Sunday, November 18, 2012

Return to Sender

I have been M.I.A. for quite a while on this blog, I apoligize for that. I have been going through some major changes in life and am now working full-time to support my family. Many I love are going through challenging times and role-changing experiences, including depression and joblessness.

 I stumbled upon some great articles today;

Developing a Healthy Self-Concept

How to Resolve Conflicts, in different stages

 Why some men need a woman's approval:

 Balancing Independence and Intimacy in Relationships

 Why Commitment in Love is Difficult-

 Positive Self Image and Self Esteem Steps

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reactions to Recent Events

As most of you know there was a horrible shooting which took place at the Opening Night of the Batman movie in an Aurora, Colerado movie theater. I have been so saddened by these tragic events that I have decided to write about how it makes me feel. Twelve innocent lives were taken that night by one crazed gunman. I cannot fathom to know what the fallen victim's families are feeling right now, nor can I understand what the survivors are going through. I know that 58 people were wounded and there are several in critical condition, while others are recovering faster.

I am of the opinion that if the gun control law was made so that innocent victims can carry legal registered weapons to protect themselves from crazy people, the night may not have turned out so bad; and more lives could have been saved. I understand that this is a very controversial topic. I am not wanting to start a debate or push an agenda. I am sharing my opinion, that if citizens of the U.S.A. who are innocent civilians being attacked could more easily protect themselves, I think they should do it. Whether that is by being trained in Martial Arts, Fencing, or any other kind of self defense training; I think they would have been more well protected.

I read on the Internet that Switzerland promotes responsible gun ownership for self defense. "What America can learn from Switzerland is that the best way to reduce gun misuse is to promote responsible gun ownership."
By David B. Kopel and Stephen D'Andrilli (American Rifleman, February 1990)
Read this Article to learn more;

Statistics of Switzerland's deaths by guns; (

My point here is not that we should let every citizen have a gun. I believe that those citizens without a criminal or a Police Record, the law abiding citizens of the United States of America should have the right to protect themselves by owning a gun and by teaching gun safety rules and regulations for its use. Of course, there are exceptions those who may have served in the Armed Forces may have issues with guns or may have PTSD or other reasons that it would not be a good idea to let them use a firearm. On the other hand, they may also be the people most well-trained in how and when to use a gun for self-defense and to save others lives.

This is just my opinion. I think educating the American Communities on Gun Safety and when, how and why to use a gun for self defense, teaching possible scenarios etc. would be a good idea.

What do you think?

Here's some good news:

Hope Rises out of the terrible tragedy of last week:

Chelsea Merkley

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Poignant Quotes

  • "Words are only words when trust and loyalty are not in them.
    If you make a promise, keep it.
    Broken hearts do not heal easily; they are pieced back together by love, trust, charity and loyalty. "
    - By Chelsea B. Merkley 

    God wants you to know ... that your task is not to seek for love, but to seek and melt all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

    God loves you with the very air you breathe, the very light that touches your skin, the very ground that supports you. Love is everywhere, - melt your barriers, and you will have love in abundance."
     - God Wants You to Know App

  • ‎"Abundance is not about how much money you have... It's how you feel about what you have." -

    "This world is filled with beauty.

    Allow yourself time to be nourished with the beauty of this world. Watch the sun rise, gaze at the ripples of water on the lake, listen to the songbirds, feel the breath of the breeze, glory in the colors of the sunset, feel the magic of the moon. This beauty is the air for your soul." -Anonymous

    I really love this article, very sound marriage advice from a couple who's been married 85 years!

    This website is very helpful; 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How do we deal with Difficult People?

I took a class on this a few terms ago and it has been very helpful.

Luskin's Hope Method involves Healing Our Past Emotions.

Luskin describes his H.E.A.L. method of practicing forgiveness, forgiving others or yourself.

H: What did you hope would happen? Or think shouldn't have happened?
I wanted my relationship with Tracy to last forever.

E: Educate yourself about reality, and accept what you can’t control. I know I cannot make Tracy love me forever.

A: Affirm your big dream/positive intention – I want a lot of loving people in my life.

L: Long-term commitment to Learning: I will gladly devote the rest of my life to learning more and more about giving and receiving love.

One of the 9 Steps of Forgiveness that is found on Dr. Luskin’s website is the following:
Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their actions. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the peace and understanding that comes from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less personally, and changing your grievance story.”(

I really like these resources:

Friday, April 13, 2012


Today is Friday the 13, my son has been pretty crazy and had a lot of energy-- and seems to be very violent lately when we are doing homework; kicking, hitting, pushing,etc. We reprimand him for it and try to give him some personal attention after his bad behavior but it's clear that 2 parents in school at the same time is not ideal. It's been really hard on him.

Contrary to the superstitious beliefs about this day, I have actually gotten quite a bit done for a Final Project due in a few weeks. The 8-10 page paper and the Powerpoint to go with that is due next week, but I haven't started on it yet.

I've been researching a lot this semester about the healthy and unhealthy ways to cope with different types of addictions. How to change addictive thinking patterns into positive thoughts and actions, and how to effectively and positively deal with traumatic experiences.

Social and Emotional Support seems paramount in everything I've studied regarding these subjects.
The support of Communities, church organizations & congregations, family, friends, co-workers and neighbors is really important when trying to recover from any type of addiction. Having a best friend who you can trust and tell everything to is vital, in my opinion; or speaking to a professional Counselor or Psychologist or Therapist, can help quite a bit.

Another thing I've noticed is that when people go through a really scary and traumatic experience they often have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and are stuck mentally in the event, when they are no longer in danger.
I find in this instance fear is the opposite of faith. Having a life direction, values and a clear purpose in life can assist people to recover better from traumatic events and situations in their lives. Going along with these are some similar tactics, Gratitude, Empathy, and Altruism. Altruism is finding the joy in life and seeking to find the happiness in the lives of others. It is not being overly optimistic, but being idealistic about the world, it's beauties and opportunities. I believe it is realizing and admitting that life has it's challenges, adversities and trials; but understanding that we can become so much stronger and a better person for having had them. Empathy is a wonderful attribute. It is being able to relate and identify with the emotions and situations of others, even if you have not gone through the situations yourself. I believe this is a healthy attribute when we can separate our adversities from those of our friends and loved ones; and not carry their burdens with us too. We can listen to them, love them and feel their pain; but it can become dangerous if their hurt becomes ours as well & it leads us to a sense of hopelessness, depression or sadness.

I read a story today on the website; It is about preventing suicide. I recently had a dear friend lose her husband to suicide and it was due to a lot of issues he had with depression, anxiety and some hardships he was going through. I remember crying when I heard about it, because he always seemed so happy to me, and it never occurred to me that he was hurt and struggling.
I really think that our Heavenly Father is the only person who can judge a person's emotional, behavioral and mental state when tragedies like this happen. I have struggled personally with depression and have felt the numbness and emptiness, the hopelessness it can bring. I know our God is a God of mercy, understanding and love. I really feel for my friend who lost her husband to this tragedy.

I hope there is someway I can help those in need of a friend to talk to, a hug, someone to listen, or someone who cares. Because I will always be here to hear you and show you how much I care and understand.
And how much the world needs you and loves you!
I hope I can help at least one person know how much God loves them and how much I love them too!

Chelsea Merkley

Websites to visit for Suicide Prevention and PTSD Treatment;

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Live like you were dying!

What does it mean to really live like you are dying? I have thought about it twice in the past two semesters. I have listened to someone address their diagnosis of Stage 4 Colon Cancer and how that person's paradigm shift of the world affected who they are and everyone they knew.

Jeannie Chatelain's Challenge: Live one day out of the year as if your death was imminent, meaning you knew you would die in 3 months or less, or possibly tomorrow. How does your worldview and do you change because of this?

My response:If it were my last day on earth how would I live my life?
 I would try to visit all of my family I could and tell them I love them, write more notes of appreciation, give them our family pictures, I would hug them more,kiss them more, share my feelings of love and appreciation with my friends and family more often. 
Would I forgive others who have offended me? 
Yes, I would try my best to forgive all who have ever offended me.
 I would try my hardest to also ask others for forgiveness who I may have offended.
Would I Celebrate and reconnect with loyal and old friends?
 I would try to do this through Skype or an online video chat with family and dear friends I could not visit in person. I would try to visit as many of them as I could.
 I would write more notes of Gratitude for friends and family's service. 
Would I welcome new friendships? I would welcome new friendships and be so thankful for strong supports who strengthen me through their personal experiences with adversity.
Would I tell my spouse I love them more often? YES! Would I show my spouse I love them more often? 
I would try to help them with whatever they need, make their burden lighter and would try to use humor and kindness, and to be happy and joyful around them. 
I would show more affection, intimacy and love to them, and appreciate my spouse for who they are. How would my life change if I were to know that I might not be here tomorrow? 
I would value my relationships, love, friendships and co-workers more than I ever have. 
I would be thankful to physically be on earth and be able to breathe, walk, talk, sleep, watch my son play, watch him smile and laugh, hug him and snuggle him and kiss him. 
I would take every opportunity possible to share my talents with others and empower children and teens to believe in their dreams and do what they love!   
I would sing in church more often and in communities and Institute. I would try out for more plays and act on stage. I would try to take better care of my body and my appearance.
 I would realize the divine worth of souls.
 I would have more empathy and compassion for others going through traumatic experiences.
 I would enjoy life to the fullest.
I would realize the ultimate of my divine potential and what being a literal Daughter of god and spiritual Daughter of God really means.

Jeannie Chatelain's Story- She died 2 weeks ago and survived past the 2 year average mark of most Colon Cancer Patients diagnosed at her stage.

From her audio file given April 2011
Gratitude in the Face of Adversity
Adjustments in our Lifestyle are usually small.
Once in a while traumatic experiences and they are difficult and challenging circumstances, come along we have to completely change our views of the world and how we thought it was going to be for her life. Our view of the future has to change.  Examples of these types of stressors are; Divorce, Loss of a loved one, birth of a child, loss of a child, family move, job loss, financial reversal, birth of a child with special needs, being diagnosed with a chronic illness,  or having a child diagnosed and treated for a chronic illness, or becoming disabled,  having lost all our possessions in a house fire.  In Jeannie’s case a diagnosis of Stage 4 Colon Cancer, to advanced for any cure in an Oncologist Office—in June 2009. She was told her cancer was terminal and that she would die from it, and they could give her treatment to buy her some more time. She was told that if she decided not to get treatment she might not live past the next 6 months. The average life expectancy with treatment was 2 years. It is painful to give up all of your plans for your future. A person in this situation mourns the process of life that they wanted to live. 37 Chemo treatments her family has been very close to her and been a great support for her, helping her through the treatments.In her mourning period her family and spouse helped her a great deal. Church Community, neighbors and other friends gave her cards, calls, good wishes, offers of help and service. She talked openly about her illness with supportive people.
Faith and prayers have helped her in the mourning process. She is a person of faith, and is humbled and uplifted by others prayers for her. She is uplifted by her prayers and faith.
This new life has plenty of room for joy in it, things for which we can be grateful. These are Jeannie’s Thankful’s and Grateful’s lists.
1.      Support of the people around me. The experiences of others strengthen her and give her friends empathy for her condition. Since both of her friends had supported their loved ones through terminal illnesses.
2.      Thankful for the Cancer Caregivers. Doctors and Nurses are kind and try to help make the journey positive.
3.      Drawing strength from Good Examples through Adversity: Her sister who has use of only one side of her body, sings in a choir, serves in her church and has But life requires that you face the situation you’re given and do the very best you can
4.      She’s thankful for health insurance. The costs are unbelievable.
5.      Thankful for Adaptability- we have the ability to adjust to changes in our lives with enough time we can get use to almost anything.
6.      Thankful for music- uplifting
7.      Greatful for humor- lighten and brightens everything
8.      Thankful for Skype and Nationwide Calling Plans
9.      Grateful for 12 months or more of feeling great. She handles chemotherapy better than most people.
10.  Thankful for the changes of my attitudes of my life. The chores  Sunsets are prettier, bird songs are prettier, and the more appreciation for the people around me and can express my love for them. Thankful for the life we have and how happy she is that she can spend it with her husband. Chased her friends down their driveway to give hugs to them
11.  Stuff that doesn’t matter, Relationships and people are important and how we help and treat eachother.
12.  It’s interesting to know when you are going to die. Encourages the making of wonderful memories. Make memories with the grandchildren and families, take lots of pictures, get our financial affairs in order- for an easier transition when she’s gone. Allows her family to grieve my loss before it happens.
13.  Begin to let myself off the hook. Strength that holds her family together. She has worried about how her family will survive without me. She has neither the wisdom nor the power to fix this ongoing condition. Turns over the rest to God. If Miracles need to happen she’s sure that they will. Latest CT Scan is being successful and can go to her daughter’s wedding- she is very thankful for that.
Challenge- to choose one day a year to live your life that day as if you were expecting imminent death. How does it change your behavior?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Words of God:Thoughts from Elder Ballard's Talk

Elder Ballard :S. L. Institute Speaker
 The Future rests on our shoulders.  We need to Protect moral values of decency- In our world Morals seem to change to what everyone wants them to be. You have eternal standards. Live up to them. Prepare to serve: country, community, and family. Building relationships Remove  fear with faith & trust in God. Lift away your fear. Trust God. Your Heavenly Father Loves you, you are his sons & daughters. Learn the eternal Gospel, keep the commandments, live rightously and we will find even in difficulties & challenges or heartaches--we will find peace, joy and happiness even in difficult circumstances. Keep our mind focused on studying the scriptures & the gospel. Learn about your eternal journey. We lived in the Pre-Existence in the Pre-Earth life with our Heavenly Father. We will Live forever in Eternal Life. Blessings to be with Heavenly Father eternally are our through keeping Eternal Covenants. Prepare to use Revealed Technology to Proclaim the Gospel. Respond to friends who have questions,on your blog, twitter or other technological devices to defend the church. Live worthily & serve your church callings faithfully & you'll lead your own homes as fathers & Mothers. You are they who will carry this kingdom on. God bless you in all your education, prepare spiritually and learn to love the Lord. In all Learning don't forget:Melvin  Ballard said: "And above all brethren, let us think strait." Think strait in a world that is not thinking strait. In a world with the media, pornography & lack of morals; don't tamper with that. Focus on thinking strait all the days of your life. Read your Scriptures at least 30 minutes everyday, this will help nurture & strengthen your testimony.

Chelsea Merkley

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Alternate Reality

Okay, so this is going to be an unusual post.
I will just say that last night I watched a movie that was about living in alternate realities.
Well, more of it was really getting a person's brain to work after they were supposedly dead and getting the brain to remember things which happened to them so that terrorist attacks can be solved and not happen in the first place. The crazy people who wanted to blow up the train or the city can be arrested and found,etc.

Studying Positive Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies this film really affected me.
It was similar to Inception in some ways but very different in others. The military personnel training this Captain
who finds out he is basically dead and only on life support to solve these imminent terrorist attacks; tell him that the training room he is in and his body is his imagination. They also tell him the pasts he keeps repeating, even though they are a little bit different everytime, are not real and are just shadows of what has happened. Well, they were wrong. In the film anyway.

This person goes back and in a different reality saves all of the people on the train stops the bomb from going off and catches the crazy guy in charge of the attacks. He thinks he is going to die and he asks to be taken off life support after his last mission time is up and he saves the world. Or the "whole new world" that is a different reality than the one he came from. Well, because he changes his circumstances and all of the people's who may have died, he also changes the world and circumstances for the military who were training him. Only one person knows he is alive and well; in a completely different world and version of himself.

It is quite intriguing, I would not reccomend it for anyone who has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, bad dreams or episodes of extreme depression or anxiety though. The flashbacks and faint memories are quite vivid and very heartbreaking.

The Captain said to the the Commander in charge of him; "Do you think there is an alternate version of yourself out there somewhere? Someone who just made different choices all together.?" She says no, this is reality, what you see is real and he replies; "Oh, the one where you are talking to a dead Helicopter Captain?" I thought that was quite clever.

The film is called "The Source Code".

Chelsea Merkley

Monday, February 6, 2012

Powell/Cox Tragedy

  The news of the death of Josh Powell's children and himself has been affecting me and I decided I need to write about it. I had a feeling at the beginning of this case that the husband was responsible for his wife's dissapearance and death. He always gave me a sick, twisted feeling when I saw him on the news. His countenance was tainted and his eyes looked like he was seriously mentally disturbed. I am not saying he did it for sure, but the fact that he took the lives of his own children with him makes him look extremely guilty.

    There is no doubt that this man was severely depressed and mentally deranged. He was demonized by the media, but frankly I think he made himself look bad in the first place. He was followed everywhere he went and last week I had heard that the court had ordered a Psychosexual evaluation on him to be released this week. I just can't imagine those poor children having to be subject to such a crazy, horrible man and his selfishness! I have had my struggles with anxiety and depression, I know what is it capable of and how the darkness can engulf one's mind if it is allowed to do so. I just wish that 3 lives; Susan, and her two boys did not have to be taken. It's so very debilitating to me. When we heard the news last night, it was before dinner.
My husband and I lost a lot of our appetites and couldn't eat much. It was shocking and horrifying. It was really bothering my husband last night. I know the tragic news was taking so much out of a lot of people I know and love, and I am sorry for that. People who commit such horrific acts do not understand how many people they affect when a harsh decision is made.

My only solace is that these 3 innocent victims will be with Heavenly Father and Jesus and together.
And the boys are with Susan, their Mother again. Chelsea Merkley

Friday, January 13, 2012


Do you know what I just realized a few seconds ago?
A cluttered mind can sometimes be caused by a cluttered home.
And a cluttered home can often cause a cluttered mind.
In my Psychology class I am learning about Addictive Thinking.
It's only the first week of class and I've already learned a great deal.
Cause and Effect do not always happen the way we read them.
Sometimes the effect may make the cause happen.
Occasionally, the cause will bring about an effect.
Thinking badly about oneself or one's circumstances, accomplishments, family life or blaming others for your choices can start addictive thinking.

Addictive Thinking does not have to mean we are dependent on chemical addictions or alcohol.
Although it definately can, all it means is that we as humans have a propensity for "instant gratification." We would like a reward right now, without working hard to have earned it. I know I work very hard at the University and in my Choirs and Singing Courses. But, if I worked just as hard on everything else as I do the talents & skills I have my circumstances would be so much sweeter. Remembering to take care of myself physically has always been a challenge in my life. I need to work on that and really understand the value of my body and being healthy. My brother has said, "We only have one body, we need to take care of it." I really need to work on that. Just because I've struggled with something doesn't mean I can't tackle it! I can overcome this hurdle by making goals and sticking to them, and believing in myself!
It's important to cope with my past in a healthy way and understand that everyone's life has challenges.
What's critical is what am I going to do with my life? How am I going to react to the stresses I receive?
What I do in the here and now affects my future greatly! I don't have to worry about what happened to me or what was done years ago, I need to focus on the positive wonderful aspects in my life. My son, my neighborhood, my home, my amazing schooling and wonderful friends and loved ones.

Everyone has a back story, in truth many adults have had troubled past in childhood and it still hurts them now. Our past is a part of us, but it does not have to control who we are today, tomorrow or in the future.
We can use it as a pattern for resiliency and helping others. We should learn first how to take care of ourselves.

What also makes me understand who I really am is that I have a divine potential! And so do you!
Whatever you believe in, or what spiritual views or secular frameworks you hold, you are soaring to new heights and so can I!

Thank you for reading!

Chelsea Merkley