Changing The World, A Tissue At A Time

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Compassion doesn’t only mean stopping wars, feeding the hungry or ending the AIDS crisis.  Compassion in its most simple form is our human ability of for a moment being able to step into someone else’s shoes and understand their dilemma.

In 2007, when I first walked into the infusion center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center with my late husband,  I was taken by fear.  I looked around to the 30 – 40 people there all hooked up to a bag containing chemicals strong enough that signs were posted in the bathrooms asking patients to flush twice.  Chris and I looked for two seats together and waited for a nurse to come and hook him up as well.

Immersed in my pain, I turned my face away from Chris because of the tears running down my face. I didn’t want him to see them.  A woman sitting next to a man getting his infusion got up, picked up a tissue and without saying a word handed it to me.

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Might As Well Face It: You’re Addicted To Love

July 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Saw the below article on and thought it was worth sharing.

It talks about the highs we feel when we are in love and the craving when we are rejected.  The article actually states that physiologically being in love is the same as being high on cocaine and so when things end we miss it just like we would the drug.

The study was based on brain scans done of twenty year old men and women.  I believe if the study had been done on older people the results would have been somewhat different.

Think back to when you were twenty, if you are at that age this post will be something to remember when you get older, and the world was just opening up to you.  Most of us were sexually active and living on our own.  Everything was new and full of possibilities.  And love as “living happily ever after” and the house with the kids, was now a possibility in our lives.  Most of us also looked at our partners as the recipient and the giver of all the love we had and could experience.  Love at that age is exciting and full of fantasy.

As we get older and mature, love is still exciting but it also becomes profound and we no longer think someone else can be the end all for our emotional needs.

I believe if we suffer through the end of a relationship, as adults, we realize it is not the end of our lives or possibilities.  It is sad but surely we will survive because we now have life experience and we are a whole person on our own.

I remember years ago, when a boyfriend decided to end our relationship and my body actually ached as I dealt with not having him anymore.  My pain, I didn’t know at the time, was also a result of a very manipulative relationship.  I’m not saying it was consciously but he did enjoy seeing me dependent on him and have my feelings be all over the place.

Love is wonderful and energizing and we should all fully live it when we are in a relationship, and if we are connected to ourselves and keep a check on our expectations, we will be okay if and when it ends.

By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) — Jim Dailakis still remembers how he stood below his then-girlfriend’s balcony, held up a tape player and blasted a George Michael song that the two of them loved.

But this romantic gesture, reminiscent of John Cusack serenading Ione Skye in “Say Anything” (but before that movie came out), didn’t make his first love stay with him forever. After a 2½-year relationship, he got a letter from her in 1988, saying “thanks for everything; we have to move on.”

“The first month was horrible, because when you break up with someone, it’s like a death, but it’s even worse because the corpse goes on living, just without you,” said Dailakis, 41, an Australian-born comedian in New York.

According to new research, the brutality of loving someone who has rejected you has a biological underpinning. A study published in this month’s issue of Journal of Neurophysiology finds that, for those who have been recently rejected, the brain may treat love as an addiction, craving it in the same way as cocaine…Continued


A Widow On Valentine

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I’m a widow.  I never thought I would say these words.  I never thought I would say them in my 40s.  Widows are supposed to be old women contemplating the end of their lives.

I’ve recently watched a few films about soldiers returning home and it dawned on me that our lives are molded by that which happens to us.  Soldiers after seeing extreme violence, injustice, fear and deplorable conditions find solace in each other not because they speak the same language or come from the same town or even share the same believes.  They find solace because they went through the same psychological wounds. They all know what happened without any need for an explanation.  They understand each other in a visceral way.

I remember years ago when by a set of mismanagement of information and conduct by others, I ended up spending time with a woman, at the time in her 30s, who was dying because her organs and skin had lost the ability to stretch.  I used to tell her to look for others who were in the same situation as she was because they would understand her and she would find community with them.  I could talk to her and have compassion but I couldn’t really understand in an emotional way what she was going through specially because then I hadn’t gone through the depths of suffering and loss I would eventually go through.

I’m a widow.

I used to think widows and widowers were sad people who spend the rest of their lives pining for the person gone.

I am now a widow and sometimes I’m very sad; a special kind of sadness; profound, simple and quiet.  But I also have a great desire to live life and to make it meaningful.

I have a friend who has had a leg and a hip amputated because of cancer.  I truly don’t know what it is to live the kind of life she does, but unlike how it was with my other friend, I now have an understanding of pain and hers doesn’t scare me anymore.  I can offer her and receive from her more than I could many years ago.

I met someone on a hiking trail who had just faced death and will spend the rest of her life fighting it off.  I listened to her, she listened to me and neither of us were victims, we were just strong women sharing our lot with each other.

When my husband passed away I wanted so much to find something positive in all we had gone through and all that I had lost but I kept saying to friends and family that I was still the same person I had been before Chris had gotten sick.  But eventually I would realize that I was wrong.  It is impossible to go through something devastating and remain the same.  In my case I believe I have developed a new level of compassion and have in a way turned my loss into something of worth; I write about it and hope it resonates with others and inspires them to have the courage to be truthful, and to realize peace comes from knowing oneself.

So this Sunday when many lovers will send gifts and share kisses I will embrace the person that I am, the person life has shaped and I will promise her to be by her side and to love and understand her till the very end.

Happy Valentine’s Day.