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: 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: The Monster that is Depression

ominous

“I can sense it coming on, slowly. I can stand on my front porch & see what’s out ahead of the storm. I can watch the enormous, mile-high black clouds rolling in. There are days of near-darkness before the storm even reaches me”. – Anonymous

“It’s like watching yourself be swallowed by something, seeing its teeth & throat open up & watching yourself be eaten, from the bottom up, inch by inch by inch. I’m screaming inside for days, as I feel myself being swallowed by the monster that is Depression.” – Anonymous

“Slowly, over the course of a few days,  I become like a cardboard cutout of myself. My colors start to fade to beige-brown, & the shape becomes less & less human. This blank, flat, beige-brown piece of cardboard drags itself through my day, raking its edges ragged, soggy & dirty from dragging the ground. It is all that is left in my place. It doesn’t experience feelings. My emotions become jumbled & numb. My thoughts as well. I barely function for weeks, until finally, my normal form begins to return.” – Anonymous

There is a great article called, What Does Depression Feel Like? that accurately describes some of the real, non-clinical symptoms of people experiencing depression. Here is a list from the article:

  • Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
  • You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
  • You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
  • You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
  • Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
  • Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
  • You’re having trouble making simple decisions.
  • Your friends and family really irritate you.
  • You’re not sure if you still love your spouse/significant other.
  • Smiling feels stiff and awkward. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen.
  • It seems like there’s a glass wall between you and the rest of the world.
  • You’re forgetful, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything.
  • You’re anxious and worried a lot.
  • Everything seems hopeless.
  • You feel like you can’t do anything right.
  • You have recurring thoughts of death and/or suicidal impulses. Suicide seems like a welcome relief.
  • You have a feeling of impending doom – you think something bad is going to happen, although you may not be sure what, and/or…
  • You have a very specific fear that torments you constantly.
  • In your perception of the world around you, it’s always cloudy. Even on sunny days, it seems cloudy and gray.
  • You feel as though you’re drowning or suffocating.
  • You’re agitated, jumpy and and anxious much of the time.
  • Your senses seem dulled; food tastes bland and uninteresting, music doesn’t seem to affect you, you don’t bother smelling flowers anymore.
  • Incessantly and uncontrollably into your mind comes the memory of every failure, every bad or uncomfortable experience, interview or date, like a torrent of negativity.

If you are living with Depression, you know that not all people have the same symptoms, but you can relate to one thing for sure; you don’t want to suffer at the mercy of a disease or be labeled & judged because of a diagnosis. You are who you are. Depression is not who you are; it affects your ability to be who you are. It affects your ability to cope with normal daily situations & responsibilities. It affects your ability to love & be loved.

Depression is both mental and physical. It can be caused by physical & emotional trauma. It can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Therapy and/or medication can help. Not all people suffering with Depression become suicidal. Some people experience chronic physical symptoms like fatigue, weakness, widespread pain, & headaches, as well as changes in mood & anxiety.

What is Depression?

What Causes Depression?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

 

 

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.’ 🙂

The Daily Quote: Change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

BeTheChange_Gandhi

This quote by spiritual & political leader, Mahatma Gandhi, has long been one of my favorites. Alongside the Serenity Prayer & many quotes by the amazing Author & Poet Mchaya Angelou, these words have inspired & moved me to change my own condition, to perpetually grow & improve, & to be a positive & uplifting influence to others.

These influential people taught me, during some of the most difficult times in my life; as an adolescent walking the fine balance between obedience & independence, that I was not powerless & at the mercy of abuse, oppression, & hopelessness.

I learned to be the change in my world. I learned that I had the power within me to change how the negative aspects of my life affected me.

  • I wished adults had been patient with me; I chose to embody patience. I tried harder to listen & understand people before reacting. I tried hard not to become a carbon copy of the people who had hurt me.
  • So often as a child, I wished someone would notice how much I was hurting. As I grew up, I chose to reach out when I saw other kids sad or hurt. I often listened & comforted others, & it began to heal my own wounds.

That which I could not change, began to foster changes in my attitude.

  • I awoke at an early age to the perception that there were others who were less fortunate than me. I saw other kids who came to school hungry, dirty, & sad.
  • I chose to embrace Gratitude, & to discipline myself to stop complaining.
  • I tried to feel compassion for those who were angry & hurtful. I began to see that their actions were caused by pain, & I understood pain.

It is still a daily practice of discipline for me, as an adult, working to embody the changes I wish to see in my world. I work every day to be what I once so desperately needed as a child – for my own children & as a school nurse, for my patients.

  • I needed patience; I must be patient.
  • I needed respect; I must be respectful & teach my children self-respect.
  • I needed support; I must be encouraging & supportive. I must be aware of the needs of my children, & be open when they come to me.
  • I needed love; I must be loving. Kind. Patient. Understanding. Non-judgmental. Unconditionally loving.
  • I needed someone to smile at me & show me that my world would not always be this dark, scary place. It is my goal to always smile at children. At my children, at my patients, at children in the supermarket, & wherever I see them. Always, always offer a smile. You may be the only one who does.

❤ Peace & Blessings,

Angela

The Daily Quote: I Think You Left Someone Out

I Love You

When I saw this picture, it gave me all those warm, fuzzy feelings inside. I pictured my children, swaddled up as newborn babies, fresh & full of potential. I pictured my Husband, on our wedding day, all of the memories we had yet to make, & the dreams we had yet to chase together.

And then, those warm, fuzzy feelings went away. Darkness.
I didn’t believe anyone had ever felt that way about me. Neither of my parents had wanted me. I was a burden; an inconvenience. Everyone who had ever taken care of me as a child had told me more than once what they’d had to go through because of me.

I removed the picture from my screen & closed my laptop.
I resumed the usual feelings of self-loathing.
Logic & reason & faith told me that none of this mattered, because the Almighty, Allah created me – not my parents, not any of those caregivers. Allah valued me & saw my worth, even when no one else did.
But those feelings of worthlessness always crept in, separate & apart from my sense of faith & what I tried & tried to tell myself.

“I love you
For all that you are
All that you have been
And all you’ve yet to be.”

Finally, it hit me. The problem was not that “nobody” felt this way about me, or “nobody” had showed me enough love as a child.
The true problem was that I couldn’t say I felt this way about myself.
As a grown woman, if I didn’t like the way I felt & I didn’t feel valued, it was my responsibility to do something about that. I had to choose to love myself. For all that I am, all that I have been, & all that I’ve yet to become.
If I could look at someone else & say & feel this beautiful affirmation of love, then WHY didn’t I give myself the same gift?
Because I have to look in the mirror at ME everyday. I have to LIVE inside my experiences, including who I have been in the past, & who I am yet to be.
If I held myself at all responsible for the happiness & well-being of my children & my Husband, then WHY did I not hold myself just as responsible for validating & loving myself?

This was a profound lesson.
I always tell my children, “You are my favorite girl in the whole world,” and “You are my favorite boy in the whole world.” I hold their little cheeks in my hands, look into their eyes, & kiss their foreheads. I want them to feel so special & so loved.
And then I walk away feeling empty inside. Inside, I’m still the child who didn’t have that. Who was in the way. Who was neglected. Abused.
I realized, I love them so much, just trying to feel loved, myself.
“I think you left someone out,” I told myself.

I walk to the mirror, & I speak words of love & acceptance to the child inside,
“I love you
For all that you are
All that you have been
And all you’ve yet to be.”

I imagine holding those little chubby cheeks of the little girl me in my hands. I look into her eyes & I kiss her forehead. I am there to love her when she feels unloved. I want her to feel so special, so important to me.

The Daily Quote: You’re not a body. You have a body. You are a soul.

You’re not a body. You have a body. You are a soul.
by : My Private Jannah
Just a reminder
  • Your nose is the right shape.
  • Your skin is the right shade.
  • Your lips, hands and feet are the right size.
  • Your height is perfect and so is your natural hair color/texture.
  • Your voice and laugh are just right.

Whatever you dislike about your physical self is actually in your mind.

  • Fashion didn’t create you.
  • Western standards of beauty didn’t create you.
  • Your culture’s idea of physical attractiveness didn’t create you.

Allah created you and He doesn’t make mistakes. Let that sink in for a moment.

Acknowledge your body as what it is:

a present from your Creator that allows your soul to journey from one realm to another.

Practice gratefulness by taking good care of this gift that was entrusted to you.

  • Be as kind and merciful to it you as would be with an honorable guest.
  • Respect it.
  • Love it.
  • Compliment it.

Feed it with the right amount of healthy food and be active to keep it fit, strong and energized.

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Moisturize your skin.
  • Take care of your teeth, hair and nails.
  • Exercise your brain.

You’re not a body. You have a body. You are a soul.

Source:

Source: You’re not a body. You have a body. You are a soul. by : My Private Jannah