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Rules To Become A Better Person

English: Graphic on forgiveness

English: Graphic on forgiveness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What rules do I have for being a better person?  I answered this question in a post of another website.  Some are easily remembered and others I often am only reminded of when I do not follow them.

Rules To Become A Better Person:

Don’t pass judgments on others.  This means too that I will keep a rein on any criticizing.  As the Bible says, “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

To forgive all wrongs that have been done to me and in doing so practice extreme forgiveness.  Not to hold a grudge.  Not to carry resentments against others.  Going even further this means forgiving every person whose behavior I have let effect negatively me in some way even going so far as to forgive radical terrorists.

Ask that what happens be not just for my own good but also for the good of others.

To work on keeping the word, “should”, out of my vocabulary.  That is more for my own good than the good of others.

Keeping a good attitude towards life.  Expecting the best instead of the worst.

To keep the amount of worrying that I do down to a minimum.  If I must think about potential problem, let it be in order to plan ahead.

To constantly wish for the best for others (and for myself and my loved ones).

To remember humans are not God’s only creations and to treat those in the animal, plant, and also the mineral kingdom like I would like to be treated.

To rejoice in the blessings that others receive and to be happy for them.

To put the best construction on everything.  That is to not always assign evil motives to others’ actions.

Not to let fear or anger take over my life and determine what I do and say.  Going even further, to not let fear paralyze me or anger turn into murderous rage.

To routinely meditate and practice having a quiet, peaceful mind.

Along with meditation, to keep an open mind and to never stop learning.  You will never know what you might discover.  Don’t limit yourself to studying under one teacher or mastering one spiritual discipline.

To love others as I love myself.  To bless all who I come in contact with and all who inhabit this place with me.

To love myself first and foremost and if I love myself, I will follow these rules.

To respect myself.  In order to do this, I need to act, think, and be that which I inwardly and spiritually need to be.

To practice self-discipline in everything I do since I am the only one responsible for my life and what I accomplish.

In other words, if I were God, what would I like for me to be?  With God, all things are possible; alone, I am only an imperfect being.

I have not been extremely pithy in doing this; but I will continue to think about this and revise my list as necessary.  I am not being God, I am just being what God wants me to be and it is the best thing for me.  Stay with me on my journey to self-realization and see if I can help you with yours.

Additions:

To love, respect, and honor children and (don’t forget) adolescents as well.

Above all, don’t  deliberately lie whether by omission or commission especially to yourself, your significant other, and your children when older and your parents when younger.

To not categorize people, whether by age, sexuality, cultural background, financial status,  political or religious beliefs or by the judgments of others.  I made it a point in school to not absolutely accept the judgments of teachers by what other people said.  I often found somebody’s difficult professor was a good one for me.  Also when I do put people in categories, I often am drawn into a situation where I have intimate contact with someone I categorized negatively.

Be discriminating when necessary, but not judgmental.

To consider that we all are equally loved and accepted in the eyes of God and we all have equal potential to be able to live up to what God expects of us.

 

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Past, Present and Future Which Is More Important To You?

Past, present, and future which is more important to you?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  You can’t change the past; you can just reinforce the effect that it has on you in the present and thus on the future.  Have you ever thought I can never live that down?  Do you realize that the person who hurt you has long forgotten about what they did and maybe even didn’t know or care at the time if your feelings were hurt?  The longer some people live, the more they have to regret.  Soon your memory is clogged with memories of the past leaving no room for the present or the future.  How many stories have you had repeatedly told to you by someone about their unhappy or unfortunate past?

Things of the present in front of the people o...

Things of the present in front of the people of the future (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or of the past, present, and future, is the future more important to you?  You may feel you have to be prepared for what misfortune the future might bring.  Worry can eat at your guts and tear at your insides and because of this are you really any more prepared when and if disaster does strike?  Yes, it might be silly or stupid to not plan at all for the future; but anxiety often does not help you to be anymore prepared for it.  In fact, anxiety can cause you to procrastinate in doing so and to wind up even more unprepared than you would have been.

Perhaps disaster does strike in the present moment.  Would you have paid an even bigger price if you had lived your life up to that point filled with dread for what might happen?  How many horrible things were created and experienced by your fertile mind when you could have been possiblely concentrating on the unspoiled peace and tranquility of the present moment?  In fact some people feel that the contents of your present thoughts have a lot to do with what will happen in the future, not only in a negative way, but also in a positive way.

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Recreating Your World, An End to Negativity

alwaysrememberfocusDo you know how much time we waste dreaming up worst case scenarios that fuel our negativity?  I do.  I have a family member who does that and on top of it he/she still practices the false belief syndrome of adolescence (that he/she always will get a raw deal in life) even though he/she is past thirty years old.  What you see is what you get.  Have you ever stopped yourself from doing this?  Have you ever thought for a moment and pictured a different scenario, one with a happy ending.  How does the scenario in your head affect your behavior, do you think it might mess you up, make you more anxious or less anxious?  Your view of whether you can succeed or not may control the amount of effort you put into something because you are thinking,”I won’t get it anyway?”  Do you prepare less?  Are you more careless with your responses?

Do we ever spend more time thinking or talking about how we would like something to be than about how we are afraid things might turn out creating more negativity?  Occasionally we might play the game of spending a million dollars in our heads.  Yes, we can have fun with that; but take it further.  If something is broken imagine it fixed or even replaced or even better yet replaced by something even better.

develop-realistic-expectationWe are forever putting what we call realistic limits on our imaginations.  We think this is not creating negativity, this is thinking realistically.  Did you ever do this as a child?  No, the more fantastic the better.  Didn’t you once think (like I did) that there were things in the White House that were so advanced and fabulous that even the rich and famous did not have them yet.  I figured the president could have anything he or she wanted and he or she would be the first one to get one when a prototype was made.

Have you ever in a prayer asked God for something or for something even better (letting God, not you, put limits on what you have asked for)?  There we are back in the cycle of negativity.  I have personally experienced remodeling and adding on to a house and then picking out the perfect floor plan and specifics for the purchase of  a double-wide.  In the first case, I drew a lot of plans.  One of which eventually became the basis for a new addition.  In the other case, I collected a lot of brochures and looked at a lot of double-wides by different manufacturers.  When I started doing both of these things, there had been no plans made to do either.  Initially I was just “wishbooking” (a term for what people used to do when they first got their Sears-Roebuck catalogs).

miracle-1In this economy, it sometimes seems hopeless to wish for the best possible thing to happen and then waste your time planning for it.  It is easy to create negativity. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find,” says the Bible.  If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when you get it?  Women, would you let someone else plan your wedding without any of your recommendations and also not be able to make any of the decisions?  Men, would you want to go on a hunting or fishing trip or a photographic safari without any control over where you will be going and what you will be doing?

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Just Do It!

Just do it!  Get more done.  There are two roadblocks to successfully getting things done.  One is not having the things at hand to do the task.  The other is being a perfectionist.just do it

I always have a good reason to not, “Just do it.”  I can justify forever not doing something because I don’t have what I need to do things with.  There are two ways to approach this problem:  1. Make a list of what you need to help do the task and take the list with you when you go shopping and get those things.  2. If you already have what you need to do the task, go get the things from wherever they are that are needed to do it and get started.   That takes care of the primary excuse I usually have which is that I don’t have right in front of me whatever I need.

One thing that is a major problem that gets in the way of my telling myself, To just do it”  is lollygagging.  When it comes to wanting to do the thing right, I can procrastinate forever.  It also doesn’t help that there are controlling people in my life who will welcome the chance to criticize my choice whatever it is.  It is always easier to criticize something after the fact than to figure out how to do it in the first place.

Why did you take so long to just do it? When you do get it done, you may wonder why you did without it so long.  The time spent procrastinating, could have been spent enjoying the end product.  I just put up a new picture of my granddaughter where I can see it when I write.  If I had procrastinated any longer, she could have grown up before I got it done.Just-Do-It-Now

One final thing you can do to help you to just do it is to write down what you have accomplished.  Nothing is too small to put on the list.  We often fail to do this because we say to ourselves that wasn’t anything great that I did.  Yet somebody had to do it, it took time, and somebody will enjoy the results.  For example, take unloading and loading the dishwasher.  You were not doing nothing at the time; you were doing something.

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Become A Problem Solver

Become a problem solver, a solution generator like the little engine that could repeating to himself over and over, “I think I can; I think I can.”  Our brains live up to our expectations of them.  If we think that we are dumber than a box of rocks then we will be dumber than a box of rocks.  My first words, when given a problem to solve, were often, “I can’t,” or worse yet, “I’ll try”.  You can try to do something forever and never succeed.  With enough work and a different attitude, you can master many things that you think that you can’t master.  Someone was talking about scuba diving today and what a marvelous experience that was.  You know what my first thought was that I am not a good swimmer.  That would be my first hurdle, the swimming and treading water requirements you must pass before before you even get to go into the beginner’s program.  But you know, I could master that and go on to have the fun and enjoyment that people get out of scuba diving.  I am lucky in other areas.  For example, I am not afraid of public speaking or writing.  But my lack of self-confidence got in the way of my considering scuba diving.

Swimming

Swimming (Photo credit: Luther College Photos)

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The Cost of Living Affects People Unfairly

Money cash

Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

empty pockets

The percentage of their income that many people are paying for the cost of living in this economy is unbelievable.  Have you ever considered the gap between the cost of things in our economy and the ability of many people to pay for them?  The gap is getting bigger and bigger between what one group of people consider a reasonable amount of money for something and what another group of people can hardly imagine paying for something.

Because of how the cost of living effects them, more and more people are cinching their belts, doing without, and buying things on the cheap, or recycling somebody else’s trash.  This is the new group of poor which is being  being created by the number of qualified people who can’t get a job and the retires who find that their social security check, pension fund, and/or savings have shrunk in terms of what costs they can expect them to cover.  For example, paying $600 a month for house and car insurance may not seem like a lot when you are making $50,000 to $75,000 a year; but it seems impossible when you are on a fixed income of $10,000, $15,000, or even $20,000 a year.  Yes, there are people on social security who are getting less than $900 a month.

Many costs of living keep going up and up and we expect people to be able to pay them.  Costs to farm and raise a crop or a herd of beef, dairy cows, etc. are jaw dropping.  The profit margin keeps getting smaller and smaller.  Big business handles this by raising their prices and expecting somebody to pay them.  How have we come to accept this as normal?  I can tell you why people are buying imports from China, they can’t afford anything else.  Quality goods that have a longer useful life and home repair, maintenance, and appliance upkeep are unaffordable.  We have learned to skimp on things where we can (like using the dollar menu at the drive-through) and to do without things (that many people now consider a necessity) like a cell phone or inter-net access.

How did we get into this mess?  How did we come to accept the increasing inequality of the ability to pay the cost of living in our society?  We expect the little people of this country to pay the same big prices for some things that in reality only the disappearing middle (or upper class) can afford.  As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”  Where has the American Dream gone?  We thought this was ancient history, a time when royalty expected non royalty to pay starvation tax rates so royalty could live a gracious life style while wearing a blindfold when it came to seeing how this was achieved.  Power versus love.  Materialism.  People whom we have given authority to make decisions that are in our best interest are not doing it.  I would rather have a stove that works than pay for some government agency‘s meeting at a resort, wouldn’t you?  The Little Red Hen story also applies here too.

How have we come to accept this, this inequality of the ability of the citizens to pay the costs of living in our country?  Do you think that most of us should pay exorbitant prices for gasoline, medical insurance, and prescriptions and get by on little or nothing in the rest of our lives?  What is scary is that this may have been planned and controlled by the powerful and the wealthy in this country to be this way and we (like they thought we would) have come to accept this without protesting.  I know I have.

Once I made enough money to cover the cost of living and have a little left over; but now I don’t When it comes to eating out, I usually don’t.  For example, spending around ten dollars, tip and all for lunch is the max and is reserved for special occasions.  It is something that I do very infrequently.   When I am in town, I usually just get a drink and I am very selective about where I buy that.  I spend very very little money on clothes and as far as updating any rooms in my home like I see on HGTV, it ain’t gonna happen.  Lots of things don’t match, show a lot of wear, and are an eye sore.  I think my car would almost qualify as an antique.

For other things which are part of the cost of living, I pay what the economy demands.  This includes insurance premiums, utilities, gas, household supplies, but not food.  We have what we can afford that will stretch, not what we want.  When it comes to meat, we are very frugal; and we still cringe at the going rate for things like chicken wings and hamburger (but pay it anyway).  For a lot of things, we don’t have much choice, either pay what they ask or do without.  What happened to competition?

 

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Fear Not There Is Nothing To Fear But….

Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and Fear

Where do anxiety and fear come from?
They are a result of a person’s striving for survival.  Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable.  If their parents’ reject them, everything they need and come to expect in their life is threatened.  Parents are so busy telling children what to do, socializing them, and teaching them what to do that they neglect the child’s need for love and approval because they don’t want to spoil them.  Self assertion is seen as something children have to have drummed out of them if they are to become civilized.

We are anxious because we fear we will fail and as anybody knows, failure hurts and it eats at your very soul.  No matter how confident we are when we start out to do something, it only takes one dismal failure to stop us from trying again.  One dismal failure that you think you will never live down and you think that will effect your future forever.  All you have to do is believe that.

When you try again (and some of us never do), anxiety and fear will haunt you and eat at your self-confidence.  You don’t have to let it, but it is not easy to do.  In the excitement of getting a second chance, you let go of your worries and fly; but you soon will crash if you leave no allowance for the misgivings that will arise.  In today’s world, in this economy, many people are in this position.  Not having a job can make you unemployable.  This is impossible if you need to already have a job in order to get another one.

Dream the impossible dream and focus on what still might happen, the best possible outcome.  Is it that you’re not having had a job won’t matter because they are so interested in you and what you have to offer?  Don’t let the anxiety and fear that you naturally have in the situation keep you from getting the position and doing the best job you can.  You may not fail because you are a failure, but because you let it effect your self-confidence too much.

 

 

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Facing Your Past Anxieties

Anxiety

Anxiety (Photo credit: Joana Roja – work and migraines – coming back..)

Facing your past anxieties is difficult.  Just when you think you have faced them all, something new comes up.  I become down right unreasonable, short with other people, and reclusive.  Anything you are afraid of facing like being unsure about your self, damaging a relationship, etc. can occur.

I have been fighting it rigorously for the past five years with mindfulness and meditation.  These two techniques can help you in facing your past anxieties, but they can’t eliminate them all.

You ultimately have to form your own theories about psychology and then begin to implement them and see if they work.  I have been cultivating a positive attitude and am working on being less judgmental of myself and others.  Working on yourself is important whether you do it with a form of self-help or you do it in a group or you do it with a therapist or counselor.  Some people find that their religious beliefs do this for them.

 

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Leading People On By Those Who Should Know Better

Academic

Academic (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Leading people on is a scam.  Here’s one you didn’t think about awhile back.  How many worthless college degrees are there out there?  How much in student loans is owed and can’t be paid off in this economy.  I bet you know at least one person like that.  I know several.

Colleges and their financial aid offices are leading people on.  These days a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a good job anymore, perhaps not even a job.  Accurate numbers are not being kept of people with college degrees who have given up looking for a job.  Also how many people are working only part-time or even at minimum wage service jobs?  Add to this the number of people who are working at jobs where a college degree is not needed and also in an area that they did not complete their studies in.  Last but not least how many people are stay-at-home moms or dads because even with their college degrees they can’t find a job that pays enough so they can afford a babysitter?

Leading people on is a scam in which promises are not kept.  College students are encouraged to acquire more debt than they can  pay.   Is this a problem with truth in advertising?  We have had that problem in the housing industry with people buying more house than they can afford.  It is not bad enough that these college graduates can often only get a job paying a subsistence wage with which they have trouble making ends meet.  Then they have to pay off  an exorbitant amount of college debt as well.  Is there such a thing as ethics to consider in loaning money to someone who will not be able to pay it back and in offering educations that won’t pay any return on the investment?

 

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Read My Lips!

Read my lips, “Hello, out there.  I don’t exist just for other peoples’ convenience.”  I made a crack to some friends in the same situation the other day about how I started my indentured servitude in 1975 and it hadn’t ended yet.  Have  I paid yet for my passage into married life?

Read my lips, “Why do I get taken for granted?”  Back when I traveled and worked outside the home, I had a sign put up that said, “Your mother doesn’t work here please pick up after yourself.”  Of course, no one in the house obeyed the sign.

Read my lips, ” I am someone besides the housekeeper, your personal shopper,  your wife, your mother, and your kids’ grandmother.”   It was suggested that I write a proposal for what I would really like to do with my life.  That stymied me.Personal_Identity_Project_by_LaceX_Foxypowow

Read my lips, “I have always been a mystery to my family, not only my family of birth, but also my current family.  This started in childhood with my father.  He would take me places for activities and pick me up from them; but he never knew what I was doing.  I had the lead in my senior high school play and for all he knew, I had a bit part.  It was a mystery to him.  He supported me financially; and he usually knew where the money was going but not necessarily what for?

Read my lips, “Isn’t about time you and I started living our lives, not vicariously those of others, but our own.”  Have you lost sight of where you were going?  Did you ever know where you were going?  In my mother’s eyes, I was supposed to be a housewife and mother.  She understood that as she was one herself and she did a good job, not only at the basics, but also at the extras like being a room mother, a seamstress,  and a vegetable and landscape gardener.

identity-mind-map-19cc91tRead my lips, “Move over Kim Kardashian, it is my time to shine.”  It is time to stop doing without so others can have what they want.  It is time to be recognized for what I can do, do what I want to do, and go where I want to go.  I have a way with words, I have a good aesthetic sense, I have a singing voice, I am funny, I am well educated,  and it is time I stopped putting myself on the back burner.

Read my lips, “This is my personal space too.”  (I am talking about my house.)  I don’t mind others giving me suggestions, but the final decision should be mine.  I have to live in it, spend the most time in it, look at it, and be inspired by it everyday.  Yet, it constantly reminds me of what needs to be done and how it has been let go.   I feel as if I have little if any power to do anything about it.

Read my lips, “The fight for women’s liberation has not yet been won.”  ( I was there when it started and I won’t tell you how long ago that was.)  Yes, I could write a another whole post on being a wage slave and spending the majority of one’s life working for someone else’s goals.

 

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