Experiencing loss together

My grandfather fell Tuesday and broke his hip. He had surgery on Wednesday, and I was told he did well. I wanted my daughter to finish her swim class, so I drove down today after she got her certificate. I wanted to see him. Father’s Day is Sunday. This man helped raise me. Earlier this year at a family reunion he announced in front of the other children and grandchildren that I was his “favorite.” It is offensive he said this where they had to hear it, but he has dementia. We have to forgive him for the things he says, but how it warmed my heart to hear him say that. To know that I’m someone’s “favorite.” Even someone who is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer’s. I felt like it was true. I felt so loved in that moment. I have to imagine that my sweet grandmother has probably grown weary telling him about his grandchildren…. Reminding him over and over of cherished stories. His home is filled with family photos, but bless his heart, his vision has gotten so bad, he can barely see. My grandmother is so strong, but it must be hard to care for someone in his condition. He should not be allowed to go home after rehab. My family should make arrangements for him to go to a facility. My heart is breaking tonight because I know what a caliber of a man he is and was, and it just does not seem fair for him to have to experience these pains of aging. I don’t feel like he deserves to lose his memory or his eyesight. I don’t feel it’s fair for him to be in that hospital bed recovering from a broken hip and surgery. He has excruciating pain when he moves, so he hasn’t moved or been moved. So now he has a bad bed sore on his bottom. They will be sending a wound care specialist to treat it. It’s almost unbearable to see him in this condition. I love him so much. I want to stay with him and take care of him. My eyes pour tears in sorrow. But when he isn’t affected by pain meds he still has a fun sense of humor. He is a joy to be around, despite the disease, because his comments are hilarious, and he laughs right along with you. I bought him a couple cards. He used to cover the walls of his office with greeting cards he received from family. One card was a “get well soon” with felt, fuzzy chicks on the front wearing sunglasses. The inside said, “I thought some warm fuzzies would help you feel better.” The other card was a moving, singing Hawaiian bobble doll that came alive when you open the card. The front asked him how a Hawaiian vacation sounded for Father’s Day… The inside said, “that sounds about right!”, and it played cheerful music. He opened the card several times to hear the sound and seemed entertained with both cards. I left this evening when he talked about going in the other room to sleep. My aunts and uncle have been taking turns spending the night at the hospital with him. I went up there prepared to stay, should they need me, but his firstborn son had already committed to staying. I’m looking forward to hugging my family tomorrow. I need a hug after seeing him tonight. Going to the hospital today, the same one I was at this time 4 years ago when my mother passed away. And 3 short months later my oldest cousin passed away. The same hospital my mother worked at for most of my childhood, in the town where I was born and raised. So many emotions are heavy upon me tonight. I lost two best friends last week because of secrets and vengeance. And the pain of losing a friendship hits harder when you experience a relative who has been hospitalized, and you can’t talk to those friends about it. Friends who know you inside and out and know exactly how you must be feeling. So instead you write about it in hopes someone out there might read it one day and share the moment with you, so you’re not going through it alone. I called my husband before I even left the hospital. My husband, who has loved me through secrets and shame, and still professes to always love me no matter what. My husband, who wants so desperately to be more than enough for me. He wants to be my lover, my husband, my best friend. But there is that person who knows you, understands you, better than you know yourself, in a way a man can’t ever understand because he’s not a woman, in a way that no human should be that good at understanding another person, and yet you can’t make the relationship work because it became romantic and threatens your marriage. So you try not to be defined by it, but you are stuck in THAT place. So you have to know that as much as your husband possibly can offer support and understanding in this moment, he has tried with his whole heart, because he loves you so much. In realization of that, you have to forget about the comfort you used to feel from having a female soulmate/friend because that relationship cannot exist anymore. You cry for the loss of youth your grandfather has to endure, and you cry for the loss of companionship you are having to endure. At least all is not lost. You still have your marriage and your family, and your grandfather still has his life. These things have not yet been taken from us. But they are inevitably a part of life, and it will only be a matter of time before we lose all things to the end. Letting go gracefully isn’t something I’ve witnessed much in my life, but I feel it’s something I have to learn on my own this time. Having a friend to go through so many of life’s tragedies with you, so many goodbyes, so many milestones, accomplishments, first-time experiences – letting go of that is not something that is easy to do. I’m being gentle and kind to myself through the process. I’m allowing myself to feel the full range of emotions during all of life’s situations, so I can let them go. Once I’ve acknowledged them and felt them, I can release them. I can’t ignore them or deny the difficulty of letting go and saying goodbye. It hurts because it matters to me. Recognizing the significance of these things in my life is caring for myself. I may not always have someone in my life who cares about the things I go through, but I have to be thankful for the ones who are still there. And I have to love myself through all my mistakes, through all the losses I experience and have to see my loved ones go through. I hope that I can be a comfort to others as they experience loss as well.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.

Color Oracle Interpretation 

At the present time your behavior is characterized by your need to improve your situation. When you find problems too burdensome, you in no way hang your head but instead, you undertake quite a bit in order to rid yourself of them as quickly as possible. You set yourself a goal and make way for it ceaselessly and untiringly. Or you throw yourself into an activity which satisfies you and distracts you from your problems.

Interpretation of the Colors You Find Most Pleasing

Of great importance to you now is…

…optimistic self-encouragement.

Again and again, you consciously adopt a positive inner attitude. This helps you to better stand up under the hardships of the present. You create goals, projects or ideals for yourself that give you a boost and the hope that your life will be better and happier. You search for ways and means which allow you to enjoy life without care and to spend more time devoting yourself to the things that bring you joy. In order to forge ahead in good spirits you now need…

You can ask yourself:

…vigorous self-assertion.

You now want to pull out all the stops in order to achieve what you have planned. Your chances are good because if you feel something is important you are able to show initiative, grab the opportunity spontaneously and act with vigor. You can also display energetic efforts in your personal relationships: if you love or admire someone you are prepared to undertake quite a bit in order to win or hold on to his affection. You utilize a major portion of your powers for…

You can ask yourself:

…enrichment through expanding your horizons.

With senses on alert, you seek contacts, knowledge and information which open the door to better opportunities for an interesting and entertaining life. For this reason, you probably spend some of your time in front of the screen. You are prepared to learn anything as long as it can be practically applied and it serves your personal development. Other topics which may be relevant for you now are a change of lifestyle, of scenery or of your occupational situation. Joyful self-development is unthinkable for you without…

…joyful fulfillment of your desires.

It is very important to you to achieve what you are striving for and to experience the joyful fulfillment of your wishes. The thing that actually often compels you into action is your deep yearning for unadulterated, lasting happiness and inner peace. If you seek these things in the realm of material possessions, relationships and experiences, you will suffer disappointment over and over again. You believe you have the “magic formula” for achieving unadulterated happiness, namely…

…alert self-protection.

You carefully scrutinize everything that crosses your path, and you don’t say yes to it until it has passed your acid test. You decidedly and resolutely fend off everything that could hinder your personal development, and you keep your distance from unpleasant people who try to manipulate, define or influence you. The thing you have consciously planned is…

…objective assessment of the situation.

Whatever you perceive – people, things or information – you analyze it, both critically and with a certain amount of skepticism, because you want to be certain whether it is beneficial to you or not. You are not easily misled, and in line with the motto “once bitten, twice shy”, you keep your distance from everything that could damage your wallet, your reputation, your wellbeing or your peace of mind.

Interpretation of the Colors You Find Most Unpleasant

At the moment you feel most anxious due to your…

…internal anxiety.

Tasks not yet accomplished, difficulties or a painful situation keep you constantly on the move and in a state of inner tension. You often study your problems, going round in circles, and have difficulty shutting off this mental merry-go-round. This situation will only change when you screw up the courage to work through your internal emotional problems. You are unclear what to do regarding your…

Your unconscious advises you to:

…oppressive sense of apprehension.

You are concerned about a situation the outcome of which is uncertain. You contemplate various options of what you could do, so that everything turns out the way you think it ought to. In doing so, you cling too rigidly to your own views, and you have too little faith that it might also be good for you if, for once, events evolved differently from what you had imagined. By the way, no problem has ever been solved by worrying. You worriedly ask yourself how things will progress with regard to your…

Your unconscious advises you to:

…distressing relationship problems.

At the moment, you are more aware of your personal needs, worries and problems, and this makes contact with others more difficult. Your relationship difficulties make you all the sadder because, under the current conditions, you need loving attention more than usual. It would be easier for you to get what you need if you were better able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You inwardly sigh over your…

…burdensome situation of suffering.

You believe people should behave correctly, considerately and kindly towards you so that your interactions run pleasantly and without friction. Since this is frequently not the case, you often become indignant over their incorrect behavior and views or their lack of kindness. You easily get the feeling of being someone’s innocent victim and believe you have every right to be outraged. You also suffer quite a bit due to your…

…adverse existential uncertainty.

You are suffering from the fact that you have to do without certain amenities, enjoyments and pleasures because you don’t have enough money to afford them. You have no lack of ideas for what you could do and buy but your uncertain existential situation hinders you in carrying this through. It is also possible you have decided to use your money for more important things. At the moment you are unsure what you should do about your…

…fear of rejection.

You often feel isolated from other people by an invisible wall, and sometimes you get the creeping feeling that even the people you like don’t really love you and possibly even reject you. On the other hand, you enjoy standing out from the crowd with your willfulness, unusual views and egocentric behavior. Your “distinctiveness trip” does win you attention, but not the warm-hearted affection you require.

http://www.astro.com/cgi/atxgen.cgi?btyp=cf

Teamwork and leadership

Working with people. Trying to get people to work together. What do you do when everyone wants to lead and no one wants to follow? What do you do when people are only looking after themselves and their agendas and have no initiative to help someone else? I believe if you help someone else get what they want, you will get what you want. However, you have to set boundaries, of course. You don’t want to enable someone to be dependent on your “help” to live their life, but I believe you can model behavior that can still help that person make better decisions. Many times people learn better by observing and doing than being told what to do. Some people are so bent on leadership they cannot take instruction or suggestions, they have to come to the conclusion on their own about what is best for the whole or even themselves as individuals. I don’t believe in manipulation because I think it leads to bitterness. But I believe in honesty. Express your desire to see teamwork and improved outcomes and believe that hopefully the person you are working with will agree with your vision and join you without feeling like they are giving their power away. Some people, so driven by their ego and their desire to feel in control, often care more about image than they do about what is best for everyone. I believe the greatest leaders are the servants. The ones who humble themselves to help others, not to manipulate, but just out of sheer desire to see good outcomes overall. It is a great feeling to help someone else. If everyone looked for opportunities to serve instead of trying to boss everyone or tell them what they are doing wrong, I think it would create more of a teamwork mentality and a more pleasant work environment. Some people are in positions of authority and they deserve to be followed and respected. However, some people want this for themselves and treat other people poorly, spend more time trying to tell other people what to do, instead of focusing on what they can do themselves. Sometimes people want to change the world, but they don’t realize they have to change themselves first. People seem to respond better when you present the challenges and allow them to come up with ways to solve them instead of telling people specifically how something should be done. Nevertheless, there are different personalities that perform better under direct instruction, but perhaps it is individualized for each person. Obviously, there is much to learn about leadership and working with others. Unfortunately, this can often be complicated by high turnover in a company, in which case, individuals have to keep earning the respect of new coworkers to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding mission and vision. Training seems never ending when retention is a problem. On a positive perspective, human beings thrive on challenges. Without them, we would be bored. Knowing we have a mission and a purpose, including overcoming obstacles, can ignite passion within people to work together to create better outcomes.

Just a personal observation about group dynamics and teamwork.

New Year Perspective

With the closing of this winter break, ending of 2014 and a new beginning in 2015, I have thankfully been able to clarify some personal things in my own life. Recently, I made decisions to purchase things to better accommodate my family. These decisions created an excitement for me about the benefits these new purchases have had for us. It also made me want to do more big things. It felt good making decisions and seeing good results. So good, in fact, for a moment I was ready to conceive another child! However, after much thought, I have decided that stabilizing our financial situation and considering a larger home would take precedence over giving birth right now in my life. Just the thought of having to leave a new baby to go to work everyday broke my heart. It made me want to work two jobs to be able to pay off debt to be job optional for a short period of time while my new addition is still a tiny child.

I have a lot of faith in my unseen God. I feel the Holy Spirit loves me enough to make me aware of important things that need my attention. I felt awakened in the 4-o’clock hour this morning feeling led to look at my student loan information online. To my surprise, my lender had been changed without my knowing. I have automatic payments set up, I never have to really look at anything, but it transferred automatically to this new company. I found that my contact information needed to be updated, and I was also able to update my information for my kids college rewards program. Sadly, this information had not been updated in over 5 years. I have felt a leading in my spirit to better manage a savings plan for my children. I am thankful for the direction of the Holy Spirit in my life, without which I am nothing and I have nothing.

So in light of my great appreciation for these circumstances, I thankfully begin this new year with an attitude of gratitude and praise. I am tempted to feel stress and pressure of the great responsibility I have of raising children, but then I remember how great is the God I serve. He helps me because I am weak. I depend upon God because He is faithful. In little ways, I believe The Lord reveals His everlasting love for me. Pulling out a Bible from under a pile this morning while making a cup of coffee, I noticed a candy cane stuck inside the pages. My eyes read the words on the page in Romans 8:31-39. The passage was entitled “God’s Everlasting Love.” I closed the Bible and went to pick up the spiral journal I had received as a gift this past year, which I still have not written a single sermon note or any other entry for that matter. I considered writing in it this morning about the thoughts in my head, but I decided to blog about them instead. As I set the journal down, I read these familiar words on the cover that I just found on a page marked with a piece of candy from a Bible that had been crammed in a kitchen drawer with other miscellaneous items. “NOTHING IN ALL CREATION WILL EVER BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS REVEALED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD. Romans 8:39” How it is possible that so rarely I read the Bible, or even look at this journal, do I find matching messages in two places this morning? I stood stunned at the coincidence. However, my relationship with The Lord has been filled with many of these types of happy “coincidences.” I feel it is the way God speaks to me and the message itself that is so intriguing and inspiring. God is not dead, He is surely alive. One cannot ignore His supernatural power working in the life of person who has a personal relationship with Him. He gives me abundant life and reminds me of His everlasting love. In the midst of responsibilities and opportunities for multiple life decisions, The Almighty shows His constant presence and perfect character. For those of us who are sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we cannot help but fall to our knees in awe and adoration for the grace and kindness He shows us. It only feels natural to verbally praise our Creator for the big and small ways he demonstrates His love for us.

Happy New Year indeed, as we remember the One who makes all things new.

Analyzing the impulses

What do you do when you run out of personal goals to reach and challenges to conquer? I know some people maintain their favorite hobbies, but I will do something until I feel like I’ve succeeded in some measurable way, and then I lose interest. It’s like the challenge is gone once I’ve accomplished something, so I have to find a new challenge.

I won an award as a kid for my artwork. I received praises in school and college for my writing abilities. I was awarded MVP for my athletic abilities my senior year. I was awarded most professional nurse when graduating from nursing school. I’ve given birth to two beautiful, healthy, talented, smart, kind-hearted daughters. I’ve been married for over a decade. I won the staff member of the week award at work. I received high tips as a waitress and sold the most expensive bottle of wine available. I’ve won the affection of patients, professors, and my elders. I’ve been in leadership. I’ve paid off loans. I’ve done a lot of things in my life. These are just a few. Most recently I wanted to cultivate a best friendship with someone. I’m sitting next to her right now as I write this reflecting on how complete my life is now with her in it.

So now what? Having another child crossed my mind. There are so many things to consider when planning a pregnancy. There is a part of me that just wants to do it out of the sheer challenge. My husband was diagnosed with cancer after we were married only a year. We were told that with the treatments and type of cancer he had, there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to conceive children naturally. Two children later I find myself considering trying for a third. I have two girls, my father has 5 grandchildren, all girls. “Why not try for a boy?” I asked my husband. Of course, he’s on board. However, my best friend of over two years now is strongly against the idea. For my marriage has seemed unstable with my husband’s unreliable fluctuating income over the past few years, his busy schedule trying to grow two businesses, and his absence causing distance between him and his family. However, for a couple weeks now, my husband has landed a secure job with reliable income. He has been home more and our finances appear to look favorable for making a decision like having another baby.

Nevertheless, perhaps babies shouldn’t be conceived on such a whim, with the motivating factor being simple boredom and a desire for a challenge, namely trying to conceive a boy and raise three kids in a small two bedroom house. I have made a lot of impulsive decisions lately. I have felt like taking risks, and dealing with the consequences afterwards. So far, I’ve been very pleased with the decisions I’ve made. I bought a new bedroom set for my kids. I bought a bigger vehicle to accommodate my family and to give my other vehicle to my husband for his use. These things have been for the benefit of those I care about, and I have personally experienced so much joy as a result of being able to provide these things. But how do I evaluate the benefit of having another baby? And how do I approach my best friend’s lack of support? This is the friend with whom I engage in social drinking and who listens to me complain about how some days I feel so tired of life. The robotic routine of work and parenting and homemaking and responsibilities. This is the friend who breaks the monotony of life with me. So obviously getting pregnant would throw a kink in our typical coping practices. But I still have a gnawing eagerness to do something “crazy.” So do my impulses require therapy or action? I’m 33 years old. I am content with my life, but I feel like there’s more for me than this.

I guess I’ll seek the advice of others and consider their take, but at the end of the day, it’s my life. I just hope these impulses will taper off at some point. It creates an anxiety in me for action. I’m so used to accomplishing things, that going any period of time without accomplishing something feels like I’m moving backwards or slowly dying. I like doing great things. I like challenges. I hope life can keep me engaged because I fear my own self-sabotage to create a challenge. I’ve heard it said that human beings need obstacles to survive. Think of all the tragic circumstances people create in their lives just for the drama or the illusion of adventure. Mankind must have a desire to conquer and succeed. The difficult thing is maintaining that success, in my opinion.

Disclosure

The holidays create stress for many people. I find myself exhausted from the activities and socialization. When I have had too much stimulation, I sleep or withdraw on my days off. I don’t want to socialize with anyone. I don’t want to go anywhere. I find myself stimming to relax, if I do have to be around people.

I overthink most things. Lately, I worry about the expectations of other people. Maybe everyone does that around the holidays when visiting loved ones they haven’t seen in awhile. Sometimes I feel like I’m faking it, or pretending to be someone I’m not, to appease the expectations of others. Sometimes it is just easier than being yourself than hearing their disapproving opinion of you. When I’m overstimulated or tired, I find myself giving my opinion more often, while true, it’s not always helpful. I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone, so sometimes I think it is easier to make meetings brief and superficial. I have to remind myself to smile and make small talk because that’s what most people are accustomed to and expect. But after several days of giving people what I suppose they want or expect, I need down time to be myself and stop pretending.

The concept of whether or not to disclose to family and those close to us about having a social disability is a difficult subject. Perhaps it is easier for people to believe you’re someone you’re not instead of learning about a disorder… that the real you is a complicated, over sensitive, complex creature that requires making adjustments in order to accommodate you. But there is a part of me that thinks there would be less misunderstandings, when I fail to maintain the false image they have assigned to me, if they knew the truth. So far, however, people knowing I probably have (unofficially diagnosed) Aspergers has had mixed reactions. Some people know I am trying very hard to give them what they want, but they still cannot help but feel disappointed that I can’t be what they expect me to be. Some people don’t care and ignore me and forget about my deficits, leading to misunderstandings and anger. I can keep reminding them, and I appreciate their understanding and forgiveness. However, I am not sure the rest of the people in my world would be as accommodating. Also, I am not always equipped to understand what the problem is and why the other person is angry or disappointed with me. In this case, it would be ideal if that person understood me more because they might be quicker to forgive and not get upset. I care about people. I want them to get what they want from me. Appreciation, small talk, smiles, gifts, a well-groomed fashionable appearance, flattery, whatever it is… And I can force myself to do those things, sometimes. But I just wonder if I might one day be able to create a world where I don’t have to pretend in order to give people what is expected, and I can just exist and be accepted the way I am.

Where do you draw the line between people pleasing for their comfort and being yourself for your comfort? Will people still understand that you love them when you stop trying to live up to their expectations?

Issues

Heard a sermon Sunday about anger. Positive and negative ways of dealing with it. Perhaps it is also applicable for feelings in general. I have strong feelings. They often cause me to have vivid dreams at night that wake me up from sleep inducing more feelings. (2:30 am right now) I try to suppress them. Everyday, actually. Since my mother passed away, and I have lost other loved ones, I can’t stop feeling. I won’t call them mostly “negative” feelings, but it is a lot of self-pity over the sense of loss and grief I can’t seem to shake. I’m sure a therapist would help me tremendously. I’ve read good things about meditation and obviously praying. But then there is the more convenient, less effective, rather rebellious and self-harming means of cutting feelings. Choosing the poor coping over the more effective positive interventions signals to me some slight depression or rebellion. I’ve tried meds and drinking and exercise and relationships. Sometimes the experiments are simply for the sake of experiencing something different and feeling less bored and more alive. But it bothers me that a person, overtime, resorts to harmful practices in search of numbness or forgetfulness or satisfaction or coping. It’s scary because some people, those even within my own family in the last few years, by blood or marriage, have quickened their own death with the use of drugs, assumed in effort to manage their own feelings.

In a time of so many conveniences and luxuries and resources to help people live better and cope more effectively, why do some choose still to do harmful things to manage day to day? I’m am not excluding myself, but I wonder how much more productive we would be if we could only control the thoughts that induce such strong feelings that make us assume the only solution is to numb them with substances or harmful practices. How is it that people can know what is good and bad for them, but so many choose what is dangerous?

Perhaps once I learn how to stop wanting the things I cannot have, will I be content to make the most of this life without hurting myself. I know I’m not the only one with issues. I’ve met people who literally hate themselves, which causes all sorts of problems in their relationships. I’ve met other people whose selfishness isolates them from the rest of the world while they pursue their own trophies. I’ve met self-righteous people who easily can identify the faults of everyone around them, but their inflated sense of self-worth thinks they are doing everyone a favor by pointing out their flaws, which actually hurts others more than it helps them. Then there are the fake people who pretend to be victims to get sympathy from others only to manipulate them later for their own amusement, gain, or gratification. Often so much of human nature seems to be for the ego – to control or to conquer. Then there are those who love too deeply and feel too much. Those people who become hard if they aren’t careful because they bottle up their feelings, suppress, repress, deny, ignore. How do you have compassion and feel naturally the way one should feel about tragedy and sadness without being consumed by those feelings? Life is going to happen, but it’s how you react to it that makes the difference.

Stupid feelings

I find it so hard not to love certain people and expect something from them on birthdays and such. No matter how hard I try not to expect anything, I can’t repress my hope for some tangible expression of affection. My mother has been deceased now for over 2 years. She told me not to expect anything from anyone, and then I would never be disappointed. I get emotional on my birthday and during the holidays feeling sorry for myself. I find that self-pity makes me angry, but acts of love and compassion make me cry.

My youngest daughter’s teacher called me today in love with my child’s performance and behavior. The teacher told me, “you all have done a wonderful job with her.” I returned the compliment because my daughter loves kindergarten and adores her teacher. I broke down in tears of joy when the conversation ended. I felt so validated and proud. I am not sure how anything could compare to hearing those words as a parent. However, I also felt slightly irritated for the warm emotions I experienced. The only reason I could imagine, is that it made me feel vulnerable and weak, or perhaps sad that circumstances prevent me from sharing this positive report with those I felt would care the most and share my joy.

For multiple reasons, I stay emotional lately. I read an article describing PTSD in terms to why we cry during happy endings in movies. Psychology explains that during the conflict and climax of the movie, we are not able to respond to the situation emotionally because of the stress hormones, but once the danger is over, the emotions are released during the happy ending. In life, we sometimes encounter emotionally traumatic experiences. I’ve researched a lot about coping and grief, and I know everyone responds differently to unexpected situations in life. I try to be aware of whether or not I am repressing emotions because I don’t want to become bitter, hard, or cynical. I consider others’ advice, and I examine the outcome of what happens when other people respond in certain ways, thus helping me choose how best to respond myself. The way I see it, you can learn from the “mistakes” of others, or you can learn from your own. I assumed I would experience less heartache by learning from others. I have gotten this far in life with a lot less trauma than some people I’ve met. Still, it seems tragedy is inevitable for us all at some point in our lives.

I am most passionate these days about relationships. I feel satisfied with what I have achieved academically and professionally, and my greatest desire now is to feel successful in my intimate relationships. I wonder what most people consider when making personal goals for their lives. Whether it is officially communicated or not, everyone is driven by something. Perhaps that is why I find psychology so interesting. It involves how and why people make the decisions they do. For it is those decisions that make our lives.

I can’t make people love me, but I often wonder what attracts us to people we want to like us. I think a great majority of people spend large amounts of time trying to control the actions and opinions of others. We all want to be accepted. I’m sure the concept of self-esteem and confidence has a lot to do with how we feel we are perceived by others, especially intimate partners.

I’ve also given a lot of thought to the different types of satisfying relationships one has in life. I am thankful for my relationship with my children, my life partner, and the Almighty, but I cannot describe to you how completing it feels to have a “soulmate friend.” These have been the greatest gifts God could have given me: a loving husband, amazing children, and a best friend (obviously aside from God’s forgiveness and salvation, of course).

In my opinion, all the tragedies of life are, if nothing else, an exciting opportunity to grow closer to another person by opening your heart and mind to share your feelings with another human being. I know many people who consider beloved pets as relatives and best friends. Many report God as being a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I have always held my God in high esteem. I am eternally grateful for the love and mercy He gives, but with all due respect, there is nothing like the physical hugs and contact and supportive conversation with a good friend. I can choose to believe this, too, is a gift from God. It is only after losing such a blessing does a heartbroken soul label her feelings as “stupid.” But as long as I remember that there is a time and reason for all things, I can still manage to find enough self-love and personal forgiveness to patiently wait until I no longer feel irritated about “stupid feelings.”

Rebel lurking

Loved this post by another blogger:

There is a rebel lurking inside us all. A defiant dreamer that dares to question what we’ve been told. A searcher, a seeker that yearns to know more, to find out for oneself, to do something different and not just blindly accept the staus quo.

Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark. To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself. To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.

Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.

Life Is Color

gif flapper dance women vintage REBELS with Bobs—Flappers’ behavior was considered outlandish at the time and redefined women’s roles.

Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark.  To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself.  To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.

Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.

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Contemplating happy

What makes you happy? A friend told me to think happy thoughts when I feel sad, or I have a bad attitude. That sounds so simple. I have been thinking more about what makes a person happy and how to keep oneself content. I read an article about increasing happiness. Being thankful is one thing. Not comparing yourself to others is another point. I have a hard time thinking of something that makes me feel happy. Maybe I’m actually happier when I’m NOT thinking at all!

This morning I did feel happiness watching my kids wake up with energy and joy. They asked me to make tiny sandwiches. They set up for a tea party on the back porch. They turned on music outside, started dancing and blowing bubbles. My youngest daughter said, “best day ever,” as she put on her cowgirl boots and new coat her aunt bought her.

I woke up earlier this morning after having a dream about her. I felt a sense of panic that I wasn’t spending enough time playing with my girls. I went in their room and adjusted my daughter’s favorite blanket over her tiny body. I kissed her head and hugged them both with a touch of my hand. I know this is a “good age,” based on what many of my older patients have told me. I think of their advice often, “enjoy your kids.” I loved considering their advice and contemplating how each person decided to make a life. These wise men and women had time on their hands to think about the important things that made them happy, and they seemed eager to share these things with younger generations.

I’m still learning about myself and this concept of happiness. Maybe the definition varies among different people, but as I continue contemplating, I plan to continue sharing and teaching my children what I learn.