Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


What is something that needs to be written?

QUORA: What is something that needs to be written?

Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2018 Readers Favorite at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

My best friend J. was a showgirl in Vegas, married a famous Hollywood photographer, made a trip to the Far East to smuggle drugs, and brought up three grandchildren because her daughter is addicted to meth! J. has a story to tell.

A fourteen-year-old Muslim boy in Istanbul is learning English in Sultanahmet Square. He comes to the Blue Mosque every day and makes friends with tourists from all over the world. He wants to know everything about their lives and gets to practice the language. He also speaks French, German and Turkish. He’s outgoing and absolutely delightful. He has a story to tell.

A friend of mine has been confined in a hospital for years. He was working for a group he can’t talk about, doing things in countries that don’t show up on his passport, and he is a patriot. He can never tell his stories. But I immortalized him as Luke Raven in my Code Raven Series. His story would be too dangerous for anyone to know, never mind tell.

My friend’s son was the most popular kid in school in Whistler, a ski resort in Canada. He was a star snowboarder and taught kids younger than him just because he loves little kids. He thought he could handle smoking pot, hanging out on peoples’ couches, and dabbling in heroin. He’s 35 now and been jailed twice, or more—I’ve lost track. The last I heard he lives on the streets in Vancouver. My friend cries herself to sleep at night because she knows no one can save her son but himself. They both have stories to tell.

I was approached recently to help a woman tell her story. Her ‘daughter’ is actually not hers by blood but belonged to a drug-addicted boyfriend. He abandoned them when the child was very young, and my friend loved and cared for the child as if she was the birth mother. Throughout the years, the authorities tried to take her daughter away from her because she not only had no legal right to the child, but they were both from different cultures and different countries. My friend fought the system and by some miracle, she managed to hold onto her daughter. Her daughter graduated high school this year. Momma is very proud! And Momma wants to share her story.

When I wrote my first memoir, LOVE the Beat Goes On, I came across a quote that I’ve never forgotten. “When you write a memoir there is nowhere to hide.” I wrote my first memoir. But I too, have life stories that need to be told. And I will continue to write them.

There isn’t a human being alive that doesn’t have a story to tell. Including you. And your story needs to be written because there will always be someone who needs to read it.

Is it really that simple?

What is your best advice for staying youthful and healthy as long as you can?

It’s really simple to me. So enjoy the wisdom I shared on Quora tonight. Here’s my list.

  1. Be happy. There is nothing that ages us more than bitterness, and recriminations.
  2. Don’t live in the past. Embrace the present. Refuse to worry about the future because the future never comes.
  3. Laugh a lot, smile often. If you’re a woman, it hides the wrinkles. Life will try to take you down, throw curve balls that will bring you to your knees. Stand tall, be strong, never look back.
  4. LOVE, love yourself, love your life, love the planet, love your family, love your partner(s). Don’t be stingy with your love.
  5. Have no regrets. Never apologize about your life choices and decisions. You can’t change them, even if they were wrong in hindsight… let that stuff go.
  6. Don’t worry about the one that got away. If you’re too busy worrying about a bad relationship or marriage, you’re too bitter to notice the one ahead of you that might be that elusive soul-mate.
  7. Always lead with your heart. Yes, you will screw up, whether it’s in friendships, or with a child, or a mate. Forgive yourself often. You’re only human.
Lynda Filler Author 2019

What can older women say to younger women to help them mature faster?

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Thanks Pixabay!

I can keep it simple or make it complicated. Let’s assume that so many have answered this question already so I will keep it short and sweet.

LEARN to love you, yourself, first. Get rid of your stupid insecurities and focus on your amazing inner beauty. Don’ t let any guy/girl take away your confidence or tell you who you are/should be/should do! The sooner you learn your self-worth, the happier your life will be.

If you don’t believe that love is an inside job, look at the divorce rate. If we knew how to love ourselves, we wouldn’t get into some of the stupid relationships we choose when we’re young. And for some of us, we continue with the age-old definition of insanity: repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different result.

The more confidence and self-love you have, the more likely you are to choose or be chosen by a man/woman who has the same thing going on. Likes attract.

If you spend your life looking for your soulmate you miss the opportunity to really connect with the soul-mate-that is-you!

I want you to remember these words forever: you should be your first and last love. You are the only one that can truly keep you safe and warm at night. LOVE yourself first.

 

as answered by Lynda Filler on Quora

And pick up a copy of LOVE The Beat Goes On, “When your doctors give you six months do live, what do you do?”  Lynda Filler’s memoir on healing.

 

 

Why am I so scared to say “I love you” to my boyfriend?

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For me, the answer has always been simple. I would be afraid that he is not going to say “I love you” back to me. I wouldn’t want to get hurt if his feelings are not as strong as mine.

However, I think my answer and my thoughts on this issue are stupid! I bet that surprises you. Look how quickly we say we don’t like something or someone. When you get into arguments you might even say you hate someone. So why are we so stingy with the word love?

I’ve worked at getting over this stigma or foolishness I have with this word. There are all kinds of love. Give it freely. It will always come back to you even if it only comes back to you in loving yourself. You will love yourself more because you are not afraid to use the word and share your love unconditionally.

And what do I mean by unconditionally? It took me the loss of a lover to understand what this word meant.

Let me explain. I was involved with a man that I loved and wanted to be with. Instead, he chose a higher calling. He retired from the SEALs and went to Africa to work with orphans. I was devastated. This man and I had an intense emotional relationship and there was no doubt in my mind that he loved me. But he had a calling that was so much bigger than ‘us.’

I remember this event like it happened yesterday. It was the time in my life when I learned what it really means to say “I love you.” It means my love for you surpasses your choices. It is above my need for you to return it back to me. I can love you even if you are not able, or have the same need, to give me back what I want or think I need. I still love you. I had to decide if my love for him was about ME or about HIM.

I value that time in my life. It took me two weeks to understand that this was truly the first time in my life when I really loved someone. I had to let him go physically but I kept my relationship with him. We communicated daily. It was intense and beautiful. He shared his journey, his love for me, photos of the events in the orphanage in South Sudan. His daily challenges were immense. But he was happy doing this work. It fed his heart and his soul. He had spent years in and out of the tunnels in Afghanistan and his soul was fractured and needed to heal. I would never have been enough for him.

And four months after he left to go to Africa, he was dead.

So never ever miss an opportunity to say I love you. You are saying it for yourself. And celebrating your love, vocalizing it is a beautiful thing. And if it’s not returned the way you want, who cares! It’s not about the one you love, it’s about you, how you feel, and how you have shown up in his life. If he loves you back that’s great. But if he understands that there are no conditions attached to your love, I think it will be fine.

Don’t be afraid to show the best emotion that life has to offer. You owe it to yourself.

 

Shared from my answer in Quora 

Read more about Lynda’s philosophy on life in her memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On

Love front with quotes

Because we all love a good story! Especially if it’s true.

In no particular order, here are some books I’ve put together that I found intriguing. Some I have read, some not. Those that I haven’t have been added to my TBR. Anything you’d like to add to our list, drop it in the comments. Enjoy this selection.

Promise Me Dad: A year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose  by Joe Biden
Joe Biden, former Vice President, and possible future presidential candidate lost his son Beau to brain cancer after a momentous struggle. When Beau was in the midst of his fight against the disease, he made his father promise that he would be all right. Over the next year, Joe Biden served his country as Vice President while his son slowly lost his battle. In this remarkable memoir, Biden opens up about that period of his life, discussing with disarming intimacy the personal and political struggles he endured while working to make the world a safer place and trying to decide if he would run for president in 2016. Biden’s wisdom and advice for anyone who has lost someone close to them is powerful, and his insights into life’s problems come from someone who has dealt with some of the most difficult challenges in modern times

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It’s Not Yet Dark: A Memoir by Simon Fitzmaurice
A doctor gave filmmaker Fitzmaurice four years to live following an ALS diagnosis in 2008. By 2010, he was at death’s door and given little hope, but nevertheless chose to take extraordinary measures to stay alive. In the years since he’s fathered twins and continued to work as a documentarian. Fitzmaurice talks candidly about his daily struggles, but also about the family that sustains him in a life that’s radically different from the one he’d planned for.

 

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Isaacson begins with the presumption that Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most creative genius in human history and proceeds from there, digesting more than 7,000 pages of notes da Vinci left behind and producing this biography. Unlike anything else you’ve ever read about the most famous artist of the 15th and 16th centuries, Isaacson paints a portrait of a restless mind that exhibited unusual curiosity and made magical connections between disciplines that had never been made before. At the same time, he shows da Vinci as a man whose always-churning mind could leave many projects unfinished as he dashed from idea to idea. When one of our best modern writers tackles one of the most famous minds in history, it’s time to pay attention.

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The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir, by Ariel Levy
Celebrated writer Levy tells her life story with verve and gusto, exploring as a central theme the way the universe laughs at our plans. As a young child Levy was taught she could do anything, but also warned not to depend on a man for support. As her star rose as a writer for New York Magazine and elsewhere in the 1990s her life began taking unscheduled detours: she married an older woman with substance abuse problems, she conceived a child using a sperm donor but suffered a miscarriage, and she never lost a burning desire to seek adventure and new experiences. The end result is a compelling and compulsively readable memoir.

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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, by Liza Mundy
Stories of World War II often focus on the heroic deeds of male soldiers, but newly declassified documents reveal a shadow army of women who also did their part—the codebreakers. Recruited from colleges and secretarial pools for their math skills, these women were set to the task of breaking enemy codes, but their efforts and achievements were top secret, and their stories largely unknown—until now. Battling the expected sexism and hostile attitudes of their male counterparts and supervisors, tens of thousands of women helped to end the war much more quickly than it would have otherwise, and Mundy rescues their stories from obscurity and gives them the credit they deserve. In fact, she makes a solid case that without these women, we might not have won World War II at all.

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The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston
Preston, also known as one half of the team writing the Agent Pendergrast series of thrillers, details his involvement with a team seeking to prove the existence of a lost city in the Honduran wilderness. Legends tell of a city destroyed by a series of natural cataclysms, abandoned as cursed, and forbidden for centuries. Using a combination of cutting-edge technology and boots on the ground, Preston and his team locate two large sites and a wealth of archaeological treasures to prove that a lost civilization once existed in an area of the world where no human being has set foot in centuries. Preston’s skill as a novelist makes the deep-dive into the past at once entertaining, gripping, and informative.

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We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, by Gabrielle Union
Actress Union tells her story with wit and sensitivity, a story that includes her struggles as one of a few black students in a predominantly white high school, the devastating rape at gunpoint that almost broke her, and her recovery and pursuit of a high-octane Hollywood career. Union addresses topics including parenting, raising black kids in a culture often perceived as steeped in racism, and teen sexuality—always with disarming humor and perceptive insights that mark this as much more than a typical Hollywood vanity memoir. Without much of a filter, Union comes across as a nuanced survivor who has managed to keep both her sense of humor and her ability to love despite her experiences.

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Nowhere to hide…

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$.99 cents on Amazon

When we write a memoir, there’s nowhere to hide.

 

Life imitates art: LOVE The Beat Goes On  for a limited time only, $.99 cents on Amazon 

“Powerful and unforgettable” JackMagnus, 5 Star Readers’ Favorite

“This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given.”It’s that good.” J. Sikes

“I found this book so inspiring, and I think it can benefit a lot of other readers too. It’s an approachable, quick read with humor and lots of heart. You can probably read it in a day or two, but I hope you’ll remember its message forever.”  J. M. Keelor

“Lynda’s book is inspiring and a reminder that miracles do you happen, you just have to believe in them! A quote I really enjoyed from Lynda’s book was “Release. Breathe. Let it all go. Get rid of the weight, pain and hurts holding you back.” So true! Never stop believing. Thank you, Lynda, for sharing your story.” Ctina

 

Thank all of you for being a part of my journey!

Lynda Filler

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“TAKE ACTION Even When You DOUBT Yourself!”

 

When in doubt, take action. Meet Mel Robbins”

Mel Robbins is a serial entrepreneur and one of the most booked motivational speakers in the world. She’s the CEO and co-founder of The Confidence Project, a media and digital learning company working with Fortune 500 brands.

Mel is the creator and star of the Audible Original series “Kick-Ass With Mel Robbins,” a first of its kind life and business advice talk show.

In 2017, Mel broke self-publishing records with her international best-seller The 5 Second Rule. It was named the #1 audiobook in the world and the fifth most read book of the year on Amazon. It is translated into 31 languages.

Mel is a relatable, no-BS expert on change, human behavior, and mindset. Her social media platform reaches 20 million people a month and her TEDx Talk has been viewed by over 14 million people.

 

Here are her top 10 Rules for Success as posted on Evan Carmichael. It’s a great channel to subscribe to for daily inspiration and motivation!

Evan likes #6, I like #9. Have your own definition of success:  Work it, believe in yourself, and #love what you do.

1. Control how you live
2. Get rid of your phone
3. Focus on the customer
4. Take action
5. Cheer for everybody
6. Tweak your habits
7. Stop caring what others think
8. Be mindful of how you speak
9. Have your own definition of success
10. Apply the ‘6 months’ rule

 

 

Thanks for visiting my blog.

If you’re looking for the habits and beliefs that led to “Healing from incurable” I would love to hear what you have to say about my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On

Death…can I visit you there?

 

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I Spy Heaven

My dear friend Kristaline sent this note to me after a lover/friend died suddenly in 2011. I included it on the last page of my poetry book I (Spy) Love.

 

by Kristaline Shannon

It’s so awful when someone is afraid and so awesome when you can ease that fear. Your faith is strong; you will be amazing.

For me, for all of us, it is a park drawn out of sidewalk chalk. The colors don’t exist here and cannot be described but are beautiful. All the toys are made with the special chalk and Elijah and Rick guard the entrance from evil. There is no age or time. There is no pain and everyone you have ever loved or missed is there in some form or another. You have access to everything you ever wanted on an emotional level.

Rylee showed me the entrance just after Michael died. We were at the street fair and drawing on the street with chalk. She drew a blue pizza and said it was for Michael and I asked her why did you make it blue; and she said, “Michael likes blue.” I found the entrance next time I meditated.

 

 

more about life/love/death/dying/overcoming a death sentence: LOVE The Beat Goes On, a memoir