Friendship – An offspring of Spiritual affinity.

friendship

I was doing some thinking today about Friendship and what all it means and implies, it’s obligations and so on. The most important thing to remember is… Always appreciate the friends that you have. A fight may come and go very easily, but a friendship could last forever.  For every second spent in anger, a minute of happiness is wasted. Most people walk in and out of your life. But only true friends leave footprints in your heart.

When we look back on our younger years, we will remember the people who went to school with us, the people who made us laugh, the people who hung out with us when nobody else would, and the  people who made our lives much better simply by being a part of it. Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. The language of friendship is not in words but in their meanings.

Read more >>>Friendship – An offspring of Spiritual affinity..

To forgive takes strength to set aside what is often justifiable anger.

To forgive really is divine. It takes strength to set aside what is often justifiable anger. It’s much easier to hold a grudge. Yet when we make the choice and allow ourselves to put aside that anger and to forgive those who have harmed us, we actually do ourselves a great service. Making the conscious decision to let go of pain is the beginning of healing. But doing so is challenging because it is easy to become attached to seeing oneself as a victim and to hold onto resentment, even when the person who has harmed us is genuinely sorry. Forgiving someone is both one of the most difficult and one of the most spiritually rewarding choices we can make. Read more>>>>To forgive takes strength to set aside what is often justifiable anger..

A Divine Opportunity!

What is love? There are many schools of thought and I must say, being based in perception, ‘love' is highly misunderstood.

What is love? There are many schools of thought and I must say, being based in perception, ‘love’ is highly misunderstood.

Love is an experience. It’s an energy utilized for the highest good. It has nothing to do with a person, place or thing; it’s a feeling, a gift of light, and when we allow it to consume us, it raises our vibration and enhance our lives. On the other hand, if we permit our observations and judgments to overshadow the love we feel for someone else, or ourselves for that matter, we’re no longer fully experiencing love.

Allowing love is challenging. Love is not. Love shows up and inspires us and often times, as soon as something happens we deem unacceptable or less than favourable, we stop dead in our tracks and dismiss the person, place or thing. However, for the courageous, love is something they cling too because they’ve felt the fire and caught a glimpse of the possibilities.

Unfortunately, many people believe love is difficult and jump from person to person and circumstance to circumstance because it’s easier to start anew rather than explore the depths of their being. You see, that is what love does. It opens the heart and doors to our core. It causes us to face the shadows in order to embrace the light; yet, so many people are afraid to really look at the dark and will write it off as being the wrong person, place or thing.

I’m here to tell you, there is no such thing as right or wrong; we are simply introduced to experiences that offer beautifully complex opportunities to embrace ourselves in our entirety.

Society tells us there is someone for everyone; that each one of us has a soul mate and so on. What if this was someone’s way of justifying their own pursuit of love? What if anyone is that person, we’re just consumers of the belief that there is only one and choose to pursue that perfect person; yet, when perfection is NEVER found, we adopt the philosophy we’re destined to ‘do’ life alone and settle until we can’t take ‘it’ any longer or that person does show up.

It’s no wonder so many people walk around feeling lost and confused. The perfection, as we define it, doesn’t lie in a person, place or thing, it lies in the opportunity to allow love to surround and support us; to break us down and reveal the things we’ve been avoiding and embrace them as a part of us with someone else watching and showering us with the trust, patience and compassion.

The biggest problem I see is when one or both people are sold on the concept of finding the right one and feeling discouraged when breakdowns occur.

Breakdowns are opportunities to shift, grow, nurture and persevere! It’s what inspires all forms of art, and the reason I’m writing this article. I’m committed to and believe in the power of love. Is it beautiful and perfect? That depends on your definition and whether or not you’re willing to expand your thinking to embrace the beauty of the shadow and see the perfection in the imperfections.

Love is God’s gift to each of us. It’s a Divine flash light, of sorts, to explore the depths of our individual Universe’s. To reject or resist love is to reject or resist the Divine. To turn away from the light is to buy into one more context: stay away from the light … sound familiar? Oddly enough, we’re actually pursuing the light in our soul, so why on earth do we shy away from the light of another?

We are light beings, and allowing the light of another to fuel our fire is God’s greatest gift to be all that we can be. Our shadows are weaknesses that are complimented by the love and strength of another, not something to run from or hide. Allowing another to see this side of us and be the strength we deserve is the greatest sign of gratitude we can give to our self, the other person and most importantly the One ~ the Divine!

 

Tammy Davis – About the Author: Writer, Alchemist
Follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/tammydavis8 or http://www.twitter.com/tldavis508

The Power of Empathy

Re-post of origional article…

empathyEmpathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B. Titchener as an attempt to translate the German word “Einfühlungsvermögen”, a new phenomenon explored at the end of 19th century mainly by Theodor Lipps. It was later re-translated (Germanized) into the German language into “Empathie” and still in use there.

Empathy is one of the most important aspects of creating harmonious relationships, reducing stress, and enhancing emotional awareness — yet it can be tricky at times. I consider myself to be quite empathic, but I notice that with certain people (especially those I don’t like or agree with, and also with myself at times) and in particular situations, my natural ability and desire to empathize can be diminished or almost nonexistent.

I also notice that when I feel empathy for others and for myself, I feel a sense of peace, connection, and perspective that I like. And when there is an absence of empathy in a particular relationship or situation, or how I’m relating to myself, I often experience stress, disconnection, and negativity. Can you relate?

What Is Empathy?

Empathy is not sympathy. When we’re sympathetic, we often pity someone else but maintain our distance (physically, mentally, and emotionally) from their feelings or experience. Empathy is more a sense that we can truly understand, relate to, or imagine the depth of another person’s emotional state or situation. It implies feeling with a person rather than feeling sorry for a person. And in some cases that “person” is actually us.

Empathy is a translation of the German term Einfühlung, meaning “to feel as one with.” It implies sharing the load, or “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes,” in order to understand that person’s perspective.

What Stops Us From Empathizing?

There are a number of things that get in the way of us utilizing and experiencing the power of empathy. Three of the main ones, which are all interrelated, are as follows:

  • Feeling Threatened: When we feel threatened by another person or a particular situation, it’s often hard to empathize. This makes perfect sense from a survival standpoint (i.e., if someone is trying to hurt us, we want to protect ourselves rather than have compassion and understanding about where they’re coming from). However, we often feel “threatened” based on our own fears, projections, and past experiences, not by what is actually happening in the moment or in a particular relationship or situation. Whether the threat is “real” or “imagined,” when we feel threatened in any way, it often shuts down our ability to experience empathy.
  • Being Judgmental: Judgments are a part of life, we all must make lots of judgments and decisions on a daily basis (what to wear, what to eat, where to sit, what to watch/listen to/read, what to say, and on and on). Making value judgments (the relative placement of our discernment) is essential to living a healthy life. However, being judgmental is a totally different game. When we’re judgmental, we decide that we’re “right” and someone else is “wrong.” Doing this hurts us and others, cuts us off from those around us, and doesn’t allow us to see alternative options and possibilities. We live in a culture that is obsessed with and passionate about being judgmental. And many of us, myself included, are highly trained in this destructive and damaging “art.” When we’re being judgmental about another person, group of people, or situation, we significantly diminish our capacity to be empathic.
  • Experiencing Fear: The root of all this is our fear. Feeling threatened is all about fear. Being judgmental is all about fear. And, not feeling, experiencing, or expressing empathy is also all about fear. There’s nothing inherently wrong with fear; it’s a natural human emotion that has many positive aspects to it if we’re willing to admit it, own it, express it, and move through it. Fear saves our lives and keeps us out of trouble all the time. However, the issue with fear is our denial of it, our secret obsession with it, and our lack of responsibility about it. We deem things, people, or situations to be “scary,” when in truth there is nothing in life that is inherently “scary.” There are lots of things, people, and situations that cause fear in us; however, we make it about “them” instead of owning that the fear comes from within us. When we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, which often leads to us defending ourselves against “threats,” being judgmental, and more, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to access the power of empathy.

Where in your life and relationships can you see that feeling threatened, being judgmental, and experiencing fear stop you from being empathic? The more willing you are to look at this, acknowledge it, own it, and take responsibility for it (with compassion for yourself), the more able you’ll be to expand your capacity for empathy.

How to Become More Empathic

There are many things we can do and practice to increase our ability to feel, experience, and express empathy for others, situations, and ourselves. Becoming more empathetic is one of the best ways we can enhance our relationships, reduce our stress level, and feel good about ourselves and our lives in an authentic way.

Here are a few things you can do and think about to become more empathic:

  • Be Real About How You Feel: When we’re willing to get real about how we truly feel and have the courage to be vulnerable about it with ourselves and others, we can so often liberate ourselves from the negativity, projections, and judgments that mask what’s really going on. When we’re in a conflict with another person or dealing with someone or something that’s challenging for us, being able to admit, own, and express our fear, insecurity, sadness, anger, jealousy, or whatever other “negative” emotions we are experiencing is one of the best ways for us to move past our defensiveness and authentically address the deeper issues of the situation. Doing this allows us to access empathy for ourselves, the other person or people involved, and even the circumstances of the conflict or challenge itself.
  • Imagine What It’s Like For Them: While it can sometimes be difficult for us to “understand” another person’s perspective or situation (because we may not agree with them, haven’t been through what they’ve been through, or don’t really want to see it through their eyes), being able to imagine what it must be like for them is an essential aspect of empathy. This is not about condoning inappropriate behavior or justifying other people’s actions; however, I do believe deep in my heart that no one does or says things that are hurtful to us if they aren’t already feeling a real sense of pain themselves and/or haven’t been hurt in many ways in their own life. Whatever the situation, the more willing we are to imagine what it’s like for them, the more compassion, understanding, and empathy we’ll be able to experience.
  • Forgive Yourself and Others: Forgiveness is one of the most important things we can do in life to heal ourselves, let go of negativity, and live a life of peace and fulfillment. Forgiveness has to first start with us. I believe that all judgment is self-judgment. When we forgive ourselves, we create the conditions and perspective to forgive others. Forgiveness is one of the many important aspects of life that is often easier said than done. It is something we need to learn about and practice all the time. Sadly, we aren’t often taught how to forgive, encouraged to do it in genuine way, and didn’t, in most cases, grow up with very good models or examples of how to forgive. One of the best books you can read on this subject is called Forgive For Good, written by my friend and mentor Dr. Fred Luskin, one of the world’s leading experts and teachers about the power of forgiveness. This book gives you practical and tangible techniques you can use to forgive anyone and anything. The more willing we are to forgive ourselves and others (and continue to practice this in an on-going way), the more able we’ll be to empathize authentically.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken (Wiley). More info: www.Mike-Robbins.com

Why do people label other people ? (via A World of Inspiration and a little extra!)

Why do people label other people ? Why do people label other people especially if they don’t know them to begin with ? Well first off everyone knows the saying  ” It doesn’t matter what a person looks like on the outside  its what’s on the inside that counts” everyone should know and understand this by the age of 9 years Most of all its because they are ignorant. They wont open their mind to anything that is different’. They just don’t understand that EVERYONE “IS” DIFFERENT  Its … Read More

via A World of Inspiration and a little extra!

Is Your Soul Broken?

A broken soul is related to how you feel about yourself, your truest, deepest  and most honest beliefs; your philosophy about life; your original ideas and  sincerest thoughts, feelings, emotions and sense of what is right and wrong.  Your soul is who you are when no one is looking; where no one else can see. Your  outside persona includes your physical body, spoken and written words, habits,  actions and behaviors.

How can a person break their soul?

broken-heartEvery time you lie to yourself, go against your own sense of fairness,  compassion and integrity; fail to follow your dreams and utilize your gifts and  talents, hurt someone you love consciously or unconsciously you detach the  spiritual bond between your body and your soul. When you believe in one thing  and you act and behave in an opposite manner, you become an empty vessel, a  shell, a person without substance. Your physical body is alive, but it is hollow  and vacant because it lacks integrity and meaning. Many of today’s young  celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Nicole Richie  and even the late Anna Nicole Smith may have broken souls. These young, wealthy,  physically beautiful women have the outside appearance of prosperity, but their  actions and behaviors do not exemplify inner peace.

We live in a culture that tells us that when ever something is ailing us; we  can fix it with a psychotropic drug, weight  loss or cosmetic surgery. The  other portion of society tells us that we need to join organized religious  communities. None of these suggestions are wrong depending on the individual’s  personality and emotional needs; but it is essential and crucial that each  person learn to take an honest look within them selves to determine if they are  doing everything within their own power to their best of their ability to  promote health, wealth, peace, love and happiness in their own lives.

The only way that you can re-attach your soul to your body is by aligning  your thoughts, words and actions into one being.

Is a broken soul similar to a broken heart?

A broken heart can cause a broken soul when you continue to repeat the  patterns that caused your heart to break. For example, continuing to pick the  same type of guy without looking within yourself to analyze why you are  attracted to certain types of men. However, a broken soul does not typically  lead to broken heart because it is impossible to deeply care about others when  you don’t truly know, love or care about yourself.

Examples of Broken Souls

Scenario A: Fidelity

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings
You believe in fidelity. You want to be in a relationship with a  person whom you can trust.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.
You make a vow to be  faithful. You tell your mate that you are faithful.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You cheat on your mate.

Scenario B: Education

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings

You believe that education is important. You have always wanted to practice  law.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone that you are going back to school to earn your degree.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You watch television and hang  out with friends in the evenings. You picked up an application once, but never  filled it out.

Scenario C: Following your Dreams

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings
You feel happiest when you are singing, dancing or involved in any  type of performance. You love music with every cell of your heart, mind and  body. People tell you that you are talented and gifted as a singer.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.
To impress your  parents, teachers and naysayers, you tell everyone that you are going to college  to be a doctor.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You are enrolled in a pre-med  program. You try to ignore the pain in your stomach, your headaches and the deep  misery that you feel inside. You rationalize your unhappiness by telling  yourself that doctors make good money and  your family will be so proud of you.

Scenario D: Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings

You love to write.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one about the book you are going to write some day.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You never write because you  are tired when you get home from work and exhausted from the daily demands of  taking care of your family.

Scenario E: Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings

You want to lose weight to improve your health.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one that you are on a diet.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You don’t exercise. You make  unhealthy food choices.

Scenario F: Having Faith

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions /  feelings
In your heart and spirit, you believe in God, a Superior Being or a  Higher Power bigger than yourself. You feel that your deepest dreams, desires,  wants and needs will manifest in your life.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.
You tell everyone  about your amazing faith, trust and belief in God or a Higher Power. You tell  other people to have faith and believe.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do
You cry yourself to sleep each  night because you are worried about your bills being paid and how you are going  to provide for your family. You haven’t looked for a new job, or started your  own business because people say, “the economy is bad.”

If you do an honest assessment of what is really bothering you and all of the  things that you can start doing at this very moment to change your life, you  will begin to heal your soul. Guaranteed.

10 Signs of a Broken Soul

1. You have a drinking or substance abuse problem.

2. You have been depressed for more than 6 weeks

3. You feel no enjoyment for life.

4. You are in a sexually, physically or psychologically abusive  relationship.

5. You are actively involved in criminal or illegal activity.

6. You have reoccurring suicidal thoughts

7. You have an eating disorder

8. You are abusing someone else physically, psychologically or sexually.

9. You are not doing anything productive with your time.

10. You constantly complain about hating yourself or your life.

Techniques to heal a Broken Soul

1. Validate yourself. Start exactly where you are. Call your self beautiful.  Start your business. Do not seek external validation from any one.

2. Go on a journey of self-exploration. What is your favorite color, food,  song, movie, day of the week, holiday. Everything that you love is a clue to the  mystery of who you are. The things that you love are internal pieces that create  the external picture of who you are.

3. Forgive everything and everybody. No exceptions.

4. Practice random acts of kindness. Put a dime in an expired parking meter.  Pay for someone’s breakfast, dinner or lunch without revealing yourself. Put  toilet paper in a public restroom for the next person. Shovel someone’s snow or  rake their leaves without them knowing who did it. Leave a tip on some else’s  table. Find unique ways to put a smile on other people’s faces. Their smiles  will make you smile.

5. Ask for forgiveness–it doesn’t matter if they accept your apology. This  gives them the opportunity to heal when they are ready.
Forgive yourself for  past mistakes.

6. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself. Read the self-forgiveness  letter to yourself each night until you are able to let go. You can’t forgive  yourself until you are emotionally ready to forgive yourself.

7. Give yourself 6 months to make one change. Don’t try to change too many  things about yourself at one time; this is overwhelming. If you try to stop smoking, don’t include losing 50 lbs, and find  a cure for cancer. Take it slow and steady.

8. Watch Shawshank Redemption, the Pursuit of Happyness or any other movie  that gives you hope.

9. Find one thing that you absolutely love about yourself and think about it  once a day, all day long.

Author: Cassandra George Sturges MA, MA, Psy.D

Cassandra George Sturges MA, MA, Psy.D is a mother of two teenagers, a  full-time psychology instructor, advice columnists for Today’s Black Woman  Magazine, Seminar facilitator, author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper” ISBN:  0595171435. Dr. Sturges is the author and publisher of Authentik Beauty  Magazine. A 1 year subscription to Authentik Beauty Magazine is only $49.99 for  6 issues; mail request to: Authentik Beauty Magazine, P.O. Box 980679,  Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Caution: Articles and clip art are sensuously and  beautifully designed for a mature audience only. We accept cash, checks &  all major credit cards. Http://authentikbeauty.blogspot.com