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S — — T Happens!

S — — T Happens! Good Happens. These sayings are both true. We see them on car bumpers and on walls. Have you given them any thought at all? Do you just react to the bad stuff, without analyzing it? When good things happen to you, are you joy-filled? Sometimes, we are reluctant to enjoy that moment because we fear that something worse is just around the corner. Which one are you?

It has been wisely stated that it is not what happens to you that counts – it is how you REACT to what happens. When you get knocked down by incidents in your life, do you get back up again? Or do you “stay down for the count?” Do you nurse your emotional and physical wounds by proclaiming loudly to anyone who will listen to your statements about how bad your life sucks? If you do, you may find few who will listen to your sad tale for long.

It is a very true statement that: “What you think about/emotionalize over multiplies exponentially.” Is that what you want?

The questions then arise, “How can I pick myself up and get on with my life? Do I just pretend nothing happened? How can I change my reaction to the bad stuff?”

Answers can come to you slowly or in a flash. Your answers are personal to you. Awareness is the beginning of change.

Perhaps a class will come to your attention about your particular problem, or maybe a sermon, friend, or magazine will catch your eye. You will have an “AHA!” moment and begin to focus on something else.

Beauty surrounds us in many forms. When I have had very sad times in my life, I found that, if I went outside into nature, I became more peaceful. Bird song and twitters, flowers, walking barefooted in the sand at the edge of the surf, a nice long bath, reading a good book, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves of the trees, etc., enabled me to pick myself up again. In short, just anything that makes you feel better is a key to changing you from feeling like a victim to helping you deal with whatever happened.

Life is not an unending story of happiness. It is just moments of joy that your attention can spread to fill your days. Bad stuff occurs in all of our lives. Again, how you choose to react to what happens will determine if you “let the bitter root grow” in your heart, contaminating every moment of your days OR if you decide to not dwell on it, deal with the repercussions/consequences if there are any, and see where you go from there.

In my own life, I have had tremendous sorrows, many of which I did not think I could endure, from death and injury of loved ones, feelings of separation and loneliness, losses in many forms, etc . I have had many physical challenges over the years which have required physical therapy, pain pills, and medicines. I have had to change my vocation, which I loved. I had to find a way to deal with the pain so that my personality, which is optimistic, would not darken into pessimism. It is a natural flow if one stays with the problem but does not seek a better answer. Luckily, I have found many answers that help me stay optimistic, some of which are listed above.

Each person is different, however. You need to find your own way of dealing with S — — T till you can turn it into fertilizer for new growth.

Are you willing?

God bless you on your journey!

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Day Lilies

Day Lilies

Your response makes a difference

 

 

 

 

Are You Building Your House Upon the Sand?

Matthew 7:24-27 states: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

This Biblical story is now thousands of years old, yet it can guide us in our lives today because it is a story about CHOICES and VALUES. Think about it. What did you have for breakfast today? When did you get up? Why did you get out of bed? What are your plans for the day? Are you going to be a couch potato, or is it time for a family outing? Do you want a beer or a cup of coffee?

LIFE HAPPENS A MOMENT AT A TIME. THE CHOICES YOU MAKE, BASED ON YOUR VALUES, WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE, EACH AND EVERY DAY!

The sayings are, of course, WORDS, and the rock is your BELIEF SYSTEM. It is more than what Jesus taught. It is, in fact, how you live your daily life. Your BELIEF SYSTEM is more than going to church every Sunday or whenever the Church door opens. It is more than what your pastor, preacher, Rabbi,  priest, or Holy Man says. IT IS WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT THEY SAY THAT MATTERS.

Are you doing ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness)? Are you acting in a caring manner with your coworkers, family, friends, acquaintances, and the local confused sales clerk? Or are you spewing forth unthinking words just because the milk got spilled all over,  a mate does something you do not like,  a clumsy child breaks something, or a sales clerk rings something up incorrectly? The point is: WHAT YOU SAY AND DO EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY MATTERS BECAUSE IT IS YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM IN MOTION — IT IS BRINGING YOUR VALUES INTO REALITY.

John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This is more than a casual verse. It brings the importance to light of: WHAT WORDS YOU SPEAK ARE VITAL TO WHICH HOUSE YOU CHOOSE TO BUILD! Your actions will follow your words and thoughts!

If you think that words and actions do not matter, you are literally “BUILDING YOUR HOUSE UPON THE SAND!” Do you feel like you are on a treadmill, going nowhere fast? Every day is like all the others. Money goes out faster than it comes in. There is always more month left and no money to live on. CHAOS RULES! IT PROPAGATES ITSELF SO FAST THAT YOU CANNOT FIND THE OFF BUTTON! Confusion is the order of every day. Priorities change constantly. Perhaps you have great intentions in the morning, but by the evening you just collapse on the couch and turn the TV on, glad the day is over.

SYNERGY OCCURS AT ALL LEVELS. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT! Do you ever ask yourself, “How is it I am thinking? Are my emotions running away with me? Is my anger a realistic reaction to the circumstances, or is it not commensurate with the situation?” Questions like these could begin to turn the tide of every day for the rest of your life. You see, questions indicate a change is possible – then the answers will come to you, teaching you what you need to do differently. The answers will come in many forms: Books, classes, workshops, preachers, teachers, etc. Your Spirit will recognize your answer because you asked the question in the first place. I actually write down my questions and then the answers when they come, dating them for fun. I have enjoyed watching the changes unfold. Are you willing to try it?

The house Jesus was talking about is your Spirit, which is inside of you. The sayings He was talking about is all the good, positive stuff which can help you make changes and have a better life. If you choose to follow the negative thoughts and emotions, your SYNERGY is stifled, no real changes in your life can be experienced,  and CHAOS RULES THE DAY! SYNERGY THEN MULTIPLIES THE BAD STUFF! Is that what you want…more of the same yuck?

It is your choice: WHICH HOUSE WILL YOU CHOOSE: BUILD IT ON ROCK OR ON SAND? Your words and actions are the expression of your POWER OF CHOICE IN MOTION. The power to make changes in your life is held solely in your own hands…nobody else can do it for you.

Kahlil Gibran stated: “If your garden is to be lit, it is you who must do it.”

God’s blessing on your journey!

Light on Poppies

Light on Poppies

Rose in the Light

Rose in the Light

 

Is Life Serious, Seriously?

Have you looked at yourself in a mirror today? If so, what did you see? Was your countenance pleasant? Could you smile at yourself in the mirror. Could you check yourself out in the mirror and say, “Lookin’ good!”…?

Or do you see sad eyes, downcast,  and a tearful look on your face? Or perhaps you see someone who is extremely angry over something, real or not, in proportion or not? There are many negative emotions out there that can become a way of life for us, instead of a passing moment.

We all imagine our lives to be different than they are…perhaps a path not taken earlier changed your available options to something less than ideal. Lots of things happen to each and every one of us on every day we live. Some good, some not-so-good.

Oscar Wilde stated: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

I have to constantly remind myself to lighten up, find a reason to laugh, and even a giggle qualifies. Good thoughts can lift your spirit. Prayer is a great tool as well because it gets you outside of your own head (read that as hamster in a cage).

The key here is that you have to look for these opportunities so you can be aware of them.

Unfortunately, too many of us wallow in the problems, without a glimmer of light to show us the way out of our difficulties.

Yes, sometimes there are life-threatening happenings in our life…certainly not the time to laugh about it. But a bit of humor definitely changes an outlook. It also multiplies the quintessential possibilities available to us all.

There is so very much in our everyday world that could cause us dismay. Just look at the news casts. We have compassion for our fellow travelers on this planet and for the agonies they face.

But the main thing is: Life has to be lived from the inside of us, going outward to our world. We each have our own, you know. Your world is not mine. Conversely, mine is not yours. We each have different acquaintances, different beliefs, different thoughts, and different ways of communicating. If I am to make a difference in my world, I have chosen to use words to add more light along the paths my readers take, and I know I am personally able to share thoughts with others that they may raise their awareness, which changes their choices.

I choose the light of positive thoughts over the darkness of negative ones, which lead to no good end. If we are ever to find our way, we must find our own light for our path. The question is, are you willing to be open to that possibility? You are the one who needs to raise your awareness so you can see other options available to you.

God’s blessings on your journey.

 

Remember Lot’s Wife

The whole world knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. As Lot and his family were leaving the city, they were forewarned: Do not look back! In Genesis 19:17, it states, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” In Genesis 19: 24-26, it says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

There have been some astute astronomers who state that a meteor did, in fact, strike there. Who is to know for certain? It is a fact  that the whole region contains pitch, a petroleum derivative which is flammable and is still used in making torches and charcoal.

In the Lamsa translation of the Bible, it comments that, ” ‘She became a pillar of salt’ is an Eastern idiom which means, ‘She had a stroke, or she was paralyzed and dead.’ In the East, when a man becomes paralyzed or has a stroke, the people say, ‘He has turned into a rock.’ or ‘he has become like a stone.’ ”

It goes on to state:  “Lot’s wife had been reluctant to leave the pleasant gardens and orchards of Sodom. She had doubted her husband’s vision and the divine warning. Her sons-in-law had thought Lot had lost his mind and that he was mocking when he told them of the divine warning asking them to leave the city. Evidently Lot’s wife also did not believe the city would be destroyed.

When Lot’s wife disobeyed the divine command and stood up and looked behind and saw the city of orchards and lush gardens and everything which had been dear to her heart, on fire, and the smoke rising to the heavens, she had a stroke and she became hard like a block of salt or flint rock, which is also called salt, and she was dead. Such blocks of salt rock are still to be found in Sodom.

The catastrophe and the loss of her daughters, her sons-in-law, and her other relatives were too much for a woman who had been brought up in the luxuries of Sodom and who had no faith in the God of her husband.”

Emmet Fox states: “Never look back. Always go right ahead. Even if you are quaking, go right ahead. No matter how unattractive or how dangerous the road ahead may be, it is better than the road back. The road ahead may be veiled from sight; but you must teach yourself to regard the unknown as friendly. Remember that God is always on the road ahead.

Psalm 143:8  ‘…cause me to know the way wherein I would walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ “

My point? Our personal histories have a way of projecting themselves from the past into each today and our tomorrows if we let that happen. All you have to do is focus on the past in lieu of the present. Very simple. Not hard. The past, no matter how good it was or how bad it was, is unchangeable. You may take lessons learned from your past and make better choices today because of them, but you cannot change history. Mostly, we concentrate on the bad stuff. Have you noticed that tendency in yourself? Actually, even the good stuff can influence and change your present as well. We try to hang on to it because we think it was better than our present. Then it becomes life defeating because it, too, is unchangeable in the mists of time.

Time does not go backward and does not tarry with yesterday. All you have is today to make different choices so it will change your tomorrow.

I fully appreciate Fox’s point: “go right ahead.” Regardless of your past, good or bad, you have to formulate a new plan of action so that you can begin again to live the life that God has for you. You must begin it NOW! The only place that will effect a difference is NOW!

Are you willing to let go of your yesterdays/history? REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!  Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Garden

Garden

Flowers

Flowers

 

 

Balanced Living

There is a Divine Polarity to all of life. Magnets have positive and negative poles. Most of our learning comes to us in that manner. We find out what we do not want after we get it, and thereby learn what we really do want and need. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

Some examples are:

Joy vs. Sadness

Truth vs. Lies

Peace vs. Chaos

Beauty vs. Ugliness

Life vs. Death

Love vs. Hate

Light vs. Darkness

Laughter vs. Tears

Good vs. Bad

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone, and, after it is over, said to yourself, “Well, I’ll never do that again! I will change my choices. I will ask more questions. I will be able to see that quality in someone else before I get involved.” Yet, sometimes history repeats itself?

We learn by bumps in the road, apparently, as a species.

I love the Pushmi-Pullyu in the Doctor Dolittle series. I have found that life is not all one thing or all another. It is usually a mixture of both polarities. The questions is: Can you separate them out clearly enough to be able to change your choices?

Add in the idea that rarely is anything simple. Usually, it is some of each. Whether it be a job, relationships, raising children, or any other topic that comes to mind. I personally know people who stay in a bad relationship because they have become vested in it–stuff rules as do habits. So they stay in the same old toxic atmosphere year in and year out. You can say the same for a job. Vesting dictates because one cannot afford a lower wage or whatever it takes to make a change. Raising children has its joys and its heart aches because these are little beings with an idea of how they want life to be and seek it out at their level, which may not be the wisest course. In short, simplicity is difficult, if not impossible, to find. That does not mean that one should not seek it. It only means that it is a gem of great price and should be sought after with due diligence.

There are positive aspects of all the above. Having been in a bad marriage or relationship, one can then seek more wisely to find a mate who is more compatible. If one is unhappy with the workaday life they have created, for whatever reason, one can seek that which will make them happier. Some Wall Street workers quit that life style and go to the country, finding a different way to live. Some go to college so they can change their resumes. In short, one can seek that which will give him/her a more positive balance in living.

Life is not like walking a tight rope without a safety net. Mankind can learn, grow, and change at will. Fear keeps us from doing that. It has been said that Fear of the Unknown is the greatest reason for not seeking a better answer. What one knows is better than looking for a challenge. The sameness of daily living is secure, no matter what the Happiness Quotient is.

I have been fortunate because I have accepted the challenges and sought Change and Balance in Living. I know what I want my life to look like. I have had to learn Forgiveness of myself and others in my journey. I have never thought that I would rather live alone than try to find that certain someone who will be my  Best Friend for the rest of my life, someone I could grow old with, and someone who will be on the other end of this relationship. After all, relationships are TWO-WAY STREETS, not one-way. If one person is giving all the time while the other is taking all the time, no Happiness Quotient can be found.  I have said that relationships are like a waltz, and I would rather dance through life with my partner than have somebody who is out of synch and not on the same page. I have been most fortunate to find my Best Friend. I would wish the same for you.

I started this article with many positive qualities which I consider necessary for my life. I endeavor to achieve my balance with them in some way, every day. I look for them. I accentuate their presence in my life. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, which are also present daily, I look for some way to lighten the day with laughter and the other ideas.

How about you? Are you willing to look at your Happiness Quotient and seek new ways to find Balance in Living? You will find that it is worth the time and effort to think about, seek, and find. Even if your life is good, it can always be better. Are you interested?

May your journey be blessed in every way. 🙂

 

I Am There

Poet James Dillet Freeman wrote this some years ago. A copy of it is now on the moon as it was carried there on the Apollo XV voyage by Astronaut James B. Irwin and left on the moon for future space voyagers. It has always touched my heart and comforted me when I need it. I share it with you as it has been one of my guides for a long time.

I Am There

“Do you need Me?

I am there.

You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.

You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.

You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.

I am at work, though you do not recognize My works.

I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I am, and then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am there. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.

When you need Me, I am there.

Even if you deny Me, I am there.

Even when you feel most alone, I am there.

Even in your fears, I am there.

Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.

I am in you, and you are in Me.

Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine.”

Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

Empty your heart of empty fears.

When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.

You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.

And I am in all.

Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.

I am there because I have to be, because I am.

Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of Me does the world go forward.

I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling.

I am assurance.

I am peace.

I am oneness.

I am the law that you can live by.

I am the love that you can cling to.

I am your assurance.

I am your peace.

I am one with you.

I am.

Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.

Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, because I love you.

Beloved, I am there.”

If you would print this off and post it in a prominent place where you would see its message often, you would ponder its Truths. Then you could begin to find ways to make your life more worthwhile, change your perspective, which would then effect positive motion in the right direction. Answers would come more readily as you seek them. Happy Hunting! May God bless your every endeavor.

Today

As I opened my eyes this morning, I greeted the day with prayers and a smile. It is so good to be alive!

As I age, aches and pains of the body are there. I am not as young as I used to be. It takes me longer to do what I used to do in a few minutes. Minutes can become hours now.

But the joy of life remains.

A flock of geese just flew over, honking all the while. The sun feels warms on my head and is bright. Colors surround me in many forms. It will be another good day.

How do I know that will be true? Because I declare it to be so.

Will there be obstacles to face? Yes. Will some of those have a negative impact? Of course, but I will counter it with a positive attitude. I know that what I focus on will multiply, so I focus on the good. The bad stuff will multiply exponentially, like feeding a Gremlin after midnight and then getting it wet (like in the movie “Gremlins”)!

What do you want to emphasize…positive or negative? It is your choice.

Geese in Flight

Geese in Flight

Geese Over Front Range, Colorado
Geese Over Front Range, Colorado

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