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)
“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.” -Napoleon
In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, on her way down the yellow brick road helps the Scarecrow from being impaled on the pole he has been on, helps the Tin Woodman move again with a simple oil can and encourages them and the Cowardly Lion to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, courage. All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too. Together, they overcome obstacles on the way including narrow pieces of the yellow brick road, Kalidahs, a river, and the Deadly Poppies.
When each traveler meets with the Wizard of Emerald City, he appears each time as someone or something different. To Dorothy, the Wizard is a giant head; the Scarecrow sees a beautiful woman; the Tin Woodman sees a ravenous beast; the Cowardly Lion sees a ball of fire. The Wizard agrees to help each of them, but one of them must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard provides the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion with a head full of bran, pins, and needles (“a lot of bran-new brains”), a silk heart stuffed with sawdust, and a potion of “courage.” Because of their faith in the Wizard’s power, these otherwise useless items offer a focus for their desires.
Courage never operates in a vacuüm; we can always try hard and see ourselves as courageous about something. We also need to believe that there will be some consequence to our acts of bravery. It seems we are all looking at the long-term for a deliverance for ourselves and others.
Love, too, needs a sense of future, time to develop and flower. It is only passion that lives for an instant and passion, like the red rose, doesn’t last out the full year.
So I believe, love and courage are similar and work together for our own good and the good of others. By working on ourselves through a form of personal growth and development we treasure love and courage as we find ourselves with greater wisdom and more abundance of peace with ourselves and others. I believe that this is one of the ways we have faith in the long-term and in things that endure. No one is suggesting we can change overnight, but with love and courage and the hope on which they depend, we can all work wonders! I believe in my courage to change day-by-day.
“Words can sting. Words can hurt.” – Mark Schmitz
I’ll never make a feeling of true safety by seeing my self-image in terms of my character defects. To give my shortcomings such power is to make sure that I will never have enough faith or strength to continue forward; I am either condemned to live in the past, trying to change it, or to the future, trying to control it.
The only safety is in the present, affirming the positive qualities I have. Even if I’m in deep sorrow this moment, I can feel safe by appreciating that I can to grieve, which takes courage and passion for life. Appreciating my many good points is a way for me to counteract the fear that eats away at my security.
There are some ways I can affirm my self-worth. I can choose affirmations from my affirmation jar, ask others for positive support, list my good qualities and include my progress in my journal or blogs. I deserve to have the freedom that comes from feeling safe within me, not replaying the tapes that hold the hurtful words said in the past. Rather than saying to myself now – “You’re too skinny” or “You’re not attractive,” I can say “You’re wonderful and I love you.”
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)
How About Making Today the First Day, of the Best Year of Your Life?
I have committed to blogging about my attempt to bring more “positivity” to my life. I’m going to share my discoveries, realizations, new awareness, experimentation, success and failure as I attempt to bring a greater sense of positive thinking into my life. I’ve heard if from more than a handful of people now, that I tend to focus on the negative. My awareness has been raised and that’s not what I want in my life at all! So here’s my summary of what I learned today:
I found a quote by William Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. And I paired with this quote “The Happiness Habit”. The Happiness Habit is developed by simply practicing happy thinking. Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day.
If “un-happiness” thought should ever enter your mind, immediately stop, consciously eject it, and substitute a happiness thought. Every morning, before arising from bed, just stay in bed, lying in a relaxed state, and drop happy thoughts into your conscious mind. Let a series of pictures pass across your mind of each happy experience you expect to have during the day. Savor their joy. Such thoughts, I am told and I am now a believer will help cause events to turn out that way!
– Contributions from works by Norman Vincent Peale –
“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.
“Treat a work of art like a prince; let it speak to you first.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
There have been many times when I felt that I always had to have and offer an opinion about everything right away. After a movie or a concert, such as, I often wanted to step right in with my comments and judgments. I would just “shoot from the hip”, without thinking or being attentive to my feelings, or the feelings of others.
This can be a way of warding off the experience, enclosing it within certain words. I’m quite certain that all of us have feared that we might be caught off guard and compelled to change or expand our own ideas. We feared being too vulnerable!
Images, sounds, poems, and plays can cause us to open ourselves to the unfamiliar and the new, and if we are quiet and attentive, we can come to fresh insights and understandings. And so it is too, with people. If we are patient and willing to listen, we will always be learning and growing through contact with others.
The beauty and joy of life dwell within differences. I am learning to be open and attentive to what has not been part of my existence up to now, so that it may come to color and enhance my life.
- 6 Quick Tips for Receiving Critiques Gracefully (sixrevisions.com)
- Hasty Judgment (gregghake.wordpress.com)
- Confronting Loved Ones (socyberty.com)
- Judging Personality Over the Holidays — 2010 Edition (psychologytoday.com)