The Daily Quote: You are Responsible for…

” If you want to move forward in life, you have to make it happen for yourself. You are responsible for your own life, and if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you or to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward and the sooner you get that, the sooner your life gets into gear. This is what I know from doing 25 years and thousands and thousands of interviews on The Oprah Winfrey Show:  It does not matter where you come from, whether from dire circumstances… It does not matter what your momma did, whether she had a PHd or NO-‘D.’ What matters is this moment – NOW, your willingness to see this moment, accept it, forgive the past and take responsibility and move forward.

 

-Oprah Winfrey

The Daily Quote: Facing Difficulty

perseverance

There are two kinds of people.

The first type of individual seems to experience a lot of ‘ups and downs’ in life. They often feel like they have ‘bad luck,’ or can’t seem to ‘catch a break.’ This person is often stressed by life changes and may suffer from depression. This person may do a great deal of praying, but it is usually for money or relief of a stressful situation. They often feel like their prayers go unanswered. It’s common for this type of person to feel and exude a sense of hopelessness, powerlessness, and victimization in many aspects of their life.

Then, there’s the type of individual who, when faced with difficulty, buckles down, holds tight to their faith & focus, & trudges on. This person’s disposition is seemingly disconnected from adversity or negative outcomes. This individual has a set attitude & outlook that doesn’t depend on day-to-day events, luck or misfortune. This type of person often prays for patience & the ability to cope with whatever situation they are facing. Acceptance is a common mentality, along with perseverance. This person doesn’t feel victimized or plagued by ‘bad luck’ when bad things happen; they see it as part of the journey. This individual turns their experiences into life lessons, & often, in retrospect, sees blessings in their difficulties.

I try to be the latter type; the person who faces difficulty with a positive attitude. The one who smiles in gratitude for an easy day, and likewise smiles in gratitude on a difficult day – knowing that God is teaching me something or improving me with whatever challenge I am facing.

Which type of person are you?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – Bible (James 1:2-4)

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” – Hadith (Narrated by Muslim, 2999).

The Daily Quote: Hurt People Hurt People

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome…”  – Joel Osteen

aaa

I had an acquaintance comment recently on how patient & kind I am. Another friend said she told someone that I am the most compassionate person she knows, & that I would help anyone. This week, one of my coworkers called me ‘spiritual’ and ‘understanding.’ Most people who spend any time around me nowadays would probably tell you that I wouldn’t hurt a fly; that I would never dare harm a soul. Some would shudder in disbelief at the thought of me angry & shouting, much less throwing things or in a physical altercation.

I am told that I am ‘Loving’ and ‘Sweet.’ I am told that I am ‘Patient’ and ‘Peaceful.’

While flattered, & pleased that people think positively of me, I can’t escape how incredibly uncomfortable it makes me feel; like a fraud.

I am no stranger to anger. I am no stranger to darkness. I come from a very painful past, full of fighting & hurt & anger & hopelessness. I used to be a person who hurt people.

Hurt people hurt people.

I have managed to hurt most, if not all of the people that I love.

Some people left for good. A few loved me even more fiercely because they could see through my anger, carelessness or coldness to the pain & the fear that I carried.

It is an endless cycle. If you knew the truth & the weight of the guilt I still sometimes carry, you would understand why I will probably never feel that I am a ‘good’ person. I live in spiritual & emotional debt, & there is no way that I, alone, can ever repay those I have grieved. The only thing that makes me ‘good’ is the mercy of Allah. The Almighty, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, The Forgiving. He hides my sins & allows people to think good of me. He continues to heal the wounds of my heart & allow me to be a light, no matter how dim, to help others & be all of these things that I never, ever thought I could be: Loving. Patient. Kind. Compassionate. At Peace. His Mercy allows me to get up every day & try to be the beautiful person that He allows me to portray. I am still a work in progress. It takes effort & diligence. I want to please my Creator.

Healed people heal people.

I still carry the pain, but it is no longer in the form of heavy chains. It is much lighter now, just a tool; a lens through which I can see past the mask of people like me; people who are hurting. The Almighty has blessed me with a heart that is open to people’s stories, their hurts, their despair. My eyes can see through the smiles to the reality behind people’s eyes. Sometimes it’s challenging. People often don’t wish to be seen & vulnerable, but my lens can see through anger & tough exteriors, especially those of children – where there hides pain & fear & loss. I can spot it, because I have it, too. And I can meet it with the Love that He has filled the holes in my heart with.

To those I have hurt because of my own pain, I am truly & sincerely sorry. My apology doesn’t remove the hurt or the anger, the embarrassment or betrayal you felt. I have not forgotten the things I did. Seeing you keeps me humble & is a constant reminder of who I truly am – that I am not perfect. I am not the picture of humility & patience & love & grace that the Almighty allows some people to see. I am still a work in progress. I am still trying & I have not left behind the wrongs that I have committed.

Some people may never see me for the person that I now strive every day of my life to be. I have already painted a picture in living color for those I have hurt. Only the Almighty can change that if He wills.

This is my truth.

Peace & Blessings ❤

The Daily Quote: Opportunity, Being Sexy, & Living Life

I don’t recall what my family & I were doing on the evening of August 11, 2013. We may have been having a movie night on the sofa, or an evening bike ride through the neighborhood. We might have been swimming & enjoying a summer cook out. Little did I know that a celebrity was on stage at an award show dropping some serious knowledge on kids all over the nation. Advice that I had yet to put into words for my 4 & 7 year olds. It was profound advice, even for me, at the age of 33.

 After revealing that his real name is ‘Chris,’ he told the audience that he had learned a lot of important things back when he was ‘Chris.’ Here is what he said:
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.  When I was 13 I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof.  And then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant.  And then I got a job in a grocery store deli.  And then I got a job in a factory sweeping cheerio dust off the ground.  And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than.  I was always just lucky to have a job.  And every job I had was a steppingstone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job.  And so opportunities look a lot like work.”

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap! I promise you! It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it.”

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family. But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you.”

“And you can build your own things.  You can build your own life that other people can live in.  So build a life.  Don’t live one, build one.  Find your opportunities, and always be sexy.”

The Daily Quote: Killing

“Man should not glory in this, that he can Kill. Man should glory in this, that he can Love.” – Abdu’l – Baha

man

For as long as humans have been alive, they have killed. We kill to eat. We kill to defend ourselves; to survive. We have further evolved into a species that regularly kills each other for little or no reason at all. We not only kill; we murder. It’s on the news every moment of every day. So why does man still find glory in the act of killing his enemy? Any species on this earth can kill. All animals & organisms were created with instincts & defense mechanisms to protect them from harm. This is true all the way down to single-celled organisms & bacteria.

Think about it. Humans are so proud of the fact that they can do something that even the lowliest single-celled organism has been doing since the dawn of time; killing. It’s nothing new. Millions of organisms are doing it at any given second, & without the celebration, chest-thumping, or declarations of victory.

Think about this: What we should be proud of is what sets us apart from these organisms & what makes us so unique; our capacity to Love. Can bacteria show compassion? Can they build & maintain lasting relationships? Can they choose love over hate? They don’t even have the capacity to hate, love, or feel anything for that matter. Humans do. Every day we should delve further into our ability to feel & exude positive energy & affect the other beings around us. We can care for people, plants, & animals. We can choose how to feel. Isn’t this, and not man’s ability to kill, that which should be glorified & marveled in?

 

The Daily Quote: A Diamond

“A Diamond is just a piece of Charcoal that handled Stress exceptionally well.” -Unknown

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately. I’m completely burnt out. Physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, & even spiritually.

I do not feel like a diamond. I am neither sharp nor polished. I feel frazzled. Rough. Sluggish. Foggy. Sad. Tired. I am working so hard, but accomplishing very little because I can’t seem to give 100% toward anything.

“Have you ever felt like your life is just on auto pilot and you’re just constantly doing and going and moving and working and accomplishing and basically sacrificing your thoughts for constant activity? If that’s you, then you need to stop. You need to pause. You need to breathe. You need to think about the things you’re doing.”

I stumbled across this article about burn out. So if you are going through it, too, I highly encourage the read.

Source: Of Health: Taking A Mental Break

The Daily Quote: I Get It

“The difference between ‘I know’ and ‘I get it’ is that you know what you have to change but you don’t get why you have to change it. Aim for ‘I get it.’ – Mariana Pan

Source: Get this

One of my biggest pet peeves growing up was having to do something without being given a reason why. “Because I said so.” was a favorite of my parents. I struggled with math; algebra in particular. I often asked my teacher why we needed to learn algebra. It wasn’t out of disdain, but rather out of my personal desire & need to operate with a purpose. It was a tool that facilitated my learning. The teacher took it as an insult, & therefore avoided me completely. I barely scraped by with D’s on my report card.

Years later, elbow deep in college algebra & panic, wondering if I would ultimately fail at a career in nursing because of my debilitating fear of algebra, I finally “Got it.”  My head spun with the realization. It wasn’t so much about the numbers & letters; it was the thought process.

If my teacher had only told me that algebra was preparing me for critical thinking skills, I would have had that ‘Eureka’ moment years earlier. Before the D’s on my report card, the tears, & the anxiety that sent me to the school nurse during math class.

The mental road blocks I had suffered likely would have cleared almost immediately, had I understood that algebra was teaching me how to think; to problem solve, to delve into multi-level problems & to follow through an extended thought process. Remembering the values ‘a’ & ‘b’ represented & solving for ‘x’ were just a game. It was a class for brain development. Learning formulas & being able to apply them to different problems, learning to render a mathematical equation from a word problem, apply a formula, & find the answer…it was all mind games. It was not worth the tears. Knowing this now, as a Mother, before my children venture into learning math – LIFE IS GOOD. 🙂

The question my children most often ask me, at four & six years old, is, “Why…”

This question is so vital to every aspect of their development. I have only a few times caught myself in mid-sentence, spewing out the answer given by generations & generations of Moms & Dads before me,

“Because I said s….”

I have made it part of my duty to try to always give them a reason why they are doing something. I remember how much easier it was to learn something, remain motivated, follow directions, or just do what my parents asked me to when I knew why I had to do it; when I could see the big picture. When I teach them something, or when they come home from school with new knowledge, I don’t just want them to ‘know’ it, I want them to ‘get it.’ With a smile. With confidence, empowered with reason & motivation. They are not robots; they are people.

Life is so much sweeter when we ‘Get it.’ 🙂