You’re only a stranger once

Archive for June, 2013

4 Reasons to Hold On a Little Longer

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If you feel like you’re at the end your rope with little slack left to hold on to, realize your mind is lying to you.  It has imprisoned you by reciting self-defeating stories in your head – stories about your mistakes, what you should have done differently, and so forth.  Your mind has built a mental cell out these negative thoughts and you’ve begun to believe you are actually living in it.

But you’re NOT.

You are alive in an immense world with infinite destinations.  Take a moment to remind yourself of this fact.  Go outside.  Look up at the sky and the clouds or the stars.  THIS is the world in which you really live.  Breathe it in.  Then look at your current situation again.

Remember that adversity is the first path to truth.  Your defeats often serve as well as your victories to shake your spirit and let your glory out.  You just have to hold on tight, embrace the daily pain and burn it as fuel for your journey.

Here are four things to consider before you let go of your rope and give up on yourself:

1.  You are growing from your struggles.

Life can be a struggle.  It will break you sometimes.  Nobody can protect you from that, and hiding alone in a cave somewhere won’t either, for prolonged solitude will also break you with an endless thirst for connection.  You must dare to love.  You must dare to feel.  It is the reason you are here on earth.

You are here to sacrifice your time and risk your heart.  You are here to be bruised by life.  And when it happens that you are hurt, or betrayed, or rejected, let yourself sit quietly with your eyes closed and remember all the good times you had, and all the sweetness you tasted, and everything you learned.  Tell yourself how amazing it was to live, and then open your eyes and live some more.

To never struggle would be to never have been blessed with life.  It is within the depths of darkness that you discover within you an inextinguishable light, and it is this light that illuminates the way forward.  

2.  Your heart still burns with love.

Adversity is like walking in to a turbulent windstorm.  As you fight to push through it, you not only gain strength, but it tears away from you all but the essential parts of you that cannot be torn.  Once you come out of the storm you see yourself as you really are in raw form, still holding the passions and ideas that move you, and little else.

Ultimately, there is only what you want and what happens.  When you don’t get what you want, there is only grabbing on and holding tight to the passions and ideas that move you.  These are the lusts that matter – the inner love that defines you.  It is this kind of love that drives you forward and even when the going gets tough.  It is this kind of love that should never be dropped.

3.  You aren’t crazy – just a little stressed out.

Sometimes when the going gets really tough, the world seems like it’s spinning too fast and you feel completely out of control.  It seems like you’re losing your mind and going crazy, but you’re not.  You need to pause and take a deep breath.

Just about every emotional issue imaginable, from fear to anxiety to the onset of depression, is triggered by a mounting build-up of stress.  Stress impedes your ability to think straight and see the world as it is – a world that is not spinning too fast or burning to the ground.

Being extremely stressed-out and feeling overwhelmed is not a sign that you are psychotic or “going crazy.”  It’s just that stressful experiences make it harder to think clearly and can make you think you’re more out of control than you actually are.  The craziness you feel is stress.  It’s not time to give up, it’s time to regroup and hold tight to your sanity.  The more you relax, the saner you will feel.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I working too much with not enough downtime?
  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Am I eating healthy balanced meals?
  • Am I spending enough time with those I care about?
  • Am I involved in relationships that cause me excessive stress?
  • Am I drinking too much alcohol or relying on other (non-prescribed) drugs?
  • Am I constantly worried about some other time and place?

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, you know what you need to address to reduce your stress.  The vast majority of us never go crazy; the vast majority of us simply fear, at some point, that we may go crazy based on stress factors we allow to reside in our present life situations.

So make sure you fill your time with meaningful activity, get enough sleep, eat well and manage your stress so it doesn’t mange you.

4.  You have something special to offer the world.

You are only destined to become one person – the person you decide to be.  Do not let your own negativity walk all over you with it’s dirty feet.

You feel a unique gift burning inside you that you want to offer to the world, to help move it in the right direction.  It may be covered up by years of waiting, doubting and defeat, but it’s present and as bright as ever.  If you look deeply enough, you’ll find it.  There is a capable person inside you that wants to soar, to create, to build, to love, to inspire, to do far more than just exist.

Your everyday chores and tasks can be a prison or a pathway.  It all depends on you.  No matter how far ‘down’ you think you’ve traveled, there is always a road leading to higher ground.  There are always great possibilities in front of you, because you are always able to take a small step forward.

Stay true to yourself.  Hold on to your values and passions.  Never be ashamed of doing what feels right.  Decide what you think is right and step in that direction, right now.

25 Questions that Provoke Thought

If the question makes you think, it’s worth asking.

  1. What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you aren’t dying?
  2. Do you believe in the death penalty?  What if someone murdered your mother in cold blood?  What if someone murdered a stranger’s mother, but saved your life the month before?
  3. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
  4. Would you rather be rich and paralyzed from the waist down or poor and able bodied?
  5. What’s the most expensive gift you have ever received?  Is it the best gift you have ever received?
  6. When was the last time you lied?  Is it possible to lie without saying anything at all?
  7. Stealing is immoral, right?  But what if stealing was the only way to feed a starving child?
  8. If I gave you $20, what percentage would you – really – save?  If I gave you $200,000, what percentage would you save?  Should there be a difference?
  9. If someone could tell you the exact day and time that you are going to die, would you want them to tell you?
  10. If you found out you were going to die today, would you have any regrets?  Would you be happy with the way you spent the last 24 hours of your life?
  11. What’s your single greatest moment of personal failure?  Looking back on it now, did it make you weaker or stronger?  What did you learn?
  12. Do the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ mean not being persecuted or discriminated against, or do they mean doing whatever you please?
  13. Have you ever discriminated against someone?  Imagine that a street gang notorious for wearing purple shirts has robbed and murdered several hundred people in your town.  If a man wearing a purple shirt just rang your doorbell, would you answer it?
  14. Is it crazier to choose to be poor or to spend 40 years of your life hating 40 hours a week?
  15. Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time?  How many hours a week do you spend watching TV, or playing video games, or…?
  16. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?
  17. If you could be given another talent or ability, what would you want it to be?  Have you ever – really – tried to perfect this ability in yourself?
  18. No matter how bad things get, are you aware that someone always has it worse than you do?
  19. When you help someone, do you ever think, “What’s in it for me?”
  20. Joy is found with simple awareness.  What does your joy look like today?
  21. What’s the difference between ‘living’ and ‘existing?’
  22. Are you willing to sacrifice the life of your child or lover to support a war?
  23. Do you ask enough questions, or do you settle for what you know?
  24. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
  25. If your life was a novel, what would be the title and how would your story end?

28 “If Statements” in Life Worth Learning

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Here are 30 “if statements” worth learning if you have the intentions of leading a more productive life.

  1. If you don’t understand the product or service, don’t buy it until you do.
  2. If you do not take ownership of your actions, your actions will eventually own you.
  3. If you are not saving at least 10% of your salary, you are not saving enough.
  4. If you talk too much, people will stop listening.  If you don’t talk enough, people will never hear your point of view.
  5. If you are lazy, you will fail.  Laziness will always overshadow your true potential.
  6. If you hate your job, you also hate half of the time you spend on this planet.
  7. If you don’t finish what you start, your success rate will always be zero.
  8. If you don’t consume enough liquids, you will never be healthy.
  9. If your monthly debt payments exceed 40% of your total income, you will go broke if you don’t fix your spending habits promptly.
  10. If you avoid your problems, your problems will steer the course of your life.
  11. If something sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
  12. If you are buying a brand new car every 3-5 years, stop!  You are wasting your money.
  13. If you don’t keep up with important current events, you will look like an idiot in front of others.
  14. If you are not learning something new every day, you are wasting away days of your life.
  15. If you threaten to quit your job, even if it’s a subtle suggestion, you better be ready to leave now.
  16. If somebody asks you for your social security number, don’t give it to them!
  17. If you are paying high monthly insurance premiums for a lower claim deductible, you are pissing in the wind.
  18. If you don’t ever intend to help others, expect them to return the favor.
  19. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you probably aren’t learning much at all.
  20. If you don’t dream, you will live solely as an entity of someone else’s dreams.
  21. If you are ever confused, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  22. If you don’t listen to good music while exercising, you are missing out on the best part of your workout.
  23. If you are not happy, it’s time to change something.
  24. If you never stare off into the distance, you’ll never get there.
  25. If you dress a certain way, people will treat you a certain way.
  26. If you never try something new, your life’s story will be boring.
  27. If you aren’t in love, don’t settle.
  28. If you are overly emotional right now, make the decision later.

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Hope.

Hope. –

Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn. Never underestimate the strength of your will to live after a loss, to love after heartache, or to rise after a fall. For although your troubles may be too dense and dark right now for you to see the light, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a strong spirit within them, or a beautiful sunrise just beyond the horizon.

20 Things Life Is Too Short To Tolerate

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You don’t have to settle, it’s simply a choice you make every day.  If you feel like you’re running in place there’s a good chance you’re tolerating things you shouldn’t be.  It’s time to reclaim your life.

Starting now, stop tolerating…

  1. People who bring you down. – Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
  2. A work environment or career field you hate. – Don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in.  Keep searching.  Eventually you will find work you love to do.  If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  3. Your own negativity. – Be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.  Start listening to your thoughts.  If you hear negative thoughts, stop and replace them with positive thoughts.
  4. Unnecessary miscommunication. – Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Speak clearly.  Ask questions.  Clarify things until you understand them.
  5. A disorganized living and working space. – Clear the clutter.  Get rid of stuff you don’t use.  Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done for some practical organizational guidance.
  6. Your own tardiness. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man.  That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.
  7. Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Oftentimes, the only reason others want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.  Don’t conform.  Be you, because that’s the only person you can be.
  8. An unhealthy body. – Your health is your life.  Don’t let it go.  Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up.  The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.
  9. Fear of change. – Life is change.  Every day is different.  Every day is a new beginning and a new ending.  Embrace it and make the best of it.
  10. All work and no play. – Enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.  If you’re smiling, you’re doing something right.
  11. People or beauty ads that make you feel inadequate. – Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  You are already beautiful.
  12. Not getting enough sleep. – A tired mind is rarely productive.
  13. Doing the same exact thing over and over again. – You are the sum of your life experiences.  The more you experience, the more interesting your life story gets.
  14. Personal greed. – Don’t let greed and deceit get the best of you.  Greed will bury even the lucky eventually.
  15. A mounting pile of debt. – Always live well below your means.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.  Always sleep on big purchases.  Create a budget and savings plan and stick to them.
  16. Dishonesty. – Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.  Period.  Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
  17. Infidelity. – Intimate relationships are a sacred bond – a circle of trust.  If both parties aren’t 100% onboard the relationship isn’t worth fighting for.
  18. An unsafe home. – If you don’t feel safe at home you’ll never feel safe anywhere.  Build a loving household in a safe area that you are proud to call ‘home.’
  19. Being unprepared. – Life is unpredictable.  And there’s a big difference between being scared and being prepared.  Always be prepared.
  20. Inaction. – Either you’re going to take action and seize new opportunities or someone else will.  You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it.

And remember, you only live once, but if you live it right once is enough.

Ways to Meet the Right People

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Positive relationships form the foundation of a happy, rewarding life.

If your time and energy is misspent on the wrong relationships, or on too many activities that force you to neglect your good relationships, you can end up in a tedious cycle of fleeting friendships, superficial romances that are as thrilling as they are meaningless, and a general sense of wondering why you always seem to be running in place, chasing affection.

How do you building healthy, lasting relationships?  How do you find friends that lift you higher?  How do you meet a significant other that belongs at your family reunions?

How do you meet the right people?

1.  Learn to enjoy your own company.

Ironically, the prerequisite to building healthy relationships is being comfortable when you’re all by yourself.  If you’re starting fresh, with a minimal number of friends in your immediate vicinity, the reason for this is obvious: spending time alone is your only option.  Likewise, if you have friends that have been dragging you down and negatively impacting your life, withdrawing from them and starting anew will likely require a bit more alone time.

Appreciating solitude starts with the conscious awareness of the freedom it brings.  When you enjoy your own company you don’t need others around for the sake of having others around.  You can be flexible about who you choose to spend time with, instead of letting your fear of being alone suck you into social situations and relationships that aren’t right for you.

It’s also important to note that being desperate for the company of others will hinder your ability to authentically interact and communicate.  You’ll be more worried about achieving external validation instead of just letting your truth flow and being open to establishing honest human connections.

Try to spend some time alone every day on a solo project that interests you – reading, writing, painting, coding, etc.  The goals is to get to the point where you are just as happy staying in as going out, as long as you keep a healthy balance between the two.

2.  Get in touch.

A big part of meeting the right people is reacquainting yourself with the good people you already know.  It’s all about initiating friendly interactions, instead of waiting for others to make the first move.  I bet you can think of several people that you have been terrible at keeping in touch with.  These might be extended family members, old college friends, previous coworkers who you enjoyed spending time with, or even current friends whom you rarely talk to.

Dig back into your past and make a list of people you wish you had stayed in better touch with.  Then contact them.  An email or text message might work best to break the ice if you’re contacting someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  If you have lost a person’s contact information, Google them, or look them up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  etc.  Or perhaps you have a mutual friend or acquaintance who can put you in touch.

This practice might sound overly simple, or even a bit silly, but taking the initiative and reaching out to relationships is almost always appreciated.  The return on investment for the short amount of time it takes you to send some emails and texts, and hopefully make a few phone calls and lunch dates, is huge: HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIPS.  You’ll be left asking yourself: “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

3.  Be generous and help others.

You have two hands, one to help yourself and the second to help those around you.

It’s one thing to take the initiative with people you already know, but what about all the people around you whom you barely know?

Be friendly and introduce yourself to someone nearby.  When you’re connecting with someone new always start with generosity.  Focus on how you can help the other person.  Do you have information that could benefit them?  Do you have a skill that could assist them through their current situation?  Do you know someone who they should meet?

One of the best investments you can make in yourself is to take a genuine interest in other people.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth…

4.  Join an active community of likeminded people.

The best places to plant new seeds of friendship are at local, organized meet-ups on a particular topic that interests you.  A meet-up might be a professional association, a community focus group, a fitness class, a weekly group meditation hour, or any other gathering of people who share a common passion.

Finding the right group of people that share your passions and interests may require some dedicated research, but it’s worth it.  A shared passion is the most effective component in building positive, lasting relationships.

5.  Reach out to leaders and mentors.

Simple Steps for Achieving Anything

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Yes, your goals are within reach.  In fact, achieving them is a simple process.  It just requires commitment and action on your behalf.

  1. Set your sights on a clear goal – What is it specifically that you want to achieve?  Write it down if you have to.
  2. Focus on one thing at a time and pick the next logical task – Ask yourself, “What can I do right now that will bring me one step closer to my desired goal?”
  3. Educate yourself – What knowledge and skills are required to complete the task you chose in step #2?  Keep it simple.  Everything else can be learned along the way.
  4. Start now – Why haven’t you started?  START!!!
  5. Say “NO” to distractions – Is the phone ringing?  Door knocking?  Dog barking?  Unless the house is burning to the ground, IGNORE IT ALL!!!
  6. Review and adjust – Are you making progress?  If yes, see the next step.  If not, why not?  Are there any small adjustments you need to make?
  7. Press on until the task is complete – Revisit steps #5 and #6 as required.
  8. Repeat – Once the task you chose in step #2 is complete, it’s time to repeat all the steps for the next logical task.  Revisit your goal in step #1 so it’s fresh in your mind, choose the next logical task, educate yourself as necessary, etc.

RELATIONSHIP TWIST!

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Sometimes life could be ironic when it comes to intimate relationships.

A guy falls in love with a lady who has everything he wants in a wife but he is not ready for marriage, whereas the lady is far ahead of him and cannot wait but gets married to someone else probably,someone she does not love the way she loves him!

A lady is ready for marriage but is approached by wrong guys who do not have the qualities she desires in a man but they are ready for marriage whereas the right guy seems not to be available.

This becomes an issue of the right person at the wrong time or the wrong person at the right time.

What a twist?

Nevertheless, God’s grace in a man or woman’s life positions the individual to meet the right person at the right time. Even if you have missed someone you love, another opportunity will be available for you. When God is involved in one’s life, He orchestrates events and circumstances to give you the best.

My friends don’t think that you’ll always be single, heartbroken, confused… forever.
You’ll not always be meeting wrong people, God is arranging someone special for you; just
be sensitive to discern and discover him or her. Don’t lose HOPE.

God is arranging someone or something special for you.

10 Simple Steps To Reduce Morning Stress

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If we fail to appropriately manage our time and health needs, mornings can be the most stressful part of our day.  Many of us deal with the dizziness of an unpleasant, hectic rush every morning in preparation for work or school, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  With a little sensible time management your morning stress can be drastically abbreviated.  Here are 11 simple steps you can follow to proactively reduce your level of morning stress.

  1. Create an Evening Preparation Routine – An evening routine in preparation for the morning, that is.  Iron your clothes, prepare your lunch, locate your keys, plan a nutritious breakfast, etc.  These simple tasks will take you less than 30 minutes to complete each evening and will save you a huge headache every morning.
  2. Plan a Realistic Day – Write a short “Must Do Today” list every evening for the following day.  Never fill your mind with unnecessary worries in the excess of this list.  Write down anything that cannot be pushed off to the following day.  Avoid the tendency to overpopulate this list, and thus your schedule, with unrealistic goals.
  3. Eliminate Known Aggravations – If your alarm clock makes a horribly annoying sound, and your car’s windshield wipers are faulty… fix the problems and eliminate the stress factors permanently from your life.  There is absolutely no reason to deal with habitual aggravations that can easily be resolved with a little time and money.
  4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Make sure you start winding down for bed at a reasonable hour to allow enough time for a healthy night’s sleep.  Most people require between 7 and 8 hours each night.  If needed, set a bedtime reminder alarm on your alarm clock.  Always keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortably cool.  Studies from the National Sleep Foundation suggest the ideal temperature for sleeping is somewhere between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  Also, go easy on afternoon caffeine intake.  When caffeine is consumed late in the day the quality of your sleep usually suffers.
  5. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier – An extra 30 minutes in the morning is the difference between peaceful harmony and rapid-fire pandemonium.  As long as you get to bed on time, waking up 30 minutes earlier should seem natural after just a few days.  Use this time to think, stretch, shower, eat breakfast, and account for any unanticipated bumps in your morning routine.
  6. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing – Water makes up between 60% – 70% of your body composition.  It is absolutely vital to stay properly hydrated.  Even mild dehydration can cause your blood to thicken.  This forces your heart to work double-time in order to push the necessary blood to your organs, which will result in noticeable mental fatigue.  Also, a hydrated body is more efficient at dispersing energy-building nutrients to all its extremities.  Since the average human body becomes slightly dehydrated over the course of a long sleep, you should drink a tall glass of water first thing when you wake up.
  7. Do a Light 10 Minute Stretching Workout – Do you feel a little groggy when you first wake up?  This is completely normal.  All you need to do is get your blood flowing, which will assist your body in transitioning between the sleeping and awake states.  Once you do, you’ll feel great.  Place a matt or towel on a carpeted floor.  Lie on your back and stretch your arms as far as you can in one direction while stretching your toes out in the opposite direction.  Then stand up and do some knee raises and toe touches.  If you are feeling up to it, add in a few sit-ups and push-ups.
  8. Listen to Music and Take a Hot Shower – Music injects positive, motivational influence into your mind.  You should listen to music that makes you happy every morning while you progress through your routine.  Also, a hot shower can be one of the most soothing experiences early in the morning.  The fresh, revitalized feeling you have stepping out of the shower will spill over as positivity into your first few tasks of the day.
  9. Keep a Clean, Organized Living Space – Create order in your life and living space.  Organize your home so that you always know exactly where your belongings are.  Then, consciously put your belongings away in their proper place each time you use them.  Doing so will eliminate the unproductive, stress filled moments of searching for something you’ve misplaced.
  10. Schedule Something You Love Daily – Getting up to face a new day is far more satisfying when you have something to look forward to.  Life is short.  Make sure you manage your time effectively so that you have time to engage in something you love on a daily basis.

10 Things I Love About YOU

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YOU are amazing!  You may forget sometimes, but someone always sees the amazing things about you that make you so loveable.

So let me remind you of how truly amazing you are, just because you’re YOU:

1.  Your smile.

I don’t care if your teeth aren’t perfectly straight and bright white.  When you smile, it lights up your eyes with a twinkle of honest delight that gives me a glimpse into the beauty of your soul.  It’s as though you really see me and you’re offering me a little parcel of your heart.

So please remember, you can never change the past nor control the future, but you can change the mood of this moment by touching someone’s heart with your smile, in the same way you have already touched mine.

2.  Your self-respect.

I love the way you accept who you are completely, the good and the bad, and make changes in your life as YOU see fit – not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know it’s the right thing to do, for YOU.

The way you don’t rely on your significant other, or anyone else, for your happiness and self-worth moves me at my core.  You have taught me that our first and last love is self-love, and that if you can’t love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to either.

3.  Your courage.

You say you’re afraid sometimes, and that the world seems too vast.  You say it can be a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning, to put on your smile and face reality, yet every day you somehow find the strength to carry-on and face life with courage and poise.

Your courage is my encouragement!

I love the way you prove day in and day out that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the decision that other things are more important than fear.  You take little, conscious steps every day to love those around you, to care for yourself, and to find joy in the smallest moments – all these little steps add up to greatness.

4.  Your passion.

While I see others waiting around for love, you inspire me with the way you happily pursue your lusts.  The way you express yourself and what you hold dear in your heart through your actions and words, and the way you use your whole mind and body to feel and interact with the world around you is truly something to be seen.

You have taught me that it’s not always about loving the struggles in front of you, but loving the ideas, dreams, passions and people behind you and within you.  It gives me great joy to see you ignited with an inner passion for living and pursuing the ideas that move you.

5.  Your creativity.

When you speak, write or create, you act like it’s your job to make mind-blowing, passionate love to whatever idea it is that drives the project you’re working on at the time.

What astounds me is the way you manage to communicate how you feel and who you are in so many wondrous ways, sometimes even without speaking a word.  The way you look at a situation where others are asking, “Why?” and instead ask,  “Why not?”  The way you continually jump from great heights and develop your wings on your way…

All I can say is: “Wow!”

6.  Your positivity.

The way you dwell on the beauty of life…

The way you laugh, even when there’s no pressing reason to do so…

You always turn a negative situation into a positive opportunity.  When you hear negative thoughts, you think about the positive side of things.  When you see a glass with water in it, you aren’t concerned whether it’s half empty or half full; you’re just grateful to have a glass with something in it.

Thank you.  You have made a difference in my life by being so positive.

7.  Your kindness and compassion.

No matter how strong a person is, they have weak points and sometimes all they really need is a listening ear from a compassionate friend.  Thank you for being that friend.

Even when you’ve been busy working hard and dealing with your own issues, somehow when I least expect it, you reach out to help another person who is in need.  You consider their circumstances with love rather than judgment.  You move into the “right here, right now” with an open heart and a willingness to be supportive, unconditionally.

8.  Your unconditional acceptance.

You take people and their situations for what they are, you appreciate them, and you don’t try to label them or change them.

I realize now that that your unconditional acceptance doesn’t mean you’re giving up your freewill to have an opinion – that’s quitting.  It simply means you’re willing to let go of the fantasies of who you think people should be and how you think things are supposed to be, so you can fall in love with who they truly are and how life really is.

9.  Your sense of humor.

You are always able to see the funny side of life through its ups and downs.  You manage to make light of situations that could easily drive a person crazy.  Negative things happen in your life, but somehow you shake them off and still mange to see the humor in it all.  Your laughter and sense of humor is infectious and lifts the mood of those around you, so the rest of us don’t take ourselves so seriously all the time.

Thank you for helping me see the beauty and comedy in the absurdity of life.

10.  Your love and loyalty.

Even though you have felt pain and heartbreak, and although you sometimes try your hardest to hide it, you just can’t stop loving.  It’s who you are on the inside.  Even though you sometimes require alone time for rest and healing, you always return to wanting to share love in your life.

You have helped me understand that relationships are about two people being true to each other even when times are tough, and that when it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority.  Prolonged love and loyalty mean the world… and yes… your love and loyalty mean the world to me.

Your turn…

What do you love most about yourself?  What qualities do you love most about your closest friends and family?  Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.

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