SPEAK YOUR TRUTH QUIETLY AND CLEARLY
SPEAK YOUR TRUTH QUIETLY AND CLEARLY
A few days ago I pondered “why am I here?” Today, it’s your turn. Why are you here? Are you living your life, your dreams, your hopes? If not, why? Jobs, finances, family responsibilities, social commitments, civic duties? Self-doubt maybe?
“Heck, Larry, I couldn’t do what I want or dream about. That would be too selfish.”
I understand what you are saying. The kids need me to guide them through the teenaged years. The boss cannot get along without me today. The government will go to hell in a hand basket if I don’t keep on top of things. My community will lose its appeal and attraction unless I attend and contribute to its civic meetings. And Lord knows my spouse cannot get along without me. I am so necessary in every thing – except my own life.
Here’s some advice from an old codger who’s been around the block a few times. Live your life as if you are important, follow your dreams, develop your creative skills, love yourself like no other could love you. And guess what? Your world will swoon in your presence, people will gravitate to you because “you have it all together”, your face will radiate with the joy happening within. You will finally be the you which the Lord of your life intended. Simple to understand, but difficult to practice. This is not narcissism; rather it is pursuing the enlightened existence for which we were created.
“This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” SHAKESPEARE
You and I have within us the ability to make this day part of a successful journey or a meaningless struggle leaving us weary and eager to simply bring the day to an end. We have that power when we first arise in the morning. Don’t grab the phone to check messages, don’t turn on the TV to catch up on news, don’t open the newspaper to front page headlines – just don’t. Say no to all that noise and listen to your own voice for a few minutes. What do I want this day to be like? How will I make this a day that will be memorable? What can I do for the next hour or two hours that will set this day apart from all the others?
We have been designed to live our lives with unimaginable success and contentment. It all begins before throwing back the blankets and swinging our legs out over the bed. Just be still for a moment and open the day with a gratitude list. Listen to your breath, feel your heartbeat, wiggle your toes, then hear the voice inside which says, “I love you, I really do love you. You are worthy and you are perfect just as you are in this moment.”
Confirm that inner voice and plan a perfect day. It will be one in which everything that happens leads to another leg of your journey to success. Namaste. 🙏
“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” NELSON MANDELA
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” GANDHI
Some of you are saying, “Larry, what does poverty have to do with a great day?”
Did you wake up from a peaceful sleep in a warm, comfortable bed? Do you have a roof over your head? Have you done your gratitude list for this day? Did you eat a hearty breakfast? Will you probably live this day without threat of gun violence or persecution for your belief system?
Congratulations! Your day has the promise of being a GREAT DAY. A majority of the world’s population does not have that promise. But, many of those people go out and make it a fantastic day regardless of circumstances. That’s the miracle of our species – we are survivors who have an innate desire to thrive.
Does your need to thrive ride on the backs of the less fortunate? Does mine? When was the last time we chose to contribute to our local homeless shelter in lieu of a new addition to our designer clothes or, perhaps, buy that man standing on the corner with a cardboard sign a lunch at Burger King rather than a steak for our dinner tonight? When did we last decide to live more simply so that others in our world would have a dish of rice to eat or a cup of clean water to drink? When?
My friend, it is absolutely a great day because we have so many choices in front of us. We can choose what we will eat rather than if we can afford to eat. We can choose which chair or sofa we will rest upon rather than which overpass we will seek for shelter. We can choose to tidy up our living room rather than rearrange our boxes and tarp. Do we understand that much of the world does not have adequate food, shelter or water and our Western culture of greed and consumption has contributed to that shortage?
Along with substantial blessing comes substantial responsibility. You and I ARE our brothers’ keepers. That is not a suggestion; it is a mandate dictated by all the world’s major religions and belief systems. Hug our loved ones this morning, appreciate all that has been given to us, and then contemplate how we can live more simply and help eradicate poverty.
“To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live – that is to have succeeded.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Do you compare to others? Car? House? Money? Designer clothes? Do you base your personal success on that comparison?
STOP! Just stop. Our Western culture has fed all of us a pack of lies regarding success. As a result you probably work more than you need in order to buy things you don’t really need. And whom are you impressing? The Joneses most likely don’t give a hoot about that shiny new car or your spouse’s wardrobe. In the end when one makes an accounting of one’s life, all of us, yes every single one, will go wherever we believe we are going without a stitch of designer jeans, no fancy ride, and not one of those gleaming diamonds purchased with hard work and sacrifice. Nada, zilch, nothing!
Then what will we take across into the next phase? Perhaps integrity, compassion, stewardship, honesty, conscience? How about selflessness? What good have we done for this creation? The preservation of natural habitats, the protection of wildlife, the concern for the homeless, the compassion for immigrants, the love for the arts, the kind word to a lonely man, the dedication to peace, the restrictions on personal consumption are all ways to view our lives as astonishing successes no matter how small or how grand.
Don’t fall for the world’s allure. It is fleeting and destructive. It will not satisfy your need to feel successful. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s a great day whether spent in an elegant mansion or a modest apartment, whether the ride to town is a limo or a bicycle, whether the jeans are Jordache or WalMart. Stuff does not matter. Repeat that a dozen times as you compose today’s gratitude list.
“I am going to have a horrible day today. It’s raining, my joints hurt and my muscles ache. The cat spit up on my bedcovers and the roof is leaking. I forgot to get eggs yesterday at the grocery store, so now I must settle for a PB sandwich for breakfast. Worst of all, that lazy, newspaper delivery man forgot my paper and I have nothing to read with my boring PB breakfast sandwich. Life is really going to suck today.”
“Oh, what a relaxing, drizzly day! I won’t be doing much outside today, so I’ll be able to catch up on reading. The cat is sprawled out on my bed and enjoying his first nap of the day. Yes, I forgot to get eggs yesterday, but a bowl of creamy, hot oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar sounds delicious. Maybe I’ll go online to read my newspaper since I don’t have a morning paper in the driveway. Lord, thank you for another day of lungs breathing and heart pumping. Today will be a spectacular day.”
What will be your day’s intention? Glum and gloomy or special and spectacular? It’s a choice you make each morning upon arising. Don’t just accept what life throws at you, create the life you want to live. It’s an amazing choice that greets the day and sets the stage for the next 24 hours. Be intentional!
Don’t check the phone for messages. Don’t turn on the noise from the multiple media sources. Don’t read the front page headlines. Don’t do any of those things until you have spent the beginning hours of this new day processing the beauty of life, the wonder of earth, the amazing complexity of mankind’s mind, the indescribable energy behind every function, every organism, and every creature of earth. Just don’t! Stop the monkey brain thoughts that clutter up this morning’s spectacular appearance over the horizon. Look at that sun creeping into the eastern sky. Be fascinated by its timely routine each and every day of this existence. Soak it in!
If that sun could talk, what would it say about mankind? What would it tell about the recent violence in New Zealand? Would it take sides, find blame? No, of course not. The sun cannot do that because it is merely the sun. Powerful and brilliant, yet unable to alter its course or its purpose. It shines upon and warms all of humanity regardless of race and creed. The sun has no choice but to do what it was put in the heavens to do.
You are more powerful than the sun, the stars, the oceans because you can choose what you will do today, where you will go, when you will eat, whom you will speak to. On this day, in this moment, you can choose thoughts that nourish your inner strength or thoughts that defeat your indwelling peace. You can align with rhetoric which speaks your kindness through truth or rhetoric which exposes your inner demons. You can choose actions which honor a Higher Presence or actions which debase the soul. You can do all this because you have the power of choice.
When you accept your one-way ticket into eternity, life will change. The love and compassion you accept for yourself will also be freely available to others through you. There will be no room for hatred and intolerance because a freed heart cannot harbor bigotry. The demons which drove the mass murderers in New Zealand, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Paris or London will be unable to exist in the presence of a heart filled with understanding and love. It is your choice today to be whom you want to be.
This power of choice is life’s golden ticket. Today, in this moment, whom you will be is one of your choices. Look at that reflection in the mirror, gaze into those beautiful eyes and tell yourself, “You are worthy. You are loved. You are a child of immense significance with infinite potential. I love you.”
Decide today to love yourself more than any other creature can possibly love you. You will not be disappointed or betrayed. Greet the morning sky with outstretched hands facing upward to receive the blessings of a new day. It will be a great day!
So, what will you do with your day? Welcome it? Cherish it? Live it minute by minute? Enjoy it? Love it? Make it the 1st day of the rest of your life? Or maybe you will make today the best day ever.
The options are breath-taking. Wake up and greet the sun or sit on your porch and watch the raindrops dancing in the backyard puddles. Pull on those sneakers and sweats for a jog around the neighborhood or savor a cup of coffee as you read a few verses of poetry. Greet your spouse with a hug and smile or pull the cat onto your lap and listen to the serenade of purring? It’s your day – what are you going to do with it?
The choices are yours! Not everybody has a choice. The ability to choose is life’s golden ticket. It is the passport to enduring contentment and joy. There was a time, for many of us, picking up a drug or a drink was not optional. We had to do it. That substance controlled every moment of the day. Planning for it, anticipating it, relishing the 1st one of the day was routine behavior. Many “normals” considered us morally weak and socially depraved, usually we agreed. Drinking and drugging was not a choice we enjoyed. It was a disease which opened each day with regret and led us into thoughts and behaviors which disgusted us. But, we had no choice. Finally a reprieve was offered.
Today, as you swing your legs out of bed, thank your Higher Power that this morning is different. This new day has infinite possibilities. Look at yourself in your mirror, gaze into your eyes and bathe in the realization that you are a wonderful creation with unlimited potential. You are perfect and worthy just as you are. That universal energy, which some call Higher Power, God, Allah, the One, would not have it any other way. Bathe in the reflection of a man/woman who is loved by an indescribable and undefinable, omnipotent and compassionate essence which surges through every creature and every organism of this earth. Take it in, stop for a minute and think about this moment. You are loved beyond human comprehension.
Today is yours. Don’t waste it dragging in baggage from yesterday’s mistakes. Don’t squander today’s precious hours worrying about tomorrow’s problems. If you are here, now, reading these words, then you have been given another chance to do more than just survive. It is your destiny to thrive. Smile at the sunrise, embrace the fresh morning air, raise your hands up to welcome the limitless universe into your day. It’s a great day and it belongs to you.