Neighbors

What a year this has been for all of us. This has been a year of big change and growth, a year of facing fears and uncertainty. In the midst of chaos, there is some beauty that lies. As with all things, there is a silver lining no matter how small.

I live in a community surrounded by many homes, so we have lots of neighbors. We are very fortunate that everyone has been so pleasant to live next to, because as we all know, you can’t pick your neighbors when you move into a new house! We have lived here for many years and seen neighbors move in and move out, some have been here as long as we have. We have always been kind and courteous to our neighbors, but typically haven’t gotten too close to anyone, all of our neighbors are pretty much this way, but Covid has changed things. Several of our neighbors and even our family have gone through big things this year and out of nowhere we have all been there for each other. It has been really great to have that neighborly support and to keep paying it forward. It is so nice how people randomly do acts of kindness. I feel times like this really draw people closer.

Keep paying the good deeds forward, help out your family, friends, neighbors, a total stranger. Unity is how we will get through the tough times. Thank you for stopping by and I wish you all a beautiful day and weekend!

Ways to Be There for a Friend

One of life’s greatest treasures is that of a true and loyal friend. They are few and far between, we are truly blessed when we do come across genuine friendship. These true friendships are rare and priceless and we should do whatever is in our power to grow and maintain them.

Friendships, like any relationship, take a lot of work to keep them going. Life throws many things at us and when a friend of ours is in need, that is where we can step in and help. There are many ways to be there for a friend, or any loved one for that matter:

Communicate – Reach out to your friend and ask them questions to let them know that you are interested in knowing how they are doing and what they are going through. A simple “Hello, how are you?,” or “I am thinking of you,” can mean the world to someone.

Listen – The act of just being there for someone and listening to what they have to say makes others feel valued and cared for. Let them do most of the talking unless they ask for advice etc. Just providing a listening ear works wonders in helping someone talk out their feelings.

Humor – Depending on the situation, using your sense of humor may, or may not be appropriate. If it is, bring up some old funny memories, send some funny memes, or jokes, keep your friend smiling and laughing. It’s a mood booster for everyone!

Explore – Get out in nature, or go explore the town with your friend. Being in a new environment and having distractions can be very helpful, also being in the sun and fresh air are definite mood boosters. Grab lunch, or coffee and just take a stroll and admire nature’s beauty.

Gifts – This doesn’t have to be anything big, a simple card, flowers, box of chocolate, something that the other person enjoys is bound to bring a smile to their face. Just the act of giving and surprising someone can make them feel valued and loved. It is the small things in life that have the biggest meaning.

Touch – Human touch is unbelievably powerful and can truly counteract some very devastating emotions. Some people don’t like others in their personal space, so be mindful of this, but if they are comfortable with you, reach out and give them a warm hug, hold their hand, put your arm around them. Touch is very comforting.

friend2

As you get to know your friend more and more, you will be able to judge what is the best plan of action to take should they need a pick-me-up. It is important to remember that people cope with emotions and life in different ways and different stages, sometimes someone may need to have time alone before they are accepting of help and love from others. I have learned that the hard way a few times, it’s hard not to take it personally when you are trying to be there for someone and they are not very accepting of it. Feel out the other person’s mood and use that as a guide.

As you can see, there are many ways to be there for a friend. When friendship is balanced, they will also in turn be there for you! The beauty of true friendship is knowing that you both will always be there for each other.

friend1

Calling Compassion

Have you ever wondered how different this world could be if we all learned to have respect and compassion for others? So many of our world’s problems stem from a lack of compassion for mankind. Sometimes we may be stressed, or caught up in our own lives, and we may forget just how much of an impact our words and actions have on someone else.

I am sure that most of us can recall moments in our lives where we have felt disrespected or unimportant. We may have been bullied at school or at work, we may have confided in a friend who didn’t seem to care much about what we had to say. We could have experienced loneliness that made us feel unworthy. The smallest gestures – a smile, a nod, a handshake, a hug, even a kind word, or simple hello can bring so much happiness to someone’s day. Kind gestures can foster trust between two people, you never know if you may be the only person who has shown such kindness to that individual in a long time. I recently spoke with someone who said that I was the first person to give her a compliment for as long as she could remember, I was surprised and saddened by this.

Compassion not only makes the receiving individual happy, but being the one showing love and compassion to others is such a boost to our own happiness. Helping others is so fulfilling and rewarding. We don’t truly know what is going on in other people’s lives, they are fighting battles that we may know nothing about. An act of kindness no matter how small goes a long way. If we could all learn to get along and show love, or at the very least respect, this world would be a much better place. We are not going to like everyone that we encounter in our lives, but at the very least, there should be a mutual level of respect as human beings. Sometimes that is very difficult especially if another individual has done us wrong, but if we choose compassion, we won’t have to live with such negativity in our hearts and on our conscience.

There are many ways to show compassion to others. A smile, a conversation, a comforting hug, a card, a text or call to check in, even just listening to someone and offering your time. There are times that we get so caught up in the everyday that we forget the impact that we make on others unless they tell us. No matter what we are facing, we should always choose to press forward with love in our hearts, it can make a difference to your world and mine.