Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
I believe in the Holy Ghost:
I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting.
Amen.

 

The Apostles’ Creed holds a special place in my mind.  My best friend, while growing up in Lisbon, Connecticut went to Saturday night Mass in Taftville, Connecticut just about ten minutes from our homes in Lisbon.  I usually went with him and it was typically the only time I attended any organized religion.  I recall the prayer being said about half way through mass and I always appreciated its cadence, its intonation.  The Creed was probably my most loved prayer to say because I loved its cadence so much.

 

The Creed also has meaning because of its theme.
Everything about the prayer is in my entire paradigm:
–The Resurrection
–Forgiveness
–Everlasting life

 

I find this stuff so fascinating:
That after some thirty years; BEFORE I even understood my belief system, BEFORE I knew what I REALLY understood about spirituality, about faith, on some deep level I DID KNOW that faith and spirituality were an important facet of my life, that they would become so intertwined in my life that as I’ve written:
If you were to attempt to take them away’ I would cease to be who I am.

 

It’s another reason I resonate so deeply with this prayer, because now as I look back at my spiritual growth I realize I understood even when I didn’t understand.

 

God was merely prepping me.
God was giving me clues.
God was showing me at a young age how important a role faith would play in my later life.
HE was presenting me with pieces to my life’s puzzle that wouldn’t fit until I was ready.

 

That’s what a master HE is at the intricate process of our growth.

And only those of us who see the Divine everywhere,

Only those of us who have removed the veil,
Only those of us who have seen through the veil
understand the intricacies of HIS process.

 

Are you one who understands?
Do you see the Divine everywhere?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Saint Maybe

tylersaint

Alright!  Alright!
So I’m cheating with this “Saints” Monday theme.

My first Saints column a few weeks ago about Saint Anthony produced some thoughts about the word “saint” which lead to Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe.  I believe this was my introduction to Ms Tyler.  What an introduction indeed.  Everything my worldview consists of is wrapped up in this book:
–Forgiveness
–Second Chances
–A welcoming spiritual community

–A church with the name:
Church of Second Chances.

 

The story centers on Ian who has a suspicion that his older brother Danny’s wife, Lucy is having an affair.  When Ian discusses the possibility with Danny, Danny commits suicide.

 

Now wracked with guilt, Ian becomes despondant himself.  He seeks support from a Reverend Emmett at the Church of Second Chances.  I just love the name.  Because it is EXACTLY how I feel:
That everyone deserves a second chance.

 

I believe this is why Saint Maybe still resonates with me even though over twenty years has passed since I read the book.

 

Saint Maybe was engaging, powerfully written and I felt as I was inside Ian’s thoughts.  That’s the mark of a talented writer.  Anne Tyler is someone who I highly recommend.  If you haven’t read Saint Maybe, I think it’s a good place to start.  Not just because I started there but if you are a follower of this blog I’d like to believe we are on the same page so to speak.

 

Second Chances:
What do you think?  Does everyone get a second chance?
Does it depend on your worldview?
Does it depend on how many times you’ve been burned?

 

Forgiveness?
Second Chances?

 

Who does it really hurt to hold onto anger?
Who does it really hurt not to give a second chance?

 

If you believe this:
Isn’t that one of the underlying reasons Jesus died on the Cross?
To give all of humanity a second chance?

 

If Jesus could give us another opportunity to redeem ourselves than don’t you think its a bit petty of us who hold onto a grudge, hold onto a hurt, hold onto anger?

 

I certainly understand when someone has wronged us that we want to lash out as we were lashed out at, but don’t you see that when you do so, you’re only adding to the negative energy around you.  Seems to me, the better thing to do is to throw positive.  A negative simply has no means of surviving when positive is released. I’ve said it here before:
Let’s say darkness is negative and light is positive.  What happens when light is turned on darkness?  The dark disappears, correct?

Well the same can happen when you throw positive energy on negative energy.  The negative simply dissipates.

 

It can take some time to understand this and put into practice.  However, if you want to live a joyful life I found the only way to do so is to practice forgiveness, practice giving second chances every day.  I wouldn’t want to live any other way.  I know people who can’t do so and I’m grateful everyday that I’m not one of them anymore.

 

The lesson was challenging for me to learn.  It took me almost half of my latest incarnation to understand the only way to change someone else was to change myself.  And now that I learned that valuable lesson, it opened up my entire life to the knowledge that loving someone else requires second chances and forgiveness.

 

Can you love someone enough to forgive?
Can you love someone enough to give a second chance?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Love Your Enemies

Our enemies provide us with a precious opportunity to practice patience and love. We should have gratitude toward them.

Tenzin Gyatso
The 14th Dalai Lama


Love our enemies?  Did Chris just say that?  Seriously?
Yes I did.
The 14th Dalai Lama said it.
Jesus preached it.

This is not a new concept as you can see.  And if you notice one of my favorite words is in this quote or at least a derivative of it.  I’m not going to tell you what the word is.  Let’s see how many people really know me.  Can you guess the word?  I gave you the biggest hint, so even if you don’t know me as well some many of my followers, you should be able to pick the word out.

Loving our enemies has much in common with forgiveness.

Those who forgive can lighten their hearts.
Those who forgive stop hurting themselves
.

I see Law of Attraction in this quote as well.  Can you guess where?  It is with that favorite derivation once more.  As you’ve seen with this entry and several others here and for those of you who have been following me for some time I resonate deeply with Buddhism.  I feel most comfortable in that belief system.  It’s why I continue writing about the faith.

If you notice I said:
Jesus preached it.

It’s another example that all religions are one.  We are all connected.
Everything is connected.
Everything is connected to one divine source.

Do you see that?
If not, I think it’s time to remove your spiritual blinders.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

The Strength of Forgiveness

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mahatma Gandhi


Saw this in a series of quotes on G+ posted by my new G+ friend, Elizee T.  She has some amazing quotes.  I think if you’re on Google+ and are looking for positive people to circle, you won’t go wrong adding her.

I’ve discussed forgiveness here before and I think this is a topic that can never gets old.  I like the Gandhi quote, because for some the opposite would seem to be true.  Conflict, fighting, disagreement, battle.  Some would think this would be a sign of strength.

I think Gandhi is spot on here.  I believe as Gandhi does:
The weak can’t forgive,
The weak hold onto anger.
The weak keep grudges.

As Law of Attraction says:
We receive back what we put out.

Isn’t it wiser to give your heart than your fist?  What would you rather have a fist to the face or a blessing?  LoL.  Think I know what Gandhi would like.

To forgive is divine.
If more people understood this basic premise, the world would be a significantly different place.
It takes more heart to forgive.
It takes more power to lay down your arms.

How strong are you?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Let Go or Be Dragged

I originally wrote another column for today but last week I was on Google+ and saw this image:

I found the slogan so spot on, so humorous, so true that I simply HAD to write about it today.  In conjunction with Wednesday’s entry, I’d like to discuss the opportunities that present themselves by simply letting go. I searched images on Google with this as a search and one of the images that popped up was of someone being dragged behind a horse.

Now that had to hurt wouldn’t you say?  Isn’t that what happens when you cling to something you know you’re better off letting go of?

I’m thinking here of anger, of a grudge?  Who is that really hurting?

What about something in your own life that you desperately want?  What if it simply isn’t coming to fruition?  Are you holding onto that thought so tightly that it is constricting your every move?  You do of course understand that you’re being dragged just as much here as you were in the first example do you not?

Let go and stop being dragged!

There have been so many cases in my own life where had I known this earlier I would have been far better off.  The blessing is I understand the concept now and I put these ideas into daily use.
–Since I’ve been practicing Law of Attraction and have become more spiritual, my entire life has improved.
–Since I now see everything as divine and everything happening for my highest good I no longer dwell in low places. I understand that life is a process, that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  I’m just so grateful that I have reached a point in my life where I understand this now.  Because of that:
I no longer hold grudges
I no longer stay angry.
I no longer hold onto something that just isn’t happening on my time.

I understand that time is different in the spiritual realm and what to us is a year to those in the spiritual realm is but mere seconds.

You have two choices when you are incarnated in the the body:
–You can hold on to your anger, you can hold onto your grudges.
You can hold onto your dreams the ones that simply aren’t happening in your own time

–Or you can simply let go.

Which one do you choose?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

When Another Person Makes You Suffer

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Image
From: Beauty and Dreams

 


I realize I’ve written many times about this topic but as I’ve said EVERY time I return to a topic I’ve written about previously, it is ALWAYS good to revisit an old subject just to make sure we keep it fresh in our heads.

I’ve read several books by Thich Nhat Hanh and I come away with a new perspective on life, on love, on spirituality every time.  I highly recommend searching out Thich Nhat Hanh’s books.  I discovered him two years ago and found him to be a new favorite.  The above quote clearly resonates with me as I HAVE spent time here discussing it as well as out in the world.  I KNOW this is the case because I’ve seen it in action.  Another way of looking at this subject is to call it:
Psychological Projection. It’s really two sides of the same coin.   Thich Nhat Hanh takes it one step further though when he says, the projector doesn’t need punishment.  He needs help.

When someone comes in contact with a person who is lashing out, saying something negative, doing something negative, stop and think for a moment.  Don’t react.  By reacting you’ll definitely say or do something yourself that you may regret.  Think about why this person did what they did or said what they said.  I understand this will be a challenge, but it will diffuse the anger if you reach out to them.  As Thich Nhat Hanh says:
This person needs help.  So reach out and help them.

Don’t get angry back.
Don’t add fuel to the fire by reacting negatively.
React positively by diffusing the fire.  Throw water on it.  Throw a positive.
Reach out and help.  I guarantee they will NOT know what to do.  You threw them a curve.  They didn’t get the response they were looking for.  They will probably stare at you for a moment, taken aback.  That’s a good thing as you already have altered the trajectory of the situation.  No longer is it going according to their plan.  You changed the course of history, and the more often you can do this, you’ll also be able to keep your relationship strong.  And isn’t that the idea?

Don’t you want to be happy?
Don’t you want your relationships to be successful?


What can you do to create a peace in your life?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Spontaneous Forgiveness

My experience with forgiveness is that it sort of comes spontaneously at a certain point and to try to force it it’s not really forgiveness. It’s Buddhist philosophy or something spiritual jargon that you’re trying to live up to but you’re just using it against yourself as a reason why you’re not okay.

 

Pema Chodron

 

A friend of mine turned me onto Pema Chodron when she recommended I listen to Getting Unstuck.  I loaded it on my iPhone and have heard it countless times and each time I listen I get something new out of it.  Ms Chodron has become another of my mentors as has Wayne Dyer and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

As a follow up to Wednesday’s Holding On To Anger, forgiveness, letting go, dropping the hot coal doesn’t happen by forcing the issue.  Take it from someone who knows.  I spent a lifetime forcing the issue.  It only made me more miserable.

You have to live through your own turmoil.
You have to go through the storm.
You have to see the miserable.

Everyone has misery in their lives.  There is no getting around that fact.  It’s how you cope with that misery.  It’s how you deal with that turmoil that determines your emotional health.  Are you going to stew in the depths of despair?  Are you going to live with your anger?

Or will you face it head on and kick it out of your life?  Are you going to forgive?  so that you can live a happy successful life?  Are you going to wake up and remove your blinders?

When you decide you’ve lived a life of turmoil long enough, when you decide that the person or events that have caused you despair have done more harm to you then they they’ve done to themselves you will understand that the pain you’re feeling, the anger you’re feeling, the turmoil you’re experiencing is NOT hurting them, it’s killing you, that’s when you’ll feel as if the forgiveness you bestow, IF you bestow it will feel spontaneous.  It REALLY wasn’t spontaneous, however.

You lived through a lifetime of turmoil to get to this point.  It was all a lesson to teach you to forgive.

There is no bad.
There is no anger.

These are simply tools that are used to teach us that there is REALLY ONLY one way to live.  That way is:
Love, Forgiveness, Blessing.

How do we learn this lesson?  By experiencing the opposite.

Spontaneous forgiveness comes from years of living in anger, living in fear, living in turmoil.
Can you learn the lesson?
Can you learn to spontaneously forgive?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Holding On To Anger

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Siddhartha Buddha
Founder of Buddhism

The Power
Page 49.
Rhonda Byrne

I learned this about fifteen years ago, after a lifetime of being shown. As is ALWAYS the case though, you’ll wear your emotional blinders until you’re ready to see. Once you remove those blinders, spirit will rejoice and you’ll see the world in a completely new way. Learning the lesson lifted a huge burden from my soul. I no longer hold grudges. I no longer stay angry. Holding onto those negative emotions hurts YOU. It does nothing to the person you’re angry at. Thus you become a victim twice. The victimizer wins twice as well. Unfortunately there are many more people who haven’t learned this valuable lesson yet. They are doomed to repeat the lesson over and over, just as I did until they realize for themselves. All it takes is one small adjustment to their attitude.

Stop being the victim. If you can let go of that hot piece of coal, imagine how much better you’ll feel. Think about that coal in your stomach. How does THAT feel? That pit in your stomach? That anger? Do you REALLY feel good holding onto it? I bet you don’t. Drop that hot piece of coal. It’s not worth holding onto.

I’ve had people marvel at how I’ve perfected the release. I continually hear something I take a huge amount of gratitude in:
I’m still angry and you’ve let it all go. How did you do that? Why did you do that? Now I feel guilty for being angry.

OK. Let’s take a look at that last sentence:
Now I feel guilty for being angry.

What word do you think should be emphasized here? What word do you think I think should be emphasized?

How about FEEL? Stop and think for a minute. If someone was hurt and you were in their presence and that person who was hurt overcame the turmoil why should you carry THEIR emotional baggage. You’re still only hurting yourself.

Are you holding onto any emotional turmoil? Do you hold onto your hot coal for far too long? Why do you do that when it only hurts you? Drop it, throw it way, release it. That hot coal does no one any good.

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!

Chris

A Positive Attitude

A positive attitude may not solve all your challenges, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Great Inspirational Quotes-Attitude

I’ve seen this work myself ESPECIALLY at work.  We have someone who finds the negative in EVERYTHING.  She’s not happy unless she’s complaining.  When this happens I always turn her negativity around.  I’ve done this so often now that she hardly ever comes to me to complain.  She knows now that I will find something positive to say.

Life SHOULD be joyful!
Life SHOULD be positive!

My life changed when I realized this.  We can’t change the situation we’re involved in.  We can only change our reaction to it.  If that means having a positive attitude in the face of negative storms swirling around you and IF you can not only keep the positive faith, but show it on your face and in your actions you’ll find the negativity can NOT stay in the same space.  Positive energy will ALWAYS dissipate negative energy.  I proved that myself many times over.  My workmate now understands that she won’t get the reaction she’s looking for from me.  She no longer complains to me.

The people in my life now are ALL positive and life affirming.  I’ve weeded the negative out.  The negative can no longer enter my realm.  I’ve ANNOYED the negative people of my stream and they no longer even attempt to return.

It takes discipline to keep up the effort.  However, once you start, you’ll find how much better your life can be when you remove the many albatrosses from around your neck.  You’ll find friends who REALLY care for you and you won’t give a second thought to your old life.

Life CAN be joyful.
Life CAN be positive.

You have to make the choice.  Are you going to live a life of complaint?  Of anger?  Of pain?  Or will you look for the positive in life’s challenges?  There is ALWAYS something you can find positive in a challenge.  It is those people that find the positive in the negative situation that live a healthier and happier life.

The choice is yours.  And it REALLY shouldn’t be a difficult choice to make.

Happy or Sad?
Anger or Forgiveness?
Hope or Despair?

I don’t know about you but

I’d rather be happy.
I’d rather forgive.
I’d rather have hope.

Life IS joyful.
Life IS positive.

I THINK MOST of us would too.  It’s as easy as making the choice.

So what do you choose?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Questioning Your Youth

I’m reminded of a scene in my FAVORITE author Jonathan Carroll’s book called The Ghost in Love. Mr Carroll gets better with each new book he writes. Just a quick plot to get you up to speed. Ben is out walking his dog one winter day and he falls on a sheet of ice. He should have died that day but he doesn’t. So God sends down a ghost to figure out what happened. This ghost, Ling tries to solve the reason Ben didn’t die. At one point in the story, Ling sends Ben back to his childhood as an adult. Ben is able to watch his child self and Ben is amazed when he sees his child self swinging on a swing set with his childhood sweetheart.

 

What if you could return to a time in your life at ONLY one point? You could see yourself as a child and communicate with that child JUST once? What would you say? What would you do? Would you warn your child not to do something in the future? Would you tell him to DO something you didn’t do?

 

I’ve written here a few times that I would have loved to know about The Law of Attraction as a youth. I think had I known this simple theory growing up and actually been able to put into practice on a daily basis I would have done amazing things.

 

There are three important things I would tell my child and I don’t think telling him these would harm the space/time continuum. (Can you tell I’m a HUGE Star Trek Fan?) LOL

 

As I’ve written previously, my biggest fear is changing the future, by changing the past. If I take this road instead of that road, my life will be COMPLETELY different from where I am now. My life is golden at this moment. I have the BEST group of friends I’ve EVER had. Two friends I wouldn’t trade the world for. I count on them for different things and I love them both dearly. They are the two BEST friends I’ve EVER had. I certainly wouldn’t want to run the risk of losing them.

 

In the end, I think I would take my child by the hand and give him a long embrace; explain to him that there will be rough times, times when you want to scream, times when you want to disappear from the earth, times when you want to hurt others both physically and emotionally.

 

You’ll persevere. You’ll move on. In time you will understand that forgiveness is the key to having a better life. Forgive all the slights. Forgive and you’ll grow!

 

There will also be times of amazing joy. Relish those! Keep them close to your heart and when things are not so joyous, remember the joyful things. Remembering the joyful things will return those happy feelings. Your thoughts go a LONG way to determining your outlook. Always remember that! Your thoughts determine your outlook! I’d look my child in the eyes and ask him to repeat that phrase. I’d tell him to repeat it again and again.

 

You’ll have the opportunity to learn some huge life lessons and these are the MOST important lessons I want to impart on you:
1. Forgive all the slights that are done to you, for only in forgiveness will you grow.
2. You can’t change anyone one else or their behavior. Don’t attempt to. You can only change yourself. When you change yourself, your own behavior everything around you will change.
3. Your thoughts determine your outlook. Do you know what that statement is? I’d ask? That’s called The Law of Attraction. Your thoughts create your reality. I’d smile at my child and give him one more embrace, ask him to repeat that phrase, then I’d get up and walk away.

 

For another perspective on this issue, check out Alicia Cuthbertson blog:
Chronicles Of A Busy Mind
and her entry called:
Listen To Your Own Advice

 

My friend, Dana Hilmer has a website called Lifestyle Mom. She also has a weekly online radio show at LA Talk Radio called LifestyleMom Radio Cafe. You can listen to past shows but it is yesterday’s show (November 23) that is pertinent to this entry. In the show she speaks to someone about this VERY topic.

 

While I was out having coffee yesterday, Dana came in and mentioned the show and what she was discussing. Wow! More synchronicity.

 

Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!

Chris