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April 27th: Growth

beautiful ocean April 27th

Today I celebrate my spiritual growth.

The relief at a day spent living in the present instead of allowing my mind to obsess on the mistakes of my past or worry about the uncertainty of the future.

I celebrate a day where I acted loving and kind to the people I love.

I celebrate my creative accomplishments and the time I spent resting and caring for my own needs.

Often growth is messy, upsetting, and traumatic: the change… difficult to accept.

How wonderful it feels… just for this moment… just for this day… to see my spiritual growth… to see how far I have come since the pain and despair of my divorce to enjoy my life right now… and be thankful for this change.

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“Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for this moment of celebration. Thank you for giving me clarity and the ability to see the growth I have made on my spiritual path.”

April 26th: Expressing Love

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When I was in my marriage, I often expressed love the way that I wanted to be shown love:

I gave words… freely, willingly.

I believed that by expressing my love to my husband verbally, I was giving him what he wanted: and affirmation of my love and commitment to him.

But what I found out after my divorce, and after years of spiritual footwork, is that there are several ways to express love and that just because I like words, affirmations, to prove someone is committed to me, it does not mean that my partner feels the same about that form of expression.

Today I know that when I want to show love to someone I care for it is best to find out what makes them feel most cherished and secure in the relationship:

Is it words of affirmation they need?

Do they prefer that I clear the calendar and spend quality time with them… no distractions?

Would they prefer that I show my love through simple acts of service, bringing them coffee? Cooking a nice meal on a night when they are feeling worn?

Is it a gift that they need? Something that truly makes them smile? A book they love but haven’t bought? A gift card to a favorite store?

Or would my loved one like some time alone. Some time to relax and unwind and not worry that I will be offended at their need for solitude?

A relationship is like a dance and I must learn how to move with my partner, to find our own rhythm and language so that our expression of love compliments each other’s needs.

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“Dear God, help me to express my love. Help me to give what is needed to those I care about.”

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

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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 11th: Faith

February 11th- Faith

When I falter in my faith I falter on my path.

If I allow myself to wallow in self-pity… become consumed with despair…

I fall short of the plans that my Higher Power holds for me.

By making a conscience effort to keep a daily contact with God through prayer and quiet reflection, I choose to walk in faith instead of wander in chaos and pain.

When I find myself becoming overwhelmed with my day-to-day life, consumed with questions, concerns, and lost for answers, I must make time to connect with my Higher Power, and renew my faith in his plan.

“Dear God, help me to stay close to you. Help me to walk in faith and hope as I let go of pain and despair.”

February 10th: Trust Issues

Feb 10th

One of the lessons that I learned from going through my divorce, was that if at any time, during the course of a new relationship, I felt it wasn’t working for me… I could leave.

This did not mean that I could rashly discard people from my life on a whim but… it was a way of giving myself permission to step back if I caught myself repeating old patterns of behavior with a new partner; who was too similar to my past partner in attitude and action.

The key was.. for me to look at my trust issues rationally and decide if my new partner was truly behaving in a way that was creating new trust issues or… if I was allowing my past to affect my new relationship.

If a new partner, time-and-time again, behaves in a manner that proves I cannot take their word at face value, then it is time for me to reconsider the relationship and if: it is healthy to allow this person in my life.

If I find that I am using my own fears and trust issues to scrutinize and harass my new partner and punish them for hurts against me that they did not commit, then I have a responsibility to myself, and my new partner, to work on my own issues and behave in a loving and mature manner until I am able to work through my past.

“Dear God, help me to be loving and kind. Help me to embrace and trust those around me.”

February 9th: Retreat

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Over the course of my life, I have found that retreats help me regain balance and composure when I am overwhelmed with commitments, opportunities, and choices.

When I take the time to break from my daily routine, my familiar world, and allow my mind to rest and contemplate what I truly want in my life, I find that the answers become crystal clear.

It is not always easy to get away but there is something about an open road, a walk in the woods, a moment of awe experienced in complete isolation and silence, that allows time to slow down and answers to appear.

If I choose to walk a spiritual path… then I must create time for spiritual awakening.

Making space for retreats each year, helps me to be true to my beliefs, follow my heart, and be better to those around me by being clear in my intent.

“Dear God, thank you for providing me with clarity. Thank you for guiding me through peace and solitude.”

February 8th: Accepting Change

February 9th Change

There have been times in my life that I fight the inevitable change around me.

Refusing to accept the end of my marriage.

Refusing to accept a loved one’s decision.

Refusing to make modifications in my own life that might actually be for the better.

Why?

Because I am fearful of the unknown.

When I find myself refusing to accept a particular change, I must calm my mind and search to find what I am so afraid of…

Afraid that I will lose my allusion of control?

Afraid that someone I love may end up hurt?

Afraid that I might make a choice that I may regret?

I am not living life to the fullest if I am living in fear.

I must be brave and accept change… change is part of life and I cannot stop change from finding me.


“Dear God, help me to trust in your guidance. Help me to embrace change and move bravely forward.”

February 7th: Stubbornness

Stubbornness

Sometimes I choose to be stubborn even when I know that it doesn’t serve me well.

It may be, that someone I have had issues with in the past asks me to do something, and I feel myself refusing based solely on resentments.

Or, it may be a task that I have completed “my way” for many years and when someone tries to show me a different way, or maybe a better way, I choose to dig in and refuse to change.

When I catch myself being stubborn I must stop and ask myself, “Why?”

Being stubborn usually stems from my own “ego” issues.

It does not serve me well to walk through life with a closed mind, sure in my ways, sure that anyone around me who does things differently can’t possibly be right.

If I choose to behave in a stubborn manner, I choose not to walk my true spiritual path.

“Dear God, help me to have an open mind. Help me to see all sides of an issue and to always be willing to try something new.”

February 6th: Reality

February 6th

In the past, when I would fall in love with someone, I would completely lose myself in the intensity of the emotions.

Overwhelmed with joy and passion, I would rush blindly ahead without looking at the reality of the situation.

It felt so good to be loved, desired, attracted to another person that… my feelings would override my logic and soon… as the intensity wore down… I would be in a relationship with a partner that was not a good match for me.

Lost in the fantasy of what he could be…

Lost in the fantasy of what we could be…

My entire life would change to “chaotic” and I would most often end up in a care-taking relationship, where my own needs were waylaid, while my mind stayed firmly focused on my new “man of potential.”

Today, I know that I must rein my emotions in and take the time to look at the reality of things before jumping in both feet.

Is this new partner on the same life path as me?

Does he have the same core values?

Has he proven to be trustworthy and loving with partners in the past?

If I don’t look honestly for “red flags of behavior” the reality is… that I could end up repeating an old familiar relationship, from my past, with a new partner.

A relationship that did not serve me well and would not serve me well in my new life.

“Dear God, help me to see the reality of things. Help me to be guided on this new path.”