April 22, 2017
Nine simple truths –
May they be your first thoughts every morning and may they infiltrate your every move and every relationship:
- To be respected and treasured and able to respect and treasure all other people.
- Capable of expressing my opinions and will do so with growing and greater confidence.
- Uniquely gifted and my gifts are useful to my immediate and broader community.
- As unique as the proverbial snowflake and yet part of the human family, tainted with its vulnerabilities, failures, and frailties.
- Capable of forgiving the worst of offenses I have endured, and capable of seeking forgiveness for the worst offenses I have committed.
- Able to encourage the discouraged and offer hope to the hopeless.
- Unafraid of the talents of others and able and willing to help others find their greatness.
- Capable of becoming the most generous person I know.
- My own best friend so that I may be a friend to others.
April 17, 2017
Talk about what you would like to do more as a family and what would we prefer to do less as a family. The list may include monumental challenges that take years to address. The list may include things that can be changed in an instant.
Talk about what you would each like to do more, and less, as individuals in the family. As above, some may be really easy and some may take seemingly forever.
Plan something meaningful and unusual (“off the charts”) that the family agrees to work toward. This may be a trip, a building project, or entering as a family into a race.
Discuss (according to age, ability, and appropriateness) topics that are usually taboo like death, sex, finances, and family secrets. Discuss why they are taboo in the first place. When and why and how did the secret become a secret. Who decides what is and what is not a secret?
Consult a professional who is able to construct a Genogram with your family. Request that it span three generations. This will (potentially) alert family members to troublesome trends and urges that pre-exist within the family system and therefore (potentially) equip members to face them if and when they emerge again. Nothing in families is new!
March 4, 2017
The Mercury / Monday (3-6-2017)
Do you love your life – or at least most of it?
I hope so. It must be terrible to wake up every day having to face a job you resist in order to provide for people who find you difficult and in whom you may find repeated displeasure. I feel ill thinking of it. It gives me a heavy feeling that I would hate to have to haul around all and every day.
Perhaps you have no job and that may be the source of at least some of your displeasure.
Perhaps you have no family or zero support from family you do have.
I am very aware of how much family and friends form the scaffolding of my life, making so much difference to me when things are tough.
No matter what your circumstance – and I declare this as loudly and forcefully to myself as I do to you: you are what you’ve got. You are your most powerful asset, and, you’d better make the most of it.
Someone wiser than I – and I’d give full credit if I knew the source – said, “we see the world, not as it is, but as we are.”
I’d suggest we also love others, not as they are, but as we are.
Peace. Have a fabulous, loving, and aware week.
February 17, 2013
- He tells you how to dress and gets all moody if you don’t obey.
- He stares you down and calls you stupid.
- He tells you when you are hungry and what you should eat.
- Small differences become huge conflicts and escalate in a flash.
- He is different in public – most people would never guess he has a violent side.
- He quotes the Bible but only a verse that “demands” your obedience.
- He tells you he knows you better than you know yourself.
- He lies and expects you to lie for him.
- He has moments of white hot anger, even if the dog won’t obey.
10. He keeps you away from your extended family.
11. He takes your keys or purse and he’s been physically threatening.
12. He accuses you of unfaithfulness.
13. He checks up on you and tells you jealousy and love go together.
14. He hates or rejects a lot of people and thinks most people are idiots.
15. In the rare event you drive him, you’d think he was behind the wheel.
Before I am blasted with Emails telling me women can also be dangerous, the overwhelming reality is that it is usually men who are.
September 16, 2012
“I am recently divorced and had a relationship with an athlete for 4 months. He was very keen in the beginning. I had to put on the brakes as I don’t rush into matters. He was just three weeks out of a relationship himself and I could not understand why he was in such a hurry! He lives about 45 minutes away but would never visit me. I had to go to his place. Then he mistreated me, and said I had a bad attitude and was far too sensitive! Before this he called less frequently and the invitations were less frequent. I discovered he was seeing someone else. Why do men do this? I really feel used and abused!”
- Not all men do this. While you are willing to spend another minute with one who has already mistreated you, you will keep meeting such men.
- The first red flags waved when he expected you to do all the driving. If it is not mutual, respectful, and equal it is not worth having.
- Forget trying to understand him. It is no longer your business. Try to understand healthy men – study strength, not pathology.
- Forgive yourself. You blew it. Learn and move on.
July 20, 2012
Watch. In no time at all some will blame the parents of the infant who was shot. It’s common to blame victims in our culture.
This is a travesty. Everyone of us ought fall to the ground in grief that such a thing occur in a cinema anywhere, let alone in the USA.
July 13, 2012
Love and control cannot co-exist in the same relationship anymore than light and dark can exist together in the same space at the same time.
June 6, 2012
“My husband left me for my best friend. This not only devastated me but caused my children (and her husband and children) a lot of confusion. I don’t want things back how they were but I do want some peace of mind. Her husband has gone off the rails with anger and I have bordered on depression. How am I supposed to forgive two people who have been so close to me and who have done this bitter thing to people, including children, whom they profess to love?”
My response will focus on you and the double blow you have received.
You have lost two best friends and you have lost them to each other. They have together all of what you once enjoyed and you have none of it.
I do not write this to rub salt into the wound or to tell you what you do not already know – I write it so you may see that your loss is real and at least partially understood.
Your anger and depression is justified. Grieve, wail. Express it in any helpful way over the coming years.
At the same time (in sane, healthy moments) begin to rebuild your life.
It is possible to do both: grieve, build, grieve, and build – just not at the same moments.
June 27, 2011
“Women put everything on the MAN! Talking about they need to be in the right mood. They need romance. Don’t get me wrong, I try to look at her point of view about sex but they never put US in the mood. We’ve been together for a year and engaged since February and I already feel like I’m 50 or 60 years old! These types of problems are supposed to happen around that age! I’m only 24 and she’s 29! I can’t win!” (Edited of hard language)
Clean up your language. It might (emphasis on the “might”) make you more attractive all round. If you swear (cuss) while you are writing about your most intimate relationship, one can only imagine what you must be like face-to-face.
How a person treats outsiders (those whom you do not know and who will read your writing) is a powerful indicator of how a person treats insiders (those close to you).
If you shifted your focus from what you want to what you can contribute you might see some change.
Diminish your desire to control. (“I can’t win” — healthy relationships were never about winning and losing).
Become less demanding, needy, and a lot more loving, and you may grow up a lot and be ready for the kind of sex a partner wants.
You are totally off in your understanding of men in their 50’s and 60’s. You, it is clear to me, don’t have enough behind your eyes (life experience) to have good sex – and if you keep on with your current manner of operating, which I call being “penis propelled”, you might never have it.
I hope your partner reads your post and identifies you (which you sent anonymously –another indication of your immaturity) and regards it as an impetus to bail. If she stays, and you continue to be as demanding as you clearly are, she is in for one sad, sad ride.
June 26, 2011
I have received several very welcome and lengthy letters from readers who find themselves in very complicated family relationships.
Here are four broad principles for all members of a family:
1. Get yourself out of “the middle” of other people’s relationships! Don’t carry messages for others, or think for others or feel for (on the behalf of) others. Allow other adults the joy or communicating their own messages, thinking their own thoughts and feeling their own feelings.
2. Regard all other adults as complete adults and your complete equals. If you’re “on eggshells” around anyone (a parent, boss, child, spouse or former spouse) this person has inappropriate power over you that I’d suggest you address. The “eggshells” means you are not seeing yourself as an equal.
3. Never allow yourself to be intimidated, dominated or manipulated. Persons who use intimidation, domination or manipulation (emotional bullies) to get their way must be confronted if you want any degree of healthy dialogue.
4. Despite age, rank or status, don’t “tread lightly” around other adults. While it is unnecessary to knowingly inflict hurt upon others, some people are so inappropriately sensitive that their oversensitivity can restrict others from normal behavior. If your actions are not in themselves hurtful, but are interpreted as such by some sensitive soul, I’d suggest you be yourself and challenge Mr. Mrs. or Ms. Oversensitive to grow up.