Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

Blessings - What is Right in Your Life?


In the spirit of this Christmas Season let us all reflect on the bright spots of our lives and cast aside, at least for the time being, any darkness that may exist. There are those who love you, and those you love. To focus on the negative, to hope for a better past, to be pessimistic about the future are choices, and ones that are emotionally and physically destructive. Life is too short to worry about everything wrong with it. You will find the more you think of others the happier you tend to be, and as a result the less your worries and issues tend to be.

When I reflect on the tragedies that have befallen our surrounding communities and their families I believe there is little reason to whine about what “things” you don’t’ have, or blame someone else for what your lot in life may not be. It is a time to reflect on the past, but not dwell on it. A time to cherish the fond memories, not use what should have been, might have been or could have been as excuses for what cannot be. A time to appreciate the blessings you currently have, and an understanding that your behavior reflects your character, and selflessness not self-centeredness is the cornerstone for happiness. As Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

A definition of blessing is, “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being.” When was the last time you reflected on what you are grateful for, and what brings you well being? The love of your spouse, the wonderment of your children, the ability to enjoy a sunny day, the bounty of a wonderful meal, the joy to laugh and cry with those you love, and the opportunity to make a positive difference in another each day are examples of how fortunate you may be. A child was born on to us to exemplify the light and cast away the darkness, to be the shining star of selflessness, and the provider of forgiveness. Regardless of your faith, these are characteristics of the goodness within all of us when we choose to act on those principles.

What example are you setting to those you love, and those who love you? Is it that child within you that shines goodness to those around you, or an attitude of being the victim of everything that negatively happened to you? I believe in the moral strength and eternal spirit of humanity, that goodness will prevail over evil, and content of character will endure beyond materialism. Who you are and what you stand for and believe in, are not controlled by the outside, but the internal choice to live and act on the core values you believe in. It is the constant regurgitation of the negative that poisons the very spirit of optimism. The fiscal cliff, the Middle East, the jobless rate, the loss of personal accountability, the decline of respect, the breakdown of family and moral relativity are all examples of what we are inundated with each day. However, I believe the world is not coming to an end regardless of the Mayan prediction. Shut out the negative and look for the positive in and around us. Jesus came into this world to expel the Prince of Darkness and be the light of the Holy Spirit, that Holy Spirit which is within all of us. As Henry Ward Beecher said, “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” Throw out your darkness and invite your spirit of light to shine through.

I believe blessings are not always given, but also earned through the love, compassion, empathy, kindness, forgiveness and respect each of us shows to another. Our greatest blessings rarely have a price tag attached to them, but rather a human tag labeled family, friends, memories, and those who gave of themselves to help develop a better you. Over your Christmas, or holiday dinner this year, take a moment to observe, listen, and take a moment to count your blessings; and exemplify a spirit of love, forgiveness, and emotional generosity to those around you. Merry Christmas to All!

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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