The “Right” Time .. What Is That Anyway?

20 Jul

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You hear it on a regular basis, “Well, the timing wasn’t right” or “it’s not the right time”. So when IS the right time and what if you run out of time before the time is right? The right time is now, when it’s weighing on your mind, when you feel so strongly about it that you can’t stop thinking about it. There’s your sign. What do you want God to do? Tap you on the shoulder and yell “yoo hoo” in your ear first?

We miss so many opportunities because we were so busy paying attention to other things that we miss the “right time” and the right people. God’s done His part, now it’s up to you to act on it. You’ll know when that time is right, He’ll make sure of it so don’t be so quick to write timing off when it comes to circumstances or people. They’re both placed in your path when they need to be.

Start embracing right now and stop using the excuse to do something later. You might not have later. Opportunities present themselves ALL the time, not just at the time that’s right in your mind, but at times that are right in God’s mind for you. Right now is all you DO have.

Why Support Independent Artists, Songwriters and Musicians?

19 Apr

Actually it’s pretty simple, they’re the ones that write and perform the songs that get stuck in your head, that cause you to tap your foot, make you sing in the shower and provide the words for karaoke on a Saturday night. They’re the reason we have good music to listen to and to save us from the monotonous sounds of the same old manufactured “music” over and over again. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have that first song that meant something to us, music to dance that first dance to, or that song that brings up memories you’d long forgotten. They breathe life into every day, give us reasons to smile, reasons to cry and reasons to feel. They are the creators of something that every one of us can relate to and something that makes us all the same for at least 3.5 minutes. It’s because of them we can forget the world around us and immerse ourselves in a world of harmony and melody.

Independent artists are more likely to be in it for the love of the music, not just the money.  They take pride in their talent and they stand up for their creativity and don’t want the major labels to mold them into something they’re not and take away their ability to do THEIR thing.  Music is a way of life and a means of support for these artists, not just a hobby or something to pass the time. It puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. I believe if they believe in the music that much and I am able to take part in the result of that love the next time I turn on my iPod, then I can support them in any way I can. I thank them for what they do and what they give to those that love good, honest, heartfelt music.

I started promoting independent artists almost 10 years ago because of one song, “The Key”, by one country writer, John Griffin, who wasn’t getting any attention for his wonderful writing. I learned to take a minute and not simply hear, but actually listen to the words and music these independent songwriters have written and chances are it applies to some situation that has occured in the pages of your mind and in your life. I know they have in mine. I also promote signed artists, but mostly those you aren’t hearing regularly (if at all) on radio and those veteran artists who have “aged out” of today’s younger demographic but continue to sell out night after night and release amazing music.

If you listen to a song and you like what you hear, please let them know, talk about it on your websites and social media pages, and talk to your friends and family about their talent. People don’t know unless you say something. Go to their official websites or social media pages and let them know how you heard about them and what you think of their music. Every artist appreciates support and loves to get feedback on their music. Thanks so much for your support. Buy their merchandise, attend their shows, and most importantly, BUY the music.

Check out my country music promotions page, www.lovinlyrics.com and connect with me on Twitter at @lovinlyrics, Facebook and Instagram.

Today I Am Blessed

27 Dec

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Today …

I opened my eyes, took a breath and am able to live another day. There is still a purpose for my being here … I am blessed.

I hear my dog snoring in the hallway, he’s 12 and still with me … I am blessed.

I turn on my iPod and am able to hear some of the best music ever made … I am blessed.

I can hear my parents, aged 73 and 70, laughing in the other room … I am blessed.

I have the ability to love and to feel for other people … I am blessed.

I may be single, but I am not with the wrong person … I am blessed.

I have a job that pays my bills and provides insurance coverage. It may not be the career I’d love to have and I may hate it sometimes but … I am blessed.

I have amazing friends who are always really there and not just when it suits them. They make me laugh, cry, think and sometimes even piss me off but … I am blessed.

I realize how lucky I am to have the freedom to think and speak my mind … I am blessed.

I believe in a higher power that gives me hope and leads me with faith … I am blessed.

I sit back and think about all of the good in my life and ya know what … I am blessed.

Today and every day … I am blessed.

Go For the Win … #WinAtLife

13 Apr

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Positive mindsets create positive outcomes. Stop holding yourself back from doing amazing things. You’re just as capable as the next guy, maybe even more so. Forget what society thinks, forget what your friends think, stick by what YOU think. So many people settle for mediocre when they were created for so much more and they settle because of fear and no confidence in themselves. You have to want it more than you’re scared of it and if you can’t believe in you why should anyone else. You get ONE shot at making your life the best it can be, ONE. Go out knowing you gave it all you had, that you tried your best and being able to tell yourself that honestly is success in itself. #WINATLIFE

Two Small Words … One Big Meaning

30 Nov

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I guess when you hit your 40’s, you start to reflect and see life a little differently. I’ve always been a deep thinker, an observer and a “payer of attention”. I think it’s taught me to see what I need out of life. It seems to have become a lot more evident that not only do I need to live life, I should focus on learning to LOVE LIFE.
Life’s full of ups, downs, disappointments, achievements, surprises and obstacles. Those are things that are always going to be here, they’re not gonna change but I can change the way I handle them. Complaining is just that, complaining. Wasting breath trying to change things that are most of the time out of our control and truth be told, it just makes us look like whiny, ungrateful, entitled jerks. If it’s something you can change, then stop bitching and start working on a change. If it’s something you can’t change, then start figuring out a way to work around it and adapt. Life was here long before we were, situations were here long before we got in the middle of them. Life wasn’t meant to adapt to our needs and our wants, so we have to learn to adapt to what it throws at us even if it’s not the easiest thing to do.
Since hitting my 40’s, I’ve learned to pay closer attention to life’s details, to work on self improvement, to love more and listen a little closer to what my heart tells me instead of always listening to my head. For me, I think the cliche is true, “Life really does begin at 40.” I’m 45 and it’s really starting to make more sense to me and to mean more now that I see things happening around me. I see my parents aging, I’ve lost both sets of grandparents, I see high school classmates who have passed away, I’ve had friends take their own lives, I’ve seen marriages crumble that I thought were made in Heaven, I’ve seen spouses cheat on their partners, I’ve seen relationships end and then start right back up with someone new before the person broken up with has even had time to process the break up, I see friends that were once sitting on top of the world wondering why life now has them scraping rock bottom and wondering how they’re gonna make it to the next day, I’ve taken a gun out of a crying suicidal friend’s hand in the middle of the night and let them fall asleep mentally exhausted on my lap, I’ve left my house in the middle of the night and driven 3 hours just to be with a friend who’s self esteem was shattered because her husband called her and told her he was leaving her because she was too fat, he couldn’t stand to look at her anymore and wasn’t someone he could love. I’ve seen those struggling to make ends meet lose their jobs, having gone through unemployment myself for 4 years. Every day I see the world around me changing in a not so good way and putting us in situation that create self-doubt and turn us from fun loving people into negative shells of who we once were. Life creeps up on you while you’re busy partying, complaining, working, and while we’re not realizing just how fast it’s happening.
Don’t let life turn you into someone that would make you uncomfortable to be around, someone that people shy away from, or someone that isn’t who you know you are. Don’t become the same kind of person that you personally can’t stand to be around, you know, the kind that you complain to other people about. That’s the great thing about the human spirit, it’s adaptable and changeable if you teach yourself what’s more important to you and what matters. Get out of the house, get off the computer, go enjoy your life. Go spend time with friends. If you’re single, get out and meet people. If you are already interested in someone and want to see where it goes, ask them out and see what happens. Travel, do something different, step out of your comfort zone, stop being such a tightwad and spend some money on experiences that create great memories.

You were put here to do more than simply take up space and exist, you were meant to LOVE LIFE.

The Real Strength of a Man 

30 Sep

Ladies, the guys in your life do more for you everyday than you realize. Remember to thank them for the small things they do, the gestures, the smiles they put on your faces, the hours they work, the weight that’s on their shoulders to make sure you have a roof over your head and that you’re taken care of without you having to be the one to do the worrying. It’s in the way they love your kids. It’s so much more than just material things that the men in your lives provide. It’s security, love, friendship, confidence and stablity. Let them know that you appreciate them. They need to hear it just as much as we do and have just as many insecurities about themselves as we do. To the guys in my life, I love y’all and am so appreciative of each of you for who you are and what you bring to my life every day whether you realize those things or not. Thank you. 

The Strength of a Man 

  The strength of a man isn’t seen in the width of his shoulders. It’s seen in the width of his arms that circle you.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice. It’s in the gentle words he whispers.

 The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has. It’s how good a buddy he is with his kids.

 The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work. It’s in how respected he is at home.

 The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits. It’s in how tender he touches.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the hair on his chest. It’s in his Heart … that lies within his chest.

 The strength of a man isn’t how many women he’s loved. It’s in how he can be true to one woman.

 The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift. It’s in the burdens he can carry.

The Perfect Shell – The Second Best Conversation I’ve Ever Had

28 Sep

“The Perfect Shell” – The Second Best Conversation I’ve Ever Had …
Originally Posted on Facebook on October 23, 2011 at 2:09am

Author: Me

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I posted back in 2009 about the best conversation I’d ever had with an elderly man on the bus from Downtown Disney to the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. What is it about some people that make a conversation so fascinating and insightful, thoughtful, emotional? It’s their experience and the fact that they’re speaking realistically, from the heart.

A couple of days ago, I decided to do something I NEVER do, wake up early and walk on the beach just after sun up. Those of you that know me know that morning and I are not friends, we are mortal enemies. Morning to me, should come around 3pm. Whoever came up with this whole morning concept just sucks or at least they did until last Wednesday morning. I dragged myself out of my nice warm covers, threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, walked out into the crisp cold fall air and drove to Ft. Macon, my favorite spot for shelling and solitude. There are high sand dunes, a historic military fort, crashing waves, sand and the sound of seagulls and rarely any people on the beach this early in the off season. I got out of the car and started my long morning walk and time alone with my thoughts. I was absorbed in my thoughts about finding a job, missing my friends, wishing I had someone to share this kind of time with and hating the loneliness of being a 41 year old single woman when someone walked up behind me and scared the hooey out of me. I turned around and there was this smiling woman, with skin that was starting to show it’s age and her expressions of years past, and there a friendly light in her eyes. She was maybe around 70. She apologized for making me jump out of my skin, grabbed my hand, introduced herself as “Barbara” and asked me if I’d found any good shells yet. I showed her the two, one that was an angel wing that had a few barnacles attached to it. She took the shell and told me how to get them off of the shell without harming the surface. She said she had been coming to Ft. Macon shelling every day for years. You know how some people just tell you their stories whether you want to hear them or not? This was one I wanted to hear and she obviously wanted to tell it so I asked her to walk with me. As we searched the sand for treasures washed up from the ocean, she would tell me that “Ron”, her husband, used to walk this same path with her, doing the same thing. It was their “morning togetherness routine”, not to find shells, but to find each other. I asked her to tell me more about Ron, he seemed like a wonderful man from the glimmer in her eyes at the mere mention of his name and the excitement that was obviously in her heart that someone would express interest in her memories of her longtime love.

Barbara told me that they met on the beach years ago. She had been out doing just this very thing, collecting shells, when he came walking from the other direction. He smiled at her and introduced himself and asked to see what she’d found. He’d just moved here and wanted to know where the best place to look for shells was, his sister was an avid shell collector and would be visiting soon. She told me they parted ways on the beach and when she looked back over her shoulder to see where he was, he was turned around looking back at her. He walked back, got her contact information and said he would be in touch, maybe they could spend some time getting to know each other a little more. Little did she know that a year later, they’d be married in a small Beaufort, NC church and having a family a year later with the birth of a daughter, Mary. It was a wonderful romantic story, one that I was surprised she was telling a perfect stranger, but it made her happy to recall the good times so I let her continue with the story. She told me she never expected to meet someone here, she had moved here to start over and put some bad things behind her. She didn’t specify what those things were and I didn’t ask. She asked if I was married or dating anyone and you know me, I rolled my eyes and said no, haven’t been that lucky and went on to explain how when it comes to love and that kinda thing, I’m not really good at it and can’t seem to have good luck and have pretty much resigned myself to being the single crazy old lady with her dog. She told me she felt the same way when she met Ron in a totally random unexpected way. She said she certainly wasn’t ready to get married, or so she thought. She had written romance out of the picture, felt she was “past her time”. Apparently time found her and she said it would find me too. She used the analogy of shell collecting, said when I am least expecting it, I will look down and find my perfect shell, the one I’ve been looking for, one that’s perfect in my eyes and is exactly what I was hoping to find, that one of a kind shell that washes up once in a rare while. It really made me see things alot differently. I guess most single women my age probably think the same things – what’s wrong with me? Why am I always good enough to be someone’s best friend but no more than that? Why can’t someone see what’s so great about me? Am I not pretty enough? You know, the same questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another. Blah blah blah. She’s right, it’s not me, it’s just not the right time. The ocean decides when it’s the right time to push that perfect shell onto the shore and it’s God’s decision as to when it’s the right time to push the perfect person into my path just as Ron had walked across her path at the right time. He passed away from pancreatic cancer. She told him before he passed that she would still walk the beach everyday and thank God for letting her find her “perfect shell”. We reached the pavillion and parking area and Barbara said this is where she was parked and it was time for her to meet Mary for breakfast, that she enjoyed our talk and hoped to meet again on the beach. I thanked her for giving me something to think about and we waved goodbye. Will I ever see her again, probably not. The more I think about it, was she even a real person or was she possibly an angel? The Lord works in some mighty mysterious ways and you can’t help but wonder … we’ll see. Until then, I’ll keep going out and looking for that elusive, perfect shell.

GETTING BACK TO MORE THAN 140 CHARACTERS AND AVATARS ….

10 Jun

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These days everyone is all about social media, branding yourself, trying to be a bigger name than the next person, and trying to show that they can have more followers than anyone else. It’s all about 140 characters, tweets, status updates, posts, emails and texts. We tend to see each other more these days by a tiny square default photo on a web page rather than up close and personal and that’s so ass backwards from how it should be. Yes, social media is awesome, I personally love it but at times I personally hate it. It takes the real connection out of life. Are you connected? Yes, but are you REALLY connected to your friends and family? When’s the last time you spent time with one of your social media friends offline? When’s the last time you picked up a phone for a real conversation instead of picking up your phone and sending a message? We should be spending the hours we spend on social media thinking of ways to connect with people personally, not just via text characters and then making those connections happen. Social media is such a warped place, some people are awesome while some people simply use it to be rude and express opinions in a way they’d never do to someone in person because they’re “anonymous” online, they’re “untouchable” online. Be touchable, don’t be anonymous, don’t be just an avatar to someone and don’t let them just be 140 characters or less to you. People are so much more important than a digital communication. We thrive through real contact, hearing each other’s voices, holding hands, spending time together. We already have a following that we tend to pay less and less attention to, those who are offline and there for you anytime you need that connection. Don’t put those who are really there on the backburner. The longer someone sits in your background, the sooner you’ll look up and notice that your background isn’t how you remember it and they will either take themselves out of the picture or they will slowly fade away with time. Your picture will eventually change and when you spend less and less time focusing on it, the quicker it changes. You don’t need a million people to tell you how awesome you are and think you’re the best thing ever, you only need the small handful that actually mean it and are the ones that would come to your side when you’re not so wonderful. It’s easy to build an online persona that isn’t a factual representation of who you are and people get to know who you want them to think it’s who you are. How about using that time and energy to reconnect with your life offline, with those who love you for who you really are and don’t have a picture built up in their heads of who they think you are, to re-energize yourself by taking a deep breath away from the keyboard, to enjoy who and what’s around you?

Social media is a great way to “meet” people and in many cases, a great way to make friends for life that you do eventually connect with offline, just don’t forget those who were here long before Twitter, Facebook and even Myspace. Don’t let your background fade. There are people in your life that you choose to connect with and keep in your circle for a reason, you find them interesting, there’s something in them that you see as special and that you want to get to know better. Take that time, get to know them better, find out what makes them special. They keep you for the same reasons. Build your relationships offline and don’t spend so much time away from them that they start to dissolve and disappear. It’s fine to be on social media, to build your “brand”, and to spend your time working, just don’t let it become your life and don’t find that your main circle no longer exists outside of a digital connection. Live your life in more than text, more than numbers and more than avatars. Get back to the basics of building relationships and doing what it takes to maintain them.

Things I’ve Learned at 45

5 May

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I saw a story in Huffington Post this morning about one woman’s reality at the age of 45 and it got me thinking about my own reality at the same age. I think back over the years and realize just how much things have changed, not just physically but mentally. When I look in the mirror, I still see the eyes of a nine year old girl with pigtails but with the reality of a woman.

* My heart’s been broken more than a few times, it’s also been filled with love even more than it’s been broken.

* I’ve loved and lost, I’ve lost and found, and I’ve found and hung on to.

* I see the world through the eyes of someone interested in what’s going on around me

* There will always be haters. Don’t be part of that crowd.

* No matter how bad things are, don’t be an asshole. Nobody likes an asshole regardless of your situation.

* Get out and experience people and places. There’s more to life than “reality” shows, Facebook, Twitter and sitting in front of the tv or computer.

* I feel the pain of those around me and I also feel the love of those same people.

* I realize how important watching the news is now when I used to want nothing more than my dad to change the channel to something “interesting”. Now it’s the first thing I watch in the morning. I want to see how the world is changing around me.

* I realize the importance of politics and want to see the difference in how my country is currently being run and how our forefathers meant for it to be run.

* I don’t have the “stretch mark trophies” from giving birth, I have them from pizza, beer and years of eating the wrong things.

* Life doesn’t always have to be fair and it won’t be. But life is always worth living.

* Losing weight isn’t as easy as it used to be and neither is picking up something I drop.

* I’ve learned to see the good in people instead of immediately focusing on their flaws and imperfections. It’s not always the first thing you see, but it’s there somewhere if you pay attention.

* It’s ok to cry. Do it often if you need it. Cleansing the soul is good and provides clarity when you need it.

* I’ve learned that there’s always someone else who wishes they had my life, even though sometimes I wish it were different.

* People will always find fault, criticize and be cruel. Doesn’t mean what they say is the truth, it does say that there’s more of a problem with themselves than there is with you.

* I see my parents aging and sometimes it’s hard to realize that time is really passing as quickly as it is and I realize that the time I spend with them and the things I give up to help take care of them is so important and will leave me memories I wouldn’t trade for anything.

* I realize that my mom’s music really isn’t that bad, in fact, it’s actually pretty damn great. I realize dad’s music has always been great 🙂

* I know that scars will heal but they are always going to be there so learn to accept them and appreciate them. I now view them as “battle wounds” from surviving years of fighting my way through life.

* I realize that I’m never going to be that young girl with the cute body who turns a guy’s head anymore and I’m ok with that. I’d rather be the woman who grabs his attention because of who I am and holds his heart.

* I used to wonder if there was a God and honestly, with the state of the world, I sometimes catch myself wondering this same thing but I always know in my heart just by the beauty of things around me that there truly is.

* I’ve learned that our differences can sometimes bring us together instead of tearing us apart. It’s important to know that just because someone thinks differently doesn’t make it wrong, it’s simply another way of viewing things and we don’t always have to agree or see eye to eye. That’s the beauty of choice.

* Beauty is so much more than skin deep. It radiates from the heart, it comes from who you are. It’s in the way you carry yourself and the way you laugh at a stupid joke. It’s in the way you talk to other people. It’s in the way you learn to love who you are and be confident in yourself. Ugly is also more than skin deep. A beautiful face can never hide an ugly heart.

* Dirty jokes and fart jokes are funny. Sorry, but they are and at 45, there comes the time when you have to pull the stick out of your ass and loosen up a little. Have a sense of humor and stop cringing when someone talks about sex, farts or anything else that was once deemed “inappropriate.” It’s all part of being human, embrace it.

* I’ve learned that my circle of friends is so important. They’re the ones that I’m gonna lean on when things start to happen that bring you to your knees and take the breath out of you. They’re the ones to help me get back up and start to breathe again. The circle may not be large, but it’s important to realize who is really going to be there when you truly need them. Keep that circle close and keep it tight.

* I’ve learned that it’s ok not to be perfect, that it’s ok not to be a size 2 and that it’s ok not to have the flattest abs or the “apple bottom”. It’s good to just be who you are and work on improving what makes YOU comfortable and not what makes society comfortable.

* Old movies on the couch with a comforter and a bowl of popcorn (and a box of Kleenex) is a great way to spend a night.

* I am no longer the all nighter, the party animal, the girl who can run on high energy all night long. By 10pm. I”m good with being in bed. I live for it. Sleep does a body good.

* Lists like this are great to make once in awhile, they make you see how things have changed and how important it is to notice.

And I’ve learned that 45 is a great place to be.

Read the Stories of Life and See the Beauty You Might Not Have Seen Before

21 Apr

Every day I look at my social media feeds and see so much focus on negativity in regards to looks, self-esteem and just our differences in general. What has happened to our society? It’s become so toxic and that toxicity doesn’t seem to end. There’s so much focus on what society deems as attractive and what is “acceptable” that it’s forgotten that perfection does not exist. Perfection is only a word in the dictionary.

I have heard young girls ask their moms why they’re not pretty just because some kid at school told them they weren’t. I hear people make snide remarks about the appearances of other people or the circumstances that other people are living with and it’s really sad to see that this is what’s going on out there. When I was growing up, I don’t remember bullying being such a huge problem like it is now. I don’t remember ever being made to feel ugly and not having any worth in my awkward growing up phase but having been in a mentally abusive adult relationship, I sure heard it plenty during those few months and because of those words, I have a really hard time seeing myself as anything other than that. It’s been 6 years since I got myself out of that relationship of unnecessary hurt, anger and pain but it’s been an internal struggle every day to build myself back up to the confident, strong person I was before I was knocked down by an insensitive, controlling jerk with no self-esteem of his own. Being told or just made to feel that you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re too this, you’re too that is something that doesn’t just sting, it’s burns and it leaves a mark, both in your heart and on your brain. I don’t understand why people feel the need to bring other people down, to make them feel horrible about who they are. You can think you’re the most confident person in the world but when someone you trust and believe in makes you feel otherwise, you start to believe it yourself and then when total strangers say things behind your back or sadly these days, even to your face thanks to the reality of the anonymity of the internet, it’s in your face every day, in some form and you find yourself falling into the trap of thinking that maybe these things are true if others are saying them. They’re not. I realize that in a lot of cases it’s a cycle that the bully has endured in their own lives, but when does it stop and how do we stop it from repeating itself? It’s not cool, it’s not hip and it sure isn’t attractive to tear others down when we should be working to build each other up. It makes YOU the ugly one, not the one you’re trying to break down. This goes on with both men and women, every day, all day.

Men are made to feel like they have to have 6 pack abs, a head full of thick hair, work a high paying job with a title and have a big wallet to be worth something to a woman and likewise, women are made to feel that unless they wear a size 2 jeans, have big boobs, wear a shit ton of makeup and dress like Barbies that we’re never gonna find someone to love us for who we are, for the right reasons, the reasons that God put us here for – to be unique, to be exactly who we are That’s bullshit. Total bullshit. Society is the ugly one, not you.

There is good in everyone and beauty exists in all of us, whether it’s something you can physically see or it’s on the inside, it’s there if you take the time to look and pay attention to it. It’s in the way you can look into someone’s eyes as they’re talking to you and be able to see straight to their heart, it’s in the way that a single mother works 3 jobs to take care of her child, it’s in the way that a dad works the night shift to be able to take proper care of his family, it’s in the laughter of two girls embarrassed because the cute guy sitting at the table next to them just smiled at them, it’s in the way that your grandmother still looks into your grandfather’s eyes 50 years later and still smiles like they’re on a first date, it’s in a father’s eyes when he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time, it’s in the way your best friend sends you a text just to say they were thinking about you, it’s in the way a child with an illness such as Down’s Syndrome or Autism laughs at the joke they heard in their special education class today or it’s the girl’s tears that run down her cheek because he never called. It’s not about what we look like, although when it comes to romance, a physical connection is what draws most people together. It’s who we are, it’s how we carry ourselves and it’s how we show love and caring towards those around us. Love and acceptance are all around us if we just pay attention and know what to look for. Instead of focusing on someone’s appearance, learn to look AT them and really see them instead of just looking THROUGH them. When you start to accept people and see the good that’s there, the cycle can stop, at least in your own life.

People are beautiful in their own unique ways and we all have untold stories behind the smiles, the sadness, and demons they fight every day. The person next to you may look different than you, live differently than you and that’s ok, we don’t need a bunch of Stepford clone who look alike, think alike, or believe the same things. This is what makes us great, the ability to be different and to not be like everyone else. People are walking, talking, breathing stories of life, experience and lessons. Learn from them, appreciate them and take the time to “read” their stories.