Love Is The Master Key To Happiness

Love yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Be true to yourself.  How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others treat you.

  – Steve Maraboli

Years ago I worked for a mortgage company in the Seattle, WA area.  When I interviewed for a loan processor position, the branch manager told me that I shouldn’t take the job if swearing bothered me, as everyone in her office swore.  I am good at tuning out what I don’t want to hear, so I went ahead and accepted the position.

I had been on the job just a month or two when one of the other employees in the branch came up to me with a question.  She wanted to know what I had said to everyone that made them not swear when I was part of the conversation.  I told her that I hadn’t even realized that they didn’t swear when they spoke to me and that I hadn’t told them anything.  She wanted to know why they were treating her differently than they treated me.  I told her something like the above quote.  We subconsciously tell people how to treat us.  If she wasn’t being treated how she wanted to be, then she needed to look inside of herself to determine what needed to be changed.

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.

  – Unknown

I think that the hardest part about giving and receiving love is that it puts us at risk of being hurt.  We worry about whether this new being in our lives will hurt us if we open our hearts up to giving and receiving love.

Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith begins.

  –  George Mueller

My father (stepfather) married my mother and took on six girls ranging in ages from newborn to 9 yrs old (I was the 9 yr old).  Not one time in over 49 yrs has the word “stepdaughter” ever come out of his mouth.  Every time it has been “my daughter”.  My parents went on to have one more child, my brother, who is my dads only “blood” child.  My brother and my dad have a rocky relationship.  What so many of us had a hard time with, is that we want people to behave in a certain way.  We want a mother, father, spouse, brother or sister, to say or do certain things, and when they fall short of our expectations, we create trauma around it.

When you love someone, you love the whole person just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.

  –  Leo Tolstoy

My mom passed away over 20 yrs ago, and our dad has been living with my husband and me for the past 11 years.  A couple of years ago, my brother and I had a long talk about his dad, and why I maintained our relationship after our mother died. With those that we love in our lives, our close friends, and relatives, it can be easy to look at their faults.  To see all of the “dirt” in their lives.  Those faults pop up like neon lights blinking and blinking, “look here”, but there are also hidden nuggets of gold laying alongside each fault line.

None of us can be the perfect parent, son, daughter, sister, brother, or spouse.  It has meant a lot to me that “step” never came before daughter.  He has other well hidden (LOL) nuggets of gold, and he has his share of dirt, just like every one of us.  We need to adjust our “glasses” to see others through the filters of gold, instead of just neon signs of dirt.

At the same time, we can’t live our own lives trying to live up to the expectations of others.

Stop seeing yourself through the eyes of others.  You will never be able to live up to their expectations, and it will leave you feeling broken and insecure… Rather see yourself as the beautiful soul God made you to be, and know he made you to do great things.

  –  Karen Kastyla

Have you ever looked at yourself through the “fun house” mirrors at a fair?  They distort your shape, making you tall, small, thin, fat.  Some of them distort just a portion of your body and others the entire body.  When we try to live our lives for others, we distort ourselves creating a funhouse mirror – we don’t see us, we just see the distortion.

This is your own journey.  Don’t let others define it for you.  You shape the path of your journey through your effort, hard work, love, aspirations, dreams, and always your pure intention.

  –  Abira Mukherjee

When I look at this photo, I see love on both the mans and the cat’s faces.  The cat doesn’t expect the man to act like another cat.  The man doesn’t expect the cat to be a dog.  They see the nuggets of gold in each other.  Their love is apparent.  They may not live up to 100% of the expectations.  And that failure to live up to expectations doesn’t mean that they damn up their love behind a concrete barrier, demanding that the other behave a certain way.

I know that my cats expect breakfast each morning the minute my feet hit the bedroom floor.  Since during the week I get up at 5 AM, on Saturday, Sunday, and any holidays, they still expect breakfast at 5 AM.  They seem to live with the disappointment (although they can be quite demanding and noisy about it – LOL).   They still rub up against me purring.  They still hop in my lap and try to type on the keyboard when I am busy.  I still pet them, feed them, and cuddle them.  I know that I will have to remove at least one cat every time I sit down at the keyboard to compose one of these posts.  I accept their need to interrupt me when I am not paying them enough attention, and they accept that I am eventually going to shut them out of the office so I can finish my post without kitty paws typing. (I blame all spelling errors on my cats!).

In the end nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.

  –  Daphne Rose Kingma


Sheryl Silbaugh
Sheryl Silbaugh
SHERYL Silbaugh is a writer, speaker, and transformational coach. She is a Director at Bank of America. She is the founder of created to inspire people to transform grief into gold. In April 2010, Sheryl suffered the loss of her nephew, who was randomly killed by a gang member. The idea of LemonadeMakers came from her grief. She experienced firsthand the creative power of transformation. She started a small Facebook presence that has grown from 500 followers in July 2015 to over 47,300 in March 2017. She demonstrates how to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. She is a skilled guide for those experiencing transition or loss. When we let go of what no longer serves us, and open ourselves to our soul’s calling, we uncover the treasures of our experience and can let the rest blow away on the winds of healing. She aims to support people to create transformation in every area of their lives. She provides insights on how to collaborate together to manifest their dreams in The LemonadeMakers Club. She teaches how to explore our inner and outer world to see what needs to be transformed. She is gifted in her ability to see patterns in human behavior and asks just the right questions to start unlocking the doors to your life purpose and the unique personal genius that we all have. Her book, “Timeless Treasures” will be published the summer of 2017, a collection of over 90 essays on transformation.

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