I probably won’t have the answer.
(Questions sometimes don’t have answers.)
I probably won’t fully understand, either.
And, no, I won’t know exactly how you feel.
What I can give you?
My full attention.
My open ears.
My open arms.
My open heart.
My infinite patience.
My silence if that’s what is needed.
I will never minimize the burden you carry.
I just won’t let you carry it alone.
Photo by Brent Ninaber on Unsplash
What if John and Paul were right?
What if all we need is love?
I’ve often dismissed the premise as being overly simplistic. Life can be extremely challenging sometimes. But I’m starting to think they were on to something.
When I look at the world, where wouldn’t love make a difference? Imagine any crisis or strife anywhere in the world. Wouldn’t love make so many of these situations dramatically better, perhaps even eliminate them completely? Isn’t the absence of love the root cause of most of these situations to begin with?
Look at the relationships in your life. Wouldn’t unconditional love make them better and stronger? Wouldn’t unconditional love allow us to accept others as they are and others to accept us as we are? Wouldn’t others also feel a greater sense of peace from feeling a greater sense of love?
Look at your relationship with yourself. What would your life look and feel like if you lovingly allowed yourself the space to be you, without judgement or condition? Isn’t it the absence of love which prevents us from being patient, forgiving, and supportive of ourselves?
Where wouldn’t more love make a difference?
Often our well-intentioned search to find answers to life’s deepest questions can take us down a long and winding road. Our problems are big and therefore demand big solutions.
Or do they?
Maybe it’s not as complicated as we can sometimes make it out to be.
Maybe all we really need is love?
It’s a great day to be you!
“Love begins wherever we can truly do something for each other.” – Gabriele Brüggemann
For something as important as love, for the most part you’re pretty much forced to figure it out on your own. The younger version of me learned about love by seeing it in action. Or, more accurately, by not seeing it in action. The examples of love I saw were for the most part silent, even secretive. Love, once initially established, tended to fall into the Understood category. You know I love you, so there isn’t really a need for me to remind you that I do. People in my world simply didn’t go around expressing their love for each other. It just wasn’t something that was done. Emotions, especially those of the loving kind, were best kept to yourself.
Especially for us males.
Maybe this describes your experience as well?
This older version of me has grown enough to grasp the idea that love can be a powerful life-changing force, an energy which can change things, including energy itself. And that energy changes people in a way only love can change them.
Love, the powerful version of love, is deep. Unconditional. Unlimited. But for love to be the force of change it can be, love needs to be proactively expressed. Consistently. Knowing someone loves you will only get you so far. But when you are proactively and consistently reminded someone loves you and has you and believes in you – especially for no specific reason other than that they do – that’s when love is at it’s most powerful, life-changing best. Continue reading “The One Secret To Never Keep Secret”
The local shops were packed. An important holiday shopping day, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was rebranded as Small Business Saturday a few years back. The goal was to encourage people to do some of their holiday shopping at the small, family-owned businesses in their communities. And on this day, business was quite good.
Supporting locally-owned businesses has a huge impact on the local economy. It provides jobs and incomes for many families, and much of that income stays within the local community, which perpetuates even more economic activity.
Shopping local makes a big impact in a community.
It works the same way with love.
Draw a one mile radius around where you are. How much love can you give locally this holiday season? How much impact can you make on the lives of others right around you?
There are opportunities everywhere.
Maybe it’s checking in on someone who is alone this season…just to remind them that they aren’t really alone. Maybe it’s cooking a meal for a family going through a rough stretch right now. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Or donating a toy to a child who may go without one unless you do. Maybe it’s just being kind and patient during what can be a very stressful time of year for some. Maybe it’s holding a door for someone. Or maybe it’s just offering a smile.
We can give away a smile, can’t we?
Love is the one gift which is always needed, always the right size, and the giver is always happy when it gets returned. There is no greater gift than love, and there is no limit on how much love we can share with the world.
Or in our neighborhood.
Make your impact felt this holiday season.
It’s a great day to be you!
Thursday was a big day for Danielle.
11 months sober.
I didn’t even know sobriety was an issue for her.
You could feel both her pride and apprehension in her Facebook post informing her friends of her milestone. Apparently she’s been down this path before, she knows it’s something she is taking one step at a time.
It was great to see the love, support, and encouragement her friends posted in reply. Her replies to their posted comments indicated she, too, was quite happy for the love being sent her way.
Danielle bravely decided to publicly share her struggles with those in her social media world. Bravely, because our world tends to look down on struggle, leaving many of those who do struggle to struggle in silence, battling their own demons alone. Struggle often Continue reading “This One Assumption Can Save A Life”
The real question is why didn’t anyone bother to ask why he was sitting on a wall in the first place…
When you think about the elliptical shape of an egg it’s not really surprising Humpty Dumpty had his great fall, is it? When you factor in gravity, an egg on top of a wall is an accident waiting to happen. And in Humpty’s case that’s exactly what happened.
Sure, all the king’s horses and men tried their best, but, as the story goes, they couldn’t put Humpty back together again.
Too little too late.
Sometimes we find our own emotionally elliptical-shaped self teetering atop of our own walls, and with one small change in circumstance we, too, can find ourselves in pieces on the floor, hoping the horses and men (and women) in our own life will be there trying to help us piece our emotional self back together again. And while it’s good to have friends to help you pick up your pieces, wouldn’t it be better if they never let you fall in the first place? Continue reading “Please Don’t Wait Until I’m Broken To Fix Me”
There’s a reason you’ve never seen a sunflower plant in any image depicting the North Pole.
Sunflowers don’t grow there.
Plants are at the mercy of their environment. The proper soil, the mix of nutrients, the amount of water, temperature, and sunshine can mean life or death to a plant. So many external variables impact their viability and growth.
And there’s not a single thing a plant can do about it.
As humans, we, too, are greatly impacted by the environments we find ourselves in. Some environments are conducive to growth and thriving, while others will never let us Continue reading “Picking Sunflowers in the North Pole”
To talk with him, you’d have no idea of all he has been going through. The smile and the usual jovial confidence in his voice did a wonderful job of covering the pain and emptiness.
But the pain was quite real, always simmering just below the surface, out of sight but never out of his mind.
Sometimes life just isn’t easy. It’s a feeling we’ve all known at some point, perhaps even right now. Sometimes life is confusing, overwhelming, uncertain, empty. What compounds the hurt is the human tendency to keep our emotional pain a secret. We’ve been societally conditioned to believe an admission of emotional difficulty is a sign of weakness. So we keep it all inside, festering, doing all we can to manage the pain, constructing facades of happiness and stability for all to see, afraid of the shameful truth we feel we need to hide from the world.
At times, the opposite is true. Some have courageously opened their deepest self and Continue reading “The Greatest Gift You’ll Ever Give”
Hate needs a makeover.
I’m not a big fan of hate. Or of hateful people. But out of fairness, as a society we haven’t done a great job teaching people the proper way to hate others, have we?
None of us are born haters. Hate is something we learn rather informally, often influenced by those who guide us though our formative years. The people who teach us how to hate have no course syllabus or Powerpoint presentations to ensure we are doing it the “right” way. Rather, we become unsuspecting apprentices, watching and listening to the actions and words of those who we look up to and someday hope to make proud. Hate can be passed from one generation to the next just as easily as the color of someone’s eyes. Continue reading “The Modern Guide for Hating Other Humans”
Walking into the auditorium I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The event was billed as an evening with a musician who had been physically healed, in part, by music and has since helped others to heal through the sharing of his gift of music.
I didn’t know Andrew, but I soon became intrigued by his story. A tumor, initially thought to be cancerous was actually benign. However, the celebration quickly subsided as Andrew’s body began to shut down from an allergic anaphylactic shock while recovering from his surgery. For several days he vacillated between life and death, comatose in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at New York’s Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. Sensing Andrew had perhaps lost his desire to live, out of fear and desperation his wife Continue reading “Are You Willing To Share The Healing Power of You?”