The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the man you want to be . . . Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.
I hope you are like I am; hardly a day goes by that I can’t find some highlight to savor and remember. Last Sunday was no exception. I attended a production of the play Enchanted April where at one point the heroine explained her new found zest for life as the result of her forgiving herself. It immediately triggered in me a positive feeling as she proceeded to display an infectious exuberance as she left her past behind.
After I got home I thought back to opportunities that I might have missed because I was carrying the burden of past mistakes. I again wondered why we seem to have this compulsive need for self-punishment as we beat on ourselves for things that were probably not all that important anyway. You and I both know that as hard as we try we can’t change history. It does us no good to linger, suffering with guilt and remorse when we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with life.
None of us has the luxury of so much time that we can afford to let much of it pass as we agonize over what-ifs.
So my friends like the lady in the play let's damn the past mistakes, avoid as many as we can in the future, but mainly get on with our lives taking advantage of they have to offer. We can you know, but only if we are willing to do it and if you do you might enjoy following the advice offered in this poem by Kalidasa:
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”
Leo F. Buscaglia
In a small Irish village, as was the ancient custom, a matchmaker was often employed to arrange marriages. One sunny day the village matchmaker approached one of the more attractive single woman in the marketplace and told her he had a husband for her. "I'm ashamed to bring this up," he said, "but the man wants to be sure you are compatible in bed. He wants, he says, a sample."
The woman was shocked. "Such a thing you ask me, a virtuous woman? What kind of a crude person would suggest such a thing? He must be a barnyard animal, not a gentleman. "
The matchmaker, trying to earn his fee, explained, "No Mr. O'Brien is a business man. He buys goods in the market and he sells goods. To him, it's not a big deal... just a sample."
The woman thought for a moment, now that she knew the man in question was quite wealthy and would be a good catch. "He's a business man? So tell him I don't give samples. If he's a business man and still interested, I can give him 10 or 12 references."
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.
Lyndon B. Johnson
A fellow turned to a woman sitting beside him in a bar and said; "Drinking makes you look beautiful, darling."
She looked a little surprised and answered, "But I haven't had a drink yet."
He smiled and said, "no, but I have!"
Success, for some people, depends on becoming well known; for others, it depends on never being found out.
My friend worked on the Alaska pipeline as a welder. He said helicopters were a big help in covering the rugged ground. I've never forgotten a story he told about being in the communications room of one of the base camps when a call came in. A panicked voice called to request another helicopter be sent up to the forward work camp.
A supervisor happened to drop in and heard the conversation between the dispatcher and the mechanic. He got on the radio to ask the mechanic on the other end why they need another helicopter.
The obviously harried mechanic paused before transmitting his reply, then said vaguely, "Well, the one we have won't fly."
The frustrated supervisor pressed the question, "Why won't it fly?"
After a long pause came another reluctant response, "Well, I say it won't fly because it's upside down. The pilot says it won't fly because it's under twenty feet of water. So...."
Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
The doctor said to a patient's husband, "I'm sorry. We did all that was humanly possible, but we just can't wake her from her coma. It doesn't look good, I'm afraid."
"But doctor, she's so young! She's only thirty-nine."
Upon which the comatose wife said weakly, "Thirty-seven."
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”
Malcolm S. Forbes
A passenger train is creeping along, slowly. Finally it creaks to a halt. A passenger sees a conductor walking by outside.
"What's going on?" she yells out the window.
"Cow on the track!" replies the conductor.
Ten minutes later, the train resumes its slow pace. Within five minutes, however, it stops again. The woman sees the same conductor walk by again. She leans out the window and yells, "What happened? Did we catch up with the cow again?"
Love is not blind; it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
Rabbi Julius Gordon
The homeowner got into his grubbiest clothes on Saturday morning and set about all the chores he'd been putting off for weeks.
He'd cleaned the garage, pruned the hedge, and was halfway through mowing the lawn when a woman pulled up in the driveway and yelled out her window, "Say, what do you get for yard work?"
The fellow thought for a minute, then answered, "The lady who lives here lets me sleep with her."
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
When Tony's wife ran away he got so depressed that his doctor sent him to see a psychiatrist. Tony told the psychiatrist his troubles.
"Don't be stupid, Tony," said the psychiatrist. "Let work be your salvation. I want you to totally submerge yourself in your work. Now, do you do for a living?"
"I clean out septic tanks." Tony replied.
“I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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