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The People will Waken and Listen to Hear

The People will Waken and Listen to Hear

Nov 28, 2013

By Mo Breden According to the History channel, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. And so here we are observing our national day of Thanksgiving. If you are running to Kmart at 7:00 am, you and I don’t have much in common. I love this holiday and I want it to remain about spirituality and family coming together at the dinner table not about uncontrollable consumerism. For many years when I hosted Thanksgiving I subjected my family to a reading of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I recommend you take a look at it now and again when you have doubts about your fellow countrymen and lose your faith in our system. I always got choked up at the last verse, it reads: So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm,— A cry of defiance and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door And a word that shall echo forevermore! For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere. The verse speaks so clearly and loudly to me, the power of the American people, the spirit that is engrained within each of each by those who have come before us. We may seem complacent, we may seem lazy, we may at times seem lost completely, but then we waken, we know the message, we know the power handed down to us, to do the right thing and we act, we act when others cower, we are not perfect, we broadcast our...

How to Stop Holding a Grudge: 7 Tips

How to Stop Holding a Grudge: 7 Tips

Nov 26, 2013

In preparation for sitting around the Thanksgiving table this week, I thought we should re-visit a post from June.  All of us will be dealing with family this week, whether we are face-to-face or not.  Let’s make things a bit easier by cleaning up some of our “emotional trash.”   My uncle died.  I just found out, literally…on Facebook, no less!  I’m not sure when he died, how he died or who was there.  I haven’t seen him since I was 16. Both sides of my family have been serious grudge holders.  I mean serious.  Well, not Romeo and Juliet serious or “Hatfield and McCoy” serious, but I-will-not-speak-to-you-ever-again serious.  I have an aunt on my mother’s side whom I have never known, seen or met.  I only know her first name.  She and my mother have not spoken my entire life.  My aunt on my father’s side (whose husband passed) held so many grudges I’m not even sure what they all were. Needless to say, I learned to fight the grudge-holding gene (and daily living example) which pushes me to handle my feelings by holding it against the offender…forever.  People will always do something that hurts you – especially people you love – but, for your own well-being, you have to let. it. go.  If you need a little help in this area, let me share what I have learned: 1. Acknowledge your feelings. All of them.  Is it hurt you feel?  Disappointment?  Or fear?  If I really tear down the issue to its smallest point, it is fear.  At first, I’m angry or hurt.  But then I realize I’m really afraid that: they don’t like me; I’m not good enough; I’ll be vulnerable; etc.  You have to figure out what the REAL problem is and give it some light. 2. Talk. Talk about the real issue bothering you.  If appropriate and possible, talk directly with the person(s) responsible.  For many people, this is hard to do.  Do it in your own time.  It doesn’t have to be immediate.  There is a lot to say for timing!!!  Wait until you have a grip on your own feelings (#1) before you approach.  You will feel a bit relieved if you do.  Sometimes,...

The Wives of Stepford Have a Secret and Joanna Eberhart is Not Playing by Their Rules.

The Wives of Stepford Have a Secret and Joanna Eberhart is Not Playing by Their Rules.

Nov 26, 2013

  When we left Joanna last week she had suffered a nervous breakdown. Her husband moves the family to Stepford. A beautiful suburban area that is the epitome of wealth and luxury. Stepford seems to be perfection. If it seems to too good to be true it probably is. And Stepford is too good to be true. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week. Joanna and her family move into their new community. The homes are lavish, the lawns perfectly manicured, there is no crime and no poverty. There seems to be lots of time for relaxation, the families that reside here are happy. The men are the providers and each and every one of their wives are perfect…..too perfect. Joanna in her city chic fits into Stepford about as well as a viewing of “Showgirls” would fit in at a 10 year old’s Birthday Party. The family is greeted at their new home by Claire Wellington, a woman that behaves like a Welcome Wagon lady gone utterly mad. She takes perky to a whole new level. Joanna is taken under Claire’s wing as she tries to help her assimilate into the community, meanwhile her husband Walter joins the Men’s Association and this is where the story begins. Joanna rides with Claire to The Stepford Day spa where all the women go to socialize and exercise. There are SUV’s parked out front as far as the eye can see. When they walk in Joanna is taken aback. The women who are there to exercise are all dressed in beautiful dresses that are in pastels, high heels and full make-up with every hair in place. Joanna standing there in slacks and a frumpy shirt (her clothing is black and gray) questions the wardrobe of the ladies. Claire tells her that they want to look their best no matter what they do and couldn’t imagine being dressed in dark urban wear with hardly any make-up on. Joanna looks on stunned as the ladies begin an insane set of exercises that are based on household chores. Joanna believes she has stepped into the Twilight Zone.                   Tips we can...

Who Do You See?

Who Do You See?

Nov 25, 2013

The other day I was walking into the grocery store when I passed two women that were coming out. They both were older and their faces looked like they have lived a hard life. Neither of these ladies had make up on. One of them had stringy salt and pepper hair. She was wearing flip-flops and her feet were dirty. She had on long shorts and a tank top that was very faded from multiple washes. She had on no bra and her breasts were hanging low. As I passed I caught a snippet of their conversation. She was saying “I told him if he wanted any of what I have he was going to have to stop dranking (this is not a typo) I immediately passed a judgement on this woman. I thought “You better hope he keeps drinking” I later told my friend Marge about this incident and she said “Was it really that bad?” to which I responded “Honey Boo-Boo’s Mama would make fun of this woman.” I then thought to myself  how incredibly cruel this was of me. I don’t know this woman. Who the hell am I to decide what kind of person she is or whether she is attractive or not. She is most likely a very kind woman who is generous to a fault and I had made my decision in the scant few seconds it took me to walk past her. That got me thinking harder. The real question is  “How do others perceive us?” and “Do we judge ourselves too harshly?” Every morning (or evening depending on your schedule) when we get ready for the day ahead, at some point, will look into the mirror. Who do you see. Do you see beauty or are you performing a critique of what is wrong with your appearance? Do you apply make-up because you think it will make you more attractive? Do you do something special with your hair? Or do you smile at the reflection in the mirror and think “Damn I look good!” Now, once you head out and others see you what do they think? Is it the same things you thought or do they have...

The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

Nov 23, 2013

In celebration of National Adoption Day 2013,  we revisit L.M. Tabora’s article about the perception of adoption and luck. Photo by: Suradej Chuephanich By: L.M. Tabora “Gosh, ‘L’ is so lucky. He could have had such a different life without you guys. You two are so wonderful for adopting him,” gushes yet another well-intentioned person. I offer a glazed smile and respond with my usual, “Well, we count ourselves as the lucky ones. He really improved our lives,” the expected response from all adoptive parents. What I really want to say is, “Are you kidding me? This kid was removed from his birth mom at two days old and spent his first 16 months in a foster home. He endured emotional manipulation from his birth mother, who popped in and out of his life for sporadic visitations, until her rights were finally terminated and we were allowed to adopt him at three. He struggled with forming ‘normal’ and healthy attachments with us because, at 2 weeks, he was put into daycare full time with little one-on-one bonding with a full-time guardian. He struggles daily with developmental delays and neurological disabilities due to his birth mom’s drug and alcohol abuse during her pregnancy. What about all that is lucky, huh?” Now, I’m sure they mean that he is lucky now that he’s found a stable environment and is healthy, loved and safe. And please don’t misunderstand – I absolutely appreciate the intention. But, I can’t help but cringe a little every time I get this reaction. It feels like an epic ‘glossing-over’ of my son’s origins and his current struggles due to the poor choices of his birth parents. I think it is difficult to see your child as ‘lucky’ when you watch them battle every day to achieve what ‘neuro-typical’ children can do with ease. And it’s especially uncomfortable to be treated as a child’s personal savior when you are just doing what – in my opinion – any good parent would do. I left full-time work shortly after his adoption when we realized he would need more on-on-one care and attachment work. My husband or I attend every therapy session, averaging about 6-7 hours...

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