Showing posts from 2009

Holidays Can Hurt

There is an irony about the holidays that many of us find difficult to acknowledge. After all, this is a joyous time; it is not an occasion for allowing one's past or present emotional scars to resurface or to reopen. So, many of us smooth on a heavy layer of denial salve or repress the wounds with strongly bound emotional bandages. And for the few of us who are willing to let the voices dancing around in our heads about the discomfort and anxiety of the holidays come through, it is still an emotional tug-of-war about whether or not to talk about it to anyone. Let's get it out in the open once and for all. There is absolutely nothing wrong in admitting "holidays can hurt." During the holiday season, many of us find that we are required to be somebody that we really do not want to be or cannot be . Because of social expectations, family traditions, or societal norms, we put on a false persona, or a front. When we do this, we negate our real selves (our authentic selve

The long road of bitterness

Jake sits perched upon a large mound of smooth rocks, separated and detached from family members who gather in a half circle on the level dirt mountain ridge below him. Although Jake is a strong man in his late sixties, looking up at him now he appears to be withered, worn, and weakened by his own betrayals in life. As he awaits the commencement of his father's memorial gathering, he readies himself to strike. Before the scattering of the ashes, family members step forward to share personal stories and meaningful memories of a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather. Suddenly, the warmth and comfort of the moment is shattered by the piercing squawk from up above. A constant flow of venomous verbiage floods the open space silencing the words of praise and promise. An eruption of years filled with resentment, bitterness, and blame flame the air and filter through the massive shrubs that surround the family. Everyone is stunned. There is no weapon strong enough to stand up agai

A Birthday Reminder

Meredith was regretting her upcoming birthday. It was a day that signaled all that was still left undone and all the she had yet to accomplish. Most significantly, it would be a reminder that it was the start of another year without a partner, someone with whom she deeply desired to share her life. And there really was no one else to blame for that, just herself. With the economy taking a downward fall, Meredith has immersed herself into her work. She took on extra jobs and clients in order to pay bills, to make up for the loss in her 401K, and still to set a savings aside for emergencies and such. Not the work, nor the bills, nor the continual bad news would slow the arrival of her dreaded day - her 60th birthday. Meredith arranged to take a few days off to visit one of her sisters. After a hectic week at work, she flew to the serene mountain surroundings of family who loved her dearly. Time with them would ease the momentous occasion and all that it signified. Meredith cherished the

A Family United

Patty's family is not unlike many families in the valley, or even throughout the state. She is working a full time job trying to keep the family afloat. Due to an injury on the job, Bill, Patty's husband, is on the disability. Two weeks ago, one of their three grown children moved in with Patty and Bill. After being laid off from his construction job and unable to find work anywhere, their son, Brett, humbly moved his wife and two small children into his childhood home. Although Patty is not one to complain, having four more people in the house to care for was a bit overwhelming. In addition to the added housework, increased food bills, and diminished lack of privacy, Patty wasn't s ure if the family could get past the hurt and bitterness of Brett's sudden departure from the family home years previously. Brett's teen years of rebellion, drug experimentation , and complete irresponsibility had taken their toll on both Patty and Bill. It wasn't until Brett marrie

Do You Know Betrayal?

There is not a day that goes by without someone, somewhere experiencing betrayal. We cannot pick up a newspaper or magazine, turn on the Internet or the TV, or listen to our friends, family, or colleagues without witnessing the aftermath of betrayal's forces. Whether the devastation is financial, relational, physical, emotional, professional or even environmental, none of us is immune to its boundless infectious impact on our lives. Most of us navigate through the storm, somehow and someway. Most of us are told to forgive, to move on, and to trust again. Most of us are told "to give it time" and it will heal. We do the best we can, but most of us are never quite the same. We feel less than, we have less than, we "are" less than we were before the betrayal. Can you relate to any of what I am suggesting? Have you known or do you know betrayal? Have you struggled to move through it and past it? Have you been scarred by its acquaintance? I want you to know tha