7 words

Loneliness
knocks, then
comes in
and stays

Fearing a future
without ones
who care

No one
to pat a hand,
smile,

and do with kindness
whatever
needs doing

No family
or nearby friends
What then?

The only path~
love and give
now

Loving well?

We often think and talk about being in love and being loved. But what about how well we love? And what is loving well, anyway?

Maybe it’s setting the intention to give others the benefit of the doubt and to be caring, thoughtful, and kind, as in . . .

  • For people I know, am I able to walk in their shoes so I can empathize with their experience?
  • For strangers, am I patient enough to create a backstory to put their actions into a loving perspective?
  • When someone says or does something that annoys or frustrates me, am I able to admit to myself that I must say and do those things too?
  • Do I take the time to think about what makes other people happy and do what I can to further their happiness?

Obviously, loving well is a lot to take on and a lot to strive toward . . . but that wonderful, open-hearted feeling we get when we’re successful is worth it.

What goes around comes around

For it is in giving that we receive.
—Francis of Assisi

Freecycle.org is based on the concept of reusing good stuff instead of filling up our landfills with usable items. But its magic is providing us with an opportunity to feel good by doing good—giving away for free to appreciative community members what we no longer want or need. It’s all so positive: We share the commitment of not tossing stuff in the garbage and the open heartedness we feel of offering for free something of use to someone else.

Through the mystery of the Internet, the concept is easy and works well. You join an email list at freecycle.org for neighborhoods where you live or work. To give something away, you post an offer, people respond, you decide who gets it, and they pick it up from you. To ask for something, you post a request, your request is answered, and you pick it up.

The kinds of things we have given away:

  • kitchen items
  • computer paraphernalia
  • fabric, artwork
  • clothing
  • magazines
  • furniture

What we have received:

  • ping pong table
  • food dehydrator, slow cooker, egg steamer, gas grill, bread machine, juicer
  • leather couch, corner cabinet, recliner, leather ottomans

And the beauty of it is that when the time is right, you can put what you received back on freecycle to be reused!

It truly is what goes around … and around … and around, comes around … and around … and around.

What others say

You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.
—Eric Hoffer

It is so easy to believe that self-worth arises from positive feedback we get from others. The feeling of being praised is immediate and intoxicating, but it is only a momentary feel-good. In the end, it doesn’t build self-confidence, just an addiction to praise.

What builds confidence and character and brings fulfillment is doing our best while doing good—knowing that we’re making a difference whether someone acknowledges it or not. It is following a path with heart and taking the high road that sustain.