This is a list of some lessons that had the most profound affect on my life and so I thought they were worth sharing.  The first two lessons came from my grandfather. He imparted this wisdom to me when I was in my early teen years.  I thought they were great lessons to remember at the time and have learned their value enough to want to share them.  Because of their profound value, they go at the top of my list.

1.  Before you marry someone or start dating him, find out how the guy treats his mother.  If his mother is not in his life, then find out how he treats the woman who is in his life (I added this part here but it applies just as well).  If a man is respectful to his mom, he’s going to be respectful to you.  If he lies to his mom, sneaks around and does things behind her back, he’s going to do the same to you.  If he treats his mom like crap and doesn’t appreciate her, he’ll do the same to you.  If he’s a spoiled “mama’s boy”, he’s going to expect you to treat him the same way.  Now, I know that there are some mothers out there that are not good mothers, and in this case, you will learn a lot about a guy by how he responds and deals with her anyway.  Nowadays, it seems that a lot of grandparents are raising kids, and in that case, how does he treat his grandmother?  Same rule applies.  I have observed this piece of advice over the years and can honestly say my grandfather had it 99 percent right (there is ALWAYS an exception, though rare).

I also believe this can work the other way for guys…how does your prospective wife/girlfriend treat her father?  What sort of relationship does she have with him?  Expect similar behavior and attitude.  But don’t expect to BE her father. Woman who are interested in getting married are looking for husbands, not another father.  Just as most men who are interested in marriage are looking for wives, not another mother.

2.  Before you marry a guy, get him as mad at you as you can and see how he responds.  If he hits you, he’ll do it again and it will get worse as time goes on.  Truer words were never spoken!!  Even if he doesn’t hit you, how does he treat you?  Believe me, it will get worse over time.  So, if you don’t like how he treats you when he’s mad, you might want to reconsider the relationship.  Men can take the same advice and apply it to women here!

3.  Love is a decision.  I really wrestled with this one when I was younger.  I thought that was all wrong.  I used to believe that love was a feeling that just came to you.  But it’s not.  You will always be making decisions throughout your life to love or not.  If you are upset with someone, you can decide to love them or you can decide to hate them.  If you decide on the side of love, then act accordingly.  This one I still have trouble with but its sound advice. Every day of our lives we must make decisions on how to deal with or respond to a situation or person.  At first we often respond emotionally without giving it much thought but then, if you can put your feelings to the side…not out of the picture, mind you, but they also shouldn’t be front and center…and try to look over the whole situation as if from a stranger’s perspective…then you can make a decision you can live with.  Are you going to love or not?  If you decide to love then LOVE. Forgiveness is a decision.  You are deciding with love when you decide to forgive.  If that’s the decision you made, then stick to it!  Don’t forgive one minute, get mad again and take it back then decide to give it again and so on.  If you decided to forgive someone for something, then forgive them and be done with it.  If a new situation arises that requires forgiveness, decide on that situation, don’t bring up a past one and throw it into the mix.  Again, this is a lesson I still struggle with.  But, if I ever get it through my thick head, I’m going to be a LOT happier.  So will you.

4.  Believe in yourself and know that you really can accomplish whatever you truly wish to accomplish.  This one is a hard one because most people don’t really, truly believe it.  I do and then I don’t and then I do and then I don’t.  The thing is, when I look back over my life (like I’m real old or something!!), I think about the situations where I really, really wanted something and eventually, I got it.  I think how quickly it happens depends on our belief and our tenacity.  In all honesty, though, I believe that the Universe will make it happen if we FOCUS on what it is we want.  I know, this is so “The Secret” kind of stuff but the fact is…The Secret has it right.  It’s just hard to accept for some reason.  Can it really be that easy?  We think everything has to be hard and that’s what we get.  Hard.  Some people give up too soon.  To get what you want, you have to hold onto the focus with unwavering determination.  Be stubborn, snub any opinions that tell you otherwise and continue to press on like it’s going to happen.  Those who give up and give up…they will NOT accomplish their dreams.  Sad.  Don’t be one of those people.

5.  Failure is a stepping stone to success.  This one ties in with the one above.  Failure means you are trying, failure means you didn’t give up before trying.  Now, if you give up after a failure, you are done with that dream  It’s over.  BUT, if you try again … well, you might fail again BUT KEEP TRYING because eventually, if you stick to your goal/dream and tell yourself you CAN, then you WILL (remember the little train that could?  BE THE TRAIN).  It’s inevitable.  Ask anyone who has been through the process.  They will ALL tell you the same thing.  The coolest part about failure is that you learn something from the experience!  It’s always good to learn something new so the failed attempt wasn’t a total failure!  Press on…try again.  That old saying you hear all the time…If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”…it’s been around for a reason.

6.  Truth has many layers.  This one is a good one to remember.  There is usually more to a story then what you are hearing, seeing, or getting.  And when you figure out what more there is to learn or know about something…guess what? There’s more.  There are many layers to the truth of things.  Keep digging, keep looking.  But know this: the absolute truth…the heart of a truth…is ALWAYS for the good of human kind.  You see, at the core of every truth is God (or whatever you want to call it, whatever name you give to it, matters not…if you call me anything and everything but Deborah, I’m still Deborah, what you call me doesn’t change that).  God is Truth and the Truth is Love.  I know, sounds preachy and all that but … it’s also a core truth!!

7.  You are NEVER alone.  Angels surround you.  Loved ones who have passed on and have a strong attachment to you, they also keep an eye on you.  They are real whether you believe in them or not.  The problem is this:  if you don’t believe in them, it limits what they can do.  They can only help you if you ALLOW them to help and if you don’t believe in them, you surely aren’t going to allow them much.  Still, they are there just the same and they surround you with their loving energy.  If you were to be still for a bit and focus on them, you’d feel them.  You’d feel this little well of something inside your chest that spreads out and excites you from the inside out.  Sometimes, you can’t catch your breath for the joy of it.  It’s there.  Believe me.  Or not.  Your CHOICE.  Can you imagine the endless possibilities if you DO believe in them?  Wow.  Skies the limit.  And that’s the Truth!

8.  It doesn’t matter what other people think about you, it matters what YOU think about you.  Now this one is a tough one.  Especially to the young ones and the teens.  I remember high school.  I would rather be invisible than to be noticed and judged wanting in some way.  My first two years of high school were low key.  I hovered on the fringes of everything.  But, I WANTED to be popular and have lots of friends, a handsome, attentive boyfriend and an exciting life.  The problem, though, was I was too worried about what people thought of me to get any of those things.  Oh, I had friends, a core group that I have to this day.  I trusted them.  I let them see the real me.  But for the most part…I went through the first two years of high school hoping nobody noticed me.  And I was unhappy with myself because of that DECISION.  I should have loved myself a little more back then.  Oh, I don’t mean in a conceited, “I’m better than anyone, I’m wonderful and everyone should love me” sort of way.  No, never that.  I’ve heard people say they weren’t popular or they were picked on because of their weight, and YET, I remember there being kids in high school who were overweight and everyone liked them!! True story.  There were nerdy kids and geeky kids (yeah, I’m labeling them because that’s what we do and it’s these labels that we cringe from ourselves) and yet some of the kids that fit those labels were well liked and popular anyway.  You see, it depended on how they felt about themselves.  The overweight kids who were comfortable with their weight didn’t walk around hoping nobody saw their weight.  They were okay with their bodies and so everyone else just responded in kind.  The nerdy kids who enjoyed their nerdiness were accepted because they accepted themselves.  They didn’t walk around hoping no one noticed they were nerds, they embraced it!  And so on.  I started figuring this out my last two years of high school.  I stopped being so quiet and shy, holding back, watching from the fringes.  I started getting involved in things and having fun.  So I didn’t have much money, who cared?  So I wore the same clothes several times throughout the year, SO WHAT.  In the end, the only kids who care about the things you worry about are the kids who care about those things because you do.  If you don’t, they don’t.  That’s the way it works. Instead of slouching along, walk with confidence, give smiles instead of scowls, be happy to be who you are because you are the only one in the world!!!

9.  People have power over you if you ALLOW them to have power over you.  Bullies go around looking for people they can cower.  Do you notice that they don’t bully EVERYONE.  No.  They find the ones who have no confidence in themselves, they find the ones who are scared and they feed on it.  Bullies don’t have a good sense of themselves.  They overcompensate this by trying to make themselves feel better by belittling others.  By bossing around, pushing around, and putting fear in others.  It helps to compensate for their own low sense of self-worth.  Their motto is to boss, push and frighten others before anyone else tries to do the same to them.  People who walk around with confidence are usually left alone.  Some bullies might give em a nudge just to test the waters, see if they might bite, if the confidence is real or a ruse.  But when you don’t respond in fear, when you don’t react in a way that makes them feel powerful, they will go find another victim.  I was the second shortest kid in my Freshman class.  I was shy (as I’ve mentioned) and stayed out of the limelight.  I weighed about a 100 lbs (boy are those days gone!).  One day I was walking down the school hallway and there were four boys (looked like Juniors to me, they weren’t scrawny Freshmen, that’s for sure) and they were tormenting a special education student who I knew was in his first year at our school.  He had Down Syndrome.  Talk about bullies!  I watched as they kept slamming his locker shut every time he opened it.  His arms were full of books. One of the boys made him drop the books on the floor.  When he leaned down to pick them up, another of the boys kicked the books.  As the poor kid scrambled to get them, the other boys kept kicking them away.  I was FURIOUS.  Suddenly, I didn’t care how small I was or how shy, I marched down that hallway and I let those stupid boys have it.  Believe it or not, they backed off!  My energy was stronger than theirs in that moment.  I was on the side of rightness and they were not.  They backed off.  I told them to pick up his books.  They did.  I told them they should be ashamed of themselves. Did they really feel so big picking on him?  Were they all that and more because they could pick on someone who couldn’t stand up to them?  They told me they were just playing around, they apologized to the kid and then walked away.  I stood there in that moment and realized something…size doesn’t matter (so there it is!!), attitude matters!  What you feel inside matters.  Strong energy on the side of love overpowers any other sort of energy.  BUT, use that energy for anything but love and it becomes the other side of the coin.  Remember that.

I know I have more lessons that have profoundly affected my life but this post is getting long and I need to stop.  Hope this helps.  And if you have any lessons to share that affected your life profoundly, please do!! We can all use the support of sharing lessons.  Blessings to you and Peace out!!