jueves, 14 de enero de 2010

Living without regrets....gooey, quote-filled goodness

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Helen Keller

We cannot think first and act afterward. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought. - Alfred North Whitehead

Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do. - Ameliea Earhart

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. - Anatole France

I am a dreamer. Maybe it comes from reading so many books, or from loving romantic movies....but a lot of times I enjoy dreaming (literally or just thinking of possibilities) more than some events that happen in my life. I realize from the above quotes that I am doing too much dreaming, and not enough acting. I feel stagnant because I fear what would happen if I stepped out of my comfort zone and did what I dreamed.

When dreaming, the best possible outcome always happens. No one speaks badly of you, laughs at you, or is jealous of you. Everyone and everything in a dream is positive, happy, and the way you feel it should be. (Nightmares are a different story, which I don´t enjoy.)

Dreaming sometimes gets me in trouble. If you´ve heard of the Aesop´s Fable (which I began reading along to in Middle English at age 4, I might add...bragging yes, but fun, yes) about the milkmaid who spilled the milk she was carrying because she thought of the chickens whose eggs she hadn´t even bought with the money from the milk and what she could. (shortest explanation I could come up with.)

I was guilty of this on previous occasions...in previous relationships. I concentrated so much on the future and what could be that I lost sight of the present and what needed to be done. An idealistic view of a relationship is useful, but really, shuld not be your only view! If you´re going to dream of what you are going to bulid with a hammer, grand castles and churches and bridges....and lose sight of the broken hammer in front of you, none of those dreams are going to come into reality! (cool comparison, Kelsey -- I love me!)

Dreaming has its place. It is a gift from God, showing us what could come if we acted towards a particular goal.

Positive visualization followed by action is perhaps a smarter thing, and what God wants people to do. Jesus didn´t just say nice things....he acted in a way that brought about good for those who were in need. He talked the talk and, more importantly, walked the walk!

A lot of celebrities or people talk about helping others but don´t back it up. (Thinking of Haiti right now....maybe I should do something, even as relatively poor as I am. Doesn´t have to be money....)
My life could be worse, but could be better. Me, and my attitude, determine the quality of my life. I have had periods of saddness and anxiety....but really, what for? Jesus had it a whole lot worse than I do, and look at what God´s son did in the 33 years he was on this Earth? I am not Jesus....but I´m his child and I could do a lot better at following in his footsteps. My heart is in the right place....now I need to make sure my head and hands are too. I am completely capable of being happy, achieving my dreams, and doing things for others. Now why am I not? Working on it...

Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame. - Alexander Pope
This is a concept that I have been seeing in my reading about St. Teresa of Avila. She hated to hear good said about her, and actually enjoyed hearing bad things about herself. Why, was she crazy? No, she just really took to heart when Jesus said,
Matthew 5:11, 12
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I can really identify with St. Teresa on some levels. I have always been super-hard on myself...in fact, my parents said I punished myself when I did something bad. Guilty conscience? I don´t know. She (Teresa) was very hard on herself and considered herself the worst sinner of all, and thought she had the hardest heart, the worst following of the Law (10 Commandments)...etc etc.

As I grew up and went to church I learned that in spite of the fact that we´re God´s people, we´re going to suffer. The world and many people in it do not accept God or his people, unless it is convenient or can help them gain something. I have had a pretty easy life so far. But I am understanding that suffering can have meaning..... (to be continued!!!)

I really believe that human nature, without ethics or religion or morals (whatever you´d like to call it), is evil. God gave us free will and that wrong choice is always going to look pretty good to some people. Evil looks pretty fun sometimes....but that doesn´t mean it isn´t wrong. God wants me to live without regrets, but He doesn´t want me to make bad choices. He wants me to make sure that when I die, I can be at peace with the fact that if there was an opportunity to act to promote what is good and right in the world (or the wellbeing of another), that I didn´t just wait around for someone else to do it.

I am human so I did take pleasure in high school and college when I achieved things. I don´t think God is against working towards goals and enjoying meeting goals. Getting to the point...

However, just like a person shouldn´t do good works to earn salvation, good works should be done. A person should do them for the pleasure of knowing that, for God (or whatever you do good works for), good is done.

Christians are called to do good. Doing it without getting recognition - even better! Nothing should be done for what extrinsic things we might receive because of it, but because of the intrinsic goodness of the thing, for the joy of doing good, and for the joy of knowing for Who we´re doing good.

I believe this.
  • I also believe that God wants me to dream of good things and work to make those good things reality. Even if I don´t achieve them, He will still give me the joy inside (before, during, and after) and the peace inside that I attempted to do them.
  • I aspire to be like St. Teresa in that I long to have balance...between the interior and exterior.
  • Balance = peace. And really, my life goal and the meaning of life (getting too deep?) is to have balance and peace.
  • I should not be lukewarm about anything, but be the beautiful, passionate dreamer I am!
Thanks for reading my blog!

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