The Next Decade

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The first decade, you loved me
The last decade, we loved one another

The first decade, you greeted me with a kiss
The last decade, I kissed you goodbye

The first decade, you cradled me
The last decade, I caressed you

The first decade, you listened eagerly to my breathing
The last decade, I listened attentively to yours

The first decade, you comforted me as I cried
The last decade, I wiped away your tears

The first decade, you sang to me and I smiled in amazement
The last decade, I sang to you and you asked me to never stop

The first decade, you took me to my childhood wellness appointments
The last decade, I took you to get your treatments

The first decade, you gave me my vitamins
The last decade, I monitored your medication intake

The first decade, you gave me life
The last decade, I watched yours slipping away

The first decade, you sat with me in silence and wonder
The last decade, I sat with you and you asked me to never leave

The first decade, you soothed my scrapes and bruises
The last decade, I assisted you as your broken bones attempted to mend

The first decade, you changed my soiled diapers
The last decade, I changed your soiled garments

The first decade, you taught me so many new things
The last decade, I recalled many memories for you

The first decade, you chased me in my walker
The last decade, I pushed you in your wheel chair

The first decade, you fed me in my highchair
The last decade, I fed you in your hospital bed

The first decade, you watched excitedly the rise and fall of my chest
The last decade, I watched hopefully for the rise and fall of yours

The first decade, you felt my heart beating with excitement
The last decade, I watched your heart rate and oxygen level decline

The first decade, you watched me gain my independence
The last decade, I watched you lose yours

The first decade, you taught me to read
The last decade, I read to you and you asked me to never stop

The first decade, you smiled as I rushed time forward
The last decade, I cried as we tried to make time stand still

The first decade, you played with me
The last decade, I prayed with you

The first decade, you were with me as I took my first breath
The last decade, I was with you as you took your last

The first decade, you greeted me as I entered this world
The last decade, I let you go to explore the next one

The next decade will never end and we will be together once again

~Daughter

This story was inspired by my mother who suffered many years with a terminal illness. When written, mother was still fighting the fight. She has since passed, and every word written reigned true in the end. My heart goes out to all those who identify with this story. In final thoughts, I can only say that her passing was beautiful because of the strength of our relationship and the many memories and time we spent together this last decade; for during this time a tattered relationship was restored and made beautiful. The lesson learned: Make time to give time to heal and build relationships and memories for they are truly the only things that matter the last and unpredictable time you say farewell.

~Brigitte

About the Author:
Brigitte is an Author, a Certified Life and Corporate Coach, is trained in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and is a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation). She has a degree in Psychology through Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, along with minor studies in Developmental, Industrial and Organizational Psychology through the University of Missouri in St. Louis, with a degree in Office Systems and Technologies from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri. She is a Focus Seminar of Kansas City graduate and presently a Training Captain for the St. Louis division and owns a small business in Jefferson County, Missouri. For additional information, or to schedule a personal coaching session or corporate development training with Brigitte, please call (636) 208-7952 or email readytoliveinc@gmail.com.

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The Power of Language – SORRY

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The word sorry is often overused and misunderstood. Many use it frequently without having made an intentional mistake. This often reflects low self-esteem or self-worth. On the other hand, many use it repeatedly seeking relief of guilt without behavioral modifications, which often reflects lack of empathy or self-discipline and can cause serious trust and relationship issues.

Do these scenarios sound familiar in your life, or perhaps in the life of a loved one? If so, the little tidbits in this article may help you and your loved ones by increasing awareness and giving some insight into the power of language and the use of frequent apologetic language.

Before we take a look at the definition of sorry, let’s do a short exercise. As most words differ in definition according to an individual’s interpretation, take one minute to increase personal clarity by asking yourself, “What does the word sorry mean to me and what am I saying while portraying it in every day usage?” Come on now, don’t cheat and check the dictionary; you can do it. What does sorry mean to you?

Now remember your definition as we explore how Webster defines sorry: 1) feeling mournful or sad (at someone’s misfortune); i.e., disheartened, compassionate, or concerned. 2) feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence (for having wronged); i.e., remorseful, guilty, or ashamed. Now let’s explore what this means for you as an individual and how you can use the power of language as a personal empowerment and relationship enhancement tool by applying collective knowledge of the word sorry.

Look at Webster’s first definition. Ever feel sorry because of someone’s loss or misfortune? Society would see this as being a healthy reaction, but have you ever asked yourself what it means and why we feel sorry when others hurt? Feelings are sensitivities to emotions that increase our awareness of something and prompt us to action. That being the case, how about the next time you feel sorry for someone, you remind and ask yourself, “At this moment, sorry means that I am feeling compassion and concern for someone who has experienced misfortune. Since the sole purpose of this feeling is to increase my awareness and prompt an action on my part, what can I do to express the compassion and concern I am feeling for this person in pain?” Remember action is much bigger than words, so consider making a real difference in someone’s life that is hurting by putting your words into action, in lieu of a simple apologetic phrase during times of pain.

Webster’s second definition of sorry explains that we are feeling sorrow or regret for having wronged someone. Are you someone who finds yourself apologizing frequently for mistakes or mishaps? If so, you are hereby urged to get these behaviors under control because it is detrimental to all relationships. Continual apologies without behavioral modification erodes the trust of others. At some point, those around you will simply tolerate instead of embrace you. If you notice this trend, don’t be hard on yourself, but get some help and honest feedback to overcome it, beginning immediately.

In order to develop or reestablish the confidence of others, when you feel sorry, ask yourself, “What lesson(s) can I gain from this mistake or mishap, what can I do differently next time, and what boundaries must I set in place to make sure this does not happen again?” Remembering feelings are there to increase awareness and prompt action; in lieu of apologizing, let the other party know what lesson(s) you learned, what you will do differently next time, and what boundaries you set in place to ensure the behavior is not repeated. Communicating this information, being honest, and then keeping your word will establish or rebuild the confidence others have in you and sorry will become less necessary in time.

On another note, if you are someone who apologizes frequently and carelessly without having intentionally wronged someone, ask yourself, “What am I sorry for, what do I want the other person to hear, and what is this saying about me?” Then consider working on your self-esteem and self-worth with confidence building exercises. Assuredly, there is nothing about you to be sorry for so be cautious when allowing that small but powerful word into your vocabulary.

Sorry is a beautiful word when used minimally and meaningfully and backed up by thoughtful action. There is great power in the language we use everyday, so it is important that we listen to what we are saying and understand the messages being portrayed and the intentions from which they came.

Brigitte Ranae, Certified Life Coach
President of Ready to Live Inc.
Phone: (636)208-7952
Email: readytoliveinc@gmail.com

Ready to Live Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization offering comprehensive coaching solutions. Professional life and corporate coaches are available to assist in personal development or corporate strategies. Whether you are responsible for team development within an organization or would like to host a training session in your home, church, or association, call our office to speak with one of our professionals about topics and tailored programs. If there is a topic you wish to see an article on, please email readytoliveinc@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.