I’m often amazed at people who feel they are more important than others. Those who believe that their wealth, status, or whatever circumstance they create in their mind, entitles them to special treatment or reverence that others do not receive. These people tend to treat others in a subservient manner.
When we look back at all the people who have lived before us and all that will live after, it’s easy to see that we are nothing more than a dot on the line of humanity, and that each one of us is a part of the line, no greater than another, and reliant on each other. No matter who you are or what you’ve achieved, you are a part of the line, connected to other human beings.
If you believed you could achieve anything, what would you do? Would you be living the same life?
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with former pro-wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, who didn’t get to the top of his game until he was at an age when most are getting ready to retire.
Despite physical injuries early in his career that forced him to take time off from wrestling, Dallas later returned to the profession and against all odds, became a champion! There were a million reasons why he should have given up, but he didn’t accept any of them.
Dallas believes that there is no place for excuses when you want to achieve a goal, and that when you truly believe you can accomplish it, there is no stopping success!
The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time when people gather to celebrate with those we love. As the song states, it can be the most wonderful time of the year, but, it also can be the loneliest. If you have lost a loved one or suffered a breakup with a spouse/significant other or friend, the holiday season is a constant reminder of the pain.
I know that pain all too well. It wasn’t that long ago that I spent most of my time grieving the loss of my mother, sister and marriage (all within a period of six months). During the holidays (and to be honest most any other day), I would scroll through social media posts, watch TV shows and commercials, and long for the fun and love shared by friends and family. Everyone appeared to be living Hallmark moments, except me.
Grief at any time of the year is painful, but it feels especially traumatic during the holidays.
I recently had a conversation with grief expert, David Kessler, in which we spoke about the stages of grief and how the feelings that accompany a loss can be heightened during the holiday season. While it’s natural to try to suppress the painful memories, according to David, “Healing doesn’t mean forgetting, it means remembering with more love than pain.” And, he says, that happens with time.
To better understand what you may be feeling, David explained the stages of grief, which were created and adapted by he and Elizabeth Kubler Ross. David cautioned that these stages do not necessarily occur in order and they may repeat.
February is the month of the heart, the time when we celebrate love. We buy chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and greeting cards to profess our undying love to that special someone. But, in all the hoopla of the season, perhaps we forget to honor the affection provided by the people that sustain us and enable us to thrive – our friends.
We hear so much about marriages, committed relationships, and romantic breakups, but I believe we neglect to truly understand the dynamics of what may be the most important relationships in our life – friendships.
As another new year begins, I have spent hours pondering what I want my first message to be, as it sets the tone for the year ahead. As I reflected on 2017, and all the wonderful things that have happened to me, I realized that the message is simple: Even in the darkest moments of your life, there is strength within you (that you don’t even know exists) and, if you don’t give up and succumb to the negative feelings, you will realize that there is hope and that better times lie ahead.
For someone who is going through an extremely traumatic period in life, you may not believe what I am preaching because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or because you believe that your life is over.
While the life that you knew may be over, or to be more correct, changed, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me … I know.
This time of year, from Thanksgiving through the New Year celebration, is a season that provides for us the opportunity to stop our busy lives for a moment and give thanks for our many gifts and blessings; it’s a time of birth and renewal. No matter what your religion or belief structure, it’s a time when we can come together and celebrate new beginnings.
Often, however, we get so caught up in the festivities that we forget the true meaning of the season; we are so involved in getting everything done, that we miss the message. We may be more cognizant of this fact during the holiday season, but in reality many of us miss the message every day, all year long. We spend so much time worrying about ourselves, fulfilling expectations, and striving to get ahead, that we forget that we are here to love others unselfishly and to help those less fortunate.
The recent massacre in Las Vegas has been challenging to say the least. Many lives were devastated by this unfathomable act. This wasn’t the first of this type of violence, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. It’s impossible to be human and not feel the suffering and pain experienced by so many victims.
In the wake of such destruction, we search for meaning and things that we can cling to that will help us make sense of what has occurred. We look for ways to avoid repeated attacks and we ask ourselves what we can do to help.
It feels surreal – life has been turned upside down.
Recently, I was in a round table discussion in which we talked about interpersonal relationships. A repeating theme of the conversation was that people felt like they were replaceable, that there was no value given to them and/or a relationship by a friend, partner, family member, or employer.
Hearing so many people express the same feeling made me start to wonder if we have become a society of disposables. It reminded me of an expression my mother used to say: “Out with the old and in with the new.”
It seems like just about every aspect of our life today is disposable. We throw away televisions, computers, clothing, phones, food, furniture, and so much more.
By contrast, when I was growing up, we fixed everything. There was a neighborhood television repairman. We ate leftovers for dinner. We took our shoes to the local shoemaker for new heels. Baby diapers were cloth and appliances were kept until they could no longer be repaired. We drove the same car until it died on the road. And most marriages lasted “until death do us part.”
When I was a young girl, like many other girls, I dreamed about what my life would be like. College … career … marriage … children … a house … a dog … and a big, loving family surrounding me. That was my dream. While some of it came true, many of my expectations were shattered, and my life didn’t live up to the fairy tale I had imagined.
For a while, that revelation had beaten me down. I looked at others with envy, believing that they were living the perfect existence, and I longed for everything I thought I was missing. And, when those things didn’t materialize, I was lost.
Many of us look to external objects – things we collect and acquire – and outside circumstances to make us feel fulfilled. We assume that those with more material possessions, bigger houses, nicer cars, larger families, etc., have more to be grateful for.
“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” I recently stumbled upon this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. Marjorie’s words got me to thinking about my life and how I have rushed most of it away, not being fully present or savoring the joy of any moment.