My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for lasting relationships

What will it take to convince you that you are loved?

Dona_2-10-13I’ve always been convinced that you can tell people who know that they are loved – they seem to live differently, with a certain kind of confidence, an assurance of place and belonging. They are not easily perturbed by things or people. Their knowledge of being loved comes from some internal conviction that has been affirmed and settled.

On the other hand, questions and doubt seem to plague those who feel insecure in their relationships. They seem to need constant reassurance. They can be certain of love one moment then throw out accusations the next. They are unsettled by many things – challenged by always comparing and feeling the need to measure up to someone, some ideal, some image.

I found myself laughing uncontrollably one day as I listened to NPR as they played a scene from a TV show. What an imagery! As the girl broke off her relationship with the guy she told him, “Being in relationship with you is like being in relationship with a tread master – you are exhausting!” She was tired of his constant need to try to change her so HE would feel accepted and fit in.

How exhausting it must be to act the chameleon, changing to suit every person, trying much too hard to fit in. Convinced that if you do this or the other they might finally love you the way you want to be love. Being exhausted by your efforts, yet never seeming to measure up.

What will it take to convince you that you are loved? What has to happen? What must a person do? Would you cease from your exhausting efforts if you knew you were loved and accepted just the way you are?

I have no valentine’s romance to offer you but I can offer you a love that has been tested through the ages. Yes, you may have heard it many times before, but what will it take to convince you? That God love YOU so much that He did everything in his power to forge a lasting relationship with you – and now offers it to you freely this valentine’s day and every single day. You don’t have to work to be acceptable or change to fit in and be loved – just receive the big, abundant, unrestrained love that He offers you.

Cause a shift in your world – Toastmaster speech contest

Toastmaster International area and division speech contest. Cause a shift in your world

Can YOU cause a shift in your world?

If I could just bottle it, package it and sell it… after all its source is endless and the demand for it would be relentless.

If I could just bottle it, package it and sell it…

But fellow toastmasters and guests, I can no more bottle love than I can bottle the air that we breathe. For love has already been dispensed freely to the whosoever is willing to grab a hold of it and run with it to positively change their world.

But, if I could just bottle it, package it and sell it, maybe then someone would recognize its value, rush to buy it and release it into their world. I would take it home because it would change my family, and just maybe you’d want to get some too, because your family could be changed. But just in case your family doesn’t need it, get it anyway because your neighbourhood, city, state, country and even your world can be changed.

If I could just bottle it, package it and sell it, maybe then someone would buy it and actually use it.

Each year more than 1 million couples in the US get a divorce and more than 1 million children are affected by those divorces, so states a report from the Princeton University. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year about 4,500 of our youth between the ages of 10 – 24 decide that life is not worth living and they take their own lives, this does not account for the approximately 9,000 who try but fail in their attempt. Each year, sources from the CDC further reports that 4.8 million women and 2.9 million men experience some form of domestic abuse. The US Department of Justice (Bureau of Justice Statistics) reports that 76% of our little girls and 80% of our little boys were first raped before the age of 12 and this took place within their own residence or some other residence known to them. Violence among teens in on the increase — only recently in Clayton county, Georgia, the life of a 16-year-old girl was taken from her when her 15-year-old boyfriend took a gun pressed it to her chest and pulled the trigger …

IF I COULD JUST BOTTLE IT, PACKAGE IT AND SELL IT, I would say rub a little, spray a little, dab a little, it could change your world. My fellow toastmasters and guests, I’m fully convinced that if we learn to consistently live out love, it can positively affect change in the lives of those around us. If we practice love and allow our words of kindness to permeate the space in which we dwell, just maybe, we can cause a shift in the atmosphere around us. If we choose to make the tough decisions and honour our commitments, to be there, to love a lot, and sacrifice even more, maybe there would be a shift, and the stories of our lives would be different.

Maybe instead of the stories of brokenness, separation, death, pain and violation, we’d hear stories like this … of a dad who said all I wanted to do was to leave. It was so tough, we fought and argued all the time, that was not what I had signed up for. I worked long hours because I hated home. My family was on its way to be numbered among the statistics. But I loved my child and I knew there is value to family. So I made the toughest decision I believe I have ever made. I decided to stay and work; work harder at building my family than I had worked at building my company. I decided to give when I felt I had nothing left to give.

So, he dabbed a little, sprayed a little, rubbed a little and when it seemed as if nothing was working he dabbed a little more… let me help with that honey; he sprayed a little… son, I’m so very proud of you; he rubbed a little… Honey, I just want to say I love you; and he stayed and loved and sacrificed and encouraged until he started seeing a positive shift in his family.

My fellow toastmasters and guests, what of you? Are you tough enough? Are you willing to make the tough decisions and honour your commitments and stay put when it matters the most? Are you willing to cause a shift in your world today by declaring, NOT MY SPOUSE, NOT MY CHILD, NOT MY FAMILY!

This speech was prepared for the Toastmaster International speech contest and was delivered at the area and division levels where I represented the Tri Cities 2490 Club.
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