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God is in ECSTASY when He looks at you

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Jun
21

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?

Larry

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.

 

 

God said, “Pat, mind your own business”

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Jun
21

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.

Larry

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.

 

EGO wanted to disrupt my peace

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Jun
7

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.

LARRY

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.

I Not Only Reacted, I Attacked Larry

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Jun
7

I experienced something this week that brought me back to my family of origin, if you will. Growing up in an alcoholic/dysfunctional home, I learned certain behaviors that I wasn’t aware I was still exhibiting in my adult life, until now.

For example: If my father confronted my mother about something she did, she would deny it and then turn it around about something she didn’t like in him. They would end up arguing about what he said to her and the problem that was brought up in the beginning was never resolved.

When I confronted my ex-husband (who was not an alcoholic) when he forgot to bring the milk home after he said he would, he would say, “Mrs. Saint, you never forget anything, do you?” I would then defend myself and we didn’t address him not bringing home the milk.

I still get defensive sometimes, especially when I “PERCEIVE” that someone I love is making a judgment about me or they don’t approve of something I‘m doing or not doing. Talk about giving your power away because I know what others think of me is none of my business.

Here is what happened with Larry and I.  I love to listen to soft music playing in the background when I am in the house. I feel comforted, relaxed and peaceful.

For the most part, Larry likes quiet. Since we are both living in the same house, I respect his need for quiet and keep the music quite low. I don’t like the sound of the TV playing, but that doesn’t bother him.  He loves to eat his lunch in the TV room to unwind and relax. That has not been a problem for us because I like to sit outside on the lanai looking at the ocean.

When he asked me this question, “Do you think you are getting enough”quiet” with the music playing all the time?”  I didn’t blink an eye and came at him with a vengeance.  I not only REACTED but ATTACKED him and said, “What do you mean by that? What do you think I do when I sit outside every morning?  I have plenty of quiet time.  I like the music playing in the background because it relaxes me and makes me feel peaceful.”

Instead of not reacting or taking it personally and just listening to his perspective, (which was not right or wrong), when he asked me the question, I turned it around just like the alcoholic turned things around when confronted about a behavior.  I said, “I don’t like the TV playing and see you in there for hours at a time. I don’t judge you or complain about that.”

Later that evening, I realized how defensive I was and apologized for my behavior.  He accepted it and were both able to let it go.  As I thought about it and prayed about it the next morning, I realized that my reaction was so strong not only because I felt judged by him, but because it didn’t appear that he trusted me to know what was good for me  That was the bigger issue for me.

I know it shouldn’t make a difference because it was only his perspective and that doesn’t make it right or wrong.  Even if I am being judged by another, that doesn’t mean that I have to defend myself or make myself wrong. I can’t tell you how many years I did that to myself

I brought it up to him again because it didn’t feel settled and because communication is so important to the both of us. I said, “Do you think you were being judgmental about me playing the music?”  He said, “No, I don’t think it was judgmental, but just an observation.”  It is understandable that we both have different needs and perspectives and we are learning to communicate and respect each other in that way.

As we discussed it further, he realized that he sometimes likes the music playing, but not all the time in the house. He wanted me to turn the music off when I was outside or left the house, which I agreed to do. That was very different from, “Do you think you are getting enough “quiet” with the music playing?”  Rather than saying what he wanted – to have the music off when I am not in the room, he projected it onto me that I wasn’t getting enough “quiet” time.

I feel like this was an “awakening” for me because I had no idea this behavior that I learned in childhood was still playing out.  I want to be open, to listen and not defend myself and take things personally.  With God’s grace and my willingness to change, it will happen

Larry

Lately I’ve been having trouble discerning what to write about.  Usually I have an idea that’s been floating around for a while and the words just start coming.  It hasn’t been that way the last couple of weeks.  When we decided that I would contribute to Pat’s blog there was an understanding that I would try but I didn’t want to start stressing out if I had nothing to contribute.

Last week I contributed and the week before that I did not.  This week my thoughts have been pretty scattered and I felt I had nothing to contribute, so I informed Pat that I wouldn’t be writing.  She was fine with that and told me not to worry about it but suggested that I could perhaps share what I was experiencing.

When I decided that I wasn’t going to write the blog, a funny thing happened.  My ego started having a ball with this. It started with, “Hey, you have a responsibility to contribute and you are not living up to your responsibility. Pat can’t depend on you. What about the people that look forward to reading your stuff every week?  You are letting them down.  Is this process too difficult for you? Is there too much soul searching for you? Is it too difficult?  Do you just not want to do the work?”

I don’t want this to sound like it’s a “poor me, poor me” because it isn’t but it is very hard work to strip away all the defenses and perhaps knock down some walls and let others see how vulnerable I am.  In all honesty, this worlk has to be done week in and week out if someone wants to contribute to a blog like this.  In the end it’s worth it because whether anyone reads it or not, I learn a lot about myself, that I didn’t know before.

Pat shared with you her reaction to my comment about having music playing all the time and my inquiry if she had enough quiet in her life.  Well, I said it, so I have to do the work to understand why that makes any difference to me.  After doing some work on it I realized that what I really wanted to communicate is that from my perspective it is easier to hear the silent voice of God when we have silence.  The lesson I learned is “Larry that’s your perspective, keep it to yourself.”

I know you all have had similar experiences in a friendship or relationship, it’s not always easy. If we can learn more each day how important love, compassion, patience and forgiveness is we will have a happier life together.

 

I closed my heart because I didn’t trust myself

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May
30

I have known this for a long time and am slowly learning to accept and even welcome that which I see in others is in me and a projection of myself.  Whether it is the positive/light or the negative/darkness, it is always about ME.  Often, what I have disowned in myself (shadow) or I refuse to see in myself, I can easily see it in my brother or sister.  It is because we are mirrors for one another.  We are invited to love all parts of ourselves and if we are unaware of something that is hidden from our consciousness, we cannot love it. I have 2 examples of seeing myself in another to share with you this week.

Of course, it is easier to accept that when I see the light and positive in another that it is also in me. I often see kindness and gentleness in Larry and I always affirm him for those qualities, although he doesn’t always see that kindness in himself.  I recently realized that no matter how much I affirm him, he has to believe it for himself and it is impossible for me to do it for him.  That is an inside job.

So I decided that rather than “over-praise” Larry when I see kindness in him because I want him to believe it about himself, I would turn it back on me and affirm and appreciate myself for my kindness and gentleness.  If I see it in him, it is in me.

Larry and I are participants in a weekly book study group.  There is a woman in the group who I admire and like her energy. She shares from her heart and is honest and open. She shares her struggles as well as her spiritual progress. What I particularly admire is her relationship and love for God.  Since I easily see the light and love in her, I choose to embrace it and see it in myself.

It is not so easy and I am not always willing, at first, to see in myself what I don’t like in another.  In fact, sometimes it takes a while to see the truth and set myself free.  When I spot something in another person that I don’t like, it is easy to point the finger and blame, judge and even call them names.

It is a normal reaction, if you will, to “close our hearts” and withdraw from another person if we feel hurt, judged or misunderstood.  I became aware that I also close my heart when I don’t trust someone for a “perceived” wrongdoing to protect myself from further hurt.  I am wondering how often over the years I have closed my heart and lost relationships.

When I close my heart, I block the energy (God) from within.  Not only is my heart closed, but my mind is also closed and it closes me off from all energy.

I had a situation with a friend that took me quite a while to recognize what was really going on. I wasn’t ready to see my part until I was willing to ask for help. I prayed and asked Spirit to show me the truth and set me free because it was really troubling me and I had lost my peace.  I just couldn’t figure out why I didn’t trust this person and felt so uncomfortable when I was in her presence.

I heard Spirit say, “You need to relax and not stress about trying to “figure it out.”  I often like to figure things out in my head because it feels like I have some control.  What an illusion that is. Spirit said, “All you need to do is open your heart.”

The truth set me free as I listened and opened my heart and mind.  What was gently revealed to me by Spirit in meditation and a dream was that I didn’t trust myself in some areas and was projecting it on to her.  I got the message and the stress and “uncomfortableness” was completely gone when I was in her presence again. I have made a commitment to myself and God to keep my heart open and not close it when I feel threatened or afraid.

Larry

I have been thinking about how incredible creation is.  It seems that the longer I live, the more I become aware of how all creation is connected.  We are connected to one another and to nature.

Although our perspectives can be different and we may be seeking our consciousness in different ways we are still the same.  We are looking for the same things and we have the same doubts and struggles, as well as the same hopes and dreams.

Sometimes we see another person and think, “Boy that person has got it all together and I wish I could be like that.”  All I’ve got is this crazy “roommate” in my head that never stops talking, telling me what to do and what not to do.  Most times it is judging me and encouraging me to judge others so I can feel better about myself.  I bet if I talked with the person I thought had it all together they would laugh and tell me that they have the same type of challenges that I have.

I am grateful for the opportunity that Pat and I are participating in a book study group on Michael Singer’s book, “The Untethered Soul”.  We read a few chapters each week and then get together once a week to share our perspective on what we’ve read.  There are 13 people in our group. We’ve traveled many different paths and are currently living on Maui.  We have wonderful, diversified, intelligent people who share openly from their hearts.

We are all unique in the way we are seeking to grow and become more conscious in our spiritual lives, but I am amazed at how alike we are in our life experiences.  We all struggle with the same insecurities, doubts, fears and not good enough thoughts and behaviors.  We help each other to expose our egos and not allow our egos to have power in our lives.  We are all trying to accept our life situations and not resist.  We are attempting to keep our hearts open to Spirit’s power and not close our hearts to what life brings us.

I see this experience as a wonderful opportunity for me to grow and become more conscious, so that I can become a more complete vessel of love.  Through this experience, I am learning to become more patient,  offer kindness, have more compassion for others, accept what is and not resist, let go of control and recognize and expose my ego.  I sincerely hope that I am offering the attributes of patience, kindness, compassion and understanding to my fellow group members.

I had an opportunity this week to accept and not resist:  I volunteer at a local organization delivering meals to the homebound on Monday afternoons. I agreed to fill in for someone last Friday. Well, I got into my very relaxed mode on Friday afternoon and forgot about filling in. Pat came into the room about 3:55 p.m. and asked me if I was going to deliver today. I jumped up and said, “OMG, I forgot.” Fear, resistance, stress, anxiety, judgement were all fighting to get into my psyche at once. I flew out of the house and started hell bent down the mountain.  Then I asked myself, “What are you doing?” I needed to calm down and not resist what was happening, but just accept it. I said to myself, “So you’ll be a half hour late, its ok.” I was able to accept and allow what was happening to happen, I just let go of all the negatives that were clamoring for attention.  I allowed my peace to return and everything went along very smoothly.

We discussed in group how we handle challenges in our lives when our energy becomes blocked or negative).  One of the ways we all seemed to respond to energy blocked was to get out in nature by walking, running, swimming, going to the ocean or mountains or just sitting outside.  We all sought the energy in nature to somehow nurture our wounds, calm our anger and help us reconnect with our healing power within.  We remember that we are worthy, we always have been worthy and we always will be worthy because we were created out of love and we are love.

 

Larry felt disconnected and scattered

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May
22

Mother Theresa wrote, “I am a pencil in God’s hand.”  Today, I say YES to be a pencil in God’s hand.  It is an honor and privilege to be of service to God and to the world.  It is my passion to inspire and share authentically from my heart my journey of Awakening to the truth of who I am and where I have come from.  It is my intention for you to find and connect to the “God within” (Source) and to live your life from this place of love.

I share “my stuff” and my process (which is not always easy) each week to let you know you are not alone as we all experience the same challenges and opportunities because we are all ONE.  I believe that openness breeds openness and we need each other on the spiritual path to be open and honest with one another.  Every step of your journey holds a lesson for you and I am grateful and humbled to share my lessons with you.

I started writing the blog once a month in 2007 when “Simply a Woman of Faith” was published.  That was a stretch coming up with something to write once a month.  In 2010, I started writing every week and have been ever since.  Now Larry and I write and share our journey together.  What a gift and blessing.

Some of you have been reading the blogs since the beginning and I thank you for your support and love. I especially want to thank all of you who have written and shared your experience with us.  If it wasn’t for YOU, we wouldn’t be doing this. It would be a delight and gift to us to hear from you and your experience in reading the blogs, whether you began in 2007 or last week.  We are open to receiving your feedback and love.

If anybody would have told me that I would write an inspirational blog every week, I would have told them that they were crazy. After all, I dropped out of a Bachelors program for a whole year because I was terrified that I couldn’t write a 20 page paper.  Miracles do happen when we are open and ask for help.

Writing the blog is like giving BIRTH EVERY WEEK.  Sometimes, it flows with peace, ease and grace and sometimes the process is painful and uncomfortable.  I am learning PATIENCE and to WAIT and TRUST in God’s timing. God is trustworthy and has never let me down.  Although, sometimes I wondered because it seemed like I had nothing to write about until I sat down at the computer to write.  And then it came as I let go of control and “my plan.”

One of the many gifts that I have received in writing weekly is that I have to PAY ATTENTION to what is going on inside of me and PROCESS it so I can write a message that is meaningful and inspiring.  It has also been a gift to have Larry join me and share his personal experiences of spirituality.  We are forced (willingly) to discuss our relationship and how to grow as a couple so we can be vessels of love.

I am learning to let go of control and what I think Larry should write or not write. Last week, when he didn’t write, I accepted it and supported his decision.  It’s been a great learning experience not to push him and do it like I think it should be done.  Author Kute Blackson writes, “The root of misery is control. Control is the master addiction, the hardest one to give up. Control is an illusion, as there is so much in live that we cannot control. When you try to control what you cannot, then suffering is your guaranteed result.”

Another gift of writing the blog is when I meet someone in the community and they say, “I love your blogs and my husband is reading it too or that is exactly what I needed to hear today.”

I am learning to not be attached to the outcome and results.  Of course, like anyone else, I love to receive feedback about what I write. When I don’t get any feedback, I have to let go of making up a story that people didn’t get anything from reading it. I have to keep my eyes on God and trust that if I am not meant to write anymore, Spirit will reveal that to me.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be good for my ego to get too much feedback. All I know is that I have to accept “what is” and not resist.

So in love and joy, we will continue to write and share our journey with you in hopes it will help you deepen your relationship with Source and inspire you to have the courage to follow your heart and dreams.

Larry

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling spiritually disconnected or scattered. I think perhaps I’m being given an opportunity to learn to accept “what is” and not be stressed over what isn’t.

I’ve been contributing to Pat’s blog since last September (31 blogs).  It seems that every week Spirit will give me something to write about.  I just wait and trust that something will manifest itself and I will be inspired to share it with you. Last week, for the first time, nothing arrived as I waited and the days came and went.  I had a few thoughts and even started to write but after a few paragraphs I realized that I was just spinning my wheels and deleted it.

I manage an ocean front condo in Kihei to supplement my income.  I usually have no trouble keeping it rented until now.  I haven’t received any inquiries or bookings in almost a month which has never happened before.  Our summer months are not filling up and it is a concern because I work on commission.

In the past, my reactions to these two situations would have been very different than they are today.  In regards to the blog, I would have been stressed and forced myself to write something at any cost because I made a commitment to contribute each week.  I wouldn’t want to disappoint Pat or our readers.  I would have felt frustrated that I didn’t live up to my part of the bargain and that I let everyone down.

As for the condo, I would have felt stressed out about not performing and not doing enough to get it booked for the summer.  I would have felt frustrated that I wasn’t doing a good enough job and not being successful and giving my client my best effort.

Instead, what I actually did was recognize that these situations were giving me an opportunity to practice accepting and not resisting things as they are.  In both instances, I didn’t feel like I had failed, but had accepted the way things were and I looked forward to writing in the blog whenever I had something to contribute.  If the condo books that’s great and if it doesn’t, well that’s just the way it goes. It’s not the end of the world.

I’m learning that what I resist persists.  When I constrict, I close my heart.  I’m trying to protect myself from the unpleasant circumstances of the situation.  When I do that, I prevent the possibility of receiving the help the Universe is trying to give me.  When I remain open and accept things as they are, I relax and open my heart and allow the energy and light of love to help me in the situation.

Learning not to resist is a difficult lesson for me to learn because I think I’ve been resisting often during my journey.  It’s important for me to remember how wonderful things turn out when I am able to accept and when given the chance love performs miracles in my life.

 

I was shocked when my friend said I was defensive

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May
9

I am so grateful for my daily “awakenings” because I get to witness what I had backwards for much of my life. I thought if I loved someone deeply and completely, they would love me back and I would be able to RECEIVE their love.

My focus for many years was on the “outside” and taking care of YOU (whoever you were at the time) because I needed you desperately to love me back. I was empty inside and experienced self-hatred, inadequacy and “not enoughness” in everything.  This led to my people pleasing behaviors and approval addiction.  Like many of us, I wasn’t taught how to love and appreciate myself because it was considered selfish and conceited. Instead of selfishness, think of “SELF is ness” which means noticing, accepting, loving, cherishing and appreciating yourself.  It is the grace Of God to the accept ourselves and that allows us to accept others.

It is my belief that the more I love and appreciate myself, the more I can RECEIVE love from another. We are not CAPABLE of receiving love from another if we haven’t learned to love ourselves. Sure, I have experienced love from another when I didn’t love myself, but it was never enough.  It wasn’t until I gave myself self-love that I was capable of RECEIVING the deep love I craved from another.  It all begins and ends with me as I awaken and come home to myself in my body, mind and spirit.  As women, we know how to give. We know how to over-give. But we have no idea how to RECEIVE. We have a serious crimp in our receiving hose.

When my focus and attention is on YOU whether that be caretaking, fixing, controlling or judging you, I don’t see ME and my behaviors until you mirror them back to me.  We know that what we spot in others, positive or negative is a part of us that we have disowned. It can also be called our shadow or blind spots.

It is humbling when God shines His light into my heart and shows me behaviors that I didn’t know were there. It is not always pleasant, but I am grateful because if I don’t see it, I can’t change it.  Years ago, a good friend told me that I was defensive. I was shocked and guess what I did? I defended myself!  I have worked very hard at not being defensive over the years so I was surprised what came up for me recently.

I shared with a friend something I noticed that she was saying about herself that I thought was negative. She became defensive. As I walked away, I realized that is how I used to be a lot when someone tried to point something out to me.  What a mirror she was. I learned a big lesson about the importance of just listening and not saying anything to defend myself.

After I shared the incident with Larry and what I learned, I asked him, “Do you think I am defensive?”  Silly me! He said, “YES,  A LOT.” I was shocked and then he laughed and said, “I’m only kidding.”  I said, “OUCH – please be serious because I really want to know the truth.”  He thought about it and said, “Not much.” I asked, “Where am I defensive?” He said, “Your driving.” I really wanted to defend myself and say, “Sure you wouldn’t like it if I told you what lane to drive in” but kept my mouth shut.

He was RIGHT because I have been defensive about my driving. The truth is that I don’t like to be told what to do. If I was totally confident in my driving, I could let his remarks just float by me, detach and not pay any attention to them.  Instead, my mouth goes on and on.  NO MORE. He can say whatever he wants to. I have kindly said to him, “Honey, if you don’t like how I drive, I would be happy to have you drive.”

Since this incident, I am noticing my “defensive behaviors” in the kitchen when Larry suggests that I do something that I already know how to do.  I think to myself he must think I am stupid. I sometimes react with a smart remark instead of just saying O.K.  I think he is just trying to be helpful and I don’t need to take it personally and think he is judging me.

As I am awakening and my “stuff” comes to the light to be healed and transformed, it is crucial that I continue to love myself and not beat up on myself as I did for so many years.  It’s another opportunity to embrace all of me the positive and the negative because it’s all GOOD.

Larry

I was remembering the other day that when people ask me, “How do you feel today?” My reply is usually an automatic “Magnificent.”  When someone says to me, “Enjoy your day” my reply is, “Thank you, I am” and I really mean what I say.   

I don’t live in a dream world and have challenges just like we all do. I have gray times, times of fear and uncertainty.  I’m traveling this journey just like anyone else but I have this core belief and at that level I feel magnificent.  My question to myself is, “How did I reach this place and why do I feel this way?” 

As I think about it, there are many reasons that I can share.  

I start enjoying each day immediately as I awaken.   

I see each day as a gift. 

I live with an attitude of gratitude. 

I have made it a habit of deleting negative thoughts and negative energy in my life. 

I take the time to enjoy the many gifts that are offered to me each day; the morning sunrise, the sweetness of the morning air, the beautiful aroma of a pulmeria bloom, the birds singing, the sun shining, beautiful flowers all around us, the ocean, the mountains, the sky, etc. 

I have become more accepting and flexible about people and situations in my life. 

I am learning not to judge and have learned how to forgive.  I understand how unforgiveness is like a lead weight that we carry around, we will never be truly happy or at peace until we learn to forgive. 

 I consciously make decisions to eliminate stress in my life. 

I take full responsibility for my actions and with the help of grace make conscious decisions. 

I try to consciously face my fears and eliminate them with help from the energy and light of love. 

I associate with loving people who are actively seeking their truth, as they discover their ways to become vessels of love. 

I give myself permission to just BE. No planned time, open time, time to relax, inhale and let it out slowly, rest, listen to the silence voice of God.  Take a walk in nature, by the ocean or mountains. 

I live with a partner who is loving, caring, supportive, kind, beautiful inside and out, generous and funny. I’m so fortunate to share my journey with her. 

Thank you for allowing me to share with you why I feel so MAGNIFICENT.  Participating in this sharing has helped me to understand how I arrived at this place.  Perhaps reading this may be beneficial to someone else who is seeking to find their MAGNIFICENCE.

 

 

 

 

Larry thought he was the BAD GUY, but he wasn’t

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May
2

I love to celebrate milestones; birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. I looked forward to celebrating our 2 year anniversary of being together. Larry and I talked about going out to lunch and doing something special, but nothing had been planned yet.

We were having our morning time together when the subject of how we were going to celebrate our anniversary came up. Larry turned to me and said, “You’re not expecting a gift, are you?”  I was taken off guard because I hadn’t thought about it and automatically said, “Oh no.”  My #1 language of love is gifts and cards.

We finished our time together and got ready for the day. Something didn’t feel right inside. I thought about an incident that happened with Larry a few weeks ago. I asked him if he would like me to pay for the dance we were going to that night. He said, “No, but it would feel better if you wanted to pay for something to just say, “I would like to treat you tonight.” I understood what he meant and agreed to do that.

At first, I wasn’t going to say anything to Larry about his remark about not expecting a gift, but it felt like an “ouch” and similar to when I asked him if he wanted me to pay for the dance. I decided to bring it up to him and share my feelings. I could feel myself tearing up as we began to talk and I felt childish.

As we talked, I became aware that my emotional upset and tears were not about today but was about my past and being forgotten on anniversaries and birthdays in my marriage.  I was surprised because that happened almost 50 years ago and I have done the inner work of forgiveness and letting go.  I do know that everything that has ever happened to us is still in our bodies and the original wound can be triggered by a present event.

Larry explained to me what he meant by his remark that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to buy me a gift, it was just that he didn’t know if it was expected because celebrating anniversaries was not something that was important to him and his #1 love language.

It is my belief that we are in relationships to heal one another. Even though I felt very vulnerable, I found myself in his loving embrace and allowed myself to cry and be healed by his love. What was significant for me is that he HEARD me and was willing to love me how I wanted and needed to be loved. Even though it wasn’t important to celebrate the way I did, he was willing to do it for me. That alone was a huge healing.

As I sat to reflect on what happened later in the day, I felt some shame and guilt coming up that my love language was gifts. I love to receive and give gifts. I quickly realized that judging this part of me was not what I wanted to do. I needed to love and appreciate  myself and my love language, which I did.

As we finished our discussion Larry said, “I am the bad guy.” I said, OMG (with tears running down my cheeks), you didn’t hear me. YOU ARE THE GOOD GUY. It is your love that is healing deep wounds from my past. I assured him how loved and cared for I felt.

We went about our day and later during the day he said, “I know what I can get you for our anniversary. If you would like, I will buy you new dance shoes.” I smiled and said, “I would love that.” It will be the perfect gift since we both love to dance.  I ordered the shoes and will be dancing my little feet off in a few days

Larry

 

I think the experience that Pat shares in this week’s blog shows how different our perspectives can be and why it’s so important to be able to discuss in a rational manner situations that arise when being in relationship.

Celebrating holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and special days are not high on my list of priorities and I have a tendency to just let them go by and sometimes not even notice them. I am so thankful for the life I have and where I live that I welcome every day as a “special” gift.

 

I know that Pat’s number one love language is cards and gifts.  She loves to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.  We are in a committed relationship but we have not had a commitment ceremony.  It’s important to Pat that there be a day each year that we celebrate as our anniversary, so she picked a date that meant something to her. That’s fine with me but I kind of let her remind me which day it is because it does not resonate as a big thing for me. She’s wonderful about that and has been gently reminding me that the date was coming up and asking how we should celebrate it.

 

The other day I asked her if she was expecting a gift. What I meant by asking her that was, “Is this a gift giving occasion or will a card and lunch be OK?”  Her perspective of what I said is different than my perspective. I suppose we could have wasted time and energy contesting that issue. Instead, we chose to listen and support each other’s perspective in an honest, supportive and loving way.  I didn’t criticize or belittle her. I understood her feelings because I know her history. I also felt like I may have let her down by not remembering how important her number one love language is to her. Pat didn’t make me feel like the bad guy. Instead, she communicated that my support and caring love helped her to heal.

 

Relationships are not easy, we have to give them plenty of attention. There are always opportunities to heal and grow. They’re like planting a garden, one has to constantly water and weed if you want it to be successful.

 

It seems like we need to love ourselves enough that we don’t just settle for something or if something is bothering us to sweep it under the rug. It is difficult to bring up an unpleasant subject and we have to put our ego aside and discuss the opportunity in a loving and caring way. It’s important to understand that our partner may have a different understanding or perspective of the situation and it isn’t a question of who’s right and who’s wrong, it is just that we are different.

 

I will try to be as patient as “a soft summer rain” and allow the light of love to show me the way. We will continue our journey together in gratitude, for the gift we are to each other.

 

 

 

I was not a happy camper and was resistant to change

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Apr
14

“I give thanks for DIVINE DISCONTENT-that inner stirring to do or be more. With each inner nudge, I have an opportunity to express more fully my divine potential. I open to my higher voice, the whisper of Spirit in my heart, compelling me forward on new quests and rewarding life experiences.”  Daily Word

Has this ever happened to you? There is a shift in your thinking and you don’t know how it happened or where or when. You may have experienced a lot of “resistance” to something in your life that needed changing (diet, relationship, career, family) and all of a sudden the “resistance” is gone and you are open and WILLING to try or do something new.

I believe that at the bottom of resistance is fear that we don’t know how to do something or that we might fail or succeed.  It can be so overwhelming that we stay stuck and do nothing.  We are not happy and living our dreams, but it is easier to stay stuck and do nothing.  The resistance to change something in our lives may be about not wanting to “go within” and feel our feelings so we avoid them by staying busy, working or eating.

I believe it is my willingness to do something different that is important.  Even a little step in the right direction is good.  Just praying for the grace to be willing has worked for me.  I know it is God’s grace when I am open and willing to receive guidance and God’s goodness. When I connect with the Divine consciousness within through meditation and prayer, I open myself up to more of God’s goodness in every aspect of my life. I experience God’s grace as unconditional love, guidance, intuition, a gut feeling, an inner knowing, strength, comfort, protection or a divine idea. Guidance may come in a flash or it may unfold organically.

For most of my life I’ve been able to eat different kinds of food without any problems. I think I’m pretty healthy, with the usual aches and pains of growing older!  I try to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and am not on any medications.

Recently, I started experiencing (bad) gas and digestive problems after I ate. I wasn’t sure what was causing it i.e. lactose intolerance, food combinations, gluten or sugar. I was not a happy camper, to put it mildly. I was resistant and didn’t want to start eliminating foods to determine why my body was reacting the way it was. I knew I had to do something because it wasn’t getting better. In fact, one night I had to sleep in the other bedroom. UGH!  It is interesting how God gets our attention to “wake us up” when we are unwilling and resistant to do what is good for us.  I am grateful that it wasn’t something more serious that got my attention.

I’ve read many articles about sugar not being good for you, especially for my bones which are thinning. My attitude has been that it is o.k. to consume sugar in moderation. I don’t smoke or use drugs so a little sugar every day can’t be that bad for me.  I love my sweets after dinner and didn’t want to deprive myself of that pleasure.  I have been very resistant to cutting sugar out of my diet for a long time, despite the fact that it could be hurting me.

I asked God for guidance to show me what to do to alleviate the problem.  I know that when I “show up,” Spirit always guides me to the next right action in my life. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Teachers are appearing all over the place. I am sure they were always there, but I wasn’t ready and willing.

As I let go of my resistance to change my diet and began the process of eliminating sugar and dairy and possibly gluten, I felt lighter and even excited to explore healthy recipes that didn’t include sugar and dairy.  It is a process and I‘m learning to trust myself and what my body needs.  I realize that what works for one person may not work for me and I must take the time to go within and ask Spirit what is right for me, just like I do in every other area of my life. I treated myself and bought a Vitamix, which I have wanted for years. I made a delicious green smoothie this morning and a decadent dessert with cacao and avocado and no sugar. Who knows I may become “Suzy Homemaker” after all these years.   I am taking responsibility for my health one day at a time and with God’s grace and my willingness to change, I will continue to do so.  Is there something in your life that you want to change, but have been reluctant to do so?   I suggest that you pray for the willingness and God’s grace and you will be amazed at the results.

Larry

Resistance and acceptance have been on my mind lately.  My understanding of what happens when we resist is that we prevent ourselves from accepting an opportunity that has been presented to us.  We may think that accepting the opportunity may cause fear or pain so we try to protect ourselves by closing or restricting our consciousness and heart.

We don’t want to suffer so we grab and hold onto whatever is happening in our lives. We give it a story.  When we do this, it gives the situation power and control over us, which causes more suffering. Once we accept the negative energy and give it a home, it’s very difficult for us to release it. I suggest a more positive way to respond is to accept the situation just as it is. Don’t resist it and stay open. Let it pass through you and don’t hold onto it by giving it a story. 

For example, you might be going to the dentist and know you have some unpleasant dental work to endure. You probably are not going to like it or have a good time, but you know it has to be done. When you don’t resist, but accept the situation as it is and not give it a story like, “Oh this is going to be painful. I don’t like this because my whole day will be ruined,” you will be free to go forward one moment at a time and can allow the energy and light of love to help you with your experience. 

By doing this we allow the greatest power known to human kind to handle it for us.  Don’t get me wrong there still may be suffering and pain, but we simply allow the experience to be whatever it is. We stay open and accepting and allow the power and light of love to enter this situation. By doing this we will find the peace and strength needed to accept the challenge and the opportunity presented to us. 

I had the opportunity to experience and practice acceptance this last month.  I manage a vacation rental in Kihei. I had the unit rented for the full month of April.  About a week before my guests were to arrive I received a call from them.  The husband had a serious medical condition that had to be addressed immediately and they had to cancel their reservation. In the past, I would have panicked and said to myself, “How am I ever going to get this condo rented in so little time? I now have that whole month open and no revenue coming in this month. This is terrible and so stressful. bla bla bla!”  

My new approach is, I’m not going to resist this and I’m going to accept it as an opportunity. I am not going to give it a story and not going to hold onto it. I will just let it happen. I’ll experience my feelings of disappointment and allow them to be. I will trust that everything will take care of itself. I just stayed open and trusted that if it were for my highest good April would take care of itself and it did.  In a short time, I had the full month rented again. 

This is an excellent path to explore when accepting an opportunity or challenge whether it is small situations like going to the dentist, running out of gas on a rainy night, losing your cell phone, or something more serious like the death of family member or friend, ending a relationship, being seriously ill or losing a job.  

Many of us resist not just the negative experiences in our lives, but also the positive gifts, like love, forgiveness and peace.  We may resist Love because we don’t feel worthy or good enough or cannot forgive ourselves for things we have done in the past. We may think we have to earn good things from God or that God is mad at us.  

I suggest that we become friends with Love because Love wants to be friends with us.  Love is like the sun which shines its light on all people everywhere.  Love does not discriminate and wants to shine on everyone. Love is color blind. Love does not judge. Love can only Love because it doesn’t know how to do anything else. Love is always given freely. Love will never turn away from us. It is us who turn away from Love. We don’t Love ourselves so we believe Love couldn’t Love us either. 

Let’s try not to resist, but instead open our hearts to Love. The gift of Love is always there for us and it is never withdrawn. All we have to do is accept the gift and then we will live in the joy and peace of love forever.

I said “OUCH” after what Larry said to me

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Apr
9

When Larry surprised me this Easter Sunday morning on our way to church with a beautiful Lei, I flashed back to two years ago when he bought me a lei on our way to church.  While at the Easter service 2 years ago, the “scales from my eyes” were removed and my heart started to open up to him in a new way. It was a magical moment that I will never forget.

Prior to that time, I had no “romantic” feelings for Larry. He was my best friend and that is the way I wanted it. I love to be surprised and this was one of the biggest surprises of my life. Here was my soul mate right in front of me for 2 years and I didn’t see him. I know it was God’s timing and when we were both ready, the flood gates opened.

Trusting God’s perfect timing in all areas of my life gives me peace. As I look back over some of my major life decisions and choices, I know that if I was meant to do something sooner or faster than I did, I would have. There is no need to beat up on myself or shame myself that I didn’t do or know some things sooner than I did. To live in the present moment and to be grateful is all that matters. Everything happens for a reason and for my highest good.

I am so grateful that Larry and I were both open and willing to allow our relationship to grow to a new level because being together has truly been the best 2 years of my life. I feel so cared for and loved by Larry. And I love loving him.

One of the most important elements in our relationship is our ability to communicate openly and honestly with one another.  Larry and I love to laugh and we are always kidding around with one another. We both have a similar “quick wit” sense of humor and we play off of it.  We learned an important lesson this week about the possible “misuse” of humor.

We were driving in the car discussing an email we had just received about our blog and Larry said, “I don’t want to get a big head.”  I said, “You already have a big head.” He said, “Do you really think I have a big head?”  I said, “No, I’m only kidding.”  I really was only kidding, but how would he know that for sure?

I remember times in my marriage when my ex-husband would say something to me and when I reacted, he would say, “You are too sensitive, I’m only kidding.”  I didn’t know if he was kidding or if he really meant it. We didn’t have healthy communication skills and often expected the other one to read our mind and to know what we needed. There was an element of “sarcasm” in our family dynamics and I was often (unknowingly to them) the brunt of it.

After chatting about the possible “misuse” of humor and still wanting to be playful and joke around with one another, we decided to implement an “OUCH” system, if you will. Whenever either one of us joked around about something and it felt sensitive and we weren’t sure it was a joke or not, we would say OUCH.

This has worked well so far for both of us. Not only have I said “OUCH” when something Larry said didn’t feel good, but he has asked me after saying something that he wasn’t sure about, “Was that an “OUCH?”  With this new system, we can both be clear with one another about what feels good and what doesn’t.

Larry

Since Pat and I have been discussing negative humor and kidding around with one another, I’ve been thinking more about how our society supports negative humor.  I don’t know if women do this but for as long as I can remember (probably since I was a teenager) kidding around, making fun of someone else, being funny at someone else’s expense, (sometimes described as “ragging on someone”) has for many men been a way of life.

Strangely, this practice of ragging or teasing someone has become a way for us to communicate to them that we like them and accept them.  I think perhaps this practice when done to extremes can leave a residue, that left undetected, can become very negative and harmful.  There appears to be a very thin line between teasing someone and hurting someone emotionally or psychologically by what you say.  From the teaser’s perspective it may just be fooling around and funny but to the recipient it can be a very negative experience that can cause them pain and suffering.

As a young man I had a quick wit and sharp tongue.  There have been many times that I have used that talent, as a way to be funny and cause laughter, sometimes at another’s expense and I have hurt someone’s feelings. Realizing that it had become a very negative practice, I have gradually learned to keep my mouth shut (or at least think before I speak.) Here is an example:

Years ago, I lived at a condo resort in Kihei and was helping my former wife (who was the resident manager) with some of her duties.  I was serving pineapple to some of the guests around the pool area.  I had become somewhat friendly with one of the men at the pool.  As I approached him I said kiddingly, “I bet this beached whale would like a little pineapple.”  I was surprised when he refused.

The next day I was speaking to his wife and she told me he was very sensitive about his weight and was hurt by my comments.  WOW!  I really put my foot in my mouth this time trying to be funny.  I felt bad for causing him pain and embarrassment.  From my perspective, he wasn’t very overweight and I was shocked that he would be sensitive about that.  I sought him out and apologized for my insensitivity. He accepted my apology and that was that.  I learned a very helpful lesson and I’m more careful not to put my foot in my mouth and most times, to remember to think before I speak.

I believe it can be difficult for a person when they are on a roll to understand that what they are doing can be negative and hurtful to someone else.  Ego says things like “Come on I am only kidding. That’s really funny, what’s the matter with you? Don’t be so sensitive.  Can’t you take a joke?”

I know that Pat and I will never create an environment where we have to walk on egg shells around each other. We will cultivate an atmosphere where we can tease each other in a loving way. We will laugh a lot, not at each other but with each other.  When there is an “Ouch Moment” we will let each other know, talk about it and not allow a residue to develop into a mountain.

Love is always being willing to say “I’m Sorry.”

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Pat Hastings

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

Simply A Woman of Faith
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