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Posts Tagged ‘Often’

 

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

Oscar Wilde

Source: http://quotes4all.net/quote_578.html

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Forgiveness is a powerful act. The quote above takes a humorous look at it, but truth be told, forgiveness is powerful. And that is way it is most likely a very hard thing to do, to forgive does not come easy for most.  I know it does not for me.

But I have experienced it, and the power is overwhelming.If this is true, and it is, than why do we find it so hard to forgive?

the answer lies in our makeup, how we are created. We are created to survive. We will fight to save our lives and we will do what is necessary to advance our own personal worlds. Forgiveness flies in to the face of that. To forgive is to open yourself up to become vulnerable, if even for a split second. And all that we are fights against that sometimes till death.

It is easy to say the words “I forgive you” but difficult, at best, to truly mean them and to live them out. Often times we place conditions on forgiveness. We ask for something in return. This is not always wrong to do, but can lead to difficulties. The bible uses conditions when it comes to forgiveness:

Mat 6:12 (TEB) "Forgive us the wrongs that we have done, as we forgive the wrongs others have done us."

Luke 6:37 (NIV) "…Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Mat 6:14-15 (NIV) "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

I need to give forgiveness to receive forgiveness… It is a circle, I want to be forgiven before i forgive but I must forgive to be forgiven… around and around she goes….

Paul

Ilibagiza’s Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza (Paperback – June 1, 2007))
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Often times it is hard to start this blog, I am not sure what to talk about and sometimes I am not sure if it really matters all that much. But as I have stated several times in the past, this blog is more a benefit to me than to others. This blog allows me the opportunity to workout what I think and feel about issues. Often times I use it to spew my Conservative political convictions or my Catholic faith. I use it as my own little sounding board, and over all I think that is a very good thing.

I have blogged about the importance of writing in a journal, well this blog is that, this is my journal, this is my space…

As of late you will notice that I have been very sporadic in my blogging, days and days go by with no words of wisdom from me, yet the world seems to still go on, and that is a very good feeling, to know that I am not that important to the workings of this world. I would hate the feeling of responsibility to this blog, to know that someone actually depends on this blog and my musings. In a way I think it would detract from the writing of this blog, I would feel the pressure to always at the top of my game, and truth be told, I never what that feeling. I like the feeling of just being average, nothing special.

I am told that I am extremely smart and have an IQ that is in the genus level, yet I strive for nothing more than average. In fact I find it difficult to deal with people who are perfectionist or who feel they must achieve the top score or be labeled the best.

If any one has watched the movie “Amadeus” one of my favorite lines from it

 

 

 

 

Salieri: I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.

 

I love that line, along with hundreds of others in the movie… But that one line, I speak for all mediocrities in the world… What a great line and that is how I feel, that is what I think. I truly feel no need to always be the best, to always be on top, sometimes (well most of the time) average will do.

To what end is it to always be the best, to always be on top of the game? I see none, now I do think people need to work hard to strive for the goal, but I also feel that sometimes the goal is not important. Take Salieri, he wanted to always be on top, to always be the best, yet he never could, Mozart was, yet Mozart’s average was still better than Salieri’s best. So why concern yourself to death with it? Mediocrity is not a bad word…

But in this global economy and the world competing for everything we all to often push ourselves and sadly our children in to a frenzy to be perfect to always be on top of their game to always be the best. But reality is, not everyone can be the best, not everyone can win…. So why are we teaching ourselves and our youth that winning is everything? Why do we keep pushing them to be more than they are? What ever happen to “Just do your best, that’s all I ask” that phrase seems to have vanished from our vocabulary, now its I only expect the best from you, I only expect all A’s, or a perfect game or what every it is you expect.

With great expectations come great failures… Please understand I am not say we do not need to push ourselves or our youth, but we also need to be realistic and expect and accept that no all are Mozart’s that some of us are Salieri’s, and that too is OK…

I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint. ~Salieri

 

Paul

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"The last of the human freedoms is to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances." -Victor Frankl

 

For anyone who has ever read this blog or my other blog, you know that freedom is a major theme for me. Often times I use the word Authentic Freedom because we all to often mix up what we believe is freedom to what freedom really is. Well I think Mr. Frankl got it right!

Freedom is a slippery thing and has many sides, but we still are the masters of it and we decide how we choose to use or abuse it or is some cases how we neglect it or abandon it. 

I have long been a believer in the you make your own destiny, we choose to react to situations in a way that will give us the outcome we desire. I have seen two people process the same information yet each will tell you a completely different story and will react to it in an almost predictable way. A negative person will always find the bad, the down in any situation and they will project that feeling in to the situation causing it to be a negative feeling or outcome. Were as a positive person will take a negative and turn it in to a positive, they will find the positive in any situation and project that emotion in to the situation causing a more positive outcome. It truly is in our control, I myself have seen it and have participated in it,as have we all.

So what makes one positive and one negative? Why would one choose to be negative? Well there are many reasons or theories:

  • Genetics
  • Hard wiring in the mind
  • Life experiences
  • Attention
  • Born that way
  • Just want to be

All are valid and I thing in some small ways all are true and all play a roll in it. And the same can be said for the positive person, all the same valid reasons are just as true for the positive person, what I think it comes down to is this. I choose to be positive or negative because from being one over the other I gain greater joy, greater pleaser. Yes the negative person gains joy from there negatives. If they did not they would not be negative. Just like a smoker gains pleasure from smoking, a negative person gains please from the negativeness of there life. They create it and nurture it, so they must enjoy it. Now some may be saying well that’s just silly, no one would choose to be negative, but really is it that silly of a concept? People choose to be whipped and chained up for sexual pleasure, and most of us would have to say that, that doesn’t sound like pleasure to us. But to them it is, to them it is a great pleasure the pain turns them on. If this is so, than it stands to reason that a negative person must gain pleasure from there negativeness or they would not be negative.

It is our choosing, our freedom to choose our response to anyone given situation. This freedom to determine our reaction is one of the greatest freedoms we have, it truly is an authentic freedom. We read about people in horrific situations, Nazi concentration camps, torture chambers and such, yet we also hear of the love they felt or offered or the sacrifice they gave and the positive out look on life they still maintained.

The film “I am David” is a perfect example of how our outlook on situations will determine the outcome of the situation. It tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in Eastern Europe, and of his journey to Denmark. Along the way he meets interesting people and has many adventures. In this movie David has a very negative outlook on life, with valid reasons, and yet he is met with some very positive opportunities that turn negative, based on his projection unto them. In the film David grows, and as he does, his negativeness changes in to a more positiveness, causing the events in his life to become more positive. Yes I know its a film, but the concept is the same.

We control our outcome, we determine the reaction we choose to give to any given situation. Life is full of opportunities to see good or evil, positive or negative it’s in our power to see it as we please, it is our last freedom, one that no one can take form us.

Paul

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Well it happens, every now and than days come along that just allow you to rest, to refuel, and that’s what Sunday was for me, a day to rest. Saturday I was up early and spent the morning at a conference, than Saturday afternoon I puttzed on the computer and around the house, didn’t do much, but never felt relaxed. But Sunday, after church I found that grove, the one that allows you to relax and to enjoy the day just as it is. So that’s what I did. I say by my pond, read some newspapers, finished a book and read some other books I have going (I like to read 3 or 4 books at one time).

It was a perfect day in all regards here in Michigan, the sun was out there was a slight breeze and a calm in the air that held me captive. It was a wonderful thing! It was a day that allowed you to get lost in it, no that’s not it, allowed doesn’t really give the day justice, it was more of a beckoning kind of day.This day beckoned me, called to my soul and begged me to get lost in her rays of sunshine and her cool breeze that tantalized me and engulfed me.

Days like that are perfection, they allow the soul to rest in the perfection of nature and in the kindness of God. The resting of the soul is paramount to a body in harmony with creation and the creator, it is this harmony that allows the creative process to flow.

The ability to get lost in the day is the ability to allow the natural energy of creation to take over, to fill you with the radiance of God and His loving and healing embrace. This ability is a natural ability, but modern man, in all his greatness, has lost this ability. It is now an ability that is lost, one that use to come natural now needs to be taught.

As we have created a more productive society, we have also created a more detached society. Detached from family, from each other and our neighbors. But more importantly we are detached from creation, and from the creator, God himself. This detached state draws energy from us, causing us to wear our, for our souls to get exhausted and for us to become less than what we are. The ability to rest in the Lord is the ability to find peace of soul.

Often times we are told that we must find peace of mind, to allow our minds to gather energy and rest, to place behind us the unpleasant realities of the modern world. Well I would challenge you that it’s not peace of mind that we need, but more likely peace of soul. We need to once again connect with the Lord on a level of intimacy that is currently unknown to us. We need to allow the Spirit of God to consume us, to fill us and to over flow from with in us.

The quiet of the heart leads to the pleasure of the soul…

Paul

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So why haven’t you changed yet?

Excuses about age, time, money, and every other item we throw into the mix to help us feel better about putting our dreams on hold will end up killing our hopes for a happy and fulfilling life.

We can create ten thousand reasons not to do something, and ignore the one reason why we should. Often times that’s what it comes down to, I know for me I use ten thousand and one reasons why I don’t work out, No time, I forgot, I need this, Ill start tomorrow, and on and on the list goes, and each day it is getting harder and harder to do. And one day, if I wait long enough, it will be true, I wont be able to work out, I be dead.

We each have that one area we need to work on, and most of us have the excuses why we don’t memorized. It’s a sad state… each day I tell myself, today I will start to use the treadmill again, pr today I will walk the dogs, today I will lift the weighs and go on that diet, but today never seems to come, because I am always finding excuses.

Excuses are easy to come by, any old one will work really, from the creative to the everyday. It truly don’t matter as long as you have one. If you don’t I am sure a friend will give you one, there cheep to get.

The excuses we use often times come with a free gift, the gift of believing. If we use the excuse often enough we will believe the excuse. It’s a rather remarkable thing really. You see if I tell myself enough that I will start tomorrow, knowing full well I wont, but after time, well I start to think I truly will start tomorrow. Problem is, tomorrow never comes…

So why haven’t you changed yet? What poor excuse have you used?

  • It’s hard
  • I will, but not yet, I need to do _____(fill-in the blank)
  • I am waiting for this or that
  • I was going to start today, but this happened
  • Well I figured I needed to wait until this, then I needed to do that, and once this comes in the mail, and the moon if full, I will start, I promise!

And the list can go on and on…

So what is it you need to do?

  • move
  • go back to school
  • clean out the attic
  • work out
  • quit smoking
  • diet
  • return to Church
  • find yourself

What ever the task, what ever the goal you need to start today, no excuses, one small step, is a step in the right direction. As for me, a friend and I are to start walking at lunch time today. Not much, but a small step in the right direction.

Paul

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Can we help it? Often times we will say, or we will hear someone say “I can’t help it” or something along those lines. The excuse is an easy one, we take the responsibility off of ourselves and place it someone or something else.

We are becoming, and some would say we already are, a society of blamers a people who have no personal responsibility to anything or anyone, including themselves. Don’t believe me, just watch the news, read the paper or listen to people talk about their problems. Seldom will you hear someone say, “Man it’s all my doing, it’s all my fault”, but you will hear them say “If only so and so would have…” or “If I didn’t have bad luck, i would have no luck”

I know I have done that very thing, tried to find others to blame for my screw up, I look for an excuse for my failure, I seek out reasons why I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, any old reason will do from the dog ate my paper to I was feeling al little under the weather.

The reasons my be true, but most often than not we create the reasons to justify our actions or inactions. We allow our minds to create situations to facilitate our need to blame others. It is truly a remarkable ability of the human race, no other creation can do this, if a dog fails to go the the bathroom outside he can not state that he could not help it, he cannot blame the other dog in the  house.

So can we help it? Do we have the ability to take the blame head on? I think we do, but I also think that modern society has programmed us not to. The pop culture is one of blame, we are told from a very early age that it is everyone else’s responsibility or fault, not ours. We have to work counter to what the culture tells us, we have to start teaching our children to take responsibility and we have to no longer accept the “I can’t help it” mentality.

It wont be easy, but the results will be a household full of peace and understanding, one that takes responsibility for there own actions and allows for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. Personal responsibility is a virtue we seem to have lost over time, like many virtues this one seems to be viewed as old fashion, out of date and just plan bad for the persons self image.

But what can be better for ones self image than personal responsibility? Pop culture has begun a sterilization of humanity, and if we do not stop it soon we will not be able to. We must teach our children and re-teach ourselves to take personal responsibility, once we have that back, other areas will fall in to line. We will not have as many teen drug issues, or pregnancies. Abortion rates will drop and kids will stay in school longer. We would have less violence and more acceptance. Personal responsibility is the key that will turn the lock on society, it will unlock the potential of society and allow the greatness that we are capable of to flow and flourish.

Can we help it? Yes we can, and we need to start at home, with ourselves and our families. there is no over night remedy, it will take time, but change starts at home, and from there it will grow to your community, and beyond.

 

Paul

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Today I am going to ask you a question, and it is my hope that you will leave a response here on this blog. Often times the act of writing something down allows our mind to leave it, to rest in it or to be a peace with it. Today’s question is concerning others, but is deeply rooted in your soul.

We often times define ourselves based on the actions of others. We give ourselves value or diminish our value based on the ones we surround ourselves with. This question is going to ask you to look deep with in, and to place your heart and soul out in the open for all to see. This is a risk for most and an everyday occurrence for others. Some of us naturally “wear our hearts on our sleeves”, but this question, this exercise is different, I am not going to ask you to state something personal about you, directly, but rather to look at others in your life, now or in the past, and to place your heart out for them.

Take your time, think deeply on this question, and than respond.

 

Who in your life should be acknowledged more?

 

It seems like a simple question, a one or two word response and your on your way, but that’s not what the question is calling for, what its calling for is a deeper response, one that calls for the emotion of the soul to be heard.  Use this space to acknowledge them, offer them your praise and empty bear your soul to them.

Paul

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