August 23, 2010

A Personalized Touch: Stories Shared From Others' Hearts


 Q.  If you could go back in time and write a letter to your younger self...what would you say?

A.  If I could "send a letter to me" as Brad Paisley sings in his country song, I would tell myself a basic thing:  You are wonderful and perfect JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
Don't ever try to be anything else than what you are right now.

Q.  Share an experience where you learned what true love is. 

A.  Learning what true love is has been a very gradual "awareness" and I have come (slowly) to realize that true love is when you put another person's well-being above your own.

Q.  Share an experience when you learned something about yourself you didn't know- like who you really are, what you are made of, or an untapped gift you have.

A.  In the early 80's I was going through a "team-building experience" with my coworkers where there were rope courses and climbing walls, etc.  Suffice it to say I am not athletic and am afraid of heights.

What I learned during this experience was that others saw me as completely self-sufficient and never needing anyone-which in some ways made me appear aloof to them.

What I was actually feeling much of the time was afraid that I would be seen as less than competent if I ever needed help, and therefore was afraid to ask for it.

I had no idea that to ask for help would make me seem more human and approachable to my coworkers.

That changed me and the way I worked with people to this day,
but I still need to remind myself every now and then.

Q.  What experience happened to make you change your life for better? 

A.  My first year out of college my oldest sister was 6 months pregnant and her husband was shot and killed.  They lived in Florida.  She could not travel due to her state of mind and I ended up living with her for almost 3 months while she finished out her pregnancy and we could move her and the baby back up to Michigan to our parents' home.

She lived in an atrocious neighborhood, with a homeless shelter on the street and neighboring streets filled with teenage runaways, many that were prostituting themselves for survival.
I got a job at a drugstore nearby and witnessed daily, people on drugs, stealing or using products in the store and then running out, etc.

That was the most humbling experience and completely changed the way I looked at what I had, how I lived, and in general how blessed God has made me.

Q.  If you had to teach a workshop to inspire others what would your topic be and what message would you want to get across?

A.  One workshop I would do is to teach people how to LISTEN.  People do not really listen to each other; sometimes they don't hear the words and other times they don't hear the heart.

Another workshop would be about being kind to others, even when you are not treated kindly because people often have worse troubles and fears than you do and need love and acceptance.  Given that, everything else usually works out.

Q.  What did it take to get your attention about how important life is? 

A.  Losing my parents has hit me over the head with how short this life is and how important it is to love as much as you can and laugh often and just be aware at all times that life is precious and so are people.

Thanks Andrea!



  1. I could relate to so much in this post! I'm your newest fellow traveler!

  2. You left me the sweetest comment yesterday. I really appreciate it. And what you said is so true.
    How sad for your sister to have lost her hubby when she was pregnant. But what a special sister you are to her to help her so much.


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