Every year my daughter, Jillena, creates a new Valentine, from an annual photo shoot with her daughter.
Each year she chooses a picture from the photo shoot to create a unique Valentine's card.
The picture above is my daughter Jillena and her daughter, Starlee, from their 2017 Valentine.
Jillena sends her Valentines to over 200 friends, both male, and female.
Along with the card, she sends a message, which goes something like this:
"You're getting this card because you're special to me. I love you! When I was young my mother (Angeline) would give me a Valentine's card every year and tell me that she loved me. She explained that I didn't need a boyfriend to give me a card, because she loved me. Now, I'm passing that same love along to you. You don't need a lover to give you a card, or candy or flowers, to show that you are lovable. If you want candy or flowers to celebrate this day, I encourage you to give them to yourself. But, please know that you are loved, just as you are!"
When I told my Mom that I wanted to divorce my husband of 20 years, she said, "Are you crazy!?!"
"Why would you leave a man who doesn't beat you, isn't an alcoholic, doesn't gamble away his paycheck, or cheat on you?"
Maybe you think I'm crazy too, because your relationship was worse than mine, and yet you stayed?
So many women are tolerating unhappy relationships.
It’s a pain-filled situation.
Maybe you stay for "the sake of the kids” because you don't want them to have a broken family.
But, if you and he are just circling around each other, making snide remarks,
with hurt and angry looks and passive-aggressive behaviors...
then your relationship...and family... is already broken.
And the kids are living with the daily tension and negativity.
Personally, I chose to leave FOR my kids’ sake.
The thought of my daughters growing up to believe that an unhappy relationship was the best they could expect, broke my heart to the core.
I wanted them to see a strong...
In our Academy of Relationship Mastery, we have a monthly Book Club. This month we are reviewing Debbie Ford’s Dark Side of the Light Chasers. In it, she encourages us to release the mask we have created for the world to see. It’s a mask to hide our shame, our shadow so that people will only see the “face” we believe is acceptable. She explains that when we embrace our shadow side, we will find hidden treasure.
The following story is about me “embracing” or fully acknowledging and accepting, my shadow side.
When WWII ended, my Dad came home, married my Mom, and in the next seven years, they had seven children, of which I am the eldest. Dad, an Oklahoma farm boy, was the first in his family to go to college. My mother, who was raised on a struggling ranch in Arizona, had experienced severe poverty, sometimes with nothing to eat. Neither had many skills for managing money and times were tough. In addition, Mom had few domestic skills,...
Frankly, I find the above quote really annoying, because, of course, everybody would love themselves...if they knew how!
So, why don't we know how?
Because, early in your childhood you received numerous messages that you weren't okay; not perfect enough, or well behaved, or good looking, or not smart, or whatever.
Back then you were too young to filter out the messages you received.
You didn't realize that your parents criticized you because they didn't feel perfect enough either. They didn't really love themselves enough, so they tried to fix it by "fixing" you.
But, it didn't work....you just felt imperfect, and therefore not lovable.
So now what are you supposed to do?
Go into therapy? Good grief, it takes forever, and costs a mint!
Speaking of money, a LOT of people are spending a LOT of money on cosmetic surgery, to try to be more lovable.
I even heard of a woman who is having her second toes shortened, so her feet will be more perfect. Yikes!
There's a lot of self-rejection going...
Recently a friend told me something she had noticed about me.
It was something I hadn’t heard before, so I got curious.
She said, “Angeline, you don’t acknowledge age.”
“What do you mean?”, I asked.
She replied, “You never seem to think you’re too old, when some new opportunity comes up.
You just go for it.”
Her comment reminded me of something I heard years ago about me and my mother.
That person said, “you’re the kind of woman that never age.”
Frankly, at the time, I thought she was referring to my mother’s face lifts.
But, with this recent comment about not “acknowledging age”, it got me thinking.
I believe what they’re observing is my energy and attitude. It’s my Mindset.
In our workshops and coaching, we teach concepts that promote a Mindset of confidence and hope.
It’s a youthful attitude.
It supports a way of life that is both abundant and adventurous.
The atmosphere at my house, growing up, can be accurately described as a total shitstorm. I was a sensitive kid and I lived for years with my father’s open dislike, criticism, and contempt for me.
Since leaving home at 18, I carried a deep mistrust for people. I was miserable. I spent 7 years in a residential drug program piecing fragments of my life together. After rehab, I was in weekly group therapy for eleven years. Much of my adult life has been focused on dealing with the pain and isolation in my life.
This morning, in a letter I wrote to my adult son, I talked about my marriage to Angeline and how I arrived in her life “running on empty.” My heart was pretty well boarded up. I didn’t believe I was capable of love.
Over time, in our conversations, during our thirty-year marriage, Angeline has continually highlighted the qualities and the good things she sees in me, her confidence in the good man that I am.
Recently Dixon and I went out for Brunch to our favorite seafood restaurant, because I love seafood. We have found restaurant portions are often so large, that we can share an entrée. We ordered a bowl of clam chowder and a salad topped with shrimp and crab, which we split.
Like me, Dixon also loves seafood, especially crab, since he grew up in the Northwest where it is plentiful.
As we each ate our half of the salad, he generously put one of his largest pieces of crab onto my plate. It was a sweet and loving gesture and it reminded me how the “little things” build trust.
Relationships are built, or broken, on the “little things.” We tend to remember the big issues and may point to them as the cause of relationship success or failure. But the truth is that it’s the accumulation of the “little things” which make all the difference.
You might wonder if Dixon is always so generous with me. The answer is no, but over time, I have...
Life has brought us so many surprises!
I never could have predicted any of this!
A little over a year ago we moved from San Diego, where we’d lived for 10 years.
San Diego was great!
It’s where we started building our coaching business.
While there we wrote a book that qualified as a best-seller on Amazon.
Every few weeks we held Meetups in our home.
We got to meet wonderful people face-to-face.
We got to coach clients and help them build happier relationships.
Speaking of relationships, we lived right across the street from one of our daughters and her two precious children.
We got to watch them grow up, take them to the beach, and treat them to Mr. Frostie ice cream cones.
Now, we are living in Utah, just 5 minutes from our other daughter, and near her two adult children.
It’s so great to connect with them, play board games, have family dinners, and watch football.
Due to the pandemic, we have continued building our business via Zoom.
We spent a lot of...
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