Archive | February 2017

February 21st: Insight

February 21st-Insight

It is a gift to be able to discern the true nature of a situation.

Years of spiritual footwork and reasoning through my own problems and mistakes with mentors I trust, has provided me with insight into my own motives… and the motives of others.

After spending time really looking at “my part” in things… it becomes quiet easy to see what I am no longer responsible for.

It also becomes easier to see when others are acting or reacting from their own “shadow self.”

Today, I am amazed at how often I can see exactly why someone has acted poorly, spoken cruelly, distanced themselves, or chosen to cling too closely.

By examining my own past, I am able to move forward with insight and therefore step back from a situation and show empathy, compassion, and kindness when it truly is most needed.

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“Dear God, help me to see what is right in front of me. Help me to be kind when I find myself prepared to react.”

February 20th: Being Honest with Myself

February 20th

Sometimes I catch myself doing too many things, and it is then that I have to stop and be honest with myself.

I have a way of wanting to be there for everyone, working on too many different creative things, and keeping my plate constantly full.

It is admirable to live life “full force” to give my all to friends, family, colleagues, students, projects but… in the end… I have to stop and decide: What do I really want?

Do I want to be the best parent?

What does that entail?

Do I want to be the best teacher?

How does that look?

Should I be focusing on creative endeavors?

What would I have to give up?

And what about love?

How much of myself am I willing to give?

I don’t always like being honest with myself… I often times just want things to go on as is… without giving up anything… without making a decision… but the truth is…

Sooner or later… I will spread myself too thin… I will be too worn… and I won’t have enough energy left for anyone.

Life is about making choices… making decisions… deciding what really matters and putting all of your focus towards what you truly love.

Being honest with myself about what I want is the first step to a happier and healthier life.

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“Dear God, help me to be pure in my intent. Help me to follow the path that leads to my true calling.”

February 19th: Compassion

February 19th-Compassion

While growing up I remember being told, when I was being less than kind to someone, “Well how would you feel? Put yourself in their place.”

It was the way my parents worked to teach me not to be so judgmental and also a way to remind me to have compassion.

It is easy to make a snap judgment.

It is easy to say, “I would never do that!”

It is easy to think, I’m above making that type of mistake.

But the truth is… I am no different than any other person on this planet.

I have my good days… and I have my bad days.

When I am struggling to find compassion for another human being in my life, it would do me well to step back and review my “own perfect behavior.”

Have I truly been pristine in everything I have ever said and done?

When I find myself struggling to find compassion… I must think on my own mistakes from the past… and remind myself how I have learned from them.

I must be willing to give others a chance to grow at their own pace… their own time… and work towards finding compassion for all of those who are struggling on their spiritual path.

“Dear God, help me to always carry compassion in my heart. Help me to lay judgment aside and look towards my own shortcomings to mend instead of focusing on another’s flaws.”

February 18th: Laughter

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I am thankful today for the people in my life who can make me laugh.

It seems like such a silly thing… a simple thing… but it has the power to turn the course of my day.

When I am wallowing in self-pity…

When I am allowing despair to get the better of me…

To have a loved one stop me from my ruminations with an unexpected joke, that pulls me from my pain and releases my emotions, is a blessing.

Today, I am thankful for all of the people in my life who have been blessed with the gift of humor.

They are able to improve a sullen mood…

Lighten a heavy heart…

and bring a smile to my face when the last thing I want to do is smile… even though I know that it truly is the best thing for my spirit.

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“Dear God, thank you for joy and laughter. Thank you for the humor you bring into my day and for the people who make me smile.”

February 17th: Time

February 17th-Time

When I was going through my divorce, people would often tell me that all I needed was time to heal from my pain.

It was true… but in the “moment” that thought… wasn’t able to provide much comfort from my despair… the intensity of the emotions were overwhelming and I couldn’t help but pray that time would move me quickly through the process.

And of course, time did.

But now today… I struggle with a different problem related to time: the problem of wanting too much too fast in a relationship.

It is exciting to have someone in love with you again, in need of you again, making plans… being a couple.

Caught up in the “feel good” moment, it is easy to be swept away with emotion and commit to someone when maybe… it really is too soon to do so.

Time works both ways… to ease the pain of heartbreak and to temper the passion of new love.

It is wonderful to enjoy moments of intense happiness and connection but, I must take the time to see past the emotion.

Time will let me know if I have found a good fit in my choice of a new partner.

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“Dear God, help me to take time to know my heart. Help me to find balance in each day.”

February 16th: Meeting Other People’s Needs

February 16th-Meeting Needs

When I was married, I often felt that I wasn’t being heard.

I would come home from work and want to discuss the hardships of my day or…

I would be upset over an incident with a friend and want to rehash the problem with my husband or…

I was stressing over bills, matters of the house, and felt an immediate need to always discuss it.

After my divorce, and much spiritual footwork, I realized that yes… it is important to be heard but… that sometimes… we must put other people’s needs before our own.

How many times had I truly listened when my husband wanted to be heard?

So caught up in my own world, I often forgot that my husband’s world was just as important.

I couldn’t help but wonder:

Had I listened?

Had I shown compassion?

Or did I fuss and pout because I felt my needs weren’t being met?

Sometimes in life we must step back from our own needs and understand that another’s needs may be more important at that particular time.

If I had come home from work concerned over the day and found my husband in poor health… would I have still expected him to meet my needs? Shoulder my burdens?

No.

I would have waited… put his needs first… and chose to address my needs later if they still seemed pressing.

Today I have learned to think before I fight to make myself heard:

Is it necessary?

Is it important?

Is it kind?

If not… maybe it is time for me to take a step back and work towards making someone else feel heard… to try my best to meet another person’s needs.

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“Dear God, help me to be clear in my needs. Help me to know when I must put myself first and when I need to humbly and thoughtfully, be there for someone else. If they are feeling worn down by the world let me be the one to stand strong for them.”

February 15th: Reacting

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Sometimes, I allow my temper to get the better of me and when I do… I jump to react.

But, the problem with reacting during a moment of intense emotion, is that I often say things or do things I later regret.

When I let my emotions take over, I act from a place that is not in line with my spiritual path.

Reacting without stepping back to calm my mind leads me to make assumptions… assumptions that often prove to be inaccurate.

Today, I try my best to walk away from a heated moment and give myself time to process the situation and use logic to clearly think on the problem.

Then, when I feel that I can approach the situation again with a bit of compassion and a bit of maturity, I do so… sure in my behavior.

“Dear God, help me to be rational. Help me to choose to react as a loving and kind adult in all situations that may try my spiritual growth.”