“Didn’t you notice me?” He asked.

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“Didn’t you notice me?” He asked.
By Bernadette A. Moyer

boy

It was 1976 and I was just seventeen years old as I was running up the stairs in our Allentown house. I was in a hurry and anxious to talk to my mother, I swiftly ran past a three year old little boy named Brenden, who caught my attention when he said so confidently and so clearly ”didn’t you notice me?”

He was calling me out. Brenden was a child that I often babysat along with his older sister Ariane and three other siblings. I liked the name Ariane so much that I named my own daughter after her. They were the children of a Baptist minister and his wife; they were friends of my mother and our family. The kids were all adorable and each child was confident and proud.

It is more than 40 years later and I will never forget that day and that a three year old said what needed to be said, he stopped me in my tracks when he asked me “didn’t you notice me?” I felt awful and I made sure he knew that I not only noticed him but appreciated seeing him again. I apologized for attempting to run past him. All he wanted was acknowledgement. I never intended to “not notice him” but clearly my actions said otherwise.

I read much more than I could ever write and I see posts that I read but never comment on although they often strike a chord with me. Every single day sometimes multiple times in a day I hear from or read about families that are broken and relationships that have ended. More and more families have estranged family members. There are family members that have decided not to acknowledge other family members.

Often during the holiday season the wounds, hurts and heartaches resurface with greater intensity. Everyone wants that Norman Rockwell like Christmas and yet few families really experience it. Someone is hurting, someone is missing, and many things in the family are different. Mom and dad have adult children that not only don’t “notice” them but literally want nothing to do with them. Overall the parents are bewildered and the adult children feel justified.

In just about every single case, the narrative is pretty much the same the adult children say they were “abused” it was mental abuse, or verbal abuse or physical abuse or all three. They all had “terrible childhoods” and now mom and dad must pay. They must pay by “no contact” or by not being accepted and noticed. It is an intolerant response.

Most all of the parents I have spoken with declare that they loved their kids and did the best they knew how, they did their best with what they had and what they knew at that time. Many parents never saw it coming and most of the adult kids seem to think little or nothing of it. Bad parents must be erased, period.

What you learn though in life is that it is never ever that simple. Relationships are complex and complicated. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. The longer you are in any relationship the wider the range of experiences you will share.

Like Brenden, a small child, I used to take it all in and onto myself; I used to be willing to accept the feelings and the responsibilities that went along when someone, anyone decided to cut me out of their life.

Then one day I woke up and accepted that I am human, sometimes I do great and other times not so much, but at the end of the day I am only responsible for my actions. I take 100% responsibilty for the things I do and the things I say, how other people treat me is about them, it was and is never about me.

The way we treat other people says so much about us, it is never about the other person, our actions, our decisions are all ours. We own them. Just like our feelings and our emotions, they belong to us. Simply put, your anger is your problem.

When I woke up to it I realized that absolutely nothing other people do is because of me, it is always because of them. People do what they do and people create their narrative often so they may justify their own behaviors and all their own decisions and actions.

What kind of son or daughter looks good when they have cut mom and dad out of their lives? Zero and none at all and so it is determined that mom and dad must be the “bad” ones because it surely isn’t going to be their adult children.

The same thinking can be applied to marriages that break apart or most any other relationships that end, someone is declared “right” and someone else is declared the “wrong” one. That’s just what we do, a couple decides to divorce and we want to know who is at fault? Yet again it isn’t that simple.

Relationships succeed or fail because of what both sides do; both parties contribute to the success or to the failure. The success is because of both people as is the failure. It is never ever just one sided. I always try my best to live by the golden rule, treat other people in the way that you, yourself would want to be treated. If you wouldn’t want something done to you, you probably shouldn’t do that same thing to anyone else.

We beat ourselves up when relationships don’t turn out like we think they should, we might be better served if we just accept that we have done our best, acknowledge our own portion and learn the lessons that each and every relationship can teach us.

At the end of the day and at the end of this life, we ask ourselves about what do we need and what do we want. For most all of us that answer will be peace and to be acknowledged that we were here and that we mattered.

As we age, we learn that we can come to peace after we did everything we can to right our wrongs and to trust that with God comes the entire acknowledgement that we will ever need.

You can’t fix someone else, you can only be the best person that you can be, it has been said that if you can’t fix it, it probably wasn’t your problem in the first place.

“Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” John F. Kennedy

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

Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

The Nurture in Nature

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The Nurture in Nature
By Bernadette A. Moyer

falls

Just returned from a long weekend in Niagara Falls, New York and words nor photographs will ever do justice to the splendor and natural beauty of The Falls. It was my first trip there and hopefully not my last. It was nature at its best. The sounds and the look of waterfalls doing what they do naturally just a beautiful scene to take in, it almost took my breath away.

Minutes before you reach the falls to view, you hear them with that soft and calming sound of rushing waters. Then when you arrive you aren’t sure where to look first and what area to walk down first. There are people there just like you admiring it, taking it in and shooting photos and videos.

There is so much here to love, first it is a FREE National Park and on the day that we first arrived we received FREE holiday parking in their lot. The Falls are mesmerizing and they exude energy. There is incredible life, a life force that comes with the raging waterfalls. Each different time of day brings a different back drop with daylight one look and then in being backlit with colored lights at night. During our weekend stay we visited three times and I could have easily returned for many more visits. It doesn’t get old.

I was overcome with peace and also with pride. These waterfalls made me aware of just how small I am in a world with natural wonders and with the life force of this energy found in nature. I was also proud to live in a country that showcases its natural beauty so beautifully.

The trip to the waterfalls at Niagara Falls once again drove home for me just how much nurturing can be found in nature. So much life was happening right there and right then. The good news is that it didn’t include; television, radio, news, games or any other distraction that we face in life it was just simple Mother Nature at her best most beautiful self.

I am reminded again that all we really need to maintain our peace is a trip outdoors whether it is Niagara Falls, the ocean, the mountains, a lake or park, a garden or backyard trees and landscaping, Mother Nature is always there with arms wide open and willing to share all her many splendors. She nurtures us so completely in being honest and true and completely natural.

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

Along The Way and Another Way by Bernadette A. Moyer available on Amazon and Barnes& Noble

Know Your Value

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Know Your Value
By Bernadette A. Moyer

value

“Self-worth is so vital to your happiness. If you don’t feel good about YOU, it’s hard to feel good about anything else.” Sandy Hall

Know your value and know your worth, if you don’t see your value how could or would someone else? Sometimes in life, you have to take a stand that others may not like or appreciate but the truth is that at the end of the day, you could compromise your value away if you don’t stand strong.

Every single person alive has value and worth but like most things it starts with self-worth. If we don’t value ourselves most likely others won’t value us either. Never allow someone else to de-value you for their own gain and narrative. Stand strong and always, always know your value.

You weren’t put here on this earth to be anything less than your best or to live life without being true to yourself. If someone else can’t or won’t see your worth, move on, that door isn’t your door anyway. You will never be your best or come to your full potential surrounded by people that disrespect you, don’t appreciate you and are unable or unwilling to see your worth.

In every situation and in every relationship, it is up to us to know our value. Don’t compromise your set of values to fit into places where you don’t belong. If you do you will regret diminishing your own self-worth and in the end have handed over any possibility of other people seeing your true value.

Self-worth: “The ability to comprehend and accept my true value –To understand I am more than my mind, body, emotions and behaviors. To see myself as God sees me, to accept His love for me and to learn to love myself in a like manner.” Dr. Christina Hibbert

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

Along The Way and Another Way available on Amazon and Barnes Noble

The Good People

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The Good People
By Bernadette A. Moyer

good people

In a world that seems to be spiraling downward with greater speed and in larger numbers it is easy to become cynical and skewed as a result. Focus on the good people. They are still out there. If you aren’t already good become your best. Be better today than you were yesterday and strive to be even better tomorrow.

I have always had people that I looked up to, people that survived and even thrived in the most difficult situations. Shortly after moving to Baltimore, when my first husband died, I became aware of local TV News Anchor Susan White-Bowden. Her husband had committed suicide and later her teen son also took his own life. She had to be devastated although on television you would never have known it. She carried on and she did it with class and grace.

She was a hero for me. Many years later I would invite her to book events that I held and even a slumber party for women. Susan was and is awe inspiring speaker and author. I watched her take the audience from laughter to tears and back. She sold out of her books. People love her. She took the unimaginable and turned it around for the greater good. Nothing was going to bring her 17 year old son back but she showed us all that even with that intense loss and grief, life was worth living. And it was worth living well.

Last night I watched the first part of the Elizabeth Smart story in her words. Elizabeth is another woman that amazes me. She literally went from hell and came back to life. She was kidnapped, repeatedly raped and tied up and chained. She was treated worse than any wild animal. She survived it all. Came back to life wrote a book, shared her story and now speaks out and inspires others.

When I think of these women I am inspired and awe struck. Then I wonder what went into their recovery. Was it therapy? Was it support from loved ones? Is it the way they are wired and build? Are they just naturally strong? Or is it a combination of many of these things? I would be willing it is a combination of many of these things with the main thing being the desire and determination to heal. I believe that they wanted to be better and worked hard to get better. And so they did.

In our news today we are riddled with creepy people and creepy stories, things people have done to one another. The people who abuse physically, sexually and verbally and people that have no value for life and kill. One thing I know for sure is that we must focus and give the oxygen to the survivors and the ones who thrive. We must learn to focus on the good people.

There will always be haters and hurters but we don’t need to give up any more oxygen for them. Life has its own way of dealing with those people. Generally as a society my sense is that we give too much life and breath to people that are sick, evil and just not good people.

Who can you call out today for doing good and being a good person? Who can you help raise up that wants to be better and do good? What can you do today for yourself to be better than you were yesterday?

People that have been to hell and back always inspire me, I look at them and I think they thrived and survived through all that and so can I and so can everyone. You just have to want it, and want it badly enough to work through it.

Prayers up! Today I celebrate all the good people in this world and in my own life and I Thank God and feel so blessed to know more than just a few of them …

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

Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Caregiving

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Caregiving
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Flowers

Caregiving begins with self-care; we have to care for ourselves before we can care for others. Just like when we are on an airplane and instructed that if necessary administer the oxygen mask to you first even before administering to an infant child.

For many of us mothers our natural inclination is to look out for the infant first. But in this case, in an emergency situation we are no good in caregiving to others if we haven’t first taken care of ourselves.

We have to know our limits in handling the care of others. It can be exhausting it can run us down; it might not be what we are good at or intended to do. Not every person is a nurse, or a doctor or social worker. When we don’t have the care to give, when our own cup is empty and we have nothing else to offer others we ourselves run into trouble.

There is no shame in knowing what you are capable of and what you indeed can and cannot handle. If you don’t have the money, you would acknowledge you can’t afford it. The same is true for caregiving. If you don’t have it to give, you don’t have it to give, period.

prayer

Anger and frustrations are often born out of trying to do something that is beyond our ability to do for someone else. Protect your boundaries; protect your sanity say “no” with compassion. Know your limits!

Some people will drain the life out of you, but only if you let them, if you do, you are a participant too. If a loved ones needs something and you don’t have it to give to them, help by pointing them in the right direction. Perhaps they just need encouragement to do it for themselves or maybe they needed a larger support system.

Many years ago a very dear friend was anxious and running around after his father became ill and was hospitalized. He was so worked up that he had a heart attack and died. His father who was already in the hospital was receiving the care that he needed. Sometimes others who are trying to help and be supportive are operating with less than necessary.

My mother was a masters educated registered nurse, I witnessed while growing up what that profession took out of her. She worked in the acute units of a hospital in ACU, ICU and CCU. By the time her work day ended she was flat out exhausted. She excelled at her job and most often gave it her all.

There are others in the “helping” professions who don’t have much to give or haven’t taken the time to fill their own cup. Beware of them as they too are out there with the good ones.

Today I want to hold up prayers for all the caregivers that seem to do it so well and effortlessly and knowing that they also need care and that care starts with self-care and appropriate boundary setting.

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

Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Bummer Box

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Bummer Box
By Bernadette A. Moyer

box

Most of us have a first-aid kit, right? So why don’t we have what a writing colleague refers to as a “mental health kit” or at least what I am going to call it a “Bummer Box?”

I’m thinking we could all use a Bummer Box filled with a list or with things that make us happy or cards and pictures from and of people that bring us joy. This way on days that we aren’t feeling our best or when we are struggling we could open up that kit or box of things that would help us to feel better?

So what could go inside our Bummer Box?

A favorite bubble bath or bath bomb, some chocolates, cards with affirmations, a new fresh journal or diary, funny socks, a beautiful new magazine, some crayons, colored pencils and a coloring book, all sound like good stuff to me. New earrings or a bracelet, a $20 bill?

For me I am also thinking it could include cards from my husband, photos of our precious pooches, keepsakes from our many travels, our kids when they were young and some of their childhood drawings and cards and notes too. Inside maybe a pampering list of things to do so that we could get our outside look aligned with our inside feelings.

I think everyone needs a good “bummer box” so when we do have a day where we might need a lift or something to help elevate our moods, it all there, ready and waiting for us.

So here is to the fun in creating that “bummer box” and also to those days when we just might need one!
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Along The Way and Another Way books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Good Work Speaks for Itself

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Good Work Speaks for Itself
By Bernadette A. Moyer

good work

I have never been fond of people that toot their own horn. I prefer to look and see and view the work that they do and then form my own opinion. Bragging about oneself never looks good on anyone and at the end of the day, good work speaks for itself.

At the age of 26 I was the youngest Realtor in my office most were much older and more successful than I was, at that time I wasn’t even a homeowner, not yet, that came later that first year. One of the things I loved about my broker and our office was the huge white board that was hung in a prominent place in our office. It was placed where all the agents passed by in route to our own work stations. The board contained all the recent homes that were listed and sold and their status such as “active” “under contract” or “settled” and the name of the agent who listed it and/or sold it.

At that time in my career nothing made me happier and prouder than to see my name up there! And when my name appeared multiple times with different properties that I listed or sold I was beaming. I never had to toot my own horn as any production in our office was clearly posted for all to see. You were achieving or you weren’t and it was right there in black and white.

Later when I transitioned into the not for profit arena, there was no white board to tout success. The nonprofit arena was much more humble and more about servant style leadership. Generally work in the nonprofit world you are looking at success through a different lens. As a professional fundraiser I learned early on that I need to throw a big net, garner as many supporters as possible to achieve our goals.

“Me” was definitely replaced with “we.” The competition I experienced as a Realtor up against all other Realtors to get that listing or sale was replaced with a wider view on what defined success. We weren’t in competition but rather trying to work in alignment to achieve success.

The success that I achieved, professionally was on a quieter level, it was more about knowing I did my best had done the necessary research and that I extended my hand and heart to as many people that we could 1) support and serve and 2) gain support from in both time and treasure. It was far less about “me” and seeing my name up there and all about moving the ball forward as a team to achieve the goals that the team set.

Success was sweet but it was also quiet. You knew when you did a good job because the quality was in the work that you did. I was fortunate to have great mentors in my career both in the business community and the nonprofit community.

Every single day things change in the business world whether it is for profit or not for profit, change is a constant. The good news though is that a few things never change and one of the most important things is that “good work speaks for itself.”

“Don’t ever put your name on it, until the quality is in your work.” A Mentor

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

Along The Way and Another Way books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble