Tag Archives: connection

I Am Hopelessly Flawed.

IMG_1901

I have always enjoyed learning something new. And, most recently in my life, I have come to deeply appreciate when I have personal breakthroughs. I have not always appreciated this, because to have a breakthrough to me, meant that I had either hurt someone else, been hating on myself, or learned the lesson through some other difficult or painful means. I now understand that the most painful lessons for me bring the most brilliant recognitions in my life.

I have always sought in my mind to be a perfect human being. I always wanted to look just right; lose the right amount of weight; measure my foods in precisely the right amount per portion. I always wanted to be right on time for work, for play, or for an appointment. I always wanted to know about everything that someone would ask me; I would want to be the expert in any field of study. I wanted to be the best friend, mother, sibling, daughter, and co worker that there ever was.

I guess there is no harm in wanting to be the best at something in life. The problem has been for me, that being the best was an obsession for me. I saw myself as having to be perfect at everything, and when I wasn’t, I would criticize myself, or the situation. It would bring out the darkest, most undesirable parts of me, my traits. 

We all are made up of various traits and characteristics, that make us who we are. The ones that I tend to focus on are the ones that are most appealing: being kind; loving; compassionate; forgiving; patient; open; and honest, for a few examples. Yet, there are other traits that are always present within me that I don’t like to acknowledge live in me. And, when they show up, I get scared. I get defensive. My fists come up. And, I criticize and berate myself for having them appear; it is some of the darkest moments of self loathing for me. So to say that they live in me has been a challenge during most of my life.  Here are a few of my top traits:

I am a know it all. I am controlling about the slightest detail. I am judgmental to anyone who isn’t as “evolved” as I  am. I am arrogant. I am naive, to the point of feeling offended when my illusions are shattered. I am bossy. I am not willing to be a team player. I am dramatic. I am a gossip. I am stubborn about looking at things in news ways. I am unforgiving and resentful. I am selfish about my own needs. And no doubt, there are more that I could list here. 

These traits aren’t always how I am in the world, yet they do live in me. I was recently reading a book by SARK in which she was not only listing her various traits, she was celebrating them!  I was stunned, amazed, and confused. Why would one want to focus on them? Why not focus on the positive parts of ourselves?

I came to understand why a bit more deeply this week. I know that I have these traits that I see as more negative, and I am even pretty savvy at catching them when they pop up in my life and my relationships, at least most of the time. And, I most often choose the more positive, loving traits in my world. But, even if I didn’t choose those more often, I realized, SO WHAT? Really, so what? Loving myself means loving all parts of myself, the parts that I praise and the parts that I loathe. The Light and the Dark; they are all me.

Today, I am renewing my commitment to letting go of perfection and embracing my Perfection as I Am. Even though that may sound like the same idea, with the same word, it is completely different. It is the difference between conditional love, the need to be a certain someone in this world in order to love and honor myself; and Unconditional Love, the loving, honoring, and Celebrating who I Am, in all of my delightful, human ways. It is the difference between living according to our domestication, of how we have been carefully taught; and living in accordance with our true nature, our deepest, most authentic self.

Today, I announce, declare, acknowledge, and Celebrate every aspect of who I Am.

IMG_2742

Please, help me.

IMG_4931

 

I have defined myself as a helper for most, if not all of my life. From an early age, I wanted to always help others, and to give them gifts and special things. It isn’t something that I necessarily thought about, it just felt as if it lived in me as part of who I am. This giving and offering applied to my family, friends, and strangers. As I got older, it felt like a longing that meant that I wanted to choose a career in which I could offer myself to others. To me, that meant social work. And, although I have loved what I have done as my career all of these years, I don’t seek so much of myself in it as I used to in the past.  As a social worker, and a counselor, I have come to find it quite normal to always focus on what others need, or how they are not capable of taking care of themselves, and require my assistance. I see humans as much more capable than I used to, so I feel less needed to provide a service, but rather, see in them the ability to help themselves.

 

Another aspect of who I have been in my life, is that I rarely have asked for help for myself. Not only do I offer to do almost everything that may be required in a given situation, I rarely ask for others to actively help me. And, if I am in a bad situation, it is often not my comfort zone to ask someone to assist me. 

 

One area that I find it interesting is in how prayer has been present in my life as I have grown. When I was a child, and even in college, I would enjoy going to church, participating in the structure and tradition of it all, with prayers and song. I loved that I knew the prayers by heart, and would enjoy reciting them in unison with others in the church. I even prayed at night, or various other times, to God, as I knew of it at the time, for help for others. I never, ever asked God for help for myself. To me, to ask God for something that I wanted, or needed, was selfish. Was me asking God to give me something that I should be able to take care of myself. In other words, God was not responsible for my happiness or relief; I was. 

 

Letting go of the belief that I am solely responsible for the happenings of my life, without the need for others to assist, has been a challenge for me. Mostly, in the area of where God, or Spirit, fits into my life. I would rarely remember that God, or Spirit, is always with me, and I am always part of it, and it is there as the purest form of who I Am. And, there to assist, guide, and support. Yet, I am beginning to understand how important that is right now for me. Being able to say to Spirit, please, help me, to see this situation as it is. To let go or surrender. To remember that I am resting always in the Peace of God. That this is just a dream. That the form does not matter. These are the parts of my daily living that feel most challenging, and yet, I still believe that I need to solely rely on myself to remember. 

 

Most recently, with life form situations that have happened in my world, I have remembered with more frequency to call upon Spirit for help, when I am in a moment that does not feel peaceful, yet I am longing for peace. I am aware that I am not choosing Peace, and yet, need some assistance in choosing Peace. That is when Spirit is right there, for me and with me, to hold me up and remind me, gently and lovingly, what Peace feels like, and that I always have help in choosing it. That I am not in ever in this alone; that I am always held by and watched over by Spirit. That all is well. That Peace lives within me. And Forgiveness. And Love. And when I cannot remember to choose them, it is a beautiful comfort to know the help that exists to help me choose.

 

11202856_1606994312902212_7038100225790313098_n

 

To Ruthie. With Love.

 

 

I Am a Writer.

photo-9

 

I said no, probably at least three times in as many ways. I was not going to spend $297 on an online course about writing. Why bother? I knew what I had to do to write- I just had to DO IT. I didn’t need writing experts to tell me that. I don’t need creative writing prompts and ideas. I have many ideas in my head- I just lack the discipline and drive to get them onto paper.

 

Today, I am eating the ENTIRE humble pie. I am grateful for humility. I am grateful for politely, yet firmly, telling my arrogant know-it-all self to shut up. I am grateful for my remembering that I am worth investing in, and that I can afford. I am grateful for pleasure, self love, and being playful. For laughter and vulnerability. I am grateful for Waking Up.

 

photo-10

 

After three no’s, I said Yes to easily, one of the most profound experiences of my life, completing the Setting Your Writer’s Voice Free course. There was no doubt that once I began it, that I would complete it. But, what I didn’t know definitively was what I was seeking in it, at least, not in the very beginning. What I thought the reason was that I decided to yes to this course, was so that I could increase my chances of getting published, which has been a long held dream of mine, albeit out of reach in my mind. I also believed that it could help me to become a writer and get paid for writing opportunities. I was even pursuing some at home writing options to be able to stay home, get paid, and in between, work on my big book. I thought that by getting the ears of two well known, published writers in this course, one of them being SARK, whom I have adored for years, I would then know the “secrets” of becoming “successful”. 

 

And, I was scared shitless to find out. And, to encounter other writers who, most likely, would be better than me. Who would judge me secretly for not writing “stories”. Who would live in different parts of the country, or the world, that enabled more success in these efforts. I was scared to be judged, and to find out that the dream of being a writer would only ever be a dream. 

 

In our first session, we were reminded by Dr. Scott that we each have our own unique voice, our own perspective of the world, and it is our contribution to the entire symphony of the Universe. Although, intellectually, I understood this, I wondered how that could be true? I mean, wasn’t the sign of being a good writer that people could easily identify with what you write about? How unique could our voices be? And, was there really room in this world for so many unique voices to be heard? To be published? To be successful? I was, again, so filled with fear! Wanting to defend myself to people that I hadn’t even met yet. I was afraid to read the writing of others, and see how much better they were at expressing themselves than I was. 

 

One thing that I love about myself, is that even when I feel afraid, I plow through and try something anyway. I take a risk. However, with that comes a canoe full of self doubt. An ocean liner, for that matter.  THE TITANIC. Yep, it feels that dramatic at times. So, I started slowly, reading the samples of writing that other persons in the course were posting. I made comments, but would worry if I sounded genuine or fake? Am I over the top in my praise? Then, they might not have clicked “like” on my comment (this is a Facebook page) so I wondered, what does that mean? Still, I kept going, I kept reading, and I started posting my own writing on the page. Many people saw my posts, but hardly any likes or comments. What did that mean? Oh no! I suck! People don’t get me! Yet another external “confirmation” for me to see myself as a freak, an oddball, not fitting in anywhere. Yet, I kept at it. I kept reading, and I kept writing. I even posted a link to my blog, and wondered if that was “too much” of myself. 

 

Beautifully, something shifted in me after our first two sessions. Something broke open that had been locked up within me, and although I perceived that something as being unavailable to me, I was wearing the key to unlock it around my neck. I don’t know if it was belief, acknowledgment, or a deepening understanding. But, one day, I just suddenly saw myself as a Writer. I no longer called myself a person who likes to write, who is taking a course, a person who wants to BE a writer. I put the key in the lock, turned it, and heard it click:

I AM A WRITER.

 

I had never said it before. The word writer gets used for those that are paid for their writing. Who have their words published on paper. Blogs don’t count- that’s not REAL writing. I had been invested for years in not seeing myself as a writer, even though my love of writing had been encouraged and nurtured in me since I was ten years old. It filled me up, it brought me joy, and flutters to my heart, butterfly wings in the soul. My writing drew persons to me, bees to the flower, by the dozens. Yet, I only saw the action, I didn’t see who I really was. The moment that I unlocked those self imposed chains, I was free. Free to write endlessly and fearlessly, just for me. Free to savor lusciously every tidbit of writing that others posted. Free to gush and goo and revel in all of that magic deliciousness. As I read the writings that my fellow writers shared, I remembered that there is an open invitation and space for all of our voices, and, that all of our voices together is what creates the most beautiful music. 

 

photo-11

 

Sure, solos can be exciting, and having a spotlight just for me can create a sense of importance. But, it is fleeting. It disappears quickly and I am left with emptiness. Community of voices is pure, unique, inviting, and warm. It is the first hot chocolate of the fall. It is delicious, satisfying and comforting. It reminds me that I am not alone. I am among friends. I am love, and I am loved.

 

I am in the nurturing stage of turning the soil, planting the seeds patiently, and caring for each tiny vessel to burst to life. I write wildly every day- at home, at a cafe, at the office, when I travel. I am filling books and using colorful pens. I am stunned at how different I feel when my words appear in purple ink, rather than the standard black or blue. It calls the joy of it back to itself. It is savoring the richness of chocolate cake with an inch of frosting, decadent and delightful. Every bite more delicious than the last. 

 

photo-12

 

I have tools and solutions if I feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated. I have a community of new friends to cheer me on, and I get to do that for them, too. I am writing poetry, prose, and inspiration. I have set myself free to fly high, and to ride the wind and trust that it will carry me where I will best and most safely land. I can trust that this path is not only my writer’s path, but my Spirit path.  I am Home. 

 

IMG_4931

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of Death.

The autumn is in its full splendor in my corner of the world. Golds, browns, orange and red hues are everywhere, and are almost magical to me in their beauty. I am in awe and I love driving and walking through the changing trees. What I find most profound about this process of change, is that the vitality and brilliance that is fall colors is an indication of the end of life, an indication of death.

As I age, I think more frequently about the death of all things. Not just the eventual death of my physical body, or of those that I love. But, the death of all things, whether that is fellow living beings, the ways in which we live our lives, or ideas. In the past, the death or ending of anything was very frightening for me to consider. An ending to me meant that something was lost, gone, or no longer in my world in some way.

img_7928

Today, the death of a person, or a way of living feels much different to me. It feels more natural and part of the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It feels like I have come to an acceptance of the true nature of things. It also has come about as I deepen my appreciation for and the presence to the circumstances that are my life. For much of my life, I have been what I would describe as a happy person, but have approached it almost as a routine- the same day most every day. I wanted to believe that life could be relied upon to unfold with certainty and predictability. I wasn’t very spontaneous and didn’t much like surprises. I also lived in the future much of the time, making plans and expressing ideas for what I wanted to come next.

I am acutely aware now, that all we ever have is this moment.  Right now.  Life only happens now, not at any other time. As I connect more deeply each day to my essence, the core of who I really am, I shine the Light of that essence more brightly out into the world. I understand also that Light to be Infinity and Eternity.  I know that all that is, is as it should be, and since all of us are from the same Source, the same Light, we are and always will be part of and with one another.  There is no death or loss in that way. I believe that the further along as humans we are to the end of our physical form, the closer that we feel that death is, and yet, the more brightly our true essence, our Light, is able to shine through.

Just like the autumn leaves show their brilliance as their physical form is dying, so to can we as humans, shine our Light more brightly, radiate our true essence, no matter how many breaths there are left within us. Connecting with that infinite, eternal essence is simply remembering who we really are.

img_7899

Looking Up.

img_0159

 

The autumn is settling in here in our home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  There is a chill in the air that lingers past noon; and then the warmth of the sun penetrates the cold and fills me up.  I love being outdoors much of the time, but Fall is one of my favorite times.  An extra layer, a hat, and feeling cozy.  I really enjoy and appreciate the change of the season.

 

I have been appreciating a lot of change in my life lately.  As a writer, and as a lover of other people’s writing, I would often, in the past, want my writing to primarily be relatable to others, and so would be what I would write.  I would also relate closely to what others would writer, so when I read other writers’ blogs, I would tend to follow the ones that spoke to me in some direct way, either through their experiences, or feelings about those experiences.  Reminding me of something in my own life, perhaps. 

 

Yet lately, I have been sensing a change, a change in perspective, over the last couple of weeks in particular.  As I have been appreciating and embracing my own, unique writer’s voice more deeply, I have had a more genuine appreciation for all of the unique writers’ voices that I have been reading.  I have expanded my willingness to see life from a variety of perspectives.  This has opened up to me to the realization, thank goodness, of every person’s story being of worth and purpose.  It has reminded me that it is always refreshing, and fun, to see things from a new perspective.  

 

img_7620

 

I’ve been so afraid of that in my life at times, to see a different point of view.  I mean, if I look at the world in a different way than I have before, won’t something go wrong?  Doesn’t that dismiss anything that I have believed before?  I understand now that the answers to my fearful questions is no, and that I am ready to appreciate, and celebrate, all of the unique manifestations of our Universal selves, in all their varied forms.  And, looking at something from a different perspective isn’t a dismissal of what I already know, nor does it threaten it in any way.  It is just different, plain and simple.

 

img_7621

 

I headed out with my camera yesterday, my other, brilliant instrument of expression, and instead of viewing my world only horizontally, I looked up.  What a brilliant, amazing new perspective!  And, what beauty was waiting there for me.  I only ever need to look at the world, just a bit differently, just change my view ever so slightly, to see the awe and wonder that lives there.  It is astounding.

 

img_7635img_7681