What Really Makes Me So Smart - part one

Do you know what really makes you smart? How well do you know yourself on the deepest level?

Well, that’s an arrogant title! What can I say? I find the truth amusing – even about myself - and possess the boldness to speak it out loud. “Wow! What an ego!” you say? Now that you have made an assumption about where this story is going, well, just read on; you won’t be disappointed.

Seriously, here’s the story behind the story. People are suffering badly right now in this global downturn economy. People are losing their homes, their jobs, their spouses, their friends. Even the family dog doesn’t want to know them any more. People are losing their joy.

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Photo by Dmitry Kichenko @ flickr
Photo by Dmitry Kichenko @ flickr
Photo by Dmitry Kichenko @ flickr

Bad circumstances vs. Joy

Circumstances outside us can be daunting when they contain negative qualities that produce fear, worry and loss. It can be difficult not to focus on all the negativity flying around your head and sometimes landing in your front yard. You may wonder when a pack of vultures will descend to feed on your misery.

This is why cultivating joy is so very important. Cultivating joy on a daily basis is like exercising a muscle, to help keep you strong through the tough times when they come. You will be able to draw upon that joy. It keeps the frantic meter from wildly clanging off the charts when you get blindsided by something so unexpected it is unnerving.

Photo of griffin vulture by Lip Kee @ flickr
Photo of griffin vulture by Lip Kee @ flickr

Part of the smart answer? Prayer

This is what makes you so smart? It’s part of it. Prayer is part of the answer. “Not some religious nut!” you wail. “No, not my agenda,” I answer. “What do you pray?” I pray FOR people rather than AGAINST them. I pray FOR people of other religions that are not of my own - not against them. Same goes for politics and other countries.

After the terrorist bombings on Nine Eleven I began praying FOR - not against - those terrorists and the people of those countries who hated America. I prayed they would experience God’s Love where clearly they felt none. I gave them my forgiveness, yes, forgiving the unforgivable.

Who complained the most? Other Christians! They were and still are horrified I would dare to do such a kind thing to someone who is an enemy. These same Christians read Jesus’ teachings every day and go to church every Sunday and still do not do. Perhaps some day they will understand the value in choosing to love when love is virtually impossible.

Photo by gurdonark @ flickr
Photo by gurdonark @ flickr

Spirit vs. ego - both wrestling for control

One of my favorite scriptures comes from the Old Testament about “Follow God, not man” and it is what validates me to do smart. It’s about following the higher level of your spirit that is linked to God, and not following your lower nature of the controlling ego. The ego really doesn’t understand much since it’s a concrete thinker and always gets into trouble – like starting destructive wars. Millions of people die needlessly all over the globe because of one thing: the selfish ego.

Long ago as a small child when I observed adults heatedly squabbling over religion and politics I decided to pray FOR people and not against them. Too often I observed many others behaving mean-spiritedly and smugly self-satisfied toward those who didn’t believe like their denomination. Yet these same people claimed citizenship to Christianity. Never mind it was in flagrant violation of what Jesus taught.

Photo by nanjaneil902 @ flickr
Photo by nanjaneil902 @ flickr

Pray FOR your enemy not AGAINST

I pray FOR those who decide to be my enemy no matter why they made that choice – religion, politics, different country, and different race or because their abusive ego cannot succeed in bullying me. Take your pick. You could call me the most unofficial official peace diplomat in the world. Never mind the world of egos did not exactly hire me. Not to worry; I work for free, always have.

Too much precious time in this short life span of humankind is spent finding fault with others. Why waste another minute giving energy to such negativity when life can be so much easier? Giving from the heart the great gift of goodwill easily transcends all languages, politics, religions and countries. It certainly has worked for me whenever I have travelled. People are always amenable to me because of it.

Goodwill works globally and eternally

An Egyptian intellectual living in xenophobic Austria when I was visiting asked me, “How do you get these people to like you?” I thought about it a minute and replied, “I make them laugh!” He shook his head as he couldn’t believe it was that simple. I spent some time relating to him it isn’t about telling jokes but rather the joy of life – like a little pantomimed comedic improvisation where there are language and cultural barriers. It is often the humor of real life situations that really make people laugh. They felt my joy and it was contagious.


Trust me; you haven’t lived until you have had a great conversation with a Middle Eastern intellectual. I was always bemused they took a woman seriously, especially one from the West. Women are always complaining men don’t take them seriously. Well, serious men do take serious women seriously. That and it helps to not have the smell of fear on you, I suppose.

Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino @ flickr
Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino @ flickr

Jesus inspires humankind to spiritual development

The goodwill attitude Jesus taught is why, in my mind, the inspiring message of Jesus has lasted 2,000 years. Every now and then, arriving and leaving in cycles, a virulent form of a religion arises to leave a bad taste in that generation’s mouth. It turns people off to God. It turns people off to spiritual development. They observe all this fault-finding and ask one question, “Is this as good as it gets? That’s not worth it and not for me,” is their reply. Most notably it disgusts those with impressive intellect.

We can talk later about religious people who have not yet developed into spiritual people. Everyone has to begin somewhere. Try to make sure you don’t trade one addictive behavior for another one, only sober and straight. Many don’t understand that processing their life once they accept religion takes time and is not done in an instant. It takes a lot of time to train the ego to truly accept God and rise higher to the spiritual level. Mostly, the ego likes to play in the sewer of self-destruction and the mud puddle of foolishness.

Photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr
Photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr

Choose to inspire yourself as well as inspire others

Let’s face it throughout history humankind has been the meanest animal around. We are supposed to be the highest life form on this planet. Sometimes that status is debatable.

Humankind also has the capacity to rise above it all to inspire and build a better life. Free will; it’s our choice. What an interesting gift free will is from our Creator. What tragic consequences too. Yet there will also always be those who choose to rise higher and ascend to spiritual status. That’s when a whole new world opens up to the joy of discovery. What do you choose?


Other spiritual articles by Denny Lyon

Healing (part one): Universal Spiritual Principles That Work


Blogs by Denny Lyon

The Social Poets - a blog to read poetry, nonjudgmental place for aspiring writers, also online coffeehouse for discussing the social issues in a convivial atmosphere.

The Soul Calendar - wondering about the Universe without as well as within:  astronomy, physics, psychology, neuroscience and more.

The Healing Waters - a welcoming place to stress down and approach health from many angles, healthy recipes too.

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Comments are always welcome! 13 comments

Kellys Writing 7 years ago

This is a beautiful hub. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read part two. You seem to me to be a very wise and beautiful person.

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA

Why is it that the ones who go to church the hardest seem to be the last ones to pick up on this simple truth?

girlgenius profile image

girlgenius 7 years ago from Los Angeles

Thank you.

This is gorgeous!

You are inspiring and helping many people. You might be interested in the writings of Emmet Fox.

Again, thank you.

jennymannion profile image

jennymannion 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

BEAUTIFUL! Many can benefit from reading this one! GREAT job and I stumbled and hope many more people see it! Love, Jenny

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Very satisfying and heartfelt work. I love your choice of photo's too. Quite the discerning and artistic eye you have, and a heart to match! Thanks for being you!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Kelly, you are a love! You have a great book inside you, make sure you write it as it can really inspire others in other tough situations similar to yours. 

Thanks for the kind words about this hub.  Still mulling over part two - it is kinda funny how to sequel yourself...! 

Besides, when it comes to spiritual things it really does take awhile for people to absorb them fully (hence, the lull before publishing the second part) - usually requires a second or third read - even when the hub appears to be very simple (I try to keep from sounding like a some vaporous philosopher). 

The intellect understands just fine on the initial read and then the deeper thoughts start rising and wham! the intellect gets overwhelmed.  I'm just thrilled to get the few comments I do. 

Why?  Spiritual info has this way of overwhelming people, sending them into deep thought and life review and the like - who's going to remember the comment box with all that going on?  :) When that happens it means good things are happening inside a person and they are processing some things.  It's a good day!

Hi, hot dorkage, well, I tried to be the diplomat on that subject. It's really about the difference between the carnal/fleshly/ego Christian and the spiritual one when it comes to truly and deeply receiving God's message/s. World of difference. The ego Christians are really missing out on an infinity of wonder. Maybe I ought to write a hub about this dilemma...? I understand the "why" but leading a horse to water and getting them to drink is another matter, right?

Hi, girlgenius, thank you for your kind and generous remarks. Definitely will look into your Fox recommendation! Always up for a good read - which is why I joined your fan club! grin

Hi, Jenny, glad to see you back at Hubpages more often. We both are passionate about the subject of healing ourselves. You have quite a story of your own about how you healed from terrible pain. Very inspiring! Hopefully, people will check out your profile for a good read.

Hi, Christoph, glad to hear from you! I do love the photos over at flickr and the photographers are a blast over there.

The vulture photo was a nice ominous touch, "do ya think?"

My fav has to be the last photo as wow! what a mind bender it is. I like how the outstretched hand looks also like a man sitting on the floor reaching forward - the thumb looks like his head leaning forward. It really fits 2 of my blogs well too. What fun!

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very nice hubs

Johnny London profile image

Johnny London 7 years ago from SLC

For not against...Powerful...


Madison Parker profile image

Madison Parker 7 years ago from California

This is a beautful piece. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your other work and to getting to know you better! Wonderful thoughts, especially in this very depressing time. Someone said that nothing is ever learned when things are good; tough times bring out the best in good people. (Actually I said the last part!) When things are bad on the outside, looking inside helps us rise above the negativity around us. You are so right on; prayer helps. A very generous like of thinking to pray for those who "hate" us.


Ritu Narang profile image

Ritu Narang 7 years ago from New Delhi

you are right, Its our inside thoughts who helps us to over come from the negetivity around us.

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Rita, thanks for stopping by and leaving your pearl of wisdom!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is simply beautiful Denny! As the unpaid peace ambassador of all time your true spirituality shines!

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Author

Hi, Peggy W, thanks for visiting! You are so very kind and such a delight to know too!

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