Wendy\'s Blog

Every human being knows what’s right for him or herself.

  • We all know that when we or someone we love is sick, we want them well.
  • We all know that when the car is broken, we need it fixed.
  • We all know that when a relationship is damaged, it needs to be repaired or released.

Every human being knows what’s right for him or herself.
  • We all know that when we or someone we love is sick, we want them well.
  • We all know that when the car is broken, we need it fixed.
  • We all know that when a relationship is damaged, it needs to be repaired or released.
We know exactly how our lives should go…don’t we?

Have you ever had something “bad” happen and later, looking back, realized it was actually for the best?

Maybe it was something dramatic, like you left for work 10 minutes late, totally stressed, and later realized there was an accident…that could have been you.

Perhaps someone you thought was “The One” turned away from your love and later, maybe much later, you found out that it was actually a lucky break. Or that heartbreak allowed you to find the Real One and you are with that person now.

Most of our lives have at least one story of such a “near miss”. At the time, the circumstance seems frustrating, irritating, incredibly sad. Later on, you realize that something good came from it. Even “super bad” things, like someone dying or some terrible disease or trauma, likely have a silver lining if you’re willing to look for it and accept it when you see it. The thing is, the silver lining can only be seen in retrospect, sometimes years or even decades later.

I wish they weren’t so hard to see at the time. Don’t you?

Here’s the inevitable realization we come to as we mature: all things pass. What seems so wonderful or so tragic at the moment, well, eventually the emotion around it subsides. That subsiding is not “good” or “bad”, it just is. But the very realization that everything passes IS the lesson in itself.

It means that there’s really not much value in freaking out about it; in getting extra stressed out and making wild, emotional decisions. As creatures of habit, we are always trying to manage life for ourselves. We want to be in control. How great that would be! We could make things so much easier! We all crave the power to immediately get rid of any whiff of pain or discomfort or annoyance. Think about it: do you want the pain-killer that promises to work in 20 minutes or the one that promises to work in 30?

But what if, just for a moment, we could calm ourselves down and recognize that there’s a chance – a pretty good one – that whatever’s happening in this precise moment IS for our ultimate good? What if this circumstance, in this moment, CAN lead you to growth, maturity, and becoming a better, wiser, calmer, more loving, more compassionate person? A higher version of your true self?

Whatever you’re going through is a gateway. You can fight all you want, but you’re going to go through it.

It’s hard to stay angry, scared or frustrated when you realize things are 100% likely to turn out right in the end. Choosing to take the long view of things, and realize that by being present, in this moment, with all its joys or pain, will lead you more quickly to clarity. That clarity will allow you to experience more peace and make wiser choices now.


Is there more happiness or more sorrow in your life right now?
Four friends have buried a parent in the last few months, one has buried his grown child.

Eleven people I care about are going through divorces, all in various stages and emotions.

Quite a few people I know are battling depression.  Two are dealing with dementia. A girlfriend who has early Alzheimer’s just found out that her husband has a fast-growing brain tumor.


Is there more happiness or more sorrow in your life right now?

Four friends have buried a parent in the last few months, one has buried his grown child.

Eleven people I care about are going through divorces, all in various stages and emotions.

Quite a few people I know are battling depression.  Two are dealing with dementia. A girlfriend who has early Alzheimer’s just found out that her husband has a fast-growing brain tumor.

A colleague’s husband got diagnosed a few days ago with pancreatic cancer.  That tends to take people fast. They’ve been married 21 years.

What is happening in your life that caused you to read this?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your own life?
Lots of people are. You’re not alone. At times like these, everyone looks for help, for hope, for something to cling to.

How are we supposed to handle it when bad things happen?

What do we do when we are engulfed by that great internal distress, the relentless waves of disappointment, called “sorrow”? Is there any way to cope, to survive, to keep breathing despite the pain?

My general opinion is to look for and cling to whatever good you can find, but that seems so thin a response to those who are so deeply discouraged. Surely there has to be a better way to help ourselves and others?

I asked this question of my dear friend Marc Allen, author of “The Magical Path” and a deep thinker. This is what he said. If you’re hurting, let these words spread like a warm oil over you. Let them sink into your skin and nourish your wounded soul. Marc wrote:

“Your email is sad, sweet, and touching… I had some more thoughts…

Yes, life is a bitch, and then you die.

Yet there are children laughing in the rain, splashing in the mud. Some of them die too, and that is wrenching and painful. But some of them live for a hundred years, and find love in their lives and have children and grandchildren. And life goes on and on.

Some of us struggle all our lives, but some of us can find peace, most of the time, in spite of it all.

It is there within us, waiting to be found. It is love, pure love.

Love your pain, love your grief, love yourself, fall in love as much as possible with as many people and things as possible, including sunsets and flowers and kittens and family and friends and books and TV shows… the list is endless….

As Ramana Maharshi said, so sweetly, ‘The end of all wisdom is love, love, love.’ ”

I loved this so much, it is so eloquently stated, that I wanted to share it with you to help you at this precise moment in your life. I believe that if you stumbled across these words today, they were meant for you to find.

So the questions for you are these:

What good can you see in your life right now? What small, tiny smile can you find outside the window of your house, your car or even your hospital room? Life is all around you. What you focus on is what you see.

I hope you feel better soon.


Chances are, if you were drawn to the title of this blog, you know the definition of the word “anguish” all too well. You know it isn’t like “sadness” or “depression”; Anguish is nothing like “disappointment” or “sorrow” nor even, on its own, “grief.”

Anguish is when you are ripped open, body and soul, and metaphorically bleeding on the floor without the strength to even lift up your head.


Chances are, if you were drawn to the title of this blog, you know the definition of the word “anguish” all too well. You know it isn’t like “sadness” or “depression”; Anguish is nothing like “disappointment” or “sorrow” nor even, on its own, “grief.”

Anguish is when you are ripped open, body and soul, and metaphorically bleeding on the floor without the strength to even lift up your head.

Anguish is when it hurts so bad you are freefalling at light speed through pitch black tunnel, no idea if you will ever hit bottom – and unsure if there even is one.

It hurts so bad that there are no words for it in English. “Anguish” – our most extreme word for sadness – will not even cover the extent of your hurt.

  • For me, I fell into anguish when both of my children died in a car accident in 1991.
  • I met a soul-beautiful woman today who shared that her newborn son died years ago. She also knows anguish.
  • A man told me that he is grieving the recent death of his beloved wife – a woman who had spent her life grieving the death of her mother, who died in a car accident when she was only 12. They know anguish.

If you are in anguish right now, you may be asking, “When will this end?”

Here’s the truth: it’s unsustainable. The human body cannot endure much anguish. It will pass of its own accord. It may be days, months or even years of recurring anguish, but someday, you’ll get through 12 waking hours without feeling like you’re being crunched to death in the back of a garbage truck.

Which is not to say, “Time Heals.” It doesn’t. It just gives you the coping skills to do the basic things that must be done. What happens in addition to that – whether you find a way to be happy again, to thrive, to engage with the world and yourself – even while you wrestle with the pain — that’s up to you.

If you want to really heal, you’ll need to talk to someone – a counselor, a coach, a therapist; or read some inspirational books on your particular source of anguish; or spend time meditating, praying, reading spiritual books, or talking to people in your faith tradition who won’t judge you or set a time limit on your healing process. (Drugs, alcohol and other addictions slow the process of healing down, by the way. Not my opinion – actual fact.)

Yes, you’ll go backwards – back into the depths of anguish – and forward where you’ll catch yourself feeling strong at 3:19 PM on a Tuesday and think, “Hey! It’s been an hour since I was writhing in agony!” Savor the victories. Maybe even write them down, if you can.  Chart your progress – it’s worth noting. 

But your anguish will pass.

This terrible time will subside and your life will be worth living again, somehow, someday. Anguish will change you forever. It will make you more compassionate with yourself and maybe others; it will teach you to enjoy your life while you’re still breathing; it will give you keen insight into human nature; it may even lead you to a more beautiful, peaceful place than you have ever known. 

Wishing you peace…  — Wendy

When you’re ready, please help yourself to this comforting, helpful eBook

Stop Hurting and Start Healing


Normally, I stay out of politics.  But listening to and/or reading various news feeds from around the world (USA, Italy, UK and others) seem to imply that a lot of people worldwide are concerned that this man Donald Trump is going to cause serious global problems.

This concern brings to mind the life’s work of a man I respect.  This “average guy” was a successful professional psychiatrist in the early days of that profession.


Normally, I stay out of politics.  But listening to and/or reading various news feeds from around the world (USA, Italy, UK and others) seem to imply that a lot of people worldwide are concerned that this man Donald Trump is going to cause serious global problems.

This concern brings to mind the life’s work of a man I respect.  This “average guy” was a successful professional psychiatrist in the early days of that profession.  He happened to be Jewish, so he got stuffed into a concentration camp. Everything around him was endlessly dreadful, scary, and difficult.  He saw things that few humans alive today can even really imagine.

Naturally, he had the same human response to catastrophe and suffering as any normal person would.  But rather than stay feeling afraid or angry, it slowly dawned on him: the only power he had left was the ability to control his mind. 

He decided – made a conscious choice – to start thinking about what he would do when he got out.  It was probably pretty hard to think about what good things were going to happen while so many around him were sick or dying.  Would he even survive? What did he have to go home to?

Eventually, he started wondering about finding meaning in the suffering.  Not “global meaning”, which so many of us waste our lives thinking about under the the label of “Why did this happen to me?”.  But personal meaning.  He thought about, “What can I do to give this horrific experience meaning?”

He decided that when he got out, he would dedicate his life to making sure – to the best of his ability – that such genocide would never happen again.

He did survive. He wrote a powerful book called, “Man’s Search for Meaning“, in which he talks about how taking responsibility for his own thoughts, choosing to control them, and seeking meaning in the hardship are what helped him survive.  His name is Dr. Viktor Frankl.

All you’ve got is your own brain.  You can’t even control the flow of traffic. You can’t control how many people are in line in front of you.  You can’t even control your own children!  All we can control is our thoughts, and the choices we make.

The decisions we make in our minds determine the actions we take in the outer world, how we feel about ourselves and our level of peace or joy with what’s going on around us.

If you’re afraid of what might happen in the world, seek personal meaning in that fear and choose to apply your mind constructively to solutions.

If you are going through a negative, difficult or even horrible time in your life, whittle away at the negative emotions by catching them, rearranging them and using them to push you to think about what your options are, what you can do, how you can choose to feel, what you’d like to have happen after you survive this.

Sadly, the Holocaust was not the end of genocide.  There will always be people who think their way is the only way, and that they have the right to bully, belittle, hurt or even kill others. “Might makes right”.  Your choice as a concerned citizen of the world is to focus on what good, what meaning can come out of your experience and then make the best choice in this and every moment of your life.

 


It’s easy to think things will never change, or that we are powerless to change them. No matter how bad things are, or how depressed you’re feeling, there are three things you can do today to make your life better, starting in this very moment.

Look for anything good, even if you have to look hard. It might be as simple as seeing a butterfly or a colleague bringing you a cup of coffee. You can’t see what you’re not looking for, and when things are bad, we all tend to focus more on the negative and ignore the good. It’s there somewhere. Find it.


It’s easy to think things will never change, or that we are powerless to change them. No matter how bad things are, or how depressed you’re feeling, there are three things you can do today to make your life better, starting in this very moment.

Look for anything good, even if you have to look hard. It might be as simple as seeing a butterfly or a colleague bringing you a cup of coffee. You can’t see what you’re not looking for, and when things are bad, we all tend to focus more on the negative and ignore the good. It’s there somewhere. Find it.

Choose one tiny thing you can control and make it one tiny bit better.  Choose not to eat something that isn’t healthy for you and do a mini-celebration inside your brain.  Choose to say something kind to someone who irritates you, even if it is through gritted teeth.  Choose to organize your desk or one shelf in one cabinet in your kitchen.  Choose to spend an extra five minutes on your hair or your clothing today so you look your best.  Choose to park further from the entrance so you get the blood flowing with a walk. There are many tiny things you can choose that will make your life 1% better today.  The trick is to focus on how pleased you are that you’ve chosen to do this one little thing.

Move in the right direction.  Imagine for a moment that you have the ability to make the situation you are facing better.  What would “better” look like?  Write it down.  What would it take to make that happen? Work it backwards.  As unlikely as it seems, what steps would you have to take to get that reality to come true?  Work it all the way back to the tiniest thing you’d have to do this month.  This week. Today. Now.  And then, take that action!  Just that one. Do it today.

These three steps will help you make your life better starting today.  Baby steps add up, so don’t dismiss these ideas as “too easy”.

Which of these ideas are you going to apply? Can you think of any I missed that you’d like to share with everyone?  Please, comment on this post so everyone can benefit from your wisdom.

When you’re ready, please help yourself to this comforting, helpful eBook

Stop Hurting and Start Healing