Opinion: Are Non Violent Prisoners Receiving Extensive Sentences?

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It has been estimated that the US prison system has cost our country, and tax payers, over $80 BILLION dollars per year. Not to mention additional costs by families who want to support their loved ones, stay connected, and add hope to overcome their isolation. That cost can roughly be another $2.9 Billion dollars in paid phone connections, commissary items, and restitution costs.

Just recently the state of California alone has proposed a release of 8000 prisoners who have 180 days left or less on their record due to covid-19 issues. This follows a previous release of over 3500. These are non violent offenders. One problem I see with this is some prisoners could have been non violent at the time of arrest but prison life has created a violent offense. Therefore they are no longer eligible. Did it take the corona virus to have them released sooner? Or might we think their sentences were too long to begin with?

Many non violent offenses are drug related. Since drug addiction is an illness, it seems that the tax payers funds, and family funds, should be better used for court mandated intervention and drug rehabilitation. As long as there are no violent offenses, why not opt for rehab instead of incarceration? Isn’t the idea of the arrest and discipline to teach, inform, and rehabilitate offenders so they can be active contributing people in our society?

What about anger management, drug diversion, technical schooling opportunities and other programs that might actually rehabilitate instead of ruining lives? Our lock them into prison and throw away the key mentality has caused more of a burden on society than to offer mandatory rehabilitation and create active, useful, members of society who actually could have a chance at a good life.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are those who deserve to be in prison because of the horrible things they have done while on the outside. Yet, there are also those who fall through the cracks of the justice system, feeling they have no other choices and end up in violent situations after incarceration that ultimately lengthens their sentences.

Just looking at how many prisoners recently released in the state of California alone tells us that there are those who obviously have received sentences that have been too long. Don’t we think that creating re-entry programs is a better choice than lock them up and release them into a world they are no longer used to? Life is about learning. Rehab for a drug addict should never be a choice in court, but mandatory. Programs where court reporting for drug rehab have been shown to actually work with juvenile offenders when held accountable. Accountability and mentor programs can go a long way in helping potential offenders develop character and skills to lead upstanding lives alongside their families.

For those who are not sex offenders, not violent citizens, do not do harm to anyone but themselves, don’t we think that maybe giving them a mandated chance for change, rather than incarceration could be a better answer? It seems that channeling our energy and tax dollars into mandatory rehabilitation centers would be a smarter idea than over crowded prison systems that do nothing but cause more anger, depression, feelings of separation and loss than rehabilitation. This does not even cover prison inflicted illness that can be life altering and life taking.

We have a country filled with talented drug counselors, anger management coaches, life coaches, and clergy that would make great candidates for employment in centers that help human beings become active members of our societies instead of training more prison guards  to monitor humans who really just needed a better chance in society. Many incarcerated human beings come from one parent families, usually with an absent father. Are we compassionate enough to give them the things they missed out on in this country? It’s not just about dollars and cents, its about what makes sense.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

**References

The Marshall Project

 

I Learned the Greatest Lesson of All…from MY Clients

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If you have ever known me, or have been connected to me, you know how much I love my work.  There is nothing more amazing to me than to be trusted enough to be allowed into another person’s heart and life. I count it an honor to be held in confidence. At times it has been to such a level, I have been told things that my clients have never revealed to another single soul.

There is nothing quite as satisfying to me than to know I have left a conversation and my client has had an “aha” moment, or has felt a great load being lifted from their shoulders. Yet, there have been those from time to time who have either come right out and told me I had not helped them at all. Or there have been those who have just quietly distanced themselves from me. In those cases I would get off the phone or go home feeling tied up in knots wondering what I could have done better.  I took it hard and usually put all of the load on myself.

Comforting myself, I would reason that I am not perfect, and don’t know all of the answers. While this is true, there had been one piece of the puzzle I had not considered, “I can not assist anyone who does not love themselves enough to realize they need to make their own changes”. I can facilitate, but I can’t change anyone. Change comes from the inside out. One element that has to always be there is self love.

The amazing thing, is the most difficult clients revealed to me my own lack of self confidence and self love. Everyone is a mirror to us no matter what the role we play in one another’s lives. Literally, my rejecting clients expected me to fix them and I strained within myself thinking that it was my job.

Learning the lesson about fixing my own self, loving myself, and being confident within myself, has been a hard one. I’ve had to weed through all of the junk that led me to “people please” and allow others to judge me, or compromise my sense of self worth. Bottom line, we are all a work in progress. With my progression, I discovered it has been alright to walk away from those who dishonored me, because I could honor myself. It’s easier said than done.

This is the reality; no one changes without having to do the work and without finding self love first. Without self love we only live in the reflection of those who want us to conform to their image. I take a deep breath and relax when I remember that the only image I need to conform to is God’s. Even then, it is not God outside of me but God who is a part of my being. The power of love is in our own DNA. I had to get a grasp of this completely, or I would always feel like I would fall short.

It’s work, but when done right everything shifts in the right direction. People leave because they become insulted, irritated, or offended. I’ve learned to let them go. The payoff is others will appear. It’s like a miracle of life. Those that appear are the ones who are ready for what I have to offer and always give me the gift of appreciation in return.

This is the pleasure of life. Walking in the Light of love is always the greatest feeling in the world. Sometimes I forget, like I suddenly have some sort of amnesia. Spirit always draws me back to where I need to be. Sometimes this happens with a struggle but when I turn to the greatest love ever, I always remember.

So, with all of this said; the greatest work I have ever achieved was to love myself the way God does. When this happens everything falls into place. Resistance never allows miracles to happen. Self doubt and struggle will never bring balance or miracles. Yes, my clients have taught me the road to least resistance. The responsibility has always been their own. Mine is to be there, to listen, to interject wisdom when wisdom comes, and to smile at the end of the day.

A job well done always comes with a life well loved.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, Phd

JenineMarie.com

Choices We Make That Empower Us

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I entitled this blog post the way it is because I was thinking about choices this morning. My meditative practice was harder than usual because I had so many things swirling around in my brain. As it settled, some interesting thoughts came to me. Even though I don’t believe anyone should live in the past, I do believe the past has lessons we can still learn and sometimes those lessons even define who we eventually are.

A long time ago I worked for a commercial bank called Bay Bank of Commerce in San Leandro, CA. I think the years were somewhere around 1982. I was a single mother with one small son at the time. I loved that bank. I loved the way I was treated by those who founded it and those who appreciated me as a young professional. I have to thank the CEO and founder @DickKahler for the opportunity I was given. I was only there maybe close to 2 years, and worked in the commercial real estate loan processing department. Unfortunately, one person who worked above me gave me a very difficult time during a pregnancy that was pretty delicate. After some careful consideration I had to quit my job there.

No way had that move ever reflected on the wonderful way that commercial bank was built or how business was executed. I knew I had the finest of the best in the business. Yet, I had to stand up for myself due to one person’s treatment. I was a pretty shy and very unassuming person at the time. I have to say, quitting without another job to hang onto was not an easy prospect. It really took a lot of faith. Actually, it built my faith.

I went on to build a family, was married and then divorced. For many years I raised five children on my own with no real help from anyone. After consulting with a superior court family judge, I decided to educate myself. Her advice was straight on for me. Judge Chew, wherever you are, I LOVE YOU! I started at the community college level but that was only the beginning. My education took me to places I never thought I would be.

I was accepted by a pilot program through Stanford University in California. I studied with students from various places on the globe. I did some of my trans-personal/spiritual internship at Mt Madonna, CA. I graduated with a liberal arts degree with emphasis on psychology and human behavior through Southern New Hampshire University. I have three degrees in theological study leading to a Master’s from Grand Canyon University along with 3 years of Clinical Psychology study, and a Doctorate from the University of Sedona. I am excited to have studied in classes conducted by Harvard University. I also have learned from some wonderful spiritual, philosophical teachers from Daytona Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami, Florida. Much of my study led to certifications in Life Coaching, Trans-personal Counseling, Holistic Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Yes, I have a lot of education!

I was surprisingly privileged to conduct a class, a church service, and speak before some of our country’s leaders during one of the dedication moments near Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. I was honored to be the Pastor of two small group churches, speak in local places of worship, and now I meet the most amazing people on earth that I call “my clients.”

My major point here is that one move to step into my own personal power, along with the power of God, created who I am today. I am assertive in ways I never would have been had it not occurred. It might seem simple and small, but it created a domino affect of so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. In fact, it changed my life. Over the course of time I have made good decisions and not so good. Fact remains that one step of empowerment made all of the difference in the world.

Don’t ever underestimate your own power to make decisions that could define the rest of your life. Step into it. Yes, you might step into some thick mud but lotus flowers bloom in thick mud, and so can you!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

832-484-8306

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries, LLC 

**Special thank you to @DickKahler, @BayBankofCommerce (Sad to say the bank is now closed)

Stay True to Your Word: Put Away Hypocrisy

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Not all of my messages are uplifting. I would like them to be, but most are teaching and usually what brings the hard lessons so a difficult life can be spared from you. It’s a dirty job. You know the rest, “someone has to do it”. The first lesson in the Bible is about hypocrisy; a lie.

One reason so many love they can count on God is the ability to trust.  It’s hard to trust people because of the human temptation to be hypocritical. Meaning, saying one thing and yet doing another. Some believe this is not lying, but it is. A hypocrite is a liar. Even worse those who are, lie to themselves, make excuses with themselves, and crush any trust they have attempted to gain with anyone.

Some, often rake up a real hard to swallow reputation by exposing their inner hypocrisy. It’s a difficult burn inside to find out from your so called “friend” that your reputation has lost it’s luster because of all of those who now know you have lied, been a hypocrite, and even worse lied to yourself by making excuses.

Grace is a wonderful thing. It gives forgiveness when we don’t deserve it. Yet, there comes a time when even God says there will be no forgiveness and the offender will be turned over to their own mistrusted heart. I have a huge pointer, or piece of advice for those who feel it has been hard to keep their word, have made excuses for all out lies, or think they can be a hypocrite and always be forgiven.

  1. Practice trusting YOURSELF- if you can maintain trust in yourself then you are most of the way there. This requires complete HONESTY as to why or how you feel you can be trusted. Would you trust your same actions from others? I’ve just given you your launching pad. So, my advice is to take it and launch.

I could go on and say trust God but I would rather tell you to seek God and emulate that character. It’s a hard lesson to learn but those who lie, are hypocritical, and omit facts by making excuses will attract the same to them in others and eventually repel those with a lot of inner integrity from them. I want to spare you this pain, so maybe you might want to go back to the beginning and read this again if you need to. Don’t be someone who repels the character of God.

Romans 1:28

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

I Know of a Man Who Was Named Saul

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There once was a man named Saul. He seemed to be a very heartless person. You see, Saul had a spirit of self righteousness and absolutely hated Christians! We all know how the ego part of us get us in to trouble. Well, Saul had a big one of those! I have a personal theory that Saul persecuted Christians because deep in his heart he was jealous of them. The bible does not say he was jealous, but I feel that could have been some of his motivation. There they were, a newly excited people, named Christians because of their belief in the Christed One; Jesus. They had an encounter with the risen Christ. How could they not be excited? There was new evidence that more awaited them after they left this world as they knew it.

Saul was determined to dampen their spirit but he could not. The joy of the new Christians was so overwhelming that nothing could take away their excitement. Yes, there was persecution. We all endure this today. We are persecuted whether we are Christian or not. It makes no difference. Still, in certain circles if we mention the name Jesus, people will move away from us. It’s all good. It’s not our issue.

Anyway, God, who sees the hearts of all men and women, apparently looked into Saul’s heart and saw something he obviously did not allow to show. There was great love and also extreme determination. Very slyly Jesus met Saul while he was traveling down a long lonely road to Damascus. Jesus, at this time was arisen! So He appeared as His glorified self to Saul. What a sight that must have been!

Saul had a change of heart after his experience that left him blind for a few days. Any time we look into a great light our eyes can not see anything but a shadow of the figure we were staring at. Jesus is a great light! After this experience Saul’s name was changed to Paul to reflect the heart that was revealed within him. God had taken a heart of stone and gave Saul a heart of flesh. In other words, he was softened. A heart that once caused him to glare at Christians in order to kill them, now had great love for them. I’m sure this confused many. God knew that Paul had what it took to carry on and spread good news to all he encountered and move onward to write most of what we know as the New Testament of the bible.

What a difference a day makes, right? God does not look at worthiness in us, He sees potential. Nothing can ever make us worthy, but a lot can give us potential. We have the potential to love, create, give, have compassions, and do great things among the people of our age. Need I go on? As I stare at a statue of Jesus with his arms lifted high in the air that my son gave to me one Christmas, it reminds me of the potential my son carries in his heart. His actions might not have always reflected the right choices, but I know that his heart is a sweet one that God loves very much. I know God sees his goodness and his love for a Savior who will never allow him to be out of His reach.

It is the same with you. God will never move away from you. My late son, Jayson, loved the book of Romans chapter 8 in the bible. The book explains that nothing can ever take God’s love from us, and I mean NOTHING. This is important for those who truly need to know they are loved. Sometimes we feel we are not. God always loves us. Even during our darkest hours. In fact, He is there for us more during our times of darkness shining brightly and waiting for us to call on Him. When we do, he reveals Himself in as much a profound way he did to Saul. Our road might not be the same as Sauls and we might not write books that stand the test of time, but no matter what we do, the Lord is with us. He says, “Even to the end of the age…”

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

Creating Daily Rituals

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A ritual is formally defined as a spiritual or religious rite that is practiced and done regularly.  We also can create habits or actions that we do consistently and regularly, as if they are religious- like. I suppose we can say “we do them religiously.” Much of the time we describe a ritual as an act or action we do daily. This can be anywhere from our skin care to our work out routine. It’s probably a good idea to squeeze some of the spiritual ritual into our daily routine as well. A well rounded life has them all; the everyday actions that are mostly habits and the more divinely inspired moments that are more deeply rooted in who we are and our existence.

Daily rituals are needed for humans. Without them we are floating daily like a boat just drifting out to sea with no real direction. Rituals help give us direction, especially the deep spiritual ones. One of mine every morning is to grab my cup of coffee or tea and then sit back on the corner of my bed and close my eyes as I sip on my cup. This is my quiet time when I still my thinking, pray, ask for guidance, and tap into the spiritual “me”. I have found that the cup of coffee or tea is important because it signals to me this is the moment I am going to spiritually sink into my breathing, balance myself, and state my case with God. Whatever the moment brings for me, that is what it is. In other words I allow my ritual to unfold with no prior design or agenda.

I’ve often thought, and said, how we begin our morning is how our day will unfold. I like mine to begin with good thoughts, or dumping out difficult feelings,and replacing them with better more powerful ones. This morning ritual for me is my inspiration time. Often I will write my blog right after my morning moments. This did not happen automatically, I had to create it. I had already established my morning quiet moments with my coffee just to wake up and get ready for the day. It seemed simple to just add my spiritual moment with it. That way I know I will alway stick to it until it becomes a habit, and it has!

If you want to create sacred moments or just bring in some good habits for your life; think of things you already do and see what you can add to them. If you cook every day at 5pm, then consider adding some music and dancing while cooking. That brings in some exercise and some good mood enhancement. If you shop regularly, park way out in the back of the parking lot so you have to walk all the way to the front door and back. It might not seem like much but add a briskness to it and you have at least a couple minutes of even more exercise.

Or, if you procrastinate writing your book, think of when you are on your computer just checking social media. Cut some of that time and move over to your book and just write a few sentences or do some editing. It has been said it takes at least 21 days to establish a new habit. Keep on doing it and you will find your book will be written more often than social media time.

I need to read in order to write wisely on topics. I also love my reading time. I am so curious and love to read on certain topics that really interest me. It’s so easy to plop down into bed and just go to sleep or meditate myself to sleep. I have found if I go to bed earlier and pick up the book while I am still mostly awake then I establish a way to finish that book instead of allowing it to just sit on the nightstand.

I’m sure if you consider your day you can find things you regularly do that can be added to in order to enhance your life and establish a new habit. Whatever you do, consider when you can add your quiet inspired time when you can be spiritually silent and just allow thoughts to enter into your mind. Let this time be sacred; moments when you and God meet with body, mind and spirit to enhance your life.

There are enough moments in a day to get everything done that you need to do. Take out the things that no longer serve you and replace them with your needs, wants, and desires. If you need to drink more water, put a water bottle next to your bedside or place of spiritual inspiration. After your spiritual time drink water.

I think you get my point. Start by creating a list of all of the things you want to add to your daily life and habits. Then narrow that list down to just 3-5 and add one of them at a time. Group it with something you already do. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have a good strategy to get it all created!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

Characteristics of Love: Love is Not Self-Seeking

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Not being self seeking can be confusing at first. On one hand we can not give of anything until we have it within ourselves. Being self assured, self giving, and providing self care are all good things. We do need to seek our healing, our inner light, and to seek out what is best in our lives. We give out of the overflow of what we have and who we are. We also self seek when we seek God to an extent. We seek to lose fear, define our lives, search out our purpose and expand our horizons. These are all great things and we should all do them!

I believe what the author is saying here is that love does not behave selfishly with an attitude of entitlement over the needs of others. It’s very different to be self loving from being selfish and self centered in an arrogant way. Arrogance is a form of pride that lords itself over others. The type of self seeking that love is not is the kind that says, “I deserve more than you because I am better than you are.” True love never sees anyone that way, but sees us all as equal even when we don’t all behave on the playground.

We might have different places we fill in business, in life, or in family, but we are all equal in God’s sight. To self seek is to seek without God, from ego and not through Spirit. God’s Spirit is Holy and there is nothing prideful or arrogant within the love that is held in God’s Holiness. Self seeking is also a state of division. It states that a person feels they are higher or above all others and therefore deserve preference over others. It denies the Oneness that Jesus prayed to “the Father” about.

When we are looking to embody true God-love we do not seek preference over others but see one another as equal. We understand that we are not completely whole without one another. Everyone is in a state of “becoming”, so not everyone will be on the same spiritual path as another. Jesus did not come to the earth to just visit so He could establish a set of people who would have it all and others would not. Truth says Jesus came for the whole world, to set people free, to show the way, to relieve us all of condemnation, to pour out grace, to teach healing, and point the way toward eternity. Jesus laid down His life for EVERY human being ever created and came to this planet. That means people who were before, who were then, and who were to be. Literally EVERYONE. Not just those who believe as He does but even those who do not believe at all. Jesus was and is the supreme example of love if we ever saw one. He displayed a love that was never self seeking; a love that laid itself down for those who needed it more.

Do you want to embody this kind of love? Its hard when our human side always will compete to interfere. I believe this comes from not being healed from past trauma. We only act and react poorly from our soul scars. When we are healed and clean from those things then God within us can become bigger and more profoundly present. Remember Peter in the bible? People were healed just walking into Peter’s shadow. Peter did not receive any special preference from God or special grace. Jesus said we all could do greater things than even He had. When He said, “all” he meant everyone. Only pure love and faith could be that profound as to heal others with just being present. Isn’t that the express image of God’s love?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

 

Have You Discovered the Power of Taking Holy Moments?

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This morning I sat with my tea just waking up and taking in the new day. I closed my eyes for a moment and the first thing I noticed was all of the noise that usually goes unnoticed. The heater came on, a car went by outside, birds were chirping in the trees, and then the ding of a message coming in on my phone. Our lives and world is filled with noise every day. The only time we are really not consciously aware of it is when we sleep. I can’t explain it, with my eyes still closed, the world suddenly came alive with deeper sounds and things I never noticed before. I realized the heater also makes a howling noise when it is on, the house creaks, and I actually sense light even when my eyes are closed.

Taking a holy moment to just “be” is so revealing, especially when beginning to recognize personal thoughts, senses of the body, or setting intentions of how the day could unfold. I remember reading a book written by Marianne Williamson a long time ago and also her famous quote, “Sacred silence writes the universe.” I thought about the moment just prior to creation and how that silence might have been. What an amazing moment in a void space of time when God took a breath and began creating. It boggles my mind to even consider what a great mind God truly is. I think it goes beyond personal comprehension and is far greater than our human existence can even fathom. Then with great intention God creates.

It’s how our day should begin and how it could be if we design it that way; a holy moment with God and the intention to create the day whatever way we partner in creating it. Think about this, “Without intention our lives seem random as the day unfolds.” It does not have to be that way. Of course, things happen that we can not control but we can control how we respond to them. I wondered this morning, what it might be like to have a day that unfolds with sacred and intended responses.

“Today I will take a breath and intend to be patient when I am tempted to be impatient.”

“I will walk in acceptance that the only life I can have control over is my own.”

Intentions can be much more powerful than we even realize. Could it be because we are not listening or taking sacred silence? When we listen, answers are there for our questions and questions come up we never thought of. It almost feels like the world forgot how to breathe, ask, listen, observe, and intend. Have we forgotten about the holy moment God taught us to have when creation began? Maybe we are in too much of a hurry to take the time to actually do the work that creation and intention require? Not taking the time can be costly though. That leaves our lives and days to unfold in what seems like a random way. If the way we respond to what comes our way is not set with intention our responses are left to our ego self instead of the part of us that is connected to our creative creator.

Maybe this sounds way too deep to take in during a morning cup of tea, but it is important. Can you imagine if we all took a holy moment every day or even several times a day? We can intend to be more kind, respond with more wisdom, pause before we respond at all. Maybe we can be more conscious of what comes out of our mouths. Are our responses positive, necessary, or true? Taking a holy moment to set our intention for each day can help calm some of the emotion we deal with. Emotions are important but they can cause our lives to feel like we are riding in a sail boat being tossed around by an angry or uncontrollable sea. Jesus once calmed those angry and uncontrollable waves. I think it was King David who asked God to level the hills and valleys. Could he have been setting an intention with God to not react in such an emotional or uncontrolled way?

Life can be a “hills and valleys” kind of ride without taking holy moments to sit in sacred silence. If you have not, take that time now and take it every day when you wake. Yes, it requires you create a new habit if you don’t do this already. You will thank yourself and thank God if you do. Give it a try!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

Are You Privately Living With Regrets?

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Every time this year, when a new year is approaching, we tend to think about resolutions. Either we want to lose weight, make more money, spend less, or travel more. It can be just about anything. Sometimes they are the very same resolutions we made last year only to find we fell very short of accomplishing what our goals were or are.

As I pondered the upcoming New Year and what I really want it to look like, some very unexpected thoughts entered into me. It was like I took a time travel back to when I cared for those much older than I; most of them dying. I recalled working on my doctoral dissertation on dream interpretation as well. Part of the dissertation was dedicated to dreams and also desires by those who were sick and dying. I know this could sound like I am approaching a morbid subject but actually I’m not, so stick with me.

Thinking about both my experiences ,and also my research, I began to remember vividly some of the things that were expressed as people were getting ready to enter into their next phase of living outside of the body. I’m convinced our spirit is alive and never ever dies, just as God is alive. Whatever your thoughts on this is beside the point. Let me move on. As I closed my eyes, my thoughts were filled with statements of regret that I heard over and over again. Some of them in person, some I heard of, and some I studied. Most were all the same. I’m going to list some of them here:

  1. I wish I took better care of myself while I had the chance.
  2. I should have told her/him “I love you” but was either afraid or negligent.
  3. I never realized just how fast time would go and I should have taken more time for what is really important.
  4. The office should not have been my top priority.
  5. My spiritual/devotional life could have been better and stronger.
  6. I could have made the choice to be more kind in circumstances and now I can’t change the aftershock.
  7. I should have considered my choices just a little more before I made them. I might have made a different choice had I thought things through more.
  8. I wish I had spent more time with my family instead of being busy, I could have been busy with them.
  9. Why didn’t I say, “I am sorry”? It could have healed the issue but my pride was in the way.
  10. I never took the time to enjoy the beauty of this earth. My mind and actions were always on things that really don’t matter now.

Maybe you can think of some for yourself. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that today is the last day of your life. What would you greatly regret if you were leaving this earth today? Now, remember, you have time today, tonight, and hopefully tomorrow. Who needs to know you love them? What are you sorry for but have never expressed it to someone? Where have you always wanted to go? Who is the most important person to you and have you neglected them? Who has been there for you every single time but you never seem to say, “Thank you”.

If you were leaving your body tonight, think about it, would you have some regrets? I have watched tears falling down the faces of elderly people and some younger, while stating, “I never saw the Grand Canyon.” “I should have taken better care of myself because I might have more time with my loved ones had I done that.” “I wish I had not caused _______ so much pain and never healed it with them.”

This upcoming New Year as you consider your resolutions, maybe also consider if you have been silently living with regrets. They tend to come to the surface when faced with our mortality. Let them come now, with tears, with healing, and then with action. Don’t live another day with what you might regret tomorrow. Live in love, but love yourself first by honoring what is right, what is honest, what is your heart’s desire, and what love speaks to your heart. Then thank yourself. You are worth it.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

Hard to Press: What Feels Right?

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It’s so frustrating to attempt ironing a garment that refuses to unwrinkle. Usually items that are 100% cotton or even linen are the most difficult. They can be taken to someone to be professionally laundered and still they wrinkle so easy when worn. Usually we try to spray starch the heck out of them just to keep them smooth. Then we have a stiff garment that feels uncomfortable to wear. I stay away from wearing anything that causes me to feel uneasy or stiff. I always talk about living a life in ease. Well, we certainly can’t do that while wearing something stiff, right?

I find it to be the same with life choices. When something becomes so uneasy or is hard to press, the wrinkles just don’t come out no matter what we do. We can try to iron things out but the bottom line is wearing the choice is way too stiff. We can iron the seams, starch life stiff by upping our behavior, or take things to be professionally laundered by calling in the “experts” to smooth things over. Unfortunately, this situation works the same way with our life choices as it does our clothing choices. I’m not saying everything has to be comfortable all of the time. There is no growth in pressing through hard situations. I am saying that some situations will refuse to smooth out no matter what we do. Time to change fabric!

It’s pretty simple. When something is not feeling right, make attempts to change it, or consider leaving it behind you. There is no expert on yourself who is better than YOU. No one can tell you what is right for you, what fits you best, or how to behave to make it better. I am all for ironing out our differences but some wrinkles refuse to iron. We can choose to wear them and be uncomfortable or change fabric. Some things wear better with more acceptance, understanding, and learning how to deal with issues as an ambassador. Some things never wear better and its best to change garments all together.

Whatever your consideration might be, you know yourself better than anyone else does. No one has to teach you what to accept, what feels right, or what feels too uncomfortable to continue to wear. Wearing what no longer feels right just causes wear on our lives. Some things just don’t iron out no matter what we do and therefore we move on to newer and greater things that fit better. Sometimes it just means we have outgrown the garment.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry