Thursday, December 11, 2014

10 FAITH - GROWING THROUGH DIFFICULTY

In reflection
Earlier today I found myself in reflection mode. I was ruminating on some of my life’s challenges and triumphs thus far and how those battles to overcome and rise above has shaped me and informed who I am today, how I think and in many ways how I reason.  In my introspection I began going through some affirmation readings to solidify lessons learnt when I encountered TODAY’S WORD sent to me by a friend from Joel & Victoria Osteen titled “Growing through Difficulty,” it begins…..
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold...” (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)
 “One thing we have to realize is that God is not going to deliver us from every difficulty. He is not going to keep us from every challenge. If He did, we would never grow.” --Joel Osteen
I thought to myself, hmmmm ok. I understand the reasoning. To experience true growth, a transformation to the birth of wisdom, knowing, to the elevation of self, one has to walk through the fire doing the necessary work in order to come out on the other side because…
“Our faith is tried in the fire of affliction.”
As much as I understand this, i.e. the premise of faith, trials through fire, the building of strength, hope and power to manage and triumph what is to come. I am challenged. I have to say in my humanness I am at times willfully resistant and my faith falters and doubt tauntingly seeps in bringing with it fear.  If I surrender even a little to fear it weakens the wall of my faith. Then  I am unwilling to step into the fire and embrace the necessary pain, singe, scorch, burn, disillusionment, sorrow, betrayals, inherent in walking through the tribulations in order to stand victorious.
Why you may ask, three words, I am imperfect. I don't want to experience the wrenching of my insides. Frankly, it just plain sucks and the struggle feels like an intention macabre disembowelment that makes avoidance and pretense though futile a seemingly attractive alternative.  Sounds crazy right?
At times it is so easy to get discouraged, to feel angry at our circumstances when life delivers a one two punch not allowing us time to breathe and recover before another series of blows knock us on our asses again. It is precisely in those moments when life kicks us in the teeth and we are flat on our face with our ass expose to the swift kick that may come that we need to hold strong to faith, to hold steady.
“When you’re in a tough time, that’s an opportunity for your faith to shine.” --Joel & Victoria Osteen
Faith is what will get us through. The true lesson in life is that we need to have faith through all of life’s challenges. We need to not take it for granted and assume that “faith” will automatically be there if we have done nothing to ensure that it is.
Our faith is key to our survival along with our willingness to fight. Faith renews of our spirit, it is the garden we need to nurture and mind. We need to maintain it, protect it and build it continuously while simultaneously strengthening ourselves to ensure that when life's test comes and it will undoubtedly come, our faith will be in tact, resilient and strong. All of which requires us to believe in the Divine, in ourselves, to be sure, to be ready, to be prepared, to be a warrior in our own lives for God helps those who help themselves. It is not enough to pray and say “Lord Lord” for help and sit and do nothing, waiting for a miracle to happen. We must be willing to do the work required so that when help comes we are ready and able to receive it.
Giving up is not an option, it cannot be because to give into despair ensures our defeat; it guarantees our disablement to rise and triumph over.

MY MESSAGE TO ALL OF US….
Keep the faith; hold on when you feel like giving up.
Yeah life can be a challenge but you are so worth the journey and worthy of the triumph.
Art: Soul Searching II by Dr D Ash Freeport



* What are you thankful for today? – click & share on my Gratitude Journal

Sunday, December 7, 2014

16 Life is what you think it?

Life is what you think.

Really?

It certainly brings to mind a myriad of mind boggling befuddling questions, implications and ramifications.

the-happiness-hypothesis-by-jonathan-haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis” by Johathan Haidt made me think, not only on the surface of things but beneath things, deep in the core of things.

Do we create our own experiences? Hmmmmm….

I have to give some more thought to this concept.

Stay with me while I pontificate (sound off)….

I certainly agree to a degree as I can see the merits of this hypothesis as an adult. However, I question its premise as it applies to (children) the child I was who experienced things way beyond my control or thought processes, before I was cognoscente and conscious of being.

I suppose therein lays my resistance as I don’t believe that children in their age of innocence are responsible for what is visited upon them by adults.

Though…. I do agree that….

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.” --Johathan Haidt

 

Maybe therein is the answer….Our thoughts,

While we may not be responsible for some of what happens to us, how we think of those experiences as it pertains to how we see ourselves, how we feel about ourselves, how we think of ourselves and whether or not we allow those things/experiences to determine our self-worth, our value, to impact our self-esteem that affects the way we love, honor and accept ourselves is the key.

Hmmmmm….

How wonderfully liberating and simultaneously horrendously terrifying the reality of that concept is, how many of you out there believe that to be true?

Are we as a society, as individuals ready or willing to believe, acknowledge, consider or even give voice to the possibility that we are, each of us implicitly responsible for our lives and  the challenges, trials & tribulations that inevitable shape it?

Are we willing to embrace that, and if so, then what?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 RESPECT

IMG_5145“Respect is a gift to be valued. It is not an entitlement to be wheeled as a sword to diminish and degrade in one’s quest of self-interest”. 

Self-quoted: D.B.S.Rhapsody©all rights reserved

Friday, November 21, 2014

12 TORONTO DAY AND NIGHT - SCENERY

I love taking photos and any opportunity i get i take a picture. This day was no exception. At our office we have a magnificent view however to my horror (that’s me being dramatic-queue the music) it is marred by glass that prevents me from taking a great photo without my reflection showing up in it. Today however no such barrier exists as i found a window without a glass or mesh blockage and what do i do, yep, I took pictures, granted i would have preferred to use my DSLR camera but my compact will do in a pinch. I got high noon shots and evening/night shots of the same landscape. Click on the photo for larger view. Don’t worry it won’t move you from this page rather it will open in its own page.

day

night

View from South view onto the Lake in Toronto near College & Bathurst SAM_5532
SAM_5502 SAM_5528
SAM_5516 SAM_5536
SAM_5514 SAM_5534
photos by D.S.B.S.Rhapsody© Scene landscape Toronto facing south toward lake from Bathurst/College

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 THE RIPPLE EFFECT

We as individual persons tend to think that what we do, how we do it, what we say, how we say it and the choices we make as individuals to govern our lives only impacts us. That the implicit decisions intended to focus, elevate and better our personal lives is no body’s business but our own. The singular acts of personal choice with a sole agenda to impact one, the self, the “I”. Lovely notion isn't it and while it is true it is equally untrue. The truth, there is a ripple effect to the choices we make.
There ripple effect intention or not is a natural phenomenon (consequence) of choice. It is so because we do not live on this planet by ourselves, we are not an Island unto ourselves hence what we do, what we say, how we act, the choices we make has an impact.
The impact starts with our inner circles, the ones we hold closest, the ones we loved dearly and it ripples out as we interact with each other because we are all connected. The degree of impact will vary depending on our degrees of separations. We may feel a murmur, some may feel a buzz, a tingle, a tremor, others a deep shaking of the equilibrium. The point is we all feel it. 
Yesterday was such a day for me. I felt the ripple effect, for me a murmuring. Though I don’t know the faces, the persons behind the choices and I am likely never to know, I felt the ripple effect. I was caught up in its maelstrom as were many others.  
I was on my way home from work. 6:00 pm, I boarded the bus to the subway and boarded the subway to my home destination. On the train I sat back sipping on my drink and eating a chicken patty before diving enthusiastically into my 26 volume of Christine Feehan’s Dark Series “Dark Blood” when an announcement came over the P.A. system.
“Attention all passengers due to a personal injury on track level at the Yonge/University line, we will be bypassing St. George Subway. If you need to transfer to the Yonge/University line you can do so at Spadina or Yonge.”
I thought, ‘no biggie, that doesn’t affect me since am going way pass St. George and I don’t need the Yonge/University line.’  We reached and passed Yonge on our way to Sherbourne when the P.A. system crackled again and another announcement was made.
“Attention passengers of the Bloor/Danforth line, due to the personal injury at Pape Subway, this train will be stopping at Broadview. All passengers must leave the train. Shuttle buses will be waiting to take you to Woodbine subway for those wishing to go further East.”
TTC TRAINNow this definitely impacts me as I am travelling the Bloor/Danforth line. I thought, hmmm, ok, this will be a nightmare because trains are bailing people out at Broadview, it will be pandemonium, pushing, shoving etc. I stood back like a tourist watching the crowd.
subway-crowdHoards of people like bees swamped the stairways and escalators. The platform at Broadview  was packed and shuttle buses were yet to be dispatched. I had no intension of staying in that mess. Being familiar with the area I strategized alternatives. I boarded the Broadview streetcar to Gerrard & Broadview where I intended to board the streetcar going to main station, then a bus home. As I sat on the streetcar I thought about what “personal injury” meant, it is code for suicide attempts-death by subway trains. It meant sadly that there were two jumpers, one on the Yonge/University line and one on the Bloor/Danforth line within hours of each other.  My heart went out to the families who at the time were  yet to be told and begin to deal with the impact of their loved ones decisions.
I got off at the intersection of Gerrard and Broadview and boarded the Carlton Street car going east to Main Subway Station. Ten minutes into the ride the streetcar driver announced,
“attention passengers, this streetcar will be short turning at Coxwell, if you wish to go further to Main Subway Station you will have to get off at Coxwell and wait for the other streetcar going to main.”
There were collective groans as many of the passengers like me came from subway and were using this alternate route.
“Oh for craps sakes,” I said loudly, “at this rate I’d be home by midnight.”
Everyone started to laugh. We all exited the streetcar at coxwell and waited for the other streetcar to arrive. The blessing in the storm, it was not an overly cold night.
7:15 I boarded the streetcar with my fingers crossed hoping it will be indeed going to Main Subway Station without any further delays. As we neared Main station the streetcar driver announce,
“the East/West (Bloor/Danforth) line is now running.”
Everyone cheered. At Main Station I decided to go back down to the subway as the bus schedule indicated another 20 minute wait before my bus arrived. I had no such patience, it was whittled away with the endless stops, bail outs and transfers. Down to the subway I went. The drive was smooth and uneventful. My bus was waiting at the platform when I arrived. I quickly boarded and arrived home safely, it was 8:20 pm.
It took 2 hours and 20 minutes for a normally 45 minute ride home. I was a little inconvenienced but safe. I thought to the two people who made the sad choice to end their lives and know for those closest to them the hurricane impact will be dynamically and powerfully heart wrenching. I experienced just a ripple, set backs in the form of delays and transfers. I had to endure (though minor) the wave of inconvenience, an indirect consequence of another’s choice.  
So you see, our choices, no matter how small has a ripple effect. This does not mean that we stop making choices. It simply means we ought to be become more mindful, more aware, more conscious of the choices we make for just as our choices impact others so does their choices impact us.
D.S.B.S.Rhapsody©all rights reserved.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

20 YUCK! – THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU SIMPLY DON’T WANT TO SEE.

yuckHe walked slowly into the streetcar, umbrella folded and dripping as he shuffled his way to the special seating for seniors and the disabled. He rests his wet umbrella on the empty seat just in front of him. he adjust himself in his seat. He began to cough and then made a loud sound in the back of his throat and dragged phlegm forward spitting it on the floor in front of where he sat, some, a long phlegm coated spittle of hung from his lips refusing to leave without assistance. He uses two fingers from his right hand and pull it from his lips and flinging it in front of him.

Hmmmmm, Ugh ……………were the involuntary sound that came from my throat and lips as I closed my eyes, my face in a grimace. The memory clung. I shake my head trying to relieve myself of the visual.

“Filthy bastard,” I heard the man sitting beside me said. I looked at him and his face fixed in a grimace of disgust.

The rest of my ride I kept shaking my head to rid myself of the memory and soothe away yuck expression that was still on my face.

Observation – There are some things you simply don’t want to see.

Yuck.

baby yuck face just about said it all.

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