“Didn’t you notice me?” He asked.

Standard

“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

Forward March

Standard

Forward March
By Bernadette A. Moyer

gardening-tips

What lies ahead is so much more important than what was left behind. Today is a new day, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. What will we do with it?

I’ve often thought that if most of us knew what was ahead, we would just stay stuck? We live in hope, we hope that what comes next will be good for us and make us happy and yet so often that just isn’t the case.

But then again many times it is… what lies ahead can be better than anything we have yet to experience. If we believe it, we can receive it!

“The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker

“Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you expected or hoped. That doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. If you don’t limit yourself to your first version of your life there’s always a bright future ahead.” Michael Josephson

Your future will always be bright when you stay focused, optimistic and confident. There is no future in the past … the future starts today … forward march …

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

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

Growing Up Maturing and Viewing Life Differently

Standard

Growing Up Maturity and Viewing Life Differently
By Bernadette A. Moyer

GrowUp-Series

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.” Corinthians 13:11

Remember when we were young and we knew it all? Then we became an adult and realized you don’t even know how much you don’t know.

I was that strong willed teenager who thought way back then that I knew much. I raised a few kids that also as teenagers thought they knew it all, only to experience real life as an adult and then understand so much more. With some maturity and with life experiences we tend to view life differently.

Maybe as a child we have nothing else to compare our life with or maybe we just haven’t had many experiences yet to see things for how and what they were.

Our 25 year old daughter called a few days ago and in that conversation she stated, ”I have so many good memories from when I was little. I had so much fun then.” This was a far cry from her words and actions as a teenager. She was estranged from us for 7 years and in those years she struggled, fell down and picked herself back up. She needed to learn in her own way.

So what changed, was it her childhood or her perspective now as a maturing adult? Clearly her childhood didn’t change but her outlook on life surely has. My response; “you were just too young to appreciate all that you had.” And she was young.

growingup

It takes tremendous courage to be honest and to own the things that we might have said and done as a kid that later in life as a mature adult we can honestly say I know better now!

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

20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage

Standard

20 Things I Learned From 20 Years of Marriage
By Bernadette A. Moyer

marriage1

1) Commitment is key
2) With the right partner all things are possible
3) Most things aren’t worth arguing over
4) Loyalty matters
5) Your partner must feel that they come first
6) Falling in and out of love to some degree is normal
7) Always choose love and it is a choice
8) Kids and money really are the stressors
9) Not every day is going to go your way and that is okay
10) Check in multiple times during the day
11) Choose wisely, make big decisions together
12) There is a time to come together and a time to give each other space
13) Set goals and work together to achieve them
14) Always make the time for fun and laughter
15) Do as many things together as you both enjoy
16) Share a common vision, gratitude and willingness to learn and grow
17) Support each other’s dreams and goals, show up and be present
18) Compliment and appreciate each other frequently
19) Make love, lots and lots of love
20) Talk to one another and really listen and hear one another

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

Take Out The Trash

Standard

Take Out The Trash
By Bernadette A. Moyer

begin-again1

One of the best feelings after a vacation is that feeling of rejuvenation. The desire to go again and to start anew is exactly what any great getaway can accomplish. This happens if we are willing to allow it.

Sometimes we get there to a newer and healthier place simply by cleaning up, clearing out and removing the trash.

After a very relaxing and loving anniversary trip, I returned home ready to go again. That first day I cleaned out my house, restocked our pantry, did laundry, brought our pool back to life, bathed the dogs, caught upon all our correspondence, made a home cooked dinner and went out for a sweet treat with my husband. I spent time brushing the dogs, walking them, talking to them, feeding them and just handing out with them.

It was a rewarding and full day and I exceeded my step count by more than 30% without ever going to the gym. Cleaning and clearing away is always good therapy. I’ve heard it stated that “cleaning house is a great therapeutic way to regain peace and order” and I truly believe it.

Sometimes we hang on to things, items, thoughts, ideas, people and more that really would be best if we discarded them and literally “took out the trash.”

With each day and with each week and with each month and year we are afforded the opportunity to clean up, clear out and begin again. But we can only start fresh and start new when we are willing to discard that which no longer contributes to our health, growth, wellness and happiness.

Cleaning is great therapy! Got clothes that are still good but you don’t wear? Donate them to someone who can use them. How about household items that are taking up space and never to be used again? Donate them or trash them.

Need a new interior design? Start by cleaning what you have and move the furniture around before buying new. If there is value in what you have use it if and if not it may be time to discard it. Take out the trash and make room for what is yet to come.

Never feel bad about leaving people that just don’t do anything to make your life healthy and happy. Some people truly can and will drain the life out of you, but only if you allow it. Take out the trash and make room for the goodness that awaits you.

Life is so precious! And life is far too precious to be surrounded by anything or anyone that hates you, hurts you, disrespects you, denigrates you, and steals your joy or your peace and happiness.

If you want to change your life, if you want to be happier and healthier, it starts with the desire to identify that which no longer works and discard it. Forget your past, forgive yourself and begin again. The easiest and best way to have a fresh start and begin again simply starts with the willingness to take out the trash.

Merriam-Webster defines “trash” as things that are no longer useful or wanted. Synonyms are garbage, refuse, waste, junk and debris.

We can let hate, animosity, anger eat away at us or we can let it go and begin again. It starts with our desire to be better and feel better.

Take out the trash!

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

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

Mind over Matter

Standard

Mind over Matter
By Bernadette A. Moyer

If you don’t mind, it really doesn’t matter. It is amazing how freeing it is when you let go of what other people say and think about you. “What other people think about you is none of your business.” Paulo Coelho

What matters is what you think and feel and what you know about yourself. How we feel about ourselves shows itself in how we look, how we act and even how we react. There are many things in my life that I am most proud of and when I think of it, it isn’t about my achievements or my success but rather in all the times that I was true to myself.

I am most proud of the times when I stood up for myself and the times when I brushed off the actions and words of bullies and angry people; people that try and put their stuff on you. They want you to look bad so they can justify their own poor behaviors. It truly is mind over matter, if you don’t mind it really doesn’t matter!

During a three hour birthday celebration lunch just yesterday with my “other mother” who repeatedly told me how great I look and how beautiful I look and how happy I look, I had to smile and to laugh and to accept that I feel great! This woman has known me for over 20 years when I was her Real Estate agent. She is 80 years old and witnessed my life during some of the highest points and lowest ones too. Upon reflection, I know that I look good because I feel good because I have genuine peace in my heart and because I am surrounded by love.

The people in my circle are people that love and support me, period. I have cut out and I have deliberately cut off people and situations that cause undue drama and where I am no longer learning or growing or feeling good and happy. Life really is too short for other people’s sh –!

My most recent book Along The Way includes so many valuable lessons about life that I literally learned Along The Way, much of it was not so attractive and most of it came from the people that really should have been family and they should have been kind and loving. It just was not to be for me and for many years I struggled and I couldn’t accept it. I fought against the natural tide and the natural ebb and flow. Looking back I can see where this was a huge mistake and cost me much love and peace. I was looking for love and for acceptance in all the wrong places, looking for it outside of myself when it reality I have and I had everything I ever needed deep within myself, I always had God and a deep sense of faith. My life today is so good I want to get up and scream all about it!

I was getting in my own way of peace, love and happiness due to the unwarranted judgements of others, sad but true and truly a waste of time. I am so much bigger and better than that. For years I suffered in silence, feeling so much shame that related to my first family and later due to the untimely death of my husband, branding me a widow at 23 made me feel different than my peer group. Then later again feeling all the shame associated with abuse. I felt it so deeply and I initially took it all in and isolated myself. When the healing began I not only could speak about it but I wrote about it. This all helped me to heal. So did the thousands of connections I made with others by sharing my stories and my life experiences. Many of the most painful stories shared drew thousands of “likes” in just one platform; Facebook.

In one book Along The Way I bound all those lessons, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. I am over it. I did the work. I grieved my losses and I moved on, parts of the book were written as far back as 1998. The entire book is past history and past lessons learned. Many people have shared with me how much my writings have helped them in their own life journey and for this I am eternally thankful.

Today I am in the midst of completing the next book titled; Another Way and it contains blogs, articles and essays that are happier and more fun and include more and different life lessons, experiences and observations. I have closed the door on all the hurtful stuff associated with my family of origin and opened the doors to much more love and peace and it shows on my face and in my heart.

Last week I turned 56 years old and I had another wonderful birthday celebrated in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have experienced so much Along The Way and today more than ever I know that there is Another Way … when things don’t go like you think they should, it really comes down to mind over matter and to seeking out a newer and better and Another Way … there is always Another Way …

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

New book! ALONG THE WAY available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

ANOTHER WAY coming out November 1, 2015

OtherPeoplesOpinions