Monthly Archives: May 2017

Honor and Memorial Day

Honor is not a word that we hear much these days.  With all that is going on in the news, most of the stories we hear produce feelings that are opposite of honor – disgrace, dishonor, disrespect, embarrassment, humiliation. . .

But the fact that it is Memorial Day Weekend, I want to switch my attention to those who I believe define the word *honor*. I would hope others who are in a position to represent us might take notice and learn from these people.

Memorial Day was originally designated as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service for the United States. Regardless of what we believe about war and politics, for most of us, it’s still a reminder for us to recognize and appreciate those who have lost their lives in the armed forces, as well as to thank those still living who are or have served in some capacity. All of them, including their family members, have sacrificed so that the rest of us can enjoy the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. So I take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all who have given their energy and lives to protect us.

They fought, not because they loved war, but to preserve the culture that represents the values we stand for.  They fought and continue to fight to protect those beliefs each of us hold.  They truly define the word service – honorable, selfless and possessing a quiet strength that has no need to be boastful. That’s real power.

This is the legacy left by those who have gone on and maintained by those still working to protect these values: the respect for human dignity.

Let each of us endeavor to grow and maintain our own honor and personal power in the same way, regardless of what we witness elsewhere.  Let us not fight against anything, but FOR the integrity and honor of each person who lives on this earth; not because others determine they deserve it, but because it is their right.




Because I am recovering from rotator cuff surgery, I wasn’t able to get my blog completed for this past weekend, and it’s a little difficult to type right now.  So here’s one from a couple of years ago on a subject we all need to remind ourselves of at any time.  Hope you all have a good week:

The topic of forgiveness comes up quite a bit in my office. I’ve found that when people begin to discuss something they are finding it difficult to forgive, they take on a sense of entitlement about the issue – as if they (as the “wronged”) have the right to determine whether the other person should be let off the hook or to dictate what that person is allowed to do-or not do.

I found this passage in a little book titled, LOVE IS LETTING GO OF FEAR:

Forgiveness does not mean assuming a position of superiority and putting up with or tolerating behavior in another person that we do not like. Forgiveness means correcting our misperception that the other person harmed us.

The unforgiving mind, contrasted with the forgiving mind, is confused, afraid and full of fear. It is certain of the interpretation it places on its perceptions of others. It is certain of the justification of its anger and the correctness of its condemning judgment. The unforgiving mind rigidly sees the past and future as the same and is resistant to change. It does not want the future to be different from the past. The unforgiving mind sees itself as innocent and others as guilty. It thrives on conflict and on being right, and it sees inner peace as its enemy. It perceives everything as separate.

Whenever I see someone else as guilty, I am reinforcing my own sense of guilt and unworthiness. I cannot forgive myself unless I am willing to forgive others. It does not matter what I think anyone has done to me in the past or what I think I may have done. Only through forgiveness can my release from guilt and fear be complete.

Mother’s Day

Among all the other things that are grabbing our attention this week, we need to take a little time out to honor all mothers – along with other women, and even some fathers who are in the position of primary nurturer of children. And let’s not leave out those of us who have already raised our children into adulthood. Mothers are arguably the most important people in the world, because of the influence we have on future adults who are now or will be running things.

But when I was a young mother, more often than not, I found myself dreading Mother’s Day.  At the time, I was confused why this was the case, but I now realize it was because I didn’t feel I deserved to be “honored.”  I was only 19 when my daughter was born, and 23 when I gave birth to my son.  I had no idea what I was doing, so why should I be singled out to be appreciated?  I felt pressure to be the kind of mother I thought society expected of me – to do everything the “right way.”

I’m now WELL past my 20’s.  Actually, I’m on the downhill slide of my 60’s!  And I’ve had a lot of opportunity to examine some of those early feelings, and to work on myself.  I know now, that many mom’s feel the same way I did (maybe not about Mother’s Day, but about being a “good” mom), regardless of how old they are.  There’s no class to teach us how to be a mother.  We all just figured it out from watching our own mothers and other matriarchs; some of us read books and maybe even went to therapy to try to understand what we were “supposed to do.”

What I’ve come to realize (at least for me), is that there are no “supposed to’s”. It’s kind of like my spiritual beliefs: If my thoughts and actions come from a place of love, then I’m probably doing “the right thing” at that moment.

But all moms also know that we don’t always act out of love.  The demands of the job are overwhelming and we can lose our sense of self with all the hats we have to wear.  I won’t try to list all the things we do as moms, because I’ll surely leave many out.  But to name a few: we’re managers, coaches, teachers, spiritual leaders, huggers, secretaries, therapists, mediators, schedulers, cooks, taxi drivers, house cleaners, nurses . . .

While we put much of the pressure on ourselves, there really is always WAY too much to do.  I’m a list maker; and while I’m much better now about not beating myself up if everything on my list doesn’t get done, I still put that pressure on myself at times.  But one day I had an “Ah ha” moment.  I realized that when I make my transition to the other side, there very likely will NOT be someone standing there with a clipboard containing a list of all the tasks I didn’t get done today or any other day. It’s a good way to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t meet my own expectations.  And that maybe I need to rethink those expectations anyway.

I’ve also allowed myself to recognize that I have been a pretty darn good mom much of the time.  I’m not what I used to call “Nancy Homemaker;” definitely was not a helicopter parent,  don’t even like to cook much any more. But I was always there when my kids needed to talk (I learned that if I didn’t nag them to tell me everything right away, they knew I would be there when they were ready, and that they could say anything without fearing my judgment, and trust that I would help them work out their own way to handle their situation). I drove them to and attended all their performances and games (even coached a few), & helped them hone their baseball, basketball and softball, drill team skills and their musical and artistic talents.  Yeah, I screwed up some times, but I’ve learned to give myself permission to be the mom I am.

I’m paraphrasing here, but we have all heard that quote about what people say on their deathbeds: It’s not “I wish I would have spent more time at work.”  Rather, they say “I wish I had spent more time showing my family how much I love them.”  As a mom, that needs to be our #1 goal: to show our kids how much they mean to us, and how proud we are of the individuals they ARE; not to put expectations on them that may not even be what they want for themselves.

I’m going to leave you with this post from Sanaya that says what I think all moms (and the rest of you) probably need to hear:

There is time to get it all done. It is you who thinks that you must do it all in a certain period of time. And what does this do to you? It knocks you off balance. It lessens your awareness of who you are and why you are here. It causes you to lose your focus on what really matters. And what really matters? Being present. Being the presence of love. Loving. There is time for all else, in good time. If your “to do” list and your anxious thoughts take you away from presence and being and loving, then it is time to re-prioritize.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunts, sisters, dads, uncles and anybody else who deserves that title. We have to be there for our kids. We must inspire the change we want to see in the world. That means allowing space for some imperfections (in ourselves and in them), but also championing the uniqueness of each of them.


Repair and Reattachment Therapy

Many of you are aware that I have been trained in a cutting-edge grief therapy for the past several years. Originally called Guided Afterlife Connections, Repair and Reattachment Therapy can provide amazing relief to those grieving a loved one.

Repair and Reattachment Grief Therapy includes two essential components to help clients with feelings associated with the loss of a loved one.

Therapy includes repairing any unfinished business with the relationship that didn’t have closure when the person passed and connecting and reattaching to the deceased person in a meaningful and healthy way that is healing.

This procedure is 95% successful.

The connections reduce or virtually eliminate the deep grief in which experiencers are immersed. They reorient the beliefs, images, feelings of guilt and anger, trauma, and perspectives on the loved one’s death so they are replaced by reassurance, joy, renewed feelings of love and connection, and peace.

The sadness at this separation through death is usually desensitized so the person doesn’t remember it in the same way — the sadness dissipates. People don’t forget their loved ones, but after the connection happens, they see them in a better light, and most of the time the sadness is greatly reduced.

This therapy is typically not used until the loved one has been gone for at least a year.  We’re never “over it”, but some still have extreme difficulty even years after their loved one has transitioned.  These are the people that can be helped with this therapy.  I’ve used it with clients who, after decades, have still never recovered from the abuse from their parent, or who still felt guilt because they thought they should have done more.  Here are a few quotes from clients who have given me permission to briefly share their experiences:

Grief therapy with Patti helped save my soul.  It took me past a place without hope and helped me find peace that I didn’t think existed anymore.  -TW

Amazing results! More than I could have hoped for.  The emotions associated with a chlldhood traumatic event were changed completely. Now when I think of my mother I know I am safe.  The healing was profound and has endured. I cannot recommend this process too much.   -TE

I connected with my stillborn baby, who told me she guided the emergency crew when her oldest brother was in a serious car wreck.    -DB

Feel free to contact me with questions if you believe this might be a therapy you want to explore.