A Site For the Soul

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Inspirations

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This page is supposed to relax, provoke thought, stimulate your brain and make you feel good all at the same time. Hope you enjoy and come back often!

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A Rabbit On The Swim Team
--Author unknown, paraphrased from Charles Windoll--

Once upon a time, the animals decided they should do something meaningful to meet the problems of the new world. So they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying, and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so nobody worried about that - except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the tree-top down. He developed "charlie horses" from over-exertion, and so only got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a nonconformist. In climbing classes he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there....

The obvious moral of the story is a simple one - each creature has its own set of capabilities in which it will naturally excel - unless it is expected or forced to fill a mold that doesn't fit. When that happens, frustration, discouragement, and even guilt bring overall mediocrity or complete defeat. A duck is a duck - and only a duck. It is built to swim, not to run or fly and certainly not to climb. A squirrel is a squirrel and only that. To move it out of its forte, climbing, and then expect it to swim or fly will drive a squirrel nuts. Eagles are beautiful creatures in the air, but not in a foot race. The rabbit will win every time unless, of course, the eagle gets hungry.

Editorial Note: What is true of creatures in the forest is true of humans too. We are not all the same and we were never intended to be. We have unique differences, abilities, variations and areas of difficulty. Cultivate your own capabilities, your own style. When you do this, creativity and satisfaction will flow. When you are forced to meet someone else's expectations (beyond your capabilities), frustration, mediocrity, phoniness and total defeat is pretty predictable.

Rabbits don't fly, eagles don't swim, and ducks look funny trying to climb. Remember - there's plenty of room in the forest for everyone.

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The Island

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived:
Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't... There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you." Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered. Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!" Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name. When they arrived on dry land, the elder went her own way. Love realizing how much he owed the elder asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."

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The Temper

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.....

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The day passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare jewel indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

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Friends

(A) Accept you as you are
(B) Believe in you
(C) Call you just to say "HI"
(D) Don't give up on you
(E) Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F) Forgive your mistakes
(G) Give unconditionally
(H) Help you
(I) Invite you over
(J) Just "be" with you
(K) Keep you close at heart
(L) Love you for who you are
(M) Make a difference in your life
(N) Never judge
(O) Offer support
(P) Pick you up
(Q) Quiet your fears
(R) Raise your spirits
(S) Say nice things about you
(T) Tell you the truth when you need to hear it
(U) Understand you
(V) Value you
(W) Walk beside you
(X) X-plain things you don't understand
(Y) Yell when you won't listen
(Z) Zap you back to reality

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My Declaration of Self-Esteem

I AM ME
In all the world there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me.
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
whether they be to others or to myself --
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears --
I own all my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes--
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me
By doing so I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know --
but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
and for ways to find out more about me --
However I look and sound, whatever I say or do,
and whatever I feel at a given moment in time is authentically me--
If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt,
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting, keeping the rest,
and invent something new for that which I discarded --
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive
and to make sense and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me--
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me --
I am me and
I AM OKAY
-- by Virginia Satir from the book Self-Esteem --

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The Meaning of the Bible

A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, "I know what the Bible means!" His father smiled and replied, "What do you mean you know what the Bible means?" The son replied "I do know" "Okay" said his father. "So son what does the Bible mean?" That's easy Daddy, it stands for Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.

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Inspirational Links
American Poets Animated Lakes and Sunsets Chicken Soup for the Soul Electric Minds
Headless Land of Quotes Pathetic Poets Society Poetry Daily
Self Development <

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God's Mysterious Ways

Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, I found it hard to breathe at times.

Always supportive, MOther clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life.

When Mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her.

I counted it an honor. "What now, Lord?" I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone.

My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished, and I was alone.

I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle.

"I'm late," he explained, though no explanation was necessary. After several apologies, he leaned over and commented, "Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of Margaret?"

"Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her Mary." I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

"No, that isn't correct," he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, "Her name is Mary, Mary Peters."

"That isn't who this is," I said.

"Isn't this the Lutheran church?"

"No, the Lutheran church is across the street."

"Oh."

"I believe you're at the wrong funeral, sir."

The solemnes of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man's mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation more hilarious. I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined Mother laughing.

At the final "Amen," we darted out the door and into the parking lot. "I do believe we'll be the talk of the town," he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt's funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee.

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place. A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time.

In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love. This past June, we celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary.

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Wonderful Recipe for Life

Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door, that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart. But if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it only takes a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real!

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes. If it feels that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

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Friends are God's way of taking care of us!

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To My Grown-Up Son

My hands were busy through the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to
I didn't have much time for you

I'd wash your clothes; I'd sew and cook
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun
I'd say, "A little later, son.

I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light
Then tiptoe softly to the door
I wish I'd stayed a minute more

For life is short and years rush past
A little boy grows up so fast
No longer is he at your side
His precious secrets to confide

The picture books are put away
There are no children's games to play
No goodnight kiss; no prayers to hear
That all belongs to yesteryear

My hands once busy, now lie still
The days are long and hard to fill
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to
Alice E. Chase

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We tried so hard to make things better for my kids that I made them worse. For my grandchildren,I'd like better.

I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

To my grandson:

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom. If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

IF YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE PERSON, CHANGE THE SITUATION.

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Reason, Season or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on. When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It's real! But, only for a season. LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

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The Rose

A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully. One day, as he examined it, he saw that the bud would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem. He thought........How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns? Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The God-like qualities planted in us at birth growing amid the thorns of our faults.

Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others. This is characteristic of love... to look at a person and know their true faults, accepting that person into your life, while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help them to realize that they can overcome their faults.

If we show them the rose, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.

"Love is a heavenly drop spilling from the chalice of life to moderate its bitterness."

Where the heart is willing it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling it will find a thousand excuses.

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Reflections

Maybe God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.

Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

Maybe it is true that we don't know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart; but if it does not, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

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Hold Your Head High

Standing for what you believe in regardless of the odds against you
and the pressure that tears at your resistance
...is Courage.

Keeping a smile on your face when inside you feel like dying,
for the sake of supporting others
...is Strength.

Stopping at nothing and doing what's in your
heart that you know is right
...is Determination.

Doing more than is expected, to make another's life a little more bearable,
without uttering a single complaint
...is Compassion.

Helping a friend in need, no matter the time or effort,
to the best of your ability
...is Loyalty.

Holding your head high
And being the best you know you can be when life
seems to fall apart at your feet,
Facing each difficulty with the confidence that
time will bring you better tomorrows,
And never giving up...
...is Confidence.

Hold your head high
and make your life better every day!

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