Counselor's Corner: The foundations for a good life

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By Fred Cavaiani

The world is different.  Life is different.  In this past year, death has come close to many people.  Friends have died. Family members have died.  Friends have become sick.  Family members have become sick.  A world pandemic shakes us into a deeper awareness of life.  And here in the United States we are bombarded with images of people acting out of control as our Capitol was ransacked and people were killed and injured during the January 6 invasion of the Capitol building.   The impeachment trial puts this before our eyes every day.

 Television never lets us forget  the bad and the good.  Because of the many different programs on  television, many good things happen and many bad things happen.  Television programs promote integration and acceptance of inter-racial marriages, homosexuality, same sex relationships and marriages.  Compassion for other people becomes a priority in so many programs. 

The news media promotes the importance of goodness toward others.  It also promotes the frustration of people and criticism of other people. On news programs, we see such goodness and many human  failures.  The television in our homes show us the best and worst of human nature. So does a pandemic.

So, what is the best and worst of life?  The best of life is 1) compassion and love toward everyone, 2) investment in only speaking positively and thinking positively, 3) gratitude throughout the day, 4) a consistent experience of a loving God, 5) a daily ritual of prayer and meditation, 6) a consistent, gentle, daily exercise routine, 7) living slowly and gently in the present moment.  These seven practices bring a person into a deeper awareness of God and the purpose of living a good life.  It puts a person into walking through life in a loving, prayerful, grateful, healthy and positive manner.  These principles take a person out of the negative realm of condemning other people.  They put a person into the peaceful experience of seeing goodness everywhere and being goodness for everyone.  These principles help a  person out of the habit of condemning other people.   These practices  expand  the awareness of an unconditional, loving God and help a person to refrain from using religion as a club over other people.  These principles help a person to go deeper and experience a positive loving God and let go of a judging, condemning God.  Religion and psychology were meant to bring out the best in people.  This is why an abundance of daily quiet time with God and a daily decision  to be loving, positive and grateful  are so important.  It allows a loving God to take over and turn us toward love, affirmation and positivity. I do not have to become anxious about how I must change the world.  I simply make it a daily priority to be loving and experience love and God in each moment of life.  This is why I must make these seven principles a priority.  It helps me experience goodness in this present moment.

The worst of life results from 1) condemning others in my actions and thoughts. This is what happened during the attack on the Capitol.  2) Staying negative in my thoughts and actions.  This often means sending people to hell in my thoughts.  3) Rushing to the next moment or hanging on to the past moment.  4) Taking very little or no quiet time to experience God.  5) Applying every positive or hopeful insight I get to everyone else in a judging or condemning manner because they don’t share this with me.  6) Investing in negativity in my thoughts and actions. 7) Focusing on how others should change.  When I invest in these seven attitudes, I do not experience inner peace.  I only experience negativity and a sense of hopelessness.

Each of us will travel into the best of life and the worst of life.  It is part of the human situation.  This is why I must become aware when I am traveling into the worst of life.  I must admit it when I am doing this so I can make a decision to travel back into the best of life.  Daily prayer and meditation and a daily decision to be kind and loving towards all in thoughts and actions can help me to embrace the best in life. As the years go on,  I spend more time in daily meditation, I become more aware of when I am investing in negative thinking.  As I become conscious of this,  I can quickly leave this negative arena. When this happens, I start returning to being more loving in this present moment.  My attitude becomes positive and loving and I feel relaxed. Each moment then becomes a positive experience.

This pandemic has helped me to spend more time in quiet reflection.  This has helped me tremendously.

Life is all about being more Loving and becoming more involved in experiencing a Positive, Loving God. Each moment then becomes a positive, divine moment.  The old saying, “our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O God” begins to make more sense.  The statement in all religions GOD IS LOVE makes more sense.  I begin to realize that whenever I am kind and loving, life slows down and I find meaning in the present moment.  And I start to live more in my heart than in my head.




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