It’s Supposed to be Easy

Are you struggling with life? Do current events, political changes, social injustice issues or family dynamics cause you grief? If so, you’re not alone.

Life is supposed to be easy. Does that immediately bring up all the examples you can think about to prove that statement wrong? Great! That means you have a starting point. Even if you only slighted raised an eyebrow you’ve reacted in a typical – and what most people would consider normal – way.

Society has taught us that life is hard, that choices are difficult. You may have been raised as I was to believe that you’d always have more bills than money, that your family would never get ahead, and that people with privilege just knew something you didn’t.

Having money or nice things doesn’t mean life is easy for those who are there. In fact, there is frequently more stress and anxiety about holding onto possessions than being in a situation where we live in lack. It’s really not about what we have or don’t have. It’s how we choose to live in general.

The universe supports us by acting upon our thoughts, feelings and words. If we constantly think things are going to fail, feel like a victim and verbalize those ideas then we can expect our lives to reflect our consciousness. The opposite is also true.

Does this mean everything’s going to be just hunky-dory all the time? No. But when challenges do occur we will be better equipped to handle them. We won’t see minor or even major issues that arise as formidable beasts. In other words, we’re going to get down to business and solve the problem, as opposed to rehearsing the dramatic account of our woes, victimization and hopelessness so as to garner sympathy from others when we tell our story.

There’s a lot of talk about what will happen in the future. That’s all it is:  Talk. No one knows what the future will hold. Our happiness in life does not come from pining for a past that never existed or worrying about a future we dread. Our happiness comes from making the most out of each moment now. In our current global, national and local circumstances it’s more important than ever to stay in the present moment.

Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the present. It really is that easy.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © Terry Drew Karanen 2017

Now Is the Time

Are you concerned about your future? Perhaps that’s a rhetorical question, since who isn’t apprehensive at times in our world today from time-to-time? Yet, think about this:  Beginning today, what has changed?

Have racism, hatred toward minorities and religious groups, denial of scientific facts and violence against women, gays, lesbians and the transgender community suddenly begun? Hardly. These outdated ideas and deplorable actions have been going on for centuries. Hard as it tried centuries ago to deny the facts, the Church had to finally concede that our planet is a globe, racing through space around a star, not a flat disk, and certainly not the center of the universe.

Rulers come and rulers go, some too soon, some not soon enough, which depends on our belief systems. Fortunately in the republic in which I live, the United States of America, we do not have rulers, dictators or demi-gods. We do have the Office of President of the United States, an office I will continue to respect for as long as I am American, but one that has far less power to make things happen instantaneously than certain people with self-serving agendas of either political party would like to believe.

Like all democratic forms of government, it is with cooperation, understanding, debate and compromise that change is accomplished. We all have the obligation as citizens to take part in that process on a federal, state and local level. We may not always get what we want. For example, the people spoke on November 8th year, but the popular vote did not carry that candidate into office. Ironically, the process by which she was denied the Office was the same mechanism originally designed by the Founding Fathers to stop what has ultimately occurred. So how are we do view today, November 20, 2017?

It’s a significant day, no doubt about it. Today ends eight years of the most inspiring leadership we’ve seen in the White House in decades, without any scandal, and all carried out with dignity by a loving, faithful husband married to a beautiful, gracious and passionate Ivy League attorney, and father to two beautiful daughters.

But today has a beginning as well! Today, November 20, 2017, marks the beginning of our individual commitment to be, say and do all that we hold dear. It’s up to us to live the lives we desire and to pave the way for others to do the same. We need not drag people along, but we can reach back, offer a hand and stand together in joy, happiness and mutual respect, thereby honoring ourselves and the planet upon which we live.

I do not wish you or us “Good Luck!” today. I KNOW in the inherent power that you are. Presidents, kings and ego-driven demagogues will come and go, but the power of love is the only force that prevails, century after century.

Be that love. Do your part to make every day a better one for yourself and those around you. Speak out against injustice. Let no racial slur or derogatory remark about anyone go unchallenged. Do you want change in our world? BE that change.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © Terry Drew Karanen 2017

 

Go Ahead. Feel Bad.

Do you enjoy finding new writers to read? I do and I also enjoy sharing those people with my friends and readers.

For that reason I'm going to be sharing the writing of several people from time-to-time this year with you.

One such person is my friend and Unity minister, Rev. Ellen Debenport. Her blog for this week is below and speaks to me on a very deep level.

Admitting where we are instead of pretending everything is great is one of the foundation principles I believe in. I hope you'll enjoy Rev. Ellen's viewpoint this week. I'll be back next week - Have a great weekend!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

GO AHEAD. FEEL BAD.

We in Texas pride ourselves on many things, but tolerating cold is not one of them.
 
When it was 16 degrees Sunday morning, any number of the people I know just abandoned the idea of getting out. No church, no lunch, no afternoon plans. They hunkered down to ride it out.

Which got me thinking about how often we let outside circumstances dictate our lives.

I keep insisting we can choose what and how to think, rather than reacting to what’s outside of us. But sometimes circumstances matter.

When it’s 16 degrees, you will need a coat, no matter how elevated your consciousness is.

When someone you love dies, you most likely will be sad.

If your money runs out, it’s hard not to worry.

Just how reasonable is it to expect yourself not to react to outer circumstances?

THE GOOD AND THE BAD
 
Some circumstances are so fabulous, we wouldn’t want to miss them.

Falling in love.

Bringing home a new baby.

Watching a full moon rise.

Listening to the pounding surf as you walk on the beach.

If it’s permissible to enjoy the parts of life we label good, then why can’t we have a human reaction to the things we call bad?

I’m afraid that, in the name of spirituality, a lot of us have convinced ourselves we should never have a negative feeling. Or if we do feel bad, we feel guilty about it. Like spiritual failures.

So, once and for all, please let me officially give you permission to feel bad!

Go ahead and feel sad about your losses, scared about the uncertainties in your life, annoyed with people or events that disrupt your peace, regretful of past mistakes, or downright angry about a layoff or an election or a football game.

Even if, in some metaphysical way, you created or attracted whatever has happened, you are entitled to your feelings about it.
 
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
 
Right about now, someone is thinking, “Yes, but I don’t want to wallow in it.”

Wallowing gets a bad rap.

I will grant you, some people get stuck in their stories. They relish thinking of themselves as victims. They rehash the same events over and over for years, refusing to feel better or move into a new point of view.

Most of us, however, will get sick of hearing ourselves talk before we wallow very long. We will naturally be ready to move on.

And at the same time, why should we insist on recovering from a major event quickly? Life can really, really hurt. Grief and recovery take as long as they take, and it’s different for each person.

I fear those of us trying to live from a higher consciousness sometimes talk ourselves out of our feelings.  And we miss an important part of the human journey.

Why do you suppose we came into human form? We wanted to delve into human life, right?

And doesn’t human life have its ups and downs, good and bad, easy and difficult? Doesn’t the prince always have to slay a few dragons before he can kiss the princess?

WHAT HARM IS A LITTLE NEGATIVITY?
 
I’m not encouraging you to feel bad just for the sake of feeling bad.

I’m encouraging you not to miss the human adventure.

Maybe someday, after we all are living in divine consciousness, there will be no more tears or anger or disappointment. But I’m increasingly convinced we are here to experience all that human life has to offer, not to transcend it.

It probably won’t all be pleasant, but it all will be part of your growth and learning.

And when we compare notes on the Other Side, I suspect the tough times on Earth will make some of the best stories, give us the biggest laughs and leave us grateful we had the courage to live as humans for a while.

Even when it was freezing cold in Texas.

PS - The beautiful picture of icicles at the top of this blog was taken by my friend Laura Shepard in Idaho, not Texas. But once it gets below about 40, this picture represents how it feels to us.

Will We Complain or Lead?

Have you had your fill of empty promises from our elected officials? Are you sick and tired of hearing that same excuses from your spouse? Do you have any confidence at all in the agreements your boss has made with you? Sadly, most of us will answer “NO!” to one or more of these questions.

So what do we do about it? If we put up and shut up we’re playing the victim game. That makes us look pathetic, but at least we have the satisfaction of garnering at least some sympathy, probably from people even less positive than we. Personally, I hate that option. Let’s nix it now!

We could be snarky or engage in passive aggressive behavior. That’s always nice, because we get to use our lack of self-esteem and pseudo-superiority to make other people look like idiots to everyone else, while at the same time causing them pain. Not the outcome that will heal the planet, so let’s not do that either.

It’s far too easy to wimp out as a victim or use cynicism to live life. Senator Cory Booker recently wrote that cynicism is the refuge of cowards. That’s a blunt  statement with tremendous impact, one that holds a message for us.

No matter who hard we’ve tried to accomplish anything in the past, or how often our efforts have been thwarted, we only have two choices:  Give up and retreat to our refuge of choice (think sex, shopping, substance abuse, depression, etc); or, Get up, dust ourselves off and again go at the issues for which we know we must advocate.

There hasn’t been a time of more cynicism in the world in the past fifty years or even more than there is today. We have the choice to buy into this trend or take the actions we know we must to have a life worth living. What will you do this week to move forward in life?

There’s already a lot of things going on in the world that can affect us, but only we have the choice to change our attitude. Let’s agree to move forward, be willing to address our own issues and call to task anyone around us who is not living in integrity. To do that, we must start with ourselves.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright ® 2017 Terry Drew Karanen

#DrTerryMakingSense
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