Truth is something that can appear to be quite elusive these days. It’s very easy to find half-truths or outright lies, misconceptions, misunderstandings; they are all sitting at our fingertips. So when I find truths that speak to me, that resonate within me in a way that I know in my core this is truth, I try to pay attention.
Maya Angelou was someone I had heard of in high school. We may have read a poem or two, if so I honestly don’t remember. It wasn’t until college that I took more of an interest in her, and in reality it’s probably because I saw her on Oprah. I have a tendency to cringe when speech is seemingly deliberate. When I can tell someone has thoroughly thought through what they are saying and they say it in a very matter of fact manner. I don’t know why. But I typically disengage. So to watch Maya Angelou speak and find myself literally on the edge of my seat feeling as though I am being pulled in a little bit nearer to her with each word was extremely unexpected. She spoke in a very deliberate manner, she knew what she was saying, but this time it was different for me. She was speaking in truth. Every word was one I wanted to hear, and I was glad she spoke with such clarity both in pronunciation and in point. And since truth, as I stated can be hard to come by, I wanted to make sure I shared some of it here, by way of Dr. Angelou.
1.“When people show you who they are believe them (the first time).”
I have found this to be true time and time again. Whether it is in a relationship romantic in nature, a friendship, family members, whomever we have in our lives, people will show us who they are. If someone tells you they are mean, believe them. If someone tells you they don’t care, believe them. If they say they just want to have fun, believe them. If they cheat on you, ignore you, make it a point to hurt you, believe them the first time. They are showing you who they are, and they are making it clear they have no intentions of changing this for you. Once a person shows us what they plan to do, and we stick around, then that is our poor choice. They will easily have the chance to say, “well you already knew” and use it as an excuse. And sadly, they won’t be entirely wrong. We have to learn that being a savior is not supposed to be the same as being a victim. So staying somewhere that is harmful to us to stick it out, to be strong, because we love them and we know they love us if we could just get them to change just one more time is never an excuse. We are saving no one and in trying to do so are only creating inequality within the relationship. We must pay attention to what people tell us about themselves and have enough worth about ourselves to be willing to let it go.
2. “…and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”
This quote comes from her essay titled New Directions. And it continues along very well with the previous quote. Many times we don’t leave a situation because we’ve planned out a future in our heads. We have something, and maybe we are only holding on by a rapidly fraying string, but we are holding on. There is something in front of us. But when our vision of the future does not match the reality of our future, there is a problem. If we truly stop and look down the road ahead, which most often will look like the road behind and it in no way is a path we should continue down, we must be willing to stop and change directions. We have to let go. We have to imagine a future that is different. We must be willing to try, and not only once, but as many times as it takes to get us to where the future we are imagining has the capacity to line up with the future coming to life in our reality. Whether it’s a career change, a relationship change, or even family that is harming us, we must care enough for ourselves to forge onward towards better things.
3. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
And on our path to our new places we must let go of the past, lighten our load and forgive. We must be willing to admit to ourselves that we acknowledge what has happened, we understand that we were deeply hurt whether emotionally or physically, whether from and outside source or something we did to ourselves, we must look at the moment for what it is and find a way to release it. It is the only way to move forward successfully. We cannot let those moments define us. We know that they exist. They aren’t likely to be things that we forget. But they are things that we can move forward from without allowing them to control us. Forgiveness is truly one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves.
4. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In life we all have choices that we make every day. One of the most important choices we make is how we treat others. None of us were immune to people coming into our lives and making us feel bad. As children someone hurt us. Well, in all likelihood, multiple people. Children can be cruel. Adults can be cruel. We are all humans exposed to other humans, and that means life isn’t always going to be pretty. So each day we must make a choice to treat others the way we truly want to be treated. So we must believe ourselves worthy of the treatment we extend to others. We must know that we have the chance to grow a person, to encourage them or to bring them down, and it is essential that we become growers of others. We know how people made us feel. It lasts. We remember being scared, we remember being hurt, we remember being outcast, feeling alone and desolate, that no one else understands or cares. We remember these things because they made us feel like we didn’t matter. And that is not acceptable. We cannot continue a culture of people whose only goal is to make people feel this way. We must do what we can to acknowledge and accept our own worth and love ourselves enough to recognize and grow this in others. To be encouragers and walk in light so that others may follow. So that we can all know truth.
This is an excerpt from one of my favorite parts of her Master Class with Oprah: “to be the best human being you can be” (in every situation)
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd…Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death…and yet…I think…this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
Anne Frank, “The Diary of Anne Frank
“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela
While I was looking around online today I came across some quotes that directed me to the Unconditional Love Facebook page. While I was there, I noticed these two quotes. And even though I’ve seen them both several times, for some reason I felt compelled to share them today.
When I was in class getting my undergraduate degree, we had a guest speaker, Dr. Edith Eger, come and talk to us. I’m not going to go into the whole story because it’s long (it’s in my book if you’re really interested), but when she spoke to us, it was her words that sparked that recognition that happiness is a choice and it was a choice I should, could, and was going to make starting then. I had always known happiness was a choice, but I was never able to make it before then. I wasn’t even able to attempt it. I was 23 at the time, and about to graduate from college.
I had a penchant for feeling guilty about the fact that I knew I should be thankful and doing more with my life, but I didn’t feel like anything would come of it if I tried, and I used all of that as an excuse not to. I stayed unhappy, I stayed safe never trying, and I let all of the anger and fear and guilt that I felt control me. I chose to let it control me, because I chose not to try to change it. I let it be my excuse. I let it be my life.
The greatest thing that has happened to me was that moment when I realized that we are all unique. We all have different things to overcome and different things to accomplish. And comparing my struggle with anyone else’s (everyone else’s in my case) wasn’t helping me at all. I shouldn’t feel guilty because my plight wasn’t as great as others. I shouldn’t ignore the fact that I should be effected by the things that did happen to me, even if I didn’t feel like they were as bad as someone else’s. And I shouldn’t let the things that did happen make me feel like I wasn’t worth anything and couldn’t do anything.
We are so complex and we have lots of mixed emotions about ourselves and about our lives. But we can’t let those things destroy our potential. We can’t let them interfere in who we are to become. When we go to bed at night Jack and I say a prayer of thanks for “all that we are right now, all that we can be, and all that we are going to become.” We are where we are. That is what it is. Where we are at this moment in time cannot be changed, but where we are going can. We simply have to let go of all of the stuff that is holding us back. No comparing our journeys, no letting the way others have treated us bring us down, no letting the things we have done in the past stop us. We are where we are. We just have to be willing to start from here. We can’t start anywhere else.
Many people watched a few weeks ago when Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Not long after that a man walked across the Beau Rivage, a casino on the coast here on a tightrope, as well. I went with my brother, my son and my nephew to watch the event. You don’t realize just how high up it really is until there is someone walking across it on a rope!
As we watched him I thought about how difficult it must be to keep so many things in balance all at once. I’ve talked a lot about focus this week, and in this case it truly does take an immense amount of focus. You are standing up higher than anyone around, out over the edge (one of the only people crazy enough to try this) and you have to keep looking forward while remembering what you need to do to keep yourself in check. You have to stay calm, make sure your steps are on track, change them accordingly to ensure the rope you are walking on doesn’t get too loose, and make sure not to look down.
When we are up high and walking across the rope looking down can be hard to avoid. It’s one of the biggest pitfalls we make. When we start looking at just how high up we are and how far we’ve come, it’s easy to get disoriented. Looking down and losing focus is confusing. We become inundated immediately with thoughts that take us off track. We stop paying attention to our walk, we stop paying attention to our goal, we aren’t sure anymore what our next step should be, and it’s all because we looked down.
There are lots of people down there waiting on us to fall. There are lots of reasons that we might actually fall. But we are just as capable of standing on the wire and walking our way across. The choice in the matter is ours. Do we give in and look down? Do we go ahead and give up and take the easy way? It’s a whole lot faster getting to the ground that way, but the ground isn’t really where we want to be. And falling almost always results in injury. It may be fast, and there may be lots of people at the bottom who will be happy we’ve joined them, but is it really worth it? Fighting the urge to look down is hard. We have to know the steps we are taking. And remember that the hard road, (or the tight rope) is the only way to get there. So why not take the time to stay in check while walking on the wire.
Most of the time when we have an idea or a goal, at the beginning there is this wave of excitement and focus. We are able to make the ideas flow, we are able to put a pen to paper, and we’re off. We start on our way. Then all of a sudden it stops. The wave has landed ashore, and we’re stuck out of water. This is one of the most pivotal times when it comes to accomplishing what we’ve set out to accomplish.
It seems like when we look at others, they are on their way and their journey has been nothing but smooth sailing. In reality, it’s extremely unlikely that a tremendous amount of time, frustration and unreturned effort wasn’t put in. We don’t get to most places worth going in life simply by showing up. We have to work to get to where we want to go. If you have something to say, and something worth saying, finding an audience is the most important and most difficult thing you can do. Unfortunately, in life we can only control ourselves. We have no power over others unless they consent. Unless they are willing to show up and say, “Hey, tell me more.” And people aren’t willing to do that until you’ve put in the effort.
Maintaining focus when things are starting to fall, when you realize that the road in front of you is full of hill after hill, mountain after mountain that you have to climb over – when you realize that you are fighting uphill, and there will be times when you feel like you are only losing ground – maintaining focus here is what separates those who achieve their goals from those who let them go. It separates those who become from those who settle. It’s hard. It’s long. It doesn’t go the way we expect it to go or feel that it should go. But it IS the road to success, as long as we choose to stay focused. To find ways when there seem to be none, and to keep working when it feels like nothing is happening. Finding focus when we are hearing nothing at all, when there is only silence is the key to seeing your ideas become a reality.
While I was looking around for gifts for father’s day today, I asked my son what he wanted to get for his grandpa. And he said camping stuff. I decided that sounded as good as any ideas I had, even though I think the last (and only) time we camped I was around 10 years old. Nonetheless, my dad had promised to take all of the grandkids camping this summer, and well, what better encouragement is there? So we were going down the aisles and looking for stuff, and Jack kept picking out things that were really big and would be heavy and hard to carry. I started talking to him about the importance of traveling light, and although he was able to make a pretty good argument for bringing a bike to ride on so they could carry extra stuff, it wouldn’t be enough stuff for the kayak and scooter he wanted to bring along as well. I tried to explain that sometimes it’s important to remember that we just need the essentials to get by, because when we have too much, it weighs us down. Then I realized that’s what I would write about today!
The concept applies so well to life. It’s so easy to get bogged down by everything that we carry with us, that we forget how nice and light and easy it is to travel without all the junk. Whether we are harboring fear, worry, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, anxiety – all of those negatives have a tendency to weigh us down. When we get upset and end up at a dead end in life, it’s really hard to turn around and see that there’s another path – or even a way over the wall – when we are walking our path with too much weight. If we are having to drag ourselves through life, we will end up with a whole lot more scars and bruises than we will if we are able to walk upright, and run and jump and turn around where necessary.
We all hit walls. We all have bumps in our roads. We are broken down by the streets that are covered by the things that are trying to hold us back and stop us from moving. If we want to get anywhere worth getting to, we have to do so without all of the negative weighing us down. We have to feel freedom and be light on our feet. Quick to think, to see ways out. It’s a way of thinking that matters drastically. Looking at the positive. Removing the negative. Becoming adaptable and pliable so that we can handle what life throws at us. Life is never fair. But that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve and be more instead of giving in and becoming less. If life is going to be uneven, make it so that you achieve more than you think you should. Make it so that you experience more good things by doing and giving and being pliable to your situations. We can accomplish what we want to accomplish. We have to open. We can’t be weighed down by fear or any other negatives. It closes us off. It changes us, just like the positives change us. We have to choose which we want to emphasize. Whether we want to constantly struggle on our path or we want to travel light. There are already struggles we have to face. What’s the good in adding more for ourselves?
Instead, let’s travel with the essentials. The things we need to get our goals accomplished. The things that help us deal with life’s unbalanced paths, and lead us to a place of success and hope.
I was up until 4 am last night because they had a really gruesome crime scene near my town and in my town over the past few days. And that stuff makes me worry unnecessarily and excessively. I think I have some lasting PTSD from when I was younger, but I feel a lot better this evening after they caught the suspects. . And I finally have my computer back. I had to use my phone the last few days, so I apologize for all of the grammar/spelling/autocorrect errors that may have occurred!
One thing that did happen over the past few days was that I was reminded once again to be thankful for the days we have. Particularly because each one gives us the chance to do something good. To help ourselves and help others. We have the chance to use our gifts to grow and work and change the world. We have something existent within us each day that has the capacity to leave a lasting mark of love. Whether we write it, paint it, swim it, create music, lend an ear, offer true advice, or smile as often as we can, doing so makes a difference. It matters to us. It matters to others. It matters to the world. We are all significant, whether we feel anyone else (or even we ourselves) realizes it or not. We can do something worth doing each time the sun rises. Every morning is a new chance to start over, move forward, and find ourselves coming closer to where we want to be. So do not waste it. Let it be worthwhile.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank the following bloggers for nominating me for a myriad of awards over the past few days. I tried to figure out if there was a good way to answer all the questions or how to space things out, but I decided it was best to simply extend my gratitude to each of you. You all have wonderful blogs on a variety of topics. And I really appreciate you taking the time out to acknowledge me and to read my blog in general. It’s truly humbling and extremely kind of you all. Thank you so much! Check out their blogs J
This post is a little long, I apologize. And it’s the first of two posts on forgiveness, because I’ve had a lot of people asking me about the subject lately. And I touched on it a bit yesterday, but decided to go with the long answer today, and that comes in the form of the first half of chapter 16 which is dedicated to the subject in my book. And here’s the post:
I think there is probably nothing that I have learned that has been as helpful as learning the importance of forgiveness. When I used to look back over my life, the list of people who had treated me unfairly was pretty long. I remembered everything, every conversation, every mean look. I knew who said what, who did what, even back to elementary school. I could go through them in my head, which I did somewhat often while I was in middle school and high school. I held on to the anger and the fear, and I would sit and remember why I was holding onto it.
These were people who were mean to me for no reason. I hadn’t done anything wrong. Or in the case of family incidents, I was right and they were wrong (I can’t help that this is ALWAYS the case – please note my sarcasm here). But there were people and times where our interactions made me feel like absolutely nothing at all. I felt so overlooked, and at times so betrayed, that forgiveness was nowhere on my radar. The things that happened to me were wrong. And I should be angry. I should hate them. But what holding onto that hurt and anger did was keep me right where I was.
Every time I thought about the things that had happened I was that girl, in that moment, feeling that hurt and scared. I never really snapped out of it. I let those things rule over me. I let my emotions get overrun, because I became too afraid to even want to be close to anyone. I felt unworthy, because all of those people on my list wouldn’t have treated me as they had if this weren’t the case. And it wasn’t until I was removed from the situation, I graduated and left for college, that I came to realize that the stuff that happened, for the most part, really did not need to continue to affect me.
As long as I let those thoughts and those actions rule over me I was letting the fear win. I allowed the treatment of kids who felt just as awkward and fearful (otherwise the interactions would have never taken place) to make me feel like I deserved to be treated that way. I had a small, but wonderful group of friends, all of whom I still try to keep in touch with today, but even with them, I didn’t really understand why they were my friends. I felt like they had so much more going for them than I did.
I was lost, because I was fearful. They all had plans, and I was absolutely certain they would fulfill them. I wasn’t the friend I could have been, because I knew they’d probably leave me behind. It’s not a good way to live your life, being that fearful. And the feelings I had were in large part due to my inability to forgive, because I couldn’t forget or overlook how I felt in those moments where I was hurt. Forgiveness is a continuous process. We have to forgive others and forgive ourselves. I used to think one was more difficult to do than the other, but I think they are fairly equal in their difficulty.
When Dr. Eger came and spoke to our Personality Theories class, she talked about forgiveness. She said that every night she prayed for the Nazi members who took her and her family captive, and who killed all but two of them. She and her sister were the only survivors. She told us that feeling guilty, because we didn’t have to go through what she went through was useless. And she was right, although this was very hard for me to comprehend. Comparing our lives to others does nothing but confuse us and give us excuses to stay where we are. She said we all have the option to be happy. But we cannot be happy if we don’t forgive.
I didn’t know how to imagine her forgiving those men for what they put her through. I didn’t know if she really had done so or not. But I believed that if anyone knew what they were talking it about when it came to forgiveness, it was quite likely to be her. That summer after I made the decision that I wanted to be happy, I decided that at 23, I wanted to start forgiving people for what had happened in my life and just try and see where it led me. I didn’t really know how to forgive, so I remember just sitting in my room praying and saying to the universe silently, that I forgive you. I am letting go of all of that fear and hurt. It doesn’t matter anymore, I thought. What good is it doing me to hold on?
While outside playing with Jack yesterday I took a picture of an oak tree. We have lots of water oaks along the coastline in Mississippi and some of them have grown to huge sizes. They’ve survived for centuries, storm after storm, year after year. And I started to think about how that happens.
People mention building your roots a lot. In order for a tree to grow it has to anchor itself in first. But I think sometimes what we overlook is just how root systems work in trees. They grow down to form an anchor, and then they spread themselves out. They branch out in all directions creating the right amount of support for the tree itself to branch out in any direction it needs to. As we grow in life, we can’t just grow in one direction. We are multifaceted and complex. We have multiple talents, multiple needs, multiple areas we are capable of sharing in, of growing in. We have to make sure that we are tending to all the different areas in our life in order to grow as high as we can grow.
When a tree gets injured on one side, those branches can start to whither and die. The whole tree can end up weakened, because it’s no longer in balance. So the tree starts to regrow that branch whenever possible. New life will emerge from those areas that we’ve left untended, even when they were areas that were hurt. Whether it’s because we ignore those areas simply because we have so many things we need to focus on, or if the areas are damaged from things that have happened in the past, the chance for regrowth exists. And not only does it exist, it is necessary for us to find our balance again. For us to thrive again. We have to make ourselves as strong as possible in order to weather the storms in life, and to do that we have to pay attention to all of our branches.
Sometimes when we let things constantly eat away at one part of our life, it finds its way into the other areas as well. Inevitably we end up unhappy, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied. We get lost. We don’t know what’s wrong because so many areas are now at risk, and finding the source of the problem is hard. It’s easy for poison to find its way in when we can’t find the wound to close it. So it’s extremely important to begin paying attention, looking at ourselves and really realizing what needs to be done to help us feel whole again. They are not voids that can be filled by others. They are things that exist within us.
We have the chance to do great things and be great people in even the smallest of ways every day. We have the chance to grow ourselves with every sunrise and strengthen our roots with every sunset. Every branch we extend outward has the chance to touch someone. To help create fresh air and breathe new life, without do anything other than functioning at its best. By weathering the storms we have the chance to help someone else do the same. We just have to grow ourselves in all the different directions we can. We have to allow ourselves to be human, to be people. To have faults and weaknesses, but not let them overcome us, because we all have many ways to grow.
Last night I watched “We Bought a Zoo.” And in it he says, “all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage…” And that made me think about all the people I knew who had something to say about the movie. So many people said it was just what they needed. They were thinking about major changes in their lives and they needed something to happen. It’s funny how so many of us feel that way. That we need something to happen. There needs to be a change. We aren’t where we want to be, and we aren’t sure we are getting to where we want to be either. In life it’s quite easy to lose track of where we wanted to go.
Circumstance can be to blame much of the time, but it’s circumstance that we have created for the most part. We want to believe something can still happen. And when we see it happen for other people, we believe it again ourselves. But we need constant reminders. Most of us see something, get inspired, but never take the steps to follow through. We tend to look over just how much it takes to take a chance. To just go for it. To go for all that we wanted. A lot of times we opt not to because we don’t want to fail. Because if we fail at the things we really want, then what does that mean? What’s left from there? And it goes a lot deeper.
Unfortunately for us, taking the easy way has a tendency to become the hard way. Because easy has a tendency to couple itself right up with unfulfilled. And maybe it’s easy at first to live that way, because we still hope and there’s still time. But time moves much more quickly, and what we find when we look back is chances not taken. And the mundane of the everyday and unfulfilled gets wearing. We have reasons we do what we do. We have reasons for the things we don’t do as well. I’ve studied psychology for a long time. I’ve counseled people. I’ve consulted. I’ve spent the better half of my life helping people, even in a non-professional level. People have always come to me for help. I never understood why when I was younger. Even now, I’m not always sure. But it always seems to work out.
In life we have to have an understanding. We have to have a reason to believe in ourselves. We have to have the skills to look inside and understand ourselves. Because society has a tendency to tell us things that are untrue. The people closest to us, even our closest friends and family don’t always have our best interest in mind. That means it’s up to us to care enough about ourselves to learn how to get to where we need to be.
Today my book was “officially” released. In paper back and in e-book format. In certain book stores who were willing to take a chance. And at this point in time when I’m surrounded by chaos, and lots of bad news, I’m not sure what to do with that. I was told I needed to tell people it was out, so I guess I am right now. But I don’t know if this is how I’m supposed to do it. It’s hard, because I knew how important it was that I don’t waste anyone’s time. The reason I wrote the book that I wrote, and not a “quick fix” book as was suggested to me, is because the message that’s in the book is important. Transformation takes time. Changing your life takes time. But it starts with one day. It starts with knowledge. It starts with taking the moment to say, I’m going to try. I’m going to jump in. I’m going to have insane courage. And the book tells you why you should have that courage. It tells you why you are worthy of the things you need. It tells you how to breathe again when it’s dark and frustrating. It tells you why you should make it through. It tells you how to start changing your life, piece by piece. And why your life can and should become the amazing life you wanted, no matter what has happened in the past. It tells you how to forgive, how to let go, how to move forward. All the things that are too long to write in a blog. And it tells it well.
So what I’m saying is I hope everyone has the courage to try. Try to become the person you want to be. If the book can help, take a look. If you know someone who needs a life change or just wants an entertaining read, or needs a graduation gift, tell them to look. It’s worth the time. It’s worth the information. And it’s worth taking the chance to try. The read is easy. The information is good. Nothing I’ve ever done has taken more courage. And it’s terrifying. So even though you don’t have to, if you want to share the message. If someone needs help, lead them to it. We all have somewhere we need to go. We just need a little guidance sometimes in getting there.
And if you bought a zoo already, or have a story to share, let me know 🙂 We all have multiple things to contribute. We all have things to make life worthwhile. So why not share them? Why not have the courage to try!?
Barnes and Nobles:
Today my post may be a little different. There are a variety of reasons for this. I have a few family members in the hospital. I can’t visit them because my son is still sick. I have work that is due, that I don’t feel like doing, so I’m doing this instead for now. Things seem to continue to be piling up, and so today I wanted to make sure that my son and I had a little fun. He has been sick so we haven’t been outside much in the past week, but his fever has been gone since yesterday morning, so we went outside for a few minutes.
I don’t know how many of you watched the show FRIENDS, but there is an episode of it where Phoebe runs weird. She runs with her hands and arms flailing and it’s in a weird motion, but at the end they decide it’s the only way to run because it’s way more fun. That show happened to be on today and Jack wanted to go outside and run, so we did. We ran with our arms flailing around and he was yelling tag, and even though it was only for about 10 or 15 minutes we both couldn’t stop laughing and smiling.
In all seriousness, I have noticed that it’s truly difficult not to smile when someone is running after you yelling tag. If you let yourself play, it’s nearly impossible not to have fun. I think that’s one of my favorite things about my son and my nephews. They do such a good job reminding me to do things that I forgot I like to do. I had flashbacks of playing freeze tag on the playground at school as a kid. And then of my leg getting caught in the slide and hanging upside down until the principal came and got me down because he was the only one tall enough to reach me. That part was less fun, but that’s not the point. I slid down the slide again, and no real harm was done.
My point is, take the time this weekend to do something you don’t normally do. Something you forgot you like to do. In the US it’s a holiday weekend, so there’s extra time. If you want to share your stories, please do so. I love to hear them. Make time, even if it’s just a few minutes, to experience the laughter and joy. (I told this story to my friend and he is renting a Nintendo and the game Paperboy, because that’s what used to make him smile. He says physical activity has never been his friend.) Whatever it is, find your lost love and enjoy! (And you know, tell me what it is. I’m nosy like that.) 🙂