Buckle Up

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There are moments when we are powerless, when we have no choice but to sit back and wait it out. I believe these are the times we are tested the most. What do we do when we have absolutely no control over a situation? How do we handle taking our hands off the wheel and moving to the passenger seat while we are taken on a ride completely blind to where we are headed?It teaches us a lot about our character and how able we are to completely surrender to whatever the moment is going to bring. It will make us question our faith, our strength and our will to hang on believing that everything will be okay in the end. Fasten your seatbelt, it may be a long and bumpy ride.

Do You Believe in Karma?

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More often than not, when I hear someone refer to Karma it is a wishful thinking that another person will get what we feel they deserve. I’ve thought about this for quite some time and the whole theory behind it really bugs me. Who the heck are we to feel that anyone deserves anything in the first place? Do we have the power or even the right to judge another to the point that we hope we eventually see harm come their way? Doesn’t the mere thought of it at all bring the very same Karma our way as well?

This may be overly optimistic but I would like to believe I have the same chance as anyone else that my beliefs about Karma are true. What if we brought about our own Karma by the way we think? What if we could see the good in everyone and everything and see behind the one thing we all have in common…our flaws. What if it was our intention that everyone would be happy and be kind and be good. What if our Karma is actually what we think we deserve? How many people do you know that sell themselves short? How many people do you know think they are inferior and will never have the life of those around of them? What if our Karma is the culmination of our own thoughts directly causing our own reality?

I read something somewhere a while ago. It suggested we should ask ourselves one very important question. How do you see the world? What if the word you answer with becomes how the world reacts to you? We cannot change the people around us. We cannot change every circumstance or event. We can change our perception and how we react. If one mean person alters our entire view of people and the world, what are we going to get in return? What if we could say, yes, people are jerks, but there is so much kindness out there if we dare to see behind the blind spots that have wounded our egos. People make bad choices. They act in ways that are harmful and hurtful. We are so much more than our actions and words. Don’t we all deserve to live a long, happy life? Don’t we all deserve to sit down at the end of the day and feel content and loved and worthy of everything that is good in life? Maybe our intent should be that everyone that harms us learns and grows, becomes better and actively does better. We are a work in progress. Just because we grow in years does not necessarily mean we grow in morals and character. Let that be your intention and watch the world around you change. What you resist persists, at least that’s what the experts say so I would like to take a new path. I am hopeful that we all have the potential to change and contribute to society in a positive way. Sometimes our reaction to a person who leaves a negative mark can change that person in a profound way. Have you ever thought about the process in reverse? You be better and other people will be better too. Don’t stoop to a level you find shameful regardless of how much your emotions are tugging at you.

Back to Karma. Ask yourself one basic question. Do you associate Karma with bringing about bad or bringing about good? You might be surprised at your answer.

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I Bet You Didn’t Know…

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One thing I’ve learned about writing is that the writer only shares what he wants to share. If the writer is putting the story of his life into words but leaving important parts out, how will the the reader ever really understand and know the writer? I am going to share a very personal story that may or may not give you a new perspective on who I am or how I think. The benefit is mostly for myself because when we store pain in our hearts for too long, the heart starts to ache. So, this is one of those painful events that have been holding my heart prisoner for so long. It is time to set the pain free.

I grew up surrounded by family as a child. I had big families on both sides and you could say I was pretty blessed. One side became unexpectedly smaller much sooner than it should have. The pain has stayed with me to this day. I had two male cousins my age. I wasn’t particularly close to one but the other one and myself shared many memories together. He would come stay at our house and camp out in my backyard. We would have get togethers and vacations together. We grew apart for years but then I was given a wonderful opportunity to get to know him and grow close to him once again. My friends became his friends and he moved in with us for a short time while I was in college. We would go out drinking or just hang out at the house. He became someone that I shared parts of myself with that others would never know.

I remember the day I got the call. My heart absolutely sank when my uncle told me my cousin had killed his girlfriend and taken his own life. I remember saying who? It just didn’t make sense. It didn’t add up. I had known this boy for so many years and it couldn’t be possible. Not only did our family have to deal with the knowledge that he had taken someone’s life, he had taken his own as well. There are some things we cannot run from. There are some things we cannot make go away. Did I now see him as some horrible monster? Did I think he deserved to die as well? It didn’t matter. He was gone. And so was this innocent girl. We had two innocent families dealing with unquestionable, unfathomable pain. These were some of the saddest and darkest days of my life.

This day forever changed me. I realized that we are so quick to point a finger and judge, but sometimes a situation slaps us so hard in the face that we learn to never judge another circumstance again. Some people don’t ask to have bad things happen to them. The truth though, is that we are connected to people who do bad things and make bad choices. They don’t automatically become the bad decision they make. The years, the memories, the good we knew in that person does not disintegrate into nothingness because of a bad choice.

If there is a lesson here, it is that you just never know. I choose compassion over an eye for an eye for personal reasons. Remember that other cousin I mentioned earlier in the post? He took his own life too. I have lived with the guilt of being the sole survivor that age on that side of the family. I have carried the burden and responsibility of making my life good and living it fully in honor of all three of us. Don’t be too quick to judge and don’t always choose to be too harsh. There is a lesson in every circumstance. Mine is that life doesn’t always go the way we expect for the amount of time we expect it too. Drink it in, love with all your heart and don’t waste time on the people and things that just don’t matter.