Re-posting for new followers. A poem I wrote in 2010 when I was trying to figure out not what I had lost but what remained. It is a good compass and reading it keeps me centered. Enjoy!!
What Matters Most………..
Is my conscience clear
Growing in Character
Year by year
Living and loving
Not ordered by fear
True friends and family
Held ever so dear…………That’s what matters most
What matters most……..
Is what I have done
With my time and talent,
And rearing my young.
And babies I rocked
And lullabies sung.
And praise on my tongue…….That’s what matters most
What matters most……….
Is lessons I learned
Things God has taught me
And corners I turned
For not being hardened
When I’ve been spurned
To be open to love
Despite being burned…………That’s what matters most
What Matters most…………..
Is what you create
With what you are given
Whatever your fate
And being GRATEFUL
For what’s on your plate
When you EXCEED Circumstance
That’s when your GREAT……… That’s what matters most.
What Matters Most…………….
Is time you invest
In lives and souls
at God’s request
And sharing your faith
When put to the test
And giving your all
So that others are blessed……..And that’s what matters MOST.
Married or not… you should read this.
“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.
So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
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In 1993 a comedic movie was released starring Bill Murray and Andie Mc Dowell. The basic plot is as follows:
Self-centered and sour TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray), news producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) from fictional Pittsburgh television station WPBH-TV9 travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Dayfestivities with Punxsutawney Phil. Having grown tired of this assignment, Phil grudgingly gives his report and attempts to return to Pittsburgh when a blizzard shuts down the roads. Phil and his team are forced to return to Punxsutawney and stay in town overnight.
Phil wakes up to find that he is reliving February 2. The day plays out exactly as it did before, with no one else aware of the time loop, and only Phil aware of past events. At first he is confused, but, when the phenomenon continues on subsequent days, he decides to take advantage of the situation with no fear of long-term consequences: he learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. However, his attempts to get closer to Rita repeatedly fail.
Eventually, Phil becomes despondent and tries more and more drastically to end the time loop; he gives ridiculous and offensive reports on the festival, abuses residents, and eventually kidnaps Punxsutawney Phil and, after a police chase, drives into a quarry, evidently killing both himself and the groundhog. However, Phil wakes up and finds that nothing has changed; further attempts at suicide are just as fruitless as he continues to find himself awaking at 6:00 A.M. on the morning of February 2 with the clock-radio on his bedstand playing I Got You, Babe by Sonny & Cher.
When Phil explains the situation to Rita, she suggests that he should take advantage of it to improve himself. Inspired, Phil endeavors to try to learn more about Rita, building upon his knowledge of her and the town each day. He begins to use his by-now vast experience of the day to help as many people around town as possible. He uses the time to learn, among other things, to play piano, ice sculpt and speak French.
Eventually, Phil is able to befriend almost everyone he meets during the day, using his experiences to save lives, help townspeople, and to get closer to Rita. He crafts a report on the Groundhog Day celebration so eloquent that all the other stations turn their microphones to him. After the evening dance, Rita and Phil retire together to Phil’s room. He wakes the next morning and finds the time loop is broken; it is now February 3 and Rita is still with him. After going outside, Phil talks about living in Punxsutawney with Rita.
Think about your own life, do you have certain patterns of events, circumstances or failure, repeat themselves over and over? Do you find yourself in the same failed relationships again and again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the one common denominator in all these dramas is YOU! You tell yourself that, you just need a better partner, boss. You need to change the cast of characters etc. What you don’t realize is that it is YOU that creates and re creates the same drama again and again. You can change the names, but the core problem remains the same.
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Are you insane?
What do you do to break the cycle? Begin with YOU. Realize that in order for your life to be different, YOU MUST BE DIFFERENT. Being different feels really weird at first. You will feel like a fish out of water. But remember that in order to adopt different behavior patterns, you must adopt different behavior, thoughts and eventually beliefs. It takes time and lots of consistent mental work. Over time though, you can do it……..you can change your life. BUT you must begin with YOU!!
How ironic that the Groundhog Day is all about shadows. A shadow is an area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object. The obstruction in this analogy is you and your unproductive, faulty beliefs and patterns. Do yourself a favor and get out of your own way today. Try to thoughtfully respond to others instead of reacting. Your figurative spring could be just around the corner.
2 Corinthians 5:17New International Version (NIV
)17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
The word “if” is an interesting one. It speaks of hidden potential. It is often used conditionally……if you do this, then this will happen.
It is a poem by Rudyard Kipling (which is a favorite of mine)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
But yesterday I realized in my reflection that the word “IF” is the only difference between LOVE and LIFE. And it made me smile to realize that without LOVE……true uncommon and unconditional LOVE, there is NO LIFE. Or at least no life worth living, that is. So I came up with a small and simple equation. LOVE + IF = LIFE.
If we love others and extend ourselves sacrificially towards others, we have an exceptional and satisfying life. It has truly worked for me!! And God did it for us FIRST!!
I have decided to make the PINK PHOENIX my new logo. I feel it is an appropriate one as for quite some time, I have felt that I have risen out of the ashes of a much different and previous existence. If you toss in the radiation experience, it makes the correlation that much stronger. In my work with cancer patients now, I see it time and again where new and better life springs from a previous one. I am placing the legend of the phoenix here for those who do not know it.
There is a bird that lays no eggs and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of fire.
One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold–bright and dazzling like the sun itself. The sun called out, “Glorious Phoenix, you shall be my bird and live forever!”
Live forever! The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted its head and sang, “Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone!”
But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always casing it and trying to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers for themselves.
“I cannot live here,” thought the phoenix and it flew off toward the east, where the sun rises in the morning.
The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.
Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength. It couldn’t soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as it was young.
“I don’t want to live like this,” thought the Phoenix. “I want to be young and strong.”
So the Phoenix lifted it’s head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!” but the sun didn’t answer. Day after day the Phoenix sang. When the sun still didn’t answer, the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun one more time.
It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.
When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried the egg back to the nest.
Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head, and sang, “Sun, glorius sun, make me young and strong again!”
This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all its power.
The animals, the snakes, the lizards, and every other bird hid from the sun’s fierce rays — in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees. Only the Phoenix sat upon its nest and let the suns rays beat down upon it beautiful, shiny feathers.
Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.
After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray ash.
The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old Phoenix. It looked around, found the egg made of myrrh, and hollowed it out. Then it placed the ashes inside and finally closed up the egg. The young Phoenix lifted its head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!”
When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding places.
Then the Phoenix, with the egg in its claws, flew up and away. At the same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, “You are the greatest of birds! You are our king!”
The birds flew with the Phoenix to the temple of the sun that the Egyptians had built at Heliopolis, city of the sun. Then the Phoenix placed the egg with the ashes inside on the sun’s altar.
“Now,” said the Phoenix, “I must fly on alone.” And while the other birds watched, it flew off toward the faraway desert.
The Phoenix lives there still. But every five hundred years, when it begins to feel weak and old, it flies west to the same mountain. There it builds a fragrant nest on top of a palm tree, and there the sun once again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those ashes, fresh and new and young again.
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’
She fooled them all…. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter”.
It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.
In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”
“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.
So, as early in the evening as you can , put all your burdens down.
Don’t carry them through the evening and in to the night… Pick them up tomorrow.
1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!
2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.
9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.
13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you to day.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
20 *Go ahead and save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate.