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“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.  Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”  Rabindranath Tagore

My ego interferes. It is loud, obnoxious and ever so present. My self-esteem takes a nose dive, and it is all about me. There are times of uncertainty, fragility, powerlessness.  Still I know they are passing phases. They are just steps to get me through the next level.  Through the darkness I dare to see a glimmer of light, a glimmer of hope.

Too many things to do, deadlines to meet, bills to pay, calls to return. I feel like a rubber band being pulled in so many directions. Always stretching never breaking (thanks heaven for that!) I alternate between the elation of being alive and the dread of another day.

When it seems to be all about me and my issues I try to look outward and onward. That helps me realize it is not all about me. There are a whole world out there, going on, with real issues.  I just need to get out of myself sometimes.  This view makes me realize how infinitely small my issues are.  How they pale in comparison to others.  So I accept them for what they are: minor setbacks.

The news around the world and here at home get more depressing each day. How do I dare to smile when all around is destruction? And still I do! That is when it is most important to smile, to rejoice and be grateful.  When all is hard, when all is dark, when it seems this is a never ending dark tunnel I dare to smile and rejoice in the certainty of the light that will eventually come.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

This is the best time to smile more,  to hope more, to live more, to do more for others. Do different, be different! I cannot do a lot to a lot people so I am trying to do as much I can to as many people I can.   That means giving more, being more charitable, but most often it may just mean not yelling at someone that did me wrong. Sometimes it means being quick to forgive and forget. Sometimes it is just listening without judgement. Sometimes it is just being present.

I joke with kids, pet dogs, offer to help people on the street.  I make people smile, I play compliments, I say more thank yous.  It is amazing all I get in return.  I am still quick to react, but even quicker to say sorry.

It is not that I am being oblivious and dismissive of the tragedies and destruction around me.  I am not being indifferent.  I am just choosing to channel my disappointment and sadness into a positive, sharing, love spreading energy.  I am not dwelling on all the bad and negative. Problems are unavoidable, but I am not giving it the power to control my emotions and my life, and most important, how I relate to others.

The point of life is to rise above all, to overcome obstacles, to learn from them and to dare to smile in the face of adversity. Dare to get up, to continue, to rebuild, to become even better.  Dare to smile through tears.  Dare to think of others first, and never forget about yourself. Dare to make your world better for you and others! Be daring!

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” – Tagore

I have been writing a lot lately about problems but my life has been so much more.  My next post in a few days will give you a glimpse of the fun I have been having, specially last weekend when I got to be 25 again.  Stay tuned!