By Marala Scott
I was walking along the Siesta Key Beach in Florida enjoying the cool drifting of the ocean splashing between my toes with every step. As I ventured a little deeper the clear green water crept up my legs and splashed playfully in my face as I bent down and dipped my hand in to scoop up a rare treasure from the oceans bed. When my fingers touched the delicate edges of the round sand dollar I smiled because I had another one of God’s magnificent treasures right between my fingertips.
We are truly surrounded by inspiration in many beautiful ways. It’s here to help us in our most difficult times and in our best. Most often, we chose not to see it and then wonder why our days are so challenging. See, the thing about inspiration is that it’s there to enhance your mood by giving you something positive to think about. Inspiration is an exalting emotion that will arouse you by divine influence. When I hold a sand dollar I am inspired to be at peace, for the simple reason of what the sand dollar means. Look around, you don’t have to search to find inspiration because it’s there, everywhere and you are surrounded by it. Take in the gifts that are before you and use them to evolve into a better you. Be open to being inspired!
Everyone that is a loving, caring and honest person that can make a difference in the lives of others by touching lives with your infectious smile, humble heart and love of God is part of the A Team. If you are hungry for knowledge and want to be the best you can in this world that pushes back with so much force; you are a part of the A Team. If you can handle the criticism and self-reflection that will make you evolve into a stronger you; you are part of the A Team! The A Team is for those striving to be the best they can be regardless of circumstances or challenges.
People come into your life every day. You may never know the reason or how long you will know them; but there is always something to learn. On a recent visit to see my son Aaron in Los Angeles, he wanted me to meet a few of his friends. I was only there for a few days and had a lot to accomplish and my schedule was tight. As time passed with each day, he kept reminding me that I had to meet them. Three days went by in a flash and before we knew it, there were only a few hours until I had to leave for the airport. I told my son I wanted to rest for a bit before I had to catch my 1:40 am flight. After I placed my pillow under my head in the perfect position there was a knock on the door and then it opened.
“Mom I told you I want you to meet my friends,” Aaron said with a clever smile. He stepped aside, and they filed in the room. There was little Natalie, tiny Devon, Ross, Eric, Ruben, Chris, Stan and Shane. Their beautiful smiles truly lit up the room. Shane’s was the biggest. We began talking about a little of everything. Then it became a lot of everything. The conversation was simply enlightening and real, with and for all of them. There was not much held back. They listened, laughed and filled the room with their own inspiration for a few hours. At one point the laughter roared so loudly that the front desk asked us to quiet down. We didn’t.
I remember each of them and everything about them from that night. I recall their smiles and reactions. I could tell that God had assembled all of us together for that brief moment in time. Sometimes, He wants us to know that He is aware of every single one of us, at all times. It is us that don’t realize it.
I think these young people received the messages that they were meant to have and the encouragement to strive for happiness and a closer relationship with God. He wanted them to meet one another and be aware that He is in their lives whether or not they knew it. Their lives are just taking off. Open the doors and go out and live. Don’t be afraid to learn. Share what you know. And help others grow, as it will only help you in return.
I think of you all often as you are now a part of my family too. Stay focused and close to God. Remember the things He shared with you for whatever reasons. You are the A Team! Help others join…
What is Your Reflection Saying?
There comes a point in our life when the reflection of whom we are becomes much clearer. Finally we can honestly love what we see and see what we’ve longed to become. We no longer fight to stay loyal to our beliefs when we realize we were wrong. We hear things, that have been said many times before, for the first time with true understanding. We can accept criticism as a perspective. We have learned to respect the opinions of others even if we are not in agreement. We can agree to disagree. We may debate yet select our battles wisely. We are patient, happier, experienced, more honest and spiritual. We are better friends, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, parents and children. When we become open to wisdom we are willing to grow. When we take time to look at our reflection in the mirror and determine whether or not we like it; we can decide if we want to change it.
Look a little closer at your eyes the next time you look in the mirror. Look deeply into them, past the color to the core of your soul and determine if you really like what you see and who you have become. What is your reflection saying?
Pain has a way of stopping the evolution of our soul so that we cannot move into a healthier space and live in peace, with happiness. It blocks our reflection from being crisp. It is cloudy and blended with fiction.
With every waking day we should seek happiness within ourselves and we will become a magnet for it once we achieve it. At the end of the day we should rest in the place closest to it so when we rise to begin the day we are already “happy”. We cannot find happiness in any other person if our own reflection is not revealing that truth in ourselves.
Too often, we try to disguise our lives with material things only to know the truth when we are left standing naked. We have gossiping sessions with our friends not to find out what’s going on, but what’s going wrong in their lives so that we can feel better about our own. Let’s change our hearts and adjust our hearing to solicit healthier and more honest conversations. Share the best you have to offer so that people can mirror your positive actions. When we look in the mirror, the goal should be to love what see. Self-reflection is the truth and the key to the evolution of a better you!
In my journey through life there are many things that I’ve learned but one of the most important lessons is how and why to forgive. Because of my childhood I had a lot of pain and with pain came the responsibility of carrying a heavy suitcase filled with mistrust, doubt and anger. Overall, I had no faith in anyone but I could always count on the contents of my luggage. One thing I knew for sure was that what was inside my luggage would bail me out of every situation. If I met someone who seemed like he would make a great boyfriend with wonderful character, well I’d simply pull out mistrust. If I needed someone to count on, doubt was always there. But my big protector was anger. Anger was a little greedy as it took up most of the suitcase. Everywhere I went I just had to take that burdensome piece of luggage with me. Regardless of where I was in life, it didn’t take long for me to remember to open my luggage and let the contents run my life.
One day, I turned around and realized that I was alone and tired, but I had no one that would carry my heavy luggage. No one wanted the burden. Many people had their own luggage. So I had to keep dragging it along throughout my life and allowing the contents to keep holding me back because although I took it everywhere, it wasn’t wanted anywhere. With tearful eyes, I dropped to my knees, in faith, and prayed for God to help me with this problem. What was I to do?
There was one little word that flooded my heart and invaded my heavy spirit. That word was forgive. I huffed and refused. Why would I? That’s cowardly of me to let the people who hurt me the most off the hook. I can’t … I won’t. I’d been carrying the luggage so long anyways that I didn’t need anyone to help me. Sure, it would be nice but … forget it. The contents of my luggage protected me from everyone. So I picked up the tattered handle and dragged my luggage around a little longer until I realized that it was wearing me down. My heart was heavy and I was sad. I wasn’t moving at the pace I could have if I didn’t have this big, heavy piece of burdensome luggage, and when I opened it, oh, look out! I prayed again, in faith, that God would answer me. He did, but the same little word came, yet again, forgive.
I was deeply troubled because I knew that if I did … forgive … it meant that everything I’d been through was for nothing. Everyone that hurt me and caused me great pain got off the hook. Just like that they would be forgiven for everything they did to me. What about my pain and suffering? Surely I wasn’t going to let anyone off the hook. So … you guessed it, a few more long years passed with me dragging my luggage. Although I was a bit unhappier because of mistrust, doubt and anger, I felt safe with my luggage. The contents sure caused a lot of problems and losses. There came a point when I wasn’t confident it was worth keeping that luggage anymore so I prayed, again. This time, I opened my heart and asked God to help me, because it was too big a task for me to take on alone. He did, as He had before and it was a process I was finally willing to undertake. I had nothing to lose but mistrust, doubt and a lot of anger.
I didn’t forget anything that happened to me as a child but I realized how many years I wasted dragging that luggage. The forgiving wasn’t for anyone other than me. They’d probably forgotten what they did to me or perhaps they had asked to be forgiven at some point. Some of the people that hurt me I never even saw again but, I thought the burden of carrying that luggage was protecting me. It wasn’t. It was destroying me. Just me. I had wasted years, for nothing. Why was I so determined to be angry when I had a whole wonderful life ahead of me to enjoy with the past long behind me with each waking day.
It wasn’t until I let the word forgive have true significance in my life that I began to truly live. I was able to let go of that luggage and take any flight I wanted without penalty of that heavy bag. The power mistrust, doubt and anger have are destructive. The act of forgiving someone is an amazing release to your spirit. When I did, I realized the pain in my past allowed me to help others in my future. Forgive. Try it soon. Don’t waste your valuable life the way I did.
Love & Blessings,
P.S. – Is there anything you want God to forgive you for?
My daughter and I were out the other day when we saw a woman grabbing a little boy by his arm. He was sitting on the ground, steadily resisting her. As we got closer we could hear the woman pleading helplessly with the little boy to go inside and join the rest of the kids at the birthday party. Still, he shouted for her to let go of him and leave him alone. The woman appeared frustrated, so after introducing myself, I asked if I could help. She replied that I could try but it wouldn’t make a difference. She asked if my daughter could get a security guard to help. My daughter complied and went to find one. I said, “I take it he’s not your son, correct?” She replied, “No. But I called his mother to pick him up since I can’t get him to go inside.” I said, “I’m guessing there may be some behavioral issue here.” She nodded and explained that he was bi-polar. He had a problem with another boy and threw his laser gun down so she told him he couldn’t play with the other children. She wanted him to calm down and stop his tantrum. He refused and sat as though he was bolted to the ground. Unfortunately, she needed to watch the rest of the children inside. My daughter returned with the security guard who said he couldn’t do anything really, so she agreed to give me time to speak with him.
I sat down Indian style (to mirror the same position as the boy) and asked him his name and how old he was. He didn’t respond so I said, “Sweetheart, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what is hurting your feelings. I want to help you fix the problem so can you please tell me what’s wrong. Slowly he lifted his head and studied my face for a few moments and then he returned his head to his lap, burying his face, and began to answer my questions. He shared his name and that he was nine. After talking with him for a few minutes, I was able to get to the core of the issue. He was at a party where his new friend had so many other children around him that this little boy was hurt and felt unimportant which, made him miss his friend that was killed in a car accident a few years back.
I asked what he remembered the most about his friend and he said that, “He had the most beautiful blue eyes,” and he began sobbing heavily. Wow! So I asked what color his new friends eyes were and he looked up again with a confused look on his face and admitted that he didn’t know. I explained that his new friend probably didn’t know that his best friend had died or realize that he was hurting his feelings. I explained that if he knew I was sure it would make him sad. He insisted that the other boy didn’t care. So I looked up at the woman and in a low voice (so he couldn’t hear) asked her to go get his friend. She shook her head and said that it wouldn’t work because this little boy was bi-polar and that’s just how he gets. “Trust me. It will. Just ask him to come out and get his friend. Tell him what happened,” I insisted. While she went inside I told the little boy to look at his friends eyes and see what color they were. His friend came out and took time to speak to him for a moment in the most gentle and caring way imaginable, especially for a boy his age. He asked him to come back inside and join the party. The boy looked at me, and then gave his friend the most interesting look, as he studied his eyes.
The boy picked up a small, colorful leaf and examined it. It was simply flawless. Softly, he took my hand and placed the leaf in my palm. He said, “It’s beautiful, like you.” A large lump rested in my throat as his friend reached for his hand and pulled him up. Before he went back inside, he leaned over and whispered to me, “They’re blue.”
The woman embraced me with a warm hug and thanked me repeatedly before returning to the party. The perception appeared to be that the young boy was throwing a tantrum due to his diagnosis of being bi-polar. I believe an illness doesn’t make you any less human or cancel out your personal feelings about something. As adults, we have become unsympathetic when it comes to getting to the root of an issue for many reasons and one of them, being time. Taking a few moments to hear what someone is trying to say can make a huge difference. Please make time to consider what is really going on with someone before making, what could be, an inaccurate assessment. All I’m saying is let’s take a little more time and effort to get to the root of a problem before labeling it or dismissing it. When people feel that you care they will trust you to help with a resolution to a problem. No one wants to have internal conflict. People want others to consider their feelings. No one, not a child nor adult wants to feel that his voice doesn’t matter. Listen and then react. Sometimes the solution is simple, care enough to listen. What you think and feel may be so different from the other person’s perspective but guess what, it’s how they feel. Respect that.
After everyone had gone inside the security guard looked down and asked if I was okay. I replied, “Of course not. Do you think I’m just sitting here for no reason? I can’t get up. The last time I sat Indian style, I was a kid!”