To a Friend,
Take responsibility and be a good steward of Godly gifts. Recognizing that all of us are far from perfect is not a fallback position that supports less than stellar execution of a life. For many years I expected less and accepted less from myself than I knew would be pleasing to God. I am wiser today. Wisdom is dear and paid in tears.
No single choice results in success. While some choices are certainly more impactful than others, no one choice will sustain execution. A successful feeling in life is a result of a series of choices.
Choices are time bound. When you have to choose A or B, circumstances will be different later and the choice will be different. If you choose A, B will never again be available to you. There may be an opportunity that is very much akin to B, but it will be later in time and a myriad of things may have, and almost certainly will, have changed that make B something different. An example …
You know your friend is in immediate need and you have an opportunity to support them. Being there for your friend will mean self-deprivation of some kind. You chose to indulge yourself. When you later go to your friend, the sensations you experience will be much different than had you gone to them immediately.
The impact of life choices cannot be measured real time. The measurement comes in retrospect when we may ask ourselves, “why am I depressed?” When I ask this of myself, I am honest enough to include in my considerations my role as a son, a husband, a father, a friend … a child of God.
Riding above all of this I have a philosophy … if I am trying really hard and not having the kind of success I expect (want), I am doing it wrong. Day to day life must be easy and fun. Proper choices beget proper choices and result in a carefree state. Improper choices beget improper choices and result in depression. Both are cycles. Breaking out of the improper choice cycle appears daunting but in retrospect is not hard at all. Breaking out of a proper choice cycle goes unnoticed in real time unless one is paying very close attention. For me … I am not able on my own to sustain that level of attention and so make improper choices. Today, as a result of wisdom, I am fairly adept at recognizing improper choices near real time. I don’t pray every day but do my best to live an examined life, which to me is a form of prayer.
Set a relatively small near term goal and let nothing keep you from attaining it. Embrace the success and allow it to beget another goal and subsequent success. Watch what happens.
Call your mother every day to say you love her. Watch what happens.
Praise God, from Whom all Blessings flow. Watch what happens.
Practice self-sacrifice (it actually feels good). Watch what happens.
For God’s sake … practice self-love … which equates to making a proper choice.
God … thanks for allowing us our failures but I beseech you, give us strength to see ourselves as you see us and so love ourselves. Amen.