Years ago when Sister Pat and I lived in the same town, we would get together nearly every Wednesday evening for dinner at her house.
When we feel like whining, we can choose instead to get together with a friend and talk out what we’re really feeling.
She’d cook and I’d bring a bottle of wine. We gave each other the gift of unconditional listening as we’d discuss whatever was troubling us. There was no shortage of topics. She was recently divorced with a grown child, and I had divorced several years earlier and was raising two teenagers. Sometimes, we needed to solve problems, and sometimes, we just needed to vent. Misery loves miserable company.
We called those evenings our time for ‘wine and whine.’
At the end of the evening, we both felt better for having expressed ourselves in a safe venue. Sometimes we learned to look at our situations differently. Sometimes action was possible. Sometimes, we simply had to accept things as they were. Continue reading
Ever instinctively know that someone is trying to control you, but you can’t put your finger on it?
When someone is trying to control all aspects of your life, it’s time to persist in speaking your own mind and acting on your reality
You feel you’re being manipulated, but you’re not sure how it is happening?
Here’s a quick checklist to confirm your suspicions.
Manipulators pull your strings when they:
- Believe their opinions, wants and dreams are more important than your own.
- Believe they have the right to tell you who you are, what to think, feel and do.
- Expect you to read their minds and know and meet their needs, without their ever voicing them.
- Inflict verbal violence when you don’t do exactly what they want you to do.
- Give backhanded compliments, when they give them at all, and manage to point out some flaw or short-coming at the same time.
- Criticize your opinions and ideas, usually in front of others.
- Constantly challenge your perception of your reality. For instance, you say you’re hungry. You’re told you are not.
- Blame you or others whenever something goes wrong.
- Expect you to change plans or make accommodations to suit them.
Manipulators are controlling and disrespectful because of hurts they have experienced in life and still carry around inside them. Knowing this is no reason to accept their behavior. Continue reading
Depending on the decade when you graduated from high school or college, you may remember the spoken word poem Desiderata (Latin for “desired things”) that was written in 1927 but did not gain widespread popularity until the early 1970s.
To live a good life, all we really need to do is show up and be ourselves. Every. Day.
Or the college graduation speech improbably delivered by a number of people ranging from Kurt Vonnegut to Darth Vader but I believe (and let me know if you have better information) was actually written by Mary Schmich in an article called “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young,” for the Chicago Tribune. You might know it as “Wear Sunscreen.” Both are intended as advice to help us live a good life. The self-help section of the book store overflows with advice on how to live a good life.
And yet, here you are, hoping I have some nuggets, a silver bullet, the secret solution for all of life’s problems.
In short, you want, The Answer. Because, when we know The Answer, everything in our lives will be good. Continue reading