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Food for thought

“The Bullies Did Me a Favour” – Woman Cruelly Bullied for Her Appearance Gets the Last Laugh

By | Food for thought, inspiring, mental health, Motivation, purpose, self-development, stories, uplifting news

At age 12, Jade Colcombe, a girl from Tonypandy, Wales, was cruelly bullied by her classmates who teased her – and sometimes threatened her – every single day.

As her peers spent their time in class, making friends and hitting the books, Jade’s life was a living hell. Little did she know that the tables would turn.

Torment 101

She was taunted and harassed by her fellow classmates and would be told she looked like a man and was made fun of for her ‘tomboy’ fashion. She recalled to the Daily Mail that it would start right from the opening bell.

”I’d walk into the room and the ‘popular’ gang would sit and snigger just because I didn’t have expensive clothes or wear make-up,” she said.

I was called ‘buck-tooth’, because of my teeth, ‘Dalmatian’, because of my beauty spots and ‘man’ because the hair on my arm was dark and noticeable.

– Jade Colcombe

“There have been times where I just felt like breaking down and crying.”

Desperate, she’d skip school and fake illness to avoid the torment. However, when it was clear it wouldn’t stop, the straight-A student quit school for a different one.

Sadly, the torment continued at her new school, with kids teasing her clothes and calling her ugly. For Colcombe, that was rock bottom.

“At my lowest point, I refused to talk to anyone because I feared that they would just laugh at me,” she admitted.

She found a new stage

Ironically, her family and friends urged Colcombe to enter the ‘Miss Radiant Photogenic UK’ pageant to help her build up her confidence and prove her haters wrong. With nothing to lose, she entered and, amazingly, won. Just like that, a switch was flipped and a queen was born.

Shortly after, Colcombe won the Miss Supermodel Great Britain title at Dream Street’s Miss United Kingdom pageant.

With that, the quiet girl had found her voice.

“For the first time at Miss UK, I actually spoke in front of an audience without getting upset or really nervous about it.”

Colcombe says that she has one special thank you for her success.

“To be honest, the bullies did me a favor.”

And now that I am entering national pageants all over the UK, I really feel like I’ve beat those bullies and proved them wrong.

– Jade Colcombe

Lean into your greatness

Next up for Colcombe: climbing 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Noah’s Ark – a children’s hospital in Wales. The cause holds a special place in her heart: Her little sister Lexi, who has an incurable form of epilepsy, was saved by doctors at the hospital after suffering several seizures.

While climbing the world’s highest free-standing mountain is a tall task, Colcombe says that she’s already conquered the worst.

I beat my bullies, so with the support of my family, beating Kilimanjaro should be no problem.

– Jade Colcombe

No one should go through what Colcombe did. Sometimes children can be really cruel. However, past that struggle is the giant inside you. With help from family and friends, one timid girl tapped into a force stronger than any taunts or teases, and now she’s unstoppable.

Whether it’s your skin color, weight, or age, don’t let anyone make you feel less than the force of nature you are.

More uplifting news:

 

Look beyond appearances

Physical beauty is nothing compared to a good heart.

https://www.goalcast.com/woman-cruelly-bullied-for-looking-like-a-man-gets-the-last-laugh/

Pre-K Sweethearts Get a Second Chance at Love When They Unknowingly Find Each Other on Dating App

By | dating, Food for thought, love stories, marriage, stories, uplifting news

When Amy Giberson and Justin Pounders were in pre-kindergarten in St. Petersburg, Florida, they’d play tag and build blocks together. They say that a “shy” romance developed when they were 3 years old, but they attended different schools growing up and drifted apart.

Then 30 years later, the two matched on an online dating site.

Fate had other plans

Justin said he felt an instant connection to Amy when he first saw her profile on the dating site.

“I saw her photo and for whatever reason, was instantly drawn to her,” he told People in a 2015 story. “She just had this great energy, you could tell. I can’t explain it, but I knew I had to get to know this girl.”

The couple went on their first date to a restaurant and sparks flew.

“Of course, at that point, we still didn’t know we had been pre-K sweethearts, but when we met up and we hugged, it was like I had known him my whole life,” Giberson said.

“When I first saw him, I felt that I was staring at the man I was going to marry.”

Amy Giberson

They didn’t realize they knew each other

A year into dating, Justin joked that he had a crush on a girl in preschool named Amy.

Then, Amy joked back, “Well, it’s not me, so I don’t want to hear about her!”

But it wasn’t a joke. The two had actually been in the same pre-kindergarten class and their parents dug up the photos to prove it.

“Justin’s mom found a photo of the two of us together and I just started crying, I was ecstatic,” Amy told People. “I was the Amy he had liked all those years ago! It was definitely meant to be.”

A dream love story

Shortly after the improbable modern love story came out online, the couple appeared on The View and Justin recruited kids at their former pre-school to pop the question for him.

In unison, the toddlers said, “Amy, will you marry me?”

She said yes, of course.

“I truly feel it was fate!” Amy told People in a 2016 story. “Our hearts met at the age of 3 and we had our own journeys to go through for 30 years, but ultimately our hearts were meant to love each other.

“Everyone wants a dream love story, and somehow it happened to us!”

Amy Giberson

Grateful for her love story, Giberson had a message for others looking for their match.

“Always keep your heart open to love, because you never know when you’ll find it,” she said.

Love will find a way

Sometimes even the best romances don’t work out because their lives are on different trajectories. And that’s what nearly happened in this story. But incredibly, they found each other again, proving that love will always find a way if it’s meant to be.

More uplifting stories:

True love always finds a way

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë

https://www.goalcast.com/childhood-sweethearts-reunite-after-30-years-dating-app/

Police Posts Man Who Allegedly Stole Diapers on Facebook – Their Efforts Backfire With Unexpected Response

By | Food for thought, stories, uplifting news

He allegedly stole diapers and wipes for his kids

The Winter Haven Police Department in Florida posted on Facebook to ask the public for help identifying an alleged criminal, as they usually do.

But this particular post pissed off many of those who saw it.

“So when your card is declined and you try another one with the same result, that is NOT license to just walk out with the items anyway,” police wrote on Facebook on Sept. 18, according to The Washington Post.

The Facebook post also featured a photo of the man carrying a couple of bags of diapers and some wipes. With him were two children, but their faces were covered with a smiley face emoji.

“The guy pictured below (poor little kids had no idea) went to Walmart…and selected items ultimately heading for the checkout lanes,” the post continued.

Police went on to explain how the man tried to pay for the diapers and wipes, but his credit cards were declined. He then left the store, before returning without the kids.

“He comes back in with a different card. That card was also declined several times. BUT… he decides to take the items anyway. He was seen entering a white SUV, possibly a Chevy Trailblazer. Anyone recognize him?”

Strangers offered to pay for the diapers

The post immediately sparked disappointment in the fact that the police were searching for someone about such a harmless crime.

“Doubt I will get a response, but I will pay for these items as long as you leave this man alone,” wrote 16-year-old Elizabeth Fiedler, according to The Post.

Fiedler’s post received more than 4,000 likes and other comments poured in from across America and even other countries.

“I’m very supportive of police in general, but this is just cold and heartless,” wrote a man from Jacksonville.

“I am so disappointed in this post. I’ll pay for his diapers. I’m not saying it was right but seriously. I’m sorry guy for the embarrassment and sorry for the person who felt the need to post this,” another wrote.

Fiedler explained to The Post that she wrote the comment because lower-income people have been some of the worst-hit people by the pandemic.

“No one wants to be poor,” she said.

“No one should ever feel the need to steal out of necessity in one of the world’s richest countries.”

Elizabeth Fiedler

People wondered why this man was targeted

Following the backlash, Winter Haven Police Department responded.

“Many people are upset with the police department [but] Walmart is the victim and they asked us to file the report and they want to press charges,” their press relations officer wrote, according to The Post. “We are obligated to move forward.”

“When this occurs and we don’t have a suspect name, we utilize social media to seek out the public’s help,” the department added. “This has always been a very good tool in identifying those who commit crimes. This case is no different.”

But people disagreed with that, too.

“The world we live in is hard,” said Brooke Brennan, who offered to pay the man’s Walmart bill. “I can’t fix the world, but I can show compassion to those having a tougher time than myself.”

“My first reaction to the photos was not that the man pictured was a thief [but] rather a father facing an impossible decision to either break the law or not have basic necessities for his kids,” she added.

“I don’t disagree that he broke the law,” said Marshall Welch. “What I disagree with was out of all the cases they get from Walmart, why did they choose to blast a father trying to provide for his children after many attempts to pay for the items?”

The man wasn’t charged

Walmart did not comment or release a statement, but when the man was finally identified, the retail giant decided to not press charges.

“We made contact with the man and explained to him that Walmart is not going to press charges,” said the PR person for the police department. “We also provided a host of local organizations that are available to help.”

“We let him know of the many people wanting to help him and his family,” she added.

At least one person was happy that the man wasn’t charged with theft.

“As a parent, I sympathized with the gentleman because there is no greater hurt than needing something for your child and not having the ability to obtain it,” said Crystal Maddox, according to The Post. “In a time when things are already difficult for the family, piling on criminal charges would surely make matters worse.”

“Prayers were answered for the fact that they declined to prosecute,” she added. “I’m very grateful for that.”

People don’t need to be reminded that stealing is wrong

Sorry, but Walmart, a multinational company worth billions and billions of dollars, isn’t the victim here. This man, who just needed some diapers for his kids, is.

People were understandably furious that this man was treated the same as a violent criminal with that Facebook post. Fortunately, thanks to strangers for speaking up, he didn’t end up having to pay any larger price.

More uplifting stories:

Look at Others With empathy

We’re all fighting battles behind closed doors.

https://www.goalcast.com/police-facebook-post-of-man-who-allegedly-stole-diapers/

Brave Bus Driver Selflessly Acts On Instinct – Ends Up Being Celebrated As a Hero

By | everyday heroes, Food for thought, hero, stories, uplifting news

Bus driver Renita Smith is being hailed as a hero when she helped 20 students escape an inferno that engulfed the bus.

Her courage was lauded by the neighbour’s who witnessed the incident as well as everyone who read about her bravery.

‘Mommy mode’ engaged

Smith says she’d just made her third or fourth stop on her route when the bus started to smoke and the lights on the dash started to flash.

She prepared to call for backup, but then looked in the rearview mirror — flames were coming from the back of the bus.

“I put the mic back down, undid my seatbelt, jumped up, got my babies, and got off,” she told ABC News in a 2016 story. “Once we got off, neighbors kicked right into ‘Mommy mode,’ as I call it, and helped the kids get to a safe haven. When that was going on, I ran back onto the bus to make sure there was no children on the bus.

“By the time I got to the last step on the bus, it just went up in smoke.”

Renita Smith

Neighbors witnessed the driver’s bravery

Fazlul Kabir saw the plumes of black smoke from the bus first-hand and said he and other neighbors were astonished at what Smith did to help the kids.

“The bus was completely destroyed by the fire,” Kabir told ABC News. “Without [Smith], the school children couldn’t be actually saved. … She went inside for the very last time. She went inside and checked each seat to see if any of the students were left there. … It’s a fairly long bus actually. It’s not a small bus. She checked if everyone was out and nobody was inside. … She’s brave.”

Duty not just as a driver, but as a human

Lisa Maitland, a student on the bus said she had no idea about the fire until someone yelled, “Fire!”

“When I was smelling the smoke, it smelled like a rubber kind of gas,” she told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV. “I felt scared. I was about to cry but my brother did instead, so I helped him.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the blaze, which police said may have started “near one of the rear wheels.”

For Smith, making sure the kids were okay is something anyone in her position would do — or at least they should.

“When I’m driving them, you’re my children until I drop you off to your biological parents. I have to handle each child with care, as a mommy would her own, so that’s what I did,” she said.

“That’s what I hope any human being would do for any child.”

Renita Smith

The power of Mommy Mode

When danger confronts us, it can be extremely hard to know how to react — and certainly running into a burning anything isn’t everyone’s first instinct. But remarkably, that’s what this bus driver did. She allowed her maternal instincts to trump any fear she might have been feeling, and thanks to her, all the kids were safe, proving how powerful “mommy mode” really is.

More uplifting stories:

Courage is found in unlikely places

A minute of courage can save a life.

https://www.goalcast.com/bus-driver-acts-fast-and-saves-20-children-from-deadly-inferno/

Homeless Man’s Unconventional Friendship With Actor Colin Farrell Completely Changes His Life

By | Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, stories, uplifting news

In Hollywood, there is a common misconception that celebrities are arrogant and self-centered. However, that’s not completely true. Sometimes celebrities can surprise us by committing acts of kindness that can drastically change a person’s life.

This is one such story of actor Colin Farrell who did something not many people would do – he treated a homeless man with respect, proving the power of compassion.

Colin Farrell treated the man like a friend

Colin Farrell was at the Toronto International Music Festival in 2007 when he encountered a houseless man named David on the curb of a local restaurant.

Instead of ignoring the man, Farrell asked the man for a cigarette and sat down to chat.

“Him reaching out [to] me through the years of my journey somehow gave me a good lift of hope.”

David

“I didn’t know who he was,” said David in a 2012 Global News report. “I just thought he was a regular human being.”

As the two were chatting like longtime buddies, Farrell passed David a book called The Voice of God by the Persian poet Hafiz and a wad of cash for a new wardrobe. He also said he’d pay for a nice place to stay for a year and promised to check up on David via text.

The homeless man bounced back thanks to Farrell

Five years later, David is back on his feet and no longer homeless and he credits Farrell for helping him get there.

“He’s a down-to-earth guy. He’s willing to help you out. If you show respect it goes a long way,” David told the news camera. “I haven’t been homeless now in 5 years and that’s a blessing.”

David explained that his key to staying off the curb is to watch his boundaries.

“I’ve changed in so many different ways. Mainly more stable, more calm.”

David

“People, places and things. And staying around healthy people that are more positive, not negative, is key.”

David finished the interview by giving praise to the man who helped him.

“He’s a very kind person Colin, he’s very considerate,” he said.

Treat those who are struggling with respect

Beyond being a testament to Farrell’s character, this story proves how important it is to show respect and care to those that are struggling around us. We might not be able to hand a homeless person a wad of cash and money for an apartment, but we can treat them like a friend.

More uplifting stories:

TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT

No matter their station in life, everyone is human and deserves to be treated with respect and kindness.

https://www.goalcast.com/colin-farrell-changed-homeless-man-life/

6-Year-Old Girl Makes Heartbreaking Plea to Divorced Parents – Gives Them Major Wake-Up Call

By | Food for thought, Motivation

There’s no question that family drama – be it parents fighting or divorce – leaves deep scars on children, nor do they always fade with time. According to one study, its negative effects can be felt well into the teenage and even adult years.

What’s worse is all too often, those children suffer in silence. However, one little girl’s plea to her bickering parents became a major wake-up call to her mother.

Per the Daily Mail, Cherish Sherry of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada was in the midst of a petty fight with her ex over a fallen shoe rack in the garage when she was suddenly interrupted. It was none other than her 6-year-old daughter Tiana, who had had enough of the antics.

And so, the girl took her mom inside, sat on the stairs and gave her a lecture on love.

Separation anxiety

“Mom, are you ready to be his friend?” Tiana asked her mom with a stern look.

Cherish answered “yes.”

Tiana then implored her parents to swap hostilities for hugs.

[embedded content]

“I don’t want you and my dad to be replaced and meanies again. I want you and my dad to be placed and settled and be friends,” she said.

I’m not trying to be mean. I just want all of us to be friends and if I can be nice I think all of us can be nice, too. I’m not trying to be mean but I’m trying to do my best in my heart, nothing else than that. I want you mom, my dad, everyone to be friends. I want everyone to be smiling…

– Tiana

At the end of her lecture, her mom tells her, ‘Thank you, Tiana,’ and they share a hug and kiss. 

Powerful reaction

Shocked by her daughter’s eye-opening words, Sherry was moved to tears.

“I was stunned by it,” she said. “She is teaching me. Woke me up.”

Sherry wasn’t alone, as the video was seen over 11 million times. To no surprise, viewers were touched.

“What a precious soul! Precious gift she is to the world. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so moved,” posted one.

Another applauded Tiana for saying the quiet part out loud.

And people don’t realize what effect it has on our children when all they hear is negative fighting. ..they don’t miss much…and now you heard it from one…Her video has touched my heart and I’m sure many other hearts…Hugs and kisses to your daughter…she is one smart little lady.

– Facebook commenter

Yet another thinks Tiana’s message needs a bigger audience, while hinting at a future career.

“Your daughter is AMAZING. We have watched her ‘smile and be friends’ video several times. Our whole family thinks they should put her charge of the United Nations. World peace just might be possible with her lecturing world leaders. “

The truth comes from the mouth of children

As adults, we have so many filters to the world. We also develop ways to justify some of our actions that, let’s be honest, shouldn’t be.

Oh, but innocent eyes don’t lie. When Tiana saw her parents butting heads, she saw negative energy poisoning a happy family and she spoke up in the purest way possible.

When adults lose their way, we’re lucky to have big-hearted children like Tiana in our world to bring us back to what matters most.

https://www.goalcast.com/6-year-old-girl-plea-to-divorced-parents-major-wake-up-call/

Perceptive Mail Carrier Trusts Instinct And Stops To Check On Resident – Ends Up Saving A Life

By | Food for thought, friendship, helping others, stories, uplifting news

When US Postal Service worker Lisa Sweeney was delivering on the same route she’d covered for 13 years, she noticed mail piling up in front of Marie Boyer’s door. Immediately, she knew something was wrong.

A living nightmare

Marie Boyer lay on the ground in her Staten Island home, helpless and dehydrated for four days. As she swung in and out of consciousness, the 87-year-old desperately tried to get up, but couldn’t. Her only hope was to call for help.

[embedded content]

USPS worker followed her gut

“There were no windows open and I kept calling out, telling someone to call 911, but nobody could hear me,” Boyer told CBS New York in a 2017 story. “I remember thinking to myself, I didn’t wanna die that way.”

Luckily, Lisa Sweeney was passing by Boyer’s house when something in her gut told her to check on the person living there.

“I decided I should call 911. I mean, I didn’t know, but my heart told me she was inside,” Sweeney told CBS New York.

Sweeney anxiously watched as authorities busted open Boyer’s door.

“They came out and told me she was alive. I started crying,” Sweeney said.

They became good friends

Boyer went on to recover and move into a retirement home — but she didn’t stop seeing Sweeney. The two would meet twice weekly to catch up and even to celebrate events like Boyer’s birthday.

“I enjoy every minute talking to her, hearing stories, she’s just a blessing to me,” Lisa Sweeney told CBS.

“If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be here talking to you.”

Marie Boyer

When asked if she had something to say to Sweeney for doing this, Boyer said she wanted “to thank her for being in my life.”

How can we help?

This isn’t the first time a postal worker has gone out of their way to help an elderly member of their community — and it won’t be the last.

But postal worker or not, we all have a role to play in making our communities safer. If we’re not calling the police when someone is in danger, maybe we’re chatting with an elderly neighbor to make them feel less lonely. Maybe we’re offering to help someone lift a heavy box up the stairs. Or maybe we’re simply saying an enthusiastic “hello!” to brighten someone’s day.

Whatever it is, we all should be looking up and around at others to see how we might be able to help.

More uplifting stories:

4 Years Ago, He Was Homeless–Today, He Bought His First House

Poor Man Who Missed Job Interview To Save A Life Had Employers Lining Up To Hire Him

Domestic Abuse Survivor Marries The First Responder Who Saved Her Life

Brooklyn Landlord Cancels Rent For Hundreds Of Tenants, Setting An Unprecedented Example For Others

Be The Hero In Someone’s Life

Wether it’s saving someone’s life or giving up your plane seat, kindness makes a lasting impact.

https://www.goalcast.com/perceptive-mail-carrier-trusts-instinct-saves-residents-life/

Photographer Humiliates Man Who Was Dancing – His Bullying Attempt Backfires

By | Food for thought, Motivation, stories, uplifitng news, uplifting news

In today’s world, anyone can be a bully. The psychology of bullying shows that while people thrive on making others feel bad about themselves, the reality is that they are projecting their own insecurities on others. In the era of social media, it’s easier for bullies to target their victims when everything and everyone is so accessible.

However, one photographer’s attempt at bullying backfired when strangers on the Internet rallied against his actions.

Shamed just for dancing and having fun

Imagine going out to dance and enjoy your night only to be shamed for it by a complete stranger. That’s what happened to Sean who was simply enjoying a fun night out when someone decided to humiliate him by taking a picture.

The photographer then posted that photo online and used the ugly caption: “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

Mean begets mean, and after the horrible post went online, the social media bullying began to a terrible degree. The post went viral, but in the process, other responses began as well – this time, of friendship, love, and compassion.

The Internet took matters into its own hands

An Internet wide search was conducted, and eventually with the power of Twitter, they found the “Dancing Man,” whose real name is Sean. A group of 1,727 ladies from California decided to throw him his own dance party and captioned the event “Can’t bring me down.” A fundraising page was set up for this campaign and raised $33,000.

When Sean logged into his account online, he was overwhelmed by the kind responses, proving that as vicious as social media can be, it can also be a place of refuge.

Even celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding, and Cher Lloyd have showed their support and offered encouraging words to Sean.

Stand up for others

Sean’s experience with cyber-bullying that fortunately had a positive, heartwarming result. However, not all stories can have such a happy ending. It’s important to always stand up for those who can’t defend themselves. A little positive encouragement can instill a lot of confidence is someone, proving that love always wins over hate.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/photographer-ruthlessly-shames-man-for-dancing-strangers-rally-with-unexpected-surprise/

Antonio Banderas Didn’t Give Up On Love Despite Being In A Disastrous First Marriage

By | antonio banderas, dating, Food for thought, heartbreak, marriage, Motivation

Antonio Banderas is universally endeared as a charming, romantic Latin Lover, but in reality, he has been unlucky in love more often than not. 

In his forty years as an actor, he’s been married and divorced twice, with both of his marriages ending on drastically different outcomes. Everyone’s well-acquainted with his love for Melanie Griffith — their marital union lasted for nearly twenty years and produced a daughter, actress Stella del Carmen Banderas — but not many are aware of Antonio’s personal life prior to his move to the United States, namely, his ill-advised wedding with Ana Leza. 

The way their marriage panned out isn’t just a cautionary tale for anyone acting on their impulses and pinning their hopes on a whirlwind romance; it’s a lesson in not giving up on your heart, come hell or high water. Against all odds, Antonio’s failures don’t dissuade him from searching for The One; he continues to persevere in his quest to find love, even if it culminates in a great deal of pain, distrust, and heartbreak. 

Here’s what we can take away from Antonio Banderas’ journey with love:

Antonio had to pay a hefty fine for his first marriage with Ana Leza

In a Vanity Fair interview, Antonio opened up about his brash decision to marry Ana and why their relationship couldn’t go the distance. She was a fellow actress and his English tutor, who essentially instructed him on how he could develop his craft in mainstream cinema. “She helped me translate the script for ‘Los Reyes del Mambo,’ … it gave me a lot of confidence,” said Antonio, giving her her due credit for helping him establish a sustainable career in Hollywood. 

The Zorro lead said he wouldn’t have the acclaim he does today without Ana’s continuous support and direction. “Without her I would not have gotten the role,” he said. Ana backed up his statement by saying it was “imperative” to accompany him to the United States. He didn’t speak a word of English, so it felt natural to have Ana be this perpetual plus-one. They tied the knot in 1986 after just six months of dating. 

Antonio Banderas with Ana Leza

What the judge wants to know is how much are you going to pay your partner. They grab you by one foot, they shake you and, when [they get every last dollar], they leave you. That’s what they did with me

Antonio Banderas to Vanity Fair España

It wasn’t until Antonio came across Melanie Griffith on the set of Too Much that he realized he needed to break it off with Ana. He maintains he didn’t carry out an illicit affair with Melanie; instead, he waited to separate from Ana to pursue a serious partnership with Melanie. “It was very, very fast and very compulsive, but at the same time, we were tied at the time,” said Antonio, of how his infatuation for Melanie transformed into genuine love over the years. 

Unfortunately, the divorce with Ana wasn’t as seamless as he had been hoping. To put it simply, it was a nasty, expensive divorce battle in which the court ordered Antonio to pay alimony payments of 12,000 euros per month, awarded his €3.4 million home to Ana, and granted her lifetime rights of  50% of all the films he acted in over the duration of their marriage. Antonio bemoaned the process, calling it a “business” through and through. He doesn’t think he should’ve been mandated to fork over so many assets; in his view, the whole system is a scheme to bleed an actor dry. 

Yet he never stopped believing in the power of love

Though his marriage to Ana was, in many ways, doomed to collapse at some point or the other, it didn’t put a damper on his beautiful love story with Melanie Griffith. The two fell madly in love when they first met, and with their respective marriages declining, they couldn’t help but give in to the passion brewing between them. At the time, their getting together precipitated quite the controversy — Antonio was described as “abandoning” his wife of ten years for a sexy, on-set fling. 

However, in an interview published in 1995, the Spanish actor has no qualms about following his heart and exploring the love he felt powerfully for his co-star. “You just know there is something inside you that is stronger than yourself,” he told The Morning Call. Love is an abstract concept that will consume your focus without your permission and embolden you to make strange, the most unexpected, choices in life. Likewise, when he encountered Melanie, he couldn’t think straight. He had to make up his mind. 

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas

Love is a very abstract feeling. I cannot even describe love. Who can describe love? It’s like describing life. You just know there is something inside you that is stronger than yourself. And you can’t stop it.

Antonio Banderas on The Morning Call

In an Entertainment Weekly interview published the same year, Antonio changed his stance a tiny bit and claimed his separation with Ana had “no connection” with his budding romance with Melanie. It’s futile to speculate whether or not Melanie’s arrival directly resulted in the breakdown of Antonio’s marriage since the situation transpired over twenty-five years ago. Additionally, as lovely as their partnership had been, Antonio and Melanie didn’t last, either. They announced their divorce in June 2014, noting they wanted to go their separate ways “in a loving and friendly manner.” Their parting of ways has been more than amicable: Antonio called Melanie his “best friend” and asserted he “will love her until the day I die.” Just because a marriage ended doesn’t mean it has to be ugly or heartless. People can still maintain their friendship, acknowledge their love, and preserve some level of togetherness. 

On the other hand, the act of divorce itself doesn’t have to signify failure or inadequacy. Sometimes, like Antonio, you act on a whim and do what you think is best for your future, unaware of any ramifications. He and Ana weren’t meant to be, but he never lost his ability to love and be loved in return. He welcomed his desire for Melanie with arms wide open and embraced the changes in his life. 

Keep your heart and your mind open

Today, Antonio may be a twice-divorced actor in his sixties in Hollywood, yet he doesn’t let an arbitrary label determine his success with love. He’s happily partnered up with Dutch investment banker Nicole Kimpel, who’s helping him recover from a heart attack he suffered four years ago. He’s a walking testament to the resilience of love and how it can strengthen a person from the inside out. 

Divorce can be a life-shattering phenomenon that can send individuals down a dark path full of insecurities, doubts, and disillusionment. But if you maintain a semblance of positivity and optimism, you will be able to crawl your way out. It’s about keeping your heart and mind open to possibilities, even if they don’t turn out as you hope or end up breaking your heart. If you don’t let love in, you’ll never know what it feels like. 

More inspiring stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/antonio-banderas-didnt-give-up-on-love-despite-a-being-in-a-disastrous-first-marriage/

Aaliyah’s Tragic Love Story With Damon Dash Will Teach You To Take Chances

By | aaliyah, dating, Food for thought, heartbreak, Inspiring Celebrities, Motivation, stories

Aaliyah’s been gone twenty years, but the footprint she’s left behind is unmistakable. 

The Princess of R&B, along with eight others, tragically passed away in an airplane crash over the Bahamas on August 25, 2001. It’s the kind of death that’s capable of decimating and devastating an entire culture, where no one recovers from the sudden loss of potential; where no one can process how a universally beloved figure, with countless media appearances to her name, can just cease to exist in a matter of few minutes. 

There’s something eerily personal about a celebrity’s passing. They might be dead, but their artistry still shines through, their work is still available to be cherished and adapted and celebrated an infinite number of times over. Similarly, Aaliyah’s death continues to draw out heartfelt tributes and nostalgic reactions, revealing bit by bit the woman who lived beneath the glamor and the chaos. 

To give an example: on the occasion of Aaliyah’s 20th death anniversary, her boyfriend at the time, Damon Dash, opened up about their unique love story, and in doing so, unearthed yet another magical piece about the artist. 

Aaliyah’s boyfriend opens up about their relationship

Damon Dash, a media tycoon, entrepreneur, film producer, and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella with Jay-Z and Kareem Burke, had been dating Aaliyah for about a year before she was killed in the airline accident.They met at a basketball game in the summer of 2000 before being introduced by their mutual accountant, Barry Klarberg.Though they took a liking to each other nearly immediately, they intended to maintain a friendship and nothing else. 

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Damon delves into their beginnings as a couple and excavates a side of Aaliyah many might not recall. At first, he and Aaliyah bonded over a book, Gary Zukav’s The Seat of the Soul, which they started reading together. The intellectual, thought-provoking conversions that emerged, as a result, solidified their connection for good. “From then on, we were sort of inseparable,” he told the outlet. Soon enough, sparks began to fly, and they decided they would give their budding romance a serious chance.

Our intention at first wasn’t even to be in love. We were just really good friends and we fell for real. It was almost an accident. 

Damon Dash on Entertainment Tonight

Damon couldn’t be more thankful about how they were able to forge an intimate and memorable relationship away from the prying eyes of the public. The 50-year-old also revealed they wanted to marry each other at one point but didn’t want to make the grave mistake of rushing down the aisle. That’s why they agreed upon a plan: they would cohabit for six months straight, “see if we can tolerate being around each other with no distractions,” and if they still loved each other at the end of the period, they would make it official. 

Unfortunately, the plan never came to fruition, and they weren’t able to tie the knot. 

He says she taught him how to love

Twenty years on, Damon has a number of regrets about his time with Aaliyah, one of which was that he didn’t get to make enough memories with her. They were both busy, ambitious people mired in a series of projects, so they didn’t have a lot of time to give to each other. She would be shooting a film in Australia, and he would be occupied with “companies to run” — their schedules kept clashing every step of the way. Nevertheless, Damon said, “We would have such a good time when we saw each other, it just always felt fresh.”

Of course, the moments they shared were irrevocably special, and he’ll always be in awe of the woman who changed his life. But, at the end of the day, when the love of your life is gone, nothing is enough, and you are left longing for their warm company every second. Aaliyah taught Damon how to love, how to live every day with passion, interest, and unending appreciation. Had it not been for her, he wouldn’t know how to acknowledge or recognize love in himself or others. 

I didn’t know what being in love was. I didn’t even understand what that feeling is and I was able to really achieve that with her. Now I know what it feels like, so I was able to identify it when it happened again. 

Damon Dash on Entertainment Tonight

As a tribute to Aaliyah or a result of her impact on him, he makes sure to spend every waking moment with people he genuinely loves. “I would only be around people I love,” he said. He doesn’t care to surround himself with people who don’t treasure him. He’s also begun to take account of his own feelings to the point it’s become the sole “currency” in how he navigates through this world. 

Damon also takes pleasure in the fact that he was the one who dated her until the very end. If someone else had been in his position, he would have been seething in envy, so he allows himself to feel grateful for the part he played in her life, and vice versa. “It’s almost amazing to me that I was the guy who was with Aaliyah. Like, I am almost a fan of myself,” he said. It’s ultimately an unfortunate situation, but this part does enable him to reflect on the past with a fresh perspective. 

Grief is a transformative process at its essence, so every person will come to grips with reality at their own pace, in their own time. For Damon, it comforts him to picture Aaliyah as an angel, someone watching over her loved ones in fierce protection and dedication. “They’re signs to me, it means she’s talking to me,” he said. 

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Dare to take chances and fall in love

Nobody really knows what will occur in the future, but if you want to keep the regrets as minimal as possible, don’t be afraid to take chances. There are a hundred ways you could get hurt, but at least you can tell yourself you showed up, you fell in love, and you risked your heart. There’s no bigger failure than not trying at all, so if you decide to take a chance, you’re opening yourself up to a world of possibilities. You never know if the person you share a profound connection with disappears the following day, so all you can do is give your everything, live in the moment, and follow your heart. 

More inspiring stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/aaliyahs-death-tragic-love-story-damon-dash/