Love Over Covid

COVID-19 has infiltrated the world, but I assure you that is has not taken over the world. There have been so many stories of heroism, selflessness, and acts of love that have crossed barriers of race, creed, and geography.

The time to rise-up is now. We need to focus on building a better future for our kids and the generations to come. The more we fix our thoughts on the mess and chaos COVID-19 has brought into our lives, the more distracted we become. It’s just like anything else in life that tries to disrupt our flow and cause panic and uncertainty of the future.

Don’t get me wrong, COVID-19 is a severe issue that is being felt all around the world, but I think that we have given enough of ourselves to the disease and the fear it brings along with it. We have stopped working, socializing with others, and enjoying recreational activities.

The very essence of humanity is found in the community and fulfilling our need to contribute and belong to something greater than ourselves. However, this disease has not allowed us to do the things we love with the people we love for fear of acquiring or spreading the disease.

I’m just like most people who have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic and the trail of destruction it has left behind as it passes through our cities. I have waited in long lines for simple necessities and tried my best to manage my thoughts on whether I should bulk buy certain foods and supplies.

There’s no doubt we felt the economic impact, and the aftershock of the tidal wave COVID-19 brought into our communities. My wife is a Hairstylist and had to stop working due to the demands of social distancing; in-which has reduced our household income significantly. We have learned to live lean and buy only the essentials while enjoying some of the classic junk foods, like Doritos and OREOS.

This lockdown has a silver lining, and my taste buds are the beneficiary, as my daughter has taken a liking to baking cakes, cupcakes, and cooking simple breakfast meals such as pancakes and eggs. We try not to stick our heads in the ground and pretend like nothing is going on around us. Instead, we focus on good thoughts and what we can do to better ourselves and others.

We have a home GYM and have been spending a lot of our extra time working out and running off all the cupcakes and Doritos we ate over the last month, lol. I say all this to share that my family and I are no different than many of you; however, we’re determined not to let this thing win. I’m hoping that just like our family workouts, we can burn off all the excess and run lean with true intentions on making this a better place to live.

I want to encourage you to continue to pray, fight, and work towards a better future. There’s one thing for sure, and that is we don’t know how long we have on this earth, but what we do know is that we can control what we do while we’re on this earth.

If you’re unsure of which direction to take, choose the one that leads you through the road ahead. If just getting out of bed is a battle for you, then I want to encourage you to open your eyes and immediately think of how blessed you are to see the ceiling above you, and that you have a roof above you. Sight and the simple necessities of life are overlooked and underappreciated.

It’s to rise-up and look beyond COVID-19, we have given up so much for this thing, and now it’s time to take back our lives and trust that this too shall pass. We still must abide by the law and remain distant from others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect and encourage others while we’re safe in our home.

If you see someone down and out, speak up, physically speak into them by reminding them that we’re all in this together and that they are more durable and more resilient than they think. Encouragement is a powerful tool that God has blessed us with, as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

I like the way encouragement is described in Hebrews 10:24-25. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

I’m writing this piece in hopes of encouraging others to get rid of fear and to get-up and fight, as we work to end this pandemic and regain our sense of humanity and purpose.

I refuse to give up and quit, and in doing so, I’ll continue to get up every day, go to work, and live my life with purpose as I try to instill the same mindset and behaviors into my own kids. I hope that my kids will be able to look back at this historic moment in time and reflect on all the good deeds they witnessed throughout our communities.

Now is not the time to withdraw from others but instead lean-in and share each other’s burdens as if they were our own. I urge you to be the light, be the love, and be an answered prayer for someone. If you feel it in your heart to give, pray, and do, then just do it.

This, too, shall pass, and we’re going to come out on the other side stronger, healthier, and living a more prosperous and purpose-driven life.

I want to encourage you to live resiliently, be the love in action when others are in need, and remember, quitting is not an option.

#NoQuit #NoFear #BeTheLove

How To Overcome Self-Doubt & Regain Your Joy

There comes a time when we should not look ourselves in the mirror but take a long look at our history of decisions. We must take a moment and reflect on our previous decisions and the decision-making process that either lead us to victory or failure. There will be some things we’d like to take back, like some words we’ve wished we never said or actions we did or did not take. While it’s a good idea to take account of our past mistakes, we absolutely should not let it dictate our future, nor how we interpret ourselves. It’s time to rise and shake off whatever past hurts, pains and regrets that we’ve been living with. We must not become a society full of regrets and worry, but instead become a community of hope.

There is life, love, and power in the words that we speak. Words can impact someone’s life for the better or worse. Words can uplift or derail. They can reveal a lot about someone’s character and their perception of others. The words we use to describe others are also being used to describe our own integrity. It’s not about portraying a fake personality and becoming just like everyone else, but instead choosing to be different by displaying a genuine interest in the betterment of someone other than yourself.

Over the years, I’ve learned to adjust my way of thinking and speaking not only about others, but about myself. There is something to be said about a person who not only believes in themselves but has the courage to speak out loud about their discipline, faith and commitment to living an extraordinary life. From the moment, we wake up in the morning our lives become a moment to moment decision making process. We all know that this world and the people in it are far from perfect, but it doesn’t do us any good to dwell on the negativity that we see, read or experience. Live hopeful and optimistic, choose to be joyful and shed that dreadful persona of doom and gloom that so many people have adopted as their own. I’m not claiming to know it all or state that I’m able to tell people how to live, but instead I’m simply sharing with those who are willing to listen, what helped me overcome my struggles with pain, regret and bitterness. Simply put, I chose to forgive, forget and move on.

Here are three things that I would encourage you to do if you are looking to acquire more meaningful relationships and overcome any self-doubt that you may have:

  • Forgiveness. – There is both power and peace in the decision to forgive others, yourself and to also receive forgiveness from others. It’s not about condemnation but about salvation and freedom. {John 3:16-17 NLT}…“For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

When we make the decision not to judge neither ourselves or others based on poor circumstances or bad experiences we free ourselves from the devastation of guilt and a negative thought life. When we choose forgiveness, and choose to see the best in ourselves and others, we increase our ability to acquire and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships.  It’s a win-win!

  • Stop – Think – Then Speak. – When we take a moment to respond to a negative comment, gesture or situation, we give ourselves the best chance and opportunity to overcome our raw, negative thoughts and emotions. When we do this, we remain in control and not the other person or situation that’s causing friction and or conflict. The bottom line is this – don’t let others dictate your thoughts, feelings or actions. It’s tough, but I assure you that with the help of the Lord, it can be done.

{James 1:9 NLT} …” Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

I used to process people’s negative comments and meditate on them daily – and by harboring those negative thoughts and emotions it lead me to speak in a way that was harmful, both to myself and others. When we allow negativity to rule our thought life, it not only affects others but also how we view and think about ourselves. When the insults keep piling on and our days are filled with one bad experience after another, we must not act upon our negative thoughts and instincts, which could potentially lead us down a path of destruction. Instead – take your time and speak words of encouragement and wisdom into others and over your situations. Take control over bad circumstances with the use and power of your words and positive thinking. When you do this, it not only displays your character but also your ability to grow and overcome the adversities of life. Take a stand against negativity, and choose to speak life.

  • Encouragement. – Most of us enjoy words of affirmation and reassurance that everything is going to be all right, especially when we’re not feeling the most confident about our abilities.

{1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT} …” So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

When we invest in others, we invest in ourselves. I can’t tell you enough about how awesome and exhilarating it can be when you see someone breakthrough their mental and physical barriers. When we speak words of encouragement, it truly effects our lives in more ways than one. Our confidence soars, our smile gets a little brighter and it begins to show itself to others as they take note of our new and profound positive outlook on life. The bottom line is that we all need encouragement from time to time no matter how well adjusted or equipped we are in our stage of life. It’s amazing how contagious encouragement can be, it’s like adding kindling to the fire and having to jump back quickly because all the embers and heat that the new wood disperses. So go ahead and speak – and let your words be the fuel to someone’s fire.

If you want to rid yourself of negativity, you must learn a new way of thinking and speaking about others and especially about yourself. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows, but at least we can ditch the doom and gloom mindset. Let’s continue to grow in our ability to uplift and encourage one another to do great and extraordinary things. Let’s be the love!

 

Jesus Gonzales – Marketing Consultant