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Reflections: What Really Matters…?

14/02/2011

“Let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth…” 1 John 3:18

What Really Matters on Valentine's Day?

I had a very enlightening conversation with a friend today and heard a very powerful story. Margery comes from a beautiful island in the Caribbean, and shared a story about the last nasty hurricane that hit her beloved country and the lesson it seared in her memory. She grew up in an area with bodies of water everywhere; from the beautiful ocean, to the flowing streams and small rivers that provided water for local farmers. When she was a little girl, she loved spending languid summer days at the beach with schoolmates.

Every time they headed to the beach, they passed by a stunning home built on a cliff jutting out towards the ocean. The home had floor to ceiling windows from which anyone, who had the good fortune to enter it, could enjoy the most magnificent sunrise and sunset. Even the clear blue ocean seemed to wink and wave at this home. The family that owned it were friendly local people, and Margery knew their two kids who went to a different school. The wife was a very creative, kind woman who also owned a craft-shop attached to her fantastic abode. Tourists visiting the area always stopped in to buy her wares and, of course, marvel at the spectacular views of the ocean.

Margery and her friends envied the family and their home and, at times, she said, they wished they could win the lottery and make the family an offer they couldn’t refuse. She even admitted that her envy fueled her decision to move abroad and improve her lot. She moved to the US, got on with her life and soon married and raised her own family. When her mother passed away, she went back home to wrap up her mother’s estate. Naturally, she reached out to her childhood girlfriends to reminisce and share good memories. “Remember our days on the beach and that home we wanted so much?,” she teased one friend – Jane. “You didn’t hear what happened?” Jane replied, slightly surprised. “No, tell me!” said Margery eagerly … Jane did.

The last terrible hurricane that hit her beloved homeland brought heavy winds and a huge rainstorm. The rains fell for 36 straight hours. With the ensuing floods that followed, everything in its path was swept away and out to sea. That magnificent home was gone. Swept out to sea; as was the family with it. Everything gone. Vanished. Margery was shocked by the horrific story she heard and as she shared it with me today, her emotions bubbled to the surface. She knew the family well and her pain was palpable… The tragic story shifted her perspective so profoundly that on her return to the US, she made a decision to quit complaining about petty things, leave a stressful job, and re-focus her life on what truly mattered – her meaningful relationships and her rasa for life. She hasn’t looked back…

True, the story is very sad yet layered with meaning; it offers insights on multiple levels. Each of us has a path we walk that is uniquely ours alone. No one can take it away from us, unless we give our permission. Petty hatreds and envy serve no purpose; we are diminished by them. At the end of the day, we have a choice; we can be grateful for our own blessings, make peace with our loved ones and our lives, and decide what truly matters to us.

As the professor, in a wise and beautiful story, said, when he showed his students what really mattered by filling a jar with rocks, pebbles and sand, “Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” Choose & wish wisely.
✿♡✿Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!✿♡✿

PS: The Blog Hop continues…
Positive Motivation Tip: Life is about trials and triumphs. Decide what matters to you and stand by it.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Sweet Vinegar Valentine’s Day Card via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

13 Comments leave one →
  1. 15/02/2011 12:02 am

    I enjoy your words of wisdom and positive attitude toward helping people.
    I have a few positive words I share on my web site as well and try to help people who visit my web site.
    Keep up the great work spreading your positive energy around the world.

  2. 15/02/2011 2:58 am

    The story of the Mayonnaise Jar… I have that in one of my handy notebooks with a collection of inspiring words and stories.

    Thanks for reminding me to set my priorities. I usually fail to do so.

    Great post Eliz! I truly admire your ability in giving positive inspiration to many people. :)

  3. tbaoo permalink
    15/02/2011 3:41 am

    i’m so guilty of this, worrying about the small and ignoring the big, great to be reminded of it .. ;)

  4. 15/02/2011 2:22 am

    “Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter.
    Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
    +
    yes, it’s important to separate rocks and sand – not easy
    for example: guitarists:

  5. 15/02/2011 5:47 am

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story! We all need to be reminded at times of what is REALLY important in our lives. When I look at the “old”Portuguese, who still live off the land, I am sometimes envious of the simplicity of their lives. We are surrounded with “things” that are of no real value in the broader sense.
    PiP

  6. 15/02/2011 9:32 am

    I never envy anyone . . . because I wouldn’t want to step wholesale into anyone else’s shoes, while leaving mine behind.

    Thanks, Eliz!

  7. 15/02/2011 9:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I once was blinded by the desires of the world, but I have found contentment in the little things in life; faith, family and friends. The rest is just sand.

  8. richard permalink
    15/02/2011 10:28 am

    nice post..guess its important to remember fondly but know that everything can be transitory.. and enjoy each moment without holding out for the comparable,fantasized about, or sometimes cloudy visions about what we once wanted.

  9. barb19 permalink
    15/02/2011 7:19 pm

    It’s good to sit down and think about what is really important in our lives because we surround ourselves with so many material possessions, we often lose sight of the things that really matter.
    Your post is a good lesson for us all, thanks Eliz!

  10. 15/02/2011 7:45 pm

    I guess I’ll stop feeling bad about my hand surgery–right hand of course. I’m typing one handed and getting more annoyed by the minute.

    But my house is safe so I guess all is well.

  11. 15/02/2011 9:00 pm

    Wonderful story — thanks so much for sharing! We all need reminders about expressing gratitude for where we are right here and now.

    Warm regards — Marge from Colorado

  12. 16/02/2011 11:37 am

    Beautiful story. We should always be thanful for who we are, and be thankful for what we have, espressing graditude each day I have to live this beautiful world and all its wonders. So many take for granted the life they have, missing out on focusing on what is really important in their life.

  13. 17/02/2011 11:49 am

    The true spirit of oneself shines brightly within each act of kindness we offer to others. Elizabeth your light is shining so brightly in this beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story, and for helping us see what’s really important.

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