As I work from home, the view out my living room window is my office view. I love being able to look out my window and see our lovely little neighborhood. Today the view out my window shows the last snowfall with the sun breaking through the trees. It’s quite lovely and serene.
Before long the freshness of spring will brighten my view and I will see colorful flowers peeking their heads out of the ground as well as the neighbors all getting active in their yards.
During the summer I love to have the windows open and get the smell of the roses by windows and the sounds of the neighborhood children laughing and playing. I love the hum of hummingbirds wings as they flitter in front of window at feeders too.
In the fall, my favorite time of year, I love to see the grey skies and the swirling smoke from the neighbor across the street’s chimney. I love the way our houses all snuggle amongst the evergreens.
There are times when I sit and stare out my window day dreaming because our neighborhood is so peaceful and inviting. Outside of an ocean view I really don’t think I could ask for a better view as I work.
I rarely get on a “soap box” about subjects but this topic brought up quite a few thoughts. My topic for the day is, “Something I don’t understand”. I apologize in advance if it comes off preachy…..
What I don’t understand is how people who proclaim they are spiritually minded people can turn around and be some of the most vocally loud people spewing division, separateness, us versus them, close-minded thinking. How is it possible to say that you believe “All things work together for those that love God” (Romans 8:28) and then turn around and react as if God is no longer part of the world and it has been left to you to fix things?
I don’t believe that being ignorant is the answer either or not be actively involved in change to see a better world (no matter what the issue is). We all have a role to play but is it possible to stand for something without sinking into spewing division, separateness, us versus them, and close-minded thinking to get your point across?
Is it possible to actually act like a spiritual person and recognize the Divine in ALL THINGS? To foster inter-connectedness, openness and a willingness to look for the path of peace instead of resistance? Is it possible to Love One Another as we are instead of looking for all the reasons that we are different?
I just don’t understand how a spiritual person can claim their spirituality and yet be absolutely biased, filled with hatred and anger towards things and people. That isn’t being spiritual at all. As a young girl one of the things that used to frustrate me about my Grandmother, who I loved dearly, was that she always gave the Devil more credit than God. I don’t mean that she didn’t praise God and believe in his grace. Far from it. She was a devout Christian. Rather it was that she was so focused on Evil having its hand in everything that she couldn’t see the Divine in everything. She sometimes missed some of the most beautiful miracles in life because she had trained herself to look for the ugliness of evil. That broke my heart. It still does.
For good or bad, I am not that kind of a person. I stay aware of the issues in the world and I get active in resolutions when I can but I choose to align with the side of love and Divinity. (Not my versions of those things but unselfish loyal and benevolent, concern for the good of another love). I choose to look for the good and miraculous in life. I look for the place of connection between myself and others so I can better understand them. I think one of my favorite quotes that represents the way I view life is this:
“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.“ – Mother Teresa
I have a lot going on in my life but there is no way that I can get everything I do done without having learned to set my priorities. Of course, I will be the first one to say that my priorities aren’t always what everyone else thinks they should be but I’ve long sense given up the concept that I have to follow the rules. (Okay, “their” rules.) I am actually pretty good at following rules. I do like to learn them so I know how to tweak them or bend them to get things accomplished in a more effective or efficient manner.
But I digress, this topic is priorities and what I consider priorities in my life. My priorities are pretty simple:
- Spirituality. (Mine not yours.) I don’t go about trying to convert people or making them believe in my faith but I do put my spirituality as the top priority.
- My husband and my marriage. Yep, even if it doesn’t sit well with some women I believe that putting my marriage and my husband first makes for a happy marriage.
- Family. Family first! I will go out of my way to help family. I make time to be with family and I value my family.
- Friends. I am a pretty loyal person. Some think its a fault but I place a high value on loyalty. I will always be there for my friends no matter what.
- Purpose. Finding my purpose and following the dream of that purpose is a major priority. Its what gets me out of bed every day and keeps me going.
Do I have it all figured out? Hell no. I know what things are important to me and I make sure that I make those things a priority. I’ve gotten pretty good at setting my priorities and it has helped me in my life so far. I’ve even gotten pretty good at helping other people figure out how to set their priorities too. If you haven’t figured out your priorities, its a great place to start because once you know what matters its easier to take action.
I don’t think it is actually possible to get through this life without someone helping you out, in some way. We may choose to be loners or distant ourselves but there is no way we can actually exist entirely on our own with no help from anyone. At some point, someone will help you.
I tend to be the type of person that does things “on my own”. I don’t generally ask for help from anyone and even when I get help, like one of my kids loading the dishwasher, I will often go behind them and reload the dishwasher because I don’t understand why I can get all the dishes into the dishwasher but they can only manage to get half of them in there. (Totally serious irritation!) The point is….I tend to do for myself and I don’t even notice half the time if someone is standing there with their hand out to help.
Its not intentional believe me. I’ve been trying to be more aware of the help that surrounds me and accepting of it when I do see it. Sometimes, big moments happen where we know that without someone’s help our lives would have gone a different direction. My topic today is a time when someone helped me. The time that immediately came to mind was twenty years ago when a friend called up and said, “Come to Denver and save me.” They wanted me to come and put their office in order and then run the office side of things.
Their offer of help came in the guise of a request for me to help them but in truth it gave me a career. Set me on the path I am on today and opened my eyes up to a whole new way of life. By helping them they helped me find my purpose. The thing is, we don’t always recognize that we are being given a helping hand until after the fact.
I try to keep that in mind when I reach out to help others. Just because I am trying to help doesn’t mean they see it that way. If I do the best I can, for who I can, when I can then I can fee myself from expectations on the end results. I can just offer the helping hand and they can accept it or not. Vice versa, I can “not see” the hand reaching out to help me or I can choose to be aware of it and be grateful when it happens.
Have you ever done something and always looked back on it with a sense of pride? A sense of accomplishment that you achieved something and even if people don’t know what it took to get there you do and it was worth every step along the way?
There are a couple of things in my life that have brought me this deep-seated sense of accomplishment.
- When I became Miss Blaine in 1985. It was a rough year and the pageant director was really hard on me. I went home every night from pageant practice and swore I would never return but in the end….I ended up winning the title and I learned a LOT about myself and others through the years I was involved with the pageant circuit.
- When iI gave birth to each of my sons. If you are a parent, a mother specifically, you can understand what I am talking about. There is really nothing as spectacular as bringing a child into the world.
- When I finished my first story. I’m a closet romance writer who is learning to shed the closet and stand proudly in her writing. (It’s a process believe me!) I have lots of stories in process but to actually finish one…THAT was an accomplishment!
- I’m proud that I am a self-employed business owner and that no matter how scared shitless I was to be an entrepreneur…..I have kept at it for the last 8 years and doubt I will ever go back to being “employed” again.
- Every year on my anniversary I have a sense of pride that through thick and thin, through ups and downs, through wealth and poverty, sickness and health my husband and I have been committed to each other and made our marriage work for 26 years! Nowadays that is a rarity and definitely not the norm. I’m proud we have made it and that we continue to work on our marriage.
Life happens. I have had plenty of down times and I have had friends ask me if I am crazy or tell me that they would have given up a long time ago if they had some of my challenges but if you want to accomplish anything you simply can’t let circumstances be your truth. You have to see a different reality for yourself and pursue it with a passion few can understand. It can be a lonely road but most great accomplishments are about your belief in yourself, not in others.
What are your accomplishments?
Today is no more special than any other day with the exception that I choose to see it as a good day. What makes it a good day? Well, for me, it’s a good day because my husband has the day off and we are together. We aren’t doing anything spectacular. Just running errands and basic household chores but its the taking pleasure in each other’s company that makes it so good!
I could easily just let the day be, oh I don’t know….just another day but I am literally giving up hours, minutes, seconds of my life I won’t ever get back for this day and I refuse to let it “just be another day”. It’s a full 24 hours of me expressing myself in this world and I want it to matter. I want to fall asleep at night with a smile knowing that I lived well today, even if all I physically did was the mundane chores of life.
What are you doing with each day you are living? Are they good? Are they full of life and at the end of the day are you satisfied that you exchanged a day of your life for what you accomplished? If your answer is no then I think you have some changes to make.
Everyone as a good day. You know it is a good day because of how you feel as you move through it. Maybe you wake up happy, maybe everything goes exactly right, maybe you just feel good physically. Regardless, you are aware when you are having a good day. Do you remember the last good day that you had? Do you remember the best day you in the last two weeks? How about the last week?
My best day last week was actually Valentine’s Day but not because it is a romantic day for lovers. Rather it was my best day because for one reason after another each person who lives in my house had something delay them from getting home or they just made plans and everyone was gone. You might ask me how this makes it a good day for me but when you always have people around and you never really have time where you are allowed to just be alone, it can mean a lot.
Then of course, when my husband made it home we actually went out to dinner which we almost never do on Valentine’s Day simply because he is often working and because we often stay home and have a “movies in bed” kind of night. I had plenty of sleep so I woke up refreshed. I was relaxed and refreshed from the quiet time I had before he got home and having quality time alone as a couple was exactly what we both needed. We even went to bed early because he had to be up around 4:30 am for work but it didn’t matter. It was nice to just be us for a couple hours.
So what makes a good day for you? What happens that makes you fall asleep with a smile on your face saying to yourself, “that was a perfect day.”?