Holes in Our Hearts

Standard

Holes in Our Hearts
By Bernadette A. Moyer

love

Most all of us have them; a place in our heart that wasn’t filled or filled enough or a loss that came later in life that created a void and left a hole in our heart. It may be an easy to see void like the lack of a father or mother or of a love relationship that ended or one that is harder to identify but lives deep within.

The longest relationship we will ever have is with ourselves and that is why we must practice self-love.

We fill the holes and the voids in our hearts, sometimes we fill them with healthy good choices and other times with people and things that may not be the best for us. When we overeat, or drink heavily or self-medicate, we can look inward to see that we are trying to fill a void.

The drinking, overeating and drug use usually is the symptom of a greater void and loss. What causes us to have a hole in our hearts or a void? For many of us there will be a different answer. What didn’t we get in our childhood? Who didn’t love us or who loved us too much? We all have our reasons. What hurts came later that left us feeling that we are off or have an unmet need.

When it comes to parenting I have always believed that we parent by one of two choices either the example of the parenting we learned and received as a child or by the holes and voids left from our own parents that we don’t want to bestow upon our children. Most of us are aware of what is missing in our lives, the choices of what to fill those voids can help us to learn and to grow or they can hurt us and keep us from maturing.

Little girls first fall in love with their fathers and if they have a loving relationship with dad, they are much more likely to find loving relationships later in life. A little girl who was raised without their father often looks for love from men that are unavailable to her. Simply put if dad was absent and gone and a “zero” she grows up and finds what is familiar to her. A “zero” father figure often translates into a “zero” boyfriend, husband etc.

Other father figures can and do fill the holes left by an absent father but only if the child is open and willing and receptive. You can’t miss what you never had. Medical studies show that it takes 6-months to a year for a child to bond and connect to mom and dad. A child who never connected to a “mother” or “father” figure in infancy may feel a void but it will be for the figure and not necessarily for the birth parent that they never fully bonded with or knew. (Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman)

When we learn to put ourselves first, we can learn to fill our own voids and the holes in our hearts with acceptance and unconditional love. Our belief system may need to be adjusted or changed.

“Imagine living a whole new way of life … a life where you are free to be who you really are. You no longer rule your life according to what other people may think about you.” The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz

It takes maturity and some time and the willingness for introspection for us to know ourselves. It takes quiet and the willingness to look inward. When we understand who we are, what is right for us and can identify where our holes are then we can make the choice to fill our own voids with good choices.

Healthy choices would not include overeating or excessive drinking or doing drugs but allowing our soul to speak to us and help us to decipher what we are lacking from within. It is possible to heal from our holes in our hearts but first we have to be willing to identify what caused them and how do we want to fill them to be our best and happiest and whole self …

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

24 Things I Learned in 24 Years

Standard

24 Things I Learned in 24 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

learning-quotes

It was 24 years ago today that my husband and I bought our house where we raised three children. I can’t believe that either one of us ever thought we would still be here today and embracing our start to our 25th year together, here in the house we purchased together in 1992.

All I can think about is what did I learn? What did it take 24 years for me to learn? Where I was then and where am I today? Most of us can’t/won’t think ahead to the next 24 years but we can look back and see where we are and where we have come to. We write our own story not in just how we live it but also by how we choose to remember it.

“Joy comes to us in the ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” – Brene’ Brown

So what did I learn in 24 years?

1) Most things in life are not life and death, what you are feeling today probably won’t even matter to you next week or next year or perhaps even the next day.

2) Everything changes. Everything. Be open and willing to embrace all that comes to you for nothing is all good or all bad. Enjoy the process.

3) My stable home of 24 years would allow me to take risks. By having a strong foundation I could try this and try that and have the experience without the full throttle commitment.

4) Stability is cool it is not boring. I used to think that EVERYTHING had to change for life to be exciting. I learned I could grow and change and do so from the same house.

5) A house is not a home. In our home are all the love and the joy and all the variety of experiences. It is the family and it is the memories. It is the sharing of space.

6) In 24 years I learned that I could love and raise twin children, a son and a daughter, who I loved as any mother would and yet they were not my biological children.

7) I learned that deep down inside I have an inner strength and peace that withstands all outside noise.

8) I learned I don’t need to be out there or the center of attention, I can shine right here, right now and all on my own. Shine.

9) I learned to be a good neighbor and say “hi” and chat but keep a respectable distance. This is where I live we don’t have to be best friends but we do need to have mutual respect.

10) That an older house and one lived in for 24 years will require repair and updates just like I do and so do my relationships. Everything needs care and to be taken care of or it falters and dies.

11) I learned that I could fight with my husband a real knock down drag out fight but at the end of the day we have each other’s backs. Period. We are in this together.

12) “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” That was something my grandmother used to say meaning there is value in staying put and growing roots.

13) Stability shows strength and it also shows character.

14) That there truly is a time and a season for everything under the heavens.

15) Focus and priorities change. Kids enter our lives and kids leave our lives.

16) That my career choices were all meaningful but I am so much more than any one job or career choice.

17) To build on what we have and to appreciate all that we already have in our home and in our hearts.

18) There is nothing material that is worth my integrity and my peace of mind. I don’t have to have the “latest and greatest.”

19) Be careful who you trust. Today’s friend could very well be tomorrow’s enemy. Trust yourself!

20) If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Don’t weigh yourself down with things, objects, people, relationships that don’t enhance your life. Take the garbage out.

21) No one knows for sure. None of us knows what tomorrow brings and even if there will be a tomorrow, so do your best. Always do your best.

22) If you can’t fix it, it is probably not yours to fix.

23) Be happy! Choose happiness and joy because it is a choice.

24) If the direction you are headed toward is no longer working be brave and turn yourself around. There is no prize for continuing down the wrong path.  Always be willing to learn.

Today I celebrate the many things I learned while living in my same home with my same husband for all these 24 years. The overriding feeling I have is joy and gratitude … what more could I ask …

(And as I clicked that last letter in writing this the sun shines in through my office windows … blessed)

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

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

Chocolate Cake and the Gym

Standard

Chocolate Cake and the Gym
By Bernadette A. Moyer

cake.jpg

Chocolate cake and the gym is pretty much my life where I enjoy moving from the sweet melty chocolate cake experience to the hot sweaty and salty work out experience at the gym. It is one extreme to the other and plenty of good and bad stuff in the middle.

Like life it can be sweet and easy or hard and rough. But it is also a testament to a rich and full life filled with a variety of experiences. Maybe the chocolate cake makes the gym more tolerable? Or does the gym make the chocolate cake more worthy of consumption?

Yesterday I literally baked a pumpkin pie and chocolate chip/walnut cookies before I headed out to the gym for an hour swim and a 15-minute sauna. I met my steps goal with more than 10,000 steps and I enjoyed two cookies! It felt great! It felt like balance! It felt rich!

In the deeper sense when life is tough and we are experiencing a rough patch we need to remind ourselves that whatever it is, it is only one part of the total picture. Nothing is all good or all bad.

“The very purpose of life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking “I can do this.” It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do whatever we do honestly, truthfully and transparently.” – Dalai Lama

More and more I try to enjoy the extremes in life the rich experience of a really fierce workout at the gym along with that full sensory experience of enjoying a piece of homemade chocolate cake.

Now for the really serious stuff, the best chocolate cake by far is the Classic Hershey cocoa cake. It includes 11 ingredients and certainly is a lot more work than a box cake but it stays moist long and is so good it really does not need any icing. Powdered sugar on top looks great; add some sliced berries and if that cake isn’t enough chocolate for you, the Hershey cocoa cans also include their chocolate icing recipe too. It’s really good and really rich.

What does a rich life look like for you?
What does it include?
Where do you draw a balance?
What do you work toward?

How do you treat yourself?

“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after- thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying around in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” Richard Gere

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

Books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Embracing the Rain

Standard

Embracing the Rain
By Bernadette A Moyer

rain

Rain rain
Go away
Come again
Another day

But I am here now
So don’t complain
Grass is greener
Roses need me too

The air smells cleaner
Fresher brighter
Washes away the grime
Slows down crime

Sorry about the gray
It’s raining
It’s pouring
The old is snoring

Who cares
Except you
Can’t pull the covers up over your head
And stay there stuck in your bed

Off to work in it so you dread
The rain can’t stop you
But do slow down
When it stops and it will

The sun will return all the brighter
Rain rain glad you are here
Doing your job
To keep us clean, fresh and new

Just remember
It’s only September
No rain
No rainbow

Into each life some rain must fall
I know, I know I’ve heard it all
Embrace the rain, don’t fight it
It won’t last long so why not delight in it

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

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

Coffee

Standard

Coffee
By Bernadette A. Moyer

coffee

Coffee in the morning
Coffee at night
Anytime of day
Coffee is just right

Coffee with dad
Two sugars and cream
Coffee with Brian
Hot and black

Coffee me
Light and sugar free
Morning cup
Afternoon pick me up

Evening reboot
Dessert with a shot
Light or dark
Short and tall

Cappuccino or latte
Café au lait
How do you like it
They will make it your way

Pretty cup
Paper with a sleeve
Irish whiskey if you please
It really makes no difference to me

Coffee hot and steamy
Coffee cold and creamy
Coffee for my headache
Coffee for this flight

It doesn’t matter the time
Coffee is always just right
My special mug
Please just fill her up

Dark chocolate covered beans
Light roasted too
Can you smell that grind
We are here just in time

Pretty cups and lots of different faces
So many unique fun coffee places
Individual cup or a whole pot
Single double or triple shot

Coffee light coffee dark
No matter how you take yours it is always right
Nothing beats that first cup to get started
Except … coffee, coffee and even more coffee …

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

Passion

Standard

Passion
By Bernadette A. Moyer

passion5

Anything that I ever excelled at and had success with was because I had passion for it. I think passion can and does take you further than skill alone. Through the recent years I have been afforded many career opportunities and the ones that held my attention were the ones where I was able to 1) take the necessary time to fall in love with and 2) feel truly passionate about doing.

There is no question that skill set is important but I have come to believe that when we marry our skills with our passion that then it is when we truly achieve the highest degrees of success.

Think about what and who you love and have passionate feelings about? How easy is it to manage as opposed to things and people that are just okay and that we tolerate?

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

Given the choice I want to be passionate about all the things that I do and all the people in my life. To me this is the highest degree of life and of living. I mean who wants to live life by just go through the motions?

passionate

Sometimes I think that we don’t give enough credit for passion and given the choice I will take a passionate person over one who has just the skill set.

Here it to living a life filled with all the things that you are passionate about …

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

Goodbye to All That

Standard

Goodbye to All That
By Bernadette A. Moyer

goodbye

Letting go of possessions, people and places that once held value in our lives can be so difficult to do and yet at the same time it can also be so freeing.

Lately and probably over the past few years I find myself purging possessions and people that no longer give me the same pleasure and/or opportunity for growth that they once did.

For years I collected Barbie dolls and probably had about 30 highly collectable dolls in my collection. I had an original 1959 Barbie from the year she was born, Scarlett O’Hara Barbie from Gone With The Wind, 101 Dalmatians Barbie, Angel Barbie, Birthday Barbie, Christmas Barbie and Wedding Day Barbie just to name a few. Then a few years ago I started donating them just a handful at a time as a mini collection to silent auctions for nonprofits that I supported and held dear. I was so happy that they brought in much needed funds and were going to make someone else happy just as they did for me. Last week I gifted two favorites; Angel and Holiday Barbie to two precious little girls. Their joy and their glee was just so rewarding and seeing how happy those dolls made them made me equally if not even happier.

My husband caught the giving bug in his decision to support me in my professional fundraising goals while breaking up his sports memorabilia collection. One year he gave me his prized autographed Ted Williams baseball to donate. It was after Ted’s death and came complete with a full set of authentication papers. That ball was used in a live auction to benefit disadvantaged children. My husband paid a mere $60 for it and it gave him joy for many years. The night of the auction that $60 signed baseball brought in $2,400! My husband was thrilled and admired by some of the most elite in that gala dining room on the evening of this black tie fundraising event. He was filled with joy and I was so proud to have him as my husband.

As I have gotten older and through the years I have received some high end gifts like authentic Burberry pieces. Last week I re-gifted a Burberry scarf to a friend that I adore. I wanted her to have something special and something that was of value but also once belonged to me. The joy for me was in the giving. I’ve believed for a long time that, “giving is for the giver.”

There are organizations that need just about anything that can be donated to lift up someone else that doesn’t have. Some organizations collect shoes for people who have none and work suits and professional attire for people who need them to secure employment and food for the hungry.

When our twins were younger they learned the gift of giving at a very young age. Often they had birthday parties and invited their entire class. Because they were twins they didn’t want their guests to feel the burden of purchasing two gifts. Our twins asked that donations be made to nonprofits they named and who supported kids who had less than what they did. I can recall several years when they raised somewhere between $600 and $1,000 each year by doing this. I also remember how empowered and joyful they were by their own abilities to help by raising money, kids helping kids.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything
1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

I have come to believe and to understand that some people and places have a time and a place too. Sometimes you have to let go for they no longer add to your life but take in ways that leave you in an unhealthy place. I have learned for me it is best to do so with love. Given the choice I can be a forever friend and yet at times this is impossible to achieve.

My friends have often filled many roles in my life, many voids that were left by my family. In my history with them and my desire not to lose more people I have been guilty of hanging on to relationships that I had either outgrown or ones that were destructive. In my rose colored glasses approach to life, I let many things go that in retrospect should have been dealt with in an appropriate and respectful manner.

In my decisions to purge possessions, people and places that no longer fit for me, I have freed myself up to entertain other people, places and yes other possessions too. I have allowed myself the opportunity to continue to grow and to learn and to make room for that which can allow me to do so. My giving away and giving way to letting go has allowed others to benefit as well.

I have always been so much better at “hello” but I am learning the necessity of saying “goodbye” with grace. It is often said that the closing of one door opens another as does the freeing and giving away those things that no longer serve us well.

Letting go, giving away and giving up can be a gift. Here is to knowing when to let go in love and how to do it with grace, and when it is time to say Goodbye to all that …

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

Our Precious Mental Health

Standard

Our Precious Mental Health
By Bernadette A. Moyer

precious-mental-health

Our mental health is so precious. Our minds are the computer system of the body, what goes in is so often what comes out. Are we feeding ourselves happy and healthy thoughts or are we feeding ourselves negative and unhealthy thoughts.

We still live in a society that has yet to de-stigmatize mental illness. We are afraid of being judged by needing help and support for our mental wellness. Yet each one of us is so fragile and vulnerable. We could be born with a mental illness or we can experience an event in life that causes us to become mentally ill.

The first time I went to see a therapist I was only 23 years old, my husband died and I felt that I needed someone to talk to and to help me process my grief. Decades later an estranged family member would try and use the fact that I went to therapy against me? That somehow I was crazy? Looking back with more than 30 years of life experience I think I might have been “crazy” not to seek out the support of a good therapist during my grief in losing my first husband so unexpectedly and in being so young.

You never know what is going on in someone else’s mind. We think we can read people but the truth is that we never know what lives inside of someone else’s mind and thoughts. What are they thinking and what they are contemplating and what they might do in any given situation. People react and respond differently, we are all wired differently.

mental

We worry about how we look and how we dress, we worry about our education and our abilities to learn and perform but how often do we think about the state of our current mental health? How much of our mental wellness has to do with how we love and care for ourselves and how we love and care for others?

When was the last time we had a check-up from the neck up?

“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices, not choices that are just healthy for your body but healthy for your mind.” – Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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

Autumn Shows Us

Standard

Autumn Shows Us
By Bernadette A. Moyer

let-it-fall-girl-8x10-print-emailsize

The season is changing and so are we! Autumn leaves show us exactly how beautiful it is to let go and let live and let die. What can you let go of? What can you make room for? The seasons change and so do we. We change how we dress and what we eat and we change what we do and where we go.

I remember as a little girl listening to a song that my father liked it was called Autumn of My Life by Bobby Goldsboro. He sings “and I’m content in the Autumn of my life.”

“Autumn the wind blows colder than the summer, Autumn my loves gone with another. Did you ever lose something that you thought you knew, did you ever lose someone that was close to you?” From the song Autumn written by Edgar Winter.

The seasonal changes teach us so much about life and about letting go and living in each and every moment. The seasons pass and eventually so will we.

I want to celebrate this autumn with leaves, and sweaters and hot cider and apples and pies. I want to celebrate it with open windows and with warm beef stew. But more than that I want to celebrate by reminding myself there is a season for everything and a time and a passing.

What is important now? What do we need to do to prepare our homes, our families and ourselves for what is directly in front of us? Seasons change and so do I, and so do you. Time waits for no man.

Every Autumn represents the letting go of and making room for all that is next in the life cycle. In living our lives much like the same way that the leaves change colors and eventually fall away, so it will affirm for us again and again how life changes just like the seasons change.

autumn

In each decision that we make; we must consider our life and how it not only defines us but impacts those that are closest to us.

Each day I pray to God for the wisdom as to what I give my time and attention, and asking for His help for me to be busy with the right things and to give my best to those things. Amen.

Autumn gives us so much to embrace and also so much to let go …

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

All books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble