Response to a Friend. Yes, I Have Changed.

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“You have changed!”

People say that to me with an accusatory tone. I am not sure how they expect me to respond.

If I have not changed in a year, in 10 years, I would be sadly disappointed in myself. I work hard on making sure I have changed. I spend time with myself. I put effort into learning. I ask questions. I research. I listen. I pay attention. The call is always to deepen my understanding, to push beyond the comfortable, to not be satisfied with status quo.

I find out over and over again that my understanding was limited, superficial, and even completely wrong. That inspires me to dig. I cannot continue to say and do the things I used to say and do when I know that they no longer serve me because I have found so much more. It will mean that I may not be on the same page with people that I once was.

Of course I have changed. Continue reading

Did I Teach My Children How To Love?

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So many things seemed so important at the time and with the passing of the years, they aren’t and never were. I wish I had taken the energy I expended on pushing my children to comply with being good students so they could fit in and to be able to “compete” in the world, more into the moments.

I am sitting here this morning, drinking my coffee and looking out across the most beautiful landscape that is the backyard of my home. I have a full life time of experiences, some of them would fill you with awe and admiration, some of them would make you weep. I have made colossal mistakes that still pull me to the edge to revisit them years later. Those highs and lows are not my constant companions. This morning I can only remember my youngest son and the way he smelled in my arms when he would stop whatever he was doing and would rush to me, urgent in his need to climb into my lap and to hug me.

He did not want or need anything. He did not hurry away. He ran to be with me and sit there with love being the unspoken bond between us. Continue reading

No-One Loves Me – The Lie That Holds Us Prisoners

No-one Loves Me

I have to share this, in its entirety because I think it illuminates the pain that so many people share. It is helpful for us to self direct healing and to extend understanding and forgiveness to others.

Some people are able to move through life assuming they are always invited. They join in without ever considering whether they are “wanted.” Others cannot do that, they need to be invited. Their lives teach them that they are not included. In the interest of healing all this, it becomes about being aware of other people, of seeing them. I have heard people say, “we are not an exclusive group” everyone is welcome – and they dismiss the angst of the person sitting on the outside of the circle. Continue reading

Parenting Adult Children

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“We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and our youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.” Robert R. McCammon

We are all imperfect human beings, trying to do the best we can with what we have. We make mistakes. Some of those mistakes are easy for others to see, which makes people easy targets for others to shake their heads and call them stupid. Some mistakes are easily spotted by some or even most people. With my own children I often see where things are going to lead long before they hit the mud. Sometimes it is appropriate for me to caution, more often, now that they are adults, it is not. Parenting is a life time responsibility to love and support the human beings you birthed into the world.

It is also a gift. Continue reading

Reminder of What It Takes to Make a Good Relationship

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I loved this article I read today:  Little Things a Keeper Does Without Being Asked, by Christine Stockton on the Blog, Thought Catalog.

I liked this post because it is written for the beginning of relationships when things are still magical and the love hormones are coursing through our veins.  It is true of that time, but it is even more true as a marriage goes on.

I like this because it reminds us that relationships are not about what you get out of them, they are about what you put in.  If both people are focused on “putting in,” then they both are also “getting,” and you have the flow of give and take.  All life is energy.  When we are at peace, when we are healthy, we allow that flow to come to us, through us, and release it.  We receive, and take what we need and we let it go so that it can bless the lives of others and we are open for more.   Continue reading

The Manual For a Perfect Marriage

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I could write a book about how to have a great marriage. I could take full credit for the fact I married my best friend. I could talk about it in some way that convinces others that I know and that I am an expert because, look at my success. I could do that and gather up all the focus on me and get involved in people’s lives and tell them how to do it. What would I care, really? After I get past the point where I have dozens of people in my workshops or thousands attending my speaking engagements and buying my book, I don’t even see the cause and effect anymore. I have my reward for being able to put myself out there and gain “fame.”

The truth is I lucked out. I could just of easily have ended up with a psychopath. I could have ended up with an addict or just a ho hum guy who was as bored with life as I sometimes get and so we sat through the years and bored each other to death … literally.  I say “literally” because I see so many older couples who occupy time and space together, but share nothing.  They endure to the end in that state of emptiness. Continue reading

What A Real Friend Would Do.

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Is that really what a friend is? Is that really what I expect from a friend?

Is a friend someone who supports you no matter what? Sounds like a cult more than any real meaningful exchange of mutual respect between two people. Do we really expect someone else to like and agree with everything we think, say and do, no matter what? How is that even possible?

The world is full of groups that operate on that basis. At the first sign of anyone not going along with the “group,” they are “out.” And people are not usually happy to just to allow them to move on. It is more likely to be a cost similar to trying to get out of a gang or the mob. Sure, you live to tell the tale, but the group exacts its pound of flesh in the process.

People learn to sit down and shut up, to never say what they actually think, because the threat of the loss of the friendship hangs ever heavy over their head.

“If you were a real friend, you would not do (insert anything you like here).”

“If you think that way, you are not a real friend.”

“If you don’t support me then you are not a friend and you are a liar.” Continue reading

A Fly In My Eye

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This morning I was sitting at my computer stewing over a minor problem that is probably not important to anyone but me, but had been weighing on my mind.

I was getting more frustrated. I wanted to spend my time writing but instead I was worrying and my worry was just taking me round and round in circles. I was grumpy. I was stuck.

And then this minuscule little fly thingy showed up and started doing what most flies seem to do with me …head for the eyeball, up the nose, or into the ear. You have no idea the envy I feel for those who seem to be able to confine flies to their faces or arms, in the closed areas where there is no access to your brain. I am sure they want to eat my brains. That is what my brother always told me and I believed him. Don’t tell me he was lying. If your force me to give up this then I have to give up the good things he told me, like once he said I was destined for greatness and I even though he was drunk, I need to believe that he saw something in me. Continue reading

Gratitude for the Spirit of Motherhood on Mother’s Day.

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(The Mother’s Hand (1966) by Antanas Sutkus)

I never had a mother.

I don’t know much about her, and what little I was told has proven to be mostly lies.

I had people who raised me. Who showed up, did their job and went home at the end of the day.

So I have never really celebrated Mother’s Day in the sense of being able to tell my mother I love her, or thank her for anything. I actually do not know what it would be like to have a mother who loved and wanted me, who thought I was wonderful, who was proud of me, or cheered for me, or wanted me to succeed but held my hand when I failed.   I don’t know what it is like to have those arms around me.  I don’t have a circle.  I only have my own limited existence and the effort I made to mother myself.  So I have looked long and deep at other women and their families.

I have always celebrated the spirit of motherhood that I see in women as their true creative force. Women give birth, not just to children, but to life . . . in so many different modalities.

I celebrate in terms of appreciating all those women around me who are mothers. I see their struggles and doubts, their loneliness sometimes and the feelings of being unappreciated. I am particularly drawn to those whose children never make the time to ever say they love them, let alone pay any tribute on the one day a year designated for that activity. The fact they are not recognized by the children they sacrificed for does not make their efforts any less than others.

I am drawn to those who never had children and yet contribute to the world in so many ways, and often are the arms and support to other women as they raise their children. The aunts, and sisters and friends who mean so much to us because they always show up and help love our kids and often become good friends to them as well as us.

I am drawn to those whose children are gone and who never had the chance to finish what was started. I hope their children made time to let their mothers know before it was too late, that they cared.

But most of all I look at the young women who don’t yet know how quickly it is all over and who feel like they are drowning and doing a lousy job. You aren’t. Kids say and do things, sometime horrible things, not because that is who they are or even how they feel, but because you created a safe enough place that they are real people who are learning and growing and they know they can be imperfect without worrying about suffering a loss of your love.

I know what I feel as a mother and how much my children mean to me and the blessing – and the sorrows – they bring to my life.  It is the true definition of love.  And I know I am blessed to have children, to be in their lives, and that what I do or do not do has had, and will have tremendous impact on their lives.  At times it is an overwhelming responsibility.  How often I have longed for my own mother to guide me and encourage me.  I did not have that.

So I am thankful to the women who have mothered me in so many ways, sometimes just their example that inspired me.  And I am grateful for those who shared my journey and therefore blessed my life.

Mothering is THE life force.  We share in it collectively as women, regardless of our situations.

Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

A Marriage

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Who am I to talk about marriage?

I have been blessed with two wonderful marriages, with two men that put other men to shame, with two men who committed 100% of their lives to our life.

My first husband passed away after a hard fought war with a horrific blood disorder.  If I had lived the rest of my life never to marry again, I still would have considered myself blessed.  To find another man of the same quality, I know I am defying the odds.

When marriages struggle do you go to the person who appears to have the perfect marriage and probably has no idea how difficult things can be?  Or, do you go to the one who absolutely knows how difficult marriage is and what you are going through because their own marriage failed?   My answer would be, neither, no-one can truly understand what your marriage is or isn’t about, and nor can they offer advice.  In fact, other people just make the situation worse.  The two people in the marriage have to work it out, whether that means continuing or walking away. Continue reading