Can we talk?

September 9, 2015

“Sometimes having coffee with your best friend is all you need.”  (Sent by LG) – as featured on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack went on to write about the late Joan Rivers and her famous line, “Can we talk?”

girls huggingThere are times when we all have the need to talk things out, either directly with someone with whom we may be having an issue or just with a friend when the topic may not be about a personal conflict. There are also times when a friend of ours may need to talk to someone and turns to us. Whether you are the talker or the listener in times of need, the act of talking and listening is important to both of you.

It is very helpful sometimes to have to put your feelings into words. Emotions are a reaction to something that has happened in your life and it helps if you find a way to verbalize that something and think a little about your reaction to it. There are obvious things, like the loss of a loved one that cause emotional reactions; but, there are many other things that may cause fear or anger or hatred or remorse and we need to understand them better and why we have reacted as we have. Talking things out can help you get to the root of the problem. You may not always like what you find there, since mental pre-sets like prejudice or stereotyping may have led you astray; but even coming to an understanding of those preconceived notions is helpful. Sometimes you may even say to yourself, “I can’t believe that I just said that out loud.” That’s OK, too; at least you got it out and now you can deal with it.

If you happen to be in the role of the listener for someone who needs to talk, take you role seriously. That personlistening has put a lot of trust and faith in you to be there for them, so you need to be a good listener and a good friend at that moment. Trying to laugh off whatever problem that they are sharing with you is not helpful. Commiserating with them is not the answer either. They came to you for help, not pity. Your real role in these types of situations is to provide the common-sense guidance on how to cope or deal with the matter at hand that they cannot muster at the moment.

Many times the best advice that you can provide may be to help them reconnect with their faith and to unload their burden on the God that they have trusted all of their lives. Help them get to the mental state where they can say, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Once they have done that they can begin the journey back to a more normal life.

prayingThere is a tipping point in all crises where one can fall off the cliff into depression or see the light and head back into life. As the listener in the conversation, it is your job to help them see that light. Giving advice like “shake it off” or “put on your big girl panties” may sound like something that you should say; however, finding a way to have them trust and lean on their faith in crises is much more useful. If they can turn to God and say, “Can we talk?” they will find the help that they really need. Show them that door and let them open it and go through it. Then, remember where it’s at, because you’ll probably need it someday yourself.

But, do you care a whole awful lot?

July 7, 2015

Today’s thoughts for the day come from two quotes that I first saw on the Jack’s Winning Words blog –

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.”  (Gandhi)

– and –

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”  (Dr. Seuss)

A good number of the world’s problems that Gandhi was talking about go unresolved because no one cares a whole awful lot and thus they don’t even try to solve them.  Sometimes it’s because we have a tendency to see big issues or problems, like world hunger, and think, “What could one little person like me do about that?” We don’t see a way to make our small contribution or think that it would even matter against such a big problem. Yet it was one little person who cared who started programs like Gleaners. In the Detroit area that one person was Gene Gonya. From the Detroit Gleaners site comes this background story –

Born in 1940, Gene Gonya grew up on the family farm in Ohio. At age 19, he became a Brother in the Jesuit Religious Community believing in their motto of “doing all for the greater honor and glory of God.”

In 1977, Gene chose to leave the Jesuit Community and continue his mission of community service as a lay person of the Catholic Church. In April of 1977, he co-founded Gleaners Community Food Bank, renting the first floor of a warehouse on Detroit’s near-eastside, a stone’s throw from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. The food bank was founded to solicit surplus food, store it safely, and distribute it to agencies that are the direct providers to the hungry of our communities. The food bank could now accept donations such as truckloads of produce from Gene’s family farm and “bank” it for small or large organizations serving the community, since none of these service agencies could accept such large donations.

Gleaners in Detroit was among the first food banks in the United States. Several years after founding Gleaners, Gene and a few other food banks founded Second Harvest, a national network of food bank members (now called Feeding America). Gene also helped found the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

Gene was a person who cared a whole awful lot.

caringAlmost every good thing starts with someone who cares enough to take action. Sometimes that’s the extent of it, but many times others join in and before you know it a movement or trend is born. Sometimes you can join groups who already have work in progress, like the Rotary Clubs which are waging a campaign to wipe out polio on the planet,  and make your contribution to the effort. Sometimes you have to start the group. It all starts with someone who cares an awful lot. The good news is found in what Gandhi said – we can accomplish a lot more than we believe we can, if we just take action. I wrote a post here about the fact that many are called but few get up, so to steal a line from the Marines and adapt it a bit; be one of the few, the proud the ones that got up and did something. Be one of the ones who cared a whole awful lot.

Find your place to help this week. Show that you care and show the world what you are capable of. Have a great week!

Get up and show up, or shut up…

June 24, 2015

“Many are called, but few get up.”  (Oliver Herford) That little saying that I first saw on the Jack’s Winning Words blog begs for a follow-on addition – and fewer yet show up.

volunteersI am involved with a few small volunteer groups at my church, with the Milford Historical Society and the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce. Each of these groups depends greatly on the help of volunteers to run event and get things done. They all use some sort of call to action and have things like sign-up sheets and volunteer forms. They put out widespread calls for volunteers in emails, newsletters or from the pulpit. Each also suffers from the malaise indicated by our little quote of the day – many are called but few get up (or sign up). Even worse is the fact that of those who sign up only a portion actually show up to do the work that needs to be done.

It’s relatively easy to sign up for something and then blow it off later. Those people get the “PR benefit” of having your name out there on the list as a volunteer, but then don’t do the work. That’s a little disgusting to those who do show up time after time, which is what normally happens in these little organizations – the same core group ends up doing all of the work for the group. Almost as disgusting are those who show up but consider the task at hand to be socializing rather than actually working – you know the type who take a selfie to post on their Facebook page but never really lift a finger to help.

opinionatedWhat are even more disgusting sometimes are the critical comments that you hear later from people who didn’t volunteer or who volunteered but didn’t show up. These are people who stand back and go “tut, tut; I could have done better than that.” Well, why didn’t you? One just wants to say something to them like “put up or shut up”; but, of course, one doesn’t because that would not be polite. Some of those folks are people who were active in the group for a while and now just rest on the laurels of their bygone volunteer work. Their comments usually start with “Well, when we did that, we…”

I wrote here recently about reacting to the call for help from others and that is an example of the same thing. Many people may hear those calls, but few get up to help. Fewer yet actually show up to help. Perhaps that s because we have made it easier and socially acceptable to just give money, rather than dirty our hands with the work that needs to be done. It is so much easier to just write a check than to get up and show up at the homeless shelter to serve a meal to someone in need. It is safer to drop some money into a collection pot than to visit the inner city to help a person sleeping in a doorway. I must admit that I take that way out (or perhaps that way to feel OK about myself) rather than get up and show up where the work needs to be done.

caregiverOne doesn’t have to sign up for a huge project to save the world. There are many small local organizations in every community doing wonderful things to help and they need your help. Find the local groups like Zonta or the Red Cross or The Wounded Warrior group or your church and find out what they need help with right now. Fortunately there is always something that needs doing and they are always looking for volunteers. Then get up, sign up, and show up.

You may not get an award for your service (that seldom happens) or even much of a thank you from the people that you are helping; but, at the end of the day there’s a spot in your soul that will feel a little warmer and a sense of satisfaction that when you were called you got up and you showed up. If you aren’t going to do that, at least have the good sense to shut up.

Have a great rest of the week.

Reaching out from the dark side…

June 22, 2015

I get emails about people deciding to “follow” what I’m posting here. I appreciate that others find what I write to be something that they want to read and read more of over time. Hopefully I will be able to keep them interested or amused or both.

I visit every site and blog of everyone who “follows” or “likes” my blog, assuming that they give me enough information to get to their site/blog. Not all do. I may “like” their site in return, but I am so overwhelmed with daily emails now that I seldom choose the follow option, which would result in even more emails every time they post something. I do return from time to time to their sites to see what has been posted, since I was last there.

girl cryingA significantly large number of sites that I visit are filled with posts that have themes that I might classify as “reaching out from the dark side.” These are sites that are posted by people who are in the midst of pain or sorrow or anguish in their lives and apparently find some relief or release in the act of posting missives about their pain or anguish.  I get that. Writing about such things is very cathartic. Many are from what I would describe as “young people” and many are still searching for meaning in their lives. I get that, too.

I’m actually amazed and thankful that more of these people haven’t reached a stage of cynicism where they would lash out and attack a site like mine that may be perceived as having simplistic and overly positive advice for dealing with life. The “don’t worry; be happy” message that I often post may not only fall on deaf ears, but can actually offend those who are intent on being unhappy. By-and-large the people whom I mightsurrounded by sharks anger make up a relatively small group. Most people would rather be happy in their lives, but many don’t know how to fight the depression or despair that they are faced with on a day-to-day basis.

I hope that’s where my little blog comes in handy. The people who don’t want to be helped probably don’t reach out through blogging or most other means of communicating. I think that those who do share their mental state and the things that have put them there are asking for understanding AND help through their blogs. Help doesn’t necessarily mean professional help; most of the time it just means that they would like someone to sit with, to share with and to commiserate with. You can be that someone by reading their blog and leaving a comment or sharing a private message of support. Sometimes just finding a way to say, “Me too”, is enough, because it lets them know that they are not alone.

dark alleyThink of it this way – You are walking down the street and pass a dark alley. From the darkness comes a faint voice
that you hear calling out, “Help me.”  What do you do? Do you hurry your step so that you can get past the alley quicker or do you look in to see who it is that is calling for help? Do you enter the alley and try to help or do you turn instead and walk away? Yes, it is a bit scary. After all I did say that the calls come from a dark alley – places that are unfamiliar to us; places that we’d never go (or so we think), places that are dark. People can appear to be scary when they are depressed, even if they are not standing in an alley.

Life is full of those moments. People all around us are quietly calling for help. Some are calling out from the dark alleys of society (the dark side) but most are just calling you from right next door. These are your neighbors and co-workers, the people that you go to church with and the people that you socialize with on a regular basis. Do you recognize their calls for help? Do they need to scream at you to be heard? Are you so wrapped up in yourself that you cannot see or hear their pain, their needs? When they reach out will you be ready to help or will you turn away and hurry on about your business, afraid to get involved?

And, what if it is you who need the help? What do you think the poor traveler who had been beaten and robbed alongGood Samatitanthe road thought of the people who chose to ignore him lying there, until the Good Samaritan came along? What were those others thinking anyway? Do you relate more to them than to the Samaritan? After all, you have places to go and people to see; you can’t be bothered to help that poor fellow standing at the side of the road with his little sign. Maybe he did something to deserve his fate, you think. He’s not one of us, anyway; so, it’s best to just ignore him and pass him by. Do you think he understood? Do you think he forgave you?

So the lesson is that if you can help you should; because, someday it may be you standing at the end of that dark alley calling out for help or alongside the road with your little sign. Have a great week ahead and keep your eyes open and helping handsyour ear tuned for those calls for help. You can make a positive difference in somebody’s life this week just by answering the call – Hi, do you need help. Can I help? How can I help? Want to talk about what’s wrong? I’m so sorry, tell me about it.

Go for it. They’ll be glad you did and so will you. Reach into that dark place and pull someone into the light of the Son.

Look for the rainbow or be the rainbow…

June 21, 2015

“Everyone wants happiness.  No one wants pain.  But you can’t make a rainbow, without a little rain.”  (Quoted by Dolly Parton) – A quote seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog some time ago.

single momIt’s certainly true that life throws us curveballs from time to time; sometimes much worse than that. Life happens and sometimes it involves pain – the loss of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship or friendship or maybe a major disappointment or disruption at work or the loss of a job or perhaps just overwhelming bills an d problems.  We live through these things somehow, but for some that is it – they just survive and live on in misery, unable to let go or go on with normal life. All that they see is the darkness. They aren’t even looking for the rainbow.

It’s important, when you encounter someone like that, that you try to help them find a rainbow in their life, something positive that they can embrace that will let them move on.  Maybe that rainbow is you and your caring friendship. One of the hallmarks of the depression that can set in with the pain is the feeling of beingcaring alone, of feeling like you are the only one who has ever experienced what you are going through. That isolation is self-imposed and  just adds to the problem.  Just being there for that person, so that they don’t feel alone can make all of the difference.

If you’re the one who has suffered a setback in life, it’s important to be able to see past the current trouble and find a rainbow in your life that makes you happy. For many that may be their spouse or their children. For some the rainbow may be their faith, which can certainly be a source of strength and happiness, if you let it into your life.

I think one important note is that you will likely find what you are looking for. If you are a doom and gloom person who is always looking for the worst to happen then it probably will (many times with your help). If, on the other hand, you have rainbow in betweena positive and upbeat attitude, then things will work out and you’ll find your rainbow. That choice is up to you.

So try to find the rainbows in your everyday life and step up and be the rainbow for someone else. else. You’ll be surprised if you do that because you will see the rare double rainbow.

Three little words – Let yourself out!

January 27, 2015

Awaken the Greatness – Phrase seen on a Purina ProPlan dog food bag . Anthony Robbins puts it a slightly different way – Awaken the Giant Within. There are all sorts of little inspirational sayings that use similar phrasing, with words like “free your…” or “unchain your…” or “unleash your…” What all of these little tidbits of advice share in common is the recognition that what’s holding you back is you. We create our own cages or chain ourselves to old habits; we limit our own abilities and refrain from taking chances or risks to explore new idea or experiences. We are incarcerating the giant within and restraining our own greatness. It’s time to change that. Let yourself out!

cagedThere are lots of complex and intertwined reasons that we hold ourselves back and most of them boil down to FUD – Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. We do not let ourselves succeed many times because we don’t ore won’t try what is necessary for success – we are fearful of the unknown, uncertain of the risks and doubtful of our own abilities. We talk ourselves out of it and feel satisfied that we have avoided probable failure by not even trying. We had no chance to win, because we wouldn’t even play. Let yourself out!

Our creativity is stifled many times because we fear criticism of our work. We think it’s just not good enough. Imagine the criticism that Picasso might have gotten from an artpicasso teacher at school for one of his abstract drawings or paintings – eyes pointed this way and nose going that way and those colors. You can imagine the teacher saying, “Give it up Pablo, you just don’t have it to be an artist.” Or how about the first time Bob Dillon performed using the technique that he developed to get the words out? Imagine the critics who panned him for his delivery, rather than listening to the message that he was trying to get across. Don’t let the world stifle what you are trying to say through your art or your writing or your songs. Let yourself out!

Our social lives are often hampered by shyness and self-doubt. After all, who would want to hear what you’ve got to say? You’re not one of the “in” people, the cute ones, the jocks or the popular kids; you’re just an ordinary person with an ordinary life. Yet there is something that you have that no one else has and that is your perspective on the kids at schoolworld, how you see things is definitely different from how others see them. The things that you like and the knowledge that you’ve accumulated provide you with opinions that are different from others – not better or worse, just different. Differences of opinion make for more interesting conversations and relationships. Express those differences and you become a more interesting person; perhaps even the “go to” person when others realize that you are your own person and not just going along with the crowd to get along. You may not please everyone when you learn to express yourself, but you certainly won’t be labeled dull and uninteresting. Let yourself out!

For some discovering the greatness within may take an artistic form – art or music or even acting. For some the route to letting the real you come out maybe through athletics. For many it turns out that the key to letting themselves out is through service to others, through volunteering and helping others through charitable causes and helping handsprograms. Every community has those who truly find themselves and let others see who they are through their tireless work to feed or cloth or house the less fortunate. The tiny voice inside your head that says “let me help” can grow into the strong voice that others hear as they follow your lead or work alongside you on the projects that you take on in the community. Suddenly, you find that you have that greatness that you didn’t know was there and it’s all because you – Let yourself out!

So, don’t let yourself be caged by the opinions of others and don’t build your own cage of fear, uncertainly and doubt. Stand up, clear your throat, and say out loud – “I want to help.” Before you know it, a different you will out there, working, helping and joining with others to make a difference in the lives of others and in the community. Fear, smiling girluncertainty and doubt will be replaced by satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment and confidence. It may not end up that there was a giant within you; but for sure there was always more than the dwarf that you had let yourself become in a cage of your own making. You won’t know how much you can grow until you get out there and get started. But, before you can put yourself out there, you have to – Let yourself out!

Have a great week. Find your voice and express your opinions. Find a cause. Find a need that you can fill. But most of all – Let yourself out!

Machismo not required…

November 26, 2014

“You got to go through it to get to it.”  (Joel Osteen) – as seen on a recent post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

That little saying, if taken out of context, seems to be just dripping with machismo, to which I would reply No Mas! The phrase men butting heads“man up” has taken on way too much testosterone over the last few years. To be a man is not about being able to withstand pain or shaking it off and getting back in the game. There is way too much evidence that the whole “shake it off” mentality is wrong and harmful. “Man up” was, is and should be about taking responsibility for your actions; and it really isn’t just about men; although “person up” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But, do you really have to go through it to get to it? And what are the two it’s in that little phrase all about? I guess you had to hear the context in which Osteen used that phrase and it had nothing to do with going through some sort of trial or pain or test to get to heaven. Osteen’s sermon was about persevering through the tough times by remembering that God is always with you and will not abandon you, just because things are tough.

We’ve become a country full ofpills people who believe that taking a pill for things like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol  is a better answer than doing the exercise and weight loss work that really would help the most and maybe even provide a cure. Sometimes we don’t preserver and do what is needed in our relationships either; we take short-cuts or the easy way out of resolving issues with people, by using email or text messages, rather than confronting them in person.

So, there are some things that you may have to go through or figure out in order to get through life; however, you do not have to fight your way through them. I have found that taking the time to analyze the situation and trying to find a win-win solution is a good alternative answer. Life is not a football game; life is more a game of compromises and partnerships; small set-backs and small victories and making sure that you are striving for the right things and not just things. Maybe the saying should be, “You’ve got to figure it out to get to it.”

The other issue that the quote can seem to allude to is that you have to go through life’s trials alone – Mano a Mano!  Macismo, again! That was not the point of his sermon, which brought God into the picture and assured his audience that we are never alone. After all, he is a preacher and that is one of the most powerful messages of the Good News that he is trying to spread.

In Maine they have created a program called Mano en Mano (which they define as Hand in Hand) to provide assistance and guidance to those in need, especially those of diverse cultural backgrounds.  Somehow that seems to be a much better answer than just standing back and telling the people in need to tough it out.

Community Sharing logoAs we approach our uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we should be thankful for people who create and run programs like Mano en Mano and all of the rest of helping and sharing programs that provide help to those in need. In our area, Community Sharing, Lighthouse of Oakland County  and Meals on Wheels and so many other volunteer organizations provide assistance so that people don’t have to go through pain and suffering just to live day-to-day. If you want to be a part of the solution and not just stand by lamenting the problem, sign up to volunteer at organizations like these. Then you can say, “”I’ve got to do it tothanksgiving family help others through it; then we’ll both get to it.” Machismo not required.

Have a great Thanksgiving.


Be there for someone today

November 1, 2014

As seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Be kind.  Remember every one of you is fighting a battle.  Everybody’s lonesome.”  (Marion Parker)

At first, I did not get this quote. Then I thought about it and it is true that even the most popular people often have secrets that they don’t share and with which they struggle in lonely isolation. Most of the world was shocked recently when Robin Williams took his own life. Here was a guy that most of us probably thought had it all – popularity, success, money, al l of the things that we believe lead to happiness – yet he struggled with depression and eventually lost his personal battle and committed suicide. He was lonesome in that battle.

I’m sure that there may have been a few close friends of Robin Williams who knew about his struggles, but perhaps he shut them out or they just weren’t there when he needed them the most. Many of us are caringthe same way. There are people with whom we may have shared our fears or concerns or anxieties. They wanted to help, but we pushed them away; refusing their help. Why? That’s one of the hallmarks of depressed behavior – the need/desire to be left alone. It is something that true friends need to fight their way through. They need to make sure that we are not alone and not allowed to feel alone in our fight. Everybody does not have to be lonesome.

If you know of someone that you care about who is struggling with a personal demon, the best thing that you can do for them is to make sure that they are not alone in that fight. Be there for them. Make them share it with you. Provide support and comfort or just lend a shoulder to cry upon. “You are not alone” is perhaps the best thing that you can say to them. Make sure that they do not retreat into a shell of loneliness. That only leads to despair and beyond.

It may be hard sometimes to force yourself into that person’s life and you may initially encounter anger and heavy pushback from them. Don’t let them discourage you from doing the right thing; and that is not leaving them alone to wallow in self-pity. You may have to become very pushy yourself, in order to break through that defense; but, keep at it until they either seek the help that you are encouraging them to get or completely break down and share their pain with you. That is the cathartic moment that is necessary to begin the healing process.

listeningOnce they realize that they are not alone; that you won’t leave them alone; they can begin to deal with the issues outside of just their own mind. Talking things out can make all of the difference. Just hearing someone else say “It’s OK. Let it out. You’ll be OK” can make all of the difference. In fact, just hearing themselves, get it out to someone else does wonders. It takes the huge burden of hiding the pain off their shoulders.

When you were a child you’d run to Momma with your pain and she would make it all better with a kiss and a hug and maybe a Band-Aid for your boo-boo. As adults we need to be able to turn to our loved ones or friend for that hug and Band-Aid for our emotional boo-boos. That’s what friends are for, if we allow them to play the role. True friends make us let them play that role.

So, there are two bottom-line thoughts here. One is to not to become lonesome by trying to hold girls huggingeverything in; but, rather to seek out a friend or loved one to share the pain with. The second is to aggressively be that friend who is there for others, so that they can’t become lonesome in their misery. I’ll end today on this note –

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift”

― Pablo

“You can’t do life by yourself.”

July 30, 2014

Today’s little quote comes from a news story on the local news last night that concerned an international soccer competition for the homeless of the world. The story concerned this athletic competition which is between people who were homeless in various countries. Click here to see the ace of the homeless from around the world. As one participant from the U.S. was being interviewed about it he expressed his thankfulness for the program and the assistance that he has received and he said, “you can’t do life by yourself.”

That statement was much more profound than I’m sure he realized at the time. You don’t have to be homeless to come to that conclusion, but people who have lived on the streets probably realize it quicker and more deeply than most of us. None of us lives in a vacuum, by ourselves; however, many homeless people come awfully close to that – cut off from the rest of society many times they form a little society of their own out on the streets, because “you can’t do life by yourself.”

gloomy guySometimes there are people who aren’t homeless, just friendless. These are people, who for one reason or another, are cut off, or have cut themselves off, from others. They have a home and maybe even some pets (many time way too many pets), but they don’t have friends or relatives or anyone else to interact with, so they become little islands unto themselves. They are cut off and become hermits or recluses because they don’t realize that “you can’t do life by yourself.”

Hopefully you are not homeless or like one of those people who have become islands unto themselves. What you can become, without realizing it, is someone who by their actions and reactions pushes people away, refusing help or advice when it is really needed. You may be trying to live life by yourself and not even realize it. If you are lucky you will have friends who see this and realize that you need help, even if youcheering up can’t find a way to ask for it. Those are true friends; let them into your life. They know that “you can’t do life by yourself.”

There are those who, for reasons of pride or arrogance or bullheadedness, can’t seem to admit that they need the support or help of others. Some are people who will steadfastly resist a hug and may need a slap up-side-the-head. They may resist your help, but don’t give up on them. Sometimes you just need to grab them by the shoulders and give them a good shake and yell at them “you can’t do life by yourself.”

For the most part, though, I think you’ll find a welcome smile and warm embrace from someone that you see needs your help and concern. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can help. Don’t be shy about offering to help caringand don’t hold back when your help is accepted. You’ll feel good about helping and you’ll feel better knowing that when your time comes to need help, others will be there because they too know, “you can’t do life by yourself.”

So, go out today and be a friend, be there for someone in need, listen to someone’s sad story and offer comfort and help. Help someone who is down and out. Reach out to someone is alone and lonely, even if they won’t admit it. Basically be a human being, because as a human being you know that “you can’t do life by yourself.”

Three little words that can change your life… I’ve got this. (14 of ?)

April 4, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

In yesterday’s post I talked about facing the world with a “Bring it on” attitude. Today let’s look at one thing positive that you can do when you go into the day with that kind of positive approach. In  previous posts I discussed being at peace by letting things be. I also wrote about taking action to solve your problems or reaching out to others to help with their problems.

Today let’s talk about taking responsibility to get something done for yourself or for others. We are all witnesses to many cases of need in other people. For the most part those instances are fleeting. They pass by us or we pass by them and the busymoment is
quickly lost to take any action or to offer help. It can be really little things, like not holding a door open for someone with their arms full of packages at the Post Office or maybe not stopping to fish the change out of your pocket as you scurry by the Salvation Army Kettle at Christmas. How hard would it have been to stop and help? It starts by saying to yourself, “I’ve got this.”

helping elderlyMaybe you’ve been to a funeral visitation and overheard someone in the family worrying out loud about who will walk their dog today or get in their mail. Perhaps you’ve driven by an elder care facility and seen a lonely face starting out the window at passing cars, in hopes that there might be a visitor in one. It could be that your neighbor next door is going on vacation or maybe into the hospital and needs someone to watch their cat and get in their mail. In those cases, what stopped you from going up to them and saying don’t worry, “I’ve got this”?

Closer to home, do you stop and think about the things that your partner does for you every day? Have you ever felt like helping but didn’t know where to start? It doesn’t always have to be something big. Maybe you can carry a load of laundry upstairs. Maybe you can make the bed some mornings, rather than just walking out knowing that it will somehow get made before it’s time to get back in it tonight. Maybe you can volunteer tobath watch the kids so that they can get a nice peaceful bath or go shopping. It starts by finding something, anything, and saying, “I’ve got this.”

Amazing things happen in your life once you get over the “Aww, Geeze, do I have to” stage that prevents you from acting to help others that you know need your help. There is a sense of accomplishment and well-being that comes from selfless acts of serving others. You will not get that feeling from buying another golf club or another pair of shoes. You get that feeling of pride and satisfaction only by reaching beyond your own needs and meeting the needs of others. Some call it finding purpose in your life. Whatever you call it, it begins by seeing a need and saying, “I’ve got this.”

This only works if you follow through. It is sometimes easy to say, “Yeah, I’ll be there” when someone calls to ask for help; but if you don’t actually show up you get no satisfaction from having made that empty promise and you certainly didn’t make them happy by just saying that you’d help.. So, today’s three word phrase is really about a commitment that you make to yourself and to the other person. You are not saying, “I’ll try” or “Maybe” or “If I get a chance.” You are committing that, “I’ve got this.”

Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.