Stand Up Today

Take a stand, believe and act.

Stand up and believe in your possibilities to fulfill your potential, on this very spot, on this very day. Put your plan into action, stay focused with an unyielding determination to fulfill your purpose in life. Don’t follow anyone else or let them determine your potential. You have the power to manifest a direction of purpose and fulfillment for yourself.

Tenacity to navigate and progress through the journey of life is a required strength. Without that tenacity and progress we become lost in the shuffle. Death is inevitable, don’t let it be from loss of determination to succeed in life, let it be from a long life of trying to become a better person. As long as the force of life is within us, we should use resourcefulness to hurdle lifes struggles and understand our vision to overcome them.

Everyone experiences unforeseen elation and everyone will know pain when our loved ones depart this life. We have to be able to accept both emotions because it is natures life cycle. Life goes on, we must constantly adjust and adapt at any given moment to unforeseen circumstances, good or bad.

With each passing day, our life becomes more precious. We should take every opportunity to take a stand and strive to fulfill our dreams and potential.
The poetry in our life is only possible by believing, acting, focusing, and determining to take a stand to move forward in the most persistent and compassionate way possible.

RELATIONSHIPS, LIFES MOTIVATION

Relationships are the most important pursuit in life. They can make us, or break us.

Relationships are certainly lifes motivation whether they be spiritual in nature or human interaction. They are the most important pursuit in life as far as I am concerned. Without relationships life would be devoid of any connection to anything, one would certainly perish. Everything in our universe seeks and develops a relationship with something from the day it is created to generate an energy of purpose and cooperation. As long as the energies are in harmony, everything is smooth sailing. However, the moment one energy collides with another energy, the forces of nature are at odds with one another and destructive events take place. That same logic applies to human relationships.

I have been blessed to have wonderful bonds with many people and I have also been associated with acquaintances which were not going to grow or flourish. Bad encounters are not worth dwelling on, but valuable lessons can be learned from them. Without relationships we would struggle to progress in life. Everyone desires a sense of acceptance and camaraderie with someone who respects and supports them in their endeavors. My idea of a relationship boils down to either productive or destructive. Destructive relationships develop when some form of abuse is imposed on another person, productive relationships are desirable and develop when mutuality and love for one another flourishes and forms an unconditional bond.

What qualifies me to comment about relationships? The fact I have lived a few decades and experienced, witnessed, and survived the ups and downs of relationships provides me with the insight to share what I have learned. First lets look at destructive relationships and then we can move on to productive relationships.

Destructive relationships come in many forms. I have chosen seven unpleasant traits which dooms many relationships. The seven traits are; physical abuse, sexual abuse, controlling behavior, emotional abuse, jealousy, lack of trust, and financial problems. Destructive relationships lead to emotional and physical duress which can become violent or deadly if allowed to continue. The longer we allow ourself to be abused, the greater the toll on our overall well being. Abuse in a relationship will eventually lead to the breakdown of our will to get the most out of each day. My focus on destructive relationships is to encourage those being abused to seek qualified professional help to overcome abuse and chart a course to recovery.

Physical abuse occurs when someone takes advantage of another persons physical weakness and exploits that weakness to the perpetrators benefit. Physical abuse can be tricky to overcome due to fear and a diminished sense of confidence. Sometimes a series of abusive attacks happens before one can have the courage to take the necessary measures to avoid further abuse. Victims often feel trapped with no place to go and many do not have the financial means to escape and start over. At this point one has to find a way to seek help in order to resolve a very serious threat. Under no circumstances would there be any justification for anyone to remain in a relationship which physically abuses them. Physical abuse in no way contributes to happiness and it will evolve into submissive behavior and possibly life threatening consequences if allowed to continue.

Sexual abuse or spousal abuse falls somewhat in line with physical abuse, it is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. Most victims know each other. The debilitating affects of such abuse is extremely emotional and can cause long term interference in ones daily life. Signs of withdrawal in behavior patterns can be stimulated by various social activities that trigger flashbacks, esteem issues, what ifs, and whys. The effects of the abuse can be dealt with by understanding the emotional effects of the trauma which occurred. There is no place in any relationship for sexual abuse. Few people, if any are able to overcome the devastating results of sexual abuse on their own. The emotional and traumatic effects of such abuse is best referred to a qualified professional who understands legal rights and begins the road to recovery.

Controlling behavior is carried out by people who are self centered and insecure, they stymie any attempt to lead a happy life. Different choices and ideas which strongly conflicts with how another person perceives things often sets in motion actions which seek to force one persons demands upon another. Some people have a need to be in control at all times and they become tyrants. When there is no give and take, the tyrant becomes overbearing and life becomes miserable. That is where things head south and unless the controlling person is reigned in, the relationship cannot flourish and will likely come to an end.

Emotional abuse is non physical abuse imposed on a persons sense of self worth. Humiliation, ignoring, instilling fear, and threatening consequences, are some of the traits a person exhibits when they emotionally abuse another. This kind of abuse is brutal and no one should expect to be in a relationship with a person who has no regard for another persons self worth. Emotional non physical abuse can occur in private surroundings or even worse at public venues. Either way, it is humiliating. It is sometimes difficult to escape this kind of abuse because the abuser always has an excuse for their controlling behavior. Help is always available, muster the strength to get out of the relationship and move on with life.

Jealousy is the resentment of one person against another because of the real or perceived ability to overshadow the jealous person. Jealousy is caused by low self esteem or insecurity. When a competitor is perceived to be better equipped, or they may actually be better equipped to initiate something the jealous person deems unreasonable, trouble ensues. A jealous person will become controlling, suspicious, demanding, and will often pout in order to get their way. Trust issues become a problem because of the belief that a person has to continually prove their loyalty in every circumstance. A person may feel controlled and unfairly chastised for behavior that drew uninitiated attention. Jealousy can lead to physical violence, or resentment, and can spiral into other forms of abuse. There is no benefit from remaining in a relationship where jealousy rules every move a person makes.

Lack of trust is the inability to have faith in a person to conduct life according an ingrained code of honor held by the one who is giving the trust. Lack of trust is a deal breaker in relationships. Relationships will suffer in every aspect if the foundation of trust is not earned based on the example of how one conducts their life according to a code of honor and ethics. Events that took place long ago often spark issues of trust, If one cannot move past those events, the relationship will suffer and become fractured. Trust issues create heated exchanges and result in a variety of negative emotions. Lack of trust issues that cannot be resolved should be a conduit to dissolving the relationship because nothing productive will ever become of a relationship which lacks trust.

Financial problems will certainly lead to disagreements about money management. The biggest problem I see is the unwillingness of a couple to come together in agreement about how finances will be managed. If one person is a spender and the other is a saver, friction between the two will develop. Credit card debt and living beyond ones means will put a strain on the relationship. Spending more than what is coming in will eventually create a deep hole that will be difficult to climb out of. How to manage finances is a conversation that must take place prior to any meaningful, committed relationship. If a conversation about financial goals does not take place with shared responsibility and agreement, consider the relationship to be a rocky road ahead. Financial problems cannot be overcome if each person is to stubborn to agree on a solution.

Abusive relationships are brutal for the victim, they are full of duress and tension, they are hard on family and friends. Seek out help that is available to restart a meaningful relationship with those who cherish goals of friendship, love, encouragement, and spiritual enlightenment. Destructive relationships create isolation, depression, and illnesses can creep into ones depleted physical and emotional body. There is nothing more physically and emotionally draining than being in a relationship which saps every last ounce of happiness. Dig deep, gather confidence and have the respect for yourself to move on. Nothing good will come from remaining in a relationship that does not respect a persons desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is short and not worth wasting precious days on those who do not value the benefits of productive relationships. My firm belief and suggestion is, if you are being abused, seek the help of qualified professionals and friends to determine the right course of action. Your well being or your life may depend on it.

The second type of relationship is directly opposite of a destructive relationship, it is a productive relationship which is the motivation that propels us to live happy lives. Productive relationships are the ones which form a network of positive people, friends, and family who help us navigate through our journey in life. Productive relationships throughout life help us grow into the loving person we are capable of being. I like these seven traits which greatly contribute to productive relationships; communication, listening, love, respect, sharing, trust. and intimacy.

Communication is an open exchange of thoughts, messages or information. Communication must be two way in order to have an even exchange. The moment one person monopolizes the conversation and refuses to listen to the other person, it becomes one way communication and the benefit of an even exchange is lost. Being able to communicate openly and honestly will reap great benefits. Showing a degree of concern and a genuine interest in the person we are communicating with opens meaningful dialogue which can resolve conflicts or continue enjoyable conversation. The ability to effectively communicate emotions and feelings greatly enhances the chances for happiness.

Listening is the ability to hear and absorb what is being said without being distracted or disengaged. The ability to be tuned in to anothers communication and internally interpret what is being said before further communication takes place is a valuable trait. Listening is often the cornerstone to solving relationship issues. Without a cognizant focus on listening, we can be distracted, distant, and not in the present conversation. This can often lead to argument, alienation, and a real misunderstanding of what is really being said. The art of listening is one of patience and compassion. Many arguments and issues can be diffused by patiently and actively listening before speaking.

Love is a genuine commitment to an inner feeling or an outward expression of a deep commitment of compassion and affection. Love in a relationship is unconditional, it creates an atmosphere of cooperation along with equal amounts of give and take. Loving relationships trust one another and they confront each other with respect. Compassion is the glue that holds us all together in times of prosperity and despair. Admiration for another person opens many opportunities to show loyalty, compassion, and affection in wonderful ways. Love is the deepest emotional and physical commitment we can offer and there is no greater feeling.

Respect is so important that without it there is no regard for anything. Respect starts with respecting ourself. If we don’t respect ourself, we have no moral compass to guide us in decisions of right and wrong. Respect is to hold something in high regard and to treat it with admiration and courtesy. Respect solidifies a relationship and shows appreciation for a persons character. Disrespecting another leads to resentment and hostility in relationships. No one wants to be in a relationship unless there is mutual respect for one another.

Sharing brings to mind traits we have in common with one another. We share adventures of joy, experiences we have had and generate together, and we selflessly share social exchanges with others. In order to have mutuality, both people in the relationship must share equally. Sharing brings a uniqueness to the table which garners interest from those willing to share in our uniqueness. A common bond develops between people who share feelings of caring for one another, and a deep camaraderie will develop to fortify a relationship.

Trust is one of the main pillars in any relationship. Trust is a persons unwavering faith in a another’s ability to follow through with expectations of fulfilling their moral and ethical obligations to others. Trust is earned based on ones actions and behavior and it creates an unbreakable bond which puts a relationship at ease. Some say trust is granted, but I believe trust is earned. Trust allows a relationship to grow and flourish, it thrives on reliability. Trust gives us inner peace and hope when our faith in others presents itself in a way we cannot deny.

Intimacy is a very warm, personal, and private relationship with another person. Intimacy allows one to share their inner most feelings with another, it really does not need to be spoken although being able to verbalize what is inside of us can make intimacy a bond that cultivates closeness and unity. As times passes intimacy grows because of experiencing life together. To build intimacy one must have the confidence to convey feelings and make time to be together without daily interruptions. We all have the need to belong and love, intimacy affords us the opportunity to open up and share our deepest feelings with another, whether they be emotional or physical. True intimacy cements relationships in a way that deeply bonds people together.

The moment we are born, mother and baby bond together in a way that cannot be denied. Throughout life we seek to replicate that very loving relationship with others we chose to be with. We deserve a relationship that brings out the best in us. What we put into a relationship is what we get out of it, they certainly are the most important pursuit in life. As adults we have the choice to pursue a relationship that uplifts us, respects us, and commits to love throughout our life. Pursuing people who have our best interest at heart will contribute to meaningful and fulfilling relationships. There are few things in life that can compare to a relationship which cherishes each other and follows through with a determined effort to achieve harmony.

My understanding of relationships comes from what I have experienced in my own life and may not align with what others think relationships should be or not be. I conclude with a plea, if you are being abused, seek qualified professional help or seek friends to determine the proper course of action for exiting the relationship.

I always wish you the best with your endeavors in life.

Sources: http://www.wordhippo.com/, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, http://www.apa.org› Psychology Topics,Characteristics of Emotoinally Abused People – EQI
http://www.eqi.org/signs_of_emotionally_abused_people…, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carol-morgan/16-characteristics-of-real-love_b_6237802.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_relationship

The Author of Our Life Story

Every story has meaning, but none is more important than our own life story.

We are in a position to be the author of our own life story. Distractions, misfortunes, bad decisions, and circumstances beyond our control contributes to our story. Our story is also affected by good decisions, circumstances we can manage, the realization of dreams come true, and the motivation to be the best we can be in all we do. The content of our story will never be perfect, but the ending can be perfect. Our story is being written, the author is us, lets make our story a good one.

Material Possessions Did Not Fill My Emptiness

I was always looking for the next acquisition to fulfill the emptiness in my life but with each new acquisition the emptiness remained.

Have you ever experienced an empty feeling in your life? Have you ever felt like something is missing in your life? Do you wonder what your purpose in life is? Do you wonder why you are here on earth? If those are questions you seek answers for, they will not be found until you do a little introspection. I’ve searched all my life for the right combination of accomplishments and acquisitions which would permanently fill the emptiness in my life. I found that everything I achieved and obtained filled me with temporary happiness. I realized something was missing in my life. My question was, “what is the one thing I can do that will fill the emptiness in my life and give me fulfillment in my life”? The answer to that question came to me, it was one I often pondered but never committed to. I had the opportunity to obtain many things in life and also the opportunity to perform many roles in life, but I felt empty. I had to fill the void or be in conflict with myself the rest of my life. I am not a millionaire, I am not famous, I am not highly educated, nor have I conducted my life in any outrageous manner. Yet, my journey in life has provided me with some great opportunities. My experience with life affords me the opportunity to share what I’ve come to embrace.

My outer self was always challenging my inner self. My outer self told me to acquire every material thing I could afford and to seek the attention of others, while my inner self told me I was empty. I needed to reconcile what was on the outside with what was missing on the inside. I needed balance and harmony with my whole self in order to find true happiness. When I discovered the cure which filled the emptiness within me, I was able to find balance and fulfillment in my life.

There are many material opportunities that temporarily lift us up and give us moments of elation. We can have a nice house, great friends, a nice car, the best job, we can have everything material a person can desire and there would still be a void to be filled in our life. I can assure you none of those things filled the emptiness within me. A void existed in my life because I could not be fulfilled with material things on the outside. One can look at food, but they will not get full. One can have millions, but it cannot buy happiness. One can look perfectly normal and full of life on the outside, but be hollow on the inside. Material things always provide temporary peaks in life. Continuing to seek those peaks to find the true meaning and purpose of life will not give anyone the fulfillment they are looking for.

After listening to many testimonials, reading many books, yearning for my Christian upbringing as a child, and reviewing historical events in the bible, I knew the answer to my empty feeling was right in front of me. True inner peace and fulfillment came to me the moment I accepted the fact that God is the greatest power in charge of my life and Jesus Christ died for me so I could be forgiven and have eternal life. The empty feeling I had was due to ignoring my connection with my Spiritual Father who is the source which nourishes my body, soul, and spirit. Love for God is the cornerstone from which the emptiness in my life became filled. Putting the glory of God first in all I do fills my life with meaning and purpose. Learning and putting into action the word of God built an everlasting purpose and enthusiasm for my life. The empty feeling I had inside could not be overcome until I fed myself the word of God. Jesus died for my sins, I realized I didn’t have to carry my burdens. That didn’t mean I put my faith on the back burner and willfully continued to conduct my life in destructive ways. It means I have a responsibility to God, I have a responsibility to seek forgiveness and become a person that is filled with the spirit of God. When I became filled with the spirit of God, I lived according to Gods word. There is no greater feeling than to have a personal connection with God and to know life is eternal. The word of God was within me and the emptiness I felt was gone. When I sought and accepted the word of God, I knew my purpose in life, and I knew why I was here on earth. Gods love. presence. and abundance in my life filled the emptiness that material possessions could never fill. When I turned my attention to God I began to feel the love and guidance of a greater power. I was able to reconcile my outside self with my inside self.

Many people turn to God only in their darkest moments of despair. During times of great despair, God always lifts us up and guides us forward with a determination that sustains our life. If we turn to God in our darkest moments and God carries us through our despair, imagine our fulfillment if we put God first in our daily life all the time.

I faced many choices in my life. One of the biggest choices I faced was the choice of continuing a false sense of fulfillment through the accumulation of material possessions and egotistical elation or the choice of a true sense of fulfillment and happiness by accepting God and living according to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. The choice of material possessions or spiritual enlightenment determines a persons true success in life. My love for God and the scriptures of the Holy Bible filled the emptiness in my body, soul, and spirit and I became the fulfilled person I needed to be.

If you are empty and feel disillusioned about life, don’t be afraid to follow your spiritual path. There is no need to be reluctant about being in tune with your spiritual self because the elation you obtain will be everlasting regardless of the way others conduct their lives. Don’t be embarrassed to proclaim your faith in God. Resist the temptation to lay back and coast just because so many around you scoff and claim they don’t have time for God or don’t need God in their lives. Beware of peer pressure where people suggest devious ideas or provide opportunities that lead to bad decisions or instant gratification. Resist the temptation to be led into something you know is wrong. Power through all the daily bombardment of sensationalism in the media and television. Be your own person, make your own decisions and know that God is with you every step of the way. Do not pay any attention to people who ridicule, for it is the lowest element of disrespect. Pray for those people, treat them with kindness, and offer help and encouragement.

You are the only person that has the power to accept God into your life. Your personal relationship with God is between you and God. I know the conflict between the outside self and the inside self will not be reconciled until the spirit of God is accepted within. Do not waste another minute, the empty feeling within is waiting to be filled with Gods love. There is no embarrassment when one accepts in their heart what they know is right. If you are living according to Gods will, your actions and words will be your light. Your example has the potential to affect many people, so let your godliness be the beacon that attracts others to accept the word of God. Many people have an emptiness in their life, we have a responsibility to provide encouragement to fill that emptiness.

God bless you, I wish you the best

Prepare For The Journey

Prepare for the journey.

Preparing for the journey of life gets us safely to our destination. Our journey and our destination are determined by the amount of preparation we put into it. One cannot expect a smooth journey in life nor can one expect to arrive promptly at their destination without proper preparation.

Preparing for our journey of life entails taking time to ensure the steps for arriving at our destination are in place. This means taking time to acquire the knowledge of where we are going and paying attention to the detail which will deliver us to our intended destination. It means having a contingency plan if things go awry in route to our destination. With the proper knowledge, we can develop a plan that will contribute to a smooth journey and a safe arrival. A good plan puts in place a feeling of security as we move toward our destination.

If we do not take time to acquire the necessary knowledge and detail about how to arrive at our destination, we can expect many obstacles that throw us off course. Once we are off course without a plan, the outcome can take many turns which we are not prepared for. That unpreparedness can lead us to be lost, or meandering aimlessly, or even worse it may put us in jeopardy of great loss.

Our journey of life can always arrive at its intended destination with sound knowledge and a solid plan. Time is available for all of us to ensure everything is in place for fulfilling our journey and arriving at our intended destination. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for your journey, for those plans are apt to be haphazardly prepared and cause great anxiety.

Discrete and Anonymous

Boasting.

Happy are the people who do good deeds for the sake of being discrete and anonymous. There is a big difference between carrying out good deeds while remaining anonymous and carrying out good deeds with the intent of drawing attention.

I have always felt good deeds and hard work are noticed, appreciated, and rewarded without tooting our horn. The rewards derived from being humble may not be realized right away, but they will be bestowed upon us in due time. I’ve found if a person chooses to draw attention for their good deeds, their rewards are usually materialistic and not everlasting. Tooting our own horn with the intent of getting attention eventually results in others becoming resentful of the way we advanced our personal agenda. Always try hard to do things the right way with little fanfare. Yes its true, people do get attention and promoted based on how outrageously they sell their agenda and toot their boastful horn to others. However, let me say with great certainty those people are usually the ones who present themselves to be someone they are not. Their rewards are likely to have strings attached which results in more attention to fuel their ego.

The ego on the outside cannot be allowed to over rule the sanctity of the inside. If we go about our business in a way that honors who we are, there is no need to draw attention to one’s self because the happiness gained from any good deed is always recognized in unspoken and unseen ways. The unspoken and unseen affirmations of our good deeds will be rewarded in ways we physically cannot understand. If we are honest with ourself and present ourself as we are, we are not tooting our horn, rather we are presenting the truth.  Let us be humble, full of joy, and glad for great rewards which await us.