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Being Attached To Worldly Things

“Do not get attached to worldly things and pursuits. Be in the world, but do not let the world be in you.” ~ Sai Baba …

Because we are experiencing this world each day, it can be easy for us to forget that we are in fact spiritual beings who are not of this world. We grow accustomed to our daily lives; it become a natural experience for us to relate with–to see ourselves as physical beings, bodies containing our souls, whereas the reality is the exact opposite. Still, we will someday part from this world, and it is therefore necessary for us not to let the eternal part of us become “attached to worldly things and pursuits.”

The promises and pleasures of this day-to-day life will come and go; just like your body, they, too, will eventually fade away. But the things that are not of this world, the things we hold within our hearts– love, compassion, family, service to our fellow man, happiness and joy, gratitude and appreciation, respect and dignity–will last forever.

Seek within yourself and find fulfillment. Give with purpose and receive with gratitude. Journey this life with the knowledge that this world contains nothing that you can take with you when you leave it, other than what can be held within your heart.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Find happiness and peace within those things that are beyond this world.

Questions to consider:

What worldly things and pursuits do you feel a sense of attachment to? How often do you notice this feeling of attachment?

Why do these worldly promises seldom come true? Can they ever lead us to true fulfillment?

How often do you take the time to understand your spiritual needs and the desires of your heart?

For further thought:

“May the things of this world so lose their power over us that we do not in the slightest wish to be “worldly;” nay, we even delight in not remaining “in the world.” ~ Watchman Nee

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Our Lives Need Not Be Ordinary

“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.” ~ Albert Einstein …

For some of us, mystery can seem threatening simply because it involves a touch of uncertainty and the unknown. Many of these individuals spend countless hours and vast reserves of energy trying to understand and explain the mysterious in order to ease their anxieties and bring a sense of comfort into their lives. Of course, that is how our minds work–they crave answers, explanations, and reasoning. Yet even Albert knew that to live our lives fully, we must experience all of life–including the mysterious–with amazement and wonder. Not doing so would be as if we were dead.

So how do we experience the mysterious in life? I believe that the answer is found in letting it remain mysterious. When we allow things to simply be as they are, without trying to explain them or place unrealistic expectations on them, we enable ourselves to experience them in their true form. Life, death, celestial objects–when we get so concerned with explaining everything, we forget to look with wonder and awe at the mysterious in life that exists perfectly–the enduring divinity that ceaselessly exists everywhere, always.

Our lives need not be ordinary… for there is mystery everywhere. And if we can but look with wonder and amazement at the world around us, we will see some of that boundless mystery surrounding us each moment we are alive.

Look with awe and wonder at the world around you.

Questions to consider:

What does Albert mean when he says the mysterious is a “fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science?”

What does the word “mysterious” mean to you?

Why do so many individuals try to explain away the mystery and wonder in life?

For further thought:

“I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us in such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times which were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

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Hold Fast… Do Not Give Up

“Don’t give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door.” ~ Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra …

When we face failure in our lives, it can be easy to get down on ourselves, especially when we are confronted with it time and time again. But that is where faith has its greatest purpose: without it, we are lost, yet with it, we muster hope and courage… we embrace perseverance and patience, and we eventualize success.

For those of us who struggle with faith… building it up can seem like a steep mountain to climb. After all, it takes faith to journey down the path of developing our faith. The good news is that we only need to take the first step. You see, faith is a decision on our part. An eye-opening decision that reveals the goodness around us; a far-sighted decision that looks beyond the obstacles and insecurities that lie before us now and sees the full potential; a life-giving decision that fosters personal growth and carries us down the paths necessary for spiritual fulfillment.

Our faith will be tried over and over–when someone we love dearly moves on, when we lose a job, when we find ourselves impoverished or struggling financially, when we are faced with overwhelming odds. But how we react to the adversity and hardship determines everything. Have faith that you will awake each morning and life will take care of you. Have faith that God is all around you and that His goodness, love, and graces will permeate your very soul when you need Him most. Have faith that even if you must try every key on the key ring… the door will eventually open.

Hold fast… do not give up.

Questions to consider:

How easy is it to maintain faith in your life? How often does doubt enter into your mind?

What have you learned from faith over the years? How do you use these lessons in your life today?

What are some things you can do to develop faith in your life?

For further thought:

“When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” ~ Barbara J. Winter

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Shine Forth Your Light

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out; but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross …

When I look at those around me as stained glass windows, it really does put into perspective the ability we each possess to offer our beauty to the world around us. Yet much like Elisabeth mentions here, when it becomes dark, the beauty of the multitudes of hues and designs of our soul are clouded from the sight of others, unless we allow the light within us to shine forth.

The inner glow that we are talking about here is the light of love and compassion, joy and happiness, truth and integrity, forgiveness and mercy, charity and generosity–all things that add to the positive beauty of this world in which we live. But to radiate such positive beauty, we must truly love ourselves first and foremost. We must believe in our worth and treat ourselves with that same loving kindness. For it is from the love that we offer to ourselves, that all other love we radiate will be born.

We all will face periods of darkness in our lives. But just because it is dark outside, does not mean that we have to keep darkness within. Let your beautiful light shine forth for all to see… especially in times of darkness. Remember, your light is unique… no other in this world has a similar light, and no other in this world can shine it for you. You can be a lighthouse for those in need… a beacon of hope and love for anyone who has lost their way.

Shine forth your light to others.

Questions to consider:

How can we develop and grow the light within us?

What makes it difficult for us to shine forth our light? How might we make it easier, simpler?

Have you acknowledged and accepted the beauty that is inside of you right now? How can you share it?

For further thought:

“Your fire is within you. Shine a light on your scary places. Be brave and prepare to be set afire. No one is going to strike the match for you. This is your moment. Shine your light. Be a star.” ~ Kammie K.

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Look Beyond The Difficulties You Are Faced With; Find Growth And Opportunity Within

“The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost …

If you have ever heard the phrase, “mind over matter,” you may also understand how it relates to our ability to control the perceptions of what we are experiencing. I may feel pain and misery, but that does not have to conclude with me living my life in misery.

In times of crisis, we are faced with many critical–and often difficult–decisions. And making strong, healthy choices requires integrity and principle. When we live by our consciences, and know that they will guide us through the difficulties we are suffering, we see beyond our circumstances–we see those trials as opportunities for growth and we remember that the difficulties we are enduring are only obstacles along the way.

We have been gifted with awesome power–the power of free will. We can choose to transcend the circumstances we are facing and live a happy life in spite of those negative circumstances. Or, we can descend into those very same horrible circumstances, which will lead us to a life of misery. Either way, we define our lives. We choose to take the bad, and make a “Heaven of Hell,” or we choose to surrender ourselves to it, and descend into misery making ours a “Hell of Heaven.”

Look beyond the difficulties you are faced with; find growth and opportunity within.

Questions to consider:

How can we ensure we look at our circumstances in a more positive light?

How often do you let difficulties and suffering define your experience for the day?

What is Heaven to you? What is Hell? Which do you prefer to live through each day?

For further thought:

“I love the people that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but those whose hearts are firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” ~ Thomas Paine

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Do Not Let Your Thoughts Linger On Worry Or Uncertainty

“Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain.” ~ Wiz Khalifa …

How often do we walk around with umbrellas, blocking the wonderful sunlight in our lives, waiting for it to rain? When we worry about things that have not happened, and perhaps are never going to come to pass, we are effectively hurting ourselves. Not only are we missing out on living our lives to the fullest, we are adding undue stress and suffering into our lives.

Unfortunately, it is natural for us to worry–our minds seem to want to think in negative terms so as to stay focused on exerting control over our situations. Perhaps it is an avoidance technique, an attempt to prevent disaster from occurring in our lives. But when we allow ourselves to think in such a way, we convince ourselves that we must embrace our fears–we fall into a cycle of believing that through our worries, we have avoided disaster.

But worrying only wastes the opportunities of the day that lay before us. Instead of living fully in the present moment, we find ourselves spending precious moments worrying about things that often never happen at all. What a waste of potential for yourself and for those in your life. You are not in this world to suffer and be miserable… you are here to grow and prosper in love. Trust life, and trust God.

Do not let your thoughts linger on worry or uncertainty.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the worries you have? How often do they come to pass? Does worrying usually help the situations?

How much time have you spent worrying about things that never happened?

How can you increase your awareness of the worries in your life and alter your focus towards things more positive and productive?

For further thought:

“Worry not about the possible troubles of the future; for if they come, you are but anticipating and adding to their weight; and if they do not come, your worry is useless; and in either case it is weak and in vain, and a distrust of God’s providence.” ~ Hugh Blair

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Be Extraordinary … Dare Going Farther

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~ T.S. Eliot …

When we let fear keep us from taking calculated risks in life… we limit our lives–our abilities and potentials, the paths laid before us, and the experiences and outcomes we have available to us. We cannot possibly imagine just how far we can go without first allowing ourselves to take chances and daring to live our lives to the fullest.

Thankfully, life is not about safety and comfort. And I say that because if it were, we would have quite boring lives to live. There would be no growth and discovery, no reaching out and exploring new thing and new possibilities. There would be no excitement and newness in our lives–things would be quite dull.

Of course, reaching out and facing the unknown takes a great leap of faith–faith that life and God will not let you stumble and fall, and will always help you back up when you do; faith in yourself and in your ability to deal with adversity and remain resilient; faith that you can believe in yourself and remain focused on the important things in your life. This means that you must face your fears–fear of failure, fear of suffering, fear of poverty, fear of ridicule, fear of losing things that are important to you. But your fears are simply thoughts… no more, no less. They may never come true, so why would we ever want to let them control our decisions anyway?

Nobody wants a difficult life… but at least give yourself a fighting chance at living your life to the fullest. Life is not always easy; you will have obstacles and speed bumps along the way. Yet in the end, when you look back over your journey, you will have no regrets. You will be pleased that you took meaningful chances… and perhaps that will make all the difference.

Make your day extraordinary by going farther than you had previously planned.

Questions to consider:

How often do you step outside of your comfort zone?

What are some things you would really like to do in your life that may seem out of the ordinary? What is holding you back from trying?

What is the importance of perseverance in life? How does it correlate with accomplishment?

For further thought:

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” ~ Seneca

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