, saying ‘I love you’ through clenched teeth when I was mad, or driving to the office to put a note in his car. It was a funny challenge.

“We made a lot of memories trying to say “I love you” before noon every day of our married life. “The morning Jim died, he left a birthday card in the kitchen and slipped out to the car. I heard the engine starting. Oh, no, you don’t, buster, I thought. I raced out and banged on the car window until he rolled it down.

“Here on my fiftieth birthday, Mr. James E. Garret, I Carol Garret, want to go on record as saying I love you!”

“That’s how I’ve survived. Knowing that the last words I said to Jim were ‘I love you!’
http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/246/the-last-i-love-you/

Readily I admit saying “I love you” sometimes is routine.  I never speak the words unless I mean them, but the feeling is not always distinctly alive with their speaking. With those I care deeply about it’s a habit to end a phone call with “I love you” or for those to be parting words. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a good practice. What matters is to make sure the feeling behind the words is present within them being spoken.

In my romantic relationship, I have a tendency to say “I love you” too frequently. It’s healing to admit I realize sometimes such words are spoken with the unconscious hope to hear the sentiment returned. However, the person I care about is not one who expresses their feelings as easily and frequently. Her attitude is ‘I said it yesterday. My feelings have not changed. You know how I feel about you.’ Within those tendencies we are both playing directly to our self and probably not as cognizant of our partner’s need as we could be.

So we both have a little bit of awareness to work on. Me; not to say the words so often they lose their meaning and to make sure they are rooted in feeling when spoken, Her: to express her feelings a little more openly and realize another’s need can be different from hers. Within is a compromise of sorts (a foundational part of any good relationship). For both of us, it’s always important our hearts be clearly expressed instead of just saying the words.

Within a small wake-up call alive in my head this morning it’s important to remind myself to cherish every moment with each loved person in my life. I don’t when it will be the last time I see one of them. It is not the words that matter so much as the feeling behind them. I am grateful for a new flame of awareness flickering within.

Life isn’t a choice or an obligation,
it’s a gift,
so embrace it as much as you can.
You never know how much time you have left…
Nishan Panwar

Posted in Love, Relationships, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

Out of Monochrome and Into Full Color

chasing dreamsThe quip goes “time is money” but I have grown to see that “money is time”. Seems like I’m only playing with words by flipping them around. But there’s a deeper meaning with a closer look.

Definitions:
Time = one’s lifetime; a temporal existence, an irreversible succession
Money = a measure of value; a medium of exchange; value that degrades over time

Building sentences with alternate interpretations for “time is money” and “money is time” based on those definitions:

One’s lifetime is a measure of value.
A measure of value is one’s lifetime.

A temporal existence is a medium of exchange.
A medium of exchange is a temporal existence.

An irreversible succession is value that degrades over time.
A value that degrades over time is an irreversible succession.

Round and round we go until boiling it down for myself the meaning in a material world that comes is: 1) Life is of great value 2) Life can be exchanged for what one chooses 3) Life evaporates quickly and what it is traded for materially loses value.

Philosophers say idealism is the opposite of materialism. So often we trade what we believe in for what we believe we have to have or what we think we have to do for others. Then it is usually our dissatisfaction of what we give our life for that so much of our discontent stems from. Simply we get what we went after, but once we get it satisfaction is temporary, at best. Maybe that’s why in the consumer driven economy of the United States mental illness is the fastest growing sickness.

Spending our time/money in trade for cars, houses, clothes, electronics, jewelry, entertainment, filled bank accounts and what others want brings little more but momentary contentment. Anyone who believes differently is delusional and addicted (the majority).

On the other hand spending our time/money for happiness, joy, fulfillment, bliss, gladness, wonder, delight and being true to one’s self are investments that always grow with time. Anyone who agrees has a clarity of what matters and is inspired (the minority).

Nothing has been written here that we all have not heard a thousand, maybe even a million times: it’s time that matters, not money; being true to our self is the best way to be true to others. Maybe that’s the reason most give it little more than lip service.  We’ve all heard the thinking so many times, we are mentally and spiritually constipated with all the “have to have’s” and “should do’s”. What good is unpracticed wisdom? NONE!

Without a doubt,
the greatest riches other than love
is time spent being true to one’s self.
It’s not money.
It’s not success.
It’s not fame.
It’s absolutely nothing material.

I readily accept the practical issue that everyone has bills to pay and responsibilities, but beyond what is really necessary most waste our too much of our “time” chasing things that are all so temporary. Time passes quickly. The value of money degrades quickly. Things done for others are soon forgotten by most people.

Written today this piece is really a “memo to self”. Soon to scale down my standard of living, this has been placed here as an easy to refer to signpost that I can come read again and again when I need to. I am grateful for the courage to take steps out of monochrome and into full color; away from money and toward my dreams; away from money and toward love.

What really matters
is what you do
with what you have.
H.G. Wells

Originally Posted here on January 8, 2013

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Courage, Living life well | Tagged , ,

The Way You Think About Yourself

Screen shot 2011-03-19 at 11_39_28 AM“You can’t hate your way into loving yourself” is a line I came across recently. It stopped me in my tracks because I tried that.. a lot. Boy, did I! My self-loathing was long, pervasive and strong. Too much about me I found fault with for far, far too long.

That habit (and it is a habit) is not completely gone, but greatly diminished today. It took gritting my teeth and fighting my own BS over and over and over. But in time I got better. More acceptance of me just the way I am arrived slowly but surely.

For so long I looked outside me to fix what was in. My #1 way of trying to cure myself was through relationships… many of them. I saw their faults and amplified mine, while diminishing my own. Finding fault repeatedly, even unnecessarily, within a love relationship will eventually either drive the person away or at the least injure the love that is shared.

I had to learn:
1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.
2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad.
3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.
4. 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.
5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.
6. 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.
7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.
8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.
9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.
10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness. Shannon L. Alder

In the book “There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate” Cheri Huber wrote “If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…” Why it took so long to see that I will never know.

Today I am grateful to have healthy self-esteem. I don’t get on my own case like I used to. Oh, yes the judge and jury in my head is still there, I just keep them out for recess most of the time. I am very grateful for that learned ability.

The way you think about yourself
determines your reality.
You are not being hurt by the way
people think about you.
Many of those people are
a reflection of how
you think about yourself.
Shannon L. Alder

Posted in Embracing life, Lessons learned the hard way, Self Awareness | Tagged , ,

You Have to….

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Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken,
or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Edrich “The Painted Drum”

Posted in Lessons learned the hard way, Life, Life as it really is | Tagged , ,

Principles

principles

Obey the principles
without being bound by them.
Bruce Lee

Posted in Seeing 'what is', What really matters, Wisdom | Tagged , ,

The Fault Lies Within Yourself

something to be thankful for

If you look at your life and compare it to most others, you would find it hard to even begin to complain. I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no. I think that a lot of people give themselves way too many things to worry about when half of those worries really shouldn’t matter at all. Sometimes, the answer will be yes, and this helps you to understand that whatever it is you’re upset about is clearly important and deserves to be well thought through. Yes, we get upset, but taking a step back and looking at a problem on a bigger scale can help you realize that there are only a few things that really do matter. From an article by Shelby Doherty http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shelby-doherty/life-lessons_b_3758774.html

When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh

Posted in Perspective, Thankfulness, What really matters | Tagged , ,

Over and Over

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lessons

Posted in Spirituality, What really matters, Wisdom | Tagged , ,