Life. Sometimes, I mumble the word under my breath, barely audible, and sometimes it accompanies a sigh or a laugh in between good and bad reasons. At times I throw the word in at the beginning or end of a thought when I just can’t put into words the happenings or emotions that accompany my existence in this wonderful journey we call Life.
This morning, I huddled over the bitterest cup of black coffee and a plate of the sweetest delicacies. A sip of this and a bite of that were the ideal pairing to neutralize the intensity of each. The bitter and the sweet. We pair them together much like life. “Life.” It says everything without saying anything. We experience moments of joy, pain, alone or shared, with laughter and tears. We sum up those moments to life’s long river winding and bending farther than the eye can see with twists that catch us unaware. And on the meandering and twisty path, we flow like water gathering stones, rocks, pebbles and sometimes debris only to deposit them in the course of our journey, carrying with us the sediment of lessons learned and wisdom gained. Life has its big moments; births, deaths, and all the reminiscing in between. And it has its smaller moments of personal nuances, discomfort, speed bumps, hiccups and detours. Precious and wonderful, confusing and mysterious, bitter and sweet, life is a paradox.
This year, as with the start of every New Year when promises and resolutions and dreams of a prosperous life are cast, I celebrate my existence. It is my birth month. And every year I add to my list of life’s rules to live by.
Here are a few:
Pray every morning.
That little voice inside you that you keep ignoring is the only one you should be listening to.
Hope is that sacred place inside than none can alter.
Have no fear when Faith is here.
There is no better freedom than freedom to choose, but even freedom has consequences.
Make mistakes. They are your best teacher, but try not to repeat the same ones too often.
Edit your thoughts before you speak without losing the true you.
Always grant children your full attention. Be the hero in their lives.
Indulge the child in you but remember you have the advantage of age over that child.
Take care of the elderly.
Giving is the purest, most beautiful self-indulgence.
Let go of expectations. They have little to do with reality.
Arm yourself with weapons of the soul. Stay rooted in justice, compassion and humility.
Appreciate health. Listen to your heart beat.
Speak out. Your voice is never wasted.
Break some rules and raise a bit of a ruckus.
”Smile a while, and while you smile, smile another while.”
Find humor in life.
Move, dance, run, play.
Your hair color really doesn’t matter.
Never send an email or message that’s unfit for the eyes of the world. It might slip into public view.
Favors are kindness returned.
Be flexible. Bend your back sometimes and let others ride on it.
Inspire people with your actions. Actions speak your character.
Gratitude is contentment. Be grateful every day.
Believe in redemption.
Pray for others. Recognize their needs.
Empathize. Wear the other man’s shoes; feel his journey.
You are accountable for the knowledge that you have.
Abuse has no excuse. One time is one time too many.
Have courage; build character; maintain integrity.
The moment is all there is. Worrying distracts you from fully living in the now.
Worship money and things, and you will starve for want of more; quell your inner wealth.
Jealousy is the biggest self-torment. It makes you ugly inside out.
Whereas, contentment denies comparison.
Take joy in, but do not worship, body, beauty and sexual allure for they will diminish; your inner beauty will not.
Appreciate your abilities. Live up to your principles.
Always go to the funeral.
Value people above all.
You are on loan to this life.
Pay your debts owed for your existence through deeds of love and service.
Serve humanity and you serve in His image.
Forgiveness frees you of the chain of resentment.
Your ego should always be smaller than your humility.
Encourage others. Positive words diminish negativity.
Practice kindness in all her forms.
Dream, but don’t isolate yourself from the truth.
Remember your beginnings.
Fall in love again.
Life is a matter of moments; don’t be in a hurry for it to be over.
Give thanks, admit your shortcomings, and sing praises of gratitude.
Pray every night.
Take a sip. Take a bite. Live. CHEERS.