Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Compassion”

Thankful for Our Children

My wife has said before that as a parent you may not always like your kids, but you will always love them. There may be some sense in that for many of us. As our kids get older and become adults they have had plenty of time to formulate their own idea of the order of their lives. Sometimes they make poor choices ( and you wonder if anything soaked in during those younger years), sometimes they take things for granted or create problems that are not really there.

One thing I have learned as my kids got older ( they are all over 21 now) is that they are forever entwined in their childhood personas. When they were born, from the day they could actually respond to things around them, my wife and I could tell that each of our four children were unique in their own way. They had their own way of looking at the world from virtually the day they were born. And all the life lessons and teaching you could apply would help to shape the edges, but their personality was something they were born with.

So as adults my wife and I can still see it. We had 3 sons in a row, and each one of them had their own perspective on things. While one of them was Intellectually reason out the simplest of problems ( even at 3 years old), another one of them got easily frustrated and would work to plan to manipulate his surroundings , the third was laid back and things would roll off and he would work through things in such a simple way and just smile. My daughter was our last, she was earthy, of the earth she loves animals more than people, enjoys nature and adjusts to things overtime when she finds the balance.

One thing they all had in common was music, my children did not all become consummate musicians ( however one of them has composed a number of great songs playing all the instruments and vocals). But music was meaningful. It is the canvas in which our lives would speak through sound and emotion. It ties us together in so many ways.

So this holiday season, when my adult kids will all be visiting our home we are thankful. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to experience being a parent and proud of what they have become.

Why Don’t You Say Hello!?

OwlsThere are times when it seems we are just not connected to what’s going on around us. There are certainly times when I pass by someone on the street or in a store and they seem to be so deeply into “their world” that it can take pause to wonder if they realize they are in public.

Strangers avert their eyes, They don’t want to appear to be eager to talk or interact in any way. With news of such violent times all around us, it is probably to be expected that many do not want to initiate something that could result in harm or anguish.

It’s a shame though really.Being connected to the world means you can understand it more. Being connected to each other would help to prevent the very fear of the unknown that roots in our aversion. It is ironic that we can be so transparent on social media, where there is an electronic physical space between all of us, but face to face, it can seem so different.

Not everyone is like that. It is refreshing to see someone you don’t know who may catch your glance and say “good morning” or “hello” or something. Just an acknowledgment that we are all moving along in this timeline together. It doesn’t mean we have to be fast friends, or relate to each other on any subjective level. Just a polite smile and a “hello”.

It may be a little easier at the holidays. “Happy Holiday’s” or “Merry Christmas” seems to be okay and has some more appeal than just looking away. But then even-so, we may be addressing someone who doesn’t celebrate the season. But no matter, it is just the fact we intended to make contact, intended to recognize that there is another human-being going through waking hours and making an effort to live life.

Like all of us I’d guess, I struggle with a lot of burdens (health in particular) and I have a lot of opinions on things, but I am not trying to throw them to someone else with a simple “hello” or “good-day” – just seems the right thing to do. It can give comfort to the fact that we are humankind. Well for the most part anyway ;)

Fear of the Unknown

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson, American author

Fear

New beginnings come with the idea that there is always unknowns about where the journey should lead. I know I struggle with that every day. It compounds itself in worry, or makes me pull-back from what I am doing and do little or nothing at all. It can make we wish that tomorrow would not come, when there is really no way to stop it. It can create things in the moment that stop me from seeing the things that are right in front of me.

So fear of the unknown is likely to be something to contend with. Our worry over our loved ones, family and children, worry over how to make ends meet or our health. With that worry comes unhappiness, and the possibility of depression.

So what to do about it? For me I have to learn better to share my fears. With my loved ones, with my friends and spiritual leaders. with God who are  all in my life. I have always been private about things in general I guess. I probably got that from my father who seemed to be like that when I was growing up. Perhaps the stoic approach seems good on the surface- after all “why burden others” with your worries and fears?

What you find out is that if you share them, most other people have worries and fears as well. Many times the very same ones. There is no way to turn back the clock. But I can start today and make a new ending…by sharing my fears and thoughts with those who love me. For some ( perhaps even reading this blog) that may mean very little, for others it may allow them to understand themselves better as well.

 

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.

 

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