Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Advice and Help: The Uselessness of Planning Ahead!

One day we are here, the next day who knows? Everything changes. Everything can always get better if we look forward to tomorrow. All we know for sure is that we know nothing about what is ahead for us; therefore, we need to trust that every change that happens in our life will be for the best. Every day is an opportunity to change our lives, every second an opportunity to leave our mistakes, our sorrows and our fears behind. It is all up to us. We can choose to look forward to better times, or we can choose to be swallowed up by overwhelming circumstances. Let’s choose to have faith and to hold on through shaky times.

            What use is it for us to plan five or ten years ahead? Tomorrow we might be dead or then again maybe not. Think about job interviewers’ favorite questions: “Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see yourself in ten years?” The fact of the matter is that we have no idea where we will be tomorrow, let alone five years from now.

            Relationships might not last forever, but memories of these relationships do! Memories of being in love or of having good friends, a good teacher, a wonderful neighborall of these add up to the beauty that is our life. We need to live every moment fully and give our hearts completely. And when the time to say goodbye comes, we must be strong and know that we will have other chances to love and be loved. And we must keep in mind that every situation can teach us many things if we take the time to learn.

            I am confident that we will find happiness if we keep an open mind and an open heart. By giving a second chance to friendship, to love, to forgiveness, to opportunities that come our way, we give a second chance to ourselves. If we live with hope and a joyful heart, we will certainly find happiness I am convinced of this. By looking forward to tomorrow but living today to the fullest, we can ensure that we do not miss out on the best that can come into our lives.

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:34)

“But the plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)

“Entrust your works to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

“In his mind a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the decision of the LORD that endures.” (Proverbs 19:21)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Difficult Teenager? : The Advice is Kindness on Both Sides

            Many rewards are in store for us when we act from genuine kindness, without a hidden agenda and expecting nothing in return. All it takes is for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Many times we are so focused on ourselves, on how miserable we are and how we don’t have the things we need to make us happy, that we fail to realize that it is in forgetting ourselves that we find true joy. If we stop concentrating on ourselves, if we stop being selfish, doors of infinite possibilities will open. Famous motivator Anthony Robbins said, “The fastest way to create a better life is to focus on becoming a better you” and “The actions we take determine us as much as we determine our actions.” If he is right, then in order to become better people, we need to take actions that will benefit other people.

             Many people are living through distressing times and feel they don’t have the strength to go on. We complain that the world has become a very hostile place, with wars and conflicts spreading over all the continents. We want peace and love to reign, but we feel powerless before the magnitude and onslaught of evil events. Are we just going to sit down and complain?

I read somewhere that the most selfish state to be in is deep sadness, because when we are depressed, we are only focusing on ourselves. We feel so sorry for ourselves that we dwell on everything that is wrong in our lives and we miss out on what is good. Mother Teresa used to say that when we are too busy feeling sorry for ourselves, we run the risk of becoming ungrateful. We forget about all the good things in our lives and forget how much help and love other people need.

I deeply believe that through our everyday actions we can start changing our family, our city, our country and the world. By practicing kindness, we can make a difference not only in our own lives but also in the lives of everyone who comes into contact with us. We can improve the world by spreading love, one person at a time. As we begin to be kinder, a domino effect starts taking place that travels through borders, bringing more gentleness, more smiles and more love to the world

            There is a wise saying that says: “Give light, and darkness will disappear.” So  let’s forget ourselves for a minute. By being ready to help others, we can learn to feel happy and blessed rather than depressed. Let’s not focus so much on the grand plans of life; instead, let’s focus on the tiny frequent moments of love and happiness we can share with each other. Let’s allow the invisible force of God’s love to direct us and contagiously move from individual to individual. Let’s start a domino effect by shining our light on others, so that darkness may give in to light! By spreading kindness, we will be contributing to a more beautiful life for all, including ourselves. When we give to others, we give ourselves a great gift, because, as another wise saying says,” Little kindnesses will broaden your heart, and slowly you will forget yourself!”

            The moment we put ourselves into someone else’s shoes, we see things from a different perspective and from a less selfish point of view. When we manage to do this, we will realize how much other people may be hurting in a particular moment, and it will be easier for us to help them. Every time we overcome our egos and think about others, we grow inside. And, although we must do things in an uninterested manner, doing things out of compassion and not seeking anything in return, most of the time when we put others first, there is a reward in store for us.

            God has designed everything in such a way that as we go through various experiences, we learn valuable lessons and discover how much improvement we need in a particular area. He also rewards us, showering us with blessings when we unselfishly engage in an act of compassion or when we successfully learn a lesson that we were meant to learn. It is beautiful to be alive and to have the chance to grow through situations that are compassionately designed to teach us loving lessons. We have the free will to do as we please, but when we choose to do good, we will surely reap the rewards. In every situation, we must look for what lessons can be learned. We do not want to waste our precious time on this beautiful earth our Creator has so lovingly made for us.

So let’s open our eyes and not waste a minute. Every time we are sure we have mastered an area such as love, compassion, kindness or forgiveness, we need to pause and reflect; surely God will show us there is still much room for improvement. It is in our everyday experiences that we are able to realize, no matter how good we thought we were in a particular area of our lives, there is much we can still improve. We must not get discouraged or lose heart. And we should not be too tough on ourselves, but always remember that God is patient with us and so we should be patient too. There will always be another chance to put into practice what we have learned and to improve whatever area is still a challenge for us.

The more effort we make to spread kindness, the more contagious it will become. Let’s sow the seed of kindness everywhere we go because, as the book of Ecclesiastes says, “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not let your hand be idle; for you do not know which of the two will be successful, or whether both alike will turn out well.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6) We must be kind to all we come in contact with: friends and strangers, the rich and the poor, the happy and the sad, the powerful and the humble. Kindness is something we must practice even towards animals and plants, because all living things deserve it and all living things will benefit from it and, most importantly, because we ourselves will become better because of it. Where, when and to whom should we be kind? There is an easy answer. Seneca said: “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness!”

            Mother Teresa used to say that kindness enriches our lives; with kindness, unnoticed things become clear, difficult things become easy, and dull things become cheerful. The best way to start a new day is by doing  something good and by being grateful that we had the chance to do it. The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he or she can find in other people. Put it to the test!

Offer kindness to anyone who might be around you by giving your attention, your time, your company, your advice, your gratefulness, your love. Mother Teresa advised us to not be satisfied with just giving money: “Money is not enough, money can be got, but people need our hearts to love them.” What is an act of kindness? An act of kindness says: “I want you to be happy.”

            To sum up: God told us the greatest commandment is to love Him, and the second one is just as important, and that is to love our neighbor. One of the best ways we can love is by being kind. We must not let anything stop us. How often have we held ourselves back from trying something new because we were afraid? Afraid of what people will think of us. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of looking stupid. Afraid of being judged or criticized. Afraid of disappointment. Let’s not be so self-conscious, because when we are, we waste many precious opportunities. We must make a commitment not to limit ourselves. When we feel fear about doing something good, we should determine to do it anyway! When we overcome the fear of reaching out to someone, people will feel our love and be healed. Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.”
 (Philippians 4:5)

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Love: A child’s dream

Time spent together between a parent and a child is precious. The bond that is formed between mother and daughter or father and son in the early years is everlasting. By talking, a parent and a child learn to feel comfortable with each other, to open up and share.

A child can be therapeutic for a parent. Getting in touch with long forgotten memories stirs up emotions we have sometimes become unaware of. To see our children smile, to hear them laughing and to be there for the special moments in their lives is priceless.

Similarly, a parent can be the compass and the anchor in a child’s life. A mom or dad can be a child’s best friend without ever having to compromise discipline or authority. Being there for our children on a consistent, regular basis is very important, especially in their younger years when there are so many questions and so many fears. To share time together is healthy for both, and when the importance of spending time together is overlooked, this can become a parent’s greatest regret.

Is there anything more important than for parents to spend time with their “little ones”? I find it hard to imagine. A mother, who spends time with her “little one” as Anna did with Ellie, will give her child self-confidence and a wisdom the child could hardly get anywhere else. Experiencing happy moments from the time we are small is very important. And no moments are more precious or happy to children than those spent with their parents. A parent who is there to listen is more valuable than any material thing parents could possibly buy for their children. Parents who are aware of and care about what their “little ones” think important will diminish the risk of disappointing them. Parents who are sensitive to their children’s desires and dreams will be much more likely to make their children happy.

For a child, there are things that are of terrible importance, but a grown-up might not understand that unless the adult spends a lot of time with that child. The problem is not that the adult is indifferent to the child’s feelings, but that the adult is simply not in tune with what is going on in the child’s life. And parents might be so involved in their adult world that they have forgotten what was important when they were children themselves. It is just too easy for us to forget how important some things are when we are little. Children are very keen observers, and when children see that their parents are paying attention, they learn to rely on their parents for the rest of their lives.

It is true that many parents are working very hard trying to provide as much as they can for their children. This is admirable. But it would be a wonderful thing if every couple could try to have at least one parent at home, even if this means sacrificing some material comforts. There is nothing that is impossible for a heart that is determined. If we are determined to change our schedules, to change our lives, we will be able to do it.

            True, in today’s world, there are many single parents, and sometimes it is just not possible for a parent to be home. All we can do is do the best we can. But many parents do have a choice. Many could change things, but don’t. Maybe in their minds they want to provide more for their children. But think about this: There is nothing more valuable or more important to give your children than to give them the gift of YOU!


Wisdom to contemplate:

“With your whole heart honor your father;
your mother’s birth pangs forget not.
Remember, of these parents you were born;
what can you give them for all they gave you?”
(Sirach 7:27)

“Let your father and mother have joy; let her who bore you exult.”(Proverbs 23:25)