There is perhaps no conversation more difficult to have than the one where a single woman must say to her parents or her lover that she is unexpectedly pregnant.
Pandora’s Box held Hope, as well as Hate and Envy. If we hope to resolve issues that foster feelings as strong as hate and envy, we must start by honestly stating our beliefs.
Can you imagine what it would mean if no woman ever had to have that conversation?
There is no one single answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy that will ever fit every woman and every situation. Our current public conversation, with its polarized positions, is never going to lead to any answers other than the situations we have now: unplanned pregnancies, forced marriages that rarely last a lifetime, single mothers raising children, and abortions.
This issue, like every other issue, is based far more on beliefs than on facts. What bothers me is that neither side states its true beliefs in the public conversation on this polarizing issue.
A more truthful conversation might frame up the two sides as the Right to Punish vs. the Right for a Woman to Enjoy Sex. Continue reading
The ancient myth held that swans are mute but sing a beautiful song just before dying.
The swan’s song of sorrow signals the end of a beautiful relationship.
A swan song is meant to signify a bittersweet recap of a long and glorious relationship that is now ending. Continue reading
People ask me why I moved from Iowa to New Jersey. I did it in part because I knew that compared to Iowa, New Jersey is far more diverse in economic strata, religious affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, careers, cultures, customs, native languages, foods, clothing styles, values and traditions.
Life offers many opportunities to acquire new information. We can turn away, or we can be open to learning, a little bit at a time.
I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have found it exhilarating to be regularly challenged by so many different points of view and by people whose life experiences are so different from my own.
What do you do when exposed to new points of view?
Do you look at as an opportunity to learn something new? Do you eagerly ask questions to help your understanding? Or, do you throw up the barricades to protect yourself from a challenge to your way of thinking? Do you furiously marshal your arguments, ordering them into strategic position so that they can return fire at the first opening? Continue reading
Today would be Dad’s 82nd birthday. He and I shared a love for words, mine is for writing them, and his was for speaking them in front of an audience.
Learning how to express ourselves clearly and concisely helps us to connect with others under any circumstances.
Dad was a life-long member of Toastmasters International. Not only that, but for years he taught public speaking to teen boys and girls. Boys who were in Boy Scouts of America earned their public speaking merit badge following the course. I took his course and as an adult I have been a member of three Toastmasters chapters.
Dad taught us how to engage in effective communication, and to do so with confidence, because he knew that learning how to say what we mean was a skill that would serve us well as adults. He was proud of every one of his graduates, and concerned for the few kids who couldn’t conquer their fears and dropped out.
Learning to use words effectively to express ourselves is surprising difficult, even if we’re not speaking formally in front of a large group or writing for all to read. Continue reading
Comfort comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and dispositions, interests and abilities.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Comfort means Mama.
Comfort helps us master life at every stage, from potty-training and tying shoelaces, to making friends and doing homework, through awkward growth spurts and leaving home. She can whip up a meal in a hurry, even if it’s take-out, and she doesn’t mind setting an extra place at the table for a friend. She knows just by looking at us when we’ve had a bad day or we’re coming down with a cold. Continue reading
Years ago when Sister Pat and I lived in the same town, we would get together nearly every Wednesday evening for dinner at her house.
When we feel like whining, we can choose instead to get together with a friend and talk out what we’re really feeling.
She’d cook and I’d bring a bottle of wine. We gave each other the gift of unconditional listening as we’d discuss whatever was troubling us. There was no shortage of topics. She was recently divorced with a grown child, and I had divorced several years earlier and was raising two teenagers. Sometimes, we needed to solve problems, and sometimes, we just needed to vent. Misery loves miserable company.
We called those evenings our time for ‘wine and whine.’
At the end of the evening, we both felt better for having expressed ourselves in a safe venue. Sometimes we learned to look at our situations differently. Sometimes action was possible. Sometimes, we simply had to accept things as they were. Continue reading
Ever instinctively know that someone is trying to control you, but you can’t put your finger on it?
When someone is trying to control all aspects of your life, it’s time to persist in speaking your own mind and acting on your reality
You feel you’re being manipulated, but you’re not sure how it is happening?
Here’s a quick checklist to confirm your suspicions.
Manipulators pull your strings when they:
- Believe their opinions, wants and dreams are more important than your own.
- Believe they have the right to tell you who you are, what to think, feel and do.
- Expect you to read their minds and know and meet their needs, without their ever voicing them.
- Inflict verbal violence when you don’t do exactly what they want you to do.
- Give backhanded compliments, when they give them at all, and manage to point out some flaw or short-coming at the same time.
- Criticize your opinions and ideas, usually in front of others.
- Constantly challenge your perception of your reality. For instance, you say you’re hungry. You’re told you are not.
- Blame you or others whenever something goes wrong.
- Expect you to change plans or make accommodations to suit them.
Manipulators are controlling and disrespectful because of hurts they have experienced in life and still carry around inside them. Knowing this is no reason to accept their behavior. Continue reading