Monday, May 3, 2010

Mental Vitamins

I love "words of wisdom" or inspirational quotes -- particularly those memorable phrases that help you grow spiritually. My Mom and I went to an antique shop today and a book entitled "God's Little Rule Book - Simple Rules To Bring Joy And Happiness To Your Life" caught my eye. I read a few pages from the book and found myself smiling at the brilliant lessons on each page. It was only $3.00 so I thought, "I've gotta get this!!" Here is the phrase that stood out most to me today from this little book: "Love the unlovable - every day someone benefits from your compassionate attempt to show God's love."

Sometimes it is really hard to even consider the idea of loving someone who is nothing but mean to you, let alone actually loving them. But what stuck out to me was the part where it says "your compassionate ATTEMPT" One person in my life came to mind as I read this. This person is extremely difficult to deal with - they are just an all-around negative person and frustrates me on an almost daily basis and I have done everything I can to be nice to this person, to show this person kindness only to have this person continuously be mean to me no matter what I do. But I'm not supposed to show love and kindness to someone simply to get a positive reaction from them or to be liked. I am supposed to show others love because God first loved me. My role is to share God's love with everyone, not to share God's love only with those who will receive it well. And while they may seem "unlovable" in our eyes...they are not seen that way to God, because God loves each and everyone of us - no matter if we love Him or not. Something else I noticed about this quote was where it says: "SOMEONE benefits from your compassionate attempt to show God's love" -- the person you are attempting to love may not show any positive signs that you are making a difference in their life, but maybe someone else IS. You never know who you may be positively impacting, if it's not who's life you meant to touch, it could be someone else and you may never know it. You'd be amazed by how many people will recall something you have said or done when you didn't think they were around or even listening and your words can have a direct impact on that person whether you realize it or not. Point is, someone can and will always benefit from kindness, so keep being kind even if you THINK it's not doing any good.

For me, I don't like just repeating quotes, I like applying them to my everyday life. I'm sure you all can relate to having being told something and a few weeks, months or even years later -- you find yourself in a situation where that phrase someone said or that life lesson you were given, almost like a flashback, resurfaces in a time of need. You are faced with a difficult decision or struggling with how to react to something and/or someone and those words of wisdom pop in your head.

A personal example of this: My mom told me several years ago that "Life is 10% the situation you are given & 90% of how you react to it" and ever since hearing this, I remember my Mom's words when I'm given a situation that I would not choose to be in (one that is very challenging or difficult) and try to react positively as opposed to just reacting without thinking. Because while yes, I was given that difficult situation I have also been given the choice and the power to turn that situation into something good as opposed to something bad simply by how I react to it. I'm sure we've all encountered at least one individual in our life that has been what I like to call "splinters" -- those that get under your skin and just irritate the heck out of you -- but I have found that if you respond with kindness to those types of people, they are more likely to show kindness back, and often times, they don't know how to react when you DON'T respond in a negative way like they are expecting. I'm not saying be a push-over, but always speak and act with love. 

Here is a clip from the movie "The War", starring Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood, that is a prime example of what I have been talking about -- where I feel this approach was clearly applied. I just love this scene. (I also recommend you watch the entire film.)

I want to start having more of a structure to my blogging as opposed to random entries each day (we'll see how this goes) so I'm going to start dedicating Mondays to blogging about these little words of wisdom I pick up along the way. You know, life lessons that I have personally experienced and want to pass along to my readers. I like to call them "Mental Vitamins" so from now on -- expect Mental Vitamin Mondays! :) Please leave your own personal life lessons or quotes you love as a comment below or email me. I know you have words of wisdom you can pass along to me too and I would love to hear those!

1 comment:

  1. You bring simple and and meaningful reflections. The clip added the emphasis. I got teared up with the visual of loving the unlovable. It really is hard, but beautiful.