“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.
- Prayer and the Spiritual Journey (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Suicidal Thoughts: Strength to Continue and Endure (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Feeling is the Inner Life (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
A SYMBOL OF HOPE
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it.
— Author Unknown
Butterflies have always been thought of by me as a symbol of great hope. This photo, which was recently posted by a new Facebook friend of mine, reminded me of that fact. With butterflies now fresh in my mind, and eager to share the butterfly as a symbol for my readers, I am including this image because I feel it best reflects the unlimited potential that is available to all of us.
This image can serve for us all as a reminder of our unlimited potential through the love and support we can give to one another each day – to the best of our ability. Reconnecting with the butterfly is one step toward reclaiming happiness. I am setting out to free myself from depression and negative thinking. I will do all that is necessary. I will do what is healthy so that like the butterfly I can gracefully maneuver my way through the rest of my days.
- Butterflies ‘take turns courting’ (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Creating Happiness, Freedom, Butterflies and Splashing Colors in 2011 (positiveprovocations.com)
I Will Continue to Fulfill My Commitments to Peace and Grace
“Can such thing be, and overcome us like a summer’s cloud, without our special wonder?” — William Shakespeare
To overcome my feeling of being lost, alone and afraid; overwhelmed by the challenges I now face, I am going through my “tool belt” of coping mechanisms that I have added along life’s way. To reclaim my ability to take part again in life, I have discovered that I must reclaim the gift of commitment. I have many personal commitments: living life fully and authentically, my growing spirituality, working on my special relationships with my closest friends and sharing my experiences of personal discovery and growth through my writing. I have come to realize that it is a moment of wonder when we have something in our lives that requires the best we have to give.
During times of doubt or struggle, I find myself questioning what I’ve gotten myself into. But an activity or a person to which we give ourselves wholly and freely is evidence of a force greater than ourselves at work in our life. I believe my commitments are something the Universe has asked me to do and I know absolutely and without a doubt that the Universe will help me take care of meeting all of them.
Money, support and the energy and enthusiasm needed will come as well and at the perfect time. Although it may seem that things may not be going my way, I can trust that the Universe is giving to me all that I need so that my lessons can be learned and tasks can be accomplished. This knowledge and belief helps to keep my spirits up. Each day I have before me a wonderful opportunity to fulfill my commitments in peace and grace. I am being looked after.
- You Are Wonderful and I Love You (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Your Authentic Self (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- A Moment of Awareness is a Moment of Grace (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Coming into Balance (psychologytoday.com)
One is, as One is.
“One is as one is, and the love that can’t encompass both is a poor sort of love.” — Marya Mannes
I have struggled to find the way to forgive myself and others. Forgiving isn’t easy. Writing this blog isn’t easy. I am carrying so much resentment and hurt around with me. In fact, when I’ve been deeply hurt or victimized by someone else, I may feel I can’t forgive. Yet, for my peace of mind and to let go, I may finally try. It’s been suggested by a close friend that forgiveness is easier under certain conditions: a positive connection with the person we want to forgive, a deep relationship with the Universe, and lots of time.
Forgiveness is often preceded by grieving fully; we must first heal from the harm that was done to us. Through the honesty, power and wisdom gained through personal growth we are gently led through the process of forgiving ourselves and others. Many of us have also experienced the Universe’s unconditional forgiveness which gives us a model. I acknowledge my responsibility for my actions, I let go of resentment, I grieve, and, finally, I forgive.
- Where There Is No Forgiveness (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Saving Yourself (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Learning to Forgive (socyberty.com)
- The Power of Releasing Resentments: A Holiday and New Year’s Gift to Yourself and Others (psychologytoday.com)
“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.
“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
- Life after Christmas and the New Year’s Resolution (lindalou10.wordpress.com)
- 10 Resolutions NOT To Make This New Year’s Eve (thefrisky.com)
- Are you too sleepy to succeed? (theglobeandmail.com)
“Perhaps the most important thing we can undertake toward the reduction of fear is to make it easier for people to accept themselves; to like themselves.” — Bonaro Overstreet
I was going about my life when suddenly; I became aware that I was feeling anxious, uncomfortable and insecure. But what I feel underneath is afraid. Even when we’re not conscious of it, fear can drain our concentration, deplete our confidence and manifest behaviors that aren’t typical of us.
Everyone feels afraid; it’s a part, even an affirmation of being human. Fear can be a healthy, energizing response in some situations – such as when we take a risk or strike out in a new direction.
When we’re fearful, it can be reassuring to remember that, in the end, success or failure isn’t what’s important. If, in any situation, we do the best we can and learn from our experiences, then we’ve nothing to fear. Still, when we’re feeling fear, it’s important to know that the people who love us will go on loving us. Sometimes, we may just need to hear someone say, “I know you can do it; I have faith in you.” Then, fearful or not, we move forward, our fear balanced by faith and our willingness to try.
- Overcoming Fear with a Courage (socyberty.com)
- Why Am I Fearful? (kevinwmccarthy.com)
- Social anxiety assumptions and their solutions (kevinmd.com)
- Mike Robbins: How To Move Through Your Fear In 7 Steps (huffingtonpost.com)