Archive | November 2014

FAVORITE THINGS

The title of this post might remind you of the song in “The Sound of Music.”
Knowing our favorites is important.  That is how we make choices to pamper ourselves from time to time.
So, what are your favorite things during the holiday season?
Do you like to stroll through the malls and window shop?
Perhaps you’re more the outdoor type, who would enjoy a walk through a snowy forest or a park.
Then there are all of the decorations to look at.
Do you enjoy holiday concerts, either live or on TV?

For me, the holidays are most fun when I celebrate with people I love and who love me.
I especially like the Christmas story.
Since I am a musician, concerts are a large part of my holiday season – I’m usually performing; but I like to sit and listen as well.

Another thing I like to do is to gather some friends, go to a restaurant and gab around mugs of coffee or hot chocolate.

This year, when you “make your list and check it twice,”  include some favorite things that pamper you, okay?

A PRESENT

Give yourself a present
That’s neither large nor small;
That might be hard to see;
Not tangible at all.

Give yourself a present
That warms and cheers your soul;
That brings you joy and hope
And tells you that you’re whole.

Give yourself a present
That only comes from you;
Honest and courageous,
To govern what you do.

Give yourself a present
That helps to plan and dream
Of possibilities
That build your self esteem.

Give yourself a present
That brings such sweet release;
From painful doubt and fear
To faith, hope, love and peace.

Give yourself a present
That frees you from your past
That heals old offenses
So you live well at last.

HOLIDAYS

November and December can be very difficult for a large number of people:  It’s the holidays, when friends and family supposedly gather to celebrate and enjoy each others company.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens in too many relationships, whether it’s because of abuse, isolation or general dysfunction.

There are some things you can do that might help:

*If you know someone who is a bit isolated during the holidays, invite him or her over.  Sooner is better than later.  when it isn’t a given that one has someplace to go, distress moves in quickly.

*If you are one who tends to be alone, treat yourself well.  I remember reading an article several years ago that said single people need to be their “own best friend.”  Decorate your home; prepare nice meals on real dishes; turn on music, light candles or make the lighting pleasant…

*Be the first to invite or suggest.  Proactivity goes a long way toward insuring that you won’t spend a holiday by yourself.

*If you’re comfortable doing this, find a gathering.  In my town, for example, one of the Churches puts on a huge feast for anyone who wants to attend.  I have a friend who goes every year, just because she enjoys it.

*As always, if you are in relationship with someone who is mistreating or abusing you, get out of it.  There is no easy way to say this, but you won’t fix it and for some reason, holidays seem to set some people off so they behave even more poorly.  Let freedom be your gift to yourself and your children if you have any.

*Whatever you do, take charge of your own choices.  You are a powerful person, who does not have to let circumstances rule your life.

 

May you have the happiest holiday season ever!

LIVE WELL

There are words and situations
That would try to convince me
To live as a powerless victim;
but I stand tall
With my head held high:
I am strong;
I am powerful;
I live well.

There are thoughts and misconceptions
That would seek to misguide me;
By telling me I can’t overcome;
But I’m not small
Or helpless and weak;
I am strong;
I am powerful;
I live well.

So many lies and deceptions
Attempt to discourage us
By teaching us that we must endure;
Reject that call
Stand on your own feet;
We are strong;
We are powerful;
We live well.

A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Because the process of healing can take some time when it comes to our souls, it is worth writing a note of encouragement to you:
We are built to heal.  You have experience of this physically.  If you cut your finger, you can clean the wound, put a dressing on it and in a matter of a day, it is much better.
It is true that some wounds heal more slowly, because they are deeper or more severe.  If you break a bone, it will take six weeks for it to mend well enough to be out of a splint or cast; if you have a head injury, it will take two years before you know what is long term and what has healed.

If you are just getting out of an abusive relationship or are just beginning to have repressed memories come up, you may be thinking that you will never be well.  You will probably think this several times along the way:  There are things that simply involve an extended process.

I have often noticed that souls heal slowly and gently.  Oh, there are the “Ah-ha” moments and the sudden breakthroughs that come after plenty of learning, forgiving and smaller victories; hurray for those!  Some wounds need to wait until we have some strength and wellness going before we can address them.  consider it progress when you encounter such an injury.  If you think about it, there is no way you could have faced it a year ago!

In short, take courage.  Hang in there.

There’s an old saying, “The best revenge is to live well.”  I think we could rewrite this a bit:
The best revenge is to GET well!

May you have a hopeful, victorious journey.

A PUZZLE

Life
Is a great big
Jigsaw puzzle,
With its many pieces;
Some of which
Don’t seem to fit
Anywhere.

I
Am a part of
That big puzzle,
With my complexities
Some unknown,
Waiting for me
To find them.

Joy
Is often found
In this puzzle
And the discovery
Found therein
That clarifies
Who I am.

A SWAMP CALLED SORT OF

I often find myself in a place that is “sort of” okay, but not really.  It isn’t exactly abusive; yet I feel “less than” and like “the odd one out.”   It’s a little easy for me to hang out in this swamp called Sort Of because I have a lot of experience there.  That means it’s so familiar, I am often sitting right in the middle of it, stuck with no clue as to how I got there or how to get out, before I finally realize where I am.

I bet there are plenty of you who know what I mean:
*The “friendship” in which you do all of the calling and initiating.  Oh, the person is glad to go to coffee when you invite; he or she likes to visit, mostly about him/herself, but doesn’t want to hear about the meaningful things in your life.

*The job that is just okay.  You don’t mind what you do, but you don’t like it either.  Others seem to be called on for special projects and recognition, getting promotions and building friendships, while you are treated courteously enough but are not really included.

*The house that keeps you out of the wind and rain; yet it is not really comfortable or nice.  You have that poster over the hole in the wall; you clean the mold out of the bathroom on a regular basis, only to have it come back.

So here’s the big question:
What would you like to do about these “sort of okay” situations?

If you are like me, you fall into some confusion at this point:  You will have to determine what you want; then set goals to get there.

So, let’s walk through this:
+What is your current “sort of” situation or relationship?
+What kind of situation or relationship would you like to have instead?  (Keep in mind, a step up is one in the right direction.)
+What are your options?
+Can you create or build some more options?
+Now, of all the possibilities, both existing and created by you, which are the most desirable?
+Now, from your short list, which one can you accomplish?  How?

Okay, that wasn’t so bad, right?
to quote a cousin of mine,
“You can do it, so get to it!”