Thursday, December 31, 2015

Progress Not Perfection

Flylady.net taught me this line over and over.  My friend assured me that she did not originate the line it is also used in AA meetings.  After years of attempting and failing to clean my space, I am working on it again but I changed my thought processes.  I am not cleaning the room, I am rearranging my space to make it more useful to me.  Made more progress in two days than I have done in two years.  I'm actually excited about working on the space.  I am using Flylady's method of three boxes....one for put away some place else, throw away and give away.  The stipulation that anything I give away must bless the person I give it to otherwise throw it away. 

http://www.flylady.net/d/br/2015/03/02/why-do-we-have-to-declutter/

I read this YEARS ago.  Sadly it also set off major triggers as in melt down triggers.  I learned the source process the information and still struggled.  I was very disappointed in myself.  Then I worked in an environment that encouraged me to declutter and clean up on a regular basis.  Learning by example does much better than scolding, punishing and shaming.  I am a work in progress.  I decided not to take before pictures.  I don't need to remind myself how far I have come.  I know it.  I am also spending time with family and friends during my break.  I'm loving it. 

Clutter to me, home to the spider. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Had a Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  For many, myself included, Christmas is a delightful challenge for others it is a challenge.  We made it.  Hugs to everyone.  I finally got 4 strings of light on the Christmas tree and took the tree down today.  There were years that we took the tree down on Christmas day.  I am adjusting for the idea that my body will crash.  Rather than fight it I planned for it.  So far, still upright. 



I didn't use my camera much.  I embraced the events instead of technically capturing the 'best' shot of everything.  It was nice but I think next year I'll go back to taking more pictures.  Interesting to realize I actually engage more when I take pictures.  I tend to be an observer of events.  Taking pictures I am more engaged observer.  Progress not perfection as Flylady writes it.  I think AA uses the same quote so I don't think it is a Flylady original.  Back to the subject. We made it through another Christmas and this year we have one extra day to prepare....thanks Leap Year. 

Now it is time to reflect on the year.  Part of my truth campaign is to honestly evaluate my progress this year.  I'll keep in mind rule #1 "Stopping lying, especially to yourself."  KavinCoach also taught me to give myself credit for doing things right.  I often gloss over the good things and focus on the fails.  When I do that, I awfulize my own life.  When I recognize the good things I am doing,  acknowledge my own progress, I become my own cheerleader.   KavinCoach at the end of every session would tell my how well I was doing.  It took me years to believe him.  Now I believe him and myself when I recognize I did something well.  I also learned to recognize something I didn't do well without feeling a need to punish myself.  Yup.  I can punish myself better than any abuser.  I work at acknowledging mistakes or areas that I need to improve.  If I need to apologize to someone else for a mistake then I try to do that.  I don't always get it right.  Too often in my effort to apologize I sound like I am making excuses.  Again, I am working on progress.  I also learned the my most important things in my life Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, family, and friends.  Then come coworkers, people at church, neighbors and strangers.  After all my years of living, I finally learned that the relationships in my life are far more important than what I do in life.  However, what I do in life can either strengthen or weaken my relationships.  Interesting how interconnected do, being, and loving become.  Faith comes from hoping and hope comes from having faith.  Pray works when I put faith into my thoughts and words.  Prayers bounce of the ceiling if I have no intention of following through with anything I pray about.  My thoughts swirl around and around at this time of year. 

For me, cleaning is a good way to keep my hands busy while my mind ponders where am I at right now and what goals I plan for next year.  One of the ones that surprised me was a couple of years ago I planed to loose a lot of weight.  I did.  I lost 30 lbs.  What shocked me was how critical and down right mean I became.  I joked that I make a 'mean skinny.'  I put the weight back on but I know that isn't healthy.  This year I am going to work on healthy choices.  I tried following several health gurus on line.  One quit posting, one wants to sell me something new everyday and another one tells me he has something great to tell me then spends 15 minutes telling me that it is a great thing until I walk away and he still hasn't told me the great thing he was going to tell me.  Bust on 3 accounts.  New approach this year.  I know a lot about what I need to do that is healthy.  I need to take the time to do what I already know.  Interesting.  I need to write that down into a specific goal to make it useful.  Not sure how I'll do that yet.  I give myself to the end of January to set up yearly goals.  I don't do New Year Resolutions because I hate that breaking glass sound when I break them in a week or two.   I can have a goal back slide and still achieve what I wish to do by the end of the year. 


Broken Resolutions


Friday, December 25, 2015

Make New Memories....

Merry Christmas everyone.  Arizona was cold for a short while and back to much warmer weather.  This is the season for reflection, love, sharing, and triggers.  Yup, one of the worse times of year for me.  I work hard to not feel more depressed, discouraged, and over all meh.  I am learning to cut down how many thing I do.  This year DH put up the tree.  I put on one string of lights.  That's it.  However, I baked all sorts of goodies and bread.  I visited friends and family.  I created many beautiful memories.  Maybe I'll finish decorating the tree on Christmas or go visit family. 

One of the hardiest things about memories is some haunt me.  However, I read Michael Provosts post on Facebook and rethought what I am doing.  Michael is an amazing photographer that I follow on Facebook.  Due to time difference, he often posts his awesome pictures just before I go to work.  He includes quotes with his beautiful pictures.  I feel so uplifted and encouraged.  He posted why he does what he does and gave me permission to share his thoughts.  I think the thing I came away thinking about is the importance of creating new beautiful memories to overwrite the old disturbing ones.  I am noticing that the more lovely memories I stuff in my head there is less room for the ugly memories to push in.  Today I was sitting with my sister and finishing her book cover for her next book.  I had fun.  I baked bread which I do almost every year.  So I am adding new things to old ones.  Enjoyed lovely time with family and friends this week.  Creating beautiful memories goes a long way to making Christmas a beautiful time of year. 

Michael Provost
My Dear Friends,
A Personal Christmas Story or Why I Do What I Do....
When I was a very young boy I had a dog named "Sport". Sport was a mix of so many different breeds that it was impossible to know what kind of dog he was. Basically, he was a raggedy little mutt that followed me home one day. To sum up a description, he was small, he was light brown, he had one white-eye and one brown-eye, and I loved him very, very much. Once I convinced my parents to let me keep him and got him moved into our house, he expressed his gratitude to me by following me everywhere. Our relationship was very basic: I fed Sport his food and walked him. In return he licked my face, jumped all over me, played with me, and happily did all the tricks I taught him. We were inseparable, Sport and I. He was my best friend. He would even stop and pose for me when I took pictures of him with my toy camera. He loved it when I took his picture.
At any rate, it was during this period of my life that I heard tell of a legend that on Christmas Eve a miracle occurs. The miracle being that at the stroke of midnight all animals can talk. Back then I believed in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns, Trolls and pretty much anything else, so this seemed entirely plausible to me. Also, at the time, along with my toy camera, I had a small children's tape-recorder. So one day I was struck with the idea that I would try my darndest to stay awake until midnight on Christmas Eve, sit in my room with Sport, and when the moment of the wondrous miracle occurred, I would record the voice of my beloved dog when he talked to me.
So Christmas Eve arrived. I set everything up, got into my pyjamas, and sat on the bed with Sport. My bedtime was 8:00pm. I tried as hard as I could not to fall asleep. I sang songs to myself. I fought pirates and ghosts with my toy sword. I talked to Sport. I tried everything I could possibly think of to stay awake, but to no avail. I think I lasted until about 8:20pm.
The next morning was. of course, Christmas Day, and when I woke up I forgot all about the fact that I'd missed the miracle. I ran like a maniac downstairs and tore open all of my presents. After a few hours of playing with my new toys, I remembered that I had fallen asleep and missed the midnight miracle of Sport talking. So I figured, well, maybe I'll do it next year. I went back up to my room and my toy tape-recorder was sitting on my dresser where I had left it. But what was strange was that the tape that I had put inside of it was sitting on top of the recorder. So I put the tape in and I pushed "Play". Suddenly, in a very low gruff voice I heard the words, "Merry Christmas, Michael." Now, what had actually occurred was that my father had sneaked into my room and recorded those words on the tape, but I didn't know the why's or the wherefores of it. I didn't think in those terms back then. At that moment, at that time, I believed that I had somehow actually recorded the miracle of my dog speaking to me at midnight on Christmas Eve!
I remember running down the stairs with the tape recorder and playing it for my parents. I remember how amazed I was that Sport had actually talked to me. The miracle had happened! I remember playing the recording to all of my friends. In fact, I played it for anyone who would listen. There were the skeptics of course, but my belief that it was the voice of my beloved dog was unshakable. After all, I had it on tape. I had recorded and preserved it for all to hear.
It was about four-months after that. I was taking Sport for a walk just after it had stopped raining, and he saw a cat on the other side of the street. He started to run after the cat. A car was coming down the street and couldn't stop in time. And Sport was gone. I was of course devastated to have lost my best friend. For days afterwards I was inconsolable. My parents tried their very best to comfort me, but it didn't help. I would sit in my room and play the recording of what I believed to be Sport's voice over and over. The fact that I believed I had preserved a recording of his voice made me feel closer to him. It helped me to get through the loss.
I have no recollection of the toys I got that Christmas morning, but I kept that tape for many, many years. Even after I came to the realization that there was no way a dog could have spoken into a tape recorder and that in fact it WAS my father's voice, I still kept the tape. Why did I keep it? I kept it for the memory of Sport. I kept it for the young boy who believed in the miracle, and was comforted by it when he had lost his best friend. The boy who believed in the magic and the wonder of Christmas. And when I lost my parents, I kept it because it was a recording of the voice of my father. It made me feel closer to him. Unfortunately, the day arrived when I put the tape into the player and nothing happened. They just didn't build those old cassette tapes to last back then. Despite my best efforts the recording was gone forever.
I write of this now because Christmas is a time of memories, both old and new. Because I realize that through most of the days of my existence, by one method or another, I have been recording the times and the moments that make up the journey that is my life. And in turn, I have shared them with my friends. I'm not exactly sure when or how it started, perhaps it was the recording of Sport, but it became my passion at a very early age, and remains so to this very day. Thankfully, I have been blessed with the gift and the means to pursue that passion. And within the images that I capture, I preserve the memories of the moments, the times, and the places that have touched me. I also believe that in many of those same images I have touched and preserved the spirits of the souls who I have loved, who have loved me, and who have shared the precious moments of my life. For one reason or another, a good many of those souls are no longer here, so those photographs serve to bring back the memories of the love and the warmth that I shared with them. They comfort me and they make me feel closer to them. They remind me of the magic and the wonder of the moments that we shared.
My dear friends, I thank you for the grace, the warmth, and the light that is your friendship. Thank you for your most generous and kind words that reflect the beautiful, radiant light that is you. Your words that never cease to inspire and embolden the heart of this man journeying upon the path of his destiny. Thank you for allowing me to share the moments of my life with you. It is my sincere Christmas wish that your hearts be filled with warmth and love at this very special time of year. This Christmas, may you write new memories in the pages of the book that is your life. May those memories be recorded and preserved in your hearts as forever golden. And whether they be with you in body or in spirit, may you be surrounded by the love and comfort of those who are most precious to you. May you be filled with the joy of the season. And for a moment perhaps....just perhaps.....may you be filled with the magic and the wonder of it all.
Merry Christmas and God Bless You.
Love,
Michael











Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Following my own advice

I'm following my own advice by backing off and slowing down.  Our Christmas tree is up but only has a single string of lights on it.  I think it may stay that way.  I am blogging less to give myself time to hit top priorities my family, friends and editing for my sister.  I am starting to feel like the downward spiral is slowing to a stop and I'm heading for a turn around.  My dear friend let me chat today and tell of all the set backs I had the past 5 months.  I am sometimes unaware of how far down I am slipping until I am in a total mess.  Thankful to DH for reminding me that generalizing specifics makes things look worse than they are.  Many of the things I struggled with were outside of my control.  However, I can make healthy decisions about what I can actually do to help in a situation.  I was proud of myself when I called and followed up because I was worried about a situation.  A 5 minute phone call assured me that I did what I could in that situation.  I also went to get the granddaughters Christmas presents I bought last summer.  I looked blankly at the empty spot where I thought they were located.  A whole box gone.  Sadly, in that particular room my hoarders tendencies would make that possible.  Rather than melting down, I went on an emergency shopping spree.  I was delighted to find just what I wanted at a price I could afford.  The store clerks eyes widened as I heaped stuff on the conveyor belt.  I smiled and explained I had 6 granddaughters.  She was so lovely and kind.  The best part was the granddaughters that live close by opened their presents last weekend and they loved the hasty substitute gifts.  Amazing how a potential disaster can be averted and the outcome can be better than I expected.  Getting back on track will take time but I am no longer feeling like I am plummeting down in a crazy emotional free fall.  Thankful for my sister helping with my dishes.  Her service to me lightens my heart when so much was dragging me down.  Thanks Judy.
Straitening out the pieces

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lost

I buy presents all year long.  This year I lost the presents I bought.  Last minute shopping to fix the oops.  I felt like I failed.  Until the grandkids opened them and were delighted with the substitute gifts.  My sister posted a reminder.  https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/a-reminder-from-last-year/

I can't mess up Christmas because it is not about me.  Tree still has one string of lights.  Presents were given to grandkids so that they can enjoy going to other grandparents on Christmas day.  A friend joked with me that I had a 'non-compete rule.' I am blessed with seeing the kids that live close by on a regular basis.  I enjoyed wonderful food, great company, and a Merry Christmas feeling.




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Minimum Christmas

September I took a giant step backwards.  Several events hit me hard at my core beliefs.  I am just now starting to recover unfortunately that puts a bit of crunch time on Christmas.  No cookies, no decorations, no packages sent, 4 Christmas cards made it out the door, not a good start on the holiday.  I remember a conversation with KavinCoach.  He asked me, "What is the advantage of hitting bottom again?"  With a twisted smile I answered, "It is familiar territory." 

The answer he was looking for is I know what I need to do to get back in the game of life again.  I know that I need to stop extra activities, pull back from routine things, even ones I enjoy.  Minimize, reduce, and make choices of self care.  Not an easy task.  I was raised to put myself last.  I learned it by example and expectations given to me.  I learned it well.  Now, I am breaking a lifetime of habits and creating a new life path.  My second counselor explained it by saying that habits are like ruts gouged by water.  Eroding into my mind a set way of doing things.  To change that path I choose to create new channels and new habits, sadly in times of high stress, I slip back into old habits. 


Slow down....

Finally.

School semester is ending.  My life at work is finally slowing down.  However, my life at home is revving up.  I seem to put myself in a mess without any help from anyone else.  I feel ok for this time of year.  I'm far behind on my to do list.  I'm dropping many activities that I usually try to do.  My symptoms from PTSD are telling me that this time of year continues to be a struggle.  I decided to do less.  Worry less.  Say no more often.  Prioritize family activities, other stuff not so much.  Still the PTSD is stamping on my sleep, my peace of mind, and my desire to engage.  Right now I just want to be a bear.

http://llerrah.com/iwanttobeabear.htm

 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A bit of oil

I joined a group on Facebook that prompts service and kindness during this Christmas season.  This post caught my attention.  I often don't have strength to make big things happen but I could use a bit of kindness to help things go better. 

Do you have an 'oil can' of kindness?
There is an old story of an elderly man who always carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and when he would go through a door that squeaked, he would squirt a little oil on the hinges. If he encountered a gate that was hard to open, he would oil the latch. And so he went through life, lubricating all the difficult places, making it easier for all those who came after him. People called the man eccentric, strange, and crazy, but he went steadily on, often refilling his can of oil when it was nearly empty, and oiling all the difficult places he found.
In this world, there are many lives that painfully creak and grate as they go about their daily work. Often it seems that nothing goes right with them and that they need lubricating with "the oil of joy" (Ps. 45:7), gentleness, or thoughtfulness.

Today's challenge:
Do you carry your own can of oil with you? Are you ready with your oil of helpfulness each morning?
Your oil of cheerfulness will mean more than you know to someone who is downhearted. Or the oil may be a word of encouragement to a person who is full of despair. Never fail to speak it, for our lives may touch others only once on the road of life, and then our paths may diverge, never to meet again.
We cannot know the grief
That men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Today, tomorrow;
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
So may our love with tender words be spoken.
Let us be kind.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Bit by bit

When I start to feel overwhelmed I go back to inching through life.  Maybe a little army crawling when I can't get up.  My frustration with myself adds to my misery so I let myself off the hook.  I let go of several activities.  However, sometimes I need to enjoy activities that I love doing.  Too often in my effort to "do" everything I forget to be in the moment and enjoy that moment.  I love Christmas music.  I am going to share links to a few of my favorites.  Sharing something that brings me joy....


Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer original video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzV9DIL_vrM

Silent Monks Sing the Hallelujah Chorus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxXW54V7R2c



Cast in Bronze Carol of the Bells
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbPnVQIIOlY


Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky - Glass Harp LIVE (HD)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdoTdG_VNV4


Josh Groban - O Holy Night [with lyrics]  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17kiIIxSdC0




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pain changed me


At age 32 I could only be out of bed 20 minutes a day.  I passed out daily.  The doctors assured me there was nothing wrong with me.  I saw no end in sight.  My children took care of much of the house work that wasn't done by DH.  I did not choose this.  I did not know how to change it.  I hit bottom.  God loved me at the bottom and encouraged me to keep moving.  He reassured me that the only way He could direct me is if I moved.  So I struggled forward taking on my own research as to what was wrong with my body and why I couldn't function.  Finally progressing far enough I entered counseling with DH still thinking that if we fixed our marriage then everything would be fine.  I was so naive.  Stunning revelations in those first 6 months of counseling.  I did not know what dissociation was.  I did not know that my blanks of time were for a reason.  I did not know my own past.  All of that changed with an all mighty crash.  I am in better shape than I ever have been.  I can do more in a day than I could in a week at age 32.  The pain of remembering.  The pain in my body.  The suffering changed me.  I believe for the better.

Years ago when email was fun with lots of stories I received this in my email:

Potato, egg, coffee

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.  She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.   

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.  He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter.  The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.   

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2010/09/potato-egg-coffee.html


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Reconsidering Santa letter

I read this on Facebook and wanted to share. This so suits my thoughts these days.  I laughed out loud and glad I was at home so nobody would stare. 

PS If you don't like your Facebook feed you may be part of their negativity experiment.  Hide post and likes on the stuff you do like improves it.  Beautiful pictures and words of encouragement are most of the things I get now.



Mary Starshine Dear Santa,
I've been good all year
Most of the time.
Once in a while.
Never mind.
I'll buy my own stuff.





Saturday, December 5, 2015

Loving Christmas

I love Christmas.  I love the lights, the decorations, looking for presents, baking, music, and the reason.  I feel sad that it also brings triggers, unreasonable expectations, frayed tempers, and many other aspects of the season that has nothing to do with the reason.  I am a believer that the reason for the season is Christ.  Wise men still seek him.  Good will to all men, women and children is still a wonderful goal.  Glad tidings still shared.  The angels sing and those that believe hear their songs.  Song sings in our hearts when we help one another, when we care for the poor, when we share with others, when we seek ways to come unto Christ.  He came as a baby and showed us the way to return to our Father in Heaven and broke the bonds of death so we could enter into eternity. 

“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executors gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth — His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.”
“Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.”
—The famous essay, One Solitary Life
http://voice-wilderness.org/more-great-quotes-about-jesus-christ/

I found a link to what the internet thinks is the original version.
http://www.anointedlinks.com/one_solitary_life_original.html

Friday, December 4, 2015

Not my monkeys

At work, I experienced a series of events that were seriously stressing me out.  I came across a blog or a meme that reminded me that in some situations I can truly say, "Not my circus, not my monkeys."  I use this when I am taking responsibility for something that is not my job.  I tend to over step and try to 'fix' situations that aren't my responsibility.  My counselor first pointed out my tendency to take on responsibilities that aren't really mine to do.  It is a carry over from childhood when I was held responsible for my mother's happiness and my younger brother and sister from about nine years old until I married.  It wasn't my responsibility to care for the younger siblings but  I worried about them.  Tried to make sure they were safe.  And was punished if they did anything wrong.  The craziness of holding one person responsible for someone else led me to behaving like I could 'fix' someone else.   Years of counseling drove home, the only person I could fix was me and wow did I have my work cut out for me working on fixing myself.  I sat down with myself and asked..."Is this my circus and are these my monkeys?"  If I answer no to either one I back off.  One of my coworkers was stressing out to.  I told him, "Not your circus, not your monkeys."  He thought about it over the break and came back feeling much better about his job.  One of my major challenges is to not take on responsibilities that rightfully belonged to someone else.  Learning to be responsible for myself is actually tough because I was trained to put my needs last.  Learning to follow airplane instructions will help, put the oxygen mask on myself first.




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Progress

First part of December and I'm feeling ok.  OK is awesome.  Too many years I'm sick.  Overwhelmed. Shutting down....I'm none of those.  OK is good.  I believe in this world of extremes OK is looked down on as not good enough.  I like OK because for me it is progress. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New traditions but....

Don't reinvent the wheel.

This Thanksgiving was a joy and delicious food flowed.  Our refrigerator is still stuffed with food.  I'll freeze some and eat others in new ways.  One of the things I tried was making my own stuffing.  I also bought a box of Stove Top stuffing because I love it.  My sister pointed out that it didn't make sense for me to struggle with making my own stuffing if I already like the Stove Top stuffing.  I thought about it and that makes sense.  I also tried draping the turkey breast with bacon.  I discovered that I don't like my turkey tasting like bacon.  However, the same trick with the ham tasted wonderful.  Learning to cook I am exploring new flavors and ideas.

My daughters and I enjoy gathering for Black Friday sales early in the morning.  The new part of the tradition is instead of going to a restaurant for breakfast, one of my daughters makes these fantastic cinnamon rolls to share.  So yummy.  I found a few items but mostly searched the shelves for items they are looking for the kids.  I am thankful I no longer need to decide what someone else would enjoy.  Sometimes I would get it right but I would feel really sad if I missed and gave them a gift the kids didn't really want.  I love using my phone for Internet searches.  We were looking for Polly Pocket dolls...none to be found for a reason.  Matel bought out the company that made them, changed it to try to copy Barbie, then people stopped buying them.  So they are no longer made.  Any dolls are now collectors items with price tags to match.  I am learning a great deal about keeping in my life the things that I enjoy.  Letting go of the things and changing the things I don't enjoy.  Life is good. 


Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Morning....



Slept right through my alarm.  Met everyone at Joann's.  I already purchased most of the things I wanted on the Tuesday before.  Left me to browse and find more projects....yea just what I need.  I spent a wonderful morning shopping with daughters then part of the day watching cartoons with grandkids.  Helped fluff an artificial tree.  Worked on cleaning up from Thanksgiving.  Ready to sleep again.  Hugs to all.  Remember recovery is a vital part of Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Had a Happy Thanksgiving

A day to celebrate family, friendship and survival.  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It wasn't perfect.  It didn't need to be.  Wonderful food wonderful family. With a wonderful day behind me I need to remind myself that recovery time is crucial.  Either I do this voluntarily or my body decides for me.  Good night. 

Tranquil moment

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Changing how I viewed myself


The one of the most difficult things I did during counseling was change how I viewed myself.  Setting boundaries I had to learn that I deserved to have healthy boundaries.  Holidays I had to learn to I deserved to have a joyful holiday.  Early in my counseling I told KavinCoach that I felt like I had a target on my back that said 'kick here.'  He replied, 'You do.'  He then went on to explain that how I walked, how I responded to people, how I viewed myself all shouted to every predator "Here's a sitting duck waiting to be abused."  I had to changed everything about myself. He started with teaching me how I viewed myself and all the rest followed.  Karate is helping me with the transformation.  I'm thankful for teachers that showed me how to take off the 'kick here' sign.

Nobody likes it when the boundaries change. “They” didn’t like it when I started asking for mutual respect~ why would they?? I had always put up with mal treatment before. I wasn’t asking for the moon, I was just asking for mutual relationship. Everyone was accustomed to me jumping through ALL the hoops, everyone saw my mother and my in-laws push me around, saw me cater to my husband, saw me put myself last and without my realizing it I showed everyone what I would accept. It is understandable that it took a while for me to change the way that I had communicated all those years. But it has paid off. Darlene Ouimet ~Author ~Emerging from Broken the Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Offending

 *****Warning this may be triggering for some people.  If you don't want to hear a lot of heavy stuff, read something else today.  *****


I love meme's.  They are like the posters on my wall when I was a kid growing up.  Short thoughts that can pack a lot of meaning into a few words.  One of the ones that hits the top of my list as memorable and funny in a twisted way:

I can't please everyone but pissing them all off is easy.

I noticed a few months back an increase of criticism of those that expressed their religious views.  I noticed that I backed off on some of the things I was writing.  I lost some readers.  I wondered if I wanted to continue.  Then I realized I was in a spiraling down depression.  I was overwhelmed and sad.  I saw people suffering around me but I don't have enough resources to help them all.  I see homeless people on the corners on my drive to work.  I hear on the news the plight of thousands of Syrians which is a drop in the bucket of the millions that are displaced.  Yet not a peep on the news about the Christians that are being brutalized and murdered. The world seems to be racing towards the insanity that gripped the world for two world wars.  It would be wonderful that the whole world got along.  It doesn't.  One person posted that there would be no terrorist if people were educated.   I know from first hand experienced that there are those that are bright, intelligent, well educated that chose to hurt and destroy others.  Terrorist are not stupid or uneducated.  They choose to insight fear, create chaos, and hurt as many people as possible.  Their destruction does not consider anyone innocent....all are in the cross-hairs of violent people bent on forwarding their agenda of hatred.  Then my sister reminds me that we turn the problems over to God.  That we do what we can with the resources we have.  We are prepared for this moment in time for our purpose.  She reminded me that God is with us.  I reminded her that God does the impossible.  On God's team you are asked to walk in the bottom of the sea while the water is towering above.  He asks you to stand in your place with 300 others while the fight rages around you.  In the dark of the storm, He asks you to walk on water.  I keep that picture in my sewing room of Peter walking towards Christ and he starts to sink.  Am I prepared to get out of the comfort of the boat?  Will I take on the challenge of changing impossible to I'm possible?  I don't know the answers.  Tomorrow I pack two lunches, one for me and one to give away where ever it might be needed. 



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanks Judy

My sister is a blessing to me.  I forget how far I've come she reminds me.  I feel isolated and she reminds me I'm not alone.  I feel frustrated with things that are hard to explain, with her, I only need to say the minimum because she gets the rest.  I am thankful my sister was sent to our family because I doubt we would have met any other way.  She is amazing example to me.  She finishes books, prays, and gets me out exercising.  I'm thankful for my sister.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The "Season"

It comes every year.  The irony is I love the holidays.  But along with the joy and fun comes a dark encompassing gloom.  A daily struggle to see the world in its bright beautiful colors.  Sorrow weeps at the edges of the days.  Every day I promise that this year I won't sink into depression and every day I fail a little.  Seasonal depression isn't just not enough sunshine.  It is the time when every group and organization wants to do something.  One year a group asked me what they should do for a December meeting.  I answered, "Tell everyone you love them and stay home."  That was not the answer they wanted to hear.  I look forward to the fun stuff but I feel tired and constantly battling the demons that suck the joy out of cool stuff.  My counselor noticed how year after year come October my struggles were a little steeper.  My sessions more intense.  My life more muddled.  I truly wish I could be different.  Maybe I will, someday. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

All in

This week I had an interesting learning experience during my karate class.  I am learning a ground defense where I do a somersault kind of over my shoulder then stand back up.  It's kind of like falling with so much momentum that you go over top over tail and stand up again.  A bit scary for me.  When I just go ALL IN, I can do it over and over.  However, if I hesitate, I slow down just enough that instead of tumbling over I land hard with my elbow under my ribs.  My body is still not happy with me today.  A sharp elbow in the ribs leaves a lasting impression.  There are some things that to get through you need to go ALL IN.  I remind myself if there is no fear then there can be no courage.  I feel fear but my courage is bigger than my fear.  I didn't start out this way.  I let fear win for a long time.  My childhood was ruled by fear and manipulation.  Anger is the easiest emotion for someone else to manipulate.  I believe this is the reason I was cautioned by my counselor to recognize that anger is a secondary emotion, hurt, fear or frustration came first.  Sometimes all three come and anger covers these other emotions.  The ALL IN method was how I approached counseling.  If I was going to change my life I was going to do it ALL IN.  I did.  I totally changed the way I function.  For most of my life, I was 5 different people in one body trying to tag team my way through life.  I am now one person that can see 5 different ways to tackle a problem.  I left none of myself behind.  I went ALL IN.  In my experience, this takes Faith that some how I will get ahead.  More than once I reminded myself that falling flat on my face was still moving forward.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Coming out of the shadows

Learning to live.  I spent my childhood squashing myself into the mold my parents wished for me.  I tried desperately to fit in, be 'normal', stop standing out, find my place in the universe that seemed hostile and confusing.  I gave up.  My health deteriorated. I slip deeper and deeper into nothingness.  I didn't belong.  I didn't fit in.  I wasn't like everyone else.  I felt left out.  I felt nothing.  I was becoming nothing.  I felt like I was a burden.  I felt my family would be better off without me.  I was harming them.  I didn't want to.  I started self destructing a bit at a time.  I didn't want to hurt anyone else so I isolated, disappeared.  I was alive, yet rapidly dying.  Then came counseling.  A life line that felt more like barred wire.  Or imagine a rope thrown down with glass embedded.  To grasp it was painful, letting go was slipping further and further into nothingness.

Whoever told me that counseling was for weaklings, never went through counseling.  Counseling, you face your worse fears, your nightmares find their voice, the false images you hold dear to your heart are ripped away and held up to harsh light that reveals the sham, the lies, the distortions.  Counseling stripped away all the lies, what did I have left?  Mere ashes?  Distorted memories?  Fears that never end?  Or is that a lie too?  Cleanse the wounds.  Learn about and set boundaries.  Confess my fears.  Accept my past.  Refuse to let my past define who I am now.  Explore who I am. 

This article gave me a new way to look at my life.  Sit outside where I do belong, that doesn't stop me from listening to the music.  Create my own place.  Be myself.  Those that want me to fit into some other mold will go away.  They lose interest in that which they cannot control.  I don't need to walk away because they will do the walking.  I am not who they thought I should be.  They are missing out.  It is just the opposite of what I thought.  I will not hide. 

The link has a beautiful poem that I enjoyed reading.  I hope you enjoy it too. 



http://www.positivelypositive.com/2015/09/09/who-cares-what-they-think-why-you-dont-need-to-fit-in/


 Be my own kind of wonderful. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gratitude

Thanksgiving....I had an interesting conversation with a student.  She believed that once Halloween is over it is a straight shot to Christmas.  No turkey, no thanksgiving.  I learned that without Thanksgiving I have no appreciation for Christmas.  If I do not recognize the gifts I am given, I am not going to recognize new gifts either.  One year I made lists of things I was grateful for one a day until Thanksgiving.  Eventually I realized giving thanks is an on going process.  Everyday the sun rises, a new day is a gift.  I go to work, employment is a gift.  I have to wash dishes, enough food to eat is a gift.  My aches and pains remind me I have a body, my body is a precious gift.  I observed in the actions of others, without thanksgiving for a gift, the gift might as well not be given.  The funny thing is, if you stop giving the gifts, that is noticed.  I believe an integral part of thriving is thanksgiving.  I don't believe giving thanks makes problems go away, I do believe that gratitude puts them in perspective.  I am thankful for so many things, events, and people.  I can not possibly lists them in one day, so every day I express a bit of gratitude.  A daily dose of gratitude changes my attitude. 






Friday, November 6, 2015

Sleeping

Woohoo, I'm sleeping.  Down side, I'm not writing in my blogs.  At night is when I do most of my writing.  Today, I am going to school late so I can stay late for the fashion show.  I'll be taking pictures and documenting the event for the students.  I'm enjoying school again.  The new teacher we were waiting for arrived.  She is a lovely lady and I am giving a big sigh of relief that many of my struggles at school are now over.  I can focus on one class instead of trying to juggle two different curriculum.  I realize I am an assistant but I still need to know the content.  Fortunately with Fashion, sewing professionally for years, photography degree, and personal interest in interior design makes my job much easier.  This week I also talked to the students about surviving abuse.  My emphasis is that abuse influences my life but doesn't define my life.  I shared with them a definition for thriving that goes something like this, "Thriving is waking up in the morning excited about what you will be doing that day.  Looking forward to learning new things."  By this definition I am thriving.  I love it. 

I remember not all that long ago, I would wake up, move, feel pain, damn I'm not dead I have to get up.  Another grueling day, knowing, yes I said knowing, I would pass out sometime during the day.  I am thankful I didn't give up then.  I kept struggling forward even if it was inch by inch in an army crawl through emotional sludge.  I was determined not to stay where I was.  I am thankful for the counselor that taught me what I needed to do to build boundaries.  He believed me and believed in me.  He taught me about relationships.  He taught me that not everyone wants to hurt me.  He challenged me to grab hold of my prickly life and hang on no matter what.  I did.  Now, I am thriving, just liked he told me at the beginning of counseling. He told me, "I don't want you to just survive, I want you to thrive."  He saw a vision for my life long before I knew what thriving was.  I am thankful for his encouragement to get where I am today.  I AM THRIVING. 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

So what can you say?

What you say and when depends on where the person is at when in crisis.  I like the phrase I heard, "First observe then Serve," Linda K. Burton.  Too often I am tempted to go for the quick fix.  What can I say or do for this to be over quickly.  Discomfort, mine or someone else, is difficult.  The modern culture of instant everything almost demands an instant fix to big problems.  Kissing a child's 'boo-boo' is such an example.  Not much effort doesn't take long.  Here's the problem.  I tend to want to do the same thing with bigger problems too. 

The article I shared on what not to say uses the last half of the article comparing being in crisis to treating a burn victim.  They give specific examples for each stage. 
http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
I believe it is worth taking the time to read through their example. 

What is the best thing to say?  I believe my first counselor was a wonderful example.  My sister and I both saw him.  We compared notes.  What he told my sister is not what he told me.  His words of encouragement for her were quite different than the words he used with me.  Gaining understanding of others and what words bring comfort ti them is very individual.  Even with the greatest of care, words sometimes hurt when they were meant to comfort.  A raw wound is harmed by the softest cloth.  'What can you say' has no easy-quick-fix-one-size-fits-all answer...it doesn't.  I remember when I was working in a fabric store.  I was required to great every customer and say something nice to them.  My main go to was "Have a nice day."  Seems safe enough until the day a customer erupted and shouted at me, "Don't tell me what kind of day to have!!!"  Wow.  I calmly replied, "Sir, I am required to say something nice to every customer. So, Have a day." 

My first counselor described talking to me was like running through a mine field.  Explosions at almost every step.  Healing took years.  I am still loaded with pesky land minds.  I have two challenges, how to say words that are soothing and calming, the other is how not to be offended when the other person is attempting to say something kind but should have their mouth stapled shut.  Perhaps one of the reasons I withdraw when I am hitting deep crisis is to relieve me from not getting pissed off over the smallest slight.  No easy answer for this one.


Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm reminded...


I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article


http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/



When I think of your situation, I’m reminded how blessed I am.

I am thankful I have not ever said this to anyone.  If you want to think it fine but please, do not say this statement to anyone in crisis.  If I had the energy, I would want to punch you out. Crisis and troubles in one life does not make anyone else more blessed.  Blessing are not a contest to see who gets the most.  I like the authors take on this. "The beatitudes heap blessing on those that mourn, on those who are meek, on those who are poor in spirit — not on those who are safe, secure, financially stable, and proud."  My view, life is not a comparison contest.  What happens to me does not make your life better.  What happens to you does not make my life worse.  When someone tells me, "My abuse isn't as bad as your abuse" or "Your abuse isn't as bad as my abuse", I want to shout, "abuse is abuse."  On the same idea, "Blessings are blessings."  Some of my most amazing blessing experiences were when I was in the bottom of the deepest pits of despair.  Blessings are showered out on everyone, gratitude helps me recognize my blessings. 


Friday, October 30, 2015

I could never go through what you’re going through

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article



http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
  
I really needed to analyze these.  Especially since I've used them.  Examining what we say to ourselves and others during crisis reflects on us too. 


I could never go through what you’re going through.

This one is supposed to be comforting some how elevating victims to some higher plane of strength....news flash....victims did not choose to be victims.  The statement implies because of some superiority on my part I chose to go through hell.  I wasn't given an option.  I didn't not get to pick and choose events because I felt strong enough to suffer...what utter hogwash.  If anything I believe such a statement is a foolish challenge to life to bring on the worst.  The one thing I did learn it is amazing what one can live through.  (Return of Jafar when one genie is making the other genie's life miserable.)  That one line really stuck with me.  I believe there are several negatives to this statement.  It implies that I chose what I suffered.  It feels patronizing like they know what I am going through.  Seems like I could stop at any moment.  I remember when I had cancer someone said they couldn't do what I was doing....my only thought was neither can I.  As far as comforting to someone in crisis, a complete miss.

Jenafer Bauerle said...
I actively hate this statement. Also "You must be so strong." Seriously?! Nope, I am a big fat coward. I think both these statements are examples of how poorly we are able to communicate empathy and concern for others. Easier said "I am so sorry you are going through this. Please know that we think of you and pray for you. I would like to ... let me know if that is not ok." So much easier. Filling space with words does not make the situation better. Simple is best. If you can't handle anything else "I love you" is a great place to start.






Thursday, October 29, 2015

Just call me if you need anything

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article


http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
  

I really needed to analyze these.  Especially since I've used them.  Examining what we say to ourselves an others during crisis reflects on us to.  


       Just call me if you need anything

Oh wow.  What a useless thing to say to a person in crisis.  I've heard this before.  Consider these for this phrase.....

1.  I don't know what I need how can I possibly tell you what I need.
2.  I am so overwhelmed breathing is a challenge.
3.  I'm partially deaf, it is a struggle to talk to my children on the phone.  
4.  The statement sounds like a feel good brush off.  You offered and it isn't your fault I didn't call.  
5.  When PTSD kicks into high gear, I feel worthless and undeserving of anyone's assistance.
Yup, to me this is about the most worthless thing anyone can say to me.  I could be drowning and not understand a flotation ring tossed to me.  I would stare at blankly not comprehending it could help.  I remember reading an article about the person that offered to polish all the shoes for the family who were preparing for a funeral the next day.  Sadly for me, PTSD disconnects my ability to communicate and feel nurtured by others.  One more person asking me to do something could send me into intense isolation.  I like the statement, first observe than serve.  Mostly, I hope people aren't offended when I refuse their offer for help or my refusal to call or when I retreat completely.  Interaction with people is one of the hardest things I do.  I agree with the author wholeheartedly this is a really stupid statement to say to someone in crisis.  I believe it goes on the "Never say this phrase" list.  
Just call me is as useless as this bunch of sand. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Maybe it happened for a reason

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article

http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
 
 
 Maybe it happened for a reason.
 
Seems to me that there is always someone trying to make sense out of the senseless.  Yea, the reason was I was neglected so an easy target for a pedophile.  The reason was someone was behaving like a jerk.  The reason someone chose to do something evil.  The reason that instead of resolving their pain, they spread it around.  The reason doesn't make any difference.  My counselor was trying to reassure me that a family members cruel behavior was accidental and not intended to harm.  I flared.  I shot back, "If they shoot me by accident or shoot my on purpose, I am equally dead."  He had pushed for a reaction but was surprised by the rage behind the answer.  I was told for years and years that the person harming me didn't mean to, it was just the way she was.  Hot button.....as in major hot button.  
 
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF SENSELESS ACTS OF CRUELTY.  
 
Comes out sounding like making excuses for bad behavior instead of owning it and correcting it.  Needless to say I don't use this one.  People have tried to tell this to me but my reaction is not good.  
 
Years ago I heard a radio talk show host state, "There are always two reasons we do something.  The reason we tell people and the real one."  I agree with the author of the article "Maybe it happened for a reason" is a shitty thing to say to a person that is in crisis.   


Normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Maybe God needed to get your attention

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article


http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
  
I am going on through the list for myself, exploring why each one is less than helpful or down right harmful.  Which do I use and which were used on me?  I remember when I had cancer, someone told me that I had cancer because I hated myself.  I replied, "Then a little baby with cancer hated themselves?"  They saw the fallacy in their statement.  I am looking for the fallacies and trying to retrain myself not to use them on myself or others.  


          Maybe God needed to get your attention.

This one was used on me.  I remember feeling really puzzled by it at the time.  My first thought was God can get my attention at every sunrise.  What a miracle it is for night to turn to day.  As I ponder on this phrase I realize there is some validity to the belief of God using trauma/disasters to get peoples attention.  Through out the Bible are examples of famine, wars and natural disasters that brought people to remembrance of their Heavenly Father.  This is another one that I ask myself if I am straying from God and He needs me to turn to Him.  However, if I apply to someone else, I don't know if they spent hours on their knees in prayer and then be told they aren't paying attention to God is a massive put down to their efforts.  It is also difficult to believe that a loving Heavenly Father would choose a fist to my face to get my attention.  I do know that I am more likely to pray fervently when I am difficulty than when things are going smoothly.  I think this is one of those phrases that if I use on myself to check in with my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is quite different then someone else judging me on my relationship with deity.  To me this statement implies several things:
 
1.  I am doing something that God needs to get my attention.
2.  I deserve what ever is happening to me.
3.  If I was a better person these events wouldn't happen to me.
4.  I'm not humble enough and need to be smacked down.
 
These are just the things I thought of in 5 minutes when I am calm and not hurting.  The thoughts I could conjure up when I am agonizing over what is hurting me....yup, I would put this on the list to NEVER say to another person.  I need to be kinder to me too.  I can evaluate my relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father but I NEVER (that goes both past and future) deserve abuse.   





Monday, October 26, 2015

Finding my voice

This blog helped me to find my voice.  It gives me a place to share my story.  I've been reviewing why I use certain phrases or cliches to help others in crisis without analyzing if what I am doing is helpful.  Sitting back and reviewing each statement, many of which I use, I am recognizing that how each person feels about God and religion is fairly personal.  I am also not talking about what is really on my mind. 

My mother is once again reaching out to 'improve' our relationship.  I know from repeated experience to her this means I go back to putting up with whatever she dishes out with zero change on her part.  I've learned from careful observation that in company she is mostly safe to be around.  However, lately she is using her audience, family or church group, as a part of her campaign to manipulate me.  I don't want to stop seeing family or going to church so it is time for me to "law down the law" as she calls it.  What I did a year ago was explain that I could not tell her to respect me but I could give her clear guidelines on how to treat me with appropriate consequences.  Now she emailed me with the complaint that she wants a closer relationship.  In my opinion, she hasn't changed anything.  After moving back close to my parents, I made it a habit to stop to have breakfast every Saturday morning.  I did this for over 15 years.  About two years ago, both my parents are now very busy on Saturday morning with no time to talk to me.  My sister and I started taking bets as how fast I could clear the house by walking through the door.  Then I noticed that my mother would wait to leave until I arrived.  I am fully aware that I can be fairly clueless about emotional cues but even I understood that this is a clear indication they want as little to do with me as possible.  NO PROBLEM.  My sister and I now go to PCroissant for breakfast.  A very yummy change in patterns.  Now, my parents are complaining that they don't see me.  OK can I have a "Say what?"  with lots of confusion.  I usually ignore the emails my mother sends.  She chose a topic that she knew would purposely upset me.  She announced to the world at the grand age of 87 she wants to renew her drivers license.  Yup, she got a reaction.  I was reminded by my sweet DH that she is pushing for any interaction even if it is negative.  Puzzled look on my part. She rejects a positive stop by and chat on Saturday morning so needles me about getting her drivers license renewed.....is there anyone besides me that notices this makes less than zero sense.  I remind myself that emotional behavior is not about making sense.  I decided to respond to her latest salvo*, not because I believe we can resolve anything or have a closer relationship but because I apparently need to "lay down the law" again and tell her that she may not treat me like an emotional punching bag.  She may not shove me away then complain to my father about how mean I am.  She may not call me.  If she has a medical emergency she is to call 911.  (She wants to call me and let me solve problems....waiting to contact me in a medical emergency at age 87 could be a matter of life or death and I don't want that responsibility.)  All contact must be with someone present or by email.  She may not hug me without my permission.  The list is a bit longer than this.  DH reminded me that we are coming into the holidays.  This is her stress time loaded with triggers that she never shared but my sister and I get the fall out.  She will cling then push us away in a rage then want to cling again with not consequences for the raging.  So I will answer her email.  Not with the belief that anything will change but for the sake of no one saying I didn't tell her.  Yes, if I tell her in private she will wail loudly that I never told her.  My counselors wanted me to go no contact.  My sister lives there.  I minimize contact with my parents but keep contact with my sister.  I don't understand why I am in this situation.  I often don't know what to do.  My natural tendency is to be kind but any kindness is rejected unless it can be used.  If I show kindness my mother denies to others that I am kind.  I am sad.  It is OK to be sad. 







termed used that may not be familiar with all readers - salvo - 1. a simultaneous or successive discharge of artillery, bombs, etc.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Don’t worry. God’s in Charge.

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article

http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
 
 Don’t worry. God’s in Charge.
 
 
True yet not helpful without a clear understanding of where the person is at in their relationship with God.   Let's break this into the two parts.  

          Don't worry.

Many people that say this believe they are being comforting without realizing the undercurrents that cause havoc wrecking undertow.  First part is telling someone that how they feel is not OK.  Worry perhaps may be a useless emotion for getting things done, however, it exists.  I know from experience that someone else telling me what to feel, my feelings has no value, or any of the variety of interpretations of your feeling is not important.  I learned in a difficult situation, to let go and let God take care of it.  But it is quite different for me to tell me to stop worrying and someone else commanding me to 'don't worry.'  When I worked with computers, I encountered several situations that one of the parties wasn't worried.  I quickly realized that they hadn't grasped the enormity of the problem.  What I am working on is recognizing what I feel concerned about, then create a plan to resolve that issue.  If I worry about a problem then come up with a solution it is called persistence.   If I worry about a problem and don't come up with a solution then I'm wasting my time worrying.  I learned to do two things with worry.  I give myself a time limit.  OK for the next 10 minutes I am going to worry about this problem  At the end of the 10 minutes I give it a rest and work on something else.  The brain is fairly marvelous. Turn it loose on a solution while you are doing something else and you will be amazed what the brain can come up with for a solution.  The second thing is if it isn't my problem to solve is to 'let go and let God' take care of the issue.  The main draw back of the Don't worry command is it minimizes or denies the other person's emotion.  I think a far more helpful attitude would to ask someone if they would like me to worry with them for a time.  Most times they laugh and then I explain that worrying together sometimes we can work out a solution then the worrying becomes a brain storming session.   


          God's in Charge. 


Yes, I believe this.  I also believe that God is in charge of a testing ground not a play ground.   Too often, I hear people exclaim that because hard things are happening in their lives it is God's fault since He is in charge.  I do believe that God's purposes are fulfilled but He allows us to be challenged and tested.  Consider John the Baptist, beloved cousin to Jesus Christ, he was beheaded.  Apostle Paul was imprisoned and shared that he had a 'thorn in his side' that was not removed.  The children of Israel suffered the same plagues as the Egyptians until the last one when the Israelites placed the blood of the lamb over the doors.  Today they still celebrate the Pass Over.  God was in charge when the Israelites reached the shores of the Red Sea.  They passed through on dry land and the Egyptians were buried at sea.  God is in charge comforts me but telling someone else this may not be comforting for them.  They may not believe as I do.  They may be in a different place of their journey than I am.  They may feel that God is failing them or saddest of all is when they start to believe that no miracle means they are not loved.  I listened to prayers of protection and I wasn't protected.  I was told God loves His little children.  So what was wrong with me that I wasn't protected?  I don't know all the answers but I do know that my Heavenly Father loves me.  What happened to me, why I wasn't protected, I can only guess but time and time again, I know that God loves me.  When I pray in Jesus name, I feel comforted.  God's in charge but these words are not always comforting to someone else.   Although, they do bring great comfort to me.