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The only fights I truly win are the ones I walk away from.

How important is it to prove we are right? We must not react while controlled by anger, guilt, self-pity, fear or other symptoms of misery. If we cannot respond with dignity, poise and love, we must walk away.

This doesn’t mean that we allow other people to trample our dignity or diminish our self-respect, but we must find an elevated response. We pause, take three relaxation breaths, and access our spiritual center. We ask this divine source and power to quiet our immediate emotional reaction, to remove any thought or feeling that prevents us from feeling peace and to help us see the situation with a spiritual insight.

Acting lovingly when someone is attacking us is a practical way of returning good for evil. It’s hard to do but really works. We may not win the argument but we feel better (sometimes they are so surprised that the argument just dies). Besides, we don’t always benefit by winning; today’s unimportant triumph may generate animosity that causes future problems. Spiritual growth is always more beneficial than winning trivial disagreements.

The serenity prayer: Dear God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; pause for a few minutes in silence.

The value of a vessel is its emptiness.

Clay is formed into a vessel.

The emptiness bounded by the clay creates the usefulness of the vessel.

Walls, windows, and doors make boundaries of a room.

The value is its emptiness, not the boundaries.

— Verse 11, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu

If I have a pitcher of dirty water and want to fill it with clean water, the vessel has to be emptied. The vessel has no value or capacity to carry the desired contents as long as it is full of something else.

The walls of the pitcher define its shape. These physical boundaries are what we see and identify as “the pitcher.” However, the attribute that makes this vessel worth having exists inside its walls. Its value lies in the emptiness. It must be empty before it can hold something more valuable. Likewise, we can never receive the new while we are full of the old. If I am full of ME, I have no room for others—including God.

  • If I am full of knowing, I cannot learn.
  • If I am full of physical things, I cannot receive spiritual insight or power.
  • If I am full of misery, I cannot accept happiness.
  • If I am full of myself, there is no room for others.
  • I can be filled with knowledge but void of wisdom.
  • I can be filled with facts but not know truth.
  • I can be filled with action but empty of results.
  • I can be filled with doing and miss being.

Prayer: Please remove from me any thoughts, opinions, preconceptions, or understanding that stands in the way of my peace and happiness; empty me of anything that impedes my usefulness to you or my fellows; make me receptive to any fragrance of truth, beauty, and goodness. Fill me with wisdom, peace, and an active love for all I meet this day.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Blaming other people for the way I feel gives them control over my life

Yes, other people can do things that offend or hurt us but it’s our choice on how we react. If we get angry at someone and say—or think—“Look at what he did! He made me angry, he hurt my feelings!” this very thought acknowledges that this person has the power to control the way we feel. This statement or thought makes the other person responsible for the problem but this also automatically makes them responsible for the solution; then, we cannot feel better until they apologize or change.

When we allow someone to control our feelings—say make us angry—the feeling burning inside of us and the thoughts dominating our mind are our real problem. Changing our perspective, modifying our thoughts and words, start the healing process. We acknowledge the turmoil and take ownership of the problem and the solution; we accept that “I am angry at what he did.” This gives us the responsibility and the power to change no matter what the other person does. With this awareness, we can shift our thoughts and attitude; we access our “God within” and open to transforming power of unlimited love, tolerance, patience, understanding, and self-respect.

Prayer: My divine inner source, guide my thoughts, feelings, and reactions. If I react to anyone today, grant me the understanding that I do not need to allow any person or event control my feelings; open my heart and mind to your calming presence; empower me to rise above my human reactions and find that peace that passes all understanding.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

God’s love heals our emotional wounds

God’s love naturally flows to our individual need, and there, like healing oil, supplies the exact agent required to heal the suffering. Sometimes the healing is a direct response but other times, we receive an option to see, think, and feel differently; we must choose to pursue that option to facilitate the healing. We find comfort in knowing that our finite need can never diminish this infinite supply of curative power. Our God is an artist, a lover, and an engineer—infinitely efficient and only supplying what is needed.

  • When we are weak, he give us strength; when strong, he presents opportunities for compassion, tolerance and patience
  • When we are overwhelmed, he offers the ability to breathe deeply and feel peace; when frustrated, a moment of clarity and reason
  • When afraid, he imparts a sense of knowing that all will be well no matter how frightening the current situation appears; when confused, a direction; when lonely, a bathing of divine friendship; when angry, he sends a thought to quiet the fury and convey peace.
  • When temptation lures us off course, he grants an insight to the path of truth, honesty, loyalty, integrity, honor and ethics; when suffering self-righteousness, he presents the opportunity for humility—an awareness that we might not know everything.
  • In grief, he offers the certitude of love; the knowledge that his love for us is always with us and we simply have to receive its warmth and power
  • When despondent with self-pity, he suggests balance, a more realistic viewpoint that acknowledges the extent of our blessings.

Prayer: Dear God, my inner spark, my kingdom of heaven within, let your healing love and restoring energy flow to my need this day. Help me to fully trust and accept your care; to open my heart, mind, soul and body to the transforming power of your loving embrace. Thank you for your divine care.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Stop worrying. Eliminate “If”, “What if “and “If only” from your vocabulary

Worrying contributes nothing to solving problems. In fact, it often prevents or interferes with finding real solutions. But worry becomes a habit, an automatic reaction when faced with things we can’t control. It starts as a single thought but can quickly grow to dominate our mind and is much easier to control before it grows into a giant.

The words “If”, “What if” and “If only” often precede the worrisome thoughts. “If” she does this, it will be a catastrophe. “What if” this happens? “If only” they would do this.” It’s hard to worry without using these words. Eliminate them from your vocabulary. Write them in large print and put them in conspicuous places—on a mirror, your dresser, the refrigerator, the dashboard of your car. Every time you notice them, reflect on how much contention these short phrases cause you; commit to becoming aware of them as soon as they pop into your mind; ask your inner spirit for help to not use them.

 Prayer: Dear God, please help me to stop this worrying that upsets me and causes inner tension and turmoil. Help me recognize when I start thinking about IF, WHAT IF and IF ONLY and to turn to you immediately for help; I know that you can stop this harmful journey into concern over things I cannot control.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

A jar full of vinegar can’t hold honey

We cannot be loving and angry at the same time; we cannot be full of gratitude and also have guilt, anxiety, fear, or resentments. When these miserable feelings start bothering us, we focus on the positive things in our life.

Write a gratitude list. This action changes our attitude quicker that a 1000 thoughts. The misery starts melting as you take pen in hand and start writing. Pause as you write the name of a person you love or someone who loves you and become aware of the appreciation for that person in your life; consider how walking, seeing, living, breathing are blessings; feel the love and security from knowing that you are a child of a loving God. Reflect on the truth that these are the really important things in your life. Experience thankfulness as you trace the times that God’s grace filled you hope when hopeless; with direction, when wandering; with a word or act of kindness from someone when desperate; with love when alone and feeling unlovable. Honey replaces the vinegar inside in your heart, mind, and soul.

Prayer: My divine parent, creator of all, please wash the bitterness, envy, anger, guilt and all negative, hurtful feelings from my soul. Replace each with love and gratitude. Help me be aware of the seen and unseen blessings in my life. Thank you for loving and helping this child.

Take three relaxing breaths and spend a few moments in quiet meditation

It’s not any of your business what most people think of you

When another person judges or criticizes us, we should seek to understand their motives, values, and experience. We pay attention to those who love us, want the best for us, and share our goals and values. However, everyone is human. Their judgments reflect their life history, maturity, and how they feel about themselves in this moment; they act based on their own values, challenges, motives and desires. We have no control over any of these or what they say or think about us. If someone calls us a lemon, that does not make us a lemon.

We can only try to control what we think, do, and say. We must manage our own behavior and attitude; we will make mistakes and should not let these overburden us; we must avoid self-righteousness—we do not discount all criticism but avoid being overly sensitive to the misguided disapproval of others. We can grow from any experience or we can ignore that experience and keep repeating the same mistakes. Either way, our business concerns only our actions and reactions, our feelings, and our attitudes. We cannot control other people.

Prayer: Wonderful guiding spirit, help me spend this day with you—aware of your presence; feeling your love, compassion and acceptance of me. Guide my thoughts, words and actions that all may be worthy of your approval; if, in my humanness, my actions are less that your ideal, bathe me in your love and your lead me to righteousness.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

There are really very few BIG DEALS

Are you tense, anxious, worried, or stressed out? Does guilt, regrets or remorse bother you? Then you’re making a big deal out of something. A “Big Deal” is a situation or event that appears to be life-altering but we often create these out of trifles because we have got into the habit of reacting with unconscious and self-centered fear. Life has very few “big deals”—death or serious illness of a loved one, addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, and so on—events that will negatively impact our lives for years in the future.

A quick check to put the current upset in perspective: Pause and ask yourself: 1) Will this problem impact my life a year from now? Will I even remember the turmoil and its cause? If no, then it is not a Big Deal. The number of “Big Deals” in a day is inversely proportional to our spiritual condition; we always have more of them, they last longer, and ruin our days if we are not spiritually strong.

Prayer: Wonderful beautiful and all powerful God, please direct my thinking this day and help me not to react and make big deals out of small challenges or falsely see long-term problems in temporary adversity. Help me keep a healthy perspective and to remember that the inner life, the spirit-life, determines my happiness and peace of mind more than exterior events.

 Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

To thine ownself be true

This has been around for over 2500 years as a guideline to a great life and is still essential to enjoying the best life possible. If we are not true to our values, we will be as a ship without a rudder, blown hither and yon by the winds of the world; if we are not true to our ideals, we have no anchor told hold us fast in times of uncertainty and turmoil. We will compromise everything to achieve temporary goals; the opinions of others will control our life.  

I must know myself before I can be true to myself. I must honestly understand my values, purpose, ideals, assets, and liabilities; then, I must accept myself just as I am. Yes, I have made mistakes. I am not a perfect person but I am a child of God and trying my best; I accept the glory and blemishes of being me and have the desire and willingness to improve. Staying true to myself means that I know and will strive to live my core values, to demonstrate them in all parts of my life; when necessary, in spite of fear and trepidation, in spite of being one against the many, I will stand and speak for the principles that are important to me. As a child of the divine, I will try to demonstrate humility, trustworthiness, honor, courage, integrity, truth, ethics, compassion, mercy, and honesty.

Prayer: My God, help me to honestly examine my core values, the qualities I hold dearest in life, and elevate these to reflect the values you want me to embrace. Give me the courage and the strength to stand for these against all opposition, and the wisdom to think, speak, and act according to your will.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

Did you make a mistake yesterday? Did you do something you really wish you hadn’t done? No one on this planet can go back in time and change what has happened even five minutes ago. If necessary, we may have to apologize or make amends and then, we must completely release the error. This day—this moment—is our starting point. It is a new day–it has never been used—and we will never have another chance at this day for the rest of our life.

We pause, bring our mind into this moment, take three relaxation breaths and acknowledge five people or things for which we are grateful. We ask our inner spirit to help us keep our mind in this moment and to give us guidance and strength to be a better person; we must learn from yesterday but not dwell on the glory or mistakes of the past.  We commit that we will not allow the past, another person, or any situation steal time from this day; we will not accept feelings of misery—anger, worry, guilt, fear, shame or other debilitating reactions. We can start this day in the morning, at noon, or anytime; it does not operate on a clock. It is our day to live.

Prayer: my divine source, help me to accept that I am human and will make mistakes; let you transforming power ease any contention about my past. Fill me with the hope that I can change, the desire to become the best I can be, the willingness to act, and the strength to overcame all barriers to my progress.  

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

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