Embrace your Fabulousness

forgive

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”~ Marianne Williamson

Matt, my husband, rolls his eyes and laughs most of the time when I compliment him.  It bothers me that he doesn’t see his fabulousness.  I find this man not only physically attractive but highly intelligent and stimulating.  He brings out the best in me as I am always in awed of him.  When I ask him, “Do you know how amazing you are?”  He asks me to “please stop.”  I tell him to take it and own it.  When the tables reverse and he compliments me I ask him to “please stop with the nonsense and go check his eye sight.”  Imagine that!  I have come to realize that we are the sums of those traumas from the past and all the peeps we handed our worth on platters.  It is time we take it back and stop fearing our greatness, fabulousness, and awesomeness!

I have never had a healthy acceptance of compliments, especially about my body or talents.  We can spend hours analyzing the root of this issue.  If hundreds of hours in therapy did not correct it I doubt that this post will.  But here is the thing I have learned about compliments and self-worth:  we truly fear them.  For the most part we hide behind what society expects from us. An older woman who was my neighbor at 18 (she was 94) said to me, “My sweet young woman, when someone hands you a flower what do you say?  You say ‘thank you.’ So, when a person compliments you look at them in the eyes (even if you don’t believe it) and accept the gift.”  Almost thirty years later I get the reason why.  If you are forced to share the moment and look at that person (stopping everything else in your head) you may see that they are genuine. We have been accustomed to disregard our worth, the natural beauty in our existence, and beat ourselves up because we can’t fit in some kind of social acceptance or perfection.

Body images change with fashion and fads.  Decades determine if size 10 is a healthy average woman’s size or size 2 is the new size 6.  Should your collar bones stick out so you can use them as soap holders? Should you plump up your lips like a bee stung them?  Is it healthy now to let your eyebrows grow out or should we still be plucking them into an arch that puts the shock factor on your face along with botox?  I can’t keep up, can you?  I stay away from those fashion magazines. I have never been good at following directions.

When I look in the mirror lately I don’t see myself.  It isn’t that I sit there examining.  I stare at the reflection brushing my teeth, often times in la-la land but catch a glimpse of a middle age woman who has come into her own.  I feel sexier now than I did in my twenties when I had a breast reduction, liposuction and the insane habit of dieting until I would faint.  I have many more laugh lines, wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. Each one of them maps out some incredible lessons.  I have a flabby but healthier body that climbs mountains, drinks wine, loves lattes, and at times indulges in some delicious dessert that I can’t pronounce.  And, yes, a few times a year I give everything a break and detox the middle age part of me giving up everything for a month or two or four until my friends beg that I go back to carbs, “please” because I am nicer when I eat junk.

I love watching the love of my life move.  I love studying his strong middle age body.  He might not like it but I find that each scar, dimple, and extra space is what allows more of him to love me.  Each time I embrace him I feel like I am with the sexiest man alive and I can’t understand why a magazine hasn’t posted this on their front page.  To me it is headline news.

As Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you not to” see yourself as beautiful?  Don’t let society determine what is beautiful. At what age do we stop worrying about body image, and what needs to be done, tucked, fastened, or covered up?  You are beautiful: curves, flab, scars, more or less.  It is the body given to you to journey on this life.  I don’t want to be perfect.  Hell no!  That’s a lot of pressure.  I want to be loved by those around me because of how I reflect parts of them.  If I can make you smile then I have done my part for the day.  These days when you hand me a compliment I will take it as a flower, put it in a vase, and relish that someone thinks I am special, beautiful or whatever else your spirit sees in me.  The returned words, “thank you” are magical in so many ways connecting us to each other.  Now go flaunt your spectacular-ness into the world.

 

Mastering the Art of Humility

magic

It is easy to love those who fall into our way of thinking, accept us for who we are, and coincide with our perspectives.  The challenge in loving unconditionally is accepting those who hurt us deeply.  There is a humble skill in not allowing the ego to enter self judgment.  Loving those who are easy to love does not provide the lessons in forgiveness, compassion and letting go.  It is the vengeful, the enemies full of anger and despair, betraying our trust who push us to search for the humility in love.

Sometimes turning the other cheek seems like a weakness.  Sometimes it is the only thing one can do engulfed in the silence of surrendering.  When we are in the presence of someone who hurts us it is a divine lesson.  It is impossible to see it this way when the pain and betrayal inflames the ego forming judgments.  It is heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, and despairing.  I am learning to see those folks as treasure givers.  They allow me to go within and see parts of myself I don’t really like.  These people become teachers in an intricate path of progress and a spiritual understanding of compassion.

Love has a million words, emotions, and theories.  It is attached to religions, politics, passion, relationships, and romance.  And, yet, in its simplest terms it is who we are, or should be.  We allow hurt from others because we love them in a way we expect them to love us in return.  Whenever our expectations of our individual realities do not match up this is when we hurt.

Throughout history we learn from the great masters, religious leaders, gurus and humble people how to forgive and love unconditionally.  Some of these masters were no different than us.  The one thing they knew how to do, in spite of atrocious betrayal and unspeakable acts, is their understanding that faith in something higher than themselves would allow love to cure all.

I am entering a place of humility with the past and those who have taught me to forgive.  It isn’t pretty.  I am still human and ego plays a huge role when I believe to be right in my actions. As I step away from my mind and enter my heart there is a calmness and assurance that it is okay to let go.  It is perfectly fine to step away and allow those folks who believe themselves to be right (because in their stories they are correct).  We have freewill.  We have the ability to rationalize, analyze and move on.

The art of humility is not easy. Often times the ego conjures it up as a weakness.  Through meditation, faith and divine compassion I am learning to shut it up and push it out.  May you see those who hurt you as amazing teachers in your journey!  Step back and realize that we are all in each others’ stories.  Some are good and some not so much…!  Ultimately love allows you to return to the divine you.   And, this is the place I have to continue to remind myself to follow because the “divine you” is God in each one of us.

 

My Secret

Come close.

I want to share a secret.

I love you.

I don’t know you well, but that doesn’t matter.

I love you for being here, listening,

reading, and being a part of my existence.

We are from different backgrounds, worlds apart,

have nothing in common, but I still love you.

Everything that breathes shares in my life.

Look at that tree.  See the leaves moving?

I love it too. 

Look at the ground , muddy, chaotic, smelly…

that’s one of my favorite loves.

Check out the dog chasing the cat.  Yes…smile. 

There’s a real Tom and Jerry.  I love them too.

The man over there lying with a cup by him on the station floor?

Yep. Him too.

The woman talking to herself?  Yes, she’s my love as well.

Oh, the nasty personality at the convenient store?  Yeah…he’s love as well.

And, that teenager over there plotting and scheming with a knife…

he is definitely my love.

It doesn’t matter what and who you believe I still love you.

We may never see eye to eye but that doesn’t mean I can’t send you prayers,

wish you well, and love you for the soul you are meant here on earth.

We are all here on a cosmic journey.

Our geography is different.  Our lives share no comparisons.

But, why complicate things with boundaries, lines of prejudice and bigotry?

The only reason we are here is to learn and love. 

So, I refuse to fail this test.

Want to know the secret of my journey?

It’s you,

her,

him,

and them.  We are all in this together.

Thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life

even if it’s with a glance, a word, or by staying and participating in stories.

My life is not the same without you.  And, that’s the truth!

Heartbreak for Humanity

small acts

I’ve been a little under the weather the past few days.  I’ve been struggling with allergies and/or sinus issues.  Either way I am trying not to own the physical impairment.  Because I believe in Louise Hay’s theory of emotions (and misalignment in spirit) causing “dis-ease,”  I went to bed last night asking the Universe to show me what was causing me so much irritation.  I strongly believe my nasal irritation had something to do with external forces rather than environmental allergies.

I woke this morning with a deep sense of heartbreak.  I still was not feeling well.  I made it to the kitchen to answer a bunch of emails, drink coffee and say my morning prayers.  In the midst of it all I broke down in tears over the cup, tears flowing into the java.  What the hell is wrong with me?  The answer came in an echo…”the heartbreak of humanity.”

Recent events have caused me some heart ache with family members.  Lack of communication and perceptions have added to some major fall outs.  My best friend reminds me that everyone is struggling with their own demons.  She should know.  She works for the airline business as well as our center.   She sees the worst of the worst trapped up on a capsule.   She has learned that in most cases people project their own unhappy issues onto others.

Now weeks later, after the anger has somewhat subsided, I realize I am irritated by all the comments and separation.  I sat at the kitchen table wanting a do-over.  How could I have let these events happen without standing up for myself?  I should have called the players of this drama and said, “Thank you, but let’s get to the real issue here?”  I mean, why not allow my psychology degree work its magic?  Every part of my spirit knows that this has little to do with me, but rather a break in communication, unhappiness and ego status.  I feel that all the external jabber has passed an expiration date.  As much compassion as I tried showing these folks it hasn’t been enough.  At some point I began shielding my own ego.  I will never do that again.

So today I sat with tears racing down my face, my chest tightening up, and this complete sadness for humanity.  Why can’t we just get along?  I left the kitchen and crawled back into my warm bed.  My boyfriend turned over to say good morning to witness me squirming.  “What’s going on?” he asked.

“Why can’t humanity just get along?  Why can’t we love each other?  Why, why can’t we just find peace within the indifference? Why is everyone fighting to make irrelevant points even when it is so ridiculous?”  I am sure the last thing he imagined was another hippie-I-believe-in-unicorns moment.  He is not a morning person.  Now imagine waking up to this drama?

I will not share his answers.  I think they are more of what I don’t need about reality.  I want to believe there is hope and some magical awakening to what is love, peace and divine light.  His military ways will not provide a fairy tale ending.  His motto is “hope for the best but expect the worst.” And this is fine.  He believes I am “too nice and live in an unrealistic world.  The world out there is not pretty, babe.  You are too trusting!”

Why am I so emotional lately?  Why has my heart opened up so much that I feel this ache for our world?  I read things on facebook that leave me feeling helpless.  I don’t watch the news but then the comments are left in other forms of media.  I find that we dive into the negative a lot more quickly and willingly than finding the light of optimism.  Have we been programmed so severely to believe there is no hope unless you believe in a certain group, religion, political affiliation, etc?  I don’t want to fix the world.  I just want to understand why I feel so broken inside when people, who are supposed to be on my side can create negative energy to bring me down (without even wondering what has happened).

I am reminded of a quote I recently read, “Faith means that you have peace even when you don’t have all the answers.”  And there you have it…I will have the faith needed to stop trying to make sense and allow God to do His job.  I ask, am I alone in these emotions, sentimental mumbo-jumbo, and perception?  Is there something going on mass consciously to stop others and wonder about our humanity?  Or, am I just overly sensitive and entering a new era of hot flashes and the hormonal roller coasters?

Our Love

I love you,

YOU here reading my words.

We are connected by the same

air, moon, sun, nights and days.

I love that you are tall, short,

every color and nationality.

I love your smile,

thoughts and dreams.

I love your inventions,

imagination, creativity,

and input in our world.

I love deeper because I know you

are there, here, in my space

of prayer and meditation

expanding our divinity

with this moment.

I love our degrees of separation,

the gaps in between not knowing,

and the possibility of meeting someday.

I love that the lessons are always love

and that love is in every lesson.

I love more naturally,

with vulnerability and depth

because you are somewhere

allowing me to be a part of you.

And even if our paths might never cross

I love you for taking a piece of me

in this single thought,

making a new story,

and allowing my presence

to linger in my words.