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Can you pick up the pieces

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Can you pick up the pieces

 

The story is too familiar. You are involved in a long term relationship or marriage. It usually starts out wonderful, full of joy and excitement as you pursue your hopes and dreams. You are ready to take on the world together. Then life happens. Stress at work; money issues; children’s needs; losing a job; issues with in-laws; health concerns. The list goes on and on. The feelings of joy starts to fade. You didn’t sign up for this! You stop communicating with each other, I mean really communicating and connecting, not just talking at each other. The relationship and your life become a grind. You start going through the motions.

You start to think, there has to be a better way. Chances are your partner feels the same. One of you finds a kindred spirit, a friend, an associate, someone with whom you can share your frustrations. You tell yourself, it is nothing serious we’re just talking. The more you talk and share with your kindred spirit, the less you share with your partner. Sooner or later you cross the line. You are hoping to make things better, but they are about to become worse. Heart break, separation, betrayal, divorce.

Since my book When the Wife Cheats was released, I have spoken to dozens of men and women whose resolution is simply to “move on” from betrayal. This one is not so easy. Betrayal comes in many forms. We have all been betrayed by a friend or co-worker or a trusted employee. Although these betrayals hurt, we are able to move on fairly quickly. However, it is not so easy when the betrayal is your spouse or life partner. I wish I had the answer—I don’t. I can only share what has helped me.

Whether you want to or not, you cannot escape the grief process (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression, and acceptance). I know because I tried. Unfortunately, these stages don’t always go in order. I still find myself going back and forth between them. It’s OK. This process is not an exact science. Spousal betrayal is made more difficult because your heart isn’t just broken, often it is shattered. There is usually a set time to fix a break. A broken bone may heal in six to eight weeks. A shattered bone or heart has no fixed time to heal. It is going to take far more time than you expect. Give yourself time.

Before you can pick up the pieces and start moving forward you have to forgive yourself. Let me say that again; forgive yourself. You weren’t the worst husband or wife ever. While you may have done the best you could to make your marriage work, it didn’t work. You cannot make someone else happy or make them love you if they don’t. You may never forgive your spouse—that’s OK—but forgive yourself.

I used this quote in When the Wife Cheats. It helped me. I hope it helps you.

“There comes a point in your life when you realize: who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will…so don’t worry about people from your past; there is a reason they didn’t make it to your future.”

Now I know this is far easier said that done. You are going to find yourself in the depths of depression and sorrow; when you don’t believe you have the strength to even get out of bed; when you have no idea how you are going to survive the next hour—let alone raise your children. Believe me, you will have ALL of these feelings. When you feel completely overwhelmed, remember this: Look up… Get up… And never ever give up.

You will recover in time. When you are ready, pick up the pieces and start moving forward. There is nothing new to see in the past, so don’t look behind you; you’re not going that way. Even in your hardest day move forward. Better times and better people will come into your life.

A RADICAL SUGGESTION FOR HEALING AMERICA AFTER THE ELECTION By Melvin Glazer

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
A RADICAL SUGGESTION FOR HEALING AMERICA AFTER THE ELECTION By Melvin Glazer

This election is almost over. And we Americans are so exhausted. We have been involved in the most egregious and disgust-creating campaign in modern history. We have been bombarded by long-winded speeches and mind-numbing debates and over-the-top news commentators telling us what it all “means.” And the truth is that most of us already decided 3-4 months ago or even earlier, for whom we were voting! So all these “words” were a waste of time. And yet we could not pull ourselves away from the media, it was as if we were drawn to a medieval duel between two aggressors who would be happy to literally destroy the other. And it was a duel with no end in sight. And we were hypnotized, you and I.
The campaign issues were all-but-eclipsed by all the surrounding pieces of this ill-tasting pie: the bus video showing Donald at his worst and the time he took to deny that he was a creepy old man who had lusted after pretty women. The e-mails that we had to hear about, accusing Hillary of financial as well as moral impropriety, her many speaking engagements which brought in millions to her and her so-called Foundation, and her “pay to play” scams bringing even more attention and disillusionment to us all.
The worst part of all this is the demonization between Hilllary and Donald. If you would believe them, only “they” were the perfect candidate, their opponent was a mere undeserving pretender to the title of President. Oftentimes, I thought I was listening to two third-graders argue in the playground, except that in that case either an adult would give each of them a time-out, or one would physically lash out at the other and the right punch would end the problem. But at least it would be over quicker than this past year. And all the time we were thinking: couldn’t the Republican and Democratic Parties come up with someone better to run for the highest office in the land? Is it our fault? Did we create this debacle? Perhaps, but it’s almost over.
And that’s the point, it’s almost over. Next week we will have a new President of the United States. Whoever looses is going to be angry and hurt as well as disappointed. It will almost like losing a loved one.
It will be an enormous loss to them and their hard working supporters, who have given so much to the cause. What will those who have lost so much do to put this behind them, to move forward to the next stage of their lives? To go, as I have said in my grief and healing books, “from mourning to morning?” How will they—and we—heal so we don’t carry our anger and despair with us for years hence?

Here comes my radical suggestion…
In the Jewish Tradition, when someone dies, we observe a seven-day period of mourning, called “shiva,” which means seven in Hebrew. It is a way of giving the mourners space to think about their loss, to meditate on life past and future, and to begin to plan what they will do next. We the family gather together at the mourner’s home, we comfort the mourners, we eat together and we pray together. We do what families are supposed to do, support and comfort those who need it the most. And, as I learned last week from a wonderful guest on my radio show, THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF SHIVA ARE SPENT IN SILENCE. We allow the mourners to process their grief however they choose, without us barging in and telling them how to react. After those first three days of silence, they can be drawn out by family members, and re-enter their community. But we give them the permission to sit and grieve alone if that’s what they need, and that’s such a meaningful life-giving act.
And that’s my suggestion. After the election, we go silent. That is, we spend time only with our families and close friends without talking about what has just happened in our country. We stop turning on our televisions at night to listen to what “the experts” think just happened, we silence all that noise so we can thing about what this means to us and our country.
Sounds crazy? Well it makes good sense. There has been so much noise, it’s time for that time-out that our souls desperately need. After a big life-loss like this, we are entitled to be quiet, at peace with ourselves, and just think about what it all means.
Peace.

Loss and grief

Posted by Editor on
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Health & Wellness
Loss and grief

The host of Good Grief, Cheryl Jones, recently wrote an article for Open to Hope, a renowned outlet for writings related to loss and grief. With all the losses we are all experiencing across the globe, she had to express what has happened for her as she has attempted to absorb the weight of the violence. Taking a hopeful view of the human condition, Cheryl’s focus is to emphasize the importance of acknowledging and experiencing our grief, making room for the new while carrying with us all the loves and losses we’ve experienced.

Orlando

Gratitude

Posted by Editor on
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Health & Wellness
Gratitude

Naomi Shihab Nye

When my wife was dying, we were both sponges for anything that brought meaning to our experience and inspired us. Friends got in on the act, bringing us poems, art, anything that would help us connect with life while recognizing how short hers was likely to be.

I don’t remember who brought us the poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye, but for the past 20 years, I retained the essence of the first two lines:

“Before you know what kindness really is
You must lose things,
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
Like salt in a weakened broth.”

The idea connected for me; that we were learning to open our hearts, to find our kindness, in the midst of this challenging time. The poem gave me a sense that this was livable, that I might be able to discover hidden treasures in the mud. So when I read Elaine Mansfield’s book, Leaning into Love, before having her on Good Grief, I was stunned to find that poem in the book, creating meaning for Elaine and her husband Vic during his illness too.

I told Elaine about it, and she immediately said, “You have to have Naomi on your show.” This was, in itself, an act of great kindness and left me in wonder at what I am offered in the process of hosting Good Grief, especially the amazingly generous people I am privileged to meet. Not only did Elaine share this idea, but she helped me to make it happen. And so, on November 4th at 2 Pacific time, I will have the great honor of welcoming Naomi Shihab Nye to Good Grief. Even better, we will be talking about her book, Transfer, which she wrote after the death of her beloved father, weaving him into the poems and speaking to their relationship and her grief.

Sometimes life hands us gifts we could never imagine. I am truly grateful for all that Good Grief brings me. Sometimes I can only whisper “thank you”.

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