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Connections

14 Sep

There are billions of people on the earth. We will never meet them all but we are connected to them in many ways. We influence each other constantly as we navigate our lives. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we change every situation we’re in just because we’re there. We have more influence on those around us than we may realize. If we’re happy and feel good, our positive energy will show and those who see it will be drawn to us. We have the power to lift others by our example and can be a great influence for good. Conversely, if we’re struggling we may push others away. The impact we make is up to us. Our connections to those around us may be invisible but will always be present. We can be mindful of our influence and remember how important we are in everything we do. We can share ourselves in ways that are comfortable and allow others to share with us in return. When we keep our connections strong we feel more confident and supported. We’re all in this together and that bond can be the glue that takes us from trial to success. We have millions of brothers and sisters around us who can help us through difficult trials and rejoice with us when things go well.

We all process trouble differently. Some people like to talk things out with others, some people bury themselves in activity as a way to get through, and some of us just want to be left alone. Being alone can give us the space we need to clear our heads and find the answers we seek. It can be helpful for a time but being locked away will also keep the influence of others away. Everyone has different experiences and someone near us may know things about our situation that are helpful. We can reach out to those we trust and allow them to share their advice with us. A different perspective may open new options we hadn’t considered and those options may help us find our way forward more easily.

There is a grove of over 40,000 aspen trees growing in a forest that are not individual organisms but in essence all one tree. They share the same network of roots and each tree is a clone of the one next to it. In some ways, we are like that grove of trees. Although we are all individuals, as people we share a common ancestry and even though our desires are different our needs are the same. We can lean on each other in times of discomfort and enjoy each other’s company when things go well. Remembering and strengthening our connections to those around us will bring us comfort and confidence, and help us find new ways forward to success.

Today if you’ve set yourself apart and are facing a problem alone, remember the help available from those around you. Reach out for answers and let others in. We’re all cheering for your success. You’re a valuable member of the team and we’re glad you’re here. You deserve the very best of everything. Strengthen your connections to those around you and let them help you make your dreams come true.

 

Who’s your friend?

1 Jul

We meet a lot of people in our lives, we make friends, we have acquaintances, and we build relationships. It’s important to share our lives with those around us, and we enjoy the camaraderie that comes from sharing time with our companions. It’s great to have friends. But sometimes we think we have a friend in someone, and then something happens, and we realize the relationship is different than we thought. Sometimes we think we are building a friendship with someone we believe we can trust, and then sadly discover they were only interacting with us for another reason. Perhaps because we were able to introduce them to others who will move them ahead at work. Or maybe they only needed to interact with us to gain some information they were seeking. These things happen, and when they happen to us, we can feel hurt, and used. It’s never appropriate to use others for personal gain, and it’s especially hurtful when it’s done pretending to be our friends, but it does happen, and it’s very disappointing. It’s important to try to figure who our friends really are so we know where we stand.

We want to feel sure about our relationships. Who are the people who spend time with us just because they care about us? Who can we can count on if we need help? Who will care if we are hurt? I had a friend once who told me he was traveling across country one time when his car broke down. He had it towed to the nearest town but couldn’t afford the repairs, and was stranded. Desperate, he called his best friend back home, and told him the story. Without a moment’s hesitation, his friend told him, “Stay right there. I’m on my way.” And with that he jumped in his car, and drove hours to help him. I knew a woman once who was housesitting for a friend when she had a grease fire in her kitchen. The cabinets above the stove were destroyed from smoke damage. She loved her friend and didn’t want her coming home to the mess, or having to make a claim on her homeowner’s insurance. So she spent the next several days refinishing the cabinets herself, and restoring them. Someone else I know sat with her best friend through cancer treatments that went on for months, and then spent every evening with her, sitting by her bed until she recovered, just offering her time and support. We’ve all had people like this in our lives, and they have been very valuable to us. We’ve also had people in our lives who pretend to be our friends, but really don’t care. It doesn’t take long to figure out who our friends are when things go wrong, and it’s important to know. It’s also important that we are true friends to those we care about. Everyone needs people they can count on. Someone who has our back, someone who supports us no matter what, and someone who loves us, warts and all. That kind of loyalty is a priceless gift. We should cherish it, and we should return it whenever possible.

Today there will be all kinds of people around you. Think about them. Who are your real friends? Once you determine who they are, cherish them, help them, and show them you care. They will return the same back to you, and your life will be so much better for it. We’re all in this together. Don’t forget that. We need each other. Being a true friend is the very best we can offer. Extend your hand, be the best friend you can be. There is nothing more valuable.

Backing Up

27 Jun

Within our wide circle of acquaintances, friends, family, significant others, co-workers, and others we meet all kinds of people, and personalities. Some are easier for us to relate to than others, but each brings different types of behaviors to interact with. Sometimes we have interactions with people who struggle with various issues. Perhaps they have an anger problem, maybe they are shy, there may be substance abuse issues, or aggressive tendencies. Whatever we run into, when we are with them, we find ways to navigate whatever they’re going through. Because we care for one another, if someone has a particular problem that complicates things, we might feel we can help. It seems like the right thing to do to try to help.

Helping others is always noble. It’s generally a good decision, but some problems cannot be helped by others. We may find ourselves constantly working with someone over an issue, giving advice, trying hard to show them ways to work things out, but nothing changes. When they complain about the situation, we may offer suggestions, or try directing them to sources that may help. Because of our concern, over time we may find that we feel some ownership for their problem. We may get too involved in it, and try again, and again to make them see what we think will work.

True change never happens because someone tells us we need to change. It only happens when we decide we want to change. Nobody can do it for us, and the best advice in the world will go unheeded if we are not ready to receive it. When we are trying to help someone else, we must remember that. We cannot change anyone but ourselves. Despite our best intentions, we cannot make anyone see the light, and turn their lives. Even if the answer is plainly obvious to us, we cannot make anyone else see it. It has to come from them. The best thing we can do is to let them do it their way. If they come to us for advice, we may offer it, and then we need to let it go. Since it’s not our issue, we can’t solve it. We can be supportive, we can be caring and kind, but we cannot make anyone change anything in their lives. When they are ready, they will do it themselves.

Today if there is someone close to you that you’ve been trying so hard to help with an issue, remember all you can do is offer your support, your best advice, and your care. The problem is theirs to solve. You cannot fix it for them. They must work things out themselves. Be there for them. Be a true friend. When they reach for you, offer your hand, but let them make their own choices. You are valiant, and kind, to want to help. Continue to be there, but remember the problem is theirs to solve. They know you’re there. And being there for them is the best you can do.