It’s Important and You Should Believe It

Every day we wake up and think about what we need to do for the day.  There are many things we would like to do but those are typically out weighed by a need. The need is important and it takes priority. There are many things in life we determine as important and those things typical include people, things, places, goals.

Take a few moments to determine who or what is important to you. Write it down.

Who or what is on that list?  People in your daily life?  Things you’ve earned?  Items you’ve bought?  Memories captured on your phone?

Do you have that list?  Did you write it down?  It’s probably best to put that list onto paper and see it with your eyes, not just your mind.  If need, take another moment and write that list out. Put down anything and everyone that is important to you on that paper.

Now that you have that list take a look at it.  Is there anything missing?  Has everyone and everything been accounted for? Given just a few moments were you able to come up with a pretty good list?

Yes?  Are you sure?  Are you confident you’re not missing anything?  Check your list, again.  Are YOU on it?  I would be willing to bet that you’re not on your list.

And why not?

When asked what is important to us we fail to think of ourselves as important, at least we don’t verbalize or express it.  Doing so we run the risk of someone thinking we’re arrogant, egotistical or just a horse’s pa-toot.

Sometimes, we don’t stop to think about how or why we are important to ourselves.  It could be an unspoken truth. Perhaps it’s a thought in the back or our minds.  Maybe it’s something we’ve yet to realize altogether.

Why don’t we profess our self-importance in a healthy way?  Well, likely because we feel guilty for thinking we are.  We fear that giving any measure of self-importance takes away from someone else in our lives.  Often times we are uncomfortable believing we are important to ourselves and we will wait for someone else to give us that permission.

The most likely of all culprits is we determine our importance based on how important others think we are.  Why do we do that? Why do we allow our self-worth to be determined by others? Why can’t we determine our own importance in our lives?  If we have low self-esteem (and/or self-concept, self-worth) we heavily rely on others to “make” us feel better about ourselves.  There is something to be said for that feeling when we hear someone else say we are important and that is because we don’t say it to ourselves, let alone believe it.

How can that be though?  Why do we place more value on another’s opinion of us?  Why do we give that power and control of who we are to someone else?  Why are we not embracing ourselves as we are?  Why do we rely on others to tell us what we want to hear?  Why not give ourselves the permissions to feel good?

It can be difficult to determine the “why” in discounting our self-importance.   What’s more is that question may not be answered right now or even ever…and that’s okay.  Sometimes, we don’t need the root of the problem to determine a solution.  What is critical is understanding that we are important and should consider ourselves as such. This doesn’t mean that we demand others recognize our self-importance.  There’s no need to necessarily proclaim it through an app on your phone, either.  That is the very point – self-importance can be seen and it can be admired when exerted in a healthy fashion.

Today, consider how truly important you are.  There is no shame is believing you are important to you.  You don’t have to be important to others, though, without a doubt, you are important to someone however you should determine your own value.  It’s just like self-respect – the more you show yourself the more others will give you.  You teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself.

As we venture down our individual paths of self-improvement we need to believe in ourselves.  We need to know we can do what we put our minds to and our mind needs to know we are important.  We are responsible for ourselves.  We are to love ourselves.  Unless you consider yourself to be important you rob yourself of a pretty important part of your life – YOU.

You don’t have to tell me or convince me how important you are…you’ve got to convince yourself.

You can do it!

 

Relationships: What you already know

Relationships are a part of our identity.  It could be the relationship with our friends and family. Our children or our significant other or any other relationship you can identify in your life.  Relationships are important in developing who we are and how we interact with others on various levels.  We begin to learn about relationship immediately in our lives starting with those who provide our care eventually turning into those that fulfill our needs and who’s needs we fulfill.

Relationships are about needs.  Even as infants, we have needs that must be met in order to survive.  Sometimes those who meet that need don’t always remember to morph the relationhip into a two-way street soon enough and which leads to…well…let’s just say the children we “whisper” about on social media.  At some point and time we all learn that relationships are two way streets.  They are give and take. Invest and return.

“Relationships require an investment…and a return.” (Tara Parker)

Healthy relationships require two people giving and taking.  There is really no other way about it and it does not matter the relationship.  Platonic. Romantic Familial. Friendship. You name it they all require traffic to flow in two directions.  The type of relationship will determine the role each person will fulfill or in other words the needs each person will meet for the other.

I would not venture to say than any one relationship is necessarily easier than another or that one is of lesser value. That is for you to decide as it makes sense in your life. The most difficult relationship, without a doubt, is the one centered on love – romantic love.

The problem with romantic love is the vision we all have of what it is supposed to be.  Growing up we get this fantastical vision of what love is going to be. True love. Love of a lifetime.  Soul mate. Happily ever after.  Extreme acts of love.  There is this repetitive idea of the acts that spell out love and that anything less would not be “love.”

In the no nonsense words of Sherman T. Potter from the sit com M*A*S*H…”Horse hockey!”

First rule of relationships: Don’t compare your life to what you see on television. You will remain forever single with unrealistic expectations of every potential romantic partner you cross paths with.

That one relationship in your life that you get to chose and is meant to last a life time is not going to be comparable to what you see on tv. It should be better because it will be real. It will be yours.  It will be incredibly joyous.  It will be incredibly painful.  It will be reality. It will be based on the choices you and your partner make not the writers trying to score a paycheck and franchise opportunity.

Second rule of relationships: If you don’t know who you are don’t be surprised if you find someone to tell you who you are.

This is the making of an unhealthy relationship, one of abusive co-dependency.  Knowing who you are, being able to identify yourself will help in keeping the bad ones away and attract the good ones.  If you don’t know who you are you won’t know what you can offer another and there are PLENTY out there who are thrilled to tell you who you are. It is called control and leads to abuse.

Third rule of relationships: Don’t confuse being alone for loneliness.

One is a status and the other is a feeling.  Being single, or alone, doesn’t mean anything other than you are single. You aren’t a loser, you aren’t incomplete. You are just flying solo and that is a good thing until you can get your footing underneath you and begin to spread your wings of identity which means being good with being rogue.  Loneliness is a side effect of a break up from a relationship – healthy or unhealthy.  At some point, it hits you and it is uncomfortable.  It can be a driving force to make decisions that are not in your best interests.  But, you already know that.

Relationships, specifically the romantic ones are tough. They are tougher is you are not ready to put the needs of another person before your own trusting they will put your needs ahead of their own. It can be done. It has been done.  It is not a matter of forcing it or learning how to do it. It is a matter of when you are ready to do it.

You can do it.

Navigating Life After Divorce: Does Life Seem Thunderously Scary?

I enjoy quotes. Every week I look for a quote to help establish my focus for the week.  I look for something motivational or inspirational.  I search for something that will kick start my momentum for the day.  I look for something that I can share with those who need that swift positive kick in the tail.  Something that I can use in relation to a storm I may be experiencing.  Recently, I found such a quote.  Read the quote and then read it again.  Give yourself a moment to let the words sink in and resonate.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
― Brené Brown

If you are not familiar with Brené Brown you should look her up.  Listen to her speak.  She just doesn’t have a way with words.  She has a way of making clear the muddy confusing emotions and thoughts we experience as the winds of change pick up and begin to carry us off. 

Divorce is not an easy event to navigate through.  Once the ink has dried on those final papers it is hard to know which way to go and proceed with your life.  There is a lot of doubt and unbearable dread that seem to settle in after a divorce.  Divorce leaves you questioning if you did the right thing as you decide how to set your sails and use the winds to your benefit.  Divorce leaves us wondering if we did the right thing because we don’t feel like ourselves.  We may not even know how we feel or who we are.  We just know a big part of our life has ended as the crosswinds start to pick up.

Remember the first time you lived on your own?  Do you remember the first time you felt independent from your parents?  That first taste of freedom from childhood and adolescence felt incredible!  Maybe you were moving on to higher education?  Maybe you were signing on to fight for your country?  Maybe you were just going to work?  No matter the life altering experience you were determined to take the first steps in becoming your own person.  You were excited because for the first time it meant there was no one to answer to.  There was no one to tell you when to be home or do your homework.  There was no one to tell you to clean your room or do your chores.  It was just you and you were happy.  Your sails were set and you just let the winds take you wherever they blew.

As you exit your married life and enter your single life that feeling of independence doesn’t quite feel the same as it did when you were younger.  Those sails don’t look quite as dependable as they did when life seemed full of opportunity.  Now life seems thunderously scary while the unknown surrounds you like rough waters.   You may not feel as though you know yourself any more than you did when you first ventured out on your own but you definitely know more now than you did then and that is what truly panics you.

So, how do you know which way to sail once those winds pick up?  How do you know which way to sail once you have become a single lead ship?  How do you know which winds to catch?

Well, you don’t.  You have to try and fail.  You have to pick a wind, set your sail and see what happens.  You have to put some blind faith somewhere and trust in you.  You have to try.  You have to try and you will have to fail. You have to muster up your strength, face your fears and be your most compassionate fan because the storm will pass and the sun will shine.

I know, it is easier said than done – always.  There is no doubt about that but it can be done. It takes a choice. Your choice!  You are the only one who can make that choice. You cannot control the winds any more than you can control the thoughts, words or actions of others but you can adjust your sails and use the winds to reach the sunshine on the other side of the storm.

What direction are the winds coming from today?  Which way are they going?  You cannot look to the weather channel to tell you.  The winds in your life are from those around you.  Those winds are within your environments. How are you going to set your sails?  Are you ready to adjust your sails as needed?  Are you going to let those winds push you around and capsize you?

Take a deep breath, feel the wind and set your sails.

You can do it!

 

It Takes More Than Love

During my first marriage my husband would often tell me that love was all we needed. For several years I believed that though it didn’t necessarily feel “right.” We were both young and therefore wisdom was not our strong suit but the two of us felt love for one another and that was supposed to be enough to carry us through a life time.

And then I woke up.

Commitment cannot live on love alone any more than man can live on bread alone. Technically, yes, man can survive on bread but he won’t be healthy. Relationships need more than love to be healthy.

Having been married and divorced twice I have learned a lot about marriages and what does not work. I have learned a lot about myself and what I need from a romantic partner and I will tell you love could use some assistance. Love is a grand feeling and being in love is an intoxicating addiction but if that love is not teamed up with other factors it is not likely to pull you through a lifetime.

And what are the other factors? Well…

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! If you don’t respect him and he doesn’t respect you, with or without love, there is a major issue within the relationship. Respect encourages consideration for your partner.  When a relationship lacks respect it is usually replaced with resentment which tears down constructive communication and compassion.

Accountability and ownership. When in a relationship it is important to hold yourself accountable for your actions and emotions. Blaming your partner for your reaction is a great way to encourage fighting. There is not one of us that doesn’t go psycho or bat “mmhmm” crazy over a situation but those reactions belong to the person who displays them regardless of the influence. I know what you are thinking and you know what? I don’t like the idea of owning those emotions either but I will tell you once you do own them you realize a great sense of freedom which is empowering.

Courage. Courage is required to get through the worst of times. We forget to use this virtue because it is so easy to embrace the good times. Courage is difficult to grasp when the poo hits the fan and the marriage looks ugly but it is courage that is essential in dealing with stressful situations that are unbearable to talk about let alone survive. It takes courage to make the tough decisions in a relationship; to forgive, trust and learn despite the disturbances that tears marriage apart. Sometimes, it takes courage to forgive yourself and that may be more difficult than obtaining forgiveness from others.

Patience. The beginning of a marriage is ignorant bliss. There is excitement and passion and all that jazz and then the honeymoon phase ends and reality returns. As time marches on each person continues to grow and that growth may not align with your own. In a relationship there must be acceptance that you won’t always like that person you are with. Some days you might find the body pillow more attractive than your mate but then there will be days where you can’t get enough of him. Give patience to your spouse and to you. I think some of the wisest marital advice I have ever received was, “Marriage is falling in love over and over again with the same person.”

Optimism. No, this is not the ability to find a silver lining in a cloud or make statements like, “Well, others have it worse than you.” That is NOT optimism. Optimism is accepting that every situation, good or bad, is not permanent. Optimism is realizing that change is a constant in life and it may not be something we appreciate or want but it is going to happen regardless. Optimism is knowing the difference between your emotions and logic. This does not mean you give in but rather you understand there is more to a situation than meets the eye and while you know you may not like any part of the situation you are willing to listen, to try, to work or to let go.

Recognition. I am not talking about rewards or praise but having your feelings recognized and attention given when necessary. This is engaging in your spouse and feeling as though your spouse is engaged in you. Whatever changes occur the feelings that accompany those changes should be recognized and dealt with. Even if your spouse is reluctant to share their feelings with you its still, in part, your responsibility to investigate any changes you see and try to be compassionate about those changes. Otherwise, ignoring your spouse is a great way to make them feel unloved and resentful towards you just as much as being ignored.

Communication. Geez, how many times have we heard how important communication is??? Well, it is. What most couples misunderstand about communication is the style used by their partner. The greatest communicators are not going to be successful if they don’t understand to how to communicate with their spouse, trust me, I know from experience! This may mean adjusting your communication style in order to be heard AND hear your spouse. This is not to say you must completely submit to your loved one but there is nothing wrong with compromising and sacrificing to and for one another if it means the marriage will benefit.

The list can go on but let’s stop here. Remember that it takes two people providing for one another to ensure the longevity of a marriage. There is only so much abuse of the above mentioned factors that can be tolerated before someone hits the road. Know your limits and their limits and maintain those boundaries with compassion and love!

You can do it!

Attitude, Optimism and Job Loss

Taras Pictures 856Changes are a test of attitude and optimism.  Attitude is how you look view change and optimism is how willing you are to adapt and/or adjust to that change.

My attitude and optimism were tested recently.  I am an optimistic person.   I don’t just find a way to make the best of a situation, I realize there is a time frame with every positive or negative event.  I know that I have the ability to choose how I view a situation and the ability to choose how I respond to a situation.  I may have control within the situation or I may not, but the important fact is I can control myself.   So when I was laid off, I took it really well.

Honestly, the moment I realized I was being laid off, it was an upsetting one.  I won’t lie.  My security had been ripped away from me and my ability to provide for my kids had been scrapped.  My comfort zones shut down; a part of me wanted to break down into huge crocodile tears and scream out in fear and run away in shame. However, the bigger part of me took over comforting that scared part.  The confident side of me took the lead and I reminded myself the very thing I remind others, “You can do it!”

This is one of those situations that single parents don’t think about because it scares the hell out of us!  Not knowing where your next paycheck will come from can be enough to send anyone over the edge.  It is a scary feeling and thought to wake up without a job and yet, that doesn’t bother me despite having three children, a mortgage, a car payment and a desire to shop. Given all this you could understand the panic I could have felt.

If I told you that I made a scene, yelled at my boss, accusing him of being a heartless bastard for letting go of a single mother you would likely understand and not fault me.   A reaction like that might seem natural.  What may surprise you is how I told my boss that I did not envy his position as he had a difficult decision to execute.  I told him I was grateful for the opportunity and enjoyed my time on the team.  I understood it was business and it was time to move on for me and I was ready to move on.  I left that office with the respect of my boss and supervisor. I could not have been more proud of how I handled such an extremely stressful situation.

In leaving my office building, I took with me the unknown future and the biggest smile across my face.  Typically, that kind of smile would be accompanied with having no idea of where I would be going or how to get there but not this time.  I knew where I was going; I was headed to start my new path and a new chapter in my life.  My job might have divorced me, which was a much easier process than my previous divorces from a spouse, but I was not worried.   My job might have made a choice for me and I might not have had a say but that didn’t matter.  What did matter was my ability to pick myself up, dust off and keep going.

So, I am in the process of doing just that.  You may question, how am I doing that?  I am getting up every day.  I get ready just as I would any other day.  I get my kids around for the day.  I drop them off at school and I come home like stay-home parent.  I work on my resume and cover letter.  I search for the right job scavenging through the online classifieds.  I give myself time to write and be myself  I clean my house and take care of my dogs.  I am patient and I pray.

The key thing right now is what I am doing in which may not be nearly as important as what I am not doing.  I am not feeling sorry for myself.  I am not beating myself up. I am not feeling rejected.  I am not sitting in my bed crying myself into a headache wishing I had known what I could have done different.  I am not internalizing this experience.  I may have been pushed down but I am not staying there.

This is not an easy situation to pilot through, even with a positive mind set.  The fear of the unknown tempts me every day.  The panic wants to creep in and overwhelm me.  The voice of self-defeat likes to whisper to me daily.  I could easily look myself in the mirror and say, “I give up.”  If I did that I would not be the person I encourage others to be.  I would not a good steward of my beliefs of personal empowerment.   If I cannot be an example of what I preach I cannot be credible.

Your attitude determines how you look at any given situation.  Your ability to adapt and adjust projects is your level of optimism.  I have a great attitude and am optimistic and with that I know this situation is temporary. I know things will continue to change as that is the only thing that is constant.  It is through these changes I remain strong, continue to be confident and remember I am a fighter.  I have been in much worse situations and I have risen to the top every time.

Unexpectedly, this risk took me as I was not prepared for it.  We may not always be prepared for life when it happens, but it is these changes that help us to realize we are more ready than we know.  As I receive this new chapter in my book of life I recognize some of the pages are unwritten and I have a pen in my hand.

I can do it!

Maybe the Winds of Change are Telling You Something

20131003_184455.jpgI enjoy quotes. Every week I look for a quote to help establish my focus for the week.  I look for something motivational or inspirational. I search for something that will kick start my momentum for the day.  I look for something that I can share with those who need that swift positive kick in the tail. Something that I can use in relation to a storm I may be experiencing.  Recently, I found such a quote.  Read the quote and then read it again. Give yourself a moment to let the words sink in and resonate.

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way she adjusted her sails.” 

~ Elizabeth Edwards; late wife of former Presidential candidate John Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards not only shares experiences with many of us she was forced to endure her experiences before the public eye.  She had powered through the death of a child, battled cancer and held her head high during the scandal of her husband’s infidelity all with the public looking on in judgment, in awe or in disbelief.  Elizabeth Edward’s storms were not something she could keep private.  She didn’t post them publicly for she tried to keep as private as she could however; it is challenging to hide from the world when the world lands itself in the middle of the storm.  Despite her perfect storm of life altering experiences she persevered. She cruised onward by adjusting her sails as the winds changed. Without a doubt those winds changed numerous times!

Divorce is not an easy event to navigate through. Once the ink has dried on those final papers it is hard to know which way to go and proceed with your life. There is a lot of doubt and unbearable dread that seem to settle in after a divorce. Divorce leaves you questioning if you did the right thing as you decide how to set your sails and use the winds to your benefit. Divorce leaves us wondering if we did the right thing because we don’t feel like ourselves. We may not even know how we feel or who we are. We just know a big part of our life has ended as the crosswinds start to pick up.

Remember the first time you lived on your own? Do you remember the first time you felt independent from your parents? That first taste of freedom from childhood and adolescence felt incredible! Maybe you were moving on to higher education? Maybe you were signing on to fight for your country? Maybe you were just going to work? No matter the life altering experience you were determined to take the first steps in becoming your own person. You were excited because for the first time it meant there was no one to answer to. There was no one to tell you when to be home or do your homework. There was no one to tell you to clean your room or do your chores. It was just you and you were happy. Your sails were set and you just let the winds take you wherever they blew.

As you exit your married life and enter your single life that feeling of independence doesn’t quite feel the same as it did when you were younger. Those sails don’t look quite as dependable as they did when life seemed full of opportunity. Now life seems thunderously scary while the unknown surrounds you like rough waters.   You may not feel as though you know yourself any more than you did when you first ventured out on your own but you definitely know more now than you did then and that is what truly panics you.

So, how do you know which way to sail once those winds pick up? How do you know which way to sail once you have become a single lead ship? How do you know which winds to catch?

Well, you don’t. You have to try and fail. You have to pick a wind, set your sail and see what happens. You have to put some blind faith somewhere and trust in you. You have to try. You have to try and you will have to fail. You have to muster up your strength, face your fears and be your most compassionate fan because the storm will pass and the sun will shine.

I know, it is easier said than done – always.  There is no doubt about that but it can be done. It takes a choice. Your choice!  You are the only one who can make that choice. You cannot control the winds any more than you can control the thoughts, words or actions of others but you can adjust your sails and use the winds to reach the sunshine on the other side of the storm.

What direction are the winds coming from today?  Which way are they going?  You cannot look to the weather channel to tell you. The winds in your life are from those around you. Those winds are within your environments. How are you going to set your sails?  Are you ready to adjust your sails as needed?  Are you going to let those winds push you around and capsize you?

Take a deep breath, feel the wind and set your sails.

You can do it!

 

Looking Back and then Ahead

New Year’s Eve 2014:  This time last year I was looking ahead at the new year and thinking how I was going to make 2015 something that was going to count.  It was going to be a year where the most amazing things were going to happen.  That was the choice I made for myself.  I knew right away that choice was going to take nothing less than a lot of patience.

I have NOT been known for my patience in the past.  I thought this made me a go-getter, a doer.  I thought this made me ambitious and determined.  What it really made me was selfish.

2014 was centered on the most amazing love of my life.  A love I thought would always be at my side. A love that would last.  The original thought was I would be married to that incredible love and life, a specific part of my life, would finally start.

I ended the year on my own.  No love.  Dreams shattered.  The life envisioned drowned.  I knew I would need patience to make it through 2015 and all it had to offer.

Little did I know just how right I was.

The year started off with a new canvas. The love that 2014 was built on may have engulfed some but it devastated others.  By the end, no one was happy but nearly everyone was proud. I didn’t know what 2015 held in store but I knew something incredible was headed my way and I thought the patience needed was to wait for that incredible thing to find its way to me.

In a few short weeks something unexpected did happen.  I thought maybe “incredible” and “unexpected” could be interchangeable and they can be.  That unexpected event would hold me down and force to me understand a level of patience I had not considered but seriously needed.  That love returned but in its most restrained and oppressive state ever.

I would chase that love for the next 12 months.  I would wait for it.  Live for it. I would, yet again, center my life around it but in such a personal and intimate fashion I had never known.  I would make mistakes along the way but I would rise above those mistakes, take in the lesson and move to the next level.  The more devoted I learned to be and chose to become the more distant my prize would be.  The more I submitted the more I would be rejected.

Patience said it was worth it.

Patience didn’t lie. I lied to myself.

Confident and strong as I may be I can crumble like anyone else.  Ambitious and determined as I am I can feel defeated.                                       As sub-human as I appear I can hurt and be broken-hearted too.

I deceived myself and I knew I was doing it but I wanted to hold on “just in case.”  I wanted to sit still and wait “just in case.”  I wanted to prove that I was worth it “just in case.”  I wanted to hang on “just in case.”

That “just in case” was the lie.  The waiting was fine. The sitting was fine.  The desire to prove was fine.  The “just in case” was wrong.

I sit here, a year later, feeling I have missed out on a year but at the same time I feel incredible growth at an intimately personal level.  That growth has been the most profound of any I have experienced.  That growth was the most painful, the most exhilarating. the most disheartening and the most rewarding.

The last 12 months have encompassed wonderful milestones and achievements I should surely be proud of but that “just in case” held me back.  That “just in case” kept me from being happy, embracing the grand moments of pride and joy for my goals.  That “just in case” cost me and it rewarded me.  And I hold myself accountable for it all.

I have some choices to make to enter into this new year.  Those choices are going to be easy in some cases and highly difficult in others but they are my choices and I own them.  I need them. I desire them. I heart them.

Here’s to the new year and all the choices, consequences, accomplishments, set backs and growth we can all experience.

Happy New Year!

We can all do it!

Thinking and Feeling: Chosing Your Focus

I came across a quote that just hit me like a ton of nicely filled wine glasses…yes, wine glasses. I figured if I am going to be hit by something wine glasses filled with red wine would be far better than bricks…not to mention much tastier and probably more fun! 😉

Anyway, the quote:

“Feeling is what you get for thinking the way you do.” – Marilyn vos Savant

I was caught off-guard and thought, “man, that is flippin’ true – drat.”

It is amazing how sometimes we don’t feel we have any control over our feelings! When we feel down and lonely we convict ourselves to a delusional sentence of a life of sorrow and sappy love songs. Then we cry and wonder, “why me?”

During the times we feel awesome and on top of the world we don’t think about how those feelings will last forever. Instead, we enjoy the feeling and just keep “walking on sunshine” (whooaaaaaaaa!) We don’t worry about when the feeling will end. We just keep strutting that “stray cat strut” without a care in the world.

Where do we get these feelings from? Do we dream them? Can we create them? Do we just happen by them?

Well, as you already have guessed we create them.

No, really. We you. I do. You do. They do. We all do.

It is really difficult to keep our thoughts focused on the positive when the negative seems to loom around us like a dark gray cloud of misery. That cloud is so easy to get lost in. What’s even easier is to believe that cloud is a permanent fixture in our life. We tend to loosen our grip on hope, embrace doubt and think about what would be so bad about giving up. This enhances our crappy feelings and we drowned ourselves. It is these cases when we look for the closest human being that knows us and how to make us feel better and if we can get a hold of them we can start the ascent into feeling better. If we can’t get a hold of them we beat ourselves down deeper into the valley of despair convincing ourselves that no one cares.

You know who should care? YOU should care.

You should care about you more than anyone else should (without hurting others). You and only you can control you and what you think and consequently what you feel. Others can provide influence but you have the choice to determine what you think and feel.

What you think about you bring about.

If you make the decision to think negatively then that is how your day will go. I know, this is not easy with those in our lives who are not cooperating with us on our terms but, unfortunately, they don’t have to. This can be so infuriating but this is when we need to exert patience.

Have patience for others and more importantly yourself.

Patience is a difficult virtue when doubt is knocking at the door. Doubt is a snake in the tree of knowledge. It will urge us to take a bite and once we give in to the temptation the poison starts to spread. When we maintain the focus on the negative we give the poison power to grow and fester and suffocate from the inside out.

Give up feeling sorry for yourself.

It isn’t attractive and it does not gain anything but a sympathetic smile from others. Let yourself cry when you need to and empty out those pipes of sorrowful emotion.  It’s healthy.  Then get up, dust off and find a way to move on with the rest of the day.

Be compassionate to you.

Know that life is never going to be perfect. I mean, Jesus was perfect and that turned out like it was supposed to but it is still as sad story. If Jesus can forgive a couple of thieves on the cross while as He suffered and gave His life surely you can forgive yourself for being human and feeling. You are going to feel, nothing you can do about that and while you are at it give yourself some understanding.

Feed yourself something positive.

No, not chocolate or wine (argh) but good words. I don’t mean the Bible if that is not your “thing”. Find a resource or a website to feed yourself some verbal positivity! This is the most important thing of all! Feed your brain some positive writing and words of encouragement. You will be surprised as how it changes your thinking and how you feel.

You Can Do It!