Have A Difficult Life?


A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life.  It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster.  The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life.  If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we could not produce the pearl.”     ~ Stephan Hoeller

Praise Shocker


Having just spent a few days at Mom’s house, it is often a treacherous path to navigate not knowing what sudden mood shift (in her) may occur and leave me dangling perilously off the side of a narrow footpath I travel when in her presence, ready to plummet to my own demise.

There were surprisingly no dangerous elements that appeared and the visit was pleasant.  I even experienced an extremely rare phenomenon; praise.

With a bit of dumbfounded shock at receiving praise, momentary silence and confusion stilled my being as I looked in her direction. I soon smiled and replied; Thank you!    My mind reflected on the time that I learned of the concept of ‘modeling’, not where you are photographed and splashed on glossy magazine pages and covers.  The kind of modeling where you behave in a way that sets an example for others (to hopefully imitate).

Many years back, I had taken the approach to compliment and praise mother on her ability to navigate her own difficult life’s journey.   In my family there were never ( that I can recall ) praises or compliments.  When I spoke these kind, supportive words to her that first time she responded by laughing at me, as though she thought I was putting her on or pulling her leg.

I would repeat the kind words over the months and years and she no longer laughed but began to listen, to hear me.  Then, one afternoon I was driving her somewhere while I was staying over for a visit and out of no where she said; ” I am proud of you “.

My mind said, “What?!?”  I felt a deep sense of shock and disbelief as the words lingered in the air within the automobile, I started to question myself at what I just heard and then dismissed my doubts and jumped in with a heartfelt, stunned “thank you.”  Wow!  At 50 y.o. I got what I had always wanted from my mother, praise.  Only wish I hadn’t been behind the wheel and could have crashed from the shock of it all.  It was a real big moment, in my mind and heart.

That ‘modeling’ concept works!

Lonely Holiday?


♥ Remember It’s Just Another Day.

This has helped me when I have felt lonely, down or unable to participate in any holiday happiness. You are not alone.

Managing Holiday Stress


When expectations and a sense of obigation are present, feelings of stress usually arise.  When my stress gets too high, I generally begin to shut down.  Depression starts to take hold, I become highly  irritabile too easy, too often and I tend to want to retreat (to my bed).  Holidays usually brought on this scenario for me and I felt dread at the upcoming holiday gatherings.  Then, I learned I could choose to “not”  attend and tell friends and family that I was simply not up to it.

Several years in a row when my coping skills were no match for my depression and anxiety, I stayed home.  I avoided many  Thanksgivings’, Christmas’, whatever “it” was.  When I stayed home, in my safe place I would experience mixed emotions:  1)  I would feel happy that I was not under so much stress and 2) recognized I had made a choice and that choice often left me feeling a little sorry for myself, that I was at home all alone.   I know that sounds a little crazy, like both sides of a coin. But, it is what it is.

Now I take a slightly different approach yet, still effective in managing stress that tends to accompany my sense of obligation.  I tell myself that I can always LEAVE.   To show up and bear as much as I can until I am done, then say my goodbyes (even if it is before a meal, or whatever).  Knowing I have this OUT, seems to remove a lot pressure.  There are times that I leave and other times when I stay.  I monitor how I am feeling during the event and if I notice I am feeling upset, angry, hurt, ignored, worried, etc. I can take an action to try to change it and if that doesn’t work, I can leave and go where I am comfortable (for me, this is home).

As I’ve grown older I realize that the Time spent with loved ones’ is more important than almost anything.  I spend time, when I feel I am able to.  Now I know they wont always be there to go and visit.

Gee, Thanks!


There are those time when I stop and think, “Gee Thanks!” sarcastically.  These incidents stem from one of those Golden Rules: Treat Other’s How You Want To Be Treated.

THE MOVIE THEATER:  I was to meet a family member at the movies, an occassional excursion and expense I partake in.  Maybe 2 times a year I go to the movies, it’s too expensive, too loud and others chatter, have phones that ring, etc.  I just find it a poor experience that I have to PAY for.  Thus, I typically refrain and watch the movies on dvd or t.v.    I arrived at the theater about 5 minutes early almost bought us both tickets, my surprise treat. Instead I decided to wait for their arrival.  I kept waiting and then the movie start time had arrived and I presumed was still showing all of those previews, I phoned the person I was waiting for and the call went to voicemail.  I assumed she was driving and didn’t want to pick up and risk getting a ticket.  I continued to wait and with 3 more calls to voicemail  I began to worry.  20 minutes into the movie I stood outside still waiting, still calling as panic rose inside me.  I envisioned my family member in a terrible car accident, couldn’t answer her phone and might be hurt.  I began leaving frantic messages on her voicemail.

Distraught I drove home and jumped online to see if there were any reports of auto accidents in the stretch of highway between her home and the theaters.  This was not an easy task locating such info.   I ended up taking a tranquilizer, I was so distressed!  I continued to wait for a call or any information.

Hours later I got a phone call that the person I was meeting was both home and pissed off that I didn’t show.  I felt both relief and terrible confusion.  I then thought about the event and what had happened was that she arrived earlier than I had, she purchased her ticket decided to not wait out front as we had discussed.  Went inside, turned her phone off and watched the movie.

I was angry that I was not only willing to wait for her but wait 20 minutes beyond the start of the movie for her, out front as planned and she did not have the same courtesy.

THE BOOK:  A friend of mine and I went to the taping of a popular tv show, at the end of the taping we were all to get a free copy of their latest book.  It was to be mailed to a central location and we would all have to go back there to pick up our copies individually.  (We had been part of an organzied tour)

My friend and I kept calling over the following weeks and no book, I had mentioned I would be happy to pick up her copy to save her the drive (she lives about 20 minutes further away) and I could give it to her over lunch, she was happy with this offer.  The day the books arrived the tour company phoned us all to come pick them up.   She sent me an email letting me know she got the phone call and to tell me the book(s) were in just in case I didn’t get a call. Later, that night (after a busy day)  when I read the email message I offered (again) to pick her up the copy meant for her.  The response I received left me feeling FLAT; ” I already went and got my copy but, thanks anyway”

Uh, did you even think to ask if you could help me out?  Pick up a copy for me?  I guess not!

In both instances, I’ve ended up feeling hurt.  Maybe I am just a big sissy but these are my feelings.  The phrase; “Gee, Thanks a lot for not considering me!” seems to fit.

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