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“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside.  When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.” –Wayne Dyer

 

Have you ever been listening to a friend, loved one, or co-worker complain about something that someone else did to them, only to realize that this person is guilty of doing the same thing?


Years ago I heard that life reflects back to you the way you are. Hmmm.  I’m not going to go so far as to say that I agree with that 100% because people get treated in ways that they would not treat others.  It seems like sometimes life is just showing us the differences in people, and it is not always pretty and not to our liking.  However…I do know that there are times when I know this “reflection” thing to be true.  Of course it’s easier to spot it when it is happening to someone else.  I’m not talking about the pleasant stuff — I think most of us feel that we deserve what we consider to be the good stuff.

I remember when I first put the question to myself.  I don’t remember what the specific details were of the incident but I do remember it involved my supervisor at the time.  I think she had reacted in a way that I didn’t like.  What I do remember is that I posed this question to myself…”Do I ever act/react like that?”  After quickly thinking about my work relationships my answer was a definite “NO.”  So then I asked, “Do I react this way at home?”  Ding, ding, ding, winner, winner!  I’m not one of those fly off the handle when angry kind of people.  Sure, I had moments of frustration at work but nothing made me lose my temper at work.  But what I did realize was that when I got really,really upset over something concerning my hubby, I made sure I let him know about it immediately — because I could not stand to let the uncomfortable emotion continue to churn inside of me.  No, I didn’t yell or scream to make my point but still he felt attacked and went on the defensive.  My thinking was that I just wanted to get my concerns resolved but looking back I see there was more to it than that.  I realize now that I also wanted to get the energy out of me.  Once I became aware of my behavior, I worked on changing it.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nin

The other times I witnessed this “reflection” thing was with other people.  People who lied to or deceived someone else were in turn lied to or deceived by someone else.   But yet these same people would not make the connection.  Yes, people will lie to you, but the stuff I’m talking about is definitely of the “reaping what you sow” nature.

Another example is hearing someone say how their sibling just will not listen to them about anything, they just do what they want — and what they are doing is not working.  Well I really had to bite my tongue on that one.  My thinking was, “I really feel for you, now you know how I felt when you didn’t listen to me and it all ended badly because you didn’t.”  Instead I just calmly said, “Yeah, I know it can be very frustrating.”

Then there were the times when I listened to the person with anger issues complain about how their sibling displays anger.  The truth was…these two people displayed anger in the same way. One day I was actually able to calmly and lovingly express my observation and the impact of just letting anything fly out of your mouth (not that I hadn’t expressed the impact of words before). You know how some people can dish it out but can’t take the same in return — well this person is like that.

Our children can also reflect traits that we have but don’t see in ourselves.  When the Universe shows us the way we are, it may come in a way or from someone we don’t expect.  It is not necessarily going to come from the person or entity you treated in a specific way.  So, the next time something (a situation) or person upsets you, ask yourself if something is being reflected back to you.


Food for Thought:
“If you’re looking for inner peace from the outside world, you’re not going to get that.  The inner peace starts with you looking at you from the inside.  Understanding that everything that comes to you is what you are.  Everything from friends to boyfriends to the job you get – it’s all a direct reflection of what you are on the inside.” –Mary J. Blige



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“Life is not always easy. And that is a major reason why it is so precious. Many of life’s best rewards are possible only because you must work your way through difficult challenges to get to them. If everything in life were easy, there would be no opportunity for real fulfillment.” –Ralph Marston


Where do we get the idea that our life is supposed to be easy? Why do we think that when we start something new, things are going to go smoothly and happen in the timeframe in which we think it should happen? Why do we think that we should get results for our efforts when we want them?



About a month ago I watched the movie “Big Stan.” One part that stands out is when Stan, a weakling, is undergoing physical strength training. In the beginning it seemed like he was undergoing torture, but what the training was doing was toughening him up and teaching him how to fight and defend himself. Now this didn’t happen overnight, it took him 5 months of training every day for hours and hours to accomplish his goal. Although this movie was a comedy, the strength training scene came to mind a couple weeks later when I was feeling frustrated about something. It was an “A-ha moment,” a “light-bulb moment.” I realized that I was being too hard on myself. I realized that this was my training period and results were not going to happen any sooner because it was my wish and I felt “ready,” like I knew all I needed to know. Thinking of the movie made me smile and relax. I knew I was to keep on the track that I was on and to keep learning, and improvement would come in time. Since then, I’ve been thinking about life and how we like knowing what to expect and knowing when we are going to succeed, or…if we are going through a tough time, when the tough time is going to end. But life has other plans. We may be thinking we are just trying to reach a specific goal of our choosing, or we’re just going through a difficult time, but perhaps life is developing other things in us, as well as teaching us.



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“It’s hard to tell your mind to stop loving someone when your heart still does.”



Many of us have experienced the pain of a broken heart when a relationship comes to an end. One of the things we do to self-soothe is to sit, or lay in bed, while listening to our favorite “sad” love songs over and over and over again. And then one day, you just stop listening. How did you get over your breakup?


Recently someone very close to my heart broke up with their longtime love. They said the break up was mutual. This is/was their first love. I’ve been offering words of advice to help the person get through this painful time but I know that my words have only offered temporary relief from the pain and sadness. I know that things just have to run their course. This got me thinking… “How do you mend a broken heart? How do you get over a breakup? What lessons can we learn when a relationship comes to an end?” Now I’m not talking about the negative things we might say about the other person, like… he/she is just a jerk, cheater, insensitive, a**hole, too possessive, too jealous, too controlling, crazy, cheap, depressing, selfish, etc. What I mean is – “What does the end of a relationship show us/teach us about ourselves?” I’ve decided to explore this further and in the future will write some blog posts on this subject. For starters, I’d like your help in answering this…

How do you mend a broken heart? How do you get over a breakup?


When it comes to relationships and their ending, I think many of us have heard the saying…

“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson


But it sure doesn’t feel like it when you’re experiencing the pain of heartache/heartbreak. We feel the loss like we’re an addict going through withdrawal.

“Love is the hardest drug to quit, but it is even harder when it is taken away.” (author unknown)


Maybe you noticed that things were different between the two of you. You may have felt the person distancing themselves from you. You may have had a feeling that the end was near…



Or it happened suddenly…

“Breaking up. It happens kind of suddenly. One minute, you’re holding hands walking down the street, and the next minute, you’re lying on the floor crying and all the good CDs are missing.” – Kennedy Kasares


The pain is excruciating. You didn’t know you could hurt this much. You really want this pain to stop. Time goes by, it still hurts, and you think – ‘Is time really on my side?’ because…

“They say that time heals all wounds but all it’s done so far is give me more time to think about how much I miss you.” – Ezbeth Wilder



You’re obsessing over him/her and feel…


You know you can’t be friends …


But you’re hoping and praying he/she will come to his/her senses and realize…

“Ain’t No Sunshine” (by Bill Withers)


You just want to wake up from this nightmare. You want to hear your loved one say…

“Baby Come Back” (by Player)


OR

“Let’s Stay Together” (by Al Green)


Everyone says…

“If someone you love hurts you, cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.” – Anonymous

But even though you try you…

“Can’t Let Go” (by Mariah Carey)


Because you still believe …

“We Belong Together” (by Mariah Carey)


You know that …

“Living in the past causes you to miss out on the present. Life is too short to let it pass you by.”

But your heart is saying…

“I Still Believe” (by Brenda K. Starr)


Maybe you were the one who initiated the breakup, or maybe the breakup was mutual.


It may hurt, but just remember that no one is…

“Irreplaceable” (by Beyonce’)


Even so, at the end of the day all you really want to know is…

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?



More on this topic in another post. One thing I do know for sure is…

You’re going to need some music therapy. If you’re a woman, you’ve got to sing the women’s national anthem many, many, many times!


“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor


And eventually you will be singing this song…


Remember…

“No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you’ll never get through it without your friends.”


What advice do you have for getting over a break up?



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“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.” — Barbara de Angelis

How old is old?

When I was in my early twenties I used to think 30 was old. Of all my birthday’s, I think turning 30 was the most difficult. Why? Because to me it meant that I was no longer young and that I had to “put away childish things.” It meant that now the world would officially see me as a “grown up,” and expect me to act like one — whatever that meant. For me it meant no more having fun going out to Happy Hour on Friday nights or dancing in a club. Where did this idea come from? I remember one night sitting at a bar in a restaurant with my best girlfriend. We were both in our twenties and we were, as the Jody Watley song says, “Looking For A New Love.” The DJ was spinning some tunes and people were on the dance floor having a good time. We were having a good time. I remember looking across the bar and seeing a woman in what looked to be her forties, sitting at the bar looking sad and drunk. This was not the first time I’d seen her in the place. She never looked liked she was really having a good time. To me she looked pathetic. She looked like an old woman trying to pick up a man. Each time I had seen her in the restaurant it looked like she was alone at the bar. Occasionally I’d see her talking with another female. And sometimes, before the end of the night, she’d end up in the company of one of the men in the restaurant. Now maybe we can say that she was just meeting all her dates at the same restaurant, or maybe she looked so sad because she was grieving. I’ll never know. What stuck with me was the thought I had after looking at this woman on that particular night. The thought being… “I don’t ever want that to be me. I don’t want to be some pathetic looking old woman sitting at a bar hoping to be picked up by some man.” And since somewhere in my mind I had deemed 30 to be old, it meant that that was the cutoff point for me to be out having fun in a bar or club. Not long after that I met the man who is now my husband and we did have lots of fun dating. Some of which included going out dancing. Soon the thought of 30 being old flew right out of my mind. In fact, a friend of mine and I actually had a conversation one day about how much we were enjoying our thirties. We felt like the twenties was just one big experimental phase and that with our early thirties we had discovered some newfound wisdom. We were still young, in good shape, having fun and we were wiser. WooHoo! Thirty has long since come and gone and I’ve found that although I may be getting older in years, I don’t feel old. I still feel vibrant, energetic, and curious about life. How about you?


So what have I learned about getting older? Ok, I haven’t completely thought it all out but here are a few of my pearls of wisdom:


1 – The outside may change but you can still remain young at heart.

“The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.” — Doris Lessing

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” — Chili Davis


2 – With time and age comes experience — learn the lessons.

“Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” — William Holden

“Of middle age the best that can be said is that a middle-aged person has likely learned how to have a little fun in spite of his troubles. – Don Marquis


3 – Keep having fun.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” –George Bernard Shaw


4 – Moderation is key. Too much of anything is not a good thing.

“Whatever you do, do it in moderation” — Proverbs

“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero


5 – Take good care of yourself — mentally as well as physically.

“A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. I reckon, he said, with a twinkle in his eye, it’s because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried.” — Dorothea Kent


6 – Seek understanding.

“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7


7 – Just because you grow older doesn’t mean you grow wiser. Always seek wisdom.

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it” — Albert Einstein


Pearls of Wisdom campaign:

Charity Jewish Care has recently launched ‘Pearls of Wisdom,’ a campaign which aims to change the perception of elderly people in society and encourage the younger generation to recognize and engage with the wisdom and life experiences that our elders have to offer.

As part of the campaign, renowned Creative Director Malcolm Green has created a short film in which elderly people share their pearls of wisdom. They talk about love, life and lots of other topics in an insightful and often funny way.


Check out this video for some more Pearls of Wisdom:

facebook.com/jewishcare – where people are leaving their Pearls of Wisdom


In the words of Satchel Paige:

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?


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Happy Mother’s Day!

The longer I live the more I appreciate my mother. As a wife and mother, there have been times when I felt underappreciated, taken for granted, and felt like I’m just the fix it and clean it up person. Yeah I know, right now some of you are probably thinking… “Welcome to my world.” It’s during some of those times when I felt the most frustrated that a little voice in my head would say “This is probably how mom felt. Wow! She never let on. She did everything without complaining.” Just having that thought prevents me from having a pity party, and it is moments like that that make me appreciate her all the more. I am truly amazed by my mother. Maybe it takes being a mom to really recognize and appreciate the many, many, many things our mothers did (and maybe even still do) for us. So for mom’s everywhere, these videos are especially for your viewing pleasure:


The Mom Song (what a mom would say in a 24 hour period condensed down to 2:55 minutes)



“Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same; and most mothers kiss and scold together.” – Pearl S. Buck


Mommy Rhapsody
(NOTE: You will see the performers appear in the video at the 10 second mark)



“Being a mother is undoubtedly and inarguably one of the hardest, if not “the” hardest job a woman can ever do.” –Lyn Lomasi, “The Hardest Part About Being a Mom: Moms Speak Out


Life Lessons from Moms:

Life’s Lessons from Your Mother
Life Lessons I Learned from My Mother
Readers Respond: Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me
‘Don’t Screw Up!’ and other advice from moms


“All mothers are working mothers.” –author unknown


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25 Things My Mother Taught Me
Poem: Things My Mother Taught Me
Mother’s Day Quotes and Sayings
A Mother’s Day Tribute


What life lessons have you learned from your mom? What is the hardest part about being a mom?


“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” –Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty


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To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.” –Brandi Snyder


“Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.” –Author unknown


“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” –Ellen Goodman


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Rumi


“Lust fades, so you’d better be with someone who can stand you.” –Alan Zweibel and Jessie Nelson, The Story of Us


“All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time.” –Julie Andrews


“Love is like a friendship caught on fire: In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” –Bruce Lee


“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” — Eden Ahbez


“Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.” —-Erich Fromm


“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep… wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’ re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU… The one who turns to his friends and says, thats her… ” — Unknown


“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” –Henry David Thoreau


“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” –Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960


“Love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image… otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” –Author Unknown


“Love is more than a noun — it is a verb; it is more than a feeling — it is caring, sharing, helping, sacrificing.” –William Arthur Ward


“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.” –Marilyn Monroe


“Love is not a feeling. Love is an action, an activity. . .Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom. . . . love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth…..true love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love or cathexis, it is correct to say, ‘Love is as love does’.” –M. Scott Peck


Spread love everywhere you go:
first of all in your own home.
Give love to your children, to a wife
or husband, to a next-door neighbor.
–Mother Teresa

Happy Valentines Day!

What is one of your favorite “Love” quotes?


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Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.” –Author Unknown


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“Just because fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” – Les Brown




I was watching a show on tv last week and near the end of the show they had a segment called “Words of Life.” The guest speaker shared this bit of life advice from her great-grandmother. When I heard it I thought “this is so true.” So now I share it with you.


You’re not always going to get what you want,
when you want it,
how you want it,
from whom you want it.

Life is not always going to be convenient,
and life does not revolve around you.


What’s some good advice you’ve received about life?


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There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” –Booker T. Washington

Just some food for thought — how are you using your power? Are your words, thoughts, and actions lifting you up — or are they wreaking havoc in your life?

What is the impact of your words/behavior in other people’s lives? Some people seem to take pleasure in criticizing others, in tearing others down. This can occur face-to-face (like during an argument), in writing, or behind your back. Why do they do it? Here’s what I think: 1 – They really do want to cause you some pain. Have you heard the phrase “misery loves company?” If they are in pain they want to inflict pain on you because they can’t stand seeing you happy when they aren’t. 2 – Payback – they blame you for causing them pain so they want to get revenge by hurting you. 3 – They are envious of you/others. 4 – Insecurity – maybe they feel inferior to you so they think tearing you down kind of makes things even. If they succeed in tearing down your self-esteem, maybe you won’t leave them. 5 – Maybe they do it to make themselves feel better, to feel superior to others. 6 – Maybe it’s a way of distracting themselves from dealing with their own issues.



What are your thoughts on this topic?



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“Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.” –author unknown



“When I thought I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going. My success is based on persistence, not luck.” –Norman Lear


Eric Thomas is a Motivational Speaker, Educator, Preacher, Youth Activist, Entrepreneur, Father, and Husband. You can read Eric’s bio here: http://theetstory.org/the-author/bio


“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” — Mahatma Gandhi


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Thoughts on Life from General Colin Powell

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