Look for Inspiration Rather than Direction
By Dick O'Brien M.A.S.c
Often when people come for counseling, they are struggling with a problem and are searching for a plan of action. When we are presented with a personal challenge we want to know what to do. This is the most common conversation we hear from friends and neighbors.
I find that in North America we rush too quickly to action and spend too little time in reflection. We search out "How To" books in the self help section of the book store that deal with everything from parenting to sex, love and finances. This tendency seems to be rooted in the quick fix mentality. "If there is some problem, I need to find out how to correct it immediately."
I have found that there are no quick fixes in life and love; only fundamental principles of living that require a lifetime of practice.
We focus too much on strategy and not enough on the principles behind it. When the strategies don't work, we blame the book or the counselor or the friend and conclude that we received poor advice.
My take on this involves the following thought:
"Nurture your strength of spirit to shield you in time of sudden misfortune." This is the key! It is far better to develop the wisdom to handle life's problems, than to hope you don't have any problems.
In order to stay healthy both physically and emotionally we need to feed the spirit with inspiration on a regular basis.
Our daily life is filled with discouragement in the news, work, rumors and life in general. We need to make the time for reflection earlier in the day, so we can navigate the difficult moments of life when they appear later in the day.
This is done though quiet time, walking, music, prayer, silent reflection, scripture, poems, and inspirational reading.
My favorite of these is quotes. I make it a practice to read three to five new quotes every morning as a ritual at the beginning of my day.
I collect quotes in a folder on my desktop called Daily Thoughts. Here are a few for your consideration:
"People are like a storage battery, constantly discharging ENERGY and UNLESS they are recharged at frequent intervals they soon run dry."
"Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out."
Stephen A. Kallis, Jr.
"Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped."
Peace - It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
"Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking."
J.C. Watts, Jr.