Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.

Live without pretending.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa. Staring at the back end of a Holstein and shoveling what came out was a daily occurance. That’s about as authentic as you can be. It wasn’t until my 30s that I adopted a new phrase: Fake it ‘til you make it. I first heard it when I joined Mary Kay Cosmetics. Meaning, envision who you want to be, and pretend you are that until you become that. Pretending was encouraged and a way to “visualize” a brighter future. I did that for years…until I returned to my true authentic self. Today, I’m just me, not pretending to be something I’m not.

Love without depending.

We’re taught that love is a two-way street; that’s what a relationship is—a never-ending circle of give and take, each person giving to and depending on the other. But is that really what love is? Isn’t the real challenge to love without expectation of love in return? Especially when you don’t agree?

Listen without defending.

Conflict is uncomfortable, especially with someone you love. The challenge is to fully listen to them—even when you want to defend your point of view. Most people are simply waiting for the other person to stop speaking before they add their “two cents.” It’s in these moments, most especially, that we have to keep quiet and let another person express their views. Even when there is no solution in sight, listening is the key to moving the relationship forward.

Speak without offending.

If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. That’s Mom logic and advice I heard often growing up. That philosophy fit for a long time…like the fake-it-til-you-make-it mantra. … And, I think that’s the reason I’ve fallen back into pretending. I am NOT happy with the state of the world. I don’t trust Donald Trump or the Republicans to govern. They are absolutely trampling on human rights: brown people, black people, women, Vets, the lgbtq community–and the planet! There are atrocities being perpetrated on the American people and especially immigrants, and because I don’t want to say anything offensive, I find myself not saying anything at all. Given our current political climate and state of affairs, this is no longer an option!!

It’s time to step up and speak out—even if you can’t be kind. If you have conflicts with someone, look for common ground. There is more that unites us than divides us. But when human rights are at stake, we MUST speak up and defend the rights of others—even if that means offending someone else with our words.

Will I continue to live, love, listen, and speak with respect to others? Yes, I will. But I will not pretend what is happening in America is tolerable or acceptable. When conflict arises, I will live without pretending to agree with others when I don’t. I will love the person I’m disagreeing with without depending on their acceptance or approval. I will listen without defending my point of view but vow to do my best to help them see it my way. And I will speak without offending knowing respect and compassion are keys to healing conflict—and ultimately the world.

#LoquaciousLindee  

I read this excerpt from Elisabeth Parker, Writer and had to share.

My best girlfriends have jokingly talked about an intervention for me, a political intervention. They think I watch too much politics on TV. They can’t watch. It’s too brutal and Trump too vile. They’ve tuned out. They don’t want to know. And they think I should take a break as well because I go crazy watching Trump and the GOP lock kids in cages, do business with the Russians, take money from middle-low income people–all while destroying the planet!

But who is going to pay attention? Who is going to speak-up for immigrants and champion the young souls Trump has ripped from their caring parents’ arms? Who will stop Trump from seizing private and public lands to erect his racist, ego-driven wall? Who will fight for education for our young and medical care for us all?

I will. And I need your help.

As a white woman, a woman of privilege, I’m embarrassed that the majority of white women voted for Trump. I don’t understand it. Have they no empathy for others? Perhaps Trump’s destructive policies haven’t reached them personally, yet, but they will…in the form of lower pay, loss of control of our bodies, discrimination against LGBTQ people, and dependence on men. Women voting for Trump voted against their own interests. They’ve conceded their power to a bunch of old, white men. Men of self-imposed privilege that, in most cases, they’ve taken through entitlement and violence.

A woman on my twitter feed, a Trump supporter, is pissed. She totally bought into the #GOPTaxScam. She believed Trump had her best interests in mind. But, she’s not getting a tax refund this year. She’s having to pay $5000 instead. That was her red-line. She says Trump has lost her vote. That saddens me.

Not that Trump has lost her vote, but that KIDS IN CAGES ISN’T a red-line issue for her. That saddens me and sickens me. What have Americans become? She represents the worst in humanity; she’s desensitized to another human’s pain. Trump brings that out in people. He’s vilified immigrants to such a degree that some white people no longer care, if they ever did. Privilege brings that out in people.   

I vow to use my time to stay educated on the issues—and educate others! And, I vow to use my privilege to fight for people of all colors, sizes, shapes, and flavors. And I invite you to join the cause. The question is:

What will you do?

Will you step-up and speak-up? Are you still tuned in? Do you KNOW your country needs you? Democracy needs you? Right now! Use what you have to make a difference. Don’t wait for the pain to arrive at your doorstep. Have empathy for others. Use your own privilege to make a difference.

#LoquaciousLindee   #whitegirlprivilege  #libertyandjusticeforall

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If you stumble make it part of the dance.If You Stumble Make it Part of the Dance

   If you stumble? When you stumble, because we all do, just make it part of the dance; just keep your feet moving. Chances are no one saw any way, or if they did, they didn’t realize you missed a step. Very few of us walk around in synchronized groups being judged—unless you’re part of a cheer squad or Olympic swim team.

   People are usually so busy watching their own steps they barely notice others’. Unless it’s a big stumble, or a true fall, then hopefully someone will notice and extend a helping hand up.

   But if not, and you fall on your face, just pretend you were doing the worm.


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Something Wonderful Will Happen to Me

 “I believe something wonderful is going to happen to me today.”

I’ve heard Sandra Smith, motivational comedienne and president of Aspire Seminars, start her seminar day many times with this mantra. On many occasions I joined her in singing it at the top of our lungs:

“I believe something wonderful is going to happen to me today.”

Doesn’t it just make you feel positive, expectant, and hopeful?!

“I believe something wonderful is going to happen to me today.”

Yes, I can just feel it.  

And even more, I believe PEOPLE are often the bearers of these wonderful things that are going to happen to me today.  A smile from a stranger, an “atta girl” from a colleague, a free piece of cheesecake just because someone felt generous. When something wonderful happens to me, it usually happens through people. Some days, even angels come disguised as people; aka the gentleman who fixed my flat tire. People fill my life with joy.  

I’m amending my mantra:

“I believe some ONE wonderful is going to happen to me today.”

Hmmm, I think this will work. Say it with me:

“I believe some ONE wonderful is going to happen to me today. “

“I believe some ONE wonderful is going to happen to me today.”

I believe it.

Do you?