Friday, July 30, 2010

In Control...?

Control... Such an odd word that has both positive and negative connotations to it. The balance between the two is ever so slight and precise, and it think its easy to swing from wanting to "be in control"...yet without being "controlling". Sometimes it's hard to feel that balance. I have some things that are going on in my life right now, where I do not agree with them at all, yet as I analyze how much I should actively participate, and weather or not to get involved more than I am...borders that line of crossing from being in control...to being controlling. I admit that I FEEL like I want to intervene and do it "my way"...but then again, maybe I should allow things to play out and take their natural course and unfold on its own. I also admit that it frustrates me and even makes me withdraw with anger as I watch from afar...

So... I sit down and write, and my anger subsides as I plug in the headphones, and do my "zen thing". I guess as I get older, its getting more and more clear weather or not I should make a fuss over things, or just let them be. Discerning that which deserves my energy to change, and that which I should just accept. I know I can't control everything in my life, because there are moving parts and moving people in my life. Somethings are out of my control, and I don't want to control them all. People will be what they want, and do what they do... I guess in the end, I can only take charge of myself, and allow others to do as they wish.

From the book "Atlas Shrugged" I am reminded of the great Hank Reardon as he stated... "Somethings matter because I say they matter". Things outside what we actually value in our world...do they really matter?

Pick your battles...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lets take this a bit further

I wrote this in a prior blog entry..."Change is constant, so we must learn to adapt and grow. We must allow the same for others in our lives... We must learn to "put away young boy ways". Some things however, are to be learned and retained and never compromised...like values, and character...but thats a whole other entry for another time."
I wish to expound on it at this time...

"Things to be learned and retained and never compromised... like values, and character". As we learn the way we want things to be, sometimes we allow our values and character to be compromised. How frustrated I get with myself when "I know better", yet still allow situations in the door to happen. Once the universe teaches a principle, soon thereafter comes the test of that very principle. Did you really learn, and not just mentally understand, the intended principle? A chance to pass the test, internalize new levels of living, and advance in life's lessons. We are tested all the time, and I think it's to see if we actually made the intended lesson a true part of our current makeup. It's one thing to recognize, yet another to now apply, and hold strong when the test comes our way again. If we don't learn, and give in to old habits, trust that the universe will bring that very same test our way again, as it tries to shape and mold us in ways that only can be done by The Devine. How much we get in our own ways of our own progress. Part of being human I suppose, and I thank God for second, third and the one thousandth chance I get, to learn and progress.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Love is....

Love is... "The WILL to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own, or another's, spiritual growth"
: M. Scott Peck M.D.
I like that! I read that the other day, and it has stuck with me for a while. The "WILL" speaks of one's intent. If one has WILL, it doesn't always mean they will be 100% (for nobody is perfect), but they will show actions and clear intent to make a priority and "extend one's self"... Sacrificing and giving up of one's self. At times putting aside one's own needs and desired (not entirely!). All for the purpose of nurturing one's own (love and respect of one's self is necessary in order to love others fully)... or another's spiritual growth. Regardless if others are serving our purposes or not!! Often times, love and acceptance is ONLY shown to another, IF they are serving our purposes and "doing it our way". Is that love? We are taught that we should love ALL mankind. Acceptance, tolerance, and love. Even when and if others are not doing things that serve us. That doesn't mean we are to allow ourselves to be walked on or abused, yet maintaining a feeling of peace and love towards others, and letting go of past mistakes, and how others wronged us...that's part of loving in this life. Even allowing others to move on from their mistakes, is what we must all learn to do. So often couples stack up this ledger and list of past mistakes and "things you did to hurt me"... and when it's most convenient in a fight or to gain leverage, one will throw the list of wrong doings at the other. Holding them in that light of mistakes forever. Allowing ourselves and others to make mistakes, recognize them, learn from them, and leave them behind, and spiritually grow...? (not always easy to do)... but necessary, if we really love someone, or love ourselves, or even love at all!
Let go of mistakes, and learn to see and even remember the good in ourselves, others, and in the world around us. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Change

Listening to the John Cougar Mellencamp this morning...
"When I was a young boy, said put away those young boy ways"... (good song)! It made me think of life, as we all "put away those young boy ways", and evolve into who we are at this moment, and yet we are still changing to who we'll be tomorrow. To me, to "put away" doesn't necessarily mean it must be ignored or forgotten (unless its a character flaw, that we must see and change),... but "Put away" to me means several things. One would be to save and cherish memories from our past. I often imagine creating rooms in my heart and mind, and to fill them with memories of people and places. These rooms are open to me to visit as I desire, and stay for as long as I wish. To remember, honor (if you wish), and occasionally learn from visiting those rooms that I have inside me. Another meaning of "put away those young boy ways"...would be to learn to grow as I grow in life. To act my age, and be where I AM in life, and participate in things "of my age". It's easy to associate habits with those of a younger age. For example, when a boy is 5 years old, he plays with trucks and make noises... When he's 12 and playing basketball with his buddies, it probably wouldn't go over very well, if he dropped down on the ground and began playing with trucks and making noises, it would be counted as "out of place". Being a teenager, the boy does "teenage" things. However, as we reach into our thirties and forties, when we hear "put away those young boy ways", we associate that with putting away things we did when we were teenagers. But, for me, some of the things I did 2-3 years ago, need to be put away as well. As we get older, we must continually learn that change is going to happen throughout our entire lives.

Growing up and making transitions and changes in life are inevitable... Often times these transition periods can be feared and in the end, counted as a crisis, that we simply are not able to deal with well. Depression hits, and we tend to find ourselves wondering why things can't just be the way they used to be. We fail to realize that change is GOING to happen, and we can either grow and learn, or hang onto old ways of looking at things, and be the victim of what has always been a constant in life....change!
What makes these transitions pleasant, or what makes them to be counted as a crisis in our lives, is determined by our ability and willingness to give up old habits and ways of doing things, for the new.
When we are unwilling or unable to suffer the pain of giving up the outgrown, we tend to cling to our old patterns. Thus failing to truly grow up and experience the joyful sense of rebirth that accompanies successful transition into greater maturity. (Adapted from the book "The Road Less Traveled")

Often times, when change is presented, we resist it. Even when we know its what needs to happen. We resist because the old life is familiar and predictable, as we knew it. When we resist change, we try to stop it. We eventually see that it can not be stopped, we then tend to slip into forms of depression and sadness... "Why can't things be the way they were"? We fail to understand and remember, that things will never remain and "be the way they were"...forever. THEY CAN'T! It's impossible. Time and life march on. As our understanding evolves, so must our actions. As our actions evolve, in turn the world around us will indeed evolve as well. Some times we cause the evolution, and sometimes external circumstances are the cause... Either way, we must learn to make transitions.

We all continue down the path of our lives, constantly learning to give up the old, and "put away those young boy ways", and make room for the new. New ways of thought, new habits, and sometimes new individuals. I'm not just referring to people that come into our lives and then leave. Yet, often times those are some of the hardest transitions to make. The acceptance of someone else into our lives, experiencing the joy of their presence, and then having to let them go their way... That is not an easy thing to do. Yet thankfully, some people become a permanent part in our lives, but we must still learn to evolve and let go of old ways of doing things, old thoughts and feelings, and be open to growth and change as we accept new ways of life and motion. Even people that are permanent parts of our lives will evolve, so we must allow that and be open to it. Constantly giving up the old, for the new. "Go with the flow" is always thought of as just being ok with whatever comes up, no matter what. I don't entirely subscribe to that way of thinking. I feel we can control our direction and navigate our lives toward a specific end. I say "go with the flow" yet do it with direction and purpose! Create a goal, create a plan, and execute it with purpose. Along the way, BE OPEN to adaptation of results. Who knows....?? The universe, in the end, might show you an even greater outcome than you ever dreamed possible. Which I have found is oftentimes the case. The Lord is able to make more out us, than we can even imagine.

Change is constant, so we must learn to adapt and grow. We must allow the same for others in our lives... We must learn to "put away young boy ways". Some things however, are to be learned and retained and never compromised...like values, and character...but thats a whole other entry for another time.
Life changes, and as our we learn better tools to better deal with life, we must occasionally let go of old ways of thinking, old patterns, and habits that don't serve... and make room for better ways of living, loving, and growing. As we navigate through life, we should include the Lord as our partner... So we change to be and do, what he would desire.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Learning as I go

It's early in the morning. Not much of a sleeper lately and I've been up reading. Thoughts running through my mind, as I contemplate the last 2-3 years in my life. I've caused a lot of pain in this world, and it's weighing on me. Sometimes, one must look behind themselves, and see the path that has been left. Is it a path of creating and the building up of life?...or have they left a wake of destruction and grief...heartache and pain? Without being dramatic, I can honestly say that I see both as I look behind me. Sometimes I focus on the pretty pictures that I (along with others) have painted in my past... The wonderful memories and experiences that are now counted as "the good times". As I look at the path behind me though, I unfortunately see the destruction and pain that I have caused too. As I take an inventory and try to learn from past mistakes, I am trying to look at the root of the actions that ended up causing hurt in the world...and even in the hearts of those I love and who love(d) me. The root of it all... was selfish dishonesty. I was a liar! Lying to myself, and lying to others. However, the evil spells of deception will eventually be corrected by the universe itself... :( Over the course of what I call "my awakening" (even wrote a song around it), I have been slowly shown what I have done, what I've done to myself, and what I've done to others... Life has a way of being a mirror, and revealing more of YOU to yourself, through experiences and people around us. Weather or not you choose to look at YOU, or blame others... becomes the next part. This morning I look inward, I choose to see ME, for what I am, and accept what I've done... OWN IT! Correct it, and learn from it... It's more than just saying "yep, I was wrong"... It goes deeper than that. One must get to the root of it all, to change the eventual fruit that is born. I'm learning that the roots are our thoughts...
Thoughts lead emotions; Emotions cause Actions; Actions makeup our lives.
Simple and not in anyway "groundbreaking"...yet must it be more complicated than that? Our emotions are what we notice and see most... "I'm angry, sad, or happy". That is what our emotional body is showing us, so "how I feel right now" is what is most prevalent and noticeable... Yet most of us don't take a deeper look at the roots, which are our thoughts. Emotions can be controlled through the thoughts that we choose to entertain. Our emotions can be signs that we are not being aware of our thoughts. If we "feel" a way we don't want to, then it could be taken as a warning (if we are consciously aware) that we are not controlling our thoughts enough. To be able to control the emotional body from within, instead of only reacting to external circumstances...? Is that really possible? Can we ever truly be impervious to outside influence. Maybe... But I DO wish to have more control over the way I feel this morning. I feel sorrow and regret as I recognize pain that I have caused, and I recognize that. Not sorry for me; yet sorry for those I've truly hurt. Part of change is becoming aware... not easy to have mornings like this where I am faced with decisions I've made... Not all bad, in fact some decisions I've made I am quite proud of. Yet the ones I'm NOT proud of..? Those are the ones I address this morning.
Maybe I'm writing this to just help myself mentally layout a game plan, so I don't have to feel this way anymore. Even still... I see what I've caused, I accept it, and ask forgiveness.
It could have been avoided, with better thoughts and controlled emotions... I am better for having passed through this, yet I regret that my betterment, had to come at the expense of people that I love. God, please mend what I have torn...!!!
Please forgive me...
I guess it's all part of this mortal journey of "Self Mastery"...
Self Mastery begins with thoughts. Thoughts ultimately create our lives.

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