Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Guilt - The Family Tie that Binds

By Paula Renaye

I gave a talk during the summer called “Fast Forward to Happiness.” Since we were in wedding and vacation season, I gave tips on how to go to--and--leave, family get-togethers with a smile. I shared a few hard-line realities of what “going home” means for some folks and how that’s not always a pleasant experience. I also talked about speaking your truth and how it is the most loving thing you can do for yourself—and for everyone else--because, it is only when we stop catching the ball that others realize that they can stop throwing it.

Afterward the talk, a lovely woman in her early 70s came up to have a book signed and commented on how she could really relate and how she wished she’d done things differently, particularly with her mother. She talked about how she’d left so much unsaid and how she wished she could have cleared things that had been between them. I could not only see the pain in her eyes, I could feel it.

Now, before I tell you what I said to her, I want to explain something. If you’ve read my book or my posts, you know that I am all about tough love. And my definition of that is giving the person what they really need to hear in the moment whether or not it is what they really want to hear or whether or not they’ll get mad at me for saying it.

Believe it or not, that applied in this case--just in a very different way. I knew what I had to say to her and I had no idea how she was going to take it. Really, I never do and can’t worry about it. I just trust that I am saying what I need to say and whether anyone likes me isn’t part of the equation. Here’s basically how things went:

“You know, it isn’t too late,” I said, “to clear things up with your mother.”

She cocked her head as if to say, “Um, yeah, it is, she’s dead!”

“Have you ever felt her around you?”

“No!” the woman said. “That’s why I think she’s mad at me.”

Now, obviously, I can’t know the specifics of what went on with her mother or what she’s feeling or not. What I do know, is that most of us are really good at blocking out things we are afraid will cause us pain of some kind. Sometimes, we just need someone to shine a flashlight into the darkness and give us a little encouragement to push through to where we know we need to go.

I smiled. “Well, there is something you can do, you know.”

“Absolutely. Just find a quiet peaceful spot where you can be alone—it can be in your garden, bedroom, wherever. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths then imagine your mother right there in front of you. See her features. Feel how it felt when you were with her. Do you think you can do that?”

Her eyes got really big. “Well, yes, I could do it right now!”

“Good, then when you’re ready, you do that and then you simply say all those things you wanted to say—everything, the good and the bad and the ugly. Get it all out. If your mother wants to say something to you, you’ll hear it. Or, you may just feel it. Either way, it’s good and it counts.”

She had tears in her eyes. “I never thought of that.”

“Remember, we’re never really gone from those we love; we just aren’t in the same form. And besides, we’ve figured out that time isn’t really linear, so we now understand that what we do today can heal the past and the future. Do it. She’ll hear you and you’ll both be better for it.”

Someone else stepped forward about then and the woman turned to them and said, batting back tears, “She looks innocent, but she made me cry!” This time, though, she was smiling and there was determination in her steps as she walked away.

She’d probably heard a million times that her mother already knew what was in her heart. It’s true, but it didn’t really fix anything for her in the here and now real world.

On the one hand, platitudes may ease our pain in the moment, but they don’t give us a way to release our own guilt and regrets, and we can feel helpless and hopeless about it. On the other hand, if we take action to address the situation, we empower ourselves. By taking action we no longer feel helpless or hopeless—we’re doing something and it could really work!

If you have regrets and guilt over a current or past situation, do whatever you need to in order to right your wrongs. Take some kind of action, even if it is only within your mind. And in the process, not only will you help yourself, you’ll become a lighter and happier person and that will help everyone around you be happier too.

Take action and live your joy now!

* * * * *
Paula Renaye is a certified life coach, speaker and author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook, which has won Four National Book Awards. For more motivational articles and free audio and digital downloads, visit and be inspired!


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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