Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Life Lesson From The Critters

Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for you.  Native American Proverb

Yesterday I sat outside on my patio communicating with the birds as I often do. Neither of us knows what the other is saying, but I think we both enjoy the conversations anyway. Then I noticed other critters enjoying the yard. A couple of squirrels looking for food, several lizards scrambling up and down the bushes, and spiders busy inspecting their webs. Usually the cats are quite interested in this daily circus, but right then they were more interested in their morning naps. So I just enjoyed the show. And I smiled at how all of these critters seem to know what they're doing, and unconcerned about how they do it or worried about the outcome. I think we humans could take a lesson from them.

Man is the only critter who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds.  Will Rogers 

     The Critters
When the rain has come and gone, and earth smells clean again,
I watch the critters creeping out, new journeys to begin.
A spider weaving in and out. A baby lizard sleek and green.
A squirrel to check on friends, and an earthworm joins the scene.

They have no thought of what's ahead, or plans for what they'll do.
They just enjoy the moment now to start their day anew.
Do you think they have a knowing we wish more clear to us?
That God has made their way for them, without the need to fuss?

Perhaps we need a lesson
From those we often see,
Who have a greater faith
Than folks like you and me.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.  Chinese Proverb

What is your song? How do you live your life? Is it your habit to worry and fret, or do you know that most of the time everything turns out okay? And when it doesn't, you have the wisdom and strength to cope and get through it? You've probably been through a lot in your life, but you still face each day with the power to choose. Let's turn our worrying and fretting into just being and singing our own special song of who we are. Watch the critters, and they'll show you how to do that.

I wish you critters in your life.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Gift of Family

I just returned from a trip to Dallas for my granddaughter's wedding and to see my other granddaughter's baby for the first time. One just married and off in a new life, and another just beginning. Spending time with the whole family was a special experience. Times like this remind me how important families are. Sometimes we tend to take the people in our lives for granted, and rarely think about how important they are. But they're vital to our well-being.

This trip also reminded me of what family really means. It's our biological relationships, but it also goes beyond what we're born into. Some people come into our life temporarily, while others stay as family. That feeling of closeness is inside, and it tells us they mean something special to us.

I'm close to my church family where I get hugs, exchange ideas, and express love. And I have several friends who feel like sisters and brothers to me. Some live in other states, and I don't see them often, but they're always with me as family. I have one friend I've seen only four times in twenty-eight years, but we communicate often. All of these people give my life meaning and purpose.

But family in any capacity isn't always easy. Some rub us the wrong way, and we find them hard to get along with. We all have them, but they're also important in our life. The easy ones bring joy, but the difficult ones provide situations we need to deal with that push us forward in our personal growth. I call these opportunities, well worth our time and attention to find common ground.

No two people are alike, so we can't relate to everyone in the same way. Each of us has a gift, something in our personality we do well. There are fixers, care-givers, listeners, nurturers, vessels of information, mediators, humorous ones, and the list goes on. It's wise and helpful to learn each person's gift, and relate appropriately. This kind of exchange can be more harmonious than butting heads when you go to a fixer for emotional support and feel disappointed when you don't get it. And you don't have to agree on everything to be close to someone. I avoid certain subjects when I know my views are very different from someone else's. Debating is fine, but arguments can create walls between people.

We need to share our life with others, and our relationships, family, can be a most precious gift. Approach them with love and understanding, and you'll find more meaning in your own life. That's just the way it works.

I wish you family love in your life.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Life is like a series of chapters we write as we go along creating our life. Some chapters are happy and fun to write, but others are a struggle when nothing we do turns out the way we planned or wanted. We goof up, or our fellow characters aren't acting the way they're supposed to. The whole thing seems to make no sense. No, it's not fair. But that's the way it is. Every story needs some kind of conflict or struggle to make the winning worthwhile, and we can't escape both sides of the coin.

It's hard going through the senseless times when it feels like that's all there is, and it will never end. But there's one thing for sure in life. Change is inevitable, and it makes it's regular rounds whether we like it or not.

Sometimes things don't make any sense.
They're squandered in the air.
And then they make me realize
That life just isn't fair.

I wonder where I'll go from here.
A new way on the path?
Will I cry another day,
Or find a way to laugh?

You know it isn't up to others.
It's really up to me.
I have it all inside,
The way for me to see.

It doesn't have to make any sense.
It doesn't have to be fair.
So give up all the questioning,
And just make sure you're there.

If someone tried to hand you a bag of smelly garbage, you'd back off, curl up your nose and say, "No way. I'm not accepting that." But what do you do when life throws you a curve? Do you resist and create something better, or do you stand there and take it? I know, sometimes we can't dodge the bullet, but we can oftentimes shorten its stay with our own resourcefulness. 

When you're going through one of those painful times, you may not be able to change what's happening. But you can be more of the creator and less the responder. Show up everyday and know you have the power to make everything better than what it is. Because you really do have inner resources you may not even know about. And you can re-write this chapter to contain your inner strength and a sense of peace and hope until you get to write one of those happy chapters again. You're a marvelous being, capable of writing the greatest story there is, your life. And you can create a good one, even when it makes no sense.

I wish you fun chapters in your life. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Too Much Is Too Much

I spent last week trying to pull myself out of the pit, as I call it. Nothing earth shattering. Just too much piling up all at once, especially after a night of very little sleep. You know. You've been through it too. Maybe you're going through it now. Murphy's Law in full force. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

First, I'm driving to an appointment when the car dash light suddenly turns red and starts beeping loud. Coolant is hot. In a panic I get the car towed to my mechanic where it stayed for 3 days while I agonized over a potentially large repair bill.

Later that day, I get a large bill from a healthcare provider I saw months ago. Through tears I bombard myself with questions. "Why didn't my insurance providers pay that bill? How am I gonna pay it?" I ran to the phone, and spent 2 hours with both insurance companies and the healthcare provider, including 25 minutes on hold waiting for a live person.

The next morning, I turn on my computer and find ads popping up on every page with no way to X them out, and something called White Smoke blocking everything I try to do. This time I cried through angry ranting at that machine. "How can you do this to me? I thought we were friends." My son worked all day on the computer, and insisted I watch everything he did. Stress rising. I didn't care what he was doing. I'm semi-computer illiterate and didn't understand anything anyway.

Now I decide to do some laundry to get my mind off the computer, and while taking clothes out of the hamper, the lid falls on my right hand, and pain runs all the way to my feet. Owee. I get the job done with one hand until the dryer door falls on my left hand leaving one finger swollen and purple. After tying a bag of ice around it, I sat on the floor and cried to exhaustion.

The next day I felt really stupid when a light of sanity finally hit my brain, and I realized everything turned out okay. The mechanic gave me a good price on a new thermostat, my insurance company paid the healthcare provider, my son cleaned up my computer, and I could still use both hands. All in 3 days. So why had I suffered so much through it? Looking back over my experience, I realized I'd gone into auto mode instead of responding in ways that work when stuff happens. So now I'm going back to what I know works in times of perceived crises.

1. When a disturbing situation arises, I'll stop, clear my mind of assumptions, and remain clear and vigilant.
2. In spite of appearances, I'll speak the truth with affirmations. "All is in Divine Order, and all is well. I have
    all the help I need, and I'm being led to a positive resolution."
3. I'll follow my inner guidance and do what's mine to do.
4. I'll be patient and trust the process as it unfolds.
5. And I'll smile with gratitude, knowing I'm a dynamo with all the God given wisdom and power I need.

So now I'm ready when Murphy's Law invades my space and tries to turn me into a whimpering mess.

I wish you a wise, cool head in times of Murphy's visits.