The news on my grandmother today is that she has congestive heart failure.  This is a totally new diagnosis, and none of her doctors in the past have even begun to suggest it.

I haven’t been doing a lot lately, but try to get things done anyhow.  It seems I’m always feeling weak and/or sore.  I get out and do something for an hour, and have to come home and rest the remainder of the day.  ah well.  Had one friend visit today and dump his troubles on me, and several phone calls from new and old friends.  At least I’m helping somebody.




1. Who you think you are is important. Like attracts like. Think about it. Do you like who you are?

2. What you want in a relationship is important, and when you are willing to ask for it, you will be able to create it.  But only ask for what you want when you are clear about what it is.  Until then, don’t go around demanding things you just think you should have.

3. We get exactly what we focus on. The problem or the solution. We make a choice between them with every decision we make.

4. Tell yourself the truth about what you want, not what other (family, friends, spouse) say you should have.

5. Tell everyone else your truth about what you want. Don’t be afraid to share your vision and dreams.

6. You are not defined by your relationships unless you choose to be.  Consider what it says about you if you deed over your soul to one.

7. Interdependent (two independent functional people) relationships are the only ones that work, long term.

8. Truth is the first thing necessary to create trust in our relationships.  Respect is earned from trust, and love is earned from respect. Intimacy is the gift we get when we risk telling the truth.  See the hierarchy of a functional relationship.

9. Fear of intimacy is fear of the truth. Your truth is better for you than someone else’s. Just get to know what it is so you can own it.

10. If your relationship is not getting better, it is probably getting
worse. Life is dynamic and nothing ever stays the same.

11. Every relationship is unique. It takes what it takes to work. If you want it to work, you have to work it.  No shortcuts. No 50/50 deals.

12. It’s not your job to fix your mate, and it’s not his or her job to fix you.  Take the relationship and what your mate says at face value and stop reading into it what you’d like to hear.  We can work with what’s real. It’s impossible to deal with what’s not real.

13. Unconditional love is an inside job. If you haven’t gotten it by now, guess what…start working from within.  When you can give it to yourself, you’ll be ready to give it to someone else. If you can give it to someone else, you’ll recognize it when it’s given to you.

14. If you both are committed to creating a functional relationship, agree to start doing it today, without any judgments about the past. Be willing to work in the solution and let go of your need to control the outcome, moment to moment, one day at a time. Joy can only be experienced in the present moment.

15. Most of our fears about what may happen in this relationship are really fears we experienced in past relationships, and have nothing to do with this person. Come to grips with what’s real and what’s Memorex!

16. When in an argument, ask yourself Does this really PASS THE SO WHAT TEST? For you to be right, does the other person have to be wrong? Think about it. Life is short. Don’t waste it on arguments that have no meaning or purpose. You can always agree to disagree if you need to. Then laugh about it and go on to the next thing.  Start observing your arguing as just another one of our dysfunctional, immature habits that need to be broken.

17. When we finally learn to say we are sorry (at 3 or 93) we get to finally hear we are O.K. To error is human, and there is great virtue in all forgiveness, ourselves included.  The best ways to teach our children this lesson is by watching us demonstrate it.

18. Any negative, hurtful or sarcastic remark is abusive. Like a sharp knife, each word will carve out a chunk of a loving relationship that can never grow back. Please consider the source and the outcome of your remarks, before you open you mouth to tell your truth.

19. Never let a day go by without saying and showing how much your relationship and partner mean to you. Never take a moment for granted. Express how grateful you are for your good fortune, however meek or humble it may be.  Appreciation and gratefulness have magic in them. It seems the more we express them, the more reasons we are given to say thank you.

20. To have a functional relationship you have to be willing to risk losing it everyday, by telling your truth. If you don’t feel free to tell your truth, start asking yourself why you think it’s so important to stay, and what else you are willing to lose besides your self-esteem. For starters, you can ask your mate to tell their truth, and be willing to accept it at face value, with no judgment. Now you both get to know if you each want a relationship based on what’s real.

For optimum results, start doing this in the first five minutes of meeting anyone.



What is a functional relationship?
Without the beginning base of truth in a relationship, trust cannot occur.
Without the development of trust, respect will never be born. Without a level of respect for   another, a functional relationship of love will not seed and nourish the partners.  Intimacy occurs when we become willing to share our whole selves with another in this order. It is the gift we get when we learn to engage in a balanced, loving and functional relationship.

© Copyright 1999 E.K.Bernshaw All Rights Reserved

are you on fire
from the years?
what would you give
for your kid fears
what would replace the rent with the stars above
replace the need with love
replace the anger with the tide
replace the ones, the ones, the ones, that you love
ah the ones that you love
are you on fire
from all the years
what would you give
for your kid fears

– from “Kid Fears” by the Indigo Girls (with Michael Stipe)

A little boy asked his mother, “Why are you crying?” “Because I’m a woman,” she told him.  “I don’t understand,” he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, “And you never will.”

Later the little boy asked his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?”

“All women cry for no reason,” was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to the Goddess. When Goddess answered, he asked, “My Lady why do women cry so easily?”

She said: “When I made the woman she had to be special.

“I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.

“I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

“I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

“I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

“I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

“I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

“And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.”

“You see my child,” said the Goddess, “the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.  The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart – the place where love resides.”

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