Posts made in November, 2017

How to Forgive Someone Who Has Let You Down

It may seem difficult to forgive someone who has let us down. However, before we get lost in a haze of anger and indignation over the perceived let-down, it might be a good idea to look within to understand our own role in the issue.


Could I Be to Blame, At Least in Part?


No one likes to feel let down, but it is important to look within to see where the source of these feelings may be coming from. You might think this is an odd thing to do. “The feelings are coming from the person who let me down, of course,” we hear you say.


The trouble with this is that it makes you into a helpless victim of the actions, or inactions, of others. They do or don’t do what you expect, and you feel let down and disappointed.


The phrase to “let someone down” implies there was an expectation that was not met. Let’s imagine a few common situations so we can get a better grasp of what might be going on.


For example, imagine your romantic partner agreed to meet you for dinner at your favorite restaurant, then canceled at the last minute. The first thing to consider is whether or not it was unavoidable. Do they have to work late, did their car break down, and so on? In these instances, it is disappointing, of course, but not something the other person should be blamed for.


“If they really cared about me, they would…”. What if you were expecting a fuss for your birthday, such as a romantic dinner for two and a nice gift? Most people do give gifts to each other for birthdays, so that is not an unreasonable expectation. But what about the romantic aspect of it? For some people, a candlelit dinner is enough. For others, it should be no expense spared, with champagne, plus a nice gift at the end of the lavish meal.


The trouble is that most people are not mind readers. They might think pizza with a bottle of wine and a movie is the perfect way to celebrate your birthday. They did make an effort, and as the phrase goes, it’s the thought that counts.


Giving Up on Notions of Perfection


People are not perfect. Nor are birthdays, meals, gifts and so on – except in the eye of the beholder. If we expect things to be “perfect” all the time, we are going to be let down a lot of the time. If on the other hand we cultivate an attitude of gratitude and are happy that the other people in our lives are doing their best, we will feel a lot more appreciative and a lot less disappointed.


Feeling less disappointed means that you won’t feel let down so often, and that means you will have a great deal less to forgive.


When Is Forgiveness Required?


If you offer unconditional love without expectations, then forgiveness and deciding whether or not to forgive someone isn’t really a question that will ever arise.


If you are 100% certain that they have deliberatly set out to hurt you, then you might need to consider it. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat – not the other person. Living a life of honesty and integrity will allow you to love without expectations because you understand that everyone makes their own choices for various reasons which often have nothing to do with you.


Be honest when your feelings are hurt, but don’t fly off the handle just because you were expecting one thing and got another.


Is it possible to forgive people when they let us down? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.



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Can You Love Someone and Still Criticize Them?

If you are in a romantic relationship in particular, you might wonder if it is possible or acceptable to criticize your partner. Some people have a vision of their loved one as perfect – but of course, no one is perfect. Others have a long list of expectations and see their partner as the person who needs to meet them all. When they don’t, they start to show their disappointment in various ways, including criticizing the other person.


What Does “to Criticize” Mean?


To understand the damage that can be inflicted on a loving relationship, let’s first look at a definition of the word criticize. According to Merriam-Webster’s definition for learners, to criticize means:


  1. To express disapproval of (someone or something)
  2. To talk about the problems or faults of (someone or something)
  3. To look at and make judgments about (something)


We can see from all three of these definitions why criticizing your loved ones is not a good idea. No one likes to feel as though others they care about disapprove of them. They certainly don’t like to have their faults brought up. And no one ever likes to feel as though they are being judged.


When you criticize, the other person can easily feel as if they are falling short of the mark and disappointing you in some way. That may or may not be your intention if they have failed to live up to your expectations.


But here’s the thing.


They are YOUR expectations.

They might be spoken or unspoken expectations.

If you demand your expectations be met, or else you will withhold your love, that is not true love – it is conditional love.


Unconditional Love


Unconditional love, by contrast, says you love and accept the person no matter what. You don’t hold them up to an impossible standard of perfection. You see their flaws, and don’t consider them to be a “deal breaker” that would be worth ending the relationship over.


Your love isn’t just based on what that person can give you, but on what you can offer them. Your relationship is not one of suffocation through expectation, but rather, a mutually supportive environment in which both parties are able to grow and thrive in a way that allows them to be their best self and live their best life.


Does This Mean You Accept Everything without a Word?


Many people think that loving unconditionally means tolerating anything, swallowing disappointments over and over again, and suffering in silence. This is NOT the case. You CAN give feedback when it is warranted, in a particular context, and in a particular way that builds the person up, not tears them down and undermines them.


For example, imagine your partner is a very messy housekeeper. They drop their clothes everywhere and leave dishes in the sink for a “later” that never comes. There are several approaches you can take. One is to show them the dirty clothes hamper and explain your sorting system, white, dark, colors. You can point out how it is better to do the dishes right away than for the food to get stuck on, or even worse, attract bugs and mice.


You could also try positive reinforcement, such as, “Thanks so much for helping sort the laundry. It makes doing the wash so much easier every week.” In terms of the dishes, you could say, “I really appreciate you washing the dishes. You know how important it is to keep the bugs away from the kids and pets.”


Positive reinforcement creates an air of appreciation in the relationship, and this goodwill can help you get over the tough times, for a successful and loving relationship.


Can criticizing your partner lead to a more loving relationship, or is there a better way to handle issues between you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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A Blind Man’s PTSD

There are times in my life that make me feel like I have undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to my sight loss.


My day begins like most others:


  • Shower and shave;
  • Feed and take the dog out for a potty break;
  • Get dressed for work;
  • Draft endless documents, do legal research and go to meetings;
  • Cook meals and do other chores I really don’t want to do; and
  • Start the process over again the next day.


On two or three periods a year, I break the repetitive times of life and do some traveling to enjoy my existence.


And before you ask, this is not what makes me feel like I have PTSD.


With a few exceptions, my life is just like any other person … except for …




I get absolutely peeved (to put it nicely) when I come across a website that is not accessible with my screen reader.


Thinking about this has beads of perspiration forming and a slight palpitation occurring at this very moment…


Let me back up a little bit so you can understand where I’m coming from


A screen reader is software that allows a person who is blind or vision impaired to hear, through words, the same things a person with sight is able to see on the computer screen.


If you have an iPhone, you can get a feel for this by testing your Voiceover in the accessibility settings. Voiceover is a screen reader for Apple’s smart phone.


Having a screen reader allows me to do my work and play around on the computer when I get home. Overall, the technology is really great! That is unless a website isn’t coded correctly to allow the screen reader to interact seamlessly to read out what I need to get around.


You wouldn’t believe how many websites are not developed correctly to work with assistive technology. The number is staggering!


Let me give you a few examples:


Click Bank


This is a site where I can sign up as an affiliate to monetize my blog by promoting products that I’ve used and send readers to. If that blog reader makes a purchase using my link, I get a commission.


The Issue


I can fill out my name, address, email and go to the next page to complete my bank name and tax ID.


You have to read through the “contract” to move on to the next steps.


I can’t do this because the site stops working with the screen reader. I’m not a techy person so I couldn’t tell you the reason it stops working to save my life but I can definitely tell you it’s freakin’ frustrating!!


Why not contact support?


Yeah, no … that doesn’t seem to work consistently, if at all with the screen reader.


Amazon Associates


Everyone knows what Amazon is … unless you’ve been hiding under a rock deep below the ocean floor. This company has an affiliate program that has more affiliates than just about everyone else.


The Issue


Again, I can complete the first two pages of requested information but there is that little box with the squiggly letters and numbers that you have to type to prove you’re not a robot.


Again, no to working with a screen reader. Many websites do have the audio version of the little box so people can hear what to type. Not Amazon! Nope, no way. They ply you with a script along the lines of:


“Amazon is dedicated to having a website that works for all of our users, even those with disabilities…” blah blah blah lie lie lie


Well guess what.


I bet you can’t guess what I’m going to say….


Nope, it is still the inaccessible way they’ve been doing it.




Again, I believe just about everyone knows what Hulu is. It’s another way for you to cut the cord from the cable providers.


The Issue


This company takes the cake because they will email you non stop and their iPhone app is totally not accessible with Voiceover. All I can do is hear the page numbers for what I’m assuming is the intro of the app. I can’t log in or even get to that screen.


This company is another one that will give you the fluff about caring that all people can use the platform and blah blah blah lie lie lie.


I also don’t want to sit at my computer to determine if the website now finally works with assistive technology. I’m not going to watch TV from the computer — EVER!




I get so angry because you begin by thinking the websites are accessible and you get to a certain point when you realize they’re not. This is more often times where you’ve wasted time filling out required info to realize companies don’t give a damn.


Of course, I’m speaking of companies that are truly making money and have no excuse for this. The small guys really don’t have any excuses that will fly either but I hold a true contempt for the big boys.


These companies spend so much in taking over the market share, they push others out who would probably listen to folks that want to spend money or partner with them to make money.


Now I’m going to take a break because I’m sure it’s 5 PM somewhere…

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You Are the Co-Blogger

“First of all, thanks for coming to the site and reading about what I’m doing. I have a favor to ask of you! Now that you are here, what would you like to know? What question would you like answered? What is causing the most pain for you right now? Go on, Ask Me Anything! Tomorrow, I will select one or two (or a few questions) and answer them for you! So, leave a comment below and ask me a question!

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To My 14 Year Old Self

I was asked recently, “If you could be in this present moment, look back through the span of time and talk to yourself, what would you say to you?”

My very first thought was, “Oh how simple and unreasoned this question is!”

Then I started thinking …

And thinking some more …

As I sat and deliberated the conversation I would have with the 14 year old me, I couldn’t decide whether I would say something profound from 30,000 feet up or if I would dare to travel step by step over the questions I had as the young, inexperienced kid.

Even as I sit here typing this very line of text, my awareness is all over the place debating the pros and cons of how to talk to myself through this time warp.

I frankly am just on this side of really not caring for the person who asked me this question but it was designed to get me, and others, to think outside the box! So, I guess I’ll keep writing… I’ve prolonged this enough to wrap my head around the enquiry.

Assuming that my 14 year old self would be able to see me today, I’m pretty sure I would have to explain being blind.

“What the hell,” the 14 year old me would say.

“Oh stop it! I know you’ve never seen a blind person before but just don’t freak out about us being blind. Frankly, I’m pretty surprised that you’re not panicking more about talking to your damn self 24 years in the future, but I digress.”

At this point, the 14 year old me would roll my eyes but wouldn’t dare talk back because I was raised better than that.

The me of today would say:

“Look kid, I’m not going to give you a run down of two decades worth of ‘stuff’ but what I will tell you is that you’re going to experience heartache, joy, love, hate, fear, courage, disappointment and your expectations being met. You’re going to run the gamut of emotions from feeling like you’ve let everyone down to feeling pretty damn good about yourself.”

The 14 year old me would say, “I kind of figured that. Life is not a bed of roses. You do know you right?”

Then it’s my turn to roll our eyes so far to the back of our head I get a little dizzy and almost fall over. Shut up … I’m older now and can’t do that the same anymore … especially after a nice glass of red wine! Okay, I’m getting off track …

“Okay kid, we turn out to be a pretty good guy. You still have a smart ass mouth, although no complaints here from our perspective. Seriously, everything you thought we knew about family, the world, disability, politics, work and every single thing else is going to be turned upside down.”

At this point in the conversation, the 14 year old me is quiet with a slight look of concern on our face.

I whisper to me, “I can’t tell you that we won’t be concerned. It’s not going to be easy many times but I know something that you don’t know yet.”

“What’s that …”

“Kid, you’re going to be just fine …”

The 14 year old me has a wisp of a smile as I turn back towards today … and I have that same exact smile of knowing that things really do turn out alright …

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