What lies within us?

Please find a place to read this where you can be alone and uninterrupted. Don’t worry about your schedule, your business, your family, or your friends. Just focus on this post and really open your mind.

In your mind’s eye see yourself going to the funeral of a loved one. Picture yourself driving to the funeral parlor or chapel, parking the car, and getting out. As you walk inside the building you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You see the faces of friends and family you pass along the way. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there.

As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself. This is your funeral. All these people have come to honor you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life.

As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers. The first is from your family, immediate and also extended – children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who have come from all over the country to attend. The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person. The third speaker is from your work or profession. And the fourth is from your church or some community organization where you’ve been involved in service.

Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate?

What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people around you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives?

Take a few minutes to jot down your impressions. It will greatly increase your personal understanding.

Handling negative thoughts

Do you find yourself forcing a brittle smile and staring awkwardly when someone tells you about their achievements? Does your heart do triple flips when  a friend is catapulted into the limelight? here is how you can handle those negative emotions:

  • Compare yourself only with your own achievements. Charter your growth by contrasting your present quality of living with your past, not someone else’s.
  • Psychologists feel that envious people often lose their own dynamism by conveting opportunities that fall into other people’s laps. Be focused in the pursuit of your goals. Go only after those dreams that are important to you and do not let someone else’s success sway you from your own path.
  • if your are feeling envious of a close friend or relative, list the qualities they possess that attracted your attention. Reflect on how you can acquire those characteristics as well. What steps would you take? Not only will this transform your own personality, but your jealousy too will disintegrate.
  • Build your self-confidence. Attend etiquette classes, make new friends and engage in a an exctiting hobby you love. If you embark on a continual process of self-discovery. you will neither have the time nor inclination to be envious of others.
  • Look at an isssue from all perspectives and understand what really triggers your enthusiasm. For instance, you might admire working women, but would you actually be happy stepping into their shoes? They sacrifice their leisure time with long hours at the office and are possibly dead tired and unable to spend enough time with their own children. Understand your own needs in depth. Look beyound the surface gloss of every issue and you will find that, sometimes, your envy may be unwarranted.
  • Interact with people less fortunate than yourself. You will learn to appreciate your own blessings. If there always seems to be someone better off than you, ,remember, there are plenty in worse situations too. As the saying goes, ‘I wept because I had no shoes, until i saw a man with no feet.’