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Things That Children Absolutely Need (Which Usually Cost Nothing)

Children are like African violets.  (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.)  They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted.  Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of.  Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.

As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support.  When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant.  The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.

Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child.  Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.

Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction?  Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.

Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another,  This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling.  This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.

The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling.  Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive

Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases).  Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.

Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right.  The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought.  They often cost more time than money.  First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.

Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support.  A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian.  The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!

Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored.  “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed.  Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.

Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children.  Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost.  Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well.  The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.

 

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The Self-Actualized Lady Bug (Or Gentleman Bug)

rp_5922753845_4206ac2137_m.jpgDo you feel that you and what you do is insignificant?  The Lady Bug appears to be an insignificant insect.  Yet, what would a garden do without them?  They defend and protect it from predators.  They appear to be cute little things and because they are, they might not be expected to contribute much to life.  Except as a pleasant diversion to observe when in the garden.

Lady Bugs go quietly about their tasks and are often overlooked; but what would we do without them?  Maybe you already know some human lady bugs including yourself.  They are needed in every community in organizations like schools and churchs.  They might not be missed until they are gone and there is no one to take their place.

Lady Bugs care about people.  They protect and provide for their friends, families, and communities and (may I add) for their countrys.  In WWII they had their ration books and other conservation practices, and,yes of course, Rosey the Riveter.  They are industrious bunch and they often are self-starters.

They are often very spiritual and are an essential part of God’s Garden.  They do not need fanfare and may not even want it; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it to them.  It also doesn’t mean that they are aren’t thoughtful people and have the brainpower to back it up.  To be continued….

Neglected Gratitude

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium Helping Someone

Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
rp_7297340494_bbd50a8706_m.jpgNo one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.

Theresa Caputo–The Truth And Nothing But The Truth

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo  (the Long Island Medium) is not a phony.  She is very real.  And why is she so real?  She tells the truth and nothing but the truth.  I went to her presentation at a local center (Ford Center in Evansville IN) with two friends,  We were also mesmerized by her presence and the type of audience her presentation attracted.

We got to see the real her: longer hair, a bright blue attractive dress, and sparkly heels.  (I wondered how she negotiated moving around on the floor in them?).  She told us exactly what she would do and not do and how she utilized her fan club.  She was very honest and straight forward and I hung on her every word which I could do because cameras (only used for the presentation and then erased) and microphones followed her around and we could see her facial expressions and the reactions of those that she read.

Spirit seemed to pick the most urgent cases.  Those which would have left the theater in a turmoil with no feelings re leaved from a sudden tragic death or deaths and guilt not resolved.  Although, I did not receive a reading,  I got some insight into deaths I have suffered and about my own metaphysical gifts.

She is what she is.  She is not fake and even excused herself from reading for people who had messages or pictures that could be seen on camera because if she had read these people she might have been be accused of  getting information from these things and not spirit.

It was a very intense situation and she had a very intentive and polite audience.  (Also please note that there were people there some from Ford Center and some from her own staff to help out and they did so without distracting or impeding what was going on. )

Theresa was gracious and even invited two randomly chosen audience members behind stage after the show.   There was no press of people to get her attention and autographs after the show nor were any books sold; but when she was in the auditorium, she moved freely among the members of the audience.

It was obvious to me that she was “on” the entire time and that there was nothing “canned” nor  was there material that was used as  “filler.”  You came to see Theresa and there was no “staff” between her and the audience.  I just had to say, “Thank God.”  She was very honest about her beliefs and the most surprising one was that she believes that there is no hell.

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Take A Trip This Christmas And Leave Your Worries Behind

Take a trip this Christmas.  It doesn’t matter where you go  if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride.  That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow.  Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space.  We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.  The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner.  I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to.  It is out of my hands and I like it that way.  There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.

rp_300px-Face-smile.svg_.pngI leaving my worries and bills at home.  My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”;  and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home.    I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present.  I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers.   I won’t be rude or crude.  I don’t care which seat I get in the bus.  I won’t fight over a window seat .  I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing

I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously  happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough  and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind.  Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway.  Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen.  Give yourself a break.  If  possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can.  You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Celebrate Yourself?

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?

Spread A Little Joy

Customer Service center at 23d Street downtown...

Customer Service center at 23d Street downtown terminal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Customer Service can make or break a business as it can make or break a customer’s day.  I’ve recently made the point that I can be a grump.  One of my frequently used sayings is, “Sometimes, my patience, is tried.”

Sometimes I do not realize until too late that this is happening and I sometimes erupt embrassng myself.  Like the time I shook my fist in the third trip through the drive through getting a prescription filled after surgery (which I mentioned in my blog last week) or when I said, s–t! in front of the grandchildren.  It is hard to control yourself sometimes when you have reached your limit.

Today , I assigned myself the job of contacting the customer service departments of three businesses and like the rural salesman seeking a tire jack from a “grouchy” farmer in my favorite joke who says, “You can keep your God Damn jack!” when the farmer opens his door., I was ready to explode and had even had several conversations with the various businesses in my head before calling them.

After a couple of frustrating attempts to reach the various customer service departments, I made my connections and had a pleasant conversation with all three and resolved my issues satisfactorily.  I felt so good that I sat down to write this post afterwards.  Even though my first assumptions were that the conversations would turn out badly, I didn’t let that color my initial  conversations with them.  The more cheerful I was the more cheerful they were.  So spread a little joy this season or anytime.  “Please” and “Thank you don’t hurt” and don’t be rude if you can help it.spreadthejoyimages

A week ago at the phramacy drive though, I was in a nasty mood; but when I tried to resolve the issue over the phone talking to different pharamacies, I changed my tone of voice and let my mad fit go.  Sometimes things are not fair; but you don’t have to let them get to you and ruin your day as well as someone else’s day (whose fault, it might not have been initially).  Some businesses’s customer service departments are so nice that I think I could call them up to help myself feel better when I am down.

This leads to the final thing I want to say and that is the list of businesses, local, online, or national, that I recommend usually depends on how they treat me when I contact them.  I hope these businesses would also recommend me as a customer because of how I treat them.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

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Making Your Way Out Of The Swamp Of Denial

swampimages

Making your way out of the swamp of denial or helping someone make his or her way out of the swamp of denial may have many causalities, yourself included.  Too many people do not want to pay the price; but they have to pay the piper eventually.  Seniors may put off making the adjustments they need to make in their chosen lifestyle as they get older and need more help.  They are often not willing to face the consequences and often have put it off for way to long and it doesn’t get easier, it just gets harder and harder to do.  Not taking personal responsibility for some of their life decisions as not working is something that gets in the way.  They can get angry and because of their denial they take it out on the very people they need.

Denial is not conducive to rational thinking or to making an objective assessment of the consequences of choices people in denial might make is close to impossible.  Seniors, especially, may have always thought, “I don’t want to think about that yet.  It couldn’t happen to me.  I like things just the way they are.”  Honor thy father and mother is the commandment which gets harder and harder to obey.  In fact these people may drive away the very people they need.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

Such people in denial (like some seniors) often have had a position of status quo that was comfortable for them and which they never had to compromise.  It is hard for these people to make the necessary adjustments when they never wanted to or had to before.  At the same time their off spring or local support group runs out of patience with them because some seniors who are in denial won’t accept the help  they have to offer and these seniors even get (sometimes) hateful with them.

God Bless you (friends and family) you may be in for a hard ride with no thanks or gratitude or cooperation for your effort.  The problem may be impossible to solve if the person who needs to change is in the state of denial and stays there.  You might even think you are going crazy.  You say to yourself,”This can’t be real.”  You think that no one would deny something like that when the handwriting is clearly on the wall.

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Maybe, You Are Where You Were Meant To Be

Did you ever wish you were in somebody else’s shoes.  I have.  But you know, they just might not fit.  With the internet, reality shows, newspapers, and magazines, we probably just haven’t realized that we might know too much about people we used to think that we would like to be and it’s not good.  Fame, things don’t buy happiness and some of these people have not learned this yet.

Do They Fit?

Do They Fit?

Envy and jealousy eat away at your happiness.  Society says, “Don’t be satisfied with what you have got.  Don’t cultivate a feeling of gratitude for these things.”  However, this is your real path to happiness.  Many successful people do this and then realize down the line that while they had stuff, fame, and fortune, they never had time to enjoy it.  They were too busy seeking more of the above and many have found out they were not working for themselves, but others who depended on them.

Do you choose your friends and admirers or do they seek you?  What is the payback?  Some hangers on depend on the fact that you have poor judgment and will take them on and will essentially work for you.  I know a reputable psychic who appears to be compelled to do readings (for which she gets a hefty fee), to support her own church, to keep releasing new books, and to keep up an exhausting schedule of appearances and she is at a point in life where she needs to sit down and smell the roses.  I used to envy her until I realized this.

People have been taught to idolize and sometimes even worship other people and have been encouraged to model themselves after them.  Today they are more often called teachers or mentors.  We all have flaws and the most saintly of us have readily admitted this.  Mother Teresa knew that she wasn’t always perfect and that her life wasn’t always perfect.  Even Jesus on the cross asked that his Father would take this cup from him.  Even if you are not religious, you still may realize that the most famous people, the most powerful people, the ones with the most influence and wealth can’t always have what they want or live the way they want and there is nothing they can do about it.

One of the biggest pleasures in life is to do what you love doing (hopefully making enough money to be able to keep doing this), to have true friends and family around you, and to have a philosophy about life that enables you to keep doing this.  One size does not fit all so wear your own shoes that you have already broken in.

I will take this further at www.mutualspiritualaffinity.com where I am more open about my spiritual beliefs.

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