Celebrate Your Specialness

PrettyYou complete me. Many people believe that when  Mr. Right or Mrs. Right comes along then they will be a complete human being. All too many of us consider love to be the miracle by which, we  will become complete human beings. This is the fixer-upper notion of love, the idea that we’re not all right as we are but we could  be  if we could  just find that one person to be loved by,  then that would prove we’re OK.  Love begets love.

If you don’t think well of your self, enjoying and valuing the person that you are, and have an understanding that self-knowledge is a lifelong personnel enterprise. It means that you appreciated yourself at least as much as you value your honey, that you know he or she is as blessed in love as you believe you are. It means you measure your strengths and weaknesses neither with the abuse of self-depreciation nor the insanity of egomania, but with genuineness, with accuracy. Loving  yourself is recognizing your gifts and talents and putting them to good use, acknowledging your flaws and forgiving yourself for them. Loving yourself is reaching for more, for the best in you.

So often people put up with shabby treatment in love because they don’t believe they deserve better. But self-love is always the model for the love you may reasonably expect, the true measure of the love you will give and get. Your heart can only hold as much love as you believe it can. So treat yourself better, believe you deserve to be treated well, and you will get treated ever more wonderfully in love. Love yourself. If you have not been treated kindly throughout your life or are trying to overcome a trauma from the past do yourself a favor and seek professional help and that should put you on a journey to loving yourself. You can exchange those ashes for beauty. Remember God is love.

“Sometimes Reclaiming Your Life Means Giving Up The Fariy Tale”

Couple in conflictHave you ever felt that you walked the path of your life alone? That you were the only woman who has ever made a painful, stupid mistake? That you settled for less than you deserved?  Did you desperately desire love above all else? Did you yearn for a real partner so much it hurt: Have you ever thought “Why is every woman but me in a great relationship?  “Why can’t I be that happy?” Or found yourself rejected by the person you loved and it left you feeling that something was wrong with you?

When a devastating breakdown of a relationship ends it can feel like a wild boar‘s tusk ripping through your heart. You can become convinced that you are the only woman who has ever made a complete mess of your life. You feel alone, rejected, and furious that you had deceived yourself for so long. That you had given up on “yourself” to keep the love of another for years, only to be left with a heart torn to shreds.

What women learn shortly after the initial blow of their relationship’s end is that, they failed to understand above all else, is that they needed to honor the most important relationship of all “the one with themselves.” The ending of a relationship becomes the beginning of a journey for women  to learn many things about themselves and how to love and honor themselves.

The journey of being a woman can seem crazy and confusing but for better or worse, women have many of the same stories, heartbreak, obstacles, and expectations. The good news is that women don’t have to remain captive to the limiting beliefs swirling in their psyches and in society, which keeps them far from their dreams. We always have a choice. Along life’s path, we all have the opportunity to gain wisdom from our mistakes, the self-awareness that comes from healing our wounds, and clarity by claiming our needs.

If we are lucky enough to wake up to the immense power that is available to heal our hearts and teach us how to love ourselves, we have a responsibility to share our stories and insights with others. Otherwise, the true power of our realizations will be lost. Sharing allows us to see ourselves in the words of others, gain witnesses to our personal journey, and broaden the possibilities that lie before us.

I, too relied on the wisdom and support of many women, some of them total strangers, to progress through my journey to wholeness.  By watching others and listening, I learned that to fully and wholeheartedly love another I first needed to fully and wholeheartedly embrace ” myself.” This realization is a major source of inspiration in my decision to share my knowledge and experiences with  other women. Women need to share the wisdom gained on their personal path as they went from being a person they thought they had to be to be loved to being the one they actually are.

In them I gained wisdom while on my personal path as I went from being  a person I thought I knew and loved to being one I actually do know and love. We shared our stories about living ordinary lives, raising children, creating a safe home life, the ups and downs of stay at home moms to the working moms. Some of us were married and some single. We talked about many issues like paying bills, being young, and getting older and the list goes on and on and lets not forget divorce as well. We also talked about trying to find sources of love and happiness but often looking in the wrong places. When we stopped and took a careful look at the life we had created and honesty answered this question “Am I honoring the most important relationship in my life first?  The one with my self and God.

We discovered reclaiming our lives meant giving up the fairy tale that we had created about ourselves and instead finding out what reality was. The new path may did not seem clear at the beginning to us  and we felt like we were fumbling in the dark grabbing for something to hold to, then one of my dear friends said, remember this is a normal feeling and keep moving forward and don’t go back. During this time we discovered within ourselves the spirit of survivor and a deeper faith we never knew existed.

 We also learned that loving ourselves is knowing ourselves, enjoying and valuing the women that we are, and understanding that getting to know ourselves and God  is a lifelong personal enterprise. It meant that we needed to  appreciate ourselves as much as we appreciate the ones we love. Loving ourselves is recognizing our gifts and talents and then putting them to good use, acknowledging our flaws and forgiving ourselves for them. We learned that loving ourselves was reaching for more, it was reaching for the best, in ourselves. We discovered that our hearts can only hold as much love as we believe it can. So often women put up with shabby treatment in love because they don’t believe they deserve better or they are still stuck in fairy tale thinking.  So treat yourself better, believe you deserve to be treated well, and you will get treated even more wonderfully in love than any fairy tale woman has ever been. 

Carol. M.

Find The Funny In Your Days

Some gals holler, others get very, very quiet. How do you let people know you are mad? Personally, I’m a walker just let me go for a long walk and talk it out to myself and then I return a different gal. How about you? Are you a cupboard door slammer or maybe you just get very, very quite. Emotions are interesting things aren’t they?  We all have them, we are all affected by them, and we all try to hide them sometimes.

Then there are those gals who cannot hide their emotions and are subject to comments like, “she wears her heart on her sleeve”  or “It is written all over her face.” “Twitching eye-brows, clenched  jaw, blushing checks and pursed lips are telltale sign of our inner fluttering hearts, churning stomachs, indignant sensibilities, or raging hormones. But emotions don’t like to stay hidden for long. In subtle, or not-so-subtle ways, we broadcast our feelings to the world.

Our emotional vocabulary includes some pretty interesting phraseology. We talk about our stomach dropping out, our heart stopping, or blowing our stack. We feel  down in the dumps, hopping mad, in a tizzy, all choked up, in a funk, sick at heart, swamped, and at odds with ourselves. And when it is time for these emotions to come gushing out they take many forms: temper tantrums, endless ranting, sleepless nights, mood swings, critical attitudes, blind rages, constant complaining, pity parties and hissy fits. Unfortunately these very popular options have some serious consequences and if you have experienced  venting to a friend, co-worker or spouse and they have betrayed you by gossiping or even ending the relationship then you clearly understand how hurtful and embracing venting to the wrong person at the wrong time can be.

Proverbs 29:11 says. “Only a fool vents all his feeling, but a wise man hold them back.” That doesn’t mean we should bottle it all up. No, Even God knows we just need to release some of that inner turbulence carefully. Do you have someone you can trust, someone who will never tell what comes up during an angry spat, someone who can listen with understanding, someone you can vent to? Though it comes most naturally to let off steam in the form of angry words or bitter complaints, laughter is a wonderful alternative! Remember the advertising ” Don’t get mad, get Glad!” t.m. Have you ever turned a frustrating event into a funny story? Try it and see if it changes how you feel about the situation. We can sigh about things, or we can laugh. Both these responses release pressure, but which is  the most fun? We laugh so we won’t scream. What ever it is probably won’t go away, so we might as well live and laugh through it.

When we choose to release some of our frustrations with laughter, we allow others around us to relax and join in the chuckle. It’s  not hard to spot complainers, with their furrowed brows and down-turned lips. Their ways of  venting can be downright depressing to those who are forced to endure them. The next time you encounter someone in a such a state of disarray, interrupt their coming tirade and commands, by ” putting your eye brows up.” It might sound silly, but it works. It’s very hard to maintain a frown with arching your eyebrows. First try it on a child their expressions dissolve into a smile and a giggle. Then, their concerns can be talked about without the stormy face. Try it! Remember that in the midst of our fears, our worries, and our stresses, God encourages us to call for Him 24/7 at no charge. We won’t get a busy signal or a voice mailbox. He’s right there, waiting for us. You might  even try texting Him who knows…

The Mother In Law Relationship Is Complicated

The conflicts between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws is still going on it has raged throughout all of history. Nearly 2000 B.C. Rebekah complained to her husband, Isaac, that her daughters-in-law were making her life so miserable that she would rather not even be alive. Read Genesis 27:46).

Today, some 4,000 years later, women are still complaining to their husbands about these women! Mother-in-laws are still wondering why out of all the human relationships, the one between them and their daughter-in-laws is the most complicated? Second only to step relationships of course.

There is a built-in-conflict before the relationship even begins: two radically different views of the same man. The daughter in law will see him first as a man; while the mother in law will always see him first as her child.The mother in law comes into the relationship lugging a suitcase bulging with memories. From the sweetness of babyhood through the tyranny of the teen years into adulthood, these memories have indelibly imprinted her heart. She enters into this life phase acutely aware of a door closing in her life as a mother.

The daughter in law comes waltzing in with a suite case empty of everything but confidence and anticipation. She’s eager to swing open the new door and march in and there lies the basis for struggle. Both the mother in law and the daughter in law are naturally territorial when it comes to their family. Standing in the middle of  these two overlapping territories is a man who is the son of one and husband to the other. It’s in everyone’s interest for the son to step out of the overlapping territory and fully into his wife’s territory and the sooner he does this the better.

The parental relationship is secondary to the spousal relationship, yet the bond between a mother and her child is visceral. The phase “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” refers to husband and wife, yet there is little doubt a mother holding her child in her arms feels more “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” toward her child than she does toward her husband. Again, the basis for conflict between a man’s mother and his wife.

This motherly feeling of “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” had been the source of much marital conflict: a mother consciously or unconsciously placing her child before her husband, magnifying her connection to their child. Even the court system typically give more value to the mother-child relationship.

The undeniable connection can easily cause a mother to overstep her territory and interfere with the process of her adult son transferring thus-far primary relationship, the one he has with her  to the one needs to form with his wife. If you are a mother of a son, you fully understand this tendency, because there is a powerful bond between mother and son. A man’s first significant relationship is with his mother. That bond, forged at birth, leaves a permanent imprint on both mother and son. Even if the relationship is broken, it continues to significantly impact both lives. This powerful attachment between mother and son needs to be and must be reassigned when the son introduces another woman into the picture.

Here is a scenario to consider “Suppose your son, yourself and your daughter in law were in a boat together. If the boat capsized and you and your daughter in law were both drowning, who should he save?  You might be saying to yourself, ” A man can always get another wife, but he has only one mother.”  or a daughter in law might be thinking to herself,” well his mother is old any way.” Now, now is that anyway to be thinking?

As a mother you should want your son to have a strong and healthy relationship with his wife. A mother who wants to maintain a close relationship with her son, who truly has his best interests in mind, must willingly step back and fully acknowledge and respect the relationship he is forming with his wife.

Whether she likes the woman or not. There is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by allowing competition to into the in law relationship. While the mother may not view her behavior as being competitive, the truth is that anything she does to maintain her status as the first woman,” whether consciously or unconsciously, will be viewed by the daughter in law as competition.

 Sometimes completely innocent behavior on the mother’s part will be wrongly interpreted this way. Knowing, this the wise mother will refuse to take offense and will carefully watch her behavior until he daughter-in-law is secure in her position. 

 Five years ago my friend Jane’s son  David married a terrific gal named Liz and on the day of their wedding Jane’s mother in law shared some advice with Jane. She said, that she chose to forget everything she had ever knew about her son and let her daughter in law discover him for herself. As any mother can image that is not easy to do. Is it? Jane and her mother in law are truly friends and enjoy each others company.

 Jane, decided  she wanted to have the same kind of relationship with her daughter in law so she decided to take her mother in laws advice and chose to forget everything she ever knew about her son David and let Liz discover him for herself.” It was a choice that has richly rewarded Jane over and over and over again. She said ,she loves how excited Liz gets when she learns something knew about David and Jane enjoys Liz’s excitement,friendship plus she completely understands why her son loves his wife as much as he does.

A successful relationship with your in-law does not necessarily mean you become best friends. It doesn’t necessarily mean enjoying lunch dates or shopping together like Jane and Liz do. Success is simply determining to live peaceably with her by any means. Success is getting up every morning and determining to leave the past in the past. Whatever your history is with your in-law find a way to make admins and move on.

Success is recognizing that at the center of your conflict is a man you both love, children you both love, and finding a way to make room for each of you to benefit from and express that shared love.
Success is consistently acting in love and letting go of the negative emotions you may have toward your in-law,start refusing to let those emotions color the quality of your life for one more minute.

Your love is like a garden, and unless you tend to it, you’ll never reap the full rewards that love can bring.

 

What Married Couples Can learn From Divorced Couples?

Would it surprise you that some of the best lessons about how to strengthen a marriage can come from those who have suffered through divorce?

I want to share with you five things couples have learned the hard way that you can do today to help strengthen the bonds between you and your spouse.

Terri Orbuch is a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research, she recently identified some of the top common regrets of divorced couples.

“Divorced individuals who step back and say, ‘ This is what I’ve done wrong and this is what I will change,’ have something powerful to teach others”, She recently told the Wall Street Journal.

1. Boost your spouse’s mood: Encouraging and affirming your spouse in very simple ways can go a very long way. One study found that when a husband reported his wife didn’t express love and affection (not necessarily sex) the couple was as likely to divorce.

2. Talk more about money: Money is a magnifier of problems but it’s also a common source of significant tension. Don’t keep secrets and establish a family budget and stick to it.

3. Get over the past: Couples who can’t forgive past hurts grow bitter and resentful. Again, talk it our. Write a letter. Talk with a friend.

4. Blame the relationship: Studies suggest that 65% of divorces blame the ex-spouse for the demise of their marriage. When discussing relationship problems. Dr. Orbuch suggests saying, “we,”or “I,” for example, you might say. “We are both so tired lately,” not “You are so crabby.”

5. Reveal more about yourself: Dr. Orbuch recommends: Every day, for 10 minutes, the couple should talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems. No scheduling. No logistics.

Do you resonate with these findings? What might you add as #6 on this list? leave your comments in the comment box… Thanks