amwriting, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Forgiving Ones Self is Harder!

When you have an extensive network, and you know a lot of people, you feel blessed when you can say you have more than five intimate friends. All my life, people have moved me from one house to another, from one city to another, and from one state to another. Networking became second nature.

Last night I learned that a man I’ve known for seven years passed away suddenly. He was a heavy drinker when I knew him, but that increased over time and the profound sadness of losing both his parents ended with the crescendo of Sorosis of the liver and failure of his kidneys. What could have been completely avoidable, ended by taking his life.

The minute I heard, thoughts of how I could’ve reached out flooded my soul. The guilt of not keeping in touch, not cultivating, not even picking up the phone to see if he was okay, because he was such a alpha male, that it never occurred to me he wouldn’t be okay?!

Which brings me to the topic of this discussion. It’s so much easier to forgive others when they offend us, then it is to forgive ourselves for our transgressions. How do you forgive yourself when you know there is something you could have done and yet did nothing? What are the steps that you take to forgive yourself?

Guilt is poison! You can’t hold onto it! It cannot be resolved! It is the toxic chemical that poisons your soul and your mind. Living with guilt is harder than living with pain or sadness because it is all consuming. Releasing that guilt is what is necessary, but when you have the understanding the fault lies with in your actions, how do you get to resolution?

Thoughts?!

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.

Inspiration

Random Act of Kindness

Have you ever sat down in tears, and thought, “I feel so blessed!”  Well, today that was me.  For a moment there were no words. No strife, no anger, no pain, no concern, and no worry.  There was only immense gratefulness.  A moment of humility unlike any other I’ve ever felt. I have always been a hopeful person, but I have never maintained a level of faith in another human being. From time to time they disappoint me. Some leave me devastated in their selfish wake. Today, when kindness brought me to the point of tears, I sat down and let them fall. All I felt was the love from the people who show me kindness.

It was then that I replayed the past year over in my head. A few incredible women popped out and as my tears fell, my heart warmed.  If I have ever lost faith in kindness, that would be all but proven lately that more people are kind than they are not.  For this girl, who has lived through the worst things imaginable; believing in the kindness of others has been my challenge.  I’ve remained transparent even in the wake of pain that followed; all with the belief that is what God has called me to do.  Believing in my own faith that if I did the right thing time and time again, despite that the outcome has not always matched in justice; things would work out in the end. Not that my choices have anything to do with other’s kindness, or that any of this is my doing; it’s just that it lend credibility to the astounding sense of overwhelming love I felt and why.

A woman named Kim Whiting organized several families to help us with Christmas this year.  Well, with grandma’s and aunts, and uncles, and extended family here in Dallas; I just didn’t know how I was going to be able to do Christmas.  The three new kids’ and both of mine in NOLA in college, meant for a difficult budget.  Jennifer, the mom of the three kids sick, and money running out due to in home 24/7 care so she doesn’t have to be at a senior facility and you have one stressed out Rebecca.  Kim came to the rescue and sent a lovely family to us bearing a ton of Christmas gifts for the kids.  They’re a lifesaver!  Sent from God above!  Thank you Kim for reaching out to your network to help us! You have a huge loving heart.

That’s when it reminded me of a wonderful woman named Lynn Ellis who organized food deliveries when I was so overwhelmed with new after school activities and couldn’t afford the dinners or time to cook my own.  It takes everything I have to put my pride aside and accept help. I usually the one who gives it. I was so humbled by Lynn’s generosity though and found her willingness to support Jennifer’s family and my efforts inspiring. She listed the family on a website that organized a community of wonderful moms who brought amazing dinners.  I cannot express in enough words how incredibly helpful she’s been to my family and how profoundly proud I am to know her.  Thank you Lynn for giving us such a precious gift of life; food. Your grace inspires me.

Kim Whitehead heard that we were in desperate need of school clothes and rallied together all the grade and middle school parents who donated an entire wardrobe for all three kids.  She’s a precious inspiration who continues to awe and shock me with how much she is able to accomplish. C.E.O.’s should take notice!  Her heart of gold helped me at a time when again I was overwhelmed with medical costs and strategic planning of my own.  I cannot thank you enough for adding me to your already extensive to do list, just to bless this family with your kindness. You are truly inspirational.

Shannon Quick and Gina McCoy who are amazing women, helped Jennifer clean and organize her home this past year. They packed, and served whenever called.  They love her with unconditional non judgement truthfulness and for that I am profoundly grateful. I love you ladies, and I treasure your help.

The Moms of Plano and the Moms of Murphy who continue to support Jen. Special Delivery where Dwight used to work who provide the insurance so she can continue treatment, The Karate Place where Dwight used to take the kids who continue to raise money each year. Those funds go directly to her medical and daily living expenses. Every dollar has been used to keep this family together.  We’re so thankful that you rallied around this family. Thank you for being so incredible selfless and kind.

To my girlfriends Gail Marks, Dawn Smith, Mary Jarcy, Leanna Cannon, Debbie Smith, my daughter Elizabeth and the girls from social media who are too many to list who support me through Facebook; I get so much from you. You listen to me rant and keep the grace I know you have.  Thank you for being there for me.

I wish I could thank each one of the GOFUNDME people who support Jen and her family this past year. We could NOT have done any of this had it not been for you. I wish I could thank the individuals to brought dinners, or gave gift cards or cash or helped or supported, or drove, or listened when it was all too overwhelming for me.  How can I possibly tell you that if it weren’t for you this past year, I don’t know what I would have done? Thank you everyone for the smaller donation to the biggest. Your kindness continues to raise this family up.

Now you know why it all just hit me and I couldn’t stand.  I felt God today. I feel him more lately than I have ever felt him.  I feel so humbled, so thankful, so incredibly inspired to be the best human being I can be because of these amazing women. I want to say that I am truly thankful for you. I am honored that you wanted to help, and I treasure you more than rubies and gold.  You are everything this world needs. I wish everyone knew how incredibly wonderful each and every one of you are; from the woman who brought me food, to the girl who cleaned the house, to the leaders who rallied a community to support us. You are everything a woman should be, and all that I hope one day a woman says about me.  Thank you, from the bottom of my warmest humbled heart for your selfless acts of kindness. I truly mean it when I say that I pray generously that God blesses you in the very same kind manner that you have blessed this family.  Thank you for being the light of God and shining that light where there was darkness and now there is hope and faith.  Merry Christmas!

Inspiration

Unprofitable Anger?

Unprofitable Anger
“TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
04-20-2014
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9

“Every day of our lives we are placed in situations that engage us with other people, whether it is in the office, our homes, or in public places. Do you recall the last time someone cut you off in traffic, or you were forced to wait in line because someone up front got held up? Perhaps your employer did something that was downright unfair. Anger can result from many circumstances and most of it is unprofitable. When you feel anger, remember that your feelings are tied to your side of how you perceive the situation; which is always two sides to every conflict. If you want a peaceful existence it may be the time to confront and wait to hear. That way you feel like you’re accomplishing closure; thereby not stacking anger upon anger.””

I love to read the messages from this author. A few days ago I was wrapped in the same unprofitable anger I have felt many times in my life. When all was ceased, I reminded myself (wondering how come I cannot do this when I am lit) that I am judging the way that someone has judged me. Without discussion, without clarification, without reaching out to find out what the real issue is; and it hit me. I need to forgive. Sigh….

This message happens to me A LOT. Sometimes people frazzle me. Especially prickly people who are too serious where everything they hear is all about them and how wounded they can be from people. These people are stronger than everyone thinks but their pretense of vulnerability makes it so that they’re “taken care of” instead of having to be a grown up and deal with the problem. How do I know this? Because I was that person for many many years. When it comes to manipulating the person in front of me into thinking I am capable and vulnerable at the same time this chick has got that gift in spades. Doesn’t mean I use that now, but I can sure identify it. It makes me angry.

I find that what I see in others that really pushes an emotional trigger within me; is exactly what I do NOT like about my self. Yea. That’s the truth. I don’t like that I did that in my past. It disgusts me that action is part of the whole picture of what makes me truly who I am. I have to own it, face it, and try very hard to not only control my own behavior but not condemn someone else for theirs. Harder than it seems I assure you.

This type of anger is so unproductive and robs me of my precious joy I have fought so hard to captivate in my life. I own my own joy. I can allow someone to rob me of it or I can choose to let go of the pain those actions cause and do the very best I can with who I am. I cannot change someone else. I cannot fix a broken person but I can listen to what made them break. That’s my pledge. To be patient enough to listen; and if needed, be the truth.

Today when that person really gets to me I am going to ask myself one question? Who am I mostly mad at? My actions or the words they spoke that offended me and reminded me of my own insecurities? Remind myself that words are just words and people often use them incorrectly and/or communicate horribly. It’s not about what’s said sometimes, it’s about the meaning behind it. Find that out by starting that conversation, by solving the problem and I’ll have less issues with this type of unproductive anger. If I need to own bad behavior maybe I can come to terminate that too? Just do something!

That’s just me….

Inspiration

Empowering Women to Love

Often I am reminded of even my own sinned thoughts and actions. The other day a woman with an ill-behaved child was near me and I found myself rolling my eyes thankful that I raised my kids where a firmer understanding created that necessary fear that made my kids behave. Then I thought about it. I am what I tell other women not to be … A judger. Not only that but a … condemner.

I feel that women should take the world “Judgement” out of their vocabulary! Frankly it’s for men to do not us. We have a right to formulate an opinion about something and then it is our DUTY to encourage each other to change our perspective to “LOVE” rather than hate and HELP the woman out. Judgement = Opinion… so let’s use the right word.

Condemning is when you elevate your worth over someone else. That’s what I did. Yep, that was me. It’s not okay. I should have walked over to the overstressed and frazzled mom and offered help. This is my area of expertise. Merely by acting I could be teaching the woman who obviously doesn’t possess those talents. Maybe she’s an awesome lawyer, or housekeeper, or she loves everyone unconditionally? I will never know because I never offered to help. Not once, didn’t even think about it.

I wonder, how many times does Jesus ask us to love our fellow man? How many people has he put in front of us and wanted us to make them feel connected, wanted, appreciated, cared for? How many times have WE DENIED HIM because of our own hatred, condemnation, selfishness, need for elevation…?? Pretty scary when you think about it that way isn’t it?

Today I encourage you to pause. STOP for a brief minute and actually listen to someone who might need you to lift them up! If we can encourage one woman, to encourage another woman, and lift each other up, then we can create love that will affect every home in America. It starts with you today. What will YOU choose? Love? Doing what Jesus asks or going your own way? It’s always up to you. God Bless!

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…

Inspiration

Top 10 Mistakes of 2012

I made the worst mistakes of all time.

A year ago I took a job that was beneath me. Not in stature but in experience. I did so because I needed a break from the treacherous manipulations of a third world management style woman who had my financial destiny in her reckless and immature hands. My employment here in Louisiana is tantamount to working for people, who have a clue how to manage nor have any character whatsoever.

My presences of mind was that I could work for a company I’d thought was benevolent and reputable because I identified with the mission statement of providing a community service for the local people. I would take a break. I would be able to excel in ways that I wouldn’t have before because the work itself would be simple. I would finally have some much needed rest.

That was my first mistake. My second mistake was thinking that master’s Degree’s meant that women were more educated and worldly. I remember thinking that the woman at the bank were so beautiful and so capable with their chosen dialog. It was a far cry from the retail industry where slang was not only an option but the norm. My second mistake was thinking that just because a woman has pretty dialog means that she is mature enough to carry on a just and fair conversation.

Even as I write this it seems judgmental to me. However, given that my decided lack of judgment and or action thereof has left me and only me wanting I shall continue.

A Vice President of the company, a woman, tried to friend me immediately. She joined my Facebook page and she invited me to dozens of races, of which I went to one. I became what I thought was good friends with a receptionist. That was mistake number three. Discernment has never been my strong suit. I spent the first few months of the company bestowing gracious remarks about my co-workers. I built a relationship with the receptionist and we were getting close enough for me to spend quite a bit of time with her away from work, on the phone and on Facebook as well.

One day I was helping transfer some ITunes to the receptionist’s IPhone and in the process left my phone in her presence. It was then she read texts from me to my husband containing confidential information. She took that information and shared it with the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. For months the four of us would have breakfast together and we would discuss hot topics. Although their views didn’t match my own, I appreciated the differences.

My fourth mistake was allowing someone to manipulate me with discussion of need. The receptionist told me that she was hurting. That’s my weakness. Poverty and lack of financial support wrapped up in a tumultuous relationship with a spouse; and you have my undivided peaked attention.

The breach was brought to my attention. I was dazed and confused at first until finally I realized what happened. I was hurt. The conversations at the breakfast table stopped. I withdrew. I felt betrayed. I should have had enough courage to call her out and tell her exactly how she hurt me but that was my fifth mistake because the obvious outcome of that non-dialog was months of pure hell. The Marketing girls were offended by my retraction of my attention. They were hissing mad with religious and social outcries. I remained above reproach never settling in for confrontation nor banter about betrayal. I never spoke ill of the receptionist nor of the others for the gossip and talk about what happened. However, the Marketing girls never learned of the Receptionist’s evil ways.

I should have made it public. That was part of my fifth mistake. I did not tell anyone about what the receptionist did; not even my boss, because I felt I was guilty for being stupid enough to lend her my phone.

It does not occur to me that people have the audacity to act evil. Their ways and their manipulations confound me time and time again because I wouldn’t act in such a way. Not for no reason whatsoever. I don’t understand other’s who are so undeniably without conscious.

The receptionist never let on what she’d done either. Her lack of soul managed a steady stream of innuendo and supposition surrounding that day that lead to the Marketing ladies distaste for my every view. I believed that staying above reproach was what God commanded of me. That was my sixth mistake. Believing I knew what God wanted me to do.

Some months passed. The girls showed that they were judgmental and non-Christian like with their words and actions and I didn’t take heed of it. I didn’t react. I didn’t judge. I went in every day and did my job as accepted. I forgave the receptionist and I began to be kinder, more gentle in my greetings. The girls convinced me to cut my hair off and I did hoping that I would finally fit into the group.

I donated over 16 inches and tried to get highlights. In the process the stylist bleached my hair. I thought it looked hideous but the receptionist told me that it was perfect. I believed her. Having chalked up the last betrayal as one evil deed and not a succession; I believed she was telling me the truth. My seventh mistake was not forgiving her but giving her license to tell me how she felt. She took my picture of the new haircut off Facebook and sent it to a co-worker with disparaging remarks in an effort to cause another to regard me as hideous and frightening. When my boss showed it to me I was profoundly hurt again.

Regardless, I came in and went to work every day. My actions still above reproach, I did not tell anyone, I did not gossip about it, I simply went about my business as my boss directed. I was told to remain as far from the 3 of them as possible. I felt at that time that was the best advice. That was my eighth mistake. I should have communicated my distain with what she did, because my lack of explanation for my removal of communication left an open door for the receptionist’s manipulation. I was told it was jealousy. I was told that the comments were because she hadn’t been told that the management knew of her treachery. I was flabbergasted that the drama was spinning out of control and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. That was my ninth mistake. I believed there was nothing I could do about it before it escalated.

The final mistake was thinking I could get in the car and ride 35 minutes to and from and event with two Marketing girls who believed that I was the worst kind of person who had manipulated and hurt her friend beyond remorse. The girls used that trip to lie about me and to spread untrue rumor to the personal lifelong friend and CEO. I lost my job over it.

Looking back I can outline what I did wrong. I can outline the actions I didn’t take. I can try to reason why this all happened when I was peaceful. I was someone who didn’t engage. I didn’t gossip. I didn’t hurt anyone and in the end I got hurt. What I know now is I hurt myself. I had plenty of time to stop the madness. I could have brought the gossip to the attention of the President or the boss much sooner. I didn’t do that. My intent was to allow the receptionist to hang herself, but that didn’t happen. She committed two illegal acts and still has a job because I didn’t speak. No one heard the truth and the constant manipulation, gossip and despair of that business continues on. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t because I believed respecting everyone showed more character than dipping them in the grease to save my job.

I suppose that’s why people create the drama. I suppose that is why women say and do what they do because if they don’t others will trample on them. I suppose….

What I hate the most is that this company proved this theory to me. I hate that the business world has come to this. I hate that I have a weakness for people and mercy for their contempt. Often I feel like I live in a world void of any character whatsoever.

I’m not sure how to process through this or what shall become of it, but I am certain that this weighs heavy on my soul. I wish I were the type of person that could put all this into lesson learned but it will forever change the outcome of my future interactions. Part of me wants to become the thing women see in me. I want to provide an element of fear so that they will not try to manipulate and hurt me. Part of me wants to ensure that I remain merciful. The battle of my two intentions will be a guest in my body for quite some time to come.

At this point, I have made sense of it. Now I just have to accept it.