Beliefs, Day in the life

Safe Spots

My dog has two “safe spots” in the house. A patch of tile and his bed. When he doesn’t want to be bothered, brushed, or bathed, he goes to one of those safe spots. We respect that and wait until he moves away to proceed.

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We humans don’t always have our safe spot nearby. When someone imposes views not aligned with our own, it is considered rude to stop them from speaking further. If only we could travel with some sort of invisible force field that is electrified like a bug zapper, we would be able to see the unwanted words and ideas sizzle and smoke, never reaching our intellect and emotional body.

No matter how much we may empathize or sympathize with another, we do not have the ability to read their minds, walk their path, or feel all that they are feeling from their unique perspective. And no matter how much we may identify with their problems – having “Me, too!” moments – we are not able to fully experience all that they are with identical philosophies or values.

We may desire to help so much that we are blinded by our own intention, unable to see the body language and facial cues that beg, “Please Stop!”

   Trying to help when I’m not sure what I need yet.

   Thinking you know how I feel when you don’t.

   Pressing your views against mine.

   Talking. You’re only making things worse.

The poor person we want to help only wants to jump ship in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight.

A person’s “safe spot” should be honored with breathing space and time for contemplation. We can make offerings to tempt the person away from their spot, then step back, allowing them space to choose for themselves which offer they’d like to receive. And if our offering is not the one chosen, accept that choice as being in their best interests.

Some of us are hard-wired helpers who sometimes forget that help is selected by the individual in need, and one size does not fit all.

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(The video of this dog is totally unrelated, but he’s offering dog toys to an infant because he stole her toy. )



Beliefs, Day in the life

Wearing the Clothes of a Victim is Never Fashionable

Image result for images of broken hearts with quotes Photo from

We’ve all had the pity-party after someone we loved hurt us. But when we do it publicly, it ain’t pretty. It’s just pretty sad.

When a relationship doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you should, to quote a young woman I counselled this week, “Put myself back in a box for a couple years.”

Forgive me, but this just rolled out of my mouth. “You’ll go in a box when you’re dead. Why would you waste time in one while you’re still alive?” Bad me. But I’ve been there.

Boo, hoo. Poor you.

Emotional safety is a myth. We are alive to LIVE. That means getting out of the house (your box) and doing things that put you out in the world, among a variety of people having different experiences. Some only for the moment. Others may last a lifetime.

Taking a chance on love is a leap of faith. But if you understand the law of attraction where “like attracts like” you’ll see that you will most often attract a partner or friend of similar neuroses. Misery loves company. If you are a hot mess, you’ll attract people to you with their own baggage. If you are embroiled in lots of drama, you’ll draw other players wrapped up in their own theatrics.

Relationships begin with you. If your relationships aren’t working, begin by looking at yourself first. A little honest self-examination can save you a lot of agony.

What about me is drawing ______ (kind of person) into my life?

Even better, What about that person is me? (Hint: It is usually the part you dislike.)

This is not an easy task. You must be honest with yourself about what kind of emotionally charged energy you put out into the world. Are you angry and confrontational? Are you shy and submissive? Are you kickass aggressive? Are you pretending to be tough to deflect bullies? Are you a people-pleaser always “goes along to get along”? Are you The Walking Wounded?

What part of yourself are you compromising by not speaking up for yourself? Not asking for what you really want? Or what part of you says too much and still doesn’t get your way?

Walking around telling the world how he/she done you wrong – that you might as well “go back in your box” – could get you a little sympathy, but wear those clothes too long and you’ll look like a walking yard sale. Everyone will see you coming, want to avoid you, and pity you because you just don’t see yourself.

Clean out your own closet before rearranging someone else’s.


Day in the life, Meta Stuff

Gloom, Despair, and Agony

Hee Haw guys

The paranormal world is one big question mark most of the time. Search and discovery is part of the allure. But lately it feels like the normal world is an even bigger mystery to me. No one has all the answers, but it’s really hard to see a loved one suffer, but not be able to help. Any suggestions or ideas fall on deaf ears when a troubled soul is wallowing in their own suffering. They fall into a pit of despair and can’t see their way out.

I’ve had my fair share of miserable times, and worked hard to climb out of them. But sometimes, people just don’t have it in them. Life has kicked them in the head a few too many times and they don’t have the strength to pull themselves up to go another round. They lose their equilibrium and can’t see light anywhere. It’s painful to watch. Even more painful when you try to be of service and end up doing or saying something to make it worse.

Some wear the Cloak of Misery as comfortably as they do their own skin.  No matter what kind of advice I offer, it is immediately rejected. The claiming is that they’ve already tried every option available without results. Everything said goes through an already clogged filter and translates to more sludge they have to wade through.

What can I do to help someone so bogged down in their own problems they’ve adopted it as their identity?

The only answer I have left is to allow them to be what they chose to be. If they chose to remain miserable and unyielding in their perspective, I am left to listen, sympathize, provide tissue to dry the tears, and nod about how cruel the world can be. Emotional support is all I have left in my tool box at the moment. And when part of your profession involves giving advice, that can be a jagged little pill to swallow.

But just because I counsel people doesn’t mean I have all the answers. No one does.  And I do believe in free will, which means the afflicted have the choice to change how they think and feel about their problems. Only they have the power to change, even when their circumstances remain the same. I often think of prisoners of war, trapped, without any way to change their situation. What keeps them going when they appear to have no hope? Perspective – how they chose to think and feel.

What goes on in our minds is proprietary. We are the guardians and emperors of our consciousness -rulers of our mental empires. We decide what to think and feel about our circumstances. And have the free will to accept or reject any advice offered. We choose.  We either sing that old Hee Haw song “Gloom, despair, and agony on me” or engage our minds with constructive and satisfying thoughts. I’m of the mind that I create my environment, so when the world kicks me when I’m down, I seek sanctuary in a nest of beauty, love, comfort, creativity, and escapism.

We all feel alone and unloved at some point. So self-love and care is essential.

So when a loved one chooses not to act on advice, the only thing I have left to offer is a shoulder to cry on. But over time, that can wear me down and make me feel like a welcome mat in a mud room, available only to scuff dirty shoes clean. Then I have resort to taking my own advice, doing everything possible to lift my own spirits.