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Archive for June, 2013

Walk Beside Me

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.”

Albert Camus

Walk with me

Walk Beside Me

We each have our own path to follow in life; a path that is there to offer us the lessons we are here to learn. As my friend, I ask you to trust that I am traveling my path in the best way I know how. I ask that you allow me to learn at my own pace. I know it isn’t as fast as you would like to see sometimes, and I know we don’t always agree on what the lesson is, but this is my path and I must travel it alone.

I know there are times when you can see big potholes in front of me and I often trip in them and that frustrates you because they were so obvious! You told me about them and I appeared not to listen and I’m sure it must be disappointing to see something so clearly when I am so blind. Actually, it wasn’t that I wasn’t listening, I just simply didn’t hear you. Probably because that was a lesson I needed to learn for myself, by myself.

In order to grow and learn, I must make my own choices and learn from them. They will not always be your choices, but you may not have the same lessons to learn as I. This will require great patience from you (one of your lessons, perhaps?) and most of all, it will require trust. Trust that I am capable of handling whatever comes my way, trust that I am on my path and trust that I will make the decision I need to (whatever that may be) to learn and grow.

Also, please do not walk behind me expecting me to lead you. You are on your own path and you, too, must make your own decisions. I do not know what is best for you. Only you can make those choices. All I can do is walk beside you and share what I see before me and share my experience of your choices. That is all. The rest is up to you.

You may hear me. You may not. It’s not important. What I get to do as your friend is trust you are doing the very best you know how and that you, too, are surfacing the lessons you need to learn and grow. You must make your own choices, handle your own life and reap the rewards and consequences as do I.

I am your friend. We are each on our own path. But we are walking beside each other through life. If I fall into a hole, please let me find my own way out. Don’t leave me. Don’t tell me, “I told you so.” Just be there. Let me know you believe in me and you trust I will find my way out. That trust will do more for me than any advice you could ever give me. If, however, I ask for your help, then, and only then, give me your hand and I will do my very best to not only listen to you, but to hear you. And I promise to do the same for you.

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 “Look deeply within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just look deep enough.”

 Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 5519072-face-of-beautiful-healthy-woman-and-her-reflection-in-the-mirror

 The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, “Sit here, eat.”
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

 

The only journey is the one within.”

 Rainer Maria Rilke

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
Rumi

Thank you to my friend Donald M. for sharing this poem with us

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Fear!

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

  Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear pic edited

Fear is an interesting thing. It is powerful. It can control people, ruin lives, undermine the most brilliant plans and drive people to do things they would not do if not under the spell of fear. Some governments rule by fear, far too many parents raise children with threats and fear, and often, religions use fear to manipulate people to be “good”.

Fear seeps in through the tiniest crack. Someone looks at you strangely and you immediately fear their disapproval. It grips us and physiologically freezes our thinking, bodily functions and can actually impede our ability to move. Just the thought of doing something fearful can throw our bodies into survival mode. Imagining yourself speaking to a huge group of people and your heart may quicken as the adrenaline pumps through your body to give it super strength to face the dire threat before you. Go to Omnimax and fly over mountain tops. Your breathing changes and muscles tighten as you prepare yourself for a tragic fall even though you are safely sitting in a seat in a movie theater.

People often say to me, “I want to learn how to get rid of fear.”

“Good luck,” I tell them, “but I have my doubts you’ll achieve it because you look pretty human to me.”

It is human to feel and fear is a feeling. However, learning how to live with fear, and how to manage fear and move through it is one of the most useful skills one can develop. First of all, we must realize there are two kinds of fear. The first is real fear – the kind you need to listen to or you will get hurt. The train really will run over you and it is appropriate to have respectful fear of huge, powerful moving objects that are headed in your direction. The second kind of fear is imagined fear – the kind your ego generates – the fear of failure, looking foolish, making a mistake, rejection, losing control, and so on. These are the fears we must move through or else they will run our lives.

Most people try to avoid fear. They go over it, around it, under it. They don’t ask for the promotion for fear of rejection. They don’t try new things for fear of making a mistake. They avoid situations where they may meet new people for fear of looking foolish. And each time we let fear run us, a part of us closes down and our world gets a little smaller.

We all know people who seem to be fearless. They dare to risk out of a willingness to learn something new – whether it be a new sport or taking on a difficult project. They jump in with abandon. They trip and fall, but get back up again and are just a little smarter than they were a second ago. These are not fearless people, however. They have the same fears as anyone else, only they have learned how to embrace fear not resist it. It’s a game to them and they take personal pride in achieving something they thought they might not be able to do. They are alive. They are strong, confident and courageous and they are usually quite successful. They really are having more fun. And we admire them.

Go in the path of your greatest resistance. Do the thing you think you cannot do and see what happens. It will likely open your world and show you that:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

(Eleanor’s husband)

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“A great man is always willing to be little.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

mug half empty 02

Humility. It is the absence of self-defensive pride – the absence of the ego’s investment in being right. It is the willingness to admit one’s faults and short comings – to admit when one is wrong and to gracefully accept the consequences of one’s behaviors.

When a person refuses to let go of a self-righteous position – or ignores the possibility of having made a mistake, you can be certain that at a deep level, this person feels insecure and inadequate. Otherwise, why would they feel the need to defend, protect or aggrandize themselves?

If you find yourself in this mode, just ask yourself:

  • What am I afraid of?
  • What am I afraid people will discover?
  • What am I pretending not to know?

When a person walks in greatness, they possess an inner sense of security. They know at their core, they are more than enough. They trust themselves to handle situations around them and feel no need to puff themselves with platitudes nor do they feel a need to attack others with blame or criticism. They trust that others are positively moved when they hear the truth. They trust in the world around them, secure in knowing the Laws of Life always support honesty and truth.

To reach this place of inner security and tranquility, ask yourself:

  • What do I know is the truth?
  • Am I willing to trust myself, trust others and the power of honesty?
  • Am I willing to be GREAT?

Great people positively influence others and they are also willing to follow.

Great people have something valuable to say and they are also willing to listen.

Great people take decisive action and they are also willing to patiently wait.

Great people can see into the souls of others and they are also willing to be seen.

Great people are filled with wisdom and they are also an empty cup . . .

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