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Compassion and The Golden Rule

When you turn on your television, pick up just about any national publication or read your local newspaper, you’re hit in the face with a barrage of statistics about the addiction crisis. You may even know a family who’s lost a daughter or a son to an accidental overdose. No doubt, you’ve heard the hew and cry that the current opioid epidemic is considered the most destructive in history. It’s too overwhelming to absorb. Is it possible to put any of the toothpaste back in the tube? If there’s a chance to turn things around in this country, how and where do we start?

My prayer is that we would start with COMPASSION.

Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” It’s the feeling that arises when you’re awake to another’s suffering and you’re moved to ease their pain. The giving and receiving of compassion is a sacred act and simply put, our world needs more of it. Compassion for addicts is in short supply, as it is for the struggling families who must build brave and heartbreaking boundaries in order to pursue their own health.

A novel idea, right?
Take care of ourselves?
Who’s got that kind of time?

However, in order to survive, we must learn to practice, practice, practice the Golden Rule – to love ourselves as we love our child, our spouse, or our neighbor.

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The Ache of Addiction

I am honored to be participating in “The Ache of Addiction” Lenten Speaker Series at St. James’s Church in Richmond, VA. on Monday, March 19 at 6:00 pm.
The Reverend Dr. D. Mark Cooper, Priest Associate at St. James’s wrote an exceptional blog post in October after reading Mothering Addiction, begging the question for himself as a clergy member:
“How can I be more open to the pain that is perhaps right in front of me and yet so well hidden that it goes unattended? How can our community invite people to be more transparent and if we could, can we find ways to be supportive?”
I invite you to visit Dr. Cooper’s website for more inspiration: http://www.markcooperauthor.com/mothering-addiction-by-lynda-harrison-hatcher/
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WARNING: May Contain Toxic People

What comes to mind when you hear the word “toxic?”
If you’re like me, you think of the ever-growing list of toxic chemicals and toxins in our foods. And, if you’re like me, you seek to limit your exposure. But what about toxic people? Toxic people can make you just as sick.
I recently ran across a video from Oprah’s Network and offer some thoughts on “Toxic People” from three well-known experts:

Count the Cost: “There is a cost in every relationship.
Ask yourself what that cost is and is the relationship worth the price? You don’t want the cost to be you!” Dr. Phil McGraw, author, psychologist, and TV personality #DrPhil

Just Say No: “Your ‘no’ matters.
Have a strong, solid ‘no’ muscle and a strong, solid ‘yes’ muscle. Say no to the things that don’t honor you, bring you joy or peace. You don’t have to explain your no.
But stand firm in your no.” Iyania Vanzant, author, and inspirational speaker  #IyaniaVanzant

Manage Expectations: “You cannot forgive someone for their behavior, if you don’t understand why they do what they do.
You can’t expect a broken radio to play like a radio that’s not broken.
It’s much easier to adjust your expectations to deliverables based on the person’s capability. You can’t expect somebody to perform on a gallon level if they only have a pint-sized capacity. T.D. Jakes, pastor, author and filmmaker #TDJakes

Bottom Line: For optimum health, limit exposure.

#SmallDoses #MotheringAddiction


The Man in the Arena

ON SYNCHRONICITY, TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED … Synchronicity. Love that word. I just looked it up. Its definition reads like a poem.

About the time “book vulnerability” crept into my consciousness, and about the time I felt a wee bit over-exposed, my friend Margaret (you know who you are) sent me a text with an excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s famous speech at the Sorbonne in 1915.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I Googled around for a while to gather more inspiration from this quote and found a Brené Brown talk about “showing up and being seen.” BTW, her comedic timing is pretty perfect. Her words reminded me why I have a visceral reaction to armchair quarterbacks, to those who sit “in the cheap seats” and pontificate about what others should do or should have done.

Brown says that there’s one guarantee if and when we make a brave step into that arena. “You’re going to get your ass kicked.” She goes on to say that if you’re not willing to go into the arena and get your ass kicked, she’s “not interested in your feedback.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. #brenébrown #motheringaddiction