CROSSROADS

 

Sometimes when I look back, and think of all the “could- have- beens” in my life, I often wonder: did I make the right choice? Did I miss a road sign?… Am I on the right track?… CROSSROADS …

 

They happen all the time. saying goodbye to some, choosing only one.  Letting go, holding on… settling for now, but facing what must come.

 

Yes, in life, we all reach a crossroad sometime.

 

We make painful decision and take some risks as we pursue our dreams.  But one should not stay at the CROSSROADS too long. For even the birds have to leave their nests sometime and learn how to fly.


The Life road is long and rough, and there are stretches when one has to do it alone. And should you meet the cross at the road, be consoled.

 

Yes, more often than not, the road less traveled will surely bring you home. Face the light and the shadow falls behind you. Turn your back, and the shadows fall in front of you.

 

Indeed, the truth hurts, but it will surely set you free. The bitter pangs of parting, will give birth to another moment called growing.

 

So grow on.. until it’s time for you to move on… and face the crossroads again.

 

Knowing God loves you and is in control of everything.

 

Be strong at the crossroads.

 

Embrace the CROSS at the ROAD.

 

The LORD is at the cross, at the road, at all your CROSSROADS …

 

Depression Management

Dealing With Sorrow

Depression can impair one’s life

While the term depression has been commonly used that people tend not to take it seriously anymore, it is a very serious condition that could impair one’s life.

Depression is very difficult. It can debilitate one’s normal functions, making even the most mundane tasks such as getting up from bed or eating breakfast seemingly difficult.

It is sad to think that a lot of depressed individuals are not treated because of the high costs of therapy. However, coping with depression is still possible without professional help if one knows depression management.

Suggestions

Here are a few things that can help people deal with depression. it is important to note however, that professional therapy is still very invaluable with serious depression. These steps are just suggestions for alleviating the condition.

Staying active

It is one way to take one’s mind off depression. Primarily, activities help distract people from whatever it is that is causing their depression and it also helps channel unspent energies that build up when one is depressed.

Keeping active also releases endorphins – natural mood boosters that somehow cheer people up.

Rest

It is also important to take a rest. Being depressed can be very exhausting, so it is essential to regain strength and energy if one is to deal with depression.

Relaxation techniques can help one be more attuned to the self and be more at peace. When resting, stressors shall keep away from the bedroom so that ample rest can obtain.

Express

Depressed people should also express their emotions. Depression usually results from suppressed emotions. People who are grieving can be prone to depression if they keep their emotion to themselves.

A lot of people avoid crying because they think it might be a sign of weakness. However, it is important to cry because it releases one’s emotions.

When expressing feelings, it is important to avoid catharsis – venting up one’s anger by doing something violent like boxing, smashing things, and the like.

Catharsis does not release one’s emotion, especially anger. Rather, it makes a person practice violence as an expression of emotion, and thus can be very dangerous.

Hang around with friends and loved ones

Depressed individuals need support very much. Other people can distract one from stressors. People can also remind a depressed individual that there can be more to life, and it is worth living even if it is simply because of the company of wonderful people.

Believe in oneself

A lot of people are in depression because they put themselves down. It is important to satisfy oneself and gain a sense of self-worth. It is good to do something that would make one happy.

Prioritizing one’s self can help one to believe that one’s own life is important and can be enjoyed. Being kind to oneself is one of the most important steps to get away from a depressive state.

 

Depression management is possible and entails taking charge of one’s self. When dealing with depression however, it is important not to rush.

Sadness does not disappear overnight; it takes time to get back on one’s feet. Little by little, one can get out of depression and have a normal life once more.

 

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The Fear Of Criticism

The Fear of Criticism

So many times in life we would like to try something new. Like a new sport, different style haircut, changing clothing or loosing weight. But are afraid to try because of the criticism we might receive from others because of our change.

Over time we are brainwash into believing other people’s opinions and think they hold more weight then our own feelings. We do not want to be judged. If you want to break old habits you must not be controlled by outside people. You must have inner control.

This is your life!

There is nothing wrong with a little criticism. You just have to be able to decipher between the truths. Listen for it. Ask yourself if there is any truth to what someone is saying. Do they know what they are talking about?

If you feel they are after careful consideration then use their feedback to improve. If your intuition tells you they are full of it then disregard it! Be true to your self and only accept opinions that hold truths!

Don’t be afraid to have criticisms of your self. But make sure they are your own opinions and not someone else’s. If you don not like something about yourself then change it. Always look to improve.

Sometimes our own criticisms are tainted. This goes back to being brainwashed. Others have fed us information over the years that might have be tainted and have altered our thoughts over the years.

Since we were not trying to decipher between the truth, our thoughts have turned into a messy desk where you can not find the paper you want. It is time to clean up the mess of criticism and restructure.

This is the only way you will be able to change you habits and better your life.

 

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The Art Of Listening

Listening is an art

Everyone has a story to tell. However, not everyone may be willing to listen. Sometimes, we are amaze in an unpleasant way. Over the fact that we have not been paying attention to the one speaking to us.

At some point along the story, our mind has wandered off, and we only drift back to reality when suddenly asked, “Are you still listening?”

Benefits of listening

That would be most unfortunate, since next to our visual skills, our ability to listen allows us to reap various benefits. If we listen to our mentor as he shares with us useful thoughts on life, we become good apprentices.

We listen to our professor as he lectures about the day’s lesson, we become good students. If we listen to our boss as he explains the rationale of the company’s recent policy, we become good employees.

We listen to our parents as they advise us regarding career choices, we become good sons/daughters. If we listen to a friend in dire need of unloading his troubles, we become good friends.

In short, listening is vital in developing good human relationships.

To maximize our listening capability, here are a few tips

Focus

It is but a single word, but its message conveys far more. Being focused means paying attention, and a lot of it at that. It means temporarily forgetting about other matters of consequence and lending a few minutes of your time to hear someone speak his mind out.

Means giving interest to whatever it is that the speaker might want to say. It is taking his words seriously into consideration in whatever decision we are to make.

It is placing his story in the context of his emotions, and trying to understand him within the events occurring in his life.

Watch out for non-verbal cues

The message need not always lie on the words, but also in movements that the speaker makes. If we also pay good attention to the speaker’s eyes, facial expressions, and gestures, we will be able to receive the message in totality.

Moreover, if the speaker realizes that we are sincerely listening, we are boosting his confidence.

Be sensitive

A good measure of sensitivity is also essential to maintain enthusiasm in the part of the person speaking. If the person is at the peak of his emotions, do not interrupt.

After all, if someone is extremely angry or anguished, it will be a form of catharsis to remain patient until he has calmed down. Unless the person is already causing bodily harm, it will do him well to let him be purged of his bad feelings.

Show unconditional openness

We may not always agree with what someone has to say, but being there to listen may be the least we can offer. While we may have different opinions about several issues, keeping our horizons wide is a healthy attitude.

 

With these perspectives in listening, we become open to a world of unlimited learning and diverse experiences.

 

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The Importance Of Letting Go

Letting Go

The story of a monkey

There once was a happy monkey. He wandered through the jungle, happy to be alive. He stopped to eat delicious fruit when he was hungry, and resting when he was tired.

One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. Then sniffed the apples and smelled nothing.

He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood. They appeared beautiful, however, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.

He held his new wooden apples proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He payed so much attention to them, that he didn’t even notice his growing hunger.

A fruit tree reminded him. He squeezed the apples in his hands, and couldn’t bear to let go of them in order to reach for the real fruit.

In fact, he couldn’t relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but hungry and less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.

The wooden apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey began to think about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn’t climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?

Letting go seemed crazy

Letting go seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it’s fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples, reached up for his meal, and was happy again.

Letting Go Of Wooden Apples

Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as “productive” – carries it like a shiny wooden apple.

But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples – they prove he’s “doing everything he can.” He holds onto them compulsively.

This is a hard thing to see. We identify so strongly with our things even, feeling pain when our cars got dents.

How much more powerfully do we identify with our beliefs and self-ideas? Yet they don’t always feed our souls, do they? And we become tired of defending them.

How else could the story end? The monkey might be found dead of hunger, under a beautiful tree, with fruit within reach, but still grasping his wooden apples.

I chose to end it with him letting go, because only with open hands can we receive.

The Power Of Laughter

The power of laughter

Laughing has tremendous power. Not only can it make you feel joyous and put others at ease but did you know that it can also heal?

Did you realize that laughter can heal?

The experience of laughing has been proven to be an extremely potent tool for self healing. If you have watched the film “The Secret” then you will have seen a very good example of this.

A woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer laughed herself back to health. She watched funny shows and wouldn’t allow any stress into her life. At the end of three months the cancer had totally disappeared!

Why and how did this happen? Is it really possible to laugh your way back from sickness to health?

Well it has been observed by the medical profession that when you laugh, there are certain chemicals released in your body that relax you and allow your body to do what it does best – repair itself!

If you allow stress take over

However, when you allow stress to take over and live your life from a very serious standpoint your body does not release these highly beneficial chemicals, your muscles tense and even natural bodily functions like digestion become harder for your body to regulate.

As your body has to try that much harder to regulate your normal functions it takes its toil and aging can occur.

So if you try to see the funny side of things in life (and there always is one) you are actually helping yourself stay healthy and young. Using humor is not just great for your physical health.

It can also keep you healthy emotionally and mentally. The best way top stay happy and humorous is to redirect your focus and thus change your perception of things.

If you constantly dwell on feelings of negativity you are not allowing yourself to see the humorous side of life and are robbing your body of much needed chemicals and a state of relaxation.

Here are some hints if you want to take advantage of the positive effects of humor

  1. Do things that you really enjoy and find funny.
  2. Watch comedies that make you laugh.
  3. Read a magazine or funny book.
  4. Repeat the jokes you like to friends and family. Their laughter will have you laughing again.
  5. Share funny stories that have happened to you.
  6. Seek out the company of people you find funny.
  7. Ask friends and family to tell you about their funny experiences.

You should to have a good belly laugh at least once a day. Why not laugh your way to a healthy youthful body?