About Pam Reynolds

Pamela Reynolds is a Connecticut certified teacher in Elementary and Special Education. She has a Master of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University and taught over twenty years in public and private schools and is now retired. She has been investigating the Mother-in-law Daughter-in-law subject for over 25 years with discussions and survey’s leading to the writing of her newly published second book on the in-law relationship “THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN”. She is married and has 4 children, and 3 daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and 9 grandchildren. Pamela blogs frequently on relationships on her website www.pamreynolds,me

Are you trying to improve your relationship with your daughter-in-law? Do you want to create a better understanding and reduce tension? If these are a few of the questions that frequently enter your mind, then read on for some answers.

Mothers Are Always Mothers

I’d like to attempt to answer the question about why there is tension within the relationship. Mothers are always mothers, even when they become grandmothers. When our son marries, we often feel relegated to the back seat, second place and total background of his life. The sad truth is that this is the way life unfolds and it is a natural, necessary process. We cannot change this and must accept it.

The good part is our son will always have a place in his heart for us and he will always love us. If we accept his love, no matter how it filters our way, then we are not going to be as bothered with the changes.  

Change is a Huge Issue

At a time when our children are getting married, we are going through menopause. We are experiencing the empty nest syndrome, and the reality of retirement. We deal with illnesses we have acquired along our life’s path. The frosting on the cake may be our feelings of loss.

Transformation is difficult. However, life is not over and when we get through the thickets we see relief and a new existence unfolds. Like the butterfly, we must peel off the cocoon to make life alterations. We fear this because even new changes are difficult to cope with. We are comfortable within our current existence and don’t want to move forward, although we realize changes happen throughout our lives and are at the core of our existence.

I remember being at one son’s apartment helping him hang up curtains one week and within a short time, I was told to call before coming over. It is a part of life’s alterations even if I or others don’t like it.

Start the Relationship with Your Daughter-in-Law Early

Trouble begins at the start of a son’s relationship if a mother does not recognize the potential girlfriend as a possible future wife and daughter-in-law. Even if you have gotten off on a bad start to the relationship, it is still possible to rekindle it and evolve the bond into a happy relationship.

As difficult as letting go can be, a problematic relationship with your daughter-in-law is painful and full of stress and anxiety. I choose peace.

Respect the Boundaries

Mothers-in-law have a new playing field. They need to refrain from disregarding boundaries, respect rules – even if they don’t agree with them and think they are ridiculous. Your son loves this person. She is now his family. Stepping back a bit and recognizing the importance of his union and the onward cycle of life is crucial.

Mothers give their children strong roots of stability and growth. No one should cut those roots nor break them down. Daughters-in-law give their husbands wings to fly to new places and experience new beginnings and life itself. We do not clip the wings. How fortunate is the man-in-the-middle who is able to keep and nurture both wings and roots.

I have been studying this relationship for over 20 years and have found some things to be true. My surveys and investigations span two generations. I began my books as a daughter-in-law and finished them as a mother-in-law. It allowed me to discover both points of view, not only through my mind but through my heart.

Do you want to understand your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law then read my new book “THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN”. It is a unique book with universal appeal for all women. The book uncovers the secrets of the relationship. It spans two generations and will bring comfort and insight long after the wedding is over. Brides, mothers-in-law and bridal party as well as people marred many years will discover ways to improve their relationship.

I began it as a daughter-in-law and finished it as a mother-in-law. There are over twenty stories about real women who shared their stories with me. I surveyed and/or interviewed hundreds of women for many years and wrote my book based on these findings. It is never too late to improve this relationship! Please contact me at my e-mail below if you are interested.

2 Books in 1 about the Hidden Secrets

In the Mother-In-Law and Daughter-In-Law Relationship

The Princess and The Queen by Pamela Reynolds

is now published by Blooming Twig Books

 

It is available on Amazon.com.

This double-sided book (one half for the mother-in-law the other half for the daughter-in-law) answers these questions:

  • Do you know what your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law  thinks?
  • How our individualities, environments and life changes affect the relationship.
  • Ideas and techniques to keep the relationship on track.
  • Learn how to solve problems before they appear or increase.
  • You can do a makeover of an existing poor relationship.
  • Uncover the words and actions that improve the relationship.
  • Learn how you manage the interference and changes in a positive way.

This book helps create a happy atmosphere for both the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

  • The book promotes relationship harmony for all women.
  • When the daughter-in-law/ mother-in-law communicate the families are happy.
  • The content stories and reflections from the book promote a positive relationship.
  • Real women discuss their stories.
  • I began the book as a daughter-in-law and finished it as a mother-in-law. It spans two generations of meaningful research.

Contemplating marriage or married any number of years, this book, The Princess and The Queen, entertains enlightens and is a great Wedding or Shower gift.

1

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management... just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” Louise Boone

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone." Steven Spielberg

"While we are free to choose our actions we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."  Stephen Covey

I miss the love and respect once extended to me. I get home at night and just don't feel satisfied with my day or with people in general. It is confusing to think about the obligations I fulfilled yet it brings no contentment. I reflect for five minutes and fall asleep exhausted. The unhappiness makes me question what I am doing that causes dissatisfaction getting up in the morning. I decide to contemplate it more before I go to sleep or over the weekend.

I never complete my daily tasks

When I asked some people to comment on the numerous tasks they had to complete each day they laughed and said "I never complete most of the things I planned on completing." "I know how you feel I reply because I never finish everything I wanted to do and I blame me. Most people were disappointed with their day and tasks. They were disgruntled with their lack of time for their kids and spouse and also with the little if any time left for themselves.

Find time to investigate why you have none

...continue reading "Lighten Your Schedule And Improve Love."

Investigating the reasons is easy once you find some time to do it. I observe people and discover the simple problem and easy solution so I think. We fill up our day with busy stuff to do. It appears to be relevant but the outcome of our attention to tasks is of small benefit and the price of it is expensive. We may not have the money for a new car so we work overtime at the cost of missing our child's game or time tucking them into bed as well as spending time with our spouse. We believe we will make it up to them on the weekend and feel justified in what we did. We must work but time with family is priceless.

Do you forget  the happy plans you make for the weekend?

The weekend comes and goes and we forget about our happy plans and attend to our jobs of fixing things. At the start of a work week it is life as usual. Some people sign up for extra courses at work in order to improve skills and stay noticed when salary reviews come along. The family needs the money we think. We never consider our last pay check going for new unneeded clothes and other items. It feels satisfying to spend the hard earned money on frivolous things after we worked hard for it. The sense of deserving it is overwhelming.

Are the extra items necessary?

Do we question that the bonus items we buy may be unnecessary and we can  skip the extra time spent at the job? The corporate world takes over our time and our minds. We don't question why we spent so much time at the workplace competing with our co-worker. We want to keep our jobs that's what we believe. Why does the trade world decide our life?  We laugh at those who say we work too hard and respond with "You don't understand." I think if we all begin to understand that we are losing something precious we just may slow down.

Competition creates enemies

Competing begins at birth when parents decide if we are bigger, smarter, more athletic etc. than another child. School continues the pattern and the race is on to win the honor of college which costs more money and time not to mention freedom to live and love. It may sound silly but life and love have been relegated to the back burner.

Do we have a life we enjoy or a life we endure?

There is a difference. Filling schedules with jobs spending for things that actually add to our burdens or items that demand more of our time which is taken from the family. It also leaves us with no free time for us. Some things must be released just like steam from a kettle. Unfortunately it is our decency to each other we let go of. There is a lack of mindfulness towards others and respect is non-existent.

We are more like robots in our manners than humans with feelings. We don't have time for empathy and care because our schedule ties us up in knots and the light of love can't enter such a chaotic life. Our full schedule gives us brief cryptic and edgy talks with kids and angry discussions with the spouse. At times we deliberate and think another spouse would make us happier. We never consider if we don't change our core thinking and behavior nothing changes. Neglect of the family and relationships we have with extended family also suffers.

We believe we can make time for them at some future point that does not  exist nor happen. We are exonerated because putting people and things off makes it easier to let them go without regret or guilt. Maybe we don't realize the gems we are giving up. The marriage suffers lack of attention and the kids suffer lack of parental attention. It is not always attention when we keep our kids "entertained". Consideration comes with noticing their moods feelings emotions and pain. Spending talking and caring time is important to all people. We all love sharing a conversation or story and somehow the laugh or reminiscing makes us respond with love.

Love and attention keeps people together 

Love is free enduring and comes naturally if it is extended to us from childhood onward. Kids learn by observing and how they are treated. People feel happiness with love and respect extended. If a co-worker  recalls our injured or sick child we feel overwhelming good towards them. When we are happy it extends outward and others benefit from our upbeat attitudes.

Anger generates more anger and rage

Kindness spreads into happiness and consideration. We just have to reset our priorities. Is is really that important to work later or longer? Is it relevant to see our kids and read to them or observe their activities or play a game?  Can we be there to tuck them in or listen to their day? Does our spouse need a break or can they give us a needed respite? Does a parent  appreciate a phone call? Is there a friend we have ignored?

We can reset the clock and priorities we have

We can enjoy more laughs and less toys, more love and less sponsored activities, more mindfulness and less running around. Stop looking down at a machine and instead look up at the beautiful sky trees flowers kids and people. They are what fill our lives with contentment every day. They are what matter, what always mattered. they are worth more than any price. We already have it all when we have people to love and who love us. It becomes a problem only when we are too busy to notice or too tired to care. Cut the schedule, slow down, remember who you are. You are worth more than a number on a check. Give respect to others and receive it in return. Trade the antagonizing world in for a loving life. Set your priorities by what really counts and who is more important. You can find the answers by reflecting on who you love.

“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen R. Covey quotes

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster” Stephen R. Covey

If we are paying attention to our lives, we'll recognise those defining moments. The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and 'being busy, busy' that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that - if jumped on - would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow. Robin S. Sharma

“Scars fade with time. And the ones that never go away, well, they build character, maturity, caution.” Erin Mc Carthy

“It is hard to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.”
John

Most of the problems in life are because of two reasons: WE ACT without thinking *or* WE KEEP THINKING without acting. pinterest

"The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely of your own making." anonymous

Has anyone noticed the numerous road signs of life? Does anyone proceed with caution? I should be the last person to talk about this subject because I am always going full speed  ahead. I crash into walls all of the time and then regroup and reflect about where I went wrong.

I tell myself the next time I will think before I talk or walk. That does not happen. The one thing I acknowledge is the truth about thinking and being cautious. I just have to listen to my inner voice before I crash.

Making decisions before reflecting is asking for trouble. I agree that none of us asks for trouble. Why do we end up in dilemmas? I say it is due to wanting to do the right thing but taking the short road instead of proceeding with caution. The long road is always more difficult. I like things done quickly without pain and aggravation. I usually get lots of frustration and mounds of extended work. Why do I repeat this time and again? I need to find an answer for that question. Many of us don't see ourselves falling into the same  pattern but we repeat  similar actions everyday.

Somehow, the rush causes us to spill things which makes extra lost time  to pick up. I am always reminded of my grandmother's caution of "Haste makes waste". I hate recalling those words when I am cleaning up an unnecessary mess. ...continue reading "Watch Life’s Road Signs. Proceed With Caution"

Some people rush their kids into a car only to have one child fall down  and require a band-aid. If we are really annoyed, we blame the child for not watching where thy were going. There are things we forget to take with us like our  lunches. When we scoot out the door forgetting our lunch the blame goes to the wife or husband. We may come close to running over the neighbors dog with our driving skills. Why do they let their dog out at such an early busy time of day we think?

We curse the person who poured the last cup of coffee at work and left us none. We made the coffee yesterday and did not expect to do it again today. Our co-worker asks for help on a project but we have no time to give at the moment. Their kids are grown,  so what is their excuse we think. They do have kids in college and moving day but I just got through dropping my two and three-year old off at day care and as usual they cried and made me feel guilty. The kids don't understand the fact that bills  and clothes  cost money. The washer is fading fast and the car has a lot of miles. My father had surgery  and I have to visit him tonight so fixing the handle on the door is going to have to wait. Oh no, I left the kids lunches at home on the counter. I have to call the daycare and ask them to feed the kids for today.

I pick up the kids and before we get home one of them is throwing up in the back seat of the car. I drop them off to my spouse  and head off to the hospital. I hate the smell in the car and gag as I drive. How did I reach this point in life?  I ask and  wonder. When I  finally reach home I am so tired I don't feel like eating and my spouse is annoyed because they made the dinner.

How can they have no feeling?  I think, I am not in the mood for talking so I drag myself to bed and shut my eyes even though I am not asleep. I don't want fifty questions about my job, dad or smelly car. I need to get up early and clean the car or I'll  toss-up my breakfast before I get to work.

Here are the questions for the quiz. Can we slow down? Can we speak with the kids and  implore their help? Maybe if we took more notice and listened to what our child was saying we would have heard they had a tummy ache. Would that make us consider working from home that day? Two trips to the car is the cautious way of bringing the stuff I need to work but I was trying to save time. I don't consider the cost of time it took to pick up the items I dropped because I was trying to save time.

The calmness that we overlook and ignore results in our being annoyed. The frustrations cause us to blame others. The other people get angry and fight back. The battling makes us anxious and self-righteous. All our self-righteous results in standing our ground and faulting everyone around us. We argue with co-workers, scream at the kids, fight with the spouse and endure a rising of the blood pressure within our own bodies. At these points, we consider running away from the problems, divorcing the wife and changing jobs.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

“Distress is the moment you realize that life will hurt more than your death. While existing, we're forced to become acquainted with sadness. There's no antibiotic for the ridding of distress, and no alleviation of these intervals of pain we must encounter. Behind our eyes, are all these things: our stories, our dreams, our deficiencies, and our scars. Today would leave a scar.” Crystal Woods

“One's suffering, one's melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.”  Criss Jami

I am in distress about hearing another child is injured by a parent or someone they love. The frustration runs rampant through my  head because I have no answers. If we are upset it triggers less appreciation for what we have. How can we give answers when our security is threatened. It is painful to worry about our sense of well-being when threats are part of our world. Such is the case for many children.

Are adults  boxed in without any choices? Are we facing a dead-end to our lives on the road we are traveling?. Is this what results in distress which leads to rage? It is easy to feel this way in life. I am no exception but predicaments and stress are not our leaders. Our levels for overload differ and burdens strain us into crazy unthinkable actions. There is no excuse for anyone. I do not condemn anyone because I am not God. But deep within us we bury the truth afraid to admit our own fears. When we arrive at a  challenging place of chaos help seems out of reach. That is when we lose control.

Our next step is the panic button. The  answers are elusive. We   losw and say and do anything. Human thoughts and emotions are overruled and animal instincts  overtake reason. A person is motivated by anger hate and revenge while he searches for ways to take revenge on anyone near him. Like an unthinking  machine actions are mindless. Reason is obliterated with all the distress and feelings overshadowed. ...continue reading "End A Child’s Distress with loving discipline"

Focus is to relieve the emotional anguish at any cost. The price is not important because one believes their life is too demanding and they are trapped. The torment and distress makes a person cause pain to others who are in close proximity.

the first ones hurt are children because they are the easiest and most vulnerable targets. Kids are swallowed in an ocean of pain. This scene replays  often and leaves desolation in its' wake.People use children to hurt their spouses, aunts, uncles or grandparents in divorce situations. Few people consider the state of mind and emotional toll distress confers on children. We acknowledge children as creatures who don't have  feelings, opinions or desires. We consider the child's worth inferior to  the adults value when we fail to protect them from the bullies of the world. We may be their first bully.

I know we don't live in other people's homes but we can be watchful towards all children. Some live in fear and others have given up. If parents don't protect kids but instead  become the culprit then society should step in. How do we do that is a key question. Maybe it is time to restructure our child protective system. More workers may be placed in home environment areas. With counsel and support within the homes  more parents learn how to care for their kids with love and attention.

Some skills must be taught. If we have no knowledge about how to go about  feeding or nurturing a child then it is important to have available counselors taking on that role. Giving someone food and clothes is kind but teaching someone how to find and earn food and clothes is better. When anyone is in distress it is okay to sympathize but to support them with other options is more productive. When a person  is willing to work  but can't find a job perhaps more effort should be made to help him or her find the job rather than locking them up for stealing and then paying  for jail time.

Maybe as a society we can think of improved ways of teaching someone how to survive in our society. As one professor once said to me, "If you lived in a rich society you would not know how to go about calling on those people who would take care of you and drive and buy items for you. Likewise if you lived in an extremely poor society you would not know  which places or rubbish cans had the best left over food and which places were safer to bunk down for the night. The more I thought about it  the more it made sense. We can't throw anyone into any place and expect them to get the rules and norms of the society. We must teach them more than just giving without thought. One learns to value themselves, fend for themselves and take pride in their work. Starting from the bottom may promote better outcomes instead of pretending we have systems in place which obviously don't  work.

When  people are desperate they do desperate and despicable things. People who are frustrated or without options behave erratically. This lends itself to other areas in their lives that become unstable. If one divorces there is turmoil and loss of family friends and security. Kids again suffer the most. Parents move on but kids  are caught in the middle. Parents are likely dealing with so much they sense the need to find themselves first but in that process the kids can become lost.

If a friend or family member is in need pay attention and help out. Give a hand at least short-term. Attempt to stop the negativity and find peace. kids didn't fight with grandma or aunt Amy so keep it civil and allow as many family members into your life and your child's life as you can. Support comes in many sizes and ages. Working on any job with others brings greater security and serenity. Going alone encourages distress a lot faster. Take a look around and find those people willing to be your friend and forgive family and friends who have disappointed you. Even if it was a  serious thing forgiveness brings peace and love. Just try it for your kids sake and see if your life and your kids situation improves.

Distress leads to heartache and problems while love brings comfort and joy. Why find yourself with greater  problems because the law has no mercy. Before you reach your limit take the needed break and let the ego go which insists on being in charge even when traveling the wrong road. Work towards compromising and collaborating with others.

Sharing workloads babysitters and material items can improve each others situation. Learn how to love more and always treat your children with respect. They are your gold and worthy of love. Too many have died needlessly or been injured. It is time we stop the pain kids endure and show them a different world that is not full of  pain and isolation but with love and respect.

“Anger is distress. Life is an individual race of endurance.” Lailah gifty Akita

“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” St. Mark

“The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.”    Jon Kabat Zinn

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” Jose Emilio Pacheco

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  Albert Camus

“No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.”  Ashly Lorenzana

Over the years I have slowly lost my ability to have all the answers. I discover that I can forgive myself for the times I don't have answers or responses for problems. I can't always make someone feel better or find solution. I lost my ability to know what should be done but I think I have grown up.

Are there answers or is truth an illusion? At times we believe we know what someone should say or do to make things better. We have faith that our answers are the remedy. We  never consider why we might be wrong. We are sure we have all the answers. Have you ever considered your truth was false along with your perspective? When two people are fighting they are both wrong because they only see their own side.  The truth is found when both parties accept the fault without the percentages. ...continue reading "Having All The Answers Is Impossible"

So  much gets lost in the translation as days and even years pass. A past remembrance is not considering the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state of the person at that moment in time. How does one recall the issues and burdens they  were experiencing? How do we know the influences we had? How was our judgment? How mature or immature were we? What were our beliefs jobs living arrangements? There are so many unanswered questions that lead us to consider it is fruitless to trust our recollection of past events. We don't understand the state of mind and body. People have answers at a later point in time but may be clueless during the event.

We believe we were less guilty and deserve less blame. We believe the problems were started by the other person. That is human nature. Do we place too much emphasis on appearing perfect? Can we show weakness? If we allowed weakness perhaps there would be less lies and secrets. We praise only winners yet it is harder to admit defeat than state winning. Do we think  our ideas are correct?  find out in time that we don't have all the  answers all of the time. We discover how much information is required before we can conclude anything.

It is a human desire to support another with advice. It is human nature to judge another's choices when they disagrees with our own. Each person picks  for themselves. Our answers are personal. Past events are recalled with our perception of the past. It doesn't make us right or wrong. We use our own lens  to discern truth. Guilt is unnecessary, The past is over. The past shouldn't dominate the present. We chose past answers based on an array of mental physical and emotional health and needs. Perhaps someone else would choose differently. We can only walk in our own shoes and learn from our own mistakes.

We never had all of the answers and we never will. The best we can do is never deliberately hurt another individual. We can live our own lives and try to move forward each time we learn a lesson. The lessons can be harsh and hurtful. Instead of blaming anyone for our pain we must be thankful for the lesson which helped us to grow beyond what we were. We have choices always.  We can learn from hurtful past events and become a better person or we can stay linked to them and be afraid to let them go. We don't have all the answers, cannot control others nor blame them for our predicaments. Moving forward means letting go of guilt and blame and embracing the future. Life teaches us lessons about living and living teaches us how to let go and love.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”     David Brin

“When one experiences truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.” S.N. Goenka

“Often people that criticise your life are usually the same people that don't know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” Shannon L. Alder

“We practically always excuse things when we understand them” Mlikhail Lermontov

“When we make judgements we're inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn't it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?” Jay Woodman

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
A. A. Milne

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” Henry Ward Beecher

“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.” Junot Díaz

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” Eckhart Tolle

We are all guilty at times of making judgments. It sounds simple enough when we are occupied with choosing paint colors styles of clothing or what we want to do, read, accomplish or study. We feel justified in making all sorts of judgments especially about people and situations. So what is the problem? Why worry about our judgments of people and situations? Is it harming anyone? The answers are that it does harm people, many issues arise from our uninformed judgments, we cause lots of problems for others and ourselves and we test the patience of friends family and co-workers. The trouble that gets stirred up many times results in major or minor fallout's.

Reflecting on the reasons we have the need to judge is a conflicted task that many of us do not engage in. Our judgments are based on questionable information. The golden rule of thinking before speaking has been totally ignored in preference of "truth" as we perceive  it and that is the key. What we might perceive as truth is not what another believes is honesty. Our opinions differ and we can debate until the morrow who is more or less correct and never agree on the answer. Is it boiling down to allowing judgments to fall away? Is it time to rethink what we thought was working? Is it working when it suits our needs and desires? Do judgments appear to be elusive and up to the person doing the assessments? ...continue reading "Judgements"

I am one of the most opinionated people I know and I am aware of how many times my judgments were off base or biased or self promoting. I am not sure now if anyone or anything can deliver an unbiased opinion. Once we announce a ruling on a person  object or idea we maintain the ruling.  we make poor  rulings but never go back to correct it or acknowledge it. What we perceive as the truth can  change on any given day. We use the excuses of people things or circumstances change but is that the whole truth?

I see it more as not having all of the facts on any given day or time. The facts change which hardly makes them facts We don't have all of the information on any person place or thing to form  opinions yet we do it anyway. Kids are one group of individuals we rule on and sometimes make difficult for kids to break out of their assigned  molds. We group them and observe our false proofs and ignore any truths that differ from our own thoughts. Making mistakes is part of living  is discovering the world and forming deductions. Do we remember how once people thought the world was round? As we gain more knowledge our ideas and opinions change. Our ideas are painted with  different strokes. Kids grow and discover why some things may not be right, fair, or appropriate. I always used to say you can't teach algebra to a kindergartener but when the kindergartener grows up you can.

Maybe that is how God sees us. We are immature in his eyes and we need time to grow experience the world and accept why there is good bad or indifference. God does not judge he just gives us time to explore and understand what is not obvious or simple to see. Do you get  tired of listening to those people who tell you I did this or that or I would do this and would never do that? I remember thinking one day that if my kids were starving I would steal if I had to in order to feed them. Unless we have been there or done that we can't say what we would think or do. If we were never poor we can't know what that feels like. We can't all know what it is like to be rich if that has never been the case.

I am not promoting the idea of stealing what you need. I am promoting the idea of refraining from judgments. Showing a better way to do things or make things happen is important. I appreciate how some people believe we shouldn't hand things or money over to the poor. They make a legitimate point for one argument. They worked hard for their earning and didn't grow up with silver spoons. Others strive and work hard to provide for their families. They are all to be commended. But what if some people don't know where or how to begin because they are more like our kindergartners looking for guidance. We can judge them, conclude they are not worth the effort and toss them away. the alternative is to think  without  judgments and find some answers that work for all of us.

The world is a better place for every improvement that is made no matter how small that improvement is. I don't think throwing money or items at someone necessarily helps as much as taking the time and effort to teach one how to survive and make a living in a difficult world. As teachers work and support their students until they are ready to fly on their own with the knowledge they gain so true is it possible to support anyone in their effort to learn and overcome a difficult situation they may find themselves in.

If we judge them too fast we ignore them and dislike or hate them. My grandmother always said "There but for the grace of God go I." There is truth in that statement. Have you ever grabbed your child before they took a serious fall or ran out into the street or cut themselves with a sharp object or stuck something into an electric socket? You make a loud sigh of relief but there are some parents who were not fortunate enough to save their children from the disaster. We feel safe believing that we would do the right thing so that something bad didn't happen to them. We grow up when we recognize there is no right or wrong as much as there is learning beyond what we know. There are days we are tired, not thinking, busy distracted. These are not excuses but facts we may not be privy to about why an incident happened.

Some people get the lesson sooner, some take time and some don't care but it is important to ask why. We could trade the judgments for answers to why did or what is the reason for the actions. No judgments just answers and solutions are found. We are not pushed above another person because we did a better job or won something. Destroying others with our weak judgments keeps us at the kindergarten level. Mature individuals no matter what the age treat others with respect and love. We recognize that they are working on their own learning and we have no idea how far they have come nor where it is they are striving to go. By spending so much time judging others  we leave little time to take an honest look at ourselves. The person we are busy assessing is striving to move forward while we are stagnant in our comfortable moment in time but there is always something new to understand and someone new to love and support. Whenever we strongly believe we are in the right, that is when we should step back and stop the judgments immediately.

On the other side are people who expect to be immediately understood. That is not forthcoming without thought and reason. It takes time for all of us to learn we are or should be working together to see the other side and cope with all thoughts again to find answers not guilt or blame. Until we get out of that mode of blame guilt jealousy and fault we leave little room for growth. There is truth found on both sides of an argument if we honestly look at it. Dump the judgments from your own mind and you can move your mind faster towards greater understanding and healing.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Edmund Burke

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

“My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.” Dan Pearce

6th pic presentationThis is an article my daughter wrote about breast cancer which touched my heart. It is worth reading and better than anything I could ever write. It was written from the heart. It is important to remember that the hurts we bear and suffer are not always obvious. We will perhaps never know or understand fully what another person endures because we don't walk in their shoes and never will.

""Dignity is The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. It is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter."  Shannon L. Alder

I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive news-feed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related.   As a physician I feel that breast feeding is ideal.  When I was a third year resident and I had my first baby I was adamant about exclusively breast feeding.  I cried when my milk didn’t come in right away after a long induction.   I also relished the fact that my newborn grew into a chubby, giggly infant and it was due to my own body.  I pumped and breastfed, it was a blur of insomnia knowing that I would have to go back to work.  I took time off and managed to keep a freezer full of breast milk in case my supply dropped off when I did go back.  As a resident with overnight calls I knew I couldn’t be sure how often I could pump, pagers go off, codes happen, patients, admissions, rapid responses, they don’t wait for pumping.  I was determined, I continued to pump, overnight, sometimes in bathrooms, call rooms, it depended on how far of a walk, and which were occupied.   I was determined to make the one year mark. ...continue reading "My Issue With Breast Is Best"

With my second child I was an attending working part time and it definitely went more smoothly.   Somewhere around the fifth month I noticed my supply dropping.  I did everything I could but I had to supplement and I remember stopping around eight months. I was disappointed and heartbroken.  I resigned myself to formula feeding and when I felt lumps in one breast I chalked it up to milk ducts.

That was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The fear was overwhelming and paralyzing, I could only think about my babies, a nine month old and a two year old.  It was biopsy after biopsy, ultrasound guided, stereotypical, MRI guided.  They saw abnormalities on the other side, and I had additional biopsies.   I was waiting for surgery for final staging.  I thought about how precious our time is and our health is.  I opted for the bilateral mastectomy. It was a personal decision.

Fast forward almost four years, past a stage one diagnosis, a year of treatment and we were blessed with another beautiful healthy baby.  It felt like a gift, directly from God, I have living breathing snuggly, proof that a very difficult time was over.  Like all parents, I want the best for my baby, and I opted for formula.

The baby is happy, healthy, and then I have to question why the articles about poison formula make me so angry.  Why do I want to wear a sign that says “I breast fed two babies and had breast cancer.”  Why does it need an explanation, an excuse? Is it because I’m around educated moms that tend to exclusively breastfeed? I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much guilt taking out a bottle.

I thought about a particular conversation I had with a friend after diagnosis and her comment was “wow, I just couldn’t do it, make a decision and choose to have a mastectomy like that.”   That was when I realized that this wasn’t something I chose.  Everything was secondary to my family and health.  So much worse happens to wonderful people who didn’t “choose” the situations they went through.  With breastfeeding we need to stop shaming women for situations that are beyond their control.  So many women I know keep tally lists, they track things like how long they breastfed, if they supplemented, was it exclusive breastfeeding, bottle feeding , natural births, c-sections, epidurals, and the list could go on.   Being a mother is hard work and no one chooses less than their best for their babies.  Why do we compare so much? I doubt that fathers are asking each other how many games they attend, how many times they read before bed, or if their kids still crawled into their beds at night.  Yet it’s “best” to read to children before bed, and it’s “best” to have a sleep schedule with children.   If we want more moms to breastfeed, instead of assuming they made the choice to do less than “best”, and making them feel guilty for it, maybe we should analyze the barriers to breastfeeding. The majority of mothers in this country start off breast feeding and over time that number significantly drops. Why? Are there places to pump privately? Is there time off for breastfeeding, or does the day simply get extended? Is there maternity leave, paid time off, uninterrupted time, is it convenient at work?

How do we counsel moms in the hospital? Is it a one size fits all approach? Maybe a little formula before your supply kicks in, is really okay. Maybe nipple confusion isn’t as large of a problem as it seems.   I had a mother who breastfed for years, and if it wasn’t for her support I might not have breastfed as long as I did.  The singular statement of “breast is best” has finality to it that any alternative is giving your baby simply less.   What if you don’t have breasts? I might be a minority but there are numerous reasons a mother might not exclusively breast feed, medications, work schedules, supply issues, surrogates, mental health issues.  I still think they’re doing their best.  Not smoking is “best”, an hour a day of exercise is “best”, a healthy BMI is “best”, do we adhere to it?  So why are we making so many mothers feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed?

I know lots of great moms taking awesome care of their kids, free-range, tiger moms, gluten free, dairy free, formula feeding, stay at home, working, helicopter, paleo, vegan, breast feeding mothers.  I know they love their kids, I know they are doing their “best” everyday.

“When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person's life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.” Shannon Alder

"There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”  Shannon Alder

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?” Shannon Alder

“Reputation is what others think of us; character is what God knows of us."

 

holding-grudges

Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”  Dalai Lama

“An open heart is an open mind.” Dalai Lama.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves”  Dalai Lama

“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.” Dalai Lama

“One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.”  Dalai Lama

Grudges is a nasty  word to begin a post but if we are hoping to let the grudge go then it is a post full of hope. I like everyone else have carried my grudges like trophies in my pocket. In a way I am proud of them because it denotes suffering and endured pain. It proves I have endurance and stamina to  have put up with such situations. I have instilled in myself all the reasons I was right and I absolve myself from any guilty feelings. If I must give myself any blame I go with 10 percent. Somehow that appears to be an acceptable amount.

There are times when others  lose patience and end up out of control. I don’t care what their complaint is they have no  right to treat me poorly so I shut them off and refuse to listen to them. It proves my point that they are totally in the wrong and I am in the right. I also get the sense that I am slightly protected from the next person who wants to  take advantage of me. I am armored and the hurt they toss out at me doesn’t penetrate so easily. In a way I see this as a win for me. ...continue reading "Holding Grudges"

These thoughts have kept me safe but also removed from other people. I calm myself with the thought who wants to be friends with them anyways. I suppose I shut out some people too  quickly but I don’t want any suffering. I am cautious now and as soon as I discover  anything I dislike in another person  I remove them from my life. It works for me and I have constructed a thicker coat of armor with every removal.

One day I was thinking about nothing in particular and my mind began to wonder. The more I reflected the more curious I  became. I recalled someone telling me to look at the dark within myself if I was really so brave. Of course I thought they had a nerve to imply I was dark inside. They hardly knew me so to say such a thing made me immediately cross them off of my friend list.

Well as I had no special things to  think about this particular day I began to open the door to the dark room of my mind. At first I was uneasy in a way I can’t explain. I felt confused about what I was searching for. Was it faults and guilt? I was annoyed at what I was doing and almost closed the door but the sense of “It’s too late”, crept into my thoughts. I ventured to study my role in the many negative happenings of my life and discovered to my dismay that in most negative  transactions I had plenty of blame. I began to sense that I was totally at fault most times. I then calmed down accepting the knowledge that there was blame all around. I went from innocence to total guilt  to enlightenment.

Nobody is faultless and we all have much to learn. Unfortunately the lessons are the most profound when they are the hardest and most painful to experience. If we don’t choose to accept fault and truth we lose the lesson. If we want to fault others the poison of our unclear thoughts filters throughout our body and drags us down. To honestly live you must let go of the grudges. When you judge others you discover you are part of the judged people. Learning to forgive relieves you of judging expecting and assuming. This will set you free to live a life of compassion.

I never wanted to peer into the darkness but I discovered the need to let go of grudges. We all spread pain along our life paths. We require as much forgiveness as the next person. In order to understand this one must open the door to their dark side. It isn’t to find out how much guilt you have but to let go of it. It is there but we don’t look at it. Once we do, we understand let go and let God move us in a better  direction of forgiveness and peace.

“Forget what hurt you in the past, but never forget what it taught you. However, if it taught you to hold onto grudges, seek revenge, not forgive or show compassion, to categorize people as good or bad, to distrust and be guarded with your feelings then you didn’t learn a thing. God doesn’t bring you lessons to close your heart. He brings you lessons to open it, by developing compassion, learning to listen, seeking to understand instead of speculating, practicing empathy and developing conflict resolution through communication. If he brought you perfect people, how would you ever learn to spiritually evolve?”  Shannon Adler

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.” Dalai Lama

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”  Dalai Lama

“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”  Dalai Lama

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”    Cris Jami

“When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.” Steve Maraboli

 

animals

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” C.G. Jung

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” Elizabeth Gilbert

“The most introspective of souls are often those that have been hurt the most.” Shannon L. Alder

How important it is to be more introspective before we say and do those simple things that wound others so deeply. I can’t count the number of times I feel like some of the things I am doing are so trivial and unimportant. I actually  think I am wasting my time by stopping to chat with another person for a few minutes. Now it is clearer to me that most if not all of those inconsequential happenings are some major life events.

I suppose this sounds trite and sort of ridiculous I guess.  I am trying to be introspective  because I realize the importance  of those trivial days filled with conversations and encounters. I do not have the time to think more about them with my busy schedule yet they hold more meaning and consequence than I can believe. I remember how awesome I feel when I speak to some of my neighbors who fill me with cheer with just their smiles. ...continue reading "The Introspective Habit"

It is easy to hurt another person with our simple exchange of talks or actions. Clearly it explains how relevant those words and actions actually are. I hear from numerous people about the rudeness of others whether it is the clerk at a store, a co-worker, friend or relative. The hurt is genuine. I am too stunned at first to offer a reply and by the time I think of something the opportunity escapes me. Of course the wound is carried with me for a long time and the frustration of not having  retaliated and defended myself lasts a long time.

Worrying about the many jobs and plans I have for each day leaves me little time to be introspective. I have to accomplish so much and I don’t have time to breathe never mind rethink what I am going to say or do. I can’t take the time to think before I speak. Who does that? It is more honest to speak your mind and state the facts I tell myself. If someone can’t take the honesty then isn’t it their  issue not my issue? Am I responsible for the world’s  feelings? Is it my fault if some people  are thin skinned? Shouldn’t they toughen up?

Actually the world has toughened up and allows the mental processes and physical processes to overtake any emotional concerns. I review my own encounters and wonder if we are going down the wrong path. Although it is important to get our work completed and make money to provide for the family, I believe it is more important to remember to take care of the emotional needs of children and adults.  By neglecting to do this we place more and more people into emotional states of emergency.

Now it seems like I am overreacting or sympathizing with the weaker members of society who must toughen up. I need more introspection on this for sure. If our choice is to wipe away empathy sympathy and compassion for others we  suffer the consequences. If one falls on the universal treadmill they will be stepped on walked over or tripped over. Many people step along without any offers of help. We can justify our actions because we have too many things to do.  should they have known better right? We do not take off the outer shell that surrounds us.

God help the kids who don’t fit in or conform to the norms of the society. They are ignored or tossed away. Honestly  we put little stock in the daily happenings of our world. Child abuse spousal abuse and drug abuse is on the rise. More people commit crimes of physical abuse.  There are so many disputes between people that  it gives rise to or egos. Every exchange we have with another person becomes an issue of winning or losing so we fight.

Our egos outmatch our hearts in every manner. As the ego gets bigger, the heart grows smaller.  If we are a bit introspective we discover that crushing another in a physical or verbal manner does not always make us the winner. We are full of anger and hate. It overflows and at any moment we attack  and it is not always justified.

There is perhaps more time spent on winning battles about who is right or wrong than spent on getting along and finding peace. If our child comes home from school and complains about a bullying issue we send them back to school in fight mode. Do we attempt to explain the right and wrong of the problem which takes more time? Introspection is required here unless we want the shorter route of time and then encourage our kids to fight back.

Now I am seeing why those simple little meaningless acts of care and concern are not so simple. They are holding the world in their hands. Whether or not the world is dropped depends on the words and exploits we exhibit. Doesn’t it appear to be important to use some introspection once in awhile or every day? If people reach the end of their rope when dealing with minor issues then why is it not plausible to see the world doing the same thing?

Becoming  more introspective enhances our intuitive knowledge by teaching us how to be more compassionate, empathetic and mindful of all people. The simple thoughtful conversations and manners that generate from that attitude bring more enlightenment to the world than all the plans of the greatest of people. Introspection, kindness and love take care of more problems without the need of experiencing guilt or the need to forgive. Introspection also leads to a slowing down of our expectations and an enhancement  of our patience.

“The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.” Marcel Proust

“If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.” Ayya Khema

“Judgmental heart has lack of introspection.” Toba Beta

“God whispered, “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.” Shannon L. ALder