Tracks In The Dust

Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Faith”

Focused Restoration

Recently, some very wise men spoke to me and others on the perspective of “restoration.”  It was profoundly interesting that it applies in so much of our lives each day.

We work to restore those things that are broken in our lives by doing some fairly outlandish things. Just like those projects to help restore the broken things around us, we work to restore ourselves and others.

North Island 3

As we try to fix what is broken in our relationships, what is broken in our lives – at work, in our families, with our friends, with our own spirituality… our chances of getting it wrong are very high.  We tend to count on our own sensibilities to reason out our restoration.

Or worse yet we may be working on restoring others around us. It may be easy to point at others and see their imperfections. It may even be reassuring that by doing so, we can tuck away our own need for restoration. Do you know those “fixers” that work to fix up others in their lives, but miss working on themselves? The focus is elsewhere.

Personal restoration can be kind of like a facade. A false front that has little content behind it.  Maybe just go for the quick fix: If “only I ” do this one thing- everything will be better.  Life is moving kind of fast,  so we hunt down  that magic thing that will solve the problems in our lives, will help to mend the issues that seem to be looming and keep us from the better life, keep us from being a better person.

But ultimately I think, the truth is in how we focus our energy, how we make sure that we are doing those things we can do and putting our trust in the outcome. The expectation may be different from the result. Perhaps we need to invest in ourselves? Some may see that as selfish, but it is the genuine investment in our spirituality. The focus on inspecting our hearts and our souls to know that we are right and true to ourselves.

Respecting Life’s Lessons, Life Flows On

There is something about understanding your own choices, though not everyone wants to try to.  It means admitting that you are the person in control of the course you are taking in your life. After all is said and done, life’s lessons seem to be the most indelible. Looking back. they have the most meaning and impact our futures. Though it is more popular these days to look for others to blame I think.

Who Are You

I mean all the warnings, all the advice, all those things I have told my kids from my life’s lessons as a parent are things they can decide fit in their lives or not. I could have shamed them into believing them, I could have punished them and made them believe. I could have reasoned with them ( but in those rebellious teen years there wasn’t a lot of reasoning). Still they decided it was valuable to find their way by “being independent” and did things that didn’t always make sense to me. Often it led to those regrettable moments,that they had to end up dealing with personally .

So life’s lessons are the best way to learn, as it seems as though those lessons are the hardest. Mistakes we are making that can break us, can take us to a path we would never have chosen.

As I look back I have to admit that there were plenty of those decisions I made in the past. Knowing that things could be different now doesn’t change it. Knowing I didn’t always take other’s advice had its reward and its regrets.

What I have learned: One of the most important personal life’s lesson: Respect the lesson’s from the past, weigh the advice that others give you. And as I had recently posted … in the end be true to yourself (as I recently posted). Life flows on.

Within You Without You”

We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late, when they pass away
We were talking about the love we all could share
When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew
Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without youWe were talking about the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see, are you one of them?

When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

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

Keeping Your Head Above Water

Keeping your head above water. Swimming along with the life you have. It can be a challenge just to swim and keep it up when you are not so sure you how you will survive.

But we all should be doing that, shouldn’t we? Some days it may seem automatic. We have a life to live despite the struggles, and some complex things can keep you distracted. In some ways keep your mind off it.

Other days we risk getting caught in the undertow of the reality that we are struggling  and virtually everyone around us is struggling too. In their own way. They are messing up and getting things wrong, they are sad from loss or angry with their situation. They could swim for brighter days ahead- but it looks bleak to them.

This is my battle song. Fighting cancer, I realized that we have to SWIM. Swim for our lives. But it would be good to find the grace in what we are doing as we continue along. That purpose of our constant paddling along.

The spirit of God can give that to you. The purpose may mean less if you think that at the end it is over and you stop swimming because you no longer exist, but if you believe – eternity can matter. We all fall short of perfect, but this helps. It makes life’s swim easier – especially if you are paddling against the currents of adversity.

Make every day count for something . Swim for it.

Here is a song “SWIM” from Andrew McMahon from a group called “Jack’s Mannequin”.

Andrew is battling cancer (diagnosed in 2005) and this song is one of my favorites.

“Swim”
You’ve gotta swim

Swim for your life
Swim for the music
That saves you
When you’re not so sure you’ll survive
You gotta swim
And swim when it hurts
The whole world is watching
You haven’t come this far
To fall off the earth
The currents will pull you
Away from your love
Just keep your head above- I found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the dawn
Memories like bullets
They fired at me from a gun
A crack in the armor
I swim to brighter days
Despite the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I’m not giving in
I swim You gotta swim
Through nights that won’t end
Swim for your families
Your lovers your sisters
And brothers and friends
Yeah you’ve gotta swim
Through wars without cause
Swim for the lost politicians
Who don’t see their greed as a flaw The currents will pull us
Away from our love
Just keep your head aboveI found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the dawn
Memories like bullets
They fired at me from a gun
Cracking me open now
I swim for brighter days
Despite the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I’m not giving in
Well I’m not giving in
I swimYou gotta swim
Swim in the dark
There’s no shame in drifting
Feel the tide shifting and wait for the spark
Yeah you’ve gotta swim
Don’t let yourself sink
Just find the horizon
I promise you it’s not as far as you think
The currents will drag us away from our love
Just keep your head above
Just keep your head above
Swim
Just keep your head above
Swim, swim
Just keep your head above
Swim

Songs About “Home”

There is somethings about the word “HOME” that conjures up a lot of feelings.

Home

A destination perhaps, the place you live for sure- but a lot more than that.

A place of comfort – safety.  A familiar place. A place for happiness or defeat. Some may see it as a place to run away from. Many may see it is a place they want to return to, while others may see it as something they want to re-create in their lives based on their emotional past.

Home can be where the heart is, or can be what brings you back to the grounding you needed after you have drifted or traveled so far away from it. Like a homecoming. It can contain all of your things that allow you to regain your confidence in who you are, or contain all of the people who are there to reinforce what you were.  It can be the place you want to forget on your journey to a new life, or the place you never want to leave because protects you from the unknown.

Home for the holidays, home is anywhere you hang your hat, home sweet home, home is where the heart is, home coming, leaving home, home is where you were born, home is where you ended up, home is where your parents live, a house is not a home, home alone, home together, home at last, running from home, headed home, home by the sea, home on the hill, … the songs and references are endless.

Before you hit your “home” button.

  • What does HOME mean to you?
  • What are your favorite song(s) about “home”?

Here are just a few  favorite songs of mine :)

Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel ( Classic)

Head  Home- Midlake ( Great Texas band)

Home Again- Carol King ( Another Classic)

Home Again- Elton John ( All new song from Sir Elton)

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