Mother’s Day 1967


Photo by Gustavo Fring on
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”- Abraham Lincoln

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Little Darling was getting very excited because she had saved up enough money to give her Mom a big surprise.  Just a few days past she was at the hardware store with both her parents and Little Darling spotted the giant salt and pepper shakers.

Little Darling’s mother had been in such good spirits all week because her dad had bought her all new appliances for her kitchen.  They were one of the latest colors, which were mustard yellow, avocado green, and barn red.  Little Darling’s Mom picked mustard yellow.   Her mom even got her first spanking new dishwasher.  It was portable and even had a butcher block cutting board top.  Little Darling knew her Mom had wanted a dishwasher for a very long time.  It was so nice to see her Mom when she was happy.

As days went by Little Darling was having a hard time keeping her secret quiet.  It took a lot of inner strength, but she did not tell her older sister.  Little Darling finally thought she had found the perfect gift to make her mother smile on her special day.  She hoped so much her mom would love her present even better than her older sister’s gift.

That same day her neighbor friend Barbara knocked on the door and was picking her up, so they could walk to the hardware store together.  They both would pick out a gift for their mothers.  They headed out on the four-block trek.  Once they arrived at the store, it took Little Darling quite some time to decide on the perfect color for her mom.  Her choices were mustard yellow, avocado green, or barn red.  Finally, she picked the avocado green because the nice lady at the store said they would look lovely on the mustard yellow stove-top.  The Shakers were large and had handles on them.  Little Darling thought her mom would love them for cooking.  The lady asked them if the items they picked out were gifts and they told her yes.  She said since they are Mother’s day gifts she would wrap them extra special for them.   Once the presents were wrapped the young girls put their gifts in there carry bags they had brought to hide there presents from their families  The two girls had planned everything.   The two girls thanked the nice lady and set out on their journey home.

Barbara and Little Darling were about two blocks from home when down Little Darling fell.  She had tripped on the uneven sidewalk and skinned her knee in the fall.   Little Darling was absolutely devasted, as her little pal and her opened up the package to access the damage.  They discovered one shaker was cracked and broken.   Heart Broken the little girls decided to go back to the store and tell the kind lady what had happened.  Once back at the hardware store the lady said she did not have any more green shakers left but she had a red one that the match came in broken. when it was shipped.  She told little Darling she could have it.  The lady said Little Darling’s mom would like the set and it would look lovely in her kitchen.  Little Darling was so grateful for the ladies’ help, she even special wrapped them once again.  The girls thanked her once again and headed home.

Mother’s Day morning finally arrived and Little Darling was over the moon with excitement. She could not wait to see how surprised her mom would be when she opened the special gift.  Little Darling’s mom was surprised, she asked Little Darling why they were different colors and why they did not match.  Little Darling told her story with her family all around her.  Her mother’s response has haunted the child within for many years. “Oh, Little Darling you are such a Klutz”.  She can still hear her father and older sisters snickers.

We have all experienced shame in our lives, but not all have experienced debilitating shame. They are two different things.  It is an isolating experience like this example that makes a person feel completely alone, rejected, and abandoned.   Children depend on their parents for life support.  As time goes on debilitating shame is a state of self-hate and self-devaluation that is comparable to little else.  When Toxic Shame occurs all one’s vulnerabilities become exposed and magnified.  Little children come to believe others in their world view them with disdain and disgust.  All children just want to be accepted.  It is very easy to make children feel like they are mistakes and failures and to feel isolated and is especially true if you have an emotionally sensitive child.

Do you Manipulate a Child Through Guilt into Good Behavior?

Photo by Kat J

As Louise Hay, one of my greatest mentor’s would say “I value my freedom, so I neither give nor receive a guilt.” A guilty mind is very destructive. Guilt damages your self-worth and erodes your self-respect. When you live a life filled with guilt, it will flow into all your relationships. Guilt is the feeling we have when we’ve done something wrong.

It all began for me when the adults in my life treated my curiosity about the world as inappropriate. I was ignored, hushed up and my questions did not matter. I was also shamed, which is feeling wrong for simply existing. I developed many guilty feelings without even knowing the cause. I gave up my normal childhood curiosity in exchange for inappropriate feelings about myself. It has taken me many years to understand as an adult, that as a child, I sacrificed my normal interests and growth by putting everyone else first. I was even feeling guiltly, for actions and people over which, I had absolutely no control, but somehow thought it was all my fault. The voices No, no, no!, “Don’t say that” “You are so Stupid” ” Why can’t you be like your sister” kept ringing and ringing in my head, over and over.

When you grow-up feeling guilty you create situations in your life in which you will be accused. You become defensive and you also can overcompensate by giving others to much. When you grow-up made to feel guilty it is very difficult to see anything good in yourself, so you are compelled to do more to try and prove your innocence. It is such a whirlwind because the more you do the more guilty you feel. I have failed many relationships in my life because I took on the guilt that it was all me when something went wrong. The alcoholic, narcissistic voices, I kept in my head have destroyed, so many years of my life.

Parental consistency is the key to achieving a proper sense of initiative. Many children in dysfunctional homes with no balance in rules or amount of permission learn to form patterns, such as mine becoming overly people-pleasing, resulting in the subjugation of a normal childhood. Another pattern can be another child can imitate the behavior that she observes in the adults around her. Needless to say, children learn coping skills and the foundation is laid for repeating the behaviors of inappropriate adult role models.

I have learned, I am not guilty! Maybe, I am right, maybe, I could have done many things throughout my life differently, but this does not mean, I have to give myself a life sentence or a life term of proving, I am good. I have learned how to remove guilt by acknowledging to myself, when I have done something wrong and when possible, I try to make amends. Once this is done, I know I can let myself off the hook. This means that I will no longer beat myself up forever like I was taught. I now know it is a learning experience for me and it teaches me to try to make better choices next time. I now see myself as guilt-free and am devoted to reclaiming the innocence of my heart. I am working very hard at trying to live a guilt-free life! I will leave you with these three affirmations.

“My heart and mind are now filled with my higher self and I am a mighty reflection of God’s Happiness”

“My higher self keeps me strong and provides me access to creative wisdom”

And as Lousie Hay would say to release guilt “I love and accept myself exactly as I am.”

Wisdom Coach Kerrie

Copyright2020 Kerrie Meunier, All rights reserved.

Do your eyes light up when your children enter the room?

Photo by Christian Mukala

Do your eyes light up when your 

children enter the room?

I first heard this quote on an Oprah Winfrey show.  She was interviewing Toni Morrison who was talking about how essential this practice is for creating a strong relationship with your kids.  

Your eyes are the window to your soul.  When your kids experience you looking them in the eye with joy and acceptance, it fills their heart beyond any physical gift that you could give them.  

Practice this every day and see what a difference it can make.

P.S.  It works great for spouses too ☺

WISDOM Coach Kerrie

Copyright © 2011 Renaye Thornborrow, All rights reserved.  

Reprinted with permission from Renaye Thornborrow.

Dr. Gabor Mate Really Understands Addictions

Photo by Adrian Swancar

Addictions are when we disconnect ourselves from spirit.

Little Darling finally found someone that really understands addiction and why some people have learned to soothe themselves from deep-rooted pain the best way they know-how.

Dr. Gabor Mate explains the main cause of addiction is childhood trauma in his book “Hungry Ghost’s”. He explains addictions are not hereditary they are passed on from how you grew up. He asks was your household stressful? Were your parent’s alcoholics? He even explains stress on a pregnant woman has an impact on her child’s development and on the child’s stress levels.

Dr. Mate goes on to say what we know about the human brain is it is shaped by our early environment. He relays the physiology and the chemistry of our brain is physiology on the influence of the early environment so that the circuits are either set-up or not set-up fairly early in our life. This hits home with Little Darling so well when he says no one with a blessed childhood becomes an addict.

He also speaks of willpower in his book. He describes when the circuits in the brain that make conscious decisions are weak and dominated by our impulses that come from deeper brain centers, the gap between an impulse and decision can be only a second. So when you look at people with a lot of negative experiences they don’t only become addicts. Addiction is not the only outcome. Some people will compensate for their experiences by becoming “Really good people”. These people make themselves ill because they repress so much. Dr. Gabor has also written a book about that.

Dr. Gabor Mate says that some people who had terrible experiences but had an opportunity to process it. Maybe there was a sympathy witness in their life that they could share and emotionally dissolve the trauma. Then they do not need to become addicts. The people that become substance users are the people who become traumatized and are the people who had nobody there to help them. The percentage of people who heal from addiction is below 7%.

He describes this is where society comes in. How our society treats the addict and how it punishes the addict with social exclusion, ostracism and the war on drugs. All we are doing is entrenching heavy-duty behaviours and describes addictive behaviour is a compulsive repetition of behaviours that give temporary pleasure and relief. In the long term, we are creating more problems and negative consequences that still persist and still relapse.

For Little Darling, it is nice to understand and have a clear sense that some people suffer from no fault of their own. These people need so badly acceptance, nonjudgement and compassionate response to their suffering. Our society is also becoming addicted to work. This means people are becoming listless and irritable with their minds on their work and not on their families. Like many addictions that is how they soothe their sense of emptiness.

Does Your Child Have Yo-Yo Self-Esteem?

Photo by Caleb Woods

Does Your Child Have Yo-Yo Self-Esteem?

Does your child’s self-esteem rise and fall with the grades she makes?

Do your child’s self-esteem rise and fall depend on who played with him at school that day?

Does your child’s self-esteem crumble if he makes a mistake?

If so, then your child is suffering from yo-yo self-esteem — self-esteem that rises and falls with the ups and downs of life. 

How kids feel about themselves often depends on what is going on in their life – what is going on outside of them.

However, powerful self-esteem isn’t based on what is going on outside of you (what is happening in your life).   Powerful self-esteem is based on what is going on inside of you — who you are and how you think about yourself.  

When kids base their self-esteem on “who they are” then their self-esteem can remain intact no matter what is going on in their lives.  

So if your children have yo-yo self-esteem, how do you help them shift from external focus to internal focus?

Here are the first three of six tips for helping your kids develop solid self-esteem that doesn’t rise and fall with the ups and downs of life:

  1. First talk with them about what self-esteem is.  Teach them that self-esteem is based on who they are, not what they do.  
  1. Second, teach them how to separate the results of an event from who they are.  For example, if they fail a test, that is just an event – something that happened.  Just because they failed a test, doesn’t mean they are a failure.  It just means they didn’t learn the material well enough to get the right answers on the majority of the questions – that’s it.  Let your kids know that it’s OK to feel down; however, there is a difference between feeling down about a bad grade and feeling down on yourself because of a bad grade.  Help your children understand this distinction and their self-esteem will flourish. 
  1. Third, teach them about the dangers of comparison.  When kids compare themselves to others – seeing themselves as “better than” or “less than” another, they are looking externally to determine how to feel about themselves.  This sets them up for yo-yo self-esteem because they will feel good about themselves whenever they see themselves as “better than” another and they will feel bad about themselves every time they see themselves as “less than” another.  This not only devastates self-esteem, but also creates jealousy, resentment, and a belief system of “not good enough”.   

Unfortunately, self-esteem isn’t something you can give your kids; however, it is something you can teach them to develop in themselves. Start today by sharing these first three tips with them.  In the next article, we will cover the last three tips.  


Copyright © 2011 Renaye Thornborrow, All rights reserved.  

Reprinted with permission from Renaye Thornborrow.


Running Away & Losing my Self Worth …

Little Darling, a small innocent child of 5 years old, turns and looks back and wonders where she is going? She thinks will I survive? Her brand new shoes are really making her little feet hurt. She is chilled to the bone and getting what her mom calls blisters on the back of her tiny heels. The young child realizes she should have worn her comfy winter boots and a much warmer coat, after all, it is winter. The confused little girl with tears running down her cheeks thinks about the last thing they said, “if you leave never to come back”. This was the turning point when Little Darling lost her self worth. The two large suite cases she packed were so heavy, her little arms were burning. One at a time she moves the large suite cases a little further up the long sidewalk through the blowing wet snow. The frightened child looks back and realizes everything she knows and cares about is suddenly gone.

Meanwhile, her new baby sister is lying all snuggled in her warm crib. Her older sister is probably playing with her shaking a rattle and getting her to coo, while our parent’s poured their first drink, sit down at the kitchen table and complain about her. Everything happened so fast! No one told her anything about a new baby sister arriving. Little Darling can only remember her mom coming home one day from the hospital with the new little bundle of a baby and everything changed after that. Little Darling felt abandoned, even though her family was right there. When there is a withdrawal of attention and affection a child’s thought will be I am all alone. The child thinks about the nasty drunken looks she receives all the time, which relayed the message “You are not wanted” “You are worthless” “You are a little bother that should be seen and not heard”. Little Darling sums up just a little more strength picks up a suitcase and moves a little further up the path.

The tiny cold girl sits down on a case and starts to cry, she thinks about her older sister who is 3 years older than Little Darling. She is so happy about the sweet little arrival. She gets to hold the baby and feed the baby her bottle and even feed her in the highchair now that she can eat baby food. She gets to pick out pretty dresses and dress the baby, while Mom sews all the time for her curling friends. Her sister doesn’t want to play with her anymore. Little Darling has to play alone now, her sister doesn’t even want to play barbie’s, one of their favourite fun times. She is to busy helping mom. Another tear falls as she remembers her sister did give her some of her barbies when she told her she was running away today. Maybe she thinks she is to big for them now that she has the baby to look after and play with. Her big sister gets all the praises, she is the helper. Little Darling remembers she is always in everyone’s way. The suitcases are getting so heavy the snow is blowing and the sidewalks are drifting. Little Darling thinks she should not have packed all the barbie’s and left some of them behind, but she was told she was not to come back if she left. She really liked barbie’s and her older sister had nice ones.

Little Darling keeps moving up the sidewalk one at a time moving her cases. She remembers the story the little engine that could and gives it all she’s got because it is starting to get darker and the snow is getting much deeper. She is getting chills now but keeps thinking about her sister and the new baby and that she didn’t care Little Darling was leaving. Her sister was the good one that dad and mom like, so she will not have to leave. Little Darling sees she is nearly at the church, after the church, she will turn at the corner and head to her friend’s house. She starts to cry again and is feeling so cold the snow is blowing harder in the tears are freezing on her face. The street is so quiet and the street lights are coming on. She thinks everyone must be at home having their supper. Little Darling’s tummy is starting to rumble, she didn’t think to pack any food. Her older sister is probably feeding the baby in her highchair in the kitchen, while Mom and Dad have another cocktail while watching their sports on television. She wonders if her sister might miss her now because they would sit at the kitchen table together and eat supper. Now it is just her big sister and the baby. Little Darling is feeling so sad.

Finally Little Darling makes it to the front of the large church building, she is so tired, cold and hungry the corner still looks so far away to the little child. She cries again and hopes her friend’s mom will let her stay with them. They do not have a new baby sister just the two girls the same ages as her older sister and her. Her fingers in the thin gloves are so numb. She is just about to the corner and bright headlights blind her vision and a car pulls up, Little Darling is so frightened. A tall man gets out of the car and comes toward her. As he gets closer she recognizes him to be the Pastor of the church because he has that collar they wear. He asks Little Darling her name and where she is going? She tells him she is running away and her family does not want her anymore. Tears are rolling down her cheeks. The Pastor reassures her they do love and want her and he will take her home and everything will be alright. Little Darling was so exhausted and trusted him because he was so kind to her. He loaded up her heavy suitcases and drove her home.

Little Darling does not remember what was said when she was brought to the door with the man.

Little Darling learned to run away in many ways in her adult life to protect herself.