Listen to your heart

listen to your heart

 

Listen to your heart; start recognizing when something isn’t good for you and be strong enough to let it go. A person can only waste the time if you give them an opportunity to waste. Stop trying to open doors for people who constantly shut you out. Make sure the interest is shown in the effort, the talk is supported by the actions, and the trust is earned through the consistency.
~RobertHillSr.

Your naked body

Your naked body

 

“Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.”
― Charlie Chaplin

This letter is to you.

This letter is to you.

 

This letter is to you.
The you that’s had a rough week. The you that seems to be under constant storm clouds. The you that feels invisible. The you that doesn’t know how much longer you can hold on. The you that has lost faith. The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong. To you. You are incredible. You make this world a little bit more wonderful. You have so much potential and so many things left to do. You have time. Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there.  You can do it.

I have been broken

 

I have been broken

I have been broken. I have known hardship and I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward and growing stronger each day. I will never forget the harsh lessons in my life. They made me stronger. — Unknown

She Writes An Awesome Rebuttal Post After Being Shamed Wearing This…

Written by Brynne Huffman

Ok here goes. Read this. It’s long. I don’t care. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want compliments. I want action. Read it.

Women. Please, I beg of you PLEASE do not tear each other down. There is so much hate in the world right now. Rape culture. Hating Islam. Hating LGBTQ. No more hate.

Today I put on a pair of mid-thigh denim shorts, a flowy white blouse, flip flops and left the house to run a couple errands.

Let me pause for a moment to tell you it took some courage to both purchase and wear said shorts because my legs, while tan from swimming and muscular from dancing, are (1) not where I would like them to be and (2) are not up traditional beauty standards (read: Photoshopped) because cellulite.

My second errand of the morning was a drop off at the UPS store. I stood in line between two women. Woman #1 in front of me was about sixty. As I took my place in line behind her, she smiled and complimented me on my tan and my hair. We chitchatted about the weather and children until it was her turn at the counter.

It the spirit of paying it forward, I turned to Woman #2 behind me and smiled. Woman #2 was probably about 30-35, very attractive, about a size 8, wearing a shirt that says “COEXIST”.

She says: “Your hair really is amazing. ::cocks head to side:: “You should probably rethink the shorts though.”

Yeah. Read that again.

My face instantly flushes, not out of embarrassment but anger. No, not anger. Rage. This as my head slowly tilts to the side. If you’ve seen me really angry you know what I mean.

My fists clenched up. I know this because I felt my nails digging into my palms. So many things ran through my head. Because I don’t have time to get arrested today, what came out was this:

“You should probably rethink your shirt.”

I turned around and ignored her until I left the store. I wanted to say more but was afraid, of all things, that I would start crying. All I wanted to do was go home and change my clothes. And THAT made me angry.

Gender doesn’t matter.
Race doesn’t matter.
Religion doesn’t matter.
Sexual orientation doesn’t matter.

But fat?
Apparently fat matters.

And I’ll go a step further and say it especially seems to matter as an actress. Matter more than talent. Than attitude. Than pretty much anything else. Because fat girls are not believable heroines, ingenues, or objects of sexual desire. But that’s a whole other post.

Listen, people.

Especially women.

Plus sized doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy.
Plus sized doesn’t necessarily mean lazy.
Plus sized doesn’t mean ugly or undesirable or untalented or uncoordinated or LESS. THAN. HUMAN.

You might have an issue with my body. I don’t. And I’ve worked very hard past judgmental family and friends, past divorce, past depression to NOT have an issue with my body.

Women. Do not tear each other down.

Celebrate each other.

Every day.bryn

One Perspective Shift that Will Turn Your Deepest Scars into Your Greatest Opportunity

One Perspective Shift that Will Turn Your Deepest Scars into Your Greatest Opportunity

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett

As a family, we never discussed the fire that burned down our house and nearly took my life. We endured it, survived it, and moved past it. We chose not to be defined by it.

That is, until my parents sat in the first row of a church on November 22, 2003.

Their oldest son, Jim, stood on the altar in a tuxedo, the best man for their younger (and better-looking) son, John.

Watching their boys together, with their four daughters as bridesmaids, and a gorgeous woman in white named Beth about to join the family, they realized something for the first time: The terrible fire from years earlier wasn’t the end. The tragedy we’d endured as a family decades ago had a happy ending.

The fire did not take away the life their little boy could make for himself. Contrarily, it led perfectly to this place, this church, this altar, this union, this day.

The therapy and surgeries and amputations and scars and challenges culminated in a blowout celebration. It was miracle upon miracle upon miracle…looking back over the last two decades.

At the end of the service, as Beth and I walked together down the aisle, my parents were overflowing with gratitude to my doctors, to their family and friends who supported them, and most of all to God, whom we credit with the miracle of not only my survival, but an incredible life just beginning.

Less than a week after my wedding, they were writing a book about their experience years earlier. It was their story as parents experiencing the devastating news that their son had been burned. It was their story about months of waiting-room anguish, support from the community, and a miraculous triumph.

In the early stages of their book writing, I was far from encouraging. I didn’t believe there was a story to tell and encouraged them not to dredge up the past. I offered my best arguments against it. Who will read your book? Why would they care? Do you guys even know how to use a computer? I suggested they keep the story in their hearts.

They wrote their book anyway.

They called it Overwhelming Odds.

They ignored my advice.

Jerks.

And in doing so, they changed my life.

Imagine this: the mask you’ve so carefully constructed to hide behind your entire life is removed. You know, the one that tells the world you’re fine, you’re all good, your kids are perfect, you have no problems, there are no addictions, no worries, no scars? Imagine that it is taken gently off your face, set carefully on a table, and smashed with a massive sledgehammer.

I felt naked.

But as I continued to read, I realized something else.

For the first time I understood that I wasn’t the only one burned in the story. For the first time I came to understand all that my family went through. My brother, Jim, was injured physically and emotionally. My sisters were prescribed sleeping pills because of witnessing me burning in front of them, and then there were the months of constant fear that they’d lose me for good. Oh, and my parents. My poor parents. As difficult as my physical pain was, the emotional toll on them was, in so many ways, much worse.

Not to mention our neighbors!

Imagine knowing that your story somehow galvanized a community into action.  Our neighbors in the suburbs of St. Louis literally opened up their homes to my siblings as we waited for the house to be repaired; the community raised money, donated blood, offered prayers, brought food.

I had never fully considered all the people who came together to make the miracle a reality. And imagine, after reading the last page of your tragic story, seeing it differently, clearly for the first time. As if cataracts had been cut away, I understood, “Oh my gosh . . . it was all a gift.”

The fire.

The pain.

The fears.

The scars.

All of it was a gift!

The fire led perfectly to where I am today. The challenges led to experiences that shaped me, the character that drives me, the faith that guides me, the life around me, and to the possibility in front of me. No, it wasn’t always perfect.

But it was my life.

It was my story.

And it was time to claim it.

After reading my parents’ book, the scars that I had been covering up for twenty years were transformed into badges of honor.

The scars remained, yes. But they were there because the wounds had healed.

They were evidence of a miracle.

Covering them up denied others the chance to see them.

To question.

To connect.

To share.

To grow.

To live.

After I read my parents’ book, I turned the book over and stared at the picture on the cover. The picture of me as a kid with my scars and splints was still there. But now, I saw something I had never seen before. I no longer saw a little boy at the end of a journey he had survived, but instead at the start of one that he could not wait to begin.

Shifting my perspective on that picture from the past and the scars still present served as an inflection point that positively transformed my life.  It shaped how I viewed the current reflection in the mirror, interact with others, and engaged in life. It elevated how I viewed current challenges and future opportunities.

My friends, we all have been burned. We’ve all endured heartache and letdowns. We’ve failed in business, stumbled in finances, tripped in relationships, and struggled physically. We all have a story. It’s just usually not the story we are telling the world.

In order to best connect with others, uncover our purpose and live up to the fullness of our promise, it is critical to embrace the scars of yesterday. No, we don’t accept them as horrible reminders of how lousy the past was and the litany of mistakes made. Instead, we wear them as badges of honor ― celebrating all we’ve survived, the lessons learned, the character developed, the faith fortified, and the litany of reasons we still to have to be grateful.

So if you want to embrace the one perspective that is certain to transform current challenges into opportunities, look no further than your past.  For in it you’ll discover that every experience, adversity, and even tragedy has led perfectly to where you are today.

And today, with that perspective (regardless of whether or not you always intentionally chose the path you walked in the past) you are free to choose the manner in which you walk your path going forward.

This is your day to wake up from accidental living and embrace the gift that is your life.

This is your day to live inspired.

Your turn…

Can you think of a personal example of how your scars have strengthened you?

Anything else to share?

Please tell us about it. We would love to hear from YOU in the comments section below.

 

Credit marcandangle

Life is short

Life is short

 

Life is short. Cut out the negativity, forget gossip, say goodbye to people who don’t care. Spend time with the people who are always there. ~ Helene Lerner

Stay true to yourself

Stay true to yourself

 

Stay true to yourself. Don’t worry about what people think of you or about the way they try to make you feel. If people want to see you as a good person, they will. If they want to see you as a bad person, absolutely nothing you do will stop them. Ironically, the more you try to show them your good intentions, the more reason you give them to knock you down if they are commited to misunderstanding you. Keep your head up high and be confident in what you do. Be confident in your intentions and keep your eyes ahead instead of wasting your time on those who want to drag you back. Because you can’t change people’s views, you have to believe that true change for yourself comes from within you, not from anyone else. ~ Najwa Zebian

There is no use looking back at yesterday

There is no use looking back at yesterday

 

There is no use looking back at yesterday. I am no longer the person I was back then. Every morning when the sun rises, I am a changed person. Changed by the experiences I’ve had, the lessons I have learned, and the love I have received. It’s time to move forward and embrace the life that I’ve been given, be grateful for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me, and start living a life of passion. There will always be ups and downs, good times and bad, losses and gains. Life is about learning lessons, showing love in the process, and growing into the beautiful souls we are meant to become. Don’t let yesterday rob you of your happiness today. Every time the sun rises, it’s a new opportunity to make your life the best of your life. Enjoy every moment.

~LadyBug

One Daily Gratitude Ritual that Will Change the Way You Think

The secret to being grateful is no secret. You choose to be grateful. Then you do it again and again. If you forget, begin again.

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I remember that rainy summer evening – shortly after Angel and I lost two loved ones to illness, lost our livelihood in a layoff, and ultimately lost sight of the goodness that remained in our lives – when I found myself lying down on a tile floor, alone in the dark, just thinking.

Angel and I rarely spoke openly about anything meaningful during that period of time, mostly because I was withdrawn.  I felt helpless and essentially depressed about what had happened.  I was lost in the darkness of my own negative thinking.

But something shifted inside me as I was lying on that tile floor.

As I looked up and out the open window next to me, the moon suddenly broke through the clouds and illuminated the dark room I was in.  Then, within seconds, a light breeze started blowing the white window curtains inward and over me.  As the curtains fluttered in the air four feet over my body, I smiled.  It was a beautiful moment.  And without thinking twice, I whispered out loud, “Life is still a miracle to be grateful for.”

Angel walked into the room at that exact moment and whispered, “I agree.”

She ducked under the curtains and snuggled into me on the floor.  After a couple moments of shared silence, we decided to list some things off the top of our minds that we were grateful for, despite our struggles.

Our list of gratitude looked something like this:

  • We had each other
  • We had parents, extended family, and some friends who loved us
  • We were reasonably healthy
  • Most of our family members and friends were reasonably healthy
  • We had some savings
  • We had shelter, water and food
  • We could experience and appreciate the beauty of the moonlight illuminating this dark room, and the breeze making the curtains dance

And the list went on, of course, but you get the gist.  Even when everything seemed to be wrong, we had a lot going right – a lot to be grateful for.

That night I resolved to change my thinking and make gratitude a daily ritual in my life.

 

Source marcandangel