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Love takes time. It needs a history of giving and receiving, laughing and crying. Love never promises instant gratification, only ultimate fulfillment. Love means believing in someone, in something. It supposes a willingness to struggle, to work, to suffer and to rejoice.

Satisfaction and ultimate fulfillment are by-products of dedicated love. They belong only to those who can reach beyond themselves; to whom giving is more important than receiving. Love is doing everything you can to help others build whatever dreams they have. Love involves much careful and active listening. It is doing whatever needs to be done, and saving whatever will promote the others’ happiness, security and well-being.

Sometimes love hurts. Love is on a constant journey to what others need. It must be attentive, caring, and open – both to what others say and to what others cannot say. Love says “no” with empathy and great compassion. Love is firm, but when needed, it must be tender.

When others have tried and failed, love is the hand in yours in your moments of discouragement and disappointment. Love is reliable. Love is a choice and commitment to others’ true and lasting happiness. It is dedicated to growth and fulfillment. Love is not selfish. Love sometimes fails for lack of wisdom or abundance of weakness, but it forgives, knowing the intentions are good. Love does not attach conditions. Genuine love is always a free gift.

Love realizes and accepts there will be disagreements and disturbing emotions. There may be times when miles lay between, but love is a commitment. It believes and endures all things. Love encourages freedom of self. Love shares positive and negative reactions to warm and cold feelings. Love, intimate love, will never reject others. It is the first to encourage and the last to condemn.

Love is a commitment to growth, happiness, and fulfillment of one another.

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Lao Tzu


The following excerpt was written by Tejal Patel


 “If you struggle with mastering patience, acceptance or any lesson, look to nature as your teacher. Ask how do the stars do it? How does the ocean do it? How do the birds do it?” Therein, you will find an illustration and answer of how you should handle your issue.


Embrace the moment you see a beautiful cloud formation, take in the magnitude of colors during a sunset, soak up the autumn foliage, watch flocks of birds migrating or look deeply into the eyes of your pet. Begin to ponder the lessons available to you and become aware of the multitude of messages you have been missing from your silent teachers. As you begin to become present with nature, these are but a few of the humbling lessons and answers you will discover by tuning into nature’s brilliance.


26 Powerful Lessons to Learn from Nature


1. Trees
As seasons change, we are guided to learn acceptance and non-resistance. A green leaf doesn’t resist turning red when autumn approaches. Trees don’t resist leaves falling when winter arrives. They stand deeply rooted in the ground, with their vulnerability out in the open and branches spread wide, surrendering to the Universe. Do what you will with me, I trust it is for my highest good. A tree bends with the wind. So too must we not fight, but bend with the storms in our own lives.


2. Ocean
The vast ocean can’t exist without each particle of water. Each human being plays its part in humanity. We are all one small part of the greater whole.


3. Birds
Birds soaring through the sky represents the limitless freedom and potential available to us if we release our fears. Taking off to fly for the first time can be scary and bring about feelings of fear. Without taking the risk of the first flight, we won’t find the internal freedom we desire. We must dare to take our feet off the ground, spread our wings and soar.


4. Pets
Pets teach us more about love than any person or thing. We understand the true nature of unconditional love without expectations. The true nature of forgiveness is forgetting and letting go of grudges. We learn uninhibited, unreserved affection by giving our full attention. Understanding love is a feeling and doesn’t require words. Love is felt in the heart by making eye connection, being in someone’s presence and through physical touch.


5. Ants and Bees
The community of bees and ants all participate together to benefit all those in their community. We each have our own calling that is best performed by us. Each part is necessary for a functioning family, community, nation and world. Embrace your special responsibility, share it proudly with the world, and always do your best.


6. Bamboo and the Maple Tree
Who said the bamboo is more beautiful than the maple tree and the maple tree is more valuable than the bamboo because it gives out maple syrup? Does the bamboo feel jealous of the maple tree because it is bigger and its leaves change color? The idea of trees comparing themselves to others is ridiculous as should humans comparing themselves to one another. We must compare our growth to who we were yesterday not to the growth of another. Everyone is incomparably unique.


7. Flocks of Birds
I’ve never seen two birds run into each other when they are flying in a flock. Why is that if they never talk to each other? True communication doesn’t always need words. Body language, sensing others` energy and tone can say much more than the actual words we speak. At all times we are communicating through our thoughts and the energy we dispel. Be mindful of your thoughts as the energy behind them affect others and the world.


8. Night Sky
Darkness is necessary to appreciate the light. We need to experience the opposite of what we want so we can appreciate and experience the thing we desire.


9. Sky
No matter what storms are passing, know it is always transient because beyond the clouds, the sky is always blue and the sun is always shining.


10. Rain
Water is required to cleanse negativity in the world and allow a space of clarity. It is through showering and soaking in a tub, that we clear our bodies from the stagnant, negative energy of yesterday and replenish our positive energy. Shower with the intent of cleansing your body, spirit and mind.


11. Clouds
The sky is the backdrop of our mind. The clouds with different formations, speeds and heights represent the frequency, types and speed of our thoughts. As clouds, our thoughts and moods too shall pass. Glide through your thoughts like birds glides through clouds. Don’t resist the clouds, fly through them.


12. Stars
Stars bring beauty and light in the darkness. Instead of succumbing to the darkness of the world, be one of the radiant stars that shines their bright inner light. As we inspire others to be stars, we can light up the night sky with our intentional beams of star light.


13. Wind
Not all things that exist can be seen or heard. Some things need to be felt. Don’t be limited to your 5 senses. Use your intuition and develop the practice of believing in the things you feel.


14. Sunrise and Sunset
The breathtaking colors of a sunrise and sunset show us that colors vibrate energy and have the power to elicit certain emotions and feelings. Be mindful about the colors you surround yourself with.


15. Animals
Zebras do not look at tigers and wish they could hunt like tigers. Accept yourself as you are, know your weaknesses and strengths and embrace your unique beauty and gifts.
16. Preys
Animals who are prey don’t over analyze and plan in advance the ways they are going to outsmart a predator in the future. When the threat approaches their fight or flight kicks in, when the threat is gone, they go back to grazing without a thought in mind about the predator. Don’t dwell in a space of fear of the future and regret of the past when the threat doesn’t exist. That’s the breeding ground of stress, anxiety and regret.


17. Gardens
Have faith in tomorrow. We plant seeds of hope today, nourish them with love and attention with the faith that our labor will result in fruits in the future. We can’t impatiently force a garden to grow on our terms. A seed will sprout into a plant when the time is right. A fruit will fall from the tree when it is ripe and ready. They grow not because they are forced to, but because they let go and allow divine energy and timing to run its course. Be persistent, patient and have trust in divine timing.


18. Natural Disasters
Our earth absorbs the negative energy humans expel as do our bodies. There are times when the earth and our bodies need to re-calibrate and dispel the negative energy we absorbed. Mental breakdowns and hitting rock bottom will bring chaos, change and discomfort, but it can be the most positive, life-changing event. Sometimes, we need to be brought to our knees to remember what we are grateful for and start on a new life path.


19. Mountains
Stand firm, poised and majestic like a mountain. Regardless of the external situations life will bring you, remain strong like the mountains do when faced with avalanches, rain storms, and water erosion. Your emotional guidance system should be tough like a rooted mountain, immune to the actions and reactions of others.


20. Flowers
We all carry a different fragrance, color and beauty for the world to enjoy. Flowers don’t discriminate who they share their beauty and fragrance with. They share with all friends, strangers and enemies. True compassion and love comes from sharing your beauty with all you meet.


21. Snakes
It’s necessary to shed your own skin and personality to allow an improved and better version of ourselves to emerge


22. Gravity
The Universe has its own sets of laws that are not man-made and they trump any rule, law or limiting belief set by man. Figure out the Universal laws and make sure you are working with them and not against them.


23. Flow of Water
As we set sail in our life, we take sail through a calm stream. As our dreams get bigger, we are guided to a river with faster currents and more opportunities. Eventually, for our dreams to be realized, we must end up in the vast ocean. We won’t always have the protection of the river banks as our safety net. To achieve our dreams, we have to lose sight of the land and sail into open waters, where there are unlimited possibilities for our dreams to manifest. Anything and everything is possible.


24. Butterflies
Butterflies symbolize our entire life cycle metamorphosis. Life is short and from the moment of birth we are constantly changing our form, inside and out. Don’t resist change. Some of the most beautiful wisdom and changes occur as you grow older and transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Appreciate each phase of your life before you transform to a new cycle.


25. Rivers
There is always a natural undercurrent to water. We have the choice to either flow with the current of life or paddle against the stream. We dispel our energy, creativity and time working against the flow of the Universe. Throw your paddles in the water and let your boat take course in the natural direction of the current. You are being guided to go in the direction you are meant to go.


26. Weather
Just like weather forecasts, nothing is certain in life. We can’t control and prepare for everything. On days when there is supposed to be sunshine, the rain may unexpectedly fall. Don’t let your mood be affected by the weather. Looking to nature and animals, we see beauty and wisdom in the simple and ordinary. We easily take this beautiful world and its many messages and lessons for granted. Don’t wait for extraordinary moments to take your breath away, look to nature and bring that beauty into all that you do and every moment of your life. Tending a garden, folding laundry, driving to work, attending a meeting, paying bills, confronting an upset client, consoling your child having a tantrum or cleaning up after a meal – all regular tasks – take on an elevated quality when we perform them with total involvement, acceptance and love. Instead of feeling like you “have to” do them, they become things you “get” to do.


Thank you to Tejal Patel for writing this and to Luminita for publishing it.

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“Today – a time to begin again…”

When you get into your car, notice the difference in size of your wide, expansive windshield compared to your little rear view mirror. The reason the windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past and where you’ve been isn’t nearly as important as where you are and where you’re headed.
The one and only time we ever really have to live is right now. Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is just a dream. What we do have is right now, today.
There are only two reasons to go to the past:
  1. To learn from it
  2. To bring along some nice memories. Leave the rest behind – the hurts, the angers and resentments. We all can spend time on “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” but for what purpose? All we do is make ourselves feel bad, sad or self-righteous. Isn’t time better spent by learning the lessons the past has to teach us so we can do well today?
There is only one reason to go to the future:
  1. To set goals, dream and plan the game we want to play.
But right now, today, is the only time I can change my whole life if I want to. I can interpret my past any way I choose and determine my future by what I say and do today.
Today, I will live as if it is my last chance to listen, see, hear, feel and touch.
Today, I will live as if it is my last chance to give and share love and kindness, especially to those who need it right now, knowing full well I leave footprints on the hearts of those around me.
Today, I will act as if anything is possible. I will cast aside my fears, and trust that I am completely safe and secure in the arms of the universe. Based on universal laws, I trust everything is evolving as it is meant to.
Today, I will surrender to “what is”. I will interpret a difficult situation or person in a way that creates value and internal peace for me. I will see the difficulty as a gift to help me evolve spiritually
Today, I will be patient with myself and others because I know we are all just learning.
Today, I will be a source of love and healing, because deep in my heart I know love is the answer, and today I will actively practice it.
Today, I will be an example of my values. I will seek ways for life to work for everyone and I will courageously speak my truth to anyone who violates the dignity and rights of others.
Today, I have faith in myself to be able to handle any obstacle or barrier in my path and I will successfully find a way to move past it.
Today, I will frequently smile and fill my heart with gratitude for the many gifts in my life.
Today, I will forgive.
Today, I choose to realize this is a friendly world meant to work and I will find evidence for how true this is.
Today, I will be happy.
And tonight, when I lay my head on my pillow, I will glimpse in the rear view mirror and ask myself, “Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s heart? Did I say words of healing and encouragement? Did I forgive? Did I love?”
And I will learn.

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What Is Great Leadership?

The Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. was an example of one of the most remarkable and inspiring leaders of our time.


As we are desperately seeking good leadership in our country today, it is important to recognize that powerful leadership is defined in two ways. Hitler is an example of a powerful leader and so is Putin, Bashar al-Assad, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin. Although they possess/ed some of the basic ingredients of leadership in that they are/were decisive, confident and focused, they are evil people with an evil intent.


Like all leaders, they took action and were able to communicate in a way that stirred up their followers. However, they appealed to the lowest levels of human nature and used hatred, fear and rage to manipulate their followers. Using lies and deception, they pitted people against one another and attempted to silence the media by calling it xx (literally “fake news”) and used every means possible to silence anyone who revealed the truth.


Like all bad (evil) leaders, they were arrogant, narcissistic and greedy, seeking only their own interests They had a dictatorial style that used power to overpower others. They neglected empathy altogether and had no problem inflicting pain on others to achieve their demands. (“I’ll be proud to shut down the government.”)


The definition of a powerful, great leader, however, is one who is a source of positive social influence, one who inspires, guides and maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a greater good. Simply put, great leaders are persuasive and inclusive, not divisive. A great leader raises ones spirit, enlightens one’s thinking and unites his/her people behind a common vision. As John Quincy Adams put it,


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”


Consider some of the world’s recent great leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. Steve Jobs. Mother Theresa. Bill Gates. They also possessed power, but they used it to empower, not overpower. They all utilized their leadership talents – diverse as they may be – to make lives better in some way: achieving equality, justice, and freedom, making advanced technology available to all of us, improving living conditions in low-income communities, creating a global foundation that propels the idea that all lives have equal value.


A great leader is honest, tells the truth and has integrity. The 34th President of United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower once said,


The supreme quality of good leadership is unquestionably integrity.

Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”


Honesty and integrity are two vital ingredients that differentiate leaders.


Finally, a great leader is accountable. They take 100% responsibility for everyone’s performance, including their own. They don’t blame others, hide behind others or avoid ownership for the role they play in the results produced.


In light of the past 2 years, it is clear that our President and Congress, leaders all, have demonstrated the characteristics of very bad leadership, not great leadership. Please reflect on the words of a truly great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’


I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.

There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.


I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.


A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.


The means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.


Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”


(Note: I delayed this WoW to see what the President of the US would do and say on Martin Luther King Day. The Leader of the Free World, the person who represents who we are as a country, made a TWO MINUTE photo op to drop off a wreath and WAS absolutely SILENT about Dr. King. Later however, he would tweet his support for the Kentucky students who mocked, ridiculed and threatened the Native American Man beating his drum. Most were wearing their red MAGA caps.)


Throughout history evil leaders have been racists, and held themselves to be superior to anyone else – every single one of them!!


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”


Dr. King was not silent. He knew what he stood for and his voice was heard. He made a positive, powerful difference during his short lifetime and his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who stand for justice, equality and freedom for all.


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“A Time to Begin Again.”

 There are only two reasons to go to the past: to learn from it, and to bring along some good memories.”


The past only exists to the degree we keep it alive.

Let go.

Resentment is like drinking poison waiting for the other person to die

Anger is a punishment we give to ourselves for someone else’s mistake

Jealousy doesn’t change the heart of another person, it only changes yours

Guilt is something you did wrong when it was possible to have done otherwise. Isn’t there more we all could have done? Clear your conscience by making amends and then forgive yourself.


Every human walks around with a certain kind of sadness and although it may not be obvious, it is there if you look deep enough. Sadness is a normal part of life when it is expressed in a healthy way. Is it not the price we pay for loving deeply?


Forgiveness does not mean condone or endorse. Forgiving someone is a gift you give yourself not the other person. There can be no internal peace without it.

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As the world fights to figure things out, I’ll be letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who looks lonely, tipping generously, calling you by the name on your tag, waving at police, sharing food, giving children a thumbs-up, being patient with sales clerks and smiling at passersby, and as often as I have the opportunity, buying a total stranger a cup of coffee.


I will not stand idly by and live in a world where unconditional love is invisible.

Join me in showing love and judging less. Find your own way to swing the pendulum in the direction of love.
Be kind to a stranger today and every day. It just may be a friend you have never met.
Pay it forward for any kindness shown to you in the past.
Be the change! It starts with us!

(Copied from a friend who copied it from someone else, who copied it from someone else)

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The moral character of our country is at stake and how YOU vote in November will speak volumes about you and your own character.

The following was written by John Pavlovitz who eloquently expresses my views.


At times in this life, it can be a challenge to figure out who the bad people are, but sometimes they help you.

Sometimes they do the work for you.

Sometimes with their every vulgar, bitter word from their mouth, they testify to their personal malignancy and they make it easy to identify them.

Generally speaking, there are things that good people do and things good people don’t do.

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “shitholes”—most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that, for hundreds of years, have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country.

Good people by any measurement we might use—simply don’t say such things.

Of course, good people also don’t say they could grab women by the genitalia, either.

They don’t defend racists and Nazis and call them “fine people,” days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city.

They don’t brag about their penis size during debates, or suggest protestors at campaign rallies should be roughed up, or crack jokes about captured war heroes, or make fun of the physically disabled.

They don’t.

Good people don’t tweet anti-Muslim rhetoric in the moments immediately following a bombing in order to bolster a position.

They don’t leave American territories filled with brown-skinned people without power for months upon months, after publicly ridiculing their public servants and questioning their people’s resolve.

They don’t pull children from the arms of their parents and place them in cages and detention centers.

They don’t erase protections for the water and the air for the elderly, the terminally ill, and the LGBTQ.

They don’t take away healthcare from the sick and the poor without an alternative.

They don’t gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy.

They don’t abuse their unrivaled platform to Twitter-bait world leaders and to taunt private citizens.

Good people don’t prey upon the vulnerable, they don’t leverage their power to bully dissenters, and they don’t campaign for sexual predators.

But this President is not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

He is the ugliest personification of the Ugly American, which is why, as long as he is here and as long as he represents this nation, we will be a fractured mess and a global embarrassment. He will be the ever lowering bar of our legacy in the world.

And what is painfully obvious in these moments, isn’t simply that the person alleging to lead this country is a terrible human being—it is that anyone left still defending him, applauding him, justifying him, amening him, probably is too.

At this point, the only reason left to support this President is that he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your toxic misogyny, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.

A white President calling countries filled with people of color shitholes, is so far beyond the pale, so beneath decency, and so blatantly racist, it shouldn’t merit conversation. It should be universally condemned. Humanity should be in agreement in abhorring it.

And yet today (like so many other seemingly rock bottom days in the past twelve months) they will be out there: white people claiming to be good people and Christian people, who will make excuses for him or debate his motives or diminish the damage.

They will dig their heels in to explain away or to defend, what at the end of the day is simply a bad human being saying the things that bad human beings say because their hearts harbor very bad things.

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women shitholes or do most of the horrible things he does.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.

John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past four years his blog “Stuff That Needs To Be Said” has reached a diverse worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. In 2017, he released his first book, A Bigger Table. His new book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrives November 6th.

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