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This weekend was a special weekend with family. My marvelous kid sister mentioned it has been many years since the siblings have all gotten together other than for funerals or major events so we should all drive or fly in for a gathering at her place at Rohoboth Beach, Delaware. Four out of five of us did. One, the “baby,” insisted he doesn’t fly anymore since flying has lost its charm.

As I am sure you would guess, old stories ensued. We grew up in the housing projects of South Boston, so the stories were somewhat different than for others. Ruthie, the hooker from upstairs was hilarious with a fantastic personality. She provided a number of large brown bags of popcorn every time we had a neighborhood block party with Christmas lights ablaze and 45 & 78 records blaring. Ruthie did well whenever the navy ships came in. She was one of the first business woman I knew who worked at home. Her 1099’s were her sister and friends who came in to help pick up the excess demand.

Downstairs was another hooker who worked the streets. I would babysit her two adorable kids (Snoopy and Joey) when I was in middle and high school. Her husband, Snuffy, paid me in hot (stolen) clothes vs. money. What adolescent doesn’t want new clothes? My dad at that point was a cop but that’s another story… With more and more stories told, and lots of laughs, there were also the sad stories of kids lost too soon, poverty, alcoholism, etc.

Many additional funny stories were shared as well as many horrific ones of our home life. With all of that, the real story was watching these amazing adults and as we agreed, nonjudgmentally, get to see who everyone has become as an adult. How many of you are blessed with that opportunity? I LOVED it.

My sister has recently lost her husband and is still in the midst of grieving with his Urn in her bedroom and his picture in every room of the house. He had a fantastic and hilarious sense of southern humor. Quite the treat for us northeasterners….  One brother’s husband is about to retire, and life is changing with a spouse home 24/7, our big brother is the gift who is welcomed the second he walks in the room.

These are some of the facts of my special weekend, yet the gift of Emotional Intelligence takes it from simple facts to a far greater reality. It allows us to see the past, and frequently change our perspective of the past and/or future by seeing them through the eyes of an adult rather than those of a child. We cannot change the past but by changing how we see it; we change the impact it has on our lives.

Judging yourself for moves you wouldn’t make now, judging your parents for skills they never possessed, and judging the world for how you saw it then, keeps your career, your marriage, and your parenting, in a state of reaction, anger, hurt, and, frequently, victimization. I saw clearly that in looking at the woman I have chosen to become, with the freedoms I have chosen to claim, I can redefine my life as inspiring, rather than repressive, my life as eccentric rather than pathological, and my choices as following a dream versus jumping from one direction to another.

How do you see your foundation? How do you see the experiences of your childhood, adolescents, and early adulthood? Can you see that everything you have achieved, and how you experienced it, was the byproduct of how you saw the world and your place in it? Your life, career, marriage, and parenting all depend upon you reclaiming the person you were meant to be. What impact or influence you choose your past to have, depends entirely on how powerfully you are able to hold onto the woman or man you have chosen to become. A weekend looking at your past self may surprise you and yet it allows you to fly into your present, beautifully and holistically.

ARE YOU READY??? If you are stuck in old stories, and old self-images that keep you in defiance and trying to prove a point, or running up against repeated barriers to your success, give me a call. The past is impeding your present and most profoundly your future. You deserve, and are called to, so much more.


Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.