Be Mindful Not To Condemn Others Through Your Words Or Your Actions

“I do not play the condemnation game, not because I do not love the spirit of competition, but simply because unconditional love has none.” ~ Curtis Tyrone Jones …

Although condemnation is not a game… it often seems that many individuals enjoy participating in it as if it were. Which really begs the question: “Why is it so easy to stand in judgment and condemnation of others when we make so many mistakes ourselves?”

We are called to show forgiveness and unconditional love towards each other as Christians, and as brothers and sisters. And condemning others not only brings us further from our calling, it is also a waste of time and energy that would be much better spent improving our lives–becoming more loving and compassionate individuals. The truth is that we simply cannot see into the heart of another person, and therefore we cannot truly understand the feelings, sufferings, and struggles that have brought that person to make the choices that they have made. We are therefore in no position to pass any sort of judgment towards them, much less condemnation.

Unconditional love has no competition. It looks with empathy, compassion, and forgiveness towards the actions of others, instead of hurting them. After all, we each make our own mistakes; and once we allow others to make theirs on their own terms, without condemning them, we will find a calm peace within that can only come from unconditional love.

Be mindful not to condemn others through your words or your actions.

Questions to consider:

What are some ways in which we learn to condemn others and their actions?

Why is it often difficult for us to separate people from their actions?

How much of another’s life can we truly know? How much of it do we assume to know?

For further thought:

“Whether one is Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, how you live your life is proof that you are or not fully his. We cannot condemn or judge or pass words that will hurt people. We do not know in what way God is appearing to that soul and what God is drawing that soul to; therefore, who are we to condemn anybody?” ~ Mother Teresa

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Embrace Restraint During Anger

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~ Groucho Marx …

Anger is a very powerful force. Unfortunately, it is also a very negative one, which additionally clouds our thoughts and our judgments. Therefore, those who tend to speak after losing their temper, have the impossible task of holding back their impulsive emotions and all that negativity, and as a result, tend to regret their words later.

Speaking out of anger is like throwing gasoline on a fire–it usually does not produce the results we desire. As a matter of fact, most conflicts involving anger result in misery, suffering, pain, and often times bloodshed–of which the end result is increased domestic violence, abuse, and neglect, more divorce and separation, more wars and crimes… and the list goes on. It is difficult for me to imagine all the hurt in the world and not wonder at just how my anger has played a part in it.

The trick to not speaking out of anger is making sure that we still have our peace within–no internal conflicts of mind or heart. For when we are able to speak from a place of peace, our thoughts will always remain calm and collected and we can effectively get to the heart of the matter.

Anger is not our only option… there is forgiveness, there is acceptance, there is understanding, and there is love. And none of these necessarily mean that we have to condone the actions of others, they merely allow us to get through them in a healthy manner.

Visualize the words you speak as filling the air around you with healthy air, or noxious gas.

Questions to consider:

What are some things that make you angry? Why?

Is speaking out of anger generally constructive or destructive?

What are some other ways to respond to situations besides anger? What would the world be like if more people were to do so?

For further thought:

“Anger is the most futile emotion one can experience. It is totally negative and feeds on one’s irrational, vindictive, and punitive nature. It accomplishes nothing but a wider rift between persons, a growing dissatisfaction with self, and empty feeling where loving understanding ought to be.” ~ Louise Doud

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Take Action To Bring Yourself Closer To Who And What You Wish To Be

“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.” ~ Swami Vivekananda …

It can be easy for us to lose focus of the incredible potential we possess to make ourselves into anything that we wish ourselves to be. All too often we let the little failures in life get us down, or we lock ourselves up into our current situations in life and our same old routines. But it is true what Swami says here: today, we are a result of our past actions… and it therefore follows that we can come to be whatever we wish, if we so choose to. The key is that we must choose to make positive changes… and then act upon those changes now.

The beauty of it is that we do not have to change all at once. We can make slight changes to our routines that help us to become more positive, more productive, and bring us closer to where we desire to be. For instance, if I am trying to become more peaceful and more focused, I can spend 5 minutes every morning reading and meditating to help me reach that goal. Or if I wish to lose some weight, I do not have to do so all at once, I can make progress towards my goal by spending 10 minutes every other day working out.

Our time here on Earth is quite limited. And if we wish to live each day of our lives to the fullest, we have to take responsibility for acting in ways that will help us to grow and to become the person we are meant to be.

Take action to bring yourself closer to who and what you wish to be.

Questions to consider:

Why is it easy to get caught up in who we are now and lose sight of who we want to be?

In what ways can you act to “make yourself?”

Why do so many of us tend to wait?

For further thought:

“Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!” ~ Og Mandino

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Be Mindful Of The Thoughts You Dwell On

“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 …

The thoughts we keep in our head have a considerable impact on the happiness we experience throughout the day. This is an important idea, as most of us generally pay very little attention to what we allow into our minds. For instance, when you watch or read the news in the morning, what is generally fed into your mind? I would bet that there are quite a few words such as “terrorist,” “killed,” “guilty,” “murder,” and things of this sort. And when we begin our morning with any negativity, we tend to carry some of that on our mind throughout the day… whether we intend it or not.

But what do our thoughts look like if we start off our day in peaceful reflection? They are thoughts of kindness, compassion, generosity, love, and on and on. Those thoughts have tremendous potential to fill us with peace, contentment, and happiness throughout the day. Additionally, we enable ourselves to become peace crusaders–champions of spreading peace and happiness into the thoughts and hearts of those around us.

The peace we hold within us is a very delicate thing, and any of the multitudes of outside influences can disturb it. Be mindful of what you let in, and be careful what you let out. Doing so allows us to spread happiness, love, and peace throughout the world, removing a portion of the misery, pain, and discontent that is experienced by all.

Be mindful of the thoughts you dwell on.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of thoughts do you generally begin your day with? Where do we develop such habits?

How often do you consider how the thoughts in your mind affect your inner peace and happiness?

What are some peaceful and pleasant thoughts you have experienced recently? How have they affected you?

For further thought:

“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

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Let Your Hopes And Your Dreams Overtake Your Fears

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” ~ Andrew Murphy …

I see too many individuals who limit themselves early on in their lives. Some feel that once they reach a specific age, they should have everything set and the rest of their lives ordained. Others tend to limit themselves and their potential by focusing only on what they know and can do, and not what they can learn and grow to do. The truth, however, is that our lives are not predefined–I do not know what the future holds for me, near or far. I should therefore ask myself, “Is my struggle for stability in my life really going to bring me happiness, or are the walls I am building only serving to confine me in my own unhappiness?”

The home I live in today may not be the home I live in five years from now; and the businesses I am working may not even be the same I will retire from twenty years from now. That is the beauty of life–there is so much possibility held within us, and it should be our greatest desire to let it out. That is what honestly makes our lives richer–living them to the fullest extent possible.

Do not limit yourself with unnecessary walls that only serve to cage and confine your potential. Hold on to your dreams. Let them be your guide as you set sail into the winds of change out on the seas of destiny.

Take a moment to be aware of some of the potential you hold within you right now.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of walls have you built up in your life? How have those walls affected the possibilities and potential you have?

What potential might be waiting within you? How long will it be repressed?

How can you go about bringing to life a single dream of yours? In what ways might that affect your life?

For further thought:

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ~ Pope John Paul XXIII

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Experience Each Moment Of The Day With A Deep Awareness Within

“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” ~ Stephen Vincent Benet …

Here we are confronted with the stark reality that death is not the terminator of our lives–it is found in us not being able to show genuine care and concern for each minute and each day we are gifted with during life. Only when we are able to recognize and focus on the here and now, are we able to say that we are truly alive.

When I think of how many days have slipped through my hands unnoticed, it can seem a bit unnerving. I mean, those opportunities are gone; I will never get the chance to experience those specific adventures in my life again. Thus, having the ability to embrace life–to feel it deep within the soul–is something that we should feel blessed with, something we should be extremely grateful of.

Some days will be tough–you may feel sad or depressed, worn out or tired, hurt or used, excluded or alone. However, if we keep our hope and our faith that our difficulties will eventually pass, and we look specifically for the many blessings that are in our lives even in the midst of our troubles, we will allow our souls to come to life… and to stay alive. Beauty, wonder, gratitude, appreciation, amazement, and joy are right there in our soul waiting for you to experience them right now.

Experience each moment of the day with a deep awareness within.

Questions to consider:

Do you feel that you are able to experience life day by day, moment by moment?

Do you consider your soul to be awake or asleep?

What are some things that bring your soul to life?

For further thought:

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~ Eleonora Duse

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Gain A Greater Degree Of Control Over The Way You Think, Feel, And Act

“You can never control or change how others think, feel, or act. You can only change how you think, feel, and act, and lead by example.” ~ Celestine Chua …

Although many of us would not want to admit it, we all try to exert some form of unnecessary control over others from time to time. Most of us tend to downplay it… we say that we are just giving advice or doing something that is “for their own good,” but this is an effort in futility. We will never possess the ability to change how others think, feel, or act through our own coercion. The only way to do so, in a lasting fashion, is to change ourselves, and then lead them by example. This allows others to continue to be their authentic selves, as well as come to the understandings themselves.

When we try to make others how we want them to be we are damning ourselves to frustration, disappointment, anger, despair, and many other negative emotions–nothing positive, wholesome, or good. Of course, when others do what we tell them to, we feel satisfaction for a while, as we feel we have helped them in a sense and perhaps saved them from suffering. The reality of it, however, is that they generally are just trying to appease us because they feel intimidated, annoyed, or just want us to leave them alone. And if that is the case… did we truly change them or even help them at all?

It is important that we allow others to do things in their own ways and then learn from it. It is a powerful way of being there for those we love in a positive and uplifting way. After all, when we experience learning on our own terms, we gain personal insight and investment into our lives and our future. As long as we do not allow our helpfulness to become controlling, we can be a wonderful guide and helpful leader in the lives of those we care about.

Gain a greater degree of control over the way you think, feel, and act today so that you may be a better example to others.

Questions to consider:

In what ways do you attempt to control or change how others think, feel, or act?

What is the difference between giving advice and trying to get someone to do something in a certain way?

How can changing and controlling ourselves positively affect those around us?

For further thought:

“Notice that the moment you become unhappy is usually the moment you attempt to control another person.” ~ Hugh Prather

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