Sunday, April 14, 2013

"L" is for "Love Truly"

According to A Course in Miracles, Love is the CONTENT of all relationships.  The form may change, but the content does not.

Love isn't about romance . . . or sex . . . or possession.  LOVE is about wanting for others what you want for yourself . . . PEACE.

I not-so-jokingly say that getting divorced was the best thing Renfrew and I did for our relationship.  It is true.  While we 'loved' each other, the form and function of marriage had stopped working for us.  I had turned into a nagging shrew and he had closed himself off into a passive aggressive non-participant.  At some point in the process of divorce, I stopped wanting to control the outcome and sincerely prayed for both of us to be HEALED of our pain.  It worked (at least it did as far as I am concerned).  I began to look at Renfrew with softer eyes and saw the pain we were causing each other.  I finally let go  . . . .

It is trusting that a step taken with LOVE will get you where you need to be, even though that may not be where you think you want to be.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

"K" is for "Keep Confidences"

Secrets come in many forms . . . some secrets  - - - like your friend confessing her first kiss or the plans for your nephew's surprise party are serious business.  Little drops of trust that build an ocean that is a relationship.

Other secrets, like a co-workers negotiations with a potential new employer or your bosses plans to retire, are important because someday you may need the favour returned.

I come from a family where "secrets" are few and far between.  We all pretty much lay everything out on the table and deal with it.  It works for us.

My main thought to guide what secrets are meant to be kept is simple:  Does keeping this secret put anyone in harm's way?  Telling about harmful behaviour -- either harm of another or self harm is necessary.  It can save a life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"J" is for "Jettison Anger"

Just to clue everyone in on where I am getting my alphabet from . . . it is from the plaque that hangs in my entryway.

So today is the day to jettison anger . . . .

One thing I have learned about anger is that most of the time the person who are angry with DOESN'T CARE.  Anger is a *reaction* that is chosen.  It leads to fuming and rehashing of whatever trigger of the anger was.

The question to ask when anger strikes is not "how can I make the person who 'made' me angry change".  The question to ask is what is this feeling here to show me about MYSELF.

Just ask that question . . . then listen for the answer.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"I" is for "Imagine More"

As a girl whose primary sense is her imagination this is easy for me.

Imagination is the key to empathy and understanding those around us.

Imagination is free entertainment.

Imagination, as Einstein said, is more important than knowledge.

Yes. . . . Imagine . . . Dream . . . and then find a way to reach those dreams...

Monday, April 8, 2013

"H" is for "Hurt No One"

I have always been a pacifist . . . even before I knew what the word meant.  I am a pacifist to the point that I cannot even play laser tag - - my girlchild loves laser tag.  She and her other parental units have spent many happy hours shooting at each other and the other players.  I tried.  I honestly tried.  I just  It surprised even me.  Even pretending to hurt another person is contrary to my nature.

When Renfrew and I separated one of the revelations for me was that my WORDS hurt him.  I did not realize what I was saying hurt.  The statements, as I recall, were innocuous.  But it was what HE heard in those statements that hurt him.  It has taken a lot of self reflection, but I can see how he 'heard' what I was saying.  It makes me more careful with not just what I say, but how I say it.  We hurt each other . . . as couples who lose their way will do.  Part of my promise to myself was to make our divorce a peaceful place.  I hope I am able to succeed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"G" is for "Give Freely"

I have found that just focusing on being grateful makes me more giving.  Finding small things to be thankful for creates a mindset of abundance.  Where there is abundance, giving is not just easy but natural.  Here is an  example of how my perspective has shifted.

When I was younger, like many 'kids' Christmas was about what I got . . . sometime, not that many years ago something rather strange happened.  I got 'full' of stuff. . . I stopped really caring about what I got (although on the rare occasion someone truly *got* me and found something -- often a small thing -- that really spoke to me, well those times are really gold.)  Anyway, my greatest joy during the holiday season is giving to others - - the family our office 'adopts', the annual toy drive and, more personally, our family tradition of baking goodies and delivering them to neighbours' doorsteps on Christmas Eve.  Yes, that is what the season is for me.

So, I say GIVE in unexpected ways . . . and more than giving THINGS, give smiles, kindness and prayers for everyone who crosses your path.  They are there for a reason.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"F" is for "Forgive"

I have talked about A Course in Miracles on my blog . . . I credit that program with being a large part of the incredible healing I experienced when my life fell apart.  When Renfrew looked at me and told me he wanted out of our marriage (a marriage we had both sworn would be FOREVER), I was hurt but above all I was ANGRY.  I herded us into almost 2 years of therapy and counseling.  I did everything humanly imaginable to try to *fix* it.  Yeah . . . right . . . what I should have done was work on healing myself.

Anyway, the biggest thing I finally GOT from my study of ACIM was the absolute requirement for forgiveness as the only real path to inner peace and happiness.  The Course is a series of 365 self-study lessons that help retrain the mind away from fear and toward love.  It isn't a religion -- people who study it come from every religion and no religion.  It costs NOTHING to study -- it is available free on-line here.

I will not say that forgiveness came easily.  I felt betrayed and angry.  The man who had repeatedly told me that NOTHING would change his love for me had pulled the escape hatch.  Slowly . . . and I mean SLOWLY. . . over the next several years I asked God/the Universe to bless Renfrew and give him happiness.  I asked that the WILL of the Universe be shown to me.  And it was . . . one day I woke up . . . I woke up and realized that the end of our marriage wasn't about ME.  It was about both of us growing.

People who know me have heard me say that the divorce was the best thing that happened for our relationship.  Our marriage had changed from one where we put each other first to one where we had both lost sight of ourselves to the point where we didn't even see each other.

Forgiveness has freed me from the anger and pain.  Try it . . . all you need is to be willing to forgive. .. turn it over to whatever higher power you believe in and let him/her/it take it from there.  Here is a link to one of lessons on forgiveness offered by ACIM. . .    Lesson 46.

Friday, April 5, 2013

"E" is for "Express Thanks"

There is a different between muttering a reflexive "thanks" and really focusing on making a connection with whomever you want to know you appreciate.  Part of my life 'shake down' helped me truly remember my Mother's teaching by example that we are all human beings and deserving of being seen as such.  I have also found that this is one area where the concept of Karma can be seen in action. 
Try this experiment:  Tomorrow when you get your morning coffee from the barrista look at him/her.
See the PERSON not the job and share a smile and THANK YOU. 
Even if the service sucks and your coffee takes an extra 20 seconds, do it. 
Actually do it ESPECIALLY if the service sucks and your coffee is slow in coming. 
Imagine that the young woman who is foaming your latte has just learned her beloved pet has terminal cancer, but came to work anyway because she has to pay her rent and the vet bills. 
Imagine the middle aged man (who you suspect is the owner of the franchise but who still makes the coffee) is stressed because two of his employees have strep throat. 
Give the person MOST in need, a smile and a sincere nod of gratitude. 
You will improve that person's day . . . and I guarantee, you will improve your day as well.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"D" is for "Dreams"

One of the keynote songs of my youth is "Dreams".  The older I get, the more I am amazed at how Stevie Nicks managed to describe the 'chase' for 'happy' that plagues most relationships - - people become so focused on what they do NOT have, they forget what is there and real.  The observation that:

But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
And what you had
And what you lost

Our dreams . . . they are lost and found . . . the lesson is to appreciate each moment . . . for it will someday be a dream that seems to have disappeared in the mist of the past. . .

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"C" is for "Count your Blessings"

Seriously, this blog isn't long enough for this . . .let's see . . . Max, Scully (my dogs) . . . Charlie, Reese (the boyfriend's dogs who are currently hanging at my house), Midnight, Mumble (my household felines), Shadow (boyfriend's cat, not visiting - - the zoo only travels so much) . . . my new job. . . my old job. . . all the jobs I've ever had.  . . . my ex-husband and his wife . . . our KID (she really tops the list) . . . my Mom (she still guides my steps everyday) . . . my wacky wonderful family (including, but not limited to, my 4 sisters and 1 brother, all the 'in-law' siblings, my nieces and nephews, my great nieces and nephews, my great-great nephews --no nieces yet) . . . my friends (best GIRLFRIENDS EVER) . . . these are all obvious.

But I'm also thankful for every loss I've ever had.  They gave me perspective to not sweat the small stuff and to appreciate the GOOD.

I'm thankful for every time my heart was broken.  It healed stronger and fuller.

I'm thankful for having a 'challenging' childhood and youth . . . gave me much grist for the writing mill.

I'm thankful for every single person who reads anything I write.

Yes . . . I have concluded life is ONLY blessings . . . it is just some of them come disguised as tragedies.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"B" is for "Be Kind"

In A Course in Miracles it is said that to find inner peace we are to tell our brother he is right, even when he is wrong.  This, to me, is the definition of choosing to be kind over right.  I spent the first 45 years of my life "right" fighting . . . I wanted to RIGHT, Damn it.  At the end of the day, being right did not 'work' in a real sense.  Sure, I won arguments, but I lost relationships.  When my life (as I knew it) ended, I realized that being right was wrong.  I learned to accept that my 'right' wasn't everyone else's.

Now, I will always choose to be KIND.  Give a little. . . give a lot. . . be gentle with all those you encounter. See how your life changes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for "Accept Differences"

Okay, because I tend to follow good suggestions and I found a blogging challenge on Slappy in the Face's blog, I joined up to  . . . . my family can hear me screaming:  "Me too!  Me too!".  So I have signed up to do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Rather than depend on my slightly busy and addled brain to come up with something for each letter, I am borrowing the alphabet from the lovely plaque I purchased shortly after the end of my marriage and which has hung in my living room since.

So, today is "Accept Differences" . . .

My girlchild has observed that "there are so many different people . . . everywhere. . . wow. . . they are sooo incredibly beautiful."  Yeah, she's smart that way.  She and her friends are amazing . . . they are creative, funny and willing to be themselves.

It gives me faith in the future and hope for the next generation when I see these young people.  They are funny, charming and as different as snowflakes.

I think that Christian traditions talk about and 'a child shall lead them'.  To that I (who professes no religious affiliation, but who is firmly embraced by the Spirit that is the Universe) say:  Let's follow these children.  Love unconditionally.  Judge no one's choices.  Be PRESENT.  Show up for life and LIVE IT.