Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rocky Relationships and Negativity

~ Say It Isn't So | Daryl Hall and John Oates ~

Although it is not a particularly funny subject, we can look back at the emotional battles of any type of relationship and see a certain amount of absurdity and drama that exists when tensions run high and have a good laugh after everyone has cooled off.  

Even the strongest of marriages and/or friendships teeter on the edge of a love/hate relationship at times.  The interaction of people are, in general, very complicated . . . it is human nature.  It is rare for two people to totally agree on everything without disagreements.  The secret is to learn how to deal with each other effectively before the disagreements become real hate and resentment to the point of splitting up.

According to Cherilynn Veland in an article for Psych Centralhere are some of the most common reasons for compounded negativity in relationships:

One partner thinks that the way they feel and there way of doing things is the right way. This means they are not open to listening and behaving differently. In this situation, compromise is not a value of one of the members.

Disconnection from the other’s feelings; chaos, manipulation and egocentricity; and sometimes cruelty.

Festering emotional wounds that never get talked about; or when they are, the other person tries to argue away the other person’s emotions.

Unequal partnerships. One person feels like he or she is doing it all. In couples with children, this can understandably lead to MAJOR resentment and anger.

Stress. Big-time breaker of even really good couples. If you don’t manage stress, it will cause difficulties in functioning and difficulties in the relationship.

Big differences on big life issues like: parenting, finances, in-laws.

Debilitating and dysfunctional family of origin issues that emerge and reemerge unaddressed . Issues from one’s original family and attachment relationships can get projected onto the spouse or onto other family relationships, like the kids. This will cause conflict.

Having little respect or not showing respect for your partner.

Being with someone who is narcissistic and has little self-insight.

Now this list is not exhaustive and doesn’t include abusive behavior (including verbal abuse) either.

Believe it or not, she also states that feelings of "hate" are normal in some situations.  However, even the rockiest of relationships can grow as you develop better communication, gradually change behaviors through compromise and learn how to forgive. 

It helps if both parties have lots of love for each other and a strong desire to make it work.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shedding Light On Ourselves


~ Dressed for Success | Roxette ~

When we choose that which is not best for us, there can be a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal.

In almost every case, we know what is best for us in our lives, from the relationships we create to the food we eat. Still, somewhat mysteriously, it is often difficult to make the right choices for ourselves. We find ourselves hanging out with someone who leaves us feeling drained or choosing to eat fast food over a salad. We go through phases where we stop doing yoga or taking vitamins, even though we feel so much better when we do. Often we have no idea why we continue to make the less enlightened choice, but it is important that we inquire into ourselves to find out.

When we choose that which is not best for us, the truth can be that there is a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal. We may say it’s because we don’t have the time or the energy or the resources, but the real truth is that when we don’t take care of ourselves we are falling prey to self-sabotage. Self-sabotage happens unconsciously, which is why it’s so difficult to see that we are doing it. The important thing to realize is that this very part of us that resists our healing is the part that most needs our attention and love. Even as it appears to be working against us, if we can simply bring it into the light of our consciousness, it can become our greatest ally. It carries the information we need to move to the next level in our healing process.

When we recognize that we are not making healthy choices, we might even say out loud, “I am not taking care of myself.” Sometimes this is the jolt we need to wake up to what is actually happening. Next we can sit ourselves down in meditation, with a journal, or with a trusted friend to explore the matter more thoroughly. Just shining the light of our awareness on the source of our resistance is sometimes enough to dispel its power. At other times, further effort is required. Either way, we need not fear these parts that do not want to heal. We only need to take them under our wing and bring them with us into the light.

Source:  Daily Om

From my experience, the best or healthiest choices are not always the most tasty or fun.  I'd much rather eat a delicious piece of chocolate cake instead of a carrot for a snack.

I see the better choices as a mindset.

My passion is food, so it is not always easy for me to eat and cook healthy meals.  Of course I know that I can learn how to cook healthy meals that are delicious, but I don't until I change my train of thought and make a conscious effort to be more healthy in general.

In the healing process, I have learned how to do things in small bites . . . incremental changes.  Before I quit smoking after JR died, I made a conscious effort to adopt a healthier lifestyle since I had a considerable amount of weight to lose.  JR died of a heart attack and that put the fear of death in me.

Rather than go on a "diet" I set out to change my lifestyle.  Within a year, I had lost 100 pounds, even enjoying holiday meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The difference was that I enjoyed those things I knew were not the healthiest thing for me to eat in moderation.  A bite of this and a bite of that.  Just a bite to get a taste of it.

Little by little I made small changes that made a huge impact.  Being addicted to Pepsi, I could not step down to Diet Pepsi and I knew it.  I would fail and go back to drinking Pepsi.  So I started drinking water and learned to love it.

Think of any change that needs to be changed as a lifestyle change.  It is all part of the self-talk that is important in changing our mindset and leading ourselves into a different direction that is not comfortable or easy.

Now I need to put my words into action.  Ultimately I quit smoking for two years and put on some weight.  Then I met The Captain who was a smoker and I started smoking again.

It is never to late to start over again!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How about some romance?

"I've seen you in a thousand minds

You've made the angels fall"

As I was cruising the internet this afternoon, I ran across the following video which touched me in so many ways.  Being the hopeless romantic that I am, it just brought out all those warm and fuzzy feelings of romance at its finest.

So, with romance on my mind, I thought I would venture over to Wikipedia to see what they have to say about romance . . .

"Romance is the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person associated with love. 
In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one's strong romantic love, or one's deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately or romantically. Historically, the term "romance" originates with the medieval ideal of chivalry as set out in its Romance literature. 
Humans have a natural inclination to form bonds with one another through social interactions, be it through verbal communication or nonverbal gestures. With some individuals, these social interactions can span beyond what one would typically view as a platonic relationship. Positive romantic relationships are a crucial part of society in that not only do these relations affect those that are in participation, but they can also have an influence on those that are in close vicinity."

This video is a perfect visualization of romance to me . . .

Dance with Me | Nouvelle Vague

Let's dance little stranger

Show me secret sins

Love can be like bondage
Seduce me once again

Burning like an angel
Who has heaven in reprieve
Burning like the voodoo man
With devils on his sleeve

Won't you dance with me
In my world of fantasy
Won't you dance with me
Ritual fertility

Like an apparition 
You don't seem real at all
Like a premonition
Of curses on my soul

The way I want to love you
Well it could be against the law
I've seen you in a thousand minds
You've made the angels fall

Won't you dance with me
In my world of fantasy
Won't you dance with me
Ritual fertility

Come on little stranger
There's only one last dance
Soon the music's over
Let's give it one more chance

Won't you dance with me
In my world of fantasy
Won't you dance with me
Ritual fertility

Take a chance with me
In my world of fantasy
Won't you dance with me
Ritual fertility

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little steps

~ Heal The Pain | George Michael/Paul McCartney ~

Those who would climb to a lofty height
 must go by steps, not leaps.

St. Gregory the Great
from a letter to Augustine of Canterbury

Baby steps is what is needed when a change in life circumstances reverts back to what is considered "normal" . . . normal being the perception of what it should be by the person making the changes.

The date of the following post was in October of 2007 and I still don't consider my life as "normal" even though I have moved on and have remarried.  Having said that, many of my goals have been met and I have moved closer to what I have considered normal even though I'm not there yet.

It has taken little changes . . . I call them incremental changes.  Changes so small that you barely feel them happening.  Sometimes that is all we can handle.  As stated in the quote, change cannot happen with leaps.  Leaps lead to overwhelm, feeling like a failure and giving up.

As I look back to the time the post was written, so many changes have taken place, however, the changes were so little at a time that it almost seems impossible that so much progress has been made on my journey to a "normal" life.  

I did try doing the leaps, but they led to me falling down and failing, making the progress move a step backward.

To recap some changes . . . I'm no longer agoraphobic (not able to leave the house),  I'M NOT A HERMIT ANYMORE!, I can drive again, I entered the workplace, I trusted another person to love again . . . enough to marry him.  I can be in a vehicle again as a passenger and not have panic attacks as I did in the beginning, although I still have a problem with it (and still working on it).

This post originally published on

It is turning out to be one of those days that aren't quite so positive.  Memories of when my life was happy and I had someone to share happy times with are haunting me. Now I'm alone in miserable times. Sometimes I wonder why bad things happen to good people. I'm fighting a pity party this morning and I can't go there, so I thought I would write about how I'm feeling.

What is bothering me can't be fixed over night . . . I want what I had before. I miss my husband, I want my life as it was before he died. Why did he have to die? Having to deal with this was the last thing on my list of worries, which is always a very long list since I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and worry about everything.

It isn't the loneliness since I keep myself busy. It is being alone . . . this is the first time in my life that I am alone and I hate it with a passion. Sometimes like this morning, it just gets to me. My mom is on her way over and we are gonna go shopping to keep my mind occupied. It helps momentarily.

I'm not always positive about life, sometimes life just sucks, but I try to deal with it optimistically.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Life is a collaborative effort

"It is important to choose our partnerships consciously. Sometimes forged quickly during times of need, we may find ourselves rushing into unions with perhaps not the clearest intentions. Partnerships created from those starting point might serve our immediate needs, but the repercussions of a union so quickly fostered without much thought can be difficult to recover from.
Granted, there is something to learn from every relationship, but looking to another to fix or complete us can turn a partnership into a dependent bond. If we can stay clear about what we want and what we need in a partnership, while staying grounded and remembering that we are our own source of happiness and fulfillment, we can create partnerships that support and enhance the best of who we are. 
Everyone in our lives is a mirror reflecting back the parts we love and dislike about ourselves. If we have the courage to recognize our reflections in each other, we can grow through our partnerships. A partnership that offers both acceptance of who we are and an opportunity for personal transformation can be fertile ground for growing a healthy, lasting union. When we find this kind of partnership, we are more likely to want to keep it, invest in it, and nurture it.
Life is a collaborative effort. Much of what we do can be enhanced through partnership. Together we are stronger because our personal power is multiplied by two. Through partnership we experience the joys of working, living, and loving together."

Source:  Daily Om

Who we choose in our relationships says so much about us.

Choosing a life partner whose life mingles with ours harmoniously is so healthy for a happy life. 

Choose your relationships wisely, whether it be a life partner or a best friend. They can make the difference between happiness or misery.  It is your choice.

My grandmother had the best advice ever . . . it is better to be alone than to be in bad company.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Positive Self-Affirmation

"When we develop a confident mind-set and release our worries about what others think of us, we build our self-esteem and bring more balance to our relationships. 

Most often our fears about what others think of us are simply projections of how we view ourselves. When we begin to change our own beliefs to more positive, empowering ones, our fears melt away. We become stronger, happier people and begin to see ourselves in a more positive light. This causes others to do the same. 

Our relationships become better because we are connecting from a more authentic, loving place. By devoting attention to enhancing your attitude and confidence level today, you can improve the quality of your interactions with others."

Source:  Daily Om 

I could not have said it better!  

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Change . . . and the comfort zone

~ The Stranger | Billy Joel ~

The comfort zone is something I am intimately acquainted with.

In bad times, the comfort zone is a place to heal and feel safe when we feel the ravages of life beating on us like the waves on the ocean. There have been many times in my life when the “comfort zone” was the only place for me to be.

Like everything in life . . . there is a time and place for everything in moderation.

The way of change for me has been intensive thinking and writing . . . and changes must happen incrementally for them to be effective because of the challenges I have faced in the past. Most of my life challenges came upon me suddenly, all at one time, and called for drastic life changes as well as personal changes . . . most of them emotional and involved the death of my spouse.

The emotions and changes have been convoluted to say the least, sometimes one would collide with the other. Hence the need for incremental changes in my case.

I've momentarily lost my comfort zone . . . and I am feeling lost.

Writing about my emotions and keeping a journal to record emotional progress is one of the greatest tools I have found to cope with life changes on the road back to “peace, love and happiness” . . .

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Happiness and joy

~ Happy (unplugged) | Leona Lewis ~

The happiness and joy experience:
  • strengthens the immune system
  • promotes general good health
  • burn away the impurities in your emotional system
  • disperses worries, anxieties, grief, frustration, stress and other negative emotions.
  • sharpens intellect and memory

Joy was seen as a sacred responsibility by the Ancient Egyptians, who believed that upon death two questions would be asked of them by the God Osiris and those who answered yes could continue the journey into the afterlife.

The questions:
“Did you bring joy?”
“Did you find joy?”

One of my greatest joys is putting a smile on someone’s face or making a difference in someone’s life . . . and it answers “yes” to both questions!

What are some of your greatest joys?

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Suppressed emotions

~ Heart of Stone | Cher ~

"Our tears are what happens when it rains deep inside our hearts and we cannot hold the rain any longer."

- Philippos

Sometimes we hold little things inside that build up and fester.  No matter what, things just don't seem right.  Those little things can rob our peace and joy for life itself.

When the tears start to flow, someone may ask why you are crying.  You honestly answer that you don't know.  It can be a general discontent for life as it is at the moment, yet still difficult to explain.  It is just there, residing inside like a disease taking over the body and soul.

Unresolved feelings of resentment can reside deep within our subconscious mind without even knowing they are there.  They live with us.  It happens when you sweep something unpleasant under the rug, hoping it will go away.  It never does, even when you forget it is there.

It could be something ugly said or done that hurt your feelings deeply that you have swept under the rug . . . it is still there.

Some people can experience hurt feelings, shrug it off and forget it forever.  For others, it is nearly impossible.

Suppressed emotions and feelings can be so dangerous to our mental health. While it is also dangerous to dwell on these things, they must be dealt with before they reach deep within our subconscious mind to haunt us and come out when we least expect it.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

What's happening . . .

As I rebuild this blog, it is my hope that I am not confusing everybody with the posts that automatically feed into different places on the internet and to those who subscribe by email.

A couple of weeks ago I guess I was going through a difficult time with anxiety and panic attacks about being so open about myself, my emotions, my life's journey and how it affects my life.  So I temporarily closed the blog in a not so well thought out move.

I'm having to republish each post, skipping through the years and it probably seems like I'm not doing it in an orderly fashion.  The most popular posts are going in first and I am trying to make the number of posts for each year equal.

Everything happens for a reason is my life philosophy . . . I'm trying to figure this one out since I have done this before and know how much work it is to rebuild again!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Offering love and comfort

They invented hugs to let people know you 
love them without saying anything. 
(Bil Keane)

~ I'm Still Standing | Elton John ~

Sometimes just being with somebody,
 rather than words,is all that
 is needed to help.

Sometimes it is difficult to see someone we love struggling, in pain, or hurting. When this happens, we might feel like we need to be proactive and do something to ease their troubles.

While others may want our help, it is important to keep in mind that we need to be sensitive to what they truly want in the moment, since it can be all too easy to get carried away and say or do more than is really needed. Allowing ourselves to let go and simply exist in the present with another person may actually provide a greater amount of comfort and support than we could ever imagine.

Perhaps we can think back to a time when we were upset and needed a kind word, hug, or listening ear from someone else. As we remember these times, we might think of the gestures of kindness that were the most healing. It may have been gentle words such as “I care about you,” or the soothing presence of someone holding us and not expecting anything that were the most consoling.

When we are able to go back to these times it becomes easier for us to keep in mind that giving advice or saying more than is really necessary is not always reassuring.

What is truly comforting for another is not having someone try to fix them or their problems, but to just be there for them.

Should we begin to feel the urge arise to offer advice or repair a situation, we can take a few deep breaths, let the impulse pass, and bring our attention back to the present. Even though we may want to do more, we do not have to do anything other than this to be a good friend.

The more we are attuned to what our loved ones are feeling, the more capable we are of truly giving what is best for them in their hour of need. Keeping things simple helps us give the part of ourselves that is capable of the greatest amount of compassion—open ears and an understanding heart.

Embracing Others

You may be demonstrative in your affection toward your loved ones today. Demonstrating the depth of your caring could be a way to show your appreciation to the people in your life, for you might recognize that actions can be so much more powerful than words. Making a point to hug, touch, or caress someone who is close to you can not only let them know your feelings but also make your relationship even more intimate. If you are unable to physically embrace the people you care about today, you may wish to give a mental hug, imagining that your arms convey all the love that you hold inside for them. Whatever the nature of your embrace, it is important to keep in mind that even a simple form of touch can be incredibly powerful.

Hugs show the real intensity behind our warmth for others. Something as nurturing as physical touch often takes us back to a time when we were young and thrived on the affection of other people. As we grow older, it is easier to forget this aspect of our lives but just as essential nevertheless. The mere act of touching allows us to open the way for others to feel our unconditional love and to create an aura of trust and understanding. It is the ultimate means through which we are able to let others know how much they mean to us. Give as many hugs as you can today, and you will make the depth of your love wholeheartedly known.

Source: Daily Om

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's about love

~ If I Fell | The Beatles ~

"The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along."

Rumi, was a great Sufi mystic, lover and poet

It is how I was feeling before I met The Captain,
 I knew he was there . . . I could feel his presence in my life.
Soulmates are like that!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Life's Best Moments

~ Saturday In The Park | Chicago ~
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.  What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.
Thomas Merton

The roller coaster ride of emotions can confuse and jumble up the mind to the degree that you could be having one of life's best moments and not even realize it.  

Is it possible that there are those who are so wrapped up in their unhappy emotional state that they are ok with it?  Perhaps it is what makes them feel "normal" . . . therefore, they don't want to be happy?

Personally, I don't think so.  As a person cursed with anxiety and restlessness, I can say that the anxiety-ridden times are like walking on hot coals with no shoes on.  It is not something I enjoy and frankly, in these times, I pray for a bit of contentment to assist me in breaking out of the "bad attitude."

It is so important to surround yourself with positive, happy people.  Those who have the gift of seeing the possibilities in challenges and face them head on, laughing all the way can help you see their perspective, making the light at the end of the tunnel appear within sight by their example.  The challenge becomes a game more than the goal of the desired outcome.

We all have down times, even those positive, happy people.  The trick is to figure out how to break out of the funky mood and see the joy of the present moment.  Study your happy friends . . . something is working for them!

Discover your life's best moments, even when life isn't perfect . . .

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Peaceful Sanctuaries

~ Safe and Sound | Capital Cities ~

"It is oftentimes necessary that we create the peaceful sanctuaries in which we wish to relax and refresh ourselves. However much we may dream of settling into the comforting embrace of a quite and uncluttered personal space, our circumstances will not always allow us to immediately do so. We may have to exert our influence over such spaces before we can experience our serenity on both internal and external levels."

Source:  The Daily OM

Isn't peace of mind the state of feeling safe and sound?

Thank you my sweetie!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bottomless pit of wants and desires

~ Material Girl (m148 Edit) | Madonna ~

If you look at what you have in life,
you'll always have more.
If you look at what you don't have in life,
you'll never have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

The lifestyle theory of Simple Abundance teaches being happy and grateful for the little things in life, no matter how much or how little we actually have. It is a balance of wants and needs . . . wanting what we need and being happy with those things.

Feeling absolute contentment is a beautiful and joyous way to live. Sometimes we are taken through one of life's rocky roads so we can finally be content with merely being able to survive and appreciating everything good that comes our way . . . as opposed to a bottomless pit of wants that will never fill limitless desires.

There have been times in the past couple of years when I'd turn my attention to those unfortunate people whose life situation and circumstances were far more severe than mine . . . in those times of being down, depressed and just wanting for my life to be over, I was brought back to reality when my thoughts turned to their strife.

No matter what your situation in life, someone else is having a life struggle far greater . . . misery doesn't really love company, it is just good to know that we are not alone in our life struggles . . . everyone has them. The key to a fulfilling and happy life is knowing how to handle those times and quickly get back on track.

Don't be a bottomless pit of wants that will never fill limitless desires.
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No promises

I try to remind myself that we are never promised anything, and that what control we can exert is not over the events that befall us but how we address ourselves to them.
Jeanne DuPrau
The Earth House

Being grateful for what we have been blessed with is not easy when life circumstances presents you with challenges.  

Part of it is the optimist/pessimist thing for each of us that is just human nature and who we are as individuals.

It seems like the key is simply keeping our state of mind in control of the circumstances while being realistic and responsible.  Acting like the situation does not exist could compound bad circumstances by not being responsible.

It is a delicate balance . . . such is life!

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