Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Prayer for Peace, Growth, and Recovery

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred...let me sow love.
Where there is injury...pardon.
Where there is doubt...faith.
Where there is despair...hope.
Where there is darkness...light
Where there is sadness...joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled...as to console.
To be understood...as to understand.
To be loved...as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(St. Francis of Assissi)

What is Maturity?

• Knowing myself.
• Asking for help when I need it and acting on my own when I don't.
• Admitting when I'm wrong and making amends.
• Accepting love from others, even if I'm having a tough time loving myself.
• Recognizing that I always have choices, and taking responsibility for the ones I make.
• Seeing that life is a blessing.
• Having an opinion without insisting that others share it.
• Forgiving myself and others.
• Recognizing my shortcomings and my strengths.
• Having the courage to live one day at a time.
• Acknowledging that my needs are my responsibility.
• Caring for people without having to take care of them.
• Accepting that I'll never be finished -- I'll always be a work-in-progress.
(from Courage to Change: One Day At a Time in Al-Anon)

The Illusion of Perfect Parents

"It is a universal part of the human condition that we must heal wounds from our past. The illusion of perfect parents must eventually give way to the realities of who our parents are as concrete individuals. Their limitations invariably become our own, in one way or another, and their struggles with identity and self-esteem become the stumbling blocks that we find in our own lives. This is the human condition.

"Children of alcoholics teach us about the very nature of being human. Their experience reminds us that self-esteem is not innate but rather comes from being valued by people who value themselves."
(Timmen Cermak, M.D.)

The Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a fulltime informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works."
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.
6. "There" is no better than "here." When your "there" has become a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie inside you. The answer to life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. This will often be forgotten, only to be remembered again.
(Cherie Carter-Scott)

God's Jobs

An eight year old wrote this for his third-grade Sunday school teacher, who asked her students to explain God:

One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes these to put in the place of the ones who die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn't make grownups, he just makes babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to walk and talk. He can just leave that up to the mothers and fathers. I think it works out pretty good.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, 'cause some people, like preachers and things, pray other times besides bedtimes, and Grandpa and Grandma pray every time they eat, except for snacks. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio and watch TV on account of this. 'Cause God hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it down.

God sees and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time asking for things that aren't important, or go over parents' heads and ask for something they said you couldn't have. It doesn't work anyway.
(From A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen)

On Living With A Full Heart

When one is too hurt one cannot see others' pain, is too blind with one's own.
When one has many weights to lift, one cannot enjoy life.
When one has many expectations, one cannot be patient with others.
When one has fear, one cannot enjoy life.
When one does not give, one is making the heart lonely.
When one does not take, one is making the heart feel inferior
When one does not hope, one is shutting oneself into a tight closet.
But when one does not love, one is killing one's self.
(written by 12-year old Olivia, Berkeley, California, 2/12/02)