Monday, August 27, 2012
Love and Disappointment I think if there is any common emotion that incorporates acute sadness with the feeling that all your oxygen has just been sucked out of your lungs, it is disappointment. It is the kick in the guts response to an expectation fallen short, bad news, and a crisis in your routine that bring your life to its knees. Think of the times that you have been let down in your life. Think of the time when your hopes have been broken and what you thought what was supposed to happen didn’t. It is the check that never arrives in the mail or the phone that never rings. It is the C on the paper that you thought you had an A. It is interview that went great but that job that never called back. It is the girl or boy that said sorry, I just want to be friends. It is the time in our lives when just when we think that all signs point to “yes”, what we receive instead is, “No.” And the worse kind of disappointment is the disappointment in yourself. The feeling that you could’ve done, should’ve done, or wish you’d done something better, something more, something else than what you had. The decisions you wish you’d made differently, the paths that you wish you’d taken or wish you passed by. The holes in your life you wish you filled with more time doing the things that meant something instead of yielding to the things that just felt right at the time. Disappointment is the emotion of crippling measure. It can knock us down and keep us from getting up. But getting up we must. With every disappointment, there is always a way to stand up again, to look forward, and to bring ourselves back from that feeling of despair. We begin with looking at what we have around us right now. We are here. We are present. We are in this life. And this life is very, very good. Breathe in. That is the first thing to regaining your balance. Breathe in again. Now look at all that exists around you right now. See everything that is in your immediate vision and yards beyond. Look at this world that you have been given. Count this as a blessing, then count one more. You are here. You are present. You are among the living. And with every time that you are knocked down you decide to get back up, you begin to matter again. You are not your past. You are not the things that have caused you pain. You are a living, breathing child of the Universe. You matter. You mean something, And from this moment forward, you can make your life into everything you believe you can. We all have lived in the grips of disappointment. But disappointment can never dominate the feelings of Faith, Hope and Love. And the last one, Love, will soften all hurts, will heal all wounds, and will let us live our lives with resiliency and strength, gentleness and forgiveness, particularly of ourselves. In this life, let Love be your guide. Your disappointments do not define you. Only your ability to forgive, to embrace and to Love will guide you back to your true self, and give you the strength you need to look forward to another day. Love will keep you in motion. Love will keep you alive.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Love and the Golden Rule I think that it’s not a big stretch to be considerate of one another. My belief is that we all should be as kind as possible to somebody in order for them to feel better, maybe even for them to like us. I want to be kind to somebody because, in part, I want them to be kind back. I try to set the tone of the encounter in order for the two of us to get along. I don’t like conflict. Most of us don’t, and we’re not very good at it anyway. Our basic, most fundamental urge is to withdraw from it. Very few, if any of us, lean in when a conflict ensues. It goes against our nature to fight. Conversely, it is well within our natural instincts to love one another and get along. I believe it is our nature to extend our feelings of goodness to each other, in every context imaginable. We say “good morning” to people as they pass by not because we truly care that they have a good morning, even though on some level we do; It’s just a natural, normal thing to do. We do it because it makes us feel good to offer somebody that kind of a pleasantry. It takes very little effort and it allows us to speak from our heart. I submit that our natural selves are compassionate human beings that extend courtesy and kindness to others because it’s nice, it’s reflexive, and it feels really good for us to do that. And one step away from these reasons is another form of motivation: It is something that, on some level, we wish would be done to us. I want people to be nice to me. I want them to like me and say “good morning” to me as I say the same to them. I would like somebody to hold the door, wave me into traffic, and smile at me for no good reason because I would do, and have done, the same to them. I am, in part, nice to people because I want them to be nice to me. And that is the foundation of the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” I will be kind to you because I want you to be kind to me. I will be friendly to you because I wish the same kind of treatment. This is so fundamental. It really is who we are and how we feel most able to treat one another. I wish this was on the wall of every school, every board room, and every courthouse in the country. I wish that we as a people would take this one principle and spread it all over, embodying this guideline in everything we do, in every encounter we have with each other. By following the Golden Rule, we would reclaim a sense of peace, decency and fairness. We are all in this thing together, folks. May we live together by thinking of how we should treat one another, regardless of any predisposed notion of who they are, what they do, or where they come from. Treat one another as you would like to be treated and watch the world change right in front of you. We need only be motivated by how we wish to be treated, and treat another the same way.