Tag Archives: lessons of the Universe

When the student is ready….

So, this past Sunday was my two year anniversary of sobriety. Two years ago, I made the conscious decision to put down the drink, because my life had become unmanageable. Sure, I still went to work every day, was a decent parent, and was able to pay my bills. But, I rarely said no to a drink; I never had just one; and I would drive after drinking more often than I care to admit. With my loved ones in the car.

Two years ago, I got called a liar about my drinking, which was true, and I said ENOUGH. I could have made a promise to not drink and drive ever; I could have abstained for a period of time to see what it felt like. I could have taken other measures that may have worked well enough for me. However, complete and total sobriety felt like the necessary choice.

Some months later, after successfully staying sober on my own, I found myself in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, as a consequence for a promise broken. I didn’t want to be there. I was totally convinced that I could do it on my own forever. I couldn’t believe that it could teach me anything that I needed to learn.

I was so wrong.

Walking into those rooms, with the support of a close friend, was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. In the last two years, I have learned so much in the rooms, about others, but mainly, about myself. How human I am. How normal I am.

How many people there are with stories, just like me.

And so, I have been going to a meeting at least once a week, getting support, meeting others, and connecting. Still, I believed that I had as much as I needed in terms of knowledge. What more could someone teach me?

Again, SO wrong!

I was at a meeting, one week ago, and so much said that day spoke to right where I was at. Not reaching out for help. Living in my own head. Thinking I had all the answers.

So, for the first time, I asked someone to be my sponsor. And, after chatting with me for a few minutes, she said yes.

I was ready, and the teacher appeared.

It took me all of this time in the rooms to feel willing to ask a guide to help me on the journey. Not dealing with the desire to drink; that is long gone today. Rather, someone to take me through the steps, to help me to keep managing my thinking, and to keep growing into the person that I most want to be.

What I continue to understand, is that it isn’t Karma or fate or luck at work in the way that my life turns out, or doesn’t.

It is simply my willingness to be taught.

If you love something…..

How many of us remember that saying of “If you love something, set it free; if it comes back to you, it’s yours. If not, it never was.” Or, some variation of those words? Sounds a bit like the theme of my day today.

This morning, I awoke with the knowledge that I had to come to terms with my uneasiness with an aspect of friendship. I intellectually know that persons come and go from our lives. I know that we need to accept that we are all impermanent, and that things change. I know on some level that I have persons in my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I also know that those in my life for a lifetime are few. They are the closest, most intimate connections, which are rare.

So, I decided today would be the day that I would get to the bottom of this angst that I have been experiencing on and off for months now. Why do people that I am closely connected with leave my life? Why do they disappear after we have shared so many deep, private stories? And, more importantly, why do I have such difficulty in letting go?

I sorted through all of it. I have gone through periods of time feeling hurt and confused about it; then I had also reconsidered whether it was as close as I had thought; deep down, though, I knew that the only answer was release, release of that person, and release of the negative energies that I have been putting upon it. Letting go with love.

So, by mid day today, I could envision the letting go process, like the string of a balloon, releasing it into the atmosphere. Letting it float into another part of the Universe and be wherever, and whatever, it should be. Letting go. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH………………

But, something interesting happened after that. I went out to the store, just to get out of the cube for a few minutes. When I got back, I was sitting in my car and noticed that one of my earrings had fallen out. Now, I had been walking quite a bit in the last few minutes, so I knew it could have ended up ANYWHERE. However, at that moment, when I noticed it was missing, and after initially mourning the loss of a lovely gift from a dear friend, I let it go. I realized that I could obsess about it, perseverate about it, mourn, cry, kick and scream about it, but that would not make it magically appear. I could ask all of my coworkers if they had seen it, I could call my honey and cry about it, or I could just LET IT GO. So, I did. I admitted my powerlessness, I spent a moment appreciating its beauty in my memory, and then, I admitted to self that all is impermanent, and that I can live without it being in my life.

Then, when I got to the door of my office, I looked down, and there it was.

My guess is, if I hadn’t gone through a very deliberate process of letting go, I would have never seen it again, which would have been okay, because I had made peace with it. Peace with the decision of the Universe to show me this lesson.

For, all people, places and things are impermanent. We can hold them tightly, or appreciate them while they are here, but either way, we have no control over their longevity or their ability to stay with us, or leave. Those that choose to be in our lives, and those that we choose to have in our lives, including our selves, have to be, do, create, thrive, move, stay still, love, live and BE in all different ways at all different times.

For every moment that we share together, we are blessed.

Thank you, dear Universe. And, as Melody Beattie told me on this very day in her daily affirmation book:

“Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone am responsible for taking care of and loving myself.”

The in betweens.

There is a space between seasons that I have found a new name for:  The in betweens.  It is that period of time, whether it be days or weeks, that are in between the full onset of the new season.  Right now, we are in between the winter and the spring.  When the snow is all about melted, and the days are a bit warmer, and the days are getting longer.  There is less of a need to put on several layers of clothing just to go to your car; and you can walk outside without boots.  In between.

It has been a long winter, it seems like forever.  Even though we adjust to the cold, the inclement weather, we are grateful when we don’t have to endure a chill no matter how warmly we are dressed, when we can anticipate feeling the sunshine on our bare skin again.  The new buds of life.  Grass growing.  Open windows.  Barbecues.

The in betweens of seasons are not much different than any in betweens of life.  Transitions.  Going from one phase, or one aspect of life to the next.  The in between time is a combination of endings and anticipation.  The time prior is ending, the new time is beginning.  There may be sadness or disappointment at endings, and excitement at new beginnings.  It can sometimes seem so overwhelming and confusing.  I think that is why in betweens are so important.  It is almost like a time of preparation.  Preparing to let go of the old and embrace the new.  It is the “trying on” time.  In between. 

We all are entitled to these times, when transition enters our lives.  And, doesn’t transition ALWAYS enter our lives?  It doesn’t mean that it is a welcome guest; but it does come, and it is present in all of our lives.  I think as humans we are always transitioning from one type of phase or life event to another.  From single to married.  From nonparent to parent.  From career person to unemployed.  From worker to retired.  Or sometimes, not so formalized.  From a vital friendship to one that has drifted from us.  From a person focused on having more, to one managing with less.  To a person that has had hope to one that has become hopeless.  To a person with little faith to one who has embraced it more fully.

Life is full of these transitions, these in between times when we are not yet without what has been, but are on the threshold of what is to come next.  There is not doubt that we have to step into the next, and we cannot make ourselves embrace it, but the change will come.  A friend of mine once educated me in the fact that in every moment, every day, we are changing.  There is change happening in our lives.  With every piece of information that we take in, it influences us in ways for good and for naught, and it changes us.  It changes the course of our lives.  We have countless in betweens, seasonally and not.

I think that standing on that threshold should be embraced not only as a transition, but an opportunity for new adventures, new knowledge, and maintaining the mystery and appreciating the beauty that is both behind and ahead of us. 

Embrace those in betweens, and find the joy in them!  And, by the way, Welcome, incoming Spring!!!!

What is my blog inspiration?

lands_end_labyrinth_at_dusk_832c

Yesterday, I had the deep desire to write, all day.  As I puttered and did chores around our home, I thought of various topics I could write about.  I talked on the phone to a friend for hours about writing.  Yet, when I sat at my computer last night, I felt like I wasn’t feeling immediately inspired with a topic.  After having just said that day, that I don’t ever force myself to write when I am not feeling something to write on, I felt stuck and not really guided in any one direction.

Then, another friend advised me to write/blog about how I decide what to blog about.

Ingenious!!!

So, here I am.  What actually guides me to write what I write on here, every day?  Where do those ideas come from?  How do I decide? 

When I first decided to blog, which is now almost two years ago, I did so because a friend of mine at a website I often visited was blogging, and talked about enjoying it.  He would write about topics that he felt passionate about, and others would read and comment.  It sounded like a good way to record my thoughts, and to connect with others.  I liked it, and set up my blog.  I wasn’t sure in the beginning what I would write on, and it seemed to be a journal, of sorts.  I have kept journals most of my adult life, so this seemed like a natural transition to me, except that there was the potential for literally the whole world to read my thoughts.  Even with that, I visited and contributed to the blog once every few weeks.  I even kind of forgot about it for awhile.

Then, a year ago, I was on my blog, and started getting visits from a friend in South Africa.  She encouraged my writing, felt inspired by my words, and challenged me to write every day, to really tap into what was really the inspiration.  For one week, she said, write, about anything that you feel compelled to write about. 


That opened the gates to what is now my wealth of ideas and inspiration.  What I write about is genuinely a journey, a weekly, daily, moment by moment journey of my heart and soul.  I stay quiet and calm in my thoughts, and usually write about what ever comes to me as important, or a lesson for the day, or an idea that seems to be prevalent for me.  I carry a small notebook with me in my purse that is handy for when the ideas come at times that I cannot write but can reflect on later.  Once the idea is occurring to me, it does not develop fully until I am at the keyboard and creating.  I let my fingers do the creating as I go along, letting my thoughts flow freely and words to come. 
 

When I try to force that process, and write without an idea in mind, I often feel stuck and stifled, for the flow seems to be damned up.  There are few days that I notice this, but when it does occur, I listen.  It may mean that I need to spend more time in the real world with my family, or that I need to rest my body, or focus my attention elsewhere in worthwhile ways.  It is always a message that I heed.

 

Last night, long before I had to get up, after having felt blocked earlier with what to write about, I awoke and had an idea of what comes to mind when I think on what inspires my writing and blogging.  A labyrinth.  Until yesterday, I thought that a maze and a labyrinth were the same thing.  Not so.   Walking a labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice, a way of connecting our journey with the sacred journey.  It is different than a maze, which has various dead ends and confusing paths intentionally, in that it has but one path, which leads to the center.

 

My blogging is simply a reflection on my journey to self, journey to my soul, my center.  I am walking my spiritual labyrinth, and bringing all of those that read me along for the journey.  I don’t always know where the labyrinth  will take me, but I always trust and know that the ultimate destination is to full realization of self, and that is a comfort, joy, and total peace. 

 

Thank you all for reading…….

 

 

Parachutes

There are so many different things that I have learned over the years in my life.  How to say no.  How to let go.  How to feel connected to the people and world around me.  How to love myself and know that it is okay to put me first.  How to grieve; how to laugh. 

One of the hardest lessons for me in life has been being self-protective.  For me, to dive in to the water, head first, has always been how I have conducted the business of my life.  Now, that does not always have to be a bad thing.  But, what has made it challenging in the past, is that I have dove into the water not knowing how deep or shallow it is; I have gone head first into situations, saying “yes” before I ask any questions.  Giving fully of my time before I realize how far I will be overextended.  Giving of my heart, freely and willingly, before I know how much of myself I am sacrificing without getting it back.

In my present life, right now today at this moment, there are so many things different about those past scenarios.  First of all, I ask A LOT of questions now.  Even if I do say yes to a commitment of some sort, it is not without asking all of the vital questions:  how much, how long, when, where and how.  Some of those things are just aspects that can’t be known, but I have learned that I deserve to know what is in store for me, to the extent that I can know. 

I also state what it is that I want, firmly and definitively.  I have allowed myself to speak up, to say what I want with confidence and conviction, when in the past, I have considered what is best for the other persons involved, always before myself.  I don’t know that I put only myself first all of the time, but I at least keep myself in mind from the beginning of any new endeavor or situation.  I have invited my dreams back into my life; allowing myself the creative mind to imagine all of the possibilities.  If I can see it, I can be it.

With my heart, I have become more wise.  Not cautious.  Not guarded and wary as much as realistic and prepared, as much as I can be.  My heart has not only been broken in this life, it has been shattered, more than once I have to say.  I know that I will have many more hard falls in this life, because when you are learning and growing and adventuring, you are bound to have some mishaps.  This lesson was one of the most difficult for me to learn.  Not because I didn’t have many opportunities to learn it; rather, because I have never wanted my heart and soul to become hardened in order to protect myself.  My greatest fear about becoming more aware and self protective, is that it would create me into a cold, unapproachable person.  I have never wanted to be that way, so in my growth and change, I needed to be able to let the love in, but also, be safe from those that would want to take the love that I have to offer it, and treat it disrespectfully.

So, during my walking and wondering in the snow yesterday, I figured it out.  I used to be a person that would jump out of planes, or jump off of ledges, and hope that there was a cushion, a trampoline or safety net, that would break my fall.  Often, there was not.  Sure, I survived the jump, but not without damage.  And tears.  And complete heartache. 

So, I have since put on a parachute.

My parachute is my faith, my hope, and my self -love.  My parachute is multicolored and bright, and strong and sturdy and with me at all times.  I don’t have to stop jumping off ledges, or jumping out of planes.  I am just protected now.  And, I always have a safety net on the ground, just in case, which is my family,  my friends, my passion. 

So, I am always equipped to save myself, but just in case, I have others, people and values, that will break my fall.  This isn’t to say that I don’t feel afraid; for even with all of these protections in place, the fear of jumping into the unknown is present; in spite of that however, I also feel the thrill of jumping into my future, floating down into my destiny………..

Did you pack your parachute today?