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, April 10, 2017

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Which Kind of Person are You?

Choose one...

If you need to ask permission, you already know you shouldn't do it.
- Timi Ruiz

or...

If you need to ask permission, you already know you will need courage to do it.
- JLH

Further reading: Need For Approval

How to Deal with Rejection

Thursday, March 30, 2017

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in the depths of depression

a reader writes: I am in the depths of depression, it is hard to breathe each breath, let alone have the energy to be grateful.

My reply:

Thank you for writing.

I am very sorry that you are in the depths of depression. That is a very challenging situation.

There is certainly no single cure-all, but making a list of things you are grateful for is one small step.
See A List of Gratitudes - a Thanksgiving

Whatever you do, DON'T give up. Keep moving forward. Do what you can, and don't sweat the rest.

Do you have a support network? If your friends and others are not sufficient, consider adding a church-based or community-based support group.

Many people find that helping others is a good way to help themselves.

The best way to cheer yourself
is to try to cheer someone else up.
- Mark Twain



As we work to create light for others,
we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher



One thing I know: the only ones among you
who will be really happy are those
who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer



If there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

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

Further reading: How to Think Positive

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Sad for No Apparent Reason

Conscious Breathing to Relieve Stress

   

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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What is "True Love?"

A reader's question: I would like to know more about true love...

Ah, "true love"

First, let's talk about different kinds of "love"

1) There is the kind of "love" that matches the phrase "love at first sight." I think the word "lust" is much more apt for this emotion, but...

2) There is conditional love: I will "love" you as long as you do what I want, e.g. take out the trash, have sex with me, cook and clean house, have a well-paying job, be home for dinner every night...

3) There is unconditional love: This is an emotion that does not require any reciprocity. When Christians talk about "Jesus' love," this is the kind of love they refer to.

In a marriage, or long-term intimate relationship, all three of the above are present, to some degree, and are intermixed is ways that cannot always be distinguished.

So what is "true love" in an intimate relationship? For me, true love is a long-lasting relationship with lots of #3, some #1, and as little #2 as possible.

No partner in a love relationship...
should feel that he has to give up
an essential part of himself to make it viable.
- May Sarton

True love is a process of co-creation
in which neither feels ownership or superiority.
Jealousy is a highly destructive force
for love and relationships.
- JLH

True love is never a selfish emotion.
If you want something from someone -
especially if that something is sex -
what you are feeling is not true love.
True love is about wanting happiness for the person you love -
and not about seeking happiness for yourself.
Fortunately, in most cases our own loving presence
is the greatest gift we can give to a person we love.
Nonetheless, the litmus test of love is knowing
we would choose never to see that person again
if we believed that distance would bring them greater happiness.
- JLH

Great relationships begin with two people who are each
self confident and who come to each other with the openness
to see and accept the other as a unique and wonderful person.
If there is true love and an alignment of fundamental values,
choose to join your life with your new partner
and vow never to criticize their nature -
the essence that makes them uniquely themselves.
- JLH




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

        

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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When You are Feeling Depressed and Hopeless

If you are having a major health crisis, I really feel for you. However if you are reasonably healthy, have enough to eat, and have a roof over your head, you have an opportunity to look on the bright side of your life - to appreciate what is right with your life.



I don't think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains.
- Anne Frank

If you want to feel rich,
just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
- Anonymous 

He is a wise man who does not grieve
for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.
- Epictetus 

The enlightened give thanks
for what most people take for granted.
- Michael Beckwith

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.
- Anonymous

The best way to cheer yourself
is to try to cheer someone else up.
- Mark Twain

Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind,
than on outward circumstances.
- Benjamin Franklin

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

Monday, February 15, 2016

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Presidents of Their Own Times

Today, Presidents' Day, may be a good day to examine our feelings about our earlier Presidents and other great people who lived in days gone by.

Generally, Americans have focused praise and gratitude upon the likes of Washington and Jefferson, but more recently, many people make the case that as slave-holders Washington and Jefferson were terrible and morally-flawed people. This early-stage movement follows upon the older and better established movements that declares Christopher Columbus to be a genocidal invader rather as one who "opened up" America to European settlement, and the likes of Robert E. Lee to be slave-holding traitors.

Can we reconcile these opposing points of view. I believe we can once we recognize that Washington, Jefferson and everyone who lived in the past were creations of their own time, and each stage of history has its own customs, its own values, and its own morality. If we are unwilling to acknowledge that morality is a function of the times, we must condemn ourselves and everyone living today for failing to live up to the evolving morality we will be judged by a century from now (how could those people let children starve? why did they shoot each other? and perhaps other concerns we can't even imagine today: why didn't they let 12 year-olds vote? why didn't they require a license for procreation to prevent overpopulation?)

Look at life as described in the Old Testament - the sacred book of Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. The Old Testament records, without condemnation: polygamy, genocide, torture, mutilation, infanticide, incest, slavery, and many other practices that today's Americans regard as immoral. Yes, times change. Abraham, David, and other heroes of the Old Testament, like Presidents Washington and Jefferson, must be judged as people of their own times.

Today, let us appreciate the best of Washington, Jefferson, and the others. And let us also appreciate our own time for having moved past practices like slavery and dueling.

Keep pace with the times.
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy,
as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
- Thomas Jefferson

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind,
war, banished from the earth.
- George Washington


What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends,
and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world;
to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors,
and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world! 
- Robert E. Lee

We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land,
the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition,
and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.
- George Washington [Washington was a little premature on this one]

All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion;
nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.
- Thomas Jefferson - Draft Constitution for Virginia (June 1776)

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions,
any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.
- Thomas Jefferson

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. 
- Thomas Jefferson

I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property.. a  means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. 
- Thomas Jefferson

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
- Thomas Jefferson

Merchants have no country.
The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment
as that from which they draw their gains. 
- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, February 12, 2016

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When One Has No Dreams Left

Reader's inquiry: I think I don't have any dreams. There is nothing I want to have or do :(

My reply:

This is opportunity for you to look deeply into (meditate upon) your inner self and your inner motivations.

Perhaps you are very contented and at peace with yourself and the world.

Or perhaps you have squashed your dreams because you don't see them as even remotely attainable.

Or perhaps something else...

Look deeply...

The key to happiness is inner peace.
The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions
such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion,
while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility
are the sources of peace and happiness.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama


A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.
- Yiddish Proverb


Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
- Langston Hughes


Trust your own inner guidance.
Have faith that your steps are
carrying you toward your dreams.
Keep your eyes on the heavens
and believe that your feet will carry you well.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


    
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Anxious , Depressed, Job Not Inspiring?

Question from a reader: I feel low, anxious, depressed, job not inspiring, what should I do?

My reply:

1) Look for the high points in your job: co-workers? customers? whatever is uplifting.

2) Consider a different job or becoming self-employed. Those may or may not be viable options, but think seriously about it.

3) Look to get your true satisfaction from sources outside your job. Appreciate your family. Volunteer in your community. Help someone less fortunate than yourself - perhaps volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen.


As we work to create light for others,
we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?'
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you don't like something, change it.
If you can't change it, change your attitude.
- Maya Angelou

The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself
in the service of others.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

The more we care for the happiness of others,
the greater is our own sense of well-being.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The best cure for our own self-inflicted suffering
is often service to others.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie