Saturday, May 31, 2014

Paradigm shift

Since the 1960s, the term has also been used in numerous non-scientific contexts to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events,...

I appreciate the many comments and encouragement I have received this week.  I appreciate Evan's caution that I not get hooked up in the game.  Sorting through what is my crap and what is theirs is starting to get very tricky.  I do have a safety hatch in that I am going to be gone on vacation for awhile.  I am also watching my Dad get stronger daily.  I also plan to involve people from church to help ease the load off myself.  I also recognize and feel a profound paradigm shift.  For years, I walked on egg shells not to hurt mother's feelings.  I was to take what ever she dished out as just part of who she was but forbidden to put up the slightest defense in case I hurt her feelings.  This week I stopped worrying about her feelings.  I respect that she has them but it no longer controls my behavior.  I am walking a fine line that if I am not careful will have me hurtling back into time to being the dutiful daughter doormat.  I'm not a doormat.  I found my back bone.  I am hoping I don't find a mean bone.  I am working towards the delicate balance of standing up for myself without feeling a need to punch anyone in the face.  (Tonight when I came home, I grumbled that prison food was looking good.  If I acted on my unruly thoughts, I would be serving prison time.)  Wisely I came home, gave myself time to think.  Vented to my DH.  Now, I am plotting how to assess and assist my aging parents, without getting caught in their vortex.  I am working at remembering how far I have come in extricating myself from their tangled enmeshing ways.  Review....speak my truth....let their problem be their problem....value my time....value my peace of mind.....value my relationships......Am I becoming part of the problem by trying to reenact the past with a new ending?  Am I getting sucked back in?  Am I harming myself by my behavior?  Is anyone holding a gun to my head?   Hmmmmm Lots to think about. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sh** Storm

If you don't want to read profanity or are triggered by narcissitic behavior, stop reading this post and go to:

Well, it happens in the life of every child, usually in their teen years but I am a very late bloomer.  I blew up at my parents for living in river denial.  To catch everyone up, my Dad had a pacemaker put in two days ago.  He came home from the hospital yesterday.  When I arrived at my parents today, my dad had fed the cats and started the bread machine and was ooooohhhh so proud of himself.  My mother kept his water across the room so he had to ask her for every sip he took and she alternates between telling everyone she is a basket-case to telling everyone how she is taking care of everything.  I erupted.  The wires keeping my Dad's heart beating are not healed into place so too much movement would cause them to come out...instant heart attack.  He'd be dead before, my mother would figure out to call 911.  I yelled at both of them.  My Dad for denying the seriousness of his recovery.  My mother for playing her manipulation games.  After which I found an old cart that just needed to be cleaned off to make sure my Dad could reach his water.  I threatened my Dad with chaining him to the chair then softened it to taping him to his chair if he didn't stay down and quiet.  I said things that I never intended to say.  When my mother kept trying to interrupt to draw the attention back to her, I told her to be quiet and not say another word.  When I finally stopped the shit storm, all my Dad said, "That was impressive."  He thought for a bit and said he hadn't realized how serious his condition was.'s that for denial, he was awake for the operation and it wasn't a picnic.  Some how in his mind he was convinced that he would come home and go back to his normal routine.  My Mother is much more difficult since around most people she can sound so normal and together.  It is an illusion.  As a 6 year old, my Dad would ask me to take care of my mother.  He is still asking me to do the same thing 50 years later.  My mother can play the victim, the martyr, or any other role to the hilt.  I doubt I made any impression on my mother what so ever.  Doesn't matter, she doesn't need to change because I have.  After getting things setup at my parents.  I met a wonderful friend and had lunch.  She reassured me that I was not a horrible person for yelling at my parents.  I then went to get a pedicure and manicure.  It was awesome.  Took a nap and I feel much better.  I am still trying to sort out how much I can let go and how much I can do.  I looked over this past week and realized how much I had been absorbed by this.  One of those moments in time, I wished that I could believe my mother that she can take care of things.  Then I pull myself out of the river denial and decide what do I need to do, what can I delegate, and remind myself they are two fully grown adults.  At least, according to their birth certificates.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


From my sister, Judy:

Her link sends you to Coming Back Home:

Feeling a bit like choose your own adventure?  If you make this choice go to this page....make this choice then go to this page.....from there you kind of wander off in your own direction.

I'm wandering off to bed.  Good night.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


My Dad is sporting new hardware....a lovely pacemaker that tells his heart to keep beating.  I didn't take responsibility for things that I don't need to.  I'm freaking tired for just hanging around a hospital today.  Thanks for all prayers and good thoughts.  Thanks to a special friend that reminded me not to drop into old roles.  Thank you to another friend that met me away from the hospital to give me a quick break.  Thanks friends. Thanks family for being there and support. 

I can do this

Thanks mulderfan for a timely reminder.  I can do this and I am NOT responsible for my mother. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Body Slammed and still standing

One of the toughest things about starting counseling is stopping it.  Counseling is where I learned so many things but like graduation, what to do when it is over. I wondered how I was going to function on my own if things got tough.  My life has been tough the last few weeks.  I was talking with my friend today and she agreed with me that I missed several days blogging.  She talked with me and reassured me.  Last week of school is always stressful and my DH decided now was a great time to renovate our kitchen.  Last week I broke my tooth and this intensified my search for a dentist that I could work with.  I found an awesome dentist that made the filling a reality without panic attack for me.  Awesome.  Last night I found out my Dad is in the hospital, tomorrow he gets a pace maker.  Tonight I feel body slammed.  For those that read my blog, I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts with my Dad tomorrow.  I am thankful that my sister is right here with me.  My brothers are also supportive.  I am trying to process all that is happening and trying very hard not to slip into dissociation to cope.  I didn't dissociate at the dentist.  I felt what was going on.  The cool thing was they made suggestions and followed through with ideas to ease my anxiety.  Tonight, my tooth is fixed.  I tagged teamed with my brothers and sister so I spent about half the day at the hospital.  I talked with my Dad.  I was able to feel compassion without resentment.  He still asks me to take care of my mother.  Much easier to do at 56 than at 6.  My parents haven't changed but I have. 

Comments continue Awfulizing

There are two days in every week
about which we should not worry,
Two days which should be kept free of fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY,
With its mistakes and cares,
Its faults and blunders,
Its aches and pains.
YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control.

All the money in the world cannot bring back YESTERDAY.
We cannot undo a single act we performed;
We cannot erase a single word we said.
YESTERDAY is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW
With its possible adversities, its burdens, its larger promise.
TOMORROW is also beyond our immediate control.

TOMORROW, the sun will rise,
Either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds,
But it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in TOMORROW
For it is as yet unborn.

This leaves only one day - TODAY.
Any man can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities
That we break down.

It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad.
It is remorse or bitterness for something which happened YESTERDAY
And the dread of what TOMORROW may bring.

Let us, therefore, live but ONE day at a time.

Author unknown

Thanks mulderfan.  I love this poem and work at trying to emulate it.  I do know from experience that there are things that if I do them today I am better prepared for tomorrow.  I also learned that sometimes I really did screw up something yesterday and need to apologize today.  However, worrying about either is like the woman told me that worrying is like a rocking chair. It takes your energy without getting anywhere.

Judy's comment "Regarding handling worry: I sometimes find it helpful to write out all the possible scenarios, from the most logical to the impossible (but it pops into my head anyway). Seeing it in writing helps me recognize what's real and what's awfulizing. Once I recognize what's real, I'm better able to plan how to handle it."

Awfulizing is the technique of seeing all the worse possible scenarios with no possible solution.
Irrational idea #4 is awfulizing: the idea that you have to view things as awful, terrible, and horrible when things go wrong.
"I can't stand it" is a common remark heard in therapy. Ellis disputed this assertion when he heard it, or when he heard somebody say they could not "bear" something. People use these statements to express emotion; they do not mean them literally. Ellis forced his clients to confront the fact that such statements cannot be taken literally. They do not suggest a constructive course of action. If taken seriously, they can paralyze you. Repeating to yourself "I can't stand it" is like self-hypnosis. Pretty soon you can't stand it. Better to say to yourself, "This bothers the heck out of me, but I guess I can survive it."

I like that not only did Ellis define it, he explained how to refute it.  
Worry, awfulizing, and many negative emotions take energy to repress them.  Saying just stop it rarely gains the needed results.  Processing it also takes energy but much less and a finished results of "I may not like what is happening, but I can cope. I have the skills, determination and willingness to ask for help when needed."   Our thoughts are our demise and our power. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Comment Answer

Saturday's blog received a couple of comments.  I appreciate Tundra Woman's encouragement and mulderfan pointed out 2 important lessons. I like her Great-Aunt Kath. "I pleased my parents, I pleased my husband, I pleased my bosses, I pleased my kids. Now, it's bloody well time to please MYSELF!" ~ Great-aunt Kath

Tundra Woman said...

Ruth, FWIW, I've never seen you "ramble." Ever. And the process of going through the stressors to figure out what's up was a skill you were taught: Look at how successfully you're able to integrate those skills now without KevenCoach's "Presence." What I'm saying is in this situation and so many others I've seen you confront, those "Lessons Learned" have not some how disappeared when your Coach pinned on your "wings" and told you, "Yes, you're ready to fly solo now." And you were scared. With each successive challenge, you're gaining in a deep-down kind of knowledge the reality that, "Yes. I CAN do this!" And you are.
Aiye, *another* reflexive "Yes" woman! Oh, I do get this Ms. R. (sigh.) It's as if it's simply not enough to take on the task, we then take on the "worry responsibility" for it as well. I'm still challenged by this especially the "worry" part. I'm terrified at times-no, more correctly I terrify MYSELF-that I'll let someone down if I don't put their task right at the top of my list of other "top priorities" so I end up with all these mental "Priorities" sitting in the #1 spot and NOTHING in #'s 2, 3, 4 etc. (Yes, it's a silly looking mental "Priority List.") This has become particularly acute since I've started saying "No" more frequently simply because my body is forcing some real limitations. So when I DO say "Yes" I worry even MORE about the affirmatives. I can't trust my body any longer to "produce on demand" no matter how I try to mentally make it do what I know needs to be done secondary to my "yes." I can no longer mentally shame, blame, cajole, bribe etc. myself into doing it. I know this relates to a core value of mine in that if I say I'll do something, I'm gonna do it: I gave my word.
I hope this makes some sense and if it does, if you have any tips to share on managing the "worry responsibility" part of saying "Yes," I'd really appreciate it. Thanks! And if it doesn't make sense, I can well understand why ;)

mulderfan said... A couple of hard won lessons I've learned:
1. NO is a complete sentence.
2. It's OK to ask for help.

A good quote from my great-aunt Kath, who was in her eighties when she said this, "I pleased my parents, I pleased my husband, I pleased my bosses, I pleased my kids. Now, it's bloody well time to please MYSELF!"

The interesting thing about being a people pleaser is realizing that some where in the shuffle you can loose yourself. A person may start out with the best intentions of being Christ like and putting other's self but they forget that Christ spent time alone, praying and renewing himself. Christ was asleep on the ship during the storm. His disciples woke him up when they were fretting about the storm. And Christ demonstrated healthy boundaries. He asked for help. He asked his disciples to pray with him. So when other people chide me for not being giving and Christ like for not doing everything they ask me to do, I recognize this as manipulation and nothing to do with Christ.

Tundra Woman asked, "if you have any tips to share on managing the "worry responsibility" part of saying "Yes," I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

I can tell you things not to do that perhaps will help since I am great at doing this stuff all wrong.  First of all don't destroy your own health meeting someone else's request/demands.

Second, keep in mind that the final results is still the responsibility of the person making the request.  I tend to forget this and make the problem mine when in reality the problem still belongs to the other person, I'm just helping out. 

Third, and this is a big one, remind myself how many times I have succeeded.  Abusers tend to point out short comings and use that as a whip to keep me doing what they want me to do.  However, if I remind myself how many things I have done things right and the task is well within my skill set that takes a lot of worry out of a situation.  For example, someone asked me to solve a problem on a computer, I spent 14 years solving computer problems, setup several computer labs, and built computers.  I have the skills, I need to believe in my own ability of things I have already done.

Forth, is the newest one that I am working on, worry is an emotion....if I ignore or suppress an emotion it takes energy.  My goal, I am emphasizing that this is a theory in progress, is to acknowledge how I feel, then work out a plan to solve the problem.  Thank the worry emotion for bringing to mind possible glitches to my plan then allow worry to walk off my mind's stage and ask "Can do" attitude to step up.  However, for me this is very important, if I don't have any control over the out come, I give myself permission to stop worrying.  This is a fairly new experience of truly letting go of a problem that is unresolved.  I did it with one of the problems at school.  I will no better in August how it turns out since start of the new year with not doing stuff in May to be ready....not sure how this one will pan out.

One last aspect of worry that I am working on is "Who's worry is it?"  I am hypersensitive to other people's emotion.  I had to be.  My mother's current emotion could affect me greatly if she was pissed off at my Dad, my head would roll.  I catered to her emotions of worry, distress, anger, frustration, and other volatile emotions as a matter of survival.  This is something KavinCoach talked to me often.  I would tell him about some worry I had then he would ask if the problem was actually mine or someone else's.  I was confused at first, I had no emotional boundaries.  I learned that some of the "worry" I experienced was actually responding to someone else worrying.  I can not do anything about someone else's worry.  So if the worry emotion doesn't belong to me in the first place, I am returning to sender.   This is also a new activity for me.

TW, I hope these suggestions I am working on to solve my own 'over worry' will be helpful to you. 

Reader's, I would appreciate any other suggestions on what works for you to kill the worry bug.  Thanks.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Long month....

this week.  A very tough last week of school culminated in a melt down in karate class.  I was crying so hard that I left a puddle of tears on the mat.  No one hurt me.  I was practicing and taking turns being the attacker....unexpectedly that was the trigger.  My teacher was trying to explain I was too stiff and needed to be more enthusiastic with my attack.  I did, then collapsed in tears.  Some how that act of attacking was more shattering than all the defenses I have done for the past 9 months.  I realized that if I hadn't already been stretched beyond max the melt down wouldn't have occurred. At school the day before, I was in an absolute panic because it was my last day and I still had a week's worth of work to accomplish.  I didn't get it all done.  Two of the preschool teachers pitched into help me.  Their kindness was so amazing.  Today, when I cried in class the other students and teacher treated me with respect and encouragement without minimizing what was happening to me.  Talking with DH I realized that several stresses hit me all at once and I added to the problem by offering to help a friend with a dog and another friend to make decoration for her wedding.  Both kind things to do but my timing had a lot to be desired.  I went shopping this afternoon for fabric for my kitchen curtains.  I couldn't figure out the simplest math questions.  I apologized to the person waiting on my to cut my fabric.  I explained that I had a long month this week, she chuckled with a comment of totally understanding how drained I felt right then.  She was very kind and we measured the fabric.  I took all of it.  It is a lovely mellow yellow with butterflies all over it.  It will look amazing when I have them finished in a few weeks. 

What did I learn from this experience?

I still tend to take on problems and take ownership of them when they actually belong to someone else.  I helped a fellow employee with a complicated formatting.  I slowly realized after totally stressing out that the success of the project was NOT my responsibility.  I also had no way to test the results.  With the clock clicking down on the last day of work I realized, it wasn't my job to solve this problem.  I gave it my best shot but still was NOT my job.  I also realized that the final grades for the students and preparing the room for summer was also NOT my responsibility.  Doing what the teacher asked me to do was my responsibility but if she asked me to do something besides clean the room for summer, it was OK.  She could do that since she, NOT me, was responsible for how the room looked at the end of the day.  Then I went through other stresses during the week and discovered one after another were NOT my responsibility to fix, manage, or make right.  I could support, cheer on someone else, assist but I needed to stop beating myself for NOT zooming around like SuperWoman and fix everything.  I needed to change my mind set.  This is when I miss my counselor who would help me sift through and figure out which was my responsibility and which was NOT.  I put an astonishing amount of pressure on myself.  I also learned that when I explained frankly and without blaming that I am feeling stressed out and clearly state what would help, people helped me, comforted me, and listened to me.  My childhood programing that nobody cares or would help me is breaking at last.  I am recognizing the lies from my past.  Many people around me are kind and willing to help out.  Speaking up about a need does NOT make me ungrateful or whiny.  Using humor to convey my needs lightens the atmosphere.  I am feeling much calmer this evening.  I am cherishing the acts of kindness shown to me over the last two days.  I am tired.  After the week I had and the melt down in class today, being tired is to be expected.  I appreciate my sister listening to be babble like a water fall.  The support from DH was awesome.  His patience when I totally misunderstood something and jumped to conclusions was appreciated by me.  Tough month this week but I am learned a lot.  Hopefully I can start applying some of the sorting of who's problem is this.....

Thanks for reading my ramblings to the end.  

I've got the ball. 

Desert 'Pineapples' -  ground squirrels love these. 
Reflected light
Fun with Play dough

Thursday, May 22, 2014


"The person you can be absolutely sure you will definitely be spending the rest of your life with is YOURSELF, so make sure you put the appropriate investment into THAT relationship!"
~ Sarah Stitcher

Finally Loving yourself

FLYlady came to my attention from Side-track Home  Executive.  She actually got her acronym from liking fly fishing and tying her own flies.  A follower dubbed that FLY stood for Finally Loving Yourself.   Flylady talks about decluttering your home and your life.  Every summer I promise myself I am finally going to declutter my house.  But I keep finding more projects to delay the dastardly deed.  Now the question is do I finally love myself enough to put the time, energy, and effort into making our house a home I can truly call home.  Flylady has great ideas but goes at a pace that livings me falling FAR FAR FAR behind.  Her 15 minutes a day to clean rapidly balloons into much longer.  I can't keep I need to modify and change my routines to fit my needs.  Not set a routine to burden me but an organized way of living that works for me.  2 months to setup a system that will work for me. 

One of the first things I am working on is a stress calendar.  A calendar marking my known stressors Thanksgiving and Mother's day.  Then block out time for preparation and recovery.  Dentist appointments are another biggy.  If I can get my visits on the calendar and prepare for them, I up my chances of getting through them.  I can map out times when I need to decrease my pressure in other areas to cope with the flux and flow of a known stressor kicking up a storm.  I can accept and prepare for the yearly time bombs. 

My sister Judy is working on another approach.  Check out on her self challenge of love her self by loving her body.

Each person wakes up with one known companion.   Am I ready to F L Y?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What do we learn?

I am fascinated that as I study and read blogs, Facebook and books I get bits and pieces that relate to the problems I am experiencing.  This week's issue is how I am perceived and treated by others.  Two blogs posted things they have learned from life.  'After the Whirlwind,' focused on what she learned about her relationships with abusive men.  She is courageous in sharing her experience.  Lifebegins45 shares her life experiences in her blog.  I admire her determination change her life. 

From Facebook I encountered this post on 30 things the author learned by 30 years old. I certainly did not learn the same things Susie Moore learned.  There are several things on her list that I am still working on.  However, there were others on her list that I am not so sure I am interested in doing.  Our list are quite different from each other. 

I am also bringing home my extra stuff from work in preparation for summer.  One of the items is a light weight hoody designed by my daughter with Love the Journey printed on the back.  This is something I am learning.  When I love the journey, I enjoy my life so much more.  I am learning that accepting and enjoying my journey right now where I am at is a daily choice.  I am challenged when I am faced with struggles, frustrations, and my own bucket load of fears.  I spent 10 years in counseling learning how to unload the ugly buckets and reload them with the good stuff I learned I deserve.  I think yesterday's quote comes in handy when I think about this.  The king and the pawn go into the same box when the chess set is put away.  Everyone of us has our own journey.  What we learn from it overlaps with things that other people learn but there are differences too.  I use this blog to explore what I am learning.  I am learning that this world is an amazing place to live that has plenty of hazards and opportunities to learn.   

Tree bones

Precarious perch

Dwarfed by grandeur

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


John Nuck Italian proverb: At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box...

Sometimes I come across a quote that I want time to ponder.  I let the words rattle around in my head without too much supervision.  I then try to visualize what I would shoot for a picture.  Sometimes I take the time to shoot the pictures.   Next, I see if there is another way to view the quote.  One could say that at the end of the day we all end up in the same situation, lying down to sleep.  


Monday, May 19, 2014

Turn out best

Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.

DH and I watched a special interview with Carol Burnett.  I grew up watching her show and seeing her on TV and movies.  Her life is extraordinary.  She also shared her experiences with her daughter.  Their ups and downs and challenges and finally her daughter's fight with cancer.  This is part of another interview that Carol shared her daughter's perspective:

She had an outlook on life that was so positive. It was amazing to me and when she was in the hospital, you know, for the last time one of the nurses came up to me on the floor and she said, "I have to tell you something." She said, "Your daughter cheers us up when we go into the room." And I asked Carrie how does she do it? How does she, you know, be so cheerful all the time?" And Carrie's response was, "Every day I wake up and decide," and this is, she said, "I decide today I'm going to love my life."

I agree with Carrie, I woke up and decided to love my life.   Sometimes I have to remake the decision several times during the day, that is where persistence is helpful.  Too often I waited for a special set of circumstances for me to be happy, after I graduate, after I get organized, after I get the idea.  I kept waiting for the special circumstances.  Now I know every morning is another opportunity for me to decide.  I had cancer, it tore me up and took a piece of me.  I agree with Carrie I wake up and decide.  I went through years of counseling and the torment of facing an ugly childhood.  I wanted my life to be different.  When I accepted my life and learning to love the woman I became from these experiences, I learned along the way that I can wake up and decide to love my life.  Not easy some mornings, after a night filled with nightmares.  But I am determined to decide my future.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Who moved?

****************For those triggered by religious subjects, please, be aware that this post discusses my relationship with Christ.*****************

A long while ago, I received a scathing comment about how this blog is all about me.  I am letting you all know, I do this on purpose.  If I notice I am using words like 'you should' or 'survivors need to' or any other form of directing these posts to someone else, I try to go back and rewrite it to be what I need to do.  Or what I am struggling with.  I am not setting myself up as an example of someone that has arrived, I am sharing my daily struggles and successes in hope that sharing will help someone else.  Perhaps someone else will see a similarity in their own struggles.  I also want there to be a general feeling of hope that an abusive childhood does not condemn a person to a life time of misery.  I want my message to be that PTSD is not the end of the world.  It simply gives a name to struggles resulting from trauma.  I had PTSD since I was 5 years old.  I didn't have a name for it until my 40's.  I now know what to search for on the internet to get ideas to try different things to help me live a happier and more fulfilling life.  I am continually on the outlook for books, blogs post, and webpages to help me better understand my own struggles.  Recently, KavinCoach shared a book with me that within a few pages I felt frustrated and angry.  I had to emotionally step back and reassess my frustration.  I realized that the book is an amazing accounting of one woman's challenges with PTSD/DID (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder.)  The rub came that she is billing the book as a guide for others with PTSD.  Problem is that the way she is approaching her healing is quite different than mine.  Unfortunately, several times she stated that every survivor must do things her way.  This doesn't set well with me.  She also stripped away most of the spiritual side of the healing process.  She does mention that her belief in a High Power is helpful but when she talked about fasting she only mentions the benefit of not eating being a sense of control over self.  I was really upset about this.  Note to self, whenever I am very upset about someone else's behavior what am I doing that reminds me of what I believe is their short coming? 

Didn't take me long to realize that recently, I haven't been including Christ in my struggles.  I am past some of the "BIG" issues and working on less life threatening challenges.  I noticed something about myself.  I am much more attentive to my prayers and their sincerity when my life is a freaking mess.  When things start to get better, I tend to start thinking a long the lines that Christ is very busy and I don't need to bother Him with my little frustrations.  I tend to start thinking that I know best and I can handle things and yadda, yadda, yadda.  I forget that Christ loves me.  I forget that Heavenly Father loves me so much He sent Christ to Earth as my Savior and guide.  I love my children and I am interested in what they are doing, big or small, weighty or fluffy.  If I am interested in everything about those I love, why do I tend to forget that Christ is interested in all that I do?  I reminded myself of the constancy of Christ.  Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Alway ~ all the time in every way to the end of the world.  If Christ is always with me, who moved?  I can now let this author have her voice and share her struggle now that I recognize that my criticism is with myself and not keeping Christ in my daily life.  Sunday for me is a day to reflect how I am doing with my relationship with Christ.  He is my advocate with Heavenly Father.  Christ will show me the way always, if I let Him.  

Phillipians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

When gratitude isn't grateful

Awesome post by TR

A couple of weeks ago they talked in church about the importance of gratitude.  I listened and heard the usual, be grateful or else.  First off, I believe in gratitude.  I believe it is important way to think and behave.  I learned it is a way to acknowledge the gift and the giver.  But not all givers are desiring only to please the other person.  Too often strings or malice are attached to a gift. A simple example of malice, the King of Siam (now Thailand) would give a white elephant to someone that truly annoyed him.  The idea was to give a white sacred elephant that they could not refuse, could not use, and expensive to maintain.  TR gave an example in her post of those that use gifts to hurt others or with strings attached.  I am also painfully aware that abusers will use gratitude like a whip to drive a person to their bidding with comments like "you owe me."  I am also aware that some people expect gratitude to come in a particular form.  I would verbally say, "Thank you."  NO NO that is not good must write a thank you note and mail it....hand delivery is not acceptable either.  Or as TR describes in her post that they are keeping score....'I did this for you now, what are you going to do for me and it better be better than what I gave you.' 

There is one more aspect of gratitude that abusers use to bully down their victims....'He who complains has too much.'  The Biblical example that is trotted out when the Israelite people were rescued out of bondage by Moses and fed manna for days on end.  They complained and wanted something different.  They were then given quail until they were sick of that.  This is used to ignore the real needs of their victim.  As a child, I complained about the food I had to eat.  My mother saw this as a personal affront instead of recognizing if she had allergies maybe her children did, too.  I learned that asking for what I needed was a sign of ingratitude.  This was hammered into me.  As an adult, I found out sailing through the emergency room without waiting around is not a good thing.  I was trained so thoroughly not to complain or ask for what I needed that my stomach had almost eaten its way to my intestines.  I was bleeding internally.  My stomach put a hole in the inner lining all that kept me from a horrible death caused by my stomach acid pouring into the body cavity was the outer lining of my stomach.  When the doctor finally detected what the problem was and what actually caused it, he looked at me and asked, "Your stomach must have been hurting, why didn't you complain?"  The answer I gave him was it always hurt and I didn't know that it shouldn't.  The real answer was, "He who complains has too much," if I complained I was afraid that what little I had would be taken away.  I couldn't risk that by complaining that my stomach hurt.  My fear of being ungrateful and loosing what little I had nearly killed me. 

I since learned that gratitude is not just something you do but it is something you feel.  The most joyful thing about reconnecting my emotions is feeling gratitude.  It is an awesome feeling when uncluttered by punitive demands of the giver.  Gratitude for a sunrise.  Thankfulness for delicious food.  Feelings of gratitude that fill my heart so much I just want to hug the World and say, "Thank you."  It is an amazing feeling to be able to feel gratitude without fear of repercussions of not thanking good enough.  A lot of my pictures are about the gratitude I feel in living in a beautiful, complex, and fascinating world.  Pictures of spider webs and bugs, glass and plants, sunrises and sunsets, flowers and thorns, butterflies and caterpillars, we live in a stunning wonderful world that I am thankful to be alive and a part of.  Gratitude is a feeling that spawns a desire to thank the giver.  I taught my children when you have a feeling of gratitude you say "Thank you."  Yes, I believe in gratitude but I have seen what dark expectations of gratitude can do.  Like anything that is good, there is a dark side to be used to hurt and harm.  I watch my own children express their gratitude and delighted to know they have learned what a blessed feeling gratitude is.  A grateful heart sees beauty and blessings where others see ugliness and want. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Temporary Beauty

Facebook friends brought this to my attention:

I am in awe of what these two students create with chalk, an idea, and their amazing talent.  I think that was one of the greatest treasures of taking art courses I gained a deeper understanding of those things that already awed me.  I remember as a child looking out my window on a cold winter's morning with dew drops sparkling in the morning sun with thousands of tiny rainbows draped on the spider webs.  I was enthralled and astounded and within minutes it vanished.  So brief.  The architects hundreds of little spiders and a cold dewy morning.  Butterflies flit for a week or two then vanish until the following year. 

Sand is washed a way twice daily with the tides but this doesn't stop the artist....

Snow melts but until then pristine white is magically transformed...

I remember an Easter morning at my daughters church as an artist created the story of Christ as the minister spoke. Each picture formed from the last, led to the next, tranforming and changing.  I was enthralled but had no camera to record the magical event.  Now like the jeweled web the play only in my mind, temporary beauty.  It doesn't has to last to be enjoyed. 

This video lets you in on the process of 3D chalk art....

3D Street Art....

Examples each of temporary beauty, not designed to stick around but to be appreciated and enjoyed for a brief moment.  Look around what temporary beauty exist around you?

Temporary Beauty Shared

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Learning to see

I get posts from Photography web sites, I browse the information working at growing my skill with a camera.  Photography was not my goal when I started college.  I didn't consider myself an artist.  15 years ago I was hired by a university art department to take care of their computers.  During the interview, I told them I had zero art experience.  They hired me anyway.  In a very short time, they realized I knew so little about art and photography that they couldn't explain to me the problems they were having.  They sent me to Photography 101 to get me up to speed.  The very first day the professor explained the Photography is science mixed with magic.  Then followed was 15 more years of exploring the world with a camera as my exploration tool.  Another professor tapped into teaching me how to use a camera to explore the way I feel.  A whole new world opened up to me.  I realized that a photograph is but a split second of what I see and feel in that moment. 

Quotes by photographers:

Abstract photography:

If I hold real still, no one will know I am here.

Finding walking walnuts

Humming Bird feeder

Art mimics nature

Camera added intensity

Fairy Dusters

Glass tower

Home can be any where

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Wait?

I was first introduced to thriving in the early days of my counseling.  I was all gun-ho and excited....came back the next week and asked, "What is this thriving thing?" 10 years later I took a picture that describes it for me.....

You can see the cactus that fell and damaged the blooming cactus.  The little cactus just didn't care about the is blooming and growing anyway.  Too often we wait until we finish counseling, wait until we graduate, wait until we feel better, wait until we heal, wait until life is running smoothly....then we will thrive.  I am formulating the idea...that thriving is a decision everyday.  I decide if I am going to put it out there blooming and growing anyway.  

Monday, May 12, 2014


I am learning the importance of allowing myself recovery time.  Time to allow myself to unwind and relax after feeling stressed.  I remind myself that I define what is stressful not someone else.  Enjoy my pictures.