A Bad, Horrible, No- Good Weekend Day

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I was looking forward to the weekend, until it just seemed to go not as I had hoped. And normally, two bad disappointing days could be just that. Two bad disappointing days. No biggie. But in today’s day and age where Covid has kept us from our normal lives, it’s harder to get past disappointment and sadness. It’s harder because we’re more isolated. And when I do speak to my friends, there isn’t much to say. I’m home most of the time raising my kid. Sometimes it’s easier to not talk rather than rattle on about the mundaneness of it all.

My daughter and I saw my parents outside for five minutes masked the other day, and could tell my mom didn’t seem herself, although she was happy to see us. Maybe this is just how it is when you are losing your memory. Whatever the case, it was just such a fleeting visit and how it has to be during these times. But it’s hard knowing I don’t know when I’ll be able to spend time with my parents again and how my mom will be cognitively at that point. My dad has taken over many things — things my mom once did. Noticing these things it’s like tiny moments of grief for me. Grieving I can’t call her and talk like we once did. Grieving I didn’t realize this would happen.

And as I write this, a family member is in the hospital recovering from a painful and emotionally difficult surgery. One that will take a long time to recover. Nobody can visit and honestly, right now is not the time to step foot in the hospital unless mandatory. The feeling of powerlessness that I can’t help this person is huge. The hope that finally, my family member will feel better after years of sickness, is what I’ve got carrying me through this, hoping she gets better. She’s a good person and desperately needs a break.
Some days I feel like the good people never get a break. We’re not appreciated. We’re not truly ever lifted up as we should be. But that’s how I feel today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. It’s a new chance. A new day. Maybe.

Today was just one of those days where I felt down, hopeless, upset and defeated. Where you’re down and just don’t know what to think anymore.
Then, I somehow hurt my back over the weekend and the pain radiated to my hip, making me feel a bit queasy. However, I pushed through and did everything I had to do today not asking for help once and I ended up paying the price feeling worse at the end of the day.
In the end, a heating pad, meditation, some ice cream and one of my favorite Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, were my go- to’s to try and help me feel a little less down and a little less discouraged in mankind.

Did it work? Maybe. Not really. Not sure. That’s ok. Maybe I don’t know how I’m really feeling.
One minute, I’m grieving my daughter’s lack of normalcy and the next I am thankful for being healthy. A sore back is something I can take care of.
Another minute, I’m thankful for the good people in my life, and the next I am doubting my worth.

But they say it’s darkest before the dawn so I’m just going to hope things get better. The reality is nothing is permanent. Everything changes. At some point, there will be light! Meditation teaches us impermanence. Nothing stays the same. This moment is different than the next.

Breathe Deep,

Laura

We All Need to Be Cared For

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No matter how old we are or how independent and capable we may be, we all need someone to be there for us. Sure, there are people who protest and say they don’t need anyone and that they’re “OK” on their own, but the reality is none of us is an island.

We all crave human touch, companionship, love, passion and connection. Without it, let’s admit it: we would be pretty boring people. It’s why people take so much time and effort to pursue love, romance, sex and friendship. If it wasn’t so intoxicating, amazing and transformative, nobody would be running after it, writing songs about it, or discussing it in detail with their friends.

When we don’t feel cared for, we are often at our worst. We feel anxious, unsure and misunderstood. We feel alone, powerless and intimidated. These feelings stem into depression or general anxiety. It bleeds into our everyday lives. Not having that connection can feel like you’re on an island or swimming in a turbulent ocean with the undertow taking you further and further away from the rest of the world. This isn’t to say that we need someone else’s care and love in order to be successful and happy, but that with love and available people in our lives, we become the best versions of ourselves. Because when we have people who do not care for us or treat us well, it does dim our light. This is why it is so crucial that we care for others and that we allow ourselves to be cared for and in return, that we give love back.
Having that love is like having a homebase: without a homebase, you will feel adrift, anxious and uncertain. This is the place where we feel our least “best.” It affects our mental health and wellness. But when we have that homebase— that love and care in our lives, we grow long, strong roots and reach out towards the sky with all the potential that is in us. This is what helps us grow and shapes our self-view and stability for the days to come.

Love Others and Yourself,

Laura

What If What You Believe About Yourself Is a Lie?

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The other morning I did my usual morning meditation but chose a guided meditation on self-esteem. One of the questions asked was what is a negative view or thought we hold of ourselves? Typically these negative viewpoints/thoughts come from an experience, person or time in our childhood or adolescence. Right away, I knew what that negative thought was. We were told to think on it… to decide if we felt if it was true. To consider if we are ready to let that thought or view go, or if we are ready to consider that that thought we have about ourselves may be completely false.

I knew exactly from the moment it was asked what negative view I’ve held of myself for quite some time. I know exactly– or about where this thought originated from– or how it grew into a monstrous bad belief/self- view. As I meditated, I started to cry. I realized that for many, many, many years, I have held onto this thought or belief, including being surrounded by one or two people back in my past who confirmed this negative self-belief of mine.

It’s funny. We often don’t know why negative or bad people come into our lives, but I think it often stems from our own bad beliefs of ourselves. These negative people confirm our own bad thoughts about ourselves. The experience then “confirms” that we are indeed, bad or not good. We then continue to choose bad people who then repeatedly confirm these negative thoughts … these people then provide us with bad experiences and so we say, “Look! I told you. I am horrible. If I weren’t horrible, this wouldn’t have happened.”

This is why it is so key to have self-love and self-esteem. When we love ourselves and care for ourselves, we pick partners, people and friends in our lives who love us and care for us. I have noticed that since my divorce, I have chosen better people and better situations for myself because my self-esteem has improved. I am attracted to good people—and I spend my time with only good people. Good men and good women. I distance myself from people who don’t make me feel comfortable, and I spend time with people who make me feel happy and good. I am no longer attracted to “bad boys” as I was in my twenties, and I find good men– kind hearted folks, appealing.

Self-esteem really is everything. Ask yourself if what you believe about yourself is really true… or not.

Lovingly,

Laura

Forgiving Yourself Is As Important As Forgiving Others

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Growing up with parents coming from two different religious backgrounds has so many pluses. One is it has made me more open to others’ viewpoints. At the same time, I don’t feel aligned with any religion really. I do find both Jewish and Christian traditions interesting and meaningful. So, I am spiritual but I’m not religious.

But for the first year ever, I thought about what Yom Kippur really means. Asking for forgiveness for sins and forgiveness of others. Supposedly, it’s the time of year where G-d decides your fate and therefore, you’ve got to make amends, and fast.

I thought about who I would apologize to, however anyone I may have wronged I’ve certainly apologized to. And if there’s anyone out there I offended, well, I am truly sorry!

But I think the person I am most sorry to is myself. For being so hard on myself.
The way I’ve talked to myself and about myself.
The way I’ve judged myself and compared myself.
The way I’ve doubted myself and criticized myself.
The way I talk to myself is most often, much harder than how I’ve talked to anyone else!
It is like I’m in some competition where the goals to be fabulous are so high and not obtainable that I beat myself to death for not being enough.
But if there is one thing I am, it is tenacious and persistent. I try so hard to be my best self. To be better. To do better. Be a better mom. Person. Partner. Friend. Worker. Etc.

Here is what I don’t do: give myself a break. Be kind to myself. Compliment myself. Believe in myself.

So here is a huge apology to myself for being so bad to myself at times.

Lovingly,

Laura

One Compliment Can Change Your Day

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Today, I set up a time to meet someone new for a potentially good creative opportunity for me. The person and I chose the time and when emailing me back said, “I saw a video of you giving a speech and I’m so excited to meet with you. You’re super adorable!”

I was so flattered and surprised. It’s not often I get to hear that. It made my day. In fact, when I was exhausted and tired from a day of working and virtual school and found a massive dead spider in my house, I called upon the compliment in my mind and it cheered me up.

Truly just one compliment can change your day. Imagine then how much joy you could give someone else by complimenting them? For me, a man who is verbally demonstrative is a huge must. And in friendships and at work too— verbal affirmation matters to me. This one compliment changed the whole tone of my upcoming meeting. Imagine the power of just a few words!

With that said, don’t forget to compliment someone once a day. We all need it!

Love,

Laura

4 Things Thoughtful People Always Do

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There are certain things that thoughtful people—friends, lovers and family members — do on instinct and also, well-crafted thought. It’s very easy to tell when someone is particularly thoughtful: that person makes us feel very cared for and loved. Special. We feel safe and also, able to be our true selves, vulnerable and all, when someone is so thoughtful.
Here’s why:

Thoughtful people take action considering your feelings first.

Someone who really cares about you doesn’t make a move without considering how you might feel first. This is the person who knows how nervous you get when going to the doctor’s and in turn, calls you before and after an appointment.
The thoughtful person delivers both good and bad news in a way that considers the other person’s potential comfort level and response first.

Thoughtful People Love to Show You How Much You Mean to Them.

Thoughtful people enjoy expressing their feelings for you whether you’re their best friend or their spouse. When your birthday comes up, that person will be the first to plan a celebration for you. When you get a promotion at work or accomplish a goal, your thoughtful person will be right by your side to celebrate you. And if times are tough, that same person will be there to hold your hand and tell you how much you mean to them.

Thoughtful People Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses As Much As Your Own.

Thoughtful people know their own limitations, as well as the things they excel at. They are able to create a good network of people that complement these strengths and weaknesses, and they are very aware of their loved ones’ flaws and good traits.
In the same vein, they never make their loved ones feel bad for these flaws but instead, help the people they love to get stronger each day and also, support their friends, family members and romantic partners, knowing that somethings are harder for them than others.

Thoughtful People Pay Close Attention.

Thoughtful people are very attentive. They remember things about the ones they love, and try to tune in to their partners and friends emotions and feelings. They work hard on their listening skills. Let’s be honest: many of us are not good listeners. It really is a work in progress for all of us. Thoughtful people try to listen and keep their eyes on the ones they love. They do their best to give them focused and genuine attention, rather than being constantly distracted.

Thinking, Doing, Loving,

Laura

What If Nothing Is Really Worth It?

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The other weekend, I found myself in the woods with someone I’ll call a friend as there is no real word to describe him. It was a beautiful day and a nice hike together.
Of course, I had a great and special time. It was a beautiful evening and late afternoon. But a few times as I walked an occasional muddy path, I thought back to a really horrible memory for me. At 14, I was basically taken advantage of by a 22 year old male. Thirty years later, I can still envision myself lying in the leaves that late summer evening. I can remember wanting it to stop.

This wasn’t the “Me Too” days. This was the “It’s My Fault” decade, where women and girls and men and boys alike all remained silent about these things.
I shook the memories off, and was able to fully enjoy the time with my friend who is at times, very creative and thoughtful with plans. This was a surprise trip and a thoughtful one at that. I wanted to go back with my friend and expressed it right away. We were hiking or walking mostly on a flat path amongst a garden and the woods. It was really special. It gave the woods a better definition for me— superseding those bad memories which have left a mark on my mind that will never go away. No one tells you that. That the memories never leave but the power they once had does— if you work on it.


Lately, I have felt a struggle to stay on an enlightened and positive path. I have made huge progress and gotten so far and I’m proud of that, but I keep falling and stumbling anyway, without fail. Perhaps it’s the isolation of COVID, or maybe it’s being a single parent for a long almost seven years, but I wonder if I have anything to offer. If anything I’m writing resonates or clicks within others. I wonder if I’m really connecting with people. I see myself hitting roadblocks and nothing I do seems to get me past them, despite the fact that I work very hard. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated friend and partner and parent. That when I commit to something, anything— I really commit to it. That’s why I drive almost an hour to train weekly. Because I’m committed.

But I have to wonder if all my hard work is really getting me anywhere and if my writing really natters anymore. If I matter anymore. Maybe it’s best I just go dark and stop writing. Maybe I’m not really offering anything to anyone.
In the small of my mind where it is quiet and dim, I feel a real loss and feel directionless and hopeless at times.

Everyone feels stuck. Everyone feels darkness and hard times. The question I’m wondering is when it ends? And when does someone’s years of dedication and hard work really pay off? When do things pay off for me?

Maybe though me writing is not adding up to anything. Maybe there is nothing left to say because, nothing has changed for me. To develop, I need new experiences and I feel I’m not finding them. I feel defeated.

Peace and love is solely underestimated. To me, it’s the only things worth living for. Without peace of mind and love, life is worthless. Money can only carry someone so far.

love,

Laura

When You’ve Had Enough: The Last Straw

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So long, Mr./Mrs. Nice Guy! Even we nice people get to a point where we can’t handle being taken for granted. Even nice people get tired of people’s crap and tired when people let us down. We give you folks so many chances but at some point, even we say– “Enough is enough.”

Have you ever felt as if you’re always giving people a chance? Always being patient and understanding of their issues? Always hoping the best for them? Putting in the extra effort? Going the extra mile?

Yeah well, we nice people get tired of giving, giving and giving, while people take, take and take. We get tired of being “so understanding” of other’s issues. And doing our best to keep everyone happy– friends, partners, family, etc.

There comes a point when it’s the last straw– the last straw to break the camel’s back. When we’re tired of someone hurting us, letting us down and disappointing us.

When that time comes, you best believe that even nice people say– “Screw it.”

We withdraw everything! We withdraw our love, our care, our friendship, our respect and our time. We withdraw from caring about someone who doesn’t give a hoot about us. We say– “Enough is enough.”

And suddenly, we don’t care about you. We have no time for you. We have no patience, no love and no nothing for you.

Our goodwill and love has an expiration date– today. 2020.

Peace Out,

Laura

 

 

When The Universe (or Whatever God You Believe in) Places Someone Amazing in Your Path

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I have had some very hard times over the last six years. I have went through things I never thought I could handle. From long-term unemployment to physical abuse to heartache and legal battles, it was a haul.

To say that I have gotten out of the darkness is an understatement and if it’s not clear, I am very proud of how hard I have worked to be where I am today as a devoted working single mother.

But every now and then, we have someone who helps us on our journey– our twisted paths– that helps us even in the darkest of times.

This person for me, is named Rob.

Rob and I have known each other for about 23 years. We met in a gym years ago, and while at first he was just a very funny, eccentric, smart and quirky man of steel, I have learned– albeit I haven’t cracked the Rob code yet– that he is more than that.

More often than not, he has given me a helping hand, smart advice and an ear.

Over this pandemic, I started training with him virtually and to say that I have seen results doesn’t do it justice. I have seen results.  I am a bit timid  and hard on myself, so I won’t post pics, but I have gotten in solid shape.

If you want to train with him and his program, I guarantee you will get results– just show up! I rarely sing anyone’s praises publicly, so if I am telling you he is good, he is good!

On days that I felt overcome with anxiety about living in a state that is full of COVID-19, I showed up to virtual workouts. On days my stomach hurt or my head hurt because I was tired from working, homeschool and being alone/lonely as a single mom, I showed up to virtual workouts. He and his awesome team, have kept me going. He has encouraged me, offered advice, just been a friend, listened and basically been a steady presence throughout this whole scary freaking mess of quarantine.

I am beyond grateful. There were days I literally told myself– “I can’t miss this workout. I don’t want to let myself down. Or Rob.”

Seeing his face on the other side of the computer … just reminded me I am not as terribly alone as I feel.

So, not only has my body gotten an amazing workout, but my mind and heart has felt a bit less alone in all of this.

Some friends are just more amazing than others– and he really has stood by me in a time when quite honestly, I feel terribly alone doing this with my daughter.

Thank you– to someone who showed up when I needed it. Who has been the true meaning of a friend for me in a time when I am vulnerable and anxious and trying to stay positive and zen.

I hope you all have someone who god, the universe or whatever you believe in– places in your life to help you through. We need each other, now more than ever.

Love,

Laura

How to Pick Up The Pieces After Someone Disappoints or Abandons You

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Hurt. Disappointment. Skepticism. Lack of trust. Lack of faith. Anger. Sadness. Anxiety.

When people we love, whether it’s a friend, coworker, partner, parent or whomever– abandon us out of nowhere, it is very painful. Even if it wasn’t out of nowhere– it still hurts.

Knowing that person didn’t care enough about you as a person is a hard pill to swallow.

When you rely on someone and trust them and that person hurts you, leaving you to deal with the heartache that person left behind– it’s not easy!

How do you deal with those feelings?

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