Lawrence H. Robinson is having a moment. Like, a really good moment.
And I'm not just saying that because he recently made his well-received debut on the new BET hit seriesSistas. Nor am I saying that because he's got a new movie slated to come out around Christmas time that promises to be equal parts feel-good and funny. No, the moment Lawrence is having is one of those rare moments, where your dream slowly but surely starts turning into your reality. It's a little after 5pm when our call connects and the Philly native is in good spirits. He's inviting and easy during our conversation. (Easy on the eyes too, am I right ladies?) But as he begins to recount his journey to me in our half-hour chat, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Lawrence is a man full of persistence and perseverance. He doesn't believe in giving up. And while humble beginnings working at the airport and going to community college may have been enough to deter any other person from pursuing their heart's desire, for Lawrence, it only fanned the flame for him to keep going. And that's exactly what he did. "I've always known I wanted to do something in entertainment, ever since I was a kid," he tells xoNecole. "I just didn't know what my path was going to be."
"I didn't have a bunch of money growing up. I wasn't the smartest kid growing up but I've always been super hardworking. And if I could look back, I would just say my drive is the same. That never changed."
So how did he go from handling bags to securing bags with BET & Tyler Perry? xoNecole recently got the chance to chat with the Sistas star to find out.
xoNecole: Describe your character Chris [in ‘Sistas’].
Lawrence H. Robinson: Chris is in his early thirties and had a rough childhood growing up. He was raised by his aunt, but she passed away when he was 16. So from 16 on, he got caught up in the streets and eventually went to jail for attempted murder. After he got out, he opened his own business doing construction and now he has a million dollars in his bank account. He's a solid, good brother dating an older woman who's being played by the legend, Shari Belafonte. And he's basically getting introduced to Zach, who's played by Devale Ellis, to try to get him on the right track.
Did you always know acting and modeling was going to be in your future or was this something you kind of stumbled upon?
You know, I was actually like Zach [in the show], Devale Ellis' character--I worked at the airport for six years. I was just a hard-working dude from Philly who was just a baggage handler, but I always wanted more. So in the midst of that, I took acting as an elective because I really wanted to do it. Then I took Tasha Smith's workshop in 2011, moved to New York in 2012, and then I booked my first commercial with Diddy for Macy's. I made a lot of money and I thought that was going to be my way in. I ended up getting fired from my job on purpose so I could pursue acting full-time and I went on that. So I've always been into acting but modeling and acting go hand in hand for me.
I was still modeling like for Macy's and Pepsi, a lot of the commercial stuff. I wanted to be an editorial model but I guess I had a more commercial look. But fast forward to now, I'm in LA and still chasing it, doing the modeling and the social media stuff--that's always going to be there but my passion was always TV and film. I'm just grateful for Tyler Perry for giving me my first character.
What have you learned about yourself thus far throughout your journey?
I've definitely learned that I'm resilient. And that I don't believe in the word 'no'. The word 'no' doesnt doesnt scare me, I'm not afraid of it. It makes me want to keep going until I get [a] 'yes'. Some people are really intimidated by that word. And I love when people underestimate me, I love that. I've always been one of those people that you may see me on social media flexing and working that market but I've always [been] in the background taking acting classes. So I knew when it was time for me to hop on-screen, I knew that I was going to be invested and my character was going to make an impression because I've always been willing to do the work.
Let’s switch it up a bit and talk relationships now. How are you handling dating during quarantine? Are you doing the whole Zoom dates and...
I actually haven't been on Zoom but I've had a couple Facetime calls. It was random though! I've just been watching shows and I'll go through my DMs sometimes and if I see something that catches my attention-- then we'll have a conversation. So it's just been a lot of casual conversations and a few 'Facetime dates', but for the most part I've just been dating myself. And really trying to figure out what I want for my life. Now that I'm entering my dream world and my dream is becoming my work--I have to figure out what's next? You know: do I want to get married? Do I want to have another kid? Do I want another serious relationship? I've just been questioning myself and having some conversations internally.
Courtesy of Lawrence H. Robinson
"Now that I'm entering my dream world and my dream is becoming my work--I have to figure out what's next? You know: do I want to get married? Do I want to have another kid? Do I want another serious relationship? I've just been questioning myself and having some conversations internally."
Gotcha. So when it comes to red flags, what are some major ones you look for when it comes to dating?
It's definitely a red flag if you're not a kid person. Another one is if you don't believe in God. Everything I do is based on my faith. I respect everybody but I can't imagine having a conversation and going back to my faith and you don't believe in God. That's uncomfortable to me. Another one would also be lack of drive. You have to be clear about what you want in life and actively go towards it. You don't have to be an actress or in Hollywood--I would love to date somebody who's not doing exactly what I do. But you definitely need to be trying to work towards something and know who you are.
Understood. I know you have a little one, your son Aiden. Has fatherhood affected what you look for or what you’re attracted to when it comes to dating?
Absolutely. You have to be into kids and like kids. And you have to ask about my kid. You can't check on me and not check on Aiden. My son is the number 1 thing that makes me happy. So you need to know that my son is the highlight of my life and if you're not invested in that--you may as well go the other way.
Courtesy of Lawrence H. Robinson
"My son is the number 1 thing that makes me happy. So you need to know that my son is the highlight of my life and if you're not invested in that--you may as well go the other way."
Do you know your love language(s)?
I don't know for sure but I'm big on affirmations, for me and for her. I need to tell you I love you and I need her to tell me she loves me. I need all the compassionate words, the compliments, I need all that.
So when you’re in a relationship, how would you best like to be catered for by your partner?
I don't like to be catered to. I prefer to do all the catering. That's what I do. Besides the affirmations, that's all I need.
OK, well let’s flip it. How do you best cater to your partner?
By being there for her to provide whatever she needs so she knows 'I got you.' Any kind of support. No matter what. And that's honestly why when I was struggling as an actor, I wouldn't date. I won't date if I'm broke. Because if we're going to dinner or to the movies--I'm paying for it. I really don't like dating if I'm not financially stable. Luckily, I'm not in that position anymore, but I like to provide, be supportive. I like to encourage. I don't want her to have to look nowhere else.
Courtesy of Lawrence H. Robinson
"I won't date if I'm broke. Because if we're going to dinner or to the movies--I'm paying for it. I really don't like dating if I'm not financially stable. Luckily, I'm not in that position anymore, but I like to provide, be supportive. I like to encourage. I don't want her to have to look nowhere else."
Last thing before we wrap and this is a two-part question: What frustrates you the most and surprises you the most when it comes to finding love or about love in general?
Mmm. That's good. What frustrates me the most is not knowing when the right time for it is. I'm so focused right now and locked into my career and I feel like love can either help you or knock you off your track. And what surprises me the most is how it feels like fate. The perfect situation can really come your way out of nowhere one day and you weren't even looking for it. That's what I would say.
Season 1 of Sistas is available to stream on the BET Now app. And for more of Lawrence, connect with him on Instagram: @lawrencehrobinson.
Featured image courtesy of Lawrence H. Robinson
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
Christmas in a Caribbean household is full of laughter and vibrance. I remember my father playing his soca, calypso, and parang on vinyl. I remember my brother and I wine down the whole living room. We loved to dance, and we liked to cut up. I remember my mother would start cooking from the night before.
I would wake up to the aromas of freshly baked bread, fry bake, ham, brown stew chicken, curry goat, callaloo and rice, dahl, macaroni pie, and roti---all the traditional holiday foods of a Trinidadian household. I had thoroughly enjoyed being around my family during the holidays. And I truly miss those days.
Navigating estranged family dynamics is a reality for many during the holiday season.
As I transitioned into a young adult, the holidays started to look a lot different for me. Life happened – my uncle, brother, cousins, and I all moved out of state. So, while my mother’s house was still the gathering spot, not so much anymore. And it wasn’t because of physical distance. But because of distance, something else became more visible even though it was always there. My home environment was subject to strain and tension among family. Yes, I have already stated my mother, and I never had the best relationship. However, this type of strain was before I came into this world.
Some family members have gone for years without speaking, and to this day, I couldn’t even tell you why. What I can say is pride, jealousy, ego, and envy ruin every single thing, including familial relationships.
At the time, I was too young to understand. I was told to “mind my business.” But I will say the notion of family not speaking in my immediate family was and still is a generational and/or repetitive cycle. An off-and-on type of thing where nothing is ever resolved – but hidden and buried. When you’re a child, you don’t notice these things at all. As an adolescent, you notice but you avoid asking questions to not add fuel to the fire.
As a young adult, you take mental notes, but you avoid addressing the issue. And as an adult when you finally leave your home environment, it is then you start to fully understand. You realize certain behaviors that you were surrounded with were completely toxic, unhealthy, and definitely not normal.
This holiday season, let's take a look at the true definition of estranged family and how other women, including myself, navigate the holidays with estranged family dynamics, create new traditions, and find peace.
What Is Family Estrangement?
Psychology Today describes family estrangement as something that occurs when at least one family member begins distancing themselves from another because of longstanding negativity in their relationship. Causes of estrangement vary – this includes abuse, neglect, bullying, unaddressed mental illness, lack of support, destructive behavior, and substance abuse. It could also look like a parent not agreeing with a child’s sexual orientation, choice of spouse, gender identity, religion, and/or political views. This includes sibling estrangement, too.
According to an article from The Conversation, 27% of adults experience family estrangement that either they or another family member initiates. The article further emphasizes family estrangement is a process that is ongoing and varies in degree.
It is voluntary, intentional, and based on ongoing issues. It is not a particular event or outcome. My therapist states, “In my professional experience, estranged families are often in adults that experienced developmental and/or childhood trauma by one or both primary caregivers and/or other relatives that may have been closer, or when they realized that these relationships are toxic, unhealthy, or damaging to them.
"These adults have set boundaries expressed verbally or with their behaviors for their well-being and mental health. Taking this decision can be difficult for many and tends to happen after years of trying to navigate the challenges, disappointments, and upsetting interactions. For some, having clear limits about how they will continue some sort of relationship, making these changes, and being consistent suffices. For others, this estrangement is absolute.’”
Estranged Family & The Holidays
When undesirable family dynamics exist, it’s never easy. It is difficult AF. Whether you are the person who initiated the distance or on the receiving end of it. And I want more people to understand this. Regardless of whether it is the holidays or not – dealing with estranged family dynamics can be a constant emotional torment that may never end. You’re constantly longing for a reality that could never be true. For something you do not have.
Over the past 13 years, I have always spent holidays with my uncle, cousins, and friends as I live out of state. Despite a non-existent relationship with my mother, a conditional relationship with my brother, and a stable relationship with my father, I managed to find family in friendship.
As a child, I always felt lonely within my immediate family. So, from an early age, I gravitated towards others as a means of survival. Whatever emotional needs that my immediate family was incapable of giving, I was able to get from uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.
Even if you're experiencing family estrangement during the holiday, choose to make joy the center.
Image by Milko/Getty Images
Last year, for the first time in years, the holidays were not something I looked forward to as my parents divorced after 40 years of marriage. I just couldn’t get into the holiday spirit at all. What little family I was holding on to was officially gone. At least, I felt this way. How the hell do four people become somewhat strangers? I had to find a way to grieve and/or cope with my reality despite my family and friends' opinions. Because at the end of the day, it is my reality and mine alone. I had to realize my decision to not communicate with certain family was for my own protection from dysfunctional, hurtful, and unhealthy behaviors.
My process for coping involved journaling, talk therapy, and connecting with friends who have similar family dynamics to mine. But this year, during the holidays, I chose to make joy the center of my life.
Krystal, 35, V., 31, and Kendra, 37, share what the hardest part of the holidays is for them and how they have coped with their feelings and reality over the years.
Krystal: “Having to re-establish boundaries, particularly with certain family members. As much as I would desire to have a 'typical' family holiday that I can spend with my mother and brother, it's just not possible, and the anxiety is triggering knowing I have to reiterate that I have set my own traditions and should not nor will jump through hoops in order to make others happy when there is no respect, to begin with.”
V.: “The hardest part about holidays for me over the years were the times when I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with or spend the day with – it felt really lonely and isolating.”
Kendra: “The hardest is seeing the families around you come together. Seeing them be a family and a happy one at that. Being envious and wishing you had that. I still get that way occasionally, but it's a very small thought.”
Finding Acceptance & Peace In Estranged Family Dynamics
I am not sure that acceptance and peace is something that is truly absolute when it comes to one’s own family. As children, we are socialized with the notion of “family first” and “blood is thicker than water.” What if the importance of family is not those things? I think we ignore the percentage of people that have family dynamics that bring more hurt than love. But if peace is absolute, it definitely takes time to get there simply because we are human. We are meant to feel, and we feel every single thing.
You can be triggered by the smallest of things – holiday movies or seeing other families doing holiday activities together. Yet, secretly wishing that your family can be that family. However, it takes a level of self-awareness to catch your triggers and thoughts, and reprocess them.
For me, I found acceptance and peace by learning how to accept my family and making peace with who they are. Also knowing it’s not going to change. It’s not on me to fix or do anything because I am not responsible for the dynamics at play.
Here is how Krystal, V., and Kendra found acceptance and peace with their families.
Krystal: “Journaling and therapy are vital. Making sure I do not compare my family dynamics with other families during the holidays and reminding myself to be present as opposed to looking at the past or future. Holidays do not have to be negative if your family dynamics are not what you would hope for. But also allowing myself space to grieve and process because you need to give yourself grace.
"Moving on and establishing boundaries is a lifelong process, especially when you come from a culture (Hispanic) that pushes heavily on family first, even if they are narcissistic and toxic. You have to be willing to accept that some family will not accept your decisions.”
Kendra: “My family is messed up, and I chose to kick them to the curb. I wish I had different circumstances, but I don't, and I accept that I don't like these people, that I want nothing to do with them. I am very happy with my decision. It takes a while for some to accept that or get the courage to be on their own. Don't be afraid. Just fly!”
Self-Care & Wellness During The Holidays
Social media and media in general portray holidays as the most joyous time of the year. We see this in posts, Reels, commercials, television, and movies. It’s all around us in public places, at restaurants, and at holiday parties. The messaging and emphasis is always on the concept of family, love, warmth, togetherness, and creating memories. Again, what they get wrong or neglect is the percentage of people who may be unable to enjoy the holidays because of their family.
This is where self-care and wellness practices come into play. People who are navigating unfavorable family dynamics have the right to put themselves first to protect their mental health. It is not an act of selfishness to choose not to be around family for the holidays.
The intention is not to offend or hurt other family members, even though outside opinions may view your decision this way. In an article published by Monarch Therapy, it is stated that you must honor boundaries, own your feelings, recognize triggers, be compassionate to self, and engage in a self-care routine when it comes to how someone deals with their family.
Acknowledgment of self and wellness practices are key to coping and healing. This looks like being mindful of your thoughts, allowing yourself to feel, processing your feelings, and creating a routine you enjoy. As I mentioned previously, I practice all of the above not just during the holidays, but daily. And I think this is what makes holidays easier for me even though I have my moments.
Self-care around the holidays for me is allowing myself to process how I feel regardless of how uncomfortable it is, choosing to be around people I feel happy and emotionally safe with, and doing whatever makes me feel good. Whether that is lighting my favorite scent candle, binge-watching my favorite holiday movies, or making my favorite holiday treats.
Krystal, V., and Kendra explain how they handle their triggers and what self-care looks like for them.
Krystal: “Making little traditions for myself and those around me who are supportive and whom I consider family, as well as making sure to keep myself open to doing new or non-traditional holiday activities, also help. Yoga and moving my body have always been important, so incorporating movement such as walking outdoors to see a tree lighting ceremony or a winter art festival are other forms of self-care I like to implement.”
V.: “Giving myself permission to always do what’s best for me and my mental health. Knowing that at any moment, I can choose to leave a space that I feel isn't serving me. Also, giving all the parts of me extra love and comfort.”
Kendra: “I do what I want. I have a great partner that I lean on if I need it, and vice versa. He's way more into the holidays than I am, so he tries to bring all the cheer that I'm not a big fan of. I like making others happy, so I’ll be all festive for him.”
Creating New Traditions
The holidays are strongly tied to tradition, values, and societal and/or cultural norms regardless of where you are in the world, especially in America. With that said, I find at least in America more and more people are getting away from tradition. They are choosing to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas through non-conventional choices. There are a number of reasons for this, too.
However, in an article byThe Atlantic, it is stated that there has been a shift in American family values, and this is the underlying cause of family estrangement. We as a society fail to realize the rules of family life have changed in the last 50 years regardless of how we try to hang on to tradition. And for people who struggle with being around family around the holidays — they are opting to do their own thing and create new traditions for themselves willingly.
I am still navigating through what new holiday traditions look like for me as a single 38-year-old woman with no kids. Ideally, I’d like to travel to different countries to spend the holidays there, and I have before.
I spent Christmas in my parents' home country of Trinidad as a child and as an adult. In 2020, I spent Christmas with a friend in Jamaica for a friend’s birthday. I loved every second of it.
However, this year, I proudly decorated my fireplace with a mini garland, gold beads, and red and white mini stockings. I put up a mini-Christmas tree with gold, silver, and bronze metallics. So, I guess I will start there.
Krystal, V., and Kendra share what holiday traditions they are creating for themselves and their family.
Krystal: “I just had a child, so focusing on giving him and my partner and being able to pass on the experiences and traditions I would have enjoyed is big for me. I still want to maintain cultural traditions such as Three Kings Day, which now, with a child, I can find a way to make it our own. I had already implemented a holiday ornament to add to the Christmas tree yearly that represented the year and all that has happened as well as going to a winter festival or tree lighting festival is also essential.
"A new tradition we are starting this year comes from Iceland where you gift each other a book to read and spend that evening (usually done Christmas Eve but could be done anytime) reading together.”
V.: “Some new traditions I am creating for myself are reminding myself that it is just another day and the day has whatever meaning I choose to give it. And just like any other day, I can spend it with whoever I choose - whether that’s my birth family, friends, or no one but myself.”
The holidays do not have to be a painful or lonely experience for you. Know that you are never alone.
Image by PeopleImages/Getty Images
Kendra: “I surrounded myself with friends, and they turned into my family. I have a nice group of them. Thanksgiving, I go to a few houses, eat, drink, socialize, and I'm truly happy. My 'real family' isn't even a thought. Christmas, however, was ruined for me early on, so I don't celebrate in a traditional way. I don't do presents. I think it’s a tradition that should be broken. I will bake sometimes and give them to people. Mostly, I do the same thing as Thanksgiving.”
With all this in mind, I want to say the holidays do not have to be a painful and/or lonely experience for you. But I wholeheartedly understand that if you are still in the process of making peace within yourself surrounding an estranged family.
There is no doubt you are going to feel all the things. It is more than okay. And it takes time. Your truth is your truth. Your experiences are valid.
Please do not let anyone tell you differently. You do not have to feel obligated to do anything or go anywhere. This includes forcing yourself to be around family and responding to texts and calls from estranged family if you do not want to. You can choose to hold space for estranged family in a different way.
By doing so, you are choosing to protect your mental health and choosing not to relive unpleasant memories. Ultimately, you are choosing not to repeat an unhealthy cycle. Instead, you are creating new moments and memories for yourself.
When asked what advice Krystal, V., and Kendra would give to other women who are struggling with estranged family dynamics during the holidays, this is what they had to say.
"Life throws us so many things, especially us. We can choose to dwell, be pissed or we can choose to find the little good things."
Image by JulPo/Getty Images
Krystal: “Remember that it's okay to grieve what you do not have but to focus and stay in the present. You have made it this far, and no one should shame you for establishing boundaries and taking care of yourself. Above all else, therapy is something that even if you have dismissed in the past, give it a second chance.”
V.: “Tend to yourself – love on your inner child/inner teen, whatever part of you that may be feeling the most affected. Figure out what you need – whether that’s to attend or host a Friendsgiving because you want to celebrate with others, or making your own dinner and having a movie night because you want to feel comfort. Know that you are never alone no matter how lonely a moment may feel.”
Kendra: One of my favorite quotes from Viktor Frankl is, 'Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.' Life throws us so many things, especially us. We can choose to dwell, be pissed, or we can choose to find the little good things. Pick yourself up and do whatever it is you are wanting.
"Yes, it's better with people who love you and you love back. So love yourself first because everyone is worth self-love, then go out and find the people that love you and you love. Whoever it is. We are born into a family, but we choose who ends up being that family.”
The key takeaway here is to always remember you deserve to feel a sense of happiness, peace, and joy – holidays or not. This holiday season, I encourage you to partake in all the things that fill your heart with love, warmth, and goodness.
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