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Archive for the ‘adversity’ Category

Why You Aren’t Dead Yet (repost)

Posted by happypizza on August 14, 2012

Michael Hyatt, June 11, 2012

Several weeks ago, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. He had just turned eighty years old. His mind was as sharp as ever—witty, inquisitive, and focused. He was also a great listener. When he did speak, wisdom dripped from his lips like honey.

In a point of genuine humility but uncertainty he asked me, “Michael, do you think I have anything left to contribute? Are my best days over?” Tears welled up in his eyes.

I admit, his question caught me off-guard. I thought to myself, Here I am with one of the wisest men I have ever met. He is a living treasure. I would pay for the privilege of sitting at his feet and listening to his stories. And he is asking me whether or not he has anything left to contribute? I was flabbergasted.

I leaned in, grasped his hand with mine, and said, “Jimmy, listen to me carefully: your best days are ahead of you. I am not saying this just because I like you—and I do like you—but because it is the truth. I can prove it to you.”

I then began to make an argument that I first learned in The Noticer by Andy Andrews. In the book, Jones, the personification of wisdom, makes six points to Willow, a seventy-six year old lady, who had given up hope that she had anything left to contribute. (see chapter 6, pp. 83–85).

  1. God has a purpose for every single person.
  2. You won’t die until that purpose is fulfilled.
  3. If you are still alive, then you haven’t completed what you were put on earth to do.
  4. If you haven’t completed what you were put on earth to do, then your very purpose hasn’t been fulfilled.
  5. If your purpose hasn’t been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life is still ahead.
  6. You have yet to make your most important contribution.

Jones goes on to say, “If the most important part of your life is ahead of you, then even during the worst times, one can be assured that there is more laughter ahead, more success to look forward to, more children to teach and help, more friends to touch and influence. There is proof of hope … for more.” (p. 85)

My friend, Jimmy, sat back in his chair and was silent for a full minute. I could tell he was taking it all in. Finally, he said, “Then I better get busy. It sounds like I have a lot of work to do.”

You may be old. You may be sick. You may be divorced. Your kids may not be speaking to you. You may be out of work. You may be broke. You may be discouraged.

But you’re not dead yet. And that’s proof that you still have not completed what you were put on earth to do.

Picture of tombstones

Posted in adversity, death, destiny, difficulties, discouraged, divine, Eternal, failure, faith, God, holding on, hope, hopeless, life, purpose, setback, setbacks, Storms of life, suffering, tear, tears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Solitude and Loneliness

Posted by happypizza on June 7, 2010

Happypizza: Here is an amazing collection of quotes on the subject of loneliness and solitude. Definitely worth a read, with some positive ways to look at the experience–and sometimes pain–of loneliness.

Solitude, loneliness
  • All humans are frightened of their own solitude. But only in solitude can we learn to know ourselves, learn to handle our own eternal aloneness.–Han Suyin
  • Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself.–Thomas Browne
  • Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.–Alice Koller
  • Do not rely completely on any other human being, however dear. We meet all life’s greatest tests alone.–Agnes Macphail
  • Each of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. … When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. –John O’Donohue (Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong)
  • I feel the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church. It’s the light of grace for me. I never close my door behind me without the awareness that I am carrying out an act of mercy toward myself.–Peter Hoeg (Smilla’s Sense of Snow)
  • I learned…that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.–Brenda Ueland
  • I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.–Albert Einstein
  • I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.–Henry David Thoreau
  • Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.–Pearl S. Buck
  • Isolation is aloneness that feels forced upon you, like a punishment. Solitude is aloneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude, out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart.–Jeanne Marie Laskas
  • It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking . . . in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.–Franz Kafka
  • It is well to be alone. It fertilizes the creative impulse.–Max Nordau
  • Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone, and the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.–Paul Johannes Tillich
  • Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a Divine mystery, or a waterfall.–Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
  • Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.–Indra Devi
  • Man cannot survive without air, water and sleep. Next in importance comes food. And close on its heels, solitude.–Thomas Szasz
  • One must learn an inner solitude, where or with whomsoever he may be. He must learn to penetrate things and find God there, to get a strong impression of God firmly fixed on his mind.–Meister Eckhart
  • Only in quiet waters do thing mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.–Hans Margolius
  • Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.–Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
  • The person who has not learned to be happy and content while completely alone for an hour a day, or a week has missed life’s greatest serenity.–H. Clay Tate (Building a Better Home Town)
  • Solitude can be frightening because it invites us to meet a stranger we think we may not want to know–ourselves.–Melvyn Kinder
  • Solitude can be used well by very few people. They who do must have a knowledge of the world to see the foolishness of it, and enough virtue to despise all the vanity.–Abraham Cowley
  • Solitude gives birth to the original in us.–Thomas Mann
  • Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.–James Russell Lowell
  • …solitude is such a potential thing. We hear voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts, we get under no other condition…–Amelia Barr
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in adversity, alone, contentment, depression, depth, despair, difficulties, encouragement, endure, heartbreak, hope, hopeless, indomitable, loneliness, lonely, optimism, positive, quest for love, rock bottom, sad, sadness, solitude, tears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do Your Prayers Work?

Posted by happypizza on February 6, 2010

Photo by 'Babasteve'--www.flickr.com

To Pray or Not to pray

By Betty J. Dalrymple

The three of us huddle beside the recently covered grave, tears freezing on our cheeks.

“You know what, Mom?” my older daughter asked. “I don’t know if I believe in the power of prayer anymore. I mean, weren’t all those prayers just a waste of time?”

“Wow, do I understand that feeling,” my younger daughter agreed. “Hundreds of people were praying for Dad and he still died, I sometimes wonder, ‘Didn’t God hear all of our prayers?’”

Like a zombie, I stood there in shock and whispered, “At any given time, I often feel the same way.” The I asked the question that haunted me night and day, “How could this have happened? I felt sure our prayers would be answered and your father’s cancer would go into remission.”

As those days of shock and sadness dragged on, I often returned to that cold January morning’s conversation. But how could I give up my belief in the power of prayer? After all, prayer was a priority in my life. My husband, Richard, and I always taught our children to pray. As an adult, I studied books on prayer, and when I read the story of the battle between Israel and Amalek in Exodus, I became fascinated with intercessory prayer. I learned that it was not only the fighters on the field of battle, but also the intercessors on the mountain that made a difference. I didn’t want to bury my prayer life in that grave with Richard, but doubt became a monster that crept in during the night and chided, “Remember how hard you prayed and how sure you were that God would answer?”

Then I’d remember how I tried every possible way of praying. Maybe if I had said the right words in the right way that would help. Perhaps if I prayed on my knees, or visited the prayer room at church, that would make a difference.

Even if the doctors said there was no hope, I would not believe them. I could not imagine life without Richard and I knew God understood and would not let him die. I would not accept their prognosis because I believed in the power of prayer. I knew like those Israelites, our many prayers would help us win the battle for extra time together. The internal argument continued because I knew in my heart I could not live without God in my life and that meant including prayer in my daily schedule.

One morning as I wrestled with the prayer question, the phone rang and my friend asked, “Would you please pray for me? I just found out my breast cancer has returned.”

I put aside my questions, stuffed my doubts, and said, “Of course I will.”

I rejoined our prayer ministry team, prayer for my family, friends, and many others. But something was missing. I had trouble focusing during prayer time, both at worship services and during my personal times of refection.

As the cold winter days turned to springtime, my daughters and I continued visiting the gravesite. “How do you two feel about the power of prayer now?” I asked on morning. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in adversity, alone, angry, beauty, despair, difficulties, failure, faith, God mistake, God's love, Healing, holding on, Love and Trust, miracles, pray, prayer, praying, Romans 8:28, sad, saddness, sadness, setbacks, tears, Trust | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times

Posted by happypizza on January 3, 2010

bravery.uncertanty.hope. courage.

Face to the wind on Flickr - Photo Sharing--by Ian@NZFlickr

Great inspiration for the new year (2010)

Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times —By Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Mis estimados:

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.

I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. It is true, one has to have strong cojones and ovarios to withstand much of what passes for “good” in our culture today. Abject disregard of what the soul finds most precious and irreplaceable and the corruption of principled ideals have become, in some large societal arenas, “the new normal,” the grotesquerie of the week. It is hard to say which one of the current egregious matters has rocked people’s worlds and beliefs more. Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

…You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet … I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is — we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I cannot tell you often enough that we are definitely the leaders we have been waiting for, and that we have been raised since childhood for this time precisely.

…I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times. Despite your stints of doubt, your frustrations in arighting all that needs change right now, or even feeling you have lost the map entirely, you are not without resource, you are not alone. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. In your deepest bones, you have always known this is so. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

…We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day we assented to come to Earth. For many decades, worldwide, souls just like us have been felled and left for dead in so many ways over and over – brought down by naiveté, by lack of love, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in adversity, alone, battles, encouragement, endure, endure hardness, holding on, hope, hopeful, hopeless, indomitable, never give up, optimism, persistance | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Adversity: Here to Break Us or Make Us?

Posted by happypizza on April 20, 2009

adversity

By Chuck Gallozzi

Difficulties are the admission tickets to the game of life. But, at times, we cannot help suspecting that life would be much more pleasant without the hassles. Is that what you think? Before answering, ponder the following.


In a world without hurdles, there are no champions; without suffering, there are no saints; without battles, there are no victories; without rain, no rainbows. Doesn’t it appear that a world that includes pain is more rewarding than one that doesn’t? Isn’t heat necessary to produce gold, pressure and polishing necessary to produce diamonds, and adversity necessary to produce character?


Here’s how Henry Ford expressed the same sentiment: “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. We must learn that the setbacks … which we endure help us to march onward.”

Posted in adversity, battles, champions, difficulties, endure, hassles, hurdles, setbacks, suffering, unpleasant, victories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »