Visions?

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I eventually met someone that I liked! How? One afternoon a friend of mine telephoned.  She said that her 80-year-old mother had come for a visit. When my friend asked her Mom what she would like to do, her mother said that she wanted her to take her to a place where they had live music and she would like to dance.  This request was not what my friend expected.  She pleaded with me to go with her to take her mother dancing. I had never met her mother, but this sounded like an adventure for her mother, and I agreed.  A gentleman asked me to dance. It was a fun evening. After calling me for several weeks, he asked me out, I went, and we dated for several months. I unexpectedly really liked him. We did not see each other often due to his distance from my home in Norman. Every time we were together was a great time. I thought he said that he was single the very first night we met, but he said, “No, I told you that I was separated. You must have heard what I wanted to hear. Ha! I was certain that I heard him say he was “single” the very first night we met.

After having a few more dates, I had one of my vivid dreams that he needed to go back home and be with his family. After writing a short letter sharing what I thought was going to happen according to my dream, I mailed it. I was right. He telephoned me as soon as he got the letter and asked how I knew he was to do that? I explained the dream and asked why. He said that his son had telephoned that morning. Both sons wanted to meet with him in approximately one hour. I later learned that they asked him to come home due to their mother needing help. She had fallen and hurt herself. That was that!

I was so mad at myself! Still hurting from not understanding the truth of my situation, I returned to being only with my single female friends for great discussions and entertainment. To bring myseelf back to focusing on my own life, I accepted an invitation to go with a friend to a reception hosted by Merrill-Lynch in downtown Oklahoma City. She had her investments with them. I had no finances to speak of at the time. I dressed appropriately and looked forward to meeting many new people.

Soon after arriving, I met Cathy. Have you ever met someone that you immediately clicked with and had so much to share with? That is what happened. I discovered Cathy also lived in Norman and drove back and forth to Oklahoma City every day for work. She was single, not seeing anyone, and was also spending time looking within for answers. It was as if a bubble was around us. She worked for Merrill Lynch and was hoping to meet new clients at this reception. We neither one met anyone else. While we were talking, she all of a sudden said, “Susanne, I think you are the one that is supposed to go with me and help me do a vision quest. Would you consider that?” I said, “Certainly, what is a vision quest?” She shook her head and frowned before saying, “I am not sure, but I know that I am interested in doing one.”

Several days later, Cathy telephoned and said that she had found where she was supposed to do one, Sedona, Arizona. She would pay for the hotel room and meals if I would just be a supporter for her doing this. She knew I was somewhat struggling financially. I would have to take care of my plane flight. We sat the date of our adventure, and she made the plane reservations. We were going to fly into Phoenix and rent a car. She also made reservations for the automobile. A few weeks passed, and the time to leave came. I was packed and ready to go. Cathy picked me up, and we were off. Both of us were excited!

We arrived in Phoenix and went outside after retrieving our luggage. When I asked Cathy the name of the car rental she called, she looked panicky. She could not remember. Oops! Not a good start. After searching her pocketbook for a name, we went outside to watch for rental cars drive by. We thought names on the rental automobiles might jog her memory. It did not. So Cathy suggested I  go to the “pay telephone” booth (that we used to have) and begin telephoning rental agencies to find one that had a car in her name that was to be waiting for us at the airport. I opened up my billfold so that I could more easily get my change for calls I would be making. That billfold held all of my money for the entire trip! After making a few calls with no luck, I heard Cathy yelling for me to join her on a shuttle.  I ran! She had discovered the rental agency, and the shuttle could take us to it. As I sat down, we were laughing at ourselves, and suddenly I realized that I left my billfold at the telephone booth. I quickly told the driver, and he said he would make another loop so that I could see if it was still there. However, the driver felt like someone most likely would already have taken it. Miracle! My billfold and my money were both there!. Thank you, God!

The bus delivered us to pick up our automobile. We headed from Phoenix to Sedona. On the way, I suggested that we stop for a bathroom break and call our hotel to share with them that we were on our way, but our arrival would be late. Surprise! Cathy telephoned and learned that we still had our reservations for the following two nights, but gave our room to someone else for the night! So we began watching for a place to stay, and we saw none. Finally, we came upon a beautifully lit, expensive-looking hotel and stopped. It was unbelievably high. Cathy and I both tried to talk the man into the only suite they had left. It was almost midnight. I convinced him that we would only be sleeping in the bed. We would not even shower in the morning if that helped in cleaning the room. We shared how much we had planned to spend. By this time, he wanted to be rid of us and agreed hesitantly. He slowly handed us the key and pointed us in the right direction. Wow! Beautiful room!

The next day we arrived at our hotel in Sedona. It was not nearly as beautiful as the one we just left this morning but was plenty comfortable for us. That day was for walking around Sedona, seeing a few stores, and later taking a very much needed nap before dinner. We were tired due to our flight, rental car experience, and previous late-night adventure finding a room. 

After a good night’s sleep, we had breakfast and began making plans for Cathy’s vision quest. We surveyed the different vortexes the map of Sedona that the hotel manager gave us when we checked into the hotel. Cathy chose Bell Rock because it’s considered an electrical vortex, which is said to be a perfect place for someone wanting forward movement and setting intentions. The map also said it is an excellent place to chant or make prayers, because the energy of Bell Rock would amplify a prayer, sending it up and out into the Universe.

Okay, that is it. We were off to Bell Rock, but first we needed to stop to get snacks and a coke with lots of ice to take with us. The sun was high in the sky, and it was getting hot. We hiked into Bell Rock. It was a gentle climb up to places to sit on this huge rock. Cathy seated herself. I went a distance from her and situated myself in a place far to her left and behind her so that she could not see me when she looked forward. I said prayers for Cathy to receive every once in a while and then would have another snack. Ha! Little did we know about vision quests! After about two hours went by, with my food and drink gone, I watched Cathy. She was seeming restless. I called to her “Are you finished praying?” Her answer was “Just about.” Then I asked, “Have you had your vision yet or do we need to stay longer?” With no answer, I decided she was praying again. In just a few minutes, she called, “I am ready to go. I was just finishing up.”

When we headed down, she shared, “I don’t know what I received, but I know that I  enjoyed this time to be silent and pray.” As we walked further down, she picked up a large, red heart rock and handed it back to me, saying, “This heart is for you. Once you have a heart rock, you will not ever have a broken heart again.” Since that day, I have collected heart rocks, have received heart rocks from friends, and some of my favorites are from my grandchildren that got so excited when they found a heart rock for me.  I also have given others heart rocks that I knew they might want and need.

I cherish the experience of Cathy’s vision quest. Initially her quest appeared to be a single event. I later saw that it was the beginning of a process that unfolded for me over time. It appeared to be a silly knock-off of a vision quest but, in time, it came to be just a part of the vision that would unfold for me for my life!

Give and Receive

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This is coronavirus time! We have been in this house for about five one-half months now, and I still have more projects to do. Perhaps I am slow. Nope! John and I just visit lots about the news that is continually changing or personal news about family and friends or plans we hope to have in the future. In other words, we discuss. Then there are the movies we watch or Netflix series that bring lots of laughter in the evenings. Maybe someday I will find time to go through our pictures and organize! Ha! At present, major projects include this blog, cooking dishes that I “used” to cook, cleaning up the dishes and kitchen, and sending many masks like the one I love to others. This is the way I spend my time these days. But something funny is happening at our house that I want to share with you.

I attempt to mail or hand out a mask every day. Many have gone to friends I have not seen for a long time while others have gone to ones here in town that I normally see. I learned long ago, as I slowly woke up to how Spirit works, that giving opens a space for Spirit to return to us what we most need just when we need it. It seems that when we give, with no expectation of receiving something in return and also freely give and have no design on what the receiver should do with our gift, amazing events take place. Gifts do return, and they may be on a large scale or a small scale. Think about this. We may be having a down day and then the perfect person calls us and that call lifts us up! That, remember, is a perfect gift. It seems that many people feel as if when they have somebody over multiple times for dinner, the gift must be reciprocated. Not so. When one gives freely and receives freely, all sorts of good things happen in new ways.

Just a few weeks ago, gifts began to come to us that we could use. A neighbor I love brought us a fantastic meal for dinner just as I ruined the one I planned to have.  Several other beautiful friends brought what we could have for dinner at different times. And they each came when I most needed a good meal for dinner. They left them on the front porch or rang the doorbell, and I got to see them in person. On the first day that we began to find surprises, there was a large bag of vases that we could use to take flowers to people when we have some blooming. I walked out the next morning and found a bag of homegrown tomatoes; the next day, cucumbers, and another day, muffins, and on another one, onions, then peaches, a platter of cookies, two pineapples, a gallon of milk, and even a jar of chow-chow. The list just continued with each day, bringing a surprise for the day from a friend that thought of us. How wonderful! Now I go out and check the chairs and table on the porch, making sure that no presents are waiting. When there is none, I grin and think, “Hmmm, I need to get the rest of those masks to others.” I love watching how Spirit works. I do know Spirit works in all lives and loves it when someone notices! 

In my past, I will never forget so many instances that surprised me. The first colossal help happened when Don went to Mayo Clinic before going to M.D.Anderson. A man living there drove our car all the way from Rochester, Minnesota, to Portales, New Mexico, so that we could fly home. He even paid for the gas. During the following six months, I was working, taking care of our teen children, getting Don back and forth to M.D.Anderson, helping with his needs at home (no hospice then), and attempting to spend quality time communicating with him about his feelings and future events. We had no money since he was on leave from his work and also had no sick leave left. Then unsolicited help came.

An elderly couple that had very little and were living only on social security gave me cash at times to help us. Some realized that we had no money and then miracles began. When we were still living in the home I loved and it had not yet burned, Don would have me go check to see what was happening with the building of his dream home he wanted and began before the diagnosis of his cancer. I was shocked the first time I went over there and found people cleaning up after the builders left for the day.  I didn’t know any of them. I drove up to the house once to see young people I did not know cleaning the windows. I could go on and on with my surprises during that time. An amazing cousin loaned the money to help us be able to complete the home before Don died. Why were we getting all of this help?  Perhaps it was because we had attempted to give gifts freely in the past, and the culmination of all we offered was coming back to us?  I always loved to give freely, but I had a much harder time receiving it. I had no choice. I humbly attempted to show my gratitude.  Everything, including the meals brought to us for weeks, blew me away.

I decided to check out what I thought was another example of how God and Spirit works. Two good friends of mine, both women, came to me individually and shared that someone stole their jewelry. The only thing they took was jewelry from their past. Odd! Nothing else was touched. However, robbers returned about a week later and stole everything in each of their homes. I listened carefully. Was I being given a sign? I might be next. If both of them were robbed, the robber may also know me. The three of us were often together. I ran a business out of my house and left my door open many times for people to pick up their products. I kept being nudged to give away my jewelry and share that information with others. Perhaps the robber might decide not to rob me. I listened and made the decision to put all of my real jewelry out on the table and freely give it away.  It felt right. At that point, I only had jewelry with genuine stones and diamonds from my past. I laid it all out and waited for someone to come pick up products. I planned to let the first buyer of the day have the first choice.

The first buyer that came was someone that I did not know. She telephoned and asked if she could come over to talk to me about nutrition. Of course! She purchased a few products and planned to leave.  I asked her to stop and choose a piece of jewelry.  Her initial answer was, “No, I cannot do that. I do not even know you.”  After I explained my reason for giving my jewelry away, she decided to participate.  I continued giving my jewels away until all were gone.  I felt great, and no one ever tried to rob me.  Surprisingly, without anyone knowing, I began to receive gifts of jewelry.  The first came in only a few weeks.  It was colorful, not plain, and I loved it.

Here is another example. I had a friend that was struggling financially and was looking for a position. She was a single mother with three children. She dropped by and we visited. She said that she needed money. I began sharing with her about “give what you want to come back to you.” She left and then returned to see me a few weeks later. She said that she went home and dec died to do what I suggested. She broke a $5.00 bill into five $1.00 bills. She wrote a note on each one blessing the person that might find it and saying that she hoped this money would help them expand financially after finding it. Then she went to the grocery store and hid each dollar amongst cans and other items on the shelves. A week later, she got a new job that would pay her bills.

LESSON: Give what you want to receive in return. If you want friends, be a friend. If you need money, give some. If you want more red velvet, give something you have of red velvet away. You generally will receive at a later date something better or even more than you gave away. Practice “letting go” and have no expectations and no design about how the recipient will use what you give to them.

GIFTS: Life is a great adventure and so much happens to fill those spaces we open as we give. Another gift is that I have many more stories and I get so excited when a God Moment takes place in my life, in John’s life, or our lives when we are together! Obviously, we are together all the time these days, and I still have fun watching how Spirit works!

I love to give, and I learned to receive it.  I see that it is as blessed to give as to receive. When one gives, it increases the strength of the giver while supplying power to the receiver. It brings joy to both!

The Samoan

Being single felt strange. I was working hard all year selling my nutritional products and finding others that wanted their own business. My entire group was doing great! Upon notification that I would be going on an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii, I was excited! I could take my husband or a child under 18. Well, with no husband and both children over 18, I responded, “Yes, and I will be traveling alone.”

When I arrived in Honolulu, the day was beautiful.  The 5-star hotel was on the beach, and it was gorgeous.  I found myself to be one of the only single persons at this gathering for the week.  One day there were no tours or meetings to attend.  I went exploring by myself.  

I saw a large group in chairs where entertainment was taking place.  I walked to the spot, found a seat, and became enthralled with a presentation and dance being performed by a good-looking young man that appeared to be in his mid to late twenties.  He had the most amazing tattoos of beautiful colors!  I am not a fan of tattoos, but they were so different.

Following the performance, I walked up to him to say, “thank you for being a part of this fantastic afternoon, and I loved your performance.” I also told him that I was impressed with his tattoos and asked him if he was Hawaiian.  He replied, “I am Samoan. Then he began explaining to me about his tattoos.  It took a long time to complete them.”  He shared that he was from a “traditional” family and that his Uncle did his tattoos.  I learned about the table it was done on, how it was done, everything.

It was a rite of passage for a young man to acquire his traditional tattoos.  Each one had its importance.  His uncle did his.  The young man is allowed to take nothing, and it is a painful procedure. One can only handle it for a while and then must stop.  It is also a bloody procedure.   At this point, he asked me where I was from and turned the conversation to me and my life.  I shared.  Next, I complimented the crown he was wearing while performing, and said I wondered if he knew a store where I might buy one to wear for tonight’s evening event I was to attend.  I shared that it matched my dress, and I was hoping to find one like it.  

He smiled and kindly told me that it was sacred, or he would let me have his.  I said that was not my intent. He also explained that he might have to get permission for me to wear it. We visited a little more, and I began heading towards the Hotel. I have no idea what happened or what I said that caused him to yell, “Stop.” I looked back, and he said, “Wait! I want you to wear this tonight!”  Now I was confused, but we walked towards each other.  The Samoan removed it from his head and put it on mine.  

We made arrangements for me to meet him in the morning to return it.  Due to his conversation with me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and handled it carefully, very carefully.  The following morning, we met.  He had a woman with him.  I introduced myself to her and told her how much I appreciated wearing this sacred handmade crown.  I handed it to him, and he held it out to me again.  He said that he wanted me to have it. I knew something out of the normal was happening, but why would he let me have it?

I did bring it back to Oklahoma with me and kept it in a glass case where everyone could see it as they entered my house in Norman.  Then one day, a friend and her three-year-old daughter came over.  When Sally and I were talking, her daughter was quiet.  As she left, I walked her to the door.  The handmade crown was all over the floor.  Her daughter opened the door herself and reached it.  Little did the mother or daughter know that it was something I cherished. I kept remembering that stuff, no matter how valuable, is not as important as a relationship.  Don dying and the fire in our house taught me that. And perhaps it was time for it to go.  

LESSON:  Honor, respect, and kindness bring blessings.  Stay aware of God’s gifts of special moments, and be grateful. It is good to talk to people when there is something positive you want to tell them.  

GIFT:  I learned about another culture, a tiny bit about his traditional ways, and the kindness of a young man I just met.  He represented to me other Samoans I might have the opportunity to meet in the future.  Remembering him, I attempt to be kind and respectful to those from another country even if they seem irritated with us in the United States.  Perhaps they might think we are all, or at least some of us, are like that!  And life gets a little better!  

GREAT GIFT THAT JUST CAME TO ME! For years, I wondered why I asked a Native American man that you will learn about later in my blog, “Do you practice your traditional ways?” I could not figure out where that statement came from. Now I understand. The Samoan said more than I could put in this blog. He explained how important “traditional ways” passed from generation to the next generation, ancient ways, are! The Native American reminded me of the Samoan and the Samoan reminded me of the Native Americans I met on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico and many of the Native Americans we met while on the ski patrol. They worked at the ski area.

A Personal Relationship

My difficult marriage was over, but I continued working on me. Now I was no longer a widow. I was a single divorcee. I had finished my commitment to my sponsor of not speaking to a man for six months. I learned during that time to have a new respect for women. I was so happy not talking to a man that I think she became worried and told me I had to find a date. But no man was asking me out. I knew the time would eventually come.

I began each day with a prayer and reading a “three times named” inspirational book. The initial ten minutes I allowed for prayer and reading expanded longer and longer into the mornings. My attitude was better, and I was happier every day. I sometimes journaled about my first marriage. That helped me grieve what I did not grieve following Don’s death since I went right back to work.

Even though I was spending more time with prayer, reading books, and listening to my answers within the books, my business kept growing. It felt like I was getting more done in a shorter amount of time. As I was learning, I shared with friends about healing my past, present situations, and what I hoped for in my future. I surprisingly began receiving invitations to speak on life subjects for some churches and organizations. I accepted those invitations.

While presenting to a singles group at a Methodist Church in Oklahoma City one evening, I began talking about how we prioritize life. I said, “When asked how I prioritize my life activities, I always say that I put God first and then Family followed by Work, Friends, Committee meetings, business club, and finally Self. In truth, though, my actions show that I put work first, then meetings, business club responsibilities, church, followed by family, friends, me, and finally, when I fall into bed at night, I say a quick prayer to God. Next, I wrote a new list and made it different, very different.

Writing on a whiteboard, I began to change my life. I moved God from the bottom to the top of the list and drew an arrow to me, Susanne, which I put directly under God. Following me, I wrote with intent “family.” I was living by myself at the time, but I wanted a closer relationship with my children and relatives. Next came work/nutrition business for monetary returns. I had to make money since I was supporting myself. Following that, I listed friends, since I wanted an opportunity to spend quality time with healthier friends. My small changes in the list gave me a feeling of freedom.

Stepping back and looking at the new written list added to my excitement about opening to new possibilities for my future. By eliminating only a few lines of responsibilities, I began making a plan to make a conscious effort to create space for additional time on some evenings. I planned extra time to study books, write, journal, gain ideas, and discover my answers for a positive change in my new life as a single person. My desire to make these changes in priorities, putting God first, and my name right under God, brought the interest of others in the room. I saw a few get excited, and then others began to sit up straighter, and eyes widened as I wrote the list on the whiteboard. Some were leaning forward. I passed out paper, and they made their list. God was at the top, and his or her name was right below God’s. This plan to make space for new doors to open, with God’s help, captivated the discussion for the remainder of the evening. We scheduled a follow-up.

The change in my list brought the initial gifts. I made a conscious effort to increase my awareness and intuition. I began developing a more personal relationship with God, and my eyes opened as I began to understand how the Holy Spirit helps us so much, and we many times do not take notice.

This change and Al-Anon also gave me the faith and courage to release some of my codependency tendencies and have healthier responses for my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of others. All relationships were improving. I was not trying to control others. I learned how to serve others without the traits of a codependent. I learned how to say “no” when I needed to say no. So many times, I said yes even when I needed to say no, and then I would resent doing what I said that I would do. With this change and learning how to listen to God before speaking, I ended feeling responsible for the reactions of the others whenever I did say no. I quit feeling like I was the only one that could do something well! Ha! By saying no, I was allowing the space for someone new to step up and help, and I knew they would receive a blessing for doing so.

LESSON: Learning to listen to a divine source is of utmost importance. Things in life go smoother. Increasing intuition and awareness helps one decipher what decision is right or is not so good.

GIFTS: I began having all sorts of gifts. I could see what was meant “just for me” in each book I heard the name of three times, bought, and read.

New thoughts came forward to help me heal. When I heard a romantic song that reminded me of a past love in some way, I learned to change the words of the song, replacing certain words with God. On other songs, I imagined God was singing to me. It was much better to replace the thought of a person with a feeling of God. My sadness would leave. I did that for years. I still do sometimes. Try this with your divine source.

What is Al-Anon?

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The serenity prayer

What is Al-Anon? I knew it was a program that was opposite Alcoholics Anonymous, but that was all. When the counselor I was seeing suggested that I might want to try it, I was offended and left his office very frustrated. He also suggested a codependency meeting, which I did try first. It did not seem to fit me. I next found an Al-Anon meeting and attended. It was a noon meeting. A kind woman began guiding the meeting. A person already seated handed me a book to read from and then each person applied the passage read to his/her life. I liked what I heard. They were talking about all sorts of life’s problems. This meeting was calming to me.

When it came to my turn, they asked me to first tell them about why I was there. I explained my bad marriage brought me and my life jut was not working. Next, I was asked, “Do you have an alcoholic in your life?” I said, “Possibly, but I am not certain.” One woman responded, “You have to have an alcoholic in your life to attend this meeting.”  I then said, “Are any of you, alcoholics?”  Another said, “Why do you want to know that?”  I said, “Because if there is an alcoholic in here and if I have to be involved with one to be able to be here again, then I am going to become involved with you very quickly.  I will be sitting in this chair next week.    

No one seemed to want to get involved with me as everyone in the meeting said nothing, so I went the following week, and all was good. Each session brought something I needed to hear for my own life. When a person replaces the word alcoholic or alcoholism with the problem they are having in this life, big messages that help sometimes come.” I discovered answers within about how to handle a personal challenge. When one listens carefully, the words that come from another person about a problem they had brings your answer to you. I felt like this next statement took place every meeting; God had a surprising understanding ready for me. I continued to go.

Acquiring a sponsor and working the steps brought brand new perspectives to my life. I felt like I gained new eyesight and finally began healing through this program. It was exactly what I needed. And that statement I heard at the beginning from a speaker about my children would begin having their lives improve also in about six months as true! Those meetings rebuilt the joy within. No one tells anyone else what to believe. Yes, they do talk about a higher power. Every person that I have ever suggested Al-Anon to and has gone finds relief and new beginnings in his/her own life.

I cannot adequately share the gifts this program brought to my life. I feel like if everyone in the United States and beyond took the opportunity to work the twelve steps with a sponsor, we would have more honesty, respect, and compassion when interacting with others. If this happened, the United States might be living in a world of Utopia. Actions I took while working the steps helped me look within “me” and gain more wisdom about my life. Those meetings and “experience of the steps” brought understanding about how I responded to others and how I kept drawing chaos to me rather than a more balanced and whole person for a partner in both my personal life and, at times, in my work life. As I moved through the steps, I discovered where the hurts within began that left broken areas in me that needed healing. Al-Anon brought suggestions about how those holes within me might heal. I stayed “in the present” every moment of the meetings and was able to see how Spirit worked as I moved through the steps and as others talked about what happened to them as they worked the steps.

Each of the twelve steps brought a new action for me to take before moving forward to the next level. My sponsor guided me through every step.  I spent about a month, sometimes a little more,  on Step One through Twelve.  Sally, my sponsor that I chose, was excellent.

LESSON: If it is difficult to move through a self-induced boundary, keep going. Some believe that when difficulties arise, we are not supposed to do something. It might be that when something happens, Spirit is looking to see how committed we are to a goal we set for ourselves. This happens when we make a commitment. If one keeps moving through the blocks determined to go forward towards the commitment, it feels like “all of a sudden the Force moves in with you” to help your life.

LESSON: When sitting in a 12-step meeting, do not judge others. Soon one learns they are sitting in meetings with a lawyer, a counselor, a nurse, a teacher, a homeless person, a professor, a stay-at-home mother, and others. All that return to each meeting gain wisdom and acquire a positive change in life that is amazing to watch!

GIFTS: Serenity, relief, and joy came to me. I lost my “need to control others.” So many times if my life was out of control, I would find myself focusing on what one of my children needed to be doing in theirs or what a friend needed to do. I quit giving advice in all instances unless I was asked for my advice. I always considered myself to be someone that had good relationships, but “all” relationships improved. I forgave myself for some things in my past, and I forgave others. Forgiveness became easy. I could go on and on. I noted that I began drawing to me fun, energy-free, healthier, supportive friendships.

Unexpected Gift of Balance

Two wrecks in six weeks! Yes, and in addition to that, I had drawn police to me in the oddest places to give me a ticket my entire life until I began to balance in the mornings. My record started the first night I drove a car. I attracted the attention of a policeman on 23d street in Oklahoma City. He stopped me and wrote a ticket in memory of my first night with a driver’s license. I had to go home to share the experience with my mother and father, plus tell them I also backed into a pole and dented the fender when I picked up a friend. The excitement of a driver’s license got me! It was awhile before I got to take the car out again.

Police officers seemed to appear out of nowhere for the rest of my life, especially during life’s difficult times. For instance, it happened several times when we were moving across the country. I would be in one car while Don was driving a U-Haul. Of course, I had two small children in the car with me. I would be following him, traveling at the same rate of speed. He would not get a ticket, but I would have the honor of being stopped. He generally would drive a distance ahead and wait for us to catch up to him. One time, however, the policeman did not give me a ticket. Being in a small town in Texas, the policeman decided I needed to see the Justice of the Peace and pay a fine. Don had the money. I did not. Ugh! They finally realized my husband was not coming back for our children or me. They decided that I could go and mail the money back by a certain date. I did not see Don again until I arrived at my parents’ home in Oklahoma City, our first destination. I was more than unhappy.

Life went on and policemen with tickets continued to crop up here and there. When Don got sick and was in the hospital in Clovis, NM, I got more than one ticket. Let’s just say that he was in and out of the hospital for years and so I got multiple tickets. Two tickets were written for me by the same policeman within an hours’ time. Not fun. I never got so many tickets that I lost my license, not even when Don was dying or afterwards.

The next difficult time that happened with police wanting to stop me came during the divorce. Plus a ticket I received, I totaled my fairly new Lincoln Town Car during rain. I was hydroplaning as I passed through an I-35 construction area on the way to do a seminar in Oklahoma City. I first hit the concrete barrier on the west side of the road and then the car careened across both lanes to the east side of the road where I slammed into another concrete barrier. Luckily everyone on I-35 had slowed as they watched me, and no one was beside me. I had the whole road plus a policeman right behind me that could not believe I did this. I could not either, because I was not going fast at all! My car could not be driven, had to be towed, and then was declared totaled. However, the final decision was to fix it, because it was so new. Insurance paid for a rental car until the car was fixed. I did do the seminar.

I picked up my car when I received the call that it was ready and drove it for about two weeks. This space in time for my next accident fell between filing for divorce and waiting to go back to court to end the marriage. I simply was going to go to the grocery store. I slid into the seat of my car and drove, stopping at the corner where there was a stop sign.  I looked both ways before turning onto a busy street. It was a rainy day with light fog. I pulled out, turned left, and had a head-on collision with another car. A very kind couple jumped out of their vehicle to see if I was hurt. I was afraid that they might be the ones hurt because I crossed the line and was in their lane when my car hydroplaned right into the front of their vehicle. Thank goodness we were all three just fine. The insurance company was not happy with me at all. I had destroyed the car twice in six weeks. Again the car was towed to the same people that just fixed it. I felt safer in a rental car. Once more, they made my black Town Car look like new! By this time, I was hesitant about driving my car.

I received the call. My car was fixed, but I was scared to even drive this car. Was it jinxed? I went to pick it up and actually had the man that handed me my keys go outside with me to bless my car. He said, “Are you serious?” I said, “Yes.” He complied because I explained that I was not going to get into it until somebody did that with me. This was not normal for me to wreck a car twice in a short time! I only got tickets, so I knew that something was really wrong, and decided that it was me and the fact that I truly was having a difficult time filing for divorce and going through the divorce. It was something I did not believe I would ever do, and I was truly off-balanced. My awareness was not good. I had to do something before I hurt someone seriously, or maybe me. I began to do activities to balance myself every morning.

I put an affirmation on my mirror to say every morning. “I like myself just as I am.” It was simple. This was the beginning of improving my self worth. If I flinched, I knew I did not yet believe it. However, if I smiled while I said it, I knew I was beginning to think so. Next, I explained to God that I wanted to be able to hear my guidance; however, I needed help with this. I talked to God as if He was sitting in a chair right across from me. Since I had messed up several critical situations in my lifetime, I asked God to bring answers through other people on earth until I learned to hear in different ways. Other people might include a minister preaching, a friend, a salesperson, whomever.

I then explained reading books others suggested prior filing for my divorce helped. I told God, “I will listen intently, and if I hear the name of a book three times, no matter what the book is, I will buy it and find my answer within it.”  Then I  began listening for a books’ name everywhere I went.  Sometimes I caught the title of a book as I eavesdropped on a conversation. Unexpectedly, it made me begin to be more present in my life. I was actively listening to receive answers. When I did hear the name of a book three times, I bought it. Sometimes many answers for me were in a book, and sometimes I had to wait until I was deep into a book before my “aha” came. Book names and answers did come! I generally found the books named in the Science Fiction area, Business area, self-help, or inspirational. I never knew and it was a fun adventure to find some of the more rare titles.

Now I was finding answers in Al-Anon and in books. With my self-worth diminished through the marriage I just left, I gave myself a gift every day for thirty days. That was a suggestion from a friend I began passing onto others when they were going through difficult times. Since I was tight on money and was left with all the bills after the divorce, I had to devise simple gifts for me that cost only a little or nothing at all but brought a smile to me. One giift was giving myself time to sit on the porch and watch for a beautiful sunset. Another was going to lunch with my daughter or son. Then there was giving myself time to visit a friend or telephone someone I wanted to visit with! I sometimes spent time with a flower, thinking about how it grows, drops its petals and lets go so easily, and how another then how another flower is birthed.

With those gifts, I gave myself permission to be kinder to me and took time to do so. One activity seemed to lead to another. I began working on increasing ways to “hear” guidance. I would go to a bookstore and stand in front of the books in the Self-Help section or the Spiritual section, or I would look at the new releases. I watched for a name of a book that calledto me. I was attempting to improve or develop my intuition. This was different from hearing the name of a book three times and going to the bookstore for a specific book. By going and standing in front of aisles of books in someplace like Barnes and Noble or by “stepping over boundaries” and going into a bookstore that I never entered before, I had to learn to “listen within” and develop my intuitive skills.

So every morning I made a “prayer” and then opened an inspirational book and read for ten minutes before work. The 15 minutes expanded. What did I discover? I was becoming happier. I was reclaiming my Self and, well, everything felt better, period. The tv was off and what I was learning about life “by listening” without and within was much more interesting.

LESSON: Begin your day with time for you. Meditate or pray or do both. Listen to your universal source to begin guiding you. Then pick up an inspirational book and read for ten to fifteen minutes.

LESSON: If you decide to give yourself a gift for one day when you are moving through a difficult time or for thirty days. Before you sleep, think about what you can give yourself tomorrow and all the good possibilities coming into your life. Especially do this if a door has closed with a life-changing event of if there has been a multitude of events that have might cause depression to set in. Then be certain to follow through. Do give yourself your gifts! You deserve it. See what you feel like in a few weeks.

GIFT: Life can throw us some very difficult times. We can make it through them. Center Self. I got more done in a day by taking the time to balance in the morning. Everything went smoother. In other words, I made fewer mistakes and did not draw chaotic situations to me.

BIG GIFT: Once I began balancing every morning before beginning work or leaving the house, my life began to change. Life became more smooth. I quit drawing policemen to me. I checked myself on each of these next two situations: I was off-balanced when each of these happened. One dark night on Highway 9 going into Norman, a deer jumped in front of me. My car was hurt, but not the deer. About ten years later, I pulled out of a driveway going very slowly and ran into a van that I absolutely did not see. It was a specific green color that is difficult for me to see to this day. No other accidents, no totals! After each one of these incidents, I went right back into my 10-25 minutes in the mornings for me to gain balance. I have also been stopped twice in the last thirty-one years by a highway patrolman and received a warning each time. On both of those times, I was trying to do too many things in too short a period of time and had not balanced in the morning. It makes all the difference in the world!

Dancing With Destiny

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It was the night following a wonderful Christmas. “Wonderful” had nothing to do with presents. It was just so good because there was no stressor, no grumpy person, that ruined every holiday inside the house. Johnny was in the Navy and unable to spend this Christmas with us, but Dawn and I made a plan to visit multiple relatives in Oklahoma City and Norman on Christmas day.

While we were at a cousin’s home on Christmas afternoon, my cousin encouraged me to go to Pauls Valley with her and her husband to a party planned for the night after Christmas. Our cousins that lived in Pauls Valley were having the party for friends returning home for the holidays. She shared that I might know many attending the party from our school days. Throughout my growing up years, I spent as much time as I could in Pauls Valley. Both sets of grandparents and many cousins lived there. When visiting, I had so much fun. We walked all over, went to restaurants by ourselves, went to the movie for a dime, and played hard. I participated in activities with my cousins, many of which I was not allowed to do at home in Oklahoma City.

You can do some things growing up in a small town that you cannot do in a city. For instance, we did not have a main street in Oklahoma City, where everyone drove up and down, finding each other on the weekends. We also could not or did not dare, go to the park and have water balloon fights or watermelon fights after dark. Nor did we fill up sacks with cow manure and leave it on someone’s front porch, sometimes lighting it with a match! My parents allowed me to car date in Pauls Valley several years before allowing me to do so in Oklahoma City. About the only thing we did in both places was toilet paper friends’ homes. I felt freer in Pauls Valley and could play with no worry because Mama was safe with her mother.

Deciding to go, I telephoned my Al-Anon Sponsor, Sally, the next morning. It had been about two months since I filed for divorce, but my divorce was not to be granted until we went to court. Shortly after I filed, Sally asked me to do something she had done when she worked with her own sponsor. She asked that I not speak to a man for six months. I was more than a little surprised by this request. I knew that I was getting better and better with each of the other suggestions she gave me to do. I considered her idea and committed to it. If I had an appointment about my business, I could speak, but if a question or statement turned personal, I had to guide the conversation back to business or end the appointment. (The result of this experiment brought a calmness that I did not expect.)

Now I was going to a party, and there would be dancing, which I loved to do. I asked if we could waive this request to not speak to a man for this one night. She agreed, so I called my cousin, Judy, and her husband, Phil. Later that day, we headed to Bob’s Pig Shop located in the town where we all three had been born.

As I entered the door, an attractive woman was exiting. She stopped, and we introduced ourselves. There were already quite a few visiting and some dancing. Many had familiar faces that I had not seen for over twenty years since I lived out of state most of that time and usually saw only relatives whenever I returned home. Seeing a friend, I walked over to the jukebox, and we visited a little. A man standing by me introduced himself to me and asked if I would like to dance. His name was John Blake. He was a great dancer. We talked some while dancing, and when the music stopped, we stood still and continued talking.

Our discussion was odd, and I loved it, for we were talking about something of substance. Somehow we found ourselves talking about spiritual experiences and God. As the music began again, we continued sharing. During this second dance, the lady I met at the door tapped me on the shoulder as she said, “I guess you know you are dancing with my husband.” I responded, “No, I did not know. John, you have a pretty wife, and, Susan, you have an adorable husband.” Susan laughed and said, “continue” and went to sit down in a booth.

Upon completion of that dance, we both went to sit down with Susan. Our discussion included my history with Pauls Valley. Surprised, they shared with me they had restored a home built in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and they thought a part of my grandparents’ house that was torn down and replaced with a nursing home might be in their home. They also invited me to come by sometime to see if they were right. About that time, Susan excused herself and left John and me sitting in the booth. I watched as she left us and went outside again. We visited until another friend I had not yet seen at the party came and asked me to dance.

I saw him last when I was 17. He married his high school sweetheart, also a friend of mine. He then said for me to go into the other room and sit with his wife when we finished dancing. I was also not to come back into the place we were dancing in. I did join Sharon for a visit until her husband returned. I then asked why he said for me to leave the other room. He responded by saying that he learned I was coming out of a marriage, and he felt I was about to get into trouble. I asked if the person I danced with was a womanizer. He said no, and he needed to stay that way. He said that he had not ever seen him attracted to someone else.

Judy and Phil were ready to go. I was also. But I loved my evening, and I knew there was something very different in my encounter with John Blake. John did call later about nutritional products. I was back to not speaking about anything except business. In about a year, I ran into John and Susan at a restaurant in Oklahoma City. The three of us visited.

Another few years flew by, and I ran into Susan downtown in Oklahoma City with another man. She shared that she and John divorced about six months prior and reminded me that I never came to see their house. I said that I was attending a family reunion the next Sunday in Pauls Valley and would stop by.

Release Brings Blessings

John and I began isolating in this house on March 11th. Boston, a son, decided to join us when SanFrancisco started its lockdown due to the coronavirus. He drove from San Francisco, CA, to Pauls Valley, OK. That took four stops overnight, but he made it and then quarantined himself for two weeks before we began to be a pod of three. Boston has done all of the grocery shopping for us, and that has been a blessing for John and me. We have each eventually developed our own projects and stay busy. The only meal we usually share is supper. All in all, we have all remained 90% happy and grateful during this coronavirus change.

One of us will possibly have a bad day of crankiness, but that is not often. This last Sunday, I guess it was my turn. I awakened agitated. Thoughts ran through my head. “Did I have a bad dream? Why am I frustrated?” At breakfast, something Boston said triggered an old story. Perhaps the writing of my past pulled it up, or maybe it was because two good friends lost their husbands this past week.  I have been praying for each of them and reflect on the difficulties of going through significant losses. I recalled the shock and denial stage I went through, plus the anger and also the blame stage. Remember, in a past blog; I mentioned that I telephoned my mental health center and asked my secretary to look through all of my notes to see how long each stage of change lasted when there was a death. Of course, I had no records on that because it is different for everyone. I think I wanted to move through all stages in six weeks or something like that. That just doesn’t happen.

The following is the story I told at breakfast. John had heard it many times. I thought I also told Boston in the past, but I began again with sharing what happened: The doctors at Mayo Clinic came into talk to us about Don’s surgery the next morning. They said, “If the operation goes the way we hope, he will be back in his room in about thirty minutes. However, if we run into difficulties, it will be longer, but you should not worry.” So the next day, I sat in the room next to surgery and then returned to Don’s room in thirty minutes. He was there, but not awake. No doctor came to talk to me following the surgery. I assumed they were busy.

Thinking all was okay, I telephoned our children and all friends on standby waiting for news and shared the good news. All went well. At 4 o’clock that afternoon, the doctors came and asked me to leave the room. I went down to the end of the hall and looked out the window, wondering why they asked me to leave. Then one came to get me. I entered the room and stood at the end of Don’s bed.

Don said: “Susie, they told me that I would die in six months and there is nothing I can do about it. They do think I should talk to an oncologist, but it really will not make a difference. It might help with the pain.”

Me: At that moment, I was stunned. I wanted to deny it was true. The doctors left. I started crying and could not stop for about four days. Sometimes I could pull it together for a few hours, and then the tears would flow again. Don did not seem upset. Perhaps he had suspected this result. He was so peaceful about dying, and I was a wreck. His peace permeated the room. People from other parts of the hospital came to his door and asked to enter, so they also could feel the peacefulness they had heard about. I, on the other hand, was falling apart. What about the goals we had set and the fun times we planned to have later? What about all of the time he took away from the three of us trying to achieve so much? I felt like all of the work that we each had done was for nothing. Every goal we were each trying to reach was for, supposedly, was preseumably for our family. Now all of the goals we discussed were just “gone.”

He seemed fine with dying, and I was reeling between “the loss of a husband, our children losing their father, and being upset about Don being so peaceful and not seeming to be upset about leaving. I even felt some anger mixed in. He was going to leave me with a mess. We had school loans to pay off still, campaign losses, money owed on the house that he wanted, and was being built. It was his dream, not mine. I loved our present home. I also knew I was thinking about “decisions one has to make and guidance for two teenagers. What if I made the wrong decisions without him?” (And I did make wrong decisions, by the way.)

Don continued to be peaceful, and I continued to be a basketcase. His doctor finally asked me if I would like a prescription to help me. I said no. I have always believed that ‘we will have more joy in life later on than we are having pain in the present, and that we move through the pain better when we do not medicate.’ That is my belief. It does not have to be someone else’s belief. I felt guilty about being mad at Don for being able to let go and be free of our problems when he was the one facing death. Even though we had excellent communication about his death, I am not sure I ever told him all of this. I did not tell others about my feelings, about how mad and sad I was at the same time. It did not seem right to be worried about me and have a pity party for myself about what I was going to face alone when he was the one in pain and was dying. I even felt guilty about “perhaps I could have done something different in our past that would have prevented his stress and cancer?”

Boston: “Susanne, you have told me that story multiple times, and you are still mad about it.” That story is stuck in you. You need to release it by blogging about it. With so many deaths right now, other people may be feeling multiple responses in the same way. What you say may perhaps help someone.”

As he said those words, I looked down at my body language. I was holding both arms open and to the side with my arms bent at the elbows. Each hand was in a fist. I looked like I was ready to fight someone. I agreed that I needed to blog about this and release this last bit of anger. I have had such an amazing life and so many great experiences, I could not imagine I was still mad. However, this may have surfaced to help me release the tiniest bit of negativity remaining within. Keeping these thoughts to myself about what I was being left with in the beginning and staying so positive may be why this was stuffed.

I want to tell all out there that have lost a spouse that it is normal to have these multitude of feelings. Hopefully, this will give someone permission to feel, know it is okay to have the odd thoughts you are having, and do not hesitate to get help or ask for help if need be. It is reasonable to have all of those thoughts.  I had a multitude of feelings that I did not understand as I went through Don’s death experience. And I had feelings after his death I did not understand. That is why I kept trying to find a book that would answer my questions. There was none. I had to pray and wait for answers, and I eventually got them!

With the coronavirus, we are “all” going through an unprecedented change. The first stage affected is awareness.  We initially want to deny the situation, and may even choose not to recognize it. Then we have shock and disbelief as the reality of truth becomes clear. Next, attitude is affected. Perhaps anger with Self comes to the surface. I believe violence is coming out sideways these days, through arguments about masks, fighting, acting irrationally.  Rather than flowing, perhaps we exhibit the confrontation of this virus plus the many changes we are having to make. Information we learn sometimes leads to guilt or self-doubt. Maybe we experience depression or self-pity takes over.

We look for the source of the problem and blame others. We even project “personal guilt” onto others. Many get stuck here and do not move forward. A person sometimes remains in this stage for the rest of their life. For those that do move forward, behavior improves. Understanding, rational thinking, and an improved attitude about the situation bring new ideas. Finally, we come to acceptance. With new knowledge and skills, an action to implement a new plan takes place.  

LESSON: It is good to move through change and ask for help. Life is so much better and I have had so much more joy than pain by working on me and going through the ‘letting go processes, learning to flow, gaining spiritual solutions, practicing gratitude, and so much more. Years ago, I began doing a small ceremony to completely release a negative reflection I have had from my past. I plan to let go of this bit of anger within and release this story I have told Boston multiple times within a few month period. How? I am going to write it out, get a shovel, make a prayer, and bury it! Then I will release it completely. That is my plan.

GIFT: I became aware that I had retained this little bit of anger even though I am so happy and have been so happy for many years. My words, my tone, my body language all suggested it. Releasing brings blessings. Kindness replaces irritability. The light within becomes brighter with each negative thought gone!

Thank you to all that read my blog. If you are having something negative happen, I do hope this brings about new thoughts and new ideas to help you work through something. Time does heal, but we can do things to help with the healing along the way. What is most important is “keep hope, belief, and faith.” A future blog is going to be about our electromagnetic energy field and what good will come when many of us improve Self!

18-Wheeler

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Following Don’s death, I returned to basketball games. The first time I went in, I felt odd. Dawn was cheering. Johnny was with the band. Sitting down and waiting for the game to begin, there was no one around me. One by one, young people came and sat close to me. No parents joined me. People my age still seemed to feel awkward with me.

Moving right along, let’s fast forward to the basketball finals. We won and were to play in the state playoffs in Albuquerque. I had a meeting in Albuquerque on the same day the playoffs began. Dawn and Johnny went to the game with others. I went directly to the university’s gym to join them as soon as my meeting was over. I had offered each of them the opportunity to invite a friend to go with us to a nice restaurant following the game and ride home with us. They liked the idea.  

When I arrived at the gym, the score was close; however, we lost. Johnny and his friend waited with me in the bleachers as people began filing out. Dawn and her friend, both cheerleaders, joined us. We were about to leave when three others also showed up. Each said their parents sent them to me to ride home with us. With the gym almost cleared, I asked, “Where are your parents? I need to talk to them.” They each told me their parents said that I would take them home and then left them. WHAT? Now there would be eight in a car that holds five! While still being dumbfounded that friends left their children with me without saying a word to me, I increased our reservation at the restaurant from five to eight. 

We climbed the steps to leave the entrance/exit of the gymnasium. Nan, with suitcases and a strange-looking box, was entering. Nan was a twenty-one-year-old young friend that was returning home to Portales from an extended trip. I said, “Nan, what are you doing here?” She gave me a frustrated look and responded, “I cannot believe this. I haven’t been home for several months. My plane came in on time, but my flight from Albuquerque to Clovis canceled. I called Mom and asked that she and Dad please come pick me up. Instead, she directed me to take a taxi from the airport to this gym, find you, and said you could take me home.” I was stunned. “What’s in the box, Nan?” She shared with no hesitation, “A dead fish.”  

So now I had nine and a dead fish plus two suitcases to ride in my Thunderbird that seated five. Keeping my promise to Dawn and Johnny and their two invites, we scrunched into the car and headed for the restaurant for lunch. By mid-afternoon, we headed home. The uncomfortable ride began. In only a short while, teenagers in the back seat started poking each other. I asked them to stop. It increased. After multiple requests, and it not ending, I picked up the CB and said, “Is any trucker heading Eastbound?” Receiving silence, I asked again. “Breaker, Breaker, is any trucker heading Eastbound? I am having trouble and need help.” A nice man responded hesitantly, (I think a woman on the CB surprised them.) “We are. What kind of car are you in?” I pulled over to the side of the road after telling him and waited. In only a few minutes, he pulled over in front of us.

I then said, “Nan, you get behind this wheel and do not lose sight of me. Follow closely and, Frank, you are the biggest. You come with me.” With me dressed in a suit and heels, I dressed in for the meeting before the game, Frank and I climbed up the ladder and entered the bed of this tall truck. We asked if we could have a ride, and they agreed. The two truckers were kind. They asked all sorts of questions about my work and Frank’s schooling. We asked them about trucking. They were to continue straight past Santa Rosa, but we were to turn. We pulled into the truck stop, and Nan pulled right in behind us. The truckers asked if they could treat the whole group to a hamburger or a snack of some kind. The seven others in my car loved it when we all stopped to share this opportunity.  

Following dinner, we nine scrunched back into my automobile and headed home. There was silence. Then my children said that they could not believe what I had done. They were mad. I explained, “Not a single person asked me if I had room to take another person with me. They are all friends, but this was too much.” I shared that I would appreciate it if they didn’t poke or yell at each other again. All were good.

We arrived at each home safely. I dropped into bed. The next morning I was awakened when my telephone began ringing. Several Moms asked me if it was true that I left our children and got into an 18 wheeler? They were not pleased. I said, “That is correct, but you left me and did not even consider what my plans might be.” We all remained friends, but I did not have that problem ever again.

Lesson: Be respectful and ask permission rather than assuming something about another person. I do not suggest this way to set a boundary for others. It was most likely not a good idea for me to do this, but all were safer!

Gifts: If there has been a death in the family, know your friends still care about you but are not comfortable. Make the first move, and it will be okay again. No one ever sent their child to me without asking me first. Word traveled. None of us, as friends and parents, would have had this problem if we had cell phones back then.

I Was Emotionally Unavailable

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I never understood emotional unavailability until we all three were having major problems following Don’s death.  This also took place through the second marriage.  It is harmful for the child when a parent is emotionally unavailable repeatedly. That was I.  It is important to be “in the present” with children and “raise my awareness” in order to know what is happening with Self and what is happening with them.  

If you want to know more about emotional unavailability, keep reading.

I did not see how much Dawn and Johnny were hurting until later.  It can happen so easily without us realizing we are being emotionally unavailable for others we love. I did not realize I was emotionally unavailable until later. I was taking care of my children’s whereabouts physically. I asked them “How are you doing?”  I asked, “What is going on in school?”  However, with so much on my plate and with trying to make it through the days, I was hardly listening.  I was just hoping to make it from day to day with all of the expected and unexpected health situations, work expectations, and trying to make ends meet financially when Don took leave of absences to run for Congress and did not get paid the last six months of his life.  

It is so important to stay aware and in the present when difficulty arises. By doing so, we are better able to know what is happening with Self and our children. I definitely continued to be emotionally unavailable as Don was dying, taking care of him, with all that happens afterwards, and then getting back to work, and “not giving myself permission to grieve or time to grieve.”   

Emotional unavailability can happen so easily with a continual illness in the family.  Priorities tend to be with the one that needs you and it is usually the patient.  I was in the ICU with Don in Clovis, NM, when I received a call that Johnny was in the ICU in Portales, twenty miles away. It can happen when one parent is looks outside the marriage for intimacy and truth is not told.  The partner not looking outside the marriage feels it as well as the children.  I have personally seen examples of that.  Know there is help! Take action.  Blessings will come!

LESSON:  Even through difficult times, take at least ten minutes in the morning to balance Self. Give yourself that time to pray, meditate, or just be still and listen for answers following your prayer. Meditating five minutes a day several times is good also.  It raises awareness of what is happening in life with Self , children, and others.