Saturday, March 13, 2021

Over the Hill? No Way! Come On Back Down!

Old?! Trying seeing things differently.
 Aging isn't what it used to be. I've heard 30 and 40 year-olds say "I'm getting old!" It helps us see why many people by the time they hit 50 and 60 have climbed "over the hill." Many have decided they're tired and have retired at the bottom of this proverbial "hill" and some have decided to just simply die there.


A new and different attitude is emerging about aging. This new perspective is helping change what we have previously thought about "old age." We are entering a new "age" revolution, embracing new thoughts about what's happening up the hill and over it. Yes, it's an aging journey for sure. However, this one takes you to a "peak" but this one hardly allows anyone who is climbing to head over it to just sit there until all is said and life is done.

We're taking care of ourselves better, more deliberately combatting and defying previous aging cognitions. We have become exercise enthusiasts. We're taking vitamins and supplements that we know renew our minds and bodies, and that restore our very cell structures. Our health "consciousness" is a key to getting a hold of the aging process. When we do the things that address good health, we redefine our lives. We look better. We feel better. We age better.

Most of us have had a bad habit or two, or three at some time in our lifetime. Habits are hard to break. We may have done things, and maybe still do things that abuse our body and mental health. A step toward breaking those habits is to stop making unrealistic reasons for not breaking them, and making excuses for everything, particulary why we believe we can't and shouldn't stop. We have to be audaciously deliberate about breaking bad health habits if we want to increase our longevity on this earth. Reaching those latter years is no guarantee, but we can have a healthier experience when we choose healthier things to live by.

Our happiness is a component that also needs to be on the top our lists of aging well. We must work on eminating stressors, the things in our lives that keep us anxious, worried and in discomfort, whatever they are. The process of elimination can be difficult and slow, but we can do it, and must for our own sanity and emotional health. Choose enjoyment over seclusion and stagnancy. Choose positive attitudes and actions over the things that tend to push us toward being cranky and judgmental. Enter into and enhance positive interactions with others and in personal relationships. Anything that makes you happy can affect how you face each day. You can face each day happier as you age.

What's it going to take for you to stop thinking and doing things the "old age" way? I'm hoping that something I said in this article will. ~ S.R.F. 

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Friday, February 5, 2021

THE WINDS OF FATE

 "The Winds of Fate"

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through the life:
Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem "The Winds of Fate" has always been a favorite of mine. I came across it while investigating what it means to "journey" through life, particulary the faith journey. I'd been through many things, and I had so many questions about life. I've learned a couple of critical things that have helped me along the way, and things I believe can help any of us as we travel the landscapes of our lives: 


1. Winds blow from every direction.
Life's "winds"do also. We can either get blown away by them, or we can option to spread our wings and soar confidently in the direction of our issues and problems, knowing that we can save ourselves from being carried away in a fierce gust of life that could land us in a place of destruction. We can make the choice depending on our approach and attitude, as the poem so beautifully states: 'tis the set of the sail' which will take us in the best directions. We can look with gloom, or we can take a faith-filled, positive, opimistic view of what's ahead.

2. It is through our journey that we learn to tighten our ropes of faith. It doesn't happen overnight, or with our first, second, third or fourth difficulty in life. Winds vary, and problems do as well. Sometimes we can recognize and anticipate challenges that lie before us, but in most cases that isn't so. Varying problems bring varying challenges, as well as varying possibilities. We don't know what to do until we have to figure out what to do. Our hearts must be fixed on the possibilities. Our minds must be focused on all potential for survival. Our souls must be "set" in the direction of our goals, whatever that may mean or be.

3. Life's winds must be handled by maneuvering and mastering our emotional responses to our challenges. Ella Wheeler Wilcox says that it's neither the 'calm or the strife" that gets us through the stormy winds; it's because we anchored ourselves with the determination necessary for our journeys, the boldness necessary for standing firm against every 'east or west' wind that comes our way. Very often our emotions will take us in self-defeating directions, and we must be careful to avoid coasting on those winds and waves.

I hope you will let the words and the meaning of the poem sink in. You can be assured that regardless of the ways of the winds, you will learn to soar upon the stormy waters of life, without ever sinking because of them. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Face the New Year with Faith

 


Life Holds the Unexpected. 
 
Here's another kicker: It probably won't be the last time something devastating and unexpected happens. We lack the control to maneuver and monitor everything that will occur in our lives. The one element that we can use to our advantage is our faith. Faith says we can get over, through and past the challenges that come our way. How? We don't always know how, but when we move on and move forward by faith, we just know that we can.

Life Holds us Hostage Sometimes.   Often when things happen, we can experience a setback. We can experience what feels like immobilization in our lives. We can feel like we are inbetween a rock and a hard place, and there is no way out. Dark times, dark places and dark feelings come and seemingly put a halt to any efforts to move out of those valleys. 

Again, faith plays the most critical role in getting ourselves free from the bondages of hopelessness. Faith is a courageous act. It tells us that regardless of the terrible experiences we face, facing them with faith will pull us out of it. It may be inch by inch, breath by breath, but faith will help lead us toward freedom. Faith will help us take the handcuffs off of the thinking that holds us back. Faith will challenge the doors that seem closed, the roads that seem blocked, and the clouds that seem to loom. We must practice with emphatic determination this fact:faith is the greatest and most effective approach to dealing with daily life, and the difficulties it can bring us face-to-face with at any juncture.

Life Holds Victory.  Life will have many ups and downs. We will have critical moments when we are unsure about what to do. We will have situations that appear to have no promising answers. However, life keeps moving along, and so must we. We must remember that with all that can and does happen, as hidden as it may be, we can have victory again and again. We must believe that. We must know that. We must fight for that, no matter what the circumstances may present to us that say otherwise. We may lose some battles, but we will always win the war when we allow faith to be our most formidable weapon in life; and we must carry that conviction with us at all times. When we do this, we can always win, and we always do. ~ S.R.F.

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