FIRE UP THE FIREWORKS IN OUR SOULS

TODAY THE WORDS are FIREWORKS IN OUR SOULS. All over the country this weekend, we are celebrating our independence and one of the traditional signs is our American Flag. First we look at an article on the History of the American Flag

According to popular legend, the first American flag was made by Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress who was acquainted with George Washington, leader of the Continental Army, and other influential Philadelphians. In May 1776, so the story goes, General Washington and two representatives from the Continental Congress visited Ross at her upholstery shop and showed her a rough design of the flag. Although Washington initially favored using a star with six points, Ross advocated for a five-pointed star, which could be cut with just one quick snip of the scissors, and the gentlemen were won over.
Unfortunately, historians have never been able to verify this charming version of events, although it is known that Ross made flags for the navy of Pennsylvania. The story of Washington’s visit to the flagmaker became popular about the time of the country’s first centennial, after William Canby, a grandson of Ross, told about her role in shaping U.S. history in a speech given at the Philadelphia Historical Society in March 1870.
What is known is that the first unofficial national flag, called the Grand Union Flag or the Continental Colours, was raised at the behest of General Washington near his headquarters outside Boston, Mass., on Jan. 1, 1776. The flag had 13 alternating red and white horizontal stripes and the British Union Flag (a predecessor of the Union Jack) in the canton. Another early flag had a rattlesnake and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me.”
The first official national flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The blue canton contained 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies, but the layout varied. Although nobody knows for sure who designed the flag, it may have been Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson.

Excerpt from the article in Info Please. Read more: History of the American Flag | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0875838.html#ixzz36V4j3DtH All rights reserved by Infoplease.com

8 Ways to Make Your Life More Fun

Learn how to keep from holding yourself back.

Posted Mar 19, 2014

When is the last time you really had fun? Think about it—the last time you just let yourself go and had a good time? When did you last forget about all your daily responsibilities and live in the moment? If it’s been too long, one of these assumptions about fun may be holding you back. Read on to discover how to get over them and get yourself out there:

1. You’re worried what other people will think.

You don’t want to look silly in front of other people. You’re afraid they’ll judge you. Guess what? Other people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. Besides, you’re not a mind reader. You don’t know what is going on in other people’s minds. And if they are judging you for being silly and having a good time, then they’re people you don’t need to know anyway. To quote Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

2. You think you need to spend money.  

It’s true: Some of the best things in life are free. You don’t need to go on a pricey vacation or buy a lot of stuff to have fun. Many times it’s just being in the moment with the people you care about. And that costs nothing. Check newspaper listings or your town’s website for ideas of fun low-cost activities in your community.

3. You think you don’t have the time. 

There is always time to have fun. I don’t care who you are or how little time you think you have—you can make the time. Also, fun is found in the little moments—you don’t need to carve out your whole day. Block out a half-hour to do something you enjoy, just for the fun of it.

4. You think you need to plan it. 

If you’re a Type A planner, keep in mind that the most fun can be found in spontaneous unplanned moments. Let things happen naturally. Let yourself experience spur-of-the-moment trips and last-minute get-togethers. Be in the present moment.

5. You mistake solemnity for seriousness.  

As Jim Morrison wrote, “No one gets out of here alive.” You’ve got one life, and it’s short. Enjoy it. It is possible to take something seriously and still inject some fun and humor into it. For example, if you’ve ever flown Southwest Airlines, you’ve seen how the company takes something serious, like safety instructions, and turns it into something fun. By doing this, not only will people enjoy themselves more, they’re also more likely to pay attention. So whoop it up at your next staff meeting. (Just don’t tell your boss I recommended that.)

6. You think conditions have to be perfect.

Many fun moments occur when things go unexpectedly awry. Allow yourself to be imperfect, and to enjoy the imperfections of life. Humans are imperfect creatures, after all, and you’re one of them. Telling yourself, “I’ll have fun when…”, is counterproductive and, frankly, a real bummer. Have fun now—there’s no time like the present.

7. You think it has to be big and spectacular. 

News flash: Every day is not 4th of July fireworks, parades, and parties. You can find fun in small moments. If you think real fun only happens at big events, you’re depriving yourself of some good times. Fun is what you make it. It doesn’t need to be spectacular, by any means. Sometimes it’s found in 5- and 10-minute increments.

8. You’re bored.

There’s a symptom of depression called anhedonia, in which you no longer find interest or fun in things that previously got you excited. Also in ADHD it can be difficult to keep up novel tasks to excite the brain. On the other hand, if you’re just plain bored, that is a choice. You make the changes and opportunities in your life. Get out there and have fun.

www.stephaniesarkis.com

Copyright 2014 Sarkis Media LLC

How proudly it waves on this Independence Day! How proud are we concerning our Country and how we respond when we see the Stars and Stripes? Is our patronage visible in our every day life? Is our spiritual image as visible? Many fought for our independence; One died for our spiritual freedom  and it is as important we show our “patronage” in both ways. Have a Happy Fourth of July and spark some fireworks in your soul! The Heavens will light up if you do!




 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Psalm 33:12-22 ESV 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

 

 (C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party reference material sourced to original location for credit reference.

WHAT SIDE OF A RAINBOW DO YOU SEE?

WHAT SIDE OF A RAINBOW DO YOU SEE? This morning a dear friend, whose picture should be beside the word Positive, shared a thought on Facebook and it resonated me and brought some further thoughts from her message. I thought I would expand on her thought of what side of a rainbow do you see. Here is Mary Kathryn Gentry’s message and then we will discuss this philosophical thought afterwards.

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Photo and message courtesy of Mary Kathryn Gentry
I thought I would address Looking on the positive side of the rainbow of life. We choose to be happy or not. Of course we will have days that are not the brightest and some will be downright dreary but keeping a positive attitude helps get us through the dreariness and we will appreciate the beauty of the rainbow when it shows itself. Let’s look at some quotes I found on the subject:
Looking on the Bright Side – Quotes to Stay Positive

Everyone has bad days. Times where nothing seems to go right. Days where the sun doesn’t seem to be shining in your direction. But rest assure that the negativity will pass and once again you’ll have a good day. Here are some inspirational quotes to help you stay positive and carry you on to your good day.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx#BBzh3wVGwVdEMBLP.99

 

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=3#ShLyScUPThImQt2J.99

 

 

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Michael Jordan

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=4#xhY9H8VG3eufjDWi.99

T. F. Hodge

“Elevate your inside game. A negative attitude is below the horizon…a place for lonesome hearts.”
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=5#tJUHSkIVL2fMGm7w.99

John Wooden

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=7#xx2d5SXdSlRYRpO1.99

Demi Lovato

“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.”
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=8#ySkVK5REUdQslTXc.99

Nhat Hanh

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/quotes/looking-on-the-bright-side-quotes-to-stay-positive.aspx?p=9#aB1X5HY0O4k57d2E.99

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neg·a·tive
ˈneɡədiv/
adjective
  1. 1.
    consisting in or characterized by the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features.
  2. 2.
    (of a person, attitude, or situation) not desirable or optimistic.
    “the new tax was having a very negative effect on car sales”
    synonyms: pessimisticdefeatistgloomycynicalfatalisticdismissiveantipatheticcritical;More

noun
  1. 1.
    a word or statement that expresses denial, disagreement, or refusal.
    “she replied in the negative
    synonyms: “no”, refusalrejectionvetoMore

    2.2.
    a photographic image made on film or specially prepared glass that shows the light and shade or color values reversed from the original, and from which positive prints can be made.
exclamation
  1. 1.
    no (usually used in a military context).
    ““Any snags, Captain?” “Negative, she’s running like clockwork.””
verb
  1. 1.
    reject; refuse to accept; veto.
    “the bill was negatived by 130 votes to 129”
  2. 2.
    render ineffective; neutralize.
    “should criminal law allow consent to negative what would otherwise be a crime?”I

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As I posted and read the definition of negative, I truly understand why I want to always remain a positive minded person. Look at the connotation for being negative:

consisting in or characterized by the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features.
I don’t know about any of your feelings and how you lean to either positive or negative, but this is worth pondering as to whether you want to be characterized by the absence (meaning you don’t make an impact or even  a memory of anything that distinguishes your being. Hmmm???
I prefer having an impact in life. I don’t desire to be a nobody or someone who lives in the absence of life.  In other words, when you see a rainbow, look at all sides by remembering the storm before but feel alive that the storm has passed and the skies are so beautiful they have produced one of the most mystifying works of God’s artistry…the magnificent rainbow and if you are really blessed, you just might see a double rainbow. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by giving credence to positive thoughts and actions. 

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved and to be shared with credit for Sipping Cups of Inspiration. Third party material is sourced, if known to the original location for credit reference.

SUMMER’S SIZZLING, ARE YOU?

Today is officially the first day of summer, but wow, here in the south and other parts of the country we have been feeling summer for quite a while. While sweltering in this humidity infused atmosphere I came up with a post idea, how prepared are you for the heat of life as much as we prepare for the heat of summer.

4-ways-you-can-prepare-for-the-summer-heat-now

SUMMER’S SIZZLING, ARE YOU?

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Let’s start with an article  I found on some ways you can prepare for the Summer Heat.

 

 

You can go to the original location of the article by clicking on the title below:

 

4 Ways You Can Prepare For The Summer Heat Now

Spring is upon us and summer is just around the corner. Increasing temperatures may have your thoughts turning towards how to keep your home cool when the heat of summer is in full-force. Bad memories of your sky-high electric bills from running your air conditioning last summer may still be in the back of your mind.

However, there are ways of preparing your home for summer early, to keep your home cooler and reduce your energy bills at the same time.

Install Attic Fans

Anyone who has completed elementary school science knows that heat rises. This factor, combined with the summer sun hitting your roof means that your attic is one of the hottest parts of your home during summer. This heat can stay trapped in your attic and continue to keep your home hot, rejecting your attempts to cool your home and making your air conditioner work overtime. Attic fans are the solution to draw this hot air out of your attic, keeping your attic and your whole home cooler. Solar powered attic fans are an even better solution that can allow you to take advantage of all the cooling benefits of solar star attic fans.

Image of laptop on desk with cupholder, mouse, and cellphone, with window and closed blinds in background

Keep Windows And Blinds Shut

Radiant heat is an overlooked factor in your home temperature. Sun shining through open windows, doors or traditional skylights can rapidly warm up the surfaces and air inside your home, keeping it stuffy and hot. Where possible installing block out blinds or curtains for your windows and doors, and sealing all openings and frames will reduce temperatures. An investment in double paned windows can also help to insulate your home against heat gain. Rather than choosing traditional skylights that allow maximum heat gain and glare into your home, consider SolaTubes, which make the most of natural sunlight while filtering out glare and keeping your insulation intact.

Change Your Lighting

Small touches can make a difference to the heat level in your home. For various reasons, homeowners greatly underestimate how effective changing light bulbs can be for energy efficiency and heat regulation in the home. Regularly changing incandescent light bulbs can help maximize light and reduce heat. For the best result, opt for energy efficient lightbulbs, or natural daylighting systems where possible.

Tune Up Your Air Conditioning

Tuning up your air conditioner early has many advantages. First of all, your air conditioner is clean and maintained, ready for peak performance when you need it most. Secondly, you make sure your air conditioning is operating properly before the booking rush for air conditioning maintenance when summer starts. While nothing beats the energy and cost efficiency of installing Solatubes to naturally cool your home, a well-maintained air conditioning unit efficiently lowers temperatures by using less energy, giving you better cooling results with lower utility bills.

The hottest months of summer have not come yet, but now is the perfect time to begin preparing for hotter weather. Tending to the smaller details of your home and working on natural lighting options will remove heat for your home so you can enjoy a cooler, more peaceful and pocket-friendly summer

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Now, as I always do to apply simple ideas for your life for the betterment of enjoying it more. Here is my interpretation of these suggestions for improving and making your life sizzle in a wonderful way:

Install Attic Fans:

Our minds are the equivalent of an attic fan. As you can read, the attic fan’s function is to pull the hot air out of our house, let’s apply this to our minds. When we get agitated by situations, relationships, work related issues, financial woes, and I even hate to mention this but politics. The situations get steamier and hotter if not calmed and even released from our minds. May we begin to use our attic fans (minds) to resolve by calmly breathing in fresh air or ideas. Release the hot air by refusing to argue heatedly.

Keep Windows and Blinds Shut:

Oh, I feel this topic catching on by the suggestion of keeping windows and blinds shut by avoiding getting involved in others’ business if not asked to give our thoughts. Far too many times, we add our thoughts and yes, our opinions without being asked. We jump in and give our two cents worth (and literally that is truly the worth but we think it is priceless). My Mom had an old saying that she had adopted, “If you sweep around your own door, you wont have time to sweep around someone else’s.” That saying didn’t mean not to help others when needed but tend to your own business first and if you properly care for your house and life, you don’t have time to be nosy. Keep the windows and other people’s lives shut from nosiness.

Change your lighting:

If we live in the dark or even if we try to be brightest light in our world, we sometimes miss how a conservative life can be the easiest and most beneficial. Too many times and you will probably agree, one person in the neighborhood will try to outdo all of the rest by putting up 10,000 lights. We do this in more ways than just lights, in dress, jewelry, cars, toys, hobbies, etc. We feel we have to outshine someone else, why? Turn down the watts and learn how a simpler life will be more rewarding and stop the competition and conserve your energy into a higher power outlet. Save your brilliance for the ultimate lighting of your soul.

Tune up your air conditioning:

We are now into what I consider the most important instruction on improving our lives by tuning up our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. So many times, we want the instant fix such as a perfect diet, a perfect soulmate, a perfect home, a perfect job, a perfect financial picture but it is a simple fix in proper maintaining of all aspects of our lives by tuning up what we have. This is what I mean by a simple fix for tuning up our lives:

  • Tune up our minds by adding positive input such as motivational books, audios, seminars and speakers. Determine things and events which inspire your mind. Tune out the negativity. Move away from friends and/or associates, activities which dampen your spirits. Tune down anger and forgive others frequently.
  • Tune up your body by learning how and what to eat to benefit a positive body and tune down the foods which alter your body shape and mindset. Tune your engine with an exercise and physical activity which you enjoy because you will keep it running if you enjoy doing it.
  • Tune up your relationship by adding those additives which make it run smoother and remains in the showroom condition as when you first fell in love. Tune up with dates and special trips with romantic, cuddling, and fun times.
  • Tune up your home that you have. Little, inexpensive, changes and tune up of decor will brighten your home life. You don’t have to have a mansion such as everyone doesn’t drive a Mercedes to get to the destination, but a well maintained home and yards make you want to be at home.
  • Tune up your job and/or career by giving it a shot of adrenaline of effort. Do you willingly and freely volunteer to do the tedious tasks which will make the biggest impact on the success of business? Remember well tuned parts make the entire equipment run well together.
  • Tune up your finances by idling down your spending. Think before you buy. Is this really necessary? It’s kind of like the trinket or dice hanging from the mirror, is it really something that will add to the equipment or is it something that will keep you from having perfect vision or finances.

I think you get the picture from applying simple rules or as I like to ponder “Does it make common sense?” Life is hard enough but maintaining simple rules and management can keep you cool and comfortable in the hottest seasons of life. Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the Fullest by Cooling Your Life with Love.

 

sun

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and sourced if known.

A LOOK BACK TO DADDY’S GOATS

A LOOK BACK TO DADDY’S GOATS is a tribute from Daddy’s girl (me) to my Dad Arlie Lott. You can see who I was named after and miss this man who shared so much of my childhood with hunting and fishing. We rode the country side together and if he had his head under the hood of his 1949 truck, my head was under there too. I treasure those times and I found this post from several years ago. I hope you enjoy the humor in it because that was something my Dad and I shared too. Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers this Sunday.

 

Here is th7a0b6-bobw1e post featuring my attempt at writing a song (you can see I was smart enough to stick with blogging. A little update, I finished the second book and started on the third book.

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TODAY THE WORDS are DADDY’S GOATS.  Usually,from the stories I post which encompass the animals, I get a lot of response. This one may give you a little laugh or smile. Many of you will know who I am talking about when I mention Peggy Mercer, a classmate of mine, author of several children’s books and songwriter  encouraged me to try my hand at song writing. I assured her she might want me to stick to writing on the blog and on the book, but many of you know how persistent Peggy is so here is the first verse and chorus of my “song”  DADDY’S GOATS. The beauty of the story is such a good one for all of us to learn from the goats. They knew how to keep life simple. They had goals and if something happened to upset their completion of those goals (climbing up and going down) they got up and tried again. I miss my Daddy since he died and I miss those special times when we would go out and visit with his animals and what I would give to go fishing with him one more time. When this song writing fiasco happened years ago, I emailed my song to Peggy and once she stops laughing at my amateur attempts at song writing; she will probably tell me to get up and try again LOL.  (Side note: As of July 2015, I have received no offers for song writing contracts so I leave all of that to my friends, especially Michael Rey – Country Songwriter; Lily Nelson; and Peggy Mercer but on a good note, I have published my first novel, “A Mistress, A Wife” and now writing my second one, “Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still”.)

 

The moral of this story is we may not be good at everything, but it never hurts to try. We may have to try several times to get it right, but we need to keep trying. God allows us, by forgiveness, to try and try again to get our lives and souls right. I hope you smile when you read Daddy’s goats. Live life; love life and live life to the fullest!

 

0ab96-goats2

Verse 1

 

My mind goes back to a better time

When life was simple and people were kind

I would  visit on My Dad’s country place.

The farm; my Dad; and his goats in a line,

Laughing and loving, all the love we could find.

Chorus:

Love was simple way back then

Nobody was mad; everybody was glad

Dad loved his goats and he loved us.

They loved him back like the rest of us.

He was simple in love; he was simple in life.

If life could be free as Daddy with his goats.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 



(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material, if source is known, is credited to original location for credit references.

DO YOU HAVE EXPECTATIONS?

 This post was originally posted in 2014, but I have thought more intently on this subject and enhanced this message worthy of repetition. Enjoy the enhancements and live life with expectations of joy and happiness.
TODAY THE WORD is EXPECTATION. What is expected in life? We look forward with excitement and expectations of upcoming celebrations and holidays. The excitement builds as the event comes closer. We build up certain expectations; some are realistic and some are fantasy filled. I see peoples faces filled with pleasure and I see some people that are disappointed in what they receive as gifts. They may try to mask it but it somehow shows on their face.
Expectations in relationships; expectations in careers; expectations in child bearing; and expectations in friendships can all be wonderful or can be disappointing if either of these expectations fail. What is a realistic expectation? To me, and this may differ with some of you, a realistic expectation is one which all factors, good or bad, have been thoroughly thought and a willingness to accept its acceptance whether it comes to succession or unable to manifest itself. In other words, can you live with or without this desire or expectation? We sometimes build our expectations up only to have them shot down by outside factors and not anything we could have done to make it happen. This is what I wanted to talk with you about. I don’t need to write about fulfilled expectations; you accept those with excitement and the adrenalin is flowing. It is the unfulfilled expectations which are the hardest to accept. You were expecting a raise or promotion or you were expecting to get the new job; it doesn’t happen. You were hoping the man or woman of your dreams would ask you out for a date; he or she doesn’t. You were expecting your marriage to last forever; it doesn’t. You feel you have a great friend; you find out he or she wasn’t your friend at all.
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What is a person to do when expected expectations do not occur? Your life can either accept disappointment and move past the adverse situation. If you do; usually something better comes along. I don’t understand this rationality; but it is true. If you don’t accept it and if you don’t move past; you bury yourself in depressive thoughts. “Nothing produces Nothing” so there you sit having a pity party. Anyone who shows up at your pity party only want to wallow with you. A true friend tells you to get up and get moving. Expect and get excited; if it changes; change with it. Life is an interesting expectation but is full of changes.
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The Expectations Trap

Why we’re conditioned to blame our partners for our unhappiness.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published March 1, 2010 – last reviewed on April 10, 2017

The Expectations Trap: Perfection, Please

If there’s one thing that most explicitly detracts from the enjoyment of relationships today, it’s an abundance of choice. Psychologist Barry Schwartz would call it an excess of choice—the tyranny of abundance. We see it as a measure of our autonomy and we firmly believe that freedom of choice will lead to fulfillment. Our antennae are always up for better opportunities, finds Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College.

Just as only the best pair of jeans will do, so will only the best partner—whatever that is. “People walk starry-eyed looking not into the eyes of their romantic partner but over their romantic partner’s shoulder, in case there might be somebody better walking by. This is not the road to successful long-term relationships.” It does not stop with marriage. And it undermines commitment by encouraging people to keep their options open.

Like Doherty, Schwartz sees it as a consequence of a consumer society. He also sees it as a self-fulfilling phenomenon. “If you think there might be something better around the next corner, then there will be, because you’re not fully committed to the relationship you’ve got.”

It’s naive to expect relationships to feel good every minute. Every relationship has its bumps. How big a bump does it have to be before you do something about it? As Hopkins’s Cherlin says, if you’re constantly asking yourself whether you should leave, “there may be a day when the answer is yes. In any marriage there may be a day when the answer is yes.”

One of the problems with unrestrained choice, explains Schwartz, is that it raises expectations to the breaking point. A sense of multiple alternatives, of unlimited possibility, breeds in us the illusion that perfection exists out there, somewhere, if only we could find it. This one’s sense of humor, that one’s looks, another one’s charisma—we come to imagine that there will be a package in which all these desirable features coexist. We search for perfection because we believe we are entitled to the best—even if perfection is an illusion foisted on us by an abundance of possibilities.

If perfection is what you expect, you will always be disappointed, says Schwartz. We become picky and unhappy. The cruel joke our psychology plays on us, of course, is that we are terrible at knowing what will satisfy us or at knowing how any experience will make us feel.

If the search through all possibilities weren’t exhausting (and futile) enough, thinking about attractive features of the alternatives not chosen—what economists call opportunity costs—reduces the potential pleasure in whatever choice we finally do make. The more possibilities, the more opportunity costs—and the more we think about them, the more we come to regret any choice. “So, once again,” says Schwartz, “a greater variety of choices actually makes us feel worse.”

Ultimately, our excess of choice leads to lack of intimacy. “How is anyone going to stack up against this perfect person who’s out there somewhere just waiting to be found?” asks Schwartz. “It creates doubt about this person, who seems like a good person, someone I might even be in love with—but who knows what’s possible out there? Intimacy takes time to develop. You need to have some reason to put in the time. If you’re full of doubt at the start, you’re not going to put in the time.”

Moreover, a focus on one’s own preferences can come at the expense of those of others. As Schwartz said in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “most people find it extremely challenging to balance the conflicting impulses of freedom of choice on the one hand and loyalty and commitment on the other.”

And yet, throughout, we are focused on the partner we want to have, not on the one we want—or need—to be. That may be the worst choice of all.

Disappointment—or Tragedy?

The heightened sensitivity to relationship problems that follows from constantly appraising our happiness encourages couples to turn disappointment into tragedy, Doherty contends.

Inevitably, images of the perfect relationship dancing in our heads collide with our sense of entitlement: “I’m entitled to the best possible marriage.” The reality of disappointment becomes intolerable. “It’s part of a cultural belief system that says we are entitled to everything we feel we need.”

Through the alchemy of desire, wants become needs, and unfulfilled needs become personal tragedies. “A husband who isn’t very expressive of his feelings can be a disappointment or a tragedy, depending on whether it’s an entitlement,” says Doherty. “And that’s very much a cultural phenomenon.” We take the everyday disappointments of relationships and treat them as intolerable, see them as demeaning—the equivalent of alcoholism, say, or abuse. “People work their way into ‘I’m a tragic figure’ around the ordinary problems of marriage.” Such stories are so widespread, Doherty is no longer inclined to see them as reflecting an individual psychological problem, although that is how he was trained—and how he practiced for many years as an eminent family therapist. “I see it first now as a cultural phenomenon.”

First Lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to the disappointment that pervades relationships today. In Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, by Christopher Anderson, she confides how she reached a “state of desperation” while working full-time, bringing in the majority of the family income, raising two daughters, and rarely seeing her husband, who was then spending most of his week away from their Chicago home as an Illinois state senator, a job she thought would lead nowhere while it paid little. “She’s killing me with this constant criticism,” Barack complained. “She just seems so bitter, so angry all the time.” She was annoyed that he “seems to think he can just go out there and pursue his dream and leave all the heavy lifting to me.”

But then she had an epiphany: She remembered the guy she fell in love with. ” I figured out that I was pushing to make Barack be something I wanted him to be for me. I was depending on him to make me happy. Except it didn’t have anything to do with him. I needed support. I didn’t necessarily need it from Barack.”

Certainly, commitment narrows choice. But it is the ability to remember you really do love someone—even though you may not be feeling it at the moment.

Commitment is the ability to sustain an investment, to honor values over momentary feelings. The irony, of course, is that while we want happiness, it isn’t a moment-by-moment experience; the deepest, most enduring form of happiness is the result of sustained emotional investments in other people.

 

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This excerpt from the mentioned article is reflective of the trap of expectation and you might take the time to read the entire article by clicking on the title link. Interesting read. 

Bloggers note: My thought is live by expectation of adaptation and flexibility. Whatever happens today, expect to be surprised by the unexpected. Bend, shape, and mold yourself into a workable art form. Try to use materials (thoughts and knowledge) that will conform to the environment and current life standards.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIFE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by expecting changes and welcoming the newness of those changes.

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FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Acts 3:5 ESV 
And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them
 
(C) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material if known is sourced to original location for credit source.
 

WHEN DOES VILE BRING A SMILE?

WHEN DOES VILE BRING A SMILE? Coming from a positive person as I am, there are times when I want to tell it like it is. As someone said “It is what it is!” In the last few years, I have watched an erosion of goodness and kindness. Yes, we see the occasional good Samaritan and we ooh and aww at their heroism. We stop for a few seconds on social media, maybe like the post, and maybe even share it and then…..we return to the now common place vulgarity. The thrust of this vile exchange is easily blamed on our current president and without getting political, I want to give a personal opinion. It is coming from places all over this country and the world. To blame one person, one party, one religion, one culture is a vile mistake and I feel this is the basis for this destructive bullying. Yes, I said it. This is the worst kind of bullying and has gone rampant. Today is the day I would like to bring this to the forefront and see how many people think about what is going on in the world. This is not a liberal or conservative stance; it is a moral stance.

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Media of all sorts have linked all of us in the world in a seemingly personal but deceivingly impersonal communication. What is the difference? It is such a firestorm resulting in strangers feeling freedom from accountability and consequences from their words.

In a different time in our history, if a person said a minute amount of the words to a person’s face as commonly posted on Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets, someone was going to throw a punch. It was immediate rebuttal and an instant source of accountability. Bystanders might have egged in on but they were in the line of fire so it was more of bystander instead of instigator. Maybe the one who said the vile words threw a few punches back and occasionally it was a free for all. It was settled with the immediate participants and maybe some neighborhood kids and/or adults but it was over.  It makes me wonder if we had to face the person we deface in person and would we say the same things we post.

In this current environment and because of the anonymity of social media, which I use and have seen how this vileness can give an unknown person a feel of superiority and entitlement of invasion into personal attacks. What happens now? Let us look at  recent events. Two female comedians both attacked two people in the limelight but outside of the entertainment world. Both attacks were vile and unacceptable. Both people exercised their “freedom of speech” but I want to express I felt they showed freedom from respect of others. All of us have people who we don’t especially like or agree with the lifestyle or politics. We have that right and we can in a positive light, choose to not agree with them.  I say this in no conversation or disagreement should we become vile ourselves as this only puts us on the lower level of decency. Ponder this, if someone spit in your face, would you want to knock their lights out? Well social incivility is the equivalent of spitting in someone’s face.

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What has happened in our world that we can bully others and call them vile names and criticize their looks, hair, weight, culture, religion, and intelligence? When did our military come under attack and our law enforcement? When did we stop being a good samaritan ourselves? When did we become so coldhearted and insensitive we can watch natural disasters or murders only to make snide remarks about “nun-ya”  business? When did we become so vocal on everything that someone else does wrong and at the same time feel we are above the law or disrespectful of morality?

I ask these questions to bring some thought-provoking internal mental checks. I have composed a short list of should have and would have checks for us to ponder:

  • If the words coming out of my mouth were being said to me or someone I love, how would I like to hear them?
  • Is what I am saying to another person meant to encourage or inspire OR do I say them to discourage or destroy this person?
  • What would my grandmother or grandfather say in response if they overheard my conversations about someone else?
  • Would I allow a child to bully my child or grandchild in the same way that I talk about others or to others?
  • Do I think it takes me to a higher level when I use vile or crude language in any conversation? 
  • Do I feel better or worse after describing or criticizing another person whether I know them or not?
  • Do I think before I speak as a proactive statement or a reactive conversation?
  • Do I think of the golden rule “In all things, do unto others as you would have others do unto you”? 

 

Golden Rule, precept in the Gospel of Matthew (7:12): “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. . . .” This rule of conduct is a summary of the Christian’s duty to his neighbor and states a fundamental ethical principle. In its negative form, “Do not do to others what you would not like done to yourselves,” it occurs in the 2nd-century documents Didachē and the Apology of Aristides and may well have formed part of an early catechism. It recalls the command to “love the stranger (sojourner)” as found in Deuteronomy. It is not, however, peculiar to Christianity. Its negative form is to be found in Tob. 4:15, in the writings of the two great Jewish scholars Hillel (1st century BC) and Philo of Alexandria (1st centuries BC and AD), and in the Analects of Confucius (6th and 5th centuries BC). It also appears in one form or another in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, and Seneca.

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My final thought on this subject is when we return to a place of using our minds instead of our mouths, this world becomes a nicer place. When we find our souls again, and renew our hearts, we become kinder. As my husband said to me, “Character doesn’t cost a penny but it worth millions.” I add to his remarks, “Freedom of speech is not freedom from accountability.” 

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original  location for credit references.

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