“What” Is Not As Important As “Why”

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“What’s” happened to you in your life isn’t as important as “why” it happened. ~AD~

We all experience some difficult situations in our life and I’ve come to accept and understand that the “what” that’s happened to me isn’t as important as  the“why” that it did.

We’re so quick to blame others for our difficult times, yet we have a hand in those situations as well. Perhaps we aren’t being our authentic self or standing in our truth to those around us. Maybe we change “who” we are according to the people we are around at a particular moment. I can tell you that I’ve learned that I am in control of what I allow to happen to me and it’s up to me to set healthy boundaries for my highest good…and it’s not always easy to do.

I had breast cancer and it can’t always be prevented, yet I could have had a mammogram sooner than I had; I went 5 years without one and only had one done when I found my tumor. So while this “what” may have been destined to happen to me, the “why” it happened when it did was because I wasn’t loving myself enough to get that mammogram every year like I should have. I know better now.

I’ve lived through divorce and a bad relationship. The “what” that caused an ending to these relationships isn’t as important as the “why” it happened. It happened because I was allowing those people to treat me in a way I didn’t deserve. What you allow will continue and it did for me until I realized I deserved better and decided to stop it.

And I’ve lived through emotional, verbal and physical abuse. It went on for years until I finally put an end to it. “What” was said and done to me isn’t as important as “why” it was done to me. It happened because I let it happen. I wasn’t as strong as I am now, my self-esteem was non-existent, and I blamed myself for causing all those things that were said and done to me then. I was at the bottom and when I finally decided that enough was enough, I pulled myself up off the floor and began to see clearly of the “why” it happened. I began to get stronger day by day and set up boundaries that were never again to be crossed by anyone, and if they were, I certainly recognized it sooner. It happened because I let it, not because I deserved it. It was yet another life lesson for me to learn.

You have to love yourself, respect yourself, and know that you don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone, especially by yourself. Let’s face it, we’re all masters of self-sabotage at times…we can hurt ourselves better than the person who is hurting us. Yet that’s not the way it should be; you know that as well as I do.

It’s time we all, myself included, stop focusing on the “what” that happened to us and start looking deep within ourselves to see our truth of the“why” it happened.

It’s then that we learn and grow and move forward into the life we want and deserve.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Feel, Deal and Heal”

I’ve gone through my share of, what most may say, are traumatic experiences: divorce, cancer, and abuse, to name a few. When I share these experiences publicly many people ask me how I’m still standing, how in the world did I become so positive after so many negative things happened to me.

My answer is always the same: Because I chose to get through and I’m standing even stronger.

And how is that possible?

Because I knew I had to feel all the emotions that came with those “traumas” and deal with them; and that’s how I was able to heal.

No one wants to feel hurt, sadness or brokenness, yet we all do at some point in our life. Many people block those emotions; they tuck them away and believe that they moved on from them. I can tell you that they didn’t. Ignoring what you have to face is lying to yourself and eventually all those emotions you didn’t deal with will catch up with you at some point in your life. They always do.

And when they do catch up with you those around you pay the price for it as well.

Don’t you want to feel happy? Don’t you want to find joy in your life? Don’t you want to let go of an experience that caused you pain?

Sure you do…we all do.

So do it. Take a long look in the mirror at yourself and let your truth come through. Take that experience and all the pain that came with it and deal with it. Feel the pain, the heartache and let the healing waters of your tears flow to release it all. Then forgive the experience so you no longer hold onto it and then forgive yourself for allowing it to hold you back from the happiness you want and deserve.

You can run from those traumatic experiences but trust me, you can’t hide from them until you deal with them.

Feel, deal and heal, my friends.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,
~Anne Dennish~

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“If You Want…”

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If you want love you have to love.

If you want honesty you have to be truthful.

If you want loyalty you have to be loyal.

If you want happiness you have to be happy.

If you want compassion you have to be compassionate.

And if you want kindness you have to be kind.

We all want the people in our life to be these things but in order to have that YOU have to be those things because it all begins with YOU!

“Don’t expect from others what they can’t expect from you.”

Remember that.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“How A Heart Breaks”

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We’ve all had our hearts broken a time or two in this lifetime and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: it doesn’t suddenly break. It’s takes time to break it.

And do you know why a heart breaks?

It’s because someone has been chipping away at it over and over again.

And when most of the heart has been chipped away there’s not much left to hold it together and one day it breaks altogether.

And it can and will never be repaired to the heart it once was. Only the broken hearted can heal their heart and in time, their heart will heal and be stronger than the heart that had been broken.

There’s all type of abuse out there but nothing will chip away at a heart more than verbal and emotional abuse. Those are the worst and I know it for fact because I’ve been the person on the other side of it more times than I can count. It’s a difficult and long process to heal, but it is possible, because I’ve done it, and I’ve done it more than once.

I’m going to be honest about this subject because I can speak from personal experience.

Words and actions hurt. They chip away at a heart that loves someone so much that they allow it to happen, at least until the day they’ve had enough. And the day that happens is long after the heart has been chipped away at until it breaks; that day is when that person gets strong and rebuilds their damaged heart.

And that is the day they’ve had enough.

It’s the day they’ve seen the truth of the person who treats them that way.

And it’s the day that they realize their value and we all have value. No one deserves to be treated badly, even the ones who treat others badly.

Love doesn’t hurt the heart; harsh words and behaviors do.

Words last forever.

The pain the words caused will never be forgotten.

And a once whole, happy, loving person will break apart.

Until they pick themselves up and put themselves back together.

There are some who don’t realize just how hurtful their words and actions can be to someone they love, especially when that person still sees good in them and still loves them. But the day will come after countless conversations between the two people of how badly they’ve been hurt and how much damage it causes to their heart…and to their soul.

It’s the day the heart has been chipped away at over and over again that it breaks.

The good news is that a heart that breaks is proof that it works. It’s proof that you have a heart that loves with abandon, loves another with all that they are, and loves unconditionally. The bad news is that that kind of heart will break when the person they love doesn’t have the same kind of heart.

They have a heart that controls, a heart that can only love so much, and a heart that doesn’t know how to love unconditionally.

Hearts that have been chipped at over time will eventually break, but they also will be given the chance to heal into a stronger heart, a smarter heart, and a heart that knows what they deserve and what they don’t. And it will learn to never settle for less than what they deserve.

Choose your words carefully. Keep your bad day to yourself. Leave work at the office. Don’t take your frustrations out on another. And cherish the ones that love you unconditionally with a beautiful heart. Once you chip away at their heart enough you’ll break it, and while everything is forgivable, it’s very rarely repairable.

Remember that.

And ask yourself these very important questions: How would you feel if the person you love treated you the way you treat them? How would you feel if they chipped away at your heart? How would you feel if they were telling you that you were always wrong and that they were always right?

You are in control of your actions towards someone you love.

Choose your words carefully because once you’ve said them you can’t take them back.

It’s never too late to change.

And positive change is a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

“Be Your Authentic Self”

The only way you’re really going to know who should and shouldn’t be in your life is by standing in your truth.

Be who you really are, not the person that you think someone wants you to be.

Know that you don’t have to agree with the opinions of others just because you want to fit in.

Understand that you are not everyone’s “cup of tea,” and some people aren’t yours either.

And never assume that someone knows what you’re thinking or feeling.

And that’s what “standing in your truth” is all about.

It’s being your complete, authentic self to the people you meet, because when you hide who you truly are then you run the risk of attracting the wrong people into your life. They may like you for who you pretend to be, but is that what you want? I don’t. For me, what you see and what you hear is what you get. I don’t change to fit the person…I change the people I surround myself with to fit me.

That’s how we surround ourselves with “like-minded” people: people who are positive, who have our back, who lift us up instead of bringing us down. People who understand our differences and accept us for who we are anyway. People who acknowledge your successes and keep you motivated through your failures. People who love you for who you are, not for who they want you to be.

You have to be who you are in order to have the right people in your life…in your bubble.

Don’t silence your voice to make someone else happy, or to prevent a disagreement, or to keep things calm.

The right people will embrace your voice and your truth.

The right people will love you for who you are.

The right people won’t try to change you.

And the right people will never try to silence your voice…

Because your voice is your truth.

Be you, my friends, be you.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“When The Universe Opens Doors”

 

leap of faith 1.jpgSometimes the Universe is hard at work opening doors for us that we never knew needed opening and more often than not, we don’t even realize it.

A few days ago as I sat with my morning coffee I realized it. Suddenly I began to think of all the things that have happened in my busy life in the last week or two and could see what was happening: the Universe was opening doors for me. It was offering me opportunities which I hadn’t even asked for and putting like-minded people in my path.

We all get so busy with day to day life that we forget to pay attention to what’s going on around us. We miss opportunities; we’re blind to the signs; and we run on adrenaline instead of intuition.

And I could see that so clearly on that particular morning.

All of a sudden I remembered that everything happens as it should, how it should and when it should and on that morning I could see all the gifts that were showing up in my life, all the doors that were opening, all the opportunities being given to me.

And I know that doors don’t always open when we need them to and I’m certainly not going to take these doors for granted.

I’m taking yet another leap of faith and allowing all these open doors to lead me to where I need to be…to where I’m supposed to be.

And I’m incredibly grateful to the Universe for paying attention to ME!

Pay attention to the signs that are all around you, my friends.

Believe in your dreams, believe in yourself, and be brave enough to take a leap of faith.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Once Upon A Time…”

“Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a writer. Since the moment she learned to spell she would write stories.

One day she told her mother that she wanted to grow up to be a writer. Her mother said that it was a nice dream to have. The little girl didn’t understand quite what that meant but she kept writing.

Time marched on and the little girl grew older and went to college…and she was still writing.

Then the little girl got married and had children. She loved being a stay at home mom yet she still kept writing. She wrote little stories and poetry for her babies and made up silly songs to sing to them.

She wrote in her journal every day about her secret thoughts and feelings.

Then the children started growing up and leaving the nest.

And she thought about her “once upon a time” so many years ago.

And she thought about all the people along her life journey that told her that wanting to be a writer was a nice dream and a fairy tale, that real life wasn’t about doing what you love all the time, and that most times dreams don’t come true.

And for many, many years she believed them.

Until one day when she stopped believing them and began believing in herself.

She started to believe in fairy tales and dreams; she started to believe in magic; and she started to believe that everything and anything is possible.

And on that day she wrote her first book and had it published.

And she knew then that her “once upon a time” was a fairy tale that came true.

There was a happy ending and a beautiful beginning for her.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a writer….

And the little girl grew up…

And became a writer.

And that is not the end.”

What was your “once upon a time” story? What was your dream or fairy tale?

It’s time to remember that…

It’s time to believe in that again.

After all, “once upon a time” does come true.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Insight Into Cruel People”

There are some cruel people in this world. They are the ones that judge you, point the finger at you, tell you what’s wrong with you and are verbally abusive. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone you know or a stranger: it’s wrong.

Yet all too often it happens without warning and without reason, although there is a reason people are cruel: it’s them projecting their own fears and insecurities onto you. And it’s wrong, it’s hurtful, and it’s abusive.

My son was the target of a stranger in a convenience store yelling obscenities at him and saying some downright disgusting comments to him. As a mother, it infuriated me and I wish I had been there when it happened. On the other hand, had it not been my child I still would have been infuriated because no one has the right to speak to another human being that way.

I’ve been on the other end of verbal abuse more times than I can count, yet there’s one thing I’ve learned and I want to share with you: those people are projecting their fears and insecurities onto me.

They see in someone else what they can’t see in themselves and want desperately to see or be.

They see strength in someone else that they wish they had, but they don’t because they don’t know how to be strong.

They see an open minded person living a happy life, being who they are, and wish they could be that person, but they can’t because they’re afraid to.

They’re afraid to be who they want to be and have the life they want to have because they fear people just like them judging them and verbally abusing and harassing them.

Those cruel people have low self-esteem, fear, and insecurities beyond belief.

They don’t know how to be any other way than cruel, and they don’t want to try and be any different. They make the choice to be judgmental and mean, and the rest of us suffer because of their ignorance.

I know all of this to be true but I will admit my heart always breaks a bit when someone is nasty and cruel to me or my loved ones.

But I also have to remember that it’s not me they’re actually judging…they are judging themselves and taking it out on me.

Be kind, my friends, for you never know the what the journey of another human being is like.

Ignore those cruel people and know they are the ones with the problems, not you.

Fear, insecurity, jealousy and low self-esteem: negative emotions that breed negative people.

Don’t be one of them.

Be you.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“That’s What Love Does”

We don’t always understand why someone we love and care about is upset or sad, but we can try.

That’s what love does.

Love listens, it tries to understand, it wraps its’ arms around you to make you feel safe, and it allows you to be who you are.

Love doesn’t criticize you but complement’s you.

Love doesn’t judge you but embraces your flaws.

Love helps to heal you but doesn’t try to hurt you.

True, honest, unconditional love can do some amazing things.

And it’s time that we all share that love with the people we love…

“Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.”

Because that’s what love does.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“My Family…Together Again”

Two of my five children live at home, so there are moments I feel the pang of the “empty nest” syndrome. I’ve gotten used to my three oldest living across the country, only seeing them every year or two, so I don’t feel that pain of missing them all living home very often. They’ve been living out of my home for years now and I’m used to my two youngest being the only ones living with me.

Yet yesterday things felt like the old days and I was reminded of just how much I miss having a house filled with five children.

My oldest flew in yesterday morning from the West Coast and it must have been close to family2two years since I’ve seen him. He brought home his beautiful girl for all of us to meet and she was amazing! We all fell in love with her instantly and I’d like to believe that she felt the same about us.

I raced to the airport early in the morning to pick them both up and the tears fell as I saw him. They both walked towards me with open arms, hugs, kisses and some amazing West Coast energy! Just what this mom needed!

Yet seeing him was so much more than a hug…it brought back floods of emotions and memories of having them all live at home together. I remembered family dinners at the table every night and weekends filled with a stream of teenagers in and out and hanging around. It was heaven.

And yesterday felt like old times for me. Seeing him with his two youngest brothers, introducing them to his girl, teasing them and laughing I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace, of happiness…of true joy.

I had forgotten what it was like to have my family together like that. These days even myfamily3 two youngest are working or going to school and I feel as though they’ve already left the nest.

Last night felt like old times, even though two of my kids were missing. It felt like the family I remembered; the family that grew up and moved on to their own adult lives. Yet as I remembered the memories I was also watching them all together and making new ones. Suddenly the babies and teenagers I remembered were sitting at a restaurant out to dinner with me…yet they were grown up! They had become men in what feels like an instant.

And my four boys have grown up into amazing men, and I don’t say that just because I’m their mom.

They are respectful, kind, compassionate and non-judgmental. They are truly the type of people I had hoped and wished that they would grow up to be.

And they are.

I sat in amazement last night, savoring every moment, taking in all that surrounded me. It was a night I’ll remember forever, until the next time we can all be together to make new memories.

I felt so much pride for these boys last night, especially my oldest. I watched how he spoke to and treated his girl…he loves her, she loves him, and the respect they have for one another is the type a mother hopes her child will find in a partner.

familyAnd he found that.

And I couldn’t be happier for him.

It was incredible night of being a family together again.

It was a night of my heart being so filled with love that it could have exploded.

These boys of mine…they are a gift to the world.

And they have been and always will be a gift to me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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All photos by Anne Dennish