Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"MAKE A DIFFERENCE: GIVING = LIVING"


"Life is all about Making A Difference...

And you are in a position right now
to make a positive difference in life.
This day, this situation,
is filled with many challenges and problems.

And behind each challenge,
behind each problem,
are valuable opportunities.
The surest and most positive way forward
is through meaningful achievement.
Make a difference...
that truly means something to you,
and you’ll lift up all of life.
It’s not selfish or greedy,
to achieve your most deeply felt desires.
What’s selfish is to do nothing...
to accept less than you could be,
when you could be making a difference.
Make the commitment, Make the effort,
Make a difference, And achieve.
Lift your own life higher
and pull all of Life along with you!"


Sometimes, I think we are the most miserable and hopeless
when we isolate ourselves, draw inward - focusing on our own turmoils, issues, trials 

and allow the life challenges we personally face to occupy so much of our thoughts and our time, 
not to mention zapping our energy...

I truly believe that when we put ourselves "out there", 

allow ourselves to "open up", be vulnerable and focus our energy OUTWARDS ---
Away from ourselves and the overwhelmingness of our own "problems"... 
And towards something other than SELF...
Someone or something that we can care about and for...

That is when we can actually begin to heal, renew our strength and spirit, 

become energized, re-focus and re-channel our thinking 
and very possibly even change the course of our own life, 
along with making a difference in the lives of others and the world around us!!

There is so much to be said for the Joy of Giving

the feeling of making a positive impact in another's life, 
of helping to nurture and heal a broken heart or spirit, 
being able to be instrumental in someone becoming 
who they were intended to be or being a part of 
some one's success or helping them gain knowledge 
or insight that will help them on their life's journey!

Scientific studies have been conducted to determine "what happens" 

when a person "GIVESand when someone is the recipient of another's giving... 
When endorphin levels were measured during a simple exchange of a hug, compliment or smile 
given by one person to another, the person who was GIVING the compliment or the hug, 
had FAR HIGHER levels of chemicals that produce feelings of joy, contentment and satisfaction 
being created and released in the brain than the one accepting the "gift"...  WOW!!

Basically that tells me that the saying "It is better to Give than to receive" is pure truth!! 

Our physiological design, our own bodies, support (even prove) the fact  -- 
that when we "Give of Ourselves", we benefit even more 
than the one we are supposed to be helping -- 
We are healing ourselves, emotionally and physically when we GIVE!!! 

Most of us have had some MAJOR traumas and injuries to endure throughout our lives... 

Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually... A lot of us have been damaged, beat down, 
broken, left alone and tossed away like we are NOTHING!! 
We rarely have had anybody to care for us, 
to whisper words of encouragement to chase away our nightmares or self-doubts, 
to wipe our tears or hold us while we wept or to tell us we are special, beautiful, 
loved and so important and to encourage us to dream and 
help us believe we are capable of great things and are worthy of great love, compassion, kindness...

When we have not had people to take care of us, 

it is sometimes difficult to consider others (especially people we don't know well) 
and to give of ourselves, because possibly we are still waiting 
for someone to be there for US, to validate us and care for us. 
Deep down we are always aware of what we should have been given, 
what was withheld from us, what we longed for... 
Inside, that innocent, but wounded and lonely, child may be very much alive 
and desperately needing what they never received!

Sometimes it's easy to get lost in that feeling of being cheated out of the beautiful gifts 

of acceptance and love and the joys of being wanted and cherished 
and so we can become so preoccupied with "looking for love", 
wishing for it to finally come to us as adults and of course, 
what usually comes instead is more hurt, disappointment and betrayal!! 
It may be really hard to even wrap your head around what is going on outside of your own inner turmoils, 
to look around and see another's pain or loss without it making your own sting even more sharply! 
It could be nearly impossible to cultivate or maintain anything beyond superficial relationships 
because we have cut ourselves off emotionally and put up walls so we can't be hurt anymore, 
or we may feel inept at making social connections due to lack of experience and confidence 
and probably we have some major trust issues.

Many of us are told we don't know how to set boundaries, take care of ourselves 

or do what is needed to ensure we are getting our needs met. 
We may have been called "Co-Dependent" or convinced 
that being a "Caretaker"  is all bad and is "unhealthy" for us... 
Then we wonder if picking up the phone at 2 a.m. when our girlfriend is crying over a broken heart 
means we are neglecting ourselves or that we are being taken advantage of - 
We think we must be "in denial" if we actually ENJOY baking for the class, shopping for our elderly neighbor, doing resumes for our friends for free or we like being a "homemaker"/"stay at home Mom" because we LOVE to cook for our family and we take pride in a beautiful, clean home! 
Maybe we even feel hopeless when we realize that always wanting to Teach or go into Social Work 
or become a Nurse is only because we only feel validated when doing for others!! 
Then we beat ourselves up even more for having a "Need to Nurture" - Like that is a BAD THING??!!!

I am not trashing the concept of "Co-dependency", 

but I am challenging it's relevance in many cases where we have suffered losses and been hurt 
due to lack of love and caring in our own lives when we needed it most! 
I personally FEEL BETTER when I am doing things for others, 
when I feel a part of something, when I feel like I can help someone 
or make a positive difference in the world around me!! 
And I do not believe that it is because I somehow don't feel deserving of help, of being nurtured 
or that I think I am unlovable!! I have even been told that I want to help others 
so I don't have to focus on what I need to do in my own life, 
or that it makes me feel more in control or normal when I am focusing on someone else's problems!

Although that may be true for some people, 

I have found that it is good to not focus on my own "stuff" so much!! 
Not that I am hiding from it, how can I really? 
It's always with me, it's my past... I have LIVED IT
But I don't have to let it be my today or my future... 
I will not be defined by my scars! 
Instead, I can allow my wounds to heal by opening myself to others, 

allowing myself and my pain to be exposed may help someone else who is hurting, 
being an example of selflessness and claiming victory over being a victim 
by taking an active role in Living and Loving and Sharing!!

I believe we were Created to Love... 
To be "In Relationship" with one another! 

We were specifically designed to be creatures that CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER!! 
The true definition of LOVE (as is spoke of in The Bible) is... "TO GIVE"!! 
So, if we want Love in our Lives, 
rather than waiting for it to come to us, 
or accepting that we will never be loved 
because we were made to feel less than, unimportant and unworthy - 
We can experience all the LOVE 
and the joy that comes from it by GIVING IT!! 
When we create the opportunity for love to take root and grow, 
it can't help but touch us too! 
We, thankfully, have an unlimited resource of it within each of us 
and the more Loving, Charitable and Kind energy 
we put forth in the universe 
the more Love there is to make the world go 'round!! :)

So, get out there, take a risk, 
learn to live by truly LIVING LOVE 
by showing it to all those you come into contact with! 
And if you feel moved to want to help someone, 
feel drawn to someone in need or who's having hard times - 
Do whatever you can to make their world a brighter place!!
I guarantee that your sun will shine even more brilliantly when you do!!!  <3



With Much LOVE to you all...    ~ Bren  <3






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