Monday, April 21, 2014

Happiness is at hand !

I am convinced that half of our problems would go away if only we were able to surrender to the beauty of being alive and being loved by God. Yes, let’s pause for breath and think about all the reasons why we can be happy, instead of all the reasons why we think we are unhappy.  If we just took the time to smile and delight in a simple moment of joy, then we would be able to see that it is in the little things that happiness is hiding. It is in the ability to appreciate the everyday things that we start feeling tranquility and joy. 

  • Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we, could find happiness in the simple, sweet moments of our lives? 

  • Wouldn’t it be great if, like “little ones,” we were able to seek the sweet juice of life without allowing trivial things to get in the way?

  • Wouldn’t it be just perfect if we could stop and make an effort, even if for a minute, to detach ourselves from problems and from the monotony of the everyday and aim for the extraordinary? 

Some of us are just never satisfied, always desiring what we do not have, and this is truly sad. If we only could find happiness in the small things that make our lives unique, then happiness would be in our hearts most of the time. We must stop ourselves if we find ourselves complaining about our circumstances. We must try to wake up asking ourselves:

  •            Why is it that we are never satisfied with our situation?

  • Why is it that once we achieve one of our goals, we immediately ignore what has been achieved and set our eyes on the next thing? 

  • What am I grateful for?  

If we are willing to be like “little ones,” then, like them, we will find a million reasons to be happy and a million things worth enjoying. Big moments in our lives fly by, leaving us only memories. But simple, small reasons to be happy are waiting for us every day! If we can learn to find joy in these little things, and use our memories to boost our morale when we need it, to bring a smile to our lips when we feel we just can’t go on, then it will be possible to find ourselves happy most of the time. And isn’t that what everybody wants?

 To be happy is a choice. It is our choice. Nobody can make us happy but ourselves. Nobody can come and inject happiness into us. Happiness is found inside ourselves. It doesn’t matter where you are the type of house you own, the country you live in, the vehicle you drive, the job you have. It doesn’t matter what you have lots of jewelry, a good-looking spouse, great clothes, a pet or any other thing. You will always find yourself with you guessed it yourself![2] What does this mean? It means that unless you learn to find happiness inside yourself, happiness will always be a myth, a desire, but not your reality.

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!”
(Philippians 4:4)

“Happy the people so blessed; happy the people whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 144:15)

[1] For this thought, I am indebted to Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992).
[2] Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let's be little !

Can we go back in time?

Isn’t it a mystery how “little ones” live in a mix between reality and fantasy; never truly sure of what is real? They dream so intensely that when they wake up, they bounce around in joy, trying to replay every detail of their dream. They are convinced that, in fact, they lived through whatever experience they had. These “little ones” are positive that the daydream, vision, illusion or mirage actually happened. I can’t help but wonder: 

  • Are these experiences real? 
  • Are “little ones” somehow able to actually go to these magical places? 
  • Do their imaginary friends really exist? 
  • Do angels really come and play with them? 
  • Can they see things we don’t? 
  • Who are we to say no?

After all, it has been so long since we ourselves were “little ones” that maybe our perceptions have changed. We are so certain of what the limits are that we do not allow room for the unexplained. Our minds quickly disregard our experiences as a dream due to something we ate, or as something for our psychiatrist to explain as coming – because of too much stress.

Our awareness of the extraordinary often fades away as we get older. Maybe because it is then that we start learning about our limits, about what is possible and what is impossible. For the “little ones,” there are no limits to what is possible, only undiscovered frontiers to which they are determined to go. And it is this determination that makes all the difference.

So let’s think for a moment: 

What if “little ones” have a way of entering different “dimensions”? 
What if they are able to experience a multitude of worlds, 
being here and there as they please? 
We should not be afraid of this possibility. After all, are“little ones” fully here yet?

What I mean is that “little ones” are like heavenly beings for whom nothing is impossible. They seem to fluctuate between heaven and earth maybe because when we are little, we have an easier time keeping a strong connection to the heavenly realm and to the unknown dimensions of God’s created universe.

I deeply believe that we should not tuck away the “little one” in us. Why do we have to stop being “little” on the inside? As we grow up, our body changes and ages, we gain knowledge, we become wiser (hopefully!). But the fact that our body and intellect can and will grow does not mean that we must sacrifice the “little one” that we once were. We are all “little ones” deep inside. The problem is that some of us hide that part of us in a deep dark corner and suppress it. Some of us have almost forgotten how to get in touch with that part of ourselves. But we all have been “little” before, so if we allow ourselves to regain contact with the “little one” we once were, we will be free to fully enjoy all the things God intends us to enjoy and to experience all that He has in store for us.

You must be wondering what I mean by “little.” Well, what I mean by “little” is the person, big or small, who:

·   Is keeping alive that side of himself/herself that knows how to trust and love completely…both the people in their lives and God our Father.
·  Does not know ego and does not know how to fake emotions¾what you see is what you get!
·   Is always willing to learn more.
·  Finds joy in simple moments.
·  Is not afraid to love.
·  Is eternally seeking and searching for happiness.
· Is not limited by anything and is not afraid to dream.

If we give value to that side of us, we will have much richer experiences, and we will be able to stay more easily connected to the heavenly realm. We surely will be connected to God our Father by always believing, hoping, enjoying, trusting and allowing ourselves to have a perfect balance between our mind, our body, our heart and our soul a good balance between our humanity and our spirituality. 

When we maintain the connection to our heavenly Father, we can enrich our lives and those of others by shining on them the graces that we receive, sharing the love and the peace that light up our lives. Let’s allow our “littleness” to surface and take over our hearts!

Wisdom to contemplate:

 “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)

“Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” (Luke 18:17)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

So how do you know who is the one?


Is this Love that I’m Feeling?

I have been asked the question, “How do you know who is the one your soul mate, your other half, the person who completes you, the one you are meant to be together with for the rest of your life?” 

         Well, although it is very hard to know who is “the one,” it is easier to know who is “not the one.” We must have a clear idea in our heads of what traits we just cannot accept in that person whom we could potentially fall in love with. We must know the “absolute nos.” We must have criteria for what characteristics are just not acceptable to us, but we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves. For example, for some, it might be a person who:

Ø  Is aggressive or shows any kind of harsh behavior toward us or toward other people
Ø  Drinks too much, does drugs and/or frequently gets into trouble
Ø  Cheats or refers to the opposite sex in a disrespectful manner
Ø  Is too much of a flirt with other people
Ø  Treats us badly in front of others or humiliates us
Ø   Only tells us our defects, frequently trying to put us down
Ø  Lies
Ø  Has major psychological problems
Ø  Has no values: steals, breaks the law, deals drugs, engages in extramarital sex, etc.
Ø  Is not physically attractive to us
Ø  Is very different in cultural background, social background, economic status, etc.
Ø  Practices a different religion or has no belief in God
Ø  Has priorities very different from ours
Ø  Makes his job his main priority
Ø  Wants attention at any cost
Ø  Humiliates and disrespects others
Ø  Annoys us often

This is not discriminating against anyone or being prejudiced against someone. We can have someone as a friend, we can be there if that person needs us, but we can decide not to date that person. If we find things about a person that we feel we cannot live with, and we do not want to deal with such things in a long-term relationship or even for the rest of our lives then we must try to avoid a situation that could bring us to the point of no return.

It is not a good idea to get into a relationship, especially a marriage, thinking that we are going to change the other person. Before a relationship starts, before we make a decision that might affect the rest of our lives and the lives of those people around us, we need to discern if this is a person we want to date or not.

 There is nothing wrong with knowing what we can tolerate and what we cannot tolerate in someone who could become our spouse, nothing wrong with knowing what we can live with and what we cannot. We need to determine how much we can compromise in a particular area and in what areas we just cannot compromise. From the beginning, we need truthfulness, with ourselves and with others. If we are not honest, we are setting ourselves up for failure and unhappiness. No honesty no success.

At the same time though, we need to be open and have faith.  We have to be careful and make sure we are not trying to limit God. A humble heart goes a long way! We need to understand that we do not know everything and that God by His love and grace can change anyone.  So we need to leave room to the possibility that maybe we do not know what is best for us, or who is best for us.  We need to trust God completely and know that He can change anyone including us, and that He has a perfect plan and purpose for our lives although we might not completely see it or understand it at different points in our lives.  If we limit ourselves by a set list of qualities, especially when that list includes physical attributes or certain personality traits like:  funny, outgoing, cool, upbeat or so many other things. Then we need to ask ourselves - am I really trusting that God knows better?  Do I trust that nothing is impossible for God? Everything is possible for those who hope in the Lord!

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)