Desire Demands Its Own Attainment

opposing-forcesOur desires and aversions are mercurial rulers. They demand to be pleased. Desire commands us to run off and get what we want. Aversion insists that we must avoid the things that repel us.

Typically, when we don’t get what we want, we are disappointed, and when we get what we don’t want, we are distressed.

If, then, you avoid only those undesirable things that are contrary to your natural well-being and are within your control, you won’t ever incur anything you truly don’t want. However, if you try to avoid inevitabilities such as sickness, death, or misfortune, over which you have no real control, you will make yourself and others around you suffer.

Desire and aversion, through powerful, are but habits. And we can train ourselves to have better habits. Restrain the habit of being repelled by all those things that aren’t within your control, and focus instead on combating things within your power that are not good for you.

Do your best to rein in your desire. For if you desire something that isn’t within your own control, disappointment will surely follow; meanwhile, you will be neglecting the very things that are within your control that are worthy of desire.

Of course, there are times when for practical reasons, you must go after one thing, or shun another, but do so with grace, finesse, and flexibility. From Epictetus: The Art of Living by Sharon Lebell

Do not spoil what you have
by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for.
Epicurus

The Only Safety

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“Allow”

By Danna Faulds

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt,

containing a tornado.  Dam a

stream and it will create a new

channel.  Resist, and the tide

will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry

you to higher ground.  The only

safety lies in letting it all in –

the wild and the weak; fear,

fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of

the heart, or sadness veils your

vision with despair, practice

becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your

known way of being, the whole

world is revealed to your new eyes.

From “Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga” by Danna Faulds

People don’t resist change.
They resist being changed.
Peter M. Senge

Wisdom Is NOT a Product of Thought

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Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.

In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are.

How easy it is for people to become trapped in their conceptual prisons.

The human mind, in its desire to know, understand, and control, mistakes its opinions and viewpoints for the truth. It says: this is how it is. You have to be larger than thought to realize that however you interpret “your life” or someone else’s life or behavior, however you judge the situation, it is not more than a viewpoint, one of many possible perspectives. It is not more than a bundle of thoughts.

Wisdom is NOT a product of thought. The deep knowing that is wisdom arises through the simple act of giving someone or something your full attention. Attention is primordial intelligence, consciousness itself. From the book “Stillness Speaks” by Elkhart Tolle

Want less,
live more.
Benny Bellamacina

On the Day I Die

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Following Post by John Pavlovitz. Visit his great blog here: Link

On the die I day a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.

The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.

The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.

The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.

All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.

Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.

My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.

The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.

All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.

The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.

These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.

Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.

On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.

They will feel a void.

They will feel cheated.

They will not feel ready.

They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.

And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.

I know this from those I love and grieve over.

And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.

I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.

Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.

They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.

Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.

It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.

Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you believe matters, because on the day you die, much of it simply won’t.

Yes, you and I will die one day.

But before that day comes: let us live.

 

There is no knowledge so hard
to acquire as the knowledge
of how to live this life
well and naturally.
Michel de Montaigne

Like a Hand Sewn Quilt

lldIn June of 2011, I began a blog titled loveletterdaily.com that is still active on-line. It is/was one of three blogs that were a part of healing from past heartaches and turmoil and a tonic for restoring my belief in romantic love. For several years, near daily, I posted an personal thought about the beauty of loving and being loved, followed by an image and a borrowed quote or poetic line. What I wrote was fiction the vast majority of the time and originated from hope, aspiration and belief in the power of the human heart.

For close to three years I contributed regularly to loveletterdaily.com and the statistics on visitor traffic (back when I checked such things) showed the blog visitation grew slowly, but consistently. For the last couple of years I have contributed occasionally, but highly irregularly to LLD and had not looked at the statistical info on traffic in a long, long time.

Recently I have been re-inspired to begin writing and posting to three blogs I was dedicated to for several years (this blog – goodmorninggratitude.com – loveletterdaily.com – brokenheartsanonymous.com ). Only in the last few days I became curious and checked out the stats for the content posted on all three. While the number of visitors and page views them have grown beyond anything I ever considered possible, the usage of one now blows my mind!

My writing has always been largely self-administered healing and I never felt like I was writing for any other reason. Just this week I discovered loveletterdaily.com apparently has over time found an audience whose hope, aspiration and belief in love is something of a match for mine.

Stats about loveletterdaily.com I found a few days ago that are mind-blowing to me:
Approximate average daily visitors over the last six months: 1,000
Approximate average monthly visitors over the last six months: 25,000
Number of visitors in 2015: 230,838
Number of page views in 2015: 605,528
Read at over hundred times in 62 countries
It’s difficult to wrap my intellect around the popularity of something created only as self therapy.

The gratitude I feel for the support of loveletterdaily.com is near overwhelming. It seems there are lots of people who identify with romantic love in similar ways as I do. I hope many have borrowed lines and from the material I have posted in their own expression of love for someone special. To be a small portion of others’ romances is so sweet to my heart and mind. Thank you. I am deeply grateful for the validation and promise to become more consistent in my contributions!

Love should feel like a hand sewn quilt made by grandma,
wrapping you up on a cold winter morning.
Carroll Bryant

Today

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I have learned over a period of time to be almost unconsciously grateful–as a child is–for a sunny day, blue water, flowers in a vase, a tree turning red. I have learned to be glad at dawn and when the sky is dark. Only children and a few spiritually evolved people are born to feel gratitude as naturally as they breathe, without even thinking. Most of us come to it step by painful step, to discover that gratitude is a form of acceptance. Faith Baldwin

Few Minds More Brilliant

quotes-platoIn history, there have been few minds more brilliant than that of the Greek philosopher, Plato. I mean, consider a man who was the student of Socrates and the teacher to Aristotle. Plato is one of the founding fathers of what we know to be Western Philosophy. The contributions that Plato has made on the minds of anyone who has studied him are truly timeless in nature. Here is a collection of 30 of his greatest quotes:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”

“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”

“Love is a serious mental disease.”

“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

“There is truth in wine and children”

“Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil.”

“I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.”

“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”

“…and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

“Those who tell the stories rule society.”

“The madness of love is the greatest of heaven’s blessings”

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ”

“There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”

“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.”

“When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”

“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”

“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill… we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”

“How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?”

http://iheartintelligence.com/2015/12/28/quotes-plato/

Beatus Rememberence (Happy Remembrance)

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Feeling grateful brings a grace like little other. Through the power of gratefulness my life became more contented and centered. For three years I wrote almost every day about the light and dark times that shaped and molded my life. Those were contented times.

Nothing bad has happened. My level of gratefulness remains above average I think. However, when I PRACTICED gratitude in a near daily meditation and wrote about it, EVERYTHING was better. Human nature is to take for granted anything held in abundance. And so, richly filled with the joy of being grateful, over time I slowed in my notice of things to be thankful for.

By paying only spotted attention to this blog for well over a year, I have misplaced some of what was once gained. Realizing this brings a tingle of optimism; a happy remembrance. I know every full benefit of gratitude  can be restored.  I need only practice gratefulness regularly:  look up, be present, and live what comes to me as well as I can.

More very soon….

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can…
Steve Maraboli

How Amazing

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Sometimes you wake up.
Sometimes the fall kills you.
And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
Neil Gaiman

One never knows where inspiration comes. All true turning points come unexpectedly. It’s uncanny how one can feel life beginning to fill them again when they have been living all along. Sleepwalking through one’s days allows breath, but yet not a truly living human being. I feel a time of flourishing ahead: a time of thriving. I am grateful beyond words for the arrival of a course altering epiphany.

And so, motivation of a sort likely never felt before has come upon me. All it took was for some of the shadow on my heart to be removed. The light that fills the shadow comes from allowing myself to open to love again. How amazing what a gift that possibility alone can give one.

Off to work some more on the romance novel I began about a week ago… Stay tuned.

When we love, we always strive
to become better than we are.
When we strive to become better than we are,
everything around us becomes better too.
Paulo Coelho

Love Letter To Someone I Don’t Know & Never Met

This entry was first posted on August 12, 2011. It is the by far the most read blog of the over 1000 I’ve posted. 

“The Love Letter” painted by August Toulmouche

Recently I have read several articles about old love letters being discovered by people unrelated to the writer or addressee.  In one instance a letter discovered was written 50+ years ago and finally made it to the intended recipient.  Another was a note scribbled 200 years ago and discovered folded up tightly in the arm of an antique chair being restored.  In another example a bundle of love letters from World War I were discovered in an antique shop and the finder was trying to locate the family of either the writer or the one being written to.  Reading these stories brought what may be viewed as a silly thought, but one I followed through on.  I imagined a letter I had written being discovered decades after my death.  I decided to try letting one flow from me that I would be pleased for a future third-party to read and what follows is what flowed without effort from within me.

An old love letter never written from a time long ago to someone I don’t know and never met…..

Dear ________ ,

When we met for the first time is as fresh in my memory as one moment ago.  It was exactly one month ago.  So much has happened in a very short time.  My world is permanently changed. I am altered beyond what I can express with language.  If I never saw you again I would mourn that happening deeply.  Yet what has been awakened within me would remain as a permanent reminder that my heart is not yet dead as I had long thought it was.

How do I express the feelings growing inside me without seeming to be lost in some obvious state of delirium?  “I can not”.  Science says the initial attraction between a man and woman creates a sort of “insanity”.  Then that explains it.  I am insane over you my darling and I revel in my madness.

How well I know that life never brings a path filled only with delight.  To think so is a hallucination.  I know what fills me now will be intertwined with challenge, trial and difficulty.  Am I a lunatic to think now that such moments can be borne with grace upon the back of this love I have discovered?  No.  I am not crazy to think that. What is built in the future upon the rock of what we begun to share, can withstand any force a human can bear.  Of that I am certain.

Yes, I dare speak of love knowing it has not been spoken between us.  Am I am a coward for writing here instead of looking into your eyes as the words are formed by my heart and released through my voice?  Maybe, but my feelings are true.  I write because my poetic soul within is determined to use beautiful words to express itself.  The depths of my feelings demand I can do no less.

Yes, my sweet… I am in love…. with you.  As I write I know as certainly as the moon will rise later tonight and the sun will follow in the morning, what is expressed here in pen and ink is dependable and true.   My restless soul seems to no longer be searching. The purpose of its quest has been found:  YOU!  With complete clarity I say again, I love you ______.   I speak first of what I am nearly certain is within you too.  With all my being I hope my perception is true!

What we are sharing is admirable and sincere.  Our enchantment is real.  Our bliss is genuine.  I know someday when we share the delight of our selves in physical form our delight will be heightened and multiplied beyond what I could have hoped for.  For now I am glad we have resisted what could have happened so easily.  It is a testament that we guard what has been discovered and so want only the best for the gift of love between us.

So please know my sweet darling you have touched me as I have never been touched before.  You have reached me on a deeper level than I thought possible.  It has been said by some that loving another makes them feel more complete, yet I question the accuracy of that.  I do not feel more complete by loving you, but I do feel richer and as if I have discovered so much more of myself through knowing you.  It is as if you were the light I needed in order to glimpse who I really am and all I can be.

After you read this letter, I wonder how you will greet me when next we are together.  My heart vibrates with hope that you will meet me then feeling as I do for you.

I love you my darling,

__________

With much gratitude that I am able to do so, I wrote the above openly and without reservation.  The words traveled from mind to fingers to screen at the moments I thought them just as I thought them without editing.  No longer do I feel the need to hide away any element of my hapless romantic soul.  I no longer fear the real me within and instead here and now express my thankfulness again for it.

A day, a week, a month are past,
Another year is by;
Beside her on the open’d desk,
His old love letters lie.
She reads them till the day-light fades,
And ‘neath the moon-lit sky,
She sleeps at rest, for on her breast
Those old love letters lie.
Auguste Toulmouche