My mom sent me a story about a 92 year old blind man who has to go live in a nursing home, but who made a decision to LOVE it, no matter what…at the bottom of the story was this:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
I absolutely LOVE this…
It expresses so much where my focus has been recently.
Freeing my heart from hatred has been a very difficult thing. I am a person who tends to keep track. About a year ago, I started a program through my church called Breaking Free…and it was the most amazing first step of a life-long journey I could ever have taken. Every aspect of every relationship I have changed with the things I learned in that program! It was most certainly NOT what I expected and was much more than I could ever have imagined…I still carry the tools with me in my tool box. But I MUST remember to USE them regularly, every day, without fail and in all situations so that I don’t begin to keep track of things that I feel were slights to me. Its an effort…I have to be mindful of myself. That is really a key for success with this – be mindful.
Freeing my mind from worries is next to impossible. I know the score. I remember the details. I see and understand the consequences of certain decisions. And true to my worrier’s nature, I have a “prepare for the worst” approach. The problem for preparing for the worst is that to do so, you must focus on it. And when you focus on the worst, when you meditate, you worry. But the Word tells us that worry is wasted, it is sin. Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” The Bible also asks the all important question: Will you add even one more day to your life by your worry? Probably not…again, I have to be mindful.
Live simply – this has been on my heart since we moved. Its surprising how few our “our things” are required for peace and comfort. While I realize that is because we are using someone else’s dishes, washer and vacuum, and that these things of ours will be used when we are in our own home, it is painfully clear that around ½ of the things we moved all the way across the country should be sold, given away or thrown out. And this is AFTER I already took 4 trunkloads of things to the shelter or trash. I think I will apply the Junk Gypsy philosophy to my things when we move – if you love it, keep it. If you don’t get rid of it. And this will be my motto in the future – firstly do I NEED it and if I do, is this the particular one that I LOVE…it will keep our lives so much simpler!
Give more – this used to be a condition of my personality…I was ever generous. But as time has worn on, I’ve become less giving – probably because I felt that the people I chose to give to where not deserving. But I’ve been coming around to a new philosophy on giving. First of all, you must sow to reap. Second of all, if you are moved to give, your obedience lies in the giving rather than the determination of whether the recipient is deserving. And third of all, no matter how little I have, there is always somebody far more needy. I have lead an increadibly blessed and full life thus far. I know I have things that I can share or give to others that will cost me nothing to part with and will sow my blessed life into the lives of others.
Expect less…ah…me and my expectations. I have rather high expectations of myself. The trouble is that I apply those same expectations to others. While a certain level of expectation is appropriate, the high level of expectation I tend to have is not healthy. I should not ever expect somebody to be like me…for it is in our differences that we are glorified. Once again, I must be mindful of where the appropriate level of expectation is and leave it at that. There is a point at which I have to let go! I have to let go!