Bernadette A. Moyer

Books   P.E.A.C.E.   A Parent Dies   

Author, Writer, Blogger

Turning “55” With Gratitude

Turning “55” With Gratitude

By Bernadette A. Moyer

As I embark on yet another birthday, it seemed appropriate to take a moment and to reflect on the wonderful life that I have experienced and just how much gratitude I have for all of it.

1)      Thankful for my faith in God; the gift that was given to me on my birth and has sustained me for my entire life.

2)      My childhood home with its quirks and trauma and all as it taught me so much about “La Famiglia” and what I would want to leave behind and what would shape me for the future.

3)      My continued good health.

4)      My intelligence and my abilities to succeed.

5)      All of the people who entered my life for whatever roles they played.

6)      All of the people who left my life for all the lessons learned that they taught me.

7)      My generosity and ability to always have something to give.

8)      My wonderful spirit that never breaks even when tested as my core love for life always comes back to me.

9)      My grace and class and character.

10)   My ability to take any heartache and loss, and learn from it, share it and help others and myself.

11)   My love of food and my ability to cook and to bake.

12)   My appreciation for the simple pleasures in life from a sunset to a rain storm, taking it all in and appreciating its wonder.

13)    My ability to always find the good in people even when they choose to try and make it difficult.

14)   My life at the beach.

15)   My home in Maryland.

16)   My work that allows me to write and to edit and to communicate via the written word.

17)   My precious dogs Happy and Chipper who constantly make me laugh and smile.

18)   My children the one that I actually birthed and the twins that I adopted. I appreciate all the years together and all the memories.

19)   My closest friends for walking this walk with me.

20)   My husband Brian who has shown me unconditional love and support and been a real rock for me for over 22 years now.

21)   The many wonderful career opportunities that I have been afforded from becoming a Realtor to a successful fundraiser and chief administrator I was passionate about them all and hence succeeded at them all.

22)    My Grief to Grace support group.

23)   My Parents of Estranged Adult Children support group.

24)   My professional writing affiliations.

25)   My Interfaith Ministry group.

26)   My stable neighborhood where we have lived for over 22 years.

27)   The refrigerator/freezer that is filled with food.

28)   My new car!

29)   The ability to travel across this country and appreciate the United States for all the many wonderful places here. From the ocean to the horse farms and the mountains and all its natural glory.

30)   My “other parents” Jack and Marlyn and Priscilla who are always the first ones to send me birthday cards every single year before my actual birth date.

31)   Unexpected gifts …

32)   This morning’s pumpkin spice flavored coffee.

33)   That all of our bills are paid.

34)   The security that comes from doing your best.

35)   Being older, wiser and smarter and getting stronger as a result.

36)   The ability to say “no thank you” to things that just aren’t right for me.

37)   My Angels above that support me daily.

38)   The peace that I have now since my mother’s passing.

39)   The last days spent with my father before he died.  

40)   Friends who found me on the internet and social media that reconnected from my childhood.

41)   Upcoming celebrations and travel plans.

42)   Becoming an Interfaith Minister and officiating weddings and supporting people through their grief and loss through death and estrangement.

43)   The many young people that I have mentored through the years and the ones that have become like sons and daughters to me. Each one being a gift from God.

44)    Finally understanding and getting it that “nothing other people do is because of me, it is because of themselves” learning NOT to take it personally.

45)   My readership and most especially the ones that reach out and connect with me. They continue to affirm my work.

46)   A whole lifetime of love and of loss that is truly appreciated for all that I have learned from it.

47)   An interesting life filled with so much abundance.

48)   Being happy right here and right now in this moment in time.

49)   My first husband Randy who taught me so much and who died so young but gave me a beautiful daughter. Earlier this year I received another gift from him that was due over 30 years ago, it has affirmed for me that he is looking out for me from above.

50)   The Grace of God.

51)   No longer being afraid to die, not ready yet, but not fearful of when my time comes.

52)   Looking forward to the next half of my 50’s and all that life has yet to offer.

53)   A purpose driven life.

54)   My appreciation for the arts and my love of music.

55)   Love, health and happiness in all their many forms.

— 2 weeks ago
All I Ever Needed

All I Ever Needed

By Bernadette A. Moyer

All I ever needed I always had deep within me. Funny how when you stop searching and stop looking outward you come to know that all you ever needed you already had within yourself.

“There is something so pure, true, alive and wondrously unpredictable about a person who is feeling her inner voice. She is fully present in a way that people rarely are. And she is stepping out of the convention of who she should be to be who she is.” Helene G. Brenner, Ph. D.

When we are young we are constantly looking for affirmation from outside sources and from all others. As we mature we understand that affirming ourselves is our greatest gift and the gift that is most aligned with God.

This past year so many things literally came from heaven above, like missing pieces that just arrived and they arrived when needed. I have always believed in God and in His messengers; Angels. But unlike any other year this year everything I ever needed arrived when I needed it the most. This taught me to trust in the universe, in myself and in a deeper sense to trust in God above.

A few years ago my mother passed away and to say that we had any real significant relationship in decades would be a complete untruth. Our relationship was a huge void for me. Yet this year many things happened and people re-emerged that knew us, my mother and me from another time. A time when I was just becoming a teen more than 40 years ago and things happened this year that can only be described as ‘gifts from God.”

Without going into the details, I met people many people that embraced me and during this time something significant and profound happened that literally was more than 31 years due. It should have arrived over 31 years ago and only found its way to me this year, more than 30 years later.

It would affirm for me that someone or several someone’s from Heaven above were looking out for me. My core knew that I already had it all. Throughout my life, I have been scared to death to die. Today I am no longer fearful, I don’t want to die at least not yet but I know that when I do I have made my peace and could go to God at any time knowing that whatever came my way, I did my best. I may not have gotten it all right, all of the time, but I always tried my hardest. What else and what more could anyone ask of me?

Real character isn’t about how we handle the easy stuff, it is about how we handle the difficult challenges that we all face. When we are tested by adversity our character or lack of character shows itself.

“Daughter, you took a risk trusting Me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”  Luke, The Message

‘I am leaving you with a gift —- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” JOHN 14:27

Something magical happens when we let go in love and when we are in touch with our core, our hearts and our souls sing when they are aligned together. When we stop the anxiety that comes from searching  outside of ourselves and stand in the moment  and at peace with what lives within, we come to understand that all we ever needed, we already had …

 

— 2 weeks ago
"As Is"

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“As Is”

By Bernadette A. Moyer

I have come to believe that the most Godly love is a love that loves “as is” when we accept people for who and for what they truly are and can love them “as is” we are as close to God’s love as we can ever be in this life.

After I recently read a post by Robert Downey Jr I had this sense that he saw his mother quite clearly and exactly as she was, imperfections and all and he loved her. Isn’t that what we all aspire toward? To be loved for who and what we are and as we are in any given moment in our life. Perhaps sometimes we are easier to love.

In my lifetime I have experienced quite a bit of “conditional love” and most of it waned when I failed to meet others expectations of me. If I was true to myself and if I spoke my truth, I was, at least in my family deemed “unlovable.”

My father always loved me and he loved me “as is” I loved him that way too. We saw each other with warts and all and we chose love.

With my Catholic upbringing and my Italian roots from my mother’s side, I would learn about “conditional love.” It started in Catholic school where I was taught that even if all my work was correct that only God was perfect and not me so a 100% was never attainable. This taught me to push harder but it also taught me that I was never going to be good enough, no matter what I achieved, it would be deemed as less than perfect.

The harsh criticisms from my mother’s family affirmed my feelings of inadequacy too.  If you did something they didn’t approve of it was like the classic mob mentality, “you are dead to me.” I am at an age where I can laugh at it now and also where it has been 100% affirmed for me. My mother would die and I would be excluded from her obituary. “You are dead to me” was very real for my family and in my family. This action said nothing about me and spoke volumes about those that chose to do it. Now they are married to a life of hate and a desire to prove that they are “right” and “good” and of course that would make me the intended receiver …?

You see this in the Amish community where people are “shunned” from all family members and from the community when their actions/behaviors are deemed unacceptable.  The response is not one we would expect from a God loving people.

The God that I know is an all-loving God and he loves us all as he created us all and created us “as is.”

From my family I would learn to be critical mostly with myself and with those closest to me. Nothing was ever good enough, nothing was ever perfect. It worked for a while as it made me a high achiever. I aspired to be “excellent” in all that I did.

It would take until my early thirties before I would learn that real love doesn’t impose conditions and it doesn’t deem any other human “unlovable” it accepts people, all people “as is” I was that kid in school that never had a specific group. I easily moved within all circles, always finding something good in each group that I was a part of, it didn’t mean though that I was blind to each group and their strengths and their weaknesses.

“When we judge people, we have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa

Often the people that sit in judgment are the most insecure people, they typically don’t love themselves and it shows itself by how unloving they are toward others. Love begins from within and it ends from within, period.

“When you point one finger, there are three more pointing back at you.” The next time you hear or you witness unkind words and actions coming from someone, anyone, look a little closer, you can almost guarantee they are striking out because of their own inner insecurity. When we feel good and we feel loved, there is no need or any desire to try and diminish anyone else.

Love is always the answer! It is the answer to all the brokenness in this world. When we feel the need to hurt and to harm others; that is exactly when we should be looking inside of ourselves and asking ourselves, what exactly is going on here?

When we become the “black sheep” or the “scape goat” it is coming from outside of ourselves and comes with someone else’s agenda.  Every single day I work with people that are hurting and grieving. They are experiencing loss, often by death or by estrangement. I give them my time and I take their phone calls, e-mails, letters and text messages, I try and offer comfort, understanding and unconditional love, I don’t judge them.

There has been no greater gift in my lifetime than to experience my own loss and grief and to turn it around and use it for a greater good and to become; 1) more loving 2) more compassionate 3) more forgiving 4) more understanding and 5) peace filled.

We can never change what other people do and what they say, but what we can do is change how we respond. The greatest challenge in our lifetime may very well be responding with love and with acceptance and learn to love all people “as is” and as God himself made them to be.

— 3 weeks ago