Have you ever noticed that there are times when, through all the noise that the world throws at us, a message stands out? It resonates with your soul and gains your attention. Once you notice it, it repeats until you do something about it. For me, these are things the universe is presenting to me as an opportunity to learn and grow. This knowledge has been gained by looking at my life and in hindsight, I can see this path very clearly. There is an intentional sequence to my lessons. Each one building and preparing me for the next. Each lesson is harder and goes deeper than the one before.
I spent my life up until 2010 at top speed, living in a fight or flight mode. If I ran fast enough all the feelings would never catch up to me, but that doesn’t work. As we all have heard the phrase, “No matter where you go there you are.” Up until this point I had lived in the delusion of being in control. In 2009 I lost my mother, that was the straw that broke the camels back.
I got the message loud and clear to STOP!! Stop running! Stop hiding! Stop NUMBING! JUST STOP! It took a full year to be able to STOP. It was through divine intervention that this happened and my life stopped and turned on a dime. I was surrounded by people who understood immediately and loved me until I could love myself. I was so far out of my comfort zone that all I could do was let go and ride it out. Through this process I had to completely examine my life, the good and the bad. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates was right. This process changed my perspective on life and various events in my life. Perspective is key to whether or not I have a good day or bad day. I get to decide. Connecting the Dots is a perfect example of this.
In 2011 was the year of FORGIVENESS. Forgiving the little things, mistakes, things said in the heat of the moment are easier than others. Asking for forgiveness is even harder. There is a level of humility I had to gain, but once I started taking the action the relief was palpable. I had no idea the weight I was carrying with the fear and shame. Then when it comes to forgiving someone who IS WRONG and HAS HARMED YOU or someone you love, the resentment and righteousness are tough to put down. The event that harmed me was life changing and for the average person is unforgivable. This was quite the struggle because my resentment had manifested in PURE RAGE. Inside I knew that if I couldn’t let this go my life would never get any better than it was right then. I WANT MORE! I WANT TO FEEL PEACE! I WANT TO BE HAPPY! I had to make my peace with him, I had to make amends for my actions towards him after the event and in my heart I had to forgive him. It took more divine intervention to get to the place where I was sitting across the table from this person and asked him to forgive me for my actions. He did. In sitting across from him my perception of him changed. Seeing him where he has lived his life on the streets, in half way houses, drunk, losing his sight and day-to-day not knowing what might come his way, my anger turned to sadness. Life has a way of balancing the scales. A friend told me, “forgiveness does not mean that they were right, or what they did was ok, it just frees you of the burden of carrying the resentment. It helps you to move on and live free of the toxic feelings that resentment brings.” When I got up from that table and wished him well I felt PEACE! I WAS FREE! I never dreamed that any of this was ever possible. It is one of the greatest days of my life!
I had over a year of PEACE from 2012 and into 2013. I am not saying that I didn’t have struggles, but I was able to face them with a level of grace I never had before. I was spending time with God and enjoying each day. 5 Ways I Get Closer to God is a blog post wrote during this time. My mornings consist of
Now 2013 was one of those years when I realized that everything before was preparing me to deal with what was happening. The message FEEL. FEEL EVERYTHING! Ugh, seriously?! It has been so nice for so long. At this point I had been divorced for 12 years, and my ex-husband had managed to continue the emotional abuse via stalking me electronically. I never really felt safe or completely at rest, part of me was just waiting for the next thing. In September of 2013 I was contacted by my step-son, who told me that my ex has lung cancer and only has a few weeks to live. He died that night. I found out most of the information from Facebook. I have never felt so many feelings all at once..relief, guilt, anger, fear, shame, peace, guilt….all cycled over and over. FEELINGS! TOO MANY FEELINGS!! This triggered my PTSD. After talking to a very dear friend who was going through the same thing at that time, I went into EMDR treatment, which helped me process everything and I was back to a peaceful place within the month.
2014 was all about me. Once I had faced all these external demons I only had one demon left and it is one of the toughest…ME!!! SELF-FORGIVENESS and SELF-LOVE. This is a current and ongoing battle to change my brain. I need to break old habits and treat myself like I treat my friends, and even people I don’t know. I have undergone intense therapy where it was reflected back to me how mean I am to myself. My greatest lessons have come from being around groups of people in the same situation. I have always seen it, but now I actually don’t completely believe the things I tell myself. I am making progress, slowly but surely I will get there. “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene’ Brown has really helped me find my way out of a place of shame and into a place of love. I am still a work in progress.
Today the word that jumps out at me is JOY. Brene’ talks about how joy is one of the most difficult things to feel. What she describes is so me. When I feel JOY I feel so vulnerable and I am so afraid that something bad is going to happen that I just shut down that feeling. PEACE is one thing JOY…real JOY AND BLISS?! I am not sure I even know how to feel it. I see it in others…kids playing, couples in love, friends…
…You know I just realized when I am in a group of people where I feel safe I do experience JOY. It almost always happens when I hang out with my friend Dianne and our group of friends. Also, My friends Amy and Shy and our group of friends. I feel 100% safe around them. There’s HOPE!!!
How do I create a life where I can allow myself to be Joyful everyday?! In 3 months I will find out exactly how to do that when I go on Matthew Hussey Retreat in Florida. This week will wrap all this hard work up into a road map to living my life the way I want to live it! I am so excited I can’t even wait.
Tell me do you see your lessons or path through the noise? Have you found your path to PEACE, LOVE and JOY?!