Fixing is not our job

Fixing is not our job. Wow! This hit home with me. As I read this, I thought back to different relationships, both friendships and romantic relationships, and realized how many times I had tried to fix someone or ended up parenting them. I often felt that I needed to fix them because they were broke in some form or fashion. This ranged from people who were abused as children up to grown men who still clung to their mothers. We need to remind ourselves that fixing is not our job.

Why do we do this? What causes us to feel like we need to fix or are responsible for others? Do we do this so that we don’t have to look at ourselves and see our broken pieces? Do we not know how to fix us if we are broken? Is it the mother instinct that we are born with?

What would happen if we took all of the energy we spend on fixing others, and used it to make a better version of ourselves?

Father’s Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and like so many people I went to visit my dad. I hadn’t visited him in a long time, but the place was just as it was last time I was there. I sat down across from him and a thousand memories flooded my mind. Memories from my childhood until my adulthood.

I let him about my upcoming surgery and confused that I was nervous. I talked about Logan’s, his oldest grandson, little girl and her turning 1. I mentioned to him that I had just gotten Tyler’s, his second grandson, invitation to his wedding. I laughed and told daddy that I couldn’t believe that tiny baby that I helped name was getting married in August. I let him about Kameron, my son, and how he seems to love his new job working on small engines. All he talks about is chainsaws now. I told him that Kasen, who is the youngest grandson, and how he will be starting middle school this fall. My baby is growing up.

All of my words were met with silence from my dad. He never committed, smiled, or laughed. Headstones never do.

I go to my dad’s grave to visit him and I sit at the foot of his grave. I look at his headstone as I would look into his eyes if he were there. The conversation is always one sided. There aren’t any cookouts to celebrate his day, no crazy cards given to him, or dad jokes. Just my voice drifting away on the wind and an ache in my heart.

I miss my dad. Our relationship was tense, we weren’t that close, and Lord knows he had his faults, but I still miss him. If your dad is still alive, go see him, tell him that you love him, talk to him. One day he will be gone and like me, you will only be able to talk to a headstone.

My Daddy!

Obedience Training

Nina, our office pup has been busy with her obedience training. Tiffany Hilton, the owner of, Golden Leash Pet Services, https://www.goldenleashpetservices.com/ has been coming to our office and working with us and Nina for the last few weeks. Tiffany is amazing with her (and us). When Nina seems to be getting tired or is losing interest Tiffany allows Nina to take a “brain break” and then we start again. Nina is a quick learner and wants to please us all.

Tiffany and Nina working on stay.

If you are looking for someone to help train your pup (and you), I recommend Tiffany. She gives you the tools that you and your pup need to be successful.

Be You

Be you. I have spent so much of my time and energy trying to be what others expected me to be. I would hide myself because of the expectations that were placed on me. I sacrificed my happiness to make others happy. I have given up some of my dreams because others told me they were a waste of my time or that they were stupid.

I don’t know if I made others happy or not. I do know that I wasn’t happy. Living up to expectations was exhausting. Giving up my dreams was heartbreaking. I ended up being who people thought I should be, and not being me.

It wasn’t until I gave up trying to please others and stopped trying to be who they wanted me to be before I found freedom. I found myself.

Toxic Family Members

Most of us know how to avoid toxic people, but what about toxic family members? How do we avoid the people that we have to be around? First, we need to look at and identify their behaviors.

Behaviors of Toxic Family Members.

  • They want Control. They expect you to make the decision(s) that they want you to make, not your own. They put you down or belittle you if you don’t. 
  • They Micromanage everything in your lives. They need to have a say and control over every aspect of your life.
  • They make Threats. They may tell you things will be taken away or refused unless you do things a certain way. Their way. Your views and feelings are not taken into account, only theirs.
  • They constantly Criticize. They criticize your life, your views, your friends, opinions, religious beliefs, dress code, and career choices.
  • They Gaslight. They turn things they have said around, to make you feel like you are the problem and you have misunderstood/ confused things.
  • They Blame. It is always you. You are the reason something isn’t good; you are the problem and you are causing the toxic family member to feel bad.
  • They Dismiss your feelings. You are not given a voice, a choice or a second thought.
  • They Neglect. They do not take care of a minor if unwell; They do not provide proper food and emotional support. They do not take any interest in you.
  • They abuse you Emotionally . They use the silent treatment, laughing/making fun of an individual, verbal abuse, and mind games.
  • They Lie. They tell lies to cover up things said and done, or to manipulate you. https://natashaadamo.com/toxic-family-members/

Feelings That They Make Us Feel.

I’m not good enough.

I’m a failure.

I messed up again.

They aren’t proud of me.

I need to do better.

I need to be better.

I’m not important.

They May Not Know.

There are times when the family member does not know that they are being toxic. In their own way they are trying to help you. If it’s a parent, sometimes they want you to do as they want you to do because they don’t want you making the same mistake(s) that they made. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/heres-how-to-deal-with-toxic-family-members

I was an adult with children of my own before I realized that a family member in my life was toxic. I never felt like what I did was good enough. I always felt that I fell short. I didn’t feel like they were proud of me, because every time I accomplished something, I was told “it’s about time” or “I thought you already had done that.” Every time I tried to share something good, I ended up feeling awful.

Once I realized it, I focused on why. Why did this person always do this to me? Why did I allow it to happen? I believe that it came down to their own insecurities, jealousy, and up bringing. Realizing the why, helped me to navigate. I also had a talk with them about how I felt and what they did to me. They didn’t even realize what they were doing.

Now I am selective about what I tell this person. I have made boundaries that I keep in place. I also understand that often times what they say is more directed at themselves than at me. I try to use reflective listening with them, and let them know that I understand where they are coming from, but I have to do things my way.

Women

I love the meaning behind this. In many ways it explains the heart of a women perfectly. Whatever we are given, we will make it greater. Whether it is love, compassion, a house, or a hard time. Women will go out of their way to make more of what we are given.

Good Grief! The pain of loving our children

Clair adopted Jane as a baby. Clair never had any other children and relished pouring all her mothering into Jane. Clair did everything “right;” sent Jane to all the best schools, fed her all the healthy foods, exposed her to all the right people, and provided her with all the love and care she possibly could.

Even so, Clair never felt fully connected to Jane. Jane seemed odd and distant. Clair got Jane the best psychological care she could find and continued to raise Jane with all the love in her heart.

Jane found alcohol in her early adulthood and plunged head first into a life of substances. She married a few times and had a few kids. She smoked weed and drank alcohol everyday. Jane blamed Clair for her problems while refusing help that Clair offered.

Clair came to me originally because she didn’t want to feel the pain caused by her relationship with Jane. We worked through finding Clair’s intent and only taking responsibility for that. We practiced Clair speaking her truth with conviction while keeping her intent at the center of her mind.

Clair became proficient at recognizing the difference between what she can control and what she can’t. Clair realized that she cannot control how her daughter hears or responds to the love and care that she offers. She recognized that she cannot make her daughter feel better.

Shortly after learning and practicing this skill, her daughter was driving drunk and had a terrible accident. Jane had a brain injury and broken bones and had to learn to swallow, speak, and walk again. After 6 weeks in the ICU and a grueling decision about whether or not to take Jane off life support, Jane’s doctors took her off some of her medications and Jane began to improve.

Clair took Jane home from the hospital, and as mothers do, Clair reorganized her entire life around caring for Jane. Jane still wanted nothing to do with Clair and refused any help that Clair offered, unless it was cash money. After only two weeks of being home, Jane left and went back to an abusive boyfriend, drinking, and smoking; leaving Clair to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.

We love our children like no one else in our lives. If you never have children, this kind of love is impossible to fathom. We don’t even know it exists until we have a child of our own. Parental love is unconditional and it doesn’t exist anywhere else. Unfortunately our children don’t always love us unconditionally. And that imbalance can be extremely painful.

The pain the Clair would feel when thinking about Jane was emotional and physical. Clair’s body would react to her grief by clenching her throat and stomach. Her breath would catch and her shoulders would seize. Sometimes it felt as though the love she felt for her daughter was strong enough to kill her. Sometimes, in the dark moments, she even wished she would die.

We are at the beginning of this new wave of grief that Clair is experiencing. She will need time to talk about it and sort through the different parts of herself: the part that is angry, the part that is sad, the part that is resentful, and the part that will always, without question or reservation, love Jane unconditionally.

We will get through this together and Clair will feel less heart ache as she works through her grief. It’s good grief because the love we feel is worth all the pain.

Random acts of kindness.

When I am having a bad day performing random acts of kindness puts me in a better mood.  It honestly makes me feel better and even makes me smile.  So today’s blog is ideas that you can use for random acts of kindness.  The best part, some of them won’t cost you a dime.

  1. The simplest act of kindness is to SMILE at someone.  Smiles are contagious. You smile at someone and they smile back.  
  2. Hold the door open for someone.
  3. Let someone with a few items go in front of you at the store. 
  4. Give out sincere compliments to people.
  5. Buy someone else’s coffee.
  6. Buy the person’s breakfast behind you in the drive thru line. 
  7. Donate your gently used clothes and toys.
  8. Leave money in a gumball machine for children.
  9. Send someone a card in the mail.
  10. Send someone a gift for no reason.
  11. Leave a large tip for a server who was amazing.
  12. Donate dog/cat food, toys, blankets, or towels to the animal shelter.
  13. Volunteer at the animal shelter.
  14. Leave a sweet note in your child’s or spouse’s lunch.
  15. Put money in someone else’s meter.
  16. Give yourself a compliment.
  17. Plant a tree or flowers.
  18. Volunteer to read to children.
  19. Sing at a nursing home. 
  20. Visit an eldery person in your neighborhood.
  21. Cook dinner for a sick friend or a new mother.
  22. Buy people’s ice cream on a summer day. 
  23. If you own a business, have a bowl of water for dogs that people are walking.
  24. Tell someone a joke.
  25. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  26. Learn CPR.
  27. Help someone who is struggling with their grocery bags.
  28. Buy a gift card and hand it to someone on your way out of the coffee shop.
  29. Leave a coupon next to that item in the grocery store.
  30. Hold the elevator door for someone. 
  31. Send someone flowers, just because.
  32. Mow your neighbors lawn.
  33. Give up your seat on the bus or subway.
  34. Buy from mom and pop stores or buy local.
  35. Leave a positive note inside a library book when you return it. 
  36. Give someone a hug.
  37. If you see someone taking pictures of their family, offer to take one with them in it for them.
  38. Say Thank you and mean it. 
  39. Praise someone in front of their boss or co-workers.
  40. Tell the manager about wonderful service given by a waiter or waitress. 
  41. Donate blood.
  42. Paint rocks with messages and leave them lying about the park for people to find.
  43. Rescue an animal from the shelter. 
  44. Go to a free concert and leave the performer(s) a generous tip. 
  45. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  46. Have a cookout for the neighborhood.
  47. Pay for dessert for the table next to you.
  48. Donate your books to the library. 
  49. Help someone cross the street.
  50. Wave at your neighbors.