Kindness Begets Confidence

kindness

 

Previously I have written about how we treat others is truly a reflection on how we feel about ourselves titled ‘Self Reflection in Others”

This post was about how we feel about ourselves is manifest in the way we respond and interact to those around us.  When we accept this self realization we can become kinder and more gentle, yet more powerful and confident.

The other side of this spectrum also holds true.  When we are treated poorly by others, we often react to the stimuli, whether this reaction is silent or outspoken for the world to hear, we all react.

The difficult part of this comes within ourselves.  Do we choose to see and listen to the abuse from others, allowing them to ruin our day?  Do we shy away from someone due to potential conflict?  Do we deny ourselves experiences based upon someone else’s behavior?

Many times we choose to allow others power over us in the way that they treat us.   We teach others how we want to be treated based upon what we will accept from them.  When we hold our ground, kindly, firmly,  yet peacefully we have more power in that moment than the other person could ever have.

Power comes from confidence and knowing who we are.   Part of this knowing is understanding this dynamic of how we treat others is a reflection upon how we feel about ourselves.

So true is how others treat us is how they feel about themselves.  Those that are angry or mean spirited individuals in reality have terrible self esteem and do not like themselves.  Whether it be the waitress that was rude, the tire tech that called you a jerk, the guy that flipped you off on the highway.  These individuals who go through life bulldozing over others are so disgusted within themselves that they react to their own internal struggles and guilt by abusing those they come in contact with.

As we lift and serve one another we can find that we actually become stronger, more confident individuals as this manifests beauty within ourselves.  We see ourselves in the people we serve with heartfelt kindness and genuine intent.  We can improve our own self loathing through this service.

The way we treat others, including strangers, not only reflects how we feel about ourselves but also creates within growth in those feelings.   If we treat others in a negative fashion, we will certainly see ourselves worse than we did before.  If we are kind, we too see that within ourselves.  We gain confidence, strength and humility along the way.

Love is service, not emotion

Love for many is elusive.  We find infatuation quickly and jump into relationships based upon infatuation while professing we have found true love.  True love exists however few understand what this is.

Infatuation makes our hearts beat faster and our minds to go to mush as we get caught up in a whirlwind romance often driven by the flames of physical passion and desire.  We crave the burning chemical rush from the flames of this passion and believe we have found our soulmates.  We come from a space where our own needs and physical desires are met.  These self serving emotions are just as quickly snuffed out and we are left wondering what went wrong.  There is no foundation for infatuation, it is fleeting and built from nothing.  Infatuation hits quickly and dies faster.  We pick up the broken pieces left over from our crushed expectations and move on to the next adrenaline rush of emotions believing this time it will be different.

The world sees this as love.  We hear continually that one can fall out of love.  I argue this is impossible.  One cannot fall out of love.  We fall out of infatuation.

Love is different.  When love is real it is service.  It is kindness.  It is compassion.  It is not self serving and driven by the whims of change.  It is not fleeting and it does not die.  For when love is real, our desire is to serve others that we love, not for them to serve us.

YES we can love someone whom does not love us back.  This is common and happens often.  The greatest love stories are those that both parties have placed the others needs before there own.  They serve one another.

There are many stories told of couples when one becomes ill and the other one steps up to serve them and care for them.   It is clear that their bond and love they share grows during these difficult and trying times.  Their love grows during this season of service and caring.

We often hear of a mothers love for her children. WHY?  Because when the children are young they are fully dependent upon their mother.  Their mother loves them and this love grows as they continue to serve them.  Children learn to love their mothers as they in turn serve their mother as they grow.  Children desire to please their parents and in so doing they serve them, this service develops love.

There are many that will argue that in just as many cases that one person serves while the other one takes.  While this is true, look at the one that is always the one that is the most heartbroken when a relationship ends.  It is ALWAYS the one that served and gave the most to the relationship.

True undying mutual love can only be attained when both parties make the other a priority and serve them without expecting anything in return.  True love is service.

Anyone who goes to a foreign country to serve for any reason always comes back with a love for the people and culture in which they served.

If you are struggling in your relationships and wonder where the magic went, try genuinely serving each other and be amazed at where this will lead.

LOVE

wpid-20140825_023802.jpg

Every single person is born with the exact same innate ability, none of us are exempt from this gift.  We are all given it in abundance and all parents especially reap the great benefits and rewards of this gift given at our birth.

The gift we are all given is that of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!  Children joyfully share this gift with all they come in contact with.  Even as small children, when nurtured, this gift grows abundantly and limitless, when not nurtured, this gift dies quickly.

A small child is able to do what few if any adults can do, they separate the deed from the doer.  If a child doesn’t like the meal prepared for them they will refuse to eat it, it does not impact their love for their mother or father preparing that meal.  A child does not base their love, nor withhold their love based upon a parents status, employment, education, wealth, physical appearance, nor any other reason.

A child simply loves, without conditions.

Sadly as we grow we lose this ability to love unconditionally.  We replace unconditional love with that of unconditional judgement.  We apply conditions to those we love based largely upon what we want them to be.  Many times as adults we stop loving another person because they will not be or do what we desire them to be.

This conditional love is in direct conflict and opposition to the true nature of love we are born with.

We can learn much from children, learning to love as a child loves will improve every relationship in our lives.

Winds of Change

20140711_201229

The one constant in life that we all deal with is Change.  Change for some creates anxiety, fear and frustration, while for others it brings opportunity and growth.  How we face change in our lives determines how successful we will be in handling the newness that change brings.

Throughout my life, change has been a constant companion and something that I have grown accustomed to dealing with.  Changes in work, home, family, school, relationships, health and dreams are just some of the many types I have learned to embrace over the years.  For others in my life, change is not as common and therefore can cause extreme anxiety and confusion as they learn to manage the changes in life that are presented.

As my wife and I embark into a time of great change, we are grateful for the wisdom we have both learned throughout our lives and the ability we have developed to handle change as it comes.  We view this time as one of opportunity and growth, one where our family will undoubtedly benefit.

Change brings a rebirth, a newness to many things.  It provides an opportunity to gain greater wisdom and perspective in life.  Embracing change allows peace in our lives instead of anxiety and confusion.   It allows us to think clearly and manage the change effectively and beneficially.

Much as with anything in life, our attitudes with which we approach anything has a great impact on the outcome and in the end our own peace and happiness.

Change equals opportunity.

The Service of an Open Door

service

Do you advocate for people?  Do you help others find success even when there is nothing for you to gain from helping?  How often do you open a door for someone just to open it?  Do you passively or actively look for ways to help someone?

Many people feel like they will help others, oftentimes they will provide acts of service that can help someone in a time of need. I question how many of us will truly open doors for the success of another.  We find great satisfaction in the moments of help and service, mowing lawns, helping someone move, feeding a family in a time of need, etc..

There is an old saying often attributed to Confucius that says,

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I would argue that the same concept holds true in helping others.  If we serve them in ways that will open doors and help create a successful future then we are performing a greater act of service than we could ever do by the traditional acts of service such as making a dinner for the sick.  While these acts are wonderful and oftentimes needed, how many of us can truly help change someones life through service?  How many of us confuse a random act of kindness for that of service?

We all know people, we can all open doors for others.  The only question that remains is are we willing?

Image:  Clipart

Overcoming

overcoming

My life has been somewhat rather challenging, many obstacles that I never dreamt that I would ever encounter in life as a young man.  I have quietly rebuilt my life no less than 4 times from the ground up.  Choices of others have continually and directly impacted my life.  While I am able to see clearly that these choices have created difficulties for me at times throughout my life and without the choices made by others I would never have faced the overwhelming challenges I have.

Hindsight creates a unique perspective.  Without these challenges that I have endured I would not be the man I am today.  I know this to be true.  I also know that one key characteristic in my life that has defined who I have become and prevented utter destruction of my soul is that I have never allowed anyone and their choices the create a stumbling block of blame for where I am in life.  Each time that I have stepped up after being beaten down I have risen stronger, higher and with more determination than ever to be the one controlling my life.

Never have I let anyone dictate what I would and would not accomplish.   I have experienced decades of of attacks from others whom by their choices they meant to destroy my life and future.  From an ex wife to employees committing fraud, Each time that I rose above the obstacles created I have experienced a renewed effort at times by others to tear me back down in an attempt to keep me there.  There have been many who know of many of these struggles who have often commented that it would have destroyed them.  I beg to differ, for what doesn’t destroy always makes us stronger.  It is ALWAYS our choice in what we let destroy us.  No one else can ever make that choice for us.

As each of us will certainly encounter severe struggles, disappointments, heartaches and roadblocks in our lives, some created by our own choices, others created from the choices of others, we alone make the choice of where we allow them to take us.

Many times the urge to blame others for our own misfortunes exist, sometimes rightfully and justly so.  It is when we give into this urge and blame other people, government, religion, circumstances or other,  for our current circumstances in life that we surrender our will to their desire for us.   We abandon our own self each time we pass blame.

It is only through faith,  determination and belief in oneself that someone is able to rebuild a life, a career and family when others choices are involved.  For my choices to let certain people into my life in the first place added to my own heartache.  Taking responsibility for my own choices, my own life and staying determined to not be kept down.  Anyone can rise above any obstacle placed before them, it starts by faith and believing on yourself!

Don’t Talk to Strangers

strangers

As children we’re told “don’t talk to strangers”

Stay away from them for there is much danger

Then as we grow, we live by this rule

Not realizing as adults, it can be so cruel

Instilling fear in children, we never outgrow

Thus limiting the people we will ever get to know

then we fight this fear with each person we meet

talking to someone new can be a daunting feat

Choice Has Set You Free

Butterflies-are-Free

The smiles and the laughter, the giggles and the cheer

Have been a hallmark of your life for each and every year

The joy and love you you’ve given and shared along the way

Have left the others wondering how you do it everyday

A life so full of gratitude and love beyond compare

Have changed the lives of many with each person that you share

Yet there are few who truly understand or comprehend the choice

To hide your pain and anguish behind your tender voice

For each new day you choose to live, regardless of your lot

The heavy load that you endure, and the battles you have fought

Your smile was forced now natural, a gift for all to see

Your daily choice in life has determined what you’ll be

Someone who spreads the laughter, the cheer and joy around

Who overcomes each challenge with the love of life you’ve found

So others see the person in whom you’ve chosen now to be

And from your heavy burdens, this choice has set you free

Who? or What are you?

gratitude-300x252

How do you define yourself when asked who you are or what you do?  What is the answer that you most often give?  Does that answer change or vary depending upon the context or company we are in?  Do you present a single answer or give a list of talents, hobbies or skills?

I enjoyed a great visit this weekend with a family friend.  In a discussion with one of their children I learned of a recent identity crisis this young person had encountered this year.  This individual had been an athlete their entire life, concentrating on one particular sport.  They had received tremendous accolades, attention and success in this area.  This success led them to be a significant part of a major University and the team in this sport.  Dreams and goals were achieved in reaching this pinnacle of success.  They had achieved what they had intended to throughout this young lifetime journey.

The end of last season, this individual was injured and no longer able to compete.  With humility and tremendous gratitude for the opportunity they moved forward into their senior year in school.  Keep in mind this individual is extremely goal oriented, driven and finds success in life.  The identity crisis occurred when the new school year started.  Their entire life had been this sport, each time they were asked to tell something about them, they replied with the same answer, I am a _(athlete)___.  They would proudly tell others what position they had on the team and who they were.

This part of the team became who this young athlete was.  This is how they identified themselves and who they viewed themselves to be.  When asked this year who they were, they were confused and unable to respond.

Now this young person is far more than just an athlete.  They are an amazing example to so many in so many other areas.  They are a very intelligent, motivated, strong and determined young person.  They were simply in the process of discovering truly WHO they were, not what they were.

Many times we find ourselves struggling with WHO we are and get caught up in the what we are or were.  This confusion paralyzes many.  Some get stuck in the glory days of High School and end up a fifty something still talking about that one pass that would have won state.  Others get hung up on the what we are and become puffed up with pride and ego, unable to see the true world around them.

It is in the Who we are that changes the world.  When we focus on the what we are we change nothing.

Gratitude

journey

When we realize the power within ourselves to bring great people and blessings into our lives through the law of attraction we begin a journey towards realizing our full potential and bringing abut an incredible life. Our lives are a magnet with which we attract the very things into our lives that we focus upon. As we harness control of our thoughts and empower ourselves with the ability to focus on that which we desire we will be drawn like a magnet towards those desires.

Some will question immediately these statements without giving time to ponder the realities that are around them in regards to the fulfillment of this very analysis. Unfortunately many of our lives are filled with negative thoughts, people and energy. We focus upon that which we do not have instead of that which we do. We focus on problems instead of blessings. We spend our conversations on negative and depressing subjects instead of goodness and positive stories. Our news and media focus on the negative stories instead of the life changing and uplifting ones. Our movies are filled with violence, adultery, lust and deception. Depression is an epidemic and negativity abounds. The focus upon those issues attracts more of the same into our lives. Have you ever noticed that negative individuals tend to spread that negativity around and are often accompanied by others whom share that negativity?

Conversely, positive and uplifting individuals are magnets for like minded persons. Those people who focus on the good in life, their blessings, helping and lifting others and seeing the good in things are happier and always have the opportunities given to them. Doors are opened for these people. Its simple really why this happens, positive people attract others to them while negative ones repel them. The more people with whom you attract into your life, the greater the possibilities and the more doors that open. People enjoy associating with positive individuals, we all want to become like them as they reflect the happiness that is within them, happiness many seek to find.

If you want to see miraculous changes in your life, spend the next few months focusing on the positive and the many blessings in your life. Even the simple blessings will bring joy when we focus on what we have been given instead of what we want. Gratitude is fundamental to becoming the positive force in not only your life but in others as well. We will attract more positive people, energy and experiences into our lives as we focus upon the good in all things. Avoid negativity and negative people. See the positive in all things and you will find greater success in your life, both personal and professional. Focus on what you want to achieve, become and attain and you will find it as you eradicate the negative influences and attract the positive in all things into your life.

We are in control of our lives and success. No one else. It all stems from our choices, attitudes and gratitude. It’s a choice. Your choice. What will you choose? It’s your life, will you harness the power of the law of attraction and begin a miraculous journey towards your destiny?

“Our lives are what our thoughts make it” – Marcus Aurelius