Passage # 1: Treasure each day
There is no day that holds more value than the one you are living today. What is the value of yesterday? You can’t change it and you can’t go back to it. It is over. What is the value of tomorrow? More than yesterday, but less than today. It is the unopened gift that cannot be opened before the gift of this day and holds no guarantee that it will ever be given to you. Live in this day. Don’t just exist in it. Treasure each day.
Passage # 2: Value life.
The gift of life is unlike any gift you will ever receive. It was not given to you randomly but with careful consideration. All your talents, interests and experiences will come to you by design. They will serve a purpose. Eventually they will guide you Home to eternal life. Eternal life is the only gift you can truly own as all others are temporary. Your house will one day be the house of another. All possessions will one day be the possessions of another. Money is to be used to improve the value of life, not to improve the value of money. Value life.
Passage # 3: Feed Forgiveness
Learn to view forgiveness as the fuel for freedom. Imagine yourself in a large, green pasture on a sun-filled day. No matter where you look, you only see green pasture. The day ahead represents complete freedom. Every movement in your day is a result of whatever choices you make. You can think, say, read and believe anything you choose. There is plenty of food and water to sustain life. You will sleep when you are tired and energy will flow through you while awake. The possibilities are endless. Suddenly, you hear loud engines behind and you turn around to see two diggers plowing deep, wide ditches all around you. You now sit on a square plot of land separated from freedom. Your possibilities and choices are limited. If you harbor resentment, anger, hate or ill will towards others—you, yourself, are plowing those trenches. Your freedom is compromised because your choices will now be driven by those types of thoughts. Forgive unconditionally and understand that whatever you are forgiving happened as a result of someone else’s bad choice. We have all made bad choices. Until we experience the freedom that comes with forgiveness, we will continue to make them. Feed forgiveness.
Passage # 4: Shower your mind
The mind is the driving force behind every action you take. It works harder than any other part of your body because it stores your thoughts. You must always keep it fresh, open and ready for new thoughts. Thoughts live in every moment. If there are past thoughts that are useless because they generate negative emotions of anger, resentment, shame, fear, judgment or jealousy, get rid of them. Label them as toxic. Know that they will infect every other thought and change the course of your actions. Cleanse your thoughts daily until the negatives have no power. Shower your mind.
Passage # 5: Do what you love and love whatever you are doing
A song is not a song without music. A sunset is not a sunset without color. And the passing of time does not define a life without love. Do you love who you are? Do you love what you do? Are you grateful for the love of others and time to do the things you love? What would you miss, if it was taken away? Find gratitude for what you’d miss. Stop giving valuable time to what you wouldn’t miss. All human lives are short. Do what you love and love whatever you are doing.
Passage # 6: Be human
Who do you want to be? Answer that question above all others. It’s easy to focus on doing or having, but they won’t bring fulfillment until you’ve focused on being. If you are being the human you were created to be, then you’ll want to do what is needed to have what you want. Be careful not to reverse that order. If you think you must have something to be someone, you’ve been fooled. You must be someone to truly have something. Be human.
Passage # 7: Live as if you’re dying so you won’t die without having lived
Watch someone with a terminal illness. They don’t waste one minute of time. That is why so many consider their illness to be a gift. Their perspective and priorities change. They feel more alive than ever because they see every smile, hear every laugh, taste every bite, savor every sunset and live every moment. Treasure your health but don’t let it deceive you into thinking the end can’t be near. You may not get the gift of foresight to know when you’ll be called away. Live as if you’re dying, so you won’t die without having lived.
Passage # 8: Teach by example
Words without actions are dishonest. It is easy to tell others how to live, but wasted breath if you don’t apply what you teach. Inspire others by demonstrating the words from these passages. Universal truths will not change with the times. You are meant to learn from those who have walked ahead and share what you’ve learned with those walking behind. Open your mind to lessons and share without judgment. That is the fundamental purpose of a human life. Teach by example.
Passage # 9: Avoid Judgment
This will be the hardest passage, but all other passages are minimized if you can’t follow this one. Whenever you are tempted to judge someone because of their looks, actions or words, pick up a straw like those you’d drink from. Put the straw up to one eye and point it at that person. How much of that person can you see through the straw? That is exactly how much information you will ever have about that person. It doesn’t matter how well you think you know others; you don’t know enough to judge them. You don’t know where they have been, what experiences they have had, and most importantly, you do not know what is in their hearts. We are not put here to judge others. We are never given the information we need to truly judge someone, so we speculate. When I was growing up, we had a strange-looking kid move to our town. He wore outdated clothes that didn’t fit him properly and his lower lip curved downward so he always looked upset. We nicknamed him, ‘Larry the Loser.’ Even though he didn’t talk much in social groups, he was the first one to answer any question posed by the teacher. I don’t remember that I ever called him a loser, but I’m sure I laughed about it at his expense.
The first night I had to spend in a hospital after learning about the cancer, I was alone and scared. I asked to speak with the doctor. The next thing I knew, ‘Larry the Loser’ was in my room answering my questions and compassionately giving me hope. He’d grown up to become a doctor. Avoid judgment.
Passage # 10: Value freedom
The life you have been given is a gift of goodness. The goodness will come if you are allowed to define it for yourself. Think of a life where all choices are made for you: where you live, what you do, what you believe and what you value. If you have not made any of those choices, good or bad, you may never know the true meaning of goodness. Value freedom.
Passage # 11: Trust in yourself
You have been given everything you need to make the right decisions for your life. Emotions, thoughts, words, and instinct are all provided to guide your decisions. You must learn to trust your instinct. If you are making a decision based on what someone else thinks, you may take the wrong path if it is in conflict with your instinct. Ask for guidance, listen, and learn. But the final decision is yours to make. Trust in yourself.
Passage # 12: Live life in real time
Life is not perfect by design. Expecting it to be will only pave the path to disappointment. If looking forward is necessary to make today better, do it, and name it hope. If looking forward or backward is a part of avoiding today…stop. It is taking away from what you need today. Yesterday is over and the true tomorrow will never be what your mind imagines. So when tomorrow becomes today, if you’re lucky enough, you will find that it rarely matches the expectations set up in your mind. Live life in real time.
Passage # 13: Prevent regrets
Life is a like a long walk. When you take a long walk, you want comfortable shoes. Regrets are like adding spikes to those shoes. The more regrets you have, the more spikes you’ll be walking on and the more uncomfortable the shoe. The more uncomfortable the shoe, the less enjoyable the walk. Regrets come from giving up before you fulfill your dream. Regrets come from wasting valuable time on things you are not passionate about. If it’s your dream, find a way to it. If it’s not your dream, don’t waste precious time on it. Prevent regrets
To learn more about The Passages to Peace (Novel): Click Here