Monthly Archives: January 2018

Do Not Stray From The Laws Placed Upon Your Heart

“Law is twofold–natural and written. The natural law is in the heart, the written law on tables. All men are under the natural law.” ~ Saint Ambrose …

It is easy to be drawn into the belief that man’s laws are the only laws, as they are often times clearly expressed and enforced with stiff penalties and fines. However, written laws are created by man–usually to benefit some specific subset or group–and are not the only laws of this world. There are laws that are beyond the reach of those who wish to twist them to fit their need… natural laws. And as Saint Ambrose points out, these laws are written instead in the hearts of all mankind, and affect all of mankind–the natural laws of time and space, of interactions and chemical reactions, of forces and light, of cause and effect, of right and wrong, and so much more.

We can learn much in life from observation… both from the laws of nations and societies and from the workings of life and how it goes about without us. But it is important that we understand that the laws written in our hearts require that we exercise both wisdom and morality when interacting with life on all levels–spiritually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. For instance, natural law allows a government to tax another man, with immoral intent, and then distribute that money as they see fit, or in a way that benefits them and those they support. Governments do this all the time, and some governments, do it to such great excess, that the people become completely dependent upon them. Natural law clearly defines this as stealing, no matter how it is justified by written law.

The natural law is the law that matters in life–the one, universal truth etched in our hearts. And each day we are alive is an opportunity to observe, learn, grow, and put into practice that which we know in our hearts to be good and of value.

Do not stray from the laws placed upon your heart today.

Questions to consider:

How important is the natural law in your life?

What have you learned recently from observing, learning, and growing in your understanding of it?

Do you feel you are in harmony with the natural laws written within your heart?

For further thought:

“Imagine how our lives might be if everyone had even a bit more of the Wisdom that comes from seeing clearly. Suppose people everywhere, simultaneously, stopped what they were doing and paid attention for only as long as it took to recognize their shared humanity. Surely the heartbreak of the world’s pain, visible to all, would convert everyone to kindness. What a gift that would be.” ~ Sylvia Boorstein

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Always Remember You Are A Divine Creation With Infinite Possibilities

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” ~ Tyrion Lannister …

How well do we know ourselves? This is an important aspect of our lives that we often times do not explore in enough depth to know off the top of our heads. And if we do understand ourselves clearly, how often do we remain constantly aware of just who we are throughout the day?

What I am… defines my inner self–the core of my being, my morals and convictions, my passions and desires, my strengths and faults. Do I robe myself in this armor each day? If not, I should, for as Tyrion tells me here, “what I wear upon myself each day will be my strength, and others will not be allowed to use it to hurt me.”

It is ultimately a case of personal conviction of will. If I believe in something, and I embrace that and wear it proudly, others will notice and will know that they cannot use it against me, for I have accepted it as my personal belief. If I believe that abortion is wrong, and I speak out against it, and wear my convictions upon my shoulder, no one will doubt me, nor deny my integrity in such matters. Likewise, if I am a Christian, I should be proud of who I am and wear it upon my body like armor each day I am alive.

So who are you? If you know, then wear that armor each day. And if you do not know, then take some time to listen, to become aware of what your heart is saying.

Be who you are today no matter what.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the possibilities of the real you? How often do you let this person show?

Why might we be hesitant to trust our inner voice?

How can we go about enrobing ourselves in the armor of “what we are?”

For further thought:

“I shall try to remember all this day that I am a divine creation with infinite possibilities.” ~ Benjamin Eitelgeorge

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We Need Each Other… Just As The Trees Need Each Other In The Strong Winds And Storms

“An arch consists of two weaknesses, which, leaning on each other, become a strength.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci …

We all have our own weaknesses in life. They can be observed when we make mistakes, when the consequences of our actions affect others or us negatively, or when someone else addresses them by offering us criticism. But why do we let our weaknesses define us? They do not have to… for as Leonardo points out, when we work to support each other our weaknesses can become our strengths.

We need each other… just as the trees need each other in the strong winds and storms. A single tree, even a mature strong oak, would snap in the strong winds of a terrible storm. But with thousands of trees surrounding it, and offering to it their support, the forces of the winds are shared among them–spread out and absorbed as a whole. Even the ground, which shares its space with the roots, helps to hold the trees steadfast–offering space to expand and anchor into, providing stored water and nutrients. Without the cooperation of many other forces of nature, the tree would not survive.

It can be quite humbling when we begin to think of our own weaknesses that others have been extremely patient of, and accepting of, over the years. Others are tolerant of me, and I should extend to them the same fair treatment as well as showing my appreciation and gratitude. Lean on others–you do not have to face the world alone. Likewise, offer yourself for others to lean upon–they need you to help them through the storms.

Spend time today giving to others, and receiving back what they have to offer.

Questions to consider:

What are some weaknesses of yours? What are some strengths?

How have others been tolerant of your weaknesses lately? How have you been tolerant of theirs?

What kind of positive things do we produce when we support each other’s weaknesses?

For further thought:

“The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individuals will try to be as tolerant of their neighbor’s shortcomings as they are of their own.” ~ Eric Hoffer

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Give Attention To The Opportunity Before You

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil in the spoon.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist …

A quick synopsis of the story goes as such:

A father wanted his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world, and so sent him to speak with this wise man. After long travels to the palace, and waiting in line, the boy finally conversed with the wise man, and explained to him that he came seeking the secret of happiness.

The wise man suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. He also handed the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil and asked the boy not to spill the oil while he wandered around. When the boy returned, the wise man asked him how he liked his palace–the fine tapestries, rugs, garden–but the embarrassed boy had not noticed any of those things, since he was too busy not spilling the oil. So the wise man sent him back out to go observe the marvels in his palace once again.

This time when the boy returned, he told the wise man in detail all that he had seen. However, he had lost the oil from the spoon. That is when the wise man said, “Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you. The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

Can we keep our eyes, minds, and hearts open enough to see the marvels of the world that constantly surround us, while at the same time meeting all that is required of us today? Can we remain constantly grateful for the unique blessings we have been entrusted with in life, making it a priority to use our talents and our abilities and not squander them, to respect and care for the people and things in our lives, and to show appreciation to the one who made it all so?

Be open to the wonders that surround you today.

Questions to consider:

What are some “marvels of the world” that you have seen recently?

Have they distracted you from your duties and requirements in life? If so, how?

What can you do to practice seeing more things more clearly?

For further thought:

“There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can give all our attention to the opportunity before us.” ~ Mark van Doren

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Finish Each Day And Be Done With It

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” ~ C. JoyBell C. …

No matter how my day was yesterday… today is a completely new day. As C. JoyBell C. puts it, “this is the beginning of a new book!” Whatever occurred yesterday is done and gone, and what happens to me today will be completely new and different. Of course, it is my choice how I wish my “new story” to go, and where it will take me.

If the choices I made yesterday were not satisfactory, I can choose today to react to similar things in a different way. And if I was stress out or unhappy yesterday, I can surround myself with people and things that will provide me with joy and happiness. It is a wonderful thought–yesterday is gone. And while some of the things that happened yesterday may still affect me today, that does not mean that they have to control my actions or reactions.

If we take this message to heart, we may find that each day is filled with happiness and joy as we begin anew. Toss your old book into the seas and begin reading the beautiful first page of your completely new story.

Make today a beautiful day that is completely independent of yesterday.

Questions to consider:

How can we put down or toss away old baggage that keeps us down?

Is there necessarily anything wrong with the ways that we did things yesterday? What would make them so?

What kinds of new things are in your book today?

For further thought:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Too Many Possessions Are Distracting. They Take Your Attention Away From What Matters

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” ~ Epictetus …

When we think of wealth, it often consists of lots of money and possessions–owning some of the great and finest of things to be exact. However, as we grow older, and as we experience life on deeper levels, we tend to find that the prior view of wealth is not correct. Having “great possessions,” or a surplus of things we desire, cannot bring us fulfillment or happiness in life. Instead, it generally leads us to a dependency upon them as we end up wanting more.

Epictetus tells us that wealth is “having few wants,” but how does this make me wealthy? Well if my happiness in life is not dependent upon attaining earthly possessions, or temporary happiness, then I free up my time and my energies for seeking other things, things that are truly important and can bring me happiness in life. And as I begin to simplify my life, I start to realize and become aware of those things in my life that are greater than money and possessions, things that cannot be replaced.

It is not that we must live poorly in life. Rather, what is most important is that we learn not to complicate our lives so much that we fail to see the things that truly matter. Do not overburden yourself with too many things of this world… and you will be a rich man indeed.

Try to decrease your wants today to the bare minimum.

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend to gather up more possessions than we need?

What happens when you let go of some of our possessions?

How does doing so affect our happiness in life? Can you ever be satisfied chasing possessions?

For further thought:

“Too many possessions are distracting. They take your attention away from what matters… people.” ~ Linda Poindexter

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Leaving Better And Happier

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” ~ Mandy Hale …

Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, wrote this in her journal:

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

What would my life be like, if I could go out of my way to spread love, compassion, and kindness to everyone I meet? How would I feel? I am sure Mandy would tell me that I would feel amazing–beautiful, happy, full of purpose and full of life.

To set it as a priority “to make life beautiful for others,” is such a wonderful way of living life. After all, life is short in the grand scheme of things, and to focus on making it a better place for others, goes on to make it a better place for everyone, including ourselves. The love we spread comes full circle back to us and fills our hearts and souls with lasting joy.

Bring beauty into the lives of others today.

Questions to consider:

How can the love, compassion, and kindness you show to one person, affect others?

What are some ways in which you can make life beautiful for others?

What are some of the potential positive effects of doing so? Are there any negative effects?

For further thought:

“Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.” ~ Mother Teresa

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