Just because you can breathe doesn’t mean you can’t drown…

I gained remarkable insight this afternoon while sitting across from a wise, dear friend.  As I shared what was going on in my life and the full spectrum of emotions I experienced, she helped me connect the dots on what others have tried to tell me.  She helped me see how single focused (and selfish) I was looking at the world through only my lens.

I have had more than one person tell me ‘you are stronger than the average person’ and ‘you can’t expect everyone else to handle things the way you do’.  I use phrases like “claim your power” and “you are not responsible for other people’s feelings” often.  I insist that everyone has the ability to get out of any situation with enough willingness to change.  Some people find this inspiring; others insist not everyone is willing or able to change.  I previously thought if someone wasn’t willing to change, that’s their problem and washed my hands of it (much to the dismay of people more compassionate than me).

As my friend talked about the ripple effect people’s choices have on others, I began to think about water.  I thought about my fear of drowning and how uncomfortable I am with my face wet.  I panic quickly if my face is under water for long so I swim with my face up.  Similarly, I am uncomfortable with negative emotions for long so I flip everything to the positive as quickly as possible.

Then it hit me…

Everyone can breathe but that doesn’t matter much if someone is under water drowning.  Sometimes it takes a trained lifeguard with a floatation device to get the drowning person above water. Not everyone can be saved but that doesn’t mean drowning individuals deserve to be ignored or criticized for their choices.  Lifeguards determine the safest way to intervene and do everything possible to save, even when it’s not comfortable.  I can learn from lifeguards.

Depression is like drowning… No one chooses it.

When I was drowning in a sea of negativity, I had someone with a life preserver pay for me to go to therapy.  I had people show up with love and support when I needed it most.  I was willing to accept the help but I had help.  I didn’t recover alone.  I still have people who show up exactly when I need them and appreciate their patience with me while I discover things in my own time.

I am mindful of the fact people have differing abilities handling change and stress the same way people have differing abilities in water.  I may be a speed demon when it comes to life changes but that doesn’t mean everyone else fits my timeline; the same way an Olympic swimmer is much faster than me in water. Even Olympic swimmers can cramp and drown.  If I were to do a cannonball in the middle of a pool, I wouldn’t be appalled the people on the sidelines got wet.

There is a space between thinking only of one’s self and only of others.  There is a space between being oblivious to the impact my actions have on others and being paralyzed by the possible implications.  There is a space between being irresponsible and responsible for things that aren’t mine.  That’s the space where I intend to float.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

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What I Know About Love

True love is infinite.  It can not be measured, compartmentalized or contained.  It is.  That is all.

My 9 year anniversary of marriage was last Saturday (March 19).  I didn’t post on that day because my husband and I have decided to separate.  Those who know us both are surprised and somewhat confused.  Truthfully, we are a bit surprised as well but it is a welcome change.

Break ups are opportunities for a life review.  They open the door to a deeper understanding of life, the universe and everything.  This one is perhaps one of my greatest gifts.

I love my husband and he loves me.  We respect each other.  We can talk about anything…even splitting up…with open hearts.  We want what is best for the other. We want each other to be happy.  We have both stated we needed each other to grow as much individually as we have the past decade. I am grateful for him and he is grateful for me.

He has a way with metaphors and described our split like a shuttle launch.  Shuttles need boosters to take off and get up to speed but, after a certain point, the boosters have to break off so the shuttle can soar into outer-space.   We want each other to soar.  We’re soaring in different directions and staying together would mean limiting each other’s potential.  Neither of us wish for that.

I affirm often “I embrace changes that serve my highest good”.  Every time I repeat those words, I mean them.  Even though I wasn’t expecting this change, I see it as one to embrace.  Even when change is painful, it doesn’t cause suffering unless I resist it.

Our time as a married couple has come to an end.  We know that we could deny this fact and live mediocre lives together for many years to come but we want GREAT lives.  Passionate, wholehearted, amazing lives.

I have been through divorce before as a different person with someone quite different.  I thought I would live the rest of my life with the man I married March 19, 2007.  I justified my first divorce with the success of my second marriage, telling myself the relationship issues weren’t mine.  This transition is making me question everything I have ever believed about love.  It’s making me see how I have clutched on to others to try and fill a void within myself.  It’s giving me opportunities to practice the self-love and self-care I teach while opening my eyes to yet another way of being.

In the past year, two significant female friendships have ended as well.  One of them specifically told me I was trying to use her for connection I should experience with my husband.  Her words angered me immensely at the time but now I see she was right.  Another held my hand while I crossed the bridge to a more spiritual life and then withdrew because it’s what she needed to do.  I took that withdrawal as abandonment but, in reality, we needed to part for our own good.  We are all better apart than we would be together now.  Both of those friendships helped teach me what love is and what it is not.  Both of those friendships prepared me for this time in my life.

There are pieces of my heart that belong to every person I have every loved, romantically or otherwise.  Whether we remain lovers/friends or not, that love remains.  That piece of my heart is theirs and I cherish it.  The words that triggered the most emotion (especially hurt, anger and fear) held the deepest truth and taught me the greatest lessons.  Resistance to the shadow parts of myself causes destruction, embracing them heals.

As one door closes, another opens.  I am experiencing connection at a level I have never experienced before.  I now understand there is no competition in love.  My love has no end.  The love I experience with one does not take away from the love I experience with another.  Finite things can be owned, bartered, divided and taken away…not infinite love.

Resistance to loving myself unconditionally blocks love from coming in or going out.  Every fear I have had about how someone is going to treat me, stems from the way I treat myself.  I have accused others of abandoning me, disrespecting me, not listening to me, manipulating me, taking advantage of me…And guess what?! Those are things I have done to myself!

Identifying what I was afraid of in regards to relationships inspired the set of affirmations below.  Reading them aloud daily has been life changing!  May they be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Trust Affirmations:
Everything is working out perfectly.
I am grateful we found each other and are brave enough to do what we need to do for our highest good.
I trust you.
I trust myself.
I trust your connection with spirit.
I trust my connection with spirit.
I trust your timing.
I trust my timing.
I trust your instincts.
I trust my instincts.
I release my need to control, trying to make myself feel safe.
I am safe.
All is well.
I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

And so it is (x3)…

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

 

More than a Coat

I have struggled with overspending for as long as I can remember.  I am now committed to planning a budget and sticking to it because it’s necessary to live the life I want to live.  I am learning to enjoy my life outside of things.  In the past, I have used money in exchange for love and that isn’t a fair trade.  I believe life supports me; all I have to do is show up, be present and do the next right thing.  Yesterday was a powerful reinforcement of those beliefs.

I had a coupon from Younkers for $60 off an outwear item that costs $100 or more and I needed a coat.  I had up to $55 budgeted for it.  My partner found me the PERFECT one but when it came time to check out, it rang up at $79.99 (40% off). The clerk couldn’t change the original price back to $110 so I could get a better deal with my coupon.

I froze.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I asked the clerk to ring up everything except the coat.  I had money for a $55 coat.  I did not have money for an $80 coat.

As I walked through the store to see if someone else could get the coat price down to one I could afford that day, more and more things were jumping out at me and my mind raced with dialog.

“Oh, what a cute tumbler, I could use it!”

“You already have all the tumblers you need, another one would take up room in the cupboard and not bring you any more joy”

“Oh yes, that’s right”

“Slippers!!!  I can use slippers!”

“You have slippers that fit and buying more will not bring you more joy.”

“Right”

“Oh, pants!!!! My son could use more work pants.  Good mothers buy their sons plenty of pants.”

“Dear one, your son is loved and cared for.  He has pants to wear to work.  They wash, they fit, and if something happened, there are 24 hour stores that sell them.  He will not go without pants.”

“My goodness, I need to get out of this place”

I refused to let myself go down the path of bargaining with myself for an extra $25.  I attempted that game many times before and always came up short.  As I shared my angst with my partner, he likened the experience to an alcoholic visiting her favorite bar.  In a former life, I would easily spend $400-$500 in a single visit buying all the items I didn’t buy this trip.  The result was a house overflowing with stuff, an empty bank account and unending stress.  I reminded myself I am changing and it’s safe to change…

We eventually arrived at another counter with an experienced looking woman who I hoped could help me.  I approached without expectation that I would get the coat or not get the coat but I REALLY WANTED the coat.  When I explained the situation, she regretfully informed me that she couldn’t adjust the original price either.  My heart sank.  It was perhaps the most perfect coat I have ever found but I was $25 short.  In my disappointed state, I asked the woman behind me if she wanted to go while I thought about my situation.

Although she could barely speak English, the woman next in line handed me a printed out coupon stamped with yesterday’s date.  It was for $25 off any item $50 or more.  I read the offer as words but the meaning didn’t sink in.  I looked up at the woman who handed it to me as if to ask “what is this for?”.  Her eyes said it was for me.  I looked back down and suddenly realized this coupon would make the coat affordable!  I looked back up on the edge of tears and said “Is this for me?” accompanied with a gesture.  She nodded.  The waterworks came as I said “thank you so much” over and over again.

Tears are flowing as I write this now… I am grateful for the kind hearted woman who was born speaking another language but connected with me anyway.  She was a quiet person; I can be loud.  Her face didn’t express her emotions outwardly like mine does but she had wise, knowing eyes.  When I made eye contact, I saw a hard working woman who knows the pain of heartbreak and has made many sacrifices in her life.  I felt like she understood me completely in that moment despite our differences.  After I paid, I turned around again and asked if I could give her a hug.  She agreed and even more tears fell down my face.

I was overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and grief for all the times I felt misunderstood and unloved.  On top of the gratitude for the coat, I was grateful for the experience and the sensations of my feelings I was experiencing in real time.  She reinforced my faith that everything works out perfectly!

Thank you, dear, sweet woman who made it possible to buy my coat.  I will think of you whenever I wear it.  Remembering your kind act helps me be aware of opportunities to give what I have at the right time for someone else.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

Open to Receiving

I am open to receiving love, happiness, health and prosperity, knowing I deserve them all.

In response to the left side of my body crying out for attention, I have been working on my ability to receive for the last few months.  I am amazed to learn over and over again that I already have all I want.  Simply by changing my attention to what is here, now, that I appreciate, I have found everything I was looking for somewhere else.  As plans change and things go differently than expected, they keep turning out better than I imagined.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in America.  My husband volunteered to host our family.  He was nervous about how his turkey was going to turn out since it was the first year he took care of it from start to finish.  I had been trying to find the motivation to clean our house for a week and it hadn’t shown up.

Because of the threat of an ice storm, most of the extended family ended up staying home. We had the turkey, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green been casserole in town but the family that didn’t come had all the desserts. To make our meal complete, my husband picked up a pumpkin pie from the grocery store that morning and I whipped the cream.  When the turkey got done early, my son and husband pitched in to a 45 minute speed cleaning session.  The floors were freshly dried when our visitors showed up.

We ended up having what I felt was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners ever!  Conversation was effortless and I got some great tips from my sister in law on how to make my own environmentally friendly, non toxic, inexpensive cleaning products.  I believe everyone had a wonderful time.  I’m pretty sure my nephew ate around 2lbs of turkey breast himself so the meat was a hit!

I approached the day open to receiving love, peace and joy.  I had a couple of tense moments directing the men in house on what/how to clean but they did a great job.  Everything worked out perfectly in the end.

The above affirmation was on a solar plexus meditation handout from the Shekinah Life Purpose Center.  I came across it this morning when pondering what I wanted to write about today.  In the past, I have tried to put myself in a position to give but because of my resistance to receiving, I blocked many great opportunities to exchange love.  From a place of self criticism, I judged others unfairly as I judged myself unfairly.

This year will be the least expensive but most fulfilling holiday season yet for our family.  There is no greater gift than being fully present in the moment with another person.  I see that now.

Wishing you and yours health, peace and love this Winter season.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

 

Learn more about the Shekinah Life Purpose Center here:

http://www.shekinahlifepurposecenter.com/about-anita.html

My Truth and My Fears

Almost immediately after waking up this morning, I rolled over to snuggle in my husband’s shoulder cradle and tearfully said, “whether it’s logical or not, I’m afraid of losing you”.  He wisely didn’t respond ‘there’s nothing you can do that would make me leave you’ or ‘I will love you no matter what’.  In my emotional state, words like that would have just brought up red flags in me.  I didn’t need to be consoled or reassured because I don’t believe anyone can promise what they will authentically feel in the future and I don’t completely trust people who think they can.

For the next few hours, my patient, loving, thoughtful, self-aware partner walked me through some of my worst fears. Throughout the course of our conversation, I realized I was really afraid of growing too much and finding my life unbearable.  I have been through that hell before and I didn’t want to go back.  I know that once you reach another level of awareness, you can not go back, any more than a baby can return to the womb.  I was afraid of growing so much that I wouldn’t want to be with him.  Instead of taking offense or falling into fears of his own, my life partner just heard me out.

We concluded that the core essence that brought us together is unchanging.  We both value love, truth and honesty.  Our list of deal breakers is short and every line item can be prevented with one simple (but not easy) thing… Live each day with the intention of awareness and address things as they come up.

When we first started dating, I made a promise that I can keep “I will let you know where I am at and what I am thinking along the way”.  I learned yesterday that my open, honest and above board approach is what attracted my husband to me more than anything else.  In those early months, we agreed that if another truly didn’t want to be with us, we didn’t want to be with them.  Neither of us are the same now as we were then and we are still happily together.

The worst sin anyone can commit in my mind is something that takes away another’s power.  Attempting to stifle, control or kill another’s spirit is completely unacceptable to me.  If you would like to see virtual fire come out of my eyeballs, just start talking to me about someone taking advantage of someone’s vulnerable state for their own gain and the other’s demise.  The only thing that keeps me from attacking predators myself is a belief their actions come from losing touch with their own divinity inside and are their own type of victim, in need of love.

I also believe the BEST thing you can do for another human is honor his or her divinity while living your best life.  Love unconditionally.  Share ideas but don’t try to influence or control; just be.

I am finding my voice.  I am practicing speaking my truth.  Fear is my ally.  Fear is a signal that I’m undermining my power and in need of more self-love **.  I am incredibly grateful to be in union with someone who can help me process what I feel instead of ‘fix’ it.  For reasons I am only beginning to understand, he’s also grateful to be with a dynamic, passionate, fire cracker of a soul who faces her fears.

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

** Hearing Roger Teel speak at the Hay House “I Can Do It” conference in Denver (April 2015) helped me understand how to see fear.  His website is http://rogerteel.com/

I Am

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”  ~ William Gibson

I just got back from the “I Can Do It” Hay House conference in Denver, Colorado.  In many ways, the format was familiar to annual experiences growing up: book a hotel, get up in the morning, eat, go to conference center, sit, listen to people talk, take notes, use restroom and repeat until dinner time.  The difference is that instead of my soul feeling like I was being sucked dry and wanting desperately to escape, counting the minutes until I could rip off my uncomfortable clothes and indulge in endless desserts at that night’s all-you-can-eat buffet… I felt FILLED UP!  I nodded my head often as the speakers spoke truths I have always known but were told were lies.

I took notes and actually READ THEM AFTERWARDS.  My heart is singing.  I am alive!

The event was emotionally exhausting because we explored my deepest fears and insecurities.  However, I was there with the support of my soul sister and showed up with an open heart.  Roger Teel, author of “This Life is Joy” said, “Clarity is power”.  In the next few paragraphs, I will share some of the clarity I received this weekend.

I am not broken.  I am made of light from the source of divine love.  My body, my physical form, is just the house that energy lives in.  My body is not who I am.  My thoughts are not who I am.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with who I really am.

I have a personal self that is ego driven, ruled by the senses.  There’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with that either, but it shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  Those inputs should not be confused with the infinite divine of which I am a part.

I realized that every single unpleasant experience I remember in my life stems from believing I’m not worthy.  It comes from ego driven messages that were handed to me by those who came before me.  They don’t rule my life.  They are part of my journey and I chose this path to learn what I need to know in this life.  I am not suggesting the people who I grew up with were assholes.  I am suggesting that the heartache I experienced as a child had more to do with my environment than a defect within me.

As I listened to Davidji explain his experience teaching “tactical breathing” to Marines, Special Forces and members of law enforcement, I realized that I’ve been expecting the world to adjust to me instead of learning to adjust to the world.  When I say ‘adjust’, I don’t mean change, I mean adjust my approach to situations based on my audience while being fully grounded in who I am and what I believe.  I mean being open and accepting of others from a base of loving myself.  True strength is gentle, flexible, malleable…

Cheryl Richardson said that when she used to hear people say “you need to love yourself”, she wanted to hit something.  I honor that honestly but loving and accepting myself truly is the key to being able to fully love and accept others.  There’s no way around it.

When I’m honest with myself, I see I’ve been hateful towards others when I agreed with their diminishing approach to me.  No one else can make me feel ‘less than’.  No one else can steal my joy because my joy comes from the divine.  If I lose connection with it, all I have to do is ask for help to get the connection back.  Even in difficult circumstances, I can be joyful at heart.  Everyone can.

I want to be a spiritual person.  I want to be connected to the source of life, the creative energy that holds the infinite universe together.  I am.  I am.  Right here, right now, I am connected.

I’m connected to the part of you that knows what I’m talking about.  I need not be threatened by differing beliefs.  I need not hush the inner voice that is connected to the divine for fear it’s leading me astray.  I just need to listen from a quiet, connected, place.  All I need to know is found there.

I am safe.  I am well.  All things will come in their own time.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

More information about Hay House can be found here:

http://www.hayhouse.com

http://www.hayhouseradio.com

http://www.healyourlife.com

3 Steps to Get Connected

Conversations over the past few days have gotten me thinking about the differences between people who have connection and those who long for connection.  Thinking about my own life and the lives of people I’ve come in contact with, I’ve observed 3 common steps in the process:

1.  Set Intention.  Whether it be “I want a life partner”, “I want friends”, “I want healthy people in my life”… Whatever it is, set the intention and define what connection you are looking for.

2.  Take Action.  Take a step in the direction of your intention.  Don’t worry about it being the right step; just take a step.  Put yourself out there and give yourself permission to change course at any time if what you are doing is no longer serving your purpose.

3.  Let Go.  Once you are taking action, embrace the process.  Spend your energy on imagining how you want to feel and taking continual steps in the direction of that feeling.  If you find yourself thinking that it’s not working, change course.  If you find yourself thinking it will never work, change your self talk.  Have faith that life will work out in it’s own time.  Prepare your heart to being open to receiving it when it does.

Although these steps are simple, I understand they aren’t necessarily easy.  In my journey, a lot of junk bubbles to the surface I have to deal with before I can take any more steps in the direction I want to go.  Instead of resisting what is and trying to force it into being something different, it works a lot better for me to spend my energy just being aware and looking for opportunities to make it better.   Life gets a whole lot easier when I ride the waves of emotion that come up, knowing nothing lasts forever.

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

Mother’s Clarity

My mother used to tell me “Everything in life has advantages and disadvantages.  You have to decide the advantages you have to have and the disadvantages you can put up with”.  When I told her sometime in my very early adult life what good advice that was, she confessed the concept came from her grandmother.  As I gain life experience, those words ring more and more true for me.

I have been paralyzed trying to identify the right answer when there wasn’t one.  There are correct answers on multiple choice questions in school.  When asked a question about history, research or written guidelines, there are correct answers based on documentation.  In life, there are choices.  Just choices.  Choices have consequences and some consequences are more desirable than others but I have not found “right answers”.  I’ve just found choices.

It is not possible to know what the future will bring exactly.  The future is the sum of many little moments and decisions made now.  At any given moment, I can make a new decision if the one I made before isn’t working out.  There is SO MUCH freedom in that!

If you would have described my life now to me 10 years ago, I would have thought you were talking about someone else!  I have learned that much of what causes me anxiety is deciding the future will not work out to my liking before the future is even here.  When I feel anxious, I take an inventory of what is going on in my life right now.  I’m usually breathing, with ample food and hydration for my body.  I have not been in physical danger or under emotional attack in those moments.  The anxiety was caused by my agreeing with emotional poison others have flung in my direction and/or worrying about things outside of my control.   The anxiety lessened when I switched my energy to gratitude for being safe now and believing the answers I need will appear when I need them.

It has never helped me to tell myself to stop worrying.  In fact, it’s never helped me to tell myself to stop feeling any emotion.  It does help me to recognize what I’m feeling, feel it, and then decide if I want to keep feeling that way or if I want to make different decisions.

When making decisions, I start with what I want if I could have anything in the world.  From there, I add in the circumstances of reality and see how close I can get to what I truly want with what I have now.  It helps me clear the fog created by other people’s expectations and fear.  I make it okay for me to feel anything, think anything and be anything because I love me and I’m alright.

I decide whether what other people think about me is true.  Most of the time, what they think of me is none of my business.  Sometimes, I need to correct my course because I don’t like the consequences of my choices.  The rest of the time, what other people think of me just doesn’t matter one bit.  I know these things when I’m feeling confident but forget when I’m feeling insecure.  However, I’m getting better about recognizing my insecurity, observing it, and changing my thoughts.  I can do that any time I want!

My son taught me to be this way.  The struggles we’ve experienced together blew up the box I grew up in and opened us up to an entirely new world.  When he tries to make sense of the world in black and white, I see very clearly why that doesn’t work at all for me.

At this exact moment, I’m blogging while my son is on a high school band trip in Florida.  When I sent him a text asking who he was spending the most time with he responded, “many people that I like” and provided a list of names.  My teenage son who I worried so much about and felt inadequate raising, is finding his way in the world!  He’s building relationships and improving himself in accordance with his goals.  My heart is bursting with pride and joy!

Instead of controlling his life, I’m intending to be present in it.  He’s going to be better than okay.  He’s on his way to having a great life of his creation!  For that, I am eternally grateful and am looking forward to being available to him for as long as I live.

 

From my heart to yours

 

Thanks for reading

Boundaries vs. Expectations

One of my guiding phrases these days is “let go of expectations but be wide open to possibility”.  However, a dear friend suggested  to me today that boundaries are expectations and boundaries are healthy.  Her comment made me consider if I believed that to be true and, if so, what impact that has on my view of the world.  I think there is a difference between letting go of expectations and not having any.  I believe the concepts of boundaries and setting expectations are complimentary.

For instance, I expect my friends to treat me with kindness, consideration and unconditional love.  I only share the depths of my soul with other human beings who are loving and dependable.  I need to be able to speak freely, even if my words are not perfect.  I expect myself to be kind with pure intentions but there is room for error.  If I sense within myself that my intentions are not pure, I observe them and address them.  I expect my closest friends to do the same.

I no longer expect every single person I meet to be capable of loving me the way I want.  I let go of the expectation that anyone owes me something because of our relationship.  People are either present in my life or they are not.  I have learned the world is big enough to let go of relationships that do not meet my needs to make room for those that do.

This past year has been an incredible testament to that belief.  I have gotten braver about speaking my truth and bringing my true self to social situations.  I have a better concept of what loving myself and accepting myself unconditionally looks like.  People don’t have to agree with me for something to be true for me.

The result is some relationships have grown apart but others have grown closer to me than I ever could have imagined!  It is possible to fall in love with multiple people without possessing them, feeling like they owe me anything or taking responsibility for their emotional baggage!  I have many loves in my life now, including myself.

I have learned to love freely and take love freely without losing my sense of self.  It helps me to understand that I am made of light.  Everything I think I know is “light perceiving light” (Ruiz, 1997).  I am living a dream that I create with my thoughts, beliefs and intentions.  Awareness of them is key.  I do not deserve to be punished repeatedly for anything I’ve done.  When I error, I can adjust course and still speak lovingly to myself.  This opens the door to a level of intimacy that is only possible when one is free of fear.

If I find that someone can not be trusted with my heart either due to his or her own unresolved issues or the fact we are on different wavelengths, my boundaries come in to play.  It doesn’t mean I no longer love him or her.  It doesn’t mean that we can’t have a relationship.  It does mean he or she may not get to experience all of me right now and that is okay.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

References

Ruiz, D. M. (2003). The four agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom. Amber-Allen Publishing.

Where the Sidewalk Ends…

Relationships, whether romantic or not, ebb and flow with the tides of life. As I change, so does the way I relate to other people. I’ve been deeply troubled by the realization that some people who have been significant parts of my journey to this point are incapable of giving me the connection I desire in friendship. I was disturbed by the heartache I was experiencing and knew that was a sign of an unresolved issue but couldn’t identify it.

While enjoying lunch with a dear friend who is brave enough to share her uninhibited soul with me, I had a HUGE revelation! My heartache was not caused by anything more than the part of me that believed I deserve to be rejected. That little part of me was seeking out and holding on to people who had not earned access to the depths of my heart. Instead of keeping a healthy boundary between us, I had left the door open and allowed them to pillage there. In all my talk of acceptance and tolerance, I had missed one important element… Acceptance and tolerance require seeing the equal value of others.

Instead of embracing others with their opinions and worldviews, I had regarded my new worldview as superior to the one I left (and all others too). I had become quite intolerant of intolerance. I had replaced one “should” with another “should” (veiled under the cloak of pseudo unconditional love). Ooooops.

Because my ideals of being uninhibited and honest are so important to me, I viewed anything different as “less than”. I took it upon myself to “free” others from their “prison” of worrying about what other people think. My husband made me understand that “one person’s prison is another one’s home”.

It’s not my job to make anyone else experience my ideals if they don’t want to. Some people have simply not earned the right to access my unbound, uninhibited, unconditional love. Trying to “free” those folks from what I viewed as a prison of the heart was not helping them and was deeply hurting me. For every rejection of my light, I felt a little “less than”.

The world is a big place with plenty of stories to go around. My path need not be threatened by another’s. Right here, right now, I chose to release that little part of me that believed I had to succumb to the ideals of what other people think. I’m done trying to earn the affection of people who I don’t even really like. I wish them peace and love in their own stories but they are merely extras in mine.

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

SIDE NOTE: I have struggled with the above concepts until today and I thank you for being part of my journey by reading my post. The title of this entry was inspired by Shel Silverstein and his poem about the oak tree and the rosebush (which I memorized and recited in high school, around 1995). You can read it here: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/306705-an-oak-tree-and-a-rosebush-grew-young-and-green