Wednesday, July 15, 2009

May I never get too busy

It was a bitter, cold evening. The old man's beard was glazed by winter's frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind. He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path.
Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by... and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat like a snow statue.
As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider's eye and said, "Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side? There doesn't appear to be a passageway by foot."
Reining his horse, the rider replied, "Sure thing. Hop aboard."
Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.
As they neared the tiny but cozy cottage, the horseman's curiosity caused him to inquire, "Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I'm curious why, on such a bitter winter night; you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?"
The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, "I've been around here for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good."
The old-timer continued, "I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need."
Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman deeply.
"I'm most grateful for what you have said," he told the old man. "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion."
Ya God, Make me among those about whom the Noble Qur'an has said: "And they give them preference over their own selves even though they are in need". (Hashr 59:9)
Moral: Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

A Partial List of Eternal Truths

By Sheldon Kopp
This is it! There are no hidden meanings. You can’t get there from here, and besides there’s no place else to go. Nothing lasts! There is no way of getting all you want. You can’t have anything unless you let go of it. You only get to keep what you give away. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune. You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning. You don’t really control anything. You can’t make anyone love you. No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else. Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable. There are no great men/women. If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way. All of you is worth something, if you will only own it. Childhood is a nightmare. But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, 'take care of yourself because there is no one else to do it for you' grown-up. Love is not enough, but it sure helps. We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but that’s all there is. How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it. We are responsible for everything we do. No excuses will be accepted. You can run, but you can’t hide. We must learn the power of living with our helplessness. The only victory lies in surrender to oneself. You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences. What do you know - for sure - anyway? Learn to forgive yourself, again and again And again and again.

The invitation

by Oriahe Mountain Dreamer It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring the moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow, have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed for fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from it's presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon...YES!
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn't interest me who you are or how you came to be here. I want to know if you can stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me what or where or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in empty moments.

The journey

by Mary Oliver One day you finally knewwhat you had to do, and began,though the voices around youkept shouting their bad advice --though the whole housebegan to trembleand you felt the old tugat your ankles."Mend my life!" each voice cried.But you didn't stop.You knew what you had to do,though the wind priedwith its stiff fingersat the very foundationsthough their melancholy was terrible.It was already lateenough, and a wild night,and the road full of fallenbranches and stones.But little by little,as you left their voices behind,the stars began to burnthrough the sheets of clouds,and there was a new voice,which you slowlyrecognized as your own,that kept you companyas you strode deeper and deeperinto the world,determined to dothe only thing you could do --determined to savethe only life you could save.

Loneliness---------------

Is being out of touch with yourself
Denying your innermost need by pretending it doesn't exist
Defying what you desperately want to accept
Exchanging tenderness for bitterness
Causing unnecessary alienation all for the sake of pride
-source unknown

The rules of being human

You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for as long as you live. How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life.
You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called Life. Each day, you will be presented with opportunities to learn what you need to know. The lessons presented are often completely different from those you think you need.
There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error and experimentation. You can learn as much from failure as you can from success. Maybe more.
A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it (as evidenced by a change in your attitude and ultimately your behavior) then you can go on to the next lesson.
Learning lessons does not end. There is no stage of life that does not contain some lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn.
“There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply discover another “there” that will again look better than your “here.” Don’t be fooled by believing that the unattainable is better than what you have.
Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. When tempted to criticize others, ask yourself why you feel so strongly.
What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you create with those tools and resources is up to you. Remember that through desire, goal setting and unflagging effort you can have anything you want. Persistence is the key to success.
The answers lie inside of you. The solutions to all of life’s problems lie within your grasp. All you need to do is ask, look, listen and trust yourself.

Life 's lessons

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
I've learned that no matter how much I care some people just don't care back.
I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but whom you have in your life that counts.
I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I've learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And, just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I’ve learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt, and you will hurt in the process.
I've learned that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.
I've learned that heroes are people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you can’t.

Mentally retarded

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back.....every one of them.
One girl with Down's syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story.
Why?
Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
We are not Human Beings going through a temporary Spiritual Experience. We are Spiritual Beings going through a temporary Human Experience.

What actually love is

Why do we close our eyes when we sleep? When we cry?
When we imagine? When we kiss?
This is because the most beautiful things in
the world are unseen.
We are all a little weird and life's a little weird
and when we find someone whose weirdness
is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall in
mutual weirdness and call it love.
There are things that we never want to let go of,
people we never want to leave behind,
but keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world,
it's the beginning of a new life.
Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt,
those who have searched and those who have tried.
For only they can appreciate the importance of the people
who have touched their lives.
A great love? It's when you shed tears and still
you care for him,
it's when he ignores you and still you long for him.
It's when he begins to love another and yet you still smile
and say I'm happy for you.
If love fails, set yourself free,
let your heart spread its wings and fly again.
Remember you may find love and lose it, but when love dies,
you never have to die with it.
The strongest people are not those who always win
but those who stand back up when they fall.
Somehow along the course of life,
you learn about yourself and realize
there should never be regrets,
only a lifelong appreciation of the choices you've made.
A true friend understands when you say, I forgot,
waits forever when you say, just a minute,
stays when you say leave me alone,
opens the door even before you knock and says can I come in?
Loving is not how you forget but how you forgive,
not how you listen but how you understand,
not what you see but how you feel,
and not how you let go but how you hold on.
It's more dangerous to weep inwardly rather than outwardly.
Outward tears can be wiped away while secret tears scar forever.
In love, very rarely do we win
but when love is true, even if you lose,
you still win just for having the tingle of loving someone
more than you love yourself.
There comes a time when we have to stop loving someone
not because that person has stopped loving us
but because we have found out
that they'd be happier if we let go.
It's best to wait for the one you want than settle for one that's available.
Best to wait for the one you love than one who is around.
Best to wait for the right one
because life is too short to waste on just someone.
Sometimes the one you love turns out to be the one who hurts you the most,
and sometimes the friend who takes you into his arms
and cries when you cry
turns out to be the love you never knew you wanted.
If you really love someone never let go,
don't believe that letting go means that you love best,
instead fight for your love,
that's what true love is.
Laugh to your heart's content; you cannot go
through life without it.