Commitment

“Let today be the day that you become committed in being, doing, getting, achieving, experiencing. Let today be the day that you are committed to being the change you wish to see and living the life you wish to live.” ~ Steve Maraboli

When you make a commitment you dedicate yourself to something like a person or a cause. It’s a Spiritual Principle that works hand in hand with another Spiritual Principle called perseverance. This is sticking it out or seeing something through, good or bad, to the end. Some examples are marriage or relationships, projects, jobs and service work(volunteering) to name a few.

It seems that as the years go by, people are not as committed to anything anymore. For example, marriage and relationships. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a man and woman to have dated one, maybe 2 people before they got married. When they did get married, they stayed together until one of them passed away. Today people date numerous people before getting married and then get divorced down the road. Then they repeat that whole cycle all over again – date, marry, divorce…

Another example is jobs and service work. Today, people quit jobs and service work. Maybe the work gets to hard or other coworkers are to difficult to get along with.

So what’s happened to cause people to not be committed to anything anymore? Perhaps the biggest reason is that when the going gets tough, they give up and get going right out the door. If there are problems in the marriage or relationship, with projects, or on jobs and service work people find it easier to just give up.

Thought for the day: No matter how hard a commitment gets, step back for a moment, take a breath, then get back to it and work things out.

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The Answer

“Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ Former Democratic President John F Kennedy

“You don’t believe this? You’re a ‘-ist’!” “You think that way? You’re a ‘-phobe!’”

Every day, often numerous times a day, we are calling each other derogatory names. If we don’t like the way a person thinks, we call them racist, misogynist, sexist and numerous other names. Some are not fit for this author to print. In 90% of the cases, though, we are far from correct in the names we hurl at each other. That person is the opposite of those names.

Yes, there’s no doubt we have serious issues in this America and the world. Yes, many things that need fixing are things that are fixable, but first we need to get out of our own way. We need to find ways to compromise without completely compromising our values, morals, and principles.

No one person is right on all things in life. We can begin today to reach across whatever aisle that divides us and learn about another person whose thoughts and opinions are different than ours. Instead of name calling, ask questions and each of you give a little to each other. If we each do this, we can begin to agree on ways to fix some of our issues that plague our society.

Having different viewpoints is natural. Where our diversity is our strength is when we can come together and use those differences to bring about positive changes.

Thought for the day: The next time someone disagrees with you, instead of putting your fingers in your ears saying, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you!” try listening to understand.

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Love

“Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over another’s sins … In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13.

Think of someone you love. Pick anyone. What if that someone you love is sick or has fallen on hard times? Would you love them then? How about if that person made some bad choices that took them down a path in life that’s not good for them? What if that person you love hurt you in some way? Would you still love them?

If you said yes to any of those questions you are practicing unconditional love. Loving without condition or limitation, under any circumstance and despite disappointment. It’s also caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. It’s seeing past whatever “bad” a person is going thru to their true self and still loving them.

I’ve been blessed to feel this kind of love during a time in my life when I wasn’t so loveable. I’d done and said a lot of things to other people in my life that couldn’t be taken back. Some people turned their backs on me but others…the others loved me no matter what I did. If it were not for those people who loved me when I was at my worst, I never would have made it thru those dark times to be who I am today.

Thought for the day: Because of this love I am able to give unconditional love to others who may not be so loveable too.

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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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The Self Made Person

“The truth is – no matter how ‘self-made’ you think you are, you are really made by many who have invested in your life. Be known as a thankful and grateful person… and be known as the person that is investing in others to build them up, as well. It’s your way of paying back the debt that others have invested in you.” ~ Josh Hatcher

I admit that I’m no self made person by any means. I know that if it weren’t for lots of different people in my life I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. I’ve learned that we all need help from time to time. Asking for help has gotten me thru many situations and made me the person I am today.

Sometimes the help I seek is thoughts and suggestions about what someone else would do if they were in my shoes. If I ask more than one person, I usually get more than one suggestion in return. It’s good to ask more than one person because it helps to see your situation from more than one angle. From there I look inside my heart, mull it over and decide if their suggestion would work for me. It’s up to me to decide what’s ultimately the best. Not necessarily what’s best for me but others around me that my decision may affect. I even ask if an idea I have is one of my less than brilliant ideas.

Thought for the day: I would like to recognize all those who’ve helped me thru the years. Even the people I dislike or have fought with. Without you I don’t know where I’d be today without you.

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Zombies

Have you ever watched any of those tv shows or movies about a zombie apocalypse? That’s kinda how our world is becoming with this disease called addiction. If you’re not familiar with either zombies or drug addiction allow me explain.

After watching a tv show about zombies, I realized that addicts are similar to zombies. We are infected with a disease. Yes I said disease. It’s a disease of the brain. This disease affects our rational thoughts, our impulses and our judgement. It makes us obsessed and we do impulsive things to feed that hunger, to get that next fix. We do things we normally wouldn’t do when we’re not using just like zombies do.

When you look into the eye of a zombie, or an addict, many people see a monster. A dead, soulless, monster. We’re still alive but we are brain dead, numb and many of us are spiritually dead. Our mind is fixated on one thing, and one thing only. Our next high. Many of us go crazy just to feed the monster within us. We are trying to chase that first high that we had when we started using but we cannot catch it. What you don’t understand is that we, those walking dead, are real people. We are all someone to somebody.

We are your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, etc. We all have someone who loves us. We are your entertainment role models.

According to Hollywood, the only way to kill a zombie is a bullet to the head. They can never be saved or cured. However, unlike zombies, there is treatment for addiction. We can be saved, not cured, but our disease can be put into a remission of sorts. The problem is that we have to want it. We are not bad people who deserve a bullet in the head. We are sick people who need help.

Currently, addiction has touched everyone’s life in some way. Just about everyone either is an addict or knows an addict. The people who aren’t zombies – our families, friends and loved ones – want to help, want to save us, but there’s nothing they can do. They need to protect themselves so that they don’t become infected, rather sucked into our madness, or worse. They become addicted to drugs, themselves.

You may be wondering why addicts don’t get the help they need. Quite often we won’t get help because of the stigma. We hear things like, “You just choose to use/get high. Why don’t you just stop? Addicts are only poor uneducated people.” Statements like these are just a couple of reasons. Maybe we said them ourselves before we became addicted. We also tell ourselves that we don’t have a problem, that we can handle it and we can still make it to work.

Truth be told, we may be able to make it to work today, but eventually we won’t. Our performance will decline, then we’ll call in sick frequently. Ultimately we’ll stop going to work altogether.

When we think of an addict, we think of a dirty homeless person with a needle in their arm, a brown bag in hand, or a gangster slinging dope on the street or a sleazy dressed woman walking the streets looking to score. Truth is an addict can look like anyone we know. They can be a lawyer, a nurse, a police officer, an actor/actress, an athlete, or a store clerk. They can be your partner, your sibling, your parent, your cousin, or your grandparent. They can be rich, poor or somewhere in between.

My name is Anonymous and I’m a grateful recovering addict. It took me sometime to be able to say that I am an addict, let alone mean it. It took me even longer to accept it. I was one of those soulless monsters walking among the dead. I’ll bet if you saw me you wouldn’t think I was an addict. I don’t fit that picture I just painted of addicts in the first sentence in the above paragraph. Why am I grateful to be an addict? Read keep reading to find out.

My name is Anonymous because I am you and you are me. Plus my program has taught me about anonymity. Being anonymous means that I have no known name, identity or known source. I am nameless, unidentified and I am lacking marked individuality. I’m not white, black or brown. I’m not a Christian, Muslim, Jehovah witness or an atheist. I’m neither rich or poor. I am no better or worse than you.

My life as an addict was different from other addicts but one thing remains the same. You and I used for the same reasons. We wanted to feel something different, to not feel anything, to escape reality, or…well, I think you get the point.

Like I said, there’s a bit of you in me and a bit of me in you. All addicts, as you may see, have different details of the same story. Maybe any or all of these apply to you; you grew up in a drug or alcohol addicted family, you were abused at some point in your life or were raped, you began using because you wanted to to be cool, or whatever. We are the same because we used to change the way we felt.

If you’re an addict like me, give yourself a break. Maybe my story you will give you a message of hope that you can get and stay clean like millions of other addicts have. Don’t compare your story to mine because each addict has their own story. However, identify with me because we all used for the same reasons – to cover up our feelings or to escape reality.

If you’re a family member, friend or loved one, give yourself a break too. Maybe after reading this you’ll see some of the feelings and crazy thoughts that go thru an addict’s mind

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Black and White

“When I was a little girl, everything [was] wrong or right. Black or white. Now that I am an adult, I…know that …most things in the world…aren’t black, aren’t white…we don’t have to try and make them black or white, we can just let them be grey…Now that I am no longer a child, I can see…the black and the white and the grey, too…Grey is okay”. ~ C. JoyBell C.

I have encountered many people in my life who believe that things are either black or white and there’s no grey. No middle road. Things are either this way or that way. A person like this is narrow minded. They lack tolerance or flexibility and they rigidly adhere to a particular set of rules. Today I thought I’d look at the example of lying.

Say J.Q Person is saying negative stuff about your friend or family member. If you don’t repeat what J.Q Person says, this would be omission of the truth. To some people it’s considered lying. However, is it really lying if you omit the truth because it would cause physical or emotional harm to that person?

When it comes down to it, life is not necessarily as cut and dry, or right and wrong, as it was centuries ago, tho today some people still think this way. Nowadays, in our interpersonal relationships, we need to take into account the motive, or reason, behind what others do. We need to see things from the other person’s view.

Thought for the day: To quote the Dalai Lama, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them”.

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