“What would it take . . . ?”

A recent Facebook post by one of my cousins inspired this reply of mine:

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My experience is that if my behavior is too far from my ideal, others’ love is never going to be enough to make me feel good about myself. But rather than just beating myself up for not being near my ideal yet, I’m learning to ask the question, “What would it take for me to feel greater self-respect right now?” When the thought inspires me to do at least one thing that I value, it’s a huge mood lifter.

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My cousin’s position was that one need not “earn” (through achievement or self-mastery) his or her worth and loveability, and to believe to the contrary is to believe a lie. I can appreciate her point: if we can never feel contentment or self-love until we’ve done ALL the things we imagine life (or God) expects of us, we will be forever miserable. But I would counter the idea that one need not earn the FEELING of worth and loveability. My experience tells me otherwise. While meditation and gratitude can do much to improve a personal sense of wellbeing independent of achievement and self-mastery, neither can replace the profound import of acting according to one’s conscience.

Which raises in my mind the very important question: “What (or who) are the influences in my life that are defining my moral compass?” I’m convinced that when we hand our consciences over to others who claim the right to define morality and worthiness for us, our current and future happiness become dependent upon our living according to their definitions (whether reasonable, attainable, ethical, or beneficial).

Make sense?

What do you think? Can you feel worthwhile/loveable without acting in ways that please your conscience?

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A template for enjoying every day: H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S.

Hello, blog reader. Ready to create more enjoyment in your daily life? Below is a planning template for just that. Take each letter of the acronym H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S. and plan to do something today that matches each category.

Having fun–

Adventure–

Pleasure–

Peace–

Increasing Others’ Happiness–

Nesting–

Exercising for Endless Energy–

Self-Expressions–

Silly Self-Deprecation–

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Savor each stage

The phrase “Savor each stage” came to mind yesterday, which got me thinking.

I remember pining for romance during my sophore and junior years of college. Frequent thoughts included What’s wrong with me? Why don’t the guys whom I like and admire ask me out? Am I not desirable? Who will love and appreciate me enough to WANT to marry me? Will I ever marry? . . .

Fast forward to the very demanding years when I had an infant and/or toddlers, and the grass-is-greener thoughts crept up again: Why didn’t I just ENJOY my single years?! I should have appreciated the privilege it was to be taking interesting classes in college! I had so much freedom: I could have done any number of things if I’d just set my mind to it. (Peace Corps, road trips, world travel, etc.).

I’m grateful to be able to say that I truly savor each and every day I get to share with my beloved Erik! Time with him is pleasant, pleasurable, and very often passionate. Such good times!

That doesn’t mean I’m immune to “Things will be even better once his iSeekDiscovery software is adopted around the globe! . . . ” thoughts. However, with self-awareness and honest intention, I’m hoping Erik and I can “enjoy the journey” of making our long-term financial prosperity a reality. The grass of happiness is green under our feet, if we can ENJOY what we’re doing and what we already have.

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