Your Past Does Not Determine Your Future!

Good morning, everyone. I hope everyone is having an awesome Friday. We all have pasts, some good and others not so pleasant. Anytime you take steps to change your life, there will be a few individuals who will bring up something you might have done or been involved in years ago. So many people either live in regret of their pasts, or they let others remind them of it. They can’t seem to move forward because something which happened years ago is holding them back. My message to these people is, “STOP IT, NOW!”

There is nothing you can do about your past. What’s done is done and it’s time to forgive yourself and move on. Even if you have others who are constant reminders of the “old you”, you must keep in mind that you are not that person anymore.

There are several celebrities who had a past before they became famous. Some were incarcerated, others were addicts or came from poverty. Therefore, never be ashamed of your past. It doesn’t define you, nor does it determine what your future will be.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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I Am Not Only a Survivor of School Bullying, I Am Also a Widow of a Suicide

Good evening, everyone. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday yesterday. I certainly enjoyed mine while spending it with my precious family. Today, I want to give another reason why I’m so passionate about the epidemic of bullying and suicide among children and teenagers. That reason is that I’m also a widow of a suicide.

My husband, Michael, died in October of 2011 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Anytime I listen to the news and hear of the suicide of another person, especially someone who is young and whose life has yet to begin, it breaks my heart in two.

I think about the lost future of that person and ask myself, “Could they have overcome whatever was dragging them down? Could the lost have gone to college? Could they have become a doctor, writer or teacher? Could they have been the one person, who could have changed the world for the better?” Yes, I believe that they could have.

I also think of the person’s family and how hurt they are over the untimely death of their loved-one. I know firsthand how that feels and it is the worst kind of heartache. The pain is gut-level and is a feeling of being kicked in the stomach. There are questions, which will never be answered and attempts to figure out why only leave you more confused and eventually drive you crazy.

I also know what suicide looks like and it is not a pretty sight. It is a horrible grotesqueness that cannot be imagined until you are unfortunate enough to see it. It is terrible enough when it is a total stranger, but when it is someone that you love, it is a hell that no one who has never experienced it can comprehend.

I was the unfortunate soul who found my husband’s lifeless body, sitting in his vehicle after he put a 357 magnum to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger and it is an image that will forever be seared in my memory and one I will surely carry to my grave.

I want you to know that if you commit suicide, someone who loves you will come looking for you after so long having not heard from you. And when they find you, their whole world will be turned upside down and they will be forever changed. It is always the surviving loved ones, who are left to pick up the pieces. Also, you cheat yourself out of what will more than likely be an awesome future. So I beg you, please don’t do it!

No matter what you may be going through, know that the suffering will not last forever. Know that better days lie ahead and that if you stick it out, you will emerge stronger, happier, and more victorious than ever before. It is said that the skies are always the darkest just before dawn. Therefore, take comfort in knowing that when things seem to be at their worst, your breakthrough is just around the corner. You will see the sun again.

Don’t give up! Don’t quit! You have so much to look forward to, you just don’t know it yet. Your best days are ahead of you.

Have a wonderful night, everyone.

 

The Importance of Confidence

 

Good evening, everyone. I hope you are having a fun holiday weekend. Tonight, I feel that it is imperative that I discuss the importance of the most precious characteristic a person should have- confidence!

Confidence is the most important characteristic you can ever have, not only during school to ward off bullies, but all through life. It does not matter how smart you are or how high your grades are.

You can have five PhDs and be the smartest person on the face of the earth. But if you don’t have confidence, you will not be able to effectively communicate nor interact with people. Your social/people skills will be lacking and you won’t get anywhere in life. Whether you choose to believe this or not, the reality is that other people really do have control over whether we succeed or fail in life. Other people are the gatekeepers to our success and if you think otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.

I’ll give you a few examples: You can’t get that high position you want without being selected for the job by another person- the interviewer, who could be the owner of the company, an HR manager or supervisor. Even during school, although the vast majority of teachers and professors are honest and grade students fairly regardless of how they may feel about the individual, it’s still not unheard of for a student to receive a failing grade solely because the instructor didn’t like them. It does happen, though not often.

Confidence= great people skills= charm= great friends and connections= success!!! Great people skills will always trump smarts, good grades, high marks and college degrees! Always!

Confidence, or lack thereof, is something that people notice right away when they meet you for the first time. When you walk into a job interview and meet your interviewer, he/she is going to notice right away whether you are confident in yourself and if you’re not, chances are very unlikely that you will get hired for that esteemed position that you have been coveting. The reason for this is that if you’re not confident in yourself, how then can you expect others to be confident in you?

Make no mistake about it. Confidence is the number one ingredient in all areas of your life. It’s the first trait that potential employers look for and not only potential employers but also prospective associates, prospective customers, friends and dates. Whether or not you are confident is something that everyone, and I mean everyone looks at unless they are so low on confidence themselves that they can’t afford to be the least bit selective.

This is why you must never let a bully take away your confidence. If another person has already taken it away, you must fight like crazy to get it back. You do this by surrounding yourself with people who love you and lift you up, doing the things you enjoy and are good at, showing off your talents, taking care of yourself, and taking pride in yourself and in your appearance. Only then will you begin to see your own worth.

If a person steals your confidence, they also steal your potential for success and a happy life. In short, they steal your future. Bullies are confidence thieves! Never surrender your confidence to anyone! This brings me back to Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said it best when he made this quote:

“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”

How right he was!

Happy fourth of July, everyone!

 

 

Most School Bullies Grow Up to be Adult Bullies

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all have had a wonderful week. Today, I will use my twenty-fifth reunion as an example of how school bullies can go on to become bullying adults.

Last year, I went to my twenty-fifth class reunion and got to reconnect with about thirty classmates, most of whom either bullied or sold me out at some point or another during school. Although some of them have evolved and were very kind people, there were others who still, after all these years, hold resentment and contempt.

Although, they never expressed it with the spoken word, for fear of looking bad in front of the other classmates, I could see it in their eyes when they looked my way and in their facial expressions and body language. And one woman even threw a very subtle dig while sitting beside me, to my right, during a class meeting just a month prior to the reunion. A dig to which I only responded with a smile and actually got a genuine hug from another classmate.

I didn’t fire back at her because I decided that this woman wasn’t even worth the energy. I just very gracefully blew her off because it was only further proof that in this world, there are quite a few 40+ year-old prepubescents walking around. Age does not equal maturity.

I now take great pride in myself for responding to such immaturity with class and I had an awesome time at the reunion. I never let the immature actions of a few bad apples spoil it. I continued to be my authentic and awesome self. I socialized and danced! I let my hair down and let myself shine! Ultimately, I ended up having a wonderful time and being very glad I went!

The point to my reunion story is this: All through life, you will encounter scores of ignorant people and I feel it incumbent upon me to prepare you for this. While you’re still young, you must learn now how to let the ignorance of a few narrow-minded people roll off your back or you will be in for a very difficult life ahead.

In life, there will always be those very few who will never approve of you. But always know this: it is THEIR issue, not yours. It is up to you to love yourself in spite of the infantile actions of a few morons. Always put yourself first. You are beautiful, awesome, smart, strong and worthy of love and friendship!

Have a wonderful Friday!