“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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“We’re Dreamers ‘Til The End”

“A dreamer is a realist with faith.”

Faith in their dreams and faith in themselves.

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…

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

gavin dreamer

“Make The Time To Reach Out”

If I’ve learned one important thing in life, it’s this: that if I’m thinking about someone I’m going to reach out to them to let them know that they were on my mind.

Because how else would they know? It’s easy to say “I thought of you all day” or “you’ve been on my mind lately,” yet it’s another thing to back those statements up with the actions. After all, as I always say, it’s the actions that make the words true.

I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me to get a private message, text, or better yet, a phone call from someone who begins the conversation with: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to see how you’re doing.” Or “I’ve missed you.” Or “you crossed my mind today and I wanted to let you know that I love you or that I just wanted to hear your voice.”

That means the world to me, and I know it means a lot to the people in my life that I take the time to do that for. No day is promised, and I make sure that when someone crosses my mind I let them know that they did.

We’re human and we all want to know we’re loved, or needed, or appreciated or thought of throughout the day, the night, or every now and again. It’s what keeps us going and makes us feel good, feel loved, feel happy. It’s what makes us want to do that for other’s.

Who did you reach out to today? Did you let someone important to you know how you feel about them? Did you take a moment to let someone know that you were thinking of them? Did you stop what you were doing in your day to let someone know that you love them? I hope that you did.

And who reached out to you today? I hope someone did.

“It’s the actions that make the words you say to someone true.”

It only takes a moment to let someone know that you’re thinking of them and that moment can make all the difference in the world.”

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“The Tired Soul”

My soul is tired. Actually, it’s exhausted.

And it’s drained, bumped and bruised.

The truth of the matter is that my soul needs some deep healing and a whole bunch of kindness.

Kindness, compassion, respect and unconditional love are natural healers. They soothe the soul, calm the nerves and allow the healing waters of tears to flow. They’re a natural way to release the negative things that have broken your soul, a way to help you to let things go and move forward, and a reminder of the strength you thought you lost.

So how do you begin to heal your soul?

Be kind to others.

Surround yourself with others that are kind to you.

And remember to be kind to yourself.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Put It Down And Shut It Off”

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In this day and age most everyone has a cell phone, a social media page, and a computer. Let’s face it, it’s the way the world is today. We search, we follow, we like, we comment…it’s all part of the technology we live in. In fact, most of us are lost without it.

And yes, I have a cell phone, social media pages and a laptop…my career revolves around them, yet I know the appropriate times to use them all and when it’s time to turn them off.

And the time to turn them off is when I’m having human interaction, when the ones I love are with me. I know my time with the people I love is precious and not promised. I guess you could say that the time of social media, the internet and cell phones ARE promised…as long as you pay the bill!

Yet our lives are not promised. We all know how precious a human life is and it frustrates me beyond belief that some people don’t get that. Well, they say they get that until they’re on the phone.

I feel unimportant when someone, be it my significant other, family, child or friend is in my presence and on the phone checking social media. It’s one thing if it’s work but it’s another when it’s pleasure. I feel hurt at thinking that I’m not as important to them as their social media, phone or computer. Let’s face it, we can check our social media anytime we want…posts and comments are there forever. I’m not. No one is.

Most people don’t even realize how long they’re looking at their social media because they go into this “hyper-focus” mode. They lose track of time and more importantly, they lose sight of the person sitting with them. They forget what’s important to them, then again, maybe the “likes, comments and views” of others on social media are more important to them than the “likes, comments or views” of the person that they’re with.

My belief is that if you can sit on your phone, internet or social media that long while I’m there, well, you’ve let me know what’s more important…and it’s not me.

And please remember this: that time you spend on social media, the phone or the computer while the ones you love are with you is time that you can’t get back. Would you rather spend 15 minutes on the internet or 15 minutes with someone important to you?

Life is short, the internet is long…you decide what and who is more important.

Think about that.

Put down the cell phone and turn off the electronics when you’re with the people you love.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“It’s Them, Not You”

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There’s this one life lesson that I’m obviously not learning as well as I should and it cropped up again on me last night without warning. And after it happened, I was more angry at myself for allowing it to have happened again.

And what is that? I allowed someone to take out their insecurities, jealousies, or bad day on me by bringing up painful past situations and mistakes that I’ve made peace with, moved on from, and learned from. And throughout the conversation I began defending myself…and I should and do know better than to do that.

Truth be told, by the time I got off the phone I was drained. They had said so many hurtful things to me that I went to bed in tears, feeling like a failure.

This morning I woke up with a headache, a bruised heart, and a sadness in my soul, but I’m working on that today. I know I’m not a failure because I’m living my life purpose and pursuing my passion and dreams. I know I’m not a failure because I keep moving forward with a positive attitude no matter what life or another person hands me. And I know I’m not a failure because I would never do anything hurtful to another even though they did that to me.

I understand that people have bad days, trust me, I do as well, but I would never take it out on another person. And as I’ve taught my children, when people are unkind, mean or hurtful to you, it’s not really because of YOU; they are simply taking their fears, their insecurities, their jealousies or bad days out on you. They’re afraid to face their own truth and their own life so they inflict emotional and verbal pain on you. It’s not okay for anyone to do that to another human being. We can all understand why they do it but we do NOT have to allow them to do it.

Are you wondering why I allowed it yet again? Me too, but the truth is, it was someone in my family and I didn’t see the conversation going in that direction until it did…and I just couldn’t seem to shut it down. I told my best friend about it this morning and she said to me: “this is your problem; use your voice, shut them down and talk to them the same way they’re talking to you.” My response: “I won’t lower myself to that level and I will not be unkind to someone even if they’re being unkind to me.”

And I think that’s a lesson for all of us. What we allow will continue and sometimes the people that are unkind to us are the closest to us, yet I believe this to be true: even if it’s family, it’s no reason to allow that behavior. Sometimes, especially with family, we have to wish them love and light and put some distance between us. It’s difficult to do at times, but absolutely necessary.

Distance between family members doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it means you love yourself just as much.

So today I’m healing my heart, finding some joy in my soul and forgiving them for doing it and forgiving myself for allowing it.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“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~

“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~