Lately I have been hearing the word unity and the messages of support all around me. It is unfortunate that it often takes a negative event, or series of them, to cause people to start rallying for unity and support. When this does happen, however the circumstances come about, eyes are opened and action can be taken. As individuals we can accomplish some things, but a group can accomplish more work faster. The truth is we are a stronger force when we are united.
When it comes to unity are you trying to jump on the bandwagon? Or do you really participate in the movement? Do you want it but are unsure how to be a part of it? Unity means the state of being one; oneness; absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character; oneness of mind feeling, etc., as among a number of persons, concord, harmony or agreement (dictionary.com). How can we unite when are all so different? Although we are unique, we have some things that bring us together and connect us. It could be children, a love for sports, working in the same workplace, having similar likes and interests, knowing some of the same people, shopping in the same places or eating at the same restaurants, and the list goes on. If nothing else, we all would like to feel safe, be at peace and desire opportunities to prosper. If we would communicate with each other – not just talk, but also listen – we would find that we are more alike than different.
As for support…many of us have projects that we work on or things that we are passionate about, but I have found that so many people desire support but do not desire or know how to give support. When we support each other, that does not mean you're coming out to help me with what I am doing, but I don’t ever support what you is a priority in your life. Support can come in many different forms. It could be your physical presence and attendance. If you cannot be there, it can also possibly be financial support. And if you cannot do either of those, sharing the event or project can be a big source of support. Sometimes that kind of support can be worth more than the first two examples. However, if you can do all 3 things that is a display optimal support that would greatly benefit the receiving party.
We don’t have to go out and do something major and public in order to unite. We don’t have to be at every event or meeting to show support. We can begin with the little things. We can make a decision and choose to stand together. We can humble ourselves and realize if nothing else, we live all live here. We can stand firm in the idea that this is our community, and every single person that lives here is a part of it and contributes something. We can decide to respect each other. We can show support by lifting up what our neighbor is doing instead of criticizing what they are doing and sowing toxic seeds by talking bad about it to everyone else. We can start by hoping the other person does well, just as we would want people to wish us well on our endeavors. Start with the little things, and they will grow into bigger things. If we can unite and support one another in our community - our families, our schools, our businesses - all will benefit from it.
Love conquers all. Love is blind. Love isn't supposed to hurt. I love Mexican food! I love that song! I love you! Love is one of those words that is loosely used by many. But what is love? Is love different for different people? When I think about love, there are a few things that initially come to mind. The first thought that comes to mind are the people that I love more than anything else, and it brings feelings to me that make me smile. That makes me question: is love a feeling? Is that a form of love? One thing that I often say is: It's LOVE that drives me. Love is the motivating force of most of my actions in my life. The reason that I do what I do for my family is because I love them. The reason I invest in people and in my community is because of love. And for me, that confirms that love is an action.
However, over time I have also learned that there are different types of love. There is that friendship type of love. There is that lustful type of infatuation that some people consider love. And then there is agape love; the love that is unconditional. That love remains, despite circumstances changing. That is the best form of love because that is love that you can count on no matter what. According to dictionary.com, love is a profoundly tender, passionate warm affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent child, or friend; a sexual passion or desire. According to the book, The Secret, love is the highest frequency. When we think and speak in love, it will draw and manifest positive things into our lives a lot faster.
The Five Love Languages (by Dr. Gary Chapman) was a book that opened my eyes to the fact that we all communicate love differently. And in order to show a person love, you must give him/her love the way that he/she receives it (not the way that you desire to receive it). In my opinion, people can only love to their own capacity. Some people do not have a lot of love in them, but they love with what they have. That may not be enough for the other party. And some people are overflowing with love - they love easily, share love easily and those that they love can surely feel it. Of course, you can never go wrong having too much love.
Everyone enjoys the feeling of being loved. And since we enjoy receiving good love, we should also be looking to give good love to others. It is something we should all work on - daily. We should desire to grow in love. If there were more love in the world, we wouldn't see as much violence and hate. Hate and love just don't mix. At the end of the day, my thoughts are love wants you to be your best. Love is not selfish. Love wants what's best for you no matter what. Love is a great thing!
How is your love walk? Are you doing a good job loving those dear to your heart? Do you communicate love in a way that is well received? Do those you love know that you love them? Remember, love is not just a word, but is in an action.
It doesn't make sense to "them" - your ways, your dreams, your goals, your visions and your plans. It doesn't make sense to them because it's not for them. It's for YOU! Those things were given to you for you to bring them to pass. They were given to you to follow through on. Please realize your dreams, visions, and actions that you take will not be understood by others. Your path is YOURS, not theirs. They won't understand the way that you think. They won't understand why you do what you do. They probably wouldn't do things the way that you have chosen to. But you know deep down in your spirit that what you see and are being pulled towards will lead to great things!
Not everyone is blessed with the ideas that you have. Those ideas are in you, and you need to do things to protect them and nurture them. It's like being pregnant. When a baby is conceived, no one can see it. The mother may feel a little different before she even knows that there is life inside of her. She must do certain things to ensure the safety and protection of her baby. She must also take some extra nutrients to make sure the baby is healthy and grows. She avoids certain places and things (roller coasters, alcohol, smoking, drugs) as they can cause the baby to become deformed or stop growth. Some things can be so harmful that they can kill the baby. Infants that are born prematurely may not make it or require extra special care just for survival. Babies that were are healthy and full term would not encounter those things, but come out ready for the world!
Like an unborn baby, the seed (idea, vision, goal, etc.) that has been placed inside of you may not even be showing up physically; no one can see it. In order for it to grow, you are going to have to feed it - speak life, believe, research on it, learn about it, find out how others with similar dreams became successful, get in environments where you will gain knowledge and that will cause you to grow. Stay away from people and away from environments that will try and fill you with fear and doubt. Being in the wrong environments and elements can be detrimental to the growth of your vision. You must protect this precious gift that has been placed within you. The idea wasn't given to everyone else - is has been given to YOU. Protect it, feed it and nurture it so that it can grow. So that it can be healthy. When it is taken care of properly and ready to be birthed, your dream will be greater that you would have ever expected!
Stop sharing your dreams with everyone! You will make others uncomfortable when you begin to grow or act out of your norm. Not everyone wants to see you succeed. Most people do not care about your dreams and visions until after they are a success (and beneficial to them). Don't let the thoughts and opinions of others discourage you. If they were the one given the vision they would move forward and not care about what you think! They would follow their dream and be successful despite what others would tell them. Don't allow them to stop you.
Stop talking about it so much and like Nike says, "Just Do It!"
We are born into different situations - some great families, some horrible families and some without any family. The conditions that we are born into and the situations that we experience along the way have shaped and molded us into who we are today. Many people like to give their advice and input on what we should be doing with our lives. Some people mean us well and others mean us harm. However, most make the mistake of trying to mold us into what THEY think we should be! The "idea" of being a successful person has been characterized by looking a certain way, making a certain amount of money, owning the right house, driving the right car or holding the right job.
As people, in general, we often find reasons to divide and separate ourselves from each other. We like to point out each others’ differences and focus on things that divide us. We remain divided by race and ethnicity. We even go further with that and will separate even further based on the color of our skin - for instance there are several shades of Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and we will even separate within those groups. We divide amongst each other when it comes to social classes. Even within some religions, such as Christianity, we will further separate from one another through denominations.
But in reality we have more things in common than we do not. Although we were individually created and possess unique qualities, we carry common characteristics and have many common goals. There are motivated and there are lazy people in every group, country and race. There are the hard-working responsible people in every society. And even though we joke about it, every family has that "one crazy uncle." Although we wear different color skin, we all bleed the same color blood. We have the same internal organs - 1 heart, 2 lungs, etc. We all live and will eventually die. For the most part, we desire for our children to be well educated, to be their best and succeed in life - whether that is educated on the streets or in a higher learning institution, we want our children to acquire what's needed to to make it in whatever environment they are in. We want to feel safe and protected. We desire to survive and for our offspring to survive. Whether we take action or not, we desire a lot of the same things. Although we go about things in different ways, we are striving for many of the same things.
If we can find out what we have in common and use that as a connector, we will be able to better work together. We will relate to one another better. And even if we choose not to work together, we can at least obtain a better understanding of each other and hopefully respect one another.
Things that I love that cross all color lines and boundaries: Music is a universal language. Smiles go beyond color barriers. Hugs, handshakes & head nods acknowledge. Laughter brings joy. We don’t have to be from the same place or be heading in the same direction to share these things.
Be healthy - in every area of your life. The definition of healthy means pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind. Therefore being healthy and well goes beyond our physical body being toned, having the right amount of muscle and body fat or being appealing to the natural eye. Being healthy means that your mind and emotions are also in good health.
You must first get healthy, as an individual, before you can expect your family & household to be healthy. Happiness is a choice. Peace is a choice. You cannot control other people's actions, but you can control your reaction to their actions (or even non-action). We cannot look to others to make us happy or keep us well. It is our own responsibility. As adults, parents and leaders we are responsible for teaching, guiding and training, but ultimately each individual has to take action for themselves.
There are some pretty basic things that contribute to our wellness. Get a proper amount of sleep. Our bodies need rest to function at their best. Eat a balanced diet. You can believe it or not, but the food we eat does effect us physically and also emotionally. Different foods contain different chemicals that cause our bodies to react certain ways. If you don't believe me, try writing down what you eat for a week and keep track of your moods and feelings each day. You will learn something new about yourself and what you are consuming .
Stay away from things that cause you stress. Avoid being around people and in environments that make you feel bad. Get around people who motivate, inspire you, and encourage you to be your best you. Plan and get organized; running late and rushing is an unnecessary stressor. Be around things that contribute to your happiness. Laugh more. Smile more. Be mindful of what you are feeding yourself. If you struggle with fear, why watch scary movies? If you are heartbroken, why listen to sad music about hearts being broken? That only makes those things grow. Feed yourself positive things. Speak life out of your mouth. Try to find the good that can come out of every situation.
Healthy individuals create healthy relationships & marriages. Healthy marriages produce healthy children & families. Healthy families produce healthy communities. And a whole bunch of healthy communities will result in a healthy society.
If we will each do our part and make a conscious decision to be well, we will see a massive change take place for the better. Every person counts. Each one of us has a role to play. It is a ripple effect.
Embrace TODAY. You must know where you came from and where you are going in order to completely embrace where you are at in this moment. Understand where you came from, but don't stay focused on the past. Instead take the lessons, the wisdom and the knowledge from the past with you. Learning from them is actually utilizing those lessons and applying them to your life now. That is evidence of growth & maturity.
Catch a glimpse of your future and get an understanding of where you are going, so that you can stay focused and stay on course. Knowing where you are going will be your guide and keep you on your path.
Most of all, fully embrace today. Get engaged in life as it is taking place all around us. Don't just barely get by or barely make it. LIVE. Things constantly change. People constantly change. Time changes. Pause for a moment, and embrace where you are. This moment, this exact time & this exact place in your life will never come again. Tomorrow is not promised. The next moment is not guaranteed. Whatever you are in, whether good or bad, slow down & take a moment to pause. Embrace Today. Today will never come again.