Get a Life Q&A Jan 19 2014

I got divorced 7 years ago. As a Muslim woman I received a very small settlement, just to ensure my livelihood for a few months. Since then I’ve worked to get by. As I’m getting older, I feel scared. Who will take care of me? How do I overcome this crippling fear? On certain days I suffer anxiety so badly that I need drugs to stay calm.

Would you turn back the clock and go back to married life? If you did, how happy would you be, given how things were? Know that things happen for a reason, and making sense of that, will bring some healing.

Like many other women, you work for a living. I call that being financially independent. Isn’t that wonderful? If I asked you to make a list of everything you could be grateful for, how long would your list read? Include being able to walk and talk.

Let’s check. So… you’re independent, capable… how else would your friends describe you? You write well. You’re an intelligent, and I daresay powerful woman. On occasion when you focus on growing old, you feel the fear creep in. Who doesn’t? And when you allow fear to linger long, anxiety requires drugs to bring back calm.

I’m now inviting you come from a higher place – a place called love, a place called trust. Instead of allowing fear to linger, why not wallow in everything you’re grateful for, why not trust that if you’ve risen once, you will do it again… and again… and again. You will design solutions as you go, because you just know, don’t you, that you will attract the resources you need (friends, family, focus, determination, drive, purpose), to bring you what you want (peace and comfort).

Now think. What would you need to let go of to enable love and trust to settle in? Perhaps concerns about what people might think? What about a certain lifestyle, beliefs, or habits that have kept you stuck?

What’s the most honest and vulnerable thing you can say that will help you transform your life – from fear to love?

I can’t understand why some women dress so badly, eat so much, and talk so crudely. In this day and age when everything is available, why can’t they get a stylist? Why can’t they show up respecting the occasion, especially themselves? I see women with money but with no taste! No class!

What emotions are you feeling that’s attached to these words? If I were to hasten a guess, I’d say contempt, disgust, and disdain. Or do you mean to convey frustration, confusion, curiosity, and caring? What do you want to achieve by saying them?

Our speech and behavior teaches others how to think and feel about us; and people around us have a sneaky way of teaching us about ourselves. I also sense fear and pain underneath the words.

When was it that you weren’t the classy, tastefully – attired lass and that caused you to be avoided and discounted? Then you learned: In order to be welcome, acknowledged, and treated as important, you had to meet certain criteria. My question then becomes: Whose approval do you need to just be the real person that you are? When you dress well, what does that mean?

What if those standards didn’t apply with those women? What if these women don’t share your meanings? What if I said, your comments reveal more about you than about them?

What needs to happen so you can look and see with “clean” eyes, accepting others just as they are?

I use this to help me: People are so much more than our clothes, our speech, our behavior, our bank account, or our titles. Another one is: Everyone is doing their best with whatever they have at that given moment.

What would it take for you to really see “inside” and not judge the “outside?” If all judgment is ultimately self – judgment, what would it take to love yourself unconditionally?


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