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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Are You A Game Player?

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Why do people play games?   Many years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was lamenting over a situation that had happened with another friend of hers.  She said for some reason her friend was no longer talking to her.  And when she did talk to her, it was cordial.  Don’t you love that word cordial?  It means that I’m really disgusted with you right now but I am going to pretend that I like you in a way that lets you know that I really don’t.  See, I didn’t even need to consult Webster on that one…just pulled it right out of my own ass!!  Anyway, we do play games; and I suppose that is fine as long as we remember that the game we are playing is solitaire.  I think another realization is that when someone we care about refuses to play the game with us that is exactly what we want.  If they choose to play the game they have actually failed the test in our eyes.  It is the resistance to the game playing, not the participation in it, that we are looking for.  We sort of “test the waters” to see if the defendant gets defensive and if they do, we assume they have committed some crime against us.  Am I right?

I just find it so fascinating that we would rather conduct ourselves this way than directly confront the situation.  Why are we running from confrontation.  Now, here, I am going to consult Webster.  He says that confrontation is: ” a meeting of persons face to face; an open conflict of opposing ideas, forces, etc.; a bringing together of ideas, themes, etc., for comparison.”  See, none of those things are scary at all.  Confrontation is just a meeting of the minds.  It is two people or entities coming together and saying what they feel and either agreeing to disagree, compromising, understanding each other a little more clearly or all of the above.  The result is always the same…a solution is found!  That solution might be that a firmer business alliance is forged.  It might be that a friendship got stronger.  It might even be that an end came to a relationship that was not serving either person or entity well.  All of these solutions are for the best…wouldn’t you agree?  And in the case of personal confrontations between individuals something really nice happens…a fear has been overcome.  I mean I have said it before and I will say it many times again…overcoming something that you are desperately afraid of is the most empowering experience ever!!

For all you game players and for those of you who don’t play games I have the best advice for you.  It is advice I have been given many times by some amazing people.  Most recently I was given this advice from a new friend who I have only met in the virtual world via email.  The answer….your solution or your proof or whatever it is you are seeking is not out there.  No matter how hard you look.  Play as many games as you wish to.  Blame as many people as you can possibly name.  Lament over the hard blows you may have been dealt in your life.  The only person who can give power to those things is you.  And…the only one who can overcome them is you, too.  You are running around playing these games and testing people to prove what?  I’ll bet you can’t come up with an answer.  I can; and I insist that you trust me on this one.  You have won your game.  You have passed your test with flying colors.  You are amazing and worthy and capable of anything you want to do!  God created you in the most miraculous way.  Your abilities (both conscious and subconscious) are so beyond your own imagination it is astounding.  So put the cards away, stop playing and start living….your life is waiting!

Much love!!

Lori

PS:  I wrote this a while back…probably about 3 or 4 months ago and I still  believe it.  At least, I think it is worthy of a conversation and being published; but, I have to add an addendum.  Sometimes, no always, we have to choose our battles wisely.  You know, we humans have this ability that animals don’t have.  Steven Covey talked about it best in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” when he said we have the ability to pause in between the action and the reaction. (Forgive me, I’m paraphrasing.)  I like to call it the pause and reboot.  Anyway, sometimes when we really care about someone or some issue we must confront the situation.  Other times, we just have to let it go…..  The beauty is that we all have the wisdom to know the difference.  And, if you’re mind is confused about which way to go, follow your heart!

PPS:  My husband and I were playing a little game of name that tune last night using YouTube and our laptops and I found this song that I have always loved.  I think it is pretty fitting!

Play The Game Tonight by Kansas

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The Long And Winding Road

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Recently, I read a book by Wayne Dyer (one of my faves) called “The Power of Intention”.  Dudes, read the book.  It is wonderful, thought provoking, inspiring, blah..blah..blah.  Anyway, enough with the selfless promotion of Dyer’s book.  In the book he talks about how over time his books have come to write themselves.  According to my old friend, Google, he has written 30 bestsellers in his career.  I’ve read several of them and they all changed me….like, forever!  Anyway, in that vein (or is it vane?..who cares?) I thought I would spend the next several posts or maybe all future posts doing that very same thing.  Just let you into my stream of consciousness…I don’t know whether to apologize or say congratulations.  I suppose you will have to decide for yourself.  Anyway, I am not asking for permission…always best to ask for forgiveness anyway, right?

So, the long and winding (see ending song) road of that little intro is going to lead me further down a circuitous path that hopefully will reach a crescendo where you will see how it all connects.  As I read back that sentence, I hope I can see how it connects.  Oh, and speaking of writing itself, that is the first time I have ever written the word “circuitous”.  That has to be divine intervention!   Doesn’t matter, I’m going with it…..

I think the best format for this little exercise is a series of a few questions that I desperately hope you will answer by leaving a comment on THIS BLOG POST.  I do appreciate the comments on FB, too, but humor me just this once, will you?  And I am going to issue a GIANT disclaimer before I ask the questions.  I don’t have the right answers!  As a matter of fact, I doubt there are any wrong ones, so be honest.  There will be no judgment from yours truly and if any other readers judge any of your comments, well them screw ’em!!

Question #1

I have to give you a little background on this one so you will understand where I am coming from.  Today, I went to a Bible study class as a guest of a good friend.  I was in the room with about 15 or 20 lovely ladies and I enjoyed the class very much.  Thanks, Emilie, for the invitation.  I am a person of great faith and have spent quite a lot of time in church and Sunday school, Bible school, etc; but, I am almost afraid to admit this.  I have never read the Bible in its entirety.  Sorry, God!  Anyway, someone made mention of “self-help” books in the class.  The moderator made a comment that brought a question to my mind.  She said (drawing comparison between self-help books and The Bible) that self-help books focus on “Self” and The Bible focuses on “God”.  So, the questions is this (drum roll, please)……Is there a separation between the two…self and God?

And in all fairness, I suppose I will share my opinion on that one…  I believe that God lives in all of us.  I kind of suspect that the “self” or “soul” or “heart” of us is comprised mostly of him.  I am not suggesting that I am Godly or anything like that; but recently I read something by Esther and Jerry Hicks in the book “The Vortex” (which I highly recommend as well) about how when we are born we are more connected to our spiritual source (God or whatever you call it) and that through the course of life, we tend to chip away at that connection and feel more like he is up there and we are down here.  Anyway, I kind of believe that….there is NO separation between God and self.  Like I said, my answers aren’t right.  They aren’t wrong.  They are simply mine!

Question #2

Yesterday, I spoke to two old friends that I have known since I was about 6 or 7 years old.  Literally, two of the most beautiful and funny people you would ever want to meet.  We have had more fun together than the law could ever allow.  I haven’t laughed that much in a few months, seriously, so it was quite therapeutic.  Thanks Wanda & Lisa…you can bill me if you want to.  Back to it, Lisa was talking and she said, “You know, Lori, you and I both love to laugh….”  There was more to the sentence which I won’t go into; but it was a wake-up call for me and when I relayed that comment to my husband, I could see his wheels turning.  You see, my husband has a great infectious laugh and he is very funny; but, we have not been very silly in our home lately.  So much so, that my husband looked puzzled because he hasn’t seen that side of me in a while which brings me to my next question.  “Why do we spend so little time making the conscious effort to laugh?”  (Self-Promotion Note:  Did you read my last post entitled “Laughter Is The Only Medicine”?)

My answer:  This is a multi-pronged answer.  We focus on the wrong ball(s) (Money, status, BS).  We still buy into that nonsense about “having to struggle”.  We take ourselves WAY too seriously!  We watch too much news (not me, by the way, gave it up 5 years ago).  This could become a long list so I’ll stop right there.

Question #3

Okay, this is quite personal subject matter than I am about to discuss.  I told you guys about the death in my family recently and a few funny events occurred during the 2 weeks prior to Brandice’s death and continued through the day of the funeral.  Someone very close to me (I will NOT name names on this one.) is particularly good at using trivial distractions to get through crises.  Let me explain.  On a phone call one day in which we were discussing Brandice’s health she said out of the blue, “I sure would like to go get some peaches.”  Okay!  Then, she chastised someone else closer  to me for not coming over to see her new curtains and help her install the caps on the ends of the rods.  Then on the ride to the funeral in between the obvious tears and lamenting she looked back and said, “Does this pocketbook go with what I’m wearing?”  (I guess I should also mention that the morning after the funeral she called to say that she really wanted to go pick some figs.)  I have to admit this even though it pains me greatly to do it, I really judged her harshly for it.  And, I love her; and I am sorry I wasn’t more understanding.  So, the question, “Why do we judge everything?  Even those of us (me) who preach about being non-judgmental do it.  Why do we believe that our way is the right way?  Is there really just ONE right way?”  God, that is a lot of questions, isn’t it?

My answer:  I don’t know; but, I think it boils down to this…we are judging ourselves too harshly.  We are trying to hold ourselves to some standard that is obscure at best.  Then, we turn and project our own self judgment onto the world including the people we love the most.

Alright, folks there it is.  I thought this would be a short post; but, it took on a life of its own which is what I told you would happen in the first place……Thanks for listening and thanks for talking back!!

Much Love!!

Lori

PS:  “The Long And Winding Road” was actually the very last single ever released by The Beatles.  It was written by Paul McCartney.  He said that when he wrote it on his farm in Scotland that he envisioned Ray Charles singing it.  Phil Spector  produced the single and Paul was less than thrilled by the “post production modifications” made and even cited that fact as one of the six reasons he wanted to break up the legal entity that was “The Beatles”.  He actually said that in court.  Don’t you just love Wikipedia?

Click here:

The Long & Winding Road

PPS:  Paul was right, this was the Spector produced version and it is a little weird; but, one of the greatest songs ever written, in my opinion, of course.

Laughter Is The Only Medicine

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Hello Friends!!  It has been a while since my last post.  I lost my cousin this summer.  Brandice Dawson DuPree lost her battle with brain cancer on July 11th.  She spent the last weeks of her life surrounded by all of the people that meant the most to her.  She was surrounded by more love than anyone could ever hope for; and even though she couldn’t communicate, she felt it!   The following is an excerpt from a little labor of love I am working on…I hope you enjoy it!

 

In the dedication of this book you read about my dear cousin, Brandice who lost her battle with brain cancer.  Many days after I wrote that tribute, I was seated in my den with laptop in lap and my attention was drawn to my bookshelf on the opposing wall.  My eye immediately went to one book.  The binding of the book is not as interesting as some of the other leather bound classics that my husband has collected over the years.  It is certainly not the book that your eyes would be drawn to if you walked into my home.  Curious, I put the laptop down and walked over to grab the book that had literally jumped out at me.  As I got close enough to read the title, my eyes welled up with tears.  “God’s Little Devotional Book for Moms” was a gift that I had received when pregnant with my daughter, Laney.  You have probably guessed by now who lovingly gave me that gift…Brandice.  I turned to the inside cover hoping desperately that she had written a note on it; but she did not.  (I guess I thought that if I had her signature there I would feel closer to her.  The truth is she is always with me…signature or not.)

I closed the book and for a moment disappointment washed over me.  Then, I felt this wave of peace as if she was tapping me on the shoulder and I turned to a random page in the book.  This is the story I found (quoted directly from the book):

“A Good Laugh is Sunshine in the House.”

 Business consultant C.W. Metcalf tells how he once signed up for a hospice training program to work with terminally ill patients.  He was assigned to Roy, an elderly man with colon cancer.  Offering to assist Roy one day, Metcalf said, “Maybe you want me to help you out of those Mickey Mouse pajamas and into something more respectable.”  Roy whispered back, even in his great pain, “I like these pj’s.  Mickey reminds me that I can still laugh a little, which is more than the doctor has ever done.  Maybe you should get some pj’s with Goofy on them.”  Roy laughed, but Metcalf didn’t.  “Young man,” he continued, “you’re one of the most depressing people I’ve ever met.  I’m sure you’re a nice person, but if you’re here to help, it ain’t working.”  Metcalf was angered to hear the truth put so bluntly.

On the last day of his training, Metcalf learned that Roy had died.  His instructor handed him a paper bag that Roy had left for him.  Inside, he found a T-shirt with the grinning face of Goofy.  A note read,  “Put on this shirt at the first sign you’re taking yourself too seriously.  In other words, wear it all the time.”  Metcalf laughed!  Roy had taught him one of the best lessons he ever learned:  humor isn’t an occasional joke.  It’s a basic survival tool for living life to the fullest!

The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others.  Proverbs 15:30″

 

Now, most of you don’t know my cousin; but, she is hilarious.  There is no question in my mind that there is more laughter in heaven with her in it that it was the day before she arrived.  She is quick witted and sarcastic and being around her usually renders people in stitches.  So, even though I knew the truth (that death of the physical body is not the end of the spirit and the soul); it sure was nice to have the proof from someone that I hold so dear.

Ironically, I had just had a conversation with my 5 year old the previous day.  Laney is quite a night owl and often has a hard time going to sleep at night.  I must say she came about the trait quite honestly…both her father and I stay up until all hours of the night ourselves.  Anyway, back to the track, Laney has to be prodded to wake up in the mornings.  The first words out of her mouth are typically, “I don’t want to go to school!”  Then the tears begin.  While brushing her teeth she is usually crying.  I have often responded to this by getting a little irritated.  The irritation has been highly ineffective, by the way.

Yesterday, though, I changed my mind.  As Laney began the tearful teeth brushing session, I started to talk about how much I love her laugh.  I told her that I really thought we needed more laughter in the morning to which she wailed, “I can’t.  I’m tired.”  I kept going as if I had gotten the answer I was wishing for and I could see her little wheels turning.  She stepped down from her little blue stool and we started dressing.  The giggles started to come.  She does have an infectious laugh.  You know those little kid laughs…the uncontrollable belly laughs.  She literally laughed at everything I said and did.  She laughed when I tucked her little polo shirt into her khaki skort.  She laughed when I accidently gave her a wedgie when pulling up her pants.  She laughed when I said, “Put your socks on.”.  It was magic and I couldn’t stop laughing either.

We continued the raucousness of it all on the ride to work.  Some really cool dance song came on (the title escapes me at the moment) and we both started to dance.  We laughed so hard we cried.  Then this morning as I raised the dead, I was met with the most brilliant smile and a tired little chuckle.  Hmmm, I think I’m on to something here.  We spent the next 5 minutes brushing our teeth with our eyes closed.  Yes, blind tooth brushing is hilarious…try it!

As we made our way to school this morning, I looked in the rear view mirror and I said, “Laney, I am so glad we have decided to laugh in the mornings, aren’t you?”  She answered affirmatively and then I said, “You know, I never did that in the morning when I was a kid and I should have.”  She looked up with the most endearing face and said, “Never?”.  I said, “No, we never did.”  For a brief moment, she looked sad that I had not experienced this pleasant morning ritual and then I saw this unmistakable look.  It was a cross between utter gratitude and pride.  In her mind, she thought, aren’t we lucky?  And in my mind, I thought, “That’s what I’m talking about!”  Don’t you love those moments when you realize you really are a legend  in your child’s eyes?

Much Love!!

Lori

PS:  I want to thank all of our family and friends who have been there for us this summer.  In the midst of this painful tragedy, I have witnessed the most compelling outpouring of love and support.  Even now as I write this, I am filled with such warmth, gratitude, and love.  I am truly overwhelmed.  I would mention all of your names; but I am afraid I would miss someone…you know who you are, though.

PPS:  Not to be too preachy, but for all of you parents reading this, please make sure to remember what a blessing it is to have children.  Life is so precious and sometimes it is too short.  You have this moment right now…..make the most of it!

And to you, Brandice, I know James Taylor was one of your faves (& mine too).  This ones for you….I love you!!   From the first moment I laid eyes on you (at birth) I loved you.  I have so enjoyed being a part of your life.  I cherish all the memories and I miss you; but, I know it’s not goodbye……it’s see you later!!   And, my promise to you is this…once I am over the hump whenever I think of you, I will laugh!!  I know that is what you would want.