Posted in cancer, faith, God, Grace, help, loss, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

Death Comes For All

I don’t imagine this will be my most popular topic to write about but when you are told that yours may be imminent, it has been cause for me to explore the topic.  It is said that we are born to die.  And it is true, nobody gets out of this life alive.  Even Jesus had to experience physical death before eternal life.

In this day and age we have distanced ourselves from the concept of death.  We have hospice and funeral homes.  But just a century ago, most people died in their own homes, surrounded by family members and death was observed by families, up close and personal.  This is not the case today.  It was also something that many cultures embraced and prepared for.  Whereas, in today’s  society where we avoid the subject or reality of it, at all costs.  I am not saying that I am racing to the grave but I have made a bit of a study of it.

In many cultures or beliefs there is a bit of a ceremony at the time of transition.  Drums are beat, chants are made, music is played.  Here is the US, the priest or pastor is called at times and the last rites are said etc.  But what is all this about?  Is it for the departing soul or for the remaining family?  If you die alone, does it make an eternal difference to the dying?  Many of the dying wait until they are alone to slip away.  They find it difficult to do when surrounded by family and wait and quietly slip away when someone steps away for just a moment.  It’s as if they cling to life while surrounded by family but find it easier to depart when no one is around.  I have heard of this happening many times.

My very first experience with death came when I was 8 years old.  My young and beautiful step sister was dying of brain cancer.  I was very young when the reality that children die too, was thrust upon me.  It was sad and difficult watching a child I played with and cared for, die a slow and agonizing death.  And I am struck with my own cancer in my brain and my gamma knife success, how different it may have been if she had been diagnosed in today’s medical age.

My next death experience came when I had just graduated high school and my great grandmother (who had survived breast cancer in the 1940’s) was dying of leukemia. After graduation, I went to live with my grandparents once again and helped with meals and laundry while Nana took care of Nanny until she drew her last breath.  Nanny was surrounded by loved ones and in her own bed when she died.  The coroner was called, they came and took Nanny away and we had a traditional funeral service for her.

Then came the death of my second husband’s sister.  She drank herself to death.  She had been told where her drinking was taking her but she did not heed the warning and drank herself into full blown liver failure.  I remember being mad about this death it seemed so senseless at the time and she left behind 2 teenagers and a husband.  I later found out about some trauma that must have scarred her on a very deep level that she hid and it most likely ate her alive.  She died in the hospital and was not in her right mind as the toxins (from a failed liver) built up in her system.  It was very sad to watch, especially knowing that she had done this to herself.

Since my breast cancer experience, I have witnessed many folks on their deathbed.  I am a witness to their passing.  I am OK with being there.  I have had very deep conversations with folks who are passing over and I have had a glimpse of what comes after.  There is an after.  This life that we see and experience is not all there is.  Souls (mine and yours) live on beyond the relinquishment of the physical body.  The essence of who we are goes on.  It does not matter what you believe happens after that……know this, you will continue to exist.  The love you expressed, the people you helped, the kindness you showed matters.

Take some time out of your life to figure your next stop.  It always amazes me at how much time is spent preparing for things that MIGHT happen and so little time is spent on what is definitely going to happen, at some point.  Death comes for us ALL, no exception.  What are you doing to prepare for yours??

Microsoft Word - heaven.docx

 

Posted in cancer, faith, friend, God, Grace, gratitude, hapiness, healing, heart, help, Love, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

Living From the Heart

Living from the heart.  What does this mean?  Another expression “living wholeheartedly.”  I love Brene Brown, she has done several great works on this subject of living wholeheartedly and authentically.  But what does it look like, this wholehearted living?

I will try to flesh this out in the way that I have been working on.  The Word courage actually has at the root of it “Heart”.  Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart.’  So we know that courage takes heart.  It has meant for me to moving forward despite the way I am feeling.  Courage does not mean that I am not afraid but that I continue on my path despite my fears.

The bible tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” 1John 4;18.  So, it is impossible to experience love when we are in a state of fear.  Courage is an act of faith, to move forward despite our fears.  It takes courage and faith to believe you are not dying of cancer when the doctors tell you that you have six months to live.

Much of this courage begins with thought and intention.  Humans are the only created being that have the ability to observe thought.  That means we can think about what we are thinking about.  We also have the ability to police those thoughts.

When I was first told I had six months to live, I sat one day and made a list of every negative, fatalistic thought that I had.  I memorized it and place it before myself so any time I had one of those thoughts, I recognized it and chased it from my mind.  I replaced it with prayers and healing intentions for myself.  This went on hundreds of times a day, in the beginning.  In time, I found I had less and less of those thoughts to chase.

I spend nearly a half and hour a day when I am in a dreamy state before I get up and and I do my work.  My true work.  I pray and meditate on my good health and healing intentions for my body.  I chase fear, I invite in love and light and express extreme gratitude for another day.  This time I spend is extremely important and it helps me to be fortified from within before I begin my day.  I am not in a particular position but I do practice breathing and listening to my breath.

In this state I envision and experience health with my thoughts and my emotions.  I express my gratitude for the simplest things: my body, my mind, my family, my husband, children, food, shelter.  I ask for nothing just gratitude for what I have.  I experience joy and contentment.  Here and now.

Living from the heart is rare.  People often say I am brave, if that means being authentic and genuine then yes, I am brave.  I guess I put a lot “out there” and express openly what others would not.  At times it does feel risky but it is mostly out of an attempt to help  someone who may be in a dark and fearful place.  To give them hope and potentially show them a way out.  I have been in dark places myself and I know how scary it can be to be alone with bad thoughts and intentions towards myself.  I spent many years there.  But those years have given me much compassion and understanding.

Living from the heart is healthy.  I believe it is what we were created to do.  To experience love and express love freely.  It is mainly negative experiences that cause us to wall ourselves off.  And with some folks who have proven themselves to be untrustworthy with our hearts, it is right to do.  I was not created to be anyone’s doormat.  Neither were you.  But I was created to be a welcome mat and there is a HUGE difference!!

I will share one of my favorite talks here:

 

Posted in faith, healing, loss, narcissism

Narcissism PART II

I have had a bunch of folks write to me privately and ask many questions on this subject.  So here is the post that answers many of those questions:

  • Didn’t you know that you had a narcissist in your life?
  • What are some specific types of things did “your narcissist” do?
  • Why did you put up it?
  • Do you have contact with that person now?
  • How long did it take you to “recover”?
  • How do you feel about that person now?

I have clearly expressed that my life with the narcissist was a roller coaster ride.  Everyday I would walk on eggshells and know that at any time, the switch could be flipped and rage and violence could erupt over really rather trivial things.  The narcissist that I knew was actually very honest with me, on our very first date he proclaimed that “everything was about him”.  At the time I was not aware how true that was.  I thought he was being funny.

The narcissist is a master of disguise.  They actually appear VERY charming and when it suites them, they can really sweep a girl off their feet with romance and candles etc.  But the charm is fleeting and will be turned back off as soon as they have what they want from you. Actually, they are incapable of any genuine emotion towards anyone else except anger, rage etc.  They are not capable of love and anything truly sacrificial.  They will put on a good act from time to time but time will always show that it really is not in their repertoire. They will have a life landscape littered with drama and broken relationships.  They do not have the emotional wherewithal to sustain a relationship with anyone long-term. They will lie about the failure of the relationships around them because the truth is not very attractive.  When I met “my narcissist” he was at the end of a horrible divorce situation, his ex-wife was “crazy” and stalking him.  In retrospect, I now see this was again lies to make me feel sorry for him and because the truth was ugly.  The fact is, I never saw his EX wife, she apparently made a new life for herself and moved on.  She remarried and left the area.

I have heard from others that the same story is being said about me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am incredibly happy with my post cancer life and have focused on getting well and putting all the drama behind me.  I would not go back to that crazy drama  filled existence for a million + dollars.  The life I have today is positive, sweet and peaceful.  I am sure there is some other poor soul who is enduring the roller coaster now.

Remember, the narcissist will never see themselves as any part of the problem.  The narcissist will constantly accuse you of things that you have not done, and have you defending yourself against the indefensible.  My grandmother always said that people will accuse you of what they are actually capable of. All the accusations are actually them projecting onto you what they are doing or capable of.

And that brings me to the next question.  Why do any of us put up with the narcissist?  First of all, the narcissist will look for someone who is weak or has recently experienced some type of loss.  When I met the narcissist, I had just gone through the loss of a 22 year marriage.  I was alone in Florida and felt very off-balance with my new life.  So, the narcissist is attracted to and finds the emotionally vulnerable.  Also, they will look for the emotionally damaged.  I was definitely damaged and had a diminished self-worth at the time that I met him.  Then, he worked on me and continued to break me down until I really thought I was lost without him.  He isolated me by constantly accusing me of different things so that I would not go out, for fear that it would cause an argument.  I danced and placated but all to no avail, nothing was EVER good enough.

No, I do not have contact with this person now. From the day I was threatened and walked out the door, I made the decision to fight cancer, not him  The very best decision I have ever made was to focus on my health and nothing else.  I saw him over the summer once, I waved just to acknowledge him and he flipped me the bird.  I then saw, he has not moved one inch from where we parted ways.  He is still angry and ugly for no real reason………getting sick was apparently something he did not know how to deal with.

It took me a full year of being very private and focused on my health, for me to get well.  I went to a counselor and she helped me put everything in the right perspective, to talk about all of this and to help me to heal from the trauma of being deserted after my cancer diagnosis.  But remember, it was this crucial betrayal that made me realize, I had a really serious core issue with my self-worth.

How do I feel about this person today……….I forgive them.  I actually pray for him quite regularly.  I know God has a purpose and plan for each and every one of us, including the narcissist.  God loves them just as much as he loves me.  Now all that being said, I do not want this person in my life in any way, shape or form.  My life is GOOD  🙂   I am in a great place. I am HEALTHY……….I am LOVED………..I am WORTHY……………I am SUCCESSFUL………..I am ENOUGH and at peace.

Posted in faith, friend, God, Grace, hapiness, healing, Love, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

The value of an impression.

This is the premise of a lecture I gave this month at FIT in a Communication class for Business Executives.  I really enjoyed speaking in an academic environment, definitely a first and  a thrill for me.

I work at SCB Marketing and I am in the impression business.  My company is in the business of impressing different audiences in Brevard County.  Our clients and advertisers count on us and our ability to make impressions for them each and everyday.  The entire advertising industry relies on the fact that what we see and what impresses us, influences behavior.  When we keep our clients “top of mind”, they will be the ones who get your business, when you have a need that they can fulfill.

I theorize that we are far more impressionable than we realize.  I theorize that EVERYTHING that we come in contact with, makes an impression upon us, influences us and ultimately takes us places.  From the time we are small children, we are constantly assimilating different stimuli and experiences and formulating our values, ideas and aspirations.  So, from what we eat, see, think, listen to, associate with……..our parents, friends, work associates.  What we read, watch on TV, play on our ipods……..impresses us in some form or fashion.

The degree that we are impressed depends on 2 things:  How malleable we are at the time and how much force or impact the stimuli has.  So, when we are young, we are very malleable and easily impressed.  As we mature, we become less impressionable but still remain more impressionable than we think or care to admit.

Let’s do a small exercise……think about the 3 most painful or difficult things that were ever said to you.  Most of us can think of those things rather quickly.  Now name the 3 best compliments you have ever received.  I guarantee that it will be more difficult for you to come up with the compliments then the slights.  We are much more easily impressed by the negative, rather than the positive.  Also, we read and assimilate the sub text easily.  For instance, your Mom/Dad tell you verbally that they love you but do not come to your school performances or games.  The actions of your parents completely belie their words and you will most likely get the impression that you are not loved/ worthy of their time.  When the truth is probably that your parents are self absorbed and critically damaged themselves.

My cancer experience was that profound experienced that made me realize, I had the wrong impression about myself.  If you look at your actions, who you surround yourself with and your self talk.  If it is all negative, you have gotten the wrong impression about you along the way.

So, when do people change?  People change when the pain of remaining the same exceeds the pain of change.  That is the place I got to shortly after my cancer diagnosis.  I was greatly impressed by my losses and the deep impact I felt on every possible level.  I knew that, if I did not change things within myself, I was a goner.  I would not survive cancer and  I would be lost.

Daily focus on healing, correcting negative self talk, surrounding myself with love and support are what pulled me through.  I allowed myself to be cared for and blessed by others.  That was very difficult for this independent soul, who’s first full sentence was “I’ll do it myself” at age 2.  It took multiple levels of programming to give you the wrong impression of yourself, it will take the same to de-program you and learn how to love yourself in a healthy way.

Some practical things to do……….

  • get a white board and write positive and affirming things to say to yourself when the negative voices speak.
  • Say I am statements daily and repeatedly:  I am HEALTHY, I am LOVED,   I am WORTHY!!
  • Take a personal inventory and list all your positive attributes!
  • Ask God to show you how HE sees you!
  • Get negative and non affirming people OUT of your life!!
  • Do nice things for yourself.  Treat yourself as you would your beloved child.
  • Nurture your interests and talents.  Do things that are good for your soul and make you smile.
  • Help someone else overcome an obstacle.

Every person on God’s green earth is loved by GOD!  He loved each of us so much that he chose to send his very own Son to atone  for when we fall short.  God will forgive you of any and all of our shortcomings if we just ask him to.  His word should impress you with his love and how he thinks about you!!

John 3:16-17

New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 5:8

New International Version (NIV)

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Posted in faith, healing, help, narcissism, stress, treatment

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? How to spot a Narcissist

  • Are you in a tumultuous relationship/ marriage that is like riding a roller coaster daily?
  • Does your partner fail to even consider your wants/needs?
  • Is your partner overly concerned about their appearance, prestige or power?
  • Are they constantly critical of you but SUPER sensitive to ANYTHING that is critical of them?
  • Is it impossible to get them to admit that they have done anything wrong, ever?  Is an apology from them an impossible fantasy?
  • Does your partner have a pattern of broken relationships and friendships?
  • Do they have anger and rage problems when challenged about anything?
  • Is EVERYTHING about them?
  • Are they impossible to please consistently?
  • Do they negate all that you do for them, regardless of how much time or energy you donate to their cause?

If any or all of this sounds familiar, you may be dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Wikipedia has this to say about the disorder……..

Narcissistic personality disorder


Narcissistic personality disorder
 (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.[2] Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to egocentrism.
Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:
  • Reacts to criticism with angershame, or humiliation
  • May take advantage of others to reach his or her own goal
  • Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
  • Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Easily becomes jealous
  • Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
  • Obsessed with oneself
  • Mainly pursues selfish goals
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Is easily hurt and rejected
  • Sets unrealistic goals
  • Wants “the best” of everything
  • Appears as tough-minded or unemotional [3]

The symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence, differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth. [4]

Causes

The cause of this disorder is unknown, according to Groopman and Cooper. However, they list the following factors identified by various researchers as possibilities:[5]

  • An oversensitive temperament at birth is the main symptomatic chronic form
  • Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults
  • Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
  • Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for bad behaviors in childhood
  • Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
  • Severe emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem

Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where NPD is diagnosed.[6] Some psychotherapists believe that the etiology of the disorder is, in Freudian terms, the result of fixation to early childhood development.[7]

A 1994 study by Gabbard and Twemlow[8] reports that histories of incest, especially mother-son incest, are associated with NPD in some male patients.

Theories

Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is considered to result from a person’s belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others.[9] This belief is held below the person’s conscious awareness; such a person would, if questioned, typically deny thinking such a thing. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognised their (perceived) defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ views of them and behavior towards them.

Pathological narcissism can develop from an impairment in the quality of the person’s relationship with their primary caregivers, usually their parents, in that the parents were unable to form a healthy and empathic attachment to them.[citation needed] This results in the child’s perception of himself/herself as unimportant and unconnected to others. The child typically comes to believe they have some personality defect that makes them not valued and unwanted.[10]

To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others’ needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen.[11]

People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight criticism, real or imagined.[12] To avoid such situations, some narcissistic people withdraw socially and may feign modesty or humility. In cases where the narcissistic personality-disordered individual feels a lack of admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation, he/she may also manifest a desire to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

Although individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, the inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements or criticism, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements.[13] With narcissistic personality disorder, the individual’s self-perceived fantastic grandiosity, often coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically not commensurate with his or her real accomplishments.

Splitting

Main article: Splitting (psychology)

People who are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder use splitting as a central defense mechanism. According to psychoanalyst Kernberg, “the normal tension between actual self on the one hand, and ideal self and ideal object on the other, is eliminated by the building up of an inflated self concept within which the actual self and the ideal self and ideal object are confused. At the same time, the remnants of the unacceptable images are repressed and projected onto external objects, which are devalued.”[14] The merging of the “inflated self concept” and the “actual self” is seen in the inherent grandiosity of narcissistic personality disorder. Also inherent in this process are the defense mechanisms of devaluationidealizationand denial.[15] Other people are either manipulated as an extension of one’s own self, who serve the sole role of giving “admiration and approval”[16] or they are seen as worthless (because they are unable to collude with the narcissist’s grandiosity).[17]

If you are in this type of relationship…………put as much distance as possible between you and them.  If it is your Mom or Dad, put some boundaries in place and stick to them.  If the person can not respect your boundaries, find an exit door.  The narcissist is almost always a lost cause.  It is a nearly impossible to cure, and always must begin with the narcissist admitting that they have a problem.  That by the way would violate everything that they want to believe about themselves……….thus why it is a difficult personality disorder to cure.

If you think, like I did…….that the individual just needed LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and they would be better.  You are sadly mistaken to think as a non professional, you can help this person.  This person has to first admit that THEY HAVE A PROBLEM, which is highly unlikely.  From their broken perspective, all the broken relationships that litter their landscape was 100% the fault of the other person.  They will even weave a web of lies to convince themselves and others of that fact.  They need professional help.  Even if they go to a counselor, it will be difficult for them to be honest.  You need a very skilled professional to help guide this person to reality and to let go of the fantasy world that they have created to hide their true damage.

The real question for you is not whether your partner can be “fixed”.  It is WHY did you pick a person like this for a partner to begin with?  What do you believe about yourself?  Now THAT is something you can work on and figure out.  Once you do…..you are on your way to better things, relationships and outcomes.  So here is a list of questions for you to consider?

  • Do you believe in yourself?
  • Do you feel you are worthy of good things?  relationships?
  • Do you surround yourself with people who respect you and your needs?
  • Do you surround yourself with people who support what you want/need?
  • Do you love yourself?
  • Like yourself?
  •  Involve yourself in things that are good for you and others?

These are serious things to look at and think about if you have a narcissist in your life.

I will conclude this discussion with a legend that I feel as though I lived………..  there is so much of this legend that I can relate to.

LEGEND

In Greek mythology Echo was a wood nymph who loved a youth by the name of Narcissus. He was a beautiful creature loved by many but Narcissus loved no one. He enjoyed attention, praise and envy. In Narcissus’ eyes nobody matched him and as such he considered none were worthy of him.

Echo’s passion for Narcissus was great and deep.

Echo often waited in the woods to see Narcissus hoping for a chance to be noticed. One day as she lingered in the bushes he heard her footsteps and called out “Who’s here?” Echo replied “Here!” Narcissus called again “Come”, Echo replied “Come!”. Narcissus called once more “Why do you shun me?… Let us join one another.” Echo was overjoyed that Narcissus had asked her to join him. She longed to tell him who she was and of all the love she had for him in her heart but she could not speak. She ran towards him and threw herself upon him.

Narcissus became angry “Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!” and threw Echo to the ground. Echo left the woods a ruin, her heart-broken. Ashamed she ran away to live in the mountains yearning for a love that would never be returned. The grief killed her. Her body became one with the mountain stone. All that remained was her voice which replied in kind when others spoke.

Narcissus continued to attract many nymphs all of whom he briefly entertained before scorning and refusing them. The gods grew tired of his behaviour and cursed Narcissus. They wanted him to know what it felt like to love and never be loved. They made it so there was only one whom he would love, someone who was not real and could never love him back.

One day whilst out enjoying the sunshine Narcissus came upon a pool of water. As he gazed into it he caught a glimpse of what he thought was a beautiful water spirit. He did not recognise his own reflection and was immediately enamoured. Narcissus bent down his head to kiss the vision. As he did so the reflection mimicked his actions. Taking this as a sign of reciprocation Narcissus reached into the pool to draw the water spirit to him. The water displaced and the vision was gone. He panicked, where had his love gone? When the water became calm the water spirit returned. “Why, beautiful being, do you shun me? Surely my face is not one to repel you. The nymphs love me, and you yourself look not indifferent upon me. When I stretch forth my arms you do the same; and you smile upon me and answer my beckoning with the like.” Again he reached out and again his love disappeared. Frightened to touch the water Narcissus lay still by the pool gazing in to the eyes of his vision.

He cried in frustration. As he did so Echo also cried. He did not move, he did not eat or drink, he only suffered. As he pined he became gaunt loosing his beauty. The nymphs that loved him pleaded with him to come away from the pool. As they did so Echo also pleaded with him. He was transfixed; he wanted to stay there forever. Narcissus like Echo died with grief. His body disappeared and where his body once lay a flower grew in its place. The nymphs mourned his death and as they mourned Echo also mourned.

This echo (Dawn) has found her own voice and healthy love and belief in herself.  How about you?  Begin today to reinforce the wonderful creation that YOU ARE!!  Get a glimpse of how GOD sees you……..and you will never see yourself the same again!!  Let him be your reflecting pool, it will change your life!!

Psalm 139:14

New International Version (©1984)
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

Posted in faith, gratitude, hapiness, Thanksgiving

My Jubilee Year…….reflecting on my 50th year :)

As I stand on the precipice of my 51st year, I am taking time to reflect on this past year of my life.  I have a dear friend named Tommy who spoke prophetically to me as I was turning 50.  Tommy declared that this year was my Jubilee YEAR, he said that this would be a year of restoration.  He spoke that everything that cancer had removed would be restored by God……..only BETTER!!

The Jews were commanded by God to observe a Jubilee Year, every 50 years.  It was when any Israelite that was a slave was set free.  Debts were forgiven and slaves returned to their homes and clans.  The harvest was collected and the ground rested.  It is where the concept of the Sabbatical year comes from.

So I began my 50th year with a wonderful party.  I was surrounded by 75 people whom I know and love.  Family came from Maryland, we rented a room and kicked off my next 50 years!!  I had music, great food and I even sang with some of my chorus ladies.  We had a photobooth there and everyone had a lot of FUN!!!

So I rejoiced at the privilege of greeting my 50th year…………. 🙂  Not everyone gets to do that, you know?  So here is my Jubilee year in review, it’s been great!!

  • I started to facilitate a BC Support at SCCC to help other BC survivors.  We are up to 20 attendees and in Feb we will start on in Viera as well
  • By April 2011, I became a full time employee of SCB Marketing (no longer an independent contractor).
  • By June I had Merrill living with me (answering a 6 year prayer)
  • By July, I had health insurance (that is huge for me)
  • In August I was asked to be the survivor coordinator for the “B PINK Project”.  A great  project that will honor BC survivors and raise awareness and funds in our community.
  • I joined the ACS “Cattle Baron’s Committee” which raises funding for Cancer patients and sends kids with cancer to rock camp.
  • September, I got a NEW CAR!!!!
  • In September I was honored as SCCC “Survivor of the Year”.
  • In October I had 12 speaking engagements and “Put on my Pink bra” to Make Strides against breast cancer.  I had a team of 25 walkers for the event and we raised nearly $4000.  With USA giving me a huge donation.
  • In November I asked my love and one of the Strongest men I have ever known to be my husband.  We are getting married this summer 🙂
  • I have had my relationship with a precious child restored.  She was previously my step daughter and I had loved and missed her for nearly 2 years.  Thank you God!!
  • Dr. Guy has done a series of peels and laser on Dec 22nd which has corrected the damage to my skin from my cancer ordeal.
  • I was elected to the Cocoa Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was installed last night.
  • I have also had my prayer answered to be on Space Coast Cancer Foundation’s board.  I was asked this week to join the process to join the board.
  • This week, I got the word from my doctor, Dr. Levine that ALL my blood work is completely normal.  No residual weirdness from cancer.
  • I just got my statement from my retirement account and it is nice to be building something there again as well.
  • I am finally getting my old hair back.  Everyday more and more like my old hair 🙂

No matter where I look in my life I see God’s providence and blessing.  So, it is with great joy and anticipation that I enter my 51st year~~  I will NEVER complain about a birthday or growing older.  My Nana turned 94 yesterday and she did it so gracefully and beautifully.  I want to be just like her when I grow up….serving others, still inquisitive, and making new friends and memories!!

Tommy was 1000% CORRECT

Posted in faith, Grace, hapiness, healing, heart, Love, soul, Uncategorized

Groundhog Day………..Is this your special holiday?

In 1993 a comedic movie was released starring Bill Murray and Andie Mc Dowell.  The basic plot is as follows:

Self-centered and sour TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray), news producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) from fictional Pittsburgh television station WPBH-TV9 travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Dayfestivities with Punxsutawney Phil. Having grown tired of this assignment, Phil grudgingly gives his report and attempts to return to Pittsburgh when a blizzard shuts down the roads. Phil and his team are forced to return to Punxsutawney and stay in town overnight.

Phil wakes up to find that he is reliving February 2. The day plays out exactly as it did before, with no one else aware of the time loop, and only Phil aware of past events. At first he is confused, but, when the phenomenon continues on subsequent days, he decides to take advantage of the situation with no fear of long-term consequences: he learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. However, his attempts to get closer to Rita repeatedly fail.

Eventually, Phil becomes despondent and tries more and more drastically to end the time loop; he gives ridiculous and offensive reports on the festival, abuses residents, and eventually kidnaps Punxsutawney Phil and, after a police chase, drives into a quarry, evidently killing both himself and the groundhog. However, Phil wakes up and finds that nothing has changed; further attempts at suicide are just as fruitless as he continues to find himself awaking at 6:00 A.M. on the morning of February 2 with the clock-radio on his bedstand playing I Got You, Babe by Sonny & Cher.

When Phil explains the situation to Rita, she suggests that he should take advantage of it to improve himself. Inspired, Phil endeavors to try to learn more about Rita, building upon his knowledge of her and the town each day. He begins to use his by-now vast experience of the day to help as many people around town as possible. He uses the time to learn, among other things, to play piano, ice sculpt and speak French.

Eventually, Phil is able to befriend almost everyone he meets during the day, using his experiences to save lives, help townspeople, and to get closer to Rita. He crafts a report on the Groundhog Day celebration so eloquent that all the other stations turn their microphones to him. After the evening dance, Rita and Phil retire together to Phil’s room. He wakes the next morning and finds the time loop is broken; it is now February 3 and Rita is still with him. After going outside, Phil talks about living in Punxsutawney with Rita.

Think about your own life, do you have certain patterns of events, circumstances or failure, repeat themselves over and over?  Do you find yourself in the same failed relationships again and again.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the one common denominator in all these dramas is YOU!  You tell yourself that, you just need a better partner, boss.  You need to change the cast of characters etc.  What you don’t realize is that it is YOU that creates and re creates the same drama again and again.  You can change the names, but the core problem remains the same.

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Are you insane?

What do you do to break the cycle?  Begin with YOU.  Realize that in order for your life to be different, YOU MUST BE DIFFERENT.  Being different feels really weird at first.  You will feel like a fish out of water.  But remember that in order to adopt different behavior patterns, you must adopt different behavior, thoughts and eventually beliefs.  It takes time and lots of consistent mental work.  Over time though, you can do it……..you can change your life.  BUT you must begin with YOU!!

How ironic that the Groundhog Day is all about shadows.  A shadow is an area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object.  The obstruction in this analogy is you and your unproductive, faulty beliefs and patterns.  Do yourself a favor and get out of your own way today.  Try to thoughtfully respond to others instead of reacting.  Your figurative spring could be just around the corner.

2 Corinthians 5:17New International Version (NIV

)17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Posted in faith, God, Grace, healing, heart, help, Love

The Power of “IF”…………..

The word “if” is an interesting one.  It speaks of hidden potential.  It is often used conditionally……if you do this, then this will happen.

It is a poem by Rudyard Kipling (which is a favorite of mine)

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Great Poem……………

But yesterday I realized in my reflection that the word “IF” is the only difference between LOVE and LIFE.  And it made me smile to realize that without LOVE……true uncommon and unconditional LOVE, there is NO LIFE.  Or at least no life worth living, that is.  So I came up with a small and simple equation.  LOVE + IF = LIFE.

If we love others and extend ourselves sacrificially towards others, we have an exceptional and satisfying life.  It has truly worked for me!!  And God did it for us FIRST!!