Tag Archives: support

I Believe in Love.

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Last week, I embarked on an adventure with my daughter. I drove with her to Kentucky to see her girlfriend. She has been dating her for several months now, after having met her on line, and this was to be the weekend that they would be meeting in person. Face to face. Being able to connect with one another in a more direct, deep way. It was one of the most emotionally intense times that I have shared with her. I knew that the trip was the process of helping her to go to love.

There was not much support that came our way for making such a trip. Most people, in fact, almost everyone around us, believed that we were crazy. We had no idea who this young woman was, really, and anything could happen. Kentucky, to them, felt like on the other side of the world, and any danger could present itself to us. Maybe we would be hurt. Maybe it wouldn’t work out. And, what mother takes her daughter 700 miles to meet a person anyway? One that she has met on line?

Well, it seemed pretty simple to me, really. I believe in love. Wait a minute. I want you to read that line again, and what I mean by that.

I believe in Love.

What I mean when I say that, is that I believe that we all have self worth. That people are inherently good. That love presents itself to us all in various ways, ways that strike a chord within us. What defines love for you may not for me, and the other way around. My daughter, all seventeen years of her, is in love. To the core of her being. And, there are some that believe she is too young to know that she is really in love, but she believes in love, like me. She knows when she feels it. She knows when offering her heart up feels like the completely right thing to do.

So, I drove her to Kentucky. We stayed with her girlfriend’s family. We hit it off right away. We saw where she has grown up, where she goes to school, the part of the country that she has called home for her entire life. There is real power and humanity in that. To really be willing to see what is important to another person.

That is love to me. In order to truly love another person, I believe we have to be willing to accept them, fully and openly, where they are at, and for all of things that make them who they are. It is the way that I strive to love myself, and the way that I believe is the only way to love another person.

In the leaving, there was sadness. So much distance between two souls that feel like they are meant to be together at this point in their lives. Yet, all well worth it. Because even though it hurt to leave it, it felt so energizing, right and true to follow love to where it is for us.

I believe in love. And, if you really were honest with yourself, I bet that you would know that you believe in it too.

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I’ve got Problems.

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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.

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It works if you work it.

About a year ago, I got myself sober. I got called out, by a gift of a person in my life, through the coaching program, about being a liar in regard to my drinking. At the time, it felt like a total affront, a confrontation that was not deserved. However, deep down, I knew that she was right. I knew that I had been lying to everyone around me about how worried I was about my drinking. I knew that night that she confronted me about my lies that I had to stop. Right then and there.

Part of my recovery and sobriety for over a year, has been possible through the support and connection I have created with AA. Being in the field of mental health, and assisting others with issues related to life, I had been pretty familiar with 12 step programs. I had read a lot of the literature, I had memorized some of the most common slogans, and I knew some people in the program. However, even after I got sober, I had no interest in actually being in the program. Going to meetings. Getting anything of value from it.

I was wrong. Again.

AA has been one of the best decisions of my life. I truly hear part of my own story, in the stories of every single person that speaks at a meeting. Every meeting that I go to, which is one a week at least for me, to keep a promise to myself, every meeting that I walk into is the one that I am meant to be in. Because in every meeting, the topic that is discussed is one that I most need to hear about, or talk about. The meetings don’t help because I get suggestions, although sometimes, I do. They don’t help because I have a person there who has the exact same journey as I do. They help me because there is a sense of fellowship there, and no matter what, you are welcomed back, every time.

Later this month, on my birthday, I will be celebrating, with my home group, one year of sober living. I will be proud and happy to get up and accept my medallion. I know that no matter what, this program has helped me. And, if I keep coming back, it will work for me if I work it.

Getting Sober.

Part of the work that I am doing with the Handel Group, and receiving coaching as well as training as a coach, is making and keeping promises. Promises have been pretty loaded for me in the past; the promises that I most deeply wanted to keep (I will never leave you) I have rarely kept, so when I went about creating promises for myself, I wanted them to be doable, yet a stretch for me in some ways.

One of the many promises that I keep each week has to do with my sobriety. I stopped drinking alcohol, for good, on August 12 of this year. Some of the reasons that I chose to do that is to have a healthy body; to get more clear and focused on my goals; and to provide a healthier legacy to our daughter, than I was given in regard to alcohol. I also knew, deep down, that alcohol and me are not a good combination, and that I am probably an alcoholic. That was a hard word for me to use.

The promise is that each week, I will tell one new person in my life that I no longer drink, and why I no longer drink. Truth. This past week, I did not keep that promise. No excuses. So, my consequence is that I have to go to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting with a friend. I DREADED that. I felt scared, uncomfortable, and out of place thinking about it, that is why I made it a consequence, so I WOULDN’T have to do it. However, here I was, needing to keep it.

Now, no one would know if I didn’t keep it, if I lied about the promise so never did the consequence. Well, no one but me. And, I know in my life today that I don’t want to be a liar, to others or to myself.

So, I contacted a friend who has been sober, fifteen years next month. She told me a few different meetings that she goes to that we could attend together. And, I did. I went last night. I was scared, and even feeling a bit self conscious, like I did, and didn’t, belong there.

Going to that meeting was one of the most meaningful times of my life. I heard my story in the story of others; I felt support; I felt hope. And, now I know that I will go back.

Because, I realized last night that it is okay to call out who we truly are; to get honest and real. And, that there are others who know, understand, and will hold you up on the way.

I am so grateful for getting sober.

Energy passing through!

One of the other Coaches in Training sent me this quote this weekend, in response to an email I sent out to all of the CIT’s about a recent life transition……..

Pain, the Price of Freedom
–by Michael Singer (Sep 06, 2010)
“Wise beings do not want to remain a slave to the fear of pain. They permit the world to be what it is instead of being afraid of it. They wholeheartedly participate in life, but not for the purpose of using life to avoid themselves. If life does something that causes a disturbance inside of you, instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind. After all, things happen every day that causes a disturbance inside of you. At any moment you can feel frustration, anger, fear, jealousy, insecurity or embarrassment. If you watch you will see the heart is trying to push it all away. If you want to be free you have to learn to stop fighting all these human feelings.
When you feel pain, simply view it as energy. Just start seeing these inner experiences as energy passing through your heart and before the eye of your consciousness. Then relax. Do the opposite of contracting and closing. Relax and release. Relax your heart until you are actually face-to-face with the exact place where it hurts. Stay open and receptive so you can be present right where the tension is. You must be willing to be present right at the place of the tightness and pain, and then relax and go even deeper. This is very deep growth and transformation. But you will not want to do this. You will feel tremendous resistance to doing this, and that’s what makes it so powerful. As you relax and feel the resistance, the heart will want to pull away, to close, to protect, and to defend itself. Keep relaxing. Relax your shoulders and relax your heart. Let go and leave room for the pain to pass through you. It’s just energy. Just see it as energy and let it go.
If you close around the pain and stop it from passing through, it will stay in you. That is why our natural tendency to resist is so counterproductive. If you don’t want the pain, why do you close around it and keep it. Do you actually think that if you resist, it will go away? It’s not true. If you release and let the energy pass through. Then it will go away. If you relax when the pain comes up inside your heart, and actually dare to face it, it will pass. Every single time you relax and release, a piece of the pain leaves forever. Yet every time you resist and close, you are building up the pain inside. It’s like damming up a stream. You are then forced to use the psyche to create a layer of distance between you who experiences the pain and the pain itself. That is what all the noise is inside your mind: an attempt to avoid the stored pain.”
— Michael Singer, from ‘The Untethered Soul’

image by Cordie B.

Her choice of giving me these words are perfect for where I am at right now, in regard to so many life areas. I am changing, growing, and evolving as each day goes by. However, one of my biggest challenges is allowing my heart to close up – although I never viewed it that way! – when I am hurt or upset. Shutting down and not letting it pass through, not letting myself FEEL THE FEELINGS. So funny, in the ironic funny sort of way. Here I have been, working so hard at wanting to feel so deeply, and not let things bother me that had nothing to do with me, which in fact, is actually denial of feeling something, and damming up that stream of my heart.

I DON’T want to do that. I want to go as deeply as I possibly can, to deep love, connection, pain, anger, all of it. To go that deeply is to gain the most broad level of understanding that I can imagine. Life itself will change in ways that I cannot even begin to anticipate at this point, if I truly view these moments as energy, going from here to there, needing to pass through, and myself owing them the due respect to feel, acknowledge, and allow that process to happen. It might take time, however, I understand the deep importance of it all now. The achievement of all of my dreams depends upon it.

I am ready.