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How Great Thou Part

How Great Thou Part

Are You Strong or Weak?

posted by corme

There have been so very many times since I began this divorce process that I have felt weak. So weak, that I have wondered what I am made of.

Do I have what it takes to be a single parent?
Do I have what it takes to support all of us?
Do I have what it takes to reinvent myself all these years later?
Do I have what it takes to manage the stress?
Do I have what it takes to suddenly make a big income?

I have felt self-conscious. I have been hard on myself. I have beat myself up for feeling tired and scared. For feeling alone and needy. For feeling overwhelmed and unsure. For feeling directionless and in need of direction.

Mostly, I have just felt weak. Like someone stronger could have figured this out sooner. That someone stronger would have cried less. That someone stronger would have held on to faith more. That someone stronger would already be self-supporting.

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That someone stronger would do a better job at this than me.

Then suddenly, I realized that I was becoming the sum of all my weakest moments. That while I had fervently worried about my strength, I had been gaining it in the process.

There cannot be strength without weakness.

Our weakest moments are in fact, our strongest hours.

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6 Reasons to Believe All Things Are Possible

posted by corme

On my last Birthday, my son Billy instagramed a pic of me and him with the caption, “Happy Birthday to a woman who for some reason believes all things are possible.”

It gave me pause. You never really know how you are seen through the lens of another. It also made me happy. I have always said that my overt dream has been to be a writer and my secret dream is to be a motivational speaker. Somewhere deep in my soul I have always believed in believing.

I tell my three children that all things are possible if it is important to them. I tell them that I will support their hopes and their dreams.

My son Billy has had a big dream. A dream that was well within reach that turned into a bumpy path.

I never wavered. I continued to tell him to believe in himself and go for what he wanted. I also told him what I tell my other boy’s. If they forget who they are, I will be the one standing in the room to remind them until they remember again.

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A few day’s ago, Billy found out that he has a chance at his dream. I never doubted him.

1. Believe in you own truth. Do not ever let another human being define you. I once read an interview with actress, Sharon Stone. The reporter asked her how she dealt with years of rejection before success. Her reply was simple and profound and I paraphrase, “I was smart enough to know that rejection was simply one persons opinion.” How true is this. The world is diverse (thank goodness) so don’t believe another person’s definition of you. Believe your own truth.

2. Believe in failure. It means you are getting closer to your dream. Our egos need to be mature enough to realize that life is both happy and sad. It is both magical and frightening. It is both rising and falling. It is a yin and yang. There can’t be one without the other. The road is both hills and flat. It is both straight and curvy. So expect that there will be negative with positive to reach your dreams.

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3. Believe in your strengths. There is a book called, “Strength Finder.” It’s premise is that instead of getting tutors and everything in the world for our children to be good at something they are not, let’s make them better at what they are good at. Of course, they may still need a math tutor to pass math. Only perhaps, their love for music means indulging that with extra focus so their passion brings more of them forth.

4. Believe in not giving up. I could write a lot of cliches about this only the simple fact of the matter is if you are bold enough to dream than you must be bold enough to never stop dreaming and never stop forging the actions to make that dream a reality. My mom taught me this. She was not a dreamer rather more of a realist; however, she never gave up. She defied the odds at a time when few single women raised children alone. She simply made it happen. She simply gave us the life of two parents because she never gave up.

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5. Believe in yourself. This one is complicated. There are confident people who will still hold themselves back by the lack of believing they deserve the best. It is only at our best that we are able to give our best. Enough said – if it’s in your heart you deserve it.

6. Believe in believing. You can still be a realist with dreams. Dream is just another word for ‘hope.’ Hope inspires us, moves us and restores us.

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Why I Still Sing

posted by corme

A year and a half ago, fed up, I got in my car and drove to an attorney’s office. I shook his hand, handed him a check and left with a sense of peace.

The next day, in the shower I began to sing.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “I am singing again.”

I had forgotten that I liked to sing… in the shower, in the car with the kids – wherever – I loved to sing.

I called my sister.

“I am so happy!” I squealed.

“Colleen,” she said. “This is temporary. Divorce is not a happy thing and it is going to get so much worse.”

Suffice it to say. My sister who likes the column moniker “Foxy Roxie” (she wanted a good name) was 100% correct.

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I foolishly thought it meant things were going to get better because I was taking my power back. Only when you are connected to someone for this long you can’t be free that quickly. I then have to add staying at home with my children all these years and I am powerless to be free of him in many ways. It will take a lot more time.

Regardless – I still sing! And that’s a window opening back to me until the door to him closes.

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3 Divorce Confessions

posted by corme

I sit at my computer this morning and all I can think is…

What I really want to tell you is that I feel awful. I look awful. That divorce has kicked my butt.

Only it’s not really divorce.

It’s another human being’s unresolved feelings that have turned this into a catastrophic, emotional war and my children unwitting, underage soldiers.

To be fair, it is also because I stayed in a bad situation so long that I am reduced. I am physically tired. I am emotionally battered. I am financially stressed. The problem is my spouse (soon to be ex-spouse) wants to battle.

Only tired me keeps showing up:

Without my armor
Without my horse
Without my shield

And this ex-Cinderella just wants to run back to the castle and hope that he can’t cross the moat.

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He always told me that I would never win. Me, I always replied that if that was his world view of love that he’d already lost.

So the truth is if you see me…I feel awful. I look awful and divorce has kicked my butt. Only it’s not really divorce.

It’s another human being’s unresolved feelings that have turned this into a catastrophic, emotional war and my children unwitting, underage soldiers.
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A Father’s Day Thought

posted by corme

I am sitting catching up on a stack of magazines that I have tucked next to me in my chair.

They are chock full of Father’s Day stories and of course, the usual celebrity ones. Most of the stories are nice and tell of lessons learned or such things, yet one jumps out at me.

It is written by actor and producer, Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard.

“He made us feel so loved,” she wrote.

There is no better testimony to parenthood.
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You Will Still Find Yourself Standing After This Storm

posted by corme

I’ve never done human suffering well.

I like to joke that it was all the cops and fireman in my family and of course, my uncle the priest. It was also without a doubt, my mother. She encompassed all that true compassion and empathy are and she put a hefty emphasis on kindness.

So believe me the irony is not at all lost on me, that I married a man who had no problem watching my suffering when I couldn’t stand to see a stranger suffer.

My marriage counselor who I like to call, “Dr. Phil,” once told me, “Colleen, often our greatest strength can become our greatest weakness. You are caring and you are caring to a fault. What would be one of your greatest strengths became your greatest weakness.”

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It was some of the best advice I had ever received. It brought me to a clearer understanding of who I am and forgiving the mistakes I had made.

Of course, the overly caring part in marriage is code for enabler. Unless, of course, you are married to someone equally as caring with good behavior.

I miss the days when my greatest strength was still just that. The days before my greatest strength became my greatest weakness. When I went so far to the other extreme by being used up by love that I no longer had love for myself. A journey that I wish God along with my own free will hadn’t chosen for me, but he did.

He did choose a path that took me so far away from myself that I had no choice except to realize and accept that much would not be the same in my life. I struggled and struggled with the acceptance of it.

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So afraid because I had already lost so much of myself. The more it took over as my weakness, the more I shed more of who I had always been. As I have tried to reemerge I have found myself afraid to look and see what’s truly left of me.

So instead, I hid. I cowered like a dog out in a storm, frightened to come back out once the rain had stopped…frightened to see the destruction that this last hurricane had wiped out since I had already stayed for too many.

Only when I did finally step out, I realized what we all realize in catastrophic storms…that if we are still okay when all the trappings around us are destroyed then we still have everything. We still have everything while we have nothing.

It is only when entirely everything has been washed away that we can recognize that truth. It is while the broken trappings still existed that we had alternated between fearing we had lost it all and kidding ourselves that we hadn’t.
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What We Don’t Want to Hear While We Struggle in Life

posted by corme

This morning I sit with my computer on my lap and my chocolate lab, Hazel nuzzling next to me on the couch (I know I’m a bad mother – she’s just so cute).

Anyway, I knew what I was going to write about today. I typed notes into my phone last night at midnight.

Only just now I opened an e-mail from my college friend “Kiki.” I had to share her words because they capture so much of what I feel as well.

Kiki writes:

So anyway, I was thinking about eons ago when we were sitting on the beach after I broke up with my college sweet heart…life always seems to come full circle doesn’t it…only now we have sooooo much to lose…..that day on the beach you said to me “let him go if he returns it was meant to be”…..I’ve come to hate all “those sayings”…..God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, when one door closes another opens, it wasn’t meant to be, you are so strong….some days I want to
just look at people and say “shut the $)&@ up, you have no idea what I am going thru and I don’t need your two cents comments”……this brings me to Max Lucado’s thought for the day:

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Don’t get angry. Don’t be upset; it only leads to
trouble. Psalm 37:8

“Anger. It’s easy to define: the noise of the soul.
Anger. The unseen irritant of the heart. Anger. The relentless invader of
silence….
The louder it gets the more desperate we become….
Some of you
are thinking….you don’t have any idea how hard my life has been. And you’re
right, I don’t. But I have a very clear idea how miserable your future will be
unless you deal with your anger.
X-Ray the world of the vengeful and behold the
tumor of bitterness: black, menacing, malignant. Carcinoma of the spirit. It’s
fatal fibers creep around the edge of the heart and ravage it. Yesterday you
can’t alter, but your reaction to,yesterday you can. The past you cannot change,
but your response to your past you can.”

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“Kiki’s” e-mail reminded me of another time a friend quoted me in our twenties. She said to me not too long ago, “Remember you said God never gives us more than we can handle.”

I was like what???? Did I say that???? And in my twenties no less after just losing both of my parents?? Much like “Kiki” I had no desire to hear that.

Only they were my words being recounted to me. So instead all I could do is reflect and be both amazed and disappointed about how very strong my faith was despite great loss and how weak it can be today.

All I could do is remember that faith held anger and bitterness at bay when I was just a young woman without a mother or a father.

All I could do is remember that “God never sends us more than we can handle.” And that when it seems as though he does…he sends us friends to remember that we can by telling us what we don’t want to hear.

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12 Quotes To Inspire Your Dreams

posted by corme

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” – Mary Oliver

“Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for amazing things.” – Josh Hinds

“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.” – enjoy-loving-quotes.tumblr.com

“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

“Sometimes life is risking everything for a dream no one can see, but you.” – lifehack.org

“I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

“You say I dream too big. I say you think too small.” – ohsoloveleyobsessions.tublr.com

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“Make a fairy tale and go live in it.” – websta.me

“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” – A.W. Tower

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” – Dr. Seuss

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” – Brave

“You must continue to dream the wild dream that you dreamed when you were young.” – Mike Tomlin

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12 Quotes on Loving Yourself

posted by corme

“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she had always been. But she had wings.” – Dean Jackson

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – Winnie the Pooh

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is your than you.” – Dr. Seuss

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

“No heart is shaped the same…it’s where our purpose lies.” – Colleen Sheehy Orme

“We are all a little broken. and that is okay.” – enjoy-loving-quotes.tumblr.com

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“Don’t look for society to give you permission to be yourself.” – Steve Maraboli

“Nothing is more beautiful than a smile that has struggled through tears.” – indulge.com

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be.” – society6.com

“Butterflies can’t see their wings, they can’t see how beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that.” – lespetitesgourmettes.com

“The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are, the second is being happy with what you find.” – twitter.com

“Why fit in when you were born to STANDOUT.” – Dr. Seuss

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The One Catholic Prayer I Never Knew About

posted by corme

I am listening to a sermon by a priest that I know. I call him ‘Father Hope.’

‘Father Hope’s” faith and wordsmith talent weave stories of great spirituality that stay with me long after I hear them. In fact, he reminds me much of what I love about Beliefnet. He is both faith and inspiration – hence why I initially gave him ‘his column name.’

I absorb his words, as usual.

‘Father Hope’ speaks of the many people that come up to him and tell him how blessed they are. He says he hears it often and from many. He hears of countless prayers of thankfulness for all of those blessings.

Forgive me as I paraphrase here:

“That’s great,” says Father Hope. “Blessings are great, but what about the bad stuff? Why aren’t we thanking God for all the struggles in our life because that is where a lot of the good stuff comes from – hidden blessings.”

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“Hmmmm,” I think. “Now there’s a new take on praying about my current situation.”

After all, that is what this St. Luke’s Elementary Catholic school girl remembers most about my youth. That everything is happening for a reason and that God is giving us these challenges to make us into the people we are meant to be. That one day we will look back and be grateful that it shaped us.

Well, luckily for me it didn’t take long to test the strength of this new approach. As usual, tears are not far within my reach at this time. As they flow, I begin to pray.

“Thank you God for these challenges. Thank you for these struggles.”

I repeat it over and over again.

Then something remarkable happens.

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I stop crying.

I start to chuckle because quite frankly, it is challenging to keep saying thank you in the midst of such stress, heartache and fear.

All I can do is shake my head and think this new prayer may work well for me. It restores my hope. It takes me from a place of dwelling on being overwhelmed to instead feeling like I can’t wait to see why God has taken me here.

Of course, I should expect no less from ‘Father Hope.”
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Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Sheehy Orme
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Previous Posts

Are You Strong or Weak?
There have been so very many times since I began this divorce process that I have felt weak. So weak, that I have wondered what I am made of. Do I have what it takes to be a single parent? Do I have what it takes to support all of us? Do I ...

posted 1:22:58am Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

6 Reasons to Believe All Things Are Possible
On my last Birthday, my son Billy instagramed a pic of me and him with the caption, "Happy Birthday to a woman who for some reason believes all things are possible." It gave me pause. You never really know how you are seen through the lens of ...

posted 1:15:35am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Why I Still Sing
A year and a half ago, fed up, I got in my car and drove to an attorney's office. I shook his hand, handed him a check and left with a sense of peace. The next day, in the shower I began to sing. "Wow," I thought to myself. "I am singing ...

posted 3:02:13pm Jun. 25, 2015 | read full post »

3 Divorce Confessions
I sit at my computer this morning and all I can think is... What I really want to tell you is that I feel awful. I look awful. That divorce has kicked my butt. Only it's not really divorce. It's another human being's unresolved ...

posted 3:41:36pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

A Father's Day Thought
I am sitting catching up on a stack of magazines that I have tucked next to me in my chair. They are chock full of Father's Day stories and of course, the usual celebrity ones. Most of the stories are nice and tell of lessons learned or such ...

posted 1:23:26am Jun. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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