A Generic Pep Talk

If you’re feeling anxious or insecure or overwhelmed or defeated or even afraid, that’s entirely understandable. Life can be hard, and everyone, every single person on this planet, has experienced those feelings at one time or another. I guarantee that there are thousands of people out there who are in the exact same boat right this very minute. You are not alone.

But you know what? You got this. You know how I know? Because here you are. You’ve made it this far, despite all the odds.

You have survived every single thing that has been thrown at you your entire life. Just surviving your own birth is a major hurdle. Not only did you do that, but you have made it through illness and heartbreak and failure and cruelty and bad decisions. You’ve eaten things that weren’t particularly good for you, and no doubt you’ve drunk things that were even worse. You’ve hurt yourself and been hurt. You were picked on in school, and you’ve been treated unfairly at work. And yet, here you are. Still standing.

You are freakin’ awesome. You know how to take care of yourself. Your brains and your ingenuity have gotten you this far. You haven’t given up. You have absolutely every reason to have faith in yourself, because you can stand in front of a mirror, and… look! There you are! You got yourself here. You.

That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think? Dang, but you’re good! So keep up the good work! You can do it!

you got this

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude! Read my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Much Better than a Cult

As strange as it may seem, it took me years to figure out that I should only surround myself with kind, loving, and decent people. No one ever told me that. I think deep down, had the concept even occurred to the younger me, I wouldn’t have really believed I deserved it.

So I wasted a lot of time desperately trying to gain approval from people who were way too busy pumping toxic waste into my life to ever grant said approval. What a shame.

But slowly, ever so slowly, the number of amazing humans in my world started to outnumber the bad apples. That made that rotten fruit seem increasingly unpalatable to me. I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to expect quality in all my relationships. What a notion.

It’s so wonderful to know so many outstanding people now. It’s a gift. It’s priceless. Sometimes it brings tears of joy to my eyes.

But recently I’ve come to see what it would have been like if I had kept my emotional garden free of weeds and decay all along. My boyfriend seems to have done an excellent job of doing so, and the results have been profoundly positive. There is so much good in his world. It’s one of the many things I admire about him. He is a lodestone for kindness.

Recently we announced our engagement, and the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. In the best possible way. This is all new to me. I keep telling him I feel like I’m being love bombed. He reassures me that I’m not joining a cult. Receiving this kind of encouragement is just as it should be.

Well, alrighty then! I’ll take it. Please and thank you!

In case no one ever told you, dear reader: Look for the good in the world. Accept nothing less. You’ll be amazed at how much it multiplies. Proof positive that love conquers all.

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Check out my refreshingly positive book for these depressingly negative times. http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Pep Talking

A friend of mine was having a really bad day at work. She called me up to vent and to get a pep talk. “You got this,” I said. “Breathe,” I said. “You are one of the most capable and intelligent people I know, and you love your job. If anyone can fix this situation, it’s you.”

I’ve always been a good pep talker. It’s second nature to me. But someone recently pointed out to me that that is not the case for everyone.

I should know that. It’s why I honed the craft in the first place.

I grew up in an emotionally barren landscape. My mother was so depressed and overwhelmed that I was often the very last thing on her mind. She was never abusive. I always had a roof (such as it was) over my head, and food in my belly. She emphasized the importance of education. But I was so starved for love and affection that I’m amazed my heart didn’t atrophy. More than anything, I just wanted to be seen.

Because of that, I spent a great deal of time inside my head in a world of my own making, where people said things to me that I desperately wanted to hear. “You’re going to be just fine.” “I’m proud of you.” “You are a loveable person.” “I have faith in you.” “You can do it!”

So now, when I see that someone is at a low point, I simply tell them what I’d most like to hear if I were to find myself in a similar situation. It’s easy.

So why doesn’t everyone do this? The world would be a much nicer place if they did. But there are a few preliminary steps that you have to take to get to that point, I suppose:

  • Being empathetic enough to realize when someone is going through a rough patch.

  • Having the confidence to know that an encouraging word from you would be helpful and appreciated.

  • Having the generosity of spirit to feel that this is an effort worth making.

  • Being capable of picking up on social cues.

  • Sincerely caring about others.

  • Having a genuine belief that people are capable of more than they give themselves credit for, and the ability to creatively articulate that at a moment’s notice.

  • Pulling your head out of your own butt long enough to see what’s going on around you.

Help raise someone up today! Can you do it? Yes! I have faith in you!

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You Are Already Enough

Dear You,

I suspect no one has ever told you this, so I figured I would. You are already enough. You were just who you were supposed to be on the day you were born.

I don’t know why people find it so hard to give compliments or encouragement. I really don’t know why so many people delight in being cruel or insulting. But the fact remains. You are enough.

Having ambition and wanting to improve upon yourself isn’t a bad thing, of course. Go for it! But set aside any anxiety you have that is causing you to try to force yourself into a role that makes you uncomfortable. Nobody has the right to pressure you to become someone that you’re not. Deep down, you already know who you are.

Just be yourself. You are one of a kind. Sit in that power. And before you know it (but only if you need to), you will bloom. You have that within you, and chances are, a lot of people already see it, whether they bother to tell you or not.

Now, share this post with someone else who needs to hear it.

Love,

Me

bloom

Start a gratitude practice today. Read my book. http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Vicarious Thrills

I love having friends that are much younger than I am because I get to watch them do amazing things and feel the subsequent joy from that without having to actually expend any energy myself. I can gaze on proudly as they start new businesses, fight for causes, create amazing works of art, raise incredible children, and show enormous integrity, all from the comfort of my recliner, preferably while cozily ensconced in flannel and bunny slippers.

I’m told I’m very encouraging and supportive. Heck yeah! Encouragement and support expend nary a calorie, and yet they yield amazing results. They cause people to lend even more effort to their positive causes. They give them the courage to reach even higher heights. And they tend to generate a great deal of good will.

In this world, with its rising tide of negativity, it’s the very least I can do, after all. Go, team, go!

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[Image credit: cressina.com]

How This Blog Has Touched Me

Today this blog made me cry. It wasn’t the first time. I’m sure it won’t be the last.

So far it’s always been happy tears, thank goodness. (I’m waiting for the day that my writer’s block is so overwhelming that I shed tears of sheer frustration, but so far I’ve been lucky.) Still, I never thought this humble project of mine would bring out such strong emotion in me. Had I known, I might have been too intimidated to start. But I’m so glad I did.

This time, the reason for my tears was a comment from a girl named April. She read one of my more popular blog entries, Why I Hate Alcohol. Then she commented in great detail about how it impacted her.

Discovering that something I wrote has helped someone, or made them look at things from a different angle, or taught someone something they didn’t know, never fails to move me. Sometimes I sit up here on my lonely little drawbridge and I write these things and it almost feels as if I’m putting messages in bottles and throwing them in the ocean. That these messages sometimes reach someone’s shore is gratifying beyond words.

Because of this blog, I’ve also made some amazing friends. Art, Carole, Anju, Sonia, Tony, Lyn, Valarie… so many more I couldn’t list them all, but each one an amazing person that wouldn’t have come into my life without this forum. And then there are the many friends I’ve met in other ways who have followed this blog and given me feedback and support. There’s nothing more wonderful than getting positive encouragement from someone you admire.

I’ve also learned a great deal. I’ve explored topics I wouldn’t have bothered to delve into if I didn’t think I’d have some reader to share them with. I’ve introduced myself, and you, to people I would not have discovered otherwise.

I’ve exorcised a number of personal demons, celebrated a number of victories, shared perhaps more than I should have, and wondered about any number of things. And I’ve improved my writing skills. Those are things I knew I would do. What I didn’t know was that having people actually read what I write has added a whole new dimension. You’ve validated, supported, and commiserated with me. You’ve given me wings.

So my message in the bottle for today is: Thank you. Thank you so much.

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[Image Credit: artisticallyinvited.com]

Words of Encouragement and Emotional Support

I was just talking to a friend of mine and she told me a story. When her husband was in hospice, his mother would talk to him on the phone but would never tell him she loved him. In fact, in the 60 years he had been on the planet, she had never told him. Not even once.

One day after one of those phone calls, which the son ended by saying, “I love you, Mom”, and the mother ended by saying “Bye”, my friend went barging into her mother-in-law’s room and said, “What is WRONG with you? Why can’t you tell your own son that you love him?”

She replied, “He knows I love him.”

“No, Mom, actually, he doesn’t. He’s your only child and he’s dying. You should be rocking him in your arms. You should be telling him that you love him. You should be telling him you are proud of him. The fact that you aren’t doing so just shows what a cruel and heartless old shrew you are.”

The woman didn’t say a word. She stayed in her room the rest of the evening and then went to sleep. The next day she woke up and called her son and told him she loved him. And she did so every day for the next several weeks until he finally died. And it meant everything to him. It’s all he had ever wanted from her.

This is not an isolated incident. There are a lot of people out there who think that their actions are enough, that they don’t have to reinforce them with words. Yes, that man’s mother had fed him and clothed him and sent him off to school and made him chicken soup when he had a cold. Yes, those are forms of love. She never neglected his needs and she wasn’t physically abusive toward him, and he turned out to be a good person. Maybe that should be enough.

But why is it so hard to add just one more simple thing to the mix, the one thing that costs not one penny, and takes no physical effort at all? Words of encouragement. Words of support. Confirmation of love.

Here are some words that are worth more than gold, that I, personally, have longed to hear on more than one occasion:

  • I admire you.
  • I have faith in you. Don’t give up.
  • I’m proud of the life that you live.
  • I love you so much.
  • You are my favorite person on earth.
  • You have always been there for me. Thank you.
  • I want to be just like you when I grow up.
  • You are doing a good job.
  • I’m so glad you are a part of my life.
  • Thank you for all you’ve done. I know it hasn’t been easy.
  • I’m a better person for having known you.
  • I think of you often, and I smile.
  • I appreciate all that you do.
  • You can do it.
  • I’m proud to be seen with you.
  • I like your style.
  • You are a good person.
  • I always look forward to seeing you.
  • You mean the world to me.
  • You make a difference in my life.
  • Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

If you just chose one of these phrases a day and said it to someone who is a part of your life, whether it be a friend, a relative, a neighbor or a coworker, it would take less than 3 seconds of your time, but you would see a positive change in your relationships.

So the next time you feel the urge to tease someone or take them for granted, try this instead. The next time you feel the urge to close yourself off or withhold affection, try this instead. The next time you THINK something positive but don’t have the courage to share it, try this instead. The next time you say something nice ABOUT someone but not TO them, try this instead. Think of it as an experiment if you must. It might feel awkward at first, and it may make you feel vulnerable, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever done in your life, and you’ll be amazed at the positive feedback you’ll receive.

You can do it. I have faith in you.

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[Image credit: booooooom.com]