Tag Archives: trust

Day 15 Be Present: Sore Jaws, Offering It Up, and Trusting

Standard

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a head ache, and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and lightness in your life.
-Joan Lunden

Isn’t that a nice little nutshell of wisdom? We forgive and then get on the road to “laughter and lightness”. But–If only she hadn’t done THAT, I could forgive her. If only it hadn’t meant THIS, I could forgive him. If only… oops. There I go again, thinking my situation is special, and nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Nobody could understand it, and nobody would expect me to forgive if they REALLY knew what happened and how awful it really was.

Oh- do you feel that way, too? I thought it was just me that had unforgiveable people in my life. Huh…

The quote from Joan Lunden sounds so trite. It really can’t be that easy.

But it is easy. And yet, it is the work of our lives to trust often enough to forgive, and forgive again, and then forgive some more. So is the problem forgiving, or trusting?

The only way I know how to forgive is to hand the person and their deed up to God. I have to get very visual about it, and generally use these steps when the thought of them or their deeds occurs to me: 1) I see the person in my cupped hands, and lift them up to God, while on my knees. 2) Then I have to put them in my cupped hands and lift my hands up to God, and shove them up into clouds. 3) Then I have to put them in a quilt, and see God picking them up. 4) Then I wrap them really tightly in a quilt, and I throw them like a football up to God. 5) Then I lock them in a rocket launcher and light a fuse to launch them up to God. 6) Then I… you get the idea.

I have to do it over and over, lifting them, sending them, blasting them. Every time I think of them, hand them over.

Eventually, I get to a point where I can just say “I forgive you” in my mind when the thought of them or their offense comes to mind.

And I am finally getting free to lightness and laughter.

The nutshell of forgiveness is that it is all predicated on a trust that God is there, and she can and is handling that offensive person and me with more love, care, and wisdom than I could ever know.

Through countless hours of silence, solitude, soul searching, and prayer, I learned that the act of trust is an utterly ruthless act.
-Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust

Don’t Sell Out to Easy Money that Costs You Too Much

Standard

Image

 

Too bad no one will pay me to sit around and read Game of Thrones while eating chocolate chip cookies.  That is what I love to do these days.  Clearly I need some more motivation towards my passion, and to pick up that book again.

The work life balance is so tricky- make enough money to eat, clothe, shelter, etc. and yet don’t give so much energy to the job that nothing is left for parenting and relationships at the end of the day.

Secret of responsible parenting: Don’t sell out to “easy money”, whether it is marrying too soon to a bad choice for “financial companionship”, or sticking with a job too long after it has stopped being a source of pride and energy.  Work is hard, and we would rather not do it- that is why they call it work!  But at the same time, don’t let it become such a burden that it drains your parenting energy.  I need to fix my budget and give up a few things so that I can do a better job balancing work and parenting.

I have not written about my day job very often… It is a time crunch every damn day, and requires personal, technical, managerial, and vast communication skills. I am good at it.  Yet it does not feed a really crucial portion of me.  I am not sure what to do about that slow leak of my soul, seeping out the windows of my office as I sit at my computer.  These economic times and this phase of my parenting life doesn’t lend itself well to going out on a limb.  It is so easy for us to be conservative and stay in the rut.  Don’t risk it, just stay put.

I was on the phone with my Reiki Master and friend Mary last week, telling her I might work on a way to cut back on my corporate hours and get my own Reiki business off the ground finally when she started gasping and exclaiming “Oh my God, a red-tailed hawk just landed in my back yard, looked at me, and took off!”  She continued, “Wow! Yes! Yes!  You need to do that!” and then “That is a clear message.  I have never seen a hawk in my backyard*.  You need to do this, Anne.”

Image

So limb, here we go…  What or where is YOUR limb to better balance and fulfillment?

* I don’t know if divine intervention sent the hawk or a scraggly cat that looked like tasty prey. I am sorry kitty-cat if you had to be lunch in order for me to risk and try something new!

Image

Single Parents And Dating

Standard

dating priority

Yep, a rough one! But I am here to tell you that it is so worth it!!!

I have had and lost more relationships than I want to count. But when I finally decided to put on my big girl pants and state that my children are my priority up front, early on, the man responded with “Of course, I respect you for that”. What a relief, I had a huge boulder lifted from my shoulders, because I knew I could follow my priorities rather than his. In previous relationships, I really had thought that I needed to focus on pleasing the man, on being who he wanted me to be, rather than who I wanted to be… Hmmm, pretty messed up, huh?

Read the rest of this entry

Portland Perspective: Discipline, Homeless, and … What?

Standard

Forgive me if I am oversimplifying. This is a blog, not a research paper…

We all choose our lives. Depending on our spiritual beliefs, we may have chosen our paths before our lives began. Every moment presents a choice: Will I get out of bed when the alarm goes off? Will I run first, pray first, or pee first thing in the morning? Or maybe I will sit on the couch and eat Hershey’s dark chocolate toffee bites. All of our choices add up to habits over time, and habits form our lives. Self-discipline is merely a habit of making our bodies do things our brains are resisting; we eventually train our brains over time to do the workout, the laundry, the cleaning, the math homework, etc. without having to convince or cajole.

But how do we reconcile this choice-habit concept with homeless people sleeping under trees, waking up to roll up their cardboard box spring and sleeping bag mattress to live their day on the streets? Do people choose to panhandle for spare coins? Do people choose to leave all of their belongings except what fits in a garbage bag or a shopping cart, and walk the town for hours on end?

I don’t know. I spent only a few days in Portland this week. I saw so many homeless young adults that it started to look like they were choosing to camp in the streets. But we have to question that conclusion. Would anyone would choose to live on the street unless the alternative really wasn’t there: no home, abusive families, no job, mentally or developmentally incapable of self-sufficiency, and more. How many people who would choose to sleep in their shoes every night and wear the same socks for weeks on end? Or to sleep out in the open, on a bench, the only protection being your right arm thrown over your eyes.

My biggest fear getting divorced was that I would end up homeless. The picture of my children and I, living in a shelter, wide-eyed, dirty, and hungry filled my nightmares. That was the crying core of my fear of living alone. And seeing these young adults, just 5 years older than my children, of course makes me wonder if my children will find their way or will they be carrying a garbage bag with blankets in it down the street, with their ill-fitting, dirty coat, missing the 3rd button?

They started to look like body bags, laying there in the mornings, with their heads tucked into their sleeping bags. I wanted to dehumanize them, to assure myself they weren’t an alternative me, or my children. That comforted me for a moment. Then, I saw a woman crying walking along the sidewalk, hugging herself. Next, I saw an arm stretched out over his partner’s bag, protecting her. Another man carefully strapped his complacent cat onto the back of his bicycle with an old bandanna. And then, by the side of the street, I saw 2 sleeping bags, side by side. One long and lumpy, with shoes carefully paired up next to it, shoelaces tucked in. The other had long greasy blonde (girl)hair coming out one end, and a chic-book by her side.

Choices, Ripples, Grace, Joy

Standard

“Each choice we make causes a ripple effect in our lives. When things happen to us, it is the reaction we choose that can create the difference between the sorrows of our past and the joy in our future.”
– Chelle Thompson, Editor of Inspiration Line.

This is my quote for the day/week/millennium.

We can make choices to blame ourselves when our kids run away, and fall into self-blame about choices we made 2 weeks or 2 years or 10 years ago. Or we can do our best to love our child and ourselves through the turmoil so that we are open to new ideas, new approaches. My friend Susan is working through her daughter running away this morning; obviously our hearts go out to her and her whole family. I haven’t experienced a run-away, but I just hope she is able to love herself enough to let the grace happen on the other side, whether that other side of the horror is today, next week, or in 10 years.

We can choose to blame ourselves when our home is robbed- “Why didn’t I double check the doors and windows?! I am such a knucklehead! Why do I sleep at night?!”. Or, we can model to our family what it is like to be calm in the face of invasion. My friend Mark lived through this last week- at 2 am scary-looking losers entered his home while everyone was asleep. No one was hurt (or even knew about it until they went to look for their wallets and phones). His reaction not to blame himself for being a “Bad Protector” helped his family minimize the trauma. We don’t know what grace waits for them on the other side.

This is not on the level of runaways or home robbery, but I happen to be one to spend money when I am feeling low self-esteem. I inflict my own trauma. Towels helped me through infertility issues. I had lots and lots of plush colorful towels by the time I got pregnant. Cars helped me separate from my parents’ manipulations. And now it is fall, and I obsess about boots making me feel worthwhile in my office (the black Liz Claiborne suede zip-ups would help me have more clients, right?). I need to stop and love myself enough to let the grace in rather than spend the money that is already ear-marked for the mortgage.

You know the grace on the other side, they are creative miracles just in time: unexpected closeness in a relationship, tangible connection with our higher power, material blessings for someone truly in need, kindness from a stranger, reprieve granted on a stressor, the phone call we didn’t know we were waiting for…

Don’t be a victim, don’t let your past experiences be your bitch and make you make a mess of something that God intends for grace and mercy.

What will our ripple(s) be today? Will we role model calm to our kids when it hits the fan? Decorate our house with the Halloween goodies wehave rather than buy more? Make banana bread rather than feel grumpy and tired about the weather? Workout? Go to a yoga class? Congratulate someone on a job well done rather than point out the miss-steps? Decide to balance our checkbook rather than live in mystery?

Each and every choice has a ripple effect. Be courageous. Make some ripples today.

Trusting our Guts (aka Higher Selves)

Standard

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is not that easy.  We can get a little gun-shy and self-recriminatory when we make mistakes.  I am the first one to shout “I told you so!” when I screw up.  But I have been told that the more we trust those innards, the better we will be at coming up with The Truth.

  1.  So, I trusted my gut with the Cute Guy at work.  When he said he went away for the weekend with another woman, I decided that meant I needed to move on down the road.  I did my hair differently, gave him back the book he loaned me, ignored his conversation attempts, walked the other way when I saw him, and went out on a couple of dates.  I acted AS IF I was moving on anyway; I wasn’t, but I was trying to fake it until I made it..  Ten days later, he texted that he missed me and was so sorry.  I waited to respond (ok, so it was only 4 hours).  And now, 3 weeks after that, we are dating.  Exclusively.  He is calling me pet names, he is calling me every day, and most importantly, he is referring to and paying attention to my speech to him that I only date one man at a time and only date men who date one woman at a time.  At this point, he is opening up to me more than I am to him!  He is sharing fears and dreams and listening to mine.  I have no promises of where it is going, but today the gut-check was a good thing.  I knew I could not tolerate the behavior of seeing others, and I took care of myself by speaking my Truth.
  2. At work last week, I was very uncomfortable with the way my boss handled a meeting that lasted four 10-hour days long.  He didn’t protect our client from the third party and her lawyer.  I was really stressed and in a lot of turmoil because this put my job as well as my reputation on the line.  But he wanted me to follow his lead, and ”just let it all happen, be patient”.  Because the third party held the checkbook. Finally, on the 4th morning, after painfully shutting my mouth several times, being jittery and taking more breaks than usual from the meeting for 3 days, I spoke out once in our client’s interest.  My boss ruffled beside me, and the third party blinked their eyes a few times.  We all went on, not a lot changed.  And 7 hours later I got to board a plane outta there.  I have no idea what the recourse from my boss will be when I return to the office, but somehow, I need to keep on trusting my gut and be true to what I believe is right.  I have been asking for a promotion and a raise, I really hope now that I am just not canned!
  3. Dating with teenagers in the house- the ultimate test of our reasoning.  My kids are watching me date this man now.  They have met him, they have spent time skiing with him, and have had dinner with him several times.  They know he has been a part of my life for about 8 months even though they didn’t meet him until 4 months into it.  I told them about it when I broke up with him.  I am trying to model how adults move through sadness and pain, so that when it happens to them, they will know the earth has not crashed into the sun, even though they feel awful about the breakup, death, job loss, etc.  I am also trying to teach my kids about honesty…  they don’t get to have sleepovers with their boy/girlfriends, and, well, I do.  If I am teaching my son not to be sneaking around behind my back, shouldn’t I stop sneaking around behind their backs to spend the night with my boyfriend?  This is difficult terrain here, because if I decide to stop sneaking around, then that means I have to decide how much Cute Guy means to me.  Do I want him to have a relationship with my kids?  Do I want them to like him?  Get attached to him?  Things are still very fresh and new, although going really well so far (what has it been, 2 weeks on this new relationship plane?  NOT LONG!).  So luckily, I am on vacation with my kids.  Phew.  We have some ski days planned all together.  No overnights are planned, yet.  But you know how that goes.
  4. The bottom line is, we all need to take the time to “act, and not react”, as the Al-anon saying goes.  In order to trust our guts, we need time alone, with friends, and/or with journals to process, and a ton of communication with everyone involved.  I need to have the long talks with my kids that only come when I am not worried about work and not rushing to find dinner, and can look them in the eyeballs for more than 10 seconds at a time.  And, yes, I need to ask God to “help me help me help me”.

 

Daily Bread

Standard

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

God gives us our Daily Bread. I was bummed yesterday and pulled out all the stops, cried, wailed, journaled, blogged, all that. And now, that river has passed and I am counting all the ways that God has given me my Daily Bread, and has had my back. Yes, I know… you were right after all. Go ahead and gloat.

Life is full of sadness and disappointments. Nobody ever said life would be easy, if you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist, or whatever, life will hit us all (really really hard) every now and then. It is not for the faint of heart. So we get hit, we feel it, we talk about it, we learn the lesson, and we get back up.

I am celebrating all the love in the world today that is available when we look for it:

-I got to hold a 2-month old little baby named Annie today.
-My daughter put a bouquet of flowers and a note on the bathroom mirror last night for me to see first thing.
-I got to hug an older lady friend today and tell her I had been looking forward to that hug.
-Two women I snowboarded with on Sunday posted fun photos of us on facebook and called me a “Badass Boarder” (they are -10-15 years younger than me, and I got to show them the fun powder and give them a few tips…haha).
-My son gave me a huge hug this morning and looked me in the eye (he had to look down, cuz he is taller than me now) when he said “You are awesome, thanks Mom, I love you”.
-A friend gave me a piece of chocolate cake and a red rose this morning.

I got a heartfelt apology from Goober yesterday. I have stopped playing the victim, and remember that I am strong, courageous, and I held my boundary. I am learning and growing and I did really good work, breaking up with him. I needed it and maybe he did too, that is not for me to decide. I am celebrating the fact that I broke out of my old habit of taking the crumbs of love and am now celebrating with the entire cake.

God does have our back, and is giving us our daily bread of love. I just don’t always notice it in the moment. I hope your Valentine’s Day is awesome and you feel all the love surrounding you!