Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 10: Promise without Forgetting

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 10: Promise without Forgetting

Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep.

Anthony Hitt

Promises are bonds that should not be broken. Life sometimes gets in the way of promises. Time, money, and effort are all necessary to keep promises. Though this happens, it is necessary to stay true to your word. I think it is necessary to stick to what you decide to do. The promises could be small: promising to come home straight from work, promising to take out the trash, or promising to spend more time with someone. The promises could be big: promises to travel the world, to move to another state, to devote your life to someone else. Whatever the size or significance of a promise, it is still a promise to be kept. Sometimes we forget what we promise. We make plans but do not follow through with them. We attempt to revamp our lives with promises to stop drinking, smoking, making career changes, or spend less money. But, we forget. We make promises to communicate better, to forgive easier, or to be understanding. But, we forget. Make commitments and stick with them. If things go awry and it is not possible to complete the promise, make adjustments. Becoming a better person, friend, and/or spouse is a promise that should be kept. Making a difference or a life change that will affect not just you but your family, friends, or coworkers, is a promise that should be kept. Change for the better and life will evolve in ways you did not know it could. A real promise is a promise to yourself. Put forth effort into self-improvement because self-love can conquer all.

Never forget what you set out to do. Keep your promises and never forget.

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 9: Forgive without Punishment

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 9: Forgive without Punishment

Forgiveness is the final form of love.

Reinhold Niebuhr


Forgiving someone is not an easy task, but we already know this. What we fail to realize is that we tend to make the person who we believed wronged us, suffer. How many times have you held a grudge? How many times have you brought up past indiscretions that you claimed you had moved past? We need to forgive without punishment; allowing someone to have a “free pass”. This does not mean become a doormat. Forgiveness is a divine quality. One that will set troubled souls free. Taking time to realize what went wrong and forgiving someone will prompt a change in emotion and a person’s outlook on life. When you choose to forgive, do not make the person jump through emotional hoops. Give them the opportunity to state why they did what they did and attempt to understand their point of view. Accept that no one is perfect and that everyone deserves a chance to achieve forgiveness. Stop bringing up the past and move forward. This is harder than it seems. It is difficult to allow a person to simply walk away from a problem or work through your emotions and forgive them. However, if we are able to do this, we will find peace and comfort. Relinquishing your frustration, anger, hate, or any other negative emotions will free you and you will have the power to move forward with your life.


Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

Marianne Williamson

Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 8: Trust without Wavering

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 8: Trust without Wavering

Trust is the glue of life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds all relationships.

Stephen Covey


Trust is commonly associated with romantic relationships. Though this is one type of relationship where trust is essential to the success of the relationship, it is not the only kind. Trust must exist between family, coworkers, friends, and God. Trust is a feature that is very hard to build up and very easy to destroy.

In romantic relationships, trust is vital. Allowing yourself to open up to another person, and having it reciprocated, will build a strong foundation for the relationship. Trusting that your partner, your spouse, your other half, will be there through difficult situations, listen to your needs, and provide you with honest, loving feedback, makes the perfect partnership. Sometimes people stray away and cheat. For whatever reason they felt unloved, cheated, and tarnished the relationship forever. Trust is stripped away and may never come back. Some couples are able to see past infidelity and work to repair their relationship. Others call it quits. Either way, trust has to be found again. The person who cheated has to relearn to trust their feelings and themselves. The person who was cheated on has to trust the one they love again (in order for the relationship to work). Likewise, if they decide to break up, that person has to learn to trust that others will not follow a similar path. Trust in a romantic relationship, in a marriage, allows a connection to be made with someone that is unique to all relationships; a connection that devotes your heart to another. Trust must be sheltered and protected in order for the relationship to thrive.

Connections made with coworkers need trust. Trusting your peers at work may not be a forerunner on people’s lists, but it is necessary. It is important to believe that the people you work with are dedicated and committed to achieving goals that will benefit the entire group, and not solely themselves. This is something that most will shy away. Though many jobs are based on individual performance, a sense of trust is still important. It is important to believe that the company is practicing ethical business, that your coworkers will support you in a communal effort, that you are being treated and compensated appropriately. All these aspects are based on trust. Make the most of your career and illustrate the type of trust you want. If you show it, people will mirror it.

Family is always there for a person to lean on during tough times. The saying is, “If you can’t trust family, who can you trust?” For those who do not have a stable family structure, turn to those who have supported you emotionally. Family can be defined as people who love and support you unconditionally. There are no genetic requirements. Trust that they will be there in the most difficult times and trust that they will help without waver, without expectation. Relinquishing fear and trusting others is a powerful tool. Use it.

Friends follow the family suit. True friends can be trusted to be there when you need them. They will be faithful and diligent throughout the years. If you are lucky enough to find friends with those qualities, tell them how much you appreciate them. Show your gratitude at every turn and give back their love and trust. Friends are just as important as family. If you allow yourself to trust them, and they trust you, the relationship will be overflowing with positive vibes and love.

If you cannot trust in your spouse, coworker, family, or friends, there always one who is dependable. He can be trusted completely, blindly, and absolutely. That is God. When things get difficult and life seems bleak, we forget to trust God. We think, “He must not care. He cannot be listening.” This is the wrong mindset. Deuteronomy 31”6 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave your nor forsake you”. God will always be there and you must trust Him. It is not easy to see His plan, especially if you are focused on your own. Do not turn away from Him, for He will not turn away from you. Trust Him and give your life over to Him. Trust that there will always be love, acceptance, and understanding from God.

Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 7: Enjoy without Complaint

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 7: Enjoy without Complaint

As the New Year approaches, it is important to look back with a positive mindset. If life was not what you wanted it to be last year, be grateful for the good things and focus on changing for the future. Too many times we do not enjoy life fully because we are too busy complaining or worrying. Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman philosopher, said, “True happiness is…to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future”. So quit worrying about what is going to happen and make it happen. Most people do not appreciate what they have in their lives. People are in a constant state of wanting the next new thing that they forget to enjoy what they currently have. I think more people need to enjoy what they have and stop searching for something better. Be grateful for what you do have. Surround yourself with people who are out to live life, not simply talk about it.

Life can throw you curve balls and it is hard to remain positive when there are so many negative things happening. However if you focus on the good, attempt to enjoy what you have, and ignore negativity, you will enjoy life a little more. Most people complain just to complain. These people will never be satisfied with themselves or their lives. This is no way to go through life. Being miserable or focusing on what you do not have, or how others are living, leaves a person empty. Try to imagine others who are in worse states than you are and it will make you appreciate what you have more. Wake up, start anew, and seize the opportunity to make each day great in some way. Celebrate the small victories in life and seize the day!

Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 6: Share without Pretending

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt. 6: Share without Pretending

Today, people fabricate little white lies to appeal to their peers. There are too many relationships build on false information and deceit. When will we realize that being honest from the very beginning will provide us with the solid foundation that we need? Honesty is known to be an important aspect of any relationship: this is not new information. Nevertheless, how many of us begin our relationships with honesty? For example, two people meet and become romantically involved. One of them does not want children and the other does not want to move from the state they are living. During their courtship, however, neither discloses their secret truth. Though it may be some time before these serious questions arise, shouldn’t those people attempt to be honest with their partner? Does it not make sense to put everything on the table instead of hiding information prompting a break-up later on? To me, being honest from the beginning will allow the relationship to have a strong, solid foundation. People will know exactly what the other expects of him or her and of their future together.

This concept of sharing without pretending spills over into platonic relationships. Most people fake it. They fake liking an activity, type of food, genre of music, or something else, in order to gain acceptance. I think more people should focus on presenting their true selves instead of pretending. In our society, in my opinion, layers of fallacies smother inner beauty. One could portray wealth with material things, only to reveal that they have no substance as a person. Let us be rich in love, compassion, kindness, honesty, and respect. Share an experience with someone that is truly genuine, truly a part of you. I am not saying that everyone should bare his or her inner souls to every Tom, Dick, and Harry; I am merely suggesting that we attempt to connect with people on a deeper level. Allowing people to see our inner self, our true values and beliefs, will result in a person wanting to do the same thing.

Don’t let meaningful relationships slip through the cracks because you most beautiful qualities are buried under false impressions. Take a step and share without pretending.


“Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.”
Ismail Haniyeh

Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt.5: Answer without Arguing

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Ten Ways To Open Your Heart – Pt.5: Answer without Arguing

“You guys are both saying the same thing. The only reason you’re arguing is because you’re using different words.”

Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa


Arguing is a part of life and communication. To answer without arguing is the complement to speak without accusing. If more people practiced these two aspects, more thought would go into conversation and miscommunication would happen less often. Opening your heart and truly listening to someone, without trying to form a response in your head, is important to good communication. During an argument, people tend to fire back an answer to the person’s accusations. This is an exchange of power. However, normal conversation should not be laden with verbal jabs to the other person. When a couple discusses a problem, and reach a compromise, that problem should be laid to rest. A person should not start a discussion about that problem, unless it truly was unsolved.

Answering without arguing, to me, is being able to let the past lay to rest and assess new problems with fresh eyes. For example, a couple disagrees about the household chores. One is doing more than the other is, so they come to the compromise that they will rotate the responsibilities. After a while, one of them forgets to complete a task, and the other confronts them. The first statement of the accuser is, “This is exactly like before! I knew nothing was going to change!” This will automatically put the other person on the defense and a likely response would be, “Well, I knew that you could never relinquish control! How can I possibly get anything done with you hounding me?!” This whole situation could have turned out differently if the accuser would have answered without arguing. Offering help to the other person, finding out why the person did not complete the chore, or simply reminding the person of their forgotten duties, would have turned the conversation in a completely different direction.

 Approaching a problem with a level head and consideration for the other person involved will greatly improve relations between those two people. Being able to move from past problems is not an easy feat. I do believe, however, that moving from the past will ensure a healthy future. A person must attempt to progress in their relationship without harboring ill will toward past indiscretions, and communicating as such. This will open doors to a new level of respect and intimacy.

Ten Ways to Open Your Heart – Pt. 4: Pray without Ceasing

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Ten Ways to Open Your Heart – Pt. 4: Pray without Ceasing

Before reading, know that these ideas are my own and are not going to appeal to everyone.

The definition of prayer is an invocation to a higher power; a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. Prayer is a method in which someone establishes his or her connection with God. I believe prayer is a powerful tool and a comforting method of communication. Over the years, I have worked to improve my method of prayer and my belief that it works; I am still working on it.

There was a time in my life where I was at my lowest; it was after my second miscarriage. I lost faith in everything. I remember talking to my mother on the phone and she told me, “Christina, God will fix it. Everything will be alright and He will always be there for you.” I remember thinking that cannot be true, for my heart is broken. Her last words before we hung up were, “Don’t give up on God. Don’t ever, ever give up on Him.” After time passed, my emotional wounds began to heal, my life began to change, and I began to have more faith than I had before. Then, on June 27, 2012, I was blessed with a baby girl. I had no idea that I was pregnant. An unrelated trip to the emergency room resulted in the doctor telling me the unbelievable news. My mother’s words rang true. God was there for me; He came through.

Prayer is something that we are taught and changes throughout our lives. Other times we discover it on our own. Regardless of how it is discovered, the most important thing to remember is: never stop talking to God. Additionally, it is important to use prayer not just for the things that we feel we need. Prayer is a way to thank God for what He has already done in your life. I have learned that prayer is a method of communication, not just a request line. If you open your heart, you will be able to experience a connection like no other. One filled with unconditional love and understanding.


“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…”

Colossians 1:9 – New International Version