Are You Cherishing Each Breath You Take?

So many times life is taken for granted. Time is taken for granted. But in general people are taken for granted. It is as if we just expect someone will always be there. Or that we will always be here.

Every time we awake we have been given another gift. More breaths. More sunshine. More love. And more memories.

So the next time anything has us down and want to give up we must remember that someone out there is fighting for that last breath. By using this perspective, we will find ourselves more grateful. We will have more strength to conquer the challenges before us. And we will be less likely to take any of our own breaths for granted.

ABC’s of Life Series — Day 3 Letter C ; Cherish Every Breath You Take

ABC’s of Life Series

From A – Z

Day 3, Letter C

 

Cherish Every Breath You Take

“Life can end or be forever changed in a millisecond. It is important that we live it to the fullest and not take it for granted. We must find our purpose, and fulfill it.”

I learned at an early age the stages of grief by the loss of loved ones. By the age of 20, I had been to more funerals than years I had been alive. The trend continued well into my thirties. From friends, to co-workers, family members, and classmates it didn’t take long to realize; the shortness of life. One minute we are here, and the next we are gone forever.

 

Signs that a person is cherishing every breath:

– They treat others as though it was the last time they will see them, every time that they see them.

– When they are in the wrong, they apologize.

– They find themselves thankful for all things, both good and bad.

– They dream big and follow through.

– They live the best life they know how to live.

– They begin to build new bridges once they cross them instead of burning bridges that they may need to cross again someday.

– They focus on the big picture, and try hard not to get caught up in the minuet details.

– They make sure they have left no stones unturned.

– They accept the past and build towards the future.

– They live as best they can to have no regrets.

– When they are present, people notice.

– They give life all they have.

What matters the most in the end is that our spirits are free enough from any baggage, to enter into the after-life. Otherwise, we are just another episode of ghost hunters. Who wants to be another lost and broken spirit wandering the earth after death; due to unresolved business? Surely, not me.

As for me personally, I want to make peace with people while I am here and live the best possible life that I can. It is the only way to rest in peace, when our time here has expired.

Day 4 Letter D – Dreaming Is A Must

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Where To Go

There are many resources available to both men and women who are trying to leave an abusive partner or relationship. Many are unaware of these resources. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Life is too short to live in negativity. There is a way to free yourself.

Every state in the United states has abuse shelters in counties throughout the state. If you are in fear of your life and hiding from an abuser there are even underground shelters. These are shelters that aren’t talked about openly. But by choosing an underground shelter your safety is pretty much guaranteed. Nobody will find you at an underground shelter.

Some shelters look like homes, and are disguised by their appearance alone. These are safe havens for victims of abuse, and these shelters will help you get on your feet. Many people hear the word shelter and they picture multiple bunks or cots as we have seen in the movies and on television. This is hardly the case. These shelters are often nice places. Although some may be lacking in amenities, not all of them do.

Each shelter has different rules, and accommodations. Do some homework to find out which shelter will meet your families needs the best. Most have a community living area and each person has their own private room and bathroom. In most shelters these rooms are locked and only the one rooming in there has a key. A shelter that offers privacy such as this, is ideal.

Once you are in the shelter your basic needs are met. The staff will provide you with numerous resources such as child care, employment, food, toiletries, etc. They will also provide you with clothing, vouchers for things in the community such as Y.M.C.A, movies, etc. These resources vary from shelter to shelter. The length of stay also varies from shelter to shelter, however I have seen many shelters that will allow the victim(s) to stay for up to 3 months.

Shelters will keep you and  your children safe, and are a definite way to stop/end abuse. They are secure, and will provide you will attorneys if necessary. Most of the workers are volunteers and understanding. They too were once a victim.

By retreating to a domestic violence shelter, you take the first step in reclaiming your life.

There is hope!  Life begins when the abuse ends.

Death Of A Loved One: The Stages Of Grief, And How To Celebrate Their Life

Death is inevitable. It is something we must all face through the lives of others, and eventually we face it ourselves when our number has been called.  Some are lucky to escape death a few times, before being taken to their final resting place. Some are taken very young, and some even volunteer to jump in the grave. No matter how they have passed, it is hard to accept.

The initial phases of the grieving process in death are shock & denial. We can’t believe it has just happened. We had just talked to them and they were fine. We had plans to do something with them, they just can’t be gone forever. Without warning, NO! This can not be happening. Not now! They had so much left to live, they were so young. They deserved more than this. This phase can last for an extended amount of time. In fact, there is no time period for any of the phases.

Once the shock and denial have faded, we may begin to bargain with God. We start making deals with Him. Sometimes we even become angry with him, which begins phase three of the grieving process. Anger. We become angry that it happened, and angry at ourselves. We begin to think that there is something we could have done. This is when the “should of, could of, would of” factor comes into play. We begin to have regrets about things in the relationship, and shortly after we begin phase IV.

Phase four of the grieving process is depression. We can’t imagine life without them. We needed them. They were suppose to be here. We find it hard to get out of bed at times, holidays are not the same, and we withdraw ourselves from life in generally. We lose interest in things we once loved, and struggle to take life one day at a time. We may starve ourselves, or eat until we are sick. With depression, we may even consider taking our own life. Depression, is frightening. And often times, needs medical attention.

When acceptance comes into play we have been through all of the stages of the grieving process. Acceptance is phase five. This is when we usually begin to celebrate their life. Wether it is holding a memorial tournament in their honor, purchasing that memorable plaque to place in the town square, or fighting for things that person that affected your life believed in. By looking for the good that they brought to your life, taking the lessons they taught you and applying them you are proving their purpose for your life. By spreading their beliefs, their stories, and your memories of them for generations to come; you are celebrating their life.

Death is a painful process. These phases can occur, and you may find yourself going back into a phase you previously completed. There really are no rules to grieving. But there is a rule when it comes to losing a loved one. Celebrate their life. Do something in honor of them. Carry on, smile, and know that you have one beautiful guardian angel watching over you now.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Divorce: The Only Time We Die, Yet Live To Talk About It

Divorce is one of the only times in life a human will die, go through the stages of grief, and live to talk about it. The process is accompanied by a level of pain comparable to a death, or what one might experience with a serious illness.

There are several stages to the grieving process that can last for any amount of time. It all depends on how big the loss was. But to most, a broken marriage is a huge loss. Even more so if children are involved.

Shock & Denial is where the grieving process begins when a relationship ends. The shock is much worse if your spouse has already moved on with someone else. You may find yourself saying “This is not happening” “We were suppose to ____!” “I didn’t see this coming!” “None of this is my fault!” “Well maybe if I would have___.” You may even find yourself not taking him or her seriously about the divorce. You may be avoiding the issue in hopes that they change their mind.

Anger & Hatred  are by far the worst phases; aside from depression. We begin to get mad at ourselves, and the other person. Often times, we are mad at the world. Everyone is out to get us!

The anger phases comes and goes throughout the process. I have found that people often bounce back and forth between stages one, two, and three. At times we might think we have entered the next phase of grief, then a previous stage surfaces unexpectedly. Sometimes it can surface just by looking at the other person.

Anger can last for many years. Perhaps forever once it takes root. It truly varies from person to person. 

Bargaining is something we do to try and hold on to the relationship and it often occurs at the same time as phase one, denial. It goes hand in hand with denial. “I will do ___ if you take me back”, “I will buy you ___” “We can go on a trip” “Look, I finally got you that ____ that you wanted”. We sometimes even begin to bargain with God. “Lord if you fix this I will never ______ again!” “God if you ____ I will ____.

Depression can be a scary stage of grief. It is important to keep activities scheduled to keep from slipping into a deep depression. Surround yourself with loved ones and positive people. With depression one loses interest in normal activities, they oversleep or don’t get enough sleep, and the eating habits are comparable to the sleeping. They are either eating a lot, or very little at all. They may have suicidal thoughts, and struggle just to get out of bed. They are remembering only good things about the relationship. And they have very little interest in their life. They feel hopeless.

Acceptance  is when we begin to pick up the pieces. We can take the positive things we learned by having the relationship, and simply chalk up the loss. We see that there is hope. Yes, there is some light at the end of that dark tunnel. 

Once one reaches the stage of acceptance, they have regained more control of their new life. It gives them more control of their destiny. They realize that they can do it! It is when they begin to dream again, discover themselves, and begin to truly live.

I once read somewhere that it takes approximately 3-6 months for every year you were married to complete all 5 phases of grieving. From what I have seen, that number is fairly accurate. There is life after divorce. It just doesn’t truly begin until we have grieved the loss, learned our lesson that was intended for us to learn in that relationship, and move on. In doing that we have discovered who we are again, and may even get down the road and be thankful for that loss.

Healing, takes time. And time, heals. Most of the time it heals anyway.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  

Where There Is Faith

There is a song when I was a child that my friend’s father use to sing in church. I couldn’t remember the entire song, or who even sang it, but I awoke singing the chorus this morning. I then took it upon myself to look it up on YouTube, and once the song began to play I could recall every word in the song and it gave me chills.

Where there is faith

There is a voice calling keep walking

You’re not alone in this world

Where there is faith

There is a peace like a child sleeping

A wonderful powerful place

Where there is faith

When we have faith we can move mountains. When we have faith we do not feel alone. When we have faith good things  happen. When we have faith, our sorrows are more bearable. When we have faith, we know there will be a tomorrow. When we have faith, life is beautiful. So no matter what you’re battling, keep the faith. It is our faith, that keeps us alive. It consoles us. It heals us. And it delivers us.

Listen to the song, and concentrate on the words. Let your worries and stresses go to the wayside, and replace them with faith. We are never alone. A little bit of faith can go a long way!

11 Steps To A Healthier You

We are all only one phone call, one conversation, one email, or one text from falling to our knees. You just never know when life will take an unexpected change. The best way to prepare for this situation that could happen at any given second is:

1.)  Spread love, its contagious! And most contagious when shown through one’s actions.

2.)  Be true to your word, it is who you are!

3.)  Have character, it defines you!

4.)  Be strong in both mind & spirit, it prevents self destruction.

5.)  Dream it, believe it, & do it! Life is too short for anything less.

6.)  Don’t burn bridges, you never know when you need to cross them.

7.)  Have faith, it keeps you alive.

8.)  Have hope, it increases faith.

9.)  Leave no kind words unspoken, people can’t read your mind!

10.) Live each day as though you were writing your obituary.

11.) Never be too proud to say I am sorry.

There is nothing worse than losing someone you love and feeling like that relationship never reached it’s potential. Live each moment as though it were your last and treat everyone around you as though it were the last time you were to see them.

If everyone adopted this 10 step process into their life, we just might change the world. However, since it is likely that not everyone will read this and adopt this plan… we can only change ourselves.

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The Final Laugh With Grandma

After the long drive we parked the car as huge quarter size snowflakes continuously fall onto the ground. I think to myself of how much Grandma loved the holidays, and there was no better day to say farewell than a day this cold with snowflakes so enormous.
After pondering the memories for a moment in the parking lot we exited the car and carefully walked  across the fresh blanket of snow, making our way toward the funeral home doors. We say hello to the men clearing the walkways for the others that will be arriving for the service shortly,enter the building, then hang our first left to see grandma.
After missing the viewings the day before due to Riley’s strep throat, I was eager to have a few moments with my children alone in the room. I walked in noticing the flowers and all the  other items near the casket. The beautiful pink gown she was wearing looked good with her skin tone, it was the perfect color for her.
I was amazed by the great work the funeral home had done, especially with her hair! The chemotherapy made it all fall out, and this woman’s hair was stunning. I thought it was a fabulous wig, she would have loved it.  
I gather closer with the kids and I say, “It doesn’t even look like her does it”? The kids nod in confusion, agree and look closer. Jesse looking confused reaches out to rub her arm. We begin noticing her pretty jewelry and thought “We have never seen her wear that”.
Jesse looks at me and says “I love her pink dress mommy”.  The kids and I continue to admire the things others had placed in the casket, and talk about the dying process. Meanwhile I cant stop thinking about how much her appearance had changed by simply dying.
Moments later a funeral home director walks in wondering why we were there so early. I explain that we called last night, and that we were told to come at 8:30a.m. He agrees and tells me no one relayed the message, and assured me it was no problem. I was telling them what a great job they did on her and that I couldn’t believe how good the wig looked. Another man interrupts to ask for my keys. He needed to move my van to a new location; apparently I parked in the wrong row for the black parade. They leave me be for a few minutes, then the one gentleman returns.
After the two men have a quiet conversation across the room  the director then looks at me oddly and says “Ma’am, there will be a service starting next door shortly, could you all stay in here during the service”. “This service starts at 10:30 too” I replied. He said “No this starts at 1:00”. I then ask “Well why did the paper say 10:30?” He calmly walks over, grabs the laminated card and hands it to me to read for myself. I then read someone else’s name, not my grandmas!
Now granted, both names had Mary in them! Not to mention that Stout or Stump from a distance, with no glasses, looks pretty close too! Who would have thought? No wonder it did not look like her! No wonder I didn’t recognize the things around her, boy did I feel so dumb! I look up at the director and say “Kids, grab your stuff. This is not Grandma, now that makes a lot more sense.” The funeral director looked at me like I was a complete idiot, like I didn’t already know and needed confirmation.
The kids and I look at each other, release silent giggles and walk to the right room in the funeral home. While walking  I am thinking “That poor lady in the casket probably thought, who are these people touching me, and why?”
Alas we enter the correct room, and there she was lying peacefully. She was dressed in a similar outfit as the lady next door. Her attire was even the exact same shade of pink, and the same material. She looked beautiful! That was my grandmother alright! The kids and I were relieved!
So overwhelmed by what had just happened it didn’t seem real that I was  looking at  her. She was one of the best female role models I have ever had in my life. I will cherish every memory I have of her.
I find it odd, that even while she has left this earth and is on “the other side” we had one last memory and laugh together.  There is no doubt in my mind, that if she saw anything that happened at that funeral home today…. she was surely laughing at me!

Missing You