August 22, 2010

Showing People They Matter While They Are Living

I just learned a former co-worker I knew several years ago died.  Today is August 22, 2010, but I am just getting the sad news that she died in July. My response to the friend who gave me the update is I wish I had known. Inside me, my spirit is asking why do you wish you knew given when you knew her health had taken a turn there were calls you didn't make and visits that didn't occur. You were too busy.

I feel bad that she died, but I feel much worse because I didn't go see her when just last month I had said I need to go visit. It wouldn't have required a train or plane, just a ride to another city close to where she lives.

My list of I wishes covers I wish I had called, I wish I had visited, I wish I had known about her memorial, I wish, I wish, I wish...

Get over yourself, my spirit admonishes me to learn from this and recalls: "Remember a few years ago when you lost another friend and you found out when your sister called. She asked you  why you had not told her your friend Dot had died. You were stunned and shocked. You called her husband who shared he thought that someone else had told you. That someone said she didn't have the heart to give you the bad news but now wished she had."

I could not argue but how I wish I could turn back the hands of time. That day I went back to work and looked at emails she had sent asking me how I was and letting me know how much she  valued our friendship. Her last email to me was hey, are you alright? I keep sending emails, but I haven't heard from you. I want to know you are okay. I remembered reading the emails, telling myself I'll get back to her.

I wish, I wish I had not been too busy to check all my emails. I wish I had called. I wish I had heard her voice one last time. I wish someone had told me she had gotten sick.

I haven't seen the friend who shared the news in many years. My wish list grows longer, as I wish I had stayed in touch and still shared the friendship we once shared. I was too busy to be a friend.

Tonight I'm reflecting on my I wish list and reexamining friendship and family time that I have forfeited because I was too busy with work or something else. I have missed friend's children growing up because I got so caught up in the busyness of life.  My Goddaughter had just gone to college and I wish I had spent more time with her before she went away. Her mother is leaving town and how it grieves me because now I wish I had done more things with her.

This is not what living like it matters should be like. It should be about showing people they matter not sending a message that we are too busy.

June 20, 2010

Father's Void

Someone shared on my Facebook page that Father’s Day is bittersweet. It is for so many women who grew up without their fathers or grew up losing their fathers or the relationship with their own.

When I was 14, my parents divorced. It was one of the most traumatic events in my life. I thought my world fell apart, and I became a very angry teenager. My father was no longer present in my life. I didn’t have him there to ask why or help me understand. I turned my anger on my mother with nowhere else to point my anger toward or a way to let it go and get my healing. It took some years, along with the patience and the unconditional love of my mother, to help my broken heart heal. It didn’t help that my father was a television producer, and I would see his name on the credits for TV shows. He had no credit or credibility in my life.

My anger caused me to choose unhealthy relationships. When I had the potential for having one that was healthy, I tore down the relationship before it had a chance to stand and grow strong. I never talked about what had occurred in my life. I didn’t know how to share, and I didn’t always know that I should share with a guy, “here’s my struggle.” I had a void due to feeling that I had been rejected by my father. He had left without an explanation. He had left without a goodbye speech. He had left with lies that left me with feelings that psychologists would call abandonment.

Those feelings were my life’s painful backpack. They held on to me like the skin on my bones and damaged my heart. The longer I didn’t deal with the feelings the heavier the backpack and the more negative impact on my life. My mother was the who helped me unload with love. She gently unzippered my hurt and lifted off the scars that were covering my emotions and heart. She talked to me when I was ready. During my adult years, and through the help of God,  she alone became my father and my mother. I don’t remember when I started sending her cards on Father’s Day, but I don’t let a year go by without saying both Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day.

Today is bittersweet, and I do now have my father back in my life, but not in the same way that many have had their father throughout their life. I have friends who are feeling their father’s void because he was loving and the father everyone should have, but he has left this world. Their void is due to missing what once was. Then there are the friends who never knew their fathers. Their void is similar to the one I once had because their father never participated in their life. Then there are the friends who grew up in Foster Care, who share the void of not knowing why their father couldn’t keep them. Many are blessed that their Adoptive or Foster Father gave them what they never knew biologically.

Yes, father’s day is bittersweet for many. I am thankful for a wonderful father-in-law, Willie Ferrell, who is like a father to me. We have many father daughter talks. I miss my spiritual Dad, Ernest Washington. I came across his obituary the other day, and I think about the void that was left in my life when he left this world. He took the empty out of some voids, though, by filling my life with great financial wisdom, career advice, and the kind of guidance about relationships that allowed me to be able to have sung to my loving husband and me at my rehearsal dinner “At Last.” My husband is a great father who lost his own son, yet he is helping to fill his own voids as we mentor foster kids and he teaches them about money.

Happy Father’s Day, and if it is bittersweet, learn how to still live and receive healthy love.

June 13, 2010

Some of the Best Times in Life Can be Free

Ladies are you looking for a way to get your money matters back on track while at the same time feeling like you can’t enjoy the good life?

Broke times don’t mean you have to have a broke life. Broke does not have to mean that we can’t have fun or have to deny our self some of life’s goodies. It may mean, however, tightening the wallet, freezing some of our assets and putting a hold on our spending.

I enjoy many of life’s privileges without having to pay my way to a joyful or fun-filled life. Some of the best things in life can be enjoyed without a price tag. You just have to be creative and do your homework.

My husband is a financial educator. One of his popular topics is how to bring fun to your life without reaching into your pocket. He says it starts right where you live, right in your neighborhood, and right in your community. When we dated, or during times when money wasn’t right, he schooled me on how to enjoy life without the big price tag.

Here are some of the things we enjoy  to make our life matter, and we didn't have to buy a thing:

1. Picnic in the park. Most parks don’t charge you entrance fees so why not head to one and enjoy a day of relaxing. Make lunch from what’s in your home and call some friends to join you with the challenge of “bring only what’s in your fridge.” If you don’t want to drive to the park, do what we do, lay a picnic blanket on you floor and create a “stay at home picnic.”

2. Music and concerts. Neighbors are building community by offering free concerts during the summer. We love these, and get our concert schedules right before they start and plan which ones to attend. Friends join us, too, which makes it nice; again, we don’t have to spend a dime.

3. Movie nights. It may take a little extra research on your part, but community centers and some of the touristy sites hold free outdoor movies.

4. Time with friends. Yesterday, I had the best time with a friend by spending time with her for the afternoon. We laughed, talked, and shared and it didn’t cost us a dime.

5. Museum visits. Many cities have great museums without the entry fees.

6. Bike riding and walking. Parks and probably close by are walking trails where you can go bike riding, running or walking.

Live,Sister,Live: Living Life Like It Matters (Cause it does)tm

May 16, 2010

Sunday with LiveSisterLive: Letting Go

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hesse

I don't know how your day, week or month has gone, but I have had my share of life's hard to let go moments.  This has been a heavy mentoring month that reminds me as women we can hold on to relationships that do our life more harm than good if not handled in a way that heals us.

What I Call the "Holding On & Hard to Let Go Month"

May is always an interesting month filled with things we hold on to, like the love of a mother and the loss of a mother. It's a month where women participate in  breast cancer awareness weeks, walks and runs, many of who are living with the loss of health. This is the month when college graduates hold on to the memories of their college years and letting go of school years.  For others, it's not the month, but another month of holding on to what once was, like a job, relationship or friendship.

How do you live life like it matters and let go?

I have had my share of letting go moments in my life and would have to agree with the author of the quote, it can make you stronger than the holding on.  

I don't agree that many people feel that holding on makes us feel stronger. It just makes us feel like not moving or doing anything.  Sometimes strength from an issue that we hold on to comes from matters of time and healing.  A woman who has lost her mother will hold on to the memory because her mother matters.  The college graduate holding on to what once may just be afraid of what's ahead, and may not realize that the future is now what matters.  In relationships that break, the feelings of people who matter to us are what keeps us holding on even if for now we have to let go of them.

5 ways to let go  in a way that matters.

1. Let go with faith and a prayer; turn what you are holding on to, over to God; trust that a broken relationship can heal even if it's only in your heart and not another's
2. Let go by grieving the loss you hold on to,  seeking help from wise advisors who can talk you through all you are feeling
3. Let go by telling yourself you cannot control what people do, how people treat you or even perceive you
4. Let go by finding strength in all the good that has come to you through another person having entered or left your life or this world
5. Let go and live like right now is what matters, not the pain of yesterday,but in the memories of what was good yesterday

Sometimes, you can make life matters a little bit better like listening to a great letting go song like this one from singer Dwayne Woods

April 18, 2010

Live Sister Live Living with tm...: Infidelity: Her Story, His and the Other Woman have their Say

"I watched a commercial about sheltered dogs. It said don't pity a sheltered dog. I don't think the Elin Woods, Saundra Bullock's or other women like me should be pitied, but we need a safe shelter to talk about our pain and work through the process."

This week, the LiveSisterLive team focuses our Sunday "Living with tm... segment on a story of a sister, her mate, and the other woman. They share their story at their request to help others but also we thank them and will protect their true identity.

The headlines are filled up with the celebrity side of marital cheating. Today, we want to tell one sister's story of how she dealt with the brokenness of infidelity and to hear from a sister who was the other woman. We hear from not only the other woman but the man who betrayed her.

Sister betrayed: When I found out my mate was with another woman, I had a meltdown and let him know how much I hated all he was and all he did to me. Not because I hadn't had a clue; in my gut I knew, but in my heart I tried to rationalize and argue with my brain. I didn't want anyone to know, so my marriage had public and private life. He also told me I was crazy. By the time I did share with someone, I was almost bitter beyond repair. I called her and texted her to stay away from my man.

Sister with a promise of he’s leaving: I thought I was the victor and had the sense of this poor guy and he's my soul mate. Nothing in my mind made me feel I too was the one who was losing. I didn’t recognize there are three sides to the story. I thought I was the prize, had captured the man and he was coming to me. When truth came out, I too was betrayed. I had been told only one side of the story. I had had my own issues too. I was mad when she called me and mad with him when she called me. In the end I had done wrong to me and to her.

The brother in the middle of a mess he feels he created: I had lied, but I was confused. I didn’t feel like a man I felt better with her (the other woman) than with my wife. When I wanted to do my thing, I picked an argument. I started looking at her when my wife and me stopped communicating and things seemed to be falling a part in other parts of my life. It started with a conversation. I got something that I wasn’t getting at home.  It was messed up and once in I lied to myself to stay in.

How the betrayed lived with infidelity and got her healing

As I said, I was the queen of bitterness and angry. I told everyone he was no good and tried to explain all that he had done for me. No one seemed to care; they noticed more of my emotional rage than my hurting hurt. I called her and told her to leave my man alone. Neither one of us confronted him. I brought my own life to a halt and didn't see all I was doing to me. I had a friend come to me to get some help and it was the best thing I could do for my life and well being.

10 Ways to Live Life like it Matters In the Midst of Betrayal from the LiveSisterLive Self-Care Coach
1. Don't shoot, don't kill, don't run him over with your car, feel inadequate or less than a woman. Also, don't hang the situation on you.

2. Express your anger, but in a constructive way and not hurtful to you.

3. Recognize if you had a role in the person being unfaithful. However, it’s also important to remember that you can't control anyone's behavior.

4. Protect your sanity and “guard your emotions”

5. Reminder yourself you are not responsible for the facts regardless of what you have been told

6. Talk to someone objective and non-judgmental (e.g. therapist or wise friend) and who you will not be afraid to give the facts too

7. Write down what you need to do to recover the relationship or move out of the relationship

8. Grieve the loss regardless of whether or not you stay or go

9. Take care of you by doing some new things in your life

10. Forgive yourself, forgive him and forgive her and move your life forward

 If you are living with infidelity, reach out to LiveSisterLive so a self-care coach can help you...

April 11, 2010

LiveSisterLive Living Segment : An MS Diagnosis is Not Keeping Her Down

In September 2009, after almost a year of, pokes, prods, evaluations, and tests, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) – an unpredictable autoimmune disease that attacks the nerve-insulating myelin in your central nervous system (brain, spine, and optic nerve). No one ever wants to hear such devastating news, but I feel uniquely blessed because my diagnosis came at an early stage of my disease and at a time when many treatment options are available.

How's She Living with this Matter?

My doctors are confident that with medication, exercise, proper nutrition, and taking care of myself I will continue to have a wonderful and quality-filled life.

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of people before me that have battled MS daily for years, scientific teams around the globe working on treatments and cures, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, I have a fighting chance. Help me give back to those that are making a successful battle against MS a reality – support me and the Pam’s Peeps Team on April 11 in Arnold, Maryland as we participate in Walk MS 2010. There are four ways you can support us:

A. Come out to Arnold and walk the 5K with us on April 11

B. Participate as a virtual walker

C. Make a financial donation and help us reach and exceed our $500 team fundraising goal

D. Continue to pray for everyone with MS


To learn more on how you can support our team, please visit:

Many thanks for your continued support and prayers.

Living Life Like It Matters: Bearing One Another's Burdens

Galatians 6:2  Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.(NIV)

I love Sunday's, a good sermon and learning about how God wants us to live and about purpose. The message I heard today was all about how we can be used to help others:

Today I learned a friend has MS. I already have two others who also are walking through this. I know from the symptoms, at times it can  be life limiting. I thought about how many times we learn about something that someone has and we say I'm sorry. We may not take the time to find what the situation means to the sister going through.

How Can I Live Life  Like It Matters? I'm doing a lot of digging about the life the others live with MS. With that information I'm going to ask my friends what I can do. I'm going to let them know they don't have to lve through it alone. All three friends are full of joy, but life can be limiting. And where they have limits I can look for ways to step in.

Show up today for someone with MS. Don't be sorry, but be there.  Take a walk for her. You can search for a link below.

Let's Move for the Sister who may not be able to move like we can.

LiveSisterLive and bear someone's burden today!