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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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…


Be happy. Let your light shine today…

November 30, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack shared this saying from Buddha –

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” 

If you start each day by getting yourself in the right frame of mind – a happy frame of mind, why nor share that with those that you meet. You can be the candle from single candlewhich a thousand other people light their candle and it will not diminish you own happiness one bit. In fact, if you pay attention to the happiness that you might bring to others that will make you even happier.

I have a friend who bills himself as a “Happiness Coach”. Who knew that you needed a coach for happiness? Like many other things in our busy, high-tech, day to day lives; I guess happiness can get lost in the rush towards whatever it is that we think we are pursuing. For most that involves their job and success at work. The focus and intensity that many put on their job and being successful through hard work there definitely can detract from family and other elements of their life, often to the detriment of their happiness.

this-is-meIt is important to realize that happiness in life is not obtained by success at work or the accumulation of money and possessions. Happiness starts with being happy with being you and then extends outward to the joys of sharing that happiness with others. If you cannot get comfortable and happy with who you are as a person, you will be unable to interact with others in a way that makes you and them happier. You must first be able to say, “I like me” before you can say “I like you” to someone else.

Perhaps that is what my friend the Happiness Coach does with the people that he works with. He must first get them to light their own candle of happiness with themselves, before they can go out in the world to share that light and make others happy, too. I’m sure that he also advises them on how to share their happiness with those around them, especially their spruces and families.

A key component of becoming happy with yourself is to stop beating yourself up, to forgive yourself for any past failures or faults. The best way that I know to accomplish that is to get right with God first. If you establish a strong belief in God then you accept that God forgives you all of your sins and faults, and accepts you the way that you are. Once you accept His forgiveness it is easier to forgive yourself and move on. You can tell the coach to put you in the game. You will have lit your candle woman-prayingand now you can focus on sharing your light with others.

Perhaps you could get yourself in that happy state of mind by starting each day with a little prayer time, to reestablish your link to God. There’s a cute little song that you might have learned in Sunday School that starts the words “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Be the candle from which others draw their light.

Don’t worry…be happy! Get right with God. Get right with yourself. Let your light shine today.


Change the world one person at a time…

November 27, 2018

In today’s post to his blog Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed uses this quote –

“Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.”  (Quoted by Brittany Trout)

During the holiday season many people become a little more generous and drop money into a red Salvation Army kettle or perhaps donate to some other worthy cause. It makes them feel good about themselves and they know that it will help someone, somewhere.

homeless-beggarThe truth is that there is need all the time all around us and we have opportunities every day to help someone and perhaps change their world. Perhaps it is cynicism or fear that prevents us from stopping to help the homeless man on the street corner begging for enough to but a meal or maybe to provide one for his family.  Maybe we feel that we are too busy doing things that are “important” to us to bother with stopping to talk to the lonely elderly women that we sitting in the man rushingretirement home window. We don’t have time to be bothered trying to discuss their issues with the distraught and depressed neighbor that we wave to in the yard. Yet, each of those encounters represent an opportunity for us to change the world for that person.

Sometimes it takes money to help; but, many times it just takes your presence and your time to make a difference in that other person’s life. Maybe you can’t volunteer builderafford to buy a house for someone, but you could afford the time to work on a house for someone on a Habitat for Humanity project. Maybe you can’t take in the homeless man on the corner, but you could volunteer with the group Home for the Homeless to find him a place to stay. Or, perhaps you could volunteer to spend time at a local retirement home reading to the residents or just visiting with them.

If we have nothing else to give, we have our time. How we use that time to the benefit of others can change the world one person at a time. We see stories on the nightly newsfacing the wall 2 every so often about the ex-soldier with PTSD or the ex-addict or the ex-homeless person who was helped by someone and who now runs a shelter or charity organization that is helping others. That person’s life was changed by an act of kindness by someone else and it changed their world from one of hopelessness and despair into a world of fulfilling accomplishment and self-worth through service to others. Now they are changing the world, one more person at a time.

being kind 1Try it. Stop and help someone today. You might like it. YOU can change the world for someone today!


Don’t just sit there…build your door

November 26, 2018

To start the week off Jack Freed used this little quote in his Jack’s Winning Words blog – “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  (Seneca)

Jack went on to write that he keeps a little slogan posted right by his computer – Get tough…Get off your duff!  It means, Get going and build that door! 

Too many of us spend our time lamenting that opportunity has passed us by or that it didn’t come knocking at our door. It is possible that it knocked and that we didn’t hear it, dancingbut it is more likely that we haven’t positioned ourselves to take advantage of it.  H. Jackson Brown, Jr. put it this way – “Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” Brown was pointing out that we need to be working at it, building that door, in order for opportunity to present itself. I also like this piece of advice about that dance with opportunity from Wayne Dyer – “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” 

A big part of being prepared to jump on opportunity is believing. Gail Devers said this, “Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for thosewoman-praying who believe.” A great way to start each day is to reaffirm your faith in God and in His hand in your success. That pause to be in contact with God and reaffirm your faith will allow you to take the all-important first step on your journey to success. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way – “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Taking that first step also means overcoming the inertia of procrastination and worry. As Joseph B. Wirthlin put it – “Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how leap of faithlong it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.”

So, get off your duff and build your door. The opportunity for success lies on the other side if you just take that first step.

Have a great week ahead!


What do you see in beauty?

November 20, 2018

Today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog begins with this quote – “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.”  (John Muir)

Among the words that Jack always adds to the quote of the day was this sentence – A hungry man, with little money, used it to buy a loaf of bread and a rose. Why do you suppose the man wanted in the rose? He needed the bread to live, but he needed the rose to be alive. I think he saw the face of God in the beauty of the Rose.

What do you see when you see something beautiful? Do you see the hand of God at work, creating that beauty for you to enjoy? Look for beautiful things today and see if you can see Him as you admire whatever it is.

As we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday let’s pause to give thanks to God for all of the beauty that he surrounds us with. These are things that we do not have to wait until Black Friday to enjoy and best of all they are free. If you pause to give these things more than just a glance, you might look deep enough into them to see God smiling back at you.

Have a safe and beautiful day as you travel for the Holidays!