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Starting Again: April Goals

Monday, April 02, 2012

A week from today, my dad will have been gone a month. Between the funeral, a few trips to Wisconsin to get my mom resettled and dealing with my ever changing schedule, I woke up this morning wondering where the last month went. I sat at my desk in a bit of a stupor and realized that I couldn’t get any further off track then I am right now. In the past three or four weeks eating has consisted of what’s placed in front of me or what I grab of the run. Exercise is an exception rather than the rule. My reflective time has gone out the window --- I’m too busy being nervous and having multiple anxiety attacks, waking up in the middle of the night feeling like the world is caving in on me to spend any quality time relaxing. I look in the mirror and “ugh,” all my hard work has been flushed down the commode. To be honest, the urge to sit here and feel sorry for myself on a continual basis is a very attractive option.

The only way to get going is, well, to get going. As much as I don’t want to I am going to dust off some goals for April and slowly get back on track. Nothing earth shattering or elaborate here, just a few things to make me feel good about being John and building a foundation for myself to get back on track.

1. Stay within my calorie limits. That happens when I track what I eat. Wait, Spark gives me that tool doesn’t it?!?!? I think I’ll use it.

2. 45 minutes of exercise, 6 days per week. I just need to “do it.” Nuff said

3. Twenty minutes of John time each day to do nothing more thanb rest and reflect in my source.

Three simple, yet effective goals to help me get back on track. I'll keep ya posted

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAMAJAM 4/10/2012 1:09PM

  I offer my sympathy to you also. May you find support and comfort from your friends and family members. May you also reflect with gratitude on the good times that will forever be cherished memories. Be good to yourself and take care of your health, John.

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SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 4:08PM

    Yes, those goals will do it. I'm aiming for them, too, but my goal is 10 minutes a day of exercise. My days will probably have more than that, but I know me well enough to not aim any higher. I need some success! Good luck, John, you can do it.

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MARCYNA 4/4/2012 6:55AM

    Back to basics, you can make it John. You've handled a lot, please be kind to yourself. I'm sure you have done the best, I'll pray for you.
Happy Eeaster emoticon

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CMBELISLE 4/3/2012 12:17PM

    I'm inclined to agree with Sparkenista. Unless you were doing that kind of exercising three to four weeks ago, starting off a bit slower will get you back at it with less likelihood of burning out.

Give yourself time and small, attainable goals - you'll get to your big ones in time.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 4/3/2012 9:52AM

    These certainly seem like simple enough goals. Funny how the simplest things are what we really need to get back on track.
I wish you the best in maintaining these goals and I extend my condolences on the grief you are experiencing. Just remember, you need to take care of you too. Things will go through their cycle, but don't let it rule you. Do as you are doing and take it by the horns and move through it. Again, you will become a better person in the end. (how you can be a nicer, funnier or better person than you are is hard to believe, but you will)

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LYNMEINDERS 4/3/2012 4:06AM

    Love your goals John....need to take them on board myself....

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NASFKAB 4/3/2012 4:03AM

  Take it very slow hugs

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MAMADWARF 4/2/2012 11:26PM

    Dealing with a loss lie that is very difficult. Nothing feels normal and the things that were normal before it happened are just too much. Just take it one day at a time and be kind to yourself.

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7356WILMA 4/2/2012 11:26PM

  It is so nice that we can start over!!

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CARTOONB 4/2/2012 11:10PM

    May the Force be with you.

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JRZG8R 4/2/2012 10:53PM


It is admirable that you want to get back on track. It sounds to me that you may be tackling too much at one time. You can do it all but think back and I believe you will recall the time and effort it took to build those great habits. I am not trying to dissuade you only to remind you to give yourself some leeway as you get back into the swing of things. The all or nothing road usually ends with nothing.

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I hope the you find peace and balance. Take care my friend.

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SPARKENISTA 4/2/2012 10:25PM


Give yourself a break--you're only human. 45 minutes 6 days/week? Too much! Only 20 minutes of John time to relax? Not enough. You'll get back in the saddle. Take it slow.

This is a formula for self-sabotage. Relax a bit. Allow yourself to grieve. Move back into your regimen slowly.

You are the same wonderful John whether you work out 45 min./day or not.

I feel sure about this.

emoticon emoticon

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    Dealing with a death in the family is tough, John. We are dealing with the same things and almost a year later things have not let up. Just get through a day at a time. I tell myself daily to stay sane and this too shall pass and it will. Good luck with your goals.

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HDHAWK 4/2/2012 7:14PM

    These 3 goals will get you going in the right direction. I'm here for you!

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GEEMAWEST 4/2/2012 7:05PM

    That's all we can. Just get back on the horse when we fall off. I'm here for you, John. And I really mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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YOYONOMORE1 4/2/2012 4:09PM

    Well John, you are still here and you are still willing to give it all you got, that says a lot, you haven't given up and you aren't afraid to start it all up again. Just one day at a time, that's the way to do it and you will. Give yourself all the time you need to work through your grief.


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GOLFCHICK2-0 4/2/2012 3:18PM

    We start again every morning. You're just smart enough to give yourself an extra push!!
I like your simple goals. Keep up the good work John!!

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DEE797 4/2/2012 1:34PM

    One step at a time! emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 4/2/2012 1:10PM

    you know , it's sad , I'm nowhere better than you with the me time and 20 minutes is very little and we still barely manage to do that emoticon

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TRI_BABE 4/2/2012 12:23PM

    Yeah, it's a fine balance between resting and healing your body and then letting stressors get the best of you. Good job for getting back on track!

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AJDOVER1 4/2/2012 11:27AM

    You can do this!

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LUCYJOY 4/2/2012 11:13AM

    Grief is a funny thing and those anxiety attacks that wake you-I think doing what you have to do to get through it isn't feeling sorry for yourself.

That said, been thinking along the same lines. I don't feel much like living since my son died but the only way to do it, as you said, is get up and do it-which is my goal for this week. Bought food I could tolerate eating/drinking yesterday that will keep my glucose level and my calories in range and I am making myself get up in the morning and not try to sleep my life away.

I hope you can stick to your new plan.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/2/2012 10:55AM

    Life sometimes throws us curve balls that make it difficult to stay on track. You're still here, though, and you are worth the effort; don't ever forget that, John, and don't give up. One small step at a time; you can do this.


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TRISTAROSE 4/2/2012 10:03AM


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ANDREWS_MOM 4/2/2012 9:31AM

    Great goals! emoticon
It's so easy to get off track just with life in general - nevermind all of the stress and issues you've had recently. I spent the good part of last year mostly off track, unfortunately. March was my 1st full month of being committed again.
You are an amazing person who does so much for everyone else- you deserve this for yourself. emoticon

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How Commited Am I ?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 4:06PM

    I went through...not a dark night of the soul, but maybe a twilight of the soul recently, and think I am finally ready to accept some things I wasn't ready for before. I feel like I'm ready for my life.

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ANDREWS_MOM 4/2/2012 8:39AM

    Intelligent, thought provoking & Right on the Money ~ as usual!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts & wisdom!

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CARTOONB 3/31/2012 9:56PM

    Is this like the chicken and the pig and a plate of ham and eggs? The chicken was involved...the pig was committed. emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 3/29/2012 12:35PM


Your blog touched me today, more than usual. I hear what you are saying. What you are really saying is that you (and everyone else) are human. You do what you can when you are up to it.

I know, your topic is "commitment" which means "do it whether you want to or not". However, we are not robots. When we are stressed, we react. I just attended a webinar where the famous hosts, coaches, said that they are doing better now b/c they no longer have a "9-year-old" running their businesses. In other words, they are calling their prospects, writing their books or blogs and fulfilling their goals.

Good for them. I bet they don't do that every day or every time. I know I don't. I'm better than I was. Maybe I have a 12-year-old running my business.

I have been where you are many times--on many levels including weight loss and gain. Right now, I am focusing on the positive. I mean, instead of one veggie, I have three or four. This fills me up, gives me added nutrition and kind of edges out extra protein and starchy carbs that I may have eaten.

In any case, give yourself a break. Think of the things you DO commit to--your family, your extended family here, your business and clients--don't focus so much on the negative. You are a great guy. Focus on that.

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NASFKAB 3/29/2012 5:46AM


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LUNDIEP 3/28/2012 11:39PM

    Great timing on seeing this one for me. I'm out of town, visiting family, and also preparing for a 5k. I've been mulling over whether I would actually go running while I'm away from home.

And dangit - you're challenging my commitment! :) THANK YOU!

Good stuff. Glad to see you.

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AJDOVER1 3/28/2012 10:32PM

    I'm finding my commitment to a healthy lifestyle has turned into a very isolating experience. None of the cool kids are walking at lunchtime and then eating a salad. I wish you all the best.

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WARMSTRONG2 3/28/2012 3:16PM

  You are saying what I should be thinking. Thanks!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 3/28/2012 1:51PM

    Good Morning, John!
(Oops, afternoon. Don't mind me I was sure it was Tuesday up until 2 hours ago. Tee hee.)
It's only a "FAIL" if you quit.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYSTAN 3/28/2012 1:34PM


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CATHYHASSPARK 3/28/2012 12:54PM

    I am listening to what you are saying and you are totally right , and it gave me alot to think about , am I committed? I am going to be totally looking into that, and I now have something to write about on my blog thanks!! Finding out what is right for me , and not go along with what other people say.

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GIRANIMAL 3/28/2012 12:53PM

    Good timing as always! emoticon

Two things: I realized today part of the reason I am so hesitant about my new fibro treatment, even though I desperately need the relief, is the fear of such a commitment. It's more change, and I don't like change! LOL And the only drawback to holistic plans (as opposed to a pill or other quick shot) is they take commitment. A lifelong change, not a fad.

I also am seeing that some of my frustration with my elusive goal body is that some of it might not be the right goals FOR ME. I have never been a small (except for preemie birth) or athletic person in my life. I may never have small calves, thing thighs or ripped abs. I may never be at the lower end of a "healthy" BMI, but instead always just about a point under the radar! And you know what? That's OK! Because super-athlete is not ME. I just want to live a healthy, relatively pain-free life. It's OK if I don't feel the need to run marathons and constantly challenge my endurance, etc. I am active. I eat well 98 percent of time. And that's what "physically healthy" is FOR ME.

You know when your tiny doc says to stop obsessing about 10 pounds, it's time to look at what tricks your brain is playing.

Finally, I hate to hear you use the word "fail." I know and am glad you're not saying you are a failure, but still. You always learn so much -- and actually use that knowledge! -- every time you fall short of a goal. That's not true for everyone. And it's certainly no failure in my book.


Comment edited on: 3/28/2012 12:54:12 PM

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MS_CURVEY24 3/28/2012 12:39PM

    I loved listening to your blog!!

I consider myself to be very committed. Have I been in the past? No. Something wasn't right, and I just wasn't ready for a change in my life. Now, this time is different. it's a change I can feel, and now it's a change that I'm living. I may be just starting out, but I know I can do it! I have faith in myself that I never had before.

You're comment about "sitting with the cool kids" really hit me though. Is that what I want? Well...yea, I guess. I've never been one to be "cool". I was picked on endlessly in school, mostly because of my brother's handicaps. Part of me DOES want to be in the cool crowd, but then the other side says, "But you are you, and THAT crowd isn't you!!" I am slowly leaning toward being who I am. We don't feel like we have to keep up with the Jonses' so to speak. We're pretty different to begin with! I mean, I have had 3 kids in 5 years, we homeschool our children and we make our own bread! Where I live that's pretty different than the average Joe. However, feeling like you have to keep up with homeschoolers can eb a challenge too, but we made this decision for our kids. So we do what's right by THEM, not everyone else. :)

I realize I have written you a chapter book, and I apologize. :) I loved your weblog, and i definately look forward to more! Have a lovely day!

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REDSHOES2011 3/28/2012 12:10PM

    What has made me successful is I am running out of family and fast-they don't grow on trees. Looking efter myself for my sons sake is not too huge a goal for anyone person.. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/28/2012 12:11:03 PM

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The Frustration of Chronic Pain or "Is There Anybody Out There?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I was always one of those “Thank goodness it wasn’t me” people. I watched friends and colleagues struggle with chronic pain issues and doctors who couldn’t quite place their hands on a diagnosis and would throw up their hands in frustration. I always felt so lucky. I sat and read GIRANIMAL’s blog this morning about trying to find a source and solution to her pain and I found myself nodding my head and uttering a soft “Amen,” to what she wrote. This blog is in support of her and so many of us who end up getting lost in the maze called the medical system.

Last May I woke up one morning with stiffness in my left leg. Nothing horrific, mind you, just stiffness. Being 58 I wrote it off to approaching old age and popped two Advil. I took my morning walk and noticed my leg was getting stiffer and tighter with each step. My lower back began to tighten. To compensate I began to favor my right leg which in turn began to stiffen as well. Pain started shooting up and down my legs and my lower back often felt like a knife was being stuck directly into my lower spinal column. My primary care physician was on vacation so I went to an Urgent Care facility. They X-rayed my back, gave me some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory’s and sent me on my way. Other than a few bone spurs and the ever faithful catch all phrase “John you are not getting any younger,” I had most likely pulled a muscle. Heat and exercise was the prescription. Two weeks later I wasn’t any better, as a matter of fact it felt as if my ankles were fused and turning in a small circle was a real adventure. I was afraid of falling. Every time I stood up I ached. To compensate I was leaning backwards when I walked. My primary care said I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. She suggested working with my trainer on stretching exercises. By this time I was popping Advil like jelly beans and my hamstring muscles were shortening from lack of activity. A month later I was worse so we began the cycle of tests. Cat Scans, MRI’s and the like led to Neurosurgeons, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists. All began by telling me I was overweight and needed to exercise and once I did, well things would go back to normal. “Thank you John, lemme have your co-pay and have a nice day.”

“By the way doctor, I can’t exercise because I can’t move!!!” Everything was tight and stiff and everyone told me if I’d just lose weight everything would work out. I’m a compulsive over eater. I am a stress eater. It was like no one listened to what I was saying. I couldn’t move. I began walking with a cane and only traveled to places I had to travel to. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I walked like I was ready to fall over!!! I lived in fear of the pain. It consumed my entire life. I lived in fear of falling down and even taking a shower each morning was an anxiety ridden experience. What if I fell? Depression set in and I’d sit in my office and stressed that no one could tell me what was wrong. Emotionally I did a huge number on myself. “After all,” I reasoned “this had to be MY fault in some form or fashion, didn’t it?” I lost some alleged friends. People I had exercised with, had run with, had gotten healthy with began to avoid me. It was like they could “catch” my pain. Some alluded to lack of will power and discipline. I felt embarrassed and ashamed to visit clients. I did a lot of phone work. This was a long, painful and lonely walk. Nothing I did provided me with any relief. I hurt more and more and the doctors became tired of seeing me. By September I hate to tell you I was almost agoraphobic.

One Friday, shortly before Christmas a Spark friend, SPARKENISTA, suggested I read a book by a doctor that had been able to help her. I downloaded the book and two chapters in I was in tears. This dude was talking about ME!!! It was like he sat at my kitchen table and wrote the book based on my symptoms. With each page I was writing issues on a notepad to talk with my doctor about. The book is called Healing Back Pain by Dr John Sarno. I won’t do a lengthy review here but he basically says that while you are in pain, you are not hurt. The pain is real, it has a cause and that cause is stress and tension. It’s called Tension Myositis Syndrome or TMS. I didn’t have any organic issues, no slipped discs or ruptured discs or compressed nerves. My mind decided all my tension was going to settle in my lower back and legs. Once I understood what was happening I began a really slow road back. I had a number of issues I needed to deal with, all of which were causing stress and tension in my life and I began to notice that when a bad situation occurred my back got worse. My doctor(s) were and are skeptical. It doesn’t fit on an intake form or a box you can check.

I walked one half mile yesterday. I haven’t walked that far in close to a year. I was a bit sore and stiff but it felt good. I swim daily. I’m dealing with my “issues” and realizing that nowhere in my script does it say I have to be perfect. Like GIRANIMAL I still wonder why no one would listen. It’s not important now, only my recovery is. I have good days and bad days and this may be around for a while. There’s bitterness inside of me. The so called experts wouldn’t listen. They told me I was fat. “Lose weight and get over it.” The bright lining is I found out the why. My dad passing a few weeks back caused a bit of a setback, but I am learning.

My next vista is to lose the 90 pounds I gained back during this ordeal. I slid down a mountain and now I have to muster the resolve to climb back up once again.

Here is to all of us who are searching.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINIWINI 6/26/2012 12:31PM

  Thanks for sharing this with us. My husband has been suffering with mild lower back pain and we believe it is stress related and he is stressed out over thinking about making a doctors appointment to have it looked at because we can't really afford any new medical bills....bills are a stressor for him etc. It is one big vicious circle. I will have to look for the book you mentioned. Thanks.

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LUCINDARW 4/26/2012 9:52PM

    Thank you for the blog! Some of it hit home so I have an idea what you are dealing with. Glad you are on the mend and have a positive attitude. Keep up the good work. Lucinda

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MISSPEACHES3 4/12/2012 11:11AM

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry that you have had to go through all of this. But what a blessing that you are on your way back. emoticon

While I was reading this, it was just like I had typed it myself. I have been through the same things myself. Including the Neurosurgeon. I have been seen by so many doctors, that it is not even funny. I just knew that someone could find a solution for the pain in my legs.

I believe there are reasons why things happen. I believe that my coming across some of your blogs has been a blessing.

Thanks my Spark friend.


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SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 3:56PM

    Thank goodness you found that book and thank goodness for GIRANIMAL. My son saw a doctor in the ER when he was young for some stitches in his leg and the doctor had a pin on his coat that said "Question Authority". That's my kind of doctor. You had a rough time and I'm glad you're climbing back up the mountain.

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ANDREWS_MOM 4/2/2012 8:44AM

    I am so sorry for all the pain you have had to go through & continue to experience. You are such a strong person & it's amazing all of the support you provide for each of us here when you have your own very difficult battles goin on.
Chronic pain/illness/disease is an awful thing to have to deal with- both phyiscally and mentally. For me, as bad as the physical can be (gastroparesis/digestive tract paralysis/global motility disorder) - i sometimes believe the mental is even harder- just knowing that 99% chance it's never going away. But, that's life. There are people dealing with a whole lot worse. We only get one chance & we need to make the best of it, right? :)

Sounds like your will is strong & I am praying your pain will subside and I know you will do this.


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TEACHING1ST 4/1/2012 7:47PM

    Oh, John, it hurts to read this. I only read blogs occasionally and I've gotten so much from yours---but I didn't realize the pain and heartache you've had. You always deal with things head-on...and I'm hoping you'll be able to start back on the journey as before. Losing a loved one IS a setback. I lost my husband in Dec.'10 and my dad Nov.'11. But you can do it----as others have said, with God's help and your determination, you'll do it!


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WALKNLOVE 4/1/2012 7:52AM

    You WILL make it John! I believe in you! Just remember, "YOU can do ALL things through CHRIST who gives you strength." And "With God, ALL things are possible." HE is your healer and He will walk with you through this, because He promises to NEVER leave you or forsake you. Praying for you my friend....and I count it a blessing to call you that! You are an overcomer! Victory is yours! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/30/2012 10:30PM

    It sounds like you hit bottom and are climbing your way back out now. Take your time. You have plenty of time to get there.

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 3/29/2012 7:07PM

    Way to go, that type of attitude you can do it, I too suffer from the debilatating and ongoing saga of chronic pain, feel free to read my blogs if you like

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SPARKLISE 3/29/2012 6:31PM

    You were lucky in a way that another member got you that book!
|Good luck on your road to recovery!

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FANAMAMA 3/28/2012 8:38PM

    God bless you John for your openness and honesty. You have helped so many people today. I pray you find the way to heal. emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 3/28/2012 9:21AM

    I'm searching. My pain is in my neck and shoulders. I'm learning as I go. I have great hope that you will work thru this and that you will feel better. When your back hurts, everything hurts. Ugh.

Hang in there John.


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LADILADIDA 3/28/2012 9:11AM

    The medical community just does not know how to treat the cause of most chronic issues, only symptoms with drugs that cause side effects. In fairness, they do the best they can with a system that is not designed to look at WHOLE BODY health and we are the only masters of our whole body. All my health issues have always been chronic but I am thankful for them for each one brought me another step closer to the healthy path I am on. From chronic sinusitis, to plantar fasciitis, to chronic hives (which I would not wish on my worst enemy) to achilles tendonitis - with each issue I learned more about myself than I would have being healthy. I discovered acupuncture, yoga, ayurveda and the importance of nutrition in my food and herbs.

That book by Sarno is great as well as the classic, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Loise Hay, the Spontaneous Healing of Belief by Gregg Braden and I've just discovered "The Yoga of Eating" by Charles Eisenstein which is profound to me. Doing "The Artist's Way" program was also incredibly important in my progress.

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REJ7777 3/28/2012 7:30AM

    I'm really glad that SPARKENISTA told you about that book, so that you can finally work on a solution. Bon courage, John! emoticon

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NASFKAB 3/28/2012 6:39AM

  great blog

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AJDOVER1 3/27/2012 11:28PM

    I share your frustrations with the medical industry. Too many of us are getting inadequate care and being blamed rather than treated. I wish you well on this journey in health.

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GEEMAWEST 3/27/2012 11:20PM

    OMG! I could have written a good part of this blog. The doctor I've been seeing for my back pain says "well, it's just what happens, I have back pain, too."

I often feel like a hypochondriac and it's not a nice feeling. I tend to beat myself up over the pain I'm having. I've been going to physical therapy and it's so weird because some days the pain is in one area and another day it's in another area. I thought that they must think I'm making this all up.

So I've just ordered the book from the library. Thank you so much for writing this blog, John.

And I mean that from the bottom of the pain in my back. emoticon

Much, Much, Much Love, G-Ma

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CARTOONB 3/27/2012 11:08PM

    I hope this is the "cure" you need. I hate when my friends are in pain and there is nothing I can do to help.

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WATERMELLEN 3/27/2012 9:57PM

    All best to you: this is a powerful blog and you will have helped many people who read it.

Most of all . . . you're on your way. Back to where you want to be.

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HDHAWK 3/27/2012 9:40PM

    On the days you doubt yourself just remember how many us believe in you each and every day. I'm so glad you've found some relief. When we complain about having to exercise we need to remember how fortunate we are to be able to move without pain. Keep going John. We're right here with you!

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YOYONOMORE1 3/27/2012 6:37PM

    John, thanks for sharing your experience and the book, I hope you are able to get your issues resolved and heal the stress. Sometimes things affect us much more than we realize. After I lost my dad I went into a deep black hole, but over time worked myself out of it, we all deal with things differently. Praying for much better days for you.


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ANATASHIKI 3/27/2012 4:53PM

    gaaaah , if I read this earlier ! emoticon I just passed that book today in the book store ! I wanted to buy it and thought "what do THEY know? " . my doctor doesn't ignore me cause he's a friend and a colleague , but doesn't have a solution and doesn't really understand. nobody who doesn't deal with this doesn't understand.they all expect us to take a magic pill and shut up and feel good . I am a f..n doctor and I know what you say is true . the back pain is worse when the stress is bigger . nowhere in the stupid medicine books doesn't say a word about this or about stress induced stomach aches or else. stress doesn't exist there . it doesn't matter . thanks for passing by the book info! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/27/2012 4:53:55 PM

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KATHRYN1955 3/27/2012 2:41PM

    It is amazing how all our ailments get blamed on being overweight. Do thin people never have back problems, never have digestive issues, never have allergies or chronic coughs? The list goes on and on. I do concede that being of a higher BMI can aggravate many conditions, but I get very annoyed when it is used for an excuse not to look any further or to "blame the victim." I, too, have had doctors look at me and in a condescending tone, tell me that a "few lifestyle adjustments" are what is required. News flash, do you think I don't know that?! It is the attitude that can be so disheartening.
John, hang in there, knowing that there is a name to your condition makes all the difference. Together, we can all get healthy.....there is safety in numbers!!
Take care,

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CIVIAV 3/27/2012 2:28PM

    ...and this is why I no longer second guess the power of community. the best source of help I've found to be those experiencing the same things as I do...

Nice tribute to the surcease of pain and stress...

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KAT573 3/27/2012 1:14PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience! It actually is not an unusual phenomenon, but it IS very much looked at as a physical rather than psycho-spiritual issue and so, yes, we 'miss' the train often. I am fortunate to have a pain doctor who also knows the significance of and the need to consider other than physical symptoms, which after all, being symptoms are not the 'cause'! I am glad your friend was able to direct you to yet another way of examining what was happening for you. HUGS emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 3/27/2012 12:52PM

    Thank you, my dear friend, for your unconditional love and support! I know you know what this has been like for me, and it is no "cold" consolation at all. It really does help, you know, in many ways, esp. in alleviating the mental stress, as GETFIT2LIVE says about the strange invisibility of chronic pain.

Well, now I am going to have to read Sarno's book too. emoticon

Dr. E talks a lot about this too. As an integrative physician, he is the only doctor I've ever known who believes with total conviction in the mind-body link. His first words to me were: "Well, we have a little more than 3 decades to cover -- tell me about your life, starting with your childhood to teens. Fairly healthy and happy, or not?" And we progressed from there. And I saw how old traumas and long-term stresses have greatly coincided.

He also talks about learning to take stock of what happens to your pain as new stressors arrive -- because they always will!

I am SO glad you're continuing to improve every day. I really believe we can all get better, reclaim our health. The body is an amazing piece of work. It's just sometimes it takes longer for some of us, for our specific life challenges and the lessons we are meant to learn from them.

Much love, dear friend. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration to me.

emoticon emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 3/27/2012 12:19PM

    JOHN!! I am so glad you feel better!!!

And I am so glad you read the book! Why didn't you tell me you read it and it helped? You only told me that you had downloaded it.

This guy, Sarno, is an absolute genius. He also is extremely ethical b/c he was the head of orthopedics @ Rusk Institute, part of NYU.

He basically lost a lot of surgery patients b/c they got better by reading his book and going to his classes. Probably, in the long run, he made more money from the classes and the books, but he did it in the most ethical way!

I have used the book myself and I have recommended it countless times. I wish I had stock in it--I would be a rich woman.

Thank you for mentioning me in your blog. I feel so gratified that the book has helped you!!! I hope that it helps others now, since you have such a large following and great credibility.

In particular, I hope GIRANIMAL reads it and benefits from it.

Speak to you soon!!!


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CATHYHASSPARK 3/27/2012 11:45AM

    Very touching blog john!! praying for a wonderful recovery for you , I love to walk and some times I overdo it then I have heel and foot pain that lasts for weeks, and I hear it too, lose the weight , pain goes away but you still have to deal with it in the mean time and learn how to cope!!

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MAMADWARF 3/27/2012 11:35AM

    I too have lived in fear of the pain. I have two bulged discs in my back and was told, bluntly, 4 ears ago, there was nothing that could be done and I would get worse. hen you are fat, that is what Dr.s see. They do not take us seriously and blame everything on being fat. I ahte that. I have had injections into my back once a year that allow me to function and I take 2 pain pills a day but walking has helped. Losing weight has helped. I mean, I payed tennis yesterday! I hurt but not in a debilatating way. I think the fear of the pain is worse than the actual main because it causes us not to live our lives.

I'm proud of you for walking yesterday and I hope you get better each day. I'm going to check out the book, too. Thank you for posting. I'm cheering for you john!

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ZURDTA- 3/27/2012 11:18AM

    Yep - some of my back issues is because of this. My doctor & physio told me. Back issues are difficult to pinpoint... and I am glad you found your issue and can now deal with it.

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KKINNEA 3/27/2012 11:14AM

    I totally believe that stress can do that. My chiro very much works through these kinds of issues and I've a lot from being in treatment.

So glad you found this solution and have a path and plan to move away from the pain!

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NEELIXNKES 3/27/2012 11:08AM

    Glad that you are finding some relief. Keep pushing forward!

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/27/2012 11:06AM

    John, chronic pain is one of the worst things to deal with and get a handle on. If you have a broken arm, everyone "sees" you are hurt, but pain that has no visible source, well that is another matter. Unless you have lived with it, most people do not understand what it does to you mentally as well as physically. I'm so glad you have found out what is going on and are getting relief, with or without the medical community's help. We really do have to take charge of our own health, no one else can do it for us.


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JERRYB56 3/27/2012 11:02AM

    Wonderful blog, John. My heart goes out to you. I guess we can't blame MDs too much, as they have been schooled strictly in the Western tradition - if they can't see it under a microscope, detect it in lab work, find it in surgery, or uncover it via x-ray, MRI, CAT scan, etc., then it isn't there. The mind-body-spirit link is a little difficult to accept for someone who is data driven. I guess the good news is that more and more medical professionals are receiving training and/or taking a new look at all of this. The presence of wackos and charlatans out there doesn't exactly make it easier to get around a healthy skepticism either.

In the mean time, I'm so glad that you have begun to make those mind-body connections for yourself. I would humbly suggest that you add meditation to your routine, as it provides an opportunity to listen to your real self, and whatever messages about the condition of "you," might otherwise be lost in the clutter that is our busy, everyday mind.

Best to you!! Keep up the good fight!

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UNLIKELY 3/27/2012 10:58AM

  Dr. Sarno, that is good stuff! I tried to make an appointment with him here in the city, but he only has certain days that he takes appointment calls (AND he calls you personally himself to let you know those days..HIM, not his administrator, which is veyr rare these days), but every time i would call the line would be busy the entire time. A lot of people want to see him!!!!

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TERRIPAL1 3/27/2012 10:56AM

    Welcome back John! You sound confident in your continued journey!
Keep the faith and thanks for the blog! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/27/2012 10:33AM

    Excellent blog and so happy that you read the book. Most Drs. just don't know how to deal with pain etc when they can't find a physical cause and I can understand it. This is why we need to be pro-active on our research.

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Common Sense

Monday, March 26, 2012

A friend shared this with over the weekend and unfortunatley it rang true in a number of ways. I thought I'd pass it on

An Obituary printed in the London Times....

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense,
who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn)and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulationswere set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate;teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch;and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar inyour own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize thata steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptlyawarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 3:50PM

    I had read this before but it needs reading again and again and again.

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SPARKENISTA 3/27/2012 12:22PM

    This is a great blog, John. I'm glad that you see things the way I do.

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WORKINGSTIFF 3/27/2012 9:12AM

    Let us raise a glass to Common Sense! And keep his spirit alive in each of us!

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SPARKLISE 3/27/2012 6:52AM

    Sad but true.

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NASFKAB 3/27/2012 5:33AM

  ytuth but so sad

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REJ7777 3/27/2012 5:20AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 3/27/2012 3:07AM

    Am so pleased to receive the reminder....
it is a sad day

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CARTOONB 3/26/2012 9:58PM

    I'm saddened by his passing.

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    LOL. so true. Loved it.

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ANATASHIKI 3/26/2012 3:19PM

    I always was amazed that something so rare was called "common "

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GIRANIMAL 3/26/2012 2:24PM

    Sadly, this really does sum up the state of much of the world! Well, I for one am glad I have some "old timey" common sense left. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 3/26/2012 1:50PM


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KKINNEA 3/26/2012 11:47AM

    I hear this

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WILDHONEYPIE1 3/26/2012 10:56AM

    Sadly true.

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DOTTIEJANE1 3/26/2012 10:50AM

    This is true, and that is sad. Thanks for sharing .

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HDHAWK 3/26/2012 9:25AM


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ANDREWS_MOM 3/26/2012 8:46AM

    Love this...and unfortunately it is so very true!

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2BEEFIT 3/26/2012 8:44AM

    I love this!

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SATYAGRAHA 3/26/2012 8:35AM

    Sad, but true. Thanks for sharing!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It is hard for me to say this: My dad was disappointed in me. He let me know it on a regular basis. I wasn't my brother. I didn't achieve great honors, design important buildings or marry an attorney. My kids didn't all graduate at the top of their classes, receive full rides to "name universities" and get plum jobs out of college. It was hard for him to get a handle around who I was and the things I do. "Life Coach and Consultant" just didn't ring right with him.

I got over the hurt a long time ago. It was replaced by a cold sort of resignation and a dwindling hope that sometime before he died he and I could talk things through. It never happened.

I thought about all of this as I lie in bed last night and then I thought about my own children. I have not always agreed with their choices or decisions, I have gotten angry at them and I know on more than one occasion said things like "You idiot....." There has been frustration and wondering why they didn't drink up my wisdom like a glass of cold water on a hot day. Despite them not living their lives the way I thought they should at times, I was never, ever disappointed in them.

I wondered if they knew it?

I sat down earlier today and wrote them each an email. I told them that no matter what differences we may have had or will have, I was nor will I ever be disappointed in them as people. I thought they should know. Many years from now I don't want them staring at the ceiling at 3AM wondering what they might have done better. They needed to know I loved them and was proud of them.

This is not a bash my dad blog. He was a good man but like all of us had weaknesses, failures and flaws. I'll never know how he really felt because neither he or I took the time to clarify matters. In this way he helped me. I don't want my children never knowing. I'll never be dad of the year and I have made my fair share of mistakes but they will always know I love, honor and respect them.

It's nice to know and even better to hear. I'll always be left wondering. If you have kids, let them know what they mean to you. Choose your own vehicle, but let them know. It'll mean the world to them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 3:39PM

    I have some letters to write...maybe a short and to the point e-mail might be better. Maybe not. My oldest daughter drove down from Michigan (minus family) to spend the week here, now would be a good time to let her know these things.

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NASFKAB 3/27/2012 5:32AM

  Thanks so much for this

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PANFRIEDTROUT 3/23/2012 2:12AM

    hey John .....

I'm sorry for your hurt (even tho you say otherwise), the accompanying resignation and for your wondering.

I'm sorry the two of you never had that all important conversation.

My heart hurts for you and for the relationship that could possibly have been between you.

Good for you for sending your children the email ~ were it me, if they haven't called you to follow up on the email, I'd take things one step further and call them. Just my two cents of course.

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MARCYNA 3/22/2012 4:57AM

    But you are much more than your dad would expect.....maybe in heaven he's learning about you and he's finally happy you're more than he's ever expected...thanks for being you my dear !!!!!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 3/21/2012 11:15PM

    I'm so glad you emailed your children. You know I was on Team "Call All Six at 3a.m.!!" - You know, the sooner the better!
emoticon emoticonHonestly, I was hoping.

I'm sorry you were left wondering though my precious friend.
Prayers and Blessings.

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LUCYJOY 3/21/2012 7:03PM

    I always feel like a disappointment to my father-I have these siblings that are super achievers-I am not.

I often wonder if my son knew how much he mattered to me and how proud I was of how hard he tried. Considering the way he ended his life, I doubt it. That wakes me up at 3am.

It may be your father didn't understand your job as it likely didn't exist for his generation. Times were different then and the rules for work were as well. I for one, have been in search of someone local who does what you do. I could use a life coach about now. I think it's a wonderful career and glad to know it exists for people like me who need it.

Good blog and good advice

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CLOVER2 3/21/2012 5:03PM

    This has put me on both sides of this coin. I have a mother who, even in her healthy days would make me feel as if I could do better, but at the same time our relationship was very close. I was the only girl of 5 children and she expected certain things from her only daughter. Then she had a series of mini-strokes and went from my best friend to attacking me to my face and behind my back. I lived with her for six years, my Dad had COPD and was dying, I was there to help. After he died she didn't have him to beat up and I was the closest thing to her.
I have a son that I disappointed, I wasn't the best mother I could have been, but I did the best I could. When I started to do things he didn't approve of I became the reason his world didn't turn out like he thought it should, because of his childhood.
Now I find myself estranged from both of them for the most part, we still speak but there is no real relationship for either of them. They have both been on my mind a LOT lately, I've been working very hard to get my own life back together and I have begun to believe lately that they should be high on my priority list of things that need ammending. I just don't know how to start. I only know that I NEED to do something, this will not just go away and I love them both.
Your words have brought this up to the top, this is not a bad thing, just an uncomfortable thing.
Your wisdom is something I have come to rely on, I am grateful to you.

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AJDOVER1 3/21/2012 3:51PM

    Thank you for this, John. I learn a lot about myself from your blogs.

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LYNMEINDERS 3/21/2012 2:58AM

    Awesome reminder...thabnkyou...

Can understand what your saying about you and your dad....
My Parents were always disappointed in me as I didn't do with my life what they thought I should do...and that was something that was never discussed or clarified......
All good...I guess I just moved on feom it many years ago

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CARTOONB 3/20/2012 10:44PM

    Great reminder. I will take you up on your advice.

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GEEMAWEST 3/20/2012 10:26PM

    My dad and I have the same kind of relationship. I was never a 'keep up with the Joneses' kind of girl and he has a hard time grasping that. Time with my family is more important to me than excess money.

My dad had a hard time with the fact that we were self-employed with an internet business for 10 years, I can only imagine what he would have thought if I told him that I was a "Life Coach and Consultant". LOL

Unfortunately, I have tried to have this kind of conversation with him several times and it always turns out bad. However, when it comes to my kids and grandkids I make sure that they know that I am proud them. But after reading this blog I will reinforce that fact.

My prayers are still with you and your family.

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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SPARKENISTA 3/20/2012 5:36PM

    John--I applaud you on your introspection. Not many people will take the time and effort to do this, much less hold the magnetizing glass up and face what they see as reality.

I offer that perhaps your father saw himself in you. Perhaps he projected his own "failings" onto you. These are subjective. He may have identified with you. I would guess that he was not seeing you clearly as the fabulous, nurturing, warm, super-smart, caring and successful man you are, but as the man in himself who was the brunt of self-criticism and ongoing rant about doing better.

I never really thought about whether my mother was disappointed in me. Now that she is gone 10 years, I have the hindsight to realize many things.

My first "crime" was being a girl. She always did better with boys. My brother, with whom I don't speak today, is three years younger than I, but he got the house keys first and always came first in her purse strings and in her heart.

My aunt, with whom she felt in competition, had two boys. She felt like a loser, I'm sure.

I didn't know, until she told me when I was an adult, that she considered me a competitor. So, when my father died when I was seven, she really let me have it. In my innocence, I had no idea why she was so mad at me--and so mean.

One thing is that she attempted to sabotage me at every step. I now realize that was because she was very jealous of me. Therefore, any time I surpassed her (marry earlier than she, get my Masters Degree, give birth to a son) she felt obligated to undermine and criticize me and bully me in an effort to get me to retreat or put me in my place.

Therefore, I guess I know that I didn't disappoint her because on many objective levels I went beyond her. I never realized we were competing. I should have realized that when she attacked me it was b/c she perceived me to be "winning" or having "won".

After reading Brian Weiss' books, I realize that while our souls are perfect, our personalities are not. I realize that, like all of us, my mother did her best. Perhaps she gave me something to rebel against. Perhaps it made me stronger.

While I always imagine what it would be like to have a nurturing mother, or parents, and how much farther I would have gone, perhaps I am doing better now than I would have if circumstances had been different.

I know that we have mental illness in the family and that while she may not have been a full-blown schizophrenic person, as was one of my great aunts, she was certainly on that continuum. She was paranoid, phobic, depressed and on and on ad infinitum.

I consider myself lucky to take after my father's family on that count. My brother takes after her.

However, I will be sure to tell my son, the next time I speak to him, how very proud of him that I am.

Comment edited on: 3/20/2012 5:39:08 PM

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KATHRYN1955 3/20/2012 4:11PM

    So often people parent the way they were parented...not a good thing if your parents were abusive in some way (either intentionally or in sheer ignorance). But John, you have recognized and risen above your dad's style of parenting to ensure that your children will not be left with that same memory. And that is definitely a good thing.
Take care and go easy on yourself.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 3/20/2012 3:19PM

    As a daughter (and mother) myself, let me just say your children are truly blessed. Thank you for reminding me what a great dad I had. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/20/2012 3:20:46 PM

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TRAVELGRRL 3/20/2012 2:54PM

    I think it's a generational thing with your dad. Men of that era were more of the "spare the rod, spoil the child" philosophy. As though being proud of your children would cause them to "get a big head." As though being disappointed in them would make them try harder.

I really think it's our job to be better parents to our children than our parents were to us. Hopefully our children will do better with their children.

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    The same applies to me, John. I was never good enough. I don't usually like to brag on myself but I was ranked number one in my nursing class. Graduated from college magna cum laude. My son was valedictorian of his junior high and high school classes and also graduated magna cum laude. I wasn't like my brother nor was my son like my brothers 2 boys. Did they achieve anything close to what we did? No, my brother never could pass his CPA exam. It's hard, you know, unlike nursing school which is easy - LOL. My brothers children have learning disorders. But my father would rather sit listening to my brother string together profanity all day than listen to my boring drivel for 15 minutes.

My husband was the only one of his siblings that hasn't committed a felony. LOL. He was the baby and the unfavored child as well.

Sometimes parents, for whatever reason, prefer the other children/grandchildren. Sometimes it has to do with something other than achievement. Maybe they have a big nose they love. LOL.

No matter what I decided that I would not let this bother me so if I sound bitter I'm not. I don't get my self esteem from other people and you shouldn't either. I know my true worth. I've had the extraordinary opportunity to save people's lives with no other help than that of God. And you may have had done the same thing by what you do.

It's wonderful that you have never been disappointed in your children and it speaks to the kind of man you are. I have been disappointed in my son. My parents weren't fantastic parents and my husband and I aren't that great either. But, you, John, I consider a great father. You have all the markers of it.

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GIRANIMAL 3/20/2012 2:24PM

    This is WONDERFUL! It would be so easy to just sit back and feel bad, and use the excuse that it's what you learned from your dad. But you took this step, which I'm sure was hard on some level (it involved admitting imperfection), and did something that, in my mind, absolutely qualifies you for Dad of the Year Award.

And you did it in writing. So smart and special! My mom's journal, in which she, in a couple of places, talks (umprompted, because it was her journal) about how proud she was of me, is one of my most prized possessions now that she's gone.


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ANATASHIKI 3/20/2012 1:49PM

    better let your dad be disappointed in you than yourself : ) . that was a great thing you did for the kids , usually people feel to awkward to say simple words like I love you , I trust you , until it's too late and the other person isn't alive anymore . I was too young , only 16 when my father died and my mom doesn't want to have a serious talk so I don't bother her anymore . I guess we both were disappointed :P but we did our best and that's what counts in the end. the past is gone and I don't care about it much.

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KKINNEA 3/20/2012 1:44PM

    Interesting thoughts

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7356WILMA 3/20/2012 1:38PM

  I bet you taught your kids to be individuals!! Parents do the best that they can. And what you did letting them know that you love them will be what they remember at 3:00 a.m. in the morning!!

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HDHAWK 3/20/2012 12:32PM

    Your kids will appreciate your emails more than you know. Your dad was from a time where there was no such thing as a "life coach". I imagine that played a part in his not accepting it very well. What's most important is the type of person you are on the inside. That's very obvious even though we've never met in person.

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TRULYVISIBLE 3/20/2012 12:21PM

  The e-mails you wrote to your kids will mean so much to them. They will cherish it and one day may think about it and it will spur them to send an e-mail to their own kids. You have broken the mold of keeping those important talks and feelings silent in your family which is the greatest gift you can give them. This makes you the hero in this story and should be commended.

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KATD13 3/20/2012 11:50AM

    While reading your post, I thought that a great deal of it could have been written by me. Very similar experiences & feelings.
Writing each child a letter is a wonderful idea. I know that every one of my children needs to know how I feel in my heart. Unfortunately, the child who really needed to know how I truly felt about him, has passed away. I hope he somehow knows, that all the things that had come between us were just so stupid & unimportant.

So I guess I'm saying...don't wait to make John's wonderful idea your own. Don't think you have time, because you never know.

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/20/2012 11:42AM

    Very wise, John. We don't do this parenting thing perfectly (Lord knows I didn't), but we can try and make sure our children know they are loved and valued for who they are, even if our own parents didn't do that too well for us. May you find peace in knowing you have done what you can to validate your own children. It's tough when children are so different from their parents; the parents don't know quite what to do with them, so it often comes across as disappointment when there really is love there.


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MAMADWARF 3/20/2012 11:33AM

    That will mean the world to your kids!

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PGNBRI 3/20/2012 11:13AM

    I think its wonderful that you put effort into making sure your children know exactly how you feel. All too often we just assume the people we love know and they are left wondering and doubting. Telling them is a wonderful gift to give them.

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JECKIE 3/20/2012 11:05AM


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CIVIAV 3/20/2012 10:49AM

    You got it and I with you. Your choices have made it possible for a difference to made with your clients and most important, your family! By the way, your clients often choose your services because of this. (at least that's what I think!)
So much happens in families despite the love and good intentions. Conscious and spoken love is important!

Here's an article I just saw in the past few days that just what you are speaking about. Thanks for bringing it all up. I am more peaceful now since I remembered it's not that my parents did it wrong. hehe...

Here's the link -

Comment edited on: 3/20/2012 10:52:44 AM

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