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Your Words Don't Tell the Whole Story...

Think about the people in your life...just take a moment and contemplate anyone who comes to mind, whether they're positive thoughts or negative ones...

Go ahead; think of a few more. The ones who make you want to tear your hair out, the ones you want to see all the time, the ones you avoid like the plague... just briefly think of each one and move on to the next...

Did you get a good sampling? I hope so.

Now, what happened while you were doing that? I'll bet you were thinking about how each one made you feel. You'd remember one and feel all oatmealy (warm and mushy), you'd think of another and feel your blood begin to boil, and there were probably some in between, or even a bit of both.

You were not likely thinking about this or that specific thing that they did with you or for you. As your memory took you from one person to the next, you wouldn't have been thinking about them at all. Chances are, you were just feeling about them. Because that's what's important to us.

When you leave the lives of people with whom you've interacted, whether for three days, two weeks, or by moving, drifting apart, or departing this Earthly existence, first and foremost, you will be remembered for how they felt because of the way you treated them. The specific memories will come next.

The way you treat people will leave an impression, and it is the most important element in any sort of relationship, no matter what that relationship is. It might only be your occasional dealings with a little old lady you see in the village as she's walking her dog. It could be your sister or your neighbour or the grouchy man who runs the post office.

Have you ever been itching to share your favourite places or events with people who didn't really want to go? But you said "Pretty please" or maybe you didn't - but at any rate, they finally agreed to go, and you could tell they hated every minute of it?

Or have you ever been with people who said and did all the right things, perhaps they fed and housed you, or had to drive you to appointments or whatever, but you felt that it was out of obligation and you just knew they didn't really want to do it?

I'm sure that like most people, you can relate to these and other similar situations. And no doubt when you remember those situations, the first thing you do is remember how you felt. It doesn't matter whether those people showed up, attended the event with you, said please and thank you, said it's no trouble at all, or insisted they were happy to help.

The only thing that you're really left with are feelings that aren't very nice. 

Words don't always say very much. Imagine this: A man gazes lovingly at his wife while she reads the paper. He reaches over and lays his hand gently on her arm. Softly, he says, "I love you, honey.

She looks up from her paper, turns to him and you can see her face soften into a warm smile as she says, "I love you, too." You might guess how he feels in that moment. What a lucky guy!

Now same scenario again. Husband gazes at wife, loving rests his hand on her arm and says he loves her. She doesn't look up from her paper. She continues reading. There's a noticeable pause and he's not sure she heard him but before he can repeat it, and without looking up from her paper, she says in a tone as flat as a pancake, "Hmm...love you, too."

He's probably not as happy as the other guy.

It's not what you do for people; it's how you do it. It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Is it with a sour attitude? Is it with "I'll get you for this" in your mind? Or is it with a loving heart, and a willingness to bring joy to someone's life?

The size of the gesture is irrelevant. Whether or not it's something huge and expensive and time-consuming, or something very teeny like remembering a favourite little treat.

It is not what you do for someone, or what you say that is important. It is how you do whatever you do, or how you say whatever you say that matters, because that is what will trigger an emotional response in the person on the receiving end of it.

Think about how you would like to be remembered and let this be reflected in all you say and do.

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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?

No.

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?

 

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When The Answer to Your Prayers Is "No."

Have you ever had a plan that didn’t seem to be working? You couldn’t understand how something that felt so right when you planned it could turn out to be so wrong?

Perhaps you took a few guesses at why it wasn’t working and tried to fix each one but the more you tried to fix it, the more wrong it seemed to become.

But was it really wrong? Had you missed something you could have fixed? Or had it initially been perfect just the way it was, with a Higher Purpose being served by your plan appearing to be a complete and utter failure?

With these and many other questions rolling through your mind, and even more possible answers, you might have grown more confused by the minute as every possible answer threw out a growing list of suggested courses of action.

Changing the plan hadn’t worked so maybe it looked like you should abandon it altogether, at least for the time being, and in the specific circumstances.  

But maybe that felt like failure to you. Like giving up, admitting defeat, all of which go completely against your grain.

But had you really failed? No. You had to understand that you might as well have been selling high quality diamonds in Walmart. There may have been a few diamond-loving customers in the shop but they didn’t happen to pass by your little stand while you were there.  

That wasn’t your fault and it didn’t mean no one liked or wanted your diamonds. There was nothing wrong with your diamonds. And there was nothing wrong with the Walmart shoppers. So failure had nothing to do with it.

Well, then, if you packed up your little stand and left before closing, were you giving up?  

No. You were accepting that Walmart shoppers aren’t looking for high quality diamonds.  

Or they might have wandered past, loved the sparkle, thought they were beautiful – but diamonds wouldn’t go with their everyday clothing, so perhaps they were still just window-shopping and trying to imagine themselves actually wearing your diamonds someday.

Would you be admitting defeat? No. You weren't doing battle with anyone or anything so it wouldn't have been about that.

Maybe you went back to the beginning. You looked at your plan. In and of itself, it was a great plan. You looked at all of its components – your intentions, the whole point, what you were trying to accomplish. Nope, you couldn’t see anything wrong in any of that.

And as it seemed that the more you changed it, the worse things got, maybe you decided that it must have been a lot closer to “right” when you started. You couldn’t have been so wrong after all. Could you?

But you say you really needed and wanted your plan to work and you had been so sure it would. So very, absolutely, 100% certain. And an awful lot was riding on your plan being successful.

Maybe when it looked like it was going to fall apart, you went so far as to pray for it to be okay. Maybe you kept insisting it would be fine. You were determined to continue, whatever the outcome, because you're just not a quitter. You waited for an answer to your prayers.

Finally, the answer came. And it was “No.”

You hadn't thought of that as "an answer to your prayers" now, had you...

As they say, when a door closes, a window opens. So you must get busy looking out that window to see what you can see.

I hope you can see that your plan did not fail. You did not give up. You were not defeated. I hope you can see that your plan provided you with valuable lessons you needed to learn if you were going to progress, so how could that be wrong or a failure?  

It had to be exactly the way it was, even if you still don’t know all the reasons why – and it would help if you don’t think you have to know all of them – and that you understand that it’s part of a much bigger puzzle.

You have not abandoned or given up on your plan. It is merely in a state of great transformation. And one day, it will become an even more beautiful diamond.

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