Life As I Know It

Inspiration, Motivation, Encouragement

Smile at a Stranger!

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’ I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Maya Angelou


A Reason for the Season

“Only hang around people that are positive and make you feel good.  Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb.  And the earlier you start in your life, the better.  The minute anybody makes you feel weird and non-included, or not supported- you know- either beat it or tell them to beat it.”

People are put into our lives for a reason or a season, for a blessing or a lesson.  You’re in control of the people you let stay in your life.  Choose wisely.  Remember that people will hurt you, love you, inspire you, and help you.  People will lift you up and push you down.  Be a person that you’d want in your own life.  The only way to get better is to surround yourself with better people.  Better people better people.

Change is inevitable. Growth isn’t.  “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” The greatest form of growth is progress. “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Embrace the people who challenge you.  If you keep pushing those people away, you’ll never grow… those people are in your life to teach you.  Learn from them.

Be too busy being a good person to dislike anyone.  Be so busy loving that you have no time to spend hating.  “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  People are bound to disappoint you- you’ve got no control over that.  But you are in control of how you react to and handle that disappointment.  Learn.  Grow.


Daily Reminder

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”

-Mother Teresa

New Year, Same Old Me

I’m not going to vow to create a new me. That’s impossible… a waste of my time. I will not even try to recreate myself. Instead, I will better myself. I will grow. I will learn. I will laugh, cry, maybe punch a wall or two, and laugh more. I can’t be ME without everything I’ve been through, without each thought I’ve had, and each word I’ve spoken.

I will be thankful for what I already have and I will work hard for what I want. I will not waste my time wanting what others have. Envy comes from wanting something that isn’t yours.  But grief… grief comes from losing something you’ve already had. I will rejoice in what I have had, what I have, and what’s yet to come.

I will appreciate my struggles and acknowledge my blessings. I will learn to live my life by understanding my mistakes… by understanding how not to live them… by understanding how to live with them and not let them dictate future decisions. I will understand that “mistakes” are simply bad decisions I CHOSE to make, but of which got me to where I am today.

I will realize that we’re not all dealt the same hand of cards. I will play the best with what I’ve been dealt and be thankful that I was even given a hand at all. I will not  look around at others and think about how great they’ve got it; I will look at my life and acknowledge how great I’VE got it and be happy for those who’ve worked hard for what they’ve got. I’ll take lessons from those people.

I will confront the past I haven’t yet made peace with. I will stay close to the ones who lift me up and walk away from the ones who drag me down. Every person in my path was put there for a purpose, but sometimes that purpose has come and gone, and now they need to go, too.

I will try to say good-bye to relationships that cause more hurt than happiness… that take more than give. I will realize that sometimes it’s best to walk away with the memories of yesterday than it is to attempt to fight for those memories.  Too often we want to try to salvage what used to be, but sadly, don’t realize we’re polluting those memories with the unhappiness and struggles of today.

I will tell others how I feel. The only way to communicate is to find someone who can comprehend what you’re saying; the only way to be forgiven is to find someone who is willing to forgive. I will forgive. And mean it.

And I will be happy. Not because I truly believe that happiness is a choice and anyone can be happy in any situation, but because I will be genuinely, head-over-heels happy.

Turning Enemies into Friends

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate;  only love can do that.”


“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”

What are you Thankful for?

I’m thankful for the mini van my parents made me drive my senior year in high school because it makes me appreciate the car I drive now (haha!). I’m thankful FOR a car to drive, gas in my tank, and hearing my favorite song come on in the radio.

I’m thankful for the season in my life when my bank account has less than 3 digits. It made me appreciate hot, running water, a bed to sleep in at night, clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and food in my belly… and the fact that I even had a bank account.

I’m thankful for every fork in the road, every wrong turn I thought I’d made, and the realization that those lead me exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m thankful for the people in my life who’ve hurt me. They’ve shown me to appreciate the ones who’ve loved me. I’m thankful for my rock bottom, for those times when I didn’t think I could pick myself back up and keep moving on, and for those nights I cried myself to sleep. I wouldn’t know how strong I really am without having known such weakness.

I’m thankful for my calling and having the opportunity to live my dream of being a therapist, and eventually a doctor, so that I can help others. (I’m even thankful for the debt I incurred going to law school because it made me realize what wasn’t my calling!) I’m thankful for a job teaching kids who make me laugh everytime I’m with them, teach me more about patience than I’ll ever need to know, and inspire me on a daily basis.

I’m thankful for a man who’s never left my side and taught me more lessons about myself than I ever thought possible. I’m thankful for parents who love me through my faults, love unconditionally, and teach me about life. I’m thankful for friends who listen to me–really listen–and don’t judge me for my flaws. I’m thankful for my fur babies who only know love and make me smile everyday.

And I’m thankful for a God who found me at my worst. I love my life He’s designed for me and I’m thankful for the realization that this life is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever known.

“Be thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – O

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:


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.

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