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Tag Archives: New Year

calvin and hobbes_become a people person

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Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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broken-fortune-landscape

There is a desire to commune with the Universe and accept its messages in any way that we can understand. So, with great intent, and hopefully a fortuitous choice of words, I opened a fortune cookie yesterday to see what the future portends.

Instead, my thought was written by someone who probably had a tough year:

Courage Comes Through Suffering

Very inspiring, and optimistic, indeed! It was not the message I was hoping to hear in a positive frame of mind.

empathy quote maya angelou

I continued to replay those words over, and through, my brain on an internal loop (as I am wont to do).  I thought about the people whom I have had the pleasure to meet through WordPress and those who have come to me for charity and a listening heart. They have struggled, battled and continued to face challenges. One thing that they all have in common is honesty. Their struggles have made them vulnerable and brave enough to share their stories.

I have noticed that empathetic people who have gone through personal battles want to make sure that it matters. Going through a painful experience alone is hard enough, but if you are a thoughtful and introspective person, you hope that you can spare the next person from the harshness of reality, or at least be a comfort to those who recognize your experience.

life lessons force yourself elizabeth taylor

We cannot always appreciate the suffering or depth of someone else’s pain, but we are reminded by those who encourage awareness and charity to help others. Organizations like Wounded Warriors, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), American Cancer Society, ALSA, Habitat for Humanity, orphanages, rehabilitation centers, AA, and many other incredible groups around the world work under the principal that accountability, community, and helping others makes you a better and stronger individual. Who better to understand childrens’ charities than one who has had childhood leukemia or a cancerous tumor? Who better to understand the challenges of soldiers returning home from war than their families and caretakers who face their own battles at home every day?

Do these people gain courage? For many, that unique experiential connection and awareness comes at a price; no one would want to voluntarily suffer the illnesses and tragic circumstances that they do. Many do not feel courageous. Rather, they feel fear, anxiety and worry over diagnoses and money to pay for medication and care. Each individual, no matter how “damaged” by life and trapped in their personal struggles, wants dignity. Inside that very frightened man or woman is someone screaming for freedom and recognition as more than just a “disease” or a “victim.” Removing your ego, and seeing someone else without judgment, changes the view.

People feel great pain within dysfunctional families. Shelters don’t have enough space or the necessary funds for the too many victims of domestic abuse or the homeless. Bullying and threats don’t stop in childhood. But, each wants respect, support, and appreciation for the strength they have exhibited to continue to survive. Apathy and ignorance can imprint the “labels” deeper and further stigmatize. Pity does not heal, kindness and empathy does. Once you can place yourself in someone else’s experience, or recall and share your own, you help to make the burden a little lighter.

I may not know what it is like to be you, but I am willing to listen.

warrior quote_sittingbull

For those of you who are scared to move forward this year, take a deep breath, and keep going by putting one foot in front of the other.

Wanting to leave auld acquaintances and difficult experiences behind is understandable. But, we learn so much more, and hopefully carry and pay it forward, when we remember, represent, and stand up to help others in need.

Wishing you fortitude, compassion, peace, kindness, and empathy in the coming year!

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit. It means more than you know.
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autumn dusk_empathy queen
blue moon
driftwood-on-lake

There is no such thing as perfection. Even in nature, it is not only the greenest of trees, or sunniest of days, that appeal to us. Our spirits find comfort in darkened skies, barren landscapes, frosty moons, and cloudy sunsets. It becomes perfection, in a fleeting moment, as it satisfies our individual moods and reflects our changing perspectives.

Perfection is a changeable factor. We want everything to be so pretty, colorful, bright, and perhaps well matched. To others, it is the crazy quilt combination and rough-hewn irregularity that expresses perfection. We can never create perfection for someone else because as hard as we try, it is our bias that we are using. As long as someone else has the right to approve or disapprove, to hold dear or discard, to treasure or to turn away, we will never feel perfected or completely embraced in it.

There is no such thing as perfection, unless we will it to be so, in how we view it within ourselves and consider it among the gifts of our heart or mind.

Every effort to do the right thing is a blessing. But the recipient does not always know that it is a gift, they may not even know who the giver is. We attempt to please someone else with what they can see and receive from us. But, sometimes, just giving what the other person needs is the most “perfect” thing, even that which does not seem so to us.

We can love in the best possible way we know how and others will discard it. We can try to say the most perfect words and someone else will choose not to hear it. The illusion of perfection is that the effort to attain it wears you down. Perfection should feel good, peaceful, and a spark of bliss. It is elusive; perfection is confined to a moment in time that you believe to be so. However, it is constantly changing, tipping forward or backward in our personal view of good and bad.

To those who can share such a moment with someone else, you have been gifted a tremendous blessing. However, not all of us who cannot, are “less than.” We are each seeking our moments of joy, insight, understanding, value, appreciation, empathy, compassion, and enduring good. We make the best decisions that we can at the time. In trying to bring about positive change, we seek to create perfection in a place or manner that apathy never can.

Perfection is a desire; striving to improve is a positive thing. Regret, and pain, because we have not achieved such a state, tears down and weakens. If it saps your strength, if the energy is felt and seen around you, as it is in empathetic people, and it hurts you, then it is not perfection.

Perfection is Divine; it is G-d given and not man made. We do not know what is perfect, or right, when things occur in our lives. We pray that it is for our best, but we question that as well. There is beauty in darkness, and sadness in clarity. Highly sensitive people are aware of their feelings and those of others. The noise, the temperature, the smells, and the sensory overload can be too much. Perfection may be the quiet moment in the morning, with the first sip of a wonderful cup of coffee, enjoyed alone. Quiet may be your version of perfection rather than a star-studded gala affair.

Do not regret not being a part of all that the media shows us to be the “perfect” holiday season or necessary start to the New Year. Greet new beginnings at your own pace. There is not only one day out of the year that carries the magic of the spirit. That day, that time, that minute, can be whenever it seems perfectly appropriate to you and it is not subject to anyone else’s approval but yours.

Releasing the need for someone else’s company or approval may be the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. So, even in pain, there is good if we consider it to be so. Even if it only lasts a minute, if our focus on our difficulties and disappointments only lasts as long as a sigh… We have glimpsed peace and the next moment is ours to determine how to move forward, or stand, until we are ready to move again.

Not what you expected? Not all glittery and exciting like the flash of a New Year’s Celebration? Everyone says have a happy new year. With that gracious wish is the unspoken flip side. Have a better year than the last. Things were OK, but given the chance, you might want to reach for more.

Based on the emails filling my inbox today, I should be losing weight, juicing fresh fruits and vegetables, taking vitamins, beginning graduate school, and buying fitness equipment. All of those things may be true and helpful, but it also implies that I have not reached my potential and should strive higher.

To me, that means I am being encouraged to be something I am assumed not. While it may not always come in the face to face mode, electronically it has been sent out millions of times. In bringing in a New Year, we must bid goodbye to the old one. The Yin and Yang of each New Year causes us to review the good and the bad, the black and the white, the highs and the lows, those who have passed and those who have been born. Somewhere between the extremes at each end, are billions of us who are hoping to achieve ~~~ and pray that there is more to life than this!

We do want to believe things can get better. Our human hearts, minds and emotions are subject to some denial. Obviously, the dropping of the Ball in Times Square and the fireworks around the world did not magically change everything overnight. We may have felt better with optimism, and enthusiasm, fueled with a few champagne cocktails.

Tomorrow it is back to the grindstone and the nagging questions and worries I had yesterday at 11:59 p.m.

We want that new start, the clean slate, the conviction that anything and everything is possible and headed our way. We want all that confetti to usher in something fabulous, exciting and life altering.

The hard part is recognizing it when it comes since it may occur in a plain brown wrapper on an ordinary day.  It may come in the simple guise of someone giving us something to think about and encouraging us to keep going because the next miracle is unseen and right around the corner.

So I offer a small token of encouragement and wish you a steady supply of more in the coming year.

Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.
– William Arthur

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Have a Happy, Kind, Compassionate, Caring & Thoughtful New Year! Thank you for stopping by! It means more than you know.

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