When Your Ground Is Shaken

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Do you believe there really are coincidences? There are so many times in my life that the path I am on leads me exactly to where I need to be in a given moment. It may come in the form of an inspirational quote, or a person whose life touches mine for a brief moment. It could be a stranger or a teacher or someone who innocently offers a new perspective. I used to think that there was no real meaning behind whatever I was attracting. It was just a random occurrence that happened to brush elbows with me at a convenient time. I am now starting to believe it is something much deeper than a simple, random event.

I have been struggling lately when it comes to my personal relationships. I have taken a step back and looked closer at the depth the relationships encompass. I think for most, relationships are selfish and conditional but what do I know? It is easy to have an affinity with a good friend or family member who never questions our integrity or our character, someone who is our life cheerleader and will never take the time to look close enough to really know or understand who we are. It feels good when someone thinks we are just perfect but is that even realistic? Most people know there is another side just as true as the story we tell and the real truth lies somewhere in the middle of the two.

We all have great qualities but we have damaging ones too. We are made up of qualities that make us special but ones that make us difficult as well. There are people who see every part of us, down to the most specific detail. They don’t subtract what they don’t like and pretend it doesn’t exist. They see our whole self, the good, the bad, and every detail in between and they are not afraid to point it out. They accept us just the way we are but they do not allow us to believe we are someone we are not. They see us with a judgemental, critical eye but they admire the best sides of us too. They look beyond what we tell them and who we appear to be on the outside and they see the truth we are not able to admit to ourselves. They love us enough to turn the mirror around and force us to look into it and sometimes we hate them for what they try and make us see.

I believe we need both types to survive. Relationships are difficult and the the conditions of our relationships reflect back on who we really are.

Today, I had one of those coincidences or meaningful timing of events. I attended a yoga class that affected me very deeply. The message was simple yet profound and went something like this. Honor the people who come in and out of your life, every single one. Some are meant to test you, some are meant to love you and some are meant to change you. Someday, someone will cause you so much pain that it will rock you to your very core. The wind will be knocked right out of you and the ground you stand on will begin to shake. The truth is, we will not have any control. We must tap into our strength and faith and find any way we can to let it go. Every person, every lesson and every relationship will lead you to a place where you feel even more grounded than you’ve ever been before. You will discover that no matter what anyone does to you or how bad they hurt you, you will always have a safe place to land. When you truly become who you were meant to be and you find consistency in your words and actions, no ones opinion or treatment of you will shatter you anymore. What people think and who they expect you to be will no longer shake the strength of your character or your belief in yourself. You will discover you have the power to forgive, let go and eventually move on and all the while your true essence stands amazingly strong. Your heart and soul will remain unchanged and whole regardless of any circumstance. It is like a shield that will protect you from others expectations, judgements and conditions. You will find greater love and respect for yourself when you land safely back on the two legs that help you stand strong. Your self worth is a gift and no one can ever take that away. When you truly respond instinctually from your heart and make an effort to not intentionally harm another, those legs will feel powerful enough to support the weight of the world.

I am grateful for the reinforcement and for the teaching I was offered today. I could feel every single word and I will keep the lesson close and allow it to spill over into each and every relationship. I will remind myself, some people are in our lives for a moment and others will always be here to stay. The people themselves will show you who is which so you don’t have to waste precious time figuring it out on your own. Have faith in yourself and be true to who you are. The only person who should never let down is you. The rest are just too unpredictable.

A Temporary Break

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Sometimes, when you write enough, the brain gets quiet. Sometimes it takes writing several posts a day to finally stop the thoughts, but when that moment comes that ” you got nothing”, there is a sense of relief. That quiet, calm uninterrupted feeling is a welcome change and I am going to take a moment to enjoy it. How often do you find moments like this one? How much writing do you have to do to finally find the silence? I can actually hear the clock ticking and the refrigerator running. The mind and it’s constant racing are a distraction we become so used to that we do not even recognize the power it holds until we find it’s release. What do you do to find that release?

I’m Sorry

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I’m sorry. How many times have you said it? How many times have you heard it? So, I’ve already shared that I’ve taken many of the lessons from The giver and examined them. One thing that stands out is that when there is a lack of feeling behind the words we speak they do not spark immense emotion in the person being spoken too. I think often that conversation pulls at the emotions inside of us. It can melt us in a single moment if the words are sweet, or enrage is if someone says something we do not want to hear. Many today cannot control that emotion and we often unconsciously use those emotions as a weapon of destruction. If only we had a little meter we could adjust when we go too far one way or the other. It would be helpful to keep ourselves in check before we hurt the people we supposedly love.

Back to the movie. There were no deep feeling words acknowledged in conversations in the movie. Citizens were taught to use precision of language which took the strong feeling away. People didn’t express love but they also didn’t express anger. Get it? They spoke the words but without feeling. They were detached from the words which allowed everyone to have polite and cordial conversations. I’m always up for a new adventure so we gave it a try at the dinner table last night. When someone made a comment that wasn’t very nice(which often happens with siblings who are 12 and 15), they were required to say without feeling “I’m sorry”. And the person would respond, “I accept your apology” and we would move on. The movie challenged me to believe that practiced politeness, even without feeling is better than the alternative. So we giggled some and everyone participated in our little experiment. By the end of dinner, we all recognized the value behind general politeness.

My point is this, it’s hard to say I’m sorry because people relate that to acknowledging they were wrong. The thing is, the sorry should represent feeling bad for hurting another human being. And, a person on the receiving end that is able to say I accept your apology and move on, without holding onto the anger and emotions will be a lot better off at the end of the day than holding onto a hot coal of anger that burns their own hand most of all.

So, we will continue to practice non feeling politeness toward one another. I can only hope that one day it starts to become second nature and more meaningful and that day, I will be very grateful.

Be Patient And Trust Will Come

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I learned something very important about trust tonight. Trust is something that happens over a period of time. It is not instantaneous and has nothing to do with how much you love a person. It is a build up of consistency that determines how comfortable you are with another human being.

Tonight I was driving home with my daughter. She has only been driving a few weeks but not enough to take away the palpitations in my chest or the throbbing dread in my head. I love her to death but the truth is I am scared to death riding in that passenger seat. I just don’t trust her yet, especially when my life is literally in her hands.

When my husband drives, I feel much different. Sometimes I take my pillow along, put my seat back, close my eyes and go to sleep. Trust is a wonderful feeling when life and repetition allow it to happen, but is also something that cannot be rushed.

I Think I Might Dye

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Red. That is the color I asked my hairdresser to dye my hair. I needed a change. Fall is coming and I am feeling a little dull so why not go out and do something a little bit bold, drastic maybe. That would help me feel alive. I was very clear on the shade of red. I wanted something very natural like the highlights I had as a child.

Today, I looked in the mirror and I wanted to cry. I had two choices, I could cut all my hair off or I could go back and maybe change the color. My red is anything but natural. It is Snookie red or the color red you would imagine to see on a punk rocker. Pink almost. That is what I see when the light shines directly on my head, pink.

As I stared in the mirror something occurred to me. When I do not like what I see in myself, my instinct is to hide. I decided I was not going to yoga and I wasn’t going outside anywhere today. I felt miserable and I was filled with sadness. Them I realized something else. Everyone feels this way from time to time, how could they not? It could be our image that is disappointing, our weight, our character or perhaps our attitude. When we don’t feel good in our own skin, we just want to disappear into the darkness where no one will see us. Then I reminded myself that this freaky hair color is temporary. It will fade over time and eventually my hair will return to its natural color. I wasn’t going to hide after all. I am the same me no matter the color was on top of my head and I put my yoga clothes back on and drove right there.

There is comfort in knowing we have the power to change whatever it is we do not like about ourselves but change is a gradual. With a little patience and a little persistence we can be back to our old selves or at least find the path back to be comfortable in our skin. The lesson here it’s not okay to hide. That is a sign you have given up. We cannot stop living just because there is something we are not happy about. Take the steps to change whatever it is and be the person you want to be. Be proud of who you are, even if you are 40 something and your hair is pink. Really, it’s okay.

Closing Doors

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I remember the day like it was yesterday. The memories came flooding back tonight as I watched the scene between a man and his dying granddaughter.
Sometimes you just know that when you turn and walk out of someone’s door it will be the last time you will ever see them again. I remember taking my grandmothers hand and studying her face. I thought that maybe if I looked at her long enough, I would remember every detail. I begged her to open her eyes so I could see them one more time but she just didn’t have the strength. I felt the bones crushing in my chest as I turned to walk out of her room that day. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The heart knows what the heart knows and mine was giving me a heads up on the pain that was about to come.

We are so quick to pick and choose who we allow in and who we throw out of our lives. We treat people like beanbags who we throw around at our convenience forgetting that our words and our actions scar the people who have loved us at our best and have always been there to help us through our worst. We forget that a lifetime is not forever. Sometimes we say goodbye by choice and other times there is no other choice.

Death knocks loudly on everyone’s door. It is a knock we cannot ignore. Be careful, for the door you slam in someone’s face to keep them away may be the very door you stand in while you watch them being carried away. You will stand there alone and seek comfort in your pride. I wonder how that will feel, knowing you said goodbye long before you ever had to.

Underneath The Surface

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I often get the impression that people feel misunderstood. They really believe that people don’t understand what is really going on beneath the surface. They feel judged and think people only notice the bad things and overlook all the good.

I went to a beach a few years ago in Texas and noticed some large trucks parked in the sand. I thought it was kind of odd but didn’t really understand until I woke the next morning. I was surprised to see that there was a massive amount of seaweed separating the sand and the water. The trucks were there to take the seaweed away to make it easier for the people to get to the water.

People only see what you allow them to see. Your actions, your mannerisms and your behaviors are your surface. People do not have the time or energy to grab a shovel and dig through all the layers to see what’s inside. It is your job to make sure what is on your surface is the same as what lies beneath.

In hindsight, I really believe if that seaweed was not removed, I would have turned around, got in my car, and just drove home. Some things are just too much work. And if the appearance isn’t even something that seems pleasant, why would anyone even take the time to be there at all? And what a shame really, because once I got beyond the green stuff, the water was just beautiful.

Be consistent. Stop blaming everyone around you for not understanding who you are. It is your job to show them. If your actions paint a picture of seaweed, then that is what they will see. But, if you paint a picture of a beautiful beach, they will notice that too. People see what they see for a reason. Pay attention and if you don’t like the reflection then it is up to you to paint a new scene. You are the artist and the art. You are your own creation so what are you going to create?

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