What Is Happiness?

Happiness exists in the understanding that the pain holds just as much importance as the beauty.

I think we’ve been taught from such a young age that happiness is meant to be this big, all-consuming thing. That it is this moment that cracks open our bones, changes our lives and sweeps all of the weight inside of us away. That it is something that is awarded to us, gifted to us by the world. That it is something we are all constantly in pursuit of until we find it.

And so we are always waiting.

Waiting for this experience, this simplifying in life, this ‘aha’ moment where the wounds are all healed, and the growth is all organised neatly within our ribcages, and our hearts aren’t afraid of loving anymore, and the warmth never leaves.

But I don’t think happiness is big or infinite at all.

I think real happiness, true happiness exists in acceptance of the fact that we will always be balancing what is light and dark within ourselves. I think real happiness, true happiness exists in the quiet, in the smallest things. In the morning cup of coffee, in the sound of your parents’ voice on the other end of the phone.

I think real happiness, true happiness is believing that you are meant to be here, that you are meant to take up space in this world.

I think real and true happiness is finding the human beings who take care of you – not in a materialistic way, but rather finding the human beings who take care of your soul, who take care of even the most chaotic parts of you.

I think real happiness, true happiness is all around you at all times, pinned and blooming in things you stopped paying attention to because you were always searching for more. Flowers when you take a stroll on the road, the intensity in the air when you meet someone, and you know they’re going to change your life, your pet cuddling with you after a tiring day, the way your stomach flips when you hear your favourite song, the way your eyelashes feel as they blink across your neck when you’re holding them.

And I don’t think happiness is something you find, or that it is this destination you get to where the night never comes, and you are bulletproof and unaffected by the mayhem. I think the mayhem will always, always exist – we are literally made from it; we wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for the crashing and banging of atoms within this universe.

No, I think happiness exists in the understanding that the pain holds just as much importance as the beauty.

I think happiness exists in finding the things that make us feel known and special and at peace in this world, no matter how small or insignificant they feel and letting them save us.

I think happiness exists in learning how to embrace the dark, in learning how to see it as the very thing that makes us appreciate the light!

 

Source: Unknown.

Rebuilding After Hitting Rock Bottom

My friend, when you are finished falling, after you hit rock bottom and watch yourself come apart into a million pieces, no one is staying to help you collect yourself, no one is sticking around to pick through your pieces to decide which parts of you are worth keeping. That’s for you to decide.

So stay down for as long as you need to. This is the most important part. Take your time. Pay attention. You already broke. So the easy part is over. Go slow…. I know, you thought the breaking was the most painful chapter. It wasn’t.

Turn the page. The next part is much longer. It’s the healing. The rise. The comeback. It’s the birth of the new you.

And it’s not easy. But you are strong and brave and worth it.

You’ll have to leave a lot of yourself behind, you’ll have to let go of all the parts of you that you’ve outgrown.

We’re not making ourselves small anymore. We’re not bending to fit where we don’t belong anymore. Do you hear me? We’re going all in. Count your wounds, every scar ripped open, every drop of blood you bled like a promise, every tear you cried like a bet in the name of crossing your whole heart, your whole soul, was all for this moment.

Right here. Right now.

You had to hurt like that to get here to this version of you who knows exactly who you are, who you are not, who you will never be again.

Drop the apologies. We’re not sorry anymore for who we are, we’re not sorry for what we had to do to get here, and we’re not sorry for the time it took to learn our worth.

Step out of the box of all you were supposed to be, according to everyone who wasn’t you, and walk into the you, who’s comfortable in your own skin.

It’s time. You earned it.  We no longer wear the expectations of anyone else and we no longer let anyone else decide what we’re worth.

Because we know now.  We finally know.

And now it’s time to celebrate it.

Get up, my friend. It does not hurt anymore.

Now go show YOU what you’re made of.

 

Written By: Stephanie Bennett-Henry

When You Say Goodbye To A Parent

When you say goodbye to a parent, you are suddenly living in a whole new world.

You are no longer ‘the child’ and regardless of how long you have officially been ‘grown up’ for, you realise you actually never were until this moment. The shock of this adjustment will shake your very core.

When you have finally said goodbye to both your parents, assuming you were lucky enough to have had two. You are an orphan on this earth and that never, ever gets easier to take no matter how old and grey you are yourself and no matter how many children of your own you have.

You see, a part of your body is physically connected to the people that made it and also a part of your soul. When they no longer live, it is as if you are missing something practical that you need – like a finger or an arm. Because really, you are. You are missing your parent and that is something far more necessary than any limb.

And yet the connection is so strong it carries on somehow, no-one knows how exactly. But they are there. In some way, shape or form they are still guiding you if you listen closely enough. You can hear the words they would choose to say to you.

You can feel the warmth of their approval, their smile when a goal is achieved, their all-consuming love filling the air around you when a baby is born they haven’t met.

If you watch your children very closely you will see that they too have a connection with your parents long after they are gone. They will say things that resonate with you because it brings so many memories of the parent you are missing. They will carry on traits, thoughts and sometimes they will even see them in their dreams.

This is not something we can explain.

Love is a very mystical and wondrous entity.

It is far better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all and grief, grief is the price of that love. The deeper the love the stronger the grief.

When you say goodbye to a parent, do not forget to connect with that little girl who still lives inside you somewhere.

Take very good care of her, for she, she will be alone and scared.

When you say goodbye to your parents, you lose an identity, a place in the world. When the people who put you on this earth are no longer here, it changes everything.

Look after yourself the way they looked after you and listen out for them when you need it the most.

They never really leave.

 

Source: Donna Ashworth in her book: “I Wish I knew”

On The Death Of A Loved One

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.

I spoke to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

You were thinking of the many things and memories of me.

I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.

I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my hand on you, I smiled and said, “It’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…

in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning and say,

“Good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to me.

 

Author: unknown

The Battle Between Head and Heart

My brain and heart divorced a decade ago over who was to blame about how big of a mess I have become. Eventually, they couldn’t be in the same room with each other. Now my head and heart share custody of me. I stay with my brain during the week and my heart gets me on weekends.

They never speak to one another – instead, they give me the same note to pass to each other every week and it always says the same thing:

“This is all your fault”

On Sundays my heart complains about how my head has let me down in the past and on Wednesday my head lists all the times my heart screwed things up for my future. They blame each other for the state of my life.

There has been a lot of yelling and crying so, lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my gut who serves as my unofficial therapist. Most nights, I sneak out of the window in my ribcage and slide down my spine and collapse on my guts plush leather chair that is always open for me. And I just sit sit sit sit until the sun comes up.

Last evening, my gut asked me if I was having a hard time being caught between my heart and my head.

I nodded. “I don’t know if I can live with either of them anymore. My heart is always sad about something that happened yesterday while my head is always worried about something that may happen tomorrow,” I lamented.

My gut squeezed my hand.

“I just can’t live with my mistakes of the past or my anxiety about the future,” I sighed.

My gut smiled and said, “In that case, you should go stay with your lungs for a while.”

I was confused. The look on my face gave it away. “If you are exhausted about your heart’s obsession with the fixed past and your mind’s focus on the uncertain future, your lungs are the perfect place for you. There is no yesterday in your lungs. There is no tomorrow there either. There is only now. There is only inhale. There is only exhale. There is only this moment. There is only breath and in that breath you can rest while your heart and head work their relationship out.”

This morning, while my brain was busy reading tea leaves and while my heart was staring at old photographs, I packed a little bag and walked to the door of my lungs. Before I could even knock she opened the door with a smile and as a gust of air embraced me she said, “What took you so long?”

Written by: John Roedel

What Children Do and Don’t Need

As a pediatric therapist for more than 30 years, I have come up with a list of what I believe kids need and don’t need.  I wish I could have a do-over on a few of these.

What Children Do Not Need:

1. Cell phones when they’re in grade school. Over the years, I cannot tell you one good thing that can come from this.

2. Unlimited access to social media. There is very little that is healthy on social media for children and it is getting worse.

3. So many toys that they can’t even think of something to want at birthday or holiday times. Too much of anything leaves children unable to be full.  They become like buckets with holes in them.

4. Televisions in their rooms. Rooms are for sleeping.  Good sleep hygiene is a dying art for too many children.

5. To be able to control the emotional climate of the home. Moody kids should not be allowed to hold the whole house hostage.  If a child wants to be moody, he can go to his room and be moody by himself.  Everyone else need not suffer.

6. Too much indoor time. Our kids have become hermits with social media and high tech games.  It is ruining their social skills. It’s also taking a toll on their physical well-being.

7. Too many activities outside of school. No wonder this generation is so anxiety-ridden.  They are overloaded.  If we want to teach them to take care of themselves as they age, we must teach them to do that by our example and by limiting their extracurricular activities. Scripture even recognizes the need to rest.

8. To be able to disrespect any authority. Even authority that you as a parent dislike or the child dislikes should still be respected.  There will always be an authority in your child’s life even when your child is 50.

9. To always call the shots. Children who get to always choose where to eat, where to play, and what the family does end up being brats.

10. Constant approval and pats on the back. You will not always be around to do this. Children need to learn to be proud of themselves when they do something good whether anyone tells them or not.

What Children Do Need:

1.Rest. They play hard.  Their bodies need rest to grow and develop.

2. Uninterrupted family time. The most important people to a child are those under the same roof. Make family time purposeful and protected.

3. Outdoor play time where they can explore and create. All kids need free time to imagine.

4. Rules and expectations. Be clear. Be concise. And don’t be afraid to give them.

5. Consistent discipline. If a rule is broken, a child needs to know what to expect. All fear is not a bad thing.  There is a fear that can represent respect.

6. Parents who love them and love each other. Security begins here.

7. For you as a parent to say “no” sometimes. Your child does not need a lollipop or a new shirt every time you go to the shops.

8. Hugs. Physical touch affects the development of children.

9. The ability to share their feelings about anything as long as they are respectful.

10. The most precious gift that a parent can give any child is to demonstrate a personal relationship with God and consistently teach that child through your actions what having faith in God really means. In the toughest times of their lives, they will learn in large part to rely on God by the example you display for them.

 

Written By: Cindy Ketron

You Are Not Breaking: You Are Becoming

You are not breaking down – you are a process of becoming who you are meant to be.

Me: Hey God.

God: Hello…..

Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?

God: I would rather not.

Me: Why?

God: Because you aren’t a puzzle.

Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?

God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.

Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking down!

God: No – you don’t understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren’t falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.

Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?

God: Only the very best pieces of you.

Me: I’m scared of changing.

God: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!

Me: Becoming who?

God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.

Me: There goes another piece.

God: Yep. Let it be.

Me: So … I’m not broken?

God: Of course not! But you are breaking like the dawn. It’s a new day. Become!!!

Written By: John Roedel

I Will Not Apologise For My Pricing

No Small Business Should Apolgise For Their Pricing.

My pricing allows me to make a profit.

Which allows me to pay my bills.

Which also allows me to stay in business.

My pricing allows me to employ people.

Which allows them to pay their bills.

My pricing allows me to pay myself for the countless hours I work. I’m truly never “off the clock”.

My pricing keeps a roof over my head and food on my table.

My pricing allows me to be able to donate to charitable organizations.

My pricing allows me to create a place for people to go when they need to pick up a gift.

I own a small business. One where the CEO personally packs up orders and takes out the office trash. One where the CEO knows your name and truly cares about you.

I am not A 1 Billion Rand Company. I’m unable provide things at the “lowest price”, order millions of units, and still stay in business.

I’m not the “cheapest”. I’m also not “the most expensive”.

My pricing is what it is to allow this small business to keep going which allows me to keep making a positive impact.

I will not apologize for my pricing.

No small business should.

 

Source: Daco Conradie

If You Choose A Woman…

Every Woman Is Unique…..

If you choose a working woman, you have to accept that she cannot manage the house full time.

If you choose a housewife who can take care of and manage the household completely, you need to accept that she does not make money.

If you choose a submissive woman, you must accept that she depends on you.

If you choose to be with a brave woman, you must accept that she is not risk averse and that she is assertive and has her own thoughts.

If you choose a beautiful woman, you have to accept the expenses as well.

If you choose to be with a very successful woman, you must also accept that she is strong, has boundaries and is firm.

No woman is perfect.

A woman has her own “good thing” that defines who she is and makes her unique.

Maybe she is all of the above. Maybe she is none of the above. Maybe she has bits and pieces of all the women described. Whatever she is, she is wonderful and perfect in her uniqueness. Just love her.

Source: Unknown

Know Your Worth

You Are Worthless In the Wrong Place

A father said to his daughter: “For your graduation I would like to give you a car that I bought a long time ago. But before I give it to you, I would like you to take it to a car dealership in the city to find out how much they are willing to offer you should you want to sell it.”

The girl came back to her father and said: “They offered 1000 Euros because it looks very old.”

The father said: “Now take it to the second hand car dealership for a valuation.”

The girl returned to her father and said: “The second hand car dealer offered 100 Euros because it is a very old car and a great deal of restoration is required to modernize it.”

The father then asked his daughter to take it to the passionate car club which was filled with car experts and enthusiasts.

When she returned she said to her father: “Some people in the club offered me 100,000 Euros because it is a rare car that is in good condition, with great specifications and incredibly rare”

Then the father said, “I wanted to let you know that you are not worth anything if you are not in the right place. If you are not appreciated, do not be angry, it may just mean you are in the wrong place. Don’t stay in a place where no one sees your value.”

 

Source: Unknown

Wonderful Women

I’m a big fan of women who snort when they laugh.

Women who overshare awkward truths when the conversation stalls.

I’m a big believer in singing loudly in the car whenever possible and I love pulling alongside a fellow diva doing the same.

I’m a big fan of women who love women,

who spot toilet paper on the shoes and help each other out, when Mother Nature calls.

I’m a huge believer in comparison being the thief of joy, that dimming someone else’s light, won’t ever make yours shine brighter.

I just can’t get enough of those women who are unashamedly themselves, in technicolour glory.

I’m a lover of laughter and those moments when the tears start to flow, give me life.

I think the best therapy, is quality time with a friend who listens without judgement.

I’m a big fan of women who break, who share, who rebuild each other and cheer them along the way.

I’m grateful for this world half-full of fabulous females, I see you all.

Words By: Donna Ashworth from Words To Live By

 

It’s Going To Be Okay

Be Proud Of Yourself For Being Here Today

We’re often so hard on ourselves, by having unrealistic expectations, impossible timelines, and perfectionistic tendencies, that we have a difficult time acknowledging all the incredible, magical progress we make daily, in the simplest, most meaningful ways.

Tuck yourself into bed tonight and before falling asleep, reflect on all the beautiful ways you have made your life and the lives of your family, friends, and the strangers you meet along the way, more joyful and rewarding.

Remember this has been a challenging time for everyone, in varying degrees, so be proud of yourself for being here today.

Sometimes a door closes not because we failed, but because something bigger than us says: “This no longer fits your life.” So, close the door, shed your tears, and when you’re ready, turn around and look for the new door that’s opened.

It’s a sign that you’re no longer that person you were.

It’s time to change into who you are now, today.

It’s going to be okay.

 

 

Written by: Lee Goff

The Name Of God

God Chose A Name That Is Always On Our Lips

There was a moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what his name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name he gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

Over time we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels.

But scholars and Rabi’s have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, or aspirated consonants. When pronounced without intervening vowels, it actually sounds like breathing.

YH (inhale): WH (exhale).

So a baby’s first cry, his first breath, speaks the name of God.

A deep sigh calls His name – or a groan or gasp that is too heavy for mere words.

Even an atheist would speak His name, unaware that their very breathe is giving constant acknowledgment to God.

Likewise, a person leaves this earth with their last breath, when God’s name is no longer filing their lungs.

So when I can’t utter anything else, is my cry calling out His name?

Being alive means I speak His name constantly.

So, is it heard the loudest when I’m the quietest?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs.

In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst.

In fear we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down.

When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.

When I think about it, breathing is giving him praise. Even in the hardest moments!

This is so beautiful and fills me with emotion every time I grasp the thought. God chose to give himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive.

All of us, always, everywhere.

Waking, sleeping, breathing, with the name of God on our lips.

Written by: Sandra Thurman Caporale from the Memorial Church of Christ in Houston.

Graphic artist of the image above: unknown.

 

How Children Explain Love

The problem is:

We look for someone to grow old together,

While the secret is to find someone to stay a child with!

What does Love mean to 4-8 year old kids?

Slow down for a few minutes to read this…💕

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What does love mean?’ The answers they got were broader, deeper, and more profound than anyone could have ever imagined!

———-

‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore…

So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too.

That’s love.’  Rebecca – age 8

———-

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’  Billy – age 4

———-

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’  Karl – age 5

———-

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’ Chrissy – age 6

———-

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’ Terri – age 4

———-

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’  Danny – age 8

———-

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.’

Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)

———-

‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.’ Nikka – age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)

———-

‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.’ Noelle – age 7

———-

‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’ Tommy – age 6

———-

‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.

He was the only one doing that.

I wasn’t scared anymore.’ Cindy – age 8

———-

‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’ Clare – age 6

———-

‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’ Elaine – age 5

———-

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’  Chris – age 7

———-

‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’ Mary Ann – age 4

———-

‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’  Lauren – age 4

———-

‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’

(what an image!) Karen – age 7

———-

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross…’  Mark – age 6

———-

‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.

People forget.’ Jessica – age 8

———-

And the final one:

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’ (this made me cry!)

Now, go and spread love like butter!

And then go be a child again today!

Mum’s You Are Enough: Don’t Compare

The Perfect Social Media Mum

A few days ago while at the pool I watched a young Mama and her little daughter enter the pool area dressed in very nice coordinating swimming suits. The mom, with her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf, spent the first few minutes talking loudly on her phone to a friend while her daughter stood waiting to get into the pool.

Mom ended the phone call and proceeded to spread out pool toys and sunscreen on a matching towel.

Then after finding just the right angle and the right light, Mama pulled out her tripod and took a few selfies with her daughter. Her little one asked to get in the pool. Mama said wait and then posed her daughter in front the pool, then going in to the pool and then coming back out of the pool. Little one smiled big and said “cheese” like she’d done it a million times.

Then Mama told her she could play.

Little One walked in and swam around for a couple of minutes. Mama called a friend on her phone and began another conversation while Little One politely and repeatedly asked:

“Mama, can you come in the water with me, please?”
She was ignored.

“Mama, come play with me?” she asked 4 more times.

Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone. After 10 minutes Mama ended her call, collected the sunscreen that was never applied, the water toys that never touched the water, and then her daughter and left the pool.

I sat there thinking about what I’d witnessed for a while afterwards. I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like: “Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories”.

What The Real Mumma Sees…

Somewhere another Mama is going to be at home with her children, the house a mess from their play, her hair unruly from a day of mothering and her clothes dirty with spit up or peanut butter. She’s going to be tired because she’s spent her day cooking, caring, cleaning and playing with her children. She’s going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect Mama at the pool.

The Adversary is going to whisper into her ear “you aren’t good enough… You don’t look like that Mama at the pool… You don’t have money to buy expensive swimming suits like that and you don’t have time to make memories like she is” and that young Mama is going to believe it.

She’s going to feel like a failure. She’ll never know that how she spent her time that day was so much better in her children’s eyes than that “perfect Mama” at the pool.

What we see on Social Media isn’t always real. Sometimes and often it’s a complete set-up. It’s staged and filtered and it’s counterfeit.

Sometimes we do see absolutely real photos of vacations and beautiful homes and freshly done hair but it’s only ONE moment. It’s the very best moment out of a whole day spent much like our own. Working, cleaning, and messes…

Mamas, don’t compare yourself. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL! Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!

Written by Jen Flint

Invite a Physicist To Your Funeral

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral.

You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died.

You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every bit of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world.

You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.

And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family member, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time.

You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around.

According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.

Amen.

Written by: Aaron Freeman

Mental Health Matters

  • Sertraline – Zoloft
  • Venlafaxine – Effexor
  • Citalopram – Celexa
  • Mirtazapine – Remeron
  • Fluoxetine – Prozac
  • Duloxetine – Cymbalta
  • Seroquel – Quetiapine
  • Lamictal – Lamotrigine
  • Lexapro – Escitalopram
  • Wellbutrin- Bupropion
  • Lorazepam – Ativan
  • Klonopin – Clonazepam

You may know what these tablets are or know a loved one who takes them, but in case you don’t, I will fill you in. These medications allow people to deal with normal day to day life. Although some days it leaves them tired, spaced out, emotionless, or even super emotional.

Crazy right? Why would anyone want to feel like that?

Well this is why……You see, some people suffer from severe depression, mild depression and, or anxiety. In their brain something doesn’t sit right, something seems different. They notice little differences that other people wouldn’t. Some days they wake up sick and feel sleepless. They consistently overthink every situation.

Was a comment about them; was it a joke? Was that person supposed to laugh? Or did they mean it? Are they being nice? Are they talking about them? Do they talk about them? Then they think, I bet they don’t like me really. They say sorry all the time. They feel like they annoy everyone.

And they will go over all those questions for hours trying to answer them. They let it all build up in their mind, until it brings them to tears…… it’s crazy that they see things that way.

It’s not only mental changes, but physical changes too.

They don’t eat a lot or they eat way too much. Insomnia, up all night answering questions to situations that don’t even exist, or sleep too much and waste half their day still feeling tired. They still smile and they have every plausible excuse when you ask “why”.

But the tablets can help them.

Because they know when they start to feel this way or think this way, they need help. They know that when their behavior starts to change, they need guidance. And they understand that they don’t need to be ashamed. They don’t need to be understood. They just need to be accepted.

Everyone is fighting a battle and sometimes you need to be kinder.

So I may just be another person who’s talking about mental health….Living with this illness is hard, but trying to understand it, is even harder. It’s also 100 times harder if they have another condition on top of this.

PLEASE don’t suffer in silence #speakout

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Be part of the healing.

Be understanding.

Be kind.🖤💜🖤

 

Written by unknown

As Time Goes By

As time goes by,

You will loosen your grip on that rock,

The one you always thought was home,

And you will realise that home is not a place,

It’s a state of mind.

Let it go.

 

As time goes by,

You will learn to see yourself more clearly,

The girl who was always too much of one thing,

And too little of another,

Was actually

Everything she needed to be.

Let her out.

 

As time goes by,

You will let the simple things become the big,

And you will allow the big things to become the simple,

And that readjustment will be,

The day you really start to live,

Let it be.

 

As time goes by,

You will be forced to say goodbye many times,

And your soft little heart will shatter but,

It will still beat and that will bring you,

All the purpose you need.

Let it be.

 

As time goes by,

You will stop choosing wealth over peace,

You will stop choosing money over time,

And you will see that the treasures you need,

Are in the smiles and the laughter.

Let them in.

 

As time goes by,

The moments you remember when your life flashes past,

Are never the awful memories my friend,

It’s the joy,

The summer nights, the lazy days with loved ones,

The midnight chats and the morning hugs,

Let them happen.

 

Let them all happen.

 

By Donna Ashworth

From ‘The Right Words’:

Everyone Is Fighting A Personal Battle: Be Kind

The day my father died, I went to the shop to buy bananas.

I remember thinking to myself, “This is insane. Your dad just died. Why the hell are you buying bananas?”

But we needed bananas. We’d be waking up for breakfast tomorrow morning, and there wouldn’t be any bananas—so there I was.

And lots of other stuff still needed doing too, so over the coming days I would navigate parking lots, wait in restaurant lines, take dogs for walks; pushing back tears, fighting to stay upright, and in general always being seconds from a total, blubbering, room-clearing freak out.

I wanted to wear a sign that said: I JUST LOST MY DAD. PLEASE GO EASY.

Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the girl next to them in the produce section.

And while I didn’t want to physically wear my actual circumstances on my chest, it probably would have caused people around me to give me space or speak softer or move more carefully—and it might have made the impossible, almost bearable.

Everyone around you; the people you share the grocery store line with, pass in traffic, sit next to at work, encounter on social media, and see across the kitchen table—they’re all experiencing the collateral damage of living. They are all grieving someone, missing someone, worried about someone. Their marriages are crumbling or their bond payment is late or they’re waiting on their child’s test results, or they’re getting bananas five years after a death and still pushing back tears because the loss feels as real as it did that first day.

Every single human being you pass by today is fighting to find peace and to push back fear; to get through their daily tasks without breaking down in front of the bananas or in the line or at the post office.

Maybe they aren’t mourning the sudden, tragic passing of a parent, but wounded, exhausted, pain-ravaged people are everywhere, everyday stumbling all around us—and yet most of the time we’re fairly oblivious to them:

  • Parents whose children are terminally ill.
  • Couples in the middle of divorce.
  • People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.
  • Kids being bullied at school.
  • Teenagers who want to end their lives.
  • People marking the anniversary of a death.
  • Parents worried about their depressed teenager.
  • Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
  • Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
  • Single parents with little help and little sleep.

Everyone is grieving and worried and fearful, and yet none of them wear the signs, none of them have labels, and none of them come with written warnings reading, I’M STRUGGLING. BE NICE TO ME.

And since they don’t, it’s up to you and me to look more closely and more deeply at everyone around us: at work or at the gas station or in the produce section, and to never assume they aren’t all just hanging by a thread. Because most people are hanging by a thread—and our simple kindness can be that thread.

We need to remind ourselves just how hard the hidden stories around us might be, and to approach each person as a delicate, breakable, invaluable treasure—and to handle them with care.

As you make your way through the world today and into the new year, people won’t be wearing signs to announce their mourning or to alert you to the attrition or to broadcast how terrified they are—but if you look with the right eyes, you’ll see the signs.

There are grieving people all around you.

Go easy.

Written by John Pavlovitz

You Are Never To Old

Age shouldn’t be a barrier to doing the things you love

Something really incredible happened in the world of professional surfing in Feb 2022. Eleven time world champion Kelly Slater won the Pipeline Pro on the North Shore in Hawaii. This may not sound remarkable to most people, especially if you don’t know anything about pro surfing.

What does make it remarkable however, is the fact that Kelly Slater is 50 years old.

This is the 8th time he’s won this event. He first won this event 30 years ago in 1992, the same year that he won his first world title at the tender age of 20.  The guy he beat in the final,  Seth Moniz, is 23 years old. When Seth was born, Kelly had already won 5 world titles ( he would go on to win 11 and he’s still not done..)

What makes it even more incredible is the fact that Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world, having claimed the lives of 11 surfers over the years. It’s an extremely heavy wave breaking over a very shallow, jagged reef.

And the waves were massive throughout the contest window.

The point of this story is that here is this 50 year old guy, beating the best surfers in the world who are less than half his age, in waves that can kill you.

Obviously he is a freak and the greatest surfer of all time, but it just shows you that age shouldn’t be a barrier to doing the things you love. If you stay fit, healthy and strong, you can keep doing the things you love for as long as you want. You don’t have to give up on the things you love doing just because you think you’re too old.

You’re only as old as the way you live your life. So get out there and do what you love. You’ve only got one life. Make the most of it.

(Pictured: Kelly charging a huge Pipeline pit en route to his historic win and his emotional response to the victory)

Written by Michael Hansen from Hansen Strong

Image copy write: Getty Images & World Surfing League