Shaking it off…

Some mornings just don’t flow as smoothly as others… Those days, I want to step back in time and adjust my words. Even though there was nothing wrong with what I said, it wasn’t accepted in the most pleasant manner, which meant words were exchanged that should never have been said.

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With God, I have no fear…

fear no evil The photo is borrowed from a source that provides photos for facebook, and if you click on the photo it will take you to the link (I think – I tried to put that link in the folder).

Today, feeling like I’ve stepped on millions of toes recently, I stepped back to look over some of the incidents that seem to have taken my attitude the wrong way recently. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, and that’s not a normal feeling for me. I prefer to feel a bit more in control of my life. So, it was definitely time to step out of the purgatory of victimhood and look around at what’s happening to make me feel like a victim in my own life.

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Grandma, Why?

My Nana said she and Mommy were best friends and they can be best friends again if Mommy will just call her and tell her she’s sorry. Mommy why won’t you call Nana?

My granddaughter had just climbed into her car seat and wasn’t buckled in yet. I could hear the breath, I knew her thoughts as if she were speaking them out loud, my daughter let the breath out slowly, fastening the car seat. She carefully fastened her in the car seat, closed the door and got into the front seat. Belted in and settled for the ride home, she took another long slow deep breath.

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Emotional Abuse is a Social Disgrace

I write this through tears of sorrow. There are people in this world who have no grasp of the pain they cause others through their own anxiety and personal disgrace.

Several years ago, I experienced quite possibly the cruelest treatment of my life by a woman and her son during what should have been the finest hour for all those involved. I followed my heart during that time and held on for dear life to my faith and God’s unending love and patience. I remained close by, but away from what happened.

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Mauling Mama Grizzly – Protecting Her Young

I’m a die hard fan of the mama tiger syndrome. No matter how often I hear about the repeat offense of a mama “animal” attacking someone who threatens her young, even if the attack is unintentional or possibly unknown in many cases, I have to say Mama is right to protect.Jan Verhoeff

But that isn’t a popular stance to take.

In light of a recent attack by a Grizzly in Alaska, students were injured. The bear cub most likely was not in danger, the students were crossing a river, single file, attempting to learn safe camping options for the Alaskan Wilderness. And yet, the Mama Grizzly perceived danger.

I’m Jan Verhoeff and I want to share with you that there is ALWAYS help for anyone in an abusive situation. Don’t give up, and don’t stop protecting your young.

In much the same way that a Mama Grizzly protects her cubs, a Mom watches over her babies and reaches out to protect them from the beastly bad influences of those who endanger them elsewhere. Life offers up its own share of dangers, one of the many are abusive parents.

Abusive former spouses who behave as neglectful parents rarely show up later with the best interests of the child in mind. Their efforts are more likely to include  emotionally abusive behaviors, toward the primary care parent and the child, escalating into physical abuse. The neglectful parent who spends his visits with the child attempting to impress the primary care parent in the early days doesn’t change his behaviors later. He simply goes at his ill structured strategies with a different tact, abuse by threatening the child, or threatening to take away the child.

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When Friendship Goes Wrong

Doing the life dance, I’ve learned there’s a cost. Over the years, I’ve heard many people talk about boundaries and how well boundaries manage friendships and relationships… Maybe true, maybe not.

I’m not a fan of the way most people attempt to set boundaries. Not only is the method self serving and ineffective, but more often than not,  blatantly RUDE.

Example: Discussions of religion or politics.

These topics are not readily acceptable in public, but if you have a problem with them being discussed, YOU are the one with the problem, not everyone in the room. Most adults are capable of having a conversation without attacking others, and those who understand that others have a difference of opinion may disagree, but they don’t attack.

Those who don’t understand this may need a little help, a boundary if you like, to adjust their message a bit.

A good boundary would be, “I disagree with what you’re saying and we’re not going to be able to agree, but I appreciate you sharing. Now, might be a good time to change the topic. My grandmother has taken up ballet dancing in France, would you like to see her photos?”

A bad boundary is, “What you say offends me and I expect an apology from you before I can continue to talk to you.”

The first example, the speaker takes responsibility for his/her own feelings, states the fact that the two won’t agree and acknowledge the other person’s right to have an opinion, then moves on to a different topic.

The second example, the speaker gives ALL responsibility for the offense to the other person, demands an apology, and figuratively “takes his toys and goes home.”

Either example can be used by the person who feels offended, but the second one takes no responsibility for his personal choices. This social boundary is one that prevails more often than not, leaving the person who feels offended with no personal control over his/her feelings. OOOPS. Do they want NO CONTROL over their feelings?

When friendship goes wrong because boundaries are wrongly used, the person who gave up all responsibility for their personal feelings becomes a “self-made” VICTIM waiting indefinitely for their “proclaimed abuser” to validate their existence and victim status by apologizing for having an opinion. The second person if they fall for the demand, then becomes an enabler, actuating the victim status with the proposed apology, and feeling frustrated themselves for having apologized for something they feel no REAL guilt over.

Psycho-babble? Yes, of the worst kind.

Often, so called psychiatrists, dig deep into a person’s psychic and offer perceived explanations for self-created victim status, applauding the “victim” for seeking help. Psychiatrists and Counselors make BIG Money applauding victims in their pursuit of “help” as they spend hours listening to the “victim” explain how others have wronged them, wrongly.

In all the counseling sessions I’ve attended (and there have been a few), there were VERY few trained counselors who indicated that I should take responsibility for my own actions/reactions and either move on from a relationship or simply let go of the relationship to allow the other person to take responsibility for their own actions. More often, the counselor/psychiatrist indicated I should seek to repair the broken relationship by explaining to the other person their fault in the break.

No. No… No! That’s not the solution!

With any situation, if you can OWN it, you can FIX it.

Take responsibility for the broken relationship. Understand your own part in the situation and acknowledge that you might have been at fault, then fix it if you can. If you can’t fix it, take responsibility for your own choices and walk away – NOT A VICTIM. Don’t jump into the fire accepting all responsibility if it isn’t yours, that enables a victim mentality in the other person. But do own  your part in the situation and FIX that part. If there’s more and you can’t fix it, see if you can discuss it with the other person, but if there’s no option for fixing the problem other than enabling the person to continue being a victim, stop there.

Say this, “I love you and I am at fault for my part of this issue. I’ll fix that, but I can’t take responsibility for your part of the problem. It’s been a lovely friendship and I’ll miss you, but I won’t carry your part of our friendship as well as my own. God bless you my friend, I’ll be praying for you.”

And let them go their way, with your blessings.

Tell me how you handle broken friendships and how you might fix one, if possible. I’d like other thoughts on this issue.

Once Upon a Sisterhood

Sisters. The joy, the delight, the trials, and the trouble of growing up with a sister.  Sibling rivalry is a tough road to travel, but most sisters go there,  no matter how much they love each other. The fighting isn’t part of the plan, but it’s almost always part of the experience.

My sister is a talented woman. Our talents are the least of our problems, and I don’t think either of us lacks any confidence in that area of our lives. She’s got a particular style that carries through in anything she attempts, and I’ve got a very different style that carries through in my artistic ventures. Seldom do our skills overlap in any given area, although we both use some of the same mediums.

Tea with cream, please.The problems arise when others dare to meddle in our tea. Mind you, we both like our tea, quite differently prepared. I like my tea hot or cold, with lemon and honey or a little cream, and she prefers hers as coffee, black. We bicker and fight over inane subjects, topics that matter none at all, or worse… over misunderstandings, but no matter what, no matter when, no matter how, when push comes to shove… she’s still my sister.

Which reminds me of an old saying (probably from some 1950’s movie I’ve watched)…

Don’t you dare… pick on my sister, mister!