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Becoming Comfortable with Yourself

self acceptanceOne reason people often struggle with detachment is because the skill of detachment necessarily relies on the ability to accept your own thoughts and feelings. When you go through life in everyone’s business and taking on the problems of the world, it’s nearly impossible to look at what’s going on in your own head. It often appears easier to “fix” other people than to even face our own problems, let alone “fix” them.

Of course, we know we can not fix other people’s problems. We can offer our empathy, we can venture to offer advise if we dare, we can even physically assist someone in certain circumstances. But, we can never “fix” other people. We are not gods, nor do we have the power over other people that enables us to do for someone what they can’t or won’t do for themselves. So we must learn detachment.

But, when we detach from other people and stop trying to control or fix them, we are left with ourselves. We see our own flaws more clearly and come to realize that we need some control and fixing. It can be uncomfortable. Yet, it’s necessary for personal growth. How can we begin to heal and grow if we aren’t really looking at ourselves and seeing with a clear head who and what we are?

And more importantly, once we do see ourselves, can we accept what we find? To know and love ourselves is the real challenge. Learning to love ourselves in a realistic way depends on seeing our selves in a realistic way. Once we truly start to see ourselves, we can strive to focus on the good and accept what needs some fine tuning. In a way, this is a further detachment from even ourselves. We know who we are and we accept it. That’s a real focus and a real detachment that can foster drastic personal growth.

So, first detach from others and stop trying to control and change people, places, and things. Then, get to know yourself for who you really are. Lastly, accept and love yourself completely and without reservation. Know that you can’t truly love another until you’ve learned to love yourself.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
- Lucille Ball

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Looking for Miracles

miracles happenSome years ago, when I still referred to men as boys and women as girls, a friend of a friend was involved in an horrific accident. Flung from his car, his spine was smashed against a raised drain, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Following the accident, the tea makers and scone bakers came in droves all declaring, “How lucky he is. He’s alive. It’s a miracle.” Miracle? I didn’t think so.

A miracle was if a Maia had swooshed in on a horse named Shadowfax and grabbed his body seconds before the crushing blow. A miracle was if he could still move his limbs. A miracle was, perhaps, if the accident hadn’t happened at all. He was only seventeen. Just a young boy fated to the life of a quadriplegic, incontinent (until he received a leg bag connected to a urinary catheter) invalid, with the immune system of an infant. How was that a miracle? How was that being alive?

Years passed, boys became guys, girls were still girls and I moved away. I heard that the boy had travelled to India to undergo a mystical massage treatment to reverse the paralysis. It was about the same time that I read about Hellen Keller who was born blind and deaf, yet against all odds she became a famous author, activist and lecturer. Reading her inspiring story is when I received my own miracle, the eureka moment I was too ignorant to see. I realized that to my selfish eyes, they were disabled, to others afflicted in body or mind, they were a beacon of hope, of life.

It took Helen Keller for me to realize that a disability was not an impediment to a full life. Now that men are men and women are women, I realize that in my narrow minded short sightedness, I was the disabled one.

My friend of a friend is still looking for his miracle. I’m hoping some day he’ll find it in Science.

Deed Craig King

Described as passionately curious.” Albert Einstein knew her well. Deed is a a sultry denizen of a romantic boudoir that transfers her thoughts directly from her head to the Internet.

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Words of Wisdom from an Old Farmer

An old Farmer’s Words of Wisdom we could all live by.
The last quote fits everyone…I don’t care who you are.

wise old farmerYour fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered!….not yelled.

Meanness don’t just happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about, ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good and honorable life,
then when you get older and think back,
you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timin’ has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole,
the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with,
watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience,
and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier
than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence,
try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Live simply, love generously, care deeply,

Speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man.
If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

And, finally…………………………………..

when you are stuck

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Inner Peace in two steps

inner peace from letting go of ego and faith in GodIf you take a close look at yourself and really think about it, you’ll probably realize that most of the anxiety and lack of peace in our lives comes one emotion – fear. And this fear comes from our ego. We want all the outcomes in life to be the way we think they should be. When they aren’t what we wanted or expected, we aren’t happy. Our will wasn’t done.

This type of thinking comes from our feeble attempts to play God. We aren’t gods, we are creatures. We’re but a cog in the universe that is a under God’s control. When we try to control things, we end up feeling uneasy, frustrated, anxious, and… well – out of control. But what can we do to change our way of thinking? What can we do to have real inner peace?

The peace I write of comes from God, but for our part – we must cooperate with his will and do two things. One is to let go of our ego and surrender. Realize that God’s in control and it’s not only OK to turn things over to him, it’s important for our emotional well being. We can’t even control the process of surrendering. We do our part by realizing we aren’t God and making a decision to let go of the things we aren’t in control of and letting God do His thing. It’s up to God when he allows this to thoroughly sink in and become a part of our natural thinking. But, until then, we put out the effort, ask for His help, and form habits of letting go.

Next, is faith. We trust that God is there for us and wants what’s best for us. When we truly believe that God has our best interests in mind, we can move forward and put detachment into practice. We can stop trying to control all of the things, people, and outcomes in our life and have faith that God will take care of it. We need only be concerned with the things that God has given us control over, such as how we think and act, and how we choose to interact with God and his creations.

When we surrender our ego and act in faith, God does the rest. With practice and Grace, we end up living happier, healthier lives. So take time to be grateful for your blessings, work on your own shortcomings, let God do the rest, and enjoy every minute of your day.

“What hurt could it do thee if thou wouldst let it pass and make no account of it? Could it even so much as pluck one hair from thy head?”

- Thomas a Kempis

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Making Every Day Count

personal successSuccess is a personal decision and relative to our own expectations (if we discount what other’s think – illegitimi carborundum). But our personal development toward success is based on some pretty simple concepts and how we think about ourselves. Once again our “habits” come into play in determining how truly successful we are. If you take the necessary steps on a daily basis, you’re natural outcome will be personal growth – or what I call “success”! The steps are basically choices and they are followed by actions. The two must go together or neither will work. Good choices followed by actions = success.

Your attitude – Choose to have a good attitude and act it out throughout the day

Prioritize – You have a lot to do throughout the day. Choose what’s most important, write it down, and act on it.

Health - Take care of yourself with love and understanding. Eat, love, and pray.

Family and Friends – Interact with your family and friends. Yes, this is a choice.

Thought – Keep your thoughts pure and healthy. Remember the “power of positive thinking”. Yes it still works.

Commitment – You have to decide what and who you are committed to and act appropriately.

Money – Take care of your finances. Don’t stress, but keep up with it as best you can.

Spirituality – Make a decision to develop your spiritual connection to God and act upon it often. Always grow!

Giving – Never forget to give back. Time, treasure, or talents – what you give out is more important than what you receive.

Values – Decide to live your values. You can’t compromise and you can’t hide from yourself.

Daily Growth – If you aren’t working toward growth, you stagnate. Always strive to improve.

Be Good to Yourself – Decide to love yourself and accept who and what you are. If God loves you, then you are certainly worthy of love. So be kind to yourself and respect the person you are.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

So right now, make a decision to allow yourself to be successful. Then, take the appropriate actions to achieve it.

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A Prayer for Peace

Jewish man prays for peaceRecently, a journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time.

So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and sure enough, there he was walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN. What’s your name?

“Morris Feinberg,” he replied.

“Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?”

“For about 60 years.”

“60 years! That’s amazing! What do you pray for?”

“I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims.”

“I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop.”

“I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to love their fellow man.”

“I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people ahead of their own interests.”

“How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?”

“Like I’m talking to a wall.”

———————————————————-

We should all pray for peace. The events that are unfolding in the Middle East and specifically Israel should be a reminder of how fragile life is. Do not be discouraged. Trust God and be filled with these words of encouragement from a great saint.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
- St. Francis of Assisi

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Trust in God

trust in God - do not be afraidWe say we trust God, but do we? Many of us have decided to turn our will and life over to the care of God, but let’s check ourselves and see if we are living up to the call. Most of us believe in a loving God, so it makes perfect sense that we should come to him for help and guidance. We call on God when we’re in trouble and hopefully we thank Him when we are not. But do we really trust God? Do we really believe that God cares so much about us that he is consistently guiding us and wanting the best for us?

If we really trust God and believe that he is actively involved in our lives, then we should be relaxed and confident in all our daily affairs. Of course, we must develop and maintain a real relationship with God, praying and receiving the sacraments. But once we’ve asked God to guide us, we really need to be ready to accept whatever the answer is. Even when we don’t understand or even like it. That’s the basis of real trust relationship with God.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

- Matthew 6:25-34


Putting our will and lives into the care of God doesn’t mean we do nothing and expect the best outcome. What it means is that we are continuously fostering a relationship with God to the point where we trust Him. We pray, we ask, we do what we believe God wants, and most importantly we accept what happens as being guided by the same God.

The practice of this basic principal – turning our will and lives over to the care of God, can lead to an intrinsic attitude of peace and happiness. We may not like all that happens in our lives, but we can have confidence that whatever occurs, happens for a reason and that we are truly guided by a loving God that has our best interests in mind.

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True Love and How to Dance in the Rain

love and encouragementIt was a very busy morning, around 8:30, when an old man that had to be in his 80′s arrived to have the stitches removed from his thumb.

He said he was in a hurry as he had to be somewhere at 9:00 am, so I took his vitals and had him take a seat, knowing it would be well over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I could see him looking at his watch every few moments and decided that since I Was not busy with another patient, I would take a look his wound.

I called him over and looked at his thumb. It was healing well and there were no signs of infection, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the supplies to remove the sutures and redress his thumb.

true love

While removing his stiches, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, because he was in such a hurry.

The elderly man told me “no”, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I asked about her health and how she was.

spiritual love

He told me that she had been in the nursing home for a while and that she had Alzheimer’s Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was and that she had not recognized him for several years now.encouraging words about lovein

I was surprised, and asked him, ‘and you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know who I am, but I still know who she is.’

real love

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, ‘that is the kind of love I want in my life.’


True love is neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
inspirational quotes about love

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the best of everything they have.

‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but rather how to dance in the rain.’

We are all getting older and tomorrow may be our turn.

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One Day at a Time

living one day at a timeOne day at a time is more than a song, more than a slogan, way more than a 70′s sit com. It’s a way of life and thinking that is essential to personal growth. Today I want to offer encouragement to all those who struggle with living one day at a time. I want to briefly explain what it means to live in the present, give some practical advise on practicing the habit of living in the moment, and some resources for continuing the practice of living one day at a time.

What does “one day at a time” mean?

One day at a time is a way of living where one focuses on the present and practices detachment from the things of the past and the worries of the future. This is an easy concept to grasp intellectually, but a very difficult one to practice in our every day lives.


Some have a tendency to dwell on all that has gone wrong in the past – and even what has gone right. At first, this may not seem so bad. But taken to extremes, it can be very consuming in both time and energy. If you find yourself consistently dwelling on past events in your life, ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful. If you are briefly looking at your history to use as a neutral reference to avoid mistakes and learn, then good. Move on quickly and return to the present. If you are ruminating, like a cow chewing its cud, then you need to stop and realize that you can’t do anything about what’s already happened.

More harmful is our habit of living in the future. And I use the term “living” loosely. Our thoughts are typically worries and “what ifs” that keep us in a constant state of anxiety and fear. These forward looking thoughts are toxic. They need to be redirected immediately. Again, if you are looking briefly at the future to make a quick plan for how you will celebrate a child’s birthday or writing down when a particular bill needs to be paid, then that’s fine and healthy. But, when you are virtually paralysed by fear of how things “might” turn out if this or that happens, then you are not living in the present and not living one day at a time.

So, how can you live one day at a time?

Living in the present is a habit – sorry if you hear that term from me all the time… but it’s true. You have to develop the habit of living in the present. At first, this may entail a constant evaluation and redirection of your thoughts. When you catch yourself becoming sad about past experiences or worrying about what might happen in the future, simply bring yourself back into the here and now.

Realize that you are completely powerless over what has already occurred and what will happen. You are not God and you don’t have a time machine. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions right now though. So work on developing the healthy habit of living in the present, one moment at a time.

It’s a funny saying that if you constantly have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you end up peeing all over today. But, this is really serious and a crucial step in living a healthy and happy lifestyle. I’d like to offer encouragement for those of you who struggle with worry. It’s very normal and nothing new in the human condition. You are not alone. But, you must put out some effort to change.

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
-Matthew 6:27-29

Here are some resources for living one day at a time.

The best resource is awareness that comes from prayer and meditation. And here is the prayer that I say nearly every day to help remind me of what I have control of and that I must live in the present.

The Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

This prayer should be memorized and said over and over again. I could write an entire book on this prayer. It really embodies so many crucial aspects of healthy thinking. Not only does it help us to recognize that we are only in control of relatively few things in our life, but it acknowledges our need for God to help us figure out what is what.

It also relates to living one day at a time in a very profound way. We can not control what has already happened and we can’t control or even figure out what is going to happen in the future. God help us to realize that and start thinking and living accordingly.

Further, here is a daily reader book that I highly recommend. It’s not very expensive and it is filled with encouragement, inspirational quotes, sound principles for personal growth. I literally read it every day.

One Day at a Time Book

Conclusion

Form the habit of living one day at a time. May God bless you and help you to be filled with encouragement and present with him and yourself in the moment, not worrying about what has already happened or what might happen.

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Happiness

happiness elderly man with happiness attitudeSo, how do you develop a habit of happiness? Here’s some food for thought on happiness and how you can become a happier person with the right attitude and thought processes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be perfect. Just give it a try.


You need to break larger goals down into smaller steps and create a plan of action to achieve them.
- Richard Parkes Cordock

Life will always be full of challenges and problems. Those who wait for life to be perfect before being happy either need to redefine their definition of perfect or rework their requirements for being happy. Often I meet people who have some obstacle, something they need, some hurdle to pass before life begins. What they fail to realize is that these obstacles, needs and hurdles are actually what makes up life.

Don’t wait to be happy. Take responsiblilty for your feelings, stop depending on exterior things, realize you are not in control of much, but you are in control of your happiness. So make a choice to be happy and enjoy the challenges and problems of life.

You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.
- Brian Tracy

Try to use affirmations. It’s OK, give yourself permission and don’t laugh. It works. Look in the mirror and give yourself a large smile. Love yourself. Embrace who you are. Literally tell yourself that God loves you and you are worthy of being loved. Tell yourself “I love you”

See yourself doing the things you’ll be doing when you’ve reached your goal.
- E. Nightingale

Envision yourself being happy. Why not? You deserve it. And if you don’t, then what are you helping by not being happy. Is it your penance? Because I can think of much better things to help you get closer to God. I’m convinced God wants us to be joy filled people. And joy filled people are normally happy.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
- Sun Tzu

Be grateful for what you have. If you must, then write a list. God has blessed you in many ways and it is vital that we take notice of that and give thanks.

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
- Paulo Coelho

happiness

When I was 5 years old my mom told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be.
I told them “happy”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment.
I told them they didn’t understand life.

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