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I Wondered..Why Me?

I Wondered..Why Me?

I found myself yelling up at God.  Pointing up to the ceiling …. “YOU!  You did this!” “How could You?!” and in the next breath, with tears running down my face, “Why God, Why?”   There’s my boyfriend who had just taken his life and here I stood.

Devastated.

Confused.

Angry.

My heart ached.

My tears fell.

My soul hurt.

And nothing made sense.

I knew, like I KNEW, that God had put us together. There is no way I would have met this man otherwise.  My prayers were answered when he came into my life.  It was a miracle.  That’s all I can say.  A miracle.  So WHY?  WHY oh WHY would God have this happen?  I had no answers.

What seemed like hours …were only minutes.   I stood there yelling to the heavens.  Pointing up, still.  I continued to question God, to yell at God.  The God of the Universe.  The God of ALL.  The God who knew far more about me and my life than I could possibly ever know or thought that I already did know.  And I was yelling at Him?  “Why ME?  You knew I was coming!”  I shouted.  “You knew I would find him!  You picked me to find him.”  “WHY!?”

I was furious.  Furious that my boyfriend died.  Furious that here I was all alone.  Furious that God picked me to find him.  If God knows all… well then He knew I was going to be there that day, right?  Then He picked me, right?   Tears.   Anguish.  Upset.

And just as fast as a flash of lightning hits a flagpole. I was struck by the Holy Spirit.  My crying changed from tears of maddening rage to honorable blessing.  God picked ME.  ME!  He picked ME!  A powerful chill ran through my bones.  I was God’s miracle in David’s life….his channel of love.  I was picked because I was the one who would take care of it all.   I was God’s Warrior.

I had a sense of gratitude.  Don’t you see…. Why Not Me?  Out of the people who could have loved this man, out of the people who could have honored this man, out of the people who could have made a difference in this man’s life and who would turn this tragedy into something good.  God picked ME.  Why Me?  Oh darling…. Why Not Me?

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Divorce For Grown-Ups

Divorce for Grown-Ups: 5 Tips on Achieving Your Best New Normal

None of us is immune to divorce and I’m here to prove it.  Though I was trained and practiced as a marriage and family therapist, I have had my fair share of moments where it didn’t matter.  It didn’t save me from the ick.  And I’m grateful, because those experiences have taught me the most.

My ex-husband and I met in a doctoral program in Social Work. We waited to marry (we were 30).  We planned long enough to have a child that I was labeled a geriatric mother (I was 35).   And yet today, I am still the divorced mother of a twelve year old child.  What-are-ya-gonna-do?

Alas, there are no guarantees in life. And although divorce is difficult and challenges will always remain, I personally discovered you can make your journey to the new normal easier on you and your kids, with no Ph.D. required:

 

  • Respect Survival Mode. A friend introduced the idea of “Survival Mode” to me during my separation when I was (yet, again) revisiting the facts, feelings and current state of our marital dissolution…I was deep in my feelings and in my head. She stopped me and said, “You know, you don’t have to do this to yourself.  You’re in Survival Mode.  Let’s save the therapeutic analysis for when you are not trying to just put one foot in front of the other and be a good mom.”  Wait? What? I don’t have to do this to myself?

When someone is trying to survive in the desert, they don’t spend a lot of energy and brainpower on how they ended up there and how unfair it is.  Instead, they focus on getting out – on surviving.  It was a very freeing for an over-analytical person like me to give myself the gift of giving myself a freaking break—and just get through now, this moment, today. There will be time for the post-mortem—later.  And I did it, when I had the bandwidth to do it.

 

  • Take off your spouse hat. Stop viewing the world (including your ex’s actions) through the perspective of being that person’s spouse. You’re not anymore, so stop. When your ex does anything – the more view that action as their spouse, the more likely it will do a number on you.

The only hat you are allowed to wear is your parent hat. Period.  You will be amazed by how much you can take off your plate once you make this one adjustment to your perspective.  It is not your job to make your ex a better person, or at least not a jerk, in your eyes.  You’re done.  Not your problem.  Off the hook.  You only ask: How does this directly impact my kid and their relationship? And don’t try to warp the issue into being about your kid, when it’s really just about the spouse hat you’re still sporting. Hat off.  And see how much better you breathe.

And bonus: the moment you stop acting like something bothers you is the moment it may stop happening, so stop taking the bait. A little secret I discovered…

 

  • Don’t wait for the karma train. You feel wronged.  Treated badly. Undeservedly so. Yep. That sucks.  Not fair.  Stop screaming at the sky and demanding the karma train to hurry up and get’em.  Because each day that you focus on thinking your ex is “getting away with it” or has “won” is another day you have wasted not getting your best life.  Focus on you, your life. Things have a way of working out, but you are not in charge of the timeline.  So deal.  Go back to figuring out your new normal and living well.

 

  • Social media lives forever. Don’t Vaguebook about your ex. Don’t outright hash it out publicly on social media.  Your kids and lawyer will thank you.  Stop.  It’s a bad look and your friends are cringing for you.

 

  • You are a teaching tool. Remember, your kids are watching and learning important life lessons from you at this moment about how to be resilient, face disappointment (and reality), and conquer challenge—all needed life skills. It’s ok to show vulnerability though—they should also know perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Just be human with superhuman tendencies.

~Dr.L~

 

Dr. L is divorced mom with a global consultancy based out of North Carolina. 

Conquering Pride

Conquering Pride…

Hey everyone! I think I can say that it has been a long month, and that things have been crazy would be an understatement.  I think we all had our own personal battles throughout this last mercury retrograde, things slowed way down, energies were depleted and things were turned on their heads.

When Retrograde hit us this hard its to make us slow down, but not to smell the flowers. We need to inventory on ourselves and what we are putting our energies into. I realized  that my pride was holding me back from letting go of a business venture that was no longer serving me.

I was apart of an MLM and this MLM has amazing products, that i just adore, and helped me regain my self confidence to really start pursuing my dreams ( and I do have multiple that I am actively pursuing). The capital gain potential for me isn’t there with this company, I poured my time, effort, and money into building this mlm as my business, and even though I was losing money I was refusing to give it up because I didn’t want to feel like a failure. So I had to face my pride and take off the rose colored glasses and face things for what they were. That business helped me grow but it’s no longer a fruitful path nor is it serving me anymore, infact its starting to hold me back.

Pride is one of the hardest things to over come sometimes, especially gracefully. I hope everyone was able to take this slow down as a time to take a hard look at their lives and do some trimming (Spring cleaning) of the things that are no longer serving them. When we ignore these things it hinders growth.

I am challenging myself to keep growing everyday, I refuse to be stagnant. I strive to be the best version of me and i wish all the same joy upon all of you.

Always be unapologetically true to yourself,

Ali

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect

You don’t have to be perfect…

Aside from being a Mom, a teacher,  and writing for this incredible page, I also host a radio show.

Once in awhile my daughter co-hosts. We have a strict recording schedule so it’s important we get to the studio on time. As it got closer to going the other morning I went to G who was on her iPad and told her time to go. She didn’t really move.

I continued to round up our stuff. G was still on her iPad. I tapped my watch “ we gotta go”

“Ok,ok…”

We got ourselves together and got to the station with time to spare as we always do.

As we were sitting down getting ready to record I said sorry to G and told her I just hate to be late.

G proceeded to tell me I reminded her of these little robot dogs from her favorite graphic novel series who are always running around.

I freak out about the littlest thing. When I don’t need to, it will be ok.

I said “I just want everything to be good and go smoothly.”

To which my beautiful old soul told me that I need to be more like her and relax. Those little things don’t matter and I don’t need to be perfect.

It’s days later and those words are sticking in my head. I am actually considering a new tattoo.

I’m kinda not kidding. You know how badly I needed to hear that? Especially from her. I have mentioned this before. I have a lot of Mommy guilt. The massive amount of guilt that I have held onto is by no means gone, but I think moving forward I won’t beat myself up so much.

I will work on taking a step back. Slow down. If I’m being honest this is all going so fast and I feel like because I worried so much about being perfect, things being perfect I missed out on things with her.

I worry about her entering her teenage years and being mad. I never thought to think I was spinning around so much tightening corners and straightening crooked pictures (my analogy for my life) that she might not be mad but just breeze by.

That to me would be much worse.

Good, bad or otherwise she is my sun, moon and stars and I was so busy building a perfect universe I forgot to enjoy it.

So every night I go sit on her bed and ask her about her day until she kicks me out of her room.

I let her pick the music in the car so we can sing along.

I found a Mother/Daughter journal so even on those days she won’t talk at least she’ll write.

But most importantly I heard her. I hear her. I listen.

I don’t have to be perfect, the most important person in my life said so.

And neither do you Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Something New Is Coming

It’s time to organize and make room for something new.  If you’re all full… things in every corner, pictures on every wall, piles of things that you’ve collected over the years….. There is NO ROOM for something new to come in.  The energy is either stagnant or stale or just flatly content.

Purging, tossing, sharing, recycling, releasing, donating…all of that…it’s so important to do…. not only for your sanity, your sore back, your stress-filled energy & your heavy-laden shoulders….BUT also so new things can come to you. If your space is full of clutter, chaos, old memories, hand-me-downs, excess, mama’s antiques, papa’s war photos, chachkies, memorabilia, stuff, stuff & more STUFF….there is no room…I’m talking NO ROOM for new opportunities, ideas, movement, concepts.  Nada.

Why?  Because your already full. Full Up. Full Up with everything and anything that may mean something or may mean nothing at all.  So you haven’t made the time to get it handled.  Now sounds like a good time to start ,right?  Take a look around you and choose somewhere to start.  If you haven’t looked at it, needed it, or even remembered you even had it, that’s a good indicator that it’s time to pass it on.  And passing it on is a good way to give to someone who maybe has nothing.

Move it on, pass it down, throw it out, give it away.  Whichever works for you.

Stuffed drawers, overflowing files, busting-at-the-seams closets, duplicates, triplicates, an abundance of things you don’t use.  Make a list of the different spaces you’d like to clean up.  Make a list of how you’ll feel if things were different.  Then start with one thing.  Just one.  Get it done and cross it off the list.  Smile at your success and see what new is coming your way.

‘Cuz it’s coming.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Addiction Has Changed Me

I’m not an addict but addiction has changed me.

I worked hard, as my parents did, and earned my way to my independence as a young adult. By the time I was 26, I purchased my own home, had a new car in the driveway, my bills were paid. I was gainfully employed and was well respected in my career. I did not live a life of luxury but I did not want for anything either. I had accomplished some goals in my life sooner than others and I was confident in my abilities. I was happy.

I grew up in a structured family environment, full of love and support. I was a successful adult, still, I found that I was ill prepared for some of what life had in store for me, most of which revolved around my failed relationships; more specifically, conflicts within those relationships. There was never any conflict in my childhood home – NONE. I never saw my parents fight. I only saw respect and honor and dignity.

After I married and began my own family, I would soon find out, however, that I had absolutely no idea how to deal with conflict. Furthermore, I had not the first notion about addiction and its cunning ability to destroy whatever it touched.

Addiction stole my independence in the physical form of my home, my car, my job, my financial freedom, and so much more. And it momentarily buried the strong, driven woman my parents did such a fine job creating. Addiction affected my life by kicking the door in like a thief in the night, pillaging everything sacred inside me, cheating me out of my peace of mind and my ability to trust.

One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou; “I may be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” I tell myself that everyday. Where my self-esteem had dropped drastically in my marriage, I have been able to rebuild that self-image since my separation. Though I may seem hard to some now, those that know me well, and the home from which I came, can see beyond my protective layers. I am happy again and impervious to projections. That strength and purpose in character coupled with my unconditional love is what my daughter will benefit from most.

Addiction holds no bias. It knows no boundaries. It affects all races, classes, sexes, ages, sexual preferences, religious preferences, and so on. Addiction, at its best, will destroy families, jobs, incomes, and the physical and mental health of both the addict and that of their loved ones. At its worst, addiction is fatal. At its best, it destroys.

Addiction is a very real societal issue that requires understanding, consistency, and perseverance through the face of some individuals’ worst evils. It must be recognized and treated as such with as-necessary intervention and medical supervision.

But if you ask me how to treat addiction, you have to treat its root cause. No, I’m not an addict, but addiction has changed me.

Mental health matters.
Josie

Play Nice

I am currently sitting in my office processing the events of the morning. Trying to think of a careful way to share it with you all but not expose all the players. How do I play nice?

I have been divorced from my daughter’s father since 2012. Separated for several years prior to that. For the most part I have kept the why to myself. I have taken the high road. I haven’t shared much with anyone. When I’ve tried to those closest to me-at the time they  told me to just get over it.

I would love to. If only life worked that way.

But it doesn’t.

My reality was when I left, I left with G and not much else. I was told that since I made the choice that was how it was going to be. If I fought there could be consequences.

Throughout the years coparenting has been a rollercoaster. I am always wrong, I am a helicopter parent, everything is only about money.

Yet when my daughter asks why I am not with her Dad I say quietly- we were just very different,  your Dad is a good guy.

And he can be except when he isn’t.

So here I am trying to decide how to handle the latest untruth he told her about me.

I want her to have a good relationship with her Dad. It just sucks that it seems to be at everyone’s expense but his.

People tell you children hit an age where they figure it out. They realize the love and sacrifice you put forth. I’m hanging in there but MAN (!) there are days! I want to let fly and tell her how I still get anxious every day at 430. How I practically beg/chant “please stop”if I feel an argument brewing. I am still not strong enough to engage in any conversation that feels like an argument. I’ve been known to just leave. How it’s hard for me to trust. How I’m hypercritical of how I look. How I still worry all the time.

How sorry I am that we’re here. But I need her to know, more than anything what Happy looks like. What Love looks like. I need her to know she deserves the sun, the moon, and the stars. She deserves someone who loves her even when she is almost impossible to love.

As do we all.

Big loves Mommas

<3 Caprise

Lost & Confused, Do The Next Thing

If you’re lost and confused, Do The Next Thing…

One minute my life looked like this and the next **SNAP** it looked like that.  One minute I was going in that direction and then **SNAP**, I’m going in this direction.

Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you couldn’t see right in front of your face?

So anxious that you didn’t have an answer to something simple?

So confused that you weren’t certain how you were going to make it through another day?

I did.  It was awful.  I couldn’t get out of my own way.  Why was I able to manage my life for the past 50 years so extremely well and then all of a sudden, I was lost in the middle of my days?  I couldn’t see the overload until it was on top of me and, but by then, it was too late. Some days, I couldn’t breath …or at least it felt like it.  I used to have everything all figured out and on task and in line.  And then  **SNAP**, I had no idea about so much.  And trying to keep up with everything was exhausting.

It’s called trauma.  It’s called PTSD.  It’s called “Do the Next Thing”.  That was my mantra.  “Do the Next Thing”.   Until I got on the other side of it.  Until I healed that part of me and could manage my life again, I just kept telling myself “Do the Next Thing”.  Every Day.  All Day.

Get out of bed…do the next thing. Brush my teeth…do the next thing. Wash my face…do the next thing. Have something to eat…do the next thing.  I kept it so simple.  I managed what I could manage.  I took on what I could take on.  I did what I could do.   And everything else waited.

So the next time you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and you’re feeling overloaded and lost and confused…..Do the Next Thing.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Chicken In A Can

Was I paying it forward out of love for my fellow man or out of fear from my past?  Whichever it was, it made me smile.  Made him smile.  And caused another to take notice.  I was grateful that I could help.

I must have made a decision when I was a young girl, to never be without money.  Never to be in a position of NOT affording life.  Life as I had been living in.  Life as a young girl in a safe, warm, loving home had at her fingertips.  Life was good.  Until I was introduced to chicken from a can, powdered milk and big jars of peanut butter. I don’t really remember why and I’m sure my mom explained it to me…. but as a young girl… I did not like that one bit.  And That…. I think is the reason I promised to NOT be without money.

I was in the grocery line the other day and the man in front of me didn’t have enough on his food stamp card to pay for his groceries, so he started to take things out of the bags.  As I stood there….it came from deep down in my belly right out of my mouth…. “oh NO, that is NOT happening”.  “Oh no.  Uh uh.  Put those groceries back in your bag.”  And I paid for them.  No thinking, no contemplating, no wondering, just BOOM ***  “Pay for it.” Is all I heard in my head.  It must have been surmountable to him because he couldn’t say thank you enough.

I was grateful I could help, grateful he got to keep the food he needed to eat, grateful for God’s good and wonderful ways.  And so so so grateful for the cans of chicken, powdered milk and big jars of peanut butter from childhood.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Take Care Of Your Energy

Over the years it seems as if i’ve grown tired and sicker, and it has seemed no matter what I do. I’d eat healthier, and exercise, and listen and take any and all the advice I could get my hands on and I’d either feel the same or some times worse. I was taking care of my physical body, but completely neglecting my energetic/ spiritual body.  We are all Energy- Spiritual beings having a human experience. At the end of all of our stories our physical bodies will be gone, Yet we focus so much on priming out physical all while ignoring the invisible true core of self.

More recently I had my first reiki session. I was sceptical, but intrigued. I was also out of options. I have tried everything and I have been on a steady health decline. I booked an hour session, In the hours leading up to my session I had the worst flair I have ever experienced. Pain through my neck and shoulders and a fog that just wouldn’t go away.

During my session I felt my pain melting away, And I felt fuzzy all over like someone had wrapped me in a fuzzy blanket. After I felt light- mentally, emotionally and physically. My pain was gone, and I was so alert that I went for a drive for fun.

I am sharing this experience so that anyone who was like me who has been struggling, never give up. I highly recommend Reiki for many, many reasons after feeling the difference. I am by no means saying it will cure or treat any medical condition, but it is worth looking into to heal our energy.

I am blessed and grateful to be able to write for all of you!

Always be unapologetically true to yourself-

Ali