Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finding your own Courage

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it
takes to sit down and listen" ~Sir Winston Churchill ~

I am writing this for a dear friend, who I hope will sit down and listen........

There are so many forms of courage....Courage to be who you are, Courage to accept others and how they choose to live their lives and Courage not to judge....

I learned that an old friend of mine came out of the closet. I was elated, because for so long we all knew that this day would happen, but because of fear and lack of Courage he "PRAYED THE GAY AWAY"....Why would someone do this? FEAR and Fear alone...afraid of what others might think of him and the fear that he would not be accepted by those he loves and holds close to his heart. I think that acceptance in yourself is the first step at breaking the cycle of fear. You are who you are...Embrace your uniqueness.....
We are all different, how boring would it be if we were all made out of the same cookie cutter mold.....You are who you are, you were born this way, yes we all have a choice on what kind of person we become and the everyday choices we do have free will to make. Do I believe that you are born Gay? Absolutely.....I don't think it's the choice of a young person to choose to be ridiculed and called names, and expose themselves to the cruelty of those around them that do not accept them for who they are...
I once heard an interview say the most incredible thing and to this day will forever be burned into my brain......An interviewer had asked the question, "IS BEING GAY A CHOICE"? And so many answered is a lifestyle choice. I was completely insulted by their answers, because I have had many gay friends and not one had ever said to me....I choose to be gay, I choose, to be ridiculed, teased, harassed, BULLIED....
The next set of questions that was asked by the interviewer to the same people was....
"WHEN DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE A HETEROSEXUAL"...WOW, what a mouth dropped open and my mind went blank...they stopped....they thought...they listened....they looked perplexed and they said..."I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE HETEROSEXUAL, I WAS BORN THIS WAY"... Indeed they were, born this way.....

So the next time you want to judge a person for their sexual orientation, stop and think...WERE YOU BORN THIS WAY? Be Courageous to be who you are, because you are the only you there is!

As Always Be Sweet,
Dori Lowry

Thursday, June 23, 2011


“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

One of my most favorite quotes ever...

Today I read something on a social network written by a young girl that really resonated with me. She was talking about not being pretty. It made me so sad to hear such words coming from such a young person. Not Pretty? Why would she feel this way, because from where I stood, I thought she was a very lovely girl who was very pretty. I started to think, why do these girls think so little of themselves and why would they write it for all to see?
I wonder what must be going through her mind? Being an adolescent is hard....So much pressure for young adults and pre-teens to deal with. I thank the Universe every day that I have girls with such high self esteem. Whenever someone has commented to them about their outer appearance, they have always said THANK YOU.

Yes, Thank you....Day one of their lives I have always told them how beautiful, smart and special they are, and I see the difference in the child who isn't told they are special and the child who has so much confidence in herself.....It is our J.O.B. to make sure that we raise intelligent, happy, confident young adults, they are our future and we must protect them, because the reality of it all will soon be upon them. I think we should all stop and think, walking in someone else's shoes might do all of us some good and help us understand what goes on in some one's life other than our own.

So I say, try to be more caring of the person next to you, for we don't know what goes on in their lives to make them feel so worthless....Take a moment to compliment a child, it could be the best thing someone has every said to them...We should all be accepting of others, who they are and what they stand for. It sure would make the world a better place if we did. Be good to yourself, accept who you are and if you don't like yourself FIND THE COURAGE TO CHANGE.....

As Always, Be Sweet....

Dori Lowry

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who am I? That's easy. Who are you?

The Breakfast Club - 1985

"Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong...and what we did was wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us... in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Does that answer your question?"

So...who do I think I am?

For everyone else that sees me on the outside, that is easy. I am a woman. I am a mother, wife, friend, educator, mentor and advocate. What else is there? I assure you, there is plenty more of who I really am. Do you really want to know? Are you interested? Then listen.

People see what they want to see. Some see us as hot headed, egotistical, fat, flirtatious, funny, nice, compassionate, or stupid. They make fun of us for feeling how we do, and tell us that we shouldn't feel that way. They make our self-esteem drop to the ground because they do not validate our feelings or even acknowledge them. However, we as human beings are much more complex than that. We allow for you to see just bits and parts of who we really are, because of our fear of intimidation and failure. However, if you took the time and listened, you might be surprised at who we really are.

Open your eyes and your heart and listen to what is being said and how it is presented. Do not pretend to listen to us, and only hear what you want. We are more than what you see. We are human. Do not bully us into agreeing with your beliefs or be mad at us because we may not agree with everything you do. We are individuals. We are entitled to our own opinions and beliefs and our values are most likely going to be different. We will not stand to be ridiculed and humiliated just because we think outside of the box. We are who we are. That won't change.

If you really want to know us, then there are simple things you must know. Include us instead of exclude at us rather than look us up and down...listen to us rather than ignore with us rather than at us and accept us no matter how different you think we are. You don't have to like us, but at least respect us enough to accept our differences and allow us to be free.

Accept our faults and our failures, just as much as our goodness and successes. Include us, guide us, and trust us. Let our differences be what keeps us laughing, not what tears us apart. Teach us to fly, and we will soar.

Who am I? That is easy. I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Who are you?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


    • "By choosing to embrace and practice good values every day, you may not always get what you desire, but you will always be the person you desire to be.."
      ~ John C Maxwell from Today Matters

    • What great words of wisdom to instill in our families...Especially with how our economy is affecting everyone around us, taking a huge toll on the family unit. Since summer has begun, this is our opportunity as parents to reconnect with our children. Try and help them be the best young person I know that they can be...with a little love and guidance, all is possible...
      I know that we are with them every day, however, it's time we try and spend some real time with them...I have three girls of my own and two nieces. I have decided to make it my goal to try and be a better parent by doing one simple thing.....Listening...
      Listening to what they are trying to communicate to me. Oh, you all know how hard that can be, communicating with pre-teens and teenagers. These are vital and impressionable years and we have to take the time to HEAR what our kids are saying to us.
      We are very busy with everyday life and I believe we think we are listening to our children, but are we truly? So what do I plan on doing this summer in order to communicate better?

      Listen before I judge and yell...oh yes, I sometimes yell...I am going to be more understanding, and remember how I was during my teen years. I was impossible and knew that my mother didn't understand me at all. We forget as parents that we were once teens ourselves.
      I will go back to the "BACK IN THE DAY" library in my head and come up with some things I felt when I was their yes, spend time with them, talk to them this summer and I think that maybe life will be that much more sweeter.
      What will you be doing?
      As always, Be sweet,
      Dori Lowry

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrity Voice vs. Real Life

Well, well, well. Here we are. The kids are out of school, graduations attended and its HOT ~ Happy summer, friends!

On a quick side note – To the imbeciles who felt the need to scream and holler at the TOP of their lungs when their child/friend's name was called at Graduation – YOU ARE SO RUDE!  I think everyone should celebrate their child's accomplishments as much as the next guy but to scream through the names of the next four graduates, robbing their families from even hearing their child's name be called, RUDE! You know what you were doing; you ruined a moment for those families that they will NEVER get back. Yes the school could have paused between names… and yes the graduation could have lasted four hours. And I was live and in person in South Carolina a few years ago when they arrested people for excessive celebration. There ARE some extremes. I just wish everyone put as much thought into others as they do themselves. That is all on that.

The big story over the past few days has been about Tracy Morgan and his anti-gay, hateful, threatening comments made at his Nashville comedy show. Everything about this story has pretty much been covered but I would like to add my take on it…

First, did you know the gentleman who first broke the story on his Facebook page, was still in the closet? He is a gay man who had to come out to his parents prior to being on CNN Saturday! Talk about courage. He could have let Tracy say what he said without calling him out on it, as obviously hundreds of others did. This would have protected his homosexuality. But instead of thinking only about himself and the consequences for speaking up, he did the RIGHT thing, he made the harder choice. What an amazing guy! Now that's good stuff =)

But here's my beef. Tracy is famous. Tracy has a publicist. Tracy's comments made national news and caused uproar. I am VERY happy they did, people should be outraged! But do people really look up to comedians? Should our children use actors and athletes as role models? You can debate whether or not they should or do… But in my opinion; the people who MOST impact a child's beliefs and feeling are the people closets to them not famous stars.

If you have a poor body image, chances are you've heard someone talk about fat people being less than. If you're petrified that someone might find out your gay, chances are you have heard people talk about that too. Are these people on TV, possibly? But I think they are people close to you. We truly HEAR what people we love and care about say, whether they verbalize it or not. We know if our Uncle is homophobic, maybe he talks about the "sissy at work". We know if our Mother is homophobic, maybe she tells a friend about so and so's daughter who just "decided she was a Lesbian".  Maybe you hear your brother talking about a girl in the bar, "that girl needs to put down the cookie and pick up an apple". Or maybe you're in church and your Pastor says "homosexuality is a sin. All gays will go to hell!"

I have had multiple friends NOT tell their parents they were Gay. They knew they would no longer be loved… LOVED not liked, LOVED! A close friend of mine was told by her otherwise sane, educated and loving father that she was "the biggest disappointment of his life" when she married her girlfriend of many years. These people were not afraid because of the Tracy Morgan's in this world! These friends and thousands of people just like them all over the world; are afraid to be who they are because they know they will not be accepted by the people they are closest to – the people THEY love the most.

Pay much more attention to what YOU say. More importantly who hears you? The life you save may be your child's…

"Prejudice is learned. Teach acceptance."

With love,

Aunt T-

Monday, June 13, 2011

Block & Ban 'Em ~ Squash Those Trollls!

                Recently, ABC has come under attack of what are referred to as “trolls.”  Trolls are fake profiles and pages that are created for the purpose of attacking or cyber bullying people or pages.  When I first created ABC and started connecting with other like-minded pages, I would see the occasional posting about a page so filled with hate that one of our fellow communities were asking everyone to report them and rid FB of the hate. 
                Then it happened to us….. and it devastated me. 
                Every morning I get up, let the dogs out, grab my coffee and sit down to catch up on ABC postings during the night.  The morning the “trolls” first attacked our page was no different but I immediately felt violated.  And somewhat scared. 
                First I blocked and banned some of the pages and people that had posted incredibly inappropriate things on our ABC wall and statuses.  Then I went to another like-minded page and saw they had also attacked this other page and one teenage girl that had been asking for help on this other page, responded to the troll, thanking them for caring.  I immediately called the admin to let her know what was going on.
                Between myself and another ABC admin we were able to catch them immediately, block and report as soon as they liked our page or commented on it.  It was a bit nerve-wracking and though we felt confident in who we were banning to protect our community, we did accidentally ban one fantastic new member (which of course was immediately protected). 
                This first attack really affected me.  I felt confident in our ability to protect our community, but they started sharing our page on their “troll” pages asking all the “trolls” to report us for heinous reasons.  It was scary.  I’ve seen pages disappear due to troll attacks, and even though FB says they check every report, all 3 of the ABC admins received a warning from FB regarding inappropriate posting.  I was incredibly disappointed by this as I have never violated FB terms personally or professionally.  I have followed up with Facebook on their Privacy and Security Discussion Boards which I urge anyone to do if they ever face anything similar.
                I’m 33 (or 34) and have never been a victim of cyber bullying until now.  I have researched cyber bullying, but now that it’s happened to us, I feel like I’m able to relate.  It was something I couldn’t control, it took me completely off guard and at first I floundered.  I can only imagine how horrible it is for a teen (or younger) facing cyber bullying. 
                I am no longer devastated, I am prepared.  We have a plan of action, if and when they come to the page.  I know that I can’t protect us from ever being attacked by “trolls,” but having an action plan for when/if it does happen makes me secure.  And They Will Not Win.  They Will Not Get the Best of ABC.
                We fully support the petition Kate Gaming of Take A Stand recently started requesting stricter policies removing FB troll pages/hate pages.  Below is a link to the petition and we hope you will take the less than a minute it takes to digitally sign and then Share it on your personal page.  We do believe that Together We Can Make a Difference.

Here are some tips for you when reporting hate pages/troll pages or being cyber bullied:
1.        Don’t Respond.  Ever. 
2.       Before you remove and ban, take a screenshot and paste into Paint and save as a JPG.  To Take a screenshot of my computers I either press the Window button and PrtScn button or the FN key with the PrtScn button.
3.       Report, Remove, Ban, Move on.
4.       Keep your profile private.  Yes, it can make you more difficult to find, but that’s a good thing when it comes to trolls.  You don’t want a troll latching on to a picture of you or a loved one.  Believe me.
5.       Parents – Monitor your kids’ facebook pages.  Limit the time they are on and check their history to make sure they aren’t creating Fake profiles (more common than you think).
6.       Children – Tell a parent.  If you are scared, tell someone, tell the school counselor, coach, teacher or some adult.  Don’t deal with it alone.

The amount of support we received from like-minded pages when we were under attack was nothing short of amazing and I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing people who share this passion and by amazing communities. 
Thank you all,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Keeping the Faith

Faith makes things possible...not easy.

Today of all day's I am needing to keep the faith. Losing loved ones or situations not going your way, trying above all to keep your head held high or hold it together. Life will throw you curves without a moments notice...I must say it can be the hardest thing to do- Keeping Faith. It is an intangible cannot see it or touch it, but you know it's to you...helping you...feeding your soul...I know that without it, we are lost...If you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard for, then you become a vessel, a positive force field... You may realize that it's not easy having inner strength, in fact it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to conquer...FAITH...Life will bring with it many challenges and because we are only human we must look deep inside ourselves and rise above any adversity that will come our way....
Faith DOES makes all things Possible...

As Always....Be Sweet....
Dori Lowry

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In honor of Graduations & Summer Break

"I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.

And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

There's a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is .............. Saturday?

G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

— Shel Silverstein

*"Prejudice is learned. Teach acceptance."*
*Learn more on Facebook, click here: **ABC: Anti-Bullying

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tips for a “Bully Free” Summer full of FUN!

For some children, summer time is a much needed break from the school bullies. For others, the bullies may live in your neighborhood or attend the same summer activities. For others, summer means meeting new friends at camp or daycare which may require having a conversation with them about what makes a good friend and how to be a good friend.


For children who ARE the bully, the summer can be used to work on learning more effective communication techniques or engaging in new activities that burn off frustration or focus their misguided boredom.


I highly recommend to all parents to use the summer time to find out what your children like to do, this will build confidence! Some activities I highly recommend are Art Class, Drama/Comedy club or class, Karate, swimming lessons, camp, horseback riding, tennis, time away from home like visiting Grandma. If we focus on building our children's confidence level over the summer, they will have more fun this summer AND it will help next school year!


I cannot preach this enough… Keep children's "technology time" limited and supervised!
Cyber bullying is ferocious and CAN be prevented! Talk to your children about what they're doing online, who they're talking to. Ask whose texting or calling. Have limits on these devices! I also HIGHLY recommend installing "Net Nanny" ( on your computer, its fantastic! You can find a coupon for it at ( but it's worth every penny! The art of playing outside is LOST on many. Build a fort, Kick the Can, fly a kite – remember these activities parents? Let's make sure our children do too!


Here are some tips for what to do if you are a child being bullied. These are designed for children and are a great tool to start or continue conversations with your kids…



Many kids who are bullied feel helpless. Sometimes, they think the only thing they can do is hope the problem will go away. But there are things you can do to get some control in the situation and it starts with developing a strategy (strategy = plan) and a support system.


The moment it's happening:

#1 - Breathe. Observe who is around. Breathe again.

#2 - Ask yourself: What the bully is doing that you want stopped? And what do you want them to do instead? If you can, find the courage to say those feelings. (For example, "Stop pushing me into the lockers, I want to walk down the hallway in peace. I know you can do whatever you want, but I want you to stop." Or, "Stop sending texts to everyone in the grade that no one should talk to me.")

#3 - If you can walk away, think about walking towards safety not away from the bully. For example, walk towards a classroom where you can see a teacher you trust. If you are in a park, walk towards a group of adults or a coach.

#5 - Don't retaliate or threaten to retaliate (retaliate = do something mean to them/paybacks). This often leads to an escalation (escalation = more) of the bullying



Any time someone is bullied through social networking, a cell phone, or any type of social media, it can be really hard not to want to defend yourself by retaliating or finding out why this person is attacking you.


Sleeping with your phone in your bedroom is never a good idea, but it's even worse when you're bullied online because it's too tempting to stay up all night trying to "fix" the situation—which isn't possible anyway. Same thing goes with a computer. Sleep is hard anyway when you know people are saying mean things about you, but it's impossible if you're checking Facebook, Twitter, and your texts all night.


After the bullying has occurred:

Remember that reporting a bully is not snitching. People who report bullying are doing the right thing. And the reality is adults can't address the problem if they don't know about it.

  • People snitch when all they want to do is get the person in trouble.
  • People report when they have a problem that is too big for them to solve on their own.

Report the bullying to an ally: An ally is an adult that you trust to help you think through your problems. An ally can be a parent or guardian, a teacher or counselor. Avoid describing the bullying in generalities like, "He is being mean." Be specific about the bullying behavior, where you are when it occurs, and what you need to feel safe. (It may help to write it down.)

If you are scared to go to school, show up for practice, or any other activity, tell your ally or the adult who is in charge. It is not your fault that you are being bullied, and you have the right to be in school and participate in after-school activities, just like everyone else.

What do you do if the bully is a friend?

It's always important to have strong friendships that you can depend on, but sometimes the bully can be a friend. If that happens ask yourself the following questions about your friendship.


#1 - What are the three most important things I need in a friendship? (Most people say, trust, respect and honesty)

#2 - Are my friends treating me according to what I need in a friendship?

#3 - If my friends aren't treating me according to my standards, why am I in this friendship? Is it worth it?

#4 - If my friends were nice to me tomorrow, do I believe the bullying will stop or am I hoping for the best and putting all the power in their hands?



NOTE: If you're the adult who is helping the child or teen think through these questions, it's ok for them to think about their answers. They need to come up with the answers for themselves so they can internalize the realization that the cost is too high to maintain these relationships.



"Aunt T's ABC Tip"

While is NEVER OK to be bullied, there is going to always be some sort of conflict in life. If you can think with your head, instead of your heart, you will be impressed with how having a plan and changing your OWN behavior, usually helps others change too! Never stop talking to an ally. If the bullying does not go away - keep telling someone until it does. You have the power, be strong and believe in yourself!


Some portions of this were derived from Author Rosalind Wiseman's Blog –(

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When it comes down to it, we really aren't that different

I recently had the opportunity to speak to someone whom I went to high school with, and with whom I have had no contact with for 25 years. We had the most amazing conversation on the phone for 2 hours! We talked about our families, what we are doing now, and of course, what we remembered from high school.

Let me give you a little background first of what I remember as an adolescent trying to fit into a world where I was lost and scared.

During the early 80’s I went to a HUGE high school in Houston, Texas in 9th and 10th grade. There were so many students, that the teachers really didn’t know us personally. I had to remind my teachers what my name was on the occasion I asked for help.

If you didn’t fit into a certain group or clique, then you really were known as a loser or a loner. The most popular cliques, were the popular crowd, athletics, band, and choir. I was not involved in any of those. I was not popular, but knew some of the popular kids. I was not into any sports and I did not participate in band or choir. Instead, I was in orchestra and played the cello. That might be neat now, but back then, it was looked upon as stupid and nerdy.

My friend lived just a few houses away from me, and after school and during the summers we spent a lot of time together. We went to camp together, we went to the beach, and we hung out at each other’s houses. I thought she was amazing and I really liked spending time with her. When we were in school however, it was a different story. There was an unspoken rule that we would not communicate during school hours. I was not in her crowd, and if she spoke to me, her “friends” would most likely say something about it to her.

I went to this particular school for two years, and due to many negative choices I made for myself because of my depression and anxiety of not fitting in, I transferred to a private school downtown. I flourished at the new school and the ugly, shy caterpillar was now a beautiful butterfly. The change made a world of difference in my life.

Anyway…as I stated earlier, I recently spoke to this friend over the phone for 2 straight hours. We laughed, and joked…cried and laughed some more. We talked about the old days, and to my surprise, she felt alone and depressed as well during high school and actually hated the school.

What? This girl…who was beautiful, talented, and popular felt as if she didn’t fit in? Was I hearing right?? She explained to me, that in order to stay in that particular group as she was in, you had to abide by the group rules. She said it was hard on her…but she did it because she wanted to fit in. She was the party girl, the jokester, and made everyone laugh. She stated that she had to be this way, in order to maintain an image that was already set in place. She was miserable, and I was miserable, and neither one of knew that about the other. We talked about the unspoken rule we had during school, and she must have apologized a zillion times about that. I hold no grudges. We are in our 40’s now and we have reconnected, so it’s all ok with me.

I have actually befriended some of these people on face book now, and they are nothing like they were in high school. I honestly do not think that some of them realize the pain and depression that was caused by their actions. I do not hold any grudges toward any of those people either. Being a teenager can be tough by itself, let alone having to abide by certain rules just to fit into a category you feel is important at the time.

Lessons here:

Do not judge a book by its cover. The ones who are outwardly happy all of the time, might just have a personal issue that you are not aware of. Don’t make an assumption about a person or a group of people, just by what you think is going on.

Let bygones be bygones. Do not hold a grudge against people you may have had an issue with for over 20 years. That is unhealthy and causes more inner turmoil.

Take a look at your own life, and stand up for others. The issues that have been presented here, are most likely the same sort of issues that teenagers face all over the world. Keep your eyes open, your ears open and step up to help someone who is depressed or is being bullied by social isolation.

To my friend whom I have reconnected with…....thank you. Thank you for showing me that your life wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was. Thank you for being honest with me and sharing your story. You have really shed a light onto something that has been perplexing me for many years. I hold no grudges, and I want you to know that I love you dearly. I hope the next 20 years, we will be friends as if the time away from each other never happened.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Golden Rule

EXPECT- nothing of anyone! ACCEPT- others as they are! RESPECT- everyone regardless! CONTROL- yourself because it’s all you control!

When I read this, I felt as if it was speaking directly to me.....Powerful words that are hard to live by, whether you are an adult, teen, pre-teen or small child. This is something that we must practice every day.
I don't think it means that you should allow anyone, no matter who they are, to treat you horribly, speak to you badly or bully you in any way....
What it means to me, is that we as humans must....
EXPECT nothing from anyone that you are not willing to give yourself....
ACCEPT other's for who they are and what they look like, it is not for us to judge (who are we to pass such judgments on our neighbor)....
RESPECT those around you, for respect is a valuable tool, it will have powers that are limitless....
CONTROL yourself and your actions, for in this life you...and yourself....are the only ones that you have control over. You cannot control anyone's thoughts and actions, but your own.
You are the pilot of your life and owning your thoughts and energy is POWER..
At the end of the day these four little words are simply the Golden Rule....


As Always BE SWEET,
Dori Lowry