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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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.

Have You Ever…?

Have you ever wondered how you would wash your hands…if you only had one?

Have you ever noticed there wasn’t a war going on outside your window?

Have you ever noticed you are still alive even after being totally vulnerable while you slept?

Have you ever thought about the number of people who cared for you and fought for you before you could care and fight for yourself?

Questions such as these clear my head of bitterness, complaining, arrogance, and depression.

When I remember what I have, my circumstances suddenly don’t suck as much.

It may sound trite and simplistic, but this practice is why I smile.

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Have you ever appreciated your facial muscles?

Some lost theirs in war.

Happy Memorial (Remembering) Day.

Give Up on the World?

I cannot give up on the world

While there are books unread

Their important words, to me, unsaid

Poignant voices of truth singing somewhere

Away from whom, I, deaf and unaware,

Cradle my uninformed opinions

I may be in pain and out of my mind with disdain

Cringing at the deeply-rooted, evil seed

The crawling malignancy around and within

Cold and calloused greed

But, really, can I wisely give up on the world? 

It may not be advisedly sane until I have used the one last effort

Of my sometimes rational brain

(Not in some melodramatic faint

Resigning sigh or fist-pounding complaint)

But in seeking, seeking, seeking

My sisters, brothers, mothers, kin 

No! Until then

I cannot give up on the world

(Spoken by the author who once thought herself the world’s greatest failure.)

If Someone Leaves You, Fires You, Rejects You, or Cheats on You

Being left, fired, rejected, or cheated upon is, no doubt, a painful experience. However, if we find ourselves in one of these situations, here are some critical considerations:

  1. We can’t make people love us. The right people will.
  2. We have hurt people too…accidentally, selfishly, or because we were afraid to tell the truth. Forgive.
  3. Playing the victim won’t fix anything. Move on.
  4. Many people born with disabilities, disease, or deformities will never have romantic love or employment. Keep it in perspective.
  5. Sometimes, it’s our fault. Buck up and own it.
  6. It’s easier to bear when we learn to love, forgive, and honor ourselves.
  7. Watch what you say. (Our words define who we are not who they are.) Besides, Social media has enough poor-me-finger-pointing-cry-baby jerk-bashers already.

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Furnishing My Inner Life

“Suffering always brings new furniture with it.”

I woke up from a dream where this phrase was being spoken to me by some sort of sage. What the heck?

As I thought about it throughout the day, this was how it decoded:

When suffering comes into my life it always brings new “furniture” for the remodel of my inner life, and (after the pain subsides) my “accommodations” are improved. Afterwards, I will reside more comfortably with myself or be able to provide hospitality to someone else coming into my life later.

In the middle of suffering, I cannot see the new furniture while attempting to light my way with the “matches” of my own wit. But, when I give up trying to fathom the unfathomable, there they are: ghostly, shrouded, half-faded, and half-formed shapes of new wisdom, awareness, and sensitivity.

Tread softly

For this is holy ground

Could we see with seeing eyes

The place we stand upon

Is Paradise

-Christina Rossetti

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Positive Does NOT Mean Oblivious

For those of us who resist optimism because it seems irresponsible…

Responsible optimists do not look at a world full of pain and pretend it isn’t there, they see the trouble without letting it control them.

A few tips that make this possible:

  • Expect the best…but always be prepared for the worst.
  • Face everything with the belief that you will have the resources to deal with it.
  • Refuse to waste your time pouring blame and shame on others for bad stuff that happens. We all screw up. It’s part of the deal.
  • Remember heroes who have overcome.
  • Recall times when good came out of “bad.”
  • Determine to make the best of whatever happens.
  • Say (like a warrior), “I was born for this! Bring it on!”

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Done with Waiting Around

I used to wait around for joy and courage, feeling bummed out. Now I create my own joy and courage by taking my focus off the things that weigh me down, and instead, focusing on what makes me feel joyful and courageous.

Of course, some days are harder than others to make the switch. Yet, as I continue to practice using my voice, my physiology, my thoughts, and music to do this, shifting into a stance of power has become easier and easier. Who knew?

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Now, I am the voice!

Done with waiting for somebody or something else to speak on my behalf.

Obstacle Therapy

It’s ironic that we can look at the lives of others and clearly see they need some major life lessons to soften the rough edges before they reach their goals, but we seldom see that about ourselves.

So, when we encounter set-backs, we rebel, curse, believe that it is completely unfair, and often let everyone know how poorly we have been treated. All the while, wise souls around us have noticed our screaming deficits and, most likely, sensed our need for the modification that comes from the disappointments we are experiencing.

The only sensible thing to do is to welcome the challenge…however it comes.

About Time

If you haven’t seen this delightful 2013 movie About Time, it is a refreshing reminder to relish life, one ordinary day at a time. If you don’t want to see the movie, or feel like your life is too ordinary to get excited about, try this:

  • Look out your window as if you were on vacation, traveling to your city and your neighborhood for the very first time
  • See your family and friends as if for the first time
  • Forget about what you want them to do differently and delight in them just as they are

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Stay tune for great joy. And…it’s about time!