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Category Archives: Listening

This beautiful, open, honest young woman ~ Anna Clendening ~ put a face on anxiety, panic attacks and depression for millions of people.

Every person who has ever suffered a panic attack, a depressive disorder, an anxiety attack or any other mental health issue, has spent a life in shadow. The stigma, lies, shame and fear has kept each one locked in an individual cage of isolation. Some suffer for minutes, others suffer for years. So many suffer alone or cannot get relief from conventional methods.

The blame and casting off from those who have never mourned, grieved, struggled to get out of bed, or make it through another day is the real dis-ease in our society. To those who foolishly think they are immune, there is not one person who has not been touched by some form of anxiety, phobia, depressive disorder or mental health issue in their inner circle of family and friends.

I can only say that I sobbed as I listened to her heart and soul bared for all to see. I imagine that if you have a shred of empathy, or have ever experienced such pain or despair, you will find it hard not to cry with her as well.

Life is filled with peaks and valleys…. Anna Clendening climbed out of the darkest of months to honestly share her situation, on national television, and offered hope to others who struggle silently each day. The love of her parents gave her strength and she showed the courage and strength others take for granted. This is Bravery.

What a breath of fresh air ~ Hallelujah!

In Life

Friendships with women “of a certain age” seem more precious and fragile to me. They arise like soap bubbles, frothy and shiny, but have to be caught before they slip away. I have to work to catch the opportunity before it is gone.

I do not live in the city where I raised my children; there are no mommy coffee dates and well-planned birthday parties at indoor amusement parks. The memories of Saturday afternoon dinners shared among good friends, and their children, are of a time many years ago.

At this age, I go to work and home. Very rarely, do I have the energy to plan activities in the evenings. However, there is an opportunity to meet people once a year, or every six months, in a long-denied rendezvous of talk and reality. Our spirits merge like magnets, pulled together and hanging on each word, laughing together and grateful for the encapsulated histories we have created. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we go back to our routine of honesty, laughter, tears, and empathy.

It is a wonderful thing to bypass the posturing and the posing, the nonsense, and the false compliments and go straight to the good stuff: the truth!

We talk about our adult children, the changes in our bodies, the experiences with our families, our concerns for future employment, and what miracle will become our retirement plan. We don’t pretend to be a size 6 or 10 or 14, we know things have softened. But, it is not just our bodies, it is our hearts too. We are more sensitive, aware, and acknowledge the good and bad that occurs in the world and our prayers for the safety of children everywhere. We understand the language of grief and sadness and share it in our conversation. We float from one topic to another, untethered from any destination or motive, and simply speak eye to eye.

We are well-educated but know that intelligence and experiences aren’t always recognized for the accomplishments that they are in a life of ups and downs. We leave the narcissism to others and talk from the soul.

It is such a gift to find, at this stage in my life, that I can be drawn to some personalities who make me feel welcome and treasured. Underneath all the stress and artifice, there are deep wells of emotion and the freedom to share it all with another smart, empathetic, compassionate woman.

Is it better to have a therapist or a friend? At this age, perhaps they are one and the same.

We allow ourselves, without fear, to shed the masks and the tears, and question where and who we are. The delight in unraveling conversation is joyful, but limited in time. That is what makes it all the more precious and recognized for the gift that it is.

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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the strongest women cry

To every wonderful woman I know and those I have met here, you face your battles and life head on everyday. You never back away from a challenge or walk away unwilling to try. You grieve, you laugh, you live, you nurture, you care, and you feel more than most people. You are the reason I am so blessed to have readers and followers that I never thought I would have and am so grateful to hear your feedback and appreciate your approval and kindness more than you know. Thank you to all of you!!

You are more than the sum of your parts, you are all the Sum of your Hearts. ❤

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p.s. I see the grammatical error but could not change it. But I heartily endorse the sentiment.

Daily Prompt: In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

You-never-know-when

At the end of everyday there is a reason to believe. I certainly don’t know what it is, but that is a repetitive self-mantra: I must be here for a reason.

There are many challenges that we each face in our work, family and lives. If we believe in a Divine system of guidance, then we believe that there is a plan in the world even if we cannot see it. We each play a role in the World that remains unseen until our physical lives end and we go back to discover who we were and who we are, what could have been achieved differently, and the ripples of our actions in the Universe. That is part of my reason to believe.

In the work that I do, working with charity and so many personalities, it can be very frustrating or hurtful. As I have jokingly told people, I don’t go back to my office and cry as often as I used to. It is necessary for me to open my head and my heart in trying to fulfill this commandment to the best of my ability. It is not that I have become insensitive to people’s difficult situations. Rather, I am trying to be better at the ability to separate myself from absorbing all of their pain and energy (at least sometimes). Other times, the best that I can do for people is to listen to their life stories, their heartaches, or provide the tissues when they cry.

Some of the people I meet are genuinely kind and lovely people. Others feel entitled and have a huge chip on their shoulders. They are so used to rejection, and fighting for what they need, that they come to me already squared off for battle. I would like to think that I am one of the easiest people that they will deal with on their journey; I will not belittle someone’s situation, nor blame them. If I am to represent someone else’s goodwill and faith, then I must do it in the most empathetic way possible.

I am not a stranger to Life’s ups and downs, but I have to keep going. If I am going to be there to support the needs of the thousands of people that I have met, and the thousands more that they help, I must be here for a reason and have to believe that — despite the less fortunate parts of my work.

My brother shared an expression with me early in my career when I questioned how much I could affect people and effect positive change. He said that G-d puts good things through the hands of good people and therefore, I needed to remember that if I was placed in this position, I must be someone pretty special.

My husband knows the difficulties and is still proud of me and the work that I do. He feels that it is important and very special. His support and encouragement are just as important to me as they are to those whom I can pass it along.

The people that I meet tell me that I will no doubt be blessed for the good works that I do. My response is that I don’t count my chickens, I will just let G-d keep track of the eggs in my basket.

Each of our lives brings us to places and situations that make us question the validity and need for such personal struggles and demands. But, in times of trouble, when I still look to find a reason to believe or find clarity about the low points, I have to take a deep breath, put on a smile, and remember that I must be here for a reason.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reason-to-believe/
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Thank you for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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