Overcoming the Victim Mentality

He did this to me.”

“She said that about me.”

“I was being bullied because someone said something that I don’t agree with and I didn’t like it. They’re making me feel like they hate me.”

“He told me I’m fat and ugly and don’t deserve to have anything nice.”

“Everyone picks on me. No one understands what I’m going through. They don’t get it. I’m always being picked on.”

“He/she deserted me for someone else and now nothing’s going right. It’s not fair.”

“Whatever I do or say, someone always tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about and makes me feel bad about myself. They’re always picking on me.”

Do these statements sound familiar? 

Does someone you know say such things all the time? Or do you find yourself saying them?

What do these statements all have in common?

They’re what you use to make yourself the victim in everything that goes wrong in your life. Because it’s easier to blame someone else for everything than looking at yourself and asking why all this seems to be happening.

Maybe you’re the type of person who just can’t be happy unless there’s something to complain about.

Maybe it’s easier to explain away all your unhappiness because it’s someone else’s fault. 

But when you keep repeating the same reasons over and over in every unhappy situation there’s a problem.

It’s your victim mentality. Because it’s easier to blame someone else rather than look inside yourself and try to figure out why this same situation happens time after time.

Maybe you don’t know any other way to be. And maybe keeping that victim mentality in its strange way makes you happy. Because it’s easier to keep complaining than move out of your comfort zone. 

There’s always an excuse. But what you don’t realize is, you’re the excuse, because you’re always playing the victim.

And if you don’t stop, you’ll never be the conqueror.

And isn’t it time for you to be a conqueror rather than a victim?

There Will Never Be a Relationship Manual

So don’t look for one.

Why? Because relationships involve two people, and no two people are alike.

So how can any relationship be anything like another?

You have to write your own manual. And that manual is one you add to every day. There’s no end to it.

Relationships are complicated. What works in one relationship won’t work in another. They’re the hardest things in the world to get right because they involve people, and you can’t control other people. You can’t make decisions without them, and you should never make decisions without consulting them.

You think there are perfect relationships? I have to tell you. There is no such thing. If you find someone who says they’ve never argued with their partner, they’re not telling the truth. 

In every successful relationship there are always times one or both partners feel like they want to give up. Start over with someone else. But that’s not how it works. 

Sure there are situations in which there are totally irreconcilable differences…abuse, cheating, untreated drug or alcohol abuse, to name a few.

But more relationships fail because of lack of communication and a true lack of commitment than the reasons I mentioned above. Without each person being able to communicate to the other, being able to express their feelings, and being ready, willing and able to truly listen to what the other has to say, it’s much harder to make the relationship successful. 

Trust is also vital. If you can’t trust someone with your feelings, how do you expect them to trust you with theirs?

Where is your relationship right now? If it needs some work, there no time like now to get started on repairs.

And if it’s going along beautifully, you’re truly blessed. Because in each relationship there’s always a little something that can be improved.

Ghosts and Catfish

I know you’re probably thinking what in the world do those two things have in common? Well, in today’s world, quite a bit.

If you’re talking about online dating, that is. There are actually a number of new terms that have come about to describe some of the actions of the users of these dating sites. I had no idea until I looked up a few to fill out this post. 

Fortunately I’m not in that particular world, but I have several friends who are right now. And I have to say, I’m glad I’m not in that situation for a lot of reasons!

First of all I’ve been happily married to my spouse for almost 38 years. That’s a long time, and we’ve gone through a lot. And we’re still together, which says a lot these days.

But for my friends who are not as fortunate as we are, life is a bit more complicated than you’d think it would be in the world of online dating.

First of all let me say that several of our friends have had good experiences with this, and are now happily married to the person they’ve always hoped for. It happens. But it isn’t always as quick, or as easy, as they’d like.

Some of our friends were fortunate enough to find the right one within a few months, and others, well, they’re still searching. 

There are a lot of dating sites out there now. Many offer free trial periods as well as paid subscriptions. Which one is the best? I don’t begin to have an answer because I’m not in that situation. But I sure hear a lot of stories from friends.

It sounds as though most (being at least 51%) of the people on these dating sites are on the up and up, that is, being honest about who they are, what they look like, age, occupation, and what they’re looking for in a relationship. 

There are others, though, who try to make themselves more than they are by, shall we say stretching the truth a bit, or posting photos of themselves that are either a bit outdated, or not even them to make themselves more desirable to others. Or, even worse, “borrowing” or stealing someone else’s identity and posing as someone they’re not. That’s called catfishing, and please don’t ask me why because I have no clue. It’s just a pitfall of online dating. 

Actually I heard a story about a guy who presented himself as a doctor in his profile. He talked about all the good work he was doing, the long hours, and even describing the hospital where he worked. He described his first date with a woman he met online as fantastic, they had so much in common, etc. but she wouldn’t return his calls. The reason: as she said, “you told me you’re a doctor, and then I find out you’re a food service worker in the hospital cafeteria!”

“Well, I figured you wouldn’t want to go out with me if I told you the truth! Can we try again?” Uhh, no. I think there’s an honesty problem here?

Then there’s breadcrumbing. A person  seems interested and will carry on conversations for days. Then stop. Then come back a few days later and start talking again. Talk about getting together. Then nothing. Then it happens again. He/she just wants to keep that person interested in case he/she decides their current relationship isn’t working. Sort of like dating insurance? Or maybe plans to cheat? I’ve had that happen to several of my friends. It’s actually kind of creepy. Time to block them, I say!

And ghosting. Which is just what it implies. The other person starts a conversation that goes on for awhile and may even result in a date or two. Things seem to be going good and then suddenly nothing. No text responses, no return phone calls, just silence. To me that’s not only rude, it’s a lack of manners; a lack of common courtesy. 

If you’re not interested anymore, have the guts to tell the other person, instead of hiding behind your phone or computer. Be honest enough to tell the other person why you’ve lost interest. It may be a simple misunderstanding rather than a perceived problem that can be rectified.

How about orbiting? When someone is constantly checking you out on your social media pages, but not contacting you any more. Talk about weird…and unsettling….

There’s actually a feature program on a local radio station called “Second Date Update” which has people call in who’ve been ghosted and can’t figure out why. They tell their story, and then the hosts contact the other person to see what happened. Now I’d never have the nerve to do that, but some of the stories are quite interesting.

Like the guy who took his first date to his family barbecue. They admittedly both had a great time, but he didn’t call her back. Why? Because his dad took him aside to tell him she was a stripper, and he’d seen her perform at a local club! That was a bit strange. His mom didn’t know about either…

Or the girl who went to the guy’s house for dinner on a first date and found ladies’ underwear in his bathroom cabinet when she was searching for TP. He said it was his sister’s?


My advice? If you’re looking to meet someone, try it out. But be careful. And be smart. Meet the person in a public place. Let someone know where you’re going to be, and arrange a way to let your contact know you’re safe. And then let them know when you’re home safely.

And if you’re ghosted, then that person obviously wasn’t worthy of your time! 

There’s always another one.

Life Doesn’t Stand Still

It’s constantly changing. 

So why are you trying so hard to stop it?

You don’t like change? Well, neither do I.  But it’s a part of life. And it’s what makes it interesting.

Life isn’t static. Would you really want it to be? Sure, there are moments we want to keep, want to last forever, but that isn’t how it works. 

Maybe you really want your life to stay exactly like it is. The same thing day after day. Never moving ahead. No surprises. 

But no excitement. No adventure. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing new happening. I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds really boring,

Is that really what you’re looking for? Staying with the status quo? Day after day after day…?

As much as I don’t like change, I don’t want static and mundane. I want to be challenged. I want to move forward.

Yes, there are risks, but that’s all part of life. If you don’t take a risk once in a while, you’ll never know what could have been.

Change is a part of life. You wouldn’t want your children to stay the same age forever, any more than you’d want to stay the same age forever. Sure, getting older does have its downsides, but that’s part of life as well. Those of us in certain age groups joke about being 39 and holding, but you can’t hold on that age forever! Except in your mind.

When They’re Ready…But We’re Not

There comes a time in many of our family members’ lives when enough is enough. There’ve been too many times of unrelenting pain; too many trips to the hospital; too many times that the doctors say, “someone needs to make some major decisions.”

Too many times our loved ones are put through painful and embarrassing procedures to keep them here with us for a while longer. When all they really want to do is rest. Forever.

Because they’re tired. They don’t want to live like they’re living any more. They want to eat and drink normally without fear of choking or vomiting. They want to be able to walk on their own. To have a normal conversation without gasping for air or coughing uncontrollably. They want to be able to breathe without having a machine doing it for them, They don’t want to be in constant pain which can only be dulled, never really going away.

They just don’t want to be here anymore. And who can really blame them? Would we want to live like that?

Before you start saying that what I’m writing is wrong, cruel, or even anti-Christian, try to put yourself in their situation. Because one day you may be there.

We are never ready to say goodbye to our loved ones, especially our parents. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with one or both parents who live long lives expect them to be around forever. We want them to be, because the pain of losing them is too hard to bear. We don’t know how we’ll make it without them.

That’s being selfish. Because we’re only thinking of how we’ll react, how we’ll feel. We don’t stop to think about their wishes.

They want to “go home”. And not to the home they’ve been living in for so many years. They want to go to their eternal home, and be free again, pain free, with a new body that works properly. They want to join their loved ones who are waiting for them, and they want to be with their Lord.

My mother went through that. She told me that, in no uncertain terms. But did I want to hear it? Absolutely not. Did I know she was serious? Absolutely.

Did that make it easier? Of course not.

Fortunately I was never faced with those difficult end of life decisions that some of my friends are now facing with their loved ones. Because my mother passed into eternity before those decisions were needed.

And I’m sure that’s the way she wanted it.

Like many of us, my mother had a living will, an advanced medical directive. She had named me her medical power of attorney years before she’d ever been sick. And if you or your loved ones don’t have such directives, I strongly urge you to get them.

Because you never know when you may need them.

Although we’re all living longer, and many of us enjoying fairly decent health into those later years, our bodies do not live forever. They were not designed to live forever. Eventually they wear out and just can’t be repaired any more.

We pray for healing, not realizing that many times in these situations healing takes on different meanings, and our loved ones go on to eternal health.

But before this happens, quite often end of life decisions must be made. And it’s not easy, no matter how strong our faith, no matter how much we know in our head that such decisions must be made. Our emotions, our hearts, don’t want to go there.

Sometimes it’s not or parents, but our spouse. That’s just as hard, and sometimes harder, because we really don’t expect our spouse to pass asway before we do. We need him or her with us. For better or worse. But that vow also added til we are parted by death. We tend to forget that part.

However, we have to accept the decisions our loved ones make. Whether we agree or not. And that is part of honoring our parents, our elderly relatives. Or a spouse with an incurable disease.

Palliative care and hospice care are two options most of us don’t want to hear about, nor consider. But it is a reality, and one that more and more people are having to face for either their loved ones, or themselves. It’s not a decision made easily, or in haste. But it sometimes must be made.

It’s not easy. It’s also not easy watching someone you love dearly suffer. And I daresay none of us would want to be the one who’s suffering so badly.

No matter how much we love them; how much we don’t want to let them go, there’s a point that our love has to love them enough to let them go. To let them be at peace.

Those of us who have faith know in our hearts we’ll see them again. But it doesn’t make it easier.

To all of you going through it, or who have gone through it, be assured you did the right thing. No matter how difficult it was.

Be comforted in that realization.

When the End Becomes the Beginning

Sometimes we go thru trials so hard it’s gut wrenching. Our knees get weak and we fall. We feel like we have no one to turn to.

Our priorities change because of the “ends” in our life.

But an ending always brings a beginning of something else.

A marriage may end, but maybe you and your spouse weren’t really happy together. Maybe he/she was cheating, living a life you knew nothing about. Hiding it so well no one saw it coming.

It may be the end of that marriage but it’s the beginning of a whole new adventure. No, it’s not always easy, but instead of feeling sorry for yourself and wondering how you’ll get through it, look at it as the beginning of your next adventure.

Which doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new partner right away. Find yourself first. Find out who you are and who you want to be. It may surprise you.

The end of a job isn’t easy either, especially if you didn’t see it coming. Especially if you’re not financially prepared. You’re most likely angry, embarrassed, scared, and/or wondering what your next step needs to be. And how you’re going to pick up the pieces and start again.

You could be depressed to the point of doing nothing. You could trash the company you no longer work for. You could do the old “I never liked it there anyway. They never appreciated me” routine.

Or you could take the high road. Get in touch with all your business contacts and start networking.  Re-do your resume, updating and highlighting your skills. Determine what you want to do and start contacting the companies that fit your goals. And set your own goals to make it happen.

You may suddenly become empty nesters, it may feel like the end of being a parent. Suddenly you don’t have the same responsibilities. Suddenly it’s just the two (or sometimes one) of you in a big sort-of-empty house. How do you adjust to that? What do you do? Do you downsize and start over or rearrange your new lifestyle?

Or maybe you’re retiring, ending a lifelong work career. Beginning a totally new lifestyle. Where do you even start? What are you going to do to keep busy?

There are so many more types of endings in our life. Some anticipated and some that are not. Endings with closed doors that cannot be opened ever again. Endings that are seemingly impossible to turn into beginnings.

But time can do that. Even a death in the family introduces a new beginning. albeit a painful one. Not one that was ever wanted, but one that almost all of us experience sometime in our lives.

Painful as it may be, endings always turn into beginnings.  It’s up to us to take advantage of those beginnings, and select the right one.

Endings are not the beginning of the end. They’re a beginning of a new beginning.

There are Many Different Ways to Love

In fact, there are as many different ways to love as there are people in the world. No two relationships can ever be the same. Love is as different as the people who feel it.

If every relationship were the same, there’d be no reason for love stories. And who doesn’t like a good love story?

A failure in one relationship doesn’t mean the next one will be the same way. Because each relationship is different. The next person you may end up in a relationship with isn’t the one you were with previously. You really aren’t the same person you were in that relationship because you change slightly as well with each relationship.

Never say “never again.’

You may think you know what “true love” is, but no one really does. Because it’s different for everyone. 

True love can also happen more than once. I know, we’ve all heard the stories about “he/she was the love of my life; my soulmate. I’ll never find anyone else like him/her.”

No, you won’t. That’s true. Re-read the first three paragraphs. That doesn’t mean you can’t find love again. If you let it happen. But that doesn’t mean you look for someone just the same as the person you lost. Because everyone is different; sure they may like the same things, the same foods, the same books, etc. They may even look similar, have similar goals in life. 

But they aren’t that same person. Looking for someone exactly like your “soulmate” can never turn out to be finding the same person as you had and lost. Because we’re all different in some ways, which makes each relationship unique.

Love isn’t always perfect. The happily ever after fairy tales we believed in as children are unfortunately just that. Fairy tales. Even true love has its ups and downs. No relationship and no one has a perfect day with no arguments, no bickering, and nothing going wrong.

Loving someone means accepting the good times, the fun times, as well as the bad times. Because in any relationship there will be bad times. 

That’s not saying we forgive everything that goes wrong, because there are certain things in a relationship that truly cannot be forgiven; a cheating spouse, for one. A lying spouse whose lies are so bad, so deeply hidden until accidentally discovered, that the relationship cannot continue.

But when you are truly with the right person, he/she would not do the unthinkable to ruin that relationship. And you are not the cause of their indiscretions.

But true love is always worth it. Don’t overtry to make it happen. It will happen when it happens, when it’s right, and it will be worth the wait. And yes, you’ll know when it’s right.

Party at the End of the Bridge

Somehow they all knew. They knew who was coming and they knew when. The guest of honor didn’t know of course, but then again, they never did.

But the other residents of that land just beyond the Rainbow Bridge knew, and as is the custom, the pets already there were waiting for their special friends to join them and welcome them to their new home; to make them feel loved and special until their earthly owners came to get them to take them with them to THEIR forever heavenly home.

And today was no different from any other welcome home party at the end of the Rainbow Bridge. The only thing different was who the guest of honor the party was for, and of course who was planning it, and who would be attending.

You see, every beloved pet who crosses over the Rainbow Bridge has a welcoming party with his or her friends who have already crossed over. It’s a tradition that’s been going on as long as the Bridge has been around, which is a very, very long time. Pets come and go all the time because as we said earlier, they leave and join their former earthly family eventually in their eternal home, but until that day happens, these beloved pets enjoy a life of pure happiness, playing in meadows, chasing birds and squirrels, playing with favorite toys, swimming…all the things they enjoyed previously with their earthly family. Only now they’re healthy and pain free, able to do and eat anything they want.

Today’s big party was for a special golden retriever. His best friend Rudder knew he was coming, and he was planning the party. Rusty’s favorite thing to do was swimming in his owners’ parents’ pool with Rudder, so this party was going to be held at one of the many luxurious swimming pools available in the land beyond the Bridge. He couldn’t wait to welcome his old friend and find out how their earthly family was doing. Rusty’s friend Samantha was also helping plan the party, and there were lots of other furry friends attending, including Rusty’s litter mates who he hadn’t seen since he was adopted 11 years ago.

What a celebration it would be!

Rudder and his friends made sure the pool was sparkling clean. They hung balloons all around. They even had a huge sign that said “Welcome Rusty”! There were presents, too. Tennis balls, golf balls since he liked to chew those, stuffed chew toys that he could chew and destroy like he did before. There was a little garden with freshly planted bushes that he could dig up, just like he used to do that so irritated his family. 

And then there was the food. His favorite dog treats, bowls of ice cream, along with a huge cake, just waiting for him to smash into and share with his friends!

The dogs looked at their handiwork and knew it was ready for him. They all lined up, with Rudder and Samantha in the front. Waiting expectantly.

And then…the Rainbow Bridget began to light up, like it does when a new pet comes across. The dogs held their breath and watched.

And then Rusty came across it. A smile on his face. Walking easily. His fur was clean and shiny. His eyes were bright. His teeth shiny white, as they held a tennis ball he’d already picked up along the way.

He saw Rudder and his other friends and ran to them, and what a reunion it was!

“This is all for you,” Rudder explained. “Here we’re all happy, healed, and pain free. We play with each other while we wait. I’ve missed you,” he added.

“I’ve missed you, too,” Rusty said. “And they haven’t forgotten you. They miss you as well.”

“We’ll be with them again,” Rudder explained. “But for now, we play, we have a great time together, and we go swimming!”

Rusty looked around and saw the huge pool. He took off running and jumped in, just like he used to do with his family. He was so happy. The other dogs joined him and soon the pool was full of wet splashing dogs, having the time of their new lives.

The Rainbow Bridge seemed to smile at them as it waited for the next visitor to come across. It’s a happy place, you know. Where all of our beloved pets go while they wait for us.

To Rusty, and Rudder, and all our wonderful pets who are living there now…we miss you, but we will be with you again. Until that time, enjoy your new temporary home. While we remember you in these pictures.

A Relationship

Takes two people who genuinely care about each other. 

Is only successful when each party makes time for the other

Means taking time for your significant other. Listening to them. Doing things together. Not making excuses.

Shouldn’t be difficult to maintain. And should never be taken for granted.

Shouldn’t always be a case of “we’re working things out.”

Doesn’t mean hanging on because there’s nothing else right now.

Comes naturally between two people. You either want to be together or you don’t.

Takes two people who care about each other. When one stops caring and taking time for the other person there’s no more relationship.

Cannot be forced.

Often ends. And it’s usually for the best. Because it wasn’t the right one.

Each of Us Lives a Storied Life

What story are you living?

A love story?

A tragedy?

A mystery?

A hero/heroine story…helping others, fixing things, coming to someone’s rescue?

Fulfilling your lifelong ambition to do something special?

Is there a love interest, or a potential one?

Or something else altogether?

There are as many different types of stories as there are genres of books, and I didn’t even list all the genres I’ve been known to read. Many of those genres also incorporate bits of other genres, just to make it interesting.

What happens when your personal story gets boring? When you decide you need a new plot line. Is it a story that can easily change, or will it take a lot of time and effort? And are you ready…and willing…to do it?

Think about this. Every day we can choose a new plot line in our personal story. Is it one you’re going to follow up on, or will you erase it the next day and start over?

Who is narrating your story? Is it you, or are you looking at it through someone else’s eyes?

Are you making it truthful or embellishing it? Telling others things that aren’t really exactly the way they really are.

Chances are, your story is actually a series, rather than just one volume, one particular story line. How many books do you think it would fill?

And even more importantly, what part of your life would you start your story in? Would you write the ending differently than your actual life?

I know exactly what story I’d write about my life because I’ve thought about it often. I’ve even plotted out parts of, but haven’t quite figured out the ending yet, because it won’t be what really took place. It’s something I’ve thought about for many years, and maybe it’s time to try my hand at writing it. And no, I’m not giving any hints.

What about you? What’s your particular story? Would you like to change that story? You can, you know. 

It’s your story. And your choice.

You Can’t Change the Past

But you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

The memories will always be there, though. Memories of what was, what will never be again. Memories of happier times, or memories of what you wish had never happened.

Those memories are part of us, and they make us who we are. Who we’ve become. 

Sometimes they’ve made us better. Sometimes they’ve put us in a dark place that it seems we can’t escape from.

Sometimes we take those memories and change them around in our minds so that we’ll have a happier ending. It’s our way of escaping the past, and in many cases, trying to make certain memories less painful by giving them a better ending.

But the reality eventually seeps back in and the real memories are still there. And you realize memories are a truth we can’t change.

Hindsight isn’t just a matter of timing; it’s a matter of wisdom that’s gained with experience. You can stay stuck in the place you are in, reliving every moment of hurt and pain over and over until it consumes you, or you can choose to pull yourself out of that place and start living your life again. 

No, it won’t be the same. You’re not the same. People around you have continued to move on with their lives, while you’re still stuck in the past and afraid or unwilling to join them.

Who you were is not necessarily who you are now. And do you really want to continue living in the past forever?

Because it’s really not a fun place to be. 

Let the past be the past. It’s time for you to live in the here and now and look ahead to your future.

What are you waiting for? 

We All Have a Past

Yes, we do. All of us. We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. But most of us move on from them, learn from them, and don’t repeat them.

We don’t talk about those things, and we certainly hope no one else does either. Many times very few people even know about them. They may have happened at a time in our life many years ago, and either no one ever knew about them, or the people that did know, and may have been affected by them, aren’t in our lives any more. 

It may be something others did to us, something we’ve had a really tough time putting behind us. We may have kept it secret, or have shared it with friends. But it still happened.

Or it may be something we did, bad decisions we made, things we’re really embarrassed over that we hope no one ever finds out about.

Most of us go on with our lives, build careers, raise families, and are happy with who we are. We have friends who love us and respect us. We put our past behind us and don’t repeat the mistakes, and don’t keep pulling it out and reminding ourselves about those awful things we did at another time. We’ve forgiven ourselves, and we’ve been forgiven.

But there are many others who cannot do that. They continue to dwell on past mistakes, past errors, past indiscretions. They cannot forget the things they did wrong, usually many years ago. They blame these past mistakes on perceived failures in their current lives, and feel like they’re getting what they deserve. They have no self-confidence because they’re too busy telling themselves how bad, how undeserving they are.

Or they continue to look back on the things that happened to them, the wrongs that were done to them, the people who treated them wrong, and instead of placing the blame on the ones who hurt them, find a way to blame themselves for others treating them that way.

Really? Why? Not everything bad that happens in your life is your fault!

Misplaced guilt is a prison you put yourself in. There’s no parole; it’s a life sentence. There are visiting hours, but the visitors go home, back to their own lives while you continue living in the prison of despair you’ve created for yourself.

The only way out is escape! And escape isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

It requires planning. It requires help from those who aren’t in that prison. And it requires confidence.

Because if you don’t have the confidence to think you can escape, chances are no matter how hard you think you’re trying, you won’t succeed. Because you just won’t let yourself break loose from the chain that keeps you tethered to your past.

It’s sort of a misplaced safety net. You know the past all too well, but the future is an unknown. And you’re not sure you can deal with it.

But if you don’t move on, move forward, the past will start to repeat itself, and then where will you be except back in the same place you were years ago. And that’s not what you want.

Keep in mind that you’re probably the only one who really cares about what mistakes you made in the past.

And you don’t have to tell everyone you meet your entire life story. At least not right away. And unless it’s something so bad they can find out about it in a police report, what does it matter?

You weren’t the same person then as you are now. They probably have things in their past they don’t want anyone to know either.

We all have a past. We’ve learned from it. It’s time to let it go and move on with your life.