57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years

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57 Things I Learned in My 57 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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1) My life and my happiness is my responsibility, period.

2) Kids will come and kids will go, build a life that is meaningful long after their departure.

3) Don’t take it personally, nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of them.

4) Gather as much information as you can and then make informed decisions.

5) Pick the guy who believes in you, supports you, loves you and thinks you are beautiful.

6) Bad boys are just that, bad.

7) Trust few but always trust in your own inner voice.

8) Every single day is a blessing.

9) Nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.

10) People will come into your life and people will leave your life, let them.

11) You are beautiful just the way you are, believe it! No one knows your heart like you do.

12) Work hard, go that extra mile but play hard too.

13) Nature offers peace every single day and in every single season.

14) Animals have incredible souls and are capable of the most love and loyalty.

15) Writers write.

16) Estrangement is strange. It isn’t normal and there are no winners.

17) Trust someone the first time they reveal themselves to you.

18) Marriage requires ongoing efforts and commitment grounded in genuine love and care.

19) Surround yourself with people, places and things that you love. Create your own beautiful life.

20) I was a shy kid that stuttered; today I could debate with the best. Where you start is just a start.

21) Never ever give up on yourself.

22) Campy as it sounds, “Into each life, some rain must fall.”

23) Learn from it and then get over it!

24) Beauty exists everywhere and so does ugliness.

25) Good people can and do make bad mistakes.

26) You are not defined by one person, one experience or single life event.

27) Everything that seems bad really can be turned around and into something good.

28) Be a life-long learner. There is always something new to learn.

29) Gratitude is an attitude.

30) Life goes on …

31) God is good. In an ever changing world God is my salvation.

32) Family is so much more than blood; it is the people that love, support and see the best in you.

33) Girlfriend time is always time well spent.

34) Stress less. Pray more and worry less.

35) Eat the good foods and exercise. Life is about balance.

36) Make love, lots and lots of love.

37) Negative people are just that, negative.

38) Take the time to get to know yourself and always be your own best friend.

39) There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

40) Peace is always possible.

41) Stability doesn’t have to be boring.

42) Make something build something bake something create more. Just do it.

43) Build on a solid foundation.

44) Embrace change. Don’t fight it be open to new things, new people and new experiences.

45) Painful lessons are lasting lessons.

46) Pretty comes and pretty goes but being nice will last forever.

47) Share as much as possible but don’t allow yourself to be taken for granted.

48) Hatred and anger doesn’t look good on anyone. Not ever.

49) Forgive but don’t forget.

50) Not everything ends with “happy ever after” but that doesn’t mean your happiness has to end.

51) Give back! Every single person has something to offer.

52) Never wrestle with a pig, because you will both get dirty and the pig likes it.

53) We all have a birth date and a death date, no one gets out alive. Enjoy everything in between.

54) Getting old is a gift, cherish it.

55) Wisdom is born with age.

56) Breathe. Take long deep breathes.

57) Most things can be cured with a long hot bubble bath, a cup of tea or a glass of wine and a big warm embracing hug!

BONUS!

#58 Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true.

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

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

Don’t Tug That War

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Don’t Tug That War
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Remember tug of war, that game where two sides came together and who ever tugged hardest won? It was a battle of might putting two sides against one another to determine a “winner” the winner being the team that literally dragged the other side over to their side.

There are people in life that enjoy this game; they thrive on building their team and then literally trying to drag you through the mud so that their side wins.

Just a few days after her 50 year old daughter “Jane” (not her real name) was found dead in her bed her mother called me. The mother was living in Las Vegas and her daughter in Baltimore, they had been estranged for many years and even when they were in communication it was a difficult relationship.

The mother said “I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I will be talked about if I show up for the funeral and I will be talked about if I don’t show up. I don’t really have the money for the flight so I have decided not to come.”

I told her I understood and how difficult a decision it must have been for her. This was her mother, a mother who already had a daughter die at age 29, a mother that tried to understand this second daughter who almost always tried to create a tug of war with her mother. This was the mother who brought “Jane” into the world, the mother who raised “Jane” and the same mother who now has to grieve her daughter’s untimely death.

As I am writing this I hear from my “Soul Sister” Gwen who brings a great word to me “release” and how we must learn to release things, situations, events and people that only want to hurt us. Gwen talked about nature and the animals and how they are set free.

Release, think about that for a minute so what could you release and set free that is not healthy and is harming you? (Thanks Gwen I will definitely be meditating on “release” today, what a gift you are to me!)

And what about the game tug of war? What happens if you decide that you are not interested in playing and you don’t tug back?

Recently I told my husband that if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have pushed our kids so hard to succeed. His immediate response was, “but that’s what parents do!”

Today I think more and more about accepting people and situations as they are and not as I have so often chosen to view them through rose colored glasses. Always wanting to see their highest potential and pushing and coaching for them to be their best.

The easiest way to peace is to give up the resistance, accept it, leave it, release it and don’t tug that war!

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

You Might Not Be Rewarded

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You Might Not Be Rewarded
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Do it for yourself! Do the right things and do them for yourself! Sounds simple, right?

How often do we do things and just expect to be rewarded? Then when we aren’t? Maybe the real rewards have nothing to do with what lives outside but rather what lives within us?

Love to love. Just for the sake of loving.

Give for giving. Just for the sake of giving.

Do for doing. Just for the sake of doing.

Work for working. Just for the sake of working.

Contribute for contributing. Just for the sake of contributing.

And the list goes on …

Do what is right and do it for you …

Let the only reward that you concern yourself with come from within and don’t think about rewards that may or may not ever come from outside of you.

Disappointment is rooted in expectations that are not met. The only disappointments we should ever entertain are the ones that we hold for ourselves, they become the meter for our soul, our character and they define us.

When we do the right things and when we do them for the right reason … we achieve peace and love from within.

When we have love and peace from within we have already achieved our greatest God given rewards.

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

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Dear Moms …

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Dear Moms …

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We are about to celebrate yet another Mother’s Day. For some of us our children will be here to celebrate with us. And for some of us our children will not be. Our adult children make that decision. Each year my adult son takes me out to lunch and a movie to celebrate Mother’s Day. It has become our tradition. Half the fun for me is witnessing his excitement in planning it and making it happen.

My husband always treats me special on Mother’s Day. I think the thought that he could have been left alone to raise newborn infant twins when his first wife unexpectedly died was terrifying for him. He has always appreciated me for stepping up and assuming the mother role and raising his twin children with him. Today we can’t imagine our lives any other way.

My oldest and I were extremely close when she was coming up; so many people thought we had the “ideal” mother – daughter relationship. I have the most vivid memories of her as a toddler and later as a young teenager. She was strikingly beautiful and just as intelligent. Often I sat in amazement at her spunk and spirit. My memories are mine and no one can take them away from me.

For some families the kids will come home to see mom and celebrate together with family. Some will travel to the cemetery and lay flowers in remembrance.

Today there are statistics that show that 1 in every 5 families has an estranged family member, many are the adult children who have mothers that will grieve their loss and the void left behind on Mother’s Day. Through the years and because of my writings I have heard from thousands and thousands of mom’s who suffer a broken heart because “John” or “Jane” decided that mom was just not worthy of any relationship. It is hard not to be angry when I hear such hurtful stories. It seems that many adult children have no love and no respect for the very person that gave them life.

But for all of us mom’s we can share in the knowledge that we were brave and filled with faith and trust in just becoming a mother. There is no greater task in life than the awesome responsibility of bringing another life into the world and then the depth of commitment that it takes to raise one until adulthood. My heart was never so filled with pure joy and genuine love as the day that I first became a mother.

Often we beat ourselves up or second guess ourselves when the truth is that for most all of us we did the best we could with what we had and what we knew at that time. Know that you did the best that you could have with what you had and what you knew at that time. Our parents were not perfect and neither are we nor are our adult children. Flowers, cards and gifts are often a big part of the Mother’s Day celebration.

If you are on the receiving end of acknowledgement this Mother’s Day know that giving is for the giver and although we may be the receiver, relish in knowing that your child thought of you and did so in a way that lets you know that he/she is capable of love and of giving.

If you are feeling the pain and the loss of an adult child who does not acknowledge you or appreciate you, just know that you are not alone. Allow yourself a few minutes alone to grieve it, let it out. Cry it out, shout it out, write it out, whatever it takes just release the grief so that you are freer and can cleanse some of the loss and heartache away. Know that it is normal to feel the grief and that you will always have a soft spot for your child no matter what they have said and done. Say a prayer for them and for yourself.

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Then do your best to pick yourself up and treat yourself with kindness and care. Whether you are acknowledged or not you deserve to be appreciated. Appreciate yourself! Take a walk or a long hot bubble bath. Buy your own flowers or candy. Go to lunch or dinner with a friend. Buy a new book and get lost in a story, treat yourself to a movie. Buy a new dress or new shoes. Take a day trip. Go to an event. Do something outwardly that shows that you are important and that you have value. You do have value, believe it!

We give others too much power over us; we allow their judgement to take center stage. The only person who truly knows you and your heart is you. Try not to get caught up in the negativity that your child has placed upon you. Estrangement is not an act of love or of kindness nor does it come from a caring person. We are not our children. We are not responsible for any of their adult decisions.

We gave them life. We gave them the ultimate gift. Celebrate! You deserve to be happy and you deserve to have peace and love. There are always people that can and will love you. Love yourself. Treat yourself well.

Always remember that you gave your child the greatest gift ever when you gave them life and you raised them, you deserve to be celebrated. If not celebrated by them then with others who can appreciate you and celebrate from within yourself.

Happy Mother’s Day with much love and peace,

Bernadette

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

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You Have to Forgive Them

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You Have to Forgive Them
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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You have to forgive them; you have to do it for yourself and for them. You have to take the high road. This week alone I have heard from a father who is coming to the end of his life and been estranged from his two daughters for decades. He is looking for help in mediation with his adult girls. He wants to talk to them before he dies.

Another mother wrote to me that this is the week her daughter is getting married and once again she feels the pain, the loss and is at risk of losing her peace over it … all over again. Every other day or week I get letters and messages from parents that are heartbroken over the loss through estrangement of their adult children.

These kids are our kids and its forever, whether they are in our lives or not and no matter what they have said and done to you, you have to forgive them. Pride is foolish. It is not a good enough reason. Even when they are not sorry or don’t show the remorse that you believe that they should, you must forgive them. And if and when they do say they are sorry, you have to accept it, let it go and work towards picking up the pieces and building a new and healthier relationship.

Remember when we thought we knew it all and that we could and would do it better than our parents did, in raising us? We were going to be better parents. We were going to be the best parents ever. Then life happens and you get thrown a curve. You do something, they did something, someone did something and the bond breaks down. Are they better off without you? Are you better off without them? They probably are not and you probably are not either. And what good comes of the anger, the hurt and the outrage? Justified or not, who does it serve?

All three of my now adult children have done things that I would never have done but they didn’t do it to me, they did it to themselves. Sometimes they are influenced by outside sources, people that enable them. You don’t know what they may have said to get support and what the motivation really is but you have to forgive them. Even the so called well intentioned “enablers” that help to break apart a family, you have to let it go, you have to forgive them. They hear one side. And there is always another side, always. Getting angry with the “enablers” is like being angry with the girl that your guy cheated on you with? She doesn’t owe you anything. The relationship you had was with the guy not her. Your relationship is with your child, they made the choice, others may have helped but this was their choice.

Adult children make their own decisions. Our kids do things that we don’t like or that we don’t agree with. They make decisions good ones and bad ones but at the end of it all, they have to live with their decisions as we must live with ours. Even if your estranged child doesn’t allow it or present themselves to you, forgive them. Again do it for you and do it for them. Take the high road.

No one was more shocked and stunned than I was when my first born child left home at age eighteen. But it was her decision to make. It is always their decision. Just like with any other adults we choose who we allow in our lives and we choose who we let go of.

I know the stories, I have heard them all and we lived through many ourselves. Yes the pain is real, the loss is real and the hurt and anger and disappointments are real. But we have to take the high road. We have to take care of ourselves first. We have to get through it. We have to accept that we only control our side of the relationship. They can and they will do what they do. Get on with your life, live. Do new things, make new friends and have new experiences. Allow yourself the process, the process of going through the loss, the voids, the hurts and all of it. Try not to be bitter.

You absolutely have the right to your hurt and anger. It’s real. But in the final analysis hanging on to it serves no one well, it just doesn’t. I am not suggesting that you continue to try, call, or send notes etc. if a wall has been put up accept it and respect it. But also be open. Be open if there is a chance to reconcile, be open to whatever comes next. And no matter what forgive them and forgive yourself too. You did the best you could with what you had and what you knew at that time. We are not perfect people. We are not perfect parents and our kids are not perfect kids.

If they are not in your life, pray for them. Pray for them again and again and pray for your own peace and wellness too. Jesus said, ”Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

One of my adult children recently came home. Life has a way of making more sense to us when we grow up from some life experience and gain some wisdom. I know now that she is sorry. I know now that it hasn’t been easy for her. It hasn’t been easy for any of us. But we all survived.

I had to learn to let go of how I thought it should be I had to learn that forgiveness truly is the gift that we give to ourselves. You can stay connected in your heart to people that may have gone away from you. You can wish them well even when you don’t see them.

One of the things that I have learned is that my children didn’t do it to me, they did it to themselves. Don’t take it personally, hard as that is to do, it wasn’t about you, it never is, nothing other people do is because of you. It is always because of themselves. Read more about this philosophy in the book The Four Agreements. It will help, it helped me immensely.

Peace and love and forgiveness …

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

What is your color?

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What is your color?
Bernadette A. Moyer

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Keith Urban sings “Blue looks good on the sky … Baby, blue ain’t your color …” in the song titled Blue Ain’t Your Color

I remember learning to meditate on colors and what they represented like white was for peace and yellow for energy and black to exhale all that was wrong and bad and negative.

I believe we all have a color? I am most attracted to green and it represents life and growth and all that is living. If I had to pick “my” color is would definitely be green.

Pink, purple and blue are colors that I find pretty and soothing. Black and red for me are power colors. You can have your colors done for your skin tone and hair and eye color, what goes best what looks best.

Browns, tans and sand colors always represent grounding and neutrality and harmony and balance. Why are we attracted to the sun? We know we find energy there.

Darkness is just that … dark … is goes well with sadness and depression. Color can help lift our moods and our spirits. Go to the light for all that is good and alive … the dark side is just what it sounds like.

Advertising agencies have carefully chosen the colors on packaging because they know what colors we will reach for the most. Most things are bring to get us to pick them up.

Color can be a powerful force in our lives. We all react to color. What colors are you most attracted to and what do those colors make you feel?

We all have our color and our colors, what is your color?

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