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.
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 12, 2012
There is no good reason ever why any person ought tolerate poor treatment from another.
You teach people how to treat you.
I know you may feel trapped and without an escape route or a friend in the world, but you must get help if this post is reaching deeply into you.
July 1, 2012
“I entered a relationship with a divorced woman with three children. I discovered early on that she had lied about her marital status. She was in fact separated, not divorced. I ended the relationship as she had lied to me about her marital status and felt that she had ‘unfinished business’ with her husband. I felt that I ran the risk of her going back to her husband. I have never dated a woman who is separated. Is it ever appropriate to enter into a relationship with a woman who is separated?”
- I cannot condone a blatant lie but some truth is harder to tell. I’d be inclined to give a woman a break. I have met brutally honest women who can barely utter the “D” word.
- Of course the woman is going to have “unfinished business.” She has three children and a history and a future with him, separated or divorced. Loving her will mean embracing it ALL. There is no clean slate.
- You felt you “ran the risk of her going back to her husband” suggests you are self-protecting without considering what might be best for the woman and her children.
- I’d suggest it is unwise to knowingly enter a relationship with a married person.
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 5, 2012
Two readers respond….
“Thank-you so much for answering my question. Those are very helpful points. I think the most difficult part of divorce for me has been learning to ‘unlove’ my ex-husband. Only ONE of us changed our mind in our marriage. I made a commitment to love this man until death parted us. Perhaps it was further complicated by the fact that I had already lost one husband to death and this was my second marriage. But I am SO much healthier now, in every way. A new relationship is not my goal, but I would like that to happen ‘one day’. I feel that if I am healthy within myself, keep busy and have a full life, the right relationship will come along at some stage.”
“I believe that being “Healthily Divorced” is the ability to stand emotionally independent, yet having the ability to empathize and relate to those around you. Resentment and bitterness are probably the most hindering factors to being healthily divorced – it is perfectly possible to be divorced and respectful of the other party. Letting go of the blame and pain and striving towards an amicable solution in the face of difficult odds creates the foundation to being healthily divorced. Making another person miserable can never bring you happiness.”