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A Lesson in Life

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be, your roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes, things happen to you and at the time they may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles, you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience, they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experiences can be learned from... those lessons are the hardest and probably the most important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you , or breaks you heart, forgive them. For they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to who you open your heart to.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either.

You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

~Author unknown to me~
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Life's Journey

Life is a journey. It moves about us and around us, and can become us if we let it. Always searching, always hoping, for some answers to its being. It moves in all directions, circling, weaving, and transposing. Sometimes confused and bewildered in its searching and its seeking. But always steadfast in its mission to untangle life's true meaning. It challenges us, excites us, and demands from us commitment. To join the journey and the seeking, for life's truths and its secrets. To become its earthly partner, and to find some order in it. Sadness comes to it sometimes, joy and laughter too. Crying, pain, and fear at times, and hope if we will accept it. But, we must not forget it, should instead move towards it. Listen to its singing, of its caring and its giving, its quiet message to us. You see, life is a journey. It moves in spite of us, and because of us, and without us if we let it. It can be insistent and demanding, in its calling and its yearning. It can fool us and be resistant to complexity and to changes. Become stagnant if unnurtured, but glorious on a true course. It presents its gifts, gives glimpses of its many tapestries, and lends us colors for our canvas. And In a single moment, with but a simple movement of our brush and as we turn our mind to focus, it may ask us to paint a picture, to texture its elements, not of it, but of us. It whispers to slow down, to see its great diversity ,like the oak , the sky, the land, the sea, the aged redwood that still grows strong. Or a mountain stream that soothes the mind, with its quiet murmur. Or a flower, or a bird that's singing, or a thought of what will be. You see, life is a journey. It is all things, but sometimes only one thing. It beckons us to join it, to immerse ourselves in it. To fear not its changes, but contemplate its mysteries and its answers, and seek the challenge of it. It is about becoming, of changing, of accepting, and of loving. It is about the universal spirit, of its beauty and its wonder. And we dare not escape it, deny it, or reject it. But instead, should lovingly embrace it. So, lift up your spirit and let go, become as a flowing river. Purposeful in your endeavors, moving ever forward. Be a partner in its travels, move swiftly if you need too. And learn from it, enjoy it, and yield to its embraces, wherever it may take you. For life is a journey.

by the Cox family, copyright February 15, 1997
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Always Live Life to the Fullest

Don't ever let go of hope.
Hope gives you the strength to keep going.
When you feel like giving up.
Don't ever quit believing in yourself.
As long as you believe you can, you will always have a reason for trying.
Don't let anyone hold your happiness in their hands.
Hold it in yours, so it will always be within your reach by how you feel.
Our feelings determine the richness of our lives.
Don't let bad moments overcome you.
Be patient, and they will pass.
Don't hesitate to reach out for help.
We all need it from time to time.
Don't run away from love, but towards love, because it's our deepest joy.
Don't wait for what you want to come to you. Go after it with all that you are, knowing that life will meet you halfway.
Don't feel like you've lost when plans and dreams fall short of your hopes.
Anytime you learn something new about yourself or about life, You have progressed.
Don't do anything that takes away from your self-respect.
Feeling good about yourself is essential to feeling good about life.
Don't ever forget how to laugh or be too proud to cry.
It is by doing both that we live life to the fullest.

~Nancye Sims~
Nancye can be reached at
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We can live a long time without thinking about such things as "meaning" and "purpose" in life. But happy and healthy living requires that we visit these words from time to time.

I have heard that Ralph Barton, a cartoonist of a former generation, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his life: "I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, and from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day."

Whatever psychological problems may have afflicted him, Ralph Barton suffered from an empty life. He tried to fill it up -- with relationships and things and busyness. He was no doubt successful in his work. And probably well liked. His problem was that he felt his life had no meaning.

Educator Morrie Schwartz helps us put meaning into our lives. In Mitch Albom's audio book "Tuesdays with Morrie" (Grand Haven, MI: Nova Audio Books, Brilliance, 1997), he chronicles the final months of Morrie's life, as his former teacher slowly dies of Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). Morrie, an irrepressible lover of life, says this: "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half asleep even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is the product of chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Do you want to be happy? Do you want a life that matters? Then fill it up with loving and caring for those around you! I guarantee, it will never seem empty again!

by Steve Goodier
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Get a Life

Many of us know them. Many of us were there, too, for an unhappy length of time, tripping over our self-pitying selves while wrapped in the flag of the Poorme Nation.

Chances are this column will do us more good than them because it's terribly difficult to penetrate the armor of the Poorme People. Their defenses are so thick and borderline irrational that we can make ourselves nuts trying to reason with them. Ever hopeful trying a different approach may work, we try it and their retaliatory spin sends us off into space. Meanwhile, the objects of our obsession go merrily on their way--and that statement is only half true: "Merrily" is not their travel mode. Try "Miserable."

Because surely Poorme People, those human beasts with burdens, their baggage crammed full of hurt feelings dating back to the time of the first glacier, are miserable--within and without. The most innocent of remarks or events can trigger a change in their mood, from seemingly carefree to acting like first cousins to Chief Thundercloud. If we confront, they deflect, and before we realize we're on a merry-go-round, we're getting dizzy from their convoluted verbiage. Just when we recognize a phrase that makes enough sense to which we can respond, they're accusing us of not trusting them. While we grasp at digesting that non sequitur, they're out the door and we're left wondering what the hell happened.

Guaranteed that during their absence from us, they will do one of three things--mumble under their breath about how cruel and insensitive we are; find sympathetic ears to listen to a laundry list of our faults (exaggerated, of course); say nothing but focus on how cruel the world is and especially certain people in it--alive and dead--until the complaints in the cauldron reach the fermentation stage.

If we haven't learned any better, we're going over and over the most recent exchange, hoping to discover what we did wrong. Ultimately, wiser heads--all of them--tell us the same thing: You didn't do anything wrong.

In other words, it's nonsensical to try to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense. It's also crazy-making.

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

So okay, hurrah, thanks everybody for your input, we stop the search for sense and gradually we start to feel better. We can see that what's bothering them is their problem, not ours.

John Bradshaw has an interview ("Family Man" by Peggy Taylor) in the July/August 1995 issue of NEW AGE JOURNAL in which he talks about the time he was incensed because a therapist instructed him to walk around for a week saying that his suffering was ordinary. Mid-week, Bradshaw said, "...It finally dawned on me how attached I was to my story." Because he was getting his identity from his suffering, he was not motivated to get his grief work out of the way. "...There was a way in which I was almost enhancing the story. I'd continually add pieces to it saying, Oh, yes, and they did that to me, too! And there's a kind of reverse grandiosity in it as well. Instead of being the best best, you become the best worst! You start thinking, No one's ever suffered like me! I'm an ace sufferer. I'm the number one sufferer in the group. It's as if you get all your strokes for being a victim rather than for grieving your pain and becoming empowered. I'm not trying to say that people haven't been severely victimized, and I don't want to condone it in any way, but at some point it's no longer useful to try to get more and more data to support your story. What's useful is grieving and moving on."

Many of us know Poorme citizens who are making a career out of their unhappy past. If that's their only path to having an identity, it's understandable albeit not attractive.

We can feel sorry for them which, of course, won't help them one whit. (It won't advance us much either.) We can tell them that we're done with listening to their Wounded Inner Child stories. We can suggest that they talk with a professional counselor. We can also tell them that we will not accept any of their unacceptable behavior. And we can tell them that when they're ready to become citizens of the Getalife Country, we'll be the first to greet them with open arms.

Becoming recovered carries with it certain responsibilities. We need to be vigilant about patrolling our own boundaries because there are desparate. Poorme People looking for sympathy and a free ride--at our ultimate expense. If we're not careful, we can find ourselves squandering our hard-earned strength on Poorme People who will bleed us dry--if we let them.

Once we get a life, we need to guard it with our life. Because if we don't, we won't have one.

~Source unknown to me~
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