Shifting Our Focus

“Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That’s the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what’s left, that’s the part you have to make up as you go.”

– Katherine Weber

I came across this quote today and it hit me like a slap in the face. I wasn’t searching for quotes; it was just there like it was meant for me to read. I really started to think about my life, my thoughts, and my attitude towards certain things. For the last number of years (too many years to put an exact number on), I have said to myself, “my life is a series of losses.” It is all I have been focusing on. My losses. My life has been one loss after another. Whether it is a loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of money, or a number of other things; my life is a series of losses. However, I am not the only one who is alive on this planet. So many others feel the same way as I do. So many others have it worse off than I do. Our eyes are sometimes open only to our pain and closed to the pain other people go through. We get lost in our own pain all too often. We forget what matters. We give up. Once we start shifting our focus to others and helping others, our own lives improve as well. Not only do we make someone else feel better, but we feel better for helping someone else. I will slip and lose my focus from time to time, but before my life ends, I am hoping to help other people see things in a more positive light. After all, isn’t that what we were put on this planet for?

Life & Death

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Life & Death

I have been through many loved ones passing away in my 35 years. I can’t really compare them all because each one rips my heart out. On one hand I am sad because they are gone. On the other hand, I am at peace because they are in Heaven. I have lost babies, pregnancies, 2 brothers, grandparents, in-laws, cousins, an uncle, an aunt, & high school classmates. I have been through the shock, the sadness, and the acceptance. So how come today feels a little different when I find out that my husband’s cousin passed away? It was a total shock. I didn’t think it was true and still don’t. We weren’t super close nor did we talk much. We were more “Facebook friends” than cousins through marriage. I saw him two to three times a year. So why I am I experiencing a heavy heart? Is it because he really was not that much older than my husband? Is it because he lived alone and died of a heart attack while at home? Is it because no one found him for a while? Is it because it happened around Thanksgiving time and we are just finding out? Is it because I know all too well that one day we are here and the next we are not? Or is it a combination of all of that? Whatever the reason, I am saddened by the news. He was the first one every year at Christmas time to send us a Christmas card. We’d always receive his Christmas card the first few days of December. I wondered a week ago why we didn’t receive his card. I thought it was strange that there was no Christmas card from him yet. I really don’t know why it takes so many deaths for me to realize that one day we are here and the next we are not. I don’t know why it takes so many deaths for me to realize that if I don’t go after my dreams today, I may not get the chance tomorrow. Let this be another lesson to me to enjoy the moment, go after my dreams, and tell loved ones that I love them.

Find Your Inner Peace

John 14:27 (New American Bible) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Have you ever experienced true, inner peace before? How do we as individuals have peace and harmony in our lives while the world is constantly at war? Every time I turn on the news and read the newspaper, there is conflict somewhere between two or more groups of people. That does not even count the conflict, grief, and pain I hear just by word of mouth throughout my own community. With so many of us suffering through grief, pain, and conflict, it is no wonder that very few of us, if any, have found true, inner peace.

Hearing about the civil war in Syria every time I turn on the news made me think about peace in our communities, or lack of peace in our communities. The world is full of violence and heartache and yet, I bet there is someone out there who at one time has experienced peace in their life. However, I am not sure how long that peace lasted for them. Maybe a loved one on their death bed has experienced peace at the end of his or her life. Maybe a person just finding God in their life, has experienced peace at that moment. Maybe parents experiencing the birth of their children, has gone through moments of peace. Unfortunately, as long as we are on this Earth, peace does not last in our life. We have to move on to the next phase of our life with God in Heaven, to experience lasting peace.

I was thinking about my own life today and wondering if I have ever experienced peace, even short lived. Sadly, outside of being in a complete state of rest or sleeping, I have not experienced peace. I am the type of person who is always worrying about something, even if that worry is small and unimportant. I am always thinking back on my past to see how I could have handled things better. I am always looking ahead and thinking what might happen next. Living in the moment is something I have never been able to do. It is no wonder that all that worrying over so many years is doing a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. I started thinking of ways for myself to find peace in my life. No, it won’t last, but it will be a good change of pace to what I have been going through in my life. One thing I started to do a couple months ago is go to church on a regular basis. Now I have been a member of my current church for two years, but like so many people, I would only go on holidays or sadly when a loved one passes away. When I was a kid, church was long and boring. I would even fall asleep as times when I was younger! Now that I am older, I figured I should give it a try once again. Wouldn’t you know I actually enjoyed it! It brings me one hour of peace every week. The second thing I started to do was read the Bible. I bought a new Catholic Bible, a highlighter, and even new pens. I am reading the Bible from cover to cover and marking up the Bible when I feel it is appropriate. This brings me a few moments of peace in my life every day. Is it a coincidence that the two things I started to do to bring me peace has to do with God? I think not.

You don’t have to follow my examples of peace by going to church and reading the Bible. This is not what this blog post is about. I ask you in this world of turmoil, to find a few ways to bring yourself some peace. If you don’t find ways to bring yourself moments of peace here and there, you will struggle each day. Pain, heartache, and grief will be a common thing in your life. It is difficult to avoid being afraid and troubled because everyone experiences that at some point in their life. Taking a few moments each day to not only rest and relax, but to truly experience a few moments of peace and harmony is essential to our daily lives.