Choose “Love!”

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.

Choose love.

And hopefully, one day, if we all choose love there will be no more sadness in the world.

And wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Think about it.

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“The Love They Leave Behind”

The holidays are fast approaching and so many of us are missing the people that are unable to be around our table. I’m missing three of my five children, yet I know that they’re only a phone call away.

And then there are those that have passed away that we miss. I miss those people yet I smile when I think of them. 

And as I was thinking of them the other day, I thought this: “When they passed they took my love with them, yet they left so much more than they took.”

What I mean by that is this: They took the love but they left me with the precious memories, the sound of their laughter, the stories they told year after year, the image of their face when they smiled, and the remembrance of the feeling of their hugs. They left a piece of themselves in everyone whose life they touched.

And they left all that love for me to carry in my heart until I see them again.

I smile when I think of them or laugh out loud when I remember something funny that they did or said.

I tell my children the stories that they had told me.

I look at old photographs of them and remember that exact moment in time when they were here.

I don’t cry bitter tears over them leaving this world, but cry tears of joy in knowing that they left the best part of them behind with me.

I honor their memory by living my life to the fullest because that’s how they lived theirs. 

I embrace the love that they left with me and carry it in my heart.

And I am grateful and blessed for the time I had with them.

After all, they loved me enough to leave a piece of themselves behind with me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

They Left More

Photo by Anne Dennish copyright@2019

 

 

 

“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~

“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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“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~

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“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~

“The Lesson In Disappointment”

A week from today I was supposed to fly to California. It’s a trip I’ve been looking forward to ever since I booked my flight over a month ago. Aside from my “happy place” at the Jersey Shore where I live, Malibu is my other “happy place.” The energy there is amazing and for some reason, I feel like I’m “home” when I’m there. Two years ago I spent a week in a Malibu beach house where I finished my book, “Waking Up.” I did some of my best writing there and it was an intense soul searching time for me as well. This trip was important to me, not only because I’d be in a place I love, but because I’d be seeing my oldest son (who I haven’t seen in over a year), my Nike Nephews and would be writing and working on another book.

Over the last few days my intuition was screaming to me: “It’s not the time to go.” And that thought stuck in my head for days. My sister called me two days ago and said that she had a bad feeling about me going and that I should go another time. She also told me to remember what I always say: Everything happens for a reason. And if there’s one thing I believe in with all my heart and one I tell others is this: trust your intuition because it never lies.

So yesterday morning I had to make an adult, big girl, responsible, smart decision…and they’re not the most fun to make. I cancelled my trip. And to say I was disappointed is an understatement, yet I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. There were too many factors popping up in the last week and I knew days ago that I would have to decide whether to go or not. I don’t like when things get complicated and this trip was beginning to get more and more complicated.

I went to the hairdresser in the morning feeling disappointed and sad and I ran errands feeling disappointed and sad. Those feelings stuck with me all day, yet once I was in the comfort of my home the tears came. The tears started late in the afternoon and continued until I fell asleep. They came in waves over dinner, and came as sobs during my bath. There was nothing I could do to stop the tears; I felt sad, disappointed and broken and I kept wondering “Why did this happen to me?”

And then the answers came through the questions in the tears: because you needed to learn something….and I did.

I remembered what it is I always tell people, and when I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say it I had confirmation that it’s true: set your priorities, make boundaries around your sacred space, and learn to say no.

And that’s true…and I know that, yet I forgot that.

My lesson was that I had lost sight of my priorities, I was allowing people to cross my boundaries, and I was saying “yes” to things I should have been saying “no” to.

So yes, I had a day of sadness and disappointment, of feeling broken, but I knew I had to go through it and get through it and I did. My soul needed to cry long and hard to let go of what I was feeling.

I sit here this morning with a headache and swollen eyes, yet knowing I learned a lesson the hard way…and an important lesson at that.

My point to you is don’t feel badly for having a down day; they happen for a reason and that reason, more often than not, teaches you something that’s for your Highest Good. Sometimes it’s those “dark” days that enable us to see the “light.” Feel what you have to, learn the lesson, and let it go.

Sometimes our biggest disappointments teach us our greatest lessons.

And I’m good with that.

Because this is life…

And it’s a part of the journey. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Kindness Is Free”

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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. Theykindness4 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.”

Let’s start that difference today…

And let’s keep it going every day.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

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“Lost In Your Life”

 

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Every so often life throws us a curveball, one which we didn’t see coming. And suddenly we find ourselves feeling lost, feeling that we can’t get a handle on something, and feeling out of control with our emotions.

I understand those feelings well, and the situations that cause them happen unexpectedly and without warning. Just when our life is going smoothly and we’re moving forward we find ourselves in the middle of a storm of emotions that we don’t know how to handle.

And we suddenly find ourselves standing still and feeling stuck.

So what do you do when this happens? How do you “get a handle” on everything happening around you?

You stop for a moment and breathe.

You may feel as though the world around you is spinning out of control, yet you need to understand that it is “life” happening, whether it’s good or bad. Life is happening to teach you a lesson or change your perspective. Life is happening because that’s what “life” does. It moves forward, whether you’re ready or not, and it can be filled with both happiness and sadness. And that is life.

Those unexpected curveballs leave you feeling lost and out of control, feeling as though you can’t get a handle on what’s going on around and within you. But you can, and I can promise you that you will…it just takes time.

And it takes looking at the happiness that surrounds you. Look around at  those that love you and care for you; look at the person who is always there for you, through good and bad; look at the big picture of your life and be grateful for it. Don’t lose sight of the important people in your life: embrace them and be grateful to have them. They are the ones who will be there when you’re feeling lost and out of control. They are the ones you can lean on for support and love. They are the ones who love you unconditionally.

“Feeling lost” doesn’t last forever; in fact, I’ve found that the times I felt most lost were the times I was actually finding myself.

Be kind to yourself during these moments in your life and let those that love you help you through. Everything will be alright.

I promise.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

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“A Tragedy in Manchester, England”

The internet is filled with a mix of emotions over last nights’ tragedy in England, from anger and hatred to sadness. The world can feel so safe until something rocks our world and fills us with fear.

It seems that when tragedy strikes there are those that will say to “hug your children more, say I love you to those you love and be grateful for each day you are gifted,” yet I say we should be that way everyday. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to open our eyes to the life we are blessed to have and to be grateful for our loved ones.

So today let us all join together in compassion and kindess, love and understanding for the world. Let’s pray for England, for an end to violence in the world, and more importantly, let us pray for each other.

Wishing you love and light

and peace…

~Anne Dennish~

prayers for England

Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright 2017