Guideposts in a life of daily pain
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One of my favorite magazines, which I've been reading for 30 years, isGuidepostsmagazine, founded by the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale and his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale. I've enjoyed that particular publication in good times and bad. One of the aspects of it I think I'm most fond of is that it embraces all religious faiths, without showing prejudice or preference so none are segregated or left out. This matter of finding our way in life, following our own guideposts, seems to be independent of any particular religious faith. Faith is faith. I apologize if that offends any of you; but it is my belief as I have lived a considerable number of years and witnessed the hardships of the Jews over the years, the bigotry toward the Catholics in some parts of the country and the judgment aligned against the Protestants over the ages. Doesn't our faith depend on how we learn faith and love as a child? Sometimes the lack thereof caused a need and that is the direction we choose. We need direction: more so when our lives are thrown into turmoil.
Is there any aspect of life that is more personal than how we decide to follow our inner voice, seek our own path and what guideposts we choose to follow? We all know you could throw any two people in the world into a crisis and they will react differently. Most individuals either go for the way out of the pit or they throw an enormous pity party and wallow around down there. They remain surrounded by darkness. These same persons immediately go for the gloom and doom "bit." Others experience the grief of what they've lost and then look for the light, after a reasonable, human time of grieving and eventually find their way up and out of the hole they're in.
It's been my experience that we learn the guideposts of our behavior very early in life. Some believe we are born with a certain predisposition to the negative or the positive side of life. We each, basically, respond to large and small, enormous and insignificant challenges in our own unique manner. We may increase our decibel level of yelling and screaming, we may tear out a little more hair with the "big" events and changes but basically, we are who we are. I'm not sure I completely agree with that way of thinking. I believe people can change. Just because we have a predisposition to think in a positive or negative way, doesn't mean we can't work at having the kind of thinking we want to have.
Our attitudes are kind of like our plants. We both are what we "eat." Some days we need to turn off the news and turn on the music. We may need to read something more inspirational than depressing. At other times it really pays off to talk to a friend who has a good attitude as opposed to a doomsday buddy. There are an infinitesimal number of choices and possibilities for us: take a walk, plant a geranium, eat a piece of fruit or candy, find a new type of herb tea and on and on the list goes.
We can choose how we feel, at least mentally. Often, I have found we feel "down" or have the "blues" because we are in an arthritic or fibro flare. Sometimes I can feel it coming over me and I realize I have been sitting on my sad old sitter too long and have to lie down. Still other times, I have let the time go by and forgotten to take a pain pill or a muscle relaxant. Over time, we learn to know ourselves. We may not be the same selves we used to be. We are faced with the limitations and aggravations of "new bodies" or maybe I should say recycled bodies. Since our bodies are constantly changing, more for some of us than for others; why not let our minds change, also.
No one knows you as well as you know you. You can choose to change because everyday we are faced with choices. "Who's in charge here, anyway?" Let's all open a window and surprise the neighbors and shout out, "I am in charge of this lousy body and I want the world to know." Okay, then just say it to yourself; write it on a piece of paper and tape it to the bathroom wall or just mutter it throughout the day as a mantra.
There don't have to be any victims here. The choice is up to you.
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