We all experience times in our lives where we just feel like giving up, but instead of throwing in the towel, we give it that one last push that helps us make over. Each morning I awake to a picture of my mother who passed away when I was 17 years old. Before her passing, I'd made up in my mind that I would attend a community college and remain at home. Those plans or should I say the lack thereof shattered on the day that I'd lost her in physical form. I use these words to describe her departure because I still hold memories that keep her present. I had no idea what I was going to do about school and I definitely knew nothing about processing grief and that was displayed in my decision to attend the school furthest away from home. It took a 12 hour drive to Arkansas and many nights of crying to get past the death of the only one who I'd known to provide me with unconditional love.
It wouldn't be until years later that I would also lose my father.
Losing them taught me something about grief and how after time, things do get better. I remember the special times that we shared and all the wonderful lessons that they taught me. I take those things with me daily and often share those stories with friends and those who are just curious about my upbringing.
Now I sit, looking back at my 17 year old self to see just how quickly times passes. I was born with two parents and now I have none but I'm okay with this because I have memory.
If It Doesn't Fit, Let It Go
Many times in life we find ourselves forcing things into place. Just as with material items such as with a puzzle, only what is meant to be connected can be fit properly into certain spaces. You can press hard and even if you manage to get the piece to stay within that space, it's still visibly noticeable that something is out of place, especially when the corrected piece surfaces.
Consider this example in comparison to your life experiences. When you try and force things to happen out of season or that shouldn't take place at all, things tend to get thrown off.
Bad relationships, stop good relationships from happening. Consider for a moment all the time spent on companionships that you knew had very little possibility of actually succeeding. But because you know in order to completer your life's puzzle, a good relationship has to be included, you force any resemblance of it into that particular slot knowing that in the long run it'll cause the entire puzzle to be thrown off. What if your puzzle included happiness? What piece would you then put into that space, since you now have a bad relationship that steals it?
Make an effort from here on out, not to force things and people in your life. Life happens but so does learning experiences. If it doesn't fit, let it go.
Patience Is Key
It's true, we want, what we want, when we want it, even if at that precise time that we want it, isn't the right time that we should have it. How many heartbreaks have been experienced just because we didn't want to wait on the right person? How many goals went unaccomplished because not enough time and thought was put into preparation? One of the hardest things for most business owners to do is write a business plan. A businesses business plan is essentially what the business is about and who its operations cater to. With that being such an important aspect and the basic starting point, why do some opt to rush through it? Could patience be the key to helping us make better decisions in these areas?
Patience is described as a virtue in the Bible and I can see why. It takes a lot to acquire and maintain this form of discipline especially when living within a readymade society. We're programmed to believe that anything that you want, should be made available at your fingertips. Ovens are becoming a holiday necessity because most meals either come from the drive through or from the microwave. We're told to date vigorously, as to not get your feelings involved, until you find that "perfect" person. We're provided weight loss supplements because being told to eat healthy on a regular basis to eventually see health results would take too long. We're living in a "hot pocket" society.
The act of waiting is in some aspects, no longer waiting. If you're told that the travel time to get from point A to point B is an hour and with the provided information, you try and choose another form of transportation, choose alternative routes, and complain about it throughout the duration of transport, then you have a real problem with waiting. Don't just focus on this scenario, look at how many times you've applied this method of madness to other areas of your life.
Understanding the element of time and that there's a time for everything, will put things in a clearer perspective. Consider a standard size apple tree which takes approximately 5 to 8 years to grow. There's nothing wrong with after planting the seeds to eat apples elsewhere until yours grow. The issue that most people would have with planting an apple tree is the initial step, to first plant the seed. When people find out how long it takes for a beautiful apple tree to blossom, they become discouraged. But if they would consider the fact that a normal home mortgage is for 30 years and children usually aren't able to eat an apple whole until the age of 4 or five, they would change their view.
So with all of this being said, consider for a moment what having patience can do for you and the troubles that you can avoid by not possessing it, all the while enjoying its many benefits.
Some of the most difficult times of our lives appeared to be insurmountable when facing them but after a while, you saw strength and courage manifest that you never even knew existed. Faith and prayer can go a long way when facing issues that appear to be way over our head.
So if you're in need of a little bit of encouragement today, spend a little time with God alone. Just you and He. Read the Bible, pray, and rest in His promises. Having faith in His word shields us from the doubt, hurt, and discomfort that can often time accompany life dilemmas. Ephesians 6:16 says, "in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Have a blessed Sunday.
Enjoying Time For Just You
While recently having a discussion with one of my friends who has two small children, she mentioned having the need to just get away sometimes but no sooner than when she's afforded the opportunity, she misses the little chicks and wants to go back running home. I've experienced this myself on various occasions. When it's time for the airport departures, we become all teary eyed and as we approach the ticket kiosk, we feel a certain level of guilt and anxiety. We wonder if we actually deserve to get away and if it'll even be worth it because we're so horrible for leaving our loved ones behind so there's absolutely no possibility that we'll have a fun and enjoyable experience. Please excuse the sarcasm but that is exactly how some of us feel at times. The point of the matter is that we guilt ourselves out of enjoying our time spent alone, but why?
Consider for a moment how you feel upon hearing the news that someone else that you know is taking a well deserved vacation. You become ecstatic as if you yourself were going to enjoy that beautiful ocean view. You think about all of the things that you've taken notice of them doing within their family or at work and you say to yourself, "now they deserve this," when the statement that you should be making is " and so do I." And you do. We all deserve a break every once and awhile from our day to day responsibilities, even if it's only to just regroup. We often times neglect our own need for mental and physical rejuvenation. Do yourself and everyone else who loves you a break by giving yourself a break.
A few of the reasons why we guilt ourselves out of time alone is because we either believe that we don't deserve it or we feel as if it's not within budget. If you're one of those people who always do things for others and never quite enough for yourself, ask yourself a few of the following questions.
1. How long have I been working without having a solid three days to myself?
2. Are my day to day responsibilities both mentally and physically draining?
3. Has anyone told me within the last couple of months that I need to take a vacation?
The above questions should assist in assessing if you may be in need of a little tlc. And if you're questioning budget, consider the many options that you have. Leaving the country isn't always required but if you can swing it, go for it! A few get away ideas may be to book a hotel in your downtown area for a few nights. We can live in a city our entire lives and still never experience it's often rich culture. Explore your city. Watch a matinee, which is something that I'm sure if you have a nine to five that you're unable to do on a regular basis. Enjoy the small crowd. You can also check the different airline websites to see if there are any tickets on sale and choose a destination from there. Research local activities happening in that particular city and make your plans from there. If you're uncomfortable with traveling alone, as I would be, invite a friend.
At the end of the day, we all need that alone time for ourselves. So do yourself a favor that I'm sure you won't regret and take some time for you. Because you deserve it!
Focus On You For A While
There's a calming that comes along with just being yourself. When you spend less time trying to fit into a particular crowd, you become so much more self evolved that you naturally separate from things and people who aren't meant to take up permanent residency within your life. So as you embark on yet another journey at the beginning of a new year, decide to be good to yourself by embracing who you are and those who are honestly meant to be apart of your life, will.