The Meaning of Living- According to Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

One of my favorite Comedians has always been Jim Carrey, and Dumb and Dumber has been one of my all time favorite movies. I had previously heard that Jim Carrey is brilliant, and I had thought it was one of those things people say about someone. Today I had the privilege of listening to a Speech he gave at a University this year. I think it’s the most succinct compilation of thoughts I’ve ever heard that gives a glimpse of what Life is about. I took down a few of the ones that touched me, because they reflected the path that my life is on currently.  I highly recommend that you look at the video: Full Speech: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

(The following is a few of the Quotes he gave in the speech, along with a few of my thoughts and why I think what he said is noteworthy)

  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love (For me I see people living life according to what they think society and others want them to do, and many of them seem soo unhappy. So why not do something that you’re passionate about, something that makes you feel alive and vibrant at your core)
  • Live your life asking how can I have an effect on the world while I’m here?
  • Ask how can my gift change the world, not what can the world do for me.
  • What if people see me without my mask! (The lesson here is to not let fear and the EGO stop you from being your authentic self)
  • To find peace you first have to let the Armour go. (Instead of fighting against who you are, your authentic self, stop worrying about what the world thinks. The masks we wear prevent us from achieving full happiness. To find peace within ourselves, we must let go of all of these things)
  • Our need for acceptance, can also make you invisible. (We’re constantly striving to feel wanted and accepted, but as we continue to look to others to bring us satisfaction, we find that the goal is always moving. We continue to try, but can never accomplish what we set out to do. This race makes us loose our uniqueness, and we become invisible, we’re no longer our true selves)
  • To find Peace we must let our Light shine through, and take the risk to let ourselves be seen. (Remembering that we all have a gift, something unique that we bring to the world, that is our light, our beacon. Be must be willing to be seen with our flaws, our shortcoming. While recognizing that we bring a talent, a gift to share with the Universe. As Brene Brown would say, we must be willing to be vulnerable)
  • Don’t let Wealth, Fame, Prestige … distract you from your true purpose in life, which is to let your Light shine through!!
  • There should be nothing more important in this world than you. (Learn to embrace and invest time into perfecting your gift)
  • Don’t let your EGO(the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough) fool you, know that you already possess everything you want, believe it and it will come to pass.
  • Stop worrying about how your dreams will come through, just believe, and don’t get caught up on what the vessel looks like. If you miss your chance, the Universe will find a way to bring it back around again.

With each passing day, it’s ammazing what we can find that helps define our path. I’m happy that I’m at a stage in my life that I’m able to learn about these things. After all in the end I’d like to know that I’ve lived my life, and that I’ll be satisfied with what I’ve done. This is just one small stem towards that future. Thank you Kathleen for first posting this, and for guiding others to find their light.

 

 

 

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Hindsight is 20/20, and so is HOPE!!!

Hindsight

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “Hindsight is 20/20” I think the same thing can be said about hope. Over the past week I’ve been hearing the same message about hope, but what is it? Why should we be hopeful? According to dictionary.com. Hope is: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidencethe feeling that  what is  wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. It takes confidence to be hopeful, confidence in yourself and your path. For me life is about balance, between past, present, and future. Between good and evil, positive and negative. Sometimes life is also about the grey areas, it’s not just Black and White. I was reading a post and came across a bible verse that I wanted to share.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.  “Rabbi,” his John 9disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,”  Jesus answered.  “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9: 1-3

 

Before I get more into talking about being hopeful, I thought it was good to get a little context. Sometimes our understanding is clouded by wrong beliefs. As we see from the example above, Jesus’s disciples thought the blind man was suffering because he did something wrong. As Jesus pointed out, suffering can also be a great opportunity for Love, grace, and miracles. I understand that all may not agree with the example I used, because not everyone agrees with my religious views, however please bear with me for a bit longer. Religious convictions can be some of the strongest, but even with religion we can still have wrong beliefs, and I believe that this example is one that demonstrates that point. But what does this have to do with hope? Just as Jesus’s disciples saw suffering as the result of some type of wrong doing, I believe it’s the same lie many of us tell ourselves. Life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, it can be a bit of a roller coaster. Although things happen to us, it’s not always a result of bad behavior, we’re not being somehow cosmically punished for our past mistakes.

Last week I read a post from thedailylove.com that reminded me that life is also full of nuances. In her post Donna Gates asks Are you Positive or Negative? At first I was a bit taken back by her post, because she suggested that we shouldn’t use those labels. After reading further I realized that she was on to something, sometimes we limit ourselves, and holding on to labels can do that. As I mentioned above life is sometimes nuanced, bad things may happen, and it’s not always a direct result of something we’ve done. In many cases, bad things can lead to victories, triumphs, and life changing revelations. The end of a romantic relationship, could lead to us finding ourselves, and then finding someone that’s better suited for us; but first we have to release ourselves from the old way of thinking.

The other important aspect of Hope is the past. If you’ve been in a similar or worse situation, it gives you confidence. From your past experiences you gain the strength to overcome other situations in the future. As I was jogging last week, I recalled a time in my life when I wasn’t sure what would happen next. Was I going to find meaningful work, will I ever find love, will I have enough money to pay my bills? As those thoughts slowly resurfaced, I realized that although I hadn’t found that “Great Job” financially I’m much better off now, and as for love, I’m learning to love myself. There are many things I consider myself to be; a positive person, an optimist, are among those labels. I also recognize though that there are many other nuances, I’m learning not to let my EGO mislead me. To not get a false sense of confidence, to recognize that my happy moments are giving me strength for the unhappy ones. By seeing where I’ve come from, it gives me strength to endure the day ahead. While I can say that I don’t suffer from depression, I do have my moments when I feel doubt and gloom come over me. In those moments though I’m able to reflect on where I’ve been, and with the help of those who love and care for me, and my faith of course, I’m able to pick my head up again. What I’m not saying is that I live with my head in the clouds, I don’t think that Life is always about lollipops and rainbows, but that it’s nuanced; and recognizing that saves me from inner turmoil.

Tools and practices to be more hopeful:

  • Life is not just black and white, sometimes it’s about the grey areas also. Recognizing where your beliefs are centered is the first step.
  • Your past experiences give you confidence for the future. Experience builds confidence, when facing a difficult situation, ask yourself what other similar situations have you faced before? Chances are you’re here now because you’ve survived past experiences.
  • Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean that you think things are always going to work out. Sometimes some challenges aren’t meant to be overcome, they are there to show us our limits.
  • Going through a bad experience doesn’t mean you’re being punished for something. Although there are consequences to our actions, that rule doesn’t apply to EVERYTHING. Sometimes some experiences are an opportunity for Love, Grace, Mercy, and Life Lessons. Learning to recognize the difference is an important aspect of having hope.

Hope

Is it a Good idea to push the Easy Button!!

Easy Button

 

I’ve been on a particular theme for the past few weeks now, and it seems it’s not time to let go of it just quite yet. It’s the notion that I have to be willing to put in the work to reap the benefits. Not surprising the sermon from church added a few more layers to my flow of thoughts.

Have you ever been in a challenge that was so tough you didn’t think you could get through it on your own, and you finally asked “God please help get me through this!” But to your dismay the problem still persisted, and in some cases it got worse before it was finally over? It left you feeling drained and completely exhausted, do you find yourself asking how come you still had to go through the problem. So a few questions for you to consider, because for me I think it’s a matter of perspective. When faced with challenges, do you believe that they are there to cause you to fail? Do you believe that sometimes you face challenges because it’s building you up for something greater to come? When you asked for help to get through the problem, did you actually want to get THROUGH it or AROUND it.

Dictionary.com defines through as: in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other; from one to the other of; over the surface of, by way of, or within the limits or medium of.

For a Biblical perspective, we read in Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. – ESV

Sometimes if we’re not clear of our intentions it’s easy to have a misunderstanding. From the 2 references alone above, we see that getting through a challenge means that the challenge will persist, but you will survive. In contrast going around something means that we avoid it completely. When we ask to get through a challenge, do we actually mean we’d like to get around it? I know that with myself included what I’d like to do is get around the challenge, but also gain all the benefits as if I had endured it. Do you find that you sometimes adopt this philosophy too?

For me with every new challenge I face, it’s my belief that it’s preparing me for something, or perhaps there’s a lesson to be learnt, we just have to be open to it. In the past week I feel that I’ve increased my overall satisfaction and happiness with my life because I changed my perspective.

  1. I’ve stopped looking for the Perfect … I’m learning to embrace what’s actually in-front of me. If it’s something I don’t like, then move on to something else. Don’t get too hung up on what I don’t have.
  2. Understand that if I desire something specific, that I will have to work to get it.
  3. Remember that sometimes things don’t happen in my timing. Take for example the universe, I know there is debate about how long it took to create it depending on who you talk to; but it took time to make everything we see. Sometimes things may not come when I expect them to.
  4. Everything happens in due time. You don’t learn how to ride a bike the very first time you get on. It takes time patience and practice. If I want to become an expert, I can’t expect to do so without putting in a lot of time and devotion.
  5. Recognizing that I will always have support and guidance, I just have to be willing to accept it. No matter the obstacle, I have faith that if I’m to overcome it, I will have the help I need. Sometimes some challenges aren’t meant to be conquered, they are supposed to humble us.  

Life is messy and complicated, the future isn’t guaranteed, but what is guaranteed is that there will be challenges. We live in a world of opposites, having a positive attitude doesn’t mean you won’t have a negative attitude from time to time. Similarly once you find happiness, it doesn’t means that you can’t be in despair or pain anymore. Remembering that helps you to get in the right frame of mind, to know that things will always get better. As someone who writes, I see so many stories of others who have chosen to not let bad things effect them. I read a story last night about a young woman named Sara, here’s The Story of Sara Fry. Sara has transcended her illness and is literally living life to the fullest, if anone has the right to complain, it’s Sara. Yet she is choosing to not let an illness stop her from Living, we should all take a page from Sara’s life.

If I could be granted one wish in life, perhaps it should be to have courage like Sara Fry.

 

 

He is Risen!

Jesus is Risen

 I was planning to spend the day perhaps at the beach, going out and being out and about. Unfortunately I’ve had a long few days and I’m tired. While others are out enjoying Easter I’m recovering from my long week. All’s not lost, because as I sit here I started thinking about Easter, and the message I heard in Church yesterday. While I generally don’t lift entire parts from the Church message, I’ll make an exception this time, the academic in me is screaming plagiarism.

As I was thinking about the Easter holiday, I wonder how many people are celebrating it as the resurrection of Christ? Why is it now about Eggs, and Bunnies? The answer to those questions takes me to a place where I wanted to examine the Historical references of Fed-ex truckJesus and his life. There is a central point here, while there’s large disagreement among historians, they all seem to agree on a few facts. They agree that Jesus of Nazareth was real, and he was crucified. Where they depart is the resurrection, and that’s a central part of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, we’re not redeemed, and our sins aren’t forgiven. If Jesus didn’t die for our sins, and wasn’t resurrected the third day, then our faith is a lie. It’s interesting though, historians don’t disagree that his body can’t be found, they disagree that he was resurrected. That’s interesting to me, it reminds me of that old saying, “seeing is believing.” If I told you there was a hidden sign in the Fed-Ex symbol, would you believe me. Have you ever seen the arrow on the Fed-Ex truck? Belief is one of those amazing things, once you see it and believe it’s there, it’s hard to un-see it. That’s how I feel about my faith, I’ve seen God in my life and I believe he’s there, and now it’s hard to un-see him. For those who don’t believe there is a God, it’s mostly because they don’t see him. In the case of the sign on the Fed-ex truck not because you don’t see it means it’s not real, trust me it’s there and it’s obvious to me, but not because you don’t see it means it’s not real.

So why was the message from church so profound? For a reference read Luke 24: 13-34, it’s the story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus with a few of his disciples. This story took place the day after his resurrection. Just like the example of the Fed-ex truck, his disciples who should have obviously known him, didn’t recognize him. As my Pastor Steve summarized, there could be a few reasons for this:

  1. Heading the Wrong Direction (verse 13): When you’re focused on sin and the carnal desires of our human nature, it’s hard to see God in everyday situations. Sometimes even when he’s right in front of us, if sin is our central focus in life, it’s hard to see God.
  2. Consumed with our Lives (verse 17): Sometimes life is busy, with work, family, bills, kids sports practices etc. Life gets too busy and God becomes secondary. Life is complicated and we inadvertently forget to put God first.
  3. Personal Agenda for God (verse 21): Do you pray for God’s will in your life, or do you go to him with a list of demands praying “Ok God make this happen.” Are our lives modeled after God’s plan for us, or is it OUR plan for what God should do in our lives?

This story is a great example of perhaps why it’s impossible for everyone to see God. There’s historical evidence for his life, Science and medicine has thought us more about the conditions surrounding his death. While there is still skepticism about whether he actually died, if you examine the evidence for yourself, common sense tells you it’s impossible to survive such torture. What you’re lift with is the truth, and some people see that and refuse to believe.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. Only a fool despises a parent’s  discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise – Proverbs 15:2;5

Another way of seeing that passage is to think of it this way:

  • A wise person hears the truth and adjusts their behavior: Presented with the historical and biblical evidence for Jesus, they choose to believe that he’s real, and they adjust their behavior. They stop living a life of sin, they live a life that is according to the bible, and they’re intrinsically motivated to do it. They choose to live a life that’s not filled with sinful desires. Additionally I find it interesting that there are secular laws also pointing that some of the sinful acts noted in the bible, are harmful to human coexistence.
  • A foolish person hears the truth and adjust the truth to their behavior: When presented with the same evidence, dismisses it, not because they don’t believe it, but because it doesn’t support the life they already follow. Take for example living a life of partying and drinking, drugs, sex and all other desires. Some may hear that the bible strongly prohibits that kind of lifestyle, so they choose not to believe, why because they’ll have to stop that life. It’s interesting take any celebrity that has embraced the life of partying, sex, drugs and the likes. Even society thinks they’re on the wrong road.

So as you spend this Easter Holiday, are you celebrating it by hunting for Easter Eggs, or are you embracing that Jesus is real. Are you believing that he died on the cross for our sins, and that he was resurrected! Since historians don’t disagree that Jesus lived and suffered, then WHY would anyone endure this torture. As a side note think about the beating he received, and what it would be like to be crucified, it’s a brutal scene. Sorry hope I didn’t ruin our Easter meal.

Seeing is believing

Taking a Stand to find My Happiness!!

Happy

 

A friend of my recently told me that he really like the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and I can say that I get it, that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Knowing that despite everything that’s going on in my life, I’m putting my faith in God; I’m confident that he will see me through. Last week I had a conversation with my mom about some of these thoughts that are circling in my head. Although I don’t put all my energy and effort into these things, not having my own family, a stable career, or own a home; I feel as though I’m somehow lacking. Whenever I talk to my family from my home country it seems family, career, and children are very important. What you do when you have those things doesn’t seem to be a concern. Despite not buying into that definition of what success is, I have to admit that it does cause me to doubt myself. I’ve not accomplished those things, so does that mean I’m not successful? For me it’s more important to be an emotionally healthy adult, and to live a life like Jesus. Family, money, and career are only part of life, a very secondary part. I’m glad I had that conversation with my mom, she assured me that she understands my priorities in my life. That made me extremely happy. The older I get, the more I realize how wise my mom is, and did I mention all around awesome!

As I contemplate why I’m feeling stuck, and feeling like I haven’t achieved enough, I take time to put those thoughts in the right category. The conversation with my mom revealed a lot about my faith. She told me about time after time when we prayed for our needs to be met, and almost instantly God answered our prayers. Even recently, I wanted to take a class that my church was offering, but didn’t have the money. It was going to enhance my Spiritual Gift and help me to be a better resource for those who are hurting or in need. I prayed that I would somehow get the funds to take the class. On the last day to sign up, I received a check in the mail, apparently my employer didn’t pay me everything, and sent me a check. Many of the stories my mom told me, there was time after time when God showed up. I laugh because I think after time and time again of seeing God show up, how can I still doubt him.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you. Luke 17: 5-6 NLT.

Sometimes as believers we struggle to understand what God’s word is saying, but just think that even his disciples who were withMustard Tree him also struggled. In a later verse Jesus explains that although a mustard seed is very small, it yields a big tree with plenty of fruit. So that’s what our faith must model, with just a little faith we must yield great big things. So what is Faith anyway? Faith is believing in something that’s not seen, having confidence that something will happen in the future. In contrast what’s doubt? Doubt is the lack of belief, even though there may be evidence that should convince you otherwise. Doubt is a funny concept, for example we may hear the enemy tell us, “see God hasn’t come through for you when you needed him, he’s not real.” So if God’s not real then the enemy isn’t real either, but no he would have you think that he’s real but God isn’t! We live in a world of opposites, good & bad, light & dark, up & down etc. So it stands to reason that if God the positive or faith isn’t real, then the negative or the devil/evil doesn’t exist either. Next time you start to have those kinds of negative thoughts about God, see what happens if you use that argument. I’m willing to bet that some of your thoughts may subside.

Many believers struggle with this central question. If God is real, why does he let me get tempted. I’m not quite ready to debate that topic, but I did find this verse today:

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1: 12-15 NLT.

I think the verse says it all, we sometimes get too hung up on things and try to explain everything, so rest assured that God doesn’t tempt us; but yet we doubt. I’m not one of those people who feels sorry for myself. I’ve noticed a trend with emotions like shame, pity, and self-doubt. They put us in a state of in action, we don’t like the current situation, but yet we sit around and do nothing. In contrast self-confidence, faith, and hope puts us in a different state. Those emotions put us in a state of action, we want to get up and do something about our situation. We say “so what if my circumstances aren’t ideal” we get up and do something about it. So today I got up made a list of what I wanted to accomplish, and then I got up and did something about it. I’ll admit I did feel like just laying in bed a few times, then there was that voice “get up!” “Get Up!” “GET UP!” Ok I hear you I’m up.

So what about you, are you letting shame or doubt keep you in a state of inaction? Do you believe that you shouldn’t have faith because things didn’t go your way? Ask yourself what could I have done differently? Am I in a state of Action or Inaction? In order to actualize our dreams we must act. This is a cruel world we live in, nothing comes easily. As Christ followers, aside from his grace and love, we’re also guaranteed that the path isn’t going to be easy, that we will struggle. We are also promised salvation, and the hope of his eternal grace. As Christ followers we sometimes have to stand alone, to stand for what other people might think is a crazy idea. I made anew friend this week and she encouraged me to do something bold. Sometimes you have to “TAKE A STAND” you have to have faith like that little mustard seed. To have faith that God will come through for you, even though those around you who love you tell you know, you’re making a big mistake.

Will you TAKE A STAND with me, to not let the naysayers feed you with doubt and self pity. I’d love to hear how you’re taking a stand, send me your comments below.

Taking a stand