sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘fear’

Freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, “the right to protest for right”

I read Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech this morning in honor of his passing 50 years ago: April 4, 1968.

His last speech was delivered in Memphis, Tenn on April 3, 1968. I visited the Loraine motel several years ago with my family and visited the museum in honor of him. He had great influence on the America of today, the America where Barack Obama was elected President. I want to honor him and his life.

Reading his last speech was more powerful than I could have imagined.

His words in his final speech are powerful right now in light of all the challenges we face today.

And as I read these words, I thought about the teens who are protesting and marching today for change because of the large numbers of people who have been killed by gun violence, the children who have died while attending school.

And I have thought about the people who call the youth of today names and make comments about their marching and protesting, telling them to “go home” and “do something more productive”, implying that they are not worthy of the rights of all Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. said these words after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

He said them in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968 because of the sanitation workers strike due to poor pay and dangerous working conditions and the death of workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker who died in garbage compactors.

This great man spoke out in the places where great injustices were happening.

All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

Watch this part of his speech, the end of it here:

If this great man were alive today…

I can only imagine the great things he would be doing if he were alive today.

He inspired many people and inspired great change in America.

Now is the time for more inspiration.

For great change is needed.

To all the young people of the United States of America,

I say this to you

Speak up

Speak out

March and protest peacefully

Words are more powerful than guns

Words are more powerful than violence

Words can change the world.


Letting Go of “My Story”… of loss

Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement often refers to the state of loss, and grief to the reaction to loss.-

Yes, I just quoted Wikipedia, this is my blog, not a research paper.

I choose that definition because of the last statement ” grief”  “the reaction to loss”.

Merriam- Webster defines it as “deep sadness especially for the loss of someone or something loved”.

Sadness is a reaction to the loss. There are many other reactions to loss, other feelings and states of being.  I think they are missing something.  I personally think Wikipedia does a much better job of defining it than Merriam-Webster.  It is muti- faceted.

And I am going to go one step further and define it as reaction to change in one’s life.

We can grieve the loss of a job, change in our financial situation, change in our life roles, and so many other large and small changes in our life.


It’s time for a change…

Today, I decided to let go of my story of loss.  I wrote out all of my losses over the past several years, all the big ones, and decided I would let go of “my story of loss”.  What does that mean? I don’t know but what comes to mind is Debbie Ford.  And so I googled to jog my memory and found this:

The following is taken from an article in the  New Age Retailer from Jan/ FEb 2007.  The author and editor in chief is Kathy McGee.

You will find the following starting on the bottom left of page 5:

The interviewer, McGee asks Debbie Ford how does she get rid of her self- criticism and self- doubt.

Debbie Ford replies:

I haven’t gotten rid of it.  When I dip into my story (the negative internal dialogue that keeps us stuck), it’s there anytime I want to revisit it.  It’s part of the collective unconscious, it’s part of our humanity. But today, I know that’s the inside of my story.

When I feel like I’m being self-critical or insecure, I know that I’m deeply in my humanity. Inside our humanity, inside our story, it’s all fear-based.  We compare ourselves, think there’s something wrong with us- we’re not smart enough, pretty enough, don’t have the right whatever.

I try to pop myself out of my story and into my divine self.  I ask myself, “What do I have to do right now?  Do I need to get on my hands and knees and pray?  Do I need to meditate?”  it’s as simple as asking, “If I totally trusted and were in connection with the Divine right now, what would I hear?”  Start to listen to that new frequency, and it raises you right out of your story.

I think what you just asked me is so vital to the process, because most people are trying to get rid of their self-doubt, their self-criticism, and their fears.  you can’t get rid of it.  It’s part of your humanity.

And then the interviewer, McGee, sums up the rest of it when she adds, “And by trying to get rid of it, we’re creating more fear and digging ourselves deeper into our story.”

And Debbie goes on about fear saying that it is a healthy emotion.  She says to identify the feeling of fear and ask what it looks like, what it feels like in order to give fear its own personality, different from your own.

“Anything we are identified with has control over us. So, if you’re just scared and in fear, fear has total control.  If you can make it separate from yourself, you will have control over it.  If you give fear a different name, face, smell, color, or size from yours, it becomes something other than you.  You can say, “OK fear, I see you.  What do you need from me to lie down and be peaceful?””

Today, I wrote the post, What Does it all mean?, and now I can understand that I was “in my humanity”.  I was also in my story and therefore in fear.  What is wonderful is that I have a better understanding of what it means to “let go of my story”.  I have only read Debbie Ford’s First book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, but here I am understanding better what I sought to do when I first posted the title for this blog.  The beauty is that I had no idea where I would go with this when I wrote the title.  I only knew that I was in fact, ready to let go of my story of loss.  I used prior knowledge and found my answer.

I don’t have to get rid of my story but I can move away from it. I can also see when I am “in my story” and use my tools to step outside of it if I choose.  No matter what, I don’t have to beat myself up about any of it.  I can be ok with being in my story and with choosing to move out of it.  Because I choose, when I am consciously choosing, to move out of fear, I know that I can have more moments of moving out of my story and stepping back from it.  Even Debbie Ford, author of 7 books, speaker and founder of a Life Coaching Business, admits to still  having dark days.  It is a process.

Conscious Parenting: Reaffirming my Parenting Choices: Looking back on the early months when we first realized our daughter was suffering with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( 2010)

I wrote the following post in summer of 2010. I was a week away from beginning an online 7 steps group to empower me to be the person I wanted to be. For me, that involved writing and being a better parent.

Reading it now over 8 years later, it reminds me of how the challenges of having a child with a mental illness has both shaped my parenting and helped me to be more of the parent I choose to be. Yet, the automatic reaction response method of parenting still permeates me even to this day. It is a continual process of being more conscious in my choices, in how I speak to my children and how I handle difficult situations.

Writing through my experiences helps me both in the moment and years later when I reflect back on where I have been.

I encourage everyone to stop and write even just a few words or sentences on a regular basis. Writing can be very revealing and healing. Even when I write a blog, I often don’t know what I have to say until it has been written. I write for myself and if it helps even one other person, then it is worth the extra effort to continue my public blog.

Here is the post as I wrote it (with minor grammatical corrections) from about July of 2010:

I have been working on my parenting skills but know that working on myself will help me be the parent I would like to be. I have had a very difficult year. My 8y/o daughter’s already difficult nightime issues got much worse and escalated around April and May to full blown OCD. It has been the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. She is my middle child. I too am a middle child and always wanted 4 children to avoid having a “middle child” but here I am at age 40 with a 12, soon to be 13 y/o son;8 year old; and an 18 month old son and I can’t imagine having another child now.
I know this course is about ourselves but this experience with my daughter in many ways has been like a mirror of my own issues, a magnifying glass better descries it because I feel what she is going through feels like my issues magnified. I have never had an OCD episode like she has been having and as tough as it is for me, I know it is even more difficult for her. Yet, I see OCD tendencies in myself and my family of origin as well as my immediate family like my oldest son and my husband. But in different ways for everyone. One of the most common threads is the black or white thinking…right or wrong, this way or not at all.
I have been learning so much about myself while helping my daughter and feel the experience is helping me be a better parent. Yet, f I could take away what she is going through, I would do it in a heart beat because it has been heart wrenching for all of us and disruptive to our family. The pain of seeing her go through this makes all of my labor pain combined from 3 births seam like nothing. Ironic because my daughter’s birth was the easiest and as close to pain free except for transition as I could imagine a birth being. It was wonderful. And when I think about the day she was born which was the most empowering day in my life, I tear up. She was so perfect at birth and I know spiritually she is still perfect yet it is hard not to blame myself for mistakes and things that could have contributed to her serious OCD episode. And sad, that her childhood now includes this traumatic, difficult experience. Traumatic because of my and my husbands reactions to her behavior as we were going through the worst of it.
I was supposed to be the kind of parent I never had, attentive, available, emotionally nurturing and affirming, as well as respectful and supportive of her choices and interests and decisions. And I thought I was being those things most of the time. And yet, here she is going through something more difficult than I went through as a child. Its painful to see your child go through something like this. And then, finding advice and experts that match my nutritional beliefs and my parenting beliefs is an extra challenge in finding help for her. The experience has pushed me into being the kind of parent I have aspired to be and it is a continual journey of rethinking how I have done things and stopping the automatic reactions and stopping my (automatic parent voice in my head) . And then for a day or two she seams like her old self and it feels so good that I think unconsciously, I want to act like the OCD thing never happened and I easily fall into old habbits and then I get reminded with a slap in the face to continue to pay attention and know this is a journey and she will come through this but it may be slow .
It feels so good to write about all of this and really good because she is asleep at my side right now and her arm is outstretched and pressing against my side. She fell asleep next to me but not touching me. I like when she is asleep near me and I know she is alright. Her sleeping and falling asleep before 11PM is truly amazing and wonderful given our night experiences over the past several months. I need to remind myself how wonderful it is that we read together and then she turned off the light and went to sleep. And on my other side is my toddler, Jason, asleep as well after nursing. And Jason asleep is beautiful too as he is a very active, busy and noisy little boy. And I love him for it. And I love my daughter, Abby, for who she is, animal lover, kind and generous soul, stubborn and opinionated and patient and fun loving with her little brother and full of energy and motion, a dancer and social butterfly. I do love her for who she is and it may be hard to understand but I needed the reminder.