Until you experience certain things in life and have lived through different experiences, most  really don’t have a true perspective or awareness.  I’ve recently become very cognizant of the meaning behind this statement.

Ever had someone, be it family or friend, whom you thought you knew, only to either witness or find out about behavior you never dreamed them capable of?  It is a sobering experience.

There is nothing more pitiful than a person who can’t take responsibility for their actions.  Instead, they blame others for their indiscretions and incompetencies.  Even more interesting, when they are hypocritical by judging those that resemble their own behavior.

To say it is a kick in the gut, is an understatement.  What should you feel?  Pity is the only word I can use.  Pity for the person who can’t take responsibility for themself.  Pity they are so clueless to their poor behavior they have to blame others for their faults.  Pity they have no clue how much self respect and dignity they lost.  Pity they hurt people who were loyal to them, yet all they can think about is themself.  Pity they haven’t a clue how harsh words can destroy.  Pity as their behavior will never be forgotten, no matter how much they deflect.

When you have to face ignorance in it’s most evil form—I challenge you to not let their words penetrate into you.  Instead, remember this mantra.  Pity—Not Pain.  Pity them, do not let yourself take a direct hit.  As their goal is to inflict as much damage as possible. If you keep your brain in check, and your emotions at bay, take a deep breath and pity them.

It’s times like this I reflect on what really matters in life.  My grandmother always said, “It’s easy to be a great person during great times.  However, it’s times of adversity that define your character.”

This week the country has seen some sobering experiences as well.  With everyone so divided, how will this country move in a positive direction?

Memorial Day was a couple of weeks ago.  A time for reflection and remembrance for those that have fallen while serving, who gave all, so that we can live free.  “Live Free”—what does that mean?

Four days ago was the anniversary of a dark day in my life.  A day that nearly put me 6 feet under.   A day that defined for me the statement, “What doesn’t kill you does make you stronger.”  What was once a dark day is now a reminder how short life is.

Physical pain is so much easier to heal than that which is inflicted mentally.  Words are so much more detrimental.  With maturity, we learn to think before we speak.  As I heard it described, “once the toothpaste is out of the tube— it can’t be put back in.”

To those of you who have had to take on the harsh words of a toxic individual.  My hope is that you felt pity—not pain.  Their actions reflect on them.  A self absorbed person only can see the faults of others. They are blind to their own.

Always find the positive. Squeeze every ounce of joy out of every second of every day.  In an instant, life can change.  Granted time is a privilege not to be wasted!

Find laughter.  There are smiles in every day.  A laugh is a smile that bursts!

Inhale strength—exhale negativity—may all of your inhales give you strength and may you have many smiles that burst!

Stay Healthy!