Choice, daily practice, Growth, Healing, Love, Relationships

Go Where the Love Is

You know how phrases get caught up in your mind.  You could call in an affirmation, a mantra, or simply something that is stuck in your head.  For a few days now this is mine….Go where the love is.  I have struggling lately trying to get my footing again in the world.  I make a few steps forward and then life comes along and blows me down a different path.  And I need some healing, some way to stay in my center.  So, go where the love is.

Love is everywhere.  It is not a person or a place.  It is that and more.  Love is a feeling of being wanted, being welcomed.  Whether walking among the redwoods or laughing with a friend, there I find love.  Love is a feeling of peace in my heart, I can find that in a sanctuary or by the water.  I can find love in a good meal, a good book, watching a little league game or while writing this. Love is a state of being, a calmness within that allows me to recognize I am supported by the Universe and that God wants only to give me my good.

And my good is love.  So why not go where the love is? Why spend any time in places or with people that do not support this?  Sometimes I am strong and I can go out there and be the love of the world.  I can take on the haters and show love anyway.  I can let their opinions and negativity roll off my back.  I am armored in love. I can lead the way.  Those are amazing times.

And there are times like now, I am more fragile, I have broken pieces.   I love this practice from Japan.  How they fill the cracks with gold and the piece becomes even more valuable.  I want to fill my cracks with love. That is how I will heal myself. fill with gold I will be richer, more valuable and have more depth in my soul.  I will let these jagged pieces smooth with love.  I will patchwork myself back together with love.  I will breathe in love  and I will breath out peace. Love is the strongest force in the Universe.  Love always wins.  Love is stronger than hate, sadness, fear, despair, anger, apathy.  So letting love heal, I will be amazingly strong.  My cracks and fissures full of the most valuable energy ever known.

So I have to go where the love is.  And that means listening to the call of my heart.  That means saying no to the people, places and things that do not love me.  In those circumstances where I know I am out of balance I have to step away.  I must close my ears when I hear things that do not support loving me.  When I feel uncomfortable or anxious I have to look at what I am doing and who I am with. I have to be willing to step away and say this does not support my healing.

That can mean letting go of people or circumstances already in my life. Although I am pretty careful about who I let in,sometimes someone comes in through a crack. Perhaps I am lonely or emotional.  Maybe I think they need me, my ego wants stroking.  It could be an outgrown job or social connection.  Old friends, who somehow have hung on.  And it  is mainly me, holding on to fears and outgrown ideas.  Hanging on to the past to avoid the future.  Clinging to today because tomorrow seems scary and unknown.

So right here and now this is my mantra, this is my daily prayer…..Go Where The Love Is.

And when that moment is done, again, Go Where The Love Is.  and again and again.  Stay where the love is. Only accept love.  Fill myself body and soul with love.  Seal those cracks with love. Be Love. Live Love. Breathe Love. Stay where there is Love. Because that is what will save me, Love will save me. Love will make me whole.  And then, armored in Love,  I can step out as warrior for Love.  So then, when you need to “go where the Love is,” I am here for you.

Namaste

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challenges, Choice, Daily Life, Gratitude, life, Love, Today

Just For Today

Oh my gosh today is beautiful. Just for today I am setting aside my complaints, my stresses, my sorrows. Just for today I am stepping into the moment. I hear the song of the birds and the call of the dove. I see the gentle breeze flicking the bamboo. I feel the freshness of the morning air and I know I am blessed. For today, I do not worry, I do not argue within my mind. For today I accept all of God’s blessings and claim them as mine.

This was my Facebook post this morning.  And then I thought why “just for today”?  Why not everyday?  Everyday feels big to me.  Forever?  Really?  Not worry, not stress, be in a place of calmness and peace…..forever?  Wow, all kinds of resistance comes up around that.  All kinds of monkey mind starts chattering.  But what about all the things that I call challenges?  Finances, relationships, health, those are the big 3.  I can’t just let that all go can I?

Well…..just for today I can. Because it is a beautiful day out there for me to enjoy.  Why should I miss that?  What if this is my last day?  And I missed it.  What a shame that would be. I am sitting here in my little apartment with the morning air and doves are cooing. And it is beautiful.  And the day is mine.  Mine to enjoy or worry away. Mine to see the blessings or the sorrows.  Mine to feel Universal love and support or stress and fear.  I choose Love.

I know it is close to impossible to live this every day.  I am not sitting in a secluded place where only love and peace touch my world.  I live in the real world.  It is messy, it can be stressful.  There is loss, change, worry. There are many interesting challenges.  And there are people everywhere showing me all kinds of mirrors.

But today I am looking at the mirrors that show me how blessed I am.  The big mirror of beauty, of love, of peace. Just for today I am going to breathe in the beauties of life.  And maybe tomorrow also.  Because the more I practice the more easy it is for me to slip into a state of grace and ease. Mainly I simply have to remember it is there and available all the time.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.…….Dr. Seuss

Have a Beautiful Today

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challenges, Change, Daily Life, family, Growth, Love, Relationships, Self

Feeling Guilt and Moving Forward

“The problem with surviving was that you ended up with the ghosts of everyone you’d ever left behind riding on your shoulders.”

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Drowned Cities

Guilt…..guilt of all kinds does not feel good.  That feeling inside of us when something is wrong.  I think you have to be basically a good human to feel guilt.  We have to have the self awareness that our actions or even simply our thoughts, might have caused harm; to other humans, to our planet, to the animals, even to ourselves. So I guess guilt can be a useful tool on the road to growth and self knowledge.  It helps us see what feels right and what does not sit well.

This is what is coming up for me, Survivors Guilt.  Yes I used capitals, yes it feels big. This guilt was not brought on me by anyone but myself. And it comes out of love. I tried to talk about it in class the other night and I could not move the words out of my body,  Maybe I can write them out.

Here is the deal. my sister had a stroke last fall.  She is not really recovering well.  She is in pain every day.  Her left side is compromised and she does not have much use of her left arm and hand. Yes, she goes to therapy, yes there has been improvement, but the truth for today is that life is hard for her.  And I feel horrible.  And I don’t know how to step out of that place. She is my best friend, cradle to grave, she is my girl.

So I try to give her what she needs.  It seems what she needs most is space.  I can’t really get close to her.  I try,  I call, I ask to stop by, I invite her places.  Mostly she shuts me down.  She is in pain and all of those things make it worse.  So we text, maybe talk on the phone.  Yesterday for instance, it is a beautiful day here.  I am headed out for a walk at the lake. I text her to see if I can stop by and visit.  She says no, hard day, going back to bed.

Okay, I go ahead with my day, but there is a sadness and heaviness in my heart.  Because I am out there in this beautiful day with people, and sunshine and laughter.  I am engaging in life, I feel good.  And my sister, my best friend, is laying in bed in pain. How the fuck am I supposed to feel good?  I know it serves no purpose to feel guilty about my good day.  I know she does not want that.  But when I love someone it is hard to be joyful and happy when they are in such a difficult place.  Even though I know it is her path, not mine, I cannot separate my feelings and my humanness.  I have to figure out a way to move forward in my life, but it feels like I am leaving her behind.  And it is breaking me.

I have felt this before, when I was married.  Eight years into my marriage my husband was in a car accident.  He had head injuries.  He was never the same.  Physically he pretty much recovered but mentally there was a disconnect.  There I was, 26 years old, healthy, looking to the future and my husband was changed, damaged, and the man I had married was gone. What do you do?  Well I stayed in the marriage another 12 years until his alcoholism killed our marriage.  But honestly, the accident killed our marriage.  He felt less than the man he had been.   Finally, for myself and my son, I knew I had to survive. It was not safe or healthy for us to live in an alcoholic household. But I knew I was leaving behind someone who who had his chance for a full life stunted.  And I felt horrible guilt.  Guilt that I wanted  everything that life had to offer.  And to have that I would have to sever our relationship.  So I did. There is still, 20 years later, a wistful sadness around that.

Another time I felt this to a lesser degree was when my Mom had a terminal cancer diagnosis.  I remember a short period of thinking this should be me and not her.  But that passed pretty quickly.  I think even in my distress and craziness I realized that thought had no basis or substance.  It was a reaction to everything and my way of trying to take on her pain. To save her.  I could not save her, no one could.  I recognize those thoughts as an emotional reaction to a extreme situation.  And everything after her diagnosis happened so fast the guilt did not have any time to cling to me.

Okay so in writing this I can see my survivor guilt comes up when I truly love the person. I have friends that are fighting cancer or have other big challenges in their lives.  I feel compassion and caring.  I send love and positive thoughts their way. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel it should be me and not them.  I have a healthy boundary around it. But let it be my close loves and  I feel bad that I get to be whole, happy and healthy when they are suffering.  I don’t know how to fix this.  This situation with my sister is a long term process.  I want to move through it with grace and ease.  I want to help her, but also be okay with having joy in my day.  I want to understand that no one (least of all her) want or need me to suffer also. And I do know this mentally, but emotionally I am struggling .

I know her path is her own.  I know i cannot walk that for her.  I know sacrificing my joys serve no one.  So I move forward in my day and in my life.  I see my friends, I connect with family.  I talk with God. I meditate, I walk. I laugh.  I find joy, humor and love out there.  But somewhere inside of me is this little place that knows while I am out celebrating life my best girl is home, in pain and struggling.  And I feel guilty, guilty she does not have the same chance to enjoy her life like I do.

I am working through this, writing it out helps. So if you stayed with me  this long, thank you.  Life is here to teach us, we are here to grow and create.  This is a lesson on my path. Once I learn it, truly learn it, I can release it.  As with everything, baby steps.

Namaste

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Daily Life, friendship, Growth, Honesty, Love, Self, self love

It’s Okay if You Don’t Like Me… I Like Me

Is the quickest way to peace of mind to love yourself?  For some reason this week this statement has been running through my mind “It’s okay if you don’t like me, I like me” I don’t even know why but all of a sudden I am kind of falling in love with myself.  And it feels good.  It feels peaceful, no struggle, no trying to fix myself.  No trying to change for someone or appease someone.  No thinking they are right about me and I am wrong. I am simply relaxing into who I am.

katieI think most people like me, but not everyone.  At one point I would have been wondering why.Did I do something, was I offensive, do they disapprove of my lifestyle?  How can I fix this?  Can I make them like me. Well no I cannot. And is that okay?  Yes.  You can not like me, you can not want to be my friend. I like me and I will be my friend.

The more I am loving myself the better I am to the world.  The better to my friends, my family and the community I live in.  It is like stopping a struggle, the struggle to prove myself.  I get it that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.  And that is okay, there are many flavors out there.  And what I know is, I cannot please everyone. I have to start with myself.

There are certain people I have great respect and love for.  These people, I do care what they think.  I do listen to their opinions and it is important to me that they like me, that they approve of me. But that is a handful of people, and honestly at the end of day if they cannot love me for who I am, I still cannot pull myself in pieces trying to be who they need.  They are just going to have to need me to be as I am, and love me anyway. Everyone else, take me, or don’t.

Okay I am not perfect.  I see things in myself I want to change.   I can jump to conclusions.  I am defensive, I can be self absorbed.  I will let my emotions rule my head.  Sometimes I talk too much and forget to listen.  Other times I don’t talk at all and shut down. I will overshare and then undershare.  I will take way too much crap and then be mad at others and myself.  So I guess I am human.

But I am also amazing.  And I don’t even need to list all those things, it is enough that I know them.   Also,  I am a work in progress.  And I am learning more every day and trying to apply it.  It is all about baby steps.  One after another.  I can look back and see progress.  I am way less concerned with how the world sees me and more connected to my own vision. I am not afraid of you anymore.  I am not afraid of your opinion.  I don’t not have to change for you. I am free, or least on my way.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise L. Hay

Someone I loved gave me a box of darkness…. I have spoken of that before. My mother, one of my great teachers.  She did not like herself, let alone, love herself. I watched her push the world away one by one.  I heard her say  so many times things like “Well, I don’t like me.”  And I thought, I love you, can’t you see that?  Can’t you see how amazing the world could be for you, if you would stop this, and starting loving yourself.  She never did, until the very end, she pushed us all away. And I do not want that for myself.  I do not want to repeat how my mom lived.  I do not want to not love myself. I saw what it could do, it was not beautiful, or loving, or peaceful.

The more I accept and love myself the better I am to myself.  I recognize that it makes a difference in the foods I eat, I sleep I get.  I seek out people and circumstances that feed my soul with joy.  I make sure I relax and not be demanding on myself.  I speak well to myself about myself. When I am in a state of self love, I can go out there and change the world.  I can go out there spread love.  I can be joy.  I can be compassionate.

And the struggle to be something we are not can end.  When I know I do not have to change for you to like me, I also know you do not have to change a thing for me.  You are perfect, you are amazing.  You are a beautiful, unique and irreplaceable. You get to celebrate that.  We can each shine our light, our perfect light out into the world saying “Here I am, there is no one else like me and for that I am grateful”.

Namaste

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