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Don’t compare life experiences, share emotions instead.

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Another friend’s husband has just lost his job.  Arden and I have been helping Nick learn to deal with the side affects of increasing his seizure medicine to avoid seizure clusters.  These are hard things.  Each of these situations bring increased stress and heightened emotions.

People have said to me, “I couldn’t deal with what you are dealing with.”  My answer is always the same, “Perhaps that is true, I don’t know.  But I am sure that your life experiences do create the same emotional responses in you that my life experiences create in me.”

Emotions are universal, cross-cultural, human experiences.  We feel love and feel fear.  We feel overwhelmed and feel peace.  Recognizing these ubiquitous feelings helps us have compassion and empathy for others.  I can’t say to my friend undergoing cancer treatments that I know what she is going through.  I clearly don’t understand her fears, but I do understand my fears.  I can relate to her emotions even though our situations are not exactly the same.

If we try to compare our life experiences to others experiences we risk minimizing one and exaggerating the other.  Either way is not accurate.  Everyone that I know has had experiences in their lives that have stretched them almost to the breaking point.  Everyone also has had moments of extreme joy.  These are common to everyone.

If we could begin to have compassion for others while they are going through their rough times and not judge whether their experience is harder or easier than what we have experienced; we would build bridges rather than create separation between us.   This alone would help heal our society.

Open your eyes, ears and hearts.  Notice what is going on around you.  Find the common ground with others.  You will find greater joy and love in your own life.

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  1. Just reading this today made my hair stick up on my head!!

    I hear those words all the time, It’s our life….it’s like doimg the laundry or like making dinner. We are positive and thankful for great doctors, newer medical options and support.
    Without all that, we wouldn’t be as far as we are today!! There is Hope for epilepsy!! We stay strong for our kids and each other!!

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.