Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daily Reminder # 34

Find the humor in things. Find reasons to laugh.

I think I used to have more of a sense of humor than I do now. I don't know if it's the times we are living in or if it's me becoming a wicked old crone. In any case, I find myself feeling uncomfortably grim about everything. I think I used to laugh more. Of course some of this may be because I am so isolated these days. Angel and Tara Grace are great companions and they do make me laugh, but it's not quite the same as a witty exchange with another human being.

And I do love to laugh. Even thinking about laughing is making me feel better. I can feel my eyes twinkling and my lips are insisting on curling up into a smile. Interesting discovery. Maybe I'll just think about laughing. I went through all my old photos and found a variety of things that made me chuckle for one reason or another in hopes that they will make you chuckle too.

Laughter is one of the reasons I'm so grateful for the Daily Show and Jon Stewart who makes me laugh and informs me at the same time. Laughing not only takes the edge off how much politics pisses me off, I think it makes it easier to see the craziness in some of what's going on these days and moves us (well, ME) off the judgement wagon and into a place of possibility. I didn't watch all of the Elena Kagan (for those not American and/or not following American politics, she is nominated to be the next Supreme Court justice), but one of the things I was impressed with is that she seems to have a sense of humor. Just funny, with no acid in it.

So anyway, that's my thought for today. I'm pretty sure I've said this before. Laughing is really good. Thank you to Jane B for congratulating me on making it through 33 three of these daily posts. It isn't getting any easier and I have a feeling I'm starting (starting?) to repeat myself, but I'm going to try and keep going for a bit longer at least. I do appreciate it that anybody reads them.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • People who read these posts
  • cooler weather
  • ice cream
  • laughter
  • The Daily Show

(that's what this little guy- on the right - always makes me think of)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daily Reminder #33 (What not to do...)

Sometimes it's easier to know what you should do than it is to do it.

I'm trying very hard to stay positive and to expect things to be fine but it's a battle at the moment. I've had the rare treat of having a little extra income of late and have been trying to get my Discover card paid down to zero balance. Because of my agoraphobia issues, I endorse third party checks (when I'm lucky enough to get one) over to whoever and put my account # on it (front and back) and mail it in. This has worked ok in the past, but last month they I sent two checks in the same envelope. I'm pretty sure I've done this before but in any case it apparently threw their check reading machine off and they said it had probably been shredded. Except it hadn't. It had been cashed. My niece (who was fortunately the person inconvenienced - I mean better her than someone I don't really know, not fortunate that she was inconvenienced) - had to fax them a copy of the cancelled check. Then it took them 3 weeks to credit it for some reason. So ok, I was irritated but I thought it was a fluke. Last week - maybe a week and a half ago, I sent them another check. Only one in the envelope. It hasn't shown up yet. I fear it is lost. I am freaked out.

Because now I have to put the person who sent it to me to the bother of seeing if it was cashed and if it was get them to fax Discover and then if it wasn't cashed, cancel it and write me another one and on and on. So this is making me very anxious because I literally hang off the edge of a cliff every month trying to make not enough money stretch to cover what it's supposed to cover (and hang by one arm when the quarterly water bill comes which it did last month), so money stuff makes me borderline insane especially when my money stuff inconveniences someone else and highlights the fact that I haven't left my house in 4 years.

SO.... I KNOW that all this frantic worry and "what can I do" and "eek, my life is over and the world is coming to an end" panic that I'm indulging in is absurd. The world is not coming to an end. Or it hasn't yet and it isn't going to come to an end because Discover card lost my check. The check will eventually be replaced or it won't and life will go on and it will have been inconvenient and annoying but I will not die from it.

SO.... I'm going to just start giving thanks that the check exists/existed at all and for the abundance that is mine and the fact that I'm still compos mentos enough to cope with it and that today I have a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator and my cats have had dinner and on the whole I'm pretty lucky even if I'm not a mutli-millionaire and Publisher's Clearinghouse keeps giving my $10 million to other people.

SO.... Just do your best (I remind myself) to not fall into the churning waters and when you do, use the things you have learned in life to swim to shore. Remember that there is a short to swim to and that you know how to swim. Something like that, anyway.

Or maybe the daily reminder should be do as I advise, not as I do. Or maybe I should have taken the day off. But I didn't. Hopefully this will be one that nobody reads.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • robins
  • checks
  • tomorrow
  • Dr. Jim
  • kitties in boxes (they look really cute)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daily Reminder # 32

The cupboards in my brain need to be restocked, so I thought I'd just share a few random quotes from Emmanuel's Book tonight. I wanted to put a link to the Emmanuel's Friends website but it came up as unsafe so I linked to again. I love this book. I was blessed to have a private session many years ago with Emmanuel and Pat Rodegast (who channels Emmanuel). I went to see her with a friend who I think of as "my almost twin brother." We met back when we were still reasonably young on (a real life in the flesh) line looking for holiday work at Macy's in NYC, got to talking and discovered that we were born in the same hospital only hours apart. How's that for a small, mysterious world? We used to meet for our birthday every year back when I lived in the city and still left my apartment. But anyway, here are three thoughts from Emmanuel for us to ponder.

Let your prayer be an ongoing renewal

You pray
by touching the deepest part of you
that longs, that needs, that is.
Let it speak in its own language,
more often than not without words.

The longing itself
is the prayer of life
"I want to be with you again, God.
I want to be Home."

There is no how to prayer.
It simply is.
It is a part of the Oneness.
It is a part of your coming Home.
Do it whatever way you like

Prayer is to assure you
of your connection with Home,
much as when you were children
and you left for the day.
There was that moment of panic --
I'm sure you remember it --
when you had to call home
just to be sure
that it was still there.
Prayer is like that
It is calling Home.


One cannot surrender completely
to anything but God.
All other surrender s symbolic.

Surrender can be proclaimed as the most selfish act
because it leads to total fulfillment.

When man's will is aligned with God's will
it is an effortless existence
in which the wisdom within you
is in a place of comfort
and loosely held control.

To know the presence of God's will
you need to listen to the many voices
that live in you.
You will find vices of fear,
rage, contradiction, obstinacy,
illusions of all sorts.
When those voices become familiar
then the gentleness, the softness,
warmth and Light of your inner wisdom
can the more easily be heard.
It contrasts with the cacaphony
of those other voices
that are superimposed upon the inner knowing,
that is God's will.

The final lesson for each soul
is the total surrender to the will of God
manifested in your own heart.


The heart is an unerring compass
within each one of you.
The heart knows the soul
better than the mind does.
Unless your mind is in the service
of the heart
it becomes a warped and twisted master.

The only path that is right for you
is the one that is already designed within you.
To find this path
you have to hear your own heart
There simply is no other way.

While the small mind, in its fear,
is rigid and controlling,
the deeper part of you will begin to whisper
the truth of your eternal safety
and your Oneness wtih God.
So listen to your heart.
This is where your Light is
and your truth.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

fans (ceiling and floor)
Tara's snot-free nose
Angel's new "found" toy

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daily Reminder # 31

I'm stumped. Got nothing tonight. Well maybe not absolutely nothing. Nothing-ish. "Something" light.

Quality beats quantity. Real friends are rare and precious.

I was playing a PCH game earlier and there was this little message from someone saying something like "God bless all new friends." I play these games sometimes. I just play the games. I don't want to chat with anyone. I make no effort to socialize yet I have no less than 50 requests from total strangers who can't possibly know anything about me asking me to be their friend. I see these emails and I always wonder what such a friendship could possibly mean. I don't think these people actually want to know me. They want to add me as a number, a notch on their cyber ego belts. It's just weird.

Thank God I have some special people in my life - both cyber and flesh and blood - who make me think, make me laugh, advise, inspire, share... in short... who my days richer.

Collecting friends like baseball cards just seems meaningless to me. That anyone wants to do it or is made to feel better by doing it... stumps me. Really stumps me. (I do love puns.)

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • real friends
  • email
  • sandwiches
  • good movies (watched with a friend)
  • wordzzlers
  • puns

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Daily Reminder # 30

(Please scroll down for the Weekly Wordzzle Challenge.)

Sometimes our so-called imperfections are what make us the jewels of perfection that we are.

I'm not much of a fence person, but I love the old, falling-down fence at the back end of my yard. If it was a sturdy, standing-up fence. I'd probably want to take it down, but there's something about it's leaning, half-collapsed condition that just makes me happy, that appeals to my eye. It's kind of like my own special yard art. It can't keep anything or anybody out; you could knock it down without half trying and that's why I love it.

Much like my fence, my wounds are fundamental aspects of what makes me Me. My agoraphobia is a great weakness but it also is an essential part of what why I relate to the world the way I do. Angel's penchant for creative naughtiness (she has just pushed a little blue glass bird off the desk as I type this) is both what makes her so incredibly entertaining and adorable and also what makes me want to kill her (at least figuratively). Tara's inner emotional war between her desire for attention and her fear of it makes everyone who meets her want to pick her up and hug her. (The Law of Opposites or something like that.)

Anyway, I've tried (somewhat successfully and somewhat unsuccessfully) to make peace with who I am. I don't know that I've quite made peace with being weird, but I have accepted it. Well, pretty much, anyway. In case you haven't guessed, I have issues about having/not having issues. God, it's not easy being me...

I could probably ramble on about this and not really add much, but one of my flaws is extreme laziness, so I will stop here, I guess. I think I came up with a good analogy for the virtue of our flaws - a rock collector's analogy. Take a piece of quartz or amethyst.... I guess there may be two schools of thought on this. Jewelers may like gems that are all clarity. But for me, the best of them have lots of wonderful little flaws called "inclusions," that reflect the light and make rainbows and interesting patterns.

So I say that it is our "inclusions" that make us who we are and that make us interesting to know.

Some things I'm grateful for today:
  • my flaws (she coughed out half-heartedly)
  • words
  • my beautiful rock collection
  • television
  • sesame chips

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge: Week 115

Week 115! Hard to believe I've done this 115 times. Wasn't sure I was going to come up with anything this week. Anybody want to volunteer some words? I think I'm looking at what we have to work with this week and thinking maybe it's time for a sane person to come up with a list.

The words for week's ten word challenge were: ear phones, sleeping, honest to goodness, lawn mower, cinnamon, matches, antibiotics, congregation, flower pot, cheese and for the mini: eeeeek a mouse!, span, spurn, choose me, geese

The mega:

I really love cinnamon - it's supposed to be better for your health than antibiotics - so I bought myself a flower pot, thinking maybe I'd grow my own, only to find out that it grows on trees and not in pots. Nothing seems to be going right lately. I went to one of those websites that matches people up and I see that there's a profile for this guy in my congregation who I've had sort of a crush on. Honest to goodness, he's perfect for me, but he seems to spurn my attention no matter what I try. It doesn't help that all the women chase after him like a flock of geese... and smile at him like someone has told us to say "cheese," but to no avail. "Choose me, choose me," we all whisper but he doesn't seem to be choosing any of us. So, anyway, on this website it says that he's into gardening and landscaping, so I think, "that's it!" I'll hire him to fix my yard. So I bought a new lawn mower and some garden supplies and I put up a sign at church saying I'm looking for help. Over the span of the next week, I have to tell 5 of the creepiest men in the congregation that the job is filled before he finally calls and I hire him. So first he arrives so early in the morning that I'm still sleeping and I look like... well I look awful... and I feel humiliated even though he doesn't seem to even notice. But I try to salvage things and I go in and get myself all spiffed up and then - I know it was lame - I go near the kitchen door and scream "Eeeeek a mouse," as loud as I can.... Trouble is he's wearing ear phones and running the lawn mower so he doesn't hear me. But of course the big creep next door does hear me and he comes running over to help out. What a disaster.


Like a gaggle of geese
They give me no peace
It is my intention
To spurn their attentions
The ladies who ogle me so
Don't they think I know?
Choose me they mutter
Eyes a flutter
Why can't they see
To what degree
It is not to ladies I am drawn
Despite my rather macho brawn
Sometimes I truly think I'm cursed
And this week really was the worst
One even lured me to her house
And then tried screaming "eeeeek as mouse,"
Luckily her neighbor Nick
Spanned distance double quick
Rescuing her hapless prey
To run from her another day.

The 10-word:

Honest to goodness, some days you just when you think you can't win, something wonderful happens. So this morning, the altar committee from the congregation had finally left after a long, tedious discussion of flower pots vs vases and the virtue of matches over lighters (really... we debate these things). The antibiotics* had kicked in and the baby was sleeping for the first time in a over a week. I had curled up in my favorite chair, ear phones wrapping me in peaceful music, a nice plate of cream cheese and cinnamon crackers and the first feeling of peace I'd had in what seemed like forever.... So of course Fred, across the street, had to choose that moment to run his stupid lawn mower. I swear he's got a jet engine in it. Anyway, I spilled my coffee, the baby woke up and I'm sorry to say I had some very un-Christian thoughts. I know it wasn't his fault. He's actually a very kind man and mows our yard too just because he loves riding around on that silly machine. It's just that I was so very tired. His wife - who is kindness itself and seems to have a kind of intuitive radar - knocked on the door - and within seconds, the jet was put back in its hangar, she had hustled me back to my music, taken the baby out of my arms and rocked her back to sleep and then quietly tip-toed out with a smile and a wave. I love that woman. I think I will ask her to adopt me legally so I can call her Mom.

* I hated to use antibiotics with the baby but I couldn't think of another way to get rid of it. I think we take way too many drugs and we start them too early. Not good for us. Just had to add that.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge are: easy come easy go, charcoal, flute, sugar plum, signs, side effects, gymnastics, operation, credit card, wings

And for the mini: operation, hair, brick wall, flamingo, porch

Thank you for playing! Newcomers can check here for some guidelines (and they are only guidelines, not rules) to make the process more fun.
Enjoy! See you next week!

Don't forget to add
your name to Mr. Linky!

Daily Reminder # 29

Hugs are among life's most profound treasures.

It's been a long couple of days. The elderly man who I've been reiki-ing had his leg amputated today. This threw me back in time somewhat to doctors asking me to amputate my mother's leg. I chose not to do so. Maybe I'm repeating myself. I apologize if I am. Last night was hot and humid and I didn't sleep well. Then I spent 5 hours doing reiki today. On the up side, G - the man who had his leg taken - was aware enough to agree to the procedure and has handled it surprisingly well so far. That he gave permission made me feel better about the whole thing. I know it wasn't my decision, but the whole thing has just thrown me back in time in some way.

So I'm tired. Really tired. Thank goodness for kitty hugs. Angel is one of the best huggers in the hugging business. Tara doesn't like to be held and doesn't do hugs, but she does do excellent head butts, which have their own charm. Sometimes, though, a hug is what's needed. Sometimes a hug and a nap is all that will do. Today was one of those days.

Today I'm grateful for:

  • hugs
  • head butts
  • cheese
  • naps
  • my legs

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daily Reminder # 28

You become the thing you hate.

Anyone who knows me or who has visited here for any amount of time (not many any more since I am a very bad and unreliable blogger), knows that I say that a lot. It's probably pretty irritating, but I think it's true.

I actually started out feeling all cranky and was going to write about how impatient everyone is these days. ("Life is not a movie" was my lead in line.) But I was a couple of snarky peevish paragraphs into it and I was thinking that I wasn't liking myself very much... and then it struck me that I was feeling pretty impatient with all those impatient people out there who think the world's problems can be solved overnight by some kind of magic and with no sacrifice on their parts.

So I thought maybe it would be good to change directions a bit. I'm not exactly cured of that crankiness. I've been listening to politics this week and that's always bad for me. Even the Daily Show didn't quite cheer me up tonight. The bees are gone from my yard and they took the dandylions with them. There's oil spewing in the gulf and people don't want to wait six months to make an effort to make sure it doesn't happen again. I understand that many of them make their livings working for the oil industry. They need to feed their families. They have reason to be anxious and impatient. Yet they have reason (I would think) to want their children not to drink oil with their breakfast or to live in a barren world with no wildlife. So that kind of impatience makes me impatient. And I need to look at that. Because I think our thoughts have power and that what we give our energy to we feed. So maybe I need to find not just intellectual compassion for those impatient souls who want their country to function without taxes and who want the Gulf cleaned up as long as it doesn't interrupt their willingness to make money polluting it.

Right now I'm stuck in my irritability. And I can't find a way out of it. Stumbling around for some way out of my dilemma, I reached for Emanuel's Book which is one of my favorites and was just returned to me by a friend. I opened it to the following on page 100.

Look to understand your negative feelings
as a loving mother would understand
a confused and frightened child.

When the denial of God within you
is being challenged
it is a most propitious time of your life
Do not deny the part of you that is in darkness
or it will manifest again.

When you become aware of misjudgement,
of ill-timed, ill-conceived thought and action,
when you recognize your desire for vengeance,
your anger or unforgiveness,
that is the time for self-congratulation.
Your new insight now allows you to handle these things
in a far more conscious way
It is an opportunity.A door has been opened.
A light has been turned on.

That's all I've got today. Cranky with a side of Emmanuel. And pictures of a baby bird and it's mother (father?) who hopped around in view of my camera this morning. Mom would (I think) periodically give the young one a little snack (or a peck on the cheek... literally).

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • The mother/baby bird who posed for my camera this morning
  • reiki
  • ice cream
  • my house
  • my camera

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daily Reminder # 27

Disclaimer: This topic is too big and complex for the space and for my mental capacity at the moment. That hasn't stopped me from trying to talk about it. It has limited my clarity of expression. Sorry about that.

There are no wrong decisions.

I forget where I heard that. Maybe I read it somewhere. It was a long, long time ago and it's one of those things that make you stop and say. Huh? No wrong decisions? You're kidding right. If I had gone to X college instead of the one I did, my life would be totally different. And while it might be true that your life would be different, HOW it would be different is pure fiction that we make up to make ourselves feel bad.

Sometimes when we are stuck in the middle of what seems like Hell it seems impossible that the decisions that have taken us there were anything but wrong, but truth is we don't know where some alternative decision would have left us - or what divine purpose our experience may hold.

What brought the topic of decisions to mind tonight, though, is the kind of awful decisions we are sometimes called on to make in life. I've been reiki-ing the 85 year-old father of a man up in Maine. His father is in a nursing home and has many issues including dementia and circulation problems in his legs to name just two. A week and a half ago he had surgery on his left foot. The doctors had done an operation on his right foot before I started reiki and had been forced to put him under to do it, which caused other problems. This time, with the reiki, they were amazed at how well he cooperated and they didn't have to anesthetize him for the procedure. That's kind of irrelevant to this discussion, but it makes me happy and kind of proud so I'm going to share it since I have recommended crowing to others. (See daily reminder #21.)

Anyway, M's father got an infection this week and was taken to the hospital. He had a very rough Father's Day, but yesterday when they left from visiting, he was doing much better. They went home feeling some relief. On arriving home, however, they received a call from an intern - this makes me SO furious - saying that the circulation in M's father's leg was bad and that it was going to become gangrenous and that his dementia precluded surgery and they should expect him to die in two weeks. This by phone from a total stranger. How evil is that?!

Today, they talked to kinder people but it looks like M is being asked to decide whether to allow them to amputate his father's leg or let problem degenerate into gangrene which will kill him. This is fairly intense for me because I was forced to make the same decision about my mother at the end of her life. In her case, she had been ill for over 15 years, she was not in a coma but she was totally withdrawn and confused. She was frail. As far as I could tell, surgery would have killed her and if it didn't, what was the point? She was not really living. I opted to do nothing. I know this was the right decision, but playing God never feels good. I don't know how God does it. Perhaps because God knows that in the space of eternity our ego/soul dramas are cosmic sneezes. They may stop our hearts but our Souls are never stopped.

But back to my point - if I have one - Whatever M decides is ok. He can only make the best choice he knows how and he will make it from a place of love and pain and it will be right.

In my life I have had to make very hard decisions about my mother and about my beloved kitty children. These decisions are hard. With Katrina, I took her to the vet and she was put to sleep. She had people sending reiki from all over the world and her death was swift and peaceful. She actually died almost before the shot took hold and she breathed a sigh of relief. My Abigail died sitting next to me at her own pace. It too was a beautiful death and I wrote about it at the time in my column on

I'm kind of all over the place here, writing about two different subjects in some ways, but in the end, whatever the decisions we are making or have made in our lives, we can't do it wrong. We can only do it. Our final destination, I think, remains the same; our decisions merely chart the path by which we get there. Or that's what I think.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • free books (thank you Quilly) ... it arrived
  • International Delight (especially Hazelnut)
  • showers (the bathing kind)
  • showers (the rain kind)
  • my computer
  • forgiveness

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daily Reminder # 26 meets Ruby Tuesday

Well, it's Ruby Tuesday and I decided to go with all cardinals. The back yard has been very quiet lately so these are a couple of years old. I'm pretty depressed about the back yard situation. No bees, no dandylions because there are no bees. No hummingbirds because there are no flowers because the weather has been so weird and the quince bloomed and went to Fall almost overnight.

But anyway, since it's Ruby Tuesday (hosted by Mary/The Teach at Work of the Poet), I thought I'd make today's Daily Reminder be about "seeing red."

Too many of us are taught that anger is a bad thing. There are two problems with this. First off, it isn't true. Feelings of anger may not be as pleasant as feelings of joy but they are just feelings, natural, healthy feelings. Sometimes there are good reasons to be pissed off. I was really pissed off that my parents allowed my brother to abuse me emotionally and otherwise. Of course I swallowed that anger for almost 60 years because nice girls don't have mean feelings like that. Now that I've owned them, I'm free of them... pretty much, anyway.

I'm pissed off that British Petroleum has defiled the Gulf of Mexico because they were lazy, greedy and inept. I'm pissed off that anybody listens to a word Sarah Palin says. I'm pissed off that she lies and the media morons just nod like zombies. It's ok for me to be annoyed by those things. What's wouldn't be good would be to let myself stew in those feelings. But anger is just a feeling. A normal, healthy response to stimuli. Like laughter.

One of the worst things about the lies regarding the feeling of anger is the idea that if we feel angry there has to be a good guy and a bad guy. That's not true. You can be hurt by someone (and therefore angry) without them being a villain. If the person next to you on the bus steps on your toe and it hurts, you may feel peeved. It hurts, of course you do. Doesn't mean he or she is a bad person. If your friend or co-worker says something that taps into one of your wounds, you have a right to feel hurt and angry. Doesn't mean they are bad. But because we are taught that anger is bad - we are prone to get stuck into the blame game. We're not supposed to have these feelings. Someone or something has caused them in us. Therefore... if we are not to feel guilty for the sin of having this feeling, it must be their fault. And the need to blame the other person more often than not traps us on a treadmill of accusation and blame and more anger because blame makes the other person angry and they they want to blame us and so on and so on....

What's truly sad about his is that either of the responses most of us are raised to use for coping with anger is profoundly destructive. Either we swallow it (as I was forced to do to survive in my family) or we get stuck in the struggle to appease our guilt at having what is really a normal human emotional response by putting it onto the other person. But it's OUR feeling and no amount of blame or recrimination will change that so it becomes this awful monster that we drag along with us. And sometimes - those of us who are really uncomfortable with anger - do a hideous blend of swallowing our anger, puking it up, blaming the other person, trying to swallow it again... Anyway. It's ugly.

Well, this is getting long, so let me end with this thought. Make yourself a new Cardinal Rule (don't you love a good pun) for life. Anger is a feeling not a sin. Let it move through you like you let laughter move through you. Then your heart and Spirit can fly free.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • cardinals
  • anger
  • laughter
  • tears
  • the color red
  • the capacity to change

Monday, June 21, 2010

Daily Reminder #25

Sometimes intelligent people think too much.

My friend E, who inspired these daily reminders is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. Remember that I grew up with an evil genius, so I have met some pretty brainy people. E is brilliant but she doesn't really recognize it and because she grew up in the heart of profound abuse, it's easy for her to let people who have less to offer than she does diminish her worth. Perhaps part of the bond I have with this gentle, kind, talented, brilliant, creative woman is that I have the same impulse to distrust myself and believe whatever bull**** the local bully has pooped in my vicinity... and to disbelieve praise as either pity or delusion on the part of those who see any virtue in me.

I'm hiding out in my house so I don't know if I've evolved or not, but I do believe that the power bullies hold lies within me. My therapist spent years helping me to see that. My brother would phone me and I would spin off into a world of defending myself and feeling accused and beaten down. It probably took at least a year before I didn't feel beaten up by him when he tried to help me see that the real beating was my own self doubt, my own self-recrimination. The power of my brother's words was the accusation I myself was making. I caught the first glimpse of the truth of this absurd notion when I finally made peace with my decision to become estranged from my brother. Before that happened, my weekend visits to my parents felt like a mine-field of disappointment and efforts to get me to see the error of my ways. Once I was clear in my own head, my parents stopped bothering me about it and when they did, it didn't have the same power as before.

I must shamefully admit here that I like watching certain so-called "reality" shows. There are two I watched tonight. One is Next Food Network Star and the other is Design Star. The food one is interesting because of the personalities mostly and was the inspiration for this fuzzy ramble through my brain. The woman eliminated tonight (someone is eliminated each week for those who don't watch reality TV contests), was her own worst enemy. It was clear that she was so anxious about doing well/failing that she operated from insecurity. As a result she didn't function well and said things like "the mushrooms aren't the poisonous kind" to people she was feeding... reassuring in a kind of un-reassuring way. When one of her fellow contestants at the end said "I'm sorry you're going," she replied (and it's a contest, so there's some truth in it), "no you're not." The real contest she lost was the one with herself. Which isn't to say the those stinky, nasty bullies don't also have real-world power. They sure as hell do, but their deepest power to hurt lies in us.

Anyway, this isn't coming out clearly, but what I'm trying to get at is that the power of critics or unkind people to hurt us exists because they tell us things we secretly believe about ourselves and we then do battle with the wrong enemy....

Don't think I've said this right but it's the best I can do at the moment.

Some things I'm grateful for today:
  • no more antibiotics for Tara...
  • vitamins
  • cherries
  • cucumbers
  • psychotherapy
  • Dennis Puffett & my friend Dan who both sent healing for my foot