Today is Britney's birthday. I've been thinking about Birthday's, especially since I have one coming up. The thing is I don't feel as defeated as I did this time last year.
A dear friend of mine shared a special quote with me that I'm going to share with you today.
The Three Most Significant Days of You Life
1. The Day You Were Born
2. The Day you discover the gifts you were born to give
3. The Day you discover how to contribute the gifts you were born to give
I know that through my recovery I have been born again in many ways. My thought processes have been born again, my heart has been born again. How can I personally define the first element to this, the day I was born?
Also through my recovery I have discovered many gifts that were inside me my whole life. Some of them were gifts that the Lord has given me that ultimately contribute to my life, subsequently allow me to contribute these and other gifts to others. I feel sad that all these years went past without my sharing these gifts. I'm thankful that those I didn't help and serve, the Lord found other ways for them to be taken care of....
As birthday time rolls around for Britney and for myself. I personally am going to take full advantage of this opportunity to be grateful for new beginnings, new births, and for the gifts of life that we all share.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
“When it comes to a question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different. It is the same because; here also, forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or no bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise.” Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart-every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out. ) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.”
C. Lewis, from “On Forgiveness” (Weight of Glory).
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness—There are so many aspects of forgiveness that have affected my life. I have been very angry with people, especially family members that have hurt me. I hold grudges, and retaliate without considering the consequences. As I have spent this past year working the 12-step program, I have come to learn that so many things aren't as I perceived them. Yep, I've been wronged by other people. I'm sure you have to. BUT...when I've been wronged, I have blown it out of perportion and claimed V-Victim. I have further created stories and lies about the wrong that have also turned others away or made them feel victimized as well, in order to build my case stronger.
I have spent a great deal of time on step 4-Inventory--- If I am taking an honest inventory of my life. I must seek the truth, and be willing to set my memories and beliefs aside.
Many of the people that wronged me, did it unintentionally, or in a self-preservation mode for themselves. I have learned and begun to understand the motivation of these people my heart has broken, and begun to soften and empathize for these people and the pain they are in. I also have to consider how often to I wrong others unintentionally, or in a self-preservation mode myself.
How does forgiveness play a role here? As I have come to this place of love and peace I can offer forgiveness in my heart towards those that have wronged me. More importantly, I must ask for forgiveness from them...Why? I have wronged them by blowing things out of perportion, and claiming such an extreme victim. For viliainizing them, for things I'm just as guilty for.
A separate aspect of forgiveness is the forgiveness of myself. We will look at that tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tell the Truth ALWAYS! The first and foremost thing that is critical to living my truth is to tell myself the truth. I've lied to myself for so many years, that my perceptions are difficult to distinguish.
I had myself believing that if I didn't agree with those around me, that they wouldn't love me and they would leave me. My truth is, no one could love me, not for real anyway since I never let them know who I really was. They were really loving a mirror of themselves. In spite of my efforts my relationships ended anyway.
I've got myself into such habits of being agreeable that I don't even know what I like, or who I am. Telling myself the truth, does a couple of things for me. First, it is giving me an identity, both inwardly and outwardly. Secondly, it is giving me the freedom of living fearlessly.
Once I know my truth, I can have real relationships with others. For example, something as simple as where I want to have a lunch meeting is grounds for an opportunity to allow someone to know that I love Mexican and Chinese food. At least, the American versions. This also leaves room for real human interactions and negotiations.
I have also found that when I tell myself and others the truth, my relationships grow and become surprisingly more secure.
The Truth Has Set Me Free!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
What does society consider makes a good person? We live in a world with a very vague definition of what makes a good person. Some say that if you are skilled at lying, stealing, treat others unjustly, lustful thoughts, or hatred towards others that you can appear as a good person. If others believe you are a good person that you must be...There are so many people in society, some positioned in power that want us to think they are good people. Even they know they are not good people.
In my neighborhood, and surely in your neighborhood there is someone who you and I likely think is a really good person. She is likely a Mom who's kids show up to the bus stop dawning the latest in fashion, carrying a home lunch in a crafty lunch sack. This person will spend her days serving lunch on the soup line, or in a woman's shelter being a friend to the battered women and children in town. In her spare time, this neighbor can be found blogging the latest inspirations as the sweet smell of homemade bread rises from her oven. Sunday morning, you will find her sitting on the front row in the chapel. Outwardly, her life seems flawless. Many of us look on these neighbors with envy, I know I do.
What really goes on in this neighbors life? Why does she put on this outward bravado? Is she living her truth? If I am living my truth would I be looking on her so envious?
I dare say that few of us live our truth in the outward world. Most of the time, we have struggles that we try to hide from friends, family, and co-workers. We always put our best face forward, saying “Sure, I would love to help...” when inside we are screaming for help ourselves. What would happen if we say “I'm sorry, not this time.”??? Our fear of rejection and ridicule would likely never let us find out.
How is living my truth outwardly possible? How do I build enough confidence to live my truth, in spite of the outside world? Over the course of the coming days, I'm going to discuss with you what works for me in living my truth.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I feel very reminiscent about my childhood. Maybe because I've been thinking about Dad so much lately. I was also thinking about my Mom. I don't want to wait until she passes on, to reminisce about her too. I already kinda feel cheated about my time with my Dad.
Some of the things I remember about my Mom, is that she was always home when I got home from school. My mom sewed a lot of our clothes. She even sewed the cutest little silky underwear with lace across the back. I had a pair in every color. My mom cooked dinner from scratch, EVERY night. My mom had a spot at the end of the kitchen table, where she did all her work, and even her bookkeeping. In fact, she still does. There is so many things about her that I wish I was more like. In spite, of everything my Mom made sure that we had great food to eat, and clothes to wear. I have to laugh, when I remember how we'd hear a honk, honk, honk as my Mom would pull in from the grocery store with a car load of groceries. We'd all run out to unload the car. Guess what, I have inadvertently carried this on to my family.
Out of every example my Mom lived I'm sure my family wished I made a home cooked dinner, EVERY night, or at least several times a week.... I go through phases where I cook quite a bit for my family, and then I run out of steam and stop. I often wonder how these great homemakers did it. Kept up the love, the momentum to cook, clean, do laundry, drive taxi, and not lose the energy to keep it up???? I'm sure we all can look into our lives and remember one of these great Mom's and the examples they lived for us.
What kind of an example do I live for my family? What kind of example would I like to live for my family? I am not going to answer these two questions here. I will say they are sadly two very different answers at this moment. Maybe instead of amusing I know the first answer I should ask my family, what examples I live...I don't really ever know what they are thinking.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
There are several great people in my life. First, my Dad. Two years ago next Wednesday, my Dad passed on to the beautiful side of the veil. I've been considering what legacy has my Dad left to me, and what would he hope for me to teach my children.
My Dad, has a testimony of Christ, and it is far reaching even beyond the grave. My Dad didn't live his life here in the way society would have expected him too. I judged him harshly for that many times. Being torn between the exemplary life my Dad lead and the life society taught me was a struggle for me, and sometimes still is. I was wrong for judging him. He only wants to live his life according to his beliefs. Sure he would like me, and the rest of his family, to follow in that belief, wither I do or not doesn't give me the right to judge him for his life.
Over the past two years, my Dad has taken so many opportunities to be apart of my life and continues to teach me how he believes living a Christ-like life.
I also look at some of the other people in my life and the examples they live for me. There are some that are full of venom. Most of the time, I can stay out of it, although, sometimes I can be venomous too. Also, there are completely angelic people, that draw me in to them.
It is such a great blessing that there are so many different types of people in my life. I have also been blessed to be able to see these types of things in people with more vibrancy lately. I'm so thankful for this gift, because it is helping me develop the people that I truly am.
I'm sure like you to there are lots of different types that make up who you are. I guess it all depends on which parts we foster that grows stronger and becomes dominate in who we are.
As I spend time meditating on who I really am. What is my purpose in life? It is such a great blessing to have all these wonderful people around me and to be able to observe them. I like to consider everything about a person, and try to understand what is important to them. Thanks to everyone for their examples.
Just so you know, I love you Dad.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It has just been over a year since I've started the LDS addiction recovery program. It has taken this whole year for me to go through the program once. When I first began the program on August 11, 2010, I set a goals and made plans. I thought that I could go through a step a week. I knew that in a short 12 weeks I would be a changed person.
Here I sit a year later and completely and honestly come through the 12 steps for the first time. In all honesty, I go through that steps daily. I have begun to integrate these steps into my life. The 12 step program is leading me towards my Savior, my God.
I know that I am not alone in healing my heart and my soul. I know that I am no longer “broken” That doesn't mean I'm healed, or perfect, it just doesn't mean I'm broken.
Step 1 Honesty- I strive every moment to be honest with myself about how I feel and what I believe. I have begun to honestly speak up for what I need.
Step 2 Hope- I believe that I am begin restored to perfect spiritual health. I have a growing hope and faith that I am continually growing in Christ.
Step 3 Trust in God- I know that I have a lot of weaknesses. Most all the old thinking patterns still hover in secret corners of my heart, and I know that I will be sustained in working through these weaknesses.
Step 4 Truth- I can now see where my original inventory wasn't as truthful as it could have been. It was entirely focused on the negative and the hurt I've caused. I am a good person. I have many things to offer myself and others. Through working through this program and beginning to come to Christ, I can see where I can give who I really am to others.
Step 5 Confession- My sins may not be sever enough to need to confess them to my Bishop. They are sever enough to confess to Christ through repentance, to Jim, and to myself. When I make mistakes, or when I slip into old patterns I need to be honest with myself and work through it.
Step 6 Change of Heart- I have been blessed with a changing heart, and a willingness to change and be changed upon. I don't always go with the flow. I still fight against life, and God's will. My heart is always full of peace, love, and calm, I can't always feel it, but it's there. I just need to be humble enough to allow the changes in my heart that have taken place free flow.
Step 7 Humility- I am a very prideful person...It's that simple. I still try to micro manage life, and still try to impose my will on those around me. I have just become very thankful for forgiveness.
Step 8 Seeking Forgiveness- I make so many mistakes. I have begun to believe that making mistakes is just fine, even expected. It is all in the attitude of how I handle them. Yep, I still tend to beat myself up. I think I need to seek forgiveness more for how I react to my mistakes than the mistake it self...
Step 9 Restitution and Reconciliation- I will spend the rest of my life, paying restitution to those in my life that have been wronged.
Step 10 Daily Accountability- I am especially accountable to myself moment to moment. I hold a strong level of accountability to my God and my family. It is nice to be honest and accountable and still be human. I am weak and fallible, maybe that will help keep me humble.
Step 11 Personal Revelation- Angels don't come down and visit me. I don't hear strong voices guiding me to move mountains. BUT...I am beginning to trust in the promptings that come to my heart. I still don't always follow what I'm prompted to do. I can only wake up each morning, and give this day and all the wonderful people in my life everything I can.
Step 12 Service- I am thankful that I have the opportunity to start living my life, and lovingly give my heart to all those around me. I am thankful for the chance to write this blog, to share in service my “story.” I sincerely hope and pray that you will find some hope and something to uplift your life. I would love for you and everyone to find the peace and serenity that I am finding....
With all my love
May Angels Walk With You
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Something has been weighing heavy on my mind the past two days. A few days ago, it was raining and I sent a text to my hubby, that told him how much I love my new house and that I love that I have dry hay for the winter. He shared my text with some co-workers. The question came up, “was I joking?”
For the past two days, my heart has been overwhelmed with gratitude for my hubby, and the life he has provided for our family. As I have been overcome with a growing peace and love for him and my life. I started to wonder if I was just turning this into a fairy tale. What is real?
This morning I was reading something by Ro Paxman
Bumping Our Shins
People hurt each other without even trying.
We each are - in our own way - flailing about,
trying to make our way the best we can.
In the process of trying, we bump our shins
on the couch and on each other.
No harm intended in the clumsiness
it smarts to try and fail.
When we become wise enough to remember that we are all
trying to make our way the best we can,
it is easier to forgive and forget when we bump our shins
on the couch and on each other.
This was a nice little reality check for my fairy tale life. Then I realized that my fairy tale might be bumping shins with my hubby. I know that he has flaws, but I can't seem to find a one. I think that is because I'm not looking. No, I am not burying my head in the sand, like I have my whole life instead I choose to see the fairy tale. I'm choosing to live the fairy tale.
I can choose to list all the things that aren't perfect in my life, but instead I choose to list all the things in my life that do hold perfection. Yep, I'm going to bump my shins on the couch and other people, especially people that are the closest to me. My life sure is easier now that I am willing to not only bump my shins, but to also allow others to bump their shins.
Life is full of faith in others, forgiveness, and love. If that's not a fairy tale I don't know what is.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
As I sit here and wait for the impression about what I'm going to write. I can almost feel the softness of the silence as it rest on my shoulder. I can thankfully, still recall how painful silence used to be. The depths of extreme that I would go to to avoid the silence. Let's see, I would always have the radio, or television on even if it were just noise in the background. I would call people on the phone just to talk, and I believed it made me look like a good person too. (LOL) I still love being alone, but now it isn't to avoid others instead it is to get to know what is going on in my head better.
Now as I sit in silence I find that when my mind clears, the peace and serenity feel almost weightless, colorless, and there is a freedom in being clear. I find that when I'm stressed I love going for a drive. In fact, just yesterday I was finishing running errands, and realized there wasn't a project at home that couldn't wait for a short drive.
So let me ask, why do I think external validation is so important? Yesterday I got my hair cut. Not just a trim, but like 6 inches cut off the length. I am known for extreme hair. Funny uh? (Harley is getting that way too, I love it) As I'm seeing her behavior I question, am I taking her action of extreme hair as a way Harley to imagine her validating me? As I went in and out of different stores, or appointments I felt myself hoping people would comment on my hair. Of course, hoping that they would tell me how “cute” it is. It is MY hair. I made the decision to make such an extreme cut because it is what I think is best for my hair and its health. I didn't make the decision because of “cute,” so why is it so important for me to have others think good things about me?
I keep wanting to avoid these issues I'm having. It is interesting how they seemingly unconnected to each other, yet strung together with fishing line all these issues are right now. What do they have in common and differences? I believe that problems or issues appear more apparent when it is my time to heal from it. Now is the time, obviously. What isn't obvious is what am I ready to heal from? I have recently talked about, my headaches and chronic pain, and silence, and my need for external validation. In my opinion, these things are just tiny and don't necessarily threaten life. I have dealt with much deeper pains than this.
I want to proclaim that I don't even begin to understand what I'm being presented with in this healing opportunity. Although, I do wish to understand it really doesn't matter. I will go into this with an open and trusting heart. I know that I will be protected no matter what happens either emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I have to admit that I avoid doing things that cause me pain! I also have to tell you that I avoid myself, because of afraid of the pain I might find! These are two huge realizations for me. I want to try to explain without excuses what I'm talking about.
As you are well aware, I have headaches. Really! I am becoming tuned into the needs of these headaches without trying to coddle them or allow them to serve me with fear or excuse anymore. I avoid working, playing, enjoying my life in an attempt to avoid making my head hurt. For example, picking up something heavy to move it will make my headache “explode” so I appear lazy. I avoid running, playing, and things that result in enjoyment to avoid my headaches from “exploding” Depression sets in, and the result is lack of desire to work, play or do anything resulting in enjoyment. Vicious, vicious cycle!
I also avoid myself, because of the pain I find here. As I have been keeping my headache journal that I have been in pain for many years. Have I avoided dealing with this pain, or have I been brutally punishing myself. Somehow, thinking I deserved all this pain. Looking back on my thinking error, it would make perfect sense that I would think this way.
What would my life be like without this pain? I wouldn't have an excuse, not to work, play, relax, love, LIVE... Who would I be? Inside running joke of mine..What kind of eggs do I like? I would be forced to find out, since nothing would be standing in my way. What then, what if I failed? What if I succeeded? What if I won my own personal lottery?
I know as I sit in the seldom times I have without a headache, searching for it. Are you kidding me? I search for my headache, I own it as if it is a part of who I am. A defining part no less.
It must be my time. My time to find my freedom. My time to turn the pain of my headaches and body pain over to Christ. Will He take my pain away? I don't know... Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I know from my past weaknesses that the Lord doesn't take my weaknesses away from me, but he sustains me in my weaknesses. I'm scared, I mean really afraid of letting this pain go...It feels like if I were to just let go, and let God it would be simple. Maybe the simplest thing I've ever done.