Relay For Life – The Silent Lap


Relay For Life

I have been asked to read the following poem that I wrote at the Gardner, MA Relay For Life 2014.  I am extremely honored and excited.  Cancer has taken the lives of several relatives and friends and I have several relatives and friends who are also amazing survivors.  Hope, Pray, Fight for a cure!!

 

Relay For Life – The Silent Lap

More than a thousand people
On a quarter-mile track.
Gardner, MA
One of the largest Relay’s in North America.
So many people
Focusing on how cancer has touched their lives.
The silent lap begins.

Thoughts turn
To celebrating the Survivors;
Our loved ones,
Other people who have shared their stories,
The differences they have made
In other people’s lives
Through their journey,
All they’ve done since their diagnosis.
We are filled with gratitude
That they are still with us.
Silence.

The walk
Turns to a shuffle
As the track is filled,
One by one by people
Who are filled with sorrow and hope.

Silence falls over the large crowd
Except for a few teenagers
Playing basketball away from the track,
Unaware of the depths of what they miss.
Even the children are silent.
The tiniest of babies, are silent.
Memories,
Gratitude.
Hope.
Tears fall.
Silence.

We remember those
Who have lost their battle with cancer.
Luminaries line the track…
There are far too many and we wish there were none.
There are decorated in honor of…
Relatives,
Sisters, brothers, parents;
Grandparents;
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.
We look for ones we recognize.
Friends
Coworkers,
Acquaintances,
Those who have touched our lives,
Loved and cared for us,
Made us laugh,
Made our lives better because they were here.
Memories.
Silence.

People standing
On the side of the track,
Missing their loved ones,
Praying for the survivors,
Hoping for a cure.
We are all united as one.
Thousands within a half mile radius
Contributing to the search for a cure.
Hopes and prayers
That no one else they know
Is added to the list they honor
At a fundraiser.
Silence.

In honor,
In memory,
In celebration of life,
With hopes for a cure.
Silence.

 

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I Don’t Remember Asking You

What do you mean you dont like meI am so glad we were each given such individual personalities.  We are so unique that no two people think the same way or the same thing.  It really is a blessing.  The problem is though, that I notice more and more that we seem to forget that other people are not us.  We try to convince them that what is right for us is right for them, trying to enforce our views, our way of life, our methods onto them.

People ask for advice, that’s true.  That’s when they want to know your opinion.  They are stuck for ways to help themselves or they don’t trust that the decision they’ve made for themselves is the best one, that perhaps there’s another way they are not aware of that would benefit the situation a bit better.  That’s a time we have the right to interject, to help, inform, give options.  At the same time, we should try to find out as much information from them that we can before offering advice.

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend on Facebook.  She stated she was going to do something because, well, “that’s what <she> needed” for herself to heal.  She figured it out on her own.  No one told her she had to, it came from her.  It wasn’t long after she posted that someone put in their two cents and commented, “That’s not what you need, you need <this>.”  I thought about that.  Thankfully she wasn’t offended by it but many people would be.  We mean well when we do it but why should we be telling someone else what they need when they already know?

Coincidentally, another friend posted something similar that she was sharing from someone on her feed:

Post:  “Unsolicited advice is often viewed as criticism.”

Comment: “Until there is a question, there is no place for the answers to go. It’s like water pouring on a saturated sponge. Useless. If you want to help, offer unsolicited questions, which empower others to find their own answers.”

What a great response to that I thought.  Giving advice when it’s not asked for is useless.  Not only will the other person not hear it or use it, but they may become resentful for having been told what to do or what is right for them when they feel they already know.

Asking questions that would cause the person to think in a different way is much more beneficial.  If you can’t think of the right questions to prompt a better thought process, it is best to be supportive of their decision or not say anything at all.  It saves you from alienating the other person and causing friction in the friendship or relationship.

Let me be me and find my own way.  If I’m not about to hurt myself or someone else, perhaps it would be best to let me learn from my own mistakes.  Sometimes making mistakes is the best way to learn.  And if it’s right for me, it won’t be a mistake, only in your eyes.  Thankfully, that is why we were given the ability to be as unique as we desire.

What are your thoughts in regards to this?

For more posts on relationships, inspirations and ways to increase happiness and reduce stress, see the sidebar for more posts.  If this has helped you or you think it can help someone else, feel free to share.

Missy Bell

My Top 3 Most Influential Authors and Lecturers

I wanted to share with you a bit of information about 3 people who have inspired me to be a better person and who’s quotes make me push myself harder, keep going and fuel my desire to continue helping other people.

zig ziglarBOB PROCTOR

Bob was once down and out in the 60’s  He had dropped out of school and was unable to find anything more than dead-end jobs until he came across Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.”  After following the information outlined in the book, he improved his standing in life and eventually his income topped the $1 Million mark.  He has been conducting lectures based on the book with added inspiration from Earl Nightingale, his real life mentor, for more than 40 years.  He wass the presenter of the book, “The Secret,” a book on The Law of Attraction.  He is the author of 39 books including, “101 Ways to Improve Your Life,” “Be a Magnet to Money” and “You Were Born Rich.”

3 Top Favorite Quotes from Bob Proctor

  1. “The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves.”
  2. Most people are not going after what they want. Even some of the most serious goal seekers and goal setters, they’re going after what they think they can get.”
  3. Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.”

Zig Ziglar 2ZIG ZIGLAR

Hilary Hinton, “Zig” was born in 1926 and passed recently in 2012.  He was a very accomplished motivational speaker who focused on corporate training and personal development.  His program, “I CAN” is taught in more than 3,000 schools, and hundreds of businesses use his training and motivational materials. He was a top notch salesman earning one of the highest incomes in his field when he left to improve the lives of others by giving back his knowledge to help improve people’s personal and professional lives.

Mr. Ziglar has authored 26 books with titles such as, “Born To WIn – Find Your Success Code,” Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World,” and “Ziglar on Selling – the Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional.”

3 Top Favorite Quotes from Zig Ziglar

    1. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
    2. “Don’t be distracted by criticism.  Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”
    3. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Don Miguel RuizDON MIGUEL RUIZ

Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers. His mother was a healer and his grandfather was a shaman.  He went to school to become a surgeon but after a near death experience, he started down the path of personal introspect.  After studying the art of ancient ancestral wisdom he became an nagual, a teacher who guides an individual to personal freedom.  His writings focus on ancient Toltec Wisdom.  I have read two of his books and I am now on a third.  They have been very instrumental in my life.  He has written 8 books so far.  My favorites are, “The Four Agreements – The Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” “The Fifth Agreement – A Practical Guide to Self Mastery,” and “The Four Agreements Companion Book – Using the Four Agreements to Master The Dream of Your Life.”

3 Top Favorite Quotes by Don Miguel Ruiz:

  1. “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
  2. “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.”
  3. “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”

It was difficult to only choose 3 of each of their quotes that are favorites.  I have so many more.  There are a great number of inspirational authors and speakers out there.  I could go on and on.  The first two I just happened to have had the fortune of attending their seminars and lectures several times over a few years and their work has made a huge difference to who I am and the works of Don Miguel Ruiz have been my most recent influences.  I am grateful to all 3 of these men.

Who has inspired you lately?  What is your favorite quote that pushes you through your toughest times?  Please leave a comment below.

Based on their teachings, I have started writing quotes of my own.  If you’d like additional inspiration, click this link to read the list I compiled of my own 10 Quotes That Will Truly Inspire You ~ Missy Bell.

 

SOURCES:

Taking Things for Granted

1378540_10151694935438456_596636773_nI was traveling down the highway today when I realized that this is the first year in many that I can actually recall enjoying the fall foliage.  I have been living here in New England since I was 5.  I suppose when you spend so much time around something that you become immune to it.  The realization makes me feel like I have been asleep for years, unconscious to my surroundings.

My mother loves to tell the story of when I was very young, most likely around 6, when we were in the car one October day and I said to her, in all my innocence, “Someone should tell God that he does a really nice job painting the leaves.”

I’m not sure what the cause was to heighten my awareness this year but I am grateful.  Perhaps it’s because I have been out in nature more or that I’ve been taking so many pictures.  Maybe It’s a part of my recent awareness in the here and now.

I started noticing the changes early on.  It started out as a few leaves and became gradual as the more healthy trees seem to stay green longer.  The colors vary and each tree is unique and magnificent in its own way.  It reminds me of us. How we go through phases in our lives where we feel like we are dying inside but everyone else still seems to see our beauty.  It’s still there.  The leaves may completely fall and the trees may seem bare, but it is not long before the flakes of winter arrive here in New England and the trees show their beauty as they stand tall, holding snow on each branch as if to say, “I caught this for your to admire.”  A sign of strength.  The spring comes and life returns as with us, the cycle of the things we go through in our lives.

Take time to notice the beauty in, not only your surroundings, but in others in your life as well.  Don’t take the beauty of others for granted, just because you see them all the time.

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Every Scar Carries a Fascinating Story

Every scar carries a fascinating story.  We have to remember this when dealing with other people and respect their individuality, even when we do not know what they have been through or cannot see those scars.

Most scars are often thought of as being visible on the body but there are many internal scars that people carry that are invisible.  Everyone carries some sort of internal scar on their heart or soul; each one is different and as unique as the person themselves.  You will not see these types of scars and have to remind yourself on occasion that they exist.  Most people don’t care to discuss them because they obviously bring up bad memories.  Discussing the reason for the scars causes them to recall that pain all over again. 

These scars are a part of that person.  They will often act in a certain way to avoid the very situation that caused it in the first place.  Think about that very carefully.  You may often wonder why people act the way they do and claim that you just don’t understand them.  If you keep in mind the invisible scars it will help you to realize that they may be acting in a certain way to avoid future scars of the same nature.

Let me give an example; if, when you were a child, you were screamed at every time you spoke up for yourself or every time you crossed someone’s path or got in the way, after a while, you would stop doing those things to avoid the confrontation.  Perhaps, you would do everything you could to avoid confrontation all together.  This could be a character trait that carries with you into adulthood and may perhaps, last a lifetime.  Other people may not understand why you are like that.  There is a great possibility that you don’t even understand why you do it or realize the cause of how it developed. 

There are many scenarios that could cause scars, even much deeper than this.  Since we are the only ones who are with us 24 hours a day, every day of the week, you may not realize what even your best friend or significant other went through during their day or what they have going on in their own head that causes them to act the way they do.  Some scars are formed by the things we say to ourselves.  These can be just as detrimental as anything someone else says to us.

We all need to be patient with others and realize that they did not experience the same things we did in our lives.  They come from different backgrounds, experienced different events and had different ways of interpreting situations.  No two people will ever be the same, even twins.  We need to have acceptance for that.  Once we do, we will relate better to those in our lives and not everything will be a struggle.  When someone acts differently from us, we will understand that there are underlying reasons.  It is not important to conform everyone to be just like us.  That would actually be detrimental.  It is not a battle we should even entertain.

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If you’d like a visual, look at a still photo of a group of people who are experiencing the same thing. The attached picture here is of my kids with their friends simply looking in the mirror for a photo.  Each and every one had a different expression on their face.  It’s because each of them were creating their own experience, their own way of interpreting something that simple and their own way of expressing their individuality.  It’s fascinating really.

So, the next time you notice someone acting differently from how you would and you find it strange, remember that there are reasons that you may never know, based on scars they may never be able to speak of.  Don’t point out that they are wrong or try to change them, merely try to understand that they are just different and they have their own reasons.  Acceptance goes a long way.

I encourage you to comment below with your feelings or examples of this and what you got out of it.  Please let me know if this helps you in any way.  Feel free to share with your friends or follow the blog.

I have started a new blog as well.  If you are interested, check out my other page, “Where the Ghosts Live,” which is about all things paranormal, at http://www.WhereTheGhostsLive.wordpress.com.&#8221;