In the jar of dreams I've put the main things I want to do before I die. There are things we can put in jars like wishes, dreams, notes of thankfulness, worries to pray about, memories we want to be reminded of.
My supervisor at one of my jobs said that her own family did a bowl or jar of the concerns the siblings had. At the end of a week or such they would pull out the pieces of paper one at a time reading their concerns, and the perspective gave them the sense that the things we worry about were temporary, passing by, and no longer relevant much of the time. Little things not worth arguing about or even thinking about, and yet we tend to take too much energy on them when they are "focused" on in our single span of attention.
In such cases, remind yourself in the heat of an argument of something big-scale concern more important, or of some value each other share, or of something you both are thankful for.
To get to know a little about me, why I'm writing this book series, and what qualifies me to write it, I'll introduce myself in more detail.
The life experiences I have, led me from depression, agnosticism, and the cynical arguments and futile attempts associated with feeling that no one cared, to an eventual epiphany of faith in which I realize that not only is there order in the universe, but people do care and we have a creator that put us here to cherish this stewardship of life in whatever form it may be, and to make lemonade from what looked like lemons but after all when in the right perspective are the best Long Island Iced Teas you could find.
To put this into more clear of a concept, in suffering I turned to God and found my faith, and from that appreciation I learned a peace so perfect that I find heaven possible on Earth.
As for my qualities list, and the positive traits that I aspire to and describe as ideal, I find that millennials question one's right to aspire to things more than one already is, as if it were hypocritical. The lesson that is lacking in that viewpoint is learning that one's knowing what is right and wrong can be clear and one can still overlook the importance of following it, with the due consequences, but that doesn't mean that one does not know right from wrong, and that does not mean that one can't suggest a better path for those about to make the same mistakes you've made.
Some mistakes one must make for one's self, is a possible argument, and it holds true to the extent that one may insist on trying what one feels one is being "kept from" the freedom to choose. That doesn't mean that it's best to try anything under the sun, though. It means that every decision is a responsibility with consequences, and to expect to get to try anything without consequences is not the kind of free will that God gave us, for He does have consequences. What He plans for us is to be freed of the most eternal and severe of consequences, so that the lessons are learned through the less severe sufferings (palanca) which we experience during our mortal first life, before the eternity after.
To my own mistakes, I've learned the real love of a relationship comes from sharing our lives together, and the resultant experience as equals or as allies. The love I started with didn't have that depth, and though the passions of youth were extreme they did not know the temperance of true unconditional love until my current marriage and step-parenting. I learned friendship in greater reciprocity with the family and friends that we shared, and through doing customer service and tutoring and teaching how to do things. I learned to communicate effectively through my passion for words, and though I've still a way to go in the balance of writing and editing, I've still got the sense to know what eventually needs to be worked on, both in conversation, and in publishing. We all could learn from each other, and that is why I want to share what I learned even though I've no professional research on the topics of life. Who could ever be complete in that field? What I offer is the wisdom and lessons of my personal experiences and from the stories I've heard from those who I've encountered.
I come to you on a personal level, as a writer with love for faith and philosophical introspection on the guides we choose to live by. I come to you as a human being, with pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, with things I know and things I might change my mind about when I find out more but don't we all? There are reasons I say the things I say to be true. What it is, works for me, and I hope it works for you.
Some rules... or, if you prefer, guidelines.
Each decision we make is either more positive or more negative. That is true of financial decisions AND of anything regarding our relationships with each other and with God.
In relationships with people, (and with God,) the most important thing is to understand the other person, otherwise one is misunderstanding them. In order to single-task focus on listening to the other person (or to God) without focusing on one's self, without focusing on one's reply, without focusing on one's own feelings or thoughts or needs, without focusing on the situation around you. In other words, just focus on trying to UNDERSTAND what it is that the other person is thinking and feeling, from their end, in their shoes. Do not even evaluate what they are feeling or thinking, just try and listen to it while sitting back and taking it all in. That is the art of feminine communication which needs to be taught to all human beings and become a more universal tongue for us to know each other deeper and to understand what it is we want to say.
There is a question we all should be asking ourselves, which will lead us to the discernment between positive and negative.
To say "more is better," is to contradict the truth to "be concise," "stay focused," "go with what's important," or "simple is best." Minimalism gives us more value with less distraction.
Example: when you are trying to multitask, the more things around, the less attention each gets.
Example: "out of sight, out of mind," if something is in the mind it takes part of our attention-energy and thoughts.
Example: Google's labels in the inbox, which do not hide the emails, in which the email stays to clutter up the inbox until you "hide" or "archive" it. Best to use a folder system for life instead of labels. That way things are put away in their place instead of distracting. Distracting from the most important things in life: The Spirit.
In my earlier, pre-evolved state of mind, I hadn't known how to respond when people told me to "just be yourself."
I thought that I had to be perfect in what I said, and because of that insecurity, I ended up saying very little.
I started writing down what I wanted to say and writing more things down by far than I actually said.
I didn't have the courage to be imperfect, and as a result, had no communication.
Communication is necessary in relationships, even before they have grown into relationships.
I learned when I actually started my first relationship, that my first one didn't read my mind, which in foresight is obvious.
I had for some reason assumed, in my limited experiences of communication, that everyone had pretty much the same thoughts.
That was very far from the truth, I learned after, because people are unique in not only personality, but also background.
I eventually met the one I was destined to be with at a poetry open mic, and had already had my first heartbreak to mature somewhat from.
The impression I made was good, and it was because I had been waiting for that opportunity to impress and had poetry written which showed my emotional strength of passion, which I hadn't found the right person for until that day.
Ever since then I have grown more and more, living in the life with that person now my wife, most of my life.
We still have issues with communication, but less and less so. It is the little things which get blown out of proportion that life deals us, that we have to show our strength in, in order to enjoy life in any circumstance.
For example, say several things that "should have" gone another direction in your daily life went very different than you thought could go, for the worse, as if the world were conspiring to attack you. It's just the normal reaction, flawed, which gets irritated or upset, but if you turn it around and flip the situation as I now try to do as soon as I see it as such, then you thank God for the palanca, for the challenge, for the opportunity to grow and serve up suffering on behalf of God and others, it is then that I achieve peace of mind so perfect that nothing short of direct pain can upset my lovely day.
It is that lesson I learned by doing it other ways, but others can learn if they hear stories like this from others.
Just talk things over, do not let little things get out of proportion, and love one another... pass it on.
A character in the Larry Niven science fiction series "Ringworld," Luis Wu, would say, perhaps even coined the term, TANJ, an acronym for "There Ain't No Justice."
I used to believe that saying to be true, and it was part of my state of depressed cynicism that placed value on unrealistic expectations, also known as the entitlement complex.
But now, I've come to realize why those expectations are unrealistic. To frame the view of justice as being against the will of God, the very rules we go by and are created for? To frame the view of justice as our being entitled to the gifts of life and secular results from our labors, and yet still be that unfair on our part to be ungrateful for those gifts simply because the lives we had and the gifts of pleasure in them were not as long or as deep as we had hoped for? To frame our view of justice as to be independent from the very being that created us and fathered us with the gift that we have not the ability to repay, the sacrificial example of His only begotten son on the cross for our eternal reward in the world yet to come, that reward which greatly overflows the gifts we have for a glimpse here on Earth? Indeed, it is right and just. We must become Graceful and humble toward our creator if we are to be blessed even further than we already are.
At the grouping for the ministry I participate in, tonight the topics included knowing God or actually the humility of realizing there is so much we still have to learn about God at the same time as our trust lets us feel that we are safely "with" Him and knowing Him that way.
The connection we have is in God is in everyone, and seeing that in each other lets us realize that we are not to judge our creator in them, however flawed their moments may be, for they are created in His image and here for us to help.
Each moment is an opportunity to work hard, and through our palanca of suffering, grow as people the way God intended.
Donald R. Anderson. Aspiring writer. Amateur philosopher and amateur writer of Apologetics (i.e., the Catholic reasonings). Faith-driven kindred spirit.