As I took my walk this morning, I thought about my relationship with Larry and how grateful and FREE I feel because of the way our relationship has evolved over the last 2 ½ years as a couple. I love how we DO or shall I say LIVE our relationship.
I feel FREE to be ME; free to say yes or no, free to set boundaries, free to do my own thing, free to ask for what I want, free to play, free to share my feelings, free to be vulnerable, free to change my mind and free to love him the way I want to love him.
Being in a “codependent “relationship for 30 years with my ex-husband and single for 15 years, I felt some concern about the thought of a new love relationship and what it would look like. It had taken me so many years to find myself and love myself that I didn’t want to lose myself.
As I thought about my relationship with Larry, the word that stood out for me was how we RESPECT one another. We give each other “space” to do what is right for ourselves trusting we know what we need to do for ourselves.
“RESPECT means valuing each other’s points of views even if we disagree with it. It means being open to being wrong. It means accepting people as they are. It means not dumping on someone because you’re having a bad day. It means being polite and kind always, because being kind to people is not negotiable. It means not dissing people because they’re different from you. It means not gossiping about people or spreading lies.” Urban Dictionary
Whether it is in a partnership, marriage, friendship, or parent-child relationship, RESPECT is crucial as the foundation. I may not agree with someone’s actions and may even be concerned that it is not healthy for them, but I am learning to TRUST that they are doing the best they can and they will learn what they need to learn in their own time and way.
Who am I to judge another person’s actions and think I know what’s best for them or that I am right and they are wrong? I remind myself that if I had the same experiences as they had, I would be doing the same thing.
I thought I had the answers for my ex-husband for many years. If he just did it this way or better yet MY WAY, he would be fine. I realize today that I didn’t want to look at myself and what needed changing in me so it was easier to focus on him.
It didn’t work. It never works trying to control someone, especially someone I love. That is not to say, I don’t give my opinion WHEN ASKED. I give my opinion and then let it go and let it be. I am practicing keeping my mouth shut when I want to get into someone else’s business. It is not always easy and I don’t always do it right, but I am more aware that it is almost always none of my business.
Praying for a loved one and sending them love and light is what I do to keep myself peaceful and not worry and obsess about them. It is like I am saying to the person, “I trust and respect you. I know you will do what is right for you. I will support you and I am here if you need me.” I remind myself to be patient and that it may not be in MY TIME or my way.
I recently asked myself, “Can I respect others if I don’t respect myself?” I don’t think so. I thought about the qualities I see in myself that I admire and respect. I see my compassion, kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, flexibility, generosity and my ability to give and receive love.
There was a time in my life when I couldn’t admit to myself that I had these qualities. It is probably because I couldn’t express them perfectly. I had to get to a place where I understood that I didn’t have to be perfect in order to admit I had these qualities. Perfectionism is something I have struggled with for most of my life.
For years, my self-confidence and self- respect came from what people said about me and was ego driven. Of course, living like that is like living on an emotional roller coaster, sometimes up, sometimes down, mostly all over the place depending on who I was spending time with.
In time I began to realize it isn’t important what people think or say about me. What is important is what I say about me and what I believe about myself.
Once I began to take responsibility for my life and actions and was able to celebrate some of my decisions and forgive others and myself, I realized I had some good qualities that I could claim as my own even though I wasn’t living them perfectly all of the time. Over the years I have come to nurture and respect those qualities and when I see them in others, I know that I also have them.
I was thinking about how I have given my power and respect away in the past. One way is when I allow friends or family to take advantage of me, guilt me or manipulate me, especially in the name of love, Another way would be to allow others to talk to me disrespectfully (yelling, swearing, name calling, bullying, silent treatment etc.)
I have learned that I teach people how to treat me. When I don’t set healthy boundaries and finally say “enough is enough” to inappropriate behaviors, I continue to allow myself to be disrespected. So when I allow others to treat me this way, I am not respecting myself. It must start with me.
I know how difficult and painful it is to set boundaries. At times in my life, I’ve had to draw the line and inform those who, from my perspective were treating me with disrespect. I’ve had to inform them that I would not accept that kind of behavior. Often it resulted in a lost friendship. I see that as a choice of either losing a relationship or losing myself. Really, if we lose ourselves, what do we have left to share?
It takes courage to say “enough is enough” when we feel disrespected by another’s behavior and actions. As I have learned to respect myself, I expect to be treated with love and kindness, just as I choose to treat others.
My prayer would be that you love and respect yourself enough to not allow anyone to take that away from you.
What is most important to me is to be conscious of God’s will in my life, and there is peace in my heart when I am. There are times when I need to discern what God’s will is for me and I do that through prayer and meditation.
It can be confusing and frustrating when I don’t know what to do next and have to wait for guidance. Like most of us, I don’t like to wait, and I am often impatient. Eventually, the guidance I am seeking comes and shows up in many different ways: through a dream, another person, reading something in a book, seeing something on a billboard or a license plate, or just a deep knowing about what I need to do next in my life.
As Spirit guides me and I know what my next step is, I must be willing to take action and follow my heart, even when my head says, NO WAY. I shared a few weeks ago that I wanted to celebrate my 70th birthday in a special way and go on a cruise, but Larry decided he didn’t want to go.
Through the grace of God, I felt peaceful and had surrendered not going on a cruise for my birthday. I had accepted that it wasn’t God’s will and was able to let it go. Through a series of unrelated events and emails that I received after writing the blog, I started to think about it again.
I felt conflicted and went within to ask myself some questions, “Am I being selfish and wanting my own way? Is this desire to celebrate my birthday on a cruise from God? Am I making a big deal out of this that will create problems for Larry and me? Am I denying myself something that I really want and that is important to me?”
When I shared my struggle with my friend, Kati, she asked me, “What do you really want to do for your birthday?” I said, “I don’t know.” At that point, I really didn’t know what I wanted because I had accepted that I wasn’t going and had let it go.
That night when I went to bed, I asked God for a dream to help me discern God’s will. I did receive a dream and worked with it in the morning. It was clear that I really did want to go on a cruise and that I wasn’t being honest with myself or Larry.
How often in my life did I stay stuck (and didn’t get what I wanted) because I said I didn’t know what I wanted? It was probably easier to not speak up because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I also wouldn’t be disappointed if I just denied my needs and desires and kept my mouth shut. This clearly doesn’t work for me anymore.
Once I admitted that this is what I really wanted to do for my birthday, I made the decision to go on the cruise by myself if Larry still didn’t want to go. I trusted that the money would show up as it had so many times in the past when God led me to step out in faith. I was letting my heart lead me and not my head with all the reasons it wouldn’t work and I couldn’t go.
I contacted Norwegian Cruise Line again to discuss the Hawaiian island cruise. To my delight and surprise, the agent informed me that there was a significant ($1,300) discount for people who lived in Hawaii. I could afford this cruise if I went alone or if Larry joined me.
When Larry came home that afternoon, I shared with him what was going on and the dream I had worked with. I said, “This is what I really want to do for my birthday. I would love for you to join me, but I am fine going by myself if you choose not to go with me”.
When we trust God and follow our hearts, all things work for the good and there is peace in our hearts. I am grateful to be living in God’s perfect will for me.
Being in a love relationship is so much more than it seems at “first sight.” You know how it goes. You meet someone and are attracted to each another. You spend a lot of time together getting to know each other. You realize that you are very compatible and then “BANG” you decide to become a couple in a committed relationship and then live happily ever after.
Well, you may live happily ever after and you may not. My experience with failed relationships has taught me that it requires a lot of work especially on my part. I am continuously finding opportunities to change, grow, and learn and not to RESIST WHAT IS.
Life and relationships are so much about CHOICES.
- How do I know which choice will be the best?
- Will the choice I make be better for me or for my partner?
- Will the choice I make be better for our relationship?
- Am I being selfish if I make the choice that is best for me?
- Am I being true to myself with the choice I am making?
Of course, being in a relationship is not always about “ME.” Sometimes, it’s about US and doing things I may not want to do. It could be an opportunity to be understanding to the needs of my partner.
The latest opportunity for me in our relationship has been when Pat wanted to take a cruise to celebrate her birthday. My initial response was, “I really don’t want to do that cruise since I have been on the Hawaiian Island cruise before and didn’t see the value staying in Maui for a day and a half on a ship when I live here.”
Initially I said, “If you really want me to go I will go with you.” As I thought more about it, I said, “No, I really don’t want to go.” She understood and affirmed me for saying no, which has been difficult for me in the past. She didn’t want me to go if I didn’t really want to so she tried to figure out a way to go by herself, but found that was too expensive.
I was relieved and thought the issue was closed. I guess it wasn’t because a week later she decided to go by herself, regardless of the expense. She invited me to join her, but said she would go either way.
I knew then that this was really important to her and I didn’t want her to go alone. So I changed my mind and agreed to go on the cruise with her. I am CHOOSING to see this as an opportunity to make a loving choice for Pat and have a fun time together, regardless of where the cruise is going. I realized how happy I am to have her in my life to experience these adventures together.
Since she is really excited about the cruise and it brings her much joy, I agreed to go even though I am not as enthusiastic as she is, I am happy to accompany her and will be positive and supportive and look forward to having a great time with her.
Being in a relationship is like a dance. When you are dancing and moving to the beat and rhythm of the music and you’re in sync with one another, it’s a wonderful experience. I think being in a relationship is about trying to incorporate the beat and rhythm of each other’s personalities, perspectives, wishes and desires. When we accomplish this through love, compassion, generosity and flexibility, it becomes a wonderful experience.
I hope in your relationship you have found the beat and rhythm that continues to make it a wonderful experience.
Many of the stories I share with you about how Spirit works in my life have deep spiritual meaning and transformation. It is not only the deeper experiences that God shows up, but it is in the smallest details of our lives. What happened this week is an example of how God guides and provides for all of my needs.
I went to the beach with my girlfriend and we floated in the ocean on her new floats that she had just purchased from Targets. We returned to our chairs to relax and chat. She turned to me and said, “Have you ever tried Maui Jim sunglasses?” I said, “No, I never even heard of them, may I please try them on?”
After I tried the sunglasses on, I was hooked and couldn’t believe how much more beautiful everything looked, especially the blue and turquoise color of the ocean. I didn’t want to take them off and, of course, I now wanted my own pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of them, probably because they were out of my budget. They started at $200 and went up from there.
When I arrived home, I checked out Craig’s List, but to my dismay, nothing showed up. The next day my intuition guided me to check Craig’s List again and up pops several Maui Jim sunglasses for sale. I emailed some of the people and left my phone number and asked them to call me.
A woman called me back and said, “I have brand new Maui Jim sunglasses that were given to me as a gift, but they don’t fit me and I am selling them for $130 dollars.” She lived in the area and we decided to meet the next morning. I decided that I would offer her $100 dollars if I liked them. They were brand new, fit well and looked nice on me. When I asked her if she would take $100, she said, “No, but I will take $125. I said, “Thank you” and drove away.
There is a Maui Jim Sunglass retail store that is 45 minutes away from us. Larry said he would go with me on Monday morning so I could try on the sunglasses to see what I liked. He also offered to buy them for me for a birthday present. Of course, the price would not be Craig’s list prices. As I do about everything, I prayed and asked God to guide me. I didn’t want him to pay full price for Maui Jim sunglasses if he didn’t have to.
Right before we left to drive to the sunglass store, I decided to check Craig’s List once more. To my delight and surprise, there was a new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that had just been posted and they were $55. I was excited and texted Michael immediately and told him I was interested. He also lived about a mile away. Larry and I decided not to drive to the store, but to wait to see if I liked the pair Michael was selling.
I really wanted these sunglasses and felt like a kid who wanted a new toy and I didn’t want to wait. You know when you want what you want when you want it and you want it NOW. Have you ever experienced that kind of obsessing? I kept letting go and surrendering my will to God.
Michael didn’t return my text right away so I had to wait and trust. Several hours later, he texted me and said, “You can come over to see the sunglasses when I return home from work today.” I was thrilled that they weren’t already sold.
Before leaving to go and see the sunglasses. I remembered that I had a silk sunglass case that someone had given me a few years ago that I had never used. I wasn’t even sure I still had it or where it was. I checked the basket by my door that has miscellaneous things in it and sure enough, it was there.
As soon as I tried on the sunglasses, I knew they were mine. There wasn’t a scratch on them and they fit perfectly. To top it off, they had my favorite color turquoise on the inside of the frame. He didn’t have the case to go with them, BUT I DID. I had the Maui Jim Sunglass case that all Maui Jim Sunglasses come in. God knew 2 years ago that I would need it now. God is good and His timing is perfect. All we need to do is trust and surrender.
I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s “THE POWER OF NOW” in which he suggests that an enlightened way to live our lives is to live in the moment, not the past or the future but to become aware and conscious of the present moment.
I have been attempting to adapt that philosophy to my life, with various amounts of success. When I’m able to concentrate on and live in the moment I’m not stressing or worrying about the past or the future. I’m finding when I am conscious and aware of the moment, I feel that I am not alone. There is an energy and power that makes each moment O.K. I don’t have to be afraid, stressed out or feel less than. All I have to do is to be open and allow myself to be loved in that moment.
For example, last Friday I received a certified letter from a U.S. Labor Department lawyer. The letter had a lot of complicated lawyer talk that quite frankly, I didn’t understand. It was about a pension I receive and it had the word “terminate” in it. There was a contact number but it was Friday afternoon in Maui so their offices were closed on the East Coast.
This experience gave me a perfect opportunity to practice living in the moment. I had a choice; to spend the weekend worrying about the future or stress out about possibly losing my pension. This would have significantly changed my retirement situation. My other choice was to live in the moment and not ruin my weekend.
In the past, receiving a letter of this magnitude and not being able to clarify it immediately would have stressed me out and I would have worried about it all weekend. Instead, I chose the second option and tried very diligently to live and enjoy each moment.
Ego tried very hard to get me to focus on the possibility of losing my pension.. I was surprised how easy it was to live in the moment once I made the decision to not go there and to enjoy my weekend. As a matter of fact, I almost forget to call on Monday morning since I wasn’t focusing on it.
I was quite surprised on Monday morning when I called the lawyer and she answered the phone. She explained in great detail that the company which I have my pension with had moved to Malaysia and the labor department was assigning a new managing company. She reassured me that I would not be losing my pension.
I could have spent the whole weekend worrying and stressing out about something that wasn’t even going to happen. Instead, because of what I’m learning and practicing, I had a wonderful opportunity to live in the moment and let go of stress, worry and the future. It’s my hope my sharing will be beneficial to those who read it. Thanks for your time.
In Alan Cohen’s book, “Wisdom of the Heart” he writes, “It’s my own love I want, so why confuse it with seeking it from another? When you honor and nurture yourself, your happiness will proceed from within you and you won’t have to depend on another for it. As you give yourself more love, your relationships will change and reflect yourself-honoring. Another person isn’t the source of your love, you are. True love is an inside job.”
I bought a book at a yard sale called, “Madly in Love with ME” by Christine Arylo. I liked the title and was familiar with the author. In each of the chapters, she gives you a list of questions to help you discover how well you are doing on your self-love journey. I scored pretty high and was happy to see that I am on the right path of giving myself self-love.
I am grateful that Spirit always brings to light what is hidden in me so it can be transformed. It could be old beliefs that no longer serve me and will hurt and hinder by spiritual growth.
One of the ways I give myself self-love is to pay attention to my moods, attitudes and feelings. When something is “stirring inside” and just doesn’t feel right, I pray and meditate and ask God for guidance. As I wait and listen, it always becomes clear what needs to change. I often discover it is my ego wanting to cause trouble and unrest in my soul. I know that once the ego is identified, it loses its power. It always helps me to talk about it with someone I love and trust.
As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, being in a relationship will often bring to light “my stuff”. I was given several opportunities to see my stuff this week. Although it always surprises me when I discover an old belief that is still alive and well in my unconscious, I am grateful how quickly I am able to recognize it.
Rather than beat up on myself like I did for so many years when I discovered something about myself or an old belief that was still playing in my head that I didn’t like, I have learned to be gentle, kind and loving toward myself. I forgave myself and didn’t judge myself. It really feels good when I give myself the unconditional love that I would give to one of my children or to a friend when they were hurting.
Without going into all of the details, Spirit revealed to me how I was giving my power away in a couple of areas of my life. Looking outside for validation and approval is always harmful because it is never enough. It is my own validation and approval that I am seeking. Here is what was revealed by Spirit:
- It is not always about me or something I have done wrong when someone doesn’t respond in the way I would like them to. For example, if I am ignored or someone doesn’t answer an email or phone call, it often has nothing to do with me. In other words, “Don’t take things personal.”
- I was looking to Larry to validate my “dancing skills” (giving my power away) Instead, I am validating my own skills and they are “good enough.”
- I don’t have to BE the best – I just have to DO my best and trust that is enough.
When I changed my beliefs and gave myself the validation and love that I needed, everything shifted. It didn’t matter what Larry thought about my dancing, it was what I thought that was important. And the best part was that my dancing improved.
The other day I offered a friend the gift of my time. My friend declined and we agreed that perhaps another time would be more convenient. Later that day Pat asked me, “How do you feel about your friend declining your gift?” I replied, “I’m fine with the decision my friend made not to accept my offer. Actually, I feel happy that our friendship is such that my friend feels comfortable to refuse a visit and knows there will be no ill feelings on my part.”
I proceeded to share with Pat an experience I had many years ago that taught me a very important lesson about giving with “no strings attached.” Pat asked me to share this story in the blog. I was reluctant to do so at first since I am a very private person and don’t like to bring attention to myself. Pat suggested to me that the lessons I learned in this experience could be beneficial to others, so here it is.
I worked in a soup kitchen in Hartford, CT. 30 years ago one day a week. We provided and cooked meals for around 100 people. One evening in February on a snowy subzero night, I noticed one of the men had come into the building with just a light sweater on. He was wet, shivering and looked like he was on his last legs. I couldn’t believe he was out in these winter elements without a coat or jacket.
I had worn my favorite winter parka which I loved because it was the warmest parka I had ever owned. After noticing this man I just couldn’t let him to go out again at night without a jacket, so I gave him my winter parka. He was very thankful and appreciative.
About a half hour later, I saw this man wearing an old ratty jacket and the parka I had given him was gone. I couldn’t believe it! I felt terrible and betrayed. I thought, “What’s the matter with him? Is he crazy? I gave my beautiful new parka away for nothing.”
From my prospective, he had traded it and made a very poor bargain.
Later in the evening while I was thinking about this experience, I asked myself some serious questions about my giving practices.
- Did I not give this person a gift?
- Did it have strings attached?
- Do I give gifts with expectations?
- Was he to use my gift according to my wishes and ideas?
- If I “gave” him the parka then he could do what he wanted to do with it.
- It is no longer mine, it’s gone, out of my life.
One of the gifts I received was that I was able to be compassionate, generous and loving to a person I didn’t even know and give him something that was very important to me to make his life a little better.
The other lesson I learned and haven’t forgotten 30 years later is that when I give a gift, there are no expectations or strings attached. My joy is in the giving and you receiving. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog,
Getting back into my “LIFE” after 2 weeks of being away takes some doing, or shall I say some BEING. I am so grateful to be home to paradise and to my sweetheart, Larry. Before I left to visit my family on the mainland, my INTENTION was that my trip would flow with peace, ease and grace and that I would get into the FLOW of activities immediately. I didn’t want to give into “jet lag” with traveling 5000 miles across the ocean and being too tired to spend time with my family. My prayer was answered because I felt great and didn’t waste any time getting into things. I visited my son, daughter-in-law and new grandson in Connecticut and then went kayaking with my children and grandchildren the next day.
I had a wonderful visit with my family and girlfriends. My 4 children attended the annual family reunion at my daughter, Mary’s, farm and my son, Tim commented, “This was the best one yet” and I agreed. I held my new grandson, River, for the first time and what a blessing that was. I had so much fun with my grandsons: Jarred who will be 2 years old, Zach who will be 25 and Josh who is 20.
It was a busy time and the 2 weeks flew by. Although my life on Maui is much slower and relaxed, I was able to keep up with all of the activities, but was often in bed by 9 p.m. My daughter, Mary, and I gave a retreat for 20 women at her farm. It was a powerful day of healing and transformation. We look forward to giving another one next year. We also celebrated the grand opening of “The Sage Clinic” (naturopathic clinic) which was started by Mary and Naturopath Dr. John McGonagle.
When I returned home to Maui a few days ago, I wanted to “jump back into my life” and not “waste“ any time. There was so much I wanted to do; answer emails, get pictures developed, call friends, follow-up with women on the retreat, write thank-you notes, write blog, unpack suitcase and on and on. I quickly recognized that it didn’t take me long to get back into my “DOING” mode. Perhaps I feel more in control and more powerful when I am in the DOING mode and have a long list of things to accomplish. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing, but FIRST THINGS FIRST.
As I prayed about what “TO DO” next, I heard God say, “I want you to relax and just BE.” I asked myself, “Did I think BEING was just wasting precious time?” Time is a gift God has given us and it is up to us to do what is best for ourselves. By the grace of God and my willingness to listen to Spirit, I was able to relax and take care of myself. I took several naps, sat outside and enjoyed the breeze, flowers, ocean and the mountains.
You see, my body was clearly very tired from the schedule of the last 2 weeks and being up for 24 hours when I traveled back home. But my mind and perhaps ego was saying something different. My mind said, “You need to get things done first before you can relax.” I realized this was an old belief that no longer served me. I remember when my children were teenagers and clearly capable of taking care of themselves. I wasn’t able to relax until everybody was taken care of. Not knowing any better, I put myself last.
If I want peace (which has been my daily INTENTION for many years), then I must pay attention to my body, mind and Spirit and give it the love it needs. I choose to live in the moment, follow my heart and trust that I am being led and that everything is in perfect and right order.
I have been reading Michael Singer’s book, “The Surrender Experiment” and Eckhart Tolle’s, “Stillness Speaks.” In both books the authors encourage their readers to learn to accept whatever comes into their lives and not resist.
My understanding of what they’re saying is that there is a Higher Power available to us and we can be helped by this Higher Power with any of our life’s situations if we just remain open to that possibility. The experience may not be pleasant and may even be painful. We are encouraged to just accept, no matter what it is. If we feel that we just can’t accept what’s happening at this time in our lives, then accept that we can’t accept. By accepting, we stay open and we allow the Higher Power to grant us the gift that each life experience is bringing us. By resisting what’s happening, we close ourselves to our Higher Power which prevents us from receiving help.
As I write this piece, I am being distracted by my neighbor’s gardener who is using his loud leaf blower and weed whacker on one side of my home and on the other side they are doing construction. I can imagine my Higher Power observing me with a smile as I try to concentrate and accept in this present life situation.
Accepting is a new way of life for me. The other day I decided to take a nap in the early afternoon. We don’t have air conditioning so we keep our windows and doors open. As I lay there, I became conscious of just how noisy it was outside. Dogs barking, people mowing lawns, hundreds of birds singing and chirping, etc. Usually, I would feel frustrated, impatient, angry and get all stirred up and would go into the “poor me, poor me” mode.
I have been working very hard to learn to be more accepting and just allow things to be the way they are. I decided to accept everything that was going on outside and stay open to possibilities. Before I knew it, I was able to visualize this commotion outside as a large philharmonic orchestra playing a beautiful symphony. I know this sounds crazy but it was really cool and before I knew it I was asleep.
I know this is just a small example in accepting, but if I can develop a new habit of staying open to life situations then hopefully, I can become more open to accepting larger situations as they arise.
We’re finding that it seems to be easier to “accept life situations” when we really try to live in the moment and not pay attention to what may happen in the future or what has happened in the past. Tolle suggests that what is happening in a life situation is not us; we are “who is observing the situation.” We are the one who is conscious of what is happening in that situation. It seems like when I can remember that I am an observer in the experience, I can stay open better and accept what is happening in the moment.
It’s such a positive experience to allow ourselves the opportunity to be flexible, to not be afraid of change, to be open to new ideas, and to accept the gift of joy and peace that is being offered to us. I send you the energy of love and light to help you on your journey, please accept my gift.
Three of my single girlfriends moved into their new homes the last couple of months. I probably am one of the first people to ask, “How can I help you and what do you need?” Of course, they are very grateful and appreciative. I always say to them, “It is my pleasure and I am just giving back what was given to me.” And I truly mean it. It will forever be in my heart what was given to me and the real meaning of community.
Over 35 years ago, my family and I were very active in a Christian community. To be closer in proximity to our brothers and sisters, we bought an old house that 2 women had lived in for fifty years and nothing had been done to it. It was a mess and needed EVERYTHING done before we could move in with 4 children under the age of 10.
It was truly through the eyes of “faith” that we had the courage to buy this house. I could see its potential and possibility and the price was within our means. What I didn’t know, at the time, was that we would only have 2 weeks to complete the needed renovations (a new bathroom, kitchen and every room needed to be painted) before we could move in.
It looked impossible that we would be able to move in on time and obvious to us that we couldn’t do this on our own. When you are desperate, and we were desperate, your pride goes out the window and we cried out to the people in community for help. Do you ever wonder why it is so difficult to ask for help? Although very humbling, what happened was truly a miracle in action.
This may sound crazy, but it is true. One man in the community took a week of vacation to put in a brand new kitchen and wouldn’t take any money for his time and expertise. Another member built a new bathroom on the first and second floor. Every room was newly painted before we moved in.
Because my ex-husband was working full time and I was caring for the children, we couldn’t be there 24/7 to oversee and supervise. Of course, we visited every day to see the progress and were in awe of the people who showed up daily to help us.
Outside each room (we had 4 bedrooms) there was a clipboard with all that needed to be completed in the room. The men and women came whenever they could and stayed for an hour or 5 hours. The next person that “showed up” would check the clipboard to see what was needed to do next.
I will never forget the day we moved in and the gratitude and joy we felt in our hearts. The house was completely done over and it looked beautiful. At the end of the day, the love was flowing and we all celebrated with a meal that the women in the community prepared.
I may not be able to say thank you to all the people that helped us 35 years ago so I am paying it forward. It is no wonder that it is my pleasure to help my friends when they move. I want to GIVE back after all I RECEIVED.
DAILY WORD I am abundantly blessed when I GIVE and RECEIVE
“The spiritual law of giving and receiving brings forth abundant blessings. In my sacred prayer time, Spirit reveals to me the ways that I can give and be of service. This law is very simple. If I desire to experience more love in my life, I give more love. If peace is what I seek, I offer peace. I am abundantly blessed when I participate in the flow of energy in the Universe.”
I am wondering if you heard this message while growing up as I did, “Children should be seen and not heard?” I know how important it is to be SEEN and HEARD to be a healthy human being.
I greeted a friend with, “It’s nice to see you” and she responded and said, “Thank you, it’s nice to be SEEN.” That night I greeted another friend the same way and she said the same thing, “It’s nice to be SEEN.” This got my attention and I started to think about what does it mean to be SEEN? Do I really SEE the ESSENCE and light within those I love or do I judge and see their faults or shor comings? I wish I could say I always see the light, but I don’t.
What does it mean to be SEEN? For me, it means to be PRESENT to another in their trials, joys, accomplishments and their sufferings. It means to be there for them when they need me; to just listen to them, give them a hug, lend a helping hand or make a meal. It means to be there with unconditional love and no judgment.
How do I feel when I am SEEN for who I am? How do I feel when someone tells me they see my light and energy, appreciate me and they like being in my presence? It feels really good. A friend of mine recently told me how centered and peaceful I was when she was with me. Since it feels so good to be SEEN, I want to tell others when I see their light.
A couple of weeks ago, while swimming at the pool, I noticed a younger woman sitting on a lounge chair chatting with a friend. I immediately noticed her light and her smile. I wanted to tell her what I saw, but felt uncomfortable going up to a stranger and interrupting their conversation.
About an hour later, I was walking out of the ladies room as she walked toward me. I stopped and said, “I noticed your bright light and smile while you were sitting at the pool and I just wanted you to know that”. Of course, she was delighted and said, “I am here with my parents and I am getting married next month.” She then asked me, “Were you here at this time last year because I remember your hat?” I hope it wasn’t just my hat that she remembered, but my light too!
When I go for walks along the ocean, I enjoy looking into people’s eyes and saying “Good morning or Aloha.” Some people just walk by with their heads down without making any eye contact. I quietly send them love. Other times, I don’t know the person, but when we look into each other’s eyes, there is an instant recognition and I can feel their light and energy.
The last chapter in Michael Singer’s book the “The Untethered Soul” is called, “The Loving Eyes of God.” It talks about how God sees us. “People say that God cries when he looks at this earth. The saint sees that God goes into ecstasy when He looks upon the earth, on all conditions, at all times. Ecstasy is the only thing God knows. God’s nature is eternal, conscious bliss. No matter what you have done, you are not going to be the one thing that ruins it. The beauty is that you can feel this ecstasy. Then nobody will upset or disappoint you. Nothing will create a problem. It will appear as part of the beautiful dance of creation unfolding before you. You will feel love instead of shame. Let go of the idea of a judgmental God. Your God is in ecstasy and there is nothing you can do about it. And if God is in ecstasy, I wonder what he sees when he looks at you?”
Is there an invitation to see and love ourselves as God loves and sees us?
There was a time in my life when going through difficult times, that I was angry and blamed God. I asked God, “Why is there so much hate, prejudice, violence and killing in our world? Why is there so much sickness and suffering?” If God is so powerful and loving, why are these things allowed to materialize? Looking at these events from my human perspective, I can become confused and frightened.
I don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions, but I do wonder if perhaps we, humankind must take responsibility for our part of the situation. Instead of blaming God, would it be better for us to open our hearts and become conscious of the gift of love that is continuously being offered to heal and transform us.
Over 40 years ago my spiritual journey led me to realize that I could no longer support the prejudice, hatred and violence that led to war after war. I was led to explore ways to promote peace and love in our world, not hatred and violence. My perspective of the scriptures was to live in kindness, patience, forgiveness and to love one another, not hate and kill each other.
Forty years ago, I didn’t always live up to those beliefs and, of course, I still have times when I’m challenged now. What is important for me is that I have continued to grow and become more conscious over the years and I’m much more successful and happier these days.
I just don’t see things changing until we really commit to looking into our own hearts and be willing to change and accept the healing power of love. I guess what I’m trying to say is that until we truly give love a chance we will never see the positive power that it is.
This perspective has not been an easy one to commit to. I’ve been very lonely and misunderstood by family and friends. I have been considered naive, unpatriotic and weird. I am familiar with the “deer in the headlight look” and condemnation when I shared my views. This perspective often met with a whole list of why it wouldn’t work. I heard comments like “That is just a lovely unrealistic, naive way to look at these real serious problems.” I hear people say love can never work in the real world.
Well, how’s the way we’re doing things now working?
I guess what I’m suggesting is that we all look deep into our hearts and consider being open to love’s power. Things can change one person at a time. I believe that is happening because if I can do it anyone can do it.
As I sat in the waiting room waiting as my car was being serviced, tears came to my eyes as I read a chapter in Michael Singer’s book, “The Surrender Experiment .“ The book is about the author’s experience of surrendering everything to the Universe and watching what comes to him as a result of always saying “yes” and resisting nothing.
This book touched a deep part in my heart as the tears flowed gently down my cheeks. I was remembering the many stories, miracles and synchronicities as I surrendered my life and wrote my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” My experiences and stories were on a much smaller scale than the author’s but they were still very powerful and valid to me.
My spiritual journey of surrendering, letting go and trusting God the last 4 decades has brought me here today, to this NOW moment. I am living on the ocean in a beautiful home with my soul mate, Larry. I am retired, happy, content and peaceful. My heart is full of gratitude and I take nothing for granted. Is my life/relationship perfect? Of course not, and it will never be. This is not to brag about anything I have done, but to express gratitude for God’s grace and for EVERYTHING that has unfolded in my life. I learned to say “yes” to all the gifts God offered me and I let go of not feeling deserving.
Comparing ourselves to others is common and can happen so subtly. As I started to compare myself with the author, I quickly recognized that my ego was starting to act up and say things like, “How come you are not experiencing as many synchronicities and miracles as you did years ago when you wrote your book? Your life is so peaceful and stress free now; maybe you are doing something wrong?” It almost felt like I was put out to pasture with nothing (dramatic) happening in my life.
I asked myself, “Why am I questioning if I am doing God’s will and surrendered now? Am I willing to trust the Universe that I am exactly where I am meant to be? Am I willing to accept that this is what God wants for me at this time in my life?” Yes, I am. It has taken me years to get to this place of surrender, peace and contentment and I am vigilant about not allowing anything, especially my ego to rob me. Eckhart Tolle states, “True freedom and the end of suffering is knowing I have completely chosen what I am feeling & experiencing NOW.”
I am becoming more and more aware of how ego shows up. Once I become aware of what ego is doing, it loses its power. Whenever I want to “resist” something that has come into my life, whenever I judge someone’s behavior and think I am right or better than them or would do things differently, it is my ego. I heard Spirit’s voice very clearly in my prayer this week. “Pat, MYOB (mind your own business.) I think this will be my new mantra!
I trust that whatever comes into my life, I will handle it with peace, ease and grace. God will give me the strength and courage to deal with it and it will be for my highest good. I may not like it and it may take some time, but I will accept it.
Like the author, Michael Singer, I choose to surrender everything to the Universe and watch what comes to me as a result of always saying “yes” and resisting nothing.
Those of us with children have experienced firsthand the absolute commitment that most parents make in accepting responsibility for raising and protecting their child at any cost.
When they’re babies and young children we take great pleasure in their first- time experiences with life’s little treasures. As babies, we experience sharing their first realization that they can hear, see, touch, smell and taste. As young children, we begin to let go a little and allow those experiences (like riding a bike, or fishing for the first time, or the first day of school or summer camp). When they become teenagers, they want to grow and spread their wings and make their own decisions.
We worry and stress out because all of a sudden they don’t see the world through our eyes. They form their own opinions and perspectives that don’t always agree with ours. We worry that they may make some poor decisions, get hurt or make mistakes that could have a disastrous effect on their lives. We question the way we brought them up and wonder if we did enough for them. We may ask ourselves, “Was I a good enough parent?” We worry that they will suffer heart break and pain or that they will take the wrong path and ruin their life.
Somewhere along that journey we realize that no matter what we do or say they will know pain and suffering of some kind. Hopefully, if they choose to share that part of their journey with us, we can be there for them and love them through whatever transpires.
I had an interesting thought yesterday. What if God said to you, “I gave you this child to nurture and love, but remember this child is also mine to nurture and love. We both definitely want our child to have the best life experience they can possibility have.” Then God showed us a printout of the opportunities and challenges our child was going to be offered during this journey. Some of the challenges could cause great heart break and pain and some of the opportunities would bestow wonderful spiritual and worldly gifts greater than our child could have ever imagined.
God and parents would be there during this child’s journey to help in any way they could. Our child would learn to accept what was happening at any given moment and be open to the constant gift of love that is being offered. Our child would feel supported, worthy and fulfilled. Our child would not be fearful or allow ego to run her/his life. Our child would lead a peaceful, stress free life and when the journey was over would shed its form and be one again in total love consciousness.
Then God would say, “All you have to do is continue to love our child no matter what happens, you’ve seen the printout. You understand that our child has to experience certain difficulties so he/she can grow and become more conscious and open enough to accept my unboundless gift of love.”
Then I thought, “Thank you God for this thought and insight. Looking back it’s helpful to know that while raising our children we were not doing it alone, you were there every step of the way (even though at times it did not feel that way) to protect and guide us with your wisdom and love.
Wouldn’t it be great if we really were shown the printout of our child’s life before he/she was born? We would understand that all of our worrying and stress were meaningless. This is where trust comes in for worrying is an illusion.
One of the reasons I think my relationship with Larry works so well and why I love it so much is because we have learned to be FLEXIBLE with life and with one another. In other words, we are learning to go with the flow and accept “what is.” It seems like a theme in our lives these days to surrender and accept “what it” because we need to practice it daily if we want to experience peace.
I don’t think being flexible in a relationship is easy or even doable if you haven’t learned to be flexible with yourself and to trust what you need to do for yourself in each moment. For example, I really looked forward to attending a potluck luncheon with my yoga group on Memorial Day. Larry and I both had busy weeks and I helped a friend move. I spent Sunday “filling up myself” and resting which was good for my soul.
I felt surprised when I started to feel “uncomfortable” about attending the yoga luncheon because I was really looking forward to it. I didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go and, of course, I didn’t want to disappoint my friends. I have learned to go within and trust Spirit that I am being guided and will do what is right and for my highest good.
There was a time in my life that I wouldn’t give myself permission to change my mind-just because I wanted too. If I was sick, there wouldn’t be a problem saying no. But to change my mind and not follow through is something I didn’t do because I would be more concerned about what others thought of me than with doing what was good for me and for my highest good. It would take me a long time to make a decision and then I would have to talk myself out of feeling guilty.
I am grateful for my growth and how I have learned to respect my wants and needs and take care of myself in body, mind and spirit. I have learned to change my mind and say no without guilt.
Instead of attending the yoga luncheon, Larry and I decided to spend the day together driving up-country and going out to lunch. This felt more peaceful since we hadn’t spent much quiet time together during the week. When I woke up in the morning, the desire to spend the day on the road just didn’t feel peaceful. I wanted to stay home and just BE.
When I shared it with Larry, he was flexible and fine with it, which I knew he would be. He loves to stay home and relax. He respected my need for quiet and was willing to change his plans. Within a few minutes, he received a phone call from the people renting the condo he manages and his morning changed completely. I may not have liked it, but I would have been flexible with the change of plans and accepted “what is.”
I would not want to be in a relationship with someone if I wasn’t respected and there wasn’t flexibility, especially at this time in my life. Of course, there are times when I choose to do something for the person I love that I don’t particularly want to do. The difference is that it is a matter of choice and I am doing it out of love rather than guilt and trying to please someone.
My deepest desire is to become the most complete vessel of love that I can be. I have shared with you before that I believe “love consciousness” is GOD and I know love consciousness gives me many opportunities each day to grow and become a more complete vessel of love.
I don’t always notice these opportunities or take advantage of them because I’m either not listening or my mind is so crowded with my own “me,me, me” thoughts and petty issues that I don’t recognize the opportunities when they appear.
I pray this prayer every morning. “I promise to allow love to touch through me, in its very special way, each person that comes into my life.” I believe that we are all connected through love consciousness (love’s energy and light) and if we remain open to that gift, we can share it with one another. As we learn to do this we grow and become more conscious of who we are intended to be as “vessels of love.”
I try to connect with others and be present to them even if it’s just for a few seconds. I recognize them as another human being and not just a means to an end. It may be in the grocery store, the bank, drug store, or a waitress or waiter serving us. Opportunities come from everywhere to practice being vessels of love.
During my morning walk today I was inspired to stop the garbage truck and express to the driver what a good job he was doing and how much we appreciated his efforts each week. He seemed very happy to hear that and responded in a kind way. He shook my hand and thanked me and wished me a good day.
I have been practicing silently sending love in situations where I have to wait. It may be while I am waiting in line at the store or sitting in a doctor’s office or sitting at a red light. Instead of getting stressed out or irritable, I just send love to all of the souls present and to the Universe. This is my intention, but that doesn’t mean I can do this all of the time. I’m trying to recognize the opportunities that are presented to me to be a vessel of love. I’m certainly not perfect, but I don’t think it’s about perfection. I think for me it’s about learning to live a different way. I know this sounds simple and it is, but it’s not easy.
I am learning to recognize when EGO is trying to disrupt my peace when I judge situations and others, when I am inflexible, impatient, short tempered or allow fear to rule my life. I am learning how powerful words are and realizing I have to choose them carefully when I speak, and to be more sensitive and compassionate. Mark Twain offers “The difference between the right word and wrong word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
LOVE ENERGY (patience, compassion, forgiveness, kindness) offers us the opportunity to choose every day whether we live in the light of love or the darkness of unconsciousness.
I don’t necessarily like the direction I see our world heading and I feel pretty helpless sometimes. What I do believe is that there is an energy more powerful than anything humankind has ever fully experienced and that is the power of LOVE. If I can in some way be a vessel of love and touch the hearts of those people brought into my life, who knows what can happen. LOVE surprises me all time.
“LOVE IS THE ONLY FORCE CAPABLE OF TRANSFORMING AN ENEMY INTO A FRIEND Martin Luther King JR.
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