Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Other Way

Have you ever looked at your life and wondered where the time went? We've all done it, and then we wonder if we could have done a better job with our life. We may ask: Could I have avoided the mistakes? Should I have made better choices? Did I waste my talents? How did I get where I am? And why?

It's wise to sometimes evaluate today to create a better tomorrow. But it's also wise to look inside and see how we feel about our past and where our journey has led us. Of course, we made some mistakes and poor choices in the past, but maybe we had to climb those mountains in order to learn what we needed to know to move forward. And getting stuck in regret, self-criticism or blame can sabotage where we want to go now.

A few years ago I was stuck in regret, and the following poem helped me forgive myself and move on.

NO OTHER WAY by Martha Smock

Could we but see the pattern of our days,
We should discern how devious were the ways
By which we came to this, the present time,
This place in life; and we should see the climb
Our soul has made up through the years.
We should forget the hurts, the wanderings, the fears,
The wastelands of our life, and know
That we could come no other way or grow
Into our good without these steps our feet
Found hard to take, our faith found hard to meet.
The road of life winds on, and we like travelers go
From turn to turn until we come to know
The truth that life is endless and that we
Forever are inhabitants of all eternity.

Every decision you made was based upon your knowledge at the time, and hopefully each turn in the road made you wiser. Leave the steps you took in the past back there where they belong, and live each day as it comes. We move with time, and whether you know it or not, you are quite different today than you were yesterday, and you will not be the same tomorrow. Love each new day and the continued newness in you.

Keep your eyes and heart on the road ahead.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


What an illusive phenomenon time is. We use it, misuse it, and waste it. We anticipate it and measure it. We laugh and cry with it, rely on it, fear it, and regret it. We live our lives with it. But is it really just something we've created to give our lfe structure, purpose and meaning? Is there really anything more than now with what we call the past being memories and the future being visions of the mind? I don't know, but whatever time is, it has a strong influence on our nows.

I'm particularly aware of the time element when I observe a major life change. This is when we must experiene a transition from our experience of one time period to another, and we have visions of past and future. I'm house-sitting for a friend who took her daughter to enter college in another state. I watched the daughter grow from a tiny infant to the young woman she has become, and right now I have a strong sense of time with quite an array of emotions, a mixture of sadness and joy.

Today, I wandered through the house observing reminders of her--the few clothes she left in her closet, the empty place where her computer sat, open boxes of gluten-free food, the piano she couldn't take with her, old CDs and pictures of Beyonce, the teddy bear on her bed, pictures of long ago, and a stale cup of tea from who knows when on her dresser. Where did the time go?

She, her mother and I reminisced about the past and spoke of the good yet to come in the future. This observance of time helps in situations like this--leaving the old and moving into the new--but there is still the transition time to deal with. Time is not always a pleasant commodity. We see this as a good time, but the human need to look back can be painful, because there are things in the past we want to hang onto. But we can't hang onto time. We have created a moving entity, so we have to let it move. All we can do is keep our happy memories, live our present the best we can, and create a future we look forward to.

Time has a way of taking care of itself, especially if we stay in the now as much as possible. Isn't that all there is anyway? Live it well, and find joy in visions of the future. Make it whatever you want.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Do You Need?

As long as our needs are being met, we don't think much about what we need. But when something is lacking, we may suffer physical, mental or emotional discomfort, and have no idea what's causing those feelings. Sometimes we suffer without question.

Our body will tell us what's going on, but just feeling the discomfort isn't enough. We have to stop and pay attention to hear our body's message. There have been times when I was in a bad mood for several days. I felt lousy and wanted to feel better, but didn't think to question what was going on inside. Finally when I did, an aha discovery led to ways to fill a need I was missing. Now I try to pay more attention to what may be lacking. Sometimes, just a hug is the answer.

No one has a perfect situation--life isn't perfect--but we can do our best to assure that we have what we need each day to live a healthy, happy life. How can you fix an uncomfortable situation if you don't understand what's lacking? It's like having an itch, but you don't know where to scratch. Is the stress coming from being tired or hungry? From worry over a life problem? From feeling angry or lonely? From feeling distant from your Higher Power? Well maybe you need rest or food, or to clear your mind and see something more realistically, or your emotional state needs attention, or you need to renew connection with the one you know as the Voice inside. Once you identify the lack, you can address the situation and your response to it.

Most of the time, all we need is a minor change in a present situation, but it's wise to periodically take a good look at our overall life style and see if a change is needed there. However, finding ways to satisfy each sense of lack as it arises can sometimes create a whole new perception of a larger picture. Life itself will look better. The little things won't nag as much, and you may find joy you didn't know was there.

Be good to yourself. You're worth it.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Can I Learn?

On our journey through life, some of the bumps we encounter can be very uncomfortable, even painful. Some people suffer with them more than others. Two people can face the same type of dilemma, but with quite different responses. This may be due to a number of factors, but one important difference may be the way the dilemma is interpreted--calamity or opportunity.

Our inner Voice is always pushing us to move forward to more of what we can have, be or do in life. Some listen. Some don't. Those who don't listen tend to live a life of status quo, and that's okay if that's what they want. But for those who want to expand and grow, it's wise to listen to that inner Voice and ask what we can learn from whatever life brings up. Some of our greatest opportunities come in the form of challenges that test us to the limit.

Even when we look for a lesson in a challenge, we may not see it at the time. But knowing there is something there for us will probably bring an answer at a later time. In my younger days, I struggled with anxiety and depression and saw nothing beneficial in any of it. But then I returned to school and had a wonderful career in the Mental Health Field as a psychotherapist. Now I know those early years prepared me for work I thoroughly enjoyed, and I was able to help others. I'm grateful for all those years. Now there are times when I stomp my foot and say, "No more. I'm tired of learning. I just want to glide for a while." But I know I have to make a choice--stand still and wrestle with the pain or learn from the experience and move forward, stronger and more at peace within myself.

We can choose to meet a challenge with a defeated attitude or we can use it to our advantage. We may have to suffer anyway, but what we do with it helps determine where we go from there. And discovering more of the wonder of life can be a good way to go.

Watch new doors open each time you pass an obstacle with knowledge.