This was a write up in my February newsletter I recently published.  My editor loved it (she is also my friend.)  She encouraged me to put it on my blog, which I have now done.  I hope it helps you to find more peace and meaning in your life.


Love. We've heard so much about it during our lives. "It is more blessed to give than to receive." "Treat others as you would like to be treated." "True love keeps no record of wrongs." These things are all very true but sometimes hard to achieve.

Everyone is tested. We endure fiery trials of one form or another. The trick is to always bring it back to a loving attitude at the end of the day. How is that possible in some instances? Sometimes, only by the power of God Himself is it possible.

I have suffered, as some of you know, through differing forms of abuse. I have felt like I had nothing left to give, like everything had been taken from me. And yet, I was expected to love. If you've read my book Breaking The Silence, you know my story. It has been excruciating...and still is sometimes to this very day. The best advice I can give is do your best in the time given. Ten years ago, my best wasn't as good as it was five years ago. And five years ago, it wasn't as good as it is now. I still have a long way to go, but as long as I'm on my way, I know it will continue to get better day by day.

Don't beat yourself up if you have trouble being loving. Especially at times when you are hurting. Nobody is perfect and nobody can be 100% loving 100% of the time. It's not a human capability. Luckily, God is there to hold your heart in His hands as He molds and makes you into who you really are made to be as you progress through your existence on this planet. Humans are frail and fallible. But we are also very capable of learning. So keep that in the forefront of your mind. Do the best in the day you are given.

And be forgiving. Forgive yourself and others for not consistently living up to difficult standards. Sometimes the best way to show love is to forgive. And to know perfection is not attainable. Once you let go of "should, must, have to" it gets a little easier to be a loving person.

February is a time of hearts and candy and flowers. Those are all wonderful, but it is my experience that the expectations we put on ourselves and others are the most primary causes of either happiness or disappointment. So remember, we're all here to learn and grow. Enjoy it as much as you can without beating yourself up over it at the same time!

Happy February! May every day this month be your Valentine's Day!

Feeling Alone

I am convinced that feeling alone is one of the hardest things to deal with as a human being. We were created for love and fellowship. When we don't have those things in a genuine way, it tears at our inner beings. Isolation is a desperate feeling; hopelessness is even worse.

We constantly crave a companion; someone we can bear our heart and soul to who loves us unconditionally. We crave a hug that reaches our pain and takes it away. If we are left alone for too long we even begin to go crazy and imagine things.

I used to wonder why. What is so important about someone who is there and who believes what we say? Why is friendship and compassion so necessary to the human condition?

It's actually quite simple. Because we were made to need it as a necessity in life. We were created to bond in love and have a purpose for living. We were created to be one with God and His creation.

That is why nature is so soothing. It was created for us. That is why love is so healing. It too was created for us. It is an inherent need woven into the fabric of our hearts; a compelling drive and desire to be accepted.

It is really quite simple. Simply profound. With understanding and discernment, we can achieve our truest and highest calling, which always involves love. Never has hate achieved those purposes. Hate tears apart and brings pain and corruption. Love builds up and brings healing and wholeness...purity too.

Love makes the world a better place. It cares and it shares. It holds goodness and mercy. I wish that for everyone reading this blog. May you find the peace, joy, healing and mercy that only love can bring. Because it is essential to a life well lived.


Preconceived Notions

I think one of the biggest problems that we have in our society concerning happiness is the factor of preconceived notions. We think we need to conform to society's "norm" in order to find success, peace and happiness. We need that house in the suburbs, a nice car, at least two children, a good job and friends and family who support us. And yes, if we have all of these things it is wonderful but not a guarantee of happiness.

True happiness comes from inside of us. A car, a house and a job will not make us happy unless we are content in our hearts. How do you become content in your heart, you ask? Here is what I have found out about the subject in my own life.

Preconceived Notions (Diamante Lavendar)

First, you must accept yourself for who you are. You can't compete with the neighbors or your friends or relatives. Or the checker at the grocery store. Or the teller at the bank. We are each unique and we each have our own quirks and talents. It is impossible to compare yourself to another person because no two people are exactly the same. Television and magazines tell us we need to be the same but we don't. Be grateful for your differences. If we were all the same, what a boring world this would be!

Second, don't let greed or envy eat you alive. If you want something bad enough, strive to make it happen. Don't hate your neighbor or relative or friend for what they have. Many times we think we need something in particular when in fact we may not. Let go and let God. Trust that what you need will come to you as you aspire to find it. We all are here for unique situations and reasons. Don't force someone else's reasons upon yourself and think you have to comply. That will only guarantee unhappiness!

Thirdly, have an open mind and get rid of those preconceived notions! Seek to be better, happier, and everything will eventually fall into place. Don't think it has to be a certain way, because it doesn't. Sometimes the most unexpected surprises in life bring the most joy and purpose.

Fourth, forgive. Yourself and others. You don't have to be perfect. In fact, it's impossible to be perfect because only God is perfect. Do your best each day to be the best that you can be and walk in love to the best of your ability. When you send waves of kindness into the world they will find their way back to you. Don't fret and worry. Trust that your love and kindness will manifest in just the perfect way when it finds its way back to your heart. Life has a funny way of doing that when you let go of expectations.

Lastly, accept the shortcomings of others just as you would like them to accept your shortcomings. When you let go of high expectations, there is less to disillusion you and less of a chance for unhappiness. There is also more of a chance for peace because you aren't expecting certain situations and outcomes to occur.

Life isn't easy. But when you walk it in love and acceptance it does become a lot more fun and a lot less disappointing. Just imagine the possibilities and keep your dreams in the forefront of your mind; strive each day to make them happen. Some day you'll turn back and look behind you to find a beautiful path having been paved in your wake....what a beautiful legacy to leave for the upcoming generations!