Pardon Me, Have You Seen My Sense of Destiny?

Pardon me, have you seen my sense of destiny?

I seemed to have lost it along the way somewhere

Yet, I’ve looked up and down and it isn’t here anywhere

I can’t even remember when or where I had it last

Or any other clue that links the future to my past

I must have lived so long without it that, I’m ashamed to say,

I hardly even noticed it was gone today

Until I read that book.

The book that meddled, unauthorized, with my head

Forcing me, irreverently, to unearth the sacred dead

And bow humbly to destiny’s gravitational force 

At the unyielding wall of its Holy Source

I wrote this after being struck dumb with Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane; a delightful read that surprised me with the holiness of everyday life and everyday people.

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Impulse to Give

There have been times that I have had an impulse to give and have hesitated too long, or tried to ignore the impulse altogether. I have always regretted it. Usually, fear was at the root of my decision.

When I felt I should give a compliment, I may have feared being overshadowed. Will they think they are better than me?

When I felt I should give encouragement, it might have been the fear of rejection. Will they question my motive?

When I felt compelled to offer support, it was probably a fear of failure. Who do I think I am? What do I have to offer?

When I felt an impulse to forgive, it was a fear of someone getting off the hook too easily. If I forgive them, they won’t get what they deserve.

When I felt I should give money, it was the fear of scarcity. Can I afford it? What if I need this in the future?

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None of my fears were grounded. I could not out give the Universe.

Today, I will give without fear.

How to Obliterate Boredom

I always wanted to be able to sing like Adele or Aretha Franklin. Since I couldn’t, I decided to bring that passion to whatever tasks life handed me. However small, boring, or seemingly insignificant those tasks were, I would “sing my life” like I meant it.

Living like this has changed my life, made difficult times go by faster, brought me lots of friends, work, and loyalty, and helped me deliver energy and hope where they were sadly lacking (like at boring jobs, committee meetings, or the DMV).

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“The antidote to exhaustion is not rest but, rather, wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

What Just Happened?

When we wake up and find ourselves in the wrong place

When our life gets worse with time instead of better

When peace has alluded us

When we wonder what went wrong

Eventually we must see the connection

Between our choices and our emotions

Our sowing and our reaping

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What a Bunch of Crazies!

Listen to anyone, for any length of time, talk about their family, their life story, or what they are angry about, and you will discover enough crazy to last a lifetime. It’s not just politicians, our relatives, Isis, or our exes that are screwed up.

The only healthy way to navigate our whacked-out world is to look ourselves square in the eye and admit our part of the absurdity. Even though we have elaborate techniques for burying our own culpability, each of us owns a significant piece of this action. Bashing others for their part doesn’t make you any better. In fact, it makes you look crazier and makes me feel like getting the heck away from you as fast as I can.

I might start wearing these signs around my neck to remind both of us.

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Build with Love

Sometimes I complain too much about the difficult things life requires me to do. If I am smart, I will see what others can easily see; I need the re-construction, remodel, and renovation that occurs when I am doing a work of love for others, even if I can’t see a positive outcome.

Acknowledging the mystery of this often prevents me from tearing down valuable work with my own hands.

If the Therapist Falls Asleep

I started thinking that I probably wasn’t living my best life when my therapist fell asleep during our counseling session. I’m sure that listening to me wallow in my misery was painfully tedious, especially since the solution was so obvious; I needed to move on.

It took another year before I would entertain that idea (even though, for several months, I had been hoping I would die on my way to work!).

Looking back, it is hard for me to believe I was so stubbornly attached to such a painful construct.  What we think is necessary…often is not.

I hope you will hear life calling you today more quickly than I did.

Look for the clues outside your normal.

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PS. If we are not in therapy, we may want to notice how bored our friends are with our diatribes.

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Out of Order?

When I am “out of order” I am literally doing things out of order.

  • I try to be happy before I take charge of changing my thoughts
  • I try to take charge of my day before securing my personal peace and power
  • I try to take on tasks or projects without love and gratitude
  • I try to serve my family, neighbors, or friends before making sure I am not just “checking the boxes,” posing, or being self-righteous
  • I try to “fix” someone else before fixing myself first

When I insist on doing things my own way, ignoring the natural order of success, maybe I should hang an “out of order” sign around my neck (before someone else does).

The Pain of Being “Endured”

Even on the faces of strangers, it is often easy to spot relationships that have passed from enjoyment to obligation. Sadly, so many of us think we are doing someone a favor by “trudging through a relationship” when this could not be farther from the truth. Humans are not built for the pain of being “endured” rather than celebrated.

In this type of arrangement, both the “tolerater” and the tolerated are cheated. Both are inviting all manner of disease into their bodies, minds, and spirits, and tragically, into their other relationships.

We can only unlock the door of this toxic prison at work and at home by:

1) Getting back to a place of delight by focusing on what we love instead of what we dislike about someone (this works wonders!), or by

2) Being honest enough to own the dysfunction and mature enough to set each other free without bitterness.

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Real relationships give life…not the appearance of life.

The Happiness Illusion

If I only had _______________, I’d be happy. Is that too much to ask? Why does life have to be so difficult? Why can’t I just have what I need?

Whatever word is used to fill in the blank in this sentence doesn’t matter: money, a partner, freedom, a vacation, a child, a family, friends, job, beauty, health, a house, a car, a better body, recognition, fame, respect, you name it, the statement is still untrue.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a test:

Have you ever met, or heard of anyone who has what you are seeking but still isn’t happy?

Are you aware that drug addiction, suicide, depression, alcoholism, despair, and abuse still thrive among people who have what you want?

Changes in our circumstances can make us temporarily more comfortable. Happiness still has to come from inside; a you-decide deal.

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