Archives

May 3rd: Space

Pine Glades Lake, Everglades National Park, FL

I often become attached to my idea of a relationship and… sure that I absolutely know what’s best… push forward with all of my will.

One of my best friends recently said to me that this is one of my best and worst qualities: that when I love someone… I give my entire heart freely and bravely.

But I am learning that sometimes… it is best to give passion a bit of a space… to see if it is the intensity that is driving my feelings.

It is easy to fall in love: the feeling of newness… like a drug… is addictive and seducing.

But I have to look past that at the person that I am with and decide: Is this the best partner for me?

Slowing things down, giving the relationship space, allows me to do just that.

If I stay in the relationship just to “experience” a feeling of euphoria brought on by the newness of it all… then I’m not being true to myself.

I must use space to let the intensity cool and decided if within the confines of a particular relationship if it is a complimentary bond for both myself and my new partner.

If not, I must be honest, and let it go.

“Dear God, help me to be humble and truthful in all of my relationships. Help me do what is best for all involved.”

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.

_

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

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.”

March 19th: Perfectionism

March 19th-Perfectionism

When I was married, I often asked my husband to help out but when he did… I would sometimes criticize his work and end up completing the task on my own.

I see now that this was damaging to our relationship for several reasons:

I let my husband know that I did not value his contribution.

I made him believe that he was incapable of doing any task as well as I could.

And… I set myself up to never ask for or receive help because no one could live up to my standard of work.

My perfectionism was not only hurting the person I loved, it was also helping to keep me overwhelmed, weary, worn, because I refused to share the burden of my load with others who were willing and wanting to help.

Today I know that my perfectionism is a character asset and a flaw.

My perfectionism ensures that I will give a job my “all” my best work.

But… my perfectionism also gets in the way of my own spiritual growth and it keeps those around me from feeling needed and valued.

It is in my best interest, to let go and let others participate in my life.

I must accept help and I must accept that they are completing the task as best they can and praise them for their work.

_

“Dear God, help me to let others in. Help me to step aside and allow others to share my heavy load.”

March 18th: Fear

March 18th-Fear

Sometimes I find myself so overwhelmed with day-to-day life that my mind becomes engulfed by fear.

Fear of things I have no control over.

It always seems funny to me… how struggling with commitments can turn into struggling with fear.

But… it always makes sense when I break it down to one simple fact: loss of control.

Whenever I am feeling out of control in day-to-day life, that is when fear sets in.

It is at this time that I know I must quiet my mind and focus on small tasks to return to a calm sense of balance:

Folding one pile of clothes.

Mailing off a bill.

Making the bed.

Sweeping the porch.

Each chore may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things but order in my daily life releases my mind from chaos, clutter, and fear and allows me to focus on what truly matters:

Progressing on my spiritual path instead of wasting my precious time lost in a state of panic.

_

“Dear God, help me to let go of fear and calm my mind. Help me to complete each small task so that I am able to move forward towards bigger accomplishments.”

March 17th: Celebrations

March 17th- Celebrations Today I look forward to celebrating with my family and friends. Joyous events remind me of how lucky I am that I am surrounded by so many loving people in my day-to-day life. To turn off the cell phones… To step away from technology… To share good food and good conversation… laughter and good will… soothes my soul and calms me in a way that nothing else can. It is important to set time aside to celebrate with the people I love. These celebrations are significant markers… wonderful memories of my life. Today, I am reminded it is not about money… or education… or work… or chores… It is about embracing my family… and holding them close during these lovely shared moments. _ “Dear God, thank you for the gift of joy. Remind me to always set time aside to celebrate with those I love.”