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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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The Frog

3 Jan

There is an old saying that if you want to cook a frog, put it in a pot of cold water and slowly heat it up.  It’s said that a frog will hop out of hot water but will sit in cold water and not notice the additional heat until it’s cooked.  If we’ve never wanted to cook a frog we may never need to test this hypothesis, but we may still experience the same process.  If someone wants us to do something they know we would never agree to, they may begin by including us in a situation we would find acceptable and then, slowly and carefully, modify the process until they reach their desired result.  Nobody is exempt from the deceit of others and there may be times when we may be shocked to find ourselves in situations we would never have chosen had we seen all the facts up front.  If we’re involved with someone we like or admire, and they slowly heat the water around us taking us where we don’t want to go, we may not notice anything until we’re metaphorically cooked.  We don’t know what we don’t know, and if we’re connected to someone who has secret plans, we may follow along until we end up in the wrong place.  It’s hard to believe anyone we care about and trust would do anything to mislead or deceive us, but it may happen.  When we finally see everything clearly we may feel like a fool wondering how we didn’t see the signs.  It’s easy to look back and see everything openly but if someone is blocking our vision it’s impossible to see the whole picture.  It’s like walking through fog.  Everything is muted and unclear, and even if we try we can’t see everything that is before us.  When the fog lifts it’s easy to look back at the path and see everything we missed.  In time all truth becomes evident.  Every deception will be uncovered and when it is, if we need to, we can correct our course.  We never have to continue on any road we don’t want.  We can turn and move forward toward success.

Shame is a very powerful emotion and can be quite destructive.  It may make us feel inadequate and unworthy.  We may feel intense shame if we discover we’ve fallen for a lie and taken our lives somewhere we don’t want to be.  We only answer for the choices we make and if we’ve been tricked into believing lies, the responsibility belongs to those who own them. If we find we’ve been fooled and manipulated, although we may be hurt, there is no need to feel ashamed.  It’s good to believe in and trust others.  If we are misled because of that belief and trust, those who have abused us are accountable.  We need not disparage ourselves for falling down.  We can stand tall, learn everything possible from the experience, and walk away with confidence knowing more than we did before.

Life is an incredible teacher if we are willing to listen. There are unlimited lessons to learn and everything we experience teaches us something new.  If we believe someone who lies to us, we may fall.  If we learn everything we can from the experience and take that information forward, remembering all the clues we learned, we will be more successful in preventing the same thing from happening again.  We don’t have to fall for the same story twice.  We can learn to feel the heat and step away before the water starts to boil.  Everything we need to be successful is already inside us.  We can watch, listen, and learn, and be wiser going forward.  Every possibility is available to us, and there isn’t anything we can’t comprehend and understand.

Today if you’ve discovered you’ve been tricked into a situation you don’t want, look ahead and decide how to correct your way forward.  A detour will never keep you from your goals.  You are wise and strong, and capable of understanding everything around you.  Keep your eyes on the road ahead and your path will become clear.  Every success you desire is waiting for you.  Nothing will hold you back and you will find the way.

Mirage

19 May

We all have things we want to accomplish, dreams we want to pursue and goals we want to achieve.  We can plan for them and work toward them until we succeed and sometimes when we get to the destination everything is exactly like we thought it would be.  Other times we may arrive and discover the goal we were after isn’t exactly what we expected.  Like a mirage in the desert something may look good from a distance but upon closer inspection is a bit different.  If we’ve worked hard for a long time to achieve the goal and then discover it isn’t what we want after all we may be disappointed or feel we’ve been cheated.  We can’t know everything from the beginning but if we pay attention as we move along there are often clues that will give us more information about the road we’re on.  If we simply storm ahead sure of ourselves, we may find in the end we’ve reached a destination that isn’t anything like what we want.  Everything we do changes us in some way and as we’re moving forward our lives are evolving and we may find what we sought at the beginning isn’t what we want now.  We can turn our course and change direction any time we’re ready.  There are countless roads that lead to happiness.  Which one we choose depends on where we want to go and what we want to become.  The whole world belongs to those who take it.  We can do anything and go anywhere. If we’ve reached a place that doesn’t fit we can turn our course and begin again.

Few things in life are permanent and unchangeable.  Most ideas and decisions can be changed and modified if needed.  If we are open and honest with ourselves and clearly see what isn’t working we can modify our plans to find happiness.  If we aren’t happy we need not stay in any situation and if we don’t feel fulfilled and content we may change whatever is needed to correct our course.  We may leave a relationship, a job, move to a different location or open a new door.  Whatever is needed to find joy in our lives is available to us and we have enough courage and wisdom to move forward to get it.

Some situations are very alluring and captivating.  Like a mirage in the distance they call to us and we may be consumed with attaining them.  We can make all our dreams come true but first we must be sure that what we’re seeing is exactly what we want.  Do we really want what’s at the end of that road?  Are we sure we are willing to do what is needed to achieve it?  Being clear on what is required to move forward and then making our decision will enable us to find success.  We can take the time we need to make the best decisions for our future and then plan our way forward. We can be wise and careful and find the happiness we seek.

Today if you’ve been working hard to reach a goal but aren’t sure it’s exactly what you’re seeking, take a moment to think before you proceed.  See all your options clearly and choose the road that’s best going forward.  You know what you want and are wise enough to make excellent choices.  Happiness is there for you.  Look for it, plan for it and then begin forward to achieve it.

Brand New

16 Mar

There comes a time in life when we may want to do something new. If we’ve been on the same road for a long time perhaps we are bored or no longer feel challenged. Maybe we feel we’ve done all we can in our current endeavor and want something more. Taking on a new challenge may bring us great refreshment and great change. We can set out on a new road at any time and go forward with confidence. We all have dreams but life can take over if we aren’t careful. We may find ourselves on a road we never really intended to travel because of chance or circumstance. Perhaps a job we took twenty years ago, because it was all we could find, may have turned into a career we never really wanted. There are all kinds of things that happen that create scenarios we may fall into that become habit or patterns in our lives we really didn’t choose. If we aren’t where we want to be we can change our plans, redirect our course and redesign our lives. It’s never too late to change. We only need to decide we are ready and begin. The world belongs to us. We can do anything we want to do and go anywhere we want to go. We are not shackled by restraints so powerful they cannot be changed. Our lives belong to us and when we’re ready, we can try something new.

Routines are great when we want predictability in our lives. We know what to do, we know when to do it and we know where to go. There is nothing wrong with having a life that is settled and familiar so long as it’s the life we really want. But if we yearn for something more, something different or something new, we can turn as we move forward and step away from the norm. There are millions of things to do and learn in life and we can try as many as we like. Everything is available to us and if we want something new, we can get it.

Some people live their lives wide open, trying different things all the time and pushing themselves to learn new ideas every day. If we want lives like that we may certainly have them but we don’t have to change everything to have a new experience. We can take one step away from our normal behavior and try one idea at a time. We can reach for something new and see how it fits and then reach for something else. There really isn’t anything we can’t do and we may embellish our lives any way we choose. Each day is a blessing and there is so much to see and learn. We can stretch a little further and try something new, and see the world a little differently. Our lives can be as full and rich as we want them. We need only decide we are ready to try.

Today if you’ve been doing the same things and feel ready for something new, open the door a little wider and see the opportunities waiting there for you. There is more you can experience and every experience will enrich your life. Do everything you dream of and stretch beyond your comfort zone. You’ll be amazed at what you find and your life will be fuller and augmented by each experience. The world is yours. It’s all there and it’s waiting for you.

Small World

8 Dec

There are a lot of things we can do in life. There are places to see, people to meet, things to learn and unlimited experiences we can have if we want them. If we want big lives and are open to all kinds of new ideas, we may try many different things. We can travel the world, learn anything that interests us, and do just about anything we dream about. Or we can choose to have a small world by keeping our lives close and only doing what’s comfortable and familiar. If we are brave enough to expand our experiences to new things, we’ll learn more about life and about ourselves. Even if we think something is impossible at first, we often find that once we start we can accomplish far more than we imagined. There is a lot to experience and limitless things to learn. We can only live our days once and then they are gone. Making the most of the time, and stretching our view will create a deeper, richer experience. We can do far more than we think we can. There is so much to see and do and even if we’re intimidated by an experience at first, we can accomplish it. Reaching beyond where we are will teach us new things and broaden our understanding. We may choose a small world where everything is predictable or we may reach further and magnify every single day.

Our lives are ours to design and if we aren’t happy with what we’re doing we can change. We are in control and can do anything we want to do. If we feel unfulfilled or unchallenged, we can choose another path. Our lives are valuable and what we do with them is up to us. We can fill every moment moving toward where we want to be or we can tread water and stay in the same place. It can be scary to try new things and the unknown is often intimidating. But things are only unknown until we open the door and experience them. Then they belong to us. We can reach further than we think we can and do more than we believe. We have enough courage to stretch into the unknown.

If we like, we may keep our lives small and not expand them more than we must. We may stick with what we know and where we feel comfortable. Repetition brings predictability and if we do the same things every day we know what to expect and where the boundaries lie. But repetition may also bring boredom and dissatisfaction. After a time, we may feel unsettled doing the same things over and over again. When we’re ready to venture forward we can open new doors that will bring new experiences and a freshness to our lives. We don’t have to keep our world small to be safe. We can stretch and try new things and expand ourselves to make the unknown ours. There is so much to experience in life. We can do anything we want to do and go as far as we like. If we reach further our lives will be richer and deeper and our understanding will increase.

Today if you’ve been doing the same things for a while and are ready to try something new, go for it. There really isn’t anything you can’t do. This life is the time to experience things and stretch. You can have big, bold experiences beyond what you imagine. Try something new and reach for the stars. They are there for you.

The Best Gift

3 Oct

For many of us, our lives are filled with activity.  There are things we must accomplish, things we want to do and constant responsibilities that take our time.  Many of us stay busy and sometimes our personal needs fall to the end of the list.  We can be so consumed with the needs of others and pending projects we can forget to take care of ourselves.  It’s good to be actively engaged and productive but the quality of our lives may be affected if we don’t remember our needs are important too.  And the quality of our lives is a gift we give to ourselves.  Although others may do things for us that help, in the end how we take care of our personal needs is up to us.  We have control over how we manage our time and we can give ourselves the best care and consideration even when we’re busy.  We can put ourselves first before anything else.  We can set time aside to do something we enjoy that will bring us respite and refreshment.  And we can make the quality of our lives a priority.  If we take care of our needs first we will have more energy and be happier.  We’ll feel more at peace if we’ve taken the time we need before we give the rest away.  The quality of our lives is the best gift we can give ourselves, and it is always in our power.

Nobody knows exactly how our days go but us.  We interact with others who ask for our time unaware of any personal parameters.  Sometimes we can choose to help or not and other times because of the situation we may be expected to agree.  If there is something we want to be involved in the time spent may be rewarding.  But even with the reward if we expend all our energies outward there will be nothing left for us.  It’s possible to give too much.  Every well will go dry if the water isn’t replenished.  If we believe we don’t deserve personal time we may neglect it and after a while that neglect may affect our demeanor and comfort.  We may find situations that used to make us feel satisfied are no longer enjoyable.  We may feel no accomplishment when we complete a task because there are other tasks waiting for our attention.  Constantly doing for others will take its toll and we may feel used up and exhausted, unhappy with our lives and unsettled.

If we want to be happy we must make taking care of ourselves a priority.  If we are pro-active in planning for the things that mean the most to us – getting to the gym, taking a walk, time for reading, just time out – we’ll feel more relaxed and at peace as we attend to all our responsibilities.  Taking care of ourselves is the most important task we have.  If we are tired, unwell, stressed and over worked, we will be less successful in our projects.  Remembering the quality of our lives is important and doing what is needed to honor that will make that quality high.  We deserve the very best we have to offer and we can give it to ourselves.

Today if you’ve got a lot to accomplish remember to take time out for yourself.  You are the most important thing you need to take care of today.  Give yourself the best gift you can by taking care of your needs first.  You’ll feel calmer and happier and everything else will be easier.

Seeds

22 Aug

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” Indian Proverb

When we’re planting a garden we decide what kinds of vegetables or flowers we want and purchase the seeds we need.  If we want eggplant we buy eggplant seeds and if we want petunias we buy those.  We completely understand we cannot buy pansy seeds and expect to grow petunias.  It’s obvious we need to buy the exact seeds for the result we’re seeking.  Our lives work the same way.  Whatever we do brings a corresponding result.  If we are kind, chances are others will be kind to us in return.  If we are moody and angry, we will generally get a different response.  And if we are dishonest and manipulative, our lives will often bring a harvest of disharmony and distrust.  Everything has a payoff and those payoffs are directly related to what we extend.  Everything we do is like planting a seed.  The returns we get depend on the seeds we plant.  If we are aware and pro-active in our choices, we will get the harvest we want.

It’s easy to plow through our lives without paying attention.  We can let little annoyances become part of our outward expressions and pay no attention to how our behavior impacts those around us.  If we’re having a bad day we can be grumpy and moody and let everyone else know.  But sharing our bad mood with others will do nothing to make us feel better and may have a negative impact on the lives of those around us.  We can plant the seeds of frustration and unhappiness and they will grow.  Or we can remember that our bad day is just a passage and we can keep our unhappiness to ourselves.  We don’t have to be secretive or hide out, but we can smile at those around us even when we don’t feel our best and project a positive outlook even when things aren’t going our way.  We can plant seeds of harmony even when we aren’t feeling our best.

Everything we do today will have an impact on what comes to us tomorrow.  Just like planting seeds in our garden, everything we do will bring us a corresponding response.  If we are dishonest in our dealings with others we may get away with it for a time but eventually we will lose the trust of those around us and our lives will be impacted.  If we manipulate situations to gain what we want regardless of how it affects others we may lose valuable associations and relationships as a result.  The law of the harvest is immutable.  We will reap what we sow.  What we do will always bring a corresponding reaction. There is no way to avoid it.  We may get away with planting discord for a time but eventually the plant will grow and we’ll be accountable for the harvest.  We can pay attention and choose our seeds carefully.  We can have happy and productive lives filled with reward and fulfillment if we plant the seeds that will bring them.

Today be sure the things you do and say will bring you the results you’re seeking.  Remember you’re planting seeds with everything you do.  Choose carefully and plant a garden that will bring you the rewards you want most.