The ABCs of Me

A couple of days ago, I received a shock.  I was gifted the ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award by my friend, Francine

She is a real treasure, and the real award is just in knowing her, as she is a lovely, intelligent, talented, kind, God-loving woman, who I’m proud to have come to know as a friend.  You really need to go by and check out her blog.  It’s pretty awesome.

I was working on my acceptance speech, and hadn’t posted it, yet, due to my anxiety of giving speeches in the first place.  Never been really good at that.  I have severe social anxiety, especially when it comes to speeches.  I even dropped college classes, because I couldn’t do the 3 or 5 or 10 minute oral presentations.  Oh well.  I used to look at it as failure, and I suppose I still do, a bit, but I also look at it as everyone having their own voice, and mine is not in my comfort zone to speak in front of a group, unless in front of children.  I’m more comfortable in front of kids, for some reason.  Maybe since I’m just a kid at heart?  I dunno.  😉  So, I’ll just stay in my comfort zone and stick to the written word and photography – that’s where my truest comfort zones are.  I like to remain in the background and let my written/typed words and pictures speak for me.

And then, this morning, my sweet friend, Sophia, nominated me for this same award, but it looks a little different:

Sophia is a delight, and the better award is having her as my friend.  She is a kind-hearted kindred spirit, who shares the same love, affection and respect for furbabies as I do.  She also has a keen eye for photography and I am transported far away whenever I take in her lovely photographs.  I always feel I’m taking a walk with her in her lovely Africa, and I enjoy each and every mind-transport.

So, thank you, both Francine and Sophia, for thinking of me, and for this award.  I am truly honored.

I also would like to add that my friend, Claudia, pointed out that the ABC Award was created by Alyson and David Sheldrake over at http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/abc-award/, so thanks to them, as well, for creating it.

And so, the rules are:

(1)  Share something about yourself, using each letter of the alphabet;

(2)  Pay the award forward to however many of those awesome blogs you so admire,

(and since there’s no rule to not send it to those who have previously received it, I’ll forward to some of my peeps whose blogs I so enjoy reading, and for whom I am blessed to call friends.  It’s been so nice getting to know each of you and your blogs.);

(3)  Post the award on your page,

(and I’ll do that for about 24 hours, then it’ll just be located on the post itself and under the Awards page.);

So, first, my ABC list, which I did as an exercise:  I jotted down the first word that comes to mind and what it means to me.

Awesome, which describes my Lord, my daughter, my mom, my furbabies, my friends.

Beauty  is what God created when He created each of us and this world we live in.  It can be found in the smallest, simplest of things if we only look for it.

Character – if we don’t have good character and strength of character, we don’t have much.

Courage – to live takes courage; to better ourselves; to push ourselves beyond our limitations; to do good deeds for others; to face our fears and do it anyway; to do those things we love and with excellence.  All of this takes courage, and I need more of it.

Defensive – one of the best words to describe me.  I am always careful to keep my guard up.  Nearly impossible to let the walls down.  They’ve been up since I was a small child.  Just part of who I am.

Determination – We must have the guts to stick it out, put in our time and dedication to getting to that place that brings us joy and contentment.  To finish what we start if it is for the good of our souls and our future.  Never give up.  Get it done.  Then look back and reflect on our accomplishments.  (Trying to talk myself into it.)

Exercise – Something we need daily, not just physical exercise for our bodies to be healthy and live longer, but it’s also good to exercise the brain = reading, learning, listening; good for the mind and soul = exercise our Spirit, our spirituality, worship, pray, guide others, meditate.

Faith in God to lead you to the right path, to guide you, love you and never forsake you.  Faith in others.  Faith in ourselves.

Family – God and Family.  There are none as important as these. 

Forgiveness is not just a gift we give to others.  It is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.  It’s freedom and it’s an awesome experience.  Hallie taught me this most valuable lesson.  She’s straight from heaven, ya know?

Friends – We all need them and we are better people for having them.  What a blessing they are (blogger friends included here).

Generosity of all you have to give others = generosity of Spirit, to share love and God and caring with others; generosity of your time to help others; generosity of our resources (money is included here), if you have it to give for the benefit of others; of education and our knowledge for sharing and teaching for the benefit of others.

Honor – We should all acquire this if we don’t already have it.  Honor for our God, planet, our country, every human, our family, ourselves.

Humanity – We should never give up on our fellow humans, our brothers and sisters.  We all fall down.  We need each other to help lift each other up, to help us on our feet and on our way again.  No matter our country, our religion or beliefs, the color of our skin, how much money we have, we are here on this earth to help each other, to love each other and to lift each other up to new heights.  I know how easy it is to lose faith in humanity, and just when I do, a human comes along and surprises me, restoring my faith in humanity.

Humility is the quality of being modest and respectful.  We should never allow ourselves to let our ego get out of control.  We should never consider nor call ourselves better, smarter or bigger than anyone else.  We are not larger than life.  We are all on our own path and on our own journey in this life, and no matter our differences, we should all be treated with equal respect.

Integrity is one of the most important virtues of all time.  It’s what keeps us honest.

Just be yourself – Never try to be like someone else.  Though I say I’d like to be like Hallie when I grow up, the thing is that God made each of us and we are each different and special in our own ways and we all have something to offer.  We each have gifts, even if we think we haven’t discovered them.  We are each given a purpose and part of that purpose is embracing ourselves and loving who we are as individuals.  Love yourself, not in a conceited way, but in caring and a self-respecting way.  Be the awesome person you were created to be!

Kindness is something we can share with every person, every animal, every creature we are blessed to come in contact with.

Love is the most powerful, most generous, most unselfish item in God’s toolbox that He ever bestowed upon us and gifted us to be used for the greater good of others and ourselves.  It’s the one thing above all others worth living for, and dying for.

Motherhood and Magic – Motherhood, I believe, is my truest purpose in life.  Though I can always improve my parenting techniques, it is my most fulfilling role in this life and there’s nothing I find more joy in than being a mother.  The magic is in realizing your life’s purpose.  We may have one purpose or many.  The magic is when you experience your purpose and embrace your joy.

New – Every day is new and fresh.  Each day, even each hour or minute is a new chance to start over, start fresh.  It’s a real gift – every minute we are given.  We have the chance and the ability to begin again.  We don’t have to make that mistake again.  We can have rebirth – to renew ourselves and our Spirit.  We can reboot and begin great things with each new moment we are given.  With each minute, we can make the choice to change our lives, to make a bold difference, or even just a small one.

Optimism – There is power in possibility, in positivity.  If we believe great things are happening, they will happen.  If we remain focused on the positive, then positive things will happen.  Same thing with negativity, so kick that minus sign to the curb!

Photographs – It’s one way of preserving pieces of history and memories forever, if we take good care of our photographs.  These can be passed on to future generations.  I love seeing the beauty of the world through photography.

Prayer – Honest communication and openness is what God’s looking for.  Not repetition.  Some of us pray repetitive prayers, because perhaps they offer us comfort.  A mantra, if you will.  That’s all well and good – for ourselves to find comfort, as well as to offer possible comfort for someone else.  But the praying that God appreciates the most, I believe, is the praying that’s sincere.  Open your heart to Him and talk to Him like He’s your best friend, because He wants to be.  Even if you’re angry and yelling at Him, He appreciates you being honest and authentic.  He appreciates your openness; your candor.

Quiet – It’s in the stillness, the quiet times, that you can hear the whispers of your heart, and those God whispers you’ve been praying for, for so long.  When you cannot find answers, nor peace, be still, be quiet, and know that God is there with you in that place.

Respect – a very strong and important tool we should all use for every aspect of our lives.  Respect for God, our planet, our country, every human, every animal and creature, and ourselves.  No one person on this planet deserves more respect than another.  We each deserve the same amount of respect.  This can be a tough one to earn.  If we can’t treat others with the same respect we want for ourselves, we don’t deserve any respect at all.  For more information, please see “The Golden Rule”.

Satisfaction – Most of us are in search for the gold at the end of the rainbow, always searching for something better.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that.  Just try to see what you have right now in this moment.  Do you have a family you love?  Good health?  Are you able to pay the bills and put food on the table?  Do you have joy in your life?  Try to be satisfied in the moment – in what you do have, right now.  It’s good to seek and find and be searching after your pursuits – it’s part of what drives us, motivates us.  But sometimes, take joy and satisfaction in what you already have and be thankful.  Be satisfied with your life, and know that you are whole.

Social Anxiety is something else that describes me.  I am anti-social, I suppose because people scare me.  I’ve been this way from childhood.  I get nervous when around groups of people.  I have many friends, but I prefer to be a loner, and around my daughter and mom.  I actually tried to undergo hypnosis to recover part of a lost memory, and to try and conquer my social anxiety, but the doctor was unable to hypnotize me, as I scored off the charts with trust in people, or lack thereof.  Not exactly proud of this.  In fact, I’m sort of ashamed to admit it.  It’s something I work on every single day.

Thankfulness or Gladness – We should all be thankful for every tiny and large thing we are given.  When I’m depressed or feeling blue, this is a great exercise for me – getting out my gladness journal and start listing every single think I’m thankful for – what I’m glad about.  Not long after I start, do I begin to feel more joyful than sad.  It gives me strength and happiness and it refocuses my energy off of myself and onto God and all those people, animals and things that make life grand!

Usefulness – We all have something to offer.  We do not need to sit around, lazy and feeling sorry for ourselves, because of what we don’t have.  We all have something that is useful and we can use it for the betterment of someone else.  Be useful.

Validation – With emotional validation, we can learn to have more connected, more open, full relationships.  When we learn to listen to how the other person feels about something, what they think, how they have perceived something, we are allowing that person to trust us, to open up and communicate freely with us.  When we try to understand and not judge them but accept their feelings, we validate them.  Everyone is unique and sees things and feels things in their own way.  And we should make them believe and know it’s ok to feel that way.  You listen, try to be understanding, acknowledge them, nurture them and make them feel good about themselves for sharing their feelings with you.  If you want to build a relationship with someone, never regret, ignore or judge their feelings.  Let them know they are accepted.  Don’t we all want that?  We certainly all deserve that.

Wisdom is knowing when something needs to be said or done or to leave well enough alone.  They say wisdom comes with age, but I believe it can come at any stage.

Write – I sabotage myself much of the time.  I put so much stress on writing something publishable, working on that great American novel, or trying to, and then I get so stressed and nervous about it, I put it down, let it get a bit dusty before coming back to it.  We should write because it brings us joy.  We should write with our heart and our soul, even if it never graces the shelves for someone else to read.  We write for ourselves, even if we never do anything else with it.  Write only out of love for writing.

eXhilaration – Be an exhilaration!  Find something in your life to be exhilarated about!

Youth – I will always try to hang on to this, no matter how old in years I become.  Ah, the freedom and uninhibited silly laughter of youth.  Running and playing and frolicking in the sun, or even dancing in the rain, jumping in water puddles, and not even care what I’m wearing or who’s looking.  Loving without condition and without reason for mistrust – the greatest gifts of youth, and some I’ve lost sight of.  Never stop learning and growing.  To know how to truly live – the wisdom of youth.  Children are free and happy.  Forgiveness comes easy for them.  Love comes easy for them.  As we grow older, we learn to not trust, not forgive, not love, forget how to laugh.  I say, laugh with abandon, even if it sounds silly.  Embrace your inner-child, your inner-silliness.  Dance like nobody’s watchin’, or don’t care if they are.  Don’t worry.  Especially if there’s nothing you can do about it.  Be happy.  It’s healthy.  Find the wisdom of acting young and it’ll make your heart young.  Never grow up, completely.  That’s my motto.

Zen – Find your zen.  Realize it.  To me, it’s not only enlightenment, but where you are happiest and most peaceful, most calm, soothed, relaxed, free.  My zen is snuggling on the couch with my daughter, feeling the peacefulness and calmness of the sage green walls of my livingroom, cracking the windows just a bit so we can better hear the rain tinkling, dancing on the leaves like musical chimes, and looking out the window, letting the rain soak into our minds, our hearts, our souls.  There’s something very cleansing about watching and listening to and smelling rain fall.  I feel closest to God when it’s raining and we are in the safety of our home.  And I feel closest to God when the sky plays a stormy blue background, illuminating all of the colors of the stage in front.  Everyone needs their own zen.  What’s yours?

Ok, so it was rather long.  Sorry about that.  Hey!  Ya still awake?

*knocking on computer screen* 

I do tend to ramble, don’t I?  Typical southern girl, I am, I suppose.  Now onward to paying it forward to just a few of MANY of my favorite blogs (not in any particular order):

1.  Claudia

2.  Frizz

3.  Gerry

4.  Marcy

5.  Cee

6.  Rois

7.  Jake

8.  Paul

9.  Judee

10.  Gilly

Please, stop by, and pay each of them a visit.  Their blogs are AWESOME!!  😉

Y’all have a beautiful day!  It’s raining here.  Gonna be rainy all the day long.  Good sleeping weather.  😉  The birds are LOVING it.  They are out there singin’ and chirpin’ and bathin’ and playin’ in the puddles.  Fun to watch ’em.  Through the rain, it’s hard to see those birds in the background.  They look like tiny specks.

*
*hug*
-Carol

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48 thoughts on “The ABCs of Me

  1. Sonel says:

    Oh, what a beautiful post indeed hon and you are very welcome. Your blog is one of my treasures and I am so glad to have found another friend who shares the same interests. I’ve accepted myself the way I am, social phobia and all and believe it’s for a reason. Yes, I do go out and meet people and talk to them but at some stage it becomes too much for me and then I withdraw. Maybe because I can’t get over the fact that you just can’t trust people. Funny hey? And now we see that we are not the only ones and there are a lot like us out there and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We are just “build” like that. I give my all to my family, my furbaby and these wild little creatures that bless my life from day to day. We’ve learned to embrace what we have and make the best of it. We will stay young at heart forever!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend and thanks for being such an awesome person and newfound blogfriend. 🙂
    *big hugs*

    Like

    • Thank you Sophia. I, too (for the most part), have accepted the way I am, social phobia and all, and like you, believe it’s for a reason I’m this way. We are the way we are, and it’s a good thing. Sometimes, those fears are put in place for a very good reason, and not every fear is to be faced and conquered. Sometimes, it is wise in just acknowledging our fear and go on about our business. Even fearing the Lord is not something to mess with. It is good to fear Him. haha! Helps to keep us on the straight and narrow, or at least a little moreso. Fear can be a healthy thing. I’m like you with “… I do go out and meet people …” It’s natural for us to feel this way. We have our reasons not to trust, and I don’t think it’s a completely bad thing. I know some people are trustworthy. It’s just pretty darn near impossible to find those few, ya know? 😉 Easier to keep them at a distance, lest they take advantage. “Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.” Perhaps a bad choice of words, but true, nonetheless. I will no longer allow anyone to screw me over. Like you, I give my all to my family, too, and those sweet furry creatures that we love. I give thanks every day for Hallie, Mama, our furbabes and babe with scales and the wild ones out there that need our help from time-to-time, and friends (like you).

      You enjoy the rest of your weekend, too, friend. You’re pretty awesome. 😉

      *big squishy hug*

      Like

  2. cobbies69 says:

    Nicely written and thoughtful. you certainly have a greta outlook on life and living. An inspiration to those who read it…;)

    Like

  3. I do realize some of you have already received this award, but since there was no rule on not forwarding on to whomever I wanted, I did just that. Hope that’s ok with ya. And since some of you may have already paid it forward, of course, no need to do it again. Just know that your blog is AWESOME!

    Like

  4. Rois says:

    Thank you so so much! i am very greatfull everytime I receve award, i know it’s notso easy for you to read and follow non-English blog. Thank you again!

    Like

    • I love your blog, Rois. I always push ‘English’, so it’s easier to read. 😉 I love looking at your language, too, though. Although I cannot read that part, it’s a beautiful language! Looks like art!

      Like

      • Rois says:

        Thank you! Really nice said! The alphabet we use is used in many countries like Russia for example, but very few people know not Russians invented it, but exactly Bulgarians did it. I’ll do my best to receive the two awards you gave me properly, sorry I didn’t do it until now, but I put too many projects on my head.

        Like

      • I’d love to learn Bulgarian! It seems very interesting to me. As well, I’d like to learn French, Italian, German, more Spanish, and more languages, like Gaelic, Chinese and Japanese. Don’t hurry yourself with the award. Take your time. It took me two or three days to reply, myself. I know we all have many projects that keep us busy. 😉

        Like

  5. sonsothunder says:

    Thank you so much for the ABC Award. I definitely accept, and will work on my acceptance post, and pay-forwards as soon as possible. I did already post the award badge in my sidebar, and linked it back upon clicking to your site…Thanks Again…
    paul

    Like

  6. Claudia says:

    Carol,
    You’re so sweet. Thanks for including me in your list. Great acceptance speech. 😉 And awesome ABCs. Congrats.:). *big hug*
    Claudia

    Like

  7. Sarah Harris says:

    Great to get to know you! I like where you are coming from! I will “follow” and can’t wait to read more! Love the shot with the bird!

    Like

    • Thanks Sarah. Fun getting to know you, as well. Thanks for the follow, as well. We always have birds over here. They have taken over the trees and the yard! They act as if they haven’t seen rain in months! Yet, it’s been raining nearly every other day, if not every day for weeks! They love it! I would have had a better, closer shot of the birds playing in the puddles, but as soon as I cracked open the back door, they took off. Oh well. Better luck next time, right? 😉

      Like

      • Sarah Harris says:

        Ironically, we never have any birds in our trees (that I see) and today we had 2 doves in the tree and 1 cute little guy on a sign in front of our place. I tried to snap a picture of our cat watching them but wasn’t successful this time.

        Like

      • How cool is that?! Oh, we have cats, too, and they get birds from time to time, unfortunately. Weird, though, our yard and trees are always full of birds, chattering. I’m sure you’ll eventually get some shots of those birds. Gotta be sneaky. 😉

        Like

  8. jakesprinter says:

    Thank you my friend I accept and I really appreciate it 🙂

    Like

  9. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations Carol!!! Great write up too. Thanks for the nomination!

    Like

  10. fgassette says:

    Thank you for your kind and loving words. It’s funny but I have the same inabilities as you do. But I have learned that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are given a special gift uniquely designed for each of us. Discover your gift and you discover your purpose. Don’t let fear paralyze you from reaching your potencial. Faith cast out fear. You are an excellent photographer and write from your heart. So my friend.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Like

    • I meant every word, Francine. So, we have a lot in common – same inabilities. I agree, “We are given a special gift uniquely designed for each of us.” I feel that I fear public speaking for a reason and we are each given our own voice. I recognize that. Not all of us are meant to be public speakers, and I prefer to remain somewhere within my comfort zone. I do like to stretch my wings a little and try new things that might be a little scary, but public speaking is not one of them. Ha! Thank you for your kind words, my friend. *hug*

      Like

  11. orples says:

    Thank you for including my name, Carol. I will need time to think of my answers to the a,b,c ?’s, so may not circle back on the other directions until tomorrow p.m. (plans in the a.m.). This is the type of thing I like to put time and thought into. I am flattered that you added me to your list, so again, thank you. Marcy

    Like

  12. frizztext says:

    I’m flattered and have to plan, how to react …

    Like

  13. Judee says:

    I have to say I totally related to what you said about giving speeches – I thought I was the only one who dropped classes because of it. Once during a highschool (and thus mandatory) book report, i think I left my body because my mouth was moving, but I wasn’t in there.

    Congratulations on the award, a lovely read and nice was to get to know more about you. And thank you so much for adding me to your list, I feel such awe that you thought of me. I will get to work on a post for it and get it posted some time this week. I don’t know if it will be short or long, depends on if my rambling brain starts in. 😉 Bless you!

    Like

    • It’s nice to know we are not alone, right? It’s one of my worst fears in life. I just can’t do it. I won’t do it. I feel as if I may stroke out. 😉 I can laugh about it now, because I can write about it, but I will not get up in front of people and TALK. Yuck! Everyone watching me? No thank you. I can relate to the book report in high school, too. I had the clammy hands, my body shook, my hands vibrated, my face and whole body turned red, then purple. I could nearly pass out or throw up!

      Thanks Judee. Nice getting to know you, too. I so enjoy your blog. I can hardly wait to read your ABCs. Take your time. Bless you, as well, sister! *hug*

      Like

  14. ferragudofan says:

    great post and congratulations on the award
    and huge thanks for the link back to the start of the award – I have no idea where the new logo has come from (it’s confusing a few people!) but it’s just great to see the award being shared with so many blogs – and I get to find wonderful new blogs to enjoy too!
    off to read more from your blog and find out more!
    best wishes – and congrats again!
    Alyson

    Like

  15. jkenjin says:

    Thank you for your post! Keep up the good job and have a great aloha week!! ^_^

    Like

  16. […] is herself an Awesome blogger, and I’m honored that she thought of me. Go take a peek at Carol’s ABC award page and see what she had to say about herself. She gave some really awesome and well thought out […]

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  17. Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment. 😉

    Like

  18. bargaindiva says:

    Congratulations on your award!

    Like

  19. […] about time. My dear friends Gracie and Carol both nominated me for The ABC Award here and here. I am always honoured to receive award from non-Bulgarian speaking bloggers because even though […]

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  20. […]  Most Popular:  The ABCs of Me […]

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  21. ferragudofan says:

    Congratulations on your ABC Award!
    As the originator of this award you may be interested to know that I have now set up a Facebook group for all bloggers who have been given the ABC Award – a place for you to meet new bloggers, and share and support each other. You can join the group here:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ABCaward/?bookmark_t=group
    Please also let any other bloggers, that you know have been given the award, know about this group too – then we can all ‘spread the word’
    I have also set up a Facebook page – the ABC Award – where you can now add links to all of your blog posts and writing – share your work with a new audience, gain new readers, and find out what other ABC Award bloggers are writing about.
    You can find the page here:
    https://www.facebook.com/ABCaward?bookmark_t=page
    Just ‘like’ the page and get started – and do let all your blog readers know about this page – I believe that all of our blogs can only be improved by letting our readers know about other blogs – that way you will also have new readers discover you too!
    Happy blogging – and congratulations again on the ABC Award – you’re awesome!

    Like

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