Island Illusion

“No man is an island.” John Donne

Islands bring adventure! Beauty! Exotic sights! Or perhaps they can bring danger, hunger and isolation.

By definition an island is surrounded by water. Without a means to leave the island by boat or swimming one could feel trapped there. Emotions can be like islands. We can feel so overwhelmed by an emotion that we believe there is no escape. When the emotions are jubilant, we don’t mind. We would like to live on the jubilant island forever! But when emotions are dark, we wish to seek light and an escape from such despair, sadness or loneliness.

One must start with John Donne’s declaration. ‘No man is an island’. No matter how isolated one feels, there is a way of escape. The first step is an act of the will-a desire to escape. The desire must translate into actions or the presumed desire is not real. It is an illusion which further traps the inactive person in despair.

So how might one bridge the water which seems to obstruct escape?  Remember, we are not islands. We are people with connections to others. Approaching others may not be easy. A bridge may have to be built or repaired. A person may have to learn to swim to escape. Sometimes we can build the bridge alone. Sometimes we can teach ourselves how to swim. Sometimes we need external instruction. This instruction can be obtained via a friend, a counselor, a book, or a sage. When we want to escape, we must take the action required for that desire to become a reality.

“Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.” Dalai Lama

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/island/

 

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Behavioral impact is countless

“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!” Robert Burns

Countless. Our blog challenge for the day. Countless is often defined as being too numerous to count.

Very few things would be countless by my thoughts. If there is an item to count, given the patience and time, those items could be counted. Even the number of a human’s breath. At the time of their death, the breaths could be counted as there was a first breath and a last breath. My thoughts could be counted; again, because I would have a first thought and a last thought.

But the impact of our actions, could indeed be countless. People who have been affected by behavior could pass the resulted impact of that behavior on for generations. From continent to continent. Behaviors vary from cruelty to kindness. From selfishness to sacrifice.

Memorial day is a day to remember those who have passed from us. While those we loved may be gone, we feel their presence by the influence and impact they had on us. Many have lost loved ones to war. Some from hate crimes. Others from illness.

Some of us are who we are today because of some kindness which touched our lives. A person who touches another with an act of kindness may never realize the impact of that one act. There may be a beginning, but as the affect of that action continues, there may not be an end. Therefore, it is countless.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/countless/

Sail with the Phase

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the  moment you are in, can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.” Barbara De Angelis

A life is full of many moments. Some I love, some I tend to resent. I remember when my children were young. Somedays would be more taxing than others. Often during those times a friend would say, ‘they are going through a phase, they will move into another soon.’

I gave that a lot of thought. If I hurried them through every phase, the end result would be to rush their lives. Lives are so short anyway. Why would I rush a life away?

Today, my children are adults. My parents have passed away. Illness and disease have come and gone. And I have asked myself again-would I wish away any of these phases of suffering?

My answer is, no. All the moments have made me who I am today. The good and delightful, and the sad and sorrowful. They comprise me.

Phases do come and go. Some are short, and some seem as though they will never pass. My goal is to keep moving through the phases. Embrace what I can and try not to get stuck in any one place.

“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor, sail not drift.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/phase/

Mindful Journeys

“Sometimes a journey takes us to a place we have never been before. That place may not be on a map. It may be in our hearts.” Faye Hager

Recently, I have discovered a new type of journey. It does not involve going to a physical destination. I may not even move from my spot where I am standing. Actually, I may be pacing, or I may be rocking-I seldom just stand. It is an emotional journey. I believe emotions are linked to our minds, so it is a mental/spiritual/emotional journey. And that adventure all takes place deep inside of me: me-myself-and I. We have to find our way through it.

I wish I could tell you THE magic formula. I can’t. But I can share some things that help me move from:

anger—-to forgiveness

sadness—to hope

grief—-to acceptance

A book can be written on the process-and may be…perhaps I will call it the “Misery Index”. But I will just list a few of the things that help me transform my thinking.

Talk-don’t keep things inside. If you don’t have someone to talk to-talk to yourself

Keep Busy–don’t sit idle and fret. Get out. There is fresh energy outside yourself.

laugher- great therapy. If you can’t laugh, see a show that can bring out laugher.

accept emotions-don’t bury them. They will get stuck in some deep dark grave in your heart.

At the end of the day, if I can change the way I am thinking about something, I can change the way I feel about it. It may not happen in one day. I may have to fake it till I make it, but I will get there.

sunrise

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” Samuel Smiles

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fake/

 

I’m Crazy

Patsy Cline–I’m crazy…worry, why do I let myself worry….

Music holds such power. It can set a mood, it can soothe a soul. It can excite and it can add courage as men march to war.

Funny thing about a song, the whole song may be irrelevant to a situation, but there can still be a connection.

Patsy Cline sings ‘I’m Crazy” as a sad realization that she has loved the wrong person. I don’t share that sense. I feel that I love my soul mate who comforts and creates more enjoyment of life. Yet…her words, “I’m Crazy” come out of my mouth frequently. It can be for any number of reasons. I’m crazy to go to the store in the rain. I’m crazy to start a new career late in life.

Today, I am reminded of the other lyrics in this song. “worry, why do I let myself worry?” There is no help in worry. Worry is a waste of energy. Worry drums up all the unquantified potential troubles that may never have to be addressed.

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” George Washington

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/this-is-your-song/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/this-is-your-song/

Decisions, Decisions!

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

Clarity is a valued commodity. How many times do I wish I could look up in the sky, or down on the street and see sentences written by my future of exactly what I should be doing. I have never seen it, and it is not from a lack of trying!

Sometimes I am faced with a clear decision which must be made. I weigh the pros and the cons, discuss with friends, and seek ethereal guidance. I realize that the point of absolute certainty may never arrive, so I make the decision based on the facts I have at hand.

Other times, the need for a decision is not so clear. It isn’t that I must make a decision, it is if I WANT to make a decision. Wanting to make a decision changes things by choice. Sometimes other people are affected by that choice. If others would be unhappy with my selected choice, it could seem that I was callous to their feelings.

Yet,I believe that there are natural ‘change point’ times in a person’s life. Somehow your soul lets you know that it is time for a change. You don’t mean anyone ill will. You don’t mean for your decision to have any negative impact on anyone else. But you know that the time is right for you to make a change.

Such has happened in my life over the last few months. I have been at my current job for 13 years. I like who I work with, and I like what I do. Yet, when I read Steve Jobs tip: “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been NO for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” I knew that his sentiment rang true for me.

I studied to be a nurse. I moved into the administrative role for the last many years. I have decided to return to working with patients. I will be directing a research department and working with the physicians and patients who come seeking clinical trials. Our first clinical trial is for patients who have had surgery for melanoma. Melanoma is not the most prevalent skin cancer, but it is one of the most progressive. We are working with a company to develop a vaccine to prevent re-occurance of the melanoma.

I am certain that when I look into the mirror in the mornings, there will be days that I wish I wasn’t going to spend my day at work. But if I have to work, I am pretty certain that when I look into the hopeful eyes of a patient who is seeking medical advances for such devastating diseases, that I will be grateful that my days of working will be in an effort to help those who so  desperately need help.

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/decisions-decisions/

 

Compromise

“Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.” Thomas S. Monson

I was recently asked what 180 degree turn has occurred in my life. What was a change in my views, reversed decision or an action not otherwise expected from me.

I thought-are you serious? That list is long. Let’s see..

I was in church, am now out of church.

I was a faithful Bible teacher, am now unsure what is truth.

I once was positive that the Bible was the only inspired, infallible Word of God, now see it as a ‘sacred writing’ along with others.

I once was a part of a community who taught women couldn’t be ordained, teach men or preach. I now view that as ridiculous.

I once was a part of a community who taught it was wrong to drink or dance. I now enjoy wine with dinner and dancing to almost any melody.

So, how would I narrow that down? All the above are tiny, individual activities that were largely sponsored by a group of people who taught there is no compromise. There is ONLY BLACK and WHITE- GOOD and EVIL.

That is the greatest change. I now see gray. I see the need to compromise. Before, we were taught to ‘die on the sword of truth-be a martyr!’. Now, I;m not so willing to take that sacrificial tone.

I see beauty in discussion. I see wisdom in exploration. I see value in looking at two sides of a situation and coming to a consensus on the way to proceed. My mother always said, “there is good and bad in everything.” and I think she had it figured out. It is how we approach, use, and impose our actions that can make them good or bad. And oft times the same action can evoke both responses from others.

War may be an example. Think of the millions killed out of ‘courage’ to stand for what that group believed was right. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. Would we have become a nation had we not rebelled over what we believed was right? I personally do not like war. I do not like hurting other people.

Have we lost the ability to communicate and see both sides of an issue or activity? I hope not. That is my change. I no longer take the ‘provided response.’ I search for myself, and in many cases find wonderful opportunities to compromise and bring peace to many people.

“I simply do not think that yelling, swearing, threatening or belittling will get you to the place you want to be faster than kindness, understanding, patience and a little willingness to compromise.” Rachel Nichols

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/180-degrees/