Most Often Learned Too Late in Life

c4b932f9-d17e-459d-a613-b00932c1443fI came across the following list on quora.com and it prompted me to add one myself.

  • A logical mind is easily deceived and at times simply a liar… James Browning

Summary of lessons people learnt too late in life:

  • Just because you think its a good idea, doesn’t mean it is a good idea… Chris Herd
  • Be Careful What You Get Good At …Christian Bonilla
  • Sacrificing your health to pursue wealth isn’t worth it …Nelson Wang and Don’t take your body for granted …Gilad James
  • Right and Wrong are subjective truths …Pradeeta Mishra
  • None of the best experiences of your life will happen staring a computer screen, a phone screen or a TV …Evan Asano
  • Keep yourself strong because forever is a lie …Anis Farheen
  • All you need is enough energy to see tomorrow …Mike Leary
  • Over-promise sets you apart from the people who under-promise. 
Over-deliver sets you apart from people who just delivered …James Altucher
  • The secret of Happiness is to find out what you love and then directing all your energy towards doing it …Rohan Sinha
  • Keep trying until you get it right …Nikola Gjakovski
  • All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them …Akhil Ramachandran
  • The only place where our dreams become IMPOSSIBLE is your thinking… Robert Shuller
  • Make sure to wake up smarter tomorrow … Adam Bielecki
  • Don’t let words of mouth control you, take control of your life by yourself. Michael Gbenga

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-lessons-people-most-often-learn-too-late-in-life

Burn the candles,
use the nice sheets,
wear the fancy lingerie.
Don’t save it for a special occasion.
Today is special.
Regina Brett

With Our Thoughts

19All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him;
if a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him;
like a shadow that never leaves him.
Buddha

In my mind there is always a wind of thought blowing. It’s precise force and direction is ever-varying, but the breeze is constant. If I focus on one way of thinking enough I become bent into that direction like a tree blown by a constant wind.

If I spend time thinking of my want and desire of something, I get no closer to satisfying the longing and instead cause unsated yearning to grow.

If frequently go to thoughts of how much someone hurt me in the past, I bring the pain to the present to breathe new life into it.

If I am able to bring a joyful memory to mind during a difficult time, my trouble is tempered and made less heavy.

The more I am grateful of love I am given, the more love I received.

The more I am grateful for happy moments when they arrive, the more come to me.

The greater my gratitude for life, more arrives to be grateful for.

It is not within my control to master all my thoughts, but at any given moment I am capable of moderating them. It is the direction of the winds in my mind that shape my life. Realizing quality of life is more about my thinking that any other factor has been a great insight. I am grateful that with awareness I can paint whatever comes at me with new color of my choosing.

With our thoughts,
we make the world.
Buddha

First posted here February 20, 2013

Letter to a Heartbroken Friend

Re-posted again for yet another friend nursing a broken heart…

33373_originalEDIT

To a dear heartbroken friend:

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 (him) the space she (he) 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

Posted previously on April 16, 2013 & August 7, 2014

The Longer I Hold It

635891798176670878-1214980745_GlassThis story has made the rounds on the internet for a while now, but it’s meaningful enough to pass along again.

A speaker walked around a room full of people while teaching about stress management.

To begin he grabbed a glass of water and raised it above his head as if he was going to propose a toast, and instantly everyone expected they’d be asked if the glass was half empty or half full as part of the lesson. Instead, with a smile on his face, he asked “How heavy is this glass of water?”

From those attending came answers “6 ounces” and “10 ounces” but he shrugged them off.

He replied, “The actual weight doesn’t matter. What really matters is how long I’ve been holding it. If I hold it for just a minute it feels very light. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a whole day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. Any longer than that and I will be very tempted to give up and drop it. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

Those in the room were all blown away by the simplicity yet truth of this lesson.

However, the speaker continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like this glass of water. Carry them for only a short while and they’re manageable. Worry about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if we think about them all day long, or longer, we can begin to feel paralyzed and hopeless – incapable of concentrating or focusing on anything else.”

The speaker added, “It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses whenever possible. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. This can certainly be easier said than done in some cases, but in many cases it’s actually quite easy if we’re mindful about it”.

If the problem can be solved why worry?
If the problem cannot be solved
worrying will do you no good.
Śāntideva

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

Know What You Can Control and What you Can’t

epictetus Screen-Shot-2015-09-28-at-10.37.30-AMMany believe the “Serenity Prayer”, of which a portion is used in 12 step meetings, was generally based on the writings of Roman stoic philosopher Epictetus. Here’s a translated section of one of his dialogues that shows that Epictetus’s thoughts could have been on the mind of Reinhold Niebuhr when he wrote the “Serenity Prayer”.

Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.

Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires, and the things that repel us. These areas are quite rightly our concern, because they are directly subject to our influence. We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives.

Outside our control, however, are such things as what kind of body we have, whether we’re born into wealth or strike it rich, how we are regarded by others, and our status in society. We must remember that those things are externals and are therefore not our concern. Trying to control or to change what we can’t only results in torment.

Remember: The things within our power are naturally at our disposal, free from any restraint or hindrance; but those things outside our power are weak, dependent, or determined by the whims and actions of others. Remember, too, that if you think that you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, of if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your pursuits will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious and fault-finding person. (From the “Art of Living” Epictetus interpretation by Sharon Lebell)

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Full version of the “Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr

People are not disturbed by things,
but by the views they take of them.
Epictetus

My Sweet Wild Woman: The Reason you Haven’t yet found Love.

Change her to him and this could be about a woman or a man. Wild Woman then becomes Wild Man and within that I find a good bit of myself in this article from elephantjournal.com.
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/06/my-sweet-wild-woman-the-reason-you-havent-yet-found-love/

image151Dear sweet wild woman,

It all comes down to that magical moment when you meet someone who is brave enough to love you just as you are.

Perhaps you will meet this wild-eyed warrior over sweet tumblers of whiskey, or possibly over a chance encounter when the local barista mistakes your double tall with his mocha grande.

Maybe you have met him before, but now you have new eyes that time has moved mountains to create.

Whenever that magical moment arrives—you will know.

It was never about you being too much woman, my dear, but about you being too much for someone who didn’t yet realize that they were enough.

Because a man could never love a woman like you until he opens himself up to his own greatness. And I know you’ve cried bittersweet tears into your softly laid pillow each evening. When you meet the one who is brave enough to love you, you will be thankful that it never worked out with anyone else.

While you may have hard edges, it’s impossible not love a woman like you.
A woman who washes herself in the lemony essence of hope each morning as she clears her eyes from the mistakes of yesterday and readies herself to take on the challenges of a new day.

A woman who dances in the rain with stardust still sparkling upon her heels from the last time she dirtied herself with following the insanity of her dreams.
You’ve always known that you were meant for love and when you stumble upon the relaxed eyes of a man who just can’t seem to get enough, you will know that he possesses the courage that every other lover lacked.

Perhaps this man will not appear to be the warrior you seek, and maybe he is tarnished from all of the tears that he has shed along his journey, but the thing he will show you is the bravery of a man who never fears the intensity of your gaze.
All hasn’t been that your standards were too high, wondering why the glass slipper of the fairy tale never fit. It was about something more—it was about love.

And though you’ve had your fair share of heartbreak and tangled bitter ends, this man, the one who has the courage to offer his hand to you and accept whatever chaos you might bring into his life, will make it all worthwhile.

You will know the instant your fingertips touch his, dancing under the full honey moon to the melody of intoxicating possibility. You will suddenly know that it’s time to start looking for love in all the right places.

You’ve hit enough walls and felt the cold rush of air from doors being closed in your face, to understand that the only love you deserve is the one who will meet you halfway.

Because the only one who is brave enough to love a woman like you is also the only one who deserves your love.

You are unique and special in your thunderstorm of contradictions that drench the most unsuspecting souls. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

There is magic in the way that you take the mundane and transform it into something beautiful.

Your simple smile can make knees weak and hearts tremble, and it’s not your fault that every other man before this one was just too caught up to notice.

And you, my dear, in your fury of vulnerability and divine sensuality will always remain a mystery.

When you meet this man, his courageous heart will not be intimidated by your presence. In a world that seems to have lost sight of this value, some women are simply meant to be adored.

He may stumble at times, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t worthy of your love.
No one is perfect. Gently remind him that even though mistakes cross both of your hearts, no one has ever deserved you more than him.

This love isn’t about looks, nor is it about being a good match. It comes down to this man staring down all the reasons why he shouldn’t be with you and instead focuses on the only reason why he should.

Because he’s never met a woman like you.

For some you are too much for some to take, but for him, you’ll be his sole reason to carry on. You inspire him to take small leaps of faith toward your love.
Because once in a while we meet someone who makes throw out the rule book for love.
You were born different into a world that celebrates similarities, and though it has been hard to honor your originality, when you meet this man you will finally understand why.

It’s never been about you being like everyone else, and it’s never been because you aren’t worthy of being loved.

Because all you ever needed, my sweet wild woman, is simply a man who is brave enough to love a woman like you. Author: Kate Rose Image: Pixoto Editors: Ashleigh Hitchcock; Emily Bartran

You’re going to have to date a few cowards
before you meet someone brave enough to love you.
R. H. Sin

The Only Safety

resilience-dandelion-through-asphalt

“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