Erica L Hernandez

writing and blog about grief and loss, death and beyond, child loss, mood management, bipolar education, and domestic violence, and finding spiritual moments in a crisis.

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Mood Management, Bipolar Disorder natural treatment, routines

Please remember that this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional help.  If you have a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder, or you think you might, please seek professional help in person!

Once you have begun working with a therapist or doctor, this site can be added support.

When working to manage mood, particularly bipolar disorder, routine matters a lot.  It helps to create a routine that allows you to go to bed around the same time and get up around the same time.  In previous blogs I have talked about the importance of sleeping 7-9 hours per night.  Feel free to read that blog, now, for a discussion of why it is important to sleep about 8 hours per night.

Part of getting a good night’s sleep, is working on your evening routine.  It is helpful to get enough darkness, so be sure to read the blog on dark therapy and bipolar disorder.  It is also important, during high energy periods, to develop a calm evening routine.  This means visiting with only family or perhaps one friend.  When one is struggling with high energy, ie on the manicy end of the spectrum, there is a lot of stimulation inside the body.  With all that inner stimulation, the body cannot tolerate a lot of stimulation out of the body.  So, it is important to minimize numbers of people, lights, sounds, and stabilize with comfortable temperatures.  It is important to do calming activities, like meditation, hot baths or showers, listen to calm music, and do calm hobbies.  Calm hobbies might include handwork, journaling, or reading, activities which can be done sitting down.

If you ever wake up in the middle of the night, or before achieving the ideal number of sleep hours, it is very important to do calm activities which may enable you to return to sleep within an hour or so.  I highly recommend looking at the blog on dark therapy if this is an issue for you.  Then I recommend trying meditation.  If meditation doesn’t work within twenty to thirty minutes, it is a good idea to leave the bed, and choose soothing activities for thirty to sixty minutes before returning to the bed for another round of meditation.

It is also really important to keep televisions and other screen devices out of your bedroom along with anything that has light.  Research has shown that having nightlights or light entering through a window can interfere with anyone’s sleep.  So a good set of black out curtains is also a very good idea.

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Spirits rest, Life-force energy renewal

Do you sense you’re experiencing synchronistic events, rather than coincidences? Do you talk to your loved ones after they’ve passed?   I have had two loved ones die in the last three years and I have learned that they are very available to communicate with while no longer in the physical body.

Over two years ago my son died.  He was only thirty years old, was in recovery from drug addiction, and struggling with debilitating depressions.  He had had a spiritual awakening at Serenity Lane and had continued following his spiritual path after that.  In a debilitating depression, he overdosed, and I lost my beloved son.

It wasn’t more than a month after he died that he began communicating with me from beyond the veil and he has been available to me on a daily basis since then.  You may have read other posts about some of the miraculous experiences he has shared with me.

Two months ago, my father died.  He had lived his life with great integrity, but as an atheist, with no belief in the afterlife.  He was convinced the end was the end.  He believed that he would decompose into dirt and worms, with no belief in a soul.  He had also had 15 years of chronic illness with Alzheimer’s disease.

When he died, he was initially unresponsive from the spirit world.  My son, Shawheen, told me, “Give him time, Mom, he’s adjusting.”

I began talking to him, telling him what happened, how he should notice that he still lives, he just isn’t physical anymore, that we can still communicate, even though I am here in the physical world and he is in the spirit world.  Each time I reached out to him and sensed confusion, I explained the best I could about the ending of his physical life and the continuance of his spiritual life.

For a while I got nothing, then I seemed to get grunts, then confusion, and over the weeks, gradually he seemed more aware.  Eventually after 6-8 weeks I sensed something like an awakening.  It was like he was suddenly alert and able to respond.  He seemed younger, bouncy, jolly and very receptive.  It was a 180-degree change from his confused, unresponsive state from before.

In consultation with a psychic, I was informed that when physical bodies are very ill, it can take them a while to finish resting.  During their rest period, just after physical death, they may be unresponsive, as if in a sleep.  During this time, the angels are returning the depleted life-force energy to the spiritual body.  While the physical body ages and becomes ill, the life-force energy is depleted and needs to be returned or reinforced.  She explained that my communications with my father likely helped him somehow.  Maybe in some way I was helping the angels revive his life-force energy.  It is a beautiful idea, anyway, that while here in the physical plane, we can actually help our spirit loved ones!

Natural Bipolar Disorder treatment, sleep

This blog is not a substitute for therapy.  If you think you might have a Bipolar Spectrum disorder, it is my recommendation that you seek treatment right away.

In my last blog on Bipolar disorder, I shared information on dark therapy, an innovative new approach to the treatment of Bipolar disorder.  Dark therapy stems from the idea that we all operate on circadian rhythms.

Most researchers agree that the majority of the population needs 7-9 hours of sleep.  If you have a Bipolar spectrum disorder, moods are characterized by changes in these numbers of sleep.  People with Mania or Hypomania will likely sleep significantly less than that, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or healthy.  In Depression, those numbers may increase or decrease.

From my perspective, the first step to treating someone with a mood disorder is to help them increase their awareness of their symptoms.  A tracking device is used on a daily basis to help people become more aware of which symptoms they experience, and which activities reduce those symptoms.

In the process of reviewing those symptoms, we pay special attention to sleep and explore sleep hygiene.  When sleep is an issue around moods, it is important to get clear with ourselves, how dark our bedroom is, how calming are our activities before sleeping, and what activities we do during the day that help us sleep or impair our sleep.

At that point we have a choice.  If we want to feel better, we’ll adjust those things as needed so sleep gets easier.  As it gets easier and more balanced, our mood ought to stabilize and the symptoms will likely decrease.

A hot shower or bath, meditation, journaling, and warm milk or herb tea are all good activities before going to sleep.  Sitting still doing an art project can be good as well, something focused like knitting, crocheting, carving, or cross stitch are good examples.  When writing in a journal, focusing on negative experiences during the day will need to be balanced by processing the positive sides of things for some people to facilitate going to sleep.  Intensified emotions may interfere with going to sleep so it is important to consider this when choosing what to write, read, listen to or talk about before going to sleep.

There is a large array of supplements to aide sleep.  If you feel that you need those or prefer them over other options, I would encourage you to reach out to a naturopath, acupuncturist, or herbalist to explore your choices.

Erica Freeman, LCSW

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Pennies from heaven and spirit guidance

Do you ever wonder if your spirit guides or guardian angels are there for you when life gets hard?  I used to wonder about that but ever since my son died two and a half years ago, I have known that it is true.  I know they’re there, that he is there, supporting me and guiding me through life’s challenges.  If you have read my previous blogs, you have experienced my stories about how my son stays close to me, supporting me, teasing me, and guiding me through life’s difficult times.

In early January my father went to the hospital with kidney problems and dehydration.  He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for about 14 years, yet over the recent year or two, there had been some clear and steady decline, sleeping more, eating less, and then in the last few months, no longer telling us his stories over and over again.

I checked in on my parents regularly several times a week and had hired a dear family friend to look after him five days a week so my mother wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed.  She and my mother kept me up to date with new developments.

My father came home from the hospital improved, but within a week he was declining again, falling more frequently, sleeping a lot, and awake very little with a very narrow interest in eating (lots of sweets!).

On Thursday, January 18, I found a penny by my car.  On Friday, January 19, I found a penny in a parking lot between my car and the yogurt shop.  On Saturday, January 20, I found a penny in the hospital parking lot (more on that later) and on Sunday, January 21, I found a penny outside my parent’s house.  Then on Monday, January 22, I found a penny near my office.  That’s a lot of pennies in a row!  I knew they were Pennies from Heaven, notes from my guides, my son, letting me know they’re there with me, nearby, watching over me.  When it started, I didn’t know why.

Very early Saturday morning (20th) I was awakened by my cell phone ringing at 1:00 am.  I didn’t get up, but then my house phone was ringing and that was earie, I just knew it was about my parents.  I checked the caller ID but it was unfamiliar.  I could not sleep.  I felt certain it was about my parents yet I didn’t recognize the phone number.

At 2:00 am, the hospital called.  I answered that call.  They reported that my father had fallen and my mother had called the ambulance.  They believed it was the EMTs who had called the previous time.  They had taken him to the hospital.  I asked why they had taken him to the hospital and if they were planning to keep him.  I knew he didn’t want to be there.  We had recently met with a social worker and completed a POLST form, a document where he was able to state in advance: “I don’t want to be taken to the hospital.  I don’t want to be resuscitated.  I don’t want any care except for comfort.”  At 2:00 a.m. I wasn’t thinking about that specific form, but I knew he didn’t want to be in the hospital.  They said they would only keep him if he had a broken bone.

The next morning, I called the hospital.  They confirmed that he didn’t have any broken bones but they were keeping him due to his intense pain.  I told them they had discharged him just three weeks ago in pain and I didn’t think it was necessary to keep him.  They left a message for the doctor.  Fortunately, by the time I spoke to the doctor, I remembered the POLST form, and although it had not been completely processed, I was able to tell the doctor what it said and he was respectful.  He would discharge him by 2:00 p.m.

At 2:00 p.m., however, the nurse didn’t want to discharge him due to his pain.  I had to advocate for his desires, which he could no longer verbalize.  He wasn’t making any sense at all.  He was confused about who I was, which had never happened before.  It took an hour to convince the nurse, get him pain meds, and try to move him to a wheel chair.  It was impossible.  On 10mg of morphine in addition to Ativan, he was still in too much pain to move.  I continued to advocate, “there must be a way to get him moved”.  Finally, she acknowledged that an ambulance could come and take him home.

Another hour passed, and two strapping young men lifted his sheet and slid him, almost effortlessly, onto a stretcher.  He moaned and then was quiet.  They rolled him out to the ambulance with me holding his hand.  He slept.  He no longer seemed to be in pain at all!  It was remarkable.  As soon as he was out of the hospital, he felt much better.

We got him home and into bed with a few minor moans.  After that, he had to be turned to avoid bed sores, and could have Morphine as frequently as every hour, yet he didn’t need it that much.  He just wasn’t in that much pain.  I got a crash course on caring for the bedridden from the hospice nurse.  Upon discharge he was referred to hospice.  He was in renal failure and the nurse assured me it wouldn’t be long, a few weeks maybe, and he wouldn’t suffer much.  “If I could choose how to die,” she said, “I’d die this way.”

I stayed all day, and went home to sleep, returning the next day.  My mother was in early stage dementia and I knew she wouldn’t remember what to do.  The caregiver wasn’t available on the weekend and I wanted to be there.  I wanted to be with him as much as I could since I knew it wouldn’t be long.  Sunday, I stayed the whole day again and the caregiver agreed to come for the night.  I left at 7:30 p.m. dead tired and went straight to sleep.  My father still hadn’t awakened and wasn’t eating or drinking.  At 9:30p.m., she called, he had died, so quickly!

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that there had been pennies each of three days before he died, around his hospitalization, the all-day care, the day he died, and the day after.  My guides and my son had been letting me know they were there, supporting me, guiding me, letting me know I was on the right track advocating for him to come home, all of it.

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Spirit messages, computer madness

If you read my last blog, you read about the disappearance of my computer and how it reappeared later in my bed, where I definitely hadn’t put it.

It was only days later that my daughter asked if she could use the computer to look up a recipe.  She wanted to make cookies and you know how the new generation is: they don’t look things up in books, they use the computer!  This young girl reads books like other kids eat jelly beans, she gobbles them up two to five a day sometimes.  Still when it comes time to look something up, she wants a computer.

Sometime later in the evening when most of the cookies were gone, I was getting ready for the next day of work and I went looking for my computer and it was gone.  There was no sign of it on the counter in the kitchen where she had used it and it wasn’t on the desk where I charge it either.

“Gabriela, what did you do with my computer?”  I asked her.  She didn’t answer.  Do your preadolescent kids answer you the first time?  I tried to get her attention, fruitlessly, and then went looking for her.  I found her on her bed, buried in a book and I tapped her on the shoulder to distract her from the book and asked again.

“It should be on the counter.”  She assured me.

I asked her to come help me look for it and once again, we searched the house to no avail.  Despite my experience a few days ago, I searched everywhere and when I didn’t find it, I got stressed out about what I was going to do at work the next day without it.

When I woke up the next morning, my computer was on the computer desk, right where it belonged.  I knew it was Shawheen’s work, teasing me with the missing computer.

That day when I got home, I decided I would leave my computer in my briefcase.  I wouldn’t use it at all, then maybe it wouldn’t disappear and stress me out!  If Shawheen’s goal was for me to use my computer less, then this theory might have been sound.

Later my son wanted that computer to write an essay, so once again it came out, but this time I insisted it go right back into my briefcase.

Again, I’m getting ready for work and getting everything ready.  I check my briefcase just to make sure that my computer is there.  It’s NOT!  I can’t believe it’s not there.  Did it really go back?  I get my son to help me look for the computer.  We’re searching from room to room, all over the house.

After a while, my daughter appears, wanting something from me.  “I can’t help you right now, we’re looking for my computer.”  I tell her, quite seriously.

“Is it lost again?  Mom!  It’ll be back in the morning.  He always gives it back!  Why are you worried about it?”  She was so matter-of-fact.  She had no doubt in her mind that Shawheen had taken my computer once again and I would get it back in the morning.

“You’re right.” I told her.  “He gives it back every time.”  I let it go with peace and confidence.

The next morning, it was right on the computer desk as expected, ready to load up in my briefcase.  “Listen, Shawheen, could you please find some other way to get my attention, besides my computer?  This is a pain.  I like the coins much better!”  I let him know I don’t like it when he takes things, even if he does give them back!!

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Spirit pranks, things missing and reappearing

Yesterday, I brought my computer home in my briefcase just like any other day.  This morning it was gone.  I looked everywhere for it and decided perhaps I had left it at work, although I didn’t really think so.  I remember going to the bathroom before I left for work to brush my hair and noticing that my husband hadn’t made his side of the bed.  I was aware of the empty space where he sleeps.  It was an unusual morning because generally I take the kids to school and my husband leaves later than me.  This morning he took the kids to school so I had a quiet house.

When I arrived at work, there was no computer.  I got a little stressed about it and then decided that one of my kids had probably snuck off to their room with it and didn’t dare tell me.

When I got home, I checked each kid’s room, nothing.  I looked in my bedroom, even under the bed, nothing.  I even looked in the bathroom!  I doubt I have ever used it there, but I looked anyway.  I looked under the furniture in the living room.  I recruited my kids to look.  I began to get frantic since all my work stuff is on the computer, my book, half way into the second draft is there, not to mention other important documents.  It also contains my work files which include some that are HIPPAA protected.  Losing the computer could be a problem for my licensure.  I was getting loud with worry.  I went back to my bedroom and something told me to open my husband’s side of the bed.  Perhaps subconsciously I remembered that it hadn’t been made this morning, yet it was neatly made now…  Lo and behold, there was my computer IN OUR BED!

I had begun to wonder if Shawheen, my deceased son, took the computer and now it was obvious.  “Thanks, Shawheen!”  I took the computer to the desk where I charge it.  I still didn’t have the charger cable and it wasn’t there.  I wasn’t concerned since I could replace it if I had to.

A little after dinner, my daughter came to find me in the bedroom. “I think your charger cable is on the computer desk.”  She said, casually.

“But I was just there putting the computer away and it wasn’t there.  Are you sure it’s not the other one?”

“Well, I don’t think so…”

I went to check.  I figured she got it mixed up with the other computer, but when I got there, my computer was at an angle like there was something under it.  My other computer was plugged in to its charger.  When I lifted up my computer, there was its charger, underneath it.  There was no way I could have missed it before.

Thanks, Shawheen!’ I thought to myself.  ‘I got the message!  You want me to get off my computer and do something else!’  So, that evening I crocheted peacefully!  I realized later he also didn’t want his pranks to cause my any anguish.

Spirit gifts, miraculous appearances

I took some time off during the winter break, to spend with my children, relax, and get away to nature.  I have some vitamins I take regularly because they help me sleep, and I realized I was running low on them and should order more, but I was busy preparing the big meal for Christmas, and didn’t do it.  I remember taking the last one and thinking, ‘I’ve got to order more of these.’ And still didn’t do it.

Then, I was packing to go stay in a cabin for a few days where we could play in the snow, go cross country skiing, and build snowmen.  I told myself I would stop at Bi-mart on the way out of town and buy some there.
I got half way to the snow and realized I hadn’t stopped to buy them.   I then told myself I would ask my son, who was coming to join us in the snow, to pick some up on the way.

I slept poorly that night in the snow.  I had forgotten a second vitamin and managed to remember to ask him to bring the second one, but still forgot to ask him to buy the first one.  I felt like kicking myself when he arrived and I realized I hadn’t asked him to stop and buy that vitamin.  I wouldn’t be able to order any while I was gone because the internet was too weak out there.  We could text, but no internet, and no phone calls.

We had a great time out in the snow, even with less sleep than usual.  It was rustic, quiet, and alive with nature sounds.  Out back was the creek, nearly a river, gurgling as it raced by.  In front and to the sides were trees and snow, the nearest neighbors probably a hundred yards away at least.

We are always glad to get home again, to our beds, to our animals, and to our comforts, though.  I was putting everything away, thinking that right afterwards I would order vitamins, when, lo and behold, I found a bottle of the vitamins.  They hadn’t been there when I left and they were not the brand I regularly ordered.  They were not even the size I usually ordered.  This was a better quality, more expensive brand, with fewer gel-caps to the bottle.  My husband had gone to L.A. and hadn’t returned yet and no one had been staying in the house while we were gone.  The only person I could think of who could have provided me with the vitamin I had been thinking about, was the one person I love who does not exist in the physical world, my deceased son.  He has given me so many gifts.

When I thought of him, and thanked him for the vitamins, I saw an image of him in my mind’s eye, with this seventeenth century outfit on.  He touches his cap, bows his head slightly, and puts his heal forward.  It’s a sort of an ‘at your service’ pose…

Spirit pranks, missing items, things reappearing

Yesterday, I brought my computer home in my briefcase just like any other day.

This morning it was gone.  I looked everywhere for it and decided perhaps I had left it at work, although I didn’t really think so.  I remember going to the bathroom before I left for work to brush my hair and noticing that my husband hadn’t made his side of the bed.  I was aware of the empty space where he sleeps.  It was an unusual morning because generally I take the kids to school and my husband leaves later than me.  This morning he took the kids to school so I a quiet house.

When I arrived at work, there was no computer.  I got a little stressed about it and then decided that one of my kids had probably snuck off to their room with it and didn’t dare tell me.

When I got home, I checked each kid’s room, nothing.  I looked in my bedroom, even under the bed, nothing.  I even looked in the bathroom!  I doubt I have ever used it there, but I looked anyway.  I looked under the furniture in the living room.  I recruited my kids to look.  I began to get frantic since all my work stuff is on the computer, my book, half way into the second draft is there, not to mention other important documents.  It also contains my work files which include some that are HIPPAA protected.  Losing the computer could be a problem for my licensure.  I was getting loud with worry.  I went back to my bedroom and something made me open my husband’s side of the bed.  Perhaps subconsciously I realized that it hadn’t been made this morning.  Lo and behold, there was my computer IN OUR BED!

I had begun to wonder if Shawheen, my deceased son, took the computer and now it was obvious.  “Thanks, Shawheen!”  I took the computer to the desk where I charge it.  I still didn’t have the charger cable and it wasn’t there.  I wasn’t concerned since I could replace it if I had to.

A little after dinner, my daughter came to find me in the bedroom.

“I think your charger cable is on the computer desk.”  She said,casually.

“But I was just there putting the computer away and it wasn’t there.  Are you sure it’s not the other one?”

“Well, I don’t think so…”

I went to check.  I figured she got it mixed up with the other computer, but when I got there, my computer was at an angle like there was something under it.  My other computer was plugged in to its charger.  When I lifted up my computer, there was its charger, underneath it.  There was no way I could have missed it before.

Thanks, Shawheen!’ I thought to myself.  ‘I got the message!  You want me to get off my computer and do something else!’  So, that evening I crocheted peacefully!  I realized later he also didn’t want his pranks to cause my any anguish.

Talking to ghosts

How many of you, out there, fear ghosts?  How many have negative thoughts or feelings when the word: ghost, pops up?  I wonder what the difference is between a ghost, and an angel?  Isn’t a ghost just a spirit, which is tied to the physical plane for some reason?  Aren’t they tied here, to the grief of a loved one, or by their lack of knowledge of a better place?  Isn’t an angel just a spirit which is aware of their ‘spirit-ness’?  Isn’t an angel just a spirit which has passed on, to the spiritual plane?

With the Winter holiday behind us, and having enjoyed mine immensely, I wonder how many of you out there, enjoyed yours?  Did any of you experience any miracles or anything that amazed you?  I would like to share part of my holiday with you, the part which so beautifully amazed me.

I went with my children to a cabin in the snow, one with no electricity and no plumbing, to rough it.  When we arrived, it was very cold, well below zero, and quite possibly as cold indoors.  I got a fire going in the wood stove and, while we skied and I ran in, then out to keep that fire going, it gradually warmed up.

I’ve never had to keep a fire going during the night,

and discovered around two a.m. that I didn’t have the knowledge to do that.  It was out and I had to start it again.  “Mommy…” While I was building the fire, I heard a crisp, childlike voice.  I looked for my daughter, thinking it was her, and realized she was sound asleep, in the wrong direction, and that she is older than the voice sounded.

Once I was back in my sleeping bag, snuggled in and getting warm, I heard three, very clear, musical notes, as if being played on a piano.  It might have been one measure.  Of course, there was no piano in the cabin, nor was anyone else awake.

I figured it had to be a ghost.  ‘That’s beautiful, thank you!  I am glad to have your company!’ I thought out to whatever it was.

I sensed a great joy in return.  ‘No one ever pays attention to me when I play!’ I thought I sensed in response.

I tried to relax but I was wide awake with this new experience.  After a while I heard more music, two measures maybe.  It was very peaceful, relaxing music.  ‘That’s lovely!’  I thought out again.

‘Maybe I’ll play some more!’ I sensed in response.  I sensed a feminine energy, young and joyful.  She didn’t play right away.  I meditated and got out of my bag to add more wood to the fire.

I stayed awake for a while.  I got the fire roaring, yet I continued to feel wide awake.

Around five a.m., I had almost given up going back to sleep, yet I decided to meditate one more time.  The music started again.  It repeated over and over again, lulling me back to sleep.

I woke briefly at seven a.m., hearing it again briefly, then sleeping again.

During the night, I texted a friend of mine who I know works nights and wouldn’t be disturbed.  He is a medium and I asked him if he could reach out to this spirit.  He shared that she had had some kind of accident, probably in the 30’s or 40’s.

During the day, I tried to reach out to her.  She told me her name is Jeannie, she’s five, almost six.  ‘I am NOT dead!!’ she insisted.  She told me she came with her parents to look at the land here so they could build a house, but after she fell in the river, they decided not to buy.  I tried to talk to her about a less physical area where she could go and find her parents and others, who, like her, were less physical than I.  She seemed more comfortable with that explanation, than with the idea that she was dead!  She did not, however, agree to go.

That night my adult son and his girlfriend came to stay with us.  They slept up in the loft.  I woke up at seven a.m. to a more complicated version of the music, with trills.  I noticed my twelve-year-old was awake.

“Did you hear that?”  I asked him.

“It was just an alarm.” He told me.  I didn’t believe it.  His iPad was next to me so I picked it up and checked it.  It had no alarms set, none.

Later he showed me an alarm which played the same music, but in a different order.  Maybe the ghost used the iPad to play the music.  When my adult son and his girlfriend woke up, I asked them if they had heard it.  My son hadn’t, but his girlfriend had.

Roughing it, skiing, and having my family there to play with in the snow made it special there.  Jeannie added an element of mystery!  She is a wonderful example of a joyous ghost.

When I got home, the ghost in my own house was angry when I went to bed.  It was about 10:30 and something banged above me.  There is no upstairs above me, so I thought it must be her.  She’s been here for years now.  I walked in my bedroom, thinking that it must be her and I looked at my clock: 2:22, then at my husband’s clock: 2:22.  I did a double take because they are usually 3-5 minutes off and because all those twos were very noticeable.  I got the message from my guides that my thought: ghost, was correct.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized it was 10:30 ish when those clocks both said 2:22!!

I thought to her, ‘what’s got you all upset?’

‘Nobody ever pays any attention to me!’

‘Well, I’m paying attention.  Is there anything you need to talk about?’

‘I’m just lonely.’ She shared.

‘Well, you’ve got my company whenever you need it.’  After that her banging stopped and I was able to go to sleep.  She just needed to be heard, like many of us physical beings.  Then she calmed right down.  So, even angry ghosts can be calmed, with a caring heart!!

 

Crying, a sign of safety?

Vulnerable feelings:  When can we lift the taboo?

What does our culture say about the acceptability of tears in public?  What about anger as in aggressive voice tone, loudness, or yelling?  It is my impression that anger is more acceptable than sadness.

Have you ever seen someone crying, then immediately commit a violent act?  I haven’t either.  But, what about someone with aggressive voice tone or yelling, who then commits a violent act?  That happens, huh?

So, this is my concern about our culture.  We tolerate anger, then we’re shocked when multiple people are killed or injured in school shootings.  If only they could cry, maybe they wouldn’t shoot!

Friday, on my way to work, I stopped at a stop sign, and noticed a person laying on the side walk on the frosty ground.  ‘Weird!’ I thought to myself.  I opened the window, “Are you hurt?”  I asked.

“No, just adjusting and cold.”  She said, sitting up.

I started to drive off, and she put her head in her hands and began to cry.  I immediately reversed, pulled over, and got out of the car.  I went to her, touched her back and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“My boyfriend and I had a really bad fight.  He stopped the car.  I got out and he drove away.  I have asked ten or eleven people to use their phones and no one would let me!”  Wow!  What is our world coming to?

“Would you like to use mine?”  I asked, “Or would you like a ride somewhere?”  I was lucky it was a Friday on Christmas vacation for my kids, because I didn’t have to rush to get to work on time.  Fridays are more flexible for me.

Her tears stopped and she smiled, finally.  “I’d love a ride.  Are you sure?  I’m so cold.”  I realized that she only had a thin fleece jacket on. It had been twenty -eight degrees Fahrenheit when I had looked at the thermometer before I left the house.

“I’m sure.”  She got up as I led her to meet my dog in the back seat.   I then got her settled in front and showed her how to turn on the in-seat heaters.

We did our morning ritual, me and my kids, of listing things we are grateful for.  “That’s beautiful!”  She said.

I realized as I dropped her off that I had known she would be safe to pick up, even though my kids were in the car, because she had been crying…

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