September 24, 2013

Tuesday’s Tip – Do you know your worth…by Karin Campas

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 7:16 am

All Aboard!!!  Welcome passengers.  I have a question?  DO you know your worth?  Let’s take a look at how one of our ministers at www.praying4you.org addresses this question, my beloved sister and one of the latest co-conductors here on the life train, Ms. Karin Campas.  BUT!!!  You know the protocol…wine with the meal, music with the post, kick it!

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From Karin:

Do you know your worth?

 Worth is defined as something having value or merit, the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held, or moral or personal value.  In other words; worth can be thought of as the price that someone is willing to pay.w1

  • Have you ever thought about your worth?

God cares for His creation (Matthew 10:29-31)” Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[b] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

  • Do you sometimes feel like you have no worth or value?

Isaiah 13:12 “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” I have been in the same boat as you. It’s not a good place to be. But, here’s the good news. Our Worth has nothing to do with us.

 Instead it has everything to do with Him.

If worth can be thought of as the price that someone is willing to pay in exchange for something else, hence giving it value, then let’s look to Calvary as the ultimate example of a valuable exchange.  Papa God thinks that you are SO valuable that He demonstrated and paid the ultimate price to prove your worth by sacrificing His only Son on the cross. (Romans 5:6-11)

ww2Let that sink in! C’mon, marinate on that for just a moment or two (go ahead and put down the Starbucks and let that really penetrate.)

Here it is; He gave up His baby boy to prove to you how much He loves you. That’s how valuable you are to God the Father.

WHOA!!!  I don’t know about you but that just thrills me to the core.

In the Bible it  tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that we possess a soul that has greater value than all of the world’s riches (Matthew 16:26). He further demonstrates our value as priceless with the blood of Jesus (1Peter 1:18-21).

Further along in Psalm 139 He tells us that His thoughts for us are so many that they outnumber the grains of sand on the earth.

Think about the thing that you value the most in your life. What is it? It may be your child, parents, a pet, your job or house, maybe even your fine education. Can you honestly say that the thoughts that you have regarding that thing are more numerous than all of the grains of sand in all of the earth?

No?    Me either.  But, His Word tells us:

For you created my inmost being;   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.ww3

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

Can you conceive that it’s possible to live in victory over condemnation and a perceived lack of worth? Because the reality is this, you can live in the abundance of your God given worth. The Bible tells us that God wishes for us to prosper even as our soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

So let your soul prosper knowing that you are God’s priceless masterpiece, His Crown Jewel, the apple of His eye, the co-heir with Christ seated at the right hand of the Father. (Romans 8:17)

You are Royalty my Friend and that makes you Worthy!

 

Say it Karin…

ALL ABOARD…The LifeTrain!!!

 

September 23, 2013

Merry Monday! This week…be kind…2 yourself

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 1:08 am

Merry Monday and All Aboard!  Welcome back aboard the train passengers.  Hope you had a great weekend.  To start the week off I’d like to ask a BIG favor.  This week take time to be kind 2 YOURSELF.  Loving others stsarts with first loving you.  Here’s how…but first..the music!  Kick it:

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1. Be kind to yourself.
You may have hurts, emotional pain, and shortcomings. Learn to accept yourself, shortcomings and all, even if your family and previous partners may have berated you about your inadequacies.  We tend to be harsh on ourselves, often because the people who were supposed to love us were unusually cruel and heartless to us. We hear their non-stop chatter in our minds and our beings.  Focus on your many positive qualities. Focus on yourmm1 strengths, your abilities, and your admirable traits. Let go of harsh judgments, comparisons to others, and self-hatred.  When you can see yourself as the soulful and divinely inspired person you are, the damaging internal dialogue doesn’t hold up. Be gentle with yourself.

2. Feel the love within you and be that love.
You may experience both self-hatred and self-love. Spend more time focusing on self-love. Try loving and positive affirmations. Nourish your soul through a love-kindness meditation or spiritual practices that help you feel compassion and love toward yourself. Once you feel vibrations of self-love or the peace of positive affirmations, try to be in that place of love throughout your day. Infuse this love with your interactions with others in your life.

3. Give yourself a break.
You’re not perfect. No one is. You don’t have to be at the top of your game every day. No one is happy all the time. No one loves themselves always. No one lives without pain.  Be willing to embrace your imperfections and excuse your bad days. Don’t set such high standards for yourself emotionally and mentally. It’s normal to feel sadness and pain and to hit some low points in life.  Allow yourself to embrace these emotions without judging yourself for them.

4. Embrace yourself.
Are you content being alone by yourself without feelings of anxiety, fear, and judgment?  You may have to go within and seek solace in yourself to be comfortable in your own skin. Practice moments of alone time and be aware of how you treat yourself.  Learn to embrace solitude and allow yourself to be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about yourself.  The process of self-discovery can mm2happen through the process of clinical therapy or counseling. This healing process can help you discover who you are and what your obstacles to loving yourself are.  In the alternative, periods of introspection, silent meditations, journaling, and sharing your feelings with supportive friends may help you be more aware of who you are.  The process of loving yourself starts with understanding your true nature.  It took a combination of meditation, therapy, writing, and silence to come to terms with my past and my present. Only once I realized I wasn’t loving myself could I attempt to change that.

5. Be grateful.
Rhonda Byrne, author of The Magic, shares with us a powerful way to change all of our relationships and our life.  Byrne encourages us to practice gratefulness and regularly count our blessings.  “When you’re grateful for the things you have, no matter how small they may be, you will see those things instantly increase,” Byrne says. She includes 28 practices for 28 days of your life to help you feel gratitude more deeply. Her initial practice is a formula to count your blessings.  She encourages you to write out the following sentence for 10 items you’re grateful for everyday.“I am truly blessed to have ____________________________, because __________________(why?)_____________.” You will immediately start loving yourself more when you realize all the things you’re grateful for in your life.

6. Give yourself in service to others.
When you think about kindness toward others and being love to others, you open the door to divine love. “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ~Rabindranath Tagore Yes, giving to others is a gift of love you can often give yourself which brings you more love. When you’re being kind, considerate, compassionate, and giving of yourself, your soul will rejoice. You’ve reached the highest level of self-love in this state of serving others. Find ways to do small and large tasks to assist those living in your house, neighborhood, or community. Practice conscious acts of kindness and giving.
The love you’re sharing with others in the form of service will help you feel more love and fulfillment in your life. You’ll realize you don’t need someone else to feel complete any longer. You’re complete. A relationship will only make you shine brighter and bring more love in your life.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain…

September 17, 2013

Tip Tuesday: When to let go of an unhealthy friendship…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:12 pm

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Today’s musical selection for the post (like wine with a meal)…

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For much of my life, I lived for approval and acceptance from family members, friends, and co-workers. I can’t recall not considering what one thought about my actions or what I had said, wondering if I could have done them better. I was always thinking of others and their feelings toward me.

It was a constant battle in my head, and it was starting to drain me of my peace.

No matter what they had done to me in the past, no matter how much pain they’d caused me, I thought it was only right that I give it another try. After all, friendships take a lot work.

You see, for me, gaining a sense of acceptance from the people I cared about was a life source that I sought after, again and again, because it meant I was important, that I mattered.asdf

But at what cost?

When the relationships we’ve worked hard to build for many years aren’t giving us the joy they once did or a sense of community and energy anymore, what do we do? What if, in fact, it feels downright toxic and negative to be around them?

This happened to me. All the signs were there, but I didn’t see it for what it was. I thought maybe I was just too sensitive. I would often tell myself, “Get over it, you’re thinking too much again.”

Then one dreary day I got the that my mother had passed away. My family was grieving from loss and shock, even though the doctors ha told us almost the exact day it would happen.  And so it was, the one person I thought would be there by my side suddenly disappeared.

Facing death and pain isn’t easy; in fact, it takes great courage to face it head on and ride the storm.

Sometimes, as painful as it is, there comes a time when we need to “break up” with a friend in order to live authentically and to be free.

Life is short, and we have to consciously make the choice to not tolerate the negativity and emotional abuse of being in a relationship that isn’t working.

We break up with our significant others when we’ve exhausted every avenue and know in our hearts the relationship isn’t working and it’s time to let go. Just because we are not in a romantic relationship that does not mean we have to tolerate negative behaviors or what isn’t working.

You don’t have to wait for a life tragedy and loss to realize this. Take the time to reflect on what kind of people you want to bring into your life and what you deserve to have—a friend who is honest, who will cry and laugh with you so you can grow together.

Here are 6 things to consider if you feel you are in a similar situation:

1. What does friendship mean to you?

The definition you may have on what makes a good friend may be different from your friend’s. This may sound silly, but this is the platform on which you build a relationship that may one day flourish and develop into a fruitful friendship.

I too had to let go of a lifelong friendship.  I had deluded myself into thinking that we had a strong bond. Reflecting back, it wasn’t a very healthy relationship.

Be honest. Tell your friend what you need. Your friend may see things differently and it may solve any misunderstanding between the two of you. But if your friend chooses not to reciprocate, you’ll be able to gauge if this is a relationship you want to keep.

2. Is the friendship just too exhausting and negative most of the time?

ovaI used to wonder why it was so hard being around this friend. It drained me of my energy and left me feeling very negative about who I was as a person.

I resented that I couldn’t express my authentic self to them . Often they would reply to me with, “that thought you have is stupid,” as if my feeling, values, and beliefs were not valid.

A friend who cares about your well-being will discuss any concerns you may have and not dismiss them as trivial. If you don’t communicate your feelings, resentment can build, and you may harbor negative feelings toward this person.

3. Is the relationship balanced?

To me, a friendship is like a seesaw. It takes two people, and each needs to give and take a little to balance out the ride.

Like any close relationship, both parties need to make the effort and choose to grow together as friends, or it can be a very painful process.

4. It’s okay to let go.

Relationships are complicated, and it’s never an easy choice to let go of a friendship. It was painful for me to accept that our friendship was over, but in order to live authentically and to be free, I had to let it go.

It didn’t happen overnight. As our relationship deteriorated, we saw less and less of each other. When they called to invite me over, I deliberately chose to decline the invitation. I knew that I would regret going, and that iterk would leave me feeling of resentful, with old, painful memories haunting me.

It can be a long, emotional, and unpleasant process when we are deciding whether we should continue on with a friendship or to let it go. All these feelings are normal. Any transition in life comes with some form of discomfort. It means we are growing and evolving.

5. Know that it’s nobody’s fault.

Sometimes relationships end, despite every effort to make it work. Just because we have made the choice to let go of the friendship, that doesn’t mean it has to end it a negative way. We can say farewell with well wishes and make the choice to remember the happier times in our hearts.

I think every relationship is unique and the way you choose the end the relationship depend on the situation you are in. Listen to your inner voice and honor it.

You may choose to tell your friend that you need some space. Or you may choose to write a personal letter to express your feelings and concerns if you think it will be too confrontational. At times I still miss the friendship I had once shared with my friend, but I keep the good memories with me in my heart.

6. Stay open.

Stay open to new friendships and to your present moment. Staying open allows for new opportunities and new relationships to come into your life when you are ready.

All ABoard!  The LifeTrain!!!

 

September 16, 2013

Merry Monday! The Train Rolls again!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:46 am

Well passengers its been awhile but, the train is a rolling down the tracks again.  Sorry for the delay but, after several hack attacks yours truly, your faithful conductor has once again found the motivation to yell out that familiar shout:

ALL ABOARD!!!

I want to a moment to thank all the passengers for encouraging me to come out of my temporary retirement.  I think I just needed a break to get back my creative juices.  What with a new job, a mentally and physically trying relocation and a list of other bumps in the road…But…I’m back, All Aboard and MERRY MONDAY!!!

This week, let me remind you that…

“You no-longer have to attend every argument you are invited to!”  Kick it (The Musical accompaniment to today’s post:

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“Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.” ~Aristotle

I’ve been mostlya conflict avoider for a majority of my life, often running away from issues that could cause a damaging conversation between me and another person.

Experience has taught me that when I get upset, I don’t naturally handle my hardship with grace.

mmanI worked as an IT Data Center manager for some years, and it was just too easy to react to the frustration I felt when an employee disregarded my request that they mitigate a technical or personnel issue in a certain way.

I would either explode, or I would remain silent. I couldn’t figure out how to simply approach the person and work through the issue. And, of course, as the IT world is an incredibly fast-paced environment, there was no time to process these dysfunctional circumstances.

But as life naturally works out, I found myself unemployed for a small stint, whereupon I had the chance to muse over the past and discover the reasons why my voice wasn’t being heard and understood.

And we all want to be understood. Maybe you relate to my experience in that, at times, no matter how hard you try, it seems that no one gets it. Then we make efforts to force people to appreciate us, defending our case over and over, which can simply create negativity and make the situation more incomprehensible.

If you find this happening, pause for a moment. Consider the idea that, in many cases, we are more likely to be understood by others if we are understanding of them.

This does take a bite out of the ego, and yeah—that hurts.

But it doesn’t mean dropping your position. It will actually strengthen your case to learn and respect the opinions of others—even when they are disrespectful of yours. More often than not, you will find that they eventually

You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to...

You don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to…

return the favor.

You can sit quietly on the couch in your own home and ponder another person’s viewpoint.

This is the foundation to effectively debating your opinions. I follow this concept and frequently find that my voice is heard and accepted amongst people who have differing opinions than my own.

Here are some tips that can help you get that long-awaited point across:

1. Understand that your anger is a normal, natural reaction.

It’s okay to feel angry about a wrongdoing. However, at a certain point, anger becomes a choice. It is at this time when you can make efforts to understand the other person’s position.

I catch myself getting angry at just about every inconvenience, but through some practice I am able to move past the feeling without becoming its victim.

2. Do not express your view until you feel calm and comfortable.

Many times we have a tiny intuitive voice in our mind that tells us to be patient, but because it is tiny, we ignore it. When we do so, we may say something that will be counterproductive to our goal.

3. Set the goal of helping others.

If you want to express your opinion about an important issue, but you do not have the benefit of others in mind, you may inadvertently come across as selfish or boorish.

4. Relate to the opinions of others.

Consider the phrase, “I see where you’re coming from.” Pause on that phrase until you actually do understand their side.

Many people will say, “I see where you’re coming from—but…” This won’t show them that you really get it. Think of a time you have been in their position either on a larger or smaller scale. Often, if you relay this story to them, it assures them you really do get it.

5. Don’t fight.

The moment you are in an argument and you begin to raise your voice, get upset, flail your arms, speak ill of others, you become irrational. People are rarely going to hear you in this state of mind.

6. Try not to take things personally.

“Right and wrong” are harsh words to describe concepts that either “work or may not work.” Consider this when you begin to take the argument personally.

7. Do not tell a person they are wrong.

Perhaps you don’t agree with their position, but insulting them, cutting them off, will only cause them to get defensive, and perhaps do the same to you.

8. If you’re unable to communicate effectively, take responsibility for that.

If you do not successfully get your point across, do not solely blame the other person. Conversation is never less than a two-way street.

Your mind will tell you the places where you made a mistake. Simply reflect on these and decide what will be better to do the next time.

9. Learn when to walk away.

If you feel that you are at that messy point where you can’t get the other person to listen, just let it go. You can revisit the issue later, but forcing it now will only make things worse.

It’s also true that space and time after a confusing conversation will help others to reflect on the important points that you discussed, which will help them to identify with your position.

What helps you speak your mind calmly and effectively?

Passengers as we close out this Merry Monday I must confess that the above are often mirror moments for me.  I have to constantly remind myself of those things.  And I might say, they work when employed in a timely manner.

Well, I haven’t yelled this in a while:

ALL ABOARD!  The LifeTrain!!!

It’s good to be back!  Roll credits!

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