Dealing with Grief and Finding Hope

Nobody wants to die but want to go to heaven.
Death is inevitable. But death─ sudden or expected─ always brings sorrow and grief to the ones who are left behind. However, life still marches on. It is hard, but we must remember that as humans we have an immense ability to cope with anything that life brings. Although we all have different levels of coping abilities, there are several basic and universal steps to dealing with grief and finding hope again…

Allow The Feelings To Flow: Losing someone you love will conjure all unimaginable emotions within you, sorrow, regret, guilt, pain, grief, heartbreaks, misery, anger, sadness and many more. Feeling these emotions all at once can be extremely difficult. It is quite normal, so let them flow. You do not need to suppress them. Cry all you want. With time and allowing grief to be released, it will become less painful. It is an important process that will help you in dealing with grief and accepting your loss.

Talk About It When You Can: Talking about the death of your loved ones can be a way of remembering them and can help you understand what happened. It will give you the opportunity to start the healing process. Denying the death of a loved one can result in isolation and you pushing away your family and friends.

Find A Support System: Coping with a loved one’s death is never easy; especially if you are dealing with it alone. You need support coming from your family and friends so that you can find comfort and overcome grief faster. Moreover, while your family and friends can be your greatest source of support for overcoming the death of someone, but it is also advisable that you take advice from professional people when you find all the emotions and pain too hard to handle. Psychologists give professional advice and develop strategies according to your needs to get you through the grieving process.

Understand The Grieving Process: Dealing with grief and bereavement is a process. It is quite important to allow yourself to experience every stage of the grieving process for you to completely heal. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the five stages of grief in her book titled “On Death and Dying.” These stages are not necessarily experienced in order and some stages can be revisited. These five stages are:

  • Denial: Dealing with death can be overwhelming. It is an incomprehensible experience and you can find it hard to believe that your loved one is gone. You continue to deny that it is not happening and there is no way that your loved one left you.
  • Anger: As you realize the reality of your situation you begin to feel angry. Your anger or fury might be directed to your loved one for leaving you, to the doctors for not doing their job and healing your loved one, to God who took your loved one or even to yourself for maybe not being a better person to your loved one. All of this is quite normal and will pass.
  • Bargaining: It is quite common for an individual to start bargaining or negotiating with a higher power, like God. Do not be surprised or think that you are crazy when you start making deals with God like: “I will be better, just please give him back to me.”
  • Depression: The sorrow and overwhelming sadness you feel after the death of a loved one is normal. It is common to feel that your life will never be the same again. This feeling does not last forever and will pass with time.
  • Acceptance: This stage does not necessarily mean that you accept or come to terms that your loved one is already dead. It does not mean that if you are already at this stage, you will not revisit the other stages above. But rather, it means that the pain and grief of losing someone you love will reduce and become more manageable.

Celebrate Life: You need to mourn the death of your loved ones, but there comes a time when you need to turn from the mourning toward a new stage, of celebrating life again. Understanding that death is inevitable and that we will all die someday will give you an opportunity to live your life to the fullest. Remember that your life does not stop when someone you love passes away. Ask yourself this: “Would he or she be happy seeing me like this forever because they passed?” Cry as much as you need to, but know that your family and friends are still there for you, ready to walk forward and to live life fully with you now. Celebrate the fact that you are living.

Preserve Precious Memories: Someone so special to you might be gone but their memories stay. Keep all photographs, things he or she gave you, or create a memorial like planting a tree to remember your loved one. This will help you keep all the memories you shared together and overcome your loss.

Final Thoughts: It always feels so unfair when someone you love passes away, but that does not mean you have to stop living. God created us, human beings, to be strong and to survive anything. So, grieve as much as you need to, and remember you will be able to stand up and smile again. After all, your loved ones may not have stayed with you, but the memories you have with them will forever stay in your heart.

I can testify to each and every point stated here. I don’t know about you but if you have anyone facing the difficulty of not passing through grief and lack hope. Please share this with them.

Have a blessed day!!!

By: Brian Zeng

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    Should Young Christians Rush to Get Married?

    True or False?

    Am not into relationship or marriage writing, but this caught my attention and needed to be shared.

    For young adult Christians who have grown up believing that sex outside of marriage is wrong, it can be understandable that they might rush to the altar with the person they feel so strongly in love with. It’s no shock to anyone that young people are flooded with feelings and desires that lead them to wanting to be physical with whoever they are attracted to, and when sex is known as a sin unless it’s with a spouse, the rush to get a ring on that finger makes sense.

    With a culture that so readily promotes the “happily ever after” path and seems obsessed with the latest pop culture couplings, marriages, divorces, and drama in between, it’s not surprising that many young people would view marriage as the ultimate destination and goal in relationships. Even in the church, marriage is often lauded as the best thing, the highest achievement, the greatest gift, and it can lead young people to feeling like they have to get to that point quickly for their lives, their relationships, and their presence in that community to really matter and have value.

    Ethan Renoe recently wrote an article for Relevant asking “ Should So Many Christians Push to Get Married Young? ” and he zeroes in on one famous Bible passage about singleness and marriage: 1 Corinthians 7 . This passage has been often debated, and it raises some important (although controversial) questions.

    In verse 8 of that chapter, Paul writes, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”
    This is a very different stance than what our culture and our churches tend to promote. “But what if Paul was telling the truth?” Renoe asks. “What if it really is better for us to remain single instead of diving headfirst into marriage?”
    Wouldn’t that be something?

    It’s a helpful and healthy question to ask ourselves, though. As a single woman in her mid-twenties, it’s one I find myself pondering often. The expectation seems to be that I will get meet the man of my dreams someday and then get married shortly thereafter… but I’m not so sure that’s what’s meant for me. I’m definitely in no hurry to get there if that is what the Lord has in store, that’s for sure. As I see more and more friends getting married (even friends quite a few years younger than me, which feels strange), I return to this question, wondering if marriage is really the ultimate good thing we should be striving for, or if Paul was right in encouraging singleness instead.

    For the Christians (young or old) who pursue marriage as a way to justify their physical and sexual desires, it seems clear that the focus is misplaced. “As Christians,” Renoe explains, “our primary calling in life is not to gratify our sexual desires first and foremost. It is to glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and bring others into this sphere of blessedness. For this reason, I’ve come to see many of the young marriages of Christians as more of a detriment to the work of the church than a blessing.”

    He goes on to say, “what I mean by that is, if we really believe that Jesus, not sex, is the source of our satisfaction, it should affect the way we live our lives. It means perhaps we would spend years of our lives giving to the world in sacrificial and beneficial ways before settling down with our sweetheart to raise children rather than diving into marriage for the wrong reasons.”

    Now, this does assume that sex and a desire for physical intimacy is the driving force behind young couples getting married, which isn’t always the case. But he does make a good point that the Lord has great opportunities in store for us in our twenties and thirties when we free ourselves to follow his leading and serve him with our lives, unencumbered by such a serious relationship commitment. It’s not that the desires for intimacy go away, but instead that those who choose to embrace singleness instead redirecting those desires toward Jesus and the work he has for us instead.

    We can pursue intimacy in other ways — in our prayer life with the Lord, in our Bible studies and conversations with close friends, in sharing our stories vulnerably with one another, and with sharing common interests and bonding with others around us.

    While there have admittedly been times or seasons of my life where I have felt the absence of a meaningful relationship or longed for a husband, there have been many more times where I have been grateful for the freedom that comes with singleness, especially when it comes to service opportunities and ministry work in my church and community.

    “We have become blinded by a culture that teaches that the truest source of satisfaction is sex, so it makes sense that many of us would marry young for a taste of that ecstasy,” Renoe writes.

    What if we saw our lives instead as something so much greater? What if we saw our singleness as a chance to truly give ourselves to others? What if we saw our free time as a gift from the Lord allowing us to serve the people around us and expand the Kingdom? What if we reprioritized our desires and what is important to us, putting satisfaction in Christ above all else?

    Like Renoe concludes, there is no hurry for us to get married. There are so many opportunities before us in the seasons we are in now, and there is so much goodness to be found in a life wholly committed to serving the Lord and others. Pursue him first and foremost, and discover that he, better than any other, can and will fulfill every desire of your heart, no matter your relationship status. The rings can wait.

    Credit: Christian Headline

    Why We Should Live Like We’ve Never Been Hurt

    Why We Should Live Like We’ve Never Been Hurt

    People say love like you’ve never been hurt, but how about we try to live like we’ve never been hurt? Live like life never disappointed us, like pain didn’t change us, like we didn’t grow up or learn, like we are still innocent kids believing that life will turn out exactly the way we want it to. Every now and then let’s live with the naiveté of a 7 year old.

    Even if it sounds unrealistic, even if it sounds crazy, even if it sounds impossible, we should try to live like that – even for one day.

    We should live like we know we’ll get what we want when we ask for it. Like the universe is our genie granting us anything we wish for. Like the universe is here to spoil us and give us everything we want.

    We should live like we never fell off the bike or fell while running. We should run like we are free and we should throw caution to the wind and let our bodies roam the world – unafraid of bruises.

    We should speak with no reservations, we shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable or throwing tantrums or crying in bed next to our favorite soft toy. We shouldn’t be afraid to feel.
    We should live worry-free, like we have all the time in the world to do the things we want and be with the people we love. We shouldn’t worry about the right time or the wrong time or worry about time at all. Life is infinite.

    We should say what’s on our minds and in our hearts without calculating or rephrasing or editing. We should speak with no reservations, we shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable or throwing tantrums or crying in bed next to our favorite soft toy. We shouldn’t be afraid to feel.

    We should quit things we don’t like and stay in bed all morning because we feel like it. We shouldn’t wake up to responsibilities that drain us and a routine that slowly kills us.

    We should look forward to our birthdays and throw the biggest and greatest birthday parties. We should get excited about growing up and making our dreams come true. We should get excited about life.

    We should believe in romance and fairy-tales, we should believe in a love that is so pure and real, we should believe in ‘ forever’ against all odds.

    We should wake up every day waiting for a miracle.We should believe in miracles and magic and a life that is bigger and better than what we know, we should wake up every day waiting for a miracle.

    We should have expectations that are not crushed by reality or rules or rights and wrongs.

    We should be silly and playful and laugh as loudly as we can, we shouldn’t worry about what people might say. We shouldn’t suppress our laughter or our joy.

    We should play house and dream of our perfect home. A home that is built with love, not broken hearts and unfulfilled promises or empty rooms and unspoken words. We should believe in a happy home – one we want to go to every night and wake up in every morning.

    We should live like we don’t know any better.

    Beliefs That Will Free Your Mind From Negativity

    A quick one with 10 solid points.

    1. Life may not be easy, but it could be great. Even though we may be faced with a lot of unfortunate events that we were not prepared for, we could still be happy living in an imperfect life if we shift our mindset. Simply by knowing that life’s ups require life’s downs, we will be better-equipped to embrace life’s predicaments.

    2. People who disappoint us are merely lessons. They were there to teach us something about ourselves or about life. The biggest changes often come from the biggest disappointments. That’s how we grow and evolve and make better choices in the future.

    3. We can’t change our past but we can change our future. We are not defined by what we did, we are defined by what we choose to become. We are capable of changing our lives any time if we take responsibility for our lives and proactively work on changing ourselves.

    4. Assumptions and judgments are the root of all negativity. Instead of jumping to conclusions or making false assumptions we should live day by day and let time unfold the real answers we are looking for. Consuming our minds with assumptions will only lead to confusion and frustration.

    5. Just because something good ends, doesn’t mean something better won’t begin. Our life is in constant motion and progression – so are we. Often good things end because they are no longer right for us, and we have to wait and be hopeful that life has better things in store for us.

    6. Start each day with a thankful heart. We should be thankful for our health, our bodies, and for the gift of life in general. The most powerful way to get rid of negativity is to be thankful for the things we have that we take for granted on a daily basis.

    7. Some things take time. Stay patient. Just because something isn’t happening for us right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen. Timing makes a huge difference and we have to stay patient and keep asking the universe for what we want and believing that it will happen when it’s supposed to.

    8. Without the dark, we would never see the stars. As long as we don’t stay in the dark, good things can come out of really bad situations and we can even come out of it better and stronger people. Sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring out the best in us.

    9. The people we surround ourselves with matter more than we think. If we surround ourselves with people who lift us higher and see great potential in us, we will be able to get rid of negativity faster. Don’t spend time with people who thrive on drama, they will strip away your happiness.

    10. Only a positive mind can give us a positive life. Negative thoughts are like weeds, they keep growing if we don’t root them out. That’s why we have to keep thinking positively and focus on the things we can control and get rid of all the thoughts that are holding us back one by one.

    Addiction is Real. Here’s How to Beat It

    Addiction is real

    Have you known an addict or been an addict? Are you an addict now?

    Unfortunately, addictions come with the human condition. We’ve got alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, workaholics, self-mutilators, and more. You name it, our culture has found it and become addicted to it.

    Addiction is defined as anything we do repeatedly that causes harm to ourselves and/or others. The underlying driver to addiction is a general dissatisfaction with your life, your self-image, or identity. In extreme cases, an intense self-hatred and a sense of hopelessness and despair are the foundations of addiction.
    Are you saying to yourself right now, “I can’t think of anything I’m addicted to”? Well, I’d say to you, “Come on. We’re all addicted to something.” If you don’t think that’s true of you, look through this list with me.

    Are you addicted to:

    • Achievement – Always needing to perform to feel valuable
    • Self-Pity – Constant feeling of “poor me” and “life is unfair”
    • Worry – A consistent lack of peace
    • Drinking – You need a drink to be happy, sleep, or feel connected to people
    • Being Busy – If you’re alone or still, you feel depressed or lonely
    • Sex – You can’t stop viewing porn, quit masturbating , or view the others without sexual thoughts.
    • Social Media – You’re constantly connected to your phone or computer, ignoring the people right in front of you
    • Gambling – A need to take risk, make money, and feel valued from winning
    • Self-Sabotage – You can’t hold on to a relationship, you screw up great opportunities, and you can’t allow yourself to succeed.

    Yes, you can be addicted to so-called positive things such as achievement. Look at Dale Partridge for example. He struggled with a serious addiction of being busy and achievement. Achievement became part of his identity. He started 6 businesses within 8 years producing over $15 million in revenue. But he didn’t know who was apart from outside praise and achievement. His addiction to work and achievement linked directly with a general dissatisfaction, if not, a downright dislike for who he was. He thought that his identity and worth was based solely in what I accomplished instead of who he was.

    The bottom line is this: we all just want to be loved. We want to feel loved. We all deserve love. We starve for connectivity and depth, but we’re seriously scared and often times, lack the basic relational ability to reach out and get it.

    So, if you had to choose something, what would you say you’re addicted to? Think about your thoughts for the day. Are there patterns? Ruts? Are there places in your mind that you continue to visit and obsess over during each 24-hour period?

    What are they? Be brave and write them down. Let’s begin the healing process.

    I want you to pay attention here. You deserve better. You deserve more. You were created for awe and purpose. You were created to love and be loved. The things that grip you don’t have to strangle the life out of you. There is hope and there is a way out.

    Today begin telling yourself the opposite of the lies in your head. Begin practicing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. Tell a trusted friend about your addiction. Reach out. Call a group. Don’t wait. This is your life we’re talking about.

    You deserve normal. You deserve love, balance, joy, peace, and success. Go after it.

    Very Important Life Lessons

    I want to share with you 4 very important life lessons that were reinforced for me over the 3 hours.

    These are truly foundations for our happiness and success.

    While I’ve had these reflections individually many times in the past, recently all 4 have culminated together for me and it feels like they’re now written in the cells of my body, singing out to be aligned with and honored!

    Okay let’s dive in to the points!!!

    VIL 1. Do Only What Resonates

    Resonance is a feeling you get, telling you that something is good, aligned, and right for you.

    The opposite of resonance is dissonance, meaning you feel something isn’t aligned.

    Too many people navigate their lives doing things that do not resonate, in places that are not resonant, with people who don’t resonate with them.

    If we make our choices about what we do in life based on our thinking mind alone, we can end up in all sorts of trouble and dissonance like this.

    Instead, we need to notice what we feel, what RESONATES when we are making our choices about work, money, relationships, health, lifestyle and more.

    VIL 2. Be in a State of Ease

    As you go about whatever you do, personally and professionally, it’s all about HOW you do it.

    Too often we race around in life in such a hurry to get things done, resisting life, aggrieved by things that bother us, frustrated by unexpected situations and people that seem to distract us from what we would prefer to be experiencing.

    We may push ahead and force with strong, intentional energy to “get things done” and achieve our goals, but to what end?

    Are we sitting there at the finish line feeling ragged and worn? And/or have we left a trail of issues behind us, paying a price in our health, relationships, finances or lifestyle because of the way we have been operating?

    If you want to have a happy life then:

    • Recognize how it feels inside your body when you are at ease – there is a lightness to that feeling, a grace, a flow.
    • Recognize how it feels inside your body when you are pushing, forcing, racing, resisting, stressed and tense – there is a very definite physiological difference to ease!
    • Pay attention in your daily life to what you feel in your body – you will quickly start to notice if you’re operating from a state of ease and grace, or from a state of stress and tension.
    • Use breathing and a mantra to shift yourself back into ease in that moment. e.g Breathe in, “I choose to feel at ease”, breathe out, “All is well and I’m in my flow”

    VIL 3. Remember You Can’t Do Everything

    Well, technically you can do everything you want (over your lifetime) but you most definitely can’t do it all at once!

    You can’t please everyone, you can’t be all things to all people, and you can’t achieve all your goals in one go while also caring for your relationships, health, work and personal life. So you have to make conscious choices about what to give your precious energy to.

    I recently read a wonderful book on Essentialism – the art of focusing on what is essential, and not getting distracted by the gazillions of non-essential things that call for one’s attention each day. And my takeaway so far, which is so profound for me, is this…

    There will be many good things you can focus on and give your time to. But there are only a small handful of GREAT things. To be most effective and successful, means deciphering the great from the good – saying yes to great, saying no to good…

    I’ve previously had a major issue with this, struggling to say no to good things. It’s like we’re wired to say yes to all the good things in life. Good people, good opportunities, good experiences, good ideas. But there are actually many goodies! And we can’t do it all. From experience, trying to do it all leaves you burned out!

    So, if you want to be highly effective AND happy, then:

    VIL 4. Every Path Has Both Pros and Cons

    And here is the very important lesson…

    In saying goodbye, I was sobbing with such a deep, deep sadness in my heart. Yet, at the very same time, in every cell of my body as I bawled my eyes out hugging my parents and siblings goodbye, I knew what my intuition was telling me – to continue my path (even though my path leads me away from the physical presence of those I love).

    When it comes to having an amazing life, please know that there is no perfect. There is only the choice of living your most soul-aligned path, whatever that looks like in any given moment, and accepting all that it gifts you and teaches you as you flow with it.

    So, if you want to go big on your goals, and live the life of your dreams, then:

    • Focus on your inner voice, celebrate the pros of your path, peacefully accept the cons.
    • Such cons will exist with all choices. It’s called opportunity cost. With one path chosen, all other paths are not. But rest assured your soul will always lead you to the life experience you are here on this beautiful earth to have.
    • Leave no room for fear to reside in your mind. Trust yourself and remind yourself regularly of why you make the choices you do and why your goals are important.
    • Keep it real – SOMETIMES THE RIGHT CHOICE AND DIRECTION CAN ALSO BE THE HARDEST. And this, my friends, is the colorful ride that we call life!

    Guys don’t get it twisted. Ain’t the writer of this. Lol! As mentioned in my first paragraph, i got motivated just some few hours back reading this beautiful piece that so referred to my life. All credit goes to Bernadette Logue.

    How To Write The Best Story Of Your Life

    • Each new day is an opportunity to write a new story; a blank page to start over and begin writing a new chapter. You have pages to fill with your own words. You have sentences to live by and characters to support your story. Make sure you write a story that you love, a story you are proud of, a story your children and grandchildren will want to read over and over again, and make sure you write an authentic one, an original one, a story that reflects your life, your dreams and your desires – not a copy of someone’s life or a story someone else has written for you. Here is how to write the best story of your life.
    • Start by building the right characters. Your characters are the ones that make your story come to life, and they are an integral part of your journey. Pick the right characters, the ones that will stick with you till the end of the story, the ones that will support you when your story is falling apart, the ones who will fill all your pages and chapters, and the ones who will help you write a happy ending.
    • Find the purpose of your story. What are you trying to tell the world? What are you here for? And what story do you want people to read about you? Find a meaning to your story that makes you come alive and inspires you to wake up every day. Find a meaning that keeps your story interesting and keeps you interested , find a meaning to fight for, live for and die for.
    • Don’t let defeat put an end to your story. Every great story has periods of despair, failures and defeats, but this is what makes it even more compelling and this is what makes it even more substantial. This is the climax of your story and the turning point. This is when you start changing and your whole story changes. It now becomes about how you handle defeat, how you rise up after you fall down, and how you change the direction of your life after failure. A victorious ending requires a series of lost battles.
    • Pick an exciting theme. The theme is one of the most fundamental components of your story. Pick a theme that ends each chapter with hope, faith, and a desire to make tomorrow better. A theme that makes your character stronger in every chapter, a theme that makes people root for you and want to see you make it to the end. Pick a positive theme, a humorous tone maybe, or a theme that depicts the strength in struggle and the beauty in vulnerability.
    • Love is the essence of your story. Your story will be very weak without the power of love. You have to write a story of love and passion. Love is what keeps the story moving forward. It could be a lover, a friend, your work, your parents, your children, God or the love of the journey, the love of the unknown, or even your struggle to find love and define it. No matter how you tackle it, love is the crux of your story.
    • Don’t worry so much about the ending. Pay more attention to the details of your story and the way it’s unfolding. The best writers often don’t know how their story will end, they just start writing and the ending comes to them after they’ve shaped the main plot. If you focus too much on the ending, you might miss out on the whole story.
    • Give it a spectacular title. The title is what summarizes your story in a few words. It’s what makes people want to read your story. It’s your choice how you want people to perceive your story. Each day you make a choice as to whether the title ends with a question mark, a period, or an exclamation point.

    What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Bodies?

    What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Body

    If we could see souls instead of bodies, what would be beautiful?

    What is the first thing people would know about you? What would you be most afraid of them seeing? Who would you impress? Who would you love?

    What would you adjust as you walked past the mirror? What kind of work would you be in? What would your goals be, how would you strive to be better if what you collected in the bank or put on your body or attached next to your name on a business card no longer affected what people saw?

    Would you spend your time in gyms and stores or in libraries and temples? Who would you let yourself fall in love with? What would your ‘type’ be? Tall, dark and handsome or creative, kind and self-aware?

    Who would we idolize, and what? How much of our governing body would be fit to lead? Who would we make famous? Who would we celebrate?

    Would we restructure our value system to prioritize the things that bring us true peace and desire, not just better than the norm? What would we do with all that money, if we weren’t spending it on decorating and changing and convincing everybody else that we are a way we really aren’t?

    How would we define success? As who gathers the most shit around their souls or who is transformed the most and shines the brightest? What would it be like, if our priority was to just become lightness? What kindness and joy and healing and rawness would come of the journey there?

    What would happen if we could see people not as “bad,” but as… blocked? If we could see the ways they’ve packed away their pain, or how they hold a belief that keeps them away from being kind to others? How they are unaware that those issues even exist?

    What if we weren’t afraid of the ways people are different than us?

    What would happen if we realized our bodies never wanted anything more than to feel connected, and acted out on nothing more than their false ideas of being separate, different, exiled, the odd one out, the almost-but-not-good-enough?

    What would happen if we embraced our desire to play out and frame with our individualism, but eventually returned to the knowing that we are all just energy fields? And where would we be if we realized that we were all from the same one? What would happen if we realized we really weren’t that different at all?

    Maybe One Day We’ll Figure This Life Out

    Figuring Life Out

    Maybe one day we’ll know why certain people have left us and why they didn’t come back. One day we will be able to connect the dots and understand how the pieces we didn’t understand all found their way to fit into the puzzle of our lives and complete the picture.

    Maybe one day we’ll know why destiny keeps bringing certain people back into our lives or why their lessons had to be learned over and over again so we can finally know it by heart.

    Maybe those people are meant to be a bigger part of our future and they keep reappearing to remind us that their part in our story is not over.
    Maybe one day we’ll know why we left certain jobs and why we were forced to change directions. Maybe we were meant to change the world and our jobs weren’t going to make that happen. Maybe we are free spirits who are destined to roam the world freely without being caged in an orbit of predictability.

    Maybe one day we’ll know why we didn’t get along with our parents or our relatives. Maybe we were meant to go out and make new friends and find people who teach us that we don’t have to share the same blood to count as family. Maybe we were meant to get lost and wander to find where we truly belong – to find a home we don’t want to escape from.

    Maybe we were meant to fail and be laughed at to learn how to shield ourselves from the stones that keep getting thrown our way.

    Maybe we needed to learn how to walk on pebbles so we can walk slowly and discover that there is more than one path along the way.

    Maybe we were meant to be laughed at so we can understand that one person’s tragedy is another person’s comedy.

    Maybe we were meant to fall in love with the wrong people to learn that love doesn’t discriminate. That the heart doesn’t know the rules or the terms or the social conduct. It just feels and jumps recklessly into anything that moves it. Maybe we need to learn that love will always be inexplicable, something of the Gods, something that calls us to do things that are unfamiliar to us. Something that makes us believe in magic – a dream that meddles in the nightmares of reality.

    Maybe we were meant to sail away from the shore to learn the methods of surviving alone, to learn that loneliness won’t kill us and solitude can be our friend. Maybe we need to disappear to see who will care to find us, who will care to bring us back to life, who will wonder about us and who will wish we never find our way back.

    Maybe we needed to be scared so we can understand that we will never be fearless but we can be courageous and we can be brave. Maybe one day we will know if our fear is merely a reflection of our own insecurities or fear of our own greatness . Maybe one day we will know why we were so afraid to shine.

    Maybe one day we will know why we just can’t be happy, why we are always searching for something to stress us out so we can feel like we are part of society, why we always have to feel ‘useful’ to be accepted, why we always want more than what we have and why we feel like it’s a crime to just exist – just be – bounded by our nothingness.

    Maybe one day we will look back and life will make sense, maybe one day we will stop asking so many questions and let the answers find us. Maybe one day we will know for sure why we wasted so much trying to get a grasp of life that we forgot that we are here to live it – not understand it.

    Ways to Replace Temptation with Self Control

    Surfing the internet this morning, I couldn’t help but share this write up from daily positives.

    Overall, I would consider myself a fairly controlled person. Yet when it comes to men, food, and social drinking – sayonara! As much fun as it might be at the time, the regret of: “Man, I told myself I would be in control this time” that comes later is not a good feeling.

    Sound familiar?

    Saying you want one thing and doing the complete opposite can create a lot of unnecessary chaos in life.

    Not only does being impulsive throw off our equilibrium, but it also takes away from our broader personal goals.

    When it comes down to avoiding what’s good for us or making decisions we will regret later, it’s a matter of exercising self control and learning how to BUILD that muscle.

    Yet, this tends to be easier said than done and requires a conscious, mindful effort.

    Here are 5 simple ways to practice more self control during the moments that tempt you most. Pick at least 2 you can use right now, practice them for 7 days, and see what a difference it makes!

    1. Be Honest About Your Temptations

    The first step is being truthful with yourselfabout what your temptations are, so you know how to manage them in the future.

    What situations, without fail, always leave you saying, “I wish I didn’t do that”?

    For example, if you know you can’t have chips in the house without finishing the entire bag upon opening them, deciding not to buy them in the first place is a good starting point. Recognizing the temptations lets you help prevent them before you’ve gone too deep.

    2. Quit Cold Turkey

    While we want to believe we are strong enough to overcome temptation when faced with it (or at least try to), avoiding the temptation altogether is the only guarantee for doing so.

    Living in extremes can require quitting in extremes.

    Try a 30-day alcohol free month, social media detox challenge, or cut off communication from a toxic relationship.

    3. Recognize Your Long-Term Goals & Tie the Present Moment to Them

    When avoiding your temptation triggers may not be an option, consider your long-term goals before engaging in a potential regretful activity.

    Living for short-term gratification can seem harmless, but has the ability to negatively impact your aspirations down the line.

    Make sure that a Wednesday night Happy Hour is really worth the lost productivity at work the next day!

    4. Get an Accountability Partner

    Having an accountability partner (or group) is a great way to stay on track for any goal, and becoming more self-disciplined is no exception.

    It’s always easier to assess a situation and see clearly when you’re not directly in it.

    So the next time you’re feeling tempted, call a friend for encouragement and reminders to help you choose positively, wisely and in alignment with your goal/s.

    5. Listen to & Trust the “Good” Shoulder Angel

    We all have the little voice that tells us not to do something, and the one that tells us to do it anyway.

    Impulsiveness is often engaging in something that goes against our better judgment, and against our values.

    So the next time you feel conflicted, stop and make a deliberate choice to do the opposite of what you might want to do. Over time, this will become second nature.

    Ultimately, every choice in life has a consequence. It is rewarding to engage in decisions that bring you closer to the person you want to be (the person you really are deep down!).

    After awhile, you’ll be able to appreciate the peace which comes from aligning what you say you want with your actions. You will live from a place of equilibrium.

    Credit: Ashley David

    There Is No Hurry. Really?

    In all labour there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

    Procastination the thief of time

    Charles Seindoll introduced him thus: A formidable giant, quick as a laser, silent as a moonbeam, very slick and can pick any lock. Once inside, His winsome ways will captivate your attention such that you world treat him as your best friend; but watch out, he is a professional thief. He will strip you without a blink of remorse. His name is Procrastination.

    He specializes in stealing priceless valuables of time and incentives and leaving cheap substitutes in their place like excuses, rationalizations, empty promises, embarrassment and guilt.

    The greatest weapon of this con-artist is not a bold face instruction of don’t do it but a subtle suggestion of there’s no hurry and with this, he hardly loses. He can outtalk any student when it comes to homework. He can outthink any executive when it comes to correspondence. He can out work any housemaker when it comes to doing dishes. He can outlast any parent when it comes to discipline.

    Why not purpose to defeat this thief of time now. Surprisingly, as powerful and cunning this guy is, he cannot stand one word. NOW! It immediately sends him fleeing in frustration each time you say it and muster discipline to mean it. For starters, today, why not list two projects you’ve put off previously and get one done as we begin this new month.

    Enjoy Grace!

    Never put till tomorrow what you can do today.

    The Big Risk if You’re Seeking Approval from Other People

    Originally posted on the daily positive.

    As human beings we crave acceptance and approval – to feel a sense of belonging and security.

    The Big Risk if You’re Seeking Approval from Other People

    It makes sense if you think about our primitive nature and history – the need to be in tribes/communities together, for safety and survival.

    That seems to drive so many of us in modern life to go seeking approval and acceptance from others – be it our families, our friends, our work colleagues and employers.

    Heck… we even go on social media and seek “likes” from complete strangers in order to get that sense of acceptance.

    But here are the cold hard facts about living for the acceptance, approval or praise of others…

    • Yes, it feels good (we all like it!)
    • But, you can’t guarantee you’ll always get it.
    • And as long as you’re attached to the acceptance, approval and praise of others, you’re also equally attached to their judgment, criticism and rejection.

    The powerful truth that I’ve personally learned over the years is this…

    • When people say nice things about me, that’s lovely and it’s just what they’re thinking and feeling in that moment. It has nothing to do with me. It’s none of my business. 💙
    • When people say unkind things about me, that’s unpleasant and it’s just what they’re thinking and feeling in that moment. It has nothing to do with me. It’s none of my business. 💙

    If you live by the praise of others, you die by their criticism.

    Everyone is simply projecting their inner experience into the outer world – be that positive or negative, be that praise or criticism. To live your life at peace and empowered here are 2 TIPS…

    • Don’t take things personally – even when it’s nice things (acknowledge the love the other person is expressing, and witness it with appreciation, but don’t attach to it like an umbilical cord!). 😃
    • Don’t go looking for people to validate, approve, accept or praise you – GIVE IT TO YOURSELF. The only person’s opinion who truly matters is yours. From your own approval, the world is your oyster and you can enjoy the good and detach the bad, forever free to simply be.

    Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

    Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

    1. Count how many times you’ve really been happy after you got something you thought you wanted. What happened after you got the relationship you were lusting after? What happened after you got that job? What happened when you made more money? Chances are, things were different, but proportionately good and bad.

    2. Make a list of all the imperfect people you’ve known in your life who have had love. Who have had romantic partners and best friends and jobs you could only ever dream of. Make a list of all the people who are conventionally unattractive and spiritually adrift and imperfect and all the things each one of them had despite being that way. Make it your own personal proof that you do not need to be perfect to be good enough.

    3. Ask yourself what you’d do if social media were no object, and nobody would know. What would you do this Saturday, what would you do tonight? What would your career goals be, how many photos would you really take? Who would you hang out with, where would you live, if you weren’t silently policing yourself through the lens of “what other people see.”

    4. Ask yourself what you’d do if money were no object, and you could do anything. This is a classic exercise that many people dismiss because of how impractical it is. Unfortunately, those people aren’t thinking deeply enough to understand the real point. It’s not to discover what you’d actually do if you didn’t have to worry about money (that’s not our reality) it’s about the essence of what you’d do, and how you can incorporate that into your everyday life. Would you vacation, would you keep your current job? It just goes to show you whether you value relaxation or accomplishments or whatever else, and understanding what you value is crucial to understanding who you are.

    5. Take photos to remember happy moments, not prove that you looked good or did something cool. Make a special album on your phone just for “happy moments.” When you feel good or are enjoying yourself or have some kind of revelation, just take a photo of whatever’s in front of you (however unworthy of Instagram it is.) When you look back at these seemingly random snapshots, you’ll experience those feelings all over again. You’ll see, by contrast, the emotional difference between capturing the moments that matter to you and creating moments to matter for other people.

    6. Identify the “people” you always think are judging you. You know how people always say that? “People are judging me.” “I’m worried about what people will think.” Most of the time, those “people” are a faceless crowd that only exist in your mind. In other words, they’re you, projected outward. It’s what you’re judging yourself for. The first step is realizing that the “people” you worry about don’t really exist.

    7. Think about what makes you feel the most jealous. The things that make us the most jealous and envious are usually the things that we feel we’re not living up to within ourselves. We’re jealous of the beautiful girl not because we want to be beautiful like her, but because we’re lacking something so much more important, which is love for ourselves. We’re jealous of the successful writer not because we also want to be lauded, but because we know we’re not doing the work to get there.

    8. Don’t clean before someone comes over. Save for people who, you know, aren’t hygienic, don’t worry about setting up a stage when someone else visits. I’m not talking about straightening up or putting personal items away, but actually trying to construct an appearance that is the physical equivalent of bleach blonde hair dye. Let people into your life in a true way. Let them enter a moment in your life, just as it’s happening. It’s the only way you truly bond.

    9. Re-think how you celebrate the most important days of the year. Most people do it with relatives they see only on holidays, who they don’t have genuine relationships with otherwise, and who they are vaguely unhappy to have to see. These days are meant to be spent treating the people who love you all year round to parties and meals and gifts. Not the people who you feel morally obligated (but emotionally repressed) into stomaching.

    10. Get rid of things that aren’t purposeful or meaningful. The reason why this is so important is because things are defining, especially when we buy them with the intention of making us “different.” Our things construct our experiences. They create what we see and by extension how we feel. They are the means through which we put ourselves together each day. It’s not about having as little as possible, it’s about having only things that serve purpose or hold meaning. Do it. It will transform your life. (And that’s no small claim to make.)

    11. Ask yourself: “If I knew nobody would judge me, what would I stand for?” What do you inherently agree with, once you’re past all the self-imposed social filters? People think being conscious of their hidden thoughts and feelings and prejudices = being unaware and ignorant, but the opposite is true. It’s being unaware that’s a problem.

    12. Ask yourself: “If I could tell every single person in the world just one thing, one sentence, what would it be?” Would you say: “it’s going to be okay?” “Don’t worry so much?” “Seek the best in others?” “Follow me on Twitter?” What you think you’d want to say to everyone out there is actually a projection of what you most need to hear. That’s what you most want to tell you.

    13. Decide that to be worthy of something is just to be grateful to have it. You choose what your self-esteem is measured by. You decide what your worth is based on. You decide whether or not you’re good enough for something, and because that is the case, decide that the people who are worthy of what they have are the ones who are grateful to have it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    14. Realize that you are not only as accomplished as you are over your biggest hurdle. You’re not only as “good” as you are “perfect,” you’re not only as “good” as you are better than someone else, either. In the words of Oprah (who else?) you can have everything, just not at the same time. Be grateful for this: it means you have the opportunity to appreciate what’s in front of you, and you always have something else to work toward and look forward to.

    15. Assume that all things are for the best. When people care most about how their lives look is when they’re most closed to how their lives feel. When they’re most closed to how their lives feel is when they don’t want to feel pain. Being truly at peace requires realizing that everything is for the best: everything in your life does one of three things: shows you to yourself, heals a part of yourself, or lets you enjoy a part of yourself. If you adopt that perspective, there’s nothing left to fear.

    16. Ask yourself: “If the whole world were blind, how many people would I impress?” This Boonaa Mohammed quote has been making the rounds lately, but it’s always important. Truly imagine a life in which you could not see things. In which all that exists is how you feel, and how you make others feel. In this kind of world, what kind of person are you, and is it for those reasons that, perhaps, creating a life that looks good to earn other people’s love has supplemented having your own?

    Things God Wants You To Remember When Life Gets Rough

    Things God Wants You To Remember When Life Gets Rough

    1. He is listening. He is listening to your prayers, your fears, your pain and your silence. He is listening to what you are asking for and in time he will either give you what you were asking for or something much better.

    2. He is making you stronger. With every unanswered prayer, with every disappointment, with every hurdle, with every loss, he is making you stronger. He is giving you the strength you need so you can be strong for others. So you can be a strong mother, a strong father, a strong wife, a strong husband, a strong daughter, a strong son, and a strong friend.

    3. He has a better plan for you. He knows what’s better for you, he knows what you
    need not what you want . He is planning the perfect timing for your life. The timing of your love, the timing of your career, and the timing of your miracle.

    4. He will answer your questions. He will show you why you didn’t get that job, or why it didn’t work out with that person. He will show you why you lost a loved one, why he broke your heart or why he tested you so much. He will make things clear to you and you will thank him for it.

    5. He will heal you. He will heal your broken heart, he will ease your restless mind, and he will solve the mystery of your puzzled thoughts. He wants you to be patient but he will always fix you.

    6. He wants you to trust him. He wants you to have faith in him, he wants you to leave the big things – the uncontrollable things up to him, he wants you to believe in him, he wants you to go back to him when you think you have no one and he wants you to trust that he will provide for you when you lose everything. He will always rescue you before you drown.

    7. He wants you to know you’re never alone. He is always there with you; when you’re scared or confused, he is there with you. When you’re afraid of the dark, he is there with you. When you are crying late at night and you think no one can hear you, he can hear you. When you’ve given up on your life and on love and think you have no one, you have him. No matter where you are, he is always with you and he wants you to know that he is enough.

    8. He wants you to grow. He wants to you to change, he wants you to learn things the hard way, he wants you to evolve, he wants you step outside of your comfort zone, he wants you to lose your way so you can find him and find yourself. He wants you to be wise and strong and he wants you to prosper.

    9. He wants you to know he loves you. He loves you more than you know, he may be hard on you sometimes but he loves you, he may not give you everything you asked for but he loves you. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made or how many times you got angry with him, he still loves you, he forgives you and he is turning your life around. He doesn’t love you for your money or your looks or your status, he loves you for you. God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime.

    10. He wants you to believe in miracles. He is bringing you small miracles so you can believe in the big miracles. In every dream of yours that come true, in every pleasant surprise you get, in every enlightening situation you encounter, in every person who moved you, in every person you loved – he’s making miracles happen. He’s a God of magic, wonder and hope and he wants you to believe that.

    Credit to one of my mentors Rania Naim

    Things You Forgot To Thank Yourself For

    Things You Forgot To Thank Yourself For

    We’re always thanking our friends and family for their support and the incredible things they do for us but we sometimes forget that we should thank ourselves as well for the things we go through and how at certain times we make it completely on our own. Here are some of the things you should thank yourself for:

    1. For trying to be a better person. Thank yourself for trying to be a better friend, or a better partner or better to your parents. Thank yourself for going out of your way to help someone. Thank yourself for going the extra mile for a friend who truly needed your support.

    2. For not giving up. During your finals, during stressful work weeks and during difficult times. Thank yourself for pulling yourself together and enduring the anxiety and the pain that you had to go through. Thank yourself for making it out of the storm in one piece.

    3. For taking care of yourself. Thank yourself for trying to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others. Thank yourself for the times you had to focus on yourself and did a great job. Thank yourself for understanding that you have to always work on yourself because this is the person you will truly live with forever.

    4. For trying to achieve your dreams even if they didn’t happen yet. Thank yourself for trying to go to school again, for trying to ask for a raise, for trying to look for another job, for trying to move to a new country. Thank yourself for the awareness you have that you need to dream bigger and do better.

    5. For letting someone you loved go. Thank yourself for letting them be, for moving on even when it was hard, for trying to forget them when you didn’t want to and for doing your best not to contact them when it was all you ever wanted. Thank yourself for protecting your own heart.

    6. For the moments of weakness. Thank yourself for giving yourself permission to eat that cheeseburger or skip the gym for a few weeks. Thank yourself for telling someone how you truly felt. Thank yourself for knowing that you are not perfect but there are perfect moments where you just have to be unapologetically you.

    7. For making mistakes. Thank yourself for the decisions that were not so great, it means you’re learning, it means you’re evolving and it means you’re growing wiser and stronger. Thank yourself for not allowing your mistakes to define you.

    8. For your kindness. Thank yourself for doing something selflessly, for giving something without expecting anything in return, for sharing your experiences or stories with people who could benefit from it and for being kind to yourself when the world is being hard on you.

    9. For embracing the chaos of life. Thank yourself for keeping a smile on your face when you’re sad, for waking up and participating in life when you feel the weight of the world crashing down on you, for going out when all you want to do is stay home and for believing that things will get better even though you’re not sure. Thank yourself for trying to live your life – no matter how unpredictable and messy it can be.

    10. For all the things you do that make you proud. For the little things and the big things. For the things that make you happy and the things that make you look forward to tomorrow. For the beautiful things you do that go unnoticed, for the sincere prayers you say to the ones you love, for the compromises you make, for the risky chances you take and for the silly things you do to make people smile. Thank yourself for any moment that made you grateful to be alive and made you love yourself a little bit more.

    Life as they say is not easy. But each day you try your best to make it more suitable and easy for yourselves. Don’t forget to thank yourself each day for not giving up on life.