Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Forgiveness..The Ultimate Freedom

Sometimes in life someone does something that we may feel is unforgivable. We get hurt, angry, resentful, and at times it can be all consuming. More and more though it is being found that these feelings negatively impact our health:
“There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”

Forgiving can be a real challenge and it is important to remember that when we forgive someone we are not excusing the act but instead are releasing ourselves from it. In other words, we do this for us not for the other person.  One thing I want to mention is that time is a healer. It may be too much to attempt forgiveness until some time has passed. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings related to the incident and act accordingly. If you are angry express it, if you are upset shed your tears, give yourself permission to go through it all.

One thing I have suggested to my clients is to write the person who wronged them a letter. Put everything in that letter that they are feeling and use whatever language makes the most sense to them. Once it’s done set it aside. After a length of time that is appropriate for them I tell them to read it. Should you send it? Should the language be toned down? How do you feel now? Based on the answers to those questions they determine if it should be sent. Sometimes if it is too strong I suggest creating a ceremony where the letter is burned allowing all their anger literally go up in smoke.

Here are a few suggestions that may assist in forgiveness:

  • Decide that you want to forgive. A positive first step.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is there anything that you can think of that may have contributed to the way this person acted? Not justifying it but understanding it
  • Speak your truth about the situation. Talk to someone you can trust and who’s advice you respect. Get another viewpoint.

As you forgive take a look at the relationship. It may be that you can forgive and not have this person in your life any more. If that is not possible or practical being honest with yourself is key. Are you expecting an apology? If you don’t see one coming than accept that and realize this has more to do with them than you. Freedom is key here and to get your wings, forgive and fly!

On Tuesday, March 14th, 7:00 PM Forgiveness will be the topic on The Night Shift.  I invite you to join me.

No is a Complete Sentence

I remember the first time I heard the statement “No is a complete sentence.”  It was one of those “Aha” moments. Could this possibly be true? Could I actually say “No” without feeling the need to defend my answer. It was a revolutionary idea. As a recovering “people pleaser/fix everyone problems” kind of person this seemed an almost impossible feat. With all the changes my life was currently going through it seemed a good time to examine my boundaries and make sure they were firmly in place.

Boundaries are an essential part of healthy relationships. It is knowing where your limits are and being sure that these limits are honored and respected. For me I had often agreed to do things, readily saying yes and then regretting it afterward. My reason for saying yes was more to please the other person than to stop and think what the ramifications for me may mean. Often it caused me to short change other plans I had to accommodate something I should not have agreed to do. Does this sound familiar to you? If so here are a few steps you can take that will establish healthy boundaries and in the long run keep you happy as well as the people you deal with.

  • Identify your limits. You may find that these change based on your circumstances but be clear with yourself as to what you can do physically, mentally & spiritually. If you have been going through a stressful situation cut yourself some slack and don’t take on more than you can handle. Do a little inner work with this and honestly ask yourself what you can and can’t do. Being honest with yourself will provide you with your answers.
  • How do you feel? Your feelings are a great barometer for assessing your limits. Why are you doing what your doing? Are you coming from a place of love or fear? Each and every act we agree to should have an element of love to it. On some level make us feel good. If we are coming from a place of fear with an emotion like guilt than resentment may often follow.
  • Be clear about your limits. Let people know what you will and won’t do. With some people clear communication is a necessity and speaking your truth will always get you farther than excuses.
  • Give yourself permission. This is where your “no is a complete sentence” comes in. Don’t feel you have to defend what you won’t do. You have every right to say “no” with no explanation.
  • Self-Care is a must. There are times when you can take on much more than others. When you are feeling fatigued, depleted and as if you just can’t do any more pay attention. Putting yourself first is not selfish it is self loving.

Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 PM on The Night Shift we are going to be talking about boundaries and how you can establish yours. I will also be doing mini readings in the chat room. I look forward to seeing you there!

You are invited to join the Facebook Chat Room https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/
Visit my fan page https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Dintino-105608726135410/

www.susandintino.com 

 

My 5 Stages of Grief

In December of 2013 my husband, Dennis Dintino, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. We were blessed with a year of remission and another 2 years of ups and downs. On October 6th his battle was over and he crossed over. I met this man when I was 15 years old and we have been married for 45 years. He was my best friend. Now don’t get me wrong we had our ups and downs. He was a workaholic and all I wanted was a 9-5 guy but through the years we adjusted and got comfortable with who we both were. Not an easy journey but one we finally got the hang of.

As I studied the five stages of grief to talk to you about I realized that I have been going through these stages since my husband’s diagnosis. The five stages of grief concept, also known as the Kubler-Ross Model, is based on the work of psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  She published her book, “On Death and Dying,” in 1969 and based her findings on dealing with the terminally ill.

The first stage is denial. I realize that with my husband’s original diagnosis I pretended it was not true. When he qualified for genetic treatment and went into remission it was easy to deny his diagnosis.  I certainly prayed for that miracle and we were able to go to Italy and take a trip that he had always wanted to take. Discovering his roots and the town his grandfather was born in. Denial was my security blanket.

Second is anger and I was ANGRY! My daughter had successfully battled leukemia but in the process because she was 8 months pregnant we lost our baby grandson. Wasn’t her battle with this disease and that loss enough? Hadn’t my family been through enough? This was not fair I would say as I shook my fist to the heavens.

The next stage is bargaining and I can kind of relate to that. I created a meditation for him that focused on perfect health. I thought about the if onlys. He visited his doctor regularly but he had not had a chest X-Ray. He had given up smoking years ago but should I have pushed him to do that since one of his doctors had recommended it? Would it have made a difference? I really never got into bargaining with God and I never looked at this as any kind of punishment.

Depression follows and boy that speaks to me. After the first year, the cancer cells outsmarted the genetic drug and it was no longer working. My husband had to get chemo again and then a new drug was available. This time there was no denial. I started asking the hard questions outside of my husband’s earshot because he was never going to give in to this. I shed so many tears and then once again he began to feel better. We had dodged another bullet. However in May of this year symptoms began to appear that made it evident the new pill was no longer working. My husband stayed brave. We never discussed his passing. He just would not talk about it. He owned two successful businesses and fought his battle privately. Very few people outside the family knew of his condition. He was a Leo in every sense of the word. As I watched him getting thinner and thinner putting on a brave front for him, I was drowning. I could not cope with his suffering. I did my best but there were days I could not get past being depressed.

Lastly is acceptance and I feel I am in that stage now. The loss for me is heart breaking but I am relieved to see his suffering end. It tore me apart to watch and although he never once complained I could see in every way the toll this was taking on him. I wanted two things for him and that was the he would always be given hope and not be afraid. We were trying one more treatment when he passed and I truly believe till the very end he felt he would beat it. In the hospital room after his death I knew that the shell that was there was not my beloved husband but was merely biology. His soul had moved on leaving the pain behind and he was finally at peace.

This week on The Night Shift, 10/18, 7:00 PM Eastern, 4:00 PM Pacific we will talk about dealing with grief. I have a few stories to tell about signs I have gotten from my husband and my journey thus far. I will be taking your questions in the chat room for some mini readings. I am really looking forward to connecting with you.

Facebook Chat Room https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/
Listen to the Podcast http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Night-Shift/?episode_id=27788693