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When Some Part of Your Life Seems Beyond Your Control

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God delays, but doesn’t forget.”  — Spanish Proverb

 

Each month, I find it more difficult to meet my expenses until the end of the month, on my fixed income. As each month’s end grows closer and I find myself without enough funds for essentials like food and medications, I find myself sinking into a dark hole of depression and anxiety. I worry that I’ll become severely ill, as happened last year, spending months in the hospital. In today’s still lingering economic downturn, it’s frustrating for anyone who has lost a job or met financial setbacks.  Those of us facing financial difficulty suddenly feel curtailed, with the rhythm of our lives changed in a way we never anticipated.  But the Universe slows us down for a reason.

There can be gifts in adversity.  They can give us some much-needed time alone, time to think.  Being alone gives us the chance to find ourselves in a new way.  We may be surprised to find some previously unknown inner resources.  A period of waiting through adversity can also turn us to our Higher Power, God, or the Universe when the solace we need is beyond the capacity of people to give.

It’s challenging to be able to do nothing when the world tells us that we must take action.  When action isn’t possible, accepting the circumstances of our lives enables us to experience the value of being, and not doing.

 


Omnipotent and Ageless: Your Majesty the Baby

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“In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.”  — Rilke

Too often we imagine life as sort of a magic carpet ride taking us wherever we wish to go.  Perhaps we’re watching television and an ad hooks into some fantasy we have in our mind and convinces us the world is at our beck and call.   We are omnipotent again, just as we were in infancy – “Your Majesty the Baby!”

But what would such a “magical” life yield in terms of change and growth?  Why would we even bother to strive if we could have everything we want or crave?  We would be the same at age fifty as we were at thirty and fifteen and five months – “Your Majesty the Baby!”

We need change and for the most part a majority of us are able to welcome it, even if change means some difficult growing pains.  With a little guidance from the Universe, we can strive toward an abundance of goodness.  We are omnipotent, but we are not alone.  We are part of a human community, and we can be in touch with that Power which is beyond ourselves.  That is the real miracle!

 


You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

Tired of Turmoil and Clutter in Life?

Keep a Clearer Vision of the Simpler Things in Life.

 

“No objects of value…are worth risking the priceless experience of waking up one more day” – Jack Smith

Last night was spent in long, deeply personal conversation with my dearest friend Noah about his recent eviction which resulted in his loss of some furniture and possessions which were so important and even sentimental in their value to him. We talked about all the “stuff” I move with each time I changed locations, relationships and lives. Sadly, my friend lost some treasures, partly because his friends, who committed their help or use of their vehicle, simply didn’t show.

During my own  experience with eviction more than five years ago, I was frantic to get everything out and safely into the moving truck before the Constable would arrive to “lock us out”, leaving behind whatever wasn’t out when the deadline arrived. I was fortunate to have been able to get every single possession out and into the moving truck. Most everything I own has a story; Nana’s silverware she received from her parents as a wedding gift in 1939, the crystal stemware Nana’s parents received on their wedding date some 25 years earlier in Poland, artwork and furniture all associated with family or a close friend.

Preparing for an in-state move soon to Tucson, I have once again evaluated the possessions I still plan on hauling around. Pared down significantly, I am realizing there were things I simply didn’t have to have, or that there were others who I knew could make better use of a certain item.

Every now and then, it’s a good thing to strip life down at least closer to the essentials, maybe even the bare necessities. It opens our eyes to the opportunity to see the world anew and with a fresh start.

In the past, I wasn’t ready nor was I prepared to take extreme measures or act impulsively to realize the validity, the importance of being in touch with the simple things in life. I have learned however, when one becomes too involved with “Big Boy Toys”, luxuries, or “things” that give to a busier or more stressful life, we are buffering ourselves against reality and exist and not live.

The early morning sunrise, a walk with the dogs, reading the morning paper, watching the evening news and to bed right after, the taste of Trish’s Lasagna brought on her last visit, the smell of a barbecue on my patio, and a beautiful full moon – these are the most simple gifts of life that add texture and bring genuine thrill to life. What many of us in this world need is the wonder and joy that comes with a simpler, healthier life. I am tired – finally tired of turmoil and clutter. I’m going to have a much clearer vision with the simple things in life.


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The Terrible Beast and Me

 

 

“The terrible beast that no one may understand, came to my side, and put down his head in love.”     – Louise Rogan

 

There are times when it seems easier to give in to despair than to fight my way out of it.  I’m learning that the trick is to catch myself before I become so depressed that I’m incapable of acting.  For starters, I can ask, “What am I feeling? Am I angry, sad, resentful or feeling sorry for myself?”  There usually is real pain beneath my despair – pain that must be expressed so that I can let go of it.

I can also take good care of myself.  I can eat right, get some exercise, get out of the house more and seek kind and understanding people.  Talking through what’s bothering me and asking for what I need are good antidotes to despair.  Most of all, I can reach out for the consolation and strength of the Universe.

I may feel unworthy or hopeless and too tired to even care.  I may believe that nothing matters.  But things do matter.  I matter.  Life matters.  I don’t have to keep struggling with despair and depression alone.  I am grateful for this spark of hope within me that can never die.  Things will get better.

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Never Give Up

“Wish you never give up.”

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.

When the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but “don’t you quit.”

Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about, and would have won had he just stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

You never know how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem tough that you must not quit.

— Author Unknown

 

Shed the Past and Increase Positive Attitude

“In order to win, you must expect to win.” That is the secret of success. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals. Belief has the power to transcend all hurdles, real and imaginary. You need faith, despite the stop signs, on the road ahead. These belief quotes give us a new sense of optimism.” – Richard Bach

After going to bed after an evening enjoying the works of Emerson and Longfellow, I’d like to share some of my thoughts:

Before going to sleep for the night, try journaling about five things in life you are grateful for.

Stay away from anyone who chooses to take the negative approach to life. Those negative people are making the wrong choices; they can’t even accept their consequences of the choices they make.

Finish every day and be done with it. Say to yourself, “I have done what I could. Some blunders, some absurdities undoubtedly crept in; I’ll forget them as soon as I can. Tomorrow is a new day; I shall begin it well and serenely and with too much joy and spirit in my heart to be cumbered with my old nonsensical ways. This day, is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with my hopes and invitations, to waste any of energy on yesterdays.”

Look not mournfully into the past. Remind yourself, “I know it doesn’t come back again. Instead I shall wisely improve the present. The present is mine. I will go forward into the future, though shadowy, I’ll have a brave heart.”

Make this a daily affirmation to begin each day, “I will do what I can with what I have, and where I am.”

 

    I Am a Vessel Containing Life

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    “What is the deepest loss you have suffered?  If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine… And if the earthly no longer knows your name, whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.  To the flashing water say: I am.”  — Rilke

    It’s not that I want the Universe to change everything about me or remake me to perfection. (OK, maybe I do). It’s not that I wish I was other than who I am, some days I even like who I am.  It’s more that I want to have faith in myself, a deep-down, constant faith that steadies me.  I want to have roots deep in the earth, not fragile roots of glass.

    Strong and deep roots are made of self-esteem, hope, love, willingness, humility and faith.  My longing to be grounded in life may take the form of wishing I was not afflicted by defects of character, but that’s a cover-up for the deeper things I truly want.

    Working on one’s self by undertaking an effort toward personal growth reorganizes one’s personalities, indeed one’s very soul, around new, spiritual principles.  We stay, to some degree, dysfunctional or defective and always will be, yet that doesn’t prevent us from possessing faith in ourselves and the courage to keep growing.

    We are all vessels containing life.  We are vessels that have been shattered and mended, and will endure.

    A Moment of Awareness is a Moment of Grace

    My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit,

    The Teacher, is near,

    wake up, wake up!

    Oh, friend, I love you, think this over

    Carefully! If you are in love,

    then why are you asleep?

    — Anonymous

    I know when I have met a challenge in my life; when I become suddenly aware of new knowledge. It’s as if a light goes on, and things suddenly make sense. One friend of mine refers to this as “a blinding flash of the obvious.” It’s important to take such a moment of awareness seriously; it is a cue that a lesson has been learned and that it’s time to move on.

    In the past, not trusting myself and not in touch with my connectedness to the Universe, I relied on unhealthy ways to make sense of my life. The more I used intellect and will to manage and run my life, the less I accomplished.

    A moment of awareness is a moment of grace. It’s as if the Universe gives us a wonderful gift, and we can turn right around and say, “So that’s what this is all about!” Receptiveness to such a moment gives us the willingness to trust where we have been and the strength to go where our life calls us next. I will always cherish the awareness in my life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Damn Heels Hurt! When In Pain, Who Knows Best Where it Hurts?

     

    “Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.” – English proverb.

    When I am in pain, I know where it hurts. Other people may be ready with suggestions and advice, but I am the only one who eventually can know what the matter is.

    We are each a unique expression of humanity and we are the only ones who can live our lives. When we are stricken with addiction to compulsive behaviors, we know where it hurts and how much. While we may have to bear a lot of pain, we can name where it hurts and begin to do something about it. When this happens, it’s possible for others to come to our aid later on.

    This is true whether in the program or on a path of personal growth. We know where the hurt is and we take that first baby step. In doing so, we turn to others who help us bear the pain and walk by our side on the open road to personal growth.