Posts tagged ‘friendship’

March 3, 2014

10 Love Challenges

Contributed by Sarah Pichardo

lovechallengeI’m from a family of six girls. As you can imagine, getting a word in can be a little difficult, especially since all six of us are pretty opinionated. If there’s one thing, however, that all six of us have in common, aside from being stubborn, is that we are all do-ers. Our parents taught us, mostly by example, that in order to make a difference in the world, you have to show love not just simply speak about it.

What we do speaks volumes about who we are. What do your actions say about you?

Put your love into action this month and take the Love Challenge. Do all 10 of these challenges and you’ll see that it will not only make a difference in the life of another person, but will also make a difference in your own life.

Love Challenge 1: Do something nice

You’ve heard the saying a million times, “actions speak louder than words.” Do something out of the ordinary today for someone you love. Wash their car, bring them a cup of coffee, clean the kitchen, buy their favorite dessert, fold the laundry, cook them their favorite dinner – whatever it is, do it with love.

Love Challenge 2: Say something nice

How much do you appreciate your spouse, parent, child, friend? How often do you tell them? Take time today to say a simple “thank you for…” or “you make me happy because…” and make their day.

Love Challenge 3: Spend time with someone

Make a simple sacrifice to spend time with someone. Take a chunk of your free time, and devote it to a friend or family. Don’t just physically be there but be there emotionally and mentally. Pay attention to that person. Really be there, in that moment. Because that’s a moment you’ll never get back. And life is all about moments.

Love Challenge 4: Buy a thoughtful gift

I don’t know one single person that doesn’t like to receive a gift every now and then. An unexpected gift can light up someone’s day very quickly. Pick up a book you think they’ll like, their favorite flowers, a gift card to a restaurant, etc. You don’t have to get them something big – just something thoughtful.

Love Challenge 5: Give ‘em a hug

Have you hugged someone recently? A hug is a great way to let someone know you care about them and brighten their day. Plus, did you know research shows that hugs lower pressure, improves your immune system and relieves stress? Who doesn’t want that?

Love Challenge 6: Help someone

Life is hard sometimes and we can all use a helping hand. Is someone moving? Have they just welcomed a baby into the world? Are they having a financial difficulty? What can you do to help them out during this time? Again, it doesn’t have to be huge – just the smallest action can make a big difference.

Love Challenge 7: Decide to forgive

This one can be a doozy. Forgiving is hard but worth it. Forgiveness is a process and not an immediate, one-time act and may take time for the heart and mind to follow along. Start with making the decision to forgive. Doing so will release a burden and release more of your inner beauty.

For more in depth information on how to forgive, download the gloo mobile app and check out our “FORGIVE” program.

Love Challenge 8: Volunteer

Find ways to assist those living in your neighborhood or community. Practice conscious acts of kindness and giving. It’s good for you and good for others. Just do it.

Love Challenge 9: Listen

Listening is underrated. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just listened to you vent – no interruptions, no judgments? Wasn’t it wonderful? Make an effort to give someone your undivided, fully concentrated attention. Showing understanding of the other person’s feelings and thoughts is all that’s needed to ease their burden and do them a world of good.

Love Challenge 10: Be kind to yourself

So you have shortcomings – we all do. Learn to accept yourself. Focus on your many positive traits, on your strengths and your abilities. Let go of harsh judgments, comparisons to others, and self-hatred. See yourself as the divinely inspired person you are. Love yourself.

January 25, 2013

Confessions of an Ex-Plastic

Contributed by Ashley Reed

562650_380865761975579_597577331_nSauntering down the hall with their Barbie-esque figures and saucy attitudes, the pink clad clique portrayed in Mean Girls resonates with many teenagers through its reflection of the social hierarchy played out in middle and high schools. In the film, a group of girls known as “The Plastics”, led by Queen Bee Regina George, spend their days harassing their peers and flaunting their perceived superiority. Enter, Cady, a homeschooler who enrolls in public school for the first time. Thrown headfirst into the jungle of high school drama, Cady goes from being an outcast to a member of Regina’s circle, becoming just as malicious as the Plastics in the process.

I went to a small private middle school where the girls had been in the same classes since pre-school. I didn’t really fit in and spent most of my time buried in books. That changed, however, when one of the girls from my grade’s version of “The Plastics” came up to me and informed me that I was now considered a friend. Eventually, I was accepted into the world of 3-way phone calls dripping with gossip, mall trips spent trying on clothes that were way too small and that we would never buy (or be caught wearing in front of our parents), and checking out guys at the movie theater. The thrill of being accepted into one of the recognized cliques at my school was exhilarating.

As you can imagine, the experience was not beneficial to my character whatsoever. I began to take on the characteristics of the girls around me – lying, gossiping, and teasing others. Ironically, the parents of the other girls liked having me around, seeing me as a positive influence for their daughters.  Inside, I was wracked with guilt, but didn’t want to lose my friends or gained status. Like Cady in Mean Girls, however, I eventually resurfaced into reality.

Breaking away from my old friends when we graduated from middle to high school wasn’t difficult, as they enrolled in a private Catholic prep school while I went on to a public high school. Transitioning from a small school to an institution with a student population of 2,500 was terrifying, but it also was a relief to let go of the daily gossip and rumors that pervaded my old friendships.

My take away from my adolescent experience is that you become who you surround yourself with.  Relationships formed in cliques are like plastic, breaking easily under pressure. I have learned that friendships are not built by music genres or clothing trends but by common interests and trust. Currently in college, I now have some sweet friendships that are unbound by the constraints of high glamour or feigned superiority, and it is liberating.

February 9, 2010

Friendship Matters

Remember when you and your spouse started dating? Talking for hours on the telephone? Asking never-ending lists of questions to get to know him better? Going out of your way to make her smile? Spending all of your free time together? These activities most likely helped to strengthen your growing relationship and to build a foundation of friendship for your marriage. Research has shown that happily married couples begin with a strong friendship. Friendships are created and maintained when we go out of our way to nurture our marital relationship. During times of stress, this friendship allows positive feelings about our spouse to take priority over more negative feelings. What can you do to nurture a marital friendship? It’s not complicated.

  • Take a walk together.
  • Send a text message when your wife has a busy day ahead.
  • Stock your husband’s favorite soda in the refrigerator.
  • Have a 10-minute “check-in” time at the end of each day.
  • Plan a monthly date night.

Most of all, remember what made you fall in love with each other – and remind yourself of these positive qualities when the negatives feel overwhelming. Couples who spend time together, communicate intentionally, and work together are investing in their marital friendship.

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