past, present and future

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE   Past, present and future are important aspects of one’s journey. Do you put more weight on one segment of your life than others? How does that affect who you are and how you live your life? Past – 2016 (or even further past) Present – this moment – today Future – Hopes and/or Fears I recently watched the last half of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart playing George Bailey. Most of my readers have probably seen the movie, so I will not go into depth regarding the plot. If you have not watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, you may enjoy it! George Bailey is desperate and suicidal. George is facing financial ruin and even jail. An angel trying to get his wings saves George. This angel then proceeds to show George what his life would have been like if he had not lived. George also sees what occurred to others who did not have George in his life. These experiences of seeing life as if he had not been born gave George a different perspective of his life in the present. He returns to his wife and children filled with joy. Whether he ...
grief, light and love

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE   Grief, light and love may be a part of your holiday season. Although we picture the ideal peace and joy of the season, many of us experience grief as well. The reasons for grieving are varied. I do not need to enumerate them here. Each of us know what causes us heartbreak, sadness, and grief. Recently I was unexpectedly struck by grief. This sadness was precipitated by the realization that it has been ten years since I spent the holidays with my daughter. Years are gone. The love is not lost though. Aeschylus wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” As I sat … in tears … I once again realized that grief had struck. Grief is like that. It comes and goes. Grief has a life of its own. The intensity may lessen over time. Sometimes we need to revisit hurts and losses of our past to process them further. This revisiting can be surprisingly healing. Bittersweet is a word someone used to describe the loss of a parent ...
loving connections and loneliness paradox

PARADOX – PART 2

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS: A Paradox – Part 2   Loving connections and loneliness forms a paradox for me. No matter how many loving connections I have in my life, I still experiences times of intense, profound, inner loneliness. It is only recently that I have decided to not attempt to run away from the feeling. The thought crossed my mind in the past that maybe I was deficient. Maybe something was wrong with me. I wanted to be loved so badly. I wanted the experience and depth of loneliness to disappear. As a survivor who escaped a domestic violence (DV) relationship of decades, I am able to look back now with distance and further clarity. Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse led me to the DV relationship with my former husband, Tom M. I thought I had found true love. Little did I realize then, I had no real and true idea of love. Love is more than words. From the victim’s standpoint, in reality, it is almost impossible to truly love someone you fear. As the romantic relationship with Tom M. progressed, a part of me knew it was a disaster. I ignored the red flags and ...
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 ...
intention of a good day

DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!

 DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!   Have you ever made the decision to have a good day? Was the intention beneficial? When the day ended, did you feel a sense of satisfaction even if the day was not perfect? I was working in a coffee shop one day when a coworker reflected that customers seemed to be in good moods. My impression and comment to her was that we, the employees, were happy and that happiness made a positive impact on our customers. She thought about it and agreed. Months later during a very rocky and stressful period at work, this coworker and I made the spoken decision to have a good day. This included our desire to improve customers’ moods and possibly our other coworkers’ attitudes. The morning working with her was a success – at least for the two of us! I am sure our positive, pleasant attitudes provided benefits to both customers and coworkers. When my coworker left for the day and I remained, it was more difficult for me alone to sustain the positive mood and atmosphere. Other coworkers arrived who were dealing with the stressful work environment in their usual ways. Although the day ...
don't stop - perseverance

DON’T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!

DON'T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!   Perseverance … Determination … Resiliency … Momentum … Endurance … Strength … “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill The words above convey power … personal power, communal power, and societal power. I just finished reading the book titled “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. It was highly recommended to me by more than one person. It is the fictional story of two sisters during World War II. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21853621-the-nightingale.) For anyone who has seen the horrors of war or who has survived the horrors of abuse and torture or who has been close to someone who has been a victim of the aforementioned, this book has even more depth as well as hope. Life does not always bring success in the way we hoped. Sometimes success comes after a person’s death. We all heard stories of starving artists whose works of arts are admired and loved after their deaths. It may take generations for families to heal from generational abuse and to fully escape from it. Life evolves. How do we continue? How do we go forth when life’s trials seem overwhelming or never-ending? How do ...
stress, spirit & self care

STRESS, SPIRIT & SELF-CARE

STRESS, SPIRIT & SELF CARE   Stress is a given in everyone’s life. There are benefits to stress as well as problems with an overload of stress. Recently, I found myself stressed out due to situations beyond my control. It was important that I use my skills to deal better. This type of stress is familiar to each of us at one time or another. Solutions to stress overload or stress that seems never-ending include all of the usual and obvious ones. Some of these are: Exercise Eating healthy Sleeping well Making time for fun! Experiencing nature. The above options are wonderful ones. A hike in a field or on a mountain or around a lake can do wonders for one’s spirit. Riding a bike, roller blading, or participating in a group sport or activity can provide fun and freedom! Do it! Experience life in spite of the stress. It is necessary at times to find ways to cope during the actual stressful situation(s). Maybe your work environment contains extreme pressures. Colleagues are showing the effects. Even if you are usually the calm, easy-going type, the tension from situations may build. You may find that suddenly you are experiencing anxiety, ...
insights of Howard Thurman

HOWARD THURMAN’S INSIGHTS

HOWARD THURMAN'S INSIGHTS   One day I was shopping for a birthday card for a friend. This quotation by Howard Thurman was written on one of the cards: "There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls." The quotation resonated with me as a person and as a life coach. Many times as victims others take our power. Sometimes we relinquish our power to make peace or to stay safe. Eventually we can lose the ability to go within to discover what we desire and need to be the genuine person we were born to be. The positive message is that each of us can learn how to regain our power. You can discover or rediscover how to listen to your inner voice. (I shall most likely address personal power and authority in a future blog post.) The readers of my blog are from various generations. Some may know who Howard Thurman was. The name ...
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 ...