Signs Along Life's Highway
August 14, 2020
I recently saw a statement by an ancient philosopher that read, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” It would be good to go over this statement again. We don’t have the power over external things (especially each other), we simply have power over how we think about them.
Stop and sit with yourself for about five (5) minutes and reflect what the source of what is troubling you? Is it work or not working? Is it problems within the family (spouse, back to school for the children)? Is it finances? What? Now think about your expectations you have attached to it. For many during the past few months it has been no jobs or unemployment benefits they haven’t received yet. We can blanket all this under… just surviving. A lot goes into these thoughts, such as mortgage/rent, car note, utility bills and food. These are just a few of the many obligations we have. Now let’s move back to the initial statement that states the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it.
We discover ourselves in a tough place, because eviction/foreclosure is real, utilities being turned off is real, car repossession is real, not having sufficient food is real and its all external. So how do we have the power to revoke at any moment that picture of the external? How do I not consider the realness of the external I’m constantly challenged to deal with? For many some areas of life will change drastically.
Let’s view some internal responses to these external happenings. I’m certain most will know what I’m about to mention. Internally to the external we add stress, anxiety, frustration, depression, which in turn can cause more serious health issues. We determine how we cannot make it, based on what we experiencing as real. With that comes the possibility of affecting where I am in life not months down the road but in mere days. I thoroughly agree with you. Feeling what you are going through, similar to the many times in my life, I needed someone. Someone to just say the words, “You can make it through this!”
What is affecting you now externally is also touching me in some areas, so I understand! Which is why I'm choosing to stand on the sideline and declare, “We can make it through this period.” We are born into life and until we die, we are living out that dash we see on head stones between our birth date and death. We don’t know how or when that last date will show up after the dash, but we realize it will come. Every one of us will leave this earth, someday. While this is true, how we lived is significant in our pilgrimage here.
I wish to add some signs to your travels through life, specifically in this season in our lives. Despite all that may (or may not) be taking place around you, I want to give some reminders, with the intent to lift your spirit (if needed). I desire to be a cheerleader on the sideline of your life. Just turn your head slightly to the side and you will see my first sign. Continue to walk or run, my sign is for you to keep moving. “You can do this!”
Sign 1: “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)
Sign 2: You were not a mistake and everything you require to move through this life is already inside of you
Sign 3: If you say you can, then you can; if you say you can’t, then you can’t… You will be right
Sign 4: Wherever you are in life, there is someone who wishes they were where you are right now
Sign 5: Don’t solve a temporary situation with a permanent solution
Sign 6: You may have to rebuild, as of the result of now. But your next start will be with expert knowledge
Sign 7: The earth is transforming in ways we can’t indeed imagine, use your gift of imagination and advance with it
Sign 8: Life is short, look within yourself and live. You can only control what is in you, seize control, there is an inner strength mentally and physically that has been put within all of us (recall the stories we have heard of mothers lifting a car off a child. How did that happen if not already there?)
Sign 9: Every situation we face throughout life offers an opportunity and/or a lesson; it is not trying to destroy us but take us to another place within ourselves, within life
Sign 10: “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)
Reminder of last week's discussion “Be Encouraged”
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
Please see the Poetry Section this week.
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