Forgiveness

Our Inner Dialog: What Does It Really Say?

This morning I shared one of my recent inner dialogs with someone whom I really respect. It went something like this, “Geez Roni, what an idiot you were to have trusted that person. What were you thinking?”

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My friend said, “Would you have said the same thing to your son or grandson had they confided in you that they made a similar mistake?” It didn’t take me long to say, “Of course not, although I may have added that was a bonehead thing to do.”

My friend then said if you were walking with a friend and she stubbed her toe, would you comfort her?” I replied, “Of course I would.” She continued, “If you stubbed your own toe, would you berate yourself for being careless or not wearing better shoes?” Sounded just about right to me.

Okay, so I am sure you get the analogy. I know I did. Our inner dialog lets us know how we are dealing with our lives and our decisions. Harsh words and negative thoughts ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS!

This journey we call life is comprised of choices. Some will be good, some not so good, and some will in fact be bonehead decisions. It is what we learn from each circumstance that will ultimately guide our future decisions. Will we be repeat offenders or wiser people?

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On a very long walk later in the day, I changed the dialog in my head to sound like this, “Okay, Roni, you can’t change the past. You can however give yourself a break by acknowledging that this wasn’t your finest moment. Know you have the ability to devise a back-up plan, comfort yourself with a “there-there”, then move forward.”

There are no magic pills that can guide us through all of life’s challenges. There are no magic words that can erase bad choices and decisions. Fortunately though, there is a new start everyday when we awaken. We have the ability to make a decision to walk in a direction that is more positive and that will ultimately help us feel better about ourselves.

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When you change your thoughts from negative to positive, you improve your attitude and energy. So if you find yourself in a storm without an umbrella and rain gear, find a warm place to wait it out. Take a hot bath when you get home. And make a plan to keep the necessary equipment in your car to be better prepared the next time.

sunsets

And for God sakes, give yourself a break!

There is a chapter in my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, titled Honor Yourself. Like all of the chapters I give examples and exercises to help my readers understand themselves better. I plan on reviewing it for myself.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

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Is The Third Chapter Of My Life As Important As The First Two?

A good friend of mine has been telling me for months to watch a movie that was released in 1996. It is called Mother starring Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. I finally got around to watching it on Netflix yesterday.

For those of you who weren’t born yet, or are too old to remember, the premise of the movie is this:

Two grown sons have a rather unhealthy relationship with their mother.  The older son (Brooks) is an author of several books who has unhealthy relationships with women in general. He blames his mother for this and, consequently, is at odds with her. Determined to learn why he and ‘mom’ are always fighting, he moves back home, recreates his teenage bedroom and spends all of his time with her to get to know his mother better.

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More than halfway through the movie he finds several boxes of short stories that his mother had written in her youth. He sits on his bed and begins to read them. When she comes home and sees him reading her personal works, she becomes very angry with him. He can’t understand why she is so upset, and she can’t understand why he is even interested in reading something from so long ago.

It is when he says, “Mother, I never knew you liked to write. I never knew you had this creative side”, that the movie becomes really interesting to me. This is mostly because I spend so much time thinking about what makes us ‘tick’. In other words, why do we act the way we do and make the choices we do. The biggest impact on me was when the mother said to her son, “I had a life before you; I had dreams of what I wanted to be.” This prompted me to think about the goals and dreams many of us put aside to raise a family and handle all of life’s demands.

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The son begins to realize that his mother has built up resentments toward him because he lived his dream and she didn’t live hers. In a very emotional and heartwarming way, he holds her hand and expresses his discovery to her. She then gives him a loving look and says, “You are right, dear.” Big Hug for them; lots of tissues for me.

Mother and Son Hugging

In the last scene:

He packs up his belongings and goes back to his life feeling satisfied that he has a better understanding of his mother, their relationship and himself. We see him get into his car, and we see the mother sit down at the word processor (remember this was 1996), with a smile on her face as she once again begins to write.

The take-away: The third chapter of your life is as important as the first two. Don’t just walk through it. You were someone before you became a parent, and you are someone after your children have leave the nest. Live each day with purpose, passion and joy! No matter what your age, you have much to live, experience and learn!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do. This in turn helps us make healthier changes that will ultimately give us the perspective needed to improve interpersonal relationships. There is much to gain and little to lose.

You can buy the printed or e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

What Can I Say That Will Help a Friend Deal With Loss?

I just received a heart-wrenching email from a friend of several decades. She asked me to give her any words of wisdom that could help her cope with the impending death of her beloved husband of 35 years.

I have had the privilege of watching the two of them work through challenges, raise children, and build a wonderful life together. After they retired, they traveled and they basked in the love of several beautiful grandchildren. They accomplished these things as a couple.   My friend has shared a bed and a home with this man for more than three quarters of her life. And now it is unimaginable for her that he will no longer be here and that she will be alone.

Lonely Lady

Words of wisdom? There aren’t any. I do however feel somewhat guilty that I am envious of her. She is suffering and she is scared. What could I possibly be envious of, you ask?

To have this level of loss means that she has experienced a level of love that most of us can only dream about. To experience a great love is a gift. Most of us can only hope that we find the one person who will laugh at the same silly things, cry together when facing sadness, and have each other’s back when the world seems like a scary place. Not for a day. Not for a week. But for a lifetime.

There are no words of wisdom. No one can say anything magical to lessen the pain. No one can do anything to make the loneliness go away. All we can do for each other is be a loving, supportive, soft place to land.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

During our lifetime, if we are truly blessed and extremely lucky, we will find that one special person who is the love of our life.

My dear friend has found this. And now she must find a way to say goodbye. She needs to find the strength to live her life without Larry. And she will. Life will be much sadder for a while. Life will be much lonelier for a while. The truth is, she will never totally heal from the pain she is now feeling.

Hopefully within time her children her grandchildren her friends and the memories that she and her husband have shared will bring her joy and comfort.

I am sure if you were to ask both of my friends what they would advise other people to do, it would be to laugh and play more. Let go of the small stuff. Keep an open heart. In other words be happy.

Cheerful senior couple blowing bubbles in park

We are given a very short time on this earth. Make the most of it while you can. Let go of grudges. Be less angry. Be kinder. It doesn’t matter what the next guy does. Hold yourself up to a higher standard.

We don’t get to choose how and when we die. We do however get to choose how we live and how we love!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

How Can I Get Others To Treat Me Better?

I have been talking with several friends lately regarding this topic:

My grandson was barely 5 years old when he was introduced to another 5 year old who lived in his complex. This boy started calling my grandson names while they played ball. My grandson told him many times to stop. When this kid called my daughter-in-law “fat” (which she isn’t), with total frustration, Travis said, “You have lost the privilege of being my friend.”

After a few days the mothers sat the boys down and they talked about sharing, getting along and being nice to each other. It was all very civilized and a great lesson on working through problems.

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Whether dating, working, being a part of a group or spending time with close friends and family, we all teach each other what we will and will not accept by speaking up or staying quiet.

You can appreciate the following examples: One friend said with regard to first and second dates that it is up to each of us to set a bar of behavior with the men and the women that we encounter. A co-worker, thirty years ago, heard that her new boss was a screamer. Before he had an opportunity to go off on her she had a conversation with him. On the first day of employment she went into his office and closed the door. In a very polite and calm voice she said, “If you ever start yelling at me, I will quit my job”. He never once raised his voice to Patty.

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I hear children talking to their parents with such contempt and distain. I hear husbands and wives talk to each other like they were enemies, not lovers.

Life is short. Choose to spend time with people who elevate others. Do the best you can to eliminate the negative people that come across your path. I try to be aware of my own behavior talking with others. I take responsibility when I am not my best self by admitting my mistakes and trying to be more understanding and objective with others.

If there are people in your life who bring you down, if there are people in your life who make you feel small, if there are people in your life who cause you to question yourself ask yourself why you allow this. Then make a plan to change the situation.

You are worthy of being surrounded by kind, caring and respectful people. If you don’t agree with this, ask yourself why.

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My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr or get a printed copy mid summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

How Important Is Hope?

I have been nicknamed a Pollyanna my whole life.   According to Webster, a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It defines me to a tee.

For many like myself, it is used to describe a person who finds only the good in people and the good in all circumstances.

My friend of almost 20 years was telling me about a situation where someone she knew did some pretty insane things. I listened and then said one thing positive in her friend’s defense. My friend looked at me and said, “Man, you can find a flower in a field of weeds.” Okay, so I took creative liberties here. She probably said that I could find a flower in a pile of shit.

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I have to admit that she made me laugh and she made me think. Thinking and overthinking is what I do best. Reflection to me is the key to understanding ourselves and therefore making the changes needed to make better choices.

In trying to understand why I tend to give people and situations the benefit of the doubt, the word hope keeps popping into my head. I hope that people will be kinder. I hope that people will do the right thing. I hope that our children and their children will do better and be better.

A world without hope is a very sad place. Some may consider me naive. Others may consider me a sucker or gullible. The truth is that I would rather be scammed and taken advantage of by a person or two than to be guarded and suspicious of everyone I meet.

Perhaps by living in my world, those people will learn a little something from me then go on to find the good in others. At least this is what I hope.

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Click on the link below to get a copy of my book “12 Way To Discover What Makes You Tick”, available now on Amazon.com.

I not only hope you find value in it, I know you will!

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Why Would I Buy A Book About Me?

Life is a gift. It is fragile and it is short. Take the time to know yourself. We spend much of our early life in school learning to read, conquer math and study history.

We then learn a job, how to maintain our car, operate our electronic devices and various other tasks required to get along in our world.

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How much time do you take to really get to know yourself? To understand how you ‘tick’? Along with knowing yourself, how much time do you take to really understand others and learn how they ‘tick’? Perhaps if you make this an integral part of your life, you will learn from both your successes and your failures. You will become more aware, and understand why you repeat your mistakes without taking responsibility for some of your choices.

I have found that if you take time to really get to know yourself and the world in which you live, your life will be more fulfilling and give you the happiness and peace that you truly want and deserve.

For a small investment, my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, could be just what you need to start the journey towards making decisions that you can feel good about.

Roni Kugler_final

Isn’t it time you invested in yourself?

Click this link to get your copy of the book that could have been named, Finally There Is A Book About Me!

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Do You Make Mountains Out Of Molehills?

For those who aren’t familiar with the expression, “Making a mountain out of molehill,” let me fill you in. While there are lengthy articles written about the origin of this phrase which goes back to 1484, the bottom line refers to someone who overreacts to a minor issue.

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We had planned this family visit for a couple of months. My brother and his wife live out-of-state so our time together is always special. Well perhaps not always. “Why?” you ask. Let me tell you about our last visit. I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t due to my long wait at L.A.X when I went to pick them up. It wasn’t due to their long day of working then flying across the country. It wasn’t due to our lack of sleep. It wasn’t due to the 300 mile road trip(we spent the day going from one family member to the next). And lastly, it wasn’t due to my driving back alone the next day while my brother and his wife stayed an extra few days to visit with another brother and our mother.

So, you ask, “What was the discord?” As I said, this is rather embarrassing as we are both in our 6th decade. My brother and I argued, fought, and did much rolling of the eyes because he felt his golf clubs and luggage would not fit in the trunk of our brothers car, and I stood my ground and said it would.

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If there is ever a Guinness Record for the stupidest reason to fight, I believe we are a shoo-in! Now if this argument lasted the short time it deserved, there wouldn’t have been a problem. NO, this ridiculous fight actually defined the entire 36 hours I spent with them.

When saying “goodbye” I was well aware that our time together had been compromised, and neither of us was happy with the outcome of our visit.   My brother and I talk weekly so when I realized that several weeks had passed since we had last spoke, I decided to give him a call. I am the middle child and therefore the peacemaker by birth order. He is the youngest and I won’t address what therapists say about the baby of the family (after all this blog is meant to mend not inflame).

The first words out of my mouth were, “Are we okay?” My brother who doesn’t mince words simply said, “You are a pain in my ass, but I love you anyway”. After I acknowledged the same about him we were then on good terms.

The take-away: don’t let silly, stupid arguments become bigger than they are. Being right (and I was) isn’t always what’s important. And in case if my brother reads this and is now rolling his eyes, I say, “Let him write a blog and tell his side of the story”.

If there is someone in your life important to you and both of you are off-track, make the call, send a text, and/or write a note.   Do what it takes to make things right. Life is way too short to make a “mountain out of molehill”.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Why Do Adult Children Cut Ties With Their Parents?

During a recent search on the Internet I discovered an abundance of adult children who have severed ties with their parents. There are many articles written as to why. Common themes are:

  • The children were raised in a child-centered home.
  • Parents did too much for their kids.
  • Parents concerned themselves more with their children’s self-esteem rather than teaching children self-control
  • Parents made decisions based on their guilt instead of using good parental choices.
  • The child is narcissistic.

So the list goes. The great majority of research that I have read puts the blame squarely on parents, not their offspring. I agree. My generation happens to be guilty of two things. First, they were and are way too involved in the lives of their kids. Second, they are afraid their children won’t like them.

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When did this happen? When I was growing up (wouldn’t you like a dollar every time someone said that to you?), my parents didn’t give a flying hoot if I liked them or was angry with them. They made parental decisions with the mantra “This will make more sense to you when you are a parent”. And, that was pretty much the end of it.

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My brothers and I were tormented by sleepless nights if we thought we were out of favor with our parents, not the other way around.

If your grown children are out of the house and the damage is done, do you feel there’s nothing you can do? Do you fear that you will never see them again or get to watch your grandchildren grow?   Do you feel you have no choice but to bend to their every demand? NO! NO! NO!

I say it is NEVER too late to start over. While my son was growing up I had conversations with him regarding mutual respect and expectations. I constantly redefined our relationship while maintaining my parental status. I a have strong opinion that your child should NEVER be your friend. That doesn’t mean you don’t hang with your kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids. It just means you don’t burden them with your finances, love life, or personal issues; these should be reserved for a close friend. I believe that when the lines of parent/child and parent/friend cross, the result can be unwanted advice, lack of respect and confusion.

My parents used to say, “You can talk to your friends like that, NOT your parents.” When you change the game by making your child your friend, the line becomes blurred. I believe the parent-child relationship stands on its own. We can have many friends, however, we have only one mom and one dad. Why isn’t this good enough?

Take a look at your relationship with your adult children. Is it working for you? Are you pleased with the way things are? If you answer YES pat yourself on the back, you did something right. However if you feel boundaries have been crossed and you and your children are off-track, then take action.

Make a plan to sit down and communicate with your children… not by email or text; not with your child and his or her spouse present; one on one. Talk about how much you love them. Talk about some of the mistakes you have made. Then arrive at a common ground where you can redefine your relationship and forge a new bond.

Don’t miss another holiday or family event without your adult children present. Make the effort. Do not blame. Do not yell. Open up your heart and listen.family dinner

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Get My FREE Guide On How To Avoid Losing a Loved One Due to a Senseless Fight!

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Improving one’s interpersonal skills can turn around many unhealthy relationships. If you are interested in saving your marriage or saving your relationship with friends and/or co-workers, my free manual is an excellent guide to help you learn how to communicate more effectively. Good communication skills are the main ingredient to achieving a healthy relationship.

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When you find yourself becoming impatient with a loved one and you feel like yelling at them, take a minute to stop and work on your anger management techniques. In my manual, I give step-by-step anger management tips that are sure to help any relationship. I talk about taking time out to gather your thoughts. I list various ways to talk through your issues. I give many examples that will help you turn a bad experience into a positive one.

If you don’t have the time to attend anger management classes, or seek anger management counseling, simply using my suggestions will enable you to enjoy the same results by learning to keep your cool while communicating your thoughts.

Whether you are a man looking for marriage advice, or you are a parent who is concerned regarding anger management for kids, I can help you approach the subject in a non-threatening way which will be beneficial to everyone involved.

Get my simple, yet powerful 5 techniques to avoid losing loved ones due to senseless fights! 

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1 Thing You Need To Know To Avoid Arguments

TAKE AN ADULT TIMEOUT.

About 30 years ago I attended an on-site traffic school (yes, before you could do this on-line). Most of us had been ticketed for speeding. The instructor introduced himself and talked about boring statistics and useless facts so most of us were half asleep. Right before the break he said, “Would you like to know how to NEVER get another speeding ticket?” Clearly he got our attention. He took his time and said, “Never go faster than the posted speed limit”.

Speed Limit

He now had a room full of disappointed students. We were all looking for inside information. No one was prepared when he simply said, “Don’t speed”. We wanted something that helped us get away with speeding. We wanted a trick. We wanted an easy fix. Instead he offered us a conventional sure-fire way of not spending the next Saturday in his classroom.

Are you shaking your head right now? Do you feel like you were misled? Let me assure you that sometimes the simplest solution is actually the best solution. I have applied this lesson often over the years. There is an easy way to do things and there is a hard way to do things.

Back to the subject of the 1 thing we can do to avoid an argument. Most conversations don’t start out as arguments. Arguments tend to happen when people say things too quickly. Arguments tend to escalate when we jump the gun, listen with half an ear, or defend behavior we shouldn’t defend.

Time and space gives us perspective so we can silently decide what we want to say. Both allow us time to think more clearly as to what our end game will be. The various possibilities are:

  1. To be heard and defend our position
  2. To win the argument
  3. To hear what the other person really wants
  4. To make peace while finding an amicable solution.

 

We all have our own lists; take the time to think about what your list would include.

I recently found myself having conversations that could have easily ended in disaster. Different opinions and goals came into play. In a few of these conversations, the result could have been hurt feelings and strained relationships if I had not taken an adult timeout. Harsh words can be said and before you know it, an argument could ensue that might have been avoided. If you find yourself in this position, try any of the following before you lose your cool. Simply say:

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  1. “Let me think about that and get back to you.”
  2. “It sounds good, but I need to give that some thought.”
  3. “You make a good point; however I need to think that over.”

And if you find that you have said words you regret, or if you were just plain wrong, it is okay to call the person back and say:

  1. “I am sorry”.
  2. “You were right”.
  3. “I made a mistake”.

sorry pup

Although these tactics might seem like common sense, they are often ignored when we are tired, angry, or frustrated. Therefore, taking the time to cool down allows the groundwork for a comfortable solution.

Think about these suggestions the next time you feel that a conversation is going in the wrong direction.

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.