Friendship and Love…

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love Hubert H. Humphrey

I have been touched recently by the importance of friendship. I am very blessed to share my life with my best friend. He is my husband and sweetheart 🙂  Because I am blessed with that constant arrangement, I have often been more lax about developing and maintaining other friendships in my life.

It’s not that I don’t value friendship – I do. It’s more like I put those relationships on the back burner more than I should have because my needs were already being so well met by my husband and family.

I don’t know what exactly penetrated my heart recently, but I have become more intimately aware of the great family, we as a human family, are. We need each other and we need to support each other.

We all have a profound impact on each other – both small and large.

Friendship, in whatever forms it presents itself in our lives should never be taken for granted. It is a gift that once given, must be guarded like a rare jewel and nurtured like a priceless garden. I am making it a goal in my life to be more friendly to strangers and to reach out more often to my friends that I am blessed to have.

What about you? Has it been too long since you have talked to your best friend? …or have you been in contact recently, but have not taken the time to let them know how important they are to you? Are your best friends your spouse and children? Are they halfway around the world and in harms way? I hope you will take just a brief moment and reach out to a friend today!

Today’s story shares the importance of unselfish friendship. I hope you will enjoy!

A Touching Story about Friendship

A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.

The two survivors who have been a good friends, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.

Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island.

He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”

“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”

“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”

“Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”

“He prayed that all your prayers be answered “

Moral: For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us (Congregational Prayer). Value your friends, don’t leave your loved ones behind.

Today’s story is shared from the following website: http://www.videoinspiration.net/blog/short-stories-about-friendship/

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To Be Happy…Love Everyone

To be anybody, you must love everybody. Patricia T. HollandLoving everyone around you may not always be easy – but it is always life transforming. Love doesn’t always give approval. Love doesn’t negate accountability. What is does do is open doors, open hearts and instill joy.

I love today’s story! I love the message and I love it’s symbolism! I think when you read it, you will feel a little more love in your heart! I hope you enjoy!

The Devoted Son

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and many others adorned the
walls of their family estate. The widowed elderly man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As winter approached, war engulfed their nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, the elderly man received a telegram that his beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season-a season that he and his son had so looked forward
to in the past-would visit his house no longer. On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. He opened the door and was greeted by a soldier
with a large package in his hand.

The soldier introduced himself to the old man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.” As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man’s son had told every one of his-and his father’s-love of fine art work. “I’m also an artist,” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.” As the old man began to unwrap the package, paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it a work of genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail.

Overcome with emotion, the old man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the portrait above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars worth of paintings. And then the old man sat in his chair and spent
Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man learned that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son’s gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief, as he realized that, although his son was no longer with him, the boy’s life would live on because of those he had touched. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the priceless pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received. The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation, since, with the old man’s passing, and his only
son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the way he had received his greatest gift. The day finally arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams could be fulfilled this day; greatness could be achieved as some
could say,” I have the greatest collection.” The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum list… It was the painting of the old man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent.

“Who will open the bidding with $100?” he asked. Moments passed as no one spoke. From the back of the room came, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s forget it and get on to the good ones.” More voices echoed in agreement. “No, we have to sell this one-first,” replied the auctioneer. “Now who will take the son?”
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. “Will you take $10 for the painting? That’s all I have. “Will anyone go higher?” called the auctioneer. After more silence he said, “Going once, going twice…Gone!” The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone shouted, “Now we can get on with it and bid on these treasures!”

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Then someone spoke up and asked, “What do you mean it’s over? We didn’t come here for a portrait of some old man’s son! What about all of the other paintings? There are
millions of dollars worth of art work here. We demand an explanation!” The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son…gets it all.”

Just as the art collectors discovered on that day…The message is still the same…the love of the Father….a Father whose son gave his life for others…And because of that Father’s love…Whoever takes the Son gets it all.
Story shared from the following website: http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/devotson.htm

 

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Loving Others…and Practicing Forgiveness

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved. Thomas S. MonsonLife can hand us truly heart-wrenching situations. No matter what life hands us, we always have the choice of response. I love today’s quote – not because I believe it is always easy to love those who hurt us or even to love being confronted with difficult situations and/or people, but because I know the profound difference it can make to find the loving solution no matter what the situation is.

True love does not mean that we do not hold others accountable for their actions. True love means that we will love them and do the responsible thing – not the easy thing or the enabling thing.

I hope you will join me in trying to practice unconditional love. It is not an easy quest but it is a very worthwhile quest! I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

“You don’t know me, but I am no longer dating your husband…I’m sorry for any pain I caused your family.” Christy recalls the exact moment she read that sentence, in an e-mail sent to her last March. “My heart just stopped,” says the mother of four (to stepson AJ, 26; and Skye, 9; Blaze, 8; and Hayes, 6). “I felt paralyzed.”

Until that point, Christy, a relationship coach, believed that she and Adrian, 46, her husband of 10 years, were happily married. Certainly things weren’t perfect: Business was slow for Adrian, a car salesman, and their bank balance had taken a hit. “Adrian and I were feeling pressure about money,” says Christy. But she had seen no other warning signs. “We still had date nights and did things as a family. I never dreamed he would betray me.”

After reading and rereading that e-mail, Christy called her husband at work. Voice shaking, she demanded an explanation. “Adrian was defensive at first, said it never happened, and even hung up on me,” she remembers. “But a minute later he called back, crying, admitted it was true, and begged me to forgive him.”

The story unfolded: Adrian and a customer had flirted. A one-night stand had turned into a four-month affair. In February 2012, when the woman asked Adrian if he would ever leave his family, he broke off the relationship. “I was furious,” says Christy. “It was hard for me not to tell Adrian that we were over and make him hurt as badly as I did.” Instead the pair talked and wept together all night.

“Once the initial shock passed, I was faced with a choice,” she says. “I could either fight for my marriage or let this event change everything.”

Christy made a conscious decision to forgive. It didn’t happen instantly. For the next six months, she struggled with resentment and the fear that Adrian would not be committed to making the marriage work. “There were many times I asked him, ‘How could you live with yourself? How could you look me in the eye and lie for months?’ And to get closure, I needed to know every last detail of the affair. It was extremely painful for Adrian to answer my questions, but he did so with humility,” she says.

“Forgiving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” says Christy, “but his honesty made it easier.” So did the fact that Adrian confided his wrongdoing to two friends from their church. The three of them began meeting each week to pray together and discuss their faith and the importance of marriage. “I appreciated that he wanted other people to hold him accountable,” says Christy.

While on vacation in Virginia last May, Christy and Adrian spontaneously renewed their wedding vows. “We continue to work on trust issues,” she admits. “But our marriage is stronger for it. I have no regrets.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/stories-forgiveness/cheating-husband

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Love is Never Wasted

Love is never wasted for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.  Neal A. Maxwell

It can seem as though for love to be valuable that is needs to be reciprocated. Perhaps it is true, that for love to be most enjoyed – it is better when it is reciprocated. However, no love is wasted – God, in his own way, makes sure of it!

Today, I want to share a precious video! It so completely encapsulates the truth that love is never wasted! Normally, I like to share a story but I honestly don’t think any story could teach the value of love (even when it is not reciprocated) better than this video! I hope you enjoy it!

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Happy Valentine’s Day…Make Sure You Love Yourself Too!

Happy Valentine's Day! Make Sure You Love Yourself Too!

It may seem odd that I make a plea for you to love yourself on Valentine’s Day – the day when we make a point of sharing how much we love others. However, I find that many if not most people don’t realize that in order love others deeply and have healthy relationships with them, we must love ourselves first.

Love is a wonderful thing and not only does it make life worth living – it is the stuff eternity is made of as well! The love I felt in heaven denies words to describe – suffice it to say that the love I felt there was glorious, inspiring and enveloping.

It was in heaven that I truly learned about the importance of loving myself. I saw that I not only loved myself there, I honored myself. We loved ourselves and each other. We honored ourselves and each other. It was truly magnificent and inspiring! The love and honor I am speaking about had no conceit or arrogance to it – it was a deep understanding of our divinity, our worth and our worthiness to be loved.

I am not there yet, but I make it a daily quest to feel about myself in mortality the way I felt about myself as I witnessed my existence in heaven, prior to my birth here in this world.

We truly are divine spiritual beings! Our world needs us to love ourselves and to manifest our deepest abilities to love! I hope you will join me in being kind to ourselves! Give yourself a pat on the back! Identify and give yourself credit for your talents, gifts, and abilities! Look in the mirror and love the reflection you are seeing! You are literally a child of God and you deserved to me loved (by yourself and others)!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you enjoy the blog post I share with you from Maria Shriver!:

Learning to Love Yourself by Maria Shriver

Do you love yourself?” If you were to approach me in early 2009 and ask me that question, it would’ve been blatantly obvious that I didn’t.

There I was, 20 years old, living a sedentary lifestyle at a whopping 230 lbs.

I didn’t communicate with myself and, as a matter of fact, I didn’t communicate with anyone. I allowed myself to be bullied into silence by my peer’s comments, which left me feeling completely ashamed and worthless to all walks of life.

Some days, I didn’t even want to get out of bed, nor did I feel like I had a reason for doing so. I self-medicated with food and my unhealthy eating habits spiraled out of control.

To rid me of this empty void within my heart and soul, I brainwashed myself into thinking that food was my only comfort in life.

But my hatred towards myself became so strong that I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was slowly killing myself with food…something whose purpose, ironically, is to aid in our survival.

It wasn’t until one night, in April of 2009, that I woke up and realized that it was time to make a change.

I was tired of having my quality of life go down as the numbers went up. I was tired of feeling breathless after hauling myself up a single flight of stairs.

I was tired of avoiding social gatherings because I was too embarrassed of my existence. Most importantly, I was tired of not living.

I had to wake up from this self-induced ‘coma’ that I put myself in. I was just a body comprised of fear, hatred, and sadness — a walking billboard for the hopeless.

Believe it or not, I came to terms with my food addiction and was inspired to change by watching The Biggest Loser. And after making necessary lifestyle changes, I successfully lost 110 lbs.

Unfortunately, I didn’t focus on my psychological well-being. I was still stricken with fear. I was chained to the scale, my life controlled by numbers.

After time, my inner strength began slipping through the cracks. Self-sabotage pushed me too far in the other direction and I found myself in the same deep depressive state that I was in at 230 lbs.

If I hadn’t met a runner in late 2010, I have no idea where I’d be today.

This avid runner I mention convinced me to sign up for my 1st race after showing genuine interest after testing my limits on the treadmill. The rest is history.

Now I can proudly call myself a 2x marathoner and an ultramarathoner 2 years later. Running has trained me to run the day, not let the day run me.

I put on my cape, chased my fears, and rescued myself. I am my hero. I am me. I am Adrian.

I’m not just a runner. I’m someone with a strong passion for life. Even when a gust of wind crosses my path, I will continue to keep my flame burning bright.

The best reward of this journey is being able to say ‘I love myself’ and actually mean it.

You all have the power to love yourself, too, and here’s what I’ve learned through much struggle:

1.) Change your vocabulary. What is the first negative thought that comes to your mind? It may be something along the lines of, “I can’t do this; I’m a failure!” Repeat your thought loud and clear for the entire world to hear. Come to terms with your negativity. Bottling up these intense feelings that you have towards yourself is unhealthy, whether it has to deal with doubt, lack of respect, and so forth.

Write this thought on a piece of paper, crumple it up, and toss it into the garbage. This thought can’t destroy you any longer! Like the old saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. Start saying the exact opposite; “I can do this; I will reach my goal!” Repeat this thought over and over again, ultimately locking it up inside of your head.

When you need a moment of self-affirmation, you now hold the key to release the positivity.

2.) Grab a pen, some paper and make a list. Write down your positive attributes, greatest abilities, and biggest accomplishments. Next, identify areas in your life that you feel need to be changed or improved. Once you’re fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can come up with possible solutions to the latter of the two. Instead of dwelling on what you believe needs fixed, do something about it and stop making excuses to rationalize your behavior.

Prime example: “I failed this exam, so I’m obviously a loser. I’m going to give up now.” What should really be rolling through your mind is: “This too shall pass, and I will try harder next time. This is no time to give up because I’m much stronger than this.” A little belief in one’s self goes a long way.

You have to trust your journey and love yourself before anyone else can. Come to terms with underlying problems and do differently than what has failed in the past.

3.) Bring your “little voice” to the surface and really listen. The past is the past, and oftentimes, the little voice inside of our heads is merely a result of our past conditioning. It’s a bundle of experiences, could’ves, would’ves, should’ves, regrets, wishes, etc. Don’t let the past control your future. You hold the power to change your current situation for the better.

Your inner voice is only a wall, and that wall doesn’t have to be permanently erect. Bring your inner voice to the surface, actively listen, and dismantle any unnecessary fears that may pose a threat to your future success. Be the change that you wish to see in the world, even if it’s your world. Your world is no less important than anyone else’s, so don’t allow it to be.

“Once the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Sure ,the caterpillar was probably unhappy in it’s former state, but now it’s free to fly away and embrace the life that it was always destined to have.

It’s time to break through your cocoon and spread your wings. I’ll see you there when you do.

This blog post was made by Maria Shriver and is shared from the following website: http://mariashriver.com/blog/2013/02/learning-to-love-yourself-adrian-crouch/

 

 

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