Don’t Associate Humility With Weakness

Even in humility, the time comes when we must put someone else in their humble place.

The old man sat on the same park bench every morning with the warm sun while the tranquil rays warmed his soul. He was alone now and the peaceful comfort of his surroundings afforded him the opportunity to reflect on younger days. Many people passed him offering good morning cheers each day. The old man had always taken care of himself and maintained his great physical condition. He was a humble man, never flaunting his physical skills.

One morning a middle aged hoodlum began to hassle the old man. Each morning the old man sat on the park bench minding his own business. The hoodlum became more aggressive with his taunts and thought he had someone who was gutless and faint hearted. The old man tried hard to avoid the confrontations day after day. Then the morning came, a cloudy day with a chill in the air. The hoodlum spoke no words and the assault began. The old man quickly overwhelmed the thug on this day with exceptional fighting talent. He had been a Golden Gloves Champion in his younger days and worked hard to maintain those skills throughout his life. His powerful skills were evident in front of several people who had gathered to witness the spectacle. Once the old man had shown himself, he retreated and was never seen at the park bench again.

We live in an aggressive world, it’s good to be invisible sometimes. There is no harm in going through life without boasting, being the center of attention, or making outrageous gestures. These will get the attention of others who will be at odds with us. Shrewd people get all they want without defiance or hate from others. They are able to navigate life for the benefit of accomplishing the deeds of their heart. They are able to remain in the background, out of sight and away from attention. Yet they carry out amazing feats.

In reality, it is unavoidable to go through life without turmoil which requires a person to justify their honor, morality, and values. During those times, we must call on all of our abilities and perform to the best of our competence. In those moments, there is no time think about ideology and being humble.

When the time comes for defense, perform swiftly, do what must be done, and when it’s all over, there is no need to boast. Retreat to the solitude of peacefulness within and fade into the background. For it is there in humility that the greatest things in life are accomplished.

Conversation, Who Has Time?

We are quickly becoming a society of non verbal communication. Our perception of being so busy that no time exists to verbally communicate is a serious issue.

We mingle with many people during any given day, yet we talk to very few. If there is conversation, it is usually brief and sometimes the feeling of being busy outweighs the notion to talk. The urge to be rude and disrespectful while ignoring others seems commonplace. Why engage in conversation when a perceived sense of importance gives one a false impression of superiority over others? We may make eye contact without saying a word, or sit next to someone on the transit system without uttering a single sentence. We my pass someone on the sidewalk and ignore them, or see people anyplace our endeavors take us and never say anything. We often believe there is no time to stop and chat because of our busy lifestyle. The fact is, there are so many people we come in contact with that it is impossible to converse with everyone, but it is possible to engage in meaningful conversation with some people during the course of our day.

Everyone seems to be in a hurry, in reality we all meet at the end of the line with unfinished business regardless of how brisk we live life. No matter how busy we are or how fast we climb the ladder of success, there is always more to do. Slow down, enjoy life, make an effort to know people, make new friends, share adventures, make time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and take time to reassess your purpose and direction in life. All of these things require conversation with others in order to realize the value of life. Many people are only concerned about their own life, they follow a rigid routine of going to work and earning a salary, they want to be independent, they push aside the idea of depending on anyone else. They claim to be so busy that talking with others is a waste of time. It’s easy to become slaves to money, traveling to and fro and never taking any time off work to recharge or reconnect with family and friends. People become more of an obstacle than a benefit. Machines and technology have taken over many of the tasks humans performed. These advances contribute to less and less interaction between people. Is it possible in the not to distant future people will converse only through technology instead of engaging in meaningful verbal conversation? With all the technological advances and our fast paced lifestyle, a skewed assumption that people are not needed for our own well being is a serious misconception. We say we are busy, which makes us feel important. We feed our ego with a daily dose of how busy we are which re-enforces that I is greater than we. Somehow, we have come to believe conversation is not needed with others to move forward in life and to be happy. It’s easy to become programmed to believe we are so preoccupied with our own life that nobody deserves our time and nobody could possibly enlighten us through conversation. That could not be further from the truth.

We are all convinced we are so busy that if we ask “How are You?” and a conversation ensues, we feel like we are losing precious time that could be spent advancing ourself up the food chain or tending to our own selfish desires. We are often so self centered that even saying “hello” could open up an opportunity to be drawn into a lengthy conversation we are not interested in. We are convinced that our lives are so busy that it feels like an intrusion when someone speaks to us or engages us in conversation. Our mind drifts, not interested in conversation, we think about what we could be doing instead of what we should be doing.

Each day we drag ourself out of bed and head off to work alone, after work we may go out for a solitary drink, we may go home and do nothing, or we may go home to a safe space where we escape the chaos of children and clutter. Some people may not work, they start each day off procrastinating about getting out of bed,they follow the same old routine that avoids people every day. If we choose to go to bed late or make bad eating and health choices we will go through the next day in a daze. The point is we do all these things unmotivated to engage with people or put forth our best effort at anything that deserves our attention. We have become like a gear in a machine, where the machine engages the gear but the gear does not engage with the machine.

We know that an inflated sense of self is not pleasant to others. There is no harm in taking a few minutes to converse with people we come in contact with. Life could become increasingly meaningful if we took a few minutes to show genuine interest in people through conversation. Our inflated sense of self is the downfall to meaningful conversation. Shouldn’t we be interested in what others have to say while listening intently without interrupting and injecting our own egotistical opinions? Yet we have no patience to initiate a conversation that requires listening skills and the ability to interact on a meaningful level.

Since part of our life is based on our ability to communicate, shouldn’t we make an effort to connect with others through conversation? The quickening pace of our life and the quickening events of the world are a call for us to slow down and spend time in conversation with others. We should not get caught up in the whirlwind that our world graciously throws upon us. Our life is swift, hardly a moment in time compared to the age of the universe. If we do not take just a sliver of infinite time to invest in conversation with others, we will have missed so many opportunities to make friends, so many opportunities to help someone, so many opportunities to listen to someone who needs a friend, and so many opportunities that can bring us all together as a human race. Without conversation, think how many chances one may have missed to successfully grow and mature as a person. We only have so many opportunities to engage in conversation with people. Can we make an ernest attempt to realize life is not about how fast we live nor is it about elevating one to heights of grandeur while ignoring others, it is about how well we graciously and effectively communicate and relate to others while juggling our busy schedule to fulfill our needs.

Dear Friends

We live for the love of friends.

Peoples paths come together all to briefly when sharing friendship, but that makes those special times no less precious, Can we benefit from encouragement and generosity in a mutually positive way with our friends? Whenever we take from a friend, we should try to give something back. Friends should walk side by side for as long as their journey carries them, without becoming reliant on one another. If you can help a friend, do so without hesitation or expectation for any gain. If there is something to be learned from a friend, accept it in humility. Parting is inherent in friendships. Nothing lasts forever. Transience keeps life stimulating. Ultimately we are all responsible for ourself. There is no path to walk but our own.

Focus on Success

Focus on success not disappointments

Focusing on disappointments, difficulties, and whats not happening in our life is easy. Turn that focus around and take a success break. Focus on successes in life, give yourself credit for accomplishments, give yourself credit for all the times you have stayed strong for others, think about all the second chances that led to success, and finally believe you will be successful to the best of your ability going forward. Have a successful weekend, give a wink, a handshake, or a heartfelt hello to any person you deem worthy

Happiness

Happiness is your right

One of the greatest pursuits in life is happiness. Happiness is such an important need that it is declared as one of three unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of the things you love will start each day with happiness. Find your happiness, it’s what you deserve and it’s your right.

Tumultuous Situation

Challenging times have an ending

When we are in the middle of a tumultuous situation, it’s hard to fathom what will illuminate our way. Believe that our days and our heart will be filled with warmth and light in times of need. Trust that challenging times have an ending, sometimes swiftly, sometimes slowly, and sometimes with an answer we desperately need. May your days be filled with kindheartedness and splendor.

Stand Up Today

Take a stand, believe and act.

Stand up and believe in your possibilities to fulfill your potential, on this very spot, on this very day. Put your plan into action, stay focused with an unyielding determination to fulfill your purpose in life. Don’t follow anyone else or let them determine your potential. You have the power to manifest a direction of purpose and fulfillment for yourself.

Tenacity to navigate and progress through the journey of life is a required strength. Without that tenacity and progress we become lost in the shuffle. Death is inevitable, don’t let it be from loss of determination to succeed in life, let it be from a long life of trying to become a better person. As long as the force of life is within us, we should use resourcefulness to hurdle lifes struggles and understand our vision to overcome them.

Everyone experiences unforeseen elation and everyone will know pain when our loved ones depart this life. We have to be able to accept both emotions because it is natures life cycle. Life goes on, we must constantly adjust and adapt at any given moment to unforeseen circumstances, good or bad.

With each passing day, our life becomes more precious. We should take every opportunity to take a stand and strive to fulfill our dreams and potential.
The poetry in our life is only possible by believing, acting, focusing, and determining to take a stand to move forward in the most persistent and compassionate way possible.

RELATIONSHIPS, LIFES MOTIVATION

Relationships are the most important pursuit in life. They can make us, or break us.

Relationships are certainly lifes motivation whether they be spiritual in nature or human interaction. They are the most important pursuit in life as far as I am concerned. Without relationships life would be devoid of any connection to anything, one would certainly perish. Everything in our universe seeks and develops a relationship with something from the day it is created to generate an energy of purpose and cooperation. As long as the energies are in harmony, everything is smooth sailing. However, the moment one energy collides with another energy, the forces of nature are at odds with one another and destructive events take place. That same logic applies to human relationships.

I have been blessed to have wonderful bonds with many people and I have also been associated with acquaintances which were not going to grow or flourish. Bad encounters are not worth dwelling on, but valuable lessons can be learned from them. Without relationships we would struggle to progress in life. Everyone desires a sense of acceptance and camaraderie with someone who respects and supports them in their endeavors. My idea of a relationship boils down to either productive or destructive. Destructive relationships develop when some form of abuse is imposed on another person, productive relationships are desirable and develop when mutuality and love for one another flourishes and forms an unconditional bond.

What qualifies me to comment about relationships? The fact I have lived a few decades and experienced, witnessed, and survived the ups and downs of relationships provides me with the insight to share what I have learned. First lets look at destructive relationships and then we can move on to productive relationships.

Destructive relationships come in many forms. I have chosen seven unpleasant traits which dooms many relationships. The seven traits are; physical abuse, sexual abuse, controlling behavior, emotional abuse, jealousy, lack of trust, and financial problems. Destructive relationships lead to emotional and physical duress which can become violent or deadly if allowed to continue. The longer we allow ourself to be abused, the greater the toll on our overall well being. Abuse in a relationship will eventually lead to the breakdown of our will to get the most out of each day. My focus on destructive relationships is to encourage those being abused to seek qualified professional help to overcome abuse and chart a course to recovery.

Physical abuse occurs when someone takes advantage of another persons physical weakness and exploits that weakness to the perpetrators benefit. Physical abuse can be tricky to overcome due to fear and a diminished sense of confidence. Sometimes a series of abusive attacks happens before one can have the courage to take the necessary measures to avoid further abuse. Victims often feel trapped with no place to go and many do not have the financial means to escape and start over. At this point one has to find a way to seek help in order to resolve a very serious threat. Under no circumstances would there be any justification for anyone to remain in a relationship which physically abuses them. Physical abuse in no way contributes to happiness and it will evolve into submissive behavior and possibly life threatening consequences if allowed to continue.

Sexual abuse or spousal abuse falls somewhat in line with physical abuse, it is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. Most victims know each other. The debilitating affects of such abuse is extremely emotional and can cause long term interference in ones daily life. Signs of withdrawal in behavior patterns can be stimulated by various social activities that trigger flashbacks, esteem issues, what ifs, and whys. The effects of the abuse can be dealt with by understanding the emotional effects of the trauma which occurred. There is no place in any relationship for sexual abuse. Few people, if any are able to overcome the devastating results of sexual abuse on their own. The emotional and traumatic effects of such abuse is best referred to a qualified professional who understands legal rights and begins the road to recovery.

Controlling behavior is carried out by people who are self centered and insecure, they stymie any attempt to lead a happy life. Different choices and ideas which strongly conflicts with how another person perceives things often sets in motion actions which seek to force one persons demands upon another. Some people have a need to be in control at all times and they become tyrants. When there is no give and take, the tyrant becomes overbearing and life becomes miserable. That is where things head south and unless the controlling person is reigned in, the relationship cannot flourish and will likely come to an end.

Emotional abuse is non physical abuse imposed on a persons sense of self worth. Humiliation, ignoring, instilling fear, and threatening consequences, are some of the traits a person exhibits when they emotionally abuse another. This kind of abuse is brutal and no one should expect to be in a relationship with a person who has no regard for another persons self worth. Emotional non physical abuse can occur in private surroundings or even worse at public venues. Either way, it is humiliating. It is sometimes difficult to escape this kind of abuse because the abuser always has an excuse for their controlling behavior. Help is always available, muster the strength to get out of the relationship and move on with life.

Jealousy is the resentment of one person against another because of the real or perceived ability to overshadow the jealous person. Jealousy is caused by low self esteem or insecurity. When a competitor is perceived to be better equipped, or they may actually be better equipped to initiate something the jealous person deems unreasonable, trouble ensues. A jealous person will become controlling, suspicious, demanding, and will often pout in order to get their way. Trust issues become a problem because of the belief that a person has to continually prove their loyalty in every circumstance. A person may feel controlled and unfairly chastised for behavior that drew uninitiated attention. Jealousy can lead to physical violence, or resentment, and can spiral into other forms of abuse. There is no benefit from remaining in a relationship where jealousy rules every move a person makes.

Lack of trust is the inability to have faith in a person to conduct life according an ingrained code of honor held by the one who is giving the trust. Lack of trust is a deal breaker in relationships. Relationships will suffer in every aspect if the foundation of trust is not earned based on the example of how one conducts their life according to a code of honor and ethics. Events that took place long ago often spark issues of trust, If one cannot move past those events, the relationship will suffer and become fractured. Trust issues create heated exchanges and result in a variety of negative emotions. Lack of trust issues that cannot be resolved should be a conduit to dissolving the relationship because nothing productive will ever become of a relationship which lacks trust.

Financial problems will certainly lead to disagreements about money management. The biggest problem I see is the unwillingness of a couple to come together in agreement about how finances will be managed. If one person is a spender and the other is a saver, friction between the two will develop. Credit card debt and living beyond ones means will put a strain on the relationship. Spending more than what is coming in will eventually create a deep hole that will be difficult to climb out of. How to manage finances is a conversation that must take place prior to any meaningful, committed relationship. If a conversation about financial goals does not take place with shared responsibility and agreement, consider the relationship to be a rocky road ahead. Financial problems cannot be overcome if each person is to stubborn to agree on a solution.

Abusive relationships are brutal for the victim, they are full of duress and tension, they are hard on family and friends. Seek out help that is available to restart a meaningful relationship with those who cherish goals of friendship, love, encouragement, and spiritual enlightenment. Destructive relationships create isolation, depression, and illnesses can creep into ones depleted physical and emotional body. There is nothing more physically and emotionally draining than being in a relationship which saps every last ounce of happiness. Dig deep, gather confidence and have the respect for yourself to move on. Nothing good will come from remaining in a relationship that does not respect a persons desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is short and not worth wasting precious days on those who do not value the benefits of productive relationships. My firm belief and suggestion is, if you are being abused, seek the help of qualified professionals and friends to determine the right course of action. Your well being or your life may depend on it.

The second type of relationship is directly opposite of a destructive relationship, it is a productive relationship which is the motivation that propels us to live happy lives. Productive relationships are the ones which form a network of positive people, friends, and family who help us navigate through our journey in life. Productive relationships throughout life help us grow into the loving person we are capable of being. I like these seven traits which greatly contribute to productive relationships; communication, listening, love, respect, sharing, trust. and intimacy.

Communication is an open exchange of thoughts, messages or information. Communication must be two way in order to have an even exchange. The moment one person monopolizes the conversation and refuses to listen to the other person, it becomes one way communication and the benefit of an even exchange is lost. Being able to communicate openly and honestly will reap great benefits. Showing a degree of concern and a genuine interest in the person we are communicating with opens meaningful dialogue which can resolve conflicts or continue enjoyable conversation. The ability to effectively communicate emotions and feelings greatly enhances the chances for happiness.

Listening is the ability to hear and absorb what is being said without being distracted or disengaged. The ability to be tuned in to anothers communication and internally interpret what is being said before further communication takes place is a valuable trait. Listening is often the cornerstone to solving relationship issues. Without a cognizant focus on listening, we can be distracted, distant, and not in the present conversation. This can often lead to argument, alienation, and a real misunderstanding of what is really being said. The art of listening is one of patience and compassion. Many arguments and issues can be diffused by patiently and actively listening before speaking.

Love is a genuine commitment to an inner feeling or an outward expression of a deep commitment of compassion and affection. Love in a relationship is unconditional, it creates an atmosphere of cooperation along with equal amounts of give and take. Loving relationships trust one another and they confront each other with respect. Compassion is the glue that holds us all together in times of prosperity and despair. Admiration for another person opens many opportunities to show loyalty, compassion, and affection in wonderful ways. Love is the deepest emotional and physical commitment we can offer and there is no greater feeling.

Respect is so important that without it there is no regard for anything. Respect starts with respecting ourself. If we don’t respect ourself, we have no moral compass to guide us in decisions of right and wrong. Respect is to hold something in high regard and to treat it with admiration and courtesy. Respect solidifies a relationship and shows appreciation for a persons character. Disrespecting another leads to resentment and hostility in relationships. No one wants to be in a relationship unless there is mutual respect for one another.

Sharing brings to mind traits we have in common with one another. We share adventures of joy, experiences we have had and generate together, and we selflessly share social exchanges with others. In order to have mutuality, both people in the relationship must share equally. Sharing brings a uniqueness to the table which garners interest from those willing to share in our uniqueness. A common bond develops between people who share feelings of caring for one another, and a deep camaraderie will develop to fortify a relationship.

Trust is one of the main pillars in any relationship. Trust is a persons unwavering faith in a another’s ability to follow through with expectations of fulfilling their moral and ethical obligations to others. Trust is earned based on ones actions and behavior and it creates an unbreakable bond which puts a relationship at ease. Some say trust is granted, but I believe trust is earned. Trust allows a relationship to grow and flourish, it thrives on reliability. Trust gives us inner peace and hope when our faith in others presents itself in a way we cannot deny.

Intimacy is a very warm, personal, and private relationship with another person. Intimacy allows one to share their inner most feelings with another, it really does not need to be spoken although being able to verbalize what is inside of us can make intimacy a bond that cultivates closeness and unity. As times passes intimacy grows because of experiencing life together. To build intimacy one must have the confidence to convey feelings and make time to be together without daily interruptions. We all have the need to belong and love, intimacy affords us the opportunity to open up and share our deepest feelings with another, whether they be emotional or physical. True intimacy cements relationships in a way that deeply bonds people together.

The moment we are born, mother and baby bond together in a way that cannot be denied. Throughout life we seek to replicate that very loving relationship with others we chose to be with. We deserve a relationship that brings out the best in us. What we put into a relationship is what we get out of it, they certainly are the most important pursuit in life. As adults we have the choice to pursue a relationship that uplifts us, respects us, and commits to love throughout our life. Pursuing people who have our best interest at heart will contribute to meaningful and fulfilling relationships. There are few things in life that can compare to a relationship which cherishes each other and follows through with a determined effort to achieve harmony.

My understanding of relationships comes from what I have experienced in my own life and may not align with what others think relationships should be or not be. I conclude with a plea, if you are being abused, seek qualified professional help or seek friends to determine the proper course of action for exiting the relationship.

I always wish you the best with your endeavors in life.

Sources: http://www.wordhippo.com/, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, http://www.apa.org› Psychology Topics,Characteristics of Emotoinally Abused People – EQI
http://www.eqi.org/signs_of_emotionally_abused_people…, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carol-morgan/16-characteristics-of-real-love_b_6237802.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_relationship