Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best love is the one that makes you a better person, without changing you into someone other than yourself. Unknown

On Tuesday evening we had our first in-person book club meeting in the back yard of one of our members. It was our first get together since March. The hostess baked a cake and said we had to guess the secret ingredient. We guessed everything we could think of, but the secret ingredient was tomato soup. This was an old recipe and tomato soup was used in place of eggs and butter. She thought it in keeping with the book we were reading written in 1915 “Of Human Bondage,” by W. Somerset Maugham.

Someone brought a bottle of wine, most of us hadn’t tried and it was delicious. One of our members we haven’t seen for a while came late. “I really missed you guys,” she said. We have really missed each other. We talked about all kinds of things some members have children going back to school and university. One member’s sister-in-law was starting to go into labor and she was being allowed in the delivery room. The lady who brought the wine asked her husband to come and get the car so she could drink. He and her daughter showed up to get the car and he brought more wine.

We sat in the fresh cold August evening air with shawls around us to keep warm, laughing, and talking.  Zoom meetings have been good but nothing beats meeting in person. No one finished the book so we are meeting again next month for the same book. Hopefully, it will be in someone else’s back yard, we have a volunteer to host.

Don’t stress about people copying you. Even if you give them the recipe, the sauce still won’t taste the same! You’re the secret ingredient!!! Unknown

What are the secret ingredients in our lives, friendships, and relationships? What is it that makes some relationships work, some friendships last lifetimes, and some people can put strange ingredients together and create masterpieces?

Our book club is a group of women who have come together over time. It isn’t a fit for everyone but those of us who have stayed find something in the book club we don’t find anywhere else. We can talk about things with the book club we might not feel comfortable sharing with others. Other people are too close to us, they are not close enough, or they aren’t interested. Somehow, the book club is perfect and it feeds our soul in ways no other relationship in our life does.

Groups are important in our lives. They support us in ways individual friends and family may have a hard time doing. If anyone is thinking of joining a group, join. Every group may not be the perfect fit. There is a group I’m a member of where I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Yet, I’ve remained a member and it is where the invite to the book club came from.

Groups support us in our growth, they encourage us in our struggles, and we learn things from other members. I watch my husband listening to online groups and I wonder what he gets out of it. If he sat in on my book club he might think the same thing. We need to find groups we feel we belong to, and of course, this can be dangerous if the group is not a positive one. A group gives us strength that what we are thinking is okay, if we aren’t thinking right and everyone agrees we can go down dark roads in groups being supported in negative thinking, behavior, and actions. We all need to be responsible for the groups we are a part of. We need to be willing to have a dissenting opinion in our groups or they might descend into something we don’t want.

Are the groups in our lives negative or positive? Should we join more groups or leave groups that are holding us back? Is there a secret ingredient other people are using in their lives that if we added to ours would make our lives better?

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. Jim Rohn

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. Jean Shinoda Bolen

The secret ingredient to true happiness? Decisive optimism and personal responsibility. Amy Leigh Mercree

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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A Book About Love Paperback – July 25 2017

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

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