If You Chase Riches, You’ll Forfeit Many Good Things In Your Life; But If You Live Your Life To The Fullest, True Riches Will Chase You.
I woke up thinking about the adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The day before I was consumed with thoughts about all of the things I had to do, and this saying made me think about the last time I let my hair down and had fun. I didn’t have to do anything elaborate, but I was determined to slow down and smell the roses today. I was determined to watch the birds fly and take the time to feel the wind blow. I was determined that I would admire the small wonders in life and thank God for giving me another day to enjoy my beautiful surroundings. I was determined to take the time to thank Him for the people He placed in my life (those I understood and those I didn’t). I was determined not to go too fast, just take it easy for a few hours and do some of the things I liked to do instead of some of the things I needed to do.
Once I took time to enjoy my surroundings, I started to have a deeper appreciation for life. I laughed at the silly things, sang some old childhood songs (even though they were off key), watched a funny movie, and spent time reflecting on my blessings. It made a world of difference. After a few hours of relaxing, let-your-hair down time, I was recharged. I was able to do more of what I needed to do with limited stress.
It was such a fulfilling experience, I want others to take a little time to get off track in order to play, sing, dance, watch the sunset, smell a flower, watch a funny movie, or do some other thing that takes the edge off. Shrug off the serious side for a little while and have childlike fun. Turn the water hose on in your yard and get wet. Race with your children and let them win. Sing something that will put a smile on your face. And don’t worry about perfection because you can’t improve on having harmless fun, the kind that brings a smile to your face.
We all have made mistakes in life. Some of our mistakes were larger and more devastating, while others more subtle, having lesser impact on those around us. Regardless the magnitude or the intention of the blunder, there are times when an apology is appropriate.
Isn’t it interesting that people respond differently in regards to their mistakes? Some never acknowledge they’ve made mistakes. They move from one mistake to another, never admitting they’ve done anything wrong. It may be because they don’t realize their actions have hurt or offended others, or they don’t feel the need to apologize, even if they realized their actions were hurtful or offensive. Others say they are sorry only when they get caught in their actions. They aren’t truly repentant, they are only sorry that someone found out what they have done. Then there are those who apologize for everything. They do it to keep the peace, not because they genuinely feel remorse about their actions. Lastly, there are those who realize their mistakes, feel remorse about them and apologize to those they’ve hurt or offended.
It’s not easy for many people to apologize genuinely for their mistakes. Many relationships have been ruined because one or both parties refuse to offer a genuine apology. A simple “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” can tear down a wall before it becomes a stronghold. A genuine apology can reunite people who have been distanced by an offense. Offering an apology can open the gates of communication, thereby helping to melt anger and bitterness that have been stored up for years.
Why is it so difficult to offer a genuine apology? Many times pride is the culprit. A haughty attitude blocks one from admitting that he is wrong, or if he realizes he is wrong, he’s too prideful to humble himself and apologize for his mistake. Another reason is the person may not realize that he’s committed a wrong. In that case, the offended person must tell the offender that he was hurt or offended, giving the offender an opportunity to respond appropriately.
In either case, a genuine apology can serve as a healing balm to an aching soul. It doesn’t cost money, and the only price you may pay is your pride. Now think about it for a moment. Is that relationship more valuable than a chunk of your pride? If it is, offer a genuine apology. Once you do, what happens next is out of your hands. But you never know, a genuine apology may repair a relationship that’s been on the brink. And even if it doesn’t repair the relationship, it will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you took the high road in making things right.
In today’s society, most people’s lives are bombarded with busyness. Many have to work eight hours or more per day. Afterwards, they take their children to different practices, attend meetings and activities, and find time to complete household chores. If they are stay at home mothers, they are running from one errand to another, trying to jam everything into one day.
To add insult to injury, the media shows its viewers all the things happy individuals are doing and suggest that if a person wants to be among the satisfied, he must engage in those same behaviors. The media tells all willing to listen about the newest gadgets, and by the time a person gets used to the ones he’s purchased, new ones have emerged.
Not only can a person’s body be bombarded with busyness, but his mind can also enter the same rat race. Instead of taking time to be still and enjoy the moment, he may be doing one thing, but his mind has taken him on a journey of a million and one things to do. He may become frustrated when he realizes he doesn’t have enough hours in the day, and as a result, start demonstrating symptoms of stress.
How in the world can someone remedy this situation? He can take time to rest. When one rests, he takes time for himself. He takes time to be still; time to be quiet. He takes time to calm his thoughts; time to listen to the stillness within.
To many people this is a foreign concept. They wonder how they can take time for themselves when people and things are competing for their attention. How can they be still and shut things off when their minds are telling them they are already running behind schedule?
Well, it will never happen if a person doesn’t purposely make time for rest. He must decide that some things (those that are not life or death situations) will have to wait, even when those things scream that they need to be dealt with. He must ignore the tugging to do it right now.
In conclusion, I want to pose these questions to you. When is the last time you purposely blocked out time to rest your mind and body? When is the last time you put your “to do” list down in order to get quiet and still? When is the last time you turned off your electronics and just spent time with yourself?
Remember, you have only one body and one mind, and they need rest in order to feel rejuvenated. So make an appointment with yourself sometime soon. Let things go for a few hours or a couple of days and get the rest your mind and body so desperately need.
When I worked as a professional counselor, I ran across many unhappy people. It amazed me that individuals who looked so put together on the outside were so miserable and unsatisfied on the inside. They gave me reason after reason why they should be unhappy. Some experienced major losses, betrayals and hurts while others experienced these things in much lesser degrees. Regardless the extent of their pain and suffering, they engaged in the same destructive self-talk. They told themselves they were justified in holding on to their negative feelings. In essence, they were correct. A person has a right to his feelings, but if he wants to get pass uncomfortable ones, he has to take steps to move beyond the pain. I’m not saying it’s an easy journey, but it’s a journey every person can take.
I noticed many unhappy people have one thing in common: they rehearse negative thoughts frequently. One way to turn the tide just a bit is to create a gratitude list. I used to encourage them to create a gratitude list that included one-hundred items. (That’s right, one-hundred items.) Well, you can guess the responses I usually received. Here are a few:
“I can’t think of one thing, much less one-hundred.”
“That will take me forever.”
Some just laughed and looked at me as if I were an alien.
Regardless, when they took the challenge, they started listing things from years before. I’m not saying that solved the core issues, but it helped change their focuses, and as a result, it was easier to deal with the core issues.
If you are unhappy and disgruntled, I ask you to take the same challenge. Make a gratitude list (include no less than one-hundred items). If nothing more, it will bring a smile to your face.
Hope you have a marvelous day!!!