“We are more than the worst thing that ever happened to us. All of us need to stop apologizing for having been to hell and back and come back breathing.” Clementine von Radics

My son one of my favorite positives in life, enjoying life.

I was looking for a quote for my last blog when I ran across the quote for this week. “We are more than the worst thing that ever happened to us.” Wow, that is so powerful to me. I am a person who defines myself by the worst things that have happened to me, and then I take it one step further and I blame myself for all of them. I blame myself for failing to get well and continuing to live in chronic pain... Some of the worst things that have happened to me are too personal to write here, but you get the gist.

Not only do we need to stop blaming ourselves for everything bad that has happened in our lives, but you also need to stop defining ourselves around it. We need to do the opposite, give ourselves credit for the positive. When I think about the positive things that have happened to me I realize the list is large. I need to focus on that huge list, e.g. I was able to leave the small town I grew up in and was able to attend the college of my dreams. I was supported and encouraged to achieve great things as a child and that helped me achieve my goals in life. I’ve graduated from law school, raised two boys that grew into the most amazing men, been married to the love of my life for over 30 years. I have people who love me and care about me. I live in a safe neighborhood with great neighbors I could go on and on but eventually, this blog needs to come to an end. The point is that I need to also define myself by my list of positives. It is only then that I will be able to see my life clearly.

Let in the sunshine and have a beautiful life!


“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadow shall spring.” J.R.R. Tolkein

Today was lovely and wonderful. Fall weather finally moved in after a loooong hot summer. I’m not going to sugar coat it - since March, I feel like I’ve been walking through quicksand. I’ve had trouble seeing my resiliency skills through the pandemic cloud. I’ve been listening to some TED talks to help me regain my resiliency and enable me to feel like I’m walking on solid ground. I found one woman especially inspiring, Lucy Hone. She was doing resiliency training for the army when her world shifted and she had to reach out for some of those resiliency skills herself; her teenage daughter was killed in an automobile accident. In processing her grief and finding a way out, she came up with three secrets of resilient people. I think they are fantastic! Her three secrets of resilient people are:

  1. They realize that suffering is part of human existence.

  2. Resilient people focus on the things they can control and accept the things they can’t.

  3. They ask themselves, “Is what I am doing going to help or hurt me?”

Lucy said “she had to decide not to lose what she had, to what she lost.” This sentence spoke to me. I didn’t want to lose what I currently have because I am focused on what I have already lost.

I decided to focus my attention on Lucy’s three secrets. I looked around, and I saw a cat dashing through the house in joy, and a huge dog sitting in the cat’s bed looking out the window. I felt the sun coming through the porch windows, it’s warmth on my skin. I heard the wind rustling. I watched the kids play outside. There was so much to savor. I had been focusing too much on the things I lost to my pain and to the pandemic.

Focusing only on the negative things in our lives will crush us. We must lift our heads with courage and bravery, one step at a time, determined not to lose what we have to what we’ve lost. Remembering what it feels like to be loved, alive and beautiful.

“Life tried to crush her but only succeeded in creating a diamond.” John Green

  • DAJ

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde

Suffering is not selective everyone experiences it at some point in their life. We get to choose our experience though. Even when things are at their bleakest we can choose to focus on something good. Often when things are at their worst people focus on negative thoughts that only make them feel worse. The trick is to find something positive, anything, and focus on that. The act of focusing on the positive will lift your mood and make everything seem a little brighter. This may just be enough to enable you to take the next step or it may pull you out of the gutter completely. Either way, it seems to be the right way to turn.