Tag: re

trying to keep our heads above water

If you’re happy and you know it, don’t ignore it.

I would love to gift-wrap happiness. Wouldn’t you?

I mean don’t we all have people in our lives that just aren’t happy? It hurts to see them in pain.

But I’m learning that I can only “gift” happiness to myself.  While other people and adverse circumstances can negatively impact our lives (sometimes dramatically and sometimes for a long time as in the case of grieving), in the final analysis, we determine our own level of contentedness.

Believe me, I don’t always get this right either but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Inside, we all know it’s true. But we prefer to find some outside sources to blame.

Ultimately we are the ones responsible for our own sense of well-being.  It isn’t easy finding equilibrium when someone we love is miserable. For me, it hurts more than just about anything else I can think of because I have an insatiable need to make everyone happy. But we can’t, no matter how hard we try, make anyone else happy.

Everyone has to mine their own gold.

we all have to

mining for gold

With that being said, let me encourage you to live your days to the fullest. When they’re so full of joy, praise God, and love every minute. It’s not going to stay that way. That’s not to put a damper on anyone’s day. It’s just reality and we’ve all experienced the ups and downs enough in life to know the sun may not shine as brightly tomorrow.

But if you’re the one whose having a “unhappy” day, then get moving. Bring it to God; leave it there; and find something to do. Eventually your mood will improve.

“Putter” as much as you need to ’till your “sputtering” dies down.

Talk with a friend if you need to but then let it go. Constant rehashing  makes it worse.

Rumination (going over the same issue, ad infinitum) is a symptom of depression and  can also trigger depression.

Avoid rumination at all costs. It never helps.

So what do we do when those closest to us are miserable?

For me, I do my best to keep own head above water knowing that someone has to stay afloat. I keep treading water until the situation improves while guarding my heart against further damage.

trying to keep our heads above water

 “Gift”  yourself some peace and contentment today.  It’s not insensitive. It’s the kindest thing you can do for them and for you.

God  bless and I hope you have a good day.

messy faith

Why life gets “messy” and what to do about it

img_1672.jpg

(I painted the picture above on YUPO paper. I have no idea what it’s supposed to be but l like it. It reminds me that life is ambiguous at best,)

I don’t know about you but I find life pretty messy a lot of time.

The perplexities, the questions, the downright confusion. I have a hard time understanding God at these times.

Like when a friend of ours died from lung cancer after having only been diagnosed five weeks prior. Why him?Shouldn’t cancer be reserved for murderers, rapist, terrorists, etc? ( I’m just saying what a lot of people think.)

And yet our friend would have been the first to tell you of his faith and why he still believed in a God who loves\d him.

If your faith seems a bit “messy’ right now, here’s a prayer I found over at tworiversblog.com

“God, sometimes it is so easy to believe and sometimes… I know You are good. I KNOW IT, but sometimes… it just gets so hard to see it. You love me. You want the best for me far more than I even want it for myself. Sometimes I just don’t know how You are working good through the mess this life sometimes tosses me. In those times, as I seek understanding, help me to never lose faith.”

I hope this prayer finds a responding chord in your heart and encourages you in your faith.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

secrets

What IS “Victoria’s Secret” anyway?

Have you ever wondered what Victoria’s secret is?

secrets

I mean she must have one, right?

Psst. I think I know.

Actually, I think you know, too. You just don’t want to admit it.  What prompted this discussion is that I just saw a Victoria’s Secret commercial and it got me to thinking. Here it is:

Victoria’s secret has figured out a marketing strategy to entice women to buy underwear, all one-eighth yard of it, at an obscene price.

If women have the money and want to spend it that way, that’s certainly a woman’s choice.  But I just don’t get it. I really don’t.  I resent even paying $5.00 for a pair of “undies”.  And bras, they’re ridiculous.  Even inexpensive ones are expensive.  Of course, I realize larger busted women probably do need to pay more and I get that.

I think my hesitancy to spend so much on underwear is because I managed a clothing store for a few years. If you knew the mark-up on clothes you would wait until everything got marked down to at least eighty percent off! The mark-up is that high.

That’s why stores can promote big sales at so-called huge reductions, they’re still making a profit.  Of course, the problem with waiting for the mark-down is that your coveted article may be long gone before it is reduced enough to tempt you. I’ve learned that one the hard way at times. So if it’s an item I really need, I have been known to splurge.

I like being a thrift shopper. I like getting compliments on what I put together and then get to say I bought it all at a thrift shop. “You’re kidding”, is a response I get often. When I do shop department stores, I always head to the sales racks first.

It’s that mark-up thing I just can’t get past.

Running a retail clothing store has ruined me because now I know The Secret.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

circles

How to plan week-ends that encourage good moods

Week-ends can be a real problems for someone battling depression. Week-ends can be hard especially if one works outside the home during the week. Unstructured time is usually not a friend to depression. On the week-ends, the minutes and hours seem longer. Things just keep circling the depression.

circles

Depression is a “living-all-consuming” illness. You might this post from a year ago helpful in explaining this.

 So what to do with the forty-eight hours or whatever the that are looming ahead?(If you work the week-ends, then think of these suggestions for the periods when you do have unstructured time.)

What’s wrong with “doing nothing”, you might well ask. But I’ve never known this to be good for someone battling depression. Now, if it’s a “planned” down time, that’s a little different. But most people suffering a depressed episode let time get the best of them. The more they are inactive, they more inactive they’ve become; the more inactive they become the more depression takes over.

So it’s important to have a plan for the week-end.

Have a plan and work your plan. 

Having a plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide for the week-end that whatever you plan, it’s your plan, not depression calling the shots. If your plan is to watch some TV and you can do that without thinking turning into a “couch potato”, that’s fine.

If you decide to indulge in some relaxation, schedule it as well but don’t relax by watching TV all day.

Personally, I find it very rare that watching TV helps with depression unless TV watching is just a background noise while you’re doing something else. Yes, I AM suggesting multi-tasking to a degree. It’s way too easy to ruminate (over-think).  TV watching is mindless activity which means that the mind doesn’t have to be heavily engaged and thus it can wander too easily.

I could give lots of ideas but in order for a plan to work, you have to create your own and work it yourself. Even the creating of the plan can keep your mind absorbed. So go get some paper and pencil and start to write a list of everything you could do this week-end to keep your mind off yourself.

There are times during our depression we do need to think but if your mood is really low, this is not the time. That comes when your depression starts to wane a little.

Even though I seldom deal with depression anymore I still map out my week-ends somewhat. Most of us don’t function well with ambiguity. Ambiguity, the not-knowing, can make us very anxious.

Being sedentary is not healthy on many different levels. If it isn’t you but someone you love who is struggling with depression (and boy, is that a challenge!) stay active yourself and try to engage your friend, spouse, sibling, whatever, to be engaged with you. This can be like pulling teeth but if you can get them moving at all, it will encourage them to further action.

It’s funny how something as simple as planning your week-end a little better can really help your mood.

Now to be very clear: I’m not saying we have to  be busy every minute.

We all need some “down” time but ” down” time for someone battling depression can turn into a “downer”. You don’t want that!

God bless and have a good week-end.

How empty spaces create great minds, part 1

music

I read something interesting:

“Do you know what makes music?”

The answer?

The space between the notes.

If it weren’t for those quiet spaces, all we would hear is constant noise.

Where is that space in our lives? Where are those quiet, contemplative moments when we can reflect and meditate?  If our minds are constantly “chattering”, how does wisdom find a home?

Plato and many other philosophers have all subscribed to the notion that declares “an unexamined life is not worth living”. I agree one hundred percent but in this day of constant stimulation, it’s hard to quiet our minds to examine anything.

I think this is perhaps the greatest challenge we face in this century.  It’s not just a problem for teenagers who are constantly “plugged in” to something. It’s a problem for most of us. I know it is for me.

It’s rare that I sit and read a book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m always reading but it’s rare that it’s quiet when I’m doing so. Either the TV, the radio, my I-phone, my Nook or my computer are nearby and fired up. I worry that I’m losing the ability to enjoy the quiet.

Exercise quietness for a strong mind.

For today, try to find even as little as five minutes of quietness to allow yourself time to think. Contemplative thinking (quiet time to be alone with our thoughts) is most definitely getting to be a lost art.

More about this subject in the next post.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

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