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If we embrace them, pain and suffering translate into personal transformation. They are opportunities to learn something about ourselves that we may not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn. Pain and suffering provide a platform for us to practice tolerance, patience and understanding. There will always be loss and grief, regardless of finding more joy… is out of our pain that new love and true healing flows. -Juli Alvarado

I chose to dive head first into the grief and loss of my baby Anais. I knew it would never get easier and most likely, a harder lesson would ensue. Now it feels like her life was sacrificed so I could be reborn.

Wow…does this feel powerful to say.

I welcome all these tears of joy and sorrow for they come from the same well and nourish my soul.

Click on my post Perfect Death that describes another gift from my loss

visit for more inspirations for living from Juli Alvarado


“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our mind
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it
We’ve got to fullfill the book
Won’t you help to sing
these songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever had
Redemption songs”

-Bob Marley

“Spanking does for a child’s development what wife-beating does for a marriage.”

This quote sums up well what research and experience has proven to me. The sad part is that still many would disagree with this statement for many reasons. Much of civilization operates from the assumption that there needs to be a hierarchy, meaning someone at the top to “lead,” to have power over.

My son will sometimes report that I am the boss of him and he has to do what I say. I reflect back that yes, it does often feel that I am telling him what to do. I tell him that I don’t want to boss him around and that I want him to be his own boss. Although, I do feel it is my job to protect him and teach him healthy behaviors so when he does things that jeopardizes safety or health, I tend to interject. But upon great reflection and listening to my son, I started stopping my re-directions, lectures, scowling, and controlling/negative reactions etc. I began to reflect and label what I was seeing, identify feelings and needs, and trusting him to figure it out. It might take longer, things break, messes are made, and he might get hurt a bit but he learns what he was meant to learn every time I “let go.”  I am amazed and feel great relief every time I do it. Of course, when the threat is of imminent death, I will still jump in but really how often does this happen. I choose to live my life in trust, not fear.

Once when he was playing a video game on our computer, I realized that I could not listen to my music on the computer while he was doing this. I felt irritated and entitled to be able to listen to my music on my computer. I barked at him that he only had a limited time to play on the computer. I felt the negativity tighten my body and heard the shrill in my voice. I stopped myself and decided to share with my son my feelings in a calm, neutral tone. I let it go and started another conversation with my partner. Within moments, my son turned the sound off his game then opened up our music files and asked what music I would like to hear. All of this happened in a less than five minutes and he was just six years old.

I could cite 1000 interchanges like this where my children teach me about the power of love and trust, but honestly, this is something one must experiment and feel for themselves. Personally, my children get me to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy life to the fullest in every moment that I allow. I welcome my son’s so-called “back talk.” He makes valid points and gets me to change fear-based habits. I believe we were all created equal, this includes children. I even think children have greater insight and personal power because their body/mind/souls have absorbed less negativity or interference and are more connected. I work every day to let go, fear less, love more and to trust the process. I choose to “lead” by example and have power with.

Now imagine, how happy and well adjusted you would be if you lived with your boss 24/7?

I am so glad I trusted all the amazing souls from the following organizations who gave me tools to use my power for better and with love:

Take wonderful care of yourself and your family.

No one is born bad, those acting out have more pain to heal and vital needs to meet.

Human defense mechanisms intrigue me…passive/aggressiveness, distortion, projection, denial, fantasy, rationalization, minimizing and so on…They protect us from absorbing too much pain at once so that the body/mind/soul can prepare itself to process the painful experience and hopefully transcend. But if we depend on these mechanisms or use them too long, they harden to bricks that build a wall. You might feel the illusion of safety behind this great wall, but negativity will delude you. Connection, being able to touch other souls is one of our vital needs. Many of our other needs are cultivated within mutually satisfying, respectful relationships.

I took risks to allow select people behind my wall. Sure a few blew up in my face but they all helped break down my wall.  My need for these defenses continues to decrease as I find more pro-active and responsible ways of getting my own needs met. I am unsure if it is possible to rid them completely. Yet as I become more aware of my use of them, I am better able to embrace the value and those around me. I can love myself and everyone else through the pain even though I keep running into walls.

Below is my favorite list of needs from the book, Healing the Child Within by Charles L. Whitfield. It is difficult to move on to getting another need met if the one before it is unmet or threatened. Sadly, I witness too many stuck and fighting for number two.  

Hierarchy of Human Needs 

  1. Survival
  2. Safety
  3. Touching, Skin Contact
  4. Attention
  5. Mirroring And Echoing
  6. Guidance
  7. Listening
  8. Being Real
  9. Participating
  10. Acceptance
    1. Others Are Aware Of, Take Seriously And Admire Real You
    2. Freedom To Be Real You
    3. Tolerance Of Your Feelings
    4. Validation
    5. Respect
    6. Belonging And Love
  11. Opportunity To Grieve Losses And To Grow
  12. Unconditional Support
  13. Loyalty And Trust
  14. Accomplishment
    1. Mastery, Power, Control
    2. Creativity
    3. Having A Sense Of Completion
    4. Making A Contribution
  15. Altering One’s State Of Consciousness
  16. Sexuality
  17. Enjoyment Or Fun
  18. Freedom
  19. Nurturing
  20. Unconditional Love

(compiled from Maslow 1962; Miller, 1981, Weil, 1973; & Glasser, 1985)

Check out these links if interesting in exploring defense mechanisms:

A rush of relief, it feels sincere.

Beyond all belief, the beginning is here

My happy endings have become reality

And positive vibration has taken the worst of me

If I follow my bliss, then open more doors.

For that first kiss that brought me to shore.

I discovered a land more honest and pure

With plenty of sand and the most important cure:

Freedom from fear with time to spare

A peaceful mind and a healthy soul,

Excited to explore and ready for more….

 I wrote this exactly 13 years ago from today, which marked the end of depression’s control of me. I am elated that with each new day, I feel more peace and positive energy. Yes, I still slip and fall into holes, but the holes are not as cavernous as the ones that swallowed me before. They are so much smaller, that I can climb out of them faster using my own two hands. There is a light that guides me at every turn. I see it every day now. It makes life’s mysterious feel solved and my virtue freed. I can’t tell how wonderful it feels to finally believe…to believe in musing down Rabbit Holes or flying with Tinker Bell….to being Queen for the day or Pooh’s best friend. I believe in Magic again and I have found a Rainbow’s end.

“Humans are emotional beings that make emotional decisions and then justify our decisions with logic.” -Deepak Chopra

Rule 1: You will receive a body.

You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around

Rule 2: You will learn lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.

Rule 3: There are no mistakes, only lessons.

Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.

Rule 4: A lesson is repeated until learned.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

Rule 5: Learning lessons does not end.

There is no part of Life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule 6: “There” is no better than “here”

When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here”.

Rule 7: Others are merely mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule 8: What you make of your life is up to you.

You have the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Rule 9: Your answers lie inside you.

The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

Rule 10: You will forget all this.

Rule 11: You can remember whenever you want.

~Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott’s

Adapted from

Thank you for my wonderful office mates who gave this out on huge sheets of paper. This is on my fridge now and I am reading one rule daily to my family and self. I find them all so true yet #7 seems to be the hardest to handle for me.

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