Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Celebration/Traditions: Christian or Pagan?

Some one forwarded to me an article that Christmas was getting too crass and commercialized and urged people to be "judgmental" and not participate. It stated that Christmas was a Christian holiday that was started to obliterate the pagan traditions.

WAS IT? (see this site: www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=369)

I think most of the Christmas traditions are taken directly from the pagan ways. They have little to do with the birth of Christ.

The above link described how "Christmas" celebrations were deemed to be too pagan in nature and were outlawed in the early United States. When it was lifted, people began to celebrate in the old traditions they had brought here from the old countries, adapting the pagan traditions into Christian Christmas.

Pagan traditions were incorporated in my home and family tradition when I was growing up...Yule log, burning a Bayberry Candle all night Xmas Eve, mistletoe, wreathes and garlands of evergreen (not to mention the tree,) cornucopia of fruit and nuts plus the individual stocking full of nuts and fruit.

Heck, Santa Claus is adapted from the Holly King -- a pagan god or at least a holiday Druid, we predates Christianity. (remember pagan and Christian lived side by side for several hundred years -- Christianity not taking over until about 400 or 500 AD or later in some places.)

I have always enjoyed the season without buying into the commercialism. I like to give people presents and don't do it out of obligation or over spend just to impress people. I like to make things for people or do something fun like one year giving all the adults children's toys and gifts. That was a hit.

I also like to get presents. Receiving a gift makes people feel special and appreciated. We have so few occasions when we give people gifts. It's fun if we choose to make it fun and put something of ourselves and our love and care into them. And it is gratifying to have someone remember you with a token of appreciation for all the love and support you have given them over the year. And vice versa.

I do agree that the commercials on TV and all the holiday special events are a bit boring and overdone. But that is not just at Christmas, it's all holidays now. Even Superbowl Sunday! It's up to the individual not to buy into the hype.

And it's also up to every individual to put the spirituality into an occasion in their own way (and be able to leave it out if they want.) In other words instead of just being outspokenly judgmental about it, people ought to just turn their backs on what other people do and/or try to pressure them to do and just celebrate individually in their own way within their own families with love and joy.

So Happy Christmas and Joyous Yule and whatever holiday you choose to celebrate this winter!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


What is sadness besides a feeling? A feeling is sometimes an emotion, and emotions are movement of energy through your heart, head and body.

Sadness is the difference between what you want and what you got.

Sadness is longing for something you can't have.

Sadness is missing something you wish you had--still, again, or ever.

Sadness is being aware you're not where, or when, you want to be.

Sadness can indicate these things and also feelings of inadequacy or futility...based on a perceived gap between wanting something and your abilities to manifest it.

Grief is a stronger, more overwhelming feeling of sadness based on loss or accumulated losses. While it encompasses some or all of the above situation, it may also include regret, guilt, and denial.

~Sandy Schairer

Coming soon--my new book--The Vault of the Poeteer, a look at my life in verse and photo.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

October Celebration

I was lucky to celebrate Halloween for more than a week this year

Halloween--All Hallow's Eve, Day of the Dead or All Sou's Day followed by All Saints Day--the ancient spiritual holiday of Samhain from the Irish pagan traditions. Samhain is pronounced Sow-win.

I went on the Ghost Tour in Old Town (Albuquerque) on a Tues. night the week before Halloween, and found out about all the ghost roaming around in my town. It was exciting. (I forgot my camera. Excuse to go again.)

Sunday at our little Unity church, our minister did a Samhain visualization -- picturing our previous generations--parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and then our kids. Blessing and healing and releasing. It was very nice. I "saw" my parents youthful and dancing together.

Monday, my husband and I went to hear a local channeler Betsy Morgan Coffman who channels Orion, I believe. She had as her guest the local medium Melissa. They told us some true ghost stories of their own, and then took questions from the floor about the participants dearly departed. When Betsy told one woman that she saw her grandfather in a boat fishing and the woman said, no, he hadn't been a fisherman--I knew it was my grandfather Jack...he was from a long line of fisherman on the water--ancestors from Isle of Man and The Great Lakes and rivers everywhere, retired to Florida. He is fishing in his Heaven. God bless him.

Tues. I had a massage. How elegant. What a favor to myself!!!

Wed. Halloween, I went to a 12-step meeting and studied step 8. It was like a miracle, hearing from the other people who sounded like they were reading my mind while relating similar situations and sharing their strength and hope with me. It was an exciting gift.

I also went to drumming at Center for Spiritual Living Wednesday. It was me and a couple of other middle-aged ladies and a gay man who passion in life is MUSIC. He played the big drum LOUD. I had an Indian drum from Taos, one lady had a wooden drum--also Indian style, and one lady was playing the bongos! It was mystical. Relaxing. I wore my feathered mardi gras mask I brought home from New Orleans a few years ago. I was hiding from evil spirits on Halloween in costume. My witch costume, which I am in all the time. We drum for love and peace and healing Mother Earth every week. It was special that day.

I fell asleep early on Halloween night. And every day I went someplace I got to eat out...tons of salad!!! YES. I'm addicted to salad.

Thurs. I went to a presentation at UNM Continuing Ed: Celtic Ancestral Wisdom lead by Maya Sutton. What a fabulous bunch o real Bards!!! Dressed in authentic ancient Celtic garb, reciting poems and story-telling old legends, dramatic readings, fiddle and harp music and flute, they were wonderful!!! With a slide show of pictures and traditional refreshments for Samhain: pork stew, sliced apples, Rosemary on roasted nuts and bread. After the presentation, we all took part in the ceremony for Samhain at the end which was an authentic ceremony not a dramatic or educational event. It was very moving. I was glowing when I left.

Fri. my honey and I went to the movies and ate two tubs of popcorn! Now celebrating with food & over-eating is a very American Holiday Tradition, can't leave that one out!

Sat. I went to a poetry workshop and wrote some cool poems.

I think this was one of the best holiday seasons I have ever spent. Grateful for the harvest. Letting go of summer, looking forward to the dark and cold winter season. And being in communion with those on the other side of the veil during the very week that the veil is thinnest for us mortals.

Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain, Happy New Year.

Love, Sandy

My Answer to SHUT UP

Family Trauma Unsolved

I thought I'd post my current understanding and lessons the incident last Easter has brought to me so far. It's sort of an open letter to my husband's family--namely his son and daughter-in-law, but since they are never going to see this, it doesn't really matter. They have closed their hearts and minds to facing this situation and/or helping us face it.

If you have had problems in your life with older or younger family members, perhaps this will be beneficial to your understanding too.

First of all it has been most baffling. We have always loved, generously supported and encouraged our kids not to mention helping them when they were having troubles in life, and their have been a number of difficulties. It was a terrible shock to realize that they can't seem to pull it together enough to return the attitude of loving & caring, and generosity. That has been a big disappointment to say the least. I realize today that kids are not grateful, anymore than they have ever been in any period of history. But I thought that our kids were different than that.

It's all centered around a MasterMind group with a couple of other people. The one woman was a close close friend of ours that we treated like a sister. She had been in an active social relationship with us for a number of years; a relationship that included abundance consciousness and prosperity thinking as well as financial and other support (we gave her a substantial loan to start a business a number of years ago which she has not paid back yet.) She told my husband about a workshop she'd been too, was enthusiastic and encouraged him to go. He took his son (who was working with him in the business) and his son's wife. The group was started locally to continue the growth and prosperity thinking generated by this workshop.

I was invited to come along with my husband to the first MasterMind group which was for the purpose of setting up the group and group goals, etc. I was surprised that they included me but I was very happy about it. I felt included, loved and supported and was willing to give them back all the love and support we all generated with this group. And I was looking forward to learning from them as we all advanced our business and prosperity consciousness and activities.

We had a couple of meetings -- maybe three --and I was thrilled with the power of the group. I was filled with joy to be in a close relationship of give and take with these people, especially our family. I was so encouraged I began to think about starting my own business (I am in the writing field and wanted to start a publishing company) even tho I am at the age when there is little I can really do in the employment area.

The group meant a great deal to my husband and to me also, since we are approaching retirement age and had very little to look forward to as far as new and exciting career possibilities, at least by ourselves. But this group gave us the loving support (we thought) to look to the future with expectation, excitement and renewed hopefulness and excitement. It was also, we thought, a way to be more involved with our friend and our younger generation in a more spiritual way.

What happened then was a big shock that we has still not understood or come to grips with. The stranger (to us) in the group called me the day before the next scheduled meeting and basically told me that the group talked about me behind my back, took a vote and decided to remove me from the group. I was shocked and devastated. I told her these were our family, even our friend who was like a sister to us, and we had a long history with them with support and sharing many other issues than just financial. Their basic bottom-line was they felt "uncomfortable" with me there since I hadn't attended the workshop. (Even tho it was partially my generosity that allowed them to go to the workshop in the first place.)

After feeling totally disrespected and rejected by this woman, I became angry. Now, I am not an angry person. I am usually a caring, loving, forgiving person who bends over backwards to try to get along and wouldn't think of hurting anyone's feelings on purpose. But this cut me to a level that totally enraged me. I think it had to do with having a stranger call and brush me off on their behalf without a word from any of them. In fact, I had seen my stepson several times in the days prior to this event and he didn't act like anything was any different. And I spoke with our close friend the night before this, and she didn't act like anything was any different either, never mentioned a thing. Basically they were ignoring the situation to save themselves further discomfortable.

So after this unexpected, shocking phone call, I simply said, "OK," and hung up. I didn't attack this person at all, altho I think she was instrumental in further developments and most likely encouraged these people to cut us out of their lives and handle the whole situation with the silent treatment; and possibly gave them the idea it was okay not to deal with the situation except from a self-centered point of view. I can't imagine on what planet that is good plan...ignore the problem and the person who is making you uncomfortable and everything will be fine? I don;'t think so. I don't think she has a clue as to how she destroyed our family and our lives.

Then my first reaction was to question my husband if he knew about this? The first thing I distinctly said was, "Did you know about this? If you're in on this, I am divorcing you right now!" He was as shocked as I was, though his son had mentioned to him (not me) that the group was uncomfortable with me being there and they were thinking of asking me to leave the group. (They could have come to me with their concerns but they chose NOT to do it in a kind way, not even face to face.) The point is, my husband and I were part of the group by then, and a group decision should have included us, not gone behind our backs in a cowardly way.

Now if you are not familiar with the MasterMind principles, you need to look it up on the internet and see the steps...they are basically having to do with sharing hope and spirituality with a group of other people to help them attain their aspirations and goals in life based on love and spirit. You would think that people who wanted to be in a group like a MasterMind group would be willing to extend their spirit and love.

The rest of that weekend my husband and I were devastated and heart-broken. He said at one point, he felt like he had died. It was perhaps the biggest jolt I have ever had in my life. Even with my ex-husband who treated me terribly it was not hidden and sneaky, it was in-my-face cruel from a sick man and I didn't expect better behavior from him. I always knew he was incapable of loving, caring behavior, and I was able to divorce him and not stay a victim of his abuse and lack of care & love. It's not that easy to divorce your kids and grandkids, especially when you love then and want to have a harmonious family life to make the last decades of your life enjoyable with love and caring family.

Next, I got an email insisting that these people didn't "intend" to hurt me, that they "loved" me. I didn't buy that, because it certainly didn't feel like love. I let them know that I was hurt and angry. And basically the whole situation escalated to them attacking me for having feelings. They think since they didn't intend to hurt someone, that they are obviously not responsible for the resulting hurt.

I tried to explain that even if you don't do something to someone on purpose to hurt them, you can still care about their feelings and apologize as a way to show you care. What if I had been hit by a car and had my leg broken? Because they weren't personally to blame for running over me, then they couldn't say they were sorry I was hurt? That's ridiculous. We can use any situation to show that we care about someone and their feelings no matter what we did or didn't do or how we did it.

They were unable to do that. When I tried to explain my feelings, I was continually verbally attacked (on email) by my stepson's wife and finally blamed, threatened, and told to SHUT UP.

I think this is appalling way to treat another person, let alone an older family member. It is a serious discrepancy between believing you are a loving, spiritual person and being unable to be kind & compassionate let alone spiritual and loving. How can a person reconcile that kind of behavior that is inconsistent with their belief systems? That's just not honest.

We were basically kicked out of the family, no longer invited to holidays and birthday parties--especially our grandchildren's. And the silence of the extended family members on this subject, while they say they care and want it resolved, has shown an unstated yet overwhelming support of the younger generation's verbal abuse and subsequent silent treatment of us.

If people can't see the need for a healing and an apology on the part of the person who was abusive and rejecting, then they are a part of that abuse and rejection. Keeping out of a situation just proves a lack of care also.

In fact, when I tried to tell my stepson's how hurt and horrible we felt, he and his wife took that as an unprovoked "attack" and used it for further rejection of us. I apologized to everyone for anything I might have said when I was in extreme emotional pain and anger because of my reaction of their treatment of me.

Their excuse is that they are "uncomfortable with emotions." So is that an excuse to force me to carry all the hurt and anger for the whole situation? My feelings go way beyond uncomfortable. And no one is able to acknowledge that. They take my feelings as an attack on them. Or take the position that I have no right to my feelings because they don't want to acknowledge their part in the situation.

I never even tried to force them to say they were wrong to want to have a MasterMind group the way they wanted it--just for the members who attended the workshop. They could have stated that sooner or told me about it in a kinder way, asking for my understanding and respect while extending it to me.

They weren't wrong to want something and to feel something and to try to deal with it. But there is a difference in doing something wrong, and doing something wrongly.

They could included me and my husband in a discussion by the whole group (of which we were a real part) in a compassionate way, asked our cooperation and compassion for them, and handled this in a mature, mutually beneficial way. Instead, they admitted that since they knew it was would be painful for them to confront me, they had the stranger in the group call me and tell me on their behalf because that would be the easiest emotional way to do it. Easy for them maybe. No so easy for us.

They basically didn't consider my feelings whatsoever and decided to put all the emotional discomfort onto my shoulders especially for reacting. So I get to suffer for the whole group of them, so they can be fine. This is what I resent the most. I am being sacrificed for the good of everyone else. No one on earth has the right to ask that of another person and pretend it's okay. It's just not okay. You can't base your feelings of OK on making someone else not OK. I won't work. It's not real. And it won't ever be over until someone takes a real look at it and becomes willing to deal with the fall-out from the whole thing.

So as a result of me venting to my stepson on afternoon (I felt he didn't have a clue how badly we felt and how this disrupted our whole life) his wife called my husband and told him that her husband wouldn't be able to work with him anymore. He wasn't even able to tell his Dad directly. I never attacked him personally, was just telling him how horrid I was feeling. I apologized to him for anything I did or said that might have hurt his feelings. Even though he obviously doesn't feel the need to apologize for anything he might have done or not done.

I later heard my husband get on the phone, crying and begging his son not to quit yet, they had a big job coming up and he couldn't do it alone, etc. and that he needed him. The answer was evidently "No." My stepson took several jobs after that working for other people, several of which he wasn't satisfied with. I guess it only occurred to his wife, after he was unemployed a while that she might be able to get a job herself, which she finally did.

Anyway, I never tried to convince these people that they were wrong to feel the way they felt, that they were wrong to try to do something about it...but there is such as thing as doing something WRONGLY, or in the wrong way. They chose to solve their own uncomfortable feelings by blatantly hurting someone else and then telling that person she had no right to her feelings of hurt and anger, and further rejecting her. And insisting that they didn't do anything wrong.

Part of this is the "new age" thinking -- that no one can hurt our feelings without our permission, that in effect, we choose to be hurt and it is 100% our own responsibility. That's only true to a certain extent.

The other half of that is being responsible for everything we say, think, believe and do. There are always consequences to everything we do. Being ignorant of that or insisting it isn't true doesn't make it less true. And we aren't off the hook if we are in relationships with other people because being in a relationship sort of means that you are willing to relate, to be responsible enough to be willing to help heal a situation you are part of in some way.

These people think they can heal the situation in their own minds by ignoring the fact they rejected and hurt us and acted in an unkind, non-compassionate way and then insisted they had the right to do that, saying over and over that they weren't wrong. They set us up to believe we were loved and accepted and then they pulled the rug out from under us and since then their treatment of us has proven that they didn't love and care about us after all. It was and still is a big shock.

And there are still long-reaching consequences. For one thing, the children (13 and 10) loved us and benefited from our being in their lives. We have participated in helping raise them and cared for them when they were babies and spent time with them going places and doing things that were enjoyable for us as well as them. That's gone.

We helped all of them over the years with emotional and actual activities of support in their lives. And now we are not able to do that anymore, and as we approach old age and all its difficulties we have no possibility of receiving any help from them with our lives. The in-laws that were also our extended family are not available to us anymore either. (We could stay friends but basically I am still grieving so much, I am afraid I would just burst into tears if I saw one of them in person. And I have been requested not to talk about the situation so they won't have to feel any bad feelings about it either. So I have to spare their feelings but keeping my own feelings to myself. Some basis for on-going friendship.)

It's like that book I read one time, "Do I have to give up me, in order to be loved by you?"

I am asked to keep my feelings of misery to myself so that everyone else can feel comfortable. I have to say NOT OK, so that they can pretend they are all okay, & spiritual and loving. I don't think so.

I didn't asked them to admit they were wrong, I asked them to care about my feelings.

And they said repeatedly NO with their actions, lack of action, and silence and in some cases verbal attack.

So, there are still far reaching consequences of this. It has definitely altered my husband's and my life. He can't continue to work the business by himself. So he has to downsize it or give it up. As a result we can't make ends meet anymore, so we have to sell our property, shop and house and find a more affordable way to live...this is property, houses and shop that we intended to leave to the kids someday...if not them, then the grandkids. But it's gonna be history soon. A house and shop that were my husband's dream and he built with his own two hands and planned to enjoy for the rest of his life with and share with his family. Too bad for everyone.

EVERYONE LOSES HERE. This is not a win/lose thing, it's a LOSE/LOSE situation for everyone. Too bad. It breaks our hearts and no one else realizes it or seems to care.

On top of that, we have cut these people out of our will and are leaving everything to each other. They are getting the same thing they are giving us...nothing. We have given and given over the years, not just to them but to others. I would hope that they could "forgive us" if we expected a little kindness back which is normal not pure selfishness. I can see that was stupid of us to expect the younger generation to be grateful for what they have received and to be willing to give something back. We have obviously been barking up the wrong tree.

And we are moving away to a place where there is other family that love us, accept us, and care about us and our lives. And the people who have rejected us are not welcome to come visit us there. At least not until they realize the situation they helped create with their unkindness and cold-heartedness and decide to help heal the situation some other way than verbally abusing us, giving us the silent treatment, and saving their own feelings of OK'ness for themselves.

It took more than us to create this bad situation, and we can't be expected to fix it by ourselves. That won't work.

Also, when trust is gone, it takes a great deal of effort to re-establish it. And one half of the participants aren't able to do it alone. It takes full cooperation from everyone. Cooperation that no one has been willing to show us whatsoever.

I don't know what else to say, but let people know that unconditional love can't be taken for granted when you do something hurtful to other people. We can love you and forgive you, but we can't associate with you as long as your unkind attitudes towards us stand. It's not just the past, it's every day on into the present and the future that we have been rejected and treated cruelly. So if you want something from us again, even freedom to cut firewood, please consider asking first and thanking us afterwards. We would rather be allowed to extend generosity not have it taken from us.

Remember just SAYING you love someone, believing in your own spirituality and lovingness isn't all it takes. Love and spiritually based living takes ACTION. Put your beliefs into actions. Actions speak louder than words. You can say you didn't intend to hurt us, you can say you still love us, but threatening, verbally abusing, and/or ignoring us not to mention telling me to shut up, is not a spiritual or loving thing to do. And the rest of the family that is ignoring this type of abuse, well, all I can say is, if you stand by and let a family member you supposedly care about be abused, then you are part of the abuse.

I can no longer be the person in any situation that disregards my own well-being so that everyone else can be fine. You all are not fine. We are not fine. And pretending it's all fine, is not okay.

Parents, while it is our JOB to give unconditional love and support, are people too. As far as I am concerned, you all are willing to treat strangers kinder than you treat us.

I forgot to add the most important part: Around Father’s Day Nic wrote to me telling me she didn’t realize that I wasn’t over this by now and asked what it would take for me to get over it. I innocently thought she meant it…she was willing to patch things up and offer to do something for me to help me handle this on-going situation--still painful and hurtful for me, even more-so in some ways because the insults are on-going, they are not over, they exist in the here and now, they still stand--the judgment, condemnation and unkind, non-compassionate sentiments towards me. So I said I would like an apology for my feelings being hurt. That is when she got verbally abusive, insisted she didn’t do anything WRONG. She told me that if I thought she was a bitch now, that she would show me what kind of bitch she could really be--in capital, red letters--I took this treat as a threat. She also stated that she didn't know how my husband could stand me all the time...and my husband loves me and completely sympathized with my hurt and angry feelings. He has his own hurt feelings too having had the rug pulled out from under him in his business as well as losing his family life with his kids/grandkids. Then she TOLD ME TO SHUT UP.

I would like to mention too that when I yelled at Daniel out in the shop, I was not attacking him…I said absolutely nothing blaming or condemning him, I was telling him how horrible and broken hearted Ed and I had felt. If he went home and told Nicole that I “ripped him a new one” and that he felt so unwanted, he was picking up on what I was feeling−that Ed and I felt unwanted and I definitely felt aggressively and coldly rejected. I was reacting to what they had done to me or rather the way they did it…the whole group…people should not do potentially hurtful and destructive things to other people without expecting to deal with the fallout. They had no right to expect me to contain all the misery, hurt, pain, and anger all by myself and keep them out of it.

They are a part of this…and being brushed under the rug like a pile of dirt hurts. If it was okay for them to feel uncomfortable why is it so horrible that I have feelings? If I made one of them feel unwanted by ranting about how horrible I felt, why is that wrong (and not something I did to them on purpose anyway) and making me feel not only unwanted but rejected, judged and condemned is okay?

Part of my life…the part where we socialize with family and extend love and receive love from relatives−kids, in-laws, grandchildren−has been stolen from us. I, for one, feel horrible on-going grief.

If I reacted badly at first, I did apologize to everyone. That's the difference. I was reacting not attacking. And I was sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Worthy Quote

"Tell my friends and those who love me to remember that life is what we make it, that every disappointment is just another opportunity to travel a different route, that judging another person mirrors your own insecurity and you better get over it because that's what will bring you down...that the present moment is really all we have and you better make the most of it, and that love, truly loving unconditionally... is all that really matters in life."

~ quoted author: Wes Vincent

Photo: By Sandy Schairer, Colorado Landscape, July 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Alas: Good-Bye to the E-Book Industry

I have not made a dime in my e-book career. My small e-publisher may be doing well, but I don't get paid until they get all their costs, which means I can get royalties after selling about 200 copies of each of my short e-books. I am rather disappointed since they are really good stories [published under my pen name.] If you save the e-book manuscript on a CD people expect to pop it into their car stereo and listening to me reading it to them. I might try that next, who knows? Although the type of e-book I do is really not appropriate for listening to while you're driving.

This article I found may help explain the problem. Sandy

from the January 23, 2002 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0123/p01s03-woeu.html

Book lovers fail to click with e-pages

By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

PARIS - The subject line of the e-mail caught my eye immediately as I browsed through my overnight mail.

"For the love of God, PLEASE buy my book."

I knew the book to which the sender, Claire Berlinski, was referring. Earlier she had e-mailed me, unsolicited, the first chapter of 'Loose Lips,' about a woman joining the CIA.

Now came the pitch: "Surely you were a little bit intrigued? Look, I swear to you, it's a great book. And hey: I'm practically giving it away. It costs way less than a double latte and a scone." For $5.95, I could obtain the Web address, from which I could access the whole book.

Ms. Berlinski has picked a tough time to self- publish an electronic book.

A year or so ago, e-books were being touted as the future of publishing: Paper would go the way of papyrus, we were told, and we would soon all be curling up with personal digital assistants.

It was not to be, or at least not yet. Over the past three months, three of the biggest e-publishing enterprises have folded: AtRandom, Random Books' foray into the online world, closed in November. IPublish, belonging to Time Warner, shut down at the end of last year. Ten days ago MightyWords, half owned by Barnes and Noble, switched off its website.

"We do not believe that the market for digital content was large enough to support a separate company," said Barnes & Noble, whose disappointing e-sales prompted its decision to ditch MightyWords.

Berlinski is not necessarily arguing with that. So far she has sold only about 100 e-copies of her book. But she has used the web to get around a classic problem for first-time authors - how to break into the publishing world when you don't have a reputation.

"You cannot get published without an agent, and you can't get an agent unless you've been published," says Robert McCormick, chief operating officer of 1stBooks Library, an e-publishing venture which works with a lot of previously unpublished writers.

Berlinski e-mailed installments of her first chapter to about 1,000 journalists, publishers, literary agents, and other people in the writing world whose e-mail addresses she found on the Web. A reporter on The Chicago Tribune liked 'Loose Lips' enough to recommend it to his agent, Katherine Robbins, and she has agreed to take it on.

"Agents are deluged with manuscripts," Berlinski explains. "I wanted to do something really effective, not waste a lot of time, and some wonderful opportunities present themselves with new media. I want to exploit them."

For some of the biggest players in US publishing, the wonderful new media opportunities they hoped to exploit with e-books turned out to be illusory.

"It is taking longer for consumers to grasp the technology than people thought," says Carolyn Brown, a spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble. "The price of devices is still very high, and there is still a lot of education to do on things that consumers don't know about."

E-books can be read on a range of devices, from a regular computer or laptop, through hand-held personal organizers such as PalmPilots, to custom-built e-book readers.

Barnes & Noble is still publishing some e-books itself, and bestseller Stephen King enjoyed great success with "Riding the Bullet," which he published electronically in 2000. Smaller companies, too, are doing well in the business.

Fictionwise, for example, which concentrates on sci-fi and romance titles, saw its sales jump by 400 per cent last year, to around 10,000 e-books a month, and "all we see is growth ahead," says company founder Scott Pendergrast. "We are very excited.

"It's still a small market ... not mature yet," he adds. "But for publishers that are careful with their expenses, we think it's a great market."

Fictionwise launched itself with sci-fi partly because Mr. Pendergrast is a sci-fi fan, but also, he says, because "we had the belief that people who owned hand-held devices would be science fiction readers."

And the e-publishing business tends to be doing well in such niche sectors, with a mainly male readership among customers comfortable using personal digital assistants in their daily lives.

That is not a profile that matches very many readers, however, which is why another e-publisher, 1stBooks Library, sells not just electronic books for download, but 'print on demand' books too. Under that system, a reader finds a title he is interested in on the website, orders it online, and 1stBooks prints a copy just for that customer, who receives it through the mail. This eliminates the risk and cost of publishing a large print-run of a title that may not sell very well.

"The reading public still likes printed books better," says 1stBooks C.O.O. Mr. McCormick. "But the under-18s spend more time in chat-rooms than on the phone, and we'll see the ratios change quite a bit. Whether that will happen in 10 years or 50 years, nobody knows."

Fictionwise founder Pendergrast says it will depend on how easy e-books are to read. "We believe the e-book market will explode when new hand-held devices come out with fantastic new screen technology making them easier to read, and when prices become reasonable," he argues. Such technology could be in shops within two years, he says.

Berlinski says she is a believer in the Internet as a tool for marketing and spreading ideas. "Whether it is economically viable as a medium for books, I don't know, but I am much less skeptical than I was a month ago."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Compassion and Kindness in America Today

In regards to the recent family issue, I would like to state the bottom line on it, since I have been told to "shut up" and that the lines of communication in regards to healing this collective situation are closed.

What happened: Some close relatives and a close friend did something--while not "wrong"per se, they behaved "wrongly."

I reacted to it in a severe way and exhibited some behavior--tho I was not "wrong" to feel what I felt (no one ever is) I exhibited my feelings "wrongly."

The difference is -- I apologized from my behavior.

I was upset and I responded -- I rejected their behavior.

They were upset and responded -- they rejected me as a person/human being/soul.

Lack of kindness and ability to respond to another person with compassion is a very serious spiritual illness. It is never considered "the right thing to do" in any religious or philosophical frame of reference, professional or personal.

But meanness in American society is on the increase, much to the detriment of our country and individual people trying to deal with everyday life in an increasingly hostile society. I will never find cruelty to be correct (or even as entertainment as current "reality" television demonstrates.)

For the sake of "harmony" part of my extended family and my friend who was like a sister to us, cowardly have to save face and continue to insist they did nothing wrong.

For the sake of harmony, I have to stop allowing myself to be a repeated victim of emotional abuse every time I try to open a dialog on the subject with hopes of healing the rift.

This breaks my heart over and over again.

The show of a lack of respect, especially for the older generation, is appalling. In my family I was raised in, we might have thought someones behavior was bizarre or silly or even downright bad, but we never condemned our own relatives and friends for being who and what they were regardless of their behavior. While we were not especially spiritual as a family, we had respect and a commitment to acting in a loving manner because we believed we were loving and it was the right thing to do.

I believe, if someone claims they're a loving, spiritual-based person, they need to act in a loving, spiritual way to be truly consistent mind, heart and soul. And when they fall short, even if it is unintentional--and being human we all will fall short--people need to recognize it immediately, take responsibility for the fact there are consequences to everything one does (like it or not) and do something positive to counteract it.

Ignoring the consequences that result from your behavior is not a thinking, feeling, enlightened way to resolve a problem.

There is nothing more I can say to these particular people without them heaping more rejection and/or abuse on me. I cannot put the initial situation behind me because of the severe and continued abuse that has been continued as a result. It's not just in the past, it's on-going and continuing into the here and now over and over.

My husband and I are living in a state of shock, heart-break and grief. So if you can't help us get over the pain of our loss of family, lost harmony and acceptance, and personal and professional setbacks: please, leave us alone. You are being part of the problem, not part of the solution. We will turn to the love and kindness of other sincere people and, of course, to Spirit to heal.

Love and Light, Sandy Schairer
Photo, copyright by Ted Clarke, Kalamazoo Michigan

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Apology: A Lost Art and Skill?

What is the matter with people today? What ever happened to a simple, "I'm sorry," to handle situations before they get all blown up out of proportion? Why do people think they have to battle for being right instead of kind?

An apology is not an admission of"guilt" or of being "wrong" or even of being "bad." (Though it certainly can be--and if you're guilty of something bad, or merely wrong, speak up and admit it as soon as possible; don't try to justify it or make excuses.) Respond quickly with "I'm sorry," shows that you didn't intend it or hurt someone on purpose. How else would they know? If you just insist that you didn't do anything "wrong" that doesn't address the problem. It's like answering a question about emotions and behavior with a mathematical solution...sort of like apples and oranges...it just doesn't fit. "Why did you throw away the cake I baked for you?" "Six times 6 is definitely 36, and if you don't believe that, too friggin' bad. I'm right." What does that have to do with cake and hurt feelings?

So...an apology is a response to another person's feelings. If you claim to love the person, you will care about their feelings and be moved to respond to them and put making yourself right on a back burner, for godsake. You will respond with an apology if you see that someone is hurt and angry over something you did--even if you didn't do it on purpose or intend to hurt the person. If you hit them with your car because you didn't see them, you didn't maliciously hit them, but certainly if they were injured you would respond with concern, not try to make it all justified and declare they were at fault for the accident by being injured. That is all backwards. You can apologize for hurting someone, even if it was an unintended accident.

Saying the other person has no right to feel hurt or angry, that you didn't mean to hurt them, is the same excuse a pedophile uses...he didn't mean to hurt the little children, he loved them, they shouldn't feel bad or hurt or angry. HAH.

And this new age attitude that we are responsible for everything that happens to us, is just a way for crude, unkind people to let themselves off the hook for being nice to the rest of the world. More of the "blame the victim" methodology. Why don't people just realize that what they say and do can be misunderstood or it can directly cause pain and suffering for others. Things we do, cut people to the soul. We can gain our own peace of mind (egotistically at least) by making everyone responsible for their own hurt feelings. In my opinion, the joy and humor in today's world based on being mean to other people (especially on those reality shows and talent shows) is downright immoral, abusive and cruel. People may have the right to be that way, but they do need to realize the consequences that behavior has on others and eventually themselves. It is not funny for a judge in a contest to rudely tell someone who just sang their heart out that they "stink, so get off the stage." There is a way to be critical without being judgmental and hurtful. But if people don't seem to know that, telling them that isn't going to work. The only think I can do is hope those mean people are on the receiving end of unjustified attack someday so they'll understand how it feels and can adjust their behavior accordingly.

Arguing with a hurt person that they have no "reason" to feel hurt, doesn't take the hurt away either. It makes it worse. It's a flaming indication that your feelings are way more important than anyone else's. The question becomes then, not would you rather be right or happy, but would you rather be right or kind. Choosing being right regardless of everything else speaks loudly in it's silence. And it is not a pretty message. It is just sad.

Blaming a person after they respond to something you did, using it as an excuse for what you started in the first place, isn't fair. It's a way to make your own feelings feel okay again, not helping the situation or other person at all. So criticizing them or getting angry that they reacted out of pain and anger to something you did is NOT an indication that what you did was "justified" and they deserved it. Just look how they took it, they must have deserved it, right? NO WAY.

I am a very loving, supportive, forgiving, giving, caring person. But if I don't receive apologies from loved ones and dear friends, I am not going make all the effort to heal relationships by myself. I am not going to give out blanket forgiveness to unapologetic people. I am out of the door-mat business, so if someone wants to be in my life again, if they genuinely care about me and my feelings, they can show it the way I have requested they show it. Say you're sorry. I am not bending over backwards to do all the fixing and sucking up to others so they will "like" me. They can suck up to me and try to fix their rude, mean, unkind behavior. I am tired of being the one that gives up my feelings and consideration for my own well-being so that everyone else can feel okay and comfortable all the time.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Dear All beloved,

I had a wonderful celebration on June 3, my birthday. I gave out "presents" to my MasterMind group at church of CD's (of free talks and music downloaded from a wonderful inspirational internet site, and yes, I did make a donation!)

Then I went to a party for someone who has the same birthday. And got to talk to people of all ages. It was a festival of love and joy. Wonderful. The husband of the birthday girl is recovered from colon cancer and back to his enthusiastic self. He's a sculptor in his medium of wood...a woodworker like my husband, he also builds exotic furniture and specialized in magnificient doors!!! Blessings on them and their whole family who attended---old folks as well as children. Now that's a real party--intermingling all the generations with respect and equality as well as love and joy.

This birthday gal is younger than I, but another friend with the same birthday day June 3rd is older than I --- he is proud and brags that he is 89 -- aiming for 100!! I think he will make it, too, and maybe beyond. He also recovered from colon cancer at age 79. He is a spiritual teacher and also teaches and practices Tai Chi!!! (See his celebration letter below.)

Best of blessings to everyone also born on June 3rd.

Love, Sandy

My Spiritual Twin Brother: Octogenarian Celebrates! June 3, 2007

Dear Friends,

Rick Cramer’s Birthday is today – he has reached the age of 89 (going for 100!), and wants you to help him celebrate it! His friends and students (of T’ai Chi) at the Senior Centers call him a Role Model for Seniors”, and one of them quipped “89, and ‘fit’! – You must be doing something right!”

Well, “something” includes doing T’ai Chi and 2 hours of other exercise every day, I have eliminated ‘junk food’ from my diet in favor of more fruits and veggies, developing a positive (and be happy) attitude towards life. Additionally, I meditate daily, and do mental exercises. My hobby is making up “fun” quizzes – about almost any subject you can name. “Living In Today’s World” is probably the largest category. I call these “Generic Quizzes”. Others, of a specific nature, include: People, Current Events, “Where In The World Is ______?” (a favorite), Cars, Motorcycles, and Driving, Travel - any mode, any time, Nutrition (the latest in nutrition – phytonutrients, omega 3, free radicals, etc.), The Science of Mind, and lots of other categories...(He's sending the quizzes to select friends and awarding them some books left over from his bookstore which he owned and worked until he was in his late 70's.) Love, Rick

Photo by Ted Clarke, Kalamazoo MI, copyrighted

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Problem with New Age Philosophy

The Problem with New Age Philosophy

First of all…it’s not that different from old time religion−sometimes just the words change, not the sentiments.

Secondly, it is completely ridiculous that “you create your own reality.”

Oh you can create your own reality. If you know stealing a car is wrong, you can create an arrest and trial and jail time for yourself.

It’s the old theory of “facing the consequences.”

But let’s take a look at how people can manifest their health and prosperity and any other benefit they want in live.

To create your reality, you have to pick the right parents, be born in the right era and correct geographical location. You have to have immunizations and good nutrition (so look out if you’re born in a poverty stricken country like India or an African nation and are one of the lower classes.)

Your education helps, so you have to create some books and some schools (so you’d have to create a bunch of abundance for your country in case they don’t have any funds or don’t even care about reading and writing, let alone arithmetic.

Then, let’s see, assuming you didn’t make a mistake and were born in a war torn country and happened to get blasted to smithereens before you reached your tenth birthday, you can consider a “career” and how you can make a living in whatever environment you live in.

Of course, if you’re lucky to be an African girl you might run into some luck and meet Oprah who will fund your school, or a trip to American for higher education, and hopefully a family to stay with while you learn English and get a higher degree. Of course, you’ll want to return to your poor country and help provide education for other kids who were in a different boat than the boat you were in. (This is slang, look it up.)

Now, if you happen to reach adulthood with all your faculties and limbs in a more prosperous country like America, you can get a job and start earning money so you can “create” a prosperous life for yourself and your spouse and any kids you might create along the way.

You can probably create an education for yourself, a higher education if you know how to borrow and/or those parents you picked were well-off and agreed to fund your college degree and support you while you studied. For those of you who aren’t as lucky, well, the school of hard knocks is still available.

You can then create the wealthy lifestyle you desire from your spiritual inspiration, aggressive affirmations and your deep seated belief that you deserve to be rich.

None of the slogans of the New Age “create-your-own-reality” philosophy means diddlysquat unless you put the damn things into action. You have to DO SOMETHING. Usually, the same things human beings have been doing since the beginning of time in one way or another.

Praying, affirming, believing don’t work unless you add an action step and are willing to go out there into the world, face hardships and frightening experiences, handle rough and tumble learning and advance in the manifest world the best way you know how (and learn a few new tricks at the same time) in order to make something happen.

We can all pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. Abraham Lincoln did it. So can we. That’s not new thought or new age. That’s pretty old stuff.

Sitting around a candle chanting affirmations and new age slogans isn’t going to make it happen.

The truth is, there is only one reality. That reality is God − by whatever name you want to call him or her. Spirit. Universal Mind. Divine Being. Source. Father. Jehovah. Jesus. Allah. Whatever. This is not meant to exclude the non-church people and the scientists and humanists. You have your own names for outside influences or inner strength and personal power.

If there is only one reality, we are allowed to select our own perception of that one reality. We can see the glass either half full or half empty. We can look on the bright side, believe that every dark cloud has its silver lining, and Go for It! Nothing new there, just new words for the same old motivational stuff peppered with a more secular faith or mystical spirituality.

For an example:

“Take responsibility for your feelings. No one can hurt you unless you let them.”

Yeah, you have that ability. If someone hurts your feelings, you can choose not to feel it. Then again, you don’t have to be brainwashed into thinking rude, mean people are not responsible for being unkind especially when they then try to blame you for your natural reaction of hurt feelings and anger.

You have the right to feel hurt and get angry, sometimes you can’t help it, it’s a natural response built into our mind and body (think how much choice you have when someone cuts you off in traffic and scares the pants off you. Do you really think you can tell your heart not to beat faster and your hands not to shake on the steering wheel after you realize you almost bit the dust?)

You have the right to ask for an apology and then the right to help yourself get over it whether the clouts apologize or not. You have the right to forgive them if you want to, and forget the whole thing if you want to. You also have the right to confront them and argue it out until they see your point. Then you have the right to give up if they don’t come around. You have the right to say, “The heck with ‘em. I’ll be happy without them,” and continue on your merry way.

Your feelings about things are not all your responsibility. “Tit for tat.” (An old slogan, whatever it means.) People do bad things. We don’t have to apologize for declaring that those bad things are just downright wrong.

If people allow themselves to do whatever they want regardless of the effect it has, they really do owe it to others to grant them the same freedom, too. So you probably have the right to be mean back to them. It probably won’t make you feel better, but by their standards it’s not wrong. Except, they have double standards. Abusers rarely believe anyone has the right to throw something back in their faces.

The really mean guys probably won’t see the reality of it because they are too damn mean to see it, so don’t hold your breath if they don’t take responsibility and apologize. If they refuse to apologize by saying, “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone,” remember that’s the same excuse a pedophile uses to get away with molesting little kids.

AND, if they won’t stop hurting you and continue with the abuse, you have the obligation to yourself to get out of range and not let them do that anymore. You don’t have to teach them how to be nice, you just need to be true to yourself and your own survival and happiness.

If you don’t know how, ask somebody. While you are working on your emotions to forgive them GET HELP.

(To my writer friends, sorry for the clich├ęs but they seem to fit the bill in this discussion here.)

Thanks, Sandy

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Sobriety, however it comes to someone -- alcoholic or not -- is always by the grace of God.

But God can only do for us, what we are willing to accept and use. God can use more than one method to bring us to a point where we are willing to learn and willing to try whatever we can to escape the suffering of alcoholism.

Everyone has a different experience how they were given the miracle and gift of sobriety. This in no way lessens anyone else's experience of God and a plan for sobriety.

I would not like to see AA limited to only Christians or even believers. Many who are sick and suffering don't believe in anything until they come to a 12-Step program or some other God-given program and accept the help. Then they can, perhaps, recognize the Divine in their own way.

For instance, someone who says AA "didn't work" for them but finding Jesus or Buddha or Jehovah did work to create sobriety and a new life--to me that is the same thing in different words.

Turning ones will and life over to the care of a Higher Power, means surrendering to God (or Christ, or any other expression of the Divine) and stopping trying to work it out on the ego level.

It's like surrendering to the sun for light instead of insisting on using a candle & trying to do something all by yourself. (And if someone can do that, do it alone, that's great, too.)

Sobriety is a miracle and a gift. But we have to accept our gifts since God will never take away our free will. (By the way, free will and suffering may be the shortest distance to finding a lasting spiritual path.)

A lot of it is semantics (words) -- i.e., calling the same phenomenon and spiritual experience by different names. There is really no difference between "turning your life over to a Higher Power" and being "born again" or "saved" or "enlightened" etc. The point is everyone can surrender to the divine powers.

God would not turn anyone aside because they didn't call him by the correct name. God is pure love and joy and willingly helps "his children" to help each other and themselves through their experience and sharing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My new photo album on-line!!!

See my albums of Egyptian Museum in San Jose, CA March 2007
and along the coast of the Pacific April 2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A beautiful Fall picture

Photo by my brother Ted Clarke in Michigan

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Queen of Everything

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 (original post)

Queen of Everything

I would like to introduce you to one of my best friends, known as Queen of Everything. She received the nickname when she won the prestigious Parris Award from SouthWest Writers for the most active volunteer to the organization.

She is a poet and a retired teacher with a Ph.D. in literature. She is the author of Wishes in the Wind a book of her poetry published by Grandma Tree publishing.

She is an active member, still, in SouthWest Writers. She is also the unofficial leader of the lunch and birthday group made up of SWW writers that socialize a couple times per month or more, outside of SWW gatherings. She has been chair of the contests, the conferences, the Policies and Procedures, the Bylaws, and is still a member of the Board of Directors executive committee.

She also writes romantic suspense and is a long time member of Romance Writers of American and local chapter Land of Enchantment Romance Authors. She is currently looking for a publisher for her novels/an or an agent. If you would like to meet with her regarding publishing her books, please let me know!!!

She has helped encourage and education many aspiring writers, myself included, and she is very much beloved by her friends. Isn't she beautiful?

If you want more information on how to contact her or about her poetry/Wishes in the Wind, please write to me through this blog.

Thanks, Sandy S, Author/Writer

Monday, March 19, 2007

Not So Anonymous Anymore If I Can Help Someone

Monday, March 19, 2007

About The 12-Steps

Dear All,

I have a dear friend that I have known for over ten years. He was born about the time I was graduating from high school, so I have to admit I am old enough to be his mother.

I met him at A Course in Miracles discussion group. At the time he found showed up at the ACIM group, I was the only member of the group that actually came anymore. So I called everyone and assembled a fairly large group again so that this new friend might be part of it.

Later, when he had bouts of emotional distress, unemployment, depression, unreasonable anger, and suicidal thoughts, he assumed that the world (including me sometimes) were criticizing him and laughing at him and forces in the world were somehow preventing him from having a successful life. However, I stayed his friend and waited until he dealt with those things and so our friendship continued, mostly on e-mail in the last couple years.

What happened was that after I found help at a University Hospital Mental Health Clinic for one of my sons several years ago, got him a social security disability and mental health counseling and free medications (which he later decided to walk away from--my son's schizophrenic) my friend was watching closely -- not saying a word.

Much later, my friend thanked me for "showing" him that this type of help was possible and that he had taken advantage of it and gone for help. I was amazed and glad for him. After he moved out of state, he continued to do well for himself and continued with the federal programs and some state assistance for expenses and medical care.

I just emailed him a few weeks ago that he sure had made a lot of progress in the past few years, and he agreed.

Recently, though, he had some sort of flashback, I guess. Started out raging against an irritation in his environment (excessive noise at his apartment complex) and then went from extreme anger into unreasonable and severe depression. I was aware that he'd gone through this type of set-back before, and I was really concerned for his health and safety. I thought maybe his medications could be to blame or they were becoming ineffective, so I called him and urged him to call his doctor or the pharmacist and let them know how he was feeling, and that he (nor anyone!) should have to suffer from what he was going through!

[Incidentally, several years ago there was a scare that antidepressants could "cause "sudden suicidal thoughts. In fact, when I took anti-depressants for 10 months or so during the time I was having a some depression (probably related to change of life issues) I distinctly saw the warning on the pharmacy paperwork for that medication that said if you have sudden feelings of suicide LET SOMEONE KNOW, GET HELP, CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Even though the drug companies continue to deny it, a few people are still committing suicide while on anti-depressants. If it's only ONE person, that's too many, in my opinion.]

My friend didn't want to talk on the phone, so I just told him I cared about him and wanted him to take care of himself. This is what friends do and say when a friend is facing an emotional crisis. Care. Urge them to get help. Right? It's a normal and natural reaction. I didn't try to meddle or tell him what I thought was wrong, just asked him to call his doctor and have his medications checked. (I am no longer suffering the Alanon and Codependency symptoms of having to "fix" or "save" everyone! I have genuinely learned how to care about and to how help people, and have spent time as a home health aide and a hospice worker. I have a Ph.D. in holistic health for goshsakes!) I still believe in LIVE AND LET LIVE. Only, with another L: LOVE.)

Later that week, when I was thinking about my friend and wondering how he was doing, I realized that he seemed to have a lot of "symptoms" similar to the AA's and Alanon's that I have know, myself included. Even though my friend doesn't drink or take illegal drugs, he had a difficult childhood which is what Codependents are. So I sent him some information about Codependents Anonymous and the 12-Steps. I have always considered Alanon and AA to be "self-help" programs for very unique and independent people. It was sort of a "take-it or leave-it" message.

But the truth is, I think the 12-Steps are miraculous. I and countless others owe our continued survival and our sanity and our ability to live in the world now, to the 12-Steps programs. I still have relatives, a few of my sons included, that could use the 12-Steps but they haven't "hit bottom" yet, so the 12-step programs have been unable to help them yet. The 12-Steps sure are continuing to help me get through my sons' addictions and alcoholism and mental illnesses.

When I finally admitted I needed some help more than 33 years ago, I didn't turn to my parents to "fix" me or expect my spouse(s) and friends to put up with me acting crazy and depressed. (Well, maybe I could have spared my kids a lot of my early misery...)

No, by some coincidence, I found out about the 12-Steps and went to Alanon and a few years later to into the AA Program. I celebrated 31-years of sobriety of Feb. 14th. I'm not bragging. I'm grateful.

A coincidence is, you know, a minor miracle in which God wishes to remain anonymous.

The 12-Step program is a spiritual program, not religious, and not psychology but a program of recovery for the people that want it. Those who want to trade in their misery. (They also assure you, if you don't like the program, your misery will be refunded. Not funny.)

Most alcoholics/addicts would not be insulted if you call them alcoholics or addicts even sober or clean. In fact, you can call us just about any name in the book, and we will heartily agree. We were definitely those miserable types of things and more.

In the 12-Steps we learned to become teachable, became willing to change and be changed (important difference) and also became willing to turn our lives over to something greater than ourselves (in some cases the individual AA or NA or Alanon group, more often a Higher Divine Power some call God, or sometimes GOD just means Good Orderly Direction.) But through the 12-Steps and the Grace of God, we began a lifetime of recovery and discovered a life worth living again. Not just to be of service to others, but to learn to love everyone even ourselves!

So here is what I offer anyone who stumbles on this blog and relates to some of the listed characteristics and wants to find a way out of their misery. It works, if you work it.

Blessed be, Sandy

Alcoholic/Addict Personality Traits (that also include some Codependents)-- taken from the internet.

To gain insight, consider carefully this commonly accepted list of personality traits found in the Alcoholic/Addict person. These are characteristics that occur in normal people, but in the Alcoholic/Addict are exaggerated and uncontrolled. These things render Alcoholic/Addicts incapable of being at peace.

Low Frustration and Tolerance seems to be the most consistent trait. This is the inability to endure, for any length of time, any uncomfortable circumstances or feeling. The Alcoholic/Addict is impatient.

Anxiety that state which seems to exist in all people, exists in an exaggerated way in Alcoholic/Addict persons. They are subject to nameless dreads and fears. This anxiety drives Alcoholic/Addicts and Alcoholic/Addicts to "fight or flight". Sometimes this is called free-floating anxiety.

Grandiosity is worn as a protective amour to hide feelings of low self-esteem. In reality, although Alcoholic/Addicts nourish an inflated image of themselves, their deep conviction is one of self-worthlessness.

Perfectionism sets impossible goals with inevitable failures and resultant guilt. The Alcoholic/Addict is an idealist. This idealism may be one of the reasons for success after recovery. They can be exceptionally fine workers once the illness has been arrested and after the perfectionism has been reduced to reasonable proportions.

Justification Alcoholic/Addicts are masters at this. Justification is the science of arranging to do what we want to do, then making it appear reasonable.

Isolation and deep insecurity deprive the Alcoholic/Addict of the real generosity needed to make close and enduring friendships. They become loners.

Sensitivity exaggerates all the unpleasant interpersonal relationships experienced by the Alcoholic/Addict person. This inevitably produces extreme resentment.

Impulsiveness "I want what I want when I want it." This is probably related to a low frustration tolerance. In some ways the Alcoholic/Addict takes pride in this impulsiveness, as though it were a valuable asset.

The Alcoholic/Addict can't seem to enjoy a job or task and long before completion is already moving on to something else.

Defiance is a common response to society as a whole, whether the Alcoholic/Addict is under the influence of a mind-altering substance or not. This is associated with a feeling that one does not fit, exactly, into society.

The 12 Steps (click on the highlighted words for more information.)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/drugs/people, places and things - that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

Tuesday, February 20, 2007