Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

6/26/17, Nobody until…..

Posted on June 26, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I hope your week is off to a great start!!!

I don’t know why, but I thought of a song the other day….a very old song, I think it was already an old song when I was a kid. But when I thought of it, the words really jarred me, “You’re Nobody until Somebody loves you”. As I thought about it, I thought what an unhealthy philosophy that is, and how damaging it can be. And I think we’ve probably all felt that way at some point. We’re in a slump, there’s no one in our life (romantically), and we feel like nothing and no one. I’ve had moments like that myself. But the song crossing my mind really reminded me to watch out for that pitfall!!! I used to take weekends off, and not work, when I was married. I spent every weekend doing things with my husband, and kids when they were young. I wouldn’t have dreamed of working all weekend!!! Now I’m not married, and my kids have grown up, so I work on most weekends. Okay, okay, ALL weekends. (It’s quiet then, and no one interrupts me while I write).

I go on vacation with my kids once a year, but I can’t imagine going on vacation alone. (It wouldn’t be much fun). And I don’t like going to restaurants or movies alone either (no one to talk to at a restaurant, or share popcorn with at the movie). I think sometimes we let the idea creep into our life that we don’t deserve fun times if someone isn’t madly in love with us. Being loved makes us feel so worthy and worthwhile, so deserving. I like working when I’m alone because it fills the time and distracts me and the days fly by—but I could go for a walk in the park, or a drive, or a museum, or an exhibit of something on my own—I don’t have to wait for someone to be in love with me to do that!!.

I don’t like the idea that we don’t feel deserving of something because we’re not currently in a romance, and when you think about it, how awful to feel like we’re ‘nobody’ until someone loves us. I’m not nobody. You’re Not Nobody!!! Mulling it over made me want to treat myself to something, to do something special, and treat myself—I don’t have to wait for someone else to do that, or to have permission to feel special.

We’re ALL special, and we’re ALL somebody—somebody special and different and important in the world. So treat yourself well, and do something nice for yourself today. I might just take the weekend off!!! I hope you have a GREAT week!! You deserve it!!!

love, Danielle

Filed Under Music, Relationships | 6 Comments

2/13/17, “Happy Hearts!!”

Posted on February 13, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Ahhh…yes…today is the eve of one of those days that can go either way, thrill you or break your heart, or slip and slide from the sublime to the ridiculous: Valentine’s Day of course. I’ve had all kinds, and you probably have too. I had two marriage proposals on Valentine’s Day (I am a profoundly corny person, so I thought that was great!!) One of those proposals resulted in 18 mostly happy years of marriage, and 8 of my 9 children, and the other resulted in 8 years, and a second great love in my life. I am very lucky to have had two great loves, and both of them wonderful men. And our love for each other lasted longer than our marriages, and lasted until the end of their lives. I will confess, I miss them both. So that was the height of my Valentine’s Day experience. But there have been some very major lows too. (The French say “Never two without three”, which is an interesting thought…..so who knows maybe one day there will be another great love in my life. Anything is possible. I heard of a couple recently who married at last at 87, so that certainly gives us all something to hope for—-and plenty of time to plan!!!)

Valentine’s Day is a tough day because we all have such high hopes and expectations for it, from the time when we are children. I’ve told you before, that mine got off to a rough start when I was the only girl in 3rd grade who didn’t get a Valentine’s Day card!!! But there have been some grown up Valentine’s Days that fell short of expectations. There is always a frenzy of flowers and chocolates and romantic plans and dinners exchanged on that day, and if you don’t have a seat in the musical chairs of Valentine’s Day, it can leave you feeling very sorry for yourself!!! Or you can just treat it with humor and figure it will be better next year!!! The wonderful thing about life is that you really never know what is just around the corner, what wonderful person will come into your life, and how things can change radically in the space of a year, or even months!!! My greatest defeats were always followed by my greatest victories, my greatest disappointments followed by my great loves.

I actually got unceremoniously dumped (yes, it happens!!!) one summer, and 6 months later, on Valentine’s Day, my husband John proposed, and the happiest 18 years of my life ensued. I could never have predicted what was going to happen. It came right out of the blue, when John and his wife separated and divorced, and he stunned me by asking me out a few months later, and 18 years of marriage and 8 children happened after that. So you really never know what’s going to happen. And I’ve watched it happen to my children too. One of them was heartbroken over a failed marriage, and a year later is married to a wonderful man and expecting a baby. You just never know.

So if this year doesn’t look like it’s going to be a winner in the lottery of Valentine’s Day, wait and see, next year you may be on top of the world with the person of your dreams, having the best Valentine’s Day of your life. Tomorrow is just one year, one chapter in your life…..so my hope for you is a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and that all your dreams come true. And if it isn’t tomorrow, next year may be your lucky year. And if you are in the throes of a grand romance with romantic plans for tomorrow, good for you!!!

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day—–and be sure to eat all the chocolate you can!!!

All my love,

Danielle

6/20/16, Dreams

Posted on June 20, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a great week, and that some really nice things happened to you this week. We can all use that, to give us a boost, even something small, a nice moment, something that makes us smile, or some piece of really good news.

I’ve been somewhat pensive, and quiet, in the almost two weeks since the passing of my ex-husband Tom. It’s a sad event for those of us who knew and loved and admired him, but he had an extraordinary life, a truly great life, and I think he got to do everything he wanted to do, and more. He lived to be a great age, and had opportunities and experiences few people have. He once went to Antarctica for several months on one of his boats—-(I stayed home!!! I would pay money, serious money, NOT to be on a sailboat, dodging icebergs in the dead of winter. He loved it, I would have hated it, so I didn’t go. But what an amazing experience for him, and the photos he brought back were fabulous!!). For those of us left behind when someone we love passes on, we are left with memories, the loose ends to tie up in our minds, and some introspection about their impact on our lives. So I have been quiet and reflective.

I’ve seen some close friends for lunch, and really enjoyed their company. And I had dinner at the home of good friends a few days ago. The wife is Japanese, so there were a number of Japanese people there, which was interesting, and nice to meet them. One of the couples had brought their nephew to dinner. He looked to be somewhere in his late twenties, was a biologist, and was leaving soon for a 6 month research project in Finland, so it was interesting talking to him. And at some point in the conversation, despite his youth, he said something that really caught my attention. He said that “You’re not old until your dreams become regrets”. Wow!! That is a very deep, and very true thought. No matter how old we are, we still have dreams, we ALL have dreams, or we should. Things we’ve always wanted to do, haven’t gotten to yet, and hope to get to one day. Some of it may not be realistic: Winning Miss Universe or Miss America at 55 or 65 or 70 is not likely to happen, you may have missed the boat on that. Or climbing Mount Everest. That could be sketchy too. But going somewhere that is actually feasible, traveling somewhere, building something, learning a language—-taking classes of some kind, or even writing a book. There’s no limit to what we can do—there may be some limits, but in many cases, we can fulfill at least some of our dreams. Some people even find their soul mate late in life. And bitterness and regret is not unique to old age. Some people give up on their dreams early, and shouldn’t. One of my favorite role models is an 88 year old friend of mine in New York. She is still working as an interior designer, takes classes to learn something new, goes to a book club, the theater, and sees nearly every movie and reads every book that comes out. She is still learning things at 88. She is a knock out, and so much fun. She is a living example to me of how I want to be when I’m her age, full of life, and busy, and still growing and doing, and fully alive. And obviously, good health helps.

I try to keep track of what my goals are every few years, and what I want to do. I try to keep track of it so those dreams don’t slip away. It’s easy to put our dreams away, and get bogged down in the every day. And sometimes I achieve those goals better than others. But I thought that what that young man said was so true….that you’re not old until your dreams turn into regrets (about what you didn’t do). It was a good wake up call for me, and I wanted to share it with you.

What are YOUR dreams? What do you want to do, that you haven’t gotten around to yet? It’s good to think about it from time to time. I have a rock on my desk with a saying carved on it, “It’s Never too late”. And another one that says “Follow your dreams”. It’s not too late for you to meet the right person, to take a class you’ve always wanted to take, to learn a language, learn to cook, take a writing class, a dancing class, to get in shape, to make new friends. I think that’s how people do stay young, interested and interesting, by opening new doors and windows, learning new things, even small things, and hanging onto those dreams.

It was a good reminder hearing that, and maybe for you too. Take good care, and have some fun! We all need it, a good belly laugh from time to time, and even just a warm moment with a friend. Have a terrific week!!

love, Danielle

4/4/16, “Compassion”

Posted on April 4, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that all is well with you. I’m having a serious moment. When very serious or bad things happen, it sometimes takes me a while to talk about them. I have to digest them first. And some things take longer than others. I am feeling rocked to the core by the act of terrorism that occurred in Brussels on March 22nd. Destruction of that nature is so huge, as an act, a message, and in its results, that it’s hard to get one’s mind around it. The recent acts of terrorism in Paris last November were like that, so shocking, such a wake up call (but to what?) that it sombered the city, the country, and the world, as we witnessed the events and the results on TV. There is something mesmerizing as well as heart breaking about events of that nature. You can’t tear yourself away from it once you start watching, as again and again you ask yourself why. And now it has happened again in Brussels, in Pakistan, in other countries, a steady stream of attacks on innocent people. And I have discovered now that as we read the statistics, we don’t fully understand what they mean. We read the death toll with horror and grief for the families and loved ones of those who died, and sadness and relief about the numbers of injured, thinking that at least they survived. But survival is no longer so simple with the kind of bombs and weapons that are used. And sometimes the event comes tragically close to home. This time it did for me and my family.

Among those wounded at the airport that was blown up in Brussels was a 16 year old member of my family, a young girl left in devastating condition, still alive, in a coma and hanging by a thread. Her body riddled with shrapnel and metal from the explosion, her internal organs damaged, limbs injured, her face and body burned. Suddenly this is not just news or a statistic or a video, or a political act that makes no sense. Suddenly it is a child, a loved one, family, and for some a friend. It becomes an act that is all too real and makes no sense. Women, children, babies, young people, men, their lives destroyed or forever affected by those who wish to deliver a message, an angry statement and hurt us by killing or injuring the people we love. It is shattering to think about, and not what we expect of our fellow humans, this wanton destruction of young lives, and even old ones. It truly makes no sense.

My heart aches as I share this with you. I have no message, no conclusion, no answers, no solutions. No idea how the world can turn back to something more civilized and humane again. I have never focused on politics personally or professionally. I care about people, families, children, the human race. I try to live and write about a message of hope, that transcends the hard things that happen to us. Losing someone we love is always hard to understand. But losing loved ones, or seeing them so devastatingly injured so needlessly, so wrongly, so cruelly and wastefully shocks us to our core. Not knowing what else to do, I turn to prayer at times like this, and I turn to you, baffled, saddened, crying, confused. How can this happen? How can something so wrong take place again and again, all over the world? As Mother Theresa said, “We cannot do great things, only small ones, with a great deal of love”. I pray for you, for your families and your loved ones, for your safety and well-being. I pray for wisdom in those who would hurt us, for compassion among all of us, for lives to be saved not lost. And I pray for the child of our family, that she may live and be whole again. I pray for your protection, for all our protection from acts of terrorism and hate. May there be more light and love and hope in the world.
With all my love, Danielle

3/21/16, Resurrected, Refreshed, Reborn

Posted on March 21, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that all is well with you. Unless one has young, school age children, or is religious, I know that the Easter holiday isn’t always a big event in the States. It’s a bigger deal in Europe, in the Catholic countries, where everyone has Good Friday and Good Monday off, so it becomes at least a 4 day weekend. My two youngest children attended a Jesuit university in the US, and even there they didn’t get Good Friday or Monday off, and it was just a normal weekend. And although religion has always been an important part of my life, it’s a very personal choice, and I don’t press it on my readers. For both family and religious reasons, I love everything about Christmas and what it stands for, and getting my family together for Christmas. And although we enjoy Easter too, I think that the symbolism of Easter is an important one, whether one is religious or not. The essence of Easter, and the ‘high point’, the whole point, is ‘resurrection’, the rebirth, the rising from the ashes, from an extremely dark time, into rebirth and renewal. I cherish the reminder every year, and love to share it with you, while I remind myself of what it means. » read more »

2/8/16, Generosity & Forgiveness

Posted on February 8, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy, writing, changing cities, seeing my kids, keeping up with life. Probably you’re busy too!!!

I don’t usually respond to comments on the blog, but now and then one snags me, and I can’t help but chime in. And one of those caught my eye recently, when someone wrote in “Forgiveness and generosity are not accessible to everyone”. And another person commenting on the blog strongly disagreed—–and I so agree with him. The beauty of both forgiveness and generosity is that they ARE accessible, and possible, and even vital for everyone!!! Personally, I don’t think you can have a decent relationship with anyone, a parent, a spouse, a lover, a co-worker, a boss, a friend, a child without being willing to forgive. And I know, sometimes it is VERY hard. There are a few people who hurt me so badly in my lifetime that it will be, and has been, a life’s work to forgive them. But the person carrying the heaviest burden is the one unwilling to forgive. No marriage works without forgiveness, no friendship, no relationship. I think it’s one of the most important gifts between two people, and that one can give: forgiveness. We don’t even have to invite those people back into our lives, hang around with them, have them over for dinner, but we do have to be able to forgive in order to go on with our lives in a healthy way, in freedom from the burdens of the past. It is in our power to forgive and well worth the hard work it takes sometimes to let go of anger and resentment and forgive. The forgiveness we extend to others blesses us every time.

And generosity is within our abilities as well. Generosity is accessible to everyone!! Not money, not a check, although sometimes that is certainly welcome, but the gift of time, of oneself, helping a friend with a move, a problem, a project, sometimes just listening, calling someone you know is having a hard time, or lonely, or sick, or giving them something you love but know would mean a lot to them. There are so many ways to be generous, which can mean so much to others. I have never forgotten the people who reached out to me when I was having a hard time. A gift like that can light up your day, or your life, or change your whole outlook.

Right off the top of my head, three examples come to mind. My oldest daughter had a Moped accident when she was fourteen. At first it just seemed like a very nasty scrape with some cuts and bruises on her leg, but it rapidly became a much bigger deal with an infection that went into her bone and up her leg, and she nearly lost her leg, and endured seven years of surgeries, intense pain, nerve damage, physical therapy, wheel chairs and crutches until she was well again. A year after the accident, one of her doctors suggested that she do some volunteer work with people more unfortunate than she was. At 15, she volunteered to work with children with cancer, undergoing chemotherapy. She stuck with it for many years, loved the kids she met, and found that she had a real gift for working with them. In the summers, she volunteered to work at a camp for kids with cancer, and did that for many years. She directed her studies toward that kind of work, got several graduate degrees and eventually became a social worker and therapist in pediatric oncology, and has had an impressive career in that field. Her incredible generosity with her time, at a time when she was in so much pain herself led to a lifelong passion and a remarkable career. And years later, when I was devastated over the loss of my son and the disintegration of my marriage, her shining example led me to do the homeless outreach work on the streets that changed my life and brought help to many, and immeasurable joy to me.

When thinking about unexpected generosity at a dark time, I remembered a time when I went to an antique shop to look around. I couldn’t afford anything in the shop at the time, I knew the antique dealer slightly, and I was having a hard time just then, and my spirits were somewhere in my socks. He must have sensed it or seen it, and I looked at a beautiful little miniature antique painted desk. It was just a lovely piece, and I would have loved to have it, but I couldn’t even consider it. It was quite an expensive piece. I went home, and the next day, a gift arrived: it was the beautiful little desk, given to me as a gift by the owner of the shop. It was an incredible gift, I was totally stunned, and no one has EVER given me such an amazing gift, before or since. It was pure generosity and kindness. I was overwhelmed by it, and so grateful for the enormously generous gesture. The desk is still in my living room, and I think of how it came to me every time I look at it. It was really a gift of love that warms my heart still.

The other example that came to me was my friend and mentor, Alex Haley. He wrote the book “Roots”, and was an icon and a legend. He was one of the kindest, most generous men I have ever known, always giving to others, always taking time to listen to them. He couldn’t do enough for people, and he had an incredible, compassionate way about him. People stopped him everywhere he went, he was an inspiration to many, and people wanted to talk to him. Going anywhere with him was a challenge, because every five minutes someone wanted to touch him, or meet him, or tell him their life stories. And it always struck me about him how generous he was, giving of himself. No matter how rushed, or busy, or tired he was, he would stop and talk to them, and seemed as though he had waited a lifetime to meet them, and had nothing else to do. They walked away afterwards, feeling ten feet tall after he gave them his full attention, and made each one feel like they were the most important person world. He was so humble, which was a true sign of greatness, and so generous with his time, and heart and soul.

I’m as crabby as the next person, and there are days when I fall short of what I hope to be, when I don’t take enough time with others, or am grumpy when things go wrong. And then I remember these generous acts and generous people….whether it’s with a cup of coffee, or five minutes, or a smile, or the gift of a book we love, or a touch of the hand at the right time, we can all be generous. It’s a gift that any of us can give, and generosity is indeed accessible to us all.

This coming Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and I hope it turns out just the way you want, with the person you want to be with, and the way you want it to unfold. I hope wonderful surprises are in store for you. I hope all your dreams come true. And just know that all of you are my Valentines every day!!

love, Danielle

1/11/16, Roller Coaster

Posted on January 11, 2016

Hi Everyone,

It’s a cold, rainy Sunday in New York, and I’m visiting two of my children, which is always a joy for me. We had dinner together last night, will have brunch today and hang out together, which is always a gift for me.

I was just thinking about the roller coaster of life, the shocks and not always good surprises that life broadsides us with. It happens to us all. And the bigger the life, the rougher the ride sometimes. I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks since Christmas, visiting two people I love in the hospital, both very sick. One hit unexpectedly with an illness they had 2 chances in a million to catch, the other sick for a long time. It makes you realize again how quickly things can change. Someone I work with had an accident in LA during the holidays and had to be flown back to New York in an ambulance plane for surgery. And I heard from a close friend last night, that his business partner had pulled a power move and tried to shut him out of his business this week, which is going to involve a lot of legal work to straighten it out. It’s the second story I’ve heard like it recently, of people being pushed out of their jobs or business by someone they trusted. It happens to all of us—-we get hit like a ton of bricks by something we didn’t expect. It’s part of life, and definitely not the fun part!!!

I don’t have any great Pollyanna answers about how to deal with the tough things that happen to us unexpectedly. You just have to hang on, go through it, do the best you can, and hope for a good outcome. And no question, long term, sometimes blessings come from it, a stronger relationship, a better job or partnership, a rethinking of what we care about most, a deeper appreciation for the good times and good people in our lives. And I’ve had times when I’ve been thrown for a loop too, in business or my personal life. Big stuff, not just small stuff, and I’m sure those things have happened to you too!!! No one is exempt. Great things happen, but so do hard ones, and suddenly an easy day becomes a very hard one, and some things take a long time to resolve.

Someone sent me a greeting card once that said “Life is like a roller coaster ride” (with a picture of a kid screaming on a roller coaster on the front) and inside” First you scream, and then you throw up”. All true. But after that, you have to hang on for dear life, figure out how to survive it, how to deal with it, and what the best outcome will be (sometimes with unusual solutions you’d never thought of before), and how to make the best of it. Sometimes endurance serves us best, and perseverance, getting through a big problem day by day, or even hour by hour, until the bad time has passed.

I’m sharing this with you in case you’re on the ‘scream-y’ part of the roller coaster ride, and if you’ve been broadsided by some big event that’s challenging you. Hang on!!! The ride does smooth out again in time. We forget that when we’re in the midst of it. The problems do get solved, and somehow we survive it. There will always be unexpected storms in this lifetime, even tornadoes and hurricanes, it’s all about how we survive them, and the things we learn while going through them. It’s not the fun part, but it’s part of the deal. So onward through the storms, and if you’re on the roller coaster ride right now, HANG ON!!!! And whatever is happening, it will smooth out again….I remind myself of that too!!!

much love, Danielle

8/17/15, Breakfast of Champions

Posted on August 17, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Here we are in the middle of August, the summer is almost over, and thoughts are turning to Fall and making plans. September always seems exciting to me, maybe left over from my school days, but life begins anew in the Fall, new season, fall clothes, clean slate, and a burst of energy after the summer, to do new things. When the real new year starts in January, the weather is usually so dreary and depressing (unless you live in Hawaii or the Caribbean!!), but in September, everything starts over again, the cooler weather is invigorating, and the pace steps up as we get busier again after the summer. I actually have a new book coming out on September 1st: “Undercover”, about an undercover agent, fighting the Colombian drug cartels, lots of excitement and suspense!!! I hope you like it!!

So back to breakfast. My real breakfast is not too exciting. I eat the same thing every day: 1 piece of toast, and an iced decaf coffee, which seems to hit the spot as I start the day. I’m not much of an eater, and I share my single piece of toast with my 2 Chihuahuas, Minnie and Blue, who get very excited about it!!! So that’s the fuel I use to start my day, nothing too exotic, to say the least.

But I also try to feed my soul in the morning. Some days are better than others, and I try to keep a positive attitude, no matter what is going on—sometimes more successfully than others. Sometimes I think of the things that are worrying me as I wake up, not a great way to start the day. So I need a little boost to brush away the cobwebs. The first thing I do when I get up, even before my breakfast, is check my emails, to see if I have emails from my kids, my agent, editor, or publisher, or anything urgent. With half my life in Europe, it’s already the end of the afternoon there when I wake up early if I’m in the States, as emails come in from abroad while I’m sleeping. So I read through them first thing. What that means is that my first stop of the day is at the little table my youngest son made for me when he was about 10, in Woodshop, (it was for my birthday, I think, he made it and painted it) and I use it as my computer desk, with a little child’s antique chair. It’s a cozy set up in a corner of my office, since I only use my computer for emails, and not for writing my books. I’m always in my office by 8 am, no matter how late I go to bed (usually around 3 am, sometimes a little earlier or later if I’m writing). And first thing in my morning, I sit down at the little computer desk. So I put things on and around that desk to inspire me and start my day off right, and make me happy.
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8/3/15, “So you’re a writer?”

Posted on August 3, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a good week, and that August is off to a good start. I’m hoping it will be peaceful. We’ve had something of a turbulent summer, which you know, if you read my blog about Sam Ewing 2 weeks ago, “Fallen Hero”. But we’ve had some really good family time together, which is the best antidote to the pains of ‘real life’. And I had a wonderful 10 day vacation with my 5 youngest children. I am always grateful for time with my kids, when they can spare the time from their jobs and busy lives. And in a few weeks, I’m hoping to spend some time with all my kids. So….onward….

In the comments to last week’s blog, someone mentioned that she was writing her first novel, and said that people were really giving her a hard time about it. And oh do I know that one. Somebody told me years ago that there are two jobs everyone thinks they can do, if they just had the time and wanted to: writing and photography. We all know we can’t be brain surgeons, or lawyers or nuclear physicists unless we study for it for a lot of years. But lots of people think they can write, and everyone takes pictures, so they figure they can do it, if they want to bother. And lots of people are talented writers and photographers, but it’s not quite as easy as some people think, and they might be surprised if they try it!!! (My father was a talented amateur photographer, who sold some of his photographs in later years, and let me tell you, that talent is not hereditary—–I can’t take a photo without cutting everyone’s head off, or get it in focus. Although one of my daughters is a terrific photographer. But I’m never going to win any prizes or set the world on fire with my pictures!!)
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7/27/15, Green Eyed Monster

Posted on July 27, 2015

Hi Everyone,
Before I share this week’s blog with you, I want to tell you how touched and totally bowled over I was by your loving and heartfelt messages about Sam Ewing. As of this moment, there are 146 messages from you about him, and you really, really touched my heart, and his wonderful mother has read them too. I can’t begin to tell you what it means to all of us. Thank you for your incredible kindness and beautiful words. With love from all of us.

And now for some more mundane thoughts!! I hope that all is well with you!!!

I hope your summer is rolling out smoothly and nicely with fun times, some relaxing days, and maybe even a great vacation you’ve been waiting all year to take. I love these summer days.

The Green Eyed Monster I’m talking about is jealousy, and I think it’s a REALLY important subject, for all of us. It is the seen and unseen evil in all of our lives, no matter who or where we are, at whatever level or stage in life. And it can wreak havoc in our lives, and often does.

I read a comment to my blog recently, from someone having trouble at work. I hear it from friends, my children at their jobs, and experience it myself every day. It may come in the form of a small snide comment from a co-worker, or even a boss, that takes you by surprise, or it may even take the form of some truly wicked planning by someone who is out to do you harm. And jealousy often comes from unexpected quarters, from someone you just can’t even imagine would be jealous of you. Some jealous people go to great lengths to hide it, others unabashedly go after you in some way. But whether hidden or overt, jealousy is one of the most corrosive, potentially dangerous elements in all of our lives. I have long since had a great “respect” for just how dangerous other people’s jealousies can be.

As a famous person, people in the outer circle of our lives see the outer trappings (all of them perfectly manicured and dressed up for your viewing pleasure) of a public person’s life. You see how handsome their children are, how big their house, how nice their clothes. You’re told how successful they are, how much fun they’re having, and shown how fabulous they supposedly are. In most cases, you don’t see how troubled one or more of their children may be, how stretched their finances, how bad their marriage (except in the tabloids), you don’t see them crying over the griefs in their life, or on a bad hair day, or with stomach flu. In a way, we are set up to be jealous of them. And they in turn, as famous people, are set up as an open target for other people’s envy—-which is a scary situation to be in. I’ve had my share of threats, and nasty jealous hate mail too, for all those reasons, and have also experienced other people’s jealousy at close range, from people I know. Jealousy almost always comes as a surprise, and it can be a powerful negative force against us.
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