Take Out The Trash

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Take Out The Trash
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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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

The Heart and Head Conflict of a Parent

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The Heart and Head Conflict of a Parent
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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My husband and I have often lead with our hearts, when in retrospect it might have been better to lead with our head. When it comes to raising children it can be a real challenge making decisions for our children when our heart is telling us one thing but our head is saying another.

It has been said that “bigger kids means bigger problems.” Our kids enjoyed a certain amount of success while under our care. When we made all the decisions they were all doing well and set for success. Each child looked and acted fit. Each child was encouraged to do their best and to lead with their own unique talents. We wanted them to be happy but we also wanted then to be successful in life. We knew that our job in being “in control” would end one day and they would transition from child to adult.

As I read through social media earlier today a friend wrote this statement:

“I feel that the toughest part about parenthood – once our kids are adults is that we lose control. We have no control any longer, like we did when they were under our watch as toddlers and teens. We lose control of the five W’s:
– Where they go/Where they live
– What they do
– Who they choose to be/Who’s attracted into their lives
– When we get to be together
– Why they want/do/pick/think/decide
We are forced to trust our babies to themselves, to others, and to the world … and that’s a LOT to ask of a parent. We hope we did our jobs okay when we did have control.

So now we want to, have to, and do … trust our precious beings to God and to the universe … and we pray for the best outcomes possible. While we sit here and watch. Out of control. Cheers to all of us parents. The most emotional, challenging — and rewarding — job on Earth.” S.S. 10/12/16

Only a seasoned parent with years and years of parenting under their belts could/would fully appreciate the quote above. Kids are so ready to call us “controlling” yet those “controls” often were what was necessary to avoid further hurts and conflicts.

As we become those “mature parents” with our own rich history in parenting, it doesn’t take much thought to think back to all the times we challenged our own parents as we also needed to transition from child to adult.

“A parents job is to give a kid what they need and not what they want.” Dr. R.

One of the hardest decisions any parent will make is in the letting go. We think we know what is best and even if we are right, they still need to learn and to grow and to see and experience it all for themselves. Even if we are “right” we don’t get to decide when our children are adults.

Prayers up for all the parents of adult children who are learning to let them go, and doing so with grace and love.

Prayers up for all the adult children that are exercising their adult status and making their own decisions.

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

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

Goodbye to All That

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Goodbye to All That
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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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

Autumn Shows Us

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Autumn Shows Us
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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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.

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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

What We Leave Behind

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What We Leave Behind
By Bernadette A Moyer

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There is nothing that I have ever had and lost or grieved over that I would welcome back in my life. Isn’t that funny? We cry so hard. We want another outcome. But once we have the time to process it becomes so clear that what we thought we wanted and what we thought we needed was never intended to stay in our lives. It could be a relationship it could be a job, it could be almost anything that was once so valued and later becomes just what we leave behind.

Many years ago I was involved with a guy and I will never forget his own father saying to me, “What is a girl like you who is so on the ball doing with a guy like him?” At the time I couldn’t see it but it turns out that he was right. That guy was never really intended for me.

Recently I was talking with a really good friend. He shared with me the first relationship that ever broke his heart. He talks about how much he wanted it to work out. Not that long ago he looked her up she had more than 50 court cases where she was the defendant. She is a drug addict and eventually pled guilty to prostitution. Now all he can think is thank God that didn’t work out. Or maybe it did work out exactly as it was meant to be, she was never intended to be a lifelong friend and partner. Her time in his story was short and it was over. It was what he left behind.

Today I look back on so many things that changed and things that I once grieved over and not one of them would I want back in my life. The following is one of my favorite quotes;

“There are people who can walk away from you … let them walk. I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. Your destiny is never tied to anyone that left. And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person, it just means that their part in your story is over. And you have to know when people’s part in your story is over.” T.D. Jakes

It is so freeing to just accept that we will leave people, we will leave places and we will leave positions behind. Nothing is meant to last forever. We learn from all that we leave behind. If something or someone was meant to be in our lives, they would be in our lives, period.

There is so much to love and so much to do and experience in our lifetime. When one door closes, truly another one opens.

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

Here is to living the good life and to appreciating all that we have all that is yet to be and knowing that it is perfectly okay to leave somethings and some people behind …

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

Eighteen Christmas Seasons

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Eighteen Christmas Seasons
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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You don’t get over it you get through it … it starts with just breathing. You learn to breathe again when you have been knocked over and kicked in the gut by an adult child that grows up and decides that the life you afforded them and gave them didn’t and doesn’t measure up. They decide alone that you are unworthy.

This Christmas will be my eighteenth Christmas without my daughter, a daughter who is now gone longer than what I had her. This was a daughter who initially shattered my heart and my soul. And a daughter who re-created her past so that she could have a new and different life. Initially I couldn’t believe it or accept it, and I now so freely do.

Not only do I accept it but I appreciate the gift and what it was; a blessing in disguise. I am no longer tethered to a past. A past life that was filled with hurt with loss and with abuse. I am free. Yet there was a time when I thought I couldn’t live without her. I learned that I can live and that I will live and that I can be happy and healthy and whole again.

I gave her everything I had to give. I gave her more of a life and a better life than what my parents ever afforded me. And in the end I appreciated my parents more. There is a lesson here for parents that just give and give.

More and more people are writing to me and contacting me about my writings and about my then teenage daughter who at age eighteen decided to estrange, and their biggest question is, “How did you do it? How did you survive it?”

There is no cure; you take one minute at a time, one day at a time and one month and one year at a time. You work through it, through the heartache and through the disappointment. You work through the grief and through the loss. You purge your pain. Then one day they are gone longer than what you had them.

What you are left with is your memories and for me I have wonderful memories of a beautiful little girl who was bright and beautiful and the absolute love and joy of my life. I have no regrets. I played the hand that I was dealt and I did the best I could with what I had and what I knew at that time. Today my heart and my soul are at peace.

She chose her life and I have mine. I am able to look at my friends and my peers who now have adult children and many are married and having children of their own. I absolutely love seeing those healthy loving and growing parent-child relationships.

I am not soured as I am truly happy for them. I look on with love and a happy heart. I know that, that was not to be for me and it wasn’t going to be my lot in life. I have not only learned to accept it but to move past it.

People tell me things about her and I have been sent photos of her and I don’t bite. I am not interested in anything related to her and yet there was a date and a time when I was desperate to know anything at all about her. Today I think and believe that if she wanted me to know about her life, she would not have estranged and gone out of her way to make sure that I am not included. I know my place. I got the memo and I heard her loud and clear.

There is life after our children. I do not believe that my marriage would be as happy as it is with the continued drama that was represented in that relationship. She has declared it unhealthy and today I agree. Because of all the loss that she experienced as a small child I took it on that it was my job to fill those voids and in reality it was not. I was there. I was there 100% if not more. I tried my hardest and I did my best.

The decision to estrange was solely her decision, I have learned to live with that decision and she too will have to live with her choices.

Factually speaking she may be my daughter but the reality is that she has not been a daughter to me for eighteen years now. You can’t miss what you don’t have. I don’t miss her at all anymore. I have created a very full and very happy and a very loving life. This past year was one of the happiest years of my life! I had pure joy and much love.

“If God takes you to it, He will take you through it.”

My new books Along The Way and Another Way have many articles, blogs and essays about my journey. It has been an amazing journey and just like any journey there is a beginning and middle and an ending. When it is over, it is over.

I was married for more than 15 years before I legally changed my name, in part because when I was getting married she said, “then I will be the only Moyer left” her dad died when she was just two. I was always trying to fix things and make things better for her.

As this year 2015 ends, I will begin the new year writing under my married name Sahm, Bernadette A. Sahm. Bernadette A. Moyer has many writings that have addressed love, loss, death and estrangement.

The new writings will be about love, happiness and beauty and hopefully even more inspiring and healthy. I have purged my pain, I have written much and I have helped many.

My greatest hope in sharing my experiences and my life story is that anyone that is experiencing this kind of loss, please know that you are not alone, others have survived it and you will too!

I am not saying it is or was easy but what I am sharing is that it is possible … you can be happy again and you can be happy after losing a child to estrangement.

The page has turned … and life is good and beautiful and happy again …

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Pictures Down

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Pictures Down
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Most people that know me know that I am a positive and upbeat person always seeking and striving for the truth and for the lessons that were to be learned. We learn so much about ourselves when we are faced with challenges and when things don’t go the way that we had hoped they would go. But that is life, isn’t it?

Facing change and facing our challenges help to show our character and sometimes our lack of character too.

Not everything is going to end with a happy ending but that doesn’t mean that our happiness has to end. When we are willing to take the “pictures down” and to dream another dream and to go off in a new direction our hearts and our souls have the chance to grow and to love again.

Parents often have the hardest time with “pictures down” as if in defiance keeping that lost person alive by showing their photos will change the outcome of their departure. It doesn’t. We can reflect on our past memories and we can hold near and dear the love that was shared.

In the beginning I used to overly cherish my pictures of people that left my life because that was what I had left to hang on to and to validate that they existed. The pictures served as the witness. But they also serve as a chain that keeps us tethered to our past.

A new husband or a new wife typically doesn’t want to start a fresh new marriage with pictures of the person who came before them. We can respect those people and appreciate who they were and what they represented but to be present in our lives and to be fully aware and able to embrace our future we take the pictures down.

When my first child left home so unexpectedly and without a normal transition I was so hurt and so angry and most of all so deeply disappointed. I remember taking a collage of photos with her pictures and smashing the glass against a chair. It shattered just like our relationship. It would be the love of my husband that would come behind me and clean it up. That single act is so meaningful to me in so many ways. He saved me and he helped me to save myself.

If pictures make you happy and bring you peace they should be up and around but when a relationship hurts you and has come to its own conclusion it may be time for you to take the pictures down.

I have other photos and I have other memories but the pictures are down and they are boxed and put away. The pictures that we keep up are the ones that make us happy and they make us smile, they make us feel good to have them around. Pictures down and I am fine and good and happy again.

What are you keeping up that really should be taken down? What are you holding onto that is getting in the way of what should come next?

Who or what are you keeping out of the frame that really should be in there?
Think about “pictures down” and all that could take that same place and space in your life …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
NEW BOOK! Along The Way available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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