28 Ramadan 2017: The Power of Prayer and Remembrance

In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was ‘Help me.’ Sometimes a prayer was ‘Thank you.’ What I’ve discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away. – Iyanla Vanzant

In these last 48 to possibly 72 hours of this blessed month, I urge myself and others to focus on asking god to help us find a way out of our challenges, bring us more of what blessings we seek and help us get closer to his mercy, wisdom and love.

Prayer is so powerful when done right; with honesty, goodness, purity of heart and intentions, along with a sense of certainty that our prayers will be answered.

Prayer through remembrance brings us closer to our creator, transcending all moments of despair as we reflect on god’s attributes and names.

Find a quiet space and focus on reaching as far up as possible with your soul and heart … ask him for peace, acceptance and tranquility within your heart that you can take with you everywhere you go and in every situation you encounter.

Ask him.

 

 

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27 Ramadan 2017: A Source of Despair from Within (2 of 2)

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself. ― Harvey Fierstein

As a follow-on to my previous post about sources of despair that are form within, the second one is not being who you are.

By not being who you are, you are denying yourself tasks that you feel closely align with your strengths. By not being who you are, you are denying yourself a long term dream and goal that is befitting to how you are meant to make an impact in the limited time you have on earth. By not being who you are, you are not receiving words of encouragement and support from those who truly care about your well-being and success.

This causes one to despair because one often finds themselves uncomfortable and restless for reasons that may not be clear leading to underachievement, productivity and personal satisfaction.

So, be who you are. Speak up. Hang out with people who are giving. Dream big and dream far.

In whatever job or situation you are in, actively work on moving into something that more closely aligns with your god-given strengths and don’t let external factors or circumstances make you give up on that. These circumstances may delay your plans, but don’t give up on them!

 

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26 Ramadan 2017: A Source of Despair from Within (1 of 2)

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ― Roy Disney

It is easier to naturally fall back onto an external reason as to why we despair, and we often forget that sometimes it is from within.

Besides generally engaging in negative internal dialogue leading to despair, there are two other internal sources of despair, one of which is not sticking to your values when making decisions or when faced with various questions and challenges in life.

Why does it lead to despair?

Because not sticking to your values means that you are making a decision you don’t want to make, and that leads to despair as you live out a decision you did not want.

However, while we aim to stay strong and stick to our values, the reality is that we may slip sometimes, so how can we avoid despair?

By remembering that even our wrong decisions happen for a reason and besides working hard to reverse such decisions or related consequences, what we experience is in our destiny and will eventually make us better people.

We learn, and we move on.

Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.― Mandy Hale

 

 

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25 Ramadan 2017: Patience

Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you’re waiting – Joyce Meyer

We can’t cover despair without covering patience.

You see, loss of hope means that whenever we face difficulty we get upset and often can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Even when we are able to convince ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we often want it to be closer to us, but that is something we may or may not be able to control, and that is where patience comes in.

Patience, often mistaken as a noun, is actually a verb. In other words, it pertains to an action taken and not just a mere description.

As an action, patience is about complementing the positivity that comes with seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with an internal dialogue that keeps talking of hope and controlling the outer tongue from complaining about the difficulty one is facing.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that we don’t speak about our difficulties with others we trust or are more knowledgeable than we are in order to learn more about what we can do to hasten the time of difficulty, I am talking about insistent complaining that neither produces action nor produces hope.

I ask god on this blessed day and night to give us the strength to be patient in bad times as we await relief and in good times as we may not recognize the goodness that befalls us.

Speaking of this blessed day and night, I remind myself first and others that these are the last five or four nights of this blessed month where good deeds are multiplied and goals are set for the next year … let us all make them count!

Let each of us, fasting or not, be the positive news in the world!

 

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24 Ramadan 2017: Don’t Wait … Just Start

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. – George Herbert

How many times have we found ourselves within a very busy period of time at work or in life with parents or with children or with limited time or money to actually do what we want. In what we want, I am talking about things that our hearts and minds literally shout for within ourselves but we try to ignore them because we “can’t” and we don’t see a “way”.

The truth is, we think we won’t be busy tomorrow and we can get started then or we think our parents or kids will not need much of our time tomorrow or we will have more money and and and. That might be true but the truth is that these are all priorities in our lives and will not stop or go away.

Our parents, our children, our work, our money and any other resources or blessings god has given to us, they are all a priority and we must be committed to them, but there is a calling and one must respond to that calling without delay with whatever we have access to today.

We just have to start and see where it takes us from there without any expectations.

This post is a call to recognize, listen and respond to the calling, you never know, maybe the calling is today because it is critical I take action today for success tomorrow as opposed to delaying things.

Start moving … even if slowly, start, you will always have an excuse, might as well start today.

 

 

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23 Ramadan 2017: Just when we thought

There used to be days that I thought I was okay, or at least that I was going to be. We’d be hanging out somewhere and everything would just fit right and I would think ‘it will be okay if it can just be like this forever’ but of course nothing can ever stay just how it is forever. – Nina LaCour

Can you relate to today’s quote? I certainly can.

Just when we think we can handle something challenging, something happens that blatantly shouts NOOOOOOOO.

As nothin in our lives are coincidental, I also happen to come across a talk about sadness blending it component so faith as well … and these are the tips that I thought I would share in this post for your benefit.

  1. Know that sadness will happen and even when good things happen, tough challenges will come up for this is life … life is a series of ups and downs … a series of thankfulness and patience … a series of joy and sadness … don’t be surprised
  2. Accept sadness, don’t fight it and just admit to yourself that you are sad and that is a right you have and let it be.
  3. Don’t befriend sadness even it is part of life. Move towards what is opposite to sadness … positive friends, positive environments, positive clothing, positive actions trying to get out of the “sad” situation
  4. Wait until the end … don’t assume the story has ended there especially when you have been unfairly treated or wronged as the root of your sadness. What goes around comes around even if we are not able to see it.

Life is full of sad moments … no one has been spared of sad moments, the key is to not befriend it, not complain about it, not to let it get into your heart.

Love life, live right and do good … and even if you think you are OK and sadness comes around again, it is OK … it is for a good reason.

You will be fine … I promise because god has promised we will be OK if our hearts are in a state of goodness.

 

 

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22 Ramadan 2017: Knowing Him

Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord. ― J.I. Packer

If you believe in a higher being who is responsible for our creation and our being on earth in whatever predestined periods of time unique to each of us, know that a lot of despair is circumvented, or at least reduced, by knowing our creator.

Practically speaking, despair is the state of being without hope … it is easy to see how knowing god and his attributes can help circumvent this feeling as his attributes provide the key reasons that resolve the root of the problem causing despair.

For example, if it is poverty or income, we call upon god as the generous provider for all and look around us for signs of his generosity that gives us hope that we will be OK.

If it is fairness and justice from others, we call upon god as the witness of all things and look for signs of his justice as those who have wronged others become more humble or those who have wronged others get exposed and pay the price for their wrong actions.

If it is the worry about the future more generally, we call upon god as the all-knowing and all-seeing and reflect upon our lives in how we often get blessings and opportunities that we did not expect or did not plan for in as simple as meeting our life partners.

God is the eternal … living … being … who is unlike anyone or anything we know.

What we know is that he is always there to help us in whichever way befits us.

 

 

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21 Ramadan 2017: Forgiveness

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. – Lewis B. Smedes

The definition of despair is the loss of hope and confidence. Despair is about pain, melancholy and sorrow.

One of the reasons of despair is people … people who hurt. People who abandon. People who disappoint. And the only way around that is to forgive and make peace with others.

Peace with others is looking back at what disappointed us and especially when the person in question is not directly hurtful, blame it on circumstances and the will of god.

Peace with others is about accepting people as they are, faults and all and not pick on what they did, said or didn’t say or didn’t do, just work around them, avoid putting them in a situation to hurt you and accept that we may not all like each other but we can accept each other.

Peace with others is recognizing those who are directly hurtful and avoid situations where we depend on them for anything and use words of respect and goodness and power of silence when dealing with them.

Peace with others is shifting the focus from others to ourselves and being generous with others in terms of sharing of knowledge, goodness and spreading of positivity.

May we find the strength within us to forgive others and not pick on what people do and don’t do and just walk on earth with peace in our hearts full of patience and mercy on all.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

20 Ramadan 2017: I think of …

He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. ― Arthur W. Pink

As we start the last third of this blessed month, I think of god’s mercy and love that enters our hearts when all else seems dark around us.

I think of god’s fairness in giving us all a set of strengths and talents that help us live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I think of god’s wisdom and knowledge that allows certain tribulations to take place yet gives us other matters that give us hope and positivity for the future.

I think of god’s kindness that no matter how long we take to count our many blessings, we would never feel like we captured them all.

I think of god’s beauty as I look around and see the beautiful flowers, the magnificent skies, the chirping of the birds and the many beauty colors and designs they have together with the butterflies.

I think of god’s forgiveness as no matter how far we go and how much we divert from doing good in this world, god is always ready for us to come back and live our best lives for ourselves and for others as well.

With an open heart and an open mind, I ask god to uplift us all and give us yet the greatest days ahead with blessings, love and peace of mind and heart.

 

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19 Ramadan 2017: It is time …

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs

We all know the state of the world these days, what we didn’t need is another tragedy. We woke up to the story of a burning building in London where many are believed to be in critical state or have moved on from this life. May those who have left their families and loved ones behind rest in peace.

What it did get me thinking about is how something like this awakens something in one’s soul that tackles despair…we have a limited time on earth and if it was our turn tomorrow, what have we left behind?

A good reputation? Helpful advice? Some charity? Knowledge? Anger? Materialistic behavior? Shallow advice? Envy? Greed?

We are what we leave behind … and we leave behind our words, our money, our work, our families, and our friendships … so are they in the condition we would like to leave it in?

We might not achieve what we hope to achieve but at least we can try and people know we tried.

It is time … it is time to be free of fears and expectations that are unjustified.

It is time … to go after what we want and share it with others.

It is time … to enjoy each other’s time while we still can.

It is time … to help those in need in whatever way we can.

It is time … to choose our words carefully.

It is time … to commit to excellence in whatever we set our minds to.

It is time …

 

 

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