Alan Cohen in his book, “Wisdom of the Heart” writes “You can have it all. The Universe is capable of answering your every prayer. To RECEIVE your blessings, you must be willing to invest in them. Your most powerful investment is YOURSELF.“
My son, Tim, writes in his online program Finally Finding the ONE “So many of us are looking for The ONE “out there.” The truth is that YOU are the ONE. We will always attract what and who we are inside of ourselves. We attract our reflection. We often want to change our external selves believing that will bring The ONE into our lives. However, it will just bring someone into our lives that will meet out external selves. Our ego-self. The core of all our challenges is an insufficient amount of self-acceptance, appreciation and love. Truly loving ourselves is what resolves all of our insecurities. And our insecurities are what create the bulk of challenges in our relationships. We’re either consciously or unconsciously afraid of being hurt so we create barriers and sabotaging patterns that keep us stuck. When we love ourselves unconditionally, we do two things: 1- We stop responding from fear and protection in our relationships. 2- We stop attracting partners who are operating from fear too.”
As I thought about what Tim wrote and my journey of 15 years of trusting and believing that I would meet my soul mate, I realized that indeed I had learned to love, accept and appreciate myself. I had found the ONE and that ONE was ME. In my book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” I wrote “I have experienced deep inner healing and personal growth in the process of waiting, as well as a deeper relationship with God and a stronger faith. I depend on God for everything and know that He is the source of all of my needs.”
Here is a letter I wrote to myself ( which is in my book) from God before my book was published.
“Dear Patricia, 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 soul mate to you. I give you the gift of Joy this day.”
For many years growing up my father’s words to me was FIND YOURSELF. Of course, as a young girl I had no idea what that meant and I am not sure he knew what it meant either. I don’t believe he ever found himself, but was probably searching for himself as I searched for myself for so many years.
I have expanded it to FIND YOURSELF, KNOW YOURSELF AND BE YOURSELF. What a powerful process of discovering, and recovering my true self/ God self/Divine self. I was willing to do the work of forgiveness and transformation. It was not always easy and I often felt impatient and discouraged because I wanted it my way. I didn’t want to wait 15 years to attract my soul mate into my life. I had to let go and surrender MY PLAN and trust GOD’S PLAN for my life. Surrendering and trusting means giving up attachments to RESULTS. When we have an attachment to results, we have a hard time giving up control and waiting.
I am so grateful that I had the grace to let go, trust and surrender MY PLAN because as Alan Cohen writes,“You can have it all. The Universe is capable of answering your every prayer.” God has truly answered my prayers and I HAVE IT ALL. I have a relationship with the ONE and that is ME and I have a relationship with my soul mate, LARRY. I continually strive to KNOW and BE myself.
I am sure we have all heard what we see in others is a part of us both the light and the darkness. I have attracted into my life what was inside of me as Larry is my reflection. I SEE his kindness, generosity, gentleness, loving, friendliness, caring, sensitivity, honesty, authenticity, faithfulness, openness, flexibility and his desire to be a VESSEL OF LOVE. After I read the list of qualities to Larry, I asked him, “Do you see these qualities in yourself?” He said, “Well, I see them in YOU so they must be in ME.” He laughed and said, “Would you please write them on the wall so I can see them every day to remind myself?”
I asked myself, “Do I see these qualities in myself and am I willing to embrace them as mine? I can truthfully say YES I see these qualities in myself. It has taken me years to FIND MYSELF and embrace these qualities.
I am also able to recognize what I don’t like in myself in Larry. When I recognize something in Larry that I don’t like, it is an opportunity for me to look more deeply into my heart and what I need to love and accept in me. This is not always easy to do. For example: he likes to tell me what to do sometimes and I feel irritated. The truth is that I like to tell him what to do sometimes too when my mouth is ready to give him advice. We are both learning to respect and honor one another and ourselves one day at a time.
When Pat and I became friends, she noticed early on that I had difficulty accepting praise or compliments. As we got to know each other better, she recognized that in some ways I had a problem loving myself. She helped me to realize that I had some very good qualities and she has always been free with her compliments and support. She suggested that it was not being conceited or selfish to claim them for myself. I think I’ve come a long way and I’m in a much better place now than I was then. When I read those wonderful words she expressed about me in this blog I still feel a bit guilty and wonder how I’m going to live up to them. I still have work to do in that area and others but I realize it’s not a quick fix and I’m loving myself better all the time. I feel the energy and light of love in my life and my tank is full.
I was thinking, when our vehicles get low on fuel we go to the gas station and fill our tanks. When our love tanks are low or empty it could be a sign that we don’t love ourselves enough. Maybe we’ve been under too much stress lately or working long hours or have gone through a difficult experience. Is it time for a “LOVE CHECK?” It sounds like your battery is low and your love tank is empty. It could be time to take some love time for you. Do something fun, spend some quality time with loved ones or perhaps just get some rest.
When my love tank is full and I am loving myself, I am able to share that love with others by offering acts of kindness and support. When I am kind or loving to another person, I contribute to filling their love tank and my love tank also benefits from that experience.
Recently a friend of ours crossed over to the other side to continue his journey via a new adventure. We attended a beautiful celebration of life in his honor. During the ceremony, guests were given the opportunity to share experiences they had with him. The contributions consisted of experiences of love and kindness that friends remembered about him that touched their hearts. These are experiences they will remember whenever his name comes to mind.
I endeavor (I believe we all do) to be a loving and caring soul. Many times I know I come up short. I have a tendency to remember those times more than the times I succeed. I know my friend was a loving person who touched many souls in a loving way, but like the rest of us, I’m sure he had some regrets.
What is amazing is that when we think of someone who has left this reality we don’t usually dwell on our disappointments in them. Instead, we have a tendency to remember and share the kindness and love experiences that touched our lives from knowing them. I think that’s a wonderful human trait. Many times the memories we have of someone are the little experiences that are remembered. Isn’t it wonderful to know how much small kindnesses make a difference in our lives. In most cases they can brighten our day, lift our spirits and warm our hearts.
Perhaps it’s time to realize that loving one another reminds us that we are all connected. The one common thread that connects us is the energy and light of love. Yes, we are all different in some ways and sometimes we say and do things that hurt each other. We are not perfect. I don’t believe perfection is what it’s all about. Love will show us how to forgive, heal and move on. I believe life’s purpose is to learn how to love ourselves so we can become vessels of love. I invite you on this journey and together we can overcome our differences and walk this journey of love together.
“I open my heart and mind to be aware that I have allowed what others believe about me to become what I believe about myself. If you fail to take the time to question why you do what you do, you can become convinced that you cannot do anything else. Other people will help you feel convinced. People are in the habit of telling other people who they are. They tell you who they expect you to be, who they need you to be and who they want you to be.” Until Today – Iyanla Vanzant – March 18
It is much easier to write about something in my life that I have changed and that has been transformed by the grace of God. It’s more difficult and vulnerable to write about something that is in the process of being transformed and healed because there is the fear of being judged or misunderstood. It has been my intention each week to be as honest and authentic as I can be because I want to do God’s will and be a pure instrument of love. I know that openness breeds openness.
In last week’s blog, I wrote about the importance of celebrating our growth and acknowledging where we have come from. I think it is equally important to honor and love those parts of ourselves that still need God’s healing touch and grace. This week I will share with you a struggle that I have had for many, many years.
About a month ago, I worked with a recurring dream that was very significant. After writing in my journal, I said to God, “I am not sharing this in a blog. You really don’t want me to share this, do you? This is too personal.” Today, I heard Spirit say, “Yes, I want you to write about this in your blog today.” As I thought and prayed about it, I realized that if I am struggling with it, there may be others out there who could also be struggling with it. I share this part of my life with you in humility and faith, trusting that God is healing me and will heal you if this is your struggle.
It has been my experience and my belief that God speaks to us through our dreams. I dreamt that my first boyfriend Steve left me. I know that every part of the dream is about me. In working with past dreams with Steve in them, I know that he represents my animus (which is the male part of me.) There is a technique that I use where I dialogue with the object in the dream to get clarity on the wisdom of the dream. This is what was revealed to me.
I dialogued with Steve and asked him, “Why are you in my dream and what is your gift?” I was surprised when he said, “I am here to teach you about love.” I answered, “What do you mean?” He replied, “Loving yourself is the most important relationship you have.” I was confused because I thought I was loving myself and wrote, “I am loving myself more than I have ever loved myself. Do I leave myself and if I do, how do I do it?”
I sat quietly for a few seconds and then it came bubbling up to the surface. “Oh, my body image, is that it, God? Do I not love, honor and cherish my body?” I felt deep within that this is what I needed to look at and where I needed healing. I then began to write a letter of forgiveness to myself forgiving myself for the years of “beating up” on myself, for judging my body for not being good enough, for feeling fat and not skinny enough. I wrote, “I want it to STOP NOW. It will STOP NOW! I want to love, treasure and honor the body you have given me. I ask for your help God, I need your grace.” I know that if I don’t love my body, I will not be open to a man loving my body. It all starts with me.
I became honest with myself and admitted that I have obsessed about my weight and how I look all of my life. I ate cottage cheese and peaches for a week so I could fit into the dress for the wedding that was too tight. I have probably been on every kind of diet there was at one time or another; the grapefruit diet, soup diet, Atkins diet and “Weight Watchers.” I know there are more, but I can’t remember them now.
YUCK, embarrassing and not easy to admit, but I also know that the truth will set me free. I choose to bring to the light what has been hidden so that God’s love will heal me. For those of you who know me personally and because of the pictures I send each week, you might think, “She’s crazy and I wish I had her body.” You may wish you had my body, but being obsessed about weight and body image is not something you want. This is distorted thinking and crazy!
God brought to mind that it started when I was very young. When I was 12 years old, my mother, who was on a diet, took me to a doctor to get diet pills. I was not overweight! As an adult, whenever my father visited me, he would comment, “You gained weight or you lost weight and you look too thin.” I recognized that my unconscious belief has been, “I must be the perfect weight and look perfect to be loved.” My parents always told me I was pretty, so I believed that I was pretty. As the opening reading said, “I have allowed what others believe about me to become what I believe about myself. If you tell yourself something long enough, you will believe it- the good and the bad.”
I felt a deep sadness and loss when it sank in that for over 50 years I have lived with this belief. I went to the ocean and asked Mother Maui to heal and restore me as the tears rolled down my cheeks. This month I have focused on loving and cherishing my body. My prayer has been “Divine Love, heal my distorted body image.” Every morning when I get out of bed, I look in the mirror and love all parts of my body and I am listening to Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation series on loving the body.
With God’s grace and my willingness to change, I have stopped beating up on myself that I am too fat. I am giving myself loving kind messages. I know this is a process and will not change overnight, but I know I am on the right track since it has come to the light and I am willing to do what I need to do to heal this distorted image.
Do you love your body or do you beat up on yourself? You may think you are too short or too tall, or you don’t like your hips, or you have too many wrinkles or you are losing your hair. What don’t you like about your body? Isn’t it time to begin to love and honor the body you are living in?
My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and God wants me to love and care for my body. I will see myself through God’s eyes – a beautiful creation of love and light. I will love, treasure and honor the body God has given me. I am grateful that I continue to blossom and grow into the woman God intended me to be.
When I look back on all the other limiting beliefs that God has healed and enabled me to transform, I know that I am using the same processes with healing the limiting beliefs about my body. I allowed myself to pay attention to the inner messages that were coming up in a dream, I brought the uncomfortable feeling and beliefs into the light and asked for healing, and I became wiling to change what I think and say to myself about who I am, (which is more than the body I am in). I am starting to feel more and more peaceful and my affirmations are becoming stronger and more natural to me as I practice them on a daily basis. This is how I have healed everything else in my life and I know that my faith in a loving God and my faith in the power of this inner work will guide me to a place of genuine love and appreciation for the beautiful temple my spirit resides in.
Heart Steps – Julia Cameron pg. 59
There is no separation between body and soul, spirit and matter. One essence, one unity, runs through all of life. This essence, the God-force is completely pure, completely perfect. I claim for myself the health and perfection of this divine force. My body is beautiful, sacred and beloved. Spirit infuses my body with radiant goodness. I experience vitality, enthusiasm, energy and power. My physical nature and my spiritual nature are one and the same. My body’s needs and urges are divine in origin.
Currently, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders. Why women hate their bodies
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Simply A Woman of Faith
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