Can You Afford To Be Vulnerable?

June 2, 2011 by  
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My father is in the hospital.  He’s 86 years old.  But this post is not about his health issues but about the changes that I have noticed in my emotional response.

Before my husband passed away, I wore a thick protection around my heart.  By no means I was cold, but I behaved tough and decisive.   The truth is I had so much love in me that I was afraid to feel it all.  I was afraid of what it would do to me.  So I took on a posture; life is tough and I am tough.

Now there is a great difference between being tough and being strong.  Tough as mentioned before is a posture. Strength is the result of lessons learned and wisdom acquired.

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Learning To Let Go; Magee Lessons

June 12, 2010 by  
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Shai 002Magee was my first dog. He came with my wife. In fact, it is very possible that had he not jumped into my lap and knocked the glass of white wine out of my hand and spilled it on my beige sports jacket, my wife and I would never have gotten together.

I was not a unique child. I wanted a dog as a pet. My mother was desperately afraid of animals. I never knew why. To my knowledge she had never been attacked, and neither my brother nor I had ever an unpleasant moment with a pet. But who is to account for anxieties? They are often untraceable to real events. So, we never had a dog. We visited people who had dogs, but they had to be locked out in a yard or inside in a room or my mother wouldn’t come into the house. Every time we visited my Uncle and Aunt, Bill and Sally, I would go down to the den, close the door behind me, and play with their dog that was confined during our visit.

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Just One Day Without Expectations

April 30, 2010 by  
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When my husband passed away I felt myself withdrawn from normal everyday conversations. My life felt like anything but normal. His last year on this earth had been filled with doctors and hospitals. Our world had been switched to living on hospital time. Time stood still. My entire focus had been taking care of my husband, anticipating his every need. It was like living in a bubble with one topic of conversation; mortality.

Accepting that no matter how much you try to live a healthy lifestyle, it may not be enough. Accepting that some chapters in our life end no matter how much we fight to keep them open. Paralyzing fear challenges our faith. Confidence can get replaced by insecurity.

To search for meaning while fighting the emotions that you don’t fit in anymore are mentally and physically exhausting. Continually faced with new situations, where and how do we find the courage to stand strong? It seems that one minute we are full of confidence. Then in the blink of an eye, insecurity overcomes your person. Thoughts go flat line. Words escape you. Why?

As an educator and mentor I advocate being kind to yourself. To self reflect asking “Did you do the best you could?” when goals fall short. That’s truly all we can ask of ourselves. A basic principle. Why am I having such difficulty in applying that to me?

Can you make it through a day without expectations of the day, of people, of yourself, of life? twitter @ zen_habits (Leo Babauta)

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