This too Shall Pass

“Nothing lasts forever – not even your troubles.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow

So many times when we’re having a rough time in life, we hear words like “Keep your chin up.”, “Everything happens for a reason.”, “Fake it til you make it.”, and many other platitudes like that. A lot of times those words can help and we can put on that happy smiley mask for the world to see for the short term. Sometimes we lie to others around us so they don’t see our pain. But what about in the longer term when we are crying and dying inside?

I had gone thru a very rough time in my life. Between the divorce, my ill parent, finance problems, and temporary homelessness I was ready to give up the good fight. Some of those platitudes I repeated to myself and when I couldn’t tell them to myself, my friends told them to me. I had to remind myself that I had been thru worse times. I needed to call on my ancestors and ask for their strength to hold me up. In all honesty I found this very difficult to do. I had times I hated those words and the things my friends told me. Eventually I made it thru my darkest hours.

Thought for the day: Life, and those bumps and potholes we hit in the road along the way, do get better. Maybe not in the way we hope, plan, or expect, but they get better in the way our Higher Power feels is right for us. All that He asks of us is that we are true to ourselves as well as others around us.

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Your Last Day

“Against the grain should be a way of life … Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try, So live like you’ll never live it twice, Don’t take the free ride in your own life” ~ Nickleback

What would you do if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness and you were given a certain amount of time to live? Would you make a bucket list and try to do everything on it? Would you hold up in your home until the day you die? Donate every dime you have?

Or would you…well, I think you know.

I’ve known a few people who have been diagnosed with and died from terminal illness. The first one was my grandfather who had liver cancer. I remember on summer vacation riding my bike 6 miles to his house so I could visit with him. I still, 30 years later, vividly remember the day he past away.

One person I had a bond with but not super close to moped around had metastasized cancer. This person moped around but before passing away, this person had been planning a trip but didn’t make it. A few of us carried out the trip they’d planned and sprinkled some ashes in a couple places there. I still remember the night that person took their life.

During my years in healthcare, I became close with a number of individuals who passed away from terminal illness. For most their terminal illness was old age. I’ll never forget what one patient told me one day, “Live your life now while you can.”

Thought for the day: Live each day to its fullest, laugh your heart out, love like there’s no tomorrow, and tell the ones you love how you feel. Life is to short to live otherwise.

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Unconditional Love  

“My relationships with my cats has saved me from a deadly, pervasive ignorance.” ~ William S. Burroughs

Humans learn something new just about every day. We learn what to or not to do, how to or not to do things, what to or not to say and much more. We learn these lessons from a variety of teachers starting with our parents and teachers in school. When we leave school and home we don’t stop learning. We continue to learn from other people around us but did you know that we also learn lessons from animals too? Believe it or not we can and do learn some of life’s lessons from animals, specifically our pets.

How many of you own a pet, rather have a pet that owns you? Have you ever noticed that no matter how you look or feel, what you’ve done in your life or what mood your in that animals don’t care? They still come up to you anytime, anywhere and give you lovins. That’s called unconditional love – affection without any limitations or conditions.

I’d known about unconditional love for many years but I don’t remember really feeling and understanding it until I needed it the most. I was laying on my couch feeling sick, depressed, and like nobody loved me. My two cats didn’t care. Despite how I looked and felt, they came up and curled up next to me. Until this point I had a hard time treating others with unconditional love. These furry little teachers taught me to love others, and myself, warts and all.

Thought for the day: If you ever feel like nobody loves you, look into the eyes of your cat(or dog, etc). They will love you until you can love yourself.

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React vs Respond

“When you react, you let other control you. When you respond, you are in control.” ~ Bohdi Sanders

Humans have the tendency to act impulsively when they are hurt or angered. Many, MANY times those impulsive acts wind up being demeaning, harsh, and just plain mean and spiteful. And many, MANY times we regret our actions in the heat of the moment.

I’ve always been somewhat impulsive. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve regretted my actions when another person has hurt me or made me angry. Before I do something out of spite or aggression I need to stop and think if I’ll regret the consequences later. If I punch someone in the face or break something that belongs to them, can I accept the consequences?

I call this playing the tape thru to the end. If I think about acting negatively, I ask myself, “Do I want to get arrested, or go to jail? Would I like it if that person said or did it to me? Do I want to burn a bridge with that person if I say or do something horrible?” Probably not. It’s much better if I walk away and return another time when cooler heads prevail, if at all. When I do this I’m not saying the other person is right or wrong. I’m saying that I choose not to jeopardize or ruin the relationship any more than it already may be. In some cases I’m saying that I’m more mature.

Thought for the day: Sometimes I have to wonder if perhaps if more people would think before reacting or responding there would be a little more peace in the world.

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Bad Days

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” ~ Charlie Chaplin

See if you can identify with this. Not to long ago, I was having a really bad day. Between a funeral, some bad news and a lousy beginning of the day I was really grumpy. Later that evening I had a meeting with some friends. I really didn’t want to go but I was needed there. I have to chuckle a bit as I remember thinking to myself while getting ready, “Nobody better try to make me laugh or smile tonight. I’m grumpy and I’m going to stay that way”. No kidding, I really said something like that.

When I caught up with my friends, we got the hugs and “Hello’s” out of the way. I was asked how I was doing and grumbled out a “fine”. Then, I don’t know if it was on purpose or not but, a couple of people were chatting nearby me and they were loud enough that I easily heard them. Next thing I know one of them said something really funny and I found myself laughing really hard. By the end of the evening I was feeling a lot better about the problems I had plus I realized that they weren’t quite as bad as I first thought.

There are times when we blow stuff out of proportion and make mountains out of molehills. It helps to remember that no matter how big or small our problems may be, they are just bad moments and those moments will pass.

Thought for the day: If you’re having one of “those” days, stop, take a deep breath and rest assured that your bad “moment” will pass.

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Life’s Little Challenges

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength” ~ Dalai Lama

I am someone who’s had her fair share of tragedies in life. A house fire, debilitating surgery, divorce, job loss and financial problems are just a few of them. At the time of each of these events I could’ve done any number of things, including self destructive habits. A couple of times I actually did fall into self destructive habits, but after some time, I rose above the mess. Each time that I rose up to meet the challenge, I learned and grew a little more.

I’ve found that there are 2 kinds of people in life. Those who are dealt a lousy hand in life but rise up to the challenge, and those who don’t. Those who thrive on challenges and those who don’t. Those who grow from life’s ups and downs and those who don’t. The ones who don’t step up to these challenges and instead resign themselves to a lousy life are denying themselves opportunities to grow in life and find the little miracles that may happen. They have a defeatist attitude and claim they are victims the rest of their lives.

Life wouldn’t be complete without having a tragedy or 2 to knock us off our game. Some people think to themselves that they are being punished by some vengeful God. They think they are victims of circumstance and quit trying to rise above the bad things that happen.

Thought for the day: The next time your back is up against a wall because of some tragic event, choose to overcome that challenge and watch yourself grow.

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People in Your Life

“Do not worry about who’s not in your life right now. The ones are meant to be in your life will be there for you thru thick, thin, good, bad, ugly and REALLY ugly. They’re the ones who count most.” ~ Me

As the years go by, I find myself reflecting on people who are currently in my life and the ones who aren’t in my life for whatever reason. Sometimes when I think about the ones who aren’t in my life, I think about how they should be and I feel a tear form in my eye. Then all the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s go thru my mind.

Since I started reading then writing daily reflections, I’ve learned that all things in life move in circles. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end. I’ve also learned that the end brings about a rebirth of some kind. When anything in life ends, it’s life begins again but often in another form. That rebirth might be a new person in your life, a new opportunity or whatever. No, there are times that I don’t like it, but knowing this makes it easier to accept.

There is something that I sometimes forget. I forget that I still have people in my life who’ve been with me thru everything. One person in particular fits the above description. We’ve been there for each other thru problems with finance, romance, death and everything in between. She was the inspiration behind today’s quote that I put together.

Thought for the day: When something in life ends or a personages our life, take comfort that something new and better is just around the corner.

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