Stop picking at it…

December 11, 2018

From today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this gem – “Nobody goes through life without a scar.”  (Carol Burnett)

Jack went on to write about the scars of life both physical and mental. I remember my mother yelling at me to “stop picking at it; you’ll leave a scar”, when I scratched or picked at a scab that had formed over a wound. I still have a scar on one hand that was left when I got my hand caught in an old washing machine wringer (ask someone old what a wringer was on washing machines).

Not all of life’s scars are physical. In fact, most scars that we can look back upon are mistakreprobably painful memories etched in our minds from “wounds” that we received in life – rejections, bullying, failures or losses of loved ones. Those events in our lives all hurt at the time. Some of these things we may have “picked at” for a long time, resulting in big scars on our souls.

Maybe we just couldn’t let go of that person who rejected us or the loved one that we lost. We couldn’t find a place for them in our memories that wasn’t associated with pain. They left a scar on our lives. Perhaps we could not reach closure and move on to forgiveness for someone that bullied us or hurt us. Maybe we haven’t forgiven ourselves for some failure in life. We keep picking at those things and the scars just gets bigger.

Jack went on to write that Robert Schuler (a favorite of his) used to say, “Turn your scars into stars.” The way that you do that is to stop picking at those scars and focus instead helping handson forgiving those who may have caused you that pain or forgiving yourself for some perceived failure. In order to forgive others, you must first be able to forgive yourself. The path to forgiving yourself is accepting that God forgives us all first. Lex Luger put it this way – “God has forgiven me, which I am very thankful for. It has enabled me to forgive myself and move forward one day at a time.”

That doesn’t mean that the scars will go away; they won’t; but, they will take their rightful place in your memories. As Cheryl Rainfield  put it – “My scars show pain and suffering, but they also show my will to survive. They’re part of my history that’ll always be there.”

Why forgive? Because you must forgive in order to be able to move on with your life.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the woman-prayingfuture.” – Bernard Meltzer. Without forgiveness you get stuck in the past, reliving those pains over and over. So, take my mom’s advice and “stop picking at” those old wounds. Let the scars form, forgive those involved in the pain and then move on.

“Remember, when you forgive, you heal. And when you let go, you grow.” – Haiku and KySSeS

 

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Have a good laugh today…

December 10, 2018

The advice from the Jack’s Winning Words blog today it this quote – “Laughter is the best medicine, and the cool thing is, you can’t o.d. on it, and the refills are free.”  (Rob Paulsen)

I’m a believer in that advice. I have what has occasionally been called a wicked sense of humor. I see humor, sometimes dark humor in many things that happen during any given day. My tendency for witty retort or often blurting out something that I found to be funny used to get me into trouble at school. These days, as often as not, my wife will question why I am chuckling to myself and I will share with her the humorous (at least smiling dogto me) thought that just crossed my mind.

One must include the ability to laugh at yourself, in order for the healing effects of laughter to be complete. Being able to stop and say to yourself, “well, that was stupid” and then have a quick laugh is much better than getting down on yourself. We all tend to take ourselves and whatever it is that we are focused upon way to seriously. Lately me wife and I have taken to exchanging the little phrase, “At least nobody died” as a way to lighten moments of disappointment or self-recrimination for a mistake. Forcing yourself to put things in that context serves as an emotional relief valve to let the moment pass, whatever it was.

animated-light-bulb-gif-22There are things in life that make us smile, like seeing a cartoon of Snoopy dancing or even the original smiley-face emoji. We also need things that make us laugh. I remember many routines on the old Carol Burnet show that were so funny that even the cast was laughing while they tried to perform the routine. Tim Conway doing his little old man shuffle inevitably broke up Harvey Corman in those routines. My wife loves to watch reruns of the show Everybody Loves Raymond, because they make her laugh.

I’m sure that there are scientific explanations about why laughter is good for us; things talking about endorphins being released into our body. To me, the only thing that is important is that laughter breaks the tension of the day and allows us a momentary return to the innocence of childhood where life was much more fun and many things around us were fun and funny. To often, like the children who grew up in Peter Pan andsmiling-sun lost the ability to fly with him, we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves and the things around us. Recapture that ability. Go watch an old episode of a comedy show. Let go and laugh. Don’t worry, you can’t o.d. on it.

Here’s a little clip from the old Johnnie Carson show when Rodney Dangerfield visited. See if it make you laugh. Have a good laugh to start your week. It will set a great tone for the rest of the week.


Don’t allow yourself to be held down or back…

December 8, 2018

From a recent TV ad – “Live life anchors up” (Pacifico beer commercial slogan)

While that is a cute beer commercial slogan; it is really great advice for life. Too many people allow themselves to be held back or held down by “anchors” in their lives – guilt,baggage fears, self-doubt or perhaps the opinions of others. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to common sense when it is trying to prevent you from doing something really stupid or self-destructive. That’s not self-doubt; that’s self preservation. Live Life anchors up.

Sometimes what we mistake for the restraint of common sense is really just a boundary or border into something unknown that should be explored or tried. Just because “nobody’s ever done that before” doesn’t mean that it can’t be done or shouldn’t be done. Nobody ever flew before the Wright Brothers decided to pull up the anchor of gravity and break through that boundary. There are tons of examples like that. Live life anchors up.

angry accuserSome go through their life held back by the opinions of others. They may here “You’ll never amount to anything” from their own family. They may be teased or bullied at school, perhaps because of how they look or act. Some overcome that or escape those anchors to go on to become famous actors/actresses, scientists or to excel in their field. There are also lots of stories about that in the stories about the lives of famous people. Live life anchors up.

In our more ordinary, day-to-day lives the anchors or boundaries that we might hit that hold us back are many time self-imposed. We don’t ask that person out because we fear rejection. We don’t ask for that raise because we have doubts about our worth to the company or the quality of our work. We become stuck in place; anchored by our fears and self-doubt. Live life anchors up.

So, how do you hoist those anchors and live the life that you’d rather have? I’ve writtenwalking man here before that you must first love yourself before you can love others or help others or become happy with your life. When faced with barriers we must replace fear and self-doubt with hope and hard work. We must turn guilt into resolve to do better next time. We must become focused upon forming our own opinions and learning from our mistakes, rather than wallowing in self-pity. Live life anchors up.

The best way that I know to let go of the anchors that may be holding you back is to get woman-prayingright with God and go with the flow that He has in mind for you. God is not an anchor holding you back; He is the wind taking you forward. Tell God, “I’m ready to pull up my anchors and go where you want me to go. I put my trust in you. Not my will, but thy will be done.” Then hold on for the journey through life  that you’ve been dreaming about. Live life anchors up.


Make a best choice…

December 3, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed used this little saying that he saw on a plaque somewhere – “You’ve got 3 choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got.” (Wall Plaque)

There are tons of those types of plaques and posters and other “motivational” materials out there and tossing off little sayings like that one is the fodder of most sports lockerVince Lombardi room talks. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi was a master at those types of sound bite, motivational advice. All of those sayings and plaques and posters are built around the same principal – that you alone are in control of your own destiny. The key thought is that if you give it all that you have, try your hardest and do your best, that you will achieve the things that you desire.

There is certainly merit in trying your hardest and doing the best that you can. Very little can be achieved without effort on your part; but, perhaps there is a fourth, and, I submit, the best, choice that you can make in life that would help you even more – give it to God. That is not to say that you can just pray, “OK, God, you got this” and then sit back and it will happen. That’s not how it works. Rather that you man prayingshould pray, “God give me the strength, perseverance and wisdom that will help me achieve my goals. Watch over me and guide me. Lift me up when I stumble. Keep me humble when I succeed. Help me to show the world your strength and glory through my actions. Most importantly, God; thy will be done.”

There’s a short phrase in sports that participants use when they need some assistance from a fellow player – “A little help here.” That what you are praying for when you give it to God – a little help here on earth. You see quite a few athletes pausing after a success,help-me like a touchdown run or catch, to point to heaven and thanking God. Their prayers were answered and they got that little help here in the game. Were they trying their hardest already? Probably, but it was that little something extra that made the difference.

Most of us aren’t athletes and most of what you might need help with is not a game. Maybe the help you need is with grief over the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you need a little help here to deal with depression or with your fears. Maybe you need to see a way out of where you find yourself and towards a better life. It could be that you are struggling with a debilitating health problem. You might be at the point of making those bored2first two choices to give up or give in, because you feel like you have given it your best and failed. You still have that fourth choice. You can still put your life in God’s hands and allow Him to give you that little help here. Try making that choice.

Once you put your life in God’s hands you will notice an immediate change. A great weight will be lifted from your shoulders. Your perspective on life and your priorities in life will change. Your outlook on life will emerge from the dark place that it had been living and a long-lost smile will return to your face. Good things will begin to happen insmell-the-roses your life and you will notice and appreciate them. You will again find beauty and satisfaction in the things and people around you. All because you made the fourth choice and gave your life to God. With God at your side, giving it all that you’ve got will bring new success and satisfaction.

So, you’ve got four choices in life. Make the best choice today…