Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lessons of the day

Lessons of the day:
1) Trust your intuition. It is worth it.
2) Don't worry about the 'how', just accept that God works through mysterious ways, and trust the He will bring you what you asked for.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lessons of the day

Lessons of the day:
1) Putting God first might not make sense from a rational point of view, but it is the most rewarding option.
2) The love you feel for God should always be stronger than the love you feel for anyone else. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Date Yourself

candle
Image by Felix Francis


I've talked before about self-esteem and recovering from feelings of rejection. 
One of the activities I proposed for you to overcome the negative mood is to buy yourself flowers.
Another activity that really helped me was to have dates with myself. I know it sounds strange, but believe me, dating yourself is a wonderful experience. 
If you think it's too awkward to do that in public (for example, you'd feel lame going out to a restaurant by yourself), just do it at home.

Would you like to have someone cook you a special meal? Go ahead and cook it for yourself. Clean and organize your dining room as if you had a guest. Set the table nicely. Put on some flowers and some candles. Prepare the table for yourself as if you were someone else, someone who loves you dearly. Enjoy the meal and appreciate the love you put in preparing this meal for yourself.
You know yourself better than anybody else. So it will be very easy to please yourself. Do exactly what you know will make you happy (choose your favourite dish, put your favourite flowers in a vase, etc).

Would you like to have a nice romantic bath with candles, rose petals and bubbles? Why not! Set the mood, prepare your bathroom, light the candles, put on a nice relaxing music. Enjoy the fragrant smell of the candles, petals or bath foam. Lay there and appreciate the loving effort you put into making yourself happy.

What other self-dating ideas can you think if? What is your idea of a great date? What would you like to have someone do for you? Think about it and make it happen.
Treat yourself to something nice, then enjoy the love and kindness of that gesture. 
Date yourself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: once you have summoned the courage and faced your fear, you will realise that it wasn't nearly as scary as you had pictured it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quote of the day

Quote of the day: you can't go anywhere in reality that you haven't gone in your imagination. - Andrew Wommack.

This applies for both good and bad situations:
  •  if you don't imagine bad things, they are less likely to happen to you
  •  if you don't imagine/visualize what you want, you will never have it

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lessons of the day

Lessons of the day:
1) you have more in common with other people than you might think.
2) be not afraid, for God is always with you.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quote of the day

Quote of the day (related to my previous post): Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: stubbornness might cost you more than you think.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: if you focus on being positive, you might find out that people don't dislike you as much as you think.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: you might have been put in a difficult situation due to circumstances beyond your control. But you can always control how you will feel about it.

The Traveling Franciscan Monk


This is a true story experienced by a friend of mine. Some names and details have been changed to preserve people's privacy and/or because I don't remember them very precisely.

The Story

John lived in a farm with his parents in the countryside of Ontario, Canada. One day, a Franciscan Monk came to their door asking for food and a place to stay for one night.
His parents were kind people, so they said "of course". They gave him a nice dinner and a bed to sleep on.

The monk told them that he had been travelling throughout the country, on his way to China.

Fransican monks take a vow of poverty. So they are not allowed to accumulate money.
He depended on the kindness of strangers to have a place to sleep and food to eat.

He told John's family that in every day of his trip he had always had a place to sleep and food to eat.

The Lessons

After telling me that story, John commented that the world is a much kinder place than we imagine.

For me, there is an even deeper lesson to be learned from the traveling monk: he trusted God so much that he was willing to travel without any food, money or accommodation arrangements.

The monk had a blind faith in God that few of us do. He believed without a doubt that God would provide him with food and shelter wherever he went.

Reflections

Would you be able to do the same?
Are you capable of surrendering that much control of your life to God?
Notice how his faith had worked and he had always had food and shelter.

It takes a lot of courage to give up that much control of your life to God. But if the monk can do it, so can you.

Disclaimer: This post should not be taken as an instruction to anyone to throw away all they've got and go traveling like a beggar. If you decide to do that it is by your own choice. You have free will and are responsible for yourself. By reading this article you agree that you will not sue me if you decide to do that and then run into problems.

Conclusion

The message I want to convey with this post is that we should stop trying to control our fate so much. Instead, give the control to God and have faith that everything will work out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: Motivation is contagious. Surround yourself with people who motivate you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: when you are in peace and secure of your self-worth it is easier to forgive others.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lesson of the day

Lesson of the day: when you stop waiting, things start happening.
Focus on something else and what you were waiting for will happen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Circumstancial vs Consistent Faith

About 4 years ago, I was going through a very tough time emotionally and stumbled across this teaching:



First, I need to clarify one of terms I will use in this article. The speaker in the video uses the term biblical faith. I prefer using consistent faith because its not attached to any religion. Therefore, even people who are not religious can still understand what I want to say - and hopefully create a better life for themselves after reading this article.

Ok, now we can start.

Types of Faith

Basically, there are 2 types of faith: circumstantial faith and consistent faith.

Circumstantial Faith: you have more or less hope based on your circumstances.
In other words, if your life is going great and you don't have any major problems, it's easy for you to hope for the best, and to have faith that your future will be great. You are very confident in your ability to overcome any problems in the present and the future.
On the other hand, if you are going through challenges (loss of job, end of relationship, etc) you have less faith or hope that things will work out. You don't see how things can get better. You feel hopeless and lost. You don't believe in your ability to overcome problems.

Consistent Faith: you have the same amount of faith, regardless of what is happening in your life right now. You trust that things will work out, regardless of how hard things seem at the moment. If you are going through life challenges, you believe that somehow, in some way, things will work out in the end. It's not to say that you won't feel afraid, but you feel confident that things will end up ok.

Self-Esteem and Faith

Most people who have a low self-esteem, operate in circumstantial faith. If life is good, they believe in themselves and believe that they can overcome their problems. But if a problem arises, they lose confidence in themselves. If they are criticized or put down, they immediately loose their confidence. The moment they feel unloved by one person, their whole world comes crumbling down.

People who have high self esteem, are not so easily affected by their circumstances. Independently of what happens to them, they remain in a consistently positive emotional state. If they just ended a relationship, sure they do feel sad. But they know that they still have other people in their lives who love them. They keep things in perspective. Their world doesn't fall apart. (It took me many years and many break-ups to get to that point!)

What is the difference? The person with high self-esteem does not let their circumstances dictate their self-confidence and hope. Sure they also feel sad and discouraged, but they believe that everything will turn out ok in the end. The stronger a person's self-esteem, the better they are remaining hopeful in times of trouble.


Strength through Religion

I have met people who have consistent faith. They were also very religious. I was attracted to them for their kindness, and had opportunities to witness their hopefulness. Even though they were going through major problems in their lives, they had a smile on their face. They had no doubts that things would end up working out ok.

For example, I once met a baptist  lady who had just been diagnosed with skin cancer. However, she continued to enjoy life, laugh and encourage her friends (me being one of them). She faced the diagnosis with courage and faith that everything would be fine. Her faith was blind, she never even questioned (at least not on conversations with me) whether things would turn out ok in the end. She just knew that they would.

I always admired people like. I admired them for their courage, and always wished I could be the same way. When I found the teaching above, it helped me understand the difference between myself and them:  I had a very low-self esteem and operated in circumstantial faith.

Throughout my life, I have strengthened my self-esteem with self-analysis, journaling, reading about psychology, etc. When I found that video, it gave me a hint that maybe there was another way to do that. I could have improve my self-esteem through religion.

Therefore, I'm sharing this because it might help someone who is looking for more faith and more hope.

Conclusion

The point is: try to have more consistent faith instead of circumstantial faith.

I'm not saying it's easy. But if you can understand the difference, and start trying to switch from circumstantial faith to consistent fath, then you have already taken a huge step.

You might also find Part 3 of that lesson to be helpful.