Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Let me be Frank"

I wish you could meet Kevin, also known as Frank.  When it's his turn to speak he says "Hi, my name's Kevin, but let me be Frank."  He tells his joke, every time, like it's the first time.  It is as old as he is, but to know him is to love him..... bad jokes and all.

Thirty-five years ago, Kevin fell 40 feet to the ground.  After awakening from a coma, he had to learn how to live all over again.  He had to relearn how to speak and walk, and train his brain to cooperate with his body.  Because he could not get a driver's license, he had to ride his bike everywhere, and that in itself, carried it's own complications.  When Kevin wanted to steer to the right, he would go left.

So we got to talking about why bad things happen to good people.  Ah, the age old question of which we never get the answer.  Well, my friend Kevin can see good in everything around him.  We believe that we who have suffered are special.  We were chosen for greatness.  If we had a life of no pain, it would be impossible for us to grow.  Even worse, we would be incapable of gratitude.

Think about the two-year-old.  Everyone can see that the two-year-old is rotten.  They haven't experienced pain, made stupid mistakes, or suffered the consequences of bad choices.  Their favorite person in the world is themselves.  Ungrateful, greedy, selfish little terrors.  They only begin to grow as they experience pain.  Burning their fingers on a stove teaches them to use caution.  A spanking teaches them that a bad choice has consequences.  Losing a friend teaches them to be a better one.

Once again, the age old cliche emerges that "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  I prefer "With Pain Comes Growth."  We just don't grow without it.  Or how about the Aerosmith song, "Don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."   Well, my friend  Kevin has learned the value of walking on his own and being able to speak well enough for people to understand him.  I never realized how spoiled I am to have never worried about wanting to steer left on a bicycle and instead, going right and landing on the pavement.

Pain reminds us to be grateful when it is absent.

Without pain, we would  be grown up, rotten two-year-olds.  Selfish, greedy, lazy and entitled.  Well, Kevin is teaching me that the pain and suffering I experience (which is very minor, I must add) is molding me into the person I am meant to be.  It sure would be inspirational if we could  say "Bring it on."  We are all growing up to be something special.   Despite our pains, we are destined for greatness. We just have to search for the good in everything and be more like Kevin.

Or was it Frank?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Half empty or Half full?

It amazes me how one word from a difficult person can break my good mood.  I can be having the perfect day, and one small comment from a difficult person can rock it, if I choose to let it.  The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is my attitude.  Maintaining a good attitude is easier than changing an attitude.  There will always be difficult people. The key, for me, is to be aware of myself..... When I feel the rush to say something snide, or fight back, that physical feeling of boiling blood is my warning signal to say and do absolutely nothing.  I've got to keep a half-full attitude and pause when agitated. 

I'm reminded of a good story about facing difficult people...


 A woman told a story today that moved me. She had been studying for a Spanish test and the night before the test she composed a bunch of index cards and labeled everything around the house with it's corresponding Spanish word. She is a visual person, and  spent a decent amount of time on them.   She woke up the following morning, and  to her surprise, her roommate had rearranged them all to confuse her. She was angry and heartbroken that a person whom she trusted could do such a mean thing to her for her own enjoyment.
Full of tears and resentment, she looked around the house and began pulling them off one by one and putting them in their proper places. One by one..... This one goes here.... this one goes there... you get the picture. By the time she finished it was time to leave for class and take the test.

To her surprise, she passed with flying colors. When she arrived back at home, the snickering woman asked in a mocking tone, "So how did you do?".   Her reply?...... "I aced it, and couldn't have done it without you. Thank you."

I wanted to stand up and shout!  If we could all look at life that way, we would handle so many things so differently. Sometimes, the people in our lives who want to hurt us.... bless us. It is true that all things happen for a reason. If we can climb out of ourselves, if for a second, and ask ourselves "How can this help me grow?", what would we find? We go through life thinking we know just the right way things should be done. We go through life trying to control our situations. We go through life determined to control others.

If we let go, find acceptance, and look for the "rainbows" we will be amazed at what lies ahead. In AA we say that "God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves". I like to think that sometimes God does for us what we won't do for ourselves. The key is to find acceptance in all things. God works for Good. Only Good. In times of trouble and panic, there is a light if we slow down and look for it.

What is Acceptance? It is coming to terms with the way things are playing out, and allowing things to be what they are and People to be who they are....without us.... Without our control.

What is Resentment? It is being angry at what doesn't go the way we thought it should. Or being angry at people who have hurt us and behave in a way we think they shouldn't. How do we move past it?

Try changing the perspective. You just might find the answer that's easier to live with.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Butterfly With Little Wings

I love a good challenge.  I didn't always, but this past year has been  proven to be the year of the not-so impossible.  Last year I quit drinking, quit smoking, survived the "devil diet", and even weaned off of anti-depressants.  The things I have learned about myself are immeasurable, and often times, beyond description.  This has been a year of self-discovery, serenity, and change, to say the least.  I am just beginning to catch a glimpse of the real authentic Chrissy.  I am a Butterfly with little wings.

So one would think I deserve a break....But just like every day with it's new beginnings, Sunday I learned about what it truly means to fast.  Now, I am not an Uber-religious person, but what intrigues me is hearing that the point of fasting is to abstain from what controls you.  Yes, that's a tough pill to swallow.  The beauty is in the self-discovery that you find, when you actively surrender the thing that controls you the most.  So in keeping with the title of my blog, my search for happiness, and the courage to change,..... How about now?

So what controls me?  My ego.  Let's be honest.  I enjoy Facebook for many reasons such as the ability to connect with friends and to feed my addiction for constant social interaction, but the thing that gets me every time is the constant wonder of  "Is anyone thinking of me?"  Sure, I'm nosey too.  I'm always wondering what everyone is doing.....or posting.....or commenting. However, if I take a look at that musty place inside where no one is allowed to enter , I see my little ego getting excited when someone notices me.  Now, I'm not saying Facebook is bad!  Believe me, after 40 days of this insanity I'm bringing upon myself, I will surely be the first one logged in on day 41!

E.G.O.= Easing God Out.  If left to my own devices, and my ego, I have proven to end up in some pretty shady places.  I have faith that this is essential to my Wing-Growth.  Lent begins tomorrow and believe it or not, I'm a little excited about what I might find or Who I might find.

(Thank God for the Blog!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Grateful for Gratitude

GRATITUDE.  It is the cure-all.  In my search for happiness, I'm discovering that finding Gratitude in everything is as necessary to the heart as water is to the body. It cleanses us from Self, which is the ultimate destroyer of every good thought or deed.  The key to releasing myself from the bondage of Self, is  not only finding Gratitude, but expressing Gratitude.  I've learned that every act a human being makes is either an act of LOVE or and act of FEAR. Every act that isn't loving,(anger, jealousy, envy, greed, pride,etc) is simply a manifestation of Fear.  If perfect love casts out fear, and Gratitude is the highest, most purest form of love, then naturally Gratitude is the antidote to fear.  William Arthur Ward said that "Experiencing gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."  So naturally, if we're not expressing our gratitude, there is no loving....only "self-ing". 

I don't like the phrase "Give credit where credit is due", frankly because it sounds like an order and not a suggestion.  I don't play by the rules well.  This girl  has to fall on her face to  learn that the ground is hard.  I am grateful for the ground.... it stops me from an eternity of falling.  Wherever there is good, there is a gratitude waiting to be sewn in.  When we are in Gratitude, we are contributing to life.  When we are not, we are simply contributing to Self..  Self only serves Self.  Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.  Just like the symbol of gratitude (shown above), it is an intricate circle that continues to feed itself and expand.  I like being part of that circle.  The best part?.... There is room for all of us.  Happy Gratitude Friday :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bloggity Blog

     So, I'm a blogger.  Not sure what that is, really.  One thing I do know, is that I have been toying with the idea of writing down thoughts to share with my boys for when the day arrives that they actually care about what mom thinks.  My writing history thus far, consists of a manual for a first time mother which I gave to my sister when my sweet little niece was born.  I admit it was fun pretending to be a writer, but I really enjoyed taking the tricks that I learned along the motherhood road, and sharing them with her.  That same feeling creeps up every time I succeed at something, be it falling on my face or winning a piece of life's pie.

     Most of my thoughts, ideas, and words of wisdom come from The Old Timers in my life, coupled with an often hysterical upbringing and some pretty harsh life changes. I feel a need to regurgitate what I've been learning from this school called life. This just might be the place to do it.

     My goal in life, today, is to find happiness which lies within a little pink cloud I call Serenity.  I find myself resting on it often, but usually complacency sets in and I roll off.  It is a day to day deal.  One needs to be open and willing to become teachable. Remaining teachable is the real challenge. There are many teachers here in the "earth school" and many gray clouds of pain.... but if there is one thing I've learned, it is that with pain comes growth, and I love the latter half of growing.  So bring it on!  Blogging may become a major fail, but I've got both feet in now.  Here's to what may come next!