Month: March 2010

Moon Path

The moon shone over our little house, its light radiantly beaming in the window, lighting the room in glowing elegance.  It reflected back to us the road we took to get here, and it illuminates for us the road we have yet to travel. 

As the mystery of our lives unfold, it is easy to get lost in memory, where we recognize our past as if it was an old friend.  The past has readied us for what we face today, experiences built on a foundation of reality, and perhaps a bit discolored by our memories.  But the real truth lies in the here and the now, gently moving away from the past and walking into the future.  We look forward on this path and see the splendor it beholds.     

The moon’s glow, lighting the dark room so brightly, was a metaphor for our lives…a transitional time of past sorrow and dawning joy.  Sometimes destiny puts us on a path that we never expected, that we never imagined, just like the moon reveals its mysterious light to us as night falls.  How we embrace that radiantly dancing light is up to us.

Expectation

In case you were wondering what might happen next – how this week will unfold, who you will become tomorrow – it all boils down to one thing…expectation.

Release any expectations you may have of how you think your dreams will come true, but with every fiber of your being, expect that they will, as you busy yourself enjoying who and where you already are.

It only takes one idea, one moment in time, one friend, one dream, one leap of faith, to change everything, forever.  Sometimes you just have to ask the hard questions to discover the truth. 

Then you must learn to maintain an unwavering focus upon your desired end result, your completed dream, the “finish line,” without insisting upon, or even contemplating, its means of attainment, no matter how logical, obvious, or tempting it may seem.

All great accomplishments require 4 things: A dream, focus, action, and patience. You pretty much just need to show up, dreaming, baby stepping, and loving the inevitability of it all. 

*Another note from the universe…www.tut.com…Spiritual but not religious, inspirational without commitment, empowering yet caffeine-free!

What Fairy Tale: Divorce Part 1

My large packet of divorce papers arrived by Fed Ex yesterday morning. I promptly took them to a notary and signed all 100 or so pages of them with a public official. I expected to feel some kind of emotion about it, but instead worked through page by page as if I was simply doing important administrative business, devoid of the emotion I thought I would feel. Perhaps I compartmentalized it, and now should be waiting and wondering when the fallout will occur. Perhaps I have already lived that fallout and am now moving forward into my new life and bright future.

I am curious what I will feel next, when my attorney and my soon-to-be ex go to our divorce hearing in a few days. I do not have to be there since I live out-of-state now. It’s just as well, that day in court is not something I really want to endure.

More than half of all marriages end in divorce, for whatever reason. It is not a pleasant experience, and it is by far much more complicated than getting married. It’s easy to fall in love, plan a wedding, sign a marriage certificate and start a life. Ending that union takes guts. Strength. Stamina. And a lot of energy. Breaking apart a marriage, from its erosive state to deciding who gets the last spoon in the drawer is exhausting. Not to mention expensive. The only person who comes out on top in a divorce is the attorney.

But while I work through each day on the road to a divorce decree, I am living my future. I am cushioned by a bubble of joy that softens the rough edges and hard landing. That bubble is often penetrated by the emotional chaos of ex’s, and others who take sides, who let go of friendships, who sling hurt and judgment. But it is strong and it provides comfort and peace amidst the turmoil and rigors of divorce. Maybe that’s where my emotion resides, diluted in the empty space between pain and joy, between lost hope and love, between the past and the future.

Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.* You can never have a happy ending at the end of an unhappy journey, how you feel along the way will determine where your life will go. As dark as divorce is, I continue to look through a prism that reflects a rainbow and I wait for the storm to pass.

*Søren Kierkegaard

Extend An Olive Branch

Compassion is the root of all good in humanity.  The link that brings opposing forces together, that turns suffering into strength and pain into peace.  But compassion is sorely overlooked as the best way to heal our hearts, to resolve conflict, to bring relief. 

We must ask ourselves one question:  Am I willing to see things differently?  This is where compassion is born.  We must be willing to believe in the goodness of people even when that is not what they have shown.  When we are striving for resolution we must find compassion, even in the smallest corners of ourselves. 

When we actively release compassion, not just with thoughts or words, but with actions, we are opening up the door to peace.  We are providing opportunity to free ourselves from the misery of whatever situation lurks in our lives.  With courage we must extend an olive branch, and stand within a situation that exemplifies pain and still believe the other person is good.  Instead of using our desire to lash out or strike back, we must challenge our own character, dig deep, and not use pain as an excuse to perpetuate suffering. 

When we are compassionate, we are giving others a chance to free themselves from their personal suffering.  It is too easy to get caught up in bitterness and grudges, so we must work hard with an intention or desire to find compassion no matter what judgments or condemnation exists. 

This is antidote of anger, of suffering, of hurt, and blame.  A willingness to see things differently and reaching out with full awareness allows compassion to flow into our lives creating a new and higher path of living.   We must learn to soften our hearts and let benevolence shine. 

 

Joy

How do you define joy?

The soft touch of love. 

Songs from your children.

Wonderful wishes from friends.

Ice cream at midnight. 

Breakfast in bed. 

The warm sun on a spring walk. 

The gentle breeze from the waves of a lake. 

The scent of roses. 

A bright and hopeful future. 

I wish joy to all who reach for it, believe in it, and can find it in the simplest of things, like magical birthdays.   Thank you for a fairy tale day.

Happy Birthday

It’s filled with merriment, joy, and festivity, it’s my birthday. This milestone has always been a happy occasion for me, even in my fourth decade. I cling to the anniversary of my birth with enthusiasm and also mixed emotion. I feel the cheerful excitement of the day that is just for me, but I am not necessarily enjoying the passing of time. I’m healthier and happier now than I have ever been, but would love to erase some lines of time, retain more color in my hair, and diminish some of the physical “character” that is showing on my now midlife body.

So I compartmentalize the aging and I try to embrace that with age comes wisdom, patience, and a lot of hearty life experience. And I eat cake. There is nothing like a big hunk of chocolate cake slathered in frosting and ice cream to make you forget that age comes before beauty.

There is one day in each of our lives that we can call our own. It’s our special day to commemorate us. It’s a personal and noteworthy occasion in our life’s history that we can embrace and enjoy for what it is. My day. A day that I want to share with those I love and those who want to celebrate my uniqueness, my heart, my life.

Birthdays are days, filled with wishes, dreams, and hopes. The past is gone, and the best is yet to come. Celebrate it.

Anger and Blame = Personal Pain

Never underestimate the power of anger.  When unleashed, anger can create a fury of turmoil greater than any powerful storm.   Anger is not an unfamiliar emotion to anyone, it is born out of pain and thrives on blame.  Its steel bladed intensity rips through those it encompasses, sometimes never releasing its grip.  The damage that anger causes to those who feel it and those who receive its wrath can be infinitely destructive.

But letting anger take hold of us does nothing to help us or the situation that caused our pain.  When we assign blame for the pain we are feeling, our anger develops a burning undercurrent of resentment.   Resentment destroys our peace of mind, our strength, our hearts, and our minds.  As the person we are resentful towards grows even more viciously in our minds, the blame we then place erodes us, our sanity, and our ability to function.  Perpetuating anger and resentment hurts our targets, but in reality it hurts us the most.  We may think we are coping, but in fact it’s just the opposite. 

That’s when we must stop and think about why we are letting our pain run our lives.  It grows out of our need to control, our need manipulate, our need to hurt those that hurt us, and keeps us from confronting the reality of our pain.  Condemnation, self-righteousness, dark repercussions come from living in such a negative space.  It is a choice that we make which only leads us down a trail of personal heartache. 

Learning to free ourselves of anger and resentment is difficult.  But it’s only when we stop placing blame that we can truly free ourselves to heal.  It is only when we consciously start to think about how we are perpetuating our own cycle of pain that we can move beyond it.  When we finally learn to accept responsibility for our misery and not blame others that we can channel our emotions into something positive for ourselves.  Until then we will only spin in a downward spiral that will prevent us from finding what we truly want–happiness. 

Nobody can make you feel angry unless you let them.  Choose to channel your anger from blame into change and watch your life grow into freedom, peace, and joy.   It is when we learn to live from that spot that we are truly living.

NOWHERE

Nowhere:  “Not anywhere.  Not in any place or state.”   The literal definition of nowhere translates to not being anywhere.  But how can you not be anywhere other than where you are?  “Not in any state.”  Take that and make it even more complex.  “Not in any state…of being.”   Of being.  That’s what it really gets down to.  You can’t really be NOWHERE.  But when you change the spacing, you are in fact, NOW HERE.  When you break the word apart, you have created an entirely new meaning.    You are now here, in the present moment, wherever you are.  You are simply being where you are, in tune and in time.  There is no past, there is no future, there is only now.  Now here.

What else do we really have other than the moment that we are living right now?  Why not take that moment and recognize it for what it is—the state of being that we are living as we simply exist in the present.  Memories bring up moments that have passed.  Wishes bring up moments that have not materialized.  Constantly remembering bad things from our past, or worries and fears about what lies ahead, robs us of the present moment and we are nowhere–we are lost in the past or stuck in the future.  We are losing a moment of joy, perhaps even a moment of peace.

When we miss out on the present moment we are nowhere.  Be here now.

Change of Plans

We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us.  (Joseph Campbell)

That’s what I did—let go of the life that I had planned.  It took a lot of effort and determination.  For a while I clung to hopeless despair, unsure of where I was going or how I would get there.  I sat still, lost in memories of what life had been, lost in dreams of what now would not be, and paralyzed in fearful thoughts about how to survive. 

But after being tired of breathing in nothing but darkness, I forced myself to create a vision of how to walk through my misfortune and come out on the other side, into peace and prosperity.  That’s what did it.  I tossed out my plan–my life plan.  I put my children and myself ahead of my failed attempts at sticking to a lost vision, and I changed my plan.

Funny thing is, when we let go of what we think we want, we will end up with something so much better.  Something that we may not have ever dreamed of, something that fulfills a bigger and brighter destiny.   

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”   It took courage and willingness to let go of the life that I had hoped for, and suddenly the life I dreamed of came within my grasp.  The decision is what lies between us and the life of our dreams.

Think About This…

Think that it’s fun  that you’re guided, and that all is well; that there’s time, that life is easy, and that the best is yet to come.

Think that the reasons that elude you will one day catch up, that the lessons that have stumped you will one day bring joy, and that the sorrows that have crippled you will soon give you wings.

Think that you’re important, that you cannot fail, and that happiness always returns. 

Sometimes having more fun and being happier comes from looking for each in crazy, new places; instead of waiting for them to come from where you’ve found them before or where others are now finding them.

Not just from the old standbys of travel, adventure, and romance, but from stretching, reaching, and growing. Accepting new responsibilities for your happiness, totally accepting others, and grasping even higher ideals. Philosophically taking yourself to places few have ever dared before.

This insightful thought brought to you by Thoughts From The Universe (www.tut.com)

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