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No Go

8 Aug

There are limitless things we can accomplish and endless goals we can work toward.  When we want something we can create a plan to achieve it and move forward toward success.  If we had control over everything around us we could always guarantee we’d be able to reach every goal we desired.  Unfortunately, we live in the real world and the only control we have is over ourselves.  There will always be other people making decisions that impact us and other things we don’t know about and can’t prevent from getting in the way.  If we’re determined to reach a goal we can work diligently and push through obstacles in our way but we may face a situation where no matter what we do we can’t get there.  Sometimes the hurdles are too high or the barrier in front of us is too wide to get around.  If there is nothing we can do to change the situation we may have to abandon the goal and let it go.  It’s hard to face defeat when we’ve worked hard to succeed especially if we’ve worked hard for a long time.  We don’t know what we don’t know and can’t see everything at the beginning.  Sometimes no matter how well we plan or hard we push things won’t work out for us.  If we must let go of a goal, we can set it down and walk away – for now.  Life is constantly in flux and everything changes around us over time.  What is impossible today may come easily in the future so although we have to leave the dream behind now, if we still want to accomplish it we can revisit it later and try again.

It’s great to reach the destinations we desire but the journey along the way is what teaches us about our world.  Every experience teaches us something and we take that knowledge forward with us.  Even if things don’t work out we have more information than when we started and understand more clearly where we are and what we need.  We can use all the lessons we’ve gained to reach new heights moving forward and continue toward the lives we want the most.

When we’ve been stopped and can’t move before we reach a goal we can develop another plan and try again.  We can try as often as we like and may reach success.  Most goals are attainable but there are some things we won’t be able to achieve no matter what we do.  To continually knock ourselves out trying to do something that can’t be done is not in our best interest.  Trying to do the impossible will only hold us back from finding success in other areas.  If we’ve done all we can and still can’t move forward we can turn our course toward something else.  It’s wise to accept defeat when success isn’t possible.  We can be confident in choosing well and living in ways that bring satisfaction and ultimate success.

Today if you’ve been working hard for a long time toward a goal and can’t move forward, look at everything clearly.  If there are possible options that will bring success, try them.  If not, determine where you want to go now and begin again on a new road.  There is no failure as long as you continue forward.  Be confident and trust your judgement.  You are wise and capable and will find success.

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Pinhole

30 May

Being able to see what’s around us is helpful when we’re moving forward. If we have a clear view not only of what lies ahead but of what’s going on near us we have a better chance of navigating complications more effectively. Seeing things as they develop gives us more information and opens options for us as we move ahead. But sometimes, like peering through a pinhole, we only see a direct line forward and not activity that may be happening beside us. Tunnel vision can happen if we are so focused on our goal we negate the value of being involved in anything but our movement forward. Ambition is great when we’re striving to reach a destination but if we only focus on the way ahead and are unaware of what’s around us we may complicate our lives in ways that will stop our progress altogether. No matter what we’re doing or where we’re headed there are many facets of our lives that need attention. If we focus on only one objective and neglect other areas we may experience turmoil and frustration. Life is complex and there are always many things going on that need our attention. If we ignore everything but the road ahead we may make some progress but the things left undone will remain until we return to address them.

There is no way to hold back time. It continues relentlessly whether we are ready or not. The best we can do is try to prepare as we move forward so as time passes we can manage the challenges that come to us. When our lives are busy and we have many pressing details to address we may wish for a pause button to take a breather but there is no way to stop life from moving forward. However, if we need time to see things more openly, and want to step back for a moment we can. We can stand still and take the opportunity to clearly view what’s going on around us and evaluate how we want to proceed. Time will continue but we can stop until we feel ready to start again. We are always in control of what we do. Taking a break may bring us refreshment and new perspectives that will help us moving forward.

Embracing a wide view helps us understand how our lives work and how we fit into the world. It’s easy to restrict our vision to only what we’re currently doing and our personal connections, but when we do we might miss subtle cues that may help us going forward. There may be someone near us with a suggestion that will get us to our goal more effectively. There may be an easier road just to the right of the one we’ve been traveling. If we open our sites a bit wider than just the way ahead we gain the benefit of every influence around us and the information they offer. All the answers we need are available to us. We need only open our eyes and see them.

Today if you’ve been focused on pushing forward and kept your eyes firmly planted on the road ahead, take a moment to look around and see everything available to you. There are answers all around you waiting to be discovered. The whole world is there for you. Be open and take it all in. There is great success ahead and seeing everything will help you find it.

Take My Hand

7 Jul

There are many joyous experiences in our lives but sometimes things can be complicated. There are times in everyone’s life when things go wrong and we feel overwhelmed, or sad, or unsure, or lost. We may struggle to find our way, we may search for answers, we may find it difficult to keep going and we may feel hopeless. During times like those it’s hard to see the sunshine with all the clouds that encompass us. It can feel like everyone’s life is better than ours and it can be a bleak period to endure. During our darkest moments if someone reaches out to us and says, “Here, let me help you. Take my hand,” everything changes. The compassion of someone near can break through pain and pull us up from misery. Sometimes it only takes a small gesture to lift us from the gloom, and when we look up again, we can finally feel we’ll survive. There is nothing more powerful than the human touch. When we’re desperate, lonely, sad, overwhelmed or any of the other difficult emotions we’re going through, someone’s offer to “Take my hand,” can be priceless. It can turn the tide back to our shore and help us find our way home again.

There are countless experiences in our lives that teach us many things. We learn by doing and each new thing teaches us something valuable we can take with us. Some of the lessons are easy, even fun, but some are more difficult. When we’re going through trials and feel beset it can be hard to see the end from where we’re standing. The road we have to traverse can look impossibly long and if we are heartbroken because of the experience, can feel impossible to navigate. We may feel isolated, lost in the confusion, and alone without help but when someone reaches out for us, everything changes. The kindness of someone close who is willing to listen and offer support can turn the tide.

Our lives are busy and we have much to accomplish. There are others around us most of the time and if we look up we may see someone struggling. Maybe it’s a physical challenge that is pressing them, or maybe it’s personal. We don’t have to pry but we can step up, offer our help, and listen. We can be a safe harbor for someone else’s storm and when we are they are lifted, and we are blessed. Nothing brings more blessing or personal joy than helping others. We can be the one to say, “Take my hand,” and offer help and encouragement. There is nothing more tender than true compassion. We can offer it and when we do lives change. We have so much to give. We can change the world.

Today if you’re overwhelmed with a challenge that has been difficult and someone offers to help, let them lift you and share the burden. There isn’t anything you can’t do. If someone near you is struggling, offer your hand and support. You have so much to give. We’re all blessed because you’re here.

Losing Ourselves

21 Apr

Hard times come to us all. Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s going wrong in our lives we can’t see anything else. We can only focus on the problems we’re facing. We may feel beset, overwhelmed and quite miserable. It can seem that everywhere we look there is nothing but bad news. It’s like being in a fog of unhappiness and it’s hard to find a way out. But there are things we can do to find peace even when things are going wrong. One way to get out from under the trial is to reach out and help someone else. We may think we can’t possibly help anyone else when our lives are a mess, but doing things for others allows us to take our eyes off our own problems for a while. When we’re helping someone else there isn’t time to think about ourselves. We can get lost in service, and when we do we find respite. It seems counter intuitive to try to give when we feel like we’re going under but if we do we will be lifted and our burdens, no matter what they are, will feel lighter.

We all have so many blessings. Even in our darkest moments we have much for which to be thankful. Maybe we don’t live in a mansion, but we have a safe place to sleep. Maybe we don’t wear designer clothes, but we are warm and dry. Maybe we don’t have money in the bank, but we have enough for our needs. We take a lot for granted and forget how much we really have. Even in our darkest hours we have things for which to be grateful. And often we have more than many others. If we can remember that and share what we have, even when we’re struggling, we will find peace and comfort. It’s impossible to focus on what’s going wrong in our lives when we’re trying to help someone else with something they need. Seeing another person’s problems and helping them find comfort brings comfort to us as well.

When things go wrong and the bottom falls out, when we lose our footing and think we’ll never survive, all is not lost. No matter what we go through in life, we will find a way through. There will always be someone with more troubles and fewer blessings than us. If we reach out and extend ourselves to help, to serve in some way, and to share what we have, we will forget our sorrows and find joy. When we’re focused on someone else, we can’t focus on what’s going wrong for us. We will lose ourselves and our troubles for a moment and reach a little higher. We’ll find comfort and confidence as we remember the blessings we have, and see how we’re bringing joy to others by helping. We have so much to offer. Troubles will come and there will be hard times. But we can navigate them and find solace by helping those around us, and remembering who we are.

Today if you feel overwhelmed by things that are going wrong, and surrounded by trouble, look around and see where you could help. Extend yourself and do something for someone else. You will forget your problems for a moment and the service will bring you joy. When you return to the issues that are pressing, you’ll be rejuvenated and stronger. There isn’t anything you can’t do. Lose yourself helping someone else. Your problems will seem to diminish, and you’ll be comforted and happier.

Gathering Light

4 Apr

We have all kinds of opportunities to influence others throughout our lives.  We can be an example of kindness, charity, and love, or something else.  We can do anything we like, but we can’t share something we don’t have.  If we want to share goodness and light, we first have to attain those things for ourselves.  We are born innocent and without guile, but life brings hardship and disappointment, as well as blessings, and as we grow we change.  Although we’re taught as children to play fair, we learn quickly that life sometimes isn’t fair with us.  Those experiences can harden us and turn our innocent trust into suspicion and doubt.  But there is light all around us and we can obtain it to help us become the people we really want to be.  Every time we help someone else, we gain a little light.  Every time we comfort, we gather a little more.  With each selfless act we accumulate tiny rays of light and they become ours.  It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill.  It starts small but as it rolls forth it picks up more and more snow until at the end it’s far larger than when it began.  We gather light as we live valiantly and courageously.  And when we do our blessings increase, and our influence on the world magnifies.

It’s impossible to live on earth and not impact others.  No matter what we think our influence is, sometimes it’s more prevalent than we imagine.  People watch us.  They see our choices, they see what we say, and they see how we behave.  If we are noble and kind, they may emulate us.  And if we are hurtful and mean, they may avoid us.  We don’t live in a vacuum and even when we think nobody is watching, odds are someone is noticing.  Whether we mean to or not, whatever we do we are sharing with those around us.  There is enough wickedness, abuse, betrayal, and hurt in the world already, and we don’t need to add more.  But if we do, it makes us part of the pain we all endure.  It’s far better for us to choose something higher and nobler.  We can choose to be kind, caring, thoughtful, and respectful.  We can help and listen, and be a voice of comfort.

We will never reach a point in our lives where we have enough kindness, enough charity, or enough patience.  We will never have so much light we don’t need to reach for more.  There will always be room for growth.  Dark trials come to all of us and when we feel hopeless and lost, we pray and hope for light.  We yearn for someone to help us and comfort us.  It is far better to become a beacon to others than to ignore their pain and leave nothing behind.  As we become the very best we can be, we can be a bright star in the darkness.  We can be there and bring comfort because we care.  We can be a positive influence in this life.  And when we are, we can change the world.

Today there will be ways for you to help, or listen, or comfort.  Offer a kind word or a helping hand.  You will gather light and as you do those around you will be lifted because you care.  There is light all around you.  Find it.  Gather it and let it shine.  Be an example for good.  The world will be a better place because you did.

Outside Ourselves

14 Mar

Sometimes things go wrong, our life gets turned upside down, and we become stressed.  Maybe there’s too much going on we need to address, or the plans we made fell through and we’re struggling to find our way. Life isn’t always easy and sometimes the road gets rocky. We may feel overwhelmed, lost, scared, or exhausted as we try to navigate the situation, and the last thing we want is to face anything else. It may seem strange but the best thing to do at times like these is to reach outside ourselves and offer help to someone else. It’s virtually impossible to think about our problems when we’re doing something for others. We can’t be focused on what’s going wrong in our lives when we’re trying to help make something right for someone else. Taking the time to serve removes us from the things that are holding us down, and brings us comfort and peace. We can return to our issues later and they’ll still be there. But often if we take time out to serve, when we return to our problems they don’t seem quite so looming or difficult, and we find we can manage them a bit better.

It’s not possible to intensely ponder two situations at once. We can only carefully think about one at a time. If we’re stressed about something and turn our attention to someone else, they become our focus. It doesn’t matter what we do to serve, and there are limitless ways we can help out. For instance, imagine a friend needed food but had no way to get to the store and we offered to take them – it would be a great blessing. Personal service need not be extremely time consuming or difficult. We can do whatever is needed. And if we help, the other person isn’t the only one who benefits. We also receive blessings as we take a break from obsessing over our problems. It’s a win for both.

When we’re under water with an issue that’s concerning us, the last thing we want is more to do. We’re already busy and we have a lot on our minds. We may not think offering help to someone else will bring us respite, but that’s often what happens.  Serving others isn’t just another chore to accomplish. When we serve, we focus on something else, get closer to those around us, and build relationships. As we build friendships we learn more about ourselves. Those we help will trust us and feel our care. We all need each other. We’re connected to one another in ways we can’t always see.  When we’re wrapped up in our own lives we may forget that. Opening the door to service helps us remember. Nobody knows what the future will bring and life changes constantly. It’s possible that although we’re serving today, it may happen in the future that we’ll be the ones in need, and someone will help us.  It’s give and take each day of our lives.  The more we give, the more blessings we’ll take away.

Today if you’re overwhelmed with issues that are concerning and you feel stressed, look around and see where you can help someone else. Take a break from your pressures to serve. You’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel and how refreshed you’ll be when you return. There isn’t anything you can’t handle. You have so much to offer. Offer it today.

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.