Here in the mid-Atlantic region we have coped with rain and a steady mist for a few days now, with more of the same the next couple days. I understand that many people find this weather dreary and depressing, but I, personally, look forward to days such as today.  I find a day of steady rain and mist to be quite comforting.  

mist, rain, stress, anxiety, comfort, hope, peace, Jesus Mist (credit: www.weersappemeer.nl)

Think about it: the darkness covers you like a good blanket, with the sound of the rain soothing the mind, while the mist lightly sprinkles on the face, reminding you that you are alive.  I see days like today as opportunities to slow down, take a moment or two to listen to the rain, to look at the raindrops, to sit in the moment and to reflect.  My life does not afford me the opportunity to rest in this reflection all day, but I can take the moments I find and use them to my benefit; a benefit of rest and reflection, no matter the length of time I have available.  

In one of those moments of reflection I recalled something I had previously read called the "12 Spiritual Learnings" from renown author and commentator, the Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin, SJ.  I share them with you in the hope that these simple, yet profound, reminders of spirituality may lead us to a deeper sense of ourselves and our perspective on our life.  Please spend a moment today in reflection on these thoughts.    What do they teach us about ourselves?

1. First up: Stop worrying so much! It's useless. (I.e. Jesus was right.)

2. Being a saint means being yourself. Stop trying to be someone else and just be your best self. Saves you heartache.

3. There's no right way to pray, any more than there's a right way to be a friend. What's "best" is what works best for you.

4. Remember three things and save yourself lots of unneeded heartache: You're not God. This ain't heaven. Don't act like a jerk.

5. Your deepest, most heartfelt desires are God's desires for you. And vice versa. Listen. And follow them.

6. Within you is the idea of your best self. Act as if you were that person and you will become that person, with God's grace.

7. Don't worry too much about the worst that can happen. Even if it happens, God is with you, and you can handle it. Really.

8. You can't force people to approve of you, agree with you, be impressed with you, love you or even like you. Stop trying.

9. When we compare, we are usually imagining someone else's life falsely. So our real-life loses out. I.e. Compare and despair.

10. Even when you finally realized the right thing, or the Christian thing, to do, it can still be hard to do. Do it anyway.

11. Seven things to say frequently: I love you. Thank you. Thank you, God. Forgive me. I'm so happy for you! Why not? Yes.

12. Peace and joy come after asking God to free you -- from anything that keeps you from being loving and compassionate.

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