The “L” word

I use the “L” word a lot. I tell my family, friends, even my dog, “I LOVE them.”

I love my home, my community, my morning coffee, cinnamon buns, Prosecco, chocolate, harp music, a good “who-done-it”, walks in the forest, starry nights, the sound of the ocean, crazy wild storms, songs that make me cry and spontaneous adventures ( lol- sounds like an online dating profile😁).
My point is, each of us use this one small word; “LOVE”, to define the emotion, passion and affection we have for so many things.

So why then are so many afraid to say it? Maybe it’s because we’ve made saying “I LOVE you” weird. Our socialized definition of the word is based on romantic love, when actually, LOVE goes further and so much deeper than that.

If you’re a part of my tribe and I tell you “I LOVE you.” it means; I’m grateful for the bond and history we share, the memories we’ve made and the time we’ve spent together. I appreciate the energy and wisdom you bring into my life. I’m drawn to your creativity, your soulfulness, your wit, the way you lift me up and make me feel. When I say “I LOVE you” I’m saying I’m glad you were born and I’m happy you’re a part of my life.

Now, what’s so scary about that?

Just saying the words “I LOVE you” is uplifting to the one speaking them.
Being told we’re loved is not just nice, it’s necessary. We all need to know we matter.

LOVE has the power to inspire, comfort, heal, and pull us up from the darkest of places. There are more songs, books, movies and poetry written about LOVE then any other topic. We have special days to celebrate love, we’re consumed with finding love, and without love our species would, well, die off.

In a world that always seems to be in peril, sharing our love for one another is the glue that will strengthen our bonds and allow us to better navigate the challenges, conflicts and disagreements life throws at us.

So let’s stop making it weird.
Spread the “L”word. I promise the more you give, the more you’ll get.

Have an absolutely fabulous day.
PS – I Love You

You, that’s what’s important

Every day, the rest of the world,
will try to tell you;
~ who you should be,
~ what you should do,
~ where you should go,
and what’s important.
DON’T LISTEN.
Look in the mirror, see that face?
That’s what and who’s important.
The dreams pounding in your chest,
the adventures waiting to be had,
the roads calling you to travel,
the art-music-poetry, whatever it is,
that’s urning to be born,
~ this is your souls desperate plea to live.
Listen to that.

Toni O’KEEFFE~🌹❤️

Look for the light

Imagine you’re on a day hike in the forest, it’s getting dark and you wander off the path.

Your lost. You don’t know which way to go. You don’t have provisions to get through the night, you’re feeling stressed, hopeless, anxious and mad at yourself for not being better prepared.

Then, as you’re stumbling in the dark, exhausted and disoriented, you see a light in the darkness. A spark of hope surges within you and you make your way towards the light.

Your anxiousness turns to excitement.
Your hopelessness turns to optimism.
All because you saw a small comforting glow in the distance.

You’re overcome with joy when you come upon another hiker sitting next to a cozy fire. This person is a stranger, yet, in this moment they’re the most important person in your life.

They offer you shelter, warmth, food and water. You graciously accept. You’re relieved and you feel safe.

In the morning this stranger guides you out of the forest to safety. You hug, shed a tear and say goodbye. Your grateful, humbled and alive.
~~~~~~~
We all stumble. At times, we feel lost, alone, anxious, stressed or hopeless. Pride or self doubt might stop us from seeking help.

You sweet soul, when you’re lost, do what you’d do in the forest, look for the ones with the light and let them guide you.
Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️

Life sends us helpers

Here’s a little secret. Life sends us helpers. These helpers arrive when we need them the most.

When you’re struggling, be aware of who comes into your life unexpectedly. You don’t have to know why they show up or what they’re here to do, something inside you “will know” you need them. Trust that voice.

Put your ego, pride, judgment and stubbornness aside and believe they are here to help and guide you through the storms in your life.

If you’re in pain, lost, drowning in your own grief or chaos, you might not recognize them when they show up, you might even push them away.

They may look, sound, act or be different than those you generally welcome into your tribe, all the more reason to welcome them in.

No matter how strong, brave, smart or tough we think we are, none of us can do this alone. We’re not supposed to.

There are people you haven’t met yet, who will bring magic, peace, comfort, laughter, light, joy and healing into your life. Let them.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️

Love yourself “as is“

Think about someone you care for.

Someone you accept “as is” with all their

perfect imperfections.

Someone you love, admire and respect

with your whole heart.

Now,

It’s time to love, admire and respect yourself like this,~ “as is”, with your whole heart, and all your perfect imperfections.

Loving, admiring, respecting and accepting yourself “as it” doesn’t mean you stay where you are and stop growing.

It means;

~ you stop judging and doubting yourself and your potential.

~ you stop comparing yourself and your life with others.

~ you stop putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own.

~ you stop letting others chart your course and dictate your future, because you know we’re all on different journeys.

When you do these things, you’ll begin to nurture your needs, your hopes and your dreams, because you realize they are as important as the needs, hopes and dreams of anyone else.

AND, you’ll grow to believe that YOU ARE worthy of being loved, respected and accepted, “as is,” with all your beautiful and perfect imperfections.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️

Life is messy and messy ain’t bad

The journey to figure out who we’re meant to be, is messy.
So are;
~ the colourful drippings from an artists brush, until a masterpiece is born.
~ run-on sentences and misspelt words, until a best selling novel emerges.
~ stacks of bricks and mortar, until they’re assembled to build a home.
~ musical notes that don’t make sense until a musician strings them together to create a melody.
~ a seedling stuck in the dirt, until it grows into a rose.

Everything is messy, until it becomes what its meant to be. Including all of us.

We don’t stop painting, writing, building, playing, fixing, or planting because it’s messy, we keep going until we recognize what we’ve created.

Each of us is a messy collection of experiences, emotions, missteps, wrong turns, hopes, dreams, heartbreaks and hooray’s tossed together to create a life.

And, although we don’t always understand why certain things happen, where we’re heading, or why certain people come in and out of our lives, our individual paths are constantly moving us towards who we’re meant to be.

What starts out messy, usually ends up being something beautiful. So hang in there, things are going to get messy, and messy ain’t bad.

Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️

The train

After 92 years of earthly life, Bud Hart was on the train to heaven, when he met Sunny an energetic little soul who after nine short years of earthly life, was also on the train.

“Wasn’t that the most exciting earthly adventure ever,” she asked, him.

“No, it was too hard. I hope they don’t send me back. They should give us a manual on how to be human.” he stated in a rather cold tone.

“Why would you need a manual?” she asked.

“To figure it all out,” he said.

She giggled. “But you don’t have to figure anything out. You were given everything you needed for this journey.”

“I most certainly was not!” He commanded.

She giggled again. “You silly soul. Everything you needed for your earthly journey was neatly tucked inside your heart. All you had to do was open it.

“How would I know that!”

“You feel it,” Sunny still giggling, replied.

She continued, “Sometimes pain, grief, anger, disappointment or stubbornness, are sitting on the heart making it heavy and hard to open. When we let those toxic emotions go, then, the heart will open. When it does, kindness, compassion, gratitude, love AND self-love flow effortlessly to us and from us and our earthly life can be enjoyed.”

“What if you can’t open your heart, what then smarty pants? Bud asked.

“If the weight is too much to bear alone, then others are sent to help you.”

Bud was taken aback by this little souls wisdom. He knew she was right. He had let years of anger, regret, resentment, pain, disappointment and ego centred thinking, weight him down, blocking his heart energy.

“How come you’re so wise, and why did your journey end at such a tender age.”

“I had the best life. My journey was exactly as long as it was supposed to be.
During my nine years all I knew was kindness, compassion, gratitude, selflessness, and love. I let those things enter my heart and drown out all the pain.

My family, friends, health-care workers and even strangers, made my human experience extraordinary, they opened my heart for me. And, their hearts were opened at the same time.

Bud was moved by what she said and realized and regretted, how much time he had wasted.

Just then the train pulled into heavens station.

Some souls remained on the train as they were going back to complete their learning.
Bud rose to exit.
“Are you getting off the train? he asked Sunny.
“No I’m going back,” she replied.
“How come?
“To watch over you.”

The end

Toni O’KEEFFE-~🌹❤️

Everyone you meet is a teacher.

Some people come into our lives not because they need us, but because we need them.

Everyone we meet is a teacher.
They may guide us through the storms in our lives, they may be the mirror reflecting the unhealthy attitudes and behaviours we need to let go of, they may shine their light on answers we’ve been looking for, or, they may bring us comfort when we need it most.

When we start to see each other this way (as teachers), perhaps we’ll hold more reverence for the roles we play in each other’s lives, and tread more softly on each other’s hearts.

Watch for the earth angels who arrive to help and guide you. You may not see their wings, but you’ll feel the compassion radiate from their hearts.

Toni O’KEEFFE~🌹❤️
*artwork Ekkawat Ritnetikul