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Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #24
To love and be loved are blessings.

People need to be loved. Love brings happiness and contentment into our lives. What happens if we are in a relationship where we love but don’t seem to get the same in return? If you are feeling unloved here are four signs you may be in an unreturned love relationship.

1. Feeling Unappreciated
If you find yourself giving your partner 100% and you don’t get the same in return, it may be time to reexamine the situation. Many times I have heard that relationship are 50/50. I feel that for a healthy relationship each person should be able to give their fullest and not just half.

2. Feeling Used
Being used by someone is a horrible feeling, and no one should ever put up with being treated this way. Are they only bringing attention to you when it benefits them, and you are left feeling like a doormat give this relationship a boot and give yourself something better which you deserve?

3. Anxiety
If when in the relationship an instant wave of anxiety brushes over you like the cloud of doom causing you to feel as though you are plummeting over a cliff this is a severe problem that needs to address. To be this anxious over someone and having to deal with them is unhealthy and if it cannot change for the better more than likely, you have no business trying to build this relationship.

4. You are continually initiating contact.
Don’t beg for attention; it is not something you have to do. There are many others out in this world that value who you are and would love to dote on you any minute of the day. Don’t continually try to engage with someone that not only will bring you down by not giving back but may be giving you adverse reactions in return.

Now that we talked about some signs of unreturned love here are some things that can help you in deciding if you need to make a change.

 

 

All you need is love

1. Accept this will not change
Accept that this relationship may not be healthy for you or your partner. Neither one of you deserves to be unhappy and by getting on with your lives your giving each other a chance for a healthy happy relationship.

2. Don’t take it personally
When someone says, it’s not you it’s me they are probably right. It may not be you at all that is causing this person to show unreturned love so don’t go around blaming yourself for someone else’s actions.

3. Distance Yourself
When you decide to walk away make sure to keep the distance and focus on your healing so that you don’t feel the need to return to the relationship. You won’t be able to move on if the person you are moving away from is still around.

4. Move On
Don’t sit in your room thinking about all the things you could have done to repair this relationship. If it were an unloved relationship nothing you could have done would have changed anything. Take some time to grieve and then give yourself the pass to move on in your life. Your future is waiting.

Not only is an unloved relationship unhealthy but it’s an exhausting way to live. Value yourself enough to know that you are worth every minute and that it is ok to walk away and find something else that will value you in return.

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Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #23

They will be grateful that you cared enough to make it.

I feel like being grateful does not come quickly. I feel like you have to learn a few things to appreciate what being grateful is like. I only learned the true meaning of this word a few years ago when I was battling one of my life’s most significant storms, and my gratitude for what I had was what was holding me together. Before my struggle, I was pretty carefree and did not take the time to recognize the things that were in my life that I was lucky to have. I wish that I would have learned this lesson way before I had hit rock bottom, but there is always a time and place for lessons especially those that involve life. Here are some techniques that I have learned to be grateful and keep gratitude in my daily life so that I don’t take what I have for granted.

1. Commit to Being Grateful

When you commit, you are taking the time to take part in the activity, and it will hold you accountable to finish. Taking the time to write down what you are grateful for will help you to stop and think about these things in your life. Taking the time to stop, write it down, and look at these things gives you time to focus and appreciate them for what they are. Writing what you are grateful for is also putting your priorities in perspective and if you are feeling down about what is happening at this point in your life pull out your list to give you a gratitude reminder.
When I journal I sit and try to focus on one thing that I am grateful for in my life. I can be thankful for anything whether it is being in good health or sunshine whatever it is I take the time to write down how it makes me feel and why I am grateful for this.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Lots of people love to journal. I consider my blog a journal and love to write about all my life lesson’s here.
Many times keeping a journal can help you achieve goals that you would like to accomplish in your life. Writing a recorded document will also keep your memories in a unique spot, and you can always reminisce. Writing is also an excellent way to relieve stress. Putting your feelings on paper is an excellent way to get whatever is inside out in a healthy manner. If you are looking to start a journal for recording your gratitude this Minimalism Journal from Amazon is very affordable and come in a variety of nice bright colors.

 

 

3. Slow Down to Acknowledge What it is You Grateful For.

Life is fast-paced, and it is time that you slow down and focus on the things that make you grateful. Slowing down lets you enjoy life’s little blessings. Taking each day at a time lets us become more aware and appreciative of the things we have encountered. I genuinely think that slowing things down makes us more aware of those around us and we then began to be better toward one another. There is nothing better for the soul than the genuine feeling of gratitude, and we want to go out in the world and do better. I experienced this a 14 years ago. I lived the majority of my life not knowing how to be grateful and taking life for granted up until I had my oldest son. Parker was born a month early, and I will say he did not come into this world easily. I was experiencing severe hypertension, and unfortunately, we had the earlier delivery. Even with an early birth, I was not worried my doctor told me these things happen and it will be fine. That was until I had delivered him. I held him for maybe a minute, and they rushed him off without any explanation. It wasn’t until the next morning that I found out our son was barely breathing and had caught a staph infection that was causing his lungs to backfire on him. We immediately flew flight for life to a Children’s Hospital where we lived for over a month, and the first year was filled with ER visits and another flight for life after getting RSV. That first year of Parker’s experience taught me a lot about life’s little blessings and that I should enjoy and appreciate every moment of every day. I woke up that day and realized that there was more to life than what I initially thought and this baby boy showed me a way to never take anything for granted. I am proud to say that after his first year of life Parker is now 14 and is a perfectly healthy teenager. If anything has given me the tools to be grateful, it has been my kids. They teach me the most, and I am genuinely thankful for them.

 

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I have compiled a list of 30 things to write about for the things to be grateful for that you can write about in your journal one for each day. I suggest if you can to write on each subject 30 minutes a day that way it gives you an adequate time to slow down and appreciate each one. I challenge you to take a 30-day Gratitude Challenge and slow down a little to focus on the things that you may not typically recognize. I can attest to learning the lesson of being grateful and how it can make your life seem better than you realize. Enjoy this challenge and let me know how it worked for you.

30-Day Gratitude Writing Challenge
1. Good Health
2. Your Family
3. Your pets
4. Your friends
5. Where you live
6. The Weather
7. A hobby you enjoy
8. Your neighbors
9. Your Job
10. Your values
11. You knowledge
12. What you have eaten today
13. Where you sleep
14. The ability to do what you want
15. Your Freedom
16. Your Life Experiences
17. Your Failures
18. Your necessities such as water and electricity
19. What you have learned from others
20. The Holidays
21. The stars at night
22. Your favorite place
23. Your favorite childhood memory
24. The weekend
25. Nature
26. Your Talents
27. For the little things
28. Your body
29. Your abilities
30. The challenges you face

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #22

When both feet are planted firmly, nothing can shake you.

Sometimes it can be tough to stand your ground when there are opposing sides coming at you. I am a passionate person and when I have chosen to stand my ground the consequences of my choice to stand firm has affected certain relationships. The decisions I made were based mainly on the safety of my family and myself, and I felt that there was no budging. The result has led me to cut ties with some of my family members. I will be honest I don’t regret the decisions I have made and wished those that do not agree the very best. Even though our differences have kept us apart, I am still compassionate towards them. I still hope that one day we may also meet on good terms and be able to build the relationships we once had. A person can hold steadfast in what they believe and still be compassionate to the others that don’t agree. The reason I chose to separate myself was based purely on the fact that I was tired of being a doormat and I felt that my family was feeling the repercussions. Here are five ways that I stood my ground and can still make peace with my decision.

1. Be Compassionate

When I first had to learn to do this, it was hard for me to wrap my head around this concept. The people I had to stand my ground with were my family, and I had grown up with these individuals my whole life. I remember when I was an adult, and the situation became extremely dramatic; I wanted to blame the family that was involved. I was mad and hurt that they did not have faith in me and my life choices. After a while, the blame game gets pretty old, and with that, I started to feel sympathy for these people involved. It made me sad that they would not be able to watch my kids grow up and have a relationship with them. They would miss any of my husband’s and mine accomplishments and celebrate with us. My anger changed to sadness not so much for myself but for those that would lose these life moments. I am sure you may be curious about what I decided to walk away from that would cause me to choose to separate myself from family. My reason to stand my ground was alcoholism, and it takes a lot for someone who is dealing with addiction to gain compassion for those that suffer. It took me many years to gain an understanding of my family that struggles with this. Instead of being angry I decided to be more sympathetic although all of these feelings have to be done from a distance. It helps heal my spirit to be compassionate to the people I love and gives me comfort in my decision.

2. Learn to Have the Right Attitude

Having a bad attitude has never worked for anyone wanting to move forward. Sometimes taking a stand for what we believe in means we need to stay positive about what is confronting us. Even when there are those around us that want to try to change who we are we still need to be respectful of their beliefs and opinions. Sometimes standing our ground can get us ridiculed and we need to be able to be confident in what we are standing for. I am a homeschool mom of two children, and I have run into this in the past where I have had to stand up for my belief in teaching my children. I have had many different conversations where people believe that this can not be a good fit for a child socially and from an educational standpoint. I respect them for their belief, but it is not going to change the way my family lives their lives. Many times after these individuals have met my children and spent time with them the opinion they once had has now changed. Having the right attitude when it comes to dealing with those awkward situations can have a more significant effect on the situation instead of handling it negatively.

3. Don’t be a Pushover be Assertive

Being a pushover never got me anywhere. I began to realize early when needing to stand my ground that if I did not, I dealt with the most disrespect. Just because these individuals may be close does not mean you have to bend your rules. When dealing with my kids and their friends, I have a rule in my house that when you are in my house, you need to follow my rules. I recognize that other people have other rules in their homes and I support their rules when I am in their homes. I expect the same thing when others are in my house. Being assertive is not a bad thing and shows that you are confident in what you want for your life. It keeps those that want to use you as a doormat at a comfortable distance. When you are assertive it lets, people know that you deserve to be respected.

4. Prioritize the Things in Your Life

What is important to you? What things hold special meaning? My priorities in my life are my husband and my kids. When these things get disrupted, that is when I take a stand and don’t budge. When addiction was affecting my family, I chose to separate myself to keep my family safe and healthy. The things you prioritize in life are the things that you value most, and you don’t want those things to be affected negatively. My family is something that I have worked hard for, and it is not something I am willing to negotiate with when the negotiation may cause pain to them in the end.

4. Keep your Vision

Don’t lose sight of what you have worked so hard for. Even when there is an opposition that you must face know that you can still keep your head high and be comfortable where you stand. Keeping your vision helps you stay on your path even when a deterrent hits. It helps you work toward your primary goal and gives you a light at the end of a tunnel. If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything.

5. You do not Have to Give a Reason for Your Stance

Your reasons are your reasons and no one else’s. People should not have to explain why they decided the way they did; it is their business. Never let anyone make you second guess what you firmly believe in your way of thinking is precisely that your way. Giving reasons also shows that you may not be as set as you thought and can show a sign of weakness. If people see a flaw, they may also see an opportunity to use that against you.

Standing our ground can be difficult at times, but it is very beneficial for us to do so. While we do need to be firm, we also must show compassion for the opposite side and understand where they are coming from. Having a right attitude when dealing with a situation that questions our ideas gets us a lot farther than one that is more combative. Remember to stay strong and don’t let others push you around. By being assertive and confident, this will less likely try to force their views on you, and respect what you have to offer. Prioritize the things in your life that you treasure you will work harder and you will value them more and expect others to appreciate them in return. Never lose sight of the vision you want for your life. Keeping your idea keeps you on the path to attaining the ultimate goal. Never feel like you have to explain to others why you do things a certain way. Everyone has the freedom of choice and telling others why you choose to do things a certain way is not allowing you to have that freedom. Never feel like your less than just because you may do things differently than others, embrace the individuality that lies within you.

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Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #21

You will always possess a charm and sense of humor that attracts others.

Do charming people have more carefree times in social settings? Thinking about this question gets me thinking how I socialize in specific environments. For the most part, I feel that I am warm and comfortable to communicate with and don’t see myself struggling in this area. I was a personal trainer for nine years and gave seminars where I needed to speak to an audience, and when I first started I was shy and many times would get the butterfly feeling in the pit of my gut before I was to speak. As the years gone by and I kept giving seminars, teaching classes, and working with new people these insecurities disappeared. The one talent I do wish I had more of was that of being charming. What is so wonderful about being charming? I feel that being lovely with those around us can benefit us much especially when it comes to critical social settings such as business meetings. Being charming can bring positive attention to you. This behavior can help make connections that may not have been made otherwise, and will even build one’s self-confidence. Sometimes when I try, I can be a bit socially awkward, and this is something that I know I could benefit from doing in social settings. Here are four ways that I plan on becoming more charming to those around me.

1. Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Why must we always step out of the comfort zone to get anything done? If we are comfortable, we won’t try as hard to get what we want. People like to associate with others who think outside the box. Think about the times you have conversations and who you like to talk with, are they boring or are they interesting to you? What makes them that way? Being creative in your discussions brings a little spice of life to the party, and you will get more people interested. Think of fun and creative ways that you can communicate with those around you. If you are at an office party, don’t start the conversation off about work instead find some common interest outside of work to discuss. Talking about hiking on the weekends will be far more interesting than the spreadsheets you look at every day.

2. Listen

Please be a good listener. Listening to those around us can be a hard one to follow and if you are like me and always thinking about what to say next. I have had to practice this one in the last few years and can say that I am grasping at this concept. I never knew how annoying this could be to be in a conversation and not listen till I started catching myself in this dangerous behavior. You will make more friends by lending an ear instead of a mouth. People love those that listen and pay attention to what they are talking about. Many times people don’t listen, and it is scarce to find a good listener. Remember when in a conversation don’t keep thinking about what you are going to say next, you won’t be listening, and that can get you into trouble. Recieve their message in full so that you can give a response that is meaningful to another person.

3. Focus on the Emotions

Make sure to check those emotions at the door. Making sure my feelings didn’t get the best of me was the lesson I learned when I was a trainer. It doesn’t matter what people think of me I can’t be shy and nervous when I needed to be confident and motivating. I would have never kept a client being shy and timid. I had to suck it up buttercup and put on that confident face to get through many of my seminars and sessions. After they were done and I had positive feedback it gave me the confidence to do the next one and pretty soon I no longer needed to check my emotions at the door. Give yourself a break and relax. Being able to relax and not worry about what and how you are going to start a conversation makes communication with others so much more comfortable. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun in whatever setting you are involved with. If you are fumbling for your words and awkward, this will be a no-win situation for you, and you will inevitably crash and burn.

charm

4. Body Language Says More than you Think

Body language says a lot in a conversation and how you hold yourself will tell others quite a bit about you, and you want to make a good impression. If you stand tall, you are showing confidence. When we stand slouched and hunched over, we may give off the idea there is a weakness. Giving eye contact shows that you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying. Often matching the way others in the conversation are holding their body language will make you and them comfortable.

Everyone can have a certain amount of charm, and it takes a little practice to master the skill. Make sure to get outside of your box and be creative when engaging in a social conversation. Listening to those around us and paying attention to what is being said will make us valuable to those that are telling the story. Make sure to keep those emotions where they need to be and that it is better to be relaxed and confident then it is to be awkward and nervous. Take your body language and make it work for any social situation. Practicing these qualities will bring us closer to being the charming individuals we have always wanted to be.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #20

Tolerance is a virtue few have.

I will be honest when I picked up this one I had to chuckle a little. Like I said when I started this project that these fortune cookie papers had significant meaning to them and I knew I would be learning valuable lessons from these little phrases. How can we be more tolerant around others and in situations that we may not agree with and be able to keep things healthy? Tolerance is something that we all have to work on at some point in our lives and the more we can grasp understanding the better we can be as human beings. Here are six ways we can work on being a more tolerant world.

1. Empathy Please

Empathy is the way that we can understand feelings and share them with each other. If we are empathetic with those around us, we have the awareness to care. One way to be more empathetic is to look at the perspective of the other person. A good example is siblings. Unfortunately, my siblings and I are not very close. I remember as a child having the hardest time getting along with my siblings. We would fight regularly, and usually, there was a consequence for our fighting behavior. I often wonder if our parents would have sat us down as children and had talked about what we thought was right and take time to listen to the other, I think we could have put a stop to the constant fighting and would have been able to build better relationships with one another. We each would have been taught to empathize with the other and learn to communicate with one another in a manner that would have built our relationships rather than each one of us continually attacking the other. Empathy causes us to be compassionate, and it takes away the “I am always right, and you are still in the wrong mentality.

2. Ask the Opposition For an Explanation

Let the other party explain their point of view. It is okay to have your viewpoint but taking time to listen to the one you don’t agree with gives a sense of respect and can make a tense situation and lighten it up a bit. I think as a whole many of us are taught to be right, and we need to understand this is a big world with tons of different perspectives and even though we don’t agree doesn’t mean that everyone else is wrong. When giving the other person a chance to answer don’t be aggressive when you hear something that you may not like and don’t dismiss their side of the story. Take this opportunity to learn from them and gain some understanding of why they believe the way they do and embrace the difference that you both have with one another.

3. Ignore the Differences

I think that if you can ignore the differences that you may have with one another and embrace the relationship you share that is a fantastic experience. Many individuals are in my life that share different opinions and views, and that’s okay with me because we are different. I value my relationships more than I appreciate the differences I have with them. Many of these things that we have differences on will come and go, and as long as we can get through the conflicting opinions, we get to keep the people that we love and appreciate.

4. Don’t Accuse or Assume

Anyone ever heard the phrase “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” In my life, I have found this out many times, and every word of it is valid. Accusing people is something that should not be done especially if you are valuing that relationship. No one likes to be accused of being something that they are not. The same thing goes for assuming. Assuming someone is just going to jump on board with whatever you expect is not only dangerous but pretty unrealistic. We are independent people with independent thoughts, and we can’t force people to think and act the same way we do it is just not going to happen. When dealing with different opinions, it is better to keep the accusations and assumptions out of the conversation.

5. Address the Problem and Try to Solve

Compromise is excellent when it comes to addressing a problem. By making sure to understand all points of view and showing acknowledgment of someone else’s viewpoints will get you further than if you just shut them down. Use negotiation to your advantage and keep calm so that the environment doesn’t get uncomfortable. Something to do when addressing an issue is using the “I” statements. Instead of saying you think this or you believe that state them as your viewpoint. Using comments that start with you can lead to people feeling like they are being accused of something especially if the conversation you are having has anything to do with disagreements.

6. Remember the Value of Difference

The difference is what makes our world great. It gives us an opportunity to grow and learn. We can still have our beliefs and opinions but understand that there is more than one belief or idea out there in this world. Even though you may not agree you can always agree to disagree and keep the clam before it becomes a storm. Take time to learn about the other points of view.

 

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We may not all think alike, and that’s okay. If we can try to remember to be empathetic with those we don’t see eye to eye with it will get us a lot further along in this world. When in a conversation that is getting heated take time to ask the other party for their explanation and gain understanding into why they think the way they do. Sometimes we can get past the differences by just ignoring them and focusing only on our relationships. Make sure not to accuse or assume something of someone else. Doing this never ends well and will leave you both unhappy. You can always address a problem and try to come up with an adequate solution by learning to make compromises. Remeber that difference is great and that we can learn something we may not have known about that other person before. Next time you come across someone or something that needs tolerance take a look at the situation and ask yourself is this argument worth this relationship?