You Have A Choice!!! Wednesday, Feb 5 2014 

735178_10200242197079716_77444777_n After reading several statuses, on Facebook, in the past few days, I thought I should share this: I used to question why things have happened to me – why have people treated me as they have – referring to past relationships, past friendships, etc. I would get so tired of being used, hurt, talked down to, made to feel guilty, and rejected.  Yet, I have never been one who enjoys drama (except the kind of drama found on TV and in movies – you have to have a little SVU, in your life!!).  I steer clear of drama, every chance I get, trying to keep the peace, as much as possible.  At times, I have felt manipulated, and only wanted around when needed; at times, I was.  Many times, I felt played; many times, I was.  But, it was easier to just keep my opinions to myself, to just do what I was asked, to give more than what was being received – not because I’m a pushover… again, I was keeping the peace.  You see, I was always told to “be me.”  I didn’t like how others were treating me.  I didn’t want to be like them.  So, I gave of myself, how I would hope others would be to me.  I still do. While reading those certain statuses, that I mentioned earlier, I saw in them pain, hurt, bitterness, rejection.  I saw anger, depression, and shame.  I saw blame, manipulation, and control – blaming another for something (which, may have indeed been true), but allowing that persons actions to eventually control their own; hence, the cross-manipulation, bitterness, anger, resentment, etc.  Sure, my life has not been the easiest.  These last few years – 2010 & 2011 – were two of my hardest years.  2012, was on the verge of that as well, but during my hardest month, of 2012, I was told something that really struck me:

No one can control the actions of others. But, what can be controlled is how you allow others to treat you…and how you react to it.

“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt “Men will treat you the way you let them.” – Tucker Max The realization came to me… It is perfectly acceptable to “be me,” but it is also perfectly acceptable to set boundaries for myself.  I cannot solely fault those, who have hurt or used me, for their actions, for it has been my actions that have decided, in the end, what “happened to me.”  I said all of that, to say this… if you feel used, don’t allow yourself to be used again.  Be you and be there for that person, yet set your boundaries! You may not be able to jump and fulfill their every need… DO THEY HELP YOU TOO?  If you feel manipulated, don’t manipulate back… STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!  YOU DESERVE BETTER!  If someone hurts you.. TELL THEM.. TALK IT OUT.. DO NOT HURT BACK!  (If you do, you’re only stooping to their level.)  If you’re being played… again, you deserve better.  Someone who loves you and cares about you will NOT play you… WALK AWAY!!!!  If you have been rejected… that was that person’s loss… don’t keep looking at the door that’s closed.. there is someone else waiting for you to see them… OPEN THE NEXT DOOR!!!  Be with the person that knows what they have when they have you… not after they lose you. You may think you have such a horrible life, but you’re making it horrible, by dwelling on what is done and cannot be changed.  At this moment, you have the right to change your story’s ending.  Start writing the next chapter.  Stop worrying yourself, with the actions of others.  Sure it’s ok to question, but start controlling the way you deal with it. You may have been the victim, but you have a choice whether or not to stay the victim.  You also have the choice whether or not to be the next offender.  FORGIVE AND MOVE ON!!!!! STOP POSTING YOUR PROBLEMS ON FACEBOOK…. and BE HAPPY FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE GOING RIGHT IN YOUR LIFE!!! Live life knowing that, no matter what others have done, or chose to do to you, you gave it your best shot… for yourself, and for others.  Let people know how you want to be treated.  Place your boundaries.  Don’t lose yourself in others. Stop concerning yourself with trying to make someone else a better person… BE A BETTER YOU!!! Remember this… Disempowerment is YOUR CHOICE and ONLY YOURS!!!   ~Bek

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How WILLING is your HEART? Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

Two weeks ago, a friend and I had lunch at one of our local Asian restaurants.  Just as the tradition always is, at the end of the meal, the waitress handed us our ticket along with our fortune cookies.  I, for one, never eat the fortune cookie, but I love to read them.  I carefully squeezed the cookie until it split, revealing a small slip of paper.  I slowly removed it from its crumbled shell and unfolded it.  On this tiny piece of paper, read these profound words:

“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”

The literal meaning of this proverb is that nothing is impossible to someone who sets their mind to a particular thing, for it will be achieved.  While this is true, my inquisitive mind began analyzing this phrase to find a deeper meaning.  I carefully repeated this phrase in my mind, “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.  NOTHING is impossible to a willing heart.”  The more that I said it over and over, the more I realized that the focus should not be on the words ‘nothing’ or ‘impossible,’ but rather on ‘A WILLING HEART.’

The word willing, means ‘cheerfully consenting.’  Heart is defined as the ‘center of total personality, especially with reference to feeling or emotion; capacity for compassion and affection; the vital, or essential core.’

WOW!  Right there, in the definitions of those two words, is the deeper meaning to this profound statement. 

We tend to only look at this proverb as something considered meant for ourselves.  We read it and say, “I can set my mind to something and accomplish it.”  But as I read these words and plugged in these definitions, I realized what I was actually reading.  Nothing is impossible to a WILLING HEART.

Today, in this world, most have forgotten what it means to be a Christian and to love.  We look at people and immediately judge them, not knowing what situation they may be faced with, or how far they have come in life after overcoming struggles.  We have never walked in their shoes, why should we be given the right to judge?  I am guilty of this very thing. 

Just the other day, a man, who I assumed to be homeless, walked up to my friend and I asking for money.  I, cold-heartedly, turned away, while my friend reached into her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill.  After he walked away, I asked her why she gave him ten dollars….after all, money is hard to come by and my only concern was what he would do with it.  She then asked me why I chose to turn away and not even consider the fact that out of all the people asking for money, this one might actually be wise with the money she gave him.  It was like a slap in the face to me.  I was put in my place.  In just two seconds, with only a few words from his mouth, I judged him.  Because of her WILLING HEART, she opened a window of possibilites for that man.  IF ONLY I had a willing heart, could it have been possible that he would have taken my ten dollars and used it to buy a hamburger or a new shirt? 

Everyone, I am sure, has heard the phrase, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  If we know that, then why does it happen all the time?  Why is it that when someone walks up and introduces themselves, some people think right then and there that the person in front of them isn’t worth their time?  Why is it that assumptions are made, that hinder what could become the greatest friendship, or the greatest love that someone could ever have?  Assumption – taken for granted.  Judgement – the forming of an opinion or conclusion.  How can we just make an assumption or a judgement from only the first impression we get from someone?  Shouldn’t we allow a little time to get to know that person, to hear their story, to know their dreams for their future?  We can choose our friends, and the people we are associated with, but we must first have a WILLING HEART to give them a chance.  It is not our place to judge….It is ALMIGHTY GOD’s!!! 

As Christians, we need to remember that Jesus does not look at us for what we look like, or what and who we are.  He looks inside of each and every one of us.  He looks deep within our hearts.  We, as human beings, should follow after Him and His example.  Even some churches push people away.  Discrimination is a major part of this problem.  A church is a haven…..a hospital…..a place that is supposed to show mercy, care,  and love.  It is not a place that determines who can be there because of the color of their skin or the lifestyle they might lead.  Cliques in the church also drive people away.  There are those who no longer feel accepted or wanted by people.  Although it is not intended that a person go to church for others, to feel unaccepted in a place where God wants EVERYONE to be welcome, is not of WILLING HEARTS.  We should see others as God sees them…….a soul.  It is our purpose, as Christians, to show others the love of Christ.  If we choose to judge others, to make assumptions about others, and to immediately turn our backs towards them….what kind of Christians would we be?  Do you think that God would be pleased?  If you judge someone else, then you should stop and judge yourself for judging them.  Most of all, think about how God is judging you.  Judging is a sin.  No sin is greater than another.  Remember that the next time you assume that someone has great sins upon them….for if you are wrong, you will be the only one with sin.  Have a WILLING HEART, that you might show someone God’s love.  Endless possibilities might open for not only them, but also for you; and because of your WILLING HEART, your light will shine…and you will be blessed. 

By having a WILLING HEART, we become less judgemental, more caring, more thoughtful, more loving, and more understanding.  It is time that we look at others, through the eyes of Christ, just as my friend did.  May our WILLING HEARTS be open….to possibilities….

“Nothing is impossible to a cheerful consenting, vital core of compassion and affection.”

~Bek~

The Uncertainties of Life Monday, Jan 10 2011 

A friend asked if I had made any New Years resolutions…to which, of course, I replied, “No.”  I haven’t made resolutions in quite a while.  (I have never really believed in them, because you don’t just change the way you are at the stroke of midnight.)  She then asked me what was the one thing that I would choose if I had to.  It really hit me.  What I want this year is to be completely true to myself and to who I am.  I no longer want to worry about how others perceive me.  I am an honest person, but I want to be a more open person to those I love and to those that I truly care about.  I have a problem sharing things vocally at times, usually worried that I will say the wrong things, or worried that I cannot accurately express myself.  I’m tired of living with regrets because of the things I have chosen not to say and/or do.  I do not know what lies ahead of me and this change in my outlook…and my desire to have more self-confidence in this new year.  It will be a challenge…but I will achieve it.

All this triggered my thought process…about change…uncertainties…and regrets.  Who is to know what the future holds?  Who is to know where each step we take will lead us?  But what opportunities will we miss out on if we do not choose to take those steps toward our future?

Life is full  of uncertainties – doubt, hesitancy, indeterminacy, unpredictability, indefiniteness.  We ask ourselves, “what if?”….   What if things never change?  What if they do and it is the wrong decision?  What if I regret taking a chance on something?  What if I don’t take that chance, will I regret never taking it? ….  What if!?  We can ask ourselves that question all day long, but if we wait to do everything until we know for sure that things are right, or certain, then we will never do much of anything.  We have to make choices, take chances, and at times make changes, in order to survive this crazy thing called life.  Uncertainty – worry, skepticism, concern, confusion, indecision.  What if!? …  If – a supposition; an uncertainty.  Asking the question, “what if,” will either make us step back and reevaluate, or make us lose out on greater possibilities.  How will we ever know what the future holds by always stopping and asking ourselves “what if”?  Life is full of regrets…but it’s not the things you do that you regret, it’s the things that you don’t do and wish you had that you regret the most.  No choice, chance, or change in life is ever perfect.  That is what makes life – our existence – so hard at times.  Our uncertainties can either develop us or damage us.  Change can be consumed with fear…fear of heartache or regret.  We have to stop and ask ourselves, what will we lose in this change; but we must also ask ourselves, is this fear of change really worth losing the possibility of gaining something greater?  Choice – selection; chance – possibility, or favorable opportunity; change – to transform, or to pass gradually into.  We cannot predict the future.  We cannot determine what will happen next in life.  All we can do is take baby steps into the next window of opportunity.  Though there are always consequences to every decision made, live in the moment and choose what will make you happy.  Growth does not happen without change.  Change does not happen without fear, pain, or loss.  Without pain, we have no growth.  Every decision can be made without regrets as long as you are able, in the end, to look in the mirror with a smile on your face and say, “life has its uncertainties and its what if’s, but I am determined to live it, knowing that I opened the door of change for greater possibilities.”  Life is full of uncertainties – we can either let them control us, or we can overcome them…we all have a choice…

I, for one, no longer want to live in fear of change and the things that I desire.  I am holding on to faith — the belief in what I cannot see, prove, or touch.  I am choosing to run, FULL-SPEED, into the unknown.

“Sometimes those things that scare us the most are also the ones that have the potential to make us the happiest.”

From this point on…I will learn to care less about what others think of me…and focus more on who I am…the person I am becoming…and my happiness.  I will surround myself with people who know that I make mistakes and still love me anyway.  I will always strive to do my best for others, but I am not perfect.

Take me as I am….or watch me as I go.

~Bek~