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?

It’s Never Too Late To…..

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I really love this quote by George Elliot, “it is never to late to be what you might have been!”  There are so many things in our life that we tend to get down and out about holding on to the feeling that we will never be able to do something because “it’s too late”! I don’t believe that it is ever “too late” and I know the saying “never say never” but this time I am going to say it..it is never too late!

It’s never to late to apologize:  I don’t agree with Justin Timberlake that it is too late to apologize.  For me to not apologize for something that you may have done wrong is a cop out!  When you know you have done something that has offended another, to not apologize because it is too humiliating to admit your mistakes will end up hurting you in the long run!  You will be amazed at what it means to someone when you stop and take the time to make things right!  If you have ever done so, then you know how wonderful a feeling it can give you and the one you apologize to!

It’s never too late to love: I have read on  numerous occasions on posts, in stories, seen in movies when the question is brought up about loving someone, whether or not it is too late.  I don’t believe that it is ever too late to love, love ones that you have known your whole life that they were just friends, and now you have special feelings towards them.  Is it wrong or a bad idea some have asked me about falling in love with a friend they have had for years and I said..no it isn’t, how better can it be to be in love with your best friend.  The love of your life often is your best friend too.  Is it too late after a certain age to fall in love?  Of course not, love is something that you can never be too late for!

It’s never too late to forgive: If someone has done something to offend or hurt you, it is never to late to forgive them and to let it pass.  Holding on to bitterness is only going to harm one person, and that person is you!  If you are able to move on after having been hurt, you will find that you have a whole new lease on life and that you will go one to be much happier and productive than you ever will be by allowing something to totally take the wind out of you!

It’s never too late to start over:  Boy, I ought to know that for sure!  I have started over in so many places, so many jobs, so many challenges in my life that it has almost become a part of my being.  Now that I am a little older I am looking forward to settling down a little bit!  But, some folks have not had to start over as many times as I, and others have never had too!  With today’s economic climate as well as in certain natural disasters, many people are finding themselves having to start all over from scratch!  It is not easy, but it is not impossible either!  You never know, you may embark on something all together better than what you had previously!  Look for the rainbow after the storm and you may find the magical pot of gold at the end!

It’s never too late to kick a bad habit: With the proper concentration and desire you can quit doing something that you have found is not good for you like smoking or over eating!  Of course if you have gone on for a long period of time, you will have caused a lot of damage already, but that is no reason to not go for kicking a bad habit!  Don’t let yourself fall into the “it’s too late to quit so I might as well just keep doing what I have been doing” trap!  Today is just as good a day as any!

There are so many instances where it is never too late!  I am sure you can come up with more!  Finish this phrase: It’ never too late to…..

Long Lasting Love!

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy” Saint Francis of Assisi

Gosh, I think we all feel the need to be loved and would like for our passion and love to live on for eternity!  We would hope that others would just accept us for who we are and love us despite our weaknesses and failures!  The question is, do we do to others as we would like others to do to us?  Or do expect others  to do unto us, even though we do not do so ourselves.

We tend to have a high standard of expectation towards others, but tend to forget that the road to get there is a two-way road and not one way only!  I have heard it said many times over how wonderful a dog is, man’s best friend!  You can forget to feed him, he loves you the same, you can correct him for something harshly, he loves you the same.   Humans can be so much more critical and judgmental and have very long memories.  You make a wrong step with another human being and boom you are literally in the dog house, and not for just the day!

Love is an interesting thing, we all want it unconditionally but we deal it out with many conditions!  But is this how we really believe and expect to get it back? Of course not!  So, in order to have real, long-lasting love, we need to abide by the same rule book we hold over the heads of those we pretend it from!  Let’s name a few of these points.

1) Forgiveness, do we seek to forgive those who have wronged us?  Do we take the time to talk things over and attempt to understand how they may have strayed, shared our hearts together to see how we can avoid this from ever happening again in the future?  It is important to learn the importance of forgiveness, after all, we are all imperfect and fail and most unfortunately need to be forgiven ourselves for the many blunder that we make as well.  No one is perfect, not even you, believe it or not!

2) Patience.  Do you have the necessary patience to put up with certain things that bother you about your other half?  Do they snore at night, leave their laundry on the floor, discard a dish or cup without cleaning it.  Do they take forever to get in the car when you are late for an appointment, do they wait for the very last-minute to complete a task.  Are you able to bear with this weakness, and express your loving concern for their lacks, even if this means repeating it almost daily…in love?

3) Humility. Are you able to humble yourself when you know that you have transgressed in any of the above mentioned “transgressions” and have you asked for forgiveness?  Saying that you are sorry for your past or present mistakes can break down many barriers!  Try to take the “lower seat” in an argument, you will be amazed at what love and trust you will gain!

The road to long-lasting love is…well…long!  So you need to understand that it will take a lot of work.  It is not something that you just snap your fingers and it happens or rub a lamp and a Genie will appear with a magic solution.  It takes that horrible four letter word called w.o.r.k.! Yep, effort, but one that is well worth it and so rewarding!  It is all too easy to just give up, and sad to say that is what so many tend to do.  Well, if it is not going my way then forget it!  How selfish!  The road to success is one of great sacrifice!  Everything that is worth anything cost something!

Have you experienced the tough road and found it to be extremely rewarding?  Let us know what you think!

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.


Appreciation–An All Too Neglected Practice

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. — Margaret Cousins

There are so many things in life that we simply take for granted, particularly the people that we live with, work with, and encounter in the course of the day.  It is so common to grow used to things being the way they are that we don’t pause long enough during the day to take notice of them let alone to express our appreciation for them through words or acts of appreciation.

It is interesting that this might be so since we all know how wonderful it is when someone takes notice of something that we took the time to attend to at work, or a special something we do for our spouse, or family member.  Not that this is why we do things for others in the first place, but when anyone sits up and takes notice of us, and expresses their appreciation to us, it makes us want to go out of our way to do even more things for them.

Knowing how appreciation helps to spur us on to do better, it is a wonder why we don’t show our appreciation more generously to those who we live and work with.  Of course if you have been raised in an environment where little or no appreciation has been given for what you have done, then it can seem normal to you to treat others the very same way that you have been treated. In the Bible it says to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you“, but this often is miss quoted or miss applied as “do unto others as they have done unto you“.

Have you ever worked really hard to accomplish something at work or at home that you felt real satisfied with and that brought about real progress or improvement, but then it only gets a passing glance?  No appreciation for all the hard work, the long hours, the concentrated effort that went into it, and in the end no one acknowledged you for it?  How did that make you feel?  Did it make you want to continue to do it again or rather did it make you feel like “what’s the use”?” Most likely you felt like saving yourself the effort the next time around.

Now try this…stop and take a moment to thank your wife for having cooked a wonderful meal and let her know how much you appreciate the way she prepared the meal. Tell you husband how much it means to you when he takes the trash out with out you having to remind him.  Thank your son or daughter for the extra chores that they do around the house and make sure to reward them in some significant way for their good job! Express today to your co-worker your appreciation for all the details that they tend to throughout the day!  Do this regularly for a few months and see if you don’t notice a major difference in how they work, respond to you and reciprocate your attitude!

By applying this principal and putting it into practice, you are sure to notice a tremendous change for the better!  Appreciation is powerful, appreciation is yet another way of expressing love and it is love, not money that makes the world go around!  How has it changed your life when you have been appreciated? What was it like to go largely unnoticed? Your comments are appreciated!  (Yes they truly will be!)

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!

You Wanna Get? Then Give!

Luke 6:38  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

The rule of thumb from the beginning of time for those who hope to receive anything in life is that you have to learn to give first! This is true in any area of your life, a relationship, a job, your own personal wealth, because it is in giving out that you will then receive.  The Biblical verse above goes on to say, with the same intensity that you give out it will be given back to you again!  Wow that is pretty profound and contrary to our natural way of thinking.

There are so many gimmicks and offers saying “how to make money doing nothing from home“.  Sadly there are a lot of people who believe this and end up sending their money away to buy the “magical package” of material that will get them started on a great do nothing adventure to make money. Personally, I wouldn’t  want to make money that way even if it were possible, because when get anything without making the sacrifice, you end up not appreciating it, squandering it or losing it in the end!

The the corporate world has been changing in a big way, thanks to the Internet and Social Media.  They have now understood that in order to sell their goods, they need to start offering things up for free.  Whether that be a service, goods, or even just plain and simple free good advice.  People no longer read a billboard that has “buy this, buy that, buy the other” because they are more skeptical to this approach.  However if the company offers something which attracts their attention to that they like, this then gets their name out there by doing so, and then they are swarmed with customers.

This same principle of giving holds true in a relationship.  If you get into a relationship with the idea of “what can I get out of him/her”, then the relationship will be short-lived.  You cannot expect to be loved if at first you don’t love.  Unfortunately, too many people are afraid to venture out in giving, or committing themselves because they fear that the feelings will not be reciprocated. By not giving however, you then end up losing out, because you fail to follow this natural law of giving hoping instead to get first. The secret lies in giving without even expecting anything in return as you will not be disappointed, sooner or later you will come out a winner!

I hate to tell you, but everything that is worth anything costs something.  In order to get something you have to make the necessary sacrifice, whether that be through investment of money, time or your love.  And if you do happen to get something without the sacrifice, be careful, it may cost you more in the end than what you had bargained for.

As for me, I would rather work for what I get, I would rather give in order to get, it has worked for me my entire life in wondrous ways!  How about you?  Please comment and share how you see it!

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