Take this ONE piece of advice PLEASE…

Yesterday I talked about seeking out advice from other people and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with the people in your life.

Today, I am going to share with you the one piece of wisdom that  I believe is the most valuable coping skill I have learned from all the abuse and suffering I have endured in my life.

When I was at the threshold of devastation immediately following the suicide of my son and then the abandonment of my husband, I honestly did not know how to face the future.

I was in so much pain.

I literally lived my life one minute at a time.

I was not capable of even looking ahead to the next day at that point in my life.

I was broken and at the time believed I was beyond any hope for happiness, love, or security of any kind.

So today, I am going to share with you the lesson I learned that literally saved my life.

That lesson was:

FEEL your FEELINGS!

What exactly does that mean, and how does one begin to feel their feelings when they are so intense?

I learned to treat ALL of my feelings like a guest.

I welcome them into my life like I would welcome a guest in my home.

I do everything in my power to make them comfortable, because I know that they will not be there for long.

Knowing that they are just there for a “VISIT” makes it feel safe for me to make my emotions as comfortable as possible so that their visit is a good experience, and does not cause me harm.

Here are some of the ways that you can prepare to handle any FEELING that might show up in your life…

(even the yucky ones!)

 

Do not ignore the emotional wounds you sustain in your daily life.

Do not buy into the notion that emotional pain is a sign of weakness or psychological frailty.

Do not believe that ignoring emotional pain is a sign of strength.

Do not think of yourself as weak or undesirable when you experience the pain of rejection. Separate yourself from the person or situation that has rejected you and acknowledge that they make choices that are not your business.

Do not believe that by being in touch with your feelings and acknowledging that you hurt, AND wishing you DIDN’T diminishes you in any way.

Do not punish yourself when you carry the burden of guilt. Go to your knees and ask for that burden to be lifted…IMMEDIATELY!

Do not consider yourself undesirable just because you may know the ache of loneliness.

Do not lose yourself in the anguish of loss. Instead hold onto the joys that you had while that person was with you and find meaning in the life they lived.

Do not lose faith in yourself when you encounter the bitter disappointment of failure. Be proud that you had the courage to try.

Do not belittle yourself further when your self-esteem is already under assault. This is a time to be gentle with your heart. Speak kind words to yourself.

Do not become crushed within the churning of brooding and rumination.

 

So now that we have covered some of the DON’TS…

Let’s move on to the DO’S.

Know that what makes you human is your capacity to feel emotional pain.
Know that what makes you wise is your capacity to recognize that you are not your feelings and that they don’t make you weak.
Know that what makes you strong is your ability to recover from emotional wounds and to become more resilient by doing so.
Know that such wisdom, like all wisdom, must be learned and CAN be learned.
Know that your brain is wired to experience rejection as physical pain. BUt there are many ways that you can ease that pain and revive your self-worth in its aftermath.
Know that loneliness is a trap of self-protective but self-defeating behaviors that we use to push others away…BUT– that it is a trap that you can escape.
Know that you can elicit authentic forgiveness from others, as well as from yourself, and that once you do, your burden of guilt will lift.
Know that failure will cause you to perceive yourself and your goals in distorted ways. So learn how to ignore these ‘gut’ feelings and focus on the many factors in your life that you are in your control of and can change.
Know that loss can devastate your life but if you can eventually find meaning in your experience it will give you a renewed and powerful sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Know that brooding and ruminating is an emotional hamster wheel that only deepens your anger and sadness. The only escape from it is to simply step out of the wheel by refusing to repeatedly pursue the same painful thought. this is the only way to free yourself from it.
Know that your self-esteem is the emotional immune system that protects you from life stresses.
Know that when you indulge in negative self-talk when your self esteem is already low will only weaken your emotional immunity further.
Know that what you need to be doing during stressful times is working on rebuilding your emotional health.

You know that when you cut your finger…you need to clean the wound and then cover it with some form of protection like a band-aid.

I have learned how important it is to treat my emotional wounds immediately as well.

My final piece of advice is to all you parents out there.

Teach your children to heed their emotions and to treat their emotional injuries as soon as they occur.

Show them how to go forward in life with confidence, knowing your emotional pain will inevitably knock you down,

BUT

That they can pick themselves up, recover, and become stronger for their future.

I hope that I have inspired all of you to FEEL your FEELINGS so that you can enjoy a happy life filled with healthy relationships.

Advertisements

Welcome to Our New Club…

Today, I would like to talk about something that I believe is a BIG Deal for most of us.

Especially this time of year when we are all reflecting on the life and sacrifices of the Savior.

And that topic is: MISTAKES!

Have you ever made a bad decision?

If so… When you look back on that mistake, was it avoidable?
Could you have made a better decision if only you had thought to seek out advice?

 

If not, then  you are uniquely blessed.

BUT…

If you are among those of us who have made terrible choices in our lives…

Then welcome to our club, it is a large one indeed.

Avoidable bad decisions happen to everyone,
And they keep happening to some.

I have put a lot of thought into this question because…

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I have made some really big mistakes in my life that have caused a great deal of pain to my children.

I have had to learn how to deal with the regret and guilt that those kind of mistakes create. 

 

The guilt and regret nearly destroyed me before I got a handle on it…

And without the Atonement of the Savior, I would NEVER have gotten a handle on it at all.

But as I have reflected on this question,

I also came to a realization about life…

Parents and teachers train us to apologize when causing harm and to give thanks when accepting help.

But nobody trains young people, when they have an important decision to make, to ask themselves if they have the knowledge and experience to handle it, and if not, who does and can help.

 

In school and in the home we are taught how to:

Save and budget.

How to cook and clean.

How to study.

BUT…

Are we taught just how incredibly important choosing a life partner is?

How making sure that the person you marry has the qualities necessary to be the parent of YOUR children?

Do they share your ideas on such major issues as faith, money, love, and traditions?

The world is full of adult parents who are now raising young children.
Those parents have made terrible choices in their lives that have caused them tremendous pain,
and yet for diverse reasons of
faulty judgment,
emotion,
social relations,
and even biology,

 

They do not try to bring the knowledge and experience of their past to bear on their problems and challenges, in the service of raising children who are EQUIPPED with  better decision making skills.
We hide our faults from our children out of some twisted need to appear perfect to them.

 

Maybe one reason for this failure is we all share a fear of appearing weak.

Another possible reason may be that schoolwork has trained us to do problems on our own without consulting anyone,

(because that is considered cheating.)

Still another reason, a modern one, is that people think that consulting books or the web are good enough.

Good books and web articles can convey principles and specific examples.

BUT…

They cannot possibly address the great variety of people’s situations the way that having an actual conversation with an actual person can.

However, I believe that the main reason that people do not proactively seek advice from others is that they just don’t think of it;

It’s not a PRACTICED HABIT.

Even when people do take the initiative of seeking out advice, they often don’t do it well;

It’s not a PRACTICED SKILL.

For example, they might seek advice from only one person in order to avoid the confusion and stress that result from getting contradictory advice.

To become a skilled advice seeker,

And thus make better decisions,

It’s also helpful to understand that advice consists of much more than just merely obtaining solutions to a problem.

Let’s imagine that we are a mother who wishes to rejoin the workforce after a long absence…

She really needs to seek out advice from many different sources. 

She needs to find a job that will use her talents and experience, while also being compatible with her life as a mother.

She needs to know how returning to work might affect her children and her spouse who are used to having her around all the time.

She needs to consider how this will change her routine at home, and double her responsibilities, and how other women have handled this with their families.

So you see…

Advice can reveal dimensions of a problem that you might not have considered.

Advice enables you to proceed with the confidence that you’ve considered the available options.

 

 

 

So, if it is obviously logical to seek out advice…

WHY are there so many members in the MISTAKE MAKING CLUB?

Today, I want to encourage you to be willing to be vulnerable.

Be vulnerable at home with your spouse and children. 

 

Admit to them that you are not perfect, but that because of your mistakes, you have valuable life experience to share with them. 

You never know, you just might save your child from a whole lot of hurt….

Be vulnerable at work.

Be willing to ask for help when you need it. 

Be vulnerable with your friends.

Let them know how much you value their opinions. 

Be vulnerable with God.

He went to the cross to take away your sins, so go to Him in faith and repent and allow the gift of the Easter Season to bless your life.

Easter means so much to me

 

Have you ever stopped to think about how the world would be different if Jesus had never risen from the grave?

I do all the time.

I do this because it helps me to appreciate all the miracles that happened because the God of all Creation came down from His throne to rescue all of us.

What a great example of Love.

Easter is the Best time of the year to open up conversations with your children about the gift of the Resurrection.

See if you can name several things that would be different about the world if Jesus had never stepped out of his tomb.

God Bless, and Happy Easter to you all!

To my Sweet Child…

I have entered a brand new phase in my journey through motherhood.

I am now the mother of an adult child!

me and tyler 1

 

 

 

 

Actually I have been for two years now,
but…
lately it seems that I have finally “accepted” the fact that my oldest child is a twenty year old man.

That realization has brought on a whole new set of questions for me to ponder.

How do I help and offer guidance to him now that he is an adult who is capable of making his own decisions?

Image result for questions to ponder?

But the real challenge for me has been wondering if I really conveyed to him just how special and wonderful he really is to me.

Does he know how much he means to me?

Did I teach him enough about consequences to allow him to make good decisions for his life?

Yesterday, we had a really good talk.

I was in tears.
He was holding his back…because he is a big boy now. 

Yesterday, I just wanted him to know a few things.

I needed to make SURE that he knew what he means to me.

So, today, I am going to share a few of the things I told him yesterday.

Maybe they will help another mother who, like me, is trying to figure out how to transition from a “mom” to a “mom of adult children

Here is our conversation:

Tyler, I long for you to know the beauty I see in you.

I want you to know that you are enough just as you are.

That you are loved beyond measure and capable of anything.

I long for you to know that you are an infinite soul here simply to have the human experience, to share your gifts and find your way back home to God’s perfect love.

There is no place you need to worry about except but right here, right now.

There is no time but right now.

You chose this brave life.

You have handled your abuse like a true hero.

You are amazing.

You have arrived at adulthood in one piece, despite the many people who doubted that we could ever accomplish that feat.

Release the striving for more, YOU are the more.

Never compare yourself with others.

Because, you are not separate from your brothers and sisters, they are you and you are they and you are all  perfect, whole and complete.

We are a family.

We are ONE unit.

Release the need to judge and escape this world in favor of some realm you deem better, higher, purer.

You came here to be HERE.

So be here.

Smell every flower,

cry every tear,

touch the earth,

get messy, moved and mad.

Feel it all.

Embrace it.

Love it.

Bathe in the sensations, especially the intense ones, soak it all in, drink in the dark times as much as the delights.

Because, if there is one thing I can promise you about this world…it is that you will get hurt.

You will be betrayed.

BUT…

Taking the chance to love is worth it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Don’t fight it.

Feel it.

It’s all life.

It’s all you.

It’s all LOVE.

Falling apart is normal.

Do not fear it.

Feel it.

Ride those waves.

Allow light, life and love to crack you open.

Embrace the unknown.

It’s okay not to know all the answers.
Do not hide who you are.

Your truth and courage will empower others in ways you cannot imagine.

Do not hide the light that can ease the darkness of this world.

Shine.

Bright.

Be brave.

You are loved.

You are not alone.

You are worthy of every blessing.

You will get through the dark times.

You are the hero of your own life.

Leave it all on the field.

Regret nothing.

Leave nothing in your heart unsaid, leave no one unloved, especially you.

And then when your day is done and you turn to look back along the path you walked and the people you loved, you will know you did this thing, with bells on, you sucked the juice out of every moment, felt it all, gave it all, loved it all.

I long for you to know the beauty I see in you, to know that you are enough just as you are, that you are loved beyond measure and capable of anything.

I long for you to know that you are an infinite soul here simply to have the human experience, to share your gifts and find your way home to love.

Being a mother has been the greatest adventure of my life.

My children have all brought with them their own special gifts that have taught me lessons about life that I probably have never learned without them there to teach me.

Image027

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love them with a deep and tender love that can never be changed, altered, or destroyed by anything they do.
My love is forever.
My prayer is that I was a good mother to them and they I am sending them out into this world prepared to fight the good fight!

Goodbye to my Sweet Uncle Clifton

 

 

uncle cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funeral Poems for Dad | the poem we used for my dad's funeral | quotes:

 

 

 

I read this poem last night and wanted to share it with my friends and family.

Yesterday, my dad’s oldest brother Clifton was laid to rest.

He was a great man who loved his life as a cowboy.

He loved to farm,

And to manage his herd of cows,

He was hands down the BEST mechanic I have ever known.

There was nothing my uncle could not fix…except for the cancer that took his life.

He has left behind a beautiful legacy that will carry us through these hard days.

He was a Soldier, who received his military honors from the American Legion.

When they dedicated his grave and thanked him for his service to our country, then fired his 21 gun salute, followed by a rendition of Taps…

There was not a dry eye in the crowd.

He was a family man through and through!

 

That was so evident yesterday at his funeral.

He had well over a hundred family members and friends there to mark his passing.

 

We shared fond memories with each other.

We shared some tears.

But most of all we shared a great love for an amazing man.

So, till we meet again Uncle Clifton, I will be looking for you in your beloved sunsets.

Love you!