The Strongest Persons Are Seared With Scars

“This too, shall pass. When things are bad, remember: It won’t always be this way. Take one day at a time. When things are good, remember: It won’t always be this way. Enjoy every great moment.” ~ Doe Zantamata …

We often times take for granted the good things that happen in our lives, while at the same time, we seem to exaggerate and magnify the bad, allowing it to affect us for extended periods of time and cause us great harm. Perhaps part of the problem is that we tend to fear that most of the problems, trials, and sufferings we experience will never end. That is not the case though, and it is important that we always remember the words of Doe: “This too, shall pass.”

If I get a paper cut on my finger, it is easy for me to deal with it at the moment because the pain is generally not that intense and I know that it will heal and I will be ok. However, if I tear muscle and am in intense pain, the fear that the pain will continue sets in, and I am no longer suffering just from a torn muscle, but from the fear I now have as well. This applies to all aspects of life–if a friend of mine betrays me, their betrayal usually tends to create additional fears of others doing the same, and perhaps invokes additional fear about my own self-worth.

Ironically enough, the strength to overcome my suffering and fear can be found through acceptance. Everything is as it is, the good and the bad, and unless I act to bring about further suffering, it will not happen. There is a subtle, yet powerful strength in our acceptance of life–exactly as it is–that enables us to face almost any situation in life with confidence and courage.

Facing our difficulties and sufferings in life is only part of the puzzle. Do not give them more power than they deserve. At the same time, it is important that we remember to “enjoy every great moment” we experience in life as well. We choose each day of our lives whether our experiences today will consist of good… or bad.

Take the time to experience the good in your life, and restrict the amount of time you allow the bad to seep into your thoughts.

Questions to consider:

Think of a time when things were bad for you. How much did your thoughts and actions contribute to your suffering?

Do all bad things eventually pass? If we know this to be true, do we truly need to fight all negative things, or can we simply let them run their course?

Think of a time when good things happened in your life. Did you allow yourself the opportunity to fully enjoy them? How can you help yourself to do so more often?

For further thought:

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Kahlil Gibran


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Show Compassion Towards Yourself — You Are A Constant Work In Progress

“If you have trouble loving yourself, imagine that everyone in the world is a hungry soul whose life has been imperfect. Like you, they had imperfect parents. Like you, tragedies and difficulties befell them. If you could hear each person’s story, you would probably be moved to tears and want to reach out and embrace that person. You would want to tell them that in spite of everything they’ve gone through, they have great value.” ~ Daphne Rose Kingma …

Perhaps it seems a bit odd that we would have trouble loving ourselves. That would require a choice on our part not to allow ourselves the opportunity to experience our love. But often times people see such love as a selfish and self-indulgent love. This can lead us to forsaking our own needs of self-love, which is an absolutely necessary first step to being able to truly love others. Such love requires complete and unconditional love, which cannot be given from without… it must come from within.

Here, Kingma gives us a strategy for being able to love ourselves. She reminds us that we are able to feel love and compassion for others, so we too are able to feel compassion and love for ourselves. Your life has been imperfect… and so has mine. Why are you able to show me sympathy and compassion when I do something wrong, yet be so incredibly hard on yourself for your mistakes?

When we do not allow ourselves compassion and love, it is not fair to the rest of the world. They miss out on being recipients of our complete and unconditional love–a love that exists there in surplus in all of us. Perhaps it is as simple as putting ourselves in the shoes of others to understand their actions and inactions better. Then once we have done this, putting ourselves back into our own shoes and giving ourselves a break, or giving ourselves the proper credit we deserve for having to deal with the difficult experiences in our life and for making it through the difficulties as best we could at the time.

Show compassion towards yourself–you are a constant work in progress. And in doing so, you will find your ability to love yourself, and the depth of your love for others, grow all the more as you feel less of the need to hold back from them. Most love is conditional, and it depends on what we receive in return for the love we give. But what happens when we no longer need to receive anything in return from others in order to love them?

Find compassion, love, and forgiveness for yourself today.

Questions to consider:

Why is it often harder to love ourself than it is to show love to others?

How can you help to grow your compassion and love for yourself?

Does the love you give depend on getting something back? How can we go about changing this requirement?

For further thought:

“Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it.” ~ Steve Maraboli

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Choose Your Thoughts Carefully

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” ~ Eckhart Tolle …

Peace is such a glorious thing to find and to possess. With it, our minds and hearts work in unison, and this world becomes a much different place–a place of with love and compassion, a place filled with purpose and meaning, a place that is life giving and reaffirming of the peace within our heart. But can we find peace outside of ourselves? Can we move things around in our lives to make peace?

Surely, it is possible for some outside sources to change us inside–in our hearts and spirits–for I have experienced some such changes during my life–the birth of my children and the death of a loved one. However, time and experience has taught me that until I am ready to experience peace within me, I will not find it no matter what my outside circumstances are. Yet when I am ready for peace in my life, I must embark on that journey of self-discovery by allowing myself to be receptive at the deepest levels so that I might come to understand who I am.

Peace within our soul cannot be shared, bartered, bought, or gifted–it is only available to us through our own determination to seek out “who we are at the deepest level.” There, in the throes of adversity and setbacks, frustrations and failures, we will discover true and lasting peace, and in time come to know it and become it. And once established, like a tree that has been well-tended in a garden, it will bear fruit to sustain and nourish us through the seasons of our lives. Most importantly, this peace now belongs to us and cannot be taken away without our consent.

Decide if you are ready to seek for a deeper peace within.

Questions to consider:

Have you found a lasting peace within yourself?

Do you know how to access that peace during times of need, or do you find yourself losing it in stressful and hectic times?

Why do most of us not know the peace inside ourselves as we grow? What are some things you can do to seek and to find more peace in your life?

For further thought:

“Choose your thoughts carefully. Keep what brings you peace, release what brings you suffering. And know that happiness is just a thought away.” ~ Nishan Panwar

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Spiritual Consciousness

“Creativity comes from the spiritual realm, the collective consciousness. And the mind is in a different realm than the molecules of the brain. The brain is a receiver, not a source.” ~ Candace Pert …

I love creativity–it is such a wonderful and unique expression of our soul. And it has been my experience that much of what Candace explains here is true: my “brain is a receiver, not a source,” and my creativity comes from my mind being receptive to the energies flowing through my soul. And therefore, when expressing my own personal creativity, I have found that it generally cannot be forced out, as it is not something held within my mind to be summoned or recalled. And when I try to ignite it on demand, I have very little success.

Throughout much of my life I have found it difficult to see the potential for creativity in all aspects of my life. I was a math and computer science major in college, after all, and math and programming generally consist of very specific formulae and algorithms that produce expected results–there does not seem to be a lot of room for my own creativity there. But the truth is that creativity flows from my soul, and if I allow my mind to be receptive to it, my own authentic and individual marks will become apparent to me and to those around me.

There is so much wonder and beauty waiting to flow from each of us, if only we allow it. We are beautiful and unique creations, and everything we do in life holds the potential for us to express our creativity–when we sing, draw, dance, talk, interact with others, build, play. So do not be afraid to share your life, dreams, vitality, and passion with those around you. The creative mind is there within us–all we must do is simply listen with our minds when our heart and soul speaks.

Listen to your spiritual consciousness today–let your heart be your guide.

Questions to consider:

What is creativity to you?

How do you work to develop your creative side? How do you exercise it and help it to grow?

Have you ever tried just letting something happen through you rather than try to make it happen through your own will? How did it feel?

For further thought:

“If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

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Embrace Hope

“One small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” ~ Linda Poindexter …

There are times in life when things do not necessarily go the way you had planned. And in these trying times of hiccups, road blocks, detours, and difficulties along the way, we may begin to lose hope. And although this is a normal feeling of being human, it is generally quite an awful feeling that leaves us feeling defeated and hopeless. In reality, however, this is the lowest point we can reach–the point where our thoughts are telling us that we are broken and defeated, and that there is nothing good or bright left in our future no matter what we do. The truth is once we realize that we are “not broken,” that we did not fall apart but rather only experienced a difficulty or setback in our lives, we can begin to move on and to grow.

You see, hope is something in our lives that requires effort on our part. It is the light switch that needs turning on in order to dispel the darkness around us. And by keeping that light on, we keep hope alive within our hearts. We actively see, hear, feel, and sense all the beauty around us. We recognize and focus on the possibility and potential we have around us, and accept that even after the darkest of nights, even if it may dawn to a cloudy day–the sun will shine once again.

You are not broken–you are alive! But knowing this truth is not enough… you must also accept it. You must find peace and comfort in the darkness. You must not lose hope.

Embrace hope today.

Questions to consider:

How do you view hope? Is it just something that is just there, or is it something that we must work to keep and to strengthen?

What are some ways you can strengthen your sense of hope in life?

What are some ways you can help others find, strengthen, and embrace hope in their lives?

For further thought:

“For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope . . . . Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future. Does this mean that our future can be built on a rejection of the past? Surely such a choice is not necessary. The two are not incompatible. The opposite of the past is not the future but the absence of future; the opposite of the future is not the past but the absence of past. The loss of one is equivalent to the sacrifice of the other.” ~ Elie Wiesel

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The Key To Unlocking Your Potential Is There For You To Find… But You Have To Begin Searching For It

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” ~ Pablo Picasso …

Inspiration is often misunderstood. For many of us, it is something that we may wait our entire lives for, hoping it will find us and bring us great fame, power, or fortune; but that is not how inspiration works. It is found through hard work and putting forth the effort, taking chances, exploring, and actively engaging in life. It does not come to us out of the blue, rather, we invite it into our lives by taking on tasks and jobs that interest us and offer us growth.

What Pablo is ultimately saying is that we are not usually inspired with a greater purpose in life; instead, it is up to each of us to seek out and identify a great purpose that is right for us and to work on it with determination and vigor. It is during this time, when we are in busy pursuit of our work, that inspiration will find us. Moreover, it will not be something that finds us from without, but will instead come from within us.

Discovering the inspiration within ourselves generally involves taking calculated risks and being open to new ideas. Perhaps I will have to leave my current job to pursue something that interests and challenges me. Maybe I will be required to step outside of my comfort zone to grow and mature or to open myself up to new ideas.

If we are not willing to put forth the work and effort to seek out inspiration, or to reach out in new directions and try different things, we most likely will not find it. Discover things you enjoy in life–things that involve you, challenge you, and bring out the best in you. And be open to finding inspiration in all aspects of your life. Perhaps you may find it in a hobby or the arts. Or maybe in volunteer work and human interactions. Or maybe in traveling the world, or reading books, taking classes, or other such things. The key to unlocking your potential is there for you to find… but you have to begin searching for it.

Keep busy with the things that interest you.

Questions to consider:

What is inspiration to you? Have you experienced any recently?

Can you think of anything that potentially might interest you and provide you with inspiration?

What are some things you can do to increase the frequency and length of your visits with inspiration?

For further thought:

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” ~ Patanjali

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There is no one alive who is “Youer” than You

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.” ~ Martha Graham …

In the context here, Martha is talking about “the value and duty” we each have to foster and cultivate our unique existence in life. We each are beautiful and unique, and we bring something very special to the world. You are the only “you” that has ever existed–or will ever exist–and as such, the ways in which we express and use our humanity are unlike any other human being through all of time. You truly are one of a kind!

So with our uniqueness, comes great responsibility–a need to spend some of our time developing our uniqueness and learning new ways to use our “life force”–ways that will help others and are conducive to their own unique, personal growth. Think of it in terms of an automobile engine… some run on diesel, others on regular gasoline. And if I were to put diesel in an engine that uses gasoline, it would struggle something terrible, as combusting diesel is not something that a gasoline engine is meant to do.

Recognize the importance you bring to this world and allow your life force to flow from you. The unique energy you add to this world contains within it inherent purpose in life… and perhaps, it is one of the most important aspects of who you are and who you will become.

Reflect a moment on this truth: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” -Dr. Seuss

Questions to consider:

How do you translate your life force? In what ways is it shown to the world?

How can we learn to use our life forces more effectively?

What are some examples of your uniqueness? Do you accept yourself as you are and try to grow and develop your gifts?

For further thought:

“There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of That, don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek That.” ~ Rumi

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