May 27th- Progress not Perfection

Pacific City, Oregon, Cape Kiwanda, Sand Dune, Haystack Rock, Oregon Coast, Road Trip, Surfer, Cape Kiwanda Classic

Sometimes I can be really hard on myself regarding the spiritual and emotional progress I am making in my day-to-day life.

Beating myself up each time I have a slip.

Letting my mind dwell on every conversation I had where I felt I said something unworthy or callous.

Re-thinking each and every step of my decisions and my plans, sure that I am constantly making the wrong choice.

It is easy to get wrapped up in a shame spiral, especially when I throw emotions, old wounds, and also new relationships into the mix.

I am amazed at how cruel I can be to myself at times: unwilling to forgive myself for my mistakes… unwilling to be kind when I have stumbled.

Wouldn’t I be loving and kind to others when they are struggling on their path?

Why am I so hard on myself?

Today, I am reminded that life and spiritual growth are about progress not perfection.

I am not perfect… I am flawed… as all people are. And if I find solace in the fact that we are all struggling on our paths, all working towards being better human beings… then maybe I can let go of my need to seem flawless and perfect and embrace the struggles that we all share.

“Dear God, help me to be kind to myself. Help me to find strength in my journey as I work towards eliminating my own character flaws through spiritual footwork and faith.”

May 26th: Love and Perspective

Endurance - Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, Oregon

In the midst of my separation and divorce, I was unable to emotionally detach from the situation, so full of pain and despair, it was too difficult to accept that the love I once shared with my husband would now change forever.

I was so attached to my idea of the perfect picture: Us… as a couple… in love…for the rest of our lives.

I was heartbroken, and therefore, had lost all perspective at what time could bring.

Today, I am no longer in love with my husband but I am still able to love him as my former mate, the father of my children, and my dear friend.

It takes time to allow love to change from being in love, to platonic love, and though I never wanted us to grow apart, I find solace in knowing that we still love each other, still care about each other, still share moments together with our children, even though we have both now moved on to new relationships and new possibilities.

It wasn’t my plan… I had to accept and let go of my vision for our relationship… and have faith that my Higher Power would lead us both to a place where we could forgive each other, and love each other, as family… and friends… who have shared a joint history that deserves to be honored and acknowledge.

“Dear God, thank you for bringing love to my life. Help me to allow time to heal my pain and bring me perspective. Help me to find the good in all of my relationships instead of focusing on the bad.”

May 25th: Giving Up instead of Letting Go

May 25th- Giving up Letting Go

When I become overwhelmed with frustration, distraught by a given situation, it is easy to want to “give up” instead of “let go.”

I often confused these two in the beginning of my spiritual recovery but today… I know the difference.

If I allow my anger, my despair, my obsession to drive my decision regarding a difficult situation then I am giving up.  I am no different than a child throwing a tantrum: unwilling to accept the situation as it is and throwing myself into a fit, until tired and worn down, I make a decision from my “shadow self” and not from a place of spiritual enlightenment.

When I disengage myself from a moment of intense passion; such as an argument gone awry, and take the time to weigh the situation calmly and rationally, from my highest spiritual place, removed from ego, I can come to the decision willingly to “let go.”

Letting go does not mean that I give up on a particular person, relationship, situation. Letting go is not about allowing my unruly emotions and my shadow self to rule the day.

Letting go is about accepting everything just as it is… accepting and then deciding how best to move forward for the sake of my own sanity and balance.

In all of my relationships, no matter what their current status: married, separated, divorced or even newly in-love, I must focus on letting go of the outcome and doing what I can in the present to benefit both myself and the person I care for.

“Dear God, help me to let go. Help me to accept life as it is and work towards moving forward with spiritual awareness.”

May 24th: Being in the Moment

May 24th-

It is easy to fill my weekend with events that will distract me and keep me busy. By setting my mind on a  “What’s next?” mentality, I never really have to deal with what is going on in the present.

There is nothing wrong with having a life full of wonderful activities but, when I am constantly on the move, I have a tendency to not be in the moment.

Always planning for the next big event…

Always rushing from one commitment to another…

Always finishing one project and quickly moving on:

This is not being present.

This is not savoring my life.

Moving so quickly, only causes me to find my creative energy drained and my physical and emotional well-being worn down.

If I choose to be actively involved then I must learn to take a moment and enjoy it…

Think before I accept a commitment and when I do… appreciate what it has to offer…

When I finish a project, I should relish in the enjoyment of a job well-done, my persistence and perseverance in my accomplishment.

Life moves quickly… life is fleeting… I must learn to live in the present… be in the moment… slow down and enjoy what is right in front of me.

“Dear God, help me live in the joy of the present. Help me not to waste my time fretting over the past, worrying about the future, and help me to appreciate what I have to day: A moment to be celebrated.”

May 23rd: Letting Go of Victim Mentality

May 23rd-Victim

When I was first going through my divorce, while I was still reeling from my painful loss, it was easy to get into a “Why me?” mentality.

I felt that I was being victimized, abandoned by my husband, left to all of the day-to-day responsibilities of the family, while he went off to start his fresh “new”  life.

It was horrible to feel so powerless… such a lack of control… and for me, a person who had always prided myself on being strong in emotionally trying situations, it was unsettling to suddenly feel so weak… so helpless.

But soon, with the help of trusted mentors and a lot of spiritual footwork, I began to move forward and away from victim mentality.

It started with my acceptance that I had no control over my soon-to-be ex-spouse and that the only thing I did have control over were my own actions and ideas.

And then…. I stopped waiting for things to “change” and started moving forward in my own life.

I kept my mind firmly fixed on the prize: the future well-being of myself and my children.

I did everything I could to become spiritually, physically, and mentally sound once again.

By taking on an active role in my emotional recovery, I soon left my victim mentality behind.

Today I know, that I am strong enough to allow myself to be vulnerable, and to learn and grow from the experience.

“Dear God, help me to move away from my painful past. Help me to find progress in the smallest mental shift from victim to survivor.”

May 22nd: Accepting the Way Things are Today

May 22nd

There was a line I heard once in a movie where the character said, “Banishment is hell for one who knows his rightful place.”

I remember being struck by the force of that statement when I was in the middle of my divorce: Feeling that I, the wife, had lost my rightful place in my husband’s life and was now banished from it… an outsider where I was once… the queen.

It was hell.

The character in the film ends up going through intense despair and distress until he is able to find a way to emotionally accept the changes in his situation.

It is not easy to let go of someone we love.

It is not easy to go from being married to separated, to divorced.

It is not easy to feel that you have been “demoted” from a significant other to an acquaintance.

But the only way to move through the pain and despair is to accept things the way they are today and let go.

Holding on to what is out of my control only adds to my heartache.

I must continue to put the focus back on me, my spiritual footwork, and have faith that my Higher Power has a perfect plan for me.

“Dear God, help me to accept things as they are. Help me to find peace in the moment.”

May 21st: The Bigger Picture

May 21st The Bigger Picture

When I was going through my divorce, I lost all perspective of the world outside of my world.

In hindsight, I do not blame myself for my lack of perspective. I realize that my pain, my despair, blinded me to others in need.

I was wounded… worn… unable to focus past my own obsession and see, so to speak, “The forest beyond the trees.”

But now I have learned from my experience and I choose to behave differently in the present. And today, I was reminded of the forest.

Reminded that there are many people in this world suffering their own terrible setbacks and losses and that I need to focus on the bigger picture when I find myself locked into thinking that it is “all about me” and my own despair.

When I feel overcome by the pain of my own life, if I can find it in my heart to be there for someone else who is also in pain, I lighten my own burden through the gift of compassion.

It can be so difficult to step back from my own emotional crisis but if I begin a daily practice of giving to others, I will soon regain my perspective and see the forest once again through the trees.

“Dear God, help me to see things from a higher perspective. Help me to have faith in your plan and to be compassionate other people’s needs.”