5 Ways To Be More Accepting

By Talya Flowers

“Love means that you accept a person with all their failures, stupidities, ugly points,
and nonetheless, you see perfection in imperfection itself.”

 

We are all seeking and searching for something.

For some, it is fame, fortune, happiness, a rewarding career, or if your path is similar to mine, a deeper relationship with Christ. Whatever it is, I would argue that above all else, we are searching for love. Once we receive the fame, fortune, happiness, or a rewarding career, then what else? We begin to seek someone with whom we can share our lives with. We want someone who accepts and approves of the life that we have built or are building for ourselves. With that knowledge in mind, consider the following:

Imagine my hypothetical relationship as it unfolds: I become more and more critical of my significant other. By my actions and by my words, I tell him that I don’t like the way he dresses, I don’t like who he hangs out with, I don’t like his family members, I don’t like the way he thinks, I don’t like the career he has chosen, I don’t like the way he cooks, I don’t like the fact that his spiritual life is not on the same level as mine. Would my relationship go very far? Am I fostering an environment for intimacy? Am I displaying Christ?

If I constantly did that to my significant other, I am killing the very core of who he is. I have taken it upon myself to change who he is by demanding that he become more like me. When the problem is not him, it’s me. The scripture tells us candidly that we are made in the image of God. We are not made in the image of one another. I cannot tell someone to change (this is not for abusive relationships. If someone is being abusive, they will have to change to stay in a relationship with you or they will have to move on without you). Giving more of yourself does not eradicate the abuse, tolerance worsens the abuse. I cannot demand, manipulate or control someone to change because abuse is a heart problem, and Christ is the only one with the ability to transform hearts.

So, in the process of lording over someone, I’ve damaged the one person who I’ve claimed to love. Why, when I chose him? I have a choice in the matter. You have a choice in the matter.
Here are my five suggestions for ways to be more accepting:

1. Stop criticizing

Constant criticism coming from someone who claims to love you becomes emotionally draining over time. There is one thing to offer constructive criticism but another to just be criticizing for the sake of criticizing. If someone is making an effort to learn, don’t criticize his or her efforts. If anything, praise them. In your praise, they will be willing go above and beyond for you.

2. Stop judging

Judging is damaging. I’ll say it again, judging someone is damaging. Judging someone for who they are and the choices that they’ve made is detrimental to the relationship. Why destroy something that you are trying to build by judging another person, unless you know, of course, that you won’t be sticking around to heal their emotional wounds.

3. Allow growth

Acceptance/growing together is a process because it does not happen overnight. I once had an acquaintance tell me that his mom and dad could read each other thoughts. He was expecting/demanding that in his present relationship. Slow your role; couples do no wake up and start reading each other’s minds. That requires time, effort and vulnerability—none of which he was giving in his relationship.

4. Be realistic

Everything in life is a choice, choose wisely. The more you are able to understand someone for who they were in the past and who they are in the present; you’ll be able to learn and to understand their behaviors and attitudes. Time is your friend. Be patient, be gentle and most of all take your time.

5. Be open

Communication is the glue that keeps couples together. Intimacy is formed by communication. Being verbally demanding, manipulative or controlling stifles all forms of security. Do not get in a relationship if you are going to use your words, on your spouse, as a punching bag. Do not get into a relationship where the person treats people poorly but worships the ground you walk on. Everyone, from the janitor to the president, deserves respect and to be treated kindly.

Acceptance forms the foundation for love, for without it, all relationships will fail. Christ accepts and loves us just as we are. Then he begins to shape and mold us into his image after we begin to see the beauty of giving our lives to him. Do the same for your significant other. Allow them to fly and to grow into who God called them to be before you start berating and belittling them for who they can never be. Luckily, we can change by making a choice. It just depends on the path chosen. if you are searching to find love: look within. If you’re already in a relationship, instead of criticizing and condemning the person you chose to be in a relationship with why not take the time to grow together?

Always remember that no matter what, you are more than enough not because of who you are but because of whose you are.

 

4 Secrets To Staying In Love

By Steve Goodier

The results are in. I have learned that, after careful consideration and endless debate, The Perfect Man has finally been named: “Mr. Potato Head.” Let me tell you why. He’s tan. He’s cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

I don’t know if Mr. or Ms. Potato Head is right for you. But I’m not a big believer in the idea that we MUST find a perfect match, anyway. There are plenty of happy people who are not paired with someone else. And there are also plenty who may not say they found Mr. or Ms. Right, but are living quite happily with Mr. Almost Right or Ms. Close Enough.

Marriage and long-term commitments may not be for everyone, but if you plan to be with someone a long time, can you stay in love? Does a lifetime relationship have to seem more like a life sentence? I think we’re tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon, and romance is for kids. Are there secrets to staying in love over the long haul?

I believe in love and romance, and I know it can last a lifetime. I also believe there are a few simple things we can do to help our love grow over the years.

Here are 4 secrets to staying in love:

1. Find time to date.

I don’t mean time to rehash the stuff you talk about all week long. Get away and talk about things that matter. Use this as time to focus on one another, not to solve problems or to raise issues. There are other times to bring up difficult subjects.

2. Understand what delights the other and then make it happen.

“The romance is over,” says Marlys Huffman, “when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet.” What makes him laugh? What brings her pleasure? And what can you do today to delight each other?

3. Remember why you got together in the first place.

When you focus first on his faults, you’re not thinking about his strengths. When you’re busy pointing out her imperfections, you’re not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and remember it often.

4. And always – plan enough time for fun.

And don’t always plan times for fun — be spontaneous. Laugh. Go places. Play.

A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, “When you have a nice man, it really doesn’t matter.” I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.

Single? Don’t Waste Your Time Doing This …

By Amanda McPherson

There was a time in my life when I really didn’t like being alone. My dislike of being alone, paired with my total avoidance of having the “it just isn’t working out” conversation, created the perfect recipe for empty calories in my dating life. In fact, it was one of my best friends who first used the empty calorie analogy with me about my dating habits. It was so spot-on and brilliant that I couldn’t be mad at her for calling me out on my not-so- productive dating pattern. There was certainly a part of me that was enjoying the male attention and I was avoiding having to disappoint anyone, but I would always end up feeling empty. I felt empty because I wasn’t on a path to what I truly desired; I wasn’t getting the sustenance that I really craved in my relationships.

In dating, empty calories are consumed when you are spending a significant amount of your time and energy with someone you know is not the right match for you.

Empty calories may be in the form of a great guy who just isn’t the right fit for you or a bad boy who is not interested in changing his ways. If you are looking for a long-term, significant relationship, I caution you to beware of empty calories. Just like a cookie, indulging in dating empty calories can feel good in the moment, but they could be preventing you from meeting the right person for you. And more importantly, they could be preventing you from being your best self and living your most authentic life.

Some dangers of consuming too many empty calories in your dating life include:

1. Wasting Time

OK, this sounds harsh. Yes, I believe that every person and life experience offers us a chance to learn and grow. But, once you know you are not compatible with someone, you really are wasting valuable time: both yours and theirs. Time is precious and something to be valued. Time spent in dead end relationships is time that could be spent nurturing your friendships, working on your health, exploring a new hobby or even just being still and resting. Unlike empty calories, these things feed your mind, body and spirit. They make you a happier, healthier person and, yes, a better partner when someone special does come along.

2. Worry and Anxiety

I don’t know about you, but when I’m not being honest with myself or others I can’t shake a feeling of uneasiness in my gut. When we aren’t being congruent with our words, feelings, and actions it can make us feel really yucky. Many times we don’t feel that great about ourselves when we’re consuming empty calories. After the high of the attention is gone, we might find ourselves feeling down about spending time with someone who is not what we really need and want in a partner.

3. Missed Opportunities

Of course there is always the risk that spending too much time with someone who holds no future for you will cause you to miss out on meeting someone who does meet your needs. There is no guarantee that you will find “The One” if you give up your empty calories. You may end up spending more time alone than you’re used to and that’s okay (in fact, it could be good for you). However, it doesn’t take a genius to see that lounging on the couch all weekend with empty calories limits your ability to be out there and available for a better match.

Don’t let those empty calories sabotage your most heartfelt goals. You deserve to find deeply satisfying love.

Think Your Actions Don’t Matter? Then Read This …

By Crystal Veness

This past year has been incredible. Best year on record without doubt. It’s been my most challenging year – mentally, physically, and emotionally. But it has been the most rewarding by a long shot. As I sail into the new year, I’m happy. Motivated. Inspired. And I have a lot of people to thank for that.

Sometimes out of heartache comes amazing clarity. My eyes were opened this year, and it was terrifying. I realized I had been living my life not as me, but a masked version of myself that I believed the people around me wanted to see. While the shock ran its course, I started to come out of the fog and I was more alive and aware of who I am than I had ever realized was possible.

As 2014 came to a close, I began reflecting on how I came to this point. I realized it was a combination of amazing people who have crossed my path this year as I traveled the world.

I didn’t – and couldn’t have – done it alone. It’s the people around me who made the difference.

And I wanted them to know how their kindness, openness, influence, and support made a tremendous difference.

How often do you acknowledge the people that have inspired you? Helped you? Loved you?

These past few months I’ve sent out a handful of written letters, Facebook messages, and even a scribbled note to express my appreciation for those people. I was floored by the responses I received.

“Your message was so incredibly touching and so unbelievably well timed I can hardly wrap my head around it.”

“That is the nicest out of the blue message I’ve ever received…thank you so much- I’m so stoked I was a positive influence.”

“That message brought tears to my eyes. I needed to hear that today. Thank you, I’m glad I was able to touch your life.”

How can people so amazing be so surprised to hear it? Some of the people who do the most for us never know how much it’s worth. That’s not right. It’s so easy to take from others – in the form of inspiration, knowledge, a place to stay, a hug when you need it… But don’t forget that those people are giving something. Thank them for it.

In recent weeks, I’ve been brought to tears by the kind words that others have shared with me. Even I’m surprised when I get reminders that I’ve had an impact on someone else’s life. Getting a phone call with such sweet sentiment that I had to sit down because I was so blown away I was shaking … Crying over breakfast because I’d received a message with heartfelt, kind words about who I am as a person … It all reminds me of the power that words carry. I will never forget these messages.

So send a note, a letter, take them for a coffee and tell them in person. Let them know what they have done for you and how much you appreciate them!

I think we often go through life without realizing our true impact we have on others around us – both good and bad. We have an amazing opportunity each day to wake up and choose to share our love with others.

Know that when you listen to a friend in need, smile at a complete stranger, or stop and share your thankfulness, you are making a difference.

3 Proven Ways A Simple List Can Revolutionize Your Love Life

By Duana C. Welch, Ph.D.

Take a moment and write a list of everything you desire and need in a life partner. Take several moments, in fact. Put in everything—in detail, in color. Dream big.

Then separate that list into “must-haves”—stuff you just can’t do without—and “desirables”—things you’d like, but could compromise on if they were otherwise wonderful.

All done? In my experience, most folks resist making their list. And that’s a shame, because your list is an amazing tool in the work belt of life.

With your help, it’s going to do three really vital jobs for you:

1. Find hidden singles.

Have you ever gone car shopping? Ten years ago, I bought a Mini Cooper, and I love it so much, I haven’t replaced it.
A funny thing happened while I was looking around, though: I saw Minis everywhere. It really seemed like the world was chock-full of them.

You may have heard of the Law of Attraction, which says that we draw to us what we imagine. If life really worked like that, you’d create your list and click your heels while The One appeared.

Sigh. Not true.

And yet the list is very powerful—not because it attracts the right people to you, but because you start noticing them. Just as I started noticing my brand of car everywhere once I’d narrowed my search, you will begin noticing your kind of sweetheart once you refine your own list.

Mr. Right might be where you work or live; Ms. Right might be where you worship, or shop. The point is, have you noticed? Or is The One hidden in plain sight because you aren’t clear on your needs?

2. Do first things first.

There’s a saying, “First things first.” It means you need to do things in the order that makes the most sense. This sounds obvious, but without your list, you’ll probably do first things last. In these relationships, people meet, have sex, get emotionally involved, and *then* figure out whether this person is what they want.

You may think this is the exception, but research shows that hooking up on college campuses has largely replaced dating. A hook-up can be anything from sleeping over to kissing to having intercourse to oral sex. An 18-month multi-campus study of American college life found that most women continue to enter and leave college hoping to find yes, a degree, but also to find love and marriage. The decline of dating and the rise of hook-ups has cost them–more than men–a great deal in terms of confusion and pain.

So some girls and women reading this may never have had a date; some might have had sex with men who wouldn’t acknowledge them as girlfriends. They have no idea what to expect and require in courtship. Take this letter, from Gina (not her real name):

“I’m confused about ‘Sam.’ We hang out almost every night, and we have sex, and he says he likes me. We are each other’s fallback plan; it’s assumed we will see each other daily. But he’s never outright said whether I am his girlfriend. I asked once, and he laughed and asked why I couldn’t tell, and changed the subject! It’s depressing. How can I find out what I am to him?”

If you are tired of being confused, or if you’re tired of getting into sex-first, questions-later situations, or if you’ve had enough of getting emotionally invested and only *later* finding out that this one is not The One—it’s time to let your list turn that dynamic around.

And how do you do that? Know your standards. Then, listen closely to feedback, and ask the tough questions about and to this person *before* you get emotionally and physically involved.

I’ve read of a study showing that a date’s friends will tell the truth about them. That fits my experience. I broke up with a man whose ex-wife called to ask me to reconsider: “You’re really special to Bill. I knew that as soon as I found out he drives an hour to see you. He never goes out of his way for anyone.”

I didn’t listen to the important part of her message: Bill wasn’t especially flexible or concerned with other people’s needs. Both times we broke up, the reason was: He was not especially flexible or concerned with other people’s needs.

When I met my husband Vic, though, he took me to a party “so you can meet everyone I know. I want my life to be an open book.” Nobody there told me how lucky Vic was; they all said how fortunate *I* was to be with him. Bingo.

So listen to what others say about your partner. Ask the person you’re dating, too. You can be creative about it, but ask questions that add up to whether or not this person fits your “must-haves.” One of the more valuable questions I learned to ask in my dating life was: “If your ex and I were talking, what reason would she give for your break-up?”
Vic had answered a lot of my questions before we ever met in person; we talked about them on the phone. I didn’t rudely bust out with, “Here is my list, and you’d better answer the way I want, or I’m not going out with you.” But I did broach important questions in a friendly way, and I didn’t wait until we were deeply involved.

What if he’d refused to respond, or said something like, “Wait, why all the questions?” Some men did. We didn’t go out. If you’re reading this, my guess is that you have had enough of doing last things first, having hook-ups, and floundering around wondering what’s going on. And if so, you’re ready for someone who is also ready to do first things first.

3. Avoid deal-breaker temptations.

Doing first things first won’t help unless you heed your own list. The absence of even one tiny little “must-have” means that you Must Not; the whole relationship is a no-go for you, a heartbreak waiting to happen. So don’t go there.

Of course, a lot of us have trouble with this one. Almost everyone I know who has made the list has at least occasionally dated someone with a known deal-breaker.

Why do we ignore our own lists? Sometimes, it’s because we question ourselves, or our standards. Or we’re lonely. We’ve lost hope. We think love is rare, and we have to hang onto it no matter what, because all you need is love.
Apologies to the Beatles, but science disagrees. Love is like roadside flowers in springtime: beautiful, but common.

Sometimes, we fall in love with people where things just won’t work out; and most people fall in love more than once. Nearly all of the divorced people in the world were in love when they wed. If love was all they needed, they would’ve stayed put!

What’s enough is love, plus kindness, respect, similarity, and you sticking to your list. Before I got that, I got heartache. After I got that, I got the man I’ve been happily married to for nearly seven years.

Your right person won’t be perfect. But if you’re careful about this, they will be perfect for you.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do (2015); this entry is a partial excerpt. You can get a free chapter and see more at http://www.lovefactually.co

How To Have The Best Relationship Of Your Life

By Dr. Carol Morgan

We have all grown up watching movies where women are princesses, men are their knights in shining armor, and perfect couples ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. But no one actually teaches us the things we need to do to have our “happily ever after.” So that’s where I come in. Here are 15 things you can do if you want to have the best relationship of your life.

1. Try to talk with your partner about how you impact each other.

No one is a mind reader. And some people aren’t very good at knowing how their behavior affects other people. So you need to tell each other. Not only the negative impacts, but the positive as well. If you want your partner to change something, gently ask without criticism. If you think your partner is awesome, tell them. Thank them. Keep the lines open.

2. When you get in a fight, try to see the situation as if you’re an outsider looking in.

Try to step outside yourself and view the conflict as an objective outsider. This de-personalizes it and helps you see your partner’s point of view. Most people have a “me vs. you” attitude when it comes to fighting. They view it as a battle against the enemy. This could not be more destructive! Instead, have a “we” or team mentality. You’re both in this relationship together, so you have to come up with solutions together. Stepping back and looking at it from an objective perspective helps tremendously.

3. Invite your partner to build more closeness by practicing empathy daily.

Empathy is key to every relationship. This is the ability to see the other person’s point of view and show them that you value how they feel. You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to allow them to feel what they feel without making them wrong. One empathy “game” you can play is reflecting back each other’s words and feelings. This allows you to check your perceptions and helps you partner feel “heard.”

4. Tune into your emotions and see if you can each share what you need most.

It doesn’t help to repress your emotions. It might make your relationship seem peaceful, but it’s like trying to hold a beach ball under water forever. You can’t do it. Eventually, it’s going to come back up–and probably in an explosive manner. So both people need to keep their emotions in check and continuously share them with their partner. That way, nothing will be a surprise or get buried for a long time.

5. Be mindful of the fact that emotional damage can derail relationships.

It could be cheating. It could be ignoring your partner’s feelings. It could be withholding affection. Emotional damage can take any form. And they deliver brutal blows to relationships. So if there was an emotional injury that took place between the two of you, talk about it. Fix it. Don’t ignore it. That will only make it worse.

6. Discuss your main relationship goals for the next year and see if you find ways to achieve them.

When we hear the term “goal,” we don’t usually think in terms of “relationship” goals. But just as you would have a career goal, you must have relationship goals together. Do you want to get married? Do you want to buy a house? Have kids? Move to the west coast? It’s helpful to have shared goals, but if you don’t, then each partner has to be respectful of the other person’s desires and at least try to find a mutually satisfying solution.

7. Cherish and honor your connection.

Don’t take your relationship for granted. It’s sacred, so treat it that way! Too many times we get too comfortable and stop trying to make our partner happy. This doesn’t work. Honor what you have. Cherish it. And above all, communicate to your partner that you value their presence in your life.

8. Create small rituals to recognize your bond.

It helps to have rituals that you do together. It could be committing to go on a date night every Saturday or celebrating your anniversary each year at the same restaurant where you met. Or maybe it’s going on a picnic once a month. Anything that tells each other that you are committed to honoring a ritual or routine will help maintain a healthy relationship.

9. Do little things for each other.

Do the dishes. Rub her shoulders. Vacuum. Call just to say you love him. Bring home a single rose. These are simple things that don’t cost a dime (except for the rose!). These things are valued, especially by women. It shows attention and desire to help or nurture your partner.

10. Laugh. A lot. Don’t take things too seriously.

Who doesn’t like to laugh? I would guess pretty much everyone does. But as relationships get stressful, sometimes people forget to laugh. People start focusing on their partner’s negative behaviors and they get annoyed and resentful. Try not to take things so seriously. Try to look at everything your partner does (and in life) as amusing. This lightens the relationship. Couples that laugh together, stay together.

11. Grow your friendship with each other.

You are probably more forgiving of your friends than you are of your romantic partner. Why is this? Probably because you don’t put as many expectations on your friends. But a solid foundation as best friends is the best way to build a long-term relationship.

12. Support each other’s hopes and dreams.

Maybe you want to open a restaurant. Or your partner wants to go back to school for a Ph.D. Whatever your dreams, you both need to be supportive of each other. Even if you don’t agree with the dream or think it’s silly, you still need to be encouraging. Being your partner’s rock and biggest fan is essential to a healthy relationship.

13. Put your partner’s needs equal to or before your own.

You may not want to admit it, but there may be times when you are a little selfish. And that’s fine. As long as you aren’t selfish all of the time. If you only worry about your needs and you ignore your partner’s, then they will eventually grow resentful. People need to know that their partner loves them enough to put them first‒at least sometimes.

14. Give the relationship attention.

When I teach about relationships, I always use the metaphor of a plant. Plants can be beautiful, but they need to be watered every day. They need attention. And so do relationships. If you don’t “feed” your relationship, it will die. It needs nourishment just as much as a plant. You can’t ignore it and put in minimal effort and expect it to flourish. It takes constant attention.

15. Don’t expect perfection.

We all want to ride off into the sunset with that perfect prince or princess. But we all know that perfection is a myth. No one is perfect. So instead of looking at your partner’s faults and focusing on what they should change, accept them as they are. Focus on the good. Feed the good stuff. And then you will reach a place of calm acceptance and have a peaceful relationship.

Want To Fall In Love During The Holiday Season? Maybe You Shouldn’t …

Soon there will be sales everywhere. Tinsel will hang from clothing racks. Christmas trees will totter on counter tops. Holiday songs will play in loops, and couples and families will burst through aisles with shopping bags while you’re supposed to be happy, too.

Oh, sometimes that holiday atmosphere can trick you into feeling giddy in love–or more alone and more down on yourself. The whole world seems to sparkle, and you wonder: “Why shouldn’t I feel this way with the person I’m with?” Or: “Why don’t I have someone to be with?”

These questions are part of the fall-out from constant exposure to what seems like false or enforced holiday cheer. Holidays are tough times if you feel lonely, hurt or disappointed in love. So, it’s tempting to make the following top mistakes.

Mistake #1: You go for the Last Person Standing who sort of is an okay love match.

You know that you are too picky or critical. You think: “Why not loosen my perfection and choose someone who is not a great match—but so what—who is these days?”

Mistake #2: You allow yourself to get swept away.

You’ve been suffering from Skin Hunger—that painful longing from not being touched. Your past relationships have hurt you emotionally so much that you swore off love for too long. Your life has been all work and no play. Now you’re surrounded by happy couples and families and smiles and laughter and gifts, and you want to feel alive again—even sexually. You think: “Why not toss caution to the wind and just go for that person over there with that dangerously appealing edge?”

Mistake #3: You’ve experienced major setbacks or changes that now make your loneliness and fear of life barely tolerable.

You might getting older, and you feel that time is running out. Or, you’ve had a major loss in life such as declining health, loss of a job or financial stability. Regardless of your situation, you think: “Well, this person is better than being alone in the world.”

Mistake #4: You convince yourself that you are in love with the one you are with.

You’ve been with your partner for a long time. You’ve gone back and forth over whether to get married or break up or at least move in together. Everyone else seems so happy, even though you know for a fact that many of the couples have problems. You think: “Just do it. Open your heart all the way to this person and commit and just forget about those doubts and dull feelings.”

Mistake #5: You are on rebound.

It’s over. You knew it wasn’t working, but still, being dumped feels horrible. You think: “Well, I am just going to show so-and-so that I can get a new person just like that in no time.”

If these mistakes sound like you, here is some advice about how to avoid them.

1. Get mindful of your life situation and your emotional state during the holiday season.

Keep a journal where you can write out your feelings and thoughts. Refer to your journal often. Know your weak spots.

When you re-read your journal, be aware of your physical reactions. Are you getting tearful? Do you feel sick to your stomach? Is your heart racing from anxiety? Make a list of your reactions.

Now add your best guess as to why you are feeling this way? What frightens you?

2. Get a buddy.

Tell a trusted friend about your increasing loneliness and fears. If that person is not going to be at the holiday parties, arrange ahead of time for them to answer your Reality Check Phone Call. If they are at the same parties and events, agree to meet up a few times during the event. Tell them to interrupt you when you are spending time talking to someone. It’s great to get your buddy’s feedback and to observe this new person with your trusted friend.

3. Get a therapist.

Seek therapy before you make another love misstep. Develop a plan that helps you become more observant of you and the person who interests you.

4. Get preventive by boosting your social participation.

Look at your current behavior. Are you turning down invitations? Are you avoiding arranging times to be with friends and colleagues? Examine how much in-person time you spend with others. Do you do volunteer work? Do you make excuses for not attending lectures or your town’s free events? Social isolation increases feelings of loneliness. And when these feelings get too intense, they can put you at risk for acting hastily.

5. Feel your feelings.

Don’t bury them with food, alcohol, overspending or endless time on social media sites with people you barely know. When you make friends with your emotional pain, you will be less likely to let your unhappiness cloud your judgment and intuition about people. Recognize that feelings of loneliness and desperation are warning signs that you need to connect in meaningful ways with others. These feelings are most likely adaptive responses that evolved over time to force social contact with families, groups and tribes for the purposes of increasing chances of survival—including better health. Medical professionals have long known that being alone impairs health and longevity.

6. Don’t define yourself negatively.

Almost all of us have gone through bad times that tempt you to let them define you. So what if you are alone or recently divorced or older or whatever it is that makes you feel too flawed for love. Make a list of people who care and value you. List your accomplishments and what you’ve overcome. Use your own measurements of success. After all, few if any know how far you’ve come in life.

And, contrary to many suggestions, make a list of negative beliefs you have about you. Now ask yourself: Where did these beliefs come from–disgruntled previous partners or from my parents? And could their words to you really tell you more about them and their problems?

7. Slow down.

Even if you do meet someone who might be a good match for you, take your time in the relationship. Postpone sex until you know each other better over time. And make this time together resemble real life as much as possible. Hang out with friends, watch your favorite shows together, and let your new partner see your quirks and reactions.

The 4 Letter Word You Need More Of In Your Life

By Mary Miller

I have said my share of 4 letter words. I “grew up” in manufacturing. Sometimes it was just a way to communicate. And other times, it was a way to make myself feel better even if it was for a couple of minutes. Then I tried to stop swearing, and would swear because I swore … ever done that one?

I’ve since learned that words are very powerful. They are the first outward expression of our thoughts and a step towards our actions. They can make or break your or someone else’s day. They can make or break relationships. They can confuse people, enrage people, comfort people, and help people.

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like everyone else is speaking a different language? Some days, communication can be so frustrating that you’ll be tempted to throw out a 4 letter word – maybe one that start with an “F” or “S.” Well, go for it. But try one that starts with an “H” … “H.O.P.E.” It may just help!

• H

Are your words helpful?

Do the words you speak help the other person you are talking to? Are they constructive? This includes what you say to yourself when you’re by yourself. If you wouldn’t say something to a friend, then don’t say it to yourself. When people talk to you, are they trying to be helpful but don’t know how? How can you guide them?

• O

Are your words objective?

Have you jumped to conclusions by reading into what someone else is saying which ended up not being what they meant at all? How many times has this happened to you? How many times have you had to back pedal and say these words “What I meant was X.” As best as you can, stick to words that are direct, impartial, and unbiased. Let people know what you mean. And if you don’t know what they mean, don’t assume. ASK!

• P

Do your words consider perspective?

When you chose your words, do you put yourself in the listeners’ shoes? Or after listening to someone else, do you take note of the words they use and perhaps understand more about their point of view? Remember that you are talking to communicate – not to just hear yourself talk.

• E

Do your words encourage others?

With all the negativity in the world, wouldn’t it be nice if you chose to encourage others? If someone is vulnerable and shares a new idea, what can you say to encourage them? Asking questions about their idea can build them up – or even just listening to them. Which words encourage you? How can you use them to build yourself up?

How can you add more H.O.P.E. to your life TODAY?

The Power of Doing Good

Abstract:

self growth

self growth

Happiness, health, prosperity, peace, a better world for our children – we all want the same things in life. The key to gain these is within us, for ourselves and for the world at large – the key is focusing on good. By choosing to do good, you can find your place in life.

 

It’s an inside job

My motto “Think good, speak good, and do good” is a life changing axiom that can lead you on your personal journey, filled with opportunities to connect to yourself and activate your own goodness.

With life dishing out trials and tribulations for us all, the challenge is to constantly come up with creative solutions to responsibly face these, taking into account our potential impact on others and the planet.

If you choose to concentrate on good thoughts, communicate positively with others and act out your goodness by doing good deeds for the benefit of others, you will be transformed from the inside. This immediately resonates outwards touching all aspects of life, and colors everything along its way.

Activate your goodness

You can make doing good work for you, too. It only takes a small act of kindness, of any sort. Any and every single person can make extraordinary things happen when they use the power of doing good, first for themselves and then letting it ripple out to the world in ever-expanding circles .

My life-long desire to inspire and empower people to focus on good, motivated me to write the practical guide Activate Your Goodness, filled with personal stories and those of others around the world. The book gives you tools for making a positive difference and changing your life.

By embracing good, it will become the norm in your own life and a true transformation will really take off.

Your part counts

We all have a part to play in our collective future, and each and every one of us can do something for the benefit of others, giving of ourselves to improve lives. Putting this concept to work in your life by thinking good, speaking good, and doing good, will move you forward.

Moreover, our individual acts of kindness amass together and will bring positive change in the world on all levels, for people, society and the environment.

I have been privileged to operate through the platforms of business and philanthropy, but it is the smallest acts of kindness that truly have a lasting effect. To encourage good deeds I initiated Good Deeds Day, where hundreds of thousands worldwide join in and give of themselves for the benefit of others.

People from all walks of life, any age or religion, partner together on Good Deeds Day to spruce up neighborhoods, clean beaches, visit with the elderly, or do simple acts of doing good, such as baking cakes or offering a seat to others on the bus. A critical mass united around good is created on this day, and this annual tradition of giving also demonstrates how our world can look all year round.

No matter the size of the gesture, be it a smile that brightens someone else’s day or volunteering for a cause, you can find the act of goodness you want to do, according to your heart’s desire. As more and more people join in and do their part in the way that’s closest to their hearts, the circles of good grow in the world.

Good as a first priority

Goodness by its very nature is more subtle, soft, and quiet. But love and compassion are alive and every day is a new awakening in finding your own unique way, to give from a genuinely positive place and also receive graciously. Just imagine the impact if everyone chose to come on board and consciously think good, speak good, and do good.

The beautiful thing about doing good, is that it doesn’t matter where you live or go to school, if you are a farmer or a teacher, which cultural group you belong to or the past you have. Doing good holds the power to liberate you from the old and help you find your place in a way that is most inspiring, empowering and life-enriching.

Good as a first priority allows more and more people to discover and express their authentic selves. In revealing our uniqueness through good, we create a new reality that emphasizes universal humane values that boost growth and happiness to all.

The time is now, it is up to each and every one of us to replace our old patterns, and realize that everyone is capable of making a huge difference. Doing good can be your compass.

Every one of us can do good.

———

Shari Arison is an American-Israeli, and the owner of the Arison Group, that fuses values-led businesses and philanthropic organizations. She leads commercial and social investments in 38 countries across 5 continents, with 27,000 employees. 

FORBES magazine repeatedly ranked Shari Arison as one of the World’s Most Powerful Women (2011, 2012), and as the World’s 2ndGreenest Billionaire (2010), acknowledging her commitment to strategic value creation for positive, game-changing environmental, economic and social outcomes.

Most significantly, to encourage goodness on all levels of society and in business, Ms. Arison initiated an annual day of service,Good Deeds Day, where people, businesses and organizations do good deeds for the benefit of others. Starting out in 2007 in Israel, last year Good Deeds Day received international involvement, with 250,000 participants in Israel and thousands more in 50 countries worldwide.

Check out Shari’s new book, the critically acclaimed,  Activate Your Goodness – Transforming the World through Doing Good

 

via Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/the-power-of-doing-good/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pickthebrain%2FLYVv+%28PickTheBrain%29 Shari Arison

Motivational Monday: Fear-Based Emotions

By Dr. Carol Morgan

Have you ever been jealous? Felt possessive? Or perhaps envious of other people? These are called fear-based emotions. In her Motivational Monday video series, our Editor shares her thoughts on why you should pay attention to these feelings.

What should you do now? First, don’t get all freaked out by all the negative emotions you have running through your head. Instead, do something about it! Start right now … TODAY … and monitor your thoughts. The more you do that, the more you can change them into positive ones. And you know what that means. You will be much, much happier!