Is Your Life Satisfying Or Just Bearable?

How many people are actually satisfied with their life? Happy to a fault, looking forward to every minute of each day with gratitude, seeing positive opportunities in abundance. Is this you? Can you relate to feeling this way?

Asking this question to a mix of people with no agenda other than to discover what the average person on the street is thinking, would likely provide some not too surprising answers. It’s always interesting to Google something like this, just to see how many different answers show up. For the most part, there seems to be a general lack of understanding as to just what “satisfied” is or means.

Some will start off by trying to relate satisfied to happiness, and I find that while they may play in the same sandbox, they are two different emotions. While satisfied may include happiness, one can still be unhappy and satisfied, accepting a not so agreeable situation as the hand they have been dealt, resigned to moving forward in spite of circumstances.

Merriam Webster defines it this way;

:a happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you

:the act of providing what is needed or desired

:the act of satisfying a need or desire

: a result that deals with a problem or complaint in an acceptable way

As noted satisfied can include happiness but is not dependent on it. So the question still remains, is life satisfying? There’s a good chance, better than even, that when closely questioned a majority would have to answer no to the question. Majority being anything over 50 percent may not seem a fair measurement, but let’s continue along this path to see where that leads.

Why aren’t people satisfied? A better question could be when is enough, enough? Ego will constantly claim just a little more, but a funny thing happens in that “more” is never specific and therefor never enough.

Here again ego is in the mix, that illusion of what we think is necessary to satisfy yet never does. Sound familiar? With more than 90 percent of the world’s population caught up in their ego, obviously some more than others, it doesn’t take much observation to see the signs where people have learned to endure current circumstances, but far from being really satisfied and much less happy.

Ego is not very different from addiction. Once caught up in it’s illusion, breaking free and recovery are just as challenging, and some days are better than others. It is a day by day effort, and no cure as such. As with addictions of all natures, it is learning how to cope more than be cured.

So is being satisfied with life an issue of breaking free of the ego and starting your own recovery program? Is it something as simple as recognizing how hypnosis or even self hypnosis can change your life? Oh wow, I can just imagine that wall which just sprang up out of nowhere!

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As with so many things in life, that which one really knows nothing about is relegated to rumor, hearsay, urban legend, and all those metaphors that could be applied. I was one of those, until seeing it applied in a most unlikely place in regular everyday life during my residency with the government at Schofield Barracks in the middle of our squad bay.

One Archie Andrews, no relation to the comic book character except in real life, performed several acts on those of us willing to take part. What I witnessed destroyed any doubts as to the validity of hypnosis. At that time we were all taught how to use self-hypnosis to our betterment. I don’t think any of us really knew how to make it as effective as it could have been.

The point remains that today, medical practitioners are using it more and more with patients to reduce pain, depression, asthma, paralysis, and countless other physical and emotional issues.

 Where does this lead in terms of satisfaction with life? Quite simply that anyone can freely, easily, safely and effectively indulge in self-hypnosis to learn how not only satisfaction with life can be achieved, but a level of happiness never before experienced.

Do I endorse it, recommend, embrace or take advantage of it myself? The answer is really not important as it relates to the reader, since every one is distinct, unique and individual. Choices are always yours to make, and should never be based on what another has experienced.

Research is always recommended. There are books galore by respected authorities and sources. Those who choose can be convinced by the Bible itself, or books such as Think and Grow Rich, with it’s amazing secret, that whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Thinking that neither has anything to do with hypnosis, simply fail to understand what hypnosis is. In simplest terms, it is the ability to determine how one wants to live life, the faith to believe it will happen, and take steps to make it so.

Most often referred to as autosuggestion, it is defined in these terms; The theory that if individuals can suggest a belief to themselves, they will come to believe it.

Also defined as; The process by which a person induces self-acceptance of an opinion, belief, or plan of action.

There’s a good chance that some might even attempt to view this as “brainwashing.” And why not? In effect, it is reaching the subconscious part of your mind, housed within the brain, and bringing about change through clearing or cleaning out thoughts and beliefs detrimental to success in many areas of life, based on fear of survival the subconscious mind operates on constantly.

Here’s the point. Anyone can be satisfied with status quo, following the crowd, or simply giving in to the path of least resistance. As a rule this does not bring the unbridled joy, thrills or adventures life has to offer.

Have you discovered your mission in life and your purpose? Is it to be satisfied, or is there more to it? Do you know? Is it a scary proposition to ask yourself such a question, for fear of not having an answer? Is there more to life than what you have been willing to extract? Is life stopping you, or is that something you have engineered yourself?

Many sit around looking for answers to sort of magically show up, rather than taking the necessary steps to dig in and find those missing pieces to the puzzle. Your puzzle is far from complete, and won’t be until you become that final piece, which will signify the end and the beginning.

Since our bodies were created with the ability to heal us, I’m going to see how to convince it to grow hair on a bald head!

Why Do I Write Revisited!

Some time back I asked my self, why do I write? The answer was just sort of a flippant, “Because I can.” Truthfully there was never really any thought given. It really did seem so easy for me to write on just about any topic, that I never honestly gave it much thought.DSC_1505

Then I stumbled across what is known as “expressive writing.” This style of writing is a great method for those who need an outlet for trauma from various issues in life. It is based on the idea of writing with no regard to anything other than putting down what you are feeling on the inside, concerning those subjects you would rather not discuss with another.

Deep, dark horrible things don’t have to be the issue, as things that are just disturbing qualify. Well, as I began to review some of my files from many years ago, it very quickly came to light that I have been writing expressively for years, long before word processors. I just never realized what it was.

Amazingly writing in this fashion has allowed dealing with a multitude of issues I would not have chosen to discuss with another. Tending to keep some things well buried, it may come as a surprise that I can still be very transparent about many other issues in my life.

So writing has been an unconscious therapy, which has now become a means of expressing myself beyond the need to deal with the disfunction of the past. The no rules no regrets is in force. What is written is not to please others rather encourage those who need it to use writing as a tool to ask themselves the questions to find the answers. No other has the answers for another.

Many find writing as a means to escape, creating a work of fiction that very likely contains parts of unpleasant memories that can be safely acted out through characters in the story. It has always been claimed that in novels, there is more truth than fiction. The challenge for those who choose to accept it, is to divide the two.

While using words to enlighten the reader, it is also to disguise some of the real attempts at delivery of the hidden message. there’s always a message, which is the purpose of writing in the first place. Without that it’s just a collection of words.

Do you write? Journal? Keep a daily account of your actions and activities? Keeping track of those things that take place in life can reveal habits you are unaware of, that may be the very thing you want to change.

Awareness is the first step, as anything less defeats the attempt for change before it can even begin. A secret just learned is, everything that has taken place in your life up to this moment, was necessary for what comes next. Either you are acutely aware of what you don’t want for the rest of your life, or equally conscious of what you do want. However, without all the events that have occurred to this point in your life, you couldn’t know what you didn’t want without having first experienced it. the same can be said for what you do want.

So writing about those things that have importance for you, can reveal what may have been buried. Both positive and negative show up, which enable you to see behavior patterns that may not have led you to positive outcomes. The contrary is also true. Without written accounts, you must rely on flawed memories.

I never quit learning, even though some lessons have been repeated many times before truth showed it’s colors. I am continually reminded this continues until the moment where the final transition is made. Admittedly there have been lapses in the learning, but it always seems to catch up in those least expected adventures that announce arrival.

There’s a bridge close by where I can go bungie jumping. Sounds like it could be one of those adventures.

Do You Think It Or Believe It?

I was lying face down on a linoleum floor, attempting to lick something up with not very much luck. In a flash, I regained consciousness only to find myself indeed on the floor, and the only thing being licked was my face!

Really? No, but it seemed like a good opening line for this article. Not being one for routine and rules, it just sorta came to mind so I decided to put it down.

Capitalizing on a particular theme in writing has yet to reveal itself for me. There are such a number or interesting topics that wave from the box of hands, excitedly jumping up and down vying for attention. Choosing just one almost seems boring.

Randomness of thought has always intrigued me, or what seems to be an undisciplined process of connection. Yet when time has been taken to trace them back carefully, connection is always there. How that could possibly line up with the opening line I have yet to discover, but things are just getting warmed up.

Walking my favorite trail the other day had me sprawling on the ground after a careless moment, and contact with my boot on a small tree root. Mentally having prepared myself well before hand of such a possibility, rather than planting my face in the ground, it was landing on my shoulder and rolling onto my back.

The jolt was likely as great as the surprise. Had the root been unavoidable, the event would have more understandable. Such was not the case as I have walked this trail and passed this root on numerous occasions. Perhaps the only difference was going the opposite direction.

As mentioned earlier, a careless moment. The good news is what could have been more serious, simply ended with some really good aches in my shoulder and hip the following day, along with a few abrasions. No stitches required, and band-aids sufficed to cover the affected areas.

Is there a point here? Since the focus is on thoughts I distinctly recall mine were wondering at the moment of contact between boot and root! Wondering if my “rabbits” (a pair of walkers I used to challenge myself) were close behind and how much of a lead I had, was going through my mind instead of paying attention and being in the moment.

Now it occurs to me this may be a perfect example of what happens to others that are rarely in the moment, constantly finding themselves with a myriad of difficulties to deal with. Constantly unaware of the moment might work with driving, as subconscious reaction takes over. Normal events of the day take on a significant difference as there is rarely anything predictable such as in driving.

Relate this to details. With a strong aversion to instructions on how to assemble anything, the challenge has always been to be more intelligent than that paper. On rare occasion, those numbered steps have been clear and concise, while other occasions totally useless creating that sense of victory and false superiority.

Discovery of just how the synapses of the brain function in such a way as to seemingly and randomly jump from one thought to another, only to realize it has not been so on review is amazing. Comparison to the most intricate of jig-saw puzzles seems close .

What do you find yourself thinking about most often? Money? The opposite sex? What you should have said in the last discourse? What you’re going to say to justify your raise? The latest scores? That dream vacation? How to pay your taxes? Do you have lettuce in your teeth?

Follow that trail if you will. Within a split second all those could course through your mind. Which one or ones will actually get your attention? The hand with the red glove among the white! Priority has been pre-established in your hierarchy of thought so chances are it could be a tossup between money or sex.

While psychology is not my profession, even though much reading has been done on the topic, this would have to classify as pure conjecture making it all the more interesting. There is probably about as much truth here as in a fictional novel. Strangely that makes the truth part a majority.

Power of thought is where this really gets interesting. There would have to be the notion that thoughts are just those passing whims of fancy that flash by throughout the day. Yet there is far more to this than most would believe.

Practitioners will use scientific proof on the power of thought and it’s reality. The majority of public consensus will give little credibility to these claims in spite of proof. How might you react to the reality that your thoughts had the power to change your life? Your first thought might be “So what happened to me?”

Enormous effort would have to be made to change from the willy-nilly way most deal with thoughts. Truth would indicate that thoughts are not given much importance at all by most. Fireflies come to mind as a way to describe how most consider thoughts. Just something that’s there and gone.

Previous articles have dealt with the Placebo Effect and it’s power. That can not be dismissed, as it is the very power of thought and belief that create the amazing effects. What if there’s more to this? Could you entertain the thought that you and you alone are the master of your universe?

One of the first books that impacted me was by Napoleon Hill titled, Think and Grow Rich! The key phrase throughout the book is, “Whatsoever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” The key word there is “believe.”

Oddly enough there is a great deal written on which is the more powerful, thoughts or beliefs. Mahatma Gandhi said “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

In essence he was saying that beliefs are more powerful than thoughts, but it is thoughts that lead back to beliefs. Others have stated that although thoughts are not beliefs, they are what can become a belief when there is a will to make it so.

So this gets more interesting as research is done to determine which in fact is the more powerful of the two. And to think that this was going to be simple. Determining whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first might be easier.

Supposedly beliefs are what are formed up to a certain age based on events, successes, failures, humiliations, accidents, encouragements, that are stored in that all to challenging sub-conscious mind. It is further claimed that the 60,000 or so thoughts that roam through our mind daily are in some form reflections from these beliefs.

 In order to change any beliefs, consistent, determined and precise intent must be exercised in a positive state of mind for success.

At least that what those who call themselves authorities on the subject say, and chances are you will find as I did, there are as many on one side as the other as to which is which.

Your challenge, should you accept it, is to type in thoughts vs. beliefs in Google. There’s a good chance you may run after reading the first few links, as it gets deep real quick. More than a few unusual ideas about this topic. Then again you may be fascinated.

It does seem to fall on the side of reason, that when there are 60,000 thoughts roaming through the grey matter daily, that if these formed beliefs then we have more than ever imagined. The next question is, do they change everyday? 

So here’s the next little bit that makes this more interesting. According to studies of those 60,000 thoughts daily, 80% are negative! Of the 60,000 daily thoughts 95% are repeated daily. No matter how you try, focusing on changing negative thoughts is a loosing effort simply because our brains are hardwired towards them.

Bottom line there are any number of “thoughts” on the topic, and you need a strong mind to sort through it with any subjectivity. Maybe more than a strong mind is an open mind with the willingness to consider, if not accept, things that may seem contrary to conventional belief.

After all this hard thinking I may be face down on a linoleum floor licking at whatever. The only safe thing is we have no such floors.

As to thoughts vs. beliefs, it’s hard to determine where the Placebo Effect fits in. Is it a belief or a thought? No one goes in as part of a double blind study of new drugs knowing they will get a placebo or not. In most cases they are not instructed this is a possibility. Most likely for the exact reason so as not to create any influence one way of the other. So it can be neither a thought or belief, especially when 80% of thoughts going in are negative.

The idea that one could be cured of something simply by believing it to be so borders on what most might consider as being in “la-la land.” Still, as has been previously stated and is again part of scientific proof, placebos have a 30% success rate across the board.

So can you think yourself happy, rich, successful, able to speak in front of large audiences, ready to go skydiving? Sure! Most of what it takes is recognizing that the “fear factor” is most of what stands in the way. Constant review of your thoughts will show the fears or reasons preventing any of these actions are a lie. Not believing they are lies is what keeps your where you are.

Is it that simple? Recognizing the truth defies what the brain has been seemingly pre-programed to accept. Any person achieving great things has had to overcome the negativity in the brain. The first challenge is to accept that the brain is prone to negativity. When that is possible to accept, then a daily dose of positive input begins the change.

The Cleveland Clinic of Wellness has a great site dedicated to aiding understanding of stress and how it relates to thinking.

This particular link cuts through all the front page stuff and takes you right to the heart of it. You may find it interesting reading.

So I don’t know what your thoughts are or mine, as how do you sort through even a few? However, since only about 5% change daily maybe there’s a chance. Which end do you focus on? I guess the  best bet is to focus on one area you want to change, or more, and begin discovery of the lies that have kept you where you are.

It’s a bit scary to think our brains work against us instead of for us. It also explains why so many are where they are, as this is simply not common knowledge. Why do you suppose that is? I have a feeling that will lead to the next article, so stay tuned.

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It’s time to stress out with a cup of wine.

Do You Escape Into Truth Or From It?

So many times it is difficult to separate the tendency to write words instead of thoughts. Metaphors instead of feelings. Verbs rather than actions.

Writing should be the replacement, encapsulation of a voice, preserved for the moment when the reader’s eyes first pass across the words. The voice should not be their own, but that of the writer.

It may be the forward, preface or introduction that sets the tone. Surely the reader must rid themselves, albeit unconsciously, of the sounds of that voice they are so familiar with.

Those who place words into readable form should have as a central drive, the need to be heard not so much for what they have to say, but for the passion they have to write. The joys or sorrows, fears or delights, defeats or triumphs of human life.20150212_104828

Reaching into the heart, the center of feeling, and the mind, where understanding can happen. To the soul where we all reside, and the spirit that connects us each and every one. As Elie Wiesel would say, “Thinking higher, feeling deeper.”

Some may write to create escape mechanisms, and others to cause readers to face real issues. In the end, this writer has only one desire, and that is to communicate with the human spirit. It is not always easy to connect with the deepest feelings and emotions, and then to convey that with the written word.

No matter the efforts to do that, so much depends on the reader, and the ability to take them on a journey. As with any such effort, the reader must also be just as prepared when reading a book, as when packing for a trip.

It’s not just the clothes, shoes or boots, computer, cell phone or other assorted items that always seem to find their way into suitcases, so often seldom used. What provokes the packing of those items? Where is the vision of places that trip is intended to transport us?

No one starts a journey without an idea of what’s in store. There is always a vision, whether realistic or fantasy. Who will be met that is new? How will others accept us? Will things be successful? What will be accomplished? Is happiness or dread anticipated?

Some may write for fame or acknowledgment. Financial gain is a common motivator. Capturing thoughts before they can escape into oblivion, as though it was impossible to consciously place them is a storage file in the memory system. Some of the best manuscripts are discovered long after the passing of the writer.

As it has been said, nothing is gained by dying with the music of life still in you. Do any know when they have reached the point of enough? Is there a place where life is just finished and it’s time to make a transition? Can that question be answered with certainty?

Many claim truth is relative. Sounds of a convenient kind of convoluted words lacking any substance is generally what that means. Where’s the relative part of dark or light? Someone is bound to say that darkness is just the absence of light so darkness really doesn’t relatively exist.

Put that person in an enclosed room with no possibility of light, and discover how relative that is.

 Truth is not what someone makes it. Truth is the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening. Truth is the impact of a lightening bolt striking the flat bed of a truck next to your car in a thunderstorm. Nothing relative about it.

Letter To Self!

Alan

This is long overdue, and it’s about time we set the record straight on many issues. So let’s do this.

First of all, while it’s true you still feel like you’re 25 there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Age is a number, and you are only as old as you THINK you are. Just because you may be older, doesn’t mean you have to act and think like it.

The human spirit is hard to define, and while you are far from having a good grasp on yours in terms of knowing it, actions do far more to define that spirit than words. So keep in mind no one else knows your spirit better than you. Personality, and all the other traits that go along with that do not define spirit. Behaviors yes, just not spirit.

It’s about time you face the fact that you have yet to maximize your many talents, and you have been blessed with more than the average person. There is nothing average about you, yet much time has been wasted thinking about what to do rather than just doing it.

Nearly anything you have ever WANTED to do you have done. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between something you really want to do, and something you only THINK you want. Whatever you have ever set your mind to, has been done. Right now, you have stopped short of deciding what’s next.

Let’s get past the so called “period of adjustment” that you have gone through, and begin doing instead of just thinking. While you have no need of a “job” someplace, even if it’s volunteering, staying active and stimulating those brains cells of yours is necessary. Use ‘em or you may loose ‘em!

Over the last decade you have become quite cynical, and not the positive minded person you pretend or want to be. While you know all the ways and talk of someone positive, with the head knowledge, you have allowed yourself to gravitate in the wrong direction. Being cynical is a choice, and so is being positive. One can be as much a habit as the other. You know how habits are formed and addictions broken, so you know what has to be done.

Most importantly, your relationship with your wife. There have been tremendous stresses with retirement, moves, loss of a father, leaving behind sons and grandchildren, which have had a huge effect on her state of mind and health. In your heart you know that while you have been supportive, it has not been enough.

She looks to you as her “rock,” and there has been more gravel than rock! While it’s true some of her health issues have been beyond your control, the stress issues are dead in your lap! You and you alone can make tremendous headway in reducing those things that are stressful for her, such as your driving.

Being contentious and defensive is reverting back to those self esteem issues from the past, that you know full well are rooted in ego. Face it, and deal with it again.

These are daily issues and not just once in a lifetime. Ego hangs around everyday, looking for ways to build those illusions that keep you out of the present and in the past, or maybe even “Never Never Land!” Being aware is where you need to be again.

Gotta stop and smell the flowers!
Gotta stop and smell the flowers!

I’m glad we had this communication as it was way past time. I’ll make certain you don’t ignore me for so long again by intruding on your thoughts sooner!

Bye for now

Your Conscious

What Really Defines Success Or Is It Just Money, Possessions And Fame?

A Story.

Axel was just a hard working guy. Education had not really been his strong suit as far as school was concerned. He was literate enough, but his real strength was reading. Books or the usual things one relates to reading, couldn’t hold a candle to Axel’s ability to read people.

Standing 5 ft. 10 inches tall, slender of build, muscular, weighing in at maybe 160 lbs., dark complected with traces of Latin or African American, penetrating eyes, a rugged completion lined with experience, skin very porous adding to that tough, masculine look. Hair cut almost to the scalp resembling a Brillo pad, clean shaven every other day.

First glance would make one think he might be sad, but only until he spoke. A million dollar smile which immediately transformed his face into the kind soul he is, caught all newcomers off guard. This is what kept them coming back.

He was an enigma. It is like the mystery of the moth that just can’t stay away from the flame. It keeps coming back until it is consumed.

As a leather craftsman Axel was very good. Perhaps not the best, yet in every way he was a true craftsman with his work and creations. One of his best customers had also become a friend. The opposite of Axel, in terms of social and financial position. Benjamin seemed to have it all.

The two became friends years ago when Benjamin was looking for a wall hanging made of leather for his father. He had been referred to Axel by a very satisfied customer. The resulting leather piece had not disappointed, and hangs in the patriarchal home to date.

A family of five, Axel has two daughters and a son. They have been raised on respect and love, knowing the difference between the value of material goods and that of relationships.

Benjamin has one son, who has wanted for nothing. Yet there is the typical strife of one who has known no boundaries, yet who’s behavior constantly demonstrates a crying our for limits.

Axel has noted for some time the stress and unhappiness in Benjamin’s eyes. Knowing the challenges with his son, he clearly understands the origin, yet also knows his boundaries with his friend.

Not certain what to do, Axel is inspired with an idea he believes will touch Ben’s heart with the truth, while staying within the limits of friendship.

All other work is put aside as Alex feverishly works on creating what may be his best work in leather. His passion to touch his friend in a way words couldn’t drives him. For days on end he is consumed with his project, setting aside all other work.

As Axel senses Ben is nearly at his wits end with his son, the project is finished. He invites Ben for a cup of coffee. While they have been friends for years, they have never met socially, so Ben is somewhat surprised at the request.

As they sit down at a table with their various brews, Ben notices the rather large package Axel has brought with him. Curious, Ben is more interested in the occasion than the package. He has no idea that Axel is up to anything.

On various occasions Ben has met Axel’s children at the shop, always impressed with the maturity, respect and love shown to their father. Jealousness has never been a part of their relation, yet a heavy heart for Ben as he has wished for a son that would be after his own heart.

As they sipped coffee and talked of superficial things, Ben finally sensed there was a reason for their meeting, and pressed Axel as to why.

Anxious for the moment, not a word was spoken as the package was handed to Ben. With some suspicion and surprise, Ben first searched his friends face for clues as to what might be in this package.

Carefully, he unwrapped the brown paper covering. The aroma of treated leather met his nostrils, as he took in the most amazing leather work he had ever seen. A message was hand tooled into a finely tanned work of art, set in a frame equally ornate yet appropriate.

Tears began to appear, as Ben read, then re-read the message. It was simple, yet full of all the meaning needed. It  said, “Love never fails! So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

The one thing that was missing in Ben’s life was now being clearly demonstrated by Axel. All the material possessions, position, things, could not give the one thing Ben didn’t even know was missing, until this exact moment. It was at this very point he realized what was the key to reaching not only his son, rather all those in his life.

While the story is fictional, the point is not. Success was measured in love, not in things. Are you successful?

Is There Perfection Or Is It Humanly Impossible To Know Perfection?

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“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” ~ Buddha

Admit it. What do you see as perfect? Is there anything perfect, and if it was how would you know? Who are we as imperfect humans, capable of knowing anything as perfect, when we see with imperfect vision?

Arriving at the possibility that everything is perfect as it is, might be a startling revelation to many, or in fact most. It begins with the mindset in the first instance as to whether or not you believe in a divine creator. There’s a pretty good file of scientific evidence that would dispute the “accident” theory many would prefer to embrace.

How could anything be perfect that was an accident in the first place? I’m curious if anyone can provide data of an accident producing something perfect? There again comes the distinction of an imperfect human or humans, declaring anything perfect, which they have no idea what that is.

So the declaration of Buddha seems to be as close to perfect in it’s declaration as it can get.

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19204893@N00/6308878669">Budai - Laughing Buddha</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
He’s laughing at the sky! ( Courtesy of Photopin.com)

I love being imperfectly perfect! I am exactly what I am supposed to be. Any idea someone else has of all the what’s, who’s or how’s about this life of mine is just no concern for me at all. There was a time thinking was like that, until I wised up. Noone has the power to create me, which denies everyone any right to determine my value.

Being a piece of all that is perfect and knowing that, is all that matters. How’s that for being free! Hey, that might be a great quote! Will that give me some authority for being original? Tell me about it writers.

When Is The Last Word The Last Word?

The absolute determination to make a point only seems complete when whomever is on the other end of the discussion has no retort to make. It is assumed they have run out of ammunition. The debate, or “discussion” has been won! They have run out of arguments or positions. Silence ensues, and that fleeting moment of ecstasy is yours.

Now the question. Was it worth it? Here again is one of those illusions the mind plays on us, that having the last word makes us superior. It never occurs to add at what cost. Winning or defeating another never ends up being a “win.” Another form of domination over another is what happens. Remember the last time that happened to you?

How did you feel? Someone took you to the cleaners over something that wasn’t even that important, and you felt lousy afterwards. Licking your wounds is never a fun thing, and generally ends up reviewing the incident to figure out where you went wrong. So here you are, focused on that which you can’t change, ignoring all that’s going on around you.

Does this sound familiar? You bet it does, and those memories rankle as you give space and time to them. Right there is the bigger problem. Why fuss over something from the past? No effort will change it. This classifies as truly wasted time being in the present and living in the past.

Where is it written that getting the last word wins? What if the last words are “thank you.” Does that sound like someone won a debate? What about “you’re  right?” Could this be the last word of defeat, or simply a surrender to come back another day? Why does it have to be any of these?

The times I can remember getting the last word never did measure up to what seemed like a victory. Emptiness would be more like it, unless is was an actual debate by the rules. The idea is to defeat the opponent with any means possible. In an argument there are no rules, and things are said that can’t be taken back, that never should have left the tongue.

So how important is that last word, really? Worth ruining a friendship, starting a war, or worse? How many have been killed by the tongue, or died because of it? What about those who inflicted the telling blow? Is there a chance they would change their actions if they had a “do over?” Are there times you would like to stuff those words back in your mouth, or someone else’s?

No doubt, and it can’t be done can it. And what’s it all about? Being right? Is being right about something really that important? In a matter of life or death perhaps. Leaving the cap off the toothpaste or not hardly classifies, yet this and even less important issues, are once again only about ego.

In attempting to get the last word, much of the reason has to do with the fear of being wrong. Another is feeling that what you think you know is important to the other person, when in fact they likely don’t even care, as they are tuned into their own personal WIIFM radio.

A great quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer made tons of sense in situations like this. “What another person thinks of you, is none of your business.” You could shorten that a little and it may still apply. What another person thinks, is none of your business.

So ok, think about that for just a quick minute. Do you really care what the other person thinks about anything? In fact, aren’t you more wrapped up in what you think about everything? How hard is it for someone to change your mind, unless you are completely open to that possibility?

Open mindedness. Isn’t that an interesting concept, and one most are very unfamiliar with. You pick your side of any issue and don’t let anyone speak against it. Right? It could be as important as when and how to put the BBQ sauce on the ribs on the grill outside. Do you really care how I do it? Even if mine just might have a better flavor…today. Tomorrow they may taste terrible, but the prick to your sense of propriety is at risk.

It may be how you mow your grass, horizontal or perpendicular to the sidewalk. I may do mine at angles just to be different. I don’t like paisleys in any form or fashion. Someone else thinks they’re the ultimate in fashion. This goes on add nasueam. What does it prove?

To a large degree it goes back to insecurity, and a fear of being wrong. We have been trained that being wrong somehow makes us an inferior person. This has been a cultural thing, maybe since the beginning of time. It is seen in the same category as a mistake. Our society has taught us this is unpardonable, yet it is those very things that cause us to find ways to do something better, or find out where we went wrong. Some just decide to cave and give up, deciding to never have an opinion or take the risk of being wrong.

Others would rather die. Many do, from stress related heart attacks and other ailments. So there’s a way to look at being wrong and making mistakes. They are opportunities to learn, and it seems it was intended to be that way.

Have you ever stopped to consider, that the best lessons you have learned were all the result of being wrong or making a mistake? Probably not. Some do, most don’t. Why is that? It is easier to buy in to the illusion of the ego, that it wasn’t your fault, that you’re right no matter what evidence says, and that someday everyone will have to admit it?

I would like to be one of the examples someone offers of how many times I was wrong, compared to the times I was right. We have the examples before us of those who were wrong more times than right, yet they made enormous changes in the world.

Edison, A.J.Foyt, Babe Ruth, Disney, Harlan Sanders, to name just a few. Failures and mistakes peppered their lives, but what do we remember them for? Their successes, even though the failures far outnumber those. _DSC4801

Being wrong, making mistakes, pave the way to being right about what matters when it matters, and learning why along the way. You may agree, that speaks louder than the “last word,” because success needs no approval.

Think I’ll go watch some more clouds.

Is It About You Or Was It Ever?

Selfish? Self centered? Narrow minded? It’s my party or it’s not? It’s about you but really about me? Why should I change to please someone else? Is it possible I’m misunderstanding or just misunderstood? Why doesn’t anyone care about what I want? How could everyone be so mean?

Yes, ego is in full swing above. This really leaves no one out because ego is not selective. Everyone has some. It’s just that some who are super insecure go overboard. Were they raised that way? Insecurity happens for many reasons, and possibly no reason at all.

Consider the drop dead beauty who thinks she’s ugly. The genius  that doesn’t think he’s smart. The 6 ft. tall girl who thinks she’s too tall and slouches to be shorter. The “nerd” afraid to show what he really knows. Each one with a huge mental block to the truth.

The opposite side of that spectrum is the super jock who thinks the world revolves around him. How about spoiled rich girl who thinks it’s all about money. Or “know it all” who is obnoxious. There’s the “Drama Queen” who lives to create disturbance and unrest to draw attention to herself for fear she’s really unimportant. More instances of those who try to hide behind a shield to mask their fear of not measuring up.

You know them and so do I. What do you do? Ego is in charge and the illusion of being something they are not overpowers logic, reason and being in the moment. It’s worse especially, if they happen to be family or close friends? Ahh, now this gets down to where the rubber meets the road. The attitudes, and all the other issues create real challenges, many times resulting in estrangements that can last years. In some cases lifetimes, and all over illusions that being right makes one superior over another.

That’s the thing about ego, and the illusion it can create that if you can make someone else appear inferior in your mind, then it elevates you to a higher level. The problem is it’s only in your mind, and since it is an illusion that means it’s not even real. Yet lives have been changed for the worse because of this living in some sort of fantasiacal world that doesn’t exist.

There are those who choose to live in that world rather than in the here and now. The drama is created in each of these lives based on illusions and fantasy, rather than enjoy real life in the real world. Those who number in this category are in the majority as most spend far more time living in the past than present.

Is there a chance they know who they are? In order for that to happen a dose of reality would have to break through the illusion. Then another dose to expose the ego. When one can actually face the fact of an ego, a huge battle has been won, but it’s just the beginning. Once that ego is exposed the lie of it’s power will fight to maintain control.

Being in the present moment is like recovery from an addiction. It’s minute by minute, day by day. Rather than one day at a time it’s one moment at a time. As with most addicts, the large majority will deny there is any issue with ego. Those who do discover they are wrapped up in it, will do what many do. Discover it’s easy to change, just easier not to, and continue living in another world.

I can attest to all of this, having been one of those caught up in that illusion for many years. Breaking free is the same as any addiction, in that it is a daily action to remain in the moment and not slip back to the past.

Have I mended all those holes created from the past? What is past is dead, and only now has the chance to be changed. There is still residue that remains in the present, like something in my eye that obscures my vision I can’t quite seem to get out. Being able to see, just not as well as I could. I’m still a work in progress, of which there is acute awareness.Cuicocha-2013-15 18

So is it about me or was it ever is a fair question. The honest answer is it’s about life and learning how to live it. There seems to be far more time spent as student than teacher. Knowing who, what, and whose I am. Being. In the end, that is the best thing, rather than just existing. There is a purpose for me, and a large part of that is being accomplished writing. So I write, as it helps to keep me in the now.

There are those who have no problem in dishing out the drama, but don’t have the courage to even consider that they have an ego, or that it is their worst enemy. Many have a hard time distinguishing between ego and pride.

Ego is that mindset, the feeling of being superior to others. It starts in the mind, very likely as a protection mode, but has no touch with reality. An example again may be a person who grew up with very basic necessities and was made to feel shame at some point. It may have even been in adult life due to circumstances surrounding being fired from a job, a divorce, an experience that was a jolt to their person.

Such an experience creates real fear when finances or a sense of security are threatened. Some might make a decision that they are never going to let this happen again, and take steps to build a life that is the opposite of what was.

Perhaps they do this by beginning to associate with those who are financially better off. Then there is the imitation of a lifestyle using brand names, expensive perfumes, clothes, restaurants, and affectations such as only drinking gourmet whatever, going to the best concerts or musicals.

Of course none of this matters if everyone within hearing doesn’t know, so all effort is made to make certain names are dropped, brands and labels shown, restaurants named and who with. This is defined as arrogance. Ego can never say “sorry.”

Pride quite simply is the satisfaction of a job well done. It is the encouraging and motivation factor to seek to do better, never accepting mediocre. The accomplishment is shared, and in humility, never puffing up ones self at the expense of another.

It is all too common that the person who actually is well off financially, never has to resort to such behavior. The one who has the “connections,” usually doesn’t divulge them. It is very likely they are not insecure and have no need. However, it can clearly be seen that wealth is no insulator to insecurity. J. Paul Getty had it all, yet his suicide clearly showed he was not secure with it.

It may be the worst sort of addiction, as it requires somewhat the same efforts to deal with it. The ego requires feeding, and is never satisfied, exactly like a drug or any addiction. Once the ego is exposed there is hope, but that individual must come to the point that they are out of options for satisfaction.

A great book on the subject is A New Earth by Eckhardt Tolle. It’s a great read, and one that has been worth re-reading 5 times. Am I egoless? Probably not, but it doesn’t get fed so is probably starving!

Is Good Enough Acceptable Or Detestable For You?

Good is good enough! There is a world out there that would love to jump all over that, claiming that it is detrimental to the mindset of excellence. They may even offer a world’s view of examples, such as what if Edison had stopped with a light that only lasted for a few seconds and stopped trying to improve. So did Edison reach excellence when he finally found the combination of things that worked? Are we still seeing to this very day that the light bulb continues to improve?

Wouldn’t that seem to answer the contentions related to perfection? If something as simple as the light bulb continues to improve and get better, was it ever perfect for even a nano-second?

The “not good enough” camp has been the executioner of more genius than we will ever know. That “fear of failure” illusion has  always gone hand in hand with the equal illusion of “perfection.”

What has man ever created that was perfect? In the last 100 years, what has man made that still lasts in it’s original form? If it was perfect it would remain the same, and I submit to you there is no such thing.

Is there a state just shy of perfect? Who knows? I dare say not one human being can determine what perfection is, because there is not one human being that is perfect who could recognize perfection if it stared them in the face!

It just possible that the human mind is even incapable of creating anything perfect, simply because it’s never been seen in any form, save that of Jesus or God, and there are multitudes who will disagree on that.

So science, mathematics, quantum physics, one or all, can not provide one single example of perfection because in all their wisdom none know outside of of human application what real perfection is.

It’s possible the one perfect thing is the creation of life itself. There have been many imitations with cloning, test tubes, and who knows what else, but the creation of life from the dust of the Earth or out of thin air has never been duplicated. Life requires that spark that can only come from the perfection which can not be described in man’s terms, and goes beyond the mind of human understanding.

Many would pretend to have the answers, and impart all such to underlings who are ill equipped to understand on their own. The most primitive, unschooled person on this planet can attest to a “source” of life.

The quest comes back to “is good, good enough?” If it allows the freedom to continue, embraces change for improvement, motivates and encourages, induces confidence then how can it be anything but “good enough!”

It gets back to the glass half empty…half full, or at the source of the water. This particular discourse has gone on probably longer than there’s a record of. Is it black or white, or is it two colors of a multitude of choices?

If perfection were ever reached, what would there be to look forward to? If anything, no mater if it’s human, natural, man-made, artificial intelligence, could ever reach perfection, where would things go from there?

Still, there are those, myself NOT included, that seem to feel they are the bearers of wisdom personified, which pretends to be superior to all the underlings in our world, especially as it relates to things spiritual.

The word “spiritual” is deliberately used here as opposed to “religion” so as not to mix things up that are defined by one but not the other.

The intent of this missive is simple. Ambiguity is rampant in every phase of life with the exception of what is of nature and not manipulated. This is most obvious when someone takes a stand on any issue. While the intentions may be to point out an assumed wrong, invariably the author fails to see the fingers pointing back to their source as being fallible.

No claims here, rather offering up some food for thought. Is there any truth contained in these words? It could be argued what is considered truth, as that may assume truth for one is truth for all.IMG_1555

While this may be a good place to stop, even that may be debated as contrary, conflicting or comments in agreement could be added. I’m gonna go watch some clouds.