Browsing all articles from July, 2015

I felt like an outsider in my family for many years

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments 7 comments
Jul
31
God is my spiritual compass or my GPS leading the way. When I’m going in the wrong direction or something doesn’t feel right inside, my intuition says, “recalculate” turn around or go in another direction. I am learning to trust my feelings to guide me because feelings are a gift from God and an important part of my GPS system.
Last December when I visited my family in Rhode Island, I said a prayer, “Lord, heal me of my need to be appreciated, seen and acknowledged in my family.” I wrote in my journal along with the prayer that I wanted to stop looking to others, especially my daughter, Mary, to appreciate me and acknowledge what I did for her. I also wrote an affirmation, “I love, accept and appreciate myself as a mother.” I needed to “recalibrate” and change direction. God heard my prayer and the affirmation worked. Here is what has transpired since then.
I just returned home from a family vacation in Rhode Island. I told my children that this was the best vacation ever for me. As we all know, family dynamics and “old patterns” can take years to shift as it has in my family. The unfortunate thing is they may never shift. Put divorce in the equation after 30 years of marriage and there is a whole new dimension to the healing journey.
Even though my children were young adults when my husband and I got divorced, the younger ones had a hard time accepting the divorce. They were angry and I sometimes got the brunt of their anger.  It took several years of prayer and sending them love to shift this. Being the adult and knowing they needed to grieve the loss of their parent’s marriage, I kept quiet and tried to give them their space to deal with their feelings.
It is my belief that I teach people how to treat me.  For example, if I don’t respect myself, others will not respect me. If I don’t appreciate myself, others will not appreciate me. It all starts with me. When I don’t appreciate myself, I look to others to fill me and it is NEVER enough. I looked to my children to appreciate me because I hadn’t learned to give the appreciation to myself first.
As time went on with the family dynamics, I realized that I needed to speak up to my children and set boundaries. I needed to tell them that their behavior was causing me pain and I wanted them to stop speaking to me the way they did. I remember exactly when and how it shifted. I was having Easter dinner with my two younger children and they started their usual antics with me. I couldn’t take it anymore and broke down at the table and ran to my room in tears.  I don’t think they knew how much I was hurting and allowing them to see my pain shifted everything in our relationship.
I love my family very much and I know they love me. But there was a certain “dynamic” of sarcasm (that they thought was funny) in the family that left me feeling like an “outsider” for many years.  Even though I was their mother, I didn’t feel a part of the family and was very quiet and couldn’t be myself in their presence. I sometimes was the brunt of their jokes and perhaps the scapegoat. It was very painful.  But as I healed and learned to love, respect and accept myself, things began to change in the family.
It took years to shift the family dynamics and patterns. I prayed, sent love, detached, cried, confronted and let go and let God. The bottom line is that I could not change other people. All I could change was myself and that was a big enough job.
Several months ago, I was led to start an “Appreciation” practice at night. Right before I fall off to sleep I mentally review the day and think about things that I appreciate about myself. It may be something very small like I smiled at the person in the bank who didn’t look very happy or I did something that was difficult and took courage. Some nights the list is pretty long and that feels really good. It forces me to think about the things I like and appreciate about myself, rather than what I didn’t do right or need to change. What I appreciate grows and appreciates!
Doing the “Appreciation” practice nightly has helped me during the day to think about what I’m going to put on my list that night.  If I am tempted to gossip or judge someone, I stop myself because I want to put that on my appreciation list that night.
This trip with my family was a testimony to the inner work and healing I have been doing for so many years. I not only experienced appreciation from my children in words of affirmations and how much I meant to them, but they showed their love for me in their behaviors. I felt respected, heard, affirmed and loved. It was truly amazing.
I spent time alone with each of my children and we did something fun together. Mary and I went to lunch and sat on the rocks overlooking the ocean at Beaver Tail.  I was so touched when she “thanked me” for how she was raised. Her partner, Glen, thanked me for being such a “strong woman” when I left to go back home. I went to dinner with my son, Jimmy and daughter-in-law, Lara, and ex-husband and had an amazing night. It truly felt like a miracle because I felt comfortable in my own skin. How good is that! My son, Brian, and I went to Boston and had lunch together and had a wonderful time.  My son, Tim, who lives in Boise, Idaho couldn’t make the trip and his presence was missed.
I share this story with you to give you hope and inspiration.  Don’t give up if you are struggling with family patterns and dynamics. I know the pain and struggle and I now know the power of love. God has changed me and my family one person at a time.  Remember, you can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. Give yourself what you need, whether that is self-love, acceptance or appreciation. You deserve it.

You inspire me Mom

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments No comments
Jul
28
I love how the Universe works when I trust and follow my intuition. I love how things come to me when and how they are meant to come. God’s timing is perfect.  I no longer have to push and make things happen like I did for so many years.

For the past 3 years when I’ve returned to Rhode Island to visit my family, I’ve led a retreat for women at my daughter, Mary’s, farm. The retreats have been very successful and I looked forward to doing another retreat this summer.

As I started to prepare for the retreat and write the talks, I felt stressed. As I thought about it, I realized it wasn’t giving the retreat and writing the talks that stressed me out, but marketing the retreat from 5,000 miles away. It felt burdensome. After praying about it and trusting my intuition that it didn’t feel right, I decided not to give a retreat. I felt peaceful after I made the decision which is always an indication for me that I am following the guidance within.

A couple of months later, my friend, Donna, called and asked me if I would be interested in being the speaker at the “Women of Faith” dinner sponsored by her church. Donna has been the chair person for the annual event for the past few years. I immediately said, “Yes” because this was right up my alley as a woman of faith. She said, “I will speak to the pastor and get back to you.”  A week later she texted me and said it was a go.

So I began praying about the title of the talk. I wanted it to be inspirational and, of course, I wanted to share the aloha spirit and how I manifested my dreams of living on the ocean and meeting my soul mate.  Donna and I agreed that the focus and theme of the night would be the aloha spirit.

As I thought about my spiritual journey and what has happened over the past 3 ½ years since I stepped out in faith and moved to Maui, it became clear that learning to love and appreciate myself was crucial for manifesting my dreams.  “The Power of Self-Love to Manifest your Deepest Desires” became the title for the talk.

I felt really excited as the time approached for the “Women of Faith” dinner. I planned on doing the hula and even had a hula dress to wear that I found at a yard sale for $5.00  a year ago. When I bought the dress, I didn’t know when or where I would wear it, but couldn’t pass it up for $5.00. When I saw it in my closet, I didn’t know if I would ever wear it.  God knew way before I did that I would need the dress to do the hula at the “Women of Faith” dinner. God prepares the way for us when we trust and walk in faith.

All I had to do was “SHOW UP” and let my light shine for the night of the dinner. I brought sea shells from Maui for all of the women. We also had Aloha booklets as gifts. The place was decorated beautifully with an Hawaiian theme and the food was catered by a local restaurant. There were over 50 women attending the dinner and talk.

My daughter, Mary, had never been to any of my retreats or heard me speak before. I was thrilled (and nervous) by her presence at the dinner. I greeted all the women as they came into the restaurant and when I sat down at the table before I spoke, there was a card and beautiful candle at my seat. The envelop read, Patricia “Lady of Faith.”  Of course, I didn’t know who it was from.  What a surprise when I opened it and it was from my daughter. It said, “Mom, so proud of you! You are an inspiration. Love you, Mary.  My heart was full of joy and gratitude.  What a gift of love she had given me that I will treasure forever.  I was flying high.

Before my talk, I danced the hula. After I danced for a few minutes I invited all of the women to stand up at their tables and do the hula with me. It was beautiful to see them dancing and sharing the aloha spirit.

It was a powerful night seeing old friends and meeting new friends.  I loved every minute of it and so did the women attending. I shared what it is like to live on Maui and the energy of aloha. What a gift it is for me to share and inspire others to follow their hearts and believe in miracles.

Here are some of my closing remarks.

*God has placed your dreams and desires in your heart and will help you manifest them.

*You don’t need to know HOW they will happen. All you need to know is what your dreams are.

*Face your fears and do what you are called to do. Be the presence of God in the world.

*Love yourself like you have never loved yourself before.

*Love God with all your heart and soul.

*Say YES to receiving the plans God has for you. Let your light shine.

*Pray, Meditate, Believe, Let Go, Trust, Wait, Be courageous, Take a risk.

*God’s timing is perfect.

*Expect miracles.

*God is faithful.

*Now is the time to BE the star of your own life.

*Don’t let your dreams die inside of you.

Thank you Donna for inviting me to speak at the “Women of Faith” dinner. Thank you to all the women who attended and shared their faith. Thank you that I am learning to follow my intuition and to trust God to open and close doors for my highest good. 

 

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
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