March 3rd: Serenity

March 3rd-Serenity

Serenity for me is putting what I can in my life in order and letting the rest go: the things I cannot control.

This means that I complete tasks/chores in my life that will add to the quality and balance of my daily existence.

Paying the bills in a timely manner.

Keeping my house clean and orderly.

Exercising each day.

Eating well.

Praying.

By keeping my physical and mental house “in order” I am creating structure and balance so that when unforeseen events tax my emotional or physical state… I am centered and better prepared to handle the situation: I am calm and able to offer support to those I love when they may be negatively affected by a crisis.

“Dear God, help me to keep my house in order. Help me to make time each day to complete the tasks that will help me stay in serenity.”

March 2nd: Conversations

March 2nd-Conversations

Since my divorce, I have found myself choosing to “talk less” and listen more.

This has proven to be of benefit to me in all of my relationships.

In the past, I would talk things into the ground.

Everything had to be discussed, dissected, so much so… that I was spending most of my time talking about my relationship instead of actually living my relationship.

Today I have learned that sometimes, it is best to just let things be… to allow moments to breathe… to be silent instead of speak.

“Dear God, help me to be calm and quiet. Help me to see the peace in being silent and serene.”

March 1st: Other People’s Problems

March 1st-Other People's Problems

In my marriage, I would often allow my husband’s problems to become my own.

He could arrive home in a bad mood, worked up about some trivial thing, and soon, I would be doing everything in my power to fix his problem or bend myself around his needs instead of focusing on my own serenity.

After my divorce, I would still react to other people’s problems: shift my schedule to fit their schedule or, work to figure out a solution to their pain, or start taking over a difficult situation when really it was their place to step up and do something about it.

It is fine to be compassionate to another human’s needs… to be available as a sounding board if necessary but… when someone is simply irked about something, or hasn’t planned properly for an expected event, or gets into the habit of being complacent and allowing others to “step in and save them,” then it is not my place to become worked up and try to right their mess.

I must learn to step back and allow people to figure out their own problems, suffer the consequences of their own actions.

If I constantly step up and take on the burdens of their life, I am interfering in an important process of their spiritual growth: The chance to learn from past mistakes so that they are not repeated in the present.

“Dear God, help me to step back and allow others the opportunity to experience life on life’s terms. It is not my place to “play God.” It is my place to share my compassion, strength, experience and hope as they walk their own spiritual path.”

February 28th: Getting Back on Track

February 28th-Back on Track

There are times in my life, where overwhelmed with commitments or caught up in other people’s needs, I lose my balance and come to the realization that it is time to get back on track.

The moment of clarity always drives the decision but, much like a car or a train, the momentum that has been carrying me forward on a particular path… does not stop at an instant, but slows gradually as I “put the brakes on.”

At this time, I must remember to be kind to myself.

I have already created a weary and world-worn soul… must I beat myself down for slipping into old habits of care-taking?

Would I be so cruel to a friend if they lost their way?

No.

I would be patient.

I would be compassionate.

I must embrace that I am flawed, that I will at times slip into old patterns and forget to put my health first but that if I take one step at a time, one moment at a time if necessary, I will soon be back on track, in good health and good spirits, and on my spiritual path once again.

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“Dear God, help me to take care of myself. I am unable to do my best in this world if I am worn and weary.”

February 27th: Accepting Life “As Is”

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I often thought that if I accepted life “as is” that I was basically choosing to be complacent.

But today I know that to accept life “as is” means that I do my best to make my life and the lives of those around me better while also accepting that life will have moments of deep pain and despair and… that there is nothing that I can do to change that.

However, I can be present for these moments.

I can offer my love and compassion.

I can do what I can to make these moments more tolerable for those around me.

Accepting life “as is” means that I choose to live in reality and do my best to learn from it and walk through it.

Accepting life “as is” means that I choose to let go of the fantasy and embrace the truth in the moment.

“Dear God, help me to accept life on life’s terms. Help me to walk bravely through pain and despair and offer comfort to those in need.”

February 26th: Amends

February 26th-Amends

When I was first going through my divorce, I didn’t feel that I owed my spouse an amends.

I was adamant that the break was all of his doing… all of his choice.

I convinced myself that we were all suffering, our entire family, because he was completely at fault and totally unreasonable.

But, as time moved me through my pain, I started to see my part in things.

It wasn’t easy to look at the mistakes I had made, my character flaws that were suddenly so glaring, the harm I had done to my own husband, but it was an important part of my spiritual footwork and spiritual growth to be honest about my behavior in our relationship.

I found that at first, the only way I could make a true amends was to make a living amends.

So, until I was able to find the words “I’m sorry…” I choose to act in a kind, compassionate manner and think before speaking.

When I finally felt ready to make a verbal amends… I did so… and by owning my part and being honest about it with my former spouse, I was able to move on and open my heart to him once again.

Today, I take great peace in knowing that we are still friends, that he is in my life, and in the lives of my children.

Making an amends not only soothes the souls of those I may have hurt, but it also soothes my soul and allows me to forgive myself for the mistakes of my past, and learn how to behave differently in my future relationships.

“Dear God, help me to make an amends when needed. Help me to put ego and pride aside and heal myself and all those around me with humble and compassionate words.”

February 25th: Fear vs. Fact

February 25 Fear vs Fact

Sometimes, when I am worried about something, and don’t have all of the information to negate my feelings, I begin to operate on fear instead of fact.

I allow my anxiety to fuel this fear and soon, I am working through every outcome I can imagine hoping that in some way, I will be better prepared when I do know what is going on.

But the truth is… I am not becoming better prepared each moment I spend obsessing on a fantasy. All I’m really choosing to do is mentally spin my wheels, and waste my time, and a perfectly good day, ruminating on outcomes that may never come to pass on a fear…

that may not even exist.

I must make a conscience effort each day to wait for facts before allowing fear to take over.

I do myself a disservice, and everyone around me a disservice, if I focus on fear instead of calmly waiting for accurate information.

Then, once I know what I must deal with, I can logically work towards a solid solution if necessary.

“Dear God, help me to let go of fear. Help me to make decisions based on fact and to let go of a problem until I am sure of all it entails.”