Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Killer in All of Us.

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I have been considering this post long and hard.  I have wanted to call it something different.  I have felt afraid about speaking about these words that I think benefit us all to hear.  So, in spite of the fear, I am here, facing it, and telling the truth.

 

There is a Killer inside each one of us.  Not cancer, or heart disease or high cholesterol.  It is something deeper, more entrenched and part of the heart, but not a physical illness.

 

We all have it; and, for those of you that may read this and say to yourself, or even out loud, “That is NOT me!”, I applaud you; AND, ask you to take a close look at where this resides, even inside of you. 

 

I would have been the first person in line two years ago, even a year ago, insisting that I was evolved; compassionate; free of judgment and ill will toward others.

 

And, I was lying about that.  Not lying to intentionally bring harm to others, but to keep looking good, as a saver of the world, and a person that was perfect, loving and caring.

 

The Killer takes on many forms.  It is judgment.  Thinking negatively about someone.  Feeling deep seated anger, resentment and rage over an issue.  It is the feelings that manifest into behaviors like kicking the dog, breaking an object, throwing the finger at another driver in rush hour traffic.

 

Does that sound familiar at all?

 

I am guilty of any and all of the examples just cited.  Yet, I used to smile and pretend that I didn’t really feel these things.  The things that don’t get talked about, so I wouldn’t appear to be a bad person. So, instead of being a bad person, I was a liar pretending to ALWAYS be a good person.  I was a good person, a good portion of the time.  However, when I was feeling not so genuine, not so loving and compassionate, I put on a face that gave you the impression that I was.  

 

You see, we all have our weapons, and we keep them sharpened, razor sharp mind you, so that we can cut our friends, enemies, families and coworkers to the quick, inflicting the most pain in rapid fashion.  Even if this is just our thoughts, which it so often is, we believe that our thoughts are real, and that the other is the enemy.  That somehow the look that the person at the bank just gave us is an affront to all that we represent.  That the fact that our dog won’t go the bathroom quickly outside is personal toward us.

 

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The real truth is, the aspects of others that I am so willing to point out in them, their selfishness, rudeness, coldness…… those are aspects that are glaring in me.  And, the louder that I protest, the more likely it is something that I want to hide in myself.

 

Hope is not lost, however.  I am constantly, and I mean, CONSTANTLY, looking for ways to catch my judgmental side; and bring those negative thoughts out into the light, by talking about them, so I can share with someone else what lives in my head, and be able to assess just how true it is, or is not.  I want to evolve; I want to love more and resent less.  So, I keep working it.  I keep strengthening the muscle so that I am more likely to love.

 

For we are only ever choosing, either Love, or Hate.  

 

What do you choose?

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Numbers and the Ego.

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I have been dealing with numbers in my life, for all of my life.  Numbers that reference a variety of aspects of my self.  Numbers related to age, related to weight, grade, income, and miles from home.  Numbers that all have some significance in a positive, or negative way.

 

Numbers are a tricky deal for me.  With some numbers, like income for example, the higher the number, the more that I like it.  The lower the number, the less I enjoy it.  Other numbers, such as age or weight, the lower the number, the happier I am.  Or, so I think.

 

Today I am in the business of sorting out the numbers of my life, and what they really mean to me.  What I have discovered very recently, is that every number that I have in my life currently, whether I view it in a positive or negative light, is directly connected to the ego.  To the way that I view myself, and how circumstances impact me.

 

In other words, What About ME?

 

So, in the numbers game that I play with myself regarding money, when I have more money, I tend to be happier, and when I have less, I am less happy.  At least, that is how I have approached it for most of my life.  Today, I am learning to let go of my ego, connected to what I want to have, do and buy with my money, and instead, be truly grateful for what my money enables me to do, and have, in terms of my everyday needs.

 

When it comes to age, that has been more tricky for me as of late.  I have been mistakenly referred to as the mother of grown women, in their thirties and forties, on two occasions in the last month.  My ego is what responds first, wanting me to believe that I need to do something to appear younger, because a higher number, in terms of age, just doesn’t work for me.

 

WHAT ABOUT ME?  

 

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So, to start getting my ego in check, and not letting numbers define me or tell me what I am about, I have been viewing life in a more balanced perspective.  When I want to bemoan having a number higher or lower than I would like, I am more consistently loving myself, for right where I am, as I am.  I am expressing gratitude more, for what I have, instead of focusing on what I don’t.  I am loving the wrinkles that I see on my face, rather than figuring out how to appear different.

 

Although the Ego will always be with me, I am finding ways to not let it rule me, but rather, how I get to be humble, happy, and loving, no matter what it tells me.

Broken Peace.

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On my way to work this morning, I passed a local restaurant, that had the word “PEACE” as part of its holiday decorations.  What I noticed is that a plow, storm or person did some damage to it.

 

What I saw, was Broken Peace.

 

Besides being a pretty clever play on words, and a great photo opportunity for my blog post, I was also reminded of several conversations that I have had recently, about what we blame others for, rather than look at in ourselves.

 

Even with opening my heart more and more, and gaining more understanding of the needs and life stories of others, I can still tend to be judgmental.  If a person doesn’t meet my expectations, or is doing or saying something that I don’t agree with, I find it easy to judge a part of them.  The result, for me spiritually, is Broken Peace.  

 

When I choose to judge someone else, instead of choosing compassion and understanding, I am literally giving away my peace.  My peace of mind, peace of soul, peace of spirit.  There is no love in what I offer another when I am not peaceful about it.  And, even when I silently, secretly judge or view another person, I am still making an offering to them.  Just not the kind that leaves the impact that I truly desire.

 

I also break the peace within myself when I take on guilt, shame or feeling badly about something that I choose to do in my life.  Whether it is drinking coffee, eating dessert, or watching my favorite television show until midnight, I want to make clean, clear choices that are loving to myself, and guilt free.  

 

Now, I am not perfect.  And I don’t care to be perfect, I care to be a human being that continues to learn, to grow, to understand more deeply myself, and others, so that I can connect more deeply.  My purpose here, above all others, is to connect deeply with other people, and to do so through the lens of love and peace.

 

I am perfect as I am, right now today.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to grow either.  It just means that I am perfect, at all stages of my development.  And, so are all of the others that I get to encounter in this world.  They are not in my life to satisfy my needs any more than I am in their lives to satisfy their own.  We grow into a beautiful garden, by growing in each other’s company, cross pollinating, and appreciating and nurturing the beauty in ourselves and one another.

 

Each day, I commit to hold my peace more and more.  And, to spread peace to others in my life.  If I can offer that to you, to others in my life, and to myself, then I know that I can deeply connect with the world. 

 

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Last week, I had a situation come up with my daughter.  She was upset, and posted something on her Facebook page about having the worst Monday ever.  I wasn’t going to be seeing her for a few hours, so of course, I figured out a story in my head of what was probably going on.

The first thought that I went to, is that something happened to her, that a person in her school, in her life somehow, was hassling her, teasing her, bullying her, being mean to her.  However, the fact that I wanted to create a story out of it all wasn’t the interesting part.  The more interesting part for me, was my response.

I was furious.  I felt ready to physically inflict harm upon someone, adolescent or adult, who had brought hurt or harm to my daughter.  Just like a Mama Bear.

I have known for years, living in an area of the country that bears are commonplace, that they are typically shy and don’t want to be bothered with humans.  However, I know enough that you don’t EVER mess with their cubs; for a Mama Bear will go after anyone that even tries to interact with their babies.  That protective instinct is pure and intense.

I felt that type of urge, that instinct and senses awakening when I thought of my child, my cub, being hurt by another.  What I found so fascinating about that however, is that even though I have always been protective and nurturing of her, I have not often had that intense response to protect her, that results in an urge to harm those that bring harm to her.  Although in reality I didn’t see myself really punching a teenager in the face, who hurt my daughter’s feelings, it felt rather comforting to know that I have that in me, to protect those that I love.

In the past, I have felt the urge to think the best of others, and to believe that no harm could ever come to those that I love, and that has dampened down my feelings of protectiveness.  I often believed that bad would not cross my path, that a stranger wouldn’t ever approach my little girl, that a gunman would never enter her school, that she would never be bullied or harassed.

And now, although I still believe in the good in others, I also know that bad things happen in the world, bad things may happen in my world.  And, even though I am raising a strong, independent and confident young woman, and will continue to do so; and even though I want her to be able to always fight for herself, I will ALWAYS fight for her too.

It is a great comfort to have rediscovered the Mama Bear in myself.

Resolutions vs. Intentions

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Happy New Year!  As many people do, I thought before the start of 2013, if there were things that I wanted to begin to do, or STOP doing, as my resolution.  I have been making New Year’s resolutions for most of my life now, and for many of those years, I have kept them only for a short time.  Whether it was to start dieting, stop drinking, talk to people more or less, I would stick to my commitment for a few short weeks, and then my resolve would die down.  End of the change.

 

This year, part of how I brought in 2013, was by attending a yoga class at noon at my favorite studio.  There were many people at class, possibly looking for what I was as well.  A fresh start to a new year, and a spiritual component to go along with it.

 

Our yoga instructor that day was focused, and intense, and began the class asking us all to think about what we wanted to do to commit to change:  did we want to focus on resolutions, or intentions?  

 

A resolution, in my mind, is a statement of what it is that I will, or will not do, from this day forward.  It is usually full of excitement and inspiration of how I can be successful and the changes to my behavior that I anticipate.  An intention, on the other hand, is a process of who it is that I want to BE in the new year.

 

Who do I want to be?  Who do I want to say that I AM?

 

So, I can say to myself, as a resolution, that I want to stop thinking negative thoughts about others, or start to call my family more often.

 

Or, I can put forth my intention for my life.  I AM Love.

 

I AM Peace.

 

I AM Open, Embracing, Free.

 

The feel of it is so much deeper for me than a resolution, and feels scarier at the same time.  You see, I can do just about anything that I set my mind to, for a period of time, no matter what it is.  But, if I know that the commitment is to BE a better version of myself, that can feel much more daunting as a task.

 

Yet, it is where I most want and need to be.  I want to be Love, Peace, Acceptance, Understanding, Freedom.  I want to feel all of those states of being within myself, and I am ready to really be my best self for me, for my loved ones, for the world.

 

This year, I am focusing on the I AM for my days, rather than the I CAN DO.  I want to live what I preach and feel it to the depths of my soul.  

 

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