Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Not Fair!

At one time or another, we've all complained that life isn't fair. Children do it all the time: Karen, who is older by two years, is allowed to stay up later than her younger siblings. They complain to dad that they're being treated unjustly, not realizing that at the same age her bedtime was thirty minutes earlier. As adults, we attribute this behavior to immaturity and expect that as children grow and develop this rationale will make way for a more judicious way of thinking . Sadly, many people carry this mind-set with them well into adulthood. Two of my favorite comedians from years back, Tom and Dick Smothers, had a standing skit where one grumbled that "Mom always liked you best!", indicating a biased favoritism. On stage, this is entertaining. In real life, it's unflattering and harmful. 

Gary Zukov, NY Times bestselling author of The Seat of the Soul, says that the most important thing we have are our belief systems. Our entire lives are built upon them and if inaccurate we struggle and suffer. Believing that life was designed to be fair and balanced is a faulty tenet. When we see an perceived injustice we seek to recreate rightfulness. When it is not forthcoming, we feel frustrated and discriminated against. "I should  have gotten that promotion, not the boss's son. I've been here longer.  That's not fair!"

In our relationships, especially the close, personal or intimate ones, this kind of mindset can prove devastating. There are those who actually keep score: "I helped you when you needed it. Now you should give me a hand as well. That's only right." "I paid for our last evening out. Now it's your turn." In an attempt to keep things equitable, we manipulate the other party into feeling guilty should they decline our request. Seeking equality is a futile endeavor - it simply does not exist in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect human beings. Attempting to do so is one of the quickest ways to build anger and resentment - toxic ingredients capable of destroying lives.

Life isn't fair yet it is perfectly just. The lyrics to a Colin Raye song state that "You don't always get what you want, you get what you need." If we subscribe to this premise, which I do, then life is exactly what we need it to be. Each experience, each individual, each loss, each success is exactly what is necessary for us to fulfill our Divine Destiny, our Dharma (as Wayne Dyer calls it).  If my child wants to be a great artist, I provide them with the proper canvases, brushes, and paints. If my son has a sprained ankle, I get him crutches. Identical? No. Fair? Yes. Each is receiving exactly what they need in that moment for their own good. Fair does not mean the same - it means having equal value. We become angry in part because we mistakenly assign random values to events and then compare what  each of us has.  

One of our greatest challenges lies in realizing that we are not meant to be treated alike but that the Universe, in all of its infinite wisdom, always provides exactly what we are meant to have for our higher good and that each experience has equal value. 

What then is the solution to avoiding the bitterness and resentment assigned to the belief that life should be fair?

1. Remember that if life were perfectly balanced we would learn nothing: patience, appreciation, determination, forgiveness, and much more.
2. Celebrate the successes of others, extend compassion for their losses regardless of where you are in life, knowing that at the precise moment it is needed each will receive what they are intended to have.
3. Keep in mind that every single experience, no matter how insignificant, no matter how painful or frightening plays a unique role in fulfilling our Divine Destiny - which is always to bring us closer to God.
4. Don't compare or keep score. One never fully realizes the challenges others are struggling with. Focus only on addressing and learning from your own. Failure to do so leads to self-pity, victimization, misery, and suffering.
5. Trust that God's love for you always directs you to your highest good. Be at peace with your life. You are in good hands, the best hands, with God.

Life may not appear to be fair but it is always unbiased. Each of us is given exactly what we need to assist us in our spiritual growth and to bring us into a more intimate relationship with our Lord. Sounds pretty just to me. 

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who Needs Anger?

Everyone - we all need anger. The most simple basic definition of anger is that it's an indication that we have unmet needs that have to be addressed, a sign that something is lacking in our lives that we want to satisfy. As with all emotions, anger is normal, useful, healthy, and necessary. Emotions are messengers of sorts. Each one reveals aspects about ourselves that we may not be aware of so that we may better know who we are and what matters to us. When an outside event stirs anger inside, we must first ask ourselves, "What is it that I need in this situation?" 

Here's an example: my boss is giving me more work than can possibly be completed by any normal human being in an eight-hour day. Finally, I blow up at her screaming that not only is this unfair but it's inhumane as well.  I can't take it anymore and I'm about ready to quit. So what is it that I'm seeking? Well, there could be several things: I may need to be treated fairly and with respect, or I may need help from an assistant, or perhaps I need state-of-the-art equipment or relevant training that would allow me to complete more in less time. It is essential to identify what's missing so that one can put forth effort in the proper area in order to reach an acceptable solution. So, step one: identify what the need is; step two: create a plan to fulfill that requirement. If my young children are playing wildly and making lots of noise that's grating on my nerves, before lashing out at them, I ask myself, what do I need? "I need them to be quiet! Isn't it obvious?" Is that the authentic or deceptive need? There is a difference. What I am really seeking is peace and quiet. Must I make them sit quietly, coloring in a book, or can I simply retreat to my room and close the door? If my first effort is to silence them, it may not be as easy (or fair) to accomplish as I think. My second option may prove to be a much more reasonable and attainable one. I seek refuge behind closed doors - need satisfied.

Let me add, too, that there is a significant difference between needs and wants. We want a lot of things: a new car, a slimmer body, more money, an attentive spouse or a new wardrobe. But those are actually desires, not necessities. Needs are those elements which we cannot live without, those things absolutely essential for our very survival. And there are only a few: clean air, water, food, protection from the elements/harm, inner peace, and Love (with a capitol "L"). This is important to note because we put forth great effort in acquiring those things in life which are superfluous, thus distracting us from pursuing that which has lasting value. 

 We're all human and our very nature entices us to seek some of the perks life has to offer. However, we need to maintain focus on what really matters. Here are some helpful suggestions:

1. Re evaluate all needs demands you have placed on yourself, others, and life in general. Place them in the proper folder: authentic needs or deceptive wants.
2. Once an authentic need is identified,  create a plan to fulfill that requirement.
3. Refrain from trying to force life or others to be what you want. Relinquish the need to control. Allow others to be who they are. Allow life to unfold naturally according to Divine Order.
4. Put your faith and trust in God. Ultimately, all of our needs are provided by the Father (along with our efforts as well). Whatever is truly in our best interest, whatever God wants us to have or whoever He wants in our life will come to pass. In Matthew 6:26, we are reminded: "Look at the birds of Heaven - they do not sow or reap or gather into barns. Yet your Heavenly Father cares for them. Are you not more valuable than they are?"
5. Remember the Beatles' lyrics when they wrote, "All you need is Love". They were right - Love with a capitol "L". 

God is Love and all you really need you already have and always will . Everything else is just fluff and stuff.

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How Dare You Judge Me!

I'm reasonably confident in saying that there's not a person on this planet who has not felt unfairly judged at some point. While we may feel justified in imposing verdicts  on one another, when we are on the receiving end the feeling can be quite hurtful. It is not uncommon to react with anger, defensiveness, arrogance or justification of our actions. 

I'm not going to elaborate on the reasons why people judge. People can be petty, jealous, and cruel.  Some struggle with issues of insecurity and need to make others look bad in order to feel better about themselves. Some try to divert attention off of themselves and something they may have said or done that is unflattering. Others use it as a bullying tactic to elicit a response from the other party. In any event, those points are relevant only to the extent that we each need to be aware of why we engage in such self-destructive behaviors as judging others (and we've all done it). 

I have been brutally judged by those I have been closest to. Without valid facts, one family member fabricated a tale claiming that my business practices are unethical and that I misrepresent my credentials to my clients (all lies). Occasionally on facebook people have attacked me as being a charlatan, delusional, greedy, and "misguided". Granted, these are rare occurrences and intellectually I understand, to some degree, their issues. I have also questioned myself to see what, if anything, I am doing to convey that impression. Perhaps I need to reassess the manner in which I present myself and share my knowledge. 

Regardless, being judged hurts. I have no issue with someone questioning my knowledge. While I feel confident in any information that I present as facts, there is always a possibility that I am mistaken. Directing me to a more current or reliable source to show me the error of my thinking is actually beneficial to me and to those who are impacted by what I share whether during a lecture, on my blog, on a social media post, or whatever.  I find debating issues from opposing viewpoints to be stimulating and beneficial. It's this whole integrity thing that bothers me. I have always prided myself as being a person of truth and high moral character. I am here to serve the Lord, plain and simple, in whatever way He asks. If I make money doing so, fine. If not, I do it anyway. To be accused of "trolling sites for her own personal gain, hawking her book, claiming to know some 'great truth' only to jack up sales" is disheartening, offensive, and completely without merit. 

So how does one move beyond the critical and unfair judgments thrust upon them without consent?

~ First: Always begin by asking  yourself, "Why does this bother me? What issue is being triggered inside me? Pay no mind as to why the other party is so judgmental. Those are their issues not yours.
~ Second: Don't personalize what they are saying. Their rudeness reflects who they are, not you.
~ Third: Remind  yourself that each person is at a different place in their personal journey towards becoming fully spiritual. Be patient with them. Be understanding and compassionate. Forgive them for any offense they may have committed against you.
~ Finally: Search your soul. Is there any truth to what the other person is saying? Is this revealing anything about your character that you need to look at? How are you presenting yourself to others? Is it misleading in any way? What does this say  about the people you associate with? Learn the lessons and convert this experience into one of great personal and spiritual growth. 

While it is hurtful to have others judge you, this is just one of many things that are out of our control. However it does not have to cause us distress if we choose to view it as a learning experience.  I remind myself that more than 2,000 years after the birth of Christ, Jesus is still being unfairly judged, criticized, and condemned - simply for sharing the Word of God. So who am I to complain about a little condemnation now and then?

No one ever said life would be easy. Nor were we promised an trouble-free life if we choose to follow our Lord. I work for God. So while some may question my motives and the pay is not always great, He compensates me in ways far more valuable than money. And He throws in a few bucks along the way, just to cover my expenses. I keep it all in perspective.

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

You Can Be Angry or Grateful But You Can't Be Both

There is a over abundance of books, articles, and blogs written on the subject of gratitude but did you know that being grateful is actually an antidote to anger?

Gratitude is a conscious state of appreciation, the ability to feel good in the midst of difficulties and disappointments, and maintaining a positive mind frame even in a negative world. But it is more than simply a positive attitude or sense of appreciation. It is also the ability to find value in everything - even and especially the hardships, betrayals, failures, injustices, losses, and tragedy. It has no relation to economic status, location, who is or is not in your life, or to what is occurring. It is a lifestyle choice, a permanent way of living, a chosen state of being. And it is something anyone can acquire. 

Gratitude is a transformative power. It can convert a time of hardship and sadness into one of hope and joy. Typically when something unfortunate or bad happens we focus on the negative aspect of the event. "I lost my job. I can't pay my bills." "My boyfriend broke up with me. I'm all alone." Focusing on the negative evokes feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, fear, rejection, hurt, anger, etc. Left unchecked, this can propel us into a downward spiral leading to resentment, thoughts of revenge or self-pity. However, when one consciously chooses to find the treasures in the trash, as I like to refer to them, then they choose to see the blessings and opportunities. "Now I'm free to pursue a new career. Thanks goodness I can collect unemployment in the interim." "This relationship has taught me a lot which I can apply to make my next one an even better one." See how easy that is? While it takes discipline initially, in time a grateful mindset becomes second nature. 

The human mind can only experience one emotion at a time. Anger focuses on lack, what's missing, unfair, or wrong. Gratitude sees the possibilities, the lessons, the value and purpose. 

Here are six tips to help you become a more grateful person:

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every day for thirty consecutive days, list ten unique things you are grateful for. No duplicates.
2. Make a public commitment to be more grateful. Tell your friends, family, and social media connections. Post your successes. This will help to hold you accountable.
3. Change your self-talk. Keep it positive. Tell yourself how much you appreciate every small detail of your life.
4. Reframe any negative situation into a positive one. Actively seek the good within.
5. Take notice of everything good you see in everyone you encounter. Make certain to let them know how much you appreciate who they are and what they've done. Not only will this transform you but it will impact them and your relationship with them as well.*Bring out the best in others, always.
6. Recite daily prayers of gratitude. I begin each day with the following prayer: "Dear God, thank  you for everything you have given me, for everything you have taken away from me, for everything you have left me and for everything that is yet to come. Amen." This serves as a reminder to live in a state of appreciation each and every moment of the day.

Anger or gratitude - each is a personal choice. One creates misery and suffering, the other joy and happiness. But you can't have both. Life is easier and far more enjoyable  when living in a state of appreciation. The choice is yours. 

*This one simple shift completely transformed my marriage. Rather than be resentful over what was "lacking" in my husband, I followed God's instruction and sought every reason to appreciate the wonderful man my husband is. I also repeatedly expressed my gratitude to him each and every day. The more he felt appreciated and valued by me, the happier he was and the more he wanted to contribute to our relationship. Eighteen years later we are happier than ever before and our marriage is a warm, comfortable, and safe place for both of us. 

To order a copy of The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth visit

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+