Tag Archive | baggage

The Third Time’s the Charm

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Which would you rather believe: “The third time’s the charm” or “Three strikes and you’re out”? I prefer to focus on possibilities of success, rather than failure. Still, it can be daunting to accept two failed marriages and then be willing to take on a third, hoping for better results. After all, the definition of insanity is said to be doing the same thing and expecting different results. Something better be different if I want things to be better!

My fiance, Jay, pursued me for fourteen months before I took his intentions seriously. He is a very persistent man! He knew what he wanted and prayed about it, and felt he should continue to date me even when I wasn’t very encouraging. With my track record, I was leery of permanent commitment to him. He reminded me so much of my first husband in looks and mannerisms–the man I thought my first husband was, that is, but turned out not to be. I’d been fooled before, and wasn’t eager to jump back into the fire.

But with loving patience, kindness, and understanding, Jay helped me to realize at last that he really is who he appears to be. He is authentic: sincere, delightfully flawed like I am, and very inspired and spiritual. We are yin and yang for each other, completing each other in our own unique way. This is a second marriage for him, and he also learned much from previous mistakes.

One of my pet peeves is hearing people talk as if divorced people can’t possibly understand relationships nor should they try teaching others about relationships. Really? One can’t learn from their mistakes and have anything valuable to share? My belief is that my mess is my message. “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” said Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the light bulb. Like Mr. Edison, my failures were just ways that didn’t work, and now I can try better ways.

Better ways come through better knowledge and application of that knowledge. I have a partner who is aware, accountable and respectful. Armed with hundreds of hours of personal development seminars and mentoring, including relationship workshops, we make a great team! He is the man I consider my best friend in the world! We are each ready to embark this second/third time into the waters of marriage together, and stay afloat.

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Another misconception I had when young was that people could only truly love when they were young and good-looking. Perhaps I got this from the silly Harlequin Romances I used to read as a teenager. I didn’t realize that age really doesn’t matter, if the couple has their health and faculties–perhaps even if they don’t. I didn’t think older people had passion! I didn’t realize that, even as a grandmother and grandfather, we could relive the same passions we felt as teenagers! Jay makes me feel like I’m sixteen years old again! Our love is as vibrant, young and fresh as if this was our first love, which in many ways, it is.

Our top aspiration is to have an eternal partnership, for we believe that a man and a woman can be sealed together forever. We want our relationship to last not only for time, but for eternity. Our goal is an eternal family unit. Our dreams of a loving, equal partnership are coming true!

We are each aware of the baggage we carry, and have coping tools to deal effectively with what comes up. We’ve already been practicing helping each other work through things when one of us gets triggered emotionally, and this is the man I choose to keep by my side always. He truly is my best friend. With him, I feel calm and confident. He brings balance to my life, for in my quest for independence I sometimes focused too much on material mental goals and not enough on the emotional heart of connecting. I can be my authentic self with Jay. He finds me beautiful no matter how much I dress up or down. We each seek each other’s well being, We belong to the same church and have the same spiritual beliefs, and invite God to be part of our relationship. The contribution of husband, wife, and God will suffice, “for with God all things are possible” (see Mark 10:27). Christ’s Atonement is sufficient. Through Him we are a new man, and a new woman. We are humbled by past failures, but hopeful through faith in Christ.

It took those other times of failure to bring us to this place of finding each other, to appreciate what we have together! Our love feels like a cathedral with stained glass windows of beauty, richness and history. It is sacred to both of us. We cherish this opportunity to love and be loved. To be in a loving, respectful relationship, where we honor each other as a noble son and daughter of God.

We now go forth together, soon to be joined as husband and wife, man and woman, equally yoked and ready for the path the Lord lays before us that we choose. For we truly believe that this time is the charm.

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Stuck in Oz

Dorothy was so eager to get home! All she could think about in Oz was getting home to Kansas. While she appreciated the friends and support she found in Oz, her heart was set only on going home.

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home!”

What if the Ruby Slippers hadn’t worked?

There are no Ruby Slippers for my father. My father is stuck in Oz! He wants desperately to get home. But his Kansas is not an option. It is cost-prohibitive to have someone care for him full time in his home, and he requires 24/7 care. Family is not an option either, as his mental conditions include anger and abusiveness. He suffers from dementia and from cognitive disorders caused by microvascular damage to hundreds of blood vessels in his brain, caused by multiple mini-strokes. All he knows is that he wants to go home. Yesterday!

He is instead in a lovely Veterans Home, a spacious facility with his own room, delicious foods, caring staff, and fun activities.FullSizeRender

There is a garden there, with flowers and vegetables. On the patio of his wing there is a lovely planter box waiting for its first plants.

“Let’s plant some chrysanthemums!” I suggest.

“No, I want to plant things at home,” Dad replies. He misses his 3/4 acre with its many nut and fruit trees, ample space for garden and flowers. He wants to tinker on his own property, his own yard and house.

The Veterans Home staff let us know that he needs to have hope of going home, even if it is not a viable option. His mind does not reason logically. He needs hope of getting home, home to his Kansas. So they let him know what he needs to do to go home. He needs to be able to get into his bathtub by himself. He needs to be able to take medications on his own. Dad is content to work on improving these skills, with the goal of getting home. He is happy and patient with his progress, and participates in activities.

It reminds me of my Aunt Grace. She lived in a nearby care facility. Every day that I visited her, she was so excited: she was going home! Her son was picking her up that very afternoon! She was packed and ready to go! And so it went for her, day after day after day. Hope kept her happy and cheerful. She was going home! And finally, she was allowed to go Home. Home to her beloved husband, who departed this life decades ago. Home to her other loved ones on the far side of the veil. Home to health and a perfect mind. Home to the true Kansas.

I have also wanted to go home to my Kansas. When I found out that my first husband, father of our three children, had been living a double life and not the person he pretended to me to be, I wished I could go back! But there was no Kansas for me to go back to. I was also stuck in Oz, in a land not of my choosing, three children with me. When I remarried, the situation for me was much harder, and I wanted still to get back to Kansas! But Kansas was in the past, and I couldn’t get back there, no matter how I tried.

So after raising the three children plus one from the second marriage, I left and began my own new adventures. I no longer want to return to Kansas. That is only a dream of what might have been, a fantasy of lost opportunities and hopes.  Instead, I have my own corner in Oz. I’m finding new friends, new dreams, new opportunities. I’m at home in Oz.

Hopefully my father can come to terms with living in Oz, since this will be his home now. He can’t understand it, but hopefully he can enjoy the time granted him. Even if it is in Oz.

Energy Work Rocks!!!

I Love Energy Work!

Recently I hired an energy coach. Just this week she helped me to release issues that still triggered upset feelings from when I was fifteen: the year I crashed on my bike, was humiliated in front of my friends that I lived with when my family moved, and met my future husband who wore a mask and wasn’t who he pretended to be. In earlier sessions, I released negative emotions and false beliefs from myself with experiences and feelings at ages eight, five, three, and even at conception. Last night as I explained to a friend how much I valued this, they were unfamiliar with energy workers and what they do. Today I’m writing not only to them, but to you so that you too can better understand why ENERGY WORK ROCKS!!!

Why Do We Need Energy Work?

As tiny children and throughout our early lives especially, all of us make judgments about ourselves, those around us, the world, and God as we try to make sense of our experiences. Our three-year-old child inside us still runs a lot of our programs, based on those judgments. Unless we examine those programs and identify false beliefs we adopted as little children, we subconsciously continue to use them as facts which govern our lives. These are not only ideas, but we also carry and store corresponding emotions in various parts of our bodies: trapped emotions never resolved. We were too young, or there were too many things going on during trauma or difficult periods of our lives, to see clearly or to resolve the emotions or judgments. Those can be seeds of dis-ease for wherever the negative emotions get stored in the body.

What Is an Energy Worker? Why Do I Need One?

An “energy worker” is simply someone who helps us identify those areas and beliefs and resolve them, bringing to light the false belief and helping us decide to release (forgive, repent of) the negative energy we’ve carried. Hence, “energy” worker. You can identify your own areas, but that is like being your own doctor when you are wounded. It is helpful to have a third party, skilled observer guiding the process of identifying and releasing the false belief. It is an accountability, examining what we’ve always assumed to be true with an unbiased person who can more clearly see the falseness of the belief, because they do not have the emotional baggage associated with it.

What Does an Energy Worker Do?

An energy worker help us recognize the falseness of a belief (we all carry some false core beliefs, such as: I am unlovable. I am unworthy. I am not good enough. I am not smart enough.). An energy worker notices things that “trigger” us, or which cause us to become emotional, such as sad, weepy, angry, etc. when thinking of the past, and then aids us in deciding to release the false judgment and negative emotion.

Is Energy Work Valid?

I am not trained as an energy worker, but in my opinion what the good ones do is every bit as scientific and valid as a licensed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. In my experience, energy work has been much more effective. Because energy workers are not licensed or regulated, one needs to be careful in selecting someone with the Spirit of truth, light and discernment, as well as skilled at getting to the root of emotional and health energy blockages. There are many different training schools and modalities. I was only on the receiving end, benefiting from the experience and training of others. I know this worked much better and faster for me than traditional therapy, which I also tried. Cognitive recognition helped but didn’t release the attached emotions. A lot of traditional therapy seemed to be about discussing why I was messed up and what happened to mess me up without really solving anything or giving me hope I could ever be any better. It was more like a blaming session (it’s my parents’ fault!) than about understanding myself and seeing others and the situations with love and compassion, as I do during energy sessions.

How to Find an Energy Worker

It is easy to Google just about anything you want, but I personally like a referral from people I know when seeking a health practitioner, whether traditional or alternative. If no one you know uses energy workers, some places to start are Reiki, Dr. Bradley Nelson’s Emotion Code and Body Code, and programs such as The Awakening, which I took with my mother to clear generational issues. Best wishes to you on your own path to healing and wholeness!

Energy Work Works!

When I was fifteen and crashed on my bike, I made subconscious judgments, blaming my friends whom I was racing to catch up to for abandoning me, leaving me behind. I felt humiliated when my friends silently witnessed a boy who previously liked me telling me in front of them that he was no longer interested in me in any romantic way. I was deceived by my first husband right from the time I met him, and later judged myself as stupid for not noticing his personality changes and seeing through his disguise.

This week I realized for the first time, with help from my experienced energy worker, that these issues still bothered me and were blocking my self-acceptance and ability to move forward with confidence. With her help, I let go of anger and judgments not only against myself and the people involved, but against God. I subconsciously blamed Him and didn’t trust Him to help me since He allowed these things to happen! I didn’t even realize until working with my energy coach how I blamed God for so many things! I let go of those feelings and judgments against Him, myself, and others.

Energy work is a healing process, with layers. It’s interesting to me that I’ve had issues come up from conception (I felt abandoned by my sister for not coming to earth with me as my twin–she decided to let me go first, following me sixteen months later; no wonder I was always jealous of twins!), as well as a young girl. This week was all about being fifteen, of which I hadn’t given much conscious thought. Another layer of judgments and negative emotions resolved! Whoo hoo!

After my sessions, during which I usually cry off all my makeup, I feel lighter, with more energy and peace! I feel healthier, as I’ve just released negative emotions from my BODY, as well as judgments from my MIND! I have renewed HOPE! My body is strengthened by dumping toxic emotions! I can change! I am NOT trapped by my past! I have a NEW, JOYFUL LIFE!

Thank you for letting me tell you why ENERGY WORK ROCKS!!!

Forgiving Father

My dad is seventy-six years old. He currently resides in a rehabilitation center, where he’s been regaining strength in his arms and legs to hopefully live on his own again. This week the staff there informed us that living on his own is not a viable option for him, because of his cognitive difficulties. He has dementia. This is only one problem of many.

Dad struggled the past fifteen or so years with the sensation of having bugs in his skin, crawling, itching, and hoping someone could verify their existence. He thought he got the bugs from some kittens he had at the time, which all died soon after he started itching. Dad went to dermatologists, emergency rooms, physicians, and psychiatrists repeatedly over the years hoping for relief. Blood tests and examinations found no markers for parasites of any kind. Dad went to all lengths to kill the bugs he thought lived inside his skin. He put Lysol in his bathwater (don’t do this!), scrubbing at his skin for hours every day. He refused to let family members touch him, for fear he was highly contagious. He tried swimming in the Great Salt Lake, hoping the salts would heal and disinfect. He insisted on a blanket covering car seats he sat on, requesting we wash coverings as soon as we got home. He wiped off chairs in his house before we were allowed to sit. He withdrew from grandchildren, terrified they could catch parasitical bugs. Despite being told by dermatologists that he was safe to be around, or to swim with, Dad held fast to his fear of being highly contagious.

Dad thought anyone who disagreed with his self-diagnosis of bugs were in on a conspiracy against him. He also thought people were stealing from him. He claimed people were coming into his home, replacing his nice things with old versions. He had elaborate theories of why neighbors and others would do this, and stories of what they had done. He opened nearly half a dozen bank accounts, closing one whenever he thought it compromised and opening another. He hoarded possessions. He put multiple locks on his doors. One hospital psychologist told me in passing that Dad was paranoid delusional.

After my parents separated, when I was nine, Dad insisted on psychological examinations for himself and for my mother, hoping to prove he was a more fit parent and should receive full custody. Although my mother suffered from depression, the profile showed that my father had multiple personalities.

I didn’t learn this until I was an adult. I knew as a child that my dad was sometimes Santa, happy, loving and giving. Other times he was Mad Dad, scary and mean–to my mother especially, but also to my sister, brother and me. Dad grew up mainly in foster homes, Grandpa taking him at times until drinking and beating my dad, who was just a boy. It was the kind of home Grandpa grew up in, and Grandpa ran away for good when he was only twelve. Alcoholism went back to my great-great grandfather, with mean drunks, abuse, and divorce. But Dad doesn’t remember bad things he said, the beatings of my mother. He doesn’t understand why she left and destroyed his perfect family.

Now my father is not to live on his own, because it isn’t safe. Neither is it safe to have him in our homes. He still succumbs to temper outbursts. This crossroad is heartbreaking. I feel we have come around full circle. Where once we were dependent upon Dad for our sustenance, he now depends on us to manage his bills, his finances, help him get groceries, and now we decide where he will live.

He won’t want to be anywhere other than home. He wants to keep his house to pass on to my brother. He has no long-term-care insurance. He has some savings, but those could deplete over the years. There is no way that we can satisfy all my father’s desires: to be at home, independent, and in control.

This isn’t just about deciding where my father will live. It is about forgiving Father. It is about understanding his pain, his heartaches and fears throughout his life. It is about recognizing that Santa Dad is my true father, his true heart revealed. Mad Dad is his alter-ego, the suppressed side of fearful anger, the wounded inner child of generations lashing out. It is feeling his anguish, his desires to be a great husband and father, and how life screwed him over as a young child to the point where he couldn’t ever completely sort it out or heal. But he tried. He truly tried.

Santa Dad taught me to tell time, to dive off the edge of the pool, to ride a bicycle. Santa Dad taught me to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Santa Dad taught me to be a virtuous woman. He likened me to a butterfly, encouraging me not to let others rub off the pretty colors from my wings. Santa Dad lived his life for his children. He wanted to keep them safe, keep them healthy, keep them happy.

Father still loves our mother. Two years ago she dreamed about what he’ll be like in heaven, and that when he is healed she will want to be with him again. I too have hope for him to heal in heaven. When Jesus walked the earth, he cast out devils, made the blind from birth to see, cured leprosy, made the lame walk. I know He will heal my father: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

My parents both express desire to be together in heaven. I’ve told each of them my lifelong plan: that when they die, I will have them sealed together by proxy as husband and wife, and then I will be sealed to them, too (see Matthew 18:18). This to me is the ultimate forgiveness. That imperfect people, living imperfect lives, have hope of being cleansed, purified and healed in Christ, to live together as a truly happy family.

I not only plan where my father will spend the rest of his mortal days, but prepare a place in my heart for him in heaven. I have forgiven Father.

Self Esteem Building Activities for Former Victims of Child Domestic Abuse

Are you a former victim of child domestic abuse? Do you struggle to feel good about yourself as an adult? Perhaps you hear voices in your head of names you were called, or discouraging experiences replay in your mind. How can you get past all that to feel good about yourself?

Here are some Self Esteem Building Activities just for you!

Before sharing these activities, please know that I am writing from my own experience. As a former victim of verbal and emotional child abuse, I had a lot of baggage as an adult. This was compounded by difficult marriage situations. In my second marriage, my husband sometimes treated me the way my father treated me as a child. It wasn’t until I reclaimed my self respect that I learned the proper way to treat myself. My first step was to respect and love myself.

How do we respect and love ourselves, when we don’t believe (or at least doubt) that we are worth anything?

I found my answer in the scriptures. I knew that it was a commandment of God to love HIM, and to love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). I tried to do this, but seemed to be failing miserably, especially in my own family! Then, as I searched those verses more carefully, I found a section I hadn’t paid attention to: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS THYSELF.” Wow! It was actually a commandment to love MYSELF!

Now, how to do that? I decided my first step was to treat MYSELF as if I were my own neighbor, my own best friend. If my best friend had a difficult day, would I criticize her? NO!!! I would encourage and help her recognize the good she did. I changed the way I talked to myself.

Second, I began to take care of my body and appearance. For me, this meant sleeping early hours. I included regular exercise as part of each day. I cut back on junk foods and began to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean protein. I dressed and groomed for each day, dressing my hair and wearing attractive clothes and makeup.

Third, I began developing my talents. I loved music, so I took voice lessons and joined a group of singers who sang at rest homes and played handbells.

Fourth, I looked for ways to serve others, such as singing. I paid better attention to the needs of my children and husband, realizing that Charity Begins at Home.

Four Self Esteem Building Activities:
1.    Treat myself as if I am my own best friend
2.    Take care of my body and appearance
3.     Develop talents

4.    Serve others, beginning at home

If you found this helpful, I would love to hear from you! Please share your experiences. If you would like additional support and ideas, feel welcome to contact me about building self-esteem.