Honor Yourself

I disappear.

When I’ve been hurt that’s what I do. I cut all ties, take my losses and move on. I refuse to be where I’m no longer loved. Unfortunately, patterns of dependency need extremes. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it wrong. People are driven by habits. They don’t let go when they can find their ego being right.

This doesn’t mean I don’t mourn. It doesn’t mean I don’t revisit lovers or friendships or relatives in my thoughts and dreams. It just means that I need to honor my feelings deeply. I need to love from afar. I need to continue loving them from over here instead of over there.

Relationships don’t break without reason. At least not for me. It takes a while. I am non-confrontational. I will avoid arguments. I will avoid judgments. I will avoid negativity. I don’t tolerate name calling or demoralizing behavior. When I finish something it is because I’ve tried other ways to reason and speak calmly. When I have tried for some time and nothing changes I am done. It might be a character default because at times it leaves the other party speechless and deeply hurt. People need closure and I am not kind with that. I feel if they look back they may be able to trace where and how things became disconnected. That would also mean they have to take some accountability for their actions.

This is not for everyone. Most people need the finality with reasoning. I find this alone. There are times in the middle of the night that I wake yearning for those folks. I go into meditation. I forgive them and myself. I visit them in the best of light…when things were yummy and wonderful. I don’t focus on the crap. The hurt disappears. We are human. I hurt them. They hurt me. We move on. To hold on to the past is a waste of precious time now. The presence of sacredness is vital for me to live in harmony.

Who do you need to forgive? Is it yourself? Whomever it is please do it. Write them a letter and burn it. Write it for you. Make your peace and stop carrying old wounds of yesterday. Anger, hurt, jealousy, hate…they are destructive aspects that are birthed from a lower frequency. Your mind controls them not the other way around.

Every person in your life has been a teacher. You’ve learned so much from the good and the bad. Accept this life as one giant classroom of spiritual growth. Keep graduating. Keep growing and expanding your consciousness.

Sending love to all. Let go. Keep letting go and return to a harmonious state of being by accepting and living in your authentic truth. Honor that!!!

Retrospect on Letting Go

It’s Sunday…day of retrospect. This came up in meditation this morning. I’ve had many say that I allow people to push me around and I easily forgive. I cannot live my life holding grudges. I refuse to waste time sending anyone hurt. It comes back like a boomerang.

Never ever wish them anything but love. Every single event and situation in your life has molded you to be this person. You are not a victim. You forgive. That’s what you do. You let go and move on. It isn’t easy because the Ego insists in seeing victorious endings on your part. Hurt people require stories that attract attention. But, regardless if it’s family, friendships or strangers please gift yourself the ability to move on.

Remove the toxic folks and situations from your life. Wish them well. Wish them happiness. Your pain is the greatest teacher. Use that pain for growth and a positive outlet. You choose how you gracefully move through it. You can let it consume you and make you sick, or you can rise above it. It comes down to self-care and self-love.

Don’t get me wrong…sometimes it takes a long time to get to the point of forgiveness. Sometimes you have to process and reprocess and then let go. And even when you believe it’s all healed it might appear just a little more to remind you that the work isn’t over yet. There is something deeper to learn from it. Ugh! It’s yucky.

Not one single person is worth you entertaining hate. Not one! You never know the things that provoke another to act as they do. Karma takes care of things in order to balance out the universe. Just love! You aren’t required to like it (or like them) but love and forgive. And in that frequency you actually shift consciousness. ~m.a.p.

Life Surrounded by Hope

hope

Long ago in the midst of a horrible separation I wrote my ex a letter in Spanglish expressing how I felt during the many years of our union.  In those days I took very little responsibility for what I brought into that relationship.  It was easier to blame him for most of it. It was comforting to tell the stories of victimization and believe I had no handle in things.  I am embarrassed to say that my ego was huge.  It was arrogance and an unwillingness to take participation in the choices I had made.  In this letter I expressed that Hope was a thing of the past.  I, in full blown sarcasm, told him that Esperanza (which is Hope in Spanish) was an old woman living in Peru on some mountain, and that she didn’t live in our relationship anymore.  Hope was not available. The blame from both of us was atrocious.  It was disturbing how at one time we might have gotten the magic and then 18 years later it was nowhere to be found.  Infidelities and other distrusting behaviors had sent “Esperanza” somewhere back to South America.  Whether he got the sarcasm or read between the lines of so much hurt, is beyond me.  I wrote the letter in Spanish and in parts that had no translation I stuck with English.  At this point I could have used a billboard to express how I was feeling and it would not have mattered.  We were past the point of reconciliation and respect.  The he-said-she-said game was well-past due.  The hurt was astronomical.

These days, years later, I try desperately to find grace and hope living in my heart.  When I make a mistake I step back and try to take accountability for it.  I am still human and ego is still very present.   The only difference now is that I am grateful for the lessons that come my way.  Esperanza has returned to my life.  She lives deeply in the corners of my home, heart, and relationships.  Esperanza had to disappear in order for me to learn those things that needed to be ingrained.  The universe whispered a lot in those days.  Then it would speak louder.  Finally, when it would scream I was physically in danger.  It took a lot of physical power to get me to listen.  My tenacious and stubborn ways have been the biggest personality downfall.  I am gentler with my spirit now.

The truth is that Hope never left my side.  Hope was there when I signed over my half of the company to him; when I sold everything to leave my home; when I abandoned our beautiful house that took years to short sell and make zero on it; when I began living a life of authentic truth.  Hope knew I would survive.  Grace joined in and pushed me to strengthen my dignity and integrity.   Hope didn’t disappear. It was actually there quietly waiting to be acknowledged. I began to forgive myself, and in the process forgave him for all that was done…because he did what he could under his capacity. He has his own stories.  And, now we can talk and feel nothing but respect for one another.

Happiness and misery live simultaneously inside.  They are a matter of choice and perception. Do you see hope in the distance? Do you see darkness around you all the time?  To lose hope is to lose everything. And, in those moments it is when hope is truly present.  It is an oxymoron.  I thought I had lost my dear Esperanza, sending her off to some remote place.  Hope was merely sitting and waiting for my presence.  Once I was aware of the lessons, experiences, choices and journey everything fell back into alignment.  I moved to North Carolina to live on top of a mountain which was always my dream.  I have been able to strip self-worth issues, and live with the absence of blame on others.  I am responsible only for me.  My life has brought me here while Hope held my hand.

Where is Hope taking you? Who is holding all of your dreams and desires waiting on you to align with them?  Be aware of your thoughts, illusions and reality.  Feel the presence of love, compassion, forgiveness and truth.  You are always in the care of the Divine!

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

Let it RAIN

let it rain

An amazing friend, Aubrey, came by today. If I believed in gurus he would be mine.  His perception and teachings of the world put things in a magical perspective for me…always. Just having him here for a little while was enlightening. I don’t say that lightly. He has life experiences that go beyond what most people witness on a day-to-day basis. He works with mental health and helping beautiful souls get back on their feet. He sees brokenness, desperation, and destitution in many levels. In reality I am grateful for the support system of amazing friends who are like-minded individuals with much to offer in the area of healing. Aubrey is on top of the list.  Listening to him always puts my life lessons in perspective. My stories are nothing. They aren’t the nuts and bolts of anything mechanical that can’t be fixed by me. I am self-sufficient and grateful for each path that has allowed me to develop consciously into a spiritual walk.

Aubrey has always studied Buddhism and has learned to incorporate it into psychology. This is a philosophical teaching that I, too, share with a passionate interest. As an avid reader I am drawn to mindfulness, metaphysical and conscious awareness of daily living. Even with the theories and theological objectivity I find it challenging to put into practice every single moment! But today, he mentioned the Buddhist principle of R.A.I.N. and how it has allowed him to stop and see things in his life with a mindfulness attitude.

R = Recognize.  Recognizing whatever is bothering you and reacting to it firsthand is pivotal.

A = Accepting or Allowing.  Whatever is happening or occurring you must take accountability.  You are only responsible for you and your reactions to things.

I = Investigate or Inquire.  Analyze what is happening and question all possible routes to your issues. Why is this annoying me?  How did I allow this issue to jolt me this way?  Be your own investigative reporter for your story.

N= Not-identify.  Accept that a feeling is just that…an emotion.  Do not take it or own it.  This is the hardest part for most of us.  We are so self-judgmental.  We keep telling ourselves the stories of what has been programmed into our little heads.  And, we choose to believe the worst of everything.  By not identifying you can allow the situation to pass.

I don’t know if Aubrey saw the lights come on or the bells ringing as he finished his sharing and his insightful teachings. These bells sounded like cathedral chimes in my head. I am deeply aware that we are only able to tell the stories that we believe of ourselves (most are pretty darn depressing and negative). We are the truth of each experience but only to the Ego. In spirit we are nothing but the journey. This is why I pray and meditate each day. It is a struggle to be present at times. It is an ongoing exploration of mindfulness especially when there is so much going on in my life. This is exactly when I need to be in deeper awareness. When things are going great there is no need to fill the space with this commitment. We cannot move forward without recognizing and accepting those things that eat at us. Challenges and obstacles reshape us. They force us to inquire about what the soul wants and needs. Ultimately it is not anyone’s business what you think of me and vice versa. The only opinion worth keeping is the utmost value I should be placing on the self.  End of story.

A life without prayer, contemplation, meditation and/or daily self-reflection becomes an empty shell. If you cannot find the time to do this then you are not living authentically. The body needs rest.  The mind needs acknowledgment. And, the spirit needs reflection.  All three bodies need maintenance otherwise we are acting like robots waiting on the next cue to keep moving forward. What do you want? What calls for you? What brings you joy? What is bothering you or eating at you? Why is this important? Why are you allowing another person to dictate your feelings? Whenever you think of this how does your gut feel? If you don’t follow the whispers of spirit they will get louder through illness, ailments, and breakdowns. Follow your yearnings, accept your truths, be kind to your spirit, and participate on self-love. Be the love that you want from others.

The space and times of being alone to contemplate, pray or meditate do not need to be drastic. Take 10 minutes and move outward. Live for your spirit. Trust the whispers. Let it R.A.I.N.  Let it pour through a way that is priceless to your divinity. And, most of all make time to laugh! Laughter uncovers the depth of hurt, malice, and brokenness. You cannot be joyous and depress at the same time. Choose wisely through mindfulness. You are here now and that’s priceless!

(thank you, Aubrey, for being such a beautiful light in my journey)

Forgiveness is an Act of Will

forgiveness

A lot has been appearing about forgiveness the past few weeks. A dear friend called me for advice on something. She asked me to meet her at a cafe and we sat outside on a gorgeous spring day. She began her saga and before I could tell her what I thought she said, “I know what you are gonna say. ‘Let it go and forgive…karma has his address.’ But, I cannot and will not let it go.” I asked her why she wanted my help when she was going to do whatever she wanted to do? She apparently just wanted someone’s permission. And, this I did tell her. I don’t condone that saying, “An eye for an eye.” I cannot relate to getting back at anyone for their wrongdoings. I am not programmed that way. I believe the universe has a way of keeping tally and it’s not for me to return the hurt and damage. I am not so much a pacifist as I am a believer that what goes around, comes around.

Here is what I know about forgiveness: it’s never for the other person. When I forgive it’s for me to let go. I forgive in order to let go of my own betrayal in not trusting God. I know I’ve been heavily criticized and judged by many closed to me for letting things go so easily. I have been known to abandon a horrible situation and not look back. I truly just let it all go. When I am at that point of desperation, anxiety and emotional crisis I have to gather my integrity and just head out the door. I’ve lost an endless amount of money, careers, homes and relationships because I refuse to entertain someone else’s insanity. I refuse to degrade my spirit into enabling their own hurt. All I can do is wish them well and keep moving forward. It’s not easy! I don’t leave a situation all airy-fairy dancing in joy. I leave depleted and exhausted with pain. I truly believe with every cell that when a person hurts you it’s because they are heavily hurt. Most people do not take responsibility for their actions or their drama. It’s easier to point to another person. So that hurt will become severe as time passes. Me, retaliating and hurting them is not the answer. I only know that walking away…starting over…just letting things take their course, is the way I am designed to function and forgive. It might not be for anyone else. But, it is for me! It’s the only way I can sleep at night, knowing that I have forgiven and have placed the events in some compartment of compassion. I establish the experience as a powerful lesson…and onto to the next one!  Sometimes this happens in a short span of time.  Other times it takes longer, but never do I regret walking away!

I am certain I’ve hurt many along the journey of my life. I am one of the most imperfect tenacious souls I’ve ever encountered. I don’t deliberately go out of my way to harm anyone but I do know that when we don’t act in accordance to what another expects, hurt is birthed in a situation. Our expectations of each other create disappointments. Our own past issues keep mirroring and re-enacting so we learn powerful life lessons.

Sometimes it takes a while for me to let things go…but when I do, the ache is no longer there. Those who have hurt me have been released from me. They are free. I can speak with them, see them in the street, and feel absolutely nothing but compassion. I don’t have to avoid them or be malicious with them. I simply move along and allow them to be who they are.  They no longer owe me anything because I have released them from that obligation. They are struggling with their own issues. As humans we are just trying to make it through this expedition alive until the day we are not.

I asked my friend what she would get out of hurting this person who has hurt her so deeply. She said, “Peace!” I told her there is no peace in revenge. There isn’t anything but more hurt. Sure, she would get satisfaction from returning pain but eventually that would bite her back in the ass. I begged her never to ask me for that kind of advice. I cannot tolerate the idea of purposely hurting another just because it helps that person clear their ego. Ego has a way of playing us into stupid trickery. It will create elaborate plotting and scheming ideas to feel that it has won. I don’t entertain that kind of behavior. The higher you go on the chain of evolution the less you hold on to regrets, resentments, anger and other lower vibrational frequencies.

You know when you’ve grown? When you no longer hold another in your painful thoughts. You know when you’ve evolved spiritually? When you only wish them the very best in spite of what they caused you. You know when life is providing true freedom? When you see the hurt coming way before it arrives and you simply accept it and move on. You set boundaries and are no longer a doormat, but you allow for those experiences to teach you about your humanness. Oprah has said, True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”

Letting go is not easy. It’s not a cliche that we can swallow when we are angry and full of resentments. It’s sometimes the struggle that creates such a distressful sense of anxiety. But, letting go of the past, traumas, events, atrocities, and anything else actually creates a sense of BEing. You eventually begin to find balance through gratitude for those life assignments. You deserve a serene state of consciousness. Your higher soul will provide the most favorable lessons for the evolution of your spiritual growth. It’s up to you to accept them and move on. Forgiveness, in every sense of the word, is gracious and merciful. Don’t let hurt keep you in a prison of your own hatred.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~Steve Maraboli

Healing From A Broken Heart

 

broken heart love

You meet someone. You fall deeply in love and then life happens and the relationship ends. Sometimes it’s timing. Other times it’s through the loss of death. And yet, in many other cases it was the need to mature and grow as individuals apart. A dear friend recently asked me, “How can you continue in other relationships? What do you do when you realize that your heart belongs to someone else?” I pondered long and hard. I thought about my own love affairs, those who still hold and tug my heart in places that I will never release. But, in a world that is driven by romance novels and movies it’s really difficult to decipher what you should do when the heart chooses to love another. It’s almost impossible to explain to another what you are feeling inside. I couldn’t answer my friend at the time, but here are six questions to ask in order to heal from an intense break-up:

1. Was he or she really “the one?” We perceive that there is only “one” great love. There could be many “ones.” There might be “the one” who knew your every move and story; the one who was the best kisser; the one who was the best comedian; the one who loved your children. “The one” is a concept we have created to personalize that one person who was the best at a certain thing. The worst thing you can do is tell another who is hurting, “time heals all wounds,” or “you will heal from this.” There is no time limit on hurt and grieving. The heart knows what it wants. Sometimes we neglect to appreciate what we have until it’s over. It’s a human default. It has little to do with intelligence. The heart may just be owned by an ex forever. You can try to substitute it with drugs, alcohol, sex or other addictions, but it’s truly difficult to move on. And, that’s okay! You don’t have to figure things out today. It might take years before making peace with how you feel. Every so often, those loves re-enter our lives. Because of lessons and growth, we appreciate them in a profound level that was never there before.

2. What was the thing that connected you? When we are in other relationships we create a false perception of what we are missing. Life happens through us, not to us. People move on. We are bombarded with quotes about missing love, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is a reason you are now in another relationship. This person touched you in some way. There was a new connection. But, there are also those who do not move into other relationships. They are paralyzed by the loss. The connection was over. Can you remain friends with an ex-lover? Can you still partake in their lives without sex? Can you continue that relationship while starting another? These are questions only you can answer honestly.

3. What did you learn from the relationship? Every relationship brings lessons. There is a time and place for each one. The deeper the connection, the harder the challenges. Intense relationships have a way of turning us upside down, right side up and in circles. They don’t just go away after they have existed in your life. It doesn’t matter if it was a love affair in your teens, a two-week fling, or years of sharing a life with children and family. Relationships force us to grow and learn in ways that can break and mend us. If you can revisit with that person, what would you say to him/her? What would you say was their purpose in your life? Cutting past chords of love is truly difficult when you know that your heart was given solely to that person. It’s never easy to take full responsibility for our behaviors. How you act with another is a reflection of your own insecurities.

4. Was it lust or love? We tend to mix the two. Lust drives us to lose our minds in the process of sharing with a lover. We feel things in a physical level that clouds the mind. Love, however, will continue to poke and force you to stay without restrictions. Ask yourself if it was a physical relationship or one that transcends through time? Some lovers leave imprints that cannot be forgotten. In bed it was magical, but outside in the real world, it was disastrous. You must decide if what you are missing is the sexual connection or was this a life partner that completely had your back in all your decisions?

5. Why did it end? This is one of the most honest questions you can ask yourself. You can make a mistake once. If you make it more than that it is considered a decision. You chose to stay or leave. There is usually a pattern that you can track. Was he or she selfish with their time and needs? Was it a possessive relationship? Where you taken for granted? Did you feel appreciated? Where you heard and understood? Was it timing? You may ask yourself many other questions. There is always one or two authentic reasons that the relationship ended (unless death pulled you apart).

6. Are you replacing him/her with another without healing? Most people have no clue that they will enter other relationships with similar traits. Awareness is absent when hurt takes over. How do you get over someone that made you come alive? Often times you replace them with familiarity. Being honest with yourself about how you feel in this new relationship will serve as a marking point. It’s not fair to your new mate, or yourself, if you are still holding on to another who (you feel) stole your heart. Healing doesn’t happen over night. Healing requires pulling out roots and seeing things without pointing the finger to your ex. Healing is about you and coming to terms with the reality that maybe, perhaps, your instincts were letting you know that the relationship was toxic. Not all lovers raise us to the highest form of love.

How do you heal from a past love? There is no one set answer. I am definitely no expert in matters of love. Each person is different. What I do believe is that you must take care of yourself. You must find a place to love yourself beyond anyone else. It’s not selfish. It’s not egotistical. It’s self-love. It’s imperative to allow time the space to gently introduce another in your life. Jumping from one to another adds to the intensity of loss. Your heart might never feel what it did with “the one,” but a new “one” might just show you a deeper form of love that reflects who you really are.

 Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” ~ Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

The Power of Loss

loss

You’ve known loss. I’ve known loss. We have all lost someone, something, and at times even ourselves. We lose. That’s what entails living. We gain and we lose. I have lost loved ones to death, to misunderstandings, to circumstances, and to the world. I have lost myself more times during the process of growth and expansion than I care to remember. This happens. It must in order to grow. I wish we didn’t have to go through disappointments, despair, loneliness, shame, catastrophe, wreckage, and anything under the umbrella of misfortunes.

When I was in my twenties I lost a man whose absence changed the perspective of what I thought I deserved in love. He would become the love gauge of what and how I should be loved. It would take years to feel the assurance of what I should have in the love department. He asked me to marry him, I said yes, and three days later, at the age of 25, he died in a car accident. Just like that…gone!  One minute making plans to marry me and adopt my two boys…and in a second the emptiness and destitution of nothing. It’s been over 20 years since that moment and the heartache that it produced has finally stopped aching. The loss, however, never has. 

The thing about loss is that the grief it carries is inexplicable. Its shame is unpredictable. He’s still around in my dreams, in words someone says, in a smile a stranger might give me, in a look another might have. He’s in books and movies and many relationships. He’s still in me because no matter what happens every person who enters our existence leaves a imprint. It is never erased. Some leave them deeper than others. And, every other relationship that has existed in my life has also visited those scars and places of loneliness. In the beginning the shame that arrived for me still living and him being gone was incomprehensible. However, I held on to love. I held on to the beauty of forgiveness and knowing that he passed my life to better it…not to create a trauma so large that I would stop loving forever. The choice to continue loving is one of pure courage. Who the hell wants to feel that pain again? Why would anyone want to take the chance to feel that loss once more?

Here is the thing…to shut yourself off from the world is insanity. It is a great injustice. We are not made to live without love. We are not made to put up walls. We are to continue growing through those losses. I’ve lost no more and no less than anyone else. I have lost physically and mentally while in those losses I have doubted my humanity, my self-worth, and my ability to keep going. I have loved time and time again and have been hurt. I have left the warmth and comfort in not wanting relationships to then dive in and get hurt. I have been ruptured and stitched up again. I have seen the beauty in mindful love and the downside of giving all I am. It’s been worth the ride. 

I remember telling someone that a break like that truly feels like a giant crack inside. I believe it is then that the fracture allows for the heart to expand and grow to love deeper. Perhaps I am delusional. I just know that the times that I have ended relationships, or death has taken someone, the pain is so immense that my soul needs time alone to recuperate. I literally feel the ache coming from my chest. It is in those moments that the tears wash everything out and I realize that faith is the only means of transportation. I have no regrets because the child in me only wants love and to be loved. If that entails loss…well that’s a mighty hefty price that needs to be paid. 

Love is part of conscious living. You must give it in order to breathe.

We are not exempt from disappointments, deaths, breakups, tragedies, and anything under the scope of loss. Loss is the vulture that cleans our insides. While it’s in there anger, resentment, guilt, shame, and a kaleidoscope of emotions rise. Loss eats every aspect of hope and then allows for new cells to rebuild. If we live long enough we will see the immense power of hatred as well as the magnitude of love. 

This is your life. This is my life. This is life. Do not confine yourself to a prison of safety by not opening your heart to the world. You will miss out in other ways that Spirit can gift you through the magic of love. You are not alone. May you find the courage to love again and again for the rest of your life!