Tag: divorce

Divorce

How sex can be like fast food or organic food

cupcakes, online dating, relationship, divorced mom, single mom,

Enjoying much deserved cupcakes after a disastrous evening

How exciting it is to be connecting with friends on Facebook! I met someone who I knew in sixth grade and visited him at his house for the first time several weeks ago. I have to say that was a big mistake, Grace. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but recalling the text messages and phone calls, I felt a bit giddy and nervous at the same time.

I haven’t dated since about 14 years when I first met Adam and, quite honestly, forgot what it’s like to be asked on a date, have a proper courtship, or meet someone on neutral ground. When I showed up at his house I simply thought it would be nothing more than a friend meeting a friend from a long time ago.

Oh, Grace, then my yearning for touch got the best of me. One thing led to another and after about a month of talking it led to a physical encounter. I don’t know what I expected to happen; certainly it was not what I expected. After realizing what had just occurred, I bolted out of the house. My sense of touch combined with fleeting emotions for a meaningful relationship became a combination for disaster for this divorced mom. I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach. I need a cupcake!

Guiding lesson:

Eve, the sweet embrace that our human condition desires heightens in the presence of possibility and hunger that exists between physical beings.  The need for touch is normal and is necessary for growth that begins from the day we are born.  Without it, hearts and souls shrivel up.  Without it, hearts and souls are unable to understand true intimacy.  Without it, God’s embrace is never felt.

So what happened that day when you innocently went to visit your friend?  When you look deep inside, was there any part of you that was considering the possibility of an encounter?  I ask this because many times the silent, hidden parts of our beings are more aware than the parts that are visible.  It is for this reason that taking time for prayer, meditation, and silence is important to understand the depth that exists underneath the tip of the iceberg only found in the deep waters of the soul.

What would you have discovered by sitting and being still before the meeting?  Would you have felt some stirring that was like a little child pulling on the parent’s clothes trying to get their attention?  Would you have discovered your “longing for touch” attempting to make itself known?  This is what it means to live the spiritual life.  It begins in your body.  Your body holds all the wonderful senses, feelings, and thoughts that God uses to connect with you and invites you to a deeper encounter.

So where do you go from here?  Well, it’s important to look at what happened with gentle eyes and unfold this desire that was not filled from your last relationship.  It appears it has been neglected, but you also know a fleeting encounter will not suffice because it doesn’t have substance.  It’s like choosing to eat fast food vs. fresh organic foods that is prepared with love.  Your body will respond very differently and likewise with a touch.  When we are starving you will most likely choose the wrong foods or eat too much feeling horrible afterwards.  During these times, I’ve heard people say they need to go for a run or walk it off and isn’t this what you did?

Pay attention and begin to learn from your desire for a true embrace.  You deserve to be nurtured and caressed.  You will be satisfied as you awaken to the beauty of sincere and loving touch.  There is nothing like it.  There is a big difference and the choice is yours.

Pray that you will recognize love…for LOVE is looking for a true lover to embrace and hold.

Love,
Grace

trust, theme for new year, working mom, career, life purpose,
Career

How “In God We Trust” Became Healing in my Divorce

trust, theme for new year, working mom, career, life purpose, The theme that came to mind when I thought about 2015 was “Trust.” Trust that God will take care of every thing planned for the year. The vision appearing in my mind was God, in his awe-inspiring presence, extending his hand to reach for mine. I knew God would take care of me in ways I could not imagine.

Already he has given me an abundance of energy, persistence, and joy in fulfilling one New Year’s resolution—launching www.MissGuidedMom.com, the online magazine. Grace, you know where my passion is, what fulfills my hearts, and what ignites my soul. Inspiring, empowering, and celebrating women as we transition through life stages connect us in marriage, family, career, divorce, and health and wellness.

I have found in my own journey the benefits of being inspirational, empowering, and celebratory outweigh the repercussions of hatred, bitterness, and resentment. These negative sentiments can fill our spirits after divorce or unwelcomed obstacles. Life can throw sour situations our way, yet it’s how we react that brings sweeter occasions to celebrate and commemorate our challenges. So today, I celebrate the trust God showed me to turn my divorce into a healing blog so one day it could become an online resource to help other women.

Cheers! Salud! Salute!

Guiding Lesson:

Eve,

I’ll drink to that. What a great vision and call. This is not just a goal or something to achieve–it’s a vocation, an expression of self, of what’s inside that needs to come to life. The more you discover “who you are” and “whose you are,” you begin to do this.

You see I believe God’s call is to first see the image, likeness, and beauty of God within ourselves. We need to know we are the God’s beloved. God’s precious children, God’s very own heart. It is through this knowing that we can impact the world. It is through this understanding that we can raise others up. It is through this lens that we can see God’s image, likeness, and beauty in the other that we are called to serve. By living in this knowing, you become more gentle, humble, kind, patient, loving, etc. You are an instrument of peace.

If you remember, Jesus did not begin his ministry until he goes into the desert for 40 days where he was stripped of everything so he could be made new. After he comes out of the desert he is baptized, a symbol of new life. Since he emptied himself in the desert, he hears God’s voice: “This is my beloved son, whom I am well pleased.” Jesus is affirmed through these words and because he believes this, he sets out to do his Father’s will and transform the hearts of all.

One’s ability to believe these words is important in doing God’s will. It gives you strength to face challenges and objections when others question “who are you to being doing this?” It helps you realize that the work ahead of you is God’s not yours. You are God’s instrument. You are God’s hands and feet. Believing this allows God to be made visible through you. You make space for others to be touched by God through you.

I know that most people always talk about what is your purpose in life. There are many great books written on this topic which help you begin to ask questions and become more self-aware. Discovering more of yourself leads you to discovering more of God. For you see, your life is his story that has a message to communicate something special for all to experience healing, joy, and love.

However, the first call is what brought you into the world. It is Love, God’s love which is like a big bang – an explosion – an unending creation that can’t stop expressing himself through each and everyone. He didn’t make one flower, tree, animal, etc. He is a God of abundant love who wants to shower you with blessings. So before we start doing, we must be and sit at his feet knowing whom we are and whose we are to do his will.

The Martha and Mary story in the bible shows us this. Our call begins at the feet of Jesus and then leads us to the foot of the cross where we give of ourselves, in whatever role we are in, completely with arms wide open.

So your call is not what you do, but remembering who you are and whose you are. You begin to live your vocation with every interaction. This is your call. This is the call of anyone who wants to follow God. It’s not the title or position you hold. In fact you don’t need one to help transform the lives of women. It begins in how you live each day and the attitude by which you approach others through a smile or simply being present and looking into the eyes of everyone you meet.  

Your call begins as you wake up every morning and how appropriate that you start by looking in the mirror. Seeing God’s beloved reflected in you – messy hair, bad breath – you are God’s beloved – from here, you can do all things because God strengthens you.

So if you believe you are doing you’re life’s purpose (according to all the books and what people talk about), know that there is a bigger Call– the very first one – from the One who is smitten and completely in love with you. The One who calls you and waits for you to just give him a minute for him to love you, to fill you up, so he can touch his people through you.

When you think of God’s call in this way – you feel more free knowing you are doing it already. There is no grandiose title or label or place you need to impress others. God can place you anywhere he wants, doing whatever he wants you to do. The most important thing is the attitude you have as you approach each day and encounter each person. By remembering this, MissGuidedMom online magazine will reach the hearts of women that will inspire, empower, and celebrate women as they transition through life stages of marriage, family, career, divorce, and health and wellness.

May you bless many with your MissGuidedMom for you are truly guided by the author of life. 

Drink up,
Grace

shared interest, marriage, common values,
MarriageUncategorized

5 must-haves for keeping a healthy marriage on the right track

By Marisol Barrios, MSPA

When I got divorced I reflected on what went wrong, what was right, how I could have improved the relationship, and what I would do differently if I was in another one. Reading books and talking to my therapist taught me a few things about marriage and what I should have done to keep it on the right track in a healthy way. I have summed up what I have learned from this failure in the hopes that my current relationship will reap the fruit of my labor.

Be committed to the relationship

Although my ex and I went to therapy for an extended period of time on several occasions, I never was truly committed to the relationship. What do I mean? In the back of my mind, I would hear my mother’s voice telling me to “always be prepared to divorce. You are a professional now and you can leave at any time. You don’t have to put up with anything.”

Rachel Howard, a licensed psychologist who specializes in marriage counseling and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, says for a mother, who perhaps was not happy in her marriage especially “if she was dependent on someone for basic living expenses, that would be the best advice from her life experience she could offer her daughter.”

Now I realize she transferred her experience of marriage and a hidden desire to escape to her daughters. Her voice was my reason to not fully be committed to any relationship, to not change my last name, and to have a backup plan should “things” not work out. I chose to listen to my mother, to see the experiences of couples around me, and to be externally influenced.

“When someone mentions the D word or has it in their thoughts, it changes the perception of marriage and weakens it,” says Tora Massey, a licensed marriage and family therapist, who has counseled many couples in her private practice in Whittier, CA.

Being fully committed to the relationship and making the decision to be in it, loving unconditionally, is a challenging one, yet one that we must work on daily. In today’s relationship, I recognize the strengths and weaknesses we each have. With each partner’s gifts, the flaws demand more attention on days that trigger our feelings from past experiences. Recognizing that we all have negative deficits, we have a choice to make: to support each other through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, embracing our strengths and weaknesses to become resilient together.

Tora says, “Being fully committed to whomever you’re married means you don’t have one foot out that door.” She cautions couples that anything can come through it­– temptation, bitterness, anger, blame–and infiltrate your marriage.

What helps my partner and I stay connected is the commitment we have for each other, for our families, for God—for love. Now I seek for the truth within, with God’s help and guided by grace.

Have common values and interests

When I interviewed a couple about their philanthropic giving, conversation began with how they met. The wife was 50 years old when she enrolled in a matchmaker workshop. I was stunned! I guess it’s not any different than eHarmony or Match.com nowadays. She told me one of the first things the matchmaker told her students was to write a list of what they wanted in a partner.

Well, what do you think I did? I came home and wrote a list of values and interests that I wanted my partner to have: faith, intellectual stimulation, enjoyment in hiking and camping, a fondness for wine, a willingness to dance, to name a few.

Shared values and interests are so important, says Rachel. “You have to be friends or you will drift apart.” In so many ways this is true: the couple that plays together, stays together.

I have found enjoyment with my partner by taking long morning hikes, riding bikes around town, going wine tasting and grape stomping, as well as sitting around the dining table enjoying a homemade meal and talking.

Tora also knows about divorce and not just because she has counseled many stepfamilies. As a therapist who is also divorced, there is so much more wisdom she has about marriage now. “I’ve learned so much through [the divorce] process,” Tora adds. “If I knew back then what I know now, would I want to go back? Absolutely not,” Tora answers. “My life now is so much better. My husband and I now are more compatible. I love my life.”

conflict resolution, therapist, grievance, marriage, empathy, healthy relationshipResolve conflict efficiently

Communication is a key skill we can all agree is critical in marriage. Exercising attentive listening to understand and be empathetic rather than just responding to defend a position or action will go a long way. I’ve learned these tools and can even apply them in any relationship, personal or professional. Recently, I have learned that we must also have the ability to resolve conflicts. According to Tora, the lack of this skill is the biggest predictor of divorce. Communication is not just for getting along or listening, she explains. “When there is conflict, can a couple communicate and resolve it?”

If a couple has the ability to work through their problems, they reduce the chances of being part of the 40 percent who end up in divorce yearly in America.

Rachel agrees. “If you don’t have the ability to air and resolve grievances, you are really in trouble.” So often, Rachel says, they swallow their feelings and don’t say anything and then suddenly there’s an explosion. What’s the takeaway? Create a space to resolve the problems in a safe manner.

“Be efficient, not dramatic. Fight fair and stick to the issue that’s in front of you,” says Rachel. “See your partner’s goodness. This person has a positive motivation.” We must tell ourselves this person loves me and I can come to that person safely with my feelings. I understand that person does not want to hurt me.

Forgive to repair

Having a commitment to listening, taking in the feedback and feelings, and repairing what is the underlying concern will help nurture a healthy relationship, suggests Rachel. Taking these actions, one grievance at a time, will get your relationship further along on the right track. By doing this, we are creating a viewpoint of understanding, compassion, empathy, and sympathy. It creates the space to forgive our partners and repair the hurt.

To forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. The act of forgiveness is a change in feelings and attitude toward an offense taken by someone who has hurt you. So how can we look at forgiveness?

Each partner in the relationship is a caretaker of the family and a nurturer to the children and each other. When a partner offends us, we can try to understand what happened by asking why and what was their intention or motivation. We express empathy and sympathy for their experience. Our partner has a need and we’re filling it by being sensitive to his or her feelings and validating and acknowledging them. Looking at the situation or the offense from a perspective of what they are going through or struggling with at that moment can help in understanding what happened so we can forgive them and repair the hurt feelings.

Show and express gratitude

I’ve learned to be grateful for the small things in a relationship: the opening of doors, the kiss upon coming home from work, a tender smile while watching television, a flower picked from a garden. Showing appreciation and expressing gratitude by always believing the best about your partner extends your healthy relationship. In marriage we sometimes fail to appreciate the person we’re with, taking for granted their goodness and generosity.

Using phrases like, “I appreciate you” and “I love you,” Rachel says, makes people feel welcomed and most of us didn’t get that growing up. Valuing the other person and treating them like a treasure connects couples to what it was that brought them together to begin with.

Both Rachel and Tora suggest creating a greeting ritual. Find your partner when you come home from work, give them a kiss, and greet them.

 

We are always evolving and changing. A relationship goes through the same journey; it evolves and changes over time. As we grow older we change because we’re wiser. Our perspective changes—it’s a natural part of a journey. And sometimes we get to a point in our marriage where we want things to be the way they were doing the honeymoon stage.

“I often hear people say ‘We just want to go back to how it was at the beginning.’ You can’t, can you?” says Tora. “Now we have additional years, children, mortgages, and stressors. It’s just not the same as before. Our expectations at 24 years old are outdated. They are not reasonable anymore. Our expectations need to change.”

When you get into a relationship it’s like getting a degree, says Tora. An educational journey is exciting. At first you get a general education, earning an associate’s degree in two years, which is like getting to know a person through all seasons. Then, you move on to your bachelor’s degree, focusing on the details. Thereafter, you pursue a master’s and a doctorate degree, a process that takes years.

You never stop learning and a relationship is the same. Even after my divorce, I learned so much about my marriage. You must stay interested in one another, exploring and learning about each other and from each other. And when times get torrential, choosing to stay committed to the relationship and following a few of these must-have ingredients will help weather the storm.

——————————————————–

Mother of two sons, Marisol Barrios, a communications strategist, grace changer, and content creator, is still on a journey of self-discovery and learns many life lessons, primarily how wine and cupcakes can soothe her soul during challenging times.

Divorce

When life gives you lemons, make Limoncello to ring in New Year

When life gives you lemons, you try to make lemonade and I make Limoncello. With everything going on in the past year, I’ve chosen to close the New Year with a Limoncello martini. Using my own homegrown lemons, this lemon-infused Skyy Vodka is delish! I think you’d agree! Here’s the perfect recipe to turn sour situations into sweeter occasions.

The cocktail concoction takes 10 days for the lemon peels to be infused in the Skyy Vodka. You’ll need the following ingredients:

10 lemons
Skyy Vodka or vodka of your choice
Peppermint flakes
Mint (optional)
Glass container

Simple syrup ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

I take the peels of the lemons and pour Skyy Vodka into my glass container. (You can freeze the lemons to use in a smoothie or make lemonade for the children.) I let the peels sit and only stir once daily. On the tenth day, I remove the lemon peels. Then, I boil water and sugar then pour it into the Limoncello. I let it chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Afterwards, I take my martini glass and dip the rim in lemon juice then dip in ground up peppermint flakes or sugar. Pour Limoncello over ice and top it with a garnishment of mint (optional). You can add a mint leaf if you’d like. This Limoncello martini has been the hit of several holiday parties. And I can’t wait to welcome the new year with this martini!

I’m getting started right now.

Guiding Lesson:

Eve, the Limoncello drink does sound good. I didn’t realize that it took ten days to make.  That is a lot of work so I hope it tastes really good.

When life gives you lemons, what does it take to make something better than what you have been given?  Life is not always fair and throws many unexpected things your way that you can’t throw back.  So what are the secret ingredients of refusing to be stuck with sour lemons?

Well, Eve, I believe you have the secret sauce and it is not the recipe for Limoncello. Eve, it’s your ability to see the solution within the problem. You do this because the problem is not seen as something that is more powerful than you. You see it as another opportunity to use your God-given talents to solve and create a new outcome, a bridge that leads you to a new and better tomorrow. It’s like making Limoncello. The sour lemons are key to making an exciting holiday drinks that you enjoy.  Without the lemons, Limoncello could not exist.

Now this does not mean that you see life through rose-colored glasses because this is not reality. It means that you see the issue, you feel the emotions, but you don’t allow yourself to get stuck in it. You rise up, when you’ve exhausted the emotion and move forward into co-creating a new way of life with God.  It is said that wisdom is found in the very messy and chaotic places of life.  For if you didn’t have the mess and chaos, there would be no need for Wisdom to grace you. Enjoy some Limoncello for me.

Grace