Archive for September, 2010

Each day that we get up we begin the next chapter of our life. If we all put those chapters into a daily binder or in book form how would our story look? Would we bore the paint off the wall or add excitement to the life of a person that lives vicariously through us? How would we want our final chapter to read?

At another period in life we could own our own accomplishment but anymore it appears we cannot take credit for our own life or the joy in our life without first praising God. In many ways we have taken our spiritual beliefs which use to be a personal matter and gone overboard in a public saturation with them. None of us that do have faith in a Higher Power seldom fail to give credit where credit is due but must we always enforce those views on others? Shouldn’t faith be a personal matter between us and our own beliefs?

I would put my Faith up against anyone elses and most of us that have faith feel the same but on some days can’t we just all give people a break and allow them to come to conclusions in regard to their spiritual life on their own? Remember when conversations of politics, religion, and pay raises were considered highly private and personal? We have such a saturation of religious views going on in our music, writings,airways, realty t.v., and life in general, that it strikes me that it is time that we back off as we lose more people in the long run than what we gain when we constantly force those views into the brains of others.

It is almost as though someone found out how to wholesale God or Jesus and sell Them on the commodities market. Mention God or Jesus and I will listen to your program, vote for your candidate, buy your record or book, or watch the show and buy your products. Americans we are obsessing on God and Jesus and to do so does a disservice to Them. No one can get up each day obsessing on a view and expect others to want to follow through on the obsession.

I suggest instead that we get back to our own lives and writing the story of our successes as well as failures. The reason most of my posts are all about taking charge of our own responsibilities and being self-sufficient and teaching our children the same, is too many people have lost sight of their common sense and replaced it instead with God will provide,instead of, God helps those who help themselves, in my estimation.

I hope when I do write the final chapter of my life that I have lived a life that gave more than I took from humanity. I hope I taught about the struggles that we all face and came back to the idea that the solutions for our own problems can be best handled by ourselves. I hope that I leave behind at least one person, that I do not have a moral responsibility to, whose life I made a difference in. I hope no one will feel that I was a burden to them or on them. I hope that the Dear Lord judges me kindly and that others know that their judgements of me have or had no effect on me so that they need not feel as though they need to relieve guilt with my passing. I hope by my being here I have left a story of humor or two behind. I hope that more people will chuckle than cry at their memory of me. But most of all I hope I rest in peace.

It’s a very simple dream that I have but when we do wake up and recognize that life itself can and often does have simple solutions but more times than not we shift our responsibility of the solutions onto others, we miss out on the joy of accomplishment and self-satisfaction of knowing we gave it our best shot. How can any of us possibly find joy in always judging others or finding fault in them as well as their belief system? No one will ever live our exact life, no one will ever know exactly the way we felt, no one will ever know from where we derived our strengths nor will anyone know or understand our individual Faith and somehow I am comfortable with knowing that.

If Americans do not know by now that religion in every form in America is available to them and all they need to do is seek it out, they will never know that. Perhaps we would not see the need for competition or judgement that often leads to bitter or hurt feelings between the faithful, and we all could rest in peace, knowing that we are not responsible for driving people further away due to our own obsessions or judgements if we allowed people to choose their own paths. How great would that be!

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Although I have written before on this subject, it is such an important period of time in the life of a family that I feel it needs repeating. For you parents that are about to go into the teenage years as well as the youths looking ahead to the time in their life that they will be experiencing more freedom, if you go into these years with the right attitude, you will come out of them with the most valuable lessons of your lives. Both of you will learn the fine art of listening and then applying it, for perhaps the first time in your lives. Parents accept the fact that if you do not already know it, you are no longer Paul and Mary , but instead Mom and Dad of Julie or Jim.

There is never going to be a time in either of your lives that it is going to be more important as well as more difficult to listen to each other. Sadly too many times the mouths will out speak what the ears should be hearing. To the parents of the about to be teenagers: you still do not know everything you need to know about parenting. This time of life is not about you but about your teenagers and their needs. Really listen to what your teenagers are telling you. True they think they know more than you and most of what they think they know will never be shared by the teenager with their parent but this is the reason listening while keeping your own judgements to yourself is so important.

These years are not intended to be just humbling years. The first time you take the teenagers’ confusion and mixed moods personally, you are already headed to trouble. These years may reach down to the very last reserve of your unconditional love for each other and test it in a way it will never be tested again. Please parents be the adult and do not stoop to name calling regardless of the tone of your child. Pay attention to the tone of voice they use ( many times you won’t be able to miss it), their value system,be aware they will often use another person’s name before using their own on issues of sex, drugs, or suicide. There is no time in life more important in your relationship with your child than what these years are. At no time do they need more guidance nor will they object more to it, than now.

As much as we hear about relaxed sexual freedom, many times it is over exaggerated, and children are still getting and passing on the misconceptions that we all had and did when it comes to how to avoid pregnancy,diseases, and reputations. Many times a truly innocent girl is the same virgin that they were when some jerk or bitch, out of jealously usually but sometimes just pure meanness, set out to destroy their reputation today, as they were when we were young. Teenagers in many ways are still just as naive as they have always been. Do not assume that they will learn everything they need to know from their peers.

Too many parents have the mistaken idea that they and their child are the best of friends and their child tells them everything. There may be some truth to it but you do not know everything nor will you until they are around thirty and decide to laugh about it then. Unless you do really listen and keep your ears open, most of you will never hear the most important things you are being told. Teenagers speak in what the American Indians use to call “forked tongues” but is better known today as innuendo. If they are talking about their friends or someone whose name you have never heard, really concern about or hating something, they usually are talking about themselves.

Do not be surprised if your teenager feels that everything that comes out of your own mouth will be misconstrued to mean,”You are judging them or their friends, unfairly.” The difference in the generations are beginning to show up and many times the interpretations can be and are misunderstood. Choose your words wisely when offering advice and you will be amazed how well it is received by your teenager. Make sure any advice given is given to them separate from the presence of their friends.

Try to remember that teenagers are and should be sociable and need a place to land that is not always a planned school or Church activity,unsupervised park, mall or club. Unless we have parents that are willing to offer them both the right to express themselves and a safe place to gather quite often they will find a crowd or group that does not offer them the same safety that a home does. The likelihood that they will be polite mannerly children that no longer requires supervision is fairly naive thinking on our part. The more they are allowed the freedom of self-expression the more they will develop into independent adults capable of growing up to be self sufficient. When we refuse to offer them a supervised place to gather the more likely they are to make mistakes before they are capable of understanding the consequences.

If you offer them a space in your home, that is all their own to use, eliminate all rules beyond your teenagers themselves being responsible for keeping it up and cleaning it while maintaining order, It is time that both the parents and teenagers agree on what their freedom will look like, keep sodas in reserve and order an occasional pizza delivered, and stay out of their space other than perhaps a walk through to an office while the friends are there and most of the teenagers will be glad to have a place to land.

No teenager wants to go to the home where parents are unfriendly or they have to keep their feet off the furniture or use coasters under their drinks. If you are not fortunate enough to have extra space then call the parents where your children hangout. Get to know them. Find out what time your children are leaving and what time the parents would like to have them leave. Offer to drop off some sodas or leave money for a pizza.

To All parents: if something does not sound right it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts, but do not use them to judge. Have curfews and enforce them. If you are uncomfortable with the information that you have about your child going somewhere get a number first and then call it. Remember teenagers cover for each other so make sure you have the address and don’t be afraid to check it out for your child’s vehicle, if you think something is fishy.

If they get mad remember to remind them that you are still in charge. Other kid’s parents are not your responsibility. You trust your children but are not foolish enough to trust everyone else’s children. When names of friends start changing suspect a problem that requires due-diligence and do not rest until you do get to the bottom of it. As a rule your child is leaving behind a crowd that has gotten into drugs or is joining one that is already into something their peers do not approve of.

When children are made responsible for their peers in their homes they will not always follow according to your specifications when it comes to standards of cleaning but they won’t destroy the home either. Many teenagers still have to have a job and pay for their gas so they are delighted to save on gas money and gather to play wii or board games, listen to music, or watch movies on DVD or telecast with free cokes and occasional pizzas. When your children are home you are the parents that benefit the most as you more than anyone else will get to know these truly wonderful young adults. Also you always know where they are and they are safe. The extra sleep lost or expense paid out is well worth the peace of mind. I speak from experience, relax and enjoy the time as it always ends too soon.

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A while back when I asked my 5-year-old grandchild why he liked to put so much cinnamon on his oatmeal, he replied, “It’s the way I roll, grandma.” We often find young children comfortable with being who they are and it is only as they age that they start changing their own personality to conform into the thinking or the lifestyle of others. We are all born with a creative side to us and those that are encouraged to express that side often times will be the great artists amongst us. So often many of us do grow up to put more emphasis on becoming the person that we think others want us to become instead of remaining the person that we are meant to be.

It is when we lose sight of what makes us strong as a human and the talents that we possess that we often fall into the trap that others set for us. “Misery loves company” proves itself out long before we reach the knowledge of what effect that misery does have on our own persona. The more negative the people are that we hang with the more likely we will become just as negative. The only way most of us can go back to enjoying life again, as we did when we did have the courage to believe in ourselves, is to detach ourselves from those that do want to make misery their companion.

Although I noticed early on in life that when children start acting out it is usually as a result of wanting to be the center of attention, it took me much longer to recognize that people who are miserable actually get off on misery. In some ways when children are feeling neglected or are confused as to where they fit into the family, they will act out and start talking back. Often times the eldest child will become the confidant of the adults and no longer know if he or she is now an adult or a child. Too often we parents will share adult problems with children that should still be involved with play. Many times when a child does act out they will find that, “the squeaky wheel gets the most attention” and as long as they are getting attention they do not much care if it is positive or negative as long as the parents are focusing on them.

This is the same principle that adults use when it comes to constant complaints. The person capable of taking care of their own needs and does not borrow from our time or attention often times goes ignored and gets set to the side. I asked my cousin who taught Psychology at the University and had years into private practice if he thought there were people who did use misery in order to be happy or at peace.

At the time I was worn down by two people in my life that I foolishly thought at one time I might be able to help, but was realizing that they were draining me of my energy with their hard luck stories and it was taking a toll on my own health. My cousin, the Doctor, was quick to answer, “Oh sure there are people who are happy being miserable” When I recognize them I always refer them out to another psychologist that will take the time to listen to them as that is all they really want, is to be heard and the focal point.” He then added that he got into Psychiatry in order to help people understand or change their lives in order to live a more satisfactory life and so often people who enjoy being miserable are already getting what they want, and do not want help to change, so he referred them to Dr.s more interested in gaining revenue.(Please note: people with severe mental illness who are incapable of understanding reality or living it do not fit this pattern)

I found, that if I refused to answer the phone as I was busy, that the two people in my life at the time, would deliberately call and call and wait until I finally would give in and answer the phone and would then hang up on me. It gave them the sick idea that if I would no longer listen to their constant complaints nor allow them to manipulate me, then they would show me what it felt like by hanging up on me. Never mind the fact that I could care less as I wasn’t in the habit of complaining to them nor was I asking anything of them anyway. I do have to admit that the constant calling was irritating at the time.

By their own immature actions it actually relieved me of all guilt or need to feel responsible to either of them again. Prior to this I would even save and sacrifice my own financial lifestyle in order to pay their expenses or take them somewhere to try to lighten their moods. I was being manipulated to the point that I was losing touch of my own priorities and doing for one of the families what I needed to be doing for my own.

Once I realized that misery was the level that they all drew to, to try to out miserable each other with who had life worse or to gain sympathy in order to use others, it was then my option to gain control of me again.

I still do acts of random kindness for one of them, because of her place in my life, but it is on my time frame and my availability to do so. I find great peace of mind in the idea of leaving the others to enjoy their misery. I am back to being the person that I had lost and loving every minute of it! When we realize as great of a friend as we are to others is the same friend we can be to ourselves, we learn to be grateful and appreciate our own lives that much more from having had the experience.

This is the best way, that I have of explaining to anyone, why it is that we can many times make our own lives as simple as or as complicated as we want to make them. How about you–Do you have any “misery seeking company” in your lives? Usually these people do start out needing our help and sympathy but many times they will become comfortable in the role and unless we learn to back off they will never seek out their own happiness by letting go of their misery. Lets face it, they are getting more attention,gifts,excuses, entitlement, and praise through sympathy than they ever got through being responsible because we are guaranteeing that they do.

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I’ve written mainly on the problems that exist in life and marriage because we as a Society often times spend entirely too much of our time living in denial or inventing a fantasy land that does not exist.

Men and women are simply different in the way they approach life and how they perceive people. When a woman is complaining many times it is just a mechanism to relieve a stressful day but often men feel they are complaining because they are looking for or asking for a solution to a problem. Because of this difference alone, so many times, problems will erupt in the communication of the couple and it is neither right or wrong or anyone’s fault when it does. It is simply the difference in how men approach life as versus what a woman is reacting to.

I am always amazed to hear women complaining over something in their mate which is nothing more than the man’s simple attempt to show his wife that he hears her and wants to help. I have heard women go on and on about something that is nothing more than a man’s interpretation of how to deal with a situation where as the woman is not looking for a solution but rather complaining for the sake of complaining. I have a difficult time myself, understanding what it is that makes some women happy as versus what she truly is needing. I think all of we women can agree to this ourselves that our sisters can be and are moody if not down right bitchy, but instead we tend to group together and get our feelings hurt because a man does not understand us.

Most marriages work because we do fall into a comfortable routine eventually and accept the differences between the sexes. Men as a whole do not batter their wives and not all women nag their husbands to death. So many couples actually start resembling each other in their appearances and their mannerisms. If we are mature enough to accept the differences in our lives while respecting the need for space in both ourselves as well as our spouse, then marriage can be and is one of the best things that will ever happen in our lives.

We do many times start the marriage out with our lovers and kindred spirits and fall into a life of enjoyment and successes sprinkled with failures with our best friends. As we advance in our years, once we do understand that all marriages sometimes do need breathing room, separate interests, and equal priorities while attaining and reaching our goals together, we will find that we do become almost mirror images of each other internally if not externally. A good marriage makes both of us better people.

Recently I had a friend visit and she said she had spent the last 20 years of her life convinced she hated her husband and was only staying with him because they were at long last building their dream home. Their marriage had started out very rocky with him being abusive until she put her foot down and he quit the bad behavior. As we visited over the period she was here, I noticed she often said ,”That must be a man thing” when my husband and I were talking.

It was, with surprise to me, that before she left, she had diagnosed her own problem through watching our marriage. She announced to me, she felt she could go back and have a friendship with her husband who she thought she had hated for the last 20 years. I was delighted for her and asked what had made the difference.

She said she has been in a rut for years now talking with two of her sisters who were both her best friends and all they do is compare notes on who has the worse husband of the 3. After watching my husband, who is just a big teddy bear, she realized that her husband for the last 20 years had been reaching out to be her friend and it had been her that had read in ulterior motives or was only looking to find fault. She felt if she started talking about what is right in her marriage perhaps she could save it after all. Sometimes solutions in life are just that simple.

People can be highly suggestive or subjective and many times we will see where one friend becomes restless and bored so does the other. This is just as true in men as it is in women. It is not uncommon to see three couples split up following the first couple of the group breaking up. It is not just children who submit to suggestions as well as peer pressure. Marriage rquires maturity and that does not always come with specified numbers or age.

When we watch the program “hoarders” so many of the people acknowledge that they began hoarding when their mothers died. Truly these were people who never learned how to let go, as realistically we all know that our parents as a rule, will die before we will and yet if mothers do not enforce the untying of the apron string or we do not take the initiative to let go emotionally, the grieving becomes more difficult that it should be.

Marriage is about turning to each other and working through our life’s struggles together. If it is not working then perhaps we need to understand that the two of us are not communicating without finding fault and passing blame and get the necessary professional help that we need.

The bad thing about divorce is that we not only give up our future together we also give up our past. So many will remarry the same person that they just divorced without the shared history that made their first marriages wonderful. Just like my friend noted, “she was stuck in a group of negative women” that found their strength on what was wrong instead of what is right. It is not unusual at all to hear couples say they make much better friends than they made lovers when they were married and not even realize that when most couples divorce they also give up their groups that often times led to or influenced the discontent amongst them.

(Please note this does not apply to marriages or relationships that are both abusive or adulterous. In both these cases blame must be shouldered or it will be repeated. The person doing both the abuse or having affairs has already broken the vows)

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If you read my previous post and watched CNN this morning on their coverage of Bishop Long then you know what I have said about those who support abuse rang true. When Bishop Long got up and removed his glasses and read from the paper he put himself in the part of David against Goliath while proclaiming he has never said he was perfect but he was going to fight the accusations.

Lets dissect that for a minute. Number one he has the backing of the Baptist establishment who has more money than God. Therefor he is Goliath and certainly He is no David. Number two he never said the reports were wrong. Number three he never said the accusations are unfair and he is innocent. Wouldn’t we all be screaming from the mountain tops regardless of what a lawyer told us to say if we were truly innocent as well as religious?

The crowd stood and cheered him. Immediate assumption that he is innocent and no mercy for the victims. The victims, by the way, are the real David. It would be easier to take on Washington than the Baptist Church. For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts, the Churches have more protection against ever doing time for a crime than anyone else in America as they just have to yell intrusion on religious freedom.

At this point none of us do know who is telling the truth and who isn’t. Bishop Long did an insulting news conference in which he bragged about the accomplishments of his Church and totally ignored the accusations against him. If the scandal case follows norm the following will happen. Some energetic and ambitious young reporter will probably check into just how much the Newburgh Church has contributed and if his supporters find it less than they were told then the whole perspective of the case will change. Bishop Long’s Trainers need to tell him about how far, respect and consideration for the public’s right to know, will spare their client’s credibility.

To date this is what we do know. Men even when sexual abuse takes place are extremely slow to come forward and to acknowledge it. We know less than half of all women report molestation and rape and the numbers drop substantially for men when reporting either. If one man came forward we could ask ourselves about the validity. In most cases a lawyer would not even take the case. Two coming forward would give some credibility to it as to have two report it would really be extremely unusual if it did not happen, as it is such a taboo subject for men to begin with. Four coming forward has to make us all wonder about the Bishop.

Truly we should not be standing up and cheering this person regardless of who he is. These statistics against him alone are alarming as they just do not happen when a person is innocent. As a matter of fact, it has never happened in the history of our Nation. Accusations like this do not happen, even when the Churches declare they are enemies of the Churches, there is always some truth proven out in the accusations. It is the pattern of history regardless of the religion.The day care case that we are all aware of was coercion of children and not adults. Adults coming forward to report it happened when they were children is another and far different case, period.

Prior to this, we heard from the lawyer, that he was acting as spokes person because at this time there could be more involved and they were concerned about the lawsuits and the costs of it all to the Church. I ask all of you–have we all gotten so desensitized that the main concern of religion is now concern of costs over the concern for or of the victims?

Where have any of us that call ourselves Christians, ever heard that Christ was concern first and foremost, for the monetary values over concern for the victims? Did anyone of the faithful stop to consider the possibility of the harm to the victims if they are telling the truth? Why would anyone put themselves through this if it was not true? Even their safety, not to mention their families’, are bound to be jeopardized if it is not true. One person may have a grudge to bare or be enticed by money, but four? Where is the common sense?

Shouldn’t someone in the church somewhere be reaching out and offering hope and help to the possibility, at least, that there may be victims? Are we so lacking of compassion, as Christians, that we care more about the money that we contribute or the charisma of a man who professes to be a sinner, than we do about the truth? One thing we can all agree on is, to date, we have heard nothing about what is the truth and what isn’t from Bishop Long.

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Abuse of an innocent child, woman, or minority is difficult enough to deal with but it is magnified ten times by the people who protect the abusers. The question is why do people find it necessary to protect abusers and what is behind their drive to do so?

Those of us that have experienced abuse may be in time able to rationalize the sickness that drove these people to abuse but to find that they are protected and we are called liars is where the pain of abuse becomes totally unjust. Many of us that have confronted the abusers only end up to find that the cop that has a long history of abuse in the Department,is protected and found innocent by internal affairs; the child reports the father or grandfather and the mother calls them a liar and leaves them alone with Dad or Grandpa to continue the abuse; the child reports the school official and their peers mock and bully them; the child reports their minister or priest and their parents call them liars while the Bishops send them elsewhere to offend again.

We are talking about millions of lives that get destroyed by the true liars amongst us who are not just the abusers but the people who deny the abuse happened or know it happened, and lie about it. When an abuser is protected then neither the abuser or the abused get the help that will ultimately help heal the pain of the offense.

What drives these people who protect the abusers if it is not some selfish or mean spirited reason on their part? Be it reputation of the family, police department, school, or Church or some other sinister reason of money,power or position gained or lost? Reality should tell us that there is no real reason that abusers should be protected that we can morally justify.

Unfortunately, the people who could have helped and saved a child, woman, or minority will never be contacted and instead the victim will many times turn to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, or other destructive means that include making poor spouses as well as choices because they become workaholics or spendaholics or victims of other abusers. Ultimately the victims will go to one relationship after another to only find the approval or support that they should have gotten from the people responsible to protect them.

Not only do these people protect the abuser and call the abused liars many times they will complain about the victims attitudes or report them as cranks, hysterical,enemies of justice, evil, or ban them from the family, school, or Church. No one can be expected to heal appropriately unless the abusers admit and ask for forgiveness of their role in the abuse and that rarely happens as long as the abusers’ protectors are supporting the abuser. If you are currently protecting an abuser or have protected them for years then know the consequences of the abuse will ultimately be paid for by you.

The truth will not be denied, trampled on or buried. Truth does win out and the victim many times becomes the prosecutor. Much truth comes from the old clich√©’, “What goes around comes around.” The sad thing is, many times the victims are as eager to forgive the abuser as the abuser is to apologize, but the protectors of the abusers render it impossible to ever happen as many times the protectors belittle the victim further by convincing the abuser that they are the innocent ones. As I have said before, “If we want justice then we must first give justice.”

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One thing that stands out and is prominent, in the women that I have experienced, as having been battered by their husbands is the guilt that they carry as a result of the combination of being told that they are worthless and the fact that the churches tell them to try harder to be a better wife. The responsibility of having caused a damaging cycle of guilt has rarely been placed on the shoulders of the men responsible for destroying the psyche of these women.

I do not fully understand why these women do carry and wear the cloak of guilt other than they become so brain washed into believing they are inferior and the responsibility for harmony in their homes lies on their shoulders. In our Society, due to the Jewish-Christian up bringing, we do hold women responsible for the behavior of the children as well as the success of the marriage.

In a faith-based system of taking the Bible literally, that should be a contradiction of itself, as in the Bible it is clearly spelled out that Fathers who spare the rod spoil the child. Lets face it, when a man is beating his wife and it usually follows children, they are and should be held responsible for the hell the whole family is experiencing. Instead, we as a society,tend to excuse the men and blame the women.

In one of my previous posts I wrote,”when did anger become an acceptable excuse?” The truth is, it has always been used and justified when applied to men, regardless, if we are in a Church or a Court of law. Anger and striking out in anger has always been the difference between murder 1 and manslaughter in the eyes of our justice system and becomes the difference between spending 4 to 6 years in jail as versus the death penalty.

For years, in our Puritan established society, a wife was the property of a man and he could not be charged for either rape or assault no matter how badly he mistreated his wife. That was, “a man’s business and none of ours”. Any mention of the same generally was swept under the rug as late as the 1970’s and in some rural areas even, later. Although, it is now against the law and a criminal offense in all the States, the theory still is played out in many areas of our Country, that it still is none of our business.

Now that we know the reason women that are battered carry guilt is because they are being told by both the men in their lives inside and outside of their Churches the responsibility is theirs’, most of us would ask,” shouldn’t it be natural that the battered women recognize the injustice of it all and seek out counseling?”

In order for women or any adult to be subjugated to abuse, first of all, their natural reaction towards self-protection and survival has to be removed. In doing so by battering them or placing fear in them, they become totally and 100% dependent on these men. In a few cases, women will set back and watch their own child get beaten and feel relief that it is not them that are being hit. In other cases, the abusers teach the children to mistreat their mothers and get them to side with them by buying them favors to encourage the mistreatment of their mothers, so that they feel they must be at fault as not even their children will side with them. In so many ways these women if they divorce or stay in the marriage will carry the wounds into their old age still feeling worthless and the mistreatment will continue until one of them loses the energy to hit or they die.

Battered women are not a phenomena that just happens. They are made. There is something in the sick mind of the men that treat women this way that should be treated and recognized by an early age but since we have given men the excuse of anger being justified it follows that boys also are able to use it as an excuse. When any human is mistreated and bantered they lose all ability to protect themselves beyond what they are told to do. We recognize this in prisoner of war camps and yet refuse to open our eyes to the fact that many families are living this same tragedy in their homes on a daily basis.

For a woman to recover from guilt it will take the support of an entire village from neighbors, to friends, to family, to Churches pointing out to her that the problem lies in the sickness of men that have been excused from taking responsibility for their own sick behavior from the beginning of time. There is not a thing that she can do or could have done to heal the sickness of the man who professed love and then set out to destroy her. Even anger management classes statistically show failure over success when these men do seek help.

It is time that we as a Nation, wake up to the fact, that many times these were not weak women that were destroyed but women as strong and capable as the rest of us, who were treated no different from prisoners of war, who are the bravest amongst us, and yet many of them, will crack under the constant pressure of abuse. It is when we as a society, quit using the Bible to judge others, that we will allow common sense, the place it deserves in the lives of all of us. If we want justice for ourselves then we must first give it to others.
(Please note: Hopefully I have been able to change all the banter for battered. If not I apologize. It does not always pay to rely on spell-check. I will repeat that 10 times now and thank you for having endured it)

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As a stay at home Mom, that put many hours into volunteer as well as random acts of kindness, I learned early in my adult life that taking a break from routine was going to be a necessary move on my part. I could blame it on a break from pain or a break from the same old same old and both would have been correct.

I only had to take a look at the man I was married to and the male friends that I had associated with to understand that men had been doing this kind of activity for years and it was the women that found the excuses as to why they never could or had legitimate excuses as to why it was impossible. Some people are quite content with routine or believe they are and do not even bother to change their perspective. I personally believe we do no one a favor when we do have that attitude.

For generations men have gathered to hunt,fish,golf,bowl, or do male bonding and a few women of my generation would do one or the other but not all of them. Without making a generality too general,for the most part women did lunch, saw a movie, gossiped over coffee or the phone and played cards. I always preferred to get out of the environment, that I lived in altogether, and really shake up my routine. To me, going on vacation once a year, with the family was always a fun thing to do but rare was the times that I did not come home from vacation more exhausted than I was before I left.

Changing our routine can happen at home or away from home or be a combination of both. For the last 19 days, since I last wrote, I have had all my favorite people in as company, cooked meals that I do not typically cook for the two of us, gone to the casino and hit another jackpot, took a 4 day trip to visit some of the best people who I know, ordered out from a menu and had it delivered in even more frequently, went to an estate auction, made plans to attend another antique auction,caught up on missed sleep, and acted as a confidant for a woman who has had a history of abuse and needed help understanding ways in putting it behind her. ( I’m not sure she will follow my advice as that is her option to not do so, if she chooses to). I learned the value of knowing, help is only as good as the person needing and wanting help accepts it, years ago, and that like most everything else, I have learned, I learned the hard way.

The important thing is, I had the opportunity to live my life looking through the eyes of other people who are entangled with their life’s struggles, and in doing so it has taught me to appreciate more the value of taking out time to put others before myself as well as refreshed old skills that I have used over the years. It is very healthy to do so every so often just as long as we never get in the habit of always putting ourselves last.

No One is indispensable in their lives once we realize that only a control freak thinks they are. Letting go and listening while trying to make others comfortable, their life a little easier but not assuming their responsibility, and making our self-worth sail beyond duty teaches all of us the real value of our connection to the human race and what role we play in it.

For all of you who read my old posts while I was away on sabbatical. I thank you. I do enjoy the routine of my life but still know the need to build on it. I am now heading into the winter months knowing I have taken time out to smell the roses and enjoyed the moment.

By the way, do any of you see any connections with today’s news and the things that I have been writing about when it comes to religion getting off track?

I hate to see what is happening with the Churches in America and wouldn’t be so smug, if I was a member of any Church not currently named, as the problem with all established religion is much larger than what is currently being reported. It is a time of reckoning for the American Churches, in my opinion. No one should ever take anything or anyone on earth too literally or we all will learn how easy it is to be terribly corrupted by powerful influence, if we haven’t already. Sadly it’s not just the politicians that are influenced by power and money and we need to hold ALL criminals responsible, regardless of faith, creed, or color and their position in the same. Yip I’m back!:)

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Families all over our Nation will be gathering together to celebrate the holiday. Some are as excited as a kid in a candy store and others are dreading it with every breath they draw. This then are simple things to keep in mind to help take off the stress and to dissipate any confrontation:

1. Your children are adults now. Just because they have different ways of doing things from the way you did it does not mean they do not respect you.
2. Little brother or sister have grown up and no longer are listening to your advice. Avoid subjects that cause both hurt and pain unless they bring it up and want to talk about it. All members should be allowed to express their own ideas and thoughts as to what is happening in their lives without you changing the subject or objecting to the same.
3. Just because family members do not agree with you, does not mean they are hateful. Starting an argument to amuse and entertain yourself, will only make the rest of the members feel as though you are a “Jerk.”
4. The adult children and siblings are a married couple and should be encouraged to discuss things between the two of them instead of being told their spouse is no good and you know better.
5. They have their own menu for the children and so far it must be working as the kids are still alive.
6. Not all kids want to play ball or play in the water. Find out what the kids want to do and then play it.
7. Listen,listen, and listen. There is a reason the Dear Lord gave us one mouth and two ears. On the other hand, do not sit there and not join in because the rest of us are tired of hearing you say,”No one ever wants to hear what I have to say.” We who do speak out would many times love to be replaced in the conversation by you.
8. Mom and Dad are getting older than what they were when you were last at home. Pitch in and help out.
9. If you are at your sibling’s home or your son’s or daughter’s home they are helping take the stress off of you so do not sit on your butt while they wait on you. Offer to help. They may not need or want your help to cook but everyone can have help in sitting the table,doing the dishes, or filling the glasses and putting out the condiments and food.
10. Treat each other as kindly as you do your friends. Do not judge your differences but appreciate the way you are alike and enjoy. You all are making memories in the childhood of every child there. They will grow up and repeat those memories long after we all are dead, and well into their old age. Make their memories both humorous as well as pleasant ones!

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We are going into 4 or 5 days of refreshing and relaxing days of vacation and following are my wishes for all of us: that we take this time to do just that. Refresh and relax with ourselves or our favorite people. Steer away from the bigots, self-righteous, off centered control freaks in your life and forget your problems. Take time to live out your dream, appreciate and be grateful. Give yourself permission to enjoy the holiday.

If you have someone in your life that refuses to relax and enjoy then do yourself a favor and take a walk, shop a bit, or fix your favorite meal for a change. Get a massage or facial, take a leisurely bath, start that hobby or go back to it because you never have time to otherwise. If you do have someone ready to join in, crank up the grill,hit a ball of choice around,(golf,tennis,baseball it doesn’t matter as long as you do it with a child,spouse, or friend,) set up a camp site, do a little fishing or skiing, however you roll, enjoy it. Paint a landscape, learn to knit, decorate a room or read a good book if you are going to be alone. Relax on the people in your life if you are the control freak. If you govern your family with a time chart put it away and enjoy each other by playing a board game,chess,checkers or cards. If you have been putting off grieving then take the time to do it now. Shut off the television or get away from the computer if you are as sick of hearing others tell lies and pass blame on OBama and others, as I am. Warn everyone, that you spend time with, that you will not tolerate hearing anymore negativity and you plan on enjoying your vacation.

Put those that have nothing better to do but groan,moan,whine, and criticize out of your mind and at least momentarily, do something special for you. Spare those around you, your own complaints if you are the one that complains. If you open your mouth to complain, criticize, or preach, close it. Spend time with a smile on your face and have a good old belly laugh. If you get the kids, please show up early to get them as they worry if you are late. Put them first and get them. They are only a child for such a short time and what you do now will imprint them for the rest of their lives both positively or negatively. You have the power to make these blessings of your life feel that you are a super-hero. Please do not let them down as you will regret it for the rest of your days.

If you are an alcoholic do not use this time as an excuse to drink more. If you drink do not drive. Stay off the roads and spare us! If you are a workaholic put it away and spend the hours with your family. It will be the best investment you have ever made. If you are a shopaholic use the item that still is wrapped, has a tag, or return it for credit and make this day the first day of the rest of your life towards paying towards debt instead of using credit.

Use your imagination and do what brings joy into your life as well as the people around you. If you have an election in your State in November you are going to probably see one of the dirtiest contest to date when it comes to saturation of lies,phone calls, and ads. Enjoy this time now as it is going to be a rough time ahead. Happy Labor Day to all of you! Do not become a statistic!

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