Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Value Of Life

It seems that I write a lot about how important and unique each life is. All we have to do is watch the news and see how quickly and unexpectedly that life can be taken away. It seems like every year around graduation time, so many school kids are killed in accidents, or shootings. A young life that will never know what life is like after their school days, never know marriage, college, kids, success and failures.

We see so many adults who lose that life way too soon, leaving kids and grand kids, love ones and friends.  It happens in a flash, in one wrong move on the interstate, with one bomb or bullet in a time of war, with one diagnosis of cancer.

We live our life with so much frivolity at times. So many minutes, hours, days, wasted, thinking we have years to do the important things in life. Sure we need to enjoy as much of our time as we can, but we need to remember to really Live Life.

Two of my favorite sayings come to mind......

Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal
Live Like Your Dying

The reason I write about life so much is that I see myself, wasting so much time on trivial things that really hinder my life, instead of enhance it. I remind myself everyday that today, is the day to get serious about some things, work on some changes and really make an effort to put in the work and make the most of my time.

The Value of Life......

We can't put a price on it other than the fact that it is priceless. Every minute of life is a gift from God, a moment to do something special, to make a difference. But we as humans, look for the now and the right now, the cheap thrill or the self gratification. We've lost the meaning and importance of life that our parents and grandparents worked for each day and knew they were blessed with the rewards of their labor. 

So I again repeat myself and remind myself......

Live.....Really Live
Love With A Passion
Laugh, Even When You Feel Like Crying
Reach Out And Touch The World
Keep Your Eyes On God
Never Forget To Dance

and the Journey Continues.....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Walking In Your Shoes

We see the world around us through our eyes, through our perspective, and base our thoughts and reactions, judgments and attitudes, on that life.

I saw a homeless man walking down the street this week and it got me pondering what his life was like, walking in his shoes.  His cloths were soiled and well worn.  He carried a bag with most likely everything he owned.  The sweat of the heat and humidity were streaming down his face.  He was headed, who knows where.  Maybe for a place of refuge, maybe a meal at the shelter, or maybe just no place in particular. I tried to imagine his thoughts, his concept of life, his hopes and dreams....and disappointments. I wondered how he viewed the world around him, the people he met on the street and his own life. I knew there was no way I could imagine what is life was and is......without walking in those worn and tattered shoes.

As I was on that same road, I saw a man in a nice expenses car, zoom around me, with no thought of anyone but himself.  It seemed as if life owed him something, that he was the one in charge, the only one that mattered as he sped by. As I watched him, he looked like so many men in my neighborhood, phone to his ear, big fancy car, stopping at the corner store to make a drug deal, then speeding away to his next meeting.  The need for power, for money, for control, was his life. I tried to imagine his thoughts, his hopes and dreams......his disappointments. It was so easy to criticize him for what he was doing, for the lives that he was ruining, for his own life that seemed to have no concepts of morality. But, then again, I haven't walked in his shoes.

When we multiply these two men by millions, we see a world where the life around us is created partially in our own mind and partially by the circumstances of our existence. I look at my own life and sometimes am awed at the incredible experiences I've been blessed with.  I also wonder how I made it through some days where life seemed to be bent on throwing it's worst at me.

We see through our eyes, our ears, our touch....our senses and live our life accordingly. We react by the waves of thoughts that continue to roll over and over in our minds.  We live with our vices, the thorns in our side, our misgivings, our mistakes, and judge the world by the way we judge ourselves. We forget sometimes that the world doesn't revolve around us because in our mind, through our eyes......it does.

Can we change our perspective, our view of this world.  Can we open our hearts to living life with the warmth of love and a greater cause. Can we stop looking at the world, as we walk in our shoes and imagine what it would be like, to walk in the shoes of the man you meet on the street, the cashier behind the counter, the lady that just shot by you on the road...........

I don't know......
I guess it comes from our own desire to make this world a better place, to walk in others shoes for a day, and as my good friend Lin gave me the best advice I've been given.........

Be Who You Wish The World Would Be

and the Journey Continues.....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Pull Up At A Time

It's been a challenge getting my strength and endurance back after the damage done to it over the last few years.  Working with a trainer has encouraged me, but the actual process.....Hmmmmmm......

I went to the pull up bar this last week and was able to do ONE pull up.  Wow.....I realized just how bad of shape my body was in.  When I was a kid in school, I was the pull up king. I could do pull ups, sit ups and push ups like no one else and I was a skinny little kid with not much muscle at all.

It's amazing how age, too much stress and the side effects of chemo can affect the human body.  I remember my parents struggled physically the last few years with their bodies.  Their minds told them they could do anything, but their bodies were just worn out. 

My mind struggles with the cloudy depths of depression at times, but on a clear day, I see a few rays of sunlight. I still feel like a young man at times, but other times, feel old and worn out.. As I struggled to complete that one pull up, I told myself soon, I'll make it two. As I write different blog entries, it gives me a chance to clear a bit of the clouds and see a ray off light.

I've learned that therapy comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. As long as we keep pushing through the turmoil and the pain, we can improve our quality of life, but we have to keep on keeping on.  We have to remember our humanity but keep ourselves open to the possibilities. We have to learn to take it one day, one moment, one step at a time.

So today, I take a few minutes to write. Tomorrow, I'll try to make it two pull ups. I'll continue to push others into a positive outlook to help my own outlook.  I may not always succeed, but I know I won't succeed unless I take it..........

One Pull Up At A Time

and the Journey Continues.....

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Life In Stone

I've been working on my final celebration for a while, from the service, to the prepaid expenses, all so no one will have to stress over the details when My Time Comes.....

I just sent the first draft of my Tombstone to the Publishers.....so to speak, trying to sum up a lifetime into one stone that will let the world know who I was and what my Life Journey encompassed. The stone is just a marker for my resting place, but hopefully it will portray some part of my life here on earth.  

As I planned my parents tombstone, I knew it could never fully express who they were, but could show a portion of a memory, that we could take a look back to, when we stopped by to pay our respects and talk with them a while.

Our lives are made up of experiences, connections, moments.... and so much more, all tied up into a lifetime. The Tombstone.....is The End Stamp...to that life on earth.  But we continue to live on as long as the people we connected with, influenced and touched, carry the memories of who we were.

For my Stone.......the picture above will be laser-ed across it's face......

As My God and I have traveled through so many roads and fields together..... We will continue that stroll inside Heaven's Gates....Surrounded By His Love and Grace........

and the Journey Continues.......