Leather Spinsters Newsletter March 2001 Edition

Leather Spinsters Newsletter March 2001 Edition

Inside this Newsletter

1. Articles

    A. Obligation, Guilt, Resentment and Compassion
    B. Breast cancer and Nutrition: Prevention
2. Spinsters Letters
3. Advertisements

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Obligation, Guilt, Resentment and Compassion

by Catie Gosselin of WomanLinks.com

I can't stand obligation. To me, it brings up memories of 'holy days of obligation' where, as a child, I was dragged to a church to listen to a lengthy sermon I didn't understand because my family's religion expected it. The focus was on what we 'should' do, rather than understanding why. This act was a priority in the family because the church said it was a priority. 'Period, end of discussion, now get your coat, we're going.'

Obligation walks hand in hand with 'should' as well as guilt. Often times, the hassle involved in fulfilling an obligation is nothing compared to the guilt that comes from not handling an obligation. As we all know, guilt is like a wrecking ball to one's peace of mind. Avoid it at all costs!

So, to avoid drowning in an ocean of guilt, we begrudgingly comply with our obligations, only to find ourselves now drowning in sea of resentment. Talk about getting stuck between a rock and a hard place!

For the past several years, my elderly father's health has deteriorated. He is at the point where he is unable to care for himself, or to make basic decisions for himself. It has been a horrible thing to witness.

This deterioration has been so severe that he relies entirely upon one of my sisters and myself to a degree comparable to a toddler. Both my sister and I have lives of our own, and neither lives incredibly close to him. His dependence has become a very heavy burden, physically and spiritually.

I don't know that things would be easier if we were a 'Leave it to Beaver' type of family, where everyone was always happy and no one needed a translation guide to understand what another person really meant. We are far from perfect, and all pretty enmeshed in our own personal baggage. But the reality is that my father's dependence, through no fault of his own, has grown to such a degree, I find it virtually impossible to want to do anything for him. It has all boiled down to acts of obligation....and resentment......and guilt. The whole thing feels like the downward spiral of a whirlpool, with no way out.

My very wise sister Sheila reminded me of something I had not considered, and it probably is the only way either of us can survive in this situation. If we can act out of compassion, rather than obligation, the burden will lessen. It will no longer be about 'having to do....'. The trick is to act as I am able, simply because someone needs help. That someone can either be my father or myself. If I'm doing too much for him, and resenting it, I am not showing compassion to myself.

It's a fine line to walk, but it means the difference between resentment and serenity. All the best,Catie

copyright (c) 2001 by WomanLinks.com
Life is a long journey. You don't have to make it alone. Keep up with the latest resources, features and events for your mind, body and spirit with WomanLinks.com Weekly News. wlweeklynews-on@mail-list.com

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Breast cancer and Nutrition: Prevention
by Louise Levesque Founder, WomenNetworkingOnline.com

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. In the year 2000 alone, over 183,000 new cases were diagnosed and over 40,000 women died from this disease. In Canada, this disease claims over 5,000 Canadian women annually.

On November 19th. 2000, the Canadian Cancer Society announced that "the total new cancer cases will rise 70% by the year 2015 and will likely outstrip heart disease as the #1 killer of Canadians." Frightening statistics! Isn't it? Doesn't it make good sense for us to take proactive, prevention measures?

What causes breast cancer? According to the Physician and Committee of Responsible Medicine, it is estimated that about 35% to 50% of all cancers are due to nutrition. The American Council on Science and Health advises however that the answer is not that simple. A new booklet, "Risk factors for Breast Cancer", reviews the scientific evidence on the many different factors ( risk factors) that may contribute to a woman's risk of developing this disease.

Among the common risk factors are dietary and lifestyle habits ( modifiable risk factors), and age, gender or family history.(non-modifiable risk factors)

Many nutritionists advises that a low-fat, high fiber diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole wheats, and beans reduces the risk of breast cancer. Certain scientific camps see vegetarians at the lowest risk because of higher blood levels of beta-carotene and the fact that they consume more vitamin c, and have a stronger immune system. Other nutritionists disagree.
Think you know all there is to know about breast cancer? Continue reading by going here (Breast Cancer Prevention) at leatherspinsters.com/breast.html

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Spinster Letters

Dear Leather Spinsters Newsletter,
I read your article on Single and Happy and I must say two things. If the author's research revealed women found themselves happier after marrying then we, as in single women, must look closely at ourselves. After the 70's ERA propaganda on how women deserve equality with men it appears we, as in women, are still looking outside of ourselves for our needs something our male counterparts know not to do. As long as we look outside of ourselves for the simple answers to happiness we will never be equaled with men. We all need to feel happy although few seldom do, so why is it women haven't gained control of that aspect of their lives after all these years, that's all apart of being equaled isn't it? Rebekah

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January's newsletter was passed around the office like a dirty joke. I don't know who these women were who spoke with that author but I can tell you they weren't the married women in my office. Jamie

It's about selling books and more propaganda to women desperately wanting to believe their unhappiness can be fixed by getting married. After reading the article by The Chicago Times I'm left with the impression the author of the book wanted single women to think marriage is a easy highway to happiness which is unreal! Jackie

For some women they just might be happiest married. All of those who are I wish you well. 32 Kelsey

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Congratulations on your articles being used for quotations by the mainstream media. Maybe now we will see more single women-friendly articles in newspapers and magazines. Debra

Miss English,
My name is Ellouise and I want to comment on the article Black,Female,and Single. A friend faxed me a copy of the article over two years ago. Please do not be offended but as a angry black woman I could not appreciate reading how others were successfully dealing with life without husbands. I threw your article away. Recently I was waiting in my doctors office when I saw a copy of the article on top of some magazines. I reread the article and found out I had finally made peace with myself for being unmarried over the age of 35.

I can identify with the article now because I'm not angry anymore. I can understand how those professional women could be happy with their lives without marriages. This letter is two years overdue but I'm sure you can now understand why. Moneisa


I "rarely" reply to articles. Yet, something about your article (Single, Black, Female) has stirred me to write. I guess I'm really disappointed that after 400 years of slavery, the system's welfare trap, society's standards for the majority that were used and adopted by us in our relationships and the assault on the black family during the 80s' has me speechless to read some of the perspectives provided in your article.

If the truth be told... we got it wrong as a race sometime ago when the mantra was find a man with a good education that can support you. Realistically speaking, the mantra should have always been to get as much education as you can, develop your skills and earn as much money as you can and save some for a rainy day. Develop your spiritual, emotional, physical, and economical well-being first yourself (both brothers and sisters) and then set out to find your mate. The criteria should be a mate with goals that you can complement each other in achieving. And, make sure children were discussed openly and honestly to make sure both parties wanted them.

And, make sure you spent at least five or more years enjoying courting, dating, marriage etc. before deciding on children. In fact, children should only be considered if you have the resources and the love to bring them into this world.

Look, why "settle" for a life of being alone when there is your "soul mate" out here looking for you. The expectations and the games in the past has done a lot to muddy relationships in 2001. Yet, we can work through this and MUST do it for the black race to survive and have a fighting chance at a little happiness right here on this earth.

I have a lot of ideas and things that work that I can share for serious sisters and brothers wanting to do right by each other. Let me say now... I am not GOD nor do I want to be. And, despite being perfect in my on mind... I am far from it.

Yet, I challenge sisters and brothers to realize that our dreams as a people rest in us coming together to form loving bonds, producing strong families. After all, the black family and the black church have been the foundation that helped us endure the past four centuries. Of course, we must adjust with the times. Yet, we must also go back to some basics in dealing with each other openly and honestly.

Then, maybe we can capture the right formula for success... and patent it... and sell it to our race. Tom

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