Category Archives: Communication

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

 

I watched with tears this week about the seven innocent men that aren’t with us anymore and felt sick thinking about their families while watching their worst moments being broadcast live.

We all struggled watching bad decisions being acted out, men taking their last breaths and witnessing the emotions that followed. We watched someone’s life ending yet it seemed clear from the images that it shouldn’t have happened.

Everything was so unimaginable. I forced myself to imagine how it would be to wake up one morning not knowing that I would die that day and about how much I take for granted. I thought about what I was doing yesterday at lunchtime. I was sitting at a restaurant having lunch with my daughter and her friend. We were laughing, eating and talking about the movie we’d be seeing later that night, positive that we’d be seeing it simply because we had bought the tickets. When the victims woke that day, surely they believed they’d be going back to bed that night, like we all assume every day. But during the course of a day, suddenly they weren’t thinking anything. Their ability to go to a movie, go to work, sit with family and visit friends disappeared as they lost the freedom to take a breath.

One man had just dealt with a pesky homeless man who happened to have a phone and called 911 to report him. And a man that was responsible for making sure that children were fed each day in their school cafeteria didn't know that his fate would be decided by a broken tail light.

Those deaths then created change in the lives and deaths of five other innocent men. Men who weren't wearing protective gear because they were working a peaceful protest and they trusted the crowds on this. They didn’t die because they weren’t wearing their gear, they died because of hate and pain and bad decisions.

I always try to find the silver lining in everything to better understand the why, and right now it's everywhere. There’s an outpouring of love on social media, a tribute that we feel for them and their families and that we are with them through this. We know that they were men who were loved with families and friends and we want them to know that we offer our support and love. There’s anger, but overwhelmingly there’s love and people pleading for peace and acceptance and coming together. The storm of response is showing that today and tomorrow, there is more love in the world because of it. It’s created more connection and softened so many hearts.

When tragedies occur, people from all over the globe voice their support and concern and care for the families. But even so, what is the silver lining for the loved ones?

Philando Castile, the manager of a school cafeteria, had his girlfriend and her young daughter with him in the car when he was killed. The video his girlfriend recorded after he was shot is hard to watch, but there’s a tiny glimmer of light near the end of the video. She stays calm for most of the recording but she starts to panic near the end because she’s been removed from being with her wounded boyfriend and has no idea if he’s okay. Her four-year-old daughter is off camera sitting next to her in the backseat of a patrol car. As her mom becomes more and more upset, you can hear the little girl speaking softly.

 “It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”

That glimmer of light came from a little girl who was sitting in the back of a patrol car for no reason, and who had just witnessed a police officer shoot her mom’s friend, and was now watching her mother become unglued.

The families might not ever find their silver lining, but maybe we can be the silver lining for them. We can take what a four-year-old daughter said to her mom in a time of panic and say it to them and to each another: I’m here with you, I’m here for you.

We are all here together, whether we like it or not, and I know we can do better than this.

No one should have to be sad and afraid because their skin is dark. We all have skin, eyes, hearts, blood, bones, souls and families that would miss us if we were gone tomorrow.

Never mind embracing and being more open to our differences. We need to recognize and embrace our similarities.

We can’t sit back and shake our heads. We have to say yes, we are one and we are all in this together.

I normally pass on the news, but today I’m passing on the love because of the news. These tragedies are the reason to reach out to do better and to be better. All of our tears collectively can turn into rivers of love that will run through our streets and homes and hearts and remind us that we are all silver linings.

xo Katherine www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

Unguard

Unguard             September 15, 2014

There’s only one other person in your world that loves your children as much as you do. In the heat of divorcing them, it’s hard for us to remember that one simple thought.

My ex picked my daughter up for breakfast one recent Sunday morning and I asked him if I could come along. I was hungry and dressed.

There’s a restaurant that we both frequent with her, individually. Never together. It seems to be our favorite place to have a weekend breakfast, although between the three of us we've never discussed it. The servers all know my daughters’ order by heart; Toast on the light side, crispy bacon, fruit and a side of cream cheese, with water.

We slid into a booth, me facing them, an image I don’t see very often. Her eyes on her iphone and her ears in our conversation. We had one light-hearted conversation after another with each other, and

yes, your main conversation topic is and always will be about your kids, whether it’s date night as husband and wife, or breakfast as exes.

A discussion about our absent 21 year-old son came up. My ex was already smiling huge about a seven year-old boy inside of a fourteen-year-old memory as he brought it back to life. It was one that I’d never heard. As he told it, his eyes filled with memory and liquid joy. It made his tight lips turn upward and his soft heart sit on his sleeve all wet and soggy. I took in the image innocently, happy to be on the receiving end. I tried to imagine what other memories might be ready to surface if I asked.

A drawback to divorce is that you don’t have that person in your life anymore to reminisce about your shared treasures.

It doesn't matter who comes into either of your lives. They won’t feel the exact same way towards your children as you or your ex do.

In the beginning, divorce brings on foreign emotions;

You've felt sadness before, but not quite like in your divorce. You've felt anger before, but never how it feels through your divorce. You've felt frustration before, but never like in a divorce.

We had our ups and downs, but I still think we had a peaceful divorce compared to most. I attribute it to how we handled ourselves, not how we handled the divorce. It’s easy to become defensive. SO easy. But we stayed on tract with who we were most days, and worried less about what the other was doing. We both had our son and daughters’ best interest at heart, and that goes a bountiful long way in order to be able to deal and then to heal. My kids and I also stayed at our local beach house for the duration of the divorce.

I HIGHLY recommend a beach house (and wine and sunsets and walks on the beach and a lanai that is screened-in because mosquitoes suck, literally) for your divorce. It enabled me to have peaceful memories from some unpeaceful times. I was on “vacation.”

I don’t know if he ever hated me, but I never had a moment where I hated him (that I can remember). And that helped when it was time to become friends again. Not the easy innocent friendship that we had when we first met and began dating. Not the committed friendship that we had while we were married.

But a new friendship that makes everything bearable when you see each other all the time for the rest of your lives because you have children together.

It’s so much easier if you stay true to you, while going through the throes of divorce because

at some point, you want to be able to look them in the eye again and feel okay about the past.

And it’s okay to still be a support to your ex if the opportunity arises. You've shared a life together and cared about one another to great lengths in the past. What's one more time. And don’t stand guard thinking your children need protection from their fathers’ love. Allowing his love to flow to your children freely without standing in the way of it will only benefit your children. Step to the side and let them love them in the way that only they can. Your children deserve it. And you won’t have to do it alone.

 

Katherine A. Rayne is on your side! She is an author, freelance writer for local and online magazines, blogger, preschool teacher of nine genuine hearts and a mom to two delights. Her book, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man) on Amazon.com, is her first published non-fiction. It's a secret weapon to help women fix relationships, including the relationship we have with ourselves. She has been blogging since January, 2014, but has been writing since childhood after discovering the magical rhythms of Dr. Seuss. She founded the Facebook Community www.Facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman and posts #DailyChallenges for women on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BeingAWoman. Her blog resides on her website geared towards empowering women to be their best selves: www.BackToBeingAWoman.com. She began an "I Did It" campaign on her personal website at www.KatherineARayne.com to help women take on and take over their dreams and goals. She utilizes her years and experiences to inspire and encourage women to move forward in their beautiful life, and to leave worry behind them in the dust! You can contact her at Katherine@KatherineARayne.com and sign-up here for her Sunday Newsletter!

 

Don’t Forget to take out the Garbage

Don’t Forget to take out the Garbage                     June 23, 2014

I spend more time than I care to admit on my social websites. And if you asked me to give them up, my whining would begin; “but it’s fuuuunnnn…”  And it is. I think a lot of it has to do with my love of reading and my love of writing. I get to do both here. And I’m learning, too. I've also been inspired more times than I can count, and Pinterest seems like the most beautiful virtual place to vacation. I always sign-off inspired! I've done nothing, but I've felt something.

A little like the feeling that we might get at church or temple. You've sat through the sermon doing nothing, and then you come away with something. Something that wasn't there when you sat down.

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I know we've all sat at tables in restaurants and watched half of the diners there peering into their phones or devices while eating together. It appears we've checked out from socializing, even with family at times. But I have to admit that I love it when people are sharing their finds with the people around them. There have been countless fits of the giggles that I've witnessed as they hold up their phone to those next to them with shock and laughter on their faces. We have become very religious about our social networks. And we can complain or click our tongues at it all that we want, but it’s here to stay. (I hope!) We can also embrace it.

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My own keep-in-touch-with-friends-and-family ratio has gone way up. In the past, I've kept in touch with family and friends that have moved away with my annual holiday newsletter. Once. A. Year. While receiving their years’ worth of news in the same way or in a neatly written Christmas card with good wishes.

Now? I get to see and hear about their holidays and vacations and kids’ birthday parties and job accomplishments and weekend activities and what they had for dinner and what movie they saw (with their review!) and what animal crawled in through their doggie door last night, as it happens(!) with their photos and status updates! Even if I only comment, “Looks like a fun day!” I’m saying more than what I would have said to them during the whole year through. So, YESWAY, I’m quite happy with my social media obsession.

I often “friend” or “join” other social user’s pages that seem inspiring or fun. If we are going to be so religious about our social networking, we might as well make it like church. Make sure it’s inspiring, fun and a positive influence on our lives. Let it move us forward in life, not weigh us down with MORE bad news, bad relations or bad karma. I don’t watch the news on TV. I get email updates from news organizations to get the highlights, but when I sit down and TRY to watch the news (because I feel like I really should), by the third story, I have to turn it off. Especially if my daughter is sitting close by. It’s depressing. Plugging in only positive influences into our day is a better way to live.

The written word is powerful. It's why I can't make myself throw away those 25 beauty magazines that I've yet to read. (They're full of WORDS!) But we can’t let it be more powerful than us. Don’t feel guilty about being addicted, but make rules. Not just for our kids. For ourselves. No social sites until the dishes are done. Or visit while dinner is cooking. (Set a timer, though, if you don’t like burned pot-roast). Promise yourself you'll get three things done around the house first before you get to sit down and troll. Allow yourself only laptop or desktop computer time for social media and save your phone for checking emails only. I know that MY emails are adding up. (Probably because my Facebook page is so much more fun.) Does anyone else have “255 unread emails?” Be honest.

So do plug-in certain times of the day. Make your social networking the "later," not the necessities. And treat your pages religiously. Stop “friending” or “following” anything or anyone that isn't a positive influence on your day. Don’t let another’s negativity bleed into your day. At least not voluntarily. That’s Garbage-In, Garbage-Out. Dispose and Delete. Promise yourself positive posts only. Good-in, Good-out. And recycle the best ones by sharing. And if you have a minute, come visit a place I spend lots of time in. 🙂  www.Facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman.com 🙂 Happy Socializing!

Visit my website and more of my blogs at www.BackToBeingAWoman.com. My book is on Amazon.com, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing the Man). And involves no social website within its pages. 🙂