Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Dealing with the Nay-Sayers 

Congratulations for doing something new, trying to change your life so that you get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.  That is an amazing gift you are giving yourself. You may not succeed with every attempt, but with every attempt you will get closer to what you want. That in itself is a win.

I have found that no matter what positive change I am making for myself, there are those I care about who are negative about the change. These are the nay-sayers. They will throw road blocks in your way or make you doubt your commitment with just a quick comment. The comments that are usually most damaging are the ones that come from within your circle of friends and family.

The nay-sayers may not be overt, but you will feel the sting of their comments.  Their comments may be something like these.  “I hope it works.” “Are you sure you really want to do that?” “I would never do that.” “That sounds bad/uncomfortable/icky.”  The lack of support can damage your new habits without you even recognizing it. Don’t let them.  Hear these comments for what they are and what they are not.

Nay-sayers are telling you about their fear of failure or their actual past failure.  Maybe you are trying something new like rock climbing.  The nay-sayer will say “I wouldn’t do that, without a good partner you will get hurt.” Maybe what the nay-sayer is really saying is “I am afraid of rock climbing” or “I couldn’t do it when I tried, I didn’t make it to the top of the wall.”  Neither comment has anything to do with you or your efforts to make positive change in your life. They are both comments about the nay-sayer and their own fears and failures. Don’t let their negative statements derail you from your path.

If you are on your right path, what you are doing for you is far more important than allowing the nay-sayers to sway you from your goals. You are not doing what you are doing to have any impact on them, it is for you. So, let those comments float by you like a fast moving stream after a heavy rain. They don’t mean anything and then they are gone. You can’t get rid of your friends because they do not support everything you do, and once you realize it has nothing to do with you, it is easier to let it go of those comments.

Do you need someone in your corner who cares about what is right for you?  Let me help you along this journey of self enhancement and self care.  My coaching will help you tune into what is best for you, while teaching you to filter out the voices that may not have your best interest at heart.

Follow your lihght,

Jackie

Don’t Let Your Possessions Hang on Others

As we near the end of life, we often think that we have to give away our possessions. We believe that our loved ones and friends want our prized mementos– the artifacts of our life. Is giving away our possessions an act of love from us or a burden of love for the recipient? My relatives have always given away their possessions to others—sometimes in mass. I am the only child of my parents. My grandparents only had a few grandchildren. I have one aunt and one cousin. I am from a small family. A lot of my relatives have passed away, and I have a lot of their possessions. Sometimes these possessions are treasured memories, but more often they are things I can’t part with because my relatives wanted me to have them.

So many of the items I have from my deceased relatives are not things I would ever purchase for myself. They are not things I would even choose to have in my home. They are items that my loved ones felt were so important that they needed to find them a good home, when they could not longer care for them.

After 16 years, I still have my mother’s wedding dress. My mother’s marriage was not a happy one and no one else will wear this dress. So, why is this dress taking up space in my garage? This dress has never felt like something I wanted, and I didn’t even consider wearing it for my wedding. However, I felt it was my duty to be its guardian. I think it is time to let go of the dress, and the belief that it is important to my mother that I keep it?

Before my grandmother moved to a smaller assisted living location prior to passing away, she put together bags and bags of her things that she wanted me to take to my home. They were all valuable to her, purchased in far away places, and something I “had to” hold on to. One of these items is a vase from Italy. I have never liked this vase, but I have it in my home today. My grandmother thrust it upon me with such fervor 10+ years ago. It was so important to her that I take it then, and now I can’t seem to part with it.

Maybe the loving thing for us to do is to limit the possessions we give to/ask our family and friends to “have,” and be ok with anything that happens to them after they leave our care. The items that are important to me are the ones that contain true memories of my loved ones. These items can put a smile on my face. It isn’t having a lot of things, but just one or two that I can keep as a physical reminder. When I die, who is going to want those items? They aren’t going to hold the same memories for my loved ones. They will just become a burden to someone else. I hope I will not create that burden for my loved ones.

Lifting the Veil

There is a thin veil that exists between this life and the “other side.” Most of us do not get the chance to peek behind the curtain, until we are very close to passing on. At that time, I believe the veil thins and we have the opportunity to see what is behind it. At times we may think our dying loved ones are “crazy” because what they are saying doesn’t makes sense or they “see” someone that isn’t physically there. Well, is it possible, that they aren’t “crazy” but seeing behind the veil? Seeing into a world that you can’t see into right now?

When my mother was dying and nearing the end of her journey in this life, she told me that she saw her one of her relatives standing near her bed. I never met this relative, because she had passed before I was born. This relative wasn’t standing where I could see her, but I am convinced that she was there. As the veil thinned, my mother was able to see to the other side. She saw those she loved. Seeing those who died before her so that she wouldn’t be scared to pass on. She knew that those who loved her were waiting to greet her when she arrived. In her more lucid moments, she realized that they weren’t “really” there but it felt very real to her. I am not sure if she could distinguish the thinning of the veil from the dreams she was having while she was sleeping. I am also not sure it matters. It comforted her and that was all that was important.

I think we, the families of dying loved ones, have an opportunity to learn about the process of dying from those who go before us. I also think that we have the privilege of supporting those we love in ways we never expected. When your loved ones are dying, they may tell you things that don’t make sense. Instead of jumping to “they’re crazy” or hallucinating….ask yourself if they may just be seeing through the veil. If so, isn’t it better to be loving in that moment than patronizing? Not only is it more loving to them, but it is more loving for you. Why? Because when you look back on it, you may feel badly that you assumed they were delusional, when it might have been their opportunity to see behind the veil.

Remember: Love is the purest and most important gift we can give.

Never Know What to Say???

Have you ever wondered what to say to someone who was sick? To their family? An op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on April 7, 2013 written by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman might help. They won’t give you the words to say, but they do give you a bit of perspective on how to direct your statements of comfort or expressions of discomfort.

The Ring Theory, which Silk and Goldman describe and created, states that the person who is facing the medical crisis can say anything to anyone. This person is in the middle of the ring. To start building the ring, write out this person’s name and draw a circle around it. For example, if a child, Ben, is having an operation, then Ben’s name goes in the middle circle. Ben can say anything to anyone. He can cry, whine, complain, or scream. Then draw a larger circle around Ben, and put the person closest to Ben in this circle. Likely this will be Ben’s parents.

Silk and Goldman’s theory says that your job is to provide comfort to those in rings closer to the center than you. If you want to express a fear or discomfort, you must share that only with people in your ring or ones larger than yours. So those in this second circle (i.e. Ben’s parents) will provide comfort to Ben. They will likely never share their fears with Ben, because that wouldn’t be comforting. Then draw another ring around the previous two. In this ring are the next closest people, likely brothers and sisters and possibly grandparents. Ben’s parents can share their fears with those in this circle, but the folks in this circle will only provide comfort to Ben and Ben’s parents. A bit further out are the Ben’s friends, and then even further out would be the parents of the friends. I think you get the idea.

I love this! So often we worry about what to say and if we will say the wrong thing. If we always remember to provide comfort in and keep our concerns and fears out, then we will not say anything too burdensome to a person who is closer to the situation than we are.

What if you don’t know what circle someone falls in? If you are at all unsure, then say only comforting things. Just keep your concerns to yourself. You surely have a trusted friend to whom you can share your angst.

What a blessing to help us ensure that we aren’t putting our fears and concerns on those already dealing with so much. I hope this is something you will use and find helpful.

To see the full article, go here….it is worth the read. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407,0,2074046.story

3 lessons my mother taught me about facing the end of your life

3 lessons my mother taught me about facing the end of your life

  1. Be honest with your loved ones about what is happening with you during your illness.  This doesn’t mean to burden them with every detail, but it does mean that it is important to share with them the course of your illness.  Tell them what is going on with you, what you are thinking, and how you want things to end.
  2. It is ok to decide when to stop fighting.  It isn’t an easy decision to make or to share with your loved ones, but it is ok to decide that you are tired of fighting your illness.  Don’t be ashamed and don’t let others tell you that you are quitting.  You aren’t!
  3. Enjoy the time you have left.  This is true regardless of whether you know you are dying or not, but especially when you know your time is short.  This life and world has a lot to offer, do what you love.  What do you have to lose?