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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

April 23rd- Progress not Perfection

April 23rd-Progress not Perfection

I am always amazed at how forgiving I am when someone else makes a mistake yet I can spend hours, days, weeks, months, years… beating myself up for the smallest infraction.

I am always quick to remind the people I care about, when they have a particularly trying moment, or find themselves once again dealing with an ugly character flaw, an unhealthy behavior, or a negative attitude that: it is progress not perfection.

We all have our bad days… act out, say things that we regret, become defensive in regards to our own poor behavior.

It is important to acknowledge it… work towards not repeating it… and then let the shame of the slip go.

It is better if I make note of the positives that come out of my digression:

Maybe I am repeating the mistake less over the course of time…

Maybe I’m humble enough to apologize for my behavior instead of rationalizing or denying my actions…

Maybe I am able to share my experience with another who is struggling with the same issue and therefore, benefit their spiritual growth as well as my own.

Today, I choose to focus on progress over perfection, apologize for my short-comings, and strive each moment to be my best-self.

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“Dear God, help me to remember that no person is perfect and that there are many life lessons to learn each day.”

Dear Readers: Hello Again 4-22-18

Beautiful-Spring-Flowers-HD-Wallpaper

Dear Readers,

First and foremost,

I want to thank you all for following me over the last several years and I apologize for my absence from the site these last two months. Please know that like many of the 12 step daily meditations my meditations rotate throughout the year so if I miss a post day… you can type in the date that is missing and it will pop up in your feed. What I always find so fascinating is that no matter if you read a daily meditation in 2017 or 2018, it will have significance each time. Strange… but true… but isn’t that how spiritual things often work?

This year has been the hardest for me since my divorce. I took on the responsibility of caring for my mother-in-law June of 2017. Mary had been sick for many years but I hoped being with me and close to family, she might improve. It was a hard summer followed by an accident, for me, where I stepped off the porch wrong and snapped my right foot. I spent October through December in a cast, unable to drive, my students wheeling me around school in a wheelchair and I can tell you the lesson learned was: be humble and the reality is: we are never in control.

Mary had a stroke in October and passed away suddenly in November and then, the night before her funeral, my own 90-year-old mother who I also care for, fell and fractured her femur. She needed surgery, ended up touch-and-go in ICU for over a week, and we spent the winter holidays in-and-out of the hospital. She has been back home with me now for about two months and life as we knew it has changed yet again. Her dementia progressed from the injury and I honestly don’t know if she will ever recover completely from such a fall at her age. Once again, the experience has taught me to be humble and that: we are never really in control.

So, thank you all for your patience. Your loyal following. And, know that I am always with you in writing. Always.

So today, just for today, be humble, be thankful, and remember that no matter how we love to control things in life…. we can’t. Accept what your reality is and do everything you can to move towards your new and brave world that you have been creating since your loss. Together, we can all move forward with strength and serenity.

With love to you all,

D.

 

February 5th: Commitment

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When I was first divorced, I found myself often missing my role of being “a wife.”

It was hard to know how to act on a date, a casual date, after being in a committed relationship for so many years.

It was easy to become intimate too quickly…

It was easy to have expectations based on my past commitment…

It was easy to want things to move at a pace that was far too aggressive for a new relationship.

As I began to heal, as my self-esteem became once again intact, I realized that I didn’t miss being a wife as much as I missed the title and that I was actually just role-playing in many of  my romantic interludes  just to capture a “feeling” of what I had once been to my husband.

I knew then that I wasn’t ready for a new partner… that I wasn’t sure what I wanted in a committed relationship… or how much I was really willing to give or give up for another person.

The truth was that I needed to put dating on hold and work on discovering who I was and what I truly wanted before I brought a new partner into my life.

“Dear God, help me to be honest in all of my relationships. Help me to be true to myself so that I can be true to others.”

November 27th: Self-Awareness

Growing up in an environment of chaos, I learned many things about myself.

I learned that negatives could actually create positive outcomes.

Growing up in a house where chaos was the “norm” of the day, I learned to depend on myself and figure out things on my own.

Never being sure of what rules at home would change, based on someone’s mood or whim, I learned to value the institution of education. School became a “safe” place where rules and structure, logic and fact, made it easy to succeed and I was relieved to find that emotion was not figured into the equation.

Because I grew up this way… I became strong, knowledgeable, and capable however… I found that in my marriage… these qualities were not always valued.

Strong… often comes across as demanding.

Knowledgeable… often is confused with controlling… or a “know-it-all” mentality.

And capable… can leave others feeling “less than…” unable to make a contribution to the relationship… especially if a spouse may be struggling with their own self-esteem or limitations.

It took a lot of spiritual footwork, and self-awareness on my part, to look at the fact that my positive character traits could also be negative character flaws.

I am thankful for all that came out of my upbringing: the negatives of my childhood created the positive person I am today.

But I must use my gifts with self-awareness and not let my shadow self use them out of ego, pride, and control.


Dear God, thank you for your life lessons. I value what I have learned for each hardship has led me to be the strong and capable person I am today.”

November 22nd: Gratitude

My husband and I separated in the summer and by fall, I believed that I would be able to handle the winter holidays with a calm heart and a bit of perspective but…

When Thanksgiving arrived, I found myself at odds. I became angry at my husband… I felt that when he left… he had robbed me and my children of all the good memories that would come when celebrating joyous holidays with those we love.

I was sad, unable to focus on the day’s events, until one of my close friends pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong.

When I told her that I felt the day had been ruined because my husband was not present she looked at me and said, “Are you saying that his presence is more important than all of us? We are the people that love you and choose to be in your life. Don’t you value our time together? Your time with your friends and family? Your children?”

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I was so busy mourning the loss of my husband I was not paying attention to all I had in the loving friends and family that surrounded me… all who were offering me support in my time of need… by spending the first holiday since my divorce with me and my children.

I was humbled by her words.

Today… I cannot spend my time mourning people who choose not to be in my day-to-day life. I must release them to God, pray for their well-being, and focus on the people who matter most to me: those who share their love with me daily and choose to be in my life and by my side.

“Dear God, thank you for the joy you bring me through love and friendship. Thank you for surrounding me with people who offer me kindness and support during my most painful trials.”

November 5th: Belonging

No matter how much I love to be an individual… there is something inside of me that longs to belong with the people I love, admire, and respect.

But there are groups… groups that I have been a part of over the years… that have not always brought out my best self.

My shadow self emerges when I am with these people and the urge to belong drives me to act in ways that no longer suit the person I am today.

I find myself either full of ego, self-doubt, or struggling with my self-esteem and it still, to this day amazes me, that after all of my footwork in spiritual recovery… I can so easily fall back into my former ways with certain people.

These relationships are important to me. I am firmly connected to them through shared history, love, and family ties.

I want to belong with these groups… I just want to act as my stronger, higher, spiritual self when engaging with them.

If these relationships are relationships that I choose to continue… I must work to see what is driving me to “act out” and learn to take opposite action so that I can create healthy relationships and belong with a peaceful mind and heart.

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“Dear God, help me to be my best self around all of the people I love and cherish. Help me to overcome my ego, and self-doubt, and move forward on my spiritual path.”

for Mary 10-8-35 to 11-5-17