You’re Too Sensitive

How many times have you heard some one say this about you?  Makes me grind my teeth because they are using it as a putdown and dismissing what I am saying.  I call BALDERDASH on that!!!!!!  Funny, when it is turned on them, that is a whole different story.  What is actually meant is “You silly woman, you are too emotional and get your feelings hurt too easily”.  I finally have a comeback – “You say that as if it a bad thing.  You’re too insensitive!”  They have the wrong end of the stick about what sensitive truly means.

I checked the dictionary first to see what different ones said:

Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses; Aware of or careful about the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others; thoughtful, kind, understanding, feeling, kindly, concerned, patient, responsive, intuitive, receptive, attentive, perceptive, considerate, tactful, unselfish.  There is also getting ones feelings hurt easily as well as easily offended. Plus one held to be endowed with psychic or occult powers.

I’d say the world has “got it wrong” in many ways.  There are also Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and a good source is Psychologist Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person.  I am one myself and it was a relief to find out I am.  I just thought I was weird, part of marching to a different drummer and not fitting into society.  I always felt oddment out.

I have also learned that sensitive can be part of feeling vibrations, spirits and sometimes, just knowing and feeling things.  A friend of mine said she was about to go into a place and she knew and felt it wasn’t a good idea to go in.  She may not have been able to say specifically why, only that it was very uncomfortable.  She has learned to pay attention.

I realize now how important it is to understand being sensitive in a positive way.  There are movies he watches and I can no longer sit and watch with him.  He just finished 2 books about fighting in the Philippines and also in Korea – many times he wanted to tell me about it but I didn’t want to know.  it would stay with me forever.

And yes, I do cry easily – at happy and sad movies, just for pure joy when I experience it and so many other things.  What bugs me about it is that when I am mad, I start to cry and lose any credibility.  I can also see both sides of a situation, not always handy when I was a Better Business Bureau mediator.  It is hard to choose one side over the other, facts don’t always tell the story.

There are gifts to being sensitive – according to .

1. Sensory detail

One of the prominent “virtues” of high sensitivity is the richness of sensory detail that life provides. The subtle shades of texture in clothing, and foods when cooking, the sounds of music or even traffic or people talking, fragrances and colors of nature. All of these may be more intense for highly sensitive people.

2. Nuances in meaning

The trait of high sensitivity also includes a strong tendency to be aware of nuances in meaning, and to be more cautious about taking action, and to more carefully consider options and possible outcomes.

3. Emotional awareness

We also tend to be more aware of our inner emotional states, which can make for richer and more profound creative work as writers, musicians, actors or other artists.

A greater response to pain, discomfort, and physical experience can mean sensitive people have the potential, at least, to take better care of their health.

4. Creativity

Psychologist Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, estimates about twenty percent of people are highly sensitive, and seventy percent of those are introverted, which is a trait that can also encourage creativity.

As examples, there are many actors who say they are shy, and director Kathryn Bigelow, who recently won an Academy Award, has said, “I’m kind of very shy by nature.” The star of her movie The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner (who was reportedly shy as a child), has commented that “in social situations she can be painfully shy.”

5. Greater empathy

High sensitivity to other people’s emotions can be a powerful asset for teachers, managers, therapists and others.

There are also down sides to being sensitive –

1. Easily overwhelmed, overstimulated

The biggest challenge in high sensitivity is probably being vulnerable to sensory or emotional overwhelm. Taking in and processing so much information from both inner and outer worlds can be “too much” at times and result in more pain, fatigue, stress, anxiety and other reactions.

An intriguing neuroscience research study said people with nervous systems having decreased latent inhibition are more open to incoming stimuli. Which can be a good thing, or not so good.

2. Affected by emotions of others

Another aspect of sensitivity can be reacting to the emotions — and perhaps thoughts — of others. Being in the vicinity of angry people, for example, can be more distressing.

As actor Scarlett Johansson once put it, “Sometimes that awareness is good, and sometimes I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.”

3. Need lots of space and time to ourselves

We may need to “retreat” and emotionally “refresh” ourselves at times that are not always best for our goals or personal growth. For example, being at a professional development conference, it may not be the most helpful thing to leave a long presentation or workshop in order to recuperate from the emotional intensity of the crowd.

4. Unhealthy perfectionism

There can also be qualities of thinking or analyzing that lead to unhealthy perfectionism, or stressful responses to objects, people or situations that are “too much” or “wrong” for our sensitivities.

5. Living out of sync with our culture

Living in a culture that devalues sensitivity and introversion as much as the U.S. means there are many pressures to be “normal” — meaning extroverted, sociable and outgoing.

As with anything, there are gifts and drawbacks to being sensitive, whether one is highly sensitive or sensitive to things and people around you.  What is important is being able to recognize what pushes your buttons of your sensitivity and knowing how to deal with it.  So the next time someone says you are too sensitive – meaning getting your feelings hurt to easily – can use my answers or create your own.  I would enjoy hearing about other answers to that crappy comment so we can educate the rest of the population.  Being sensitive doesn’t mean you are weak; more the opposite, because you know yourself and it makes you strong!



How Do You Define Forgiveness

I read an article a while back about a woman who went to the prison where the man who had murdered her daughter was serving his sentence.  When he was told she was there, he said “what does she want, it’s nothing to do with me.”   But he allowed the visit and as he sat slouched in his chair with a bored attitude, the woman told him she forgave him for murdering her daughter.  His answer was “So what.  I didn’t ask for your forgiveness.  Whatever, lady”.  The mother left and the prisoner asked the guard what it was about, he didn’t need to be forgiven.  But the guard told him it wasn’t about him at all, it was for the woman who lost her daughter.  By continuing to hate and be angry about the crime along with the loss of her daughter, she realized it was hurting her and taking away her power.  The prisoner had no clue what it was all about and it just rolled off his back.

It took that mother a long time to be able to forgive the murderer of her daughter.  She finally realized all that hate and anger was poisoning herself, as if she had been continually drinking caustic acid.  The hate and anger gave power to the murderer because she was constantly thinking about it, it had taken over her life.  Forgiving didn’t mean pretending it never happened or condoning it and all is well.

I decided to check the dictionary to see what it’s definition was.  ” when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.  I also checked another source that talks about how psychologists define it.  (Greater Good Magazine –   their website They define it as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

It is also important to know what forgiveness isn’t.  When you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.

Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.

That was the point the mother of the murdered daughter had reached when she went to the prison to see the murderer.    How does one get to that point?  That’s the $64,000 question because each person is different.  Some will continue to hold on to the anger and hate, as if hugging to themselves.  It uses up so much energy, but it is more important to plan revenge than to let it go.

I found a couple of quotes that  say it better than I can.

Now comes the part where I am supposed to tell you the answers and how to come to forgiveness.   Those 3, 6 or however many steps it takes to come to that point.  Well, I am a work in progress and  I have begun to understand that forgiveness comes in 2 parts – Rats, wouldn’t you know it isn’t simple and easy after all.  The first part is self forgiveness, to come to terms with yourself and quit beating yourself up and hating yourself and what you did.

I  am a past master of that.  It’s the felling of “What was I thinking?”.   I finally came to the point where I decided I did the best I could with what knowledge and experience I had at the time.   I might have a made a different decision if I had had time to consult someone or just time to think about it.  But those times often come and I have to decide right then.  Yes, I have second guessed myself so many times, wishing I had done something different.  I am a lot better at no longer beating myself up, I am still working on the self forgiveness part.

As for forgiving others, there are things I need to forgive some people because I know if I keep going over it, I have still given away my power.  In my mind I can see different sides to it, but not in an I know that I know sense.  I don’t have a picture in my mind that makes sense to me, how it feels, how it looks for me.  However, I have come across some resources and ideas that I will share in another post that I found quite interesting.

How Do You Define Old?

To the world I look as if I am someone’s grandmother – inside I am in my 30’s and ready to start my life.  My body may be as old as my calendar years and not only crispy, but also crunchy.  I just don’t feel that old, I sometimes feels as I did when I was in my 30’s, unsure, less than self confident and afraid of going out of my comfort zone to take risks.  I have a lot of miles on me and most of it was fun, enjoyable and interesting.  Other times, not so much.

What I have finally learned is how much body has made possible over the years – all 5 senses, all the movement, plus most of my systems are still working quite well.  For a long time I only noticed and focused on what I couldn’t do because I was dealing with a chronic illness.  Now I am more focused on what I can do and how amazing my body is.  I will admit I am noticing the long terms effects of drugs, treatments and wear and tear on my body – makes me uncomfortable to think about what it will be in 10 or 20 years.  Isn’t that called “borrowing trouble”?  I prefer to deal with what comes and not worry myself about it.

As I look back on my life, I went to places in the world I only dreamed about, lived in different places, learned about all kinds of people from many cultures, experimented with different types of food and learned so much along the way.  I also hope I was of use to others and maybe in some way helped.   I know a few instances when someone has told me I helped them, I may have helped others and never know it.  I’m not sure where I read it, but the idea is sometimes I prepare the ground, other times I plant the seed or fertilize it – we all play our part in different ways with different people.

I may look old to some but I don’t feel I am.  I don’t feel any particular age – never have felt the chronological age I have been at any particular time.  I just am at this moment or any other moment.  I know there are moments when I think “I don’t have much time left” and wonder if I have enough time to do the things I want.  Someone once said “It’s just mind over  matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.

The world judges each one as good or bad, pretty or plain, old or young  . . . . . . yadda yadda yadda.  That is only the surface – what counts is what is inside.  (Are you paying attention Self?)  Unfortunately we are told from the time we can understand that being pretty, slender, tanned, blonde and all that jazz.  If you aren’t, you have no chance for the good things in life.  I call Balderdash on that!!!  (I’d like to use a much stronger word but I try to be ladylike in speech.)  Old is a state of mind, often someone else’s.

Older doesn’t mean dried up and useless – just ask Boeing.  They have had people retire and then call them back because the young workers don’t have the knowledge or expertise the retired ones have.  They are also the ones who understand about work ethic, not just looking for a paycheck.  Interesting to find out that there is a large turnover in our Panera – great manager but she finds the young ones not only don’t work, they don’t last.  There are two older women there, they know what it means to  give their best to their manager.  We see one when we order and a couple of times it has been when she has had a break.  She finds it difficult with the younger ones too.

One thing I find as I have gotten older is that the things that were so important when I was younger, no longer matter.  Yes, I am self conscious about my weight – an overabundance – but I am not thinking my body is the enemy.    I now thank my body for working so well and Spirit for all the gifts and blessings each day.  Some may be uncomfortable – they are also reminders I have things to learn until my purpose is done.  To always see things as negative is not helpful; I have spent too much of my life in that mindset.  I am working on seeing each gift and blessing as an opportunity to learn something new, to help me continue to change negative to positive.  It’s not always easy; I can tell you that from experience.  Just being aware and consciously choosing to go toward the positive makes a big difference.

Different people have different views of growing older.  One of my Mom’s hooking friends was definitely a senior citizen when she turned 65; Mom never thought she was senior citizen, even at 96 when died.    I know I am getting older when a young man calls me Ma’am. At least my outer appearance tells people I am older, but inside I am just beginning my life.  I have spent the last few decades learning so much and now I am ready to go forth.  If I remember correctly, Grandma Moses was 80 or more when she started to paint.

I have realized that doing my Life Purpose is not always a conscious action.  It has to do with being who I am and taking self and ego out of it.  I put it in Spirit’s hands and know it is happening even when I don’t know.  A matter of showing up and getting out of the way.  That can be done at any age or stage in life.

I am a work in progress, I have a long way to go and I have come a long way.

Swirling Negative Energy

The last few months especially, I have noticed so much negativity and negative energy swirling all around this country and the world.  It is as if someone or something suddenly gave everyone the green light to say and do whatever they want – with no consequences.  People seem to be meaner and more hateful towards others – what has happened to us?  I am at the point I don’t really pay attention to the news any more – I’ll watch BBC News and National Business Report because Eddie wants to hear it.  The one place where no one makes comments is on CSPAN, they show what is going on and what is being said without commentary – what a refreshing change.

I feel I have been surrounded by negative all my life, from people, circumstances and events.  I finally realized it wasn’t working for me, I was still depressed and not really happy.  I also realized what an effect it had on my physical and mental well being – I realized I saw my body as my enemy.  How dare it go down hill and fill with pain and deformity, I had followed the rules and done everything the proper way.  Suddenly I was lumbered with RA – that wasn’t FAIR!!!!  What’s the point of being a good girl and following the rules?  I still got clobbered.  I spent so many years with a victim mentality, feeling sorry for myself.  I had to ask myself a Dr. Phil question – “How’s that working for you?”

I finally had to admit it wasn’t working for me at all, so I knew I had to make a change.  I’m not quite sure what started the turnaround because it has been gradual over the years.  I think of my Ike Pono days and what I learned there – I miss all of it to this day.  Maybe it was because I read something someone wrote about doing the opposite of what you are now.  I really had think about that – my back burner has so many things simmering there.

I’ve have been reading all kinds of things from different people – interesting how much I missed because I had tunnel vision.  Fortunately I came out of the tunnel and the light at the end wasn’t a locomotive racing through.  Maybe it is getting older and realizing the things I thought so important really aren’t.  I like the phrase “Mind over Matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.

I know I have been depressed a lot of my life – symptom depression from RA, depression because of all the stuff I deal with from RA and when my Mom was going into dementia.  I didn’t know I was depressed. my primary care doctor saw it but I didn’t think I had it.  I was more focused on how my body felt, what was hurting when and if there was something I could do to relieve it.  Essentially I wanted it to all go away and leave me alone.

I read somewhere about embracing it – wow, was that so not me.  I felt RA had ruined my life, that Eddie and I weren’t able to do the things we planned to do.  I can’t really say it ruined my life, it sent me in another direction and taught me a lot.  Maybe it has taken me this long to finally admit how much RA has taught me and what I have gained from it.  I prefer that attitude than one of  feeling robbed of my young years and hampered all through our marriage.    Maybe this is my Soul’s Purpose and I am living it without always knowing.  I know of instances when people have said how much I have helped them – there may be many more times when what I said, did or was being that made difference.

I have a tendency to not notice what’s under my nose – my Mom would hide cookies in plain sight and I couldn’t find them.  I have always wanted to know my Soul Purpose, my Soul Lessons but never saw them or felt them.  Maybe things work better when I go about living my life and not thinking about it all the time.  At this point in my life, I’m feeling it is a waste of energy to be frustrated and not specifically.  I would rather use that energy for something more positive.

People can rant and rave about things, express hate and loathing about any subject you can name – I don’t have to participate or convince them they are wrong for being so vitriolic.  I have enough in my own garden to tend to without trying to landscape someone else’s back yard.  I would much rather focus on positive things and enjoy photographs from both my sisters.

This is Ocean Grove New Jersey – from my sister Ellen

Roses from my sister Candy

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy these than listen to balderdash – especially balderdash you can’t do anything about.

It May Not Be Senility After All

I find I have difficulty sometimes pulling together my thoughts about a subject I want to write about – I now realize there is a reason for what is happening.  It turns out there are things doctors didn’t tell me when I was diagnosed in 1970 – whether they knew them or not.  They didn’t  say I would have brain fog, having trouble remembering things I heard 2 seconds ago.  I thought I was slowly losing my ability to remember and would go downhill as I continued to get older.  Maybe that is why my husband thinks there something wrong with me because I don’t her what he just said.  Though he tends to say in another room with the water running or the tv is on.   Probably a bit of both.  Sometimes it is hard to concentrate on things, upsetting when someone tells me their name and I promptly forget it.  So how much is the illness and how much are due to meds?  Meds are a subject by themselves – I’ll save that for another post.

There is the classic one of going into another room and forgetting why I went there, sometimes going back to where I thought of it helps.   As I am older, people tend to say it’s a Senior moment”.  I choose tot see it differently as a result of comment someone made a few years back.  I was talking to her and suddenly couldn’t remember what I was going to say – she said it was a “giraffe moment”.  I thought, okay – by why a giraffe?  She explained that she people think a giraffe has the brain  the size of a gold fish.  When you throw something on the ground for the giraffe to eat, she goes down for it.  But halfway down, she forgets and lifts her head – therefore, not getting anything to eat.

Now I know giraffe are smart and that long neck can be lethal, so in some ways it’s an insult to giraffe.  But I would rather have a giraffe moment than a senior moment – yes, I know it is 6 of one and half a dozen of another.  A senior moment sounds as if I am getting old and  feeble – no way is that true.  I decided to make a button for myself to wear on my coat:

I asked a friend to create a giraffe for me.  I had seen one for a movie, but it had such a crazy expression – I asked her to put a sweet expression on the face and make the tail a question mark.  The button is round and it I put “RELAX, it’s a giraffe moment”.  I also put my name and number on the back and my website on the front – a bit of fun and some shameless self promotion.

After reading some articles on, I realized the things I had been thinking and experiencing were not weird, merely par for the course.  The articles have also helped me to understand some of things as a result of the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis that no one tells you.  One is grief – for the loss of the life I thought I would have had; the continuing physical limitations,  not being able to do things with my husband.  The guilt for having a chronic illness and feeling I am a burden to him.  All the places I could have gone with him and could’t, the constant pain, not being able to tell him something specific he can do to make progress and difference.  For not knowing what to do for myself – how can I feel what he can do when I don’t know what I need?

I feel guilt for all the worry he has about me, wondering if I have fallen and hurt myself while he wasn’t here.  Unfortunately that has happened more than once.  Feeling so awkward and clumsy rather than feeling graceful and moving with ease.  I know I have been cranky and bitchy at times, not feeling as if I am not a nice person to be around.  This man I married has been with me since the beginning – diagnosed a year and half we were married.  He did not leave me but has been so supportive and loving to me.  Some spouses leave because they didn’t sign up for it – none of us with the chronic illness remembers signing up either.

Depression is a whole other subject.  I realize it is a symptom of RA, snow I wonder what the difference is between symptom depression and “depression depression”.  I may not be able to describe it very well, but how different is symptom depression from the depression as a result of dealing with all this?   Many times I have felt as if I can’t deal with any more, I want my life without pain back.

It took by surprise, I was having shoulder pain shortly after we came back to the States from Australia.  Suddenly the doctor told me I had RA.  I had no idea what it was and it took a while to sink in.  I wonder if it was more a decade or so before I “got it”.  Or did I?  I don’t really know.  I know I have seen my body as an adversary for a long time – only recently have I begun to see her as my partner.  I realize how much I have been able to experience because of my physical body.  This is new because I tended to think of her as a hindrance and obstacle to doing things I wanted to do.  I have begun to shift my thought patterns to more positive ones – still it doesn’t mean I don’t get  angry or upset about the whole situation.  I am still working on understanding how Acceptance really feels – that “I know that I know” knowing deep inside.

Most people read all they can about what their illness is and all about it.  I have read some but I wasn’t really ready to do that.  I didn’t want to know what “could” happen and scare myself.  I decided to take it as it came and deal with one thing at a time.  I also didn’t know I had a choice to deal with or not deal with it.  I knew I had to do something, so I sought treatment.  Not the easiest path but not doing anything is even worse.

How Do I See Each Day?

When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is how my body is feeling.  I could have had a really good yesterday, but sometimes I wake up around 3 or so and felt like s**t, then when I get up around 7, I doing fine.  Sometimes I have had a really painful day and feel 90 years old; then the following day it is either fine or a lot better.  Do I see it as a lousy day, or just another day with challenges and gifts if I have a positive outlook?

Then I look outside and check what the weather is.  I don’t particularly believe the weather forecast, I see what it is actually doing at that moment.  One thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is the sun doesn’t always stay shiny all day.  Many times it comes and goes, so I have learned to enjoy it when it comes.   A rainy, cloudy or cool day is not a “lousy day”, it has it’s own way of being interesting.  Snow is a definite “stay at home” day – I have been stuck in the middle of the hill in snow as well as the top of the hill – do not want to repeat that again.

I am ot a fan of extremes of hot or cold; heat, humidity and haze; or  very uncomfortable (to me) weather Nature decides will be part of the day.  Since it can be unpredictable ( as RA is) I have decided to take it as it comes and not get bent out of shape because it isn’t ideal.  Whatever the weather is, it also have gifts for me if I am smart enough to focus on them rather whether I am uncomfortable.

I woke up early in the morning , about 3 a.m. this morning and had sudden pain in my side along with hunger pangs.  I did get up to have something to eat, then went back to bed and did something I haven’t done before – I decided to embrace that sharp pain.  Most often I want to get rid of it as fast as I can, plus see if I can figure out what caused it.  Was it something I was thinking and/or feeling?  It was sudden, so I wondered how my thoughts may have triggered it.  I was then able to go back to sleep and it wasn’t there when I got up this morning.

I have noticed I have changed the way I look at things – in the morning and again at night I thank Spirit for all the gifts and blessing of the day.  They aren”t all wonderful and a joy – they can be painful and uncomfortable.  Now I have began asking “what can I learn from this?”  What is the gift?  Gifts don’t show up right away, sometimes it takes a while and time to simmer on the back burner before I have a hint of it.  It’s a good thing I have learned patience from all these years of RA.  I am not patient all the time – I do have my moments – but what I have found is things go more smoothly with patience.    Things don’t go any faster if I am angry, demanding and real bitch on wheels.  People are nicer if I’m patient, they often thank me for being patient when there are spanners in the works.  Sometimes I get an unexpected reward for my patience.  I remember one flight I took – there were delays and I watched how well the gate agents handled all the upset and impatient people.  When there was no passengers around, I went up to the desk and told the agents I noticed how well they handled everything.  They were surprised but very appreciative of my comments.  Besides, I don’t want all that negativity roaring around my body – a waste of energy and effort.

So it isn’t a pretty sunshine day, around 75 or so and clear – it is a gift and delight for me to enjoy if I choose to se it in a positive way.  I use “Enjoy the day” as my close in letters and emails.  Then again, I like to be different which can sometimes get me in trouble or blow back in my face.  I have a talent for not only putting my foot in my mouth, it is often “Move over foot, here comes the other”.  That’s because I tend to say what I am thinking – I forget to put brain into gear before engaging my mouth.  At this point, I don’t worry about it and beat myself up any more.  I usually say “That didn’t come out the way I meant”.

So for a cloudy day like today, I am enjoying it, I put a sweater on if I am a bit cold and this particular day is a day at home.  Plus my other half is getting ready to grill a steak for us, fresh corn – how can I lose when he is cooking.

Wants, Needs, Desires – What is the Difference?

There are certain places I go that give me a bad case of the “I want . . .”.   I also find myself admiring something and want to have it – then I realize I have to decide where it would go in the house and how much dusting it requires.  At this point in my life I am paring down, not accumulating.

Usually the “want” has to do with a situation that requires concentration and effort.  I “want” someone to take care of it all for me because I don’t understand it.  Then I realize I “need” to know the details and what has to be done – if I have someone do it all for me, I feel a bit helpless because I don’t understand it.  Yes, I want things to be easy and flow well, but I also know I need to know how to do something, what my contribution has been and where am I part of the solution.  It’s more important for me to know and understand the circumstance and what it takes to solve it than to have it all easy.  No one learns as well when it all goes smoothly – the rough patches are the real teacher.

We have seen this particular chart below: Maslow’s levels of need.

This chart is a way of looking at practical, real life things.

This is down to earth living rather than some esoteric or philosophical theory.  As it’s been said very well, it’s “where the rubber meets the road”.  The needs are the basics, things to keep us alive and sheltered.  The wants are what we decide we want and strive to achieve them.  What seems to be missing the last few years is savoring the anticipation of achieving that goal – it means so much more when we have to work for it.  Now it seems the world revolves on having right now without work or anticipation.  Have you noticed when someone buys a new car, they wash it and take special care of it for a short time.  Then it is parked in the street rather than garaged and the paint work starts to fade from always being in the weather.  What happened to all that pride and enthusiasm when the car was brand new?  It will still be around while the payments are made each month.

Let’s put a definition to each term and see where it  affects us as humans

Definition of Needs

By the term needs, we mean those requirements which are extremely necessary for a human being to live a healthy life. They are personal, psychological, cultural, social, etc that are important for an organism to survive.

In ancient times the three basic needs of the man are food, clothing and shelter but with the passage of time, education and healthcare also became integral, as they improve the quality of life. They are a person’s first priority as they are the things, that they keep us healthy and safe. Therefore, if needs are not satisfied in time, it may result in illness, inability in functioning properly or even death.

Definition of Wants

In economics, wants are defined as something that a person would like to possess, either immediately or at a later time. Simply put, wants are the desires that cause business activities to produce such products and services that are demanded by the economy. They are optional, i.e. an individual is going to survive, even if not satisfied. Further, wants may vary from person to person and time to time.

We all know that human wants are unlimited while the means to satisfy those wants are limited. Hence, all the wants of an individual cannot be met and they must seek for alternatives.

Definition of Desires

Desire, craving, longing, yearning suggest feelings that impel one to the attainment or possession of something. Desire is a strong feeling, worthy or unworthy, that impels to the attainment or possession of something that is (in reality or imagination) within reach: a desire for success. Craving implies a deep and imperative wish for something, based on a sense of need and hunger: a craving for food, companionship. A longing is an intense wish, generally repeated or enduring, for something that is at the moment beyond reach but may be attainable at some future time: a longing to visit Europe. Yearning suggests persistent, uneasy, and sometimes wistful or tender longing: a yearning for one’s native land.
Now there are definitions of each terms, does that help define the difference?  Maybe the story of Adam and Eve might make it more clear.  God created Adam and proved for his needs to sustain life and keep him strong and healthy.  Except he was lonely, so God created Eve as his companion.  They had all they needed in the Garden of Eden, but they weren’t satisfied – the rule about not eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree was always on their minds.  The Tree of Life had everything they needed to sustain them, but they had to know about the forbidden fruit – if they knew about good and evil, they would be on God’s level.  Desire overcame their common sense and we all know what happened.

Let’s face it, we can find reasons that what we want  is really a need – do we know we kidding ourselves with that balderdash?Another way of looking at things, situations, etc. in terms of want and need.

What questions will help you to see the difference between want and need?  Might be a good idea to form some questions that apply to you.  We are definitely the product of Madison Ave and the Consume  messages we are bombarded with every minute of the day.  Messages that tell us we will be prettier, smarter, slimmer, less wrinkles, etc. using their products.    This is where it is so very important to know yourself through and through.  So much of ads is about the surface, but it is the inside that is the most important because it is everlasting.  You don’t have to keep buying more to keep up the facade, the true you is amazing.

Trust Your Instincts

I’ve been having trouble with my iMac – poor thing is 6 years old – in computer years it is about 20 years old.  It’s doing odd things and I spend more time watching the color wheel spin than I do working on things.  I have thought about whether to get a laptop or a desk top – they both have advantages and disadvantages.  I can carry the lap top around with me, but the only time I do that is when I go to Apple for help or repair.  When I was doing One to One – no longer available – I would take the desktop with my luggage cart – I’m a paid up member of the lunge cart brigade.  When I worked on Eddie’s newsletter, I took his laptop because it was his project.

Eddie and several others kept urging me to buy a laptop – you can do anything on that you can on a desk top, they kept saying.  I like the lap top, but I have to use the track pad all the time and my right shoulder hurts after a bit.  I find it awkward to type and it doesn’t have the long numeric keyboard my desktop has.  The sound isn’t all that great, much better on the desktop and I feel more comfortable.  I keep leaning toward the desktop and it seems everyone else leans toward the laptop.

Thursday we went over to check them out and I was blessed to have a day near my own age who knew exactly what my computer is doing – he had a 2012 as well and just bought a new desktop.

This has made me think  about so many times in my life when I allowed someone to talk me into something even though I knew the way I wanted to go was right for me.  It scares me that I am so easily swayed by people – obviously I haven’t trusted myself or my instincts.  I remember finding a new guy at the hair salon, the fellow I like as gone and they wouldn’t tell me where he had gone.  I was getting a razor cut that really worked well for me – the new guy didn’t do them and convinced me a scissor cut would do the same thing.  I was skeptical but went ahead and had a scissor cut.  No, it does NOT give the same result, no way at all.  I kicked myself for not standing up for what I wanted.

Another time was when I was doing an Ike Pono exercise – once again I didn’t listen to my gut and I was out of the boat in the sea. I was angry at Roger for a while until I was willing to admit I was furious with myself for not listening to what I knew was true.  I realized that was how I was showing up in life and I wasn’t happy with me.  I remember one time I asked the guy at the gas station to switch my wipers because the right one was doing a better job than the left.  he thought I was crazy but he finally switched them and By George, they worked exactly the way I knew they would.  Listen to that inner knowing even though everyone thinks you are nuts.

Now there is the part when I am in the middle of something and wonder what was I thinking?  My insecurity shows and I am suddenly unsure I am doing the right thing.  It usually turns out fine – sometimes not so fine.

I decided to go with my instincts and bought the desk top – I felt very comfortable with it.  The lap top was okay but I felt uncomfortable choosing that – I would have been sorry I chose it and wished I had gone with my instinct no matter what others were telling me.  I had to listen to my inner voice, even when it was counter to what other people said.

So trust your instincts and for Heaven’s sake, not wait until you are down to you last few decades.

Am I Hiding?

Have I been hiding behind RA all there years?  I have to admit, it has given me a place to hide so I have not been expected to work, to do things fully and make sure people don’t expect much from me.  Then of course, I surprise them by exceeding expectations.

I have always gotten positive feedback from people  – how brave I am, how I do so much while  dealing with RA.  I have even had people tell me I am an inspiration and heroine to them.  It’s very good to hear until my ego voice keeps chiming in with all the negatives so I am not able to fully appreciate their lovely words.

Hiding behind RA is not having to compete, even more it is pain, little flexibility, meds, fatigue medical costs, effect on my body, low self esteem, feeling powerless, dependent and helpless at times.  Is it worth it to have RA and receive this positive feedback?  It is very uncomfortable a lot of the time – but familiar.  Plus, can I be of help to others if I don’t have it any more?  Is it a requirement, without RA do I have an credibility?

I have been hiding from making a decision about what to do in life because I have been constantly told the world is a scary place.  I won’t mention where that cam from or who, only that I believed it.

After I was married, I didn’t want to have to work and RA was a great reason.  I wanted to be taken care of rather than stand on my own two feet.  One thing I have asked myself many times but so far haven’t gotten a definitive answer.  “Why Do I have RA?”  There are a variety of answers –

  • It’s Karma, payback for a former life.  If so, I hope I had one hell of a good time!
  • It’s a Life Lesson I need to learn; along with quite a few other lessons.
  • It’s been my identify for a long time.  It’s what brings me compliments, they wonder at all I do, a positive attitude – all this things that boost my self esteem.
  • Bryon Katie wrote a book called “Who Would I Be Without  My Story?” – that could be me in a nutshell.
  • It’s my way of being in control but in a very subtle way.
  • It is preparation for something coming, either in this lifetime or in a future one.
  • It could be my Life Purpose and I am doing it without knowing.
  • There is the question – why RA instead of something else?  I think about people with anorexia.  Because they feel overwhelmed and powerless in their life, the only thing they can control is their food intake.  Maybe like them, I thought the only power or control I had was my own body.  But at what cost to me and my body as well as the people around me?

The Who Would I Be question is easier to answer now.   I would be energetic, able, light, pain free, more focused on what I want to do, have more enthusiasm much more with my husband.  So then the question is “Why Do I Hold On To RA?”.  I know the answer is fear, though not sure the fact fear.  I realize having RA is familiar- though very uncomfortable and expensive – so not having it and stepping out into the world and taking a risk is very scary.  I know I tell myself and others I have a limited amount of energy, physical limitations, and don’t do things the way other people without RA can do them.  It’s a good excuse not to do things that are scary or I am unsure about; plus it means if I don’t do them, I won’t be wrong. The more I think about it, the more I realize I am afraid that if I am RA free with energy, enthusiasm and vitality, I will get in over my head and not fulfill what I promised and let people down.

It also means I have to step out and try new things, learn new skills – the fear is not being able to “get it”.  I don’t want to be back in 6th grade math class with story , not understanding  and feeling lost, scared and clueless.

Essentially I am afraid to choose and find I made a wrong decision or choice -more of that fear of being wrong.  I think that comes from high school and being told to choose a career so I could prepare for college.  The unsaid message was whatever I choose would be for the rest of my life.  I was afraid of choosing the wrong career and then being stuck with it for a life time.  No one told me people changes careers several times, that the choice isn’t set in stone, you can change your mind and choose something else.

This has not been easy to write because it is hard to admit and acknowledge how much of what is going on is my choice.  Unfortunately I never found anything that interested me – in the 60’s girls could be a secretary, teacher, nurse, stewardess – not a lot of choice.I realize I have been hiding behind RA for a long time because I am afraid of the world.  That message that the world is a scary place, so be safe and secure before venturing out.  I have not felt safe and secure, so hiding doesn’t make it any better.

Unfortunately, I sometimes feel a fraud  – I have early childhood training about speaking the truth no matter what.  Now I am grateful for the gift of integrity my parents gave all three of us daughter.  It seems to have taken several decades to finally understand and realize what a gift it is.  Sometimes I would like to cut corners, it make things easier but the training kicks in and I can’t cut corners no matter how much I want to do it.

As I look back I see how many times I knew something but allowed someone to talk me in a different direction.  It came from not trusting myself – then when it was finished, I realized I know what I was talking about after all.  So why is it I don’t trust my own instincts?  Why haven’t I stood up for my knowing?Did  I think I didn’t have enough education, experience and knowledge?  Then I felt stupid for not listening to my inner knowing and then resent the other person.

Right now I am deciding about something – I want to do one thing but several people say I should go the other way.  So why am I seesawing back and forth?  I see the advantages of both choices – I’m just leaning the other way.  When it is accomplished, I let you know the outcome.  This is not a time to be wishy washy!!!!!



Judgement seems to be  rampant – judging ourselves, each other, events or experiences.  It has been there all my life, a good portion of it has been from me about me.  No likes being or feeling judged – right or wrong; good or bad.   I found a quote that said – “Everything is a non-issue until someone decides otherwise.”

We had an exercise in Ike Pono where we all sat on our chairs, closed our eyes and listened to each staff member repeat the same thing over and over.  This went on for quite a while, I found I had a lot of energy tingling up and down my arms and wondering what we would do with that energy.  It seemed as though we were there a long time doing that – it may have been 20 minutes.  When we were told to open our eyes, we noticed some were sitting on the floor, others in chairs.

Naturally we wondered what went on while our eyes were closed, so it was strange to see we weren’t all in the same place as we started.  So then we were asked what this experience was about – people though it had to do with learning a principle or lesson.  I just said I wondered what I would do with the energy I felt.  So then we all wanted to know what it was all about – the simple answer was sitting  and hearing the same words over and over.  However, when people put meaning or emotion on something, it is no longer a non-issue:  now they have put a judgement on it.

Another example is from Eckert Tolle:

Eckert Tolle says that just by observing what is happening, ego begins to lose her power.   There is a part where he writes about a woman who came to him and was so depressed and despondent, she poured out all her woes to him and he listened, free of judgement.  Then he told her something that has stuck in my mind and I have used it many times.

When the woman had come to the end of her story, he said: “At this moment, this is how you feel. There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is how you feel.  Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept this is what you feel right now?”  The woman said she wouldn’t accept it.  He then told her: “I am not asking you to do anything.  All I am asking is that you find out whether it is possible for for you to allow those feelings to be there.  In other words, if you don’t mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness?  After a few minutes she realized that although she was still unhappy, there was a space around it.  It seemed to matter less.

There is no right or wrong, good or bad – that is judgment and no judgment allowed.  It doesn’t make you less of a person because this happened, sometimes it is not the WHY it happened, but the HOW you deal with it.  Falling apart in the beginning helps to release and relieve all the powerful emotions that have been triggered.  Right now you can’t fix it, the other person won’t change and beating yourself up with guilt does you no good.  Allow yourself the time to fall apart and let out whatever needs to be released.    There is plenty of time later for reflection.

It’s not easy to let myself just feel the feelings without putting a label on them: right or wrong, good or bad.  That is what we’ve been taught from the time we could understand.  It comes from parents, siblings, other family, school and just regular living in the world.  I don’t remember anyone talking about this judgement since we all do it – often without realizing it.  Ike Pono helped to to understand it and though I often forget to think in terms of not judging.  When I finally realize they are just feelings and I am willing to feel them and allow them to dissipate, I am in a better frame of mind.

I also know I have no control over anyone else and their thoughts and judgements.  I need to be in full alignment with what I know and believe no matter what anyone else may think.  As long as I am true to myself, my values and what is right for my highest good, other people’s judgement isn’t an issue.  Bold words for someone who is still a work in progress.  However, it all makes sense, just a little more simmering on the back burner for a while.  Also practicing what I now understand – sometimes that is the hardest part.

I think about the words of Christ when the people were ready to stone the prostitute – “Let he, who is without sin cast the first stone.”  I also like the one – “Don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my moccasins.”  Whether we are judging and beating ourselves up or judging some one else, no one knows what the judged person’s life is or what he/she has to deal with every day.  It is a waste of energy that can be used in a much more positive way.

I am so tired of the cold weather and the static electricity it brings – I look as if I had put my finger in a socket some days.  So I have judged it a nuisance and an annoyance instead of allowing it to be what it is.