One Day at a Time

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When I can’t make out what’s in front of me, show me the way. My biggest fear is that I am getting it wrong. Everyday I wake up and put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I swear I will never step foot in a certain direction but on occasion I find myself right back there struggling with the knowledge that I knew this direction did not serve my soul well.

Today may we all find forgiveness for the mistakes we make. May we find the compassion and courage to love ourselves unconditionally so maybe someday we can extend that same love and respect to someone in our life who desperately needs to experience it as well. Be gentle. Soften. Don’t give up.

Can We Really Move On?

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Have you ever thought you were over something just to have it kidnap you in the middle of the night? Pain, anger, resentment are just a few challenges that are hard to shake. It’s hard to admit you still have some work to do to experience the necessary healing that would end the process of letting go. You spend years making progress only to be stuck right there at the end. So how do you leap off the edge in order to experience the real joy of moving on?

If you are holding onto something, acknowledge it. Admit that it is holding you back and at least set the intention to complete the process. Tell that stubborn side of you that forgiveness is necessary for your own well being and the whole world will be better when you make that choice. It won’t be easy and you will take a few steps forward and some major ones back. Just keep moving until you get there. You can do it.

Broken

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KNOWING THE RIGHT THING IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP. DOING IT IS ANOTHER. 

There are days I loathe myself.

 Moments I resent the brokenness inside of me that reaches out to break another.

 I regret the moments I take things a step further than I should, times when my anger spills over out of control. 

I ache over words I should never have spoken. The kind of words that leave a lasting scar.

 I regret the days I try and do too much, not leaving a single ounce of energy for myself. 

Sometimes I’m just mean and that part of me takes the wheel and I cannot find the breaks.

Some days I resent being that person everyone can count on.

 Need something? I’ll get it. 

Forgot something? I’ll bring it.

 Eventually I break when someone’s irresponsibility puts a tremendous burden on me that I don’t deserve to own.

 I think people forget I am human too.

 I get tired. 

I get angry.

 I am broken and I am trying to hold myself together the best I can.

 Today I will repeat to myself , Be Better. You’ve got this. 

 Today I will practice forgiveness.

Today I will try my best not to make the mistakes of yesterday. 

Today I will be the best version of myself.

Go Away Guilt

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Guilt is the enemy. If I wrote down the list of things I feel guilty about in a week, I could fill an entire book. What is guilt exactly and where does it stem from?

This is how Wikipedia defines guilt:

Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

Back to the where does it stem from part. Only I make the choice to decide if something I say or do is beneath the standards I set for myself. The enemy is not guilt, the enemy is me and I need to replace that re-occurring wasteful thought with a healthier, more inspirational one. It’s so important to practice kindness and compassion and it’s easy for me to do when it comes to others. Why then, am I so darn hard on myself? 

How about you? Do you feel guilt often? How do you handle those feelings when they come up?

 

The Answer Is Always Love

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A Wise Physician said, “The best medicine for Humans is LOVE.” Someone asked, “If it doesn’t work?” He smiled and answered, “ Increase the dose.”-Unknown

If there is one challenge in this lifetime that is always difficult for me , it is loving people who are unlovable. Every fiber in my body wants to treat them in the same horrible way they treat others and if I’m honest, it happens. Then I remind myself that everyone deserves love no matter how ugly their words or actions are. I am faced with people who challenge me with this very concept on a daily basis and the reason is because I keep failing year after year. I need to dig down and find the strength to finally rise above my own emotions. Will I do it? Maybe not but I will die trying.

Knowing Your Triggers

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Because I am a control freak, my demeanor often reflects that too. I am not outwardly too much of anything. I am a numbed down version of who I should probably be. I don’t like to surrender myself in any situation. That includes matters of the heart or matters of my own will. We all have triggers I guess and last night schoolwork turned me into a loaded gun. I get to that point where I just snap and I hate myself for it in the minutes that follow. It’s hard for me to shake that side of myself off. I hold myself to a pretty high standard and when I act in a way I don’t approve, I take it pretty hard. Sure, it’s easy to say everyone makes mistakes and it’s important to forgive and do better. There are just some lines that should never be crossed. The first time, we just look at the line and it feels awful. Next time we move a little  closer and maybe touch it with the bottom of our foot. Eventually we have the confidence to step right over it and never come back. I see that pattern in people all the time. It’s like taking that first drink that leads to a lifetime of debilitating drinking. That’s how it starts and knowing my own limits and not going outside of them is something I’ve always practiced and admired in myself. So what is one to do when that imaginary line has been broken? Is it possible to imagine it there again and promise not to do it again or is it important to be honest and say what’s broken will always be broken and remember how this day feels because of one bad choice and don’t ever make it again. It’s not even something that would be that big of a deal for the average person, but a step out of my comfort zone in this direction was surely a step in the wrong direction. So today, I will try and convince myself it’s okay to make an occasional mistake and make that important promise to myself that I will grow from it and next time choose better. You can never go back but you can choose to remain stuck in a moment or to move forward. I’m going to keep on moving. 

Build A Wall

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How do you keep problems outside of your relationship from leaking in? Relationships are hard. They require commitment, patience, forgiveness and unconditional acceptance. If every couple lived on their own little island and in their own little world, you can bet those relationships would be very different than the ones in the real world. You have two people bringing all kinds of baggage to the table and slowly over the years, they feel safe enough to unpack. Add bills and kids and work, depression, frustration, you name it and the relationship gets buried underneath it all. Two wonderful people get trapped there suffocating in those little things that overnight seem to have gotten overwhelmingly big. It’s easy to stop seeing each other as human beings, man and woman and lose sight of the reasons you married each other all those years ago. When you were dating, your conversations were not consumed by problems and frustrations but rather focused on getting to know each other better. I know there is so much I don’t know about my own husband and plenty he doesn’t know about me. Somewhere along this journey we stopped talking about our dreams and became panicked about our reality. There are so many stressors constantly pulling both in so many directions and it’s hard to not lose each other along the way. It’s easier to act aggressively than it is to ask for love. It’s easier to stay angry then it is to let go of what is bothering you most. It’s easy to take your frustrations out on the closest person around and unfortunately, it is usually your spouse. So how do you push it all away and lock it outside?How do you prevent all those worries and all the stress from coming in between a bond that took you many, long years to build? There is no pill for that. No quick fix to magically melt the burdens of living away. It comes down to being accountable for your part in the relationship and making choices that will enhance the relationship and not tear it down. 

I challenge you and myself to build a wall around your marriage for one week and not let the problems of the world seep in. Do you think it’s possible? Are you willing to try?

Look Harder

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Some days, it is necessary to put the magnifying glass down. Don’t look at everyone and every word so closely and stop being so critical. As hard as it may be, see the God or good in everyone around you. It is there, whether you want to believe it or not. Sometimes it is not the person who is faulty but rather our perception of him that is really off. More times that not, what we do not like in someone else is a part we do not like in ourselves. It is a reflection back of something we do not wish to face. Look for something good, see something good. Look for something bad, see something bad. Whatever you look for will be waiting there for you to see. One of the greatest challenges in life is finding the good in someone who has hurt you or who you have grown to hate. Look harder. It is there.

Allow Today To Be That Day

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Do you carry yesterday into today? I believe one main reason we have difficult, damaged relationships is because we carry the past into the present. Instead of approaching someone with today, we approach them with our feelings and thoughts from yesterday, last week, last year or another time that doesn’t serve any of us well at all.

Here’s an example. Yesterday, I told Chase to go straight to biology and put his vocabulary words in his backpack so he could study for his test. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he didn’t have the list. I approached him with the angry expectation that he wouldn’t have it and our interaction yesterday fell short of being something positive. Was that fair to him? Was it beneficial for me to drag the morning into the afternoon?

Imagine the relationships we’ve had for years. Can you imagine the damage and failure of relationships if we continue to approach someone as if they are a negative moment of the past? It is so counter-productive and that poor family member or friend doesn’t stand a chance. It’s like declaring a guilty verdict every time without ever allowing a trial.

Today, and everyday, approach everyone with the attitude that this moment is a new day. You are a new person, they are a new person and this a chance to start fresh. Be here, right now and leave your judgements and baggage outside the door. You are destroying your own heart and everyone around you if you try and drag yesterday into every today. Don’t approach anyone today like they are that same anger, disappointment or frustration they were yesterday. That time, that conversation, that interaction is over, it’s time to move on. Just something to think about today.

“Let today be the day you finally release yourself from the imprisonment of past grudges and anger. Simplify your life. Let go of the poisonous past and live the abundantly beautiful present… today.” 

Steve Maraboli

Remember When

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Remember when, 30 seemed so old, now looking back, it’s just a stepping home from where we are to where we’ve been, said we’d do it all again. Remember when?

I was driving back home after dropping Chase off at school this morning and the reality hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden, tears were flowing down my cheeks. That song, Remember When, by Alan Jackson came on the radio and every single word ripped at my heart like every other time I hear it. Some memories do that same thing too.

Life is short. Time is precious and we have to enjoy the moments as we are in them, for in the blink of a moment, they are long gone. Today, I want to remind myself to forgive like I’ve never been hurt, smile like I don’t have crooked teeth and to love like my heart has never been broken. 

Focus on the ones who have filled your life with blessings. Be grateful to the ones who have caused you pain. For everyone we meet is our spiritual teacher, whose job and unknowing responsibility is to challenge us to be the person we are meant to be.

Love, laugh, forgive, heal and love. Make a choice to love from your heart and not from your mind. The mind will steer you wrong almost every time. Accept people exactly how they are because you can’t change them anyway and love yourself right now, in this moment. Say to yourself, I am enough because I believe you really are.