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?

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Does God Ever Need A Beer?

He watches over us from above. He sees everything we do and knows what is in our hearts and minds. He notices when we do good and knows when we do bad. No, I am not talking about Santa Claus. I am referring to God. He is all around us whether we notice or not. He built this world for us hoping we cherish it and do something positive in it and for it. What happens when we don’t?

Most of us have good intentions and we mean well. We live our lives to do good for our family, our friends, and our community. There are more decent people doing good than the other way around. Day in and day out, we try our best and don’t mean any harm. “Our best” is different for every person. Our talents, motivations, intentions, needs, and wants are all different from each other’s. We are put on this Earth to grow, learn, help each other out, and do good. What happens when we don’t?

I often wonder how God, All Knowing and All Mighty, deals with things and handles things when we as humans, mess up. When He points us in a direction and we go the other way, does He shake His head? When we miss the obvious, does He put His hands over His eyes? When we do something negative, does He take a deep breath to calm Himself? Having a whole world to watch over, does God ever need a beer?

I sometimes picture God in His throne with a beer relaxing “at the end of a day.” I wonder how He could not need a beer when us as humans are constantly needing help, redirection, advice, and improvement in our lives. In my opinion, He must be so great and so strong in order to deal with billions of people. How great is it that He loves us no matter what we do or what we say. Even with that said, I still wonder if God ever needs a beer?

My Own Little World

 

There is a place, a couple places actually, where I go to forget about all of my worries and all of the world’s troubles. As soon as I am there, my troubles melt away. I don’t think about what worries my mind nor do I think about what is going on in the news. For a short time, the outside world no longer matters. It’s almost like I am in my own little world with the doors shut to the outside. Nothing else can make it’s way inside and until I open those doors to leave, nothing can make it’s way outside. While I am there, I am in a state of bliss, happiness, and peace. There are unseen, loving arms around this place letting me know everything will be okay.

Being the type of person that worries all the time and contemplates every possible outcome, a place or two like this, is what I need. It releases the tension inside me. For a while, I am able to let go of all the stress on my shoulders or all the stress that I think is on my shoulders! I would describe these places like being in Heaven, but since I have not been to Heaven, yet, I will say it is like being on vacation. There are no worries, troubles, or stress. Only happiness, peace, love, and a state of relaxation exists. When I leave this place, there is a longing to go back. It is almost like a piece of my life is missing until I return. Once back at this place, life makes sense again. I feel like I have all the answers and nothing can pull me down.

Everyone needs a place or two like this. When the outside world consumes us, we all need a place to kick our feet up and let go. If I am not able to physically be at these places, I go there in my mind, if only for a little while. I urge us all to find a place or two that makes us feel that nothing else matters. It could be when you are with your loved one(s) you feel this way, at a beautiful park, looking at a sunrise or sunset, a place you volunteer at, or maybe it is going for a walk or a drive. Whatever & wherever it is, go there often. If you don’t have a place like this, I urge you to find one. Doing so will only help you, not hurt you.

 

 

I Believe

I believe in God.

I believe in Heaven & Hell.

I believe our souls live on after we die.

I believe there are more than just angels watching over me.

I believe in second chances, but I also believe in starting over.

I believe love is stronger than hate.

I believe there are more good people than bad people.

I believe family and friends are most important.

I believe in helping others.

I believe, deep down, that everything will be okay even though I worry too much.

I believe in doing whatever makes you happy unless it hurts yourself or someone else.

I believe our pets are on this Earth to help us more than we are here to help them.

I believe we are all connected in some way.

I believe we are never alone.

I believe no one besides God is perfect and no one ever will be.

I believe money does not buy happiness.

I believe we are put on this Earth for a reason.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

I believe we will never learn some of those reasons until we go home to God.

I believe in good over evil.

What do you believe in?

 

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.