Jolted by a song?
Unexpected tears at a harmony?
Moved by Gregorian Chants?
Hearing a haunting melody in your mind?
Whether you believe this quote or not, music is mysteriously connected to our inner being and has the power to right our mind if we allow it.
Times when I need music most:
- Feeling lost and overwhelmed
- Surrounded by trouble and pain
- Out of energy and joy
The challenge is remembering to stop and make time for the healing.
When I do, the return on investment is astounding.
The first step I must take in order to become the very best version of myself is to pay attention to my thoughts and words. Besides catching myself saying negative things, I also review my conversations to catch the times I exaggerated, wasn’t completely honest, or talked too much.
When I take the time to really hear myself, it is sometimes painful, yet, that pain gives me more incentive to grow and change.
There are days.
There are days when I come face to face with the ugly side of life; when my heart asks, “So where is your God now?”
In order to survive, I have to do a quick tour of the inexplicable things that have happened to me over the years: times when…
- resources have come out of nowhere
- people were extraordinarily generous
- pain-relief came in the nick of time
- I was miraculously rescued from threatening circumstances
- life was overwhelmingly beautiful
Then, I can relax into what I don’t understand.
Just today, I noticed the fifty-year-old scar below my knee and, for the first time, realized I had never even thought about thanking my mother for getting me to the hospital and paying the medical bills required to repair my leg after a bicycle accident.
It’s a little late now.
But, it’s not too late to use the lesson. What a reminder of how easy it is to take things for granted when wrapped up in our own drama and life is all about me. (Sorry, Mom. Sorry, friends. Sorry, coworkers. Sorry, other family members. Etc., etc.)
And what a reminder to come down off my high horse when tempted to complain about others acting “entitled.”
Those of us who have almost had a terrifying collision because we failed to be aware of our blind spot, can understand the total shock or pain of finding out what someone really thinks about us.
It’s radically confusing and bewildering, especially if we have…
- allowed ourselves to depend too much upon what others think of us
- expected people to be better than us when it comes to talking behind backs
- expected people not to be dishonest when they are afraid of hurting someone
Being honest is a challenge for us all…not just our “enemies.” We are smart to admit it rather than let dishonesty be our blind spot.
- R Realizing I didn’t need anyone’s permission or approval to be…
- E Exactly who I am
- L Letting go of restricting beliefs
- I Initiating small changes
- E Exercising faith in myself (as created with and for love)
- F Focusing on a future of dream fulfillment (instead of complaining and despairing)
Suddenly pain became a remote memory… after years of confusing agony.
How do you spell RELIEF?
(first posted in 2012)
We humans have the audacity to look back at photos from the past and swoon with nostalgia after completely underappreciating what we had at the time! I guess that is better than not appreciating it at all…but…
Nostalgia will not recover lost people, opportunities, places, our youth (or the body we had), and we will have missed the gifts that were ours for the taking, if we had only known how lucky we were at the time!
It’s too late to fix my ingratitude for how skinny I was in the past (when I thought I was fat), but, I can change the future by what I do now. When tempted to complain about…
- a relationship that irritates me,
- something that isn’t exactly right, or
- my appearance
I will stop myself in mid-sentence by saying, “Appreciate it!” and give now it’s just respect before it is gone.
If you want to find out where everything went wrong
If you want to figure out how all the chaos got started
If you want to discover when the loving stopped
Or the joy vanished
And the easy became hard
If you want to track down the villain in the story
And punish him
Then do it quickly
Track down the fear in your own heart and disown it now
Because it is faster than cancer
And more destructive than the impact and shrapnel from a thousand bombs
It has tutored your ego into malice
And baited your intellect into stupidity
It has sucked your blood until you were the real vampire, the real boogie, the scariest zombie
From the most gruesome nightmare ever dreamed
And it was you all along
You! who gave fear the key
A little late for a revelation, I admit it, but recently, I ran smack into the truth that I was quite an over-reactor when it came to slights and insults. While all this time I thought…
- I was pretty mature
- People were wrong when they told me to chill
- Flying off the handle or collapsing into self-pity were legitimate ways to stand up for myself
Being aware of my hot-buttons and their origin (usually my ego) is quite an effective “coolant,” along with apologizing to offended parties, even though it is excruciatingly humiliating to own my pettiness and insecurities.
There is room for misunderstanding in every story, especially if I just have the headline or, even, the who, what, where, when, and how.
It’s still oh so easy to be self-righteous, insensitive, despairing, or harsh in my conclusions, cheating someone out of the benefit of a doubt that I so cherish myself. The stories I tell myself about others, myself, or God often lack the most important element: the element of the mystery inside the story.
Gene McGuire’s new book Unshackled: From Ruin to Redemption is a great reminder of the remarkable mystery hidden in the story. Gene served thirty-five years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, yet managed to come out with this big smile and a great future. Now, that is mysterious…and worth an investigation into the other parts of the story!