Let’s Keep Our Smile in the New Year

A smile brings good fortune. When we smile it brings good vibes and chases away negativity.

As part of getting dressed each morning we put on our smile. This is what my mother-in-law and my husband did all their life. I used to love that smile of my husband each morning, blowing away my moody and sometimes grumpy state of mind.

A smile is refreshing to others and to ourselves. It is a bright statement. A shining light in the gloomy winter weather. It makes our face prettier. It sends loving thoughts to others.

Did you notice when we smile people smile back at us? It creates an atmosphere of love, embrace and acceptance. Let’s put up the external first and then the internal will follow.

To live our best life, which for me is to be a person of love who reflects God’s heart, we need to be able to consciously direct our thoughts, feelings and actions in the right order and direction. Sometimes we do not feel like it, but we can try.

A few years ago, my daughter Diesa offered me a journal as a Christmas gift. In the beginning she wrote from I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And at the end Diesa put:

Mom is patient, mom is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud. She is not rude, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs. Mom does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Mom never fails.

1 Elisabeth 13:4-8

At the end of the year 2019 I was reminded of these words and was repeating to myself in my mind, “Mom keeps no record of wrongs.”

This is my New Year’s motto: “Mom keeps no record of wrongs.”

Love to you all, Elisabeth

Faith and Love and Forgiveness

If we have faith, believing the unbelievable, if we have love, loving the unlovable, and if we have the ability to forgive, Jesus said seventy times seven times, then our life will be worth living and meaningful.

Any act of love, of kindness, will make our credit in our bank of love go up. My husband always said, let’s make sure our love credit is high then in times of hardship and struggle we have already a high credit.

An act of love and kindness makes my heart melt. A couple of weeks ago as I was taking my daily walk around the neighborhood, a lady who lives on the next street stopped me. She had just parked her car and was unloading her bags. She asked if I was celebrating Christmas. I said, yes of course. Then she said she had a gift for me. I was surprised because I never met her before. She said it was from the heart – from her heart to mine – she wanted to buy me a special gift. It was a beautiful silvery heart for Christmas decoration. She said that when she sees me walking, she thinks of our story that she read in the local newspaper. Then she gave me a hug.

This is the beautiful heart my neighbor gave me as a gift.

Unexpected encounter that brings Christmas joy. Random acts of kindness that make the heart melt. Did not Jesus say to love our neighbors like ourselves?

And a gift to ourselves: to forgive, because when we cannot forgive, we have grudges. Grudges are no good for anybody, especially the people who hold them. They bubble up and then fester, fester, fester. So, we need to let go.

We do not let go of the truth, or the right, or the seven virtues, but the arrows which came in our direction and wounded us. Time and forgiveness are the greatest healers of all.

So, this Christmas season let’s all make gifts of love, believing the unbelievable things, loving the unlovable, and praying for the ability to forgive all the hurts we received that could not heal until today, because today we are making a wish: We have the ability to forgive.

Here is the link to the newspaper on their website, where the article is seen beginning on the front page.

Hudson River View December 2018

Our Treasures in Heaven

This month’s Insight Story is an excerpt from my memoir “Stories of My Life: The Search for True Love.”

During our married life I often asked my husband “what would you like to eat tonight,” and his answer was always the same: “Leftovers.”

Not very creative, but somehow he was always very hungry. I learned quickly that I must always have a huge quantity of food. It was not necessary for him for the meal to be delicious or exotic; as long as it was a very big portion, he was satisfied.

He talked often about how his mom would make sugar noodles after the war, when food was still scarce in Vienna.

During World War II, when he was still an infant and the sirens were signaling the population that bomber planes were approaching and everyone had to take refuge, his family would run and hide in a basement hoping they would survive. Oma, his mother, told me that Dietrich had pneumonia, but still they had to stay there for long periods of time and shiver with cold. She was afraid her child would not survive.

Finally, they could catch the last boat leaving Vienna on the Danube, and escape to the countryside where Oma could work in a farm and there was more to eat. Life is often dramatic like a novel till the last minute when God intervenes.

Dietrich’s grandmother, Leopoldine, had to stay behind. She could hardly feed herself. For a long time, she had only sugar in the home, so she took half a teaspoon in the morning and half a teaspoon in the evening. When they came back after the war her family hardly recognized her. She was so skinny and looking sick, she had to stay in bed most of the time to save her energy.

So perhaps this is one reason why my husband was always so hungry.

One time one of my friends asked me with an accusing tone, why was I feeding my husband leftovers? The point was he never wanted to throw away anything.

In that sense he was always very thrifty. What did he want for his birthday? Nothing at all. Even though we always surprised him with something, he said he does not need anything. I was pleased my daughter and I made sure we had decent and clean clothing for him. His motto was, “One way to save money is not to spend it.”

He was generous with others. During our very short engagement, he gave me all the money he had in his pocket. I was so moved by this gesture. I remember wanting to go to a coffee shop one day as we were taking a walk, but he never offered it to me. I wondered why. That was his style.

As for me, I always had a special love for rings, for exotic and beautiful things, that I could never have. My favorite would have been an emerald with the deep green similar to the one I saw in a Vienna museum of jewelry belonging to kings and queens.

But his generosity of heart and care were the deepest; something credit cards can never buy.

He could have been a priest with all the restrictions and vows of poverty. Instead, he chose to have a family, and there kept his eternal vows of fidelity, faithfulness and loving his neighbors more than himself.

This has been more valuable than anything. This is our treasure for all eternity.

Margaretha Vesely, my beautiful mother-in-law

To my most beautiful, most distinguished, most dignified most beloved mother-in-law Margaretha Vesely. Thank you for your exemplary meaningful life. Truly I learned a lot from you.

Margaretha, age 17

One: how to be always cheerful, grateful and happy despite all circumstances. Every morning you put on a beautiful dress, a tasteful necklace, and your smile was on as part of your getting dressed I never saw you upset, irritated or angry.

Two: You were always generous with everyone. You invited all family members to join you at your favorite Viennese restaurant Oberlaa, as often as they wanted, and as their schedules permitted. You often extended this invitation to extended family and friends. You made sure everyone was ordering sweets for deserts, topped with “schlagobers,” Austrian whipped cream, and delicious coffee you can find only there.

You always gave a very large tip to the servers. You did it with love and care. So, every time you entered there, you were received like a VIP. You and OPA always bought newspapers from the refugees giving tips as well, even if you had already the paper at home.

Three: You made it through the war. Being married at that time with a German officer, your family too suffered during this time. There was not enough to eat, so you had to go to the country side to work in the fields in order to feed your children.


Four: There were other shockwaves during your lifetime, but you went through it all gracefully and courageously, always keeping your smile, your inner beauty.
How hard it has been for you when your beloved son departed for America. He was still very young, and you could not see him for seven years. For a mother it was heartbreaking. I understand you. Then your son Dietrich came back with a French wife and you could not make sense of it all. In the past French and German and Austrian nations were enemies.

Five: At the end somehow, we could all love each other, overcoming any distance or barrier. Today I declare you as the best mother-in-law and your son Dietrich was the best husband I could ever have.

We all love you Oma, and happy journey into your next life.

Your daughter-in-law, Elisabeth

If you missed any of my monthly insights, you can read them all online at www.dietrichfseidel.com/category/insight-stories/

The Love We Share

Because my husband and I were so close during our lifetime, we used to share everything; we talked a lot; we were the other half of each other.

So of course, I continue now to share many things with him since he passed more than 2 years ago.

I talk to him while looking at his picture, I write letters to him. Sometimes he answers me like a deep intuition, an emotion, a subtle presence, a certainty, a love sentence coming at me out of somewhere like the other day. Then joy comes into my heart as a river of peace, a sense of protection and affirmation of the eternal.

Is it not the cherished hope of humanity that we live forever? That there is life after life?

I am presently in my hometown in the French Alps, a small, pretty town that you can still find in the middle of the mountains. My friend Annick owns a bookstore gift store there, and she has been carrying my husband’s books. The other day as I was visiting her to inquire if she needed more books, she said yes. I was surprised that she could sell English books in this remote place.

There was a man in the store choosing some books to buy and hearing our conversation he asked me if I was an author. I answered, mainly my husband but I did publish my memoirs. We continued chatting and he gave me his card. His name was Thierry and he was a medium!

Soon enough he said my husband, Dietrich, came from the other side to greet us. Thierry and my husband started a conversation that he reported to me. Dietrich was continuing his work there, and he said that where he was, everything is amplified, and in a sense has more power. They seemed in a good conversation with each other. At the end Thierry bought one of my husband’s books, “Eternal Life in the Spirit World” co-authored by Dietrich Seidel and Jennifer Tanabe. I was a little surprised by this encounter, but as Thierry said: Nothing happens by accident.

As I was exiting the bookstore, jokingly I said to my husband: “Dietrich, you forgot to give me a hug!”

A few days later I received an e-mail from my friend Elizabeth Kiedler (also a medium) and she sent me a message from Dietrich.

“To my beloved wife Elisabeth (that’s me) much love and blessings. I hold you tight in my arms forever. I will never let go. Dietrich.”

This is the type of conversation we have together, with a little help from our friends. For us it is so natural to continue our relationship because of the love we shared.

If you did not read our books yet you can order them here.

Hope you are all well. I love receiving your news and or feedback. I love you all and miss you too. Let’s all build a world of true love and peace. God bless you.

Random Acts of Kindness

I will always remember when Joe Belanger, the school principal from the Catholic school that my children attended, invited my family to his vacation motor home. Out of the blue he gave us his vacation home for a week and the key to his motor boat.

I had been ill and praying to God, “I need to get away from it all and recover.” The boat on the lake, the breeze, the total break and peacefulness gave me new strength and new courage.

Joe was staying with his mother close by and they would drop by and join us in our early prayer. What a beautiful vacation it was.

When I visit my home town in the French Alps I am always amazed how the neighbors, friends and relatives get along with each other. It is a small town and everyone knows everyone. People dropped by often to the home of my mom, to have coffee, to bring some veggies from their garden, some eggs from their chickens. Then my mom would make a soup of it all and send me to bring some to so and so. These are all special memories.

Recently my friend Aldo has been dropping by regularly. He noticed my house needed some things fixed up. One day he fixed my porch. The week after he replaced my front door. Another time he repaired my toilet and bathtub. Also, he asked his son to dig something in my yard for the water to drain. And, when my pump was broken, he fixed it.

He does not want anything in return. He just does it for service and love. And I know well that God will send someone to his family when he needs it.

But that is not the point.

The point is how to be an Aldo or Joe Belanger to someone you know. God will send you to this special person.

Speaking without Thinking

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)

Recently, as I was browsing through the newspaper at a local coffee shop, I happened to read my horoscope. It said: “You are advised to watch what you say. If you speak without thinking you can make yourself more enemies.”

Somehow, I had already done that. Too bad I read this advice for Libras too late. How important are our words! They can be like arrows being shot towards someone when we are in an argumentative mood. They can hurt someone’s soul, triggering anger and resentment back toward you, bringing up so much misunderstanding and confrontation that is not needed in our daily life.

We all have an opinion. The trick is to know how to express it in the right way, to explain our motivation, our concerns, the cause or person we are protecting or defending.

My husband was so good at it. I really miss that. He was my theologian. He could express anything with the right tone of voice, the perfect heart, a bit of humor. He never took himself too seriously. How he came up with the right words at the right time, never saying too much or too little.

Some days we could be out of sync and hell broke loose. One time I had an argument with a superior. Dietrich explained to me why it was important to create harmony and peace before we left that place. In other words, he asked me if I could apologize. At first, I could not. Eventually I did. This act brought me good fortune. When we arrived at our new destination I was right away promoted to a new position.

The internal work going on in our heart propels our fortune to appear at a new level. The same is also true for the person receiving our comments and our opinion, not to fire back, but rather to say “Ok. God bless!”

I am Your Child, Please Always Check on Me

When my daughter was young and we could not be at home at her bed time, she used to leave loving notes for us, her parents. “Dear Mommy and Daddy, I love you a lot! Please check on me right now.” “Mom, all I need from you is love.”

For Father’s Day, she said “Out of everything I learned from you, the things that I will always remember are the things that nourish the heart. You are an inspiration to me because of your unconditional love that you give, unconditionally.” “Dad, I still remember the very first thing you ever taught me … What it feels like to be loved.”

To be a parent, we learn to love unconditionally. This is why all of us should become a parent, to grow and feel God’s heart, because He loves us as a parent. Parental heart makes us more complete, more whole. Then we can love others too, as a parent.

If for any reason we cannot have children, then we can adopt, or be a foster parent, or adopt a loving animal with whom we can share our abundant love.

For My Mother

I wrote this poem in honor of my mother, originally in French. This month I want to share it with you, together with the English translation.

First, here is a photo of my mother, with her beautiful flowers.

My mother with her beautiful peonies

Parce que c’est ma mère

Beautiful mother
Mère de vie
Mère d’amour
Mère de coeur
        de bonté
        de tendresse
Mère généreuse
Mère pour tous
        C’est ma mère

Petite mère
Grand’mère
Belle mère
Belle dame
        très digne
Grande dame
Super Mom
        Beautiful mother
 
Mère de passion
Mère très aimée
Grand’mère adorée
Mère précieuse
        Un trèsor de mère
Mère pour tous
        Parce que
        c’est ma mère
        Beautiful mother
 
Mère de confiance
Mère de conscience
Mère d’authorité
        d’honnêteté
        de verité
        et justice
Mère de ses enfants
        C’est ma mère
        Beautiful mother
 
Mère de courage
        tenace
Mère Bélier
        fougueuse
Mère des montagnes
        de lumiere
        de tonnere
        et des éclairs
Mère du ciel
        des étoiles
        et firmaments
Mère pour tous
        C’est ma mère
 
Mère de pardon
        de renouveau
        réconciliante
        unifiante
Mère d’un monde
        d’amour
        vrai mère
Mère de tous
        C’est ma mère
        Beautiful mother!

Because it’s my mother

 Beautiful mother 
Mother of life
Mother of love
Mother of heart
           of goodness
           of tenderness
Generous
Mother for all
It’s my mother

Little mother
Grandmother
Mother-in-law
Beautiful lady
        Dignified
Great lady
Super Mom
Beautiful mother
 
Mother of passion
Mother well loved
Adored grandmother
Precious mother
Treasured mother
Mother for all
Because
it’s my mother
Beautiful mother
 
Mother of trust
Mother of conscience
Mother of authority
           of honesty
           of truth
           and justice
Mother of her children
           It’s my mother
           Beautiful mother
 
Mother of courage
           of tenacity
Mother Aries
           spirited
Mother of mountains 
           of light
           of thunder
           of lightning
Mother of heaven
           of the stars
           and firmaments      
Mother for all
           It’s my mother
 
Mother of pardon
           of renewal
           reconciling
           unifying
Mother of a world
           of love
           true mother
Mother for all
           It’s my mother
           Beautiful mother!

Signs from Above

In the early morning, going for my usual walk after some spiritual reading, and conversing, reporting to my husband Dietrich on the one-way phone calls, if I am attentive there is always a greeting, a sign coming from a tree, or the radio, or a word in my heart mind.

Today, my eye caught sight of a beautiful red bird in a bush. A feeling of love and beauty swelled in my heart, a most special greeting, a lovely hello, a sight from beyond the veil.

I came back home and there was a magazine open at a picture of a bright red bird, a cardinal, with the words “Messenger from Heaven.”

The page also had the words, “A gentle reminder that we’re never far apart, my spirit will live on forever there within your heart.” And in my mind, I remembered the words of the song, “And when the time comes, I will be there to meet you and welcome you home.”

This reminded me of the time Dietrich found a penny on our morning walk. I told him to keep it; put it in full view on the small table. The penny reminds me of God and the emblem of America.

Some days the dark is stronger than the light. Still we keep going, keep moving. At that time after a tearful morning prayer, I went for a walk. Suddenly a white truck appeared. On it side was the name of the company, and underneath were the words, “In God We Trust.” Definitely God was talking to me: “Trust Me,” I will protect you.