Welcome to my Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What Could Have Been Lost but Wasn't

Dear A.B.,

Stumbled upon this article, enjoyed it, and thought you might like it too! http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Hope your back is continuing to feel much better.

Warm regards,


Your cookie recipe sounds great!

Dear G,

The Thanksgiving scene brought a tear to my eye it was so lovely. Thanks for sending this.A. B.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Healthy Oat Meal Cookie Recipe

After my back injury and while I was finding it difficult to eat with no appetite, I tried to come up with a healthy oatmeal cookie. Everything I tried on the Internet was too sweet or not healthy enough so I started experimenting. After the 5th try I came up with a cookie I really liked. Thought I would pass it on. A. B. Curtiss


1 stick of butter (¼ lb)
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
1 teas vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups oatmeal
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups raw walnuts, pecans, and almonds (chop up first if whole, especially almonds))
Form by hand and press flat on cookie sheet--they don’t raise much
BAKE 375 degrees 10-12 minutes
Makes 16 cookies

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life has no Joy?

I have found this quotation comforting. 

“To complain that life has no joy as long as there is a single creature that we can relieve by our bounty, assist by our counsels, or enliven by our presence is to lament a loss of that which we possess, and just as irrational as to die of thirst with the cup in our hand.” Sir Thomas Fitzosborne

Monday, May 23, 2011

No one Can Exist Alone, Without some Support from Another Human Being



I'm depressant and I find it a chance now to contact you because I'm in normal mood now .
When I'm tired I can't contact you or correctly I can't think well .

Can I take out the idea of suicide from my mind ??

Thanks in advance , X

Dear X,
No one can exist alone, without support and help. You must seek out some help for yourself now, while you feel up to it. Find a mental health group or organization near you. Even an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) group is helpful for associating with people who are wanting to improve their lives. While you feel normal decide that suicide is not an option and make a contract with yourself that you will not consider suicide as an option even when you feel bad. You can always access the National Suicide hotline for direction as to your next move. A. B. Curtiss
Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

Crisis Counselors are
waiting for your call.

Why Call ? What To Expect Crisis Call Chart Basic Survival Distraction Why Live ?
There Are Few Words Which Can Comfort
Suicidal Persons in Crisis...

USA National
Phone Numbers, Web Sites, E-Mail, & Other Crisis Lines


USA National Suicide Hotlines
Toll-Free / 24 hours / 7 days a week
TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)


Friday, May 20, 2011

How do you "Take your Space?"

Thank you again, A.B. 

The last paragraph you wrote was beautiful and very touching. It simply glows with your own genuine love and compassion. 

While I am hearing what you are saying about boundaries, I also guess I have for the last several years, been more inclined to see difficult moments as reminders of or pointers to what I have to work on in myself.  If I have a problem with another's behavior, it is indeed, my problem. Why should they change?

I suppose that every situation and relationship is different.  I can see myself remarking about certain things, but choosing to leave others alone.  Some behavior patterns are so ingrained that the individual can not be any other way.  What business is it of mine, ultimately? 

I have  so appreciated, learned from, and made regular use of your advice to ask myself, "How can I take care of myself in this adverse situation?" Eventually, I also ask myself questions like, "Why do these words or actions bother me so?"  "What fears in me are being triggered?"  "How am I failing to be a better person here?"  "What can I learn about people, life, and myself from this?"

 No one is supposed to be a tool for our use...or worse, be viewed and treated as an obstacle!  We have all felt we were being used as a tool and treated like an obstacle, and we've all been guilty of using people. I see awareness of our self-centeredness as key to living a better life, as well as a desire to do something about it. 

Is a way of  "taking our space" to be grounded in our beliefs, adhering to our guiding principles?  

Warm regards,

Dear G,
Yes, you are exactly right. Taking your space is speaking your truth, quietly, in accordance with your guiding principles. A. B.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Be Able to Love is Much More Important than Being Loved

Dear A. B. 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

Don't expect any relationship to make you happy or to live up to your expectations ~ That sentence speaks volumes.  I need to remember this!

Arrogance and competition are part of the human experience. ~ I suspected!  Maybe because we are insatiable creatures when it comes to our desire for love, wealth and status? These motivations are apparent in even the most "primitive" societies. I suppose these drives are hard-wired into us for survival purposes.  We need to cultivate satisfaction with what we have, gratitude for what is.  Such habits of the heart don't just happen.

...if we are able to love someone, that is much more important than if they are capable of loving us.~ I can only take responsibility for embodying the values and principles I cherish.  Others need to do what they need to do. Also, I know that my behavior is not always in sync with my values!  I value being a loving person, but am I...always? Sometimes my fears get in the way of doing or saying the most loving thing too!

If the other is more aggressive and competitive than we are, it just means they are more afraid.~ I see what you mean! Only a frightened animal snarls, hisses and puffs itself up! Again, it's what we do to "survive." (or to keep our ego and primal minds alive!)

I wonder about this: ... if the other can accommodate us, the relationship works better. If they can't, the relationship will be lacking in some way

Ultimately, does it have to be lacking in some way? If the other can't accomodate me, perhaps that is the very "growing edge" I need to be challenged by and learn from?   Could the resulting maturity be a better outcome than what would occur if I was accomodated ?  Maybe I can learn more from being in the presence of a few arrogant, competitive people, than I would if I were only surrounded by a band of humble monks? (See, Arline, you have me thinking here!)

Going back to the role of expectations, maybe I need to do away with as many expectations as possible and not depend on others' behavior for my happiness?  Would you say that to the extent that we can let others "be," we can be peaceful and contented and truly loving?

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom!



Dear G, 

Yes, you are right about expectations. They are the death of being "in the now" and living in a truly alive way. No one is supposed to be a tool for our use, so of course we have to let people "be." However, we must take our space so that others know where our own boundaries are, just as others need to take their space with us. We all need to say "ouch" when those boundaries are breached so that we learn not to hurt each other. 

Just because a relationship is lacking in some way, or at some times, doesn't mean that the relationship is not a sacred trust that we can cherish and honor with gratefulness. Nothing works all the time or all the way. We are all flawed and learning to be loving people.  A. B. Curtiss

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Expectations and Relationships

Hi A.B.

I"ve been reading your book All our Geese are Swans, and have read the chapter,
And this is your Brain on Blame many times. 

On page 142 you write, "It is hard for us to think of our relationship with someone else as our relationship with
present reality." 

"But," you go on, "it is helpful to, because then we will not put
intentions on it." 

I see the wisdom in that, and I see how that flies in the face of what so many "experts" out there tell us about relationships.  I constantly hear messages to the effect that we should expect a laundry list of certain behaviors and attitudes from various people in our lives. 

A family member has surprised me lately on a number of occasions by being arrogant and competitive in her tone and comments.  All my life I  thought that this person was protective and sensitive and would be kind and humble before she would say something to aggrandize herself at my "expense."    

Issues of trust and intimacy have been raised for me.  While I don't "blame" her, I  question this dynamic underlying relationships.  Are we all "looking out for #1," no matter the relationship? Should we be?

I want to be kind and good to others, regardless of how they choose to behave.  I know I can only be responsible and accountable for my own actions and thoughts.  I also recognize that no one is a saint or perfect. 

Could you say more about expectations regarding relationships?

Thank you.


Dear G,
Don't expect any relationship to make you happy or to live up to your expectations.

Expect that every person does the best he or she is capable of doing at the moment.

Arrogance and competition are part of the human experience. However, it is not good to let others mistreat us, not good for us and not good for them either.

We should try to say when we feel hurt by something someone says or does, not that our acknowledgement of our own feelings or needs obligates the other person to make amends. It should be enough that we put out what we feel and what we want and if the other can accommodate us, the relationship works better.  If they can't, the relationship will be lacking in some way.

We all have flaws and as we grow older and wiser, they begin to fall away from us. Sometimes we misjudge the love others have for us and are disappointed when it proves less than we thought. The most important thing to remember is that if we are able to love someone, that is much more important than if they are capable of loving us. We are all made of love and to the extent that we can get through our fear, we are automatically in touch with the love which is our basic building block. If the other is more aggressive and competitive than we are, it just means they are more afraid. For a guide I still lilke the Desiderata:

by Max Ehrmann, 1927
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thanks for Advising me to Read this Book

Dear Ms Curtiss

I always remember the "Floating" term from the book "Hope and help for your nerves". Instead of dwelling in thinking we just need to float every time by focusing on other things instead of thoughts. For me I always focus on breathing when I notice my self dwelling on thoughts. This way I make my self float every time I have down thinking.
Also, floating keeps me from self focus or self talk.  

I notice some friends who do not suffer depression use floating term when ever they face difficulties and do not like dwelling by thoughts. For example when having test, they do not like to make the test horrible by thinking. They just say its okay and will be easy even though the test needs work.

Thanks so much for your advice to read this book 


Dear R,
You are welcome. This book by Dr. Claire Weekes has helped thousands of people recover from depression, anxiety and fear. 

A. B. Curtiss