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Seven Secrets to Living a Happier (and Less Stressful) Life
We’ve all heard that some people tend to look at life optimistically with a “glass is half-full” approach. Others see life more pessimistically with the opposing “glass is half-empty” view. Those who are optimistic live happier lives because they realize that happiness is not a “thing” to be acquired, but a choice you make for yourself each and every day. Acquiring “things” to make yourself happy creates only a short-lived type of happiness. True, lasting happiness comes from deep within you and will attract all that you desire into your life. Strive for this type of happiness with the seven key steps below:
1. Avoid Complaining and Criticizing -- These produce a negative focus. Instead seek opportunities to praise others, to laugh and to practice kindness each day.
2. Become Non-Judgemental -- Judging others creates chaos in your inner dialogue. Instead strive for inner peace by learning to accept others as they are.
3. Practice Defenselessness – Relinquish the need to convince others of your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you release the burden of defensiveness and feel more relaxed, joyful and free.
4. Appreciate -- Begin to truly be thankful for all that you DO have! An easy way to practice appreciation and establish a positive focus is with a Gratitude Journal. Keep your journal beside your bed and write down five things you are thankful for each night before going to sleep. In no time you’ll realize just how much you already have to be thankful for.
5. Meditate -- Release resistance to your natural state of wellbeing by learning to quiet your mind. Going within promotes inner harmony
and will help you to experience more peace and tranquility in your life. The goal of meditation
is mindfulness which means living fully in the present moment without regretting the past or worrying about the future. Try centering yourself daily by lying quietly on your bed and focusing only on your breathing for 10 minutes, dismiss any thoughts that invade this quiet time and when your mind begins to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breathing. Its as easy as that!
6. Deliberately Choose Positive Thoughts -- Its important to realize that although you cannot control everything around you, you can control your own thoughts and reactions to outside stimuli. When you notice negative thoughts creeping in, pivot to a more positive, better feeling thought of something you would prefer. The key here is to think about what you DO want vs. what you do not want.
7. Have Faith -- People with faith are generally happier and more relaxed because they know that they are not alone. Learning to have faith, letting go and trusting that all will be well will lead to a deep sense of inner peace and to all you’ve been dreaming of.
Most of all remember that you are supposed to be happy and that the purpose of life is joy!
By Terry Marshall
You might argue rather convincingly say that such things are best left unsaid, that it's personal, that we should keep quiet about it, out of respect for the sensibilities of others.
Such a course of action, however, is really a denial of whom and what we are, and yet one more form of condemnation. It is a message that says our homosexuality is so shameful and disgraceful that not speaking about it is the best course of action. That silence is the only appropriate response.
This is the human affect of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We have the drive, the skills, the passion and determination to serve our country. Yet we have been denied that opportunity because we are homosexuals. In order to serve, we have been told, we must violate the very principles of the armed forces: You must lie. Our military stands to defend all that is great about
: diversity, equality, and freedom.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an affront to these core American values. DADT seeks
to silence diversity, it chokes out the principle of equality, and it violates
the freedoms of thousands of LGBT Americans who want to serve their country,
but are not allowed to do so. America
How can our needs be met when we are not even free to say what they are?
It's a bit of a spiritual cruelty to demand that homosexuals be dishonest, to praise honesty in others but condemn homosexuals for it. Why should anyone be so shamed of what they are that they would even consider trying to cover it up and pretend to be something different?
Our rights, which include the right to equality, freedom, to freedom of opinion, the rights to political freedom, and the right to remove oneself from trouble and oppression. The right to marriage, to protect one's honor, the right for privacy and security of private life.
I wonder, if it meant to include or exclude homosexuals. Do homosexuals, have the right to "dignity, and not to be abused or ridiculed"? Do we have the right to remove ourselves from "trouble and oppression"?
Or are these rights the exclusive property of heterosexuals?
By speaking the truth in these matters we can reach some conclusions, perhaps even go forward.
In speaking the truth, we can reveal who we are, and what we are, and what our needs are. What our hopes and dreams are. The world can begin to see that we as homosexuals want to be accepted and understood and be part of the community. We want to attend our local place of faith - we don't want to stay home due to fear or shame or indifference- we don't want to be left to fend for ourselves in the spiritual wilderness. We want the ability to get married and carry on committed loving, lifetime relationships in full view of the community - we don't want to be trivialized and marginalized and forced to find fleeting solace in discos and Western-style bars.
For homosexuals to be dishonest carries a heavy pricetag. We spend an enormous amount of time and energy maintaining a double life. Our feelings become split: in some situations, we are free to be ourselves; in other situation, we must put on our "straight" face and pretend to be heterosexual.
We complicate our lives needlessly. Parents continually ask when we will "get married" - we long to tell them the truth and put such questions to rest, but know, we cannot.
On and on it goes. We are continually pretending to be something we are not, trying to remember "who knows" and "who doesn't" and who is it safe to talk to and who is not. We are constantly juggling the truth with the lie depending on the situation and the place. One's entire life begins to revolve around the "dirty secret".
It goes deeper.
To live one's life with the knowledge or belief that we are unworthy, that we should be condemned, that there is something wrong with us, creates any number of emotions from sadness and shame to fear and rage, and can result in depression, suicide, despair, hopelessness, spiritual conflict and turmoil.
Because these feelings are never shared with loved ones especially parents, it cause all sorts of damage. Fear is what keeps us in silence.
But it's not just the fear of physical violence; it's also the fear of emotional and psychological violence.
What about young man or woman just entering adulthood? How do they, in the turmoil of adolescence, dare approach their parents, or even their friends, with such a secret that makes us feel dirty and a shame of who we are?
The truth will set us free. "The truth will set you free".
It is this facing facts and honesty that we need in the debate on homosexuality. As homosexuals, we need to be honest about who we are; and be able to address our concerns to our community; we need to be heard, and understood; we need compassion and love.
For its part, the world needs to be more educated about homosexuality. It needs to be aware of the consequences it carries in the lives of people like us when we are treated with disrespect. Policies of hatred and discrimination are directed at relatives, friends, and co-workers. These policies reduce the quality of life and happiness of all those involved. They weaken the community, and sometimes destroying relationships, friendships and families.
People you less expect are homosexuals… it can be a friend, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter, your mother, or even your father and you will not know it.
They are treated with love until you find out, then suddenly they’re different to you. Where is the love and respect we have for one another?…This world would be a better place if we love people for who and what they are, not what we want them to be!