Category Archives: Meditation for depression and anxiety

How We Find Happiness in Life

Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.

Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.

Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.

Happiness is life’s most desired goal. But we can never achieve it while we continue to look outside of ourselves, as it is an inside job.

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.

Throughout our evolutionary journey we have tried every strategy imaginable and searched almost everywhere in our quest for true happiness. We have had some great experiences and learnt a lot along the way, but we have never found what we are searching for. Eventually, we grow tired of searching and turn our attention to the one place we haven’t looked so far; inside ourselves. True happiness is not something that can be sought and acquired; it is our soul’s natural state of being, and we can only connect with by going within.

Anything we do, it is simply our inner quality that we are going to spread.  We cannot do anything of tremendous value for our planet until anything of accurate value occurs within us. Thus, if we want to be connected to the world, the first thing we must do is to transform ourselves right into a happy beings.

It doesn’t matter what we do in our life, whether it is business, studying or giving assistance to someone or some cause , we’re doing it because deep down, it gives us satisfaction. Each activity that every individual executes on this globe rises from a desire. We were not unhappy when we were a child, as joy and happiness is a source which resides within each one of us. So all we have to do, is to go for it and take charge of that joy which is residing in us.

Everything in universe is in order. The sun comes wonderfully well up in the sky.  The flowers flourish beautifully, no stars falls along, and the galaxies are functioning perfectly. Today, the whole cosmos is occurring divinely well, but just a negative thought worming up on our brain enables us to believe that today is a poor day.

Suffering occurs basically when most human beings shed perception in regards of what this life is all about. Our emotional process become far larger than the existential procedure, or our petty creation become far more critical compared to GOD’s Creations, to place it bluntly. This is the way to obtain all suffering. We miss the complete sense of what this means to be alive here. An emotion within us or a thought within our mind establishes the nature of the experience right now. And our thought may have nothing to accomplish even with the restricted reality of our lifestyle. The entire creation is happening beautifully well but just one considered emotion can ruin everything.

Anything we consider as “our mind” isn’t ours basically. It is merely society’s empty talk. Everyone and anyone whom we encounter on a daily base put some idea or information in our head and we truly have no choice about whose idea we accept or don’t accept. These information are advantageous once we learn HOW TO process them and use them. This accumulation of opinions and information that we collect is simply useful for our survival on the planet. It is not something which is related to who we are.

First thing we need to do in the morning when we get up, is to smile. At whom? No one. Since just the fact that we have woke up is not a small matter. A lot of thousands of people who slept yesterday evening didn’t wake up today. Isn’t it great that we woke up? So look as you wake up, look around you, if there is someone, and then smile at them. Because this morning, for numerous people, someone precious to them didn’t get up. Then venture out, take a deep breath and look at the bushes. They didn’t die yesterday either.

You may think this is really funny, but you won’t know its reality until someone dear to you doesn’t wakeup. So don’t wait until you understand the value of it. Appreciate what you have, be happy that you are alive and everyone who matters to you is still around.

Of course, people who do not have food or the basic needs for living can feel physically miserable and their needs must be addressed. Our duty as a human being is to help and take care of such people when we encounter them. But most people are unhappy not as a result of what they don’t have. It is because they compare their life to others. You are driving on a motorbike, you see somebody in a Mercedes and you become unhappy. But for someone who is driving a bicycle, your motorbike seems like a limousine.

Life is about learning and appreciating what GOD has created for us on this plant. It is not about twisting and distorting it. When we rely on the external situation to make us joyful and content, we could never feel true happiness. The quality of our life doesn’t depend on what car we drive, how much money we have in a bank account, or how big our house is, but how content and happy we feel inside.

Although each one of us is unique, and what works for one may not for other, but there are simply areas that tend to make a big difference to people’s happiness in life; and crucially they are all areas that are within our control:

1-         Care for others genuinely: Caring genuinely for others around us is essential to our happiness. Being caring means  wishing the best for others, and acknowledging in them the same wants, needs, aspirations, and even fears that we have too. It means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping our community without asking for a reward. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us.

2-         Connect with people: Happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know”. This means that by surrounding ourselves with happier people we become happier, we make the people close to us happier, and make the people close to them happier. People with strong and vast social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationship with family and friends brings love, compassion, meaning and belonging into our lives and grow our sense of self-worth. “To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground” ~ Stephen Covey

3-         Notice the world around you: Taking Notice is about observing those things that we find beautiful and being mindful of them in our daily life. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment, to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us; can improve our wellbeing. Becoming more aware of the present moment not only help us to enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better, but also recognize anew things that we have been taking for granted.

4-         Have something to look forward to: Happiness in anticipation is the key here. By having something to look forward to, no matter how our situations, bring happiness into our life, well before the circumstance happen. If your life is series of undesirable duties, commitments, and unpleasant tasks, take some time to find out something that YOU would find enjoyable. And make time to do it.  “Happiness is the anticipation and the realization of the fulfilment of a dream”.

5-         Avoid false beliefs and expectations:  Our authentic happiness is blocked by our false belief that life should be how we want it to be. The expectation that accompanies this false belief sets us up for disappointment, frustration, anger and unhappiness”. Our expectations create our reality and they change our lives emotionally and physically. Unreasonable expectations can make life extremely hard and unhappy. These expectations are actually designed by our ego, as nothing give our ego a stronger sense of self-identity as an experience that supports our sad life-story. “In other words, we unconsciously create expectations so we can feel sad and disappointed when they are not met. Our ego is addicted to sadness and painful emotions”. Master to drop all expectations and open your heart, begin to love yourself, and move beyond your ego. Embrace freedom from your ego.

6-         Be comfortable with who you are: Finding ourselves, our authenticity will help us to feel our beauty. When we endeavour to be who we are, to be true to ourselves, and accept ourselves with all our flaws and imperfections, we will automatically feel attractive and unique. Beauty is never dependent upon the approval of others. Quite the contrary, beauty is very much self-defined and self-created. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh.  By accepting ourselves and becoming kinder to ourselves we will be able to see our shortcomings as opportunities to learn and grow.

7-         Find a purpose in life:  We all have intact potential, perhaps even areas of intelligence, to become something entirely different, or somehow more than what we appear to be right now. People who find meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They become less stressed, anxious, or depressed. But how do we find meaning and purpose in life? We’re all wired differently. Some of us feel more connected to nature, others find meaning by employing in nurturing. The key is to know what works for us. Learning to live our purpose is essentially a spiritual exercise, and an inside job.  Search how and what give you that sense of fulfilment and deep connection; and then peruse it in all that you do.

8-         Train yourself to be more positive: There is the positive aspect in everything, in every person, in every situation. Sometimes it’s not obvious and we have to look hard. Even when we are faced with a difficult situation we can think to ourselves “What is good about this?” No matter how unpleasant the circumstance might look, we always can find something good if we take the time to think about it. Everything, good or bad is a learning experience. And there is always lesson to be gained from every bad experience. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there” ~ Paulo Coelho

9-         Live Mindfully: “Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference” ~ Virginia Satir. Life is full of challenges. The way we manage them, can make a difference between whether we let them to control our lives, or we find a way to embrace every challenge as it arises. By practicing mindfulness we can find a more empowering way to react to the challenges life brings us. It also helps us to train our mind, manage our thoughts and feelings, and reduce stress and depression.

10-       Take care of your body: “Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha. There is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioural factors can directly affect our health. Being active makes us happier as well as healthier. By spending time outdoors, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep, we can improve our wellbeing. A serene mind really is nothing without a healthy body to carry it, so show your body the same compassion that you show everyone, by taking care of it.

It is positively time now that we look inside of ourselves and see HOW TO produce personal wellbeing. From our own experience of life we can clearly observe that wellbeing will come to us when we change our perception on life. We need to realize, if we are determined to create our happiness and wellbeing by the outside factors it will never happens. As nothing will be %100 the way we want them to be. When we accept this fact, then we will be able to work on ourselves as an individual to become the person we want to be. And happiness will be our only choice which has been our authentic nature by creation in the first place. “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

 


Tips On How To Beat Depression

Tips on how to beat depression. Depression is a prolonged feeling of sadness, moodiness and hopelessness. It affects your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviours, and your overall physical health. It makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.

 “Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” ~Dorothy Rowe

When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow. However, even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if your depression is keeping you from living the life you want to, don’t hesitate to seek help. Your condition may require medical attention; seek out your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

While beating depression is not an easy task, but it’s far from impossible. Although you can’t force yourself to stop feeling sad and upset, but along with seeking help to treat your condition, there are also number of tips on how to beat depression that may help you in overcoming and managing your condition. Developing self-help strategies to manage your depression in day to day life can make a huge difference to how well you are able to cope with your symptoms. “Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come”.

  • Improve your support network. When you are depressed, you tend to withdraw from others, but staying connected with outside world is essential to depression recovery. Look for support from people who can listen to you compassionately, without judgement, and make you feel safe and cared for. Try to hold on to social activities even if you don’t feel like it, as being around other people will make you feel less depressed. Find a way to help others. Do something nice for someone else. Research shew that providing support to others improves our moods. Although noting can substitute the human connection, but caring for a pet can also shift your attention and your mind from sticking on depressing thoughts. And it will give you a sense of being needed which is a solution to depression.
  • Boost your mood by regular exercise. When you are depressed, getting out of bed seems a daunting task, let alone being motivated to do some exercise. But study found that working out can relieve depression; as exercise enhances the action of endorphins, chemicals that circulate throughout the body, which can serve to improve your mood and alleviate depression. Find regular and continuous exercises like walking, swimming, dancing or weight lifting. In the beginning when you are depressed and exhausted, it can be difficult to start exercising, but once you keep up doing it, your energy level will rise and you will feel less tired. Practicing mindfulness can also improve depression symptoms, if your depression is caused by unsolved emotional trauma or negative thoughts.
  • Make a gratitude list. Always concentrate on the little joys that happen in your life throughout a day, and allow those moments of delight carry you over the ones with sadness and hopelessness. Take up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Show your feelings creatively through music, art, or writing. Take a daily trip to a park or a museum. Go out to dinner with a friend. And record these moments of your “joys” in a gratitude journal. This exercise forces you to open your eyes and have more appreciation for what is right in front of you.
  • Choose to be happy and laugh. Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it”. I assume that is why some of the funniest people out there have journeyed through periods of torment. I believe by laughing we can send a message to our brain, saying that we can get through this. Studies indicate that human beings can heal from a host of different illnesses to a limited extent if they redirect their attention to the positive and learn how to laugh, as laughter boosts health-protecting hormones and chemicals. It’s been known for years that our thoughts can alter blood flow to the brain, but only recently have scientists discovered that how you think can also alter neurotransmitter levels.
  • Learn to meditate. Although I am not a mental health professional, but I believe that meditation can be very helpful for depression; whether it is caused by external events, or by chemical imbalances in the brain. We all tend to bring to the forefront of our minds the thoughts and feelings that reflect our current mood. If you are sad, depressed or anxious, then you tend to remember the bad things that have happened to you and not the good. This drives you into a downward spiral that leads from sadness into a deeper depression. By educating ourselves to practice mindfulness meditation we can overcome suffering and recognizing natural wisdom; both our own and others.
  • Develop a healthy sleep routine. Sleep has a huge effect on our physical and emotional health. It’s not just quantity of sleep that matters; it’s quality. Here are some tips which help improve your sleep and leave you feeling mentally sharp and emotionally balanced: Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day; avoid sleeping in, even on weekends; exercise regularly, as it improves the symptoms of insomnia, and increases the restorative stages of sleep; avoid big meals at nights and limit drinking caffeine; keep away from alcohol before bed; and practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing or gentle stretching in the evening which can reduce your stress and boost your mood.
  • Pray. Faith and spirituality possess the ability to have a positive impact on mood and mental health. Faith creates optimism, enhances interpersonal relationships, generates support systems, and improves quality of life.  According to new study and research, belief in GOD and having faith in a higher being has significant effect in treating people suffering from depression. Prayer is a form of meditation and can shift one’s focus onto higher levels of thought, quieting the mind, training the mind to be positive, and deepening a sense of calm and inner peace.

Life is too beautiful a gift to waste and if one will spend the majority of his or her life just moping around about every single little thing then what kind of life would that be? Depression may not kill one’s body but it’ll certainly kills one’s spirit if you’ll let it. Don’t be a victim. “Life is short, enjoy it, live it, love it. Share the wisdom but most of all learn to laugh and always smile. It is the best legacy anyone will ever leave behind” ~ Jasmina Siderovski


Finding Inner Peace

Finding inner peace is the path of letting go, even though, the path could be as hard or simple as a person makes the journey of self acceptance.

 “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe” ~ Marcus Aurelius

There are always many ups and downs in every one’s life. Sometimes we get stuck in a world of confusion, wondering how we find a constant inner peace in our hearts and lives, when there is always something wrong in our lives or the lives of those we love.

What happens when we start to feel down or stressed?

First of all some kind of negative thought comes into our mind that gets us discouraged and anxious. The next thing that happens, is that we start believing in that thought. And feeding it with more arguments, which in turn gets us into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing we know, we find ourselves, there in that deep mud hole. We look around and all is doom and gloom.

What can we do so that this does not even happen?

  • Accept what is: Life is unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes; and of course, a lot of things can happen that will transform who we are and have an impact on our life. The problem is that we need to be prepared to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it. This is what I have noticed with so many people, in that we focus and linger on things which we have no control over. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking? Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. By practicing acceptance we learn to live in this changing world, where we never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is like protecting ourselves with our own shields.” You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Meditate: Meditation makes us mentally strong, and emotionally resilient. It reduces the tendency to react, increases the tendency to respond and is an effective way to de-stress our minds. If you are not meditating yet then, you are missing out on a very important activity that can change your  When you have a lot on your mind and you feel like your thoughts are driving you crazy, meditation can help you find peace, calmness and more self acceptance. Meditation helps turning one’s life into a more beautiful, harmonious and happy one. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony, then everything seems right with the world.Through concentration and meditation you become the boss of your mind, and gain the ability to tell it when to be active and when to stay silent” ~ Remez Sasson
  • Spend time in nature: Nature calls you back to reality. We can’t stop it from raining. We can’t delay the setting sun. We can’t set the temperature to a comfortable degree. When we are climbing a mountain, our muscles are going to burn. But with this surrender comes such relief! We awake from a dream and realize how little control we really have. We remember that hardship and lack of control are part of life, and accepting this reality makes it not only bearable, but possible to feel the joy of being alive. By being in nature we feel comfortable in our own skin, we experience our own quiet peace and strength, we sense the inner us that is the true us. The mask we present to the outer world is irrelevant for a time, and put in its proper place. Nature helps us to connect with this powerful, loving presence, whether we call it GOD, Earth Mother, the Great Mystery or any another name. Nature brings us closer to GOD, our own spirit and helps us to live lives of meaning and joy. “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ~ Anne Frank
  • Learn the power of a smile: A smile is a powerful key to living happy from the inside out. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. Smiles are powerful and contagious. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Never stop smiling! God smiles on us each and every day. His love has no depth, his mercy no end. His arms are open wide, just step into them. “Smile and the world will smile with you.” 
  • Choose to help others: Care for others genuinely around you. What you put out, you really get back in life. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us. When we make a positive impact in someone else’s life, we also make a positive impact in our own lives. Any act of kindness and goodwill eases our way towards inner peace. When we start helping others, we stop thinking about our so-called problems and then we realize that our life is not so bad after all. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dicken
  • Never lose hope: Never give up. Never lose hope. Always have faith, it allows you to cope better during the trying times. Having hope is a personal decision, a bold conviction—a choice, and with hope we always have a path towards peace. Having hope is an active, decisive mindset etched into every single moment. No matter the haze and fog that clouds our vision, hope’s laser cuts through, and never losing sight of her shimmering stars. Hope is something we can never afford to lose  Who we really are is based on values we choose to live by, such as believing in the possible, believing in the goodness of others, and believing in the power of love and hope. When we decide to passionately pursue our greatest purpose, then we become the hope in our lives and manifest her greatest dreams, because we refuse to consider any other possibility. As Henry James put it, “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
  • Embrace your beliefs: I am not here to favour any belief system over another, but whatever it is that you are believing in, hold it closely in your arms, accept it willingly and enthusiastically, as by being within your faith, peace will find its way into your heart. We all might have different opinion in regards to our belief systems, but one thing that we all have to acknowledge is that without a healthy and solid belief system, we won’t be able to find a fair conscience which could show us the way towards peace and wisdom. “Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. In the   end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.” ~ Dan Brown 
  • Live in the present moment: When we live fully in the present moment, our awareness becomes completely centred on the here and now. We won’t worry about the future or thinking about the past. How often have you been worrying about things that have yet to come, or how often have you been beating yourself for mistakes that you’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? Too much time, I believe. Not only living in present moment has a significant effect on our emotional health, but also it has a great impact on our physical wellbeing. By living in present moment we live in acceptance; we accept life the way it is, not the way we wish, it should have been. And when we live in acceptance, we realize that everything is complete as it is. We can forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, and we can have peace in our hearts knowing that everything that should happen will. “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”

Finding inner peace is not a simple or short path, but it is a process that we can all learn. It is a journey which needs to be appreciated every step of the way. We have to be willing to let go and step outside the box that we have accepted ourselves to be put into, in the first place and start from scratch. We have to be ready getting to know ourselves all over again and be willing to make mistakes. And most importantly, we have to realize that only we have control over our emotional responses and reactions and they can be changed for the better. And finally when serenity and unconditional love fill our hearts, we will accept that we cannot go back, and will not give up what we have now found, that peace that we seem to have been searching for our whole lives. “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” ~ Rumi

 

 


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” ~ Buddha

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


Living A Simple Life

Living a simple life – With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we can often find ourselves yearning for a quieter, simpler way of living.  If your life has come to resemble an endless race to the finish line, take a look at the suggestions below to bring a greater sense of calm, simplicity and peace back into your life.

1) Less is more.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” we can accumulate in our homes because we think they’ll contribute to our lives.  It’s true that we gain enjoyment from material possessions, but the more we accumulate the more burdened we often feel.  Eventually we find ourselves living under a constant cloud of confusion, scattered thoughts and stress.

Begin immediately to clear out the material possessions you no longer need or want, and donate them to a local charitable organization.  This will accomplish two things:  first, you’ll feel lighter and less cramped in your home; and you’ll also feel good about giving these items to people who need them and can actually use them.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”   Steve Maraboli

2) Pare down your activities.  An active life is good for you, but not if it leaves you feeling stressed and fatigued!  Most of us take on much more than necessary as far as obligations and even recreational activities are concerned.

Take a few minutes to think about the things you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  Do you really need to do all of them?  Have you taken on responsibilities that really aren’t yours?  Are you spending time on activities you no longer enjoy?  Make a list of at least a few activities or obligations that you can eliminate, and then go ahead and do so – even if you have to pare them down gradually.

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life” John C. Maxwell

3) Spend time in silence. There are times when you are so used to doing everything in a hurry that you don’t notice how fast-paced your life has become. A deceptively simple way to live a life of simplicity and ease is to shut out the mental and physical “noise” of your busy life on a regular basis.  Sitting in silence for just a few minutes can drastically reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling calm, centred and happy.

If you live near a park or natural setting, you can even boost the effectiveness of this activity by spending time in nature.  While not completely silent, natural settings have soothing sounds like running water, singing birds and wind sighing through trees – which automatically trigger feelings of peace and well-being. Find fulfilment in the simple things in life by spending time with friends, or building something with your own hands. Intrinsic rewards will improve your motivation and overall satisfaction with your life

“In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present, you are getting in tune with existence” Osho

4) Identify your values. Think about the things that are important to you that influence the way you act and ultimately the person you are. These are values. They are a guiding force in decision making. Identifying your values can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.

To identify your values, think about the times in your life when you were the happiest, most proud, most fulfilled and satisfied. Make a list and determine what you valued about those situations. Perhaps you value the creativity, adventure, loyalty and hard work each of these situations provided. Maybe you realize that you value your family the most. These will be a driving force in everything you do. If you want to live a simple, peaceful life, then you might value serenity, resourcefulness, stability, and health.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  Albert Einstein

5) Align your activities with your values. Take part in activities which are in harmony with your values and desire to live a simple life. You are more happy and satisfied when your activities are in line with your values. Refuse offers to events that conflict with your intent to live peacefully. Make a decision to live a value-driven life. When you know, what your core values are, you have an incredibly powerful tool to access your ‘sacred gift.’  By naming a value, you can quickly step into what that value means to you; what it really feels like when it’s present in your life.  And, you can use these feelings as energetic pointers when making decisions, big and small; decisions you know will lead you to a meaningful and happy life. This is what living a value-driven life is all about.

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things”

6) Live in the present moment.  As humans we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or about the future. We think about what was and what could have been. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The key to solving this problem is simplifying your thoughts and staying focused on what you are doing at that moment. You have to realize that the present time is all there ever was and probably will be. By doing visualization exercises to imagine yourself in a simple, peaceful, stress-free environment, and Engaging in conversation or exercise you will be able to help quiet your mind and stay focused in the present moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”  Eckhart Tolle

7) Practice empathy and compassion to create peace. Each human being exists within the context of interrelationships that include other human beings, all living beings and the natural world. The ability to appreciate someone else’s struggle is an important skill to develop. You know how you would like to be treated, so use that as a guide when trying to treat others. As Lou Holtz says: “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”. Practicing empathy and kindness is the core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behaviour – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Lee, Harper

When it comes right down to it, living a simple and peaceful life is about learning how to slow down, connect more deeply with your inner self and live a conscious life.  Whether you do that by simplifying your surroundings, calming your schedule or enjoying a quiet respite each day, the result is the same – having a simple yet meaningful life and a happier and more peaceful you!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  Aristotle


The Need of Deep Friendship Between People

The need of deep friendship between people, is an urgent need, one that has always been with human beings, as far back as historians can reach in their accounts of human life on this planet.

More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher wrote: “What is friendship? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”

In Apocrypha: Ecclesiastes 6:16 we find: “A faithful friend is the medicine of life”. Better than medicine, really. Medicine is for those already ill; friendship is basically for the well to enjoy, a joy to keep them well throughout their lifetime.

Life without friendship is like cereal without milk; there can be no sense of completion. Real friendship is subtle, trusting interrelationship whose worth is too great to be measured.

In the word of America’s first President, George Washington, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Another great President, Thomas Jefferson, once compared friendship to wine. Yes like good wine, friendship can give you a lift. Like wine, it lasts. Inclement conditions do not destroy it.

And as Jefferson points out, it is “restorative”; it renews a person wrestling with life’s problems, refreshing him so that, given a good night’s sleep, he can call once again upon his resources to go toward the battle of life.

It is sad that many of us become disappointed in the results of friendship that instead of enriching us they leave us wounded, causing us to think less of others and more of ourselves. We seldom think that perhaps we have been at fault. It usually seems to be the other person.

Friendship is not what we take from others, but what we give to others, not so much in material gifts as the gifts of compassion, sincerity, and understanding. It is instilling courage in someone else. It is the transfer of some of our self-respect to others. It is sharing of our confidence in ourselves with others. It is the gift of what we are to others.

“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage.” ~ Doe Zantamata

We must remember others, meeting them more than half way, giving the best that we are. Only in this way will we be entitled to receive friendship in return.

We must constantly work at repairing our friendship for others. And we must constantly work at repairing our friendship for ourselves. Because to be friendly to others we must be friendly to ourselves. We must always be ready to repair the damage which our failures inflict upon our self-image. We must rise above these failures to maintain our self-respect, which is basic to our respect for others.

“Love yourself first in order to endlessly love others.” ~ Debasish Mridha

Only then our friendship have true value. Only then can it be humble, free of boasting. Only when we respect ourselves can we feel the gift of humility, to others and to ourselves.

If you know the art of friendship, you stay alive. You put a smile of contentment on your self-image. You look forward, not backward. Every day is a new day in which you focus on life. You concentrate on your assets for the new day, refusing to let fear of failure side-track you.

You have foresight. You are a part of human family; you become what you are in relation to others. You expand in your capacity for love in a vast communal sense which incorporate the acceptance of human fallibility. You understand that your neighbour can make errors that distort his perspective; he can mistakenly feel that you are his enemy, not his friend. You forgive.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ~ Steve Maraboli

The whole world is looking for friendship. Everyone seeks forgiveness as ardently as he seeks food and shelter. Yet often we are ashamed to forgive as we are ashamed to make mistake, as if it were a terrible weakness to make mistake or forgive. But this shame destroys us, damages us. It is unhealthy to be ashamed of error in yourself and stubborn not to forgive error in someone else.

The capacity to forgive should be as great as the capacity to survive because you cannot attain true stature in living unless you make as much as habit of forgiving as of eating.

To really get alone with people requires the compassion of forgiveness. To err is human loss; to forgive is human achievement. But, first you must forgive yourself so that you can accept yourself as a human being, as somebody with dignity.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Search for your creative power

Search for your creative power depends on how much energy you put into reading and what you read. Certain books on thinking can make you better able to understand your mind and through such understanding enable you to make more intelligent use of your creative power. Creative power is about having the ability and power to manifest a creative idea. In particular it is about the power to cause something to come into existence which did not previously exist. Creative power is about consciousness directing a flow of creative life energy by how it focuses its attention and awareness.

Our mind is ours, and with it, we can create. We have created automobile, skyscrapers, airplanes, air conditions, television, satellite, and with it, we can create contentment, contentment in a joyful world in which we can harness machines to eliminate most of the dangers and hardships. Not only is it our potential to create a meaningful life, it is also our obligations to ourselves. And yet the quest for happiness is, to so many people, a grotesque traffic jam. The motor keeps running, but the car can’t move.

Too many people have renounced happiness; too many think that living has lost its kick for them; too many find no purpose in their lives. Why is this? Why people give up on life? Why do they give up on themselves?

“Individuality is dead”, some say. “The pace is too fast” others say. They talk about the hustle-bustle of city life, the speed with which people move around on working days. They criticize the changes in our ideas; about sex, about art, about dress. Who can keep up with these revolutions in thought?

All right, there is some truth to the criticisms of today’s world, but people have always lived with imperfection. Down through history we find people coping with problems; some lived richly, some were afraid to live. And so is today; there are people who live, and there are people who use rationalizations to keep them from living fully.

Criticisms of the modern world serve only as stumbling blocks if they lead people to turn away from life. There is no excuse for negative thinking which wastes human life. When a person drowns himself in such a pattern of thinking, he is committing an unspeakable crime against himself.

Yet in our complex civilization people too often live with boredom and anxiety rather than adventure. While I am writing this article on creative living, I would like to communicate to you my ideas on the meaning of life, about a good life which you can make reality. I want to share with you that zestful, optimistic living can be a reality for people today. So many people do not see this truth, yet it is as real as the table at which you eat; it is as real as you are male or female.

Contrary to what many think, truth can be pleasant:

  • Operating on your mind: There is more to life than a good physical image. There is another force which can sustain you amid the demands of living. It is a force that can remove scars of the mind. It is a force that can bring you a sense of security, even when events in your world go wrong, and that is your self-image.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “To take arms against a sea of troubles.”

To live creatively, you must “take arms”. You must arm yourself with powerful weapons which will not fire blanks when you need their support.

“The self-concept is a factual description of how you perceive yourself. If your perception is distorted, this description may not be an accurate depiction of you, but it IS an accurate statement of what you believe about yourself.”

  • Don’t let worries get you down: It is completely unacceptable how negative thinking can take hold of you, dragging you down into despair. When you substitute worry for living, you must take responsibility for it. Because it is really up to you. You can make your days thrilling, or you can make them miserable.

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” ~Dale Carnegie

  • The source of your strength: To bring health into your life, you need healthy self-image. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The image you have of yourself, the way you see yourself deep down, is fundamental in your adjustment to yourself and to the world you live in.

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”  ~ Robert Collier

  • Sharpening your image of yourself: Deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our culture, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. You must not allow to be railroaded into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward yourself. You must, to live creatively, redouble your efforts to support yourself, to give yourself credit for your accomplishments, your positive feelings, your positive actions, and your life building qualities. You must redouble your efforts to accept your shortcomings and to look humanely upon your blunders. Moreover you must examine yourself as you are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas which short-changes your estimate of yourself. If your self-image was never strong, you must work long and hard to strengthen it. If it was once strong but has deteriorated, you must eliminate self-destructive ideas from your mind and build it again, a logical continuation of what it used to be. You will encounter roadblocks from many sources, but you can overcome them if you adopt positive attitudes toward yourself, and if you see yourself as someone you like, as someone with whom you’d like to be friends. You must understand, first the incredible power of your mind, for good or evil. It is the simple concepts and images in your mind that can make you happy or miserable. Your thoughts, your concepts, your images, these are your most precious assets. You can buy a mink coat, or an expensive house, and yet be unhappy. You can travel around the globe a hundred times and make a million dollars, too, and still be miserable. You can strengthen your image of yourself and be content.

“To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” ~ Aristotle

  • Real meaning in your life: Life is something different for each person. Sad to say, some people hide, afraid to come out into the daylight. Others may both take refuge in safe, dull activities which will protect them from both punishment and real human experience. But life should be adventure for you today. Life should be exciting for you today. Life should be purposeful for you today. You must understand that, though we seem to hear mostly the negative, there is always two sides to the coin. Even within the many confines of civilization, the human being may still be free and joyous.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly conducted, will yield the imagination a higher joy than fiction.This is written in nineteenth century, but it is still accurate—if one’s life “valiantly conducted”.

Preparation for rich living cannot start too soon. NOW, now is the time. NOW is the time to reappraise yourself—who you are. Where you are going. NOW is the time to see what you can do to improve your life.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” ~ Bob Proctor

 


Change your thoughts and you change your world

Change your thoughts and you change your world.  / Norman Vincent Peale

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Optimism is an outlook in which we view the world as a positive place. In doing so, we realize that a wonderful life is worth loving. Optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us, we might feel overwhelmed and out of control, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our feelings. It is all a matter of choice whether we want to make optimism a habit of our life.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

  • Optimists always expect the best, they believe that bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault. The truth is that optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world too. What differs them is the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.
  • Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They view negative experience in a way that can help them to learn and grow. Such people don’t get frazzled by bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. They won’t say “things will never get better,” or “If I failed once, it will happen again”. Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to a new environment, a sudden tragedy and an unlikely turn of event. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
  • People respond positively to optimists. Optimists tend to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. They are less dependent on others for their happiness. They don’t find need to control or manipulate people. They usually attract people towards them. Their optimistic point of view towards the world can be contagious and influence others around them.
  • Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than others who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
  • Optimists have Perseverance, which is the key to success. They just don’t give up easily, they just keep on keeping on, as they are committed to their goals. This ability leads them to unexpected discoveries and expands their knowledge, both about themselves and about the field of their endeavour. They are also known for their patience. Inching their way one step at a time closer to their goal or elusive dream.
  • Optimists are healthier and live longer. Numerous studies support the belief that people with positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future and always expecting the worst in every situation. As having a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease, an optimist tend to age well and get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life. Why not look forward to success in all our endeavours? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else we are bound to hit lows sometimes but we don’t have to just stay there. We can carry ourselves out of the mud and improve our chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-coloured glasses and see life in the bright side?

Our thoughts not only create our reality, they also influence the reality of those around us. Let the currents that flow through us be those of positivity and love. Choose thoughts that reflect of what we want to see and experience in the world. Be the reflection of our dream life and watch it manifest before our very eyes.

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”


Becoming a better you

Becoming a better you requires willingness and open-mindedness for change and growth. One thing about life is that it is never static. Change is inevitable, it happens all the time. If you ever want to become that person you ever wish to be then you have to keep pace with changes. On my person, I have a favourite phrase: “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become”. It has made me a better person; not perfect but every day I have something to be proud of.

Many are the days we are driven by abstract situations and we do not want to accept reality or the changes that we are expected to make. In that we can never become a better person. Yes, there are so many hurdles to being good but losing the ‘self’ in you is detrimental. I do not want you to lead a bad path (I have seen many people get lost for good) and that is why I share a week’s formula to become a better you;

Be a servant

How often do you serve others? There is a lot of gratification in giving service to others. Be there for those close to you or those who need you. It does not matter your position but be a servant.

“Service to humanity is the act of making sacrifices for people we don’t necessarily know or have any close connection with, simply by virtue of our spiritual connection to them as part of one universal spiritual family. It is an act that, when replicated by many, results in material progress and the advancement of human civilization. Additionally, the act of service to humanity has the power to unite the hearts of all mankind, as individuals and societies develop their spiritual capacities.”

List your values

You are more valuable than you think. You have priceless values and every decision or goal you make should resonate with those values. Your 2016 resolutions should underline your values and it will be a year of change that you will live to remember.

“No one can determine your value except you. Stop on self-limiting beliefs. Embrace your self-worth”

Know that you have a purpose

You are not just wandering all over the world waiting for you date with death. You have a purpose and finding it will make your life worth living for. It doesn’t matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you do. As long as you wish to live a more meaningful and conscious life, a life purpose is for you. For example you could   inspire and unleash creativity in some individual, help people discover their worth, break their barriers, and realize their hopes and dreams, or educate and enable people to achieve their best health and hence, live a happier and healthier life. Find it and you will never regret a single day.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Appreciate your strengths

You may not be the best you wish to be but you have strengths that nobody else has. No matter how insignificant you think your strengths are; someone else wishes they were you.

“Each and every individual in this world is unique and different from others in his/her own way. Each one of us possesses distinct talents and our strengths and weaknesses vary from others. Once you have identified your strengths, take a look at your current role and assess whether or not you are playing to your strengths. If not, assess whether it would be possible for you to adapt the focus of your work to make more of your strengths.”

Grasp your passions

Deep inside, you really know what you want to become. Nobody knows you better than you do and that is why you should keep your passions alive. Do not be discouraged by failures; they are just there to test you mettle. Be steadfast with what you want and that is what you will get.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”  ― Nelson Mandela

You have needs, know them

Many people live and die without ever knowing their needs. It is stressing to live a long life and deep inside you do not know what your needs are. If you want security or freedom then these are your foremost needs. Those called heroes and fathers of our nations knew their needs, changed the world and that is why we remember them centuries after they died.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” ― Anne Frank

Live from within not without

There are those people who know much about others and the world but they do not know themselves. If you want to be better, start by knowing your inner self. Take time with nature, be alone and go for soul searching.

“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ― Lao Tzu

You do not have to be the president of the most powerful nation in the world to be better. You can do it in your small ways. Change your life and see what the real value within you is. Try today to know yourself and what is worth your life.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have” ― Margaret Mead


Love Is A Symbol Of Eternity

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.                                                                                  

Love is a type of eternal bond in which one tries to bring joy for other at the sacrifice of his own happiness. Love lights the heart of people and stops violence. Love can kill all the miseries of life like pain and sorrow. Love brings peace and happiness in life. Love brings desire to live life. Love is not only between husband and wife but it is the relationship between two individuals who have consideration for each other. It can be between father and child, mother and her son, brother and sister, or between friends.

Husband loves his wife, mother loves her child, and saint loves GOD. Love is the gift that you can give your dear ones. Love is like a precious pearl and the people who understand the meaning of love will never let it fell down.

A person who has not loved anyone is incomplete in himself. If you have never loved anyone, if your life is full of sorrow only love is a weapon by which you can kill all your miseries and bring happiness for yourself and to others also.

You can kill the enmity of your enemies just by saying few words of love. You can kill the quarrel just by love.

“Love… What is love? Love is to love someone for who they are, who they were, and who they will be.” ~ Chris Moore

But above all is the unconditional love which is the complete acceptance of all flaws, selflessness, and steadfast devotion, with no conditions attached.

Let’s examine some possibilities, beginning with parental affection. We might imagine that the idealistic feelings a mother first has for her baby should include unconditional love, meaning that no matter what the child does or says, her love for her child remains unwavering. If her child makes mistakes, she still loves him. Whether rich or poor; fat or thin; successful or struggling; she loves her offspring. Despite disagreements or different beliefs, her love for her child remains unchanging. Unconditionally means just that: No conditions or requirements attached.

So when we find someone who loves us as we are without any condition, and we are able to love them the same way, it is an amazing experience. They may be different from us in many ways. They may view the world differently and have habits that we don’t share, but we can embrace these differences because they are part of this unique person we love.  We will be able to love each other regardless of sickness, mistakes, financial hardship, or any other of life’s inevitable trials and difficulties.

But this kind of love requires an unconditional love of oneself first, so we have the strength of heart and mind to give the same to another human being. . It means that first we have to love ourselves, feel good about ourselves and acknowledge the positive qualities that we can bring to a relationship. If we won’t have that confidence in ourselves as a valuable and capable person, then our insecurities will affect our mutual happiness and our relationship.

Perhaps, while reading this article, you’ve struggled with the concept of unconditional love because you’ve suffered an abusive upbringing, or you were juggled between orphanages, foster care environments, or step-parents’ homes. Perhaps you left an abusive relationship and started a new life in a different country. These circumstances make you special and spiritually strong, but not any less capable of experiencing love.

I’ve seen amazing examples of remarkable souls who’ve experienced horrible abuse, torture, and neglect, only to develop into the most kind and unconditionally loving humans.

I believe in unconditional love. I believe it’s possible to love our children, our spouses, and our fellow human beings–unconditionally. Perhaps the question is not whether we can try or whether it’s possible; perhaps it’s simply a question of putting our love into actions.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” ~ Maya Angelou