Tag Archive | Death

Do You Want To Be Great?

I recently heard about the passing of a man to whom I was introduced to a few years ago. We met when I had just created the CYACYL brand and I was unsure about how I would proceed. He had media experience and professional contacts and offered advice and support. He even introduced me to a few people that later went on to become guests of the show.

I was not what one would consider to be a close friend of this man and our contact was limited to sporadic phone calls or periodic emails and Facebook messages, but when we were in communication, he always made me feel like I could accomplish anything. His words were so kind and reassuring and he had such a gentle nature about him that one couldn’t help but be drawn to him.

When I heard that he passed away, and at a young age, I was heartbroken. I couldn’t understand why his death had such a deep impact on me, after all, we weren’t particularly close. Then I realized that he approached life with love and kindness and an open heart. He would do anything he could to help another person, even an acquaintance. He looked for the upside of life and really seemed to savor the moment. He was grateful for what he had and treasured his family and friends. Even during his physical challenges and progressing illness, he was faithful to God. Every time I was around him, even briefly, I left a better person. He made me feel special. I would miss that.

Perhaps Maya Angelou summed it up best when she said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Often we touch others in ways we will never know. A smile, an extended hand, a kind word or gesture, support, an invitation. Simple things in life, that we take for granted, that can mean the world to someone else.

We all have tremendous power over one another. Our words and actions can reinforce the courage to press on or provide one more reason to give up. We can extinguish the flame of pain and suffering or be the one to add another log to the fire. We can offer light in a time of darkness or build another layer to a wall of isolation.

When your life comes to an end, how do you want to be remembered? Me? I want to be remembered as being GREAT because as Mark Twain said, “Really GREAT people make you feel that you, too, can become great.

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I Choose to Be Happy

According to a recent CYACYL guest, Terry Orbuch, PhD, there are more than 100 million single adults in the United States today and four out of every 10 were already married once. Close to 50 percent of married people will become single again before the age of 50 – either through divorce or death.

Close to 50 percent of married people will become single again before the age of 50!

This statistic is staggering. Almost half of all people that were once a couple, will find themselves alone before the age of 50, either through divorce or death. So why, if there are so many single people out there, does someone feel like he or she is the only single person in the world? Why do we equate “singleness” with failure, inadequacy, or aloneness? Why must we find our “Prince Charming” or “Princess” in order to live happily ever after?

Last month, after 23 years and 2 children, my marriage came to an end. It was a two-year process that finally concluded. I now find myself in uncharted waters as this was not in my life plan. My parents were married 54 years before my father passed away; my grandparents were married 72 years. My plan was to live my life with my chosen partner until one of us died (in my plan we are in our 90s), and then continue on as an old widow (acceptable because I am old … notice in my plan he died first?!) But as I have come to learn, life happens while I’m busy making plans.

Now as I embark on my new life journey as a single adult, I find myself experiencing feelings of grief, loss, rejection, anger, guilt, disappointment, and fear that I am destined to spend the rest of my life alone and that I will never be able to trust again.

These are normal feelings and are part of the recovery process. I know I must feel them in order to heal. However, life is a series of choices and while I can feel my emotions, I don’t have to let them define me. I can choose how I react to situations and I choose to be happy.

I choose not to dwell on the situation or allow it to dictate my life. I choose to use this experience as a catalyst to look inside myself to see who I really am – as an opportunity for self-exploration and growth. What makes me tick? What do I want to achieve in life? Who do I want to be when I grow up?

I choose self-esteem over self pity. I choose forgiveness over vindictiveness. I choose to experience life, not just go through the motions.

As I begin to learn about myself, I feel rejuvenated, almost reborn, and for the first time in a long time, I am getting excited about what may lie ahead.

It’s not easy – it’s a daily struggle. But once you make the choice to be happy…you will be! And maybe your Prince Charming will arrive…or maybe not!