As we craft soul-prospering lives for ourselves, we can go through challenging times, especially if we’re making seemingly drastic shifts and big changes. It can be very frightening to be out of our comfort zone. We can feel very alone and isolated.
Friends and loved ones to the rescue!
They hold our hand when we need it. They encourage us when we need a boost. They pick us up and dust us off when we fall. They cheer for us and celebrate us even when there seems to be no finish line in sight.
They like us and love us just the way we are.
Each one of our friends and loved ones adds a little something unique and special to our lives that without it, our lives would be so very different and diminished.
We’re half way through the work week and it may have been a brutal one so far. Or up to now, the work week might be mind-numbingly, soul-crushingly boring! Whatever the case, we may need something to lift our spirits so we can power through the rest of the week. Here are two short articles that prove kindess matters. Even the smallest gestures that we don’t even think twice about can make all the difference to someone else.
Yesterday would have been the 92nd birthday of a person who has touched my life profoundly. Even though he is no longer with us, his wisdom and the way he lived his life is still teaching me today.
I am grateful that he lived and that I was privileged to know him. I am thankful for the guidance and inspiration I continue to draw from him.
Today, please join me in celebrating the people who are an inspiration to us, whether they are still here or have passed on. It isn’t about whether or not they were perfect but how they and their lives provide loving guidance to us.
When someone mentions the word “bullying”, we think of the schoolyard, assuming that bullying is a problem only children face. We believe that when kids grow into adulthood, they drop their childish ways: We think they’ll become more understanding and compassionate, that they’ll develop mastery over their emotions, that they’ll learn to be helpful to others, and that they’ll strive to become the best version of themselves. This is the course we’ve followed and we figure that everyone else will, too.
But they don’t.
Some adult bullies carry their bullying ways from childhood into adulthood. Others were nice as youngsters but something happened along their pathway to adulthood that turned them into bullies.
The point is that bullying is not a problem just for children. We adults can—and do—face it every day, too. We can encounter adult bullies in a variety of settings such as clubs and organizations, churches, neighborhoods, within our group of friends, and at work.
We don’t foresee this, which is why it’s so shocking when we run up against it. We expect adults to behave like, well, adults. We don’t anticipate that they’ll humiliate, belittle, or sabotage us or that we’ll see them do this to others. When we experience bullying directly or indirectly (witnessing another being bullied), we’re left bewildered, stunned, and wondering if what we just experienced/witnessed really did happen.
We can never be too big or too much in our celebrations and appreciation of the people who are very special to us. They are our rock in tumultuous times, they cheer us on when the going gets tough for us, and they’re compassionate and loving when we’re down and discouraged.
Today, let’s celebrate them as if it’s their birthday. And, for those who have a birthday today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May today be your best birthday yet, and be the perfect start to a year that’s your best one yet!
Is there a time of year or a season that reminds you of a loved one? Of course Christmas and other big celebrations remind us of our loving family and friends, however, is there another time that triggers warm thoughts of the people–or a person–you care about?
Strawberries are one of the markers in the year that does this for me. When it’s strawberry season, I can’t help thinking about my Mom. I shared with you last week my childhood memories of strawberries and my Mom. Strawberries also remind me of her birthday. I think the strawberries celebrate her birthday, too, because they seem to peak right around her special day!
When I was at the farm picking strawberries earlier this week, I marveled at how there were loads of ripe ones close by for the picking. I didn’t have to range through the patch looking for enough to fill my quart container. Within a step or two of where I started, there were plenty for me.
Our loved one’s caring and love for us is much the same. People who truly love us are always there for us–only a step or two away. They may not know how to help us and we may become frustrated because of this. If we take a deep breath and center ourselves, we can see and feel their loving concern even though all they can do is send prayers and good vibes to us. We can help them help us by believing and knowing that they are thinking of us and sending us their very best thoughts and wishes.
Thanks, strawberries, for reminding us that our loved ones truly do care for us and want the very best for us.