I always dreamt of having a little girl. Holding her, loving her and raising her. What I did not expect was the profound love I would receive in return. This girl is a lover of all things. Whether you are a person , animal or tree. She gently touches and smells the flowers as she walks by. She gently pets our dog Ziggy and says good boy. She says hello and lovingly touches the trees she encounters. She wraps her arms around your neck squeezing tight and says I love you. She is so deeply and thoughtfully connected with her surroundings. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the one being raised and she is the one to look up to. Her kindness and genuine love constantly remind me of what is true and what is valuable in life. That is just one of the many things my daughter taught me.
Not everything requires action…
Recognize it without judgment. Let it come up an be there. Sometimes you just need to sit with it. If it becomes a theme in your life, there may be something to dig deeper into and uncover the root.
I’ve personally found that just having the awareness to recognize is all you need.
It’s interesting to me how we grow to love people but with our children it’s instant. There isn’t a honeymoon phase or first impression. Just pure and utter love. There is something beautiful about it. It makes me think about love in my life. Whether it’s giving or receiving. I’ve always had a hard time telling people I loved them. It did not mean I did not, it was just uncomfortable for me to get the words out. But like anything the more you do it the easier it gets. Now I make sure to tell people I love them. I feel this unconditional instant love I felt for Charlotte has unlocked something inside me that was always there. It allowed me to be clear on what love is to me and where love is in my life. Which brings me back to… there is something beautiful about it.
At times we may not see eye to eye. We all have had different experiences that have shaped our perspective. I believe everyone’s perspective is valuable. No matter how abrasive or pleasant it may seem. It’s in the listening, asking questions and understanding that we grow as humans. I myself struggle with this daily. My ego flares up and I get angry or just emotionally shut down. There is this need to be right and look as if we know exactly what we are doing at all times. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to not have a plan. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time. We are human beings living a life through the lens(perspective) of our hardships, our joys, our failures and our successes. That should never be discounted but it should be checked constantly by being open to others ideas and ways of seeing the world. Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let it all out. Now imagine you are free to share your perspective without fear of rejection. Imagine you can be open and unafraid of judgement while going through your life. What does that look like? How does it feel? To me it felt like connection, a sense of relief and peace. This isn’t a test and your are encouraged to feel however you feel. I invite you to hold onto that feeling and examine it. Maybe try that in other aspects of your life. Being human isn’t just about being here. It’s about thriving and enjoying this journey we call life. I don’t know nor do I speculate what’s after this life. That’s for everyone to create and decide for themselves. I just want to invite you to make it the best journey you possibly can. Whatever that truly means to you. -Jeffrey
Growing up I was raised by my mom and sister the majority of the time. So I have always had a more sensitive side as well as a respect for women. That sensitivity and respect has been tested over the years. I’m definitely guilty of mistreating and undervaluing women among other people from time to time. It stems from insecurities and honestly just a lack of knowledge/experience. In today’s world we see so much mistreatment not only towards women but towards humanity as a whole. It’s as if we have forgotten that we are all connected and here on this journey together at the same exact time. Coincidence? I believe everything happens for a reason and we can control/guide our futures. At times I feel lost and out of balance. Then I connect with someone, feel grateful and humbled. I know it’s hard to stay awake in life when sometimes it just feels easier to close your eyes. I am here to encourage you to push through and keep your eyes and heart open. This year my wife and I chose words we want to focus and work on. My word for 2018 is vulnerability. Without vulnerability how can we truly connect? How can we truly live? How can we truly thrive? Vulnerability= Connection= Fulfillment
As a father being a son has more meaning. I can now begin to grasp the attachment and the love my parents feel towards me. People say that your children will eventually blame you for something. For me this was true. I would blame my parents for my short comings and emotional stresses. My parents divorced when I was very young. I remember the arguments at night. Staying with my Dad every other weekend. This was very hard and confusing for me growing up. It really didn’t give me a chance to develop a strong bond with my father as a child. I also know it was hard on my father because I always missed and cried for my mom when I was without her. I could not even imagine not being able to see my child every single day. Now as an adult I know they did the best they could and they had their own issues to deal with as well as their children’s issues. They were carrying the similar titles and demands around with them just as I am today. Having these realizations later in life does not make it any easier. It just brings some clarity and compassion. Although it was and is a tough situation I would not change it. I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason. I feel I would not have waited until I was thirty and emotionally ready to marry the woman of my dreams. I may not have met my wife, although something tells me we would have been drawn together at some point in our lives. I possibly would not have my beautiful daughter. Thinking about all the things that had to go wrong for my life to go right really makes me emotional, humbled and appreciative. I am beginning to tear up as I type. Rather than ignore or fight these emotions. I am acknowledging them and appreciating them. Our emotions and feelings are what make us human. To me that is one of the keys to living a positive, meaningful and present life.
Getting married is a huge life event and big commitment. Not only is it a big commitment, it is a choice. No matter what denomination you believe in you make a commitment and a choice during the ceremony. Here is a bit of a different outlook. Here we are newly married. We are now legally bound together. We are now committed to each other. I personally looked at marriage as nothing more than a contract signing followed by a party. Everyone is just there for the free drinks and food, right? I thought it was nothing more than another step in my life. It took me some time but I realized it was more than just a commitment or a step forward in life. It was a choice. We chose to marry each other and we choose to stay married every day. We did sign some documents and have a big party afterwards. But it was different and so much more than just a life event. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family who had been there through the ups and downs of our relationship to this point. It was really a special day. A day that changed the way I saw things forever. Although I am very committed to my marriage and love my wife deeply. Commitment always and still sounds like a choice mixed with an obligation to me. I choose my wife. By choosing her as my life partner I feel it takes us deeper than commitment. Deeper than legal documents. Deeper then love. I believe a marriage as well as all relationships are like a recipe. It takes a lot of little things added up to make a beautiful dish. The same is true for relationships. Although every recipe isn’t the same for everyone, I do believe it takes more than love and commitment to make a relationship last and thrive. Some days may be easier to make that choice than others. For me, even when times get tough I remember we are only human and that I am responsible for my own happiness. Probably most of my own sadness as well. If I can offer any advice, it is when times get tough just think back to why you chose and continue to choose this person. Also take responsibility for your own feelings. Only you have the power to make yourself feel sadness or happiness. Do not blame each other, work together because you are a team with a common goal. What is that goal for you?
Feeling confident is not always easy. Where does confidence come from? For me it comes from within. It comes from a compliment. It comes from helping another. It comes from my relationships with loved ones. Confidence can come from many different places. You just have to slow down and realize all the confidence boosts around you. So go out there and be your wonderful confident self! Even if you do not feel confident now, I guarantee you will find something or feel something to be confident about.
Below is another link from MSN.com. They have some great articles sometimes in their living section. This one was very personable and uplifting. When you get some free time please enjoy.
7 Kinds of Confidence to Gain