Friday, February 10, 2012

Confirmation & Peace

Everything changes. People change. Minds change. Hearts change. There’s no stopping it. Whether good or bad, I was told the change should be embraced, whether through a friend or some cheesy quote I found on the net. “What won’t kill you will make you stronger.” While I know that hardships in life do make us more knowledgeable so we can cope with it better the next time around, I wonder if it truly makes us stronger, or does it possibly cram us back into our shell a little more? They say knowledge is power, but I’m not sure that “power” has strength. I do believe the mind is underestimated, so I have conflicting thoughts on it. For instance, if you put your mind into it, you can conquer almost anything. But, on the other hand, what if fear trickles into that “you can do it” mindset? It kind of puts a monkey wrench into the works. We all have some level of fear whether we admit to it or not, and some people can do it above and beyond the fear while it’s still present. A good friend of mine gave me a book to read called, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. It’s based on the Buddhism belief system. Although I’m of Christian faith, I do enjoy reading quality literature even if it’s based of another’s religious belief. It spoke about getting intimate with fear; getting to know fear. A few lines of this book says, “What we’re talking about is getting to know fear, becoming familiar with fear, looking at it right in the eye---not as a way to solve problems, but as a complete undoing of old ways of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and thinking. The truth is that when we really begin to do this, we’re going to be continually humbled. There’s not going to be much room for the arrogance that holding on to ideals can bring. The arrogance that inevitable does arise is going to be continually shot down by our own courage to step forward a little further. The kinds of discoveries that are made through practice have nothing to do with believing in anything. They have much more to do with having the courage to die, the courage to die continually.”

When I read things like these, I always think, “Wow that must be one strong person.” I can’t imagine “getting intimate with fear” as the book states. I want to run from it as far as possible. But the more I run the more it seems to find me. I might as well settle in and get to know fear like a friend, perhaps even treat it as a teacher. As I continue to read this book, I place it down and open my iPad to read my iBible. Yes, I have an iBible. I downloaded the NLT version where it talks in plain English - no ‘thus, thou, thee’ type of language - more so language used as though I was reading a friend’s email. I have learned so much through everyone’s thoughtful book suggestions and mostly, from the bible itself. Have you ever heard of someone saying, “Yep - that’s confirmation”, as they look at their forearms for goosebumps? They say, (and I have no clue who “they” are) that when you hear the same message two or three times in a short span of time, that it’s a message specifically for you. I totally believe that. I also believe that some messages that are “confirmed” to you are also meant to be spread so it can be passed on to someone else for confirmation. Perhaps this blog post is meant for you to read. Who knows, right?

I’m going to share a couple of things with you. First, a card my mother had given me for my birthday. While opening it up, my mom started staring at me. I kept reading and she began to cry, as well as I did. I have never read such a beautiful card in my life. A card that was specifically made for me, so it seemed; a confirmation.

"How to Make a Beautiful Life"
Reflection for a Daughter on Her Birthday

Love yourself.
MAKE PEACE with who you are
and where you are
at this moment in time.

Listen to your heart.
If you can’t hear what it’s saying
in this noisy world,
MAKE TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.

Try.
Take chances.
MAKE MISTAKES.
Life can be messy
and confusing at times,
but it’s also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path
might be a stepping stone.

Be happy.
When you don’t have what you want,
want what you have.
MAKE DO.
That’s a well-kept secret of contentment.

There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to MAKE YOUR OWN WAY.
To know where you’re going
is only part of it.
You need to know where you’ve been too.
And if you ever get lost, don’t worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isn’t days and years.
It’s what you do with time
and what all the goodness and grace
that’s inside you.
MAKE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE...
The kind of life you deserve.

And one of my favorite scriptures in the bible is from Ecclesiastes 11...

“You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things, God will bring you into judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.”

Maybe this post will be confirmation to you...

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com