If you think you do not have the power to make someone happy, think again.
It doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take position. It doesn’t take intelligence.
It only takes a smile.
Or a thank you.
Or a text.
Or a good wish or prayer.
You don’t even have to walk or talk for that.
(But, if you have money, power, and/or position use those things too.)
The problem with depression is that we spend too much time thinking about what we can’t rather than about what we can do.
Right now, I’m going to think love and send love to someone who needs it.
And the next time I feel useless, I’m going to do the same.
The world is full of people who will never tire of that.
Breathe life back into whatever is dying within you.
Relationships? A breath of fresh air comes with focus on the things we delight in about someone.
Goals? Fresh eyes for your whys.
Work? Life-breath for work comes with wholeheartedness.
Projects? Fresh air flows in with questions versus abdication. (i.e. What would it look like if it were easy?)
I tried it the other day when I was sighing about my stranded suicide prevention project.
I asked myself:
- Is it a worthy project? Yes.
- Have others given their energy for less worthy projects? Yes.
- Do I have confidence that it can help others? Yes.
- Is there one step I can take today on the project? Yes.
And, voila, the project has new life.
“Some day I will be able to ___________________________ or, I will begin today to _________________________________.”
“It takes time to forgive someone, or today I will refuse to play the victim, and begin to forgive.”
“I know I am unhappy with my life, but I don’t have the _______________ (courage, money, time) to change my life, or today I will start taking baby steps toward my goal.”
“Someday I will be healthier and run a marathon, or today I will begin by walking around my neighborhood.”
“One day I will be happier, or today I will live with joy and gratitude for what I already have.”
“One day someone will love me and change my life, or today I will be my own hero, I will love myself and change my life.”
This quote reminds of the need to recognize my own mystery and possibilities. I seldom associate a drop of water with a majestic ocean or a devastating flood, yet each seemingly insignificant drop has magnificent properties and the imprint of power.
If I want to live as peacefully and as powerfully as water, I must
- surrender to the mystery
- never underestimate my complexity and beauty (and that of others)
- value my connection to the whole
- appreciate my uniqueness and impact (and that of others)
- change willingly and as easily as water changes to ice or vapor
Larry Loftis’ new book, Code Name: Lise ejected me far away from my petty concerns and everyday drama.
Odette was a housewife and mother of three small girls before taking on the dangerous role of spy that landed her in serious pain and hardship. It wasn’t in vain, and now, over seventy years later, I have joined a myriad who have benefited from her service and that of so many other forgotten heroes.
I dare anyone to read this true story without being inspired to be more…more courageous, more patient, more sacrificial, and more passionate about life.
When my challenged nephew struggles against the yoke of his physical and mental challenges, there seems to be no relief. As his caregiver, I often want to despair.
I again find myself in the dark cavern of tragedy struggling to fathom the why of the world’s suffering.
Then, this simplest of truths:
Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment.
If I surrender, all the distasteful and the unwanted will explain the riddles of life to me.
When I get this, life shifts from meaningless trouble to special-ops training.
Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
So often when I have felt like giving up or despairing, I have said a little prayer for help that, remarkably, changed everything. It wasn’t a prayer of self-pity, begging, pleading, or hopelessness. It was a prayer of humility: “I’m at the end of my resources. I need help.”
Here are a few examples of the specific provisions I have received out of nowhere (each with quite a story!):
a victimless tornado
a turtle for my son
roll of quarters
hole in a traffic jam
reprieve from pain
crazy help with making a feature film
relief from writer’s block
courage for action
direction when I was lost
the ability to forgive
healing for a broken heart
Someone is listening.
Original post 2014
“The heart is a muscle like any other and the best exercise you can do for it is called picking yourself up off the floor.”
– I Wrote This Just For You (2011 Central Avenue Publishing)
It feels like you can’t get up
It feels like the pain will never subside
It feels like it’s no use
It feels like living is meaningless
Don’t believe the lie
Get up anyway
And keep doing it
Your heart will soon astound you with its strength
When I think of what I would have missed if I had not…
I was the person described in this Zora Neale Hurston quote.
I thought I had good reasons for clinging to my tiny sliver of a life (while dangling pathetically from the well-worn beliefs that whatever else might be out there wouldn’t work or was too taboo to try).
What was I so afraid of losing?
Once I began to step into unknown territory and challenge my fears, even my failures proved worth the risk.
The world is filled with angry people who feel trapped and seriously disappointed with how their lives have turned out. Yet, most, as I was, are terrified and unwilling to make even one adjustment that would bring change.
Before it is too late…”grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.”
Sometimes, awareness of the amount of tragedy in this world sends me into a deep darkness. Then, stories such as this one recounted to me by an acquaintance in Sydney will pull me out:
Her two-year old son was crushed under an electric garage door (pre-censor days) and was pronounced dead when the ambulance arrived. After several attempts, he was resuscitated, but with little hope he would ever live normally again.
One year later, following a long but complete recovery, this little boy told his mother there were two babies in her tummy. Surprised, she asked why he would say that.
“Because my brothers were the two birds who came and lifted me from under the garage door.”
Seven months later, she gave birth to twin boys.
The little birds?