“And The Last Child Graduates”

The youngest of my five children graduated high school last week. It was a bittersweet day for both of us yet an exciting one. It was the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next one. Of course his chapter is much different than mine, yet it’s a new beginning for both of us.

This fifth child of mine never ceases to amaze me. At just 17 years old (almost 18) he knows who he is, he’s comfortable in his own skin, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, yet the truth is, everyone loves him. He’s smart, he’s kind and compassionate, and he’s funny. His smile lights up the room and he can turn the saddest of my days into my best days.

And they love him because he’s his authentic self. I can’t begin to tell you how many teachers, faculty and parents of his friends tell me what a sweet kid he is: kind, respectful and funny. No mother could ask for anything more!

Yet I think back to when I was that age and wasn’t even close to being sure of myself. I didn’t know what I wanted in life other than the next step after high school: go to college. I cared about what I was wearing and what others thought of me. Comfortable in my own skin? I didn’t even know what my “own skin” was. 

Yes, I’m a proud mother here and one that is in awe of this fifth child of mine, yet I’ll be honest, all five of them are the same way. They are who they are and they’re amazing human beings. I’d like to think I had a hand in that while I was raising them because I allowed them to be their authentic self, without judgment or criticism. And it worked.

We all want to be accepted and loved and I believe that happens when we are our “authentic self,” not someone other people expect us to be. As I told my children, if people don’t like you or respect you for who you are, then they’re not your “people.”

And it’s true.

It’s a lesson I learn more and more as life goes on.

Congratulations to my fifth child, Sam, as he begins the next chapter of his life. I hope it’s a grand adventure. He certainly deserves it!

And here’s to all of us being our authentic self and beginning another chapter in our lives. Enjoy the journey and embrace the adventure.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

sammy

 

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“The Loss Of A Dream’

There’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. I was in my attorney’s office years ago going through my divorce. I was emotional and told her that it was so sad to me that the marriage was ending. What she said to me has stayed in my mind ever since:

“Yes, the marriage is ending, but you’re grieving the loss of a dream.”

And that was the best explanation I’ve ever heard… because she was right.

Every loss in life is a “grief of the loss of a dream.”

It could be the loss of the dream of losing someone we thought would be in our life forever, of losing a pet, of losing the job we love, of losing something important to us on our “bucket list.”

We all have dreams.

And when those dreams don’t come true we have to grieve the loss of them.

But please remember this: there WILL be dreams that come true.

I promise.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Grief

“Listen To How They Treat You”

the way a person treats you

“There’s a message in the way a person treats you…just listen.”

It’s the saying I absolutely believe in: “actions speak louder than words.”

All those loving, positive words you speak to someone are only truthful when the actions back them up.

All those negative, hurtful words you speak to someone are truth. It’s how someone honestly feels about you because when you truly love someone you wouldn’t say things you know that would hurt them. And trust me, those words will stay with them for a lifetime.

If you really love someone, be it your significant other, friend, family or child, why would you say something hurtful to them? You can’t take those words back and if you said them you must have meant them. And if you didn’t mean them then why did you say them? Just to hurt them because you can? To push them away? Or maybe you use those words to put them in their place as a way to control them.

Think about why you say things to hurt someone you love. No human being has the right to hurt another, especially someone who loves you. It could be that you don’t really love them, that you don’t understand love, or that love is nothing more than a matter of convenience to you. And know this: each time you say hurtful words to someone you love you bruise their heart and that heart begins to shut down little by little.

We’re all human and none of us are perfect. We get annoyed sometimes, we get angry, we get cranky…that’s okay, we all have moments like that, but it’s NOT okay to hurt someone you love. It’s NOT okay to make them feel like your bad mood is their fault because it’s not, it’s yours. And it’s NOT okay to think you have the right to say hurtful words to someone because you want to.

We have choices in all areas of our life, especially in our relationships. You have a choice of which words you use, you have a choice in the tone of your voice when you say them, and you have a choice to talk things through calmly with the one you love instead of being mean and hurtful.

And you have a choice to walk away.

You have a bad day? Work getting to you? Are you unhappy? Did someone make you angry or hurt your feelings?

We all rough days now and then, but understand that it’s not fair or right to take YOUR rough day out on another.

Think about what you’re feeling and why…

Don’t take it out on someone who loves you…

Don’t bruise the heart of someone who truly loves you..

And remember that their feelings are just as important as yours…

Be kind or be quiet.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Be Careful What Doors You Open”

doors to the past 1

We all have a past; some of it filled with beautiful memories and some of it filled with heartache, sadness and negative energy. Yet I believe that when you close a door in your life it’s best to leave it closed because should you open it you never know what or who you’re letting back in…and that could be something that affects your life today in a negative way.

I believe that it’s fine to “revisit the past for a brief time, if only to remember why you left it in the first place.” Living in the past steals your present and your future. It keeps you from moving forward, it keeps you stuck in a time in your life that’s already passed and it keeps you from living in the moment. And living in the moment is what leads you into your future.

There are pieces of our past that are meant only for us to remember; speaking that past out loud to the wrong person could be hurtful. And I’m talking specifically about relationships here. The older we get the more of a past we have. We’ve had past lovers and significant others, we’ve had past heartache, we’ve had past intimate moments, and the door closed to that once those relationships were over. I’ve had them, too, yet once those doors are closed I keep them closed because once I open the door to the past I’m leaving myself vulnerable to what I’m letting back into a life I already moved forward in.

Opening the door to a past that was left behind means that you’ve allowed that energy back into your life, or you’ve let that person back in. It means you’re choosing to allow the emotions from that time to be felt again, whether good or bad, and it means you’re looking at your present life as less important than your past.

We have all those “past” experiences to teach us life lessons so that we can move into a better life, a better relationship. Remembering old loves is a memory to be kept to yourself; speaking it to your new love will only bring pain to them…and in the end, to you. There are some pieces of our past that are better left unsaid and kept to ourselves, because living in the past can definitely influence your present life which inevitably can affect your future.

We all carry some wonderful memories of our past, myself included, but I believe that when we “live” in our past, remembering our past relationships, then that is a sign that we’re not happy or content in our relationship now. And that is something to think about.

Be careful when opening the doors to your past; you never know “what” or “who” you’re letting back in. And you never know who it’s going to hurt.

The past is meant to be left in the past; your future lies in your present.

Don’t lose sight of the people you love in your present life by constantly looking back at the people you left behind in your past.

Be grateful for the people you love in your life today…

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“What” Is Not As Important As “Why”

what 2

“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~

“How A Heart Breaks”

breaking a heart

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~

authentic self 1

 

“You Are Beautiful…No Matter What They Say”

I’m always honest with all of you that follow me and I’m going to be honest now. You’ve all become “friends” to me with all your support and comments which I appreciate more than I can say.

I share my personal experiences with all of you in the hopes to make a difference to someone, yet there are moments in my life that it isn’t all sunshine and roses, as I’m sure yours isn’t at times.

So I’m going to get personal and honest with all of you: I’ve had a bad week. A really bad week.

I’ve gone through a few situations this week that hurt my heart so deeply that I’m having a difficult time getting past it…yet I know I will in time.

I have to process what’s happened, try to understand why, and figure out the lesson in it for me. Heartache happens to teach us something…and now it’s trying to teach me something.

I know what to do because I’m always telling all of you how to get through rough times…I’ve been down this road before and I know it’s a difficult journey, yet I know the process I have to go through to get to a better place.

I need to remind myself that anyone who hurts my heart did so because of their own issues. Some people hurt others because they’re feeling hurt themselves, or because they need to have that control, or because they’re simply abusive. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t make it right.

And I let them do it.

And sometimes we just don’t know how to stop them from doing it, which is why I believe to my toes that if someone treats you that way you have to wish them love and light and let them go.

And it’s not easy.

So, yes, I’m feeling hurt this week and trying to figure out why it all happened and how to handle it.

 

And I have to remind myself that it’s not my fault, it’s theirs.

And you need to remember that as well and repeat this to yourself as often as you have to: “It’s not my fault.”

We don’t ask people to hurt us or be mean. We don’t ask people to abuse us verbally or physically. We don’t ask someone to treat us badly.

That’s their choice to do it and our choice to allow it or not.

What we can do is know our worth, know our value and not allow anyone to treat us badly.

We need to remind ourselves that we’re beautiful, lovable and important.

And they need to be reminded that “their words can bring us down.”

And they need to understand that hurtful words can be forgiven, but they will never be forgotten.

I’m as human as anyone else and wanted to share this piece of my life with you.

In the end, I’ll be fine.

It’s a process.

I guess you could say that “Anne Dennish” has another life lesson to learn!

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

beautiful

“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