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“God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.” ~ Thomas S. Monson

Everyone should be loved, but no one is obligated to give love. A couple of experiences this week led me to post this. 1. A friend (former friend?) of mine posted on Facebook that it doesn’t matter if you love someone that they are not obligated to love you. He said that it is you shouldn’t be offended and should just accept that people don’t need to love you. Now, I don’t completely agree. This is what I believe: You don’t have to reciprocate someone else’s love, but you must act accordance to social kindness and let them down timely and gently. You shouldn’t string a friendship or a lover along, just because it makes you feel good. If you don’t love them and you don’t think you want to try or ever will love them, then explain to them that your relationship cannot go on. Be fair to them and be fair to yourself. 2. I work for a school for adults with High-functioning Autism and Asperger’s and a lot of them struggle. Many of them have had hard lives. I had a student come in my office and tell me that her new adopted father told her that she deserved everything her biological mother did to her. Her biological mother abused her in every way, shape, and form. I was disgusted. It really broke my heart. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. She deserved and deserves better. She should be loved. But often times, we must give love in order to receive love. Other times, we must receive love before we’re ready to give it. So look around you. Look within you. Do you feel loved? Are you giving love? Don’t force others to love you and don’t force yourself to love others. Love is a gift. Receive it openly and give it openly. If you find that love is lacking in  your life…please know that God still loves you. If you don’t believe in God, believe that there is something greater than you out there that knows you, understands you, and loves you. Find love in simple things. Most of all, give love. Give it in simple ways. Trust me, those small acts of love results in miracles (even if you don’t see the miracles happen. Those who experience it will know).

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“But I say unto you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.” ~ Jesus Christ

What do you do when someone still dislikes/disapproves of you after you’ve tried your best to love them and treat them right? Keep on loving them. I have vast experience with this. I don’t always come out with love, but I have learned to always go in with love. It really doesn’t matter if someone still dislikes or disapproves of you. Your worth is not dependent on others. Your worth will always be infinite, because you are a child of God. So why love someone who hurts you? You love them because everyone deserves love. You love them because it’s good for your heart, your mind, and your soul. You love them because love changes people. It takes genuine love and that takes time and work, but love changes people. It always will. Even if the only person your love changes is yourself, it is worth it all. Today is Christmas Eve. Spread some cheer…and keep it up. Christmas doesn’t start or stop because of a season. Christmas is God’s pure love. That goes year round, my friends. Whether you are Christian or not – love yourself and love others, because that’s what the world needs. Merry Christmas, all!

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December 24, 2013 · 4:55 pm

“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.” ~ Thornton Wilder

Enjoy the moment. Too often we worry about the future and think about the past. Too often we wonder how long our happiness will last. Too often we wonder why we’re happy rather than just enjoy it. We need to learn to live in the moment and make it last. In order to do that, we need to increase our flow. Flow means when we are so absorbed in something that we lose track of time and other things around us. For example, when you are so engrossed in rock climbing, you forget that you’ve been climbing for two hours, because it’s so exhilarating. Now, the feeling of flow can be addictive, so we must make sure that it doesn’t completely take over our lives and make us ignore important people or tasks. However, find what makes you flow! Try new things. Enjoy the moment. Don’t be thinking about work when you’re with your loved ones, then think about your loved ones when you’re at work. Simply do what’s in front of you. Be aware of the sensations you feel within you as well as the physical sensations that accompany that (i.e. I feel annoyed at this. My stomach is tense and my jaw is set). Record feelings and sensations you want to keep and what happened that made you feel that way. Then, try to replicate those activities and sensations.

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“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, bring your own sunshine.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

Surround yourself with “sunshine people.” Sunshine people are those who brighten up your day, no matter what. They come in many forms. Those in my life come in the following forms: the one who always joke at just the right time; the one who is always smiling; the one who is always serving; and the one who has nothing bad to say about anyone. I love these people and I aspire to be like these people. I know that when I’m feeling angry, sad, or otherwise upset, these people will always lift my spirits. These are also the same people that I want to share my joys with. So, surround yourself with these people. And if you can, be one.

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Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know why, but I have been feeling down in the dumps lately. No matter what happy moments I have, I still want to break down and cry almost immediately after. Now, as a woman, I can technically blame it on the hormones, seeing as I’m on my period and I’m on birth control. However, I don’t fully believe my hormones are the sole cause of my misery. I’ve noticed that it is my self-loathing this past year that has caused me such unquenchable pain. Uncharacteristically, I turn to material things for quick happiness. That didn’t work – it never does. Nothing satisfies me and I end up wanting to get rid of everything I have. I feel weighed down by it all. It did help me get rid of the clutter, thankfully. So this self-loathing has me doing idiotic things that I know does not bring me happiness. I have decided to step out of my own sunshine. I am learning to like myself again on a day by day basis. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m learning to like myself again on a moment by moment basis. Sometimes I do really well. Sometimes, I want to bury myself and cry. But you know what? I’m going to beat my blues and I am going to love myself again.

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“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

I’m choosing to be happy. Over the past year, there has been so much drama that sometimes I get overwhelmed with emotion. Today was one of those days. I felt like my brother and mother aren’t supporting me. And hey, aren’t families supposed to? It trickled down further into a massive argument where anger is really just the product of deep hurt. Even before today, I was so hurt and angry at my friends for having 1. randomly stopped talking to me when they previously have been so close to me, and 2. doing things behind my back that they obviously knew I wanted to do. But you know what? It’s okay. I work at a hospital as a Recreation Therapist and recently a 78-year-old woman with dementia remembered a really hurtful episode between her husband and her at the beginning of her marriage. She was crying about it. Today, during the family arguments, my mother brought up something rude my father had said to her once more than 24 years ago. It really made me sad and got me thinking…where has all the good memories gone? All the years of being with my family, we have gone through so much, yet I am currently choosing to be extremely worked up over something that will probably blow over? In all the years of my friendship with these people, I have had so many good times and gone over so many bad times as well. I know these friendships will last, just as I know my family will stay together. In all those years of marriage, of blissfulness, the old woman and my parents are focused on that one hurtful thing tucked away forever ago? What about all the good memories? The beautiful poems my father write my mother each year – where are they? They’re displayed, but does she remember them? Does she know them still? Why do we remember all the muck in life? We have had so many blessings given to us and we choose to remember the bad. Forget it. That is absurd! So right now, I am choosing to forgive. I am choosing to let go. I am choosing to serve. I am choosing to remember the joy that these people bring me. And, I am choosing to be happy.

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“I’ve never met a person, I don’t care what his condition, in whom I could not see possibilities. I don’t care how much a man may consider himself a failure, I believe in him, for he can change the thing that is wrong in his life any time he is ready and prepared to do it. Whenever he develops the desire, he can take away from his life the thing that is defeating it. The capacity for reformation and change lies within.” ~ Preston Bradley

Identify the enemy, create a strategy, and defeat it! When I say enemy, I mean anything that you want to accomplish and anything that is standing in your way of
accomplishing it.
This could mean a test at school, a presentation at work, or even dinner with the in-laws. My personal enemy is cupcakes. I identified this enemy as 1. Cupcakes (obviously) and 2. my craving for cupcakes at certain points of the day. My strategy is 1. drive a route that makes it inconvenient for me to get a cupcake and 2. eat something healthy when I’m craving. Now, strategies don’t work automatically the first time. I know that when I drive out of the way of a cupcake, I won’t get one, but I noticed that if I eat health food, I’ll only want it more. So, I changed my strategy to fit what I needed. Now I don’t crave cupcakes as much and I definitely don’t buy cupcakes as much either. Last night (my dad’s birthday and my marriage getaway weekend), I was trying to help my friend come up with a good strategy to defeat her enemy (she was going to have a serious conversation with someone). By logically poking holes into her logic, she had to come up with very specific answers to defend her position. She did well until she let her emotions get the better of her. If she wasn’t able to control herself with me (an ally), then how is she going to control herself at enemy lines and defeat it? The same goes for anyone and anything they want to overcome. There are forces working against us at all times, so we must know what they do, how they do it, and how to defeat that. It is much easier to defeat the enemy if we have allies we can practice our strategies on. For a dinner with the in-laws, perhaps the practice would be discussing appropriate dress/conduct/conversation with the spouse. If it’s to quit an addiction, it may be practicing not doing that addiction with people you wouldn’t normally do it with, but have them tempt you, so that when you’re around people who do normally tempt you, you will be able to decline. There are diverse ways to overcoming your enemies and you must use all your resources to beat all the resources the enemy is using.

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