When I give my attention to the still, silent world around me in the early pre-dawn hours, I hear the most beautiful and unique bird songs! When I open my window coverings in time to see the sun rising, sometimes I get the most vibrant show of color even for only a few fleeting moments. When I smile at a stranger, often I’m rewarded with one in return. When I await the few geese that fly over my house each morning, I feel a familiarity with their routines. When I water my plants, I take on a sense of caring which enables me to nurture and to tend to them. When I look out upon the landscape throughout the day, I am rewarded with the sights of animals and nature going about their business. When I go to church on Sunday, I find a communion with other joyful believers which feels like a community of which I am a part. When I seek, often I find! And when I spend my first few minutes of consciousness both morning and night in prayer, with His Word and in my purposeful gratitude, I can realize the world and my life not as one driven solely by despair, discomfort or disquietude. Instead, I am rewarded with the most amazing peace of mind, heart and body! What a joy it is to know that no matter what comes my way, God has given me enough within to overcome what I must and to be grateful for what I have! Just by focusing my mind, my heart and spirit upon that which brings me joy, peace and contentment, I change my whole life’s perspective. Life is happening all around and often times, it is chaotically prescribed and dosed. But that doesn’t mean I have to dwell in the chaos or fill my soul with it! The choice as to what and to whom and as to how I give my attention, place my focus and expend my energy is always up to me! The world may deliver screaming, shrill distractions, it may bring moments of trauma, heartbreak or even the unimaginable; but the state of my mind and my heart is within my control. What matter fills my thoughts and my emotions is mine to decide.
We do ourselves no favor when we look for the easiest way out or the way of least resistance every time! I choose the stairs because I know that habitual choice does more for me than an elevator. A flight of stairs is harder, the elevator often more convenient and easier; but the stairs does something for me physically which the elevator can’t! And so, I choose the stairs most times. In all the ways life was made easy for me by choice or by circumstance, I responded with less change, less growth and less will. In every way.
When we aren’t challenged, we don’t grow, change or become stronger. Look at someone who truly has overcome significant challenges and see if you aren’t truly inspired! Life is in our challenges and how we do in fact overcome them or at least endeavor to! There isn’t much to say about evading, eluding or ignoring challenges . . and so there isn’t much we can say about our lives when we have or when we do evade, elude or ignore challenges most of or all the time. We’re meant to develop, learn, overcome and to experience change all of our lives. Shutting down that process by means of self-doubt, self-protection, fear or even an apathetic attitude towards growth doesn’t serve any purpose but to instill a false sense of acceptance about a life which then stagnates.
Push yourself to stand up to the fears and doubts which could otherwise prove crippling. Take a stance against your own urge to run, to evade or to always choose ease. And when others give you the easy way, or life proves itself too simple, challenge yourself to more! And if you believe your life has already been too challenging, hence your desire to not experience anything but ease; I suggest you take a look at how much personal growth and what lessons were hidden there within everything you have had to overcome! There isn’t much you’ll gain from a life without challenge, without test or trial and sans difficulty. But in the throes of what seems challenging, there is much to learn, much to overcome and much by which we make ourselves better! Perhaps it is just the perspective . . challenges aren’t all bad, negative or hard. In challenges lies great potential for change, opportunity for growth and life lessons!
Have you thought at times how wonderful it would be to live someplace else? Rather than here, rather than now, for dwelling someplace other than in the current situation might seem like a rewarding way to live life; it might seem like an escape! After all, don’t we often dwell in two other sought-after places as much as possible as a means of escape or as a way of providing ourselves comfort from the here and now?
We often travel to the past, a destination which cannot be changed; which has a great hold on our emotions and our psyches. There in the past, we think we can find a solution to our present woes; or perhaps we think we can find a way to heal something which was broken or fix something which faltered. If only our reasoning in regards to the past were able at this time, this day and for this particular subject, to lead us like a detective to some light-bulb moment which we could change back then. If only we could alter in our own minds the steps which led back then from A to B, we would now realize our current residency in C would be more acceptable and not such a source or contention or dismay. If only!
And often we desire travel to the future, a place which remains unknown no matter how hard we look or how far we try to see. We have such high hopes of altering our current state of life by learning about what the unknown future holds for us. Like wayward time-travelers, if we could just take our capsule to the farthest reaches of some galaxy ahead of the here and now, we would know for certain that what we’re doing now is laying the appropriate groundwork for what will happen to us then. We could see what to fear, or what to evade or know for certain so many aspects which make up the great body of uncertainty looming ahead. Perhaps we think by knowing what is coming and when, we will in some way be better prepared for living these present days sans error, mistakes and heartbreaks.
Sadly, both destinations truly cannot really make the here and now any better; but we insist upon spending a great deal of time preparing to go, musing our emotions and reasoning away our thoughts about both travel spots! Do they really serve as an escape from the here and now; or are both destinations often detrimental to our enjoyment and our contentment of the here and now? I would guess that more often than not, traveling and spending too much time in either the past or the future leads us to less pleasure, comfort and peace in the here and now! Life is occurring right here and right now. If we gave our energy and turned our thoughts to how we might be content and at peace with the current state of things, we might realize how very blessed, how very fortunate and how very comfortable things are for us. And if we feel today is fine as is there is no need to draw anything but lessons from the past and to live with hope for the future! Comfort, peace and enjoyment now require no escape! All of that comfort, peace and enjoyment now comes through acceptance of the past, known and unchangeable; and faith in the future, sight unseen. Live for today and in today; let yesterday be but a guide and tomorrow, just a hopeful promise.
Overcoming . . why do we doubt our own abilities to attempt, to persevere and to ultimately overcome? Fear, anxiety, worry, regret, and all the other obstacles we perceive before us shouldn’t stop us from pursuing the life we desire; especially if we learn to give ourselves credit for all the overcoming we’ve already done! It even started long before we became aware that overcoming was what we were doing!!!
We overcame the process of childbirth, since we’re here. We then overcame the years of helplessness, in infancy and toddler-times, when we depended upon so many others to get us through. We survived that! And we then overcame growing up into childhood, one long and often painful step at a time. We went from not even being able at some point to hold up our own heads, to one day plunging forward into learning how to walk. It was a long process of persevering through missteps and teeters which resulted in stumbles or even falls; but we wanted to learn so much more than the weight of our own reasoning, fears or doubts! Then we were sent off to school and had to learn many more ways to overcome by learning and by growth. And every day since, we’ve learned to overcome something just to get where we are today.
Life is all about overcoming, surviving and thriving regardless the challenges which are inherent in the process! Humans seem to be the only living beings which give so much credence to their emotions and feelings, so that we can actually think or feel our way out of challenges essential to our development! We learn through life to process fear, worry, anxiety and doubt with more weight than we knew to give all of that in our childhood. Adulthood often enables people to learn some bad and/or negative ways to not overcome. But overcoming is what we’re supposed to do! All through life, until our death, we’re meant to move forward, to learn, to develop, to change and to grow.
When we let fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, apathy or any other negative we perceive hold us down or back, we are only hurting ourselves! Each of us is given things to challenge the inner muscles of overcoming all through life; were we to keep our distance from all those challenges, all of life, where would we be now?? I guess the baby would have chosen to stay in utero, the child in the bliss of the crib and the youngster in kindergarten. But we weren’t able to render ourselves stagnant then, why should we endeavor to do that now??
Seize the power found within your spirit of overcoming! It is there to propel you through all the challenges and tough times in life! Be your own best friend, don’t talk yourself out of development, growth or forward movement, just because it represents a challenge or tough times ahead. You’re already an overcomer! You just need to believe that is the truth about YOU!
One person excels at singing, another exemplifies the idyllic beauty, another can paint a masterpiece on a blank canvas, someone else is able to teach young minds about a waiting world, and another can slice open a human body with precision and care. We’re all given differing abilities, talents, skills and interests as a specific set of gifts unique to us. When we start to assume that there is a way to measure equity between gifts or that our gifts should be equitable in comparison to those of others, we are already losing the intrinsic worth of those gifts!
Often times, human beings try so hard to make things fair because they’re caught up in a game of comparison. Comparing me to you and you to others and others to even more people can only find someone lacking and others in want. Life isn’t designed to seem the same for each of us or to bring us the same results; there is no equity or “fairness” to be had in life when we each start out in different places, with different assets and limitations, or with varying skill sets and gifts. There is simply no way to compare your apple to my orange. Our only similarity is in our humanness. Other than that, we are a mixed bag of individuality; belonging to various subsets! We should give up our desire to see equity for things and fairness in things which first haven’t any set value in the world; but are seen as personal traits, skills to be developed and unique talents in which we have ability.
Yes it would be lovely to sing like some great pop star, to have the ability to use my voice to make millions and to be famous. And yes, it might be wonderful to be a successful brain surgeon, so that I might help to heal the world with my talents. And surely it would be great to have the hair, skin, body or feature of another human being. Or it might be fabulous to be or do anything someone else has been able to do, with seeming ease! But I cannot follow in anyone else’s footsteps but step forward with my own! And so I owe it to myself to stop comparing myself to others in whom my similarities may be limited to female, human and perhaps a few other insignificant commonalities.
Comparison is a terrible waste, for it leads us to believe we’re always lacking! And comparison is a thief, in that it reminds us that others seem to have more! And comparison is a killer of dreams, in that it teaches us we might not be as capable with our skill set as others have been! If only we could let go the need to compare our lives to those of others! If we focus on living for ourselves, the lives we are best meant to live, without the constant need to assess and measure the results of others in theirs. Perhaps we would all live happier, more contented lives sans comparison; with more self-respect, greater self-confidence and a genuine self-love.
Making excuses for other people can be a slippery slope, as often we’re enabling them or giving them permission to keep on doing as they will with no recourse or reproach. It can render us silent when we should be anything but. But worse than that is to make excuses for ourselves by using others as our foil! When we do that, we hide from consequences, we pass the buck of personal responsibility and we shun the burden to behave, to think and to speak as we know we should!
There are far too many people these days that have learned it’s easier and more convenient to pass the fault and the blame for their own lives being in ruin onto others. Making those excuses becomes a crutch on which they stand progressively more and more each new day! Instead of learning how to heal from life’s battles, to strengthen self or to develop beyond their own mistakes and failings, they rely upon the handy excuse of “blame the other guy” or “it’s his or her fault, not mine!” or the often used, “I give you all responsibility”.
It has become so easy to lob insulting rhetoric, bombastic opinion and to evade personal responsibility by claiming a constant state of victimhood rather than to learn to grow and develop through discipline and effort, past or beyond some situation or life event! Once upon a time, when someone was born in a supposed disadvantaged state, the person would be encouraged to work through the factors of such a perceived disadvantage as poverty, minority class or handicap for their own sake, so that by strengthening their inner stamina and will, they would excel in life beyond the state of their present set of circumstances. Now however, we’ve learned victimhood presumed by a “disadvantaged” state of birth, life choices or unfortunate circumstances as a sport, as a hobby and as a profession! It is easier to render people immobile and functionless based on so many factors which are surmountable and should even encourage the opposite purely by their accepting this new sport of victimization!
Society now has exonerated from personal responsibility and disciplined living entire swaths of people collectively based on a growing desire to evade the onus of responsibility and commitment to change! Human growth has stalled in the forest of overgrown weeds of unloving, uncompassionate and immature souls incapable of personal development much less living amidst communities as responsible citizens. The “me” has replaced the “we” with a deadened thump upon the soul’s impetus to grow, develop and mature through so many perceived negatives and overall hampering; that now, many souls have stagnated in muddy puddles of darkened uselessness, apathy and victimization! God made us to be so much more for His effort. How sad when we choose to make such ready excuses for ourselves by placing the blame consistently and constantly upon the backs of others in whom we can secure our victimhood! We are self–fueled and self-propelled, lest we forget the origin of our Divine Creator’s handiwork in us! No one is accountable for our lives but us.