The real questions

tree with heart scar in trunk against snowy background

“Did I offer peace today?
Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?
Did I say words of healing?
Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
Did I forgive?
Did I love?
These are the real questions.” ~Henri Nouwen

I tend to measure my days by how much I crossed off my to do list. I set the value on the day’s accomplishments by the answers to questions like:

  • Did I get all of today’s orders packed up to ship tomorrow?
  • Did I make finish enough new pieces to replenish my inventory?
  • Did I answer all of my customers’ questions?
  • Did I get all of the newly completed pieces fully photographed and written up to add to the shop?
  • Did I finish all of my errands and household chores for today?
  • Did I finish my blog post/social media posting/weekly email for tomorrow?

I’m sure you have your own list that measures your day (consciously or unconsciously). I have to remind myself over and over again that none of the questions on that list really matter in the long run.

Henri Nouwen brings us back to the real questions that matter. It all comes down to whether I showed love to others, to my world, to myself, to the Divine.

When you consider the real questions as the measure of your day instead of your to-do list, how does that change the way you approach your day?

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Love and compassion are necessities

Collection of stones with one shaped like a large heart

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama

The continual, ongoing violence all around us demonstrates the truth of this daily. It’s so tempting to react with anger and fear, but they will only increase the problem.

What can you do today to increase the amount of love and compassion you bring to your life and to the world around you?

That’s not something to consider or to pursue when you have the luxury of spare time. It’s a necessity for all of us to enact to the best of our ability today and every day!

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Everyone is a part of us

sunrise

“When we see everyone is a part of us, that any criticism we make is self-criticism, we will extend to ourselves an unconditional love that will light the world.” ~Harry Palmer

The more we are in touch with the unity of all of us, the harder it is to create an “us” and “them.” We are all us. From that viewpoint, it’s harder and harder not to extend unconditional love to ourselves and to all of us.