No such thing as the same Story

“If you judge other people, you  have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

Every person has a story– and it’s not yours.  Similar situations aren’t exact situations.  You don’t know the road another person has traveled… do you really believe that puts you in a position to judge?  Focus on improving your own life so that you have no time to judge the lives of others.  “All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life: there is riches or poverty, in joy or despair.  Snapshots don’t show the millions of decisions that led to that moment.”

 You may know a person’s face, their name, or what they’re wearing… but you can’t read their mind and you don’t know their story.  Careful what you say about others– it’s more revealing of your own character than theirs.  “Judging a person does not define who they are.  It defines who you are.”  Listen to what others are critical and cynical of, and you can discover what they lack.  The same goes for you.

Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, or what you’re unwilling to understand.  You cannot possibly love or hate something you don’t understand.  How, then, can you judge something you’ve never experienced or someone you’ll never be?  There is no “right” way.  There is my way and there is your way, but there is no “only” way.

It’s OK to remember the past, but it’s not OK to live in it.  Don’t judge a person by their past… they don’t live there anymore.  The most littered pasts can make for the brightest futures.  “Everyone may not be good, but there’s always good in everyone.  Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

“What others think of you is none of your business.”  Never judge yourself through someone else’s eyes.  They don’t know your pains or your struggles… the same goes for them in your own eyes.  We’re not put in this world to live up the expectations of others.

 “Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint.”  It’s been said that the most insecure people, the people who know you the least, are the ones who judge the most.  Judge others if you want to be judged; the more time you spend judging others, the more time you leave your own closet open to be examined.  We’re all sinners… “Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you do.”

“It is easier to fight for one’s principles than it is to live up to them.”  The easiest advice to give, yet the hardest advice to take is your own.  Seek the good in everyone, appreciate a person for where they’ve been and how far they’ve come, and love people for their flaws.  It’s what sets us apart from one another.

“What the superior man seeks is in himself. What the small man seeks is in others.” – Confucius

One Life

“Releasing the past and embracing forgiveness, I am refreshed and renewed.”

As you grow older, you realize that the most beautiful people are the kindest people, the people with the biggest hearts… the people who are happy because they’ve found comfort in their hardships and learned unmistakable lessons in their trials. You realize that the people who acknowledge their pasts, yet assign no blame, bear the most beautiful souls and are happy because of their ability and willingness to help others.

You realize that the wisest people are the people who learned love from a loveless world; who learned grace in a tactless world; and who show mercy to the undeserving, though they were the deserving and were shown none. You realize that people learn more from mistakes than from perfection, and that imperfection is beauty. You realize that the least judgmental people have been judged the most, and that the deepest scars are unseen, yet surface the most.

You realize that your past serves a purpose, and lessons you didn’t want to learn held meaning. You realize that each person in your life– no matter how little or long their time in your life was– affected your future. You realize that the past is a not a chapter to outrun, but something to be embraced, overcome, and appreciated. You learn to be OK with the past because the unwillingness and inability to do so allows for minimal progress, if any.

You realize that we are all sinners and we all make mistakes, and will continue to do so. You realize that there is a significant difference between acknowledging such a fact and implementing change and a conscious effort to become a better person and trying to not make the same mistakes over and over again. You realize that the want to change is different from the will to change is different from taking action to change.

You realize that the words “I’m sorry” are two of the hardest to speak, yet are two of the most freeing. You realize that change, forgiveness, and humility are hard– yet there can be no change without resistance, no growth without forgiveness, and no true character without humility. You realize the distinction between words and actions; between saying “you’re forgiven” and “what you did was OK”; and you accept that you wouldn’t be who you are or where you are without at least one other person in your life.

You realize that life, though beautiful, is also relentless, and waits for no one– including you. You realize that life is a thing to be lived, a gift to be shared, and a journey to be traveled. So smile until your cheeks hurt, laugh until your sides ache, and cry until you can’t.

And as you get older, you realize–before it’s too late, if you’re lucky– that there is only one of you in this whole entire world. One of you to share your gifts, your talents, and your beauty. Accept your past and seize your future, because you realize once it’s gone, it’s gone.

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Borrowed from:

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

🙂

1. Give up your need to always be righti

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

What Are You Being Prepared For?

Let your problems prepare you for your destiny. If your life is tough, God has the biggest plans for you. Being pampered doesn’t build strong character; troubles, trials, and tribulations do. Anyone can be resentful, angry, hurtful, and bitter. Only the strong can be forgiving, loving, and a better person because of their hardships. Choose to be better- not bitter.

Don’t let your morality be based on what has happened to you in your life, and don’t ever let your present circumstances destroy your dreams. Your circumstances don’t define you– how you handle them does. “Do not let your disappointment justify disobedience.” Never, ever use your pain as an excuse to inflict pain upon someone else. Wouldn’t that make you as guilty as the one who caused pain to you?

Help the people you can. Love the ones you can’t. We are all created for an individual, unique purpose, but every single person was created to help others. I’ve written it before and I will write it again: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Love the people who’ve hurt you the most- they’re the ones that need it.

Hate breeds hate. Live a life full of love.  You can’t choose who you’re born from or what you’re born into, but you have the choice to maintain that life or take another path. To claim you don’t is to deny your own self of happiness, love, and freedom. You’ve already got too many people trying to do that to you… don’t do it to yourself.

You’re only a step away from being who you were created to be. “Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” Take that first step to being the person you’re destined to be… and take that first step away from that person you once were.

I Believe…

I believe that forgiveness isn’t supposed to be earned. It’s supposed to be given. Forgiveness isn’t for the perpetrator, but for the hurt… and it’s not always easy, but it’s usually worth it.

I believe that how far you’ll go in life is often determined by who you’re with. There are people who will drag you down… focus on surrounding yourself with good, honest people who want you to succeed.

I believe that it’s OK to remember your past, but it’s not OK to live in it. Appreciate your past, focus on your future, but always keep in mind that the here-and-now is important because what you do this very instant will impact each moment from this point forward.

I believe you should love people where they are, as they are. We’re all a work in progress, and there are few things more beautiful than watching a person learn from his or her mistakes and prevail. Let your mess become your message.

I believe that judging others is a poison to the soul. “Don’t judge a person because they sin differently than you do.” Holding on to anger makes a person ugly. Holding on to hate doesn’t change a person’s mind–love does that.

I believe that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it. “If you don’t want people to know then you shouldn’t do it.” It’s easy to want to do something, especially if you think you can get away with it. “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.”

I believe that a person should be the kindest to the people who treat them the worst. They’re the ones who need your love the most. And we’re all going to have those people who just rub us the wrong way… love those people a little bit harder.

I believe that what others think of you is none of your business. What other people think of you isn’t important– it’s what you think of yourself that matters.

I believe that there is no such thing as a coincidence. As random as something seems, there is a plan for everything.

I believe that life isn’t about how much you have, but about how much you give, and the people who have lost the most have the chance to gain the most.

I believe that you should be tough-minded and kind-hearted, and ambitious in your goals and humble in your accomplishments.

I believe that actions speak volumes louder than words and that it’s easier to argue for principles than it is to live up to your own.

I believe that suffering builds character, but you have to let it. “Sometimes God has to break us to make us. It’s just a bend, it’s not the end. We’re all like glow-sticks– no matter how much we’re bent and broken, our light still shines.”

I believe that if you think your life is fabulous, others will too. Life happens. It happens when you’re sitting in traffic. It happens when you’re waiting for the bus. It happens when you blink. And I believe that life really is fabulous.

An Enemy Called Average

Like most parents, my mom always seems to send me the things I need to hear… when I need to hear them.

All successful people are faithful in the small things. There is power in taking small steps.

Many people are not moving forward today simply because they were not willing to take the small step placed before them. If you have a dream to go into any particular area, you should leap at the opportunity—no matter how small—to move in the direction of your dream. For example: if you dream of being a college basketball coach and are sitting at home waiting for an invitation from Roy Williams at North Carolina University, you should know that call will never come. You need to find an opportunity to coach somewhere, anywhere. Find a young person, a young team. Jump in and coach with all of your heart, like you would if you were coaching at the highest level.

Don’t be afraid to take small steps. There’s something powerful about momentum…no matter how small. Many times the impossible is simply the untried.

I can remember a time in my life when I was immobilized with fear, consumed with what I was supposed to do. It seemed so huge a task; I was unable to bring myself to face it. A friend came to me and spoke two words that broke that paralysis in my life. He said,“Do something!” I’ll never forget that day…taking some small, seemingly insignificant steps. Momentum began to come into my life.

If you are at a point of paralysis in your life because of what you feel you’re supposed to do, the words today are, “Do something!” Don’t worry about the long-term goal right now; just take the steps that take you past the starting point. Soon you’ll get to a point of no return. As you climb higher, you’ll be able to see much farther.

As you begin, don’t be afraid. Eric Hoffer said, “Fear of becoming a ‘has-been’ keeps some people from becoming anything.” Every great idea is impossible from where you are starting today. But little goals add up, and they add up rapidly. Most people don’t succeed because they are too afraid to even try. As incredible as it sounds, they decide in advance they’re going to fail.

Many times the final goal seems so unreachable we don’t even make an effort. But once you’ve made your decision and have started, it’s like you’re halfway there. Start—no matter what your circumstances. Take that first step!

It’s simple. Grow wherever you’re planted.

-John Mason

Love is not a Fight

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in
And then commit to never leave
So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We’ll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word that they can fall into
But when they’re falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us, if we’ll only call
He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for.

-Warren Barfield

Let your Faith be bigger than your Fear

Pray for time. Time heals all. Give time time.

Believe in miracles.

Smile hard and laugh louder.

Be thankful for the people who let you down. They give others the chance to pick you up.

Praise God in moments of silence. Just because He’s quiet doesn’t mean He doesn’t care… it means He’s listening.

Rejoice in those times you don’t get what you want. It means you’re getting something greater.

Trust love. It makes the world go ’round.

Remember that confidence is beautiful. And brains last far longer than physical beauty.

Fake it ’til you make it. It works. Really.

Vow to forgive everyone everything. There is no hope in hate. Choose love.

Appreciate your failures. You’ll learn more from them than from your successes.

And when you feel like giving up, remember: “Saints are sinners who kept on going.”

Promise Yourself

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you. ”

-Christian D. Larson

The Choice is Yours

Forgiveness doesn’t equate to forgetting. Forgiveness is not for the weak; it is an attribute of the strong. Forgiving someone who has offended you isn’t relieving them of fault; it’s freeing yourself from the constraints that were binding you… it’s telling yourself that it is OK to move on.

People are amazing actors; outside they’re happy and cheerful, but inside they’re broken. Love unconditionally, without question. No matter what you’re going through, someone else is walking a tougher path.

The past is an important factor, for it influences our present decisions and the direction of which we move, but what we strive for is far more important than where we’ve been or what we’ve done.

Although our genetics aren’t necessarily a choice, they’re not nearly as important as what we choose to do with the abilities and limitations that we’re given.

Your future is not determined; you determine your own fate every single day you’re here. You can choose to be happy and successful every day you’re blessed with life, or you can opt to be miserable and unthankful for each breath you’re given.