Conquer Your Fears

You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.                             ~ Author Unknown

What are your dreams? Desires? Hopes? Wants? We all have them. How many of us do something about them? How many of us put ourselves out there and take a chance or a step forward toward those goals? I bet, not many. I sure don’t. It is safer that way. Sometimes doing nothing is comfortable and safe. It feels like slipping into a comfortable pair of sweat pants. Here, we are in our comfort zone. It is relaxing and there are no fears.

What would it feel like to jump out of your comfort zone? A little stressful maybe. Your heart would race. You might not know what to say, what to do, or even how to get started. All the fears and doubts you have would come to the surface. Those fears and doubts will try to hold you back and put you right back in your comfort zone. A person has to be stronger than their own comfort zone.

I can’t remember the last time I put myself out of my comfort zone. Well, I have very recently, but I am talking about before that! It is a concept many of us are not comfortable with. We are not doing ourselves a favor by sitting idle on our hands. We think we are, but we are not. I have two things that I want to do with my life before it is over. I have wanted it for some time, but being in my comfort zone is easier. I realized that not doing anything about it is not doing me any good.

One, I want to help the elderly and disabled by starting my own caregiver business. I have a huge need in me to help others. I think I can do a better job of it than if I work for another agency. I have done that and most agencies don’t know what they are doing.  It is a lot of work starting your own business. I do understand that. However, when I came across this idea, it felt like God was speaking to me personally. It felt like my calling. I sat on the idea for a while. Scared. Not really knowing what to do or how to get started. Leaving it alone was safer. Until now. I am taking the beginning steps of making this dream a reality.

Two, I want to have one piece of writing published before I die. It doesn’t matter if it is a small paragraph in Readers Digest, my Lions Club magazine, a short story, or a novel. It doesn’t matter if has a lot of publicity attached to it or not. It does not matter if I receive any kind of money in return for it or not. I just want something of mine published before I die. I have known this dream for a while and once again, it is safer to sit on the idea than to work towards it. I knew it was time to do something about it when I saw an add in my local newspaper about a writing class being offered. I actually was going to pass it up, but my husband encouraged me to sign up for it. Instead of the other way around, he is the one who actually gave me a talking to and told me to go for it!

So here I am, working towards the two things I want to accomplish before my time on this Earth is done. Instead of others passing me by on the way to their dreams, I am now walking right along with them. Conquer your fears. Take a chance. You never know what will happen if you don’t.

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Shifting Our Focus

“Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That’s the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what’s left, that’s the part you have to make up as you go.”

– Katherine Weber

I came across this quote today and it hit me like a slap in the face. I wasn’t searching for quotes; it was just there like it was meant for me to read. I really started to think about my life, my thoughts, and my attitude towards certain things. For the last number of years (too many years to put an exact number on), I have said to myself, “my life is a series of losses.” It is all I have been focusing on. My losses. My life has been one loss after another. Whether it is a loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of money, or a number of other things; my life is a series of losses. However, I am not the only one who is alive on this planet. So many others feel the same way as I do. So many others have it worse off than I do. Our eyes are sometimes open only to our pain and closed to the pain other people go through. We get lost in our own pain all too often. We forget what matters. We give up. Once we start shifting our focus to others and helping others, our own lives improve as well. Not only do we make someone else feel better, but we feel better for helping someone else. I will slip and lose my focus from time to time, but before my life ends, I am hoping to help other people see things in a more positive light. After all, isn’t that what we were put on this planet for?

Does God Ever Need A Beer?

He watches over us from above. He sees everything we do and knows what is in our hearts and minds. He notices when we do good and knows when we do bad. No, I am not talking about Santa Claus. I am referring to God. He is all around us whether we notice or not. He built this world for us hoping we cherish it and do something positive in it and for it. What happens when we don’t?

Most of us have good intentions and we mean well. We live our lives to do good for our family, our friends, and our community. There are more decent people doing good than the other way around. Day in and day out, we try our best and don’t mean any harm. “Our best” is different for every person. Our talents, motivations, intentions, needs, and wants are all different from each other’s. We are put on this Earth to grow, learn, help each other out, and do good. What happens when we don’t?

I often wonder how God, All Knowing and All Mighty, deals with things and handles things when we as humans, mess up. When He points us in a direction and we go the other way, does He shake His head? When we miss the obvious, does He put His hands over His eyes? When we do something negative, does He take a deep breath to calm Himself? Having a whole world to watch over, does God ever need a beer?

I sometimes picture God in His throne with a beer relaxing “at the end of a day.” I wonder how He could not need a beer when us as humans are constantly needing help, redirection, advice, and improvement in our lives. In my opinion, He must be so great and so strong in order to deal with billions of people. How great is it that He loves us no matter what we do or what we say. Even with that said, I still wonder if God ever needs a beer?

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Each experience we go through changes us. Each situation, good & bad, shapes us. Little by little we learn something from life’s challenges. We don’t learn it all at once. It takes time. It can take months, years, or a lifetime. It takes many lessons through life to get to the point of patience, acceptance, tolerance, listening, and asking for help. We don’t even have to go through the experience ourselves; Just watching someone else go through it, we should recognize a light bulb go on in our minds. We should be able to learn from any situation whether we ourselves go through it or not. It really doesn’t have to be a hard lesson to learn; it can be minor. If we keep our eyes open, we will learn from any good or bad situation, or we will be presented with it again.

Acceptance is a big lesson for me personally. I will never be a millionaire, live in Hawaii, have a huge house, or that perfect job. I compare myself to my family, friends, and to people I have never met. It’s hard not to. I feel I should be at a certain point in my life, or have accomplished this and that, and I am not and I don’t. I could have worked harder. I could have pushed myself more. I could have accomplished more. I also know there are others out there wishing they were in my shoes.

With the help of God, family, and friends, we fight our own battles. We have our responsibilities, problems, accomplishments, and failures. We should not compare ourselves to others. We are all different. We all learn at our own pace. We go through different challenges and sometimes the same challenges, which affect us all differently. We are all built and made different from each other. Accept it. Tolerate it. Have patience. Don’t compare yourself to others. It will get you nowhere.

I Believe

I believe in God.

I believe in Heaven & Hell.

I believe our souls live on after we die.

I believe there are more than just angels watching over me.

I believe in second chances, but I also believe in starting over.

I believe love is stronger than hate.

I believe there are more good people than bad people.

I believe family and friends are most important.

I believe in helping others.

I believe, deep down, that everything will be okay even though I worry too much.

I believe in doing whatever makes you happy unless it hurts yourself or someone else.

I believe our pets are on this Earth to help us more than we are here to help them.

I believe we are all connected in some way.

I believe we are never alone.

I believe no one besides God is perfect and no one ever will be.

I believe money does not buy happiness.

I believe we are put on this Earth for a reason.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

I believe we will never learn some of those reasons until we go home to God.

I believe in good over evil.

What do you believe in?

 

Finding My Strength: Where Does Your’s Come From?

Strength-Picture-Quote

credit to addicted2success.com

I am starting a new adventure in my life and what may not seem like a big deal to some, it is a big deal to me. I am volunteering with a local, three person hospice house. After working with hospice patients indirectly in the past, I have never worked directly with them. Now is my chance to do something I have always wanted to do. I won’t only be part of a team helping others, but they will help me too. I am looking forward to starting this new phase in my life. I feel like my whole life has built me up to this point to be able to do this mentally and physically. What I have gone through and dealt with in my past, has prepared me for this new phase in my life. It is a challenge I am excited about starting. It something I feel I was called to do. There is not much in my life where I feel I am called on by God to do, but this is one thing I feel very strongly about doing.

I was asked today, in not so many words, how I deal with the losses in my life. In my almost thirteen years of marriage, I have not only lost four babies, but two brothers, grandparents, and my in-laws in the same year. What marriage can survive that is beyond me. Many “someone’s” are watching over my husband and I. The answer that came out of my mouth was one, talking. Talking to someone I trust is a must. If I don’t let it out, I would scream. Two, writing. Writing is another way to let it out when I don’t feel like talking. Three, volunteering and helping others. I realized in my 36 years of life that helping others is an important way to give back and not only make yourself feel better, but help the other person feel better. It is a win-win situation. The last answer that came out of my mouth has to do with my parents and grandparents. I know many people feel this way about their parents and that is great! However, three of the people that I look up to in my life are my mom, dad, and my maternal grandma. My grandma passed away in April 2003, but she is someone that to this day, I look up to. Those are the three top people in my life that I see strength in and where my strength comes from. They are very, very strong people and I can’t express that enough. If it was not for them, I would have given up on life a long, long time ago.

I hope everyone out there has someone or someone’s they look up to for strength. I hope there is someone out there keeps you going and keeps you from giving up. I have overcame a lot in my life that I didn’t think I could. I have moved on and moved past a lot of things that would have done anyone else in. It is time for me to give credit to where credit is due, which is God, my parents and my grandparents. It is also time for me to give back to the community. I have found strength that I never thought I had and it is time to use it!

Look and Learn From Each Other

There comes a time in everyone’s life when it really hits them that not only is there someone else out there going through something worse, but there is someone else going through a situation in which no one wants to trade places with, regardless of how much or little drama is involved. It opens up their eyes and helps them realize everyone has something to deal with. Everybody has their own set of issues. Some problems are more serious than others, but it does not mean they are any more or less important. Everyone has a cross to bear. There are people who are struggling to survive. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. There are other people just going through the emotions of life and not really experiencing life to the fullest. They are either too busy, going through life too fast, or not paying attention. There are few people who live life to the fullest no matter what is thrown at them. Every single person has high points and low points of their life. It is not necessarily the actual high points or low points of a person’s life that matters, but how a person deals with those high and low points. Do they grow and learn from those high and low points or do they act out and ignore the potential lessons that come from those things in life? Every single person has done both. This is how people grow and learn.

Picture the homeless man living in a box on a dangerous corner downtown. He lost his job and not able to pay his bills. He was forced out of his home. Now people pass by him, judge him, and look at him with contempt.

Picture the loving wife and mother addicted to alcohol. She hides bottles in the attics, closets, and under a loose floorboard. She easily explains away lost money. She tries to quit over and over, but keeps relapsing.

Picture a troubled teenager. She comes from a loving, close family. Somehow she starts hanging around with the wrong crowd. She doesn’t do her homework and discovered drugs and alcohol. She is out of control, angry, and unhappy. Her parents are doing everything in their power to try and help her, but she refuses any kind of help.

Picture a healthy, elderly man living alone. His wife passed away recently. He is lonely. He pushed his friends away. He doesn’t want help from his kids. He is depressed and tired all the time. He has little interest in anything. He doesn’t want to talk and doesn’t want any outside help.

Are any one of these situations more important than the other? No. How many people would want to be in any of these situations? No one. Life happens. There are some situations in which people have no choice in how certain matters turn out. People have control over some things, but then there are other things in which they don’t. People need to judge less and leave the judging to God. People need to realize they are not the only ones hurting in this world. We all are. We are all dealing with something. Learn from each other. Put yourself in another person’s shoes and picture what they are going through. Look at what they are dealing with. Everyone is in this world to help each other. What matters to everyone in the four scenarios described above is that they are not alone. They want to know someone cares for them. They want to know that when they are ready to change their life and turn it around for the better, not only is not too late, but at least one person will be there to help them. Look around. What can we as a society and individuals do to help someone today? When people help others, they not only help improve someones life, but they improve their own as well.