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Leave The Past Behind

leavethepastbehind

Sweet friends, it’s challenging when our parents get older and we begin to take care of them.  Sometimes the past relationships get in the way of our thinking and it gets harder to be patient and kind.  Few grown children don’t carry some reminders of injustice or hurts that they sometimes unwittingly carry into adulthood and that can spill over into the present day relationships with our parents.

I understand.

But dear friends, it’s time to let go of the past and focus on the present.  This can be a hard task to accomplish, but I have faith in you and I am willing to hold your hand while you walk this path.

Guilt, shame and frustrations build when we are tasked with parenting when we are still holding on to hurts from the past.  Also, parents can do the same so that the relationship can be hard to navigate, especially when you, their child, is now in charge.

Why can’t he/she be nice?  Can’t they see I’m trying to help?  Why do they act that way?  I’m tired of this!  This is not my responsibility because they did x, y or z to me when I was little, a teenager, an adult….this list of complaints can go on and on.

And yes, I agree that this is hard for you (and for them).  My heart goes out to you all as I’ve been there and I have felt similarly to some degree.  I get it.  So you may be asking, How the heck did I get into this place of peace?

I let go baby!  I rose above the hurts to a place of peace in my heart.  I did it for them and I did it for me.  I love them innately and I see them as human beings doing their best, just as I am.  I love from a place of understanding, of forgiveness and with peace in my heart.  I go into the day with prayer for patience to help me throughout the day and to help them.  I get out of my own head and try to see things from their perspective and then it dawns on me, how they’re feeling.  I come from a place of healing hearts and simply trying to make all of our lives happier.  Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.  So then, I ask for forgiveness, to myself and to them and to God and I just begin again.

When you don’t feel like you’ve succeeded or when it’s been a really hard day, let go of the bad and just hang onto the good.  Let the hard times fall away from your thinking and hold onto that kernel of goodness.  There is some goodness every day.  Sometimes you just have to search a bit to find the blessing, but it’s always there.

Allow the past to have no power over you.  Live solidly in the present and allow the future to take care of itself.  Be present with loved ones and find the joy in connecting with them.  Role model love, kindness, caring and joy.  Innately you are a healer so use your gifts wisely.  And if you need to throw up your hands in frustration, by all means, do it in privacy.  Give yourself a time out to recoup before exploding with negativity.

Remember, your parents/elderly loved ones aren’t necessarily trying to make it harder on you.  They are simply doing what they can at this time.  And even if you don’t believe that or you think I’m full of Pollyanna hooey, give them the benefit of the doubt and give it to yourself when it comes to doing your best.

We are all on this journey called Life.  Lessons come to us in many forms to deepen our understanding of love.  Because let’s face it, love is what this life is all about and sometimes love and forgiveness walk hand in hand.  It take a lot of love to be someone else’s lesson.  Perhaps that thought will give you peace in your heart.  Your parent loves you enough to teach you a life lesson, whatever the lesson my be.  Be grateful for their love and for the lesson.  Hold them closely.  Forgive and forget.  Heal yourself and others.  You are more than capable to choose the high road and now’s the time.

Don’t do it simply because I suggested it.  Do it for yourself.  Raising the love vibrations in this world helps us all.  And it starts with you, dear friend.  Shine your heartlight.  I believe in you.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

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When You Find Yourself Parenting Your Parents

whenyoufindyourselfparentingyourparents

I have a few friends who are now entering a new phase of adulthood which is when you are now charged with parenting your own parents or elderly family members.  It happens to many of us as we reach middle age.  My friends are just at the beginnings of that journey and I am glad to be here to help them and to help anyone else who needs it.  Because, I know how hard it is to watch the changes that occur as our parents get older.  Sometimes it starts sneakily and at others, it feels as if the drastic changes happen overnight.  But not matter how it happens, it’s hard for all involved.

The reversal of roles from child to parenting our parents can be a rocky road to navigate.  Some parents have a tough time relinquishing control to their children and fight the aging process with acute belligerence.  I can imagine how hard it is to realize even a little bit that we aren’t as ‘with it’ as we once were, that we get confused at times and that our children are telling us what to do when that was our job.  It’s a slippery slope to navigate as a child who now needs to parent our own parents.  We must be patient as the changes occur and be kind, even when our best intended and even wise suggestions are met with disapproval.

It’s hard to realize that our parents aren’t as healthy, mentally and physically as they once were and that we cannot rely upon them as children anymore.  It’s a tough realization, but very necessary.  There’s a mourning that comes with that realization for ourselves and our parents if they can realize it.  Bumps in the road are certain as this next phase begins.

Perhaps you’re realizing that your parents are weakening mentally and physically.  They aren’t as spry as they used to be and need help walking or doing their normal routines.  Perhaps you’re noticing that they are getting a bit confused at times or forgetting what they once readily knew.  Or perhaps they are slurring their words a bit or not able to remember to pay the bills on time or to take out the garbage or to eat routinely.

Please, come from a place of love and kindness as you navigate this new phase.  Be helpful and try to keep your frustrations outwardly to a minimum.  Hold your parents closer than you may have in the past and give them love.  Let them know you are there to be helpful and not to take over entirely (unless it’s now truly needed).  Find ways in which to help them as these beginning stages unfold.  Keep a keen eye on things as it progresses and be aware that subtle changes can grow quickly into full on tragedy if not monitored.

I am not trying to scare you, but I need to warn you.  I have seen it happen.  Trauma can exacerbate the the changes more quickly and speed up the need to get more help for your parents.

You may even see personality changes occur as they decline mentally and physically.  Agitation is common as their frustration levels increase (and yours do too).  It’s normal, so please take care of yourself and them with kindness and patience in your heart, mind and actions.

I’m here if you need a friend.  I’ve been on this path for quite a long time with several family members.  It’s not easy, but when you understand that you are not alone on this journey, it helps to ease the pain.  Being supported by someone who’s been there helps and I would like to give back in honor of those who helped me through the journey, so I’m here for you.

Shine On!

xo

 

The Magical Allure of Balsam

themagicalallureofbalsam

I am still thanking Pedro, even days later and probably will until the tree comes down.  After all, that delicious smell of a fresh Christmas tree greets me every morning when I get my coffee and immediately, it puts a smile on my face!  For me, that balsam smell is associated with the thrill and child-like anticipation that comes during the Christmas season, most specifically for me on Christmas morn.  Even as a parent, there is a thrill of anticipation upon waking Christmas morning!  It’s that joy of giving.  That joy of family and love that permeates every moment.  It’s just being grateful for all of the blessings in our lives.  It’s the magic in the spirit of Christmas!

I’m grateful for being here every day, but especially upon waking on Christmas morning with my children.  It’s innate within me.  I am like a child, fully excited when it comes to Christmas.  I’ve always been this way, ever since I was little.

The smell of a fresh tree immediately brings me back to being a little girl, waking up on Christmas morning and seeing those presents under the tree.  If I sit quietly, I can easily remember that joyful feeling along with the thrill and magic of how Santa brought us presents while we were sleeping.  It wasn’t ever a lot of presents, but just the right amount.  It was in the excitement of anticipation of what’s inside the prettily decorated wrappings that charged me up!  It was also, as I got older, the happy anticipation of giving special presents to those whom I loved.  Finding that special trinket or sweater or special toy that couldn’t be found anywhere and delivering it to my loved ones with joy for knowing that they would be happy!

Christmas is about family being together on Christmas morning.  Waking up, sleepy with joyful anticipation for what Santa (ahem Mom) brought and what thoughtful gifts each of us in turn have gotten each other.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It’s about giving the Presents of Presence to each other.  Being there, in that priceless moment of glee that’s filled with love and family.

What about you?  Does the smell of a fresh cut tree bring back memories of childhood Christmases and the anticipation of presents magically appearing under the tree for you too?

Shine On!

xo

 

What’s Your Inheritance?

whatsyourinheritance.PNG

What comes to mind when you think inheritance?  Is it inheriting money?  Eye color?  Personality traits?  Grandma’s silver?  Family treasures?  Cancer genes?  Mental illness?  Or something else?  Is what you feel you’ve inherited a treasure or a curse?

Do you ever think about what your family will feel they’ve inherited from you?  I think it’s a valid question to think about as we live our lives.  What will you be remembered for?  Will it be treasured or cursed?

I know these are a lot of profound questions to ask yourself, but they are relevant, not only to The Daily Post, but to ourselves and to those around us.  What will you leave behind?  What do you want to leave behind?

For me, I want my children to remember me with joyful memories of a loving mom who taught them to love and to honor their family.  I want them to inherit the understanding that comes with loving people for all the good and the quirks of each individual.  I want them to inherit the mentality that the glass is half full and how each day holds miracles – that hardships are life lessons which make us stronger, help us to bond and to learn how to love even more deeply.  I want them to inherit a good sense of wholeness in health, mind, body and spirit.  I want them to inherit the knowing that comes with faith in themselves, in others, in God and with our Divine Universal code of love.  I want them to inherit an earth filled with peace, abundance for all and kindness.  I want them to inherit the blessings that have been bestowed on me, the amazing relationships that I’ve made and the soul family who are not necessarily biological.  I want them to inherit whatever wealth I have left in order to help them to succeed.  I want them to inherit a lifetime of knowing that they are loved from my whole heart.

I pray they will look back on my life, with all its peaks and valleys, knowing that I did the best I could to be the best person I could be.  I want them to be proud of themselves and of me.  I want them to remember The Presents of Presence.

Shine On!

xo

 

Brave

bravelion

Brave lion biting his tongue.

I want to see you be brave is a line from a Sara Bareilles song.  Being brave requires honesty with ourselves and others.  It’s hard to be vulnerable and courageous at the same time.  Sometimes it’s easier to just let things be, let relationships chug along without upsetting the proverbial apple cart.  We get complacent and we don’t want to rock the boat for fear of What will they think?  What will happen to me?

But what I’ve learned is an old saying from my Mom:

Those that mind, don’t matter,

those that matter, don’t mind.

But in reality, sometimes it does hugely matter to us what others are thinking and saying about us behind our backs or in front of our faces because we want the best of us to shine on and not be dirtied by judgments from others.  And that’s where your brave comes in and matters.

Finding peace within to be who we are is a gift that we give to ourselves and to the Universe.  It’s a choice that we make everyday and a decision that we ultimately have the control over at every moment in time.

I struggle with wanting to say how I feel in some relationships.  And sadly, I don’t say what I want to say and let the words fall out.  Why?  Because it’s easier to keep peace.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I shy away from being brave out of fear.

I’m learning slowly to stand in the truth, the facts and be with what is.  Some relationships have slowly faded away because I just don’t have the energy.  Sure, I listen and play nicely, but I know it’s a superficial relationship.  Do you have those kind too?  You’re nice.  They’re nice.  But there’s no real trusted connection anymore?

I think life has a way of re-arranging our relationships for the better if we would only let it.  We fight it because of the belief we have in our heads about how things should be.  But who says that’s right to begin with?  Who says we know best?

I wish we could all be brave and speak our truths.  But to do that, there must be trust within the listener because otherwise, it’s all for naught.

It’s like when you are so depressed and someone asks how you are, you answer fine and move the conversation along.  If we could all speak from the heart, listen from the heart and hold hands through the hardships, there would be less disgrace in the world and more love.

Here’s to hoping for more heartlights shining, more truth and connections growing and cheers to being brave.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

Sandwich Generation

sandwichgeneration

Have you ever heard of the sandwich generation?  It’s when you are a parent who takes care of your own children and your own parents at the same time.  Sandwiched in between the generations and responsible for them all at the same time.  At least, that’s my attempt at its definition.

I should know…I’ve been doing it for awhile now.

I have friends who are beginning the journey of helping their elderly parents and it’s hard.  Hard for the parents to let go and to allow their children to help them and hard for all to realize that life is imminently shorter than we plan for when we are young.  The changes that occur as our parents get older are sometimes unimaginable and hard for them and for us to fathom and navigate.  I mean, what parent ever wants to give up control to their children?  We are the parents after all. (said in the parental authoritative voice!)

But it happens.  If we’re lucky to still have our parents and our children be able to have a relationship (and if we still have a good relationship with our parents as well), please remember to feel blessed.  Because sometimes as the years go on, family difficulties interfere and our relationships deteriorate.

But in a perfect world, we may be blessed to take care of our parents as they took care of us.  This goes for anyone really in the older generations, the aunts and uncles, the older cousins, etc.

So can I give you a little advice especially now that Thanksgiving and the holiday season are arriving?

  1. Do your best to include them.  Make the effort to go get them to bring them to the family get togethers if they are close enough.
  2. Make them feel important.
  3. Watch to see how they are doing physically, mentally and emotionally.
  4. You are now the caretaker so be aware of subtle changes and if you see some, gently approach the subject.
  5. Get Mom’s favorite recipes now while she remembers them.
  6. Take pictures!  I can’t stress this enough!  Get photos of the family together.
  7. Video tape them telling stories or singing or whatever memory you want to keep.  Someday you may wish you could hear their voices again or remember how they sang their favorite song or danced the watusi!
  8. Be patient.  Getting older is not for sissies and they are doing the best they can.
  9. Role model kindness because your children they will remember how you treated your family.
  10. Be affectionate with them if that’s your family style.  There’s nothing better than taking that extra moment to hug a parent or family member.  They will appreciate it as will you.
  11. Tell them how much you care and love them.  During Thanksgiving you can give thanks to them for all that they did for you.
  12. Include them in favorite memories that showcase their love.
  13. Be aware that as we get older, it gets harder to remember, to move and to hear other people.
  14. Take the precious time to talk with them and to ask and to listen attentively to whatever they have to say.
  15. Try not to put them in the corner and out of the way if they don’t want that because keeping them actively involved helps them immensely.
  16. Be kinder as you won’t ever regret it later.
  17. Take it all in stride and be patient with yourself as well.
  18. Smile and know in your heart you are doing a great job.
  19. Count your blessings that they are still here to spend time with you.
  20. Enjoy each and every moment for life goes by in a flash!

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!  I am thankful for my Mom and for those in the older generations of our family.  Having loved ones pass away in the last few years has been hard and I pray that you will keep in mind that every moment spent together is precious.

Shine On!

xo

 

Loyal Felines

Tiffy

Tigger

We have two loyal felines whom we adore!  Snuggled in a sweater as she likes to be babied, is Tiffy who’s an American Bobtail.  Her breed is known to be ‘dog like’ and she enjoys being carried around.  She will bring her toys to you.  She loves to be with us and talks all the time.  She has the fluffiest, softest coat and our home is a testament to her fine white fur.

Laying on my lap is Tigger who’s a rescue kitty, found under a well-known hotel nearby as a tiny kitten.  We got her a few years ago.  Although nobody could ever replace our beloved Chessie who looked similar, Tigger has brought her own brand of joy into our lives with her antics.  Tigger doesn’t meow very well, although as she’s gotten older she’s learned how to make small noises.  She lets Tiffy tell it all!

Tiffy:  Let’s just say I’m a diva, being a pure breed.  I’m ten years old now, but I did love to annoy my older sister Chessie when she was alive.   Oh my!  Now I know how Chessie felt when I first arrived at the house because when I was a little squirt, I was always trying to get Chessie to play with me.  I miss those days.  I had some lonely time when Chessie passed away until they brought home a tiny kitten named Tigger.  What a surprise that was!  That kitten was trouble from the first day, but I’ve grown to love her too.  We do have our ups and downs though since I’m older and set in my ways, but Tigger has kept me young.  She has trouble meowing, so I’m the talker for us both.  I remind Mom when our food bowls need refilling and when I think we should be given a few treats.  I refuse to stop complaining until she gives in.  I’ve gotten her well trained! LOL  I love to curl up in Mom’s big sweater like a baby.  Nestled in her lap and cocooned in her sweater makes me happy…until Tigger tries to move in on my snuggle time with Mommy.  Then I get aggravated, but I let her have her turn too.  I even groom my Mommy sometimes when I’m grooming myself.  The space between her eyebrows needs it most I think! ha ha

Both Tigger and I know that we are a special part of the family.  We have an important job to do and we do it well.  They call it fur therapy here.  That’s a code word for do your thing kitties and we do a great job of it.  We know when someone needs a little extra love and we give it freely.  We instinctively cuddle with them when they are sad.  We know just the right way to get into their laps and snuggle with them until they are happier.  Sometimes they even whisper secrets to us.  When they need extra healing we purr while we cuddle with them.  The loving vibrations help to heal them.  It’s a well-known cat fact.  You knew that already, right?

We love our humans and enjoy spending time with them.  When they leave the house and come back, we’re usually there waiting at the door to welcome them home.  Well, unless we’re catnapping which we occasionally do!  You know we need our beauty sleep.  How else would we look this good all the time?

We have excellent hearing so we can hear when the outside door opens and we run to the door to greet them.  At night, we like to hang out with them, sometimes even getting lap time as they watch tv.  Of course, when it’s dinner time, we like to investigate to see what they’re eating.  Our favorite is fresh pieces of chicken which they sneak us sometimes.  Of course, Mom knows, but we happily indulge when the time is right!

We like to sleep with Mom most nights, but we’ve been known to snuggle with the kids as well.  We’re really good watch cats and sometimes we stand guard as well all night if we hear strange noises outside.  We don’t miss a trick, believe me.  We see everything.  We even see things that our humans don’t see.

We are loyal subjects to our family.  We love them unconditionally and with our whole selves.  Sometimes our thinking is way ahead of you humans!

Here’s a little post on Chessie.

Shine On!

xo