Saturday, July 26, 2014


Is your self worth based only in your productivity? What if you're not a go-getter?

Are there other things that matter, like being aware of what's happening around you?

Should we wonder, ask question and think about different ways to relate to life and those around us?
Do other things matter besides productivity?

To make things happen, changes life.

The club soft ball team was about to be disbanded. Everyone associated with the girls and the squad felt a sense of loss. Ten years earlier this team had nurtured girls that went on to become NCAA Championship team members.
But now this was a team where each girl was out for her own glory. Helping a team member was out of the question. Organization wasn't part of anyone's agenda, and team spirit was unheard of in this group.
Angela gathered the players for the soft ball game into her van. She handed each one a bottle of power-aide as she picked them up. They all needed an extra boost of energy for the afternoon's competition. She drove to the ball field and everyone piled out of the van."Take your bats with you," she urged. "Let's work together and make things happen." 

Her husband gave her a hug. "Hey, Coach, because you're a go-getter, you've really helped this team work together."

To watch things happen and talk about it changes people.

Betty sat in the stands, during the game. She noticed her daughter, Stacey, and friend, Megan, laughing with each other. That's great! she thought. They were fighting yesterday. She was glad she had talked with Stacey about the importance of friendship. She knew Stacey had worked things out with Megan. They had been friends for so long, it was too bad to let a petty jealousy over the batting lineup come between them.

To wonder what happened and talk about it can change the world.

Connie sat in her car, marveling over the transformation that had taken place with the team. The cloud of disorganization had faded from the group. They seemed more focused and determined to work together and play their best, She was glad she had asked Angela a few searching questions about cooperation and competition a couple of weeks ago after practice.

Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. Some people wonder what happened.

I've seen this quote used to emphasize that you only make a difference in the world by being productive. I would argue this point. 

Many people watch things happen and share insights and love with others that make a great difference in the world.

Those who wonder what happened usually have a big-picture view of life that can change the world if those of us who are productive will stop our business long enough to listen.

What kind of person are you?

Where are your values in life?

Do we need to compare so that someone always comes up short?

Can we create a synergy by working with others to help us all become our best. Let's cheer each other on and enjoy our differences?

Add your light to the world by making things happen, watching things happen, and wondering what has happened? 

Find your own way. After all, your way is the very best for you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fear: Facing the Unknown Alone

Megan, age 21 and an only child, returned from burying her parents in a double funeral. They had been killed when her father's small plane went down in turbulent weather. She felt devastated. No! Worse than that! Words were not adequate to describe her feelings. Her insides felt like they'd been hashed through a meat grinder. She could hardly breathe.

She still had their house—her childhood home—to clean out, and the estate to settle. No time for that now. She had to return to her new job tomorrow. She'd only worked there six weeks—since college graduation a couple of months ago.

What was she going to do?
How would she handle life?
She had always relied on her parents for advice.
Now she faced the unknown world alone.

This sweet client of mine faced a bleak situation. Tougher than most of us will have to confront. 

Megan went to work the next day, and each day thereafter. But she seemed to wilt during this period of intense grief, locking emotional self away during her job and daylight hours, and falling apart in grief after dark.

Megan felt frozen with fear. She just knew she would never be able to live a normal, healthy life.

During each therapy session, she cried out her sadness. On her own she journaled, wrote good-bye letters to her parents, and talked with uncles, aunts, and cousins for long hours on the phone.
She was determined to overcome her fear of never having a normal life. She had no idea what her future held. It was all an unknown.

I pointed out to her that she was already defeating her fear. She didn't believe me until we looked at the proactive things she had accomplished.
1.                  Continued to function at work.
2.                  Confronted her grief in therapy.
3.                  Wrote letters to her parents.
4.                  Talked with family members.

Slowly she began to connect with those around her. Her boss gave her a commendation for friendly service. She had attended her church meetings all along, but now she began to go to the socials for single adults and teach a children's Sunday school class.

One of her aunts suggested the two of them return to her parents home to make some decisions about cleaning out the house. 

That was a difficult weekend for Megan and sent her back into the despondent nights she had experienced before.

Debilitating fear enveloped Megan again. She was sure she would never get out of her negative situation.

We listed the latest things she had accomplished.
1.                  Befriended others at work.
2.                  Socialized at church.
3.                  Served young children.

She argued that she fell back into a slump after seeing her parents' home again. She was afraid she would never get out. I pointed out that she didn't remain 'down' nearly as long as she had before.

Confronting and working through fears is not an 'event.' It is a process—sometimes a life-long process.
Megan continued to rejoin life. Tiny steps at first—until she found a good friend and then a group of friends. She began to date and, several years later, is now happily married with children of her own.
Does she still fall into grief at times when she thinks of the loss of her parents? Yes. But she knows the way out. She can experience her sadness and then reclaim her life.

What are your fears?
Are you in the process of meeting them head on?
Or are you allowing them to control your life?
Begin today to face 


1.                  Find a friend, a mentor, or a therapist and discuss your problem.
2.                  Set a long-term goal.
3.                  Set some short-term goals to help you meet your long-term goal.
4.                  Notice your progress.
5.                  Change your vision of yourself. See yourself free of your burden.
6.                  Have your mentor help your look at the steps you have taken toward releasing your fear.
7.                  Get outside yourself to love others.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Harboring Resentment Destroys Self Esteem

Jane had self esteem problems. She felt empty inside—like a shell of a person.

She was an abuse survivor abandoned by her mother and raised by her father and step-mother. The words 'hate' and 'mother' were always used in the same sentence.

During the course of her therapy, Jane related enough of her childhood incidents of abuse, neglect, and battery so that she felt heard and validated. As she released her feelings, she began to let go of the negative energy toward her mother.

In following this path, she was surprised to find that she could remember happy times in her life.

She began to see good in herself. She wasn't perfect, but she was good enough.

“When we forgive and let go, not only does a huge weight drop off your shoulders, but the doorway to your own self-love opens.” — Louise L. Hay.

How did Jane accomplish this? 

·         *She acknowledged that she felt empty inside.
·        * She talked and  journaled enough of the abuse to give her a road map to healing.
·         *She understood the wounds in her mother.
·        * She felt compassion and forgave her mother.

Through this process she came upon some surprising results. As she released the negative energy inside herself, positive thoughts began to flow in.

·         *She felt compassion for herself and own wounds.
·        * She could see herself in a more positive light.
·        * She filled herself with happiness and love so she was no longer an empty vessel.
·         *She gave service to those around her, helping them find a more positive way.