Uncategorized

Brought to My Knees

On Tuesday I spent a few hours in the pediatric unit of Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute meeting with one of the top Pediatric Onocolgist in NYC.

Life is something that all of us are given without choice.
But we do have a choice in how we want to live it.
Over the past few wks I have been humbled.  I have been emotionally strangled, feeling as if I would take my last breath soon.

I think I’m a talker, a socialite, a joker and Miss Personality and hearing that something could possibly change the direction of my life but more importantly my child’s life brought me to a very quiet place.

Over the past few wks I withdrew and didn’t care much about anything because nothing mattered anymore.
I tried to put on a happy face, maybe make a ‘happy’ post on FB here & there but inside I was crying.

When you hear the words, ‘solid mass,’ your brain instantaneously goes numb. When your child asks the Dr., “Do you think I have cancer?” You sit there unable to speak, in shock at his directness and maturity but still unable to process the direction the conversation is going in because it is impossible. Your child is healthy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.

When the Dr. answers him…that’s when you feel your soul start to leave your body.

A few wks go by. A couple radiology exams are given.
Now here we are at Sloan, in our back yard but where so many people travel from all over the world to get the best medical treatment. As we sit and wait, my son with his head in my lap, I gently run my fingers through his long curly locks of hair.
A small child walks past us and though laughing and seemingly happy, has a mask covering her mouth.
I feel guilty, my son has beautiful hair -she has none -from her chemo treatments.
My son looks at her & quickly looks up to the ceiling, his eyes slightly fill w/water.
I know he feels bad for her. I know he his scared for himself.

I am petrified.

We are both quiet and do not speak.

I recall conversations with the Dr. Words go through my brain. Not sentences- I didn’t hear any. I only heard words. Imperative, prudent, enlarged, blood flow, mass, benign, advisable.

We sit and we wait.
After a long exam, review of reports, a lengthy conversation,
my precious son, by the grace of God is given a green light & though will have to be seen in 2 months there is no need to worry.

A mother’s love for her child is undoubtedly the strongest kind of love that exist in this world. When something is wrong that is not fixable or controllable we can’t function.

Embrace your child. Tell him or her you love them to pieces.
Pick your battles wisely- because as I have learned recently, nothing matters. Absolutely nothing, except health & a good state of mind.

You just don’t know what life will throw at you. One minute life is grand & you are thriving and then you discover a lump… And life changes.

I have always considered myself a religious person.

Faced with thinking my baby has cancer — the breaks went on to God.
I stopped praying. I stopped saying my Hail Mary’s. I stopped talking. Life just stopped.
And I didn’t care.

I am grateful beyond words that my son is “healthy.”
I recently read that if you humble yourself, God will exalt you. If you don’t God will do it for you. Well I guess he did it for me. And now I am thankful & tell the Lord as much.

I was brought to my knees in despair and in tears that flowed for days & weeks on command.

There is nothing anyone can do to me to hurt me. Nothing. No words nor actions.

Now I stand here, my faith stronger than ever. I am stronger than ever.
I’m Ready for whatever comes next.

Life is good.

No, life is fkn horrible! It’s cruel & challenging BUT you only get 1. So what do you want to do with it? How are you going to face things that come at you sideways?
Be quiet, be strong, have faith & be fierce.

I know what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to complain about things I have no control over.
I’m not going to get upset if dishes don’t get done or my son didn’t put his laundry away. Because it just doesn’t matter.

Life matters. Love matters, that’s all that matters.
Just love your child, your family unconditionally. And make sure they know undoubtedly that your love is without judgement.

Walking back through the waiting room w/pictures on the wall in 3D & an amazing fish tank a little boy drove by in a big wheel. The nurse said, “Look at you!”
The mother said, “His birthday is tomorrow.”
I looked at the mother & told her her baby was adorable. Happy birthday. It’s my sons birthday tomorrow to.
She said glancing in my sons direction,  “Happy birthday.” Her baby was staying. Mine is leaving.

Outside I feel the air coming back into my lungs. I feel the tightness that has been gripping my chest ease.
My son stops on the corner of 2d Ave & East 68th St. He looks at me, extends his arms out & gives me a huge hug.
No words are necessary from him. Then he said quietly, “I love you.”
I told him, “I love you more than my own life.”

I share this because I want you to recognize what’s important in life. We tend to take life for granted.

Humble yourself before you are humbled & brought down to your knees to feel scared, helpless and given a heartache like you can’t imagine.

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author, books, contest, journey, purpose, Uncategorized, writer

Winning A Trip Led Me On A Journey To Purpose

I believe people enter our life for reason’s unexplained but always with purpose. Maybe it is for us to teach someone something. Or maybe we are in need to be taught something profound that is unseen to us. Like a beautiful young woman I came across and the interaction I witnessed that she had with a gentleman in the Delta VIP Airport Lounge in Rome, Italy  which brought me to tears publicly. But I will get to that in a minute.

The reason I was in Rome is because I entered a contest given by a motivational speaker I follow on Twitter. He is Life Coach, Mentor and Author of A Sensational Salesman, Duane Dale Cummings. I had to write as to why I deserved to win a trip of a lifetime. I wrote briefly about my  life, where it has been and the awakening I felt I was having. A metamorphosis of sorts I was going through and the craving I had to offer something more to the world. I hit the send button and forgot about it. And then one evening weeks and weeks later I received a phone call from Mr. Cummings that I won.

I could chose any where in the world I wanted to travel to. I was torn between the Philippines and Italy. Due to time constraints on my end -having work and a teenager still at home- Italy won. Southern Italy especially. I chose it because of the spectacular beauty, the history, the culture and of course the food!

I left NYC, flew to Atlanta to meet up with Duane and his amazing wife Kimberly. We had talked numerous times on the phone, texted and emailed so I was completely comfortable meeting them and hopefully lol it was likewise. We then flew into Rome together and the journey began.

The book Duane wrote is not just about being a great salesman but how the main character Thomas’s life comes completely unraveled and because of his lies and deceit he loses everything, his career, his fiance, his home, his car but importantly somewhere along the path he lost his integrity. Not that Thomas was necessarily a bad person, he just chose to take the easy way out. One night when Thomas was at his absolute lowest point, a gentleman unexpectedly enters his life and Thomas ends up taking a journey with him simply based on trust. Thomas is shown what’s really important and given the tools to be successful. It’s a story that will make us all look at our own life to see what we can do to make our inner self better. In turn we can enrich someone else’s life. Because isn’t that what’s it’s about?

Duane and Kimberly thought an apartment in Italy would be ideal. I couldn’t have agreed more and was more than pleasantly surprised when I found out we had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, roof top apartment in the charming little Italian village of Sorrento. My bedroom had 3 marble steps leading up to sliding glass doors that went out to a patio where I could see the volcano Mount Vesuvius. To wake up in the morning and breathe in that fresh air was breathing new life into me.

I truly enjoyed sitting outside on the patio talking with Kim and Duane and as we learned about each other’s families we were becoming one. Discussing comfort zones on one of our chats, I was telling Duane about a Network Marketing Company I had just gotten involved in and to my astonishment he knows one of the top leaders in it quite well, called him right then and there, introduced me and I spoke with him on the phone! I ask you what are the chances are of that?

The Sea town of Sorrento sat on the Amalfi Coast and was bountiful with cafe’s and churches that dated back to the 1,500’s.We walked around little neighborhoods exploring this still so ancient world in structure. Everyone that passed us would pleasantly nod their head or give a Ciao in acknowledgement. I knew choosing Italy was the right choice.

While there going to the Isle of Capri was on the top of the list of things I desired to do. So we got up early one morning and made our way over to where we had to catch a ferry. To get to the dock we had to walk down about 2,000 steps. Okay, I might be slightly exaggerating but it really was incredible how many stairs there were. It amazed me how towns were built into mountains of rock and that people actually carved these stairs. At the bottom while waiting for the ferry we had breakfast sitting on the cusp of the ocean and the beauty just left you speechless. As I was taking this all in and feeling abundantly grateful for this gift, I couldn’t help but wonder how we getting back to the top..

We got on the ferry and when we arrived on the Island we then took the funicular -electric trolley- up the steep mountain side to the top of Capri. Like Thomas, I stepped out on fate but traveled across the world and standing on the most spectacular Island lover looking the glistening sea simply based on trust and a will to learn to be the best I can be not just for me as an individual but for who ever enters my life. I was discovering my purpose was greater than me or what I thought it was.

There was a couple taking pictures. Duane of course being as generous as he is offered to take pictures of them together. It turned out they had gotten married -a little later in life and were on their honeymoon. Most the pictures they had were not of them together for obvious reasons. Though  you certainly should have pictures of yourself together in Italy when on your honeymoon. So Duane took quite a few with the beautiful scenery behind them. We all got to talking and they happened to be fellow New Yorker’s. We exchanged contact information, took more pictures, had a laugh and parted new friends. There is more to this amazing couple but I will leave it at what I said earlier-people come into our lives for a reason.

Duane seemed to have this affect on people where ever we were. He would tell me, “Everyone has a story.” Some stories were delightful like the couple we met on Capri and some not so much. Like the woman from Queens, NY we met on the bus. I heard that NY accent and said hello and we got to talking so I asked her what brought her to Italy. Sadly she lost her husband and she was trying to learn to enjoy life without him. He always wanted to go to Italy but was never able to. So she traveled there with his love and dreams carried only in her heart.

Duane hired a private driver one day, Andre who was a former pro-racer. He met us early and took us all around the Amalfi Coast -in comfort I might add-in his spacious Mercedes Mini Van. We were at the top coasting along the edge on narrow, winding roads 1,000’s of feet above sea level with breath taking views of all of God’s creation. We were making our way to the bottom where the sea met the earth. Stopping along the way where a man had a small fruit stand and fresh juice and another person was selling turquoise jewelry. Near by was a massive statue of the Blessed Mother Mary that stood with eminence over looking the town of Amalfi that goes back to the 9th Century.  I said a prayer or 2 and then we took pictures of the scenic view. Andre drove us down as far as he could then we had to walk the rest of the way. When we got to the bottom the water was aqua blue with little small boats out in the water. In one boat there was a man and his dog fishing to sell the fresh catch to restaurants and I thought that actually didn’t seem like such a bad job to have. It appeared so peaceful.

As I turned around to look up at the mountain side that cascaded above us I noticed the back of Duane and Kim’s jackets that read, A Sensational Life. I had such an epiphany in that moment. I am so blessed to have received this incredible gift and the experience of having my very own personal life coach who traveled across the world to teach me and guide me. I’ve learned that everyone lives life but not everyone knows their purpose. And that was a huge moment for me. I don’t want to just live my life I want to live it with purpose, my purpose. I want to live my one life sensationally.

We were starving at this point so Andre took us to an incredible place to eat in Positano off the beaten path, called El Pirata. It sat on the coastline at sea level literally. Carved out of rock, like a cave rather with part of it outside and that’s where we sat taking in the mesmerizing beauty of it all. We enjoyed the most incredible lunch ever with fresh tomato’s, bread drizzled with olive oil and Seafood Risotto. Our waiter Johnny had the most gracious smile. He has been a waiter for 30 years and loved his job simply because of the people he gets to meet from all over the world and the relationships he has developed with them.  Sitting there, it was of course another moment that I relished. So much so, it’s hard to describe those emotions when you are in such a place of gratitude and euphoria.  It became a special place in Italy for me that I feel compelled to return to.

After lunch we walked around the town, took pictures and talked about our experience so far. Duane has this amazing way of relating my experiences in Italy to my own life so I was able to have (many) ah-ha moments. Sometimes I would get quiet and Duane would comment on it. I would just be thinking how blessed I felt and how much this dream come to reality meant to me. How thankful I am but knowing there was nothing I could say or do to show my gratitude to Duane and Kimberly. Except to use all the tools they gave me on this trip and utilize them in my life and maybe, hopefully one day be able to pass this gift on to someone else. Help someone discover their purpose because mine is certainly not what I thought it was.

At the end of the day Andre drove us the 3 hour trip up to Rome to our hotel. Sadly we said our good-byes, checked in, and having a second wind, dropped our stuff off at our rooms and then went for a bite to eat in a traditional little bistro on a side street where they didn’t speak English but brought the right food. Rome was absolutely astonishing. To be able to explore all the incredible history. Walking through Old Rome, the Colosseum where Caesar ruled. Walk on black cobblestone streets that were hand laid one by one in Biblical times, to walking through Vatican City was just surreal.

While in Rome it was my birthday and I actually forgot about it. Kim and Duane did not and they made it extraordinarily special. We spent the day exploring and we walked until we couldn’t walk any more. A surprise rain storm had perfect timing in the evening and we stopped to get a meal at a quaint Bistro that had an awesome tarp roof so we could still sit outside. We had another great dinner, a birthday drink, took funny video and it was the best down pour I’ve ever been caught in. A birthday I will truly treasure for the rest of my life.

It was time to leave Italy and I was leaving an entirely new person. While there I had renewed thoughts, ambitions and goals. Duane coached me to seeing what I could improve on and lets face it we all could improve somewhere in our life, whether with work goals, parenting issues, relationships or time management to name a few. He has opened my eyes to me seeing where I need to step out of my comfort zone and I realize now when you stay in that zone you are inhibiting yourself from going further in all aspects of your life. You have to write your goals and make a plan to achieve to them. You also have to lead by example.

While waiting for our plane at the airport in Rome we were sitting in the Delta VIP lounge finishing up complimentary coffee, eggs, croissants and fruit. As I’m sitting there after an amazing, life changing experience in Southern Italy. A young girl in her early 20’s working there picked up our cups and dishes. She made no eye contact with anyone in the lounge but just walked around continuously picking up after people. She emitted a sadness about her.

Duane said hello to her, she looked surprised but grinned politely. She walked away and when she circled back through Duane said, “Signorina, excuse me can you come here please?” She came back looking puzzled or nervous like she possibly did something wrong.

“Yes Sir. What can I do for you?”

Duane looked at her and said, “What is your name?”

“My name? My  name is Cynthia.”

Duane said, “Cynthia, what is your dream?”

She inhaled quickly- just short of a gasp- crossed both hands over her chest, looked up as if she was silently speaking to God, then looking back at Duane with tears instantly filling the rims of her large almond eyes she could barely get the words out, “My dream… No one… ever asked me that.. before.”

I felt a lump in my throat and as I looked down to the floor because I could feel my own tears swelling up. I noticed her tattered shoes. My mind raced with thoughts of how her life was and is.. What struggles did she endure in her life? What were her dreams. What was holding her back from achieving them? Duane’s words, “Everyone has a story.”

Duane asked her, “Do you have a dream?”

“I want to go to America. She paused, or any where. I want to teach.”

I sat there wiping a tear away feeling  so very thankful for my life and for why I was sitting in that Delta VIP lounge with the 2 beautiful people I was sitting there with. Duane asked her if she could read English and she said she could.  He reached into his bag giving her a copy of his book, The Sensational Salesman and then he gave her his business card and told her, “I want you to get in contact with me.”

I thought the tears were going to bust out of me when she grabbed the book and held it close to her. She looked at his card and while continuously nodding her head she just kept repeating the word yes with a certain excitement. Kind of like the night I learned I won the trip. I looked at Kimberly who was obviously feeling the same as I. Cynthia left to go put the book away and I looked at Duane and whose eyes were also slightly watery he said, “You never  know someone’s story. I hope she reaches out to me.” Duane entered her life for a reason greater than she knows, just like he entered mine.

The announcement came on for us to get ready to board so we gathered our belongings and headed to the gate.  I walked and thought how lucky was I to win this trip. entering a contest held by Author, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, Duane Dale Cummings. I was selected out of thousands of people and spent 8 gracious days in Italy eating delicious food, seeing amazing history, going off beaten paths and experiencing Italy’s true culture but more so exploring my own life having been given the gift of having my own personnel Life Coach and having lessons on how to better myself as a mother, a team leader, a boss, a neighbor, a woman, a friend, a daughter, a partner. Conversations that will stay with me. Lessons that have become apart of my everyday living. Most that I have implemented into my life and a few I am still working on.

On a last note, we met a group people in line at the airport. Duane and a gentleman started up a conversation. Their group was returning back from a relatively dangerous missionary trip to the Middle East.And because of fate one of the women, Karen from the group sat next to me on the flight home. When I say people come into our lives for a reason she is an example of that. A lovely lady from Florida who had chosen to go to the Middle East to help women and children before starting treatment for Breast Cancer. Ironically it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the stewardess had mentioned in an announcement that there was pink lemonade for sale and all proceeds would go to that. Karen and I had great conversation, very touching and personal at times where we made each other cry. We were suppose to meet at the airport that day and we were suppose to sit next to each other on the plane. When I say people come into our lives for a reason, this is an example of that. It’s just so profound.

Later on the plane the stewardess-who is a breast cancer survivor- had to make an announcement that a gentleman on the plane had purchased all of the pink lemonade so it was completely free to anyone that would like a glass. I have a suspicion I know who that could be…

I just want to add that if you read this I hope you got something out of it aside from the fact that I had an incredible holiday in Southern Italy with Kim and Duane. I want to ask you; Do you know what your purpose is? If so I would love to hear about it.

Blessings xo

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Finding My Way To Give Something Back

Over the past few years, I have been craving something. Something that is missing in my life that my children can’t give me, a career can’t give me, a man can’t give me. I wasn’t sure what it was. I thought my passion for writing is what I needed, so I published my 1st book, “In Mourning…The Loss of a Living Child,” a heart-felt, emotional story that I poured my soul out onto for the world to feel the pain I bared as a parent, helplessly watching my child self-destruct into the streets that swallowed him in his entirety. Yet, it was an amazing accomplishment that took so long to finally publish at the encouragement of Authors like Vincent Da’Quino, Playwrite, Bob Zaslow and the truly incredible Emmy Award winning Author Janus Adams in hopes it would help other parents.

After that I traveled to one of my favorite places, Oahu. There is something magical about the Hawaiian Islands. On one of my trips there while staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, (OMG I love that place) I was able to attend a Non-Denominational Sunday Mass, on the the beach. Growing up in an Irish Catholic family, I have a strong faith in God and I do go to Church regularly and I pray even more than that. But this Sunday was different. Here I was, on the beach in the South Pacific, sitting in a beach chair instead of a pew while the Pastor spoke. Psalms were performed so gracefully in a Hula dance form. The waves crashed on the sand, the palm tree’s leaves blew gently from the ocean breeze and then it hit me like a ton of bricks; In spite of everything I had been through in the past years, within me, I had spirituality, gratitude, feeling blessed, feeling love, giving love, feeling empowered, peacefulness, all those amazing emotions embraced me.

And I knew I needed to do something more with my life. We only have one. I want mine to mean something. I don’t want to leave this earth unknown. That doesn’t mean I have to be a Best-Selling Author. It means I have to touch someones life and change theirs for the better, inspire them to want more, do more. I want other people to feel those same emotions I feel of immense happiness and gratitude.

For the next 3 years, I opened up my own hair studio, have been back to Hawaii, started working on another book, became a -very young- grandmother and searched my soul for my purpose.

I am the most technologically incapacitated person you might ever meet. However, I started an Instagram account and was scrolling through one day when I came across a woman’s picture related to traveling. I couldn’t help but look at the rest of her pictures. I clicked, ‘Follow.’ Within a day or 2 she had posted another picture about traveling but also about a career in traveling. I clicked on it. A box popped up for me to enter my e-mail if I was interested in learning more. I was. I gave my info and at some point during the day we started a corresponding. She was with Paycation and I couldn’t help but be engulfed in all the possibilities of something new in my immediate future. I researched the company and found it has been in business for over 12 years, is partners with Priceline and Expedia and so say no more, I enrolled, got certified and it is one of the best things I have ever done and some of the best little bit of money I have ever spent.

Not because of all the traveling perks and amazing discounts I am entitled to. Or the ability to help other people plan the most amazing trips and experiences of their lifetime. Or that I can even make commission on my own vacations but because of all the stuff I am learning. If you don’t learn, you can’t grow. And that is something I have been craving in my life, personal growth.

I signed up a little over 2 months ago and am learning so much from the travel industry and all the different vendors to especially all the amazing social media venues, because let’s face it, anyone over 42 knows what I am talking about regarding social media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…Overwhelming to say the least-There’s no such thing as an Ad in the paper anymore.

Now being involved and meeting amazing people in Paycation and Xstream Travel and having been on some conference calls and listening to conversations with top earners in the company who are hands on and a phone call away, they are not talking just the business but about life, dreams, hard work, ambition, gratitude, giving back, having faith and so much more. These conversations have made the feelings inside of me rise up. That intense need I feel to give back to the world is in my face and I know I am getting closer to what my soul needs.

I remembered one of the gentleman, who is a top earner, saying there are 3 types of giving, “Spontaneous, strategic and sacrificial.” That statement has been in my head for 2 wks now and it makes me think what can I do to give back?

On my way to work the other morning, I was praying and thanking God for every blessing I could think of I had at that moment and the people I have in my life that I love. I had again asked the Lord to give me insight as to what I can do to give back to society.  About an hour after arriving at work, the phone rang and it was someone I had recently met at a party who works for Veteran’s Affairs, asking if I knew of any programs that support female Vets transitioning back into society as far as getting their hair done and readying themselves for jobs interviews.

I didn’t even hesitate. “Yes I do.”

This is the answer I have been looking for. I have been doing hair for over 25 years and this is what I can do. I can give my time and my talent to make one female Vet at a time feel beautiful and amazing and confident about re-entering the work force. So now I am going to start a program for female Vets who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

My heart has been opened up. It’s amazing! You see how it works? I feel gratitude and people come into my life to guide me, show me, enlighten me and teach me and I will enter someone’s life to teach, guide or love and so on and so on. This is what life is about. It is about loving, inspiring, being thankful and giving. I am so excited about this!  God Bless has blessed me with an answer to my prayer and may God bless each and everyone of these women who enlist in the U.S. Military that puts their life on the line for us and the freedom’s we have.

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Uncategorized

A Blessing Has Come to Me.

I sit here with tears of immense gratitude filling my eyes. Thinking about my life. In the past 12 hours my mind running rampant with past memories to thoughts about my future and everything in between such as books I’ve read and suddenly having an “ah-ha” moment thinking, “Yes, this is what the author meant.” I have been thinking about my faith and have thanked God, I don’t know how many times yesterday evening.

The past couple of years and even more so recently, I have given a lot of thought about life, my life and the new life I want to create. I’ve read books, joined seminars, took a 2d job with a French company not just for the extra money but to learn about sales and marketing. I follow people who are inspirational and motivational on Twitter. And that leads me to what happened last night.

A few wks back I was reading my Twitter feed. I came across a Webinar class that I signed up for on improving certain areas in one’s life. At some point, I saw a post by Duane Cummings who is a Motivational Coach, Author and Entrepreneur who I follow on Twitter. He was holding a contest for an all expense trip in regards to his book, “The Sensational Salesman.” I opened up his link and started writing. I really don’t remember what I wrote, but it came from my soul as most of which I write does. An all expense trip sounds great. The lessons that I would get from this, from Duane and his wife in how to make my dreams comes true and my life successful, would be incredibly amazing!

Here come the tears again. Last night out to dinner with co-workers having delicious sushi, having a send-off for someone who is relocating and talking about plans for our own team, my phone rang. It was Mr. Cummings. He was calling to tell me I was 1 of 2 people who won his contest. I actually couldn’t place the name at first. I even thought it was a gimmick initially. I asked him politely if I could return his call later in the evening at 9:15 and he so kindly obliged. Following that, I hadn’t heard a word that was said at the table as I kept replaying the phone call I just encountered. Ten minutes later my boss was then speaking when all of a sudden I blurted out, “OMG! I know who that was!”  I explained to everyone about the contest and of course they were just as excited now for me. And as much as I was enjoying the time with friends I really couldn’t wait to get outside to call Mr.Cummings back!

I won! The only word my brain could produce was, “Wow!” Thousands upon thousands of people entered this contest and he chose me.

This is that moment where your life changes. That moment you wait for and embrace. That moment you hear about that happens to other people. But here it is happening to me and I am just so very much thankful for this incredible opportunity to learn from Mr. Cummings and his wife. The journey and this blessing is going to be life altering. As for the trip, I don’t know where I am going and it doesn’t matter. I do know the direction though and it is up.

I will certainly share this journey and amazing opportunity with you. I still am in complete awe.

God Bless,

Sheila

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blame, co-parenting, parenting, teens

Co-Parenting; The Blame Game

When 2 people decide to split up, it can be the most devasting event in a child’s life as well as for the parents. The parents still have to work, pay bills and handle all of their daily responsibilities as usual. However, now they have to find that balance of co-parenting and that is no easy task.

Regardless of whose initial choice or fault it was for the split, both adults are dealing with the emotions of resentment, animosity, anger, disappointment, sadness of why the relationship actually failed. Yet they have to keep focus, putting their own personal feelings aside to raise the child/children. They are forced to communicate, forced to make joint decisions, forced to interact, all for the benefit of the offspring.

Most people adapt eventually and seem to fall into a reasonable way of managing the co-parenting thing smoothly enough. Sometimes it has to take one to be the bigger person, taking a step back teaching the other one to put the child’s needs first. My own perspective on it is, as long as the child is doing well, no behavior issues in school or outside of that, being respectful and quite simply developing into young adulthood nicely there will be no reason for the adults to argue on either side and all parties are happy and delighted to share in the bragging rights.

Now let that same responsible, thriving child make one mistake, guided by the teenage lack of being able to make the absolute correct one. Because at the end of the day, that amazing child is just a teenager. And, after all, that is what they do, they make poor choices. Even the best of kids. So when this happens prepare yourself to enter the matrix of the blame game or maybe it will be you who will drag your Ex into the matrix, either way someone will be blaming someone else for the child’s bad judgment call. Why is this? I think there are a few factors that come into play here.

One reason, the ego, it clouds one’s judgment, one’s ability to absorb a certain reality. The ego is all about self, therefore, does not allow one parent to hear what the other one is saying because the ego is saying, “You are wrong. I am right and you failed our child.”

A second reason, maybe 1 of the parents will want to place blame on the friends. It is irrational to think that your amazing kid could make that poor choice on his or her own. Unfathomable to think your kid might have wanted to smoke pot, or steal a pack of gum, or cut a class. It absolutely had to be the friends fault!

And 3 guilt. A parent isn’t spending the quality time that maybe he or she should be due to work, not living under the same roof anymore, has to work 2 jobs, etc. Any numbers of reasons, so now the guilt sets in and that parents cast those emotions of neglect for lack of a better word, onto the other parent. Soon to follow is the blowout. Neither parent is looking at the child. Not focusing on what happened, how it happened, why it happened. Just the- it’s your fault, you should have, I told you, how could you, you, you, you…

There comes a time when I hate to tell you, your child did something because he or she wanted to. For whatever reason. They get to a certain age where they clearly know right from wrong and CHOOSE to make the wrong choice. Though, I believe in their mind they don’t have any intention getting caught or having to explain themselves to anyone so when reality sets in on them it can be a shocker, which could be a good thing, but that’s another blog. I tell my own son that it is okay to make a mistake, as long as you learn from it. When you make the same mistake twice, it’s not a mistake anymore.

My point briefly is before you start blaming each other, take a step back, look at the entire picture and evaluate what is actually going on. Is there a reoccurring problem or was it a one-time incident? Never react on emotion, always use logic and when you do, you will put that ego away and stop blaming each other. You are not doing your child any favors. You are only teaching him or her to blame others and to not accept responsibility for their own actions. Teach and guide your child by example. You will surprisingly start to communicate with each other and with your child and that is a incredible ability.

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