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My father and I were in an introductory VERY SERIOUS MEETING with an attorney recently discussing VERY SERIOUS THINGS.  My father is 81 years old and had gone through some traumatic and life altering health crisises, in the last few months. 

He has been retired for almost 20 years and has no hobbies outside of watching TV.  Even before he retired, he didn’t engage at all.  zip, nana, nothing, period.

Something he said at towards the end of our meeting caused me to think about how we react when we get uncomfortable in serious discussions.

We were recapping who would do what next and he says, “Here’s something completely off topic”, and so I am thinking that it has to do with the legal situation, as do the attorneys.  However, he tells us that he recently saw on TV how the skunk’s spray is flammable.    Hm….

After the attorney and I looked at each other for a few minutes, me trying to mind meld with the attorney to tell him that my father is not crazy, we get back to the wrap up and finish.

After I relayed this funny story to anyone who knows my dad, I had a few minutes to consider why he would say such a random thing at that moment.

The best I could come up with is that he just was not used to discussing things of value or importance.  He brought up something he was completely comfortable with, TV, and some useless and unimportant fact that as a stress reliever from dealing with reality.

How do you deal with the reality of the situation you are in?  I think of myself as confrontational and eager to deal with whatever has come up.  However, I think that as long as I think I am right and justified (and can win the fight), I am eager to confront.  When I’m not so sure about winning, then I am more cautious before proceeding.  Which is really the better way to go, because I’m not always right, even though I may think I am.  Can I stop my will to win for the greater good of maintaining a relationship? 

I will let you know…


I pass this life-size dinosaur every day and yet it has been years since I have given it any thought.  Until the other day when I passed Tyrannosaurus Rex all dressed up for Halloween and as so, is always dressed head to toe for every worthy occasion.  However, it is on this occasion that I took notice of three things:

1.  There is a life-size 20 foot tall T-Rex on the corner of a major intersection

2.  He is holding a small sign that reads “Boo”

3.  He is holding a large plastic orange pumpkin bucket

T Rex represents all those false thoughts that and those negative beliefs that we work so hard to let go of.  If we do not make a deliberate effort to conquer the ugly chatter in our head (slay the dragon, so to speak), those thoughts and beliefs are as real as T Rex, teeth bared, poised for destruction.  We may not be prepared for a fight or flight situation, instead we run and hide leaving those thoughts and beliefs stronger than before.  Say we manage to be strong enough to overcome the ugly chatter and have slipped by the large carnivorous dinosaur on the corner.  Does T Rex give up that easily?

T Rex is also holding a small sign that reads “Boo” … This sign is our small quiet voice that questions our decisions, pushes us to ignore our intuition, and go along even though we don’t agree.

Last but not least is the large orange pumpkin; T Rex is clearly expecting something.  Remember back to our trick or treating days.  Why did we carry the biggest plastic pumpkin we could find?  We were hoping for lots of candy!  Do not forget, the tradition is trick OR treat, historically it wasn’t guaranteed you would get a treat, tricks were included and feared.

Here is T Rex, with his sign and pumpkin bucket expecting you to fill it.  Fill with what?  Tricks, big scary ones, destruction and despair are his favorite snacks. 

The tricks are those vague thoughts about lack, failure and disappointment casually tossed into the bucket.   To turn those tricks into treats, we must challenge ourselves, “Is this true?”, and “If it’s true, how often?  Every time?  Once in a while?” and “How did I overcome this situation the last time it happened” We have to remember how truly amazing and strong we are or we’re the only ones getting tricked.

So when we hear the question “Trick or Treat”, remember it’s our choice.