Archive | February, 2016

Hiding Places

29 Feb

Life is full of challenges. We face some sort of challenge every day and sometimes they are difficult for us to manage. If they seem too hard we might decide that instead of facing them we’ll hide. There are limitless places to hide if we want to. If we have a relationship issue we don’t want to face, we can hide by working long hours so we’re unavailable to talk about it. If we don’t want to see someone, we may hide by creating unexpected complications that prevent us from meeting them.  We can hide in limitless ways when we don’t want to face something. But if we want to be the best we can be we have to be willing to face whatever comes to us. We are capable of managing anything we encounter but we may forget that if we’re threatened or afraid of the outcome.  But hiding never works. All it does is delay the inevitable, and trying to hide indefinitely is exhausting. The best we can do when things get difficult is determine to face them head on, no matter what comes. We’ll have to confront our problems at some point. It’s best to do it when they first appear because aren’t going away until we solve them. We are wise enough, brave enough, and smart enough to face whatever the issue is, and find an acceptable resolution.

Truth is truth and no matter what we do, it will always surface. Looking the other way or pretending it doesn’t exist changes nothing. Hiding from the truth only prevents us from moving forward. If we aren’t moving forward, we’re either standing still or going backward – neither of which will take us to our goals. When things go wrong, or we’re facing developments that are difficult, the only way to get through them is to face them squarely, figure them out, resolve them, and move on. It may be painful, but we are capable of managing pain. It might be complicated, but we’re smart enough to figure anything out, and it might take some time, but as we process the problem we’re moving forward through it. We can handle whatever it takes.

Nothing stays the same in life. Whatever we’re going through today will be different tomorrow. We can’t control the things that come to us but if we proactively face our problems and find workable solutions to them, we can move through them. Once we’ve solved them, we can let them go, and move forward. If we hide and obsess over them instead of facing them, we force ourselves to carry them longer than we must. Carrying problems around instead of solving them gets us nowhere, and can have a negative impact on our ability to be happy. We all deserve to be happy. By courageously facing our problems, and determining the wisest path going forward, we can solve them, and find our peace again. Happiness is a gift we give to ourselves. Refusing to hide even when things get hard allows us to return to happiness as quickly as possible.

Today if you’ve been hiding from something that has been difficult for you, do what you must to take the first step in solving the issue. There isn’t anything you can’t manage. You are strong enough and smart enough to face anything. Face the problem and solve it. Your happiness will return and you’ll feel more confident going forward. You can do anything. Today do your best to move forward.

One Word One Thought

27 Feb

Nobody’s life is perfect and sometimes things go wrong for all of us. When it’s very disappointing or upsetting, we may get angry. If that happens we don’t always keep the anger to ourselves and unfortunately instead let others share it. Perhaps we use offensive words to express how we feel that aren’t part of our every day speech. Or we snap at others who may or may not have had anything to do with our problem. We’re only human and there are times when we aren’t at our best. It happens. If others experience our outburst they may decide out of frustration to return it for one of their own, and then the whole thing can get out of hand. Once things have escalated it’s hard to rein them back in. Feelings can get hurt, and relationships can be bruised. After we’ve ended our furious outburst, and we’ve settled back down, we’ll have to apology for the damage we’ve done, and try to make things right.

Anger can be a very destructive emotion. We all feel it from time to time, but the way we express it is different for everyone. When we’re children we may cry or scream, or kick our feet and stomp off, but as we become adults we must find other ways to deal with it. Some people point their anger inward and manifest specific behaviors to cope. Perhaps they overeat, or can’t sleep, or they close themselves off and hide until they feel better. Compromising ourselves to keep anger hidden away doesn’t help us deal with it, and sometimes the behaviors we embrace while we’re coping make the situation worse in the end. Others of us express our anger outwardly. We take it out on those around us spreading collateral damage everywhere we turn. We say things we don’t mean, and lash out at whomever comes close. Unfortunately those behaviors can damage our relationships and if they are chronic, can ruin them. Learning to deal effectively with anger takes time and practice. It doesn’t just happen the first time we get mad. We have to learn how to control our responses in ways that help us resolve our anger, instead of making it worse.

If someone near us is angry and acting out, instead of jumping into the fray, we can instead offer a word of encouragement. If we do, the anger may lose its impact and suddenly emotions may turn. It’s said that a kind word can turn away wrath – and it’s true. If someone near us is angry and acting out, one kind word from us may change everything. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but it does take self control and thought. We are capable of both. If we’re the angry one lashing out at those around us, we can stop for just a moment, take a breath, and think of one good thing. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, like world peace, it can be something small. Perhaps we had a delicious muffin for breakfast, or the sun is shining, or we really like the color of the shirt we’re wearing. If we can focus on one good thought for just a moment, everything can change. We can put things back into perspective and more effectively navigate our way through. A kind word, or a positive thought are powerful and can help us through difficult situations. Our relationships and interactions are important. When things go wrong, we can do something to preserve them. We can exercise self control and keep the situation for becoming destructive. One kind word or one good thought may be all it takes.

Today if you’re angry about something you can’t accept, stop for a moment and think about one good thing that’s happening right now. There is always something and when you find it, focus on it for a moment. You’ll feel better and you’ll see things more clearly. If someone near you is angry and lashing out, offer a kind word of encouragement to let them know you care. We are all capable of more than we realize. We can do anything. We can do our part to bring harmony back into our lives when trouble is at the door.

Still Waters

26 Feb

Sometimes when we’re interacting with others things don’t go as well as we hope. There may be friction and disharmony, and sometimes we don’t know why it happens. Perhaps someone gets angry over a suggestion we make, or is offended by something we’ve said, and we have no idea why they reacted the way they did and they won’t say. It can be confusing and when we’re trying to get along or get something done, it can stop us in our tracks. If we know why the problem occurred we can try to address it, but if we have no idea what went wrong, we may be lost. People are complicated and we can only see their external appearance.  We don’t know what’s going on inside them.  Many of us are private and don’t express everything we’re going through to others, and prefer to keep our challenges or struggles to ourselves. If we encounter conflict and don’t know what happened, it may be that someone is struggling with an issue of which we are unaware. They say still waters run deep, which means that although things may look calm on the outside, there may be a lot going on under the surface. When we’re dealing with others it’s important to remember we never know the whole story.

If we have someone in our lives who is moody, or unpredictable, we may try to avoid them until we must talk to them because it’s uncomfortable to deal with them. If they talk to us we might try to keep things light and superficial. We don’t know why they are the way they are, and that should be a clue for us. Perhaps it would be wiser instead of ignoring them, to seek them out just to say hello and let them know we’re thinking of them. If they are struggling privately, a few words of support and encouragement, or a kind word that shows we care can mean a lot. If we take a moment to remind them we are there and value our relationship with them, it can lift them in ways we can’t imagine. They may not tell us what they’re going through, but knowing we’re there may help them get through it more easily.

If we are struggling with a private sorrow, or a difficult challenge, and don’t want to share it with those around us, we may keep it to ourselves. But the stress of holding onto something painful may intensify our interactions because we are distracted and worried. We don’t have to share anything we don’t want to, but when we don’t share we have to carry the burden all by ourselves. Sharing the load always makes it lighter, and if we can open up to someone we trust and let them help us we’ll feel better.  And talking about it may help us find solutions that have eluded us. We can be private but if we let someone in, and listen to their advice and counsel, we may more easily find our way. Sharing our troubles often takes us a long way down the road to resolution. We may find the answers more quickly and if we do, it’s worth the effort every time.

Today if you’re struggling with a private matter think about seeking advice from someone you trust. If you share your dilemma with them things may go more easily.  If someone near you is edgy, offer a word of encouragement and let them know you care.  We’re all looking for answers of some sort.  Reach out and offer a little comfort, and let others comfort you.  They’ll feel better, and you will too.

It Happens

25 Feb

We live at a time of unprecedented opportunity. We can travel around the world, take jobs we can work at home, go to college in our spare time, and accomplish anything we set out to do. It has never been easier to make dreams come true. But the trick is learning how to make them happen. We have a choice in our lives – we can either make things happen by setting goals and working toward them, or we can sit back and let them happen as they will and navigate around them. Life changes every moment of every day. Whether the changes are things we want to experience or not often depends on the choices we make. There are some things we have no control over, but when it comes to our lives, we can determine and change a lot. All we really have to do is decide what we want. After that we can work toward our goals and if we are persistent will make many of them a reality. Some people don’t want the responsibility of creating the lives they dream of and prefer to just go along with whatever comes their way. Perhaps they prefer the security of knowing someone else will decide, or the comfort of sameness each day. But if we let circumstances and others determine where our lives will go, it’s doubtful we’ll find real, fulfilling happiness. And we all deserve to be happy.

It’s those who dream of changing things and imagining how different life could be who make the most amazing discoveries. If Edison had not imagined we could have light whenever we wanted it, he wouldn’t have created the light bulb. Dreamers have enhanced our lives in many ways. It’s wonderful to dream and imagine what could be. But in every instance if we want to create something new, change something, or develop our lives in new ways, we have to do more than dream. We have to act. If all Edison did was sit around and think about how wonderful it would be to have light at the flick of a switch, and did nothing to make it happen, he would have created nothing. Even if we spend years planning a dream we want to achieve, even if we ponder every detail we need to conquer to make it happen, until we actually begin to do what is needed to make it a reality, nothing will change. Our lives will continue, time will go by, and we’ll still be dreaming.

There isn’t anything we can’t do. If we can think it, we can do it. Some things will of course be harder than others, but with sufficient preparation and time, if we work at them and persist no matter what comes, we can make our dreams a reality. It takes courage to change our lives and go after the things we dream about. It takes determination and it might take a long time. But we have enough courage and determination if we really want what we’re dreaming of, and we can move forward toward it for however long it takes to succeed. We are capable of having the lives we dream about. Our lives will go by whether we design them and create them the way we want them or not. We are responsible for the choices we make, even when we choose to do nothing. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to make all our dreams come true. Life happens. It’s up to us to make sure it happens our way.

Today if you’ve been dreaming of something you really want to do but haven’t done anything to achieve it, take the first step. Mark your path and move forward a little every day. As you move closer to the goal your confidence will rise and you’ll succeed. Nothing is strong enough to stop you. You can make all your dreams come true. Make your life happen your way, and it will be the life you always dreamed of.

Poison Ivy

24 Feb

There are a lot of nice people in the world. People who care, who are kind, and who share their lives with us in positive and helpful ways. But unfortunately, there are also people who choose a different path. There are some who are mean, cruel, even criminal, and if they come into our lives, they can have a very negative impact. We don’t always know their true colors at the beginning which leaves us open for disaster. It’s like taking a walk in the woods and not knowing what poison ivy looks like. We see a vine that’s green and vibrant, and have no idea when we touch it that its powerful affects will cause us pain and discomfort. It’s only after our exposure that we see the terrible result. If someone in our lives presents themselves as caring and kind but in truth is manipulative and cruel, and we share our lives with them, when we discover the truth we will be hurt. If it’s someone we must interact with because of circumstances beyond our control, and we are forced to see them because they are family members, coworkers, or neighbors, the discomfort may be intense. When someone hurts us because they’ve fooled us, lied to us, or manipulated us, it takes time to heal. If we have to continue to see them, it takes even longer.

Life is all about learning. We don’t know what we don’t know, and the only way to find out what we don’t know is to learn as we go. That means we may trust someone who is untrustworthy because we don’t have all the facts. People who set their hearts on deception don’t tell us before they deceive that is their plan. They keep it secret and if they are very practiced, may expertly manipulate us to achieve their goal, whatever that may be. We may figure the truth out quickly, or we may be involved with them for years before we see things as they really are. But sooner or later, when we find the truth it may be devastating. We may feel like fools. We may blame ourselves thinking we should have known and feel horrible. But the blame for deception lies solely with the deceiver. We have no ownership for their behavior. We trusted, which is noble and good, and extended ourselves as friends. It can be hard to forgive ourselves when we’ve fallen for a lie, but believing in others until we have a reason not to, is appropriate.

When we are trying hard to be the best we can, it’s difficult to understand someone who chooses to deceive or hurt us purposely. It’s hard to comprehend such maliciousness but we are not responsible for anyone’s choices but our own. We can decide how to respond. We can choose to be noble even if someone near us has been hateful. We can choose to stand up for what’s right, even if we’ve been stung by what is wrong. If we must interact with them going forward, we can still be our best. We are courageous and brave enough to be near them and choose the right. We can set the example for good even in the face of trouble. We are stronger than we think we are. We know what is right, and nothing, and nobody, can ever diminish that.

Today if you’ve been hurt by someone who purposely deceived you or manipulated you to get something they wanted, it isn’t your fault. You know more now than you did before, and that knowledge will help you going forward. You are worth the very best of everything. You can choose the right and take the higher road at every step. There is an old saying that the best revenge is living well. No matter what has happened, no matter who has hurt you, live well. You know who you are. Choose the very best path. There is nothing that will diminish you.