Holidays

A Mom From Christmas Past

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Christmas arrived early for me this year. Last night in a dream Annette, a second mother to me from my early teen years, came to visit bringing me a very special gift.

Annette was Debbie and Mara’s mother, two of my closest friends growing up. Annette took a strong liking to me and always made sure that I was included in all of their family adventures including vacations, birthdays or even simple dinners out. She was that giving with me all the way up to three years ago when she died. 

In my dream, Annette and I were walking through Miami Beach. I immediately noticed how much younger she looked. She was noticeably thinner and her hair was the biggest and brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen. What was truly a relief to see was how graceful and easy it was for her to walk. She seemed to be gliding along rather than limping and out of breath as I used to know her to be. She smiled at me as she noticed that I had puzzled, but pleasant look upon my face.

While walking along Washington Avenue she pointed out some places where she used to work. Clothing shops that have incarnated a few times over again and a few hotels that still exist today. While strolling along the avenue Annette referenced that she had a bitter fight with her sister “right in front of that store” that lasted for years and years. She said it was on of her biggest regrets because she missed many family events including weddings and birth announcements of the beautiful little babies that her nieces and nephews had. “But I am in a place where I can see them all now” she said wiping a few tears away from her sun blushed cheeks.

We went over to Collins Avenue where Annette showed me a couple of places where she once lived, then we stopped at a three story white apartment building with an impressive purple bougainvillea draping down the south side of the house. Annette stood there for a second then whispered, while being coy, that this was the place she had the most fun at before she met Joel! Joel was her husband for over 40 years. We finished our walk right in front of the Betsy Hotel on A1A. She sighed and said; “I am so glad she’s back.”  Then handed me a box that was wrapped in traditional Hanukah paper. “You didn’t forget that I’m Jewish?” she jokingly asked. Inside the box was a picture frame with two sets of photographs side by side.

On one side of the frame was a picture of me with my parents. On the other side was Joel, Debbie, Mara, myself and Annette standing behind us three kids smiling wide from ear to ear with her arms spread out embracing us. I thanked her for the gift and graciously told her that she has always been so incredibly generous to me. This picture is especially meaningful since I’ve never seen it before. My eyes focused in on Joel and Mara. They both left us many years before, certainly way too soon.  When I looked back up from the photograph Annette was gone and I thought she was probably going to the Betsy for a white wine Spritzer – her favorite late afternoon cocktail.

When I awoke I started to journal the dream/visit then called Debbie. After a few laughs Debbie asked me if I had known that mom lived in Miami Beach?  “No” I said, “but thanks for telling me.”

Once I finished talking to her, I called both my parents and arranged a Christmas reunion with both of them present asking them to put aside their differences.

Joel, Mara and Annette at Mara’s Sweet 16 party.

Overcoming Codependency

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This is the time of year when many of my clients call when they are stressed, lonely and plain ole angry. r, if you will, a condition that affects every part of your being, particularly affecting you mentally and emotionally. While I am a psychic and not a licensed therapist, I know a codependent from the second I hear his or her voice.

Picture you are being controlled by someone you love very much, who may be addicted to drugs or alcohol or may be suffering through another type of illness. Picture you are depressed because you feel trapped, yet you feel obligated to be there and endure more than you should because you feel that person needs you in order to survive. Picture you are one half of a codependent relationship that feels like an endless cycle, and the more you run, you’re not going anywhere, you’re just growing tired of it all.

This is codependency. Codependency as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition such as an addiction.

The truth of the matter is that codependency is an addiction itself. One person is addicted to controlling others because he or she feels they have no control over their own lives. Meanwhile, the other person in the relationship is addicted to being controlled and fulfilling the needs of the controller. Both parties tend to excessively ‘take care’ of each other and others outside of the relationship as well. Are there other ways to identify codependency?

Just a Few Symptoms of Codependency: Perfectionism Controlling Behavior Obsessive Caretaking Depression Illnesses due to Stress Not Wanting to Deal with Feelings

Jennifer, a client of mine  was in a codependent relationship with her mother. In Spring 2007, she finally developed the courage to break the cycle of codependency between the two of them. While it wasn’t an easy move to make, it was well worth the effort. Below are the four steps she took to help her get to the point where she could break the cycle. I offer these steps to you, in hopes they will help you find yourself and begin to put YOU first.

Step 1 – The Truth With Set You Free – Do not be afraid to speak the truth concerning what’s going on within you and within the relationship. You should always speak the truth and live the truth whether people are willing  to hear it or not. Just remember that you’re speaking the truth for the highest good of all concerned because the truth sets you free and the spoken word is very powerful!

Step 2- Cut the Cords – Once you’ve spoken the truth about the situation, then proceed to cut the cords between you and the person, if they are not showing any signs of action towards positive change within themselves. You can NOT change someone else. So you have to come to a point where you can stop waiting around for them to get better one day. You can only change yourself…no one else. If you’re ready to change yourself, then go for it. I will offer a visualization/meditation technique to help you cut the cords, in case you need extra help. But cutting the cords verbally and physically may be necessary. So be ready to do it if it is, indeed, necessary.

Step 3- Stand Your Ground – Once you’ve cut the cords, I will tell you the truth, you will be met with some opposition from others. Especially, the one or others who were controlling and manipulating you. You will be bombarded with questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” and “What’s gotten into you?” But do not let this stop you from your healing process. Do not let fear (false evidence appearing real) stop you from doing what’s best for you this time. This time you are putting yourself first, not someone else. Use prayer and meditation as ways to keep you strong and continue forward no matter what anyone else say or do. The majority of tactics to stop you are mental, spiritual, and emotional through verbal attacks. In particular, you may face guilt-trips, manipulation, and other attempts to try to keep you under control. However, you should keep moving forward. Just because the other person in the codependent relationship decides to stay stagnant doesn’t mean you should stay that way.

Step 4- Take Care of You – At this point, within step 3 and after step 3, you have to take care of yourself. Learning how to take care of yourself can be scary because you’ve always depended upon someone else. But I tell you from experience, it can be fun and interesting too. Make the best of it. Pray for the right people to come into your life to help you along the way. You never know…a book may catch your eye, a movie with meaning to help you out may grab your attention, a person you meet at the grocery store may have a pearl of wisdom to offer you. Stay open to God’s guidance and take care of yourself. Figure out what you need to learn, for example, you may need to learn how to manage your finances on your own. Well, start gathering information to learn what you need. There may be a local class that’s free to the public you can take, or a magazine article that caught your eye or a book at the library you can make notes from to help you out. And you can find so much information on the Internet to help you out as well. But that’s just one example on how you can start taking care of yourself. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from certain people from time to time, but you must make sure it’s the right kind of person to ask for help from, who won’t try to use it as a means of control over you again. The point is to move forward, not backwards. You’ll be surprised at how many people there are around you who would be willing to help you just because it’s the right thing to do and it makes them happy to do it and no other reason. So stay open. Stay positive. And move forward to the new!

Top Ten Tips to Beat the Holiday Blues!

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During the course of my work day (I am a psychic medium) I receive quite a few calls from people that are just not feeling the holiday cheer. Here are some ways that have helped my clients beat the holiday blues.

1. You need to connect with people. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself from the very people that even God may want to use to encourage and restore you. Make plans. Don’t sit around and wait to be invited.

2. Set realistic goals. Organize your time by making lists and setting your priorities in order. We often worry the most about the things that matter the least thus creating more chaos in our lives than needed.

3. Make a budget and follow it. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on things. In fact giving someone a picture of you and them in an inexpensive frame is all you need.

4. Contact someone you’ve lost touch with. This is a perfect time to rekindle a lost relationship. You may find that it begins a new chapter in your life. No matter what kind of relationship it was.

5. Don’t be afraid to pray. TELL God/The Universe/All That Is what EXACTLY you want in your life. Tell your spirit helpers that you are ready to be guided to those people that can help YOU manifest all that you desire. Don’t forget, we have to ASK for what we want. But honest with God and yourself about your situation.

6. Get plenty of rest. People tend to eat, drink and party too much during the holidays. None of those activities are conducive to a good night’s sleep. The more worn out you get, the more susceptible you are to depression and discouragement. Work out as much as you can even if that’s a brisk walk through the park or even grocery store!

7. Let go of the past and find new or different ways to celebrate. While many family traditions are good, you may feel in bondage to doing things you don’t enjoy because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Start a new tradition – get a puzzle and have everyone join in putting it together. Wear funny hats while opening up gifts or add different details to the already existing traditional holiday stories.

8. Don’t overindulge in holiday foods. There is a genuine, negative physiological effect from foods high in sugar and fat. Additionally, you may struggle with guilt from overindulging. Moderation is the key.

9. Don’t focus on what you don’t have – focus on what you do have. If you think about it, it won’t take you long to envision someone in a worse situation than yours. God has neither abandoned nor forgotten you.

10. Get out of yourself and into other people. Your best insurance against an empty holiday is pouring yourself into someone else. You’ll find that your burden eases as you invest your life in another.

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