Category: Compassion

Spread Some Joy Today > Compassion

What We Pray For. What We May Receive.

“Let me ask you something.
If someone prays for patience,
do you think God gives them patience?
Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage,
does God give him courage,
or does He give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for the family to be closer,
do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings,
or does He give them opportunities to love each other?”
— God
as played by Morgan Freeman
in the movie, Evan Almighty
[Classic post from 1-31-11]
Do we just give our kids money, or do we show them ways to earn it and thereby have some respect for it and understand value more clearly? Do we allow our children, our sales staff, our employees to learn by allowing them to make mistakes so they can learn better ways? Or, do we step in and do it for them, so that we know it is done according to our own plan regardless of how little they learn that way?
Or, how about ourselves? Are we longing for the easy way, when we know full well that the other way will create a foundation to step up on? Are we looking for a savior?
If you were starting up a company from scratch and using your own capital or bootstrapping it, would you constantly long for enough money to pay people and be done with the struggle? Or might the struggle have some of the most valuable lessons of the whole journey?
I used to long for all those savior moments, wanting it to be over and someone else to do the work or make things happen. Then recently, something changed. All of a sudden, it became clear to me that these things weren’t struggles at all. It was just a challenge to be able to view it differently; more creatively. Then, it became even more clear that it was not even so much of a challenge as an advantage. Now, just look at that transition! Did it go from a struggle to a challenge to an advantage? Maybe I’m losing it!
Truly, I’m beginning to see some of the things that I go through in my business and my personal life as advantages instead of the struggles that once were. It is this change in thinking that I am so very excited about because it is showing me the value of travel that I would have never seen otherwise.
I now know for certain that it is all perfect.
I Now Have An Advantage: My New Perspective.
Spread Some Joy Today–Everything is really how you perceive it. We indeed create our own individual realities.

A Good Partner Is Someone Who…

“A good wife is one who serves her husband
in the morning like a mother does,
loves him in the day like a sister does,
and pleases him like a prostitute in the night.”
— Chanakya
[Classic post from 12-17-11]
I remember when I was in my late teens, at work my boss said something very similar to this quote by Chanakya. It is a popular idea, and I probably subscribed to it for at least part of my life, but not for some time.
I would say it differently today:
I want a partner who is of similar mind, yet not so similar that we complete each other’s sentences, and have interests and challenges that help cause curiosity and excitement. Someone who is alive, full of life, and appreciative of life and living. Someone who is fun to be with, who makes me laugh, and is full of love. Someone who encourages and wants the best for me and her at the same time. Someone who is willing to risk in order to expand and be more than yesterday. Someone who enjoys touch and is sensual. Someone who enjoys friends and is generous in nature. Someone I look up to and look forward to. Someone without jealousy, and never ever uses the word ‘should.’ A valued partner, an enriching friend, a lover of life, and a liver in love.
That’s all… of course, in order for that to work, I must be those things as well. I cannot expect others, no matter their title, to do that which I am not willing or interested in doing or being.
Happiness Is Being Happy! That Was Easy!
Spread Some Joy Today–Think about this: What are the rules for you to have joy? What needs to happen? How do things need to be? The more rules you have, the less joy you can have.

The Gifts That Only You Can Give

W. Clement Stone was an early mentor of mine. He founded the Success Magazine at the beginning of the last century, was a self-starter and huge business success, and shared his positive beliefs with the world through books and in other ways. Here is a wonderful quote from him that is worthy of sharing:

“Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You and you alone can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.”

May The Gifts That Only You Can Give Bring You The Abundance You Rightly Deserve.

I Will Never Look At Another Person The Same Again

At breakfast one day with a dear friend, I told him how much I was enjoying the audiobook, A Natural Woman, the autobiography of Carole King, and then said something I didn't plan on. I said, “You know, I just realized that listening to this book and the autobiography of John Fogerty has caused me to appreciate every other person on this planet more.”

I have always loved biographies and autobiographies. Some are so fascinating that it is almost sad to get to the end. And yet, at best, each one is a few snippets out of a much, much longer life full of experiences.

Part of what fascinated me is that Carole, John, and all the others who wrote autobiographies took the time (lots of it) and the energy (lots of that too) to stop what they were doing in life and focus on writing down their stories. That is a powerful gift.

The other thing that I said at breakfast was, “Every person on this planet has interesting stories about their lives, and I would love to hear all of them.”

Some say that God experiences life through all of his Creation. Can you imagine the fascination with that? Wow!

After these realizations, I don't think I will ever look at any other person the same again. I will now realize that each and every individual has wonderful and fascinating stories inside them. How delightful it would be to take the time to get to know them more.

We have this tendency to deal with the immediate, talk in superficial language that is meant to be light and remain unattached, yet beneath that in every single life on this planet is so much depth and so many experiences. I could learn from them. I would love to learn from them. I would love to read or listen to the autobiography of everyone.

Mocking The Meat It Feeds On

“O! Beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which
doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

— William Shakespeare, Othello

I grew up thinking that jealousy was a desirable emotion because it showed that you loved someone and that if one weren't jealous, one didn't care. I've since learned that this line of thinking was purely justification for being jealous.

Here's a beautiful quote about jealousy by Jennifer James:

“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point–that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative: Self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.”

I have found that jealousy is always about the self and not about the other. Its only value that I see is that it is a step above a more destructive fearful emotion and can be used ever so briefly as a conscious stepping stone toward healthier feelings.

Loving The So-Called Unlovable

“If I love you, what business is it of yours?”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A long time ago, a friend of mine taught me the meaning of loving someone who appears to not care, or seems to reject it, or acts in an intimidating way. He just loved them. He told them so. He wouldn't accept anything else for himself. And, even one of the most tenacious of seemingly negative people, was overcome by that love. Though he maintained a certain facade of an impenetrable wall, I could see through the new gaping cracks myself. It was one of the most powerful things I've ever seen demonstrated. He is that way too. He simply loves people, appreciates them, is interested in them and he expresses that with his entire being.

What I think is the most effective and useful is simply allowing others to be what they choose for themselves without my needing to control any of it. Whenever I try to control anything in another person, I find no success and no satisfaction either. It is a waste of time and energy. Yet to allow is not so much a letting go of our own beliefs, desires, preferences. It is really taking ownership of them. These are my beliefs and preferences, and you have yours, and I can appreciate the ying and that yang, this way and that. There is no one truth, they are all truth.

It might be good to check our not-loving list from time to time and do some purposeful allowing. Like many other things, practice is helpful. The more we love the more capacity we have to love. The more we love the so-called unlovable, the more capacity we have to love the so-called lovable. And, besides, what is love really when it has any of our expectations attached to it? It isn't love then, is it? The only love that really matters is that love that is freely and openly given without any conditions at all. It truly is none of their business. It is all my business.

The Judge Has Left The Building

“When you judge another,
you do not define them,
you define yourself.” 

— Wayne Dyer 

My ego used to be in charge of my judgment. I would very easily judge harshly of another or something for a wide variety of justifiable reasons. My ego loves justifying all of its actions, thoughts, and feelings. Sometime back, in an ongoing process, I became aware that I am not my ego and that I can be in control. I still judge. It cannot be helped. I have an immediate opinion. What has changed is that I almost immediately, and closer to immediately every day, take the helm of my thought, and choose loving and accepting thoughts. Even now if I see something that I definitely do not like, I choose to accept and allow that my way is not the way. There is no way. There is your way, my way, their way, and they are all ways. This allows me to love regardless.

As with patience, and happiness, and gratitude, how we judge is a practice. I am practicing non-judgment as much as I can, as often as I can. Periodically, I need to remind myself that I am in practice and that there will be no end to the practice as long as I am in this physical time-space reality and hanging out with my ego. It is in the lining up with my Inner Spirit that is my strongest desire. In that alignment, I feel accepted and loved, as I also love and accept.

It Is Impossible To Fail At Life

“One of the best things
that I have learned about life
is that it is impossible to fail at it.
Whatever life we are living,
that is a successful living.”

— Terry Minion

Some live to be over 100, but not many in comparison. Some live very short lives in comparison, and most of us are somewhere in between. It doesn't matter. It's all living. Heredity, schlemedity, malady, melody, 220 or 221–whatever. What it is, it is. What it can be, it will be, as the choice to change in any direction is available to us all.

We get to feel good or not by our own design. We get to wallow in mud or ski barefoot across the glassy lake. We can give and we receive. We can share and we can hide. We can speak and we can listen. We can think and we can write. We can delight and we can scowl. We can hold grudges, and we can release resistance. We can accept responsibility or we can lay it elsewhere.

Whether we accept our choices and our own design, or whether we say that it is all happening to us from the outside without our permission, it is what it is. It is living. It is life. Whether we believe that we can change it at will, or remain a victim with no hope of parole, it is what it is, and it is living. It is life. It is our life. And, it is a successful life. We cannot fail. Even in death, we cannot fail. Is this all there is? We can believe this is or there is more. Either way, it is what it is. We can have one dimension or many dimensions. We can have one side or many sides. We can await a life in Heaven, or Heaven can live every day in us. And, it is all, and in all, successful.

Life is. I am. We are. It is what it is. We are powerful creators! 

Encouragement Is Everything

“Instruction does much,
but encouragement everything.” 

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

What a great quote that I have found to be so true throughout my personal life, and that of a manager of people.

Goethe also is quoted saying, “The greatest evil that can befall man is that he should come to think ill of himself.”

So, what is the real value of encouragement? It is that we help someone else to restore belief in themselves.

Everyone believes in themselves once in a while, and I think that few really believe in themselves all the time. This indicates just how much the world is in need of encouragement.

I’ve often talked about knowledge, appreciation, joy, love, freedom, and empowerment is at the top of the emotional scale. Empowerment is essentially encouragement. We are encouraging people in their own power.

Instruction is good. We all can use instruction, but what we crave more than anything is love, appreciation, encouragement, and to be therefore empowered within ourselves in confidence, and thereby, in joy.

Sticks and Stones and Words

“We don't heal each other.
We heal our perceptions of each other,
which leads to healing.” 

— Alan Cohen

The old saying, sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me, is incorrect. Words are the most powerful things because they are vocal expressions of our thoughts and beliefs. So, it is easy in our wanting to please everyone we can attitude to give them more credence than they deserve. Just like when the phone is ringing, we are not obligated to answer it, whatever someone thinks of us, or what we do, needs no response in kind, and certainly no resistance.

How does one get to this place? Love. Take to heart what the Course of Miracles teaches as its primary agenda: There is only love. Everything else is a movement away from love. We love people for how they are, what they choose to think, how they choose to act. We respect their ability to choose. We need not agree with them, or join their cause, but love would respect their choices for themselves. At the same time, we love ourselves in that we have that same ability to choose.

So when someone attacks, love them. When someone is critical, love them. When someone disagrees, love them. Allow them theirs, while allowing ourselves our own. Therein lies peace.

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Mesa, AZ