You Have to Be Yourself

    In the news this past week was the story of a young married woman who is having relationship problems with her husband so she decided she was going to get radical plastic surgery to make her look like Kim Kardasian because her husband loves Kardasian.  Kardasian wisely told the women not to do it.
    Sometimes, we all think we would like to be somebody else.  We see a story in the news about a billionaire flying his private plane around the world and we want to be him.  We see some young starlet getting to star in a movie with our favorite actor and we want to be her.  We hear about a cat inheriting ten million dollars and we want to be a cat!    
    Of course, we can’t be somebody else.  The best we can do is disguise ourself as somebody else which is not the same thing.  So the wiser choice is to be ourself.  That doesn’t mean we can’t recognize that we are not perfect and can stand to improve, but we don’t improve by trying to be someone else.  We can emulate someone else, we can follow their example, but not try to be someone else (I really think Anna Nicole Smith doomed herself by deciding to be “The new Marilyn Monroe” rather than herself).  We change all the time and, hopefully, we direct that change toward improvement, but improvement of ourselves, not trying to be someone else.

Share

Controlling Others

    If we are honest, we will admit that we all like to control others to some degree. We may not call it that. We may say we want others to agree with us. Or we want others to act like us. But, whatever we call it, what we’re taking about is controlling. 
    Controlling is not necessarily a bad thing. It depends a lot on both the how and why. When we control others by torture, imprisonment, or threats, that is wrong. When we manipulate them into giving us their hard-earned money when we don’t really deserve it, that is wrong. What is right, is when we control people with love and understanding and do it to achieve the Will of God, not our own egotistical desires. We do it simply by sending thoughts of love, peace, tolerance and forgiveness to others.

Share

Kindness Comes Naturally

    A few years ago, psychology researcher Felix Warneken conducted some experiments into kindness or helpfulness with toddles about 18 months old.  The toddlers watched him perform a number of tasks correctly, and then with difficulty.  He dropped clothespins, knocked books onto the floor, etc.  When these “accidents” happened, each of the 24 toddlers tried to help.  They picked up the clothespin and handed it back.  
    Since these toddlers were too young to have been taught kindness by anyone, the conclusion we have to come to is that being kind and helpful is part of our nature.  Yet many older kids and adults are not kind at all.  This study indicates that this lack of kindness has to be a learned behavior.  Learned when others don’t show appreciation for our acts of kindness or when others don’t show kindness toward us.  But refusing to be kind and helpful is against our nature, so when we act like that, we are acting against our true nature and that causes harmful stress.  So if you have forgotten how to be kind and helpful, today is the time to learn again.

Share

Spiritual Symbols: Halo

    A halo or nimbus is often depicted above the head of a holy person.  This started as a symbol of solar power or the sun itself and was often depicted over the heads of solar deities.  Over time, this symbol came to indicate God’s Light shining forth from within a person.  
    Halos come in various shapes and sizes and, while some of that is just due to the artist’s choice, different shapes and sizes can actually have specific meanings.  A round halo is supposed to be used over the head of a holy person who is dead, physically anyway.  A square or hexagon halo is used for a living saint.  A square halo can also represent the total Godhead.  A triangular halo represents God the Father.  A halo around a Phoenix is symbolic of solar power and immortality.  A double nimbus represents the dual nature of the world.  
    In Hindu symbology, the fiery nimbus around Shiva represents the cosmos.  In Buddhism, the red halo around Buddha represents solar energy.  In Greek and Roman symbology, a blue halo represented a sky or solar god.  In ancient Egyptian art, Ra is usually depicted with a solar disk over his head which is essentially a halo.  In Christianity, a dove with a three-barred halo represents the holy spirit.  
    The halo fell out of fashion in western art for centuries.  Mystic poet and artist William Blake tried to bring it back by using them in his art, but few other artists followed his example although some say that the lines around his head in some of Van Gogh’s self-portraits  are intended to give a hint of a halo as a representation of inner power or fire.

Share