Archive | November 2017

November 20th: Silence

I am not a quiet person and I did not grow up in a quiet family but I still relish the time when I can find silence in the middle of noisy chaos.

Silence can calm a restless mind and silence can also open it to solutions.

When I find myself becoming overwhelmed, I take the time to find a moment of solitude:

A walk in the Nature Center by my house on one of the quiet paths.

A silent moment in my car, parked on top of a hill, looking out over my city or…

A short weekend trip, away from day-to-day life, where I can rest peacefully by the lake and watch as nature unfolds.

These moments of silence, whether they last just a few minutes or a few days, like prayer, soothe my spirit and rejuvenate my heart.

When I find myself unable to make decisions…

When I find myself being at odds with those around me…

I must make time to step out of the frenzy of my daily world and make room for silent moments.

These moments are a gift that help me to once again find balance and God’s grace.


“Dear God, help me to find a moment of quiet respite when I am lost in the chaos of my world. Help me to see that I must make time to find peace… in nature and solitude.”

November 19th: Caretaking

I have always been a caretaker.

Even before my marriage, all the way back into my childhood, I was taught to care for others first.

There have been numerous times in my life that I have thrown everything to the side to run head-on into another person’s crisis in order to help them get through it.

I always loved being needed… loved stepping in and saving the day… loved the rewards I reaped by seeming so “competent and together.”

But, over time I became tired, worn out. My own world neglected while I worked, usually to the point of exhaustion, helping someone else overcome their own chaos.

The “super hero” in me wanted to be there for everyone but often, by stepping in, I was teaching others to look to me for help first… before learning to come up with their own solutions to their problems or crisis.

I realized I was doing a disservice to my friends and family… impeding their own spiritual growth… each time I just “handled things.”

There is nothing wrong with being there for the people you love and helping them through troubled times: It is an admirable quality to be an anchor for someone during a storm.

But, when I use my care-taking to people please, distract myself from my own needs, work, or problems… or to save others from consequences of actions or learning how to manage their own lives… then I need to look at my behavior and change it.

Today, if it is a “true” crisis and I am called upon by a friend or family member to assist in the problem… I am present in their moment of pain and I wait for their direction to proceed.

I offer support when called upon instead of stepping in and doing what I believe is best for all involved.

“Dear God, help me to be present for friends and family during a crisis. Help me to be supportive while allowing them the right to navigate their own path. Help me to share my experience, strength, hope, and direction only when they ask for my guidance.”

November 18th: Intimacy

After my divorce, the idea of being close to another person, made me quite reluctant.

I was afraid to trust… afraid to care too much… afraid to let my heart go “that far” again and end up being hurt.

Therefore, I had to do the spiritual footwork necessary to open myself up to the possibility of giving and receiving love once again.

After awhile, when my pain had healed and my heart grew strong enough to chance the feelings that would come with this step, I walked bravely forward.

It wasn’t easy… but the more I allowed others in… the more I recovered from my painful past.

Today… I still struggle with intimacy. I still sometimes create walls to hide behind or push those I love away… believing that I can protect myself from being hurt.

But I know, that to live life on a surface level… has never worked for me and never will.

It is hard to feel safe when sharing yourself with another human being… to trust that they will accept you as you are… and that they will love you flaws and all, but life is meant to be experienced through powerful and intimate connections to other human beings and not meant to be lived in fear.

“Dear God, help me receive the gift of intimacy. Help me to see the joy and all of the benefits of truly sharing who I am with another loving human being.”

November 17th: Blame

While going through my divorce, it was easy to blame my husband for everything.

All public opinion had been on my side… people were shocked that he had left such a good and loving wife… angry that he had abandoned me… upset that he had hurt me… and our children.

At first, I liked that I was being perceived as the “good one” and the “saint” while he was being considered the “devil” himself.

And… for the first year or two of our divorce… I allowed him to be the one who was handed all of the blame… my pain and anger too great to admit any fault of mine to him.

After many months of spiritual footwork, I began to be more honest about our entire marriage and my part in our break-up.

Had I been a good and loving wife? Yes… of course I had. But… I had to admit that I often took a lot of pride in being the one who was seen as perfect while he was seen as the man that would continue to fail me.

After awhile, when outsiders would accuse my ex-husband of every fault they could imagine, blame him for our failed marriage, I would say, “Marriages are hard… we both made a lot of mistakes” and stop the conversation at that.

Blame does not fix the problem.

Blame does not create a solution.

Blame pushes the truth away so that we never have to look at our part in a difficult situation.

By letting blame go, I was able to look at my marriage with honest eyes, learn from my own mistakes… and my ex-husband’s… and move forward into a new life where I would be able to focus on better spiritual practices in all of my relationships.

I know now, that I must take time to look at all sides of a situation… to try to understand another person’s actions instead of immediately assigning blame.

It does not mean that I condone bad behavior… it just means that I look at what may have brought on that behavior in another human being and did I have any part in the problem.

If I choose to assign blame… if I am unwilling to look at this problem honestly… I might make a judgement call that could impede my own spiritual growth.

“Dear God, help me not to make rash judgements or hide behind blame. Help me to have the strength to willingly look at all sides of a problem with an open heart and an open mind.”

November 16th: Prayers

I have always believed in the power of prayer.

While going through my divorce, I prayed daily… often asking God for specific things or specific answers to questions I had about my life.

Many times… I just bowed my head and let my tears fall.

After awhile, I began to write my prayers in my daily journal, to remind myself what I had asked for from my Higher Power.

A year went by, my marriage ended, my husband moved on, and I continued to work towards mending my broken heart and it was then… that I looked back through my journal and saw each of my daily prayers.

I was stunned to realize that most of them had been answered.

I have heard it said before that when you ask God for answers or ask God to bring you specific things… to remember what you asked for… prayed for… when the gift comes your way.

Today I am blessed with so many wonderful gifts from God and when I pray, I bow my head and thank him for all he has given to me.

“Dear God, thank you for bringing me so many wonderful gifts. I couldn’t even imagine what you had planned for me and what you have in store for me in the future.”

November 15th: In God’s Hands

Yesterday, I woke up from a horrible dream.

One of my friends had been the key figure in it… and I immediately felt the need to contact him and warn him to be careful at work that day.

He wrote back, “I’m okay… glad that you care about me… I will be careful but remember… I’m in God’s hands.”

It reminded me that he was absolutely right.

I could do all of the footwork but the ultimate outcome was in my Higher Power’s hands.

I thought back to my divorce: how I worked to fix my marriage.

I did everything that my husband asked for and still the ultimate outcome was divorce.

Why?

Because it was in God’s hands.

While engulfed in the pain of that time period, I could not see that maybe leaving something in God’s hands was in my own best interest.

Always goal driven… I expected my footwork to produce the outcome I wanted: a saved marriage.

Today, I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be… I am learning exactly what I am supposed to learn… I am on my spiritual path and so I walk forward, willing to do the footwork, but leaving the rest in God’s hands.

“Dear God, help me to remember it is your will not my will. Help me to let go and leave the outcome in your hands.”

November 14th: Dishonesty

Sometimes, I want something so much that I am unwilling to look and see if it is really in my best interest.

During my divorce, I was so hurt… and my pride and ego were so inflamed… that I often caught myself doing things to get my husband back that I never thought I would do.

One night, I lit a candle and said a prayer. In the prayer I said out loud to my Higher Power, “Please bring him back to me” and at the end of the statement… I felt something inside of me hedge.

I stopped and stayed in the moment.

I could see clearly all of the reasons why I wanted him back and all of the reasons why I should no longer be with him.

The next day when I lit the candle, I prayed for my soon-to-be ex-husband’s happiness and that God would bring him whatever he needed.

Sometimes I still, catch myself being dishonest to my true self.

I must always be conscience in my words, actions and deeds, to make sure that I am following my spiritual path and not following my ego or my pride.
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“Dear God, help me to be honest with myself. I may want something, long for something so much… but that does not mean it is in my best interest. Help me to let go and believe in your choices for me.”

November 13th: Decisions

There is always a peace-of-mind that comes over me after I make a decision.

A moment of serenity after I have chosen a specific path.

Often… when I am struggling with something… turning it over again-and-again in my mind… I find that everything in my life suffers from the limbo.

I am chaotic.

I am frenetic.

I am at odds with the world.

But once the decision I need to make is made… no matter how unpleasant it may be… everything seems to right itself.

Each time I choose to be brave, let something go, make a decision, and move forward, I find that I become more in tune with my spiritual path and calm in regards to my life choices.

Decisions can be difficult… but living in limbo is worse.

Limbo leaves me stranded in the past and unwilling to move towards the future.

I must have the strength to make the best decision I can make today and use that decision to walk bravely forward.

“Dear God, help me to make decisions wisely. Help me to ask for guidance from you, trusted friends and loved ones, and then move forward with surety in my choice and on my life path.”

November 12th: Comparing

Out of all of my character flaws… the one that irks me the most… is my bad habit of comparing.

During my divorce, this flaw really wore me out: I would constantly have an inner dialogue running that did nothing more than torture me.

My self-esteem took such a hit, during that painful time in my life, that I thought things I would never think… that were so out of character for me.

I basically wanted to change everything about myself in hopes that my husband would come back or…

I wanted to succeed in absolutely every area of my life… just to show him what he had lost.

I was doing so many things for all the wrong reasons.

I believed that if my husband could just see that no other woman compared to me and that he was missing out by not being with me… he would suddenly have a change of heart and come running back to me.

It was exhausting living my life this way.

When I finally did some spiritual footwork and was able to bring this character flaw back into check… I was able to see that I was living life for him…. and not for myself.

I was living life in competition with a “fantasy.”

Today I know, it doesn’t matter how I compare to anyone else in the world as long as I am working towards being my best self and living my best life… for me.

My husband didn’t leave because there was something “better” or even “worse” out there for him… my husband left because for whatever reason, our marriage, our relationship, was not working for him.

Today, I live my life for me.

From time-to-time, I still struggle and fight with comparing myself to others… but I know now… that as long as I am true to myself in my actions… there is no need for comparisons.

“Dear God, help me to see the gifts that you have bestowed upon me. Help me to fight the urge to compare myself to anyone… to live my life true to your will, without falling victim to ego and envy.”

November 11th: Freedom

After my divorce I found a great freedom in my new life.

The freedom to really find out who I was and what I wanted my life to be.

For so many years, I had been attached to my husband’s ideas, expectations, and values.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have my own: it was just that so much had been shared, or compromised as we worked our way to a common ground in our relationship.

When we separated and eventually divorced, I began to look at what I wanted in regards to the spiritual person I wanted to be… the kind of life I wanted to now live.

I was able to take time and really think about what mattered to me the most… what I needed to be a complete and happy person and then… draw people towards me who were on the same path.

Once I realized that my new found freedom was a gift that I had received from my Higher Power… a chance to rebuild my life with a clear view of my own values… I was able to live my life to the fullest and appreciate the freedom that such a painful experience brought to me.

“Dear God, thank you for the freedom to rebuild my life into one that I am proud of. Thank you for reminding me that every day is fresh… and that I can start over at any time… and live the life that you want for me: one full of love, joy, happiness, and your grace.”