Category: love

Love is a Decision

tangled-up-hearts-ebook-7-26-15-2When I was in high school, I attended a 12-week Marriage Enrichment Seminar sponsored by my church. It’s purpose was to help teenagers understand the mechanics of marriage and what it takes to keep it going. Each week we discussed a different aspect about this all-important union. One week the topic was “Love is a Decision”. I had a problem with that one and argued with the moderators…two people I admired and respected, whose marriage I thought was perfect (it wasn’t but that’s another story!). Love, I told them (as if I knew anything about it!), was NOT a decision. It was a feeling. You either felt it or you didn’t. End of discussion. No, they insisted, it is NOT just a feeling, it is a DECISION and one you must make on a near daily basis! We ended that session on a stalemate. I just didn’t understand how love could be a decision. You don’t DECIDE to love someone. You either feel it or your don’t.

Oh how naive of me!

Four marriages later, I have learned this lesson quite thoroughly! Though I hate to admit my marital failures, they have made me who I am today. Not only am I happy with the person I have become but I was also blessed with three great kids. Given that, I regret nothing but oh how glad I am that I have finally learned that particular lesson! I’m here to tell you…whatever life is trying to teach you, the lessons involving it will keep on keeping on until you learn them! As to my current marriage, I am proud and blessed to say that it will take me to the end of my life. I know this because I’ve decided it’s worth keeping and nourishing. Praise God! We are eighteen years strong and making the decision to love all the time!

So what have I learned? How is it that love is a decision?

Where to begin. Falling in love is probably the easiest part of the whole process. That’s when FEELINGS are pretty much in charge and steering the course of the budding relationship. STAYING is love is where the problems start and feelings often get in the way! Wonderful though a person might be, as easy and fun as things are between you, eventually the darker side of one’s personality will come through. After all, none of us are PERFECT! It’s a gradual process but in time, the things that attracted you to someone will slowly start to irritate you. Once that happens, it will graduate to MORE than irritation! They will positively grate on your nerves! You know the saying “familiarity breeds contempt”? It’s a well-known phrase for a reason! Not only is it possible to become irritated by traits you initially were attracted to, the things you didn’t like but thought you could live with will become the focus of your discontent, aggravating you to near complete distraction!

Case in point. My first husband, Mr. Friendship, was very thoughtful and understanding with his friends. He was a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen. I thought that was quite wonderful and I admired him for it. Until I didn’t. As time went on and I found myself second, third or LAST on his list of importance, I began to resent that our needy friends (he attracted quite a few of them) were absorbing all of his attention. Even so, I DECIDED to stay with him anyway, thus making the decision to love. Then his temper became a problem, and his morose thoughts and his sulking. It came to a point where I finally decided not to love. I couldn’t go on with the relationship though my feelings were still engaged. In this instance, love was a decision and I decided against it. Now I made that difficult decision because he had decided my feelings didn’t matter and he did nothing to help our floundering relationship. In essence, he had decided not to love me! In any relationship…BOTH partners must make the decision to love! One partner cannot carry the relationship alone. BOTH must be committed to making it work. Since Mr. Friendship thought our friends were more important than his wife and child and he did nothing to control his mood swings and morose temperament, I decided to end the marriage.

Next came Mr. Funny Guy. He was a lot of fun and he made me laugh. I needed to laugh after all the drama of the first disastrous marriage so I was all over that. As time went on, however, his constant joking became tiresome. That sense of humor I used to love made it hard for him to be serious about ANYTHING and I began to resent it. Even so, I DECIDED on the side of love and stayed in the relationship. I figured there were worse things to deal with. That’s when he went on to the worse things and cheated on me with other women. I decided to end the relationship because I couldn’t stay in a marriage that included his girlfriends! In both instances we had decided NOT to love. Now, I have to add here that my feelings were still engaged and making that DECISION was hard for me but I knew I was doing the right thing. I’ll explain in a moment how I knew that!

Next came Mr. Serious. After all the drama of the last marriage, I needed someone responsible and quiet and calm. Surprisingly (not), all those things began to grate on my nerves! He was TOO responsible and serious and far too calm. Boring. Even so, I decided to stick with it. After two failed marriages, I figured I’d made my bed and I was damn well going to sleep in it. Until he became possessive, controlling and abusive. Definitely not loving behavior. I decided quite quickly to put an end to the relationship, especially as he felt justified in being that way! An easy DECISION for me but a painful one. It’s really hard to go through a failure that you’ve already been through twice!

With the ending of each marriage, I went through a period of soul searching. I wanted to understand WHY I had to go through those experiences. I wanted to “get it” so I wouldn’t go through it again. Here’s what I learned:

One, find out how your prospective partner treats their parents. A man will probably be the same way with his wife as he is with his mother (I said PROBABLY because there are exceptions) and a woman will most likely be the same with her husband as she is with her father. Again, there are exceptions but this I have found to be a pretty good rule…generally. The three men in those failed marriages of mine had difficult relationships with their mothers! Mr. Friendship was very disrespectful to his (something I didn’t know until AFTER I married him!), Mr. Funny Guy constantly lied to his (again, something I was unaware of until AFTER I was too deep into the relationship to want to out of it) and Mr. Serious had an abusive, alcoholic mother (something I was aware of but thought I could somehow make up for! You know the … oh, you are broken in this area, let me fix it! Ugh!) Side note: You canNOT fix people!

Two, how does your love interest handle anger? If he or she is in a fury but doesn’t get physically harmful, then you are probably safe from future physical abuse.  I must add something here in regards to that. It’s important to know how alcohol influences your partner. How does it affect their behavior? I know someone who isn’t physically abusive when he’s sober and mad but when he’s drunk and mad…another story! One thing I have learned for certain is that physically abusive people will continue that behavior unless they undergo serious help (which many DO NOT!) Decide to love YOURSELF in this instance and get out of the relationship before you get in too deep to care! Now, on the other side of it, if your partner is taking steps to control and manage his or her temper (or other bad behavior), then they are making the decision to LOVE and that’s a big deal! (smile)

Three, think about the things you love about your partner and then think about those things happening CONSTANTLY. Can live with that? If not, you might want to get out of the relationship before it gets too serious!

Finally, if there are things about your partner that you don’t particularly care for but think you can live with, think again. If the thought goes through your mind that you’ll change him or her (or they’ll change on their own thanks to your influence!) then forget that too because it’s NOT going to happen. He is who he is. She is who she is. End of story! Now that’s not to say a person doesn’t continue to evolve, but I think it’s safe to say that by the time we reach adulthood, we have pretty much cemented into being the person we are going to be.

When I met my true life mate, Mr. Perfect for Me, he passed the criteria I’d learned up to that point. He had a great relationship with his mother, his temper is quick and noisy but physically harmless (even when he’s imbibed a little too much) and his responsible nature does allow for some fun. Given all that, I decided I could deal with his obsession about getting things done NOW rather than later (I’ve a deplorable tendency to do the latter and thankfully he’s willing to deal with that!). Additionally, I didn’t expect to change anything about him! I loved him just the way he was.

Now the problem about relationships is that no one can be on their very best behavior ALL THE TIME! We are HUMAN and we’ll do HUMAN things. Eventually our relationships become work. When that happens, then both partners must DECIDE whether to go on or not. Meaning, of course, that they must decide whether or not they will love their partner enough to stay. My husband and I have done so. When anger arises, both must DECIDE to either stay mad or let it go. My husband and I let it go. It’s a near daily process, this decision to love. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy decision to make when you are really, truly pissed! In situations like that, love is no longer just a feeling, it’s a darn decision!

Example. My husband will NOT drive more than a couple miles over the speed limit no matter how dire it might be that we get somewhere by a specific time.  I’m no speed demon but when I’m running behind, my foot tends to press a little harder on that gas pedal. Not him. Nope. He’s content to be a little late. I have to be honest here and admit that it occasionally grates on my nerves!  As I sit beside him slowly seething, I have to decide whether to keep seething or let it go. I might seethe for the duration of the ride but I do eventually let it go. There was a time, however, when I would not. There was a dark period in our relationship when I DECIDED I was not putting up with stuff like that and I’d harp on him and harp on him until we were fighting like the proverbial cat and dog! During that same dark phase, it seemed I was mad at him all the time and he was just as mad at me. I wouldn’t give in and neither would he. We were both at a point where we were making the decision not to love more and more often! It nearly destroyed us. It came to a point where our relationship looked like it was coming to an end. It was then that I realized I didn’t want it to end. I DECIDED our marriage was worth saving! That was a huge decision on the side of love because it meant letting go of all my resentful feelings! Coming to that decision made me view our relationship from a different perspective. I realized my behavior was not acceptable. All those decisions not to love were definitely part of the problem and I was finally ready to do something about it! He came to the same conclusion and made the same decision! From that point on, we entered a whole new phase of our relationship. It continues to this day. Even so, we still have to make the decision to love quite often!

When you are in the midst of a disagreement, ask yourself this question: Is it worth hurting your relationship to keep fighting? If you keep on with the argument then you’ve decided not to love your partner in that moment. I can tell you this…once you’ve made a decision on whether your relationship is worth saving or not, making future decisions like this are easier to make! When I finally made the DECISION to end my first three marriages, it was a HUGE relief! Those relationships were draining me emotionally. Equally important, when I made the decision to stay in my current marriage (during that dark phase), that too was a huge relief! Big decisions like that…to stay in a relationship or not…help you make future decisions…like whether or not you should continue an argument. Once I made the decision to end those first three marriages, all their tears and empty promises and short periods of perfect behavior did not change my mind. When I hadn’t yet DECIDED to end the marriages, all those things kept it going. I gave in to the tears and the empty promises and the brief periods of good behavior. Conversely, when I decided to end the marriages, those things did not sway me. Why? Because I knew in my heart that the decision I made was the right one.

Although you are constantly having to make the decision to love or not, especially when disagreements arise, don’t make any MAJOR decisions while you are emotionally upset! When it comes to deciding things like whether you should go on with a relationship or not, you need to be in a calm frame of mind. Go somewhere quiet, somewhere that instills peace within you. Think about the issues at hand, the relationship as a whole, and put the question “out there” into the universe. Do I stay or do I go? Once you’ve done this, put your focus on something else, the area around you, for instance, and its calming affect. Think about anything but the relationship and the answer you are seeking! Enjoy a moment of peace and know that your answer will come to you when you are ready to hear it. When that time comes, it will just pop into your head and filter gently into your heart. You’ll just KNOW that decision is the right one because you’ll experience a sense of relief for having made it. I believe moments like these are when our soul is talking to us (or God) and that is why we feel such conviction, such a sense of relief! Armed with your answer, go forth and act on that decision accordingly!

I see so many relationships fall apart and it saddens me to witness the heartache that often accompanies the disintegration. To save yourself from heartache and to keep a relationship going that you WANT to stay in, you must be willing to make the DECISION to love when things are not going smoothly. If you go on the attack, you are deciding NOT TO LOVE. Conversely, walking away from your partner and ignoring their feelings is also a decision NOT TO LOVE. Walking away to calm the situation down is one thing, walking away because you refuse to deal with the situation is something else altogether! Just be sure that if you do walk away, your partner knows it’s because you are doing so in order to calm down the elevated emotions and not because you are refusing to deal with the issue and pursue a resolution to it! Again though, I must caution you…don’t make a MAJOR decision about your relationship while you are upset! If you go with your FEELINGS in the heat of a moment, you are probably going to decide not to love and you may even end the relationship (which you might later regret). Upsetting situations are when you most need to make the decision to love, regardless of how you are FEELING in that moment. This I can’t stress enough…if the relationship is worth saving, then DECIDE to love and act in accordance with that decision! Name calling and demeaning comments are both done when you have decided NOT to love! Bringing up past problems and mistakes is a decision not to love. Walking away from a confrontation that is spiraling out of control is a decision to love (just remember that the issues still must be dealt with!). Compromising is a decision to love. Standing firm on an issue regardless what your partner wants is a decision not to love. Now, in regards to that last, if your partner wants something like another lover (for instance) then you should decide to love YOURSELF and end the relationship! This does lead me to one final point….if you are constantly making the decision to love YOURSELF and not your partner, then you’ve made your decision about the relationship and you should end it. Don’t keep your partner hanging in a relationship that you’ve decided not to love! It will only hurt BOTH of you and it will hurt MORE the longer it goes on!

I think it’s worth noting one more point about unacceptable behavior…make sure you and your partner knows what they are! This way, you both know what behaviors and actions are possible relationship enders! For me, cheating and physical abuse are definite relationship enders!

I got into a discussion on Facebook recently where someone said that evil people are not born that way. My response to that was “Love is a decision. Evil is a decision.” So no, people are not born in any particular way…they DECIDE how they will be as they go through life. All of our behaviors and actions are the result of a decision we make…and all those decisions are based on LOVE or not. Try to be cognizant of where your decisions are coming from. If your decisions are NOT based on love, don’t be surprised at how terribly wrong things can go from there!

I really wanted to share this message with you because I believe it’s an important one to share. I would welcome others to leave comments in regards to this issue. Have you examples of Deciding to Love or Deciding Not to Love? Do you agree or disagree with any of the above? If so, why?

So that’s it, my post in a nutshell…love is a decision. Based on that, I’ve decided to love you all and send blessings out to everyone!

Peace be with you.

Marriage Day

Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)

It’s the holiday season of love and all around us we are surrounded with music, joyous color and beautiful twinkling lights. Life is quite magical during this time of year because many people are focused on all that is good with the world and thinking about ways to give those they love a merry Christmas or a happy Hanukkah or whatever it is they celebrate. BUT…not everyone is full of holiday cheer. For some people this is also one of the most depressing times of year. Those who are grieving grieve more, those who are unhappy and sad are even more so. No doubt about it…the month of December amplifies feelings…good and bad.

Since I celebrate Christmas, I am not going to say “holiday” so if that offends anyone (though, truly, I fail to see any offense especially when none is meant in any way whatsoever!)…well, sorry. The option is open to not read any further. Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter your belief and what you do or do not celebrate…what truly matters is the state of your heart. Which in turn often affects the state of your life. If your heart is hurting or your life a mess…then Christmas (this particular time of year) magnifies those states to a pretty high degree. I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics declaring that suicides are high in December. If you are lonely and are unhappy with your life or missing someone you love…then you REALLY feel that when everyone around you is focused on being happy and spending time with loved ones. What if the one you WANT to spend time with is no longer here? HOW do you deal with that? What if your family has fallen apart due to divorce? MAJOR upheaval almost always results from a marital break-up…especially when children are involved. It isn’t only heartbreak to deal with but often financial disaster too. And what if you have your marriage and family in tact, aren’t missing anyone BUT you’ve lost your home, or COULD be losing it? Or you haven’t a job? OR, you do have a job but it doesn’t pay enough to cover the bills let alone Christmas!

Life is freaking tough. It is challenging and disappointing and hurtful. It is also joyous, loving, rewarding and delightful…BUT, not when you are suffering in any way.

I have been through enough heartache in my life to know what it feels like to both celebrate Christmas and all the joys that come with it…and to cry my way through it because of all the other crap life has thrown my way.  One of the worst Christmas’s for me was right after my divorce. I had three kids, they depended on me to give them the Christmas they have always enjoyed…the making of cookies, the hanging of lights, the gifts, the music…all of it. But my heart was aching and I couldn’t bring myself into feeling anything but sorrow. For them I tried to put on a happy face. But I had no money to buy them gifts, no money to buy cookie making supplies, no money to even make a Christmas dinner. I remember worrying through that Christmas with constant fear that they would not be happy on Christmas day. It’s hard to hide the tears falling like a steady rain in your heart. Thanks to my friends and family, the kids had presents under the tree and though it wasn’t what they asked for, they were happy. We were invited for dinner elsewhere so we didn’t have to worry about that either. I don’t think my children were traumatized by that Christmas as much as I was. I remember setting out the kids’ gifts that awful Christmas Eve and crying my heart out. I was not happy with my life and I had no joy in my heart. I loved my kids and was thankful for them…but they did not fill the other gaping holes gouged in my heart. They did, however, get me through that Christmas. Some people don’t even have that.

Someone I am close to is now going through what I went through that awful year and under almost the same circumstances (isn’t it weird how life can repeat itself in a family?).  He has three kids and they are about the ages that mine were when my marriage fell apart. He told me yesterday: “I need to vent a little bit if you don’t mind.” (he said it in a calm voice, an almost incredulous look on his face…a “how did I get to this” kind of look). So I give him my attention and wait for his venting to begin. He continues in a calm voice, “I have nothing in my life. I just lost my wife, two of my kids (they were his wife’s kids from a previous relationship but he thought of them as his) and my home. I have no job, about a dollar to my name and nothing to show for my life. This isn’t how I expected things to be. This isn’t where I thought I would be at this time of my life.” I KNOW how he feels and it totally sucks. Pointing out to him the positive aspects of his life doesn’t change the facts as he stated them. He has a supportive family and he has his three children whom he had to fight hard and long for during his first divorce (yes, he is now going through yet another!). Finding THE ONE…the one significant other that you can spend the rest of your life with is one of the hardest treasure hunts you’ll ever conduct!

When you are sad and hurting, everyone wants to point out all the positive things in your life to help lift you up. That’s all well and good BUT it doesn’t make you feel better. In fact, sometimes it makes you feel worse because you are feeling bad EVEN THOUGH you have those other things! Yes, I was happy to have my kids (they have been my lifeline when I was drowning in hurt) BUT my hurt was coming from the loss of my marriage and all the memories we shared together (doesn’t it suck when you can’t SHARE memories? That’s part of the joy of having them…sharing them with the person who encountered them with you). Yes, I had friends and family to help give me things that I needed…food, clothes, Christmas gifts for the kids…BUT the fact remained that I was not capable of acquiring those things myself and I was without a life partner. I was in the military during my divorce and was living in base housing so I had a house to live in and didn’t have to worry about rent and utilities. I was grateful for that. I truly was! BUT, I didn’t have enough money left after paying bills to buy decent groceries or clothes for my kids. I constantly worried about that. I was always scrounging for change, counting pennies and praying for miracles. Those miracles came…eventually and when really needed (see God, Money, Faith). I can look back on those hard times now and chalk them up as experience…a time of learning and discovery. Learning my strength, discovering my true friends and knowing that God gives us what we need when we need it.

I don’t know if you’ve read The Secret or not but I sure did and I think it’s a great concept. I also believe in its message. I ought to…I’ve had many things manifest in my life that I’ve dreamed of and wished for. BUT, until your wish or dream or need is fulfilled, you still have the sorrow and hurt to deal with! HOW to do it? WHY does life has to be so darned challenging? For all the wonderful messages being thrown out at us to BELIEVE and receive, it isn’t so easy to do that when your life is a mess and/or your heart broke.

Relationships are hard. They are what make or break our life. There are many books and lots of advice given that you must love yourself and be your own best friend and the rest of the world will fall at your feet. BUT, relationships are what makes our life tolerable, joyous, hurtful or sad. The relationships we have with family and kids certainly play a HUGE role in our lives. A momentous role. BUT…it’s the relationship we have with our significant other (our partner, our lover, our other half) that seems to be the driving force behind our happiness. I can say this because DESPITE my wonderful kids, my awesome friends, my supportive and loving family…I was not happy because my marriage fell apart and I lost my partner. Even now, when things are not well between me and my husband…none of the other stuff that is right with my life…all the wonderful family and friends that I have…is enough to make me truly happy. My joy, it seems, rides on my personal relationship with my husband.

Almost every person I know seems to be happy or not depending on the status of their personal relationship with their partner (I don’t say “spouse” here because a lot of people just live together, besides, this also pertains to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships). There are some people who don’t care about their lack of a partner or who don’t care that the one they do have is not all they wanted. That’s awesome for them. BUT, that doesn’t help the rest of us who do seem to hinge our true state of happiness on how it’s going or not going with our “significant other”. This explains how even those who seem to “have it all” (money, a wonderful career, lots of support) end up unhappy and sad…so much so that some even choose to end their life! Princess Diana always comes to mind when I think about someone who “had it all” and yet was very sad. She had some of the best life had to offer: two awesome boys, beauty, riches, love from the world at large…but she was not happy in her marriage and she suffered immensely because of it.

It would be nice if we could learn to be happy with ourselves and accept that anything beyond that is extra icing on the cake of life…but I have no answers on how to get there. Thing is, it’s hard to be happy with ourselves when we aren’t in a good relationship, or have a job we enjoy or don’t have a job at all! It’s hard to enjoy ourselves if others are giving us grief in some way. It’s hard to enjoy ourselves for many, many reasons. The fact is, life is hard. The hardest thing we’ll live through! I think it does help, though, to know that we aren’t alone in this mess. Young or old, rich or poor, we all endure the same feelings. We all want to be loved…and not just by friends and family, but by one special person. Okay…maybe not ALL of us…but I think it’s safe to say that a good majority of the world population wants that.

There’s no answer on how to make this part of our life easier or to make it go more smoothly but it DOES help to know that we aren’t alone. Being alone is the worst thing ever. Aside from those we have in our life…we also have many watching over us in the afterlife. Now, some of you won’t believe that and those that don’t probably don’t read my blogs! But, if you are following my blog, then you probably share SOME of my beliefs and one of them is in God. I also believe strongly in angels…be they Guardian Angels or Spirit Guides or just loved ones who have passed on but keep a loving “eye” on us! (in fact, it was these beliefs that inspired me to write Be Still, My Love!) My life started turning around from abject misery when I began reading material about angels and learning more about them. My life got better…and eventually I did meet my true Soul Mate!! It was my belief in angels, though, that helped my heart to heal…because I knew…just KNEW life could only get better having them on my side. You have to consciously reach out to them though. They can’t just interfere with our life…we must ask to receive their help. It’s just one of those universal laws. That’s why the “ask and you shall receive” thing is such a POWERFUL statement! Asking from the HEART is one of the fastest ways to achieve our wants! Asking out of greed, anger, jealousy and any other negative emotion does NOT bring about what we want. It’s the love in our hearts…be they broken or not…that heals all wounds. Every last one of them!! So, if you are hurting…seek love wherever you can get it…family, church, organizations…and GIVE love back. It will change your life for the better. And that’s my message today.

When I say “Many blessings to you”, I truly mean it from my heart…I am asking the angels (and thus GOD!) to bless your life many, many times over. So, as we go through this challenging month of December…I wish you many blessings and much joy. I wish for you to discover the awesomeness of the angels and KNOW you are not alone…ever. Until next time…Peace Out!!!

Inspirational Writing is one of the most intimate forms of writing.  The message that comes through is either from your higher self (your soul), an angelic being (guardian angel? spirit guide?) or God.  Although the last is really part of it no matter what since God is part of all things.

If you have a problem or concern or would just like a little guidance, Inspirational Writing can deliver just what you need.  Who better to help you than someone who absolutely loves you?

So, for those who have not tried this form of communication, how is it done?  First, there is no right or wrong way.  The only thing you need to do is write (or type if you prefer).  Inspirational Writing is like a written meditation.  Instead of a mental or emotional conversation, you allow words to flow onto paper or onto the keyboard.  The following is just a suggestion on how to approach this very intimate communication.

1.  Start with prayer.  Prayer is communication with God, and Inspirational Writing comes from this very loving source.  So, open the communication with a prayer.  If you have a problem, concern, worry or curiosity, then voice it to God (although God already knows, it helps you clarify what it is you are hoping to accomplish).   Once you have stated your intention for the writing, give thanks for the message you are about to receive.  I can’t quote the bible exactly or tell you where to find it but I do remember reading a passage where Jesus said something to the effect that we should always thank God as if the thing for which we have just asked has already been received.  This reminds me of nightly prayers with my children when they were small.  My daughter always began her prayer this way, “Thank you God for the rest of my life.”  I LOVED that!  I don’t know where she got that from but wow…out of the mouth of babes!

2.  Make sure you are clear about what you are seeking from the communication.  It’s okay if you aren’t seeking anything specific.  If all you want is to open yourself to spirit and see what comes through, that’s totally fine!  If you prefer the message to come from your higher self (an interesting expression but simply means your spiritual self) then state as much. If you would like your spirit guide or guardian angel to come through then say so.  Just know this…whatever your intention when you sit down to write, whoever you wish to contact, whatever you want to know, it will come through.  Just so long as you ALLOW it to happen.

3.  Believe you are worthy of the communication!  You don’t have to be a religious or spiritual leader to receive communication from God or the angels.  You ARE worthy because you are a child of God and our loving Creator is not going to deny you an audience!  Promise.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you are, how you live, what your faith … when talking to the spiritual realm, none of those things matter.  What matters is that you are a spiritual being, a child of God, and you are seeking communication.

4.  Allow the message to come through.  Just write whatever comes to mind.  Don’t analyze it, don’t edit it, don’t argue with it.  Just LET it.  If the message seems to come slowly at first, stick with it, the more comfortable you get, the better the communication, the easier the words will flow.  Once you set your inner critic aside and just write, you’ll be amazed at what comes through!  Keep writing until you KNOW (and you will know) that you are done.

5.  If whatever comes through is critical and judgmental, then you just communicated with your ego.  Spiritual messages are always loving, positive messages.  ALWAYS.

6.  It is very hard to get our ego out of the way and allow true Inspirational Writing to occur.  One way to do this is to pretend that you are a loving being answering your question.  When deliberately “pretending”, the ego seems to relax and allow things to happen.  However the loving spirit must come through, even if it’s through pretense, it will come through.  Nothing is by chance, so even if you made something up during your pretense…well, where do you suppose those “made up” comments came from?  Your higher Self.

The thing to remember about this form of writing is that it is for YOU.  You don’t need to worry about grammar or punctuation or proper sentence structure.  None of that matters.  Inspirational Writing is spirit writing a letter to you!  Now, if whatever comes through seems worthy of sharing and you’d like to do so, then by all means, share those loving messages.  If people don’t receive them as you did or if they try to negate the message, just remember this…that’s their ego talking.  Unfortunately, ego is a very critical and necessary part of who we are…it helps us function in a very difficult world.  God and the angels don’t have egos.  Any message received during an Inspirational Writing session is done so in love and it will fill you with nothing less than that.

So, give it a try, see what God, the angels or your higher Self has to say.  Blessings to all and Peace out!

I thought I’d try an experiment and invite a spiritual force looking for a voice to come through and write a blog post!  If I’m going to write about characters doing something like this (Be Still, My Love‘s lead character, Tess, is a medium), then I should be able to do it myself, right?  Well, let’s see.

First I start with a prayer.  I like saying the Lord’s prayer because it’s pretty powerful and is multi-layered with spiritual meaning (I always have my character Tess do the same thing).  I then let go of all negativity and allow only God’s loving energy to enter.  This can be done with imagery.  I take in a slow deep breath and imagine the air filling my lungs is pure and clean and full of God’s love.  When I breath out, I release any dark, negative energy that may be lurking within the body.  I imagine that dark energy mixing with the light and turning positive as it enters the air around me.  I don’t want any negative energy floating around.  Next I make it clear that I am inviting only a loving spirit to come through and give a message.  I want a spiritual being who has something positive and loving to offer us.  I then imagine a loving, bright light surrounding me.  This light is God’s protection from negative forces.  Nothing negative or harmful can penetrate this light.  Although I am imagining these things, I give them life with my thoughts and make them real.  This concept is hard for a lot of people to understand.  If it’s the imagination then it can’t be real, right?  Wrong!  Things of the imagination become real if you believe them to be so.  If you don’t give them any weight…belief…then they will remain a figment of your imagination (especially if they are passing thoughts.  The more you think about something, even if you don’t believe it, the stronger you make that thought).  Truly, when you BELIEVE in something, you breath LIFE into it!  So, here we go.

Is there a loving spirit who would like to come through and share a message with us today?

There is much concern by some to believe in things such as this.  The worry is that they will be tricked by “the devil” to believe something they shouldn’t.  The truth is, everyone is born with an instinctive sense of right and wrong.  However, as you grow in your environment, your beliefs are influenced by the people in your life and the things you experience.  The beliefs you have come to accept will quite often override any inner thoughts (the voice of your spirit) that are contrary to those beliefs.  This makes it hard for people to grow in knowledge.  Growth of the soul is through learning and if one accepts only a set parameter of rules (beliefs) and does not accept anything new that is contrary to those rules, then growth cannot happen.  This is not bad.  If you go through life accepting certain truths while rejecting others, this does not make you a bad person.  It just means that there is more growth to be done.  Growing and learning, discovering and exploring … these are the activities the soul should be engaged in.  Live and learn.  If one has fears and worries, there is much growth to be done.  Those who come to understand God and the workings of the soul will not experience fear and worry.  Those are negative energies brought on by misunderstanding.  But experiencing those things … that in itself is a learning process.  Everything you experience is teaching you something.  Some will grow from a particular experience and others will get stuck in it.  If there is an experience you can’t get passed, then there is more to be learned from it.  Explore the situation or problem from outside yourself.  Look at it as if a stranger.  Put your feelings and beliefs aside (remember, you are critiquing the situation as if a stranger and you can’t know what a stranger’s beliefs are).  Look at what is happening or has happened from someone who has no feelings.  Often, revelations, sudden understanding, can come to you in those moments when you judge not as “you” but as you being someone else (who is, of course, still YOU!).  Who better to help you come to an understanding than your own self?  Your soul comes through in those quiet moments to help you in your quest for answers.  Blessings to all, may your inner quest bring you much joy!

So, there it is!  That’s the message that came through today.  What do you think?  God speaks to us in many ways, through songs, stories, pictures, art, people … the entire world around you and everything that happens in it is all God in action, vision, sound, thought and experience.  Fear no evil, for the Lord is with you always!  I think this is why I like to write the stories I do.  Evil exists.  People do bad stuff.  Horrible things happen.  We write about those things and we show how to come through it.  At least, in my stories, the positive forces always win.  But, even in books where the negative forces win, you learn something!  I love the writing process.  You never know what is going to come through.  Everything created is influenced by God.  It cannot be otherwise for only God creates.  One cannot understand love unless you know what it is not to have it.  Learn your lesson quick and live in glory!

Blessings and Peace out!!

30 Top Romantic Movies

Everyone who likes Romance movies has a list of those they love.  I’m no different.  There are some that I like so much I watch them over and over again.  Though there are hundreds of great movies I could include on this list, I’m going to name only the ones that I’ve enjoyed multiple times.  I didn’t include any Christmas related movies and I didn’t include any that didn’t end with “happily ever after”.  So, if you are wondering why I didn’t include The Notebook for instance, that’s why.  Now, some will protest that decision with a heartfelt “But they died together!”  Yeah, they did and I’m happy for them.  But they still died.  Also, I thought it incredibly sad that she forgot him, their romance, their kids and their lives together.  Yes, it was wonderful that he stayed devoted and read her their love story over and over but still…there’s a poignant sadness to it as well.  So anyway, movies with happy endings only, them is my rules.

This list probably won’t uncover any surprises but no matter, I wanted to share with you the movies I love to watch again and again because Valentine’s Day is coming up and that always turns my thoughts towards all things romantic!

1.  Tequila Sunrise Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this movie and I think Mel is at the height of his “makes women swoon” stage in this movie.  Although it isn’t a Romance per se, I watch it again and again because I enjoy looking at Mel and I love the chemistry between him and Michelle.  The scene where these two finally succumb to their attraction for each other is “hot”!  Really.  Kurt Russell is in this one as well.  He’s the 3rd in the romance triangle.

2.  While You Were Sleeping I have seen this movie so many times, I should know all the lines by now!  I love Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman in this movie.  Now, I know that I said I wouldn’t include any Christmas related movies, but this is one of those movies that can be watched and appreciated any time of the year.  At least for me it can!

3.  Pride and Prejudice / BBC Series P&P: I love both versions…the one with Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen didn’t follow the story exactly but it was still a great movie and the series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is a very close adaptation to the book and is absolutely wonderful!

4.  Boys and Girls This one is starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and  Clair Forlani.  It’s a cute movie, following both character through the years as their friendship develops and grows and I really enjoy watching it.  One of my favorite scenes is when they go out dancing: Fun Dance Scene it runs a little past the dance but at least the whole dance scene it in there!

5.  The Magic or Ordinary Days this is with Skeet Ulrich and Keri Russell.  I fell for Skeet in this movie…he was so blasted sweet!  It’s not a sweep-you-off-your-feet movie but something about it just captured me and I had to go out and buy the book after watching it.  The only reason I haven’t seen this more than once is I don’t own the movie…yet!

6.  Some Kind of Wonderful Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson.  I know, it’s a teen flick, but I don’t care.  I love this movie! I love it when friends fall in love, my favorite kind of story.

7.  North and South It’s a BBC mini-series but I had to include it because I think this one is my most favorite of them all!  Starring Richard (yummie) Armitage and Daniela Danby-Ashe.  I have watched this movie more than Pride and Prejudice!  Much as I adore Colin Firth, Richard Armitage is to die for in this series (okay, figuratively speaking, but still).  I’ll probably be watching this on my death bed, wanting one more viewing before I die.  Yeah, it’s that good.

8.  The Proposal another starring Sandra Bullock but with hunky Ryan Reynolds this time!  This is another RomCom.  Love it!  Pure enjoyment.

9.  Coyote Ugly Piper Parabo and Adam Garcia.  Not only did I enjoy the cute romance in this movie but I loved all the music!  This is an enjoyable movie, great to watch, great to listen to!

10.  Sliding Doors Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah.  What I love about this movie is the parallel universe concept … how the simplest most seemingly insignificant thing can alter our lives.  This movie makes you stop and think.  And think some more.

11.  Where the Heart Is Natalie Portman and James Frain.  I think this is such a sweet movie.  The romance developed over time and I loved how it all came together in the end.

12.  Sweet Home Alabama Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas.  A RomCom for sure.  This is a fun movie with a great cast.  I really like Josh Lucas in this one!!  I think he’s why I keep watching it.

13.  The Mirror Has Two Faces Barbara Streisand and Jeff Bridges.  This is a great movie!  This movie made me laugh, it made me cry.  I was so GLAD these two worked their way back to each other at the end! I love how Barbara’s character came out of her shell and how Jeff’s character grew more flustered with her as their relationship developed.

14.  Three to Tango Neve Campbell and Matthew Perry. Another RomCom that is truly fun to watch again and again.  Perry has great comedic presence but he also has a vulnerability to him that melts your heart.

15.  If Only Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paul Nicholls.  A gripping story about second chances.  After losing her in a car accident, he somehow secures another go at it, reliving their last day together.  A wonderful romance. Granted, the ending doesn’t quite match my criteria but I had to include it anyway.  The whole story is totally worth a watch.  It surely makes you appreciate what you have!

16.  PS. I Love You Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler.  What movie isn’t worth watching if Gerard Butler is in it! Man or woman, you gotta love the man.  This one started out sad but ended well.  I loved her journey from despair to love.

17. Pearl Harbor Ben Affleck, Josh Hartman, Kate Beckinsale.  Aside from the very dramatic scenes of Pearl Harbor’s attack, the love triangle was heartbreaking and enthralling.  Now, this one didn’t end on the best of notes…one of the men died…but it did end well enough.  I had to include it because it is just such a romantic movie.  And really, it couldn’t have ended any other way.

18.  You’ve Got Mail Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Being an author, I’d love this one anyway (I mean, their BOOK store owners!)  But I love the premise of this movie…how they met, how their romance developed, and their friendship.  Besides, having these great actors play the leads, well it made for a wonderful movie!

19.  Notting Hill Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.  This is a sweet movie.  Who isn’t going to love a romance where an ordinary person gets the attention of a big time celebrity!  I thought the two characters were amusing and the supporting cast was nice as well.

20.  The Ugly Truth Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl.  Another one with Gerard in it!  I thought this movie was hilarious and I sure do love to laugh.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  A great romp of a romance!

21.  How to Lose a Guy in 10 Day Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.  Another movie that made me laugh.  As each tried to get one over on the other, they fell in love…who isn’t going to love a story like that?  Especially when it’s played out so well by the actors involved!

22.  Return to Me David Duchovny and Minnie Driver.  The idea behind this one just clutches at your heart.  Literally.  Begun on a sad note (he loses his wife…their dog waiting for her return is heartbreaking), but ends in a happy-tears way.  He falls in love with the very woman who now holds his wife’s heart…wow!  It really got me when he went down on his knees to listen to her heart at the end.  Man…strong stuff.

23.  Stranger Than Fiction Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson.  Another movie an author can totally appreciate!  I always imagine my characters as real people in some pretend world that is real somewhere in another dimension.  So, the idea of a character trying to change the author’s mind and save his character…loved it!  And his finding love right when his life is about to end…intense!  I thought this was a very clever creation and a very cool movie.  Will Ferrell played this one well.

24.  Angel Eyes Jennifer Lopez and Jim Caviezel.  Another wonderful movie that started out sad.  Jim is just so awesome in this movie.  I loved watching these two flawed characters find their way to each other and heal in the process.  Truly, this is a beautiful movie.

25.  Dan in Real Life Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche.  I really enjoyed Steve in this movie, he played the vulnerable, lovable, emotionally starved man so very well.  A single dad trying to get over the loss of his wife and deal with three daughters…great stuff.  But then having him fall in love with his brother’s girlfriend…priceless!  This movie makes you laugh even when you’re feeling sympathetic.

26.  Always Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter.  This movie covered it all…a sweet romance, tragedy, and then another sweet romance.  But what I loved was watching Richard’s character learn to let go and be happy with that decision.  A sucker for ghost stories, I would like this one anyway but it’s a great movie for all that.  Sad at times but happy enough to watch again and again.

27.  Benny and Joon  Mary Stuart Masterson, Johnny Depp and Aidan Quinn.  Well, a movie with Johnny Depp and Aidan Quinn, reason enough to watch it!  This is really a sweet romance.  It just tugs at your heart and you are just rooting for these two (Mary and Johnny) to stay together despite big brother’s well-meaning interference.  Love happens on many levels and this movies shows you that.

28.  French Kiss Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline.  Who isn’t going to love a movie with these two in it?  But seriously, there’s something about a good girl bringing down an bad boy!

29.  Only You Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.  I loved the whole idea behind this movie.  She is told the name of a man she’ll marry by a fortune teller and then again when using a Ouija Board.  Cool.  She grows up waiting for this man to enter her life.  But she feels her biological clock is ticking and he has yet to enter her life.  So, she settles for someone else.  And then he calls her soon-to-be husband and she’s off on an adventure to find him … in Italy!  This is such a great romantic movie and a lot of fun besides!

30.  Practical Magic  Aidan Quinn, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.  This movie is worth watching just for Aidan Quinn (yeah, it’s so obvious this post is written by a woman who loves watching movies with gorgeous men in it!).  But aside from that, I loved the paranormal element to the movie as well.  And that kiss Aidan and Sandra share…hot!  Another fun movie with great romantic chemistry.

I’m sure after I post this, I’ll think of others I should have added, but I’ve listed a pretty fair amount so I’m going to stop wracking my brains and get this out.  You might want to watch some of these if you haven’t yet, or rewatch a few even if you have!

If you have a special movie you’d like to share, please do!!  Hope you all have a wonderful, romantic, love-filled Valentine’s Day!!  Blessings and Peace Out!

P.S. A great list for more romantic movies

This is a list of some lessons that had the most profound affect on my life and so I thought they were worth sharing.  The first two lessons came from my grandfather. He imparted this wisdom to me when I was in my early teen years.  I thought they were great lessons to remember at the time and have learned their value enough to want to share them.  Because of their profound value, they go at the top of my list.

1.  Before you marry someone or start dating him, find out how the guy treats his mother.  If his mother is not in his life, then find out how he treats the woman who is in his life (I added this part here but it applies just as well).  If a man is respectful to his mom, he’s going to be respectful to you.  If he lies to his mom, sneaks around and does things behind her back, he’s going to do the same to you.  If he treats his mom like crap and doesn’t appreciate her, he’ll do the same to you.  If he’s a spoiled “mama’s boy”, he’s going to expect you to treat him the same way.  Now, I know that there are some mothers out there that are not good mothers, and in this case, you will learn a lot about a guy by how he responds and deals with her anyway.  Nowadays, it seems that a lot of grandparents are raising kids, and in that case, how does he treat his grandmother?  Same rule applies.  I have observed this piece of advice over the years and can honestly say my grandfather had it 99 percent right (there is ALWAYS an exception, though rare).

I also believe this can work the other way for guys…how does your prospective wife/girlfriend treat her father?  What sort of relationship does she have with him?  Expect similar behavior and attitude.  But don’t expect to BE her father. Woman who are interested in getting married are looking for husbands, not another father.  Just as most men who are interested in marriage are looking for wives, not another mother.

2.  Before you marry a guy, get him as mad at you as you can and see how he responds.  If he hits you, he’ll do it again and it will get worse as time goes on.  Truer words were never spoken!!  Even if he doesn’t hit you, how does he treat you?  Believe me, it will get worse over time.  So, if you don’t like how he treats you when he’s mad, you might want to reconsider the relationship.  Men can take the same advice and apply it to women here!

3.  Love is a decision.  I really wrestled with this one when I was younger.  I thought that was all wrong.  I used to believe that love was a feeling that just came to you.  But it’s not.  You will always be making decisions throughout your life to love or not.  If you are upset with someone, you can decide to love them or you can decide to hate them.  If you decide on the side of love, then act accordingly.  This one I still have trouble with but its sound advice. Every day of our lives we must make decisions on how to deal with or respond to a situation or person.  At first we often respond emotionally without giving it much thought but then, if you can put your feelings to the side…not out of the picture, mind you, but they also shouldn’t be front and center…and try to look over the whole situation as if from a stranger’s perspective…then you can make a decision you can live with.  Are you going to love or not?  If you decide to love then LOVE. Forgiveness is a decision.  You are deciding with love when you decide to forgive.  If that’s the decision you made, then stick to it!  Don’t forgive one minute, get mad again and take it back then decide to give it again and so on.  If you decided to forgive someone for something, then forgive them and be done with it.  If a new situation arises that requires forgiveness, decide on that situation, don’t bring up a past one and throw it into the mix.  Again, this is a lesson I still struggle with.  But, if I ever get it through my thick head, I’m going to be a LOT happier.  So will you.

4.  Believe in yourself and know that you really can accomplish whatever you truly wish to accomplish.  This one is a hard one because most people don’t really, truly believe it.  I do and then I don’t and then I do and then I don’t.  The thing is, when I look back over my life (like I’m real old or something!!), I think about the situations where I really, really wanted something and eventually, I got it.  I think how quickly it happens depends on our belief and our tenacity.  In all honesty, though, I believe that the Universe will make it happen if we FOCUS on what it is we want.  I know, this is so “The Secret” kind of stuff but the fact is…The Secret has it right.  It’s just hard to accept for some reason.  Can it really be that easy?  We think everything has to be hard and that’s what we get.  Hard.  Some people give up too soon.  To get what you want, you have to hold onto the focus with unwavering determination.  Be stubborn, snub any opinions that tell you otherwise and continue to press on like it’s going to happen.  Those who give up and give up…they will NOT accomplish their dreams.  Sad.  Don’t be one of those people.

5.  Failure is a stepping stone to success.  This one ties in with the one above.  Failure means you are trying, failure means you didn’t give up before trying.  Now, if you give up after a failure, you are done with that dream  It’s over.  BUT, if you try again … well, you might fail again BUT KEEP TRYING because eventually, if you stick to your goal/dream and tell yourself you CAN, then you WILL (remember the little train that could?  BE THE TRAIN).  It’s inevitable.  Ask anyone who has been through the process.  They will ALL tell you the same thing.  The coolest part about failure is that you learn something from the experience!  It’s always good to learn something new so the failed attempt wasn’t a total failure!  Press on…try again.  That old saying you hear all the time…If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”…it’s been around for a reason.

6.  Truth has many layers.  This one is a good one to remember.  There is usually more to a story then what you are hearing, seeing, or getting.  And when you figure out what more there is to learn or know about something…guess what? There’s more.  There are many layers to the truth of things.  Keep digging, keep looking.  But know this: the absolute truth…the heart of a truth…is ALWAYS for the good of human kind.  You see, at the core of every truth is God (or whatever you want to call it, whatever name you give to it, matters not…if you call me anything and everything but Deborah, I’m still Deborah, what you call me doesn’t change that).  God is Truth and the Truth is Love.  I know, sounds preachy and all that but … it’s also a core truth!!

7.  You are NEVER alone.  Angels surround you.  Loved ones who have passed on and have a strong attachment to you, they also keep an eye on you.  They are real whether you believe in them or not.  The problem is this:  if you don’t believe in them, it limits what they can do.  They can only help you if you ALLOW them to help and if you don’t believe in them, you surely aren’t going to allow them much.  Still, they are there just the same and they surround you with their loving energy.  If you were to be still for a bit and focus on them, you’d feel them.  You’d feel this little well of something inside your chest that spreads out and excites you from the inside out.  Sometimes, you can’t catch your breath for the joy of it.  It’s there.  Believe me.  Or not.  Your CHOICE.  Can you imagine the endless possibilities if you DO believe in them?  Wow.  Skies the limit.  And that’s the Truth!

8.  It doesn’t matter what other people think about you, it matters what YOU think about you.  Now this one is a tough one.  Especially to the young ones and the teens.  I remember high school.  I would rather be invisible than to be noticed and judged wanting in some way.  My first two years of high school were low key.  I hovered on the fringes of everything.  But, I WANTED to be popular and have lots of friends, a handsome, attentive boyfriend and an exciting life.  The problem, though, was I was too worried about what people thought of me to get any of those things.  Oh, I had friends, a core group that I have to this day.  I trusted them.  I let them see the real me.  But for the most part…I went through the first two years of high school hoping nobody noticed me.  And I was unhappy with myself because of that DECISION.  I should have loved myself a little more back then.  Oh, I don’t mean in a conceited, “I’m better than anyone, I’m wonderful and everyone should love me” sort of way.  No, never that.  I’ve heard people say they weren’t popular or they were picked on because of their weight, and YET, I remember there being kids in high school who were overweight and everyone liked them!! True story.  There were nerdy kids and geeky kids (yeah, I’m labeling them because that’s what we do and it’s these labels that we cringe from ourselves) and yet some of the kids that fit those labels were well liked and popular anyway.  You see, it depended on how they felt about themselves.  The overweight kids who were comfortable with their weight didn’t walk around hoping nobody saw their weight.  They were okay with their bodies and so everyone else just responded in kind.  The nerdy kids who enjoyed their nerdiness were accepted because they accepted themselves.  They didn’t walk around hoping no one noticed they were nerds, they embraced it!  And so on.  I started figuring this out my last two years of high school.  I stopped being so quiet and shy, holding back, watching from the fringes.  I started getting involved in things and having fun.  So I didn’t have much money, who cared?  So I wore the same clothes several times throughout the year, SO WHAT.  In the end, the only kids who care about the things you worry about are the kids who care about those things because you do.  If you don’t, they don’t.  That’s the way it works. Instead of slouching along, walk with confidence, give smiles instead of scowls, be happy to be who you are because you are the only one in the world!!!

9.  People have power over you if you ALLOW them to have power over you.  Bullies go around looking for people they can cower.  Do you notice that they don’t bully EVERYONE.  No.  They find the ones who have no confidence in themselves, they find the ones who are scared and they feed on it.  Bullies don’t have a good sense of themselves.  They overcompensate this by trying to make themselves feel better by belittling others.  By bossing around, pushing around, and putting fear in others.  It helps to compensate for their own low sense of self-worth.  Their motto is to boss, push and frighten others before anyone else tries to do the same to them.  People who walk around with confidence are usually left alone.  Some bullies might give em a nudge just to test the waters, see if they might bite, if the confidence is real or a ruse.  But when you don’t respond in fear, when you don’t react in a way that makes them feel powerful, they will go find another victim.  I was the second shortest kid in my Freshman class.  I was shy (as I’ve mentioned) and stayed out of the limelight.  I weighed about a 100 lbs (boy are those days gone!).  One day I was walking down the school hallway and there were four boys (looked like Juniors to me, they weren’t scrawny Freshmen, that’s for sure) and they were tormenting a special education student who I knew was in his first year at our school.  He had Down Syndrome.  Talk about bullies!  I watched as they kept slamming his locker shut every time he opened it.  His arms were full of books. One of the boys made him drop the books on the floor.  When he leaned down to pick them up, another of the boys kicked the books.  As the poor kid scrambled to get them, the other boys kept kicking them away.  I was FURIOUS.  Suddenly, I didn’t care how small I was or how shy, I marched down that hallway and I let those stupid boys have it.  Believe it or not, they backed off!  My energy was stronger than theirs in that moment.  I was on the side of rightness and they were not.  They backed off.  I told them to pick up his books.  They did.  I told them they should be ashamed of themselves. Did they really feel so big picking on him?  Were they all that and more because they could pick on someone who couldn’t stand up to them?  They told me they were just playing around, they apologized to the kid and then walked away.  I stood there in that moment and realized something…size doesn’t matter (so there it is!!), attitude matters!  What you feel inside matters.  Strong energy on the side of love overpowers any other sort of energy.  BUT, use that energy for anything but love and it becomes the other side of the coin.  Remember that.

I know I have more lessons that have profoundly affected my life but this post is getting long and I need to stop.  Hope this helps.  And if you have any lessons to share that affected your life profoundly, please do!! We can all use the support of sharing lessons.  Blessings to you and Peace out!!

Merry Christmas or Not

There are as many beliefs as there are stars.  Countless.  Everyone believes something, even when their belief is that they believe nothing.  As we filter through the various holidays, each one is celebrated (or not) in accordance with our beliefs.  Right now we are entering the Christmas holiday season.  For people all over the world, this special holiday means so many things and most of them positive.  But not all.

I get tired of the arguments on how to publicly handle greetings, parting wishes and comments during the Christmas season.   Do we say “Merry Christmas”?  Do we say, “Happy Holidays”?  Do we say nothing at all?  I say … say what you want!  If the spirit for which you give the comment is done with the best of intentions and the receiver chooses to negate the exchange, do not think you must change your feelings and responses to please the negative one.  Some people are so caught up in their own beliefs, thoughts and ideas that they are not willing to entertain any others.  Indeed, some of them will simply not tolerate a differing point of view!  Behavior like that is not fit to rule over society.  Sadly, those are the ones who seem to be controlling things more often than not.

I remember reading an article not too long ago about a woman who complained about a crucifix hanging on a cathedral wall.  A college was to hold their graduation ceremony at this cathedral (as they had done for many years) and this woman (who was obviously not a Christian) decided she was offended by the crucifix and filed a complaint.  What surprises me is the strong support she got for her request to remove or hide the (offending) crucifix!  Why?  How is a simple item (not meant in any way, shape or form to offend anyone) truly hurting this person?  What about the rights of all the other people who wish for the cross to remain?  When the intention of a symbol is not for the purpose of degradation or insults, then what is the problem?  Seriously.  When I see symbols of religions to which I take no part, I am not the least bit offended by them.  I see them as symbols for someone else’s faith and that is it.  The symbol, to me anyway, is meaningless and so I feel no offense.  If the symbol had power to hurt me, I would certainly object but there are no symbols that I know of which can cause injury to a person.

But I digress.  Christians the world over celebrate this time of year to honor of the birth of their savior.  Even among Christians, the holiday is celebrated in diverse ways.  That’s fine.  Celebrate it however you want. It’s pretty cool, though, that a few million of us all celebrate it similarly.  What I cannot fathom is why those who do not celebrate this holiday have the right to impose restrictions on those of us that do.  I wouldn’t dream of telling someone of another faith what to do or not do to honor their traditions and beliefs.

As for what we should say or what we should call it…well, Christmas is Christmas.  It isn’t a nondescript “holiday”.  It has meaning to people.  Over the centuries, people have adopted practices and traditions to celebrate this holy event … the birth of Jesus.  That is what Christmas is about … in part.  We’ve added a few more things to it and that’s fine.  It’s our right as individuals.  For those who do not believe in Jesus and who do not celebrate the holiday in any way, that’s fine.  Carry on.  But leave everyone else alone.  Don’t impose your beliefs on others.  I don’t try to press people to believe my religious and spiritual views and I expect others to do the same.

I am amazed that some people call Christmas a “pagan” holiday and turn up their disdainful noses at the practices some of us hold dear.  Regardless how the traditions started, what matters is the spirit of the intent NOW.  Some people may celebrate the Christmas season in tradition of pagan rituals.  All the power to them.  It’s their right to do so.  Some don’t believe in Jesus and do not celebrate a “non-event”.  Fine, all the power to you.  The fact is, each and every one of us has the right to celebrate anything we want however we want.

There are groups who love to complain that the Christmas tree, the stockings and poor Santa have nothing to do with Christmas.  That’s fine…for them.  But for those who like to differ on the subject, well that’s fine too!  If you think the tree has no place in Christmas, then don’t have a tree.  But please, don’t begrudge those of us that do!! There are some who say that Santa has no place in the Christmas story.  Fine, don’t have anything to do with the jolly ole fellow.  But leave the rest of us that do want to play along alone!  No, Santa isn’t in the bible.  He is in our hearts, our minds, our make-believe world.  He’s a pretense at magic and wonder and love.  What’s so wrong with that?  Some say, because Santa takes the focus off of the Lord.  How so?  I know people who are very devoted to the Lord, whose focus is very much upon him and yet they ALSO have a tree, give gifts and take their children to see Santa.  If someone isn’t focusing on the Lord, that is that person’s business, not anyone else’s.  Yes, the spirit of Christmas has become more than the birth of the Lord but I hardly doubt that’s an unforgivable sin.  It’s all done in love and gosh, isn’t that what God wants most?  For us to share the love?  And if by chance the good Lord does have a problem with how Christmas is celebrated, well then he’ll take it up with the offenders when they meet at the pearly gates.

The only time I think celebrations should be restricted is when injuries to persons or damage to property could occur.  Hazing for example.  That is a celebration of a sort.  Hazing has the potential for physical harm and there should be restrictions on those activities.  Saying “Merry Christmas” is not going to cause physical harm.  Such a greeting means only this:  “May you be merry and happy right now!!  Or it means, “May you be merry and rejoice during this time of Jesus’s birth!” or it means “May you be merry during this time of no import” (it’s all a matter of perception and how you choose to perceive this greeting when given it).  However it’s meant, the wish for “merry” is at its heart.  Truly, there is no offense meant or intended when someone graciously utters these words.  And another thing:  having a tree is not going to cause harm to anyone but the poor tree.  Giving presents and sitting on Santa’s lap is not going to cause injury to anyone or make a child a non-believer of the Christian faith.

Although it’s become very commercialized with the retailers, people are looking for ways to make Christmas special to them and the loved ones in their lives.  I no longer buzz about frantically, looking for the perfect gift.  I rarely find it and I probably can’t afford it.  I used to do that and get all stressed out.  Now I try to think of something thoughtful to give because it gives me pleasure to give.  And I also do a lot of baking!  Everyone loves to eat.  I listen to the music because its so uplifting and I put up my lights because they are pretty and I enjoy looking at them.  On Christmas day, I love to watch the family open their presents and then we enjoy a good meal together.  It’s a day to celebrate love.  It’s a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Or not.  It’s yours to celebrate however you wish.

May you have a joyous and Merry Christmas!! Blessings and peace out.

A little humor for your added pleasure:  The silliness of being “politically correct”

God, Money, Faith


I’ve been writing posts about my supernatural experiences with ghosts and spirit contact but now I want to share the amazing experience I had with God about eighteen years ago (not that I haven’t had any amazing experiences with God before then or since, but there’s one story in particular that I feel moved to share).

I’ve always been strong in my faith, even during times when I’ve not been affiliated with a particular church.  At eighteen I joined the Catholic church and I was quite happy with that until my ever changing beliefs soon collided with church doctrine and we parted ways.  I eventually came to the conclusion that no church had it ALL right so decided to just follow God in my own way.  But, as happens when things go bad or tragedy strikes, I was soon looking for a church to turn to when my marriage fell apart.  Suddenly I am a single mother with three young children and my finances a mess.  He (the ex) hightailed it to greener pastures and left me with the aftermath of unpaid bills and empty cupboards.

I was in the military during this awful time.  It is a demanding career and a huge consumption on a person’s time.  My bosses didn’t care that I was now a single mother (they didn’t issue me those kids!) and had daycare issues and the like, they only cared on me spending 70 percent of my time catering to their demands even if said demands were nothing but silliness.  For instance, there was this one time when I had to stay after work to SWEEP THE ROAD!! with a BROOM!  Why?  Because a … wait for it … GENERAL (gasp) MIGHT (yes MIGHT) come out to our section.  Since we stored the Air Force’s stockpile of explosive paraphernalia, our duty section was far away from the main part of the base…just in case we had an accident.  We didn’t after all, want the base populace to blow up!  We didn’t get a lot of high brass (military VIPs) visitors.  So, on this occasion we labored all day to make our area look pretty.  Heaven forbid if the ROAD was DIRTY should the general traverse it in his car!  No, the military isn’t always stupid like that, but they have their moments (I always thought if they’d just put a few women in charge, things would have made more sense).  But I was operating in a man’s world back then (more women in the higher echelons now thank goodness) and so there you have it…I’m paying for extra babysitting and losing even more time with my kids so I can sweep a road of dirt just in case a general decides to lower himself and visit our humble unit (and no, he never made it out).

Things just went from bad to worse for me.  I was quite devastated at the breakup of my marriage and was many miles away from my family (I was in Florida and they were all in Maine).  I didn’t have them to lean on for support (though I did spend HOURS on the phone with my sympathetic mother!).  My financial situation was getting worse and worse.  Thank God for the angels on earth…my friends!!  I was fortunate during this time to live on a wonderful street (in a duplex provided by the military) with some really great people.  A recent move that had God’s influence all over it for I had just moved there from off base a few months prior.  Had I still been living in town at the time of the break up, I would have lost everything…my home, my career, my credit!  Why? Because while living off base, I didn’t know that many people  and none of my neighbors.  While living off base, I had to pay rent and utilities.  Something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I still been there when my marriage ended. But at my new home on base, I didn’t have to pay rent or utilities (the military gives its members an allowance to live off base and they take that allowance away when you move onto the base.  My off base living expenses, however, had far exceeded the allowance I was given).  My new neighbors became my closest friends.  They really helped keep me together during this black period of my life.

I remember many nights of despair in those first few weeks after the breakup. I would hide in my home while my neighbors visited each other outside and cry because my kids were hungry and I didn’t have much food in the house. I did not want to share my shame with anyone and it was a lonely time for me.  I felt a failure at everything.  My career was hurting for I had a boss who didn’t have much of a heart … truly, he’d stare of me with cold, unfeeling eyes as I tried to humbly explain why I was five minutes late to work, or why I was sitting at my desk crying quietly as I labored along.  It didn’t matter the many HOURS I stayed late to work on his sudden whim, doing stupid stuff…like sweeping roads.  He didn’t care if my kids were sick or the car broke down or that my babysitter couldn’t watch the kids or whatever. None of my woes mattered to him in the least.  I lamented at my luck to get someone like that for a supervisor (the first in my chain of command).  And even that set of circumstances was a lesson for me.  But something I won’t go into in this post.

On one of my worst nights (sobbing over the financial mess I was in), I get a phone call from a friend.  She and her husband had been trying to get me to come to church with them.  I needed God in my life they said.  I told them that I already had God in my life.  But I needed the support of a church they said. They were Baptists.  I was an ex-Catholic with occult beliefs (spirit contact, palmistry, numerology).  I knew for sure the Baptist church was not going to accept those beliefs either.  But I needed some spiritual support.  So  the phone call came at just the right time.  After months of saying no to their invitation to go to church with them, I finally agreed.

Can you imagine my absolute surprise when I go to this church and the minister announces that he is going to start on this very day, a six part sermon about MONEY!!?  I had a little less than 200 dollars in the bank and payday was over a week away.  I had hardly any food in the house (was going to go shopping later that day) and my car was low on gas.  My kids needed shoes and the girls (3 and 4) were in sore need of clothes. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to meet my financial obligations come next payday.  I was in utter despair at what to do (which is why I finally decided to go to church).  The Friday before this particular Sunday I had gone to a credit counseling agency.  They agreed my life was a financial mess and said I qualified for their program.  I was scheduled to meet with them again in a couple days to sign up for their assistance.  And here, on this Sunday when I FINALLY gave in and went to a church that I never thought I’d attend because I’m not Baptist and knew they wouldn’t like me believing the things I believe, the sermon is about money!! The first in a six part series!!  This, I thought, is God at work.

The church was also (coincidentally) trying to get enough money to build a new addition and buy new pews.  It was a very costly venture and they needed their parishioners to come on board and donate the funds to make this happen. This might have been the driving force behind the minister’s decision to do a six part series “the law of money”.  I don’t care.  That day changed my life.

The gist of that day’s sermon:  God provides for his own.  Trust in him and he will take care of ALL your NEEDS (not necessarily all your WANTS, but definitely all your needs).  Yes, this takes a leap of faith.  But one that is good on its return!  Show God you believe and God will show you that your belief is a solid FACT.  Trust God.  Give generously now and don’t worry about where the money is going to come later.  It will come.  Sort of the “if you give it, the money will come” kind of philosophy (this was many years before “The Secret” came out promising similar results!).  When it came time for the collection plate to come around, I pulled my checkbook out of my purse and stared at it long and hard.  The minister was in earnest at this point (it was collection time after all!) about trusting God.  If you Give, so will you Receive…TENFOLD! I decided to trust God.  I wrote out a check for a little over half of what was in my account.  I gave the church $100 knowing it was going to severely cut me short of funds.  My heart was pounding.  After putting that check in the collection box, I wanted to snatch it back.  Was I stupid?  And then, “Sorry, God!! I DO trust you!!”  It was a huge leap of faith for me.

A couple days later, I went to meet with the credit counseling agency.  I had to show them my income, my bills, and the estimated amounts I spent on various things.  The idea was that I pay them, they pay my creditors and I follow their strict budget to the T.  The first to go on my list of liabilities (what I paid out)?Church donations!  My heart did a flip flop.  Oh dear!  I was supposed to be trusting God and here the credit agency was telling me “God will understand that you just can’t afford to give any money to the church right now”.  I had to agree to their budget or it was a no go.  I chose to decline their help.  They wanted me to deny God and I thought that a sure sign that I wasn’t supposed to be there.  Now, just to be clear…I think credit agencies have a place in the world.  They have helped many, many people.  But at this time in my life, it wasn’t for me.  It wasn’t the particular journey I was to travel.

I went home that day with hope in my heart but also fear.  What if…no, I just couldn’t allow my faith to waiver.  A few days later, the day before payday, I’m balancing my checkbook (so I can pay upcoming bills) and it appears that I am overdrawn.  I can’t believe it!  I remember feeling so bereft, terrified, alone. I lay my head down and sobbed my heart out. My son (he was 9) came in the house, saw me in my moment of despair and ran back out.  He ran across the street to my friend Sylvia’s house and told her, “Mom is crying!”.  This dear friend, one of my angels on Earth, came right over.

“Debbie, what is wrong?”  I waved at my checkbook.  “I’m broke, overdrawn and I’ve hardly any food in the house.  I’ve been feeding my kids macaroni and cheese for the past three days.  How much more will they eat of that stuff?”  It was a low point.  It was.  Sylvia took on a no-nonsense, we’ll fix it attitude.  “It’s okay, dear, we’ll figure it out.”  She sits beside me and we go through my checkbook.  I dig out bill statements and bank statements (thank God I don’t throw anything away!) and we go through every single thing.  A mistake!!!  I made two car payments that month!!  A quick call to the bank and yes, I did pay them twice (no I do not know how it was that I did this) and no, I don’t owe them this coming payday.  Just like that, I have 300 dollars!!  A windfall for me. Sylvia invites us to her house for dinner.  She has extra she says.  Plenty to go around.  Did I mention about how good a friend she was?

The next day I get a phone call from Trish, another friend.  “Debbie, I have a bunch of clothes that will fit the girls, do you want them?”  (she had three daughters all older than my two girls).  Yes!!  Sylvia strolls in a few minutes later (within moments of me getting off the phone) and she hands me new shoes for each of my kids.  “I bought my kids (she had three children too) shoes and it was a buy-one-get-one-free deal.  I picked up the free pairs for your kids.”  Did I mention how great an angel she was?

The weekend following the end of the church’s series on money, I make the four hour trip to Georgia to visit my wonderful friends Robin and Steve.  I needed to get away from it all and where better to go than to see more good friends?  I was nervous about the trip because my tires were bad but I decided to trust God in this as well and off we went.  While there, Steve takes my car, tells me he’ll be back later.  When he did so…new tires!  An oil change!  Thank God for them, all my wonderful friends! Sylvia, Nita, Chong, Trish, Robin, Steve … angels on Earth.  Each of them, now aware of my situation, bringing me and my children the things we need.  No questions asked.  No expectations in return.  Wow. God was making good on his promise.  He was providing for my needs and using my friends to make it happen.

I attended all six sermons on money at that Baptist church.  I let everyone know that he (the minister) was speaking a great truth.  Trust God and he will provide!  I was living proof of it!  I never did have any problems after that of meeting my financial needs or getting what I needed.  Things just worked out. (They still do!!)  I even remember getting a check in the mail because I had overpaid something else (way back when) and while doing an audit, they discovered it!  Money just came to me one way or the other.  My parents came for several visits (something we thought wouldn’t happen because of their own issues but then things would clear up and they could come after all!).  Their visits helped immensely.  Not just financially but emotionally.  I hated it when they left to go back home.  I tell you, if I needed something, I thought, “God will provide” and I just didn’t worry about it.  And guess what?  God provided!!

That all happened about 18 years ago.  The philosophy on money that I learned back then has continued to work for me ever since.  Sometimes I do have a relapse and catch myself worrying about money and all the financial demands that must be met.  When I realize what I’m doing, worrying about something God can take care of, I have to stop myself and let it go.  Worry is an indication of faithlessness.  I have to remind myself to trust God.  He has never let me down.  God doesn’t let anyone down, especially those who put their trust in him.

I know this sounds a bit like a sermon but it’s a testimonial.  Every word true. With times being so tough, I thought it a good time to share my own tough times.  God bless everyone reading this post! May God provide all your needs. Amen.


Penned Con 2018

Bringing Authors and Readers together for charity

Kobo Writing Life

Publish today and reach millions of Kobo readers worldwide


Arguing with a brick wall

Metaphysical Living

Exploring consciousness and spirituality through channelling, out of body experiences, dreams, and communication with those who have passed.

Consciousness Travels

Exploring inner and outer dimensions together

Emma's Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction

Book | Film | & TV Show Reviews

The Big Séance Podcast

My Paranormal World...

Theosophy Watch

"Ancient Thought in Modern Dress"

To Become A Writer

Blog home of master wordsmith Renée Pawlish, author of mystery novels, horror books, and the Writers Workshop.

Book Lovers Buffet

Load Up - You Won't Gain a Pound!

Bargain eBooks

eBooks under $5.00!

Bob Mayer

Write on the River

Creating Weirdness On A Daily Basis...

Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at

The Reader's Guide to Epublishing

Your destination site for the Best in Ereading

%d bloggers like this: