Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Self-Help”

Control of Your State Of Mind

Who has control of your state of mind? Doesn’t it really come down to you?

If we have anything to learn in our lives around how we live it, one that thing that truly seems to escape some people is “how one looks at their life and all that surrounds it.”  There seems to be so many sad or angry people who are stuck in one place- looking through a single vision. Some people walk through life sharing their state of mind with anyone who crosses their path. “Would you like to get angry with me?” they seem to say. Or “I am sad- can I share my sadness with you-” wishing that perhaps you can be sad too. In fact if you share their mood they may even start to feel better about themselves.

But then don’t we all have control over our own view of the world around us? It is OUR view after all.  Sure. We can choose to be the victim of the circumstances that have brought us to this particular point in time. We can ignore the opportunity to make things better, expelling the chance to change things perhaps because of the uncomfortable feeling that can come with change. Even in our deepest state of “blues” we relish the feeling, even as we lament about escaping it. No doubt it is great to experience to help put things in perspective.

Others may go searching for the more positive path ahead. But that can take time. I have met friends and family who say that “life is a journey” but they choose to travel that journey with little direction. They wander along “looking for themselves” – Change for change sake…can result chasing after something they may never find.  “Finding themselves” can create a reason to not go forward,  rather than working harder to  “create yourself”. Searching can mean waiting for someone else to define who you are, it can create boundaries.

So what do I tell my kids? Regardless of today, the next direction is based on your a state-of-mind I think. It starts there. Don’t let the anger and sadness consume you, don’t let it send you to places that can smother the reasons to change. Your state of mind is yours to choose. Okay, so we all need to have the downs to better appreciate the up’s; but we cannot wallow in it. Take some time to have the blues/ but then take the time to change your direction and create that journey with a positive direction. Choose to deal with it and move forward.

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Choosing Reconciliation

There are times in your life when there will be conflict, with your family, lover or friends.  There will just be things you will never agree on, because that is the way all humans are designed. It is good to be different. So what then? Perhaps you can focus on reconciliation rather than resolution. I have noticed over the years with many of my friends that  couldn’t find a way to grasp this in their relationships, that they lost too much in the process. They expended so much energy in their lives that they would never recover. 

Reconciliation drives toward re-establishing relationships. Resolution on the other hand, targets the thought that you have to resolve every issue by coming to a conclusive agreement on everything. I think deep inside most of us know that it can’t happen that way. Whether you both love each other, are the “best of friends” or are highly spiritually centered, whether you have made a promise to never disagree or are determined to “be yourself” at all costs;  there are going to be some things you’ll never agree on.

But you can disagree without becoming disagreeable — that’s what God calls wisdom. “It’s wise to compromise. You can have unity without uniformity. You can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. You can have reconciliation without resolution of every issue.”

It continues to be such a trend today to focus on “being yourself” by being declared unique, and while that itself is important, we seem to take that to an extreme. We risk declaring ourselves so special, so privileged in our sovereign definition of “me” that we forget the fundamental things that brought us together in as friends, or as a “couple” or as what the core of our family. Many of the people around me seem to sacrifice their relationships in order to stand upon their “individualism” and then later wonder why they are alone, why they are forever struggling with the interaction of the world around them.

So we have to appreciate the differences, but then focus on the relationship. I have noticed that often looking back the issues that were creating the rifts in my relationships, they have become insignificant in the scheme of things. In our world full of broken relationships, we would be so much better off if we could commit to striving toward reconciliation.

Making the effort is more than half the battle, winning is not the ultimate reward here. (Sorry for all you self achievers on that point). People often still ask me how I can be married for as long as I have. The words love and honor in the traditional wedding vows are followed by obey, but the thing to obey is our focus on the relationship, the reconciliation and the rewards of what that brings to love. That is one of the things my wife and I are working on every day, and I hope that everyone can keep doing what we can to “make it work”.

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