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Knowing and Hoping

5 Jan

As we interact with others, either in our personal relationships or in passing, we learn how they respond to different situations and what we can expect from them.  It’s helpful to recognize their patterns and choices and have a clear expectation of their behaviors.  But sometimes we may hope their expected responses will change in ways that are better for them or will fit into our needs more effectively.  They say hope springs eternal, and in some ways it does.  If someone we’re close to often makes bad decisions and those decisions hurt them and those around them, we may hope they will change and our hope may make us believe something that isn’t real.  We must always be willing to face things as they are and understand we can only control our own lives and the decisions we make.  Even if we know what is best, even if we are sure we know the right way forward, if it’s someone else’s decision to make we have no control over the end result.  It takes a lot of energy to try to control situations that belong to someone else and no matter how much we put into our efforts, if the decisions aren’t ours to make, we will not change the outcome.  It’s best to step back, see the facts clearly, hope for the best, and then accept whatever choices are made.  We can control our lives any way we desire while allowing others to do the same and make their own choices despite what we hope for them.  Doing so will give us the freedom to move forward on our own road while still being available when needed.

When we love someone who is doing something destructive, it’s hard to stand by and watch as things go wrong.  We may offer counsel and advice if they are receptive, but then we must step back and let them make the decisions they desire.  It’s very hard to watch those we love suffer, especially if we are sure we know how to fix the situation.  We all learn from the things we experience, and ultimately every lesson must come from within.  We can let go and allow those around us to make their own choices and learn their own lessons, despite what we hope they will choose.

Facts may tell us all about how something works, how it looks, or what we can expect it to do but they can never predict our personal reactions and how they will affect us.  We really don’t know a stove is hot unless we touch it.  Until then it’s undefined information.  The same is true in our lives.  Most of what we do is done through trial and error.  We learn from the things we experience and those we love learn the same way.  It takes some of us more time than others, and we all take different roads on the journey.  We can hope for the best, while understanding and accepting whatever comes.  Life is a great teacher that allows each of us to learn our own way.  We can walk beside those around us, and let them choose their own path forward.

Today if you’re hoping someone you love will make a positive choice, do what you can to set a good example.  Be there to offer help when needed and let them choose for themselves.  Share your life with them while focusing on your own journey forward.  Live your life well and let your success light the way.

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Grounded

9 Jun

We can do a lot of things well and accomplish many goals throughout our lives.  When we have sufficient determination and time we can generally get to most desired destinations.  But sometimes we may try to accomplish something and no matter what we do can’t seem to move forward.  When we struggle and push and still can’t get ahead it’s very frustrating.  Life is complicated and we don’t always know everything when we begin a journey.  If we truly cannot achieve what we’ve set out to do right now it doesn’t mean we have failed.  We can look at the situation objectively, see what the problem is and then revise our plans.  We may need additional information or we may need to wait until we are in a different place in our lives.  Although it’s important to try our best to reach our goals, there is no value in trying over and over again to accomplish something that cannot be accomplished right now.  Recognizing limits is important.  If we simply cannot move forward no matter what we’ve tried the timing may be wrong or we may need to wait until our circumstances have changed.  If the destination is out of reach now we can set it aside and do other things and try again later.  All planes get grounded from time to time.  Once we see what is needed to move forward we may begin again.  We don’t have to stay grounded forever.  We have everything we need to be successful and continue forward.

We only have control over our personal decisions and what we do.  Sometimes when we’re trying to accomplish something and others are involved, their decisions may derail us and push us off track.  If we must have the agreement of others to move forward and that is not forthcoming we may be stopped in our tracks and unable to progress.  If we can’t bring them into agreement we may need to find a way around them to continue forward.  If that isn’t possible it may be necessary to set the goal aside until things change.  Life is fluid and ever changing and in time our circumstances will adjust and we’ll be able to start again.

Unpredictable complications are always a factor.  We can’t know what we don’t know and sometimes there is more to the story than we are aware when we start out.  Others may keep facts from us, things may develop that stop our progress or our lives may change in such a way that we can’t continue forward at this time.  When those things happen we can revise our plans to accommodate whatever has happened and decide how we want to proceed.  We can wait if we need to and do other things until our situation changes.  Life is long and a road that is blocked today may well be clear in the days ahead.  We can prepare for the future and be ready when the time is right to start again.

Today if you’ve been working hard on accomplishing something and no matter what you do can’t move forward, stop and look at the situation openly and completely.  Revise you plans if you need to and if the timing is wrong, set the goal aside and work on other things.  Be patient and continue forward.  Although you may have to wait, eventually everything you desire will come.

What It Is

3 May

We face countless situations and complications as we go through our lives.  Although we have everything we need to face anything that comes to us, there may be times when what’s happening is so far from what we want we may struggle to accept it.  We can only control how we act and what we do.  Sometimes things happen to us over which we have no authority or power to change.  If they are disagreeable or completely outside of what we want in our lives it may be difficult to accept.  We can fight against the situation and push hard to try and change it but if nothing we do alters our reality eventually we will have to deal with it as it is.  Facing what is real is the only way to live genuinely and find true happiness.  We may be unhappy about something, we may disagree with what’s going on and our frustration may overwhelm us. If we want to understand our lives completely we must look straight at them and see clearly what is real.  We can accept what cannot be changed, even if it’s something we don’t want.  Our power is infinite over our own lives and we can move forward toward any destination we choose.  If something stands in our way we can find another road forward.  No matter what has developed, no matter how much we want things to change, and no matter how hard it is to keep moving, we can accept what is real and find a way forward.

Denial never works for long.  It may distract us for a time and allow us to look away from something unpleasant but it changes nothing.  It holds us in place and the longer we embrace it, the longer we must wait to find our way through.  It’s like treading water in the middle of a turbulent sea.  It will hold us up for now but if we don’t do something to move forward we will continually struggle.  It takes far more energy to deny what is happening in our lives than it does to simply accept things as they are and then plan our way forward.  We have enough wisdom and insight to figure out any problem that comes to us and solve it in ways that benefit us going forward.

Sometimes when things are difficult, instead of looking at the situation openly we may try to dress it up or paint it in ways that make it look different.  No matter what we do to change the way something looks, it will remain.  If you paint a cow pink it’s still a cow.  Instead of putting a pretty picture on a difficult situation we can determine to face it head on, look at all the complications and then find a positive way through.  There isn’t anything too difficult for us to solve and we have all the courage we need to successfully navigate any problem.  We can see things as they are and then proactively decide what we want to do and where we want to go.

Today if you’re in a difficult situation and you don’t want to look at it, open your eyes and see it clearly.  Learn all you can to find your way forward.  Complications will come but you have everything you need to overcome them.  You are courageous and strong.  Be faithful and trust yourself.  You can face anything and you will succeed.

No Eraser

2 May

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”  John W. Gardner

Everything in our lives is continually changing. The situations we face today will be different than what we’ll face tomorrow. Some days are easy and full of fun, and other days are more complicated and try our patience. We can’t control most of what comes to us, but we always have control over how we react and what we do. We can do anything we like but once we’ve done it, it becomes a permanent part of our lives. There is no way to go backward and change something in our history whether it happened years or moments ago. Everything we do will be there forever. There is no re-do option, there is no way to rewind, and there is no eraser. Knowing that, the best we can do is think about our choices before we make them so we make the best decisions possible. If we react quickly to a situation without thinking we may create more complications and problems. Instead of simply reacting and jumping to an answer we can choose to step back for a moment and find a way forward that will bring true resolution. No matter what we do our choice will stay with us from that point forward. We always have the opportunity to change our direction if we’ve chosen the wrong path and to amend our decisions if we’ve chosen what doesn’t work. What’s done is done and will remain but we can modify our way forward and re-direct our course.

If we’ve made bad decisions in the past and have been continually reminded of them, we may believe we won’t ever be able to move forward. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes have far reaching consequences. When that happens, we may struggle trying to untangle what we’ve created and our confidence may suffer. If we’ve made a mess, we can clean it up. If we’ve chosen badly, we can choose another way. Although we can’t change the past, the future is wide open and ready for any decisions we desire. Nothing can stop us from being successful and finding the right road going forward.

Guilt and shame are heavy burdens to carry. They grow heavier if we’ve negatively impacted not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. When we feel bad about choices we’ve made, when we’ve hurt ourselves and those around us, we may believe we will never be able to fix the mess we’ve created. But life is fluid and every day brings the opportunity for change. There isn’t any problem too difficult for us to solve and we can find the right road when we’re ready. Success is always there for us and we can find it.

Today if you’re dealing with complications from a decision you’ve made and aren’t sure how to go forward, take your time and think about what you really want. What’s done is done and if you need to re-route your way forward you can. There are lots of roads available to you. There isn’t anything you can’t do. Decide what you want most and plan your way forward. You have everything you need to be successful.

Common Ground

14 Mar

There are a lot of different kinds of people in the world. Many different belief systems, thousands of distinct traditions and rules, and countless variations of expression. We’re all unique and show our uniqueness in limitless ways. Despite our differences, we all share common wants and needs such as the need for care and love, physical safety, and a desire for connection to those around us. We may struggle trying to understand someone who is different than we are and have trouble relating to their views and behaviors, but no matter how many ways we differ we all have some things we share. As human beings inhabiting the same planet at the same time, there will be things we can relate to no matter how different we are. It requires respect for each other to look beyond our differences and find basic understanding. We may not agree on politics or religion, or what needs to happen or where we need to go, but we can agree to respect one another and honor our personal choices. We’re all important and each of us contributes to the world we live in. Nobody doesn’t count. We are capable of understanding things that are different than we are and we can learn from those differences to embellish and enhance our experiences going forward.

Conflict is sometimes the result of differing opinions. When we feel strongly about something it can be hard to understand and accept another point of view. We may not comprehend the opposing opinion but each is valuable even when they are far from what we believe. We can respectfully honor different ideas and see new perspectives by opening our minds to unique possibilities. Differences open our imagination and may help us understand life more effectively. We are capable of learning and understanding many things. We are all important and valuable and each of us enriches life in our own specific and unique way.

There isn’t only one way to do or see anything. There isn’t only one answer to any problem or situation. Variation and diversity are a part of natural life. Look at the trees on the earth. There are an estimated 100,000 varieties of trees in the world and each is unique and perfect for where it is and what it does. Although each is different they are all trees. We all have something exclusive to offer that no one else can give but no matter how different we are there will always be something we share. There is common ground we can relate to that will help us honor our differences. We are all valuable and worthwhile. We all have something to say and each opinion matters.

Today if you’ve been holding tightly to one point of view, allow others to share their perspectives with you. We all share common ground. Find it and embrace differences as you learn from those around you. The world is filled with diversity and every expression brings something unique. Everyone is important and you will grow as you understand many viewpoints and ideas. You are capable of greatness. Embracing differences and finding common ground will help you achieve it

Shooting the Moon

9 Feb

We all have goals we want to achieve and in our zeal to accomplish them we might make plans that very aggressive and challenging. We may decide we’ll make great changes overnight in order to achieve something quickly that often takes time. It’s good to have lofty goals and creating a plan that’s workable will help us find success more easily than one that’s extreme. For instance, if we seek personal wealth we may decide we’re going to work hard and in a year double our salary. If we want to change our fitness level, we may plan to go to the gym for two hours every single day. Or if we want to improve our diets we may swear off all sweets – forever. While these plans are certainly impressive we may not be able to adhere to them simply because of the intense changes needed to make them work. Finding the right method of accomplishing our goals is the first step. We can shoot for the moon and hope we make it, or we can determine what we can reasonably do each day to move us closer and make a plan we can more easily adapt to. Change never happens overnight. The important thing is to arrive at the destination, not how fast we get there.

Every small step forward we keep is a victory. We don’t have to change 100% right away and each step forward takes us closer to the goal. Even small advances are victories and if we are consistent will bring us success. If we only advanced a quarter of a percent each day we tried, and then only tried half the time, in a year we will have advanced almost half way to the goal. Small steps move us forward and each time we step forward our confidence will rise. Aiming too high too quickly often ends in failure. If we push too hard it may be difficult to accomplish the task. Understanding change and not speed is the goal will help us be more successful.

There may be times we feel we should have come further than we have in the time we’ve been pressing forward. We may feel we should have been able to get more done, or become more masterful at something. When we’re starting a new goal, or beginning a new behavior it’s impossible to know all the changes we’ll have to make to incorporate it successfully into our lives. We can imagine some of the work we’ll have to do but until we’re actually in the process of making the change we can’t see everything. While we’re striving to achieve, we can keep our eyes focused on making small adjustments that will move us forward. We can determine to continue despite any setbacks and if we don’t stop we will reach the goal. Life is long enough for us to accomplish anything. Step by step, making small successful moves will get us to every goal we desire. We have everything we need to succeed and there isn’t anything too difficult for us to achieve.

Today if you feel frustrated that you haven’t yet reached your goal, look back and see how far you’ve come already. Every step you take gets you closer to where you want to be. Continue forward. You know where you want to go and you have everything you need to get there. Move the dial a little closer today and tomorrow do the same. You’ll reach the goal and find success.

The Same

6 Jan

When we go through bad experiences that make a big impression on us and impact us deeply, we may get stuck. Moments that are intensely painful may alter the way we see things going forward. If we’ve faced a very hard trial, or one that has hurt us severely, we may struggle with self-confidence. Life is full of experiences and some of them can be very difficult. But our experiences are only passages and we can navigate through them, learn from them and then let them go. If we hold onto the past, we may find we are unable to live fully in the moment where we are. If we focus on something that is behind us and relive it again and again in our minds, all our days going forward will look the same and we may miss the full experience life has to offer us. Each day is filled with possibilities and if we are in the moment, living now, we may fully embrace them and enhance our lives. We must let go of the past if we want our present and our futures to be filled with promise. What’s behind us will never return. There is nothing we can do to change it. We can let it go, and move forward with confidence.

The human mind is complex and capable of managing many things at once. We can adjust and adapt to virtually anything that comes to us and we can figure out any problems we may face. But if we are constantly pre-occupied with something that has already happened and can never be changed, we may go around and around thinking about it and reliving it. There is no way to re-write history. There is no way to alter what has already occurred and the best we can do is learn all we can from the experience and then let it go. It’s not easy to overcome a serious setback or let go of an extreme disappointment. But rehashing it over and over again, revisiting it endlessly to see if we can uncover some hidden meaning or try to figure out why it happened, will never help us going forward. Our lives are precious and each day is a gift. We can learn from the past but if we want to be truly happy we must embrace the future.

Time marches on. We can think about things that are behind us and learn from them and our memories allow us to do that. But memories are only snapshots of what no longer exists. We deserve every blessing and every happiness. Bad things happen to us all. When they are in the past, we can learn from them and then we can let them go. We have so much promise for the days ahead and our happiness depends on our ability to embrace it. We can be happy and we can have joy no matter what has happened before. This life is a wonderful gift. We can embrace each day as it comes and find joy going forward.

Today if you’ve been obsessing over something that has passed and are struggling to let it go, remember today is your most precious gift. There is nothing that can change what is behind you. You can let go of yesterday and embrace today. Look forward. You have so much to offer and there is great happiness ahead. Reach for it and let it come.