*Cluster 4 Household Topic
1. God loves you.
It has become very popular lately to make God out to be some sort of vengeful tyrant, angrily threatening to destroy whoever has offended Him today. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can be sure that if an All-Powerful God wanted someone destroyed, they would be destroyed. More importantly, how can an all-knowing God, who knows your every thought, your every wish, everything that has ever happened to you and ever "will" happen to you be offended by anything? What is far more likely is the people trying to convince you of God's angry judgment want you to fear "their" judgment, and more importantly adopt their way of thinking and do what they tell you to do. Beware of the diffference between the will of God and the will of man.
2. You are important.
Did you know you only had a one in 300 million chance of ever being born? That is how many sperm cells were vying to fertilize the eff cell when you were conceived. Multiply that times all the things that could have stopped you while you were still in the womb, or all the accidents, illnesses, and other things you've dodged to survive until now. Then, multiply that times the lives of your parents, and their parents, and their parents, back for generations and you have nearly impossible odds of ever existing. And yet here you are. You are not an accident, you are a cosmic miracle; as rare, unique, and precious a thing as you can find anywhere in all of Creation. Be proud of that.
3. People are doing the best that they can.
If, then, God knows all about us, then God knows we are doing the best that we can. People make flawed choices and make wrong moves on a daily basis, but no one is really TRYING to do the wrong thing. Even people who "seem" to be doing the wrong thing on purpose are doing it out of some deeper motivation, be it a plea for attention, help, or even love. As such, no one is out to 'get you'; they are acting out of their own past hopes, dreams, fears, and baggage. No one sets out to fail, or to disappoint others, it just happens as a result of our choices; and it's possibe to start making new choices at any time. Once you are aware there are no bad people, only bad choices, life becomes much easier to deal with.
4. Forgive one another.
Whoever they are, whatever they did, forgive them. Chances are they didn't do it on purpose, and even if they did, holding on to the negativity and anger is hurting YOU not them. How can you expect God to forgive you if you don't forgive the people who harm you?
5. Learn how to let go.
It has been said that "attachment is the root of all suffering" and this is true. It is not what happens to us in life, but how we react to it that makes us happy or sad.
6. Love one another.
It isn't enough not to carry grudges, although this is certainly the beginning. You must love one another, truly. All human action is designed to gain pleasure and avoid pain; and deep down inside everyone wants to feel loved, and feel important. This is a gift you can give to everyone you meet, freely and openly. Just like you can't expect to be forgiven without forgiving others, you can't expect to be loved without giving love, first. There is no limit in the amount of love you can give to your fellow human beings. Once you realize that they are trying as hard as they can, and give up your own selfish attachments to how, and even if they should show love back to you, then you are free to be a living expression of God's love for the world and everyone and everything in it.
7. No one has all the answers.
Often times people are tempted to believe that their beliefs are the only 'correct' beliefs. The reality is, there are no beliefs that are 100% true all the time in all places; to believe such is only deluding yourself. If there was only one correct way of life, then everyone in the world would live it. Like everyone seems to be rather fond of air, food, and water, this 'single correct way' would be inescapable, and anyone who saw it would adopt it instantly. Clearly no such thing exists. The key, then, is to find what works for you. Find a system of belief and world view that makes like make sense TO YOU; that make life meaningful and enjoyable TO YOU. It is neither your job, nor your place to criticize the path that others walk through this life; no one has all the answers, and that includes you. Insisting that you know the one and only truth is usually an indicator of insecurity, not of greater confidence.
8. Your life is in your hands.
Where you go, what you do, and what you become is totally in your hands. This is the greatest time in history to be alive. You have more knowledge and opportunities at your finger tips that anyone ever has; it is up to YOU to take advantage of what's available. You have all the power in the universe at your disposal, and the dreams that have been placed in your heart wouldn't be there if it wasn't possible for you to achieve them. There are no limitations, and no victims; it's up to you to create what you want.