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Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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      When someone struggles with guilt in a needless way…it can be devastating.  I had a brief conversation with someone who was struggling with it…as she said, her guilt, other people’s guilt; and, she said she needed to let it go; because she worried too much about what other people thought.

      You see, guilt is simply a tool.  One that our subconscious mind uses to help us make good choices in our lives; it is like an early warning detection system.   Guilt tells us we are making a wrong choice.   But like anything, guilt can be misplaced.  Instead of building us up and helping us to build a strong positive character; sometimes guilt runs amok, and instead creates self-doubt, tearing down our self-esteem and helps to destroy the foundation , of who we are as a person. 

        This must be dealt with or a person who struggles with needless guilt, or a disporportionate amount of guilt to any given situation, begins to devalue their own opinions and strengths and begins to give more weight and credibility to those around them.

       I told her she needed to value herself as much as she valued the opinions of others.  It was a simple statement.  She simply needed to worry as much about what she thought of herself as she did about what others thought of her.  You see, when you look in the mirror (or examine your own heart and mind) you have to like who you see; you have to respect yourself.    Later, she said she was better.  I was glad…because she is a person who comes across as a very caring person…a person who does alot for others…and who reaches out.

      Why is it that we are so quick to judge ourselves harshly and so quick to give the benefit of doubt to others?  Each of us does this to some degree.  We have negative thought patterns that we fall victim to…that little negative voice inside our heads; our own personal form of self-doubt.    We must learn to appreciate ourselves in ways that matter.  After all, if we dont value ourselves enough…no one else will either!

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     Do you ever wonder what your personal responsibilities are?  I mean, most people understand that they must work, take care of their children, nuture their personal relationships, and pay their bills; what else is there?  Being a responsible person is a way of life; are you required to take care of others outside the close personal limits of your immediate family?  Who and what are you responsible for?  Are there limits to your responsibilty legally, physically, spiritually, emotionally or morally? 

      Have you ever heard the saying, “Are you your brother’s keeper”?  Human beings are complex creatures.  We have layers of self, one upon the other…each with their own wants and needs.  For those who are spiritual seekers of truth; there are teachings which encourage us to reach beyond the demands of our own personal flesh-n- blood, wants and needs.  My road map is the Bible.  Everything i need to know to be a successful and fulfilled person is included in that instruction manual.

       God wants us to follow his leading; we are to grow and learn how to praise him and serve others.  This is not always convienent in today’s society,  according to the world’s values. That attitude of becoming a servant requires a bit of sacrifice on our part.  Many people run from their own responsibilities and refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to reach out to others.   And there are others who do not consider themselves spiritual beings who still manage to be service minded…realizing that there is value to connecting with and recognizing need in others. 

      Understand, I am not talking about enabling others to continue to be irresponsible…but instead, teaching and inspiring others to take up the challenge of  meeting their own obligations when they are able.   To do that, they must be inspired, they must have knowledge, skills, opportunities and funding…once that happens, they too can become a servant to pass it on to others.

        Responsibility is something that we must strive for.  When everything is going smoothly…it is because we have acknowledged our responsibilities and have submitted ourselves to the service of God. 

        God says that we are to take care of the widows and the children; we are to befriend the poor.  When we see suffering in the world and we have the ability, the skill, the opportunity to help ,then we must consider it a priviledge and a responsibility to do so.  What are you willing to do for those around you?  Do you know someone who has a need? Can you listen when someone needs to talk, can you spend time with someone who is lonely, are you capable of performing a chore that someone else cant do and needs done? 

      There are so many ways to be of service to another fellow human being…it is simply a matter of being aware and observing those around you and being willing to be helpful.  People in need are all around us…it will change your life to see the world through the eye and heart of a servant of God.

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This is the time of year when people make all kinds of resolutions…some are attainable and some are not. Many times people make New Year’s resolutions and set themselves up to fail because they are too big or grand…the promises they make to themselves; or to others, just aren’t realistic. However, I think i have come up with the primo resolution. I want to celebrate the things in life that make me happy! I want to nip things in the bud that hold me back from achieving in the areas of life that I have been afraid to take a chance on.

I resolve to do more of the things in life that make me happy, healthy and that put me in a more financially secure postion. I am going to do less of the things which consume my time, in which I don’t have control over the outcome. I will make more of an effort to be less stressed…more at peace with the choices I make in life, and to do more serviceable types of things for others; not because I have to, but because that makes me happy.

Lord knows there is lots of negativity in the world both outside of my home and inside my head; I am going to work very hard at overcoming negative thoughts that could prevent me from being successful in the things that I decide are important enough to spend my time on. These are all do-able resolutions. They are not a quick fix for any one problem in the world, or in my life but, they are good practices in general. So, it is lifestyle choice…a work in progress.

If I make a mistake and realize it…it doesn’t mean I have to go all negative and stop trying. It simply means that, I am giving myself permission to have a do-over…a start over…a chance to improve. In other words…I resolve to do more of what makes me happy. I have a pretty basic happy nature…but circumstances have the ability to bring anyone down…I am making a decision to allow that to happen less often. What have you resolved to do in 2009?

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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      As we once again approach the end of a year and begin another one; it never fails to amaze me how often we repeat the same old patterns.  Oh to be sure…there will be the predictible year in review on the news programs…on the entertainment programs; and, even on the morning talk shows.  Does anyone else watch those things and think….that happened this year?  Why, i thought that person passed away longer ago than that…or did that much stuff really happen just this year?  We can learn from these things because time really does pass more quickly than we are aware of.

         As as we approach the new year…we will invariably have to hear about all of the new year’s resolutions that we may or, more likely, may not keep within days of making our comittments!  🙂  We will hear from all of those people who have the ability to “predict” the future; telling us their  version of the coming days and, how we are going to handle those situations around the world. 

          I say, let’s do something new this year.  Let’s live in the moment for a change…how does that sound?  People get so locked into the past that they can’t envision the future.  Those who have their sights set on the future…are so busy trying to forget about the past that they cant live for today.  When we live in a constant state of rewind or fast forward…we miss some of the greatest moments today with our friends, our family, our co-workers, neighbors and even with friends we have not yet met.

          Each day is a gift and must be truly lived in to be appreciated.  There is nothing worse than meeting someone who is bitter and corrupted from the past that continues to haunt them…or someone so bent on tomorrow that they can’t even take the time to realize that today is passing them by while they are so busy preparing for the next greatest thing that may be coming their way.  Regrets are a terrible thing to live with because wishing things were different doesn’t make it so. 

          People who get to the end of their lives either take stock and tally all the blessings in their life or they sit and review all of the missed opportunities and regrets of things that they could have, would have or should have been done better.  That is not a happy moment.  

          Our attitude or approach to life should be viewed as a whole life outlook or plan…not as in segments to be filed away for posterity to be reviewed at a later date; it is much too precious and passes way too quickly, we might forget to DO something important if we view life in small segments to be accomplished.  At the end of life, there are no do overs; I am afraid to tell you.  This is it, in this world that we live in.  If you get off of your chosen path…it is easy to re-route your footsteps and get back on track…as long as you are still breathing…you can change the course that you choose to follow.

         Many of us spend way too much time doing things that we don’t want to do…things that don’t make us happy; or, doing things that others expect us to be doing.  When it comes right down to it…no-one else lives inside of our skin…or our souls; we alone are responsible for our personal failures and achievements.  Yes, there are others who help us on our way but; no matter what…when it comes right down to it; we each have a responsibility to figure out how we want to live our lives…with both the beginnings, the endings and all that happens in our lives, in the very important middle.  Let’s make it a goal to make every day count for something special!

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       Do you know a holiday saboteur?  You know who I’m talking about don’t you?  It is the person who agitates others during holidays.  It is the person who argues with everyone…about everything.  It is the person who has a permanently unhappy disposition in life.  It is the person who grumbles about things that really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things..  It may even be the person who checks you out, as you hum a little holiday cheer, while you purchase your gifts.   Bah Humbug!

         Why, for goodness sake…this holiday saboteur may even be a member of  your own family!  Egads…what are you going to do?   Uninvite them immediately…move out of state…get divorced so you don’t have to deal with them anymore?  Surely, you aren’t going to take it that far to avoid the holiday saboteur?

           Assure me that you aren’t going to let them do it this year; don’t let them steal your joy.  Not at the office, not at the local gas station, not in the llllllllllloooooonggg line in the post office, not on the highway…not on the subway, not at the Christmas/New Year’s eve party………most certainly tell me that you aren’t going to let them get to you when you visit them….and definately, don’t let them bring you down in your own home!  Why, that is your happy, safe place…or it should be.

          Instead, might i suggest a little something- something to change it up a bit?  Why not, throw them off balance with a holiday super charged, joyful, in your face celebration? 

          Maybe they will do one of two things…perhaps they will get so shocked by such a display of holiday cheer that they will come over to the dark side and actually CELEBRATE; or, they will get totally annoyed at the lack of indulgence of their perpetually bad behavior; they will get up and leave, when no-one feeds the flames of discontent by politely listening to their moody, morose …angry and controlling ways! 

          Either way…you are free to have a happy holiday get-together any way you choose to celebrate it!  Unless the holiday saboteur lives inside of you….egads…I hadn’t even thought of that…did you?

         

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