The first time I became acquainted with the feelings and responsibility of motherhood was when my autistic brother Michael was born. I was eight (pic below). My mother had two more boys after that, whom I also took care of for my busy mother and stepfather, and became very close to.
The two-year anniversary of my husband’s suicide came and went this month. As I may have mentioned, he was never depressed in the 45 years we were together, but after several battles with “fatal” cancer, his lungs were so damaged that even if we did finally manage to remove the cancer from his body, he’d never be able to breathe normally again—or do any of the things that he loved to do. So he decided to end it all, and the day I heard the single shot and a thump as he hit the floor in his carpeted office was the day that changed my life forever.
As I raced down the hall and saw my beloved husband, the man I was still completely in love with, lying in the entrance to his office, the emotions exploded and raced through me, from the astonishment at how careful he was to make sure he landed face down, so I wouldn’t have to see that face I loved mutilated by the bullet, to the tears and exclamations (“Oh God, oh God, oh God . . . ”), to the realization that there were two suicide notes carefully laid out on his office workspace, each inserted into a clear plastic holder. One for me, which I have since framed and memorized, ending with “I will love you forever,” and one for “the authorities” which explained why he did what he did and to “Please treat my wife kindly. She does not know this is coming, and will probably be in shock.” Read more
Before I write a new article for Kristin’s Wisdom, I have an idea of what I’d like to write, based on interactions with people I help every day. I also check Google Trends and other SEO tools to make sure that there are enough people interested in the subject, who could be helped by the article. When I typed “why are we here” into Google Trends, this is what I saw: Read more
I have a friend who can’t keep a job. Ironically, he is also incredibly hard-working, conscientious, and pleasant. The problem is this: he is subconsciously rebelling against authority, and sometimes he is the authority in his life, so he is literally rebelling against himself. This causes severe problems for him, to the point where he won’t show up for work for weeks, and he becomes extremely depressed. He does not know how to be happy with himself.
Imagine a couple who fell in love, and stayed in love, for decades. But that feeling of being in love would be interrupted, to their deep dismay, by a pattern that kept repeating itself, for at least two of those decades, until the wife changed one thing she was doing, and then they never fell out of love again. True story.
Might you have a similar problem, in your romantic relationship, that is keeping you from being “in love” all the time?
My own experience has proven to me that a relationship roadblock usually consists of one of two things:
- One person is keeping something from the other person.
- One person is unable to recognize something within.
Let’s look at how these play out, and then talk about what you can do about them. Read more
You have a choice. You can live a life where you are frustrated, unfulfilled, restless, bored, and basically unsatisfied. Or you can live a life where you can’t wait to get to work every day, your mind is active and intrigued, you are proud of what you accomplish each day, and you know that when your life comes to an end you will die with a smile on your face.
Obviously, we all want the second option. And yes, what happens in your love life has a significant impact on your happiness. But we’re focusing on your work life here. Most people spend at least 40 – 50 years of their life working, and if your work isn’t satisfying, your life won’t be that fulfilling, either.
But it’s not easy making the right career choice, for a number of reasons. You might:
- Have so many interests it’s hard to settle on just one
- Have started work in one industry or type of job, and now feel stuck
- Wish you could change careers but don’t know how to go about it
- Have no idea what really would work for you
I once was talking to my father, by then in his 60’s. He told me that he had decided that success in life is about balance. He didn’t elaborate, and we went on with our discussion, but it stuck in my mind. This discussion came to me recently when I thought about balance in tandem with another concept: You can’t cheat the system.
All of them. We live in a world of systems.
Your body is a system. If you overload it, by overeating or drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, and so on, there will be consequences. The consequences are often subtle and easy to dismiss, such as a headache or belly ache, slightly swollen ankles or a rash, or slowly thinning hair, dry skin, or brain fog. If you really overdo it, there is the morning after when you feel like there’s a hammer banging around in your head or your belly is insisting that you go back to bed. Read more
According to Statista, about 40% of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce; 60% of all second marriages end in divorce; and fully 73% of all marriages end in divorce. Even the seemingly happy marriages, like the one between Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, can end up on the rocks. When you fall in love and it ends poorly, it’s sad.
And yet, when two people get married, they are very much in love and convinced that their relationship will survive the toughest challenges. They vow to be there for each other, no matter what. So what happens? Why do people break up?
There’s really only one reason: they continue to be two individuals in a relationship, not realizing that there is a third entity that, if they paid attention to it and grew it, would make it possible for them to be there for each other, no matter what.
I think of that third entity as your Love Flame. It’s something you create, just between the two of you. It’s bright and shining at the beginning; if you both take good care of it, it will not only remain that way but it will become even brighter and shinier the longer you are together. There will be even more precious memories, even more situations to laugh about, and even more inside jokes that only take a raised eyebrow to set you both into fits of laughter, yet again. Read more
It is possible to live happily ever after, no matter who you are. You might scoff at this statement, for all kinds of reasons, but before you dismiss this concept out of hand, let me explain.
Of course you need to have a way of supporting yourself and your loved ones. That’s a given. And you have to be comfortable with who you are and how you go about living. That’s easier said than done, but it is definitely possible. It’s even possible to eliminate stress from your life completely. Yes, completely.
Here is how to live a magical life.
1. Be good and do good. I recently attended the funeral for a beloved aunt. One of her sons, when he got up to speak, said that his mother said this to him frequently as he was growing up: “Be good and to do good.” Sums it up nicely. When you work on being good and doing good, life repays you with good relationships and circumstances. Things work out better for you than for those who have no interest in being good or doing good.
2. Avoid those who are not being good nor doing good. In our teen years, this is particularly difficult, but it does pay off. Spending even a few hours with someone who is not being good or doing good means things can go entirely wrong—and can literally ruin your life.
I’m surprised that so many people search for “What is happiness?” About 70,000 people a month are asking Google that question. What are they looking for? Do we not know when we are happy? Or, more likely, do we wonder how we can be happier?
As I see it, there are two kinds of happiness: a giddy emotion, and a comforting peace.
The first is fleeting, usually a reaction to a thought or an occurrence. The second is long-lasting, and can grow over time, to the point where you are always peaceful, no matter what is happening around you.
The source of that peace is truth.
There is so much evidence for this, on both the negative and the positive sides of the equation. Read more