Faith, Family, Hope, Legacy, Life, Love, Moments, Truth

A Legacy Filled With Truth and Hope

Today is the big day…65 and officially, a senior citizen and a Medicare recipient. It is a birthday where I had totally different thoughts on how I would celebrate it and my life. I had visions and dreams of an all-out disco birthday bash (DJ, big hair, ‘70’s attire and all) to eating, drinking, wandering, and maybe even falling in love, all while exploring every inch of Italy. But here I am, smack in the middle of a pandemic, with the rest of the world, and I find myself struggling with the number because the reality is, I most certainly have less time left here, than I have lived. And along with questioning, I also find myself reflecting on my legacy, and wondering what it may sound and look like, from the inside out.

They say everyone leaves behind a legacy after they die but only a few leave behind one worth talking about. No matter who you are, leaving behind a legacy is important. It is not a monetary one but one that is harder to define, and it certainly is far more important. I have thought long, and hard about my own legacy, and what it would really sound like, look like and feel like. What were some of the things I did, the places I went, my accomplishments, my failures, and my lasting words? Is my legacy filled with a lifetime of relationships, truths, values, and will they live on in the lives that I have touched? What mark did I leave that would help people in making decisions, and life choices on what to do and not do? What were some of my positive and selfless acts? What example have I been to behave in a good way, and to avoid making the mistakes I had made?

For me, I am even more driven by the urgent desire to find a larger meaning to my life. I find myself struggling, reflecting, reviewing, and thinking about ways of giving back. I also find myself assessing, and sorting through my past, and the contributions I have made, and the memories I will leave behind, and I still question, was it all enough? It is so easy to remember all of our mistakes and the less than desirable moments in our lives, and I am not sure I will ever know if my life was enough or if it left a lasting impression on the lives I did touch, but these are the truths I know for sure, along with my hopes.

I know I have loved hard and unconditionally. I know I made many mistakes, some twice and maybe even three times but I have learned something from each one of them. I know there have been many people, who have passed through my life for a reason, a season, and some for a lifetime. I am grateful for each one of them and what they may have taught me or what they have brought to my life. I learned that determination could chart your own course, it paves your own way, and there is nothing wrong with going it alone. I have learned in those times when you do feel all alone, it is important to recognize you have so much help around you, and all you have to do is ask for it. I have learned you can survive all of the cracks, struggles, and flaws of life with a strong faith and belief.

I hope that the good values instilled in me were profound enough that they have trickled down to the generations after me. I hope my work ethic was visible enough that it left a lasting impression. I hope my commitment, and determination was prevalent to the lives I have touched. I hope that my message that life can be so simple, and most of the time we complicate it has been heard, and always remembered. I hope I am remembered for knowing the importance of taking a pause, taking a breath, and being in the moment. I hope my example that you are never too old to learn is one that encourages others. I hope that my life story has taught the lives that I have touched that no matter how many times life knocks you to the ground, there is always hope, and another chance to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and to just keep moving. I hope that I have taught many that we all have choices, and the importance of taking responsibility for those choices.

I hope that my children and grandchildren will always know they were my life, and I hope that they each know how they were individually loved. I hope that they have learned and know that their individual uniqueness was something so powerful in my life. I hope that they learned that it is okay to stumble, and when you lose your footing, trust in yourself, and whatever outside force you believe in. I trust they will know God was mine. I hope they know I did the best I could financially when the going was good, and I did even better in the worst of times. I hope they know I would have gone to the end of the earth for each one of them. I hope they know that they had a voice in me, and one they could trust, and a face they could turn to in their time of need. I hope they know that they could always count on me. More importantly, I hope they know how grateful I am for their tolerance of my own flaws.

I hope they know that they were each a beautiful gift to my life. Raising them and watching them grow had its tough moments, and I hope they know the joyous moments, by far, outweigh the tough ones. I hope they know I did my best to dream for them. My dream has always been for each of them to see the world, and that they discover their purpose in life. My hope is that they never settle for anything less than the best version of themselves. I hope they remember me as the kind of mother and Nana, who would lift cars, and fight bears to keep them safe. I hope they always know exactly who they are, and as life marches on, I hope they know some dreams will change, and some will go away but I hope they know I will never stop dreaming for them. And no matter what happens, I hope they know I will love them forever.

I hope my vanity and high maintenance obsessions were not inflicted upon others but remembered as ones that were more about the importance of self-care, health, well-being, and feeling good about yourself…mentally, physically and emotionally. I hope I have taught others the importance of being kind to your body and to learn to love it, take care of it and that the body keeps score and it always wins. I hope my very real obsession with lipstick is remembered with a lot of laughter, and the true understanding, power and relationship behind lipstick and its possibilities. Those who really know me will fully understand this.

Life has taught me many things, and I hope I have passed on some knowledge that hard work, diligence, perseverance, persistence, tenacity and a commitment are all ingredients for the making of a successful career. I hope my message was clear, to all who knew me, that you will know when it is time to move on, and part ways, and to never take anything personal when it comes to business. I hope they know that while corporate America was good to me, I was even better to it.

I hope I have been an example of how to believe in your own abilities and to never be afraid to fall. I hope I have been an example that your best usually comes out when you are facing the worst. I hope I have shown many that amazing things can happen when you turn things over. I hope they remember that I had to learn patience, and tolerance, and I hope my example has taught those close to me that life is only as difficult as you allow it to be.

I hope that my passion for cooking, and food is one that has touched many, and more importantly their palates and bellies. I hope that my legacy and belief that presentation is everything, along with taste is one that is carried on for many generations to come. I hope that the stories, and the experience of being in the kitchen with me and sitting at my table are ones that will be remembered with a heart full of love, laughter, and one that makes every mouth salivate. I hope that I have taught many that following your passion and your dreams are always attainable, and achievable when you have a commitment to the passion and the dream.

I hope my passion for creativity, whether it is writing, designing, dancing, drawing or gardening encourages many to always follow their heart. I hope I have taught many to never let the negativity of others get in their creative space or any part of their life. I hope I have taught many that being a free spirit can have its magical moments. I hope I have taught many that even when you fail, you should always stay humble. I hope I have taught many that you can speak your mind but to always be respectful. I hope I have taught many to be mindful of personal boundaries that should never be crossed.

I hope I leave a lasting memory of knowing it is okay to sometimes be silly, and that believing in your creative abilities, dinosaurs, dragons, singing and dancing in the rain, playing in the dirt, laughing at yourself, eating a meal with the people you love, and the gift of your imagination are just some of the simple things that will bring your life everlasting love, and years of amazing memories. I hope my love of Manhattan, and the days spent exploring the city, its museums, Broadway, the food experiences, Central Park, shopping on Fifth Ave and Rockefeller Center Christmas’ are memories that are fondly remembered, and I hope those memories have been contagious enough to live on in others for years to come.

As Springsteen said “age brings a perspective and a fine clarity. It has a way of teaching you many things, and one day, it dawns on you rather quickly that there is only so much time left. There are only so many star-filled nights, snowfalls, brisk fall afternoons and rainy mid-summer days.” I have learned that it is always the smaller things in life that remind us of what truly matters. From the leap of a grandchild into your arms and they wrap their little arms around your neck to a Facetime call from your grandson that you thought would be a five minute call and it turns into nearly a two hour call to a hand reaching to hold yours to being recognized for a lifetime achievement to someone’s warm embrace and whispering in your ear that they love you to a gentle kiss on your forehead. You see, some things have a way of imprinting themselves on your life and they never let go. They are a life sentence of some bad, many good and an enormous number of great memories. That is your reward. Being here to witness and feel it all.

As I celebrate a 65-year legacy (so far, that is) …it is one that reminds me I am lucky to be alive. Lucky to be breathing in this world of beauty, and hope. Because this is what I am presented with each day, a chance. A chance in a world where I am lucky to love, and to be loved. I hope I continue to dance through life, and more importantly, I still remain hopeful that the best is yet to come for me and my soul’s purpose.

Simply Deborah ❤️

Awareness, Believe, Compassion, Easter, Faith, Giving, God, Goodness, Grace, Hope, Inspiration, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mindful, Moments, Real, Spiritual, Thoughts, Truth

Moments, Truths and Promises

 

 

Another year, another forty-day journey and after these forty days, yet again, life has taught me even more about myself, people and the world. As I came off this journey, I found myself reflecting on what my initial intentions were, what had I learned and the realization that the journey never ends. This year, I wanted to understand more about moments. Holy Moments, that is. So here goes my story on how I got to my moment that was filled with truths and promises.

There are some things that I read or hear that just hit home and Day 8 of my journey began with listening to Matthew Kelly talk about the state of our current world and how it is filled with many blurred lines. He says that for most, it is much easier to live in the gray than it is to admit there is a black and a white. He went on to say, there is not anyone who likes being lied to and yet in today’s culture, many have an increasingly casual relationship with the truth. But here was my moment, there is a connection between truth and happiness and as our relationship with the truth becomes more casual, more slippery, as we continue to cross that line, for whatever reasons and whatever excuses we make for ourselves or justifications, not only are we erasing the line between the truth and lies, but we are also actually erasing the line between happiness and misery. Let that sink in for a bit, along with an honest and real look at the current state of the world. There certainly is a direct connection between truth and lies and happiness and misery but it was the questions he asked that really made me think. What role are we willing to give truth in our lives? Do we want to put truth on a throne in our lives when it is convenient and throw truth in the closet when it is inconvenient? It reminds us of the importance of living in truth, especially when it comes to our happiness.

For me, it took a life changing moment where my personal relationship with the truth became something that eventually would define me. It became something I am consciously aware of and sometimes consumed by it. Some say, at times, I can be brutally honest and other times, mute and maybe there is some truth in both. Sometimes I will call you out on the lie and then there are times I will not give the lie any life and I just walk away, silently. A casual relationship with the truth does not have a place in my life. Maybe it did once but not anymore. For me, when it comes to the truth, there is no gray, it is simply just black and white. To some, it may seem harsh, but I just like keeping it real. I like living life in that space and fake or being untruthful just does not work for me. But here is the thing, it was the thin line between happiness and misery that made me think even more…if you are living a life of misery, does that mean you are living a life of lies? Hmmm…

Then in the middle of my journey, something unexpected happened to someone that not only matters to me but to a lot of other people. There were moments of some chaos, a lot of concern, a little panic and a bit of confusion. There were moments where I felt challenged and I thought I was being called upon to show my strength, courage, leadership and capabilities. There were moments where the people that surrounded me showed the true colors of their character. There were moments where some showed that they cared and were supportive. There were moments where some showed how selfless they were and just rolled up their sleeves and stepped up and stepped in.

Unfortunately, there were many who fell into the category of the selfish and the self-centered. You know, the group we call, “it’s all about me”. There were moments where I felt they were waiting for me to fail. There were moments where they tested my patience. However, it was in those moments of pure silence, where I knew this was not about me, it was about taking care of business for someone else. Each day I would sit quietly with my thoughts and I would ask Him to please give me the strength and guidance towards what was right. I felt he was telling me I had to rise above it all. I had to stay focused. I had to push myself to get through it all. I had to dig in and take control. I just knew I could not fail someone, who never failed me, but I found myself wondering, am I being tested? Would this be considered a Holy Moment?

It was during Holy Week where I found myself reflecting, quite often, about people and still not fully understanding what a true Holy Moment was. And there it was, in just the right moment and in black and white, a story about how Holy Moments have an incredible power. It said the definition of a Holy Moment is where you set aside your self-interest, where you set aside what you feel like doing and you have a conversation with God and you say, “Alright, God, what do you want me to do in this moment?” And then you do exactly what you feel God is calling you to do in that moment. That is a Holy moment. And they tend to be filled with kindness and love and generosity and patience and thoughtfulness and courage. Holy Moments are filled with all of these things and they are so incredibly attractive. It is when you keep doing this over and over again that people realize…” Wow, this is a part of who this person really is.”

When I read those words, I recognized that not only did I have a few Holy Moments over those days and weeks, I also had many over my lifetime but still I felt this moment was not about me. Here is the thing, those words described and reminded me of a few people who have touched my life in many ways. From where I sit, those few, touch everyone’s life with nothing but good and greatness and most certainly, they do it unconditionally. I am forever grateful for their kindness, generosity, patience and more importantly, their presence in my life. I can only hope that from where they sit, they see me and my life in the same light.

Needless to say, I survived those days and weeks and, in the end, when you receive a simple card of thanks that says, “For some people comfort is just a word, for you, it’s a way of life. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You make life warmer and more meaningful in so many ways. There will always be a warm spot in my heart for what you did for me and my family in our hour of need.” It is in that moment that you realize this is a moment…a Holy Moment.

Today, this I know for sure, even during life’s most challenging moments, we can all find the strength to rise above the blurred lines, to move past our casual relationship with the truth and strive towards being more kind, loving, caring, generous, patient and courageous towards all of humanity. It is in that place that you will find that Holy Moments happen more often and trust this, when you surround yourself with the people who genuinely care about you and they grace your life with nothing but kindness, love and unconditional support, be grateful for each and every one of them. They are a gift of promise to bring good to your life and it is when you just silently stand still, grace with find you. Promise.

Awareness, Faith, Family, Fulfillment, Genuine, Giving, God, Goodness, Inspiration, Life, Love, Mindful, Peace, Real, Relationships, Self Care, Thoughts, Truth, Uncategorized

Walking Away

“If you want more in your life, more connection, more meaning, more fulfillment, you have to shift your attention to something deeper and truer. It will be from that pure and sacred place that you can attract more goodness in your life.”

~ Oprah

It is incredibly sad when the people we want to feel the closest to are separate from us. There are times that the image of extended family sitting or standing around for any type of gathering is portrayed to be an ideal scenario, but it can be a nightmare for many. You can feel trapped in a box of others fixed opinions, reactions and judgments.

For some time now, I have been on this journey of trying, with every ounce of my being, to create peace in my life and this I know for sure, if people or environments do not feel welcoming, comfortable, no longer familiar or more importantly, like home, I am extremely comfortable with walking away and trust this, there are no hard feelings. I have become comfortable enough with who I am and the choices that feel right for me. At this stage of my life, I owe nothing to anyone, except myself. I have learned to always follow my gut and my heart, along with seeing and hearing with the eyes and ears that God has gifted me. They all allow me to feel and see the genuine and real in myself and the people around me.

I have learned to listen to God’s whisper, and it will always be His silent voice that will direct me as to when it is time to walk away. That is what you do when the negative forces of others attempt to invade your space. It is what you do when you have had enough with being taken advantage of or disrespected or drained not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You walk away and you focus on what is meaningful to your life. It is called self-care. It brings so much more meaning to your life.

As I walk away, it will always be with forgiveness in my heart, along with silently wishing you peace but before I walk away, I offer these words of wisdom to the unconscious. Know this, you are not entitled. Stop expecting. Stop assuming. Stop being defensive. Stop complaining. Stop judging. Stop taking people for granted. Mind your business. If it is not your story to share, do not share it. You also may want to consider waking up because you are missing out on the beauty of the world, a good life, the people that genuinely love you and above all, always say thank you for another day and the blessing, along with the opportunity to be consciously alive.

Be grateful. Be humble. Be loving. Be considerate. Be kind. Be hopeful. Rise above it all. Build each other up. Be unique. Be bold. Be truer. Embrace each other. Life is too short to attract, want or expect anything less than goodness in our lives.

As always, just continuing to keep it real in 2019 and shifting my attention, along with my intentions to all things that bring goodness to my life.

Happy New Year!

Awareness, Believe, Easter, Faith, Family, Giving, God, Hope, Life, Love, Thoughts, Truth, Uncategorized

A Forty Day Journey

“Time directs, heals, teaches and leads hearts to love. Be patient with yourself and with others.”

~ Matthew Kelly

For the last few years, I have participated in Matthew Kelly’s, The Best Lent Ever. Forty days of absolute awareness, being present and working towards becoming the best version of yourself and learning how to be perfectly yourself. To be honest, some days were more challenging than others and there were days where I failed miserably at becoming a better version of myself and I have not quite found my perfect self. It is not perfection that I am looking to attain, it is being perfectly happy with being who I am and not how anyone else wants or expects or wishes me to be. The last week was probably the most challenging and yet eye opening and extremely telling. It was Holy Week and it started off with the passing of my 94-year-old aunt (my mother’s sister), who went home peacefully to the Lord and her husband on Palm Sunday and the week ended with her burial and a celebration of her life on Holy Friday. It was a week of reflection, along with constantly reminding myself of the importance of being in the present moment, shutting out the chatter and being fully aware of my surroundings. I believe the readings at her mass, at the luncheon and in a booklet her children put together truly summed up who Aunt Josie was as a person, a sister, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother and great-grandmother and as a friend but more importantly, a devoted child of God and the church. The piece that struck me the most was talking about how non-judgmental she was. She lived a life without any judgment of anyone and she would extend her hand of kindness, love and support to anyone and everyone who crossed her path.

I sat at her funeral luncheon thinking about all of the opportunities where we never take advantage of telling the people we love, while they are alive, how thankful we are for all the guidance, love and support they have added to our lives. Aunt Josie is one person, I am not sure I ever properly thanked for all of her love, support and non-judgment of me. She was there for me many times, guiding me with her kindness and her unconditional love. My heart tells me she just knew how I felt but I did take the opportunity that day, to sit with my Aunt Jean to talk about our family and some questions I had about the past. We also talked about how over time, the dynamics of our family has changed and the realistic reasons as to why change is just a natural progression of life. The conversation at one point became emotional but I knew I could not walk away from her without taking a moment to thank her for her role in my life. She was yet another person who never let judgment be a part of her words, feelings and thoughts, especially about those she loved. She is from the generation of those that understood family loyalty, respect, trust and unconditional love. They believed being there for those that you love was just a given and something that was never questioned. I call them “the just do” generation. They understood boundaries and truths. More importantly, they understood the meaning of being a true confidant and if it was not their story to tell, it was never to be repeated. I walked away from our conversation maybe not getting all the answers to my questions but with a new-found respect and admiration for my aunt and the code that she continues to honor…it is called family loyalty. Maybe some things in life should never be questioned and maybe there are no real answers and maybe you just need to respect, honor and accept what was in the past and hearing anything different, really would not change a thing.

Then this morning, while reading my favorite Sunday Paper blog by Maria Shriver, there it was, yet another reminder talking about how we should honor people while they are alive and letting the people, we love, know they are enough. The article asked questions that made me think…why do people in life rarely see themselves as others see them? Why are they rarely recognized for their powerful legacies while they are still alive? Why are they rarely told how much they are genuinely loved? Then there was Matthew Kelly’s final video, from The Best Lent Ever, he spoke about resurrection and some of his thought provoking questions and thoughts. What part of your life needs resurrection? What part of your life needs to be resurrected? Because we all have one, every year. You might have the same one three years in a row. You might have the same one ten years in a row. You might have the same one twenty years in a row. He goes on to say, some of our biggest challenges, some of our biggest problems, some of our biggest crises, some of our biggest obstacles – they take more than a year to solve, to change, to heal. The real question is: Do you believe? Do you believe that it is possible? Do you believe that whatever mess you have got yourself into or however bad the situation is in your life or whatever tragedy or challenge it is that needs to be resurrected in your life…do you believe that God is willing and able to resurrect it? Whew, a lot more to think about beyond these forty-days.

My original plan for this forty-day journey was to make time each day to be still, silent and in solitude. I wanted to use the time to reflect on my life…one moment at a time. Each day, I walked away from those moments with a word or a thought. Something that had personal meaning or reflected something about me or life in general. I knew I wanted to take those words and thoughts and do something with them. Something simplistic and not complicated and out of that came the video below…My Forty Day Journey.

Today and every day, I hope you take a moment to reflect on the real meaning of life. I hope you get the opportunity to thank someone who has had a significant impact on your life and to tell them how grateful you are that they have graced your life with their presence, their love and their understanding. I also hope you come to believe and know that you are enough and celebrate life every day…your own life and the life of those that you love and who truly matter the most to you.

Happy Easter and as Matthew says, if you are to find lasting happiness in this ever-changing world, it will be as your own wonderful self…the best version of perfectly you.

Believe, Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Relationships, Thoughts, Truth

The Gifts From The Love I Lost

Who knew nearly a decade later, the love you lost could possibly be your last sweet love and yet today, it is still one that is so difficult to talk about without getting emotional, without your voice cracking and without stumbling over your words. Who knew the person, who some questioned as you possibly selling yourself short, would turn into that love you find yourself, regrettably, thinking you should have worked harder at mending and one you should have never walked away from. It is in those quiet moments that the memories of that kind of love show up unannounced and there are times those memories come back with a haunting vengeance. There is no clear history button and there is no shutting the emotion out. You start to pointlessly replay events in your head, ceaselessly analyzing, obsessively scrutinizing your actions and wallowing in some regret.

While I utterly understand, I only have the power to change the present moment, I often think incessantly about the past and start wondering if I only had the awareness of being in the present moment back then, would it have turned out differently? It took me years to learn and I am still learning the importance of being present to receive love, and to feel appreciation and gratitude. In those moments of reflection, I now realize so many opportunities were lost because I was not living in the moment. I have learned that being present is about getting real and continually digging out the buried wounds that are hidden under layers of a very protective shell. With every life encounter, I am learning how to become still long enough to take a pause, to breathe and to ask myself an important question, “What is this life experience here to show me or to teach me?”

While I still have a lot to learn and a fair amount of life left to experience, today, this is what I know for sure, maybe it is after a good cry and when you stop feeling sad that you are able to see clearly as to what that relationship revealed to you and what it taught you. You are able to see the relationship for what it was and as you walk away, you choose to remember the gifts the love you lost gave you. It is the gifts of their good qualities, their good character and their vulnerable side that no one else knows or has had the privilege to witness or experience. It is the gift of knowing you will love them always. It is the gift of the positive influence and memory that they have left behind with those that you love. It is those gifts that you choose to hold near and dear to your heart. It is those gifts that you will always cherish with gratitude. It is those gifts that keep you in that place of hope with believing that one day you will get to feel that love, again and it is those gifts that you have learned from. But the true gift is knowing that “once love” gave you the ultimate gift of words,” you deserved better.”

So, you see, it is not about the love you lost, it is about the love you shared and always be grateful for that love. And it is that gift that I choose to always remember and cherish, we loved each other. ❤️

I wish you joy, peace, health, love and hope in 2018. Happy New Year!

Simply Deborah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhtFzdpudOk&feature=share

Believe, Christmas, Compassion, Faith, Family, Giving, God, Hope, Life, Life Experiences, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Thoughts, Truth

We All Forget

Outside there is a fresh blanket of the first snow of the season and inside, I am embraced by the warmth of my pajamas, a hot cup of coffee and my Sunday morning reading. I am reading stories about what you need to do to prepare the way to what is really coming during this season by Matthew Kelly to getting your priorities in check by Maria Shriver, but it was the one-minute video by Tony Robbins regarding “what really living is” that caused me to pause and remain still as I absorbed his words and thoughts. While all of their words were not anything that I had not thought about before, it was when I pulled all three of their thoughts together that really made me pause and reflect on the where, the what, the was, the is and what is coming with my own life and I share with you some of their telling words.

Matthew talks about the season and the preparing and somewhere in the midst of all of this, the true meaning of what is really coming has gotten lost or maybe even forgotten. There are weeks of preparing, along with the menu planning, getting the house ready, straightening everything up and making sure everything is right for everyone who is coming. The questions I read are the ones that were so thought provoking. What do you need to do to prepare for the coming season? What in your life needs to be made straight? Are there habits you need to begin or maybe end? Are there some relationships that need a little cleaning up? Do you need to look at how you use your time or how you use your money? Maybe, just maybe, now is the time to take a step back and reflect on what is really meaningful during this season and focus more on spending time with those that are really important to your life.

While reading my next piece, Maria reminded me of all of the people who lost everything during this year’s hurricanes and wildfires. She wrote about the many people who lost everything they own. Everything they worked their whole lives for. In a moment, they lost it all. In a moment, everything can be gone, and everything can change. A moment can make all the difference. She wrote about prioritizing in those moments and it made me think about what my priorities would be. What would I grab first and who would I call? Do I know what I would say if I only had a moment? For me, this was probably the biggest question, do I have someone who will check on me and be there for me? I would like to think and hope that I know who they are and that they would be there for me in a moment’s notice. I know what I value, and I know what I would grab first. For me too, it would be the things that have the most meaning to my heart. It would be the things that remind me of my family, love and hope. Her words just reinforced in me that life is a series of moments and we should never wait for those devastating moments to remind us of who and what is important to our lives. Do not wait for those moments to say the things you need to say. Do not spend a lot of moments accumulating a lot of stuff because in those moments, they really are not going to matter.

And lastly there were Tony’s words, “When do people really start to live? The answer…when they face death.” He goes on to say it is only then that all of a sudden everything in your life gets reprioritized. You start thinking about who you would call. What would you say? What truth would you tell? What would you share with someone that you never shared before? What kind of gratitude would you have for one more day? How would you treat people? What would you cherish the most if it were the last week of your life? The most eye opening and yet simplistic statement he made, “We all forget that there is something coming for all of us…it’s called death. And rather than thinking of it as gruesome, maybe it can be a counselor.” Wow!

Their words hit something deep within me and reminded me of one of my favorite Oprah lines, “I have less time left here on this earth than I have lived.” Those profound words have taught me I have no time left to waste on people nonsense or chatter that is none of my business. I have lost a lot over the years and at the same time, I have gained a tremendous amount too. I have gotten to a place in my life where I know and believe that God has something more in store for me and I am curious and excited to find out what that is. When I think about how much of my life has been spent on the not so important stuff, it is time lost that I will never recover. I cannot change any of the mistakes I have made and this I know for sure, even with the many mistakes, I know who I was yesterday, and I am good with who I am today. In the last few years, I have spent quite a bit of time in the classroom of silence with myself and God. At first it was uncomfortable because it forced me to confront both myself and the pain head on. But it has been through that solitude that I have been able to find hope in the little moments and I am able to see hope in the bigger pieces of my life.

I find myself asking quite often, why anyone would what to live life any other way than with a heart filled with gratitude, peace, love, grace and hope. Maybe, just maybe, more than ever before, we all need to make that call of gratitude, hope and love. Because life is too short, and we never know when it is going to end. That is what I am thinking about on this beautiful, snowy Sunday morning. And before we all forget, it is the season of giving, of love and of hope.

Peace

Simply Deborah

Believe, Christmas, Dreams, Forgiveness, Giving, God, Hope, Life, Life Experiences, Love, Relationships, Thoughts, Truth

Hope, Dreams and Love

This past week, I found myself surrounded by some disagreements, the spitting of hurtful words that included disgust, annoyance and hate, along with many stories about violence, sexual harassment, death and a lot of lying. The thing that really throws me off balance are the avoidable hurtful words and actions that come from the people you love and care about the most. You find yourself struggling to find answers and peace within yourself. I am not sure about you but for me when I am off my game it effects every part of my being and it is hard to hide and move past the hurt.

It is only in the quietness and the stillness that I able to find the answers and forgiveness that work for me and this Sunday morning is no different than any other Sunday morning. It is about reflection. It is about stillness. It is about being present. It is about hope. It is about dreams. It is about love. It is about the season. Sometimes life happens and sometimes it is tricky to navigate the unexpected and sometimes we forget everything we do have in our life to be grateful for.

This I know for sure, in a world that sometimes feels like it is filled with such hopelessness and in the midst of life’s many ups and downs, be kind to one another. Be aware of the importance to pause, breathe and understand boundaries. Be respectful of one another. Be loving to each another. Be mindful that it is in those trickier life moments when the unexpected can take away those precious moments to be all that we can be to each other. We were all given the gift and ability to hope, dream and love. Maybe, just maybe we need to plant them deeper in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our words.

That is what I am reading and thinking about this Sunday morning. Hope, dreams and love are the greatest gifts God gave each of us. Spread and give of them, freely and generously. After all, it is the season of hope, dreams and love.

Awareness, Compassion, Life Experiences, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Thoughts, Truth

It’s Just Wrong. Period.

I find myself struggling with how sexual assault or physical or verbal abuse of any kind or at any level have become normalized or are attempted to be justified or considered acceptable behavior or are being defended in many ways, shape or form and in some circles, thought to be humorous. For me, it will always be absolutely unacceptable behavior, disgraceful, despicable, appalling, dangerous, shameful and it ultimately diminishes who we all are as people when we become so accepting and tolerant of such inappropriate behavior.

Here is a thought, maybe, just maybe we should be embracing, applauding and supporting every woman or man, who have found the courage to finally come forward and speak their silence, truth and pain. And maybe, just maybe we should consider being grateful and thankful that it is not our son or daughter or ourselves that have lived with the pain, the shame, the manipulation, the lies and the silence for so many years. Or maybe it is, and they just have not found their own strength or voice or courage to speak their own story.

In this place we call life, I have learned that there is a story behind every face. A story that if you listen closely, carefully, compassionately and without judgment, their story may break your heart (myself included). I have also learned that before you judge or speak, you need to pause, take a breath and take a moment to think about what it would feel like to walk in their shoes for a day or two or even years. It just might wake us all up from our own unconsciousness.

This I know for sure, if I have only one purpose in this life, it has always been to teach my children and grandchildren that it is never acceptable to allow anyone to treat you badly, inappropriately or make you feel uncomfortable or shame you, under any and all circumstances and vice versa. While the conversations may seem uncomfortable, they need to happen on every level. They need to be had at home, in the workplace, in the entertainment industry and in all branches and at all levels of government. No exceptions and the message should be strong and clear across the board, zero tolerance with any and all acts of inappropriate behavior.

When we have a choice, I hope we all choose kindness, respect, love and grace. God knows, the world that surrounds us all, needs a lot more love, compassion, respect, consciousness, understanding and more people just doing right.

Period.

Believe, Compassion, Faith, Giving, Life, Life Experiences, Life Lessons, Relationships, Spiritual, Truth

Someone Like You

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love…and the greatest of these is love.” Corinthians 13:13

With my morning coffee, I read this short, yet meaningful, article about finding the Path to a Life of Love. The article challenges the scientific theory of love (the brain) versus the spiritual side of love (the soul). Of course, in reality…the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, and ultimately, love comes from the deepest part of our souls. It also references the old pop song, “Love the One You’re With” and while many of us follow a path outside ourselves to find love, the person we should give our love to and who, in return, we should return that love, clearly, is the person we are with every minute of the day, ourselves. Ahhhaa!

While the article guides you on a simplistic version of a suggested five step path…my thought, more than likely this would be difficult for most to do as we are not of a culture who is openly at ease with discussing matters of the deepest part of our heart and soul, especially when it comes to matters of love and life experiences. The steps lead you down a path from believing in love to not limiting love to a few and denying it to others to making the search for love an inward search to seeking people who value love as much as you do to believing that love is a powerful force.

My moment was in step four…seeking people who value love as much as you do. There is this old saying, “if you want to be wise, seek the company of wise people.” The writer states, maybe we should do the same when it comes to love and life…if we want to know about real human experiences, we should seek out those who have walked the path of real life and love experiences and who are willing to share them. He also states that in our society, most are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love and this inhibition is part of our own insecurities. Perhaps it is time to allow our spirit to begin a journey that follows a path which leads us to finding that one person who is wise in ways of love, human experiences and who knows how to live life at a deeper level.

Maybe there is this repressed and deeper person inside many of us, who is just waiting to bust out and just maybe we have not allowed or believed in the deepest love of ourselves to be completely present, available and in the moment. Maybe when we do, we will be ready for that someone who is emotionally and spiritually available and someone who knows how to live life with a deeper understanding, with the ability to express themselves fully and someone who values all that life and love has to offer…someone like you…a deeper, loving person.

So, on this beautiful Spring morning, while listening to one of my old favorites by Van Morrison…I open the windows to allow the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze cleanse the inside air and my soul, along with my spirit and as always…I remain hopeful and maybe the best is yet to come.

Namasté