The Longest Relationship You Will Ever Have

Standard

The Longest Relationship You Will Ever Have
By Bernadette A. Moyer

take-care-of-yourself

The longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself, and for me, it also includes God. The way we treat people and our honesty and dishonesty is something that only we can reconcile. So many of us are hugely invested in our parents, our children, our friends and our neighbors and where this is quite noble, the truth is that the sustainable relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Friends come and go, family comes together and drifts apart, parents age and die and children grow up and go on their way.

The biggest investment made should be where it will have staying power and last, and that is within our own self. When we look to others for our value, whether it is an employer, a parent, a child, a friend or any other we have given way to letting everyone else determine our value.

As a child who was born as raised Catholic, I learned many wonderful life lessons. I learned to live by the golden rule and to treat other people the way that I wanted to be treated. I learned the value in living for the greater good and about service above self. I watched both Catholic Priests and Catholic Nuns put everyone else above themselves.

I learned to believe I was going to hell if I didn’t honor the Catholic code for living. It is only recently that I have discovered that if and when you put everyone else above yourself you have basically taught people how to treat you. You have taught them that you deserve to be last.

Life is a journey and not a destination, each one of us is evolving as we age, and as we learn and grow. Just like a flower that comes back year after year, where it may be the same type of flower it never returns looking exactly like it did in its previous bloom.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs     

When we are young we have no way to fully comprehend how our decisions will impact us later in life. Like the teenager who decides to become a teen mom, they can never fully understand that life altering choice until they age.

Parents fret over their teenagers and young adult decisions, because unlike the teenager and the young adult a mature adult has a better understand of poor choices. The choice to walk away and not take advantage opportunities in education and employment among other opportunities means much more to that same adult, now grown, who does not have the advantage of a college degree or work experience.

Decisions made in anger and in haste seldom stand up in the test of time. Whether our parents were great parents, mediocre parents or even terrible parents, they are the parents that God gave to us. Every single adult knows the impact of their childhood both good and bad and the importance of their roots and their home. Even in the most highly dysfunctional families, social workers and mental health care providers work to restore the health of the first family or neonatal family. They get it that the parental relationships will impact a child’s life for the rest of their life. And that is whether they remain in their lives or not. Parents are forever and so are their children.

Life is long

Most people state “life is short” or “life is so short” but it was my husband who first shared the statement, “life is long’ with me. Life is long and it feels even longer when as a young person you make life altering decisions that impact your life in a negative way, for the rest of your life.

One of the fastest growing populations of people is estranged parents and adult children. This week alone I received 6 e-mails from across the country and from both men and women, fathers and mothers who are estranged from their adult children and grandchildren. The pain and heartache is insurmountable and almost every single case has set the same cycle up for the next generation.

Statistically it has been proven that once this pattern of family estrangement begins, it plays itself, over and over again in future generations.

The Support Group for Parents of Estranged Adult Children, if needed you can find it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Group-for-Parents-of-Estranged-Adult-Children

I have heard from parents, who had social services involve themselves and when it was deemed it was a troubled teenager, the rift between parent and child was broken beyond repair. I heard from a father who was arrested after his teen daughter claimed abuse. It didn’t take long for the investigation to uncover that the teen was angry. She was angry with dad, because he took the car away from her. So she got him back by slamming herself up against the car, getting a bruise, calling police, saying dad did this and when they saw her redness and bruise, he was immediately arrested.

Now dad sees how dangerous and without boundaries, his daughter is and in his anger and hurt he doesn’t want the teen back in the home. The teen daughter is limited in her ability to function without her parents support. The stage is now set for years of estrangement. The social workers once there and involved are long gone as they have moved on helping truly abused children. This family is left with the destruction and the aftermath.

Try Not to Make Mistakes that You Can’t Recover From

It wasn’t until one of my later career jobs that I was applauded for making any mistakes. My supervisor always saw the value in lessoned learned and in the ability to try. According to him, if you made a mistake, at least you were trying. For the effort you were applauded then came the dialogue about what went wrong and how to make it better. Everything was viewed as a learning opportunity and a chance for growth and development.

Some mistakes can’t ever be repaired, nor can you ever come back from them. Murder and rape are not actions that once crossed can be repaired. Where we want to live in a world of second chances and of reform, there are actions that can be taken that you can never take back.

When you put your life in someone else’s hands and when you no longer have the power over your own destiny in life you have all but ended your relationship with yourself. No one is going to know what you like, need or want in life better than you do. Advice is great and often it is free and perhaps in being free that is what it is worth, nothing. People often have their own agenda and their own idea.

Coming from a place of strength and of self-love and acceptance and contributing to our own success and investing in our own self allows us to be fully developed mature adults. We can’t get our value or devalue ourselves by what other people do or don’t do.

As parents, maybe we need to do better and teach our children that the longest relationship you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself. If you are not full-filled and you are angry, only you can do what is necessary to fix that inside of yourself.

Investing in our own self is not selfish but rather contributes to wellness and to the greater good. We all know that “hurt people, hurt people.” And most often when teens and young adults are lashing out at others, at their parents and at their friends, family and community, it is because they are hurt and troubled.

I can’t say it enough, the longest relationship you will ever have is the relationship that you have with yourself. Invest in you, take care of you and do what is right. A pretty good measure for me has always been that if you wouldn’t want something done to you, you most probably shouldn’t be doing that same thing to someone else.

Peace, love and all good things …

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

Know Your Value

Standard

Know Your Value
By Bernadette A. Moyer

value

“Self-worth is so vital to your happiness. If you don’t feel good about YOU, it’s hard to feel good about anything else.” Sandy Hall

Know your value and know your worth, if you don’t see your value how could or would someone else? Sometimes in life, you have to take a stand that others may not like or appreciate but the truth is that at the end of the day, you could compromise your value away if you don’t stand strong.

Every single person alive has value and worth but like most things it starts with self-worth. If we don’t value ourselves most likely others won’t value us either. Never allow someone else to de-value you for their own gain and narrative. Stand strong and always, always know your value.

You weren’t put here on this earth to be anything less than your best or to live life without being true to yourself. If someone else can’t or won’t see your worth, move on, that door isn’t your door anyway. You will never be your best or come to your full potential surrounded by people that disrespect you, don’t appreciate you and are unable or unwilling to see your worth.

In every situation and in every relationship, it is up to us to know our value. Don’t compromise your set of values to fit into places where you don’t belong. If you do you will regret diminishing your own self-worth and in the end have handed over any possibility of other people seeing your true value.

Self-worth: “The ability to comprehend and accept my true value –To understand I am more than my mind, body, emotions and behaviors. To see myself as God sees me, to accept His love for me and to learn to love myself in a like manner.” Dr. Christina Hibbert

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

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

You Might Not Be Rewarded

Standard

You Might Not Be Rewarded
By Bernadette A. Moyer

c733cacb24791bc3c7d6e2cac089512a

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

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

Dear Moms …

Standard

Dear Moms …

Mothers-Day-2017-Wallpaper-free-download

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.

mothersprayer

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

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

 

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

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