I share my personal experiences each week to inspire you and give you some tools that have worked for me. I know that we are all one. I believe there is always a gift in my experiences when I am willing to change and see the gift that God is giving me.
Several weeks ago I had the experience of being judged. What do you do when you feel judged? I am sure that we have all had the experience of being judged or wronged by someone. It may be imagined or real, but either way it may be difficult to process and deal with. It is most painful when it’s a family member or friend. Feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, confusion, fear and being misunderstood may come to the surface. It is important that we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not do a spiritual bypass. If we push our feelings down and deny them, we will get sick and often they will come out sideways on an innocent bystander. Can you relate?
What I’ve learned is that what other people think of me is none of my business. It is none of my business when other people judge me. Unfortunately, for many years, I made it my business and suffered needlessly. I took things personally and was often defensive. I didn’t have any self-esteem or self-love so it was very important to be liked and well thought of by others.
It is human nature to want to explain ourselves when we feel judged. I am learning when I need to “speak up or shut up.” When I was passive, I didn’t speak up about anything and when I was learning to be assertive, I spoke up about everything and drove some people crazy. Now, I discern when I need to say something and when I can let it go.
I can’t control what people think of me, how they treat me or how they judge me. That’s their stuff, not mine. That doesn’t mean that I am a victim and allow myself to be treated disrespectfully. Today, I have enough love and respect for myself that I have left relationships that weren’t healthy and honoring & nurturing to my spirit. I only have control over what I do, my behaviors, actions and reactions- that is my business.
What I do in my life is none of other people’s business, also. I had a difficult time making my own decisions at one time and went outside for my answers. Not anymore, because I know the answers are within and I am learning to be my own guru. I no longer need to please others and get permission to do what I want to do. What a freedom and relief that is.
What is important is that I keep my side of the street clean when I feel judged or wronged. Here are some tools that I practice (not perfectly) to help me process what I’m going through. You can practice one, two or all of them and they can be used in any stressful situation or relationship.
*I pray, meditate and ask God for wisdom and the truth.
*I allow myself to feel all of my feelings, journal about them and release them.
*I process my feelings with a trusted friend and ask for help.
*I pray for the person.
*I release judgment and send light and love to the person.
*I let go of resentments and hurt.
*I detach from others opinions and judgments.
*I don’t judge myself or beat up on myself (thinking the judgment was true.)
*I don’t get defensive and try to change the person’s mind and see it my way.
*I don’t need to prove myself or have to be right.
*I speak up or shut up when appropriate. And then let go of the outcome.
*I look for the gift and what I am to learn and grow.
*I expect good to come from the situation.
*I reframe it in my favor by saying, “This hasn’t come to hurt me, but to help me.”
*I’m open and willing to see if there is any truth in the judgment and change when appropriate.
*I don’t obsess over it and make it into a drama.
Nobody likes to be judged or wronged. My ego wants to be right and perhaps get back at the person that has hurt me. This only hurts me and I lose my peace. If I want peace in my life, I am willing to do whatever I need to do to keep my vibration high and be in alignment with Spirit. It is also my belief that it is all perfect and that whatever is happening is for my highest good.
When you receive this blog, I will be in the “sky” on my way to visit my family in Rhode Island. I am excited to see my children and friends and very excited to meet my new grandson, Jared, who will be 4 months old at the end of this month. Of course, pictures are wonderful, but I can’t wait to get him in my arms and love him up.
My heart and home are in Maui so it is bitter-sweet leaving here this Christmas. I waited many years to meet my soulmate and celebrate Christmas together. This is my first Christmas with Larry and we will be apart. Of course, it is my choice to leave Maui and his choice not to join me, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I make choices every day and trust that they are for my highest good and for the good of all. Perhaps you have heard the quote and even experienced it for yourself, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” We shall see, because I can’t imagine our hearts & love growing any stronger for one another. I have never experienced the kind of love that we have for one another. He writes me poems, sings me songs, sends me cards and brings me flowers. Although this is awesome and I love it, most of all, he SEES who I am and loves me just the way I am. We laugh all the time and have learned to live in the moment. As Larry says, “We never know when our train is going to come into the station.”
For many years Larry said to himself, “I know I can have it all and I now have it all with you.” My heart skips a beat when he tells me that. God has brought us together (just as He promised) and my heart is so grateful. If I were to die tomorrow, I know I have been loved unconditionally and deeply.
Many of my girlfriends and perhaps some of you who are reading this today have the same heart’s desire, and that is to have a loving partner to spend the rest of your life with. For 12 years, the desire of my heart was to have a relationship that was authentic, spiritual, loving, honest and playful. Believe me, it wasn’t always easy waiting and I tried to control and make things happen. I got angry and pouted and felt jealous when I saw others find a boyfriend. I sometimes thought, “What’s wrong with me, why haven’t I met a man yet?” I remember driving home from dances with tears rolling down my cheeks because I felt so lonely.
I have a chapter in my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” about my struggle while waiting for my soul mate to show up and what I received in an email shortly after I asked this question.
God what’s wrong with me? Why haven’t I met my soul mate yet?
“But God said: not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone. I love you my child and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable
of the perfect relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of any other longings or desires. I want you to stop wishing, planning and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing, one that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. You just keep watching, learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait. Do not be anxious or worried. You must keep looking off and away, up to me, or you will miss what I want to show you. And then you will be ready. I will surprise you with a love that
is far more wonderful than you could every dream of.
While on a spiritual retreat a few months later, I received this in prayer and meditation. It is a love letter from God.
Be at peace; be at peace, trust, trust. Beyond your wildest dreams will your soul mate come into your life. He will come to you. You don’t have to do anything, but just BE. Learn to love yourself
Compassionately. You are beautiful, cherished and loved. All is well and on time. Practice being in the moment. Let Joy exude from you. It is your Joy that will draw your mate. I give you the gift of Joy this day.
As I read these words from my book, I am amazed and in awe how I am living my dream today. I waited, surrendered, believed, expected and trusted that this was God’s promise to me. I am grateful that I put God first in my life and had the courage to stop wishing, planning and allowed God to give me the most thrilling plan existing, one that I couldn’t imagine. I do have the best.
I became my own best friend and fell in love with myself. I stepped out in faith and followed my heart to live on Maui, leaving my family, friends and community. It was truly God’s grace and my willingness to trust that God was leading me and that I was worthy and deserving to live in paradise.
I humbly share my story with you to encourage you and give you HOPE. God is faithful and God wants only your highest good. He has given you the desires of your heart. Believe and have faith they will come to pass.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May it be the best one yet.
As Larry and I were having a conversation about the holidays coming up, I thought about my family and friends and what I wanted to buy them for gifts. One of my love languages is giving gifts (and receiving them) so I wanted to find something that they would like. As I thought about this, I decided that I wanted to love myself first and give myself a gift (as well as buying gifts for my loved ones). I didn’t want it to be a gift-gift, but something different and special. Before I share with you how I will love myself and the gift I’m giving myself, I will give you a glimpse of what my life was like.
There was a time in my life that I was the “Queen of Multitasking” and rushing. With four children under the age of 10, there never seemed to be enough time in the day and I learned to do many things at the same time. I could be classified as an overachiever. Can you relate?
For example, I was holding my son in my left arm nursing him, while counseling a friend on the phone and stirring something on the stove with my right arm. I felt proud of myself and loved writing lists and crossing things off because at the end of the day, I felt like I had accomplished something and my day wasn’t wasted. I didn’t know any better and thought it was a necessity to get everything done that I wanted to do. When we multitask, our attention is divided between other tasks which means that the quality of what we’re doing suffers. When we focus on one task at a time, the quality is definitely much higher.
I grew up in a home where I heard “hurry up” a lot. I didn’t know how to do things slowly and one thing at a time. Perhaps because I’m also a New Yorker, I did just about everything fast, from eating to driving to talking – and felt proud of it. Thank God, I have learned a better way and that is to relax and stop DOING so much. I have learned to BE, to enjoy and let fun and pleasure be the priority in my life.
That brings me to the gift I’m giving myself this Christmas, but not only at Christmas, but every day as a way of life. Have you ever heard of the word “lollygagging”? I had to look it up in the dictionary to make sure it really was a word. It says: “To spend time doing things that are not useful or serious or to fool around and waste time, to spend time idly, loaf.”
I wasn’t taught or encouraged to lollygag, but was taught the opposite; to be serious and get things done. I have memories of being reprimanded for lollygagging and heard, “Stop lollygagging and get your room cleaned now.” Perhaps I knew the importance of lollygagging at one time but thought it was wrong or bad. As an adult, I felt guilty if I wasn’t doing or accomplishing something. I thought I was lazy if I just wanted to do nothing and relax. I sometimes still have to fight the belief that I’m lazy and that it is bad or wrong to do nothing.
I have a completely new understanding of what it means to lollygag today. Lollygagging is being in the moment, having fun, being free, enjoying, relaxing, experiencing pleasure, being playful and kind of mindless. It is really about letting Spirit lead me and doing what feels right in the moment. It is not a time to produce, to please, to impress, or to accomplish anything and there is no agenda. Can you imagine what it would be like to feel good about wasting time on yourself and to just fool around? It’s glorious.
I am proud to say that I am now the “Queen of Lollygagging” and pleasure. I waste time on myself doing what I love and want to do. Larry and I lollygag when we go to Costco and just kind of float around looking at new things and tasting all the food samples they give out. We have so much fun and laugh and he calls it “Pollygagging” because we are now partners. I mean really, how can you have fun and play at Costco?
You may be thinking, “Sure Pat, you’re retired and have the time to lollygag, but, I have a job and family to take care of and that is the last thing I can do.” I know what it is like to have a family and a job and go to school at the same time. I know what it is like to go from one thing to another and still feel like there is so much more to do. At one time, I put everybody else’s needs ahead of my own so there wasn’t time or energy for my needs and I was stressed and exhausted all the time.
With all the stress and demands in our lives, it makes it even more important to give yourself the gift of lollygagging once in a while. Perhaps a few hours on the weekend or 1 hour a day, whatever feels good and works for you. When our tanks are full because we have spent time loving and honoring ourselves we will be able to give to others from our surplus. You will also teach your children the importance of taking care of yourself and not being a martyr or saint because of all you do for others.
What gives you pleasure? Whatever it is, give it to yourself and make yourself a priority. You are important and worth it. Start with doing one good thing for yourself every day and it will feel so good, that you will want to do it more and more.
This is the season of giving – to yourself FIRST and watch the miracles unfold. Then you will be able to receive with an open heart. You won’t look to others to fill and complete you because you have already given it to yourself.
I often think to myself, “How did I get here and what did I do to attract the desires of my heart?” It’s kind of sobering and wonderful to see the contrast of who I was and who I am today. I was full of fear and focused on others, often at the expense of myself. Some of the things I did to contribute to my well-being was to pray, meditate, show up, forgive, trust, love and accept myself, and have faith in God’s plan for my life. Today, I am living my dream and celebrating who I am and who I am becoming.
In this blog, I will be sharing some of the things I have learned on my journey so far. I believe that everything that has happened in my life has led me to this moment in time and I feel so grateful and blessed. My soul knew the experiences I needed to attract into my life to grow and expand. I may not have thought that when I was going through stressful times, but I know that to be true.
One of the tools I use today that helps me process when something happens that upsets or distresses me is to ask myself some questions.
*What if this experience is exactly what I need to help me grow?
*What if this is my greatest learning and will move me forward?
*What if this experience is a gift and will heal me?
When I ask myself these questions, it kind of takes the punch out of whatever I’m going through and I see it from a higher perspective. I am then able to process my feelings and do what I need to do or not do.
As I looked back over my blogs today, I saw a similar theme running through them and that was the importance of loving and accepting ourselves. When I love, accept, appreciate and respect myself, others will do the same. It has to start with me. I cannot expect others to love, accept and respect me, if I am not doing it for myself.
It is my belief that I teach people how to treat me. If I really embrace this, I can no longer blame others for treating me poorly, abusing me, ignoring me or treating me disrespectfully because I taught them to treat me like this. I didn’t know any better and most of the time I didn’t even know that it was abusive or disrespectful.
How are you being treated in your relationships today? Do you feel loved, accepted, heard and respected? If not, remember it is not the other person’s fault because you have taught them to treat you like this.
As you love, accept and respect yourself, you will teach others how you want to be treated. I know this from personal experience and a lot of practice. I no longer tolerate unacceptable behavior. I have learned to communicate, ask for what I want, speak up, receive, set boundaries and SAY NO – without feeling guilty.
As the holidays approach you may need to practice saying no for your own well-being. When I say no to someone else, I am saying yes to myself. Learning to say no to others and yes to myself has transformed my life and I am living a life like no other.
It is not selfish to say no, but self-caring to say no when you need to. If I’m not sure I want to do something, I always give myself time to go within and see what I want to do. I will say, “Can I get back to you on that in a couple of days?” I do nothing out of the SHOULDS anymore. It takes practice to say no in a way that doesn’t offend someone. I also know that I have the right to change my mind, even at the last minute. Remember no is a complete sentence. But if you need a few suggestions on how to say no, here are some you might try:
- Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you
- Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work for me
- I want to do that, but I’m not available until next week. Will you ask me again then
- I can’t do it, but I know someone who may be able to help you
- None of those dates work for me, but I would love to see you. Send me some more dates
- I can’t put anything else on my calendar this month, but I’d love to do that sometime
- Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that. Say it, then shut up
- I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed
- I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now
- I promised my husband I wouldn’t take on any more projects right now
- I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day
- Let me tell you what I can do, then limit the commitment to what is comfortable for you
We are responsible for our lives, our happiness and peace. This is not a dress rehearsal, it’s the real thing. I encourage you to love, accept and appreciate yourself and to live your life like there is no tomorrow. Because the truth is, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, all we have is TODAY. So let’s make a decision to make it the best we can. You are worth it!
Larry and I love to practice and, in fact, look for opportunities to be “Vessels of Love” in our daily life. It may be saying, “Good morning” and smiling at someone on our walk or giving someone a compliment. When we are awake and aware, there are millions of ways to be the presence of God to one another.
Every week we go dancing at a restaurant in Maui called “Mulligans on the Blue.” This Thursday, I witnessed something special when Larry and I were “Vessels of Love” to a young girl on the dance floor. We had already danced a couple of dances and were just sitting and enjoying listening to the jazz band. All of a sudden, this “young girl” appeared on the dance floor dancing all by herself.
All eyes in the room were riveted on her as she twirled around the whole dance floor, raising her arms gracefully. She had a beautiful smile on her face and she was so free and alive. She appeared to not care about what other people thought of her because she was doing what she loved and that was all that mattered. She didn’t have to do it perfectly or try to impress anyone.
Larry looked at me and said, “Do you think I should get up and dance with her?” I immediately said, “Yes.” I will never forget the look in her eyes and the beautiful smile on her face when he joined her on the dance floor. It was priceless watching a 6’ man dancing with this “little angel.” While they were dancing, her mother, Connie, came over to our table (with tears in her eyes) and said to me, “Thank you, it is her birthday today.” She shared that her daughter, Ann, has Down ’s syndrome. My heart was touched and now I had tears in my eyes.
When they finished, the whole room applauded, including members of the band. Why were we all so moved by this simple act of love? Could it be that we were all touched by Ann’s expression of innocence, freedom and love? When Larry came back down to sit down, the man at the next table reached over to him and said, “Well done, thank you for doing that.”
A little while later, Ann came over to me and asked me to dance. Of course, I said, “Yes” and jumped up to dance with her. What a joy it was dancing with her and having so much fun. While we were dancing, Larry went over to her parents table to talk to them. Her mother said, “Ann is 26 years old today (she looked about 12) and we just arrived in Maui today from Australia.”
When we finished dancing, Ann hugged me closely and looked up into my eyes with unconditional love and said, “Thank you.” I went to the band and told them it was her birthday and while they played, we all sang happy birthday to her. I am sure this will be a memorable birthday for her, as it was for us.
My heart was so touched that I had a hard time going to sleep that night and I knew I would be writing a blog about it. I wondered what God was trying to teach me? Dancing is my joy, but I don’t always have the freedom that Ann had. Perhaps my ego gets in the way sometimes because I want to “look good” not make a mistake and be the best.
Ann appeared to be “egoless” in that she didn’t care that she was dancing alone. She was just being herself and having fun. Is this the goal for all of us, to strive to be egoless, live in joy, be ourselves and have fun?
I have read that ego is “Edging God Out.” One of the things ego does is rob us of our peace, bliss and wholeness. We feel separate from others and there is duality. There is no right and wrong, better than or less than, just ego labeling our experiences.
A managed ego state (or egoless state) is free from emotional attachment and reaction from the judgment of others. When ego is attacked or hurt, it does what ego does: fights and hurts back for ego is not love, it is separation.
*What it would be like to be emotionally detached and not react to the judgment of others?
*What would it be like to not take things personally or judge yourself or others harshly?
*What would it be like to not have your way all the time and be flexible?
*What would it be like to acknowledge your mistakes and apologize?
*What would it be like to not have to prove your worth or impress others?
*What would it be like to just be yourself and have fun?
*What would it be like to live in the moment and not worry & live in fear about the future?
*What would it be like to not compare yourself with others?
I think we would experience heaven on earth if we were able to manage our ego and live from love instead of fear. I don’t always recognize when my ego is at work, (especially if I feel “better than or less than” someone else), but I am getting better. When I become conscious and recognize it, I have the opportunity to love, accept and appreciate myself and thank God for showing me the truth.
Thank you Ann for being you, for the truth, for the truth will set me free. I strive to live my life consciously and to live it to the fullest. I want to be detached emotionally from others’ judgments. What a gift it was to be a part of this experience, where the energy of unconditional love caused such happiness and joy for all of us who were present. We truly are all ONE and connected.
I normally start writing my blog on Thursday of the week before I send it out. I am so grateful that I have learned to trust myself and what I need to do in each moment. I knew I didn’t have anything inspiring to write about this week, so I didn’t even sit down at my computer on Thursday. Sometimes, what I need to share just comes when I sit at the computer and pray for inspiration.
I had a sense that I needed to wait until I completed the “Queens Code” (Making Sense of Men) workshop to start the blog. I shared a few weeks ago that I had received a free certificate to attend the “The Queen’s Code” weekend led by Allison Armstrong.
I felt excited about the weekend and what I would learn to make my relationship with Larry and the men in my life even better. I also had the feeling that I was going to meet someone at the workshop that I needed to meet, although I had no idea why or whom it would be.
The morning of the workshop, while in meditation, I heard God say to bring a copy of my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” and that I was to give it to someone who really needed to read it. I said, “O.K. God, but how will I know who to give it to”? God said, “You will know, I will show you.” I chuckled to myself and imagined myself walking around trying to figure out who looked like they needed more faith.
During the afternoon, I remembered my book sitting in the bottom of my bag and that I hadn’t given it to anyone yet. I had no idea who to give it to. Then I heard God say, “Give it to Allison Armstrong.” I immediately resisted the idea and thought why would she want to read my book? I wanted to ignore this prompting and pretend that I didn’t hear it. I felt embarrassed and clearly didn’t want to give my book to Allison Armstrong.
As much as I wanted to resist the idea of giving my book to Allison, I also wanted to be obedient and listen to what I thought God was asking me to do. I have learned to not question God when I hear him and let go of the outcome and what I will look like. I said, “O.K. God I will give it to her, but I need to run into her.”
At the next break, I left the conference room to go for a walk and brought my bag with me, which I usually left on my seat. As I walked through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel, I noticed a stunning “older woman” (my age) with a beautiful hot pink scarf and matching hat sitting on the couch talking with another woman. We spotted each other at the same time and I was compelled from the across the lobby to compliment her on her outfit. I said, “I love that color pink you have on.” The next thing I knew I was walking toward her and reaching for her hand and asking her who she was.
We introduced ourselves to one another and immediately started sharing our lives. She told me she was a spiritual teacher, healer, and international speaker for the last thirty years, but that for the last year she had been ill and unable to work. She said, “I have been resting and learning about faith and trusting God for all of my needs. God has provided free housing for me and a friend just offered to pay my monthly car payments.”
Of course, I shared with her my experience of being on welfare and food stamps when my husband was out of work for a year. I shared some of the miracles of how we were always provided for each month and I told her about my book.
I had goose bumps throughout my whole body when I realized this is who God wanted me to give my book to, not Allison Armstrong. I told her what happened during my meditation that morning and that God wanted her to have my book.
She thanked me as I handed her my book. We both looked intently into each other’s eyes as if we had known one another for years. I knew this was a divine encounter and “Godincidence” as I call it in my book. We exchanged telephone numbers and I invited her and her friend to come to my home for tea. She said, “I truly believe that we were meant to meet and God has something more for the both of us.”
The break was up and I had to get back to the conference. We hugged each other again and as I looked into her eyes and saw her beauty, I knew it was a reflection of my own beauty. I practically danced away as we both kept saying, “WOW.” I know there will be more to the story that I will be sharing with you as it unfolds.
The lesson for me is that God just wanted to see if I would listen and do what He wanted me to do when I was resistant and didn’t want to do it. Once I said yes and surrendered, then I could be led in another direction while following my intuition and doing what felt right and peaceful in the moment.
As far as the workshop goes, it was great and I learned some new things that I didn’t know. But most of all, I recognized how much inner work, healing and transformation I have done to manifest the most beautiful relationship with the man I love.
My son, Tim, has been on the self-improvement and spiritual path for 12 years and is a Life Coach from Boise, Idaho. He recently invited me to be a part of a powerful online group process called “Self-Love, Self-Acceptance and Self Appreciation.” He designed it to bring people together to share their power with one another for a greater cause other than their own individual use. What a delight it is for me to be a part of this group and witness my son’s teaching about self-love. There is no greater joy for a mother than to see her children live their lives fully and making a difference in the world. I am truly blessed and grateful for my children and who they have become and what they bring into the world.
I have been on this journey of self-love for many years and I believe it is the foundation for everything. When I love myself, I will know how to truly love others. It is important to me because I didn’t love myself growing up and wasn’t taught how to love myself. It was very confusing because I was told I was conceited as a young girl. Coming from an alcoholic home, I was starving for love and looked outside of myself and in all the wrong places for it. I didn’t know that the love I was so desperately craving was inside of me all the time. I looked to others for approval, to love me and tell me I was o.k.
I have heard that LIFE (and the people in our lives) is like a classroom and we are always learning lessons. I believe each lesson is like an “awakening” to see the truth and to set me free to live the life I am called to live as a child of God. It is like peeling an onion and we keep going deeper and deeper into ourselves to see the truth of who we are.
After years of practicing self-love, I wasn’t expecting to have such a powerful “awakening” after our first “Self-love, Self-acceptance and Self -Appreciation” call. Spirit didn’t waste any time because that night something “showed up” with Larry that I needed to process.
Larry and I love to dance and we have great chemistry together, for the most part! He has been learning some new difficult dance steps and was trying to teach them to me on the dance floor. Not a good idea because I had no idea what he was doing and tried to follow him to the best of my ability. I could see the look in his eyes and the frustration on his face when I screwed it up royally. I have always had pride in myself for being a great follower. But, I wasn’t following him and started to feel “inadequate” and judged myself to be “not good enough.” Needless to say, I wasn’t in a good mood when we left the dance.
I was quiet at first when we got in the car because I didn’t want to just dump on him. He knew something was up and turned to me and said, “I love you, Sparkle.” I then decided to share my feelings and communicate because being quiet was an “old behavior” and it didn’t feel very good.
After I shared my feelings of “inadequacy” about my dancing with him, he immediately apologized for being a “jerk” and took responsibility for his actions. He said, “It’s not you, it’s me and my ego. I am frustrated because I cannot remember the steps I have been learning so I haven’t been able to lead you. I know that is unfair to you and I am sorry.”
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that admission from him because I judged myself and thought it was my fault. We talked for quite a while in the car and I felt better when I left. The next day, while journaling and in prayer, some awareness came up for me about my lack of self-love and acceptance. I spent the day going within to process what happened and what I want and don’t want in our dancing experience. I wrote 7 pages in my journal and gained clarity about how I have internalized and allowed what others think of me and how they treat me to be the barometer of how I judge and treat myself. Larry was frustrated with himself (and me) because he couldn’t remember the steps he learned and I wasn’t following him. I took on his frustration and assumed it meant that I was inadequate and “not good enough.”
If my self-love and acceptance was at 100% (which no one’s is,) I would have realized in the moment that it was his frustration and that I didn’t need to buy into it & create and my own story. Feeling inadequate and “not good enough” are old core beliefs that reared their ugly head-again! I forgave myself and wrote a gratitude list.
The truth is it’s about me and how I treat and love myself. I cannot control how others treat me, but I can control how I love, accept and appreciate myself. Through this experience, I was able to give myself the love, acceptance and appreciation that I have craved from others. What a gift and opportunity to see the truth and to see how I have grown and learned to communicate and get my needs met. I felt so empowered after Larry and I discussed what I will and will not do on the dance floor! And the best part is we had a fantastic time on the dance floor this Saturday night.
After my daughter-in –law, Suzie, died 7 years ago, while still at her wake, my son handed me her pewter angel with the inscription, “Let Miracles Find You.” He said, “Mom, Suzie wants you to have this.” I often think about what it means to “Let Miracles Find Me.” It means that I trust God is with me and that I am never alone. It means that God will “show up” in the perfect and right timing and guide me with what to do next in my life. It means that I “show up” daily and watch for miracles to unfold. I wrote a story called “Let Miracles Find Me” about the miracles surrounding Suzie’s death, but never did anything with it until NOW.
Lately, I have been practicing letting miracles find me. Rather than the old behaviors of pushing and trying to make things happen, I am now allowing things to flow and come to me. It’s not that I sit in my house and do nothing; it’s more about an “attitude of calm knowingness” inside of me that all is well and what I have prayed for is on its way.
For example, my friend, Max, was leading a workshop on “Attracting Your Soul Mate” a few weeks ago and asked me if I was interested in hosting the workshop at my home. I said, “Yes.” A couple of days before the workshop a woman, who I had never met before, stopped by to give me a deposit. While she was at my house, she asked, “Would you be interested in hosting an event that I am sponsoring in a few weeks? “
I was curious and asked what the event was about. She said, “It’s called “Making Sense of Men.” Now that perked my interest, not that I need to learn more about men at my age! She told me it was a free workshop for women only, and there would be an opportunity for the women to register for “The Queen’s Code” Workshop at the end of the evening.
“The Queen’s Code Workshop” led by Allison Armstrong was a 2-day weekend workshop, held for the first time in Hawaii, on November 8 & 9. The price online was $849, but women would get a great discount by attending the event at my house. And, if I hosted the event, I would get a special discount.
What I found fascinating was that I had just heard about Allison Armstrong the week before at my WOW (Women of Wisdom) sharing group. My friend, Kati, had taken workshops with Allison and raved about what she had learned about men from the workshop. I had never heard of Allison Armstrong until last week.
“Was this a miracle finding me?” I wondered. I immediately said” yes” to hosting the workshop because I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The event was a great success and I learned some things about men that I didn’t know. Twenty- three women packed into my living room and it was so much fun.
At the end of the evening, as women signed up for the 2 day workshop in November, Linda handed me a $400 certificate off the online price. It was a great price, but it was still almost $500 which I didn’t want to part with. I thanked her and told her I wasn’t sure if I would use it. Two days later, I received a call from Linda. She said, “Pat, you did so much work hosting the event that I was able to pull some strings and get you a free certificate to attend the “The Queen’s Code.” Would that work for you?” I said, “Thank you, that will work just fine.” I guess I needed it because it came to me! I am expecting to learn lots more about men. Larry already calls me the QUEEN and treats me like a queen. How much better can it get than this?
On another note, I received an email from my book coach, Lisa Tener a few weeks ago informing me of an opportunity to submit one of my inspirational stories to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles” 101 Inspirational Stories of Faith, Answered Prayers, and Divine Intervention.
“They were looking for: Powerful, amazing stories about miracles and hope — stories that make people say “wow” when you tell them — stories that will give our readers chills. If you have such a story we would love to publish it.”
After I prayed about it, I remembered the story I had written 7 years ago when Suzie died. It was called, “Let Miracles Find Me.” I asked myself, “Is this God’s timing?” It seemed perfect to send it in so I sent it in today. Who knows, perhaps my story will be chosen as one of the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Do you believe you get what you need when you need it and at the perfect and right timing? It may not be your timing, but it is always God’s perfect timing. I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s always for my highest good and the good of others. I’ve learned to expect God’s favor and miracles and to look for signs that I’m on the right track.
At times, we are our own worst enemies. Our critical “inner voice” is formed from our early life experiences. Without realizing it, we tend to internalize attitudes that were directed toward us by parents or influential caretakers throughout our development. Once we know where our self sabotaging thoughts come from, we can start to differentiate the negative identity we have cast upon ourselves. We can familiarize ourselves with our critical “inner voice” and notice when it starts to seep in to our thought process. As we do this, we can start to recognize ways we act that we don’t like or respect. It is like being a detective to recognize my “inner critic” and it takes diligence and commitment to change it.
I have been on the journey of loving myself and self- care for many years and that includes changing my critical “inner voice.” I am learning to love & trust myself more deeply as I trust the process and live in the moment. I experience peace when I follow my intuition and know what I want.
Through a series of events, I realized how I unconsciously self-sabotage myself. Self-sabotaging behaviors are often hidden from our everyday thoughts. I know that when starting something new, a part of us is going to resist the change and fear may come up. That could be a new job, a new relationship, a move, a birth, a new career. It takes courage to do something you haven’t done before and often doubts will arise.
This week I bumped into old behaviors that reared their ugly head. The good news is that I recognized the behaviors and therefore had a choice as to what I wanted to do to change them. Being in a new relationship with Larry is wonderful and I am so grateful that he is in my life, but intimacy with a partner heals us by bringing up old unconscious pain to the surface so it can be resolved and released. Closeness with another brings up our fears of abandonment and rejection, and their close relatives on the other side of the pendulum, fears of entrapment and commitment. Intimacy means in-to-me-see.
Both are two sides of the same coin. They are fear of losing love, and fear of losing self.
These fears come up in all intimate relationships to be dealt with and healed. They are behind all behaviors of clinging, distancing, controlling, protecting, numbing out, aggression, passive-aggression, and extreme, fear-based independence.
The important thing is to be able to recognize our fears and behaviors and not block God’s flow of good into your life. I put my book “to bed” and didn’t look at it for one year because I was afraid to move forward. I didn’t identify it as fear at the time and said to myself, “I just don’t want to do it.”
But the truth is I was filled with fear, but not ready to admit it and face it. If I hadn’t faced my fear and written my book, I would not be enjoying the life I have now. Today, when fears or doubts arise, I pray and affirm my faith in God’s healing power.
Here is how I unconsciously almost sabotaged my relationship with Larry this week. I had to “check out” things a few times that I was imagining in my head and found out that I was making up stories that weren’t true. I stress myself out needlessly because of the unconscious fear of losing him. Our relationship is so good that “It’s too good to be true” may have been playing in the background. I have changed that to “It’s good and it’s true.” Because of this fear, I found myself distancing from him in small ways. If I push him away, I can’t be hurt as I have been in the past.
What has also come to the light is how I sabotage myself by wanting to do things perfectly and put pressure on myself to know something before I have even been taught. Sometimes my expectations of myself are unrealistic. When I am stressed and put pressure on myself, I am my own worst enemy. I wrote this in my journal this week. No more pressure, only pleasure.
Along with the perfectionism was the need to rush and have it all NOW rather than be patient and trust the process. The old behavior of trying so hard to make it right and control things were evident in my life. Can you relate?
The way out of this is through it. I first became aware of my feelings and behaviors and how I was sabotaging myself because of fear. I wanted things to be perfect and was rushing to have it all NOW. As I worked through it and was able to see the truth, I was able to share honesty with Larry about my experience. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and faced my fears. I now understand that patience and trust in God are important ingredients on the road to intimacy and healing.
When Larry came to my door tonight he said, “I think you have a problem with your water pipe.” I came out and followed him down the long driveway to the road. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the water gushing out of the pipe into the air and running down the road. I had no idea how long it had been going on or what to do about it. Larry ran to his car to get a tool and tried to stop it, but to no avail.
Then I remembered! I had the plumber’s telephone number in my phone because he had just called me a couple of hours earlier concerning my kitchen faucet that was leaking.
I immediately called the plumber and was so happy that I didn’t get his answering machine. I desperately explained the problem to him. He said, “I will be there in 5 minutes.” I had no idea that he lived one street away and I don’t think it was 5 minutes before his truck pulled up. He took one look at the water gushing out of the pipe and said, “We have a big problem here.” I could have told him that. He called the owner on the mainland to inform him of the problem and to get his permission to fix it.
He was then able to shut off the main water valve and the gushing water stopped. Luckily he had a replacement fitting to replace the one that had cracked. The next thing I knew it was fixed and we thanked him for coming over so quickly.
Larry and I just looked at each other stunned how easily and effortlessly it was fixed. We kept thanking God for the synchronicity and timing of everything. If Larry hadn’t come over at that time, I wouldn’t have known that the pipe was gushing out hundreds of gallons of water. If I hadn’t called the landlord a couple of days ago, the plumber would not have come over today to look at the kitchen faucet. If he hadn’t called me today, I wouldn’t have had his telephone number in my phone.
God is interested in the details of our lives. I experience miracles all the time which makes me know that I am not alone and am taken care of. It was ironic because this gushing water in the pipe had nothing to do with my faucet in the sink. God knew that I would need a plumber for this emergency.
On a more personal note, I’d like to share my spiritual lesson for the week. I am learning to take myself lightly and laugh at myself. Many years ago I learned the importance of saying no, especially to my children. Of course, they didn’t like it because they liked me being a people pleaser and getting what they wanted. I know that was the best thing I could have done for myself and for them because I taught them how important it was to love themselves and say no-without feeling guilty.
Over the last few years I’ve been sharing with Larry the importance of loving himself first and not being a people pleaser. He has also witnessed how I love myself. Wow, it came back to bite me in the butt. I didn’t like it when he actually put himself first when it had to do with me. I was surprised, shocked, hurt and angry when he clearly and kindly said what he was going to do, which was not what I wanted him to do. I shared my feelings with him and really saw my “childish behavior” in action. I sulked and was quiet for a while. I then prayed because I knew I needed divine intervention because of how angry I felt. He said to me, “This is our first disagreement.” I barked at him and said, “No, this is a fight.” Then backed down and said, “Ok it’s a disagreement.”
We had lunch and I was able to explain to him how I perceived his actions and why it felt so hurtful. He listened and explained his reasons for doing what he needed to do for himself. By then, I was starting to soften and was able to smile. Even though I was beginning to calm down, I found myself dropping some snide remarks as we walked around Costco.
I am so grateful for the power of prayer that helped me move forward so quickly. I was then inspired with a plan that both of our needs were met. We both agreed to the new plan and I was able to laugh at myself for my childish behavior. I didn’t realize what a good teacher I had become and how well Larry learned the lesson of loving himself first.
The next day Larry shared with me that whenever he thought about our little disagreement , he burst out laughing because he saw the humor in my “little girl” behavior. I am grateful that he was so patient and didn’t escalate the situation.
I am grateful for the opportunities to grow and change and laugh at myself. It would have been so easy to beat up on myself and obsess about it, but instead I was able to love and forgive myself.
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- What other people think of me is none of my business
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- I was the queen of Multitasking
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