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Archive for the ‘stress’ Category

        There is a debate brewing about whether news media should have access to photograph the coffins of returning military men and women, killed in the line of duty, when their bodies are returned to Dover Air Force Base.  There is strong controversy about whether this should be allowed or not.  In 1991, President George H. Bush enacted a ban on the photographing of the coffins.  It just was not allowed to happen, by the order of the President.

         This has been a matter of contention.  Some people believe that allowing  the photographs could make an impact on the  minds of the citizens of the United States as to the cost of war; as the death toll rises from the wars in recent years.  There are many who feel that by not seeing the evidence of the coffins, people would not understand the depths of the sacrifice that our service persons were making.  In effect, out of sight…out of mind.  (more…)

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      Both Chris Brown and his girlfriend, Rihanna, were scheduled to be performers on the Grammy Awards show last night.  They did not show up.  Today, word comes out in news reports that Chris Brown is being accused of a domestic violence assault,  of an undeclared female who allegedly Id’ed him as the abuser; this is a felony, if convicted.

        It is alledged that Chris Brown and his girlfriend Rihanna were driving and got into an argument and stopped the vehicle.  Allegedly both exited the vehicle and continued the argument.  The argument became heated and someone placed an emergency call to 911.  When the police arrived they found the victim at the scene of the altercation.  Chris Brown had allegedly left the area.  The victim had visible injuries.

         Chris Brown has been booked for making criminal threats and it is alledged that there could be more charges filed in the future.  He posted a large amount of bail and was released.  The spokesperson for Rihanna did not confirm or deny reports…supposedly just expressed Rihanna’s well being, and thanked everyone for their concern.

          I remember for quite some time at the beginning of their relationship, it was kept hush- hush about the rumors of their romance.  Chris is only 19 years old and Rihanna is 20; if this domestic assault did indeed happen between these two, it is going to have long reaching consequences.  Domestic violence is a huge problem; it affects everyone, whether personally or through someone that they know.  It’s an issue that destroys many lives. 

         It doesn’t help that as public figures, both Chris and Rihanna, are viewed as role models.  Because of their fans, many will be watching this situation closely.   Of course there is concern for both party’s well-being; at the same time, how they handle this situation personally and professionlly, will be important. 

         Domestic violence can never be condoned.  Often times, drugs or alcohol play a part, as well as stress, anger issues, and financial strains.  Those are underlying causes for many instances of domestic violence; but, they should never be a justification for harming another person. 

         If this alledged assualt is swept under the rug by the PR machine, it will do a grave disservice to both men and women.   Teens and young adults, who are aware of this situation, will be learning from it.  What they learn will be determined by how it is handled by both Chris Brown and the victim…whoever she is.  The seriousness of it should not be spun by those trying to minimize the professional damage to the entertainers…it is more important to address the issues for both of them; they are so young and they have their whole lives ahead of them.  It would be wrong to allow this alledged incident to be downgraded to a misunderstanding if there truly was domestic violence.  None of us were there and know what really happened…hopefully, there will be healing for everyone involved.

         There are so many layers of emotions involved for family members, friends and the general public as well as those involved in a domestic dispute.  Counseling is helpful, support of family and friends who are informed and not enablers is crucial.  Getting professional help when dealing with these issues is a healthy way to work through them and prevent them from becoming a pattern in personal relationships; it may just save someone’s life.

          Often domestic violence is about power and control.  Those two issues are present in every relationship; how those issues are addressed is important they can be handled in a healthy way or they can be ignored allowing a dangerous situation to get out of control.    Domestic violence is being  abused,  used, overwhelmed,  intimidated, coerced, controlled or humiliated; that is when the balance of the relationship crosses over into dysfunction.   For anyone experiencing an abusive or dyfunctional relationship there is help available:  http://www.ndvh.org/ .  Please reach out for help, because often these thing get worse as time goes on.  No one wants to be in that situation…please get help before it is too late.

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      Another chapter to the sad story of 2 year old Caylee Anthony’s death.  Early this morning, Friday January 23, 2009, Caylee’s grandfather, George Anthony, was picked up at a Florida hotel after he disappeared and allegedly sent family members text messages saying that no longer wanted to live.  George also left a five page suicide letter apparently; I wonder if it will reveal information that could lead to the unraveling of the mystery of  Caylee’s death?  He was involuntarily was taken by police to a local hospital for evaluation. 

     All of this pressure has built up in the last year since young Caylee was reported missing and her body was, recently, discovered.  His daughter Casey was arrested for Caylee’s murder and both he and his wife has had to deal with Caylee’s death, family drama, invasive media, and his daughter’s arrest.  I am sure that the death, and his family’s initial feelings of denial of Caylee’s death, as well as the realization that she is gone has led to depression and a general overall feeling of being  filled with overwhelming stress.

       These issues are often overlooked by many when people watch the news…the truth is, that the long arm of the law has consequences for more than just the suspect in a case of murder  or criminal behavior.  There is much to deal with, for the friends and family members of the victims and the suspects who are involved.

     The emotional effects of just not being able to grieve properly for the loss of his grandchild is devastating.  First thing, no one knew for sure that Caylee was in fact dead.  She was missing and her mother Casey was telling conflicting stories.  George had to give information to the police at one time that many speculated was not all positive…that had to be a horrible experience for him.  There were search parties out looking for Caylee…this went on for months with little results.  Then there were alledged reported sightings of Caylee which turned out to be false.  In the meantime, the media was invading the Anthony’s personal space.  Conflict was a daily thing.

       George’s wife was giving interviews that alledgedly seemed to conflict with statements she made to the police and to her co-workers about a smell in Casey’s car…that smelled like a dead person.  That must have added to interpersonal problems in their family.  Their son, Casey’s brother, also was drawn into the fray with statements that he made that was reported in the media.  This is a family was that under a microscope.  Then came the confirmation recently that young Caylee’s body was found thrown away in a trash bag.

         The details of that are heartbreaking.  She was put inside of a laundry bag with a winnie the pooh blanket, with some pullups and with a knife…her little mouth was covered with duct tape that had residue from a heart shaped sticker put on the tape over her mouth; that tape was attached to her hair.  Her bones were scattered in the area where she was found.  This is a devastating thing to have to live with the knowledge that someone…maybe the child’s mother…could be capable of such depraved actions.  I am sure it was much more than most people could handle.

        The text messages that George allegedly sent to his family was an emergency cry for help from someone who is struggling to survive in a tidal wave of trauma.  I pray that he will get the help and the support that he needs to be well and whole. 

         Many people have made hurtful comments about the family members…we don’t know the facts of what actually happened.  Judging them and their actions without the full information is unwise.  Who in their situation could be faulted for handling things with imperfection…they have lost their granddaughter, their daughter is in jail for the alledged murder of their grandchild, they have had their lives turned upside down…including their home and privacy invaded…their children have been under the media spotlight…and they could possibly be charged with charges if they were, in any way, responsible for covering up evidence against their daughter.   That doesn’t even take into consideration yet…the nightmare that will be the trial that is coming soon. 

        This case has had many ups and downs.  It is still in the investigative phase and the court process has begun to build it’s case against Casey Anthony.  I truly hope that the grandparents are not involved in anything that could be considered a cover up by the authorities.  It is horrible enough to think about loosing their granddaughter and possibly their daughter to the legal system.  Let’s not forget that a child died…someone did in fact kill her, the truth needs to come out…and they will be dealing with that issue alone for the rest of their lives.  These are not issues that anyone gets over….overnight!

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       Actor Willie Ames is famous for his roles on Eight Is Enough (1970’s) and in the show Charles in Charge (1980’s), he has had a large fan following over the years.   Willie also starred  in video’s from 1995-2004 as a superhero named Bibleman; winning a whole new generation of young fans.  He became a Christian and an ordained minister after struggling for years with drug/alcohol addictions.  He appeared to have things together in his life.

        Just this past November Willie, and his second wife Maylo McCaslin Ames, wrote a book together called Grace is Enough.  Shortly after this book was published, on Thanksgiving 2008, Willie Ames allgedly tried to take his own life.  This is why God tells us to keep our eyes on him and not on man ( or woman).  We are vulnerable to attacks by the enemy (Satan) and we can fail one another as role models from time to time.  It is unfair to put someone on a pedestal as an example to follow because they are; for all intents and purposes, human just like us.  Only Jesus is the perfect example to follow.

         It seems that Willie found himself in the position of having to declare bankruptsy, having his vehicle repossesed and having his wife of 22 years ask him for a divorce.  I am sure the fear of failure, rejection, the possibility of an upcoming divorce, slipping back to the pull of his addictions, and the financial difficulties all contributed to his suicide attempt.  When people are overloaded with difficulties that come all at once…that is when escape starts to sound good…it is an illusion that a Christian is tempted with by his spiritual adversary, Satan.  Suicide is not a solution…it is an really just another way to self-destruct; it an attack on that person’s physical and spiritual being.  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  It is important to seek help when depression and despair overwhelms a person. 

        Willie is a Christian yes, but he is a human being also.  One who has struggled with these issues of addiction and self-destruction.  He has tried to live in a place of leadership; which is admirable.  From reading excerpts of their book….it sounds as though both Willie and Maylo have allegedly come from previous places of dysfunction.  No one lives a perfect life…Christians are a work in progress; and, some of the same negative circumstances and forces that affect non-Christians, affect Christians as well. 

         I hope that through this time of difficulty, that Willie and his family can receive proper spiritual counseling and emotional counseling to help them sort things out.  Certainly, we wish him well in his healing path.  As anyone who had had to struggle with these kinds of issues…it is important to know that support is very important from family, friends and, health care professionals; when it is needed.

          For those who would condemn or look askance at Willie’s actions and ask incrediously, how a Christian could do such a thing; I would counter that by asking that person to think compassionately.  When people are in despair and going through some of the worst situations that life has to offer …faith is a lifeline… but, faith is a fragile thing sometimes.  We are to encourage one another and lift each other up.  While Willie played a superhero….he is not superhuman…he is a man who has to find his way back to a place of prominence, by putting faith into action once again,. 

          Do you think Christians are immune from depression and confusion; or should they be?  Do you know any other Christian who has struggled with addictions and depression and then been able to build their life back up from that desperate place?  Have you yourself been there?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National suicide prevention lifeline: Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, 132 crisis centers nationwide               1-800-273-TALK       .
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Update:  you may also want to read:  http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20268391,00.html

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This is the time of year when people make all kinds of resolutions…some are attainable and some are not. Many times people make New Year’s resolutions and set themselves up to fail because they are too big or grand…the promises they make to themselves; or to others, just aren’t realistic. However, I think i have come up with the primo resolution. I want to celebrate the things in life that make me happy! I want to nip things in the bud that hold me back from achieving in the areas of life that I have been afraid to take a chance on.

I resolve to do more of the things in life that make me happy, healthy and that put me in a more financially secure postion. I am going to do less of the things which consume my time, in which I don’t have control over the outcome. I will make more of an effort to be less stressed…more at peace with the choices I make in life, and to do more serviceable types of things for others; not because I have to, but because that makes me happy.

Lord knows there is lots of negativity in the world both outside of my home and inside my head; I am going to work very hard at overcoming negative thoughts that could prevent me from being successful in the things that I decide are important enough to spend my time on. These are all do-able resolutions. They are not a quick fix for any one problem in the world, or in my life but, they are good practices in general. So, it is lifestyle choice…a work in progress.

If I make a mistake and realize it…it doesn’t mean I have to go all negative and stop trying. It simply means that, I am giving myself permission to have a do-over…a start over…a chance to improve. In other words…I resolve to do more of what makes me happy. I have a pretty basic happy nature…but circumstances have the ability to bring anyone down…I am making a decision to allow that to happen less often. What have you resolved to do in 2009?

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        When you have given your all and feel like you have nothing left to give…that is a great time to do a little Rest & Renewal.   Stop, don’t make any decisions; or, take any actions when you are feeling burned out and overburdened.  Stop, take a few deep breaths and re-evaluate the situation when you are feeling more refreshed.   Rest, eat healthy, drink water; ponder the blessings in your life and be thankful for them. 

         Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negatives.   It is too easy to feel discouragement or weariness in that frame of mind.      When your vision is clear you will be in a better position to see things as they really are…assessing both the positive and the negative; allowing you to act accordingly.

        Emotions and physical limitations can blind you to your actual situation.  Give it a little time and remember to recharge your batteries.   No one says that you have to do all and be all things to everyone around you.   It is a wise person who takes the time to make sure that their own physical, spirtual, and emotional needs are met…then, and only then, can you continue to pour yourself out, or give to others in a real purposeful way.  

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        Here is a story that illustrates the breakdown of American business.  Jim Crosby and his sister Linette are in a fierce and immediate battle to save their family owned mint farm business.  They are to be foreclosed on, any day now…they need to sell bottles of mint oil to save their business.  They are located in St. Johns, Michigan.  Michigan is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the economy.  People here are struggling to hang on to the most basic necessities of life…this family only wants to be able to continue to provide a service to their customers…both old and NEW!  It is their dream to be able to continue marketing their mint oil.

         Their business has been owned by their family members since the early nineteen hundreds.  This is their legacy…and it needs an influx of cash, today.  You can visit their website ( http://www.getmint.com)  and help, to try to save an American owned business.   In a day and age where American business owners are moving out of the country left and right, to get cheaper labor and make more of a profit; it is nice to be able to support a company that has stayed in America while producing their product.  If you use mint oil for cooking, baking, tea, health aid, air freshner…or any other use…please buy from this company and help them stay in business…but, don’t dawdle…they need cash now to stay in business.  The bank that is planning to foreclose on them…could take their bottles of oil and they could take the equipment needed to continue producing the oil…thereby, putting them out of business.

         We have to make a stand for some kind of return to common sense…producing in America, selling in America and buying in America…this is how we build a strong infrastructure in the country once again.  You can build up business, jobs, and housing markets by keeping American’s working.  You want to strenthen the economy?  Stop buying everything from other countries (because it’s cheaper) and start supporting American owned and operated business that produce quality products.  The job or business that you save just might be your own!

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