Thoughts to Ponder

“Live today by the Buddha’s words:

‘You could search the whole world and never find anyone as

deserving of your love as yourself.'”

Martha Beck*

We’ve heard similar words in many forms over the years. “Love your enemy as yourself.” “Be good to yourself.” And many more.

Most of us do this occasionally. Many of us go through our day saying to ourselves, “That was a dumb thing to do.” “I can’t do that, I don’t know how.” “I wish my hair was curly, less gray, smoother, longer, shorter….” “My nose it too long, wide, drippy….” We all have our private lists of what is wrong with us.

What if we turned that practice around? “I did a good job dusting. The house looks nicer now.” “I handled that difficult situation well.” Do you think that might change our outlook on life?

I’ve tried it and it works – very well – when I remember to do it. Sometimes I fall into a gloomy pit and everything seems wrong and unchangeable. The longer I’m in the pit the worse everything looks. My hair is wrong. I don’t have enough energy. I make too many mistakes. A good friend brought me food gifts. I thought she just felt sorry for this beaten-down woman who couldn’t afford to own food. This winter and spring I was deep in that pit, and life was a drain on my body and soul.

I’m not sure what caused the turn around. I think I was just tired of being tired. I told myself to look and act on the bright side. I asked Higher Power to nudge me along the right path. Soon, I found myself saying things like: “I did dishes today and the kitchen looks nice.” “I did laundry and the clean clothes feel good.” After a while I could say, “I solved that problem. Good job.” “I handled that situation well and both of us are satisfied.”

I till have a long way to go to be the person I’d like to be. But, I’ve come far enough that the world seems a kinder, safer place. My friends and relatives are more supportive and loving. My friend still brings me food gifts. Now, I realize she is a kind, thoughtful person, and I receive the gifts with joy and gratitude. Yesterday she gave me four green tomatoes. I grinned from ear to ear and cried, “How wonderful! I can enjoy a couple meals of fried green tomatoes. Thank you.!” We both came out of that encounter feeling better.

Spirit: Thank you for nudging me to change my attitude. I know that life will be better from now on. I’ll still have situations to overcome, but they’re not so daunting if I look at them as challenges rather than disasters.”

 

 

Advertisements

We will survive

Thoughts to Ponder

 “Years ago fairy tales all began with ‘Once upon a time…’

–now we know they all begin with, ‘If I am elected.’”

Carolyn Warner*

We’ve recently ended another presidential election season, the most contentious in my memory. That’s not to say it has been the worst in U.S. history. There was a lot of name calling leading to states seceding from the Union in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was the candidate of the newly formed Republican party. Recently I was listening to “The Thomas Jefferson Hour” on NPR and heard an interesting story.

The election of 1800 was a three-way race among Jefferson, John Adams seeking re-election and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton started a rumor that Jefferson had died. Communications being what they were at that time, Jefferson first heard of this several weeks later when he received a letter from a friend. He immediately sat down and wrote letters to several people telling them that he was, indeed, still alive and still a candidate. Those letters also took several weeks to find their recipients. But they had the desired effect. As a result Jefferson was elected to be our country’s third president.

So, should we be surprised at the recent political shenanigans we just witnessed? I’d guess not. The difference is that we now live in a 24-hour news cycle with information coming from many sources. As the election drew near I found myself becoming irritable with my great-grandsons who were just being their age. I was cranky at work. Each newspaper article I read or news program I watched made the situation worse. The vitriolic words spewed by both candidates and their supporters kept my insides in a twist. Yet, I felt compelled to stay informed, though I limited my exposure.

To do otherwise would be detrimental to my health, so I made a decision to take steps to improve my mental outlook. About a week before the election I began to pray to accept the outcome whatever it might be. On election day I went to the polls early and immediately felt a slight easing in my distress knowing that I had done my part in making this momentous choice. That evening I periodically checked election news to learn what was happening, then went to bed at my usual time. The next morning I clicked on the television long enough to learn who had been elected. I asked God to guide Mr. Trump as he assumed his new duties. These small steps eased my distress significantly.

Healing came Thursday evening when I attended a 4th grade Veteran’s Day program at my oldest great-grandson’s school. The children were decked out in patriotic vests and presented a program of U.S. history and patriotic songs. Each child had made a list of relatives who had served in the military. Those names covered an entire wall of the gym. At one point in the program each service’s song was played and audience members who had served in that particular branch stood to roaring applause. Then we were treated to a slide show of photos of many of those relatives in their uniforms. The program concluded with the audience standing as one child’s grandfather sang “God Bless the USA.” I was not the only person wiping tears of joy from my eyes.

As I write this, I’m crying, but my tears are healing months of distress and worry. I’m still nervous, but for my own sanity I must trust that we can survive this election and continue to grow as a nation. I trust that this will continue to be our legacy.

Spirit: Most of us have lived the past several months in pain and distress. You have shown us that the human race has survived worse and continues to thrive. Each of us, no matter who we are or where we live, has the ability to change the world just a little bit for the better. Please keep reminding us of that responsibility and privilege. And, so it is.

*Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, 1992, Prentice Hall, page 239

© by Sharon D. Dillon, November 12, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as a paperback or e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.

Listen to your heart

Thoughts to Ponder – October 21, 2015

“Listen to your heart. It knows all things,

because it came from the Soul of the World,

and it will one day return there.”

The Alchemist*

 

Listening to our hearts is often difficult. Some people do it instinctively. Regrettably, most of us tend to listen to outside voices, rather than our hearts and bodies.

Just watch a newborn and you will see that he knows what he needs. She cries when she is hungry and automatically turns to her mother’s breast. He cries when he is wet and we respond by changing his diaper. Of course, we’ve all experienced times when neither the bottle nor the diaper meet the baby’s needs and we pace the floor for hours trying to soothe her. The baby knows what he needs, but we are thinking in adult mode, so are unable to provide it.

As we grow we are taught to conform to expected norms. We sit still in school, do our homework, then sit in front of the television because our parents fear what lies outside. I’m not saying that the fear is unreasonable. It just doesn’t fit what our bodies and hearts need.

We continue to grow along those patterns and follow anticipated social norms. Then one day we are adults who don’t know what we want to do, just that what we are doing doesn’t feel right. We are unhappy and make those around us unhappy. Too many souls return to the Universe with sad hearts.

Some of us rebel and are considered learning disabled or socially unacceptable. Many people who contribute scientific discoveries or beauty to our world are slotted into that category.

Some of us don’t comprehend our path until we are older and have to dig down into our souls to find the courage to follow our hearts. The change can be difficult, but rewarding with old worries, heavy hearts and body pains fading away as we begin follow our new, but original paths.

A few of us are fortunate to understand our calling while still children and are encouraged by those around us to follow our hearts. What a joy to live that life!

If we as adults can learn to follow our hearts we will raise a whole generation of children who live according to their hearts. Can you imagine how wonderful that will be?

Spirit,

Please open our souls to hear to our hearts calling. We know they never stopped calling. We stopped listening. We choose to live according to our heart knowledge, realizing that we and everyone around us will be happier. We choose to return to the Universe with happy hearts.

And, so it is.

* The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, pg. 132, HarperCollins Publishers

© by Sharon D. Dillon, October 21, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

Which path?

Thoughts to Ponder

“When your life is over,
how do you want the world to be different
– in larger ways or small –
because you have lived?”
Martha Beck

Message

This quote requires much thought and introspection. Most of us would say we’d like to know we made life better for our families and others who have crossed our path.
How do we do that?

We must walk the walk as well as talk the talk about our own personal truths. What our truth is does not matter so much as living that truth. For many of us that means sharing our faith, however, sharing our faith verbally, is less important that showing it in our actions.

We’ve all heard of televangelists who have strayed from the path, spending the congregation’s donations on luxury items or building a huge worship center rather than giving to charities as they claimed in their sermons. These people’s misdeeds are remembered long after their good deeds are forgotten.

We’ve also seen people who act saintly in public, yet mistreat their families. In this instance the families often go along with the act and praise the “saint” while fear churns in their bellies. Eventually, the truth becomes evident, leaving the do-gooder to sit in the ditch. Their home is no longer a refuge.

On the other hand, we’ve seen people who never mention their faith, yet live it every moment. They do good deeds and encourage others without caring for awards or praise. This person is the one who makes the world a better place.

One way to check which road you are traveling is to imagine what words will be engraved on your grave marker. Will it say, “____ ____” born ____, died ____? Or will it say, “____ ____ made the world a better place?” If your imaginary marker does not say what you would like it to say, you can make changes in your words and actions. It is never too late to walk a new path and correct your wrongs.

Moving ourselves onto a new path is not always easy. Sometimes the old habits do not want to leave. You and they were comfortable with the old way. We can make a list of things we want to do and check it daily. We can keep a journal and watch our progress. We’ll know we have made the change when we feel content more times than not.

Meditation

Creator Spirit, thank you for giving us reminders when we wander from our true path. We know that if we don’t respond to the small reminders, larger, painful ones will follow. We thank you that when we are on the correct path we feel peace, love and joy.
And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, August 18, 2014

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net and Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.