A cynical mindset takes up residence in the lives of those who believe that their best days are behind them. This type of mentality welcomes the companions of doom-and-gloom who frequently shuffle in reinforcing life’s futility. A scornful disgust toward society and a victimized sense of self-pity permeate their perspective when the focus for the return of these Good Ol’ Days becomes the condition on which they place their hope.
In the meantime, their by-standers struggle with future plans, personal ambitions and anticipated possibilities. They are often dismissed, hopelessly disregarded or casually discounted when emphasis on the days of old are continually vocalized and idolized by those in their midst.
But, every generation has had its share of pain and its quest for justice. Every individual has faced uncertainties. Since the beginning of civilization, humanity has been plagued with wars, disease, crime, poverty, persecution, disaster and injustice. Those challenges remain. Present and future generations (will) struggle with these same difficulties. Yet, in the midst of the difficult times, there will be happy events and memorable moments. Couples will fall in love; families will gather for celebrations; soldiers will be welcomed home; mothers will embrace their newborns; children will laugh and play; achievements will be applauded; prayers will be answered; miracles will take place; healing will occur, the less fortunate will be blessed and small unnoticed acts of kindness will continue.
Reminiscent minds simply do not recognize the present blessings all around them. When reminded and encouraged to see them, enjoy them or participate in them, they dismiss, even sarcastically disregard their presence, their importance and their potential, continually measuring and comparing them to the better days they left behind.
The storm clouds of another can hide the sunshine from all. It takes unyielding courage for the weary to dance on in their rain.
There is a depth of understanding; of knowing; one of intimate confidence; that goes beyond acquaintance and things familiar. It involves constant seeking, attentive connection, and deliberate pursuit. Those whose lives and relationships are deeply growing, continually evolving and mutually discovering have realized the difference between stagnant lifeless waters and rushing, vibrant rapids.
Full schedule. Out the door. Running late. Life’s a chore. No time. Wish I could. Crazy day. Understood? Times are rough. Later on. Things to do. A mile long. Friday night? No way. Another time. Another day. Hurry up. Down the road. Across town. Forgot the phone. Far behind. No show. Busy now. Gotta go. Not enough. Much to do. Out of gas. Drive through. Some day. Get it done. One day. It will come.
Work late. Over time. The way it is. You’ll be fine. Get-a-way? Work in town. Sun up. Sun down. Pep pills. Sleep aids. Clock alarm. Wake up late.Found the keys. Empty tank. Next time. No thanks. What time? Not again. Far behind. Got to end. Bottom lines. Hurry up. To the point. That’s enough.Spinning wheel. Chasing time. Working long. Daily grind. Time flies. Life is short. Can’t enjoy? Choice is yours. -PS
The dilemma; the danger; the discovery, of personal expectations. Without them we forfeit ambition, intention and destination. With them, we risk disappointment, ridicule and failure. Whether they are kept with personal secrecy, or proclaimed with confident strategy, expectation is the first step in discovering capability and realizing potential.
Fearful of establishing personal expectations, some have found solace in the century-old quote by Alexander Pope, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” But, why embrace this ‘truth’? Why bury expectations and suppress hope just to avoid disappointment? Disappointment is not inevitable. It’s not final. It’s not fatal. Disappointment is – survivable. And expectations are needful. Or discovery is impossible. -PS
Needing to clarify thoughts, feelings and frustrations and being able to release them from the mind and heart onto paper is an empowering therapy. When there’s no one to listen, the paper waits. There on the desk, with an inviting acceptance, it calls. Like a warm-hearted listener in a cozy chair with all the time in the world, it welcomes.
And there is nothing you can not reveal to it. The paper casts no judgement. It is not shocked, upset, intimidated or challenged by the writer’s honesty. One can fall-apart, break-down and go-to-pieces over it and it remains. Tear stained, scratched upon, even crumbled and angrily tossed, it braves the session, serving it’s purpose.
It’s ultimate therapy is not just to bear confiding words but to reflect their heartfelt truth. When it is over and the writer recalls, rereads and relives the untangled openness, good or bad, right or wrong, pretty or not, the healing begins and the paper is treasured. -PS
I can not control you. Or your decisions. Or your thoughts. Or your misunderstandings. Or your perspectives. I can not control your reactions. Your beliefs. Your assumptions. Or your world-view. I can not control your schedule. Your ambitions. Your agenda, or your daily affairs. I can not control your worries. Your doubts. Your (in)abilities or your risks. I can’t even control your time. Your attention. Or your affections. I can. However. And I will, control myself, as I depend on the One who has everything. Yes. Everything. Absolutely everything, under His ultimate, trustworthy and complete control. -PS
One thing better than the insight, encouragement and laughter of friends are the words unspoken between those friends. The thoughts exchanged, silently; the love that’s shared through the eye’s window and the assurance received by a knowing smile – mysteriously, this language speaks much louder than even the most carefully chosen words. For those who are fluent in it, the unspoken is obvious and clearly understood; it is recalled more often in life’s reflective moments; and is more highly coveted than the most meaningful conversation.