Archive | May 2018

May 14th: Love

May 13th-

I have been fortunate to have been loved and to have loved in my lifetime.

The joy I have felt during the moments when I was most at ease and engaged with someone I held so dear were beyond what I ever expected love to be.

But as a young child, I never understood that with the highs of love also come the lows.

Like most children I believed that like in the fairy tales: Your one true love would come along and make everything right in your world.

That just isn’t true.

Even in the best of relationships, life does not stay static… changes occur… adjustments must be made.

I see now that my love for someone, does not guarantee me a constant high in life, but gives me the will to move through the lows, to work within the parameters of our shared life, to understand another human being and cherish and love them flaws and all.

It allows me to be vulnerable… attest to my own strength of character… and reminds me constantly what I am willing to give of myself.

“Dear God, thank you for giving me the gift of love. Thank you for blessing me with those I cherish.”

May 13th: Hurt


In the beginning stages of separation and divorce I found that nothing could override the hurt:

Not a kind word.

Not gratitude.

Not spiritual footwork.

No matter what good surrounded me…. the hurt still permeated my heart.

This did not mean that I didn’t appreciate the kind word…

Cling to my gratitude…

Struggle to move forward through spiritual footwork…

I did… and I worked my best to keep my spirit strong for my children.

But hurt still ruled the day.

Sometimes in life… there is no getting around the hurt and the pain… the despair caused by a great and terrible loss.

The only way to ever heal is to allow time to mend the wound.

We give time to our physical pains: a broken arm… a broken leg…. but what about our broken heart?

I have learned I mustn’t be so hard on myself when I have a feeling… I must accept that today… I am hurt… and tomorrow I might still be hurt…. but if I continue to appreciate the kind word, hold fast to my gratitude, work to move forward on my spiritual path, then someday, hopefully in the near future, I will feel well enough again and able to move on with a strong heart.

“Dear God, help me to accept my pain. Help me to see it as a marker of how deeply I loved… how much I was willing to give… and bring me the strength to be open to love once again when I am ready.”

May 12th: Gratitude

May 12th- Gratitude

When I find myself feeling full of self-pity and frustrated with my lot in life… I turn my attention to gratitude.

Gratitude is a way of reminding myself of how much I really have left when something dear to me has been taken away.

My divorce was painful beyond measure.

My heart… full of despair.

Yet even in my darkest hours, I was able to remind myself how fortunate I was to have:

The love of my children…

Dear friends to help me through my troubled times…

A job where I was valued and cherished…

A college where I could improve my mind and also my financial stability…

And the mental and physical fortitude to move through my pain by making a conscience effort to complete my spiritual footwork.

Today, I am reminded once again of everything I am grateful for: even my divorce.

Without suffering the loss of my former husband… I would never appreciate how dear my new relationships are to me today.

“Dear God, thank you for standing by me in my darkest moments and for reminding me of all I have to be grateful for in my life.”

May 11th: Disagreements

Killpecker Dune Field

Lately I have caught myself in minor disagreements with people.

In the past, especially within my marriage and later my divorce, it would be very hard to listen without becoming defensive or upset.

I would believe that somehow a disagreement was completely “on me” my personal failure.

I wasn’t able to see that maybe we just had differing perspectives and that neither of us had to be wrong: we could just agree to disagree.

What does it harm me to allow my mind to stay open when faced with a criticism, an observation, a scenario?

Isn’t it easier to take a step back from ego and emotion and simply say, “Maybe you’re right.”

Doesn’t it help me to stay balanced by learning to live and let live… or take the time to really think about what was offered to me and reflect on the moment?

Today I work very hard to stay calm during a disagreement and listen to what is being said… if it is being presented to me:

without agenda

without malice

without intent to harm…

Don’t I owe it to my friend to hear them out?

“Dear God, help me to keep an open mind. Help me to see all sides of an argument and act from my best self, my higher spiritual place, when engaged in a difficult conversation.”

May 10th: Guilt and Time

May 10th-Time and Guilt

One of my dearest friends was having a heart felt conversation with me today when he said, “I am so overwhelmed with my new work right now. I feel guilty about the lack of time I have for the people I love.”

I understood exactly how he felt.

Sometimes circumstances in life arise that make it absolutely impossible to spend extensive quality time with the people you care about the most:

A beloved child…

A lovely spouse…

A dear friend…

There just aren’t enough hours in the day to give your all to everyone and everything.

When situations like this arise in my life, unforeseen responsibilities that cannot be altered, I remind myself that “this too shall pass” and I hold tight to the idea that I can “do something for one day that I would find appalling for a lifetime.”

I must let go of my guilt.

Guilt will not change my present circumstance or bring me more time.

I must do the task at hand, spend what minimal quality time I have with those I love and also… I must make time for myself so that I have something to give to all: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“Dear God, help me to find balance during difficult times. Help me to let go of guilt and give what I can, with love, until I am once again able to give more.”

May 7th: Happiness


It was hard to believe during my divorce that I would ever be happy again.

All of the joy in my world, all of my own spark, was diminished by the tragedy that was my failed marriage.

I did everything I could to try to distract myself from the sadness that clouded every waking moment of my life, but despite my best efforts to “act as if” and to “move on” I was miserable.

But we as human beings are adaptive.

And though I often thought I would not make it through… soon happiness began to pop up to surprise me in unexpected moments:

A small child waving at me from a distance.

A funny expression on my dog’s face.

An off-the-cuff comic remark from one of my friend’s determined to make me laugh once again.

Happiness came back to me in tiny increments… snapshots of joy that began to punctuate my life and soothe my soul.

Today, my life is filled with happiness.

I find it in my conversations with my loved ones.

In my daily lessons with my students.

In the words that I write.

In the music that I sing.

In the sure knowledge that I am exactly who I am today and where I am supposed to be… reminded through tragedy… that happiness is precious and should always be cherished.

“Dear God, thank you for bringing happiness to my life. Thank you for giving me so much to be grateful for in my world.”

May 4th: Kindness

May 4th

Each day I am fortunate to spend my life around a group of young adults who are constant reminders of the trials of youth and the joy that experience can bring.

Their dramas are intense… their reactions quick and I sit by and offer advice and hopefully soothe their bruised egos and souls as they begin to navigate life.

Yesterday… one of my young students was upset over an argument he had with his girlfriend and told me that mid-fight she had turned on her heel and walked away from him: He was very upset over such a slight.

In that moment, my mind flashed back to a time when I had done the same thing to my former husband.

And why had I stomped off?

Not because of anger.

I had left our argument because I was too hurt to continue.

I had left our argument because I didn’t want to cry in front of him and show what I believed to be at the time… weakness.

And so… I did the only thing I could do: I left.

I shared this story with my student and said, “Wouldn’t you rather be the person to be kind in this situation? The person who understands another person’s pain? She’s hurt. She’s caught up in the heat of the moment. Be kind and when the time comes when you are both calm… then you can let her know how you felt when she did that to you. But for now… be kind.. and understand that her anger comes from a place of hurt.”

I let him sit with that for awhile and by the end of the class period, he was calm, and gave me a big hug before he left the room.

Later that afternoon, I was walking to my car in the parking lot.

I saw his girlfriend, talking on the phone, looking left and right, longing to see someone on the horizon.

And as I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw my student, also on the phone, hand raised, waving at her…

They did not see me, and I did not stop.

It was enough to see that they were both smiling… that the fight had calmed… and that kindness had taken the moment and changed the mood of the day.


“Dear God, help me to be kind when I am consumed by anger and frustration. Help me to see all sides of an argument, and to be the one to soothe instead of incite.”

March 3rd: Serenity

March 3rd-Serenity

Serenity for me is putting what I can in my life in order and letting the rest go: the things I cannot control.

This means that I complete tasks/chores in my life that will add to the quality and balance of my daily existence.

Paying the bills in a timely manner.

Keeping my house clean and orderly.

Exercising each day.

Eating well.


By keeping my physical and mental house “in order” I am creating structure and balance so that when unforeseen events tax my emotional or physical state… I am centered and better prepared to handle the situation: I am calm and able to offer support to those I love when they may be negatively affected by a crisis.

“Dear God, help me to keep my house in order. Help me to make time each day to complete the tasks that will help me stay in serenity.”

May 2nd: Joy and Expectations

May 2nd

Last night I spent time with an old friend… someone very dear to my heart.

Yet there was a time, when I was so attached to the idea of what I expected of our friendship, that I couldn’t even enjoy my time with him.

I projected an idea of what I thought it “should” be and I held to it; what I wanted… what I believed was needed… my rules… my way.

Tonight, with no expectations, no projections, I found great joy in his company once again.

We laughed.

We caught up on each other’s lives.

And I was reminded how much joy the friendship had brought to me, before I started placing so much emphasis on how I thought it “should be.”

What do I know about “should?”

Preconceived notions regarding what life “should” be only leave me unable to grow and see the limitless possibilities of having an open mind.

Maybe it is time I took a step away from what I believe life “should” be and let my Higher Power take the lead for awhile.

“Dear God, help me to let go of what I believe life should be… and live life as it is… one day at a time… with an open mind and an open heart.”

Photo credit: Bill Thompson

May 1st: Detachment and Other People’s Opinions

May 1st Obsessive Thinking

Recently one of my friends, who has acquired a bit of “status” over the years was asked, “How do you feel when people make negative comments about who you are and what you are doing?”

I was interested in how he would respond. His power, his wealth, his education, and the fact that he was a well-known leader put him in a position where he was continually watched and judged for each of his choices.

I began to feel nervous myself just thinking about it: such a large audience of people paying attention to each of his day-to-day moves.

I imagined my own life and how difficult it was for me to detach, at times, from other people’s opinions of me.

His answer surprised and pleased me.

He said, “I can’t let people’s opinions of me get in the way of who I am. It’s not my business what they think. That is their idea of who I am… their projection… it has nothing to do with me. I know what my intention is when I make a choice or take a risk. They do not. If I spent each day upset that someone has a poor opinion of me… well then… I’ve wasted a lot of time now haven’t I?”

How much time have I wasted fretting over someone’s opinion of me?

Has that helped me to move forward in my life or on my spiritual path?

I cannot stop someone from thinking badly about me nor do I have a lifetime to fret about it.

I know my own intentions.

I know when I act from a place of love and humility, from my true self, and when I act out because of my ego, self-esteem, fear, anger or frustration.

I am the only judge of my actions.

I must detach.

I must allow them the freedom of their opinions and keep the focus where it matters: on my own life.


“Dear God, help me to detach with love. Help me to detach without losing compassion.”