Archive | December 2016

December 31st: Remorse

December 31st-Remorse

There are times when I become overwhelmed by the past and face a deep regret for mistakes I once made.

Unfortunately, I cannot take back my past.

I cannot right those wrongs once committed.

Today, I know that I must make my amends by choosing to act differently in the present.

Remorse is a reminder of poor decisions I have made, poor choices on my part.

Some of these choices were made with a clear intent in mind and some were absolutely accidental.

Now is the time for me to make a living amends each day and right the wrongs of my past.

If I have harmed someone, I should make every effort to apologize.

If I cannot apologize, I must right my actions in the only way that I can by choosing to behave differently, better, in all of my relationships today.

Remorse is a guide, a moral compass, that helps me to move forward on my spiritual path by reminding me what type of person I want to be today: kind, honest, humble, and responsible in all of my dealings with others.

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“Dear God, forgive me my past wrongs and help me to move forward with integrity.”

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December 30th: Accomplishments

December 29th

When going through my divorce I found comfort in accomplishments.

First it was something small such as just being able to get through the day without crying.

Then, it moved to getting through a week.

Soon I was working towards putting my house in order, studying for my degree in higher education and then…

I was able to move into my creative endeavors and soon I was writing books and making music.

Accomplishments are milestones… a nod to the progress that we have made along the way on our spiritual path.

It is important to embrace each one, small or large and know that with each new accomplishment grief is diminishing and joy is returning.

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“Dear God, thank you for helping me to see my progress. If I strive to move forward one small step at a time, I can overcome any obstacle.”

December 29th: Balance

December 29th-Balance

Just recently I was invited to go out of town for a short overnight trip.

Though I knew I would be surrounded by others who loved and cared for me on this mini-vacation… I began to find myself immediately hedge.

I had so much to do at home.

What about writing? I might get behind on my book or my columns.

I had to clean the house. It had been weeks since I had set it straight.

Then I let my mind begin to mull over all of my insecurities for not attending the event.

What if there were people there that didn’t like me? I’d be stuck with them.

Did I really want to drive with everyone? What if I decided I wanted to leave and I couldn’t?

I caught myself in the midst of creating a million reasons for why I shouldn’t go and then realized how ridiculous I was being by making such a big “to-do” over a 24-hour period of time.

I knew that I was truly struggling with balance and that I needed to go on this trip.

It was important to force myself out of my comfort zone: the place that I often hid after being wounded by painful events.

I accepted the invitation and then went about the task of creating boundaries that would help me make this first outing one that would be balanced between what I feared… and what I longed for; comfort.

I chose to drive on my own and meet my friends there.

I booked a single room, so that I had a place to go to if I became overwhelmed.

When I arrived at the destination, I found that all of my fears were invalid.

I had a lovely time with my friends, I was happy they had invited me, and proud that I was able to “nudge” myself out of my comfort zone.

By setting up boundaries that were acceptable to me, I was able to allow myself to have feelings, without allowing my feelings to control me.

I do not have to take an “all or nothing” attitude when searching for balance.

I can create a plan that soothes my soul, while I take small steps that move me forward on my spiritual path.

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“Dear God, thank you for providing opportunities that allow me to grow as a person. Help me to face my fears bravely as I walk into my future.”

December 28th: Simple Gifts

December 28th- Simple Gifts

Appreciating the simple gifts in life helps me to stay grateful:

A laugh with a good friend.

A book that I am given to enjoy.

Breakfast at a favorite spot.

A drive through a beautiful area.

Finding the joy in the moment, the simple gifts of the day, act as a reminder of all the unexpected good that life brings.

When I am feeling hopeless…

When I am fighting through pain and despair…

I must stop, have faith, look around me, and see that my Higher Power is offering me signs of hope each time a simple gift is given.

“Dear God, thank you for the simple gifts in life. Thank you for reminding me each day that I have joy in these unexpected moments of happiness.”

December 27th: Motives

big Oak Tree

I have a good friend who always says, “What someone is saying to you says more about them….. then it does about you.”

She shared this thought with me because I was always taking things people said about me… to heart… and allowing myself to be hurt by their comments.

I caught myself acting is if this “source” this “person” who was speaking to me… was somehow like my Higher Power: “all-knowing.”

As I began really listen to others, with my friend’s words in my mind, I realized that she was right.

I began to see motives behind many of these hurtful statements and most often it was related to that person’s own filters, their self-esteem issues, their character flaws, and suddenly… I could see that nothing they were saying really had anything to do with me.

This helped me to begin listening to people without reacting.

I began the habit of waiting 24 hours before responding to a particularly snarky or cruel comment. I learned by giving myself time to think, to calm my emotions instead of automatically reacting, I could then assess if there was any truth in the statement. I could decide if there really was something that needed to be discussed with this person who was being particularly unkind, or what I needed to ignore, or “let go” of completely.

I have found by stepping back and listening for hidden motives before reacting to a conversation, I can save myself hours of worry, resentment, frustration, and anger, and learn to have empathy for a person who is in too much pain to be kind to me at the moment.

“Dear God, help me to step back when I find myself struggling to remain calm in any situation. Help me to see that others have their own issues and flaws that they may be projecting onto me and let me share my compassion with them and find grace in my actions.”

December 26th: Deceit

valley

It is easy to find myself angry when I am confronted with someone else’s deceit but what about my own?

How many times have I been dishonest in my acts or in my statements?

How many times have I misrepresented the truth or concealed it from another?

How many times have I used deceit because I was too afraid to tell the truth? Too afraid to make a decision? Too afraid of someone’s reaction?

When I become enraged by someone else’s deceitful behavior… I need to take a step back and think about the situation before making a move.

Why did this person feel the need to be dishonest?

Were they worried that I was unapproachable?

That I would judge them for making a mistake?

Like me… were they afraid to tell the truth? Afraid to make a decision? Afraid of my reaction to their needs?

Sometimes a situation warrants my compassion and empathy.

When faced with deceit, I need to look at my own struggles with honesty before jumping to judge and condemn those around me.

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“Dear God, help me to be pure and true in my intent. When faced with another’s deceit, help me to listen with a loving heart and put judgement aside.”

December 25th: Gratitude

beautiful-yosemite

Today I live in constant gratitude for the gifts my Higher Power bestows upon me.

I am thankful for my family, my home, my health… for my friends, my job, my creative endeavors.

I have learned that even in my darkest times… I have been able to find a balm to soothe my pain and despair by counting my many blessings.

We all experience loss in our lives but we still must look to find the good that surrounds us.

Gratitude reminds me that though I may not have everything I want in life, I have everything that I need for today.

I am blessed to live a life full of daily reminders that I have much to be grateful for.

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“Dear God, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me to find gratitude even during times of pain and despair.”