Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. 
It beats money and power and influence. ~ Henry Chester
It is no more or less than faith in action.

Years of focusing on counseling and changing my life, I sometimes need to refocus on fun stuff.  Enthusiasm keeps a person moving when others quit.  Watching the Olympics is watching enthusiasm at an international level.  Watching the athletes perform feels like plugging into enthusiasm combined with years of training for a spectacle that will be remembered for years.  (I still remember watching Olga Korbut get a perfect 10.) They worked so hard to get this far.  Now is their moment.  The difference between Gold and Silver medals comes down to split second timing.  A electronic finish the only way to tell who crossed the finished line first. Judging that attempts to be fair but challenges those doing the judging to put aside their differences and consider that performance.  I am enjoying watching the Olympics from the opening to the closing. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm Nominated. Woohoo.

Laurel Hawkes nominated me for this award. Thank you.

The rules are:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award. Add the award logo to your blog.
  2. Answer the eleven questions posted for the nominees.
  3. Share eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Write eleven questions for your nominees and then…
  5. Nominate eleven worthy blogs and contact those bloggers so they know about it! (No tag backs.)
The Liebster Blog Award is given bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

11 Random Facts About ME

1. I am a night owl.  I prefer to stay up late and wake up whenever.  Hopefully, after more than 3 hours of sleep.
2. I love photography.  (No surprise here.)
3. I learned how to repair computers when a printer refused to print my final English paper.  (I was over 40.)  Computers are a love-hate relationship; I love them when they work, I hate them when they don't.
4.  I love hiking, anywhere.  Camera in hand, it becomes a Photo Safari.
5.  I am very curious.  Been in trouble more than once for pushing a button to see what happens.
6.  Wish I had become a math teacher.  I love it and enjoy explaining it to others.  I joked with my English teacher that English was my second language and Math was my first.
7.  Love having lunch with a friend.
8.  Mimi's cafe hot chocolate in a bowl with whip cream is my idea of a celebration drink.
9.  My sister is my friend.  (Very blessed here.)
10. I have amazing kids and grandkids.  Happiness is spending time with them, favorite location zoo.
11. I love the Harry Potter Series of books and movies. 

11 question:

1. Who inspires you? Dave Pelzer and other survivors that learned how to thrive. 
2. Where do you want to visit next? Redwood forest, blame this one on the "Gnomemobile." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061715/
3. Who would you like to learn more about? Anyone that has triumphed over adversity. 
4. Ocean or mountains? Both, I love spending time in the early morning listening to the swish swish of the ocean and walking the towering heights of the mountains and the smell of both.
5. What is one thing you like to do for fun? Photography
6. Sun all the time or four seasons? I used to say ALL SUN until I lived in Spokane, Washington and discovered that four seasons are wonderful too.  I do believe that I need a certain amount of sunshine everyday to stay healthy. 
7. Favorite dish?  Decisions, decisions...I suppose saying Food doesn't count.  Chocolate ice cream is near the top of the list.  Peanut-butter and jelly sandwich is number one comfort food.
8. Do you have a recipe for your favorite dish? With a cupboard full of cook books it is probably in their somewhere.  Of course, there are also the many recipes on line.  Never had a desire to make chocolate ice cream when there are so many in my grocer's freezer.  One slice of bread, spread on the peanut-butter, add jam.  Best eaten with glass of chocolate milk and Fritos on the side for crunch. 
9. By the book recipes or off-the-cuff? By-the-book but I am learning to experiment on my own.  My children discovered that quit a few of my By-the-book recipes have been modified over time.
10. What is one thing you collect? Things with wings, angels, butterflies, dragonflies, fairies, dragons, and birds.  Also an impressive collection of photos, over 70,000 all mine.
11. Favorite holiday? Halloween... I have an entire Halloween town and just love giving away the candy and all the fun side.  Ix-Nay on the creepy, scare the bajebers out of you side of Halloween.

My nominees are: Drum roll please - (opting-in is optional)

11 questions for my nominees: 
1.  What country would you like to visit?
2.  If you could spend the afternoon with any one person, who would you choose?
3.  Imagine you are walking on the wild side, describe where that is located?
4.  You get to be on any TV show for one episode, which one would you choose?
5.  The electricity is out, what would you do?
6.  You can take any class that you want what would you study?
7.  Where are you sitting to answer these questions?
8.  You were just given a million dollars what would you do with it?
9.  If life is a game...what game would represent your life?
10. What is your favorite color?
11.  Magically you could go to any music concert during any time...which concert would you attend?

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.  Rabbi Harold Kushner  
When was the last time you thanked your feet?  Nelly (Pam Young's inner child)
Please visit our websites at www.innerkiddies.com, www.thegetoutofdebtbook.org, or www.happinessfile.com

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” Denis Waitley http://www.purposefairy.com/5858/the-healing-power-of-gratitude/ 
Author, Deborah, found reasons to feel grateful to be in a wheel chair. 

Ten years ago, cancer changed my life perspective.  Tried to wrestle my feelings about it; ended up using photography to pour out my fear and other feelings about finding out, surgery, and the constant fear of it coming back.  One of the more surprising projects was that year I was taking a digital photography class.  I wanted to use photographs to make quilt patterns.  Nice fun project after the surgery earlier in the semester.  My professor was known for expecting students to work from their heart.  I explained my project and he told me that I did better work before taking the class and my idea was just fun.  I promptly burst into tears and said it was the only thing in my life that was fun.  (I now understand how this nice considerate professor had students coming out of his meetings crying.)  He pushed...I pushed back.  I thought it over and said, "Fine, I am going to make a gratitude quilt about cancer."  He was taken back as to the turn of events.  He questioned, "You are grateful for cancer?"  I realized that I learned a number of amazing things about myself, felt an out pouring of concern by people around me, and felt a closer relationship with my Savior and Heavenly Father.  I spent the rest of the semester constructing photographic quilt blocks of things I felt grateful for because of cancer. Family, friends, faith, medical doctors, hospitals, drawing class, coworkers, and 9/11.  The week before 9/11/2001 when planes crashed in New York, Pennsylvania,  and Washington DC was when I found out I had cancer.  I was numb for a week.  On that terrible day, I learned there are worse things than cancer.

In celebrating not having to have chemo, I cut my hair and donated it to Locks of love.

Stopped feeling sorry for myself when I felt the tragedy of 9/11.

Hospitals, medication, and trained assistants to my doctor made recovery faster.

Drawing class with an amazing teacher and a friend that brought me the homework assignments. 

My faith in Christ comforted me.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boundary problems

 10 ways to achieve mommy burnout the title leapt out at me from the email I get from their web page Powers of Moms http://powerofmoms.com/


  1. Neglect your body.
  2. Starve your spirit. 
  3. Forget fun.
  4. Keep to yourself.
  5. Practice negative self-talk.
  6. Expect perfection.
  7. Say yes to everything.
  8. Shun all outside help.
  9. Avoid being in the moment.
  10. Miss the big picture entirely.

I crashed and burned out completely after our youngest son was born.  I was so far into burnout I could be up barely 20 minutes a day.  Here is the kicker, in my opinion, these are all boundary violations to myself. 

Neglect your body - boundary violation, skin - I am responsible to what happens to my body.  It is my responsibility to eat, sleep and exercise properly.  It is my responsibility to make doctors appointments and pay attention to what my body needs. 
Starve your spirit - boundary violation, time - I am responsible for taking time to pray, scripture, study, meditate, or simply be in touch with my spiritual needs.
Forget fun - boundary violation, attitude - I am responsible for my attitude.  I can have fun washing dishes by making a game of it.  Weeding a garden can become a time of meditation and inspecting nature up close. I decide my attitude, so I decide if I am having fun.
Keep to yourself - boundary violation, too high, no gates - I am responsible for how high and formidable the boundaries I set around me.  I need to be willing to let safe others in through gates.  Don't use pride as an excuse to hide from risk.
Practice negative self-talk - boundary violation, words and truth - I am responsible for what I say to myself.  I am an adult now; I can rewrite the tapes I tell to myself.  I no longer need to repeat the lies I was told as a child.
Expect perfection - boundary violation, truth - I am responsible to decide how good is good enough.  Unreasonably high expectations to put me down as a child are unfair to continue into adult years.  I also accept that perfectionism is a destructive force that keeps me from finding balance and peace in my life.  Lighten up on the work, ease up on the perfectionism.  Flylady's words on perfectionism and crash and burn.  http://www.flylady.net/d/br/2012/07/17/how-to-stop-the-crash-and-burn/
Say yes to everything - boundary violation, words, truth, emotional distance, time - I am responsible for saying yes to others; however, when I say yes to someone else I am saying no to myself.  It is a lie that I can do everything.  I need to have healthy boundaries that allow me to meet my needs.  Being emotionally close someone can be detrimental if that person is unsafe and willing to take advantage of me.  I am responsible for how much I can get done in a day.  I have the same numbers of hours in the day as the person asking me to take on another task.  Is it a task that is part of my responsibilities?  Only I know the answer to that.
Shun all outside help - boundary violation, too high, no gates, and truth - I am responsible for seeking help when tasks are overwhelming.  I am worthy to receive assistant from others.  It is false pride that dictates that I must do things alone.  It is an illusion that I can control everything.  Allowing others into my life that can build and assist me is a healthy choice. 
Avoid being in the moment - boundary violation, time and truth - I am responsible for the here and now.  It is a lie that what I do now will change the past.  Worrying about the future, that I can not control, robs the present of the energy I need to accomplish today's task of things I can control.  Tomorrows success is built today in the building blocks of now.
Miss the big picture entirely - boundary violation, all of them - I am responsible for looking up from time to time to look around and see how I fit in the world.  It is a lie that I am useless and of no value.  My big picture is painted by me.  If I hand the brush to someone else, it will be a someone else's big picture not mine. 

I did all of the things needed to crash and burn.  I destroyed my health and barely able to help my family.  I was taught self neglect and poor choices.  I need counseling intervention.  I needed my entire childhood foundation torn apart and rebuilt with a healthy belief system.  I am worth the change.  I deserve to paint my own big picture.

My picture may appear messy to others but it is my picture and I can see the beauty in the lines.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Emotional Distance

"The indispensable first step to getting things you want out of life is this: decide what you want."
- Ben Stein

I have come full circle.  June 26 I wrote a post on Emotional Safetyhttp://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2012/06/emotional-safety.html  I explored it for several posts.  I realize now that the reason I do not understand emotional safety because emotional distant was how I lived every day.  If I didn't allow myself to get emotionally close to someone, you never know if they are emotionally safe or not.  My own earliest memory is from a flashback of nearly drowning in a bathtub.  The location of the flashback was where I lived when I was under 5 years old.  Then there were years of physical and sexual abuse to contend with.  I am starting to understand that if you never feel physically safe, emotionally safe is for 'normies' (people that lead normal lives.)  Just a side note: I am learning that everyone has challenges of one form or another not many 'normies'.  Brought this up with NewCounselor tonight.  I complained about not even feeling safe with myself.  A flashback is not an emotionally safe activity.  NewCounselor than challenged me with how often do I feel in control of myself.  I said higher than 90%.  He told me that most people are happy with 80%.  Really...I hadn't thought about the possibility that I had set myself an impossibly high standard again.   Ok if mostly I am a nice person and keep my emotions under control then I can feel safe with myself.  Kind of cool to think about it.  I feel as if I lifted a huge burden off my shoulders.  I know that I will always stay alert to possible triggers but overall I can relax and enjoy living.  I learned through these past few weeks there are quite a few people that I feel safe with.  I am also learning that part of the reason I ended up in the company of unsafe people was because in my teen years, I was told that a guy puts a lot of courage into asking a girl out.  I was cautioned not to hurt their feelings.  If I didn't feel safe with them, that didn't matter.  I taught my kids if you do not feel comfortable being hugged by someone, don't.  At huge family gatherings, my kids did not have to hug relatives that they barely knew.  I didn't do everything right all the time, but I did teach my kids that they decide who they are comfortable with.  That is when it clicked, people that are emotionally safe, I feel comfortable with them.  If I stop feeling comfortable around a person because of something they did or just a feeling then I shouldn't be around them; I listen to me.  I decide who in my life is safe and who is not.  Unsafe people, where possible, I stay away from them.  If I can't do that with physical distance then I can certainly do it with healthy boundaries.  I love boundaries. 

Toss the dice and hope I am lucky with new people in my life.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why the obsession?

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  - Theodore Roosevelt

"Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were."
- Richard Paul Evans

Why the obsession with boundaries? Two books devoted just to boundaries.  Post after post delving into what they are, how they function, what happens when I don't have them, and what happens when I do.  Before counseling I taught my kids boundaries but I really didn't have them myself.  We moved away which set up a geographical boundary but as soon as we moved back I fell apart.  Now I have a fairly good grasp of what a boundary is.  I experienced the back lash of putting boundaries in places where none used to exist.  I studied about and discussed boundaries for almost two years.  When I started counseling, I found out that I functioned as 5 personalities in the same body.  Due to traumatic experiences, I did an extreme form of compartmentalizing.  Severe memories were handled by ruthie the secret keeper.  She set boundaries from the rest of myself to protect me from my own memories.  Three of the characters, ruth, marie, and maria, split everyday living up in compartmentalized units that sorted out and dealt with only certain aspects of living.  The fifth was sammy, he quietly and unobtrusively protected myself from myself.  The jobs were specialized and boundaries were set in my mind that each personality either couldn't or wouldn't cross.  The counseling began and KavinCoach focused on bring down my interior walls and taught me how to put up exterior walls.  He was in the process of teaching me about 'gates' when he moved.  NewCounselor took me further into my exploration of boundaries.  I no longer had inner boundaries after integrating.  I still forget things but it is the normal type of forgetting not the "you're not allowed to know that" type.  Integration made it so I am aware of what is going on in the inside without having to ask one of the other personalities what is going on.  I know.   That feels so good to write.  I know what I did.  I take responsibility for it.  I remember things like alterations to a recipe without having to write it down in the cookbook.  I can protect myself because now I know how to set boundaries in relationships to protect myself from those that could harm me.  I no longer feel like I have to stay friends with somebody just because they said hi to me.  I can choose who I spend my time with.  I can choose what boundaries I have with a person and I can change those boundaries either more open or more closed depending on their behavior.  I am learning more and more everyday about thriving, having friends, and taking responsibility for how I feel.  This is very cool stuff for me. 

I decide which is the right image for me:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Boundary - Geographical Distance

Roger de Bussy-Rabutin Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.

Out of sight, out of mind (or the computer translation Blind, Crazy.)

A few years after getting married, we moved our little family cross country.  I was very happy with the distance.  We spent holidays with just our little family unit.  No extended family intruded for over 12 years.  I liked being able to wake up Christmas morning, open the presents and then play all day.  Christmas eve was sledding down our own hill.  Easter we hunted eggs at the town park.  Every holiday was ours to enjoy.  Then we moved back, close to relatives.  The geographical distance was gone.  I had no skills in saying, "no, we have our own traditions."  I truly enjoyed the geographical distance.  Returning to the extended family included the push and pull of which grandparent do we celebrate with.  Christmas evening with one set of grandparents, Christmas morning with another grandparent and finally home to presents that were already forgotten.  Not my idea of a wonderful holiday.  I tried all sorts of methods of coping but longed for the distance to create the handy excuse of staying with our own family.  Physical distance served the place of boundaries that I didn't have. 

200 years ago people moved all over the globe and never saw family of origins again.  Other families stayed in the same ancestral home handed down from one generation to the next.  Now however, with Internet, Skype, and cell phones our geographical distance is shrinking.  It is possible to move away and have almost the same amount of contact as living next door.  Physical distance can still be used as boundary but a little more effort is needed.  I wish I knew years ago what I know now.  Distance is sometimes the easiest way to say, "I am staying home with my family this holiday."

On the Road Again...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another Time Boundary

To a Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E  http://www.tacmovie.com/

People realize that time passes but sometimes it seems to slip through our fingers without even realizing it is gone.  New Age is reinventing the old adage to 'stop and smell the flower.'  Once time passes you can't call it back.  Sometimes, I worry so much about day to day functioning that taking time to make memories doesn't happen.  Time is relentless, good choices or bad, time carries on.  I am quite fascinated by time, while functioning as multiple personality, I had no comprehension of time.  I would think that a few hours had passed and realize it was several days.  For me, time was not continuous until after I integrated.  The flow of time feels relentless yet sometimes suspended.  I feel it now ebbing around me.  This summer by necessity was very quiet.  I seemed to be doing nothing.  I reminded myself that I was doing the most important thing of all, healing.  I didn't look busy on the outside but inside a lot was going on.  I woke up each morning with another day.  I have only been aware of time passing for the last 3 years.  It is no longer chopped up into pieces each claimed by a different personality.  I am spending time with people that are important to me.  Yesterday, I played silly games with grandkids.  We had fun.  I felt happy.  Time passed and they had to go home.  But for that moment we captured shared delight.  I look forward to playing with them again soon.  I spend part of each day reading and writing blogs.  I feel connected in ways that I never imagined possible 10 years ago.  I feel like I am learning to live, yet so much time has already passed.  Busyness steals time.  The kind of busyness that can be marked off a list but doesn't enrich your life.  Some daily tasks are needed but sometimes I remind myself to stop, play, absorb the moment.  My physical health forced me to slow way down.  It's what comes out in my photographs, taking time to see the world. 




Monday, July 23, 2012

Boundary - time

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.  Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive

At first, I didn't understand how time could be a boundary.   Then I thought about Chopped, a popular Food network show with bizarre ingredients and time limits.  Time becomes a boundary at work when you are allotted a certain amount of time to accomplish a task.   Interestingly enough Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend explained that young adults need a certain amount of time away from their parents to establish their own traditions and boundaries.  Sometimes the time away from a project can give you perspective that you need to move forward with the project.  Time away from a person or a group may realign your boundaries to match your priorities instead of theirs.  Time away, a break, a vacation, short or long, close or away, the boundary of time plays an essential role for anyone needing to become their own best friend.  I encouraged my own children to move out and live on their own before getting married.  I am not 100% sure it was the brightest idea I had but it was something that I didn't do.  Parents are like that.  Sometimes they encourage their kids to do something they wished that they had done themselves.  I have taken breaks from projects.  I have noticed that my perspective changes.  Sometimes I realize it wasn't what I wanted to do in the first place.  The one person I can never take a break from is me.  I am with me all the time.  Before integrating I was able to take breaks from myself.  I don't miss doing that.  I am very happy to be all together, even when I am very stressed.  I do sneak away at family dinners to play with the grand kids but I figure that one is a win-win proposition.  Where do you like to take a break?

I love going to the park.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boundary - words

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Words create the boundaries that we do not see.  If you doubt that words create boundaries, try saying 'No'.  Instant boundary, I will not do this or that.  No is a powerful word and many are afraid to use.  A 'no' could result in a backlash of rage from the person you tell 'no'.  However, it is the door way to owning your behavior.  If you are afraid to say no, there is a good possibility that you are in an unhealthy relationship.  It is also a good idea to be tactful.  I love the quote by Winston Churchill: 'Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.'  Because as a child I was very aware that I was taking my life in my hands if I said no, I struggle as an adult to develop my ability to say no. Poor health kept me from doing many things I wanted to do.  It also taught me to say no.  I remember offering to help a short lady get ready for a job interview by shortening one pair of pants for her.  I figured I had the strength to do that.  She brought me her interview pants plus 10 other pairs of pants.  I fixed the one for her interview and didn't touch the other 10 pair.  She asked me when I was going to get them done.  I reminded her that I was going to do one.  Interesting how she got angry with me and flounced, "Well, I'll just take them to someone else."  I smile and replied that would be a good idea.  I learned slowly to say no to other things.  I still struggle with this concept but the better I feel about myself, the more I value what I do, the easier it is for me to say no to a person.  I discovered that if I say yes to someone else often I am saying no to myself.  Sometimes this is OK.  I am working on making a conscious choice instead of just automatically jumping when someone tells me to jump. 

One of the challenges I had growing up was the vague hand waving or gesture that I was expected to read the other person's mind and respond appropriately.  My NM was very big at waving in a general direction with expectation that I knew what she wanted and to give it to her immediately.  KavinCoach worked at explaining to me that I can not read minds.  However, I was well trained to read body language very well. I work at not jumping at a flick of the wrist.  I learned that many times I jumped when in reality the other person could have done things for themselves.  Raising my own children I often found myself telling them to use their words.  Complete sentences and with please and thank you included were expected.  One of the things KavinCoach did for me was to give me words to use and complete sentences that I could practice.  Words and body language combined clarify what I want.  Expecting others to treat me with respect by them using complete sentence gone along ways towards building my confidence in communicating. 

Words make a huge different in any relationship.  Body language and other nonverbal cues can negate the words I say.  I work hard at making my words and nonverbal cues match.  I realize now that much of my confusion growing up was that the words didn't match the body language.  My mother would ask me, "Did I tell you today I loved you?"  She wouldn't look at me when she said this and would continue with what ever she was doing.  This would come from the same person that wouldn't bother to say hello to me.  Or she would say "How are you?" then walk into another room to do something else.  Words and behavior weren't matching.  No small wonder I felt communication didn't make sense.

The words I am currently learning to say involve sharing what I feel.  The suggested format is "I feel _________________ when you do _________________."  I am trying to identify and share with words how I feel about different situations.  I also learn that this is easier to do with someone safe, like my sister, rather than someone unsafe, like my mother.  Owning how I feel is essential to respecting myself.  Overcoming years of conditioning to feel nothing is a huge challenge and learning to use my words is a vital step to communicating with people around me.

I found this picture on the internet.  I am not sure where it originated.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Boundary - Skin

Isaac Asimov
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

The most extreme boundary violation to skin is sexual abuse.  I wrote a post a while back that covers this topic.  http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2012/01/sexual-abuse.html However, there are other boundary violations to skin.  Hitting, pinching, burning, are all examples of physical abuse that violates a persons right to the safety of their own skin.  Physical abuse is clearly identified.  There is another type of violation of skin boundary that is more subtle.  No bruises or marks are left.  It is that attitude of some people that feel they can touch you any time they wish.  Walk past them and they brush against you.  They walk up behind you and touch your back, shoulders, or hair without permission.  People that are close emotional do enjoy touching each other.  But this isn't between people that enjoy a close relationship.  Sometimes it is a sibling or a parent that does not respect your need for space.  Maybe a coworker or boss that feels it their right to touch you when ever they feel a need to get your attention.  I had an experience where a person that knew me well would grab my arm while talking to me.  I barely heard what they said because my whole focus was on the desire to get away from them.  Teasing or name calling such as, 'ice princess' or 'touch me not' used to ridicule a greater need for physical space.  Abuse survivors often have a much greater need for space.  I appreciate people that approach me from the front, ask permission to hug me, and respect me if I back away or hold out my hand for a hand shake instead.  My skin is my boundary.  I like the description in Boundaries.  "The skin boundary keeps the good in and the bad out.  It protects your blood and bones, holding them on the inside and all together.  It also keeps the germs outside, protecting you from infection."  From this statement I understand how basic a right it is for me to decide who can touch me and who can not.  I make that decision.  Establishing this boundary after someone already feels it is their right to touch you may take planning and possibly consultation with a counselor.  When I chose to establish a new physical boundary with a person that made me feel uncomfortable, I talked to KavinCoach and he helped me craft a letter that clearly outlined my expectations.  I am getting better at protecting my own skin.  It is nice to know this is my body and I can decide who comes in contact with me. 

I decide how much protection I need.

Friday, July 20, 2012

One person's list of truths


Thanks to my friend for posting this on Facebook. 

Boundary - Truth

John Wayne
Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.

 I am continuing to read the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.  The authors are Christian and use Bible scriptures to out line how Heavenly Father also encourages boundaries.  Interesting perspective after the last book on Boundaries that didn't include God until the last chapter. 

Truth decided is a boundary in itself.  Once you decide what you believe to be the truth, you have set a boundary.  In the book, the authors equated truth with integrity.  If you have integrity, you don't cheat on an exam.  My growing up years were fluid as to what truth was.  The truth was whatever my mother said it was at that moment.  To test our theory, my sister actually had mother contradicting herself within 5 minutes of each statement.  If we ask about a past event, mother would deny it happening.  If we called her on bad behavior, again she would lie.  Sometimes she lied when she didn't need to.  I was puzzled for quite a while as to how she could lie so convincingly.  I came to conclusion that she believed her own lies.  I kept stuff for years to prove that an event occurred.  Opinion was often substituted for truth.  KavinCoach took time to go through the many dictates I learned from my mother and sorted out which were fact and which were opinion.  Opinion is not truth.   I developed my own view of truth and wrote an essay to solidify my own belief system.  

This is part of an essay that I wrote on this subject:
I do like the book’s emphasis that when we define our truth a lot of other things are decided.  If you kick against truth, it is a bit like kicking a cactus, you get hurt.  The first truth that every child must learn is that gravity works.  The hardest thing I had to do was to step back and allow my children to learn this vital truth.  Learned young, it will bless them their whole lives.  I believe that sometimes Heavenly Father steps back to let us learn.  We get hurt.  Heavenly Father knows that there is a path to healing in His Son Jesus. 

Each person has a foundation that they consider truth.  Those truths influence decisions and actions throughout your life.  Foundation principles are difficult to change.  Determination and accepting new truths is possible with a lot of work.  When I would try to change my mother's mind about some opinion, she would chirp back, "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."  Used to really irritate me but there is a certain amount of truth in this saying. 

PS I am not writing this with an effort to debate religious beliefs.  Simply stating that  a person will set up boundaries that aline with the principles of their belief system. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where were my boundaries?

Growing up, I had no boundaries taught to me.  I remember the first time I walked into a friends house without knocking.  Her mother was angry with me.  I just felt confused.  They knew I was coming why shouldn't I walk into the house when I got there.  I had no rights.  Of course I should share my room with my younger brother and sister when I was 13 so all my older brothers could have there own rooms.  My body was not my own.  I was sexually molested repeatedly over many years.   I could not protect my belongings.  I was not allowed to put my paper dolls out of reach of my little sister.  When she tore them up, I was punished for being angry.  I was not allowed to own anything.  Anything that I thought was mine could be given to someone else at any moment.  Every year, I had to throw away half my belongings to make room for new toys.  I wasn't given a choice between the old things I loved and if I would even like the new thing I was given.   I had to share a bed with my sister.  My brothers could each have a separate bed.  I could not lock the bathroom when I bathed.  My mother would walk in on me at any time she wished.  If I tried to say no, I was run over.  If I complained, I was punished.  I was an extension of my mother.  If she was sick, it was my fault.  If she was unhappy, it was my fault.  I caused her to be angry.  I was the problem.  My counselor was floored that I taught boundaries to my children when I didn't have a clue about them myself.  I treated my children the opposite of what my mother did, in the process, with the help of my husband, we taught our children boundaries.

In the book Boundaries http://store.cloudtownsend.com/boundaries-softcover-book.html there is a section that describes each type of boundary that people have and need.  (The book gives examples of boundaries: skin, words, truth, geographical distance, time and emotional distance.) I wrote papers on how each of those boundaries were totally disregarded in my childhood.  It is no small wonder that I struggled in my job, in my marriage, in any group, in my life.  I discovered through counseling that I actually did have boundaries.  I didn't recognize them.  I didn't know how to defend them.  I was afraid of the consequences of strengthening my boundaries.  Now, I am building the infrastructure that I should have built as a teenager.  That is what the teenage years is all about, testing and forging boundaries.  I am finally growing up.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Building Boundaries

Wonderful posts at Roots 2 blossom

She describes her healthy choices of building boundaries with her mother for a happier emotional distance.

I am noticing that complaining is part of what one does when building or rebuilding boundaries.  The complaint is the proverbial line in the sand.  Sometimes it is not until I do complain that I recognize where the boundaries exist.  I realize that I am still fairly new at this building boundaries business.  I also notice that I struggle with my lines from time to time.  Oddly enough, I was better at teaching my children what to do than doing it myself.  I appreciated reading Roots 2 blossom's post on a boundary she is setting.  I try to keep in mind that each relationship has its own level of boundaries.  New counselor described it like living out in the country.  There are some folk that I do not allow near my property.  Those individuals that have potential of doing damage and I am aware of their danger.  Others I open my first gate and allow them on my land.  These may be people you meet at the grocery store or on the street.  Then there is a second gate that lets people into my yard around my house.  These may be coworkers, people at church or individuals in shared groups.  Then there is another group of people I let in the house.  Some family members and close friends, however only my husband do I allow in my bedroom.  Each level of boundaries is controlled by me.  I decide how much I let people in.  I started doing this and didn't believe how much control I have over any relationship.  I am starting to learn I change myself, I change the relationship; since the relationships is a product of the two people involved.  If one person changes then the relationship changes.  (I love turning things into math equations since that makes more sense to me.)  I also noticed that I developed a close relationship with someone and they hurt me, I am responsible for reducing my exposure.  I move them out the door, through the gate or off my property depending on the level of danger to me.  I am a work in progress on this one. 

I control the gates.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Drawback to No Complaining

When I first read the No complaining Challenge, I thought what a cool idea but my inner red flags shot sky high.  Red flags saying, "Not always a good idea."  Integration did not mend the lag between something seems ok and my mind processing why it isn't.   On the surface, no complaining or whining makes sense.   However, the red flag came from the story I wrote a couple of days ago.  http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2012/07/consequences.html The professor that insisted I read a short story about lap dancing and tried bullying me into reading by saying I was the only one complaining.  She made my objection to the content trivial and my 'complaint' unreasonable since no one else complained. 

From the Free dictionary there is this definition.
intr.v. com·plained, com·plain·ing, com·plains
1. To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
2. To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.
This is the second entry
complain [kəmˈpleɪn]vb (intr)
1. to express resentment, displeasure, etc., esp habitually; grumble
2. (foll by of) to state the presence of pain, illness, etc., esp in the hope of sympathy she complained of a headache
I believe that the second entry that is intended for the ban - habitual grumbling.  Expressing feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment is essential in stopping being hurt by others.  As a child, I would complain about any food cooked with bell peppers.  If I complained, I was told, "He who complains has too much."  For a week or two I would be placed on pioneer food, bread and water.  I learned not to complain about the food or my stomach hurting.  I know that my parents were aware of how much my stomach was hurting because they would give me my grandmothers prescription stomach medicine.  I learned to suffer in silence.  I continued to suffer in silence.  When I married I did not cook with any bell pepper in my food.  About 10 years ago my stomach problems landed me in the hospital more than once.  I finally had a procedure done to alleviate some of the problems swallowing.  I learned that when the doctor rushes you straight to the hospital and you fly through the ER without slowing down.  This is not a good thing.  Tests showed that the inner lining of my stomach was completely gone and only the outer stomach wall held me together.  This is extremely serious.  Due to some confusion it took several days to realize that the pain I experienced since I was a child coincided with where the damage was done.  The doctor was totally baffled that I hadn't been complaining for years about the pain.  I agreed that it did hurt but I was taught not to complain.  I took medication for quite a while to heal the damage.  After a year,  I told the doctor that I had no idea how good I could feel.  Once my stomach was healed, it felt wonderful.  Other situations in my life occurred that also taught me that sometimes I do need to state when I feel pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.   
Another occasion happened when I worked at an university art department.  A male student came to my office dressed in a robe and asked me to take nude pictures of him.  One, I was an employee.  Two, no way did I want to shoot pictures of him dressed or nude.  I made it very clear to him that not only was I not interested but that he had offended me.  He then accused me of not being a "real" photographer.  I let him know that had nothing to do with my refusal.  I wasn't going to do it.  I then took it to the next step and made a formal complaint to student services.  Someone asked me if I was making too big a deal of the situation.  I wasn't really all that angry and why was I pushing this?  My answer was simple.  He is going to do this again.  When he does, I want it on record that he has done it already which sets up a pattern of behavior.  Sure enough with in 6 months he had done this with two other female students and the male student was banned from taking any more classes at the school.  My formal complaint of my experience set in motion the documentation that stopped a sexual predator.  Once he was blocked from attending, more stories came out that were unreported.  A blanket "NO Complaining" is a bullies dream environment.  Any objection of inappropriate or cruel behavior is countered with "NO Complaining."  I decided that KavinCoach took a lot of effort to teach me how to complain about how I was treated.   
Now I do believe that it is fairly useless to complain about something and then choose to do nothing about it.  Have you ever heard someone complain about a particular store and then continue to shop there.  Or maybe complain about an unreliable friend and still try to continue to rely on them.  Whining about not liking something but continuing to live the same way, doing the same things, that get them what they don't want.  Yup, that is something to consider.  If I have a complaint, am I willing to do something about it?
A complaint can act like a shield. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

No Complaining Challenge

Interesting Challenge posted over at THIS IS ME, DAMN IT!


If you have a facebook account you can log on from this link and join the challenge.  When I read the rules I realized I complain more that I thought I did.  I am not sure I could go one day.  Maybe I need to do a bit of summer clearance in my head and boot out some of the things that I don't want in my life.  I am not sure I will take on the challenge.  Would be easier now since I don't go back to work for two weeks.  Any thoughts on this?

Reading the book Law of the Garbage Truck brought down my criticism and complaining.  I wonder what an entire 10 days would do?

Death to complaints.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


13 Things You Should Do To Live Life Without Regrets


You have the power to unleash a choice that will change your life for the better. You were born with that power. Once you make this choice, let the light of the universe that shaped the oceans, rivers and mountains propel you forward. It may not happen quickly. It can take a lot of hard work. Your resolve and faith will be tested often. Through it all, keep on going, keep smiling, keep moving forward on this journey that was meant for you alone. The moment you make this choice you change the future for the better.
 Elephant training  http://www.elephant.se/elephant_training_history.php?open=Elephant%20training

My deepest regrets occurred when I felt powerless.  The difficult thing about abuse is the first thing the abuser does is make you feel powerless.  This is easy with a child when a child is so small and the adults are so big.  Lessons learned as a child that they are powerless and the ones that love you hurt you, it is difficult to overcome that training.  I sometimes felt like I had a target painted on me that said hurt me.  After counseling, I learned that I did.  People that believe they are powerless act that way.  People that want people to overpower look for those that feel powerless.  The feeling of being powerless can also develop when you are older.  I have a link to how an elephant is trained.  Elephants I think anyone will agree are large powerful animals.  Yet, they can be held by the tiniest of ropes once the elephant is convinced that it is powerless.  I was sick to my stomach when KavinCoach explained that this process is actually called 'grooming' when a pedophile first befriends then convinces a child that they are powerless.  Most people will draw away from a person that immediately shows their worse side.  Like cooking a frog, they start cool and slowly escalate abusive behaviors.  This is why teaching children how to set and protect boundaries is so important.  Unfortunately, once a person believes they are powerless reteaching that their power is theirs to keep and can only be given away takes time.  Everyday is a new day.  Everyday is another opportunity to reclaim your power.  Start with knowing your basic rights (http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2012/06/powerful-list.html), make the decision to take back your rights, set appropriate boundaries, defend your boundaries, and learn to live.  I needed professional counselors to teach me how to work through the stages.  I remind myself that I am a work in progress and God isn't finished with me yet. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Have to" vs Choice

A strong woman believes that she's strong enough to face her journey but a woman of strength has faith that it is in this journey that she will become strong! :)
If you have facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-is-the-Key-Love-Never-Fails/217414258344046

 I grew up with a lot of 'have to's.  I have to be up at a certain time...I have to have my chores done before leaving for school....I have clean the bathrooms just so....I have to........
You get the picture.  Obedience was drilled into me like the only commandment.  Stories of a little boy loosing his head because he backed away from his father's command to come away from the lions cage.  Yes, death threats for obedience.  I had to do a lot of things in my childhood or someone was going to die, most probably me.   After awhile, the snap to obedience reaction just keeps on happening.  I took the mind set into my marriage.  Made the mistake of telling KavinCoach "I have to..."  His quick response, "Was somebody holding a gun to your head?"  I looked at him confused.  I had done the "I have to..." for so long that in my own mind somebody held a gun to my head once upon a time but I hadn't figured out they had walked away.  KavinCoach worked at trying to get me to see that I choose to obey.  I choose to follow someone's request.  I choose every action that I make.  Layers upon layers upon layers of conditioning do not go away with one discussion.  NewCounselor caught me saying the same thing..."I have to..."  He pulled me up short and reminded me yet again of the change of wording.  I was healthy enough by this time that when he explained why it was important to know that I was choosing a course of action was it put my personal power in my hands.  When I said that "I have to _______" fill in the blank, I am turning my personal power over to someone else.  In my job, I choose to show up everyday by 7:30 AM to keep my job.   I changed my wording from "I have to get up" became "I choose to get up and be on time to work."  Took practice.  Lots of practice.  Now if I catch myself saying "I have to...." I look around and check and sure enough there is no lion cage nor anyone holding a gun to my head.  I then take the time to figure out why I am choosing to do whatever I am doing.  KavinCoach and NewCounselor were right.  I give my personal power away every time I say, "I have to...."  To reclaim my power, I rephrase and commit to what I am doing.  I own my actions.  I am the one with the power. 

Tenaciously living on a rock.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.
- Rita Mae Brown

Anciently there was a custom in some cultures that royalty could not be punished for wrong doing.  A prince or princess would have a whipping dog or slave that would be whipped for them.  There would be no personal consequence for their action.  Today, there seems to be an out cry by people wanting to have what they want without paying any personal consequence.  They want to age without looking aged.  They want to eat whatever they want without gaining weight or getting sick.  They want to be strong without exercising.  They want to drive recklessly without having an accident.  They want to speak rudely and still have friends.  They want to behave however they want and everyone else needs to just accept them the way they are.  They want to take without paying the cost.  They scream that they are free to choose what they want then scream just as loud when they don't like the consequences.  I am very big on choice.  I am equally big on taking responsibility for those choices.  How did I get to this feeling?

Growing up as a kid I remember getting many a spanking because my mom was pissed off at my dad.  At Thanksgiving, I remember enduring rages from my mother because she wanted everything to be perfect for this yearly gorging on food of every kind and description.  Numerous occasions when I was screamed at for something my brothers did because they took off and I was left with being the instrument of releasing her frustration.  It was expected of me.  I was a bad daughter if I objected.  I was told that was just the way she was, I needed to adjust.  The expectation was it was my job to take my mother's abuse.  After I was in counseling, I finally rebelled.  I started with not attending Thanksgiving dinner.  I live less than a mile from my parent's house so I didn't have the excuse of not being in the area.  I just refused to go.  I called my sister, picked her up without going in the house, and then we went to my daughter's house for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a wonderful day.  Such a relief not to be screamed at for some small infraction because my mother was so uptight about a perfect dinner.  Wow, did I hear about this from other family members.  (Except, my sister who thought this was a brilliant plan.)  I was told how mean I was for not even coming in to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I was in the dog house.  Well, it was a happy Thanksgiving for me and I took responsibility for my actions and I didn't complain when I received criticism for my decision.  There I had it, the first step of choosing how I wanted to live my life.  I discovered that 'have to' really isn't the command I thought it was.  I really can choose.  I will also take the consequence of that choice.

Another example was in my last semester of college I took an online class on personal writing.  The teacher would assign us reading assignments then we would comment on a message board followed by a writing assignment on the same theme, humor, drama, etc.  One of the stories required was about a woman's experience getting a lap dance in a strip bar.  I figured that if a man had given this assignment the entire class would be screaming sexual harassment.  Since it was a woman teacher everyone was expected to comply.  I emailed her and asked for a different reading.  She tried bullying me into reading by saying I was the only one objecting.  I stood my ground.  The emails became more and more intense until I told her that it was sexual abuse to force me to read this.  She nearly came unhinged.  I then sent her the dictionary definition of what sexual abuse was.  She then threatened to throw me out of class.  I would need this last credit to graduate, without it I would need to spend another semester going to school.   I CC'd KavinCoach on the emails.  He talked to me at my next session and persuaded me to step back and do what I needed to do to graduate.  I still refused to read the short story.  Finally, the teacher agreed to a different reading and I could no longer comment on the board with everyone else.  She isolated me to an independent study.  I thought fine.  She wants to play rough I am OK with this consequence.  I later read the board comments about the story I refused to read.  Several students complained that it was not worth reading or just too crude.  I suspect the teacher was trying to prove how broad her horizons were by expecting students to read stories that were as objectionable as possible.  She discovered one student that would not comply.  I was floored when I got an A in the class.  I was thrilled to graduate.  I have no respect for this woman teacher all though she wrote and told me how she had been sexually abused.  I respected her even less because she did not learn compassion for others from her experience.  I didn't take the incident to school authorities because the school had a reputation for supporting liberal ideas and wanting to have their professors set the standard for the world.  I knew any complaint by me would result in more negative abuse heaped on me with no consequence for the teacher.  I did fill out the survey with a brief description of being treated disrespectfully.  As far as I know the teacher is still teaching.  She may or may not be using the same story.  Doesn't matter.  I learned that I could stand up for what I felt was best for myself and the world would not end.   I learning to embrace the power of choice.  I am learning that there are consequences for every choice I make.  Some of my consequences I may not like but they are my consequences because I made the choice.

Some choices look like this.  Which would you want to grab?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nature, nurture, choice......

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"
- J. K. Rowling

Nature, nurture, choice......

I read the debates over and over again.  Each time I am pulled toward choice for very concrete reasons.

I experienced nature myself when my thyroid quit.  I was tired, irritable, depressed, and basically feeling like I was 'going to hell in a hand basket.'  Landed in the hospital.  The nurse asked me, "Did you know your thyroid had quit?"
"No - Why should I?"
"Well the symptoms are tiredness and depression."
"This would be different in my life how?"
Nature dictated that a part of my body quit that supports how I feel.  Medication brought back sunny days and feeling rested.

I was not nurtured as a child.  In fact, just the opposite.  I experienced things that put me in the realm of severe child abuse cases.  If I was living today as that child, I would be taken out of my home.  This difference was brought home to me years ago when I was standing in the lobby of a high school.  One of my kids was small and bored with the presentation.  The other woman also walking the hall with her toddler gushed, "Don't you wish you were in high school again?  Away from all the worries and responsibilities?"
"No - I barely survived it the first time.  No way would I do that again."
It was very obvious to me that my high school experience was vastly different from hers.

That leaves me with choice.  My experiences and body have had a huge influence on my choices.  In my 30's, I was severely depressed and my body collapsed.  I could barely be up for 20 minutes a day.  An acquaintance challenged me that I just had to put my mind to it to overcome the difficulties I was facing.  Mind over matter.  So I tried it out.  I decided I would put the dishes away.  I finished about half the dishes and slid down the cupboards to land on the floor where I stayed for a long time unable to move.  When my kids came home, the oldest ordered me to go back to bed.  I crawled back to bed.  I learned, "If you don't mind it, it doesn't matter."  I could choose to beat myself over my body not functioning or I could choose to do what I could whenever I could.  This is when I chose to live 5 minutes at a time.  Amazing what could be accomplished in these tiny increments.

I also chose to treat others differently than I was treated.  The first book I read by choice was the New Testament of the Bible when I was in elementary school.  The books I still remember are all books about choosing to live differently than how I was taught.  Counseling accelerated my study.  Counseling was a choice, a big one.  It altered my life forever.  I can not go back to not knowing the things that I learned.  I don't want to.  Nothing is the same for me.  Not how I view my childhood, not how I view my family of origin, not how I view myself.  I chose to change everything from the inside out.  I believe in the power of choice.

I remember early in my counseling I made the mistake of saying I 'had' to do something.  KavinCoach asked, "Was somebody holding a gun to your head?"  At first, I thought he was making fun of me.  He pushed harder to get me to see that time and again I choose to turn my freedom and power over to someone else.  I was taught to do this as a child.  I didn't learn to separate and take control of my life until I was in counseling.  I didn't live the life of an average teenager.  I didn't learn that I had the power to make choices for myself about EVERYTHING.  Every morning, I have a second chance to decide how I choose to live my life.  I have habits that are difficult to overcome.  However, I have the power to choose.  I am not giving that power over to nature or nurture.  My body may not be as strong as I would like it to be but I can do what I can to live healthy.  I can not make my thyroid work again but I can take the medication I need to make up for it.  I have the power to choose.

Choose to grow wherever I am

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'Perception' the TV series

Pam Young from "Make It Fun - The secret to being organized." http://www.makeitfunanditwillgetdone.com/ Daily Surprise! shared:
I can choose...to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me. ~ Anonymous

Perception (TNT)
When it's on: Mondays starting July 9
Who's in it: Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook, Jamie Bamber, and LeVar Burton!
What it's about: A smart neuroscientist works with the FBI to solve tough cases! But he's also weird and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, which drowns his career and personal relationships with a total bummer shower. One day, television will write a procedural about a well-adjusted person of average intelligence who solves cases by following the rules. This is not one of those days. 
McCormack portrays Dr Geoffrey Pierce, "an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases. With an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the mind, this quirky, crime-solving professor pulls lessons from an odd and imaginative view of the world."

Hollywood likes to be a mover and shaker of ideas.  Sometimes it really bothers me when they start portraying mental illness. 'Perception' is a new TV series that the main character is a schizophrenic professor that helps a former student solve crimes.  I watched the pilot last night.  There were several things that they portrayed that functioned like red flags to me.  One of the minor characters that is mentally ill can no longer understand language so picks up quickly on lies.  I guess the message was that no matter how mentally ill you are you can be used for something.  Defining human beings by their illness is always a slippery slope.  Another concept is the theory that his delusions are just his subconscious trying to help him solve the problem.   Almost portraying that all delusions are just the mind trying to help us.  Unfortunately, some delusions and our own mind is sometimes trying to harm us. In the class the professor teaches, he portrays the idea that there really is no such thing as reality.  Kind of a twisted 'what ever you perceive is real or not.'  But then the show illustrates his dependency on a young student to tell him if the person he is talking to is real or not.  This part reminded me strongly of the movie "A Beautiful Mind."   They also have the character off his medication.  The series down plays how dangerous such a choice can be.  Not using medication for serious illnesses can have a difficult backlash.  Yes, I believe this country is over medicated.  I had an up close and personal experience of a grandmother who was a legal drug addict.  However, just quitting taking medication used to help balance the brain chemicals can cause extremely negative back lash.  There are pros and cons to this but the over all feeling is that people view mental illness as a form of entertainment.  When some people found out I had multiple personality they seemed to expect me to 'say something in multiple.' Like I was a performing dog that could do cute tricks.  On one hand, I appreciate awareness being raised that mental illness does not make me less of a person.  But I also hate the feeling of people thinking that my struggle with mental illness is a parlor trick for their amusement.  I think I will continue to watch the show for a while because I am kind of curious where the director will take the concept. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hang on to Happiness

This mornings email had a wonderful quote from Pam Young http://www.makeitfunanditwillgetdone.com/

Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.  

Then mulderfan directed me to an awesome blog by Scatha

To me, this is how blogging community works.  One person is struggling with a problem then things start popping up that help create a solution.  That's how a solution comes for me.  I first have to recognize I have a problem.  (Yes, there were many years when I was a multiple that I didn't know there was a problem.)  Next, I start looking around at what other people have done about a similar problem.  Because it works for me, I read anything I can get my hands on.  (Some of my medical problems I found out that I can go to the hospital library and use their books as long as I don't check them out.  I would have a medical dictionary to look up words as I read medical journal articles written for doctors.)  Then I pray about it and this is where the amazing stuff happens.  Something comes in my email that I didn't expect.  Someone else that I read regularly posts something that puts in another piece of the puzzle.  While I am sleeping, thoughts connect together that I have not previously put in the same book let alone the same page.  I don't get the kind of miracles that everything is instantly shown to me.  I work for it a bit at a time with pieces falling together that I hadn't expected or rearranged.  Like having a puzzle piece and staring at it not knowing how it fits and someone comes along and turns the puzzle piece over wa-la it now fits.  Sometimes I just need a different puzzle piece.  There are also times when I am going over the same territory.  I remind myself what Zig Zigler said about motivation, “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” Thank you Lord and thank you to every angel that posts their story.  (I know that some people posting don't feel like an angel but that is how you seem to me when I am needing help.  To me, angels are helpers of the very best kind.)  I am feeling much better this morning.  Thank you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meet Holley

When You're in the Middle of a Struggles
We talk about our struggles.
We're friends, fellow travelers on this journey. She keeps repeating a phrase, "I'm the girl who...."
It's the phrase I've heard from the lips of hundreds of women. From my own too.
We face a challenge and redefine ourselves by it.
Here are some I've said:
I'm the girl who has social anxiety.
I'm the girl who has depression.
I'm the girl who can't have children.

Those sentences trap us, limit us, make us believe we are our worst moments.
I clear my throat and whisper quietly into the phone what has set me free...
"That's not who you are, friend, it's where you are right now."
She sighs with relief and says the words that are like candy for my ears, "You need to write about this on your blog." So here we are. Because I need to hear this truth more than once...and maybe you do too.
Your struggle is not your identity.
It's your location at the moment.
If there were spiritual GPS, we could locate your spot in the desert. Imagine you did so with me and I said, "This place is my identity forever." You'd shake your head and say, "You're on your way to the Promised Land! This is just a temporary stop!"
Then you'd remind me...
I'm the girl who is God's daughter.
I'm the girl with strengths placed within me for a purpose.
I'm the girl who's unconditionally loved by Someone who can get me through anything.
Where we are in life changes.
Who we are stays the same wherever we may go.
Where are you today, friend?
And who are you, really?
Words of encouragement by Holley Gerth. For more hope and encouragement, visit her blog Heart to Heart with Holley. And to receive Free Devotionals from Holley, Click Here to subscribe by e-mail.

Daysprings sends me lovely emails this one of them.  
Reminder: I am not my past.  I am not my diagnosis.  I am not what I feel.  I am not me at my worse.