The good is often the enemy of the best; we can settle for mediocrity or strive for excellence
Settling for the good, or even the mediocre, has a definite ingrained appeal; indolence and procrastination are a part of the animalistic side of our human nature. Choosing to do as little as possible gives us an easier life. But settling leads us to accepting mediocrity in relationships, careers, and all areas of our life.…Read More
Make a “to be” list in addition to a “to do” list.
We get so caught up in living the rat race that we forget to actually live. We develop patterns—the mental-emotional response habits—that continually produce stress, anxiety, worry, and fear. We rush about, cramming as much activity as possible into each day; then, we crash, take a mood-altering chemical to help us relax and feel better…Read More
There is no law that I must allow people to “push my buttons”
After all, they are MY buttons. Do I give other people the power to make me angry? To make me feel guilty? To make me ashamed? Do I react to what others say, how they look at me, or what I think they think about me? Do I silently accept what “they” say I should…Read More
I participate in gossip by talking—or listening. Without the listener, gossip dies
Do I have an inner void, a feeling of emptiness that makes me feel ‘less than’ other people? Is gossip one of my ways to compensate for this? Do I talk about other people? Do I share a confidence just to flout that I know something another person does not know? Must I try to…Read More
Sufficient to the moment are the troubles thereof
A Zen story: A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping, because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his…Read More
Why—and how–do I react to people? Am I kind and loving, patient and tolerant? Or something else?
If I get upset, is my reaction because someone attacked me physically or degraded one of my core values? Or is it because of pride or a need to be right? Do I respond with little thought, without being peacefully centered? Or do I pause, pray and try to respond with maturity and love? People…Read More
Life isn’t always fair; so what do we do about it? We can become mired in self-pity and resentment—or we can move forward.
A number of different things affect our idea of fairness: what we think ‘should’ happen or what we believe is ‘right’; our current reaction to misery symptoms (anger, guilt and so on); and the immediate influence of our self-driven will (selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness.) In any situation, we may not have a fair idea of…Read More
I do not have to accept a gift of guilt or anger.
We’d have no trouble saying “NO!” if someone offers us a birthday gift of poisonous snakes but it’s sometimes harder to decline gifts of feelings that other people try to give us. Learning which gifts to accept and which to refuse requires emotional and spiritual maturity. We cannot begin to control other people but we…Read More
Carrying rocks in your pocket adds burden to your journey
It’s just common sense: if you keep adding rocks in your pocket, the extra weight makes walking difficult and sooner or later, something has to give. You don’t see adults with a pocket full of rocks but yet, quite a few carry the weight of resentments, guilt, remorse or shame as a daily burden. Everyone…Read More
Difficult people and situations are part of life; whether I see them as villains or opportunities determines their power over me.
Life teaches us that acquiring certain virtues will improve our life; we may develop a sincere desire to be more patient or tolerant; we may seek and pray for these attributes. But the only way to acquire any desirable trait is through encountering people who cause us contention and frustration. Learning patience requires experiencing situations…Read More