A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends. My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.
Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:
“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”
My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.
The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.
Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us. How are you choosing?
Cecilia has been fighting for her life for the last couple weeks, as a result of a horrible hit and run accident.
Anyone who has had a disability as well as constant health challenges, yet at the same time is an uplifting beacon of love and friendship for others, deserves a great blessing. Cecilia, a gifted young lady who is visually impaired and a brain cancer survivor, is such a person.
I met Cecilia at the gym about 5 years ago. She was an arts and crafts volunteer, working with children at the gym where I workout. I admired her general love for my daughter and other children, including her gift for making creative little paper toys to put smiles on people’s faces (as shown above) . We became good friends, and shared about our personal health challenges. I admired the fact that she never used this as an excuse to complain or stop contributing to life.
We had been sending a text to each other every Saturday morning, just before we met up at the gym. If either of us couldn’t be there, we’d let the other know. So two weeks ago when she didn’t respond to my text and I didn’t see her at the gym, I was a bit concerned. The same thing happened the week after. I was so concerned that I tried to contact her this past Monday. No success. I knew something was wrong. I feared it was a return of her brain cancer.
On Tuesday I got the call from her dad. He told me about the horrible car accident, and the search for the driver who caused the accident and ran away from the scene. Cecilia was so badly hurt that she was on life support and in a coma for a while. She just recently came out of the coma, and though she is unable to communicate with me, she told her dad to call me and tell me what happened.
Though she is pretty broken up, I thank God that she is alive and is stable now. She is still facing a great battle. Her dad is asking for much prayers.
I have no idea what God has planned for Cecilia or any of us. I can only hope and pray that His plans includes a healing miracle for this inspiring young lady. Please pray with me.
I woke up this morning, picked up my cell phone and using the microphone began to dictate an email to a leadership group to which I belong. I was aware that the dictation can make some ridiculous mistakes; for example ‘an ungodly hour‘ turned out to be ‘an un-call ugly hour.‘ I thought I would correct the transcription when I was complete with the draft. However, as life would have it, my hand slipped, hit the send button, and the email went off.
Ahhhhhh! At first I panicked, for I believed I needed to change what would surely make me look seriously brain damaged. Then my spirit gave me this message I now give to you:
“NO. The mistakes and seeming nonsensical communication stand. Your worst or your best, it’s all a part of you. You must accept both to accept you. The world needs to accept both to know, accept and love you.”
Can you accept the worst part of you as much as you accept the best, knowing both the good and not-so-good is what makes you authentically and beautifully you?
If I work hard so that I may live well, when do I stop working hard and start living well?
I finally found the answer to this question, which has haunted me for what seems like forever. That is:
Living well is not about working hard, it’s about loving hard.
When I love hard or deeply, I can overcome whatever limitations I see in myself, my family and my world. When I love the people around me deeply, work is a privilege, and I get more done than I can ever do by working hard.
I needed to have a crisis to see what it is to love hard, and to have amazing results in my life. What about you, is your life about working hard or loving hard?
Many of you may be old enough to have witnessed the story of Olympic gold medal hopeful, Derrick Redmond, who tore his hamstring during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and destroyed his dreams of winning a medal. He did, nonetheless, do what many of us only dream of. He brought the Olympic stadium, all those who watched on television, and millions who watched since then, to their feet, as he did what was probably the most courageous act of his life.
Even if you have already seen this live or seen the video, it’s worth watching; if only to remind us of the miraculous power that drives us and causes extraordinary results.
If you are like my daughter and a lot of kids, you know that Valentines Day is not just about romance. It is about showing love for everyone. A great way to fill ourselves with love is to have love in our heart for someone we don’t like.
In the spirit of Valentines Day, I chose to love the mobility supervisor, who secretly watched me, and cancelled my disability transportation service, concluding that I was not disabled enough to qualify. The greatest hurt to me was that she did this without giving me any time to prepare, without empathy for someone who had used the service for 7 years, and without respect. Despite this:
- I choose to love her for helping me see that my physical and mental disorders are not visible to some eyes, and perhaps should be less visible to my own.
- I choose to love her, for though she did not give me any time to prepare for exposure to winter condition, I found strength and resilience in myself.
- I choose to love her, for even though my resulting pain and depression from exposing my stroke-damaged body to extreme-cold weather, I have learned how to be active and outdoors in the worst of winters.
- I choose to love her for giving me the opportunity to share the importance of treating all people in a loving and respectful way.
I send love and light this Valentines Day, with a hope that you too will choose to love someone you find hard to love. Consider that every time we do not love, we fill ourselves with darkness, and block the good that everyone brings.
It is a new year and many of us focus the purpose of our life on achieving things. We concentrate on things like being more successful in business, getting a new job, losing weight and a whole host of other things. Yet all these things are useless without something much more important; something which is the true purpose for life and the foundation of our happiness.
Let me give you an example. I grew up being told by others, and noticing my own awareness, that my sisters were prettier than me. So I turned my attention to my brain. I became known as the one who did the best in school. What I didn’t understand was that it isn’t important how pretty, how smart, or how accomplished any of us are.
What really matters is how virtuous, loving, kind, and peaceful we are. I thought I could use my brain to become more accomplished or make better decisions than my sisters, my mother, and many others. Yet, this thinking allowed my ego to run away with me; until I had a stroke. Then the only meaningful part of me that was left to heal me and guide me through life was the love, positivity and spirituality within me. This is true with regards to all the things we consider important; such as profession, employment and relationships.
Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
When we have a character focused on love and doing good deeds for others, our ego is shut down. Therefore we cannot help but become better and better at being who we are, and doing the good we are meant to do. This is the foundation for whatever we want to achieve.
What will you do to strengthen your character in 2015? Consider the following.
I told one of my best friends that I had signed up on a dating website. She too is divorced and would love a second chance at a relationship. However, as a professional, she found it embarrassing, and was afraid that people she knew might see her. I understood what she was saying for I felt that way, until I decided to live in the 21st century.
In my single yesterday world, years have gone by and I have not meeting any potential partners. I therefore chose to add to my comfortable normal hang-outs (church, the gym, and various professional places), and go where there are many potential partners waiting to meet me.
I had to go on-line, where I personally know of four professional women who met their partners.
It’s been a few days since I reluctantly signed up, and I am learning how to be real. This is not an easy thing, for I have a limp and limited income. Nonetheless, my supposed weaknesses have turned out to be my greatest blessings, for they are guiding me to myself and to my ideal partner.
Will I succeed in finding what I want? I have faith that I will, on the web or off. Either way, just looking and talking awaken something in me that has been sleeping for far too long.
I truly believe, if we go for what you want, we almost always find some great blessing.
In my recently published book, I wrote about my enemy manager, who made my life a living hell. She was cruel and tossed me out like a dirty dish cloth. What I didn’t know was that she was mirroring me!
I did not want to admit it, but her arrival meant that I was no longer seen as the best on my team. I wanted her to fail. Whenever she was around me, my disrespectful and hypocritical energy consumed me, like smoke around a forest fire. My ego needed to prove that she was not my superior, and in fact was the very opposite.
In my story, Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life cuts You Off at the Knees, I saw how I disrespected her and was disrespected by her, how I hated her and was hated by her. When I saw my own insolence, as shown in chapter 4, she could no longer be my villain. She became my angel. Her presence in my life helped me to see that when I am hate, I create hate in my life. If I want love, I must be love.
It was a blessing to see the evil in me, so I can forgive the evil in others and create a better me. What about you? Can you see the people in your life you believe to be bad or evil? Can you see how they represent you? Can you forgive them and in turn forgive yourself? What would that give to you?
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”…Marianne Williamson
We can rise from just about anything if we remember that love is our true road to living our best life and our greatest healer. This is the overwhelming message of my story Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life Cuts You Off at the Knees. Up until Monday you can get a free copy of the kindle version of the book at Amazon.