When I first saw this picture I thought to myself, “An angel, really?” After a few moments of contemplation, my thoughts changed. How do we view angels? As an entity that looks over us from above, guiding our actions, encouraging us and keeping us safe. How do we define a great friend? Someone who stays by our side, giving us advice, encouraging us and looking out for us. Other than the geographical location they are very similar.
It has me taking a more venerable look at several of my friends. Unlike the ethereal beings to which I am drawing a comparison, friends make mistakes. Even the best friend can have a bad day. Perhaps they take their frustrations of the day out on us because they feel safe and comfortable in our presence? They may put their needs ahead of ours. They may treat us harshly or say something hurtful either by accident or because they have succumb to their emotions.
Does this mean friends are not human angels? Not at all. Through those lessons, if we truly love our friends, they can teach us how to be forgiving, understanding and compassionate. Something angels cannot do. Maybe angels use these ‘human angels’ to help teach us these lessons? I am not sure. What I am sure of is that I am blessed to have many friends who have looked out for me, tried to keep me safe and gave me an encouraging word when I needed one. To me that is a definition of a human angel.
This week let us approach this idea in two ways. First, take a look at some of our closest friends. Do they qualify as human angels? Chances are in some form or fashion they just might. I hear a lot of voices throughout the day. My stomach tells me pizza for dinner everyday is ok. There are the things my body tells me after the gym, but I do not think they are fit to type here. The closest things to an angelic voice that I hear is from someone I deeply care about telling me they feel the same. Let us, in our own way, recognize these human angels. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. In fact, if you are shy or nervous as to what they may think you don’t have to tell them at all. In my life all of my friends know I am crazy, so I am not worried. Even just taking a moment to yourself to think, “This person is a human angel.” That will be enough to cause a shift in how you see that person.
The second part is being a human angel. Again, this does not mean trying to be perfect or walking around in a toga playing a harp, but doing our best to treat others the best we can. With love, respect and compassion. Do you think anyone would describe you as a human angel?
As we watch what is going on in our current political climate i am reminded of my great friend Cari. That is a picture of her above. Not only does she obviously have great taste in books (you can get a copy of that very book by clicking this link A Happy Life for Busy People) but she is one of the sweetest people I have the honor of having in my life. Cari literally will help anyone and everyone she can. When her friends are hurting, she is hurting. She is a great listener and has a kind word about everyone. She even bakes amazing cookies.
Other than the fact I am grateful for my friend and can take a moment to brag on her,what is this post about? Here is something about Cari and I, when it comes to some very important issues we have major differences. We are both very spiritual people and lean heavily on our faith. It is one of the things that I respect most about Cari. She stands by her beliefs even when it is not the easiest thing to do. She also does her very best to not only stand by them, but live her faith as well. She ‘walks the walk’. She also expresses her faith quite openly.
One evening Cari and I met for dinner which ended up lasting several hours. We discussed at length our beliefs and how they would apply in certain situations. We discovered on a lot of issues, important ones, we were miles apart. On others our views were in direct conflict with each other.
A discussion like that could lead to conflict between the two individuals. How often have we heard never to discuss religion and politics? Here is what came of the evening with my friend. We expressed our views openly and passionately while the other party listened with the intent of understanding and not to ‘correct’ or even contradict each other. On several issues we agreed to disagree and on others even incorporated each other’s belief to gain a more complete understanding.
The reason i bring this up is to encourage all of us to do the same. We can obviously see on a bigger scale governments having difficulty doing this, but it starts at a fundamental level between two people. I encourage us all to search for common ground and learn to agree to disagree. You can certainly respect someone and their convictions even if you do not agree with them 100%. Feel free to share any ideas you have for doing so in the comments below.
English: A “Jesus Saves” neon cross sign on a church in Alphabet City in New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This month Christians around the world have been celebrating Christmas. This holiday represents the birth of Jesus Christ, their savior. Hopefully all have had an enjoyable and healthy holiday season. Different spiritual beliefs all have their own saviors. A figure that will bring them to salvation. What is salvation? Well with slight variations on the term it means deliverance from a life lived on a lower plane to one lived on a higher plan. It involves forgiveness of the things we have said and done wrong to ourselves and to others. No matter what spiritual belief you follow, or if you follow none at all there is a savior we all have in common. This person can lead us from a life of despair and depression to one filled with passion and joy. They can fill our hearts with love and forgiveness. They know our pains and our hurts and have the best information to heal us and deliver us to a new and amazing life. So who is this person and how can they know all of our deepest feelings? Don’t worry it is not some secret operative or a government conspiracy. No this savior, this person who can reveal to us a whole new life can be found in the same place whether we are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or have no spiritual yearnings what so ever. Are they in a secret temple? Are they found deep in a mysterious forest? No. This great leader can be found in rather humble place…the bathroom; the mirror to be specific. That’s right you are your own savior. The anger and pain in our hearts is kept alive by one person, ourselves. Sure, you can blame the person who broke your heart, but that was their action. We can not control others words or actions. We can, however, control what they mean to us. Are there some feelings of hurt or pain in your heart preventing more joy and love from entering? Have you been carrying a grudge that poisons your emotions and outlook on life? It is time to let it go! Do not know how? Think of the savior you follow. If it is Jesus, what do you think he would say and do to save a soul like you? Would Mohammad let you settle for a life that is less than your worth? It is time to view yourself as someone who both needs to be saved and can do some saving. Do not view yourself in a condescending manner, but one filled with concern and compassion. What could you to live a life of love and forgiveness and well as one with passion and meaning? If you do not know, study, find out, do whatever it takes. Your life is one that is worth saving and you are one powerful savior!
This past Sunday Christians around the world celebrated Easter. About a week before that, spring officially began. Both of these are celebrations of rebirth, renewal and resurrection. Whether you are honoring the resurrection of your chosen saviour or the rebirth of nature, let us draw inspiration from this. Let us focus on the rebirth of our own spirit. New years has come and gone, yet this time of year presents us with a unique opportunity. As the we watch the weather warm, so let our hearts warm up to all that is love and joy in the world. Let us resurrect our attitudes from the despair that can envelop us in a media driven world to one that inspires others. Symbolism is a great reminder to help us stay on track (more on that tomorrow). As we watch the snow melt, let us be reminded to melt the anger in our hearts as well. As we watch the trees and flowers start to sprout and bloom. Let a new spirit of joy blossom in us as well. So by the time we reach the first day of summer our joy will be as powerful as the summer sun warming the hearts and spirits of others. Helping their spirit of joy grow as well.