January 1st never seemed like a new year to me. My new year always seems to be closer to September 1st. Maybe it’s a school thing or the fact that summer is over again, but autumn is my fresh start. Still, I like to gather with friends and family and hand out a questionnaire to be opened the following year.
Here’s some you may want to ask yourself and/or others:
- What have you learned about yourself this past year?
- What kind of changes can you make that will make you a happier person to be around?
- What will your reading list include this year?
- What do you predict will be the hottest news item of 2015?
Reflection doesn’t hurt even if you don’t feel that December 31st is a legitimate evening of celebration. Don’t be a Debbie Downer – find that little spark of hope within and smile tonight.
I do believe that things happen for a reason.
I do not believe that we are meant to know or understand the purpose of these incidents as they happen. It can often be difficult trying to figure out why tragedy occurs or why a selfish egomaniac wins the lottery. Faith means knowing that there is a bigger plan, more than our eyes can see and our mind can gather.
I have exhausted asking “why”; instead, I now try to continue rolling with life’s waves and keep my eye on that light on the horizon that shines for all of us. It’s always a choice as to whether you reach for the hopeful light or turn your back into the futile darkness.
It’s not easy, but we mustn’t dote on the hurt and feed it with venom and hatred. In meditation we can find the spirit and learn to let what unfolds just be.
The third candle of Advent is lit this week to represent JOY!
Many work hard at achieving monetary gains, higher status in the workplace, being popular and filling in every moment of the day with tasks. How many of us work at finding joy in everything we do?
It’s easy to be jolly when someone cracks a joke or when your favourite song is playing, but can you find joy when things are not going your way? Can you be happy when you’re in physical pain or psychological anguish? Finding contentment and bliss during these trying times takes work.
Here’s some hints on how to find cheer when you need it most:
- Have a strong faith. Belief in a greater good will boost your brain and drag you out of self pity.
- Do something that energizes you. We all have those things that makes our skin tingle and our souls want to dance. It could be watching movies, going for a jog, listening to your favourite tunes, gardening or climbing a tree. Whatever it is, DO it!
- Remind your support group to bring smiles only! Don’t let well-intentioned family and friends bring you down. Tell them you need only good news at a time like this.
- Most importantly, think of this list daily so when you most need joy in your life you will naturally refer to these steps.
Joy is contagious so carry it with you where ever you go and spread it around. I’ve never heard anyone complain about being too happy!
We’re all well aware of the different types of bullies: the school kid that teases and shoves, the office worker that pretends to be your best friend then gossips about you while stealing all your ideas, and the sibling that makes you believe that every thought of yours is dumb-ass.
How about the advertising bullies? Those seductive, word-spinning sneaks! They make you believe that you are worthless without their product. At Christmas time it’s the parents they prey on; sending every mom and dad on a guilt trip making them believe they are less of a parent if their kid is the only one without (insert item here).
As a parent, I know my kids don’t have everything their friends have, but when they do receive a gift, no matter the monetary value, they appreciate it. This will separate them from the rest of their “generation entitlement”.
I urge parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who buy for children to not be suckered into believing that it is the materials that make the child. Listen to the ads and determine if and how it’s a genius, overpaid bully that’s taking shoving to the next level.
If something is difficult, just give it up.
I don’t mean give up. What I mean is to give the worry, the stress, the anxiety that the task or problem is giving you to a higher power. It’s out of our hands anyway, so it’s best to just go about living without all that futile tension.
The job will become easier without the weight of stress on your shoulders. So, whether you believe in God or not, doesn’t it just make more sense to not allow the negativity to take over your body? A certain trust of the ebb and flow of the universe to be able to “give it up” is required. Trust is not an easy verb, I know. In the end, it’s a choice that’s up to you.
Bob Marley makes giving it up a little easier:
Watching The Walking Dead has reminded me to be ready for any emergency that may occur. I have to consider the equipment and food supplies I might need to have on hand as well as considering the people with whom I trust most to share space and resources. There’s one other aspect that continues to run through the series and I’ve mentioned in a previous blog: the show forces me to examine my own conscious and determine what kind of person I really am. Am I someone who will strive to survive and do what it takes to keep myself at the top of priorities no matter who it hurts, like Merle, or will I uphold a righteous personality and help the weak and needy, like Rick?
This second week of Advent we light the candle that represents PREPARATION. Not much unlike a zombie apocalypse, I need to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. Am I living a life of love and peace now or do I think I can wait for my soul to be tested before I begin living as God has asked us? Why wait for a zombie outbreak, or a visit by three ghosts, or my death bed when I can be living as I should today? Am I prepared to meet my maker?
Hmm. Heavy stuff. Yet, this type of reflection is makes my vision much clearer and gives me strength in knowing who I am in order to move forward in this sometimes seemingly scary life.