Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Reaction To Emotional Risks

If you take an emotional risk there are three phases you can expect to experience within hours, or days following that risk.

The first reaction is an implosion, meaning self-criticism, the opposite of an explosion.  However, you take yourself down is the first, often painful reaction to an emotional risk.

The second phase is a pervasive sense that something is wrong, or you have done something wrong.  People report looking around to figure out “what’s wrong”.

The final, and often most difficult phase is a sense of impending doom, you are convinced that something dreadful is about to happen.

As nothing dreadful happens the feeling will dissipate, but not before the process is complete.  Then you can take another risk, but not before.  What we call the child in you has to see that he has lived to tell the tale.

If you put a child’s thinking and words to the sequence, it would sound something like,
“Now I’m really gonna get it”.

Many people have trouble enduring these phases because the feelings are so intense and disturbing that it is difficult to keep going.  That is because the person is experiencing what it was like as a child when they took that risk.

Arleah Shechtman

Saturday, June 15, 2019

To Love Again...

I will never forget how a friend of mine helped me move on. About two years after my daughter’s death, he commented that I used her death like a black ace, to hide behind. I, of course, was very hurt and indignant at first, but as time passed I realized he was right. Again, it was the attempt on my part to be safe; this time by asserting my pain and wearing it as my shield against caring or involvement with him. It made closeness and comfort impossible. I was a bit wobbly about taking the risk of loving and losing again. To come out of my depression and be there for someone else was reengaging in life and investing in the future. Sometimes the hardest things to say are the kindest. I am glad he and others cared enough for me to want me back.

This is also another example of the new person and new rela- tionship emerging from the old. Because people pursued me, and because I chose to live, I have been able to recover. My goal has become to turn around and give back to others who have just be- gun their journey.

It is very difficult to let hear anything but sympathy and horror at what we have experienced, to let what my friend and husband had to say took all the courage I had at the time.  


Monday, May 20, 2019


I have few regrets in my life as I have lived it by my own values and inclinations.  But I do have a couple that kinda haunt me. I have been an avid critic of public schools most of my adult life.  Specifically of unions and tenure, as I have believed that those two factors lead to mediocracy and cheapening of learning.  I still think that is true, but that leaves out the impact of great teachers and what they do to help children grow sand flower.

The other huge factor in retrospect is that growing up in the 40’s and 50’s I realize that I never would have gotten an education without them.  Without public schools the other option at that time was either private or military schools.  I believe my Dad would have seen to it that my brothers got an education, but since girls were not groomed for much beyond marriage and families, perhaps nursing or teaching, maybe secretarial, if you could type.  He would not have made sure I got an education, also, we could not have afforded private schools since my dad was a minister, he didn’t make much money.   So, without public education I would still be a “Hick from the Sticks”.  I would have ended up flat and empty. So that is my first regret, to not appreciate my early education until years after the fact,

The other deep and powerful regret has to do with a couple of teachers that are still influencing my life.  Mrs. Ross and Mrs. Goff were two of my sixth-grade teachers that somehow saw through all the smoke screen and crap I put out to something fine and worth honoring. 

They never wavered in finding something to comment on or encourage me to continue. That is all it took for me to start dreaming of a better, richer and rewarding life.  

My biggest regret is that I never got to thank them for, in many ways, saving my life.   By now they are long gone, so I hope they can look down and read this and understand how deeply grateful I am for their contribution to my life.

I want to thank all the teachers out there that see something fine in kids that work hard at hiding their excellence from all but a few great teachers.