Pick Your Battles

There are some lines that can be crossed when it comes to friendships and relationships with your significant other.  Sometimes in our close relationships we may say see someone make a mistake and want to correct them, but should we?  Is it our job to help them see a better way?  I would say yes and no, it completely depends on the situation.  Learning to know how to pick your battles with a person you love can really make or break a relationship.

I have recently been on both ends of this spectrum.  I have pointed out something to a friend that annoyed me and I found rude.  I was seeing happen over and over in our friendship and when I finally decided to say something about it the reaction was a defensive one.  A couple of months later I was told about something that I had said and done that was wrong in a single moment.  In each of these instances I took a long look at the situation and found that there is an art to picking your battles.  The time and place of talking to someone about an issue really is key.  Usually, right in the moment when the offense is made or shortly after is best, but if you feel a lot of emotion in the immediate moment then it is probably better to wait and think about how you want to approach the subject before doing so.

We all have said things we regret and putting negative out in the world or towards those you love cannot be taken back.  I have just recently went through a career change and I had a lot of stress and fear related to making a job change after working at the same job for 15 years.  In the process I  was told a lot of information that seemed like gossip and in turn I vented about my negative first impression on a night out with my SO and some old friends, and new friends.  It was not until about 3 weeks later that I was told my negative words were in really bad taste.  So how does one react to being told you handled a situation badly?  Of course when someone lays this information on you out of the blue you feel hurt and defensive.  I had to ask myself what is the intention here in this moment?  Are you really asking me to take a moment to look at myself and work on something that is an ongoing issue?

So here is the real deal, I was confronted about this after a long day at work and then a  fun night out with friends.  It was late and we both had a few drinks.  He was choosing to have this conversation on the way home and three weeks after the incident had occurred.  The timing was confusing and frustrating for me and basically put a sour note on what had been a really nice night.  In reflection, I realize that most of my defensive reaction came from how the information was being said to me and the timing, not what was being said.  I agree that speaking any negativity is wrong and that  if we do not have anything nice to say, well, we should not say anything at all.  I completely owned my wrong doing and have since come to love my new job and I am building wonderful relationships with those I work with.  My worries about what kind of environment I had transitioned in to were valid, but since then, I have reminded myself that every situation is what we make it and there is never an excuse for negativity.

So after the confrontation on the way home I chose to take a look at how I had approached my friend about her negative moment in comparison to how I had been approached.  The difference is, I gave my friend a chance to correct it on her own and only after hearing her say it multiple times, in separate conversations, did I finally say something; and I chose to say something right in the moment that it occurred.  In comparison, I felt the way I was confronted was extremely bad timing and later I found a bible verse had even been emailed to me about the situation in the same night.  My reaction to finding this email a couple of days later was not good either, but I chose to control my emotions and come from a place of understanding.  I think in that moment I saw a perfect example of a very self-righteous act.  Can we go too far in how we choose to offer advice to another person?  Is there a point where it goes from a kind and gentle correction, to a place of judgment and belittling?  When giving someone advice about a bad situation it should not be about putting someone in their place and making them feel that place is lower than the one we are advising from.  We have to ask ourselves what intention we have and make sure it is coming from a completely loving place.

In my situation I already knew I had done a bad thing by speaking negative.  A part of me became defensive in the moment and wanted to explain to him how he had done the very same, but deflection is not the right way to respond to correction.  I think in a completely clear moment of conversation, and not on a late night after drinking, I would have reacted completely different.  The point can be completely lost if you choose a bad time and place to make the point.  Choosing our battles and how to approach them with others is an important part of communication.  We are all human and we are all guilty of gossip, negative words about others or a situation, venting our frustrations about how life isn’t fair in different ways.  We all need to remember that when we do this it says more about us than those we speak of.  I probably did make an ass out of myself that night, I am sure the intent three weeks later was to help me see the err of my ways.  I just think choosing the time and place to have a discussion and how you approach the discussion is just as important as which battles you choose.  It can help you avoid needless hurt and misunderstandings.  Correcting someone and letting them know they have been an ass is pointless if you do it in a manner that makes you come off like an ass yourself.

To practicing more positive, love, and acceptance (and not being an ass),



I have been through many transitions in the last decade of my life.  I will be turning 40 this month and I have been taking inventory of my life up to this point.  Re-evaluating what I have accomplished so far, what I hope to accomplish in the future and the changes I may need to make to get there.  I also have learned one very valuable quality in past few years, the art of accepting.  To be able to accept myself and be happy with where I am right now in life.  To not constantly dwell on the what ifs of the past or the goals of the future, but just be in the now.  I have also learned the art of truly accepting others.  My relationships with friends, family and my significant other have reached a point of true unconditional love that I have not fully realized before and this comes from accepting.  However, with all of that been said, it brings me to a bit of a down side to becoming more accepting.  Sometimes we must accept the fact that no matter how hard we try to be supportive to some people in our lives they may never grow to the level we hope to see them.  We outgrow people and in the process sometime we try to change them but in the end we have to accept them for who they are and where they are at in life.

I do believe that relationships all have seasons, some may last a lifetime of seasons and some may be just a summer love or a close friendship that we encounter during a difficult time in our lives.  In the end, all of them are important in creating who we become.  I have had a friendship that has faded in and out of my life for about 12 years now and I often question why I am still friends with this person.  Usually friendships, like any relationship, have a give and take that is easily understood between the people in it.  So as I re-evaluate my friendship with her I realize that I seem to put forth an effort consistently with advice and listening to her but I ask myself what am I getting from this?  Now, let me clarify, when I say that we all get something out of a relationship, I mean a healthy relationship is usually friends calling each other to talk and listen about their lives, making lunch or dinner plans with each other, inviting each other to special events.  My struggle with this particular friend is things are a bit one sided and though she may want my advice she rarely applies it.

Should I simply accept my friend for exactly who she is even when I see she is making the same mistakes over and over?  Accepting is a hard process in situations like this.  I have told her my thoughts in previous situations and after years of her not taking my advice she was hurt very badly and finally moved on from a guy in her life.  Basically, I realize that some people just have to learn the hard way.  Now I see her in another life situation where I am trying to advise her and I feel de-ja-vu.  So I stop and ask myself, why am I so anxious over this?  It isn’t my life.  These choices will not effect me.  If she isn’t learning from her past mistakes then that is her problem, I have enough to deal with in my own life.  So is part of accepting others simply coming to point of just getting exhausted to the fact that you might as well be talking to a wall?  They ask your advice but rarely take it and then later tell you that they should have listened.

Accepting others for exactly who they are, good, bad and the ugly, can be very hard but I have brought it in to perspective for myself.  When I feel myself wanting to step in and be the voice of reason with my friend I stop myself.  I no longer put as much effort in to her life but instead focus on where I can make a difference in my own life.  I turn my focus inward and ask myself what I can be doing better and where I may be repeating some of the same mistakes over and over in my life.  In this process I have found that discussing my personal progress has made a big impression on my friend.  By practicing what I preach I have proved that positive changes can be made and that actions really do speak louder than words.  In turn I have also realized that I am happier when I am not worrying myself over someone else’s issues.  By accepting others for who they are you are releasing yourself from responsibility for who they are and that is pretty freeing.  Sometimes we feel protective over our friends and want to guide them like we may do a child but that is not a true friendship.  We are all in this together and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, if we just focus on our own path and support each other on those paths life really gets much easier.

Love, happiness, health and acceptance,



Maybe it is maturity or maybe it is the ability to learn from past mistakes…maybe learning from past mistakes is part of maturity.  Either way I have realized, more often than not, holding back is better than simply reacting in the moment.  As I have become more aware of the world around me I pay closer attention to the details, especially in people.  I have also learned, initial intuition about a person or a situation is usually right on.  That uneasy gut feeling you get when you meet someone is usually a gut instinct signaling you to proceed with caution.  This gut instinct is present because, whether you remember it or not, you have experienced something similar before.  So what do you do when you get this feeling around a certain individual and this person is close to someone you love?  How do you separate yourself from someone who gives you those negative vibes and you know you would probably never choose to be around them if they were not already in your persons life?  The answer is, you choose love, unconditional love.

Now I don’t mean that you ignore your gut instinct and just simply become friends with this person despite every cell in your body objecting to it.  Let’s just say you not only get the negative vibe but you have also witnessed this person being ugly to others and openly rude to you personally…do you confront them?  Do you ask the person you love why they would even associate with such a person?  Well that is what I did; I asked why? The answer I received did not really meet my expectations but I understood a bit better.  It was not what I would have expected, but then again, unconditional love has no expectations of anything, it is about acceptance.  So I accepted the reasons and I decided to accept the fact that there must be some good qualities in this person or else the one I love and respect so much would not continue to keep this person in their life.

I made a conscious decision to be nice and talk to this person at every encounter.  Luckily the encounters were not too regular so that made it easier.  I prayed about it, meditated on it, and even tried the law of attraction!  I tried to make a list of positive attributes this person might have that I could focus on.  Then I asked myself what outcome I really wanted.  Part of me wanted the one I love to openly acknowledge this person they called a friend is not a good person.  I wanted them to stand up to this person and create boundaries, but those desires didn’t really include me and I realized their relationship was not my issue.  I realized I had to focus on just me and where I was in this situation.

When you finally come to the conclusion that the only person you can really control in any situation is yourself it can be pretty profound.  Yes, I know, it seems like a simple concept but so many of us think we can change other people.  We may confront them and tell them how wrong we think they are but in the end we rarely accomplish what we set out to do.  More often than not we end up just making ourselves look and feel worse.  The right way to be may actually sound like the easy way out, but I assure it is not.  We should accept others for exactly the way they are and if we can’t then we must love ourselves enough to move on.   If we love someone we must find a way to let them make their own path even if that means keeping friendships we see as toxic.  I have found in time, they will see for themselves, even if they learn about it the hard way.  I have rehearsed in my head all the ways I would love to put this person in their place but I know in my heart that is not the wise way to be.  I will continue to be kind but cautious in their presence and I will continue to be supportive to the one I love.

Unconditional love is when you ask yourself:  Can I accept this person exactly the way they are and still be true to myself?  Because if you cannot accept the person without being untrue to yourself then that is not love.  Both must be realized before you have a true sense of unconditional love.  Right now I am showing the one I love, unconditional love.  However, if at any point I feel I am no longer a priority, I am being mistreated, abused, pushed aside or any other negativity because of this person or any other person or situation I am allowed to re-evaluate what kind of love is being shared.  A person who truly loves you will not allow another person to mistreat you.  In a romantic relationship, each partner should build a degree of trust that allows a safe zone.  If you cannot talk openly about everything then you have to ask yourself why?  No subject should be off limits between a couple in a romantic relationship.  If the one you love is so protective and defensive of another person in their life then that should be a red flag to you and you should question what kind of love is being shared.

Unconditional love is not just putting up with being treated like shit and never speaking up for yourself, that is called abuse and it is a choice.  You must make the choice to stay or go and it is never easy, especially when you have lost sight of what real love is supposed to feel like….don’t stay because you don’t want to be alone, or you are financially dependent.  Just make sure with each situation or person that comes in to your life that your choices are because of love…the right kind of love.

Real love is not a feeling.  It’s much greater than that.  Unconditional love is a choice.


Yours in happiness, health, and love


Friendship Facts

friendship-coverAs I have gotten older my circle of trusted friends has gotten smaller.  I have different levels of friends but I would say I have about 5 girlfriends that I have the desire to talk to about my world and theirs on a deeper level.  These five women are all very different and affect my world in different ways.  One is like a mother and mentor to me at times, telling me lessons she has learned in life along with great beauty secrets.  The other is a hot headed, hard working, ball of energy that is way too hard on herself but never seems to stop giving to others.  The next is a friend that I feel I want to kill sometimes and can’t love enough at other times. She challenges me because we are so different in personality but she has helped me grow as a person.  The fourth close friend that comes to mind is my best friend from high school who never fails to make me laugh and is my biggest cheerleader in life, other than my daughter.  Then the final friend is my hippie, gypsy friend who has been my little sister since the day she opened up to me about being pregnant and scared shitless.  She allows me to be a mentor and give her advice on what I have learned in life but she is also my calm person to turn to when I am stressed or upset. The laughter and tears shared with all these women are what makes true friendship valuable.  If you have a friend that you have never had a disagreement with, then they are not a close friend.  Real friends disagree and keep on loving one another. It is like a sisterhood!

I have other amazing women and men in my life that I consider friends and I do believe that we have different levels of friendships but these women have been there for me and allowed me to be there for them.  The give and take has built a bond that will be hard to break.  So what is the basis of a good friendship?  Why do we have deep connections with some people and not others?

I think a lot of it has to do with where we are in our live when we meet people.  I have a tendency to bond with people that I work closely with.  Out of the five friends I have mentioned, I have worked with three of them.  The others were the friend I went to school with and  a neighbor.  If you go through a really hard or embarrassing point in your life and a person supports you and puts up with all your craziness then they are a keeper.  My group of five have seen me go through divorce, break-ups, sickness and deciding to go back to school and financial hardships…the list is endless and they have all been there in their own special ways.  I have returned the favor as best as I can by being there for them but words can not always describe how much I truly love and appreciate each of them.

Cultivating strong, happy friendships is one of the best things I have ever done in my life.  Each of these women bring great talents and wisdom to the table.  I have learned in the past that some friendships can drain you and leave your feeling used.  I believe it is good to re-evaluate all relationships in your life every now and then and ask yourself if each relationship is improving your life and bringing you more joy or frustration.  That is true with jobs and everything else in your life!  If someone or something is causing more harm than good then why keep it in your life?  Clean out the friendship closet and release those friends that only ever call when they want something or the ones who are always too busy to have lunch or take your call.  You have to cultivate relationships and put in the quality time in order for them to grow strong and healthy.  If someone doesn’t want to put in the effort then they probably do not really need your friendship.

My family is very important to me, especially my relationship with my daughter, my boyfriend is also very important to me.  Then of course my brother and his family and my parents, but then I have my friends who are like family.  Each relationship I have with family and friends is important to my life and made me the woman I am today.  I am thankful for even the friendships that have been cleaned out of my life because they have taught me lessons about myself as well.  The relationships we build in life are more important than anything else we will do in our lifetime so make them count and let them know you love them!


To your happiness, health, love and friendship!