A Different Kind of Beautiful

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A Different Kind of Beautiful
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and beautiful is defined differently by different people. As you age you learn that beauty really is more about how something is and feels rather than just how it looks on the surface.

Beauty is as beauty does is a phrase my mother often used when I was coming up. I have thought of that phrase often …

There will always be the obvious beauty as in a beautiful baby or young child, or the beauty in the flowers or the sun rise and sun sets. As we age what we perceive as beautiful often changes, it grows, we appreciate the rains and the storms and all of life’s imperfections more and more. We come to see that beauty really does exist everywhere and in every place and every person if we are open and receptive to seeing it. It’s there.

I have learned to look at my gray hair as “sparkles” and that it is a crown that I have earned from living life all these year. Just the thought of “sparkles” makes me smile!

Rainy days no longer depress me, today I embrace them and see their beauty just as much as a clear and sunny day, each day brings its own unique pleasures.

When I see people behave unattractively or in a poor way or with harsh phrases or judgements I seldom if ever allow it to make me view their targets in that light. But I do  view the person spewing as someone that needs more love. Someone that has their own wounds; and a wounded soul can be viewed in a beautiful light.

We can create more beauty and become more beautiful …

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

Holes in Our Hearts

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Holes in Our Hearts
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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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

The Only Answer is Self-Love

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The Only Answer is Self-Love
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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I’ve come to the conclusion that if more people had self-love, the world would be a happier and a healthier place. People that have a healthy love and have confidence in themselves tend to do better in life. They are able to shrug off the negativity of others and they are well aware of who they are even in the most challenging times.

With age comes a certain degree of wisdom and self- acceptance and self- love. I see all the turmoil that our country is currently facing and the battle seems to stem from a serious lack of self-love. If you can’t love and accept yourself then you aren’t in a frame of mind to love and accept others.

Recently I watched some of the protests and what stood out for me were not the peaceful protesters but rather the ones that were trying to ignite others and instigate confrontations. I watched the police stand the line and protesters mock them dance in front of them and do everything and anything possible to show disrespect and try and get the police to respond. It didn’t make me think less of the police but when I watched the instigators all I could think was you don’t have any self-respect or self-love because if you did you would act in a different manner.

We can all show our anger we can all respond out of a lack of love but what that says is so much more about what comes from within and not what is transpiring outside ourselves. One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

If you want more peace be peaceful if you want more love be loving if you want to be accepted be more accepting. It begins and ends with us.

There is a lot of talk in our culture about “narcissism” and that is not what I am suggesting here, I am suggesting that until or unless we are able to love ourselves we will never be able to love any others.

When we take care of ourselves our minds, our bodies and our souls we are better able to handle all that life throws our way. The Boy Scouts have a Scout Oath and in part it reads; “To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” It is about taking ownership of ourselves.

The most dangerous people are the ones who don’t have self-love and self- respect and self-care. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves fit and strong and it begins and it ends with self-love. Taking the time to nurture our hearts and our soul matters and creates an environment for self-love. When we invest in our health and in our education and make learning and growing a priority we fill our own cup up and lead with love rather the an empty void.

More self-love = a better world full of more loving people that are better able to give and receive love.

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

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

A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves

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A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is becoming clear to me that our 50’s are a time of reinvesting in ourselves. For years we were living in the “sandwich” years between supporting ailing parents and raising our children. With two high demand careers, very little in the past ten years was about investing in ourselves. We spent our time and our energy on parents and on our children and we were happy to do it.

Between my husband and myself there is just one remaining parent and he is being well taken care of in an assisted living center. For so many years my husband was running him to the doctors, to the pharmacy and the food store. He literally was his father’s lifeline to the outside world until severe dementia made it impossible for us to continue to support him. He needed 24-hour care. It was a hard decision but a necessary one. (Update John passed in December of 2014) Today all our parents have passed away.

Our three kids have all been raised and no longer need us to support them. It took some getting used to when you have supported children physically, emotionally and financially for decades. But like everything in life there is a beginning, middle and an ending. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still young and investment worthy as both my husband and I are gearing up for what is ahead for us. At this moment in time we have both turned to education and wellness as to where we are putting our energy and support. Brian is studying and securing a Maryland State license that will allow him to further his career. I am taking an updated business class and learning more and more about marketing and social media and blogging.

In 2015 two new books were published and my blogs continue to attract thousands of readers, many who write to me and some who connect in person.

For our health many of the procedures we have put off are being addressed. At this time we are eating healthier and more organic fresh foods. We see the value in laughing more and pacing ourselves as we get through our work weeks and our off time. There is a new balance in our lives of both production and fun. We no longer have to put ailing parents and our children ahead of our own needs. No one told us that this would be the “all about us years.” My husband loves having me all to himself.

Years ago I read that men never really “get their nicest or come into their own until their 50’s” for us this seems to ring true. Going out with my husband is like going on a really great date. This past year we travelled and attended so many functions and events, when he treated us to an Orioles baseball game we had the best time. He secured really great seats on the first base line looking directly into the dugout. We sat just a few feet from all the professional ballplayers. Brian held my hand as we walked through the city streets. And he walked to bring me bottled water and was really tuned into whatever I needed or wanted to enjoy the experience.

There is something so sweet and so nice about being appreciated by a man you have loved and lived with for 24 years. He expresses his gratitude for all the many sacrifices I made, and those that I wanted to make in helping him to raise his twin children. We survived and even thrived in spite of many challenges throughout all these years together.

What we have right now is yet another opportunity to reinvest in ourselves and in our marriage. It is a great feeling to be afforded this opportunity and at this time in our lives. This is a period of time that we never talked about or one that I never even thought about but now that we are here, I am thrilled. I hope that all our friends and family members also get this same special time in their life. All I can say is isn’t being in our 50’s great? We are worth it. We have worked hard and now it really is all about us. And who knows what our 60’s will bring but for now it is all about enjoying life, enjoying the simple pleasure of everyday life.

These are the reinvestment years and what greater cause for making an investment than in our own health and happiness!

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

New books Along The Way and Another Way are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Happiness is An Inside Job

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Happiness is An Inside Job

By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It has taken a long time for me to understand that happiness is an inside job. It was my husband who taught me this. Overall he is very content and can take or leave most things. Brian has an inner peace and strength about himself. He is always so supportive of me. For more than 15 years, when I was running huge social fundraisers he never missed a single event. He never hung onto me for his good time either. He would circulate and was okay with being in a crowd and with people or by himself.

Through the years people have told me, “you two look good together” but what they could never have known was our back story, our family history. We are very much alike and have a deep understanding on what it is like to move past the limitations of your first family. We also had the same track record in love. Brian and I both had a spouse who died and left us with children and another significant relationship end when they cheated on us and left us for someone else. We know what it is like to be hurt by love.

My husband Brian is one of 6 children, I am one of 5. Neither one of us is close to our siblings. He is the only one who moved away. He grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, in the “hood” the projects. They were really poor as kids. None of his siblings left there, not one of them owns a house or an automobile.  He pushed past his initial life circumstances. Brian got an education and continues to educate himself as he is still moving up the corporate ladder.

He is the most responsible of all his siblings. When his mother passed his father had him take over.  He isn’t the oldest but was appointed the guardian for his father’s care. Brian learned how to live without his siblings. In childhood family photos most often Brian is on one side of the picture alone in contrast to the other 5 who are grouped together. It appears to have started when he was just a toddler.

I am one of 5 girls and like my husband I have no relationship with my siblings. We weren’t exactly well off as kids either. They have not been in my life for almost 25 years now. And just like my husband they appear when they want to try and bring me down. They presume to know me but have not been in my life for decades. I don’t allow myself to get caught up in their cauldron of hatred.

My husband had and has an easier time accepted that his siblings are not a part of his life. I always wanted my situation to be different; I mourn for how I would have wanted it to be not for how it truly is and was with them. Like my husband’s family they don’t add anything positive to my life.

It took a long time for me to learn that my happiness was my responsibility. Mine alone. I have so many friends and even more acquaintances. Every job I ever held was in a highly social setting. Many people have lifted me up. And I have been called “inspirational” by more than a few people.

No matter how many people enhance our lives, we come into this world alone and we leave it alone.  Today I am probably more content and happier than I have ever been. It isn’t based on other people or on things but truly comes from self-love and self-acceptance. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.  I know who I am and I know my truth. I have an easier time discarding those relationships that are unhealthy and non- supportive.

Accepting that my happiness is my responsibility has allowed me to create an inner peace of love supported by my own strength. I don’t know why it took me so long to understand that everything I ever needed was already there inside of me. Better late than never … I suppose …

What I would say to anyone who is unhappy is you need to fix that. You alone have all the tools to be happy. It is there and it is inside of you.  People may try and bring you down and may try to hurt you but that is their unhappiness and not yours.

We are all responsible for the life choices we make and the way we live our life. If it isn’t right for you, then it just isn’t right. Change it. No one can make you happy, no one, but you.

Happiness is an inside job!

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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