How to Dig Yourself Out of a Hole

A true story with a few fuzzy details.

July Theme: “Staying Cool in a Heated World”
Week #4

I used 4-wheel drive for the first time this week. 

My moxie friend and I drove the family Wrangler to the beach and proceeded to bury its tires in the sand. I knew this bad ass Jeep with its 33” tires could maneuver itself out of the sand, I just wasn’t sure how. Moxie and I got out of the Jeep to assess the situation. Our back tires were buried. I knew enough from growing up in snow not to keep pushing on the gas unless I wanted to bury the entire vehicle. 

I looked around to find something to dig with hoping to spot some kid with a plastic shovel. No such luck, so I started excavating with my hands, while Moxie snapped photos and texted an SOS to her engineer husband and two sons. 

“Who is this?” her husband replied. Did he not understand our dire straits? We didn’t have time for such nonsense questions.

“Us,” Moxie typed, as her oldest son’s reply came through, “Put it in 4low.” 

Of course! All Jeeps have 4-wheel drive. Right? I am confident we would have eventually thought of this, but it was still early in our quandary. At any rate I knew this beauty most certainly was equipped with 4-wheel drive. My 25-year-old son and my engineer husband resurrected this 1988 YJ Wrangler into its glory to serve as my son’s first vehicle. It morphed over the past nine years into a thing of muscle and magnificence, never mind its creaking shocks, sagging passenger mirror, and loosey-goosey steering. It was something to behold—something that prompted people to wave as if they had spotted the president of the United States. Moxie and I were more than cool. 

“I like to see if I can make a turn without shifting down,” I told Moxie earlier when I pulled into a parking lot before lunch. 

“Isn’t that bad?” she asked, as YJ sputtered, demanding that I shift down.

“I’m not going fast enough for it to matter,” I said. 

Moxie looked skeptical. 

But back to the beach and the 4-wheel drive. I quickly found the second stick shift and have to say I was quite proud of myself. But I didn’t know what number to shift it into—2H, 4L, or 4H. In all the excitement, I didn’t recall Moxie’s son’s instruction. All that registered was “4-wheel drive.” Moxie then FaceTimed the stick shift to her son. And alas, after a few more directions, I muscled it into 4L, and I mean muscled. I don’t know the last time we had needed 4-wheel drive in the Florida flatlands, if ever. That stick was more stubborn than a pickle jar lid.

Meanwhile, two men yelled out their window, “Do you need help?” I didn’t think we needed help. I was determined to get us out of this hole I had gotten us into, not to mention I didn’t want someone with a lesser set of wheels, aka minivan, to rescue my bad ass Jeep. Moxie didn’t seem to care about any of that. 

“You might want to stick around for a minute,” she said, at which time I pushed hard on the gas and my Wrangler wrangled itself almost out of the hole. It was thrilling! Enough thrill in fact to give me the additional confidence I needed to conquer our quandary. After two more attempts and a better feel of the beast, I proudly pulled out of the pit. I looked over at the men in the minivan and said, “Thank you.” 

I really wanted to snub my nose too, but I didn’t. 

Moxie standing in our trench.

By this time, Moxie’s husband was on the line and suggested that if I were a teenager and had a winch (with an “i” not an “e”) I could start a business rescuing teenage guys.

“She has a winch,” Moxie said. 

Why do I need to be a teenager? I thought. I could rescue people right now in my seasoned season of life. 

Moxie and I had conquered something big. Now running on adrenaline and a fabulous business idea, my imagination ran wild with new possibilities and opportunities—a side gig rescuing stranded tourists, guys in minivans, and even teenagers. Besides a winch, I had a stereo and flood lights too. I could combine my newly acquired 4-wheel skills with my innate soft skills and utilize my family’s jeeply Jeep to offer a one-of-a-kind service.

When Moxie and I got back to my house, my husband asked about the ride.

“It was good,” Moxie and I said smiling. 

“Did you get stuck?” he asked, sensing something was amuck. 

“Yeah, but I put it in 4-wheel drive and got out,” I said, snubbing my nose.  


Moral of the Story: 
When you dig yourself into a hole, do not panic. Calmly assess the situation. Shift yourself into low gear with all wheels engaged; and enjoy the adrenaline of getting out. Call your kids if necessary. Carry your newly acquired skills with pride. Feel free to snub your nose.  

Happy National Ice Cream Day

Photo by Bon Vivant on Unsplash

I wrote a couple deep-dive posts this month on how to stay cool in a heated world. It is July after all. But then I set them aside. Maybe I’ll post them later. Maybe not. For today, I decided to instead stay above water and write about ice cream. How deep can ice cream go after all? Not to mention, July is National Ice Cream Month and today is National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday). 

Not an Ice Cream Lover. I suppose a sweaty summer month is a good time to celebrate refreshing ice cream. Personally, I’m not a big ice cream lover. I can literally go into an ice cream shop, not order anything, and be just fine watching everyone else eat theirs. This is not for any reason in particular. I am just not a fan. When I do partake, I always request a small cup and 95 percent of the time, I order plain and simple vanilla. Sometimes I order peanut butter. 

My apathy toward ice cream baffles me because I grew up drinking milk. So much so, someone once told me I should invest in a dairy cow, that it would probably pay off. One time in high school, my boyfriend treated me to Pizza Hut. He ordered soda, or “pop” as they say in northwest Missouri. I ordered milk. 

“Nobody drinks milk with pizza,” he said with a look of near disgust. 

“I do,” I said. And gulped my milk while later eating my pepperoni pizza.

Ice Cream Stats. There is a significant amount of ice cream-loving people in my life so I can appreciate this passion. In fact, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) Americans love their ice cream, consuming on average 22 pounds per person per year. That’s a lot of ab flab. 

The good news, according to the IDFA, is that ice cream contributes billions of dollars to our economy, supports nearly 29,000 jobs, and has historically been a key feature of American communities. And get this, “most ice cream companies are family-owned and have been in operation for more than 50 years!” Pun or no pun, I think that is more than cool. 

A Favorite Ice Cream Shop. If I had to choose a favorite family-owned ice cream company, I would have to plug Wondermade in Sanford, Florida. I’m not getting any kickbacks for that little vote of confidence. Coming from someone who rarely treats herself to ice cream, Wondermade’s homemade ice cream is worth the plunge. Besides, I love their story!

“Days before Christmas 2011, Wondermade co-founder Nathan Clark was stuck without a gift for his wife. Thanks to a well-timed piece on NPR about the benefits of eating candy (really!) he stumbled onto the idea to give his wife, Jenn, a candy thermometer and a recipe for marshmallows.” And…you’ll have to go to their site to read the rest of this entrepreneurial sweetness. 

The Proclamation. NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

So go ahead my momentous friends, stay cool in this heated world today and take a deep dive into ice cream with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I plan to do a little self-care Sunday and visit Wondermade today. Maybe I’ll see you there. 

Happy National Ice Cream Day! 

Reconciling Left and Right, Right and Wrong

A picture containing person, older

Description automatically generated

Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory…” 

I smile in my silver-haired season when I read that verse. It is biblical. My crown of glory. But then Solomon, son of David, King of Israel, continues, “…it is attained along the path of righteousness.” 

Seriously? I can’t just claim my gray as a symbol of life lived “well enough?” I have to travel a path of righteousness to revel in its glory? I can’t just be? Just because? Righteousness feels a little too holier-than-thou. A word that wants to rob me of my glorified gray. 

I studied righteousness years ago. It had something to do with being right in God’s eyes. I looked this word up, and down, to see if it fit me. If I fit it. Concerned that I was not this word. “Virtuous, good, and excellent,” the dictionary says. Any time I strive for such things, my nose rises a little too high into the sky. 

Or more often than not, 
I shrink 
to too slow and below 
virtuous, good, and excellent. 

I don’t want to strive to be right for anyone’s eyes. I just want to be heard and held, and to reciprocate regardless of whether or not anyone is watching. This is when I breathe in like I’ve learned to do, and back out again. Slowly and deeply. To just be, where I am, in my best way possible. To not work and worry about better. About righteousness. About days packed with anxiety spawned by not living right. 

But some would argue there is a right way in this world, just as much as there is a wrong, and we must not muddle those lines. We must strive for “right.” But can half of Americans be right in the midst of polarized problems? And half wrong? Pick either side. Both see theirs as low-and-behold and the other as low-and-below. I hear both sides argue their righteousness––angrily, poetically, intellectually, medically, pridefully, economically, socially. 

So who is right? And who is wrong?

I understand this angst. 

I remarried my former husband in June 2020. He’s an analytical left-brainer. I’m a creative right-brainer––reason enough to trigger a divorce five years earlier. Not that right and left brains parallel right and wrong; but they can, and for us they did and still do, create tremendous tension. Our differences divided us at a tremendous cost (literally and figuratively), sending our stiff bodies to bed, incapable of lovemaking. My mind is simple, yet deep. I can’t figure out things like energy problems and how to fix the garbage disposal and how to kill weeds in my yard. But I will serve as a child’s advocate, create a holistic home, and savor, with all senses, the flavors of a Farmer’s Market. 

My husband figures things out.
I feel things out. 

In my post-divorce, silver-haired season, I wonder, is it possible that both of us are right, yet both of us have it wrong?

We are trying now, in our reconciled remarriage, to step aside our singular selves, and allow life to straighten and stand a little taller for both of us, while also living deeper and wider, smarter and kinder. Where we can ebb and flow as needed, providing better balance and adding strength to weaknesses, where we can bothwear crowns of glory––his carved from wood and mine covered in bling. Where we use tension as opportunities for growth, for becoming better selves for the better of both, for the better of all. Not better as in “get your act together,” but as in looking inward at self-reflection and contribution, as opposed to pointing fingers. As in learning to embrace a bit of gray and to be okay. 

There are days we wonder though, sometimes with great depth, what the heck we are doing. Why are we trying to unite our differences? Knowing that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. That some marriages are beyond repair and best dissolved. That division is sometimes inevitable. Yet for us, there are more days that prove the struggle is worth navigating, that the paradoxical process of giving and taking, holding and letting go, living and dying, will most assuredly lead down a potholed path; but somehow, I think that’s the point. That perhaps righteousness is all about traveling the long holey haul. That anything worth anything, requires effort. And anything worth a lot, requires more effort. Standing taller. Diving deeper. That it won’t be about instant-gratification and fingers pointing outward. Or left versus right. Or right versus wrong. 

Instead, we’ll revel together in the glory of imperfectly growing…more ambidextrously gray.


to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination

photo by Element5 Digital. Unsplash.

A friend sent me this word last week, a word she had stumbled upon quite serendipitiously. We are preparing for a short road trip, both of us knowing, yet not knowing, where and how we will be traveling, just knowing we need to. We’ve been called somewhere other than here, at least for a few days anyway.

I’m looking forward to coddiwompling; but to be honest, I’ve been in a coddiwomple state for a few years now, most recently the past few months. I’m anxious to put my fingers to the keyboard again and put words to a few happenings. Like this week.

On Monday, I had no idea that by Wednesday I would be getting a root canal on a tooth that had been damaged from a freak accident a few years ago.

Today, I am good.

And life goes on.

I’ve been reading about ordering, disordering, and reordering. I think coddiwompling has something to do with this. Something to do with unplanned root canals. And something to do with continuing to travel not always knowing the destination.

More on all this very soon.

But for now, I’m off to coddiwomple. Won’t you join me?

One Year Post-Relaunch Recap (career re-entry for women)

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Relaunch Class 2 Graduates,
April 30, 2019


a career re-entry program for professional women.

I could give Relaunch a plug like a happy holiday letter, but this approach would not capture the full truth of this program. And it’s the full truth—that which includes the hard work and digging deep–that has challenged me at midlife to find my place in my full self.

April 30, 2019, I graduated from Relaunch with a group of incredible, smart, wise women, all of us trying to navigate our next professional step. Relaunch, a program offered through the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce by President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert, provides foundational job skills, mock interviews, and renewed direction. An equally valuable piece for me though, was hearing other women share their obstacles and concerns, while listening to Betsy consistently emphasize our worth. Everything we did during our time away from corporate America is all transferrable she iterated again and again.

Yes, all of it.

Caregiving; managing homes, people, and problems; volunteering for schools, nonprofits, communities, and places of worship; and for some, overcoming health setbacks. Ponder all of this right now in the context of a pandemic and notice how valuable these skills are to the wellbeing of our communities. Our skills, both hard and soft, are more than transferrable. They are essential. 

Betsy challenged us to explore questions like: 

What is that “thing” that you do?

I mean really, what is “it” that you are most passionate about? 

We plotted a plan to go do our thing, understanding that the process takes work, time, sometimes compromise, and sometimes standing firm; more than one, two, or three tries, and a bit of dogged determination. But above all else, a key factor emphasized keeping our eyes on our vision.  

Graduation Speech
I was honored to have spoken at graduation. I chose to read my speech, as opposed to memorizing it, not because I was nervous (which I was), but because what I spoke about was raw and still too real for me to easily air, especially to a large audience that I mostly did not know. Reading was most doable. 

I spoke about challenges and doubts leading up to Relaunch, including four significant deaths in a 14-month period, the last funeral happening the week of Relaunch’s first class. I chose to show up though, to step out and to hopefully step up. And so, I decided—ready or not—to also step out and read a graduation speech with my best effort. Giving my best, in the context of my current state, was what Relaunchers do. 

Debby Kerr-Henry delivering a Relaunch graduation speech at the Alfond Inn, Winter Park, Florida, April 30, 2019. Career re-entry for women.
Listen to Debby’s 7-minute Speech

One Year Later
Today, I’m still stepping out and slowly stepping up toward my authorpreneur vision of offering writing and speaking services that promote self-care, -awareness, and 
-understanding. I specialize in empowering women to honor their unique stories, something I learned even more about in Relaunch. My vision board strategically sits on my desk touting “Momentous Living: better self, better world.” 

Top Six Tasks
In a nutshell, these are “My Top Six Post-Relaunch Tasks” that are getting me closer to doing that thing that I do best:

  • Developing my Momentous Living website/blog and mastering SEO. This is still a huge work-in-progress, but a critically defining and gratifying one.
  • Clarifying my writing and speaking services, which focus on nonfiction storytelling. 
  • Offering and expanding Embodiment™ Memoir Writing Classes. (Promo video and future classes coming soon).
  • Working towards Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest honor in Toastmasters International, a prestigious public-speaking organization founded in 1924.
  • Completing a refresher course and certification in editing to provide an additional service for best capturing stories of dignity, beauty, and fortitude.
  • Staying grounded in my “shaping” core values: Simplicity, Humor, Authenticity, Perseverance, Intentionality, Nourishment, Grace.

Satisfying Balance
Sometimes I wish I were further along my post-Relaunch journey (however “further along” is defined). But mostly I’m satisfied with my first year out, as it has been packed with a balance of hard work and enrichment, doubts and setbacks, and “super proud” accomplishments like winning a speech contest, successfully launching and teaching memoir writing classes, and further defining who I am as a writer, speaker, and authorpreneur. But I mostly appreciate an inner gratitude that keeps me traveling along my path, knowing that this path is the only one that will reveal my full self, my full truth, raw and so very real. 

Well Wishes
To the confines of my home to yours, wishing all my fellow Relaunchers continued forward movement through this pandemic and far, far beyond. 

We’ve got this!


Please, stay well.
Please, stay tuned.
And please, stay momentous.

Dignity: worthy of honor

As we witness the closure of this season’s magnolia blossoms, I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, Steel Magnolias. The title borrows a term that means both femininity and fortitude, a depiction of its characters and of the word “Dignity,” meaning worthy of honor. I mention Steel Magnolias in my book in “Contemplation #8—Community: doing life with others.”

If you haven’t seen this dramady, I highly recommend it. Not just because of its more-than-stellar cast, but because the tragedy, based on the true story of the death of the playwright’s sister, is rich with life. It’s main characters—old and young, wealthy and poor, bold and timid, mean-spirited and righteous—embrace each other’s diversities, struggles, and idiosyncrasies, illustrating what beautiful stories can develop when colorful characters unite. It’s this type of community that values people by their humanity, not by their perfection. And it’s only with this perspective that a drama far beyond one’s imagination can magically and mysteriously unfold.

As our remaining magnolias fade, dare to embrace dignity, and breathe in life’s craziness, the present, the divine; all worthy of honor.


Please, stay well.
Please, stay tuned.
And please, stay momentous.

I dedicate this month’s blogging in support of April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. See for resources and to learn how to provide positive support to survivors.

Transforming Trauma into Triumph

Sexual abuse survivor Jessica Dailey sitting at her laptop. Dailey's work focuses on transforming trauma into triumph.
Jessica Dailey’s podcasts at Diamond Mind Radio focus on
transforming trauma into triumph.

I met Jessica Dailey at a women’s networking event. She sponsored a booth for Diamond Mind Radio, her podcast project, where she “believes that sharing stories of empowerment and strength will not only contribute a POSITIVE perspective, it will ignite the passion within and be a catalyst to reaching the next level you!” 

Jessica’s work in the area of sexual abuse awareness and prevention triggered a slew of thoughts. I naturally wondered about her abuse story. But I mostly wanted to know what was happening with her now, and how she appeared to be transforming trauma into triumph. 

Besides hosting her podcasts, Jessica is also a certified occupational therapy assistant, family & youth coordinator, photographer, mother, and fire wife. She’s in that busy season, so I was/am most thankful for her sharing her time to answer some relevant questions to Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month.  

1. You were sexually abused as a child. When and how did you decide to tell someone?

I don’t have an exact age. What I can tell you is that they are some of my very first memories. I always had this knowing within me that I would finally be able to tell someone. I just never had the courage. I actually told myself that I would tell my “bestest” friends when I was 16. Why I picked 16 is beyond me. Maybe it forced me to mentally prepare for “telling.” I actually ended up telling a couple of my best girlfriends at age 16 and my now husband at age 17. 

I do think there was a “how“ I decided, but I feel it was more about the “why.” I wanted to protect my little sister. I wanted to break the cycle. I didn’t want to keep living in shame and guilt. I wanted to be free from all the dysfunction and all the self-sabotaging. I wanted to feel pure happiness being me, and I knew I could never own that if I remained silent. (Listen to Jessica’s first, second and third podcasts for more about her story). 

2. How has your sexual abuse affected you?

Ah…this is a great question in which I could be here forever explaining my answer. Actually, in my podcast there is an answer to this question in each episode when I think about it. So, I will try to touch on some main points. 

  • It has affected EVERY area of my life, without a doubt. My childhood was not all bad, however it is infested with traumatic memories that made me who I am today. 
  • After therapy and my self-healing journey, I have been able to control how it affects me today for a majority of the time. Prior to that, I was a mess! I did not value myself. I had low self-esteem. I would self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which started at a very young age. 
  • I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which can be challenging for me.  
  • I had to work on intimacy which was and still can be challenging. 
  • Becoming a mother was another challenge. It ultimately led me to where I am today. I founded my podcast, Diamond Mind Radio, and work with children because of my past trauma in hopes to help at least one person. 

My goal for myself is to turn my trauma into something beautiful and to show that what I went through does not define who I am. It only makes me stronger. 

3. What is your most difficult hurdle still?

Hmmm…I really have to think about this because I feel so great about where I am today. I think my most difficult hurdle would probably be balance right now in my life. I am a people pleaser and want to make everyone happy. I am really having to take a step back and reevaluate my priorities which is very difficult for me because I truly love everything I am currently involved in. As a child I was always wanting to keep the peace and make everyone happy. I have come to a place of awareness within myself that I can only control what I can control. The rest is in God’s hands and I am okay with that. 

4. I understand that you provide sexual abuse education in the public schools. Can you tell me about that? Is this a class? What do you teach? 

I advocate for the Safer Smarter Kids Curriculum developed by Lauren’s Kids to be taught at all our schools here in Volusia County. The curriculum is for pre-K through high school students. I have facilitated the curriculum at our local elementary school and now teach it to high school students. The curriculum covers imperative topics such as cyber safety and safe versus unsafe secrets. It is a wonderful way to prevent child abuse. Check out the Safer Smarter Schools curriculum.

5. The MeToo Movement speaks out against sexual harassment and sexual assault. Do you see yourself as part of this movement? Please explain.

Yes, I suppose so. I say this because part of my purpose is to educate and bring awareness. I am able to do this by sharing my story and having my podcast as a platform for others to share their story as well.

6. Like with preventive health, can women do anything to help reduce their chances of being sexually harassed or assaulted?  

Education is key. My podcast covers a variety of topics to educate people. (Rape, Abuse & Incest National network also provides helpful Safety & Prevention information at its website:  

7. You have a son and daughter. How old are they and how do you educate them on the topic of sex?

My son William is 13 and my daughter is 9. My husband and I are very honest with them, having knowledge of the safe or smart or kids’ curriculum it has been quite easy to use those tools to educate them about sex. I also find it very important to let my children know that they can come to us with any question and not to feel ashamed ever. 

8. What message would you tell girls and women about body image?

Another great question! The way we feel inside has a lot to do with how we feel about our outside appearance. If you are feeling bad or unhappy about yourself take time to check in with your mental health and nutrition. It has always helped me to know that we are all different, and I promise myself to never compare myself to others. This promise keeps me focused on who I am. Body Image is not just who you see in the mirror. It is so much more. If you feel unhappy, “Why is that?” Embrace your flaws and your perfections, and all the things that make you…You! 

Check out Episode 8 where Jessica discusses three mindset shifts that pushed her into her best life: 

  1. Jumping in even when she was scared.
  2. Changing her thoughts to change her world. 
  3. And always doing the “right by me” thing. 

9. How do you stay strong and focused? What do you do when you’re not? 

Mindset is so important to me and doing all I can to foster a strong mindset. That is why I named my podcast Diamond Mind Radio. As far as staying focused, I set priorities and keep the end result in mind. When I am not (focused), this usually means I am unbalanced, need a break, and/or it’s time to reflect on myself/life. 


Did you know that every 98 seconds an American is assaulted?
Did you also know that awareness leads to prevention?

Woman of Dignity: a tribute to my grandmother

Two years ago today, my 99-year-old grandmother passed on. She was one of those women in my life who lifted up and laughed often; someone who brought out the blossoms in me…one, two, three. My grandmother was a woman of Dignity.

Debby Kerr-Henry with her grandmother.
My grandmother stood up against abuse and literally changed my life course.


I dedicate this month’s blogging in support of April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. See for resources and to learn how to provide positive support to survivors.

The Attitude Influence, Part 3

Conflict is like having car problems. I don’t think anybody rejoices when their vehicle gets a flat tire, or the engine light flashes, or the GPS doesn’t work. Car problems require time, money, and patience. And so it is with relationships too. Relationships, like cars, require care and maintenance, and sometimes they need time, money, and patience to address conflict. It’s just the nature of the beast. So when LeAnn talked about how conflict could be a good thing, my inquiring mind wanted to know more. 

Debby: You say on page 37 that “…conflict is sometimes a good thing. Despite my BAT (bad attitude type), some of the conflicts I have had due to perceived injustices have provided me the clarity of what is and is not acceptable to my core values.” Can you provide any insights or suggestions on how to navigate through conflict well?


  1. Find your voice. For anything good or healthy to come out of a conflict, both parties need a voice. If you never express your views, I recommend you evaluate the health of the relationship. It could be the relationship you have with your significant other, your boss, a parent, a child, or a friend.
  2. Choose your battles. Save the fight for the things that truly matter. If every conflict is about personal annoyances, pet peeves, and bad attitudes, you may be at risk of destroying a meaningful relationship. I think about the early days of my marriage. Things were so much more volatile in our relationship as we navigated through personal preferences, parenting, finances, running a house, and creating a home. It’s essential to understand the difference between values and feelings that are worth a conflict versus you wanting your way. Ask yourself, will this matter in six months?
  3. Listen. We spend way more time defending our position than we do genuinely listening to the other person. There is so much love and respect to be found in listening to someone and sincerely hearing what they are telling you. 
  4. Don’t define feelings by telling someone else what they’re feeling, how they should feel, or to justify their feelings. There could be a long list of reasons why people feel the way they do. We are not always privy to the stories or challenges of another person. There is also a chance that their feelings are the consequence of their insecurities or deep-seated pain. Every person’s opinions, beliefs, and attitudes are a result of their unique experiences in life. Promote vulnerability and honesty over your agenda.
  5. Manage your emotions. Don’t make the other person your emotional punching bag. Sometimes we take out our insecurities, frustrations, and hurt on the people we love the most. The right people want you to feel worthy, empowered, and safe. Trust their intentions. Making someone else feel small will never bring you peace.

“As I answered these questions,” LeAnn said, “I felt the urge to add the caveat of grace. Every relationship consists of imperfect people. At any moment, people can be unkind, impatient, or inconsiderate. The moment we begin to expect perfection from the people joining us in our journey through life, we risk losing the extraordinary experience of meaningful connections. The business of being human can be quite messy–and quite complicated. But the “right” people, the kind people, the ones who love and care for us, are worth it.”

Stay well,
stay tuned,
and stay momentous.


I dedicate this month’s blogging in support of April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. See for resources and to learn how to provide positive support to survivors.

The Attitude Influence, Part 2

I love that LeAnn talks about non-negotiables in her book. I unfortunately figured out my non-negotiables after going through a divorce. I realized after my marriage ended, that I had recognized (during my engagement) qualities in our relationship that I didn’t like. But because there were so many others that I loved and appreciated, I chalked up the things that bothered me as normal differences that every couple needed to learn to overcome; after all, none of us are “perfect.” I focused only on the good, disregarding—out of lack of self-awareness and understanding—the things that churned my insides.

But, those things that bothered me were big things that should have been non-negotiables, things that we should have talked about and explored to figure out whether or not we could work through them. But that didn’t happened. And in the end, a marriage with strengths and beautiful memories, ultimately dissolved. 

Today, I share my second question for LeAnn, and her answer:

Debby: How do you recommend people discern between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors/habits/challenges? 

LeAnn: My value system is what determines my non-negotiables. I will not be in a relationship with people who lack compassion or kindness. Nor will I tolerate racist, bigoted, or misogynistic behaviors. If you disregard the dignity and humanity of others, I will sever ties with you. I also refuse to tolerate abuse in any form. As children, we are too vulnerable to defend ourselves against people who bully, abuse, or exploit us. As a middle-aged woman, I have worked hard to take back any power I lost in my younger years to these types of people.

Never Again
There is someone in my extended family who I am very close to and who I love very much. Unfortunately, when this person drinks, they are verbally abusive. I have had a pattern of getting upset, not speaking to them for a few days (or weeks), and ultimately sweeping their bad behavior under the rug. One day, after a particularly harsh interaction, I had an a-ha moment. I thought, If Jimmy (my husband) ever spoke to me that way, I would leave him. My husband is my favorite human being—my absolute soul mate; and in that moment, placing him in that verbally abusive role became my channel marker for my non-negotiables. I said, “Never again,” to the one person who I still tolerated abuse from, by understanding that I would not tolerate it from my husband, the person who held the longest history of loving and caring for me.

See tomorrow’s blog to read LeAnn’s answer to: 
Can you provide any insights or suggestions on how to navigate through conflict well?

In the meantime,
stay well,
stay tuned,
and stay momentous.


I dedicate this month’s blogging in support of April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. See for resources and to learn how to provide positive support to survivors.

%d bloggers like this: