Archive | April 2017

April 25th: Instinct

desert1

My instinct in life has often served me well: except when it comes to romantic relationships.

Having been raised in dysfunction, and then married into a relationship full of chaos and addiction, my instinct failed me when it came to the best choice of partners.

I always looked for what was familiar to me: what I had grown up with in my family of origin.

And even if my romantic partner’s words and actions swayed towards the negative, I accepted them because it felt like what I had known in my childhood home and I believed that was how people showed their love.

It took many years of spiritual footwork to let go of my skewed belief that to be loved meant that I accepted what came with it: to be humiliated, ignored, belittled, verbally abused, and surrounded by boundaries that were okay to be broken.

Today, I am with someone who is loving and kind. Who does not choose to control me by making me feel “small.” However, it is still a day-to-day struggle for me to accept this kindness, to believe that I am worthy of this attention, and to let go of my own need for drama and chaos, so that I don’t repeat the patterns of my past.

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“Dear God, thank you for bringing people into my life who are loving and kind. Thank you for reminding me that I am worthy of love.”

April 24th: Staying on the Path

Staying on the Path

There have been times since my divorce that I have doubted my choices and the spiritual path that I walk.

In the beginning, it seemed that I was traveling blindly… no markers… no compass… to help navigate my direction.

But as time went on and my footing steadied… I realized that there were guides all around me: in the strength that I carried inside of me and in the people I met who had walked the path before. People who were willing to share their experience, strength, and hope as I carried on.

Today, I have very little fear of what lay before me on my path.

I have survived so many ups-and-downs, so many painful moments; divorce, the death of precious loved ones, and I know… that this is life and I cannot control it.

I have learned that holding onto the past, setting my mind on one fixed point and refusing to change it, only causes me heartache and pain.

Once I choose to walk the path, I cannot look behind at the turn that now obscures what was once my world. I must look ahead, excited to see what lay around the next turn: my future and so many wonderful opportunities for growth, change, and happiness.

“Dear God, help me follow my own path. Let me not be swayed by my own doubts or the doubts of others.”

April 22nd: Being Made Aware

April 22nd-Being Made Aware

When my husband and I were first divorced, I was absolutely sure that he was entirely at fault.

Our relationship, though full of love, had been a long and difficult one and I was positive, that I had had to put up with more from him over the years than he had from me.

But as I began to move through the pain of our divorce and look at my own part in our marriage, I became aware that there were things I could have done differently.

At first, as I came to this realization… I couldn’t help but beat myself up thinking, If I would have done this or if I just wouldn’t have done that… things would have worked out and everything would be fine. We would still be together.

But that is not an honest truth.

For our marriage to have worked out, we both would have had to change our behaviors radically and there was still no guarantee that we would have been successful in the end:

Marriage is difficult even in the best of situations.

After I grieved about my mistakes, and allowed myself to wallow a bit in self-pity, I got to the real work: looking at what I had done, my part in things, admitting that I wasn’t a saint in my marriage, and becoming aware of my own character flaws so that I could work towards becoming a better person in my present and future relationships.

Last night, I was asking someone for something I wanted in our relationship and worried that I was sounding like a “harpie” or making the situation worse. I said, “I don’t want to badger you about this…”

And their reply?

“You are not badgering. You are making me aware of your needs and if I am aware, I can work towards meeting them.”

I was thankful for their willingness to listen, to change, to move forward in our relationship together… both of us working towards meeting each other’s requests and I was reminded once again that being made aware can lead to more spiritual footwork but… will eventually lead to a stronger spiritual foundation if I have the courage to face my character flaws and work towards letting them go.

“Dear God, help me to be willing to change. Help me to listen to requests from those I love with an open heart.”

April 21st: Pain and Change

April 21st-No Problem

Today, I was reminded how difficult it is to lose something or someone you truly love.

Sometimes, no matter how much you want something to work out: it just doesn’t.

Relationships change and change can be hard to accept.

I thought back to the time I shared with my special someone and I missed the way I felt when everything was new and exciting.

The way I was always the first person they thought to call and the last person they wanted to talk to in the evening.

How they loved the way I made them feel… loved the way I looked at them when we were together and accepted me just as I was.

I do not regret the time we had together… I do not regret my love for this someone… I just regret that I am no longer the first thought of their day or the woman that will be in their day-to-day life.

I know that “this too shall pass” the good and the bad of life always does, but change is often painful.

There will be hard days when recovering from a loss but…

I must accept the reality of the situation, embrace my feelings, and have faith that my Higher Power will move me through to a better place.

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“Dear God, help me to be strong. Help me to have faith in your plan. Help me to let go with love.”

April 20th: Other People’s Opinions

April 20th- Other People's Opinions

Last night I was thrown off by an unforeseen event.

Someone dear to me had an opinion regarding my actions, my behavior, that I felt was unwarranted.

I was very upset about the incident.

I thought about it my entire drive home and most of the morning.

I didn’t like that my friend’s opinion of me on this occasion was negative and I began to have feelings about it.

I truly felt that I had done nothing wrong… that I had acted this way in my friend’s presence on numerous occasions before… yet tonight, for whatever reason… they were uncomfortable with my behavior.

I of course wanted to discuss it with them, find a way to mend our quarrel but, I knew that I would also have to look within myself and be willing to reflect on why their opinion bothered me so.

Was it because they were my dear friend, and so their opinion really meant something to me due to our intimate friendship or…

Was it because they had pushed an emotional button… triggering something deep inside of me that caused me to feel vulnerable and attacked?

I cannot allow my self-worth to be contingent on another person’s opinions no matter how close or dear they are to me but…

if that opinion reveals a need for my own spiritual footwork and growth…. then maybe I need to step back and address any of my issues that I may still be struggling with today.

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“Dear God, help me to hold my self-esteem intact. Help me to let opinions fall away, positive or negative, and walk my own path with a positive attitude.”

April 19th: Projection

April 19th- Projecting

For the last several weeks I have felt that I have wandered off my own spiritual path through actions I believe to be adverse to my spiritual growth.

And though I am trying my very best not to beat myself up regarding every mistake I have made along the way… I have caught myself involved in one of my least favorite defense mechanisms: projecting.

I have been projecting my undesirable thoughts and feelings onto a person that I truly love… and punishing this person for a crime they haven’t even committed… haven’t even considered committing… and probably never would.

It is the residue from my past.

The fear of being hurt once again by someone I love.

The story of my divorce carrying over into my new relationship.

When I project, I become a shadow version of the true me and drive a wedge between myself and those I love.

It is harmful skewing of my world.

Projection creates a false reality that becomes real in my own mind and leads me down a path of constant worry, anxiety, fear, and ultimately despair.

I have to step back and address my own issues so that I can return to a strong spiritual foundation and place my trust back where it belongs: in those I love.

“Dear God, help me to think before I act. Help me to overcome my anxiety and have faith in those around me.”

April 18th: The Little Things

April 18th-The Little Things

Going through a difficult divorce taught me so much about what I wanted in life and reminded me how much the little things matter.

What I missed most during our break-up were all of the small niceties that let me know that I was wanted… cared for:

A quick I love you at the beginning of a busy day…

Or maybe a short call saying that I was missed… in the afternoon.

Coming home to find a meal cooked… or the house cleaned.

Sharing a laugh… an inside joke between the two of us.

These were the things I pined for so much once I was no longer in my marriage.

The little things.

But the pain of those lonely days after my divorce became a valuable teacher. The moments I cherished, remembered, longed for reminded me of how I wanted to behave in my future relationships: considerate and thoughtful on a daily basis… taking the time to share the little things with the one that I loved.

“Dear God, thank you for the daily kindnesses. The small moments that bring great joy.”