Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice. Please subscribe free on the form to the left.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)
Here, I share my thoughts on spiritual power, relationships, simple living, managing stress, work-life balance, career decisions, money, politics, the environment, and much more.

See my self-help articles including How to Move On and How to Succeed, browse my large collection of Inspirational Quotes, and sign-up for my free Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote email and my Positive Affirmation of the Day email.

The content of all my blogs/websites consists entirely of personal opinion.
See a medical professional for all issues of physical and emotional health.

Monday, August 17, 2015

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An Exchange with a Reader about BLAME

The August 17, 2015 Daily Inspiration message was about Blame, and featured quotes such as...

Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past.
Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
- John F. Kennedy


It is an act of great Courage to forsake all Blame.
Take responsibility for your whole life -
regardless of circumstances.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


In response, a reader wrote:
Nice sentiments, but almost wholly unrealistic.  So much pain is daily inflicted upon people by others, everywhere in the world.  To turn a blind eye to the cause of that pain is not healthy and would never eradicate the sources of the pain or the behavior of the people or institutions that cause it.  Moreover, placing the slightest tinge of blame or responsibility on oneself for the pain inflicted on them by others is horribly psychologically unhealthy.  I love this site and most of its offerings, but it is way off base with these ideas.  They would likely lead victims into depression or worse.  It is far better to face reality and deal with what is, placing the blame and the responsibility where it belongs.

My response to the reader:

Thank you very much for writing. You raise some of the most important points about the nature of our earthly existence.

Absolutely, pain is inflicted upon us daily by others who don't know us personally (politicians, investment bankers, etc), by natural forces [God?] (diseases, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), as well as by those who know us personally and may wish us harm.

I fully agree with you that one should recognize the sources of our pain, and certainly that we must not blame ourselves for the pain.

Now, the question is how to best deal with the circumstances we are subjected to. One choice is to say, "woe is me, I am a helpless victim, please feel sorry for me." A second choice is to become enraged and to focus one's energies on searching for a way to inflict revenge. A third choice is to live the happiest and most productive life we can in the face of the circumstances life has dealt us.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
- Buddhist proverb


My personal choice, and the choice I advocate for my readers, is to avoid labeling myself a "victim," to avoid resentments and regrets, to avoid anger and any attempt at revenge, and to be as happy and productive as I can.

And yes, I very much do choose to take action against people or forces that cause me pain - not from the perspective of anger/revenge, but from the perspective of preventing further harm to myself or others. (Consider a hurricane. One can't very well take revenge on a hurricane, but one can rebuild further from the ocean, and use stronger construction techniques.)

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

   

Saturday, August 1, 2015

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How can I find what my happiness is supposed to be or look like?

From a reader: I'm going through some life stuff right now. People are always telling me to just 'be happy.' Honestly have no idea what that means... I've lived my life as a single mom. No idea what I'm to do now that they are all 'grown-ups.' How can I find what my happiness is supposed to be or look like when that's always seemed like such a luxury? Thanks.

My reply:

Thank you for writing.

For most people, happiness comes from service. In spite of the challenges and the long hours, I'm sure you received a large portion of happiness from being of service to your children.

The only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer


Look for a balance of pampering yourself (which you certainly deserve, and which would be a pleasant change of pace), finding new interests, and finding new ways to be of service to others.

As far as "happiness," that is much more a matter of choosing to be grateful for your life, and choosing to be happy, than a matter of the circumstances of your life.

Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions,
it is governed by our mental attitude.
- Dale Carnegie

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't
come as a result of getting something we don't have,
but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
- Frederick Koenig


May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
   

Friday, July 24, 2015

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What if Money Was No Object?

What would you do with your life if money was no object?

Watch this great video of Alan Watts' advice on the subject.
Then go read A Story of Money


Sunday, July 19, 2015

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To Be a Faithful Follower of Jesus


From Romans 12:9-21...

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Live at peace with everyone.

Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath.
[It is God's job to punish, not man's]

If your enemy is hungry, feed him.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

And the second [commandment] is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
- Matthew 22:39:40

[Jesus 1st commandment is, of course, to love God]

Loving others is FUNDAMENTAL to the "radical" (and basically socialist) teachings of Jesus.  If a person rejects one of the two commandments that "All the Law and the Prophets hang on," how can they consider themself a true follower of Jesus?


Sunday, July 12, 2015

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You Don't Own Me



You Don't Own Me.
- song by John Madara and David White

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
- Rabindranath Tagore

He that is jealous is not in love.
- Saint Augustine

We really have to understand the person we want to love.
If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.
If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our
own needs and ignore the needs of the other person,
we cannot love.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

You know you love someone when you know
you want them to be happy,
even if their happiness means
that you are not a part of it.
- Anonymous

      

Saturday, June 27, 2015

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Causes of Violence

Where there is no emotion,
there is no motive for violence.
- the character Spock in the Star Trek television series


Is the above quote true? What are the real causes of violence?

At first hearing, the Spock quote seems to ring true. A look at the front page of any newspaper would tend to confirm that the world's violent conflicts are caused by emotions run amok: White/Black hatred, Christian/Muslim hatred, Sunni/Shia hatred. A look at individual violence also shows most to have a cause based in emotions: people kill others they are angry with far more often than they commit strong-arm robbery simply out of greed.

On the other hand, non-emotional violence for the purpose of theft has also been around as long as humankind. Think of the Mongols conquering most of Asia  - highly violent, but not emotionally based. Or think of the conquests of Alexander the Great. While it shows up less often in modern life, theft/greed is also a major cause of both personal and institutional violence.


Other perspectives on violence:

The cause of violence ... is self-interest.
- William Sloane Coffin, Jr.


War does not determine who is right -
only who is left.
- Bertrand Russell

Sunday, June 7, 2015

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Falling in Love

Reader's question: Need advice from you Sir! Is it good to fall in love????

My Reply:

“Fall in love” is such an interesting expression.

It is good to love others.  It is good to have an exclusive sexual relationship in which the partners truly care about, and respect, each other. It is never good to be needy, or to feel dependent upon another.

Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea
between the shores of your souls.
- Khalil Gibran

Lord, grant that I might not so much
seek to be loved as to love.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Love is granting another the space to be
the way they are and the way they are not.
- Werner Erhard

Know the power and the peace of saying,
"I love you just the way you are."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Read my article How to Avoid Falling in Love with Love

If you have a more specific question, please email me again at sail7 @ sail7 . com

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie