Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Compassion”

A Secret Message That Should be Told

Wise words. Don’t usually copy something here, but this was a great article (from People Magazine). Sharing it. 

 

On May 28, 13-year-old British schoolgirl Athena Orchard tragically lost her battle with the bone cancer osteosarcoma, which had affected her spine, left shoulder and head.

Yet her devastated family has received a small degree of solace from what Athena secretly left behind: a 3,000-word note written on the back of her bedroom mirror, in black marker.

Her father, Dean, stumbled upon the secret message – and a box full of self-penned songs – at the family’s home in Leicester, England. It details the innermost feelings of a girl who had put up a courageous fight for her life.

The heartbreaking note reads: “Every day is special, so make the most of it, you could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day. Life is only bad if you make it bad.”

Dean, 33, said of the note: “She never mentioned it, but it’s the kind of thing she’d do. She was a very spiritual person, she’d go on about stuff that I could never understand – she was so clever.”

Athena left behind six sisters and three brothers. But her mother, Caroline, 37, said that the note Athena bequeathed the family will help ensure that her memory stays very much alive.

“We’re keeping the mirror forever, it is a part of her we can keep in the house, it will always be in her room,” she said. “Just reading her words felt like she was still here with us, she had such an incredible spirit.”

Read an expanded excerpt from Athena’s message, below:

  • “Happiness depends upon ourselves. Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.

 

  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

 

  • Happiness is a direction not a destination. Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young. You know my name, not my story.

 

  • You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through. Love is like glass, looks so lovely but it’s easy to shatter.

 

  • Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change. Every day is special, so make the most of it, you could get a life ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day. Life is only bad if you make it bad.

 

  • If someone loves you, then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is. Remember that life is full of ups and downs.

 

  • Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. I want to be that girl who makes the bad days better and the one that makes you say my life has changed since I met her!

 

  • Love is not about how much you say I love you – it’s about how much you can prove it’s true. Love is like the wind, you can feel it but you can’t see it. I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.

 

  • Love is not about who you can see spending your future with, it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without… Life is a game for everyone but love is the prize. Only I can judge me.

 

  • Sometimes love hurts. Now I’m fighting myself. Baby I can feel your pain. Dreams are my reality. It hurts but it’s okay, I’m used to it.

 

  • Don’t be quick to judge me, you only see what I choose to show you… you don’t know the truth. I just want to have fun and be happy without being judged.

 

  • This is my life, not yours, don’t worry about what I do. People gonna hate you, rate you, break you, but how strong you stand, that’s what makes you… you!

There’s no need to cry because I know you’ll be by my side.”

Lies That Can Contain You

Lies are powerful things aren’t they? They can convince you to do things you may otherwise never have done. They can lead you in the wrong direction and contain you in fear.

TRUTH

I have learned over time that there are people in your life that may lie to you, but  may also love you too.

They may think they are doing it for “good reasons”, perhaps to protect you.

But overall those most powerful lies in your life likely come with motivation. It may be selfish motivation by someone wishing to avoid personally bad situations, or it could be they wish to manipulate you or others to do things they want you to do for the wrong reasons.

Perhaps you have reasons to WANT to believe the lies. It may make it easier. Send fault or blame somewhere else. Provide an excuse to not fight for the right thing or do the right thing. Not to face the truth of the matter.

For example: A person can choose to believe that since they  are imperfect they may think they are unworthy of forgiveness. It can seem easier to dig a deeper hole and put ourselves in a “box” with the perception of “no way out”.  Breaking free from the lies we embrace can be life changing, yet it may never happen. As the good book says ” the truth shall set you free”.

 

So advice for my kids... what can you do? Start by being true to yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. Be sure you test the things you hear and ask questions that help to measure their motivation. Take care to understand things more, and not necessarily accept things at face value.

Today it seems more than ever that people desire to listen to others or read something on the Internet,  and then accept things just because it sounds like something to want to believe. It doesn’t mean it is worthy of acceptance. There can be convincing arguments, there can be things that can sound true. But understand the consequences. Know the motivations.

Don’t let lies contain you in fear or uncertainty. Understand your well-being is centered in faith in your heart and in Him.

 

Compassion for All of Those Around Us

Lately I have been reviewing those things that are important in life. Stopping to look at what is at the center of things. That brings me back to something that seems to me to be missing a lot more these days. Compassion. A tolerance that we are all imperfect and our faults are bound to the fact that we are human. All of us.

I have always believed that one of the most valuable things you can posses in life is compassion. It is what heals. We all need some.

What comes of a compassionate heart is the Spirit that is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Piano Keys In Colour

 

Here is one of my life’s songs.I am sharing again from a post years back.

Compassion (Todd Rundgren)

You want more, and still more,
Until you get more than you ever bargained for.
Now its plain, clear as rain,
I’ve seen your symptoms many times before.

Lying on your bed of pain
What will you have now?

What are riches untold in a life without compassion?
For there’s no winter as cold
as a life without compassion.
There’s no prescription that’s sold
that can heal you like compassion.

Well you tried and you cried,
And let your disappointment make you hard inside.
You have doubt, you reach out,
Still you’re the only one you care about.

Hiding in your sack of woe
What do you need now?

For there is nothing so sad
as a life without compassion.
And even love has turned bad,
it was love without compassion.
And you don’t need what you had
‘Cause you did not have compassion.

Dying on your bed of pain
What will you have now?

You’ll get no judgment from me,
I can only feel compassion.
And if that’s what you need,
I will give you my compassion.
Just don’t forget about me
‘Cause we all need some compassion.

Open up your heart
so you can start to feel compassion.
Get down on your knees,
pray to heaven for compassion.
Everybody needs compassion.
If you want to be healed
then you know you got to feel compassion

 

 

Be True to Yourself

There is a very long story, from a very long time ago that I have rarely shared.

Charting The Course

Over ten years ago my first-born son left home to go out on his own. He had met someone on the Internet and became friends with her during his early teen years. When he turned 18 he decided he wanted to move away to be with her.

Perhaps a classic story of the prodigal son. Perhaps something that would have ended up on one of those hyper-active sensational TV talk shows [did I say it was a long story?]. It was painful as my wife and I and the rest of our family watched our son take what seemed a drastic 180 degree turn in his life and leave home with someone who we had never realized existed to that point.

There were a thousand things we wanted to say to him. There still are, though I doubt he’d listen. Yet over time and a highly emotional roller coaster of feelings, he has been out of contact with our family for over 10 years.

In reality there is only one thing to say to him. It was something that struck me the other day [another long story]. It is something I have to believe that my other three children have learned. Perhaps even because of their oldest brother, perhaps just because we had to live it with them again and again.

Be true to yourself. Don’t lie to yourself, but be honest to what you know in your core are the right things to do and be.

Sure, you will make mistakes, you will find yourself doing and saying things that aren’t really part of the inner center you have come to know. But in the end, be true to who you know you are. Use compassion and forgiveness and the awareness that you are part of the human race and God’s plan for it.  Make peace with what you are. But don’t sell yourself short. You have the potential to be the person you know you could be.   I am not talking about riches, or fame.  But be the “person” that defines your spiritual inner self. God will be your guide.

So to my three wonderful kids, I give them this advice. Don’t deny it. Be true to yourself, to who you are.

To my long-lost first son. If there was one thing to say…

Controlling Happiness

It would seem we are always in the pursuit of it. 

The sign at the front door of my home

The sign at the front door of my home

Yet,It often seems so elusive, and still I have come to realize that each of us are in control of it. Happiness wisps away like a soap-bubble in the wind. Flying from here to there and hitting people. For some of my friends I think they believe it lands on them – like luck or good fortune.  Being happy is definitely a blessing. It is desirable. Not always attainable.

In the pursuit… people seem to do unnatural things don’t they? I mean they will do everything to avoid the inevitable fact that there will be sadness in their lives. Ignoring it, dismissing it as not allowed wont change that.   Other people seem to think they can buy happiness, Add more things in their lives and it will be a happier one. Add more things, which will attract more people (who may seem to be your friends).  they want to insulate themselves from ever being unhappy by filling their lives with time-filling stuff and people. We know how that turns out. Yet we would struggle to not accept the idea that we could try to see if that would work.

So if it is not money, and it is not avoiding sadness. If indeed it is not elusive at all, then what brings you happiness?

For me? Being confident that the people I love are there for me, and I am there for them. Being sure that I know where my spiritual center is. Understanding that I have the control over my happiness and other emotions. Not that I am going to be happy all the time. We are all human, subject to feelings of melancholy and remorse, anger and sadness, frustration and loneliness. You cannot always choose happiness, bad/sad things happen. Personally as someone fighting cancer I think it is how you deal with it that counts.

But we have the ability to grasp the positive things in our lives. Those things that will make the yin to the yang. Trusting in God. Living a life that is not centered on negative things. Making the best of the situations as they come. Understanding that not everything is going to be “just fine” all the time. It will take the effort.

You have heard the term “control your anger”.  Perhaps we can also “control our happiness”?

Happiness Runs- Donovan

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