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You are one of my FAVORITE people

Welcome back readers.  One of my favorite things about this creative process is being open to change.  I had a totally different topic that I was prepared to write about today, but then it happened.  Someone said to me earlier “you are one of my favorite people” and I realized, this is my topic today.

You are one of my favorite people. In my mind this statement is the highest form of compliment.  Why? Because of what it says and also what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say “you are my best friend” because you probably are not. It doesn’t mean “I just love everything about you” because  I probably don’t.

Then what does it mean?  I realize this is subjective, so here it is.  This is what it means to me.  When I tell you, you are one of my favorite people, it means:

  1. The very essence of who you are resonates deeply with me. I admire your ability to be exactly who you are and be okay with it
  2. I have learned a lot from you.
  3. I admire your spirit.
  4. There are qualities about you that I admire and hope to someday achieve.

You are not going to be everyone’s favorite person. In fact, you may only hold this title for a few people.  Again, the specialness (my word) of it is what makes it a compliment of the highest order.  I have a few favorites and I gladly let them know.  Everyone wants to receive this type of accolade no?

Spread Love,

Peace and Blessings!

You’ve Got A Friend

We all have friends.  Most, if not all of us, have at least one best friend.  Friendship is a wonderful thing.  But something occurred to me today.  Not all of us have THAT friend.  The one who will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.  The one who will pull you in off the ledge all of the time with a simple “calm down.”

I want you to be clear on what I mean here.  This is NOT the friend who is ride or die- ready to pick up the charge and go off to kick a** with you because YOU said someone did something “wrong” to you.  This is NOT the friend who will allow you to mope, cry, and host the pity party to beat all pity parties whenever you feel the occasion warrants.  No, not this friend. Not this friend.

This is the friend who says to you “I understand” and continues on to examine the situation from a purely rational, impartial (meaning you may not like it) point of view.  This is the friend who pulls you off the ledge saying “Come on in.  It’s dangerous out there and trust me this is not worth it.” And then… and then, this friend goes on in a calm, loving way to show you how this is not the end of the world.

But some people are not ready for this type of friendship.  They think if a person does not totally agree with them that individual is being disloyal.  They think that if they are angry, then their friend should get fired up and angry as well.  They don’t appreciate the value of the person who will just talk things through showing them both the good and the bad of all sides.  Hopefully they will eventually.  For this type of friend is one of your greatest assets.

You know the best thing about this friend? When you have to return to the friend to say “I hate to admit it, but you were right” they just kinda smile and let you know that’s it’s ok.  They got your back.  Always.  You’ve got a friend.

More Lessons Learned

On October 24, 2011 I posted “Lessons Learned.”  They all apply, but because this is life there are always more lessons.  I would love to hear some of yours.

1.  When sleep is needed rest.

2. Someone is always watching what you do- do yourself proud

3.  Tomorrow is not promised- live each day to the fullest

4. Friendship does not mean they are always around, it means they are there when you need them.

5. Even great people are imperfect- Don’t be too hard on yourself.

6. People can feel love even when not in your physical presence- the internet taught me this

7.  Real love never dies- it’s surprising how long I’ve been aware of this one

8. Laughter is healing (and does a great job of ending arguments too).

9.  We are incapable of seeing ourselves as others see us- this is both a good and a bad thing.  😉

10. There is something good in everyone.  Look for it.  Acknowledge it.  Celebrate it.

11. Sometimes bad things happen for a good reason- all things are not for us to immediately understand

12. Spreading love can indeed become a lifestyle.

13. You can let the negative statements/thoughts of others break you or you can use it as inspiration – I see you Tiger Woods

14. While one should not judge too quickly (or at all for that matter), people really do show you who they are early and often.  But…

15. Getting to know a person better almost always leads to an understanding of why they are the way they are.

16. Saying “I’m sorry” is one of the hardest things for a lot of people to say.

17. Saying “Thank you” ranks high on the hard to say list also.

18. There is no way that living with a spirit of gratitude will not change your attitude.

19. Sometimes the smallest thing to you is the biggest thing to someone else- amazing but true.

20. Letting others in is a better alternative than living behind a wall- hiding behind a wall keeps others out but always keeps you enclosed.  Let the wall down and free yourself.

21. It is not always easy to give a lot of effort, but it is worth it- the thing that most feels like it’s not worth the trouble probably is.

22.  There is little room for a difference of opinion in the current climate of our country- sad to say!

The Beauty of Sharing

We all have them: the day, the week, sometimes even the month when we are down in the dumps, feeling the blues, nothing is going right and we wonder what is our purpose in life.  Many of us get frustrated at such a time.  We  withdraw into ourselves and “ride it out.” For some, this action can be dangerous as it leads to excessive levels of depression.  For others, it is thought to be the cure that is needed to help get themselves together again.  I will readily admit that I am currently in one of those spaces.  Instead of shutting down and closing in on myself as I would normally do I decided to take a different approach.

I actually decided to share a little of what I’m experiencing with a few close and trusted friends.  The result, a mere 24 hours after the fact has been interesting to say the least.  Those who appreciate the cheer I share with them were more than happy to help fill up my cup.  A small act on their part, no doubt, but hugely appreciated by me.  The lesson is that sometimes people can’t give you what you need if they are not aware that you need it.  The next lesson is one that I’ve known but I love the reinforcement. It comes from a young lady who was wise beyond her years named Anne Frank: “despite everything, I truly believe that people are really good at heart.”

I know the temptation is there to not share disappointments and mistakes.  You figure no one wants to hear of your troubles or that you may be judged.  While this is a risk it doesn’t outweigh the rewards. Especially when your strongest desire is to withdraw, don’t keep everything to yourself.  Be willing to step out on a limb and share your experiences.  They may help someone else to heal and in the process you may find some or many who help you heal as well.  It all comes down to spreading love.  It’s true that no one wants to hear someone’s tales of woe all of the time, but people are far more desirous than you may believe to help someone else along the way.

Spread love…peace and blessings

When Is The Best Time To Do Something? When You REALLY Don’t Want to Do It.

I have a task before me.  It is daunting. It has heavy consequences.  It is not fun to do,  but it is necessary.  I have begun the task but find it difficult to resume.  I don’t like it and I just DON’T REALLY WANT TO DO IT.  You know what that means?  Now is the absolute best time to “get er done.”  Why so you ask? Because right now the task itself is becoming bigger than what it represents.  It is a huge boulder block in my mind.  It is my mountain and I need to tell it to get out of my way.  How do I do that?  By getting it done.

If you’ve ever read me at all, you know I look for the lessons in life.  I see several here.  I am not perfect and have not fully learned them.  OBVIOUSLY, or they wouldn’t be presenting themselves at the time.   So let’s look at the lessons.

1.  Procrastination (one of my biggest flaws) will not make a undesireable situation go away.  It only prolongs it. The only way to get rid of an unpleasant task is to get it out the way by quickly completely.  This is akin to eating the thing you like least on your place first (a lesson we try to instill in children) so you can get it out of way and get to what you enjoy.

2.  There are some things in life that we just will not want to do.  The price seems a little steep to pay.  It is something that is mentally overwhelming for us.  You know what has an even steeper price? Incompletion.  Some things absolutely must be done.  There is no way to avoid them. Whether we like it or not, this thing requires action.  If it is not illegal or impossible, we just need to get on with it.  Some penalties are much steeper than the high price.  Ask the IRS if you want a little confirmation on this theory.

3.  When all else fails, talk to a wise, motivating friend who can get you on your way.  Perhaps they can dangle a carrot that is worth reaching for or just shed a little intelligent light on the subject.  The only thing I don’t want you to do is talk to them for too long.  This only prolongs the inevitable.

4.  Sometimes the best reward is in just getting something done.  There is nothing else to be gained, but you will know that you moved the mountain.

 

There is probably more that can be said here, but you know what?  I’ve got work to do…

 

Spread love… peace and blessings

fear defines too many relationships

A friend made this statement to me just yesterday and it gave me cause for pause.  After a short contemplation I realized just how much truth it holds.  This statement is true for both romantic and non romantic relationships. We tend to operate within our relationships out of a state of fear.  There is fear of disapproval, fear of rejection, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, fear of repeating prior mistakes, fear of making a mistake. Fear, fear, fear!!! And within the realm of this fear, it does indeed define the relationship.  We may tell ourselves that we are operating out of  love when in truth that is the farthest thing from reality.

Let’s take a closer look. When we operate out of a place of fear we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We may know, primarily because they have shared it with us, the other person’s history of “kicking others to the curb.” We do not wish for this to happen to us, so we walk on eggshells. The same can be said if the other person has a bit of a temper that we don’t wish to encounter.  In doing this eggshell walk we are holding back.  We are inauthentic in an effort not to rock the boat.  What we sometimes don’t realize is that in doing the eggshell walk we are withholding a part of ourselves.

When we fear abandonment either through infidelity or termination of the relationship, we also hold back.  No need to love this person completely only to have them leave me is the mindset.  Is it not? Then there is the fear of making a mistake.  What if this person is not the right one for you?  You have invested time and given your love only to have made a mistake?  This fear can not only define a relationship but prevent one from participating in one.  The fear becomes greater than the basic need to be loved. But what if you have made a mistake? So what!!!! It is a learning experience.  One through which you have spread love to another person who may have been in desperate need of it.  They may not have been the one for you, but perhaps the universe needed them to encounter you for their learning.  We don’t have all the answers, but isn’t that part of the joy of life?

The granddaddy of them all is the fear of repeating past mistakes.  You will see this often in relationships that occur soon after a major breakup like a divorce.  Often times the divorced person “wastes” several potentially good opportunities by staying stuck in the past.  They are so busy analyzing the mistakes of the marriage, embittered by the experience, and definitely fearful of reliving the same results again that they don’t  offer themselves anywhere close to fully to a new relationship. They spend a lot of  time in conversation about “what went wrong.”  Well your potential mate does not need to hear all of this for a myriad of reasons.  First, you may have been the one who made the mistakes that led to the demise of the marriage. This new person, in hearing all of the gory details, more often than not may become fearful that those same mistakes may be repeated with them.  You have now put a cloud where there was sun. More importantly, you more than likely have grown from the prior experience and are not the same person.  The new person you are dealing with is certainly not the person you were married to.  Why taint your new relationship? If you have decided you would like to reenter the dating arena, then do so boldly.  Offer your very best and expect to receive the same in return.  Even if each person is not “the one” I assure you the quality of dating partners will increase as a result of this attitude.

So the obvious question is if most of our relationships are defined by fear what does the opposite look like?  Well the simple answer is that it is relationship defined on love. If I spread love in as unconditional of a manner as I can, then I will receive it in return.

I can almost hear some of your brains engaging as you read this.  🙂  You contend that you are not operating out of fear, you are simply “being smart.”  Um hmm… smartly fearful. Fear is a natural way of relating for most of us.  It is how we were raised.  We were afraid to disappoint our parents for fear that they would not love us as much.  Some of us were afraid to “step out of line ” for fear of corporal punishment. We have all had the experience of loving someone with all of our heart only to have the relationship end badly.

So what do the opposite look like you ask?  What does a relationship defined in love look like? Well, let’s take a look. If I offer love in as unconditional manner as I can in my familial, friend, and love relationships, I have trust, honesty, caring, support, encouragement, strength.  Others don’t have to worry about whether they will be “punished” because I am disappointed in them.  They know that I accept them fully, their strengths and their shortcomings, and will love them anyway.

This does not mean that everything another person does will be acceptable to me or that I receive any and all treatment of me as good. It means that I am open to all of the love they have to offer and offer it in return.  When that is not the case, I will still love them but maybe not from the same level of closeness. This distancing will come from a place of love though and not hurt, anger, and betrayal.  We may just not be the best fit for one another at the moment.

I promise you this is easier to type than execute.  I also promise you that when we operate within our relationships from a place of love instead of fear, the quality of said relationships will increase exponentially. It goes back to the Law of Attraction. We will receive that which meets our expectations. Expect the best for and from one another. Stop living in fear.  It is boxing you in, stifling your growth and pushing love away.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

The Man In The Mirror (In honor of MJ on his birthday)

“It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”

We have to face and good and bad times in life.  We have all have hurdles/challenges to overcome.  Some of us, for whatever reason, face greater challenges than others.  Operating at your highest /best self is easy to do in the best of times.  Life is good.  Everything is going your way.  The question is what type of person are you when beset with challenge upon challenge?  Or maybe just one challenge or disappointment? Do you continue to operate at your highest level or do you let the worst in you come roaring forth? I contend that the person who comes forth in trying to situations gives the best picture of who you really are.  The person you may work to cover up in good times.  Or perhaps, you are consistently wonderful and who doesn’t love that? Either way, the answer is very telling.

We all like to think that everyone sees us in the best possible light but ask yourself a few honest questions:

1.  When times are bad for others am I the last person they call?  There could be many reasons why this occurs, but one of those reasons may be that those people see your personality in trying times as less than exemplary.

2.  In trying times are you a calming force to be around or one who stirs the pot even more and gets others further agitated?   Have you ever noticed that some people can walk into a room full of chaos and bring peace to all present?  I am always so impressed when I see this at work and think to myself how great of a positive force this person is.

3. Can people easily “knock you off of your square?”  Does the smallest thing get you riled up?  Do you find yourself saying repeatedly “I try not to go there but they always make me.”  Please recognize that no one makes you act in any particular way.  The choice is always yours.

4.  Can everyone always tell when bad things are  going on in your life either because you advertise the fact to the world or because your disposition becomes so unpleasant when you are facing undue stress?

The answer to the these questions are between you and yourself.  🙂  And what you think of the answers is also on you.  If however, you ask yourself these questions and are bothered by the answers I encourage you to spend some time working on meditation, behavior control, and peace finding exercises.  None of us is perfect by far but I know the person I want to both be and be perceived as.  As I drifted off to sleep last night I heard the words of the Hezekiah Walker gospel song playing in my head “I won’t harm you with words from my mouth.  I love you.  I need you to survive.”  I understood what the message was immediately.  With one person in particular I ALLOW myself to say hurtful things.  I need to stop that.  Not for that person at all, but for me because I am a better person than that and allowing myself to stoop to that level is unacceptable.   Again none of us is perfect but that realization put this blog on my heart.  You can always be the person you want to be, even if you are not that person now.  Sometimes it requires a lot of work and self-examination.  You may already have evolved into a great person.  Others benefit from knowing you.  They may also benefit from you showing them how to get there as well.  As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

Spread love… peace and blessings.