Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Thoughts

It’s nice to know who we are, for then we have a secure place from which we can embrace life. We have no fear of missing the mark, because when we know who we are, we also know where we’re going. 'Who' we are is usually an expression of what we believe and how we behave. But what if we don’t know who we are? What if we’re not sure where we’re going in this life? Then we have a dilemma.

A wise man once said, “As a man thinks, so is he.” This suggests that we are “what” we think. Do we ever stop to listen to what we think…when we’re sad, happy, frustrated or even calm? Our minds are filled with conflicting thoughts, e.g. reassurance, correction, encouragement, as well as discouraging thoughts like; "you’re too fat, ugly, stupid," and the list goes on. We all experience negative thoughts. The important thing is…which thoughts will we believe and live by?

Stuff happens, you know? It’s how we react to the stuff in our lives that determines our level of happiness. I’m not saying that if we lose someone dear to us, we shouldn’t mourn. There is a time and place for everything. But, we can’t stay in a state of mourning the rest of our lives, or we’ll never be happy again. Everything that happens to us has a purpose. If even to build character in us, it’s a worthwhile end. Many refer to the unwanted events in our lives as stepping stones or stumbling blocks. We either step over them, or let them stop us. Hopefully we learn to keep walking.

This requires courage. Everything in our being wants to react. We want to lash out, put people in their place, stop what’s happening, or make sure it’s going to happen our way. But there’s only so much we control in this life. It’s better to act, than react. Regardless of how we think or feel about the situation. It’s better to try to do the right thing, to support, encourage and help. You only have one chance at a response, let's make it a good one.

We must first be aware of what we’re thinking about any situation, then correct wrong thoughts...and do it continuously. We have to change our mindsets and act effectively to bring about the right result. It helps to remember that everyone has down days, but it does not mean we’re stupid, thoughtless or whatever else we dish up to ourselves. Give yourself a break! To some degree, we must decide for ourselves how we want to be.

That said, our present culture is so wrapped up in themselves. We live in the “me” generation and we’re not ashamed of it. Ironically, this article addresses the “me” in us, but hopefully it will have more of an all-encompassing slant. I believe that “me” is actually “we," because although we may act alone, our actions usually affect someone else in some way. We have a responsibility towards each other. Now I don’t want to advocate New Age thinking. No, this is biblical thinking based on love. We all need to be loved and accepted, and so we need to love and accept others.

We reap what we sow…so plant good thoughts in your mind, and reap a happier healthier mind!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Journey Taken

 The story below is a paper I wrote for a writing class - it is fictional.


Why did this happen to me? Trish sobbed, clutching her bulging tummy. A vulnerable, terrified child with tear-stained face looked back at her through the mirror. What am I gonna do? I’ve gotta decide before it’s too late. It’s so unfair! Tormented, she rocked herself.
The phone rang, jolting her from her misery. She wiped away her tears.
“Hello?”
“Have you decided?” a tinge of impatience poured from the voice on the other end of the line.
“David! No, I dunno, I can’t make up my mind.”
“Well I’m here for you, okay?”
“I know you are,” she blinked back tears, “I’m sorry, I gotta go now.”
Trish’s mother poured some tea. “Trish, this was not your fault! Think of your future. You have no idea how much this will change your life. Please, don’t be stupid about this!” Normally restrained, she was losing her grip. Would her daughter actually consider going through with this? Wrought with emotion she spurted, “You’re going to regret this Trish.” Her lips thinned.
“Mom, it’s my decision!” her emotions in control.
“Well who do you think is going to support you? David? Don’t count on him…he’s just a child himself.”
“For your information he’s 21, he’s no child” Trish rolled her eyes and sipped her tea.
“Well, he’s big enough to run the other way,” she tried.
“He won’t!” How could she even say such a thingl?
Her mother softened, “You have your whole life ahead of you. What about your schooling?” She pleaded, “You don’t have to do this. No one expects that.”
“I know Mom, but it’s the right thing to do…besides, what if something went wrong with the surgery?”
Her mother protested in disbelief. There was no talking with her.
Later, Trish mulled over their talk. Mom only wants the best for me. It’s just a shapeless, faceless blob anyway, isn’t it? She gazed at the trophies and awards on her shelf.
David would be disappointed, but it had nothing to do with him anyway.
Mom’s right…what was I thinking? I can’t throw away my life. It would be foolish.
Instant relief washed over her. She’d decided.
Trish grabbed the phone, pulled a wrinkled card out of the drawer and quickly dialed before she changed her mind. Time was running out.
“Hello, Healthway Clinic, may I help you?”
She hesitated, and then firmly said, “Yes, I have to make an appointment.”
Now 2 ½ years later, Trish remembered the rape and subsequent pregnancy as if it were yesterday. Her recall was cut short as her mother walked into her home. “Hey there, how are the studies going?”
“Good…one more month and I’ll be a full fledged Medical Transcriptionist”
“Tea?”
“I’d love some. It’s great that you can work from home.” She sat at the table and fixed her tea. “Did David get his raise?”
“He did!”
“Awesome. Now where is that adorable little grandson of mine?”
“Sleeping…he’ll be awake soon. Let’s just enjoy our visit.” She pondered the journey taken; the hardest decisions can be the most rewarding, she thought. Her tummy moved gently with the promise of a bright future.

Carmen