Do You Want Things To Remain As They Are?

  There are always things that are out of our control. But there are also always going to be things that we can take responsibility for and make a difference. 

We never have to allow drama to perpetuate. We can stop the madness. Jump off of the drama triangle. 

We do not have to live in the mud pit of hatred. Overcome evil with good and love and kindness.

We do not have to suffer the pain of bitterness. Forgive. I know. It’s so hard to do but it replaces the stench of being wronged with the beautiful fragrance of freedom.

We do not have to look hopelessly at the darkness, the problems and despair. We can open our eyes to the possibilities, love or the face of God and find hope.

We can accept conditions as they are or we can take responsibility for making a difference.

No excuses.

Brave kindness and stubborn goodness and determined strength and sound foundational wisdom and eternal Love will guide your efforts each step of the way.

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Why I Believe

deeclarknz.comSee that smile? That is the look of joy.

After a week like this one where our hearts get snagged by such deep heartbreak and loss of life, it becomes easy to lose our hope and faith in humanity. Yet, I choose to believe. I choose to see that even the smallest amount of good can bring light. I know it does. Just look at that smile.

It’s prizing-giving time in New Zealand. Prize-giving is a school award ceremony. Many deserving children are recognized for their efforts and accomplishments for the year.

But there are a limited number of prizes and not every child’s efforts can be acknowledged. A fact of life. We don’t all get to stand in the winner’s circle with confetti floating down on our heads. Yet, that does not mean that we didn’t give our best or put in effort.

When our name does not get called, it can feel like we failed. Especially when we have less-than-perfect circumstances surrounding our lives.

Zane was one of those kids who did not hear his name called at school. But he had a tutor who recognised that there was something very special about this young man. She made a special effort to celebrate him using “some pretty important stuff” she learned about him while supervising his homework.

Here is the list of prizes that his tutor awarded to Zane with the important information she learned (according to his foster mum):

1. A friend of the Tooth Fairy.

Zane’s birth mother didn’t find his tooth under his pillow when he was little which meant that because the tooth fairy didn’t show up, Zane didn’t believe she was real. Mrs G (the tutor) got him a little friend of the tooth fairy to prove she is real.

2. Light bulb box with some slime in it.

Zane was sometimes bright on the outside but his brain was a bucket of slime some days during study time. (Boy, I can relate to that, can’t you. Try as we may, somedays the lightbulb is dim.)

3. Body wash to stop him getting stinky.

Bodies and attitudes sometimes need a good scrubbing. (I’m sure this is all about showers, right, Zane? No stinky attitudes at your house!)

4. Sardines

Zane stole Mrs. G’s favorite, comfy chair on some days and well, sardines seemed a fitting reward for stolen chairs.

5. Chocolates

Zane is a sharing person so Mrs. G made sure that he had something that he could share.

6. Hand Cream

This prize was something he could give to his foster mum to show that he cares about her.

7. Lemon Honey Spread

Well, just because thats his favourite spread.

Zane told us that the personal prize-giving ceremony made him feel special!!! And of course, it shows all over his face, doesn’t it.

These sweet gestures between a student and his tutor meant a lot to Zane and to his foster family.

Recognition (for both effort and encouragement to grow to be the best we can be) speaks volumes to our hearts. The fact that someone has taken notice of our existence and valued the fact that we have crossed their path gives us a feeling of significance. The gestures can be small but when they speak to the heart…the impact is huge.

If I listened only to the news on TV, I think hope might fall through the holes created in my heart by all the bad things in the world. Yet, when I open my eyes to the wonderful people all around me making a huge difference in people’s lives…I believe!

I believe that there is more good in the world than bad.

I believe that good overcomes evil.

I believe that love never fails.

And I believe that in order to make a difference, all we have to do is see people with eyes of love; get to know “important stuff” about them; encourage their hearts to keep trying and moving forward; and reach out (even in small ways).

I believe.

And Mrs. G and Zane are just another proof that I should never lose hope.

Keep reaching out to each other! It matters!

D

Zane, keep up the good work. You won’t regret it!

Mrs. G, you continue to inspire and the world is blessed to have loving, caring hearts like yours!

The World I Want Begins With Me

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There is so much pain in the world. The murders displayed on the news breaks my heart and reduces me to tears.

It can feel overwhelming on many levels.

Yet, the world I want begins with me.

Anger can be a useful emotion as it directs me to a core issue that is out of balance in my life. It is destructive when I allow it to cause me to react in a way that is devastating to the lives around me.

Anger is the core issue in murder. Period. Uncontrolled, unresolved anger drives a person to act dispicably. Taking someone’s life occurs along way down the pathway of angry emotions. Often, it begins with contempt. Contempt directs our thoughts and attitudes toward fear, negativity, prejudice and hatred.

You must first look within yourself to eliminate the fear, the anger, and the imbalance in your life.

Then and only then can you move forward to create peacefully and powerfully the changes needed in the world.

Today, following the news of 4 killings in Israel, I read that a young Israeli woman called for acts of kindness in response to the murders. This cry for good only comes from a heart that is at peace from within and an understanding that an eye-for-an-eye does not create a better world.

Yesterday, as I was shopping for some treats to have at home, I came across a woman and her grand baby that I had not met from my community. They were retrieving a small bottle of chocolate milk  from a cooler in celebration. The child had recently been weaned from her mother’s breast. I stopped and celebrated with them. I cheered for the 2 year old and congratulated her.

I introduced myself to the grandmother and her face beamed with happiness. It kind of shocked me, really. Who am I that meeting me in the grocery store and sharing a few kind words would make any real difference in this woman’s life? But we all know how it feels to have someone appreciate our children or our accomplishments, don’t we?

The woman told me that most of her time was spent working at a local restaurant and she asked me to stop in and visit her. I will, too.

That is how we change the world. I can not fight terrorists in a foreign country but I can…I CAN…work on my heart so that it is open to the people in my community. I can work diligently on the big issues in my heart that prevent my life from being worthwhile. I can also learn self-control so that my issues do not spill over onto the people I meet.

There was a day in my journey that I may never have given this woman the time of day. It might have only been the fact that I was preoccupied with my own world, my busy schedule or that I was exhausted from a full day at work.

People matter. People are what make the world – the world. So, it matters that we relate to each other in meaningful ways, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

The world I want begins with me.

I must be a person who makes life worth living, first, in my own life and then shared with those around me.

I have failed many times in my past at this. I whisper a prayer. I get back up. I look inward. I follow wisdom and truth until the values I want to see in the world are firmly planted in my own heart and behaviours.

How about you? Will you join me and peacefully and powerfully create the changes needed in the world – beginning with yourself?

Be kind to someone today and demonstrate a better way of life.

Journey on, dear reader,

D

 

 

Kind Words Echo Endlessly

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Have you ever had to bite your tongue in order to prevent yourself saying something that just didn’t need to be said?

Or do you believe that it’s important to say everything you think?

Kind words?

Or harsh?

Which do you want echoing endlessly in the hearts of the people you meet?

If you choose kind words (and might I add actions because I believe actions ripple), the choice is not about the other person, the circumstance or situation.

I understand that sometimes we must confront difficult situations. I’m not saying remain silent. However, the outcome is effected by how you go about the confrontation. You can be firm without being destructive.

Mother Teresa’s words often echo in my heart. Her words help me see how she kept her focus on her purpose, her life’s work and what she valued. They are speaking to me (and millions of others) long after the years she spent on earth.

Sadly, I am aware that I have echoes that I wish I had not sent out.

We can’t change the past but we can be more mindful of our future.

Words do matter…to others

But more importantly…to you and your journey.

Happy journeying,
D

the value of being kind when others aren’t

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My cousin spent today helping an infuriating, older neighbour tear down a fence. It was something her neighbour probably would not have reciprocated. She also had to wade through plants that were not good for her allergies. When completed, her young daughter noticed and commented about her labour of love.

My cousin stated: “My hives are calming down, Ill be fine and Sarah’s response makes it worth it. She said, “Mommy, why we’re you helping her when she doesn’t even like us?” I explained it’s the neighborly thing to do. She replied, “But Mom I heard her talking to you in a nice voice. Is she going to be nice now? Will she be a friend?” Good life lesson to learn when I told her that wasn’t why I did it and she probably will not be a friend. Some people are just the way they are.”

Is it really worth being nice to someone who isn’t easy to be nice to?

I think the answer is definitely, “yes.”

People are all different, have differing value systems and differing historical stories that cause them to be who they are.

Reacting like someone acts causes me to be disloyal to myself and who I really am. I most enjoy being kind, generous, loving and giving. That’s when I’m happiest within.

I find myself frustrated having to live on “their” playing field. So, I came to the realisation that revenge is not sweet for me. Being “me” is…therefore, I live fully out of my heart and appreciate that they are different than me.

I don’t expect them to be me (even when it’s hard) or give more than they are capable of giving.

It’s taken many years to reach this place…

I really despise my “mean Dee” more than I despise actions coming my way.

I also believe love never fails (even if I can’t see the good effects).

The question is, “who do I want to be and what type of journey do I want to travel?”

Answering that question for myself helps me set my standard of behaviour. It is not an easy journey and it takes maturity.

Which do you prefer?

One perpetuates drama and the other brings inner satisfaction.

If you haven’t reached the goal of not allowing circumstances to turn your world upside down, keep going. Keep applying purposeful actions to bring you to the place in your journey that you most desire.

Have a great day!
D

The Journey of Friendship

deeclarknz.com
there are many routes into a person’s heart

which makes you a treasured friend.

each act of kindness.

each moment shared.

each word of praise or comfort.

these are the ways-

the paths, which through time become highways, along which lie

the journey of friendship.
-Stuart and Linda McFarlane

the simplicity of love

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it’s simple and sweet…

be silly….
be honest….
be kind….

you’ll have the ones you love…eating out of your hands!

we make love out to be such an intense part of our lives sometimes…

yes, there is responsibility. there is!

but hey, you are responsible to brush your teeth everyday…the right way…when necessary…for your own good and health, right?

love is no different…there’s a right way…when necessary…for your own good and health…

easy, peasey!
D