Positive Self Talk

Today I advised my cousin:

  • Give yourself permission to be who you are.
  • Tell yourself that you’re okay just the way you are.  Yes even the anger, flaws, worries, smoking habit, loves, interests, and all that stuff going on inside your head, and everything you share, and everything you don’t share with everyone else.  Yes, even whatever you just thought of.  All of it, it’s okay and so are you.
  • You are only one person.  You can only do what you can do, regardless of how much you want to do.
  • You are strong enough to hold how you feel.


He was quiet a while, processing what I said.  He told me that what currently helps him is to:

  • Ask yourself if this will matter in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years.


I think we both might know more then we give ourselves credit for…



Poem Commentary

Author’s Note about Chose to Dwell in Smiles:

I wrote this poem on the anniversary of the day my mom’s cancer re-occurrence was diagnosed.  I was and am so tired of living with the fear that her cancer would reoccur again.  It is exhausting to carry so much fear around all the time.  I try to focus on the positive most of the time.  I read happy books, I watch happy shows and movies, and I hang out with people who remind me to dwell in smiles.  My mom is still doing great and her cancer is in remission.  In fact, she is considered cured again. 

She was first diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer when she was 29 years old. I was two years old.  The doctors told her to make her piece with the world and that she had maybe three months to live.  She changed doctors and fought and fought and was in case studies for Tamoxifen and fought some more.  She was pronounced cured at 5 years and still clear and going strong 10 years later.  12 years after she was first diagnosed, her cancer reoccurred.  I was a freshmen in high school.  The doctors told her she would not live to see me graduate.  She fought the cancer off again and again she won.  I graduated early (just in case) and she came to my high school graduation and watched me walk across the stage.  She also came to my college graduation 4 years later. 

Author’s note within an Author’s Note: This year (2013) she will celebrate her 59th birthday.

Doctors don’t always know everything.  Sometimes miracles happen.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Sometimes you fight with everything you have and you still lose.  Sometimes though, sometimes you fight with everything you have and it’s enough and you win, and you live.  Some battles are worth fighting. 

This is often my internal monologue: “I am strong enough to hold how I feel.  Emotions are fluid and always changing.  This too will pass.  I am strong enough to hold how I feel.


The most fascinating things happen in the depth of the night when the entire world seems to sleep.  As an insomniac, I have a unique outlook on the world.  While many people fear the dark, I find it a friend.  When it is the middle of the night and I step outside, separating myself from the confines of four walls, a roof, and artificial light, the stars shine just for me, the clouds wave and the wind rushes to welcome me outside with a hug.  The absolute silence of the night sky is a stark contrast to the frantic sunshine abundant during the day.  With daylight, plants rush to grow, people rush to work, animals rush to frolic, and by the end of the day the sun is so exhausted from watching over the world, it gratefully slips to sleep.  At night, time seems to diminish, the world breathes deep in relaxation, and the stars giggle with childlike innocence while keeping track of the anonymous night dwellers.

One night while on a camping trip and everyone excluding myself was asleep, I decided to climb a tree to watch the peaceful river ramble past.  The stars reflected in the river’s surface mirrored a serenity I had been seeking within myself.  I was perched in a tree, on a limb unfolding for the other side of the river with all its energy, when I had a revelation.  When you throw a rock into a river, what happens?  The rock is a catalyst; the surface ripples from the rock’s point of entry.  The ripples begin with brevity, but rapidly flourish in number and size, eventually encompassing the entire surface of the water, until gradually they cease and fade, leaving nothing but a memory.  The rock, however, is still at the bottom of the river.  The memory is not a lone survivor.  All the water that will pass over the rock will be affected by it.  Although the river may appear to remain unchanged, it has been forever altered due to the addition of the rock.

Life works in much the same way.  I meet someone, I have an effect on that person and they have an effect on me.  A teacher, for example, will teach a class and each student will take a memory of that teacher with him or her.  The memory is a new addition to the student, thus the student has been changed.  The student will interact with other people, spreading the teacher’s effect.  This happens constantly with everyone, even if no one is aware of it.  Certain people persist to stick in your memory.  They are the rock and not simply a ripple.  Those are the people I ponder in the middle of the night, as I lay awake thinking about my day and allowing memories to bubble to the surface of my thoughts, forging a change within me.  Their actions, words or ideas linger and alter me.  I hope to be one of those people who persist in creating a memory.  I hope that as I ripple through life throwing myself into various rivers I will inspire others to realize their uniqueness as a rock and as a ripple.  I hope that they will realize they have the power to forever change the lives of those around them.  “You must be the change you seek to see in the world.” –Gandhi