Friday, May 25, 2012

Never ending wheel of complaint

It is easy to take things for granted. When you step back, you would almost be appalled at how we complain endlessly about seemingly unnecessary things. I would use this lovely weather as an example. Twitter updates from a particular set of tweeps were anticipating summer for months. They complained about how cold it was, how lazy the weather made them feel etc. Now its summer, 23 degrees and all. The same set are complaining about the sun, how hot it is, how sweaty they are all the time. 

It struck me: we can go through life complaining about anything and miss the beautiful moments we experience. If it is cold, layer up and enjoy the fact that you are not sweaty or whatever. If it is hot, see it as  an opportunity to wear clothes you ordinarily would not. It is so easy to get trapped in the vicious cycle of complaint and wake up wondering why we are never happy.

Our thoughts determine our actions to a great extent. If you make up your mind to be happy come what may, chances are that you would see an opportunity in the most dire circumstances. Stones exists and whether you turn them into stumbling blocks or stepping stones is all up to you.

"Every person takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." Arthur Schopenhauer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I am not the centre of the universe.

"She is one, she is many". This describes the colour sisterhood perfectly. It is a constant reminder that the world does not revolve around me. There are people to cater to and I need to equip myself fully to meet the needs around me just as God meets my needs. It took me a while to fully understand this concept. I erroneously thought that only God could comfort people in trouble. How that worked, I never found out but I strongly believed that no human being should assume they can comfort anyone.

Then I read 2nd Corinthians 1:3-7. I read it repeatedly and in various translations because I really couldn't believe what I was reading. The particular phrase that struck me was "...God of all comfort who comforts us in our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (NKJV)

Basically, God does not comfort me so that I could keep it all to myself and pay no attention to those who need comforting. I am His vessel and when He comforts me during my hard times and brings along another person who is going through hard (or harder) times so that I am there for the person just as He was there for me. That's huge. We cannot give what we do not have and that is exactly why He gives us peace and comfort so we can share with others.

It really has changed the way I conduct myself. I literally walk into a place and mentally calculate how to contribute to making the place run more efficiently or smoothly. I constantly have to depend on God to sort out my issues and I am overwhelmed and honoured when He shows me how I can contribute to alleviating someone else's pain. Taking the focus off me and on other people is really challenging and I constantly ask God to equip me with the meekness of heart to remind myself daily that really, its not all about me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The cycle

It is easy to get carried away with life and how difficult it can be. I would be the first to agree with you, life can be tough. One thing I have learned over the years is the fact that I have to constantly stay motivated, immerse myself in the Word of God and read books or listen to podcasts that uplift my spirit. Seriously, life is to short for me to only listen to the negatives.

I remember John Maxwell making reference to the fact that clean people do not take a shower once a year, they bathe daily. Same thing goes for energetic and positive people. They do not moan all day, they constantly renew themselves with positivity and stay away from constant negativity. 

There is this very interesting TED talk I listen to daily, Yes, daily. It puts things in perspective for me. It is called "The happiness advantage" by Shawn Achor. The first time I listened to it, I smiled a lot. Not only because he has a great sense of humour, but also because he made me understand that old Yiddish expression that says "to a fly in horseradish the whole world is horse radish."

The world is as beautiful as you allow yourself to believe it is. Yes, ugly things do happen but if you dwell on the ugliness for far too long, you would never ever see the beauty even when it is staring you in the face.

Have a great day.