Memorial Day, for many it is an opportunity to enjoy in a long weekend. Retailers use it for an occasion for sales. It marks the onset of summer and we take time to play and socialize. I am one who likes any chance to relax, enjoy myself and cannot resist a bargain.
Yet, Memorial Day did not begin with this intention. It was originally known as Decoration Day and it began an occasion to honor Union soldiers who had died during the Civil War. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women.
For many of us war and loss are part of reality. We raise the flag and visit our loved ones at the cemetery. I have been traveling lately and when I get off the plane I see the USO greeting these young soldiers and the surrounding travelers clapping and thanking those who serve. I feel an upwelling of gratitude and awe at the courage it takes to serve our country.
On Monday, take a few moments and reflect on the cost of war. This is not a political statement but a human experience of love, gratitude and inner peace.
Let me know in the comments below about your Memorial Day thoughts.
Definitions of the word think:
- To have or formulate in the mind.
- To reason about or reflect on; ponder.
- To decide by reasoning, reflection, or pondering.
- To judge or regard; look upon.
- To believe; suppose.
All of these definitions have one thing in common: They are all filtered through our minds and are layered with our perceptions.
Our thoughts create reactions. Sometimes we feel guilty about our thought, obsess on our thought or believe strongly that our thought is the only way to see things. No matter which it is, our inner peace is disturbed.
Our thoughts are not reality. They come and at some point they pass.
One of my teachers had such a simple solution to help us get beyond taking our thoughts so seriously.
Try this the next time you are obsessing on a thought:
- Notice the thought, take a breath and say: It’s just a thought…
Let me know in the comments below how this worked for you. Did it help shift you thinking? If not, what do you think got in your way?
One area where many of us get ourselves into trouble is in our speech.
We react, give advice and simply talk without thinking. This creates hurt feelings and relationship discord. There are many techniques to help with this and this one is simple and quite effective.
Before speaking ask yourself these three questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
Often the first two are on target, but that third one is a bit tricky to avoid. Many of our comments are well meaning in our minds. Think about how many times you have received unsolicited advice or opinions and how it felt.
Even the most innocent comment can be hurtful and unnecessary.
Taking a moment to pause and get centered before you speak will give you time to ask yourself if what you were about to say is appropriate. This change in behavior will have a positive impact on your relationships and your own inner peace.
Give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it went. Did you hold back on a comment? Did you notice when you made an unnecessary comment?