Hope for the Broken Hearted

beauty,ashes,hope,broken hearted

 

For there would be no sunrise without dark nights, … , no restoration without brokenness.  

 

Life is unpredictable.  The only thing constant is change, just like the four seasons.  And much like the many parodies of life, the human heart is so intended for contrast that, without one, we would not comprehend (appreciate) the other.  For there would be no rainbow without the storm, no child birth without pain.   If we follow this reasoning, it is possible to grow seeds of joy in the soil of sorrow!

As the famous author C.S. Lewis so aptly put it – a heart that is so sheltered from the possibility of wreckage “will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

What’s wrong with an ‘irredeemable’ heart?  To answer that question, rather let’s ponder on “What good is an irredeemable heart?”  Can it spread forth unconditional love; is it capable of genuine magnanimity, let alone, even appreciate true love?   See the picture?  An irredeemable heart is a heart of stone, impervious, insensitive, and incapable of growth.

Hence, perhaps we need to suffer the agony of a broken heart before our heart can be restructured and restored into a more beautiful heart.  Given that, I’ll gladly have my shabby heart wrecked and shattered.  So it can be restructured into something more splendid than before!

Though the process is painful and uncertain, knowing the end result is reason enough to help me focus on staying hopeful.  So besides having an attitude of joy, I’m journeying on with an attitude of gratitude, in anticipation of the beauty to come.

If this is what you’re going through right now, I welcome you on this trail.  Though our paths may be different, I believe we’re getting onto something more magnificent in time to come.  Never lose faith and Joy!

 

Isaiah 61:3 – he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

 

 

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Joy in Sorrow – Beauty for Ashes

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For there would be no sunrise without dark nights, … , no restoration without brokenness.  

– Reflections from the book ‘Overextended’ by Lisa Harper.

 

I’d like to warn you that this post is fairly long, I did not split this into 2 posts as that would lose the flow.  So please persevere and read on to the end …

When things are going our way in life, promotions, financial wealth, good  health, blossoming relationships, lovely new house/ car, and so on… it’s easy to be joyful, singing and dancing, looking to others and wondering why other people are acting like depressive maniacs, self- pity  partiers, low morale mongers indulging in sour grapes.

What happens when events take a turn in life, if we’re stricken with disease, incur financial losses, get betrayed by those closest to us, faced with career setbacks?  When the weather changes from a bright sunny day to a storm, can we still sing and dance in the storm? Especially when the world seems to be passing us by, friends are getting married or enjoying lovely marriages and kids, catapulting by leaps and bounds in their career or financial advances.

Under such circumstances, some people will spiral into depression, wallow in self-pity, become bitter, sour and even resentful of those who are seemingly in the celebration seasons of their lives.  After all, emotions (both positive and negative) are so attuned to our human nature.  I have to admit for once that I am a highly emotional girl.  Even the stormy weather can make me feel gloomy.  Being trained in psychology, I know far better about the colored lenses of depression and how behavior is affected by the cognition..  Nonetheless, that is easier said than done, as I’ve been down that road before (many times).  No matter how I convince myself to steer away from the negativity, I can’t help it!

Yet, there are some people who can still stay steadfast, purposeful.  Though, not all the time smiling, they choose to focus on the positive.  Though they feel down at times, they choose not to indulge in a pity party, more than a slice of chocolate cake.  What is the secret?

Life is unpredictable.  The only thing constant is change, just like the four seasons.  And much like the many parodies of life, the human heart is so intended for contrast that, without one, we would not comprehend (appreciate) the other.  For there would be no rainbow without the storm, no child birth without pain.   If we follow this reasoning, it is possible to grow seeds of joy in the soil of sorrow!

As the famous author C.S. Lewis so aptly put it – a heart that is so sheltered from the possibility of wreckage “will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

What’s wrong with an ‘irredeemable’ heart?  To answer that question, rather let’s ponder on “What good is an irredeemable heart?”  Can it spread forth unconditional love; is it capable of genuine magnanimity, let alone, even appreciate true love?   See the picture?  An irredeemable heart is a heart of stone, impervious, insensitive, and incapable of growth.

Hence, perhaps we need to suffer the agony of a broken heart before our heart can be restructured and restored into a more beautiful heart.  Given that, I’ll gladly have my shabby heart wrecked and shattered.  So it can be restructured into something more splendid than before.!

Periods of trials and tribulations in life serve to strengthen not only our minds but our hearts.  Psychologically speaking, that could be the process of ‘Self Actualization’, thanks to Maslow’s theory.  However, in layman’s term, I believe it’s a process whereby I am the clay and my potter is remolding me into a vessel for higher purpose.

Though the process is painful and uncertain, knowing the end result is reason enough to help me focus on staying hopeful.  So besides having an attitude of joy, I’m journeying on with an attitude of gratitude, in anticipation of the beauty to come.

If this is what you’re going through right now, I welcome you on this trail.  Though our paths may be different, I believe we’re getting onto something more magnificent in time to come.  Never lose faith and Joy!

 

(This post is inspired by an excerpt from Lisa Harper.)

Substance Abuse in the Armed Forces

The information below is courtesy of Rehab Hotline:

 

Members of our armed forces, particularly those who have been deployed in warzones, deal with many issues beyond the battlefield. Many suffer from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) brought on by combat experiences. For others, merely reintegrating into society at home can be stressful and challenging. While drug use is strongly discouraged in the armed services, many veterans know that there is a general culture of acceptance of alcohol abuse. Soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines work hard — and tend to play hard. For many vets, however, this cycle becomes an addiction and begins to affect their health and their relationships.

RehabHotline has created this infographic to inform viewers of the problems service members face with substances and also as an outreach tool to let veterans and their families know that they are not alone if they are dealing with chemical dependency problems. There is help available.

Retrospection

thankful

 

 

As we look back at the year, let’s not look back in anger,

neither should we look back in defeat.

Instead look back with gratitude.

Be thankful for the afflictions, for they have made your heart stronger.

Be thankful for the betrayals, for they have made your eyes brighter.

Be thankful for the struggles, for they have made your will tougher.

Be thankful for all of life’s insights for they have made your mind free-er.

For a phoenix cannot rise up from the flames without first being burned to the ground.

So let’s retrospect with thanks and prospect with hope for 2014 !

 

Live Your Life Without An Eraser 2

Written by Clint Cora

Life Without An Eraser

My real estate agent sends me regular newsletters and in one issue, I saw the following quote by John Gardner.

’Life is the art of drawing without an eraser’.

This quote pretty well sums up how to realistically live our lives. We all make mistakes and have some negative experiences in life. We don’t have giant erasers to erase the bad circumstances we all go through. However, if we learn from these negative experiences, we can live our lives better in the future much like how the developing artist learns to draw better each day.
In my Toyota Supra black ice accident, which I can’t erase, I quickly learned to change my driving habits. As a result, I have been accident free for the last twenty five years as a driver ever since (except for one small incident when another driver hit my car in a shopping mall parking lot).

Each day is a learning opportunity for us and having some bad experiences from time to time is just reality. We can’t erase these bad experiences whether they are accidents, failures or mistakes, but we can certainly learn from them.

Clint Cora is a motivational speaker, author and Karate World Champion. See his FREE 3-part Personal Development Video Series to learn how to expand your comfort zone to conquer even your most daunting goals in life.

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