By Dr. Yvonne Kaye
This pandemic has changed just about everything.
Where we go, with whom we go, how we spend the time and a multitude of other life altering styles – all changed.
It has amazed me how creative so many people became. Baking, mainly bread, painting, writing, phoning people with whom there has been little contact for a while. Most of the time, they are happy to hear from you…and you took how long to pick up the phone?
It really is funny when people talk about the “Should I?” or “Maybe this is the wrong time”, or “Dammit the worse they can do is hang up the phone”. Rarely does that happen.
In my sphere new descriptions have come to light in terms of titles.
I have written before about aging. I am not aging, I am ripening. I am weathering, refocusing, and marinating (according to one young nurse’s opinion). Because I have this stance of moving up in years, I refuse to listen to people who say how anyone of any age SHOULD BE….. their opinions are WRONG.
I know people have serious conditions, but this isn’t about that. This is more to how one perceives oneself and are they going to sacrifice later years because the statistics say how they should be spending them. There are critiques like “Are you still driving there – anywhere – on your own?”
I am particularly good at eye rolling. Never used it before although it has been used on me when I repeat these precautionary statements.
So that’s that. This is different.
Now I am a Maverick, A Queen-Ager. Think up your own. This is what I have decided. Anything that makes me laugh is healing and magnificent, hence the title of this blog.
All my family has very dark humour to the point that when some people overhear us, they wonder if we like each other.
When my four children were younger, and we went out to eat I really would have liked to be seated at another table.
Regardless of what they are going through, laughter is definitely their best medicine, which includes being gross. They prefer I don’t read the emails and texts they share. I can only believe it is in my best interest not to do so.
I am blessed.
I don’t see my family very often and last night three members of my family arrived with two pizzas. I have virtually no appetite, so I nibbled at one piece.
I am in constant pain with something mysterious the doctors seem unable to diagnose, but they are on it. I believe my dynamic trio were here for about two hours and it went so fast, mainly because I was close to hysterics.
It was general stuff, like what happened at work, online school, cats, dogs, people. So funny. I was engrossed. It is all Brit humour too, which is very dry and of course there is the ever present cell phone with photos.
The conversation went international of course because of that Brit humour (and spelling obviously) and even Wendy, my daughter in law has caught it from Daniel, and Aidan has inherited it as he watches a lot of English programmes, to which he has introduced me. Yes. I didn’t know of their existence.
I didn’t feel much pain whilst they were there and afterwards when I texted them to thank them for visiting I realised my emotions surrounding the pain had disappeared – like taking emotional vitamins.
I do that when people visit. I write and thank them. I have thanked all my children over the years.
On Mother’s Day I send a card thanking them for letting me be their mother. Those words, emotional vitamins, clicked and made so much sense, mainly about how important laughter is. Even if it is simply for a time – just a few moments of deep laughter.
When thinking of that phrase, I recalled the group I have at Gilda’s Club.
LAUGHING WHEN NOTHING SEEMS FUNNY AND WHEN IT IS
Some of the participants have cancer, are in remission, do not quite know where to go next, people who are care-sharers and who were care-sharers having lost their beloveds to this plague. Some people scoff at this belief that there are other avenues that help in healing. Music, friendship, laughter, art, books – I could go on and on.
This morning I went to the doctor to deal with SOMETHING. Let’s leave it at that. All my doctors are fantastic, and I share them with a lot of people who haven’t had the experience I have when being examined or treated.
He happens to be a football (soccer fan), so we have that in common. There is a wonderful nurse there who is a Harry Potter Fan so you get the picture. Part of my treatment today was that he and his wife have just adopted another dog. He is four months old and a Burmese Mountain dog. However, he is all white with startling blue eyes and will be HUGE . He might be another breed but from something similar. He is a rescue of course and I could write about what I surmise about that but it would take a blog of its own. So, I thanked the doctor for his care and added it was the photo of the dog that did it. Do my healers know me or what?
AMOR VINCIT OMNIA. Love conquers all.
It is timely that I write about love being a huge part of emotional vitamins. Our culture has a very narrow concept of love.
Mostly is it between two people who are in love. Let’s look at what it really is.
I went to my faithful Oxford English Dictionary and the entry of love is huge. It would take a whole blog. They mention love, sex, and so on but I got the most different explanation from my Cassells Latin Dictionary – second to none. A word that sprung out to me was Misericordia – Mercy. Never put that together in the category of love. Makes sense though. Latin usually does. Misericordia. What a wonderful sound.
I really believe I am meant to take Latin again.
I really loved it. My Latin teacher, Miss Rawlings, taught me a valuable lesson. One day she gave us homework and I just couldn’t translate it so the next day, I approached her and said. “Miss Rawlings, this just doesn’t make sense”.
She took the paper and then said to me, “No, Yvonne, you can’t make sense of this”. I learned that immediately and whenever my judgmental button goes off, that is what I hear. In essence she was telling me to look hard and fast to the situation in hand and decide as to the best resolution.
It is so pertinent now, so on target, timely. People are truly scared and unless there is a solution right here, right now, time and empty discussions on the shoulds are ‘a wasting.
Now I am back to the emotional vitamins.
They are ever present. So much to learn, so much to do.
An explanation of this phrase is probably necessary although like most major challenges, people tackle them in different ways. So, let’s start with what not to do so that the vitamins don’t work as constructively as they could.
Stop projecting. The whole world’s insanity isn’t going to be helped by people worrying about what MIGHT happen. One of the greatest lessons I learned over the last fifty years was a day and a time. With all areas of life, of grief looking ahead doesn’t help.
One of my favourite phrases, by anonymous, that well known author, is “Overcoming is not the same as getting over”
People overcome all kinds of life experience. They may not get over them but they spend their time working toward getting on with their lives as best they can. Once the realisation hits home that life won’t be the same, adjustments can be made.
For example, I know a woman who has gone through incredibly painful losses. When she came to see me years ago, on the rape and murder of her thirteen year old, she has been told and had read about acceptance.
She said, “I will never accept what happened to my daughter” to which I asked, “How about adjustment?” She took it and ran with it.
She felt that she didn’t have to accept the brutal circumstances of her daughter’s death. She could take it slowly, one step at a time with whatever length of time it took. She is a very responsible professional person today and no one would ever think there was anything wrong with her.
Not only was there the horrendous death of her child, but an accident in hospital when she was given bad blood, and then, cancer. She won over all of it.
Overcoming is not the same of getting over.
She has gone on with her life and her work. Don’t you think she feels the presence of her daughter every single day? It’s not the same as getting over. Sometimes these events when one doesn’t get over, becomes a lesson. It becomes an emotional vitamin.
There are so many examples of these emotional changes. From acceptance to adjustment. It’s that simple.
Keep it simple sweetheart. Life is simple. We complicate it. Certainly, situations arise that alarm people, I get that. It’s the projecting, that throwing negativity at the Universe that has to stop. Take a look at those people, places and things that come under the category of it is what it is.
People become so fearful about things they know little of, even though the press would have it otherwise.
Here is another suggestion to be part of the emotional vitamin programme. All the ideas are very simple. Make a gratitude list. That’s similar to listing what have you overcome. Plenty of that around. Then make a circle on a sheet of paper and write everything you want in life inside the circle.
Be specific and as outrageous as you wish. Be Cleopatra floating down the Nile, only it is you and no you don’t have to end up like her. Owning a boat, travelling the world when it opens again, buying your dream home. Lots of wishes and don’t be shy. Nobody else is going to see the lists. Then on the outside of the circle write everything you will not tolerate in your life.
For example, I have NO toxic people in my life anymore and I had a lot of them at one time. If they want to be toxic, go somewhere where they are appreciated, like with people who are addicted to misery. They will find a home there.
It is equally important to write or record your emotional vitamins. It is quite amazing.
It’s a little different from the gratitude list since this isn’t a case of what you want in life, but how you want to be, to feel, to know that as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else, let it rip!!!!
Make the list and keep adding to it.
You are sending positive energy to the Universe and anything else with which you agree. I find it to be crucial to understand this concept.
Remember, unhealthy emotion can cause severe illness and painful conditions. My therapist asked me what I thought the reason was for the terrible pain I have in my left side. I thought about it for a while and then said, “I want to kick so many people in the arse!”
Maybe that’s not all it means but it is a start. Like not being able to stand. How many times have I said, “I can’t stand it, not another day?” These vitamins are free. What a concept.
I know some people are skeptical. I am at times. However, one has nothing to lose by looking at their individual lives with the enhancement of emotional vitamins.
No more hiding how one is feeling regardless of what is happening. Face the facts and then do it anyway. What fits your emotional vitamins?
I have a lot. See if you relate because sometimes we just don’t think about it and we do what doesn’t help at all, which is to WORRY. Some people feel guilty or disloyal. That’s a choice. Read Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, an old book which is responsible for me growing and changing as I have. It’s brilliant and will help with any doubts.
As for me, being a perpetual student, these things grow on me every day. The journey will never be over. It can get better.
I choose to believe that way and when people ask, “How do you know?”, my answer always is, “Who cares? Is it going to make any difference if you know how?” Not really.
So, love yourself enough to get anything toxic out of your existence. Send messages of joy to the Universe. Be specific about who is toxic, or what situation is toxic and shut it down. If you are having a tough time with that – you know where to find me.
Some people might think I’m losing it.
What a compliment.
Dr. Yvonne Kaye is an international speaker with subjects ranging from Spirit Soaring, Laughter Roaring, to post traumatic stress disorder and bereavement. She is a Storyteller, Addictionist, Thanatologist, Care-sharer,veteran radio talk show host, Interfaith Minister, author, columnist, keynote speaker/trainer for corporations. Her work is eclectic and appropriate for all professions, Veterans Administration, and many others, believing in the power of the human spirit. Involved with long term illness, post trauma and crises, Dr. Kaye is a strong advocate of humor and spirituality. She uses her own life experiences as a basis of her work which is now involved with First Responders, Nurses, Veterans suffering with PTSD , and addiction. She is a Spiritual Coach and her philosophy is “Laughter is the miracle healer”. Dr. Kaye received the prestigious Matty Muir Award for work with victims of crime.
Dr. Yvonne Kaye is in a constant state of transition. During her long and colorful life, she has experienced just about every challenge in terms of personal growth and change. She has an astute understanding of the demands of life on people together with the necessity to support healthy self esteem. She believes that life offers great opportunities and great demands. Self worth is the basis of being able to deal with such inevitable change. Life does not stand still.
Yvonne has many strengths she wishes to share with others. She has not forgotten her background believing most sincerely, if she could travel to where she is today, from whence she came, anyone can do it. She has proven this by working with people who didn’t believe in themselves and carried messages given to them as children. They are very successful today. She states categorically that her most important asset is humor believing it is underrated healing.
Dr. Kaye is especially effective as a keynote speaker. Her eclectic approach appeals to all professional, corporate and healing arts. She is a spiritual woman meaning in her life, of the spirit, her spirit. She has presented at prestigious institutions, such as the united nations, international conferences and is a strong advocate of support groups. She has been granted many awards including the Matti Muir award for working with victims of violence and PTSD in all areas. Radio talk show host, published author, Thanatologist, addictionist, mother, grandmother, story teller. She is mental health’s answer to Erma Bombeck.