My study of Japanese Ninjutsu aside, it seems that my Myers Briggs “type” personality aligns with the historically sneaky warriors of old.
I believe in this sentiment almost more than any other. I believe that life is beautiful, and also that it is a (rather precious) gift. So too are those we love most – we have all known the pain of loss.
I’ve had my fair share of bad moods, but I’ve always tried to remember this principle, especially with those closest to me, and especially when things aren’t going right. When I was young, my parents used to say it was important to adopt this attitude, and to do my best to move past an ill temperament, because you really never know… So when someone in my family was traveling, or moving, or heading off to school…it was important to part on a happy and loving note. Always.
Because life can also be a challenge (understatement), it’s easy to forget how fleeting our time is. I saw this wonderful post on Instagram this week and it reminded me of the above idea…as well as the importance of fixating more on our blessings (because, again, there are many), and we never know when fate will come to greet us, or those we love.
I can only hope to live until an old and grey age…and to maintain a happy, thankful attitude along the way. I know that struggles will come, but I want to be the way the lovely Lydia is (at 112)!!! That’s my honest goal – a peaceful, happy, grateful life, filled with the people I love most (who know I love them most)… Here we are at the end of the first month of the year, no better time to revisit my goals and dreams!
The temporal confines of the human existence are but man-made constructs. . .
Depending on what is happening at any given moment in our lives, a single instant can feel as an eternity – both a gloriously utopian endlessness, or a perpetual hell.
Let not the prospect of enduring some abhorrent permanence frighten you, though… We DO have some choice in the matter. (Certainly the White Rabbit would say we do)!
Regardless of our situation, or the fervid pursuit your deepest fears make upon your wavering mind…we have the choice to still ourselves and focus on the positives in our lives. (And I’m willing to bet there is much to be thankful for). When we take a moment to breathe…to recognize we are still able to breathe…we give our system a chance to value “time.” We can tap into the present and either enjoy the pure bliss of it…or ground ourselves in the midst of fury, allowing our hearts, minds, and bodies to recognize “this too shall pass.”
I personally believe we are where we need to be, that life is ever presenting us with gifts in the form of lessons and experience. And though some moments are tougher than others, we find a way not only to survive…but to be stronger as a result.
Sometimes a moment is but a second in the eyes of – or at the hands of – the great clock. . . Sometimes a moment is so beautiful that we wish to capture and bottle it whole, to cherish for every new day we are given. Others are so dark we try to hold our breath in a prayer that it will vanish as quickly as it came…
In either case, the “deep breath” and a positive thought can help us to attain either… The elongation of the beauty, or a swift, but manageable end to tribulation. All in one split second.
Once upon a time, in the wee stages of life, the darkness felt too vast and terrifying to bear – my heart would shudder at the thought and I needed some external source to light the way.
And yet, as I grew older, I began to realize there was nothing within the inky blackness that had the power to hold sway over me. For indeed there was a light inside of me that shone brighter than the sun and moon…and it is a light that does not extinguish, no matter what night…neither life…has to say.
Failure is never “the end,” and neither it is indeed “failure” the way our mind may perceive it. We are generally our own worst enemies and are – I am willing to bet – doing a lot more RIGHT than we are wrong.
Even when we falter and don’t reach the end we *think* is the correct one, there is a strong possibility that we are headed for a great success (part of a larger tapestry we aren’t always aware of.)
In missing the mark we learn a great deal, and for many of us those lessons stay top of mind. Take what you see as a “failure” and focus on the good – what you have learned, and what you steered away from, may well have you rerouted for greatness.
For a long time I believed that respect was earned – its value is simply too high to just hand out, I thought. But over the years I’ve changed my tune. Why suddenly such a shift? Well…it wasn’t really sudden at all…
I grew up believing that doing unto others is the appropriate way to behave – I certainly have my moments of deviation, but they are – by a long shot – the exception and not the rule. I’ve always, therefore, subscribed to the notion that what we give out comes back to us, multifold – Karmic law, Law of Three, whatever you want to call it…I’ve seen it far too many times to have any doubt at all. Add some painful and challenging experiences – and don’t we all have our stories? – my subscription to the idea that “rising above” is the right way to be has multiplied exponentially.
Hate is a good example. I don’t sincerely “hate” anything – in my mind it is a wasted emotion, and it gives far too much power to something I really don’t like (people, places, OR things.) Hate takes as much – or more! – energy than love. . .so if I’m giving that kind of attention to a “dislike,” I’m wasting precious resources, time included!
It took some time to understand that, though. As children we love to say, “UGH! I HATE HOMEWORK!” or “I hate so-and-so!” “Hate” just falls into the two categories of #1, a word, and #2, a negative. Over the years, however, I learned that it was an extreme expression, that it carried too much of a negative vibe to carry around, and that the act of hating in and of itself reflects poorly in my own conduct.
As with hate, respect is something I am putting out – it is part of my conduct and behavior. It occurred to me, then, that believing that respect was something other people had to earn was a really narrow-minded view. I can go around being a tyrant but that reflects on me only. I could also go around being a sycophant or victim-worthy subservient…but that too reflects on me (not to mention gets me into trouble.)
Treating others with respect doesn’t mean I have to give out free passes or put people on pedestals, let’s be clear. What it means – to me – is that I treat others with decency and kindness.
Now…let me also say… I live in a tough city. Even MY buttons are pushed at times, and that says a lot! But I am constantly checking back in with myself when feeling irrational, upset, frustrated etc… If I can’t be respectful (and in certain moments, I don’t feel I can live up to it) I simply do not engage. Easy as that. The only person accountable for what I put out is me, and if I put out something negative…it’s going to get me into trouble in one way or another.
As my behavior is my own, how other people behave is their business. In the modern world (and in a tough city), people might argue that others “don’t deserve respect.” Conducting myself in as positive a way as I can doesn’t mean I don’t see the poor behavior of others, that I dismiss it, that I allow it, or that I’m saying “go ahead and continue acting that way.” It just means that I am putting a positive energetic spin on myself.
When dealing with someone I see often, simply rising above allows me to move forward through my day without the burden of taking on his or her attitude, and neither the weight of being a nasty person (which I don’t want to be.) If, however, it’s someone I’ll likely never see again, I still can move forward knowing that I’ve been upstanding in spite of someone else’s conduct.
Do I do this perfectly? Hell NO! I’ve learned that I’ve got plenty of limits, and that I’m just as subject to bad moods, grumpiness, and don’t-play-well-with-others as some serious offenders. BUT…I know that, deep down, I don’t want any part of drama or negativity. That fact in and of itself means that I can do a lot to avoid it – namely, work on my on attitude, and approach interactions with respect. How others respond to that is totally on them (and the great news there? TONS of freedom not having to take that on!)
It is always up to us how we want to feel, what we associate with, what we allow… Acting disrespectfully reflects negatively in every possible way, and speaks volumes about one’s character. To show respect even when it doesn’t feel warranted, however, also says rather a ton about a person. I aim to be the latter, if for no other reason than to me it is a noble pursuit energetically, as in terms of self development. I have a ways to go too but you can be sure I try to check myself. Often.
It never ceases to amaze me how much we miss the animals we’ve bonded with in life, no matter the time that passes… I was blessed to have this (big) little guy’s trust and love and I will forever be thankful.