Sunday, October 1, 2017

Can we ever really find happiness?


I recently saw that someone commented on a Facebook post about their daughters recent marriage—“I’m glad she found happiness.” It made me ask myself the question. “Do we really FIND happiness?”  The answer I came up with is no, we don’t. Happiness isn’t found, it is created.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Off-Kilter

I have found taking care of plants and a garden has continual life lessons. This same plant that I almost gave up on is grossly out of balance. The branch that is growing higher than the others needs the new growth at the top snipped off in order to both send more growth down it's base, but also allow the other shorter branches to catch up.

It is that way with the different dimensions of our lives. If one part of us is growing faster or more than another part, we too can get out of balance and we are thrown off-kilter.

 kilter
noun awryoff balanceunbalancedout of orderdisorderedconfusedmuddleddisorientedout of tuneout of whackout of stephumorous discombobulated. See also off-kilter.
For example, too much focus on just our physical appearance or even just our physical health and neglecting our intellectual growth can throw us off balance and we too will feel "confused, muddled, disoriented, out of whack." All dimensions--spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social--need balanced growth.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Never Give Up

I almost gave up on this plant. It was at a previous home and it started to look scraggly so I didn't really take good care of it thinking I wouldn't take it to our new home anyway.

But because it is hard for me to give up on and throw away a living plant, I took it to our new home and started to take good care of it again--watering regularly and fertilizing it.

For a year and a half, it just stayed the same. I guess it was just in recovery mode. It took this long to start sprouting new growth, but now on every branch there are new vibrant baby leaves reaching upward.

A great lesson for life and for relationships. If we don't give up and continue to nurture, it might take awhile but eventually we will be blessed with new growth. And isn't that what life is all about--recovery and growth.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Forgive

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What keeps coming to me lately is to forgive. Forgive the driver who cuts me off. Forgive past offenses against me. Forgive myself if I don't live up to my own expectations. If Jesus Christ could call for forgiveness while hanging on the cross in brutal physical pain, then I can forgive. I can also assume that "they know not what they do."




Friday, September 1, 2017

Faith has a short shelf life

Today I read this thought. It's true. Just like the manna from heaven given to the Israelites, faith doesn't store well. I have to partake of something that feeds my faith every day. Sometimes every minute. Whether it be reading scriptures, other good books, praying, writing about my faith, enjoying God's beautiful creations, or just noticing and being grateful for all the miracles and blessings that surround me, I have to have a constant source of faith-promoting experiences. My soul needs constant nourishment.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thank you all for a Happy Life

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It's not only my birthday, it's my 62nd birthday. My how that time has flown by. I blinked and now I am way up there in the years. But I refuse to feel old because I truly believe I am as young as I feel (please don't burst my birthday balloon bubble).

One of the memories I have about my birthday from my childhood is being disappointed (let's be perfectly honest, I have done my share of whining even as an adult). I remember having birthday pity parties because people weren't nice enough or thoughtful enough. Wow, a big sign of entitlement. Somehow I felt entitled and expected people to make me feel special.

I have come to realize that feeling special is an inside job.  It is simple too risky to put that responsibility on a flawed human being because we are all flawed.

If I want to have a special day I can make that happen both in my attitude and planning. I don't have to wait for someone to make my day special. I can do that for myself and if other people do nice things for me then it is just icing on the cake. But baking my own cake happens when I feel gratitude for the life I have been given.

That gratitude for life starts with all the gifts and blessings I have been given from my Father in Heaven. The gratitude continues for my parents who sacrificed to provide me a life in a happy and comfortable home. And finally, gratitude swells in my heart as I realize that everyone in my life has offered so much to me already, so I really don't need to expect my birthday to be extraordinary because my life already is. I have a happy life. Thank you to all who have made my life special.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

We seek sameness but should value differences



I have come to know that when I am feeling insecure about myself and my beliefs and behaviors, I seek out people with the same beliefs and behaviors. If I am having a hard time keeping my house clean, then I love the slob next door. She is my soul sister. When I am down on myself, the woman who has a clean and organized home I automatically want to assume is neurotically OCD. No, not just more on top of things than me, but a psychotic overachiever. We wouldn't have fun together because I assume she is looking down at me all the while I am going to accuse her of neurosis to be able to stay on higher ground myself and feel better about myself.

But when I feel grounded and confident in what I believe and how I am behaving (okay, that rare moment), I am more accepting and can enjoy people who are different and yes, even people who are better than me. In fact, I want to seek them out.

In my pursuit of personal growth, I know how valuable it is for me to be around people who stretch me beyond my current comfort zone. It is comfortable to be with people who are the same as me. I don't see any need for growth.  But it is challenging and fun to be with people who are more adventurous than me. It is inspiring to be with people who are more creative than I am. The list goes on. It is true, however, if I am feeling pretty lousy about myself then I can't appreciate those inspiring examples. I see them as a reminder of how I am lacking. I see them as a threat and assume the people are purposely trying to diminish me thus I want to diminish them first.

It just boils down to whether we choose to see people as a threat or as an inspiration. I think it starts with humility. When I am humble (which begs the question, can you really declare humility and be humble? food for thought). Humility and insecurity are miles apart. One is ready for growth; the other is threatened.