Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lessons of the Heart

Oh when the wild was all covered by snow,
I forgot the colours that the grass tend to grow.
Oh the trees were all leafless,
And lifeless and black,
And I wondered if the leaves could grow back

For your heart is like a flower as it grows,
And its the rain, not just the sun that helps it bloom,
And you don't know how it feels to be alive,
Until you know how it feels to die

The lyrics of Noah and the Whale are so good, I always enjoy to constantly be reminded that life is about both the good and the bad, and that we must have the bad to know the good. The bitter to appreciate the sweet and so forth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Beauty of Forgiveness

The beautiful thing about forgiveness is that it can be given freely to all without asking anything in return. Forgiveness does not demand an apology from an offender, it doesn't require justice to be served, nor does it require forgiveness to be reciprocated. When we forgive ourselves as well as others who may have offended us or wronged us we are able to make the first steps to becoming happy.

James E. Faust said:
“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”
"Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. The folly of rehashing long-past hurts does not bring happiness."

In order to forgive ourselves and others we must become humble, and selfless (un-selfish). One of the best tools I have learned in the forgiving process is to apologize even when you don't feel as though you need to apologize.

It is funny to me that through becoming selfless we are truly able to find ourselves. This being a difficult process by the very nature of man. I believe C. S. Lewis said it better than I when he said:
“The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. . . . What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come . . . the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

I began to first comprehend this concept during my time in brazil, but it didn't truly sink in until I locked eyes for the very first time with my daughter, and it only has been magnified during the past 3 (almost 4) years of her life. Dallin H. Oaks expressed it recently in a talk he gave about "Unselfish Service" where he said;
"...the sacrifice parents make for their children. Mothers suffer pain and loss of personal priorities and comforts to bear and rear each child. Fathers adjust their lives and priorities to support a family."

I recently tweeted, "Unselfishness is the pathway to happiness." while listening to Dallin H. Oaks talk I began to connect the dots where forgiveness and unselfishness are interwoven and connected. Whereby you can not forgive yourself or another without being unselfish, likewise you can not be unselfish without forgiving yourself and others.

I believe the one single emotion we all strive for in this life is happiness. Sadly the majority of us fall into the natural trap that C.S. Lewis described as being "the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Enjoying the Sound

Lately I've been listening to Noah and the Whale both at work and in my car. Hannah is even a fan, requesting we keep the song below on constant repeat while strolling down the ave. Their music reminds me of a Wes Anderson film, which is basically me saying it's good!
"On the surface the name Noah and the Whale seems to be a mashup of biblical stories. In reality it’s an homage to Noah Baumbach’s film The Squid and the Whale. If you only listen to Noah and the Whale’s single “5 Years Time” you’ll think they were a sunny quirk-pop group. In reality their music is a tasty cake made from many ingredients, from twee to shoegaze. What’s that old expression about judging a book by something?"
here's the full story