Assertiveness: The New Me

The other day as I spoke with a friend, she told me,

“You know I’ve learned the hard way to become assertive, my doormat days are over”.

I made a mental note of acting with a completely new attitude the next time around I was admitted at a health care facility. My friend was making ground breaking changes in her new life and initially after my surprise, admiration came along the way.

via morguefile

My opportunity for test driving my assertiveness as my new ME came slamming at my door, (not literally though so don’t get too excited) when my neurologist told me on  the phone that he was sending me to the hospital for another round of immunoglobulin therapy for five days. To which I completely agreed due to the fact that very “pronto” I was heading towards a myasthenia crisis.

Now, let’s get back to the assertiveness thing going on.

It came handy after I went through the hassle of getting admitted in a local hospital facility pretty near to my house.  In Puerto Rico distance is relative really, because close for me is about a forty minute drive from a rural area where as  for any other folk that’s not close at all.

After I had signed, initialed and gave all my personal and medical information to the admissions officer, she calmly told me…

“Doña Maritza (which left me feeling 49 going to 80) or better translated Old Lady Maritza, there are no rooms available, and you will have to begin your treatment in the ER in an isolated room for the moment, until a bed comes up in a double room after an unknown patient is discharged.”

After my first response of a head nod (since hey, I’m the one needing a room in a hospital), my newly acquired skill came to the rescue as I replied with my newly acquired hospital assertiveness…..

“No, this situation is unacceptable for me,”

“I came in as a direct admission and this is what precisely is going to happen.”

To which she told me with a bit of an attitude that, if I chose not to go through the ER, then what would happen was that I would have to wait sitting in an adjacent room until a patient/client was discharged.”

To which I replied,

“I am going to have to defer, since you should have told me before hand that you did not have a room available for my admission.  I have an autoimmune illness and going through any high risk area will become harmful to my health.”

She told me,

“Why did the doctor not write this down on your order?” with a sorry, I can’t help you if he didn’t, voice.

Feeling very proud of myself in retrospect for standing up to this hospital bully, I replied,

“You do have a clearly written diagnose on your order, this facility should have codes for patients with certain chronic conditions. ”

Well, how did it end?

Simple, easy and very assertive,

I declined the ER and withdrew my admission to this facility writing on all the space available of the exoneration document,  handed over not so nicely, where I informed the administration of that hospital that they should set up policies that were helpful for the patient/client and their administrative people where they were clearly give not the hospital, but the patient enough information to make an informed choice.

Finally I ended up, in another facility where not only did they understand my condition clearly, but they were able to accommodate my needs within the hospital’s policies and my treatment began early the next morning.

So, you see my “dear amigos” being assertive helps in all situations where we just need to say no and move on to greener pastures in all what life brings us.

Please, never forget to keep believing in yourself and the good of life no matter what we find along its path, and remember assertiveness is not only my new me, but can become the new you.

See you around the corner.


The Paths Of Our Spirit

I’ve heard many times of life’s roads and the choices we make as we walk through them.

For some these roads are trails, for others they are highways. None the less, all of them are paths.

These are the paths of our spirit.

via morguefile


In occasions we choose good over bad, in others bad over good.  The hard part of bad over good is that we don’t get a chance to fix whatever it is we did wrong and then need to learn to live with regret, remorse or any other thing you want to call it.

A lesson I’ve learned is,  the bigger the mistake, the heavier the remorse.

Our paths bring  tough and  great times, as they come along we can’t hang on to neither for more than a moment in time. They come and go and nothing we can do will stop this reality from happening.

Every experience we get to live are lessons learned.  Teachers are meant to be facilitators in the learning process.  They engage us and help us discover what we want to learn.

Jesus often asked questions to his disciples, guiding them to discover the world that surrounded them and the lessons that were pertinent to them.

I love this way of teaching and learning.

Questions should be a part of our being.  They should be the ones guiding us through our paths.  Helping us discover where, when and how we need to make our way in the world.

Writing is my learning path, it’s my outlet in this process, it  gives me the opportunity to voice my questions.  It has  helped me see clearly who and where I stand on the important issues.

Not having questions in our lives, but instead tons of information coming in without pondering about any of it is dangerous because we surrender to others are learning paths  and usually  make the wrong turn.

It’s not about being told what to do, or how to think.  It’s about taking in all that surrounds us and making the right choices.  When situations like the ones going on in Fergunson play it’s important to stop and think,

‘Hey, what was going on in the head of the police officer that killed this young man?”

He took a turn in his path and he has to live with whatever the choice he made in his moment in time. I’m not judging or trying to answer his motivation, but learn something from it. Each story has two sides and I’m not a fan and taking stand on either one of them.  Basically because I constantly remind myself,

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

We’re in no place to judge or criticize others.  It’s best to let us figure out what’s happening answering the questions in our heads.  I’m sure everyone has them, the difference is that some choose to answer and other do not want to deal with that.

Our paths are intertwined with each other.  Some call it destiny, others prefer not to.  I’m a strong believer that we need to develop a keen sense of everyone and everything that surrounds us because we’re bound to miss something important if we don’t.

So you see, my dear friends, it’s all about listening to the questions in our heads and tuning our spirit to walk on the right paths.  Pleading to whatever it is you or myself believe in to guide us through our ways.

And remember never stop believing in yourself or the good of life.

“Hasta la próxima.”




Eyes Wide “SHUT” to our Turning Points

Much has been said about the “turning points” in our lives.  Events that come around us because of something that has happened or someone we have met.

When you think about them, it’s like trying to walk through a maze.

How do we recognize our so-called “turning points”?

Believing Turning Point

The other day as I cruised around channels on my television, I came across J Lo’s so-called story and the people they were interviewing kept on talking about her “turning points”.  Supposedly she had been able to contact Tony Mottola because of the Selena movie, and because of knowing Tony she got to know Marc Anthony, and then was related to Puff Daddy and because of that she got to know Benny Medina….and so and so and so,  the rest is history.  This Puerto Rican girl became a super star, despite what her mama thought.  NO kidding?

Bottom line, all those moments in her life were very important because if none of the above had happened as it did, she wouldn’t be who she is today.  Get the idea here?????

Probably her mom would have made her stay in school, and today she would be a music teacher or something like that, still living in the Bronx and teaching at a nearby school just like her mama.

A pretty familiar picture, if you ask me!!!!

Which makes you think, do these so-called “turning points” really exist?  Or are they simply opportunities that rise for being in the right spot at the right time?

After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that our turning points are sometimes to difficult to recognize,  and we don’t want to get out of our comfort zones to face them.  They become a challenges because we have to change our ways, and that’s something almost none of us are willing to do.

Being a History-English major I would often day-dream about the lives of people who lived way before me.  My text books would give me some details about them and I would complete the equation using my over active imagination.

For instance, I’ve thought many times about what possibly would go on Emily Dickinson’s head when she was able to write such beautiful poetry without ever going out and wondering into nature.  Her poems were filled of vivid imagery that  would make you think that the author had experienced it first hand.

What about people who marked the world, making a difference?  What were their turning points?

Some of their stories are told in books, but others remain buried with them forever.

Believing Turning Point 2

The beauty of this is that all of us have and will continue to face “turning points”,   the important thing here is to be able to recognize the potential they carry and be able to face the challenges they bring with them.

It all about grasping the opportunity and making something out of it.

If something or someone gets you out of your comfort zone, take a second look because that my friend can be your next turning point and you may pass on it without even knowing.