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A Little Faith, A Dash of Hope...

Things might be awful for you right now.  I hope not, but of course Life does have a way of being miserable sometimes.  And in some cases, it can go on a very long time.

It's not as miserable when you have some control over the situation, when you can actively do something to make it better, to change it in some way and get back to a happier place.  But it really sucks when it's pretty much out of your hands.

In those cases, all you can really do is change yourself, your own attitudes about what's happening.  Trust me, I do understand complete and utter despair.  I've endured some of the worst heartache, the worst illness, the worst fears (but thank heaven I've also been spared many others).  I do know what it is to suffer, so I'm not just talking out of my hat (such a bizarre expression).

When it gets like that for you, you've got to hang onto faith and hope.  And if you've lost them, you've got to dig deep and find them again, even if it's just the tiniest shred of each.

Although it doesn't always feel like it, you have control over what goes on in your head.  You can choose to think about how awful it is and how dark and miserable things are right now and how they're just going to stay that way.

Or you can look ahead and have faith that things will change, that the Wheel of Life will soon begin to turn in your favour again.  You can trust that there will be a bit of good news tomorrow or next week, that you'll see the first signs of improvement in your situation.  Because it will come, you know.  Nothing stays the same forever.  And if you're like I used to be, you'll say, "Yeah, I know.  It can get worse!"

And yes, that's true.  But equally, it also means that things can get better.  If you're gonna give some time and energy to the negative, the positive deserves at least the same attention.  Be fair and give it equal time. Or more.

Then find a little hope.  If you've lost that too, then make some more.  You do it by remembering other times when things were dark and horrible, but then they got better.  C'mon, don't tell me that every single minute of your whole existence since birth has been awful.  Even if there has been a lot of misery, if there have been many hardships, some of them will have made room for brighter days in the past.

And I'll bet that when you were in the soup back then, you might not have thought it would ever get better.  But it did.

And it'll get better again.  You create faith and you create hope by choosing to welcome them into your thoughts, by opening your mind, your heart, your life to them and telling yourself - no, by insisting - that your situation will improve.

Even in terminal illness there is room for faith and hope.  Have faith in the strength of your spirit's ability to face what lies ahead, to accept the situation and find peace.  Have hope that your suffering will be eased, that you will find comfort in your spiritual beliefs or in being with loved ones during this very difficult time.

The Universe doesn't always give us what we want.  But it always gives us what we need.  And if you need courage, strength, faith or hope, even if you have to look for them, you will always find them.


Positively Positive

I don't read the paper.  I don't listen to the news.  In fact, I'll go a step further.  I won't read the paper and I won't listen to the news.  There's so much torment and tragedy, murder and misery, nothing but story after story about man's inhumanity to man, about horrible accidents, Acts of God that cause death and destruction.  Do I really need to hear every possible rotten, awful thing that has happened out there?  Does it add anything to my life? Will I be worse off for not knowing about these terrible incidents?


I figure that if there's anything I really need to know, like the sky is falling or Armageddon's happening after dinner on Tuesday, someone will tell me.  I told a journalist friend once that I thought I ought to start up a newspaper that was full of only good news.  He said it wouldn't sell because people want the blood and guts (my words, not his, but that was the general idea).  He said good news doesn't (or wouldn't) sell papers.

I think it would.  Some of us want to be surrounded by positivity.  Some of us want to know the good news, the happy events, the wonderful moments and miracles that are happening in the world.  Some of us want to be uplifted by the beauty that exists in the perfect stories of love and kindness that are taking place around us, especially when they happen between strangers.

Some of us prefer to be connected with light and lovely positive energy that allows growth and movement, rather than heavy, oppressive negative energy that keeps us stuck and stagnant

I refuse to give attention to the negatives in my life or my environment, above and beyond what is absolutely essential in order to deal with certain issues.  Beyond that, negative thoughts are chased away and replaced by positive ones.  If I find myself wandering into contemplations about anything that is distressing or upsetting - particularly if it's nothing I am able to change - I dismiss it, focusing instead on what I want - and not on what I don't want

I've spent - or rather wasted - far too much of my life enduring and choking on negatives already.  I refuse to give that rubbish any more of my precious moments because they would only harm me.  They would not add anything to my life; they would only take from it.  Well, they would if I let them.  But I won't.

Instead, I am immersed in sparkling, radiant, shimmering, positive energy of the purest kind. I will not feed the demons that thrive on negative energy; I let them starve to death, bloody tormentors that they wish they could be, if only I would allow them to ravage my life the way they used to do.  They tore and clawed at it until it was in shreds, lapping at the dark red pools beneath the carcass of any dreams I might have had.

No, there is no room for them in my life, my heart, any part of my being and they are unwelcome beasts.  I have banished them from the sacred space that is Me.  I am far more powerful than they could ever hope to be and they shall not destroy me again, nor shall I allow any more destruction of my time in this life.

Why would I choose to do anything else?  Unless, of course, I had some burning desire to destroy my own life, my own happiness and wellbeing.

I have complete control over what I think and how I respond to anyone or anything.  I have complete control in deciding where to focus my attention and energy.  I can choose to make my life better - or worse.

I know what I'm choosing.  How about you?


Tigger Is My Hero

 "Hallooooooooo!" as my enthusiastic hero would say, whilst bouncing into the room on his spring-coiled tail.

If you haven't had the pleasure of 'meeting' Tigger, you don't know what you're missing.  He's one of the best role models on the planet.  He came bouncing (on his tail, coiled into a spring) into the Hundred Acre Wood one day, bringing with him a colourful burst of energy and a zest for life that Christopher Robin's friends had never seen before.  "I'm Tigger!" he announced.  "T- I- double-guh-err.  Tigger!"

He sums himself up quite well in the Tigger song... (Do yourself a favour and enjoy this delightful one minute video before reading further!)

One of Winnie-the-Pooh's best friends, Tigger is about as extroverted and cheerful as anyone can be.  Occasionally, there is one mishap or another because of his excessive enthusiasm, or his overly optimistic beliefs about what he can do - without ever having tried, and when he does, it often goes awry.

All the others who live with him in the Hundred Acre Wood have varying reactions to his boisterous bouncing.  Pooh is patient and tolerant of pretty much anyone and anything.  Easy-going and non-judgemental, he accepts Tigger for who he is, including his faults (and Tigger is not aware of any of them).

Always saying that Tigger is very large, Piglet is a little nervous in his presence (but then, he's always a little nervous about something).  He's never quite sure what Tigger is going to do next and worries that he'll cause some terrible disaster (because...well, it's a common occurrence!).

Roo looks up to Tigger with hero-worshipping adoration. Eeyore, as gloomy and depressed as anyone could be while still drawing breath, is quietly envious, wishing he could be as happy as Tigger but believing - and accepting - that misery is his lot in life.

And then there's Rabbit. Not all sweet and cuddly like you'd think someone called Rabbit should be. Oh, no. He's a curmudgeon of the first order. As curmudgeonly as they come. Short-tempered and irritable on his best days, he's got absolutely no patience for Tigger's enthusiasm and bouncing and is always telling him to go away, or stop bouncing, or both. But Tigger is oblivious to Rabbit's dislike of him. He carries on being his lovable Tigger Self, unaware that his effervescence is driving Rabbit over the edge.

One day, Tigger excitedly bounces his way through Rabbit's garden, accidentally ruining it while innocently being himself. Thoroughly fed up, Rabbit devises a plan to lose Tigger once and for all in the misty woods. But Rabbit is the one who ends up lost (and frightened - and with a lot to think about) when it is Tigger who rescues him "...because Tiggers never get lost!"

And aren't we lucky that they don't! Think of the Tiggers in your life. You know the ones. Those delightfully cheerful, ever-optimistic people who brighten up even the most miserably dark day, sometimes just with a few bubbly words and a big, broad smile. Or those playful, childlike people who love a good dose of silliness, and who do their best to make you giggle. How do they do it? How do they put on those big smiles and seem so genuinely happy all the time? Don't they have problems, too?

Of course they do. And Tigger does, too. He takes a lot of criticism and gets a lot of grief from his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, and bad things happen to him, just as they do to his friends. But he's got a great attitude. If things ever get him down, he refuses to stay there. He chooses to look at the bright side, to focus on finding the joy in life, to see the good in all situations. He's a brilliant role model for children and adults alike.

Many of us could stand to be a lot more like Tigger. Personally speaking, I work at that every day.

And to that, my fuzzy striped hero would say, with his big Tigger smile, and an even bigger Tigger bounce, "Woo-hoo-hoo-HOOOOOOO!!"