Just a month after baby Persephone was born, her mother left her with the baby’s dad. But through hard work and willingness to ask for help, the single dad managed to take care of his daughter just fine.
Thrust into being a single dad
Back in 2015, Richard Johnson was blessed with a baby daughter, Persephone. But just a month after she was born, the baby’s mother abandoned her family.
Unprepared and unsure of what to do, Johnson gobbled up every book and YouTube video he could find. He also turned to a Facebook group called Life of Dad that was a “major confidence booster” and helped him get through this challenging period.
One day, Johnson wrote a Facebook post about his situation and to thank the group for helping him get through. Then, the post went viral.
In the caption, Johnson explained that he doesn’t know why Persephone’s mother left — he expects postpartum depression played a role. But either way, he needed help, and the support from the Facebook group helped him get through.
It takes a village
Johnson received so much support (the post has 95,000 reactions) that he decided to start his own page chronicling life as a single dad.
Johnson documented how Persephone had holes in her heart and needed surgery. Again, he turned to his community on Facebook for support.
Incredibly, Persephone’s surgery was successful, even baffling the surgeon. “The doctor was amazed and had said, ‘I’m amazed but I don’t understand how this is quite possible. I had a few colleagues take a look and they agree had they not known the previous issue, you’d never be able to tell there was anything wrong from the start,’” Johnson wrote on the post.
Johnson’s love life worked itself out too, as he revealed on the page that he was seeing a woman named Jennifer who cared for Persephone like a mother.
In a touching birthday post a month after her surgery, Johnson told Persephone how much his life changed now that she’s in it.
“They say the child learns for the parent, however I feel I am learning more from you than you ever could from me. I look at you and can’t just help feel like everything will work out the way it should,” he wrote. “I’m going to give you the world one day Miss Lilith. I’ll work myself to death to do it. Everything you can ever want will be yours or I’m going to die trying.”
A happy ending
Thrust into the unknown of parenthood all on his own, Johnson did the right thing — he looked for help wherever he could get it. He did his own research and was vulnerable enough to tell those that helped him how much he appreciated them. In return, the community continued to support him and undoubtedly played a role in raising Persephone — they say it takes a village to raise a child.
When Nicole Kidman got her heart broken by the biggest movie star in the world, her whole life collapsed. Until charming romantic Keith Urban stepped in. Nicole finally thought she found true love… But Keith was hiding a dark secret. Why did Nicole try to save Keith? And did she fail?
To cope with the pain, Atkin increasingly turned to her fridge.
“The day he left I thought my world had ended – I cried for weeks and used food as my comfort”
– Jen Atkin
From couch to crown
Then, one day, Atkin decided to end her pity-party and get to work.
She started walking regularly, going to the gym and being vigilant about what she ate.
As the pounds dropped, her confidence soared. Atkin quickly gained momentum and over two years, she shed 112 pounds – half of her body weight!
Eventually, she built up the courage and charisma to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, the UK’s longest-running pageant.
The event consists of several rounds including fashion wear, evening wear, and swimsuit and culminates in a panel interview.
After finishing the contest as a runner-up, Atkin put her pageant pursuits aside to focus on herself until her name was put forward again.
She ended up winning Britain’s biggest beauty crown over 59 other contestants in the national final in Leicester.
For Atkin, the victory meant far more than a crown.
“Winning Miss Great Britain marks the end of a long and difficult, but also amazing, journey”
– Jen Atkin
There’s beauty in the struggle
Since winning the pageant, Atkin has only picked up the pace.
She launched a country singing career, with her debut single hitting No. 2 in the ReverbNation charts.
She’s also using her status to push for “clearer and easier” labeling on food to warn people if an item is unhealthy, which she says will “make it easier for everyone.”
Atkins now reflects on her difficult journey with gratitude.
“I was devastated but it ended up being the best thing that’s happened to me”
– Jen Atkin
While Atkin had painful experiences, they ultimately revealed what she’s truly capable of and her true worth. She used them to take her life in an amazing direction that even she didn’t know was possible.
Today, you can bet her shallow ex is probably sore from kicking himself.
The next time you feel like giving up, remember that your best is yet to come.
Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missed the season that took his team to their second Super Bowl in two years to work as a doctor in a Montreal hospital.
And despite his team’s chance to win it all again on February 7, he’s at peace with his decision to help others.
He opted out due to COVID-19
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif blocked for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes when their team won the Super Bowl in 2020, but when it came time to go for a repeat, he became the first NFL player to opt out of the season due to COVID-19.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally,” Duvernay-Tardif said on Twitter.
“That is why I have decided to take the opt-out option.”
“If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
He was on the frontlines
Before Duvernay-Tardif was drafted by the Chiefs in the sixth round, he studied medicine at McGill University in his hometown of Montreal.
When the pandemic hit, Duvernay-Tardif rushed home from a sailing trip in the Caribbean and volunteered to pitch in however he could. He was placed in a long-term care facility where he tended to patients who didn’t have coronavirus.
Since he hadn’t studied enough to be a full-on doctor, he did work that nurses do, like drawing blood, administering medications, and even feeding and bathing patients. He only worked a few days a week, but that’s all he could manage emotionally.
“I was working there two to three days a week, and I don’t see how I could have done more,” he told The Washington Post.
“Not necessarily from a scheduling standpoint but from an emotional standpoint. Those people that are there for the past 20 years, it’s crazy. I have so much respect for them. … The amount of sacrifice is unbelievable. I feel like I’m going to be a better physician down the road because of that experience. I understood what it was all about.”
Duvernay-Tardif recalled one young patient who had been in a terrible accident and due to COVID-19 protocols hadn’t been able to see family in months. Duvernay-Tardif noticed how not seeing his loved ones was hard on the patient, so he told him: “Come on, let’s find your wife’s number.”
He used his phone to call the man’s wife on FaceTime and when the couple saw each other’s faces for the first time in two months, they cried.
“You cry, too,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “What else is there to do?”
“The definition of what it means to be a hero changed because of those people.”
At peace with his decision
Despite the inherent risks of a football season — and the infections some teams, including his own, faced — Duvernay-Tardif always agreed that a season should take place, if only to simmer down the fierce political divisions in the United States. And it’s been hard to watch as his teammates reached the pinnacle of their sport yet again.
“It was never black or white,” he said of his decision to opt-out. “As the season progressed and the stakes are higher, I do miss football even more, especially now with the playoffs. There’s more than one way to look at it, and it’s not always simple.”
Duvernay-Tardif, who lost millions in contract money during the skipped season, wouldn’t say he has no regrets, but he is at peace with his decision.
“I felt it made sense to make that decision, in order to look back at 2020—five, 10 years from now—and be proud of myself,” he told TIME. “I’ve said no to money and the NFL season in order to care for patients.”
While Duvernay-Tardif is planning a long career in the medical field, he does hope to return to his team next season.
“I feel like something was taken a little bit away from me,” he said. “I still have some football left in me. I can be a doctor for the next 40 years. I still have the passion, and that’s why I’m working out on my patio at –15°[C].”
An honourable sacrifice
You can’t help but be in awe of Duvernay-Tardif, who is not only risking his career in the NFL, but also his own health being around a hospital taking in COVID-19 patients.
His sacrifice is yet another reminder to follow health guidelines and get vaccinated so we can bring an and to this pandemic and everybody can return to doing what they love.
It’s also a poignant testament to living with integrity, according to your own values and definition of success and excellence.
Seven-year-old Cavanaugh Bell of Gaithersburg, Maryland, still remembers the pain of being picked on.
“I was bullied for working faster than others,” he told People. “At one point I asked my mom if she would be sad if I died.”
I had the darkness inside me and I didn’t want kids to feel the same way I felt
Channeling pain into purpose
However, instead of bottling up the hurt, he channeled his pain into purpose and positive impact. Using his own savings, Bell started putting together and distributing care packages containing food and other essentials to his elderly neighbors in need during COVID.
It turns out that making smiles can be pretty addictive.
The more I gave back to my community, the more I wanted to keep doing it
Recruiting his mom, Llacey Simmons, to help “spread love and positivity”, Bell created a GoFundMe page to promote his cause. Donations poured in.
Thanks to a space offered by a local gym, Bell kicked off the “LOVE is greater than COVID-19” Community Pantry. With the extra space, he was able to not only keep more seniors safe, but also spread the good vibes beyond his community.
Helping a nation
Bell remembered a road trip to Mt. Rushmore with his mom, when they passed through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, considered one of the poorest areas in America.
She had told him that some were without electricity or running water. Worse, the population is stricken with high rates of alcoholism and suicide. For Bell — also part Native American — that was unacceptable.
it’s not fair that we’re having great and happy life when they’re suffering in the middle of nowhere
With the help of his mom and scores of generous donors, he hired a driver and loaded up a 53-foot truck chalk full of clothing and essentials for the people of Pine Ridge.
For seven-year-old Bell, the mission is simple. “I’m just trying to make them have a big fat smile on their face.”
A mission to end bullying
And it’s just the beginning.
Bell also founded his own non-profit called Cool and Dope, where he sits as its Chief Positivity Creator.
Bell has set the ambitious goal to end all bullying worldwide by 2030. At this point, is there any reason to doubt him?
Cavanaugh believes he can save the world, and I believe him! He doesn’t see anything as a challenge and that’s what I love about his innocence
Alice Phelps, director of ‘First Families Now’ and member of Pine Ridge Community
Positivity can move mountains
Bell’s organization has raised over $30,000, and has helped over 10,000 people with food and essential COVID supplies.
And to think it all started with a moment of empathy during his darkest time. Who else might be feeling this way, and how can I help?
Bell’s response to injustice proves that acts of kindness, once set in motion, can be an unstoppable force.
I just wanna teach people they can have an impact no matter their age — no matter if you’re 8, 10, or even my grandma’s age, 74 — you can do anything!
As a child, John couldn’t train because of his asthma
Soon after he was born, John developed severe asthma and allergies for which he started being treated for at the age of two.
As a kid, he spent several Halloween nights at the hospital and his condition prevented him from participating in physical activity.
“I was constantly bullied from a young age until I graduated high school. I couldn’t walk around school because of my weight,” John remembered.
I had to be given a key to the elevator in school because I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs, and I had to write book reports instead of participating in gym class.
John struggled with low self-esteem and hated the way he looked and felt. His weight stopped him from going to college after his high school graduation, because he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get around campus or fit behind the desks.
But then, he had a major wake-up call
After his grandmother passed away in early 2015, John fell into a deep depression and coped with food and drinking, but that all changed when he had a massive asthma attack he almost didn’t survive.
“I couldn’t take a breath, it was like every bit of air was trapped inside my lungs while the weight of the whole world rested upon my chest,” remembered John.
I couldn’t speak, sweat started to pour from every part of my body. Somehow I was able to scream for my parents to call an ambulance.
Paramedics apologized to John while they put him on a stretcher, just as slipped in and out of consciousness.
“I remember looking at the clock above the door of the ambulance and praying to God and to my grandmother who had recently passed that February for another chance. I knew I had messed up,” he said.
He took his second chance seriously
Once he regained consciousness, he knew he was running out of options and committed to changing his ways.
My life was spared so it was time to make those changes I promised.
As soon as he could, John started going to the gym regularly and was able to lose 80 pounds, but his asthma kept getting in the way of his progress and he went back on steroids after another attack.
When he realized he wouldn’t be able to lose all the weight he wanted to on his own, John made the life-changing decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery, in November 2016.
The surgery helped him drop down to 252 pounds from his initial 500 and John’s learned not to take life for granted.
The best part? How he feels about himself
“I am a totally different person now, I love life, I love challenges and I love proving myself and other people wrong and rewriting my life story,” he said.
“My health has improved dramatically, I no longer have high blood pressure or sleep apnoea, and my asthma is pretty much non-existent.”
His transformation journey has allowed him to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a professional wrestler and has since performed in several shows, calling the experience “the thrill of his life.”
He’s documented his journey on instagram to keep himself accountable along the way, but also uses his platform to inspire others who are struggling to lose weight.
“Honestly it’s the greatest feeling in the world being able to inspire others because I know when I was at my lowest, I needed someone like my current self to guide me, to show me things were possible when I didn’t think they were,” said John.
“’My major goal in life is to help show everyone that the ‘impossible’ doesn’t exist, and you can truly have anything you want in life and pursue every single dream and break every goal, that’s the only thing that matters to me.”
Eight-year-old Derek Prue was self-conscious about the birthmark on his stomach and chest. So much so that he wouldn’t go swimming without a shirt on.
So Derek’s dad, Derek Sr., did something drastic — and the story will put a smile on your face.
A big surprise from dad
Derek was swimming in a hotel swimming pool with his sisters when his dad called out. Derek looked over at his father and dipped back into the pool with a smile on his face when he saw what happened. Derek Sr. had gotten a huge tattoo to replicate the birthmark on his son’s torso.
“I was happy and I was a little confused,” the young Derek told CBC Edmonton. “I didn’t know he was going to do that.”
Derek’s dad saw how uncomfortable his birthmark made him and didn’t like that his son wore a shirt in the pool to cover it up — so he got the tattoo.
“I knew he was self-conscious about it… I saw how he was reacting, and it made me want to do it so that he wouldn’t be the only one.”
Derek Prue Sr. told CBC.
A good deed, punished
The tattoo was a complete surprise for the eight-year-old — and the procedure was a surprise for Prue too.
When he first came into the studio for the tattoo, he thought the artist would be done after three or four hours, but by that point only the outline was finished.
“He’s been through the wringer sitting for that,” said tattoo artist Tony Gibbert, owner of the studio where Prue had the work done. “It’s pretty painful.”
In all, the tattoo took 30 hours of work over six to eight weeks.
“I’m kind of glad I didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Prue said.
Your friend or someone you know has gotten fired from every job they’ve ever had. Their dates always flake on them and their friends always betray them. The common theme: it’s never their fault and if you press them on it you’re the one to blame.
According to a team of psychologists in Israel, these types of people may have a toxic personality disorder called “tendency for interpersonal victimhood” (TIV), which they describe as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”
People with TIV wholly and truly believe they are never wrong and that their victimhood is a core part of their identity.
How to tell if someone ‘plays the victim?’
Not everyone who feels victimized is toxic. Bad things do happen and it’s okay to be upset about it.
Rather, TIV occurs when someone constantly feels like a victim and they bring others down with them.
Rahav Gabay and her colleagues determined that people with TIV tend to have four dimensions:
Constantly seeking recognition
Of all the allegedly horrible things that happen to someone with TIV, people never apologize to them. Worse, they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoing.
While apologies can be hard to come by, this only becomes an issue when the person who plays the victim is in desperate search of recognition for the supposed bad things that are done to them.
A sense of moral elitism
People with TIV are never wrong. In fact, their moral compass is better than everyone else’s and they use this assumption to manipulate others into their own perspective.
This behavior may be a defense mechanism as a way to maintain a positive self-image.
Lack of empathy for others
Everything that happens to TIV people is the absolute worst and no one else’s pain or suffering matters, or so they think. This can especially be toxic in a relationship as TIV people only care about their own problems, never others’.
The route of this behavior can be that since the person believes they have suffered so much, they don’t think anyone else deserves empathy for their suffering.
This lack of empathy can also show up in a group or national level in the form of “competitive victimhood” or an “egoism of victimhood” where members of a group cannot see things from another group’s perspective.
Rumination about past victimization
Since romantic relationships never worked out in the past for TIV people, there’s no chance they’ll work in the future. This is a fallacy as the past doesn’t dictate the future, but it’s a core belief of people who always play the victim.
Always ruminating about past grievances and thinking it reflects the future is something perpetual victims tend to do.
Why TIV is toxic
People who always play the victim are extremely difficult to deal with because they’re selfish and never wrong.
They’re also obsessed with seeking revenge for those who’ve wronged them and may punish others who had nothing to do with it just because they’ve been wronged before.
Forgiving is part of growth
We all play the victim from time to time. Sometimes bad things really do happen to us and it makes us sour.
The problem is when the victimhood because constant and when the person never learns from their mistakes. It’s also problematic when they never forgive others – you don’t know what everyone is going through and nobody’s perfect.
Ultimately, the problem with playing the victim is it doesn’t allow you to learn or grow from the past. If you don’t acknowledge your faults, how can you make adjustments for the future?
If you know someone who’s always playing a victim, it might be time to reduce your relationship with them or have a frank discussion about it. Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people.
After being forced to buy two seats on a plane because of his size, Dr. Ross Gardner knew it was time to completely transform his life.
At 28, Ross, from Florida, weighed nearly 400 pounds and doctors gave him less than three years to live.
“Needless to say, these two events really made me rethink how I was living my life,” he told Men’s Health.
Graduation changed his life…not for the best
Following his college graduation in 2000, Ross went on to gain over 200 pounds over the next few years, which he now recognizes happened because of his unhealthy habits at the time, which included daily McDonalds.
Another major obstacle for me starting to lose weight was alcohol. I drank excessively every day for years.
Ross remembered there came a point where he drank almost a liter of whisky each night.
“I was drinking and eating close to 15,000 calories a night,” he admitted.
His diet became out of control, and like many, Ross thought his only way out was a crash weight loss plan, but to overhaul his unhealthy lifestyle, he needed more.
“At that point in my life, the only diet I had ever known was the Atkins diet,” he said.
He couldn’t train for more than 5 minutes at a time
Gardner decided to take another route though, and began educating himself on proper forms of exercise and nutrition.
He ditched his beloved daily McDonald’s breakfasts and replaced them with white omelettes and broccoli, and traded his video game addiction for a gym membership, which was no easy feat.
At first, I could only go to the gym for five minutes at a time.
But once the weight started melting off, Ross noticed a shift.
“It really opened my eyes to the true nature of people,” he said. “My experiences certainly lead me to believe that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.”
Feeling energized and empowered, he persevered and once he’d established a routine, he was eating six to nine times a day, with small meals that averaged 1600 to 2600 calories a day, a tiny fraction of what he was used to eating previously.
Watch this Goalcast video if you need pure, unbridled motivation:
Inner work was also integral to his transformation
Not only did he give up alcohol and junk food, to become a gym aficionado, Gardner also attended behavioral therapy to explore his compulsive eating.
In just 10 months, Ross lost almost 200 pounds and once he reached a healthy weight, he underwent surgery to remove excess skin.
Today, he helps other people with their weight goals through his chiropractic practice and recognizes that it’s not always an easy process.
He keeps pushing through the negative thoughts
But Ross is very candid about the lasting effects of his transformation journey. Yes, he does feel better but he reveals that he still battles with daily struggles.
I still suffer from body image disorder. To clarify, when looking in the mirror I don’t see a morbidly obese person anymore, but certainly I don’t see what others see.
However, he has learned to keep pushing through the negative thinking.
“I still struggle day in and day out with wanting to over-eat. If I do have a bad day or a bad meal I just move onto the next and I don’t beat myself up,” Ross said.
At the end of the day, “We only have one body. It’s very important we treat what we do have with respect.”
Give yourself a chance
Ross’ transformation started with choosing to live. It was a conscious decision that came with a lot of commitment, both physical and mental. And yes, losing the weight is only one facet of the journey–the inner work is just as important.
Whatever you decide to battle in your life, make sure to truly give yourself a chance by avoiding being too harsh on yourself.
Handsome, talented, stylish, effortlessly cool — Lenny Kravitz has been blowing our minds for over thirty-five years. He’s a rockstar through and through; just one glance at the actor today would tell you everything you need to know about his persona. But unlike other rockstars, Lenny doesn’t bother with the bad-boy act.
He’s dated some of the most famous women in Hollywood but he’s very rarely come under controversy for his relationships. In fact, some of his relationships proved to be so solid that his exes have nothing but positive words for the singer.
In a land where celebrities are throwing dirt on each other on the daily, it’s genuinely refreshing to see someone who’s managed to remain in the good graces of all his exes. Moreover, it’s even more common for female celebrities to recall their past relationships with horror.
Whereas many describe their ex-partners as abusive, rude, or temperamental, Lenny Kravitz stands out as someone who truly values his romantic connections, regardless of how they pan out. Therefore, it’s key that everyone takes a look at Lenny’s behaviour as an ex-boyfriend and takes some notes for their own relationships.
Nicole Kidman said she still “loves” him
Many don’t know this but Nicole Kidman had dated and even gotten engaged to Lenny Kravitz in the early 2000s. They had managed to keep this fairly under wraps at the time, so when news broke out more than a decade later that it was indeed Lenny who had taken Nicole’s heart following her divorce from Tom Cruise, questions surfaced.
Was there something that had happened between the two of them that led to the burying of the relationship? The truth couldn’t be further from that assumption. In 2017, when Nicole Kidman worked with Lenny’s daughter Zoe Kravitz on Big Little Lies, she was asked about the experience. Thankfully, there is no bad blood between the pair.
Well, I knew Zoe because I was engaged to her father. It’s all in the family! I love Lenny; he’s a great guy.
In another instance, Nicole, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie went to the Ellen Degeneres show and played ‘Who Would You Rather’ game as a way to jokingly pair up Charlize with another celebrity. When Lenny Kravitz’s name popped up, Nicole once again spoke about her love for Lenny.
I love Lenny. I so recommend him. He’s lovely.
The love doesn’t only flow from one side either. Lenny also said about Nicole, “She will always be someone in my life.”
Why did the relationship fall through in the first place? Your guess is as good as ours. In a 2007 Vanity Fair interview, Nicole Kidman spoke of a mysterious fiance, saying that “it wasn’t right” to get married to them because the pair “weren’t ready.”
The fact that two people in a relationship can realize as a couple that they’re not meant for each other but still continue to have a beautiful friendship with one another proves that breakups don’t have to be messy. Sometimes all it takes is a tough but rewarding conversation that resets the boundaries in the relationship. You might take your relationship to the next level, or you might figure out that you’re better off as friends.
Lenny and his ex-wife Lisa Bonet still profess to be “best friends”
Lenny’s relationship with ex Lisa Bonet is unlike anything Hollywood’s ever seen. His friendship with Nicole may be pleasant and sweet but his everlasting bond with Lisa can only be described as exceptional. The two got hitched at a young age and had their daughter Zoe shortly after. They divorced in 1993 and Lisa went on to marry and have two children with actor Jason Momoa.
What could’ve been a messy family situation has turned into a force of nature. Speaking on the relationship, Lenny said that though certain moments have been difficult, he’s been able to patch things up with Lisa and has been able to form a true friendship with her.
You go through a marriage with somebody, you break up and it’s very difficult. But [Lisa and I] put the work in and we took the time so that we could become best friends again. Our families are blended.
Lisa Bonet on her part echoed the same thought when talking about her divorce. Their daughter was only about five when they split, so the pair had to be extra careful about parenting their daughter. That’s why Lisa chose to be amicable with Lenny — their daughter came first and they had to learn to rebuild their friendship for her sake.
I didn’t want to pass on those heirlooms and this fresh wound of a divorce. … I think there are probably times when these thresholds can either sink you, or you can see who you are and rise and dust yourself off.
Lisa also confirmed that the whole family — Lisa, Lenny, Jason, Zoey — work well together to maintain their lovely blended family. “It’s fantastic. It’s full-on family love,” she said.
Indeed, the entire Kravitz-Bonet-Momoa clan is so well-adjusted that Lenny has even been able to build an awesome, loving relationship with Jason. The pair have become friends or “brothers”, as they put it, so much so that they’re constantly posting birthday tributes to one another and have even professed that they “love” each other.
Watch this Goalcast video on why Lenny Kravitz feared Jason Momoa:
Relationships can end but love doesn’t have to
Here’s what your ex, and you, can learn from Lenny Kravitz: it can be worth it to maintain good relations with former partners. Of course, in certain situations, especially where abuse or disloyalty or other horrific situations are concerned, it may be best to forget your exes and leave them in the rearview mirror. But if it’s at all possible to do so, then it can be a good thing to have something of a bond with the ex. Not only do you gain a friend for life, someone who knows you to a tee, but you also get to add more love to your life.
Relationships come and go, as they always do. Such is the rule of life but the idea of having animosity or even ‘awkwardness’ with your exes for no reason has to go. Just because the relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean you should leave someone in the dust. The same romantic love can transform into a platonic one, and both your lives could be better as a result of that. The same attributes needed to hold a relationship together — empathy, understanding, and love — can be deployed to keep a friendship alive through thick and thin. If Lenny Kravitz can do it with ease, no one is stopping you or your ex.