Sunday, December 24, 2017

Taking The Risk To Love

I read a quote by Erica Jong, a portion of it is “Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.

I can only get back what I am willing to risk. That makes us vulnerable and that scares the hell out of us. So we tend to hold back instead of living wholeheartedly. The fear of being hurt for so many, is too risky, we tried it once or twice and got hurt. Now we dangle our toes in the tepid pool of existing unwilling to jump in with both feet and allow the love that lives in the center of it all to wash over us and surround us in the warm pleasure and security that only love brings. We dance around the edge of the pool watching others who seem to have great love and harbor feelings of jealousy and discontent asking ourselves "why can’t I have that?" The simply answer is "because I am not willing to take the risk".

Instead we live in that "what if" state of mind. We think of all the things that could go wrong blocking any opportunity from true love to get in and things to go right. We’ve been there and gotten hurt there and are unwilling to go there again.  Well I can’t have what I am not willing to open up to. But what if I get hurt again, you say?  Then you get hurt is the answer. We even sabotage our possibilities of having love. We thought we had it once, only to find out it was a fa├žade of the true existence of love. So we stand back and watch the world around us continue to flow, one day into another, one more year of living in fear so afraid to step up and claim what is ours to have for the asking. We may even have had a taste of it and convinced ourselves we didn’t deserve it, “good things are never mine for long, and I’m out of this before someone else has the change to hurt me again”. Love in of itself does not hurt.  Love is gentle and kind it is the ego-human side of us that causes the pain. We make mistakes, we choose wrong, we make more mistakes and say to ourselves, see I knew it wouldn’t work, and I knew I would only end up getting hurt again.

The hurt will heal, the pain will subside, we will recuperate and live another day. Let us take lessons from the mistakes. Let those wounds of past loves show us the way to new loves. Allow ourselves to live fully, wholeheartedly and with great passion. For in the end love is really all there is, the rest we make up out of the fear of living and failing.
This is the season we remind ourselves, to love, to give, to make an effort. Push the fears aside, take the risk, we get one life and it is so worth the living…

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Power of Hate

How many times have I said, "oh I just hate that",  far too many is how many. Take a moment think of something you have said this to or about, close your eyes, now pay attention to your body as you say it out loud again. Feel the way your body reacted, your breathing, the posture of your body.  Hate has a huge impact on us not just emotionally, but physically as well. Why would I allow anything to have this much power over me?  When I hate something it consumes my thinking. I can push it aside for a moment then someone will mention that which is the object of my discomfort and I'm off again thinking and focusing on that which has become my master and made me the slave.

I remember two people in my life I swore I hated with everything in me. Yes they lived in my head all the time.  I would decide to do something and then think, what would "he" think about this and how would "he" react to my choice, my decision? I spent so much time focused on what "he" would think, even though neither of them were in my life any longer, that I became somewhat emotionally paralyzed incapable of making decisions for the worry of those conversations in my head. Something had to change.

That something was forgiveness.  Take a deep breath, it will be okay. I know many will immediately think of that person, place or thing, and the hate sets in and begins its take over thoughts.  Try for this moment to not allow that to happen. For just a moment breathe in and out allow your mind to settle for a moment.  Now what if I release that person, place or thing from my mind and say out loud "I forgive you".  The fear is I will loose control if I forgive them.  The fact is that forgiveness releases me from their hold. That very hold that has kept me from being who I really am, being my authentic self now has no more power.  Forgiveness is rarely about the other person and always about myself.

In forgive my mind is no longer consumed with that over whelming desire to get even, get revenge, to punish them.  I can now focus on what is important to me.  This forgiveness doesn't mean I forget what happened, how badly I was hurt, how horrible my life was at the time.  It does allow me to walk away from the past and the hold it had on me.

Hate is a word I rarely use these days.  I may say I really dislike something, but I longer have to be consumed with it every waking hour.  To move forward, I release and let go of that which has bound me emotionally.  We have learned to tolerate things in our lives and try to live around that which is uncomfortable and unwanted.  Today I no longer tolerate that which I do not wanted in my life.  I don't hate it, I let go of it and give it to my higher power to deal with.  May today your find the ability to let go, stop hating and begin to love the life you have and focus on what is important and not that which is past.  Stop now and start your new life. Find your authentic self and love that, nurture that, build that life.

Best regards and Namaste!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I See Domestic Violence This Way

With so many news stories of late about sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, etc, it causes me to pause and ask, what is going on?  Actually nothing new as this has been around for centuries. Being a survivor of both domestic violence and sexual assault I have spent many years processing, forgiving and healing.  The forgiveness to others for their actions against me was given to them for my personl benefit.  Healing cannot take place until I choose to let go of their power over me and live may life to the best of my ability. This doesn't mean their actions were okay, nor that I forget about them, but that I no longer allow them to live in my head causing me to question and doubt my own choices and belief system.  I trust my judgement and know I am making choices that are in my best interest.

My definition and of abuse, "Anything I Say or Do That Violates the Golden Rule". That definition was adopted by me from (Terry Moore's batterer intervention program; Nonviolent Alternatives), where I was fortunate enough to have worked for two decades. The program teaches people to look within their own heart and conscience to decide for themselves if the life they are living is lived with integrity or abusive thinking patterns that are then acted upon against others ultimately living without integrity and causing their own bad outcomes.

We all have our moments of a lack of integrity, however a healthy thinking person will be made aware by their own mind/conscience, correct the wrong and work to not do it again. Once I have reconciled my conscience with the behavior and have deemed it abuse, I can no longer say, I didn't know that was abusive, thereby making any action of the same behavior in the future is done so by choice and disregard for others.

We keep asking ourselves over and over, why is "stuff" always happening to me?  If the statement has ever passed through your head, I suggest (as the " AA big book" would say),  make a deliberate searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Abusive actions are present in all of us. It is up to each individual to determine for themselves what needs changed in their life to bring their actions closer to the integrity they wish to live by and be seen by others as.

I recently had this conversation with a friend and stated that repeatedly trying to get someone to do something they don't want to do is abusive in nature. If they have told me, no I don't want to do that, then to insist upon my way to be had is abusive.  The only action with integrity would be to respect "their no" and move on. This acceptance on our part is a show of integrity and the ability to allow others to have their way allows them to maintain their dignity and self respect. To do anything less is a lack of integrity and thereby is an abusive action.

While I know there will be those who disagree with this idea of self recognition being possible and others will look at it and state how insignificant the trespass was, and I would say to those individuals I appreciate your opinion and recognize your choice and would respectfully disagree. If I am continually giving up on my own values to be in a relationship, I AM in the WRONG relationship!

Wishing all a day of joy, integrity and peace.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Danger In Being "Brutally Honest"

First let's just pull the word brutal out of the title and define it.

(Brutal - In a savagely violent way. He was imprisoned and brutally tortured; in a direct way that does not attempt to disguise unpleasantness or ill-temperateness. She was unapologetic and brutally honest"

For me there is a huge difference in being honest with integrity and being brutal and hurtful with the truth. Expressing one's self with honesty requires me to treat even my worst enemy as I would want to be treated. Religious, nonreligious, Christian, Hindu, Buddha, no matter the title of belief, the core is the same. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

When we preface our words with "brutally honest" it is telling ourselves that in this case I am excused of being kind or caring of the words I use as I am only speaking what is true and you need to know this no matter how I deliver the information to you.  While it may be true and may need said it doesn't have to be said without care of the other person's feelings. Even when the other person is in the wrong.  Two wrongs have never made a right. In the end no one gains anything useful in this practice. Being "brutally honest" does more harm than good as people are defensive and closed minded and will not hear the message anyway. They are too busy trying to find a way to retaliate. The truth isn't always pleasant or pretty, however we are capable of delivering the truth with the least amount of pain to the other person as possible. We may not be able to save them from the pain they will experience about the truth, however we do not need to add to their pain.

With so much deception in the world at this moment, being honest with ones self  is paramount. If I can't be honest with myself, I definitely cannot be honest with anyone else. Herein lies the quandary we need to get to. I want to be honest but...  There is no substitute for the truth. Can I deliver that truth with the least amount of pain as possible. Being a good friend doesn't mean I agree with you all the time, and it doesn't give me a right to be "brutally honest" There is no excuse for willfully injuring someone with words or deed. Our leaders have an opportunity daily to be an example of truth tellers, yet fail miserably in their efforts.

As parents and grandparents we have an obligation to teach our children the value of truth with as much kindness as possible.  May your day be blessed and in turn may your expression bless others.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Where Will You Stand In History?

I read a posting by friend of a friend and her words brought these words to mind for me. Thank you Alex Wolf…

We as women (and those enlightened men strong enough to include gender, sexual orientation, and nationality without feeling emasculated) read the following phrase so differently than the current self serving old white men in DC.  "The Preamble to the Constitution is clear as it starts "We the people, to form a "more" perfect union"; while we were a fledgling union our forefathers had the foresight to see a document need be put in place to protect future generations without regard or exception to all living breathing persons with in our borders. 

What a sad lot the elected officials have become in their execution of the law of the land. They seem to be twisting those laws to be self- serving. While you may not be the representative promoting exclusion or exception your silence solidifies your place in history.  It is time to stand up, speak out and do the jobs you were elected to do. You, ladies and gentlemen of the House and Senate, are to be the leaders, the people selected by "the people throughout the United States", selected to represent our opinions and protect us all.  Your election was to do the will of the people in the best interest of the people without bias or concern of whether you like or dislike those same people. Your bias is to never stand in the way of doing your sworn duties.

As an elected official you do not have the luxury to plaque or acquiesce, but rather you are charged with the duty of understanding the law of the land, and to follow rules that are for all not a privileged few, and that the law is applied equally. It is time “our elected officials” start acting like adults, stop fighting over whom the biggest, strongest, most liked, has more money, or more influential and work together.  It is time to show those people who voted for you they were right in having faith in you and show the rest of us their vote wasn’t misguided.  Stop trying to divide us and our nation.

At the end of the day all you truly have is your conscience and integrity or lack thereof. There is no taking any worldly possession with you no matter how hard you try.  Do you want to be remembered as the person who lead well during your life or as the person that helped to divide a nation, who cheated the American public, whose gains were gotten on the backs of the poor and who failed to protect and serve at a most crucial time, but failed to take a stand for justice? It is up to you.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Who I Am (is my choice)

I was gently reminded today, by a text from a friend, of my responsibly to myself and others while living in a world that seems topsy-turby and out of control.  My friend doesn't know this revelation, as she was actually thanking me for something she was grateful of which was connected to me. In her gratitude I realized I had been missing the mark of late. While I would love to pin the responsibility for my actions anywhere but with myself, I know in the end "the buck stops here, "Ouch!"

Acting as an adult, a person of integrity which can express herself in a positive manor, by no means, indicates I am a push over.  People may mistake my none-action as a flaw or weakness. This is where we can get in to trouble, by becoming concerned about what others may say or think of our actions or none action. When our minds gets wrapped up in this emotional ping-pong game, it is easy to loose focus of the truth.

So how do I defend my position, stand my ground? I do so in not participating with abusive actions or statements. I can deny your choice with non-accusatory words that explain my choice.  I do not have to belittle or demean you in order for me to have what I want or need. Integrity is always a choice. Instead of yelling at you and telling you how wrong you are, I can choose to say "I understand your point, although my experience has been different than yours and I will have to think more about your opinion". I can respect your opinion and still disagree.  In expressing my opinion and taking a stand on the subject."  There is no argument, no right or wrong in this exchange of thought and it leaves others with their dignity intact. I can oppose your view with facts that I have and believe. When we start calling each other names, blaming one an other for the problem, insisting this is all your fault, we are no longer debating the issue we are now judging each other.  The topic is no longer in front of us and all focus on the problem has been lost. We have moved from listening and understanding to anger and resentment.

As I go through today I will make a precise and conscious effort to hear you, allow you space, allow your thoughts without judgement and stay focused on the problem.

May we all come together in love and settle the confusion of out world with peaceful measures. From my heart to yours. Namaste...