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Four truths Dr. Maya Angelou shared with the world

 

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)

 

 

The frusrating task of self-motivation (for the writers, dreamers and do-ers out there)

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.“  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” – Latin Proverb

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned as I have gotten older is the importance of understanding that we have to go through things alone. Now, I know I have talked about the importance of understanding that we have to have help if we are going to get to where we are going. And that still stands. But we have to do the work on our own. We are the sole decision makers in what we do each day. We are the ones who are affected by our actions, more so than anyone else. We are the ones who have picked the path we are on. And we are the ones with the ultimate responsibility of getting to where we want/need to go.

It can be frustrating at times when we can’t find anyone to help us in the way we would like to have help. We have ideas and projects that we believe in, but sometimes it feels as though no one else really cares. The people who we feel are supposed to help may not always do so. And that can be difficult when we are trying to accomplish something that we believe in. It’s the ultimate rule when it comes to accomplishing your dreams…. No one will believe in you as much as you do until you can show them why they should. And unfortunately, that usually takes a lot of work.

I find that with writing it takes even more work. You can’t force people to read something. You can’t force someone to pay attention. When you sing people can hear you even if they don’t want to. When you act people can see you, even if they don’t want to. When you paint your work is visible, what you have to say and share is visible, even if people don’t want it to be. But when you write, your ideas are hidden between under the covers. The book covers to be exact. You can’t force people to understand that what you have to say is worthwhile enough to give up a few hours of their lives to read it. That’s significant time. A song is three minutes, and can be turned off. A show is 30 minutes or an hour, and can be turned off. A piece of artwork is available to take in over the course of a few moments. But books, books require an investment. And you have to do work. You’re not just observing, you are actively engaging in reading. And as a writer, I think it’s very important not to waste anyone’s time.

So I made it a point to write something that I believe is worthwhile. And after writing it, it felt great. But now I have to get people to read it. Which is less great. Because even though I want to share it, and even though I believe in it, I have to convince other people that they should as well. And though that makes me uncomfortable, what I have found is that thing that I started learning when I started college – no one else is going to do it for me. I’m the one who has to do the work. The ultimate responsibility is mine.

We all have things we want to do. Things we need to do. And we all have to start somewhere. Is there somewhere you are planning to go or something you are wanting to do? Find the time, find a way, and make it a point to do it. And along the way:

  • Don’t be afraid of what you write. Let it flow, even if it makes no sense.
  • Understand that even though people may be supportive, they may not be supportive in the way we’d like.
  • Remember that even though it’s going to get hard, it’s something worth doing.
  • Remember the journey is yours to take, and some of the people will have to come and go. (as will some characters)
  • Remember there are plenty of people who have made it through, so there’s no reason that you can’t, too.
  • Stay motivated. You have what it takes. YOU!
  • Smile. This is just good sense. It has the natural ability to lift your spirit, even when things are hard.

 

“525,600 minutes, how do you measure the life of a woman or a man… how about love?” – Rent

All day long I see people, including myself, with something to complain about. We have a problem. We need someone to blame. Life, everyone’s life, is full of imperfections. It is full of unforeseen bumps, walls, bruises, breaks, tragedies, etc. And it’s full of readily known, easily seen bumps, walls, bruises, and breaks, and in some cases tragedies, as well. None of these, however, are easy for us to deal with. Not on a deeper level. They are things that require time. Sure some are easier for us to process, but to deny that they affect us, to deny that there are residual scars, is simply as stated, denial. It is ultimately unhelpful for all of us.

One of the things that I’ve seen numerous times recently is this statement, “I wish we could return to the morals on which this country was founded.” The statement seems well enough at first glance. But ultimately it is pining for something that never existed in order to blame everyone else for the problems in existence today and tag them as different. It is different, we are different, and that’s why things are the way they are. In reality, we are not all that different. In fact it is how much we have stayed the same in many cases that causes the issues that we have. See, our country was founded on the premise of religious freedom…if you were a protestant. It was founded on morals that included drowning, hanging, and burning females who might be perceived to be a witch. It was founded on denying any human rights, respect or decency to anyone who wasn’t white – as was obvious with slavery and the treatment of native Americans . And to denying a majority of rights, respect, and decency to those who were white, but happened to be poor or a female. You were allowed to murder someone for stealing from you with almost no civil process. It was common practice to allow abuse and mistreatment of women, children, and anyone who wasn’t a powerful (not in the physical sense here) white male. It was founded on the idea that anyone who strayed in any way from the ideas set forth by the males around them could be considered a heretic. It was a time when they believed and practiced the idea that God felt them to be the only worthy members and it was okay to kill, steal, and manipulate their way into power. And the law of the land was much more in line with “an eye for an eye” than a democratic justice system.

Maybe we should go back to the times before this. Perhaps the Renaissance, that was a good time right? Sure our country wasn’t founded then, though it was “found” by a tyrant. Back when we (a human we, here) were crusading around, killing people who thought any differently than us. Taking their land, their money. “Screaming convert or die.” Burning people, hanging people, raping women and children. No? What about the Dark Ages? Should we go back there? What time in history is it that we should return to so that we can find these uplifting morals that I’ve heard so much about?

In truth, those morals are present at all points in time. There are people, probably the majority, who want to do good. Who want to be good. What do we measure a life in once it’s gone? In love? In hate? In blame? What do we measure it in while we are still living? With what do we measure our own lives? If it is not love, then, this is what we have to blame for the way that things are going. If we aren’t learning to love, ourselves, others, and teaching ourselves and others to be better people every day, helping one another rise up, then today will remain just as it was, yesterday, and last week, and even back in the good ole days when this country was founded. It is those who adapt who survive. It isn’t the strongest, or even the smartest, it is those best able to adapt. And it starts with a drop. Just one. One person to start measuring the year, the day, the minute in love, and this ignites the spark.

–It’s been a long time, and this was a bit long – my apologies.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

This is an old post, and actually from my book, but it is perfect for today because it begins to embody what thanksgiving is supposed to be about. Truly being grateful for those things that we have, even the most minute details. The walls of the homes, the streetlights that light our way home at night, the sheets, the bed, the food, the trees, the people, the love, and the potential that exists within all of us. It’s all there, it’s all real, it all matters. So here’s the post:

One day when I was driving home with my son in the back of my car, he started to cry. I tried music. I tried talking to him. I tried getting out and giving him juice and snacks. I checked to make sure he didn’t need anything else. I tried everything I knew to convince him that it was going to be okay. I gave him everything he could need. As he continued crying we began again with just a few more blocks to our house. I remember sitting at the stop sign and saying to him, “If you could only see, my love, we’re just a few minutes from being there. Just a few more minutes. It’s almost over. You don’t have to worry. Everything will be just as you want it to be soon. ”

In that moment I began to realize just how similar that sweet little baby and I were. I thought to myself:

How many times do I sit there wondering, crying, ‘God why isn’t this happening yet? Why can’t I see what’s going on? Why isn’t it the way I want it to be? What can I do to make things different? I can’t use what I have, I don’t even want this stuff I’ve got. I want something different, something better. Why can’t you just give me what I really want? Why is it like this? Why can’t I see the way out?’ and all the while God is sitting there saying, ‘It’s okay. I’ve given you everything you can possibly need. It’s all right there. Everything is waiting for you to arrive. You’re so close. You don’t have to cry. You don’t have to worry. I promise it’s all right there. If you could only just believe me, it would all be okay. ’” 

 

I spent so much time worrying about why things weren’t right, that I failed to understand everything that was right with where I was. I didn’t appreciate it. I wasn’t thankful for it. I just threw it aside thinking I didn’t really need it. What’s the use in all of this stuff? I let myself get to a point where I couldn’t see past the hurt, the worry, the fear. It consumed me. And so it consumed everything I did for the most part, as well.

When we got home that day, I turned on Oprah, and there was a woman who had survived the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. As I watched, she talked about all of the things she goes through each day just to get up and going. She had been burned over a large portion of her body. She could no longer hold her children. Up until recently, she couldn’t even open the peanut butter jar to make a sandwich for her children’s lunch. While watching, I realized all of the things that I had to be thankful for.

I can hold my son. I can touch his face. I can hug him. I can pick him up. I can see him smile. I can hear his laughter. I can play with him. I can drive him anywhere he needs to go. I can feel him breathe. I can run and jump with him. I can teach him to play sports. I have so many things to be thankful for, especially when it comes to him. He and my nephews make me smile every day. They fill my heart with joy every day. They let me love them every day, and I feel so honored to be able to do so. And I am so thankful to have the chance, all day every day to try again.

Even when I get things wrong, I have learned to be thankful that I have the chance to try again. And one of the ways I try to show my gratitude is by trying to make the right choice after I’ve made the wrong one. If it is something that can be undone, then I try to undo it. If the chance has passed, then I make sure to try not to make the same mistake again. With gratitude comes the possibility for change. If we recognize that it is possible for us at any moment to show that we are thankful, somehow, some way, we can seize the opportunity instead of allowing it to pass us by.

We are where we are

“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.

Thoughts

 

It’s interesting the way things from the past have the capacity to hold onto us. The things people said or did that we play in our minds over and over again. Whether it was something good or bad, it remains ingrained. Evolution-wise it’s necessary for us to remember things, and more so for us to have certain impressions that are lasting. There are things that we have to know to carry us through. Whether it’s for safety purposes, for happiness, or whatever the case may be, we have to be able to recall that information so that we know what decisions we make.

Yet, as people say all of the time, our thoughts hold us captive. Our thoughts that we think every day govern how we function. They take up a large portion of our time. They guide us. And this makes understanding what our thoughts are, and why extremely important. Maybe nothing is binding, maybe our thoughts are not concrete, maybe the self is ever moving and changing (someone was arguing this with me recently), but none of those things make it any less real to us. None of those things make it any less important to be aware of the fact that our thoughts, the way we process information have a direct effect on what we do in life and how we contribute to it. And contributing, doing something purposeful in with our lives does matter.

We are a part of something. Maybe no one knows exactly what, maybe some people do. No matter what, we are an extension of a universe that is expansive. And we are probably a part of even more than just that. All of the things in this universe have a role, and so do we. What we have the ability to do as humans is to look both outward and inward at once. We can look at who we are inside and we can look at who we are outside of ourselves. We are here, and we have no choice but to belong. So then we have the question, what can we do? What is the purpose? We exist, but what goes beyond mere existence?

When two people connect, something goes beyond existence. When two people interact, the force between them grows stronger. Whether it’s engaging or repelling, it’s strengthening. With each interaction we have the chance to grow ourselves, grow another, and grow a connection, grow love or grow fear. And what we grow depends largely on what we think, how we process and interpret what’s going on. So this week we have to pay attention to what we grow. Is it love? Is it fear?  Are we encouraging? Or are we condescending? Helpful or disengaged? Do we have proper priorities? Or are we letting it simply pass by? July is now halfway through. Time doesn’t take long. So how are your thoughts holding you?

 

(P.S. I hope you guys have an amazing week! And that this is your week!)

What did you do with your extra time?

So today we had an extra second, our Leap Second, to balance out something scientific or another 🙂 There is a fishing rodeo in town tonight and so I got to spend my extra second stuck on top of the ferris wheel with my son.

I don’t like ferris wheels. I don’t mind heights. And I don’t mind rides that go fast or upside down. I love roller coasters. I don’t like ferris wheels. So it makes sense that Jack would be anxiously awaiting the ferris wheel, and that we would end up sitting on top, just sitting waiting for it to move for that extra second of the day.

Aside from the death grip I had I Jack’s arm, and the other on the rail, I thought about the fact that things did look quite peaceful from the top. And that if I weren’t terrified I could take a picture for the extra second and it would probably turn out quite beautiful. But as it was, my child isn’t afraid of ferris wheels, which makes me not trust his 3-year-old impulsiveness to sit still while I attempt to gather the courage to let go of anything and take a picture.

So instead what I was left with was a nice little moment of peace and realization that even though I was terrified, I was in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. I could feel the calm, feel the love. And it was a pretty awesome second. Made more awesome by the knowledge that it was one more second passing that brought me closer to where I wanted to be. Which was safe and sound on the ground.

We normally have 86,400 seconds in a day. Today we had 86,401. Do you know what you did with them? Each second, each moment is a chance to live and grow closer to your goal. To face your fear. To climb to new heights. How do you spends your seconds?

Keeping your head up while riding the waves

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Tonight while I was washing Jack’s hair, he kept putting his head down and the shampoo would get in his eyes. We have this issue reemerge every so often. I continuously tell him that if he would just keep his head up, he wouldn’t have that problem, nothing would get in his eyes, and the shampoo wouldn’t hurt him. And tonight when I told him that, it hit me just how much that idea really applies to our lives in general.

It’s easy to just put our heads down when we feel like something is coming at us or we are worried we are going to get hurt or times are hard. We can sense the danger, so we try to close our eyes and hide our heads away, but in reality this only causes more problems. Instead of escaping the issue, we’ve actually made it worse.

When we put our head down the water rushes over us. It gets in our eyes. We can’t see. It becomes confusing. Sometimes we even start to breathe the water in as we start to panic. The situation worsens. We start to choke. It’s hard to breathe, we can’t find the air. When if only we would life our heads up, we wouldn’t have the problem anymore.

We have to keep our heads high when that barrage of negativity comes at us. We have to choose to look up, even if it’s scary, even if we want to run. When we know that there is the potential to get hurt. We have to take on the world face to face, head held high if we are going to survive the wave, or even have the chance to ride the wave. We can’t see anything if our eyes aren’t open, if our heads are down. Look at the world, look at the wave, and choose to take it on. Even if it knocks you down, when your head is above water you know where you’re at and how to get back up. You’re still in control. You’re still in the fight.

 

**I keep trying to respond to the comments I haven’t yet, and it keeps telling me that it’s an invalid request – that’s also happening with this post, so if this ever does post, I’m not ignoring anyone, my blog is just being weird. I’ve asked for help!

 

*Just*ification – Don’t let your time settle

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When I was considering what I wanted to do for my career I used to use the word “just” a lot. If I could just make enough money then the job doesn’t matter. If I could just work in this city, then I wouldn’t care what I was doing. If I could just have my dream job fall in my lap that would be fantastic! : ) If I could just do something I’m halfway interested in, then I’d be fine.

Unfortunately, I was never fine doing any of the things that I just wanted to do. Now there are circumstances where we have to JUST do something. Our livelihood depends on it. We have to be able to provide for ourselves. And that’s okay. And we can be okay in that, as long as we are continuing to work towards the things we truly want as well. It turns out a lot of the things we just want are fairly easy to come by. At least at first.

When we just want a job, there are jobs that don’t require any background at all, it’s just that it’s hard to make a living with those. But when we want a job that pays well, that we enjoy doing, and that allows us to feel like we aren’t settling, that’s a bit harder to come by. We justify the places we are at in a variety of ways. We have plans to move on to something  else one day, we have to have some means of survival, we are in a safe place, and bad things can happen if we move outside of that comfort zone.

But what it’s important to remember is that it’s not necessary to justify not settling. No one else has to understand it. Only you, because you know what makes you happy. You know what will allow you to be fulfilled in your life. So maybe you have to work a job that is a just job. But that doesn’t mean you don’t continue to take the steps you need to feel fulfilled. You continue to paint, you continue to cook, you continue to look into classes for school, you continue to exercise, you continue to write, you continue to volunteer, you continue to find whatever it is that has the potential to make you feel like you are spending that time in a meaningful manner. Something that makes you have a spot of certain happiness and accomplishment. Continue to pursue that part of you that doesn’t make you qualify it with just. Don’t let the just define your life. Let it pass by as it does while you are on your way to being who you want to be and doing what you want to do. Let your time count. Don’t let your time settle. Because each day the sun will set and you won’t get it back. But if each day you make your time count, if you spend some time outside of the just then each sunset brings a sense of fulfillment.

– I thought I posted this yesterday… I wondered why no one at all had even like it, and it turned out I hit save as draft… Ah, technology and me! 🙂

R.E.S.P.E.C.T – I’ll just tell you what it means to me

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The harbor as a storm approached us

 

Just like the sailor respects the power of the sea, we have to remember each day to have that respect for ourselves and for life. Respect is something that we talk (or sing) about a lot. We all want to be respected. We want to have people believe in us. And we want them to care enough or at least acknowledge that we deserve to be treated in a respectful manner.

A lot of times we feel that people fail to respect us the way we want. We feel that no one respects how much we do at work. They don’t respect what we do at home. They don’t respect the time it takes us to figure things out. They don’t respect our place. They don’t seem to have much regard at all for the way we want things to go or the way we want our life to turn out. It can be frustrating. And though it would be nice if respect were really just always reciprocal, it doesn’t necessarily work like that.

We can spend all of our time being kind to others, working hard for our bosses, or whomever we have to please, only to have it returned without acknowledgement or even ridicule. The important thing to remember about respect is that respecting ourselves is one of the most beneficial things we can do. And these are the keys to doing it:

  1. Respect who you are. This means you have to respect that you are you. You are no one else. And you are worthy just as you are of all of the good things life has to offer simply by being you.
  2. Respect your power. The things you say and do have power. We can’t take back the things we say or do. They remain. We can apologize, and we can hope for the best, but the things we do cannot be undone. So we have to act with respect. Respect to ourselves and who we want to be. And respect to what we want to accomplish.
  3. Respect others. We spend a lot of time calling attention to the wrong things when it comes to others. We question what they’re wearing. We question their intelligence. We find ways to make comparisons that are completely unnecessary (and probably detrimental) to our well-being or to theirs. We have to change our focus, move away from those comparative habits and learn to look at ourselves and others without judging.

We have to be able to live our lives happy without ourselves. It’s rare that we are comparing ourselves to others because we are secure ourselves. It’s important that we take the time to respect ourselves enough to know that we should be secure in who we are. We worthy just as we are. We are capable of whatever we want to accomplish. And we don’t have to worry with anyone else. It is time not well spent that we don’t get back. I used to be terrible about talking about people’s outfits or hair or mostly the things that they said or did that I could find a way to make fun of. It wasn’t because I was a happy person. It was because I liked knowing that they weren’t perfect either. That they shouldn’t be considered great, because I wasn’t considered great. But in reality, all that I was doing was wasting time. And I wasn’t wasting anyone’s time but mine. I wasn’t wasting anyone’s mind but mine. Instead of focusing on me, and letting the other stuff go, I failed to respect anyone, including myself and it just left me unhappy and unfulfilled.

We all can do great things. We all deserve great things. Life is worth our respect. We have to respect our time. We have to respect ourselves. We have absolutely nothing to gain by failing to respect ourselves, our power, and others. The sailor respects the sea, because it has the capacity to overwhelm their boat with barely a moment’s notice. Storms pop up out of nowhere, and it’s the same in life. We have to respect our life. That’s how we gain the knowledge we need to weather the storms that are thrown our way. So the next time you sing the song, remember, it’s truth. We all deserve respect, so we need to take the time to truly respect ourselves.

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