Love is All you need.

handkind

I have said it often in my blog before, that I have times when I feel completely overwhelmed, discouraged, and vulnerable. I feel scared and alone. I feel like whatever it is that I am experiencing can not be understood by anyone else. I feel like there is a darkness that exists inside of me, and around me, and that the light that is supposedly there will never be seen again.

Sound familiar?

So, when that happened with me a few days ago, I was sure that the feeling would not pass anytime soon. Then, I woke up the next day and still felt the residue. I was sure it would not pass easily, and yet, over the hours of that next day, the darkness slowly dissipated and gave way to the light that was waiting for me.

What I thought about when I let the light return, is that all that I ever need to remember on any given day is what I can do to return to love. What I can do to return to peace. What I can do to connect or join with my world. And, when I am in that feeling of darkness, I am not choosing any of those things.

When I am feeling dark, I am choosing to not love myself, or others, and it becomes so tempting and juicy to judge others around me more than ever. When I am feeling alone or discouraged, I am choosing to throw my inner peace away and then blame the world for stealing it from me. When I am tearful and overwhelmed, I am actively choosing to disconnect from those around me, and then acting as if no one could possibly understand what I am going through.

And yet, the answer is always waiting for me, and it is so simple. In any given moment, when it seems most dark and despairing, I get to choose to embrace myself with pure love, for whatever it is that I am experiencing or what I need. For me, self love, deeply loving and accepting myself, wherever I am at, allows me to see the world with loving eyes. It seems so much more complicated like that at the time, like I need the outside world to do something for me, to acknowledge that I am lovable and have true worth. But that isn’t the answer at all. The answer is me.

And I also believe that this is true for all of us as human beings. That when we love ourselves as deeply and consistently as we possibly can, we will embrace our peace. We will openly connect with the world around us. We will not be tempted to judge others or the world around us. For when we see ourselves with eyes love, the world around us will be a loving place, always.

Love, really, is all we need.

hearts

I’ve got Problems.

ID-100278401

I am a pretty happy person, most of the time. I am grateful, I am joyful, and find a lot of fun and excitement in my world many of the moments of my day. However, I also have things that weigh on me. I have issues. I have insecurities that haunt me at times, and I talk trash to myself when I am feeling particularly low and vulnerable. To put it simply, I have problems.

We all have problems of one sort, size, or type on any given day. For me, the majority of the time, any problem that I run into I am usually able to solve on my own. I go through the options that I have available to me, or reflect on how I have addressed it in the past, and I take care of it. Yet, there are some times that I need to reach out and get support or suggestion from those around me.

Asking for help has always been a challenge for me. Mainly, this is due to the fact that I have always held myself to a pretty high standard, not allowing any room for error or doubt. This created quite a dilemma for me over my lifetime, in that I got to thinking that I had to be perfect, keep things in perfect order, all the time. So, when I would be feeling out of sorts, and like I was floundering a bit, I would not let others assist me, so that I would continue to look well put together, and like I had it all under control.

The truth is, we are all capable and strong human beings. No, we don’t always see it that way, but I often find that myself, and others around me, are much more capable of handling adversity than we give ourselves credit forever. However, there are also times when what we are handling, we just can’t get through easily on our own. Or, there are times when we may feel so overwhelmed that we want to give up, because we don’t see any signs of hope that things will change or improve for us.

So, this is a direct reminder to you all, that we all struggle. We all have our weights of the world that are lighter at some times than others. And, we all have strengths that we don’t always acknowledge, to address those struggles. However, if we need help, and we are in way over our heads, we are NEVER, EVER alone. There is always someone that will be there to support, assist, or just love us in the way that we are.

We just need to speak up and ask.

ID-100198225

Money, Money.

ID-100221423

My relationship with money since entering my adult years has been pretty problematic. Since I left home permanently, after graduating from college in 1984, and moved out on my own at the age of almost 22, I have destroyed any previous relationship that I had with money that was healthy and responsible. Once I began to take care of my own finances, on a full time basis, I created some new habits that I find myself still paying for today.

I started working when I was thirteen, willingly mind you. I wanted to get out into the world and make some of my own money, to save up and buy things that I wanted. My first job was vacuuming the rugs in a furniture store, every Saturday morning. Next, it was selling tickets in our local movie theatre in Keene. And, finally, the job that I had my senior year of high school, and every summer that I came home from college, was working in ladies fashions at the local Bradlees department store. I loved working all summer long, building up my savings account, and having my own money for the year when I went back to college every fall.

Once I had my first apartment, and became the source of my own sustenance, I got sloppy and impulsive with money. I would often spend my pay before my bills were taken care of. I was late on car payments. Then, I discovered this beautiful thing called credit, and started living as far beyond my means as my budget could afford the minimum payments. And, I rode the credit train for many, many years.

When I first decided to build a cleaner, more grownup relationship with money in my life, I was scared, and I was ashamed. At the time, I easily had $32,000 in credit card debt accumulated. I was afraid to ask for guidance out of embarrassment over my situation. I was able to pay the bills every month, but I never seemed able to pay much more than the minimum amount, and I kept using them at the same time. When I was ready for the change, I made it happen.

Today, I am still in debt. But, I have a savings account, with money in it. I am generous with what I have, to myself and to others, within my means. I have respect and love for what money can do for my life, and what it cannot. And, even when I want to worry about it, or feel like I am in a state of lack, I remember how abundant my life is, and how much I get to be grateful for in every moment of my life.

Today, I understand that when I embrace abundance, self love, and gratitude, that I will always have riches more than I can count.

ID-10072839

What’s Next.

ID-10016160

At the end of every summer, at least every one of them for the last few years of my life, I start thinking about the upcoming fall. I think that after fall comes winter, and in this part of Pennsylvania, we often start having snow and cold weather in October. I start dreading the end of the warmth and the beginning of the cold. I want to hold onto summer for just a wee bit longer.

Then, one day, I just realize that I am ready; that I am ready for fall to come. I am ready to bundle up a bit more, pull out my sweaters and watch for the first snowfall. I know when I am ready, when an acceptance and a letting go sets in for what is coming next.

This year, was no different. For the last couple of weeks, I have been realizing that fall is just around the corner, and I was dreading its arrival. Then one day this week, I finally realized that I was completely ready for fall to come.

I realized how often that in my life, and I believe in the lives of many human beings, that we resist, and try to postpone our lives, and feel like we aren’t ready for what comes next. For me, that has at times been the weeks before I changed jobs; left a relationship; or made some other life changing decision that I had known was coming but didn’t want to deal with any changes. Yet, when I would decide, and finally acknowledge the readiness within myself, then I would know that I could handle anything that would come my way.

Even though it is when I let go, and open to what is coming next, that I feel the most free and vulnerable, and ready for a new adventure, the resistance that occurs before that is essential to my learning as well. When I am fighting the lesson, and acting like I am powerless to making a decision, it is then that I reveal my true strength to myself, and the time when I get to really figure it all out. The whole time that I am afraid to open myself up, so much learning is taking place for me about my life and the direction I am steering it in.

What I am learning more clearly now, is that what comes next is always something that will bring deep lessons to my life, and that I would rather be present and open for those lessons then be scared and not available. When I open to my life, it means I am opening my heart more. And, when I open my heart more, miracles happen all around.

ID-100168437

The lines that we draw.

ID-100228544

I have been thinking a lot lately about boundaries, rules, and ways in which we decide what is right and wrong for us. In our society, there are rules, laws, and structures that are in place that guide the way that we drive; make money; raise our children; and take care of our property. In our workplace, the policies and procedures that exist let us know what is okay, in the eyes of our employer, and what is not. If we go to church or follow some religious affiliation or practice, there are definite expectations of what is allowed, and what is forbidden.

However, we all have lines that we draw also in our internal world. They exist for us around food, drugs, alcohol, weight, and appearance. They dictate within ourselves whether we want to have that cheesecake, or do those extra 100 sit ups. Our internal lines let us know when we are in sync with where we most want to be and when we are falling out of step with what we expect from ourselves.

And, my thoughts around these lines that we draw within ourselves is that they can create real conflict for us. For example, when I stopped drinking alcohol for two years, living a sober life seemed like the right choice for me. The line in my mind was that alcohol, and other drugs, were not for me, because they created chaos in my life and I didn’t need them. When I made a conscious decision one year ago to have a drink, and many times since then, I often wondered where my new line would be. Would I restrict my drinking to only once a week? Only one glass at any given time? Would I limit it to wine, or would I allow myself liquor also? Does that mean that marijuana was okay now?

The conflict was not in establishing a new line; as human beings, we all are able to change our minds and we all have the capacity for change. However, the need for me to create that line gives me permission to judge myself when I fall short. So, if I have that second glass of wine, I am a bad person that can’t handle her liquor. That is what my first instinct is to tell myself, anyway. And, if I am willing to judge myself about the lines that I have drawn for myself, you can be darned sure that I am giving myself permission to judge others as well.

The truth is, there are rules, regulations and structures in place for a reason in our society, to keep us and those that we love and live in community with safe and sound. However, when it comes to the lines that we draw within ourselves, they are often an opportunity to judge and berate ourselves for just being human, just being in the presence of living our lives. And, when we draw those lines, we most likely not only keep ourselves inside of them, we keep other people OUT as well. We distinguish ourselves from those around us as if we are on this journey all on our own. Or, as if our needs, fears, and insecurities are unique only to us.

So, the best that I can do on any given day, is to make choices in the moment, that feel most loving and in sync within myself, and that enable me to continue to connect with my world and those around me. I want to continue to build a life that is free of regret, guilt, and shame, simply for being the flawed, unique, and beautiful human being that I am.

ID-10075085