Words of Advice - Jennifer Green
Two years ago today my life changed forever when my little brother Nathan died of an accidental heroin overdose.
His death was so sudden, so needless . . . my life with him so un-finished . . . I will never be the same person again.
Throughout my challenging battle with pain & grief, I have learned the importance of some things in life that I wanted to share my perspective on in hopes that it could help someone else in need.
LOOK – look at people and see them . . . really see them. Not just their physical features, but into their soul. You can see it . . . there, deep in their eyes, in the slight expressions, their subtle mannerisms. Contemplate that there are struggles within each person’s life that has shaped him or her; don’t be so quick to judge. Extend all people kindness even if all you can do is look at them and send a silent blessing. Often times the most seemingly trying people . . . the drunk down the street, the weird kid that doesn’t talk to anyone, the rude lady at the checkout . . . are the ones that have endured the most hardships in life. We all need to have more empathy for the so-called “odd balls”. Perhaps if we cared more about “why they are, how they are” and how we can help them, we would have less tragic situations occurring that leave us asking ourselves “why they did, what they did”.
LIVE – this one has been my biggest struggle. The expression “Live each day to the fullest” sounds cliché, but it’s so very true. Wake up each morning and be grateful for whatever blessings you have, even if in that moment all you can think of being grateful for are the clothes you have on to keep you warm. Everyone can think of at least one thing, even in the darkest depths of despair.
Close your eyes and feel the magic in the air . . . its there waiting for us to enjoy. The sound of nature, the warmth of the sun, the smell of a flower . . . how amazing all this is!
Allow yourself to imagine and dream the seemingly impossible, really, who is it hurting? You don’t need to tell anyone your dreams and wishes. Enjoy them, savor them, and experience them in your mind.
Live your life with joy. Ask yourself what really makes you happy? Is it drawing, dancing, writing, singing, playing an instrument, fixing a car, fishing, cleaning your house, painting your nails, gardening . . . what is it that truly gives you joy? Now, go do it!!! Not tomorrow, but today! You don’t have to be good at it by “society’s standard”, who cares? If it brings you joy, then do it!
LOVE – Most importantly, love!! Do not be stingy with this. My biggest regret in life is not telling my little brother enough, how very much I loved him. Why didn’t I? I guess because I didn’t approve of some of his behavior & choices in life, I thought that if I told him I loved him all the time it would be like I was accepting of his behavior. Don’t make my mistake. Love with all your heart and all your soul. Never let someone you love doubt your feelings for them. There will always be moments of anger and disapproval in relationships, tell them you love them anyways. Love above all else . . . Love!!