Thursday, November 1, 2012

When Love Is Not Enough, Part 2 - Strength in the Olive Jar

Girls, Here is Part 2 to this story. If you haven't read the first part of the story go back read the beginning in my previous post. Follow my friend as she shares her heart warming story. There will be more coming soon.  Enjoy!

Strength In The Olive Jar...
 by anonymous
Whoever said that "persevering through life with good thoughts and a positive attitude would always deliver a high degree of success and happiness" obviously never experienced a divorce. I will never say that my life's prominent attitude was always positive and an effortless progression of my mental proficiencies. However, I have always believed that developing a behavioural tendency toward habitually practicing the mind with good, better and best would allow one's life to be permeated with great opportunities.

OK, OK. I admit it. I am a writer.  However, with that secret exposed, let's get REAL!  After a marriage in which I experienced verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, (during last five years of marriage) how successful or ready for the world do you think I would be?  Yet, my ex-spouse had no regret of abandoning our two children and me and with no concern for health, wealth, or about any of our tomorrows.  If I had been a "pickle in a barrel", I would have been at the bottom, bruised by the pressure of all the wonderful, great tasting pickles.  Lying at the bottom of the barrel would have been - me, stranded and alone to be discarded in the trash.

I just described the condition of my life during this stage.  "Trash".  At least, this is how I felt.  As reluctant as I am to admit my plight, it was no recondite matter-of-fact or no obscurity to the acquaintances that remained in my life.  With respect to my circumstances, I did regard my life to be important to my children and my family who resided in Louisiana.   Although, in spite of my diminished degree of significance in the world, somewhere between "this is reality" and being "completely bummed out", I knew that I had to find the strength to place one foot in front of the other and begin my new walk in life. 

Now, time to get a job.  My daughter's friend's mother was a Vice President of Nations Bank.  One day while my daughter was visiting her friend, they asked the mother if I could have an interview.  Fortunately, I had bank experience and it proved very beneficial in my efforts to acquire a job. While not the greatest job that I ever had, but I would be making $8.00 an hour as a bank teller.  WOW!!  Also, I began working at Lord and Taylor to help with my children's clothing needs.   My daughter had a car, so she chauffeured me around until my dad offered to purchase me a new, but small, Chevrolet from Ray Huffines. It was not my Lincoln, but I was thrilled.  Moving from our 4 bedroom, 3-1/2 bath house with a back yard pool and into a 3 bedroom apartment was nothing to write home about either.

Was I now ready to face the world?  Frankly and honestly, NO!  However, day-by-day, I began to make "baby steps" towards a small measure of success.  I had 100% attendance, I was good at accounting, math, etc., and I could exhibit a strong desire to work.  Actually, work became my new habitual ambition.  Confining myself to work occupied my life and mind while helping me not to reflect on my life's circumstances. 

It is now time to explain the "strength in the olive jar".  There were many aspects of my marriage that were as insidious as "black mold".  Such is the fact that my husband controlled all that was placed on the dinner table.  If the food before him was not to his liking, I was instantly and constantly reminded of the amazing culinary skills of his three sisters and his mother. At first, I could live with it, but with the gradual and cumulative effects of his actions, I grew very weary and resented being compared to anyone.  However, since it was his typical behaviour to compare me to many of my friends, it was extremely difficult for me to make and maintain meaningful friendships. I was not at a healthy place, either physically or mentally.

Despite all that I did not know about myself, I knew enough to know that I loved olives.  It would be a reasonable assumption and a brief moment before you conclude that my ex-spouse did not like olives.  At this time in my life, I had not purchased a jar in years.  Subsequently, my trips to the grocery usually concluded with me drooling over a jar of olives.  However, I could not persuade myself to touch them. Unfortunately, I had been conditioned to think that I did not like them.  One day, my overwhelming desire for olives began to be an insurmountable NEED.  I could think of nothing else.  So, I walked right into that grocery and made my way to the aisle with the olives.  I walked by them several times before I picked up a jar and held it for a few minutes. I stared at the olives as if the jar contained diamonds.  I began to cry.  The significance of this step in my life was like a magnetic resonance.  Removing that jar from my hand - no; and analogically speaking, it was the harmony on my score of music.

I was liberated, en-powered, finding me again and so much more. I had broken through my dark veil of inhumanity and fear of who I was as a woman. I could BE!  That first jar of olives was the catalyst to my new beginning.  Sometimes it is something just so simple that can inspire and move us into action and reaction.  A scripture that encouraged me to continually give God my life; Matthew 11:29 - "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  This is exactly the medicine that I needed to continue my new walk.  I needed gentleness, not abuse.  Understanding, not ridicule. I could go on and on.

So, OMG, well, where do I go from here?  I choose to see strength in a jar of olives and not be a pickle at the bottom of the barrel.  Tune in next time for my segment entitled, The Three S's.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When Love Is Not Enough, Part 1

Girls, you must read this true story from a friend who I met in bible study. The story.... amazing, her strength is contagious and her forgiveness from her past is healing for all of us chicks.

No matter what we may go through to make us the women we are today, there is a plan God has for us when we were born. We are all on a journey to be the best God wants us to be. We wonder why bad things happen to good people...but God hasn't taken us this far to let us go now. 

So...I will be making updated posts of her story as she writes from her heart. Sometimes we don't share our most intimate feelings for fear of people who may judge us. She is not one of those women. Confident, loving and successful in many ways, she exhumes the Holy Spirit who lives within her and within a few minutes of connecting our shared emotions, I asked her to write her story for my blog. Enjoy!

When Love is Not Enough...
 by anonymous
When I was young, I knew and understood that my value and worth in this world originated from a bond of love innately born within a solid Christian family.  As familiar as I was with the influences that moved me nearer and nearer to the inevitable journey of self-discovery and awareness, the realization that there are many "bonds of love" and family structures that are not coeval to my own was an astonishing discovery.  However, as long as my intrinsic value rested peacefully within my "bond of love", I grew to live, love, learn, and expect lifelong bliss.

As I continued through the journey of life and as I grew into "My Own", falling in love seemed the next logical experience.  A different kind of love than before, however it, if chosen successfully, should prove to provide the bearers with lifelong happiness.

After the wedding bells and after years of living under the impression that I would always be the recipient of love and believe in the ideology of happily married bliss, the roses in my garden began to fade.  If you asked me what happened or to describe my experience, it would be nearly impossible to express in words alone.  The "Eyes of Love" were altered and had become the "Eyes of a Stranger".  Life took a turn that was never anticipated or expected. A turn that led me into loneliness and divorce. While I remained in love, my ex-spouse moved on with the love from another.  And he moved nearly 2,000 miles away from our two children and me.

At this time, I am going to take a time out.  My emotions are almost too much for me to endure and express.

(I'm back)  So many memories that I would rather forget and erase from my mental dairy.  Memories that were never to be a page in my book of life.  But there they were.  Written, sold, placed on a shelf, purchased, and read - all in one step.  Also, loneliness, depression, emptiness, and friendlessness were never to be "MY" enemies. But they were growing with an incessant passion.  Regardless of how I tried, nagging and nagging at my inner mind and spirit, I could not fight the fight.  It was a pointless attempt.  I suppose that I could best be described as a psychological mess.

A psychological mess is an understatement.  During the last five years of our marriage, I was the recipient of verbal and physical abuse, abandoned in a state where the only family I had were my two children.  Who, and rightly so, were depending on me for their support, love and so much more.  To further my plight, I had not worked outside the home in over 15 years and he drove away with our only car.

So how does one react when love is not enough.  Where does one find reassurance when an empty "shell" would be an accurate description of their spirit and soul? First, I am a Christian, raised in a Christian family.  Second, the only place to fall was at the foot of the Cross, my cross.  Third, rest assured that there I could find the hope of a new beginning, discover a new life and fill up the emptiness with the Grace of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Since that time, I have found assurance through prayer and reading the Bible.  My favorite chapter is Psalms 91 and I read it over and over.  My favorite passage:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.  Proverbs 3: 5-6. I have repeated these scriptures at least 5,000 times.  It has helped me to not give into worry and the stress of life.

But I do understand that my story is complex, so I think it best that it be written in a few segments.  In my next segment, I will be happy to write about the "Strength in the Olive Jar". Until then, God Bless and Keep You.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I would like to introduce my friend Dr. Warren Katz to you. I have known Dr. Katz and his wife for over 25 years. He is an outstanding plastic surgeon with a good reputation.

If you are looking to do any permanent procedures I would advise you to get at least 3 opinions then wait a month before you make your decision. The doctor can make all the difference. There are many corrective procedures you can have done that are not invasive and you get great results. You can also get amazing results with the correct make-up and contour effects.

Dr. Warren Katz has been practicing cosmetic and plastic surgery in Dallas for more than 25 years. He is certified by The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, The American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Katz has appeared in many national and local magazines discussing various procedures. He also appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN both performing and discussing cosmetic procedures.

I called Dr. Katz to ask him 5 of the most asked questions we get from our clients to help anyone who is thinking of different options for medical procedures.

What is the difference between a traditional face lift and these "mini lifts" that I read about?
Dr. Katz: A traditional face lift is a procedure that involves lifting a large flap of tissue in the face and neck. The muscles below the skin are tightened, excess fat is removed as well as excess skin. Implants, either synthetic implants or fat grafts, may also be utilized.

A "mini lift" has similar incisions. However  the amount of tissue lifting and tightening is significantly less than a traditional lift. Therefore, the results are much less. Anesthesia is normally required for a traditional face lift. The anesthesia may be general or IV sedation. We prefer IV sedation (avoid general anesthetic). A "mini lift" can be done with only local anesthesia because much less is done. Surprisingly, the post operative course is very much the same for both procedures.

What is a "liquid face lift"? Does it produce the same results as a surgical face lift?
Dr. Katz: A "liquid face lift" is a process whereby fillers and neurotoxin are injected into the face to improve facial features. The results and duration of effects are, obviously, much less than with a surgical face lift. A patient should have both procedures explained before deciding on a particular procedure.

Does facial plastic surgery make you look unrecognizable or different?
Dr. Katz: No. Facial plastic surgery is designed to make you look rested and refreshed. Sometimes it is performed to soften a feature of your face that concerns you. With good surgery, it should not be obvious to others that you have had surgery.

Do only women have facial plastic surgery?
Dr. Katz: No. More and more men are undergoing facial plastic surgery. Today approximately 25% of our patients are men.

What type of anesthesia is used for cosmetic surgery?
Dr. Katz: Either IV sedation or general anesthesia is used for most cosmetic procedures, excluding very minor procedures which are performed with local anesthesia. We prefer to use IV sedation for all our surgical procedures. This is performed by an anesthesiologist. There is no patient awareness during the surgery. The patient is breathing on his/her own, and is not on a respirator. Normally this also eliminates post operative nausea and vomiting.