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Category Archives: Guidance

Eric Tonningsen stirs the mind and spirit by connecting it to intellect and emotion. Honest, thoughtful and endeavoring to improve others’ situations, it is no wonder that I find his words inspiring and empathetic.

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness

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“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” ~ James Earl Jones

I recently lunched with three friends. We enjoyed a casual conversation that, at one point, meandered into various thoughts and experiences about courage. The things no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that define you and that make a difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous outcomes.

It got a little deeper. We generally agreed that hard things are the easiest to avoid; to pretend they don’t apply to you. The sense that ordinary people (like us) accomplish great things because they often do the hard things; the things that take courage. Being the demure one among we four, I decided to ask the others what the hardest thing was that they ever had to do. Truly, the most gut wrenching act…

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Daily Prompt: In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

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At the end of everyday there is a reason to believe. I certainly don’t know what it is, but that is a repetitive self-mantra: I must be here for a reason.

There are many challenges that we each face in our work, family and lives. If we believe in a Divine system of guidance, then we believe that there is a plan in the world even if we cannot see it. We each play a role in the World that remains unseen until our physical lives end and we go back to discover who we were and who we are, what could have been achieved differently, and the ripples of our actions in the Universe. That is part of my reason to believe.

In the work that I do, working with charity and so many personalities, it can be very frustrating or hurtful. As I have jokingly told people, I don’t go back to my office and cry as often as I used to. It is necessary for me to open my head and my heart in trying to fulfill this commandment to the best of my ability. It is not that I have become insensitive to people’s difficult situations. Rather, I am trying to be better at the ability to separate myself from absorbing all of their pain and energy (at least sometimes). Other times, the best that I can do for people is to listen to their life stories, their heartaches, or provide the tissues when they cry.

Some of the people I meet are genuinely kind and lovely people. Others feel entitled and have a huge chip on their shoulders. They are so used to rejection, and fighting for what they need, that they come to me already squared off for battle. I would like to think that I am one of the easiest people that they will deal with on their journey; I will not belittle someone’s situation, nor blame them. If I am to represent someone else’s goodwill and faith, then I must do it in the most empathetic way possible.

I am not a stranger to Life’s ups and downs, but I have to keep going. If I am going to be there to support the needs of the thousands of people that I have met, and the thousands more that they help, I must be here for a reason and have to believe that — despite the less fortunate parts of my work.

My brother shared an expression with me early in my career when I questioned how much I could affect people and effect positive change. He said that G-d puts good things through the hands of good people and therefore, I needed to remember that if I was placed in this position, I must be someone pretty special.

My husband knows the difficulties and is still proud of me and the work that I do. He feels that it is important and very special. His support and encouragement are just as important to me as they are to those whom I can pass it along.

The people that I meet tell me that I will no doubt be blessed for the good works that I do. My response is that I don’t count my chickens, I will just let G-d keep track of the eggs in my basket.

Each of our lives brings us to places and situations that make us question the validity and need for such personal struggles and demands. But, in times of trouble, when I still look to find a reason to believe or find clarity about the low points, I have to take a deep breath, put on a smile, and remember that I must be here for a reason.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reason-to-believe/
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