It’s Not Just a Ham Sandwich

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It’s Not Just a Ham Sandwich
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It’s not just a ham sandwich, it is a memory, a memory that I share with my father. My father loved a good deli sandwich with freshly cut meats and cheeses. He has been gone from this world for more than a handful of years now. He left the home I lived in when I was just a child in the sixth grade when my parents divorced. As a teenager I visited him often.

He taught me how to make and eat the best ham sandwich and all these years later that ham sandwich brings me memories of him. It was a sandwich made on the freshest white bread with deli cut ham and white American cheese and sliced tomatoes with lettuce and mayonnaise and of course salt and pepper on the tomatoes. I remember summer tomatoes on this sandwich and I remember sitting side by side with him while we chatted and ate our sandwiches together.

Like all people my dad had a good side and a not so good side, he had a dark side but he could also be the most charming man. I could remember his temper or his darkest moments but I always chose to see the best in him. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t see the bad stuff; it doesn’t mean that I liked it but he was my father and the only father that I ever knew and loved. Much of his darkness was tied to his alcoholism, a disease that he managed to stay dry from for the last 30 or 40 years of his life.

I could focus on the negative, he did a lot of crappy things when he was married to my mother but just like that ham sandwich that I so enjoyed I would rather remember the good in him. He was a small town guy from a tiny town in Pennsylvania, he was Irish and Catholic. He was one of five children one brother died as a child at the age of 7 and another sister as a young woman from alcoholism. He entered the United States Army as a teenager and served two terms in Korea. He was injured in the service and honorably discharged with a purple heart. This injury caused him to have epileptic seizures.

Women loved him and boy did he love women! He married twice first my mother with whom he had five daughters and later his second wife that he had two more girls and finally a son. He was a carpenter by trade, built a few houses and worked in the engineering department of the same hospital where my daughter was born. Dad worked there for about 25 years before he retired.

His soul was that of an artist, he could draw and paint and build things, he worked with his hands, and dad taught me to love country music. He loved music by Johnny Cash and the Highwaymen.

So today for lunch I had the best ham sandwich…but it really was so much more than that … it was about my father and me, it was about loving and respecting him as my father. It was about knowing that he wasn’t a perfect man, he had challenges and he had struggles but he cared about the people in his life and he lived by a code. No one had to tell him when he screwed up because he already knew.

When you really love someone you love them imperfections and all, if I wanted to, I could make a case as to why he didn’t deserve my love, but that isn’t how I was built or who I am. Maybe I learned it from dad; if you want to be forgiven you must also be forgiving.

Thinking of you dad! May you be resting in eternal peace, I pray.

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

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Judgement

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Judgement
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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We judge and we are judged and it is just a fact of life. Yet I always find it interesting and even remarkable how two different people can look at someone and one person sees only good and goodness and another person looks at that very same person and all they see is evil, darkness and all that is bad.

So who are they really seeing and judging?

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“People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you.” Abraham Hicks

For years I had this quote by Mother Teresa hanging in my office it read; “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” It was a daily reminder for me to look at people through the lens of love rather than one of judgement.

Matthew 7 reads Judging Others ”Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

For me it translates into the Golden Rule … what you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself. Treat others the way in which you want to be treated.

There is a Sally Field quote that I like a lot and she says; “it took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”

Think about that for a minute? If we allow the judgements of others that truly can be all over the map, depending on who they are and what motivates them and more, rather than in knowing our own true selves how confusing and even devastating that can be to ourselves. Know yourself!

If we live our lives, trying hard, doing the best that we can with what we have and what we know and with the willingness to learn and to grow and to make an effort to see people through loving eyes rather than one based in judgement just how healthy and happy not them but WE can be?

Lay down your judgements and amp up your love … to the happy and healthy life!

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

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How Not Giving a Sh– Might Be Really Healthy For You

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How Not Giving a Sh— Might Be Really Healthy For You
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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(Notice in the cartoon how Tim is able to fly and is light because he doesn’t give a sh–!)

How many times have we stressed over things and over people that we literally had no control over or business in even trying to manage? We care about this person we care about that person, we care about what people might think and say? We want a different situation or a different outcome?

I am a person who cared about everything and everyone, I wanted people to be happy and to get along and then one day after years and years of stressing I recognized it really is NOT my place to stress over other people being happy or getting along. The best I could do was to make myself happy and to get along and if I couldn’t get along to move along.

One of the best parts to being older is that you have “been there and done that” you have worried and you have stressed and upon reflection it doesn’t change anything. All the worrying and all the stress in the world aren’t going to change the situation.

But what does it do? How many times have we literally made ourselves sick both physically and mentally because of things that are beyond our control? And perhaps not even our business in trying to control in the first place? We think we know better, we think our way is better, but better for whom or better in what way?

How about this? How about practicing not giving a sh–? I see so many friends reducing themselves in so many ways because they can’t accept our President. They do and say things that they normally would never do and say. They whip themselves up into frenzy because this was not the outcome they had hoped and wished for … but at what cost? At what cost to them?

Many things in life aren’t going to go the way that you had hoped for and at the end of the day, maybe they weren’t supposed to go that way after all. In many ways we learn more when things do not go easily or smoothly for us. We learn about grace, and about acceptance and about living life.

It is so free to let go, there is good reason it is called the Serenity prayer. Serenity … just think about that how would it be to live our life in serenity? Wouldn’t it be healthier than trying to force our will on people and on situations that are not ours to control?

Over the years and in many ways I have made myself sick over some of the decisions my children have made, decisions that they made as adults. Decisions that I personally would never have made, but what did whipping myself up over it do for me, for them or for the situation? Absolutely nothing! In the end, it was their life to live as they see fit and not for me to try and manage or control.

Today my children are aged 36 and twins aged 25, and each one is doing their own things, I have raised them, I have worried about them and I have loved and cared for them. And to all three of them this is what I say, I hope that you are deliriously happy and that you have a life of abundance, if things are going well and you want to share that with us, the door is wide open, but if you are struggling, creating drama or self-inflicted wounds, I say this in the most loving way, I am not going to give a sh–! You have your life and I have mine, be happy or not, be successful or not, it is no longer a reflection on me, it is your life.

And guess what? Me not giving a sh–, is the healthiest thing for me … and for them too.

Most of us would do well to practice the Serenity prayer … and/or practice not giving a sh–! It really could help you feel so much better and healthier …

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

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all
Things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

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

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Enablers
By Bernadette A. Moyer

"Hello, my name is Roberto, and I will be your enabler this evening."

There are all kinds of enablers some may be knowingly enabling and others unknowingly. My father was an alcoholic and my mother the classic enabler. It was a typical co-dependent relationship. I am sure she thought she was helping him. She was a registered nurse and in a “helping” profession. She loved him and supported him and stayed with him even when his behaviors dictated that she shouldn’t have.

As a parent I am sure we enabled some behaviors that we would not have accepted from any others. We loved our children and often thought we were helping them. If we had it we wanted to share what we had with them even after they became adults. This often showed itself in “arrested development” the more we did for them, the less they did for themselves. This often leads to resentment on their side and our side too.

There is often a fine line between helping and enabling. What I have learned as a parent is that as hard as it is to watch your child fall and fail you have to step back and let them pick themselves up. Trust that they will figure it out, it is part of learning and growing up. Once they learn to pick themselves up they start to build their own confidence and become successful in life.

I hear about “enablers” quite often in my estranged parents support group. This is usually a person or a family that supports the “victim” the “co-dependent” and helps them to go against their parents. The “enablers” support them in making decisions they might otherwise never have made without the assistance of these “enablers.”

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A friend’s daughter recently was married and mom and dad were not invited, to make matters worse the grandfather gave the bride away. The grandparents took the young daughter in and supported her in estranging from her mother and father. What were they thinking and why? These are life altering decisions that will last forever. Dad is not only feeling betrayed by his own daughter but by his father too. Would the grandparents want this to have been done to them?

What should they have said and done? How about go home and work it out, all teenagers and young adults have struggles with their parents, you only have one mother and father, we love you but you have to go home and work it out.

I experienced this twice now myself with both my teenage daughters who found women to take them in and go against mom and dad. And it was always over a boy. One woman I never met even though I asked to meet with her. She “enabled” the behaviors of a struggling teenager. This woman has now raised my grandson who recently turned 18, my grandson who has no real relationship with his birth mother and who never met his maternal grandmother. So who won here? And I am left to wonder what kind of woman involves herself in another woman’s family without even meeting them for yourself and making your own opinion? Who has a better life because of her “enabling?”

Second daughter returned home seven years later, she sees now in her own words that she was “young and dumb” she got used by people that “enabled” her poor teenage behaviors. She admits to being a “defiant teenager” sadly the “enablers” used her for their own gain.

I think a lot of “enabling” points back to ego, thinking they know better or are better. Today I don’t question the young teenager who naturally rebels against her parents as part of growing up but I do question the real and true motives of the people that have enabled them. What was in it for them?

Motives, agenda and egos all play a role in the type personality that enables, ask yourself what is your true motivation and agenda and what part does your ego play? Are you helping or are you hurting? If you are doing things to impact another family that you would not want anyone to do to your family that is probably a good litmus test.

If you really want to love others and help others, stop enabling and start trusting that the people that you think you are helping will figure it out for themselves, they will! And they will love you and appreciate you all the more for not stunting their growth and allowing them to develop into their own mature and successful selves!

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

Just Because …

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Just Because…
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Just because you know me
Doesn’t mean that you really, really know me
Just because you see me smile
Doesn’t mean that I am always, always happy

Just because you see me cry
Doesn’t mean that I am always, always sad
Just because you cut me
Doesn’t mean that I bleed, because of you

Just because I am a survivor
Doesn’t mean that I have not known weakness
Just because I love you
Doesn’t mean that I don’t see both, the good and the bad

Just because I am living
Doesn’t mean that I am not dying
Just because I am here today
Doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be gone tomorrow

Just because…

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

The Disposable Generation

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The Disposable Generation
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Most of us raised our children on disposable diapers and bottles. Few appliances are made to last before it is time to switch them out for a new one. We don’t wait for our cell phones to die before we want and feel the need to purchase the newest version. But we do these things at what price?

Maytag used to have a tagline that read “made to last” and that used to matter and make a difference. We used to see value in holding down the same job or only having had at most two or three different careers in our lifetime. Today it doesn’t seem to matter much if we had one career job or many.

We can pick up and move just about any place without skipping a beat, we can take our friends and our contacts with us via the internet.

But what happens when the message is translated into everything and everyone is disposable? What was the real cost of those disposable diapers and bottles and lifestyle?

Does long-term staying power hold value, does long lasting translate to having value?

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

11 Good Questions

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11 Good Questions
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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When Dawn left a lengthy comment on a recent blog I decided to check out her blogs too. The first one that hit me was about 11 questions, so I screen shot them to get back to later and as I was reading them I thought they could made several good blog posting or I could answer them all at once; so here we go:

1.) Is your life today, half empty or half full?

My life is always half full, I have been blessed to always view my life in the most positive ways regardless of whatever challenges I may be facing. Even in the worst of times I have been glad I was born and happy that I was still learning and have the abilities to feel whether it was good or bad. I am fortunate to have experienced so much and known real and true love. I have loved and been loved and that makes for a pretty full life. I love so many people, places and things, always!

2.) How have you found goodness from bad situations in your life? Explain, please?

As a writer my “bad situations” have allowed me to write about them, to share them and then to connect with others who have already experienced them or are currently going through them. Being widowed at age 23 afforded me an opportunity to study death and later to write about it. Same can be said having experienced estrangement. They of course are sad and even “bad situations” that once I dealt with I was able to connect with so many readers by writing about them. This also allowed me to heal myself.

3.) Which relationships have been the most challenging for you, and what strategies have you created to improve them?

My most challenging relationships have been in my first family of origin. There was a lot of abuse and drama; there was alcoholism, violence and sexual abuse. As a child I had to live through what I was subjected too. When I became an adult and a mother and the abuse was going to run through yet another generation that was when I decided enough was enough. There are/were no “strategies” to change a situation and people that were unwilling to see the truth. They could live in denial and I couldn’t. The only way to survive them was to leave them behind. I couldn’t live their lie and made the choice to save myself and my children. No regrets.

4.) What causes you angst, and how do you overcome it?

I have difficulty with people that lie to my face or lie about me. I typically try to confront it and try and understand it and if that isn’t possible I move on without them. I like feeling close to the people in my life and I only know how to do this with trust. You can’t trust someone who lies to you so you really can’t be all that close to them. I can accept most anything from anyone as long as it is coming from an honest and real place.

5.) Have you ever written your own jokes???? Memorized them and then tried them in the long, boring line at the Post Office?

No! Not me at all! I love a good joke and I love to laugh but creating jokes and then telling them would not ever even occur to me!

6.) What challenges are you facing in your life right now?

Great question! I have done so many things that I have wanted to do and accomplish in my work life. I want to have another work related challenge that inspires me to do my best work and I have not uncovered it yet but I know that it will reveal itself when the time and opportunity is right. Basically what is next?

7.) What do you obsess over? How do you rein in your obsessions?

I always obsess over my diet and exercise. In my adult life I have been a size 5 to a size 12. I feel best at a size 8 and 10. I love food I love to eat but I also like being slimmer. So I always think about food and always about my body size. It has been a lifelong obsession and some days/weeks I manage it better than others!

8.) What strategies do you employ for stress relief?

The older I get the more time I allow for prayers, for quiet time alone and for times of reflection. When I allow myself the time to process things I find very little in life that stresses me out. Filling my heart and my soul with positive thoughts and prayerfulness allows me to manage any stress that comes my way.

9.) What other worldly phenomena have you experienced? (Intuition, déjà vu, ET, communication with lost loved ones, etc.) What have you learned from them?

I have thought about people and then heard from them by what could be considered out of the blue. When my husband first died and it was just days after he left this life I felt his presence over me it was a calm and peaceful experience for me. I had a similar experience a few months after my mother’s passing. We had a difficult relationship. Things happened things came forward that were decades overdue. I knew then that she knew the truth and that she was speaking to me and sorry. It was again peaceful and healing. I learned that if we are truly connected to someone even when they pass this life that we still remain connected.

10.) How do you make new friends, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?

I find it easy to talk to most people. There is usually something that connects us all and most people enjoy talking about themselves. So I ask questions, I am always interested in meeting new and interesting people. I am always curious about where people come from and how they live their lives. I think I learned this from my Italian grandmother. She always asked questions and always wanted to know who was connected to whom and where families originated from.

11.) What do you love to create? How do you motivate yourself to do more of what you love?

I am enjoying the process in all things more and more, I love to write and to share and to connect to others through my writings. The paycheck is always when it hits someone right in their heart and they are touched and motivated to return the favor by reaching back to me.

There is no greater high for this writer than to be affirmed! I also love to cook and to bake and to eat and share those creations with others. I am also becoming more of a gardener with both flowers and vegetables. I enjoy the growing process and then the harvest of bringing that which was created outdoors to bringing it inside.

As I write this I have two vases filled with hydrangeas from my garden and the first tomatoes and fresh mint from the yard.

Thanks Dawn! I hope others will read mine and then answer the 11 questions too!

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes &Noble