A Hug– The Miracle Drug!

Hugging is healthy. It’s invigorating, rejuvenating & has no unpleasant side effects. It’s nothing less than a miracle drug. –Author Unknown

It is amazing just how a hug can work miracles to those who administer and are administered one in the time of need or stress!  Most of us have gotten so out of the habit of hugging, we only do so in dire situation to console someone on extreme occasions.  But really, it should be something that we do on a daily basis!  We could see a remarkable difference in our overall perspective on situations and on  life in general!

There are still families who are in the habit of hugging and they are usually the families that continue to be pretty close and tight-knit.  There are certain countries that are traditionally into physical contact when greeting one another like in southern Europe, and others who are so used to zero contact, even in a family setting such as in Japan.

I remember having been away for several years without seeing my family, brother and sister and parents and upon returning from Italy and South America I was met with a hand shake from my brother and father.  I thought, this is weird and just grabbed them and gave them a big hug and it sort of freaked them out at first. I witnessed the same thing in the London Airport when family and relatives would arrive from a long trip having been away for years and they were met with a formal handshake.

My sister is a very affectionate woman and in her family they are all very affectionate the one with the other and are always so concerned about each other.  It is a very inspiring environment to be in.  They are a mixed family as my brother-in-law is from Iran where they are pretty affectionate in their culture.  I find it important to show affection to those around you, of course it doesn’t mean that I think everyone should go around hugging any and everyone they see, but it is amazing how walls seem to come tumbling down with a simple show of affection, a touch or sincere hug!

My wife is also a real huger!  She will hug people that she first meets here in Italy and even they are a bit shocked when they meet her, but they are also drawn to her in a very special way.  People she hardly knows will begin to confide in her and call on her when they are going through things as they tend to feel a special connection.  I believe they can sense  that she sincerely cares about them.  Hugging does give a message that you are there for someone it has a chemical reaction within you that inspires closeness and works real miracles!

We tend to be inhibited in our outward show of affection as we are afraid of mixed signals being given when we hug. We are afraid that the other will think we have ulterior motives or want more than just a simple show of affection. It is a fact, there are a lot of perverted individuals in the world who do have ulterior motives, but this should not ever be reason to stop us from giving that needed hug.  When someone is coming on to you in a sexual manner, you can usually sense that pretty quickly and can put a stop to it. But this should not give us reason to stop all hugging and affection!  Have you hugged someone today? Don’t you enjoy a warm hug from time to time?

My Christmas 2011 Message To You

Christmas is here! It is now upon us!  It is a time to think about caring and loving those around us, going the extra mile, being there for our family! I wanted to wish you all a very special and Merry Christmas and so I took the plunge and recorded my first (but certainly not last) Vlog.  Thank you to all of you who have been coming to visit My Life Blogs!  I truly appreciate you and look forward to staying in touch through the new year 2012 and beyond!





Love IS Sometimes Having to Say You Are Sorry

There’s one sad truth in life I’ve found  
While journeying east and west –
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

How sadly true the words Ella shares above, we are more often guilty of hurting the very ones we love the most!  However ill intended it may be, it is a fact we tend to mistreat those we are close to and flatter those we hardly know.  We are then left with one very important action, and that is to seek forgiveness from those we love through apology.

Some of you will recall the old 1970 movie by Eric Segal starring  Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw. A very touching love story of two young people who meet fall in love and then tragedy strikes.  The most famous line of the movie was “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”  Well, were this true, there would be possibly no love in existence at all. Very idealistic and I must say, wow it would be great were it possible!

Why might you think that this is so?  I have a few thoughts on this myself, but would interested in how you see this as well!  For one, we grow familiar with people through time and tend to expect a lot from them.  We expect them to see things as we do, or at least to know us well enough to understand why we act the way we do.  It is a bit pretentious but true, “she (he) should just accept me as I am, beside she (he) knows I love her (him) so what it the big deal!?” Or two, “why do I have to always admit mistakes, she (he) has made her (his) share of mistakes and he (she) never apologizes to me! The old always and never fallacy!

We expect a lot out of those we love, and tend to forget just how important reassurances are in a relationship.  It takes a lot of humility to love someone and it kills our pride to have to admit that we are not perfect as much as we would think we are.  Well, we aren’t perfect and so it unfortunately is necessary to admit this fact especially if we have hurt someone due to our lack of sensitivity towards them.  If we can rest assured with the fact that no one has of yet died of indigestion after having swallowed their pride, then we can be certain that it can’t be so harmful to swallow it now and then.  In fact it not only is not harmful it is healthy to apologize when we have wronged someone.

When you do apologize, it is a true sign that you are not thinking just about yourself, but you are taking into consideration the feelings of others.  So, given that fact, it is a definite sign of love, therefore saying you are sorry is saying that you do care and that you do love…it is love! It takes courage, it takes humility, it takes love, so if you need to apologize for something,  go for it!  It usually takes the air out of anyone that may be upset with you for something you did, and most often it can help solve a lot of problems before they become even bigger.


Pain Knows No Boundaries

Trey Pennington

I was greatly saddened by the news of the sudden loss of Trey Pennington a well-known personality and expert in the Marketing and Social Media World.  My heartfelt condolences go to his family and close associated who knew him well.  Although I did not know Trey personally, his work and expertise  in the Marketing and social media arena leaves a hole nonetheless.  Trey had apparently committed suicide and for what motive I am not certain, but needless to say, Trey was suffering.

The reason I am writing this post is not to dig into the whys or hows, but rather to underline the fact that suffering and pain know no boundaries.  Trey was a successful man, attractive, had many people who followed him, he mentored many and helped them become who they are today.  We all think that someone of his stature, who to us may seem to have “everything”, would be totally happy and extremely confident and full of desire to live. We often liken depression with, lack of material goods, or means to support our family or to carry on.  But we are all very human, and we all in the end have the same color of blood flowing through our veins, we all have feeling, emotions and our own personal battles that things such as success don’t necessarily heal!

The grass can always seem so much greener in our neighbor’s yard.  We tend to compare our lot in life with that of others and we often come up wanting.  This tragedy with Trey has caused me to reflect a bit and realize the importance of being there more for others, seeing their pain whether they be rich, poor, black, white, brown, yellow!  Pain and suffering have no borders, we all experience lows in our lives, and we need others at times to step in and say…I am here! And when others do present themselves to aid us, we need to be willing to open the door.

From what I understand, Trey had a lot of real good friends and family who wanted to be there for him, they must have found it difficult to get in the door.  And at times it takes beating down that door to get in to help someone who may be hitting hard times.  These are tough times for many, let’s be here for one another! Rest in peace dear Trey, you will be missed!

Facetime Vs. Facebook

Social media sites, chat, online social sites in general have taken the world by storm and have been a wonderful addition to our life and life style.  I for one, having lived abroad for most of my life and distant from loved ones appreciate the possibility to stay in touch and share news, pictures, video, and to have a less expensive alternative to communicate more freely and regularly with my loved ones at home.  But with every great new invention, there are some definite set backs through overuse by spending too much time or having a false balance in your lifestyle, it can cause irreparable damage, so beware!

While it a great tool that we can use to keep in touch with our distant loved ones, make new friends, share ideas, pics and videos, it could be the very thing that is robbing of us of one of the most important things that we have and that is of most valuable to those around us…our time.

I have personally witnessed and heard many a story of how social media has been the cause of break-ups of couples and families due to it coming between the people involved.  Persons who have lost total contact with the real world due to their over-presence in the virtual world.  Some who have thought to have found their soul mate online (some do but not always the case) leaving behind their husband, wife or kids for another whom they think they know. The same goes for computer games that can be perfectly fine and fun, when not taken to the extreme such as in the case that a father or a mother, a wife or a husband are so into the addiction of playing to the neglect of those who need them now.

Then there is the debate as to how a company can not hire you or fire you due to content that you have put out into cyber space.  This may be unfair in some instances where you may post one or two pictures with a can of beer in your hand and all hell breaks loose at you workplace, but when 95% of your pictures share your party time and boozing it up, well it might be a concern to me as well.

Life is way too short to allow it to be fettered away on long distance relationships, and this is true mainly for those who may be depending on you here and now.  The training of a child while it is still in its tender years are the VERY most important as that time is when his/her personality is being developed and his/her sense of security is all important.  If you miss that, unfortunately there is no turning back the clock. Already adolescence is tough, but just wait until that neglected tot grows up! Your mate may not wait around so long for you if most of your time (love) is spent with others.

Any addiction is a prison! I once heard a story of the prison inmate who passed away after having spent the better part of his life behind bars that when they went into his cell to collect the few items left behind, there on the wall written hundreds of times were some of the saddest words in the English language, “If I only had, If I only had, If I only had”.

Use your time wisely, use these wonderful new and great tools of technology, just don’t allow them to use you lest you too may be heard saying… “If I only had.”

Time-our most precious commodity!

It is amazing how we go on in life, we live it as if it is going to last forever!  The way we spend our time, treat our loved ones, go about our business both at home at work. Time is indeed our most precious commodity, and the way we spend it and with whom should give us an indication on what we consider most important in our lives.

I had been thinking of “some day” sitting down and writing up a few stories and memories of my life.  I don’t consider myself to be a writer, and that said, I have used this as the main excuse to put it off.  But one day, I won’t be around anymore and it would be a shame if my kids or grand kids didn’t get a chance to get to know me or share my experiences.  I have vague memories of my grandfather as he passed away when I was still quite young.  There are those special moments that come to mind when I reflect on the brief period of my life that he was still here with us.  He was a very active business man and I am sure that I could have learned so much from him.  Unfortunately when we are young we don’t appreciate the time that we do have with our parents and grand parents, we take life so much for granted, besides we are busy growing up and facing our own set of challenges.  But it is a shame that we rarely see the importance of living life to the full extent and taking full advantage of those times we have special people who could play more of an integral role in our growth.

I remember hearing a song years ago that shares this very principle, it touched my heart and made me see how I need to do what I can to spend more time with the ones dear to me..it’s called:

“Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

Cat’s In The Cradle–Sung by Harry Chapin