Life and troubles are both impermanent…

July 1, 2015

“We are all visitors to this time, this place.  We are just passing through.”  (Aboriginal Proverb)

“Nothing is permanent in this world—not even our troubles.”  (Charlie Chaplin)

Those two quotes could each by themselves be the subject of a complete post here; however when you concatenate travelerthem and see the common theme, it makes for a powerful thought. The Aboriginal proverb establishes the impermanence of our lives and the Chaplin quote takes that theme down to the level of our everyday lives.

The Aboriginal proverb may help us understand that life is a little like a visit to Disney Land. Did you make that visit, or something like, that when you were a kid? Do you remember it? In your memories was there stress? Were there concerns about your job, about how to pay the bills, about what people thought of you? Did you lay awake the night before concerned about a confrontational experience that awaits you the next day; or was your sleepless night caused by thoughts of all of the things that you hope to do the next day – caused by excitement and not by fear?  How can you get back to that place?

And the Chaplin quote seems to build upon the thought of the impermanence of life by extending it to the transient nature of our “problems” in life. We all tend to fixate on what is just ahead of us – the current crisis that life has thrown our way – our “troubles” as Chaplin put it. As I get older, I have noticed that I somehow have survived the many life crises that I was sure at the time represented the end of life as I knew it. I woke up the next day. I was still alive and the world had gone on about its business. Maybe I had suffered a loss. Maybe I had lost a friend. Maybe the love that I let gothought I had for someone had not worked out as I had hoped. But, still; I was alive and able to go on. Nothing, it turned out, was permanent in this world; a world in which I’m a visitor, just passing through.

I’ve written a few times here about being able to roll with the punches that life throws at us. The thoughts that are contained in the two quotes today really establish the base from which you can have an attitude about life that allows that to happen. If you begin with the premise that everything in life (including life itself) is impermanent, that establishes a perspective that helps you to let go of things that might have happened and even of people whose paths may have crossed yours. Some people are harder than others to let go of; especially if you shared your life with them for a significant period of time – parents, wives, children and relatives come to mind. But even those relationships are impermanent, because they, like us, are just visitors here, too.

As a person just passing through you have choices to make about how you conduct yourself. You can be like the idiot who was driving by and threw their fast food bag out their window and onto your lawn – uncaring, unthinking – an idiot. Or, you can be responsible and properly conduct your life in a manner that will not label you as an idiot. You may be just passing through, but you needn’t leave a trail of litter and garbage in your wake. Some people do that by discarding old friends in favor of new friends as they go through life, sometimes tossing the old friends out the window as they drive away. Some even discard wives and children as if they were expendable bags of garbage. These are not people that I would choose to befriend. Would you?

As a visitor here you might also take the attitude that you are going to explore and learn as much as you can about the place that you are visiting, just as you might about a foreign country that you visit. That means going places and doing embrace diversitythings, but most of all it means meeting people. It means embracing diversity, because you can learn something new or see things from a different point of view. It means reserving judgement and not pre-judging, based upon things like looks. It means keeping an open mind and judging people on their actions and not some pre-conceived stereotype. Remember that they are visitors, too; and they may be just as wary of meeting you as you are about meeting them.

As you spend your time visiting here, you’ll undoubtedly hit some rough times, have some hardships, suffer some setbacks or losses; just remember that those things are impermanent, too. There will be a tomorrow and most likely you’ll be there, with those troubles behind you, if you are willing to leave them where they belong – in your past – and move ahead. Use your time visiting here wisely, not living in the past but always looking to the future – a new day, new friends, new opportunities, and new experiences.

Have a great day and rest of your week, fellow traveler.

Be a friend; be goofy with someone today… 

May 19, 2015

From the Jack’s Winning Words Blog – “I’ve learned that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.”  (Andy Rooney)  Jack went on to write – I miss Andy and his “5 minutes” at the end of the 60 Minutes TV program.  I’ve read that he didn’t have many close friends.  He said you just need one…to act goofy with.  I’ve got a few like that, and maybe you have, too.  I wonder if the Queen of England has a friend to act goofy with?  What does it mean to have a friend? 

pillow fightI’ve written here before about the need every now and then to be a little goofy, maybe to make a face at yourself  in the mirror, just to lighten the mood. It’s also great to have someone with whom you feel so comfortable that you can be goofy together. Many of us have buddies – golfing buddies or fishing buddies or maybe buddies that we play cards with – but there are usually only a very few (if any) friends that we feel safe and secure enough around to be goofy with them.

Being goofy with someone is about temporarily letting go of the control that we exercise when around others and just having fun in the moment. It isn’t about getting drunk or high with a friend; although many people do goofy things (maybe dumb is a better term) when they are drunk or high. Being goofy with a friend may be about laughing uncontrollably or pretending to be someone or something else or maybe just making funny faces to each other. Being goofy with a friend is about saying,”I trust you and our relationship enough to not hold back.”

Do you have a friend or friends that you can be goofy with?  Have you ever been goofy with a friend of yours? How did that make you feel? Did you feel the release of that moment of not having to hold things in and act like others expect you to act? Sometimes, being able to be goofy with as friend feels better than achieving some goal at work or getting praisegoofy freinds for some act of kindness or charity. While those feel great too, they are things that happen in your life within the context of you acting out your role as an adult. Being able to be goofy with a friend lets you return for that moment to the joys of childhood before you became burdened by the expectations of others.

So, find that BFF of yours that you can be goofy with and go have some fun today. Maybe you can just call them and the two of you can get goofy over the phone, reminiscing about the last time that you got together and got goofy about something. It will lighten up both of your days. Be goofy with someone today.

Three little words that will change your life…Let it be (12 of ?)

April 2, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

The Beatles song Let It Be is considered by many to be the best song ever written. Paul McCartney wrote it and Beatles recorded it in 1969, although it did not come out until after the Abbey Road album on the 1970 album Let be Album. McCartney has consistently claimed that he wrote the song with his mother Mary McCartney in mind. She had died when Paul was 14 and he had fond memories of her that come through in the song. Most thought that Mother Mary was a biblical reference to the Virgin Mary and McCartney has said that he’s OK with that. To listen to the song click here and to read the lyrics click here.

Lyricists are some of our best poets. Do you remember songs that made you cry or that made you happy? Maybe it is the “our song” of your first romance or the song that summed up the pain and emptiness of your first breakup. Do you remember the songs at your wedding? Songs can have and do have great impact on peoples lives. I still recall many of the songs that I found to be particularly meaningful at the time and several were by the Beatles.

While the advice in today’s three little words did make up the tag line of that famous Beatles song; that is not why heeding them can change your life. I’ve already written about being at peace and the wonderful benefits of that (see post 4 in this series). Sometimes you have to heed today’s advice before you can get to a state of peace, you have to Let It Be.

It is easier said than done to let some things be. Sometimes there is anger involved, so letting it be involves stopping and cooling down. Sometimes there is sadness involved and that may require that you cry it out before you can let it be. Sometimes it is disappointment or a let down and one must stop admit that the world did not just come to an end and you can let it be and get on with life. Sometimes it may actually be a happy occasion that you really don’t want to every end, but you must let it be and move it on to become a happy memory. Whatever it is or was, it has passed when you Let It Be.

Not all problems or issue in life have a solution, something that you can do to change things or make it right. There are things in life that must be dealt with, and I offered some advice on those in post # 8 in this series. Other things that you encounter or that happen to you are best handled by just finding the best way to cope and moving on – Let It Be.

We have also discussed in this series your role to be there for others (see the last  post).  If  the trouble is not about you but you are an observer of someone who is struggling with an issue, a loss or an intractable problem that has them down in the dumps, maybe you can be the one to whisper to them  the words of wisdom – Let It Be.

If you do that for someone else you may well find that there are now two people who are now ready to Be At Peace, because the first step to getting to a state of peace is often to Let It Be.

So, have a great day and if things occur that upset you…well you know what! Go play the song again. It will make you feel better.