Monthly Archives: February 2015

It’s Not About You, Patti

A week or so ago, I posted the following comment on my Professional Facebook page, along with an article/blog that was titled “It’s Not About You”:

I have a reminder on my phone that pops up every morning that says “It’s not about you Patti!” Reminds me to look for the opportunity to learn the lesson, rather than complain about what someone else is/is not doing.
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The blog was about realizing that another person’s anger, silence or some other “less than loving behavior” is about that person’s growth (or lack of), not about those of us witnessing or bearing the brunt of their pain. I know this at a deep enough level that I am usually pretty good at allowing the other person to have their own experience without piggy-backing onto it. To me (and what I think the blog I re-posted was saying) is that the spiritual being that I am doesn’t need to look for reasons to be offended or upset. That’s the ego’s job, and (s)he works pretty hard at trying to get me to bite.

But this week, as we prepare for a weekend away, I found myself indulging my ego. It’s my birthday weekend. And it’s a BIG one. I turn 65 on February 20. I’ve looked forward to this birthday for a long time, for financial reasons (think Medicare vs expensive insurance premiums with high deductible), and because I kid myself into thinking I MIGHT be able to slow the practice down a little in the near future.

But while I’m looking forward to the weekend away, part of the reason for the trip is a very personal and not so happy situation in our lives right now. And I have no control over much of it. I also am going to have to take some work with me, and some other things to study.

That got me to thinking about other “milestone” birthdays I’ve had. My 21st was spent on a bus full of my husband’s students going to some school function. My 30th was spent working at a phone company that I hated working for. My 40th was spent at Family Day at my daughter’s treatment program. And my 60th was spent moving helping family members move as they pulled their lives back together.

So just as I was thinking through all these, guess what popped up on my phone. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, PATTI!

And I pulled myself back to the moment, found my center and remembered why I’m here: to experience it all and to face it with love. I also remembered some of my other birthdays. In 65 years, I’ve had a few, and many of them have been wonderful and full of love and family and friends. On top of that, I remembered what I tell clients all day, every day.

It’s only upsetting if I allow it to be upsetting. I have the choice to make it a crappy birthday or a fun one.

A Belated Valentine Post

Yesterday was Valentines Day, and I’m pretty overwhelmed right now, transferring all my records and billing over to a new computer program, dealing with some court issues that are pressing, and just trying to get ready for the week ahead with a full calendar of clients. So I considered not posting a blog this week.

But Valentines Day is one I can’t just let slip by without some acknowledgement, since it’s all about LOVE, which is what I believe is our primary purpose here on earth. We are here to experience and to expand our deep understanding of what love is all about.

A year ago on Valentines Day, my son got married. He and his wife are two people who have taught me much about love, respect and honor for another human being. As I have watched their relationship and love evolve, I’ve been reminded many times of areas in my own relationship (of almost 46 years with my husband), where I’ve let things slip or gotten lax about showing him how much I love and appreciate him.

A year ago, I also had a little health scare, and was reminded all too well how short life can be. I am learning to appreciate every moment of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. I know ALL of it holds important lessons for me and my loved ones.

Life doesn’t promise us anything, except a chance. We have a chance to live any way we like. No matter how we choose to live, we’ll have pain and we’ll have joy. And we can learn from both.

We CAN choose to have life’s biggest wonder – love. We share it in a smile, a touch, a Facebook post, a Tweet, or a text. We share it with our friends, our partners, our family. Life didn’t promise to be wonderful, but it sure is full of little wonders! And we only have to open up and see them, feel them, and let them happen.

There is no such thing as an ordinary moment. They are each extraordinary and wonderful in their own way!

A belated Happy Valentines Day to everyone who visits this blog!

Grief on Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a day to recognize your spouse, or any romantic involvement in the present. But if you’ve lost a loved one who was an intimate partner – or anyone who was very close to you, Valentines Day can be especially painful. The past can represent a hole in your heart where your loved one used to be.

Honoring that person in a specific way that meant something to the two of you together is one way to get through the holiday. Will it still be painful? Probably. But the choice you have is where you focus. If you put your energy on the good memories and allow yourself to revisit those feelings and stay with them as long as possible, it may help keep you in the love a little more than in the grief. But if all you allow yourself to think about is that he’s no longer with you in physical form, then the grief can overwhelm you.

But your loved one is with you – just in a different form. If you look for the signs she will show up. Those on the other side want us to know they are around. The signs are subtle. Don’t try to force them. They typically come when we least expect them. So keep your focus on the here and now as much as you can, but be open and attentive to possible signs. Here are some of the ways they let us know they are here:

-They send an animal to us. Some of the more common animals are butterflies, birds, dragonflies or deer. The animal does something it usually would not do, such as land on you, peck at your window or scream at you. If a particular animal held some significance for you and your loved one, it’s very likely that is the animal that will show up for you.
-They place common objects such as feathers, coins, or rocks in our path. Again, this is often something that was significant to them – or to you.
-They give off fragrances. Often you can smell her perfume or favorite flower, his cigar or cigarette smoke, or any other familiar smell they had. Once I smelled a roast that was made specifically the way my mother used to make it. I’ve never known anyone else to use that recipe. I was in my office where there was no kitchen and no one else around.
-They make songs come on at the perfect time. On several occasions, when I’ve been wondering what to do to help a client – or which choice to make in my life, I have had a song pop into my head or come on the radio that holds a message confirming my choice.  But often they play songs that meant something in your relationship.
-They come to us in dreams. One of the easiest ways for them to come through to us is in our dreams. A dream that is a true visitation will be very peaceful and we will know it is our loved one. We will remember this type of dream in detail many years later. (On the other hand, a subconscious dream may be frightening or feel bad. This type of dream is not your loved one.)
-They show us the same numbers over and over. They often give us numbers that are relevant to them or you, such as birthdates, anniversaries – or repeating numbers, such as 1111, 2222, 3333, etc. These numbers may appear on clocks, billboards, license plates or any other familiar place.
-They allow us to feel peaceful for no reason. When our loved ones are in the room, they usually make us feel so loved and at peace. It usually happens at the most unsuspecting time, so there is no logical explanation for our sudden bliss.  I have had an overwhelming sense of peace come over me  while driving in the car.
-They place thoughts in our head. Our loved ones don’t have an audible voice, so they give us messages telepathically. Pay attention to thoughts that just “pop” into your head. We can tell the difference between our thoughts and theirs by backtracking our thoughts. If you can find the thought that triggered the thought of your loved one, it is probably your thought. If something your loved one would say just pops in your head for no reason, it is probably him or her speaking directly to you!
-They love to play with electricity. They turn electricity on and off. They like to flicker lights, turn the television and radio on and off, make appliances beep for no apparent reason and mess with computers.
-They make buzzing noises in our ears. Because our loved ones speak to us on a different, higher frequency, we may hear ringing in our ears when they are trying to get our attention. This is a sign telling you to listen to what they are saying.

Again, the evidence is usually very subtle. But  they love to be around us, especially on holidays that  means a lot to you or to them.  it’s very possible you’ll get a sign or two. Be open to it.

Integrity in Relationships

For an intimate relationship to be healthy, each partner needs to practice accountability, responsibility and integrity. What does this look like?

First, we need to define boundaries. Boundaries are constantly changing in any relationship, as those involved become better acquainted. But any relationship is a partnership between two individuals, so in order to define ourselves and to feel safe within the relationship, boundaries need to be set.

Then it’s necessary to keep your word and stay within the boundaries you’ve defined. Commitment must always be followed by action, or eventually the person is not trusted.

Being accountable for your own behavior (taking personal responsibility and making amends when necessary) is also a part of any relationship. In the case of an indiscretion, this may mean going out of your way to SHOW that you mean what you say for the next several weeks/months/years (depending on the degree of the indiscretion). However, while one party is establishing their trustworthiness, the other needs to work on allowing themselves to trust again, a little at a time (as long as they see evidence of dependability).

It’s a barrier to intimacy if you do something you know the other person doesn’t like and then withhold it from him/her because you’re afraid they’re going to get upset. You need to face it. It won’t be fun, but it will be much better than waiting in fear they find out from someone else. Even though that’s difficult, it’s usually much more difficult when it’s been kept secret for some time. At that point, besides the initial problem, you also have the feeling that you’ve been lying – or at least withholding the truth.

Relationships take work. But they shouldn’t be so difficult that you can’t relax with each other. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you examine yours. If there’s an area that isn’t working well, communicate about it. Many couples I have seen are afraid to say what they really feel to their partner. They seem to think that holding it in is better than fighting. It’s not. As long as you have a purpose to the argument and understand how to take personal responsibility for what you’re feeling, rather than blaming the other, it’s always better to say what you feel as soon as you can do so rationally. (Don’t do it when you’re still enraged). If you have to, take a break and commit to coming back together when you’re both calmer to discuss it.