We all want to be appreciated; it feels good to be appreciated when we have done something nice for someone else. I go out of my way to appreciate others when they have done something nice or been kind to me. I love to compliment others when they have something pretty on or have beautiful eyes.
But, there is a problem when I obsessively look (outside) to others to love, accept and appreciate me. When that happens, I leave myself and lose myself because I want someone to fill the void, instead of me filling it with my own love, acceptance and appreciation. It’s been an interesting week to witness my “old behaviors rearing their ugly head.” Thankfully, I have the tools to come HOME to myself and take my power back.
We all have the power to depreciate or appreciate ourselves. The choice is ours. To depreciate means something has lost its value over the years. To appreciate means its value has increased and we recognize the quality, significance or magnitude of something. I am choosing to appreciate myself and recognize my value.
I shared with Larry, “I’m feeling stressed and I’m tired.” I know that moving is one of the top stressors, especially when combining households and letting go of things that are no longer useful to make room for Larry’s things. I’m also helping Larry get ready to move here and get rid of things he doesn’t need. On top of that, although I have truly enjoyed it, I have had friends staying at my home for the past few months. In addition, I have been preparing for a 4- day retreat which is the weekend before Larry moves in.
Although Larry was attentive and understanding when I shared my stress with him, I didn’t think he was really able to grasp the magnitude of my experience of stress. Perhaps I wanted sympathy, even though I said I wasn’t complaining, just acknowledging my feelings. I felt annoyed with him, which is an indication I am giving my power away. Deep down, I was looking to him to appreciate me and say, “You are doing such a great job and I would be stressed if I were you too.”
Looking to others, no matter how much they want to help or love us cannot and will not fill the “hole in our soul.” It will never be enough. They are not meant to fill us up, so no matter how hard they try, it is futile.
It is only God that can fill the “hole in our soul” because that is how we were created. What I have learned is that I need to give myself the love, acceptance and appreciation that I crave from others. Instead of looking to Larry to appreciate the magnitude of my stress, I needed to appreciate myself. It’s my appreciation that I crave, not the world’s.
When this awareness came to the light while I was praying, it felt like there was a shift inside of me and the stress lifted. I still had all same things to do, but I felt a new freedom inside. What I thought I needed from Larry, I gave to myself. This is what I did to re-focus and come HOME to myself.
- I wrote a list of 50 things that I appreciated about myself. What I appreciate, appreciate
- I listened to my son, Tim’s, visualization on loving, accepting and appreciating ourselves
- I focused on what was good and working in my life
- I increased my daily gratitude
- I forgave myself for giving my power away and leaving myself
- I focused on giving myself pleasure and having fun; i.e. swimming, walking, dancing, snorkeling
- I had a massage
- When I went to bed, I thought about all the things I appreciate about myself.
I depreciate my value and worth when I look to others for my value. I appreciate my value and worth when I give it to myself. Here are some things we do to depreciate ourselves on a daily basis. Which ones can you relate to?
- When we judge ourselves to be “not good enough” or strong enough
- When we say YES when we mean NO
- When we choose fear instead of love
- When we don’t speak our truth and live in integrity
- When we don’t allow ourselves to feel our feelings
- When we want to please others at the expense of ourselves
- When we don’t trust ourselves and our intuition
- When we beat up on ourselves and live from the “shoulds”
- When we try to control others
- When we procrastinate about making important decisions (or small ones)
- When we think we have all the answers and don’t listen to others
- When we don’t pray/meditate and depend on Spirit
- When we don’t take time for ourselves to enjoy life and use our gifts
- When we don’t live in the present moment and worry about the past or the future
- When we don’t know how to relax and just BE
- When we are unable or unwilling to forgive
- When we medicate our feelings through addictions i.e. alcohol, drugs, shopping, busyness, food, gambling, codependency
I am grateful for the daily lessons to grow and live my best life. We must be willing to go within and listen to our souls. We must be willing to change and do whatever we need to do to heal the “hole in our souls.” We have the POWER to change because the POWER is within us to live a magnificent life. I encourage you to live your life to the fullest, because you are worth it. We are not promised tomorrow.
As I started to write my blog this morning, I opened to a reading about faith that I would like to share with you. It’s from “Creative Ideas” by Ernest Holmes.
“Then we can rest in complete confidence that our words, spoken in faith, are the presence and power and activity of the Spirit in us. All sense of making things happen or holding thoughts or uncertainty is put aside, and with childlike acceptance we make known our requests with thanksgiving.”
It’s hard to believe that I moved into my beautiful home overlooking the ocean on April 15th of last year. Only a few days after that, my eyes and heart were opened to the love of my life, Larry. After being best friends for 2 years with no romantic feelings, it took me by surprise (my God is a God of surprises) when I started to have some stirrings within. I dropped the bomb on April 23rd when I informed him I was having feelings for him.
Now here it is almost a year later and Larry will be moving in on March 26th and we will be living in this beautiful home together. It’s a big move for both of us, but we both know in our hearts that it is the next right step for our relationship. I have been living alone for 15 years and Larry has been alone for 3 years so I am sure it will be a transition time for both of us, but we are both expecting it to flow with peace, ease and grace. We get what we expect, right!
Before I met my soul mate, I was concerned what it would look like because I liked my “alone time” and independence. I liked the freedom of doing what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to lose myself as I did in past relationships. As a codependent, I looked to others to fill me and define me, rather than going within and filling myself up. I was also focused on others, at the expense of myself.
It took me many years to find myself and love myself and I didn’t want a new relationship to come in the way and destroy that. After being in a relationship with Larry for almost a year, I can truly say that my love relationship with myself has continued to grow and deepen. Today, I have myself and a man in my life that I can love and who loves and adores me. I think it’s called “interdependence” and it feels very healthy. It is not perfect, but we have learned to negotiate and focus on what’s important to both of us. Our time together is very precious and we take nothing for granted. Each day is a gift that we are grateful for.
As I have shared in past blogs, I “stepped out in faith” when I moved into my present home because my rent more than doubled. I know it was God’s grace that gave me the courage to take such a leap of faith because I truly didn’t know where the extra money was going to come from. I had a plan, but of course, I didn’t know if it was going to pan out the way I wanted it to. I know it is God’s plan, when after I’ve prayed about something and released it, the peace comes when I make my decision. I also live my faith walk by asking God to open or close the door for my highest good.
I am in “awe” and gratitude for how God has provided for me this past year and how the money flowed to me easily and effortlessly. I remember that the HOW is not up to me. I just need to follow my heart and the wisdom within and trust God’s faithfulness to His promises.
With Larry moving in, I had the opportunity to clean and get rid of things that I no longer needed. I was going through a box of personal things when I came across several of my “Intention Books” that I put together over the past 10 years. My intention books are like vision boards, but in a book form. I prayed daily with my intention books. I was truly moved as I saw the pictures, dreams and desires of my heart that I am now experiencing and living. Here are some of the highlights of what was in the books.
Louise Hay writes, “When we follow our inner star, we sparkle and shine in our own unique way.” So it is no surprise that Larry’s nickname for me is “Sparkle.”
I received this reading in 2008: “Have faith that God will continue to help and support you. You are about to take a leap in faith. It’s safe for you to make this leap. You are following your heart’s desire and wisdom and it will pay unforeseen dividends. Your steady optimism will attract opportunities and support your needs. “
Life is short. Live your dream. LIVE PLAY. Vision is having faith in your dreams. My soul mate and I hold the perfect space for one another within our open hearts. Imagine a life and LIVE it. The Lord has an incredible destiny for you.
This is a prayer I wrote several years ago. “I surrender all to you. I let go and let God, I release. I say YES to my life, your life within me. I say YES to all of life as I trust the Spirit within. All that I am and do, I give to God. I trust the will of God in my life to lead and guide me from this day forward. I surrender my dream and vision to God with complete faith that I will realize the best possible outcome. I fully accept my gifts and talents to be used in the service of others. Thank you for allowing me to share your love and be your voice in this world. I am deeply humbled and honored.”
My heart overflows with joy as I step into my life on a daily basis and allow God to surprise me. All I know for sure is that God wants only my good and everything I attract into my life is for my highest good. Love is all there is.
Author Melody Beattie writes, “Gratitude makes you happier. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Although it is my daily practice to be grateful for everything that comes into my life, whether I like it or not, I don’t always FEEL grateful. Sometimes it is a choice that I make because I know I will feel better and lighter if I practice gratitude. For example, I was driving in my car the other day and feeling kind of low as deep sadness welled up inside of me. I didn’t like how I was feeling, but I knew I needed to stay with it and allow whatever needed to be healed to come up. I know that happiness is an inside job and I will be as happy as I choose and want to be. I wanted to feel happy and not sad.
There is a delicate balance of admitting and allowing myself to feel my feelings so I can release and move through them and not staying “stuck in yuck” for longer than I need to. I had to let go of my need to control and figure out where the sadness was coming from. I needed to trust the process that it would be revealed to me in the right and perfect time. And it was!
My mood started to shift as I shouted out loud in my car, “I choose to be happy, I am happy. I am grateful.” I was definitely feeling better (not totally myself though) when I arrived at Larry’s house for dinner. Larry and I had had a “misunderstanding” the night before and I thought that could be a part of my sadness, but I wasn’t sure because the sadness I was feeling seemed to be way out of proportion to what happened with us. I knew it was “my stuff” from the past that was being triggered and coming up.
As Larry and I discussed our “misunderstanding” of the night before and each of our perceptions of what happened, the tears started to flow down my cheeks. It was like Spirit shone a light into my heart and I saw where the pain and sadness were coming from. It has been my experience that intimate relationships have a way of bringing up your “stuff” to be released and healed. Both Larry and I were triggered with “past stuff” and both experienced deep healing and transformation because of it. Thank you God because what sometimes feels like a set-back can really be a set-up by God. We were definitely set-up!
On another note, as I sat to write my blog today, I was definitely feeling gratitude for how things worked out for me this morning. Several weeks ago, while using the exercise bands at my aerobics class, I did something to my shoulder, but didn’t feel it until the next day. I have been icing it and using Arnica to help my healing. Although my shoulder was getting better, I still didn’t have full range of motion and it hurt when I moved it in a certain way.
I woke up on Friday morning and decided to go to the 9:30 a.m. aerobics class in the pool at the Fairmont Hotel. I knew water exercises were really good for healing, but I wasn’t sure what the best exercises would be. I didn’t want to re-injure it or make it worse. When I arrived, I was disappointed to see that the pool was empty and wondered if the class had been cancelled.
With that, this woman appeared before me and I heard her asking the woman sitting in the lounge chair, “Are you interested in joining the water aerobics class in the pool today?” I didn’t hear what the woman answered but I immediately piped up and said, “I am interested.” She smiled and said, “Great, we will do a class just for you.” Apparently, she had been walking around the pool and asking if anyone was interested in joining the class because she didn’t want to cancel it. She was about to leave when I “showed up.” When we got into the pool she smiled and said, “I am so glad you came, I really wanted to get in the pool today and teach a class.”
The instructor, Nancy said, “So Pat, tell me about what you need today.” I told her about what happened to my shoulder and that I was interested in exercises to strengthen my shoulder. For one hour, I had a private session with her that was totally focused on me and what I needed to do for my shoulder. My shoulder feels much better and now I know exactly what exercises to do to continue my healing.
One of the things that I love about living in Maui is how I have learned to live in the moment and follow the flow of what is before me. I followed my intuition on Friday morning to go to the water aerobics class and then had the opportunity to ask for what I wanted. Not only was I blessed to have a private lesson to focus on the best exercises for my shoulder, but the instructor, Nancy, was given the opportunity to share her gifts. A win-win for both of us.
So, all in all it’s been a great week of healing emotionally, spiritually and physically. I continue to practice gratitude, trusting everything is in perfect and divine timing.
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