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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


By Trace L Hentz (formerlyDeMeyer) (author of One Small Sacrifice)

Be Strong
I read this quote by Doris Roberts, 80, who played Ray’s mom in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Doris praised strong women and joked, “What’s the alternative? Being a weak woman? What do you get from that? Nothing. I am strong because I believe in what I do. When I put my head on the pillow at night, I know I have not hurt anybody. That’s my message to people: Don’t hurt anybody. Know what you’re about. Keep learning. Don’t shut down. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Find what you like to do and do it.” Doris is right.
I don’t think we learn to be strong, I think we choose to be strong. We face what we face every single day when we get out of bed. Some days we might falter or lose balance or confidence or want to stop trying. Some days we may wake up and find our strength is bigger than we realized. It’s how we respond to what life throws at us. I do believe suicide is a person’s desire to change their life and their surroundings. If you are able to leave the situation, you won’t need to kill yourself. If you can change, do it.
I plan to fix what I can in my own life. I plan to be as brave as I can be and do what I can do. I can’t fix the world or other people but I can fix me.

Be Kind
I know how easy it is to hurt and cause hurt. I have worked for demon bosses who took joy inflicting pain on others. I was bullied in many jobs. I’ve experienced people who are insensitive, rude, or exceptionally needy, but they may not realize it. I have watched one unkind act ripple out and cause pain, panic and destruction. I also know the kindest people on the planet who are generous with their words and their time.
Yet critical words can and will devastate people. I know life is about choice and words carry power. So I watch what I say. I am going to think on moments when I was hurt, then see the source, then take it as a lesson. I will decide what lesson to keep and what to throw out. I am going to be kinder and watch my words and not hurt anyone intentionally. If I do hurt someone, I will apologize.
I will learn to be more assertive.

Be Prepared
I am still learning how to feel. I know this sounds strange but it’s true for me in my life. I blame part of it on being adopted as an infant then forced to pretend everything was ok when it was not ok. I buried the hurt so deep there were many years I could not feel – good or bad. It was not safe to feel – trust me. I would have gone crazy.
That’s changed in me over the years. I am still learning how to feel my feelings faster, or cleaner, and know when to let go. It requires patience and tenderness. Every single day I learn what feelings need to be released fast (or slow) and realize what caused them. I will respond to them rationally and intelligently. In other words, I plan to be more alert, more mindful, and more aware. I plan to be prepared for strange new feelings but not shut them out. The more I do this, the better I will feel. Feeling your feelings sounds so easy but it’s not. Disappointments with people, politics, even poverty, can cause a deep lasting depression for some of us. I will do what I can to be prepared.

Be Green
Back in Oregon in the 1980s, I took up recycling. I didn’t want to throw anything in the trash-can that could be recycled or reused. I still shop for used items or get things from Free-cycle. (I hate paying full retail on anything so there is always EBay!) I joined a local organization to cut our home energy use and plan to make better greener choices when I buy anything. I will reduce our carbon footprint. Clean water and safe food are becoming an endangered species on our planet. I will buy local food, do more to reuse and recycle, and do everything I can to be green.

In 2011, I resolve to create a stronger kinder life, be prepared for all that life throws at me and yes, be more green.

[This will be my last blog post for 2010. Please comment and leave your resolutions for 2011. And -- Have a Happy New Year!]

Trace  :) my email:

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