Human Interest, Inspiration, Journal Entry, Opinion, Reflection

Love Begets Love…

I will never understand the woman who gets offended and instead of discussing whatever it was that offended her, she screams, blocks you, and then doesn’t listen to the other side. To me, it’s like a child. If a woman is shown love, then she must resolve the conflict with love & understanding. If not, the relationship is selfish, one-sided, and doomed. There are some temper tantrums you just cannot come back from. Sad 🥺 but true.

Recently, someone acted this way to me. She said quite simply, “I spoke my mind.” She felt that’s all she had to do, and it didn’t matter how it was delivered. She felt she had a right to speak her mind and not be accountable for her emotions or the things she said poorly or violent in anger. The person to whom the anger was directed, was supposed to acquiesce to whatever she believed, and that was that. Everything would be fine if nobody contradicted her. When I tried to explain she was taking things in my life personally, I was promptly blocked, mocked, publicly chastised, and then called passive-aggressive for trying to be graceful through it. I needed to work on how I would handle it. The more of the conversation continued the more insults came my way, and none were returned. Didn’t matter. She got two other people involved and they began acting the same way. Eventually, it became a witch hunt. And by that I mean the women whom I showed love to desperately tried to “find something” to be offended about. It’s the old adage… “When you look hard to find the offense, you won’t have to look long.” No person is perfect, so make sure that you’re above reproach before you condemn.

What I find is confusing is that the people can pretend to be professional or even loving or even fairly put together well, but in essence, for those of us that do not bear the gift of desertion, they can often be a brooding storm just waiting to burst. It’s OK to remind yourself, that your friendship has value when you find people like this in your life. It’s OK to affirm yourself, and not listen to hateful words. It’s OK to stay on your path and always do the right thing despite how somebody else acts. That’s what being a woman of character is and then it’s OK to light the match and set the bridge on fire if it continues.

“SUN IS RISING” tomorrow is a new day.

amwriting, books, Human Interest, Inspiration, Opinion, politics, Reflection, Revelations

An Army Family Now – Momma’s Tears

The other day I watched my 24-year-old independent son join the Army. I watched him realize he had a fully successful independent life that he was giving up, to be owned by our U.S. Government for our freedoms. I watched the pride in his eyes. I felt pride in return, and then I cried… for days.

 Today I am better. Filled with some purpose for my own life. 

I keep thinking about him and the last moments that we talked about. I replay every conversation, everything he said to me, and why he chose to go into the Army. 

I suppose to some, I seem ungrateful, maybe not appreciative of his own choice. You need to know that I am very proud that my son would give up his freedom for mine. That in and of its self is honorable. 

I cannot completely identify the pensively, the apprehension, the fear, the understanding that not all boys go in and come home; and I suppose it’s because of the things I have seen and the things that happened to me, that has not happened to the majority of people. I, more than anyone understands how quickly a life can be over and how quickly life can leave you devastated in despair! 

I’m not clear on why the tears continue to fall… I just know that I can’t stop them on my own, but what I don’t need to be told is to shove my feelings aside or be told my feelings shouldn’t matter or be told that I have no right to feel the way I do. I keep thinking of the Bible passage about God forcing Abraham to sacrifice his son on the alter because to me, that’s what this feels like. My faith needs to be as strong as His! 

We are an Army family now and as such, there’s a reality we can’t lie about. My good friend, Dennis, said to me, “He is defending an idea. An idea that is enshrined in the Declaration of independence and the Constitution. The idea that we all have the same inalienable rights. He is there to defend our way of life. Only two people in history to offer their life for yours are Jesus Christ and the American Servicemen.”

I used to believe in idealism too. Sadly I believe and this is just my belief that Americans have moved so past “inalienable rights“ and become so incredibly selfish that I have no faith the president who is our commander-in-chief above all others, will have any less regard for the American population. I digress because this is not about my pride for him, his pride for his country, the idealism of America nor even the pompous jackass who runs it. This is about my love for my boy, plain and simple.

amwriting, books, fiction, Inspiration, Opinion, Reflection

Encouraging Inspiration…

When children are raised with more criticism than encouragement, discrimination, abuse, neglect, loathing, or condemnation; and then suffer PTSD from violent criminal acts, that child would sooner lash out than treat others with calm grace.  When a toxic parent (I hate that word) uses a long list of arsenal built over time such as lying, judging, abuse, using shame, manipulation, abandonment, humiliation and also criticisms to establish control over you, it’s not okay.  

Christians must understand they are to revere parents. To respect despite how they act, the words they use, or how they lead their lives.  In this difficulty, that many struggle with behavioral challenges they find increasingly difficult to navigate through.  This concept is good in theory from a Proverbs 31 woman or a man raised with Timothy, but become increasingly difficult with a parent who falls extremely short of that kind of maturity.  Nonetheless, it is still called us.   

The negative behaviors that cause emotional damage are designed to control a child’s behavior but deliver merely doubt for their own importance, their worth, that they are deserving of love, of approval, of validation and that they are insignificant.  To be taught that God loves above all rubies and jewels are merely words to these children.  The concept of such love is so foreign that they live their lives in utter confusion. 

It does not matter the depth of love you have for someone, if they remain broken and unwilling to change their brokenness, they will only continue to damage you from the inside out.  No amount of self-reflection nor explanation will fix the brokenness inside you. So to keep the relationship you love intact, you must come to terms with the truth that you may need to understand appropriate boundaries, you must understand that you will be the stronger one and that the pain they cause may bubble up from time to time.  So do not flog yourself over weakness for the choice to love them despite their actions, because that is quite a strength.  Put up an emotional forcefield and allow their comments to bounce off you.  

You may have been led to believe that you’re not lovable, smart enough, beautiful enough, capable or funny enough, or for that matter enough of anything. You may get an onslaught of well-armored attacks on you, but do not let that faze you.  Own only the mistakes you make. Do not personalize someone else’s inability to take responsibility for their own actions.  That will only cause you more anguish and suffering.  Allow them to sit in their contempt as you break the bondage of their emotional control over you.  That’s the best thing you can do for yourself. 

My suggestion is for you to write down that which holds you back.

  1. What do the challenges that get in your way look like?  Use facts!
  2. Next to the emotion you’re challenging, write what that’s costing you.
  3. Then write the emotion you want to replace the harmful ones. 
  4. Find ways to refocus your mind on the positive in your life. 

Thoughts drive feelings, feelings become actions and actions define our character.  Just write one or two to get started, and pretty soon the fog will clear and you will begin to feel how precious you are to those who love you, and how precious you are to you.  It is extremely challenging to alter your perspective simply by forcing your mind to focus on the good, but it can be done. This holiday season I wish that for you.  That and all the blessings that were always intended for you before you were born. May this give you some healing. 

amwriting, books, Clubs, fiction, Human Interest, Inspiration, Novels, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations

Why Does Family Hurt So Much?

In a time when holidays are coming up, I have to ask myself, “why do I try so hard to keep the peace?”  Falling on the cross has become a necessary component of keeping those family members who judge unjustly at bay.  For me, I have been told I am “weird, emotional, unable to respect, worthless,” and often an “outsider” until became an adult and left the wholeness of my family behind me.

My family is predominately brunette, with dark eyes, and darker olive colored skin. They tan easily, they have thick manes of black or brownish hair and they all have hourglass figures. Smaller breasted, and big on the bottom. The majority of them are short, stocky built, with almost French looking features.  I on the other hand am tall, statuesque with lanky arms and long legs. I am thin, sometimes pencil thin, no hips, and blonde hair. So, for me, I look different.  I became the “white sheep” of my family.

Those wounds never truly healed for several years, not until a seminar in 1998 cracked the bonds that tied me to the baggage of disappointing rejections I received.  It was in that seminar when I began to put the pieces of my life and the tragic understanding of violent events unfolded before my eyes in a memory that I could only experience as a child, having all but forgotten most of the memories. See, when you’re an adult and you’re reminded of painful memories, you don’t recall them with an adult intellectual brain, they bubble up with all the emotions of the age you were when it happened.  Yeah, to say it was a painful process is an understatement.

I don’t bring these things up to cause you to think for one minute I am a victim nor that I am triumphant in my ability to raise out of that. I tell you these things because later – much later in my life I understood why God brought me through the immeasurable pain that others inflicted so that he could believe the promises of my desires.  Yes, that happened too.  I also bring them up because I have something to say about the emotional brain that we get into because of our families lies about us. You see, the deceiver uses these wicked hurts to keep us in the bondage of our faithlessness.  As long as we’re focused on the pain it’s hard to get to thankfulness for the blessings we do have.  That’s not from God nor is that what he wants of us.

The other day one of my family members said I live in a fairyland.  They wondered if I am a liar, that what I went through wasn’t real. That it didn’t happen.  Certainly not the way I said it did.  I used to personalize and question myself when I heard these lies. I no longer do.  Maybe the reason I do not personalize their truth as my own is the very reason I never told them in the first place? I didn’t want to suffer through more humiliation than the crime that had already been assaulted on me.

If you’re struggling with pain, hurt, processing through the grief of disappointing acts that are keeping you in the burden of your transgressors please I beg you to forgive them.  Take your power back. Do not let the burden of their rejection put you in a place of no value, of unwittingly giving up your power or your voice.  You can be around them once again as soon as you give no power to the words they say.  Don’t defend yourself or your actions, knowing that only YOU are the one who can make you feel in any manner. No one can force you to feel anything without your permission.

God sees all of us as treasured children of the Kingdom of the Most High God.  Today instead of listening to the dialog you tell yourself, “I am not good enough, She makes more money than me, they’re doing better than I am, they’re not treating me right”–realize you are worth more than rubies and gold. God desires for you to be thankful, to change your perspective to see His blessings. He wants to give all that has ever been promised to you, but it takes you to lay down the burden the deceiver has placed upon your heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and refresh your soul, to make you new again, to seek those like minded who can fill that soul so much that it embraces all the good in store for you.

Take care,

Rebecca Nietert

Human Interest, Inspiration, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Even Tweens Need a Little Hug

Did you ever have a moment when you want to sit down and ponder what just happened? How did my teenage or pre-teen daughter get so mean? I know she has real kindness in there? I’ve seen it with me. I felt the hugs. I know the love exists and yet somehow when this beautiful little girl turned thirteen, hormones changed my angel?

You’re not alone.  There’s numerous articles about this very topic!  Sometimes the impulsivity is just too much for their little minds and bodies to control. One thing I do is remind myself that if they were functioning adults and capable of determining what they should or shouldn’t do at any given moment I wouldn’t have to parent them.  Kids will of course be kids, and that’s okay.

Dr. Dobson says that kids have the right to test us, and we have the right not to allow them to get away with doing it inappropriately.  So when my little tester says things such as, “I hate you!” I simply look at her adoringly and remind her that no matter what she says or does my love is all enduring and will continue without condition.  Then of course I redirect more respectful communication because there is a line.

What I want to encourage is that line is movable.  Find out what battle has to be won and go with that. Everything else chalk up to the guilt she’ll feel once she has her own child and realizes how she’s treated you. Just know that’s coming. Honestly, it will.  So for now just hold steadfast in knowing that she doesn’t need you to be a friend no matter how interesting she’s becoming. She needs a strong and strict mom to set rules, determine justice and to keep the building of character/character/character.  That’s all you can do and the rest will work it’s way out.

Most of all, BREATHE!  Find other moms who are in the same boat and lean on them.  Have  your 10 minute rants and be done with it.  Finalize that to resolution and get back at it. They’re your precious babies even if they’ve grown into sarcastic and outspoken disrespectful tyrants from time to time. It’s their job to break the status quo.  It’s your job to reel them back in.  Also remember to HUG even if they don’t want it. Mom, they NEED it. So don’t feel the push back, just do it.

Have a cocktail with me tonight and as I clink the ever present imaginary wine glass (mine is stemless) I lift and salute a great mom who’s doing the best she can!  May every day make you feel as included and loved as possible, and may your children some day call you blessed.  Amen.

Human Interest, Opinion, Reflection, Revelations, The Children

Don’t Let Doubt be the Guide

You know I ask myself all the time, “you have a 154 IQ and for some reason you can’t seem to make sense of why children don’t obey the rules?” I don’t come by this conundrum because I don’t understand that children lie; I come to it at the end of a very frustrated trial and error approach. You see, I mean what I say. There are immediate consequences for not following the rules. Yet every time I enforce consequences or they have a naturally, kids are shocked? Exasperated? As if they have no understanding at all that they can control whether or not they are in trouble!? How does this happen?

It takes me back to the Bill Cosby show days when his wife would get completely unwound because of the intense disrespect and blatant defiance. I am reminded that I am not alone and that we all share one common bond. That is that we have a unique and loving perspective. Kids will lie, they will manipulate, They will defy and they will ultimately test you way beyond we ever thought we could be pushed!

With this enlightenment, I have to then ask myself why do I even try to enforce rules? Is it just kids being kids? And then I look at other parents who seemingly have this innate ability to raise these perfectly compliant children and I wonder is the denominator me? I wonder if my hard approach to my rules not being an option, is actually causing the conflict? I think the answer is yes and no. Children can be horrible for no other reason just don’t know how to process how they feel or how they want to act in any given situation because they’re kids. Taking responsibility is taught. Thankfulness is taught! Accountability is taught. These are the tenants for happy extended and well respected life.

So how do I get them there? I guess I have to decipher when they need control, when they feel control and when they’re trying to get control more then they should have control. That’s easier said than done. Innovative approaches can often come from girlfriends. Asking a child who repeatedly offends, what you can do to help them succeed might actually set us up for future manipulation? I think the answer is in the rules.

If the rules revolve around character, they’re nonnegotiable. If they were revolve around participation in the family, they’re nonnegotiable. If they revolve around how they treat others, that’s nonnegotiable. Finding ways to help them understand their responsibility in those matters is our responsibility.

I guess there it is? What it all boils down to it it’s all about personal responsibility and having the audacity to be tenacious enough to enforce what we think is right. Standing over a child while he or she brushes their teeth because they refused to do it on their own is not going to harm the child. It’s going to teach them that this is the rule in their best interest that is nonnegotiable.

Forcing a child to put down his or her cell phone during dinner time and having the wherewithal to sit and have dinner with them shows them that we are willing to take accountability for our actions as well. That alone will send a powerful message. We may not be the most likable person in our house in that moment, but when our child is grown and fits easily into a world that has no tolerance for anything other than these tenants and they fit in and bonus; are happy, we will be the most likable person.

Just a moment to remember they have friends, is it our job to be their friend while they are growing up, and if we do our job well, we will have a lifelong friend once they are grown.

Opinion

Women Who Cut Hair Short – No Need To!

Recently, I was told that “women who grow their hair long at a certain age are doing it because they want to be young again.” That statement forced a rebuttal out of me. I responded, “I don’t let my hair grow because I want to be young again. Or even that I want to be attractive to men. I do it because I like it that way.”

What I find disturbing is that yet again, one woman has judged another by her looks. Surmised the intent of her offensive action and quantified her in the category she claims all women who grow their hair needs to be. Shamed into cutting it. If you don’t you must be “looking for attention” or feel you look bad and are covering it up “to look younger.” Why can’t women stop the constant judgment of each other?

Why does there need to be a conversation about this topic. I think if your hair is thinning you might want to cut it. If it’s damaged, maybe then too. But if you think you’re going to look better with shorter hair because you think you look good with long hair think again. In my opinion women have different faces and let’s face it. Hair goes with the face.

And why not? Why not look your best? When did that become such a bad thing? When did putting yourself together mean that you lack character? And whose place it for these judging women to sit on their throne and choose who should and who should not cut their hair, and at what age that should be done. Did I miss that election?

Most often I find the most critical people are the ones who feel as though they are entitled to frown upon anything they do not deem morally just. Doesn’t that say more about them than the women who suffer under their unjust rule? Is this a global issue?

Google it. Do some research. You will find page after page of New York telling people to cut their hair after 40. You will find a societal narrative of what’s morally appropriate as though at a certain age we should be put away, never thought of as attractive, etc. Our lives should be over. There’s no reason to get dressed in the morning. No reason to think we should even comb our hair. We’re not supposed to want to be attractive. Our time is up.

Wow. This completely astounds me. I wonder when someone criticizes another person if they truly understand that someone’s judging them too. Maybe not of the same things but certainly for no just reason. So, my ultimate question is, why do women feel entitled to put down another reason, to tag them with labels, to force them to fit into a fake society where the rules don’t apply to everyone but in their minds should. Who’s logic should we adopt? One or many. Should we vote on this so all women can understand the ambiguous expectations in which now they have no idea exist? What is it going to take for the women who judge other women to stop.

Here’s my thinking. If you’re constantly wondering what everyone else is doing it says more about you and your unhappiness than it does about the person you’re judging.

DOMINIQUE BROWNING wrote an article for the New York Times. “Long hair is not the appropriate choice of grown-ups. It says rebellion. Hillary Rodham Clinton softens her do, and sets off a bizarre Howl of Angry Inches, as if she had betrayed some social compact. Well, my long hair is indeed a declaration of independence. I am rebelling, variously, against Procter & Gamble, my mother, Condé Nast and, undoubtedly, corporate America in general. Whereas it used to be short hair that was a hallmark of being a liberated woman — remember the feminist chop? I do; I did it — these days, long hair is a mark of liberation….I might note, with a sense of wonder, that Europeans are much more comfortable with long hair on women of a certain age. But then again, they’re more comfortable with women of a certain age in general.”

I agree. I am a rebel damn it and I will not bow down to an enforced ridiculous rule. For the record, I have a long face. When my hair is short it extends my long jaw line. So I shorten my face when my hair is long. I do NOT wear it long to attract men. I wear it long because I LIKE IT. It’s not about youth sisters. It’s what I am used to. That’s just me, but seriously, when is enough – enough?

Inspiration, Opinion

A mother’s plea-leave mine alone!

There’s no kind of heartache that can match what happens when you see your child or someone you love about to hit head on into something that is going to end badly. Whether it’s drugs, or friends, or choices or mates; it hurts to watch them grow through some pretty painful human things that young people go through.

You want so badly to shout, “STOP” but they won’t. You want to define the hurt, to identify it for them and give them a path to either get through it, or avoid it altogether. That doesn’t work. The only thing you’re left with is an undeniable sense of powerlessness.

There’s no advice, no words, no wisdom, no mercy that will be accepted or even considered. They will undeniably come to education or experience all on their own without your incredibly unwanted help.

For all those people who would come into my life, I want to scream at you, “Knock it off!” Stop the drama, the conflict, the chaos, the manipulation, the games, the toil and the turmoil and just leave me and mine without you. Just go away. Just take whatever that makes you feel good when you do evil things and move on down the road. Just be done with us.

Some say that people (even I do) are both good and evil. That people are basically great and they do bad things, but what about those people who wake and think negative. They always have an angle, they’re always looking for someone to control, to overpower, to use, to manipulate for their bidding? What bout those broken people? Are they the ones you need to throw out of your life?

I have learned in my long life that people do change. They are capable and that I myself have been what I call a manipulating person. I certainly don’t even think I could do that today if I wanted to but I can recall a far away youth that presented those opportunities that sadly I took advantage of. I hear my hypocrisy on the issue, but to my credit; although admitted, decided one day to take a change… and switch. Deny what was and move into a more thankful being. Because I got the help I needed. I truly believe when they do too, the end result will be either loving and generosity or unforgiveness and bitterness. It will be there choice.

The thing with time is it takes time for this butterfly effect to happen. In the meantime, my children will be in harms way and potentially broken. As the doctor’s say, you cannot fix broken people by loving them more. They have to want to be fixed. They have to want that They have to want that. Yes, I am repeating myself. The people I’ve met don’t even think they have a problem. I find that so heartbreaking…