Maribeth Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

PEOPLE NOW! Put a Little Love in Your Heart

I feel a rant coming on. I’ll start with a little tip toe down memory lane. Back in 1968 when I was a wee child, Jackie DeShannon wrote and sang a simple song called Put a Little Love in Your Heart. I can still hear the beat of that thing. It was a little cheesy but it was a hit song of the times – a radical time of “make love not war” and lots of self-exploration. It’s 44 years later but I’d say we’re in a similar era of culture – war and conflict and lots of self-exploration. The difference now is the way we communicate. You’re never out of took with a cellphone in your pocket. Don’t want to face someone, just text them instead or send an email. Faceless communication and that lays some fertile for people to behave in ways they wouldn’t if they were face to face with someone.

We also have 24/7 news and social media; it seems that everyone has an opinion and feels the need to express it via blog posts, blog comments, facebook status updates, and tweets. When there isn’t enough “real” news, media fuels the feeds by creating stories designed to get people talking – and arguing. It’s enough to make us all insane, cynical, hypercritical and way too judgmental (and yes, that’s my own judgment talking – I am not immune).

Feminists have been talking about the war on women for years. Adding to that particular issue are the mommy wars. Think that’s an exaggeration? Just check out any mommy blogger, mommy website or message board and see the opinions on breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, natural birth vs cesarean, circumcision or intact, SAHM vs WOHM . . . I get a headache thinking about it. Why do we believe our way of parenting is the right way and if someone is doing it differently, they’re doing it wrong?

Bullying doesn’t stop when we’re kids, and some people, unfortunately, find themselves easy targets. Then it seems the schoolyard bullies come back to life and take criticism to a new level – especially when they can do it anonymously. If we think they’re a bad parent, then their appearance and everything about them becomes to fodder for gossip. Remember Octomom? Enough said about her. How about Tan Mon? Last Spring, she was in the news for allegedly taking her 5-year old daughter to a tanning booth causing first degree burns. Mom says her daughter was sunburned in their backyard. Only this woman and her daughter know what truly happened, but the public was outraged (and yes, I agree that if a 5 year old is taken into a tanning booth to tan, the adult should be prosecuted!). However, the news surrounding this story went beyond reporting the case. The media hounded the entire family, and Tan Mom’s appearance was the butt of late night talk show jokes, tabloid stories and an amazing amount of other gossip. This woman’s history was dug into and written about, and nothing about her was off-limits including her children. People! This is so unnecessary!

And why?? A child may or may not have been hurt; the legal system was checking into that. So why the intense media attention on the mother’s entire life and appearance? The media wouldn’t have bothered if people weren’t interested in the story after the initial report. Why was it okay to make such intense fun of this woman’s appearance, dig into her background for more things to criticize, and bring such negative attention to the rest of her family who simply wanted to be left alone? Would any of us want to be subjected to such scrutiny? She deserved to be prosecuted if she did, indeed, take her daughter into a tanning booth to tan. But we all seemed to forget innocent until proven guilty in this case, convicting her in the court of public opinion which then seemed to make it acceptable to ridicule everything about this woman. Who was more crazy in this case – Tan Mom or the media or the people interested in reading the crap the media wrote?

Even when a woman has done something extraordinary, we find a way to criticize. In this case, it was a teenager . . . Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas, 16 years old, found out how cruel people can be. She made history by being the first African American to win the individual all-around Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. She’s also a delightful role model for girls, and yet, people were criticizing her hair! What?! Why?? What do we gain by criticizing others and pointing out their faults?
Perhaps it’s boredom; we’re bored with ourselves and bored with our lives. Maybe we don’t feel good about ourselves . . .

Unfortunately, we are taught at a very young age that women are defined by their beauty. We are bombarded with the same disturbing messages that promote unrealistic, impossible standards of the female form. ~ Kimberly Riggins, Writer, Coach & Body Image Expert

We’re raised with unrealistic impossible standards. It’s human nature to compare ourselves and if we don’t measure up, let’s find something wrong with the other person to bring them down to our level and lower. Let’s think about this . . . every moment we waste judging and gossiping about OctoMom, Tan Mom, the Kardashians, et al is time taken away from ourselves and our families. What if we dropped those thoughts? What if we became more interested in ourselves and our own lives? What if we did what Jackie DeShannon suggests in her song and put a little love in our hearts. Sound cheesy?

Perhaps . . . but in this hard-shelled world, we’re currently living in a society where a 16 year old’s hair is criticized more than her Olympic gold medals are applauded . . . a world where we’re more interested in a $10 million dollar wedding for a marriage that lasted 72 days instead of feeding the 500,000 homeless people in America . . . maybe a little cheese in the way of putting a little love in our hearts makes sense.

As women, if we have love and compassion in our hearts for ourselves, we can truly change the world. How? For starters, we give ourselves permission to be human, to make mistakes without fear of harsh criticism. When we feel good about ourselves, we can feel good about others and extend love and compassion to them instead of criticism and hate. Don’t agree with someone? Be a role model and extend your thoughts with kindness and then let it go. Let’s give each other permission to be human and make mistakes. Then watch the ripple effect of your love and compassion!

Check out Jackie DeShannon singing Put a Little Love in Your Heart on YouTube.

Put a Little Love in Your Heart
Written by Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers, and Jimmy Holiday

Think of your fellow man
lend him a helping hand
put a little love in your heart.
You see it’s getting late
oh please don’t hesitate
put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place
and the world will be a better place
for you and me
you just wait and see

Another day goes by
and still the children cry
put a little love in your heart.
If you want the world to know
we won’t let hatred grow
put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place
and the world will be a better place
for you and me
you just wait and see

Take a good look around and
if you’re lookin’ down
put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide
kindness will be your guide
put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place
and the world will be a better place
for you and me
you just wait and see
put a little love in your heart each and every day
put a little love in your heart there’s no other way
put a lttle love in your heart, it’s up to you
put a little love in your heart . . .

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Rest Easy

Rest easy tonight
My inner child
Your work is done for the day
We’ll begin again tomorrow
With your bright eyes
Ready for love and action
We can conquer the world
You and me
A team without a doubt
But now it’s time
To rest our spirits
And let nighttime dreams


Gratitude Month – Day 23 – Mentors

For three years, I was unable to write much of anything.  There are many reasons why which I’ll save for another blog post.  The important thing is that I’m now writing everyday, even if it’s just personal journaling.  This is a wonderful feeling for me after being so stuck and scared.

My way back to the pen started with Jennifer Louden in the Spring of 2009.  I took a two month teleclass writing workshop with Jen and three or four other women.  I was reminded of how much I love writing, and Jen was encouraging, compassionate, and just plain FUN to work with.  Thank you Jen for being the catalyst for pulling me out of that three year pit!

Early this year, I signed up for Jill Badonsky’s writing club.  Jill sends out a writing prompt twice a week that is always fun and challenging.  Through these prompts, I’ve written haiku, poetry, silly prose, serious thoughts, brain dumps . . . different things to stretch my mind and open that door to creativity a little more with each prompt.  Jill also sends out writing tips and just the act of posting my writing publicly was scary but it’s another catalyst to moving past the fear.

This summer, I had a “cupcake” intuitive reading with Bridget Pilloud.  It was through this reading that I found the courage to have a personal blog.  I was writing work related items but not putting my personal thoughts out there.  Bridget hit on my “sore” throat chakra and recommended some things to help that.  She was right on with her reading and what I needed to do.   A month or so later, I birthed this blog.

As summer turned into fall, I was writing and blogging but not often – or as often as I wanted.  I signed up for Julie Jordan Scott’s And Now You Write program–40 days of writing via Jule’s prompts.  In was through this lovely program that I found my consistency.  I made the jump to writing everyday, even if it’s just five minutes.  Julie was my personal trainer in teaching me to exercise that writing muscle and do it even when–especially when–my knees are quaking in fear.

I consider all four of these women my mentors.   They’re are genuine, amazingly creative, and each one has a gift for drawing out the genius inside of us.  I’m still a work in progress but I know who to look towards for that spritz of inspiration and motivation.

Thank you so much Jen, Jill, Bridget and Julie!

Who are your mentors?  Have you thanked them lately? ♥


And Now You Write – Week 2

And Now You Write – September 19, 2010
Prompt:  When I stop fighting it and start writing even when I don’t feel like it, I notice…

The cacophony of noise is killing my ear drums.  The symphony is warming up, but my inner critic fights to be the orchestra conductor.  She gets louder, afraid of being pushed away and replaced by another conductor.  My stubborn Taurus psyche feels a bit bullied and has to put a few discordant notes into the warm ups as well.  It’s getting too loud, too off key . . .

Surrender!  White flag!  The orchestra baton signals quiet!  It moves gently on its own, indicating pianissimo.  1, 2, 3.  And now breathe . . . inhale relaxation and verve . . . exhale black foggy negative energy.  Let go . . . just let it go.  Breathe.  Ah . . . now, let’s write.  Clarity comes.  Joy comes.  Flow comes.  The orchestra is moving together following the same score.  Soon the writing Angels are right there with me, enjoying the music, embracing my effort.  I can finally hear them, and they, me.

I’ve shown up, instrument and breath ready, and now I write.

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And Now You Write

And Now You Write – September 18, 2010
Prompt:  What If . . . .

What if I never watched tv again?
What if I volunteered to hold sick babies in NICU?
What if the question mark had never been invented?
What if I volunteered for our local hospice?
What if I started quilting without using a pattern?
What if I never had to worry about money again?
What if the sky was chartreuse and the grass was lavender?
What if Tom Hanks had played Mrs. Doubtfire and Robin Willimas had played Forrest Gump?
What if I had never moved to San Diego?
What if baby Andrew or baby Mark had lived?
What if I’d never had the measles and had 20/20 vision and good hearing?
What if my eyes were blue?
What if I was an 8 to 5 girl?
What if I were 5’ 10” instead of 5’5”?
What if roses were blue?
What if daffodils bloomed all year around?
What if bears were friends and people more loving?
What if I reached out to you?
What if Angels didn’t guide me?
What if I had never learned to read?
What if I were mute?
What if I could eat as intuitively as I breathe?
What if all people could follow Rodney King’s advice and just get along?

And Now You Write – September 17, 2010
Prompt:  Laughter & love will change . . .

Laughter and love
Will change
My bad mood
Before the first
HA is vocalized.

Is there a greater gift
In this world
Than a full-bodied
Belly laugh?

Give it a whirl.
I dare you.
And watch your
Bad mood
Dissolve into a
Distant memory.

ANYW Day 3, September 16, 2010 – Hand

Prompt – What do you hold in your hand?

What does your hand hold? My hands hold memories of babies held, of babies nuzzled while I said goodbye, of babies fighting to live, of babies saying yes mom, I’ll stay.  My hands hold love – so much love that they throb with the energy.  My hand holds my story – life lines and age spots, evidence I have a puppy, wedding rings, ink stains, scars from accidents long ago.

My hands hold life, veins pulsing with blood flow, bones and knuckles flexing to do their job.

My hands hold joy and excitement every time they clap.

My hands hold possibilities not yet thought of.  Who knows where these fingers will go on the keyboard or the flute! Who knows where my hands will go on the page?  My hands hold possibilities of experiences yet to come, other hands to hold, cheeks to caress.

ANYW Day 2 – Passionate Detachment

Prompt: When I write with passionate wonder and let go of worry, I open myself to . . .

When I write with passionate wonder and let go of worry, I open myself to exploration and discovery of my truest self, that part of me long buried with emotional baggage and the detritus of everyday life.

With an open heart, I can excavate acceptance of my light that shines on that proud truest self including the shadow that harbors the darkness of that shine, those aspects of my truest self that evoke fear and shame.

When I write with passionate wonder and let go of worry, I open myself to . . . my truest self that wants to be unearthed and stand proud knowing she’s amazing just as she is.

For And Now You Write with Julie Jordan Scott.

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ANYW Day 1 – And now I write . . .

September 14, 2010 – Day 1 of And Now You Write with Julie Jordan Scott

Prompt:  And now I write . . . And now I know . . . And now I write . . . And now I know . . . And now I write . . .

(I confess this is purely stream of consciousness writing without polish)

And now I write . . . and write and write and write, whether it’s good or bad, I just write.  I get it out, flow with it, go with it, work with it.  The universe is speaking to me and I can give those words and compassion back to women who feel stuck, shy, scared, reluctant – I can help them with words.

And now I know . . . I can do it.  This is no wrong way.  I CAN DO IT.  I know I have so much to say, so much to excavate and enlighten, so much to nourish . . .

And now I write . . . of tantalizing emotions that make my knees quake.  I write about dreams and sorrows, of wishes and fears . . . and moving on and letting go and that all of us can do it.  I write; I am a writer.

And now I know . . . I know I can voice my opinion – with compassion – even when my knees quake with that fear.  I know it’s okay.

And now I write . . . of journeys taken, of journeys planned and unplanned, of adventures and amazing insights, or surprises.  I write of love and wonder and I write.  I just write.

Check out And Now You Write

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