Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Prayer of St. Francis

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / tolokonov
Just sharing a little motivation today. One of the best ways to gain happiness in life is to serve others.

Especially if you are feeling down in the dumps or depressed -- try to forget your own problems for a while and help others with theirs. It will feel like a magic formula.

I think the Prayer of St. Francis says it best.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

We Can Create What We Want In Life

"We create our lives with our thoughts, beliefs and expectations. We create by repeating the behavior patterns that feel comfortable and familiar, whether or not they are productive. We create by conscious choice -- focused activity that moves us toward exactly what we want. We create by unconscious choice -- activity without focus and intent." Iyanla Vanzant
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / tolokonov

What is it you wish to create in your life? More love? More peace? More joy?

Take one action step today in that direction. 

Here's a little hint -- you get what you give. 

So, if you would like to receive more love, the key is to give more love. 

If you would like to feel more peaceful, you could try to bring peace into a stressful situation.

If you are seeking more joy, perhaps you could create a joyful moment for another today.

All of these things will bring the same quality back to you.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Is the First to Forgive Really the Strongest?

Recently I saw a quote on Facebook that I immediately replied "Amen!" to. But, since then I've been thinking about it more deeply, and I'm not so sure about it, based on the "true stories" I have experienced in my life.

I agree with the obvious gist -- forgive, forget and apologize. Yes! Of course! We should all be working on these things, but I emphasize "working," because forgiveness is a process, not something that can be flipped on by a switch.

There is nothing wrong with taking time to process hurt feelings before offering apologies or forgiveness, and taking this time does not make you any less strong than the person who apologized or forgave first. What is most important is that you are working on it. Forgiveness is one of the most important life lessons we have to learn.

I believe people who take time to get their inner emotional house in order before handling conflict are very strong people, because they are waiting to address the situation until they know they are in the right place to handle it. Sometimes handling things before you are ready only creates more chaos.

Having said that though, I do want to point out it is important we actually do work on any forgiveness issues we have, because carrying unforgiveness in our hearts is toxic to ourselves and those around us.

As far as "forgetting," that's only for the little things -- maybe pesky little arguments -- but the big things are never forgotten. They are left behind as battle wounds that influence how we view and handle almost everything in our lives. Those experiences are part of what make us who we are.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't think it should be a race to see who can be the first to apologize, forgive or forget so we can have the title of being the bravest, strongest or happiest. Yes, we should all be working toward forgiveness, but we don't need to pressure ourselves or allow others to pressure us to handle situations before we are ready.

Perhaps the best choice we can make when we find ourselves in a situation that requires apologies or forgiveness would be to apply the virtues of grace, kindness, mercy and compassion -- toward ourselves and the other person.
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. Psalm 145:8