Sharing Our Joys and Sorrows with Friends

Shared joy is double joy; Shared sorrow is half a sorrow Swedish Proverb

What would life be like without friends? Not too good, at best. Even some of our relatives wind up also being our friends. Although I don’t have any brothers or sisters, I have had a lot of cousins, even second and third ones, who have been kind of like siblings to me; and some of them were among my closest friends. I also have some non-relatives who have been my most beloved and cherished friends for many decades; a few for over half a century. Over the years we’ve shared our joys and sorrows with each other; we’ve laughed and cried (a little) together, and we’ve stayed connected. In many ways, we’ve been dependent on each other and have given support and comfort whenever needed. But isn’t that what friends are for?

Back in 1982, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager wrote a song in answer to that question; Dionne Warwick’s recording of it is an all-time classic.

That's What Friends Are For

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

The dictionary defines a friend as a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; a favored companion; one who supports and sympathizes. I even have some young friends who fit that description. I feel very fortunate to have the friends I have, both the old ones and the new ones. But, of all of them, two of my best friends in life have been my mother and my father. Although they are both gone, they are still my friends. I use the wisdom they gave me often; I cherish it and them and know I am blessed to have had them in my life. While they were here we shared our joys and sorrows with each other; we were connected, interdependent, and felt a certain oneness when together.

One of my students and a friend Barbara Page, whose father had recently died, shared with me a letter he had written to her when she was 13 years old. Barbara had had a “crushing” experience at a dance and was very disappointed and depressed over the experience. Her dad, sensing her sadness, wrote her the letter, which she has carried with her in her wallet all these years . . . and still does

Dearest Barbara,

The greatest thrill of happiness is the sharing of our joy with the
ones we love and the ones who love us. Equally important is the
sharing of our sadness, both great and small, with our loved ones.

How terrible it would be to have to keep our joys and sorrows silent!

But, joys and sorrows are brief interludes, signposts sprinkled along our
journey through life. When joy comes to us, we relish and share
the pause, and continue on; but when momentary unhappiness befalls
us, we pause only long enough to tidy up our hearts, and then we
continue on wiser and better equipped for the much rougher road
ahead. A full life has never known complete joy, because unhappiness
is the lubricant to a full life.

“Along my journey, I cried ’cause I had no shoes,
‘Til I met a man along the way who had no legs.”

Your Father

EinsteinWe even have friends we’ve never met. I have lots of those: Gandhi, Einstein, Thich Nhat Hanh, Schweitzer, Jesus and the Buddha, to name a few. In that category, one of my friends . . . the late mythologist, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell, is the source of one of my favorite quotations. Who said it first isn’t known, but besides Campbell, Will Rogers liked it and used it often. Here’s the quote: “There are no such things as strangers, only friends we’ve not yet met.”

Actually, being a Buddhist, I think there’s a good possibility that the Buddha may be the original source for that quotation. If not, I’m sure he agreed with it. In fact, he took it a step further. He taught that not only were we all friends connected to and dependent on each other, but we are all one. Maybe that’s why we feel the way we do about our friends. Maybe we feel that they are a part of us. We know they are a part of our life, an important and needed part. But maybe it’s more than that. No maybe about it; it’s all of the above.

The Buddha spoke of two truths: the mundane truth which is the one we use in carrying out the daily routine tasks of life, and the ultimate truth. Knowing the ultimate truth makes us more skillful in our every-day decision-making process. The mundane truth is that we are each separate individuals. The ultimate truth is that we also are all one; each one of us a part of the whole, like the Earth is one planet, but it consists of land, water, flora, animals, people, etc. Like one’s body: one wonderful vehicle with lots of parts . . . including arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, brains, heart, etc. (See March 2010 blog.)

If our brains aren’t able to fully understand and process this idea of oneness, then perhaps it’s a truth we can just leave to the heart for processing. Who said that it’s only the brain that thinks, feels and perceives? And who said that all the heart does is pump? There’s something Zen-ish here that may be worth meditating on. In any event, it’s not difficult to understand and appreciate the idea of friends and friendships, whether they come from our family or someone else’s, whether we’ve met them or not, and whether they are here or gone away.

We share our lives with our friends, and they share theirs with us. Sharing our friends’ joys and sorrows put ours in proper perspective. Each of us benefits from such sharing and helps us realize that the good times and the bad times make up the fullness of life itself. In fact, there are no good times and bad times; there are only times. We are the ones doing the labeling. Best not to get stuck with the label. Just keep smilin’, keep shinin’, knowing you can always count on a friend. It can be your dad or mom, your brother or cousin, a non-relative, or even someone you haven’t yet met.

Today’s article was shared from the following website: http://buddhismteacher.com/blog/?p=645

No widget added yet.

Overcoming Depression – Creating an Attitude of Gratitude Part 3

There’s no happier person than a truly Thankful, content person Joyce Meyer

This week, in an effort to help others overcome depression, I am focusing on gratitude. There are several steps for overcoming depression and gratitude is an essential step.

Just think how happy you would be if your sole intent was to find the negative in everything you encounter. (Not Very right?) Yet, that is what some do – not intentionally but from thought patterns that they have developed over time.

Is there a co-worker who drives you crazy? Are you constantly fussing about your children’s cleanliness habits or lack of? What about those inconsiderate ways of your spouse or family member? Are you concerned that you are always getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop? Has some incredible trauma been a part of your life?

During my near-death experience, I saw the reverence, love, and honor that everyone had for each other in heaven. Other than God, no one was perfect but everyone radiated an air of love and goodwill. Everyone celebrated the good in each other and genuinely supported each other. I believe there is a lesson there. I walked away from my near-death experience with a greater understanding of what make heaven heaven.

We are on earth now, having a mortal experience. There is an important purpose for mortality. We have come to learn, grow, and improve. We have come to develop faith. We are no longer surrounded and enveloped by God’s love, as we were in heaven, but we can choose to love, honor, and reverence each other on earth as well. It is not easy work but it is work that our lives will be blessed for.

If you would like to overcome depression or just improve your life, you must develop an attitude of gratitude! Our thoughts and emotions are powerful things. So powerful, they can help heal us or help make us ill. There is a book, published in 1995, that speaks powerfully to the power of thoughts and emotions, etc. making us ill. It is called the 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness by Greg Anderson. It is a wonderful book! Whether you are suffering from depression or any other illness, it is worth your time and effort to read! Greg Anderson was diagnosed with terminal cancer (a second time) and then studied the patterns and changes made by individuals who had survived terminal illnesses. As you might have guessed, he adopted those changes himself and has lived to teach others about how to heal and overcome illness (even terminal ones).

I hope you will take the time to read Greg Anderson’s book! I also hope that you will work to increase your gratitude! Today’s article shares more information on how to have an attitude of gratitude! I hope you enjoy!:

How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It is that time of year when giving thanks is top of mind. The holiday season, and Thanksgiving in particular, causes us to think about all of the special things in our lives and express gratitude for them. This is a favorite time of year for many, in large part because we are surrounded by loved ones and visibly reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.

If you’re like me, you wish this feeling could last all year long. Just imagine feeling proud, thankful, and joyful on an ongoing basis, not only during the holiday season.

A major step in that direction is developing an “Attitude of Gratitude,” according to New York Times best-selling author Lewis Howes. Howes writes extensively about cultivating a grateful mindset in his highly-inspirational new book, The School of Greatness. As Howes simply says, “Life is better if you develop an attitude of gratitude.”

But what exactly does that mean and how do we do it?

An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike. As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”

Here is a menu of tactics (just pick a few!) he endorses to help develop this mindset:

  • Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with at the end of the day the 3 things you are most grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with right now (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) the 3 things that you are most grateful for in this moment
  • Start a gratitude journal – Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about
  • Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished in the last day/week/month/year. Instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing!
  • Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you – oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently)!

If the gratitude process is hard to get started, begin by asking yourself, “What could I be grateful for?”, and see if the ideas start to flow. This is a mindset habit that is recommended by Tony Robbins in his book, Awaken the Giant Within.

Every day won’t be perfect, but focusing on what we are grateful for tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity.

And in addition to improving mood, recent studies show that feeling and expressing gratitude leads to better physical health as well. Paul Mills, a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, conducted studies that looked at the role of gratitude on heart health.

Among other things, he found that participants who kept a journal most days of the week, writing about 2-3 things they were grateful for (everything from appreciating their children to travel and good food), had reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm compared to people who did not write in a journal. And the journal-keepers also showed a decreased risk of heart disease after only 2 months of this new routine!

So try adopting some of the above tactics, even just one or two, in order to develop an overall grateful mindset. It takes a bit of work, but having an attitude of gratitude is one of the most impactful habits for a fulfilling and healthy life.

Today’s article was written by Andrew Merle and is shared from the following website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-merle/how-to-have-an-attitude-of-gratitude_b_8644102.html

No widget added yet.

Joy & Sorrow…Overcoming Depression

Weeping may endure for a night but Joy comes in the morning Psalms 30:5We all want Joy and we will all experience loss and sorrow. More and more of us seem to be adding the experience of depression to our life resumes.

I have been through depression – the very worst form. I never want to go there again and I have learned that depression does not have to be a life sentence. With the right ingredients, it can almost always be overcome! The catch is the right ingredients. You can’t do the same things you have been doing – there will have to be some changes. Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! We don’t want to be guilty of insanity, we want to overcome depression!

I believe that more people need to know that anti-depressants are not always effective (for me they made no difference) and that answers do not always come in a prescription bottle.

Today, I share the story of another woman that experienced depression. She now works to help others overcome depression. I hope you will read her story and if you are suffering from depression, I hope you will commit to taking those steps to overcome and defeat your depression!

Depression Story

There is hope! You are worth it!

by Merri Ellen Giesbrecht

I remember not so long ago sitting on my couch unable to form any words with my mouth. My husband asked me questions and I could only muster up enough strength to look back at him with a look of “why don’t you just kill me now?” I couldn’t speak. I was so emotionally exhausted and mentally burnt out from suffering from depression. I could not sleep and would get up in the middle of the night to stare out the window in darkness. I was completely lost in depression.

I was 25 years old and I had suffered a traumatic work related experience that left me in emotional shock and disbelief. I went through anti depressant drugs which didn’t work for me and only made things worse. In fact, they brought on thoughts of suicide instead.

My world had crumbled due to the recent loss of my job thanks to the betrayal of mentors whom I had admired and sought for advice. Problem was their advice got me in hot water. Perhaps I wasn’t strong enough to make my own decision and listen to the warning bells going off in my own head. Now I was devastated.

The ones I admired and trusted had abandoned me. My life was now in pieces and my career as the department’s head stripped away from me thanks to another’s selfish ambition. I forever played the events over and over in my mind and I grew in anger, bitterness and depression.

Their words and actions cut threw me because I had put those leaders on such a high pedestal and when they let me down, I was deflated and incorrectly thought God was unhappy with me. I put those leaders in the place of God and so I thought surely God did not love me to allow such a thing to happen to me.

My family managed to get me outside to walk and get exercise. My father in law and I were walking alongside each other and we looked down and saw coffee cups littered on the ground. He asked me if I thought it was the fault of the coffee shop that their litter was on the ground. I looked at him strangely. Then he reminded me that even though God-fearing people had betrayed me, I should not attach them to God.

Amidst all of this, my husband and I were also expecting our first child. It was hard to feel any joy over the event at the time of my pregnancy. But, I now realize it was God’s perfect timing. My depression was so horrible that I would easily have committed suicide but for some reason could not bring myself to harm an unborn child. It was the child within me that kept me alive.

I tore myself up inside, attacking myself for trusting the wrong people as my leaders, I remember one early morning around 3am not being able to sleep with all the anger, bitterness and depression. I got up and yelled at God through my window looking outside as the rain poured down. The tears flowed alongside the rain. I got my Bible out and started reading in the Psalms where David is crying out wanting an answer from God as to why his enemies surrounded him. A familiar cry came from within my own heart, “Where are you God!?”

On that early morning and through the tears, I looked up and I saw a vision of God opening His arms out to me and I heard a voice say, “Trust me”. I then remembered Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads,

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (The Message)

Then my mind went to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament who was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a pit and sold as a slave. Later, his master’s wife accused him of doing wrong to her and he was thrown in jail. I could definitely relate. I read the entire story again of how God was still with Joseph and God used the evil that was done to him for good. God somehow took Joseph from slavery and into the position of governor of the land of Egypt under Pharaoh to save the people from famine. Joseph’s despair later enabled him to bring hope to many.

When my son was later born, I gave him the middle name of Joseph, for my son was my hope child and a constant reminder that God could use the evil that was done to me and turn it into good. I hung on to that hope that perhaps my hardship could one day prevent other people’s hardship just like Joseph did.

My doctor at the time, offered little help other than drugs. Well-meaning people made comments like “you’ll get through this” but that did not provide hope. I soon realized that if I was going to get out of depression, then I had to take the steering wheel and do something about it myself. I couldn’t leave it to time or only to my doctor to help me. I couldn’t blame others for my state of mind. So, I set out determined to find an answer and the answer I found was different than what I heard on the commercials for anti-depressants (no kidding). I started to research medical journals on my own and discovered what truly cures depression.

That seems like ages ago…

However, it was only a few months later that I was able to find joy again. I came out of my pit and these days I look out of my window excited about life. When my husband talks to me, I am excited to answer! My passion is for life. My joy is found in living and in helping others find joy out of depression!

This is where God began to turn the evil into good…
After having coffee with a friend and months after my recovery, she asked me,

“Wow, you’ve come a long way! What exactly do you think helped you get out of depression?”

She had been a loyal friend giving me strength throughout my journey back to joy and had been there through it all. I shared with her the discovery I made of 6 major ingredients that the medical journals reveal to cure depression better than any antidepressant.  They are all ingredients that can easily be implemented. There are some specific guidelines that originate with general lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleeping routines, social cirles and your self-talk (how you talk to yourself).  The website below explains them.

The more we talked, the more we realized that many of our friends and family members were going through the same thing and needed to hear my depression story and what helped me. Perhaps my story could help people around the world!

So, I started out doing research on using the internet for sharing my story. I had no formal training in this whatsoever but that didn’t stop me. I went to work. Soon I was interacting with thousands of people in over 80 countries. I absolutely loved the emails I started to receive from people sharing how their lives became changed after reading my own story and my research on my website.

One woman had been on antidepressant drugs for over twenty years but became depression-free and drug-free after going through my compiled story and research.

Another woman wrote…

“I just want to thank you. These tips have really changed my life in less than a month. I honestly believe that God has brought this website over my path for recovery. The work you done is wonderful and a true inspiration. If I think where I was a few weeks back, I can’t believe I am out of that hole. God will bless you for this wonderful work you are doing. You have inspired me so. Thanks again.”

The act of putting my website together to help others has only helped me further in my moving beyond depression. I am more aware of what to look out for in my life and I am having great joy helping others!

I’ve even found it in my heart to forgive what was done to me. It’s the only way to survive. Do I still feel angry? Sure, from time to time. But, I have learned that anger gets me nowhere. I am now stronger because of what I had to go through; and perhaps smarter. No longer do I put others in the place of God either. That role is only for God. He is the creator of the universe and only He is perfect – no person; only God. The best thing is, not only is God all powerful, He is also personal and wants to know me. Psalm 139 reads,

“God… I’m an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body” (excerpted from The Message)

Once you fall into a pit of depression, it can be very hard to get out. But, it is possible and you need to be shown the way like a guide with a flash light through a very dark tunnel. I had friends, family and my hours of research to guide me. If my research and personal experience could help you along your own journey, you are welcome to read about it at: www.cure-your-depression.com

There is hope! You are worth it!

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/stories/giesbrecht_m.html

Save

No widget added yet.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It is my hope and my prayer and you and your loved ones will have a wonderful year in 2017! May it be filled with the Joy and Peace that comes from knowing your heart, Health, Gratitude, Love, and Abundant Blessings from the Lord!

JoAnna Oblander

No widget added yet.

I Believe in the Absolute Oneness of God….

We WeI believe in the absolute oneness of God and therefore also of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi

We are all a part of the same family. Do you sense it – do you feel it? We are a part of a world that is a part of a divine plan implemented by that Perfect Being who loves us unconditionally and beyond our ability to imagine. God is one with us as we allow him. He is one with all of creation. It is His desire that we be one with Him and with our fellow man.

Our joy and happiness does not depend on our wealth, abilities, or power. Instead, it depends on our relationship to God, our fellowman and our self.

Spend a few moments today contemplating your oneness with the world!

You might want to know that a celebration of oneness will be held on October 11th at 11:00 am for 11 minutes. Put it on your calendar and plan to celebrate peace and oneness with your fellowman!

No widget added yet.