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.”

 

 

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Thoughts to Ponder

February 28, 2017

“Here are the two best prayers I know:

‘Help me, help me, help me’ and

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Anne Lamott1

“I would maintain that thanks are the best form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

G.K. Chesterton2

Those two quotes sum up the main teachings of any belief practice. Remember those sermons about sin and repentance or rules for correct spiritual practice? As we think of the rules we’ve been taught, we may wonder where this topic is going.

However, if we stop to analyze those lessons we will remember that the two main points our spiritual leader was trying to make were:

  • I’m in trouble and need help.
  • Help received. Thank you.

After considering the main points of those sermons, we may stop to consider events when our situations improved, perhaps unexpectedly. We were happy that it was resolved and wondered how it all happened. Often, we assigned those small or large miracles to mere coincidences. Possibly, if we were spiritually inclined, we might say something like, “God was on my side that time.” That is expressing gratitude or “happiness doubled by wonder.”

While I acknowledge God as the Supreme, Eternal Being, I tend to anthropomorphize that entity and the angels or spirit guides as someone I can talk to like my best friend. I like to start my prayers with gratitude. I wake up in the morning and say good morning and thank you to God for giving me a new day and the gifts of sun, trees…. Then I tell the Higher Power that on this day I choose to be the highest and best me I can be. After that I ask for the guidance and the ability to do what is mine to do. As I end this conversation I express my gratitude again, knowing that all that happens this day will be in my Highest Good.

Those of you who know me personally are probably saying her life does not reflect the words she is writing. That is so true. I tend to take the easy way out in many aspects of my life. Then I wonder why certain miracles are not forthcoming.

Spiritual teacher Doreen Virtue3 advises us that God and the angels will always help but you must first ask. If I follow that advice and ask my Higher Power to assist me as I do what is on my to-do list, each situation is resolved quickly, leaving me to wonder what the big deal was – and grateful.

The point of that confession is to admit that my Eternal Source has not let me down. I cannot blame God for not giving me my heart’s desire. Instead, I must admit that I often do not follow divine prompting and take the action that is mine to take.

Spirit, Thank you for this new day, new beginning. I ask that you will show me what action is mine to take today. I will ask for help when I need it and express gratitude when that help appears. And, so it is.

1Quotables, O the Oprah Magazine, September 2016

2ibid

3Virtue, Doreen, Hay House World Angel Summit, audio, “Real World Angel Experiences”, February 28, 2017

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

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

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and 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

Holiday Sanity

Thoughts to Ponder

 “If you long for the world to be a saner, more loving place,

please be advised that you must start inside.

Care for your sick, anxious, exhausted self as lovingly

as you want to care for every suffering thing.”

*Martha Beck

This is such a busy time of year. Many holiday events keep us busy, so busy we often feel frazzled rather than joyful. We want to attend special holiday programs, spend extra time with our families, buy gifts for everyone who has graced our lives this year, decorate our houses, cook bountiful holiday meals with all the traditional foods and enjoy the loving spirit of the season.

Whew! Can really do all that? We try. Then feelings of inadequacy begin to creep into our psyches. We begin to criticize ourselves for not being up to the gigantic tasks we set for ourselves. We’ve pushed our bodies and our minds beyond what they were intended to do. How can we enjoy the holidays when we are exhausted and stressed?

Perhaps it’s time to remember that we are called human BEINGS rather than human DOINGS for a reason. This is the time when we must do as Beck suggests and care for ourselves “as lovingly as you want to care for every suffering thing.” Our Higher Power wants us to enjoy life, to be healthy, happy and sane. How do we accomplish this seemingly impossible task? How do we take care of everyone and ourselves too?

Beck answers this in her December 19th message:

“One little thing. Just do one little thing. The first one little thing is to get a piece of paper and write down ALL THE THINGS. Then eat ice cream or pie, for purposes of recovery. Then decide on the most pressing one of ALL THE THINGS, and do one little thing about it.”

Sounds simple, yet in our complex world this can be very hard to do. We don’t know how to choose the most pressing activity. We have to finish gift shopping, buy groceries at the last minute so nothing is stale or wilted, do laundry so we all look good at the concert, fix a treat for the office party and on and on and on.

Perhaps the most pressing thing is to read a story with our child, or tell our spouse that we are glad that he or she is in our lives. Or just maybe the most pressing thing is to take a nap and awaken refreshed. We can only decide for ourselves what is most important. No one else can make that decision for us.

Spirit: Thank you for bringing this valuable lesson to our attention when we need it most. We are finite humans, not the super heroes we perceive ourselves to be. Yet by taking care of ourselves and trusting that with You all things are possible, we can often do heroic deeds – one moment at a time. And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Martha’s Daily Inspiration, December 8, 2016, info@marthabeck.com

**ibid, December 19,2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 21, 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.img_0686