Tag Archive: Health

Recognizing Our Patterns and Learning How to Change Them

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Maria Cristina McDonald

“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. When there is something you need to learn, something that you need to work on, the same situation will continue to repeat itself until you either learn your lesson or find a healthy way of dealing with that particular issue.

Think of the movie Groundhog Day. It was one of my favorites. Once Bill Murray realized that he was living the same day over and over again, he came up with ways to fix the things that went wrong before.

He learned how to fix the relationship with the object of his affection. He even learned to deal better with the annoying insurance salesman who approached him every morning.

It wasn’t until he learned to accept his fate that the cycle of reliving each day ended. He also became more compassionate and more sympathetic—an overall better version of himself.

I hear people say: Why do I keep going through the same things in relationships? I’m with different people, but things always end up being the same, or they act just like someone who I used to know.

Some of these people give up, some get stuck in a vicious cycle of their own making, and others don’t even realize that they are basically chasing their tail, repeating the same situation over and over.

Recently, I found myself in a pattern of attraction. It took some time for me to understand it. I had a hard time coming to terms with my divorce, and for years I wanted a second chance in that area of my life. A new start. A new marriage.

Only problem was that when I did come across someone I liked, he was unavailable—already in a relationship or emotionally unavailable to me, and therefore, unwilling to participate in a relationship with me.

I went through a period of time when the only guys who asked me out were either married or in a relationship of some type, live-in or on-and-off with a current girlfriend.

Instead of pursuing those situations (for obvious reasons) I would instead go for the single, yet emotionally unavailable guy. And I would try to win him over, to no avail, trying to prove that I was “good enough.”

It wasn’t until recently that I had an “a ha” moment, in which I realized that the critic I was trying to “prove myself” to was not someone else. It was me—the inner critic who still had not come to terms with the dissolution of my marriage and considered it a complete failure.

My thought process was: If I could turn this person around or make this person change his mind and love me, then I would be worthy of love.

It was an erroneous way of thinking. Had I not done the emotional self reflection I would probably still be in a pattern of trying to win someone’s love, or what I like to call chasing my own tail and going around in circles.

A good question to ask is: Am I reliving the same scene, over and over again? What’s my part in that?

It might not be in relationships, but in different situations, like at work for example, when the same issue comes up disguised. If you work with the public it could be the same issue with different customers, until you find a way to deal with it or until you learn the lesson.

While working with the public, I have noticed times when every single person I come across is upset, angry, or annoyed, and at first I would react in a similar way. We are all mirrors of ourselves.

After a number of people with the same, or similar issue, came up to me, I started to try to find different ways to resolve the problems—for example, not taking things personally and showing empathy to the person I was helping.

Around that time in my life a pattern, or lesson, I was in could be described as: How to stop taking things personally and how to view problems as opportunities.

Had I not experienced the same problems with customers and made the necessary changes, I would possibly still be in the process of learning that lesson.

I’m still working on this; some lessons take longer than others. Instead of reacting to situations, when something comes up and seems familiar, I try to stand back—if even for a second—to think.

For a while it will seem like coincidences playing out, but over time the pattern of your lesson will come up. This is the lesson you need to learn at this time.

It could be a lesson in humility, or a lesson in gratitude, or maybe you may need to learn empathy to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Instead of reacting all the time, every time something challenging comes up it could be an opportunity to learn.

One lesson I’ve needed to learn recently can be summarized with a Shakespeare quote:

“To thine own self be true.”

I’m realizing that, no matter what other people say, do, or think about us, it is our opinions of ourselves that really matter. And, when making decisions, sometimes it is good to question our own intentions. Think: What am I doing here? Or what am I up to?

Ultimately the question I’ve needed to ask myself is: Am I being completely honest with myself? What is the particular reason why I’m scared of change?

There are times when opportunities have come up for me to change my residence, or my place of employment, or even my car, and I haven’t seized those possibilities. I’ve stayed in place. Why?

One particular opportunity entailed moving out of my city to live closer to my family. My family members have offered to help with an out-of-state move, including offering me a place to stay with my children. But still, I haven’t.

I’m still here.

When I started being honest with myself, I realized that this fear of change was a big issue for me. I needed to handle it because, if I did not, situations would continue to come up where I was forced by circumstances to make a decision involving a change.

I learned that not making a decision is in itself a decision—and that my fear of change was actually a fear of failure. That was when I noticed the pattern of things breaking, or circumstances changing, forcing me to deal with my inability to make decisions.

Find your pattern. Find your lesson.

A good way of recognizing patterns in your life is by listening to your feelings, your intuition. I’ve found that when I am involved in a pattern, my emotions run a bit stronger, kind of like a warning from my subconscious mind to pay attention to what’s happening.

More often than not, I recognize the pattern when the situation has ended, or changed. Hindsight is 20/20 in this way. It can be difficult to recognize a pattern while it’s playing out. So, usually we realize what happened afterward. And that is okay.

In turn, life will continue to send us ways to overcome our patterns and learn our individual lessons.

The key is to be alert. When you’re open to recognizing a pattern, you can change it by learning the lesson, and in doing so, change your life

I find this post to be most insightful and interesting. I believe we all have something to learn from one another as well as within outselves. If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com


I have always been a fan of the combo lemons and water 🙂 Here is just another reason why it’s good for your soul and your health 🙂


*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com


Hello gang,

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*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com


When Painful Things Happen and You Don’t Understand Why

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Harriet Cabelly

We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

I used to be a “why” person. Why you ask? Because after receiving my middle daughter’s diagnosis of a neurological condition, I got really hooked into “why me” mode, and it just ate away at every fiber of my core.

I obsessed over “why.” Why did it happen? I needed to make sense out of a senseless fluke of nature.

I was devastated and beside myself with the raging emotions of grief—the anger, bitterness, and resentment—and the dance in my head and the ache in my heart kept circling and banging into the graffitied wall of  W H Y in big black letters.

Here is where I remained for a long year of ranting and raving in a therapist’s office.

I sought out lectures and classes on the famous theme of “why bad things happen to good people.” (As I’m sure you all know, there’s a book by the same title.) I was totally stuck in this place.

I felt so unwound and so out of control that I thought being able to wrap my head around a “real” reason would somehow help me in coping.

I thought if I understood the “why,” I could deal with it better.

I often say and truly believe that if I can understand where someone is coming from, I can more readily and easily accept our differences and disagreements; that this breeds tolerance and respect, and sets the stage to agree to disagree.

I somehow thought this to be similar in my acutely grief-stricken situation—that if I could understand where this came from and why this happened to my baby, I could accept it more easily and therefore cope with it.

I was drowning in this “why me,” read more here

I don’t know about the rest of you but I get so annoyed by the different stickers “Sell By” “Use By” dates. I prefer the “Use By” because otherwise I just use the plain old fashioned sniff test to ensure the safety of an item before comsuming. It’s pretty fool proof but at the same time a lot of people suffer from self induced food poisoning because they are unsure of when it’s ok to eat and when it should be tossed. So please, by all means print this out and put it on your fridge (I know I will!). Enjoy!

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

Should I stay or should I go? I’ve been with my girlfriend for 2 years and I do love her. She married a dude when she was only 17 and stayed in a marriage from hell with the guy for 19 years before she filed for a divorce. She’s was single for 4 years before we got together. For 2 whole years I have had to deal with trust issues and insecurity issues from her,I am not doing anything to call for this, I have been the perfect man but her issues due to her past is making it very difficult for me, and I have never had to or been faced with anything like this in any relationship I have had before. She sometimes doesn’t express her anger without including rude comments that often upset me as well, but we always end up talking and ironing out whatever the problem is. She does work,cook,clean and take care of home,yes we live together. At this point IDK what I should do we’ve been living together for 2 years as a couple and she always promises to get some kind of therapy but hasn’t done it yet, I do feel like I want to help her get better as a person because I love her,but sometimes I think that maybe this is too much for me to be trying to take on. What do you think?

Sometimes we are matched up with people to help us learn and both grow. I would ask her to chat with you about this. It’s a serious concern and it’s obvious that she has been putting it off. We never want to deal with our problems head on unless we have no choice in the matter. I would let her know that you love and care for her however that it’s not fair to you nor the future and health of your relationship to continue down this path and that something has to change. You need to set a timeline for yourself and her, I’m not saying this has to change overnight but something that you feel is reasonable for things to really change. We all have baggage and history but it’s what we decide to do with it that makes the difference. She can hold on to it and carry it around and keep everyone at a distance and lose you. Or she can own up that it’s her own insecurity and that she can keep the lesson but not hold on to all the pain and mistrust. Sometimes we have to make a choice for ourselves that ultimately is a choice for the relationship. If she is ready she will do it, if not then she won’t you just need to decide if this is something you want to live with the rest of your life? And given this inquiry my guess is you’re getting a little fed up with it. So set a timeline to yourself for it to resolve or at least for it to resolve to a certain degree. We all have our moments but it’s different when it infringes on those that we care about most. Good luck!

What is wrong with a wife that marries a man that doesn’t want to work? In contrary, what is wrong with a woman that wants a man that can’t provide for his family, and she wants to be the provider?  Does it make her feel in control?  I have a sister like this, and she loves it that she’s a provider and that he does not provide for his family. One response is this: That’s fine if the wife is the breadwinner and makes the money. More power to her. But, it is only natural for a man to work and be a provider. It is instinct, just like it is for a woman to be a mother. If he can’t do that his self-esteem goes down, thus feeling less of a man. Anybody else have opinions?

I do not believe there is anything wrong with a woman being the bread winner or supporting the family compared to a man. I think that the relationship and it’s dynamics are dependent upon the two people involved. If that is what works for them so be it. It’s their lives and their choice to how they work out the logistics. Many times people put to much weight into what is “natural instinct” yes we have them but at the same time each of us is different. If being at home and taking care of the household needs is his perogative then thats great. It’s a lot of work so it’s not like he wouldn’t truly be “working”. We all need a purpose in our lives and if that means working to provide or working to maintain the household whatever works is still a purpose and has a meaningful impact.
*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

I had an experience within the last few years that was rather traumatic. In 2010 while my husband was deployed I had a cervical cancer scare. And was also told there was a high chance I would not be able to get pregnant on my own. (Since childhood I have been taking steroids for my asthma so this has always caused issues with my cycle). On top of all of this my parents were traveling through China to teach English when my step father suffered a stroke. (Let me tell you in less than a 24 hour period this is a lot of information to process at once.) My step father was able to return to the US and receive the medical care that he desperately needed and is doing quite well today (thank goodness). As for my experience it was a bit different. I was told that I needed to have a biopsy completed to clear out any potential of cancerous tissue. I had never had a biopsy so this was a bit scary and overwhelming at the time. During the procedure I will admit it was uncomfortable and painful. Not to be overly graphic but it literally felt like I had scrapped the crap out of my lady parts. It’s an odd thing to suddenly realize what touches what inside your body when you walk, sit, etc… Anyway, the point of this extremely personal post is I want to make others aware of the knowledge that has come to light for me within the last few months. After having the biopsy completed I was sent home and told to wait for the results. The results were “clean” of cancer but that I was not out of the woods yet.  I needed to come back every 3 months for a year to be examined. I did this…fearful of what they might find each time. The doctor had told me before we started the regular screens that I had a choice. I could either see if my body would fight off the infection or they could freeze it. I choose to let my body do whatever it could before we went with the frost option. Luckily for me I was able to fight off the infection and have been in the clear for almost 3 years now. However, in the middle of all of this I learned something very valuable. And that is, you should always get a second opinion. The same doctor who preformed the biopsy also decided to change my birth control 3 times in less than a year! The last set of pills being the worst option- my hormones were  so out of whack someone could say “hello” and smile at me and I would want to hurt them. (This is by far not the normal, cheerful, and happy go-lucky self , I and everyone else for that matter was used too) So at this point I decided I needed someone new and a second opinion. I found a doctor and was informed the following:

-The suggested visits for a cancer screening pap smear is every 6 months. If you still test clean after one year you can return to your regular schedule of screen annually.

50% of the population is infected with the virus that can cause cervical cancer- that’s pretty freaking scary! Men who carry it show no symptoms and have no cancer related illness, only women are at risk.


What I also realized:
– Birth control options are in abundance. If something is working just fine…don’t change it. And if your doctor suggests you switch methods ask why and if you don’t want to it’s ok to say no. Your body, your homones, your choice.

-That I probably can get pregnant on my own, I’ve been on birth control since my mid-teen years to help regulate my cycle. This means tons of homorones being pumped into my system for over 15 years! I have a feeling if I were to give my body ample time to cycle out I will be ok. And if not, my husband and I have no quams about adopting. 🙂

-Sadly, not all health practioners are not honest and looking out for thier patients best interest. I realized the first doctor that I saw was only in it to bill the insurance company and help new drugs get onto the market.

-Lastly, you can do something about it. You can file a complaint against the doctor with your state medical board. If you are unsure on how to do this you can always use a search engine and there should be a government funded website to provide steps to take action.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

The Power of Community

Here are 6 powerful reasons not to go it alone:

1. Collective wisdom. No one person ever has all of the answers, and regardless of the amount of Google-fu you may have, consulting with experts is always going to give you better information.

2. Pushing our limits. When working alone, it’s oftentimes too easy to give up when things get hard. By surrounding yourself with others working toward a similar goal or objective, you’ll get motivation, support, and friendly competition to push yourself just a bit further than you would have done on your own.

3. Support and belief. Some days those big goals just seem impossible. On those days when you most want to give up, you need to lean on your community the most. They believe in you—probably more than you belief in yourself.

4. New ideas. I truly believe that when you are working within a community of like-minded people that the wisdom of crowds is considerably greater than any one person working alone. Our divergent world views and lenses mean that we all approach the exact same problem slightly differently.

5. Borrowed motivation. Even on those days when your belief in yourself isn’t waning, doing what needs to get done can seem overwhelming. Look around your community and be inspired!

6. Accountability. If you’re an uber-responsible person, you may not want to admit to people you care about who are pulling for you that something didn’t get done. There’s nothing like having to be accountable to others to up your game.

I grabbed this from tinybuddha’s blog. I believe and agree with these 6 steps. We do need one another and support to achieve our dreams and goals. Sometimes we can become easily overwhelmed or unsure of how or even a method of when to start something. We all have our own experiences and life lessons. Imagine what we could accomplish if we were all brave enough to share our struggles and accomplishments!

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com


My partner has a secret foot fetish? I’ve seen the internet history. He visits about ten different sites a day. I have no problem with this as I’m pretty open to new things but I’m just confused as to why he won’t open up to me about it?
He is also uninterested in sex. We are trying to get pregnant but he’ll only have sex with me 3-4 times a month around my ovulation days. Other than that he always tells me how tired he is. I want it every day and I always let him know that I do. He rarely masturbates either maybe once a week, if that. How do I get him to open up to me? I get weekly pedicures and wear cute shoes so I don’t see what the problem is?


In my opinion if you aren’t harming anyone else and you can be open with your partner all is not lost. Maybe to some degree he is scared that you will judge him for liking something off the beaten path. I would definitely spruce up your feet and then tell him that you accept his fetish. Have you tried talking to him about it in a non-confrontational manner? As for the lack of sex, if you are attempting to get pregnant that can add stress to the mix as well. He might feel like he has to be on point only for those specific times. If you can just let things roll and don’t focus so much what the ultimate goal is you ‘ll have a better chance of getting pregnant and he won’t feel so on the spot. Also, another might be that his testosterone levels are low, this can easily be determined with a simple blood test.

*If you are interested in submitting a topic or you have a question please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com