“The Lazy Days of Summer”
By: Vince DiPasquale
We are now entering the one month of the year when the world seems to stop and we can smell the roses. Often, Mother Nature makes this the warmest month of the year. Maybe it’s about time we pay attention to good old Mother Nature. We all need quiet time in our lives. We all need a chance to reflect, take inventory, and learn to look at life in a positive way. I would like to offer you a few strange things to do so that a positive slant can be applied while learning how to face everything in life. Thousands of years ago, the ancients taught a basic principle called brainwashing — or, for our purposes, letting go of the negative and discovering the positive.
When I was a clergyman I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct retreats for people who were physically disabled. A gentleman who was suddenly disabled taught me mirror therapy. Try it before you go to bed at night. Go into the bathroom, stare into the mirror, and say to yourself, “You’re special, you’re wonderful, and I love you.” Then go up to the mirror and kiss yourself good night. Sounds strange, but if you continue to do it on a consistent basis watch how comfortable it becomes. So many times we are waiting for someone else to tell us how special we are. Don’t be afraid to affirm yourself.
This is a perfect way to focus on our personal growth. I realize today that I’m the only one who really has to like me. We can’t put growth off. We must learn to take time to invest in our personal growth. Try to approach life with an open mind. There’s a beautiful statement in A.A. that says, we must learn HOW to develop our growth.
“H stands for honesty; O stands for openness; W stands for willingness.” The more honest we are with ourselves, the more honest we’ll be with others. Be open to change. Throughout life, if your mind is open, you will learn something new each day. Be willing to change and grow because you are never done.
There’s so much to learn about ourselves. I would like to share with you some simple ways to look at ourselves to do this. Take a moment to reflect on the Peanuts comic strip. Did you know that each character in the strip is a little piece of us? The Peanuts concept was put together by a Protestant theologian. Here are a few examples:
Lucy – “The Grouch” – she is always looking at the negative side of life. Inside all of us at times lurks a little Lucy. We all have our bad days.
Linus – “Security” – his blanket represents many of our insecurities and dependencies. There are many persons, places, and things that are unhealthy for us, but we hold on anyway.
Charlie Brown – “Victim” – Poor old Charlie Brown. Everything happens to him. The more Charlie tries to control things, the more things don’t work. He’s his own enemy.
Snoopy – “The Hound of Heaven” – Snoopy is the free spirit inside all of us. He has that open-mindedness and energy that helps him deal with all situations in life. Inside all of us is a Snoopy. We should all look at life with a spirit and energy of growth.
Take time this month to discover the Snoopy in yourself. That positive energy will help you to look at life and to enjoy it.
Remember, August is a time to smell the roses and see the beauty in all of God’s creatures. Enjoy the lazy days of summer!!