Has Beens

  • Have you ever met someone who wanted you to know how great he or she used to be?
  • Do you know someone who drops names and brags about their past accolades every chance they get?
  • Have you ever laughed at someone “past their prime” who was unsuccessfully attempting to look or act younger?
  • How about someone who whines about all the injustices of growing old?

Irritating, huh?

Yet, it may be useful to notice that all of us will someday be a “has been.”  So, if our identity is wrapped up in anything temporary (such as work, sports, looks, titles, awards, relationships, or possessions), we should probably consider the urgency of investing in our inner life, since…only it will last.

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Easy to Be Indignant

Pronouncing our disgust with others and their decisions is easy.

Giving the benefit of the doubt until we know all of the facts is hard.

Have you ever felt the pain of being misunderstood?

Has someone you loved ever jumped to the wrong conclusion?

Has a stranger ever assumed you were less than what you were?

Been talked about behind your back?

Remembering this pain can motivate us to be more merciful…

…in our conversations

…on social media

…in our actions

…when reacting to the media and to gossip

An unwillingness to own the fallibility of our judgment is a source of much pain in this world; of innocent people being incarcerated and punished, and, of the ugliest bigotry and discrimination.

We have many opportunities to be bigger than that.

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Without Shoving People Off The Sidewalk

This I know is true:

All of us are trying to get around the block with the least amount of pain.

Most of us are still learning how to do that without shoving other people off the sidewalk.

Sometimes we are completely unaware that we have shoved someone else off. Sometimes we are aware, but don’t know how to get what we want without doing it, so we proceed and justify ourselves.

When I get shoved around by someone else, it is good for me to remember that I have also, at times, been the one doing the shoving.

However, self-righteous, wholesale condemnation of others is much easier.

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A Better Life Begins Here

If I want a better life I have to quit focusing on…

  • How screwed up the world is
  • How screwed up other people are
  • All the things I wish were different
  • All the things that make me angry
  • What I am afraid will happen
  • What I don’t like about my life

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It’s so easy to spend my life doing a running commentary on the world instead of radiating good out into the world. The more aware I am of how this doesn’t happen automatically and how screwed up my thoughts are, the faster I can fix what I attract into my life.

Appreciate more. Judge less. Have a better day.

Enemy or Not?

“Ever man should have the courage to stand up and face the enemy ’cause ever person that looks like a enemy on the outside ain’t necessarily one on the inside. We all has more in common than we think. You stood up with courage and faced me when I was dangerous, and it changed my life. You loved me for who I was on the inside, the person God meant for me to be, the one that had just gotten lost for a while on some ugly roads in life.” -Denver Moore

This passage crawled into my soul and inspired bravery. When I look at people as Denver Moore recommends, I am bold enough to look anyone in the eye and remember that loving them is just as important as protecting myself.Image result for destroy enemies by making them friends

Gee, That Felt Like Violence

A good reminder that doing our part to make peace is the most essential part of our day.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

Our spirits crave peace

But the sharp knife of division cuts the veins of hope

While unhappiness crawls under our skin via exposed pores

To every harsh remark

Every outburst

Every scowl

Every snub

The cruel poison of disconnect.

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There is a lot of violence in everyday life, a lot of anger, a lot of rage, a lot of despair. I feel that I react more to psychological violence than physical violence. Physical violence is kind of easy to avoid. But there’s a psychological violence in everyday life…people angry all the time, people upset all the time, people who feel like other people are trying to take advantage of them.”

– Crime novelist Walter Mosley (talking about growing up)

We can alter this pattern. Today.

Set boundaries.

Forgive.

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Loser Lessons

(Adapted from a 2014 Two-Minute Tune-Up blog)

When I can’t seem to complete a project or move ahead, or when I procrastinate or become unproductive, many times it is because I feel anything but successful.

When that “loser” feeling is accompanied by unemployment or being passed over, procrastination and unproductive behaviors escalate to the next level. Then, engagement or re-engagement can only happen when I feel some kind of hope about myself again.

I used to wait for something in my circumstances to change so I could feel that hope. (That was mostly miserable.) Now, I ask, “What do I need to learn, change, or do differently?”

Then I listen. I get to work accepting advice, making changes, and most importantly, changing what I say to myself.

outrun your limitations

Each step is a small victory…and a “loser vaccination.”

So Where Do I Get It?

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Perspective.

It changes everything.

So where do I get it?

What if I could make sure I always had it?

What if by starting every day with a purge of the insignificant, unimportant, and preposterous, I grounded myself in the miraculous?

What if, by grounding myself in the miraculous, I made myself less vulnerable, more desirable, and super-naturally buoyant…way above the fray?

And, in the process, multiplied my stamina, my intelligence, and my compassion?

Would I take the time to get that perspective?

Or would I squander the opportunity, deciding that it was more valuable to stress, worry, stew, despair, and curse?

Quick Path to Madness

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I have done both often enough to know that I can get to “crazy” frighteningly fast. So, now, when my mind is racing or obsessing, the quickest fix is to:

  1. Recognize (what is happening as unproductive)
  2. Rewind (to where I stepped off the ledge into the whirlpool)
  3. Reprogram (to simple)

Remembering the chaos I have caused myself and others (with no results to show for it) should be enough incentive to begin this step-by-step process, but usually the mind is in no condition to be rational. So…I have to drag myself reluctantly into submission.

When I do, though, it is a quick path to peace.

So worth it.

Magic Words

You are enough.

Whatever you bring with you

The stories

The fear

The broken things

It is all okay

We are enough

Even though we thought we were not

In fact, without the broken things

We were incomplete

Believe me

There is no shame

In being you

If you will believe me

I will believe you

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Image result for you are enough quotes