October 12th, 2011
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Every day I try to maintain a positive attitude about life.  I remind myself that I am blessed for having family, friends, a home, a job and good health.  I tell myself that this day is unique and I have an opportunity to do something I didn’t get to do yesterday.  But it is still an anxious world we live in these days and we need to be aware of its’ toll on others.

I am certain that God has a plan for all of us.  I am sure there are people out there who don’t believe in God or any kind of higher being but that’s not me.  I truly believe that God watches over us and I try my best to be good and stay on the straight and narrow.  Of course staying on the straight and narrow would be a million times easier if I could learn to keep my big mouth shut.  But that’s another post…..


So instead of talking, I am working on listening.  I am learning that listening is a very valuable skill.  I think lots of people, myself included, carry around varying degrees of emotional and financial baggage and they’re not sure what it all means and how it’s going to turn out.  I’m not sure what God’s plan is for us right now but in the past week, I think God’s plan for me has been unsettling.  Last week, a male friend a few years older than me died suddenly, I found out today that a mother I know committed suicide and over the weekend I went to visit a family friend who just entered hospice care.

Comparing notes with a long-time friend about this, she said she knew what I meant because there are many of her friends right now who started taking medicine for anxiety or depression and doing all they can to keep it together during these tenuous times.

Life is fragile and that is all the more reason to hold on dearly to the people who matter most to you.  Whether those people are family, friends or both family and friends, life can switch gears very quickly.  I don’t know whether these things are happening more often because I have reached a certain age in life or because the economy is causing people’s anxiety levels to spike.  Maybe it’s a combination of both things but I am aware that there is a different vibe out there now and it’s not to be ignored.

Listening is a powerful tool.  I recently read that when you listen to people, really listen and not anticipate what they are going to say next, that sometimes they can hear the truth in what they are speaking, sometimes for the very first time.  When you listen you create space for someone to fill with their words, their thoughts.  When you are quiet you give the other person time to assess or process what is happening to them.

Listening is a gift.  Try it and see what happens.

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