Archive | January 2017

January 5th: Self-Control

January 5th

The other day, I had a moment where I felt the urge to get into an argument with my ex-husband.

He had said something to our son about me that seemed unkind and unnecessary.

I was hurt… angry… and I wanted a chance to harm him with my own words for causing me pain.

As I drove around the corner in my car, and saw him standing with our son in my driveway, I felt my anger rise and could barely wait to park the car and let him have it.

But then… my spiritual growth kicked in… and I was able to sit for a moment and let that entire scenario play out.

How would my anger help my son?

Would it show him how to behave appropriately in a relationship?

Would it make him comfortable watching his mother be sarcastic and hurtful towards his father?

Would I stand out as an example to my child of how a mature adult, working towards taking the “moral high ground,” should behave?


I chose to calm my thoughts and pray for my ex-husband’s well being.

I then got out of the car, opened the door of my house, walked straight in, and did not engage with my ex-husband for the rest of that day.

The relief of “not getting into it” in front of my child, of setting a good example soothed my soul.

There are times in life when something must be said… and there are times in life when I must practice the habit of self-control.

Today, I choose to think before I act.


“Dear God, help me to choose my battles wisely. Help me to have self-control in my words and actions when it is for the greater good of all involved.”

January 4th: Waiting

January 4th-Waiting

Waiting on anything has always been difficult for me.

I am always on the move, always on the go, always finding something to do so that I feel that I am constantly making progress in all areas of my life.

When I catch myself becoming inpatient, forcing a change, I know that it is time for me to stop and wait.

It is hard for me to admit that not everyone is on my schedule, my agenda.

It is hard for me to admit that I do not have control over life, over change, over time.

Sometimes it is important to just… wait.

Maybe the timing isn’t right…

Maybe I’m not really ready for what I think I truly want…

Maybe my Higher Power has bigger and better plans for me…

If I find myself trying to force an outcome due to impatience, that is a clear sign that I should stop, sit back, and wait.


“Dear God, help me to remember that waiting is a a part of spiritual growth. By choosing not to force outcomes, I am learning that life moves forward on your time and not my own. By relinquishing control, I am living in acceptance each and every day.”

January 3rd: Trust

January 3rd-Trust

I grew up in a home that was full of chaos and shaky boundaries.

There was a lot of love, a lot of laughter, but we learned early on, that the adults in our home often broke trust with us and with each other.

Nothing was ever “firm.”

No one could ever truly be counted on.

Growing up in dysfunction made me believe that all relationships, all families, must act this way.

So when I married, I looked for the same qualities in my husband that I had first found in my family home.

He was charming, talented, witty, intelligent, and helped me to re-create a world of passion, chaos, and poor boundaries.

Each time my husband promised me something, I would believe that this time… it would be different… this time… he would follow through… this time… I would be able to trust the person I loved.

It was as if I had never learned any of the lessons from my childhood: I trusted blindly.

Today I know that actions speak louder than words.

If I give someone I love chance-after-chance to be trustworthy and they continue to fail me… what am I saying about myself and who am I ultimately hurting?

If I allow myself to be hurt, disappointed, unnerved, frustrated time-and-time again… I must take myself in hand.

I cannot be angry with another person if I keep giving my trust freely and allowing them to have it when it has not been earned.

“Dear God, help me to protect and care for myself by living in the reality of the situation and not holding out for the fantasy. Help me to see I am worthy of more.”

January 2nd: Setbacks

Ladoga at Dawn 2012

When things are going well, it is hard to suffer a large setback.

It can feel like a failure.

It can feel like a lack of forward movement.

It can feel like a large step back to the beginning of spiritual growth.

But the fact is… setbacks are a part of life… and I must learn to be kind to myself and accept each setback with grace as I work through my frustration.

I cannot mentally flog myself time-and-time again when suffering a setback.

I must reflect, create a fearless moral inventory, and look to see what may have caused this emotional, physical, and spiritual regression.

Have I been taking care of my emotional and physical health?

Have I been truthful and kind in all of my relationships?

Have my emotions been triggered due to a special event, holiday, or interaction with someone from my past?

Instead of being so hard on myself during a slip, I need to be patient and accept… that I am not perfect… and look at all of the good progress I have made on my journey.


“Dear God, help me to be kind to myself and accept that I will make mistakes. Help me to forgive myself and learn from my setbacks.”

(photo courtesy of Lois Cohn)

January 1st: Resolution

January 1st-Resolution

There have been times in my life where I have had to resolve myself to do something that I didn’t necessarily want to do.

When my husband told me he wanted a divorce in December of 2001, and still hadn’t filed any of the paperwork by May 2002, I knew that I would have to set a boundary, and resolve to move forward with the divorce on my own, so that I could continue on with my life instead of living out of control, in a limbo based on my soon-to-be ex-husband’s time frame.

When I chose to go back to school for my higher degrees, in the beginning, it was not for me, it was a resolution that I made so that my children would reap the benefits of my education. By going back to school, I was able to make enough money to stay in my family home, and continue our life there. Knowing I no longer needed to rely on my husband for financial support provided me with security, and boosted my self-esteem.

It is not always easy to make a resolution. Firm decisions are often hard when struggling with boundary issues, self-esteem issues, or insecurities related to past circumstances.

But by making a commitment to the future, we learn to stick to our resolve and walk forward bravely on our spiritual paths.


“Dear God, help me to follow my spiritual path. Help me to be true in all of my decisions and to follow my heart.”