“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ~John Holmes
As someone who people often come to seeking help or advice, I recently encountered a new situation for me: one in which I chose to stop helping someone and walk away entirely because I determined it wasn’t good—for the other person or myself.
It felt like the wrong thing to do, but once I had some distance, I knew I had made the right decision. Throughout the helping, I soldiered on and helped and helped and helped until it no longer felt good, …
“The struggle of my life created empathy—I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.” ~Oprah Winfrey
See yourself as a victim and you become one. Identify as a victim and you give your tormentor power over you, the very power to define who you are.
Statements like this have become commonly accepted wisdom today because they are undoubtedly true. If you see yourself as a victim, you will be one. You will be someone who has been defeated, someone who is at the mercy of another, and that is no way to live.
And yet, the …
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ~Deborah Reber
Thanks to the Internet, our lives are full of people. We’re connected literally all the time.
And yet, despite our ceaseless connection, we feel disconnected.
As the pace of life becomes ever more frenetic, we’re like charged atoms, bumping into each other more and more, pinballs in the machine. We come into contact (and conflict), but we don’t commune so much.
As real relationships of depth and quality become harder-won in this busy …
“When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, you also will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you have to be intelligent enough to see that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget … When we see that our suffering and anger are no different from their suffering and anger, we will behave more compassionately.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
There is so much to be angry about every day because life …
“Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness; but it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.” ~Unknown
Life has not been kind lately.
My aunt passed away in October. She had been suffering from cancer, but her family kept the extent of her illness to themselves, and hence I did not have a chance to see her before she passed away. I felt bad about that.
My father followed her a month later, just after Thanksgiving. He had been ailing from Parkinson’s Disease, but his death as well …
“It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break…You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break; but it’s the soft things that can’t break! The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces!” ~C Joybell C
Language is a powerful thing. Though often dismissed as “semantics,” the imagery our words and terminology impart often adds unintended or even misguided connotations onto what we intend to say.
This is why it is so difficult to speak about spirituality. When we say “God” or “salvation” or even …
“People are doing the best that they can from their own level of consciousness.” ~Deepak Chopra
My father passed away suddenly and not so suddenly several weeks back.
He had been sick for a long time, but it was a gradually progressing illness and not what ultimately caused his passing. So, it did come as a shock, and the last few weeks have been filled with all the random things you need to do when someone dies—change the names on insurance policies and automobile titles, call social security, etc.
The list seems endless, but now that the tasks are …
“If you can laugh with somebody and relate to somebody, it becomes harder to dehumanize them. I think that most of what we are constantly bombarded with in terms of media leads you to a creation of ‘the Other’ and a dehumanization of ‘the Other,’ and it’s very much an us-versus-them conversation.” ~Jehane Noujaim
People are really hard to hate up close.
In today’s acrimonious political climate, whole groups of people seem to be pitted against one another based on various political, ideological, class, geographic and racial classifications. And yet, spend a day with “the other” and it’s difficult to …
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
A popular topic in the glossy magazines, learning to “love yourself” always seemed to me to be a self-indulgent first-world pastime.
It seemed obvious that the commonly-repeated mantra “love yourself first” was just a sign of the times in a world where something like half of all marriages end in divorce. …
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Gandhi
Pain is and isn’t just like energy. According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed but is merely converted from one form to another.
For example, the light energy from the sun can be harnessed by plants, which, through photosynthesis, convert it to chemical energy. Plants use this energy to grow fruit, which we eat. We store this energy for when we need to exert ourselves, when we convert it to kinetic energy. The energy never disappears, but is instead just displaced.
“Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle
“Surrender” in current colloquial language equals failure. According to the Oxford Dictionary, without an object, surrender means to “stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” With an object, it gets even worse: “Give up or hand over (a person, right, or possession), typically on compulsion or demand.”
How then can surrender be the key to joy?
At age thirty, I was defeated by life. Down for the count. But, I did …