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archived letters from kat

the emotional feelings network of sites!

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un•fair
adj.

1. not fair; not conforming to approved standards, as of justice, honesty, or ethics: an unfair law; an unfair wage policy.
2. disproportionate; undue; beyond what is proper or fitting: an unfair share.

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What to Do When Life Seems Unfair

 

What do you do when nothing is going your way? Do you ask, "Why me?" or do you look for what your life is trying to tell you? How you choose to respond to the difficult things that happen to you can mean the difference between a life of anger…or joy.

Spiritual counselor Gary Zukav says that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is your spiritual growth. Find out what you can do when life takes a turn that just doesn't seem fair.

Get to the Heart of the Problem

 

Take Responsibility
According to Gary Zukav, how you choose to respond to difficult life circumstances is at the core of what life on Earth is about. You must take genuine responsibility for:

 

Who you are

What you do

What you contribute while you are here


Are You a Victim?
If you believe that life is unjust, you are declaring yourself to be a victim. A victim resists her life, rather than looking at it realistically and moving on from that point. Consider the possibility that everything that happens to you is an opportunity to expand into a fuller potential, and a more powerful and meaningful life.

Change Your Perception
Thinking of life as unfair is only one perception, and it is not necessarily the way your life is. Realize that while you cannot control the things that happen to you, you can control how you react to them.

 

Don't Be the Victim

Many of us tend to ask, "Why me?" when we are experiencing some pain in life and allow ourselves to become a prisoner of that pain.

 

  • Trust that there may be something meaningful, powerful and purposeful happening.
  • Declaring yourself as a victim may only perpetuate the experience and your pain.


Why do bad things happen to good people?
Gary says, "The world around you does not deceive you. It does not lie to you. What you experience reflects a creative or created impulse within you.

"The question is not 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' There are not bad things and good things. There are consequences of choices made. There are effects of causes in which you participated.

"So if you look at your life and say, 'But I'm a positive person, why is it that these things are now happening to me?' Well, there's several ways to look at this. Number one is, if you were to wake up in your life today, you would still experience what you have created in the past. This is karma. Energy is energy, and you cannot escape it — and there's a good reason for that."

If you feel that the Universe is unfair, it will be unfair. No matter what happens to you, nothing is unfair. The Universe doesn't judge you, so why should you judge it?

  • When you blame others and view yourself as a victim, you create negative karma.
  • What you see in others is what you need to see in yourself. If you are surrounded by angry people, you are probably an angry person, too.

 

Shift the Way You See the World

If you consider that there may be meaning in the disappointments of life and that the universe is compassionate and wise, you will be able to open yourself to authentic power—the real power within yourself.

 

Learn to control your negativity. Your life does not have to be unfair.

You need to put yourself in a place of surrender. Be open to the possibilities that can change your life—they may bring you a greater sense of joy and fulfillment.


Consider the "bad" event in your life as a wake-up call to truly appreciate your life as it was. Ask yourself, "What am I supposed to learn from this?" Once you surrender to your anger, you will find room for other things in your life.

Dealing with Pain

  • You should be gentle with yourself and realize that the pain may be part of your spiritual growth.
  • You should not judge another's pain.
  • Your perception of what is happening will determine your outlook on life.

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Good News for Bad Days
by Father Paul Keenan

Chapter One

 

You Can Get There from Here

 

"I have all this success. What I don't have is a life!"

 

The young executive sitting across the dinner table from me was the picture of prosperity. Youthful, handsome, in radiant health, he appeared to be enjoying the good life.

 

No one among his closest friends or business associates would have dreamed of his uttering those words. To be sure, he was the envy of many of them. Yet there he was, candidly admitting that something very important was missing. What was missing, he was telling me, was his life.

 

As I listened to him, I knew what he meant. I have at times watched my own life spin away from me in a flurry of appointments, deadlines, trains to catch, programs to prepare, things to do. There have been times when, like my dinner companion that evening, I too have wondered, "Where is my life?"

 

When that question rears its ugly head, I often feel like I'm caught in one of those nightmares where I try and try to get out of a burning room or to run away from a monster, but I can't find the knob to open the door.

 

The harder I try, the closer to danger I feel. I want desperately to get to safety, but the message of the dream haunts me "You can't get there from here."

 

How do we get to the place called soul when we feel trapped in our lives?

 

One of the most important discoveries of my adult life has been the discovery of my having options.

 

I was in my thirties, I guess, before I began to become aware of that ongoing feeling of defeat that comes from a sense of being trapped.

 

For a long time, I couldn't put it into words - it was just there. As time went on, I became angrier, more irritable, for no apparent reason. When I was finally able to find the words to express what I was feeling, I realized that I had spent my life doing what other people wanted me to do and not doing what I wanted.

 

What did I want? I didn't know. I honestly didn't know. All I could tell you was that I wasn't happy.

 

Looking back on this experience from the vantage point of 15 years, it's easy to see where it was leading. Now I know that I was being led out of dreams of academia, out of my life in the Jesuits, into the life of a parish priest in the Archdiocese of New York, into communications and radio and public speaking and writing, into a life of real freedom.

 

But back then, I didn't have a clue about any of that.

 

In fact, had I, in my unfocused anger and dissatisfaction, up and changed my life to the one I have now, I still wouldn't have found my soul.

 

The real change had to be made within. And as I can see 15 years later, it had to be made in a very special way, not by arbitrarily changing everything all at once.

 

At the time, however, I had no such clarity of vision. I felt that I was groping around in a pea soup fog. I felt like a failure and I felt that others thought of me as a failure.

 

Would I ever be able to get out? Would I ever amount to anything?

 

The key that opened the door to my soul for me was the realization that I could make choices and that I had options.

 

Now, that sounds like the silliest thing in the world. Of course I'd been making decisions all my life. No one had walked beside me through life holding a shotgun to my head. But telling myself that my feelings were silly didn't make them go away. I had to take time and find out what they had to say.

 

As I listened to my feelings, I realized that over the years, I had developed a lack of confidence in my ability to make choices and that more often than not I'd learned to make decisions based on the strong beliefs of others as to what was right for me.

 

Deep down, I had come to the point where I felt that I couldn't change my life, that I was stuck with it, that I had to suppress my own wishes. I didn't know clearly what my own wishes were.

 

The most important learning for me was that in almost every situation in my life, I had a range of options I could consider. When I was asked to do particular things, there was a variety of ways for me to respond.

 

I learned that in order not to feel trapped, I had to stop and ask myself, "What are my options here?" and look for 2 or 3 different ways to respond.

 

Down the road, this helped me a great deal in making the important decision to leave the Jesuits and to become a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Before, I might have sulked angrily and held on, or at some point thrown everything over in utter frustration.

 

Now I could slow down, take my time, look at various ways of dealing with my situation and decide calmly and serenely what to do.

 

The upshot was that I made better decisions. In the long run, something even more wonderful happened. Instead of being resentful and angry, I discovered a growing peace of soul.

 

When we're stuck in life, feeling angry and resentful and trapped, we can ask ourselves, "What are my options here?"

 

Doing that, we can make our world open up, with new horizons. Plus, we get in touch with the movement of our soul deep within us.

 

It's sad that more of us don't realize that the soul has a voice that calls and guides us throughout our lives. The good news is that more people are turning within for soulful guidance. The soul is the Godlike aspect of ourselves whereby we can say that we're made in God's image and likeness.

 

When we feel trapped, stuck in our lives, the feeling is a cry for help. It's the cry of a soul that's being muffled. When we feel abandoned by others, abandoned by God, often it's our soul crying to be unshackled.

 

What are some of the symptoms of that cry?

 

One symptom is fatigue. We find ourselves tired, exhausted.

 

Our energy is being taken in the wrong direction, or is trapped in a vicious circle.

 

After a while, we become spent. Our energy is blocked.

 

Often we find it difficult to sleep and to replenish our energy and we find ourselves turning to artificial means of stimulation in an effort to replace the energy that has been spent.

 

Anger can be another sign of being stuck. When we're caught in a pattern of activity, of habit, of need, we may find ourselves increasingly frustrated over our situation.

 

We may feel we're working very hard and getting nowhere. We may feel that the goals we strive for are eluding us while other people are achieving theirs easily.

 

We may begin to blame others for our apparent lack of success and may find ourselves becoming easily impatient or hurt by the words or deeds of others.

 

We may feel that life is unfair, that we're getting bad breaks, that people are out to get us. We're angry and if our anger is deep-seated enough, it can become blind rage.

 

Another sign of being stuck is restlessness. We speak of feeling "at sixes and sevens" or "at sea."

 

We're adrift in life and don't know where to turn.

 

Desperate for a safe port or haven, we may find ourselves making foolish mistakes, turning to substances that or people who in the long run don't prove helpful to us.

 

We experience a lack of direction, almost as if we don't know where we come from or where we're going.

 

When we're stuck, we often find ourselves being fearful. We're afraid of losing what we have. We're afraid we won't get what we want. We're afraid of what others will think of us. We're afraid of success. We're afraid of failure.

 

In time, we become afraid of our own shadow. Fear keeps us stuck in our ruts. We're afraid to get out and we're afraid that we'll not be able to get out.

 

Stuck in our ruts, we may find ourselves becoming bored. Being stuck, our horizons are limited and after a while we begin to feel we have nowhere to go. There's no escape, no exit, no matter where we look.

 

Worse, there seems to be no point in our pursuing anything else. Boredom of this kind can lead to depression.

 

If those are the feelings that are associated with being stuck, what might be some of our reactions to those feelings?

 

A prime reaction is denial. Just as there is inertia in physical objects, so there's inertia in souls. We don't want to know that we're on a dead-end street.

 

Having worked long and hard to get where we are, we're certainly not inclined to be told that all our efforts have landed us in a cul-de-sac. "It's just a passing phase," we tell ourselves.

 

"It's only a slump. Everybody has them. Things will pick up in a day or two." We'll do almost anything to avoid having to change our present patterns in any kind of deep way.

 

Sooner or later, denial gives way to a vague murky feeling, an obscure malaise. Something isn't quite right and we're beginning to feel it.

 

Strange, we're doing the same things we've always been doing; but now there's no satisfaction, or certainly less satisfaction. We find ourselves sort of mucking around in life, kind of restless, at odds and ends.

 

At this point, we've to come to a decision about what's going on with us. Either we're going to live with the restlessness and the present situation, or we're going to do something about it.

 

Living with it will eventually lead to a kind of cynicism or even depression, the feeling that we're on the short end of life's beneficence.

 

The bounty of life, the realization of the heart's desires, is something that happens only to other people, not to ourselves. Believing this, we can become jaded, feeling that somehow life is out to get us.

 

For a long time, this can be a vague belief that we just live with. Eventually, it may become a firm belief, one that we acknowledge and defend. "One of these days, we'll win the lotto," we tell ourselves.

 

But we really don't believe it.

 

When it gets to this point, we have a decision to make. Either we're going to accept our malaise as an ongoing conflict or we're going to perceive it as an invitation to change.

 

And indeed, there's the rub. When we find ourselves getting stuck, we eventually have to make a decision about where that is going to take us. Will we stay stuck, or will we look for options?

 

When we choose to listen to the messages that we're receiving from our soul and pay attention to the ways in which we've been reacting to those messages, we awaken to our possibilities.

 

Instead of mucking around, doing the same old thing and growing ever more hopelessly tired of it, we unshackle the soul and allow it to be free.

 

When this happens, an interesting change takes place. Whereas before we ignored our symptoms or viewed them as obstacles to our getting anywhere, now we treat them as important messages to be listened to, as potential bearers of clues for our journey in life.

 

There is a story in the Book of Genesis about a stranger who commences to wrestle with Jacob. Jacob appears to be winning, so the stranger proceeds to dislocate Jacob's hip. Since he's still losing, the stranger begs Jacob to let him go.

 

Jacob replies, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Jacob then learns that he has been wrestling with God.

 

There are 2 remarkable things about Jacob's story. One is the tremendous strength with which he defends himself, a strength that doesn't go away when Jacob suffers.

 

How often our suffering brings out a strength in us we didn't know we had. The other is that in the midst of his wrestling and his suffering, Jacob refuses to end the match unless he receives a blessing from the one who is wrestling him.

 

When life wrestles with us, what if at the same time we were to wrestle with all our might and ask a blessing from the one we're struggling with?

 

Viktor Frankl, suffering the horror of the concentration camps, finds strength in Nietzsche's words

 

"Anyone with a why to live for can put up with almost any how,"

 

and finds a meaning for himself even in the depths of darkness. St. Lawrence, in the midst of being martyred on an excruciating grill, tells his torturers,

 

"Why don't you turn me over now? I think I'm done on this side,"

 

and finds humor as well as sanctity in the flames.

 

Whether it be in the loving commitment of a parent raising small children, in the constant bedside presence of a wife to a dying husband, in the struggle of a professional man or woman to remain honest at work as he or she struggles to make a living and support his or her family - wherever suffering rears its head and demands sacrifice, there Jacob wrestles and there Jacob asks a blessing before the battle can end.

 

Stuck in suffering - as we will find ourselves at least once in our lifetimes and perhaps for an unbearable length of time - we become unstuck only when we face the suffering for the messenger that it is, engage it and ask it to bless us.

 

Looked at from the viewpoint of soul, being stuck in suffering has a special importance, a special place in human life. It teaches us that, viewed rightly, our symptoms and our soul can work together.

 

Rather than being occasions of panic and discouragement, our points of being stuck are what we bring to the table of life. They're the data of our lives, no more, no less. The experience of being stuck gives us the opportunity to pause, to reflect and to map the journey we've been undertaking and to seek our options.

 

And that's a very important thing for us to do. When we experience ourselves being stuck, instead of digging ourselves ever deeper into the trench, we can take time to examine where we have been and to ask ourselves whether there are new options for us.

 

Have we accumulated more and more dead weight in our souls?

 

Are there some things, some persons, some places we need to release?

 

Are there patterns of behavior that we need to change?

 

What possibilities for new life lie ahead?

 

The feeling of being stuck need not be a destructive one. In and of itself, it's no more than a record of what has happened in our lives and a cry for the future.

 

We can take the opportunity to ask ourselves what limits we want to surpass, what new directions we want to pursue.

 

It can be a call to adventure, to new horizons and new life. You can get there from here.

 

1998 by Father Paul Keenan

Life Is Unfair

 

I grew up in a small town, where everyone knew everyone else’s business. It seemed that people were always whispering about my family. They sometimes called my mother names. They said that I was illegitimate. It was even said that my father was a fool.

I was initially rejected by my father. My mother felt disregarded and emotionally scorned for many years after my birth. Because of her fears, she tended to be overprotective of me. I grew up feeling continuously misunderstood. I guess I was always different from my peers. Even my own family questioned my motives and actions.

Feeling love and needing love, I tried to please others. My mother considered me thoughtful. My father thought that I needed to “toughen up.” My younger brothers and sisters were jealous and my friends ridiculed me. Life was difficult.

My father insisted that I learn the family business. He believed in hard work and expected me to someday follow in his footsteps. He died prematurely, and being the oldest, I was expected to care for the family. This was a most emotionally difficult and financially unsettling time for all of us.

While I was good at my trade and worked long hours to provide for the family, I grew up restless, believing that I had much more to offer the world than this.

One day I walked away from it all. I left the family business to the care of my brothers, who I had sufficiently trained. I didn’t ask. I didn’t complain. I just knew that it was the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.

 

The townspeople thought me irresponsible and inconsiderate of my mother, who had always loyally stuck by me through thick and thin. The gossip grew worse as I left home entirely. I traveled from town to town and place to place, accused of being an itinerant vagabond by some, and an insane rebel by others.

I was in sales. I communicated ideas, thoughts, principles, and all manner of truths that people desperately needed to hear, understand and apply. I always meant well, but was not always received well. My ideas were fresh, yet aged. While they weren’t entirely new, they were communicated with a somewhat uniquely relevant twist.

I sought to help many, yet it was few who understood. I soon gained a support group of sorts. These were people from varied backgrounds, mostly poor, who somehow believed in me and my ideas. It wasn’t because I particularly sought them, as much as they seemed to be seeking me. Funny, I had never experienced this kind of popularity growing up.

But even this temporary popularity had its price. Some people feared me. Some accused me falsely of saying things I had never said. Some sought to hurt me, even physically. It’s strange how the revelation of truth is so penetrating that it is discomforting. And how amazing it is, that if you deliver truth wrapped in love, I mean real, unselfish, totally surrendered, sacrificial love, people are suspect of your motives, spiteful of your success, and hateful of your plans.

Many became so emotionally unnerved by my mere presence, they sought to publicly discredit me. Some became so afraid of my ideas that they plotted to arrest me. And yes, some who I had rescued, helped, and loved dearly, abandoned me when their purposes were not mine.

Finally, in the end, I unfairly paid the ultimate price of integrity. I was shunned, rejected, discredited, laughed at, spit upon, whipped with nail-laden straps, forsaken, beaten, hammered and suffocated to death.

My body was dead and buried. But the ideas, hopes, dreams and assurance that I shared were resurrected in such a way that my Spirit and your spirit were blended together when you accepted me and chose to walk in the Truth.

Yes, my child, life is unfair. I will attest to that.

But if I had to pay the same excruciating price for your eternal freedom and relationship with me all over again…I would do it.

Why? Because you are worth it, and because I love you…forever.

 
Author Unknown

Setting High Personal Standards
By Steve Brunkhorst

 

In his book, "The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness," author Greg Anderson wrote, "Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to."

 

He also reminded us that, "When we change our perception we gain control. The stress becomes a challenge, not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable."

 

There are times when it's easy to feel overwhelmed and trapped by situations that we'd rather not face. These situations might even be extremely unfair.

 

It's easy to focus on how terribly unfair someone might have treated us. It makes sense to believe that unfair things should not be happening. Simply pretending that a problem doesn't exist is much easier than dealing with it directly. However, stress builds, the situation doesn't change, and it might grow worse.

 

In fact, focusing on the way things should be instead of dealing with the way they are can lead to disaster, both physically and emotionally.

 

Winners set high standards for dealing with problems. They set rules for what they will accept and expect from themselves and others. They realize that it won't work to stay on a road of denial, and it won't work to lash out against unfair situations by resisting what is true. They have a much more workable plan.

 

Indeed, winners keep a positive outlook. However, they know that they must do much more than simply think in a positive way. They mobilize resources and prompt new solutions. Self-confidence and courage allow them to take responsibility for situations, and take well-planned problem-solving actions.

 

When a solution is not possible, they take valuable lessons from the event. They know there is tremendous life-time value in all experiences.

 

Ask yourself: What are my standards for dealing with problems? What are my boundaries for the behaviors, attitudes, and actions I will accept from myself and others? What are the highest standards that I will expect myself to live by at all times in each important area of my life?

 

Establishing and living with high personal standards can prove to be a tremendously liberating and life-changing move. It can help in making wise and informed choices. It can assist us to experience more peace, contentment, and prosperity today and throughout the years to come!

 

About The Author (C) Copyright 2004 by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve coaches talented individuals who want to enhance their sense of personal empowerment, self-confidence, and creativity. He is also the editor of Achieve! Ezine, inspiring, motivating, and entertaining 60-second nuggets to lighten up your day, and help you reach a greater level of achievement. Steve invites you to visit his website today at http://www.achieveezine.com/

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