Friday, March 9, 2012

What City Do You Live In?

“Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.” –Maya Angelou

Nowadays, especially in these perilous times, it seems like everyone has a story. Somewhere along the pathway of life, everyone has been hurt or traumatized by a painful situation. From living in a dysfunctional family to suffering some humiliating event, many people remain cemented in fear. The scripture speaks of how difficult it is to deal with a ‘wounded’ spirit. If our hurts are not properly dealt with, these mental images become the building blocks of perceiving the world. These thoughts, left to themselves, become an almost impenetrable walled city of self-absorption. And the city’s forecast is always one of doom and gloom. It is a place where nothing seems to be able to change the ‘reality’ of this urban city of dread and fear. No words are strong enough. No deed is positive enough to offset the inner turmoil of a mind in constant defense of itself.

This is not being written to make light of these ‘issues of life’ nor to poke fun, but one of the greatest deterrents to victory is our quick descent into claiming victim hood when confronted to move out of our city of comfort. I say descend because claiming victim hood is the easiest way to never commit to anything that promotes any type of growth. Usually, when one is confronted to ‘shake themselves’, like some volcanic explosion,  an immediate and  innumerable amount of reasons begin to spew out of our mouths. Using the most amazingly connived reasons, we move to justify ourselves by using our hurts and pains, which allows us to stay stagnant behind the 'safety' of our wall. Claiming the role of the victim is the expressway to 'safety' in our walled city of little hope. Over our lifetime, any life outside the walls, has proven over and over again to be a wild and exotic land of violence and evil.

Yet, in the midst of this atmosphere of seclusion, there truly is a world of beauty to behold, if only we can rise up high enough above the walls of our pained perception. I like how C. JoyBell C. said it, “Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.” For me, after living fifty years on this planet, I have learned that pain is just a part of our humanity and it seems improbable to know and understand the power and depth of living without such pain. We can live a life trying to avoid the hurts and pains that naturally come with life or we can accept the richness that it brings to our lives. Truly the strength of character shows up in the ability to overcome resentment against others, to feel the hurt feelings, and at the same time to quickly forgive.

Mahatma Gandhi made a powerful statement, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” If we are going to live, we must remember what Ghandhi said. Not that nothing in life hurts, but we don’t have to allow the hurt to become the reality of our lives. We give the other person a license to hurt us for only as long as we say so. We must remember that we have a choice. We can choose to remain hurt or we can choose to move to a new city. “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn And only you can make that change. Think about it. You are one decision away from becoming a different person with a fresh view of the world!!! You are not finished and you are not dead! “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” -Richard Bach So if we are alive, then why don't we make the most of the moment of living?

Today, if you will CHOOSE, I want you as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth. And remember...

“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be
shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may
be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have
and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway.”
       - Anonymous

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