Category Archives: Life lessons

I’m probably to young to know what I’m talking about in the minds of a few but, I have lived a life full of learning things the hard way. My hopes are to help people who may be on the verge of calling it quits or just need some guidance.

Welcome to: Gift Giving 101

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According to Wikipedia.org gift giving is defined as this:

A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. In many human societies, the act of mutually exchanging money, goods, etc. may contribute to social cohesion. Economists have elaborated the economics of gift-giving into the notion of a gift economy. By extension the term gift can refer to anything that makes the other happier or less sad, especially as a favor, including forgiveness and kindness.

Now that Christmas has vanished before our eyes and Valentines day is creeping upon us, this subject matter has been weighing heavy on my heart.  To me, gift giving is such an important part of life.  In the American culture, there is ALWAYS a reason to give or receive a gift. Anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, thank you’s, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines day, Mothers day, Fathers day, kiss your cousin day (just kidding)…you get the point. We love to celebrate life.

There are several different kinds of gift givers.

One being, the very thoughtful gift giver who puts a lot time into finding or making a gift to make the gift receiver feel very special.

Precious

There is the gift card giver, which isn’t a bad thing, but they probably don’t know what the gift receiver would like, and this is their way of saying, “I care, but have no idea what you want or need”.  When giving a gift card, at least make it creative. Example: I wish I was there to take you to lunch like we use to do on your birthday, so here is $25.00 to do so. Please know, I’m there is spirit. Love, Cassie.

There is the gift giver who buys a gift that they like for themselves, in hopes that the gift receiver will “share” their gift with them.

Dad won't share OUR present.

There is the last minute gift giver, which typically turns into whatever they see first…zero thought goes into the gift.  I feel, the last minute gift giver, is usually feeling pressured into buying something and doesn’t know the person very well.  This usually ends up with the gift receiver confused and sometimes in tears.  I would shy away from being this type of gift giver.  I mean, everyone knows when Christmas is…why must you wait until 11p on December, 24th to go shopping for your wife or husband?

Really honey?

Buying gifts can be such a daunting task.  Especially, when you don’t know the person that well.  You have heard the story over and over again about the terrible ugly sweater that Great Aunt Betty made you for Christmas. While this was very thoughtful, probably took lots of time, and you know so much love went into each and every stitch…it is totally something you would NEVER wear in a million years.  So you put it in the box to go to Goodwill.

Gee... thanks...Great Aunt Betty

You have been invited to a birthday party for a child, and have NO IDEA what to buy a two year old, especially when you don’t have kids of your own. While you are looking at isles full of toys, your head begins to spin. Do I buy something made in China?  Do I get a Batman or Spiderman action figure (because you know it matters)?  How much should I spend on a toy that is going to be trashed in two days or never even used?  Whatever you get, make sure it comes in a big box. They will wind up playing with the box more than the toy anyway.

Look at me mom!

Then, you have the dreaded holidays…this includes Valentines day, which is right around the corner, so that’s why I’m going to focus on this specific holiday.  I just LOVE to hear people complain about Valentines day…it cracks me up!

“It’s a made up holiday for Hallmark to make a gazillion dollars on LOVE.”

“I’m single and miserable”.

“My husband or boyfriend is sooo not romantic, so I would rather pluck my eyelashes out than hear about how everyone else had romantic evenings with their loved ones”.

The day that is suppose to be about love, is spent by many, curled up in a ball on the couch, watching sappy movies, with a box of tissues and chocolates, bawling their eyes out.  This, to me, is so sad.

For the singles, this should be a day that you go out and have a wonderful dinner with all your other single friends and LOVE the fact that you have so many friends who really love you.  You could even have a party at your place and invite all your single friends over for a yummy dinner that you prepared or have a pot luck dinner.  If you don’t have friends, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your life…seek some therapy.  ALERT THE MEDIA:  This is why you’re single.

For the ones who are in relationships…really knowing the person you “love” is what’s important.  Some women truly don’t want flowers or chocolates, but continue to get the same thing every year.  Some men don’t want a pair of silk boxers with hearts all over them, cuddled up to a stuffed bear…really what is a grown man going to do with a stuffed bear? It could be as simple as staying in and writing love letters to each other.  Perhaps you could turn your bathroom and bedroom into a spa. Prepare a meal together or go to dinner. If you have kids, include them in a really fun day and evening…heart shaped pancakes are a great touch or let them help you make a heart shaped cake.

Yummy and fun to make!

This day is about love, it’s that simple.  As cliche as it sounds, every day should be Valentine’s day.  There is so much pressure, shoved down our throats by the media, to create a honeymoon-like atmosphere, that we feel like failures if we don’t spend a ton of money.  All it takes is some thought.  First question, how can I show my lover that they are cherished?  Second question, should I plan the day, or should we do the planning together?  Third question, how much do you want to spend?

*You can use these same questions for anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas.

The best thing to do as a gift receiver is to start a registry (this goes for your kids too).  Wedding’s and baby shower’s have it down!  Most people start a registry and receive everything on their wish list, without duplicates.  Creating a registry can help the gift givers, who aren’t the best at picking out gifts for you, give you what you want or need.  Everyone wins!  Here are a couple of places where you can set up registries.  Obviously, most places do this now, all you have to do is go to their website and then let your friends and family know.  Easy greasy lemon squeezy.

* Some sites will have “wish lists” and some will just have “registries”, either way, set one up.

Target

http://www.target.com/GenericRegistryPortalView?registryType=R&pageName=GenericRegistryPortalView

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/gift-central/ref=cm_gift_button_gc_lp

Williams and Sonoma

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/registry/

The Registry

http://www.theregistryfranklin.com/

Walmart

http://www.walmart.com/wishlist?povid=cat14503-env172199-module101210-lLink3_WL

I hope this has helped the ones who need a little help with gift giving.  Giving a gift should make the recipient feel special and loved.  Simplicity is sometimes the best and most memorable.  Happy Valentine’s day!

I LOVE you!

I forgive you…

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I forgive you…

Those three words are probably the hardest three words that will ever come out of your mouth.  This subject came up the other day when I was talking with a girlfriend.  She asked me to pray for her to find forgiveness in her heart.  At first, I was like, “absolutely, I will do that for you”.  Then, I started really thinking about my own struggle with forgiveness.  She asked for some tips… if I had any in that department.  How was I going to give her advice when I can remember the days that I did not know how to do this very well and suffered greatly because of it?  Forgiveness takes spiritual searching and time, from what I’ve learned.  I am not a master at this at all and would greatly appreciate as much commentary as possible.

Through all the grief, turmoil and strife, I would push all those negative emotions back in a dark corner of my brain, to sit there and brew.  I would hardly speak of them and acted as if nothing ever happened.  Year after year of suppressing the pain, my brain got a little clogged up, as you can imagine.  This is when the pity party started.  In my depression, I  started really thinking about why I was so angry or bitter.  I soon began to realize, I had a past that needed to be dealt with.  I needed to learn how to forgive ex friends, ex boyfriends and myself.

Prayer

I, first, had to forgive myself…this one was very tough.  I hold guilt like you can’t believe. I really started believing that I deserved to be treated a certain way by friends because of the way I acted or treated others in my younger years.  I believed with my whole heart that I was never going to be good enough to have a decent man because it seemed I always picked the wrong one.  I believed that I was never going to be good enough for my parents because I decided that school wasn’t for me and I didn’t have some fancy degree.  These are just a few examples but, why in the world would someone want to carry that weight around?  Well, much later, I learned that these were all lies from the pit of hell.  When I handed my burdens to God, He helped me become strong enough to fight the devil inside me.  Instead of always feeling like I was owed something, I started asking for forgiveness.  This wasn’t just some hocus pocus magic trick, and BAM, I was healed.  It took a lot of time and patience.

Patience was something I had never embraced before.  I was more of the, instant gratification, type gal.  Which is weird, ‘cause I have the patience to teach and love it, but I don’t give “life” the same respect.  I had that, it’s-now-or-never attitude.  I would fall head-over-heels in love with a goober because I didn’t have the patience to really date and get to know someone.  I didn’t like the dating scene, so I would get seriously involved with the first guy that showed any interest…bad idea. When I was able to find patience, I forgave myself.  The next time a man took interest in me, he was a man after my heart…my husband.

With this new found patience, I started writing a list of why I was holding on to so much guilt.  It took months before I really started getting down to the root of the problem.  Once I found the problem(s), I prayed and told myself to…

“Free yourself of these issues.  They no longer can consume you.  You are a changed woman with morals, intelligence and value.  From this day forward, you will treat others the way you want to be treated, even if you get NOTHING in return.  You will choose to love and learn to forgive.  God, is your friend and will help you, all you have to do is ask”.

I do have to remind myself of this “come to Jesus” talk from time to time and that’s ok.  Forgiving yourself is one of the most liberating feelings in the world.  Being free to love wholly literally changes everything.

There may be a few of you who don’t think you have done anything wrong, but being trapped in this angry body, has left you spent.  Forgiving yourself or even asking for forgiveness is just plain ridiculous in your eyes.  You may think that everyone is out to get you and you don’t deserve to be the tortured little soul you are.  PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!  This was me, way back when.  So, I know what it’s like to hide.  Unfortunately, you can’t hide from yourself.  You are the only one who has to live with you every single moment.  You have made up plenty of excuses for why you are so tortured.  STOP PLAYING THE BLAME GAME!  Whew, ok… now that I have exploded on paper…I think you get my drift.  Asking for forgiveness or forgiving yourself is the first piece of the forgiveness puzzle.  I know it seems a bit self serving to “love” yourself but, in order for people to respect/love you, you have to respect/love yourself.  There is nothing sexier than a confident woman.

The second piece of the forgiveness puzzle is learning how to forgive those who hurt you.  In my experience, these three ways have helped me with forgiving others…

You may be able to muster up enough courage to do this face-to-face.  I have found that this is really not a scary task.  It can start out as small talk and then you can briefly apologize for saying the mean things you did when that person put you through the wringer.  I know that is a hard pill to swallow.  In my experience, it ends up with the other person apologizing and all of a sudden you feel ten pounds lighter.

face-to-face

You are still pretty hurt and for whatever reason you like to hold on to the pain and guilt.  You may think that if you ever saw that person, you might stab them or do something even more unpleasant.  My advice is to write a letter to this person.  Tell them how much you dislike them, how disgusted you are with them, and all the ways they hurt you.  Then at the end of the letter, forgive them.  If you have to fake it the first few times that’s ok.  Fold the letter up and put it away.  Read it everyday and change things if you need to.  Then, when you feel like the letter is perfected, either give it to them or burn it.

Writing is powerful...so is burning :0)

You know you can’t face this person.  You can’t even focus enough to write a letter.  You do know that you must let the pain go.  So through prayer you can, in your heart, forgive someone.  The tricky part about this is, you have to, by all means, really let it go.  You can’t just say that you forgive them, then continue to trudge through the muddy path over and over again.  You have to let it go for the sake of yourself, friends and family.

Forgive in your heart

The third and final piece of the forgiveness puzzle is, time.  I know that being an American, we tend to have the attention span of a gnat.  So, we expect relationships to come and go as quickly as materialistic things do.  We find medicine that drowns the immediate pain, rather than dealing with it head on.  So, when we do enter the next friendship or romantically involved relationship, we drop our bags inside the front door for our friends/partners to sort through.  Is that fair?

How many times have you been in a relationship and either you or your partner continually express hurt feelings about something or someone from the past?  How does that make you feel?  How does that make your partner feel, if you’re the one expressing the feelings?  What good does that do for your relationship?  What I’m trying to get at is, you should not bring your baggage into a new relationship and expect the other person to simply understand.  I know that a relationship is two messy people trying to work it all out but, if you are constantly wallowing around in the midsts of your past, it is going to be, nine times out of ten, destructive.  Most of us are very co-dependent so we rush right into another relationship to fill that void.  You have to stop doing that.

Time = Healing.  Healing = Forgiveness

Time heals

Everyday, I search for forgiveness in myself and in others.  Everyday, I get stronger.  Everyday, I become a better me.

Forgiveness is a place of peace.  Life is way too short to live in constant grief.  I know there are so many other situations that I didn’t mention here.  Some situations will definitely be easier to get over than others.  You just have to take the steps to start the process.  From what I’ve learned, no one can do that for you.  I wish you all the luck with learning how to forgive.  I would really love to hear some of your stories and the process that helped you.

Discernment

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On the heels of Toxic Town, we have all experienced one of those characters once or twice.  Women have a very keen sense or gut instinct when it comes to letting someone into our lives.  We are kinda like dogs in that regard.  My sweet little pup, Briley, is a great judge of character.

Briley, judging me ha.ha

Briley, will immediately let you know where you stand in her house.  Sometimes her judgement is wrong but, most of the time she is spot on.  It’s kinda hard to use the word, judgement, when we as Christians should not do such a thing.  Here are my two cents for what it’s worth.  We must use our “good” judgement to protect our families, friends and of course, ourselves.  There are some pretty toxic people out there who are ready to attack and destroy your happy little life to benefit whatever need they’re trying to fulfill.  The toxic people will go after the weaker link for sure and it will happen so quickly, it will leave you dumbfounded.  Then all those feelings of guilt will consume you because you didn’t see the red flags and soon, you will fall into one of those Toxic Town roles.  So, what you need to do is, find that inner Briley and if there is a bad feeling about someone, you must speak up.  There is a nice way to do this and there is the toxic way to do this.

1 Thes 5:21 (Phi) “By all means use your judgment, and hold on to whatever is good.”

The nice way:

Your husband/boyfriend gets a new job.  You have met everyone in the office and you feel respected by his colleagues.  The company hires someone new who automatically gives you a weird vibe.  Super sweet to your face but, weird nevertheless.  You start hearing office gossip that this particular person has proved to be a Floozy Lucy.

Oh Angela

Not that you don’t trust your husband/boyfriend but, that gut instinct is beginning to make you a bit paranoid.  This is where you should immediately state your dissatisfaction to your partner.  If your partner cares enough about your feelings, whether it be an insecure feeling or a plain dislike, he should understand and take proper precautions to make you feel secure.  It can so easily happen the other way around too.  This is why you should state your dissatisfaction in a loving, non-invasive way.  I know when this has happened to me, my insecurity with myself led to a very accusing fight.  My poor husband had done nothing wrong and I was accusing him of looking the other direction.  Fear based fights are such a waste of time.  So the nice way is, to state your opinion immediately before the toxicity takes over you and your partner.  If you feel that you will be too emotional when explaining this concern, then write it down and give it to him.  If you feel like he will be dismissive, then write it down and tell him how important this is to you and your relationship.  Ask him to pray with you about the situation.

1 Cor 4:5 (Phi) “The moral of this is that we should make NO hasty or premature judgments.”

The toxic way:

Same scenario but, this time you take your gut instinct and turn into fear.  Fear, will drive you straight to toxic town.  You don’t say anything because you feel as if you will be nagging or psycho.  Your stomach is constantly turning because your instincts are correct but, you would rather suppress them than express them.  Here comes Bitter Betty and the rest is history.  Men don’t understand the emotional roller coster and after they are accused harshly over and over again they will either stop listening to the brutal words coming out of your mouth, leave, or cross the line.  Then who wins?  Definitely not your relationship.

Women tend to have that natural intuition that I like to call Discernment.  Discernment is the power to see what is not evident to the average mind.  This is a God-given gift and should be used accordingly.  This is not to be confused with criticism.  Criticism, unless asked for, makes you look and sound self-righteous.

John 7:24 (Phi) “You must not judge by the appearance of things but by the reality!”

Trust your gut, and leave the rest up to God.  Like Briley, sometimes your gut instincts will be wrong.  That’s why it’s very important to not burn bridges by your criticism.

“We must be careful not to harm.  Love must be our motivation, or it will be false discernment.  Our motivation will reveal if our discernment is counterfeit or genuine.” by Joe Contaldi Ministries.  I think that pretty much sums it up.

Bitter Betty, Gossip Garnet and Bible-Beating Bonnie tend to not use discernment.  They like to use their criticism and pretend they are using their discernment.

An example of this is:

Bitter Betty and Bible-Beating Bonnie are having lunch with Gossip Garnet.

Bible-Beating Bonnie, Gossip Garnet and Bitter Betty.

When a  woman walks in to the restaurant that seems a little disheveled and is having a hard time keeping herself together for whatever reason.

Disheveled Lady

Gossip Garnet, in her I’m-too-good- for-you attitude, scoffs at the woman.  Bitter Betty and Bible-Beating Bonnie are eager to join in on Gossip Garnet’s disdain.  “How could anyone go out in public like that,” snips Bitter Betty.

“I don’t know, her husband probably is sleeping with his secretary,” the confident Gossip Garnet replies.

“Bless her heart, she must not be living a very Christian life,” says Bible-Beating Bonnie.

The three spend the next few minutes laughing and coming up with all the scenarios that this poor woman maybe going through.  The woman unfortunately  sits next to them, texting frantically on her phone with big tears in her eyes.  As the three Toxic Town Queens (a.k.a. T.T. Queens) talk smack about this poor woman, who can’t even defend herself, she drops her phone on the ground shattering it.  The T.T. Queens start laughing uncontrollably trying not to look at the poor soul next to them.  As the three get up to leave, after stiffing the waitress, Bible-Beating Bonnie decides she is going to give the lady a little advice.  Bible-Beating Bonnie reaches in her tattered purse and pulls out a gospel tract and lays it in front of the woman, smiles and says, “I will be praying for you”.

Some of you may think, whats wrong with that.  The T.T. Queens clearly knew this woman was in need of a friendly gesture yet, they talked smack and decided to pass judgment on her.  How could this have been different?  If the T.T. Queens were stripped of their crowns, they would have invited her over to their table to love her and cheer her up.  If that would have seemed uncomfortable, they would have helped her pick up her smashed phone off the ground.  If that was to much to handle, then maybe they would have at least given a genuine smile and said hello.

Smile :0)

In an earlier post, I talk about small acts of kindness.  These small acts of kindness don’t mean that you have to spend money.  It means be the sweet, gentle person God intended you to be.  We have God that judges us and that should be enough judgment for anyone.  We all need to step back and realize we are all trying to do our best with what we have.  We, however, are the only ones who can choose to love or hate.  I choose to love.  My life hasn’t always been like this though.  When I was stuck in Toxic Town, I too, was a Queen.  Not a very soul fulfilling role to take on, believe me.  My challenge to you is, make eye contact with everyone you come in contact with.  Smile and if there is an opportunity to open a door, help someone to their car with their groceries, surprise someone with bake goods, or give a good book that you have already read to someone, take that opportunity to give back.  Oh, and one more thing…unless, you have something good to say about a stranger, keep your comments to yourself.

When in doubt, always ask yourself, am I being discerning, judgmental, or critical?  If it’s either of the last two, then sit back and put yourself in their shoes.  We have become a world that sits behind our electronic devices to communicate, so therefore, have lost the very communication skills to make all of this happen.  Let’s slow this trend down and reach out to our neighbor, with love and a smile.

Toxic Town

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What do Negative Nancy, Bible-Beating Bonnie, Hypochondriac Holly, Debbie Downer, Floozy Lucy, Gripey Grace, Bitter Betty and Gossip Garnet have in common?

They all live in Toxic Town.

How many of you are sick and tired of being sick and tired?  As women, we all fall short at times and decide to take on one of these characters.  One character will lead to another, if you decide to live in Toxic Town.  Talk about multiple personalities.  How does this move to Toxic Town start?  Well, it is very simple…hurt feelings, wounded hearts, and a disturbed head.  Here is the playbill…

Negative Nancy:  Played by a spoiled brat, who doesn’t play well with others.

Negative Nancy

I know I have played Negative Nancy before.  It’s easy to get down on yourself and not see all the blessings you do have.  However, you start wearing down your friends and family and, eventually, you will look around and no one will be there to listen to you.  People can’t stand to be around negativity.  Why?  Because it’s toxic.  Of course there are going to be times where you need to vent and nothing positive will come out of your mouth.  However, you have to stop the train after the whistle blows.  I know WAY to many people who are trapped in this character.  It’s easy to feel like you are “owed” something but, get a grip…you’re not.

Bible-Beating Bonnie:  Played by a divorced woman who uses her religion to suppress

others happiness in order for her to feel good about her own bad

decisions.

Bible Beating Bonnie

I have never experienced this until I moved to Tennessee.  I guess being in the Bible belt, people use their religion as a weapon of mass destruction.  This is the very thing I can’t stand about modern Christianity.

How many times have you heard, “Lead by Example”?  I really don’t know why this concept is so hard for people to grasp.  If you are going to “pray” for someone, be serious about that.  Don’t be conniving, judgmental and manipulative, with that look in your eye, and then turn around and say, “I need to pray for you”.  It’s annoying and makes you a hypocrite.  The right way to handle a really rough situation is to seriously pray about it and leave everyone else alone until you are happy to leave Toxic Town.

Hypochondriac Holly:  Played by a very insecure girl, who likes to play the sympathy

card, to feel love or affection that she wouldn’t get otherwise.

Hypochondriac Holly

I don’t understand how or why this happens.  I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or a legitimate disease.  In my opinion, I think it’s mostly a made up disease, kinda like being a sex addict.  I have met many people, when asked how they are doing, they start off by telling me every single ailment they possess.  Then, if you’re in the middle of a conversation and there is that awkward silence, all of a sudden, the Hypo starts spouting off about how sick they feel.  If you are this person, have you ever read the fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”?  If you are that sick, please go seek a Doctors opinion.

I’m all about helping a friend or family member who is ill.  I’m all about helping a friend or family member who is a hypochondriac.  I’m just going to refer them to the best shrink I know.  If you have to play the sympathy card to feel love, then please get some therapy.  It really is the best money you will ever spend on yourself and you will soon feel well enough to leave Toxic Town.  Trust me, if you are popping pills left and right for whatever sickness you think you have, imagine all the money you will save when you are healed.

Debbie Downer:  Played by a very lonely lady who can’t seem to find the fun in life.

Debbie Downer

I’m sure we have all played this character once or twice.  When depression has it’s way with you, there is no upside to anything.  In Debbie Downer’s home in Toxic Town, grey does matter.

Friends will want to take you out but, you make up a thousand excuses as to why you can’t go.  You have been discussing your desire to get in shape but, when it comes down to someone encouraging you, you bail or don’t return calls.  You are falling asleep at work because at night your mind is racing the Daytona 500.  You may be even missing work because all you want to do is sleep.  If you find yourself falling victim to Debbie Downer, you must act immediately.  She will consume you and destroy your relationships.  It will take a lot of time to mend the friendships that were there for you when you were at your worst, if you keep shoving them away.  Get help is my first piece of advice and if you don’t have the means to do that, get out of your house, get some sun, go have coffee with that friend you have blown off, have a get together at your house, write a song, or sit down and journal.  These are things that have helped me with my constant battle with Debbie Downer.  She can be beat, you just have to make that decision.

Floozy Lucy:  Played by Debbie Downers sister who is also very insecure.  She has little

respect for herself and thinks she is filling a void by spreading her legs.

Which, in turn, ends with depression, at times a fatherless child, and a gift

that keeps on giving…an STD.

Floozy Lucy

I have witnessed this particular character throughout my life.  Smart, beautiful women who have zero respect for their bodies, let alone their hearts and souls.  It’s disturbing to me and very, very sad.  Most of the women I know who are like this, were raised in loving families who taught them right from wrong.  So where and why does the promiscuity start?  I know from my college experience, that being promiscuous is the thing to do.  If you aren’t in an “exclusive” relationship, sex is casual.  Sex is as casual as giving someone your number.  To be quite honest, sex is more casual than giving your number to someone because most of the time you don’t even remember his name.  It’s really a pandemic that needs to slow it’s roll.  Men wonder why women are such crazy psycho’s…Oh, I don’t know maybe the insane mind games they play with a woman’s emotions.  It’s rude, disgusting and your mother taught you better than that.

If you have had the unfortunate experience of playing this character, I hope you got the hell out of Toxic Town.  There is NO upside to Floozy Lucy.  Once you have this reputation, men will begin to treat you badly because they know you have little respect for yourself, so they, in return, won’t have respect for you.  You will be used, abused and left out to dry without a thank you card.  Know that you are worth more than a one night stand.  You are valuable to someone.  Protect your love box and start loving yourself.

Gripey Grace:  Played by a wealthy woman who has everything but, hides behind her

attorney’s and sue’s everyone for any little issue that doesn’t go her

way.

Gripey Grace

Being that I married Gary, I have been around a ton of affluent people.  Celebrities who you would think would be extremely happy with their mansions, cars, perfect kids and perfect lives.  It’s so disheartening when I hear these “affluent” women constantly complaining about their petty little problems and how they run around on their husbands with the pool boy.  When they should be down on their knees thanking God everyday for their plush lives they’ve been graciously given.

They sure like to show up in their gorgeous gowns and donate a lot of money at fancy charity wine dinners yet, snub the waitress when she takes their order and then complains about how everything is ALL wrong. Money and arrogance is what makes Gripey Grace stay in Toxic Town.  On the other hand, I do know lots and lots of wonderful wealthy folk that are so very generous and normal.  There are just the few who really give the wealthy a bad rap.  I’m totally picking on one group right now but, it’s the best example of Gripey Grace.  There are so many women who have amazing lives and choose to wake up every morning ready to bitch and complain about whatever doesn’t go their way…STOP IT!  Go help someone instead of breaking them down.  Call me crazy but, maybe even smile at your neighbor or hold a door for someone.  It’s small acts of kindness that are remembered.

Bitter Betty:  Played by a used and abused woman who can’t find room for joy anywhere

in her life.

Bitter Betty

I have played this character too.  After my failed relationships, I became Bitter Betty.  I LOVED my stay in Toxic Town for about a year.  I was zero fun to be around and pushed my bitterness on my sweet friends who were trying to help me.  It was awful!  Luckily, I was smart enough to see my destruction and knew Betty had to die.  I see a lot of this after divorces or long term relationships.  Some choose to stay Bitter Betty and some choose to stop the pity party.  It’s ok to grieve after the end of a marriage/relationship and sure you’re going to go through every emotion possible.  There is a time for healing and then you must move on.  Leave your baggage at the door of any new relationship you enter.  It is not fair for the next person to be trampled on by your bitterness.  If you can’t move on then it’s not time for you to be in a relationship.

Gossip Garnet:  She is BFF’s with Bible-Beating Bonnie, Gripey Grace and Bitter Betty.

She is very kind to your face but, trashes you the minute you walk

away.  She lacks the personality to be a leader so therefore, has

nothing better to do than talk smack.

Gossip Garnet

So many girls get sucked into the abyss of the Gossip Garnet character.  It makes them feel better to talk trash about someone who may be prettier, smarter or more outgoing than them.  Most of the time it’s because they lack a leadership quality and gossiping  makes them feel like they have the upper hand in a sick, twisted way.  Usually, Gossip Garnet doesn’t even really have concrete evidence of the rumors she spreads.  Rumors can really hurt someones reputation for no reason at all.  What Gossip Garnet doesn’t know is that karma is not kind to nasty mouthed ladies.  This very thing will keep Gossip Garnet in Toxic Town indefinitely if she can’t turn the corner.

I hope that if you happen to fall into one of these roles, you will be strong enough to pack the U-Haul and drive like a bat out of hell out of Toxic Town.  You can drop the alter-ego and return to normal…it is totally up to you.  Be nice to people, life is way to short to waste one more minute on anxiety and the blame game.  I know I have wasted a lot of time but, I’m doing my best to be what God intended me to be…a nice, pleasant human with love for other humans.