Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for August 18, 2013

How Full Is Your Cup?

Remember the song we sang in kindergarten, ‘If Your Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands?’ One line in the lyrics is especially telling, ‘your face will surely show it.’ When you look- really look – into the face and eyes of another person you can see how they view others and life in general. Another indicator of their view on life is their voice. Listen carefully and you will hear how they expect the future to play out. The face, body language, and word choices a person uses all tell a story that invites us in or keeps us at a distance. Their energy can fill us with happiness, peace and hope for the future or drain us with pessimism and worry about tomorrow. As hard as we may try to hide our true feelings we are really just open books to those who care about us.

When someone we trust cares enough to offer a helpful suggestion or observation about our comments or behavior they are giving their time, energy and love to try to help us just as we do for them. If we are open, and set our fears aside, their input they can assist us on, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘ The never ending task of self improvement.’

Just as we can see and feel the ‘happiness index’ of others they can be a witness to our own level of contentment and peace. Is it time for a personal happiness check? The next time you look in the mirror stop a moment and think about what you see and what others may see in you. Do you see reflected back a smile or peace behind your eyes that tell a story about the wonderful possibilities of tomorrow? You might also try to listen to yourself as you are talking to others. Are your statements generally positive or can you hear more negative, energy limiting statements? Each time we allow ourself to think or say negative thoughts we are robbing ourselves of the energy – the life force of life.

Our free will allows us to decide how we want to live out our days on this planet. We can choose to see our cup as half full (optimism) or half empty (pessimism) and live accordingly. Although the amount in the cup is the same, one type of thinking gives us hope and energy for tomorrow, the other despair and a feeling of hopelessness about our lot in life. It is important to remember that the Universe will match the type of energy that is foremost in our thinking. If you want more problems – think negatively – if you want more positives in your life – think positive. It is both that simple and complex. It is not easy to change you habits that by definition have become ingrained but it is so worth doing so!

Have a great few days!

As always, we have the gift of free will to accept or reject these observations.

We Grieve Differently

Scott Simon, an NPR host, was tweeting recently to his 12 million followers about his experience during the death vigil of his mother. From the article written about the event in The Week magazine dated August 16-23 entitled, ‘Twitter: A death shared in real time’ has created quit a stir.

Writers from various news sources rushed to weigh in with their opinions about the appropriateness of this type of tweeting. Really? Why would anyone be surprised about it when social media has become so popular that over 70% of Americans now say they are connected to at least one site.

Each of us has our own level of tolerance or acceptability for information. Some feel that death should remain a private experience while others choose to share the highly emotional experience as a way to vent their raw feelings as it is happening. We each seek solace and understanding in our own unique ways.

While death is not something that we often choose to talk about it is, nonetheless, a natural part of the cycle of life that touches our very core. If Mr Simon felt the need to share the experience with others so be it. I do not walk in his shoes and therefore choose not to have an opinion on his choices. As Roger Ebert, the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism once said, ‘ imprisonment …is being unable to tell another person what you really feel.’

The easy part about being consummate communicators on social media is that we have the ability to choose what we want to read and watch. With a simple click we can exit a site, without comment, if it is not something we want to know more about.

Is it possible that we could allow others the right to choose what to share when it comes to something this difficult without feeling compelled to offer our opinions about it? Losing a loved one is tough enough. If we are present and watch the breathing of our loved ones become more and more labored and we are experiencing flashes of happier memories of the past we need all the support we can get in whatever form we are most comfortable using. Allowing others to grieve in their own way just seems like the right thing to do.

Rather than having an opinion on his tweet topic, I applaud Mr. Simon’s dutiful presence during such a difficult time and hope that he was able to witness a look of peace when his mother took her last breath knowing that, ‘All is as it should be.’

Have a peaceful few days!