Archive | People RSS feed for this section

Where Are You?

18 Apr

In this day and age of technological advancements, it seems there are screens everywhere. We have our iphones, ipads, laptops, and every other conceivable device to keep us “connected,” whatever that means. It’s fine to use whatever tools we need when we have things to do but if we become so dependent on our devices that we can’t set them down, we may create problems for ourselves. If we’re constantly staring at a screen, it will be impossible to be completely effective in our personal lives. And if we let them interfere with our personal relationships, we may create uncomfortable complications we could avoid. If we’re having lunch with a friend or family member and continually watch our phones, or continue to text others, we may alienate and offend those we’re with. It’s impossible to be in two places at the same time. What is possible is to physically be in one place and mentally be in another, and the place in our head will actually be where we are. We can’t have meaningful connections with people we ignore, or engage in conversations in person at the same time as we’re engaging in the virtual world. We must decide what’s most important and where we really want to be. If we only engage in virtual connections, our in-person skills will suffer. It’s demeaning and disrespectful to expect others to wait around while we talk to someone else on-line. We decide where we want to be every moment of every day. Our personal connections are important. We’ll find great happiness and satisfaction when we value them enough to give them the attention they need and the time they deserve. Nothing is more valuable than our interpersonal relationships. We can control our choices to ensure we show how much they mean to us by caring for them and honoring them.

We’re often busy and when there’s a lot going on and someone wants to see us, we may ask them to wait a moment until we can give them the time they need. Most people are patient and will wait, but if we continually push them off because we’re distracted with one thing after another, they may give up and decide to move on. The valuable information and beneficial guidance they may have offered us will be lost if we’re unable to effectively govern how we spend our time.

Life rushes by in a flash. Every single day is a blessing and by focusing on where we are in each moment, we’ll get the most out of them. Being where we are instead of mentally checking out to someplace else will enrich our lives in deep and profound ways. Nothing is more important than this moment. We can take control of our lives and choose to live here and now, and find great satisfaction and happiness.

Today if you’ve been distracted by all the screens and technology around you, remember you only have this one day. Yesterday is gone and there are no guarantees for tomorrow. You are an incredible gift to the world. Share your life in-person with those around you and live fully in this moment, and every happiness and success will be yours.

Giving In

27 Oct

Most of us like to be helpful. We try to be available when others need us or we offer assistance when we see someone struggling. We want to be there for our friends and family and be supportive. But there may be some who take advantage of us and create situations where we feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s because they lack personal boundaries and there are no limits to what they will ask. If they lie to us to get to their objective, we may get tangled up in situations that are difficult and confusing. If they are close friends, family, or loved ones, and this becomes a pattern we may get hurt. If we believe in promises that never become reality and continue to trust them to follow through despite what we’ve experienced, we may find ourselves unsettled and miserable when we deal with them. It can be hard to say no to someone close to us even if we know we may get hurt. There is an old saying that “Hope springs eternal,” and in our personal relationships that is often true. Even if someone has disappointed us many times we may hope the next time will be different. We may trust them to change even if there is no evidence a change is coming.

We are entitled to be happy. We deserve the best life we can create for ourselves. We can understand and clearly define our personal boundaries and when someone steps over them, we can back up. Being in control of our lives and decisions is our responsibility. If someone close to us continually abuses our trust, manipulates us to get what they want, or doesn’t follow through on their promises, we may step back and disengage from them. We don’t have to end our relationship but we can define what we will not do and hold fast to our decision. It’s impossible to change anyone but ourselves. We can’t make others follow through, and we can’t make them honest. But we can control what we do at every turn. If we are asked to do something that makes us uncomfortable we can say no.  If we are promised something we are sure will not happen, we can refuse to believe it. We can stay in our relationships and still honor our boundaries so we are happy.

Some people define love as doing everything others want. They try to make everyone happy and are uncomfortable expressing anything different from those around them. But we are all unique and it’s impossible to make everyone else happy. The world is a big place and there isn’t anyone else exactly like us. We don’t always have to agree or act a certain way to be loved. We deserve love just because we’re here. We can define what works for us and we can say no when we need to. If we are clear about our decisions those around us will know our true selves and respect us for our honesty. We never have to go along or give in if we don’t want to. We can be kind and patient, loving and supportive, and still say no.

Today if you’ve been going along in a situation that is making you uncomfortable, you may say no. You offer so much to the world and we are all blessed because you’re here. You can do what is best for you. You’re in control of your life and you can choose how you live it. Make your best decisions today and happiness will follow.

The Straw

8 Mar

Most of us are pretty resilient. We can endure challenges as they come along and find our way through. We figure out how to go forward when things get hard, and we know what we want to do. Sometimes we get into situations where those around us make us feel uncomfortable. Maybe someone continually insults us or criticizes us, or someone close to us lets us down again and again. We can put up with those things for a time, but eventually we will get to a breaking point. We finally get to that straw, the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. We all have limits, and limits by their very definition have end points. We can endure something for a time, look the other way, and take it, but at some point we will have had enough. When that happens we have to change the situation. Sometimes because we’ve let bad feelings or resentment fester, when we get to the point of no return we may lash out and say things we regret later and make the situation worse. If we can be proactive and change things before that happens we’ll be more successful in changing things. We are all entitled to speak up and state what we don’t want. If we wait, endure in silence, and get pushed too far, we may find ourselves acting in ways that don’t reflect the standards we want to keep.

Some people are rude. Some people are mean, and some people don’t care if they hurt others. We all get to choose what kind of person we want to be and for some those choices are hurtful or demeaning. We’ve all known, or had to interact with, someone who was unkind or abrasive. Every situation is different and if our dealings with them are limited we may choose to endure it and say nothing. But if we must interact with them over a period of time and each time we’re uncomfortable, we can speak up. We don’t have to be rude or unkind. We can patiently and clearly say what is offensive to us and ask them to stop doing it. That may be uncomfortable at first, but often once we’ve stated our feelings, the other person will change their behavior when they are with us. Even if they don’t change, we will have more confidence going forward because we’ve expressed our needs and know they are aware of the situation.

If we wait until the last straw when we can’t stand one more moment of the situation, we may give up our ability to control how we handle it. It’s harder to control our behavior when we’re furious or angry than it is when we’re calm and in control. If we say something the first time we’re offended, we have a better chance of being in control of the situation instead of allowing it to be in control of us. We are entitled to feel comfortable in our dealings with others and we deserve to be treated with respect. If that’s not happening we can politely express our dissatisfaction the first time we feel it. If we clearly state our boundaries and say how we feel we may turn a turbulent relationship around. If we say nothing, our only option is to suffer in silence, which gets us nowhere.

Today if you’ve been insulted or hurt by something someone did or said, talk to them. Tell them how you feel. Just speaking up will empower you. You deserve only the best of everything. When you speak up you have the best chance of getting that. You have so much to offer. Ask for the respect you deserve. You’ll feel better and your confidence will rise.

Connections

17 Feb

We all love our electronic devices when they’re working as designed to. But sometimes they have problems and often the problem has to do with a connection of some sort. Maybe there is intermittent access at our location or we can’t get a signal to latch onto. If the connections for our devices are poor, they will not work well for us. The same can be true of our lives. We work best when we have good connections. If we have others around us willing to help us, support us, and befriend us, life is inherently easier. There are lots of people around us every day but we don’t connect to everyone in the same way. We build relationships with some, and are passing acquaintances with others. But every connection we make can be beneficial in some way. It’s nice to have friends to rely on, people who care about us and support us in our endeavors. But how do we build good, strong connections? How can we make sure our network is working when we need it?

We’re all unique in many ways but we’re all drawn to those we feel we can trust, and who extend themselves to us. We’re attracted to those who are warm and inviting, who seem genuinely interested in us, and who always seem willing to listen. Even when we meet someone new, if they are open and engaging, they will pull us in. It’s in our nature as human beings to want to connect with others. When we are near those who welcome us, listen to us, and are supportive and kind, we feel a connection. It’s a natural response to positive behavior. We all feel it and unless we’re determined not to get close to anyone, it’s almost impossible to resist. We want to feel connected, we want to feel part of the group, and we want to be accepted. When we’re around others that make us feel that way, we naturally draw close to them and want to build a relationship with them.

This life can be complicated and sometimes things go wrong. When they do we may feel angry or upset and need solitude to work things out. During times like those we may not care about building connections or even welcoming anyone into our lives. But eventually we may want to reconnect with those around us for advice and support. If we have a network of friends and associates who know us, who care about us, and who want only what’s best for us, we can turn to them for help and counsel. But we can’t have that network if we don’t let people in. We can’t expect to have people close to us if we’ve kept them away and resisted building relationships with them. It doesn’t take a lot of time to make connections with others, but it does take effort. Just like we’re drawn to those who are kind and welcoming, we’ll pull others close by being the same way. We have to be willing to open our lives a little, let people near us and be as supportive to them and we want them to be to us. We’re all in this together. We can either take this walk alone and face our dragons all by ourselves, or bring others along with us and share our struggles together. Two is always stronger than one. And as we navigate our days, any extra strength we can expand is well worth our effort.

Today if you’ve been keeping yourself apart and trying to do everything alone, reach out. There are lots of people around you who want to share your life. Let them in. Love them and support them, and be there when they need you. The time will come when they will return the favor back to you and their connections to you will be priceless. Reach out and make a friend. You have so much to give. Share it and the blessing will return to you ten times over.

Number One

24 Oct

We live in a world with billions of people and there are more and more of us each day. Unless we live somewhere in the wilderness or someplace so remote that we are the only one inhabiting it, we will see others around us all the time. They pass us on the street, in our cars, in the store, and everywhere we go. Having compassion for them, helping them, and acknowledging them makes the world a better place. But some of us have the idea that we need only look out for number one – ourselves. They make sure all their needs and wants are met before they are willing to extend themselves, and when they do, there must be something in it for them. There are benefits to looking out for number one, and we certainly are responsible for taking care of ourselves. However, if we become the primary focus in our lives all the time, and if we have to benefit every time we do something, we might forget how important our connections are to those around us.

Most of us have a lot to take care of each day. We have our personal needs, our jobs, our schools, our families, and a dozen other things that require our attention. If we wanted to we could make sure not to commit to anything unless there is some bonus for us. We could ignore the phone when it rings because we don’t want to be bothered, pretend not to hear when others call our name because we don’t want to interrupt what we’re doing, and just focus on ourselves. If we do this routinely, we will be effective in making our lives the most important part of our days, but we will probably alienate everyone else who is close to us. There is nothing wrong with doing things we enjoy or making our choices a priority, and we should do everything important to us. But there needs to be a balance. We can do those things and still extend ourselves to those around us, and participate in the group.

Belonging to a community, interacting with others, extending our hands in friendship, and helping out, bring us great satisfaction and contentment. We learn about others, we exchange new ideas with them, and our lives are enriched because of the experiences we share. If we isolate ourselves from them, determined to just look out for number one, and see only what’s important to us, we miss the valuable experience of connecting. Feeling connected is important. It gives us a sense of foundation, a base, and makes us feel stronger, and safer. When we take the time to share ourselves, we develop relationships that brings us happiness, and we build a network of people who care about us. Others we can depend on, people who will help us when we need it, and buoy us up when we feel down. It’s a wonderful blessing to have the care of others, and we get that care when we extend it ourselves. It’s true that no man is an island. We’re all in this together. Remembering that will help us stay connected and find our place.

Today if you’ve been focusing on yourself and getting what you want, don’t forget those around you. They need your influence and welcome your attention. Extend yourself to them, care for them, and let them care for you. You have a lot to share, and they want to share in return. Be connected and reach out. The rewards will be great, and you’ll be happier.

Have Some of Mine

3 Oct

Everyone has different gifts, talents, and skills. We all learn different things as we grow, and some of us are born with special talents. Sometimes we get the opportunity to share those benefits with others. Perhaps we share them by participating in a group project, or maybe by teaching someone something they’re interested in. There are limitless opportunities for sharing if we keep ourselves open. But some people don’t want to share what they have. They want to have proprietary ownership over what they know. In the job force some consider this job security. They believe if nobody else knows what they know or can do what they can they will always have a job. That may be true, but if we don’t share what we have, we don’t have the opportunity to feel connected to those around us. Sharing our personal lives allows us to enhance and build our relationships, and when we give we never lose anything. Like the flame on a candle, we can share our light with an infinite number of people, and still have all we need. We’re just making our experiences wider in scope and building a more expansive field to relate to.

If we keep all our gifts to ourselves, and are stingy with them, we end up isolating ourselves from others. If there are no points of commonality between us and those around us, we end up standing alone. We can hold all our cards close to our chests but that will just prevent others from getting close. Some people prefer their lives that way. They don’t want close relationships and they don’t want to interact with others any more than they must. We all have a different level of comfort in dealing with others, but if we want to feel like we belong, if we want friendships and strong relationships, we have to let others get close to us. We can’t get close by standing back. Sharing with others who we are, and what we know helps open doors. And open doors invite others in, and make us approachable.

If someone near us has a skill or gift we’d like to learn, we may ask them to share it with us. Most people are happy to do that, and as we learn about their particular advantage, we also learn more about them. As they teach us, they learn more about us. We create stronger personal bonds, and become closer in our relationship with them. If they were just acquaintances, the experience may make them friends. If they were friends already, it may create a deeper friendship. We interact with people every day. Bringing them into our lives, and getting closer to their lives will be a blessing to us. When we have a large network of others around us who understand us, and who we can trust, our lives are more comfortable, and we are happier.

Today think about sharing your skills and gifts with those around you. Bring them into your life by opening up and showing them who you really are. You’ll get closer to them, and get to know them more completely. They’ll appreciate your willingness to share and learn to trust you. Build a strong network around you by opening yourself up and letting others in. Your life will be richer, and you’ll feel happier with the friendships you’ll build.

Belonging

21 Sep

There is an elderly couple in my neighborhood that walk together every day.  When they go out they both wear gloves and carry plastic grocery sacks with them.  As they walk along, they pick up any litter they see.  The neighborhood is in good repair and most people take care of their property but there is still some litter blown around and they take it upon themselves each day to pick it up.  They are part of our community and this is their way of helping out.  Community is something most of us appreciate but seems to be getting lost in this day of technical overload.  It’s the feeling that we belong to a group where we know one another, and look out for one another.  More and more it seems people are forgetting to converse with their neighbors, get to know those around them, and build a sense of community.  A lot of us are stuck on our smartphones or computers and neglect personal interaction.  But personal interaction is important.  We all want to feel like we belong, and the only way that can happen is if we look up, and speak up.

There is great worth in getting to know those who live and work around us.  If we take the time to build relationships with them, they become our friends and are no longer strangers.  Then if something happens that affects us, we can support one another, help one another, and be there when needed.  Working together toward a common goal can help build those relationships.  If we get involved and extend ourselves to help out with regional and area projects, we’ll have the opportunity to meet others who are joining in.  The more people we meet around us, the more we build relationships, and the more sense of belonging we’ll feel.

There is a saying that no man is an island.  It’s true.  None of us is alone throughout our entire existence.  People come and go around us, and if we take the time to interact with them, say hello, and get to know them, we will feel more connected.  When we feel more connected our sense of belonging increases.  Of course, if want to we can certainly keep to ourselves, look down when we pass others, look away when someone looks at us, and keep our focus just on our own lives.  But if we do that we miss the great opportunity to share who we are with those around us.  We all have personal gifts, and special behavior traits unique to each of us.  Those gifts and traits can embellish the lives of those around us.  Even on our worst day, if someone smiles and says hello, we are lifted.  And we can offer the same to others.  We’re all in this together.  It’s a great blessing to share ourselves and allow others into our lives.

Today if you’ve been focusing on yourself and your life, try to remember those around you.  You have a lot to offer, and your smile and simple “hello” may lift someone else’s day, and open the door to a new relationship.  Take the time to get to know those you see regularly, and extend yourself to build those relationships.  It’s better to be surrounded by friends than strangers.  You have the power to make that happen.  Share yourself with those around you.  You have a lot to offer and they’ll be happy to know you.  Make it point to belong and include others in your life.