Tracks In The Dust

Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Reality Check”

April Fools

We all get fooled some of the time. Some people make a living every day trying to convince you of things that aren’t true.

Sometimes I think we Laughing Walruswant to believe what we hear, we want to see something on the Internet and immediate accept it. Not everything is true, some times things are partly true, and some other times many things may be entirely false. We have to be ready to understand that I guess, but how we weigh it out may not always be totally true at all.

If it fits in our sensibilities, it could be more than enough to allow us to fit it into our truth. So when the day comes for “April Fools” day on the first of April, everyone is a bit more suspicious when they hear something they think may possibly not be true. Its like on the next day April 2nd that is all back to normal. Of course then it wouldn’t be as funny, “just kidding”.

Unfortunately I think we are all suspect of telling things that aren’t entirely true to help make things fit in our lives. We send out twitter messages, point blame because we want to believe something, we pass along gossip or make up things to cover our tracks or guilt.

So for here in the US, April 1st means  happy April Fool’s day.  Perhaps we all need to be a bit more careful every day…

 

 

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.

Perfection

Life is Very ShortEasily it can be said that we will never achieve perfection. As humans it is not in our DNA. Nor should it be.

We will strive for it.

We will find ourselves constantly falling short.

We will measure ourselves by what someone else may expect us to be. Or perhaps we may measure ourselves on our own perspectives of what we think we should be.

But in the end- we will fall short.

It is what you do with that will become part of your self-realization, It will be the context in which you are able to live your life. You can choose to measure yourself to perfection, and in some ways that is a good thing. It is the motivator by which we can create our standards to live by. But if we are delusional in using that to apply to the adage that “winning is everything” we may find ourselves in a place that is hard to maintain.

We are rewarded often in our lives for working hard to strive for things. We want to avoid failure, We do not want to be seen as weak or unable to perform to the standards in which we are expected. In our families, in school, at work in our relationships we are always trying to measure up. Accepting that perfection will not happen does not make you mediocre. It makes you human.

We know that we were made imperfect. As humans God has made us that way to allow us to be – well – human. Perfection would be reserved for only one, and He left this earth centuries ago.

So a first step in making your life happier is to accept imperfection. Be sure that you strive for things, but be honest that things will get in your way and no matter how you work it…. you will fall short.

 

Paper or Plastic?

Does it all come down to that? Sometimes it feels like it. Asking the question what kind of grocery bags you want at the store.Here in the US some stores give you the option. And you have to “call it”. Paper or Plastic.

Paper or Plastic

Do you weigh out the environment and be a responsible consumer? Maybe where you live you aren’t even given the choice ( thanks Austin, Texas and other points west). Some communities have already outlawed plastic, others expect you to bring your own bags with you. ( and I have noticed a lot of them are just a different version of plastic).

But that’s not my point I guess. Paper or plastic kind of reflects on other things. Maybe how you see yourself? How you fit in the solution.

I mean those plastic bags only hold so much, a few things and on to the next bag. They are fast to peel off the stack of hundreds and are neatly stacked to be opened as you pull them off. Mass produced. Opaque and crunchy.  They often find themselves lining the next small wastepaper basket,or carrying some gross thing from your favorite pet in its afterlife. Are you a plastic? or maybe you are a paper?

Paper bags. Bags like these have been around for decades to “sack-groceries.”  Those brown containers with little chips of pulp. Many have handles to help better grasp them for even more utility. Square with room for plenty, but be careful of the weight. Of course rather than another bag you can always double bag.  And they are bio-degrade-able (which sounds so environmentally conscious).  If they get wet they can tear, if they survive they can be used for wrapping books or drawing on, making a kite or… just going in the trash or recycle bin to have another shot at life.

SO, are you a “paper” or “plastic” person when given the choice?

Wonder what the choice says about you? Or then maybe you bring your own bag… and that’s another kind of you all together?

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…

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