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How Great Thou Part

How Great Thou Part

Have You Emotionally Outgrown Your Relationship?

posted by corme

A marriage counselor once said that “often what ends a marriage is that one person emotionally outgrows the other.”

As we get older some of us grow with our life experiences and some do not. Adding to that – often the spouse that emotionally outgrew the other contributed to the other not growing up.

If you do too much of parental responsibilities in a relationship then there isn’t much hope of the other person accepting responsibility for them.

Why should they?

They left home with someone solving all of their problems and then married someone who will solve all of their problems.

I wish I had known this when I was younger.

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6 Signs Your Relationship is Out of Balance

posted by corme

I am on the baseball field. I stand on the pitchers mound and throw the ball. I run to bat and then to first base. I catch the ball in the outfield and run and tag myself at second base.

Do you get where I am going with this?

If you are in a relationship and playing all the players positions then perhaps maybe you have never really been in a relationship at all.

How I wish I had known this.

I couldn’t possibly be pitcher, batter, outfielder and more.

You get the point – or at least I hope you are following me.

I had to spend a lot of time overcompensating because I was the only one showing up to the game from my team. We couldn’t win because there was zero balance. One person was trying to do it all.

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Are you immensely overwhelmed in your relationship because you are playing too many positions? Has this caused you to lose sight of yourself because you are spread so thin that you are no longer playing any of them well?

6 Signals to identify that your relationship is out of balance?

You are spending a tremendous amount of time solving your significant other’s problems.

You are gaining weight, losing energy, interest in things you love, or other things that identify a departure in who you typically are.

The behavior of your spouse is so consuming that it is taking the focus off of your children and yourself.

You are remaining self-responsible while the person you are married to is not; both adults in a relationship need to be self-responsible.

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The entire household now revolves around the behavior or interests of your significant other; meaning around one individual and not the whole family.

You are the only one in the relationship working on both the relationship and the family.

You can’t play a baseball game all by yourself. Everyone has to play their position. Everyone has to be not just a member of a team, but have a team mentality.

If your relationship is unbalanced, stop believing that you are “taking one for the team.” You’re really just ending up ‘benching’ yourself in the game of life.

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Have You Met Unhappiness?

posted by corme

The day after I retain my attorney I am singing in the shower. My first thought – oh my gosh, I remember this! I always used to sing in the shower. I had forgotten.

I tell my sister.

“That’s nice,” she says. “Only it’s going to get so much worse before it gets better.”

My sister has been here and she was right. Only even she could not have foreseen the road ahead of me. It’s hard to become instantly happy in divorce for several reasons. It’s just plain unruly and in my opinion unregulated. It also, as I have said before, is simply an extension of the misery in the marriage.

Unhappiness will knock on all of our doors – just in different shapes and forms.

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If you don’t open the door and let it in then it will wait for you. Unhappiness has a lot of patience. It will sit outside of your door and freeze in the snow, get soaked in the rain, or blister and wilt in the heat.

If you try and go out the back door and avoid it then it will follow you. It is a supreme and seasoned hitchhiker. Unhappiness will happily relocate with you.

I am a fixer, a pleaser and a problem solver (something I knew about myself and my marriage counselor confirmed).

Therefore, I usually welcomed unhappiness inside, let it deliver its message, let it linger a bit, fed it some more of my heart and then wished it well and turned the porch light off.

The problem is that fixers often fix their own problems, but they often attract themselves in relationships to those who cannot.

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I kept opening both my door and my husband’s door when unhappiness came calling.

I tried for a long time entertaining both his unhappiness and mine. Like the green blob of mucus in the MucinexDM commercials his kept showing up again. Since he wasn’t treating any of his symptoms. Pretty soon his mucus blob was following me around. A happy hitchhiker.

We all have to answer our own ‘unhappiness knock’ or things simply don’t get better.

The more you don’t address unhappiness the more it attaches itself to you. It gets bigger and bigger and then it becomes other peoples problem. Why? Because at first unhappiness shows up somewhat quietly and the more it’s ignored it goes all out temper tantrum, late night partier, cry baby on you.

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The fact that I am a fixer actually ‘enabled’ (oops there’s that word again) me to fix both of our problems for a while. However, I soon became exhausted and started to feel unhappy myself.

I always say there’s nothing wrong with unhappiness. It’s a fact of life. What is wrong is avoiding it, denying it or taking it out on others.

Unhappiness needs to be entertained; ignored, it will become a houseguest that never leaves.

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Are You Ready for a New Fairy Tale?

posted by corme

Any one who knows me will tell you that I have always been a cup is half full kinda girl. They will also tell you that my cup went from ‘runneth over’ to spilled, dumped, evaporated or a liquid ‘desert.’

I went from emotionally hydrated to emotionally dehydrated.

It has taken me a long time to let go of my ‘old’ fairy tale.

I am letting it go much like the balloons that flew towards the sky celebrating beginnings on my wedding day. I am symbolically allowing the strings to slip through my fingers of the emotional, imaginary balloons that signify endings.

I will admit, as I sit in my favorite coffee shop (Katie’s) and type these words that the lump in my throat is bubbling up towards that same sky. I will also divulge that while I break for a sip of my decaf coffee, the tears in my eyes (what appears to have remained the only hydrated part of my body) are peeking through.

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Hans C. Anderson once said, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”

The cup is half full kinda girl in me still believes that. I just need to pick my cup back up and refill it.

There will be new fairy tales.

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The ‘Godwink’ That Changed My Life

posted by corme

I squeeze beside my sister on the couch. Kathy’s new house overflows with moving boxes. I watch as she sifts through a bag of objects. She snatches an item, inspects it and then directs it to the proper pile.

I am eager to see what will stay and what will go. The younger sister, I am well accustomed to the opportunity before me and no stranger to the treasure of hand me downs. I catch a glimpse of a small, tan object. I grab for it as it slips through my sister’s hand.

“What will you do with it?” questions Kathy.

At nineteen, I certainly do not know what I will do with this particular item.

I tuck it inside my purse, laugh and turn towards Kathy.

“I’m not sure,” I respond. “Only I am pretty certain that nothing good can come from getting rid of something that says, “The Lord Is Good,” on it.”

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I hug Kathy and walk towards the car. I toss several moving blankets into the backseat and I am on my way.

I am tired. The summer has been long. I am working two jobs to pay for college and taking a night class.

It is the early morning hours of that evening, that I fall asleep at the wheel.

I hit a few small trees.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the backseat of the car. The engine screams a horrific banter. I struggle to turn the car off.

I collapse into the backseat until firefighters and noise from the ‘jaws of life’ wake me. I worry that my brother may be here to rescue me. Fortunately, he is not on call.

“Honey, who was driving this car?” asks one of the firefighters.

“I was driving this car,” I reply.

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“Honey, who was driving this car?” he questions me again and then a third time.

“Honey, I WAS driving this car,” I quip with exhaustion.

Only then do they stop searching the site for another person because they are confused to find me in the backseat.

They are finally able to extricate me. I am on a stretcher in the street and a policeman glances down at me.

“I didn’t think they were going to pull anyone alive out of that car,” he says.

The ambulance pulls into the hospital. My poor mother how it hurts to see the look on her face. They wheel me into the room as I hear my mom whisper for the name of a good plastic surgeon.

They tell my mom that I will either have severe internal injuries, brain damage or be paralyzed. I’m sure in many ways they were going on the sheer impact of the accident.

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I do in fact, have several fractured vertebrae, a concussion, a nerve in my left hand has been nearly severed, swelling, bruises and cuts. My family will not show me a mirror.

I defy the odds. I am thrown to the backseat and would have been crushed had I not been. I hit the visor mirror only I am not wearing my contacts I am wearing my glasses so the glass goes in my face and not my eyes. The moving blankets in the backseat serve as somewhat of a cushion when I am thrown back there.

My brother having walked the scene of the accident enters my hospital room. Billy opens his hand to expose the broken plastic that he holds. There, with much awe and wonder, I feast my eyes upon the many broken fragments of the small, tan object. The plastic case that once held scissors is now shattered.

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There among the many is one piece, still in tact, that reads, “The Lord Is Good.”

It is what SQuire Rushnell, author of the “When God Winks” series, would call a “Godwink.”

(Note: As a writer, this is the only time a book moved me so deeply that I immediately bought a dozen copies to give to people)
A Link to “When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence.”
GODwinks Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GODwinks?fref=ts

http://www.amazon.com/When-God-Winks-You-Coincidence/dp/0785218920/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428503317&sr=1-2&keywords=when+god+winks

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What Alabama Football Taught Me About Life

posted by corme

Alabama football coach, Nick Saban has been called a perfectionist.

In an interview with 60 Minutes on CBS, “Saban preached to his players. Don’t worry about winning, just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow.”

I watch the interview with fascination because as a marketer I am curious to read between the lines of Saban’s brand success. I find it in the aforementioned quote. Saban is not focusing on the win, but rather a solid mission statement that is irrefutable. Alabama football knows who they are and what they are about. The winning part is obvious in any sport. It is not the shelf value of the brand.

Some time after that television interview, my son and nephew and I sit at the kitchen table. The conversation flows easily as we chat about the day. The topic switches to my son’s evening lacrosse game.

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“Why aren’t you playing like you usually do?” I ask.

“I want to be selfless,” my son responds.

“Why would you want to be anyone, but yourself?” my nephew asks. “There are guys who would do anything to be able to do what you do.”

My nephew rises from his chair, walks towards the door and turns around.

“Be Yourself,” he says. “I want you to call me later and tell me that you scored 6 goals.”

This obvious lacrosse conversation is really about life.

Every single one of us bring something to the table whether it be in our personal or professional lives. We bring forward our authentic selves with the hope that together we achieve great things in our lifetime.

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So wherein lies the balance of selflessness and selfishness?

There is no need to explain ‘selfishness’ it’s counterintuitive to a prosperous life.

Interestingly, ‘selflessness’ appears a positive contribution to the game of life.

Yet, if it is extreme and not balanced then it can actually hinder, not help. An individual can lose what is their ‘personal best.’ Soon others will overcompensate and the selfless individual will throw the game off.

In life when we play our ‘personal best’ we contribute in a way that only we can. We are in the moment. We are not in the past nor are we in the future. We are in the present.

My son came home that evening having scored those six goals. His look of preoccupation gone and his sense of self once again shining brightly through. I spotted a restored balance that was missing while he was trying so hard to be something for others that he lost something of himself.

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I certainly identify with that as I lost much of myself giving to another.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban may be labeled a ‘perfectionist.’ I believe he’s compelling his athletes not towards perfection, but rather their ‘perfect’ selves. Why would we want to show the world anything else?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nick-saban-alabama-football-coach-crimson-tide-60-minutes/

(CBS News 60 Minutes Interview)
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(Image from sport city.us)
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Are You Over-Responsible for Others and Under-Responsible for Yourself

posted by corme

My marriage counselor welcomes me and I make my way to the couch. He closes the door and then finds the way to his chair. I often say that this is my personal oxymoron, ‘marriage counseling’ by myself. I am in the middle of this divorce and this is still where I seek counsel.

We chat for a bit about a topic that has come up multiple times over the years.

It seems I am overly responsible for others and under responsible for myself. What does this mean? It means that I devote myself to solving the problems of others. It also means that I don’t put enough time into myself. Not in the way that one might think by that first sentence. I am an extremely responsible person. It means that my over responsibility to others makes me put my own needs last. That is the under responsible part.

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“I know we have spoken about this many times,” I say. “It’s just that when my life was balanced and happy, I was able to to be this person without it causing havoc in my life. I now realize; however, that in the problems of marriage and divorce that I have let myself go to a point of imbalance. I realize in doing so that my under responsibility for myself now may over burden my children.”

My marriage counselor sits back in his seat and nods in agreement.

Women hear this all the time and some men do as well. That while it may seem within our capacity to solve the problems of those that we love, the truth is we compromise both ourselves and the people we love by over compensating. We give away so much energy, emotion and power that we leave little for our own selves. The ones we love get their problems solved only they are not empowered to solve them on their own. So really while it seems to work for both parties, it is simply a temporary fix.

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The overly responsible aspect of this person becomes depleted eventually by solving not only their own problems, but also the problems of those they love.

The underly responsible aspect of this person simply becomes lost having given away so much of themselves that they can’t find themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. I am neither Martyr nor Saint.

I’m not some superhero problem solver. I am not some creative giant.

I simply played a role. We all play roles in life. We fit into the space where we are needed. The space that begins in childhood.

I thought I was doing something good in being a fixer. I know now that certainly it is good to help others only sometimes I can’t fix and solve everything.

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I also know that I wasn’t helping those I love if I was constantly solving. If I was occasionally solving then yes, that was a help, but constant solving hinders not helps.

It’s hard to grasp that what I once thought was a strength, has in actuality become my weakness.

My ‘marriage counselor for one’ once told me…”Colleen, often our greatest strength becomes our greatest weakness.”

I always listened to what he said. However, until now, I wasn’t ready to let go of my strengths long enough to admit they had indeed become my weakness.

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Making ‘I love you’ One of Your Best Habits

posted by corme

I pick my son Danny up from the house of a friend. The car is quiet.

“I love you,” says Danny. He shakes his head back and forth with awareness of the words that have just left his mouth.

“That’s a habit I picked up from you,” he says with some teenage agony.

“One of my better habits,” I respond back with a smile.

I know of what Danny speaks. I naturally like most mothers tell my children that I love them as often as I can. Those moments are often before they leave the house, hang up the phone, are feeling low, are feeling high or going to bed. They are wonderful, yet somewhat expected ‘I love you’s.’

I have since they were little always offered unexpected ‘I love you’s’ while driving in the car. The car has always brought me into the moment. I hear them all laughing hysterically over something or even bickering and I am reminded of the beauty of my family. Often though it is in the quiet moments of the car when I will reflect on how happy I am to just ‘be with’ them. That is when I utter ‘I love you’ and they, long used to my random car ‘love’ oblige with an ‘I love you’ back.

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I always tell my children that I hope that they duplicate the best of me and throw away the worst.

I know that somewhere down deep this must have been a ritual with my own mother that I am passing along.

One of her better habits.

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I Want to Shine Again

posted by corme

I am chatting with my friend “Trixie.”

She tells me that she has met a few women lately who are re-emerging in their lives.

“They are some bad-ass women,” says Trixie. “I want to be bad-ass again.”

“I want to be bad-ass again, too,” I say back.

I hang up the phone. Later I drive to the center of town. I sit at the stop light and a tree catches my eye. It’s the same tree it’s always been. It’s always been on the corner only now it’s decorated for Easter just as it was for St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas.

This run of the mill tree in this greatly wooded, country town now shines.

I used to shine.

Now I am just one of the many trees.

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I am struggling to re-emerge in my life. Why? Because I paid a high price for staying in a failing marriage for too long. I lost my shine.

I lost my bad-ass.

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Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life?

posted by corme

I drive towards town. The air is colder than the past few days and it suits my morning mood. I fiddle with the radio not able to find a song that I like. I hear the hypnotic voice of Stevie Nicks.

She is singing “Landslide” and the car fills with more stillness than it already possesses. The lyrics speak to me.

“Well, I”ve been afraid of changing ‘Cause I built my life around you.”

The tears that I have held at bay for weeks now (a divorce eternity) find their way from the corner of my eyes.

The past twenty some years on rewind. I am just nineteen. I did build my life around him.

I think of my friend “Daughtry” and how he told me that divorce was just like graduation day. That I am sad for the goodbye and uncertain of the future, yet exciting new things are coming my way.

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I grasp at the image of graduation. I hold onto the hope “Daughtry” gives me – only those goodbyes were fleeting not forever. They were ‘until we meet again’ over love, laughter and for life. It was me and Lora, Maribeth, Joanne, Susan, Lorianne, Ellen, Elizabeth, Tracey and more. Somehow our lives would weave and wind together far after our caps flew up into the air.

I will not be taking this person that I built my life around with me after this graduation. He and I will not share the love and laughter and for life again.

I stop at the stop sign. The song and Stevie and me say goodbye – because I know I have to ask myself…

“Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I”ve been afraid of changing ‘Cause I built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder.
And children get older and I’m getting older too.”

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And ready for this landslide.

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Me and my friend Joanne

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Sheehy Orme
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Previous Posts

Have You Emotionally Outgrown Your Relationship?
A marriage counselor once said that "often what ends a marriage is that one person emotionally outgrows the other." As we get older some of us grow with our life experiences and some do not. Adding to that - often the spouse that emotionally ...

posted 5:10:22pm Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

6 Signs Your Relationship is Out of Balance
I am on the baseball field. I stand on the pitchers mound and throw the ball. I run to bat and then to first base. I catch the ball in the outfield and run and tag myself at second base. Do you get where I am going with this? If you are in ...

posted 7:41:24pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Have You Met Unhappiness?
The day after I retain my attorney I am singing in the shower. My first thought - oh my gosh, I remember this! I always used to sing in the shower. I had forgotten. I tell my sister. "That's nice," she says. "Only it's going to get so ...

posted 3:01:24pm Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Are You Ready for a New Fairy Tale?
Any one who knows me will tell you that I have always been a cup is half full kinda girl. They will also tell you that my cup went from 'runneth over' to spilled, dumped, evaporated or a liquid 'desert.' I went from emotionally hydrated to ...

posted 3:30:13pm Apr. 09, 2015 | read full post »

The 'Godwink' That Changed My Life
I squeeze beside my sister on the couch. Kathy’s new house overflows with moving boxes. I watch as she sifts through a bag of objects. She snatches an item, inspects it and then directs it to the proper pile. I am eager to see what will ...

posted 2:52:57pm Apr. 08, 2015 | read full post »

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