Monthly Archives: October 2012


Only trust someone who can see the following three (3) things in YOU:

  1. The sorrow behind your smile.
  2. The love behind your anger.
  3. The reason behind your silence.

♥ mm ♥

Quotes that resonated today

My friends posted some quotes today on FB today and they definitely struck a chord within me – may they serve as a reminder on how to live life:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”  ~ John Green

“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.” ~ Jodi Picoult

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” ~ Maya Angelou

“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”
~ Mark Twain

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ~  Audrey Hepburn


Monday Ramblings…

I survived a very manic Monday indeed…and in surviving, I came to the conclusion that I don’t want everybody to like me.  I don’t…because there’s no way to be real and have everybody like you.  When you’re true to yourself and do what you want, some people are bound to get pissed off.  I am sure you all have heard the expression, “If you try to please everybody, you please nobody”.  Well lesson learned yet again…the hard way.  When you’re trying to please other people – When you’re trying to make people like you – When you’re reacting to others – all you are accomplishing is not staying true to yourself.

Thing is: there’s no reason to want everybody to like you. Do what you want and let whatever happens happen. Some people will love you. Others will hate you.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I want real interactions, real connections instead of trying to please everybody.  Because every time you don’t do what you want, every time you censor your inner being, a part of you dims inside.  Every time you doubt yourself and don’t do what your heart so desperately urges you to do, you become more numb. Desensitized. Lifeless. That magical twinkle in your eye dims and you settle.  Well – no more settling.  Yelling it now – NO MORE SETTLING!

Doing what you want doesn’t mean being a *insert rude expletive of choice*.

…because being mean, being obnoxious, being rude, being selfish – all those nasty things that might be confused with “doing what you want” – are just convenient misinterpretations.

Doing what you want in order to get approval isn’t really doing what you want. It’s buying into other people’s story. Same thing goes for trying to control other people. For trying to be superior.

“I don’t want everyone to like me” is vastly different to “I want everyone to not like me”.

Indifference and contentedness is vastly different to living in reaction, living for others.

This is about staying true to yourself.

It’s easy to see the “do what you want” as a selfish attitude but when you really do what you want, when you live from your deepest inner being, you’re tapping into and accessing the source of all compassion. When you are true to yourself and connect to your deepest being, you see the humanity in everybody and experience life itself, and express and share that with all around you.

Being Real is connecting to and expressing your deep desire to live.

Undiluted. Pure bliss. Expressed through true right action, true self expression.

No more censoring who you are.
No more reaction and approval seeking.
No more self doubt or anxiety.
No more fake communication.
No more living for others.

…just pure undiluted genuine authentically unapologetic real raw expression.

Do what you want and Be Real.

Stay true to yourself.  Always.

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have a very low- to-no tolerance for bullshit and insincere people.

I can’t stand facades. People tend to put up fronts because they want to be perceived a certain way, they want you to think highly of them, respect them, and maybe even admire them. Sometimes they build up facades because they’re just scared of being judged or hurt by you. They built up these fronts to represent themselves because deep down, they are flawed individuals in one way or another.

The thing is, I like people a lot more when they acknowledge their flaws, rather than hiding them. For me, when people open up to me, it’s wonderful. The friendships I have where people are perfectly candid and show me their true selves, exposing their feelings regardless of how vulnerable that makes them, are the friendships I value most.  I appreciate genuine sincerity in people.  If you can acknowledge that flawed part of yourself you don’t like, it demonstrates a certain strength of character that is not evident when you mask yourself. It makes you more human to me, and helps me accept your flaws.

People are more beautiful when you accept them for what they really are. Flaws make us human, and struggling to overcome those flaws make us even more so. But one crucial step to growing as a person is to not lie to yourself. Sharing who you are without reservation with another person is as intimate as you can get, in my opinion.

I used to feel sorry for some people who felt the need to pretend.  Now seriously – step away.  So you posers out there who manipulate, try to say what you think others want to hear, please stay away from me.

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.  Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect. This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings; instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your “flaws”.  Look in the mirror and fall in love with the reflection that is You.

I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me.  I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.

I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am OKAY!

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” -African Proverb

Sometimes we judge ourselves pretty harshly. We blame ourselves for things we have absolutely no control over. We criticize, berate, and even disparage ourselves, treating ourselves far worse than we’d ever treat other people.

It’s just all too easy to hold ourselves to high standards, and then get frustrated if we fail to meet them. I know I have done this before, and, at the risk of sounding defeatist, I know I will do it at some point again.

I believe that in much the same we will inevitably have conflicts with other people, we will also go through times when we’re not kind and loving to ourselves.

Perhaps the key to silencing the enemy within is accepting that it is there–that we all possess both darkness and light within us–and then learning to create a higher ratio of self-affirming to self-diminishing thoughts. Maybe the goal shouldn’t be to always be positive, but to recognize when we start being self-critical so that we can shift our thoughts more quickly and effectively with each internal struggle.

In a perfect world, we would always know the perfect thing to do and say, and we’d instinctively always do those things. Maybe some people do. But I can’t speak for them, because I sometimes struggle.

What helps me is to focus on progress, not perfection–to forgive myself when I’ve gotten negative, and then start fresh – clean slate.

Today if you get down on yourself, remember: You’re doing the best you can, and you have the power to choose, right now, that your best is good enough.  And we don’t need  everybody to like us.  BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!

Undiluted, uncensored…Just T…♥


Happy birthday, AJ!! ♥ Cha, Cha, Cha…

Happy Birthday Baby Brother . . . in Heaven.

♪♫ Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha.
Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha.
Happy Birthday Dear AJ
Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha. ♪♫

Today is my best friend’s birthday.  My brother would have been 44 years old today.  I can never imagine you as 44 – but always as my scheming, smarty-pants, partner in crime and mischief, my protector.  He was taken from us way too soon.  I know he is having a big ‘ol party in heaven with our Dad – probably playing dominoes, drinking and eating cake.  He deserves it.  I know he must be having a blast knowing so many people love him here on earth.

Wish I could just one more time say, “Happy birthday Brother from the little sister who knew you when…and loves you still”….in person.

A lot of words unspoken, affection unexpressed.  Still, I hope you know it . . . as a brother, you were the best.

You would have loved today’s weather – sun peeking through now.   You were the first person to mention how the fall as like the spring but with leaves as flowers.  The rain has stopped, the leaves on the ground look like flowers shining bright, in the glare of the sunshine…I know that on this special day, on your birthday, God decided to send you from heaven, because earth was desperately in need of an angel.  I needed to see your smile one more time in that rainbow that was on the ground in front of our house – I even made Mami go down to see it.

I miss our all night conversations.

I miss you ironing and me cleaning.

I miss doing your homework.

I miss you teaching me how to swing a bat.

I miss us hiding out in the closet, reading aloud.

I miss our bike riding and roller blading.

I miss you always fighting my battles for me.

I miss you supporting me in all my impulsive decisions.

Most of all I miss you – your smile that could light up a room.

Give Papi a hug and save me some heavenly birthday cake.

AJ – my best friend, my only brother, my baby brother.  Death ends a life, not a relationship.   We shed tears because he is gone, but always smile because he had lived.  Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us each and every day – unseen, unheard, but always near.  It broke my heart to lose him but he didn’t go alone – because a part of me went with him.  Missing him is knowing all about heaven and hell.  My very own Angel… always…♥


Can Something Good Come From This?

Wow!  I have been busy…between working, dating, volunteering…I am surprised I have found time for sleeping.  But I am happy…happier than I have been for months.  I am so looking forward to my volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald House this coming Thursday.  We have gathered a good team.  I know the impact will be great.  Knowing that even for a second, I can help make a child smile is so rewarding.   Personally, many of you know that I myself have lived with cancer so it means more to me to be a volunteer.  Throughout the years, I have found many ways to give back.  I have loved each and every moment of the many fundraising events that I’ve volunteered at, and making lifetime friends along the way!
I’ve grown very passionate about the work so many provide, such as the Ronald McDonald House and how they lend support to children and their families living with this cancer.   So I am going to remain forever optimistic and hopeful.  I am going to maintain my enthusiasm and get a kick out of putting smiles on children’s faces, and continue to reap the rewards of being a volunteer.

And as much as I want to fall in love again, I have been soooo dreading dating again.   But being out in groups with my support group and my volunteering teams, has introduced me to many like-minded people.  I am truly enjoying spending my time with quality people who know how to give of themselves.  For now, just taking it slow.  Meeting in groups is key.   So volunteering may even help me find my next true love.  Who knew?!

What I am learning is that cancer can take a lot of things but that it could also help me and others realize many more important things.  Cancer gave me focus and determination – to live what life was given to me to the fullest.  It has helped to make me deeper and wider and more impassioned than those who have not had to experience the harsher sides of life.  I learned that the unexpected gift of cancer is an intense appreciation for life.  I found compassion for others where there had been none before, I found strength I didn’t know I had…and I would not trade my experiences for anything. 

No one would volunteer to have cancer. Even though it may seem impossible to imagine at the beginning, most people find the strength to deal with cancer when they or a member of their family become ill.  I see it every day!  Most people cope with the challenges cancer brings one day at a time and come out okay in the end.  Overall, most children’s cancer survivors have a good quality of life and sense of well-being.   Also, after getting through such a challenging experience, many people look back on it and feel that they underwent some positive personal changes as a result of having cancer.  Here’s to continual hope…

It is easy to think of the negative things that come with cancer:  having to be in the hospital, missing out on school, work and social activities with friends, feeling too sick or tired to enjoy life, worrying about the future. During treatment, the time is often spent managing these negative or unpleasant things.  After treatment, looking back on these experiences can challenge the way people and their families think about themselves and their world. Many people begin to see positive changes in themselves as a result of surviving the cancer experience. They feel stronger. Parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and friends may also experience positive changes as a result of someone close to them having cancer. For example, some people say the cancer experience helped them focus on what really matters in life. They say they appreciate life more, have deeper personal relationships with family and friends, and find a stronger sense of spirituality. Others report increased confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations, and more certainty about their priorities; they feel more confident and have new interests and goals. Some people experience a desire to “give back” to others and work to help current and future cancer patients. These people might get involved in organizations like Ronald McDonald’s House that provide resources to cancer patients and families.

So here I am…on my journey to give back…find my way…hoping…♥

Compliments…the power of words…

I love when I get my hair washed and styled at the hair salon – I swear I walk out of there feeling like a million bucks! And having people compliment me before I even hit the street is a definite plus! But I didn’t always welcome compliments.  In the past, I could just not accept a compliment graciously, and say, ‘thank you”.

In the past, twenty people could come up to me in a day’s time and say something nice about me and I’d smile and say thank you, but in my mind I would dismiss every single compliment.  I simply couldn’t internalize something I don’t feel myself.    Maybe it was stupid – but it was my reality.

And sometimes, even now, especially when I go for treatment, I feel so ugly and useless, I may still have a hard time accepting a compliment…but I am more aware of this uneasy twinge, and manage to smile and confidently utter, “thank you”.

I no longer feel the need to counter any praise by listing off my flaws.  I no longer worry that by accepting admiration, I may appear arrogant.  I used to foolishly worry that I would come across as proud, conceited, or egotistical – if I accepted a compliment without following up with a negative.  I no longer feel this way.  I welcome and accept all compliments.   These days, I don’t find myself having to downplay my strengths and emphasizing my weaknesses.

So many people even with high self-esteem may tend to reject the compliment because they want to be seen as modest and humble; others with lower self-esteem may not accept the compliment because it is inconsistent with their self-image.    I guess also we sometimes think the person giving us a compliment only wants something – so we are less likely to believe it.

I understand now that a kind word, acceptance, actually makes me feel better; boosts my self-esteem.  I believe it even wards off some depression.  Compliments should lead to positive thinking, not lead us to focus on our flaws and questions other’s motives.

Between doctor visits, treatments, being too tired to perform 110% at work – I look forward to the smallest kindness.   Believing the kind words of others —when I am feeling stressed or sad can actually counteract those negative emotions and improve my mood dramatically.

Always in my pursuit of finding balance, I like to follow this goal:  Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticisms go to your heart.  I am not sure who first coined this expression – but the sentiment is a good reminder to all.

More words to live by:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia

So today when my friend states, “When I compliment you, I compliment myself, because I am who I associate with”, I will just hug him and smile.  ♥


I am reminded of the very wise comments of an old friend, trainer and business mentor who said, ‘always look for the opportunity to find the positive in what people do, then give them genuine praise and watch them glow and grow with the appreciation’.

Wednesday is training day – acronym for today’s work in training people to value and appreciate what they do and help them to glow and grow is – A.C.S.D.S.R = Always Catch Someone Doing Something Right.

When I took my current job, training others was not part of my job description.   But there was a need, a gap – and who knew, I am good at it…but sometimes it’s hard not coming across as a know-it-all.   Or worse, unintentionally ruffling someone’s feathers and making them feel stupid.  So it is a balancing act.

I try to remember that everyone does something right, you just need to look for it, let them know you value and appreciate it, and then it is much easier to address what they may have done wrong and the solution to correct it.   So today I will try to encourage everyone that is being trained or mentored to use A.C.S.D.S.R. constantly in order to enjoy the personal lift you get from doing it.

It is good to be reminded of this wonderful acronym which I know needs to be maintained as part of my daily life and not just used occasionally.  I am sure this rewarding and enjoyable part of my life will again become a positive and ongoing habit.

Serious need of some seriously funny people…

“I am serious, so I laugh a lot.  You need to laugh.  You don’t laugh enough.  I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh”.  –Maya Angelou

“I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” –Ray Bradbury

I find it interesting that most people in my life either describe me as ‘silly’ or ‘serious’…nothing really in between.  But lately many people have been telling me I am too serious…some of these people also ‘accuse’ me of wanting too much; they say, I don’t know how to take a joke.  I have to disagree.  I think these people just don’t know me…which is all good.

If people say something bad about you, judge you as if they know you, don’t easily get affected. Remember this: dogs bark if they don’t know the person.  This is my favorite saying of the week!

Sure I admit that I am very serious most of the time but not too serious, because seriousness has always been very natural to me.  Growing up, I was a loner, buried my head in a book, escaped in the words, travelled to places described.  I am a dreamer; but life has me firmly grounded in reality.  And unfortunately, that reality has seen its share of heartache. I believe this serious side of me is because of my desire to always improve myself and my dislike of imperfections.  As a result, I am hyper-critical of myself, everything I do, and even the world around me.   See to me – this may explain why many believe that I am too serious.

But I try to lighten up…I have my moments…I know how to suspend my reality hours at a time.  I think that is why I tend to gravitate toward people who have a healthy sense of humor.  They know how to laugh things off, shrug their shoulders, dust off their pants, and just keep smiling.

In my not so distant past, I have learned there are so many problems with being too serious leading to many sleepless nights:

The silent killer = Stress:   Always being sick and always feeling responsible has for the most part been overwhelming.

Worry:  Being serious leads to worrying a lot.  I tend to worry all of time.  Even insignificant issues become worrisome to someone who is too serious. Major issues become even more worrisome than they should be.

Anxiety: People who are too serious tend to have great anticipation or fears that preoccupy their thoughts.   Social anxiety is the biggest hurdle for me these days.

Depression: When serious people concentrate mostly on serious issues that are mostly out of their control, they tend to become more depressed.  Lucky for me, I don’t hibernate as long as I used to in the past.  I am more aware of all these issues which greatly helps my mood.

Boredom: Serious individuals tend to become more bored with mundane tasks. They prefer to work on more important tasks and solve problems instead.

Interactions: Being too serious can negatively affect interactions with other people, thus resulting with poor social skills and fewer friends.

As a result, being too serious most of the time can have detrimental effects to a person’s happiness, health, and social life.  Yes!  I have been proof of this.  Changing for the better…finally!

Fortunately, there is a simple and easy suggestion to help anyone become less serious. Just set aside some time each day when no important tasks need to be or will be done.   For me, this takes place every day now!  J  This will be the down time to just relax.  Do not do anything that’s stressful – I don’t watch the news, I don’t talk to selfish people, I don’t listen to love songs; I try to stay away from all that aggravate me.  Instead, I watch funny movies, read a good book, take the dog for a walk, write in my blog, allow attention from admirers, chat with my new funny friends…best of all check in with my Goddaughter – she is the brightest spot in this murky life.  She is so full of hope, love, and promises yet wise before her years.  I just pray she allows herself to be silly and doesn’t let the serious side of life take over.  She has already learned the most important thing in life:  Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.

A sense of humor… is needed armor.  Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life….I am finally almost there.

I strongly believe:  “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain”.  –Kahlil Gibran

Let’s all try to remember that:  “Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious”.  –Peter Ustinov

Always looking for balance…♥

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