April 15th: Giving Someone Their Own Space

April 15th- Space for Others

Over the course of the last several weeks I have been working very hard to make my own space, slow my life down, and get on with my spiritual footwork.

It hasn’t been easy… and I struggle each day with my task.

And as I was focused on my own path… someone very dear to me let me know that they also needed space.

It was funny how immediately I began to react to their request:

Why do you need space?

What did I do?

Why do you want to distance yourself from me?

It was so easy for me to see, when I needed space, that it was about my need to calm down and bring sanity back to my life.

But, as soon as someone I loved said the exact same words… it was so difficult for me to let go of my own self-esteem issues and give them what they needed.

Today, I must realize that my relationships with other people are not… “all about me.”

I must work towards being understanding, loving, kind, compassionate when someone I love asks for the same thing I ask for: time to create spiritual balance.

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“Dear God, help me accept another’s decision. Help me to be kind and compassionate and let ego go when someone I love needs space.”

April 14th: Anger and Fear

April 14th Anger and Fear

During my divorce, I was so afraid of losing my husband that I often acted out in angry exchanges.

I would start our conversations, in person, on the phone, with the intent of being kind, calm, ready to listen, but…

Once I realized that he was unwilling to give-in, to come back, to work on the marriage, my fear would rise and anger would set in.

I felt like a wounded animal, trapped with no escape, and all I had left to save myself?

My bark and my bite.

The conversations would always end poorly and I would be left feeling shameful regarding my behavior, and heartbroken that once again I had reacted and let my fear consume me.

I was unable to follow one of the most well-known spiritual slogans:

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

What I really wanted to tell my husband was that I was scared… frightened… still in love… so hurt by his decision that I hid it behind my angry words.

Today, I still hide my fear behind my anger and it is a daily struggle to react appropriately when I am fearful that I will lose someone I love dearly.

But now… I do have enough time and spiritual footwork under my belt to make an amends when my behavior has been less than stellar and share the truth, as soon as possible, with the one I love:

I’m sorry.

I’m afraid to be hurt again.

I feel vulnerable in this relationship.

I will work towards expressing my emotions in a kinder way.

And though it may not always change the outcome of the situation, I know that my side of the street is clean and that my amends is honest and heartfelt.

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“Dear God, help me to be true to my emotions. Help me to be honest about my fear of vulnerability in a relationship.”

 

April 13th: Requests and Answers

April 13th

Just this morning I was in the middle of an emotional conversation with a friend I deeply care about.

I had asked him repeatedly to change certain behaviors, related to me, that I felt were detrimental to our relationship.

However, no matter how many times I asked, no matter how many times I tried to explain that his actions were causing me pain, my friend was not able to follow through in regards to my requests.

He was sometimes apologetic for his behavior…

Sometimes dismissive…

Sometimes full of excuses… but nothing ever changed.

I hated asking again and again: Adults should not have to ask adults requests repeatedly, especially those they love, and I have learned, over the years, that if you ask someone to meet your request more than once and they are unable to do so… you have your answer:

They are either unable or unwilling to provide what is needed in regards to the specific request.

I must then decide: Am I able to accept the relationship on these terms?

If not… I may have to step away from the situation until my friend either understands why this is so important to me and comes back; willing to try and work towards meeting my needs or… I come back to the relationship accepting it on the present terms.

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“Dear God, help me to be calm when I feel at odds in a relationship. Help me to look clearly at the situation and be honest about my expectations and my needs.”

April 12th: The Journey

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When I was in the midst of my divorce and consumed by despair, those closest to me tried to tell me repeatedly that when time moved me through my pain, I would be so much stronger, so much happier on the other side.

At the time, I was unable to believe them, unable to see. So tied to my own vision of happiness, my own dream of what I wanted to be with my husband, that I was unable to logically examine any other possibilities. And, so worn by my grief… I didn’t want to. I wanted only what I wanted: my life with my husband.

But they were right, as time moved me forward, as I began my journey of self-awareness and spiritual growth, I began to have faith again in a master plan and that maybe my Higher Power had something much better in store for me, if I would just let go and accept that I was about to face a new beginning.

I could have never imagined then what my life would be like today.

Blessed with so many gifts, a life full of joy and abundance, and a relationship with someone I deeply love and who truly cherishes who I am… as I am… and what I bring to his life.

I thank God now for my spiritual journey.

I thank God for the hardships I endured.

Both the journey and the hardships renewed my faith by making me let go of my vision of life and opening my eyes to a far greater outcome: one where I am loved for my true self… for being exactly who I am: flaws and all.

What greater gift is there then to find someone who accepts me just as I am and chooses to love me and walk by my side on life’s journey? A partner who is a compliment to me… an anchor when my world is rocked by hardships… my solace and my friend.

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“Dear God, thank you for getting me out of my own way. Thank you for guiding me on my spiritual journey even when I believed myself to be lost and alone.”

April 11th: Creating Space

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Sometimes, no matter how hard I try to find solitude in my daily environment, circumstances continue to arise to keep me active and unable to create space to allow myself to rest and recharge.

When all else fails, I find it is then that I need to physically make my own space.

Today, overwhelmed with all of my commitments, I cleared my appointment book and left town.

For months I had been trying to wind down from event after event after event and finally, world-weary and worn I said, “Enough.”

I didn’t go far… just a drive of a few hours… enough to clear my head and find my solace in the warm wind of the open California desert and there, I was able to calm my mind, catch my breath and find my soul soothed by the beauty that surrounded me.

Tonight, I write with the knowledge that if I cannot be given space… I must create it.

Life is constantly moving… there will always be an upset, an event, a commitment that must be dealt with but if I choose to continue to overlook my own-well being at the cost of everything else… I will soon be spiritually bankrupt and unable to make clear, clean decisions on my life path.

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“Dear God, help me to find solace and respite. Help me to soothe myself when I am overcome by life’s commitments and troubles.”

April 10th: Hard Choices

April 10th

Some of the most difficult times in my life have revolved around making hard choices: choices that cause me deep pain in my heart.

To know that I love someone with everything I am… and to then realize that I have to let them go… despite my love is beyond disheartening.

But if I pay attention to my gut instinct, I know that it is the right thing to do. That something is off… that something is not working.

When my husband asked for a divorce, I fought to keep him close, to keep our marriage intact but… no matter what we tried, we could not mend what was broken.

The day I finally accepted that he was going to leave and that I would have to let go of what we were, was simultaneously one of the worst and best days of my life.

The worst, because it was the day that I began to mourn the loss of my husband, my marriage, and ultimately… my dream.

The best, because I felt an overwhelming sense of relief once I let go of trying to control something I had no ability to control: the end of my marriage.

Today, I still have to make hard choices, choices that I wish to God I didn’t have to make, but knowing that my life has thrived since my divorce helps me to have faith in my future.

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“Dear God, help me to stand by my choice. Help me to stand with firm resolve when my emotions threaten to take over and hinder my spiritual growth.”

 

 

April 9th: Struggling with Inappropriate Behavior

April 9th

I have been struggling with my own inappropriate behavior lately: my need for attention and my need to “fit in.”

Each time I believe I have these character flaws figured out… handled… the universe sends something along to challenge me:

A conversation where it would be so easy to gossip.

A chance to break a commitment or “create” an excuse to get out of it.

An exchange that becomes too flirty… too suggestive.

Any and all of these “moments” are driven by my own ego or fear and reflect back to the days when I felt the need to be:

Heard.

In control.

Admired, desired, wanted and loved.

I am still surprised at how easy I can slip into old patterns caused during the stressful days of my difficult marriage and my painful divorce.

It is important for me to keep these things firmly in my mind:

I do not need to belittle someone else in a gossipy conversation to feel “better than.”

I do not need to lie to break a commitment. I can choose to admit, as any mature adult should, that I’m unwilling to keep my commitment and suffer the consequences of my action or better yet… follow through and then not make the same mistake of over-committing again.

I do not need to go looking for attention to prove that I am admired, loved, desirable or wanted. I should work on my own self-acceptance and self-love until outside compliments or insults do not rock my foundation or my self-esteem.

When I find myself struggling with inappropriate behaviors, it is time to admit that I have fallen away from my spiritual footwork, then forgive myself and stop that very moment, that very minute, and step back onto my spiritual path.

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“Dear God, help me to focus on myself. Help me to work towards being the best that I can be today. Help me to be humble, kind, and have compassion for all around me including myself.”