Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.



I have a friend. Her name is Jeanne. When she really loves and agrees with a Facebook post she simply types WORD. It serves to remind me always of the power of WORDS.

When I was little we used to say…’Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. How wrong was that little rhyme? Words DO HURT…they hurt deeply.

For many years I held a grudge against someone who had used words that hurt me deeply when I was a young college student. Words that took me literally decades to finally forgive. When I approached this person to ask for forgiveness for allowing all those years to be hindered by my holding on to the words he had spoken…he didn’t even remember saying them. WORDS can HURT. WORDS MATTER. We need to be careful with our words…I know I do.

In the Bible I love the book of James. Philippians is my all time favorite epistle, but I love James too, because it’s so practical. James has a lot to say about WORDS and I’ll let you decide if you want to read it, but in one part he says this…”with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father , and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing.” Ancient words, yet so true today.

As most of you know I live right outside DC and needless to say we have been the focus of the world’s attention these past few days. My Facebook feed has been filled with WORDS..many of which have been unkind, nasty, biased, critical, maybe not written by my FB friends, but reposted or written in comment sections….I can go on and on. I’m not innocent in any way in all of this. I’ve used WORDS in the safety of my home to share my personal feelings on many things and people…nothing to be proud of for sure.

Years ago Barry was a General’s Aide. His boss was in the middle of a widely publicized controversy. Nothing about his boss’ morals or personal behavior, but a scandal involving those under him. He took a ‘beating’ in the NY Times and the local papers. Can’t even imagine if there had been social media back then. One day I was at their quarters their 10 year old son came home from school. He came in, slammed the door, threw down his school books and screamed out.. ”They don’t know my dad”. He had seen a headline in the local paper that was very cruel as it referenced his father. Those words cut deep in to the soul of this child. I will never forget that experience.

I have a little box. In it are notes and cards I’ve received over the years that used words to encourage me. Words to lift me up. Words that healed me when I felt very broken. Words of love. I call it my ‘Sunshine Box’. It gives me perspective.

Since having a business/life coach I’ve had to choose a WORD for the year. Last year my word was ‘HEALTHY’…I pretty much blew that one, so I decided this year I’d pick a work that I thought wouldn’t be as challenging for me…something that I felt pretty sure I could ‘do’ if you will. So I picked the word POSITIVITY. By most people’s standards I’m a pretty positive person. People often see me that way, so I thought it would be a good 2017 word. Not too challenging…life is busy you know.  Because it’s my WORD, I even ordered a bracelet that has my WORD on it…as a constant reminder. The bracelet was here on the 17th when I returned from Florida. I put it on the 18th and you can likely guess the ‘rest of the story’. There I was dealing with all the emotions and thoughts surrounding January 20-21 and staring back at me was my word bracelet screaming…POSITIVITY to me.

It’s hard to be positive.It’s hard sometimes to find positive words. It’s hard to look for good in others. It’s hard to not take sides and look for the good in ‘my side’ and the bad in ‘the other side’. One time I was accused of being ‘a bit shallow’ because I named a speech I gave ‘The Positives of Being an Army Wife’…when the reporter doing an interview with me asked if I wasn’t aware that there were many serious problems out there is the Army. I replied to him that I was certainly more aware than he was, given I was part of the Army community, but went on to share that there were already enough voices for the negative and I was choosing to shed light on the positives. He got really quiet…..

To me being positive doesn’t mean I am stupid or ignore problems. It simply means that I will try to show grace. It means that I will be intentional in looking for the good in a person or a situation, like I would want someone to do to me. I will fail and fail miserably, but I will shake it off, ask forgiveness if appropriate and try again. To me it beats the alternative…and besides there’s that BRACELET looking up at me with that WORD on it..at least for 2017!!!



Blogging Again……

It’s been almost 5 years since I blogged. In 2012 I started this blog called “Looking Back and Forth”. Tonight my intent was to start a new Blog called ‘In the Dash’. Great title, right? I have always loved the message that what really matters is what we do ‘in the dash’. If you look at a tombstone you see the birth date and the death date, separated with a DASH. It’s what’s ‘in the dash’ that matters. What did we do with our years of life…be they long or short. So that seemed like a perfect blog title…but then THIS happened. I couldn’t figure out how to end this blog and start a new one.

I came to my original blog site…Looking Back and Forth and started reading what I had written. Interestingly I discovered that the messages shared were exactly what I hoped to accomplish with ‘In the Dash’. I wanted a place to share in more depth than on my Facebook. I wanted something positive, inspiring, honest, helpful, encouraging. I wanted a place to share stories..simple, every day stories. So I’ve decided to just pick up where I left off and keep this title…Looking Back and Forth….because I’m still IN THE DASH, after all.

I hope you’ll join me as I share. Come on this journey with me. Sometimes I’ll write too much. Sometimes, it will be very, very personal, and other times it will be my observations about someone I know or have met.

I can’t promise to have one entry a week, or whatever ‘great’ bloggers do. For me it will be more …when the spirit moves me. Most of my entries, like this one, will be written late at night when things are quiet and I ponder, pray and think.

This won’t be political or overtly religious…although both tops are important to me…well my faith is very important to me…politics just makes me have a headache! It won’t be a Real Estate blog, even though I dearly love my new career, but often it may be me reflecting on why I love what I do. Sometimes, at my age, I’ll give advice. And all the time….you can ignore it.

I just want you to come along on this journey with me and I look BACK and FORTH…reflect and dream, if you will.




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