Webster’s definition (directly copied from Webster’s dictionary).
Simple Definition of cheat : to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get
Hear the word cheat and some very vivid images come to mind; an unfaithful spouse, a scam artist, a dieter eating a candy bar, a student who didn’t study but many of us would say we don’t cheat. We might even say we’ve never cheated but upon closer introspection I think most of us would find we cheat everyday.
Whether it’s driving a little over the speed limit, forgetting to signal when we turn, saying we did something like take out the garbage when we actually haven’t done it yet. Or what about cheating our children of precious connection? That’s one of my biggest gripes. It never fails, I always see parents talking on their phones or playing with a tablet and completely ignoring their children. When we give our focus to unimportant things we are denying our children of what they deserve, an engaged and interactive parent. See definition #3-prevent someone from having something he/she deserves. We cheat.
Human beings crave connection. We aren’t meant to live without emotional connection to other human beings. Close personal relationships help protect against depression. But close, meaningful connections don’t happen without time and effort. We spend the most time on the things, people, experiences we value. Like the bible says, “where your treasure is (what in your life you deem important-it doesn’t have to be money) so will your heart be.
If tomorrow you had to make a list in order of where you spend your time and place your focus what would it look like? I’m not advocating quitting a job. But don’t cheat yourself and those you love out of a deep connection by being distracted and focused on the temporary things life has to offer.
Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice if I had only made one mistake but I’ve made many. From small ones to big ones, the mistakes that linger the longest are the ones from which I fail to learn something.
Mistakes if accepted, pondered and if necessary ask for forgiveness are really life lessons. How else would we learn some of life’s most important lessons if not from making mistakes.
I used to beat myself up relentlessly over mistakes. A soul can only take that for so long before it wants to give up. Slowly with the love and patience of my family, I have started to realize I can learn a lot from what happened to me and find my faith and joy again. Without those mistakes, I might not have turned back to God.
Most people wouldn’t use the word jeopardize on any regular basis. It infers peril, danger, loss. However I think we all make choices and decisions which jeopardize our health, happiness, family, jobs, security, faith etc. we just make the choices so quickly and typically we don’t think it will matter in the long run, but even choice we make or fail to make shapes our lives and impacts others.
My ex-husband chose to look at porn. He chose to go to strip clubs and erotic massage parlors. He didn’t make them all at once. It was one small decision to click on a link. One more choice to walk in a club because he was far from home. A decision to purchase sex because it wasn’t intercourse so it didn’t count. I believe if all of his choices had been piled up and placed before him before he had actually made them, he would have understood how much he would jeopardize. And what none of us realize is we place into jeopardy not just own happiness but the happiness of others.
What happens to the daughters who learn their father was wanted for being a sexual predator? Did he know he was jeopardizing his daughters’ ability to trust men when he made his choices? Did I realize I was jeopardizing my own security by standing by an untrustworthy man? Of course not.
None of us spend much time considering how our small daily choices impact our lives and the lives of others.
S-sharing a good laugh
M-material things not needed
P-positively joyful life
L-living in the moment
I- important moments
How do you rebuild your life? How do you take those first scary steps towards an unknown destination? You would think age would grant you clarity and maybe it does for some people. For me, with no clear destination I had in my youth, the rebuilding process is proving to be slow and difficult.
One step is all I can take, one step at a time. I must remind myself God can see my entire journey and He is the builder. God has faith I can rebuild my life.
He reminds me just because a husband, a wife, a family appears happy doesn’t make it true. Many people live false and unhappy lives on the inside while proclaiming joy and happiness on the outside. And as Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I must accept I can change the past. I only have the ability to do something today. My life can be rebuilt. It may not look the same or feel the same but it will still be beautiful.
Flourish is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary to mean: to grow or develop successfully, to move something in your hand in order to make people look at it:a big, noticeable movement. They also have a list of related words or phrases. So many times we lock ourselves into a definition and forget it can have a broader meaning. I think I do that with my life. I can lock myself into a life which I believe is destined to be boring, uninspiring, empty and half-lived. So using some of their related words and phrases (in blue) I will write with a flourish about my new life.
Since my divorce I am having to take a step forward in order to advance and evolve my life into something new. When I take the first step, my life will begin to flower and move forward . And when my life is flourishing, I can gather my achievements and continue to grow. It may take awhile but I will eventually have come a long way. It will take time to make headway and progress in order to regenerate and rise. But I know with certainty my new life will begin to take shape while I spread my wings. I will find my stride and live my life fully while it unfolds into a beautiful, compassionate, kind, joyous and spirit filled life.
WordPress Daily Prompt
That is a photo of a victorinox Swiss army knife. Approximately 130 years ago, Karl Eisener made the first Swiss army knife. Little has changed over the years. It provides you with the simple tools you need in everyday life and in a moment of need. Millions of people worldwide carry the little knife. It is an all-purpose tool. I wish there was an all purpose tool for dealing with everyday life and the challenges some of us face.
I won’t ramble on about the economic disparity in the world. I know it exists and I also know even in my current situation, I have it 1000% better than most people, at least the material sense of survival. But time and time again, some of the most economically successful countries don’t rank high on happiness tests. We’ve not had to face the simple question, how will I survive for so long, we lose focus. We chase after things which are temporary and will not last. Accumulations of wealth may make you comfortable, but it will never fill the void left in your heart.
I worry now about basic survival. Will I be able to pay my rent? Buy food? Afford healthcare? I also worry about the hole left in my heart. Will I ever find God again? Will someone ever love me again? Will I ever belong in a community again? My children believe my complaints about my lifestyle change and loss of material wealth is shallow. They don’t understand it is not the “things” I miss. I miss what those things represent safety, security, home, love and a life I built with a man who promised God and my own father he would take care of me until death do us part. He lied.
I am focused on survival. Focused on not letting my depression get the best of me. I am navigating an uncharted territory (for me) as a single, middle-aged woman who doesn’t like the idea of spending possibly 30 or 40 years alone. I want a life partner. I am trying to find a way to financially support myself. Every day right now is a survival test for me and I understand I am lucky these are my problems because there are far more serious survival challenges in the world faced daily by people just like me.
But you have to admit, wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool, like the victorinox Swiss Army knife for life.
Daily Prompt: Survival
Have you ever read a book that is timeless? I believe Poldark is just that.A book written in the 1940s about life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Cornwall, England. The struggles faced then are as relevant as the ones we face today. Ross Poldark is a soldier just returning home from a war which was lost. He learns not only has the love of his life, Elizabeth agreed to marry his wealthy cousin Francis but his father is dead and his small estate in ruin.
Heartbroken Ross pours himself into his farm and reopening the mine on his land. Unlike his cousin Francis and his wife Elizabeth, Ross was never separated apart from the people on his father’s land. He grew up with the sons of the miners. They were his friends despite the huge difference in their social status. Ross’s experience in the war has given him a clearer perspective on life and the injustices he sees everyday in Cornwall and England.
Miners are forced to poach game to keep their families from starving while the gentry live a life of luxury which is paid for on the backs of the workers, the miners. Justice is only justice if it serves the gentry well because while they say all are equal before the law, that is not how it is actually carried out.
Ross finds himself torn between what he knows in his heart is right and what the people of his class tell him is right. It is the unexpected love and faith he finds in a young girl, a miner’s daughter, that helps Ross find his way.
He stumbles. He fails. He succeeds. He’s torn between love for two women. He carries on doing his best.
Aren’t these the same challenges we face today? The divide between the rich and poor growing. The idea that some are born to succeed and others to fail. Aren’t we struggling to find true justice in our court systems? Not justice for some but justice for all? Aren’t we fighting for education, jobs and the disenfranchised? Aren’t we working to save the men and women who return from war some broken and scarred changed forever? For soldiers who can’t find employment and face poverty? Aren’t we seeking our voice and our right to be heard even if we are poor or a minority or just the plain forgotten?
When Winston Graham published Poldark, World War II had just ended. His country was facing the very same challenges Ross faced when he returned from fighting the American War of Independence. The only difference is Britain won WWII and lost the AmericanRevolution but the returning soldiers faced the same fights as Ross did 150 years earlier. And now in the 21st century we are facing our biggest battle, the fight of ideology. Will we win this world war of terrorism imposed by the few on the many?
This is absolutely my favorite book series and I hope you find the time to read not just Poldark but all twelve books.