Gratitude is Seeing the Miracle in Every Moment.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Win Friends and Influence People- Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

The Big Secret of Dealing with People

There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything…. by making the other person want to do it.

However, we know that crude, sharp methods are not the best mode of encouraging others to do what you want. So if you can't do it by force, what is the alternative?

Mr. Carnegie suggests that we give the other person what they want, in order to get what we want them to do. Hmmm… seems a bit sly and under handed. But perhaps there is an interesting method to this madness. We start by considering what it is that people want. Does that imply that we actually hone in on peoples main animalistic drives, i.e. sex and the desire to be great, according to Dr. Sigmund Freud. Or as Mr. John Dewey points out here on this book's pages: "the desire to be important". 

We further read to discover a list of possibly typical wants/wishes of the average human being, regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation:

1. Health and the preservation of life.
2. Food.
3. Sleep.
4. Money and the things money will buy.
5. Life in the hereafter.
6. Sexual gratification.
7. The well-being of our children.
8. A feeling of importance.

Almost all these wants are usually gratified-- all except one. But there is one longing-- almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep-- which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls "the desire to be great." It is what Dewey calls the "desire to be important."

"Everybody likes a compliment." -Abraham Lincoln

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." -William James

Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and "even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies."

How people get their own feelings of importance determines what they are; determines their character.

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person by appreciation and encouragement.
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise, but loathe to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise." -Charles Schwab

An average person would likely resume the opposite way of thinking; bawling out loud to others when they don't like something, and yet saying nothing when something is approved.

"In my wide association with life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world I have yet to find a person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism." -Charles Schwab

We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how seldom do we nourish their self-esteem? We provide them with roast beef and potatoes and build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words of appreciated that would sing in their memories for years like the music of morning stars. 

But beware of flattery, as it disguises itself to walk along side praise, compliment and appreciation. It can do more harm than good in it's counterfeit and fake way of being; it is insincere, is not heartfelt, selfish, cheap praise and condemned.

"Don't be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you." -General Alvaro Obregon

One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation. Somehow, we neglect to praise… and we fail to encourage. Nothing pleases more than this kind of interest and approval. In our interpersonal relations we should never forget that all our associates are human beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender that all souls enjoy. 

I shall pass this way by once; any good, therefore, that I can do air any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. 

Let's cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let's try to figure out the other person's good points. Then forget flattery Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise," and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime-- repeat them years after you have forgotten them.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How To Win Friends and Influence People- Don't Criticize or Complain

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

I think its key to remember right from the start, that they… and I do mean all of us mortal people, are just that; mortal. We fall into the category of imperfect beings; of what the Holy Scriptures refer to as, "the natural man". Such categorization referring to in real terms the actual animal, weak-minded, unmannered, habitual persons who as children of a great God, stumble in meeting our true purpose and destiny to become in reality: god-like. Hence the reason why we are having this life of experience in the first place right?! Of course. Part of becoming "god-like" is to LEARN! And learning to handle situations and other people is a key component to achieving the successful end result.

Dale Carnegie proceeds to instruct his first idea/technique in handling people:

1. Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain 

If You Want to Gather Honey, Don't Kick Over the Beehive

We've learned through life's experiences in dealing with others that the "natural man" (which is an enemy to God… and therefore an enemy to our becoming like Him) often finds reason to rationalize and explain away actions which may be morally incorrect, harmful, and in some cases perhaps even sinful. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, fallacious or logical, to justify their anti-social acts even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining that they should never have been in the wrong at all. In fact, it would seem that those of this world who may be perhaps MORE influenced by the "natural man", than by the spirit within him that gives his natural body life and personality, often don't blame themselves for anything! (No matter how wrong they may be.)

I'm not writing this as an act of scolding such imperfections… even in my own person. John Wanamaker is quoted in this book at having said, "I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence". 

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on a defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. Again, this is much like an animal reaction to the situation, but remember, having not yet obtained godhood nor perfection in any form this is the natural reaction to negative reinforcement. With this thought in constant consideration, we can recall countless scientific studies and personal experiences where an animal (person or not), who when rewarded for good behavior learns much more rapidly and retains what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Therefore, by criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.

In conjunction with criticism, standing as an unwanted wall that keeps us from communicating effectively with others, we are often crossed with the innate behaviors of insulting our fellow men, and ridiculing them for our own purposes and agendas. Seems to be a bit more like casting judgement where judgement has yet to have been served. "Judge not, that yet be not judged." I dunno about you, but I'm only wanting myself and God to be my judge and witness of my actual doings and who I am… not any other imperfect being. So I'll make it my resolve to not behave opposite of my desire for myself toward any other.

Dale Carnegie continued to write on the matter:

Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself? From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others-- yes, and a lot less dangerous. 

If you and I want to stir up a resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just lest us indulge in a little stinging criticism-- no matter how certain we are that it is justified.

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Win Friends and Influence People- A Study Journal

As I was pulling in to work this morning, the day after we celebrate the birth of our Savior; I found myself contemplating the stark reality that I had fallen so far from where I once was. While pondering this grave fact of my current life status, I've since come to the conclusion that the reason for this downfall, is ultimately due to my lack of endurance to meet an end goal. Now, without getting too religious about this undeniable factor currently contributing to my lack of direction and current course of life, yet knowing that my faith and living of gospel principles should also be a constant driving force, I know that I have to pick up where I left off... once I get out of the woods here.

In short, I recall having not only a regular habit of living a faithful life, but also of consistent intellectual improvement by reading well written teachings and theories on characteristic improvements. This too, I have lost an ability to endure in. So although some may deem this a little too early to acquire new year resolutions, I've made it a tactical life decision to take more time reading and studying what many call "self-help" books. Perhaps it will encourage a more adept ability to be successful on a larger scale... at least this is my hope.

My first attempt at personal improvement was recommended some years ago to me by a close friend whom I view as not only a vastly successful businessman, but also an inspiring motivator and spiritual giant. He has sworn by Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" as a powerful foundation that built who he is now is both professionally and personally. I therefore plan to indulge my thought processing by compiling my own commentary and insight on the words I will be reading here in this blog.

Opening Page Reads: The More You Get Out of This Book, the More You'll Get Out of Life!
This seems to be a premise for an alluded promise, yet to be experienced. In my experience, a promise such as this, would require personal effort on my part. Mr. Carnegie states on this page:
In order to get the most out of this book:
a. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
b. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one.
c. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
d. Underscore each important idea.
e. Review this book each month.
f. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily problems.
g. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.
h. Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.
i. Keep notes in the back of this book showing how and when you have applied these principles.

I'm assuming that one would not be required to pursue each of these suggestions in order to get "the most out of this book", however there are some good examples of what I would deem to be successful study habits.... such habits that could easily be applied to all other books and techniques one might be seeking to learn. Hence why I have noted them here.

It is keen to note that originally, this written work was to be used as a sort of textbook for Mr. Carnegie's courses in Effective Speaking and Human Relations. These courses, according to Mrs. Dale Carnegie are still offered today. I wonder what those courses entail...

In Mr. Carnegie's self written prologue about how this book was written-- and why, he candidly points out, "Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect, or engineer."
Oh how peculiar this world would be without some sort of interpersonal communication! Anyone who thinks contrary to Dale's statement of the obvious, needs to make a serious check in with reality. In fact, he also points out only 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge on any subject and approximately 85% of this same form of success is actually due to personality and the ability to lead people. This proves to be an intriguing concept. While 15% adds up to a fair amount of the sum, I'm baffled by the amount of success that actually comes simply by being.... AWESOME, to put it blankly. And to think I spent thousands of dollars on higher education. I could almost find it irritating and obnoxiously annoying that the highest-paid personnel in almost any industry are frequently not those who know the most about their field. My one saving grace to amount to anything in the future is the hope that if I have the technical knowledge PLUS the ability to express ideas, assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people-- in other words, communicating effectively, then I will be enabled with a higher earning power. I suppose at this point I can at least be grateful that I actually majored in communication while studying for my undergraduate.

Side Note: Someone very close to me, aka a family member with parental insight and authority recently made their opinion known regarding my hard earned education. He eluded if not matter of factually stated that a degree in Communication was "tiddly winks"; insinuating that I shouldn't seek a graduate degree in it because it wont get me anywhere in this world. While I harbor no ill will against this person whom I still hold in high esteem and respect, my heart was crushed at his condemnation. I fully accept the fact that I entered the work force at the peak of a national recession and jobs in my originally chosen field were scarce, and that the current job position I hold was not part of my original professional business plan. But I also accept the fact that all things considered, my ability to promote upwards in my current company of employment is due largely in part to my education and daily application in effective communication and leadership. These have enhanced my knowledge and experience in ways I could not see before, and I will only improve and move upward because of it. We'll see who's education was tiddly winks in due time.

There are some inspiring quotes within this prologue's last pages:

"Compared to what we ought to be,  we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use."  -William James, Harvard Professor

"Education is the ability to meet life's situations." -Dr. John G. Hibben, Former President Princeton University

"The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action." -Herbert Spencer

If Mr. Carnegie intended these final quotes to be associated with each other in this conclusion, one can be lead to think that in order to live outside our limits and what we ought to be, then we require education and that very education must lead to action or a performance of the knowledge gleaned from said education. Would it be safe to assume, if we are to glean anything from life the sole basis of such accomplishments is determined by an education; knowledge on simply.... "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Hmmmm....... Interesting...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To Be Made and Instrument

Each night as I kneel before my maker, I ever so humbly ask to be made an instrument in His hands, to bless the lives of those dear to my heart.

I've seen miracles beyond words brought to pass on numerous occassions. When my soul purpose thrives on my being the tool God chooses to use to bring blessings into the lives of His other children, my heart soars.

But there are inevitably still going to be moments when my sought after purpose, yields to a broken heart. For though I be an instrument, I'm only wielded as far as the Master's hand moves me. For as many miracles as I've encountered, I've witnessed some rejection and carried a heavy and broken heart because of it.

Never before in my life has my heart felt broken for anything such as this before. My heart aches for every family member, every friend, investigator or loved one, who willfully rejects the love of our Father in Heaven after He has so freely shared it through either myself and the words, actions or deeds I strive to be worthy to share with them, or those of other far more worthy instruments and tools at his disposal.

I often feel as did prophets and missionaries of old...

"... I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you... and I have spoken unto you concerning all the things which are written..." (Jacob, speaking to the Nephite nation. 2 Nephi 6:3)

"... O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people." (Alma the Younger, praying to God. Alma 2:30)

"O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me... O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me... yea, even all these wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them... O Lord, wilt though grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." (Alma the Younger, praying to God just prior to missionary service Alma 31:20-34)

I know each of us is entitled to our own agency to choose the life path we will travel, in a sense... but oh how I've come to a deeper understanding of how it felt for my Savior, Jesus Christ... Son of the Living God, to perform the Atonement that night in Gethsemane. He knew then as well as He knows now, just how sorrowful it is to witness the falling and stumbling; the rejection and lack of trust so many souls have chosen to live with.

I'm far from a perfect being, maybe I shouldn't be so eager to make myself moldable at will to the Father; and I know some who will read this post and think that I haven't even scratched the surface... that the eternal welfare of others should be the least of my worries when I fall so far short of the mark that's been placed before me. My imperfections will be my ultimate downfall.

And yet, it seems to be one of the only things my heart truly desires; to aid my God in His great and marvelous work. This inspiring objective brings my spirit climbing to new heights and keeps my temptations, weaknesses and ungodly habits at bay.

Recently, I've been placed in the lives of a couple individuals, for what ultimate purpose I do not know. I only know that with each precious soul, I'm granted a mere sliver of mortal time to lift them higher on life's mountain. While one such individual scoffed at the open hand of love and patience reaching out to him, another seems to tremble and hesitate in mistrust of the same hand.

My soul mourned and at times still feels heavy at the remembrance of how blatantly he pushed away every testament I shared with him; every word of encouragement and hope was cast down and ridiculed simply because it was something he no longer desired to be a part of his life. To this brother, a son of God; child of my heavenly family, I cried in agony at your rejection of the light Father wishes you would let back into your life. I weeped for your misunderstanding of correct principles and teachings that had been shared with you your entire life…. principles and teachings you bore witness and testimony of as a servant in his vineyard some years ago, and now pretend to be a part of for sake of saving face with family and friends but have no real intention of following through with. My heart broke for your sake.

While I privately mourn the choices of one, I plead with loving care on behalf of the other who, due to choices and actions of others struggles to regain her trust in that same great and loving Father who has always watched over her and blessed her. Unfortunately, said trust can only be cemented upon a sure foundation… which at this time may be under mending from so many years of battling the forces which have sought anxiously to bring her down to the very lowest depths, and perhaps in her past she succumbed to some of these forces temptations, ideas, and misrepresentations to the point where she might feel that she is not worthy, or of any worth, or able to trust God again. The only thing I am able to do is help mend the foundation by supplying the means to do so, but I cannot MAKE the foundation be repaired. That will be her choice.

If I could however, without repercussions, sit down with this beautiful, uniquely special; this strong and resilient daughter of God and express to her the testimony that burns brightly in me regarding her strength, her resilience, her beauty and the blessings and gifts Father has yet to give her, I would with assuredness. My words to her would be:

Dearest Sister, for many nights now I've wept for you. How I pray for you to truly know, and trust in the all encompassing love of a Great, Perfect and Almighty Father in Heaven. He knows your heartaches. He sees your trials. He has witnessed your triumphs and wept with you through your pain, and even contradictory life choices. Father knows you and is aware of your needs and righteous desires. He longs to hold you and bring you safely into His rest. He has willingly offered His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to provide a way for you to acquire freedom from earthly pains, transgressions, and misgivings. He has lovingly, without guile or judgement, invited you to "Come unto Him", and the Power of Christ's redemption can heal whatever may be broken within you.

These Perfect and Celestial Beings, The Father and The Son, are not like the men you may have encountered in mortality. They will not betray you; they practice no ill will towards you, nor do they approve of any man on earth who denies you the right to be treated with utmost respect, love, care, tenderness, patience and understanding. They long for your regained trust in them and their ability to not only heal and mend your broken heart, but to also set right the situations and experiences that have wronged you; for They are both Merciful, and Just.

The experiences of your past, did not occur because of Their lack of love and concern for you. Understand that some experiences and trials you were meant to go through. To both make you strong, and to prove as witness against those who may have wrongfully and spitefully fought against you.

Please know that you were an exceptionally strong and valiant daughter of God in our Pre-Mortal Life. You fought then for freedoms and rights; correct principles, doctrines and teachings that would provide a pathway towards everyone's eternal progression should they in life choose to live for. That same battle you fought in then, wages on now. Your strength and valiance has only increased and Father is extremely proud of the righteous desires you continue to exhibit and fight for each day. DON'T GIVE UP! Hold on, just a little longer. The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that is coming. Angels are here now, to lift you up; and they will carry you upon their shoulders in celebration of your great victories. And my own heart will be singing songs of rejoice at that day, which I KNOW will be soon near, if you but hold on… and place it all in God's hands. Trust in His ability to bless you.
For, it is a trust I have placed in Him on your behalf.

I don't know if these children, or any others in God's kingdom read my words. And maybe no one ever will. But my prayer for these two individuals, mirrors the prayers I have for many others. If you're reading this right now, you might be one of them. Regardless, I hope that my sharing these words has been applied to my purpose and desire to be an instrument in His hands. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Seeking Purpose

Oft times my mind will be caught up in serious reflection on my life, the choices I've made, the talents I have and the path I'm on. The worst feeling I can experience in this life, is that I have not lived enough, that I lack in so much. (second to this is the feeling of not being accepted, but that's a topic for a different day).

No matter how inspired I feel I can be in a moment of deciding worthy goals and plans to better myself, I lack accomplishment or completion and its becoming a sick plague I wish to be rid of. I'm consistently bombarded by roadblocks which seek to thwart any kind of inspired activity or positive thinking. I've made no dent, no impression, no change to the world. Its as though I've been attempting to push a boulder up a mountain, but it hasn't moved in even the slightest degree.

I once saw a graphic on pinterest regarding one's purpose:

If my talents ultimately lead to my purpose. Why do I not have a main talent to point me and lead me on my way? This appears to be a fairly simple and logical equation. Why am I not able to compute the sum? How am I ever to be great; to leave my mark on the world if I never seem to establish fruits of my labors?

Words sung by renowned musician, Beyonce, seem to hit the underlying feelings I have right now...
I wanna leave my footprint
on the sands of time.
Know there was something that
I left behind.
When I leave this world,
I'll leave no regrets.
Leave something to remember
so they wont forget

I was here.

I lived, I loved.
I was here.
I did, I've done
everything that I wanted
and it was more than I 
thought it would be. 
I will leave my mark
so everyone will know
I was here.

I wanna say that I 
lived each day until I died,
and know that I 
meant something in somebody's life.
The hearts I have touched
will be the proof that I leave;
that I made a difference
and this world will see

I was here.

I lived, I loved.
I was here.
I did, I've done
everything that I wanted 
and it was more than I 
thought it would be.
I will leave my mark
so everyone will know
I was here.

I lived, I loved.
I was here.
I did, I've done
everything that I wanted 
and it was more than I 
thought it would be.
I will leave my mark
so everyone will know
I was here.

I just want them to know
that I gave my all;
did my best;
brought someone some happiness;
left this world a little better because
I was here.

I was here.
I lived, I loved.
I was here.
I did, I've done
everything that I wanted
and it was more than I 
thought it would be.
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here.

I lived, I loved.
I was here.
I did, I've done

I was here.

I work a job that is so far from my desired profession and my former expensive college education 

Lets be honest, I've tried making goals with deadlines and detailed plans, and I've tried just the opposite. I've attempted to be a ambitious and sought an education. I've sacrificed time, energy and money to serve and benefit others... in fact, I've made this my life's determination; to always be seeking the betterment of someone else's life of situation. I've never asked for anything in return. I don't want to appear selfish or self centered, but is there going to be a paying forward to myself? Am I actually going to witness the fruits I've labored so diligently to cultivate?

I know this blog is supposed to be dedicated to seeing life through Heaven's Eyes, and not my temporal ones, but people aren't reading anyway, so why should I care? I'm just tired.... tired of trying and trying and not seeming to get anywhere. I've been tired for a few years now... am I making any difference?

Still seeking purpose... 


Monday, September 16, 2013

Choose Higher Ground

Climbing Up

The life each member of the human family is brought to live (though differing on a variety of levels), can typically be summed up in the form of a self-made parable about mountain climbing. Indeed, the very thought that we each must climb the same mountain, but along our own trails and at our own pace, poses great impressions upon the mind and heart.

Envision the young, eager hiker; equipped and ready to tackle the climb and carrying little doubt or concern for their inabilities or weaknesses. They are armed with the necessary tools to make their way to the top and proclaim victory over the obstacle of life. Such tools could include a pack filled with: a map, maybe a field guide, a first aid kit, a blanket, a light, and a compass. As the early morning breaks, and  with determination, this young individual steps out on the path they see before them, and sets out on a journey that they will quickly learn can either make, or break them forever.

At first, the hike upward seems easy. The terrain has been well cleared of debris and dangers. There is little need for the amenities carefully packed away in the depths of the large bag strapped to their soft, youthful back. All too soon however we, the climber, find ourselves needing comfort, warmth and direction. Because this is going to be a lot harder and longer than we thought it would be in the beginning. The trail becomes much narrower and easy to stray from. The weather is often changing from bright sunny days, to dark intense rains.

Thankfully, there are other hikers who cross our paths. Some even climb with us for a time, and the journey doesn't seem so long during such wonderful times. Our relations with some of these, enable us to learn how to best utilize the tools tucked safely away in our packs. Early on, one even gave us a one-way radio and taught us how to send messages to the camp at the peak. This device works to our advantage because many times, aid from camp in varying forms can be sent down to us upon our request. It's also a way we can give a status report to those anxiously awaiting at the summit camp.

The trail map, becomes our greatest ally against the weaving, winding, steep and sometimes disappearing mountain trail. It has become the key to discernment and direction.

The field guide is used as a book of information we continually add to through our own self experience and sometimes passed on to us by these fellow hikers.

Someone takes the time to teach us how to use and utilize the compass, and for a while the climb ever upward plateaus for a time. However, this ease can lead to a sense of over zealousness and we throw caution to the wind, since we know exactly what we are doing; leading to painful stumbles and minor scrapes.

On occasion, one might find themselves lost and weary. We stumble and even loose our footing to the point of falling completely off the path. We fall deep into ravines or hang precariously off high precipices. We have brought ourselves to places of sorrow such as these for many number of reasons. But the truth of the matter is, if we had simply stayed on the path, no matter how narrow; if we had ensured our footing before charging ahead so recklessly; if we had only turned the light on sooner when the darkness came closing in on us.... so many "what if" and "if only" scenarios could easily have been avoided.

Up til now, this is the greatest set back we have ever experienced on this climb. Previously it may have only been a slight trip or stumble; a slip along the muddy path. Minor scrapes and bruises. But back then we merely made our adjustments and carried on. Never before had we actually lost our footing enough to fall so far down and away from the trail. We admit that we were wrong in venturing too close to the edge of the high cliff to begin with. But previously when we had fallen we had been able to act quick enough on instinct to catch ourself from the fall and pull up from the side of the depths before experiencing such loss.

Now, we lay in fetal position. Attempting in vain to block out the pain of the multitude of cuts and wounds now inflicted deep in the flesh. Some are even infected now. Tears rush down our dirt streaked face. We feel vulnerable, alone, cold, scared and even angry. The contents of our pack are strewn about us; it begins to rain. Hadn't anyone see us veering the wrong direction? Why didn't anyone know we had fallen from the path? Was anyone looking for me?

I weakly cry out for aid, hoping someone will hear, but to no avail. Sitting up and taking in my surroundings and feeling bitter because no one cares, I give up my call for help. Discarding my mangled and meager belongings, I wobble to a standing position and make my way to the side of the mountain. I'm too weak to climb, and am unable to locate any strong hand/foot holds to attempt a climb upward to the path I was once on.

Hours pass. Despair sinks in as I realize that the dangers down in these depths are at a greater intensity than they were from the trail. Darkness all around me and nothing but an unknown wondering awaits me in the shadows beyond. I've heard of this place. There have been others who became lost to this dreary place. They too had fallen from the path they were meant to stay on and now they remain here. They remain here, because they would rather discover their own paths than feel conformed to someone else's idea of how to reach the summit.

These former climbers would rather experience the sweet, raw taste of the exotic sweet fruits here, off the trail. They desire to meander with other fallen hikers, forming bonds that decrease their opportunity to climb to the beauties, wonders and bounties which await every one at the top of the mountain. The opportunity decreasing every day simply from their lack of commitment to the climb, they no longer desire to reach the top.

More time passes... days upon days even. I've lost track of time and how long its been since I was on my way to the summit and not here. I've become numb from the surrounding cold. I consider what that must be like, to gather with the fallen; as if that might be my only chance for joy after such a reckless fall. As my heart breaks at the thought of never reaching the end; never experiencing the excitement and accomplishment of reaching the mountain peak, my eyes spy the light that had fallen from my pack.

I limp through the muddy terrain, each step more painful than the last. My blood and filth stained hands reach for the light. The light is very dim, but its enough to show me where my map fell during my fall. In wrenching pain, I make my way to its resting place, and collapse. I just wish it were all over now. I'm too tired, too weak, to sore to try anymore. But I turn the warn pages of the map over and over in my filthy hands. If I can only make it up out of this low valley I've fallen into, I'll be back on the path I shouldn't have strayed from.

Ragged, and torn, I look desperately about me for any sign of what I should do next. Survival is my only hope. Survival is what keeps me from moving farther away from the trail high above me. My bag that had been strapped to my back previously, lay a few feet away and I gather a bit of strength to retrieve it and my belongings. In so doing, discover that the radio I'd been carrying throughout my journey currently resting on a ledge high above my head- just close enough to the edge that I can see it when I back away from the side of the mountain.

The radio is my life line! I HAVE to climb up and retrieve it for immediate use. If I do not, I may just die here.

Somehow, I manage to bring my mangled body to attempt the climb upward, even if its just to the radio. Its hard to obtain any sure footing or grip as I slip and scrape. The injuries I've received, send jolts of excruciating pain from my extremities as I struggle to hold on to anything that will get me closer to the ledge. After what feels like a lifetime to my weakened self, I finally make it up to the ledge. The trail, still a number of feet higher than this. I KNOW I cannot obtain the goal.

I press the button on the radio, to speak with the summit. I'm ashamed to call out for their help, and I pause for a long while instead of making the call. I'm such a disgrace of a climber. There will be no mercy. I had a simple task, and I failed to adhere to the guidelines to keep me on that task. I'm so ashamed.

Finally, I make the call for help... and I feel like collapsing.

Expecting to obtain aid from another hiker, my weary eyes are surprised to find Him repelling down to me; the Trail Maker. Saddened by my lack of abilities, tears come rolling down in burning streams. The salty moisture irritates the opened crevices of the wounds gaping open upon my lips and chin.

He rushes to my side. Of all the many souls seeking to walk in His steps, He comes down to my level of despair and pain. His eyes are sad as He surveys my condition. His warm hand gently caresses my battered one. I whisper to Him how sorry I am for letting Him down. I express what remains of my desire to reach the summit. I confess my youthful recklessness which brought me to my fall. He lovingly begins to dress my many wounds.

He gently washes away the dirt from my face. Then I see a tear fall from his eye. He tells me how concerned They have been at the summit; they had not heard from me for some time and they feared the worst. He says I was all He could think of as He left the others gathered at the top and came in search of me. He talked about how much of His strength is spent in searching out others who have become lost. He pulls me into his strong embrace, telling me how glad He is that I had been found. He holds me like this for a few moments and I feel an inner weight deep within me lifted. He was not angry with me, rather He was overcome with joy that I had been saved from the depths of my fall. He was happy that I had called out to the summit camp for help. That action had given Them hope that I wanted to be found, that I wanted to finish my climb.

More tears fall as I realize how much the Trail Maker cares for me; how concerned for me He is; and how He doesn't condemn me for my lack of sight or even for stumbling as I have. I know I can trust Him no matter what happens. Too soon, He releases me from the protection of His arms. He knows I feel weak right now, but when I climb back to the trail, I will regain my strength. So He stands and extends a hand to raise me up.

Weakly, but with stronger resolve, I reach up and He brings me to stand again. He helps me strap on the extra harness He brought for the treacherous climb up and begins His ascent. Every movement on my part required more strength than I had. But each time my footing gave out, or my hand lost its grip, He reached out for me and kept me from regressing. Upon my eventual and glorious return to the safe and secure path, the Trail Maker held me close again and told me that He would be waiting for me at the top.

And so I climb up...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In Your Hands

(Written in July of 2008)

As sleep relieved me of the day,
to an high mountain I was carried away.
The Spirit was to be my guide this night
and my Father's house was within my sight.
I entered in at the gate;
the steps before, began with faith.

Lead me by the way.
Walk with me each day.
Help me understand-
I'm in your hands.

The Savior met me at the door,
and I could hold my tears no more.
Wonder pierced my memory-
had I become all He asked me to be?
My heart cried out:
Lord, save me from my doubt!

Lead me by the way.
Walk with me each day.
Help me understand- 
I'm in your hands.

Have I served with a heart sincere?
Am I worthy to be standing here?
Did I let you down with life was tough?
Lord, did I give enough?

Lead me by the way.
Walk with me each day.
Help me understand-
I'm in your hands.

As I knelt with fear and trembling,
I felt His hands so soft and loving.
He took me in, and held me close;
'Child you already know...
Every hand you held 
and with each tear that fell,
Thou hast served me well'.

Lead me by the way.
Walk with me each day.
Help me understand-
I'm in your hands.

The Natural Man

I'm sorry Lord. I just can't get it right.
Forgive me- for my lack of sight.
If only I could be
all you see in me.
I fall short in keeping
promises you are seeking.
Though it seems I try,
yet in agony I cry.
I failed you again.

I need to put off the natural man,
to be found on your right hand.
Pure as a child;
meek and mild,
filled with love,
and return to you above.

In my carnal state is seems
I'm so far past feeling.
Lower than the earth's dust
sinks my soul 'cuz of lust.
And with tears of pain I plead-
O God have mercy!
Cleanse me through His sacrifice.
For I believe in Christ.

I need to put off the natural man,
to be found on your right hand.
Pure as a child;
meek and mild,
filled with love,
and return to you above.

...Put off the natural man.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Send Me An Angel

(Written 12/13/07. This particular piece was written whilst I was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had been assigned to labor in the cities of Danville and Alamo California during this time. I had spent the Thanksgiving holiday already in this area, which had proven to try my faith in myself and my ability to communicate well with others. Christmas, and a transfer change was looming before me and if I had known what trials were meant to come my way shortly after the Christmas holiday, I might not have had the strength to stay and complete my service).

With fear and trembling,
on my knees I plead.
Tears flow freely;
my soul can barely breath.

My heart cries out.
In the darkness, all is still.
The pain leaves scars of doubt.
My spirit's numb; its hard to feel.

Send me an angel.

I need loving arms around me.
Light the dark so I can see.
A hand that's warm to dry my tears;
lift all my doubts and fears.
Send me an angel.

Shadows of the day,
burn trails in my memory.
And clouded is the way
that leads to my belief.

Send me an angel.

I need loving arms around me.
Light the dark so I can see.
A hand that's arm to dry my tears;
lift all my doubts and fears.
Send me an angel.

Gently from above,
a soft had is shown.
I'm reaching up,
finding strength beyond my own.

My eyes behold
a face of love.
The friend from before
is my angel from above.

(Thankfully, a prayer was answered, and when I was meant to experience the darkest trial of my missionary service, God sent someone to be there with me; another sister missionary who knew what to say and do to ease the burden I felt in my heart and soul. In short, God did send me an angel. She may not know it, but her wisdom and spiritual insight gave me the strength to keep on).

Your Journey

(Written 02/16/08. Midway through My Missionary Service)

You stepped off the plane that day,
not really knowing what you would say.
Welcomed by a man named Beck,
you met your trainer and you were set.
To the people of Oakland you went,
Sharing this love our Father sent.

Preaching and teaching;
you reached out with hands loving.
Reading and learning;
your life will never be the same.

You sat in their home and said,
'We all are God's children'.
Tears ran down their face that day,
as they kneeled down to pray.
Hearts were changed; made better
when they came to the water.

Preaching and teaching;
you reached out with hands loving.
Reading and learning;
your life will never be the same.

Back at the plan again;
this good-bye is so hard to end.
Eighteen months have now past,
and that man, Beck is joined with us.
We send our love and good luck.
Your mission's complete- may the memories be sweet.

You're life will never be the same.

I'm Free

(Written on 07/27/06)

The sun comin up
o'er the mountains far.
Time to fill my cup-
ain't never felt like this before;
Like my spirit inside me
just won't let me be.
Oh it yearns to be free.

My heart is racing.
My eyes are opened.
For so long
I struggled to hold on.
Now deep inside me
I'm free!

Chasing dreams along the stream-
Oh I've never felt so clean.
No doubts. No fears.
Ain't got nothing but happy tears.
For the joy I feel now,
makes me wanna shout
my life is taking a new route!

My heart is racing.
My eyes are opened.
For so long
I struggled to hold on.
Now deep inside me
I'm free!

The stars up above,
they send a glimpse of Heaven's love;
and oh I can't get enough.
Ain't never going back to where I was;
trapped by the enemy,
darkness all around me.
But by God's light, now I see.

My heart is racing.
My eyes are opened.
For so long
I struggled to hold on.
Now deep inside me
I'm free!

The Lost Sheep

(Written on 04/25/05)

Down again- Fallen to the ground.
Tell me please, can the light in me be found?
I've tried so hard; left bruised and scarred.
No light. No hope.
Where am I to go?

Won't somebody find me?
I've lost my way- so far astray.
My strength is gone,
got nothing to hold on.
Help me, I plead- I, the lost sheep.

Do I turn back?
What more to I lack?
These wounds cut so deep, and I feel weak.
Can't seem to reach, though I try.
Will this ache in me subside?

Won't somebody find me?
I've lost my way-so far astray.
My strength is gone,
got nothing to hold on.
Help me, I plead- I, the lost sheep.

Then from on high, I hear His call;
It reaches me and soothes my battered soul.
I can make it to the end
with the Shepherd as my friend.
He will lead me home.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Remember When

Those lazy days of summer;
Nights we spent together.
Sharing our secrets and dreams;
I promised to be there when yours were out of reach.
Can you remember?
Remember a time when our minds
solved our problems, and our love led the way.

Remember when,
we were young and free; you and me.
Our only fear was the the coming years.
Lying in fields of flowers- wishing on stars.
Living for each moment.
Remember when?

Looking back now I can see
all the joy you brought to me.
Walking by my side through life;
you were there in happiness and strife.
Can you remember?
Remember those precious moments;
the laughter, the friendship.

Remember when,
we were young and free; you and me.
Our only fear was the coming years.
Lying in fields of flowers- wishing on stars.
Living for each moment.
Remember when?

Like A Child

(Written Just Before My 18th Birthday)

The time is near, to go our own ways.
We must hide the fears; no more will we play.
Are we ready to leave?
What do we believe?
Its one thing to grow old,
but must we do it alone?

I'm like a child, stepping into the unknown.
This world of the old- so full of scorn.
I just wanna go back.
Is that too much to ask?

Life was free of care; living for each moment.
Secrets and promises shared. Thus were days spent.
Can I wish upon a star?
Is Neverland really that far?
Being young is all I want.
Why is this wish so hard to grant?

I'm like a child, stepping into the unknown.
This world of the old- so full of scorn.
I just wanna go back.
Is that too much to ask?

What I see ahead; I wish i weren't here.
Growing old is a dread- my hidden fear.
Will I no longer be able?
My health be unstable?
I don't want the trials or responsibilities.
Where is joy in no friends or loved ones near me?

I'm like a child, stepping into the unknown.
This world of the old- so full of scorn.
I just wanna go back.
Is that too much to ask?

A Singer's Prayer

So many questions that need answers,
but where to I begin?
My heart yearns for solace.
Yet I'm unsure how to ask you
for the gift I want most.

Lord, can you hear me?
I just want one thing.
Bless me dear Father,
I ask to sing.

Is this too much to ask?
Lord, is it possible? Tell me you'll make it work.
Will i make it if I try?
I long to touch the lives of others here
through the song I long to be mine.

Lord, can you hear me?
I just want one thing.
Bless me dear Father,
I ask to sing.

Lord, can you hear me?

I ask, to sing.

That's My Life

My life ain't easy. My life ain't grand.
Things aren't always placed in the palm of my hand.
My life ain't perfect, My life ain't the best.
Now, let me tell you 'bout my hardest test.

I live life from day to day;
I'm always just one step away.
Never seem to find my place;
Got daily trials to face.

That's my life- Oh yeah, it's hard.
I'll keep trying- 'Cuz that's my life.

My life ain't sweet. My life ain't smooth.
Always gonna be days when I'm bound to lose.
My life ain't wonderful. My life ain't a breeze.
Now listen, and understand, please.

My life is hard. My life is tough.
But I know I'll make it through when the road is rough.
'Cuz I ain't doin it alone. Yeah, my life is guided daily;
God above watch over me
and bring me home to Thee.

That's my life- Oh yea, its hard.
I'll keep trying- 'Cuz that's my life.

Days Gone By

Looking out at an orange sky
I think back to days gone by.
There was me and you- time sure flew.
If I could turn back the days of our past
would laughter be upon my face,
or tears instead in laughter's place?
Oh, those days gone by.

Through it all we went for each other-
side by side in life together.
And when hard times threatened my faith,
by my side you were each step of the way.

Now I gaze upon a darkened horizon,
making wishes upon the night's stars.
My only wish, I cannot lie;
I wish for those days gone by.
Oh, those days gone by.

A Million Dreams to Go

As a young girl, my great desire and dream was to one day be a singer/songwriter. Since those early, naive days of my youth, I've come to learn that there will be many dreams that will not come true. That's simply the harsh reality of this mortal existence. But there are still a million dreams to go.

In that light, it would be unfair if I didn't share this gift of poetic lyrics with my readers. For all we know, those simply could have been dreams that haven't come true yet. Therefore, after careful thought and consideration... and maybe eve a little inspiration from a friend who also shares his poems and thoughts online, I will press forward with this small dream. Though nothing may come of it, I know someone could be touched.

To check out my friend's blog of inspiration, go to: FEEGLINS by Fotu Taeoalii at

Friday, February 15, 2013


The title of this blog where I post is, "Through Heaven's Eyes". It is in essence a composition of testimony, belief and views from a deeper and sometimes alternate perspective than what the world at large typically sees on certain subjects, actions, and opinions. I haven't written in a long while now. I do not know if it is because of loss of interest, lack of motivation or something that is buried much deeper than the surface.

I admit to not having been looking at my life through Heaven's Eyes much lately, rather more through the eyes of man; I look at what I do for work, what I wear, where I live, who my friends are... etc. Yes, while these things make up a portion of who I am and what I am worth, it is not me in completion, I know I have been and am so much more than that. But it is not how I've been living.

It is time for a re-awakening. Time to open my eyes again to see who I really am; to re-discover my passions, re-define who I am, who I'm meant to be and what I am truly capable of.

As if to reach out in desperate urgency for the faith-filled individual I once was, I have returned to a study of the Preach My Gospel missionary handbook in the hopes that by so doing I can find my return to grace and holiness, the level of which has deminished greatly these past 4 years. I recall recently directing myself to a conclusion of earnestly studying this manual because the highest level of spirituality, righteousness, hope and peace in my life were indeed when I was devoted to full-time service as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My study henceforth aspires to be likened to my post-mission service and growth in the Lord's kingdom.

At the end of Chapter 1- My Purpose, in Preach My Gospel, there are a series of "Ideas for Study and Application" there is an activity suggested where I share what my hopes and desires were for my (in this case) post-mission service, and to what extent thus far I have met my expectations. I can recall these hopes and desires falling along the lines of: maintaining a high spirituality level, retaining righteousness, and being motivated to constantly succeed and improve.

Now, I feel as though I'm drowning... as if I'm ever being pulled by my feet, which previously seemed to have been grounded so firmly upon a solid foundation, now being pulled down into the deepest low of the darkest part of a never ending sea; I'm being pulled down where there is no air. Where is the life boat? I feel like my hands are flailing about for something to keep at least my head above water but I don't have even the strength to grip any sort of life line. My senses are fading, my abilities are numb, I have no feeling.

I know I'm trying to do what I can, perhaps not as fervently as I once did, but I now wonder how long I can spiritually hold my breath before I pass out and water fills my lungs while waiting for my rescue.

In my present spiritual state, I ponder upon words from the scriptures, stories of the saving power of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He forgave the sinful woman taken in adultury; offering her a redeeming second chance at eternal salvation by not casting His judgements upon her when she was brought before him by leaders of the church. He cleansed the leper whose only hope of being whole again and accepted in society was the power Christ the Lord possessed. Jesus blessed the doubting father of an ill child, restored sight to the blind, and revived the faith of the faithless.

When Peter found himself sinking into the overpowering and deep physicall abyss of the sea he had just sought to walk upon as Jesus did, he called out to the only person who could save him from his plight. Straightway, Jesus stretched out his hand to the struggling Peter and brought him back up out of the terrors of the drowning waters.

I can only grasp the hope that I too can be lifted up and brought again to walk the pathway I was meant to follow; that I may regain my footing and strength to climb back up the mountain I slipped so far down from. I need to get back to solidity and sureness to overcome my doubts, fears, angers, hurts and insecurities. But the only one who can save me is Him.