Monday, December 29, 2008

A Matter of Perspective

I took a drive by the beach this morning. The colors in the sky before the sun comes up over the horizon is in a single word, AMAZING! Just when I think I’ve seen the most gorgeous sunrise ever, another finds me and leaves me with a feeling of complete awe. Such a range of colors appeared in the sky this morning…low and close to suburbia were striated shades of gray and blue, the smoky pale lavender turning pale peach and pink and I’m not done yet…then above that a layer of blue tinged with clouds. WOW! Really gorgeous and driving by the water…it looked like a liquid rainbow reflecting the gorgeous colors from the sky. It was smooth and rippled only where a bird landed looking for breakfast. I wanted to pull over and just stand there until the sun came up but duty calls and I’ve got a complete inability to shirk responsibility. I know, call it a character flaw if you will.

Seeing such beauty reminds me of how wonderful life here on Earth really is. I mean, I’ve had my share of days where all I could see was the traffic, the guy cutting me off or the car moving way too slow ahead of me. Those are pretty dreary days as my consciousness is much too close to home with such thoughts and then I feel bad realizing in such situations my awareness is pretty well shut down. I don’t like days like those but have to admit that they do exist and actually serve a purpose.  If you look back and reflect on such days you can see the contrast and feel the difference between your good days.  When my awareness is pulled in too close, I’m too wrapped up in mundane thoughts and lacking pure appreciation for life…my own concerns consuming me to the point that I’m missing too much on this journey. But, when I can come back to my senses and throw my awareness out far and wide, I can feel the energy flowing in so positive of a way that I can’t imagine not having a beautiful day. It’s all a matter of perspective. How we view life is a matter of our perception. We can go through life with our perception skewed, pulled in tight, narrow minded and just exist or we can throw the doors of our consciousness wide open and reach out way beyond ourselves and drink in beautiful light, gorgeous vistas of mundane things and feel alive, more alive than ever.

I’ve noticed that appreciating beauty can be like a drug only without the negative consequences.  Imagine a beautiful escape that is no escape at all but rather a more finely tuned consciousness on the bigger picture of life. You should try it.  In such moments time seems to stop and information comes in expanded and in larger chunks that take no effort to comprehend at a level beyond words. It’s like taking a mini mental trip down some incredible highway that takes you far away from your concerns and when you “come-to” you’ll find only seconds have passed and the good feeling residue stays with you for a long time. It’s sort of like a good hang-over! It all stems from simple gratitude and learning to see things with new eyes and forgetting about the parts of life that have made you feel jaded. We’re all jaded, to varying degrees. So much in life seems to steal away our energy and close down our hearts and minds but truly, that only happens when we give our consent.  So, rebel I say! Let your current view blur and slip away. See what is really important in life and know there is something bigger and better out there.  The really good stuff in this life is mostly intangible but it is there at any time you’re ready and willing to open up to it.

May your heart and mind be fully open today. I hope you feel love in all of its forms all at once often!

(c) 2008 Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Lessons, Balance and Gratitude

With infinite optimism do I approach this day and every day as the year of 2008 comes to a close. It’s been one hell of a ride I have to say but I’m grateful to see 2008 go. Odd years, for some reason, seem to be the best for me as long as I can remember. I hope that’s the case for 2009. 2008 has brought me more intriguing and interesting lessons than any year of my life and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to have learned. I’m hopeful this next year won’t find any particular themes of lessons repeating for me. I think I’m really ready to move on to new things, new thoughts, new friends and new experiences.

This past year have brought me a great number of things. One of the most important was learning who my real friends are, meeting new friends and having some pretty amazing guides cross my path and infuse my thinking with new energy. I find as the year closes, all manner of expression of art seems to take more of a focus…the poets, the writers, the artists, music, lyrics, sculpture…these are the folks that bare their souls to the world in one way or another and teach us all that its okay to be real, its okay to be authentic. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like you or if they can’t understand what you stand for…such thoughts can never take away from who you are just as a compliment doesn’t make you any greater than you already are.

Striking a balance every day as you live is also something I learned this year. The human mind and heart can withstand only so much before it breaks. But, when it breaks even that can be magic because then you can begin again. Pain is not the enemy…it’s a part of life and its only through the experience of pain that you really come to understand how wonderful joy is or serenity even. The cure for pain, I always have said is…let it get you…let it hit you squarely between the eyes if necessary and then just don’t panic while it permeates your being and then begins to leave you. I think of pain as something that helps to define joy and happiness like the dark helps to define the light and vice versa. You can’t know one without the other…so, embrace instead of run from it and you can always heal, move back to your center and grasp the gravity of the lesson so that type of pain doesn’t continually repeat.

Another way to restore sanity and centeredness in your life if you find yourself struggling is gratitude and appreciation. Turn your gratitude or appreciation towards people, nature, animals, art in all of some of its forms and realize as much as this world is full of dark, the light does dwell there too. Be brave and peaceful today and every day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It’s not a pretty word is it? It creates all kinds of visuals and negative sensations or emotions right? I never knew that abandonment could be created by people who are still there. Abandonment can occur invisibly by severing emotions while still being present…emotional abandonment. The symptoms for one suffering from emotional abandonment can be a long list. For some it’s a simple feeling of not being able to trust people and as a result, having feelings of not being able to let someone in. So, what does one do if they have challenges with abandonment? Do they suffer in silence with an inability to trust and as a result, keep everyone on the perimeter? Do they continue to ignore anything representing self-awareness and continue to live behind invisible mile high and thick emotional spring-loaded steel walls or become self-aware and strive to over-come the issue(s)? There are choices to be made and they can become conscious choices and responses as opposed to involuntary painful reactions even as difficult as that might sound.

Some abandonment issues start from so young, it’s hard for an individual to connect present day behavior with emotional abandonment from the past. One clear way to determine the existence of abandonment issues is to take a look at patterns in past relationships with family, friends and significant others. What are the themes? Someone with abandonment issues and lacking trust will have a theme that has recurred in all of their interactions. Why? Because the heart of you is so cool and amazing that it knows your issues and presents you with situations and people that will expose your weaknesses so you can see them, understand them and work to resolve them. How can that not be cool? Okay, so you have to step back pretty far from yourself to see it that way because some “lessons” can be quite painful. No doubt about abandonment issues being hard to deal with but at some point folks might decide they are tired of repeating themes and patterns in their lives…they may wish to make some changes and the only things we have the power to change are our actions, our thoughts and our approaches to life. We can’t change people, situations or the past, right?

So, what is the best way to overcome a fear? Exposure!!!!! Through exposure, you can become desensitized to the fear and begin to understand it, realize it is unreasonable today and may stem from a past wound and begin to modify your thought process in order to resolve the fear. With abandonment issues, this is so important. Well, that is, if you want close, fulfilling and caring relationships. If you’re fine keeping everyone at arm’s length, just close your browser and continue like Cleopatra! However, if you want to learn to love more, be loved more, feel more comfortable in romantic relationships and friendships then you’re really going to have to learn to do things differently…particularly if you lack trust due to abandonment issues. One thing I recommend that you do, and I mean this, sincerely…if you think you have abandonment issues that are really interfering with your relationships, go get some professional help through a licensed marriage and family therapist. They have the training to help you focus, find the precise source of the pain or original wound(s) and help you focus on healing those wounds and learning to respond to relationships in a different way.

There is a lot of work that can be done outside of the therapists office and on that note, let me just say…if you’ve got a psychological or emotional issue you’re working with a therapist on…don’t expect to be cured if you do nothing in between visits! Homework is necessary and that homework is being aware of your triggers and your natural responses to triggers…just noticing when they go off. Becoming aware is the first key to healing abandonment/trust issues. Next, learning to understand your reactions and rebuilding your own inner faith and trust along with self-esteem is the next place of focus. Then, after that, forgiving the people involved at the heart or who are or seem to be the cause of the abandonment feelings/wounding is going to need to come at some point in order for you to move on. Then, finally, learning to respond to your triggers instead of reacting as you’ve always done is going to come next. You’ve got to learn to respond differently than you did to a trigger.

So, in a nutshell, that’s how to spot it, work to heal it and relearn a better way to live. Now, when you get down to it, the work is quite uncomfortable. You really have to be dedicated to fixing the problem and being near people that will honor you and help you work through the issue. If you’re around people who can’t support this…you need to be around different people or be more selective in who you let into your life…and do definitely work with a counselor if this is the case. So, the simple answer…if you have abandonment issues and lack trust that if you let anyone in they’ll hurt you, what do you think you’re going to need to do? Yup, let people in…be open, be honest and realize no matter what happens or doesn’t, the situation can’t take your birthday away from you, it cannot change who you are inside and tomorrow will be a new day no matter what. Ever heard the saying: “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself?” Well, with abandonment, the fear of being hurt and abandoned again, keeps us from letting people in which reinforces the fear and reinstates the original wound over and over again. So, the only cure is learning to be open. It’s not hard in theory. What’s hard is changing your natural tendencies…learning to think…learning not to over-think…taking time outs before speaking and reacting so you are in control of your words, your thoughts and your actions.

Making changes to your natural seeming instinctual reactions takes time, patience and understanding from the people around you and you have to realize that sometimes people can’t handle “your stuff” …meaning the things that are your issues. And let me say, as un-fun as that sort of rejection is, you have to understand that a rejection does not invalidate you as a human being. It really can be quite impersonal. There was a time for me that any form of rejection was unacceptable to me so I beat everyone to the punch. I didn’t let people in so they couldn’t ever really reject me. But a long string of failed relationships really made me want to change that behavior. It takes work and it takes time. But back to rejection…both my parents were alcoholics…I spent a fair amount of time in Al-Anon meetings and there I learned some really amazing things…like how to separate my issues from someone else’s…not to take someone else’s issues as a personal rejection and how to instead focus on the things I had the power to change…namely…me and my thoughts, actions and reactions. Al-Anon has an online bookstore and if you’ve never been to their site or ready anything about how that program works, I’d look into it. Another book I’ve read that sort of underscores this particular theme that is sooooo helpful in dealing with abandonment is a book by Byron Katie called “I need your love. Is that true?” Very eye opening in terms of the assumptions we automatically make as a reaction based on our own “stuff” as well as the natural thought progression we allow to follow which really leads us to our own pain. Interesting stuff…check that book out!

So, this topic could really become a book and maybe it will some day. For now, it’s just a blog, just some ideas that I wanted to share with folks out in cyber-space. It’s an important topic because part of the meaning of life is learning to love…love yourself…love those around you…and, allow yourself to be loved. If you’re facing abandonment issues and complete lack of trust in humanity, you may be relegating yourself to a lonely life with not a lot of love in it. That’s just not a good place to be. If anything I’ve written resonates with you on any level, I strongly recommend that you spend the time on yourself to heal abandonment and trust issues. Life is just too short to live it disconnected and in denial. Such things can lead to escapism, alcoholism, drug abuse, over-working …Goodness, the list goes on. It takes more time and energy to maintain “issues” than it does to work on healing them. At the end of the day, facing pain is a good thing. It’s really not as bad as the fear of it but you just have to know that there are tools out there, there are books out there and there are human beings willing and able to lend an ear, a shoulder or some advice to help you deal with challenges.

So, my thoughts for the day are pretty focused in one area. It’s an important area. I’ve seen abandonment and trust issues tear lives apart and cause some very unhappy and painful consequences for a lot of people that I care about. I’ve dealt with my own for the better part of my entire life. So, focus on healing, focus on learning and love yourself enough to make positive changes for yourself! There isn’t anything that cannot be changed within you so long as you allow the thoughts to grow, in the positive, love yourself enough to become aware, make changes that are healthy for you and surround yourself with people who will support you. (And just a hint…if you have no such people in your sphere…that’s a theme you might also want to look at). Peace and healing to you!

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like my books.   I'd be honored if you'd visit my author spotlight at:  Blessings.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grateful Christmas Morning

It’s O’Dark Thirty and my little one’s are up, excitement gleaming in their eyes, an absolute search and destroy mission for the goods under the tree. This Christmas has been a little rough. I’ve come down with a really bad head cold and haven’t moved off of the couch much in 2-1/2 days. I was hoping I’d feel better today but no such luck. But, it’s Christmas and my kids are so excited so I’ve got to pretend all is well and keep moving. If I stop for long, I’m afraid I’d be asleep! I think when we’ve been on the go for a long time, the body eventually givse in and demands a rest. So, you just go with it, get the rest you need and the annoying little illnesses pass when your body is rested.

It’s raining this morning and everything will be gray and gloomy today. We’ve not had a wet and raining Christmas in a while being so spoiled here in mostly sunny southern, California. I really can’t complain. Where I live, the average year-around-temperature is 72 degrees. Nice, yeah?! I had hoped for a sunny morning so I could take some pictures down by the beach. I love to go on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My beach is empty outside of a few souls heeding the call of the ocean just like me. I’ve lived not far from the coast my whole life but never appreciated it much like I do now. Every weekend I take either a drive or a walk to the Huntington Beach Pier, grab a Starbuck’s grande mocha and just watch the swells come in. In the chaotic seeming life of a career-single-mom, the peace of the ocean is an amazing blessing. I get so lost in the scenery and can lose my cares and worries for a time. I may take a drive down there later after I drop the kids off with their dad’s this morning. I can just sit in my car, listen to some Staind (Illusion of Progress is my favorite right now) and watch the rain drops hit my windshield warm and safe inside.

I’m hopeful one of our local Starbuck’s is open this morning. There is usually one open until 3:00 on Christmas day. Down here, everyone loves our local Starbuck’s on Main street and you can see many engaging in their normal morning ritual there without fail! I’m one of them, on the weekends at least.

I’m so tired today. Being sick has really drained me and with this cold attacking both my chest and my sinuses… breathing is a real chore. I’ve learned to appreciate this simple act I normally take for granted in a very big way. I think I’m more grateful for the life I have today having to experience it these last few days with the challenge of the common cold. I wish I could take cold medicine but it actually makes me feel worse than the cold so I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s lots of hot drinks and soup for me…zicam every few hours and mostly vitamins for a diet. At least it keeps my spirits up.

I get to return my house to normal this afternoon. Pack up the Christmas decorations that have been cluttering my tiny little place all month. I wasn’t into putting them up this year knowing how little room we have for them but I had to do it for the little ones. I used to love the process of Christmas decorations but I find as I get older I’m losing interest. It’s more of a chore and I wonder what’s happening to me. I think maybe as the kids get a little older, only one left who still believes in Santa, maybe some of that magic is gone from this season for me. It has been replaced by something else, a season of reflection and gratitude for all of the things that I have. I realized that I need nothing. There is no material possession that fills me with joy…things are just that, things. It’s people that I treasure and the opportunity to love. I’ve got 4 beautiful kids and truly the best friends ever, a great job with absolutely lovely co-workers. I’m really lucky and am feeling that this morning despite feeling sick as a dog, a little bummed out about the rain and feeling so tired. I believe as the day progresses and the fog of early morning wears off (it’s only now 6:00 a.m.), I’ll feel a little better and get busy with my travels, my un-holiday preparations.

My thoughts for today, like most days, surround gratitude…counting blessings and feeling the love I have inside for those I care most about. I really believe that love is both the question and the answer in every situation we face in life…and the mundane things like chores and colds, well, that’s just a challenge we face in life to make us more creative and appreciative I guess. This cold is forcing me into some rest I would not otherwise have engaged in. It’s going to be a great day, as it is every day. Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When I'm Ready

I walk alone under storm clouds
It’s cold and its damp
I pull up my coat collar
To defend against the chill

Gusting winds cut right through me
And the air turns colder when the shore is in view
The sand is wet and the sky so dark
A torrential down-pour imminent

In silence I notice the stark scenery
The absence of people off congregating with family and friends
The beach is empty today and I prefer it
It’s just me and a few others like me needing a temporary escape

It’s Christmas Eve day and I’m supposed to be working
But my heart isn’t in it
I’ve lacked attention and focus
For days on end

My mind wanders backwards
Over the past few weeks
Like a whirlwind he blew into my life
And in a short time nearly swept me off my feet

I knew our time would be short before it began
But I didn’t know it would leave me feeling like I do
In the present I miss him so damn much
I think it’s worsened by not knowing when I’ll see him again

I return to my surroundings
The rain drops pulling back my focus
To the reality of this moment
Standing there on the shore in spite of the storm

I’m not afraid of it
I don’t care if it gets me
As long as I can feel my feet on the ground
I’ll make my way back home again when ready

Gratitude and Reflection

I’ve always viewed the holiday season as a time for gratitude, contemplation and planning ahead a little bit. It has nothing to do with the religious aspects of Christmas, although I’m sure that lends some good energy to my thoughts. I think I view the end of the year as a turning point, sort of a “what did I accomplish in the last twelve months” kind of thing. This time last year I went on vacation with my then husband. It started out as a good plan but the marriage had been turning sour for months. It was an opportunity to try to turn things around, talk it through. That wasn’t meant to be because the heat was turned up ten fold with unfounded accusations and from my perspective seeming insanity that served no purpose other than to make me feel as bad as he did inside, a pain he refused to acknowledge and take responsibility for, something he blamed me for and I had nothing to do with it.

I decided then that the end was near. My friends were in favor of trying to save it but I had already tried and it just wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t strong enough to face a divorce with someone I knew would turn very vindictive and mean on me so had to wait a few months. The sick and hurtful drama perpetuated by my own mother had me so torn apart. ( Another individual who needed help but refused to get it and then made me to blame for not rescuing her). I’ve written about it before, I really did try but my best wasn’t good enough. I learned last December that you can’t rescue people and they will be who they are. You sometimes have to make difficult choices then, and if there is any mental instability in those people, brace yourselves for something difficult. I didn’t linger through the pain long, I looked ahead. I withstood battle after battle, attack after relentless attack and I kept going understanding it wasn’t about me at all. In April I found the courage to begin another ending. I cut ties with both my Mother and my Ex-husband and I didn’t look back except to try to understand the lesson, to make sure I had really learned it. Both situations were thematically similar. Guess it was a big lesson. Two pillars in my life had shattered and only months before the first was obliterated, my job.

I felt so weak and fragile then, emotionally speaking. It was hard to breathe, hard to move, I couldn’t eat nor could I sleep. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I took accountability for my actions and grabbed hold of understanding for the hurtful things I could not control. I had to believe the situations I faced were designed to bring me growth even though I could not really see the lessons through the tears of anger and betrayal. The one thing I was proud of wass that I refused to become a victim and I eventually stopped seeing the people involved as villains. Instead I stepped back and realized that from a much higher perspective, there were just things I had to learn, I needed the strength and growth that would come from having solid structures completely shattered and taking baby steps to build them again. I changed phone numbers, moved, got a new job and filed for divorce and began slowly to rebuild my life.

What a difference a year makes. Despite all of the challenges I learned that all the healing focus I’ve engaged in has had a wonderful result. I learned I could love, I learned how to date, I’ve had so much fun and so many new experiences, I have the best friends in the whole-wide world. Were it not for Ginger, Robert and Laura – 3 angels on Earth, Richard – another special soul I met on my journey that brought about some major healing, I don’t know how I would have made it through. They lifted me up, they helped me to focus, they gave me back myself and reminded me how amazing I was even though I couldn’t see it. My friend Scott, although we’ve never met was there too…a wonderful man and excellent listener…we helped pull each other through some of the trips and traps of emotions in divorce…my friend Chris, another I’ve never met also helped by sharing his insights and listening to mine. All angels on earth is the way I think about it. Today on the day of Christmas Eve, I think of them all and how grateful I am to the powers that be for sending them to me and allowing me also to be of service with kindness and love. Oh this group has had some pretty big and very similar challenges this year and I can see why all of our paths converged…we had something we needed from and something to give to each other.

Today, I’ve returned to myself, learned to find solace in my soul, I’m smiling at strangers just because I can, I have hope where I once held nothing but despair and darkness and I’ve healed probably 98% as a result of my efforts and the efforts of my friends. Although the world can seem to represent a challenging place for life, it is amazing and beautiful too. I don’t think I ever purposefully worked towards happiness as that always seemed a bit fickle and illusive to me. This last year I’ve worked only to find peace, find what my center felt like, and truly learned to understand what serenity meant. I learned to move into my soul and view life as if I were an observer of a play, detach emotionally long enough to understand and then step back into the emotions, whatever they may be and work to heal them. I’ve had many opportunities to share the things that I’ve learned this last year and the greatest gift I’ve ever been given is folks who took the time to say thank you, you changed my mind and helped me heal. Really, that has been the most amazing gift and one I plan to continue to give where ever I am called to give it.

The secret of life is truly love and love takes on so many forms. When my friend Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer she knew what I was going through and said she felt bad for leaning on me and I told her I had enough strength for both of us and would be there for whatever she needed. She wrote me yesterday, the kindest words I have ever seen and I cried…not for her gratitude but really just for the opportunity to mean something to someone in that way. She’s doing so well now and she’s almost back to her old self…but even better. I’m so proud of her!

I am absolutely elated as I sit here this morning and think about where I’ve been, where I landed and how I feel in this moment. Every experience I’ve had this last year has hit me with the deepest meaning possible. I can’t say that’s bad or good, it just is what it is and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn. My thoughts for today surround gratitude, understanding lessons learned, allowing yourself to give and receive love in all of its forms and seeking out serenity and peace no matter what chaotic situation you find yourself in. Sometimes instead of battling, its time to just stand there and experience what is going on (emotionally speaking), step back into your soul a little bit, away from the ego, and try to imagine the themes of the lessons you were meant to be learning. It isn’t easy but I promise you its worth it. When you refuse to learn something a theme will repeat for you until you get it right…oh yeah, then there is that part about the more you learn, the harder and faster the lessons come…but have no fear. If you keep your awareness focused outward and your understanding tuned acutely inward, you can do anything you set your mind to. My thoughts and prayers are with you all that you enjoy a measure of peace as this year comes to a close, that you encounter prosperity in the year to come and above all else this next year fills your heart with love in many forms. Season’s Greetings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rainy Day Thoughts

I woke up to the sound of the rain gently falling outside my bedroom window. At once I felt the cold breeze and remembered that I left the window open. I beat the alarm this morning having had a full night of sleep; peaceful dreaming, warm thoughts but not wanting to move from the warm shelter and comfort of my bed. I got up and showered and made some coffee. Certain thoughts seem to be continually reverberating in my newly conscious mind, wondering, hopeful and ever thoughtful. It seems like California might float away with all of this rain. We’ve needed it so I’m grateful but the rain isn’t my favorite weather.

I’m recalling this morning still, all of the things I’m grateful for. I’m glad I’ve got my health, my children, friends old and new to experience life with. My job is a great source of positive challenge lately and I’m so happy to be doing work that I love. There is something amazing about work. It gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment when you can muster the ability to do it well and it seems you do it well when you find something in it to enjoy. I’ve had my share of days where the only reason I came in was to the see the people I work with. I’m so lucky to have such a fantastic group of professionals to get through the day with. In fact, it hardly seems like getting through the day at all but more of something I really enjoy. I have to work, don’t get me wrong. Most days I’d rather be at the beach, or writing, or taking a drive along the coast. But, since I’ve got to work, I am grateful that I like what I do and the people I’ve got to do it with.

I’ve had such a long stretch of incredibly thought provoking experiences this last year and I think I’ve learned a lifetime worth of lessons in a mere 12 months. I understand now how the more you learn, the harder and faster the lessons seem to come. I’ve not had a break in that area and probably won’t until the day I die. That’s okay, life is meant to be lived and you might as well learn while you’re living, right? My thoughts leave the lessons behind and return to my warm cup of delicious coffee. I’ve got an easy day today at the office…lots of time to play in my mind and that makes me happy. There is a friend I’m thinking about today, as I have every day for several end to end. I’m wondering, I’m curious, I’m happy and content. Pleasant thoughts I must leave for now to begin my day but they’ll not be far from consciousness.

I think now about all of the friends I have. How nice it is to hear from them, learn about what’s happening in their lives and having the opportunity to learn not only from my own experiences in life but theirs as well. I’m a quick study in some things and I’m grateful for that. I’ve got a heart that although it seems it’s been broken and shattered too many times, feels completely whole and healed for the first time in a little while. I’ve got a pretty bright outlook that I fought to hold through much adversity and seeming chaos but I chose to hold that outlook. I chose hope and sanity. I chose peace and serenity over anger and sadness. Although it’s hard at times, I do practice what I preach when I can keep myself centered no matter what comes my way. Its hard and impossible some days and when that happens you just go with it and know it will pass and when you’re ready to give up anger, guilt and trying to control uncontrollable things, you naturally return to your center. I never really understood that before but I do today.

My thoughts have drifted and scattered like the tiny little rain drops blown in the wind. Time for more logical and rational thoughts held closer so that I can start my day in earnest. I have the same thoughts today that I do most…and that is that life is sometimes a struggle but it too is beautiful. You can change your perspective any time you choose but letting go over controlling the uncontrollable things and choosing peace rather than to become a victim of life or of others lacking scruples, knowledge or morals. Hell, some people are just sick individuals and truly deserve kind thoughts from us instead of feelings of anger and betrayal. You can’t stuff those feelings down when you encounter them. You have to acknowledge them and realize those thoughts originate within you and do not come from any outside sources or individual. We control what we feel ultimately but we just don’t realize that most of the time.

I really better get moving and get my girls off to school and myself off to work. I pray you have a beautiful day filled with magical thoughts, peace and serenity!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Choices Again

It’s a gray, gloomy and misty morning. I’m feeling tired but pasted on a smile as I drove my girls to school. As I turned the last corner, I spied a man on a bus stop bench, sitting in the rain, tipping back a bottle of beer partially wrapped in a paper bag at 8:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. I can’t be certain if it was a “the hair of the dog” thing or a “breakfast of champions” thing and I’m not sure why I wondered at all at first but it caused a twinge of pain for me to see. Almost immediately I knew why. It reminded me of my mom who is likely sipping vodka in her go mug sitting in her car somewhere in Salt Lake City…cold comfort to numb the pain of vengeance ill-gotten in her mind. It’s hard to think about as I sit in my nice warm truck, sipping a Starbuck’s mocha responding to email messages on my pretty red blackberry. The guilty feelings drift away with the ocean breeze as I logically conclude our lot in life is a culmination of the choices that we make.

My attention drifts to the water, strangely calm on a stormy morning. I’m playing witness to a whole host of other people from all walks of life who clearly have made other choices. Not unlike me. I wonder about the traps people lay for themselves engaging in a victim mentality and seeking sympathy to manipulate others for the love that would otherwise be so willingly given. I can understand it for only about 5 seconds and then come right straight back to choices. We chose to be who we are and how we let the world and its events shape us. I think about some of my choices over the past 18 months. I don’t choose sadness anymore. It’s a draining emotion. I choose peace and serenity. When the world as I know it becomes like a torrential rain storm, I seek the eye of it. I let the world just swirl on the periphery and keep my peace in the calm and serenity of refusing to fight nature and circumstance. My eyes have seen too much pain for too long and honestly, there’s not a tear left in me so I smile because I’m alive…because I know what love is…because I know balance and that as sure as the tides push in high they also push back low. It’s a never-ending cycle…life is an infinite circle of meaning and drama…an interesting dance of smiles and tears juxtaposed on an illusion of a real reality.

I come back out of my proliferation of seemingly meaningful thoughts and take in the beautiful view of the Pacific from my favorite place on Earth. I think of a new friend I have made and realize he’s the reason for my smile this morning. I realize too that for the first time in a very long time I’m quite content in my own skin at the moment. The sun is suddenly out and the diamonds are once again dancing on the surface of the water. It’s so very beautiful to behold but I’m tired and will need to make the short trip home in a few moments. I need some rest, more coffee, some vitamins and food…fun right?

I guess my main thought for the day is that sometimes it’s hard if not seemingly impossible to see the beauty and magic of life. But, when that becomes your reality with too much conviction, it’s truly time to shift your perspective. It’s time to find the beauty you’ve been missing in obscure places. Go back, retrace your steps and look for the things you walked by previously oblivious. There you will find a new perspective, maybe something interesting and maybe something important. Peace!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spark Of Hope

Yesterday morning I saw a shooting star in the darkest part of the morning just before dawn. It was beautiful as it shot across the sky. I stood their warm inside my leather jacket with a nice hot cup of coffee in hand. This morning I did the same thing only no shooting stars today. Just a heaviness in my heart for lessons passed, people transitioning from this life to the next, a seven year old Kaylie diagnosed with Leukemia undergoing her first round of chemo therapy this morning, the homeless men down by the Huntington Beach Pier, the "crazy woman" as they call her who sleeps on the beach every night, the party animals chasing the tail of an illusive dragon down at the bars on Main street every night, my brother who has given everything to crystal meth, my dad who gave his life to the bottle, my mom who is working on giving hers to the same master, for the thousands upon thousands being layed off right now just before Christmas, for the families of the soldiers on all sides of conflict, for the stray animals without loving families, for the broken hearted, for the angry and the injured. The weight of the world is by far to heavy for me to carry and so I'm not sure why I try. Maybe it's this big stupid heart of mine that just cannot exist in this life indifferent and oblivious. I wish it could. But then, I wouldn't really be human. So, rather than expend energy feeling sorry for all the down-trodden and troubled, today and for this whole season I'll send energy that the spark of life and hope inside of them all burns brightly, that they find and follow their truth, do their duty to themselves and their families, their countries and more.

The world can be such a big daunting and scary place. Living life can be an arduous task sometimes but it isn't without purpose. I can't tell you what that purpose is but I know with every breath in me there is purpose even if I can't specifically name it. Maybe that's blind faith, I don't really care but it gives me hope to keep on going even on dark days where the thunder clouds tend to follow me around...I enjoy the change in the proverbial weather because the contrast helps me to appreciate warmth and sunshine. You can't appreciate one without the other that defines the dark defining the light, the light defining the dark so-to-speak. It's an interesting way to look at things. The trick, I continually write about is doing our best to maintain a state of equanimity, balance, centeredness whether you are struck with joy or sorrow. You really do get to choose how far from your center you allow your emotions to carry you. Some of us are more challenged than others at asserting that choice but it can be done either on your own or assisted by trained professionals. I wish more would seek out that help but they are afraid, indifferent or in denial. That's okay, send them love...that's all you can do.

My focus must return to my immediate concerns as I get my children ready for school and get myself off to work. I'm grateful for my job and all of the stress that goes with it. I'm grateful to be a mother and for all the stress that goes with it. Both are a labor of love for me that I do truly treasure. Again, warm cup of coffee in hand, a few more sips and I'm out the door. I'll drop off the girls, head for the office with the music up loud. I'll sing to the music, ignore the traffic, watch the gorgeous fiery colors of sunrise and breathe in contentment for the opportunity to be alive. I'll send up prayers for all the folks who need them and I'll give this day the best I can give it and then return to my little family and the peace I feel inside the tiny walls of my little home.

Be peaceful and hopeful today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I stepped outside and noticed the sky glowing in neon blue almost as far as the eye can see. Just off to the right, Venus was brilliantly shining and Jupiter quite a bit fainter. The moon is waxing near full again and I feel it's pull. It feels good, amazing and spectacular and at the same time, simply peaceful. I've needed some peace for quite some time and at long last I have it.

I've learned this past year that peace is a choice you make no matter what is happening in life or who is trying to rain on your parade with delusions, lies and ridiculous or horrendous sick fantasies of made up wrong doings to transfer psychological drama away from their accountability where it really belongs (okay...a last vent, yes, done). You find peace when you consider the aggravating sources and summarily dismiss them from your focus as simply not worth it...let them take their drama elsewhere...very far away from me. That's so sad but a reality.

Life goes on, this too shall pass as will we all and everything we think is really important. The only thing you can ever take with you is the love you gave and the love you received. Nothing else really matters.

I'm gonna go watch the stars a bit more. I pray that you have a peaceful and beautiful evening!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ethereal View

I noticed a pair of hawks in flight from my office window today. I watched them circling around in a warm air current for quite a while in between meetings. It was peaceful, so very peaceful.

I spoke warmly today with co-workers. Despite the stress and strain of corporate existence, I deeply respect the folks I work with and most interactions are truly a joy. I liked that about my day, especially today.

As I was getting on the freeway to come home, I watched a large pastel peach sun sinking behind gray and pink hazy atmosphere. The light thrown through the fine particles of moisture in the air gave the whole sky an ethereal glow and the clouds parting just above the setting sun shone electric silver and like liquid white light in the sky. It was an amazing view, breathtaking. Had I not been driving I'd have taken a picture with my cell phone. But I have the memory.

I have a lot of those playing through my mind just now. Maybe its the season, the winter of reflection of all of those things collected over the year, processed and learned. It grows dark so soon now with not much daylight to be had and no time for tennis, sadly.

I've a strange feeling of letting things go. Things that once made me anxious are slipping away. It's not that I don't care any more it's that I suddenly just don't care as much. It feels peaceful and I like it.

I came home to my kids and made dinner as soon as I walked in the door. All I heard was fighting with the oldest being mean to the younger ones just because she was in a bad mood and then I watched the younger ones acting rowdy and then being mean and bossy with eachother. I wince wondering where I went wrong but then I realize ego and emotion go hand in hand and no one can control the ego of another. I let go again, clean up the dishes and relax with a nice glass of cabernet and a vanilla cigarette.

Peace returns a bit again as I sit somehow in a position of observer in my own skin rather than a participant. I'm not sure when the shift occurred...maybe while watching the hawks in flight earlier. I realize I'm human and fallible but I love and I care, so I just do the best I can do in a day.

The crescent moon is out tonight, glowing dully behind misty skies. It's quiet out which is strange for a Thursday in this place. No matter, I like it and will just enjoy it for a time.

I'm watching my big furry black cat Zacky try to sharpen his claws on our metal stair railing...that's an interesting sight. It's quite a useless endeavor as he can't find purchase for his claws and it makes such a racket. So many parallels I could go off on here but I decide to save those thoughts for another time...breathe in the peace and quiet in this tiny moment, going back to my earlier ethereal view.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Season

A rather prophetic poem I wrote some time ago for someone who meant the world to me but who never knew.

The Season

I will walk with you
If you want me to
I’ll be your refuge
Your pause from the world

I’ll be here for you
If you want me to
To listen when you need it
And go when you ask

I’ll stay here and hold you
If you want me to
And give you love and kindness
Without any strings

I’ll keep inside what I feel for you
If you want me to
But you know that I care too much
And at some point I’ll have to go

I’ll walk away from you
If you want me to
Perhaps that’s the best thing for me
And maybe the best thing for you

I’ll let go in time
If you want me to
But I’ll never forget the season we shared
Or how much I loved you

Liquid Glass

The Pacific looks like liquid glass interrupted by periodic waves falling gently onto the shore with a silent hissing sound. It’s peaceful even with the prolific hum of shiny metal boxes speeding by carrying their inhabitants somewhere. It’s amazing how the waves curl like little tubes of glass. I’ve not seen it like this in a while. It’s foggy just offshore so that you can’t see where the ocean ends and the sky begins. On land, the sky looks like a bright gray light, the sun dispelling momentary mists a bit. It’s cool out this morning but not uncomfortably so.

I notice all the foot prints in the sand. Each one representing a small journey taken by hundreds of people in days just past. I think about them and wonder about the universe each is the center of. We’re all the center of our own universes, the populace joining mini galaxies traversing the surface of this third rock from the sun, swirling, spinning through space with no concept of what for…no reason…no seeming purpose.

We just seem to go on day in and day out until we can go no longer, at least not in this frame. And then what? I wish I knew but then again, perhaps its better I don’t. Maybe the illusion of my own existence is enough of a toy to play with. I think maybe I don’t want to know the meaning of life. What if its futile, what then? How would I find the courage to get up and breathe? How would I maintain the emotional constitution to live it? I think maybe I would for love…the love for my children. I think I’d go on for them and maybe try my best to paint a compelling vision or frame-work to make them want to exist.

I guess that’s your role as a parental unit…to continue to paint a compelling reason for each of the souls you brought into this world to fight to exist amongst adversity and chaos. Maybe point out that there are miracles and laughter too to look forward to and participate in with all of their might and all of their being. Maybe that’s the real meaning of life. I just don’t know.

For now, I’ll let such thoughts go and I’m going to take a walk in warm sunlight, watch the dolphins float through the water, glide onto the top of the waves and dive down under again. Such peace, such simple beauty. Life is truly amazing as long as you continue to look at your world and your existence through filters of wonder despite any pain. That’s it. Those are my thoughts for today. Be peaceful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Journey Is the Destination

I stepped outside early this morning with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. As always, I glanced up at the dark sky hoping to see something. I felt the chill of the morning temperature that’s been dropping a little each day. There was no morning sea breeze to be felt. I noticed there were no stars in sight at all and that a fairly thick blanket of fog had covered all that I could see. A bright spot momentarily appeared in the sky and there I saw a waning crescent moon. It’s light seemed to pulse as the fog thickened and thinned way up above the houses. It gave me a peaceful feeling that was oh so very welcome.

Last night felt, temporarily, like the end of the world. I felt like an overburdened shopping cart the universe kept pilling challenge after challenge and emotion after emotion. The wheels beginning to creak and groan under the sheer weight of what I’ve had to contend with. I allowed the feelings of pity to take hold and knew that would only be a temporary concession. It felt awful. I felt victimized. I had grown weary of people attempting to hurt me just because they have some sick and twisted sense of entitlement as well as imperfect mental stability. I felt down-trodden finding something I wanted I had to send away. I felt frustrated that I make a fantastic amount of money but shortages in a few areas and unexpected illness of a family pet has left me struggling in a huge way to make ends meet. If only the ones that owed me would pay me back, I’d be right back on track but they just may not be part of my reality.

So, I just gave into all of these feelings. I noticed them all. I validated them all and I let these things drive me to tears. The release that followed was peaceful. I found myself in meditation at bed time. I worked hard to mentally clear the negative energy, the accumulated dark spots of pain and at the same time I prayed for help knowing I was in over my head. All at once I felt calm, warm, sheltered and certainly not forgotten. I know things will get better because I will do my part to make things better and I will be met with the help I need. For whatever reason, I needed to go through these things. I’m becoming okay with it all. I’m surrendering to what is because I cannot change any of the things that lead up to these feelings. I cannot look back and change the past and I cannot spend time trapping myself in the false illusion of tomorrow. I have to be here, now, very in the present moment as that is the only way for me to exist. When I clear away the fog of emotions in my mind and tell myself “I am here now,” I become acutely aware in the moment, I feel the stress these emotions have placed on me physically and I breathe in the air and some light to help me heal all of my weak and wounded parts.

The lesson here is not to become disheartened, cynical or depressed but rather to just view all of the things I’ve been through, understand what has happened and why and then just keep breathing while I place one foot with thoughtfulness and awareness in this present moment while I journey. As I often say, the journey is the destination. Peace

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Missing Peaces

Today was a strange day. I really felt out of sorts from the moment I woke up before my alarm all the way up until now. I guess emotional stuff can really put you through the wringer. There really is no use in fighting it, you know. The only thing you can really do is surrender to whatever you are feeling realizing that for whatever reason you are choosing to feel the way you do whether or not you consciously are aware. So, you might as well relax into your unconscious seeming decision and figure out why. Maybe you just need to process something so you’ll remember how you feel and in the future you might make other choices in reaction or response to life’s events.

I’m nursing a bit of a broken heart but it’s not really broken. A more accurate description might be that I had a hope that wasn’t panning out so I changed direction. In deciding to change direction I have to give myself time to mourn the hopes I once held and love myself enough to let them go. I have for the most part and what I’m feeling now are mere reverberations, echoes if you will. They linger because I’m choosing to let them but I’m not sure why. I really don’t wish to feel out of sorts. I wish to feel whole and happy. I think for the most part I’m still in touch with those feelings as well. Maybe I’m just tired. I cannot begin to go into the sheer emotional upheaval I’ve dealt with. I’ve written some about it but I can’t tell you the emotional hell it has felt like. I’ve been imprisoned for the last two years, seemingly, by my own emotions. Granted, others pushed hard to get me here but I let them. I let them because I had expectations along the lines of common decency I expected to experience but there were aspects of a couple of souls that were neither common nor decent and they sought to and succeeded in hurting me to the core.

So, I picked myself up and dusted myself off thinking, “wow, lesson learned.” My version of common decency doesn’t apply to a couple of people that were close to me. All I can think about was how I should have been more aware and less in denial so I could have protected myself better. I could have lowered my expectations or been more in the moment, more thoughtful, less engaged in my own ego and I might have seen some things coming. Again, “wow, lesson learned.” So, now what? I’m not sure. I guess I need to just sort of turn my heart around. The only way I know how to do that is to focus on those things I appreciate and the people I truly love and want the best for. I appreciate the colors and wonders of God’s Earth and just be glad to be alive and breathing. I will appreciate the love of my truest friends, my children and the companionship my beautiful co-workers provide every day. Some are as wonderful as family and they’ve been with me a long time. I’m truly blessed.

When I shift my perspective to gratitude, I start to come back to myself. I notice I start to feel okay. When I take a deep breath and say, “I am acutely aware of this moment and in this moment I am more alive than ever,” all my worries, the pain, the trauma, the worries, the guilt, the shame, the frustration and all of it just seems to disappear. I write this and at this moment realize how tense I become turning my awareness away from this moment to order fighting children who have resorted to physical violence very loudly to stop and do what I asked them to do. Momentarily the appreciation slips away and I just want to go to sleep. That’s the one thing I take great pleasure in lately and I’m not depressed…just processing tough emotions…and processing while my little ones inadvertently attempt to push every button I have. I’m too tired to hide the buttons tonight and its so hard. When I need them to be calm and loving because I am at wit’s end it seems they are at each other’s throats and playing the tattle tale game until I’m ready to pull out all of my hair. But, this stage I know will pass in the blink of an eye and I will miss it terribly. It’s a double edged sword it seems. I’m growing very weary of double edged swords lately and I think I shall find scabbards with titanium locks and throw away all keys. That might give me a bit of reprieve.

Well, my resolve for this thought is to just surrender. I need to stop fighting for peace because the act of fighting for it places the focus on not having it. I would much rather be grateful for peace and feel it than to continue to fight for the seemingly unachievable. Ghandi said something along the lines of be the peace you want to see. I guess I need to figure out what that looks like in a family setting and get to work employing some lessons in my own behavior. Hopefully, I might learn how to do this. I think for tonight I will give up looking for meanings, thinking of solutions and slip into my nice comfy bed, turn on the discovery channel and watch something beautiful. That will help…a nice and peaceful visual diversion with little siblings off to sleep leaving the rivalry on the night stand table until morning as usual. My thought for today, well it’ll be for tomorrow…is just to be where ever you are and know that where ever you are and whatever you are feeling you will ultimately be okay. You’ll be okay because you have the strength and fortitude to muster that much faith in yourself. If I can do it, so can you…making up your mind to that end truly is half the battle, even, maybe, a little more than half. May you be the peace I so wish to see and behold in this moment (smiles). Have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

California's Burning Again

I woke up this morning only slightly disorientated. My first thought was for a certain friend and hopes that he is doing well. My next thought was that I finally felt rested, no heaviness and recalling the plans for the day. Then I remembered California is burning again and not too far away. I went to visit another friend last night and as I was driving in the dark I could see with my bare eyes the glowing orange smoke clouds contrasting brightly in a very dark sky. It was so eerie. I thought back to earlier in the day when I went out for lunch. I was sitting outside relaxing in the sun waiting for my order at Surf City Tacos (yummy place btw) when I noticed a dark looking cloud. The sky near the beach was a beautiful cerulean blue, the air hot with Santa Ana winds blowing. It’s those winds, sadly, that served to fan the flames in several areas damaging at least 100 structures. The sky held a thick dark gray band of smoke blowing out to sea. The Santa Ana winds reverse the wind flow in our area. Usually we have an onshore breeze cool fresh off the ocean. The Santa Ana’s reverse that flow and takes the heat from the California deserts and valleys and blows it out over the Pacific.

It’s sad to me realizing how many people have lost their homes, evacuated to some place safe to do nothing while their lives go up in smoke. The fires yesterday were burning in Brea and Yorba Linda in Orange County. They’ve spread to Anaheim Hills and Chino Hills. I’m eager to learn the fate of co-workers who live in these areas, people that are more than just co-workers…but I can’t call them due to a switch in cell phones and misplacing phone numbers. Frustrating! I pray they are okay. I pray everyone gets out with no injuries. The homes can be replaced. Things can be replaced. Lives cannot and that’s the most important.

I stepped outside this morning and noticed the sky was a bit hazy with smoke. The smell of fire is so strong in the morning air. There is a slight breeze but it’s notably cooler today. I pray the winds are calmer today. I’m praying for rain. If there is any moisture to be had anywhere, God please bring it here to California. The entire state seems at risk for going up in flames. I know its times like these that we are reminded how little we have control over our environment. We’re deluded to think we can control nature once ignited. I pray none of these fires are the work of arsonists. Too many are burning up and down the state to hear yet if investigations in any of them have been concluded.

Aside from all of these distractions, I had a really fun time with a new friend last night. We walked through folk songs of the seventies with a live acoustic guitar and singing. It was fantastic and simple and I’m still smiling at how fun it was. It was absolutely what I needed …to feel good again…and music, wow, that’s been a tough one to deal with lately but my appreciation for music is back. It’s not the pain it was to experience from a few days before. My thoughts are a bit more focused today with the plan for my day. A little domestic work followed by some tennis with another friend this afternoon. I’m grateful. I’ve so wanted to play this weekend but just couldn’t yesterday. I wasn’t up to it. Today will be a good day no matter what happens. Every moment is a precious moment and I’m trying to feel that in earnest.

The thought for the day is to focus on the worries of the world instead of your own concerns but don’t focus in pity. Focus on seeing the best outcome for the situation at hand, happiness for down-trodden people trying to make it through and for an equitable and peaceful resolution. Realize we are all small humans on a big gigantic rock spinning on an axis, spinning in formation around another giant burning rock. In the scheme of things, we are all nothing but souls carrying out our destiny whatever that may be. That’s not to be fatalistic; it’s intended to be both realistic and even a bit optimistic. We may be small in the scheme of existence but the amount of love our souls are capable of are immeasurable. May your day be filled with peace, with safety, with love and light.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scattered Thoughts

I woke before the sun this morning. I sat up slowly feeling like I was an actress playing a role in someone else’s life. I felt distant and disconnected like the events and the words of the past few days were a story someone told me. The memories started to get closer and I became conscious of the heaviness in my heart and my eyes filled with tears that would not fall. There just weren’t enough left. I stepped into the shower and thought hard about letting the water carry away the heaviness, let the warmth fill the cold places within. I distracted myself with routine as I made my way down stairs focused on making some coffee. I stepped outside in the dark. Again I saw the silvery glow of the moon, a waning moon covering everything in an eerie light. It wasn’t cold this morning. I stood their warm, the breeze gently blowing, the ocean silent and I leaned to my left against the wall as a pang of pain momentarily took my strength but I quickly recovered. I lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply disgusted to be stuck using this crutch but realizing that was a problem I couldn’t focus on today.

I sent up a prayer for the object of my feelings praying that he didn’t feel any of this and hoping my instincts were right and knowing my actions taken on my intuition about the right thing for me to do would pull me through. I sent up a prayer once again for healing for me, for gentleness and tenderness to settle over my soul. I’m proud of myself as I stand here in the moon light. I did what I thought was right for me and I have to settle into my resolve. I am content for the most part but just want to move away from this heaviness. I breathe in the moonlight and realize I am mourning something I never really had and that the true source has nothing to do with the events of the last few days. Maybe it’s more of a yearning in my soul for my soul mate or something and now I have no distraction from the truth. I don’t know why love is so important to me. It’s brought me nothing but pain and heart ache but I cannot close myself off from it any more, I just can’t. I’ve learned so much about the pain I’ve carried reflected back to me from the people who have been close to me. As each one came into my life and then left me, I became more healed and more whole. Hard won lessons that’s for sure.

Perspective starts to dawn along with a little peace as I hear the coffee maker finish brewing. I step back inside, walk to the cupboard and take out one of my favorite cups. I’m remembering the moment of purchase, a happy time; I let it go. I open the refrigerator for some cream noting the mess my daughters have made of it and feel a pang of anxiety but then I let it go also. I pour some cream in my cup, then a little more, put it back in the door of the refrigerator and close it. I walk over to the pot, noticing the rich warm smell and I flash back to a moment sipping coffee in the morning light with my friend. I wince a bit at the memory, tear up a bit and decide to let it go. I pour some coffee and take a deep breath reminding myself that it’s the first days following change that are the hardest. Soon my memories will stop torturing me and I’ll smile at the times I shared with my friend. I pull my consciousness out to an observer position and see how the ego tortures me with thoughts of wanting to call him and tell him never mind, I didn’t mean what I said and that I just want him to hold me. But then sanity returns as I realize that I cannot hold on in the absence of feeling at a level I want and a level I needed. I’m not as confused as I seem to be. I chose a familiar path with my friend and realize my friend was a familiar teacher. I had to back track, go back to the beginning to that place where our paths converged. I am, gladly in that same frame once again, a little fearful, a bit questioning and a whole lot hopeful about the future and pursuing my dreams. I’m optimistic again even though I feel a little heavy. I know that this heaviness will pass as my energy and focus are pulled back inward and I realize the bit of a hole I feel inside was generated by the energy I gave away. It’s coming back to me, slowly and I know that I will feel better soon, stronger soon, more whole very soon.

I sat down grateful for the view outside this morning. I was thankful, so thankful for this lesson most recently learned. I am hopeful that my friend and I may still keep in touch as I do like knowing that he’s there. I hope in time he can forgive me. I know at least he understands because he told me so. I’m glad, really glad for that at least. I’ve had way too many emotionally traumatic experiences in the last 3 years and I really need to fight and focus hard on restoring my energy, my strength and my sanity to normal levels. I realize that is a journey that can be taken only with intense love for the self, with incredible courage and bravery. I have to have a lot of faith in myself and in whatever plan the universe has in store for me. I need to pay attention, feel and then let go of draining things.

My thought for today could be explained more clearly were they not so scattered. So maybe the thoughts for today are just to sit back and observe how they become scattered and what scatters them. Maybe you sit back and relax and just let them go where ever the take you. Maybe you don’t try so hard to judge or belittle them. I guess maybe you give yourself a moment to be in the moment and to feel whatever it is that you feel and then be done with that and let it go. Then go back to your life and move through it in peace, allowing yourself to feel that peace and knowing that everything, every thought, every persona and action you encounter happens for a reasons. You should know that every moment is worth paying keen attention to. That’s it for today. Be peaceful.

Friday, November 14, 2008

For a Season

The moon is full this morning spilling bright silvery light all over what is usually very dark ground and the waves, I can hear, are crashing loudly with abandon on the shore a half block away. It’s cold out this morning and it seems appropriate. I’m raw this morning due to a season of learning with a very special friend I fell in love with but who never knew and I think maybe he didn’t want to know. It’s okay, I’ll treasure the season for it was surely amazing in so many ways. I’ll miss him I think for a very long time.

I learned during this season that you absolutely cannot help who you fall in love with. It just isn’t possible but it is possible to decide whether you should stay or go. I sensed something a few months back I really didn’t want to know so played with denial as long as I could. I just woke up one day and realized I couldn’t do it anymore. What I was looking for in another was love, openness and emotional availability. I couldn’t have that with the man I loved even though I wanted it with all that I am. I tried different ways to cope for me so that I might hold on to the friendship as long as I could but I learned it was just no good. I decided I just couldn’t stay and as absolutely painful as it was to let go, letting go was the right thing for me to do.

I cried myself to sleep last night. As a person with co-dependent personality traits, I’m so challenged when it comes to relationships and love. I love openly but tend to love the people who are not going to be a good fit for me in the long run. I don’t do that on purpose. These are fine people but as time goes by you learn that some things will work and some won’t. It used to be I tried my best to guilt and manipulate people into doing the right thing as I saw it but with this last friend, who I truly loved just the way he was, I saw no reason to fight or to get him to be anything other than exactly who he was. I realized that if who he was caused pain for me, it was my obligation to change and do something different. There was no need for fighting or screaming at him to change because it was hurting me. This was a lesson of expression for me, an opportunity to stand up, although I loved him and tell him that what I wanted was not what I had and that I really needed what I wanted, I don’t fault him and pray that at some level we can remain friends in the strictest sense. I know he will understand because he truly is a wonderful man. He’s just a wonderful man looking for something different than I’m looking for.

The beauty of love, the best parts include honoring your own love for yourself and the actions you take to support love of the self. Taking actions in accord with your truth even if that means being alone is so liberating and freeing. I will be so lonely at times without my friend. He’s been there every weekend for a season and the memories will be bittersweet for a while but I owed myself correct action, I owed myself protection and I owed myself the strength to stand up for me and what I know I need. I could stand up and be right in this situation without making him wrong. Sometimes taking actions in accord with self does not bring instant gratification. It’s more along the lines of an investment that you put effort into and trust that the payoff will be good. My actions to stand up for myself and my truest needs are not feeling pleasant, warm and fuzzy at the moment. I feel raw and painfilled. It’s to be expected and I will pull my way out and I will heal in time and the next time I will respond to something I face that isn’t quite in line with what is best for me even quicker. Although I was a bit disheartened to learn this lesson, I’m grateful it did not take me years to learn it this time. I reacted on a certain issue after a few weeks and then doubt and lack of clarity dwelled for a couple of months. The pain was setting in so I listened to myself, I wrote my friend a letter explaining what was happening with me, what my needs were, how much I really appreciated him and cared about him and then I said I had to go…I had to pursue my dream and heal myself on my own. This was a really tough lessons but I’m glad I learned it, I’m so grateful for this season and I am immeasurably grateful to have met this particular friend. My sincerest hope is that he will be able to maintain contact in time and that I one day hear that he has found the love of a lifetime that he has completely opened himself up to. That would be a wonderful gift and I hope I’m around to see it and share in his joy as a friend.

For now, my sights are set much closer to home. Feeling every ounce of pain, letting it hit and also appreciating the pride I hold for doing the right thing by me. That was no easy task for a person with co-dependent tendencies but although I am still making mistakes, my recognition factor is improving greatly and appropriate action is following more appropriately. That part makes me feel good. That’s what makes this feeling bittersweet. Triumph! I learned a lesson. Oh yeah, but the lesson hurts. But, my actions were true to a demonstration of self-love, finally…that’s good and I’m proud of me. I’ve got to run.

Thought for the day…where are you sacrificing yourself? Where are you ignoring your truth? Are you hurting yourself in any way to help another? If you can say yes to any of these things, get yourself a plan together to stop it as soon as possible. I can tell you that its by far easier, and less painful to do nothing, or so it will seem but if you don’t change these things the pain will be much greater later. Take actions that line up with who you really are and what you really want and be kind in the process where other people are involved, be honest and as sensitive as you can be and pray that your Maker, angels, muses whatever are with you helping guide your words and actions in line with truth. The pain is sweet when you align yourself and correct your actions. Sweet because you are doing something that is ultimately good for you…bitter because well, pain is pain and you will realize at some level that your choices lead you where you are. May you find peace, truth and light in your travels today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Magnetic Energy

Take one tablet twice daily for relaxation is what the bottle said. Too bad it doesn’t work on the mind. I learned something new last night and the way it came about was interesting so I thought I would share it. Growing up with two alcoholic parents left me with a bag full of co-dependent tendencies that has wreaked havoc on my romantic life for most of my adult life. Some of the traits I identified and worked hard to heal, problem solved and now mostly better. It’s about identifying your natural tendencies and the struggling for awareness and making attempts to curb those natural tendencies when they get triggered that is the key to healing. Eventually, you learn a new way to respond and react and you see some improvement.

One of my lingering traits, I just learned, is attracting folks at an energy level that represent for me a feeling of comfort. Comfort because it is familiar. I’m not talking about attracting alcoholics and drug addicts or dishonest people, I’m talking about people who do to their own issues have become emotionally unavailable. I’m still attracting those but not at a conscious level. I learned last night that we can often attract these people from a pure energy level. I didn’t know that. I was particularly troubled last night thinking about a place I find myself in with a friend who is a wonderful person that I care for very much. But this friend is admittedly emotionally unavailable. I have been so sad about this for a while but because this person is a very kind and good person on the inside, I stick around and wrestle with these feelings like something isn’t quite right and I just can’t seem to put my finger on exactly what the something not quite right is. So, last night I pulled up yahoo without thinking much about it. In the search window, also not thinking much about it, I typed 3 words that popped into my head, “emotionally unavailable people.” The internet angels were at work for sure last night because what I found was an answer to my prayers sort of. I can’t change the situation with my friend but I can understand what it is all about for me. I can understand what I have to do with it and one of the first couple of websites in the resulting search gave me just the right information that I needed to hear.

It seems that people with co-dependent tendencies gravitate energetically to emotionally unavailable people. We actually attract them from an energy level because we are so comfortable with that energy, have so much experience with that energy and it gives us a strange sense of home even though feeling that raises other conflicts for us. As I read the words, epiphany after epiphany dawned and the sadness drained away from my consciousness as I read each word. So, now, I understand why my friend and I had to meet. There was a lesson to learn for me, an important realization. I need to learn to work on my energy so that I no longer attract emotionally unavailable people to me and that I instead begin to draw to me people that are open and loving because that is who I am today. I’ve overcome my mile high walls and I’m no longer one of those emotionally unavailable people. I’m proud to say I’ve made some great strides in that area.

It’s so amazing when understanding dawns on an emotional and confused mind. It lifts the weight of the issue off of your shoulders and place reality squarely in your vision. So, my friend is still a wonderful human being and I’ll always love this person for the many gifts this person has given to me. They are abundant but none so wonderful as the gift given unawares in the form of an important life lesson for me. Energetically, I know how to clear the energy around me because I was drawn to Reiki Master Training some time ago and it dawned on me instantly that this would be a wonderful way to clear my energy of old patterns that truly no longer serve me. The obsessive grip the thoughts held on me yesterday for this situation have left me and today I feel light, giddy and free. I’m not trapped by my past in this at all and my old tactics of continuing the fight to get attention (win the energy) from this emotionally unavailable person no longer consumes me. I still care about this person a great deal because beyond the behind the scenes energy lessons this person is a really good soul and has lessons to learn as well. If this individual was interested in letting go of emotional unavailability I, for one, know how to do that because I did it. I used to lock my heart away never letting anyone in. I don’t do that anymore. I let people in for good or ill and struggle to learn the intended lessons and most of the time I’m successful.

So, now what? How do I deal with this individual in my life that I care for a great deal but who cannot care for me in the same way? I’m not really sure but my focus need not be outward there. The key to this, as always, lies within readjusting my energy level, focusing intently on energetic healing for me and loosening that feeling of home and comfort is important. I left home for a good reason. I left home to find the love I could never get there. I learned along the way that I had to learn to love myself. I had to learn to love myself enough to no longer be affected by people incapable of loving me the way that I needed them too. I so get that today and I most certainly do love myself to disengage that line or tactic my heart was taking to try ever harder to get this individual to love me. I don’t need this person’s love. What I need most right now is my own self-love and care. All the answers we ever really need truly come from within. It’s a hard paradigm shift to manage unless you learn how to do it but once you do you quickly learn its as simple as flicking a light switch on.

Oh my friends I cannot tell you the sheer joy I feel inside for getting the theme of this lesson. It’s been such a hard one for me to deal with. It’s been emotionally draining and now today, I find it emotionally empowering. First things first, I have to be who I am, a loving, kind and caring human being. I cannot cut off my emotions…I have to let them loose, let them out in the open regardless of what the outcome is. I won’t be hurt. I can only be hurt emotionally if I hurt myself here. I’m going to talk with a trusted advisor about what my next steps should be. I know I can intuit them and will but having someone wise in the ways of spirituality does help one sort things out. My message today is about hope restored, lessons realized and preparing for the growth to come as a result.

In your life, if you want to know what lessons are around you, think about the loved ones and people you have drawn to you. You draw them to you to reflect back to you those things you need to work on in order to ensure your happiness and growth. Look at your personal relationships or lack thereof. You don’t have what you want because you are blocking energy or your energy is convoluted. A simple way to clear the pure energy aspect is with a little visual meditation I’ll share with you. Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down. Breathe in deep cleansing breaths imagining each in-breath bringing you relaxation and peace and each out-breath releasing tension, anxiety and pain. See a giant glass pitcher of white sparkling liquid light above your head. See the pitcher pouring the liquid light just above your head and the light entering your crown and slowly filling your body with healing energy and light. As the white sparkling liquid light flows down through your body, see negative energy and pain leaving your body through the soles of your feet dripping down into the earth where it will be transformed and neutralized. Now extend the white light about 10 feet outside your body and just breath in the glowing particles, feel the lightness of the energy. Now call on the Archangel’s Michael and Raphael to assist you by bringing you the violet flame for clearing all traces of negative energy, imagine the two archangels bringing a wand of violet flame and each part coming together just above your head forming a spiral of violet light. See this spinning violet spiral coming in through the top of your head touching every inch of your energy body and clearing away all residue and debris of pain you suffered the whole of your life. Sit with that visual and breathe in the violet light. Imagine now that you are filled with violet light and see that expanding ten feet outside of your body protecting you. Just sit with that for a few moments breathing in and out slowly and purposefully. When you are ready open your eyes, know that you are energetically balanced and ready to face your world. Thank the Archangels for their assistance and know that you can call on them again at any time to help bring you more healing.

That’s it. A simple visual exercise that has a really great impact. I hope you have a peaceful and healthy day. Love and light to you all!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It’s cool here in the dark. The gusting wind has settled now to a gentle consistent breeze. I gaze up at the sky in search of my sparkling friends but don’t find them in abundance as I usually do. Instead, however, I’m mesmerized by a partly cloudy sky, a waxing moon more than half way to full and peace sitting here alone on my swing. I sit here often at night to gain perspective, feel the world from outside of my home and to collect my thoughts. I’m really adrift tonight in a sea of thoughts that are so tangled up I can’t pull them apart to comprehend them. I’m feeling a little numb emotionally. I’m not happy nor am I sad. I don't feel angry or frustrated just something else, this nebulous stasis where nothing is moving. I feel stuck but the frustrating thoughts that would normally accompany such a feeling seem very distant. I know they’re out there on the horizon but they can’t get to me. I feel like I’m right smack in the center of the eye of a large hurricane of emotion. It’s calm and peaceful as if all the troubling emotions are being kept at bay by something strong and unseen.

I’m grateful for the distance of emotion tonight. I have of late been thinking mostly of my troubles, my struggles, my challenges and pain. I could dwell on my woes and worries but I just can’t bring myself to exert the energy to articulate them just now. It’s almost as if somewhere I’m clearly thinking that the more I write about them and tell the story, the more these things are reinforced in my sphere of existence and I can’t say that I’m really on board with doing that any more. Maybe it’s simply time to acknowledge painful things and decide to really let them go, cut all associated cords and just let them fall away. If only doing that would line up the physical sensations and emotions as quickly as the cords were cut. I know it doesn’t work that way. For the most part I think I just have to let go of hope for changing things that cannot be changed. The last cut is not the deepest for sure here and I really must just decide to truly let go. So, here in the dark with the moonlight flooding down through hazy clouds I imagine the cord between me and a certain other individual severed by angels with large glowing swords. Where the cuts have been made I say a prayer for healing those wounds once and for all and I take a deep cleansing breath and let it out slowly, emptying all remnants of the negative energy that connection once held. I’m free at last.

The emotions will wash over me in waves for some time but I’ll be prepared to handle them. The swells are out there beyond the wall of storm clouds I feel and they’ll come close and I’ll relax into it and drift keeping my head above the surface. When you relax into a current it carries you. When you fight it you tire and go under too easily. I’m not going under any more, the weight of the cord has been lifted and already, sitting here alone in the moonlight, I feel so much lighter, a bit relieved but still numb. I feel very alone suddenly. Physically, I’m always surrounded by family, co-workers and friends so I’m not physically alone. This is an imaginary feeling of loneliness. It is not a real feeling and I think it’s my ego frustrated at not having its way or maybe not being able to change anything. It’s okay, that aspect of the being that is me will also get used to change, thinking differently and letting go. I don’t need any self-righteousness complicating my life. I don’t need frustration and pain inflicted on me from a certain direction any more. What I need is this peace. Rather than viewing this numb feeling as something bad, I’m starting to see it as protection. Whatever holds the emotions at bay is also protecting me from being completely overwhelmed so I need to just appreciate that.

There are times in life when the silence is deafening. The silence tonight, out here in the dark is comforting. If I listen real hard I can hear the wind rustling the leaves in the trees. I can hear the tiny metal boxes rushing to destinations with occupants not giving a second thought to their journey. I can hear slight movements of people close by. It feels good knowing my fellow humans are close by and I realize now that my woes are like a tiny grain of sand at the bottom of a sea of other humans with problems more prolific than mine. Again I feel small and insignificant. Maybe that’s part of it too, I don’t want to be insignificant. I know of four souls who will never consider me so and they know that I’ll always feel the same. I have a desire I’m wrestling with and I’m not sure why, perhaps its something I really should also let go of…not forever but just for a time until other areas of my life grow more peaceful.

I send up a prayer in the dark for those who are struggling by far worse than I. I pray for my mom, I pray God has sent a host of angels to watch over her. I say a prayer for my children and for my ability to continue to live up to my responsibilities regarding their love and care. I sit quietly now just relaxing in this temporary place of no movement of significant thoughts. I come to terms with it feeling like it does and realize I should do what I always do, just relax into this feeling, see it as a gift instead of something to worry about and know that my faith and trust in myself, our Maker and my world are strong and all will be well as it always turns out to be for us. Again I look up at the sky grateful for a moment to appreciate the view, for a moment to think, for a moment to acknowledge my path and direction no matter how obscure it might seem at the present. I pull myself up, pause for a moment looking at the lights inside my home. I smile knowing the love that exists in that tiny little place and feel pure gratitude for the opportunity to be at the helm within it. Life might be hard at times for us but love will always keep us together and help us help each other make it through.

My thought for today is that there are just days where the thoughts won’t seem to come. There are days when the problems are apparent and solutions nebulous and dissipating like smoke. There are days when love reigns supreme and there are days you can’t feel it at all. There are days you feel weak and small and there are days where you radiate strength and competence. No matter what the challenge of the day is, one thing is true…you will get through it and the only way to get through it is one breath at a time, one moment at a time, one step at a time, one thought at a time. Having faith in life, in God’s plan, in the love you have inside pulling you through both your darkest and brightest hours is key. May God bless you and yours, may He keep you and yours safe, healthy and happy and provide you all with an abundance of love and blessings to comfort you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I used to be a Rock/I used to be an Island

I remember once a friend played a song for me. It was the song by Simon and Garfunkle, "I am a Rock...I am an Island." That song used to be an inadvertent theme song for me. It defined my actions. I grew up in a world where you could not trust the people you loved and the people you thought loved you. To trust them with your worries and cares meant you’d be hurt, let down and discarded. I learned then that it was important to never need anyone, to do everything alone and on my own and never, ever let anyone in because there just wasn’t anything worth seeing in there any way.

Those were very sad and lonely days. Oh, I played a good game. There weren’t many who knew who I really was except for those that I did allow to get close…the ones that got so close that I had to run away from. I lived my whole life that way. A martyr of sorts is what I was. Taking on life’s hard knocks and dealing with it all on my own. I was a great success and became a very strong and resourceful woman as a result but I was terribly lonely. I held this belief that if I really needed someone they would reject me and not be there for me. Secretly inside I was so needy because I didn’t know how to fill myself up with joy and happiness so I just went without it. Life was all about responsibility, not what I wanted or needed. I didn’t allow myself to need anyone or anything. I couldn’t. I just didn’t have it in me.

I’m not sure what changed it. When my ex played that song for me and said that song was me and I listened to the words for the first time with my heart wide open, I cried. I cried for a month nearly straight. I was so tired, so lonely, so frustrated and I really wanted to change how I thought. I’d test the other way from time to time with people who weren’t worthy of my trust and I was proven right in my old ways until I realized my actions were right but the people I put my trust in were wrong. Then I decided to figure out why my choices were so off. I spun myself back into childhood and analyzed all that went wrong and realized that I was cheated. I should have had parents I could trust and people who loved and cared for me instead of leaving me mostly to care for myself emotionally. I spent a lot of time with an angry 7 year old inside of me, then a rebellious 14 year old and then a lonely self-destructive 21 year old. I dealt with the pains of these significant ages representing rights of passage. I let the pain and anger of these times hit me squarely in the heart with the full realization that I didn’t ever have what I wanted but I sure did get what I needed…some hard life lessons that turned out for the better.

I look back now and don’t feel so much anger. It has long since been healed and I say to myself “it was what it was.” The people around me did the only things they knew how to do. Addicts are too self-centered to give the love and nurturing a child needs but, my parents…God love them, did the perfect thing for me. They showed me what a parent should be. Sometimes they showed me in the positive but mostly they showed me in the negative. My dad taught me the joys of playing with children. He used to pitch me the baseball, play catch, we’d throw the football, shoot the bb gun at targets in the back yard. I learned the importance of parental participation in such things. Those were some of my best memories. Even my mom did some things right. When I was 12, she would buy girly magazines and markers for me and keep me busy by using the markets to draw makeup on the models in the book, paint their nails and draw new clothes for them. She taught me to draw and have a creative outlet. She was very creative and positive in the old days at moments. I learned the importance of quiet time. She also taught me the way to befriend a child and have silly fun. Those were the good moments that I cherish today. I try to think of those moments when my mind drifts to more recent pain-filled events.

I learned that my whole life I just wanted to please some body so they could see that I was good inside and worth their time and effort, their friendship and their love. I didn’t believe that on my own so needed people to help reinforce that for me. I had some success but mostly failure. I finally, eventually, learned how to fill myself up and make myself happy but I had to start at the beginning by seeing where I learned bad habits and triggers and develop new ways to handle myself in the future. I started to work on healing my old wounds and noticed my relationships improved in many ways although they still ultimately ended with letting people go. Again, I let the wrong people in. I think I’ve grown a bit now. I’m single and dating and being selective in how I date and who I date. I’ve got ones I care for and ones that are just friends. I’m enjoying the process of getting to know people and being very open about who I am…I’m just not looking for a man’s approval of who I am in order to find happiness any more. I’ve learned to be happy on my own and have been presented with unique opportunities to learn more about what is out there.

Someday I want to be ready for the right man but I have to learn more about men, learn more about what it is that I want in a partner and then have experiences to help me truly understand what I want. It’s not easy. My old habits involved finding someone, engaging in reciprocal narcissism, mistaking that for love, committing and then one day waking up and feeling like I’m not in love any more and made a mistake. I don’t want to wake up like that again. I want to find someone that I love truly for who they are and someone not interested in engaging my ego but getting to know me, what goes on inside of me, seeing the world from my perspective, trying to understand me and appreciating me for who I really am. I can spot the difference and know when I’m settling for a Bandaid to fill a temporary need. I’m not ready for a serious relationship at the present and that’s not because I’m scared…I think I’m too at risk of engaging in old habits because I’m very emotional…so, I’m taking my time…spending it where I choose to and getting to know new people. I’m letting them in, being real, being who I am instead of morphing into someone they want me to be. That is such a colossal step for me and I’m proud of myself.

Environmental psychology shaped me intensely and severely clipped my wings a long time ago. After finding much healing, I’m finding my wings returning and I’m learning once again how to fly in relationship matters. It’s difficult and I falter quite a bit still but I keep landing on my feet and remaining open to flight. I’m not jumping into anything for a while but rather just trying to get my bearings, see where I’m flying and if nothing else, my vision is growing acute and I’m very in touch with my emotions. I love that. Life is so much richer outside the mile high steel walls I used to pretend weren’t there and hide behind. I’m not hiding any more. It feels strange and sometimes I don’t know what to do or what to say and in such cases I just don’t force it, I just go with the current and observe. It’s interesting, rewarding and the feelings are amazing. I’m free to choose what I want to do with my life and who I want to spend my time with. I like having choices. I like being open and even when it hurts, I’m mindful that the pain is a necessary part of growth for me.

I know that very soon, I will be ready for love. That is ultimately my goal…to find real love, not reciprocal narcissism, not someone to fill a nebulous need I should fill myself and not someone to carry me. I can carry myself but I’m learning now when it’s okay to lean on someone and the right someone’s to lean on. It’s all progress. I’ve been really screwed up in my thinking about relationships for a very long time. I won’t hold back just because I’ve made mistakes though. I’ll fly. I will. And I’ll love with all of me and I’ll know what real love is from another and I will cherish that. I’m almost ready. I’m so close now. It’s a beautiful thing to see where I’ve been and to see where I am now. My thinking has changed so much. I’m grateful for all the loves I’ve had even though I’ve screwed them up something royal. My past loves introduced me to a me I never really knew. From that perspective, I have absolutely no regrets. I may be judged harshly for my mistakes in love and I suppose that is fair. I’m human and I have made mistakes in my past. But I have learned, or at least I think so.

So, clearly my thoughts tonight deal with romantic love and relationships. I’m readying myself for something I’ve never known before. I feel it’s coming and when it does, I wish to cherish every moment, every breath and every movement of it. Words of advice I have, and take its worth for the paper it’s written on, be real, be who you really are and let your potential mate or existing mate see all of you, the invisible broken arms and legs and all. Take accountability for your faults and foibles. Be proud of who you seem to be. Be honest about how you feel about the ones you are with even if they don’t feel the same way. It doesn’t make you less if your feelings are not returned and you still benefit for having loved to begin with. I’m one who believes that it is love that brings us here. It is love that gives us hope, courage and faith and it is love that will always bring us home.