Posts Tagged ‘understanding’

Turn It Around

We live in a culture that uses labels

as a means of understanding the world

and the people living in it.

As a result, many of us find ourselves

laboring under a label

that has a negative connotation.

Unless we can find a way

to see the good in such a label,

we may feel burdened

by an idea of ourselves

that is not accurate.

It is important to remember

that almost nothing in this world

is all good or all bad,

and most everything

is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges.

In addition, different cultures

revere certain qualities over others,

but this does not mean

that these qualities are inherently good or bad.

For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior

will label an introvert in a negative way,

calling them antisocial.

In truth, the ability to spend time alone

is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share.

Owning the positive side of this label

can lead us deeper

into our gifted visions and fertile imaginations.

When we look into the lives

of any of the great people in history,

we always find that they had quirks and eccentricities

that earned them less than ideal labels

from the societies in which they lived.

Many famous artists and musicians

were considered to be isolated loners

or disruptive troublemakers,

or sometimes both,

yet these people altered history

and contributed to the world

an original vision or advances

in our understanding of the universe.

If we can remember this as we examine our own selves

and the labels people use to describe us,

we find that there is a bright side to any characterization.

If you have been labeled,


that all you have to do to see the positive side

is to turn the label around.

For example, you may be considered to be overly emotional,

and the fact that you are perceived this way

may make you feel out of control.

But notice, too,

the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions,

even in a world that doesn’t always encourage that.

You might begin to see yourself

as brave and open-hearted enough

to stay alive to your feelings.

You may also see

that there are certain paths and professions

in which this is a necessary ability.

As you turn your label around,

the light of your true nature shines

to guide you on your way.



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Finding Our Own Paths

Entering into our own spirituality is a private journey.

Each of us will be drawn to a different gateway

to begin on our personal path to awakening

to a greater experience of ourselves.

Even though we may be taught certain philosophies

or beliefs as children, we still need to find

our own way of understanding

and applying them in our lives.

For those who are raised

without a spiritual framework,

they may not even know their process

as a form of spirituality.

But at some stage in their lives,

whether in youth or adulthood,

they are likely to recognize

the resonance of their beliefs,

the ring of truth in their philosophy,

and their dedication to their chosen purpose.

Our inner guidance will lead us,

so that we will be drawn

to the right doorway for us–

a doorway that only we can recognize

by the way it makes us feel inside.

It could be a picture of an angel or the gift of a crystal.

We may meet someone special

who shares their experiences with us

in a way that we find intriguing.

While visiting the home of an admired friend,

we may notice a book or statue of a deity,

and ask why they chose those tools.

Or a word or phrase

may catch our attention in a song, or a lecture.

For some, they may find their way

by walking through the experience of illness

before they begin the search

for what will help them to truly heal,

while others may seek physical improvement

and stumble across yoga or meditation–

only to find that it leads them

to an unexpected place beyond the body.

As we awaken to ourselves and to life,

we will become more attuned to what is right for us.

The universe speaks to all of us

through infinite channels,

but we each have our own frequency.

Others may share what worked for them,

but only we can decide what truly makes us feel

inspired… awakened…connected…

fully conscious…aware… and alive.

Whatever our path,

it is perfect and meant especially for us.

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Those who understand others are intelligent,

Those who understand themselves are enlightened.

Those who overcome others have strength,

Those who overcome themselves are powerful.

Those who know contentment are wealthy,

Those who proceed vigorously have willpower.

Those who do not lose their base endure,

Those who die but do not perish have longevity.

~Tao Te Ching (Ch 33)

translated by Derek Lin

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