Perspective shift

We went to the park the other day to take a short hike with the girls. As we were all getting out of the car and unfolding the stroller a woman was walking by with two small dogs. I was just about to look up and say hello when she dropped her wallet and said in a very angry and exasperated voice to herself, “This has been the worst f*****g day, can anything else go wrong?” She picked up her wallet and stomped past us through the parking lot. It was only 10:30 am, and I thought to myself, unfortunately she still has most of the day left for things to continue spiraling out of control. Obviously I only saw one moment of her story and it appeared to be a very bad moment, but it made me think about perspective and if a perspective shift could have helped her through the rest of the day.

Perspective is defined as a mental view of or outlook on a situation.  I think a perspective shift can change almost anything.  When I don’t know someone else’s full story it is difficult to suggest a perspective shift, but hopefully a personal story will help make my point.

A few weeks ago I was out on a Sunday evening on my way to return a movie. I turned onto the highway feeder road a little too quickly and hit the curb with my rear tire. The tire immediately blew and luckily I was just about 200 yards from an open gas station. As I was pulling in to see if they could help me change my tire I was thinking, It serves me right because I made the turn too quickly, as if this was punishment for my poor driving. A really nice young man changed my tire and I was on my way.  The next day I went to buy a new tire and the man at the store strongly suggested replacing the other three as well.   I took a look at the tires and if you know about the penny test to check the treads then you will understand how necessary it was for me to get new tires when I tell you that there was nowhere to even put the penny.  As I was pulling away with four new tires I could have been complaining about the hour I had just spent waiting for new tires or the money I had just spent that I had planned to use for something else, but instead I thought to myself, Thank you God for making me get new tires since I wasn’t going to find the time to do it without your help.

Despite some of the terrible things I see in the news, I try to keep my perspective shifted  and continue to believe it is Our Best Life and I hope you do too?  If we all believe it is our best life would the news change?

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

A finite number of lashes…

I watched The Passion of Christ (2004 American Drama directed by Mel Gibson) on the evening of Easter Sunday.  It was the first time I had seen it and now two months later I still think quite often about the lashing of Christ scene.  While I was watching the movie the lashing scene seemed to go on forever and at one point I actually winced as Jesus received a lash and I thought to myself, that one was mine.  The thought actually surprised me and made me cringe, but the more I have reflected on it the more I think it is true.  I think we are all responsible for at least one lash that He received that day.

The comfort I have found as I continue to think about this scene and the innumerable lashes Jesus received is that the lashing did eventually stop.  Even though the final number of lashes could not be counted by the end of His lashing, we know the final number of lashes was a finite number.  I find comfort in this because to me it means that although there is evil and sin in this world, there is a finite amount.  It does not go on forever and there will come a day when all that is left will be GOOD.  Thank you Jesus for loving us so much.

I believe it and I pray with all of my heart that you do too!  It is Our Best Life!

The joy of suffering!

I saw a movie on Saint John of the Cross the other night and at the end he said, “Love the suffering.” I have been thinking about this a lot since watching the movie.

Saint John of the Cross spent about 8 months held captive by his superiors, imprisoned in a tiny closet. This was his suffering, but he saw it as his joy to be given unlimited time to contemplate Jesus.

The disciples of Jesus left their families, their lives, to follow Jesus and many observers at that time thought they were crazy and that they would suffer or were suffering, but Jesus was their Joy!

Once you truly follow Jesus is it even possible to suffer? From someone else’s perspective it might appear that you are suffering, but from your own perspective are you really suffering?

I think the song, You Can Have Me by Sidewalk Prophets says it beautifully

If You’re all You claim to be
Then I’m not losing anything
So I will crawl upon my knees
Just to know the joy of suffering

Therefore if Jesus is our joy then I think it is already Our Best Life.

If He is not then can we say It is Our Best Life with the hope that this daily prayer will help us find the right path to our joy in Jesus?

I think the answer is YES, start saying it and see where it takes you.  I think it will circle back around, but go ahead and try it for yourself.

 

A few more thoughts on empathy…

I was watching a documentary about different types of love and relationships a few months ago, and they brought up empathy as a key building block in relationships.  I agree with this, but what really got me thinking was the wording used when defining empathy.  In the documentary empathy was defined as the ability to put your self aside in order to identify with or experience the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.

When I heard it defined with the additional wording of PUT YOUR SELF ASIDE, I immediately thought of when Jesus said to deny your self.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Did Jesus mean for us to empathize with others when he said to deny ourselves?  I am starting to think this is what he meant.

In the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, ” You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

How can one truly turn the other cheek?  Is the answer to this also empathy?

If you resist your anger towards the person who has struck you (Are you denying yourself?), and instead attempt to empathize with that person, understand that the obstacles and difficulties of their life, their story have brought them to this moment and that although their physical anger was finally triggered by the current moment shared with you, their emotional anger has probably been building for quite some time and has very little to do with you.

Once you can empathize with this person, does it become a little easier to deny your self/deny your anger and turn the other cheek?

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  It is “Our Best Life”, let’s say it, believe it, live it and wish for it everyday for EVERYONE!

 

Global Consciousness

My husband and I watched the documentary I Am last weekend.  It was very good and I would highly recommend it.  In the documentary they briefly mentioned The Global Consciousness Project (GCP).

Below is a quick explanation of the project from their site

———————
The GCP is a network of random number generators (RNGs) spread around the world. There are currently about 65 or 70 nodes in the network, and at each one, random data trials are recorded continuously, one trial per second, day after day over the past 13 years. The result is a database of synchronized parallel sequences of random numbers. The data are archived on a server in Princeton, and subjected to formal analysis testing whether there are departures from expected randomness corresponding to global events.

By definition the RGNs are independent and should not show any relationship at all, but during moments of importance to humans, the devices show slight correlations with each other.
———————

The moments mentioned in the documentary were Sept 11, 2001 (WTC attack) and  Dec 26, 2004 (Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami).   Both of these tragedies brought about a mass synchronization of human consciousness as people around the world felt empathy and compassion for those effected by the tragedies which then translated to a physical synchronization of the RGNs spread around the world by the GCP.

As I have been reading more about the GCP, the site discusses the fact that they have found that events evoking empathy, compassion or love for others bring about a much larger effect.

This just confirms for me once again the great importance of empathy.  The act of putting ourselves aside or denying ourselves in order to try to understand another person’s perspective, experience or situation and then finding compassion within to offer help to another.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Let us deny ourselves through empathy as we live Our Best Lives!

 

Life will never be the same…

I spoke with a friend today whose family was recently rocked by some very difficult news.  She told me that when the Doctor delivered the news she said, “Life as you know it will never be the same.”

I have been thinking a lot about this tonight.  A short 24 hours earlier, Jesus and His best friends were sharing a meal, then everything changed in a moment and life was never the same.  Just one day after the death of their Friend, their God, Jesus; shock, fear, grief and anxiety still ruled and the disciples could not yet accept that, Life as they knew it would never be the same.  They did not yet know the secret that even from a change in their lives this terrible, this earth shattering, something GOOD would come and Life as they knew it would never be the same!

Life will never be the same… still grieving but now slowly understanding and accepting the change and the magnitude of Your gift.  Thank You and I love You so much Jesus!

 

Empathy

I have been thinking a lot about empathy.  Empathy is the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.

I think empathy is one of our greatest gifts because it gives us the ability to share not only the lows, but also the highs with each other.  If I am truly empathizing with others to the fullest, then every sorrow on earth becomes mine to share, but so does every joy!

Therefore if we consider a world with little or no sorrow, then the joy we could experience is INFINITE!

I am going to intentionally practice empathy at home, with my friends, with strangers, with anyone who I come in contact with… let’s see what happens!

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!

 

The connection is confirmed!

I have been very lightly reading about dark matter for the last three years since watching a movie about it.  I didn’t know what it was or have any simple theories, but I found it interesting to read about and would always check-out an article when I came across one.

Last weekend I had a dream that led me to watch a few episodes on www.netflix.com regarding the universe.  In the last five min of the 3rd episode they briefly mentioned dark matter which led me to do a quick google search since I hadn’t read anything about it in at least four months.  The article I found was posted the day before…

It is truly AWESOME!!!

Please read the article, but a quick summary is that since dark matter does not react with light it has been completely invisible to us until a group of Japanese Physicists came up with a way to produce an image by tracking how light was bending as it approached earth from 24 million galaxies.  This image produced gives a visual of where dark matter is in space for the FIRST TIME!!!

Guess what they found…

Dark Matter forms a web CONNECTING everything in our universe!!!  Before reading this, there was no question in my mind that we are all connected, but this CONFIRMS IT FOR ME!

Connect with, include, befriend and love anyone and everyone so that the web of dark matter will continue to grow and eventually we will all be encircled in an invisible web (but a truly physical material as proven by science) or net (as my sister would say) of LOVE!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46387769/ns/technology_and_science-space/

I am a friend!

I have been wondering how to include EVERYONE.

When I pray for Our Best Life, my intention is to include EVERYONE (NO EXCEPTIONS), but how can I then best apply this intention to my physical life (LIVE IT)?

I think attempting to get as close to “I am” as possible is the best way to apply this prayer into physical reality. As soon as I say, “I am a graduate from Purdue” or “I am a wife” I have put myself into an exclusive club that does not and cannot include EVERYONE.  Obviously these statements are true, but the less I use them to define me, the closer I am to reaching the true and complete “I am”.  The problem arises in the fact that “I am” is a very abstract way of defining one’s self physically so I then started wondering what is the least exclusive, but a less abstract way of attempting to get closer to “I am”.

The one I came up with is “I am a friend”.  If you can be a friend and accept friendship from EVERYONE (NO EXCEPTIONS), then I think you are getting closer to “I am”.

Therefore after this long and complicated thought process I have looped back around to exactly what our pre-school teachers taught us, be friends with EVERYONE!

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!

 

The one path, our path!

I have been thinking about Our Best Life a lot over the last two weeks.  I am finally starting to see!  For those of you who are already there, thank you for humoring me as you read this with a joyful smile and excitement in your heart.

I am imagining our world covered in billions of little paths crisscrossing all over the place, and now I can finally see the one large path that has been created by the convergence of many small paths.  This one path is not paved in gold, but is a beautiful dirt path surround by fields of wild flowers and green grass covered in dew and glistening in the morning sun.  We are in awe of the mountains we see ahead, but our joy as we walk down the path is in the relationships we build and the soul mates we meet.

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!

 

Say it, live it, believe it and it will be!