The year of making choices that help you become your best “YOU!”
Happy New Year! Have you all thought about your New Year Revelations? I sure did. One of the lessons that I learned is that I haven’t been making myself as much of a priority as I make everyone else, and that has to change. It has to change because there are times that at the end of the day I have nothing left to give, even to myself. And it’s not selfish to take care of myself.
I know that when I’m taking care of myself that I have so much more to give to others, and that’s what I love to do. I want to have a focused mind to express my feelings when I write. I want to have more energy so that I can be there if someone needs me. And I want to find the balance in my life so that I have more to give to the world.
And it’s so important to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Everything begins with YOU and when YOU are feeling good, you can do good.
And the world needs as much “good” as it can get!
Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
Life is a mindset and when you set your mind to making changes that make you your best YOU, your life will change.
Sometimes I have a day where I look out into the world and am saddened by what I see and hear. I know there’s so much good out there in this big world of ours, yet there are days that it seems to be overshadowed by the negative stuff. Today, as I count my blessings and am grateful for them all, I’m feeling a hurt in my heart at some of the things I’m seeing and of how it’s all making me feel.
I’m saddened by fathers or mothers that don’t pay their child support to help these babies that they brought into this world. Our children deserve the best that we can give them.
I’m saddened by a world divided by politics.
I’m saddened by children who don’t talk to their parents, who forget that their parents did the best that they could do for them, yet choose to focus only on what didn’t work out their way.
I’m saddened by people that abuse the ones they say that they love, whether it’s their children, friends, parents or significant others. Abuse of any kind breaks a heart and has a profound effect on the life of the one abused.
I’m saddened by a world that has forgotten the simplest of things: kindness, compassion, love and understanding.
I’m saddened by a world that is selfish and has forgotten the beauty of helping someone in need.
So many sad things surround us and I’ll admit that today is a day I’m feeling the effects of all those negative things, yet…
Love is simple.
Love is just love. It’s unconditional, non-judgemental and forgiving.
Love can change the life of another.
Love can change your perspective.
Love, my friends, can change the world.
And hopefully, one day, if we all choose love there will be no more sadness in the world.
I was in Virginia a few weeks ago to celebrate my nephew, Gavin’s, high school graduation. It was the first time in years that so much of our family was under the same roof for the night and we all had a good time.
I was in Virginia a few weeks ago to celebrate my nephew, Gavin’s, high school graduation and I got to spend some time alone with him. We had a conversation I’ll remember forever: he shared his “dreams” with me.
Yes, we spoke of college and his football career, but most of the conversation was about his dreams.
And he said he must get that “dreamer” thing from me.
And I couldn’t have been more proud.
Gavin told me that he wants to make a difference in the world, even if it’s making a difference to just one person. He told me that he’s not looking to be famous, but if he is he wants to be famous for helping people and changing someone’s life for the better. He told me his “dreams” of a better world and I understood exactly what he was talking about because I dream of the same. Gavin and I aren’t just waiting for our dreams to come true, we’re doing what it takes to turn our dreams into a reality.
I received a “thank you” card from Gavin and this proud auntie shed a tear at the last line of the card: “We’re dreamers together ‘til the end!”
And we will always will be.
I believe in the “dreamers” because I’ve been one for as long as I can remember. When I was much younger I remember being told that it was okay to have dreams as long as I understood that they were just dreams, not reality. I used to believe that a dreamer was just a person who went through life with their head in the clouds, but that’s not true.
We dreamers have our feet planted firmly on the ground, yet we have enough faith in ourselves to believe that we can turn our dreams into reality; we have an intense passion for our dreams; and we believe in our dreams and in ourselves.
I believe in my nephew, Gavin, I believe in me, and I believe in all of you.
Thank you, Gavin, for letting your aunt know that she made a difference in your life.
After all, that’s what us “dreamers” are all about…
I’d be lying to you if I said the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain didn’t still upset me, because they do. Even more so than those two suicides are countless social media posts about the number of people who take their own lives, of the importance of understanding mental illness, and the faces of those who suffer and have suffered from these illnesses.
Kate and Anthony were public figures, yet to see just how many people actually do take their own lives is unbelievable. There are no pictures for the world to see on social media of these people; they were living their life just as we all do.
Yet there’s so much more to each and every story of suicide.
And I, for one, can’t even begin to know how to understand them all, except to say that they’re all tragic, sad, and heartbreaking.
What I can do is keep writing words of encouragement and inspiration to all of you; I can keep writing stories to share with you in the hopes that it may touch the heart of someone who needed to read it; and I can keep doing something every day of my life to make a difference in the world and in the life of another.
Let’s do this together.
Let’s start today.
One act of kindness can change the day or even the life of another human being. We don’t always know what someone else is going through, so be kind to each other with both your words and your actions.
This story is for all of you who follow my blogs and my posts, who comment on my writing and have supported me throughout my journey. Your words mean more to me than I can say but the one word to describe my feelings for all of you is this: “grateful.”
I’m grateful to have people I know and people I don’t know engage in my posts, leave comments of encouragement and support and who are willing to share their own life experiences and feelings with the world.
I’m grateful that you have given me the platform to try and change the world, try and make a difference in it, and to try to make another human being feel better.
I’m grateful that you take the time to read what I write. I’m grateful that you share your opinions of a particular story that meant something to you. I’m grateful that you’re part of my life journey…if only through my writing.
I’m grateful for all of you. It’s amazing to me that some of your comments come from those of you right in my own backyard and others that come to me from other countries.
I’m grateful for all of you, especially in the last few weeks. You’ve allowed me to truly see and believe more than ever that “it’s time to make a difference and we can make that difference together.”
And you’ve all made a difference in my life.
And sometimes it’s “the smallest of things that makes the biggest impact” on our life.
It’s been a tough week. I was upset and heartbroken over the slanderous comments made on my website. And I was angry. I was angry that someone caused me to feel such strong, negative emotions.
After a day or two of constantly thinking about the “who” behind it all I remembered the lessons I have learned along this journey of life: in order to release the anger and hurt I was feeling I had to forgive them.
And when I forgave them I took back my power and control because I took away their ability to hurt me. Allowing someone to upset you is giving them the power and control to do it, and trust me, they know that. They know that they “got to you” and they revel in it. They actually enjoy it. And they’ll keep doing it to you until you stop letting it get to you.
Listen, it’s a hard thing to forgive someone who hurt you. All I wanted to do in the last few days was to call her and talk it over. Yet while that sounds like a sensible answer to the problem, I knew deep down inside that it would provide her with the confirmation she wanted in the first place: that she got to me and she got my attention. It would have been confirmation to me that I allowed her to.
And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give her the power and control over my life and my emotions just because they don’t have control over their own.
It’s sad to know that there are people like that in the world, yet this is why I write what I do. I try to change someone’s perspective on how they see the world; I try to show them that kindness is key; and I try to share the lessons I’ve learned on how to be the best person you can be. I share the lessons I’ve learned on forgiveness, on the importance of loving yourself, and that anything and everything you want in this life is possible if you believe in yourself.
Good things come from good energy and emotions. Negativity breeds negativity, and positivity breeds positivity.
I’m not out to change anyone. I write my life experiences to show others that there is always hope and that we can change if we want to. I try to share with others that I learned that when you want something in your life to change that that change begins with YOU.
I’m not about rules or telling anyone what to do. I’m just a girl who wants to make a positive impact on another person’s life, because if I can do that, there will be a positive impact on the people that surround them.
I took this unpleasant and hurtful experience and turned it into a lesson of strength. I used it to write what needs to be written: the truth. I used this pain and turned it into one of peace in my forgiveness towards them.
Those comments fueled the fire within me to stand up for myself and to stand in my truth. I know those comments about me were untrue and I never should have let them hurt me, yet the pain brought more: it made me stronger and even more determined to make a positive impact in the world.
This girl is on fire and my mission is to keep writing about kindness, respect, forgiveness and strength. I’m on fire to write about taking back the control and power that I had so easily given to someone else, because the truth is, we should NEVER give that away. Yet it happens by a comment or a hurtful action by another.
I’ve learned that the next time that happens I will stand in my truth and not allow them to cause me any negative feelings. No one will ever take away my power again and I will be diligent in keeping my emotions and my life in MY control.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult, yet most powerful tools we can use. Forgiveness will free YOU from the negative feelings that someone caused you. Forgiveness will give you peace in knowing that you let it go…and hopefully, you let THEM go as well.
Wish them love and light and pray for their own healing…and then drop it.
Never let anyone steal your power and control. Never let them know they caused you the pain that they had hoped they would.
And remember, no one can hurt you unless you let them.
From this day forward, this girl is on fire and I won’t stop until I’ve made the difference in this world that I hope and want to make.
If you’ve been following my latest blogs then you’ll understand this story. Last weekend someone made a comment on one of my blogs. It was hurtful and untrue. As I looked at the IP address I realized that it belonged to the same person that did the same thing to me in August, commenting on me personally rather than on my writing.
My heart sank on Saturday morning when I saw a degrading comment about “me.” I traced the IP address to the vicinity of where it came from and realized that it was from the same one back in August, and sadly, it’s someone I know.
I appreciate and welcome any comments about my writing…I appreciate comments to tell me how I can be a better writer. I don’t take offense at construction criticism about my writing, but I do take offense to being publicly slandered about “who” someone says I am. And I’m hurt to know it’s someone I know and that “someone” knows I’m not anything that they said I was. My character was defamed, my reputation slandered. And I was hurt because I couldn’t understand, let alone wrap my head around why this person would do that to me.
Yet something made them do it and it hurt. They hid behind false names and false email addresses, yet an IP address doesn’t lie. I knew who it was.
Some may say I took the comment too personally, yet I felt slightly threatened and definitely slandered. Since the comment was made public on my website, I’ll share it with you:
Did it ever occur to you that you reflect all that you are, that perhaps you create all these situations because of your own self loathing?
You seem to gave a central theme in all your blogs that portray you as a victim, not as an enlightened, loving spiritual being. Good luck on your “project” …looks like you have a lot of self work to do.
I deleted the other comments the moment I read them in August, but the theme and the tone were the same. It was a direct attack on me as a person, not me as a writer. It was the voice of someone who hated me and the life I’m living with my love, Rob. It was someone that is so angry with me that they wanted to publicly slander me.
And the truth is, I’m not any of those things. I’m not self-loathing and I definitely do not play a victim. I try and take all my experiences I’ve gone through, the good and the bad, and share them with others in the hope that I can help them through when there was no one to help me. I want to inspire and motivate people; I want to spread kindness and hope; I want to make a difference in the world and in another human beings life; I want to try and make the world a better place.
When I saw that comment on Saturday morning it felt as though someone punched me in the stomach. When I realized it was from the same person from months ago, my heart sank…because it was then I realized who it was.
I spoke to the police and knew what I could do, but then I thought about the rest of that family. They shouldn’t pay for that person’s feelings towards me. I was angry and I was hurt. Even as I write this I would love to sit down with this person and ask them why they did that to me. Why did they hate me so much?
And then I realized the answer: some people are so unhappy in their own lives that they take it out on others; they want what someone else has and if they can’t have it, they’ll try and ruin it; they’re jealous, they’re insecure and they’re lost souls with no direction. They don’t understand that they can have all those things on their own but they can’t or won’t because they don’t love themselves, don’t respect themselves, and would rather play the martyr than to do the work on themselves to have the best life they can have.
I’m not angry anymore because I forgave them. I had to. Holding onto the anger keeps it alive and gives that person and what they did control and power over me, and I won’t have it. So I decided to forgive them, and let go of the anger. I didn’t call them or let them know I forgive them, I forgave them for ME! And once I did that I realized that there was no more anger, and by forgiving them I took back my power and my control.
Today I forgave them but I’ll never forget the three comments they wrote about me. I’ll forgive them but I’ll never forget what they said. Never.
And now you know why I am on a mission of spreading the word to all of you to be kind to one another.
The world will never get better with hate and jealousy, but there’s a good chance it will change with kindness.
I’m on a roll this week about kindness. Last week I was the target of people being incredibly “unkind” to me. It saddens me to know that people can be that way, yet we’re all wired differently.
Kindness is free. It doesn’t cost any money and it doesn’t cost a lot of time. In fact, being kind to someone else actually gives a gift back to you: it makes you feel good that you made someone else feel good by being kind to them.
Yet there are those that choose not to be kind; they choose to be mean and hurtful. They choose to judge you without knowing who you. And some choose to be mean because they do know you and want what you have: in other words, they’re jealous. Or they’re insecure. Or they just want to be mean because they hate you.
I try to spread kindness wherever and to whomever I can. I love to make someone smile, or feel better, or laugh out loud! I love to be there with a listening ear and shoulder to cry on if someone needs me. I love to sit with someone who doesn’t want to be alone.
But someone was mean to me last week. They wrote things about me that weren’t true. They hid behind a false name and email address. They couldn’t say those things to me in person because they didn’t have the courage to do so; they are a coward.
They are mean. They are unkind. They are hurtful.
And they must be one sad soul to want to hurt someone else.
I forgive them for what they did, and I can only do that so I don’t stay angry. But I will never forget what they said and did.
I believe in my heart that if everyone in the world was kind we’d be living in a much different world.
Be kind, share random acts of kindness to others, and be kind in the things you say.
Kindness can change the world.
As I always say: “It’s time to make a difference and we can make a difference together.”
Life is meant to be exciting, that is, if you want it to be. There will always be challenges that crop up now and again, yet it’s our choice to continue to find the excitement in even the worst of times and the most mundane of days. It’s our choice to embrace the day, no matter the sadness or stress, knowing that it won’t always be that way…just for the day. It’s your choice to weather the storm with grace and dignity, or allow it to overcome you with hopelessness and despair.
My life hasn’t always been the happiest. There have been many moments of fear, sadness, anger and hopelessness. I’ve learned lessons from all that life had to hand me, and because of that, I’m able to sit back in the worst of moments and try to find some excitement, or at best, find some joy and happiness. There’s always something in every day, big or small, to be grateful for. It may be as small that first cup of coffee in the morning that starts your day, to something big like an awe-inspiring sunset or that feeling of knowing you are loved.
So often life gets the best of us. It gets busy and throws a wrench in a life that was going along smoothly. It hands us a challenge we’re too tired to handle or ill-prepared to overcome; it hands us a life changing moment that we weren’t prepared for; it hands us an end to something that we thought was a beginning.
It’s at those times of uncertainty that we tend to lose our excitement.
And it’s at those times that we have to pay attention to what matters most…love and all the excitement it’s meant to bring, if we would just allow it.
I don’t like when life gets boring, but I love when it’s peaceful. I don’t like when life hands me a challenge, but I love learning the lesson and overcoming it. I don’t like when relationships get stagnant, but I love finding something new in something old. I don’t like feeling invisible, but I love finding my light.
Excitement can be exhausting when you’re already exhausted, yet it’s one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. Excitement for love and your life can bring you happiness and joy, peace and contentment, and most importantly, a new perspective on it all. Excitement for even the smallest and biggest of things can alleviate the exhaustion and enhance the gratitude of the blessings in them all.
I don’t like when the excitement slows down and all the challenges speed up. It’s at that moment that I need to find my balance, and I’m one to always try and tip the scales to the excitement side, that side that holds the love, the joy, the happiness for life. The challenges will come and go, and if you’re not paying attention, so will the people you love. You have to make the choice of what’s more important, and for me, love wins out every time.
Love is what helps me to overcome the challenges; love is what gets me through the bad times; love is what gives me strength to do it all. Love is my excitement for the people I love and for the life that I live each day with them.
Don’t lose sight of what and who you love; don’t lose sight of the excitement they bring to you; and don’t ever take any of it for granted, because one day you could wake up and find it gone.
And when the excitement seems to be slowing down, and the boring seems to be speeding up, then you know it’s time for a change. Switch it up and see what happens, and if you find that nothing you do works, perhaps your “excitement” is meant to be found elsewhere.
Life is always changing, and if you want something in your life to change, you need to remember that the change begins with you.