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Twinkle Lights

17 Dec

During the holiday season, we often see strands of twinkle lights hung over doorways, in shop windows, on cars, and many other places. We might decorate our homes with them and hang them on our Christmas Tree.  They aren’t big, and aren’t loud or dramatic, but wherever they are they cheerfully and quietly add charm and delight. It’s a small thing to hang them up and turn them on, but these tiny little dots of light cheer us as we move through our days. As they extinguish just one small drop of darkness, they may lighten our steps and lift our spirits. We have the same power within us. Every time we do something for someone else out of charity and kindness, we too, extinguish just a small drop of darkness and bring light.  We don’t have to move mountains, feed nations, or cure diseases to make a big impact.  One small act when someone needs it will bring great relief and comfort to those who receive it.  Maybe we just offer a helping hand with a heavy bag of groceries, or open a door for an elderly stranger, maybe we check in on our neighbor to see how they are, or call a loved one we haven’t seen in a while.  Small acts of kindness are powerful, and just like a stone tossed into a pond, may have endless rippling effects for good.  Our lives are busy and it’s easy to get caught up in our daily routine and all the things we have to accomplish.  But if we take a moment, just one small snatch of time, to look around, we will see something we can do that will enhance and improve the experience of someone around us. When we share, when we give and lift others, the whole world is enriched. We have so much to offer and so much to give.  By extending ourselves just a little and touching those around us, we can be like those tiny, beautiful twinkle lights. We have the power to change the world. Sharing with others, and caring about those around us will bring us great joy, and lasting fulfillment.

It’s hard to be around continually grouchy people, and their constant bickering brings us all down. As they bemoan what they don’t have or what they didn’t get or how they weren’t recognized or endless other gripes, those around them may try anything to get away. If we care for them we may try to encourage them to see things in a different light, and we might succeed.  However, our personal happiness is our own responsibility and if we’re determined to be miserable, there is little anyone can do. Life is complicated, and sometimes things will not go our way. Sometimes we’re going to fail, sometimes we’re going to lose, and sometimes we’re not going to get the job. But nothing is permanent and even if we’re struggling now, eventually things will change.  We can trust ourselves to do whatever is needed to change course, and find success.

Nobody gets a perfect life filled with rainbows and roses. We’re all going to suffer at some point.  If we’re enduring an extremely difficult passage, and it seems we’re doomed and there is no hope of rescue, we may struggle to find any light. It may seem as though everyone else has it better than we do, and somehow we’ve been singled out to suffer. Of course, that will never be true. Hard times may come, but no matter what happens, we will get through. No storm can last forever, and eventually the clouds will lift and everything will change. We are strong and capable, and nothing can hold us down forever. By focusing on what is working and keeping our eyes on the road ahead, we can walk through any trouble with confidence and clarity.

Today, remember how valuable and precious you are. There is great strength and wisdom within you and you are a gift to the world. Bring light to those around you, and share who you are.  Nobody could ever replace the blessings you have to offer.  Step forward with confidence.  Every gift is waiting, and every success is possible.  Nothing can keep you from your dreams, and you will prevail.

Triangles

5 Jan

In an orchestra, every instrument has an integral part to play. Each is needed to make the piece being performed complete. If even one instrument’s part is removed or quieted, the entire sound is affected. If one section is more subdued than another, the main melody transfers to whichever is playing the most prominently. Directors use this to manipulate the performance and create the sound they seek. They choose the most beautiful parts of the piece to sing out above the other harmonies in order to bring the greatest beauty and depth to the music. But every instrument has it’s place and is needed to create the entire sound. Even the triangle has a role to play. It’s a small instrument with a very tiny voice. But when it is called on to sound out, its perfect placement makes the entire piece more complete. We are like the orchestra in many ways. We are all different and each of us has a voice that is unique and important. Even if we’re like the tiny triangle, and don’t say much or aren’t loud, what we have to offer is valuable and needed. Our contribution, no matter how small is integral in our lives and the lives of others. It’s important and precious.

We all have different ways of expressing ourselves. Some of us are clear and direct, and even forceful when talking with others. And some of us are more reserved, waiting until we are sure of what we want to say before speaking up, and then speaking more quietly and modestly. But our messages are all important. Whether we are loud or soft, each of our voices is necessary for our world to be complete. When we think of all the people around us and their contributions in our lives, it’s hard to imagine leaving even one of them out. None of them is perfect, and we sometimes wish some of them would fade into the the distance but when we look at the whole picture we can see that each is a necessary piece of the puzzle that is our lives. Each has a voice in our personal orchestra and we need to hear them all.

If we lack confidence we may find it hard to speak up and share our comments and thoughts with those around us. But what we have to say is important. Even the things we think are insignificant could be something someone else really needs to hear. We can feel empowered enough to share our thoughts and feelings with others, and recognize that we have an important role to play in our own lives and the lives of those around us. We are all far more connected to each other than we realize. If we open up, share our thoughts, and become part of the conversation, we will be embellished and we will bless those around us in ways we cannot possibly know. Sometimes one word from us changes everything for someone else. It’s possible that our one comment could change someone else’s perspective from lonely and unsure, to one of inclusion and acceptance. We have so much to share. We can be brave enough to share all we have, and be an integral part of the complete picture adding our own instrument and voice to the world around us.

Today if you’ve kept to yourself and not spoken up when you had the chance, determine to share who you are. You have so much to offer and your perspective is valuable and desired. Open up and let others know you more deeply and become part of the orchestra around you. Your voice is needed and we all want to hear it. Tell us who you are and let us grow from your influence. You are an amazing gift to those around you. Share yourself with them today.

Voice Over

25 Nov

We all have our own impressions of this life.  The things we go through, and the experiences we have give uniqueness and color to those impressions. We interpret things our own way and we make personal choices based on who we are and what we want. As we go along we develop our own voices, exclusive to us, and different from anyone else. The impact we have on the world is ours alone to make, and we have both the privilege, and the responsibility to ensure it is heard. We all have something to offer and we can be brave and bold in presenting ourselves. This life flashes by in an instant. It’s important we recognize who we are, and what we want to share, and then go about doing just that. There are some who might try to silence our uniqueness and make us conform to a model they prefer. But we have a true, clear voice, and it needs to be heard.

When painters compose a painting and they want a strong image and excellent texture, they often choose many colors to bring it to life. There are warm, rich tones that bring light to the painting and deep, dark shades that give it foundation and depth. They might try white here and there to add shape, and black for darkness and shadow. Rarely is a remarkable painting made using only one shade or hue. It takes all the colors – all the voices – to bring life to the composition. Like an artist’s palette, it takes all our voices for life to be complete. We need to hear from the realists, the optimists, the pragmatists, and even the pessimists. We all have a version to share, and opinions that bring depth and challenge to our everyday experiences. We have the right to express our voices, even if they are different than what the choir is singing. Our part counts, and needs to be heard.

If we struggle with self-doubt, we may believe our voice isn’t good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to be heard. But we don’t have to be perfect to sing out. We don’t have to know a certain melody, we don’t have to sing in the same key, we don’t even have to sing the same song. The important thing is that we share who we are, and express ourselves. Nobody else knows everything we do, or sees things our way. Our contribution is important. We can be bold in speaking out, and we can be confident. Each voice has depth and color that will bring richness and texture to life. We all have a lot to offer, and our contribution is priceless. Nobody else can offer it but us.

Today if you’ve been keeping quiet, if you’ve let others convince you that your contribution isn’t worthy, don’t believe it. Your voice is needed and valuable. You have so many incredible thoughts inside you. Share with those around you. Open your heart, and let your voice be heard. We need to hear your perspective, and your perceptions. You are a wonderful gift to the world. Sing out. You have a beautiful voice.

After You

6 Nov

We all want to do things well and shine in our accomplishments. We may want to impress others with our talents and abilities and in order to do that we have to get their attention. Getting attention is generally easy, and if we’re focusing exclusively on ourselves trying to get noticed, we may not even see others around us. We’re honed in on the task at hand and can only see our particular way forward. But others are around us, and sometimes they are working hard to be noticed as well. It’s great to be first, but it’s also good to let others go ahead from time to time. If we take a step out of the limelight once in a while and let someone else step up, we can learn a lot about them, and about ourselves. If we’re used to steaming ahead to the front of the line it may take some thought to step back, but when we do, there is a lot to be gained.

When we’re rushing around from place to place and task to task we keep our eyes trained on the way ahead. As we grab the door and rush into where we want to be we might not see someone standing right next to us. Slowing down just a little and allowing them to pass teaches us patience and helps us remember we aren’t the only person in the world. We can learn to say, “After you,” open the door for someone else, and let them go first. We all have a lot to offer, and if we pay attention we can learn from those around us. If we are so focused on our personal goals and what’s happening in our lives, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to learn anything from anyone else. But we can step back, we can slow down a little, and we can take notice. We can let someone else lead.  Letting them go first doesn’t diminish our accomplishments, and will give us a broader view of who we are.

It’s easy to be selfish and concentrate only on what we want to do. It doesn’t take much thought and we can ignore everyone else if we want to. But extending ourselves a little and allowing those near us to share our lives is important. We can give a little space, offer a little time, and let someone else go ahead of us once in a while. We don’t always have to be first. We can share the light and we can expand our focus. When we do, we build relationships and make connections that will bring us contentment in the long run. Our lives are enhanced when we share them with others, and learning to say, “After you,” is one way to start.

Today if you’ve been pushing ahead, and rushing to get to the front of the line, look around and notice who’s next to you. You are great and have a lot to offer. You don’t have to prove how terrific you are by being first all the time. Everyone will notice you even when you let others go first. Share the road as you go forward, and build relationships. It’s far better to be with friends than strangers, and taking a moment to share with those near you is the first step.

Out of Bounds

4 Nov

Sometimes in our relationships with others, we discuss or share things that are personal. We tell them very private thoughts about certain areas of our lives, or talk about our hopes and dreams with them. When we do, unless we say it’s okay to share our comments, we may expect them to keep them to themselves. But sometimes, those close to us tell others what we’ve said and it makes us uncomfortable. If it’s something very private, it may hurt us that they told someone else. If we share something confidential and ask that it not be repeated, and then discover others have been told, it’s a very personal betrayal. It can be embarrassing and painful to learn that our private thoughts have been tossed around. Those who betray our trust sometimes think telling others is okay, but if we’ve asked them to keep it private, their thoughts mean little.  It’s appropriate to trust a boundary with a friend. If that trust isn’t honored, it can be very hurtful.

There are some people who have no filters. They repeat everything they hear to everyone they know. They don’t believe there should be any walls around information, and they often don’t care what others think. They may give their word to protect what they’ve heard, but then are unable to keep it. When we have someone like that close to us, it can be devastating to discover our inner most thoughts and feelings have been broadcast. We can feel humiliated and exposed. Everyone has the right to make any decision they like, but if those decisions hurt us, we need to evaluate our relationship with them. If they can’t be trusted to keep our confidence, we must protect it.

Some people don’t believe it makes any difference if everyone knows our private thoughts, and if we cherish our privacy and hold it dear, we need to protect ourselves from sharing with them. If they are someone close to us, and we love them, that can be difficult. We may forget their inability to hold our comments to themselves and in times of distress, open up to them. Boundaries are important and we are the only ones who can protect our own. If we share and are betrayed, it hurts. We must define who can and who can’t be trusted with our private thoughts. Once we understand who they are, and accept that even those who love us may not be trustworthy with our boundaries, we can make wiser decisions. Protecting our privacy is our responsibility. We can define our boundaries any way we choose, and we can do whatever is needed to protect them.

Today if you’ve been exposed in ways that have hurt you, and if your boundaries have been betrayed, you can protect yourself going forward. You can have close relationships with others who don’t understand your boundaries and still ensure your privacy by guarding what you share. Understand the limits of the people close to you, and you will be comfortable going forward. Your boundaries are sacred and should be honored. You are entitled to them, and you may protect them.