Exploiting for ratings!

me sideways

This man has a degree,
of a higher level decree
yet he’s slipped in the arms of fame
money may also have been his claim.

How does one get caught in such games
and losing integrity for a bit of cash
to show melodrama and T.V. trash
exploiting the pain and suffering
of people who are actually struggling?

They are all human interest shows
but must they always air their woes
in front of a huge live audience?
on occasion there’s no public appearance
just the camera and this host with a Ph.D.
Global home viewers don’t count as a presence?
I find his approach an atrocity
he makes a long process look way too easy
when we all know counselling is a long journey.

He may give the impression of informing
or a pretense of educating?
Well, I beg to differ.
why exploit those who suffer?
that’s what I see when pain is publicized
this exploitation is really insulting
and it should be criticized
rather than be glorified.

So that’s me diffusing, my heart spills
after watching a few minutes of Dr. Phil.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

This is just my opinion on some exploiting the suffering of folks; On Christmas Day an old September episode of Dr. Phil interviewing a grieving mother was aired.   He went through details of the last moments she spoke with her daughter as she took her life. 10 minutes of this was enough for me to change channel but I felt sad 1) for having this poor mother feel her guilt, as if it was not bad enough  for her to process the grief she was living 2) for showing such an episode on Christmas Day when there are so many vulnerable and suffering on this day. So I decided to voice my frustrations on shows like this.   Cheryl-Lynn

Can’t wait ’til I see you!


Posted to WordPress from my Android, Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

Can’t wait ‘til I see you!


Rushing and shoveling and shopping too

will I ever get there in time for you?

I’m counting the days, the nights too

can’t wait ‘til Christmas Eve when I’ll see you.


I’m cleaning, sorting and dusting too

Want my home to look nice for all of you

I’ll make Grand-Maman’s dressing that tastes so fine

and also candied yams prepared with you in mind.


If ever you try to make the same some day

remember I have a secret that comes to play

it may seem a mystery for you anyway

it’s simple really,  I have to say

just whisper some loving over your food and see

it will turn any cooking into a delicacy.





me sideways© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, December 21, 2013




Comfort ‘n Joy?

advent image dec 

As the holidays are approaching quickly, some people think changed behaviour of some friends and relatives…sometimes it is less to be desired.   i.e. more fighting, arguing, behaving inappropriately including sexually.

Here are a few snippets of stories I have heard over the years talking with youths:

It may be the first Christmas without mom and dad together;  When  parents separate a child may have mixed feelings. He may remember the fighting when they were all together.  He may feel torn with sad or angry feelings towards one parent or both.  Change is never easy but it is more difficult for youths especially teens.  Keep that in mind when making plans for the holidays.

A youth may feel guilty being more with one parent and not know how to reach out to the other parent. How can a parent help a child sort this out?  It is totally okay to feel these emotions..confusion, guilt, anger…and hope. It’s just nice to have a shoulder to lean on when it gets messy in the mind and confusing.

Some youths are worried their family have enough money to get through the year. Many people are laid off end of December and contracts are sometimes renewed only in the spring.  Some older youths (teens) feel they should quit school to help the family by getting a job.

Some families are transferred in other parts of the country or the world due to employment…parents have to move their families…sometimes children have to say goodbye to long-term friends.  Getting through  the holidays in a new place can be exciting and yet it can be overwhelming as well. 

For some families and youths, this is a marked season without a special friend or family member…grieving this loss, and their absence is felt more so during certain holidays.

For many youths who have lost a loved one, regardless when that was…the holidays are often difficult because it is a time to share with loved ones and that person is not among them.  And so, the holidays can be an “opportunity” rather to take time and think about this person and include her or him in your well wishes during the holidays. 

Let’s be honest.  It is a bittersweet time for adults too. Some of us have lost a parent or both. So keep in mind that it’s okay to talk about it. Normalizing grief and loss on important holidays is acknowledging that big elephant in the living room.  Once that’s out in the open, it will actually give a sense of relief for everyone.

This is a time of year that many teens are invited to parties, exposed to alcohol and drugs; they need to know they can call for a ride without getting scolded…is this a possibility for many? 

Some youths share they feel a bit left out because they know their friends are celebrating Christmas but it is not part of their culture or religion.  They share that it is not only at school or with friends but it is everywhere they go…the television, the radio, the stores, the newspapers…all bombarded with this Christmas cheer that is a bit foreign to them.

It may be a good time to emphasize that the meaning of this word ‘Christmas’ and that for many it is an opportunity  to connect with people and tell them how much they care about them; it can mean having people over for the holidays to share a good meal and that that sense of giving and sharing is perhaps more universal this time of year.     

The holidays  represent many diverse things for youths and families.  There is the joy of getting together and yet the stress of having enough time off to enjoy this time with the children.  There are cultural and religious differences that some face and are forced to be off work and exposed to the commercial aspect of this time of year. Let’s face it, even those who celebrate Christmas get fed up being bombarded by the commercialization too.

Ultimately, it is supposed to be a time of year to bring friends and families together; sometimes we need to be more creative in the gatherings and have more “pot lucks”.  Children also feel the stress and depending on their age, are often confused as to who they are supposed to act.

Planning, decorating and cooking and baking…all of these traditions can be part of the fun too…how are you planning your holidays?  Children feel special when they are given certain roles and tasks too.  What have you planned for your children?  Remember, if you are anxious and stressed about the holidays, chances are some of your children may be feeling some of this angst too.  They are like sponges, soaking up emotions we had no idea they could relate to. Usually the younger youths do not understand what that emotion is, they just feel something…

Some families want to also teach values to their children and it is a time of year where families volunteer at a food bank for a day or a soup kitchen too! 

Wishing you warmth, love and health … Happy Holidays!

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, December 17, 2013

The O’Donnell spirit

me sidewaysMae O’Donnell had been daydreaming, sitting in her rocker as her boys were playing a board game. She smiled fondly at her sons. She felt so fortunate that they enjoyed playing nicely. They never complained about not having computers or television. They were content just being together. Tomorrow she would bring them to the public library to get new books and stay for a few hours. There, they were allowed to get on the computer. The two youngest liked to play on-line games but Liam enjoyed doing research. He was surely to become something great someday, she thought proudly.

She went to the kitchen pantry to start dinner for her children who’d been whining to eat soon. “Come on, Mommy, we’re hungry!” the three shouted in union. The youngest of 5 years old yelled louder than the oldest of 12. Hmmm, she thought, that one takes after his grand-daddy for sure!!

She knew it was time to start scrounging for something to eat…She looked with dismay in her pantry…there was not much to rummage here, she thought. She had to go back to the welfare office to get more food vouchers. She had a can of beans, a large bag of sticky rice and half a carton of molasses (she always had enough molasses, so rich in iron and good for her growing family). This was not good indeed, she thought. What would she make for their lunches for school tomorrow? What will she do for the entire week? She did not have enough money to pay for the bus to the welfare office PLUS the food bank. She had to make a decision quick.

She cooked a big batch of rice and wondered what she would do. Then suddenly, she had an idea! She would make bean balls. She would roll up some beans in the rice and make balls. It would harden and be a great snack! She’d add molasses to the beans to make it sweet and sticky. Why that’s a grand idea! She thought hopefully.

She spread the cooked sticky rice that was on two large cookie sheets and spread the warm beans that she’d heated in a pot with molasses, sparingly to cover BOTH cookie sheets. Then she decided to have the boys participate and tell them her plan. They knew all too well that they had little money and did their best to make the best of things.

“Patrick, Liam and Sean! Come on over here and help Mommy. I need your gifted artistic hands to help me make Rice-Bean balls for school tomorrow.” They ran over to the kitchen table excited and shoulders held back pompously. They were young men helping their mom!!

They managed to roll out 60 balls. They still had not had their supper but they seemed to have forgotten how hungry they actually were. Mae boiled an onion in chicken broth and added the leftover rice…this would do for tonight, she thought.

Tomorrow the boys would sell each ball for .25 cents at school. The students often had Loonies and Toonies and the teachers liked her little special treats. That would give her at least $12.00…(she would give 4 balls to each son for their lunch and sell the remaining 48) enough to get a few things to get through the week. She could go to the corner store and get a few things to eat. Thank goodness they were part of the EMO programme with free Eggs, Milk and Oranges each week delivered on Friday mornings. At least the government did one thing right by offering healthy items for eligible families.

The boys did not complain; they were excited about their new project. Liam, the 12-year-old used to like calling his family the O’Donnell Entrepreneurs…If you need it, we’ll find a way to get it or make it.

“Mom,” Liam looked at his tired mother, “You know if we just mark “donations are appreciated”, we usually average more than .25 per item. Do you want me to do that?
His mother looked proudly at his son who was already 5 inches taller than her. “Maybe another time, Liam, honey. I don’t want to take a gamble on the generosity of folks this week. We need at least $12 to get through the week. Is that okay by you, son?” He nodded and went off to bed.

She finished washing the last of the dishes and got out her notebook to write in her journal. She wrote for a few hours. She yawned, “Time for bed now.” But she added one more line before turning in, Please, Great Spirit, make it that we get a nice surprise for Christmas, so the food bank will spare at least a small chicken for our dinner. Thank you for blessing me with the finest lads in the county!, Mae O’Donnell, December 17, 2013.

The holidays have their highs and lows for most folks. During this season, think of giving a little extra for your local shelter or food bank. This year our office surprisingly doubled their collection of non-perishable food and toys. Just think about it…if everyone gave a little extra, that would fill a few tummies for sure.

Give just a little, it’s better than naught
look at a homeless person this week in the eye and smile…
even if you don’t have money that particular day,
that’s okay,… just don’t turn away…
they’re also actually human by the way;
if you do have something to spare, then
don’t just throw the money their way…
look at the person and wish him/her a good day.
It does make a difference to be treated with dignity.
And trust me, you’ll feel better too!

Happy Holidays

© Cheryl-Lynn, December 17, 2013


This is very inspirational…I must read and reread this and share among my friends. I was taken at the beginning at , “Strength is compassion for all beings be they conscious or not. Life is an ocean, under the surface the waters are very calm but on the surface there are many violent waves. Mankind is that ocean, some who are in oneness become calm as the waters underneath and some are divided and uncontrolled as the waves above. Strength is to be gentle with all beings as I am being with these flowers.”

I Am Whatever I Choose To Become


Yesterday I was deep in one of the ARUPAJHANA meditations(Formless meditations) and I had this vision. It was so powerful I am sharing it with you all. This not to change anyone’s mind or beliefs it is only to share. Enjoy.

I ended up in a field and in the distance there was a luminous woman picking brilliantly colored flowers. I approached her in my formlessness and she began to speak as though she knew me. She asked me “What is strength?” I said “Is not strength undying compassion for every conscious being?” She paused her flower picking and said “Strength is compassion for all beings be they conscious or not. Life is an ocean, under the surface the waters are very calm but on the surface there are many violent waves. Mankind is that ocean, some who are in oneness become calm as the waters underneath and some are…

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It spoke to me

(Haiku – Huitain)


A lovely post spoke
to me; started to self-reflect
such a humbling feat.

me jan 2013 B & WI read a poem this morning and it made me think.  I love when that happens.  You know, when you read something and it speaks to you?  A Thousand Mirrors did that to me.  Maybe it’s because I work in counselling but I think it triggered something more personal.  Last night I was attending my 8th workshop on Borderline Personal Disorder. It’s for family and friends of someone who has this condition. It is not to just know more about what a person with BPD is going through;  it is to understand what a caregiver or loved one can do to help and also take care of themselves.

So I was  no longer in the counsellor’s seat learning how to better assist someone with BPD but rather I was in the “mirror” looking straight inside of ME.  I am forced to see how I react to certain behaviours and how I may, sometimes, unintentionally perhaps, have added fuel to the fire. It has been too many years that our relationship has almost severed but I still love this person very much…I just don’t like how this person treats me. But, by looking inside that mirror, I was seeing things I don’t like too much about me too.  Oh boy that’s a humbling experience!

The dynamics with a significant other with BPD can  get explosive but it can also implode. I am learning so much that my brain hurts and my heart aches. So much is simmering inside of me but how long it will simmer?  I don’t know.

Since working in my field, I have come to have more understanding and compassion for my relative.  I’ve told family members to be more understanding and tolerant. But me?  I have withdrawn…run a way in many cases when I felt attacked giving over so much power to this person that I love because I’m a chicken in the face of conflict.

Last night I learned that I give all this power to control and “hurt” is not really what a person with ANY condition wants. And not be chicken, I may, in time find the courage to try to communicate with my relative.  I know it won’t change overnight.  I know my relative has no clue that I have love and compassion…there are so many misperceptions, so many judgements. {sigh}

And when I think of times I have suffered tough times…depression, loss and insecurities, I was also often misunderstood. People assumed I was just fine because I usually am the giver, the person taking care of others. I look assertive and self-assured, they know not how broken and shaken I can be inside. And this lovely poem I read this morning made me think of all of this.  So I have attempted to write a new form (huitain)  in poetry I’ve just learned to summarize my thoughts on this.


How easy it is to assume
not try to ask, investigate
we judge, expect, predict, presume
 not bothering at any rate;
empathy, heart would educate
we’d show a little compassion,
we know not what can irritate.
Listen! they may share a portion.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, December 10, 2013

Inspired by: A Thousand Mirrors

Words hurt!


National Bullying Week passed 3 weeks ago but the issues are still alive unfortunately.  Every day is a time to create more awareness of what goes on month after month, year after year especially with children, youths and young adults in school, high school, college and university. We know it goes on at work as well.  If it is not addressed in schools, why wouldn’t it continue at work?  Right?

Sexting, cyberbullying, bullying and making a youth`s life a living hell is NOT  what being  a youth is all about. Students, parents, school staff, bus drivers, cafeteria employees, janitors, daycare workers, school principal, school counsellors, school nurses…we are ALL in this together.  It is systemic and each person is part of that fabulous puzzle.

I know I wrote about this on my blog Stop the Stigma, but it merits to be repeated; sorry to those who read, heard it and are doing something about this…just click on to another fabulous post on WordPress {smiles}.

–  Please,  do not forward any email or social network posts, that can hurt another person, even if you think it’s funny at the time.  Just ask yourself, “How would I feel if this was shared?” BEFORE clicking share.

–  Always pause and think before you post and click “enter”.

–  Adjust your settings so you have to actually point your mouse on “reply” rather than just “enter”. That can save YOU and another person lots of grief.  This is good advice to adults too by the way.  How many times have you accidentally hit the enter button by accident?  I have clicked it by mistake and half my message went through before I was actually finished.  So lesson learned, right?

–  Always report cyberbullying to network administrators.

–  If you see any sexting (photos  of a sexual nature etc.) forward to http://www.cybertips.ca to prevent the spread of child pornography. Did you know that even if the person is a teenager, spreading any photos of a sexual nature is STILL considered Child Pornography. Do you want your teen to be involved with this? I didn’t think so {smiles}

–  If you are a Bystander / Witness to cyber-bullying, take a stand.

–  If you click “like” or “share” you are actually part of the problem and only perpetuating the bullying.   So think TWICE before clicking.

–  Even adults can report. I reported a few times to Facebook for “hate comments” , “racist” and pages that use the “R” word on public pages as a joke.  If you see something that is offensive, try not just ignore it…report it.

–  Parents,  kindly sit down with your children/teens and show them how to remain safe from predators but also how to be respectful and learn on-line courtesy.  Granted your teens will probably NOT want to have this little causerie (discourse). Check the links below and have them check it out. Better still ask them to come up with at least 2 or 3 sites that offer advice on internet safety. What Teens Need to Know by PrevNet (the Guru of bullying training, they trained counsellors at Kids Help Phone, work with the Red Cross and Scouts Canada)…have a great page on this.

Here is my humble attempt of saying this in rhymes.

Don’t click share
If you care,
Think before you click
on ANY of those pics
Clicking LIKE is very serious
Clicking SHARE spreads like a virus.
Sometimes silence,
translates compliance
If it’s cruel don’t add to the pain
by clicking SHARE again and again.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, December 8, 2013


© Cheryl-Lynn, November 15, 2013

Important links:

Kids Help Phone



A photo that went viral

Stop the Stigma

A photo that went viral by Cheryl-Lynn

Hey! Why d’you take that pic last night?
Man, you sure didn’t have a right
to use your phone and take that shot!
Man, you’d better hide your face
behind your screen, to not get caught.
You made her look like a disgrace
why d’ya take that shot last night?
it looks like D… was high as a kite
we all know she’s a good girl alright
she never did drugs and no alcohol
so why make her look like a doped up doll?
Oh man, this’ll ruin her reputation
everyone clicking Like and Share
how can she survive this humiliation?!
the news is out and spreading like wild fire
it’s feeling worse than a house on fire
Oh man, this’ll ruin her reputation
everyone clicking Like and Share
how can she survive this humiliation?!

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