“Kindness Counts”

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.

Kindness counts.

We all count.

Remember that.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

be kind ellen

“On Being Lonely”

 It’s been such a sad week at hearing of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Depression, mental illness, and worse than that, a feeling of loneliness…it attacks even the most strongest of people at times, rich or poor, famous or not. We’re all vulnerable at feeling such times of sadness.

Robin Williams said it best years ago that the worse type of loneliness is being with people who make you feel that way. And he’s right that being alone isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s being with people you love that make you feel alone.

So today I want to say this to all of you: If you’re blessed to have people in your life that love you, care for you, respect you, and are always there for you then know how lucky you are. It’s a gift to have people like that in your life.

Be sure to let them know you feel the same. Don’t let the ones you love feel lonely. Give back to them all the gifts they give to you.

Think about it.

Stop what you’re doing right now and grab the hand of someone who loves you that may or may not be going through a sad day; wrap your arms around them in a loving hug; sit with them, share your thoughts with them, share yourself with them.

Be there.

Don’t wait for the day they’re not there anymore for you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

robin williams

“One Chair”

Years ago whenever my grandmother saw a two seater car she’d say: “That’s a selfish car. There’s only enough room for two people.” It was a funny thing to hear her say, yet as I’ve grown older I understand even more of what she was saying.

I’m that way with chairs.

My front porch has a table and two chairs on one side of the door and on the other side is two chairs with a table between them. I’m usually in one of those chairs and look forward to the people I love sitting with me in the other chair.

There’s not always someone sitting with me but there’s an empty chair just always waiting for someone who needs to use it.

When I see someone put only one chair out for themselves it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that they want to be alone, it tells me that they don’t want me sitting with them, it tells me that they never had a thought to how I was feeling and that I may need someone to give me a chair.

Sometimes we all need a chair. We need that second chair to know we’re not alone. We need that second chair so that we don’t feel lonely. We need that second chair to let us know that someone is just waiting for us to sit in it.

The second chair means that someone wants us.

The second chair means that someone loves us.

The second chair means that we matter.

And to me, when I see only one chair I see a person who is selfish, who doesn’t care about anyone other than themselves and a person who takes the people in his life for granted.

You can spend your life with only one chair.

But remember what that chair represents to those that love you.

And be mindful and aware that a day may come in which there won’t be that person to fill a second chair;  you will be there alone with one chair.

I love having two chairs on my front porch.

It’s my small way of letting the people I love know that they’re always welcome to be with me, that I love them, and that I want to spend time with them.

Chairs.

How many do you have?

I hope you have more than one.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

two chairs

“My Strength Is Their Weakness”

strength and weakness

I wrote that quote many years ago near the end of my 20 year marriage. As I began to heal physically and emotionally from all the turmoil of that, I realized that it was at my moments of anxiety, sadness or depression that he became strong. At first I thought he was showing true signs of kindness, yet in time I realized what was really happening: I was feeding his ego and he was starving my self-esteem.  He felt like “the big man” helping the poor, defenseless, broken woman. The woman HE broke. The woman he was abusive to; the woman he told over and over again was stupid and ugly; the woman he told would never be loved by anyone.

And I believed him…until I stopped believing him.

Are you wondering how I stopped believing all that negative stuff he had embedded onto my brain? I woke up. I realized that I had allowed him free reign over me for many years and that by doing that, the behavior continued. I allowed him to speak down to me and allowed him to be disrespectful to me.  So, one day I woke up and stopped allowing it, and the marriage was done and over with.

I went through years of healing myself mentally and emotionally, and of course it was with the help of many spiritual teachers and a wonderful tribe of true friends.

I learned so much about myself and that loving myself first was the answer to not allowing anyone else to treat me that way. You’d think it would never happen again, yet I’m human; we’re all human. Sometimes life brings you an experience that you thought you had learned the lessons from…yet life knows when you forget the lesson. And the Universe will put a similar experience back into your way until you wake up and realize that what you stopped allowing years ago, you’re allowing once again.

Even after that divorce I would find myself meeting someone whose ego was strengthened by my weakness, and for those that know me, they know I’m anything but weak. It would sporadically happen here and there throughout the years, yet know I’m much more able to recognize it when it’s happening. I’ve learned that those people lack control of their own life so they try and control mine; they lack self-respect and are unable to respect anyone else; they don’t feel strong unless they’re paired up with someone weak.

And I am no longer that girl.

I want to be treated the way I deserve and the way that I treat others: with love, kindness, compassion, consideration and loyalty. And I won’t settle for anything less. I want to be loved for the person I am, quirks and all, because I love that person that I’ve become.

We all have moments of feeling weak and that’s okay; it’s those moments that help us to find our strength again and stand back up on our feet even stronger.

We all have moments of finding ourselves back in a situation that we thought would never return and that’s okay; you’re given that situation to remind you of the lesson you forgot.

And we all find ourselves staring into the mirror, looking at ourselves and wondering how we got here and what happened to us, and that’s okay; keep looking in that mirror long enough and you’ll once again see the person you thought was lost.

It’s those moments of feeling lost that we’re actually finding ourselves again, and we’re finding an even better and stronger version of the person we once were.

Life is about balance and we all fall out of balance every so often. It’s when the world around us is spinning out of control that we see the truth of everything, and it’s those moments we find our balance again.

Don’t let anyone make you feel weak; surround yourself with people that make you strong.

Don’t spend your precious time feeding someone’s ego; spend your time feeding your self-esteem.

And don’t rely on anyone loving you the way you want to be loved; love yourself that way first and the rest will fall into place.

Everything in your life begins with YOU.

Stop allowing what you don’t want to continue.

Forgive yourself when you forgot a lesson you learned and get back on track.

And love yourself.

If you do nothing else, love yourself.

Everything is possible when you begin with love.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Your Imperfections Make You Beautiful”

I believe in positive affirmations; trying to always see the positive rather than focusing on the negative. I know the power of words and the wrong words, or negative words, can have a strong impact on you and the person you say them to.

Listen, no one is perfect, least of all me, but I would rather lift someone up with positive words than bring them down by telling them their faults. In fact, if you want to see someone change into the awesome person they truly are, speak kindly to them, tell them their strengths, share how you feel about them with them, and focus on the good things about them, not the negative.

Our imperfections make us beautiful. Our flaws make us flavorful. Our quirks make us memorable.

I’ve raised five children and if you think there haven’t been things they’ve done that bother me, well, you’re kidding yourself. I love them with all my heart and for who they are, yet I would rather tell them what I love about them and what their strengths are rather than tell them their faults, such as “you left the wet towel on the floor again, why don’t you put the cap on the toothpaste and…” and so on.

And as the children have grown as well as myself, I pick my battles. I try and lift everyone in my life up; I try never to pick at the small things because there are so many more big and wonderful things about them. Sometimes it’s those silly things that bother us that we’ll miss one day.

If you continually point out someone’s faults to them, I can promise you they’re going to shut down because what you’re telling them is that you don’t accept them for who they are; that all you see is their faults; that you say you love them but they won’t feel it because all you do is pick at what you don’t like about them rather than telling them what you do.

If you’re consistently looking for perfection from the people in your tribe then you’ll be disappointed. If you can’t see more good than bad in the people you surround yourself with then leave them.

Ask yourself this: how would you feel if the people you love were constantly picking at you and expressing the negative things about you? Would you begin to shut down? Would you stop caring? Would you feel as badly as they were making you feel?

It’s simple: treat the people in your life the way you want to be treated.

Pick your battles; accept the people you love for who they are, not who you want them to be; and lift them up with positive words because the negative words you speak to them will bring them down and will only hurt you as well in the end.

See the good and stop seeing the bad.

Pick your battles, my friends, please pick your battles.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Come Out Of Your Closet”

closet 2

At one point in our life or another, we’ve lived in a closet. Not the typical stereotype closet, but a closet of “fear and secrets.” It’s the closet we stay in to hide these things from the outside world, hoping that what they don’t know won’t hurt us.

Yet staying in the closet is hurtful, because it hurts you. The closet prevents you from accepting who you are and standing in your own truth. It stops you from taking a leap of faith and moving forward.

There’s many different reasons we stay tucked in our closet of protection: we could be hiding our sexuality, or the truth of being battered and abused. We hide our emotions in the closet, for fear of having our heart broken or taking the next step in a relationship. We hide our depression or anxiety, or our addiction.

We hide our passion or talents in the closet, for fear of failure. We hide our dreams in the closet, for fear of ridicule.We hide our true self in the closet because the opinion of others means more to us than the opinion of ourselves.

The reality is that the closet allows you to hide your truth, a truth which may be judged by others, and the judgement may be cruel.

And the closet keeps you in a comfort zone, which in reality, may not bethat comfortable at all.

I’ve hidden in my closet off and on throughout my lifetime, and the one thing I learned is this: “coming out of my closet” allowed me the freedom to be me. I stepped out of my closet of fear and took a leap of faith in myself and my Higher Power, having faith that standing in my truth would bring all the right people and situations into my life, and allow me the insight to know the wrong ones.

“Coming out of my closet” gave me the freedom to pursue my dream and passion of writing, and it gave  me the ability to find the right kind of love with someone…the love of a lifetime.

Don’t hide in the closet; embrace who you are and step out into the world with all the beauty and light that you have to offer. Let the world celebrate your gifts with you and cry with you over your pain. Let the right people in who will love you and help you heal and let go of the ones who won’t.

Stepping out of the closet is healing for you, and can be healing for someone who needs it. Stand in your truth and take accountability for your fears; and then release them with love. There’s no moving forward with fear; there’s only moving forward with faith.

Take a leap of faith today and “come out of your closet;” you may be surprised at who and what is waiting there to catch you.

“Just believe, just have faith, everything else will fall into place.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~