I’ll see you in the sunlight; feel you in gentle breezes. I will know you are present when thoughts come to me and objects seem to appear out of nowhere. I will hear your laugh in my head, and have sweet dreams of when you said, “I love you Mom”. None of these will replace having you here, but for now, I have no choice. I will miss our talks about God, about family, about things that make you mad. I used to listen to the sound of your heartbeat when you were so small. I would do anything to hear it again. Now it beats in spirit with the pulse of the planet. You are one of the strongest women I have known. I’m so happy I got to be your Mom, in good times and not-so-good times. I would have given you my own heart just to keep yours beating. But then again… you have captured my heart all along. I will miss your presence, Christina Reed. You were so unique, fun, funny, and a force to be reckoned with when you were mad! I smile when I say that. I love you dear one. I love you forever
I created this series as a beginner kick off to my upcoming spiritual life and law of attraction series of videos. You are welcome to come explore, ask questions, or you can book a session with me if you have life questions and need help with the solutions! I would love to become a part of your goals and your success!
Look forward to the power of the law of attraction, spiritual creation, manifestation, and more!
I would like to welcome you to my basic foundations of life series. This came about during a time of much confusion for me, as to where my life is going and what life might look like in the phase I am finding myself in.
Wisdom led me to go back to some foundations. I am teaching them a bit differently than I ever have before. Our basic foundations in life are:
These are the areas I will be exploring with you over the next few videos and blog posts. For some reason we have the idea that political values, government, or a hierarchy of leadership is supposed to be what we look to for our guidance first. This is not so. I would like to bring you back to the foundations of life and how the branches are supposed to begin from the roots of our foundation and then spread out to other forms. The additional forms from what we create through God, Marriage, Family, might be community, organizations and other forms of leadership. Our personal leadership starts with ourselves and our relationship with our Creator. Step into the divine! Here is a video to start you off!
No doubt we live in strange times. Sometimes I look at life as it unfolds in society, and I wonder what next year will look like, or even tomorrow. If I want to stay on the positive side of life, I have to say to myself, “Stay in your own world and create the most productive and positive umbrella possible.” It’s hard to stay positive in environments that are so counterproductive we wonder why people would want life to be as they present it.
Structurally society is meant to be made up of units, marriage being the center and family surrounding marriages. Spiritually our foundation is intended to be based on the design our Creator God has set before us. Without that foundation, our morals, ethics, and positivity go out the window into the no-fly zone of society’s negative aspects.
I’ve always been taught; attitudes are contagious. Within the nucleus of the family set in motion by God, our positivity can affect the units that makeup society. What does this take? The first answer is willingness. We have to be willing to make the necessary changes to change our nuclear family and community. Next, we need to have the desire. Taking an “I don’t care about anyone else” attitude will never create positive changes. Last but certainly not least, we need love. I’m not trying to sound wishy-washy since I am always touting the gloriousness of what real love is like. I’m taking the subject of love very seriously. Without self-love that comes from God’s love, we have no love at all.
We are the embodiment of our Creators genius. Knowing this and behaving as we know this are two different subjects. We need more than knowing. We need love and action. The two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Do you like my analogy? When love meets desire and willingness, we have the seeds that breed action.
We get nothing changed by complaining about things all being wrong. We do get something by using the love and action formula to create a new environment in marriage, the family unit, and our outer facets of society. Do you have anything else that is more important than this? Think about all of this for a moment. What kind of world do you want your children and their children to have in years to come?
I don’t even know how to begin what I am about to write. I guess the only thing I can do is just start and see where I end up. I woke up this morning, and something inside of me just broke open. I am shaking my head right now because life is just so nuts. Before I go any further, I just want to make one thing clear. I am not writing this for attention. I don’t need sympathy, and I don’t want pity. I am writing this post because, at the moment, it is the only way to get this out.
I am writing this post because I am a mother. I brought children into this world, and they are the greatest gift I have ever received. I might not remember what I ate yesterday, but I remember the smiles on the faces of every single one of my babies when they were born. My children are my heartbeat and the greatest gifts I have ever had.
I lost my firstborn child when he was 20. As the oldest of five children, he was the one who helped out when I needed more hands than the two I have. The kids and I were a surviving unit. As a mother of five kids on my own, I truly did not know how I was going to make it, but I did. Unfortunately, I had to give up my son. God took him. How that happened is still pretty much a mystery.
I’m going to get to my point here. I have another son and three daughters. We have all gone on with life, but we have all been hurting inside. The loss of a child or sibling is a severe pain to bear, especially after all we survived together. I still remember my younger son’s face the day of my firstborn’s funeral. He loved his brother so much. They were ten years apart, so my son’s brother was the only other male he could look up to in a house full of females. I will never forget the day my son’s big smile turned into tears. I am not sure what my heart was broken about more; losing a son or watching my other son hurt too much. All of my children have hurt, but I feel like my younger son hurt even more for some reason.
He accepted drugs in response to his pain. I’m sure his pain was numbed for the moment, but a drug and alcohol addiction that evolved out of control occurred. It is hard for a mother to watch her child harm his life, but I know no matter how much I have ever hurt, he has hurt more. His addiction landed him a prison sentence, which he has done most of.
He was placed in a state prison he should never have been in due to the risk of becoming ill with a disease that comes from the soil in that region. He has been very sick. I know he feels like he will never recover. He has fallen in his cell due to weakness, has had pneumonia, has hardly been able to be in sunlight, has been at risk of being hurt by others, and has been subjected to the trickery of those who cost him more prison time.
I want you to know this has all been a helpless feeling; to have a child, who is an adult, go through the things my son has endured. Yes, he has done a lot to himself, but he sure did not lack help in the addiction department. Addiction does not survive alone. It always has its accomplices. I am a minister and a believer of a higher power whom I call God. So, therefore, I have prayed as hard as any mother could possibly pray. My son remains sick, fearful, and not able to even deal with the addiction he went to prison for. People go to prison because of a crime they committed as discipline for that crime. They call it rehabilitation, but that does not happen, at least not from what I have seen. Regardless of what any individual has done, they do not go to prison to become sick with a disease they will never recover from. I have written to the President of the United States. I have written to the governor’s office of the state. I have written to the ombudsman of the prison system. I have written the state’s congressional representative, the state senator for that region, and those I thought might help. I have contacted an advocacy group on my son’s behalf and even the medical department of the prison he is in.
Nothing seems to help. So I keep on praying, sounding like I am alright, and moving on with life, telling myself that faith is going to have to be enough. I have isolated myself personally because of the painful part inside of me just can not take one more person hurting me. Yet life goes on. I tell myself I have to keep on going, and the rest has to be left up to God.
As I said, this morning, I broke. It’s not like I have not cried before because I have. I have cried loudly and out of pain, frustration, and anger. I want to tell you something. I absolutely HATE drugs and addictions. I have watched the people I love the most have their lives destroyed by drugs and alcohol. I don’t know the reasons why, but some can handle them, and some just can not. I think it is all a toss of the genetic wheel, maybe with a little human pain thrown in for good measure.
I dedicated my life to helping others, teaching others, showing what faith is, teaching lessons, and learning more so I can teach, counsel, and do more. We all have a purpose. Right now, at this very moment, I am the one who needs help. I need my son to receive the care he needs and the attention he needs to get out of that dingy prison cell and be helped into a life he can thrive in. I think right here; I might add that I have not been able to hug my son in 8 years. He has been locked up for most of those years, and the time before that, he was addicted. I left the state. My mother’s heart can’t take any more from anyone at any time.
It’s a helpless feeling, having to be strong, moving on in life, and have this painful heartache inside that says life will never be alright again. Grief does not end when we bury our loved ones. I already know that love can not be healed. Love is love. What we do is keep our loved ones close in our hearts, and we come to understand the heart and soul of a human being is where heaven is because that is where we hold our dearest loves of our lives.
It’s a helpless feeling to have a son, a grown man now, locked in a cage where no one will help him. It appears that all that happens in our prison systems is to put drug addicts away until they become hard just to survive. Addiction is a disease that is passed down through genetics, and it is one that is systematically reinforced by others who are addicted or sell drugs. It’s a vicious cycle.
Of course, I have blamed myself. I know deep inside it is beyond my control, but I still blame myself. It does not help that others have blamed me too. It’s sickening; all of it. Our country needs more addiction recovery programs. We need to stop condemning those who are addicted by locking them up and throwing away the key and start teaching them how to live with an illness they did not ask for and yet have to live with. We all live with it. Sometimes we die with it.
I smile, I laugh, I have good things that happen in life. I have moved forward, but a massive part of me feels stuck and broken. I know this is how every mother feels when their child has struggled with an illness they can not control. It controls them. It controls everyone it touches. Believe me; it’s hell.
Thank you for putting up with my long written broken vomit. Excuse me here, but there is no other way I can describe it. For those of you who have gone through the same, I am sorry. I wish you the best solution possible and for healing. For those of you who have received my letters and cries and yet have done nothing, I am sorry for you.
Some things in life seem so little but mean so much. Even with all of the junk that goes on in our world today, the true human heart always rises above it all when love abounds. Whatever you do, don’t take anything in this life for granted, especially when it comes to those closest to you. We are but a whisper in time on this planet and then we are gone. When we are young it seems like so much time is ahead. Yet, the older we get it feels like time begins to wind down. Make time count, even with little things.
When I was in grammar school we made tie clips for our Dads for Father’s Day. I love those school made gifts, don’t you? I remember when he opened it. His face lit up like it was the greatest thing he ever saw! I think I was about 8 years old. Later in life he passed away due to lung cancer. While looking through some of his things the first thing that stood out to me was that tie clip! Dad kept it all that time! I think by then I was in my 30’s. I still have it. Every time I look at it, I tear up. It obviously was a gift that meant a lot to him to save it so long.
Some things might seem insignificant but the love and thoughts behind them certainly are not. I still have Mother’s Day and Christmas gifts my children made when they were in grammar school. My boxes are filled with hand prints, handmade candles, photos of my kids glued to Christmas ornaments and paintings on large rolls of paper. Over the years the gifts evolved into things that reflect our faith, love, and sense of family. I still have all of those things, including necklaces and special rings my son used to get out of a gumball machine using the change from his lunch money. For awhile he did this daily. I can’t ever forget the smile on his face every time he gave me one. It was always like the first time.
Another precious gift I have is a plastic bag with locks of my hair when I was small child. The hair was from my first haircut that my mother saved in her bible. It’s still there. When times seem challenging, these are the gifts to my heart that mean so much to me. Sometimes I smile, knowing one day my children will open a box filled with things I have saved for many years and understand how much I have cherished every gift and part of their lives. They have been my gifts. More precious than gold, and more loved than life itself. The very most precious of memories to me were the moments I held each of them the very first time. Their eyes so filled with light, right from heaven, the greatest gifts of love I’ve ever known.
When I was growing up, my family had this person in our lives we called “the family physician.” We all went to him and he knew us all by name. I was not always keen on our family physician’s bedside manner, as he could almost sound a bit insulting. He knew his stuff though. I remember my father calling him brilliant one Christmas holiday he saved my grandmother’s life. She went on to live many many years longer, even with heart issues, and well after our doctor’s retirement. He treated my chicken pox, strep throat, allergies, severe reactions to antibiotics, and diagnosed my first pregnancy. I saw him into my early 20’s from when I was a child. Everything that could have been known about me medically, he knew. He treated everything, including some of my tears.
Now, we have a “primary care physician.” We are very fortunate when we get a good one. I know there are a lot of good ones out there. Although, what happens now, our insurance company pretty much determines who that will be or who is “in network”. Then, if we need something else besides taking our blood pressure, we are referred to a specialist who basically knows nothing about us. That person is also determined by our medical insurance company and has to be “in network”. If medications are prescribed, the insurance company tells us when we can have our refill, even when our physician has prescribed it and has already said it is alright. The pharmacy tells us, “You can’t have this medication for a couple more days.” SERIOUSLY? What do we do in the mean time? What if we are going away for the weekend and need mediations we normally take?
I’m not sure I even want to get on the subject of medications themselves. Have you ever read some of the side effects of the newer medications? I don’t doubt that many can be very helpful, but “high risk of causing cancer” or “death” are not on the top of my list of things I really want to handle with a medication that is supposed to help me. Don’t get me wrong here. I do know that some medications have been life savers for me and for others. Yet, there are others that I have to question. These medications were not even around when my family had our family physician. Some of the women in my family lines have lived into their 100’s. (A pretty good track record if you ask me). It does not mean living was always easy, but when would that ever happen?
I sat pondering a medication bottle this morning after reading the possible side effects again. “High risk for causing lymphatic cancer” is a scary thing to ponder. I put the bottle back in my drawer. I’m not sure managing a little inflammation in my body is worth that risk. Especially the death part. We all get there eventually, but I really don’t want to speed up the process. Some of our advances in curing cancer have been remarkable, so please don’t take this as a reason to be fearful of medical treatments or even specialty doctors.
I think my point here is to be wise in choices. It is YOUR body. The insurance companies, the drug companies, and doctors who don’t take the time to know our feelings about them are not the main focus of our own healthcare. In my case, if at all possible, I would rather reach for what holistically helps me and use other drastic measures as a last resort. Medical care is important, especially preventative care. Take care of your body, mind, and spiritual life and the result will be a reward. Be smart about what is good for you and eliminate what is not. If you are not sure, do some research and find out!
A good place to start is meditate for the mind, eat right for the body, connect spiritually to inspire, bring wisdom, and for guidance. When medical issues do arise, and they will, be wise in decisions. Your medical provider is hopefully a well trained physician, but still is not a god and does not have the final say in the decisions regarding your body. Listen carefully to advice and heed it when it is needed. There are many miraculous breakthroughs in many aspects of modern medicine. We have come a long way. Just be wise. Consider very deeply if the benefits of something will outweigh the risks. I know our family physical took somewhat of a risk to help my grandmother that Christmas season she struggled with a heart issue. The benefits extended her life. My hope and prayer is that we find ourselves with more physicians that are like that and less of those who would risk our life span just to provide something for the sake of simply being a provider. “First do no harm.” (Hippocratic oath)
Over the last few months I have been engrossed in looking at my family lineage. I have never gone as far with it as I have recently. Oh, the amazing things I have discovered! I’m not going to bore you with my family background and details but what I want to do is spark your interest about “legacy”.
As it is with our own past, the idea is not to live in the places we discover or uncover, but to learn from them. One thing I really took to heart were the ways my ancestors pressed through the difficult issues that presented themselves in the days they were here. They were overcomers. Some died, and some had to be left behind to deal with the grief. I am all to familiar with that part. Drawing from that strength gave me more courage instead of sadness. I suppose it depends on how I would choose to look at things; from the negative or positive. I always try to pull from what is positive and bring that forward. It’s a challenge in this day and age let alone how it was in the past.
I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. As I reviewed family struggles and the dynamics of the time they lived, I realized the importance of legacy. Genetically speaking I can see some of the traits and tendencies that many family members struggle with. Legacy is different. It is bringing forth the best parts of our ancestry and deciding to expand on the foundations built by our family lineages. Then we take those things and pass them down to those who will still be here after we are not.
I had to truly contemplate what legacy I want to leave my children and grandchildren. I definitely want to leave them strength for the journey but also a sense of being proud of where they come from and who I have been on this earth. I want my children, grandchildren and onward to know my passions, what has had meaning for me, and what my contribution has been to this time span in life.
Traditions go along with these things. Sometimes we think we have no traditions but that is not true. We have had them but often we forget them or become lazy with them. Maybe it is time to spark them up again? One thing I always do with my children is to write to them and sign it, “I love you to heaven and back”. This came from when I used to tuck them into bed at night when they were smaller. I would always tell them that and then I began to ask them, “How much do I love you?” They would have to answer, “To heaven and back.” It might seem trivial but I know long after I am no longer here, they will hold that statement in heaven that lives in their hearts. When they think of me, they will always remember I am loving them from there. It portrays a love that lasts forever.
There are other things as well. I am still working on creating them. My main point is that legacy is important. It is our memory we leave behind for others to cherish as they live their lives. I know I want mine to be a good one. I bet you want that as well! What legacies are you planning to leave behind that are much more valuable than material things?
When you were growing up, have you ever heard someone say to a child, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” This usually came after some perceived error in judgment or just plain bad behavior. I wonder if any parent ever stopped to think about those words and what they might mean when someone becomes an adult. I wonder where parents heard those words themselves, took on the shameful perception of themselves, and then unconsciously passed it on as “good morality” teaching. When I hear those words myself, I see a little girl sitting cross legged on a bed with her head down ready to cry.
When a person grows up in shaming then shame is what they carry either unconsciously, consciously, or both. As shaming is passed down through family lines it becomes like a genetic disease. Most of the time it goes unnoticed like a program that runs in the background of a life, just like on a computer. Then it comes out the first opportunity it gets, to stab a person right into the shame wound. The next thing they know it comes out of their pores in the form of anger, fear, humiliation, and the list goes on.
Someone who has been seriously shamed can never take any type of correction, teaching, or instruction. They just believe they are being wronged, bruised, and shamed again and again. This does not end until awareness is brought to the wound. Once something is known it can not be unknown. It becomes a person’s truth and can be very transformative if an individual decides to make it that way.
The next time someone corrects you, tries to teach you, criticizes you, or worse, think about what feelings are suddenly brought up. How does your body feel and is it reacting as well? Sometimes you might feel sick in your stomach, your breath might become faster and shorter, or you might feel like you want to storm off, lash out, or RUN! Pain is always an indicator of illness of any kind. It makes no difference if it is physical or emotional. It brings an opportunity to create healing. The next time a situation brings you distress, instead of blaming another person or a situation, let it be a healing moment.
Close your eyes, put one hand over your heart and one on your stomach. Breath deep and slowly. Ask yourself what feelings this issue is bringing up for you and if you would like to decide to heal yourself instead of react. If you want to heal yourself, sit with God and tell yourself the words that others never seemed to ever say. “I am valuable.” I am enough.” “Others’ opinions or thoughts of me don’t have to be made my own.” “I am deeply loved and admired.” “I am unique and God sees me as powerful.” There are many you can say. Maybe write down some of your own and keep them in a place where you see them every day. Then when shame comes to call, open the door with a self love bomb that sends it packing for good!
Practice makes perfect in this case. Let it become second nature to you. Refuse to pass shame down through family lines. Refuse to allow others words, actions, or thoughts of you make you feel less than what you really are. Instead of blame, heal. Instead of lash out or react, reaffirm. Instead of shame, brilliance!
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry
If you struggle with shame or if you tend to take on others thoughts of you, please call and make an appointment. I can guide you through a course of healing that can reaffirm who you really are!
The other night I watched a movie where a plane went down and in the debris was found a note written by a father who wanted his child to know his final feelings. A reporter discovered it and made it her mission to find the child and deliver the note so the child could have closure. It was a very touching story.
The subject got me thinking though. I wondered, “What would I say if I knew I only had three more minutes to live and could write a note to each of my loved ones?” Of course “I love you” would be a part of it but they do know that I love them. I pondered this for awhile. I wanted it to be profound, you know, something they would always remember.
It was harder than I thought because three minutes is not a long time to say something profound. There seemed so much I would want to say aside from I loved them. I would want to leave my children good advice, my grand children a piece of history to hold onto, and my other family members a memory they would think of and always smile.
Like I said, it is hard to fit all of that into three minutes. There was only one way I could think of that made sense. That is to say everything I want to right now! One never knows what will happen in the next second and we have no idea if we would have time to write something or not. Most of those sudden last moments don’t give time for any of that. That leaves the obvious. Tell the people we love the things we want to say NOW while there is time. It leaves time to say everything along the way. It’s like a lifelong project of connection and the leaving of memories that can be looked back upon when they miss us.
I found myself making a list of those things. What would I want to continue to always tell my loved ones and in what modes? Do I want to write them letters and cards, or just emails and text messages? I think letters would be best. They are the things that are kept. Cards are usually kept as well. I even thought it would be great to send a card, a photo of us together or something meaningful , and a meaningful statement that can be saved and always remembered. It’s about leaving a legacy of love behind until the moment comes when we all shall meet again!