Tuesday, 31 July 2012

"Use it or lose it" - part 3

Your spirit or soul - what do those words mean to you?  If you are religious there will be obvious connotations and in the context of "Use it or lose it" no doubt you will be reflecting on the importance of faith in your life and especially as you get older.  Religion can be very comforting in your later years and with a strong faith you can overcome almost anything that life throws at you.

I confess to being not particularly religious, although I was brought up in a Church of England family and my grandfather was a priest.  I would like to believe that there is another life after this one, but I'm not totally convinced, so I believe in making the most of this life and living every day as if it might be your last one. I do have moral values though and try to behave in what I suppose many people would describe as a Christian way, no doubt as a result of my upbringing.

What doesn't help my religious beliefs are the wars that are fought in the name of religion: surely this goes against everything you are supposed to believe in? Religion shouldn't be about hatred, it should be about love. However I also acknowledge the good that many people do in the name of religion, the most powerful example in my opinion being Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Whatever your beliefs, I think the more positive you are the better it is for you.  There are countless stories of people beating serious illnesses through their positive attitude, one of them being my lovely friend Callie who thankfully has survived breast cancer.

On the other hand I had an uncle who always seemed to look on the black side of life and who had a very negative outlook.  Ask him about his latest holiday and he would say "It was all right, apart from the bad weather most days, and the car breaking down.  Our hotel room was too small and the food was dreadful."  My mother, who was his sister and his complete opposite, would say "We had a wonderful holiday.  The sun shone a lot and the people who ran the hotel were really kind and helpful.  It was good to eat out and not have to do any cooking." One of the best holidays of my life was when we took Mum to New England for her 80th birthday, as she so obviously had a great time and her enjoyment was contagious.
Did you hear the joke about the two knitters?  It had me in stitches!
We talk about people being in good spirits and I think that as we get older we should do more things that we really enjoy to raise our spirits.  Things that I find particularly uplifting are listening to a beautiful piece of music, reading a good book, watching a glorious sunset, travelling to foreign countries and spending time with my family.  All of these are good for my soul, as the more I do them the happier I feel. If I feel happy, then I am sure my happiness rubs off on other people.  When I see someone smiling, it usually makes me feel like smiling too.

Do you have anything in particular that you feel is good for your spirits and that would benefit other people? If so, please share it with the rest of us.


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