Monthly Archives: October 2014

No More Negativity

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No More Negativity

Negative thoughts are hard to avoid and even harder to ignore. People fail to realize that negativity can destroy them. People who are never happy about their situation are plagued by their own negative emotions.

For example, a person who wanted a job, and worked hard to achieve it, was finally hard. That person now complains about workload and hours. What happened to having the desire for greatness, striving to reach your goals, achieving what you set out to do, and be grateful for the fruits of your efforts? Or the person who wanted a baby but focused on all the negative aspects like the discomfort of pregnancy, the pain of labor, and the mental and physical exhaustion of having a newborn. What about the fact that you created human life, you endured great pain that only few can sustain, and now have a miracle creation of life?

Stop with the negative and bring on the positive. You will feel better and look at life with new eyes. Appreciate what you have because, ten times out of ten, it could be much, much worse. I see many positive messages posted by others on Facebook and Pinterest; inspirational quotes and encouraging words are plastered everywhere on social media, but I wonder how many of those people are truly following the advice that they are sharing? This may be easier said than done. At times, I find myself having negative thoughts but I make an effort to remove those and replace them with positive thoughts. Truly believe that a positive attitude will make a difference. Stop talking about it and actually do it.

Take time to thank yourself for a job well done. Celebrate small beauties of life. Push through your negative thoughts and attempt to turn each negative into a learning experience. Then sit back, and watch your life blossom before your eyes.

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”

-Proverbs 4:23-

Letting Go

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Letting Go

“A big part of letting go is recognizing when it is time to stay in a situation and when it is time to move on.”

-Darren L. Johnson-

Everything has its time. The seasons change, people grow and mature, and things end. Letting go is sometimes a hard concept to handle, but a necessity of life. Whether it is letting go of a person, or ending a relationship, moving to a new city/state, changing jobs, or death, it is important to accept the change and move on. You cannot enjoy spring if you refuse to let winter end.

People come into our lives for various reasons and seasons. Letting go of someone and detaching yourself from the relationship is essential to progress. If you are constantly looking behind you, you will never see where your future is taking you. It can be painful, to let go, relinquish a long term relationship, say goodbye to a loved one who has passed; but all of it is necessary to appreciate the future and what it holds. I cannot speak from experience about losing a loved one, but I understand that in order to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, you must accept the change. Life is never easy. Love is not always kind. I have seen too many people focus on their pasts that they miss their futures. Life is passing them by because they are stuck in a point in their past. Your loved one would have wanted you to move on and enjoy life without them.

Relationships are tricky as well. Being with someone, building a life with them, is a powerful connection. Suddenly ending that relationship can be devastating, especially if children were involved. However, if we dwell on our failed past relationships, we are letting them dictate our future ones. We can never truly open up to someone else if we are constantly thinking of someone from years past. I believe that time heals all. The grief may never fully leave you, but you should not let it consume you. If you do, your life will always be in a shadow of sadness. Opportunities for happiness are squandered because they are overshadowed by grief and pain. Learn to accept what has happened, appreciate the time spent and shared, learn from the situation, and move on. I am not saying to erase your loved one from memory, or attempt to eradicate the years spent with a person, I am simply stating to take a fresh perspective and change your outlook on what happened. Say, “I am glad I have such fond memories of [deceased love one]” or “At least I learned that I could not be with someone of a different faith”. You will find that you grow as a person when you choose to let the pain go and accept new life.

Tragedy can either make us stronger, or break us down. Time, love and support from others, and self-esteem will be your armor against negativity. Move forward with your eyes on the future and let go of burdens of the past.

The Right Foundation

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The Right Foundation

A common interest, a mutual feeling, a spark of conversation, hate, dislike, lies, or deceit: every relationship has a foundation. Sadly, that foundation needs to be strong and positive or the relationship will fail. This concept is applicable for every relationship from marriages and friendships, to relationships with coworkers and in-laws.

Each relationship is different and has its own unique dynamic. In order for a relationship to be successful, it must have a solid foundation made of trust, patience, and the willing to learn. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer and diplomat, said, “You only learn from those you love”. These seven words make up a powerful statement. Listen to the ones you love, and attempt to learn from what they have to offer. No one is ever finished with his or her self-improvement. If someone is telling you that you are being hurtful or inconsiderate, listen to them and attempt to develop your behavior. Be open to change and offer your willingness to try.

Patience is essential in each relationship. Making time to listen to your partner, friend, or loved one, makes a huge difference. If you read my post “The Four P’s”, I talk about it there. I believe that patience is an underused quality. People are quick to get angry, upset, or frustrated, and, simply, think that they do not have the time. If we devoted a little more time to listening and understanding, our relationships would truly blossom.

Trust is the last ingredient in building a strong, healthy, relationship. If we cannot trust those around us, how can we have faith in our lives? Honesty is a necessity for forming a lasting relationship. Trust allows us to give ourselves fully in the relationship, and the people involved will see our true selves. Having a relationship with a solid emphasis on trust will be fruitful in many ways. Allowing yourself to give yourself to someone and have him or her do the same with you is a wonderful and rare thing. People will be able to make connections that are more meaningful if they spent time trusting and being honest.

A solid foundation does not pop up overnight; it takes time and dedication from each person involved. It is worth the extra effort. With a tough foundation, the relationship will be resilient and last through adversity. Ephesians 4:2 reads, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, be caring with one another in love”; take this and open your heart to the ones you love.

A Genuine Friend

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A Genuine Friend

Friendship has evolved. It includes people that you have met online, friends of other friends, and past friends from years past. I think that people have lost the true meaning of friendship in this age of digital communication and constant stream of consciousness. I am sure that someone has discussed this topic before, and we all agree that personal interaction supersedes a text. However, there are few who act on this concept. Showing up at a friend’s house with a small gift for no reason, lending a listening ear without judgment or giving advice, supporting someone when need it most, or simply visiting our friends.  Having friends is a great and irreplaceable thing, and we should appreciate them.

A good friend will be there when you need them, no matter what. Sometimes it is impossible to be there physically: the friend lives in another state or country, and you are unable to visit. Nevertheless, there is always a way to show that you care. Pick up the phone and call them. Let them know that you crossed your mind. Send them something in the mail so they receive a card unexpectedly.

True friends will put themselves last, and put your needs first. If they had a bad day, or are tired or in a foul mood, they will put aside their emotions and do whatever they can to help you with your problem or issue. Treasure those people. Today our society does not allow for slowing down, we have to make that effort. Find those who make you happy and stick with them. Then, reciprocate those gestures. Make an effort to show them as much love as they do for you. Tell them thank you, and let your true friends know that you appreciate them and all that they do.

You have to be a genuine friend before you can have one.

 

“One of the best gifts you can give someone is thanking them for being a part of your life.”

-Unknown

Don’t Lose Faith

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Don’t Lose Faith

The cliché statement that, “Everything will be alright”, is sometimes difficult to receive, especially in the middle of facing adversity. Sometimes the world seems so bleak that hopelessness becomes a physical burden weighing you down. Know that you are not alone and this feeling is one that everyone has experienced at a time in his or her life. Hardships and terrible situations like losing a loved one, being let go or fired, failing at something, not being financially stable, or losing your home, are a part of life. How you choose to face that particular situation is the definition of your character, a statement to your resiliency. How does one bounce back from a time of futility? One must have faith.

To me, relinquishing power over a problem, situation, or worry, and believing that everything will eventually work out for the better is the definition of faith. Most people worry constantly about things they have no control over or cannot change. It is important to have faith in yourself, those who support you, and God. You will find out who are your true friends and supporters in times of hardship. They will be the ones who offer you the support you need in any way they can, even while they are facing their own difficulties.  It is essential that you do not give up on yourself. You have to have confidence that you are strong enough to take on anything. Never believe that you have failed because if you accept that, you have failed yourself. Lastly, but certainly not least, put your faith in God. Now, this may be a touchy subject for some, but I have trust in God. I have witnessed too many inexplicable situations. There has to be something greater than us, guiding us through our lives.

Whatever you choose to have faith in, it is important that you never lose it. Under no circumstances should you feel alone, hopeless, or cast aside. Know that a brighter future is coming; it is just going to take time. Trust that every situation has an unseen benefit somewhere and know that there are those suffering greater than you are. Strive to be more than you are, push through hard times, and triumph.

And never, ever lose faith.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Focus and Determination

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Focus and Determination

 Did you hear about the rose

That grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving that nature’s law is wrong,

It learned to walk without having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

It learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete,

When no one else ever cared.

“The Rose That Grew From Concrete”

Tupac Shakur


Determination is an admirable quality; being able to push through any situation and continue to strive is the definition of perseverance. Everyone has their own dreams and goals that they wish to accomplish, but it can be difficult to remain strong and not give up. There will be plenty of distractions along the way, deterring you from achieving your goals. Sometimes, it is necessary to take a new, longer, more difficult path in order to find your original one. Life is going to provide the obstacles, it is your choice whether to succumb or overcome them. Know that as long as you stay vigilant and determined you will prevail.

If a person remains focused and puts forth an enormous amount of effort, they will earn everything they set out to obtain. I have witnessed people give up on several things. School, work, relationships, are all examples of things cast aside when someone gives up. I have seen people give up just because someone else told them they would not make it, that their dreams are silly and impossible. Do not lose your faith in yourself. Never let someone else dictate your future.

Determination thrives on focus to cause greatness. Use different tactics to remain focused on your goals. Stay organized, talk to those who support you, reward yourself when you reach small goals, or whatever else you need in order to stay motivated. Most people do not take the time to celebrate the beginning of their journey because they fail to realize that simply deciding to make a change is a great effort in itself.

Lastly, most people are still trying to find their way. Over time, clarity will come when you have opened yourself to the world. Then you will have found out who you are and what you want out of life. Finding your passion and working toward your dreams is not easy but always worth it. Believe that you are worth it and that you can achieve anything you set out to do. So go after that promotion, obtain your degree, save for a new car, or work to become a better person. You can do it. Remain focused, push forward with determination and you will obtain your desired outcome.

Turn possibility into reality.

Love Pt. 2 – Relationships

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Love Pt. 2 – Relationships

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Marriage and relationships are the most scrutinized and discussed topics. There is so much information on forming romantic relationships, how can one be sure what is credible? In my opinion, there are a few concrete steps to maintaining a healthy, strong, lasting relationship. Practice complete honesty, utilize open communication, remain an individual, and work together.

Honesty is not only important in romantic relationships, but in all relationships. The most admirable characteristic in a person is honesty. If you remain completely truthful with your partner, you will be able to establish a strong foundation for your relationship because trust is the basis of a good relationship. Without it, the stain of doubt will remain until it consumes the relationship. Telling your partner exactly how you feel is not always easy, sometimes the truth can be hurtful. Nevertheless, lies will always carry a stronger sting. Being honest will prevent arguments and allow your partner to see your point of view. You may not agree, but you both will be on the right path to solving the conflict with honesty.

Open communication is another level of honesty. Communication is so vital in establishing a lasting relationship. It allows both parties to express themselves and receive feedback from their partners. Making life choices together, overcoming challenging situations, and articulating emotions, all fuse together to help the couple form a connection like no other. My husband and I talk about everything. Having the ability to talk to the one you love about any topic is refreshing and illuminating. We will always have different opinions about certain things, but communicating regularly allows us to enlighten each other. We learn something different about each other when we discuss politics, religion, current events, memories, etc. When we do disagree, both of us make an effort to communicate in an effective manner. If things escalate, we both try to give the other space before approaching the subject again. Communication itself is not enough: it must be effective. Allowing each party the opportunity to express their thoughts/opinions without interruption, replying in an unhostile way, and active listening when they are talking are (in my opinion) the most underused tactics in couples. My husband and I are far from perfect, and it took several years to learn these strategies, but we both make an effort to practice them in order to communicate effectively. With open and effective communication, your relationship will thrive in many ways.

Remaining an independent person apart from your relationship and allowing your partner to do the same can be beneficial. Both of you will feel free and independent which will spark a deeper, more meaningful and significant connection. Your partner will be able to maintain his/her identity while remaining part of a unit. Without individual expression, the couple remains a unit constantly with no separation. This causes tension and, eventually, boredom. If a couple maintains their interests, friends, etc., separately, there is a better chance that both parties will be able to stay together longer.

Cooperation is a characteristic that every relationship should have. Though it is an obvious one, many couples do not practice it. At times, people do not realize that their partner is investing more than they are. Love is supposed to be selfless but not completely selfish. Love does not need grand gestures; sometimes it is the smallest effort that makes the biggest impact. Make time to spend together alone and with family, help with chores, make an effort to make the other feel loved, special, and wanted.

Maintaining a strong and healthy relationship is no easy feat. It requires work, dedication, and effort from both parties. As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to achieve. So try to communicate your thoughts and feelings, change how you discuss problems and situations, never give up your individuality, and work together to build a lasting, loving relationship!