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Seeing reality as it is

Imagine being really near-sighted, so much of reality is not visible.

Ways to deal with it:

1. Have strong opinions, believe that what I imagine is the real world.

2. Rely on other's opinions - they say they can see well, so they must be right.

3. Apathy - convince myself that the world is really pretty boring, so there's no reason to look at it.

4. Put on glasses and see things as they are. Welcome to the Real World!


Permission to Cry (from Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Permission to Cry Alone in the wheel of light at the dining room table, surrounded by an otherwise darkened house, I sat in tears.

Finally, Iíd succeeded in getting both kids to bed. A relatively new single parent, I had to be both Mommy and Daddy to my two little children. I got them both washed, accompanied by shrieks of delight, crazy running around, laughing and throwing things. More or less calmed down, they lay in their beds as I gave each the prescribed five minutes of back rubs. Then I took up my guitar and began the nighttime ritual of folk songs, ending with "All the Pretty Little Horses," both kidsí favorite. I sang it over and over, gradually reducing the tempo and the volume until they seemed fully engaged in sleep.

A recently divorced man with full custody of his children, I was determined to give them as normal and stable a home life as possible. I put on a happy face for them. I kept their activities as close to how they had always been as I could. This nightly ritual was just as it had always been with the exception that their mother was now missing. There, I had done it again; another night successfully concluded.

I had risen slowly, gingerly, trying to avoid making even the least sound which might start them up again, asking for more songs and more stories. I tiptoed out of their room, closed the door part way, and went downstairs.

Sitting at the dining room table, I slumped in my chair, aware that this was the first time since I came home from work that Iíd been able to just sit down. I had cooked and served and encouraged two little ones to eat. I had done the dishes while responding to their many requests for attention. I helped my oldest with her second grade homework and appreciated my youngestís drawings and oohed over his elaborate construction of Lego blocks. The bath, the stories, the backrubs, the singing and now, at long last, a brief moment for myself. The silence was a relief, for the moment.

Then it all crowded in on me: the fatigue, the weight of the responsibility, the worry about bills I wasnít sure I could pay that month. The endless details of running a house. Only a short time before, Iíd been married and had a partner to share these chores, these bills, these worries.

And loneliness. I felt as though I were at the bottom of a great sea of loneliness. It all came together and I was at once lost, overwhelmed. Unexpected, convulsive sobs overtook me. I sat there, silently sobbing.

Just then, a pair of little arms went around my middle and a little face peered up at me. I looked down into my five-year-old sonís sympathetic face.

I was embarrassed to be seen crying by my son. "Iím sorry, Ethan, I didnít know you were still awake. "I donít know why it is, but so many people apologize when they cry and I was no exception. "I didnít mean to cry. Iím sorry. Iím just a little sad tonight."

"Itís okay, Daddy. Itís okay to cry, youíre just a person."

I canít express how happy he made me, this little boy, who in the wisdom of innocence, gave me permission to cry. He seemed to be saying that I didnít have to always be strong, that it was occasionally possible to allow myself to feel weak and let out my feelings.

He crept into my lap and we hugged and talked for a while, and I took him back up to his bed and tucked him in. Somehow, it was possible for me to get to sleep that night, too. Thank you, my son.

By Hanoch McCarty
from A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Hanoch McCarty & Meladee McCarty


Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me....
You brought another friend....

And then there were 3....
We started our group....
Our circle of friends....
And like that circle....
There is no beginning or end....

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

"We all have - or are afraid we have - certain thoughts, feelings, and desires we wish we didn't. Some call this the dark side, the shadow self or the Beavis and Butt-head withih."
"... we might have to look on everything in the past as irrelevant except the Love we have experienced".

"Most of us were brought up in a home and school environment where emphasis was placed on constructive criticism, which actually is usually a disguise for faultfinding".

Refusal to defend myself gives a feeling of strength.
Refusal to prove my innocence weakens the sense of guilt.
If I want to meditate on something all day, all I have to do is to interrupt a song on that word - it will play in my head for hours.
When, in my actions, I declare disbelief in lack, I notice abundance.
Nothing is as hard at it seems.
"Fear is a little black room where negatives are developed"

Things

I never was very good mechanically. I tended to get impatient and force things to go my way. As a result they would break or bend out of shape.

Once I was in a really good mood and started doing some stuff around the house. I noticed strange thing - if I didn't pressure, I could assemble and disassemble computer easily. Usually it was a sweating & swearing process for me: "Stupid computer: I have no idea how to do this and you are not helping at all!". Not this time. It actually felt like I was feeling the right way to do and parts easily snapped in place.

After that I started observing and looking for non-forceful ways. Be it feeding dollar bill into vending machine or opening a new audio tape, every time I noticed that when I don't get impatient and angry at things, they are more than willing to cooperate.

The discovery for me was that "things DO NOT have evil will". They do not on purpose break or get lost. It's more like they gently try to remind me that using brute force is not the best way to handle them.

Well, that's about it. Since my initial discovery I find it easier to deal with all inanimate objects - I am not fighting them, I am trying to find they way they prefer to be operated - or should I say the way they are meant to be operated. And it works.

The only times I forget about this is when I am in a rush and then I try to use brute strength again. But it happens much less often than before.

If I look at the problem as something that MUST be solved before I can feel good, than going one step at a time IS terrifiyng - Dog knows, how many steps I have to make before I finally feel good. Makes it easier to try to forget the problem altogether.
I love myself, the way I am
There's nothing I need to change.
I'll always be the perfect me,
There's nothing to rearrange.
I'm beautiful and capable
Of being the best me I can.
And I love myself - just the way I am.

Now I love you - the way you are,
There's nothing you need to do.
When I feel love inside myself,
It's easy to love you too.
Behind your fears, your rage and tears
I see your shining star.
And I love you - just the way you are.

I love the world - the way it is,
Cause I can clearly see
That all the things I judge are done
By people just like me.
So till the birth of peace of Earth
That only love can bring
I'll help it grow - by loving everything.

(Author Unknown)
Dreams ARE memories, so no regret.
Memories ARE dreams, so no guilt.
I was enjoying my vacation on the beautiful Jeckyl Island, right next to Atlantic Ocean. One of the rituals I had was to have breakfast together with squirrels - they were real tame and took crumbs right off my hand.

There was one young squirrel who was real fast - whenever I threw a crumb, she'd be the first to catch it. But then I'd throw another one, she'd drop the old crumb and run for the new. I looked at her and thought "Hey, this is how I often do things - drop one, run for another and get nothing done... Squirrel shall learn in time, will I ?".

"When you keep bad feelings toward some person, guess who feels bad ? You are! He may not even have an idea that you resent him.

This is like resenting the garbage men and keeping all trash inside the house to show your protest. It's your house that stinks!"

From the book "Psycho-Pictography" by Vernon Howard:

- Who is living your life for you ?

- Why, no one. I live my own life.

- What causes you to live the kind of life you live; what makes you do what you do ?

- My attitudes and viewpoints and convictions. Obviously, the way we think determines the way we act.

- And where did you get these attitudes ? How come you think the way you do ? Where did you get your viewpoints towards sex, politics, religion, people, and everything else ?

- Oh, I picked them up from other people in my early years.

- Then they are not part of your original self; they are merely acquired?

- Yes, that must be so.

- Then you are living according to the attitudes and viewpoints of other people who passed them on to you ?

- Well, yes.

- Then you are not really living your life ?

- I see what you mean. I am repeating what others told me. In a sense, I am living their life.

- What if many of these acquired attitudes are wrong, unrealistic, damaging ? For instance, suppose you believe that it's impossible to switch from anxiety to happiness ?

- Then I pay the price for that false belief.

- Do you like paying the price ?

- Not at all.

- Must you continue to suffer from false viewpoints ?

- No.

- Why not ?

- Because I can drop them. Since they are merely acquired, like uncomfortable clothing, I can shed them like clothing.

- Then ?

- Then, for the first time, I'll live my own life.

- You like that idea ?

- I'm ready!