Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life? - A Personal Diary Entry

 

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life? A Personal Diary Entry

Here on ReviewThisReviews, I've made several personal diary entries. My latest entry was "Everything Will Be OK." Today I'm wondering whether you have regrets in life?

I'll Go First - Do I Have Any Regrets in Life?

Yes. I have regrets. Inside, I'm a happy person; no matter the obstacles I've faced, I have been able to maintain a peaceful soul. I've had to deal with being let down multiple times by someone close to me. It hasn't been easy. I'm not one to whine, so I hope this doesn't come across as whining - I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I accept full responsibility for where I am in life. Every decision has led me here, so I'm equally responsible for the good and the bad.

There have been good days and bad days in my life - just like everyone else on earth - however, I've tolerated a lot in my life. I've been disappointed and treated without regard at times. I've gotten through it, and I've held onto myself through the drama and disrespect.

The way I've gotten through my hurt is to not become that which I rail against. Fortunately, I'm not a vengeful person or one who seeks revenge. Thank goodness for that! I know a few vindictive people, and I honestly believe that's an unhealthy way to live. However, who am I to judge. For me, I need to get as far away in behavior from the behavior that hurt me. I don't want to become that person who intentionally hurts others out of revenge.

A friend of mine once relayed this quote to me, "hurt people, hurt people." That's not who I want to be. That's not who I am.

So What Do I Do With This Regret? - What Do You Do With Yours, If You Have Any?

To say I don't struggle with it would be a lie. However, I turn the pain and the regret into something constructive. I focus on the good, and I focus on love. I know this sounds too simple, but for now, that's what I do. 

We can't fix other people. They have to step up. What I've learned over the years is that I can't make that happen - the person who does the hurting has to take responsibility and, God willing, change. I'm at the point where I don't expect change and don't try to make it happen. I work on myself and send love.

If I Could Go Back in Time and Change My Destiny, Would I? Would You?

I don't know. Part of me says yes I would, then another part of me reflects on who I have become "inside," and I'm really very proud of the person I am today; strong, tenacious, forgiving, filled with love despite the hurt, compassionate, tolerate and I like to think that I'm kind. Sorry, I don't mean to toot my own horn, lol - I'm just expressing what all this pain has taught me. So I'm not sure about whether I would change my stars. Some days it's a blatant yes, but for the most part, I'm not sure.

How about you?

I've written poetry for over 50 years and put my life out there for everyone to read. My book, We Will Have Morning Smiles,  is available on Amazon. I started to write at eight years old and continued through my entire life. The writing process, as those of you who write know, is therapeutic. My whole life is on display, via poems, in that book.

Here's a video poem that reflects one of the poems in my book - I think this one speaks to the topic of this article. If you're reading this via mobile, you can see it here.

Remember Who I Am - A Video Poem




In the end, I hope for the best, plan for the worst, but always hold onto who I am and keep my heart filled with love. How about you?



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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Everything Will Be OK - A Personal Diary Entry

 

Everything Will Be OK

One of my favorite personal affirmations to pass along to friends and family in their hour of need is, "everything will be OK."

Let's Review the Phrase "Everything Will Be OK" or Just "OK"

The word "OK" can be magnificently soothing. If you haven't tested out that theory with text messages, give it a try.

Not long ago, I discovered that receiving the "OK" response to a text I've sent to family or friends, especially a lengthier text, is absolutely calming and instantly soothing. How about you?

Why the Words OK are Soothing

Here's my conclusion about this: We live in a world of constant information, turmoil, debates, disagreements, and multiple stresses - and when someone responds back to us with the simple words "OK," we're lifted away from the edge for that moment.

When my kids respond to my texts or verbal requests with "OK," I'm immediately disarmed and relieved. I am keenly aware of being "yessed," so I'm not speaking about that baloney. A sincere "OK," acknowledging that you've been heard, and there's actual consensus, is what I'm referencing - wow! Isn't that nice?

I Like to Hand Out OKs

Whenever possible, I respond with "OK" or the more detailed version, "everything will be OK." Since discovering what these responses do for me, I seek out as many honest moments as possible to say "OK" to others. It's such a gift.

I'll respond with OK to the most mundane things whenever I get the chance. Try it. Here's an example, "mom, I'll be late for dinner" - my response 'OK.' Just a simple 'OK' is what I'll use whenever possible. Here's another boring example, "hun, I'll be home shortly, can you be in the driveway to help me unload the groceries?" my hubby's response, "OK." I can't express how much I appreciate that short, agreeable text!

Our lives are filled with so much emotion that often, telephone conversations go off into unrelated tangents. A simple response and truthful acknowledgment of "OK" via text is the next best thing to therapy, in my personal opinion! Just kidding about the therapy part, but it does help! That's how much I appreciate it and love to hand out an OK as much as receive one.

Currently, my friend is going through a traumatic life event, and I've said "everything will be ok" to her multiple times. She needed to hear the sheer possibility of it all -  I could honestly say this phrase because it is legitimately what I believe. 

Is the Self-Fulfiling Prophecy at Work?

There's no doubt; what we believe is our truth. As that quote goes, whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.

Since my truth is that everything will be OK, I'm sure I'm subconsciously taking steps to ensure it happens. Whether the issue is something involving life and death, or personal strife, I absolutely believe that in the end, "everything will be OK." 

At the moment, I have mountains going on in my life. My mom is dangerously unwell, another friend's husband almost died in a vehicle accident, and I have other personal issues I'm sorting through. However, I still believe everything will be OK.

Will I cry? Is it stressful? Am I overwhelmed at times? Yes, to all. 

BUT in my soul, there's an untouchable place, a place that only belongs to me and my higher power. For respite, I retreat there. I know to my core that everything will be OK. This truth shapes my life.

I'm not sure where all this hope inside of me comes from, but it lives - it's a real thing.

Here's a poem I penned decades ago about holding onto inner peace, that place that belongs only to you and your higher power, no matter the storms.

Take Me To Your Beautiful
50 Years of Poems By Barbara Tremblay Cipak Available on Amazon



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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas Jars - Movie Review

Watch Christmas Jars - Free Online Streaming
This time of year I am looking for inspirational movies in keeping with the true spirit of Christmas.  I love stories with heart, so when I came upon Christmas Jars, I knew I had found my kind of holiday movie.

Based on Jason F. Wright's New York Times bestselling novel, this film is for anyone who appreciates a focus on kindness, generosity, hope, forgiveness, compassion, and family.

As the movie begins, Hope Jensen, a 22-year-old aspiring writer is going through really hard times. Just when she is at her lowest, Hope discovers that someone has left a jar filled with coins on her doorstep.

The mystery of who committed this random act of kindness grips Hope.  She goes into full investigative journalist mode in her quest to uncover the perpetrator of this anonymous generosity.

Of course, there are twists and turns along the way, for that is the nature of life, and a good holiday movie.  Hope does find the beautiful individual who left her a gift much bigger than a sum of money.  Things become complicated, however, when she must choose between protecting the identity of her benefactor or achieving the long-awaited dream of publishing the feature that skyrockets her career.

This isn't a spoiler review, so I am being careful not to reveal too much.  Let's just say there will be elements of romance and finding what you have always needed.  In wrestling with her moral dilemma, and coming out on the other side, Hope experiences the power of compassion, forgiveness, and chosen family.

Though the movie is associated with a faith organization, there are no religious overtones.  It is simply a wholesome family film that can be enjoyed by all.  Originally released in November of 2019 as a special one-night theater event, Christmas Jars recently made its debut on television.  Both the original novel and the movie have spawned an ever-expanding kindness movement.  Millions of dollars in spare change has been collected and distributed to individuals in need.

In conjunction with seeing the movie (I've provided you with this link to watch it for free online), I encourage you to visit the Christmas Jars website to be moved by the personal stories of recipients of that kindness.  There is so much goodness that often goes unreported by the news networks.  I found that these true stories were a reminder that it is the small acts of love that change the world for the better—one person at a time.

As I was working on this review, and doing my own Hope-esque search for the backstory behind this movie, and the phenomenon of the Christmas Jars, I discovered something really wondrous.  The author of the book, Jason F. Wright, actually started the tradition of the Christmas jar with his wife and young children back in 2004.

When they were looking for a new family tradition that would make the holidays extra special, they decided to place all of their spare change in a jar throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Then, they would select someone—an individual or family—who needed some encouragement.  That first jar contained about $88.  On Christmas Eve, they crept up on the chosen family's porch, placed their jar of coins by the door, rang the doorbell, and then ran to hide behind some bushes.

Here's where it gets really good.  In 2005, when Wright's book was first released, and had not yet achieved NYT bestseller status, he found himself downsized at work and a bit financially strapped.  It was at that moment when someone anonymously left Wright and his family their very own Christmas jar.  The tradition had gone full circle.  How beautiful is that?

It may not seem like much, but as you will read from the testimonies, a Christmas jar can be miraculous to the one needing a miracle, or a reminder that they are seen and loved.  I am filling my own jar of coins even as we speak.  On Christmas Eve, I plan to leave someone a little bit of tender loving kindness.  For what are the holidays if not a time to be a messenger of hope and light?











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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chasing My Cure - Book Review

Read the Five-Star Reviews
When I first began to read Chasing My Cure by David Fajgenbaum, the proverb that came to mind as an alternate title was Physician, Heal Thyself.  Though it may have been apt with regard to his early love life, and perhaps some of the medical establishment he encountered, I certainly have nothing but respect for the author, and compassion for what he and his family have lived through.

Fajgenbaum was still reeling from the death of his mother to an aggressive brain cancer when he began to experience mysterious flu-like symptoms.  At first, he ascribed the overwhelming fatigue to the stresses of medical school and tried to power through it to complete his rotations and exams.  When his condition rapidly deteriorated, landing him in a hospital's emergency department, the early indications and tests pointed to Lymphoma cancer.

While that diagnosis would have been a severe blow, the real blow was yet to come.  There would be no quick identification of Fajgenbaum's mystery illness.  With all of his major organs shutting down, death seemed imminent.

As a doctor in training, the author wasn't ready to give up hope.  He kept noticing details of his extreme illness that others did not recognize as significant.  One of Fajgenbaum's strengths was a laser-like focus born of what others deemed a disability (the hyperfocus variant of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).  When he got hold of something that captured his attention, Fajgenbaum did not let go.  In this case, that would be his eventual salvation.

After several weeks of multiple near-death experiences and debilitating pain, and after insisting on a lymph node biopsy, Fajgenbaum finally received his diagnosis: Castleman Disease.  In nearly every respect, this medical sentence was much worse than the initial fears raised by a potential cancer diagnosis.  Knowing what he was fighting did not make this an easy or fair fight.

To read Chasing My Cure, is to obtain an intimate glimpse into the world of living tenuously day to day.  It will take you into the often perplexing universe of attempting to find a cure for a relentless, ruthless, incredibly complex disease.  You will meet people of heart and courage who invoke a brand of hope that is invincible—and just as relentless as the enemy.

Fajgenbaum has not only had to fight the ultimate foe within his body.  Equally daunting has been his mission to revolutionize the medical research field and to convince others that it takes a whole different approach when chasing down a cure for Castleman Disease.  Attempting to change the deeply seated ways in which institutions, corporations, physicians, and researchers operate has been essential to this enterprise.  To create this kind of change will be as critical as solving the mystery of the disease, for systems are often as much in need of cures as are the people they serve.

I encourage you to read this inspirational memoir of how hope, faith, and love accompany Fajgenbaum on his ultimate journey of discovery.  This recently published book is consistently receiving five-star ratings.  I believe that is so because this is much more than a story.  It is a call to each of us to act on the kind of invincible hope that makes a true difference for others.









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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas - The Needed Power of Faith

Faith is the bird that feels the light and
sings when the dawn is still dark
FAITH

The greatest gift we can give or are willing to receive is Faith.

Faith holds the secret key to the universe.

Think of all the things we treasure but cannot see: Those untouchable, intangible valuables that matter most and ultimately hold the power of good to shape our world.

Love - We feel it, we know it's real but we cannot touch it, bottle it, sell it, or earn money from it. It's the biggest, richest gift anyone can receive and it comes straight from faith in ourselves that it exists.

Compassion - We all matter. Every single soul on earth matters. No one is greater than another and the gift of compassion shows we have faith in and believe in this untouchable energy.

Hope - Without hope, we cannot have faith. Even though hope in our hearts is not visible to those who walk by us, our body language, our energy and our demeanor have the power to pass along the gift of hope. All of it, unseen, yet felt. One life touches another every single day.

Like butter and eggs, the years blend together. Before we know it we've lived through over 50 or more Christmases. No matter the number we've had, each one blends into the other and over-time, our traditions shape us and our family.

Our children and extended family are the carriers of our roots, and passing along even the smallest sense of tradition in today's crazy-busy world has more value than decades ago.

This year, let us pass along the greatest gift, especially to our children ... the priceless Gift of Faith.

Enjoy this beautiful song by Tim McGraw, Humble & Kind - Song Review can be found here, and most of all....

Merry Christmas xxoo







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Sunday, November 6, 2016

When You Have An American Heart - A World of Good

Find American Heart by Faith Hill Here
And More Inspirational Songs About America Here

Stand Beside Her and Guide Her

"From the small town Friday night lights, to the Broadway neon burning up bright, We're all the same and it's in our veins, A spirit that you can't keep down, A fire inside that'll never burn out if you are the owner of an American Heart" (Lyrics from American Heart by Faith Hill)

America The Good Representing a World of Good

The inspirational song by Faith Hill, American Heart, reminds us about not only the good in America, but also in people who proudly call themselves members of the free world.

Free speech, compassion, human rights and the collective good remain a constant work in progress and as a Canadian, like my brother and sister Americans, I'm blessed to be a part of it.

As people of earth, our diversity along with our sameness are the weights that create the balance. It's cliche, but it really is our differences that teach us and our common ground that unites us.

As an example, even with a physical border between Canada and the USA, the earth doesn't shift when you place a foot on one side or the other: Stand on one side, or stand on the other, I'll venture a guess our aspirations are fundamentally the same; those being prosperity, peace and the pursuit of happiness.

We all know Canadians and Americans share the longest peaceful border on planet earth. This speaks loudly about the people who inhabit both sides of this man-made invisible line.

The most successful friends on the planet have earned a few bragging rights and the Oscar should go to the people of both countries, not our governments. For it's the people who set the pace in a free country; it's people who push governments one way or another, and in a free world governments reflect who we are.

Belting out the lyrics of American Heart, Faith Hill sings these inspirational words 'We're all the Same'. The song is speaking to the soul that makes up America. Today I'll push these worthy sentiments forward to encompass my own country, and even further out to wrap these words of hope around the planet.

When times get tough, play Faith Hill's song American Heart full blast:

Cause it beats like a drum down in New Orleans
Sings like a Motown Melody,
It dreams like California,
Bigger than a Texas sky,
it Bleeds,
it Scars,
it Shines when Times get Hard,
and you can't break an American Heart..

(Lyrics from American Heart)



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Monday, August 22, 2016

I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years - Love is Endless

Angels on Duty - Fridge Magnet
Most of us have heard 'I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. If the song sounds familiar, it's the final song in the Twilight Series.

Today's Review isn't about Music, It's about Love

What do I know about love? Well I know what you know and what we've all heard; it's what makes the world go round, it's all there is, and of course, it's all we need.
In an increasingly cynical world where people gather in their corners defending positions, ideas, beliefs, what's right and what's not, love patiently waits for us to call it 'one step closer'.
You and I know that this life is fleeting, and whether we belief it's our one and only existence or that our consciousness/soul returns to master it's lessons is irrelevant to this particular life we're living as us - In the end, at our end, one question requires an answer, 'did we love'.

It's the love we give that travels with us and nourishes the earth. That same love imprints itself on those left behind, and they in turn pass it along. Like the tiniest seed buried deep in the earth, love grows.


Questions we might ask about our own love
After the storm, did we find our way back to love? 
When hope slipped through our fingers, did we find our way back to love? 
When the ones we love died, and a piece of us was taken with them, did we find our way back to love? 
When we suffered an illness that scared us to our core and thought, why me, did we find our way back to love? 
When our TV told us why to hate, and who to hate, did we find our way back to love? 
When people took positions that opposed everything we stood for, did we find our way back to love? 
When dark thoughts tried to infect us, did we find our way back to love? 
When we hated ourselves for our own mistakes and choices, did we find our way back to love? 
When we were hurt, did we find our way back to love? 
When someone we love was hurt, did we find our way back to love?
Most of all, when we caused someone pain, did we find our way back to love? 
Did we do this all unconditionally? Did we find our way back to love without expecting anything in return? Did we just decide to love our neighbor?

Here we are, the size of a piece of sand, all together, living on a giant ball that hangs in the middle of the universe questioning ourselves, and perhaps even questioning what it means to have faith. Our mere existence on this spinning ball is a testament to faith.

Yet, we are born with the greatest gift, the capacity to love ... and after centuries still have yet to harness it's power.

This unseen power can't physically be measured, it only exists if we declare it, and the more of it we give the more of it we have. It's the greatest energy yet to be weaponized, for good.

How Do We Get There

Our love for each other is the road home. That's it. There isn't another road that takes us there.

We can spin our wheels til the cows come home, it won't make a spit of difference ... it's the gift of love, even when it's the toughest to give, that takes us there. Test yourself - Think of the hardest person there is to love, and try to love them, to pray for them, to genuinely wish them well.

Planting love in places that need planting, is one of the best uses of love.

For my Dad, Happy Birthday - I have loved you for a thousand years and will love you for a thousand more.



Through it all, love remains
Barbara xxoo

The Heart of Country Music










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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Here's to the Sun Shining on the Inside

Hope in Front of Me -  on Amazon
Another Sunday; the day you'll find me here writing about one of life's experiences found in a country song.

With a tired but always light-filled heart, today's theme in song takes the challenges of another week and packages them in a pretty box called Hope. 

Hope in Front of Me, by Danny Gokey

 (Lyrics) I've been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I've seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I'll be alright

It doesn't matter if we're blessed with a cosmic understanding of life or even if God personally whispered the secret to life in our ear, the fact remains, we still have to 'live this life'. Yep... no escaping that part. We're not alone in our tribulations.
We're all joined by one common goal; to get to the finish line as unscathed as possible, with lessons learned. No one gets out alive. As the insightful story-telling lyrics in another Carrie Underwood song beautifully express, this is our Temporary Home.

If you're thinking, 'I'm probably writing this because I must be sitting perched safely at a distance from life's trials or, that things must be easy for me since I'm able to write about hope', well let's just say you wouldn't pass go or collect $200 on that thought :) 

Without getting into a long list of my own troubles I'll just say that I've had more than a few people admit they couldn't have survived my path. But, knowing them, I'm sure they could have. Reading other people's stories of hardship, I'm guilty of thinking the same thing...'I couldn't have survived that!' 

So what's our common denominator?

When we have friends who help us, we have hope
 
When we pray, we have hope
 
When we laugh at our difficult circumstances, we have hope
 
When we've worked on something for years to have it fall apart in a day, and still find the strength to move on and continue, we have hope

When we reach out to hold someone who hurt us, we have hope
 
When a part of ourselves dies as our loved one passes away, and still wake up the next day to put one foot in front of the other, we have hope
 
When someone we love with all of our being goes through and then breaks free from addiction, we have hope
 
When we lose a home, and move on from that, we have hope
 
When our baby is born still, and we find a way to understand this immeasurable, seemingly pointless pain, we have hope
When our trust has been violated, but have the courage to let it go, we have hope

There isn't anything else that comes before Hope. Healing begins with Hope



If you're struggling, and wondering how in the world you're going to get through this storm, may the lyrics of this song remind you, as it does me, that 'this too shall pass' and 'we'll be alright'.

Here's to the sun shining on the inside.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak - Country Music Reviewer
Drageda.com - 'Don't Ride Alone, Get Emotional Daily Assistance'

If you enjoy Danny Gokey's Music, you can find more about this 3rd place American Idol Finalist from Season 8, on his Website DannyGokey.com


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