Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Second Coming of Christ

Sometimes I receive what I feel to be "inspired writings".  I haven't taken the time to explain my experiences with that fully here yet, but I will speak more of it in the future.  Yesterday morning the following came from me so quickly, with such ease, that I can only call it inspired.  I'll have more to say later.


The Second Coming of Christ

The time of the second coming of Christ is NOW. It doesn’t matter whether or not he is actually here in body. He IS and always has been with us in Spirit. This is the time in which people are taking to heart and mind the idea that if you will “draw neigh unto him, He will draw neigh unto you”. Now is the time of personal, direct communication with Jesus and those he sends as his messengers. These are angels and guides who have always been with us but only a select few have encountered. From those miracle encounters come stories of Divine Intervention and subsequent guidance to living a positive and productive life in Joy.

The second coming of Christ is the realization and the experience that having the Divine in our lives is not reserved for a “select few” but is and always has been the greatest desire of Jesus’ heart. It is the purpose of the “Holy Spirit” of which Jesus spoke, and is available to us all.

Jesus was a man who became The Christ through the Holy Spirit that exists within him. As the man/messenger to us all, he came to teach us that we are never separate from God – the aspects of the Divine that create our world and our lives. The building up of the holy forces within any person is only a matter of choice. It has never been a matter of whether or not they exist.

You do not have to live your life tossed by the wind and the storms, fearful of the next violent encounter that “fate” sends your way. You are not alone in this world, subject to the whims of some malevolent invisible force that delights in your misfortunes.

Indeed, it is just the opposite. The Divine, holy Force that creates our Universe does so with Love. As aspects of the Divine Force, we are given the greatest of gifts – the ability to also create through our own free will. Exactly “what” we create is our choice. We can co-create through the guidance of love, seeking always the highest and best that we can do – or we can make a world of seeming random circumstance, built from the belief that the Divine does not exist or play a part in our lives.

A truth of the Universe is this: that which you believe, you create.


IMHO, regardless of how you view "God" or what ideology you follow, (even if you think you follow NO ideology) the question becomes:  Does what I choose serve the highest that is in me, not only for myself but also for others - our world?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For Those that Hurt

I'm back home now after visiting with Frank a while.  Well, in the trailer that we rent.  Alone and lonely again.  The emptiness and four walls closed in pretty quickly.  I'm thinking about moving back to more familiar territory.  Not that that will make a huge difference, but it's something to think about.

Unfortunately, that thinking led to confusion and anxiety. Wound up tight, my emotions rising with the hot frustration of hating this then sinking to the drowning desperation of hating this, I called Patrick hoping to change the subject and the energy flows that were engulfing me.  He obviously didn't want to talk to me.  Was my state of being that transparent?  Probably.  I could hear the edge in his voice as he said:  "What do you want?".  I said: "Never mind", hung up the phone, and broke into pieces.

After a good cry, some choking and gagging and struggle for air, and some despondency laced with thoughts of suicide; the pressure broke and a numbing calm took its place.  Rise above.  Find your way out.

I opened "My Documents" on my computer, opened my "Writings 2010" and "Meditations".  I was looking for, and found, an entry from March.   I don't remember what the issue was then, but I remember receiving it at a time something like this.  With the calm comes listening and receiving the Voice that comforts me. Sometimes I open a page and type what I hear.

I've been wanting to share this with you for some time.  It's one of the first that I decided to share from the personal writings that I don't really call mine, but gifts of guidance and love.  I guess now is the time.

March 2, 2010
Do you think that when you’re suffering I don’t feel it?  I do.  I am right there with you.  We are never separated.  I experience your suffering and your joy.  The difference is, I know it need not be. 

I cry for you.  I hurt with you.  But I cry for your needless “sacrifice”.  There is nothing you have done wrong.  There is nothing you need to punish yourself for.  If you choose to experience suffering, I will be there with you.
When you chose to leave suffering behind, I am also with you.
You can do whatever you choose.  You don’t have to make yourself into something different for me.  I accept you as you are.  I love you as you are.  I am with you, as you are, in all ways, in all moments.

The times that seem particularly difficult for you are those times that you do not recognize this.

There is always another choice.

You can move from suffering at any point you choose.

I don’t ask you to suffer.  I know you are perfect.

Love your life.  Experience all that there is for you.  I will be there.

You have done no wrong.  Nor has any other.  If you think you have, that they have, you are mistaken.  Let it go.  Let that thought go.  And choose another.  Getting caught up in thoughts of hate places you in a place of hate, pain and suffering.  Your choice.

But if you don’t “like” it, you can simply choose again.

And so I make the decision to choose again, believing there is One that loves me and Guides me, knowing that the trust I place will lead me beyond this place of pain. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

What if No one Answered?

Everywhere I turn, it's No.  Can't do that, won't work, invisible wall, brick wall, stop sign.

There's an alternative, a solution, for every problem they say.  The problem for me seems to be that for each alternative there is a reason it won't work, can't work, isn't the right time, or I simply don't have the ability.

I'm stuck - have been stuck - for almost 10 years now - staring at walls and wondering what I could do; if I could do, something, and how.  There isn't much.  The limitations I have placed upon myself, and continue to place upon myself, say No to most everything.

So I sit and draw upon the comfort of my bad habits, that only serve to keep me in this place.  Most days I say, "If I could only quit smoking."  "If I would make myself exercise."  "If I would eat better."  "If I had a job again, or something to give to others."  "Something to do for others, that would move me out of my own pity party."

Beyond the futility of my own self-imposed limitations (now real physical problems that prevent work or play in so many areas) is the reality of our day to day situation.  Frank's job requires that he be away from home.  The kids are gone and no longer need me.  I don't want them to need me.  I want them to have and create their own life - like all parents do.  And I want to create mine.  So when those times now occur that they seem to need me, I push them away, finally learning the lesson for myself that as grown adults they must make their own way, no matter how much I want to make it better for them.

So, Frank is not here.  The kids are not here.  Because of his job we've moved to a place unfamiliar to me - where I know no one.  And now his job is three hours away from that.  "Go out and be friendly.  Meet people.  It's not that hard,", they say.  It's always been hard for me - and now so even more.  I can't force myself to try anymore.

So I'm alone.  Day upon day of emptiness and loneliness.  No home that is my own anymore.  And the means and the timing to make a home again unknown and pretty much unavailable until who knows when.

Oh, what a pity party, huh?  Some days I sink into it.  Most days I really try hard not to.  I do.  I really do.  I find what I can to distract myself.  I think about others less fortunate.  I push to think the positive thoughts, begin again to work with the better habits, believe there is a reason and believe in myself.

Looking for - and finding - the positive, the interesting, the seemingly important, maybe even some reasons; I pass them along on Facebook.  I remember I have this blog.  I tell myself this is what I have, this is what I can give.  Some days that feels really right and important.

Other days I question whether it is - whether what I have to say has any meaning to people who are out in the world and living their lives - and figuring it out for themselves.  Or already have figured it out.  One day I spent an entire day on an entry that I thought was good - would be helpful - only to have Beth say:  "Well, DUH!"  Meaning I guess that everyone already knows and has moved beyond the things I sit and stew about.  So that entry got trashed.  And I haven't written for days since...

And depression has overtaken me again - for the last two days.  With nothing to do, nothing that could move me beyond it, and feeling totally lost, alone and worthless, hearing in my head that I have wasted 10 years like this - I returned to bed at 11:00 a.m. - feeling suicidal again; wishing I could just take a gun to my head.  Not that I really would.  I've felt that way many times over the years.  And I never have.  I don't want to die.  I just don't want to live like this.  I want all "this" to end.  I want to feel worth and feel I contribute to life, someone's life - beyond my husband's and children's - because they all have a life.  I'm the only one that doesn't seem to.

Having nothing, and seeming unable to move to anything, what I cling to... is God.  All the years of looking out through eyes of pain, of seeing, feeling and creating misery; I've asked God "Why" and asked for another way.

I've been answered.  Many many times I've been answered; in indirect ways - books, music, other people.  In very personal - direct ways - He has answered.  When I experience that knowing, what I want in the worst way is to share it - to let others know it is real and a real comfort from all the cares and backwards thinking of this world.

And so I write this blog, attempting to share it.   But mostly I haven't.  I'm still too unsure that anyone's listening, that what I'm giving has any meaning beyond another re-hash of my own insecurities and shortcomings.  Well, that's it I guess, today....

I am feeling insecure.  I am wondering whether this one thing that I try to convince myself that I have to give - that God wants me to give - is real, or just a figment of my imagination.  And so I thought about asking:  if what I do here has any worth, if what I do here is helpful or just a past-time for others - a distraction from their busy lives that really means nothing.

And then I thought:  "What if no one answered?"

And then I thought:  "It really doesn't matter."  Not that you, my reader, don't matter.  Giving to you is why I do this.  You are very important.  "It doesn't matter" because God has answered.

I don't know why my life is such as it is.  But I do know that I matter.  And I do know there is reason for me to be in this world.  And I do know God will show that to me day by day, regardless of the place I am in - emotionally or geographically.  I know that now and I want you to know it too.

God is real.  God loves you beyond measure.  You can do no wrong in His/Her eyes.  You have worth beyond measure simply because you exist and are a part of this loving God.

All this and more, God will show you too - will tell you - if you only ask and listen.

(In upcoming posts I will be sharing more of what God has shown me.  The writings are very personal, and very possibly subject to ridicule and rejection.  But so is this entire blog.  I believe it is what God wants me to do.  It is what I want and need to do.  And so it will be.)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Go, then, and Live these Truths

Go, then, and live these truths . . . that you may spread the joy, feel it in your heart, and know it in your mind. - Friendship With God by Neale Donald Walsch

Something good comes of everything, they say; and sometimes it takes crisis to bring about good.  I often speak from generalized sayings, expressions, and cliches, I know.  But the more I experience life and contemplate its mysteries the more often the truth found in these sayings reveals itself to me and becomes real in my life.  That is why expressions become cliche!  They are relevant to life - if we just pay attention.

A couple of nights ago Beth called while in crisis.  She was having a hard time with some of her issues.  As I've stated before, this is not the place or appropriate for me to discuss those here.  Suffice it to say that the moment pushed the panic button for me that all mothers feel when their child is in pain.

For many years now I have studied the psychic/spiritual connection to our physical/material world.  At that moment I felt drawn to seek help on a psychic level.   Searching the website of a professional, well-known psychic, I found there a forum where you can ask questions and interact.  (It's seems a little unfortunate to me - and I suppose to them - that as professionals become more recognized they are also more inaccessible or beyond your personal financial means).  But I was happy that the forum was there, and after joining, asked a couple of questions seeking assistance.

The particular thread that I posted to was titled:  "Psychic or Psychotic?"  This is a consideration made when it comes to mental illness - those deemed mentally ill often experiencing what they feel are positive spiritual/visionary thoughts or negative psychic/otherworldly attacks upon their thoughts.  The question of whether these are hallucinations/delusions or "real" is a criteria by which mental illness is diagnosed.  (I'll explore that subject further in a later post). 

The next day I received a reply from one of the moderators of the forum.  Her answer was a calming voice of reason and very welcome.  (Just so you know, the next day Beth was once again calm, strong, rational; ready and able to cope with her life issues - as we all must do if we are to overcome them.)  As a lady who has also experienced clinical depression in her life, she recommended me to two of her lenses.  

The lady's name is Sandra Lynn Sparks and much of what she said in these posts parallel the understandings that I have developed about myself and my life over the last few years.  Here are a couple quotes from
"I am not afraid of anything I feel. I accept it and go through it. When I am very depressed I rest, and think of it as a rest, not a failure."
"I know myself. I accept myself. I keep going without shame or fear."

Personally it has taken a few years and a lot of heartache for me to be able to make the above statements.   However throughout those years I have also had the blessing of Divine Guidance that was with me always - though I still stumbled at times along the path with doubt.    When you purposefully seek the Divine, the personal connection will become known in your life.  I have experienced Divine Communication and continue in the faith of the knowing that is its result - even though I continue to experience depression.

Reading the posts at the forum and Sandy's Squidoo pages once again inspired and energized me.  Sandy's second page,, is about creating from out of the darkness, honoring the images and understanding that the dark times can show us.  Beyond the art is Sandy's determination and willingness to be a source of support and inspiration to others through the psychic forum, as a psychic, and through her web pages.

I have shared here my frustration with finding a place, a way where I can feel that I contribute to others and myself once again.  So many conventional (work or volunteering) possibilities have occurred to me -  only to be knocked down by the limitations that are also in my day to day reality. 

Refusing to let the low times keep me down, I continue to cultivate the Divine in my life - reading, praying, meditating - having faith in All That Is - and knowing that It has faith in me.  Divine Guidance supports and comforts me, speaks to me of my worth, shows me the importance of every life, and brings me joy.

Sharing that is my life's mission.  Divine Guidance has encouraged, affirmed, and reconfirmed time after time that it is my work.  Divine Guidance has infinite patience.

I believe Beth's crisis and Divine Guidance brought me to the psychic forum and to Sandy - inspiring me and energizing me once again.  To be inspired is to be "In Spirit" - flowing with the Universe - receiving and giving from the abundance of All That Is.

As has often happened in the past, I was so filled with inspiration, I was flooded with ideas to share with you.  I get so flooded that it can seem overwhelming - how to get them all down and out to you?  And then I realized......

I was creating!  I create through sharing words and ideas (actually we all do) but my particular means is the written word.  Sometimes I just cannot not write!  I create from my place of pain.  I move from the darkness into the light, embraced by the Light, and share those experiences through this little blog.  Receiving financial reward as others do - through a website, e-book, or published book - is no longer a consideration for me; though I continue to ask the Universe to support my economic needs and have faith that It will.

I cannot help but share my life with you.  Because God IS LIFE.  ALL of life - the good and the bad, the light and the darkness, the pleasure and the pain.  Sharing God - Sharing Life is what I do.

It was evening when all this occurred.  I was too energized to sleep - but it was time to relax - so that I could wake and share all this with you the next day.

As is my habit, I opened one of my inspirational books to receive from Spirit.  I opened Friendship With God by Neale Donald Walsch and read:

Go, then, and live these truths . . . that you may spread the joy, feel it in your heart, and know it in your mind.
Blessings to you my friends. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Invictus - I am the Master of my Fate

Recently I watched the movie Invictus which starred Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.  Mandela spent almost 30 years in a South African prison, a victim of the oppression of apartheid.  While in prison,Mr. Mandela lived the expression: "though you chain my body, you cannot control my mind and soul".

In the movie Mandela relates that when times were the worst, threatening to bring him to his knees in despair, he was carried through by the poem "Invictus".

Written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley, here is it for you:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Truly inspiring, and worthy of meditation by us all.

But I do not want to leave you with only the poem.  I encourage you to contemplate its spiritual aspects for life, as Mr. Mandela obviously did.  Upon his release from prison, Mr. Mandela continued the work of ending apartheid.  In 1994 he was elected President.

Now began the work of rebuilding a nation and bringing together its peoples after years of hatred, violence, and mutual distrust between Black and White, rich and poor, the oppressor and the oppressed.  Mr. Mandela united his country behind, (of all things), their all White, continually losing national rugby team. 

As both the team and the country moved beyond past conflicts to a common shared belief, the team went on to win the World Cup of Rugby in 1995.  As Mr. Mandela told his daughter in the movie:  the mistakes of the past are not overcome by continuing them into the future, but by forgiveness and unity born of common strengths.

Mr. Mandela not only voiced these principles but lived them, while encouraging a nation to do the same.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We're All Okay

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be
We're all okay
And not to worry
'cause worry is wasteful
in times like these

The above is a lyric from the song "Hands" on Jewel's CD entitled Spirit. I love Jewel's lyrics - which do shine with Spirit - expressing aspects of us all that I often contemplate - those places where we are wonderfully different and then again, those where we are deliciously the same.  Music is an expression of both - often moving us from a place of separation back to an awareness of the Gifts of Spirit.

One of the things about isolation and (supposed) inactivity is that it can undermine the value you place upon yourself - especially in a society such as America where we are all supposed to be "out there" striving and earning to get the next big thing.  For a long while now I have worried over this issue.  A while ago it was from a place of deep despair, believing I was no longer of any "use" to anyone or anything.

As I strive now to move myself from that place, I still face the obstacles of the fears and habits I have developed over a lifetime and the "lifetime" of supposed mental illness. Currently these obstacles still seem to block the path of my "being out there"(face to face) in just about any capacity - socializing, volunteering, working.

Some days the sheer boredom of sitting in the same place, staring at the same four walls, (while outside the weather is gorgeous) - alone with no one to talk to - drives me to distraction, creates a frustration and determination to do differently - to move forward - to find something of value that I can do.

Sometimes that's a good thing.  Recently I had a solid few weeks of eating healthy (even lost a few pounds), feeling strong and confident mentally, and calm, relaxed, and peaceful emotionally and spiritually.  I found the will to work on things that had been put off for a long while and the determination to move forward in other areas.  I saw new possibilities and acted upon them!

And then something happened.  Not sure what.... A culmination of a number of things probably.  The new possibilities didn't pan out, my vision of what and how much I could do was larger than the day to day reality of my old habits.  I slid back into a week of lost faith and tears.  One step forward, two steps back.

No, that's not right.  That would be a negative (-1) situation.  Perhaps its:  TWO steps forward and one step back.  For my faith has never left me.  And I have my children who remind me that they "will not accept that I am low, used up and cannot come back".  Thank you my blessed ones.  Nor then, can I.  A plus (+1) situation then.... for here I am.... saying hello again... in spite of it all.

I haven't given up.  I'm still pleased with the gains made.  I took a little side detour.  Iyanla Vanzant calls them "peaks and valleys" and reminds us we all have them.  I'm still heading for the next peak and I'll reach it when the time is right.

Sometimes you have to accept what is.  Sometimes when seeming obstacles keep blocking our path, we might then consider that there is a reason beyond that we can see for what currently is.  In the time spent accepting what is, we learn patience.  We don't concede our desires - we relax into another viewpoint.

It's called - Being Okay with Who we are and Where we are.  Even beyond that, it's called Loving and Accepting Who and Where we are, regardless of "Where we are".  It's doing what we can, from wherever we are, while waiting for the opportunities for growth to present themselves.  And trusting that those opportunities will be given.

When I return from the Valley, I recognize it by the release of fear and worry.

Toward the end of this song Jewel sings: 
In the end
only Kindness matters

I'm reminded of another quote, a poem perhaps, by (I don't remember who) that says: "If there is some little kindness I can do...."

What I can do is present this blog.  

(So called) mental illness and isolation can make you feel so different from everyone else.  Maybe much of what I post here is different from the "average" person's day to day.  But I also think there is much in the ways we are the same

When we no longer fear our differences, but celebrate the wonder of them - and embrace the places we are the same - we move closer in understanding and kindness.

Blessings my friends...

We're All Okay 

(Please note the links to Amazon in this post are not an attempt to make money. I have no affiliation in place - only provided the links if you have interest in more info)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Very Helpful but Controversial Books

Do you feel the eyes of the judgmental world upon you?  I know I always have.  It's a very large part of "my insecurity".  I was embarrassed about what I looked like and areas where I was "inept".  I didn't measure up...

People used to say:  "You shouldn't feel like that".  But I did.  Eventually I came to own it, I wore it,  like a thing.   It came to define me, more and more, as others saw it too, pointed it out, and I claimed it, as yet another character flaw.  

Insecurity - unsure of who you are, what you are, what you do; and most especially, unsure of the world and the people who make it up around you.  So I spent a lot of time alone - reading, questioning, asking for answers, quite often in pain.

I've written that I've spent years in that place and that recently the decision to make some changes seems real.  Along with "mental illness" I've decided to no longer "wear" "my" insecurity.  Insecurity is nothing but an idea.  It is an idea that I can "take off" just as I "put it on" for all those years.  Either way, it is NOT ME!  I've read a lot of books, considered a lot of thoughts, but two books that I've recently read helped to finally solidify large parts of all that.  They gave me the sense of personal and spiritual security that I've been seeking my entire life.  Many others have come before, but these finally did it for me. 

I call them controversial in the title of this post for a couple of reasons.  First, they are both said to be "channeled".   If you don't know about channeling, or want to know why I believe it, you can read that further on down the post.  If you can't consider the concept of channeling, then you probably don't need to read any more of this.

I'm not going to make huge claims on these books.  They may not resonate with you like they did for me.  Whatever you think, I'd enjoy chatting with anyone about them, and I do encourage you to give them a try.

The first is channeled by JZ Knight who channels the spirit of Ramtha, both of whom appear in the award winning documentary What the Bleep Do We Know. If you've never watched What the Bleep, I very highly suggest you watch that first.  What the Bleep is, in itself, very controversial.  Many of today's scientists call it "pseudo-science"... but then....  new thinking is often disparaged by the old.  Remember Galileo?  I'd invite you to make up your own opinion, if you're a person that dares to do that.

The JZ Knight book is simply entitled "Ramtha" or "The White Book".   The link is a Google "shopping" search showing several used copies available on the web.  (I hope the link stays true.  If not, just do your own.)  Whether or not you believe in Ramtha the wording, imagery, concepts, and ideas are awe inspiring and uplifting.

The second book is entitled "The Thomas Book" by Bruce Fraser MacDonald, PhD.  I call it controversial here not because it is channeled but because the author included in it so much of his own personal conflict surrounding the events of writing the book and in getting the book published.  Dr. MacDonald states that he had a near death experience that required years of rehab and meditation.  Through the meditation he came into contact with Didymos Judas Thomas, said by some to be the twin brother of Jesus.  "The Thomas Book" is said to be Didymos Judas Thomas relating his new "gospel" of what really happened when he was a disciple/contemporary of Jesus the Christ.

Sound way out there?  You ain't heard nothin yet!  There's much more that I won't go into here.  The controversy surrounding this book has me conflicted, as a long time student of "A Course in Miracles" (which also has something to do with the book).   Yet I find the Thomas Gospel uplifting, confirming, and believable.

If you can get by all that, "The Thomas Book" itself (which is the latter half of the book) is tremendous.  I recommend that you leave the first half to LAST.  In my opinion, the personal drama takes much away from the story that is supposed to be the point of the book.  I won't give that story away here.  Let me just say:  Be prepared to have much of what you previously believed challenged.....  And Prepare for strong feelings of Love and Security.

(For your info, the Thomas Book is only available through the website (link) I provided.)


Now... About "Channeling"

I've come to accept many different concepts than those I started out with as a young girl.  I've always believed that our Soul survives - early religious upbringing.  But now I believe in reincarnation.  I believe our soul survives and continues through many lifetimes.  And I believe time is relative.  And I believe "thoughts are things".

I first learned of that idea through the Edgar Cayce material.  Then came Louise Hay and Unity and all manner of New Age/New Thought teachers and metaphysical studies.  I learned that "psychic" is not evil, but means "of the soul"; and that those with psychic gifts very often have them because they have developed a deep connection with "gifts of the Spirit".  So all things psychic became a part of the learning.  

Psychic beliefs conclude that there are all manner of "planes of existence".  And contrary to what many start out thinking, psychic/spiritual beliefs more often than not are based around all that is good in the Universe.  So a belief in ghosts?  Yes.  Belief that they are always evil?  NO.  Belief in Angels?  Yes.  Belief in survival of the Spirit/ the Soul?  ABSOLUTELY. 

Belief that all these exist only in the "heavenly realms" where we have no access?  NO.   Psychic/Spiritual beliefs say that the planes of existence and all those who dwell within them are all around us, all the time.  Psychic/spiritual beliefs state that we have access through prayer, meditation, and other states of awareness, such as sleep.  When we "tune in" we receive psychic/spiritual impressions and assistance all the time.

That is how "mediums" access others.  Most people know that nowadays.  Another concept beyond Mediums is that of "channeling".  Channeling means that the "receivers" have the ability to move their personal ego/consciousness aside, or even completely leave their body, so that another entity (or consciousness) may take over the writing tablet, keyboard, or even the entire body.

Somewhat muddy is the concept of what I call "Direct Communication".  Some people receive "blocks of thoughts/concepts" - such as Esther Hicks of Abraham-Hicks or  Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the Conversations With God series.  I distinguish these from those who receive word for word dictation such as is said to the be case with Helen Schumann, the scribe of A Course in Miracles.  Although Esther is said to "channel" Abraham when she speaks, she states she receives as "blocks of thought/concepts" and I don't believe Neale ever stated that he received word for word "dictation", though I may be wrong...

 So, yes, after years of study and personal experiences, I do believe in all of the above.  I also believe that all of the above links provide a wealth of knowledge and potential for personal and spiritual growth.  I invite you to check out those that interest you and happy exploring!

Love and Blessings,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

It's 6:40 AM.  I don't have much time.  I'm headed for New Hampshire to share a Mother's Day meal with my Mom and Dad.  A three hour trip, and it's SNOWING!  May 9th... only in Vermont!  Gotta love it....

I haven't seen Mom in two years.  Very strange.  Her love is unconditional.  Always has been.  I was the one that broke the bond, created the "issue".

It's time... way beyond the time... to let it go.  

Sometimes it seems life brings troubles TO us, that other people and circumstances are the reason.  That's an easy out to justify the pain associated with any crisis.  

In learning to recognize my responsibility in all life has brought me, I came to understand that WE determine our life.  We are in control, charting the course, and steering the ship.  That includes everything that "comes our way".

For the longest while, that just meant moving the blame from "them" to ME.  Didn't feel any better.  Often felt worse.  Life in hell as a nightmare continued.

Then I decided to return to Who I've always been, What I've always believed, and to honor my life's path by including What I've learned along the way.

I've learned that:  What we focus on, we become.  

A review of the painful areas of my life and the resulting depression, despondency and hardships certainly proves that to me.  
Another lesson learned along the way:  Regardless of the circumstance or how it comes to you, it is always your perception and thought that determines its value.  You place the "good" or "bad" aspects, you decide what you will "hold on to", what you will embrace as the outcome.

I've given up focusing on hell.  Sure, it's still a journey.  But the good news is:  Life is not static.  It's constantly changing.  Thank the Good Lord for that!  The "hell" of this moment can and WILL be replaced by Heaven on Earth, if you make the decision to ask for it.  

There is Good in everything.  All That Is is always working towards the Good.  My decision is to embrace the fact that I do believe that, to seek assistance and Guidance from within and beyond, and to create a new expectation of the Joy of Life.

When that is what I focus on, the proof of that outcome has also always been revealed to me.

It's all about the Love, babyfor myself and the woman who bore me.  Today I go to share in that Love once again and offer it in return.  Nothing else matters.

Gloria Mae Moulton Hanchett taught me that, many many years ago.

Thank you Mom, for Who you've always been.  I love you beyond what you'll ever know.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Slowing Down and Quiet Contemplation

This evening I've spent almost an hour in quiet contemplation of what I might next post here.  I decided it would be how wonderful that feels, to have come to a place where I can slowly and calmly contemplate life (or anything!)

In 1982, I began college.  I had three babies at the time.  Patrick was 4, Bethany 2 1/2, and Neil one.  One morning as I prepared to leave, my niece (who babysat) commented on how my hands were shaking.  This was the first time I remember someone else consciously noticing and mentioning that fact that I was becoming more and more familiar with.  We  put it down to too much coffee.

Over the years the shaking hands became a trademark of my anxiety.  Whenever any situation began to make me uncomfortable or upset, it was very clearly seen in my shaky hands.  As it became more prevalent, so did my fear that my emotional discomfort was "showing all over me".  And indeed it was.

Last week, while visiting my therapist and discussing just "what" we might work on... he was quick to notice my shaking hands and state of anxiety.  His response was to begin with teaching me diaphragmatic breathing.   This is where you breathe from you belly, using the diaphragm, rather than from the chest.  Oh my Goodness!  What a difference this has made for me this week!

Diaphragmatic breathing is also a known practice in meditation and yoga, so some may already be well aware of it.  If you're not, and interested in more info, check out the link above and also the following link, from a Yoga site:  But I warn you on this one, there a quite a few pictures of the interior of the body, which made me a little uncomfortable.  But then I'm squeamish... Maybe others aren't... and the info is great.

So, that is one thing that I believe has helped lead to this state of calm quiet.  The other is a set of meditation CDs that I bought.  These are not your normal meditation tapes of guided imagery or light music.  These CDs actually incorporate light background sound designed to balance brain waves to help you reach the various states associated with meditation and sleep (or pre-sleep).

Always a little bit skeptical when it comes to advertised products, I was somewhat unsure of whether I believed the product could or would, in fact, deliver what it claimed.  I have no basis of "proof" to offer you, other than the fact (which for me is huge) that I have noticed a very clear difference in how I "feel" throughout the day.  I am much more calm and relaxed.  When worries or other such thoughts enter my mind, and the potential for anxiety is there, I am able to return back to calm quickly and easily.

I enjoy the CDs, which are actually the sound of running, cascading water, such as from a rain storm or from a brook or small waterfall.  If you'd like to check them out for yourself, the website is:

All I can say is:  How wonderful it feels to have spent an hour in slow, deliberate, calm, and quiet contemplation of what this blog entry might be, rather than frantic scattered thoughts.

And now, it's time for bed and a relaxed sleep...

I hope your day was good, and if not, that tomorrow will be.... awesome!


Monday, May 3, 2010


Hello Everyone!!
In the month since I've last posted, life has been.... hmmmm.. Interesting shall we say :)  There's been much transition and much introspection... often good.. sometimes uncomfortable...

The uncomfortable is not something I wish to focus on any longer.... at least not here.  When it is necessary, or seems to grab me, I'm working on it, and I'm releasing the fear associated with so many things.  It can often feel like baby steps... but it's steps being taken none the less... and I'm very happy with that.

Much of the introspection has been about transition; the changes in life that sometimes seem to usher in whole new chapters.  At those times we look at where we've been, we think about where we're going, but we realize we are starting from Now... this moment.  And this moment is good.  All that we have been has brought us here and all that we are now will bring us into the future.  We build our lives moment by moment.

The beginnings of this blog focused on mental illness.  I state in my profile that I'm "disabled" by reason of anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Hefty terms and labels.  I focused on those because I wished to own the fact that this has been a part of my life.  I wanted to address and face the stigma associated with mental illness, not only from others, but mostly from within my own self.  I used the blog as a "coming out"; to reinforce for myself that I will no longer be embarrassed and ashamed that this has been a part of my life, or is a part of others' lives.

The transition that has occurred recently is that I have made the decision to say:  I will no longer define myself by the labels of "disabled" or "mentally ill"

I recognize and honor the work of the mental health community.  I recognize its necessity in our lives for overall well-being.  I will continue to participate in those aspects that assist me in my life, my daughter's life, and the lives of others; but I will no longer let mental illness be the defining factor OF my life.  (Or the main focus of this blog)

Oh my Goodness!  It feels like I'm "orating" again....

My oldest son Patrick says I "love to orate".  And you know what?  YES I do!  But I've decided that's okay.  Whereas I was upset with the thought that I verbosely talk at people, I've always seen it as dialoguing, discussing, and most importantly, Sharing.  It's the sharing that I love.

Much of my "introspection" has (for years) been spent looking at the past, and now recently looking at those things that I have learned and explored for all those years.  The transition Now is that I have made the decision to honor who I am.  And (Oh wonder of wonders!) be OKAY with who I am. 

"I Am"
  • a person most comfortable in my quiet little space, focused on singular activities
  • a person who loves to see others succeed. 
  • a person who loves to share the infinite possibilities of anything and everything that contributes to our life, well-being, joy, and success
I've never been a person to be "actively doing" and participating with others.  My particular way of doing is study, to explore through the internet, through reading, and through examining personal experiences.   All of these provide such a variety of teaching and "teachers".  (I see teachers as anyone we encounter in all manner of ways.)

I guess I'll always be a student, and I'll always love the study...  But in recent years it seems even my level of doing had ground to a stand-still.  Life became stagnant because I saw my experiences, my life, myself as unacceptable; never reaching some self-imposed standard of becoming all the things I am not.  I've spent much time beating myself up over "not being out in the world, doing" and "not actively applying" the things that I've studied and examined - to become a "better person" emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

In recent weeks I have made a transition.  I am ready to move forward with life.  I am ready to "do" and to "apply".  But it's no longer because there's something wrong with me, there's something I need to become or do.  Today I am Okay with me.  Personally I believe that is the difference that will make everything else (to whatever degree) possible. 

I do believe I came to that understanding through my "study" of all these years and the experiences that it brought about.  That study has been of all manner of psychology, self-help, spiritual and philosophical theories, ideologies, processes, and programs.

In the future of this blog I'd like to share some of those things with you.  In this transition even my reasons for "sharing" have changed.   I used to feel that I needed to figure it all out and give what I'd learned to others, in case they were "in need" of fixing too.

I haven't figured it out and your life doesn't need fixing.  Neither does mine.  What I've explored, learned, and accepted may mean nothing to you.  But it is Who I am, what I "DO", and what I ENJOY. 

And I do hope you will enjoy it too.  And maybe if you decide that any of it has worth for you or adds to your life, you'll continue to follow my blog.  That would be great too :)

Sharing ourselves and what brings us joy, now that is what life is all about!  Oh my God, this is huge!

lol lol lol

Can you tell I'm happy?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Yesterday I watched the movie "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock. It's not just a feel good movie.

We have so much coming at us every day of our life. The interactions, the images, the voices and expressions can bombard us with so much negative. What I'm referring to is the News, media, internet, movies. I don't watch the news when Frank is away working. Not doing so releases me from some of the turmoil.

Even so, I often feel upset and conflicted with what I still do see and hear. There's Facebook and John Stewart and Colbert and their highlights of people like Glen Beck and the other Republican antics. The issues that America confronts today (the financial crisis and the banks, health care, the "losses" of the "Middle Class") are portrayed so violently across the media. The rich robber barons are standing firm in their right to steal and call it their due. Those who "had theirs" are screaming and threatening in hatred at those "below" them because they got theirs because they worked and are worthy, while those somewhere below obviously have not and therefore do not deserve - and certainly not from them. Those just below the "Middle Class" and certainly the poor are completely forgotten - except by Obama and those brave enough in Congress to ignore the lies and the threats and push health care through irregardless. Now they turn their focus to the need for financial reform to "save the Middle Class" and America.

Sometimes I feel lucky and sometimes it feels a necessity that I'm home, when it comes to the emotional movements that happen within me on a daily basis. I don't know that I ever made it to the "Middle Class" - at times it felt we were getting close to "having" - when I and Frank were both making good incomes. And then the happenings of this life and the systems set in place moved to return us to "just below" or even in line with the "poor". We've lost two homes, two businesses, and filed bankruptcy over the years. That has reeked its havoc on my self-esteem and self-worth; my ability to believe in a future and my ability to even desire to live this life.

I don't mind being "in line with" the poor.  They're some of the best people I know.  And my personal "drops" have made me realize that all the more.  There but for the Grace of God go I.  Because of my personal life experiences I tend to relate more to the "side" of liberal, not of "higher" economic status, and certainly see myself among them.  And I don't mind that.  What I DO mind are the connotations of lack of worth, laziness, and failure as a result that others apply, and that I have subsequently applied to myself.  My "work" at this time in my life is to remove those opinions and connotations from my mindset.  That is the lesson this life has given me.

This morning I looked at my checking account to verify that my Social Security had been deposited. With that I will pay my rent. As I looked to see "what will be left" the tightening and rolls that have become the norm for my belly threatened to move me from a place of calm to the grips of fear once again.

And I thought of Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side". Was she what the media calls The Middle Class or the Rich? It was certainly stated that she and her husband were Republicans (they met their first Democrat in Kathy Bates) and they certainly seemed to have "more than enough" with a huge gorgeous home, ownership of multiple businesses, and the ability to buy without question. They didn't seem to question that ability or their right to have all that they had, nor did they know of the poor or their problems - until they met Michael. Often that has been called arrogance.

The difference, I think, portrayed in this story is that throughout all Sandra Bullock did (and her family)they also didn't question right or wrong. They didn't stop to consider what was right, whether or not someone "deserved" or why. They simply acted from what they knew was right, with love.

In looking at the hatred seemingly portrayed by Republicans and the media's constant influence to increase the hatred within me for the extremists on all sides of all America's issues, I have been asking the Universe to help me see differently. It's what I ask for every day in my life - to see and act from the heart - with love - for myself and all things I encounter.

"The Blind Side" is a great movie for our time.  Perhaps that's why it won an Academy award.  Perhaps that's why the Universe helped bring it to us at this time. Sandra Bullock helped me to see that Economics don't matter. It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor, Middle class or somewhere just below - Republican or Democratic - even liberal or conservative. 

What matters is believing in yourself and in someone else - whoever you encounter. What matters is acting from love as an individual - and ignoring or standing firm when confronted with those who do otherwise. Economics have nothing to do with it.  As they say... Peace begins with US.  Love begins with US.  When the individual makes the individual choice to do what is right, without outside influence, but through Soul Connected Guidance we are all uplifted.  That is what "America" has always stood for.  That is why we say, "In God We Trust".

If you trust in the Divine (whatever you conceive that to Be), that trust will assist you in seeing one another differently.

And thus my fear and the nausea in my stomach was moved from a place of fear and hatred to a place of calm.  Regardless of what you see in the media, you can also ask to be shown something different - if you are willing to see something different.  And the Universe will always oblige.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Gift That Costs You Nothing

When we are ill our most urgent need is release from pain.  Friends, nurses, and our mothers have always known this and are quick to respond.  In today's world we have all kinds of medications, treatments, and procedures meant to "heal".  A true "healer" recognizes that the most desperate need underlying the pain is the need for the comfort of love and compassion.

Part of what I've been trying to convey to others through this blog is the understanding that mental (or emotional) illness carries with it a depth of pain that is as severe as the torture of any physical ailment.

How can we compare our pain?  How can we express to another its depth and make them understand?  It's never easy.  Physical pain is mostly understood by all - emotional pain not so well.

Often we are at a loss to know what to do to help someone in emotional pain - especially one in the severe pain that is associated with any kind of "diagnosed" mental illness.  Today NAMI posted info on Facebook about their new Hearts and Minds campaign.   On that page I found a link to a new support site that anyone can use when they're feeling most in need.

You can create an area devoted to any subject; those already done include not only mental illness and addictions but things such as financial difficulties, weight loss, and cancer.  Looking through the posts I was moved by the levels of pain that so many are experiencing in this time.  But I was most struck by the consideration, love, compassion, and understanding of others who replied to help those feeling so lost and alone.

Check out if you're needing a friend, or please if you have a moment to spare to help another who could use one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

While I've Been Away

March 3, 2010
This morning I was given eyes to see my story, the story.  I decided to work with the Cayce ARE course on Finding Your Life Purpose.  This morning the narrative and work were about recognizing your positive talents.

The 1st exercise was a guided imagery where you think of people you admire, consider why you admire them, and then through “positive projection” recognize that the talents they possess are also in you, some may be actively, some may be dormant, a “seed” you haven’t planted for some reason.

In considering the reason why you may not have planted your seeds, the narrator spoke of the “Jonah Complex”.  I had never heard of this before, and looked it up on the ‘net for further info.  It is the Old Testament story of Jonah and the whale.    What I had forgotten, or not taken away from this story as a child is the reason Jonah ended up in the whale in the first place. 

God recognized that Jonah had a particular talent – communicating to others.  God sent Jonah to tell a certain people’s that their negative ways were horrible – an abomination to Him – and that unless they changed their ways God would destroy them.  Jonah was fearful of this task, fearful of his ability to do it, and fearful of the outcome.  So instead of going to the town, he boarded a ship for elsewhere.  A mighty storm came up, Jonah was thrown overboard and ended up in the whale’s belly for 3 days – time enough for him to consider everything.  When the whale burped him up, Jonah went to the appointed town and completed his task.

The ARE narrator said that the Jonah Complex is about being afraid of our abilities – afraid of the greatness that lies in us, and so we stifle them, and in so doing, we end up frustrated, bored, neurotic – because we aren’t “fulfilling our mission” of being all that we can.

This whole thing jolted me like a bolt of lightning.  I recognized that it has been a major issue in my life, running through it, about going to college, being all I can be when it comes to my relationship with Frank, and in so many other ways.

I was also set back by the realization that over the last few years I have spent no time “allowing” any goodness into my life, and specifically no time recognizing any goodness in ME.

March 4, 2010
This morning I’m thinking about the things that I’ve learned in the last few days about myself and the things that have been presented.  Last night in reading the Course (A Course in Miracles), Jesus showed me again that it’s all about the Love and the truth of Who we really are.

I thought for a little while on how I might offer that to others (like through my blog or maybe even as a counselor or such).  I wondered about face to face relationships versus how I present myself on the internet, and if the face to face was more important.  I guess it was thinking about the face to face that got me thinking about what is most important to me for living my life and feeling okay with whoever I meet, in whatever way.

I remembered the imagery that came to me the other day when I did the exercise in the ARE course that I’m working on – that what is important to me is that I live from the heart – express from the heart in all I say and do.  It’s about the love.  I thought about how that was impressed upon me – from church – from Jesus – and how I took that on from an early age and determined to live that way.  I said, "Yes, that is what is important.  That is what life is all about".  I thought of how that became the longing, the need in me to be the essence of all I say and do in this life.

I thought about the Course again, about the theme that runs through it over and over -  seeing the truth in each person, recognizing their worth and value, their equality to me, our “sameness” in the right to love and forgiveness, our “sameness” in the truth that love is in each of us, a grand worth is in each of us, perfect qualities are in each of us.  That understanding is how I need to “see” each person, bless each person, understand each person I encounter, if I am to live the Truth.

I thought about the places in my life where I have been unable to do this.

Whenever Jesus explained that we are all equal – equally loving, of equal worth – and equally deserving of love – I felt that block.   “Yes”, I thought, “but not this person – not in this particular circumstance.”  And I thought, “How can I possibly offer love to this person, this circumstance?  How can you ask me to?”

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks or so looking at my “mental illness” and the circumstances of my life – the things that led to it, that kept it in place, seemed to make it so dire at times, that threatened to destroy my life.  I’ve done so much of that over the years, that this time I found I just didn’t want to relive those circumstances again.  I didn’t want to place myself in the depths of that hell any longer, by reliving the extremity of the pain the memories invoked.

I’ve learned over the years that I no longer want to blame other people, or even the circumstances.  And of course, I don’t want to “blame” myself.  I just want out of the hell.  I just want love and comfort, release from the pain.

Being unable to make others “understand”, feeling unloved and uncomforted, I began again to look at myself – as I always have.  But this time I was able to return to looking at myself with compassionate eyes, to give myself love, rather than blame myself for all the places where I am little, unlovable, and downright mean at times – the places where I fall short.

I thought of the times I acted with anger, explosive, retaliatory, feeling “threatened” by the actions of others, or judging the actions of others, and the embarrassment that brought later.  I thought of the after-effects on me, how the embarrassment turned to a desperate need to explain what I was then feeling:  “You just don’t understand, the pain I’m in, the fear I’m feeling.  You just don’t understand that I’m scared to death - that I’m doing the best I can, that I just don’t know what to do!  I’m sorry if what I did was wrong.  I only did what I knew to do – maybe it was habitual, maybe it was “unthinking”, definitely “inappropriate”.  But maybe it came from pain, frustration, fear – not knowing what to do.  I need compassion.  I need your love, your understanding, and forgiveness”.

Determined to keep the focus on me, (rather than project blame onto others) for the “pain” of my life, I then understood – that, yes, I need compassion.  I need love and forgiveness.  But I need to give these things to myself.  I saw that so many of the events were not what others “had done”, but were the result of how I felt and thought about myself – how I had not only been unloving to myself, but had condemned myself as never good enough, a failure, inept and unable to learn – and how that had led to the fear, the pain, the worthlessness and misery.

Looking at myself through compassionate eyes, I was able to see what we often try to tell others:  “I don’t deserve to die.  I don’t deserve your ostracism, your scorn, your contempt.  I don’t deserve to be hated or rejected.”  When you look through the eyes of love, you make allowance.   You can and do recognize that it was a mistake, a not knowing what to do, a lack of understanding - the need for love and gentle instruction.

And this brings me full circle to my question to Jesus:  “How can I give love and forgiveness to this person, this circumstance?
By giving it to yourself.  By recognizing that those places where you fall short are just mistakes, to be forgotten, and then to move on – with love.  By recognizing your worth and value – your right to all these things, as I do.  As you realize these things for yourself, and accept them for yourself, and keep the focus on yourself, you allow yourself to receive them, you allow yourself forgiveness, and you allow yourself to move on and grow.  Love is the key.

As you accept all this for yourself, and recognize that you “deserve”, you recognize, “see” that so too, do others.  Then you can apply to others – where their actions seemed threatening, unjust, unloving – those actions were just mistakes – deserving of love and forgiveness – deserving of compassion – not hatred.  Accept and give – Love.  
You only need recognize what is needed, and be willing to give it.  If you don’t know “how”, ask me, the way will be provided.  All you need do is be willing – to make the decision for love – in all you say and do.  
These are the things that are important to me:  Living from the heart – Expressing from the heart – Giving and Receiving Love.

In order to give and receive Love, you must keep your focus on Love.  I descend into hell when I make the decision to move my focus there, to see from that point of view.  When I made the decision to move my focus from hell to Love – to the gifts of the Spirit – and from where they are given, I returned to what is important to me.  (I’m reminded of the name of Marianne Williamson’s book – “Return to Love”)

Focusing on Love makes it easy to do all things through love.  When I keep my focus on Love I remember Who I am – and why I am here.  I am given the “how” of how to live.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Thank you, Every Color.  I needed to hear that tonight.  Thank you, PJ, for always being there.  Thank you John, for the smiles and the hello's.

Each time I have a strong emotional swing I am embarrassed for the behavior.  I've always known that much of my troubles is emotional, though the mental health community talks of the neurological aspects today... and that does give some comfort.  No, I don't want to hide behind that it's all neurological like some claim we will, but the recognition of the body/mind connection cannot be overlooked... (from one who lives it).

I'm embarrassed and hurting and not really wanting to share any of it in a public place.  But I want to thank those who come here for their support, and let them know what's going on with me.  There is the usual differing of opinions as to whether what I have decided is "right", but it is what I have decided to do. I'm "self-helping" myself again... at the moment.... Still have not finalized a decision as to working with professional help again, yet.

What I'm doing right now is not easy and seems at times to be keeping the turmoil swirling.  I've decided to write and write and write... again... something I've done of course, over the years... keeping journals...  This time it is a combination of what's currently going on while also transcribing my old journals.

"Bringing up the past" can seem to others that I'm "hanging on to" the pain.  What I'm hoping to do is grieve the experiences that I need to and move on.... so that the pain, anger, resentment doesn't continue to follow me and rear its ugly head at inappropriate moments.  I've found the EFT(Emotional Freedom Techniques) website again and downloaded the manual for working with it, and will begin that again.  I've done it some in the past.... no where near enough... and it does work. 

Time will tell if I make any progress.... Transcribing the old journals does have me in a pretty unsettled state for right now.... It will take time and work.

In the past I thought I made great gains by "letting go" of the past but guess I haven't done as well as I thought.  I work to "live in the now".  But my now still consists of me as an emotional cripple or an egotistical bigmouth, which doesn't seem an optimistic picture for the future.  Neither is a state I want to remain in - or define myself by.

Don't know if I'll continue the blog.  I'm feeling pretty insecure right now.  But I wanted to say Thank You, again... and let you know why, if this place becomes silent.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feb. 13, 2010

Just an update for friends who care or want to know…

Two weeks ago I was feeling good, in “intellectual” mode, went for various testing regarding physical health, feeling I could work towards “recovery” (whatever that means), and perhaps even begin volunteering somewhere.

Out of the blue I turned a 180….  All of a sudden thought (and felt):  “I can’t do this!” (Like ‘what the hell was I thinking?’)  Fell into deep depression, then started cycling…. like hour to hour… between depression….. well depression stayed…. but also was feeling irritation, bursts of anger…

Maybe I’m Bipolar?  Jesus, never stayed with one Doctor long enough to figure that out…..
Embarrassed myself on Facebook in a couple places with one of those episodes…. Deleted a whole bunch of friends and support pages..

Family frustrated…..  increases my confusion and desperation

My mind keeps moving between completely opposite possibilities that each seem correct at that given moment…

Beth says:  “This too shall pass”…. that’s what I’m hoping, but sure doesn’t feel like it at the moment.
I’m wanting to isolate…. feeling the situation is hopeless, and any movement forward is near impossible…. (as that has been the pattern in the past)

Posting this….. just because… I don’t know… hoping whatever happens it will help someone somewhere in the future… (and because I'm in my head at the moment, and not my feelings.... Head is saying "Do it"... a weak faint cry from somewhere else is pleading "no DONT"  Head's not listening...

Hope head is right...

And the usual, for the understanding and education of others…

I’m feeling at a place where I want to reject compassion…. Isn’t that frigged up?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fear Makes us Angry

Last week, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama spoke of the anger that the American people are feeling right now.  He said (paraphrased) “they are afraid for their lives and their livelihood.  They are frustrated because they continue to ask for, vote for change and get instead the same status quo of immovable personal interests, and end up feeling they are not being heard.  Fear makes us angry.”

I get that.  Boy, do I get that!  But I wonder how many others in our world understand that relationship.  President Obama also spoke of a “deficit of trust” that has been created.  I’ve wanted to talk of the relationship between fear, anger, and distrust with regards to mental illness many times in the past. President Obama's words could be speaking directly of those with mental illness, and the issues they face.

Fear and anger have been a part of my life for many years now, along with (or resulting in) distrust.  A primary reason for my blog is to promote understanding of those who react with anger, to ask those who encounter it to look beyond the initial display, to see the fear that lies beneath, especially when it comes to those with mental illness.  As a society, not having done that, the result continues to be an increase in distrust among us all.  In the case of those “diagnosed” as mentally ill, it can mean the potential loss of a life, or at the very least a greatly reduced quality of life.

Rather than recognizing the fear in those deemed mentally ill when they react angrily, violently; we disrespect them, put them away from us, actually lock them away.  We put them on medications to keep them quiet and sedated.  Or worse yet, we let them remain in their extremity until they commit suicide or die from neglect.  Historically, we haven’t bothered to get to the root of the problem or to understand it.

I’m not advocating that we condone anger and violence.  I am the first to speak for peace and calm, respectful interaction and communication.   In fact, I believe communication is the key.

Communication leads to understanding.  This post is to offer the understanding that:  FEAR makes us all react in anger – some to a greater measure than others.  My belief is that fear is at the heart of all “mental illness”, maybe let’s even say all mental “distress”.

I hope you’ll follow along the next few posts that deal with fear, anger, and distrust – from my perspective – from my life. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Our society hates whiners.  We are told from most every aspect of our lives to stop whining and complaining, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get moving.

It is very rare that I feel comfortable or confident when writing my posts.  They can take me hours/days to do.  Quite often I get part way through a post and find myself so conflicted that I don’t finish.  Sometimes I don’t begin.

It seems I’m always apologizing for the content of my posts and the timing gaps between them.  I worry that they don’t contain enough information and resources to assist those who read them.  I don’t give many facts and figures; I don’t cite many authorities on the subject of mental illness.

My blog is personal.  Because it’s personal, it’s difficult for me to write.  It seems I’ve been apologizing for my mental “illness” all my life – both before and after it being recognized as an “illness”.  As we “mental health consumers” begin to find our voice much of what is related seem like horror stories.  They are discouraging to hear, over and over.  However I don’t believe the stories are told simply for dramatic effect or to solicit sympathy – the events are, after all, horrific to experience. 

A couple of days ago on the Minds on the Edge Facebook page  a posting suggested that while it is comforting to commiserate over the stigma of mental illness, perhaps it would be helpful to post actions we are taking to fight it.  While I agree that it is important to move beyond the pain to empowerment when we relate to each other, I do not think we are yet ready to stop telling our story to the general public.  It is with the general public that stigma must be stopped.

On Wednesday night President Obama spoke in his State of the Union Address of the anger that the American people are feeling right now.  He said (paraphrased) “they are afraid for their lives and their livelihood.  They are frustrated because they continue to ask for, vote for change and get instead the same status quo of immovable personal interests, and end up feeling they are not being heardFear makes us angry.”

I will be following up this blog posting with one on how I feel the statement "Fear makes us angry" can directly relate to mental illness, specific to my personal experience.

The mentally ill are often seen as violent, to be feared, and put away from others.  Indeed, our voices can be angry and may continue to be in the near future.  I submit that quite often it is because we are afraid – for our lives.  We are frustrated with the lack of true understanding, consideration and concern for our health, our safety and our quality of life.

Yes, we're angry.  We're afraid!  Quite often we have been living a nightmareWe are asking to be heard.  

The President also spoke of not giving up on working together to bring about change. 

Neither should we.  But in order for change to occur, it must be recognized as necessary.   In order for others to come together with us to create change, they must be educated as to exactly what needs to be changed and why, and to recognize its importance.  Sometimes a large pendulum swing is necessary for change to occur.

No, the general public does not want to hear our horror stories.  They don’t want to hear or experience the angry voices.   Much better those voices be sedated - relegated to inferior, unworthy, shameful beings much easier forgotten.

It is needful that we continue to make our voices heard – to Bring Change to Mind – to educate and promote understanding and compassion.  I am not whining.  I am not less than others because my inter-personal education and physical genetics could use improvement and assistance.   I do not deserve less than others – in my health, my safety, or my quality of life.

I stand with Dr. Fred Freese when he said, “I refuse to be ashamed any longer”.   I refuse to stop telling my story - difficult and uncomfortable though it is – for myself and those who may read it.  I refuse to stop providing links to other stories.

With that in mind, please check out this blog posting by John McManamy entitled Clinicians - Worst Purveyors of Stigma.  Be sure to also read the insightful comment by Loretta that follows the article.  This is a mind-set/practice that needs to be changed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recurring Themes

Hello Friends,

Yes, I’m still here.  Where else would I be?  I’m sorry that my blog entries end up being more like a long newsletter when I wait so long to post.  The darn fatigue and discouragement are still doing what they do – keeping me from doing what I want to do. 

Today I’m a little optimistic in a few areas and (as happens with me) the ideas seem to relate to more than one issue in my life and flow along themes

A recurring theme this winter has been:  Not Giving Up!  The idea was presented to me in at least three ways just yesterday and today.  It seems almost funny (and sometimes I think almost has a “spiritual intervention” aspect to it) when these occurrences happen, especially when “giving up on life” is the reason I give for sitting home in discouragement and depression doing nothing.

I was inspired and encouraged by the President’s State of the Union address last night; not necessarily because of any specific detail in the speech, but more because of his attitude.  He said last night that he’s not giving up on Healthcare. 

Now it seems to me that if anyone has the potential for being discouraged, it is the President right now!  The bickering and fighting, the absolute refusal to work together, the constant sniping and disparaging remarks, looking for any and every possible situation to twist, color, and mislead that occurs with our “leaders” in Washington and in the media – certainly has had me discouraged and angry.  Much of this is pointed straight at President Obama. Yet he calmly spoke of continuing to work together, with no seeming resentment or retaliation in his words or voice. 

The President spoke of the millions of Americans that go out to work every day or post one more resume, attend another job interview – not giving up or giving in, but continuing on, not allowing disparaging events to discourage them.  He said we give him strength and he continues on for us.  Though I’m not one of the working contributors any more, I felt strengthened and encouraged by his words.

And I thought:  “Wow.”  If he can do it – not give up – not give in - to discouragement, anger and frustration, after all that has happened (and not happened) over these last months (year!) then maybe I can too.  Maybe hope is not dead – for our country or for me personally.


Yesterday was also my Doctor’s appointment that I spoke of in an earlier post.  It went fairly well, without any large incident to increase the anxiety that I felt as I left the house.  What did happen was that even with four months lead time, my records (for whatever reason) did not get to them.  So I had to recount my whole long history as well as try to address why I was currently there.  And of course, trying to recap the circumstances and events of my life that resulted in a diagnosis of mental illness (PTSD) and the medical history of it all – put me in tears with elevated blood pressure and anxiety – and the Doctor got to see first hand “why I was there”.

When asked why I didn’t continue to see a Psychiatrist or continue with meds I told him that I didn’t see the point – I see no future that would be different from the past.  I have given up hope that things can be different for me.  Neither “chatting” with a Psychiatrist nor meds would change the circumstances of my life it seems, after years of trying. 

The thought of trying to be out in the community or work place once again without emotional stability; thoughts of past events and fear of future ones of the same result fill me with dread to the point of near panic, and so I have “given up on life”.  I need to learn to cope (which obviously I haven’t) and putting out thousands of dollars to the medical community only increases another major contributor to my anxiety – lack of financial stability and security. 

The Doctor responded that he would encourage me to consider once again, to “not give up”. He seemed genuine in his understanding, interest, and concern.  We talked about an anti-depressant that I would take at night, that would also help with the inability to get to sleep.  We talked of my other current physical issues, worked out a plan, and I left with a faint little glimmer….


Lately, the winter, isolation, and boredom have me wishing for “something (of substance) to do”.  Though my circumstances mostly keep it wishful thinking, the little glimmer last night and this morning had me trying to think (realistically) of just what I could (and would) do, if I can find the courage.  The years of frustration from too much thinking and not enough action do have me determined to live my beliefs, so I guess something good has come of itNow more than just rhetoric, I honestly feel strongly that whatever I do, I want it to be of service to others.

Even if I’m not ready to return to the regular workplace or schedule, perhaps I can begin with volunteering.  It would get me out of the house, maybe could be on my schedule, and could be a minimal amount to begin.  Baby steps, but steps just the same.  So I did a Google search for volunteering in Vermont.  I found the Vermont RSVP website (which by the way is not only for “retired” or “Seniors” anymore) and opportunities within the Nature Conservancy of Vermont. 

Everything about The Nature Conservancy website made me think of Beth, as she’s also been looking for places to volunteer, and she already loves and spends time at some of the "Wildlife Reserves” spoken of on the site.  I excitedly called her to tell her about it.  I caught her just waking up and she seemed less than interested.  She was also a little testy as she stated that she had already told me about it a while ago.

This happens so much with us – we can’t seem to get together at the same time with our enthusiasm about a subject!  When she’s down or having a hard time I wrack my brain for ideas - things for her to do, past-times to keep her busy and move her thoughts elsewhere.  She’s rarely receptive.  I end up feeling frustrated and burdened because I’m unable to help her, though I try and try repeatedly.  

And repeatedly she comes to me looking for that help, only to be disinterested in whatever I offer.  At those times I feel “helpless to help” Frank reminds me that we “can’t really help” Bethany – because she’s an adult.  He’s trying to soothe me and deal with his own frustration.

I think about the idea that sometimes you can’t help a person until they want or are ready to do it themselves.  I understand that.

But I can’t stop.  Because she is my daughter.  I also understand that sometimes it is just a matter of a person finding the info or clicking with the possibilities for themselves.  But that doesn’t mean you stop offering support or suggestions as we all travel our way in our own time.

All these thoughts occurred to me this morning as we talked on the phone and couldn’t quite seem able to get together.  Regardless, I still thought I’m not giving up” when it comes to trying to help Bethany in any way.

When Beth came over later in the morning we talked of it all.  She said she had talked to her counselor just yesterday of how she and I had gotten upset with each other the other day – because she’s always trying to “help” me and I’m always trying to “help” her, and we both end up frustrated with each other!

Today was an easy conversation that left us both feeling loved and supported, each a little stronger and determined to move forward.

So, that’s today’s view from “Life on the Edge” in Vermont:  baby-steps towards the recurring theme of Not Giving Up.



Friday, January 8, 2010

Open Your Eyes

This post will be short.  And Very Serious.  Please open your eyes and your heart.  Watch the presentation that I link below.

Its a powerful and heart-wrenching story.  I ask you once again to help make some changes to the Health Care System in this country.  Talk to others.  Stop the stigma.  Write your Congressmen.

Please watch:  He's My Son  .  Please be patient, it takes a while to load.

I got this from the Bring Change 2 Mind website. 

Thank you. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Which Came First?

I have a Doctor's appointment on Jan. 27th.   In some respects I can't wait to get there, given that I've been waiting since September and haven't seen a doctor in at least a couple years.  When I think of it, there's a small amount of hope - but there's an awful lot of fear and dread. 

I get very scared when I'm experiencing what I assume are heart related issues - coughing, tight chest, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue and exhaustion.  At those moments I pray I just make it to Jan. 27 without having a stroke in the meantime.

Even with these symptoms I continue to soothe my fear (to "comfort" myself) with food and grab for a cigarette when the anxiety and discouragement are high (which is most of the time).

So, there's that fear.

Then there's the fear of who this person will be and their manner.  Will they be a compassionate person and have concern and understanding for mental illness?  Will they consider that the anxiety, depression, discouragement, and other life issues keep me from having the strength to get over the addictions that have led to my poor physical health?  Or will they see me as fat and disgusting, and tell me that they're not going to waste their time if I don't quit smoking and lose weight.

Quit smoking and lose weight is obviously what I need to do.  But how do I do that?  Sometimes I wish there was an AA for smoking and weight loss.  Actually, (I know) there are programs out there.  But what I'm talking about is the level of support given, the recognition of the degree of support needed by some folks, the feelings of powerlessness that some folks experience in feeling capable of doing it themselves.

The AA program is usually recognized by most people as a complete transformation of a person's life - necessary in order to overcome the addiction.  If you've ever read the AA's "Twelve Steps", you know that the first is that the person state/admit/accept that they are an Alcoholic and that they are powerless (have been powerless) to get over it by themselves.  They need help:  Help from a Source beyond themselves - and help from a community - on a day to day basis. 

So they come together at meetings to support each other.  Oftentimes you can attend a meeting somewhere close to you on any given day of the week.  Then they give you a "sponsor" - not just any person - but a person who has been were you are now.   A person that you can call any time of the day or night, wherever you are - and they will be there for you - helping to provide whatever you need at that moment:  motivation, strength, comfort, determination...

I would think that being a sponsor is a daunting task, time consuming, certainly very difficult at times.  I see it as taking a certain caliber of person, one with a huge amount of willingness to help another.


Let me move in another direction here..... the reason for the name of this post:  "Which Came First"...

The compassion, understanding and support that I talked about relative to the AA is what I long for, have deeply ingrained in me that I need, in order to "heal" - emotionally and physically.  I don't believe that any person can be truly healed of anything without treating the "whole" person.  (The lack of understanding of that is a whole 'nother discussion for another day.)

I need compassion, support, and understanding.  But that's not what I've gotten.... Oooooowwww... that seems like an awful statement - accusatory, self-pitying, laying blame.  That is not what I intend.

I want to talk about what actually has happened in my experience because it leaves me with such confusion, makes my mind swirl, leads to depression and discouragement.  I can't figure it out (obviously) and so here I sit... overweight, "heart"sick, and waiting to die.... Though I don't want to die.....  I just want life to not be like this....  I want to die if this is what life has to be like..  But then I'm told from my Spiritual reading that "death" solves none of it.... because we continue beyond.... and I believe that too....

Anyway, the other side of compassion, support, and understanding feels, to me, to be lack of interest, caring, concern for a person, not desiring to understand, or take the time to understand, not believing in "supporting" another.  I often see this as a "fault finding" attitude, a singularness, a separation and a desire to maintain such manners and actions.  All in all, a critical attitude.

Frank (hubby) and I are both Virgos - a sign known to have the trait of being critical.  We both sure can be at times.  In many ways, we take the same attitudes; in others we are total opposites.  We both have very strong belief structures, deeply seated, that I think are the result of both our persons and our upbringings.

In understanding my needs, and the needs of others, he often seems (to me) to be totally devoid.   This has always led to a huge amount of personal pain for me.  But let me explain.... Frank is not devoid of compassion or love, he just believes very deeply from the perspective of the individual - that it is each individual's responsibility to learn and do for themselves - that to "help" another is to enable them to be less... and to keep them from doing for themselves.  He sees things in a very black and white manner, without emotional attachment.  He can't seem to understand emotional attachment, because it doesn't come in to his realm of thinking.  Deeply seated also, I'm sure, is the old thought that to be emotional is to be weak.  To him, to be a strong person, you must be self-reliant, independent, capable of functioning totally on your own, and not blown away by the attitudes and actions of others.  When you allow emotion to reduce your person, you lose your strength. You don't waste your time "thinking about" anything, not the gray areas of any issue and especially not yourself.  You simply recognize what needs to be done, you make your decision from a singular perspective (yours), you DO IT, and move on...

I, on the other hand, cannot see the world from a singular perspective.  I believe that we are One, in Essence, and that each action we take has the potential of affecting others.  I see it as our responsibility to love and help one another - always.  I cannot take the emotion out of the equation.

So, yes, I am emotional.  And yes, I expect "help" and support from others.  And when I do not receive it, I feel personally rejected and unconsidered - or "considered" unimportant or of no value in the others' eyes.

I also add the connotation of "good" and "bad" to this.  To me it is more important to be a "good" and "considerate" person than to be a "strong, independent" person - inconsiderate of others' needs.

Old manners of thinking, on both our parts, and extreme, on both our parts.

To "have understanding" and "be compassionate" of others, I always strive to "see both sides" of any issue or opinion.  That doesn't mean I always agree with it.... but I do try to listen and educate myself to it.  And so I have tried very hard over the years to understand Frank's view of things.  I can see the value, the importance, and the need for some of it.  I can see how some parts of it are necessary for a person to "be strong".  But to agree fully with his opinion is to see me as weak, and the continued years of "emotional" thinking as the cause for "illness" in my mind and body, the result being the very "poor" individual that will appear in the Doctor's office on the 27th.  Is that the way the Doctor will see it? - Take a hard line that I am a result of my decisions, my thinking, and thus a poor specimen of an individual... unworthy of consideration?

I digress... again...

This afternoon, in actually being able to talk with Frank about all this (that's a new one!), the thought occurred to me that it is not one or the other - perhaps it is both.  There is much validity in Frank's view, and there is much validity in mine.  That is the "Yin and Yang" of the world.  You don't "choose one or the other".  You recognize that there is both.

And perhaps it is only in the extremity of either - the total refusal to consider the other - the extremes of "emotional pain" - that we lose sight of "health".  A belief that I am totally helpless, less than, and weak, does make me weak, and keeps me from seeing and experiencing my capabilities.  However, a belief that in order to be "strong" you must be totally independent, in "need" of no-one, without emotion, leaves a person without the experience of love and compassion and without learning all that can be accomplished together.

There is an idea - in mental health counseling, self-help books and spiritual practices - that advocates to "remove yourself" from certain people and situations that are detrimental to your "growth", emotional state, and overall emotional "health".  All these years I saw Frank's view as such a hard line - a meanness, lack of compassion, love, and understanding.  And I often thought that it greatly contributed to my "illness" and insecurities.  Yet, I refused to believe that God would have me leave this man that I knew to be such a wonderful person in so many other ways.  Eventually I learned to stop laying blame on either side, but to look for the positive aspects of both, without an excess of emotion and extreme thinking.  In refusing to give up, we have learned of each other, softened, and come more to the center of understanding.

Perhaps that is what life is all about.  I don't know.

I started this post from my confusion - am I right? - am I wrong?   (Which came first - the chicken or the egg?)  Is there an answer?  I don't know...

I had wanted to share with you the confusion that comes from trying to consider so much, not find an answer, and the "vicious cycle" of that, that has seemed to contribute to, and keep me in this "mental illness".  And yes, I was looking for your "help" and opinions..

Now I feel a little better... a little less insecure... and a little better able to take a "wait and see" attitude about the Doctor (as Frank suggested)...

But I guess I'll put this post out there anyway... regardless of what the cyber-world's attitude may be (that bothers me also, each time I write)...  as a potential contribution to understanding....