Empress Rx – When being kind to yourself is scarier than punishment

 

Blue Rose Tarot EmpressHave you ever found yourself looking at the Empress card and feeling irritated and resentful? I have. I often receive gentle (and not so gentle) nudges from her reminding me that I need to care for myself as well as others in my life; that sometimes I need mothering too. That triggers a host of negative associations – I actively resist being mothered.

I suppose I can lay the blame on my familial dysfunction (isn’t that always the easiest answer). My mother could be passive-aggressive and veer between smothering and deliberate obtuseness. My father was just aggressive, demanding and harsh. Let me be clear – I knew they both loved and supported me but on their bad days they could each be quite awful in their different ways. My father set a high academic standard for me and I rose to the occasion. Unfortunately, while quick to criticize if I didn’t do well, he was not so quick with positive feedback when I did. My mother preferred to stay out of that quagmire altogether. If I complained to her about the unfairness of my father’s expectations and treatment (he once gave my sister $10 for getting a B average report card while my A- average was criticized – “why the minus?”), Mom would shrug and comment that’s how my father was. I’m sharing this to explain why I find criticism or punishment easier to accept than nurturing kindness – it’s just what I became acclimated to receiving.

Mythic Empress

One of my biggest struggles has been learning to accept kindness, support and praise without brushing it aside or downplaying my accomplishments. It’s an uphill battle. I still find it very difficult to accept kind words from friends. I brush it off, make light of it. Accepting that I may be worthy of praise or comfort sits awkwardly in my psyche. I’m no one special – anyone in my place could do this. Maybe that’s true and maybe isn’t. I’m not sure. What I do know is that it’s still a part of myself that needs work. I’m not criticising or denigrating myself, simply acknowledging a truth. Even the Tarot has pointed out that this is an area that could “use improvement”.

So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, know that you’re not alone. I will bet there are plenty more of us out there resisting praise the way toddlers resist nap time. We can change, improve our self-image so we feel deserving of praise and kind words, but for now we’ll probably keep squirming a bit. For those who have friends & loved ones like me, be gentle with your praise and positive feedback. We’re more used to cruel than kind and there can be quite a learning curve.

Love is the Answer

The other day while listening to a favorite song from the 70s, Love is the Answer by England Dan & John Ford Coley, I was struck by what a simple concept that is and what if it’s true? What if love is the answer? What if love is the key to a more peaceful and satisfying life? Can love give us the strength to live with conviction and stick to our morals and ethics? Can love be the secret we have long sought? The simple, powerful and amazing truth that makes the world and our lives better? I don’t know, I truly don’t but it certainly is something to consider.

Wheel of Change Lovers

I realize this isn’t a new idea – major religions have been built upon this core belief, but it’s something I’ve only recently begun to think about in some depth. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy resisting, disliking and even hating situations, things and even people. Sometimes I’ve convinced myself that I had good reasons but the reality is that it’s a waste of time and effort and poisons me much more than it causes any damage to those at which my hate is aimed. Even if it could somehow impact their lives, is that the legacy I want to leave? Do I want to be a venomous stream of negativity and hatred? I’d rather do more positive and beneficial things with my time and energy. Of course sometimes that’s easier said than done.

I don’t see myself becoming a pacifist or calm and gentle spirit any time soon but I do believe I can be more peaceful, calm and gentler than I am right now. I have seen examples of people who are strong but gentle. They don’t need to be cruel or aggressive to show their strength. I admire that trait but it’s one that has always seemed out of my grasp. I often claimed it just wasn’t in my nature but I realize that’s only because I’ve never tried to make it so. It’s never been a priority because I rather enjoyed being an outrageous curmudgeon. I’m beginning to understand that I can still be both those things I just don’t need to be loud, abrasive and pushy in order to do so.

Greenwood Strength

If I truly want to embody Strength (and I’ve felt a connection to this card as my sun sign is Leo) then I need to remember it’s symbolizes a gentle, spiritual strength not physical force. Can I gently tame the beast that is my temperament and persona, my big mouth and often thoughtless approach to communication. I’m not expecting dramatic changes overnight but if I take baby steps I hope to see some slow but steady progress. I suppose time will tell but if I do manage this transformation it will certainly prove that love is the answer. Loving myself, loving others and loving the amazing, diverse and chaotic tapestry that is life and humanity.

Mansions of the Moon Tarot Moon

Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The Book says: The three-faced goddess Hecate and her associations with the Moon. The Moon stands for the collective unconscious.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Here again is an image of a guardian and a guide, but also a sentinel and protector. Hecate is the guardian of the crossroads. She may not tell you which crossroads to take but she may be willing to help you illuminate your options. The presence of Cerberus is both ominous and reassuring. He is a frightening sight to behold and yet one of his tasks is to prevent those who are not ready from entering the Underworld. Perhaps he serves the same function here. If we are not ready to face certain truths that will be revealed during this journey, Cerberus will chase us away from them. Just as Hecate will aid us in our journey – not by being sympathetic and allowing us to turn in fear, but by forcing us to face the truths we avoid and helping us learn how to handle them. She is not a warm and fuzzy type goddess but she can be benevolent and healing.

This card reminds me that sometimes we need to work in the dark, turning over rocks and facing whatever lies beneath. Hiding from the truth doesn’t change it or make it go away, it weakens us. Hecate’s torch can help illuminate some of those shadows and make the unknown just a little less fearsome. To me this card is about looking with the dark center of our heart and facing it. It’s time to do away with self-delusions and the fantasies to which we cling. Now is our opportunity to look that darkness in the face and see what is revealed. Only by going deep within ourselves can we find the truth about who we are.

Fear & Loathing in La TarotBroad

I am a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural (I might have mentioned this before) and while watching a recent episode it occurred to me that even after 11 years of taking on all matter of supernatural creatures (including angels and demons) and emerging victorious, the two main characters (the Winchester brothers) still see themselves as worthless. They willingly sacrifice themselves for the greater good because they truly believe their only value is in their ability to save people. It’s heart-breaking and tragic to watch them fight their inner demons and try to convince each other they have value and worth.

Of course as I watched it I realized that I have the same tendency (as do many others I know). We all seem to willing to believe the worst about ourselves; to see ourselves are petty, venal and rather pathetic. We incorporate all the criticism, self-doubt and negativity aimed at us by the world but neglect the positive traits we possess, the good we do for others and benefits we bring to those in our lives. Why? Why do we all seem so willing to wallow in a trough of self-loathing? I have no idea. I’m sure psychologist and healers have been trying to answer that question for decades if not centuries. Sometimes it seems to me that the more free time we have, the more ways we find to fill our minds with negative attitudes and self-loathing. The human capacity for self-doubt and self-hatred is mind blowing.

So, if I can’t tell you why we’re like this then why am I writing this post? Because I am determined to wage a battle to stop or at least reduce this behavior in my own life & mind. How? Well, I do not have any clear answers to that so I decided to ask the Tarot. Using Arnell Ando’s wonderful Transformational Tarot, I asked “How can I release the self-doubt, self-loathing and inner demons that populate my psyche?”

I drew the 6 of Swords R, 3 of Cups + 4 of Wands.

The 6 of Swords tells me no one else can save me, this is something I must do for myself. No knight in shining armor will sweep me up and carry me away. This is a only I can steer my way through.

The 3 of Cups tells me that friendship, camaraderie and joy will help in this endeavor. Finding emotional support and people who can serve as sounding boards when things get bad; caring people who can counteract those negative voices we all hear inside our own heads.

The 4 of Wands suggests that I need to find stable and exiting creative outlets and support networks. Just as knitters love to talk to others knitters, we may all find our creative juices enhanced by interacting with folks of a like mind. It also helps to have a support network to guide and advise us when something gets screwed up.

So it would seem that the key to overcoming and releasing all those self-doubts and self-loathing; to slaying those inner demons is accepting responsibility for yourself and then making sure you surround yourself with supporting nurturing people who appreciate you for who you are and who enhance and appreciate your creative endeavors rather than tearing them down. We also need to make sure that we offer this same support and appreciation to friends and loved ones. I speak from experience – “positive criticism” can often come across as an effort to shred someone’s confidence and to sound superior. No one likes a know-it-all (trust me on this, I know of what I speak). It sounds so simple and yet I know so many who still allow this energy into their lives and continue to behave this way towards others. My goal is to call myself on this behavior when I am exposed to it and when I subject others to it. (Did that come off sounding know-it-all-ish and superior? I hope not!)

Unconditionally loving yourself (or should that be loving yourself unconditionally?)

Dark Goddess Sekhmet Deark Goddess Tarot Hag of Air

 

Yesterday, while working on my Dark Goddess labyrinth journey, I drew the Hag of Air/Dhumavati in response to my request to Sekhmet for a message. Looking at these two cards together, I asked: “How can I transform the ugliness of my childhood into something healing and radiant?” Using the Pearls of Wisdom tarot, I drew The Star reversed and The Hierophant reversed. Despite their reversal, the vibrancy and the positive energy I sensed from these cards made it impossible to interpret them in a negative way. So I spent some time with the cards and read their entries in Roxi Sim’s companion book. Looking at the entry for The Star the phrase “unconditional love” jumped out at me. This was it! This was the message of this spread!

Pearls of Wisdom Star Pearls of Wisdom Hierophant

When I look back over some of the blog entries I’ve written, it occurs to me that I still carry a lot of damaged baggage from my dysfunctional childhood. Don’t we all? My family’s dysfunction might have been different than what others experienced, but to a child does it really matter?  What’s more important is how it leaves you feeling –  vulnerable, hurt, damaged, weak and ashamed (among other things). I’ve met many adults who find it difficult to accept that the childhood chaos and dysfunction was out of their control; that it wasn’t their fault and there was nothing they could do to stop or change it. As a result they sometimes convince themselves that they wanted the situation to play out the way it did or they resort to various methods of self-abuse such as addiction or bulimia because it gave them the illusion of control. I remember how awful and terrifying it was as a child to be awash in the craziness and unpredictability of my family’s dysfunction. I couldn’t see it coming and could do nothing to change the events that unfolded. At least if I was drinking too much that was my choice (or so I tried to convince myself).

The one thing that I took away from this dysfunctional and damaging childhood was that I was somehow not good enough. If I were good enough and met expectations then I would not have been punished. Those outer punishments took the form of some viciously malevolent inner demons whose talons still pierce my soul. Seeing The Star shining brightly like a beacon from this card made me realize that the one thing I’ve never received in my childhood, and so found difficult to give to others, was unconditional love. Love with no strings attached; no expectations. Just a pure, healing balm that soothes the shredded soul. The Hierophant reversed is letting me know that I still have some learning to do before I can begin trying to teach others. It’s funny, I resist my Hierophantic nature all the time and yet I consistently get messages that part of my journey is to teach. Perhaps this will ultimately be what guides me down that path.

Rebel

I thought about the unconditional love I’ve experienced in my life. It’s most pure and joyful expression was from my German shepherd Rebel. No matter how angry I might have been with him for some petty reason or other, his excitement and happiness when I got home every day was bliss. He greeted me, jumping and wagging his tail so much his whole body wriggled with it. He was unconditional love personified. Even the cats I’ve owned have been generous with their affection. If they did withhold it for some reason, it was clearly due to their feline nature rather than do to any emotional manipulation towards me. I’m sure anyone sharing their lives with animals has experienced numerous expressions of unconditional love. They model it for us all the time and we are able to return it to them because we trust they will never hurt us. We can be vulnerable and exposed with them because they won’t betray us.

So I have decided that my next experiment/project will be to emulate my German shepherd Rebel and just allow myself to feel the joy at a friend’s return; to offer unconditional love to myself and those around me. I know this won’t be easy – I am by nature a judgmental, occasionally vindictive bitch. However I know I can do this. I have experienced moments of transcendent bliss when I am able to love everything and everyone around me. I just have to try to create or recognize more of those moments in my life.

At the same time, I realize that not everyone out there is deserving of our love, conditional or otherwise. There are many predators who view this kind of attitude as naive, gullible and ripe for targeting. I am not gullible or naive. I’m not interested in embracing the world and teaching it to sing in perfect harmony (although if that every happens I’ll join my voice in too). What I”m talking about is loving those in my life unconditionally, without judgment or restriction. I’m not seeking a plethora of new friends, I simply want to be more loving, understanding and supportive of the ones I’ve got. My love is valuable and should not be wasted on those seeking to take advantage.

So TarotBroad fans, if I am able to give you nothing else today, let me offer you the healing balm of unconditional love and acceptance.  You are perfect.  You are worthy of love.  Your love has value.  You are an amazing being and have a lot to offer this world.  You just need to find that place within yourself where you can embrace and embody these truths.  For that matter so do I.  I have no doubts this journey will prove long, challenging, and very interesting but every journey starts somewhere.

Soul sickness by association

What do you do when you learn something about a family member that is so horrific and shocking that it shatters you? How do you pick up the pieces and move forward again? How can you repair the collateral damage it creates in your life? Can you ever again be in the presence of that family member? Do you share this information with other loved ones? I don’t know the answers to this litany of questions but I am about to start exploring my way through this thorny, nasty thicket.

The other day while talking with a childhood friend, she revealed something quite disturbing about a relative. I had often suspected that there was some shady and extremely negative in this relative’s behavior. In fact my hubby and I had even shared our suspicions with each other on several occasions. I genuinely thought I knew this relative and that nothing, no matter how vile, could surprise me. Well I have been proven wrong. My friend shared a past incident about this relative which completely shattered me. It left me feeling ragged, raw and reduced to tears. I still feel physically ill.  It revealed a darkness and depravity of which I had not believed this person capable. What makes me even sadder is that my friend holds herself responsible for what occurred and I can tell it’s destroying her up inside.

Without getting into details, because in this instance they don’t really matter, I feel the need to focus on the soul sickness that results from these types of incidents and how I plan to begin the healing process. What surprises me the most about this situation is that I understand how my friend feels. When she shared the incident with me I felt shame and blame – guilt by association. Have you ever experienced something like that?  You learn something about a relative, something which you could not have prevented even if you knew at the time, but feel as though you carry some of the blame? I feel as though I should have done something to protect this friend. I had an idea of the damage this relative was capable of inflicting on others, I knew my friend was in a vulnerable state at that point. Yet I did nothing to try to stop them from hanging out together. In my mind I realize that even if I had tried to prevent it, the odds are it would not have worked. My heart and my soul are finding this harder to accept.

Dark Goddess Tarot Moon/Arianrhod Dark Goddess Tarot 4 of Earth/Sphinx

So as an effort to start my healing process, and maybe help my friend with hers, I asked the Arianrhod (The Moon) from the Dark Goddess Tarot for guidance. I needed to know how to deal with having my illusions (or delusions) about this family member destroyed. Arianrhod sent me The Sphinx (4 of Earth). Her message to me was that it was time to face the harsh truth of this matter because trying to run from it does no one, especially me, any good. So I asked The Sphinx for some advice on facing this harsh truth. She offered me Temperance reversed and the Queen of Wands.

Hudes Temperance 34

The message these cards had for me struck my spirit immediately. Temperance reversed is telling me not to lose sight of the fact that my inner spirit is pure and carries no taint of blame. However, it also reminds me that a purification and cleansing ritual might help me and my friend feel better. I need to look deep within myself and embrace the reflection that shines back. She has nothing to do with this family member’s actions and behaviors. She couldn’t have stopped any of it but maybe she can help my friend find some healing too. The Queen of Wands reminds me of my warrior spirit. She is fierce in defense of those she loves and merciless to those who harm her loved ones. In this instance the harmer happens to be someone that is a family member and was once loved. That betrayal makes it so much worse but she is strong. She has survived harsh and painful experiences before and she can do it now. The pain will recede and she will emerge from the fire feeling stronger and tempered. That also ties in with Temperance’s energy and reminds me that what doesn’t kill us does make us stronger. I know it’s a cliché but that doesn’t make it any less accurate – at least for me. If I let this beat me than that family member has won. The damage caused all those years ago will finally prove fatal. I refuse, defiantly and assertively, to let that happen.

I’m sharing this in the hopes that anyone else out there who has gone through a similar shattering revelation or experience can find some support and comfort. You’re not alone. Don’t take the shame, blame and stain of the offender into your own soul. We are not our brother’s, sister’s, father’s, mother’s or anyone else’s keeper. Their actions and behaviors do not reflect upon us. Don’t let it make you soul sick.

I’ve learned much to my dismay that these types of people are rather sociopathic and very manipulative. They find our weaknesses and exploit them. There is no shame in being vulnerable, we’ve all been vulnerable at some point in our lives, especially as children. Don’t let it define you or damage you for the rest of your days. Fight it, explore that darkness and let yourself come out healed and whole on the other side. Remember that their darkness is not yours to carry and believe that you are worthy of love, forgiveness and wholeness.

When abuse transforms into self-abuse

Dance of Life 3 of Health Dance of Life 8 of Relationships

Yesterday my daily cards pulled from the Dance of life Tarot were the 3 of Health Rx and 8 of Relationships. Reading the companion book I was struck by the author’s notes about healthy sexuality (the 3 of Health) and abusive behavior (8 of Relationships). It made me stop and seriously examine my attitudes towards both these areas of my life.

As a child I was subjected to various forms of sexual and physical abuse – sometimes by strangers and sometimes by family members. Some of the sexual abuse took the form of flirtatiousness and sexual interest from adult men when I was a teen – in some cases friends of my parents. At first I found this attention flattering but it quickly became overwhelming. Whether it was strangers on the street commenting on my anatomy, male classmates snapping my bra strap, or older men making inappropriate suggestions, I quickly became unnerved and began to think something was wrong with me. I believed there was something wrong with me that drew this kind of attention to me. I was young and did not know how to handle this attention so I focused on what I thought I could control – me.

This attitude was further impacted by the abusive dynamic in my household. My approach to dealing with it was to internalize. I didn’t realize that until recently. In fact I’m only starting to understand how insidious and demoralizing its influence is. I thought I had emerged with minimal scars. Now I know that I internalized them and continued the abuse on myself. By ignoring my health and well-being I continued reinforcing the message that I deserved to be mistreated. Realizing this shocked me. It was an unexpected and life-altering revelation. My continue resistance to making healthy changes to my life has taken on a whole new meaning. Instead of healing from the abuses I experienced I continued to perpetrate them on myself.

These revelations have helped make me aware of patterns of behavior I’ve ignored until now. My next step will be to take steps to change these patterns. If I don’t want to continue this self-destructive behavior, then I need to make some dramatic changes. It’s time to truly learn to love myself and embrace who I am rather than paying lip service to those attitudes. Not easy, but something I believe I can accomplish.

Reversed Suns All in a Row

Sacred Bridges Sun

For the last two weeks during my card of the day readings I drew the Sun reversed five times. I was using the Sacred Bridges Tarot so the card is title The Daughter and as I looked at the image of a small child sprouting forth from the earth under the benevolent, radiant rays of the sun I was struck by its message. The Sun reversed is telling me that I need to find ways to be the sun in my own life; to find ways to validate myself for what I accomplish.

This is an interesting message because for much of my life my quest was for external validation. In fact I sometimes thing that I pursued the approval of others to such a degree that I sublimated my own desires and dreams. Without conscious thought I shift my priorities to ensure that I would receive the external validation I craved. In elementary and high school I was the kind of student who learned to give the teachers what they wanted from me. I never (or rarely) stirred up controversy (although one time in history class I do recall asking a male teacher why male sluts got societal approval while female sluts were condemned – he has no answer). I sometimes tailored assignments and papers to cater to the teachers’ preferences and egos. I was quite good at it. Don’t get me wrong, I still had to do the work but I can’t say that I blazed any new trails.

Then I met my husband. This man and Bugs Bunny taught me everything I know about being a smart ass ball-buster. So by time I got to college I wasn’t as focused on pleasing the instructors or catering to their preferences but I still craved external validation and approval. I also have an almost overwhelming need to avoid feeling ignorant that just feeds into this pattern. Once I graduated and began working full-time I quickly learned that the way to positive performance evaluations, promotions and raises is by keeping the boss happy. Once again – external validation and approval. This pattern continued throughout my career and proved fairly successful for me.

Now I’m at a phase in my life where external validations, approval and recognition are rare. The only way to feed my ego (and like everyone else’s it does require regular tending and feeding) I need to find alternative, creative ways to validate myself. I can’t rely on positive feedback or even appreciation from any else. The two family members I car for certainly can’t do it. So getting this message (repeatedly) from the Universe got to me (although it did take a while).

Now I just have to remember that I can be my own sun, I can find ways to nurture and encourage myself. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t seek external validation, simply that I don’t need to exclusively rely on them. I just need to remind myself that my opinion counts too. If I feel I’m doing a good job or deserve praise for something, that is just as validating as getting it from someone else. I just need to remind myself that I’m the only one who can truly let the sun go down on me.

Thoughtful Thor’s Day: “Treat Yourself as You Would Treat Others” should be the “Golden Rule”

As are so many of you, I am shocked, saddened and bewildered by Robin Williams’ suicide.  It is so tragic that a man of such comic genius who could bring so much joy and laughter to other’s was in such a state of hopelessness and despair that he felt there was no other solution.  It made me wonder what demons drove him to do this.

I’m sure many recall the “Golden Rule” – treat others as you wish to be treated.  I’ve often thought that is a very powerful and simple way to deal with others (even if I often fail at it myself).  Then a recent Tarot reading I did for myself made me wonder if perhaps this is backwards.  Treating others as you want to be treated might actually be more common that we think. I think the truth is that we are much harsher on ourselves than anyone else could possibly be but it’s a trait we hide from others.

We often assume other people think they are amazing and wonderful but treat the rest of us as subhuman chud. In reality I think many of us are so filled with varying levels of self-loathing, self-doubt and vicious inner criticisms that it’s all we can do to be polite to others.  Those inner voices that criticize, harangue and dog us on a daily basis create a cacophony from which there is not escape.  They may quiet down for periods of time but at our weakest moment they come roaring back to life.  I think that’s why so many people either self-medicate or seek psychiatric meds – to deal with these feelings of inadequacy and incompetence.  I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of depression but I think there are lesser levels of “the blues” that might be caused by this type of inner self-flagellation.

Perhaps the real key is to treat ourselves the way we wish to treat others. It might lead to us being gentler, more forgiving and kinder to ourselves.  I know I’m often much more willing to grant some latitude to people who have “wronged” me than I am when I feel I’ve screwed up. My anger at others may be fierce and loud but it’s usually quickly gone. When I’m disappointed or angry with myself it goes bone deep and seeps into every aspect of my being. It rears its ugly head when I least expect it and undermines many of my good efforts. Silencing those inner critics and self-doubts is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve every tried. I think that’s the message this reading offered to me – keep trying and working on that process.

How can I start healing myself? Prince of Pentacles R, 7 of Wands + Justice (DruidCraft)

Green Man Tree Oracle NGetal

“When nGétal appears in divination, it suggests that health is or should be a priority now. It may indicate the danger of injury when paired with h-Úath or other challenging feda. In positive readings, it may suggest that an injury or illness is healing, or that a course of treatment for a chronic health problem may be going well. It can be a reminder to watch your health or to get something checked on that you might otherwise consider minor. It is a very hopeful fid to draw for those who are ill, as it implies active and progressing healing and the restoration of health and wellbeing.

Linked Concepts: Wounding, death, beneficial magic, healers and doctors, good health, wellbeing, regeneration, hope.” – Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Based on the insights offered in Erynn’s Ogam book, I asked the Tarot this question:

How can I start healing myself? Prince of Pentacles R, 7 of Wands + Justice (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Prince of Pentacles DruidCraft 7 of Wands DruidCraft Justice

I see the reversed Prince of Pentacles as telling me that I’m going to slow; being too plodding. It’s one thing to be cautious and well-prepared; another to procrastinate. I’m procrastinating. I know what steps I need to take to improve my health but I’m putting them off. Avoidance will cure nothing. If I want to manifest good health in my life and heal my body then I need to take action. I don’t need to go from zero to 60 in 10 seconds flat but I at least need to start making a few changes.

The 7 of Wands is telling me I need to be more fierce and vigilant in guarding and defending my personal space and time. Yes, I’m in a situation where I need clearly defined alone time – no internet, no cell phone and no in-laws. So far I’ve been putting my needs in this area as very low on the priority list, something easily ignored or put off until later. I need to stop doing that for my own mental health.

Justice is reminding me that balance and fairness are important. I’ve lost sight of that. To be fair to the in-laws, I also need to figure out ways to meet their needs for physical and intellectual stimulation too. Maybe a walk outside or watching the ducks would do it. Sometimes the mom-in-law can’t focus on things like that but it’s worth a shot. Of course it would also be a good idea to make sure I’m meeting my own needs for physical and mental stimulation. Watching TV and browsing the internet are all well and good but they should be kept to a minimum.

I think I’m finally getting on the right track. If I take it slow and easy I think I’ll eventually reach my goal. I sometimes have a tendency to want immediate results and when that doesn’t happen I quit. It’s time to change those patterns because clearly they are not working for me.