Saturday, September 03, 2005

Suffering or Gratitude 

Looking toward the dark, we see only the dark.
Looking toward the light, we see only the light.
When we are focused on the pain, we suffer.
When we are focused on the hope, we are expectant and hopeful.

Life on this earth is may seem to be about building defenses against disaster and pain.
Life in a body may seem to be about preventing bad things from happening to our families.
Life in this physical reality may appear to be about defending against trouble and trauma.
Life as a human may be advertised to be an obstacle course designed to avoid problems.

Life happens. How we judge it colors our perceptions.
Life happens. How we handle it depends on our perceptions.
Life happens. How we respond to it creates our experiences.
Life happens. How we forgive it determines our suffering.

We may step in dog poop, but we don't have to stink.
We can hate dogs and those *&%#* owners who don't clean up their dog's stuff, and feel angry.
We can sit and cry about the pain and suffering of our experience.
We can feel righteous and walk the same path again, expecting a different result.
Or we can take a shower and watch where we walk.

Many build their lives on shaky ground, choosing to stay with what is familiar and known.
Many spend a lifetime of guilt and regret suffering over past mistakes.
Many are busy projecting their guilt by blaming, God, the government, their parents and other authorities. Many are unwilling to take responsibility for learning a better way, listening within, appreciating what is.
Many deny help to others in times of need and then fear not being helped when it is their need.
Many sit on their hands, close their hearts and avoid trouble or pain, hoping it never happens to them.

What can I learn from life's experience?
What can I give to be truly helpful to one and all?
What can I do to be more grateful and respectful of what I have?
How can I respond with peace-filled prayer, with loving kindness, with happy work and generous giving?

How can I remember to look on life itself and the human family with love, appreciation and open-mindedness?
Everyone is here learning something.
Even those rebellious or resistant students who seem to know it all are learning.
Everyone here is teaching by example through their thoughts, words and actions.
It is my responsibility to be responsible for my thoughts, my words and my deeds.
Therefore, I forgive myself for judging (evaluating, criticizing or comparing) others words and deeds.
I take responsibility for consciously choosing healing thoughts, affirming words and helpful activities.
What can you do?

Loving you,
Betty Lue