Living during a pandemic

Standard

Living during a Pandemic

By Bernadette A. Sahm

Recently a question came to me about how has life been and changed for you while living through COVID-19. So many thoughts came to mind …

First thought was I am having lunch tomorrow with a friend of almost 25 years, we haven’t seen each other in over a year since before the pandemic started, normally we get together a few times every year. Together we are high energy and we talk about everything from careers to family, to friends, our travels our husbands and more.  We know one another well. I am already viewing tomorrow as more than “lunch” but like much needed “therapy” we need our girlfriends. I know that I do.

I have another dear friend who I met with twice during the pandemic one breakfast and one breakfast birthday celebration. We wore our masks and socially distanced. As awkward as it was initially we didn’t hug but after our lunch visit we did, that hug was “normal” and we needed and wanted some ”normalcy” in our lives. I walked away feeling healthier and lighter and in a much better frame of mind.    

The thing I miss most about the pandemic is seeing people, being with friends and with family and with co-workers. Right behind that would be travel. Since we are empty nesters the last several years we have travelled quite a bit. I miss it. We are fortunate to own a second home at the beach. It was been a lifesaver for two people that work hard and then enjoy weekends away.

During COVID-19 I have cooked more, baked more and read more books. Although I have struggled with writing. I have followers of my blog who have messaged me, “Are you there? Are you still there?”  I just haven’t had much to say. I don’t have the answers, like everyone else it is a struggle and a challenge living through a pandemic when all our “norms” have been uprooted.  

During this time I am most thankful that I am at peace. I am at peace with all my relationships and this was not always the case. I can’t imagine going through this period of time with any open wounds or unresolved conflicts. It would just be even more of a burden and difficult to manage during an already heavy period in time.

I am grateful for the work that I do and with the people that I work with who have become like family. A true blessing!  The one thing I learned that has been a saving grace is stop thinking about all the things you can’t do right now because of COVID and focus on all the things that you can do. This came after a much needed and most welcome face-to-face meeting with my Supervisor.

Often, I think about young people who are missing out on normal rites of passage such as prom, graduation, sports, and normal school related activities. As sad as the suicide rates have become with young people, it doesn’t shock me. My sense is that they do not have enough life experience to fully grasp that this will pass. It is not normal and will not last forever. 

Regularly and often I count my blessings, I have a loving husband and a precious pooch at home. I have work that is satisfying and relationships in my work that are meaningful and life affirming. So when I feel like complaining I remind myself just how blessed my life has been and continues to be before, during and God-willing after COVID-19.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Motherless Daughter

Standard

Motherless Daughter
By Bernadette A. Moyer

reflection

The mother is the one person who is supposed to love you no matter what. But what happens to us, our mother’s daughter when we lose the love, support and companionship of our mother? My mother didn’t speak to me for the last 23 years of her life. Our ending would come full circle with trauma just like our beginning. I was told that my mother almost bled to death when I was born and that they sent me home with my father and kept my mother in the hospital.

At the age of seven, I lived with my grandparents at their hotel so that my mother could finish school and receive her nursing degree as a registered nurse. During that year when I was in the second grade I got the mumps. When she finally came to the hotel she wouldn’t risk seeing me since the mumps were contagious. She didn’t want to get sick and miss school. I remember looking out the second floor hotel window as requested. My mother was in her uniform with her white starched nursing cap, white dress, white hose and white shoes. She was learning to take care of sick people and here I was her sick daughter and all she could offer me was a curbside wave. A seven year old won’t understand this kind of a decision; they just want the love and care of their mother.

There was a time when I told my mother I was sorry for any trouble I may have caused her. Her response to me was, “You were easy you never asked for anything.” Then I had this light bulb moment, I watched my mother work double-shifts to raise her five daughters, I watched my sisters constantly going after her for what they wanted. I was so afraid to ask for anything because it might be the one that sent her over the edge. So early on, I learned to take care of myself.

When I was just 300 miles into the 1,000 mile road trip I was on, I received a phone message from my cousin. She said, “Please call me back right away, it’s not good just call as soon as you get this message.” I retrieved this message at a gas station when my husband was inside paying for our gas. I immediately called her back. I could tell by her voice it had to be my grandmother or my mother. My grandmother recently turned 101 years old, so I thought it was probably her. But it wasn’t … it was my mother, she died. It was unexpected but she was gone. By the time my husband returned to the car, I was crying. How could she? How could she go home to meet her maker, to see God our Father without any reconciliation with me, her second born daughter?

She never once tried to make peace with me, not one time in 23 years and now she was gone. Less than an hour later I received a written message from my dad’s widow, “I think you should know that your mother passed away early this morning.” My dad’s widow would inform me just after my cousin. Not one of my four sisters ever called me, but it would be my cousin and later the women who replaced our mother, my father’s second wife who thought “you should know” that my mother was dead.

When I was twenty-eight years old I had to tell my mother that her husband was doing the unthinkable, he was abusing a child. My mother and I never had a fight, there were never words between us about what I learned and ultimately communicated to her. That last Christmas after telling her I would receive my last gift that she would ever give to me. It was a large bottle of Frangelico liquor and a $50 bill. It was the coldest and most impersonal gift she ever gave to me. I was certain the liquor was a re-gift and the $50 a last minute gesture.

As the years passed it would silently become clear to me that our relationship was over. Holidays came, birthdays, family affairs, special events and I was excluded. I would learn at different periods of time throughout the years that she came to town and when she did, she never once called me or tried to see me.
“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.” The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.

For many years I had anger toward my mother until I came to acceptance. Early on I did the grief work. I had to process the loss so that I could get over it. I went to one therapist who said, “You need to live your life as though your mother is dead.” I tried this I told a few friends that she died. She had in a sense, and yet she was very much alive even though for me, it was a death. It was the death of my mother and our mother-daughter relationship.

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I have learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” Gilda Radner

Through the years I filled the void that she left with “other mothers” older women who became my friends, my mentors and supporters. I had many girlfriends who shared their mothers and their friendship. These relationships helped me to fill the hole left by my own mother. “Ultimately, the abandoned daughter is never completely abandoned unless she, too, leaves herself behind.” Cause and Effort from Motherless Daughters, The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman.

Through my girlfriends I witnessed other mother-daughter relationships. Friends who are close to their mothers, have the normal holidays together, shopping and lunch dates and many who are now caring for their aging mothers as they assist them with their health needs. And I have girlfriends who have strained but intact relationships with their mothers. Some who have lost their mother due to untimely deaths. It is never easy. It has been said that the mother-daughter relationship is the most complex and complicated of all relationships, can offer the greatest of rewards and the most difficult of challenges.

The following “Dear Mom” letter would have been included in a book I wrote and never published. Reading it now I still sense the rawness and wrongness and yet I am finally and completely at peace.

Dear Mom,
It has been a few weeks now since you have passed on … there is so much I want to say… Was it your intention to leave me out of your obituary? Why would you deny that I was your second born daughter? Did you think I wanted this? Did you think I wanted to hurt you by calling your husband an abuser? What gain would I have had in doing that? Did you think my life was easier without you in it? Did you think my children’s life was better without having their grandmother? Well, it wasn’t!

I have a card you wrote to me in 1984 where you write, “You are a daughter to be proud of.” If you were proud of me back then you would be even prouder today since I have so many more accomplishments. What was I supposed to do when a child came to tell me your husband was abusing them? Did you think I wanted to believe that? I NEVER wanted to hurt you Mom!

As a kid I watched how hard you worked in your field of nursing and I knew how respected you were for your intelligence and drive. Throughout the years I tried to reach out to you first by sending my children’s milestone achievements and then years later a card. All that cards said was, “don’t you think you should try at least once before you die to make it right between us?” Inside I included all my contact information. And then after your husband died I tried again for the last time but never once did you respond to me.

I forgave you years ago Mom, I let it go so I could be free and light and happy. But you couldn’t forgive me? What did I do that was so unforgivable that you would deny me as your daughter?

Fast forward…
Today February 4, 2016 my mother would have celebrated her 80th birthday and today I am no longer living with an open wound. I have healed and I am truly happy. The people I surround myself with are supportive and loving and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also feel her peace from heaven above, like me, she now knows the truth too.

For almost 5 year this writing sat in a “draft” file and now I finally decided to publish it.

Update 1/21/22

My mother wasn’t some uneducated toothless unloved wonder, she was highly educated and obtained her master’s degree in her 50’s after having five daughters. She returned to college being a divorced single mother. She came from a large close knit Italian family with three brothers and three sisters. Many people loved and respected her work accomplishments as she had a big personality and a ton of drive and determination to succeed. Her downfall was that she was the classic enabler. First my father who was once a raging alcoholic and a man that she married twice and divorced twice. Then there was her second husband who became known to me as a child abuser. 

Next month February 2021 my mother would have celebrated her 85th birthday. She died ten years ago. She has been gone from my life for more than half my life. I forgave her years ago. I did it for myself and for my own health and wellness. I am still that same “daughter to be proud of” that she spoke of decades ago. Things happen in life. Some things we learn from and some things we repeat, some make us bitter and some make us better. It is always our choice.

Peace and love to my mother and all of the motherless daughters out there, you are not alone.  

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Give It Away

Standard

Give It Away

By Bernadette A. Sahm

Give it away? Yes! Give your love and caring and kindness away … give your generosity away! Not using it … give it away. My focus this New Year 2021 will be along the lines of what can I do or say, what can I donate and give away that will make someone else happy and help to make their life better.

We can give our smile away, we can give extra clothing and shoes away. We can donate food, or gift cash that helps a food bank or someone in need.

We can let someone go first and in front of us. We can pay the toll for the car or several cars behind us. We can leave a generous tip for the waiter or waitress. Compliments and kind words are free, we can give them away.

Giving is for the giver, and we all have something that we can gift and give away. Recently we ate out in a nice restaurant. The food and service were great. Our tip was extremely generous. We left it and quietly exited the restaurant. Little did we know our waitress would follow us out to the parking lot and yell “thank you so much!” She was thrilled and we were happy to do it. Her unexpected and happy response gave us joy.

We made her day and she made our day. The gift is in the giving. Every one of us has something to offer.

Enjoy what you have, share and give away what you can … and remember the popular phrase; “You never see a U-Haul following behind the hearse to our final destination.”

Peace and blessings for this New Year 2021 with endless possibilities to give it away …

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and B&N

Free Yourself

Standard

Free Yourself

By Bernadette A. Sahm

IMAG0810-1

In order to fly we cannot be weighted down by things or by people from our past. We must be free.

Before an eagle of God can really start to fly into the heights that God has in store for us in this life, the eagle must break off any chains that are keeping him down and on the ground.  For some of us these are issues from our past.

Jesus came to set the captives free and ones that are stuck may be stuck in wrong thinking that may come from past experiences. We must learn how to fully let go of our past before we can go full steam ahead with our divine destiny.

People get stuck and they get stuck in divorce, death and estrangements in relationships that have ended. I was guilty of this with a significant lost relationship and then it occurred to me, “How much more of your life, are you willing to lose to someone who cares nothing about you?” When is enough, enough?

We feel badly in the loss and we want to retreat and to give up burying ourselves, we pull the covers up and over our heads. But what does this really do for us? Does it make it better? Does it take the pain and the loss away?

We need to forge ahead in spite of our pain, forge ahead to newer and brighter futures. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you, nor abandon you. DEUTERONOMY 31:8

Free yourself from that which is holding you back, like the eagle that God intended for you to be. Free yourself and soar like only you can do…

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

What Really Matters This Thanksgiving

Standard

What Really Matters This Thanksgiving

By Bernadette A. Sahm  

          

At the time of this writing I have been parenting for just over 40 years, there have been many years when I believed my parenting skills to be in line with my life’s greatest accomplishments and other times when I knew first hand that I totally missed the mark.

In parenting I learned that love truly is blind, that letting go is by far the greatest challenge and seldom does it matter what we really want for our children. In the end, it comes down to their life, lived out in their way.

I have loved and lost in parenting to where my skin hurt and the hole left in my heart was at least the size of a cannonball. My children taught me the true meaning of love, where you give and you give and expect nothing in return. It is the only relationship, when it is you who brings that child into this world and you who chose to give them life. You give life to your child who may live in a way that you may never understand but you know that the gift was in the giving.

With the three children I have mothered, I learned that each child is unique and different and comes with their own likes, dislikes, talents and abilities. I learned that where environment may matter, that does not translate into same environment and same outcome for each child.

It was in parenting that I learned humility and put myself in places and spaces that I would never have gone without the hand holding of my child who led me there. I learned that children have immediate needs and the adults in my life could wait. My children taught me patience and they taught me to trust in the letting go. My kids taught me that most children will be dishonest at times and not to take it personally or believe that because your view is one of a close parent and child relationship, it will mean honesty at all times, on all issues.

If the definition of forgiveness is defined as letting go of how you thought it should be, then again it was my children who taught me how to forgive. I learned to forgive myself, before I could begin to forgive them, or any others.

As amazing as giving birth is so is the circle of life, after 40 years of parenting I have learned so much from my children and all the many enrichments they have afforded me. Our children are all legal adults now and the greatest lesson learned is that each child was God’s gift to us. Then came the day when we had to trust the process and the life cycle. The time arrived when they were no longer in our care nor were they our responsibility. It was then again when we knew to return them back to God who trusted us with them so long ago and who we trust will continue to protect them and to watch over them.  

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Standard

A Thanksgiving Prayer

By Bernadette A Sahm

May you have an abundance of light, love and laughter and may you be surrounded by loved ones, and may your heart be filled with joy.

We thank you Lord Jesus for all that we have, and we appreciate our family, our friends, the food that we share, the warmth of our home, and the peace and unconditional love that You bestow upon us.

May we love all people as You, our Father loves us. We pray for all those in need that their prayers may be answered.

We pray for peace in our families, in our community, in our country and in our world.

We pray that love wins and grace and gratitude reign. We pray for light to cast over the darkest of places.

We pray for good health for all people in mind, body and soul.

May we all share in Your love and abundance for this Thanksgiving and all the days of our lives.

We pray.

Amen.

Birthday Blessings

Standard

Birthday Blessings

By Bernadette A Sahm

Every birthday is a blessing, a time to be thankful to be alive. Each year is a treasure as it unfolds. We all have a birthdate. Today is mine!

Some birthdays are better than others some so memorable that we never forget them. Thank God for my parents Bernie and Inez who gave me my life, without their union I would never have been born. Today they live in heaven, and I am certain they are proud of the daughter that I have become.

Last year I turned sixty and on my birthdate we purchased our new beach home in Rehoboth Beach. Five years before that we flew to Las Vegas and on my birthdate met friends in person that I only knew from my online support group for estranged parents of adult children. Who knew that our husbands would have so much in common and easily become friends too?

The year before that I replaced my old convertible car with a newer version. All memorable big birthdays. But I also remember the ones where I cried my heart out when my mother would choose to deny that I was her second born daughter. Or the years I would cry nonstop because just days after my “special day” is my estranged daughter’s birthday. These hurts and losses would make the big sweet ones all the more special.

What I know about birthdays is that God willing they will come around every year and that some will be better than others. I am blessed I am at peace and I am surrounded by love, what more could this birthday girl ever want and wish for?

Yesterday I was late for a meeting that I thought was cancelled, rushed off after receiving a message “are you coming?” only to show up without my mask and to a room filled of masked colleagues singing “Happy Birthday” I will remember this as the year I was mortified to have forgotten my mask and the thoughtfulness of those who caught me off guard by celebrating a day early!

This morning one of my dearest friends treated me to a birthday breakfast celebration where we chatted for hours, it felt so normal to participate in a face-to-face meeting and conversation in our COVID year. Such a gift her friendship is to me.

On the way home my husband texts me that a dear friend and mentor has died. My birthdate is now his death date. I settle in to do some work in my office and am interrupted my husband has taken his lunch break to bring me flowers and a card. Tonight we will celebrate with a really nice dinner at a favorite restaurant. In between all this I am trying to get some work done with a few projects that I have going on with work.

A few friends have donated to a charity in honor of my birthday, St. Jude Children Research Hospital. I am so thankful to them.

In my life and between my birthdays, I have lived and I have died a little each day. Some days were filled with love and life and some were filled with death and despair. But isn’t that the pure beauty of life?

Every single person that has remembered me has touched my heart and I am filled with gratitude. And guess what? This gal has so much more good living ahead of her …God willing.

Stay tuned … I love life and living it during the good days and the not so good ones, given the alternative, I will happily take all the birthdays and all those days in between.     

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer  or blogs by Bernadette on https://bernadetteamoyer.org

Books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble  

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

Standard

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
By Bernadette A. Moyer

backwardclock

 

Almost from the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic I have been walking around thinking of the lyrics from an old Chicago song title that reads ”Does anyone really know what time it is?” Seems like we are forced into a new reality where just about all of our lives are on new and different schedules.

Some places are open but with limited hours and new and different schedules. There is much adjust and adapt on how we proceed even in the doing of the most ordinary things.

Sometimes it even feels like the twilight zone and not very real. Time takes on new meaning when we are living our lives so unlike anything we have known before or have been accustomed to in the past.

Chicago
As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

Other times I tell myself, “what are you waiting for?” Just do it! Do what you can and with that I completely outfitted my home office where I truly can work from home. The tasks that have been deleted and post-phoned in an attempt to isolate and social distance have allowed me to understand what I can do versus what I can’t do.

As a doer initially this was really a very difficult adjustment to make but granted a necessary one thrust upon us all. It wasn’t just me we were all living it. Once I trained myself to think about all that I can do, much stress and pressure that I placed upon myself lifted. And immediately I started to feel better and more like my old self.

Then the other phrase swimming through my mind is/was, “time waits for no man” the most quoted from a proverb that means some things are inevitable, such as birth, death and the sun rising in the morning, the passage of time.

For most all of my life I understood that we all have a finite time here on earth and I for one choose to make the most of it and live life to the fullest regardless of the situation I find myself in and any curveballs thrown my way.

I never wanted to live a life filled with regrets. I would rather say it and do it and maybe it doesn’t turn out like I hoped and thought it would, but it was always easier for me to live like I was trying!

This period of time has made me more quiet and introspective and more prayerful and deliberate. There is no “auto pilot” in this pandemic. We have to think ahead and plan accordingly. Much is limited and changed and different.

On a deeper and spiritual sense I have come to the conclusion that we all needed to stop! and take a break and a pause and deep breathe. Without the diversion and chaos of concerts, sporting events and gatherings we were forced to reimagine our lives. What was important to us? What could we do without? What could we be making more room for? Are we living our true and best life?

It was time for a deep dive into self-reflection. With the lack of an ability to socialize and so few people that I was personally (in person) interacting with I became acutely aware of how we are treating others. Who and what might we have taken for granted? And when I said, “it is really good to see you” I meant it, wholeheartedly!

But I was also appalled by the riots, violence and deep disregard for human life that our news brought to us. The political anger/divide/disrespect was even more difficult to witness during this pandemic. It seems like winning by all and any means was all that mattered. I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum and both with deep passion. They just know that they are right and the other side is wrong. People that I love and respect making fun of another human being because THAT person doesn’t believe and think like they do. It makes me so sad.

Oprah said it a long time ago, “Do I need to be right or do I need peace?” I need peace and this pandemic with its new time makes it even more important.

Ecc

The last big thing I think about is ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8, what is THIS time for? Here is hoping and praying that you are making the most of this significant period of time in our shared living at this very special time.

God’s peace and prayers …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Between You, Me and the Garden

Standard

Between You, Me and the Garden
By Bernadette A. Moyer

idea2

We are on “Covid time” and suffering from “shelter snacking” and add anything thing else like an untimely death or violent outbreak and many of us are literally fighting back tears. We are trying to function in a world that is upside down and visibly on its head.

Hard to justify complaining about missing a baseball game or live concert when some people have been forced to close their business or lost their job and source of income. One problem isn’t isolated from the rest or from others. Some have died and some has lost a loved one due to Covid-19.

Have you been to the grocery store or a restaurant lately now that we are living through months and months and months of a pandemic? Our mask is a minute by minute reminder of the seriousness of what is happening in our country and in our world. We are living through a pandemic and it has changed everything about how we are living life.

If nothing else during these “self- isolation” days, weeks and months, we have been afforded a true reflection opportunity. A time to reacquaint with oneself. I turned 60 years old last October and that big milestone was also about looking inward about my past, present and future. I’ve had a wonderful life with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It has been rich in experiences and opportunity for learning. Let me share a few.

Without God I am nothing, I literally couldn’t function without my deep sense of faith in God and in this life and the afterlife. I know for certain that at times people will let you down and God is always present in my life. I am thankful to my parents Bernie and Inez who brought me up Catholic, I feel blessed as a result. My faith in God has made me strive for the best version of myself, warts and all. Each life experience has molded me into the person that I am today. My heart is full and I am so grateful.

On being widowed, knowing someone and loving them as your husband and father to your child and then having them die unexpectedly when you are only 23 years old changes everything. You grow up fast and see things as life and death and you learn how quickly a person can pass from this life to death. He was not a perfect man and we had many problems, being so young I doubt that our marriage would have survived. I had yet to grow up and was still maturing on my own. No matter what the future held I never wanted our child to grow up without a father. She did at age 2.

On knowing sexual abuse within my immediate family, it can be summed up neatly and nicely in one sentence. “In order for them to believe you, they would have to change their life and they are not going to do that.” Thank you Father Kevin! Sadly it was decades before I would hear that statement that rang so true. I stood up for a child and it cost me my family, period. The final blow and smack in my face would be omission from my mother’s obituary. Ask yourself why any loving family would do that? For me it was just one more hurt that they would pelt at me. The family I miss is not the family I experienced, the one I miss was one that lived only in my heart and my mind.

On losing a precious pooch, I don’t believe we ever get over our losses but rather that we learn to live with them. The takeaway is the glory that comes from knowing real love and the hearts ability to love so deeply.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” this was often quoted by my mother. I will leave it at that for the ones that once owned my heart, my time and my attention. Be well and know that I am at peace within myself and with God. It may have taken some time but I am there, thank you Lord Jesus.

And for the positive loving lessons learned. Early on I didn’t really appreciate my husband Brian as much as I do today. He is everything to me. He has shown me by example what real love is, the kind that is able to endure all that life throws your way. After 28 years he still makes me so happy and makes my heart melt and skip a beat when I see him. I am so thankful for our years together and for his steady love. Blessed in marriage! But we never forget that we met as young widows who experienced the same life lessons. Each of us came together after having one partner die and one who cheated. These experiences made us appreciate the “us” that we created together even more so.

Our home and our work have both sustained us. This fall we will begin 29 years in the same house, never would I believe that. Brian knew 35 years with one employer and now 4 years with another all in the same field. For more than 20 years I have been a professional fundraiser again truly blessed to do the work that I love.

So at being 60 years and in the same house for almost 30, what is ahead for us?

Right now we think about how many more years of working before retirement and how do we want to spend our retirement years, again, God willing. We are “empty nesters” after me living as a mother with children in the home for 39 consecutive years. A career by any measure, for sure. I am so happy for the experiences and joyful to be out the other end.

My garden literally and figuratively is blooming with so much color and variety and in good health. It looks happy and at peace. It is living through this pandemic and not skipping a beat on living a beautiful and healthy life. My garden much like me hasn’t always thrived. It has battled poor soil, infestation and lack of water and nutrition. But once fed and nurtured properly has come back bigger and brighter and filled with life.

One of the greatest life lessons I have learned is that whatever you are going through, this too shall pass. I learned to lean in and accept what I cannot change rather than fight it. I learned that most people really are doing their best with what they have and what they know at any given time. And most probably the greatest gift you can give yourself is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift that you gift to yourself and the one that allows for peace and gratitude and most of all for God to live within our own hearts.

Between you, me and the garden …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Planting Sunshine

Standard

Planting Sunshine
By Bernadette A. Moyer

rose

During Covid-19 isolation when so many writer friends were writing books and articles and blogs, I had nothing. I had nothing to say as I watched in horror how the pandemic was affecting all people. I was stunned and shocked and just like a train wreck that you really do not want to witness, I could not stop watching.

Then came the civil unrest and the full force of BLM and the war against all cops. Once again, I sat wide-eyed and unable to write or even string two sentences together. I was sad and horrified at how humans were treating one another. It was not at all political for me, it was witnessing the basic lack of humanity and complete disregard for life. The cop who stole the life of an African American man who did not deserve to die.

It was all the aftermath and witnessing the destruction of property, the property of innocent people that had nothing to do with George Floyds untimely death. Destruction as a way of expressing, “I am angry, I am mad” and again I watched in disbelief as innocent people were hurt.

There were no words, they did not come to me, because first and foremost I did not have the answers.

What I know for sure is that you put out into the universe, comes back to you. If you want more love you lead with love same for anger and fear, they grow out of anger and fear. You cannot give what you do not have.

The pandemic and all the time that I sat alone afforded me with much time for self-reflection. What is in your heart? Are you planting sunshine and love or darkness and hate?

Over the weekend my husband drove through a toll where the car in front paid his fee. It took him a moment to understand what the toll taker was saying and then he responded with the cash he had in hand and stated “please use this for the car behind me” it really is that simple. One good deed responds with another good deed.

I am acutely aware of all the unrest that is going on in the world today, what can I do? I can keep my own heart in check. I can plant sunshine both literally and figuratively. My garden is well tended this year. It is receiving more love and care and it shows. My garden is life. People are life. When we treat life with love and care it grows. It grows healthy.

The answers are not outside of us but within our own hearts and souls. If each one of us worked on ourselves and took personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions rather than blaming others? What a world we could/would live in.

Many decades ago I was in therapy, probably the late 70’s, a placed called Confront and that is exactly what we did, it was there that I learned “you are only a victim if you choose to be” that doesn’t mean that at times in life we may fall “victim” but rather that we choose if and when we stay in victimization.

We could all declare ourselves a “victim” of this or that but at what cost? Stuff happens. Every situation whether deemed good or bad affords us a chance to 1) learn from it and 2) turn it around for the greater good. Our choice. Our free will.

“If you do your best in the search for personal freedom, in the search for self-love, you will discover that it’s just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for.” from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

What is in YOUR heart? It begins and ends within each and every one of us …

Treat others as you wish to be treated and where and how can you plant more sunshine?

Follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble