Thursday, May 24, 2012

" If Life Is A Game These Are The Rules "

Have you ever had advice given to you way back when and you didn't heed that advice?

Maybe years later you heard that advice again or remembered and thought, OMG, if I had heeded that advice then it would have saved me so much aggravation and maybe even some heartache.

For me the answer is a big YES, Bubba's passing, Janet's sudden death, and Martha's stroke, made me start remembering some of the advice I had not heeded all those years. I thought if I had listened to some of that advice it could have transformed my life a lot sooner.

I recently read a book called " If Life Is A Game These Are The Rules " by Cherie Carter Scott, PHD. The very first page of the first chapter made me say OMG. This is so true. It starts with a quote from Helen Keller, " Life Is A Succession Of Lessons Which Must Be Lived To Be Understood ".

Cherie writes that life has often been compared to a game were we are never told the rules, nor given instructions about how to play. We simply begin at go to make our way around the board hoping we play it right. We don't know the objective of playing nor what it means to actually win.

These are things we have probably heard or known for a long time but have forgotten along the way.

She writes the rules for being human are not magic, nor do they promise easy steps to serenity. They offer no quick fix, but maybe give you a map to follow as you travel your path to spiritual growth.

She tells her clients and students " Love All The Parts Of Yourself " and if you can't love them, change them, if you can't change them, learn to accept them as they are.

She quotes Eleanor Roosevelt who said no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Learn self esteem instead of dwelling on the things you can't do, focus on the things you can do. It's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it.
It ain't a sin to be glad you're alive, A Song By Bruce Springsteen. Your body teaches you pleasure through your five senses. Open your five senses fully and experience the wonder of being alive.
Sight, enjoy a magnificent sunset, Taste, like when you eat a favorite food, Sound, it can come in a glorious sound, Touch, the soft touch of a lover, Smell, like bread baking in the oven.
The lesson of pleasure is to make time and space for it in your life. The old adage of all work and no play making you dull is quite true. You have to pause now and then to indulge your senses.
Pleasure is like the oil that keeps your life running smoothly, without it you most likely break down.
Pure actions like spending time with a beloved friend  bring you into alignment, were as false ones such as spending time with someone who is always in a pessimistic mood, never has any thing good to say, never lets loose, and laughs little can drag you down.
Someone once said I cried because I had no shoes, then I saw a man who had no feet. Life is not always fair. Focusing on the unfairness of circumstances keep you comparing yourself to others.
Make yourself a list of things you are good at and make you special to your family and friends. I know people that seem to have every thing and are some of the unhappiest people I know.
Humor and laughter are very important. Sharing a good laugh with others does wonders. The health benefits both mental and physical of humor are well documented, a good laugh can diffuse tension, relieve stress, and release
endorphins into your system which act as a mood elevator. Laughter causes misery to vanish, teaches you to lighten up and take yourself less seriously even in the most serious of situations.
I know several people who have the ability to do this but three people who passed on could do this and always come to my mind  when I am thinking about this subject. My dearly beloved wife Bubba, my dear, dear sister-in-law Barbara, and my brave little niece Nancy Carol.
I have always said if I am ever in that situation I hope I can be half as brave as they were.
Give yourself permission to laugh, You'll be amazed how quickly a crisis can turn into comedy when you invite in humor.
About a week before Bubba passed away she was not feeling well at all. She said I am going to take a shower. She yelled, Joe come here a minute, I jumped up, thought some thing was wrong, ran in the bathroom, she was laughing hysterically, she said look I forgot to take my socks off. Sense of humor right to the end.
Life doesn't require that we be the best, only that we try our best. Want, leads to choice which leads to commitment. Should, leads to decisions which leads to sacrifice.
Commitment: Our greatest weakness is in giving up, the most certain way to succeed is always try just one more time.
And when you have reached the top of the mountain, then you shall begin to climb.
To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often, a quote from Winston Churchill.
When you stop comparing what is right here, and now with what you wish were, you can begin to enjoy what is.
Make a list each day of all that you are grateful for, so that you can stay conscious daily of your blessings. Do this especially when you are feeling as though you have nothing to be grateful for, or spend a few minutes before you go to sleep giving thanks for what you have. Spend time offering assistance to those who are less fortunate than you, so that you can gain perspective.
The richest person is the one who is contented with what he has. We fool ourselves into believing that one day we will. But is any thing ever enough we want " all Set " But is anything ever really enough? Does any one ever really arrive " There " True abundance comes not from amassing but rather from appreciating. No amount of external objects, affection, love, or attention can ever fill an inner void.
The real void can only be filled by looking within.
There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
No one is suggesting that you float through your life completely detached from the past and blend to the future, only that you pause from time to time to be fully rooted in the moment and feel the peace that results.
Spend time with people the age of seven or under and people seventy years plus, at seven children are at total peace, trusting, without preiduce and caring. Most people seventy plus have finally learned what is really important in life.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is also a matter of opportunity. We all realize we have to heal when we have surgery, when we break a bone, etc. We need to realize we have to heal from emotional problems also. You lived with an abusive parent maybe an alcholic, you got a divorce, you lost your spouse who you truly loved, as in Joan's case she lost a daughter, you can heal from all those things also. You have to allow yourself time to heal.But you have to stop dwelling on it all the time. If you can't do it alone don't be ashamed to get help. Just remember the past is just that, the past, you can't change any of it. To move forward you have to let go of the past.
You can either engage in the blame game, make frequent use of the statement, I can't, or you can take control of your life and shape it as you like.
Helen Keller once said, life is either an adventure or nothing at all. What you make out of life is up to you, you can either create a life filled with adventure or you can stay huddled and safe never enjoying the joyful rush of journeying out side of your comfort zone.  I can truthfully say I have had a life of adventure from my child hood days in West Virginia up to my now ripe old age of 71. The moments I have expanded beyond my comfort zone are some of the most precious memories I have.
At the age I am now, an age where I can now reflect back and see what a great rise I have had, My childhood years in a small town in West Virginia when I had almost a Huck Finn life style. Other than losing my Father when I was 12 years old my childhood was full of fun and excitement. We didn't have a lot but we made the best with what we had.
My teenage years during the fabulous 50,S were a blast. Those years and my young adult years in Maryland were wonderful. Friends I made during those years are still some of my best friends to this day. Been in Florida since I was 33 years old, a few very sad times, but again lots of adventures that are still going strong at my ripe old age of 71.
A question I would never ask any one but have been ask a few times is, are you a Christian. My answer is I would like to think I am but a Christian with a lot of flaws. LOL I often ask myself if the way I think and some of the things I do, what would Jesus think and do in these circumstances. My guess is He would think and do a lot different than me. This is when the doubts crop up in my mind if I am a Christian.
When I do a self evaluation I think my number one flaw is that I am not a forgiving person. The two beautiful women I have been lucky enough to have as wife's, my dearly departed Bubba and my dear wife Joan are both like Angels on earth. A lot of their wonderful traits have rubbed off on me and I think have made me a better person. Bubba and Joan were and are very forgiving women and sadly that part has not rubbed off on me.
I am not a very forgiving person. I have always tried to be a good husband, a good son, a good father, etc. and treat every one right but when some one craps on me I have a very hard time forgiving them.
I have read about all the reasons one should forgive, I have prayed about it, talked about it with a couple of Pastors and they prayed with me about it also. Sadly none of it has worked, and I am getting older and crankier it actually is getting worse. I will be 72 September 18, my doctors tell me I am in pretty good health for my age and should be around for awhile yet.
But my thinking right or wrong is that what ever time I have left why spend that time with one way friendships, family that you only hear from when they have a problem, people that can't laugh and have fun, always looking for things to complain about. These type of people depress me and I don't like to be depressed.
I guess what I am trying to say is that even though I am probably as happy and content as I have ever been, having lots of fun, there will always be certain conflicts in our lives, it is how we handle them and move on with our lives that count.
Our time on earth is brief, time passes and things change, we all have choices in which to make our wishes and dreams, and goals become a reality.
I wish I could say all of these words are mine, most of them are but a lot of them are from the book. 
" If Life Is A Game These Are The Rules "


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