I like this word: Genuine. Now, any word you say too much can drive you crazy and make you think that it is not even a word anymore. So I suggest you don’t do that. But this word has an important definition attached. In a short and sweet explanation, to be genuine, means you have to be your real, stripped down self…whether you like it or not. The majority of the time it is much easier to brush off how you really feel and smile your little mouth off until it becomes painfully permanent. A real smile though, not only brightens your day, but can also extend to the broken “botoxed” smile that is searching for a little cheer right across the room from you. I guess that means to be genuine with others, you must start with yourself. No one is perfect, no one can ALWAYS be right, no one is capable of ALWAYS having flowery breath, no one ALWAYS has perfect hair or perfect nails, or perfect muscles, or perfect cars, or perfect pets or children or families or relationships. Whew. With that in mind, give yourself a good long break and heck! throw in a lemonade with a bendy straw. The only way to have good, healthy relationships with each other is to be open and honest and genuine with each other. I can say from experience that friendships that are not like that, do not benefit either party in the long run. It can become quite exhausting to continually hide our mistakes from each other and put on our “botoxed” smiles. Real people make real stupid mistakes, but it is the way we overcome and learn from them that brings value. One way to help someone learn and grow is to demonstrate what it looks like to be genuine. I know that by striving to have genuine relationships, I in return must be willing to own up to all of my screw ups and imperfections. If everybody chose to do that, maybe we would be a more understanding group of people, but oh boy is it tough. Hang in there. I will too. Together we can take a genuine approach to this hoot of a thing called life.