Whatever I have in this moment, help me be grateful. For it is enough.
Recently I took a trip home for Christmas. There were many of us competing for the hot water that comes on a timer. Today as I sank deep into my own hot bath water, I was reminded to have a grateful heart. Sometimes unknowingly, we stop noticing the blessings we have right in front of us. As I enjoy my tankless hot water heater, I think about those who never enjoy the luxury of a hot bath or three square meals every single day. It is easy to fall victim to our misconception of lack. We often compare ourselves to the people who have more forgetting there are those who have so much less.
Today, remember to have a grateful heart. Don’t lose sight of any little thing that would be a major blessing to someone else. Don’t allow the enemy to harden your heart or turn selfishness into who you become. Count your blessing and not your problems. Be kind, be tender. Use your empty hand to reach down and pull someone up. Be a blessing. Teach people the grace they have never known. Love them when they don’t deserve to be loved. Help them when you’d rather look the other way. This is a perfect time to be the change you know you can be. Don’t sit back and wait, do it now. Bridle your tongue, feed the poor, pray for the ones who bring you judgement and pain. Soften in your thoughts, in your actions and especially in your words. Stop being bitter and make the choice to take the first step forward to be better. Stop carrying your past, your anger, resentment, pain. Fill yourself with words that remind you who you are and who others were created to be. It is not your job to punish or judge. It is your job to love. Start by loving and praising every blessing in your life and I promise those destructive thoughts of lack will be replaced with appreciation and joy. Go ahead. Do it now.
I have been blessed beyond belief and am fortunate enough to have just wrapped up my 46th Christmas. Each year that goes rushing by puts one thing in perspective more than everything else. The greatest gift we could ever be given is time. As each year comes to a close, I force myself to answer the same, simple question. How did you spend the time you were given this year? Last year my answer felt like a physical blow to the place that hurts the most. I spent an entire year wrapped up in a situation that brought nothing but pain, anxiety and severe depression. I had lost myself and I vowed to find my way back to the light inside of me. It had grown dim but I knew it was still there buried beneath the baggage I continued to carry. Put it down Kim and leave it behind. Stop carrying the things that cause you pain. That is what I told myself. I realized that there would be times I felt uncomfortable because I would have no control over a situation I didn’t want to be in so I had to learn to be happy in spite of whatever was going on. I have come a long way but I still have so far to go.
As I look back at this Christmas, I have a clear picture that comes to mind that warms my heart beyond belief. I picture my father sitting in his chair and my mother opposite him on the couch. I am beyond grateful for the gifts they have given me and now more than ever I cherish the one thing they have given to all of us even when they didn’t have another single thing to give…their time. Whether they suffer from broken bones, their own ailments and disease, they are always there to give more than they have, do more than they can and make time in a world where time is surely squandered a little more each passing day. I feel blessed to carry this gratitude into the new year and that I have been given the greatest gift of all, two amazing parents who have taught me that time can be wasted or used in a way that can be so precious. This year I vow to cherish each moment I am given and to use that time to focus on my blessings. I am committed to remembering that each year, each one of us is guaranteed a little less time. Sometimes we forget. We only see what we allow ourselves to look for and this year I hope to look for all that is good. Happy New Year and God bless!
A few weeks ago I went to see Revive Us 2 in the theatre. It’s hard to believe that as people we have become so divided. How do we find unity in all this chaos? They spoke about priorities and how everything got so out of sorts. One of the best points I heard is that strength starts in the family. When families become so easily divided, how do we not expect our country to be divided? How can we put politics or beliefs before another human being? How come we choose something that doesn’t really matter over the people who absolutely do matter? When we allow forces to pit us against one another, we end up on opposing sides. There are no sides, there are just people. Do we really believe someone’s worth and character comes down to a simple vote, a religion or belief? How could our priorities be so out of whack and why do we settle for such shallowness? At the end of the day, none of this nonsense matters. Is our need to control and have the world match our vision really more important than living with civility? What does matter is how we live our lives and how we treat other people. We are here to love, not to fight and divide. Love has become conditional and I too have fallen victim to its destruction. How do we get back to being unified? We start with our own families. We fix that and then we extend it into the world. More about that in my next post. Take time to re-examine your priorities. Keep them in order. That is the first step.
I see the same question come up time and time again. “What can we do to fix this problem?” It doesn’t matter what the issue is. People seem to look outside into the world for some type of solution. Few are brave and honest enough to ask, how am I contributing to this problem and what can I do to change myself so that I become part of the solution? It’s easier to jump on the problem train traveling full speed ahead then it is to bravely step off and try to stop its momentum. All this talk about gun control seems crazy to me. Violence and hatred comes from within. We have a heart problem followed by a problem with self control. Violence comes in many forms so why can we only recognize it when someone shoots a gun into a crowd of people or plows a car over innocent souls? You want to end the violence? It starts with your own words, thoughts and actions. If you are on social media verbally blasting a particular group, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. If you are obsessed in your thinking about taking someone or some group out, you are the problem. If you call people names and attack total strangers because they believe in something you do not, you are the problem. Start there. Don’t look out, look in. Fix your role and the part you play in the violence destroying our very humanity. Be accountable for the energy you bring to this space. Do no harm. Stop the violence coming from your own mind, mouth and heart. Be the difference. Change yourself, change the world.
There are two kinds of people in the world. People who do too much and the people who let them.
As a parent, I have raised my kids to do their share. I don’t allow them to compare themselves to other kids and to use that comparison as an excuse to do a half assed job when it comes to their responsibility. Do your part to the best of your ability every time you do anything at all. That’s my philosophy. I do think I did cheated them a bit by not reinforcing to not allow people to take advantage of them. It’s okay to be kind and do things for others. It’s not okay when the scale is always tipped one way.
As I step back and look at some older people in the community, I realize now how the ones who have picked up the slack for others have taken a real beating. I see the toll it takes on their own mental and physical well being. I also see the ones who took advantage of their endless giving regardless of the toll it’s taken. I’ve always believed the world would be better off if everyone took care of their own responsibilities. That is the way we all carry a load that never seems too heavy. It’s when we carry our own garbage and allow others to pile theirs on top, when we see people suffer in the form of physical and mental ailments. How can someone who puts everyone before himself, properly care for his own well being?
I can’t help but ask myself who is more at fault. The people who willingly take advantage or the people who willingly let them.
This morning is testing my own philosophy to not sweat the small stuff. How many times have I preached to not get crazy over the things I cannot change? So why am I so aggravated that my husband brought my son to take his permit test and they both forgot an important paper and had to go back home? To those of you struggling to be better, more forgiving, patient, and understanding, I am right there struggling with you today. Happy Wednesday! We’ve got this.
I walk a minimum of 5 miles a day. On Thursday I walked ten. I love to be outside and feel the sun on my back and the wind in my face. A year ago, I suffered from anxiety and depression to the point I thought I was going to break. I thought the only way to escape it would be to find a way out of my skin. I felt trapped and helpless and the light at the end of the tunnel grew extremely dim. One day I made the decision that I had to break free from the prison I had created for myself. I couldn’t live that way anymore because it didn’t feel like living at all. Walking offered a new hope, a calm that I had been running after for quite some time. Today a neighbor I had never met before stopped me to discuss the opinion he had of my yard. He didn’t stop to to say hello or even to tell me to have a nice day. That is what the world has become these days.
This post is a reminder to everyone who takes the time to read it. You only see the 5 to 10 miles I walk in my shoes each day. What you don’t see are the miles that wear me down as I fight and struggle to be happy in a world I don’t even feel is where I belong.
Life is short.
Mind your own damn business.
Smile at someone.
Don’t judge others shoes or think you have any clue about the path that others walk. You only know what you see and looks can be quite deceiving. Be a nice person and offer someone hope and keep your opinions to yourself.
The world needs more compassion and kindness and less criticism and resistance.
More love and less arguments.
More happiness and gratitude and less bitching.
More smiles and less scowls.
More hope and less despair.
Be the light in someone else’s tunnel.
The world needs you now more than ever.
I need you.
Be the light in someone else’s darkness.
Be the difference.