Can I Trust You?

Are you a trust worthy person? I’m sure you probably are. I sincerely believe people usually do the right thing when it comes to honesty. But are there trust issues in your life you’ve been ignoring?

When thinking of trust issues I suggest most of us think not of ourselves, but more oftenLying than not a partner, family member or friend who has lied to us in the past. It’s especially hard for some of us, myself included, to re-establish trust when someone I hold dear has lied to me simply because they didn’t want to face the consequences of the truth.

I have a rule in my relationships:  Tell me the truth.

I may very well not like the truth. That’s okay. The upset from me hearing the truth about something I don’t like is miniscule when compared to the nuclear fallout that will occur when I’m lied to … period.

Al Gore’s famous documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” comes to mind. Truth can be darn inconvenient when it reveals our insecurities, our lack of follow-through or a revelation that we lied. Lie to ME and you’ll find out just how inconvenient your life will be. I’ve tried to express this verbally to at least one person in my life on more than one occasion. Perhaps seeing this publicly, in writing, will not only help the person to become crystal clear, but will also help others to see the seriousness of falsehood in their own lives.

How does this all fit into the universe principles that we live by and use daily? If we are untruthful about anything – yes, anything – then that untruth will fester like a splinter in our finger. If it is not removed – by being revealed – it will eventually become ever more painful, while all the time we’ll be wondering why our lives are in the toilet.

Do yourself a favor this week:  Be truthful. If you’ve made a commitment to someone you can no longer keep, speak to them and either re-negotiate the terms or sever the agreement. It may take a clean cut with a sharp knife to get that splinter out. But I’m here to tell you it’s a lot easier than having it sawed on with a serrated blade, which is what it will feel like if you wait. As always,

In Spirit, TRUTH and Playfulness,



The Southern Belle Primer

Why do you care what other people think of you? As a recovering people-pleaser I’ve been asked that question a lot. The first thought that comes to mind is the admonition from my mother that I must always wear clean underwear. That way the paramedics and nurses won’t think less of me if I’m in a car accident.

Someone reading this just smiled because his/her mother told them the same thing. I mean, “Huh?” If my underwear isn’t clean the hospital staff will not treat me? Really?

Many of us were taught to live our lives giving great regard to how we would appear to others. I remember being in a training class with a woman from the south. She was constantly telling us that various parts of her life simply must happen as planned and in a specified order. There was no compromise in these instances for her. If presented with options she would often decline; her mother simply wouldn’t hear of it, she said. I asked her, quite off the cuff, if she had a manual for all these rules.

To my surprise she brightened and said, “Oh, yes! Momma Steel_Magnolias_33462_Mediumgave me The Southern Belle Primer as soon as I had my comin’ out!” I, of course, thought she was pulling my leg. The next day she brought it in! Every chapter was chocked full of the right kind of silverware and china one must have; how to select a party planner; what one should and should not wear, as well as when and where; and, the importance of knowing who your “people” are.

Most of us didn’t grow up with a manual like this, but I’m guessing almost everyone can point to the un-written rules of their own family. I was outspoken as a child – no surprise there – and was told numerous times that a young boy or young man shouldn’t be talking about certain subjects. I couldn’t figure out why, but apparently my intention to be informative and logical only branded me as a precocious smart-ass.

It was Terry Cole-Whittaker who wrote about how we allow the opinions of others to affect our lives in, What You Think of Me Is None of My Business. The application of that statement, however, can be a challenge at best.

We don’t have to be outrageous, rebellious or totally out of synch with the rest of our community to be ourselves. But we are each individual, precious beings expressing Spirit in our own unique way. Each of us have a special gift to give to the world. When we allow societal or familial rules, many outdated for our twenty-first century, to become the only guide to our major decisions and lives we deprive our planet of who we are.

This week be you. Not because you want to stand out, or feel special, or for any other reason other than being determined to express your truth spirit. We await your entrance!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Yes, Precious, It DOES Matter

There WILL be a spiritual component to this writing … I promise … but you need a little “set-up” for it.
So … I'm off to my “day job” as a flight attendant, going through the "Known Crew Member (KCM)" security check at BWI last Monday morning at 4:35am for my 5:00am sign-in.
I hand my passport to the TSA agent, scan my KCM badge, then hold my airline ID badge for her to compare my ID, passport and the photo of me on the monitor.
She looks at my passport.
She looks at my badge.
She waits for the photo to come up on the screen.
Her eyebrows raise, ever so slightly.
She looks at my passport again, then at my ID and the back at the screen.
Then, she looks up at me.
Her left eyebrow raises in a more pronounced manner.
She looks back at the passport, issued in 2006.
She looks back at me.
THEN she says it:
“WOW! You sure have aged!”
I’m barely standing up straight, managing on 4.5 hours of sleep, a two-hour drive to the airport in the middle of the night and it’s now 4:36am.
I am NOT in the mood.
My response?
I honestly didn’t have one – don’t ask me to be witty before coffee. I did manage my best flight attendant fake smile (you know, the one that looks nice and really means, “Drop dead”), accompanied by a slight raise of MY left eyebrow.
I stopped short of saying something about one of the worst hair weaves in the greater Baltimore/Washington DC area and that “someone” likes the McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts just down the corridor a little more than is prudent. I’ve learned to NEVER push a TSA agent, particularly one that obviously takes great pride reveling in perhaps the only part of her life in which she feels she has complete and utter control.
So what isthe spiritual side of all this? This amazing light being with bad hair and a penchant toward hypertensive heart disease was scheduled at exactly the right time and on the precise day that I would come up to her desk for her to be able to deliver a message from Spirit that I did not want to hear:  “Terry, We believe you are a “bit” more concerned about turning 60 next year than you might want to admit. Jus’ sayin’. Thanks, The Universe.”
Like a lot of people, I’ve been known occasionally to believe denial of the facts will encourage the manifestation

of what we imagine to be eternal truth. The Truth is, however, denial doesn’t do anything for us, except perhaps make us uncomfortable because we’re lying to ourselves and everyone around us. What we can deny is the necessity of our situation and then turn to knowing the Truth.

We forget that the “facts” are not the Truth. It isn’t turning 60, or having a few pounds after we gave birth to our third child, or finding hair growing in places we didn’t know hair would grow, or not fitting into our favorite skinny jeans. It’s what meaning we assign to those facts that change our attitude and our experience in life.
What facts have you been denying in your life? Would you be willing to admit what you don’t want to think about? Admitting the facts doesn’t mean we forget the Truth. It’s the first step to our healing. In the words of my friend, Arleen, “You’ve suffered long enough. Are you willing to try something else?”
So, are you? Willing to try something else? And, FYI? My birthday is May 23. I expect cards. LOTS of cards. Jus’ sayin’….
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Are you “too” independent?

Do you ever feel like getting someone to help you with a project, or seeking counsel when you’re stuck in some way, is a sign of weakness? To some people, if they can’t figure out a problem by themselves they think they have failed. This type of person seems to believe that they should be able to handle anything. If you feel this way from time-to-time you know the kind of emotionally and physically stress it can put on you. I know. I’ve been there. My name is Terry and I’m a “recovering independent-holic!”
I remember how I felt when I began caring for my aging father. Before I was able to get a county aide in several times a week, and prior to when I was able to arrange hospice care, I was his primary caregiver living nearly 200 miles away from him. I traveled over three hours in one direction to get from our house to his apartment across the state. I spent the day grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry … and listening to him complain about the way I did just about everything. In between visits I worried constantly about whether or not he was okay.
I quickly learned that although he needed my help he also needed to be in charge. By having him come out to the kitchen and tell me where to place the groceries I’d just purchased he became more involved with his own care. That helped him to better deal with his situation, but it did little for me. I still found myself feeling inadequate, as if I should be able to anticipate his needs and provide for him before he asked.
He wasn’t the first person needing hospice care that I’d assisted. One of my first ministerial assignments began in 1989 when I became director of visitation for our church, providing services for people with HIV/AIDS in various Los Angeles hospitals and hospices. When I began caring for my dad I was already an experienced minister, had just received my first licensed as a social worker, and had a master’s degree in that field. In my mind these facts only upped the ante for me to set higher standards for myself than I was capable of attaining. Surely I should know how to handle this!
Well, I didn’t. I had all that prior experience, training and expertise that was useful in caring for strangers and teaching others, but precious few of those tools made sense to me when I looked at my own father. After three months of eighteen-hour days once a week I sat at his feet in front of his recliner, looked up at him and said through my tears, “I don’t know now to do this. I just don’t know how to do this anymore.” He just stared at me. I told him I was doing my very best, but nothing I did seemed to be good enough. I told him I felt like I was completely failing him in providing for even his basic needs. I suggested he find someone who could help him the way he wanted, because I was tired of crying all the way back home every week and feeling helpless about it.
He started crying. My vulnerability and refusal to think I had all the answers opened the door for him to admit how useless he felt, how angry he was that he couldn’t do even the simplest of tasks for himself, and how much he resented having to rely on the son he felt he’d failed as a father. After 50-plus years of being at odds with one another I honestly think I felt our hearts crack open. It was a breakthrough moment for us both. Over the next three years we still had our differences and disagreements (many quite unpleasant for one or both of us, if you must know!), but most of the time we worked as an interdependent, symbiotic unit to direct his care until he passed quietly one morning.
Ultimately, all we have at the end of the day is whether or not we are happy with our life; no one else but us is responsible for our happiness. Still, in this amazing universe in which we live, move and have our being, we are surrounded by other independent, autonomous spirits having their own human experience. Why not help one another instead of competing, isolating and alienating?
Here’s a thought for you to ponder and play with this week if you desire. If you’re stumped with a situation, even after meditating or approaching the problem through affirmative prayer (like the spiritual mind treatment I’ve written about before), why not ask for help? Where would you find that? In the people around you, that’s where! They can be a trusted friend, a partner/spouse, a mentor, a minister, your spiritual guide or a therapist.
It’s not a sign of weakness or lack of independence to seek help. I find doing so takes the edge off of feeling like I have to do everything. Would you be willing to give that a try this week? Is there something you would like to move through or beyond? I’d be happy to be there for you. If so, reach out by contacting me at: It would be my honor to support you!
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,