Category Archives: Purpose

On Purpose

When we feel we belong, when we feel we have purpose, we thrive. Not only do we feel more motivated to do our daily tasks, but we are also less likely to get stuck in depression or remain discouraged when various things in life don’t go our way – because the external events don’t take you off course from your purpose.

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Even if our set goals don’t work out as planned, we still see the bigger picture – the bigger PURPOSE, because goals aren’t our purpose. Goals are bullet points you put in place that enable to to act on your purpose.

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Your purpose is why you are here. Your purpose isn’t limited to one thing either. We can have many purposes in our life. Our purpose(s) aren’t what we “should” do, either, but rather what we feel in the depth of our heart, what we are called to do. And sometimes that isn’t always in line with what we want to do.

One of my purposes in life is to be the best mom I can be to my kids: to make them feel that they belong, to feel that they have a forever home, and to feel that they have an unconditionally loving and supportive family. In order to fulfill that purpose it takes work. I have to do things I don’t want to do, and be patient when I’m reeling inside and exhausted. I have to be a kind, loving, and cooperative co-parent with their father. That brings me to the other purpose: to be the best teammate I can be when working in collaboration with others.

When working on a team, this means I have to be considerate of their needs, wants, feelings, and also be patient and forgiving with them. If they slack off or drop the ball sometimes, I can extend compassion and patience, because I would want to be afforded that same level of patience and forgiveness when I inevitably screw up.

Being a good teammate is a learned skill. We aren’t born with it. It takes practice. In order to fulfill my purpose I have to practice it daily and look for opportunities in how I can apply it in my every day life. When I’m driving, I’m technically “collaborating” and working as a team with other drivers on the road to drive in a manner that does not reject their needs, desires, or safety. To do so I must be the best driver I can be. I should not text and drive, drink and drive, speed, or drive distracted, because to do so prioritizes MY desires over theirs, which is not good teamwork.

But putting others first NEVER means putting myself last. Being a pushover does NOT make a good teammate, because that would mean I’m lying to myself and others, and liars don’t make good teammates. When my teammates are not being a good teammate, I don’t need to hold resentment, because it is MY goal; it is MY purpose to serve as the best teammate, and my purpose may or may not be theirs. There is no “me” in team. It’s “we”. If I am thinking about doing something and my mind goes to, “well, what am I gonna get out of this?” it is best to simply not do whatever it is I was thinking of doing, because to do something in expectation of receiving something is NOT love. It is NOT good teamwork. I do it because it is in me to do it, because I want to do it, because it is action I choose to take (or not) to fulfill my purpose. To give with expectations of getting something in return is just begging to break my team with my bitterness and resentment. In being a great teammate, I know that my goal is not to shove the burden of carrying my emotional baggage onto someone else.

If I want to connect with them, and to share my feelings about their behavior, I know that the way I do that can be the way of a good teammate (loving, compassionate, open-minded, inquisitive, honest, and vulnerable), or like a bad teammate (accusatory, withdrawn, and resentful). Obviously, if I know what my purpose is, I know what I need to do.

Part of being a good teammate is being a good listener because it sends the message: what you have to say matters to me. Not just because I care about you, but because if I can’t understand you or where you’re coming from, I can’t serve my role as a good teammate very effectively. Being a good listener requires that I listen with the intention of understanding; not to judge, or respond, or defend my position.

The list goes on and on about how I can be a good teammate. But the point is, when we focus on our purpose, everything else just seems to make sense. Everything else just seems to “fall into place” just as it should. Every action or event in our life seems to perfectly serve our purpose. Every moment, every micro-moment, and every person that comes in and out of our lives has come to help you fulfill your purpose. Sometimes we think if they are not doing what we want them to do, they are not being a good teammate to us. We think they are trying to prevent us from achieving our goals. But what if we just changed the way we looked at things?

If you try to change the way you view the world, there is never a dull moment! Each opportunity is another grand opportunity for you to challenge yourself, to practice and polish your skills at whatever purpose you have, and become truly successful and fulfilled.

On Feeling Lonely

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A sinking feeling in my lower gut.
A dull feeling, almost that of feeling tired, sluggish, slow.
A lack of appetite.
A lack of feeling at ease.
A desire for distraction.

Run!
escape
Where is my phone? What’s on Facebook? Instagram?
Nothing.
Should I text someone? Start up a conversation? Will they sense my desperation?
What else can I look at, read, or do to take my mind off of things?
I know! I can work! I can bury myself in work. It makes me feel productive…
I’ll check email. All five accounts.
I’ll look at old pictures and re-read old texts.
Ugh, I feel worse.
Should I take a nap?

No matter where I ran, Lonely was right behind me. I couldn’t escape it.
The more I ran from it, it just got faster and bigger than me.
The more I hid from it, the louder it got.
The worse I felt.

So I decided to stop running from Lonely, look at it right in the eye and say…

“hello”

I was surprised at what I found:

Lonely was… me.
Not all of me. Just a part of me.
And she was beautiful.

She wasn’t the monster I had envisioned.
She wasn’t angry. She wasn’t crying. She wasn’t desperate and ugly.
She wasn’t weak and pathetic.
And when I looked at her right in the eye, she didn’t even make me feel any of those things I was feeling when I was running from her.

Lonely didn’t cause those feelings I was feeling.
It was running from her that caused them.

I asked her, “why were you chasing me? I was scared!”

She said, “why did you abandon me?”

Loneliness is an important part of us, and it is NOT the opposite of Joy. It’s a PART of Joy. You see, without Lonely we wouldn’t know Joy. Just like without Sad, we wouldn’t know Happy.

Joy expresses herself when we are with those that we cherish; Lonely expresses herself when we lose someone. It’s a beautiful part of us that tells us so much about ourselves. We aren’t “just Joy”, we are ALL of it on that spectrum.

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Lonely, in its hidden beauty, reminds us that we are human, that we are capable of and desire love, and that we care. It reminds us to keep our hearts soft, flexible, and open. It reminds us to say “sorry” when we make a mistake, and to forgive when we’ve been hurt. And that requires a tremendous amount of courage.

But the difference between Lonely and Joy is that Joy embraces us. Lonely requires that we embrace it.

There’s a fundamental rule in all relationships: that we can’t just take, take, take. We gotta give a little too. If all we do is sit and expect Joy to embrace us, Joy will leave us. So be brave and embrace Lonely. Don’t run. Just like you, all she wants is a hug and to be acknowledged.

Transformation and Healing in Relationships

pexels-photo-326625.jpegRelationships are created to assist both souls learn their lessons and balance their misdirected energy. When the lesson is learned, the karma is cleared and the contract has been fulfilled. Choosing to stay in these relationships becomes a choice. If both souls are willing to retrieve their lessons, step into a place of healing, and shift their consciousness, the relationship will evolve from one based on karma to one infused with the new energy and transformation.

Unfortunately, some souls do not always choose to evolve and heal. Some souls will choose to stay in the old energy where they will continue to recreate the same lessons over and over again, keeping them stuck in drama, trauma, and chaos. It will be very important for those of us choosing to take the high road (e.g., love) to not get caught up into other’s despair, confusion, and denial. This can be very hard to do because we care about the other person. However, we must respect their freedom to choose.

Compassionate detachment and discernment are absolutely necessary if we plan on continuing with our own personal healing and transforming our energy from hate into love. The one rule of all living things is our freedom of will, and many of us have given our freedom of will away. We must learn to say “no” when we need to, and “yes” when we feel it is for our highest good. Each of us must learn to stand in our own power and learn to discern what is a good investment of our time and energy.

Staying involved in toxic relationships will deplete us and keep us from moving forward (ultimately, it will keep the other from moving forward as well!) on our own soul’s advancement. The only person we are responsible for is our self. Everything outside ourselves is merely a reflection of the relationships we are having with our own inner being.

We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves, so when we make ourselves of equal value and stop sacrificing our energy in order to please others, we will build a sense of personal power, helping us to set up very strong boundaries. Keeping ourselves fully anchored on a love-based path by choosing not to get caught up in relationships that suck us dry and deplete our energy is not selfish; it actually serves the whole of humanity. We cannot be of service to humanity if we continue to allow others to pulls us down into the lower ego-based energies of confusion, chaos, denial, limited beliefs, addiction and drama. We need to pull ourselves out of denial and be really honest with ourselves and ask if our current relationships are based on Love or fear.

If they are based in fear, you will need to love yourself enough to disengage from anything that is disempowering and does not serve your highest good. Recognize your mistakes, bringing them into your awareness so you can transcend them. All mistakes should be immediately dealt with so the imbalanced energy will not be returned to you. The relationships here are the toxic ones where there is a split. One soul chooses to awaken and step into their empowerment, while the other soul chooses to stay in denial and refuses to change and accept responsibility for their unconscious creations. These souls will no longer be a good match, and will only create continued disharmony for each other. It will be up to you to listen to your heart when it tells you your contract with another soul is complete.

The only person who can decide this is you. You have total free will to choose which relationships serve you and which ones deplete you. If this relationship is meant to be a part of your life, give it the space it needs to heal. Release it with Love knowing that it will be returned to you if it is for your highest good. The highest way we can be of service to others is to stay in the higher vibrations of love, joy, peace, compassion, forgiveness and understanding, setting an example for others to follow.

On person holding their mastery core and radiating their energy can transmute the fear energy of hundreds of people who choose to keep themselves in limitation and fear. Set an example that others will want to follow. When we remain in the higher frequencies we lift each other up!

Each of us will need to stay in alignment with our spirit, listen to our heart, and choose not to allow other people’s unconscious behaviors, motivated by their ego, throw us out of alignment with our core. Stepping into a place of detachment, surrender, and allowance for others is absolutely necessary. They have free will and every right to choose to stay stagnant in their soul’s evolution. It will become imperative to look at everything from a bigger perspective, instead of from a human perspective and know that there is always divine order and a bigger picture in every event that occurs.

We are all on different consciousness levels with the free will to choose whether we want to move towards the higher energy of Love or stay stuck in the lower energy realms of limitation. Sometimes it takes others more time and many more lives before they will finally surrender their ego and move forward into enlightenment.

The best way to live, is to always ask yourself:
Is this relationship, activity, thought, or belief:
1) For my highest good?
2) A wise energy investment?
3) Going to enhance or deplete my light?
4) In line with my being?
5) Contracting my energy through fear or expanding my energy with love?

*Disclaimer: I found this in my diary from way back. It must be from some class I took, and I don’t remember which one it was or who it was by. Possibly Abraham Hicks?

A Prayer for World Peace

monk-hands-faith-person-45178.jpeg(This excerpt is from the book is called “Pray, Meditate, or Both?”)

A common question is, “What’s the harm in praying for world peace?” And the problem is in the idea that it’s somebody else’s responsibility to make peace happen. It begins with you. So if you want to know how close we are to world peace, look within.

Prayer and meditation are both wonderful. In-fact, reciting a prayer is a common meditation practice (like the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, for example). Where there is hatred within, train your mind to sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. Do not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; or to be loved as to love; for it’s in giving that we receive, it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it’s by letting go of the concept of a separate “self”, that we are born to eternal life.

By being grateful for what we have, we generate energy toward more of the same. So don’t focus on what you DON’T have, because energy flows where attention goes (you would just wind up with more of what you don’t want). Meditate to keep your mind firmly fixed in the right direction, and it will raise your awareness of things to be grateful-for in your prayers. See the beautiful relationship between the two practices?

 

On Love & Rigidity


A very dear friend of mine will send me songs every now and then, to listen to. Every time I get one, it feels like a little gift wrapped up, waiting to be unwrapped, listened to, and enjoyed. They are all new, and all different. It’s one of those small things I secretly, anxiously look forward to… 

There was one song that I particularly loved. I listened to it over and over. Curiosity crept in and I wanted to know the lyrics, so I searched for it on YouTube and found a version with lyrics. I was shocked to read the lyrics. Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I’m just too sensitive. But the lyrics triggered something inside me and I suddenly judged this song, that I had loved so much, as a bad song, and decided I couldn’t listen to it anymore.

It seems silly, I know. But it made me realize how quick we are to put meaning on something, leaving us to separate ourselves from people and things that would or could have otherwise, brought us significant joy…

Blinded by my ego, or fear, maybe both, I told my friend that I had listened to the lyrics and decided I couldn’t listen to it anymore. He laughed and said the lyrics were not bad at all. It turns out out the version he sent me was a clean version and the YouTube version was the explicit version. I laughed at myself for being so quick to judge- so rigid… 

What a simple example but HUGE growth opportunity almost missed. Maybe… just maybe… people are like songs. ALL unique. All beautiful. Each one has its own purpose. Some are liked more than others. All having their own origin, roots, and depth. But it’s all beautiful in its own way, and when we start placing meaning on each one, based on our biased perspectives and experiences, we have to be careful about labeling it as good or bad. 

If we see everyone as a unique song, maybe it would be easier to just enjoy the music…and maybe even dance. 

On Being Lonely

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We become lonely because we yearn for connection from another human being. We desire to be heard, understood, and appreciated. And when these fundamental needs aren’t met, we feel lonely.

With these feelings we look outward for friends, events, romantic partners, and sometimes even addictions to fill that empty feeling looming deep inside of us.

And when we finally find that friend, romantic partner, or we go to event after event, we still feel empty in the short breaks in between. And we take great notice of that lonely feeling, and more often than not, we are pulled to fill even those small moments with anything so long as we don’t feel that loneliness.

The moment in which we feel the most connected with another person, is when we feel vulnerable. Why? Because we have exposed ourselves, our hearts. We have allowed another person to sit with that with which we were uncomfortable sitting alone with. And when we find that even under our deepest vulnerabilities and flaws, we are still loved, we are still valued, we are still WORTHY, it is then that we feel complete.

Paradoxically, without other people, we are incapable of “exposing” our vulnerabilities, yet it is precisely these vulnerabilities that we are afraid of exposing for fear that we will be rejected. Being vulnerable takes risk. It takes being humble, and a bit of humility. Being vulnerable takes a tremendous amount of courage. Most importantly, being vulnerable means being human. We are all flawed.

There’s a catch, and it’s a rather big catch. The trick to maintaining that feeling of being whole is to embrace all those vulnerabilities on your own. Being whole isn’t contingent on anyone but yourself. So if you find yourself courageous enough to humble yourself and become vulnerable, in that moment of vulnerability, know that it is not to gain acceptance or love by another but to live in your truth. And yes, if there is anything that you see in yourself that you do not like, you alone are responsible for changing it.

People are mirrors that reflect both the things we love about ourselves and the things we despise. This is why being vulnerable and true in your relationship is so important- to clearly see what is being reflected back to us.

When you begin loving and embracing who you are, we begin to love ourselves, and when we end up in moments with ourselves, we suddenly realize, we are not alone, and we are whole.

How to Let Go

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Most of us struggle with letting go, not because we really needed that thing (relationship, situation, job, environment, behavior, etc.) in our lives, but because the concept of letting go is so overwhelming.

We know we have to “let go” of things that are not good for us, but aren’t quite sure what it means to let go, if we are ready, when we’ll be ready, the consequences, or even how to go about doing it. The idea of letting go sounds like something we have to do physically, emotionally, and simultaneously. But the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight.

We may imagine letting go to mean having to cut our ties, burn bridges, and run away as fast and as far away as possible, “then everything will be alright…” Sometimes we might even think that letting go means completely giving up on our goals, ambitions, hopes, dreams, or precious relationships. We may even see “letting go” as denying the importance of that person/place/thing in our life. Seeing “letting go” in this way is overwhelming, to say the least, and very unattractive. Letting go on those terms makes sitting in our discomfort far more appealing. Fortunately, letting go is none of that. It might help to understand what letting go really entails, and how to do it effectively (or at least less painfully).

You see, we often see the thing in front of us as the cause of our unhappiness, and thus jump to the conclusion that it must be immediately removed from our lives in order for us to be happy. I’ve seen two extremes: some will stay in that place that we believe causes us a great deal of unhappiness, thinking there is no way out of it, so we might as well suck it up. And some will completely escape the situation because they believe there is no way to find happiness in that given situation.

Eight months ago, my husband left me. For some reason, I really thought that he would be nicer, given that his new life was free from all the things he said he hated about me. He blamed me for making him so angry. Surprisingly, even after 8 months apart, his anger has worsened. He became more verbally abusive. He lashed out more often. He blamed me for even more things (crazy random things like his cell phone not working). His attitude and words were filled with such hatred and, I have to admit, every word he said felt like it was a spear lunged into my heart and laced with poison. My heart hurt for a long time. I thought, “What did I do to deserve this? Why is he causing me so much grief? When will he finally stop hurting me and let me be happy…?” Even ignoring him didn’t stop the attacks.

I lost a lot of sleep over every text he sent, every glare he gave me when picking up our son. After loving and caring for him for so many years, all he did was hurt me and hate me… I was truly unhappy. I tried being nicer, more generous. I spent countless hours going over our texts, wondering what I did or said that was so wrong, and planned how I would respond next time to elicit a better response. Maybe I could say or do something that resulted in him being more kind…more…loving?

What I thought was the cause of my unhappiness (his attitude and behavior), however, was actually not the cause at all. I had to dig deep, but really questioned myself. Why does what he say and do bother me so much? Why does it change the way I feel about myself? Why do I let this affect my health, and energy? Something had clearly triggered something much deeper inside of me, and I had to figure out what it was.

It took many months, and tons of therapy to realize that I was holding on to some kind of subconscious need inside of me for validation. I needed his reaction to me to validate my worth. What I really wanted to do was move to a different state so that I never had to see him ever again. I even considered quitting my job. I thought that my happiness depended on him changing.

I found that it is the letting go of THAT which makes letting go so hard. That thing inside us that says, without that changing, or without this condition, etc., I will suffer… I will be unhappy…my life is pointless… I thought I needed him to be a kind co-parent, for the sake of the kids, at minimum. But what it really was, was an unspoken need to be validated. To prove that I wasn’t a failure, a bad wife, or a bad mother. I rationalized my need for him to change by saying things like, “if he doesn’t change, he is setting a bad example to our child. So he MUST change. He MUST learn how to be kinder to me.” In reality, perhaps life would be better if he was more kind, less hateful and angry. Unfortunately, that’s just who he is and I don’t need him to change in order for me to feel good, or even confident, about my life, my value, and my future.

Letting go of that need drastically changed my life, my happiness, and how I saw him. After a while, it didn’t matter what he did or said. It was just him, doing his thing, and saying things that reflected, not me, but a really dark place in his heart that wasn’t ready or willing to heal. And perhaps it never will. And that is fine because my happiness doesn’t depend on it.

We hold on so tightly to that sense of identification we feel, or our attachment to the outcome that we become almost blind sighted from alternatives and positive solutions.

It is a great challenge, but one worth trying, to dig deep into what it is that we are really holding on to and why, and then…let it go.

What’s interesting is that once we finally do manage to let go, we realize that we never actually let go of the thing we thought we needed, but our attachment to it. Originally I thought I needed to let go of my husband being a real meanie, when in reality, all I needed to let go of was trying to define my value according to how he (or anyone else) treated me.

How To Make Others Change

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The majority of our suffering comes from thinking something or someone should be different. When it comes to people, we believe that if only they changed, things would be so much easier for us, and for them. Getting people to change is so difficult that the struggle in getting there, paradoxically, ends up ruining the relationship altogether. The result: everyone suffers. Suffering comes from a desire to fix, control, or change reality. So how do we get people to change without ruining relationships and driving ourselves mad?

It hurts seeing those we care about doing things that we know are bad for them. And while it may be completely true that they would benefit from making changes in their lives, what we don’t see is the energy and negativity that comes pouring out of us when we fixate on that inner desire of ours to get them to change to be more “easy for us to be around”.

What we don’t see is the excessive negative energy we put there, and the amount of energy that gets sucked out of us- so much that we have very little left to apply in our own lives, our own problems, and our own issues.

For the longest time, I was guilty of this.  To the point of being aggressive, emotional, and angry and hypervigilant, I would get overly involved in other people’s lives. I was completely blind to the extent it took away my inner peace. I was losing sleep, I was getting anxious, and started building up resentment toward the people I claimed to “love”.

This is a form of codependency. When we get involved in places that we have no power, neglecting our own personal health, well-being, growth, and independence. We make ourselves sick with bitterness and judgement about how someone behaved, thought, or spoke in a way that we didn’t agree with. Sadly, this only leads to a breakdown, and sometimes end to the relationship.

We meddle in other’s lives because we care, we worry, and we think we know what’s best for them. And perhaps that’s all justified and coming from good intention and a loving place. Then again, there are times when our own lives are so messed up that it just feels easier to focus on other’s problems instead of our own. But the truth is, wherever it comes from, and whatever reasons we have, we have no real or meaningful power over others behaviors, choices, thoughts, or beliefs. So how do you change them?

You can’t.

But you can influence them.

Trying to maintain our own inner calm is hard enough, but to try and make magic in someone else’s life by changing them into someone you think they should be only leads to trouble. The only meaningful power you have is to find that peace within yourself, juggle your own inner calamities, and love. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Love each other. Be kind to everyone. Because believe it or not, people are always watching. It may not feel like it but they are. Even when they are repeating over, and over, and over again, the behaviors that keep getting them into the same predicament, they are watching. They’re watching to see if it’s possible to be a kind, patient, loving human being. They are watching to see how to unconditionally love others and accept others and support each other on their journey in life. If you want to make people change, start there.

To Live Your Message

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What’s your mission statement?

I was asked that a few months ago and was like, “ummmm…can I get back to you on that?”

What sucks about having a mission statement is the accountability that comes with it. So you have a mission statement that boldly states what you’re all about. Your purpose, your passion, your whole reason for existing… and then the big question that inevitably follows it: So what are you doing to achieve that?

Gulp…

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it took me a few years to respond to that question. And here it is:

To live my message.

If ever a mission statement, this for me, felt like a truly powerful and empowering one. I didn’t need to be perfect, I was allowed to make mistakes. Having a mission statement with a specific “goal” in mind (like world peace, or eliminating poverty, or curing cancer…whatever) is extremely intimidating, and honestly, probably unrealistic. But this- living my message, sounded pretty practical and like something I could definitely do.

It was basically daily accountability to do the things I say I’m going to do,
avoid doing the things I say I’m not going to do,
and find flexibility and forgiveness somewhere in the middle.

So the real question isn’t about having a mission to change others or to make some dramatic dent in the world, but to be as truthful, honest, and real as I can possibly be at all times, and hopefully, that helps others feel free to be as truthful, honest, and real as they can be as well. In that, I find freedom, hope, and love. No rules, no super out-of-reach impossible goals to achieve within x-amount of time. No one-size-fits-all rules and expectations.

To do this only required one thing: to be brutally, rigorously honest about who I was and what I was about. No more people-pleasing. No more looking outside me to fill what was lacking inside.

As I began my path of discovery, healing, and self-love, I began to have a lot of “aha moments” and “epiphanies” that I was desperate to share with others (hence this blog). It was tempting to insist that my friends and family do what I was doing, think what I was thinking, and heal the way I was healing. I secretly judged… Sorry…

Little did I realize, though, was that by focusing on the progress and struggles of others, it would not only take away from my own recovery but pull me back. Significantly…

What I found was that in order to help others, or carry a message of healing to those who still suffer, was that I can’t “pull them along” in my own struggles. I had to live my message.

We learn only through our commitment to our own healing and growth. We carry that message of hope and strength by living it; by serving as an example. I believe it is not us who share the message, but the message that shares itself as it comes out in our daily actions and attitude.

If so, what was I sharing?

Self-improvement, personal development, healing, recovery- whatever you want to call it, is all a very intimate process that somehow unfolds itself uniquely in each individual, which is why it requires rigorous honesty, intention, and personal effort and commitment. We recover not through the advice of others, and not by doing things the way others do them, but by committing to healing ourselves, every day, in whatever way works.

No matter how far we have come, we do not have the ability to “teach” people how to live. We do not have the divine knowledge of what is the best path for others to take, and we do not have the right to insist that one way is better than another. We rely on a “program” that works for us and our personal relationship with some form of Higher Power, even if that Higher Power is your dog. Seriously. Whatever works. We never attempt to be another person’s “Higher Power”. All we know, by walking our talk is what worked for us, and this is evident not though an intense advising session but through our actions, thoughts, and behaviors.

It would be truly arrogant of me to try and teach something in which I had no experience or knowledge in, and that lack of experience or knowledge isn’t the things I’ve learned.

The thing I know absolutely nothing about and have no experience with is,
“what’s best for someone else.” 

What I learned through my unfortunate failed marriage with a sex addict, alcoholic, problem gambler is that the more I tried “teaching” him how to “overcome his issues” (as opposed to just living a better life for myself), the more I enabled his addictions, and the more distance I put between us.

All I know is that I have found my “program” transformative, healing, and a vital part of my recovery. Through doing my own personal work, I have met others who have experienced the same recovery and healing. While our stories are all very different (and in some ways very similar), our core commonality was in our commitment to our personal healing and co-witnessing how it transforms and heals us.

No matter where we come from and what our background, we had been supported and encouraged to continue working through our issues in a positive, loving, and supportive way, and this was all we could do. This was ultimately the most effective and influential for everyone involved.

Naturally, when we find something that works to make our lives better, we want to share it with the world. We want others to know and feel the freedom and joy that we once only dreamed of having. But our message, our product, that “thing” we hold dear to us, we only carry it because it carried us. Through a lot of inner-work, and commitment to bettering ourselves, it has now become a part of us, and through this, we are able to carry it in return. And that is how we live our message.

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I Surrender

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“I surrender”

I know it sounds silly to talk about movies, but it was 2012. I watched the movie, “The Life of Pi” and had forever been changed. The take-away for me (which may be different for many) had a significant impact on the way I currently live my life. The first time I heard him say those words, “I surrender” I felt a chill down my spine. It was calling out to me, urging me to say it. “Try it… Say it…say, ‘I surrender”.

My body felt a sudden tension. “No way!” I thought. “I’m not ready! If life is anything like the message in this movie, just look at what happens when we surrender!

It had seemed that Pi had gone through enough pain and suffering. He literally lost EVERYTHING: his family, friends, country, and when he thought he had nothing more to lose, he lost the last of his food, the boat that kept him afloat on an ocean that could care less about about whether he lived or died, and his best friend was dying next to him. On the surface, it felt like he was being punished horrendously…for what…why…?

And yet the storms kept coming…hitting him harder, and stronger. If surrender meant opening my arms to a bigger storm, count me out!

This was not encouraging at all. To surrender meant an increase in suffering. I was not willing to suffer more. I had had enough. But the message kept ringing louder and louder in the back of my mind for years. Something inside me kept calling, begging almost, whispering, “say it..say ‘I surrender‘.”

I knew I had to at some point. But I wasn’t ready.

To surrender meant having to endure greater suffering, isolation, and the loss of all I thought I knew and believed (i.e., my “ego”)… What I hadn’t realized at the time though, was that through surrendering the ego, I was to discover myself and my purpose.

 

There came a time in my life (a few  years later) when I finally got the guts to say it. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I was desperate for freedom, so I said it. I didn’t whisper it either. I screamed it loud and clear: “Ok, God. I’m ready….(gulp)… I… surrender!”

And sure enough, I was granted what felt like Pi’s epic storm scene. A true shit storm. My husband’s infidelity came to the surface, my own ugly demons came staring me in the face, and eventually, my marriage came to crashing ugly end… and I was left thinking, “I’m a failure. A loser. Who on Earth could possibly ever love someone like me…?”

But what came out of that shit storm (shit storm being a serious understatement) was exactly what is promised when we surrender.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “your ego wants you to look for the inside on the outside.” He adds, “The outer illusion is the major preoccupation of the ego.”

In other words, when we let our ego lead, the ego feeds us false ideas of what will make us happy, constantly encouraging us to focus on things outside of us to fill that empty void inside of us.

But when we surrender the ego, we are forced to look inside- something we’ve been avoiding our entire lives. And yeah, when we finally have to take a peek at all of that mess…it is NOT pretty… Yet, when we courageously do look inside, we discover…the universe.

The cost is high, and the fear induced by it is great, but it is sooooo worth it. If you think about it, letting go of the ego to discover the universe…and as a side perk, suffering seems to decrease significantly. Now that’s a pretty good deal! An investment with HUGE return.

Suffering is something no one wants to do. And certainly, if we don’t have to suffer, why suffer? If there’s something we can do to remove the suffering from our lives, why not? But there are times in our life when we must endure the storms. There are times when we must embrace the suffering. And it is precisely this- suffering- a very necessary consequence of growth and evolution as a human being.

While it seems counter-intuitive, as we learn to surrender to the universe, we actually find peace. We find the universe, we find our true power, we reconnect and discover that full, infinite loving wholeness inside ourselves.

So perhaps the key to happiness, and yet quite a scary path to embark on, is to surrender. Don’t get me wrong: to surrender is not to give up on your dreams, or to aim a little lower when we don’t get what we hoped for, but to maybe aim a little higher next time, and let go of the outcome…each..and every time.