Do you believe that your needs and desires are less important than the needs of others? Do you have a hard time asking for what you want? Do you think that asking for what you want is selfish? Thinking it is “selfish” is an old belief that is born out of a lack of respect and love for yourself and others. A lack of self-respect can lead to feelings of unworthiness, or less important than others and cause you to subordinate your own needs and “not ask” for what you want.
There are many reasons we don’t ask for what we want. First, we may not know what we want and if we don’t know what we want, we will never get it. We may fear asking for what we want because we don’t want to appear weak, selfish, self- centered, needy or incompetent. We may not want to inconvenience or bother someone with our needs. We may not think our needs are important or we don’t want to rock the boat, especially if things are going well in a relationship. Can you relate to this?
Like many women, I wasn’t taught how to be assertive and ask for what I wanted. I often used the “silent treatment” or dropped hints and then expected my loved ones to read my mind. I then became resentful when my needs weren’t met. Thankfully, I have learned to be assertive and practice when the opportunity arises. It is not always comfortable and I feel vulnerable asking sometimes, but I do it anyway because I love myself and know my needs are important.
I have shared in past blogs about the book “5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman, which I recommend to everybody. It is very helpful in a love relationship to know each other’s love language and to honor that for one another. They are: * Words of Affirmation, *Quality Time Together, *Acts of Service, *Physical Touch, *Gifts.
Thankfully, Larry and I have the same #1 love language and that is Physical Touch. So it is easy for us to show our love for one another through touch. A very close second for me is Gifts. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive. It can be a card or a flower, something that lets me know I am thought about and loved. I love to send cards and give gifts for no reason at all.
I know, without a doubt, that Larry loves me by the way he treats me and respects me. I could not ask for a better partner and know we are perfectly matched. Many months ago, Larry and I had a conversation about my love language of gifts. He heard me and responded in kind. I was thrilled when I received a card in the mail or when he picked me a flower on his way home. He even bought some cards to have in the house to give me when he wanted to. Because this is not his love language, he forgets that it is important to me. It’s not on his mind, until I bring it up to him.
When I became aware that it had been a while since I received a “gift” from Larry, I was tempted to “drop a hint” about how much I love flowers, instead of being honest with him. I decided to be honest and tell him what my needs were. I have learned that I must HONOR my love language and that it is important to me. I wasn’t going to judge it and tell myself I was selfish or wrong for wanting this from Larry. Certainly, Larry had a choice to hear me or ignore me.
When I brought it up to him, he was defensive at first. He said something like, “look at all the ways I love you already.” He was absolutely right, he does love me in so many beautiful ways and I am so grateful for him for the ways he does love me. I am very grateful that Larry decided to listen to me and the next day I found a card with a poem in it on my pillow. I texted him and said, “You made my day. I just got the card and poem and loved it. Thank you for hearing me.”
WOW! Men and women are so different from one another. I wonder sometimes how we can ever have a lasting relationship because our perspectives are so different.
I think the book “5 Languages of Love” is a wonderful, helpful book with a lot of meaningful information. We have both read it and talked about how important it is to know your partner’s love language and honor it.
Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that one of “Sparkles” love languages is receiving little gifts. I think “Well, it was just her birthday and I bought her a nice gift, we went out to dinner and had a great time, and just returned from a fabulous two week cruise. What about all the ways I show her how much I love her every day?” My perspective is that everything is going along really great and I’m thinking she’s feeling loved and happy because I KNOW I AM!
I was surprised and felt defensive, at first, when she reminded me about her “love language” and that I hadn’t sent her a card or brought her flowers in a long time. Then I thought, ”What fertile ground this is for my “EGO!” My ego would have responded this way if I allowed it to. “What is the matter with you, we’ve done all these things together and have this terrific relationship and you are still not happy? There seems to always be something more that you want from me. Are you ever going to be satisfied? Always about you, boy are you selfish.”
Instead of letting my ego run the show, I realized that she is grateful and appreciates all the gifts and things I do for her every day. She is constantly telling me how much she appreciates me and how happy she is with me in our relationship. I have to remember that one of her love languages is receiving small gifts and that it is meaningful and important to her. My pride and ego doesn’t like to admit that I had neglected her love language, but I had. I forget sometimes because it’s not my love language and not so important to me. Just because it wasn’t important to me, does not make it OK for me to neglect hers. Pat has suggested I write something on the calendar to help remind me each month.
I’m glad Pat made herself vulnerable by asking for what she needed and that she had the courage to bring things like this to the light, so they can be resolved. I want to love her the best way I can. It’s important that we both are honest with one another about what we need in our relationship. It’s the little things that will build up and become big problems if we don’t deal with them. So let us allow love to be the music in our cosmic dance.
Alan Cohen writes in his book, “Wisdom of the Heart” “It isn’t selfish to love yourself. It is the first step to true kindness. Only when you love who and what you are can you love others in the way that they yearn to be cared for. Very few people err by loving themselves too much; most err by loving themselves too little.”
What I have learned on my spiritual journey is that “God’s timing is perfect.” I trust that when God closes a door at a particular time, it is for my highest & greatest good. I may not understand why or I may not even like it, but I have learned to “accept what is” and not question it. I love this quote from AA Big Book – “Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems. When I cannot accept every person, place and thing as it is, including my alcoholism, I will not have peace.”
Many people who visit Maui have heard about the “Road to Hana” and want to experience it. Some love it and some hate it. It is beautiful, but the roads are very windy and sometimes there is only one lane to travel. When they finally get to Hana, they often feel disappointed because there is nothing much in Hana to see. It is the journey to Hana that is what is magnificent. It is majestic and magical with the lush green foliage and forests with bamboo trees, huge mountains, beautiful flowers, waterfalls, cliffs that overlook the ocean, black and red sand beaches. It really feels like you are in another world and it could be called “Heavenly Hana.”
Hana is on the other side of the island of Maui and I had not been there in almost 4 years since I have lived here. It’s not that I haven’t tried to go there, because I have. Two years ago, my friend, Catherine, and I planned a trip to Hana for our birthdays, but I hurt my back and the trip was cancelled. Last year, my friend, Kati & I planned a trip to Hana, but for some reason, never made it. Kati and Catherine have been to Hana many times and both wanted me to experience its majesty and beauty.
Last week Catherine, Kati and I went to Hana and we had an amazing and powerful time together. I had 2 experienced “guides” to show me all the “secret” breathtaking places that most tourists don’t even know about. As we started our drive to Hana, we were graced with two beautiful rainbows in the sky. As we sat having our breakfast overlooking the ocean, we spotted a whale breaching. This was our first whale sighting this season, which we were thrilled about. We went into a lava tube which is a cave that formed from the volcano thousands of years ago. We walked on black and red sand beaches and visited the 7 sacred pools.
Now that I’ve experienced the journey to Hana and its beauty and magnificence, it’s hard to believe that I had never been there before, until now. Again, God’s perfect timing. As I thought about my experience, I realized there is always “MORE” that God wants to give us and show us. There is always more beauty and magic and love to be experienced when we are open and ready to receive it. The key for me is to be grateful and accept exactly what I have and where I am in my life, trusting that God knows what is best for me as I daily “let go and let God.” A heart that is grateful and open attracts more good into its life and doors open at the right time when you trust. I didn’t feel like I was “missing anything” by not visiting Hana sooner than I did because I was happy and content with what I had in my life.
My life has been enhanced, deepened and broadened by this experience to Hana in many ways. On a personal note, I was able to take care of myself and love myself by not people pleasing, knowing my limitations and setting boundaries. Kati and Catherine are experienced hikers and love to hike. I am not a hiker, (don’t even like hiking), but was willing to do my best and go along with them. I was really proud of myself because I stretched myself by going down deep cliffs along the ocean side and walking up steep hills through the woods. I prayed all along the way asking for strength and protection because it was wet and slippery in many places.
When my knee started to hurt, I knew I needed to tell my friends that I would not be going any further into the forest to see the bamboo trees. I could have pushed myself and ignored the pain in my knee or I could have been honest and risked their disapproval. I knew they would be disappointed because they were really looking forward to me experiencing the bamboo trees, but I also knew they would honor and respect my decision not to go any further. I chose to be honest and tell them the truth because I knew my limitations and it didn’t matter what they thought of me. In the past, my ego might have said, “Don’t look weak, don’t disappoint them, keep pushing, don’t be a wimp.” But, today it is more important that I love and honor myself than being a people pleaser. It all worked out perfectly and, of course, they were wonderful. On the way back down the steep hill, Catherine said, “It would be great, Pat, if you had a walking stick to help support your knee.” A couple of minutes later, a man walked by with a walking stick and Catherine asked where he got it. He said, “Here you can have this one.” Wow, of course, Catherine handed it to me. God always provides when we ask, we shall receive.
I have found as I’m sure many of you have, that sometimes on life’s journey when I kept my attention on the goal, I missed the incredible opportunities that were actually the gifts along the journey. I wonder how much of the journey I missed while working long and hard to reach all of my goals. I believe that we make the best decisions we can at the time according to where our consciousness is. Now I am learning to find value in the journey by living in the moment.
It was fear and worry that kept me from living in the moment and the NOW. This is different from keeping my eye on the goal and what I want to accomplish in my life. When I lived my life in fear and worry, I felt a sense of control (which is an illusion) because I thought that the “fearful thoughts” were real. This created a constant negative energy and tension that supported my lack of trust. Although I was on a faith journey, my faith didn’t provide me with the tools I needed to live in the moment.
One of the difficulties I experienced in my life was that I had many unanswered questions about God and my faith. My religion taught me to obey rules and commandments and if I didn’t do that, I would be punished and I had to do penance. I had trusted God, done everything my religion had required of me and I still felt abandoned. I said” if trusting in God got me to this point in my life “screw it” I’m better off on my own.
During the years of suffering and pain, I wasn’t able to see it as part of my spiritual journey. I was angry at God and blamed God for things happening in my life that I didn’t like. I was trying to do everything right and couldn’t understand why everything turned to dust. I felt like a rudderless boat bobbing in the ocean. Little did I know God was giving me the opportunity for a whole new different walk in faith, where all my questions are addressed and answered.
As I am practicing living in the moment, I don’t have a sense of control. Therefore, I don’t have confidence in myself to make the decisions that I had when I lived in fear and worry. I sometimes feel frustrated because this is a new practice for me and I don’t fully understand it yet, although it feels right and the more I live in the moment, the more peaceful and relaxed I feel. That is what letting go is all about for me because I am learning to trust. The more I allow myself to seek awareness and consciousness, the more confidence I have in my ability to trust in the energy and light of love.
In retrospect and looking back over my life’s journey, I always had a sense that there was MORE and that I could have it all. Today, years later on my faith journey, I have it all. If I had not traveled the journey I did, I would not be where I am today and have the consciousness that I have.
Larry and I arrived home on Sunday after our 2 week cruise to Australia. We really enjoyed the cruise, especially the food, staff and entertainment. We spent many hours just being together, dancing, reading, and loving one another. One of the highlights for me was winning the jive for “Dancing with the Stars.” What a thrill to perform with my dance partner in the theatre in front of a few thousand people. I really felt like a STAR.
It feels like something has “shifted” inside of me since the cruise and I don’t know what it is, but I know something is different. I am giving myself time to process it. I made the decision before I left to completely “unplug” from the world, which meant no phone, email, texts or Facebook for 2 weeks. I knew I would miss it, but I didn’t want anything to distract me from “living in the moment” and my time with Larry. I felt excited because I sensed it was going to be a powerful time together. My intention was to relax, be peaceful, be in the moment, have fun, pray, play, rest, enjoy, dance & be a vessel of love. I experienced all of the above and more.
I journaled daily so I was able to look back over the days and see what transpired for me. After we arrived on the MS Noordam and got settled into our room, Larry and I made a commitment to one another that we would not complain about anything, but be grateful for everything that happened. I immediately started a gratitude book that I wrote in daily.
Although there were many things to be grateful for, we had lots of “opportunities” to practice our commitment not to complain about anything. There are always lessons to be learned in life and it takes practice to become a master at what you are learning. We were learning about living in the NOW because it is all we have. The next minute is not promised. I asked myself, “Do I want to waste this precious moment complaining because I don’t like what’s happening or will I choose to be grateful, knowing that whatever is happening is for my highest good and a gift and opportunity to grow and learn?”
After only 5 days of cruising on the ocean, I woke up feeling a sense of “boredom.” I missed Maui, my girlfriends, my painting and my phone! I tried not to judge myself (a cruise of a lifetime with my beloved and I am feeling bored, what is wrong with you girl?) I shared it with Larry and he had just finished reading something from Eckhart Tolle’s book “Stillness Speaks” that talked about boredom. Tolle wrote, “Just feel it, just like you would sadness or anger. Go into it, rather than giving it meaning, because it’s not you.”
As I sat with it and prayed about it, I realized that I am fearful sometimes when I have nothing to do or nothing planned, even though I love the days where nothing is planned and I let the day unfold naturally. I still feel some anxiety when I don’t know what the next thing I am going to do is rather than enjoying the moment, living in the NOW and going with the flow. I asked myself, “Is this about my need to control and needing to know what’s next?” It definitely was. Since living in Maui, I have been practicing going with the flow and living in the moment so I was surprised to see there was more healing that I needed. It feels like I am being invited to a deeper level of BEING, trusting and letting go of control. Since I have come home, I feel more peaceful and relaxed. I haven’t “hit the ground running” like I always do when I return from a trip.
We had a wonderful experience on our cruise, but I am so happy to be home. I’ve discovered that I’m not a true and blue traveler and missed Maui and our home digs.
Pat shared that we had decided not to complain about anything, but to stay in a place of gratitude, acceptance and peace. A few occasions arose that truly challenged me to practice this. First of all, after 5 or 6 days on the ship I started to get a sore throat that turned into a full blown cold and cough. My response to that in the past would have been, “Poor me, I paid all this money on a cruise anticipating a wonderful time and I get sick.” But I didn’t go there and didn’t complain. Then Pat got sick which was kind of expected. She also stayed positive and was able to function well. We spent lots of time reading, relaxing and spending quality time together, which is exactly what the doctor ordered.
I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s book “Stillness Speaks” in which he suggests that we are not our thoughts, we are not our sickness or trials, we are “WHO” is aware of them. He invites us to not take our thoughts to seriously, to not own our sickness or trials and to not hold onto them, but to allow ourselves to go through them to the other side, to awareness. With these intentions in mind, this is what I tried to do when I got sick. I was only incapacitated for one day, then started to feel better. Pat spoke to the doctor on the ship and he told her these coughs were lasting for 7-14 days and his lasted for 6 months.
The second challenge came after we disembarked from the ship at 8 a.m. in the morning. The taxi picked us up to take us to our hotel. Our flight back to Maui was at 9:30 p.m., so we had all day to tour Sydney. We booked a hotel for the day through Travelocity so we could relax and take a shower before our 10 hour flight back.
The taxi cab driver kept driving around in circles trying to find the hotel (as I watched his meter going higher and higher.) Would you believe there was no hotel when we arrived at the address given to us? We tried calling the hotel, but there was no answer. There we were at 9 a.m. in the morning with 6 suitcases and no hotel for us to stay. It would have been so easy for me to feel angry, frustrated and fearful, but I didn’t go there. I was able to almost see the comedic aspect of the whole thing as I looked over at Pat with her eyes closed repeating, “Everything is flowing with peace, ease and grace, everything is flowing with peace, ease and grace.”
Meanwhile, the cab had pulled over to the curb and stopped in front of another hotel. I asked the manager of the hotel if he had a room available and he said, “Yes, but you are lucky because they were completely booked for Friday and Saturday. So we were able to get a room right away at the same price we had paid for at the phantom hotel.
We made plans for the same taxi driver Sam to pick us up at 7:00 p.m.and drive us to the airport for our flight at 9:30 p.m. We waited for him in front of the hotel until 7:15 p.m. but no cab driver in sight. We knew if we didn’t leave very soon we would miss our flight. We called another taxi company that arrived ten minutes later and off we went racing to the airport. Again, we didn’t complain and didn’t allow fear, frustration, or anger to enter our energy. On the way to the airport, I turned to Pat and said, “We have to send “Sam” love and forgiveness” and she agreed.
I am learning little by little that if I can live in the moment and trust the energy of love, situations can be resolved in a way that doesn’t require us to get upset, stressed out and life is so much more enjoyable. I’m really happy that after all these years I am beginning to remember that I always have a choice, in difficult situations: to get frustrated, angry and stressed out or to stay present in the moment and trust there is an energy, if I am open to it that is peaceful and will offer a solution to the problem.
For as long as I can remember, I secretly knew that someday I would paint. I would often say to myself, “You can do that” when I saw a painting at a gallery. I bought a book years ago called, “Drawing on the Left Side of Your Brain” and never opened it, or if I did, never did anything with it.
When I moved to Maui, my friend, Kati, and I did some painting together and then I put it down. I don’t know why I stopped because I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I felt my paintings weren’t “good enough” because I didn’t know anything about drawing or painting and it felt like I was “flying by the seat of my pants.”
A few months ago, (two years later), I asked my friend, Lesta, (who is a professional artist) if I could paint with her. She said, “Yes” and we painted a picture together in her back yard under her tree. I am not exactly sure what happened to me that day, but I felt a freedom to just play and I wasn’t worried about it being perfect, nor did I compare myself with her painting. Lesta said, “Pat, you have talent.” With her support and encouragement, I left her house with a new desire to paint again.
When I returned home, I found some of my old paints that I had put away and a few canvases lying around. I started to paint and haven’t been able to stop. All I want to do is PAINT. I am amazed at what is coming out of me and onto the canvas. I put a few of my paintings on Facebook and have had lots of compliments. A friend of mine, Jack, who is a well-known artist on the Island saw my paintings and asked if they were for sale.
My friend, Sharon, and I met at the local coffee shop recently. Sharon noticed that the paintings hanging on the walls were from local artists and they were for sale. She said, “Pat, your paintings are amazing and I think you should have yours in a coffee shop.” I remember thinking, “I’ve only been painting a few months now and they are just not “good enough.”
As I continued to play and practice painting ocean scenes, I could see that they were getting better and better with each one I painted. Our home now looks like a gallery and poor Larry has to step around the paintings to open the cabinets. I have all 15 of them lined up so I can look at them and admire them.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to lunch to my favorite restaurant called, 808 Deli. I spotted the paintings by local artists on the walls and felt brave and said to the cashier, “Rachael, who is in charge of the paintings on the wall?” She said, “I am. Do you paint?” I said, “Yes, I do.” She said, “We have the month of October open. Would you want to bring your paintings in to display and sell?” I said, “YES.” I am sure my jaw dropped open with amazement and shock. It is hard to believe how easy it was because she hadn’t even seen my paintings.
As October approaches, I started to feel “uneasy” about displaying my paintings. I felt vulnerable putting myself “out there” because what if no one bought them? There are so many famous artists on the island that are really good and who was I to think mine were “good enough” to sell? I wanted to ask friends, “Do you think my paintings are “good enough?” I was ready to give my power away again by going outside of myself to get others’ opinions, rather than going within for my own.
Last night, I had a dream that I had given birth to a baby. Giving birth in dreams is very powerful and significant because it means a new idea, project, dream has just been birthed. The only problem was that I wasn’t prepared and ready for the baby’s needs when I brought it home. While in prayer, I asked myself some questions: What had just been birthed? Where & what wasn’t I prepared and ready for? What did I need to do to get prepared? Writing a new book with Larry has already been birthed so I didn’t think it was about the book. It seemed to be about the “uneasiness” I was feeling about displaying and selling my paintings. I was shown that the “hard part” of 9 months of pregnancy and the contractions were over. Now all I needed to do was to nurture and love the “baby” so it would grow to its fullest potential. My baby (painting) was in the womb for 35 years.
I NEVER criticized or thought my 4 babies weren’t “good enough” when they were born. They were perfect and I was delighted and happy that they were born. I just loved them and only saw their beauty.
While I was meditating and thinking about the dream, God showed me that I had “birthed” my paintings after being in the “womb” for over 35 years. Instead of criticizing and thinking they weren’t “good enough,” I was being invited to love, nurture and care for them. They didn’t have to be perfect and I didn’t have to compare them to other people’s paintings. All I needed to do was appreciate and love them. That afternoon, I held each one of the paintings in my hands, prayed over them with love and gave them a name. It doesn’t matter if they sell or not. What matters is that they have been birthed and I had the courage to birth them “& put them out there.” The rest is up to God.
With the grace of God, I BELIEVE
• It doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is what I think
• It’s my approval that I need and want
• I no longer need to compete or compare myself to others (which I did most of my life)
• My paintings don’t have to be perfect or the BEST for me to feel proud of them
• I will give my “baby” the nurturing and love that it needs to grow and develop
• There is no need to hurry the process
• I will love my “creations” just as they are
• I will enjoy and relish each stage of my painting journey
• I will be enthusiastic about showing off my “baby”
What are your dreams? What are you birthing in your life? What has been birthed? What has been in the “womb” that is ready to be born or does it still need time to grow and develop? Know that your soul will guide you in the right direction. We all have gifts to be shared with the world. It takes courage and a willingness to “come out” and let your light shine. Like me, it may take years and that’s ok. It took me 7 years to birth my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith.” We will never be asked to birth something until we are ready for it to be born.
Are you ready to say YES and trust that Spirit will be there to guide you every step of the way? If not now, when?
“Cleansing often brings the worst to the surface before it is dismissed. The first stage of a washing machine cycle is called “agitation.” The clothing needs to be stirred up to loosen the accumulated dirt. To look into a washing machine while the basket is agitating, you see a fowl mire of grime rise to the surface of the water. If you did not know better, you might think that the clothes were getting dirtier and be tempted to shut off the machine. But that would be foolish; the dirt is not being added, as it might appear – it is being removed. In the presence of flowing water (metaphysically representing Spirit), the dirt is drained away, leaving fresh, clean garments. If you just stay with the process, the cycle will complete itself, and soon the clothes will be much cleaner than when the process began.” Alan Cohen, “I Had It All the Time”
I woke up feeling agitated, irritable and like I had been hit by a truck. My dreams were about struggle and not being able to get to where I wanted to be. I KNEW something was being dredged up from my unconscious to be healed and transformed. I was in the washing machine cycle called “AGITATION” and it felt awful.
When I went to bed the night before, I shared with Larry that I felt BAD and ASHAMED when I got off the phone with John, my computer guy. I downloaded the new Windows 10 to my computer, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my pictures from my IPhone to my desktop. A friend suggested I go back to Windows 7 which I did and was successful with.
Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get my pictures to my desktop even with the old Windows 7. If anything causes me stress and I want to pull my hair out, it is dealing with computers and technology. I called John and asked for help. John has always been very patient with me and is able to help me. John must have had a bad day because he appeared frustrated and said, “You need to take a computer class because you should know this stuff by now.”
John’s remark and frustration triggered my SHAME. The SHAME was still deep inside in my unconscious and needed healing. It must be REVEALED to be HEALED. It really had nothing to do with John. If the shame wasn’t inside of me, I would have thought, “John is having a bad day and has nothing to do with me.” But I internalized it and felt “bad and wrong,” that I didn’t know what John thought I should know. Feeling “bad and wrong and not good enough” is at the core of a shame-based person.
When I shared with Larry what I was feeling when I woke up, he read the above passage from Alan Cohen’s book to me. It helped me understand what was going on and what was being “dredged up” from my unconscious. Larry encouraged me to trust the process and asked, “How can I support you today?” This was an opportunity for me to nurture myself, re-parent myself and give myself self-love and compassion, rather than beat up on myself. I spent the day in prayer, loving and nurturing myself and within a few hours, I was back to myself. I wrote in my journal, “Today I will allow the light and love of God to flow through me, heal me and transform me. I will re-parent myself and give myself everything I need.
Growing up with an alcoholic mother, I wasn’t encouraged to ask questions or ask for help. I had to figure things out on my own. I was EXPECTED to know the answers, even though I wasn’t often taught how to do things. I PRETENDED to know what I was doing, but often felt “inadequate and not good enough inside.” It was hard to ask for help because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable and ashamed if I didn’t know the answers.
Thank God I know the truth today and have changed that belief. Today, I ask for help when I need it and am not ashamed if I don’t know the answers. I know it is healthy to ask for help and that it is unhealthy to put unrealistic expectations on myself.
Larry’s experience with shame
When do you feel shame? Underneath the shame could be thoughts of unworthiness, inadequacy, not good enough, not smart enough or thoughts of being a failure. As a parent, I have felt some of the above at different times. I have not always recognized this as shame until recently. People don’t talk about it because of its insidious nature.
There may be times in your life when you have felt ashamed because you didn’t think you were a “good enough” friend or supportive enough. You may feel some shame about how you look; too thin, too fat, too tall, not pretty enough, etc. I have felt shame about not having a higher education which made me feel “less than” others.
Many people believe their worth has to do with how much money they earn. Society often judges us by the amount of money we earn and when we have a lot of money, we are deemed successful. When we don’t measure up to those standards, we may judge ourselves to be a failure, which ultimately becomes shame.
In my own life, I have experienced shame when I put too much value on my ability to dance perfectly. I am leaving myself open to react in a negative way when my partner makes a mistake because I see it as a reflection on me. In this area of dance, I realize that I have been too concerned about what other people will think of me. It seems that my ego and wanting to be perfect has allowed me to forget that what other people think of me is none of my business. Thankfully, in many areas of my life, I believe that “what other people think of me is none of my business.”
My grandparents were farmers in Connecticut and had emigrated from Lithuania. They spoke broken English and when I was with them, I often felt ashamed of them because they couldn’t speak correct English. Then I felt ashamed of myself for feeling that way about them. Apparently, I saw it as a reflection on me.
Parents can often, unknowingly, put their high expectations on their children (get all A’s, pass this test, attend college). When children don’t think they measure up, they may not feel “good enough” because they think they are disappointing their parents.
Could it be that shame comes from a “hole in the soul” that only LOVE can fill and heal? When we learn to give ourselves self- love and acceptance, the feelings of shame and not being good enough will no longer have power over us.
Larry asked me a question while driving home in the car the other night. It was, “How do you “preserve” your relationship with yourself, while in a partnership, so that when your partner is no longer there, you will have yourself.?”
I thought it was a great question and started to think about the ways I stay in “relationship with myself” while in a partnership. I have had lots of practice, over the years, of giving my power away and losing myself in relationships by putting my partner’s needs and wants ahead of mine.
Being single and without a partner for 15 years, I felt some anxiety when I thought about starting a new relationship, even though it was the desire of my heart. It took me so many years to “find myself” and the possibility of “losing myself” in a new relationship was not in the picture. I was determined to do it differently and not give my power away as I did for so many years.
When Larry and I became partners, of course, I wanted to spend every waking minute with him. This is natural because getting to know one another is very important. I still want to spend all the time I can with him, because we enjoy each other’s company and we have fun together. We don’t know how long we will have with one another so we try to live each day to the best of our ability. Living alone for all that time and loving it, I also didn’t know how I would feel sharing my living space with another person
I am happy to say that it has been 1 ½ years that we have been partners and I still have “myself,” perhaps even more than I did before the relationship. I can truly BE myself with Larry and be as playful and silly as I want to be or as deep and spiritual as I want to be or as “fresh” as I want to be. We have a relationship that is built on trust, love and commitment. We honor and respect each other’s needs and wants. I love sharing our home together and we have learned to laugh at the little “quirks” we both have.
While in meditation, I went inside and asked myself, “What did I do to stay in relationship with myself?” Here are some of the things that I have done:
I maintained my daily spiritual discipline of prayer, meditation, journaling & daily readings.
When I felt the need to be by myself, I took a “Pat Day” and gave myself the TIME I needed to be with myself.
I continued to love, affirm, accept and appreciate myself, especially if I “blew it.”
I didn’t expect my partner to meet all of my needs all of the time. I gave myself what I needed and did what I could do for myself. For example: If I wanted flowers from the garden or from the store, I bought them for myself, rather than expecting my partner to do it all the time.
I knew what I wanted and was able to ask for what I wanted.
I was able to accept & respect a NO from my partner.
I regularly checked in with myself to see how I was feeling and then, if appropriate shared with my partner what was going on, especially if it had to do with our relationship.
I maintained my friendships with my girlfriends.
I continued with my hobbies and what I enjoyed doing.
I understood that my happiness is my responsibility and I didn’t expect my partner to make me happy. I knew it was my responsibility to take care of my needs: body, mind and spirit.
When I agreed to contribute to Pat’s blog I was completely out of my comfort zone and this is a very long stretch for me. I would like to thank those of you who have written and given me so much positive feedback and support. I really appreciate it. I have to be careful with what questions I ask Pat, because before I know it , I’ll have to write about them. The question just popped into my mind while we were driving, “How do we “preserve” our relationship with ourselves when we are in a love relationship with another person?”
I think in some of my love relationships over the years, I’ve ignored my relationship with myself and gave everything to the relationship I was in. Then when the relationship ended, I didn’t have anything to support me because I didn’t have myself. A healthy relationship encourages the partner to have a life apart from one another. For example: spending time with friends, having hobbies and interests of their own.
When we have developed a relationship with ourselves, we will want to spend some time alone. I think that’s important for each person to understand. It isn’t that we don’t love the other person or don’t want to be with them. I like my own company. I try to walk three miles every day and I value that time alone. When I’m driving, I don’t use the radio because I value that time alone with myself. I believe that if the relationship is secure and there is trust, each would encourage and support the other in the personal relationship they have with themselves.
I believe that one of the most important ways to maintain your relationship with yourself is to continue to love yourself. I’m learning how to accept and value myself. I think one of the most important things I’ve done was to start “believing” the wonderful things Pat is constantly telling me about myself. For example: “You can do anything you put your mind to. You are lovable, kind, patient, fun to be with and a magnificent person and vessel of love.” I always found it extremely difficult to accept compliments and accolades from others. Not only am I learning to accept them from Pat, but I’m beginning to believe them about myself.
Another way I’m valuing myself is by allowing myself to just “BE” and RELAX. I’m not listening to my “busy mind” telling me I have to do this or that all the time. I work especially hard to keep my stress level at 0. I allow myself to go with the flow, keeping a schedule that is very flexible. Before, if I made plans to do something, “come hell or high water” I would do what I had planned or promised because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings if I had to change plans. Today, I am able to say NO and change plans if I need to because I know that is valuing and loving myself.
I value and claim my “happiness” because I am worthy and deserve it. I am grateful and appreciate all of the wonderful gifts I have created on this beautiful Island Maui. I am taking credit for making good decisions.
I encourage you to be good to yourself, forgive yourself, don’t criticize or blame yourself, do things “YOU” like to do, be flexible, kind and patient with yourself and, accept gifts and compliments from others. Who knows, you may become your own best friend. LOVE IN YOUR HEART WASN’T PUT THERE TO STAY. LOVE IS NOT LOVE TILL YOU GIVE IT AWAY.
“The more serendipity we have in our life, the more spiritually connected we are. We’re tuned in, attentive, aware, and detached. We’re getting responses to questions and meeting the people we need to be with at just the right moments. We couldn’t have planned it better. We couldn’t have planned it at all. Serendipity is a sign that we’re letting the universe organize the events that lead to answered questions and fulfilled dreams. Life becomes a process of unraveling a mystery.” Robert Fulghum
When I heard the news that the New Thought inspirational leader, Dr. Wayne Dyer had passed over, I was shocked and saddened. He had such a powerful presence in this world and was still so active in the community. Over the years, I have read many of his books, watched PBS specials and attended a conference in Florida with him. His book, “Change Your Thinking – Change Your Life” was life changing for me and millions of others. Dr. Dyer had completed his work on this planet to go onto his “NEXT ADVENTURE.”
I learned of his passing on Sunday night, right before I went to bed. I didn’t sleep well thinking about him and what his family must be going through. It is my understanding that he died on Saturday night from a heart attack. On Saturday morning, I found Wayne Dyer’s brand new “Inner Peace” cards at a yard sale. “Wasn’t that serendipitous?” I thought.
On Sunday morning, as I was preparing to leave the house, I looked out over the ocean and witnessed the most amazing rainbow extending over the whole sky. I had never seen one quite that beautiful with the vibrant orange and purple colors and it lasted for quite a long time. Of course, I had no idea that Wayne Dyer had passed over during the night. Could this be a sign from God that he was on to his “NEXT ADVENTURE” and God was welcoming him back home? I like to think it was!
As I said, I had a difficult time sleeping on Sunday night when I heard of his passing. In the morning, while trying to meditate and understand the meaning of his death, I sensed in my spirit, God saying, “This is a wake-up call for the world.”
For me, the wake-up call means that I am not promised tomorrow or the next moment. All I have is today and this precious moment God has given me to live in love or fear. It is my CHOICE. We all have the choice to trust God and live in faith, knowing we have everything we need in this MOMENT. The future is not here and may not ever be here. So why do we worry about what is not here yet? Is it a habit or an addiction? Worrying is an illusion and never helps anyone. What will it take for us to let go, surrender and trust God that all is well and we are being taken care of?
Like all of you, I am not immune to fear. When I allow myself to stay in fear because of negative thinking, I am robbed of the present moment. If I think about what could happen in the future, (especially not having enough money to live on Maui or Larry becoming ill and dying), I lose my peace and my mind is like a blender. When I become aware of what I call “future tripping” I immediately say to myself DELETE, DELETE. Some days I am doing a lot of deleting! I also REMEMBER all the times that God has provided for me in the past.
I recently heard Dr. Dyer on a radio show speaking about how he was ready for his “NEXT ADVENTURE.” I wondered to myself, if he knew he was going to die the next day, would he have done anything differently? I believed he lived his life with love and on purpose. What would you do differently if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? All that would matter to me if I knew I was going to die tomorrow is that I was with my loved ones and they knew how much I loved them. Because Love is all there is.
Serendipitously, Larry and I were scheduled to attend a workshop called “Sacred Living, Sacred Dying” with Sharon Lund on Monday morning. I was still feeling sad about Dr. Dyer’s death and thought it was timely that we were taking the workshop that day. I wondered what talking about “Sacred Dying” would bring up for me. It was a great interactive workshop and I learned a lot of valuable information that I will implement in my life. I really appreciated exploring what we wanted and didn’t want for our final “celebration of life” as well as leaving a legacy of love for our loved ones.
When I left the workshop, I felt excited about working on my final “celebration of life.” I wasn’t excited about dying, but not afraid to die either. I felt excited about celebrating how I am living my life today and the life I have created. I can truly say that I am living my life to the fullest and would not have any regrets if I were to die tomorrow. I am grateful that I am living my mission to love and to inspire others to find the God within. I am ready for the NEXT ADVENTURE, whatever that may be. Larry shares his experiences about how he chooses love instead of fear.
We’ve all had experiences in our lives that help us to remember how fragile life is and that remind us to live in the moment because that’s what’s real and we never know when it will be our last moment.
When I heard about Dr. Wayne Dyer’s passing, like Pat, I felt shocked and saddened by his sudden death. There’s a part of me that wonders why a person so talented and so in touch with spirit would be taken from us, it seems we need more philosophers and inspirational teachers to help us with our journey, not less. Then there is a part of me that reasons that we don’t know God’s plan and all we are promised is this moment. Dr. Wayne Dyer has crossed over and is on to another adventure, his spirit will continue to live on through his books and writings. He will continue to touch many souls as he has touched mine.
When I heard about Dr. Dyer’s death, it brought home to me that I am a year older than he was. We never know when our train will reach its final destination, do we? Before my train comes into the station I want to live, laugh, and love in the NOW because that’s all we really have.
Although I don’t think I fear death, fear is something we all have to deal with. We react many ways to fear: we sometimes run and hide, we may become angry and strike out physically or psychologically. Fear sometimes causes us to shut down emotionally. As I look back on raising my two boys, I think some of my decisions were based in fear. For example: If I didn’t discipline them, I was fearful that they would get into trouble and get into drugs or crime. If they didn’t receive a good education, I was fearful they wouldn’t be able to make it on their own. I was fearful that if I didn’t teach them to take responsibility for their actions they would grow up blaming someone or something for their failures or unhappiness. These are good qualities to instill in our children, but better done from love rather than fear. Now when I recognize fear, I handle it differently.
As I walk my journey, I have discovered that the single most powerful energy known to humankind is “LOVE.” I believe there is nothing stronger than the power of “LOVE.” Fear disguises itself so well, sometimes I have a difficult time identifying it in my life. I have developed a habit of consciously choosing LOVE and deleting fear when I realize that fear is raising its ugly head, I simply say “I delete fear and I choose LOVE.” I continue to say that until I feel the fear disappear and the peace and love enter my being. It works incredibly well for me.
I’m not that comfortable with dentist’s and doctor’s appointments so when I have an appointment I will take a few moments and just declare that I’m not going to let fear into my life. I consciously choose LOVE. Any time you feel fearful, stressed, judged, unappreciated, unworthy, I encourage you to open your heart to the energy and light of LOVE. I think you will be glad you did.
Someone asked me, “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do differently today?” I think I am probably the happiest man in the world. I wake up every day with a heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. I have everything I want. I live in the most beautiful place on earth (to me anyway) and there is no other place I would rather be than with a wonderful, beautiful woman whom I love and who loves me. There is nothing I would do differently. I would spend the day with my sweetheart enjoying each other and our environment and try to be the best vessel of love I could be.
When I meet people and they ask me, “What brought you to Maui?” I put my hand on my heart and answer, “My heart.” If they are interested and want to know more, I say, “I know I am going to meet my soulmate.”
I asked myself some questions, “How did my heart know? What does my heart know that my head didn’t know? Why is it hard sometimes to follow my heart? Is the truth in my heart? How will I know if I am following my heart? How do I move from my head to my heart?”
In regards to moving to Maui, my head said, “No way can you move to Maui, you can’t leave your family, you don’t have enough money, what if it doesn’t work, what if something happens to you and your family is so far away, what will you do for work and on and on.” I also had to let go of what my family’s “truth” was for me and follow my “own truth.” I asked myself, “Were these thoughts positive and life-giving or would they keep me stuck?”
We need to use our head and our hearts to make decisions in our life. They both give us important information that we must pay attention to. Many of us don’t follow our hearts because of fear and we stay stuck in our heads. When this happens, we are paralyzed and cannot move forward. It is important to learn how to move from our head to our heart for the desires of our heart to be manifested. I would have missed out on the most thrilling adventure of my life of moving to Maui and meeting my soulmate if I stayed stuck in my head.
Moving from my head to my heart may be the longest journey I take. It does not mean I give up my reason. It simply means that I connect with the very depth of my being. It is not an abandonment of logic, but it is getting in touch with what already exists within me. Our head is where we formulate our decisions and choices. Our heart is where there is love, peace, harmony, joy and happiness. In our heart lies our true consciousness. It is the seat of our soul.
At some point, through the GRACE of God, I made the CHOICE to trust my heart (LOVE.) It is my belief that God places the desires of our heart in our hearts. I had to cooperate with the Universe, if you will, and be open to following my heart and that meant leaving everything that was comfortable and safe. I had to TRUST and step into the adventure of the unknown.
I am sure we have all had the experience at one time or another when we just “knew” something was right and we followed our heart. I know I am following my heart when I feel peaceful and surrendered. Once I have surrendered, it is like I am being carried on the “wings of grace” and I just move forward, almost effortlessly. That doesn’t mean that fear doesn’t try to rob me, because it does. But I choose love instead of fear and do what I am called to do.
Another example of moving from my head to my heart was when I told Larry, “I have romantic feelings for you.” My head said, “What will he think of me when I tell him? He just got out of a relationship, he needs time to heal. What will people think? This could wreck our friendship. What if he doesn’t have any feelings for me?” For sure, I felt afraid and didn’t want to tell him. I struggled until I heard the small, still voice of God say, “You have to tell him.” I knew it was God and after some time I said, “O.K God, I will tell him.”
I made the CHOICE to move from my head to my heart. Love is where my heart is and I knew I could TRUST Love. The rest is history and I am so grateful I listened to the voice of God and my heart. When you follow your heart, your dream, your vision and you say YES, the Universe takes over and makes a path for you. There is always more life to live when you have the courage to step out and receive all that God has planned for you. Here is how Larry moved from his head to his heart.
Human relationships are very interesting and in my experience have always given me an opportunity to grow and become more conscious. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to put your “heart out there” unprotected and take a chance to be in a new love relationship again. For as long as I can remember, I had the feeling that “I COULD HAVE IT ALL.”
In many of my relationships over the years, I felt as though I had an emptiness or hole that I could not identify or explain. I understand today that I was looking “outside of myself” to find the solution or reason for my emptiness. When I went inside, I found out what the truth was; I needed to love myself to fill the emptiness. If we don’t love ourselves and allow (GOD) to show us how really important we are and how much love wants to lavish itself upon us, we will never be able to have a healthy love relationship with someone else.
Pat and I have a really special relationship; we had been best friends for two years and had formed a bond of trust and appreciation for each other that few people have. During those two years, Pat saw that I had a difficult time accepting compliments or gifts from others. She encouraged me to look at that and begin to love myself. I believe that we are called to be vessels of love and it’s very important for me to follow that calling. I began to understand that to be a vessel of love I had to first accept love. I believe love is a gift, waiting to be accepted. We have a choice to say “Yes, thank you” or “No, thank you.” I think accepting the gift of love is at first a head thing because we have to release thoughts that tell us we are not deserving, not good enough or unworthy. When we say “Yes, thank you” it becomes a heart thing. When we say YES to love, we become vulnerable and sometimes that involves risk. I am much better at accepting and loving myself than I ever have before.
After two years of having Pat as my best friend, I was surprised (and wasn’t sure how I felt about it) when she shared she was having romantic feelings towards me because I had not allowed myself to go there. She was a great friend and I was thankful to have someone like her in my life that way.
When Pat told me she was feeling romantic toward me a lot of my “head” stuff popped up. Things like
“Will it last, will I get hurt, can I trust love?” Fear wasn’t far behind. I asked myself “Do I want to risk a wonderful friendship and allow myself to see this relationship in a different way?” I remember saying to Pat once, “We are lucky we’re not in a romantic relationship because it would probably destroy this great friendship we have.” I had also just ended a relationship that I thought was the best I ever had, but ended up with me being blindsided and hurt. I asked myself, “Do I want to risk that again? How could I trust again? Isn’t it too soon to start another relationship?”
My response to Pat was “Let’s see what happens.” It didn’t take too long because we already had such a great relationship and I really trusted her. I was gradually able to face my fears, get out of my head and let my heart receive the love that was being offered. I let my heart lead, trusted and let go of fear and all of the negative thoughts and doubts that would have sabotaged our relationship. I was able to forgive and move on with my life.
I’m thankful to Love (God) for helping me to forgive, heal and move on so I could accept this wonderful gift that Pat is in my life. I always knew “I COULD HAVE IT ALL” and I do.
I wrote in my journal, “Everything is in perfect and right order” after processing my dream from the night before. I felt some anxiety about writing another book because it felt like “WORK” and that didn’t feel very good. I needed to change my thinking so it would feel good. I changed my thinking to, “My writing is flowing with peace, ease and grace. I love writing “our book” and waiting for it to unfold in the perfect and right timing. I have all the time I need and EVERYTHING is in perfect and right order.”
When I finished writing, I opened to the “Daily Word” and the title was, “My life is unfolding in perfect order.” It said, “I remember to be patient with the natural timeline of occurrences in my life. Looking back, I see how the right opportunity or person came along just at the right time. Turning within, I affirm with confidence: All is in divine order. I listen and follow my guidance on what my next right step is.”
As I was meditating, my friend, Mary, came into my consciousness. Over the last several years, God has given me divine messages for Mary. I don’t have any idea what they mean, but I follow my intuition and guidance and either call or email her the message. She ALWAYS responds that the message was “right on” and how she needed to hear Gods words at that moment.
I felt in my Spirit that God was giving me a message for Mary. I called and left the message on her answering machine. It was very simple, “EVERYTHING is in perfect and right order. Let go of control. Trust me, all is well.”
Later in the day, I received an email from Mary and here is what she wrote:
“Thank you so much for your message today. You always know when to call and what to say. God so works through you. Dave and I were out car shopping today. When they were working out the figures in the other room, I checked my messages while waiting. OMG. What great joy and comfort to receive your message for when they came back it did not work for us and we were dismayed. We so wanted that car. So I kept thinking of your message from God to trust all is perfect and well. Later that day, we found a car with more features for less money in the color we wanted. As always, God’s perfect timing. Thanks for being such a divine conduit and reflection of God’s love and oneness. Love knows no distance. Also, just yesterday, I was packing my altar and on it were all the messages you sent me over the years. So touching and can you believe it today you send me one just when I needed it again. Thank you so much.”
God worked overtime with me that day because I experienced another “perfect and right” timing incident right after calling Mary with the message. Last week, I shared about meeting with Sharon (Sacred Life publishing) and Margie from my yoga class. Margie hired Sharon “on the spot” because God had promised Margie He would bring the publisher to her. I felt excited and honored to be a part of the “divine orchestration” and watch how that unfolded right before my eyes.
Right before yoga class, I heard the small, still voice of God say, “I want you to bring Margie a present to congratulate and thank her for trusting me and writing the book.” I love to give gifts to my friends and have a “gift drawer” in my living room. Several months ago, I bought a beautiful card with a poem on it at a fair that Larry and I attended. I even found a frame and framed it. I had no idea who I would give it to, but trusted I would know when it was time.
As I picked up the card and read the poem, I knew in my spirit, that it was meant for Margie. I wrapped it and planned on giving it to her at the yoga class. When she read the poem and that the author was Marianne Williamson, she was stunned. She said, “Pat, you are not going to believe this. While I was just driving to class, Spirit was telling me to CALL Marianne Williamson and ask her to endorse my book.” We just smiled at one another, knowing that Spirit was involved. Here is the email I received from Margie later that day. “What a GIFT you gave me!!!! I have it right with me on my desk as a reminder of the Perfection of it all! Mahalo
I invited Larry to share a time that he heard the small, still voice of God within and listened.
’When you read Pat’s blogs you read how she listens and “hears” the small, still voice of God or the Universe speaking to her. It is because she BELIEVES that it is Spirit, God or the Universe. She is dedicated to discerning the voice within and following through.
I often think I’m listening, but I’m not hearing anything much of the time. I sometimes feel frustrated and think perhaps I’m listening the wrong way. I may think about doing something and think it’s a bit far out. For example: I say things to myself like “I can’t do that, what will people think of me, that’s crazy, where did that thought come from? Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes the thought or idea will simply not go away until I act on it. It’s been my experience that when I follow through, I always learn and grow, even when it seems crazy. Here is an example.
Years ago we had an elderly couple named, Evelyn and Phil who were our neighbors. We knew each other casually and would always say good morning to one another. I would help them with their yard work, whenever they needed help.
Evelyn was diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital for a long time. I would see her husband Phil around and always inquire about how she was doing. Then one day I was instructed (small, still voice of God) to go to the hospital and tell her how much God loved her. My initial reaction was, “Not me, this is crazy, I can’t do that because I don’t even know her that well.” My family already thought I was crazy because of my beliefs. I knew if my wife ever found out I was going around telling people that God loved them, she would try to have me committed.
I didn’t act on this for a few days, hoping it would just go away. Of course, it didn’t and it became even more intense. I finally stepped out in faith and said, “O.K. God, if this is what you want me to do, I will do it.” I went to the hospital with the little pocket size new testament that I carried around in those days. When I arrived at the hospital, I felt afraid and was a wreck. I thought to myself, ”What if there are people in her room with her, what if she’s sleeping, what if she doesn’t even recognize me?”
When I got off the elevator and started to walk to her room, my hands were shaking so badly that I had to put them in my jacket pocket. My knees were also knocking and I thought everyone could hear them. I thought I was going to faint.
When I arrived at Evelyn’s room, I discovered she had a private room, was awake and alone. Thank you God! She remembered me and seemed genuinely happy to see me. We talked for a while and then I said, “Evelyn, the main reason I came to see you tonight is that GOD wanted me to tell you how much he loves you.” The tears started to flow down her cheeks and she said, “I really needed to hear that.” We visited a little while longer and I read her a few verses from my pocket new testament. When I was getting ready to leave she said, “Larry, will you please come back and see me again?”
I visited her quite often after that and she once said, “I am so grateful for your visits because you are the only one I can cry with and tell how I am really feeling. I always have to be happy and optimistic with my family.” Evelyn passed over to the other side to continue her journey a short time after that. I can still feel her presence as I write this story. My lesson from this experience is that when Spirit, Love (God) or the Universe speaks, whether it is often or just once in a while, I will try to listen.”
God has given each one of us the gift of intuition and wants to use us as His instruments. It is not always easy to listen to the small, still voice of God and do what we are asked to do. It takes PRACTICE and not being attached to the outcome. Like Larry, I have also experienced the fear of what others will think. It has been my experience that the more I TRUST my “inner voice” and step out in faith, the more confident I become and know it is God. Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.
As I finished my meditation this morning, the word TRUST popped into my consciousness. I think trusting myself is the greatest gift I have given myself. When you learn how to trust yourself, you will know how to live. I followed my heart, trusted myself and moved 5,000 miles away to live on Maui because I knew I was going to meet my soul mate there.
Ernest Holmes in his book, “Creative Ideas” writes, “Whatever I should know, I shall know. Whatever I should do, I shall do. Whatever belongs to me must come to me.”
Learning to trust myself has been a life-long process. I need to trust when to “go within” for my answers and when to go outside of myself for help or support. I need to know when to rest and when to DO and when to just BE. I have learned to “go within” to see how something feels. If it doesn’t feel 100% in alignment with God, I don’t do it. I wait until it feels right and I am guided to the next right thing. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense and I don’t understand it, but I trust and wait.
In the trusting, comes the waiting and waiting requires patience. For example, when I moved to Maui, I was ready and willing and expected to use my gifts as an author, speaker and spiritual life coach. God had other plans and I am so grateful that I listened and surrendered “My Plan” as well as my will, my ego, my timing and my gifts. God’s Plan was for me to learn how to BE, to go deeper with God and experience God’s love like I had never experienced it before.
So for 6 months when I first arrived on Maui, I “waited on God” and didn’t DO anything, but follow my heart. I rested, prayed, played and listened to the small, still voice of God within. I also WAITED 15 years for Larry to “show up.” Here it is 3 ½ years later and I am writing another book with Larry and have just been invited to give a presentation at the Unity Church in Maui. I allow the mystery of life to unfold as I trust in God’s perfect timing.
During that time of waiting, I was led to read a book called “Faith” by A.C. Ping. Here is a paragraph that spoke to my heart and helped me to rest and do NOTHING.
“One of the most frustrating times along the spiritual path occurs when NOTHING seems to be happening. Not only do we have lots of time to think, but at the same time people keep asking you “What’s happening?” On the surface nothing seems to be happening, but underneath a great shift is occurring. Instead of feeling frustrated, it may be that life is giving you a safe place to rest and gather your energy for the journey ahead. You may not be able to see which way to go, but if you sit patiently, have faith that life has meaning and wait until the mist clears, you may find that one day you wake up to a bright blue sky that reveals a clear path leading to an even more beautiful mountain than the one you just climbed. The temptation will be to run around in the mist searching for guidance. But this will wear you out and until you stop and rest, no further path will be revealed to you until you have the energy to attempt the next climb. Trust that although nothing seems to be happening on the surface, a whole lot is happening below the surface.”
During this “Waiting on God” process I learned to let go of my pushing and making things happen, which for me, was all about control. I learned the importance of “allowing” things to come to me if it was meant to be and practicing being in the “FLOW.”
Here is an example of being in the “FLOW” and trusting myself and God’s perfect timing. About a year ago, I met a woman at my weekly yoga class named, Margie. We only spoke for a few minutes but both felt like we wanted to get to know one another. And we KNEW it would happen at the perfect and right timing.
Last week Margie kept coming into my mind, so I called her and invited her for coffee after our yoga class. She was delighted and excited to meet with me. I didn’t know anything about Margie and was quite surprised when she said, “I have been writing a book for the past 3 years and it is ready to be published, but the publisher hasn’t shown up yet.” Of course, I told her about meeting Sharon the week before and her publishing company. Margie sat there with her mouth opened wide. She said, “The Holy Spirit has been telling me that He would bring the publisher to me.” We both had chills running down our arms. Sharon and I met with Margie for tea 4 days later and Margie hired Sharon to be her publisher. We all agreed it was a “Divine Encounter.” I asked myself, “Why hadn’t I met with Margie 6 months ago or 2 weeks ago?” It’s because it wasn’t God’s timing and I would not have had this information that she needed right NOW.
I invited Larry to share his thoughts and experiences with trust, patience and “waiting on God.”
Pat has been talking the talk and walking the walk for a very long time. She has developed a very strong trust in guidance from LOVE (GOD). She has learned and is learning to trust her spirit completely; she listens, discerns and then acts even if the acting doesn’t make sense to her at the time. Loving her and living with her, I get to witness her joyful journey. I am encouraged to look at my life and realize that I want to be open to the gift of TRUST also and allow my spirituality to develop through my TRUST in spirit.
One of the elements of trust is “Patience” and I have always needed work in that area. Part of my daily communication with LOVE is to ask for the gift of patience which I have been doing for quite some time. Sometimes I think I’m making progress and then I stumble and feel like I’m back to square one. I’m beginning to understand that patience is a gift from Spirit; all I need to do is ask, be open and receive, TRUST that I’ve been given the gift and practice using it.
Here are a couple of examples that occurred this week. I don’t have a set way to meditate or listen to the voice of LOVE. I usually receive inspirational thoughts during my daily walks or while driving in my car. Since I agreed to contribute to Pat’s blogs and in preparation for writing our book together, I bought a portable recorder to use during those times. Since I purchased the recorder I have heard NOTHING and not had any inspirational thoughts from Spirit. I said to myself, “O.K. God, I bought the recorder, let’s go, I’m ready.” I sensed in my Spirit that it was important that I change my thinking, so now I’m looking at this as a wonderful opportunity to practice “PATIENCE.” I am “TRUSTING” and “WAITING” that spirit will speak when it’s in my highest good. I trust that although NOTHING seems to be happening on the surface, a whole lot is happening below the surface.
Another opportunity I had to practice patience was while we were shopping in a large department store that had a branch bank in it. We were leaving and Pat recognized a teller she knew and wanted to say hi to her. She was busy with another customer and Pat had to wait in line to talk to her. I could feel myself becoming impatient and irritated, and in fact, motioned to Pat when she turned around to look at me that we had things to do. Then I immediately thought to myself, “Perhaps Spirit is using Pat to be a vessel of LOVE towards this teller and why should I be impatient and possibly interrupt this from happening.” I was able to completely change my thinking and relax. I spent the remainder of the time that I waited for Pat sending LOVE Energy to all of the customers in the store. How good it is when we can TRUST the gift of PATIENCE and LOVE.
I feel so blessed that Larry and I are on the same page and practice patience with ourselves and one another. We are learning to respect each other’s journey and wait for Spirit to lead and guide. We know that all good things come to those who wait and God’s timing is perfect. All we have to do is “show up” and say YES.
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