loving connections and loneliness

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS: A Paradox – Part 1   The loving connections and loneliness paradox is apparent in my life. In spite of loving connections in my life, I experience intense, profound loneliness sometimes. In the past, I would attempt to escape the loneliness through unhealthy and healthy methods. Now I befriend loneliness or at least get to know it better! This post will concentrate on the loving connection aspect of life. I will address the loneliness piece in the next post. Loving connections are any type of relationships that contain a meeting of hearts or souls. These meetings may be short or long, simple or complex. Loving connections may include: friendships, significant other relationships, parent-child ones, parent-adult child bonds, or even a momentary interaction with a stranger or acquaintance. We each know and experience loving connections. Define it as you will! Take a moment as you read this post to breathe. (After reading this paragraph, look up from the screen and breathe.) Life is often quite busy. I find myself skimming articles too much of the time. If you are able, sit. Relax. Breathe … take a deep breath … again … Spend a few moments thinking of ...
gratitude challenge

GRATITUDE CHALLENGE

 GRATITUDE CHALLENGE   October has arrived! Autumn is here. Thanksgiving will arrive in six weeks! Readers may remember that this time of year brings gratitude to my mind. I am offering my readers a chance to participate in a gratitude challenge. Megan (my daughter) and I used to keep a blank piece of paper on the refrigerator starting in October. This paper became our gratitude list. Whenever the mood struck, one of us would write something that caused us to be grateful. (See my blog post: http://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/gratitude/.) I removed the list after Thanksgiving. The lists were kept to glance at each year. Unfortunately, the sheets of papers were left in my former apartment in Germany when I left abruptly to protect Megan. The lists and memories remain in my heart though. Gratitude exists in my heart! The gratitude challenge is quite simple. Make a gratitude list of your own this October and November. Maybe you will even choose to keep two separate lists. A community or family list could be on the fridge and a personal list could be kept by your bedside (or in another safe place). Make sure the list is where it can be seen or where ...
taking high road

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK   Taking the high road when stuck may be difficult. It may also the best route to travel. There are periods in our lives when we may be are unable to immediately extricate ourselves from situations which are stressful and not optimal for us. Good reasons may exist to stay put for the time being. Time may be needed to help change the present situation or to find the door to exit. It is important to develop ways and means to deal with rough situations and the stress that is caused. The first example I will explore is a job situation. If the wise decision is to cope with what is occurring at your place of employment for the moment, it helps be present and aware of your current surroundings including your coworkers. I have noticed from my personal experiences that people react quite differently when stuck in a job. Individuals may: Decide to embark on a person work slowdown. (This slowdown may help the person to cope. It also does impact others in the work environment as well as customers.) Become angry at coworkers and customers. Rudeness starts to show where it had not ...
"little" gains

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS   Can you name one of life’s “little” gains that occurred this month? Do you tend to mainly see the big changes or large gains in your life? If you are in therapy or a support group, do you focus on not achieving the big goals in your life? Are you frustrated that you did not land your dream job or meet your perfect mate? Life’s “little” gains may be easily overlooked. It is human to look forward to reaching that next goal of importance in your life. The road to reaching your dreams may contain a multitude of “little” gains that we blow off as not being important enough. I, as a life coach, challenge you to be aware of your life’s “little” gains! “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu Maybe you work with a coworker who you dislike or she/he dislikes you. You find common ground one day and the work environment improves for both of you. I would label that as a “little” gain for both of you. ...
life's "little" losses

LIFE’S “LITTLE” LOSSES

 LIFE’S “LITTLE” LOSSES   Once upon a time, a coworker and I connected. The ease of the working relationship surprised me. She brought to life the ability for me to enjoy pleasure in the midst of a hard day at work. Then she left to move on to greener pastures. I was happy for her. This person had helped me to get through daily life, through days when work was hard and messy. I hope I did the same for her. Relationships at work may become friendships outside of the employment arena. Many times they do not extend outside of work. These good relationships form. You share information about your lives. You care. The connection can be mostly work-related or may become more personal. The “little” loss when the person leaves may leave a big impact or a small imprint. These types of relationships may occur in any location or situation. An example could be a kinship between yourself and a barista at your favorite coffee shop. You, as the customer, connect with the person who makes your latte. You find yourself sharing pieces of your life, sometime very important pieces. The connection surprises you or makes you wonder how ...
freedom

FREEDOM LIST

 FREEDOM LIST   Today I am introducing the idea of a freedom list. I like gratitude lists, as my readers and friends know. Gratitude brings forth a sense of joy or peace especially in time periods when life seems gloomy and despair is near or here. When I was first in a 12-step program, the idea of a gratitude list was introduced to me. It became a yearly habit each October or November to put a blank piece of paper on the refrigerator. My young daughter, Megan, and I would write whatever either one of us was grateful for on any given day. Some items were funny, some poignant, some unusual, as well as the normal things that evoke thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, I would remove the list. After several years of gratitude lists, it was interesting to reread the recordings of our gratitude. Growth occurred. No matter what was occurring in our lives, there were always many items on the paper. Gratitude existed. July 4th, Independence Day, always brings to mind my own independence. Thoughts of victims still in domestic violence relationships, incest, or other type of abusive situations weigh heavy on my mind also. My heart goes out to ...
the sacred in life

The SACRED in LIFE

 THE SACRED in LIFE   What is sacred to you? How do you personally definite the word (or concept) sacred? No matter whether you are religious, spiritual or not, all of us sense when a moment or an individual is sacred. Recently I discovered a book titled, “Recipes for a Sacred Life” by Rivvy Neshama. The back cover describes Rivvy Neshama as a “writer and community organizer whose spiritual path draws from many sources: Eastern and Western religions, Native traditions, and her mom.” The book reminded me of the series of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. My daughter, Megan, read many of those books as a young girl. I decided to give Megan “Recipes for a Sacred Life” for a graduation gift. When I presented Megan with the book, her first response was that it reminded her of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.   : ) I liked that the author’s spiritual path was derived from many sources. That is so with my own spiritual path. Life is filled with wisdom from various people, places and things. I believe the holy appears more often than we notice. Often our definition of the sacred is quite narrow. Also, many times ...
maneuvering bumps and stress on road

HOW to MANEUVER the BUMPS and STRESS on the ROAD OF LIFE

HOW to MANEUVER the BUMPS and STRESS on the ROAD OF LIFE   Sometimes life becomes too demanding. It may be hard to know how to maneuver the bumps and stress on the road of life. Life may include: busy schedules, finding or making time to implement the desired improvements or goals, family obligations, health concerns of others and/or yourself, keeping true to an exercise routine, making time for prayer or meditation, and other variables. It may seem overwhelming. If we do not step back and relax for a moment (or moments), illness may appear. Our bodies know we need to slow down. Sickness may force us to do so. Emotions may fluctuate. The inner balance one has may be strongly challenged daily. How long does it take you to notice the signs of overload and/or stress? As a survivor of abuse and trauma, do you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Do PTSD symptoms reactivate if you do not sleep enough or are too stressed? How do you take care of yourself while handling the demands of life filled with busy-ness and stress? Maybe you have been able to make a life for yourself that is balanced and ...
incest and forgiveness

INCEST and FORGIVENESS

 INCEST AND FORGIVENESS (Generational Abuse)   Incest occurred regularly in my home-of-origin. My grandmother and my mother, separately and together, sexually abused me at a very early age. When I was still young, my grandmother had a stroke. She was moved to Texas to live with my aunt and eventually died. My mother continued the abuse, the incest, for years. My siblings were also part of the incest cycle. Incest and forgiveness is an oxymoron-of-sorts in many human beings’ minds. Incest. It seems to be a dirty word that people do not want to acknowledge let alone face. There are many articles and websites on the subject if you look for information on the topic of incest. An insightful one is written in The Atlantic. (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/america-has-an-incest-problem/272459/) Incest. Mother upon daughter and grandmother upon granddaughter incest are even harder for people to grasp. Many doubt a mother could sexually abuse or torture her child. The truth is that this type of abuse happens more than we know. It is Mother’s Day as I write this post. Incest and forgiveness …. How does a person forgive a mother who emotionally and sexually abused him or her? How does a survivor forgive a ...
smidgen of hope

CELEBRATIONS!

CELEBRATIONS!   I am a believer in celebrations! If you are reading this post on the day it is going live, my daughter is arriving to visit me. Megan (my daughter) and I will celebrate her graduation from college and her new job! Celebrations, in my mind, do not need to big ones. We tend to mark milestones such as weddings with big gatherings or receptions. There is much joy when a marriage is celebrated, or a child is born or baptized, or a first new home is bought. Acknowledging those milestones with a reception, big party or an open house is wonderful. Funerals, wakes, and memorial services may be a celebration of a person’s life and the love shared. Life, though, holds many smaller occasions and even tiny moments to acknowledge with joy as a celebration. As a homeschooling mom, I marked certain days and seasons to change the schedule and to take a day off from our normal routines. Birthdays (both mine and Megan’s) were a reason to not homeschool, but to spend the day in other enjoyable ways. Children naturally celebrate life and the small details of life. There was a child’s book that spoke of turning ...