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Surviving a broken heart


“It felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
– Jennifer Lopez on Ben Affleck, in her memoir True Love


“In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids’ sake. “I’m not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don’t think I doubted we’d end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that’s what they have.”
– Elin Nordegren on Tiger Woods, People



“I think when I came into marriage—especially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself… You’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family. I desperately want it to work; I desperately love my husband and I wanted to share everything together. And I thought that we were a very good team.”
– Princess Diana on Prince Charles, 1995 Panorama Interview

“[Divorce is] very humiliating and very isolating… But, by the way, if it’s not painful, maybe it wasn’t the right decision to marry to begin with. Those are the appropriate emotions. When people get in your face and say, ‘This will pass,’ you think, Are they crazy? I’m never gonna feel any better than I feel right this minute. And nothing’s ever gonna make sense again. And I still have moments where I’m like, ‘Nothing’s ever gonna make sense again.'”

— Reese Witherspoon on Ryan Phillippe, ELLE

Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be hurt? I suppose it has something to do with knowing you have nothing to lose by loving and everything to lose if you don’t. I believe that. I also believe that each experience, each encounter no matter how insignificant it might seem, bears something transformative. And ever expanding. Who I am, and all those amazingly scary, difficult-to-digest events that have brought me here. To this particular moment, to this particular place.

Here are tips to help you recover from break ups

ACCEPT THE PAIN

Accept that you will have to go through some pain. It is an unavoidable truth that if you loved enough to be heartbroken, you have to experience some suffering.

When you lose something that mattered to you, it is natural and important to feel sad about it: that feeling is an essential part of the healing process.

The problem with broken-hearted people is that they seem to be reliving their misery over and over again. If you cannot seem to break the cycle of painful memories, the chances are that you are locked into repeating dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Your pain has become a mental habit. This habit can, and must, be broken.

This is not to belittle the strength of your feelings or the importance of the habits you’ve built up during your relationship. Without habit, none of us would function. But there comes a time when the pain becomes unhealthy.

Don’t Fight Your Feelings A break-up is often accompanied by a wide variety of powerful and negative feelings including sadness, anger, confusion, resentment, jealousy, fear and regret, to mention a few. If you try to ignore or suppress these feelings, you will likely only prolong the normal grieving process, and sometimes get totally stuck in it. Healthy coping means both identifying these feelings and allowing ourselves to experience these feelings. As hard as it is, you cannot avoid the pain of loss, but realize that by experiencing these feelings, they will decrease over time and you will speed up the grieving process. The stages of grieving frequently include: shock/denial, bargaining, anger, depression and eventually acceptance.

Keep busy. If you wake up early take a walk, go out to breakfast or do something around the house. Try a little “retail therapy” (go shopping) or enjoy the decadence of going to a movie in the middle of the day. Many businesses allow their staff to take “mental health days” if needed. If you can’t sleep do the crossword puzzle, read or watch TV. Don’t sit in your room and ruminate, you have to free your mind so your heart can heal.

Don’t try to mask your pain by trying to find a replacement. We all know the term “rebound relationship” these happen when we (unconsciously) use another person to fill the gap that’s been created by the ending of a relationship. These transitional connections can feel healing in the short term, but if you don’t process your pain appropriately you will not be able to be in a fully committed partnership.

 Give yourself permission.

It is okay to be smile again. It’s okay to find something funny and have your curiosity evoked. It’s perfectly fine to dwell on other matters besides your old love. It’s acceptable to feel those first flutterings for someone else. It’s okay to have your heart beat for something, someone else again.


I like to think that it really takes very little to survive after our heart’s been very broken — some gumption, a little bit of hope, the daring to dream again… and patience. Know this now: The time has come to stop wasting your heart and time in anger and obsession – re-living the pain of relationships past. Be thankful for the lessons and life experiences this relationship has taught you, and be hopeful for the future. Know that there are better things to come and welcome every new experience that comes your way with open arms—they may just exceed your expectations.

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It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go and Hoping On

We are driving on Transcanada Hwy just past Swift Current, Saskatchewan heading home to Winnipeg. Every driver is supposed to drive at 110 km per hour on this highway. I am  driving at 114 km/hr, just 4 km above the limit, not too bad. In front of us to the right is a line of truck, my assumption is that they too are driving at 114 km/hr because it is taking too long to pass them. We stay on the left side.  As I attempt to pass the 6 trucks on the right lane, I see a sports car veer just behind us. They must be driving at around 130 km/hr. As we pass the first truck, I see car behind tailgating us, kind of putting pressure on me to speed up, coming just a few meters close to us. We accelerate to 119, he comes even closer.

I can not go faster than that to impress him…but he keeps on coming even closer. I choose not to yield to the pressure. These guy behind me is in a black BMW. I see him checking his phone, then making angry faces at me and getting closer and closer. I am feel threatened by his tailgating,  I know that his car is too closer to us than it is safe, a bad accident could easily happen should I have a sudden need for to slow or stop for unforeseen circumstances ahead of me. I speed up alittle bit, thinking it might calm him down but it did not. We continue like that for the next ten kilometers until we finally passed all the trucks.  Finally he zooms past us at a speed of lightening.

“I hope he does not get a ticket.”

I don’t how others feel when I was telling you this story; I have to be honest with you that when I first saw the car behind me I started to feel under pressure to speed past the trucks to give him a right of way. But as I thought through it I decided not to speed any faster, I knew that speeding was only one part of the solution of yielding to the driver’s behavior, I also knew I could show some anger or probably swear at him  but that is not me….I wanted to handle the situation differently, I wanted to stay calm and allow him to pass as soon as I had a chance. I had to choose to keep my testosterone in check and I knew that deep in me I had that power of saying no to the tempting spirit.

We all experience pressures in our lives. We feel pressured to perform, to conform and please others. We experience financial pressures, social pressures, career and professional pressures – pressures in relationships, (marriages, partnerships, parenting, etc.). We want to pin the blame for pressure. In this situations we feel that we need to take our power back from these external forces. And, this accurate – when we are experiencing pressure, it’s a signal that we have an opportunity to call our energy and power back to ourselves. We just get confused on how to do that.

The dictionary defines pressure as stress, a constant state of worry and urgency. It’s a force that pushes or urges, (emphasis on force). To pressure is to compel, or make someone do something. Some pressures are healthy, and even necessary. The adrenaline rush we feel at the start of a new project, or when we have a deadline approaching, helps motivate us. But when we try to do too much, all the time, stress becomes the enemy – quite literally. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, raises the body’s metabolic rate in readiness for a ‘fight or flight’ response. It increases heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. It affects background body functions too, like digestion, cell division and even our reproductive processes — putting them on hold until calm returns.

Being on constant alert and able to react to an imminent, life-threatening emergency is great when you need it, but living constantly in that state is detrimental. Stress affects our ability to think clearly and remember things; it has been shown to increase the likelihood of depression and can exacerbate health risks like stroke and heart disease. It also impacts our immune systems, which scientists now fear can impair our ability to fight cancer. Thus, unrealistic worries are over-reactions to a tolerable situation or a prolonged over-reaction to a threatening situation that can not be avoided. But how can you be sure a situation won’t cause trouble? You can’t. How can you be sure you won’t handle the problem any better if you worried about it a lot more? You can’t be. However, we can learn to recognize extreme over-reactions, e.g. being terrified while flying or obsessing for hours about an insoluble problem. But a little worry about crashing while flying is realistic and some thought is necessary to know that you can’t do much about a problem. So, how much time should you devote to a particular problem? There isn’t an exact answer; that’s why some of us let anxiety overwhelm us.

Many a times, we all find ourselves under pressure similar to my tailgate experience, we feel pressure, spoken and unspoken, to do everything and be everything, pressure to provide for your family, to be available to everyone, to meet company targets, to attend every meeting, to keep engaged, to have meaningful and well-maintained relationships. And as we well know, as we grow up we are taught by the people or our environments that we should suck up when we are pressure. We start on a journey that I call survival journey, you start to say, “I just want to get through today.” or, “Just one more party and it’s over.” We start to walk through sad places where we quit to enjoying the season s, the presence, others and starts trying to get through it instead. Beyond stressing about your general workload, if you dwell on the related risks and get wrapped up in thoughts of what could go wrong, you generate patterns of fear that start to seem normal. You get so used to being afraid that you actually start to accept it as a sign that you’re working hard: “Oh, I’ve got to give a big presentation, so I’ve got to be nervous.” That sort of thing.

Over the years I have learnt a thing or two about working under pressure. I have learnt that when one acts or live under intense pressure one start to create survival environments for themselves. I have seen people who live in survival journey making impulsive judgments, angrily rushing to bring closure to whatever matter is at hand. He or she feeling is compelled to get the problem under control immediately, to extinguish the perceived danger lest it destroy him or her. When one lives in survival journey they are robbed of their flexibility, their sense of humor, their ability to deal with the unknown. They forget the big picture and the goals and values they stand for. They lose their “cool” or feeling at peace, they lose their creativity.

I can’t help but think we’re a lot like that when life presses down on us. When the pressure gets too intense, we start looking for ways to bail ourselves out from under the thumb of circumstances that seem too much to handle. And all too often we are tempted to bail in terms of our attitudes, feeling angry, bitter, or even mad at God—or anyone else we can blame our problems on. Or, we are tempted to bail in our actions by refusing to persevere in righteous ways.

Apparently, gaining a sense of mastery or learning one is able to handle problems early in life, e.g. in monkeys who get good mothering and social support when young, seems to protect the adult from serious anxiety. Although fears are generally based on primitive automatic emotional reactions, more intense panic and specific fears occur when we feel particularly vulnerable–open to being seriously hurt. Some of this vulnerability may be genetic tendencies but much is probably learned, often at an early age. How are these dangers, these “Wow, that scares the hell out of me!” reactions, learned? Sometimes, we see the actual results of a real danger–a heart attack, an auto accident, someone going crazy–and we vividly imagine that might happen to us. Examples: Panic attacks often are exacerbated by the scary thoughts that the tightness in my chest and high anxiety means I’m dying from a heart attack, going to faint, going crazy, etc. Such thoughts greatly increase the panic.

Sometimes, we are given specific instructions by others to expect danger, e.g. some social phobics have been told that interacting with others can be disastrous–“they will think you are stupid or weird,” “you can’t trust them,” “you’ll make a fool of yourself,” etc. Sometimes, we have started to think in a certain way (the source may be totally unknown–a TV, movie, book, or just our own fantasy as a child) that implies some situation is dangerous. Examples of this might be: “Oh, what I just said sounded really selfish… dumb… critical… ” which grows into “I’m going to mess up when I talk to them,” “I’m not good at socializing,” “I can’t think of anything to say,” or “I get really uptight and start to sweat when I try to talk to someone.” We can create, in effect, our own dangers, and may be especially prone to do that if we are given certain genes and childhood experiences.

Norman Vincent Peale tells how a young business man asked him to talk with his father, the head of their business. He said. “I’m very worried about Dad. He is so nervous and tense. There are so many pressures and problems in the business and my Dad is giving way under them.” Dr Peale encouraged him to relax and talk over his problem of pressure in the business.  After a time, Dr Peale said to him, “I don’t suppose you ever read the Scriptures do you?”

“Certainly I do” the man replied.  Dr Peale said, “You read them but you don’t practice them.”

“Of course I practice them, I’m a moral man.”

“I wasn’t talking morals and ethics, I was talking about the healing power of God.  Have you ever read the 26th chapter of Isaiah, 3rd verse – ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you’?” Peale then went on to explain that the father had not been keeping his mind on God, he’d let it dwell too much on his problems.  He urged him to repeat the text three times a day to get it fixed in his mind and heart. Faith in God, more than anything else, helps us to keep things in perspective and cuts our pressures down to size

It boils down to whether or not we want comfort or character. You or I may think that life should be a bed of roses, but if that’s your take on life, you’re in for a big surprise—trouble happens! The issue is not if you will face trials, it’s how you will respond to the inevitable pressure that the problems of life bring. It may be that you face pressure at work. In the face of a seemingly insurmountable project, it’s easy to think, “If I just fudge a little bit I could get this job done faster.” Or, when the problems at home won’t go away, we find ourselves wondering, “Maybe I’ll just leave so I won’t have to deal with this anymore.” The sin of pride causes us to respond to problems with thoughts like, “I don’t deserve this.” And soon our attitudes are in the dumper and God’s work is derailed.

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Are you feeling stuck in life?

Are you feeling stuck in life? Many people do. Sometimes it feels as if we simply cannot move on with life. As if there was something that keeping us from pursuing our dreams and hopes. AND THERE WE ARE, Stuck! We feel limited and simply do not know what to do. We have no idea how to break free from the limitations that are imposed upon us. What is worse, we do not even know what it is that is imposed on us and who imposes these limitations on us. It’s quite scary to be confronted with an invisible obstacle you cannot seem to tackle. Even though the situation may seem hopeless, there’s much you can do about it. In fact, there are a variety of highly efficient tactics and powerful tricks you can use to free yourself from being stuck in a rut.


To illustrate how painful being stuck can be, I want to draw from the analogy of the movie, the Groundhog Day. If you have not seen the film Groundhog Day, please do so immediately—it is hilariously entertaining, touching, and has thousands of implicit lessons for improving one’s life, community, and the world. Some of you may know I wrote my dissertation on the 1993 romantic fantasy starring Bill Murray, directed by the late Harold Ramis.

Groundhog Day is about an arrogant TV weather man (Bill Murray) who finds himself stuck in a time loop where he keeps repeating the same day over and over. The worse part? He’s the only one who remembers the past day’s events — no one else seems to remember anything! At first he uses this time loop for personal gain. After a while though, he starts to evaluate his life and priorities.

In the movie, the main character, Phil Connors is trapped in a recurring day — a freezing February day in Punxsutawney. The town never changes; the events and the people never change. Only Phil can change.

It is impossible for Phil to have any control over the external world. Every morning he wakes up and it’s the same day again. He is compelled to find how best to survive and prosper, and decide if this is a curse or maybe a blessing. This is a nightmare everyone fears: to be trapped in a repeat mode forever.  Boredom crushes creativity and saps motivation at work and at home. The good news, there is an antidote to boredom.  It is about tapping into the power of purpose.  The fun part is that there are 5 lessons to be learned from the movie.


So what you can you and I do to get unstuck? As we have already established, you won’t be able to break free by digging deeper. What is necessary is to find another approach that helps us to address the underlying issue.

Here a some lessons for us

Don’t give up.

Again, Groundhog Day as life metaphor: Most of us have at some point been trapped in a situation where no matter what we did, we couldn’t extricate ourselves from some endless cycle of lameness. In the film, Phil’s attempts to bypass the situation altogether by offing himself don’t pan out; they don’t solve anything. The lesson is clear: Giving up doesn’t solve the problem.

Look at the big picture

This is about meeting yourself where you are. What are the current issues? Where do you want to be? And what is the in between? Remember, “The way out, is through.”

Take the wheel. 

Stop being a passenger in your own life. Take responsibility for your well-being and break the cycle of blame. Where you are today is solely the result of your choices and actions. Where you will be tomorrow is a result of things you do or don’t do today. Your circumstances and your results are your responsibility. Yes, many external factors are beyond your control, but you can change how you feel about them.

Do your best, live in the moment. 

Your best may be different at different times, and at different tasks and in different situations, but it begins with being in the presence, being in the moment you will always know when you are doing it. “Presence” is not about attracting attention to oneself, as some seem to think, but about being present and PAYING attention.

Express, Don’t Repress

As you work your way through your rut, don’t suppress your emotions. Instead, experience them fully. Going back to our example of a job loss, perhaps you’re very sad that you lost your job. Maybe you loved that job and wanted to stay with the company for the rest of your working career. Rather than be depressed for weeks or even months, express the emotion you’re feeling. If you feel you need to cry or yell out in rage, then do so. After you’ve let the emotion out, let it be. Don’t dwell on it forever. Experience the emotion and then move on. Remember, each event we experience in our life is a learning opportunity. Find the lesson that’s hidden in your current situation so you can move on.

We are All in a Prison of Our Own Making

Everyone is living out their own Groundhog Day as we speak. You’re bumping into the same problems, the same issues, the same challenges in most of the situations you’re in, because, duh, you’re you, and this is your heavy, heavy synthetic bag. You could even argue that this is The Point of why you’re here. 

Help Others In Need

The first time that Phil passes the old homeless man on the street in Punxsutawney, he pats his pockets pretending not to have any money. But over the course of the movie, Phil becomes more and more empathetic to the old man’s tragic situation. Phil buys him meals on numerous occasions, and tries to save the guy’s life when he’s stuck out in the cold. Phil also repeatedly catches a kid who falls out of a tree, helps some women with a flat tire, and performs the Heimlich maneuver on a restaurant goer. As his actions show, helping others doesn’t just only make them feel good — it can make you feel great, too.

Do one thing at a time
Anxiety and overwhelm kick in when there’s a lot going on.

But even when you have a lot to do, it’s impossible to do everything at once. The most effective way to make progress towards any goal is by doing one thing at a time.

Make a list of what’s most important for you to do. Do one thing first. Then, move on to the next. Keep repeating until your day is through. When you get distracted, come back to the one thing you’re focusing on.

Give thanks to whatever or whoever you give thanks to, but acknowledge your own role in your success. 

Live in Beauty

The French believe each day should be lived in beauty. No, that doesn’t give free rein to having a closet, cleaning the garage or basement. I do love a nice pair of shoes. It expresses that life is beautiful…hardships and all. Notice the single flower reaching for the sunshine through the snow, or the dog out for a walk, wagging his tail and carrying a favorite ball. That is beauty. It’s also a moment of perfect clarity.

Master Joyful Skills

If you are bored at work or home, put yourself on the path to master joyful skills.  This can happen regardless of your time, financial resources or the level of teaching talent available in your community.You will see that even if you are working in a rough neighborhood, with a terrible work schedule and a low wage job, you can cultivate a sense of purpose.

In the movie, Bill Murray brushes up on his piano lessons with a local teacher and eventually rocks out to a full house.  He worked with what was available and poured passion and purpose into it.  He mastered a joyful skill.

 
Being stuck in a rut is no fun, but as I always say ‘nothing last forever’!  Everything has its season, and I strongly believe that when one door closes another opens.  Just as the universe appears to work against us sometimes, it also works for us a lot of the time.  Remember that the universe seeks balance, so things will eventually level out, no matter how bad the outlook may be.  The more positivism you can foster during this time, the better your chances of getting out of that rut feeling better than ever.  You’ll be able to pour that new motivation and energy into your goals, and work that much harder (and focused) on your success. The idea is not to avoid these issues, because sometimes it is not possible, but to be aware of what they mean and know how to turn them into opportunities for new opportunities and personal reinvention .

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Keep hope up, no matter what 

 

Not all those who wander are lost.

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

When I was 10 or 11 had a disability. I remember losing control of my legs,
then stopping suddenly stopping to walk. Being disabled in a rural Kenyan community was the last thing one would want to see. It was very difficulty to get out of the bed, my mother, who at this time had other young children had to juggle around all our needs. She had also to work in the farm to provide for us, my dad did not care very much it was the role of women to look after the family. I remember crawling on the dusty floor, as our two bedroom thatched and mud house was not cemented. I remember trying to chase my younger siblings on my knees unable to catch up with them, I remember crawling on the bumpy ground looking for the best spot (with lots of sunshine) to take a nap.

I remember my mum and sometime neighbors carrying me on their backs to take me inside the house. I remember being pulled on a sack (sisal bag) back to the house. There were many embarrassing moments such as going to the bathroom right in the bed because I could not crawl or get help to go to the outhouse. My family and I had to endure this moments of shame, desperation and fear of living for the rest of my life handicapped.

That all changed one day, after my mum’s prayer. I started to have feelings to the feet again. I was so happy and I was ready to restart my life again. I had been in that condition for more than a year. I could not wait to start praying soccer again, I could not wait to go back to school, my dreams were renewed and I could not wait to live my dreams again. I now live in Canada, my experiences working with persons with disability in Canada has been very different from what I and other persons with disabilities have to go through in countries such as Kenya.

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In Kenya, the traditional view of disability often focuses on the individual, highlighting in capacities or failings, a defect, or impairment. This focus creates obstacles to participation on equal terms since an individual who seems to lack certain capacities may not be able to attain autonomy. In Kenya, many children with special needs are considered a bad omen by some families and are therefore locked in and denied opportunities for personal growth and development. It was and (possibly) very painful and difficulty to be disabled in a rural  village in Kenya and if your family is poor you suffer even more. This is what I had to go through for a year.

I can never take walking for granted, it is a gift. I can not imagine what would have happened if I never walked, I would still be crawling or I might have died by now, and if I was still alive I would have caused many more shame to myself and family. For many people who have been fortunate to get out of their dire and desperate situation you probably feel like it will never change, you were born to be in your situation. I can not completely walk in your shoes but I am here only to encourage you, to mention to you that may be your miracle has not happened like it did for me but do not want you to lose heart. It is by responding in the proper ways that we are able to progress toward our dreams. God gives each of us dreams to strive for. Yet for a number of you those dreams has not yet been accomplished. You have encountered many obstacles and setbacks and now your dream seems distance and unreachable. Those are the obstacles that we see. I am always reminded that every obstacle that we overcome and every hardship we endure serves to make us stronger. Make a list of difficult circumstances you have endured and what you have gained from them. For example, losing a job may prompt some people to further their education and learn a new trade thus opening the door of opportunity to bigger and better things.

 

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carpe, carpe diem, seize the day

Today is July 10,2019. I am writing this story as I fly to Bloodvein First Nation in Manitoba Canada. The morning looks gorgeous, with lots of sunshine. As I look through the window of my plane, I am awed by the beauty of the vegetation. It’s all green, full of life and hope. Crops look beautiful, every farm look well trimmed and full. As we fly over Lake Winnipeg, I see total beauty, clear water, small island and calmness. It is a beautiful day indeed!
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Surely, I can’t imagine that in a few months all of these vegetation and Lake Winnipeg will be covered with snow and a long cold winter. That’s is sad to imagine but that will start to be the the reality starting in October. Where am I going with this? In my short life on this earth I have come to realize that our time in every season of life is limited. Everything and everyone has an expiration date and we will eventually pass from this world. The thing is, we have no idea when our time on this world will end. So, while we’re still alive, we have to live life to the fullest.
There is no better way to explain this than it is shown in the movie Dead Poets Society. The movie has these scene where on the first day at school, the English teacher, Prof. Keating (Robin Williams), drags his boys out of the classroom into the hallway and shows them the pictures of graduates who were the legends of the school – those who had died, but had contributed a verse that would not be forgotten. He says:
“Now I’d like you to step forward over here. They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you; their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? …”
In order to emphasize the point, he brings them closer to the photos and whispers in their ears:
“Carpe… hear it? …carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
In doing these, he wanted them to be the best they could; to take life by the scruff of the neck and live a life filled with passion and joy. But sometimes the fight can leave us for no obvious reasons. Which is why we must never forget to tell those around us that we love them. That we will lift them up when they are down. That we will not forsake them. Because God never forgot us – and He made us to be extraordinary.What is carpe diem? Why is it so important? What if we don’t carpe diem? and How can we live by this phrase?
Carpe diem is a quotation from the Roman poet Horace (65-8 bce). It appears in the last line of Poem 11 in the first book of his Odes, which was published in 23 BCE. The Latin word carpe refers to seize, and diem refers to day.
Carpe diem is a way of thinking, perceiving, and approaching daily life. It simply means to seize the day and to know that yesterday has already left you, and as for tomorrow, you have nothing to prove that it will be yours. In which case, your true life is the present day. Thus, make the present day the most important day of your life. Seize the day, catch the wind, and use all of your potential before it is too late to reach your goals and to realize your dreams.
“We are food for worms, lads,” announces John Keating, the unorthodox English teacher played by Robin Williams in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. “Believe it or not,” he tells his students, “each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die.”
I am reminded of a story I recently read about the Cherry blossoms, also known as sakura in Japan. The Cherry blossoms are the most commonly used symbol of mortality in all types of art in Japan. The blooming season of cherry blossoms are brief, between Married and April of each year, resulting in instant beauty and immediate death of the flower. They, therefore, serve (within the Japanese culture) as reminders of humanity and mortality since, like cherry blossoms, a human being’s life can end at any given moment. The human condition is epitomized through the cherry blossom, alerting people that life is too short to waste away and that people should live life to the fullest.
The Cherry Blossom period and Dead Poets Society movie are our reminders of how fragile and transient nature of life is , with the cherry blossoms’ short lives reflected in lovely falling petals, and the unpredictability of peak days reflecting the power of nature beyond human control. We should therefore enjoy the moment’s incredible beauty while it lasts.On a daily basis, we should remind ourselves that life is indeed too short and precious to be wasted. This means you should not put precious things and people off or on hold. Pluck the day trusting as little as possible in the future, because the future may never be. It’s now. Pluck your fruit now. And if you are lucky enough to have another day to pluck more, you will see tomorrow, not now. Now, you can only see now! That simple. Make the most of it, waste the least of it.
What makes us miss the opportunity to live for the moments?
  1. Lack of vision. One of the biggest reasons people miss opportunities to live for the moment in life in life is simply because they have no hope and vision for living. A lack of vision can cripple your ability to look on opportunities that may be right in front of you. You must learn to train yourself to be sensitive and alert to opportunities that come along, and you can start by taking stock of your current situation, setting achievable goals for yourself in the present, and developing visionary long-term goals for your future. Doing so should enhance your ability to evaluate potentially advantageous situations and make you more keenly aware of opportunities that may truly be right for you. Additionally, while evaluating situations and circumstances on their merits is a prudent course of action, avoid the urge to be inflexible and closed-minded; opportunities can present themselves in completely unexpected ways.
  2. Fear is another huge obstacle that keeps people from seizing opportunities. Fear can come from many different sources: past failures, lack of self-confidence, overestimation of possible problems, uncertainty or concern about taking a loss, etc. However, sometimes in life chances need to be taken if you are ever to progress, so fear must be overcome regardless the source. Having vision and ambition may not be enough if you do not have the willingness to persevere. Hence, work at bravely meeting challenges and fostering confidence in yourself. Adhere to your convictions with constancy, and behave in a positive, proactive manner. If you do these things, you will likely find fear easier to overcome and opportunities more accessible. And remember, failure is not necessarily an ending; it may just result in a new beginning. Many extraordinarily accomplished people experienced failure before ultimately achieving success.
  3. Listening to doubting voices. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott shares an ingenious method for coping with the critical voices in your mind (the ones that say “I can’t do it” and “You’re ridiculous to even try.”) Your critical teachers (and the not-so supportive friends you may have had) are all in your head when you’re trying to seize an opportunity. Instead of letting their negativity reign, try to isolate one of the voices and imagine [it] as a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice….And so on….Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people, clawing at the glass, jabbering away. This exercise helps you to mute the volume on the voices that don’t serve you.
Today, remember that every of your encounters, even seemingly random ones, has a purpose. Every single person whom you encounter, even someone unpleasant, is put in your path for a reason. Always be open to hidden, unexpected possibilities in every one of your experiences. Every encounter, even the ones that ostensibly seem superficial, will offer you an opportunity to be kind, or be helpful, or to refine your emotional attributes. When you travel, even if its for business or pleasure, always be open for the spontaneous encounter that can change your life and the life of another.
As a Christian I am blessed to know that true life living for God and living for others. As I serve First Nations of Manitoba in my capacity as the Regional Coordinator for Jordan’s Principle, facilitating services for First Nation children and their families I am reminded that I am a helper, so I should serve with compassion and love. The one thing that helps me in seizing the moment in my service is to always have a sixth sense, serving from the heart and listening well, even for what is not said or heard. This helps me to me to be close to the hearts of many families and to also to promptly respond to requests based in the best interest of the child.
We have all been placed in this world for a reason, we have expiry dates but God has given each of us ample and short time to do something, you and I are in that prime time (where we are in life) to blossom, like the Cherry Blossom 🌸 we should enjoy the moment’s incredible beauty while it lasts. What is that one thing that you die to do it but have been putting it on hold, step up, now is the moment. Do it. This is your moment to blossom. Just like Professor Keating says in this lines:
“Now I’d like you to step forward over here. They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you; their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? …”, so I am calling you too, step forward, seize the moment, blossom now, tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Think Big, Dream Bigger: Lessons from the Koi fish

maximize_potentialsKoi is the Japanese word for carp, a brightly colored type of flesh water fish. The fish come in a variety of colors and have symbolic meaning in China and Japan.

One fascinating thing about the koi fish is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will grow to be only about two or three inches long. But if you place it in a tank or a small pond, it will reach six to 10 inches. But if you put it in a large pond and it may grow as long as a foot and a half. However, if you put it in a lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach a size of up to three feet. Amazing, isn’t it? The bigger its space, the more it will grow in size.

Similarly, people are like the koi fish. Each individual has the potential to grow their vision big, beyond the dimensions of ones boundaries. I was sharing this story with First Nations leaders recently, I told them for us as we envision the future of our children we call to happen what we  see in the future.  I believe that the future of strong First Nation communities in Canada lie with the generation of today.  In our discussions we envisioned the land based healing that First Nations can lead, the leaders talked of land based wholistic education as a pathway to wholeness and self determination. Seeeing this happen keep me excited, it keeps me eager to see the dream we are working on together come true… just like Koi, the bigger the vision and dream the bigger the outcome.

Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can be, have, or do in life. Just for the moment, imagine that you have all the time, all the money, all the education, all the experience, all the friends, all the contacts, all the resources, and everything else you need to achieve anything you want in life. If your potential were completely unlimited, what kind of a life would you want to create for yourself and your family?

Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom, and Wishesby Susan V. Bosak. This beautifully illustrated book examines the power of dreams, and how we find the courage to achieve what we wish for. It is filled with inspirational quotes and poems about pursuing your dreams, no matter how big or small. Listen to your middle school students’ conversations, and you will hear of aspirations to become the next big NFL star, famous actor or actress, or even president of the United States. However, you may also hear of goals that will touch your heart.

I want to speak to leaders or Mangera for a moment, you as a leader are the ones who can establish such boundaries in your organization, you have the opportunity to create a small or larger limits to your  team’s potential, you can choose  to grow slowly, you can choose to stay on one place, or you can create a boundless environment where better opportunities are provided for the team to uncover their hidden potentials like the koi fish.

In my experience as a leader of different projects here in Canada and Kenya, I have found out that the limiting factor that restricts people with gifted abilities from excelling is fear. Fear is one of the most powerful forces in life.  It affects the decisions you make, the actions you take, and the outcomes you achieve. Who you are and what you do has at one point or another been influenced by fear.  And while the primary role of fear is to protect you, fear very often becomes a significant obstacle that stands between you and your  your dreams. It is therefore the responsibility of each lead to lift that cap and unleash every team member’s potential just it’s for the Koi fish growth potential.

Do not stop at the peak, keep looking for new peaks to climb. Look at Google. Google became famous for its search engine — and its leaders probably could have stopped there if they simply sought fame and fortune. But the tech giant has debuted Google Earth, is testing Google Glass, and has created the first self-driving car. How’s that for dreaming bigger?

Always be constantly improving.
“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.” Walt Disney

Walt believed in the future. He insisted that Steamboat Willie have the sound synced and recorded, unheard of for a cartoon at that time. Before Snow White, there was no such thing as a feature length animated film. After it became a huge success and literally changed the film industry, it led to the success of several more beloved Disney classics like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Fantasia. Walt Disney could have rested on his laurels, but that wasn’t his style. Instead, he completely switched gears and set out to build an amusement park where parents and children could have fun together. Once Disneyland opened, Walt would walk around the park, personally testing all the rides, noticing if anything was out of place and asking the guests their opinions. If he noticed something was wrong, he would personally see that it was fixed. As his animators could attest, good enough was never good enough for Walt Disney.

Take action. Simply wanting something is not enough. Reaching your goals is no one else’s responsibility but your own. Goals written down on a piece of paper are a great idea, but if you don’t go out there and take action, then what’s the point! You must do everything you can to get what you want. If the overall task seems hard, break it down and do something small each day. Taking small steps consistently over time will eventually lead you to reaching your goals. As the saying goes, it may not happen overnight but it will happen, as long as you keep taking action.

Big dreams lead to big things.
In the Cartoon strip of Charlie Brown, Peanut and the Gang, Snoopy was the biggest dreamer of them all, but his wild imagination often led to even wilder, more fantastic adventures in real life. Snoopy knew that you must have a big dream if you are going to lead a big life. Keep your dreams alive all the time. Every day you should become a little better than you were the day before. If you can become one percent better daily, you can recreate your life every 100 days. Learn to get better daily; look for ways to improve, to be kinder, more intelligent, and more helpful.

Never give up.Most great accomplishments are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing happens overnight. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. All achievements, no matter how big or small, need just a little stick-to-ness, determination and a lot of hard work. 

Handy Hints

People that get into the habit of dreaming big will accomplish those goals because they have the right mindset. You need to look at life with the Koi fish perspective that you can achieve anything that’s possible. If you can accomplish big dreams, why wouldn’t you go after them? Why would you want to settle for small dreams?

What if money, time, looks, and gender were no object? What would your biggest dream be? Often we short-change ourselves. We listen to others’ put-downs, and internalize them. It’s hard to remember our dreams. Harder still, to imagine that we could achieve a dream. Take Walt Disney’s words to heart. Start dreaming. Then believe that you can achieve your dream.

 

 

 

 

via Yes, But Syndrome

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Yes, But Syndrome

So you’ve just ended a phone conversation where you were looking for some concrete help, and now you feel frustrated!

Thinking back on it, you realize that “yeah but” was repeated (by you) at least three times. You want advice, yet the conversation took turns that didn’t feel satisfying.

Image result for Yes, But SyndromeI know I am not alone on this, have you ever suggested something to a friend and had them respond, “Yes, but…”?  Or have you yourself made that comment?  I call this the Yes, but Syndrome, and I’ve worked hard to put it out of my life.

All too often, the “yes, but” phenomenon can be heard in ordinary conversation. One person makes a positive statement; however, for some strange reason, the listener feels compelled to respond with: “Yes, but…and so on.”

There have times where I have found myself  suffering  from YBS. I find myself  judging my ideas than imagining them. Yes but it will be probably be too much work. Yes but it has probably been done before. Yes but it will probably be too expensive. Yes but it probably will not work. Any one of these internal judgments would prevent me from fully imagining an idea and would certainly prevent me from sharing it.

I know I am not alone on this, so many of us often find ourselves saying, “Yeah, but he constantly watches what he eats…” about a thin friend. Or we say, “Yeah, but he’s a slave to his schedule…” about someone who achieves multiple goals. Or we say, “Yeah, but he took on way too much risk when he started his company…” about a successful entrepreneur.

Yeah, but that’s how success works.

Here is the thing.

​The reason we find excuses is because we’re looking for them.

Let me say that again.

The reason you find excuses is because you’re looking for them.

You’re looking for a way out. You’re looking for a reason why whatever you want to achieve is not possible. That way you don’t have to put yourself (your ego) on the line. You don’t have to be vulnerable, and actually ​try​.

Instead, you get to remain comfortable, eating potato chips, masturbating to porn, and pretending that you’re happy with your life.

The reason you fail to achieve your goals is because the mental framework you have for​ achieving them is flawed.

You suffer from what I call “Yeah, But” syndrome. Here’s how the conversation goes in your head:

“I really want to start my own business. ​Yeah, but, ​I don’t know how to start a business.”

“I really want to travel the world like Cam does. ​Yeah, but,​ I don’t have any money to do that.”

“I really want to finally quit gaming for good​. ​Yeah, but,​ I don’t have anything else to do with my time and I would just be bored all day.”

Yeah, but?

You may believe joyful celebration is the best time to challenge the troops. Usually it isn’t.

If you think so, then you minimize past success by using it as a platform to challenge people. “Great job everyone! Yeah, but we’re behind schedule for our next project.” Yeah-but moments are kill-joys and de-motivators.

You can challenge everyone tomorrow. Today, pause and celebrate.

Instead of “Yeah, but”… use “Yes, and”.

Look, achieving your goals is not easy. There are obstacles… there are adversities… and ​who  cares!​ ​None of that has to stop you from going for it.

The only person who is stopping you is YOU.

But accepting potential obstacles isn’t the only thing you need to do. You also need to commit to action. Action is what will get you the results you’re looking for.

Which brings me to the next phrase in our new mental model: “And, so…”

And so here’s what I’m committed to doing (action!) in order to achieve this goal.

Always do your best.

Some days your best will be different than on other days.  Figuring out how to maximize your best self is important.

Remember: In every situation, do the best you can.  Removing yes, but from your vocabulary is a good start.  Don’t beat yourself up and remember yes, AND.

What is your yes, and story?  Share it with us.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mind of Putting Others First

Japan is known as a very polite society. People bow to show respect and to greet one another with a measure of humility and respect. Drivers are very patient with each other and with pedestrians and will quietly wait for others. Sometimes while waiting for a red light drivers will turn off their headlights to avoid shining their lights into the eyes of others. Vending machines are places in all sorts of places and they are left alone—I’ve never seen any of them vandalized in any way. When using an escalator everyone lines up behind one another on the left side leaving room for anyone who might want to walk up more quickly.

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The best way to show others how important they are to you is by putting them first. Giving your friend the biggest piece of cake, your relative the most comfortable seat in the restaurant, your guest the center position in the photo, or baking a cake and sharing it with your neighbors are all part of everyday life in Japan.

Focusing on our own needs can protect us from burnout and other negative consequences. However, in the leadership world, this focus often crosses into a decidedly more selfish territory. In today’s complicated workplace, if you don’t put other’s needs before your own, you will lose in the long-term. If losing in the long-term isn’t big enough, when you put the needs of others before your own as a leader you do two big things.

The biggest investment you can make in your people is your time. Your team wants to spend time with you. Giving your time is a surefire way to let them know how much you care. Spending quality time with your team will impact their job performance directly and will, therefore, have great impacts on your bottom line. Spend time connecting with them as often as you can. Talk to them about non-work related topics and show genuine interest in them as a person. You’d be surprised how much this will mean to your team.

A final thought

So, whilst you might be a very integral cog within your team, you are a lot less integral without the people beneath you. Pay them heed by showing them you understand that it’s not all about you and that business success is dependent on them as much as it is you.

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Surviving a broken heart

Koffee with Joe

“It felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
– Jennifer Lopez on Ben Affleck, in her memoirTrue Love

“In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids’ sake. “I’m not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don’t think I doubted we’d end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that’s what they have.”
– Elin Nordegren on Tiger Woods, People


“I think when I came into marriage—especially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself… You’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family. I desperately want it to work; I desperately love my husband and I wanted to share everything together. And…

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be proud of how far you have come

During a war 15 soldiers lost their way in the desert then suddenly they found themselves in the face of an enemy camp that had at least 400 soldiers. The enemy noticed them and shortly they started chasing them.

14 men ran away and only one man decided to stand his ground and fight. The man was shot in his arm then luckily a sandstorm came that allowed his friends to save him and run away.

The 15 soldiers survived the war. They didn’t win this battle nor they even won the war yet the man who stood his ground lived feeling proud of himself for the rest of his life.

images (40)Why is it that many of us spend a lot of time faulting ourselves for what we think are our imperfections? Why waste our time thinking this way in the first place?

Instead of reflecting upon this negativity, we should be doing the exact opposite. We should be focusing on the reasons to be proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished in our lives thus far. With this in mind, when you feel the urge to think negatively, take a moment to remember all of the reasons why you are a great person who is worthy of self-love, self-respect and self-pride. Despite having many inevitable flaws, there are so many reasons to be proud of yourself exactly as you are.

Think about it, this time last year, where were you? What were you doing? What state of mind were you in? Then please be proud of you, be proud of how far you have come. Sending infinite light love blessings, may all keep their journeys strong.

The feeling of pride comes because you have the resolve to keep going and keep working on the things that are important to you, and because you’re honest and truthful to who you are. It’s only when we deviate from that, that we then lose that sense of pride — when we’re following somebody else’s agenda, or when we’re worried about what everyone else thinks of us, or when we don’t live up to our fullest potential.

Instead of it being all about these measurements and scale indicators and dictators, what if I’m proud of myself because I showed up today? I did the work at the gym. I put in everything I had in that moment.

You don’t have to feel guilty about being proud of yourself.  It’s completely different than going around showboating or telling the world how you’re the greatest thing since low-cost index funds.Telling yourself that you are in fact proud of the efforts you putting into your life is really important. Even if you aren’t necessarily working towards a goal, it’s still important to be proud of yourself. It helps to train your brain to be more positive. You should be proud that you’re aware of the discomfort and the dissatisfaction and you should be proud that you’re one step closer to finding where you belong, one step closer to finding what makes you happy.Even if you’re not in a relationship or you’ve been single for too long, you should be proud of your heart. You should be proud that you’re not settling. You should be proud that you’re not sitting at home crying about it day and night. You should be proud that you’re not sacrificing your life for something out of your control, for something you can never guarantee. You should be proud of your love whether it succeeded or failed. You should be proud of your heartbreaks because they shaped you into who you are now and they’ve taught a thing or two about people.

Even if you’re lost or unsure of what you want or who you want to be, you should still be proud of your journey. The way you ask questions and try to find their answers. The way you deal with the bumps on the road and the way you handle your pain. You should be proud because being lost means you’re not following the crowd, you’re not following the rules, you’re trying to find your own way, your own light and your identity. You should be proud that you’re not afraid to walk a different path.

Even if no one is proud of you, you should be proud of yourself because this is where it all starts, this is what changes everything, this is how you rise and this is how you stay on top. You have to root for yourself even when no one is rooting for you.

You have to look at the things that people don’t notice or see and give yourself a pat on the back. You have to believe in yourself before you make anything happen. You have to prematurely be proud of everything you’re about to accomplish.

The thing is, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have to do something extraordinary and brilliant to be proud of ourselves. That we have to be rich, famous, successful, married with kids and in great shape to be proud of ourselves.But sometimes you have to proud of the small battles you fight and win that no one knows about. Like smiling after a traumatic experience or being there for someone when you can’t even help yourself. Like giving someone who hurt you a second chance, like telling someone you love them when they’re heartbroken. You have to be proud of the things that people don’t see. You have to be proud of everything that happens behind the scenes even if the movie doesn’t make it to the box office.

“Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take.” ~Karen Salmansohn

It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about achieving some crazy, lofty goal. It’s about, in that moment, doing what you can do and being proud of yourself for that.Look at the glass as half full — look back and see what you’ve done so far, and feel proud of your progress. Be happy about how far you’ve come so far, even if you have a long ways to go yet.

You have to be proud of your minor accomplishments because some days, you really need someone to clap for you and cheer you on and you won’t always find that person next to you. They won’t always be available to validate you. Being proud is more than just a feeling.  Being proud is showing self-respect.  We would never allow someone else to disrespect us so why not shut down the self disrespect and just be proud.

The key is to step back, and look back on what you’ve done. Sure, I missed some workouts, but look at how many I’ve done! And it wasn’t long ago when I wasn’t even a runner at all! Instead of beating yourself up, celebrate your success, no matter how small!

Every victory will not always be a “big” one but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy that you weathered the storm.Being proud of you is a celebration of you for weekend and evening workers. Being proud of what you do every day. So, what are you proud about today? And tomorrow?

Maximizing your potential

The Koi fish, their beauty and symbolism are highly valued by both the Chinese and Japanese cultures. Placing a picture of them, an ornament or the real thing in certain areas of your garden or home will enhance the energy of good fortune, success, prosperity, longevity, courage, ambition and perseverance.

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One fascinating thing about the koi fish is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will grow to be only about two or three inches long. But if you place it in a tank or a small pond, it will reach six to 10 inches. Put it in a large pond and it may grow as long as a foot and a half. However, if you put it in a lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach a size of up to three feet. Amazing, isn’t it? The bigger its space, the more it will grow in size.

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Similarly, people are like the koi fish. What I realized is that people are just like koi. We will only grow as far as our boundaries allow us. A koi in a fishbowl will never grow to be three feet long…or even one foot long. The fish bowl limits the amount of its growth. Each individual has the potential to grow the dimensions of his boundaries.

Are you growing or u have are stagnant in your life?

Here are some suggested things that you can do to grow:

1.Change your thinking. I put this as number one because if your thinking doesn’t change, then nothing else will ever change. If you’re not happy with where you’re at in life right now, the first place that needs a checkup is the quality of your thoughts.

2.Create a plan. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar

You don’t just maximize your potential because you want to – but you must plan to. Without a plan, it’s easy to stray from the course of getting things done that will enable us to move forward.

3.Be Yourself. Remember the scene where Elsa in the hit movie Frozen sings “Let it go”. That’s exactly what you need to do. What I mean is, give yourself permission to be who you really are, just as Elsa did during the song.

4.Create your purpose. Great CEOs always have a purpose. It is the driving force of everything else and it has never been more important than right now.

5. Create leaders in your team. We can’t do everything alone! Great leadership is often demonstrated by empowering others to lead — whether that person is a peer, superior or direct report. Successful CEOs know they aren’t always the expert. They know when to take a back seat, let others showcase their talent and provide insight into their area of expertise.

You have what you have in your life right now because of the personal standards you keep. If you have low standards of yourself in various situations, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you are getting sub-par results.

Raising your personal standards to higher levels helps you perform at higher levels. When you raise your standards, you are no longer settling for mediocrity. You are instead shooting for the stars and pursuing higher-level actions that will get you better results.

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the highest form of love and is accessible to all of us. I wish you a blessed day in which to discover the power of forgiveness. God bless you forever!❤️❤️🙏

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self acceptance

We all need to grow into self acceptance. Self acceptance means casting off the self-hate born from over-scrutinizing your flaws, allows our gifts given to us by our loving God to shine brighter. It’s what ignites God’s light inside you and me, that which shines out for all the world to see.

 

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feelings & emotions

Have u had a Garden of Gethsemane moment? Jesus was in deep sorrow & anguish in Gethsemane. At that time He experienced fear, stress, anxiety, broken heartedness, rejection & more. If u have ever experienced these feelings & emotions u r in good company. In love friends🙏✝️❤️🔥

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